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Computing

Want a 72% GPU boost for free? AMD just delivered one

AMD has just revealed that its new AMD Software: Pro Edition 22.Q3 driver can increase GPU performance by up to 72%. With this update, AMD addresses a major pain point for its customers: subpar performance in OpenGL applications.

While the driver is aimed at AMD’s GPU range for professionals, consumer graphics cards can benefit, too, and the gains even stretch to gaming. Here’s what we know about the new Radeon driver and how to get it.

AMD/Tom’s Hardware

To make this kind of a performance gain real, AMD had to change the architecture of its Pro Edition driver. Historically, AMD has gotten some bad feedback over the state of its OpenGL drivers, and over the years, this was one of those things that Nvidia definitely did a better job at, and this applies both to professional software and gaming scenarios. After several attempts, though, it seems that AMD may have finally hit the jackpot with its OpenGL driver.

According to a blog post from AMD, the new driver improves GPU performance by as much as 115%. The metrics are all based on AMD’s professional GPUs, and the company compares its Radeon W6800 to the Nvidia RTX A5000, claiming that its own graphics card managed to beat Nvidia in several applications.

AMD itself calls this driver update a “giant leap for OpenGL-based applications.” In the blog post, AMD stated: “The release of AMD Software: PRO Edition 22.Q3 […] brings our most significant performance advancements to date in all OpenGL applications and many of your other favorite creating, designing, modeling, and CAD software applications. The latest improvements are edging us toward and beyond the competition, such as Autodesk Maya, where we see improvements up to 41% greater on the AMD Radeon PRO W6800 GPU versus an Nvidia RTX A5000 GPU.”

As mentioned, it’s not just the professionals who will benefit from this new change, because AMD is adding these updates to its consumer-grade Adrenalin drivers, too. This means that if you use OpenGL-based apps or play such games, you should be able to see the performance uplift for yourself. In addition, if you have one of the best graphics cards from AMD and you use it to run these professional visualization apps, you can also try out the new drivers for yourself.

AMD first introduced this new architecture in July 2022 and it claims to have gotten great feedback, so it seems like it’s worth giving it a try. This isn’t the first time AMD made a huge leap with just one driver update — just recently, we had a 92% performance boost from drivers alone, too.

You can download the new AMD Software: Pro Edition 22.Q3 driver or the latest Adrenalin drivers on AMD’s official website.

Editors’ Choice




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Computing

Tesla AI Day: How to watch and what to expect

Tesla is holding its AI Day today, helmed by CEO Elon Musk. It’s been a turbulent year for the divisive figure since the inaugural AI Day last year. Still, the focus of the event is expected to be squarely focused on robotics and AI initiatives within Tesla — not any of Musk’s personal controversies and side interests.

The topics to be discussed could range from advancements in self-driving cars to the first demo of Optimus, the company’s humanoid robot project.

How to watch Tesla AI Day

Tesla hasn’t publicly announced details on the specifics of the event yet, but according to the tickets that have been posted online, we may be in for something entirely different tomorrow.

A digital ticket that has been posted on Twitter reveals some juicy — and downright strange — details about the event tomorrow. It’ll supposedly take place in Palo Alto and last from 5 p.m. PT to 11 p.m. PT, which is a very odd time to hold an event. Also, a six-hour event? Whew. The actual presentation likely won’t last the entirety of the event, but last year’s nearly three-hour runtime should give you an idea of what to expect.

AI Day 2022 on Sept 30 🤖 pic.twitter.com/S9LZ5SefUC

— Tesla (@Tesla) August 23, 2022

Either way, we’re expecting the event to be livestreamed on YouTube through Tesla’s page as it was last year. As of now, though, a live event hasn’t been posted yet, and with the mysterious nature of the event, anything’s possible at this point.

What to expect from Tesla’s AI Day

We don’t have an agenda for the event, so it’s hard to know quite what Tesla has in store. Obviously, we can expect Musk to share more about Tesla’s work on self-driving cars, specifically with FSD (Full Self-Driving), the software behind its driver assistance system. FSD is currently in beta for those willing to pay $15,000 to try it out on their Teslas and is expected to roll out later this year. So don’t be surprised if we get into some of the extreme technical details behind FSD and what it’ll be able to do.

We may also see Musk touch on the Tesla robotaxi idea, a concept that’s been around since 2016. The futuristic taxi, which may have no steering wheel or pedals, was last mentioned at Tesla’s first-quarter earnings call earlier this year.

Of course, Optimus is the project we’re all excited to see an update on. The humanoid robot was first previewed at last year’s AI Day, though it was more an idea than an actual product. This year, we’re all hoping to see this concept come to life with an actual functioning prototype available. AI Day was supposedly delayed just in time to get the humanoid robot prototype ready, so it’s a safe bet it’ll make an appearance one way or another.

The Tesla Optimus humanoid robot.

As described at last year’s event, Optimus is a humanoid robot meant to replace “dangerous, menial, or boring tasks,” whether that’s in factories or in homes. Despite its intimidating appearance, Musk has said that Optimus will be friendly and would be easily overcome by a human, if it came down to it. Tesla has an obvious application for Optimus working in its own Tesla factories, which already contain some of the most advanced robotics on the planet — but it’s the more practical applications that have captured the interest of the wider world.

Will Tesla deliver on the exciting and possibly terrifying idea of Optimus? That’ll be the main topic of discussion coming out of Tesla’s AI Day.

Editors’ Choice




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Computing

MacBooks vs. Windows laptops: How do you choose?

The MacBooks versus Windows laptops debate has been raging for decades, but never has it been this intense or important. New advances in chip technology are propelling even entry-level MacBooks to high-performance targets, and a shift away from cheap plastics evens the playing field between these two platforms. Both Windows 11 and MacOS are intuitive and clean operating systems. But where they differ comes down to one key element: their ecosystems.

What this means for you is that you must carefully decide where you’re going to sink your hard-earned money. The laptop you choose now will greatly influence which accessories you buy, which apps you use, and even what kind of phone you carry. Your entire workflow will depend on the platform you go with, from how you manage windows to keyboard shortcuts. It’s not a light decision.

Arif Bacchus/Digital Trends

The 2020s have thus far been incredible for computing. This new era has also been incredibly difficult for consumers because ecosystems rule everything. It’s not easy to jump from one to the other once you’ve sunk money and time into your chosen ecosystem. It’s time to choose wisely.

Build quality

There’s no denying that Apple hits physical hardware out of the park. From a purely aesthetic (and subjective) viewpoint, MacBooks are gorgeous. They look great. They feel great. That boxy industrial-minimalist design feels as if it’s worth $2,000 or more. Ever since the debut of the M2 MacBook Air in June 2022, every MacBook has followed the same design.

Don’t forget the actual quality you’ll get with a Mac. Take the hinges as an example. You can open up any Mac with one hand. The screen simply opens up while the base sits as is. Also, the screen stays firmly in whichever position you left it in. There’s no wobble. There’s no dropping. Apple has nailed the hinges, and no Windows OEM comes close.

You’ll also get an amazing keyboard now that Apple has ditched those awful butterfly keys. You’ll appreciate this keyboard if you’re a coder or a writer. There’s nothing else like it available on a laptop. The same goes with the Mac trackpad, which is hands-down the best of any laptop. The haptic feedback, the accuracy, the swipe gestures … no Windows laptop has a trackpad like a MacBook.

But Windows laptops have an ace up their sleeve when it comes to build quality: variety. The top Windows laptops share the same sort of industrial design language as MacBooks, whether that’s the Asus ZenBook, the Dell XPS line, or even Microsoft’s own Surface Laptops. Taken together as a whole, you get a lot more choice in design and color than you do with MacBooks. Some of them even have decent trackpads, such as the Surface Laptop, although it is still not on the same level as a MacBook.

What you won’t get on any Windows laptop is the same attention to the hinges. This isn’t a game changer, but just be prepared to use two hands to open your computer.

MacBooks are generally the superior laptop when it comes to build quality, at least when you consider the entire range of MacBooks and how uniform that quality is.

The screen of the MacBook Air on a table.

Internals

You need to consider what kind of computing power you want from your laptop when choosing between MacBooks and Windows laptops. MacBooks use ARM chips, and these are getting more powerful by the day. They’re able to combine graphics and processing into one small chip, which gives you extraordinary battery life. You’ll barely hear the fans spool up.

Windows laptops, on the other hand, mostly use either Intel or AMD processors and Nvidia or AMD graphics cards. This means a greater power draw and lower battery life, and the fans are constantly running. But it also means more versatility, so you can play more games and download more programs thanks to the x86 architecture. Also, some Windows laptops are also switching to ARM chips, so this field isn’t as divergent as it used to be.

Both MacBooks and Windows laptops offer incredible computing power, and there is no real difference in what they’re capable of, although you’ll have greater access to higher-end graphics on Windows machines.

Operating system

The meat on the bones of the MacBooks versus Windows laptops debate is their respective operating systems. MacOS is a gorgeous and mature UNIX-based system. It hasn’t changed much in the past 20 years, aside from some tweaks and visual overhauls.

The entire OS is uniform across programs. This means the menu items, buttons, and overall look and feel of every app are consistent. For example, you’ll always find the File menu in the same place, no matter which program you use.

Windows is a completely different beast. It has undergone several major overhauls in the past years, with Windows 10 and then Windows 11 being the most significant. Windows 11 is a little MacOS-like, with the centered taskbar, rounded corners, and slick, glassy look. Both Windows 10 and Windows 11 look as nice as MacOS, so it’s under the hood where you’ll find the biggest differences.

A lot of past versions of Windows have been left in the system, however. You’ll find subsystem control panels dating back to the Windows XP era. The Windows code itself is a Frankenstein’s monster of years of different versions all mashed together. Each app you use will have its own look and feel. Menu items can be wherever the developer wants to put them. Windows 11 is trying to bring some conformity to the overall system, but it’s still a jungle out there.

Both operating systems are equally good from a visual perspective, but MacOS is clearly superior when it comes to ease of use and its uniform, UNIX environment.

A person having a FaceTime call on macOS Ventura having just used Handoff to transfer the call from an iPhone to a Mac.

Windows

There are some annoyances with MacOS, beginning with the way windows behave. The top-corner “X” does not close windows, it simply minimizes them. You need to use Command + Q or right-click on the window icon to completely close out of it. Windows users coming over to MacOS will find this extremely frustrating.

Windows management overall is a painful experience on MacOS. You can work in two windows side by side, but you’ll need a third-party toolbar app if you want to do anything else. Also, if you have two windows of the same application running, you can’t use Command + Tab between them. You need to right-click on the icon and carefully click on the window you want.

The same goes for trying to see how many instances of an app you have open. You’ll only see a small black dot below the icon, but you won’t see that you have four Safari windows open, for example.

Window management is phenomenal in Windows 11. There are multiple built-in layouts you can use. You can snap windows to the sides of the screen simply by dragging them, and you can re-center everything by grabbing a window with your mouse and then vigorously shaking it.

Every instance of an app you have running shows up on the taskbar. If you have four Edge browsers open, each window will have its own icon on the taskbar, and you can easily find the one you need. You can press Alt +Tab between them. If you have multiple monitors, you can drag individual windows to the second monitor, and the taskbar icon will also move over so you know which window is open on which monitor.

And the best part of Windows? Clicking Close actually closes the app. Revolutionary, right?

Despite the things MacOS gets right, Windows is clearly the superior OS when it comes to windows management.

Dell XPS 15 9520 front view showing display and keyboard deck.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Ecosystem

Both Windows laptops and MacBooks come with a healthy ecosystem of first-party apps, such as email, calendars, note-taking, and reminders. Apple’s offerings on MacBooks are still barebones. Notes and Reminders have come a long way in the past five years but still don’t match up to many third-party apps. Apple Mail is dismal, despite Apple’s mediocre updates since MacOS Ventura.

Where MacBooks really shine is in the Apple ecosystem. Using an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods — anything Apple, really — with a MacBook is a joy. You can AirDrop large files from one device to another nearly instantly. Your AirPods connect without you needing to lift a finger. Continuity allows such perks as copying a link on your iPhone and simply pasting it on your MacBook. iMessage on Mac is great, and Apple Keychain means your passwords carry over across all your Apple devices.

The downside to this ecosystem is Apple itself. You’ll be locked into Apple’s narrow view of what an ecosystem should be like. Android won’t work with your Mac. Windows won’t work. And if you depend on Apple’s first-party apps, you will be limited to using only Apple devices. The iCloud.com website is barebones, and you won’t be able to do much else off the platform.

Windows laptops, on the other hand, are much more open, and this is where the entire Windows platform really shines. Thanks to Microsoft’s Your Phone app for Android, you can get a lot of the same functionality on your Windows laptop as you would on a MacBook, such as messages and file transfers (up to a limit). Samsung phones, in particular, work extremely well with Windows.

You’ll also get Microsoft’s excellent first-party apps built right in. Microsoft’s productivity software is light years ahead of Apple. Even the base Windows Mail client is more functional and easier to use than Apple’s horrible Mail app. OneNote is a beast and possibly one of the greatest productivity apps ever created.

Best of all, every Microsoft app is available on every platform. You can get apps for your Apple devices, and the Microsoft web apps are just as powerful.

Finally, there’s one area where a Windows laptop is hands-down superior to anything Apple can offer, and that is gaming. You simply cannot enjoy Mac gaming the same way you can enjoy gaming on a Windows laptop. Sure, there are some big titles available on MacBooks. You can cloud game with Game Pass Ultimate, Stadia, and GeForce Now. But you can’t get all the functionality, smoothness or any offline capabilities.

The Windows ecosystem is superior to Apple’s ecosystem. That sounds counterintuitive because Apple is famous for its ecosystem. However, Apple is too locked down and too dependent on Apple-only devices for the real world. It is a carefully manicured garden rather than a true ecosystem filled with diversity.

Windows, on the other hand, hits the entire concept of an ecosystem out of the park. Although the more-curated experience is better for some, the fact is that you can use more devices and more apps with a Windows laptop than with a MacBook.

Gaming on the Surface Laptop Go 2.

How to choose

MacBooks are superior when it comes to build quality and the UNIX-based MacOS operating system. Windows laptops take everything else, including the ecosystem.

The only reason you should choose a MacBook over a Windows laptop is if you want to be comfortable inside that Apple garden. You give up the diversity of accessories and apps, as well as the ability to really game, but you get a polished, good-looking computing experience.

Everyone else should get a Windows laptop. You’ll have so much more freedom to use the machine how you want. You shouldn’t even be considering a MacBook if you’re packing an Android phone. There really isn’t a choice for gamers, either. It’s Windows or bust.

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Meta made DALL-E for video, and it’s both creepy and amazing

Meta unveiled a crazy artificial intelligence model that allows users to turn their typed descriptions into video. The system is called Make-A-Video and is the latest in a trend of AI generated content on the web.

The system accepts short descriptions like “a robot surfing a wave in the ocean” or “clown fish swimming through the coral reef” and dynamically generates a short GIF of the description. There are even three different styles of videos to choose from: surreal, realistic, and stylized.

An artist’s brush painting on a canvas close up

According to a Facebook post by Meta CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, translating written text into video is much harder because of how video requires movement:

“It’s much harder to generate video than photos because beyond correctly generating each pixel, the system also has to predict how they’ll change over time. Make-A-Video solves this by adding a layer of unsupervised learning that enables the system to understand motion in the physical world and apply it to traditional text-to-image generation.”

A young couple walking in a heavy rain

Meta’s AI Research team wrote a paper describing how the system works and how it differs from current text-to-image (T2I) methods. Unlike other machine language models, Meta’s Text-to-Video (T2V) method doesn’t use pre-defined text-video pairs. For example, it doesn’t pair “man walking” with a video of an actual man walking.

If this sounds a lot like DALL-E, the popular T2I application, you wouldn’t be far off. Other T2I applications have rolled out since DALL-E gained popularity. TikTok released a filter in August called AI Greenscreen that generates painting style images based on the words you type.

A fluffy baby sloth with an orange knitted hat trying to figure out a laptop close up highly detailed studio lighting screen reflecting in its eye

AI-generated content has become quite buzzworthy within the last few years. Deepfake technology, machine learning techniques to replace a person’s face with another, is even used by visual effects studios for big budget shows like The Mandalorian.

In July, The Times mistakenly reported on a Ukrainian woman in the midst of the Russia-Ukraine war. The problem is she wasn’t real.

The threat of AI probably isn’t a real threat, but projects like DALL-E and Make-A-Video are fun explorations into some of the interesting possibilities.

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Computing

Even Twitter wants to be like TikTok now

Is TikTok the new queen bee of social media? It appears so as even Twitter couldn’t resist copying TikTok. Twitter’s latest feature announcement seems to be yet another indication that the viral video app sensation is clearly the new leader among its peers. After all, TikTok is setting trends and its competitors are all following them.

On Thursday, Twitter announced two new video-focused features for its app and one of those features bears a strong resemblance to TikTok. That feature (known as the “immersive media viewer”) allows users to open videos in a vertical “full-screen mode” — just like TikTok — and continue to view more videos by swiping up (also just like TikTok).

Twitter, Inc.

Twitter’s blog post announcement said that the immersive media viewer feature is expected to be “available in the coming days” for users on Twitter for iOS who use Twitter in English.

The second new video-focused feature Twitter announced is a new video carousel that can be found in the Explore tab. Basically, it’s a section called “Videos for you” that displays a series of popular videos you may want to check out. This feature is available now for “people in select countries using Twitter in English on iOS and Android.”

(I did test out the new features on an Android device, and while the immersive media viewer didn’t seem to work (as expected) for videos featured in tweets, it did seem to work for me when I viewed videos in the new video carousel feature in the Explore screen. Via the video carousel, I was able to view some — but not all — videos in full-screen mode and I was able to swipe up to see more videos.)

Twitter is not the first social media platform to copy TikTok. Instagram is well-known for trying to do so — only to be met with quite the backlash. Facebook has also tried to catch up to TikTok’s success with its own take on video content, Facebook Reels. And YouTube is doing its best to have its creators start making their short-form video content for YouTube with its own version of TikTok videos called Shorts.

You would think Twitter would learn from Instagram’s mistakes. Especially since some of the backlash against Instagram’s TikTok-inspired changes found a home on the bird app itself, as those who wanted to complain about the changes took to Twitter to do so.

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Computing

Save over $1,000 on gaming PC from Alienware clearance sale

Enter the world of PC gaming or upgrade from an outdated CPU with Dell’s offer for the Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R10 Gaming Desktop. The powerful machine is yours for just $1,400 instead of its original price of $2,490, for savings of $1,090 that you can spend on gaming monitor deals and games to play. Alienware deals like this don’t happen often, and when they do, they get sold out quickly. It’s highly recommended that you finalize your purchase as soon as possible, while the discount is still online.

Why you should buy the Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R10 Gaming Desktop

Alienware is a Dell-owned brand that’s focused on gaming products, and it’s making a name for itself with machines like the Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R10 Gaming Desktop. It checks all the right boxes in Digital Trends’ guide on how to buy a gaming desktop with its AMD Ryzen 7 5800 processor and AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT graphics card, plus 16 GB of RAM that’s considered the best place to start for a gaming PC in our separate guide on how much RAM do you need. It’s also designed to make it easy if you eventually want to upgrade its components, which is one of the main benefits of a gaming desktop over other platforms.

The Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R10 Gaming Desktop features a 1TB SSD boot drive and a 1TB SATA for storage, with Windows 11 Home pre-installed so that you can start using it right away after hooking it up to the necessary peripherals. If you find yourself playing games for several hours, you don’t have to worry about overheating because the gaming PC comes with a thermal design that includes four 10mm copper heat pipes with integrated vapor chambers, a dual-axial fan, and an improved airflow pattern.

You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to get a decent gaming computer because there are gaming PC deals like Dell’s $1,090 discount for the Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R10 Gaming Desktop. You only have to pay $1,400, which is nearly half the machine’s original price of $2,490. We’re not sure how long the gaming PC’s stocks will last in this clearance sale though, so you better act fast if you don’t want to regret missing out on this offer for the Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R10 Gaming Desktop.

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Logitech’s new Mac accessories are undeniably pretty

Logitech’s latest collection of Mac accessories includes two new mice as well as a mechanical keyboard option and a new color option in its K380 series. The new Mac peripherals are accompanied by an updated software option that is intended to be the customization suite for all of the brand’s products.

The several interesting options touch unique points for Mac users, from comfort, to fast charging, to interesting colors, and sustainability. Check out more details about Logitech’s new Mac accessory lineup.

MX Mechanical Mini Keyboard for Mac

The MX Mechanical Mini Keyboard for Mac is Logitech’s first mechanical keyboard optimized for Mac. The keyboard introduces to the mechanical form factor many features that are already popular on Logitech Mac accessories, including USB-C, C2C charging, and long battery life.

Additionally, the keyboard features smart backlighting, connectivity, and switching for up to three Apple devices, the ability to charge while working, and a myriad of customizations via the Logi Options+ app. The MX Mechanical Mini Keyboard for Mac sells for $150.

K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard for Mac (Blueberry)

The Blueberry color for the K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth for Mac is a new option added to the White and Rose color that has already been available. The K380 is known for being light, portable, minimalist, and wireless. It can also connect up to three other devices via Bluetooth simultaneously.

For example, the keyboard can connect to an iPhone, tablet, and PC at once and switch with the push of a button. The K380 also supports customizable F keys through Logitech’s new Logi Options+ app and can additionally support up to two years of battery life. The K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth for Mac in Blueberry sells for $40.

Lift Vertical Ergonomic Mouse for Mac

The Lift Vertical Ergonomic Mouse for Mac aims to blend well-formed ergonomics into a compact product that gives ideal functionality and productivity for Mac users, with really high attention to Apple-level design and user experience. Ergonomic options for Mac are an underrepresented category intended for users with medium to small hands. Logitech focused on ensuring that the mouse worked as perfectly as possible out of the box with features such as two-year battery life, quiet clicks, a silent and new silent magnetic smart wheel, and optimized Bluetooth connectivity for up to three devices.

Various features on the mouse can also be customized via the downloadable Logi Options+ app, which allows you to configure the accessory to your preference. The mouse was also made with 54% recycled plastic as part of Logitech’s sustainability measures. The Lift Vertical Ergonomic Mouse for Mac sells for $70.

MX Master 3S Mouse for Mac

The MX Master 3S Mouse for Mac is an upgraded model that comes in Space Gray and Tailgate color options to match the common Apple ecosystem. Despite being a mechanical mouse, it has gotten several technological advancements from its predecessor including higher sensitivity. The MX Master 3S has an 8,000 DPI sensor, in comparison to the 4,000 DPI sensor in the prior model, which can be useful for creatives or those who work with high-resolution screens. The mouse also features quiet clicks, with 90% quieter clicks than its predecessor to be exact, plus an ultra-fast scroll wheel.

Logitech MX Master 3S Mouse for Mac.Logitech MX Master 3S Mouse for Mac.

The shape of the mouse is intended for intuitive handling; however, the buttons are also customizable via the Logi Options+ app. It is powered by USB-C, allowing users to also charge the mouse while working. There is a quick-charge ability, which provides three hours of use in just a one-minute charge. The MX Master 3S Mouse for Mac sells for $100.

Logi Options+ app

The Logi Options+ app is the next generation of Logitech’s customization application that is launching alongside these products. The app was first released in May but has since been updated to be a singular platform-customization app for all Logitech products.

Logitech Logi Options+ app.

The downloadable app allows you to do things such as the battery life of connected products. You can customize the keys of keyboards and mice in a number of different ways, including setting F keys to various functions in one program, such as a browser, and to a completely different function in another program, such as Photoshop.

The MX Mechanical Mini, K380 (Blueberry), Lift Vertical Ergonomic, and MX Master 3S are all compatible with the Logi Options+ app out of the box and more Logitech accessories will gain compatibility at a later date.

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Nullmixer is a nasty, new Windows malware dropper

Nullmixer is a nasty, new malware dropper that gives us another reason to avoid questionable Windows downloads. Your computer can become infected with malware after downloading and running the dropper, which is disguised as illegal, cracked software or some other app that might prompt you to ignore warnings from your antivirus software.

The horrific thing about Nullmixer is how thoroughly your computer can be hacked by this app. According to the computer security and antivirus company Kaspersky, several families of malware are installed, amounting to dozens of apps that get busy stealing credentials and data, hacking into crypto wallets, and showing black-hat advertising. Every type of malware will begin running on an infected PC, crippling performance and plaguing its owner.

Photo by Ed Hardie on Unsplash

The dropper usually appears as a zip archive file that contains an executable. Since you’d be trying to avoid detection yourself when installing cracked software, it would be tempting to ignore antivirus warnings and plunge ahead into the unknown. That’s why this is a common method of distributing droppers and malware. As soon as you step over the line a little bit and disable system protections, the dropper can open the door further, installing various Trojan downloaders that continue the onslaught of infection.

Nullmixer is a relatively new malware dropper and it hasn’t been attributed to any particular group of hackers. It has been detected and blocked by Kaspersky antivirus software 47,778 times since the beginning of the year. Since Nullmixer is a dropper that installs a large amount of malware, Bleeping Computer recommends reinstalling Windows as the best way to clear the numerous hacks that will otherwise run unchecked on your computer.

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How to leave a team on Microsoft Teams

Microsoft’s popular business collaboration platform is a common choice for companies, volunteer projects, and more — especially if you’re already using Office 365 features. The ability to quickly join a group; find the right teams; and start discussion channels, chats, or video is a bonus for all users.

But sometimes, your time with a particular team is over. Maybe it was a temporary project, maybe you’re moving on to other things, or maybe teams are being switched around to better reflect an organization’s structure. When this happens, it’s important to know how to quicly leave a team that you’re working on. Here’s how to do it.

How to leave a Microsoft Team

Before you begin, it’s a good idea to make sure you are supposed to leave a team or have permission from a team owner to do so. Leaving and joining teams without letting others know can cause confusion.

Step 1: Log into Microsoft Teams and select the Teams icon on the left-side menu. Navigate to the team that you want to leave.

Step 2: To the right side of the team name, you’ll see three-dot ellipses icon. Select it to open up the Teams menu. Here, you’ll see a variety of options, including hiding the team (if you don’t want to leave it quite yet) and managing the team if you are the team owner. Don’t confuse this with the dropdown menus for team channels, which are subheadings within the team itself and do not include the option to leave.

Step 3: Select Leave the Team. Confirm that you want to leave. The team will typically disappear from your Teams menu with no further steps.

Confirm Leaving Microsoft Team.

Step 4: The big exception to this process is leaving an organization entirely, or a special org-wide team that your admin may have created. You cannot leave these on your own. You will have to contact your admin and ask them to remove you if it has not already been done.

Leaving a Microsoft Team in iOS.

Leaving a Microsoft team on mobile

Leaving a Microsoft team works a bit differently on mobile devices, so keep this mind. If you are on an iOS device like an iPhone, the menu will be very similar, except the Teams list will be on the bottom instead of the side. Previous versions of iOS Teams didn’t allow you to leave a team, but this has since been updated, so the process should be the same.

It’s also similar for Teams on an Android device, where you’ll look for the More options dots beside a team name to choose to Leave the team.

Important tips on leaving a Microsoft Team

Does your new team care about your Microsoft Teams status or use it as a sign of productivity? You may also be interested in our guide on how make sure your status remains active in Microsoft Teams.

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Nvidia addresses rumors about RTX 40 GPUs’ power consumption

The new Nvidia GeForce RTX 40 lineup includes some of the most power-hungry graphics cards on the market. Because of that, you may be wondering if you’ll need a new power supply (PSU) in order to support the borderline monstrous capabilities of the RTX 4090.

To answer some of these concerns, Nvidia released new information about the power consumption of its new GPUs. The conclusion? Well, it’s really not all that bad after all.

Nvidia

Prior to the official announcement of the RTX 40-series, the cards have been the subject of much power-related speculation. The flagship RTX 4090 received the most coverage of all, with many rumors pointing toward insane requirements along the lines of 800-900W. Fortunately, we now know that those rumors weren’t true.

The RTX 4090 has a TGP of 450W, the same as the RTX 3090 Ti, and calls for a minimum 850W PSU. The RTX 4080 16GB takes things down a few notches with a 320W TGP and a 750W power supply. Lastly, the RTX 4070 in disguise, also known as the RTX 4080 12GB, draws 285W and calls for a 700W PSU.

Nvidia claims that this is not an increase from the previous generation, but it kind of is — after all, the RTX 3090 had a TGP of 350W. With that said, it’s not as bad as we had thought, but many are still left to wonder if they need to upgrade their existing PSUs or not.

Nvidia has now assured its customers that they can stick to the PSU they currently own as long as it meets the wattage requirements for that given card.

Similarly, Nvidia doesn’t expect there to be any problems when it comes to 8-pin to PCIe Gen 5 16-pin adapter compatibility. As said by Nvidia on its FAQ page: “The adapter has active circuits inside that translate the 8-pin plug status to the correct sideband signals according to the PCIe Gen 5 (ATX 3.0) spec.”

There’s also another fun little fact to be found in that FAQ: Nvidia confirms that the so-called smart power adapter will detect the number of 8-pin connectors that are plugged in. When four such connectors are used versus just three, it will enable the RTX 4090 to draw more power (up to 600 watts) for extra overclocking capabilities.

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang with an RTX 4090 graphics card.

There have also been questions about the durability of the PCIe 5.0 connectors, which are rated at 30 cycles. Some might consider that to not be much, but Nvidia clears this up by saying that this has almost always been the case, or at least has been over the past twenty years.

Lastly, Nvidia clarified the matter of the possibility of an overcurrent or overpower risk when using the 16-pin power connector with non-ATX 3.0 power supply units. It had, indeed, spotted an issue during the early stages of development, but it has since been cleared up. Again, seemingly nothing to worry about there.

All in all, the power consumption fears have largely been squelched. Nvidia did ramp up the power requirements, but not as significantly as expected, so as long as your PSU matches what the card asks for, you should be fine. Let’s not breathe that sigh of relief yet, though — the RTX 4090 Ti might still happen, and that will likely be one power-hungry beast.

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