Don't even bother with graphics cards, just splurge on a gaming laptop instead

by Virginia Campbell

We've followed the graphics card shortage for over a year now at TechRadar, and we're just as disgusted as anyone at the state of the market.

It's understandable that demand for the best graphics cards is naturally going to be high, but when even last-gen and even last-last-gen graphics cards are selling for a sharp premium over their MSRP, the market is simply broken. And there's no easy or quick fix.

Considering that Nvidia Lovelace and AMD RDNA 3 will soon arrive, it's time we faced up to a hard truth: Nvidia Ampere and AMD RDNA 2 might just be a lost generation of graphics cards.

There's something liberating in acknowledging that though, and even as plenty of us want to play the best PC games on the best hardware available, I think it's high time we shift our emphasis from best to available.

The graphics card shortage is real, but gaming laptops are easy to find

Maybe it's because gaming laptops make terrible Ethereum mining rigs or the delicate maximization formulas used by miners to squeeze the most profit out of a GPU cut against laptops with powerful GPUs, but whatever the reason, the best gaming laptops have been pretty much unscathed by supply shortages.

That's not to say they don't exist – they do – but they are much more run-of-the-mill supply chain hiccups that everything from toilet paper to auto parts have been suffering from in recent months.

It was telling that during last year's Black Friday weekend you couldn't find graphics cards at any price, but the best RTX 3080 laptops were both cheap and in stock.

At the end of the day, if you are upgrading your gaming rig from an older graphics card like the Nvidia GTX 1060 , you're going to see a huge performance boost just with an RTX 3050 gaming laptop, much less an RTX 3080 laptop.

And – we really can't emphasize this enough – you can actually buy one right now. Without having to submit to the RNG of the NewEgg Shuffle or wait for hours in online queues.

Honestly, you're not missing out on that much by going with a gaming laptop

I've tested and reviewed many different computers in my time with TechRadar, and I'll be honest, an RTX 3090 at peak performance is a thing to behold, but so is a Delacroix in the Louvre, and not everybody is meant to pick one up at auction and hang in their own private gallery.

My all-time favorite gaming PC has been a mid-range gaming laptop with an RTX 3070 that you could have purchased on sale over Christmas for about $1,000. With Nvidia DLSS turned on, I was able to comfortably play Icarus at 60 FPS with high, but not max, settings, and I barely noticed the difference.

What I did notice was the crisp, speedy 1440p display running at 165Hz, something that would have cost me an extra $400 as an external gaming monitor. That display was more than enough to keep me engaged, even though it was just a 15.6-inch screen, and I honestly felt relieved when I was able to clear a bulky space-hogging gaming monitor off my desk.

And this is coming from someone who's played Cyberpunk 2077 for 40-plus hours at 4K@60 with an RTX 3090 review unit. Was it gorgeous? Sure. Was it worth the $7,000 in parts? Not when I could get more or less the same experience for $1,199 and be able to take it with me when I went to visit family out of state.

For some, nothing can replace the experience of playing on the best hardware, and I wish them all the luck in the world. They are going to need it, given the state of the market.

For the rest of us, there really is no other way to say it: a good gaming laptop, not even the best one out there, is probably more than you're going to really need for the next five years. It's okay to admit that. Embrace it, and actually get back to enjoying the experience of gaming rather than wishing you could crank up the texture detail or shadows one level higher.

Sometimes moving on means letting go

I definitely get it that PC builds are a sacred thing for a lot of gamers out there. Fine-tuning your rig to squeeze the best possible performance from overclocked hardware is often the end goal, while gaming is pretty much a secondary concern.

I really have nothing to offer if you're that person. TechRadar's own computer queen Jackie Thomas is that person as well, and the RTX 3050 broke her heart once she realized that building a budget PC gaming rig like we've always been able to do is now all but impossible.

The days of a $500/£500/AU$800 custom-built gaming PC are gone, especially now that consoles are both competitive in price and greatly outperform a similarly priced PC.

They have almost all of the same games on them as you'll find on Steam, and almost all AAA games are now optimized for consoles rather than PCs, so games like Elden Ring actually play better on consoles.

PCs still have one major advantage that no console, not even the Steam Deck, can match though: they are working computers that can do a lot of other things other than play games, and their hardware offers some perks that you still can't get elsewhere.

By that, I'm talking about overclocking and AI-processing in the form of DLSS and FSR. This super sampling tech will eventually make its way to consoles, but for now, you can still make an RTX 3050 perform like an RTX 3060 Ti with the right settings tweaks, and there are a few titles that remain PC exclusives.

The best thing about it is you can get all of it in a gaming laptop and even treat yourself to some features you might not have enjoyed before, like a high-refresh display or splurge on RAM.

I can tell you from personal experience that even with an RTX 3080 graphics card, you're still going to need DLSS if you want 4K ray tracing for a lot of games, but you can get the same performance out of an RTX 3070 mobile at 1440p, and you can't even tell the difference.

Folks, high-end graphics cards simply aren't worth the trouble anymore, and it's about time we all admit that and set ourselves free.

Netflix's Marvel shows are joining a major streaming rival

Netflix's Marvel shows have found a new home in Disney Plus.

The six TV series, including Daredevil and Jessica Jones, will officially join their fellow superheroes on Disney's streaming platform on Wednesday, March 16. The news comes on the same day that the Netflix shows departed the streaming service (March 1) after the character rights reverted back to Marvel.

In a press release, Disney confirmed that Daredevil and company will join Disney Plus ' back catalog of Marvel TV shows, which includes WandaVision and Loki , later this month. Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Defenders, and The Punisher are the other four TV series set to land on the streamer in due course. Another non-MCU show in Agents of SHIELD is already available to watch on Disney Plus.

Interestingly, the sextet will only be available on Disney Plus in certain regions. From March 16, Netflix's Marvel shows will be streamable in the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, New Zealand, and Australia only. Disney has confirmed that the superhero series will land in other international markets, where Disney Plus has been released, later in 2022.

Given that the Netflix Marvel shows contain more mature content than other MCU movies and TV shows, it's unclear if they'll live under the Disney Plus Star banner in non-US countries. Per The Hollywood Reporter , Disney will introduce new robust parental controls to ensure those aged 17 and under won't have access to the R-rated shows.

While US subscribers will be prompted to update their parental controls ahead of their arrival – Star isn't available on Disney Plus US – there's no word yet on whether UK, Irish, Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand-based viewers will need to do likewise. We've reached out to Disney for confirmation and will update this article if we hear back.

Analysis: are Netflix's Marvel shows now considered MCU canon?

Spoilers follow for Hawkeye and Spider-Man: No Way Home.

That's up for debate. On the one hand, Marvel Studios has seemingly confirmed that Netflix's Marvel shows are canon in the MCU. With Charlie Cox's Matt Murdock/Daredevil making a cameo in Spider-Man: No Way Home , and Vincent D'Onofrio's Wilson Fisk/Kingpin doing likewise in Hawkeye , many fans consider Netflix's TV offerings to exist in the MCU. And, with rumors surrounding the potential appearance of these characters (and more) in other Marvel Phase 4 projects, those calls only grow louder.

The problem, though, is that Marvel hasn't outright confirmed or denied that this is the case. Yes, Daredevil and Kingpin's appearances heavily suggest that Netflix's Marvel shows are canon in the MCU, but they don't completely validate their existence.

We've already seen, in Loki's first season , that variants of fan favorite MCU characters exist in the MCU, while No Way Home brought Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield's Spider-Men incarnations over to the MCU as other multiverse variants, too.

With Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness set to muddy the waters further, Marvel could simply say that the MCU's versions of Daredevil and Kingpin are its own in-universe characters, and those that appear in the Netflix Marvel shows are multiverse variants. That way, Marvel doesn't have to categorically state if Netflix's Marvel TV series are officially canon; its multiverse exploration providing the perfect loophole to this scenario.

So, are Netflix's Marvel shows canon in the MCU? Honestly, we don't know. We've reached out to Disney and Marvel for an official comment, and we'll update this section if we hear back. For now, though, the debate will rage on.

Reform the way you create in 2022 with Wondershare’s Creative Software Suite

It's becoming standard across different industries to provide professional videos for various scenarios. We live in a “Creator economy” where people of all ages, from children to the elderly, have an array of digital content creation skills to record their stories or make content for a living. As this economy has matured, the need for simple, intuitive, and smart digital creativity solutions has also grown.

Get yourself started with the Wondershare Creative Software Suite, which includes Filmora 11, an easy-to-use video editing software, and many more creative programs, designed to give you professional results fast.

Wondershare has you covered

No matter what your creative needs are, whether you're working on a video essay, a presentation, or a quick promotional post on social media, the Wondershare suite has you covered.

Convert over 1000 different Video/Audio/Image/DVD formats with UniConverter and never again worry about file format compatibility in your creative workflow.

Expand your creative possibilities by accessing all the stock media (footage, music, sound effects, images) and video effects within Filmstock .

Edit videos from the convenience of your mobile device using FilmoraGo .

Creating simple narrated videos with Wondershare DemoCreator allows you to record footage of your screen and then add visual effects, audio, and more in a simple, yet comprehensive editor quickly so that you can efficiently create informative and/or engaging videos for others to watch. Features include scheduling recordings, adding real-time screen drawing, and editing videos and audio in separate tracks.

Anireel is an easy-to-use animated explainer video software where users can tailor character style and facial features. You can turn scripts with ease into animated videos and sync up lip movements of characters with a voice-over.

When having to remove the background from an image, PixCut offers users a tool that utilizes advanced AI algorithms to automatically remove backgrounds. This enables the user to edit images with precision without professional skills.

PixStudio is an all encompassing online graphic design tool that allows users to seamlessly create high-quality graphics with drag-and-drop simplicity. One of the biggest perks is the convenience factor that allows designers to access tools from a browser. Included is a library full of various images, fonts, elements, and custom templates.

A comprehensive suite

Unsure of how to navigate a world which is increasingly beginning to revolve around the moving image, many make do with the free built-in editing applications on their laptops and phones, producing content of questionable quality.

Wondershare gives you all the benefits of the convenience and easy-to-navigate user interface provided by iMovie and Canva without the inevitable limitations that come with these types of free platforms.

All applications come with built-in tutorials to make sure you can get to work immediately. Wondershare is not only a creative suite, it’s a way of working which empowers creatives of all levels to create eye-catching media of any variety, so that you have the newfound freedom to interact with all audiences through any platform.

Designed for creatives in the form of professionals, students, or anyone in between, it’s difficult to find any benefit Wondershare doesn’t offer you. Bridging the gap between iMovie and a serious investment like Adobe, it’s equally compatible on both Windows and Mac computers.

Wondershare’s applications are perfect for enthusiasts and anyone on a budget who doesn’t want to commit to the time and money it takes to edit videos on a daily basis using industry-standard software.

As a company that’s focused on the experience of its customers, Wondershare is always updating its software to ensure constant ease of use with as many benefits of complex software as possible.

Sounding good

Anyone who’s ever tried to upload a video to Instagram or YouTube would agree that one of the most difficult parts of putting together a video is finding the perfect music that won’t get flagged down for copyright infringement online.

Filmora 11 offers you access to a whole library of copyright-free sound effects and music, to ensure an effortless workflow from the editing process to uploading - Filmora 11 will keep you inspired with resources.

Filmora 11 also offers the all-new audio sync and montage-maker features, so you can leave the editing intricacies to another time and let Wondershare do the work for you.

In addition to the library of sound effects, you’ll have high quality visual effect options at your fingertips from BorisFX and NewBlue FX. Wondershare also partnered with Giphy, Pixaby and Unsplash to add better effects for users to tap into. Other notable features include speed ramping, instant mode, masking, preset templates, inClowdz Drive, auto synchronization, and auto beat sync.

So in 2022, get ahead with social media, and surprise everyone with your newfound abilities in the media department. With your access to the Wondershare Creative Suite, especially including the shiny new Filmora 11 , you’ll leave all your friends, family, co-workers and professors all in shock at the sudden ramped up quality of your content.

If Wondershare’s creative suite wasn’t already accessible enough, its giveaway to celebrate the launch of Filmora 11 and its partnership with Boris FX, NewBlue FX, Giphy and more is now live. Ten winners in the US will receive Filmora 11 free for one year!

Enter before March 22, 2022 for the chance to change the way you work into a seamless flow of media creation in 2022.

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