Oops! It appears that you have disabled your Javascript. In order for you to see this page as it is meant to appear, we ask that you please re-enable your Javascript!

CIS Hosting UK


We’re weeks away from the Samsung Note 10 launch on August 7, but the rumor mill is running at full steam. The latest claims the smartphone will get a few radical new features, like gesture controls through the S-Pen audio and video that only records audio from one source. 

Other details seem to confirm previous rumors, like a two-model release (the standard Note 10 and a larger Note 10 Pro), but the more exciting claims are new. According to Greek site TechManiacs, which cited a knowledgeable source, the S-Pen will support gesture controls to navigate and produce context-appropriate sounds (if you’re using it to highlight text, it will make sounds like a highlighter marker, for example). 

The rumor also mentions the Note 10’s video will include ‘Zoom Audio,’ a feature first introduced in the LG G2 way back in 2013. It essentially promised to record one source of sound and block out the rest, but the results were mixed

Perhaps the most concrete prediction is the removal of the Bixby button. Instead, you’ll allegedly be able to summon the voice assistant with the power button, sort of like we could do – briefly – with the delayed Samsung Galaxy Fold.

The ‘normal’ predictions are still out there

Even the lower-key predictions seem a bit out of step for the Note line. For instance, the source claims the larger Note 10 will weigh 198g, while the smaller will be 168g - which is far lighter than the 201g of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Further, the source claims the smaller Note 10 will only come in FHD+ and the larger in QHD+, which is also odd given the Note 9 had a QHD+ (1,440 x 2,960) resolution. In other words, the source predicts that the smaller model will be a bit downgraded compared to the flagship specs of its predecessor.

Heck, the rumor even predicts the more diminutive model will have a 6.3-inch screen (compare that to the 6.4-inch Note 9). This could align with a prior rumor alleging that Samsung has a smaller Note 10 planned to exclusively launch in Europe, but even that sounds a bit odd.

Some claims are less crazy: eliminating the 3.5mm audio jack gave Samsung room to add 100mAh of capacity to both Note 10 and Note 10 Pro’s battery, enlarging the former’s battery to 3,500mAh and the latter to 4,300. That capacity gap alone suggests a noticeable size difference between the models, though the disparity affects recharging, too, with the smaller capping out at 25W while the larger allegedly reaching 45W of fast-charging potential.

Other predictions are in line with previous rumors, like starting the larger Note 10 Pro at 256GB of storage and only giving the option of 12GB RAM. 

It goes without saying that this set of rumors is the wildest we’ve heard yet for the Note 10 - and we’ve only got a couple weeks before we find out whether they’re true.

R3VVYmacsRA - New Samsung Note 10 rumor suggests ‘Zoom Audio’ and stylus gesture control

Update: Added Outward and A Plague Tale: Innocence

The best PC games with cash to splash are quickly evolving, but so are the best indie games you may have never heard of. 

One of the great things about our best indie games list is that most of these more obscure titles, unlike AAA game publishers, don’t try to squeeze you out of every penny every chance they get. Free from corporate influence and constant badgering for your money, the best indie games give players the pure artistic vision of the developers – most ideally experienced on one of the best gaming PCs.

But, make no mistake: just because the best indie games don’t make a lot of money, doesn’t mean they can’t keep up with the latest AAA hits in scope and ambition. In fact, the opposite is true. The best indie games can easily rival mainstream games in both quality and scope. And, since they don’t have to rely on tired tropes just to sell millions of copies, like their AAA counterparts, they’re essentially artistic masterpieces and offer a more unique experience.

If you want to dive into the best indie games, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together a list of all the best indie games on the PC market today, from in vogue indies like Return of the Obra Dinn and Outward, to classic titles like Braid and Dwarf Fortress. 

If you’re looking for the next great indie title, keep reading. And, don’t worry, we’re going to keep this list updated with all the latest and greatest indie hits. 

Linux, Windows or Mac - which one is best for you? Watch our guide video below:

Michelle Rae Uy, Bill Thomas, Joe Osborne, Kane Fulton and Gabe Carey have also contributed to this article

It’s not out yet, with Double Fine promising it’ll be out ‘soonish,’ but Ooblets is already on our radar. Being developed by first-time studio Glumberland, and backed by Double Fine, the game is described as some kind of combo between Pokemon, Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing, capturing our attention – and probably yours, too. The game combines an art style oddly reminiscent of post-apocalyptic sensation, Adventure Time, with gameplay that revolves around gathering creatures called ooblets in the town of, uh, Oob. 

In the game, you’ll be able to train and battle your ooblets against other ooblet trainers. At the same time, you’ll have to balance your ooblet training with the real-world responsibilities of being a farmer. That’s right; drawing influence from the likes of Stardew Valley, you can cultivate, produce and decorate your house with various trimmings as well. You’ll also be able to join an Ooblet Club comprised of friends (NPCs) you’ll meet along the way. 

If you don’t know what to do just yet, you can just walk around aimlessly to discover new shops and buildings that suit your interest. Better yet, you can open up your own shop to sell produce that you’ve grown yourself on the farm, as well as items that you’ve scavenged throughout the world. And, you can feed the leftover crops to your ooblets to watch them level up and learn new techniques to be used in the turn-based, RPG-style battles.

Expected: ‘Soonish’

At first, Jonathan Blow's masterpiece appears to be a simple pastiche of Super Mario Bros, with a middle-aged curmudgeon replacing the titular plumber, but still seeking to rescue a princess. But, the longer you spend in the game, the more that’s revealed to you, progressing from a series of time-bending puzzles to quiet reflective texts. That doesn’t stop it from being the smartest puzzle game since SpaceChem, however. Blow himself has subtly hinted that the ultimate story may revolve around the atomic bomb.

First released as PC freeware by Japanese designer Daisuke "Pixel" Amaya in 2004 after five years of 100% solo development, Cave Story predates this recent indie renaissance by a few years. Because of that, it's often been omitted in indie gaming discussions. 

However, this classic more than deserves to be on every best-of list, and not only for its loving homage to the classic action platforming games of the Super Nintendo era. It also boasts awesome music and a breathlessly vibrant world, not to mention, the hugely intuitive controls as well as gobs of secrets and weapons that are simply too fun to use. If you've yet to enjoy this one, you need to put it at the top of your list already.

From family-owned and operated Studio MDHR, Cuphead has resonated with millions of people around the world, many of whom normally wouldn’t touch a run-and-gun platformer with a ten-foot pole.

While its gameplay was inspired by classic games such as Mega Man and Contra, most gamers will likely compare it to a Fleischer Studios cartoon like Betty Boop. Because Cuphead uses a hand-drawn art style similar to a 1930s animation, it’s been universally praised for its gorgeous visuals.

Cuphead is more than just its stunning visuals, however. It’s a series of 19 challenging and engaging bosses, with platforming bits interspersed between them. It already made our list of the best indie games, but then Studio MDHR has announced that the Cuphead: the Delicious Last Course DLC, slated for 2019, will include a new isle to explore, new bosses to conquer and, most importantly, a new character to master.

This dark and moody action-adventure stealth game by Asobo Studio is hauntingly beautiful, already making our best indie games list even though it’s only been released in May 2019. 

Set in the 1340s during the Black Death pandemic in the French countryside, you’re Amicia, a young noble girl whose parents were killed by the Inquisition. You must now traverse battlefields and villages with her brother Hugo to find a cure for his mysterious ailment. Along the way, you must scare away ravenous rats as well as stun (or kill) guards and hostile villagers with your sling and special ammunition supplies.

Despite the ghastliness and rawness of the Middle Ages and the Plague, A Plague Tale: Innocence is a complete stunner and a game who almost never want to end.

Among the hardcore gamers we know, Spelunky is the go-to drug. Even today, several years after its release, some of them still play it consistently, despite having completed it many times over. That's because this ostensibly rogue-like platformer with a definite end is tough, varied and highly randomized.

It also has more dark secrets than a presidential candidate, which means that there are a number of ways to finish it, and its daily challenges are a sure-fire way to public humiliation.

Does humor belong in video games? Well, if the Stanley Parable has its way, it’s a resounding ‘yes’. This game is hilarious without being dumbed down. Players follow (or don’t) a very British narrator who changes the world around you, based on your choices.

No choice is punished, and every playthrough will be fresh with new humor and weird goings-on. In fact, being trapped in the closet in The Stanley Parable is more moving and funny than the majority of other games, indie and otherwise.

If you missed out on this ironic gem back when it first launched, you’ll be happy to know that the developer announced the Stanley Parable Ultra Deluxe edition for 2019, touting fresh content, more endings and a console release. This Ultra Deluxe edition actually sounds pretty tempting, even for us – and we played it a whole lot when it first came out.

It took more than nine years to make, but Owlboy is certainly worth the wait. Originally designed for PCs and released in late 2016, this clever indie game masterpiece is now available to experience on Mac and Linux as well – and there’s even a Nintendo Switch version! Owlboy revolves around a race of owl-human hybrid characters called, aptly enough, Owls. Of them, you control Otis, an Owl who is censured by his mentor for his inept flying skills.

The story sees Otis’ village destroyed by pirates who have conflict with the Owls. As a result, Otis has to work with an assortment of villagers in-game to take out enemies. Of course, before the boss battles arise, you’ll need to manage allies accordingly, as each character comes with their own set of unique skill sets to use in conjunction with one another. If you’ve ever played and enjoyed a Kid Icarus game, this is one’s for you. If not, well… play it anyway.

Similar to The Stanley Parable, Gone Home falls into the unofficially christened ‘walking simulator’ genre. Where it diverts from the clever and philosophical Stanley Parable, however, is its focus on life’s difficult realities, as opposed to light humor.

After coming home to your childhood house following an overseas visit, you play as 21-year-old Kaitlin Greenbriar who is greeted by an empty house. While gameplay is limited to scavenging through notes to find out where your family is, the compelling story is extremely emotional and gripping, as long as you keep an open mind. After all this time, Gone Home still stands out as one of the best indie games out there.

Only SpaceChem has mixed learning with entertainment as successfully as The Kerbal Space Program. The game is simple - design and build a spacecraft to take the cutesy Kerbals to the Mun and beyond.

Its intelligent use of real physics, however, means that you'll find yourself following NASA as you’re building multi-stage rockets and space stations as well as exploring the Kerbal's strange universe on EVAs, before bringing your discoveries back for research on the Kerbal planet - that's if you can get off the ground at all. It's a huge, complex, challenging and fun game that manages to be super smart without being preachy.

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth is the exact opposite of something like Kerbal Space Program – it’s an action roguelike par excellence. You play as a young boy forced to kill his damned siblings, mother and possibly the Devil, using only tears that he shoots from his eyes, naturally. This indie games is matched only by the equally visceral Nuclear Throne. With dozens of weird items to collect, endless procedurally-generated levels and many secrets, the Binding of Isaac is a very dark take on the exploratory model established by Spelunky.

Don’t let its pixel art graphics put you off – Undertale isn’t a game that would have fit on the Super Nintendo. That’s because, in Undertale, the decisions you make have a huge impact on how the game ends and, more importantly, how it continues in New Game Plus.

While playing Undertale, you’ll realize just how much freedom the game gives you. Despite its highly inspired and very intense boss matches, you’ll make it through the entire nine or so hours of Undertale as a total pacifist, if you choose to. Plus, when you go through the game a second time, you’ll bear the weight of the consequences from your previous run. What’s even better is that Undertale is out now on the Nintendo Switch, so you can take this masterpiece of game design wherever you go.

From developer Playdead, Inside is very much like its predecessor, Limbo, in some ways, only with an added layer of depth that often inspires wonder. This is mostly a result of the unspoken narrative, which revolves around yet another nameless boy. In Inside, the boy is running away from a group of men who – if you fail to stay out of their sights – will try to mercilessly kill you.

It isn't quite clear why the boy is running from these men or why you should even care since you don't know who he is, so Inside will leave you begging for answers. The bleak, lifeless setting of Inside is more than worth the price of admission. Its minimalist art style alone is avant-garde enough to feel right at home in a museum. Factor in the fact that this game is both fun to play and dripping with curiosity, and you won’t doubt that Inside is one of the best indie games money can buy.

Developed single-handedly by Eric Barone, Stardew Valley is a technical feat for that little fact alone. If you’ve ever played a Harvest Moon game, you’re already familiar with its premise – you may just not know it yet. Stardew Valley is an addictive farming simulator, which lets you interact with townees to the point where you can literally marry them.

Stardew Valley isn’t just farming, however – it’s a whole bunch of other things at the same time. You can go fishing, you can cook, you can craft stuff. You can even go explore procedurally-generated caves to mine for items and even fight slime-monster-things. You should keep in mind that your health and energy are finite however, so you'll want to keep your character rested and fed to avoid suffering from exhaustion. Pass out, and you’ll lose a considerable amount of money and items you’ve worked hard to attain. Stardew Valley will have you playing for hours on end, for better or worse. (Definitely better.)

From Canadian game developer Alec Holowka, creator of the award-winning Aquaria (also featured on this list), and independent artist/animator Scott Benson, Night in the Woods is an unconventional side-scrolling adventure game that revolves around a 20-year-old protagonist named Mae who drops out of college and moves back in with her parents.

Featuring a story largely based around dialog choices and mini games that put a spin on mundane tasks, like carrying boxes up the stairs and eating perogies, Night in the Woods is a timeless coming-of-age tale. Not only will you experience middle class America through the eyes of a personified cat, but virtually every interaction in-game will have you laughing aloud. And now that it’s available on the Nintendo Switch, you can now take it wherever you go.

If you’re a fan of the recent wave of games inspired by Dark Souls, you’ll absolutely love Hollow Knight. You take control of the Hollow Knight, and lead them through the deceptively adorable landscape to take on bosses and other difficult challenges. Much like Dark Souls, it’s not immediately clear what you’re actually supposed to be doing as the narrative is intentionally obtuse. 

The Dark Souls inspirations don’t end there, either. It also embraces Dark Souls’s ‘tough but fair’ philosophy, and the game is only as hard as you make it. In fact, you can overcome anything as long as you have patience and learn from your mistakes. Hollow Knight takes these lessons from Dark Souls and injects them into a MetroidVania, with all the side-scrolling and upgrades you could possibly want. You can even play it on the Nintendo Switch now.

If you’re looking for a game that’s as unforgiving as it is fun, look no further than Dead Cells. It takes gameplay inspiration from so many places – from roguelikes to MetroidVania. There’s even a hint of Dark Souls in there, creating a unique action game that will test your limits and skills. 

Each time you play this game, it will feel new. And, while you’ll lose some progress each time you die – and you will die a lot – the game will become even more rewarding as the complex and fluid combat becomes second nature. In the final release of the game, you get access to over 90 weapons, skills and abilities that will let you tailor your gameplay however you want. 

Whatever you do, don’t get discouraged if you fail. Get up and try again, as Dead Cells will only reward you in the end, which is why it has our vote for one of the best indie games in 2019.

Introversions was one of the earliest 'indie' companies, rolling out games like Uplink, Defcon and Darwinia while Vlambeer was still in short pants. After years of struggling to design a hit, they've finally found huge success with Prison Architect, a game where you build, staff, outfit and manage a maximum security prison, of all places.

With smart prisoners willing to do anything to escape, you'll struggle to keep them all locked up or from rioting - and turn a profit. It's eminently playable, even more so in the near future as Paradox has acquired it and plans to make it available on all platforms.

These days, you’ll be hard-pressed to find an RPG that will really push you to your limits. Luckily, Outward, with its focus on survival and tough combat, is here to satisfy that need. There isn’t much in the way of story, but you’re placed in the middle of the world of Aurai, where you’ll struggle to survive. You’re not a hero, however, just the everyman trying to survive in a harsh world.

In many ways, Outward is like The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. There’s a heavy emphasis on exploration, but you aren’t given quest arrows or any kind of waypoint. You have to rely on your own ability to use a map, along with any directions that are given to you by quest NPCs. If you’re looking for an RPG game that will challenge you, this is one of the best indie games you’ll ever play.

Dwarf Fortress is its own genre and its own industry. This is a game that has to generate the entire geography, mythology and history of its massive world before you set foot in it. It then tracks every single one of the dwarfs you're managing down to the hairs on their legs, and the particular horrible elephant murder that they’ve witnessed and are now carving on an ornamental chair.

Your task is simple: to keep the dwarves alive as they carve out their subterranean kingdom. Though given that insanity, monsters and starvation plague them at every stage, it isn’t easy. Plus, dwarves, always, always mine too deep.

Run. Jump. Die. Repeat. That’s basically the gameplay loop of Super Meat Boy, a fiendishly addictive 2D platformer that’s also bloody hard, with an emphasis on bloody. Gallons of blood is spilled as the game’s eponymous meaty hero leaps over deadly drops, spinning saws and walking chainsaws in a bid to rescue his girlfriend, Bandage Girl, from the evil Dr Foetus. Obviously. 

With solid controls, lots of humor and vibrant graphics, Super Meat Boy leapt onto the PS4, Vita, and Nintendo Switch in style.

It might not be Playdead’s most recent game, but Limbo is eternal. Five years after its release, and the game’s haunting storyline still has an effect on us. You play the Boy, a child with glowing eyes who is cast into Limbo to find his sister. Making your way through a bleak and dangerous world full of hostile silhouettes, giant spiders and deadly gravitational fields, you’ll need to think on your feet and perfectly time your movements, if you were to survive.

Limbo is much more than a simple platformer: it's an experience, and one that will have you pondering the very essence of life by the time you finish. Deep, profound and absorbing, it's among the best indie games that everybody should take time out to play.

If you're looking for a retro-inspired multiplayer archery combat game (aren't we all?), TowerFall: Ascension is the pick of the lot. Fast, frenetic and teeth-gnashingly hard in hardcore mode, the game's mechanics are simple: fire arrows at your enemies or jump on their heads to stay alive until the round ends.

Arrows that don't hit are embedded in walls, making for tense scenarios when you have to traverse the map while dodging enemies to retrieve them. As such, practicing until you achieve Robin Hood-esque levels of accuracy is key. Ascension is best experienced with friends in local multiplayer mode, which is reminiscent of Super Smash Bros' most manic moments.

It’s not often that a platformer is able to balance challenging and engaging gameplay with an emotional and thought-provoking narrative. Celeste, however, pulls it off, making it one of our best indie games picks. From the developers of Towerfall, Celeste follows the story of Madeline, a young girl who decides to face her mental health issues by climbing to the top of the mysterious Celeste Mountain. In doing so, she learns more not only about the mountain, but about herself as well throughout the process. 

An inevitable classic, Celeste integrates the obvious jump, air-dash and climb controls into a brutal series of platforming challenges in upwards of 700 unique screens. If that’s too easy, you’ll unlock B-side chapters along the way, designed for only the most intrepid of hardcore players. You don’t even have to worry about waiting an eternity between each respawn, as Celeste brings you back from the grave in an instant, a welcome departure from the typically extensive load screens.

Have you ever wanted to land on an alien planet, and build a factory? Yes, it’s an unusual premise, but we promise that it works in Satisfactory. You’ll land on one of three planets of varying difficulty, where you’ll be tasked with building and automating a factory to exploit the world around you. 

The premise sounds bland, but being able to roam these beautiful worlds in first person while scavenging materials and fighting off hostile wildlife makes it all that more exciting. Plus, is there anything better than sitting back and admiring something you worked hard on?

Satisfactory is in early access right now, and exclusive to the Epic Games Store, but if you can get past all that, you’re sure to get hours of wholesome simulation out of it.

After the raging success that was the original Nidhogg, it’s a shame to see the superior sequel get thrown under the bus. Nevertheless, despite its controversial art style, Nidhogg 2 packs a refined, stunning look that the first version, a cult-classic, wouldn’t dare compete with, which is one of the reasons why it’s on our best indie games list.

In still frames, we can see how this could get misconstrued, but fortunately, it’s the fun and addictive local multiplayer gameplay that makes Nidhogg, well, Nidhogg. And it’s all there in Nidhogg 2. Additionally, every time you respawn, you get one of four unique weapons that only bolster the challenge.

Esteemed indie designer Jon Blow's follow up to Braid may look like a wholly different adventure, being 3D and all. However, the two are more thematically alike than you might think. The Witness, at its core, is another puzzle game that tells an absorbing story through said puzzles.

This puzzler takes place in an almost equally impressionist – albeit heavily Myst-inspired – world, but it's story is far more nuanced and mysterious than Blow's earlier work. At almost every corner of this island that you've simply woken up on (or beneath), there is a clue as to how you got onto this island and why you're here.

Don’t get us wrong, we liked Bastion. Still, we can’t deny that Transistor was SuperGiant Games’ best work to date – not to mention, one of the best indie games to hit the streets today. Much of that has to do with the combination of action-based and turn-based RPG elements contained within its cyberpunk futurescape. Likewise, in classic SuperGiant fashion, those mechanics are complemented with a stunning art style and a music score so stunning it’ll make you want to buy the soundtrack.

Leaving key gameplay beats up to the player, the story isn’t so variable. Transistor’s main character, Red, is a renowned singer in the city of Cloudbank. However, she’s been attacked by a group of vicious robots who call themselves the Process, operated by another group called the Camerata. In her journey, she finds the Transistor, a mysterious sword with the voice of a man. Soon enough, she’ll learn more about him and how he will shake up her world.

It’s weird to think that Oxenfree came out before the first season of Stranger Things, and yet, the two coincidentally have a lot in common. The 80s-inspired heavy synth music composed by scntfc, for one, highlights some truly gripping sci-fi horror revolving around – you guessed it – a group of teenagers stuck on an island.

The story involves a handful of uniquely written characters, namely the main character Alex, along with her stoner friend Ren, her newfound stepbrother Jonas, her dead brother Michael’s ex-girlfriend Clarissa and her best friend Nona, with whom Ren happens to be in love with.

The plot is explained through branching speech dialogues, kind of like Life is Strange or modern-day Telltale games, and it offers five different endings depending on your choices.

Exploring a surreal wilderness seems to be the trend these days – and not just in real life. Developer Campo Santo's debut, Firewatch, only serves to keep it going in gaming. Set in the wilderness of 1989 Wyoming, you're playing Henry, a fire lookout that's all alone in the woods after exploring something strange in the distance.

That is, except for your partner on the other line of a walkie-talkie: Delilah. She's your only point of contact as you explore the wilderness. Will you make it back alive? Will the decisions you make help or harm the relationship with your only lifeline to the outside world, your boss? But don't worry about those questions just yet – as with any adventure in the Great Outdoors, take some time to appreciate those forestscapes first!

Rust is one of the more successful indie titles – not to mention, one of the best indie games – of recent times. By the end of 2015, it had sold more than 3 million copies. That’s not too shabby considering it wasn’t even finished — the game has been on Steam's Early Access scheme since being released in December 2013.

It seems people can't get enough of the Day Z-inspired survival sim. It sees you use your wits and bearings to survive its harsh open world, with nothing but a rock… at least, in the beginning. After gathering the resources you need to build a house and weapons to fend off attackers (other online players, in other words), Rust progressively becomes more intense as you defend your growing base — or attempt to breach others'.

Fans of the original Overcooked will not be disappointed by its second installment in the chaotic couch co-op series from British indie game developer Team17.

This time around, your mission is to defeat the 'Un-Bread' (zombie baked goods) that have taken over the Onion Kingdom, by battling through brand new recipes including sushi, pizza and burgers in increasingly chaotic kitchens with up to three other people.

To add to the frenetic fun, you must deal with obstacles including random fires, collapsing floors and interfering passers by, all while getting your orders out to the pass in time. 

Things get complicated incredibly quickly. Relationships, friendships and family bonds will be tested as you work together to complete your recipes on time. Overcooked 2 is a fun and challenging couch co-op game that will make you truly understand the meaning of "too many cooks spoil the broth” and is well-deserving of its spot in our best indie games list.

The natural progression of survival games, SCUM takes what predecessors like Rust and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds both succeeded at, only better by iterating in impressive ways. It offers a unique twist, combining the frenetic gameplay of battle royale games with the slow, thoughtful tactical of a survival sim. 

SCUM, unlike other similar games, is very heavy on the simulation side of things, however. You shouldn’t expect to run in guns blazing, as you’re going to get tired quickly (just as you would if you tried running outside in person with a ton of stuff in your backpack). But, if heavy statistic systems is something your into, this might be one of the best indie games for you. It’s like spreadsheets with a physics engine.

Just don’t go in expecting a polished experience, not for now. However, developer Croteam promises to add more features over time, and as they’re backed by Devolver, you can trust that the game is going to shape up into something great.

Every so often, there’s a game that perfectly balances aesthetic, gameplay and narrative – where everything feels like it just fits like puzzle pieces. The best indie games always excel at this, and Return of the Obra Dinn is the epitome of that. A mystery taking place on a derelict ship, your mission is to figure out how the crew of this lost ship died, disappeared or worse. 

The entire game has this old-school visual styling that, combining it with the simple controls and gameplay technique that make it feel like a nostalgic sort of adventure. Right from the settings menu, you’ll get to choose what kind of monitor you’d like to emulate – we picked an old school Macintosh option – that should give you an idea of the type of retro revivalism on offer here. 

Critical thinking, exploration and a ton of reading is essential in Return of the Obra Dinn. If that all sounds appealing to you, and you’re happy with retro aesthetics, you will love this game. In fact, it’s one of the best indie games in a season marked with AAA decadence.

If you’re anything like us, you’ve probably spent hundreds of hours playing Roller Coaster Tycoon during your childhood. These days, while there have been plenty of amusement park simulators over the last few years, they’ve never quite hit that spot. That is, until Parkitect.

Parkitect might just be the closest we have to those early aughts park simulators currently, and we’re absolutely in love. From the cartoonish art style to the realistic simulation and Steam Workshop integration, Parkitect is one of the best indie games 2019 has to offer.

For years, thatgamecompany has been behind some of the best indie games on the market, but most of them had been exclusive to PlayStation. One such game was Flower. Serving as a kind of a precursor to the beloved Journey, Flower puts you in command of a flower petal, surfing through the wind. 

You’ll activate different colors of flower beds to affect the environment, which will also get you different colored petals, until you have an entire trail of color surfing the wind. It’s an incredibly relaxing and creative experience, which also gives you an insight on the industrial world we all find ourselves living in. Trust us, give it a shot as it’s one of the best – not to mention, most legendary – indie games ever.

5lUN9oLF FE - The 35 best indie games on PC and consoles

The best computers are more powerful now than ever. They’ve evolved to the point of boasting eight-core processors and super high-end graphics cards, some of which offer real time ray tracing – things that would not have been possible only a few years ago. So stay on the cutting edge in 2019, and get one of the best computers included on this list. Even if most of what you’ll do is use Facebook and surf the internet.

Luckily, the best computers on the market are also more affordable than ever, which means that whatever your budget is, you'll find one that's ideal for you and your needs. You can pick up a solid PC or even an all-in-one desktop for around $500 (about £390, AU$715), for example. Plus, many of them will last you a lifetime – because the best computers are upgradeable, it’s easy to keep them current by fitting in new and improved PC components, like fast SSDs, more RAM and maybe even the best graphics card.

With so many options on hand however, deciding on the best computer for you, your needs and your budget may not be that easy. So we gathered all the best computers out there, paying close attention to those that hit that sweet spot between price and performance. 

Go through our list of the best computers and pick out what you like, depending on what you need and can afford. Here are our top picks for the best computers 2019 has on offer.

Dell XPS Tower Special Edition

The Dell XPS Tower looks low-key. That is, it looks like that PC your parents used to have shoved underneath the desk when you were a kid. However, its no-nonsense exterior hides an array of exciting components. One of the best computers available right now, the Dell XPS Tower is fitted with up to an RTX 2070 graphics card, a 9th-generation Intel Core processor, and a spacious hard drive and/or SSD. This excellent special edition PC configuration is only available in the US, but UK and Australian readers can pick up the regular Dell XPS Tower and then beef it up, though there are some limitations such as the graphics card options topping out with the GTX 1060.

Read the full review: Dell XPS Tower Special Edition

Microsoft Surface Studio 2

The Surface Studio quickly rose to fame as one of the best computers for artists when it was first released. It’s no surprise, therefore, that its sequel has taken up the mantle. Packed with a Kaby Lake mobile processor and Nvidia Pascal graphics, the Surface Studio 2 has a lot more power than the original, and it can handle anything you throw at it for the next couple of years, at the very least. It’s also inherited that gorgeous PixelSense display with Surface Pen support, allowing it to retain the privilege of being one of the best all-in-one – not to mention, the best computers on this list – for creatives.

Read the full review: Surface Studio 2

Intel Hades Canyon NUC

If you want an outstanding desktop experience, but you don’t have a ton of space on your desk, then Intel Hades Canyon NUC might just be the computer for you. This small bare-bones PC has a ridiculously fast 8th-generation Intel Core i7 processor and discrete-class AMD Radeon graphics. Throw some RAM and storage in, and you will be conquering the best PC games without breaking a sweat. Granted, it won’t stand up against a full-sized desktop. But, when you’re short on space – or you’d rather have a PC that looks like a set-top box – this is one of the best computers to consider.

Read the full review: Intel Hades Canyon NUC 

Alienware Aurora R7

With the Aurora R7, there’s no stopping Alienware in making its way back to the top of the best computers, especially for gaming. The Alienware Aurora R7 isn’t just one of the greatest gaming PCs; it’s also among the best computers money can buy. It boasts blazing fast performance with its 8th-generation Intel Core processor and GTX 10-series graphics, all that power conveniently hidden away in its appealing and sleek chassis. It’s also surprisingly affordable, considering the power under the hood. Did we mention that this PC is also easily upgradeable, despite the unique form-factor?

Read the full review: Alienware Aurora R7

Corsair One i160

If you’re looking for a computer that will look just as good in your living room as it does in your home office, then the Corsair One i160 is your best bet. It hides an unbelievable amount of power inside its sleek, compact chassis, packing a Coffee Lake Refresh processor and Nvidia Turing graphics – not to mention a whopping 32GB of RAM. This is an absolute monster, and will chew through any game you throw at it, even on that nice 4K TV you just bought. Just prepare yourself, as that high price tag might send you reeling.

Read the full review: Corsair One i160 

Apple Mac mini (Late 2018)

It’s easy to think that Apple is overpriced, but your wallet might be spared if you jump on the Mac mini bandwagon. The Mac mini 2018 isn’t just a small form-factor PC that looks adorable, but it’s also packed tight with high-end desktop parts. And, that’s all for a much cheaper price than any other Mac on the market, making it a solid investment for anyone who already has a slew of Mac-ready peripherals or a Mac fan who doesn’t want to spring for a Mac Pro. Plus, unlike many of Apple’s recent products, the Mac mini is partially upgradeable – you can boost your memory up to 64GB of RAM.

Read the full review: Apple Mac mini

HP Pavilion Wave

Don’t confuse the HP Pavilion Wave for a fabric-woven old Mac Pro wannabe, as it is something else entirely. This compact Windows machine packs 6th-generation Intel Core processors, coupled with optional discrete AMD graphics and uniquely integrated Bang & Olufsen speakers. It’s also wrapped in an urbane fabric exterior, definitely making it the most fetching of the best computers to have on your desk or even a bookshelf. Plus, it radiates crisp sound as you browse the web or watch movies.

Read the first look: HP Pavilion Wave

Intel Compute Stick

Some people have issues with desktop PCs, as they tend to be bulky. The Intel Core Compute Stick has really made that moot. Looking more like a thumb drive than an actual PC, this little renegade can connect to any display with an HDMI input. It starts out with a lowly 1.33GHz Intel Atom processor running Linux, but can be configured up to an Intel Core m5 processor. This is one of the best computers to literally slip in your pocket, whether you need to get some work done during your daily commute or squeeze in some PC time while you’re on vacation.

Specifications (as reviewed)

ProductDell XPS Tower Special EditionMicrosoft Surface Studio 2Intel Hades Canyon NUCAlienware Aurora R7Corsair One i160Apple Mac mini (Late 2018)HP Pavilion WaveIntel Compute Stick
CPUIntel Core i7-8700Intel Core i7-7820HQ Intel Core i7-8809GIntel Core i7-8700K Intel Core i9-9900KIntel Core i3-8100Intel Core i5-7400TIntel Atom x5-Z8500
GraphicsNvidia GeForce GTX 1070Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070Radeon RX Vega M GH graphicsNvidia GeForce GTX 1080 TiNvidia GeForce RTX 2080 TiIntel UHD Graphics 630AMD Radeon R9 M470N/A
Storage 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD, 1TB HDD (7,200 rpm)1TB PCIe SSD118GB Intel Optane SSD 800P Series (NVMe), 512GB Intel SSD 545s Series (M.2 SATA) 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD, 2TB HDD 480GB M.2 NVMe SSD, 2TB HDD128GB PCIe SSD1TB HDD32GB

Bill Thomas and Gabe Carey have also contributed to this article

Image Credits: TechRadar

h1WXp2ASyCI - Best computer 2019: the best PCs we've tested

Chinese telecoms giant Huawei worked together with the North Korean government to build and maintain its Koryolink commercial wireless network according to a new report from the Washington Post.

Documents obtained by the publication reveal that the firm partnered with China's state-owned Panda International Information Technology on projects in North Korea for at least eight years, beginning when the late Kim Jong Il visited the company's headquarters back in 2006.

Huawei was responsible for providing cellular infrastructure, network management and encryption while Panda provided software and also transported Huawei gear to the country.


Koryolink allowed North Korea to spy on it citizens with interception gateways that let law enforcement intercept calls, texts, data and faxes sent on the network. Meanwhile government elites used North Korean made encryption to prevent their conversations from being monitored. According to the Post's report, Huawei was asked to test how well the encryption functioned while Panda provided supporting software.

A spokesperson for Huawei told the Post that it “has no business presence” in North Korea though they would not say whether the Chinese firm had worked with the country in the past. The company no longer maintains Koryolink as it was replaced by the ZTE-supported Kang Song network which launched in 2013.

If working together with North Korea wasn't bad enough, Huawei may have also broken laws and sanctions against the country while doing so. Experts believe that the firm's 3G gear used for Koryolink also included at least some US components. Back in 2014 Panda was banned from receiving equipment from the US and as a result, Huawei may have violated the American export ban if any of its equipment included at least 10 percent of components from the US.

The Chinese firm also tried to keep its work in North Korea secret by giving the country the codename “A9” in its official documents. While working with Iran and Syria, Huawei used similar codenames to avoid detection.

Via Engadget

wvJ684Xg 5E - Huawei reportedly helped to build North Korea's internet

Despite warning that the delay is hurting its international standing, the UK still not ready to make a decision about the use of Huawei technologies in 5G networks.

Smart speakers with A.I. assistants are constantly listening to the world around them, waiting for commands while soaking in whatever dialogue is within earshot—some of which is actually screened by employees at Google and Amazon

Unfortunately, that means Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri are constantly recording the conversations of users of all ages, including your kids.

As you might expect, that doesn't sit right with a lot of people. Parents and advocacy groups have voiced their issues with the ability of Alexa and her ilk to record kids without explicit consent, not to mention the lack of an easy ability to purge that data at will. In June, a lawsuit was filed in Seattle federal court that alleges that Amazon specifically is violating child privacy laws in at least eight U.S. states by capturing audio from millions of children.

Amazon, for its part, denies any wrongdoing. And the company has gone a bold step further by recently releasing a new Echo Dot Kids Edition, a candy-coated, rainbow-plastered version with extra parent-pleasing perks such as a free subscription to its FreeTime content service and replacements for damaged units.

As appealing as that might sound for parents, are devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Home really as kid-friendly as their makers want you to believe? We asked a couple of kids' tech experts for their take.

Convenience at the expense of privacy

By their very nature, smart speakers have to constantly be listening with their far-field microphones to be useful. If you had to go up to your Echo and press a button every time you had a question, needed to set a reminder, or wanted to ask about the weather, would you even use it half as much? Would you even need it at all, given the myriad smartphones, tablets, and computers that might be in your home?

"These devices collect information that can be helpful in carrying out the simple demands for which the devices were intended, but it is important to understand that this information can be stored and possibly shared or hacked."

Dr. Pamela Roggeman

It's part and parcel of owning a smart speaker, but according to Dr. Pamela Roggeman, academic dean of the University of Phoenix College of Education, many parents aren't adequately aware of the unseen downsides of that kind of unfettered data collection.

"Parents have been inundated with advice on how they should nurture a healthy relationship between their kids and technology for years now, but not much of that discussion has included technology that kids are accessing without their parents' consent, or even awareness such as smart assistants/speakers that quietly 'listen' to the room," says Roggeman. "These devices collect information that can be helpful in carrying out the simple demands for which the devices were intended, but it is important to understand that this information can be stored and possibly shared or hacked."

YPcmMFUnPhhFDdvCfmiwjb - Are smart speakers really safe for children?

Amazon and Google need to do better

The tide may be turning on that front, as efforts such as the aforementioned lawsuit draw more attention to privacy concerns with smart speakers: The Amazon Echo and other similar devices quickly became commonplace in millions of homes, but there's growing pushback to the idea that such constant "surveillance" is worth the provided benefits and convenience.

Deral Heiland, internet of things (IoT) research lead at technology security firm Rapid7, believes that such devices provide a learning experience for children and that included parental tools should be harnessed to make them as kid-friendly as possible. However, he also says that Amazon must be able to rapidly tackle concerns and put parents' minds at ease.

"The issues pointed out by privacy and safety advocates are concerning. Amazon should immediately address these issues," says Heiland. "Consumers should have full control of their personal data and voice recordings and have the ability to remove/purge this data at will. If some data is needed for improving the product, this data should then be immediately anonymized to prevent associating. 

"Also, while this data is in Amazon hands, they must take all actions necessary to protect that data from unauthorized access. This should apply to all IoT technology, whether it's an Amazon product or not. Privacy issues are important and must be addressed to consumer's satisfaction."

"With children-based technology, extra precautions should be taken by both Amazon and parents ... Amazon must work harder and faster to make their products capable of keeping children safe, protect their privacy, and not expose them to anything that is inappropriate."

Deral Heiland

No product will ever be perfect, and there are lessons to be learned along the way—but Heiland's takeaway is that Amazon must be extra-careful when it comes to kids' technology.

"With children-based technology, extra precautions should be taken by both Amazon and parents," he says. "Like any product, our good intentions will often fail, but when it does there is no need to throw the baby out with the bath water, figuratively speaking. Amazon must work harder and faster to make their products capable of keeping children safe, protect their privacy, and not expose them to anything that is inappropriate."

yb5X2nLjiwDY4M9WFdQZqA - Are smart speakers really safe for children?

Can smart speakers be 'kid-proof'?

Continued advocacy for privacy enhancements and changes may ultimately result in action, but whether or not that happens, Roggeman suggests that parents consider the full picture of what they're bringing into their homes. 

"The easiest way to kid-proof the smart speaker is one of the hardest things to do: get up out of your recliner and push the 'mute' button on the device."

Dr. Pamela Roggeman

If you're comfortable with the potential privacy tradeoff and feel pretty confident that there's no real danger, that's entirely your decision to make. On the other hand, if you're left feeling uneasy about the situation, are the perks really worth it?

"The easiest way to kid-proof the smart speaker is one of the hardest things to do: get up out of your recliner and push the 'mute' button on the device," she says. "But this is counterintuitive for why the device was purchased in the first place."

And for all that Amazon and other companies might do to make their smart speakers safer for kids, Heiland suggests that there's no foolproof solution to every dilemma—and that children are uniquely poised to find their way around such restrictions anyway.

"'Kid-proof' is an oxymoron. Place any technology in front of a child and say, 'You are not allowed to do this or that,' and watch what happens," he says. "I find children to be some of the most amazing hackers, capable of always finding ways around controls and restrictions. So good luck with this one. Maybe Amazon needs to hire a few to test their tech security controls."

AFSWTVcHs3E - Are smart speakers really safe for children?

Many people will tell you that the best headphones are the only way to really get incredible sound through your PC. However, wearing headphones day-in and day-out isn’t exactly the most comfortable experience. The best computer speakers are a fantastic alternative, and not just to give your earlobes a bit of a break.

Like any computer accessory, finding the computer speakers that are ideal for your needs isn’t going to be easy. There are a few things you need to consider before you pick the best computer speakers for you, like the sound quality, for example. Is the sound nice and balanced, or will you start getting listener fatigue after only a couple of minutes?

And, how good of a sound quality do you need? Do you want audiophile-level fidelity or are you satisfied with something that’s not quite at that level if it saves you some cash? If you’re a gamer and a frequent movie streamer, is the surround or stereo separation up to snuff? 

These are only some of the most essential questions to ask when shopping around for the best computer speakers. You must take into consideration what kind of setup is most ideal to you. Do you normally sit back while playing PC games like Rage 2, where immersion (and explosions) are vital? Do you use your setup more to binge-watch your favorite TV shows, or are you more of a music fan?

No matter what you’re looking to use them for, one of these best computer speakers on this list will make your computing sound all the more better.

Audioengine A2+

While the Audioengine A2+ launched four years back, they are still arguably among the best computer speakers on the market. These slick-looking speakers will work with your PC’s USB port for uncompressed audio and amazing sound quality with its built-in DAC. The Audioengine A2+ doesn’t come with a subwoofer. However, unless you need really deep bass for extra rumble, that’s hardly a deal breaker: mostly because there is an RCA output, so it’s easy to connect an external woofer, which Audioengine also sells at extra cost.

Logitech Z623

They may be pricier than you’d expect to pay for Logitech’s best computer speakers, but the Logitech Z623 speakers are still very affordable, considering that they’re an audio beast. The Z623 may look like your average set of speakers, but the subwoofer produces a thundering sound that can easily be dialed up or down based on your preference. As a cherry on top, these speakers boast an impressive soundstage – with great highs and mids – making for an extremely immersive gaming and movie-watching experience.

Logitech G560

When it comes to computer peripherals, Logitech is a household name. However, the G560 takes the company’s speaker prowess to the next level. These are the first Logitech computer speakers designed for gaming, and the manufacturer’s hard work has definitely paid off. The Logitech G560 speakers are, without a doubt, one of the best computer speakers for gaming. Not only do they boast RGB lighting – a must for gaming accessories in 2019 – but through Logitech’s software, the multi-colored illumination can adapt to any kind of content you consume for a more dazzling, not to mention immersive, experience.

Razer Nommo Pro

The Razer Nommo Pro may have a fun name and a funky look, but make no mistake, these are a solid set of speakers that must be taken seriously, and not only because of its lofty price. Try to resist the urge to run in the opposite direction of that $500 price tag, the Razer Nommo Pro has a lot on offer and is definitely a worthy investment. There’s the beefy down-firing subwoofer that’ll blow you away, and there’s the Razer Chroma feature, making these speakers look just as good as they sound. There are definitely more affordable computer speakers out there, but with this level of quality, the Razer Nommo Pro is worth every penny.

  • This product is only available in the US as of this writing. UK and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Audioengine A2+.  

Harman Kardon Soundsticks III

Sure, the Harmon Kardon Soundsticks III may look like a bloom of jellyfish. These translucent computer speakers looks more like a modern art installation protesting rising ocean temperatures, but you’ll change your tune once you hit that power button. These are definitely an excellent speaker system worthy of a spot on our best computer speakers list. This speaker and sub combo features booming bass, thanks to its woofer, as well as very crisp highs. Finally, you get that amazing sound at a decent price, making it ideal for music fans with a mid-range budget.

  • This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Edifier E25 Luna Eclipse. 

Edifier E25 Luna Eclipse

The Edifier E25 Luna Eclipse is a stunning speaker setup that not only has a nice design, but also sounds terrific. It’s meant for folks who like a lot of rumbling and booming bass. The Luna, which comes in red, white and black colors, offers a powerful but well-controlled bass, as well as fantastic balance with sharp mids and good stereo separation. It even includes a nifty little remote control so you don’t have to get up if you’re feeling lazy. The Luna Eclipse are some of the best computer speakers out there, especially if you like to pump up the volume with little to no distortion.

AudioEngine HD3 Wireless Speakers

Wireless speakers might not cut it for gaming, where every millisecond counts, but that’s why you should opt for the AudioEngine HD 3. The beauty of these speakers is that it offers the best of both worlds. They’ve only got about 30ms of latency when using the wireless connection, so latency is essentially negligible as far as listening to audio, watching videos and doing casual gaming. For competitive gamers, these also come with USB Audio and Dual Analog Audio Inputs, not to mention subwoofer output for that extra rumble. And, since it is made by AudioEngine, you know the sound quality is top-notch.

Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 THX

The Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 speaker system offers excellent, versatile sound. This means that whether you’re listening to music, watching movies or gaming, you’re getting the best computer speaker experience. These THX-certified speakers boast a lot of power, a wide frequency range of 31Hz to 20kHz, and a detailed audio quality with punchy bass, maximum clarity and great balance. When we say it’s powerful enough to replicate that home theater quality in your living room, we’re not exaggerating. The best part is that they’re really affordable.

  • This product is only available in the US at the time of this writing. UK and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Logitech Z623 

Dell Wireless 360 Speaker System AE715

Dell’s AE715 may not be the most powerful on this list of the best computer speakers, but it does produce a decent 360-degree sound that – while fairly common in portable audio – is unusual when it comes to computer speakers. The downside is that there’s not a lot of bass, and there’s a bit of delay because of the wireless connection. The upside is that the audio quality is definitely good enough if your listening standards aren’t quite as demanding. You’re also getting its wireless functionality, the USB charging port so you can charge the device and a built-in mic for conference calls. Without a doubt, it’s a great portable and wireless solution that’s affordable to boot.

  • This product is only available in the US and UK as of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Jabra SPEAK 510.  

Mackie CR4BT

The Mackie CR4BT promises professional-grade performance. True, it has its share of drawbacks – including thinner mid range and high bass that cut off at 70 Hz, meaning while there’s good bass presence, you might be missing the really low stuff. However, they do sound great for a premium pair of speakers, and the pros include the acoustic foam pads to isolate the speakers from the surface it’s standing on, as well as the front auxiliary input. These aren’t your run-of-the-mill peripherals; they are the best computer speakers if you do a lot of multimedia creation and production-related work.

  • This product is only available in the US and UK as of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Logitech MX Sound.     
IyDJpDpuKY0 - Best computer speakers 2019: the best audio systems for your PC

AMD's latest Ryzen 3000 series of processors have done a brilliant job at challenging Intel's dominance of the desktop processor market, but when it comes to laptop processors, it looks like Intel is still king, with the Core i7-1065G7 mobile chip beating the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X in certain benchmarks.

Recently, benchmark results leaked for Intel’s 10th generation Ice Lake i7-1065G7 processor, which is designed for use in laptops. Despite it being a laptop chip – so there are power and heat implications – as the Techquila website notes, the benchmarks suggest that it will beat AMD’s new Ryzen 9 3900X.

What’s particularly interesting is that the Ryzen 9 3900X is a desktop processor, which means it consumes more power (105W vs the i7-1065G7’s 15W) and runs at higher frequencies.

Mobile ambitions

In the leaked Geekbench scores, the Intel Ice Lake Core i7-1065G7, running in a HP Spectre x360 laptop, manages a single-core score of 5,691. Meanwhile, AMD’s flagship Ryzen 9 3900X flagship scores slightly lower at 5,624.

While that isn’t a huge difference, the fact that Intel’s new mobile processor appears to edge out AMD’s latest desktop flagship when it comes to single-core performance means AMD could struggle to produce mobile processors that rival Intel's.

Of course, when it comes to multi-core performance, the 12-core Ryzen 9 3900X handily beats the quad-core Intel 17-1065G7 with a score of 45,338 vs 17,741.

It’s worth noting that these benchmarks are not confirmed, but if they are real it tells us a few things. First of all, it seems like Intel could be getting its mojo back with laptop processors – with the Core i7-1065G7 producing some excellent results considering it’s a mobile processor.

It also means that if AMD wants to steal Intel’s mobile crown, it has its work cut out. However, considering it’s recent form, we’re looking forward to what the company comes up with next.

5SwZzNR53a8 - Intel remains king of laptop processors, but can AMD ever compete?

Today, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti is the best graphics card for anyone who wants an affordable GPU without compromising on performance. If you’ve been waiting for an Nvidia Turing card to match your limited budget, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti is for you.

The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti is able to hit that sweet price-to-performance spot by cutting out the RT and Tensor cores that power Nvidia’s new RTX and Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) technologies. Even after sacrificing these extra features however, the GTX 1660 Ti is still such a great performing card that’s made even better by its affordable price. 

It is the best budget graphics card on the market hands down – even if the GTX 1660 does try to give it a run for its money. With this new focus on value, it’s easy to see why its growing faster than other Nvidia Turing cards.

Unlike Nvidia releases in the past, Team Green didn’t roll this one out with its own Founders Edition of the GTX 1660 Ti. Without this base model to set the stage for what we could expect from third-party cards, there’s a wide variety of cards going for varying prices. It’s for this reason that we went ahead and gathered the best Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti models you can buy today.

PNY GeForce GTX 1660 Ti XLR8 Gaming OC

The PNY GeForce GTX 1660 Ti XLR8 Gaming OC may not look like much, being tiny and all, but it surprisingly packs a punch. Fitted with a 70MHz factory overclock and solid specs, this card delivers on the dream of 1440p Ultra quality gameplay at 60 fps. What’s even better, all of this performance costs less than 300 smackers. This is the best bang-for-your-buck graphics cards you can find so far.

Read the full review: PNY GeForce GTX 1660 Ti XLR8 Gaming OC 

Asus ROG Strix GTX 1660 Ti OC

Do you want to max out the performance of the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti? The Asus ROG Strix GTX 1660 Ti OC might just be the card for you. This card touts the highest factory overclock we’ve seen on this mid-range graphics card yet. In addition, its oversized heatsink and triple axial fans keep this card running a full 10C cooler than most. Thanks to its extreme cooling system, overclocking this card is not a problem.

Read the full review: Asus ROG Strix GTX 1660 Ti OC review 

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Windforce OC

Want something more middle of the road? The Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Windforce OC is the closest thing to your average GeForce GTX 1660 Ti. The downside to this is that it’s only equipped with a middle-of-the-road dual-fan cooler. The upside? Gigabyte offsets that by using 3D molded curves on the fan blades for increased airflow. The graphics card’s fans also spin in alternate directions to further increase airflow. Round it out with a 1,845MHz boost clock, and this card delivers more performance for not much more money.

Palit GeForce GTX 1660 Ti StormX OC

The Palit GeForce GTX 1660 Ti StormX OC is one of the most compact graphics cards ever created, designed to fit in the smallest of PC cases. Despite its small size, this graphics card still packs all the might of a full-sized GTX 1660 Ti and then some, with a factory set 1,815MHz boost clock. Best of all, it costs about the same as the most affordable versions of the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, so it won’t break the bank.

MSI GeForce GTX 1660 TI Gaming X 6G

Just because you’re gaming with a mid-range card doesn’t mean you can’t also be trendy. The MSI GeForce GTX 1660 TI Gaming X 6G is easily the best looking of the bunch, with a stylish aesthetic and fully programmable RGB lighting. In other words, you can customize how it glows in sync with an MSI motherboard. But it isn’t all looks either; this card delivers a solid performance and a Twin Frozr cooler designed to keep it chilled.

xkQKvnGvGkQ - Best Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti: which version is best for your PC?

Microsoft has announced that it will invest $1bn in OpenAI as part of a multi-year partnership with the San Francisco-based nonprofit aimed at developing AI supercomputing technologies on its Azure cloud computing service.

OpenAI was founded back in 2015 as a nonprofit with $1bn in funding from Sam Altman, Peter Thiel and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman. Earlier this year though, the group created a for-profit entity to allow it to bring in additional outside investment.

However, the for-profit entity is still controlled by the nonprofit's board and according to OpenAI, those who invest in the for-profit entity will have their returns capped as the nonprofit's mission remains more important than making a profit.

OpenAI has made a number of advances in the field of AI since its founding, including teaching a robotic hand to perform human-like tasks entirely in software which cuts down the cost and time needed to train robots.

Artificial general intelligence

Microsoft's investment in OpenAI will allow the group to pursue artificial general intelligence (AGI). AGI is highly sought after in the industry as this form of AI will allow computing systems to master subjects as well or better than the best humans in the world.

OpenAI's CEO Sam Altman explained why AGI is so important to the future of AI in a statement announcing the partnership, saying:

“The creation of AGI will be the most important technological development in human history, with the potential to shape the trajectory of humanity. Our mission is to ensure that AGI technology benefits all of humanity, and we’re working with Microsoft to build the supercomputing foundation on which we’ll build AGI. We believe it’s crucial that AGI is deployed safely and securely and that its economic benefits are widely distributed. We are excited about how deeply Microsoft shares this vision.” 

According to Microsoft, the two companies will work together to build new AI technologies on its Azure cloud computing service and OpenAI will move many of its services to Azure with Microsoft being its preferred partner to commercialize new services.

Both firms declined to say whether Microsoft's investment would be made in cash or whether it would involve providing OpenAI with Azure credits.

Via Reuters

ZJZ yAx8Im0 - Microsoft to invest $1bn in OpenAI