Changes to aspect ratio with some Xbox Game Studios games when using Windows Snap

Windows Snap is an incredibly useful tool for productivity and multitasking at large. It allows those using a larger monitor or TV to emulate the functionality of having multiple displays to work with. Its greater purpose comes from the ability to reference while writing, troubleshooting, or using any other work related software, but it’s also fantastic for throwing video or messaging to the side while playing games. Lately, I’ve noticed that Windows Snap behaves differently when used with some Xbox Game Studios games.

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Easy fix for SteelSeries mouse blinking red

I’ve had my SteelSeries Rival 110 mouse for about 4 years now. It’s a budget model but it’s served me well. The only problem is that I noticed the RGB functionality became wonky after moving from a gaming laptop to a desktop. It was no longer the showing off the green I was using for years and instead was slowly blinking red.

The fix?

I knew that it couldn’t be the battery failing because…well…it’s a wired mouse. And then I remembered that I originally had to download SteelSeries software to set up the color I wanted. This turned out to be the solution. These days the software is called SteelSeries GG and in addition to device customization (CPI, RGB, mapping, etc.), there’s also aim training and audio enhancements available.

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PC Gaming: is 60 Hz the same thing as 60 FPS?

Getting right to the difference between refresh rates and frame rate…

60 Hz and 60 FPS (frames per second) are interrelated, but not the same thing. 60 Hz refers to the refresh rate of your display while 60 FPS is the number of frames per second rendered by your PC or console.

To put it another way, the frame rate determines how fluid any particular game is while the refresh rate of your monitor (or TV) will dictate how smooth a game will appear.

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Have an Nvidia card? Try this to fix Diablo 4’s screen tearing

Diablo 4’s performance has been absolutely maddening at times (especially as someone who just got a really good prebuilt). I’ve gotten huge FPS drops that just don’t make sense, and equally puzzling bouts of screen tearing. If you’re here, then you’re probably interested in the latter. The potential fix for this (if you have an Nvidia card) is pretty simple.

You’ve probably already tried turning on VSync within the game itself. And if you’re like me, the screen tearing persisted (for reference I’m using a Sony X800D TV). Instead, open up the Nvidia Control Panel and enable VSync on a system level.

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PC gaming basics: can 1080p monitors display 4K?

The gist of it:

  • 1080p monitors and TVs can’t display a 4K resolution outright
  • Supersampling can be toggled on PC render at 4K resolution, and ultimately provide a much cleaner image on your 1080p display
  • Supersampling will automatically be done on consoles like the Xbox Series X|S and PS5

Considering monitors and TVs last well over 5 years in most cases, it’s likely that you’ll get a new console or upgrade your PC well before your display dies out. What happens when your new PC can display resolutions up to 4K while you’re still playing on a 1080p monitor?

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Diablo 4 feels like a live service game 2 years into its future

For all of the time I put into the launch of the original Destiny, it was beyond barren in terms of content. It was a damn good time, but most of that was in the excitement of something new from Bungie other than Halo. Playing with friends also tends to polish mediocre experiences.

I went through the same cycle with Destiny 2, and watched as Anthem crashed and burned a couple years later. That era during the launch of the original Destiny feels like the real start of the live service boom, and since then new types of experiences that demand all of your attention have been popping up every month it seems. But it’s really the normalizing of that type of release strategy that stings the most these days – rushing a game to market only to fix things up after the fact.

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Early access Diablo IV is fantastic except for those frame rate drops

diablo 4 lilith

Some of my early leveling experience in Diablo IV:

  • Diablo IV early access has all the bones of a solid foundation – the gameplay, aesthetic, and ARPG hooks all impress
  • Blizzard has really went for it with some of those shop bundles…
  • I’ve been experiencing some severe frame rate drops on the second day of early access with a pretty competent PC (server related?)

I’ve been waiting on Diablo IV a while now. I’m not someone who’s been with the series since its inception, but the gap since Diablo III on the Xbox 360 is plenty long for me. Only being a lowly level 15 or so, it’s hard to dig into the the finer details of Diablo IV’s depth (or where its headed). But I’ve got to say, when it comes to broad strokes Blizzard has absolutely nailed the of foundation feel, aesthetic, and general hooks in ways that will surely carry the game for a long time to come.

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