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ReSpec is a biweekly column focused on PC gaming, PC hardware, and gaming technologies. From deep dives on super resolution techniques to CPU packaging technology to PC gaming experiments, ReSpec helps you understand the games you play, the hardware you own, and how they intersect to create the gaming experiences we all love. New entries go live every other Sunday.

Senior Staff Writer, Computing
An OLED gaming monitor showing an HDR demo.

Brighter isn’t better for OLED monitors. An expert told me the surprising reason why

The most common criticism of OLED gaming monitors is that they don't get bright enough, but there's a good reason for that.
A solider from Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3.

When a high frame rate can lose you the game

Nvidia's Frames Win Games campaign has a lot of truth, but with DLSS 3 Frame Generation, the sentiment gets a little more complicated.
Alan Wake looking at a projection of himself.

Don’t believe the hype — the era of native resolution gaming isn’t over

A string of PC releases has suggested that native resolution gaming is dead, but there's a little more to the conversation.
windows isnt future of handheld gaming pcs dt respec holding back

Windows is holding back the future of handheld gaming

Handheld gaming PCs are getting increasingly popular, and although some rely on Windows 11, that OS isn't the future for this form factor.
Hero art for Forspoken

I can’t get excited about AMD’s next version of FSR anymore

Nearly a year after it was announced, AMD's FSR 3 is here. But it feels like yet another promise for what the feature could be in the future.
Special K mod in Lies of P

This ‘Swiss Army Knife’ app transformed how I play PC games

PC games usually arrive with problems, but there's an app that can solve most PC gaming woes with a couple of clicks.
A bunk and helmet in Starfield.

Is a game poorly optimized, or just demanding? They’re not the same thing

PC optimization is a term that gets thrown around so often that it has almost lost all meaning, and it's worth exploring why with Starfield.
AMD's RX 7900 XTX installed in a PC.

The success of AMD’s FSR 3 hinges on this one feature

AMD's upcoming FSR certainly sounds exciting, offering frame generation across almost any GPU. But AMD has to get latency in check for FSR 3 to work.
Ratchet and Clank Rift Apart running on the Samsung Odyssey OLED G8.

Why I leave Nvidia’s game-changing tech off in most games

Nvidia's DLSS 3 is remarkably impressive, but now that we've seen it show up in more games, I leave it off more often than I turn it on.
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It’s time to stop trying to play games without an SSD

Ratchet and Clank Rift Apart now proves it. Your gaming PC absolutely needs an SSD installed in it.
Halo running on a MacBook Pro.

I tried to relive the forgotten legacy of Halo as a Mac franchise — and it was a disaster

Halo has a long history, but its origins lie on Mac, and now, it's finally possible to fulfill the game's original legacy.
A pilot inside of a ship in Starfield.

With exclusive PC partnerships, everyone loses

AMD announced it would be the exclusive PC partner for Starfield, and that could set a dangerous precedent.
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I asked developers to explain why PC ports in 2023 run like garbage

Nearly every major PC port has run into issues this year. Why? I asked some developers to find out.
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The worst PC ports of all time — and why they were so bad

We've seen some terrible PC ports this year, but they don't hold a candle to the worst PC ports of all time.
An SSD installed in the PS5.

Consoles still have one big advantage, and it’s hurting PC gaming

There's no doubt that modern PC hardware vastly outpaces what consoles can offer, but there's still an area where the PS5 and Xbox Series X have a lead.
A 3D model of someone's face in Ziva Face Trainer.

How generative AI will create games with ‘broader, bigger, and deeper worlds’

AI is touching nearly every creative field, but there's few places where it has more applications than game development.
unrecord took internet by storm realistic respec

How a viral bodycam game tricked the internet into thinking it was real footage

Unrecord is a bodycam first-person game that looks too good to be real, but it's using some clever filtering and next-gen tools to achieve its photorealism.
A gaming laptop playing Horizon Zero Dawn.

Gaming laptops are still lying to us, and it’s getting even more complicated

As a new generation of gaming laptops rolls out in 2023, it's becoming even more difficult to trust what you see on a spec sheet.
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How Unreal Engine 5 is tackling the biggest problem in PC gaming

Epic announced a slate of new features for Unreal Engine 5 during its State of Unreal address, but the most important update flew under the radar.
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How Zelda: Ocarina of Time speedrunners break the N64 in incredible new ways

Ocarina of Time has had a long life after it released, with speedrunners breaking the game in incredible and exciting new ways.
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Here’s how Intel doubled Arc GPUs’ performance with a simple driver update

Intel delivered a massive boost in performance for its Arc GPUs with a simple driver update, but how? We sat down with Intel to dig deeper.
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AI is coming for your PC games, but you should be excited, not worried

AI is everywhere, and your PC games aren't safe. Don't get worried, though. AI is already being used in PC games, and it has a bright future ahead.
A PC sitting next to a PS5 on a coffee table.

I built a couch gaming PC that puts the PS5 to shame — and you can too

You haven't been able to beat the PS5 with a custom PC for a couple of years, but now is the time for PCs to make a comeback. Here's the build you need.
A gaming monitor playing Forza Horizon 5.

Gaming monitors have been lying to us, and it’s time they stopped

Gaming monitors have been marketed with misleading specs and branding for years. Here's where I want to see gaming displays do better in 2023.
The RTX 4080 graphics card on a pink background.

We’re not in a GPU shortage, but it sure feels like one

The GPU shortage that plagued graphics cards for nearly two years is over, and it has been for a while. But high GPU prices still have the same effect.
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These are the best 2022 games to test your PC with — and which to avoid

2022 brought some big technical hits and some big technical messes on PC. Here's the best and worst PC releases we saw this year from a technical perspective.
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Here’s why Portal RTX is the most demanding PC game I’ve ever tested

Portal RTX may look like a quant remaster, but that couldn't be further from the truth. It's one of the most demanding games available today.
The RX 7900 XTX sitting on display.

If AMD’s RX 7900 XTX claims are true, Nvidia could be in big trouble

AMD finally revealed more about the RX 7900 XTX and RX 7900 XT, so we threw the competing RTX 4080 into the test bench to see how it could stack up.
Cable management on the Samsung Odyssey Neo G8.

Why DisplayPort 2.1 could become a big deal for PC gaming in 2023

DisplayPort 2.1 has become a major talking point on the heels of AMD's RX 7900 XTX announcement, and for good reason.
A gaming laptop with the ReSpec brand over it.

Are Windows 11 security features killing your gaming performance? You might be surprised

Windows 11's security features kill your gaming performance, right? Microsoft brought this year-old issue back up, and we think it is high time to revisit it.
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Why you shouldn’t buy the RTX 4090 on release day

Don't worry about getting your F5 key ready for the RTX 4090 release. It will likely sell out, but we aren't headed for another two years of high GPU prices.
Microsoft Flight Simulator with the ReSpec logo.

How Nvidia’s DLSS 3 works (and why AMD FSR can’t catch up for now)

Nvidia's new DLSS 3 has a lot going on. We break down how it works and why AMD's FSR can't catch up, at least for the time being.
DDR5 RAM installed in a PC with the ReSpec logo.

DDR5 can improve PC gaming performance, but it’s still a useless upgrade

DDR5 will soon be the new standard for PC gaming, but should you spring for more speed when you upgrade? Some gamers may want to, but most shouldn't.
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Think it’s time to upgrade your gaming CPU? Read this first

Intel and AMD are expected to launch new generations of processors in the coming weeks, but should gamers care? We break down everything you need to know.
Senior Staff Writer, Computing

Jacob Roach is a writer covering computing and gaming at Digital Trends. After realizing Crysis wouldn’t run on a laptop, he started building his own gaming PCs and hasn’t looked back since. Before Digital Trends, he contributed content to Forbes Advisor, Business Insider, and PC Invasion, covering PC components, monitors, and peripherals.

Outside of tinkering with his PC and tracking down every achievement in the latest games, Jacob spends his time playing and recording music. Before switching to writing full time, he worked as a recording engineer in St. Louis, Missouri.