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Kris Carlon / Android Authority

Vacuuming a home can be one of the most tedious cleaning jobs, but these days, there’s an incredible assortment of robot vacuums that remove the drudgery. Some require more maintenance than others — as a rule, though, they’re one of the best additions you can make to a smart home.

Here’s what you need to know about robot vacuums, and which ones you should buy.

Read also: Save big with these great robot vacuum deals

The limitations of robot vacuums

Before you start thinking robots are the key to a spotless home, we should address several limitations. Let’s say that robots won’t be fully replacing stand-up vacuums anytime soon.

First, robot vacuums don’t have the same cleaning power and maneuverability that you’ll find in the best upright units. They tend to leave some spots uncleaned, especially corners or under furniture they don’t fit. Neato’s vacuums are square-shaped to avoid the corner problem, but even they have restrictions.

Second, while robots have sensors to make sure they don’t smash into things or roll down the stairs, there isn’t much stopping them from sucking up small items. You’ll need to make sure objects like cables, shoelaces, and hairpins are off the floor before each cleaning session, as well as anything that might get caught in rollers, like tassels.

As hinted at earlier, most robot vacuums depend on small onboard compartments to hold debris, which can mean emptying a lot more frequently than you’re used to. You’ll want a robot with an auto-emptying dock if this bothers you, but be prepared to spend upwards of $800 for the privilege.

Roborock S7 Plus: Mopping up the competition


The Roborock S7 Plus is costly, but you get what you pay for. Not only can it handle both vacuuming and mopping in the same cleaning session — lifting the mop when carpet is detected —  it comes with an auto-emptying dock, which Roborock claims is good enough for eight weeks of dirt.  

The vacuum also offers HEPA air filtration, and LIDAR-based navigation, including the ability to store multiple floors in memory. To match this the robot has a 180-minute battery, which should be enough to clean multiple floors in one day.

Control options include a mobile app, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant. If there’s any serious downside to the S7 Plus, it’s just that sticker shock, exacerbated by the need to buy more dust bags and mop cloths on a regular basis.

Check out our full review of the cheaper, original Roborock S7.

iRobot Roomba i3: A great mid-tier option


It’s hard not to include vacuums from the pioneer that started it all. The Roomba i3 is our first pick from iRobot, and it’s a great way to jump in at $300 or less.

Like other models on this list, the i3 comes with a companion app. It also works with Alexa and Google Assistant, and it you’re ready to step up, it’s compatible with iRobot’s auto-emptying Clean Base.

The vacuum’s sensor package enables both mapping and the ability to identify areas that need more attention, even when on automatic mode. In terms of battery life the i3 is solid, sitting between 90 minutes and two hours. There’s no mopping feature, so if you want to stick with iRobot you might have to grab the Braava M6 for total cleaning.

Neato Botvac D8: A unique shape makes for great cleaning

Eschewing a standard circular design, the Neato Botvac D8 uses a “D” shape intended to clean corners far more thoroughly.

While that shape is probably its most appealing feature, the D8 also sports a solid 100-minute battery life, a 0.7-liter dirt bin, and LIDAR mapping technology. Unfortunately it doesn’t have a built-in mop, and Neato doesn’t sell any docks yet.

If corners are a priority the Neato Botvac D8 is an excellent option, especially given Alexa and Google Assistant integration. The lack of some key features could be a deterrent, but you can find it selling for $400 or less these days.

iRobot Roomba s9 Plus: Premium price, premium cleaning

Another high-end option is the Roomba s9 Plus. It offers floor mapping, powerful suction, and support for both Alexa and Google Assistant, but the star is the included Clean Base, which you’d have to spend extra on with the Roomba i3.

The s9 Plus used to cost a whopping $1,300, but it’s down to $999 on Amazon as of this writing. If you want mopping capabilities as well, you’ll need to invest a few hundred dollars more on the Braava M6 bundle.

Eufy Robovac G30 Hybrid: Affordable and effective

Eufy is where functionality meets affordability. Let’s be real: some of the vacuums on this list are too expensive for the average person. The Eufy G30 Hybrid manages to cost less while offering vacuum and mopping capabilities, 88 minutes of battery life, and 2,000Pa of suction. While none of this is industry-leading, considering the $200 pricetag, it’s pretty darn good.

Eufy’s product comes with smart detection strips so you can define preferred cleaning areas in the mobile app. You can even manually control the vacuum from your phone like a remote control car, although automation options like Alexa or Google Assistant are still preferable.

Honorable mentions

That’s it for our list of the best vacuums you can buy, but it’s only a fraction of what’s out there. We also want to give an honorable mention to the following products:

iRobot Roomba i7: The i7 provides great cleaning, and can be upgraded with iRobot’s auto-emptying dock. Still, it’s pricey for what you get.

Shark AI RV2001: Got pets that constantly shed mounds of hair? The AI RV2001 might be worth considering. It doesn’t have the best app on the market, but it does sport Shark’s impressive AI Laser Vision technology. Bear in mind that many other vacuums can handle pet hair, too.

ECOVACS Deebot X1 Omni: If money is no object, the $1,550 X1 Omni not only vacuums and mops but comes with the magnificent Omni Station, which empties the waste compartment, sucks out dirty water, refills cleaning solution, and even washes and dries the mopping attachments. You do however have to remove those attachments to go back to vacuuming, and the onboard Yiko voice assistant is useless.

Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra: The Ultra offers as much or more than the X1 Omni while costing less, but at $1,400, it’s still a luxury priced well beyond what most of us can justify.

You're reading Robot Vacuum Cleaners: What Are They And Which Should You Buy?

Samsung Galaxy S21 Vs Pixel 5: Which Should You Buy?

Adam Molina / Android Authority

Adam Molina / Android Authority

Samsung unveiled its first 2023 flagship earlier than usual, taking the wraps off of the Galaxy S21 series at an event in January. Once again, three devices make up the series. The Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21 Plus, and Galaxy S21 Ultra will be vying for your attention and dollars. Of course, the first question on many people’s minds is how the phones stack up against the best phones you can buy, which includes Google’s Pixel 5. Here’s a quick look at the Samsung Galaxy S21 vs Google Pixel 5!

Our verdict: Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review

Samsung Galaxy S21 vs Google Pixel 5



Adam Molina / Android Authority

The Samsung Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Plus are quite similar. The major difference is the display’s size — 6.2-inch vs 6.7-inch — and the battery capacity. You get flat displays with a Full HD+ resolution with the two. Additionally, both have the same Snapdragon 888 processing package (Exynos 2100 in global markets), 8GB of RAM, up to 256GB of storage, and an identical camera setup.

The Galaxy S21 and Pixel 5 are comparable flagships, but Samsung’s phones smash Google’s for raw power.

All four phones feature high-end staples like an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance, fast charging, and wireless charging. You can also use them to charge other phones and peripherals, like smartwatches and wireless earbuds, with their reverse wireless charging feature.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus come with a 12MP wide-angle lens, a 12MP ultra-wide angle shooter, and a 64MP telephoto lens. In contrast, the Galaxy S21 Ultra bumps the primary telephoto to 108MP and tacks on a second 10MP telephoto as well. Unsurprisingly, the phones can shoot excellent photos and videos. The Galaxy S21 Ultra is the most versatile of the lot and its 108MP telephoto lens is truly impressive. The cameras run into usual issues with low-light photography, but overall, these are among the best camera phones around.

The Pixel 5 falls behind on the spec sheet in this regard as well, with “just” a dual rear camera setup, comprising a 12.2MP primary shooter and 16MP ultra-wide lens. However, Google relies on software to bolster camera performance, and it’s no surprise that the Pixel 5 is one of the best camera phones you can get.


The Samsung Galaxy S21, Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus, and Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra start at $799.99, $999.99, and $1,199, respectively. In the UK and Europe, the series is priced at £769/€849, £949/€1,049, and £1,149/€1,249, respectively.

On the other hand, you can get the Pixel 5 for $699/£599/€629.

Google Pixel 5 (New)

Google’s first 5G smartphone

The Google Pixel 5 may not be the high-end Pixel we were expecting, but it’s a pretty compelling mid-range option. Google is going back to basics with the Pixel 5, ditching higher-end features like face recognition and the quirky Motion Sense gestures.

See price at Amazon



Samsung Galaxy S21 vs Pixel 5: Which one would you buy?

2598 votes

The Pixel 5 is slightly smaller, understated, comes with the promise of timely updates, and takes fantastic photos. The Google phone is one of the best in this price range the Galaxy S21 offers more bang for your buck. While far more expensive, if you want the most feature-packed of the lot, one of the best you can get is the Galaxy S21 Ultra.

Cryptocurrency Payment Gateways: What Are They, And How Do They Work?

The truth is, if you can wrap your head around a fiat payment gateway, you’ll be able to understand the basics of how crypto payments processors work too — they both operate on similar principles.

A payment gateway is effectively an application as a service that taps onto online retailers, e-businesses and traditional brick-and-mortar businesses to authorise the processing of transactions. Visa is currently the largest payments gateway in the world, and without it, in many instances, there would be no connecting force between the services charging accounts and the merchants requesting the charge.

Similar systems operate in the crypto world, enabling merchants to accept crypto payments in addition to fiat currencies. This is incredibly important, as it reduces barriers to payment. After all, the number of businesses that weren’t willing to hop on the contactless credit card revolution is negligible – giving customers comfort in payment is a no-brainer, regardless of personal opinions on the kinds of payment methods that they use.

Diving deeper into the similarities and differences between crypto and fiat payment gateways, the inner workings of Bitcoin payment providers, integration types and best practices is key to our overall understanding of these connecting forces. Indeed, that’s exactly what we’ll be doing today.

What Are Crypto Payment Gateways?

While not identical to fiat payment gateways, there are some similarities. Crypto payment gateways are services that allow merchants to accept cryptocurrency payments as part of a general ethos of accepting online payments This could be on an e-commerce platform, a website, a mobile app or even an offline brick-and-mortar store. The gateway’s role here is to process and transfer the crypto payments, depending on the needs of the merchant, be it a ‘hands-on approach’ to crypto or a ‘hands-off’. At the moment, the biggest cryptocurrency payment system by volume in the world is CryptoProcessing by CoinsPaid. With 9+ years of experience and a monthly transaction volume of over €1 billion, the platform takes first place as a market leader. However, many other platforms offer similar services, assisting their clients in accepting payments in crypto.

Benefits of Accepting Cryptocurrencies for Businesses

Understanding the role of crypto payment gateways requires a deeper dive into the benefits that merchants are able to tap into via offering crypto as a payment method. Indeed, there are many.

Firstly, crypto is a borderless, instant medium of payment. There are 180 currencies in circulation, each limited to the jurisdiction of mint. Great British Pounds may not be used in the United States without a conversion to US Dollars and vice versa. With cryptocurrencies, payment becomes universal, borderless and instant. International transfers can often take up to five working days and can be incredibly expensive on the customer’s side. This reduces their willingness to spend – hardly a good outcome for the merchant.

For instance, UK-based private jet service, Mirai Flights, was able to increase its revenue by 30% since partnering with CoinsPaid to accept cryptocurrencies. Due to instant nature of digital asset transactions, over 10% of the company’s fliers now pay in crypto.

How Do Cryptocurrency Payment Gateways Work?

Cryptocurrency payments integrations can look quite different to that of fiat payments on the merchant side. This is mainly because there is an ‘instant conversion’ mechanic at play which converts the crypto into a fiat balance such as EUR. There are usually familiar processes when it comes to both deposits and withdrawals – after all, with an online gaming business, there is often the option to ‘top up’ some kind of balance which can then be withdrawn at a later stage.

When depositing crypto, a user will likely see a “crypto deposit” option on the merchant’s site, being invited to choose the kind of crypto that they choose to pay in;

According to the input information, an address with a QR code will be presented to the user;

Depending on the user’s preferences, they may choose to either scan the QR code using their phone, which will then open the installed crypto wallet on their smart device, or copy and paste the address manually into the built-in interface of their crypto wallet application;

The user will then initiate the transaction, during which the payment processor will make an automatic exchange of the received crypto into the desired fiat balance;

The merchant’s system then receives an API callback with the information about the deposit including the transaction’s status, currency pairs, amount, fees and so on;

Lastly, the amount is added to the user’s EUR balance on the merchant’s site.

Withdrawals are just as simple, and they start with a fiat balance on the merchant’s portal and a user request to withdraw in crypto.

The user will interact with a ‘crypto withdrawal’ option on the merchant’s site, being invited to choose the kind of crypto they wish to be paid in;

They will then be invited to insert their address for payout;

According to the input information, the site makes a request to the processing party;

The payment processor makes an automatic exchange from the selected fiat currency, such as EUR, to an indicated cryptocurrency, such as BTC;

The merchant’s system receives an API callback with transaction parameters, including the transaction’s status, currency pairs, amount, fees and so on;

Lastly, the user’s EUR balance is decreased as per the transaction amount.

With every cryptocurrency payment processing gateway, there is a certain degree of flexibility as to the way in which users will input their information and confirm transactions. A big element of that flexibility relates to payment methods. CoinsPaid, for instance, offers a variety of options to fit any business model:

Invoices without restriction of payment time. Here, the user chooses a currency of payment themselves without a time restriction. The rate will be fixed when the user confirms their payment currency.

Invoices with payment time restriction. Here, the user chooses a currency of payment themselves, but the time restriction will be 15 minutes starting from the creation of the invoice.

Payment Channel Networks. These are blockchain-based systems that allow for numerous, fast and cost-efficient transactions between two parties for a set amount of time.

Plugins. These are pieces of software that integrate into an existing program as a pop up or an embedded payment portal, for example.

Payment links. Simply, a link is generated and sent to the client over email or an instant messenger such as Whatsapp.

Integrating Cryptocurrency Payment Gateway

Crypto payment providers, such as CoinsPaid, tend to integrate via API. If you’ve ever integrated another service’s API onto your platform, such as that of an automated KYC vendor, this will be a familiar process to you.

If you’re unfamiliar with what an API is, it’s effectively an interface that allows the merchant’s website to ‘talk’ to a platform’s server.

Before you commit to a service, the team behind a crypto payment platform will aim to provide you with a demo account so you can get comfortable beforehand. Here, you’ll be able to familiarise yourself with the merchant dashboard and test all the tools, but some pre-test steps are usually required from you. As is the case with CryptoProcessing by CoinsPaid, you’ll be invited to download a testnet Bitcoin wallet, before acquiring testnet coins by visiting a designated website and entering your address, generated in the testnet Bitcoin wallet.

If you choose the hands-on approach and hold cryptocurrency on your books, you can choose which digital assets you want to store the funds in and set up automatic conversions of the incoming crypto revenue into this currency. You can set up withdrawals from the CoinsPaid account to an external crypto wallet. Often, merchants have a cold wallet, like a Ledger or Trezor, and store larger amounts there for extra security.

Alternatively, if you choose the hands-off approach, then in the dashboard you can set up automatic conversions into fiat, like USD or euro, when using the processing API. Also, you can make a withdrawal of fiat to a bank account, you’ll just need to link the account to your CoinsPaid dashboard. Also, in the dashboard you can set up the access roles for different people in your company – for example, who can just view the transactions, and so on.

As you can probably tell, the integration process on chúng tôi is pretty convenient and straightforward– this is why we’ve chosen to analyse their integration procedure in our article today.

What to Pay Attention to When Choosing a Cryptocurrency Payment System?

Firstly, a risk scoring system should be in place. In other words, one needs to be sure that a provider conducts ongoing transaction monitoring to stamp out any possibility of money laundering, terrorist financing or other criminal activity;

Secondly, the provider should support fiat conversions. Regardless of whether a company is looking for a ‘hands-on’ or ‘hands-off’ approach, instant fiat conversion is commonplace in the industry and one should have questions for Bitcoin payment gateways not interested in its provision. For example, CoinsPaid makes sure that their clients don’t need a background in crypto;

Next, make sure to check the setup fee. The fine print will often reveal hefty setup fees under the guise of ‘API integration fees’. The truth is, crypto payment processing is fairly easy to set up, which is why the largest player on the market, CryptoProcessing by CoinsPaid, doesn’t have any setup fees; 

SWIFT and SEPA are the two most widely used forms of cross-border transfers. If a cryptocurrency payment processor doesn’t support either one of these, you should have questions relating to their scalability and ability to handle cross-border payments; 

As an honourable mention – one should investigate the frills of a company’s offering. What can they offer your company to sweeten the pot? Often, channels, invoices, e-commerce plugins and a large number of payment options can be welcome bonuses.

It’ll come as no surprise that CoinsPaid offering checks each of these boxes. For that very reason, we’re convinced of its title as the best cryptocurrency payment gateway on the market.

Summing up

As with most things in life, getting your head around crypto processing is easy, but understanding it on a technical level is much harder. Alas, we arrive at the aim of today’s article – to provide a crypto-curious audience with a comprehensive guide on crypto payment providers.

What Are Jpeg Photos? (And Are They Different From Jpg)

If you have any type of photo on your computer or mobile device, odds are, you’re probably looking at a JPEG file, but what exactly is a JPEG photo?

JPEG files are one of the most common and widely readable image files available. By using lossy compression, JPEG files help reduce the overall size of your image files, without sacrificing image quality. For uploading photos to the web or sharing pictures with others, JPEG is the best file type to use.

What Are Jpeg Photos?

JPEG comes from “Joint Photographic Experts Group”, which is also the name of the committee that created it.

JPEG is the most commonly used format in digital cameras. Furthermore, most images we see online today are JPEGs.

JPEGs are split into two subcategories: Exif  (for digital cameras) and JFIF (for storing and transferring)

So what exactly is a jpeg? A Jpeg file format is a format for representing an image. Jpeg photos are smaller versions of the same image and they are typically used in web-based applications. However, JPEGs are not just a file format, but also a lossy compression method. 

Lossy Compression is the process of retaining as much visual information as possible, without sacrificing the size of the file. This type of compression discards some original data, so there is some quality loss. In comparison, formats like TIFF, GIF, or PNG use lossless compression meaning there is no data loss, but higher file sizes.

A jpeg image is a digital file with a standardized “picture image” format. The final image discards high-frequency information and color aka everything that our eyes are bad at noticing. Jpeg allows you to use any color space imaginable – RGB, YCbCr, CIELAB, and so on.

The Process Of Jpeg File Compression

There are three stages of JPEG compression:

1. Chrominance Subsampling – separation of the luminance from the chrominance

2. Discrete Cosine Transform (DCT) & Quantization

3. Run-Length, Delta & Huffman Encoding

This process goes as follows: You take an RGB image and convert it into YCbCr to achieve a separation of the luminance from the chrominance. Then the image goes through downsampling, compressing the frequencies that are less visible to the eye – reducing the amount of color in the image. A loss in hue and saturation will be less visible to the human eye, therefore the downsampling is done only for the color component.

The next step is Discrete Cosine Transformation. This is at the core of how JPEG compression works. It represents image data as the sum of all the cosine waves. In JPEG, each image is split into 8×8 pixel groups (square of pixels) that all have their own cosine transformation.

The 64 modified elements are divided by a Quantization Coefficient and then rounded. In the end, they become integers. This is called quantization and it’s the lossy part of the whole process. Lastly, the image is encoded by using a combination of run-length and Huffman (entropy) coding.

Opening a JPEG file entails decoding it. When we are decoding a JPEG file, all these steps are reversed. You can open a JPEG with almost any program that you can imagine, even across all forms of computers, tablets, and smartphones.

Since JPEGs entail a lossy image compression, some information will ultimately end up being lost. The decoded image will be slightly different than the original RAW file from the camera. The sacrifice of losing a little bit of quality in order to get a smaller file size and increased speed is worth it, especially when the difference between the original and final image is often unnoticeable.

What Are The Advantages Of Jpeg Files?

1. JPEG’s Are An Effective Form Of Image Compression

Compressing a file in Jpeg can save on file space and increase download speed due to the smaller size. But not to worry, JPEGs compress an image while still maintaining the most essential visual characteristics of that photo. So even though you are getting a smaller file, everything will look exactly like it did in-camera after export.

2. Better File Readability

JPEG can be opened by most devices and software out there. Most editors, image viewers, browsers, and webpages can support JPEG files, which means that you don’t have to switch to a different format in order to open an image.

JPEGs are compatible with platforms like  Microsoft Windows Photos, Apple Preview, Adobe Photoshop, Google Drive, Google Photos, and many more.

3. JPEG’s Retain Color Information Well

Unlike vector images, JPEGs can deliver a wide range of unique shades and tones.  They use 8 bits of each color (RGB) and store 24 bits per pixel that can display up to 16 million unique colors.

When it comes to graphics, you would be better off using vector graphics. However, Jpeg image files are a much better way of representing photographs.

4. You Can Control The Compression Amount

A JPEGs quality setting levels are split into low, medium, and high. If the compression rate gets higher (lower quality rating), the images become more pixelated and colors begin to fall apart.

Therefore, a highly compressed JPEG file will noticeably have a much lower quality. There are situations where you might need a lower quality setting though such as for thumbnail images on a website. In most cases, leaving the compression amount to 100 (best quality) will get the job done. 

Regardless of which compression you choose, JPEG files make it easy to manually control your compression amount. This type of control isn’t as simple with other image file types.

5. JPEG’s Can Be Shared Straight From Camera

When you’re taking photos on your digital camera or smartphone, JPEG files can be uploaded and shared right after they are taken. With other forms of image files in photography like the RAW file, you need to re-export the file through an editing software before you can share the photo. By capturing JPEG files, your photos are ready to go the moment they are taken!

Jpeg Vs. Jpg – What’s The Difference?

Both JPEG and JPG are the same type of file, each standing for “Joint Photographic Experts Group.” The file extension of JPG came from older windows computers that required a max 3 letter extension name. On modern computers, the JPEG file extension is more commonly seen but some people still refer to these files as JPG.

That’s one of the reasons why we still hear about JPGs and why people get confused when they stumble upon both of these names.

How Do I Convert An Image To Jpeg?

There are a lot of free options out there when it comes to converting an image to JPEG – online, as well as offline. Let’s go through a few of your options.

You can convert an image to a JPEG format by using most image-editing software available out there, like Photoshop or Gimp.

In Photoshop, you can convert an image to JPEG after editing a RAW photograph. A raw image is an uncompressed format that takes longer to read than JPEGs but holds more file information for editing. When doing drastic brightening or color adjustments, the JPEG format is not the most suitable one to use for that. Since there is less file information, the image begins to fall apart as it gets adjusted.

That’s why performing edits on RAW files and then exporting them as JPEGs is the best option when it comes to photo editing!

Using Computer Apps: – How To Convert An Image To JPEG In Photoshop (Paid)

Open and edit your RAW image in Photoshop as you wish.

– Converting An Image To JPEG in Windows Paint or Paint 3d (Free)

Open your image in Paint.

– Exporting As JPEG Using Preview on Mac (Free)

In the Format box select JPEG

Using Free Web-Based Apps:

Choose a File from your computer

Upload the file that you want to convert.

Set convert options (in the Convert to section, choose JPEG)

How Does a JPEG File Look Like?

The first thing that can tell you if an image is a JPEG or not is the filename extension. In most cases, it ends with .jpg or .jpeg.

But now let’s go beyond this detail and talk more about the image and the actual data.

JPEGs are raster images. That means that they’re made out of pixels – as opposed to vector images that are based on mathematical formulas. If you look very closely at a JPEG image, you will see that it’s actually made up of thousands of smaller colored squares, aka pixels.

JPEGs contain all of the graphic information inside the image – brightness levels, color, tone of the image, bitrates, resolution, and so on.

To understand how JPEG data looks like, we have to take a more in-depth look at the process of image compression.  Values between 0 and 255 are used to represent a digital photograph. It makes more sense to use fewer bits to represent values that occur more often and more bits to represent values that occur less frequently. This is the process of reducing coding redundancy in JPEG compression! That means that the important information stays there because this color reduction is less obvious to the human eye since people have low acuity for color differences.

At the end of this chroma subsampling process, the color space transformation ends up being almost the same as the original. What does that mean specifically? The final image (output) is going to be a different image. When you access the image on the internet, you will notice it’s a whole lot smaller in size. But it will look very similar to the initial image. So much so, that you won’t be able to tell the difference.

However, you can also get to choose the quality of your final image. The quantization step may result in an image that looks almost identical to the original, but it can also result in a fuzzy one that seems to be comprised of several blocks. It all depends on the level of compression you choose to use. Higher compression means more artifacts.

At the end of the day, the only thing that really matters for you is that you see the .JPEG or .JPG file extension. Without having to do any technical sleuthing, you can identify which of your files are JPEGs simply by their extension!

– Brendan 🙂

Nvidia Geforce Rtx 3060 Vs. Intel Arc A770: Which Gpu Should You Buy?

We’re going to be comparing the best that Intel can offer, the Arc A770 Limited Edition 16GB, against Nvidia’s mainstream favorite, the popular GeForce RTX 3060 12GB. We will discuss performance, current price and availability, and other vitals such as driver stability. We’ll discuss some tidbits for content creators too, such as the AV1 encoding capabilities. 

Does Intel deserve a chance at your hard-earned cash to be the muscle inside your gaming PC? Let’s find out!

Arc A770 Limited Edition

Read our review

GeForce RTX 3060 XC Black Gaming

Read our review

Best Prices Today:

Nvidia RTX 3060 vs Intel Arc A770 LE: Price and availability

The stats: Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3060 carries an MSRP of $329, while the Arc A770 LE costs $349 at retail. (You can grab the 8GB version for $20 less, or the Arc A750 for $289 as well.) 

Can you really find these GPUs at these prices? Not really, not even with the current soft market for graphics cards. The RTX 3060 can be found easily from many retailers in stock, but you’ll still be likely paying slightly more than the $329 MSRP retail. 

My local Microcenter seemed to get roughly four or five units each of the A750 and A770, and that’s where I snapped up this Arc A770 16GB LE version for MSRP. Looking around as of today, they’ve fairly difficult to find in stock and seem to already have higher pricing on the secondhand marketplaces. 

The win most definitely goes to the RTX 3060 for price and availability this round, as they’re readily available.

Thiago Trevisan

Nvidia RTX 3060 vs Intel Arc A770 LE: Performance

This is what everyone has been waiting for – what can Intel do against the established competition? Sometimes, it’s fantastic, punching well above its weight. Other times, it is endlessly frustrating, with performance issues and instability causing major woes. The Arc A770 delivers very competitive results in many newer DirectX 12 and Vulkan games. On the flip side, if you want to play DX11 games—which most legacy games and non-triple-A games use—it’s better to skip Arc, for now.

Thiago Trevisan

Here’s the game everyone loves to talk about – Cyberpunk 2077. With ReBar on, you’ll have the A770 match the RTX 3060 in 1440p, but fall behind in 1080p. Clearly, Intel Arc seems to scale much better with higher resolution, so 1080p gamers will likely find the RTX 3060 a better performer.

Thiago Trevisan

Let’s look at Watch Dogs Legion. Here, the A770 pulls an impressive lead over the RTX 3060, even at 1080p. Keep in mind “ReBar on” is crucial to squeeze performance from Intel’s GPU. 

When Arc performs well, it certainly does so convincingly, especially if its with DX12 games. How about ray tracing performance? This has been a strong suit of Nvidia, and typically a challenge for AMD GPUs.

Thiago Trevisan

Ray tracing performance is impressive on the Arc when everything works in a stable fashion. They’ve been able to match or beat the RTX 3060 in many cases, such as in this Shadow of the Tomb Raider example. 

Nvidia has a trick up its sleeve, however, in the form of their DLSS upscaling technology. This allows many games to run ray tracing at a much lower performance penalty while keeping higher frames rates. High fidelity visuals stay in check, too. Intel offers a similar option in the way of XeSS – but with much more limited game support at present. 

Who wins the performance crown here? While Intel does pull an admittedly surprising lead in many titles when it does do well, even with ray tracing, the overall winner remains the RTX 3060 for one main reason: Consistency. 

Unless you plan to play a very specific game where Arc excels, you’ll be better served by the mature drivers that accompany Nvidia’s GPUs for now, such as the RTX 3060. You will have a more consistent experience across games using DX11 and DX12. When we consider new technologies thrown in such as DLSS and ray tracing, Nvidia also has a more mature setup.

When Intel matures its drivers for Arc with stability improvements, the hardware can certainly prove very capable.  

How about for content creators? GPU streaming has been an important performance facet to consider lately, and the Arc provides impressive AV1 encoders. Nvidia’s much more expensive RTX 40-series GPUs do so as well, but current-gen cards like the RTX 3060 lack those capabilities. For now, Arc is one of the best options for encoding. Some content creators, such as Linus Tech Tips, have even suggested to some it may be a good idea to run a second GPU in the form of an Intel Arc purely for this capability. While I don’t believe that’s a viable option for many, the increased encoding performance is certainly a point to keep an eye on for content creators.

Nvidia RTX 3060 vs Intel Arc A770 LE: Power and other things to know

The GeForce RTX 3060 is rated to pull 170 watts, which is meager compared to the numbers that most GPUs are putting out now. The Intel Arc A770 pulls a heftier 225 watts due to its larger GPU die, but that’s still reasonable to cool. Both are typically compact enough to fit in most cases, so this should not be an issue. 

The RTX 3060 will have much better compatibility with the older hardware that a gamer may use to accompany such a GPU. With Intel’s Arc, you need ReBar or Smart Access Memory, which is only available on newer platforms. You’ll need this for a good experience, or Arc performance will suffer considerably.

Thiago Trevisan

Verdict: Should you consider Intel’s Arc, or stick with the Nvidia option?

It may be late, but Intel finally has entered as a competitor in the GPU space. Unfortunately, it comes with several serious issues that make it tough to recommend at this point. 

First, let’s point to the positives. The Arc A770 pulls off some stunning surprise victories over Nvidia’s RTX 3060 (and even higher GeForce models) sometimes, in newer DX12 and Vulkan games. Even with ray-traced games, it impresses. 

Secondly, Arc does try to do all the right extra things you want from a modern GPU – XESS upscaling, ray tracing, content creator perks, etc. It’s also nicely designed, in a package that shows care and GPU design with some attention to detail and build quality. 

Here’s the bad news: Even if you wanted one, you’re going to have a tough time finding one for sale. It seems to have been quickly bought up by enthusiasts looking to tinker with it, and not gamers building their gaming PCs. Even with tough GPU markets, it seems to be a very limited release thus far. 

The winner: Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3060.

Thiago Trevisan

Sure, we’ve heard this story the last two years, but this time it’s different. The retail shelves are fully loaded with Nvidia GPUs such as the RTX 3060 close to MSRP. Some very worth competitors such as the AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT are also knockin’ on the door with newly reduced prices. These are readily available, and in most cases, offer more consistent performance. 

Availability aside, driver woes are still a major issue for these debut Arc graphics cards. Will first-gen Arc age like “Fine Wine,” as often was said of AMD drivers? It’s too early to tell, but as of right now, gamers will undoubtedly face more stability issues across the gaming spectrum compared to more mature drivers from Nvidia. Problems range from stuttering issues, to crashes, and flat out not working. 

As an enthusiast, I picked an Arc A770 up purely to tinker with it, and test it out. It’s not something that could be recommended to someone who just wants a GPU to game without issues. There are little sprinkles of potential here, however—and if Intel stays on the path of creating a great gaming GPU, one day it could very well give us the entire package. For now, you’re better off picking up a tried-and-true GeForce RTX 3060.

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What Are All The Asus Beep Codes? What Do They Mean

Getting beep code on your PC is seldom a sign you should ignore. It usually indicates that the system has run into a issue. But, having said that, the plus point is we can address and fix the issue with the help of beep codes.

If your PC suffers from a system crash or a malfunction that halts the startup process, you can use the beep code speaker on your motherboard to determine the cause of the error. Since the beeps are generated from the speakers on-board motherboard, the information is usually very reliable and should be given attention to.

You will need to analyze the sequential beep codes to determine potential error. These error could mean PC not being able to boot properly or, may indicate other severe issue with the PC. Depending on the motherboard manufacturer, each sequential beep code may have a different meaning. 

This article explains all the beep codes for ASUS motherboards and laptops and their meaning.

When you turn on your computer, it performs a series of POST(Power On Self-Test) tests that check whether the computer hardware required to run the PC is functional. Once complete, this test will make one short beep indicating that the computer has passed POST.

The system will only boot once it passes the POST. However, if the PC fails this initial test, the speaker connected to your motherboard will make a series of beep codes to inform users that there is some malfunction in the system.

Beep codes are first and most reliable guide in troubleshooting a hardware issue in a system. Referring to the data from POST, beep-sound are generated by the motherboard providing exact identity of the failed component. Since these beep-sounds are a cryptic code in real, they are referred as codes: Beep Codes.

Now that we have a clear understanding of beep codes, let us look at the meaning behind each type of beep code in your ASUS device and things you can do to fix the issue.

Once your PC get past POST, it will likely make one short beep. You do not need to worry if the PC makes one small beep during startup. This beep indicates that the system has passed Power On Self-Test and will turn on smoothly without any interruption.

In ASUS products, one long beep followed by two short beeps means the system has faced issues detecting the memory. Most of the time, the system makes this sequence of codes if it does not detect the memory installed on your system.

A system may have issues detecting memory if it is not secured into the motherboard or if the memory module itself is corrupted or damaged.

To check if this is true, you can try using one memory stick at a time.

Once you have determined the faulty memory, we recommend replacing it immediately.

One long and three short beeps means the system has run into issues regarding the graphics card. The problem could be the system not detecting the card due to connection issues, or maybe the PSU is not supplying enough power to the graphics card.

If you hear one long and three short beeps from your motherboard, reseat the graphics card and all its cables. And turn on the PC. This will eliminate all the errors that might have occurred due to loose wires or any connection issues with the graphics card.

If this does not work, completely remove the GPU from the board and run the system using the integrated GPU. However, if your CPU does not have an integrated GPU, you will need a separate graphics card to display anything on the monitor.

A hardware component failure, for example, the CPU fan, triggers this specific type of beep code. Besides this CPU reaching extreme temperatures or the CPU getting over voltage could also cause the motherboard to give such an error message.

To fix this, we recommend that you perform the following steps to stop the beep error codes.

Lower high CPU usage

Change thermal paste

Reseat CPU fans

Change PSU

If the system runs into an error where it cannot detect the CPU, the speaker on your motherboard will beep five short beeps. Bent pins on the motherboard/CPU, or a DOA CPU, could be why you are getting the error codes.

You can try fixing bent pins if you only have a few bent ones. However, it is bad news if there are several bent pins on your CPU, and you likely need to replace the CPU. If none of the pins are damaged, there is a high chance that the CPU itself is DOA.

You can also check the power cable that supplies power to the CPU. This is an 8-pin cable that connects the PSU to the motherboard and supplies power to the CPU. If this cable is damaged or not connected properly, the motherboard may have issues detecting the processor. Try reseating this power cable to fix the problem.

Two short beeps usually mean a parity error has occurred when recording data in memory. Parity errors in some critical system files could also cause the entire system to crash. One common reason a system suffers from parity error is due to corrupted or faulty memory modules. 

To fix this, we recommend you use one memory stick at a time to determine the faulty one.

If reseating specific component does not fix the beep code error, you can try a few generic steps.

You can disconnect and reconnect your entire PC components to check if it fixes the beep code error. Sometimes, loosely connected hardware components could be the reason your system is not detecting them. Therefore, try reconnecting your hardware component.

BIOS or the Basic Input Output System, has access to the entire motherboard and all the hardware components connected to it. You can also change BIOS settings to enable or disable most hardware component. If you have changed wrong setting in the BIOS, it could cause the system to give error codes

Resetting BIOS reverts all BIOS setting to its factory state, fixing any beep code error message.

All the beep codes mentioned above are dedicated to ASUS motherboards and laptops. However, most motherboards in the market use AMI BIOS. American Megatrends Inc. (AMI) has a dedicated set of beep codes that have separate meanings.

Beep CodesMeaning1 BeepMemory refresh timer error2 BeepParity bit error3 BeepMemory read/write error4 BeepSystem timer failure5 BeepProcess Error6 BeepKeyboard controller error7 BeepGeneral Exception error8 BeepDisplay memory error9 BeepROM BIOS checksum error10 BeepCMOS shutdown read/write error11 BeepBad cache memory

All these errors are likely due to corrupted or faulty RAM, you can try using one memory module at a time to determine if that’s the case. If your system only has a single memory stick, we recommend that you get a separate RAM to determine if the previous one is faulty.

However, System timer failure, or 4 beep codes could also mean that “The System clock/timer Integrated Chip has failed or there is a memory error in the first bank of memory”. If the memory module is not causing the issue, there is a possibility that the motherboard is dying.

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