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What’s better for gaming, PCs or consoles? Find out here.

What’s better for gaming, PCs or consoles? Find out here.

So you want to be a gamer. How do you go about becoming one? The answer to that question is more difficult to answer than you might expect. Traditionally, those entering the gaming world usually buy a console, which today would mean picking up either an Xbox One or PS4. While those are both great devices, most are unaware that there is another option: PC gaming.

People shy away from PC gaming for a number of reasons, the primary one usually being the high initial cost. But what most never come to realize is that what lies beyond that initial barrier is a near infinite amount of gaming potential. That’s not to say, however, that consoles don’t have their benefits.

Below, I’ll break down the PC vs console debate into several categories, and you’ll be able to make the decision for yourself.

1. Cost

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    There’s no question that consoles are, initially, the cheaper option. The PS4 and Xbox One are both priced around $350-$400, while your average gaming PC might cost upwards of $800 (less if you build your own PC using a site like newegg.com). If you opt for a gaming laptop, you could be paying even more upfront.

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    What is important to remember, however, is that there are long term costs you need to be aware of as well. Console games traditionally cost much more than PC games. This is mainly because PC gamers have access to services like Steam, where games that are $60 on consoles regularly go on sale for 50-75% off. During Steam’s famous summer sales, you can often purchase five or six awesome games for the price of one console game.

    As a PC gamer, you tend to recoup your initial losses over time, especially since online multiplayer is free on PCs, whereas it’s an additional $50-60 a year cost on the consoles. That’s not to say consoles don’t have the edge in some instances, such as if you only buy a handful of games a year, and aren’t too fond of online multiplayer experiences.

    And lastly, what you also need to consider is if you use a PC or laptop for school or work. If so, buying a gaming PC or laptop is probably more cost-effective than buying a work PC or laptop and a console.

    2. Performance

    TitanPerformance2
      Just one of these GTX Titan graphics cards are worth several consoles in terms of computing power.

      There’s no getting around it: consoles are weak by modern computing standards. Indeed, any decent gaming PC from around 2010-2011 will likely be more powerful than the Xbox One or PS4. That is how they are able to sell the platforms at such a low price — the hardware inside of them just isn’t close to being bleeding edge.

      Even the most average gaming PCs of 2015 are ahead of the consoles by leaps and bounds, something that is definitely evident in the games you play. More power means higher resolution, smoother framerates, better looking graphics, and faster load times. The question you have to ask yourself is whether these bells and whistles are worth the extra cost to you. If yes, then PC gaming is truly your only option. If you are someone who doesn’t really care about the particulars of a game’s graphics and performance and just wants to enjoy good gameplay, consoles will probably work just fine for you.

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      3. Exclusives

      LichKingExclusive3

        As a fan of the Halo series, and a part-time PC gamer, I often find myself in a bit of a conundrum. Do I buy the Xbox One for Halo 5? Or do I wait, since buying an entire platform for one game is a bit of a waste? It’s a question many PC gamers find themselves asking, as consoles often have the best exclusive games. While PCs have exclusives of their own, none are as high profile as Halo, Gears of War, and Uncharted.

        I will say however that PCs do win in one major department, and that’s in massively multiplayer online games, like World of Warcraft, Guild Wars 2, and Mount and Blade: Warband. These games simply wouldn’t work on consoles, due to both their control schemes and their network requirements.

        Whichever way you go, you’ll be missing out on something. What you need to decide is which batch of exclusives you want to play more. Are you more Halo, or World of Warcraft?

        4. Controls and Ergonomics

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          I often hear the argument that console gaming is better because you can sit on your couch, use a controller, and play on a big fifty inch plasma TV. While that’s true, you can also use an Xbox controller with your gaming PC, giving you the exact same experience you would get on a console. You can also connect your PC to an HDTV using an HDMI cord, allowing you to game on your couch in front of a big TV if that’s what you prefer.

          It is true however that consoles streamline this process, allowing you to essentially plug them in and play. Also, not all PC games (like the Mass Effect trilogy for instance) have gamepad support, so in those instances I would say that consoles win out in terms of controls. The mouse and keyboard control scheme works incredibly well for most games, but in some, it falls a bit short.

          5. Customization

          BuildPCcustomization5redux

            As far as customization goes, the PC is king. You can open them up, tear them apart, buy new parts, and rebuild them from the ground up if you want to. With consoles, you are stuck with the same machine until Microsoft of Sony releases the next version five years down the road. With PCs, you upgrade when you want to upgrade. Of course, the cost of this freedom is your hard-earned money. Most PC gamers I know upgrade their machine every two years, though recently that gap has been growing as computing hardware has hit something of a wall of diminishing returns. Indeed, a great gaming PC from 2012 can still hold its own incredibly well even today.

            But customization goes far beyond mere hardware. PC games are also far more customizable in terms of in-game options. You can tune your games to look exactly how you want them to look visually, and tweak a number of other settings that aren’t available to console users. Additionally, PC gamers have access to mods, which are essentially player-developed downloadable content that can add loads more to your gaming experience.

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            One game where modding works incredibly well is Skyrim. I’ve added about one hundred mods to my version of the game, and thus it’s nearly unrecognizable compared to the version I used to play on my trusty old Xbox 360. Some mods are so vast that they can add several hours of content, keeping your game fresh far beyond its natural expiration date. Even better, most modding communities stay active for years, even decades sometimes, meaning you can expect something new for your copy of Skyrim until at least 2020.

            Closing Thoughts

            As someone who has been both an avid PC and console gamer, I can say that your platform of choice will depend mostly on how you play. If you are a hardcore gamer who enjoys customization, modding, increased computing power, and massively multiplayer online games, then the PC is likely for you. If you are a casual gamer who wants to experience games in the comfort of their own living room, and values plug-and-play gameplay and AAA exclusives over customization and visual bells and whistles, then consoles are probably for you.

            In the end, you can’t go too wrong with either choice, as either way you’ll have access to some great content. Of course, you always have the option to splurge and enjoy the best of both worlds by buying both a gaming PC and a console. But of course, that would be cheating…

            Featured photo credit: Day One/Steve Petrucelli via flic.kr

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            Last Updated on November 19, 2019

            10 Smartest Productivity Software to Boost Work Performance

            10 Smartest Productivity Software to Boost Work Performance

            Productivity is the ability to perform tasks efficiently and in a timely manner. In today’s busy and competitive business world, productivity is paramount for any business, organization or corporation.

            Productivity is more than just performing tasks successfully. It is about investing and allocating resources, so the company or business can perform to meet its core goals.

            As part of 2019, it is important to commit to new goals. When shopping around for new productivity software keep in mind the following things: cost, reliability, cross-platform compatibility, on the go, technical support, etc.

            In the subsequent sections, we will examine the most recommended productivity software in the marketplace. In addition, we will look at what makes them tick and what separates them from the rest of the pack.

            Projects and Tasks Management

            1. Monday dot com

              Monday dot com was founded to create a team management solution so people connect to workplace processes across any industry. The productivity tool is used in more than 140 countries.

              The user interface is intuitive and impressive. It makes collaboration productive and fun because of its simplicity.

              The tool is deemed to have one of the best user experiences across the mobile and online project and task management platform.

              The product includes usability, customization, admin control, group management and control, private or public control, in-group messaging and more.

              Check out the software here!

              2. Asana

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                The mantra behind Asana’s product is to enable teams from across different organizations to work together effortlessly.

                The software comes with lots of customizations. When you create a project as a user, you can choose between a traditional task view and the kanban-style board view. The dashboard allows you to see the progress on a project, and it includes an excellent advanced set of search tools.

                Also, Asana’s Android and iOS apps do retain the web interface’s clean look and feel.

                Check out the software here!

                3. Trello

                  Trello was founded in the summer of 2010 and two years later the platform added 500,000 members. Anyone within sales, marketing, HR and operations can collaborate successfully with this product.

                  Moreover, the tool has over 100 plus integrations with Google Drive, Slack, Jira and others. The product works flawlessly across various platforms.

                  Some of the well-known features includes is speed, easy-to-use, and set up. The interface includes due dates, assignments, file storage, checklists and more.

                  Check out the software here!

                  4. Jira

                    The Jira software is flexible and heralded as the next-generation project.

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                    The software allows teams to design and adapt the software to an organization’s needs. This includes having visibility into long term goals, project roadmaps, status of work, real-time release information and more. In addition, the interface is customizable.

                    The Atlassian Cloud does not support multiple separate domains, subdomains or domain aliases in Google Apps.

                    Check out the software here!

                    5. Evernote Business

                      Evernote was founded in 2008 and reached 11 million users by 2011. The company was founded on the premise that their product should address the ever-increasing volume and speed of information.

                      The product helps bring together groups of teams because of versatility and functionality. It creates documents, collaboration on projects, store information all a single location.

                      Moreover, you can find information quickly and includes effective search capabilities and integrations with existing tools you may already use.

                      Check out the software here!

                      Communication

                      6. Slack

                        Slack was founded in 2013 and the tool is heralded as a collaboration hub. Slack is where productivity happens. When you start a new project, hire new staff, deploy a code, review a sales contract, finalize on a budget, Slack covers all of these. Some of the major highlights include highly customizable notifications and seamless integrations with other collaboration and office tools. The free version of the software comes loaded with features, but does not archive old message. So, you have to review what are the best options for your organization or business.

                        Check out the software here!

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                        7. Spike

                          Newcomer Spike makes emails more conversational by helping teams maintain productivity, communication, and collaboration. All of these are achieved from within their inbox.

                          Spike works on top of any existing email (O365, G suite, and IMAP) turning it into a real-time messenger and making your communication much more functional and efficient.

                          Spike’s features include built-in groups and channels, voice and video calls, email encryption, instant access to all your files, and much more.

                          Check out the software here!

                          Creation

                          8. Office 365

                            Microsoft’s Office 365 could not be excluded from the conversation and especially as it pertains to productivity software.

                            Of course we are all familiar with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. But there is more capabilities that come with it.

                            You have business-class email, online storage space, and teamwork solutions. These services can be accessed from just about anywhere.

                            Within this suite is Microsoft Sway, which is a presentation software and a step above PowerPoint.

                            Check out the software here!

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                            9. Grammarly

                              Grammarly helps to cut down time on editing. Professionals in several industries like law, healthcare, academia, marketing, engineering and journalism use it to provide instant feedback on the accuracy of writing in English.

                              Once you install the extension from Google Chrome, you can get corrections when you are drafting an email, using social media and other apps.

                              Grammarly is AI powered and it’s a wonderful tool to have to check spelling and grammar before a presentation.

                              Check out the software here!

                              Team Analytics

                              10. ActivTrak

                                ActivTrak is a business intelligence tool that allows you to access team behavior analytics. In other words, it is data-driven.

                                The pros include two-factor authentication with active directory integration. You can also automate your alerts and it has an intuitive interface with easy-to-use admin controls.

                                Furthermore, it comes with Google sign-in, iOS app, productivity track, and more. The bottomline is the product offers employee productivity metrics along with team behavior analytics.

                                Check out the software here!

                                The Bottom Line

                                Depending on the size, budget, resources, and immediate needs of your company, not all productivity software will exactly solve your problem. You will have to contact any of the providers above and probe extensively to find the right product that is made for your business.

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                                Featured photo credit: Domenico Loia via unsplash.com

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