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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
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

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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.
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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.
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Why playing Marvel’s Spider-Man on an AMD GPU is such a disappointment

Marvel's Spider-Man launched with support for AMD's FSR 2.0, and the game shows a side of the upscaling tech we haven't seen before.
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Nvidia DLSS isn’t magic, and this FSR hack proves it

A modder discovered how to hack FSR 2.0 into DLSS games, and it reveals just how similar the two are after all.
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Microsoft explains why Xbox’s best feature still hasn’t come to PC

Since the launch of the Xbox Series X and Windows 11, one feature has been missing for PC gamers: Quick Resume. And unfortunately, it likely won't arrive soon.
A hand grabbing the RTX 3090 Ti graphics card with Respec series logo in front.

Stop worrying so much about benchmarks when buying a new GPU

It all comes down to performance when picking your next graphics card, right? Not exactly. Here's how GPU benchmarks can mislead upgrades.
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Developers are ignoring this revolutionary PC gaming tech, and it’s not DLSS

DLSS and FSR have sucked up the limelight in PC gaming performance, but another feature has been lurking in the background, largely ignored by developers.
Elden Ring on an HDR gaming monitor.

The sad, misleading, and embarrassing state of HDR in PC gaming

HDR in PC games has been the source of problems for four years now, and we've made shockingly little progress. But there may finally be a way out.
A power supply in front of the ReSpec logo.

The decade of ignoring your gaming PC’s power supply is over

For around a decade, there hasn't been a reason to go beyond a 750W power supply in a gaming PC. But that's changing, and it's important to upgrade soon.
A Lenovo Legion 5i Pro sitting on a shelf.

Gaming laptops are lying to us, and no one seems to care

Most gaming PCs are defined by their specs, but not gaming laptops. Even with the same graphics card, some laptops just don't perform the way they should.
ReSpec series intro featured image.

ReSpec: A column about the complex, glorious tech behind PC gaming

ReSpec is a new biweekly column on Digital Trends covering the latest PC gaming hardware and technologies so you can better navigate the games you play.
Someone holding the Ryzen 7 5800X3D in a red light.

It’s time for PC gamers to reckon with cache, and AMD is leading the way

What does a little extra cache do for your gaming PC? Quite a bit, it turns out. We take a technical deep dive into AMD's 3D V-Cache technology.
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.