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By 13 November 2021
His favorite music-production software got a macOS port and he jumped ship
Systems of the Stars is Laptop Mag’s new series that pries into the systems that superstars own, whether it’s a snazzy laptop, a funky drawing tablet, or a next-gen gaming console.
Travis Mills, a badass rockstar with pop-punk jams that’ll make you want to headbang ‘til your brains fall out, is a multifaceted creative who refuses to be stuffed into a box with a singular label. The striking tattoos, spiky, platinum-blonde hair and conspicuous nose ring may scream “Let’s rock and roll!”, but there are layers beneath Mills’ alluring external appearance — a softer, more relatable side — that may surprise you.
We got a glimpse of Mills’ offstage persona thanks to his stellar hosting on MTV’s Ghosted with his partner-in-crime (and former “Bachelorette” star) Rachel Lindsay. We discovered that Mills has killer discernment and deductive reasoning skills — à la Sherlock Holmes — that helped distressed hopeless romantics demystify why former flings and exes disappeared into the abyss without explanation.
But what really caught our eye (and compelled me to reach out to Mills for our monthly System of the Stars series) was his appearance on the revival of MTV’s Cribs. From the outside looking in, Mills is a carefree, wild-hearted musician who formed a band with Nick Gross called Girlfriends (influenced by Blink 182, 5 Seconds of Summer and All Time Low).
But after getting a tour of Mills’ Los Angeles swanky home, I saw a down-to-earth 32-year-old who decorates his walls with The Simpsons artwork, has an overstuffed multivitamin cabinet, and coolest of all, he’s got a decked-out PC gaming room.
In the same way MTV Cribs peels back celebrities’ layers by snooping around their homes, we, at Laptop Mag, peer into stars’ lives by prying into their tech possessions. First, let’s start with that gaming room. As it turned out, it was a former music studio and Mills transformed it into a Twitch streaming center, if you will, and equipped it with a brand spankin’ new dual PC he built with his own sweat, blood and tears during the height of the pandemic.
“I watched hours and hours of YouTube videos. I re-did everything in my studio starting with my desk. I built an automated desk, which was hard to do, but so rewarding. I do want to shout out Logitech and my Astro Gaming family because without their help, I would never have the set up I have today,” Mills said.
The Girlfriends rockstar built two PCs: one for gaming and another for streaming. As of this writing, Mills is on tour, which thwarts him from fully committing to Twitch stardom as HolyTravis, but he promises to dedicate more time to it once he returns. “I love the fact I can just go live and connect with friends and fans all over the world in the blink of an eye,” Mills said, shouting out Twitch streamer Sarah Dope as his inspiration.
Of course, we are Laptop Mag, so we couldn’t help but ask whether Mills gamed on a laptop as well. Mills said he had a gaming laptop in the recent past, but he didn’t use it to play his favorite titles. Instead, he used it for music production — some of the best gaming laptops can double as an audio-engineering center. “FL Studio on PC is the GOAT,” Mills said, referring to the digital audio workstation (DAW) software. However, once FL Studio crossed over to the macOS, he sold his PC and snagged a MacBook.
Speaking of GOAT, we always ask our stars which games they believe are deserving of such a prestigious title. Mills’ response? “I love all of the Call of Duty games,” he said. “I was a huge fan of Counter-Strike as a kid, and when I started playing COD, it was like Counter-Strike, but even better.” Mills also gave an honorable mention to Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series.
Mills went down a nostalgic road and grew wistful over the games he used to play as a kid. “My earliest memory of gaming was playing Duck Hunt on either Nintendo or Super Nintendo. I loved having that little gun and actually pointing it at the TV and watching things go bang.” Mills said he was fortunate enough to have all the old-school consoles, including Game Boy, Sega Genesis and GameCube, but his personal favorite was N64.
I asked Mills about his stance on current-gen consoles and he told me that he’s pretty content with his PC. “I’m still rocking with my PS4 because once I built my gaming PC I haven’t looked back,” he said. However, Mills has been eyeing the PS5. “I recently just got some SCUF gaming controllers that I feel like need to be put to use.”
A new gaming laptop may be on Mills’ radar, too. He told us that his dream rig is the $4,000 Razer Blade 17, which comes packed with a blazing eight-core, 11th Gen Intel i9-11900H CPU, a whopping 32GB of RAM, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 with 16GB of VRAM, a 1TB SSD and a 120Hz 4K display.
I’d say Mills has great taste! Plus, it would make an excellent companion for someone like Mills, a rockstar gamer who’s often on the road and can’t lug his newly built dual PC around.
Check out some of our past Systems of the Stars articles, including our hilarious piece with WWE Superstar Wrestler Johnny Gargano, PS5 Spider-Man Miles Morales composer John Paesano, Little Nightmares 2’s Per Bergman, Legendary God of War writer Marianne K, NBA Star Seth Curry, and more.
Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master’s degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire’s business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she’s finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!
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You can knock another 20% off used PC gaming kit thanks to this Amazon Warehouse Black Friday deal – PC Gamer
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By 25 November 2021
That’s 20% extra off… everything, as far as I can tell. Though there’s limited stock of each item.
For savvy second-hand shoppers, there’s probably not much better than finding a good deal on a used product and then slicing another 20% off the price. Well, that’s what we’ve noticed is going on over at Amazon Warehouse at the moment. You can pick from its many second-hand, used, and open-box wares and then shave off even more money.
We don’t tend to stray into the second-hand market when it comes to our recommendations during Black Friday. There’s often a deal or two to be had, but you have to accept the risk of the product not quite being up to the standard you expect it to be. That said, this extra 20% off at checkout deal may just make it worthwhile.
To my surprise, there are quite a few famed products to choose from on the Amazon Warehouse page. That includes Razer’s Deathadder v2 Pro Wireless gaming mouse, the much-loved SteelSeries Arctis 9X wireless gaming headset, the Razer Wolverine Ultimate controller, and even the HyperX CloudX cans.
Used Razer DeathAdder V2 Pro gaming mouse | 20,000 DPI | Wireless |
$129.99 $46.36 at Amazon Warehouse (save $84)
As our own Dave James' absolute favorite gaming mouse, this lands on top of the pile for decent discounts. It's frustratingly expensive normally, but at this price you are getting an accurate, responsive mouse with that iconic DeathAdder styling. A true weapon of a gaming rodent.
Used Razer Wolverine Ultimate controller | interchangeable thumbsticks |
$159.99 $55.47 at Amazon Warehouse (save $104.52)
The Razer Wolverine Ultimate was a move to challenge Microsoft's Elite Controller dominance. Razer achieves a good portion of its goal, too, and we do love how this controller feels in use. That said, we're still Elite fans here. Though at this price, perhaps even we'd make the switch.
Used HyperX CloudX gaming headset | 3.5mm | Wired | 53mm drivers |
$69.99 $20.54 at Amazon Warehouse (save $49.45)
The HyperX CloudX is the cheap and cheerful cousin to the Cloud Alpha's that we love so dearly. You can find a new set of these headphones for relatively cheap on Amazon right now, but if you really want to save some pennies then these second-hand cans might be for you.
Used SteelSeries Arctis 9X wireless gaming headset | 20+ hour battery life |
$199.99 $71.03 at Amazon Warehouse (save $128.96)
I'm actually using the closely-related Arctis Wireless Pro headset right now. It's my go-to gaming headset, and I've used the same pair for years with no issue. So I really rate what SteelSeries has to offer in audio, and the Arctis 9X is as premium a gaming headset as they come, but now with serious money off used.
Usually these used items only have some cosmetic damage, but there is a way to check before you hit the checkout. Just look for the used status near the ‘Add to Cart’ button, and hit ‘details’ for more. We definitely don’t recommend rolling the dice on something you’re unsure about, but most of the time the seller should make it clear what state of hardware you’re getting.
And be warned, there’s only very limited stock of each item over in the Amazon Warehouse, so you may have to dive into the Amazon Warehouse sale for yourself and snoop around.
Jacob earned his first byline writing for his own tech blog from his hometown in Wales in 2017. From there, he graduated to professionally breaking things at PCGamesN, where he would later win command of the kit cupboard as hardware editor. Nowadays, as senior hardware editor at PC Gamer, he spends his days reporting on the latest developments in the technology and gaming industry. When he’s not writing about GPUs and CPUs, you’ll find him trying to get as far away from the modern world as possible by wild camping.
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Ubisoft Claims Third-Party Software Causes PC Stuttering In Its Games, Does Not Mention Denuvo – Game Rant
Many gamers are already aware that DRM software such as Denuvo can impede a game’s performance, but Ubisoft feels the problem is other programs.
UPDATE: Ubisoft has provided Game Rant with a statement about specific third party applications.
“Our customer support teams released an article more than three years ago detailing some recommended steps for players to try as a starting point for troubleshooting – it has been removed to prevent confusion. It is not our recommendation that players discontinue use of any specific PC applications unless they are experiencing an issue.”
There is nothing more frustrating for gamers than when a new release runs suboptimally, even if it's being played on a brand-new PC. While later patches often rectify such issues, by optimizing game performance, there are some things which hang around that many blame for things like poor frame rate. The DRM software is often the source of issues for many gamers, with some studios now removing it entirely. Despite this, Ubisoft thinks that performance issues in video games does not come from its DRM, but from other software running in the background.
According to a report, which references a tweet from Ubisoft posted a few days ago, when players notice that the company's games are running less than optimal, it's most likely due to third-party software that's open as well. The tweet then links to a help page on the company website, which tells people how to disable background applications, and/or how to perform a "clean boot" on a system.
The report goes on to list what Ubisoft thinks are the main causes of any stuttering issues within its own games. Chief among them are some popular programs that many utilize on a daily basis, like gaming chat client Discord, as well as Skype. It's also possible, according to the studio, that torrent software, such as BitTorrent or uTorrent could be the cause of such issues, or even streaming applications like OBS. It even says that things like f.lux, an application that dims the screen to make viewing at nighttime less of a strain on the eyes, could also impact game performance.
What's interesting about this is that nowhere does Ubisoft say that the likes of Denuvo could be part of the problem, despite the DRM anti-tamper software being known to affect frame rate during play. In fact, when Shadow of the Tomb Raider had Denuvo removed recently, a benchmark test showed that the game was running much smoother. There was also the incident of a Resident Evil Village fan removing the DRM technology, which resulted in similar improvements to the game's performance.
Given the notable problems with Assassin's Creed: Valhalla upon release, many are not convinced that the programs Ubisoft lists are the cause of any performance issues during play. Some have hit back, replying to the tweet that it sounds like the company just wants gamers to use its own brand of software, such as the Ubisoft Connect launcher. The company has something of a reputation for releasing games that are buggy and perform poorly on launch day, so many people commenting feel the studio is simply trying to pull the wool over their eyes.
MORE: Denuvo Anti-Cheat Software Controversy Explained
Source: DSO Gaming
Twitch reverses its fifth ban against popular streamer Amouranth, allowing her back on the streaming platform after just three days.
I will freelance write the living heck out of video game articles. See that I don’t. Goal in life: Find a horror game that makes me soil myself.
Best Cyber Monday pre-built gaming PC deals 2021: RTX 3080, 3070 & more – Windows Central
Shop Cyber Monday deals at:Amazon | Walmart | Best Buy | Microsoft | Dell
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Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central
The best Cyber Monday pre-built gaming PC deals are underway at many major online retailers. This is a great opportunity to step into PC gaming, especially during a time when individual PC parts are so hard to source. In the same vein, if you’re hoping to get your hands on one of the best graphics cards this year, a pre-built is likely your best bet due to stock shortages and scalpers. We’ve put together this collection of pre-built gaming PCs with varying levels of performance to be sure you get a deal on what you want.
If you’re more interested in building your own gaming PC, be sure to check out our collection of the best Cyber Monday PC parts deals to see what components are available to buy on their own. And for anyone who wants a pre-built gaming PC but doesn’t want to be shackled to a desk, there is our roundup of the best Cyber Monday gaming laptop deals.
NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 3080 is the flagship GPU for 2021, and there are plenty of pre-built gaming PCs that include it in their build. If you’re interested in high-end AAA gaming performance at 1440p or even 4K, this is the GPU you want. For just a bit more performance, there’s also the RTX 3080 Ti. We’ve seen deals pairing this GPU up with Intel and AMD processors, giving you the opportunity to choose Team Blue or Team Red.
HP’s Omen 30L is one of our top picks for a pre-built gaming PC, and right now you can save a flat $100 off models with an RTX 3080 or RTX 3090 GPU. Add up to an Intel Core i9-10900K CPU with liquid cooling, 64GB of RAM, and 6TB of storage space.
Want to skip right to the top end of PC gaming? This ABS Gladiator model has an 11th Gen Intel Core i9-11900KF octa-core CPU, NVIDIA RTX 3080 GPU, 16GB of dual-channel G.Skill TridentZ RGB RAM, and 1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD. It’s built on an ASUS ROG Strix Z590-E motherboard and it’s powered by an 850W 80 Plus Gold PSU. The Rosewill Spectra D100 case has plenty of RGB fans included, and there’s a 240mm RGB AiO cooler for the CPU.
This behemoth isn’t particularly cheap even with the major discount, but it’s the right choice for those who want utmost performance. The ASUS GT501 case holds inside an Intel Core i7-11700KF CPU, 16GB of G.SKILL TridentZ RGB DDR4 RAM, 1TB M.2 PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD, and NVIDIA RTX 3080 GPU. It’s built on an ASUS TUF Z590 motherboard, it has a 360mm AiO cooler, and an 750W 80 Plus Gold PSU.
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 is a step down from the mighty RTX 3080, but that doesn’t mean it’s not capable of delivering an awesome 1440p gaming experience in all modern games. If you don’t want to spend RTX 3080 prices, this is the way to go. There’s also the RTX 3070 Ti, which is a step up from the RTX 3070 for anyone who needs just a bit more power.
Pre-built gaming PCs with the NVIDIA RTX 3070 have been rare this Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but Newegg comes through with the ABS Gladiator. This model has an 11th Gen Intel Core i7-11700KF CPU, 16GB of dual-channel G.Skill TridentZ RGB RAM, and 1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD.
Maingear builds quality custom PCs with high-end hardware and non-proprietary parts. This model has an AMD Ryzen 5 5600X CPU, NVIDIA RTX 3070 GPU, 16GB of Kingston Fury RGB DDR4 RAM, and a 512GB M.2 PCIe SSD coupled with a 1TB Seagate HDD. It’s built on an MSI B550M Pro motherboard, it uses a Cooler Master Hyper 212 RGB CPU cooler, and it’s powered by a 500W EVGA PSU. This also includes an extra year of warranty for free, a $99 value.
Need a ton of gaming power without spending a ton of money? The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 will handle 1440p gaming and will absolutely crush 1080p. Considering how affordable it is, you’re likely going to find some pre-built systems available for an even better price thanks to Cyber Monday savings.
This pre-built from CyberPowerPC has a white case and RGB lighting inside for an overall snazzy look. It’s no sleeper, with a Ryzen 7 5800X CPU, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, 1TB M.2 PCIe SSD, and NVIDIA RTX 3060 Ti GPU. Models come with a keyboard and mouse.
This Maingear Vybe model is $100 off, plus you get a free extra year of warranty ($99 value). It has inside an AMD Ryzen 5 5600X CPU, NVIDIA RTX 3060 Ti GPU, 16GB of Kingston Fury DDR4 RAM, and a 512GB M.2 PCIe SSD coupled with a 1TB Seagate HDD. It’s built onto an MSI B550M Pro motherboard, and it’s powered by a 500W EVGA power supply.
Newegg’s ABS brand has some excellent pre-builts using mostly non-proprietary parts for easier future upgrades. This model has an Intel Core i5-11400F CPU, 8GB of RAM, 1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD, and NVIDIA RTX 3060 Ti GPU with 8GB of VRAM.
Love AMD and don’t want to bother searching out individual PC parts? The Aurora R10 Ryzen Edition has an AMD Ryzen 7 5800 CPU, NVIDIA RTX 3060 GPU, 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD, and 16GB of DDR4-3200MHz RAM.
This hugely discounted Aurora R12 has an 11th Gen Intel Core i7-11700F CPU, NVIDIA RTX 3060 Ti GPU, 512GB M.2 PCIe SSD, and 16GB of dual-channel DDR4-3200MHz RAM. If you’re looking to crush modern gaming, this PC will handle everything with ease.
Our price comparison chart below is automatically searching for some of the best prices on some of our favorite gaming PCs, many of them with some excellent specs inside including the finest cards from NVIDIA and AMD.
Pick the configuration that works for you. Upgrade the RAM, storage, or even the graphics card, which includes several RTX 30xx cards at a great price. Use the code HOLIDAY10 to save an extra 10% if you spend over $1,000.
This high-end Gladiator pre-built from Newegg’s ABS brand has inside an AMD Ryzen 7 5800X CPU, 32GB of G.Skill TridentZ RGB RAM, 1TB M.2 PCIe 4.0 SSD, and Radeon RX 6800 GPU. It’s built onto an ASUS TUF Gaming X570 motherboard and it’s powered by a 750W 80 Plus Gold PSU. The case is the ASUS GT501, and it has a 280mm EVGA RGB AiO water cooler for the CPU.
HP has a pair of entry-level gaming PCs that are both extremely affordable but still perfectly capable for some top-notch 1080p gaming. One pairs a Ryzen 3 processor with an AMD Radeon 4GB RX 5500 GPU while the other pairs an Intel Core i5 with an NVIDIA GTX 1650 4GB.
There are plenty of pre-built gaming PCs available online, and you’ll have the best luck searching out the major retailers that are already advertising Cyber Monday pricing. We’ve had luck at Newegg, Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart when it comes to gaming PCs, but there will no doubt be other retailers with big sales.
Be sure to check out our collection of the best Cyber Monday gaming laptop deals if you’d like to stick with something a lot more mobile.
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