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Computing

This MSI gaming laptop has a $450 price cut at GameStop today

MSI has been a bit of a juggernaut recently when it comes to its products; whether it’s motherboards, graphics cards, or computers, MSI has a little something for everybody, and if you’re looking for a gaming laptop, the MSI Alpha 17 is a great option. While gaming laptops can be expensive, especially when they’re 17 inches, this deal from GameStop brings it down to a very reasonable $840, down from $1,299 and a $459 discount.

Why you should buy the MSI Alpha 17

The most immediate concern when it comes to larger screens is whether the graphics card can handle running games on it, but the screen on the MSI Alpha 17 is a 144Hz Full HD monitor, so it isn’t going to be pushing the graphics card too much. Luckily, you also get a Radeon RX6600M GPU, roughly equivalent to an RTX 3060 if you’re unfamiliar with the AMD lineup, so it can easily handle both the resolution and refresh rate even on modern AAA games on relatively high settings. You can also grab a gaming monitor deal if you want to use your laptop as a desktop replacement for when you’re at home, and the GPU should handle it relatively well if you’re aiming for either high resolution or high refresh rate.

As for the CPU, you get a mid-tier Ryzen 7 5800H, roughly the same as an Intel i7, which means no bottlenecking with the GPU, and more than enough processing power to do simulation and strategy gaming, which tends to eat up resources. As for RAM, you get 16GB of DDR4, which is more than most folks need and gives you some headroom regarding apps and browser tabs. However, storage is on the low side, with only a 512GB SSD, meaning you’ll likely want to grab an external hard drive deal to help supplement that.

Overall, the MSI Alpha 17 is a great gaming laptop if you want a bigger screen without putting a dent in your wallet, which is usually the case with all-AMD PCs, and with the deal from GameStop, you can grab it for just $840, a $459 discount on its normal $1,299 price. On the other hand, if you want a few more options, check out these great gaming laptop deals.

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Computing

This HP Omen gaming PC cuts the price by over $500

HP is probably not the first company that comes to mind when you think of the best gaming PCs, but its offers great gear at pretty reasonable prices. Take the Omen 40L Desktop, for example; not only does it come with a powerful GPU but you can grab it from HP’s site for just $1,630, down from $2,150, which is a significant $520 discount.

Why you should buy the Omen 40L Desktop

While the Omen 40L shares many similarities with the Omen 30L, the 40L blows it out of the water with the much more powerful Nvidia RTX 3070. Sitting among the best GPUs on the market, the RTX 3070 is great if you’re chasing either high refresh rates or high resolutions, even on modern AAA games, and should pair nicely with monitors on our roundup of gaming monitor deals. As for the CPU, it’s a powerful 12th-gen Intel i7-12700K, easily one of the best CPUs on the market, so you aren’t going to have issues running simulation and strategy games or even doing productivity or editing work, so it’s versatile among gaming PC deals.

What’s going to help is the 16GB of HyperX DDR4 RAM, which almost seems too little compared to the GPU and CPU combo mentioned above, but is more than enough for the average gamer and won’t have you bumping up against the capacity of your PC often. As for storage, you get both a 512GB SSD and a 1TB HDD, so you have a few options for installing your games and general storage, although you’ll likely have to do an upgrade down the line at some point. As for connectivity, you get Wi-Fi 6, so you can have a pretty good wireless experience when gaming, and Bluetooth 5 means no choppiness or issues if you’re connecting a Bluetooth device such as a headset.

Overall, the Omen 40L does an excellent job of being a borderline high-tier gaming desktop, and for the discounted price of $1,630 at HP — a $520 discount on its normal $2,150 price — it’s certainly worth grabbing, especially when you consider that the RTX 3070 by itself can go for $500-$600, so you’re basically getting the GPU for free. Of course, if you need something more portable, there are many great gaming laptop deals to look at as an alternative or desktop replacement.

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Computing

This Lenovo ThinkPad 2-in-1 deal cuts over $1,800 off the price (seriously)

There are some really great laptop deals to take advantage of right now, and one of the most impressive makes for a good companion at both school and work. The ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga is seeing a huge discount at Lenovo today, with the impressive 2-in-1 laptop seeing a discount of $1,861. That brings its price all the way down from $3,101 to closer to the range of even the best budget laptops, with its sale price being just $1,240. This is a premium 2-in-1 laptop and a massive savings, so click over to Lenovo now to claim this deal while you can.

Why you should buy the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga

When trying to track down the best laptops for your needs, it’s hard to look past the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga, especially if you prefer the touchscreen functionality of a tablet. It makes sense for both professionals and students, no matter what your work or study may be. It has all the power most people will need with an Intel i5 processor and 8GB of RAM, and Intel Iris Xe graphics push the 13.5-inch QHD touchscreen that makes creative work more immersive and digital content come to life with amazing picture clarity and color accuracy.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga stacks up well against many of the best 2-in-1 laptops, as well as many of the best laptops for videoconferencing. This is because of its HD webcam and internal microphone, which make chatting with colleagues, friends, and family a sharper experience. If you like to do your computing on the go, the ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga is a particularly enticing option because of its security features, which include a fingerprint reader and more A.I.-driven encryption techniques that make your digital life harder to hack. Battery life is top-notch as well, allowing you to make a day of things without the need to drag a charging cable around with you. Lenovo also offers a lot of great options within its ThinkPad lineup, and if you need more specifics on which model may be right for you, our Lenovo ThinkPad buying guide is always accessible.

Powerful and versatile, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga is also one of the best student laptop deals you’ll find. Currently, it is just $1,240 when purchasing directly from Lenovo, a savings of $1,861 from its regular price of $3,101. Free shipping is included with your purchase.

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Computing

This Dell XPS laptop deal cuts over $500 off the price tag

If you’re on the hunt for laptop deals that will get you a powerful and reliable machine for less than $1,000, look no further than Dell’s offer for the Dell XPS 13 Touch Laptop. It’s yours for just $900, after a $550 discount to its original price of $1,450. You should hurry up if you want to avail this bargain though, as we’re not sure how long stock will last in this clearance sale. You may regret it if this deal goes offline before you’re able to take advantage of it.

Why you should buy the Dell XPS 13 Touch Laptop

You should never pass up on Dell laptop deals as it’s one of the best laptop brands, and that’s particularly true for the various forms of the Dell XPS 13, which has stayed on top of Digital Trends’ best laptops for quite a while now. The Dell XPS 13 Touch Laptop features the device’s trademark streamlined design with excellent build quality and very narrow bezels surrounding its 13.3-inch touchscreen with 4K Ultra HD resolution. The display’s 16:10 aspect ratio, compared with the traditional 16:9, shows more information with less scrolling, maximizes the screen real estate, and increases the size of the palm rest.

The Dell XPS 13 Touch Laptop doesn’t just look good though, as it’s capable of keeping up with all of your daily tasks with its 11th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, Intel Iris Xe Graphics, and 8GB of RAM. This amount of RAM is the recommended starting point in our guide on how much RAM you need, though you might want to bump that up to 16GB once you’ve saved up. The laptop also comes with a 512GB SSD, which should provide ample space for your documents and apps, including Windows 11 Home, which is pre-installed so that you can start using the device as soon as it boots up.

Dell XPS deals are always in high demand, so before this one sells out, avail Dell’s $550 discount for the Dell XPS 13 Touch Laptop that lowers its price to $900 from $1,450 originally. We don’t expect this offer to last long, so you should act fast and finalize the purchase as soon as possible. Click that Buy Now button to get your own Dell XPS 13 Touch Laptop for a bargain price of less than $1,000.

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Computing

This Lenovo gaming laptop deal cuts the price to only $750

You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars if you want to purchase a gaming machine because of gaming laptop deals like Lenovo’s $385 discount for the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7, which brings its price down to an affordable $750 from its sticker price of $1,135. You shouldn’t waste time if you want to take advantage of this offer as there’s no telling when it will disappear — click that Buy Now button as soon as possible.

Why you should buy the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7 gaming laptop

Lenovo is one of the best laptop brands because of the reliability and durability of its products, and that continues with the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7. Like the best gaming laptops, it won’t have any trouble running today’s most popular games, as this device is powered by the latest 12th-generation Intel Core i5 processor and the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics card. The gaming laptop features 8GB of RAM, which our laptop buying guide says is the sweet spot for most users, but it’s highly recommended that you upgrade to 16GB for extra headroom to run other apps while you’re playing games.

Some gamers buy from gaming monitor deals for a larger screen while they’re playing at home, but that may not be necessary for the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7 as it packs a 15.6-inch Full HD display with a refresh rate of up to 120Hz. Every purchase of the gaming laptop also comes with a free three-month subscription to Xbox Game Pass, which grants access to popular games like Sea of Thieves, Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, Monster Hunter: World, Halo Infinite, and Mortal Kombat 11.

Whether you’re upgrading from an outdated gaming laptop or it’s the first time you’ll buy one, you can’t go wrong with the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7. It’s an even more attractive choice because you only have to pay $750 for it, due to Lenovo’s $385 discount on its original price of $1,135. You need to add the gaming laptop to your cart and check out right now, though, because we’re not sure if it will still be available tomorrow. Act fast if you want the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i Gen 7 to be yours for this special price.

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Computing

This Dell gaming laptop just got a $519 price cut for Labor Day

Gamers can get in on the Labor Day sales action today, as Dell has discounted one of its most popular gaming laptops, the G15, from its regular price of $1,469 down to just $950. That’s an impressive savings of $519, which makes this laptop a steal, even when compared to some of the other Labor Day laptop sales taking place. Free shipping is included with your purchase of the Dell G15 gaming laptop, so act quickly and click over to Dell now to claim this Labor Day deal while you can.

Why you should buy the Dell G15 gaming laptop

Dell is one of the premier names when it comes to laptops, and while it has a lot of great options when it comes to taking on the best PC games, few are as simultaneously capable and affordable as the G15 gaming laptop. With impressive specs like an eight-core AMD Ryzen processor and 16GB of RAM, the G15 is often the go-to option for gamers who want more capability than the best budget laptops can provide, while still maintaining a reasonable price point. As built for this deal, the G15 sacrifices a little bit in speed with its internal storage space, as it has a spinning hard drive instead of a solid-state drive, but it makes up for that with a massive 1TB of storage space, which is plenty for housing even the largest of gaming libraries.

Like all of the best gaming laptops, this Dell G15 gaming laptop creates an amazing gaming experience. It does so with its 15.6-inch Full HD display that is able to produce playback at 120Hz. Most gaming laptops are only able to reach 60Hz, and the higher refresh rate makes for steadier gameplay with less likelihood of your gameplay image tearing, lagging, or breaking apart, even during the most action-packed of adventures. An Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics card contributes mightily to this gaming experience, as it has 4GB of its own RAM and is comparable with some of the best graphics cards available. This gaming laptop is a great option for any gamer who’s looking to save some money, and for anyone looking for a starter laptop as they get into the gaming world.

At the Labor Day price of just $950, the Dell G15 gaming laptop is a steal. This makes for a savings of $519 from its regular price of $1,469, and free shipping is included with your purchase. Click over to Dell now to claim this deal while you can.

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Game

Sony has cut the PS5’s weight after raising its price

Sony has started to sell a new PlayStation 5 model that may not necessarily improve performance, but will be lighter and possibly easier to produce, Press Start has reported. The CFI-1200A/B digital/disc models have started to appear in Australia with a significant loss in weight. 

According to packaging information, the digital version is 200 grams lighter and the disc version weighs 300 grams less than last year’s models, so the latter is roughly the same weight as the digital model was at launch. Whether that loss is coming from changes in the case design or internal components is not yet known, though — we’ll have to wait for a teardown to confirm that. However, last year’s CFI-1102 mode was lighter mostly due to a smaller heatsink.

The weight reduction could allow Sony to reduce production costs and possibly build consoles more quickly. Last week, Sony announced that it was raising PlayStation 5 pricing around the world but not in the US (€50 more than the original launch prices in Europe), due to “challenging economic conditions.” It said last year that it’s no longer selling the PS5 at a loss and was actually making money on the disc-based version. 

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Computing

Why the Ryzen 7000 price cuts are such a big deal

AMD has officially pulled back the curtain on its Ryzen 7000 CPUs, and among all of the specs and projected performance lies an interesting change: pricing.

If AMD’s claims are true, Ryzen 7000 should be a massive win for performance, outpacing even Intel’s Core i9-12900K across the product stack. Despite that, some of the new processors come with price decreases, which is not what we normally see.

In particular, the Ryzen 9 7950X is $700, which is $100 less than the Ryzen 9 5950X launched at. The Ryzen 7 7700X is $50 less than last-gen’s Ryzen 7 5800X as well, clocking in at $400.

A welcome and predictable price cut

The price cuts are an interesting and almost confusing move on the surface. AMD raised prices across the board by $50 with the launch of Ryzen 5000, and rumors have been flying that Ryzen 7000 would receive a price increase as well.

Still, AMD’s decision didn’t come out of left field. There was a wave of backlash after the price increases with Ryzen 5000, as AMD has traditionally been the budget alternative in the AMD and Intel duopoly. The Ryzen 7 5800X was a particular pain point, as it offered little improvements over the Ryzen 5 5600X, despite costing $150 more.

“We’re trying to get people excited about building PCs.”

It’s clear that AMD learned its lesson. It’s impossible to know the specific numbers for how many Ryzen 7 5800Xs and Ryzen 9 5950Xs AMD sold, but the price cuts suggest these two processors sold far less than the Ryzen 5 5600X and Ryzen 9 5900X. The price cuts are an acknowledgement that AMD screwed up launch pricing last generation, and we rarely see practical improvements following such criticism (especially criticism that happened two years ago).

Another way to read the price cuts is that AMD isn’t as confident with Ryzen 7000 as it was with the previous generation, but that doesn’t seem like the case. AMD is claiming a 13% uplift in instruction per clock (IPC), a generational single-core improvement of 29%, and up to a 49% improvement over Ryzen 5000 at the same power draw.

During a Q&A following the presentation, AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su contextualized the price cuts: “We’re trying to get people excited about building PCs.” Hopefully, that’s the main reason AMD decided to drop prices.

Getting competitive with Intel

A hand holds the Intel Core i9-12900KS.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

The price cuts are interesting in AMD’s product stack, but they’re even more interesting compared to Intel. AMD has been pushing prices up for the last few generations, while Intel has been forced to make price cuts in order to stay competitive. AMD’s new price cuts stack on more pressure.

Now, AMD is competing with Intel on price across the product stack. Both the Intel Core i5-12600K and Ryzen 5 7600X are $300, and the Core i7-12700K and Ryzen 7 7700X are $400. For flagships, it seems AMD split the difference on the $600 Core i9-12900K, offering a chip at $550 and one at $700.

With Ryzen 5000 and Intel Alder Lake, there was a clear trajectory in place. AMD would push prices up as long as it could dominate in performance, while Intel would cut prices to claim back lost market share. That’s not how the story is playing out, though.

It seems AMD is attempting to bring the scales back in balance.

In a strange twist, AMD is forcing Intel’s hand to move to even lower price points. Building a PC has continued to get more expensive, and next-gen GPUs and CPUs seemed destined to push up the cost even higher. By cutting the price of Ryzen 7000 chips, it seems AMD is attempting to bring the scales back in balance.

Pricing always comes with context, though. Although AMD is bullish on Ryzen 7000’s performance now, we’ll have to wait until the processors are here to see if the price cuts are as significant as they seem. If AMD’s numbers are accurate, I suspect we’ll see major cuts in pricing on 12th-gen Alder Lake processors, especially as Intel prepares its 13th-gen Raptor Lake chips.

Regardless, it’s a good time to be a PC enthusiast. It doesn’t matter if AMD or Intel comes out on top next generation. The Ryzen 7000 price cuts are a sign that, if AMD and Intel can achieve performance parity, both companies are willing to sacrifice on price to gain an edge. And that’s a good thing if you’re in the market for a new processor.

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AI

OpenAI is reducing the price of the GPT-3 API — here’s why it matters

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OpenAI is slashing the price of its GPT-3 API service by up to two-thirds, according to an announcement on the company’s website. The new pricing plan, which is effective September 1, may have a large impact on companies that are building products on top of OpenAI’s flagship large language model (LLM).

The announcement comes as recent months have seen growing interest in LLMs and their applications in different fields. And service providers will have to adapt their business models to the shifts in the LLM market, which is rapidly growing and maturing.

The new pricing of the OpenAI API highlights some of these shifts that are taking place.

A bigger market with more players

The transformer architecture, introduced in 2017, paved the way for current large language models. Transformers are suitable for processing sequential data like text, and they are much more efficient than their predecessors (RNN and LSTM) at scale. Researchers have consistently shown that transformers become more powerful and accurate as they are made larger and trained on larger datasets.

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In 2020, researchers at OpenAI introduced GPT-3, which proved to be a watershed moment for LLMs. GPT-3 showed that LLMs are “few-shot learners,” which basically means that they can perform new tasks without undergoing extra training cycles and by being shown a few examples on the fly. But instead of making GPT-3 available as an open-source model, OpenAI decided to release a commercial API as part of its effort to find ways to fund its research.

GPT-3 increased interest in LLM applications. A host of companies and startups started creating new applications with GPT-3 or integrating the LLM in their existing products. 

The success of GPT-3 encouraged other companies to launch their own LLM research projects. Google, Meta, Nvidia and other large tech companies accelerated work on LLMs. Today, there are several LLMs that match or outpace GPT-3 in size or benchmark performance, including Meta’s OPT-175B, DeepMind’s Chinchilla, Google’s PaLM and Nvidia’s Megatron MT-NLG.

GPT-3 also triggered the launch of several open-source projects that aimed to bring LLMs available to a wider audience. BigScience’s BLOOM and EleutherAI’s GPT-J are two examples of open-source LLMs that are available free of charge. 

And OpenAI is no longer the only company that is providing LLM API services. Hugging Face, Cohere and Humanloop are some of the other players in the field. Hugging Face provides a large variety of different transformers, all of which are available as downloadable open-source models or through API calls. Hugging Face recently released a new LLM service powered by Microsoft Azure, which OpenAI also uses for its GPT-3 API.

The growing interest in LLMs and the diversity of solutions are two elements that are putting pressure on API service providers to reduce their profit margins to protect and expand their total addressable market.

Hardware advances

One of the reasons that OpenAI and other companies decided to provide API access to LLMs is the technical challenges of training and running the models, which many organizations can’t handle. While smaller machine learning models can run on a single GPU, LLMs require dozens or even hundreds of GPUs. 

Aside from huge hardware costs, managing LLMs requires experience in complicated distributed and parallel computing. Engineers must split the model into multiple parts and distribute it across several GPUs, which will then run the computations in parallel and in sequences. This is a process that is prone to failure and requires ad-hoc solutions for different types of models.

But with LLMs becoming commercially attractive, there is growing incentive to create specialized hardware for large neural networks.

OpenAI’s pricing page states the company has made progress in making the models run more efficiently. Previously, OpenAI and Microsoft had collaborated to create a supercomputer for large neural networks. The new announcement from OpenAI suggests that the research lab and Microsoft have managed to make further progress in developing better AI hardware and reducing the costs of running LLMs at scale.

Again, OpenAI faces competition here. An example is Cerebras, which has created a huge AI processor that can train and run LLMs with billions of parameters at a fraction of the costs and without the technical difficulties of GPU clusters. 

Other big tech companies are also improving their AI hardware. Google introduced the fourth generation of its TPU chips last year and its TPU v4 pods this year. Amazon has also released special AI chips, and Facebook is developing its own AI hardware. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the other tech giants use their hardware powers to try to secure a share of the LLM market.

Fine-tuned LLMs remain off limits — for now 

The interesting detail in OpenAI’s new pricing model is that it will not apply to fine-tuned GPT-3 models. Fine-tuning is the process of retraining a pretrained model on a set of application-specific data. Fine-tuned models improve the performance and stability of neural networks on the target application. Fine-tuning also reduces inference costs by allowing developers to use shorter prompts or smaller fine-tuned models to match the performance of a larger base model on their specific application.

For example, if a bank was previously using Davinci (the largest GPT-3 model) for its customer service chatbot, it can fine-tune the smaller Curie or Babbage models on company-specific data. This way, it can achieve the same level of performance at a fraction of the cost.

At current rates, fine-tuned models cost double their base model counterparts. After the price change, the price difference will rise to 4-6x. Some have speculated that fine-tuned models are where OpenAI is really making money with the enterprise, which is why the prices won’t change. 

Another reason might be that OpenAI still doesn’t have the infrastructure to reduce the costs of fine-tuned models (as opposed to base GPT-3, where all customers use the same model, fine-tuned models require one GPT-3 instance per customer). If so, we can expect the prices of fine-tuning to drop in the future.

It will be interesting to see what other directions the LLM market will take in the future.

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Computing

This HP Omen gaming PC deal cuts $650 off the price

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If you’re looking for one of the best gaming PC deals money can buy right now, we’ve found it. Right now, when you buy direct from HP, you can get the HP Omen 45L — a truly impressive gaming system — for $2,050 saving you a huge $650 off the usual price of $2,700. Sure, this is still an expensive setup but it’s one that’s going to future proof your gaming for a long time to come. Here’s why it’s so worthwhile.

Why you should buy the HP Omen 45L

One of the best gaming desktops out there, the HP Omen 45L is a masterclass in what prebuilt gaming PCs can be like. It offers a powerful 12th-generation Intel Core i7 processor along with 16GB of memory plus two hard drives. It has 512GB of SSD storage for your most important files along with 1TB of regular hard drive space for storing files that are less speed-dependent. In addition is the graphics card — arguably the most important part of a gaming system. The HP Omen 45L has the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 with 10GB of VRAM, so it’s truly an impressively fast system.

It’s all wrapped up in a cool-looking tower case, cool in both senses of the word. Besides looking good, it includes HP’s Omen Cryo Chamber technology so it uses a liquid cooler radiator to pull in cold air from the surrounding environment to cool down the hardware. Despite sounding so complicated, it offers tool-less upgradeability, not that you’ll need to change anything about this system any time soon. This is a seriously powerful PC that means you’re set up for the latest games for a long time to come. Any time you want to overclock it, the option is there, too, thanks to the Omen Gaming Hub simplifying the process. A tempered glass side panel means you can always take a look at what’s going on as well.

Pair the HP Omen 45L up with one of the best gaming monitor deals and you have a fantastic gaming system. Right now, you can buy the HP Omen 45L for $2,050 at HP, saving you $650 off the usual price of $2,700. A great investment for the serious gamer, you’re going to love how it makes your favorite games look.

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