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This $680 gaming laptop is a popular Black Friday deal, and it's not awful – PC Gamer

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By Tyler Wilde 23 November 2021
It isn’t great, either, but it’ll get you playing games on a 144Hz display, and you might even use all those Hz now and then.
Best Buy is selling a 17.3″ Asus TUF gaming laptop for just $679.99 for Black Friday. It’s hard to get anything that can reasonably be described as a “gaming laptop” for that price, and this one just barely fits the bill, with a 144Hz display and a GeForce RTX 3050. If you want a laptop that can run most PC games and you can’t go a penny over $679.99, this is a rare option from a reputable brand. We like the Asus TUF line, although we’ve only reviewed the higher-end options.
At $680, this laptop is in the same range as mid-tier productivity laptops from Dell, HP, and other brands. What primarily makes the Asus TUF a “gaming laptop” is the 144Hz IPS display and discrete GPU. Most productivity laptops stick to 60Hz displays and rely on integrated graphics, which will handle games like Fortnite just fine, but will struggle with anything demanding.
17.3″ screens are also more common in gaming laptops, the assumption being that gamers will sacrifice portability for a big display. The extra space in the chassis aids cooling, but be prepared for what you’re getting. 17.3″ laptops are notably bigger than the 14″ and 15.6″ laptops most people carry, and this one weighs about 5.75 pounds.
Asus TUF Gaming 17.3″ Laptop | 17.3-inch | Intel Core i5-11260H | Nvidia RTX 3050 | 1080p | 144Hz | 8GB RAM | 512GB SSD | $899.99 $679.99 at Best Buy (save $220)
About as cheap as gaming laptops get, with a budget RTX 3050 GPU, which will drive the 144Hz 1080p display fine for easy-to-run games. The 8GB RAM and 512GB SSD are bearable, but if you can afford to double both of those, you’ll be glad you did. Otherwise, this is a very cheap laptop that’ll run PC games alright.
For comparison, HP will sell you a smaller, thinner 14″ laptop with twice as much RAM (16GB vs 8GB) and a comparable CPU for the same price, but without a discrete GPU. For a little more, you can get an even smaller, even thinner Microsoft Surface. It won’t be much use for PC games, but advertises up to 19 hours of battery life.
Those are good choices if you want a laptop for work or school, but if games are the main reason you want a laptop and $680 is the most you want to spend, you could do worse than this Asus TUF. Our favorite Black Friday laptop deal so far is an Asus ROG Zephyrus that costs more than twice as much at $1,549.99, and both laptops will technically run the same games. 
You will feel that $870 price difference, though. This TUF is going to chug if you turn the settings up in demanding games, and sometimes even if you don’t. Playing Battlefield 2042 on medium settings with DLSS on (a setting that slightly improves performance), I’m hovering at around 80 fps at 1440p on a desktop fitted with Intel Core i5-9600K, 16GB RAM, and an RTX 2070 Super. The 1080p laptop screen requires less processing power than my 1440p display, but that RTX 2050 is still going to have a tough time. The 512GB SSD will fill up fast if you’re downloading games and capturing highlights, too, and 8GB RAM is the bare minimum you want. 
As juicy as a sub-$700 price tag for a laptop with a discrete Nvidia GPU is, it’s worth doing some more research before pulling the trigger. The RTX 3050 isn’t a great GPU—check out Notebook Check’s benchmarks for a sense of the performance you can expect—and you may be able to get similar or better performance in a laptop with a GTX 1660 Ti. And if you’re willing to consider a desktop PC instead of a big 17.3″ laptop, your options become much more granular, although you’ll have to factor in the cost of a display and peripherals.
For more, check out our favorite Black Friday pre-built PC deals, and our guide to building a PC. If you’re set on a cheap gaming laptop, then this is certainly an attractive price.
Tyler has spent over 1,200 hours playing Rocket League, and slightly fewer nitpicking the PC Gamer style guide. His primary news beat is game stores: Steam, Epic, and whatever launcher squeezes into our taskbars next.
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Hitman 3 hits Game Pass and Steam, adds new mode – Rock Paper Shotgun

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It’s a big day for splendid sandbox stealth stabber Hitman 3, now entering its second year of content and support. The developers, Io Interactive are going hard out the gate by adding the new Elusive Target Arcade mode and bringing VR support to PC. It’s also ending Epic exclusivity today, hitting not only Steam but Game Pass too, with the full trilogy coming to Microsoft’s subscription service. Busy busy.
So. Lots going on. Let’s start niche. After VR support debuted on PlayStation, Hitman now lets you jack in with cybergoggles on PC too. You too can see through a murderer’s eyes and murder with a murderer’s hands. It works with a variety of Valve Index, HTC Vive, and Oculus Rift and Quest goggs, as well as several sorts of VR controllers. See Io’s VR page for more info on systement requirements and supported hardware, including a warning of some controllers that “may not offer the best experience”.
Far more accessible is Elusive Target Arcade, a new mode based on the controversial Elusive Target mode. While those murders were fleeting, only available on certain days, these are permanent. You can’t permanently flub them either, you only get locked out of a contract for 12 hours if you blow it. They’re more complex too, with each contract comprising a chain of targets. Io are starting out with three Arcade Contracts that’ll hit 11 targets across 10 locations, and plan to add more contracts later in the year.
Stores! Hitman 3’s year of Epixclusivity is now over. It’ll hit Steam today at 6pm GMT (10am Pacific), for one. That Steam page will only go live once it’s actually out. And the entire trilogy is due to hit Microsoft’s Store and Game Pass at 1pm GMT, so it should be there rrright nnnow (I see different availability in different Microsoft apps and storefronts, which is unhelpful). A good Game Pass get.
Releasing Hit 3 as an Epic timed exclusive after the previous two were on Steam was a big stupid mess, especially when the import servers were busted at launch. But I do understand that Io are now an independent studio (after Square Enix ditched them) and that Epic offer giant sacks of cash. Did you suck it up, reader dear, are have you been waiting for this day?
See the Year 2 patch notes for more details, including info on carrying over progression between versions, a few bug fixes, store timings, and other odds and ends.
This is only the start of Year 2. Plans for the rest of the year include a new map, raytracing support, and a new mode with roguelike elements, named Freelancer.
In our Hitman 3 review a year ago, Brendy said: “As a final act, Hitman 3 is as capable and pleasing as its trilogy-siblings. As a trilogy, it is one of the most fun-loving games of the previous decade. It is like Ian himself – reliable, dry-humoured, uniformed. The best murderer money can buy.”
Alice O'Connor
News Editor
When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.
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Stellaris 2 Release Date: PS4, PS5, Xbox, PC, Switch – Game Revolution

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Grand strategy games are in relatively short supply, which is why Stellaris is such an important title. Even better, Paradox’s 4X game is one of very few available on modern home consoles. Will the same be true of Stellaris 2? Is a sequel actually in development, and will it release for Switch in addition to Xbox and PlayStation?
What is the Stellaris 2 release date?What is the Stellaris 2 release date?
Paradox Development Studio has yet to confirm Stellaris 2, so there is no release date set. In fact, there’s no confirmation that Stellaris will get a numbered sequel at all. Assuming it does happen, we can expect to learn more about a launch date after the game is announced.
For now, it seems the team at Paradox is still focused on the original game. After all, it took almost three years for Stellaris to move from PC to home consoles, hitting PS4 and Xbox One early in 2019. The Series X/S version only arrived in March of last year.
That time hasn’t been spent solely on porting, either. The team has released several DLC packs and expansions, including the Nemesis expansion which released last year. Development is ongoing, and fans can check out the latest details over on the official Stellaris forums.
Given that Stellaris eventually landed on consoles, a PlayStation 4, PS5, or Xbox Series X/S release would make sense. Of course, it could be a matter of timing, since it took so to release console ports before.
Admittedly, a Nintendo Switch release for Stellaris 2 is very unlikely. Stellaris isn’t on the Switch, and it’s doubtful that Nintendo’s handheld could run it properly. And, again, Stellaris 2 hasn’t been confirmed, so who knows if we’ll even be playing the Switch by the time it might release.
Stellaris 2 doesn’t have a release date or any known platforms, as the game itself hasn’t been announced. Until we hear otherwise, the crew at Paradox Development Studio will continue its ongoing work on the Stellaris that does exist, which is available on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and the Series X/S.

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Nvidia: Quantitatively Speaking Still Overvalued – Seeking Alpha

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Graphics Chip Maker Nvidia Reports Quarterly Earnings

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News
This is my first article about NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA). I readily admit that I do not fully understand the specifics of the company and what investors see hidden in it. Therefore, at this stage, I offer a comprehensive, quantitative analysis of the company’s fundamental value.
The easiest way to get a first idea of the adequacy of the company’s current price is to look at the dynamics of its capitalization in the context of the dynamics of key results. As a rule, this allows you to identify persistent regressions.
Based on the long-term relationship between the revenue TTM absolute size and the company’s capitalization, NVIDIA’s current price is somewhat overvalued:

NVIDIA market cap vs revenue

VisualizedAnalytics

VisualizedAnalytics
The same is true for the relationship based on the EPS TTM absolute size:

Nvidia market cap vs EPS

VisualizedAnalytics

VisualizedAnalytics
On the other side, over the past seven years, NVIDIA has shown a direct relationship between the rate of revenue growth and its P/S multiple. It should be noted that there is no similar qualitative relationship between EPS and earnings growth rate. In my opinion, this means that the rate of revenue growth is now a key driver of capitalization.

Nvidia P/S vs revenue

VisualizedAnalytics

VisualizedAnalytics
In the context of the last model, the company is now also overvalued. But more importantly, the expectation of a decrease in the revenue growth rate indicates a potential decrease in the P/S multiple in the coming quarters.
So, having determined that revenue is a key driver of company capitalization, we can build a general model that determines the company’s balanced price:

Nvidia modeled price

VisualizedAnalytics

Nvidia modeled price

VisualizedAnalytics

VisualizedAnalytics
VisualizedAnalytics
Under this approach, NVIDIA’s modeled capitalization is lower than the actual one within about two standard deviations. And the nearest forecast also does not justify the current price of the company.
Using elements of machine learning, I analyzed many options for comparative assessment of NVIDIA through multiples. As a result, I found only three models that allow a more or less reasonable judgment of the relative value of the company. To my surprise, all of these models are based on growth-adjusted multiples. This suggests that growth is a determining factor in the level of NVIDIA multiples.
A comparative valuation of NVIDIA through the forward P/E (next FY) to growth multiple indicates that the company is undervalued by 18%. But the quality of this model is not high enough:

Nvidia comparative valuation via PEG

VisualizedAnalytics

Nvidia comparative valuation via PEG

VisualizedAnalytics

VisualizedAnalytics
VisualizedAnalytics
Considering the EV/Revenue to growth multiple, NVIDIA seems expensive:

Nvidia comparative valuation via EV/Revenue

VisualizedAnalytics

Nvidia comparative valuation via EV/Revenue

VisualizedAnalytics

VisualizedAnalytics
VisualizedAnalytics
The same is true for the EV/EBITDA multiple:

Nvidia comparative valuation via EV/EBITDA

VisualizedAnalytics

Nvidia comparative valuation via EV/EBITDA

VisualizedAnalytics

VisualizedAnalytics
VisualizedAnalytics
Judging by the proposed multiples, I cannot make an unambiguous conclusion. The only thing that can be stated is that the company’s growth rate is a determining factor in the level of NVIDIA multiples. The slowdown should significantly reduce the level of its multiples.
When predicting NVIDIA’s revenue for the next ten years, I proceeded from the average expectations of analysts. According to consensus forecasts, in the next decade, the company’s annual revenue will exceed $160 billion.
NVIDIA’s operating margin has reached 35% in the last quarter. This is close to the historical maximum of the company. But the model is based on the assumption that the operating margin over the next 10 years will gradually decline to 30% in the terminal year. This is a standard approach based on the likely increase in competition.

Nvidia operating margin chart
Data by YCharts

Here is the calculation of the Weighted Average Cost of Capital:

NVIDIA WACC

VisualizedAnalytics

VisualizedAnalytics
Some explanations:
Here’s the model itself:

NVIDIA DCF model

VisualizedAnalytics

VisualizedAnalytics
(in high resolution)
The DCF-based target price of NVIDIA’s shares is $233, offering 12% downside. At the same time, in my opinion, I considered a relatively positive scenario for the future development of the company.
Looking at NVIDIA in the context of free cash flow, I want to draw your attention to one important indicator – the free cash flow yield. It shows how much the company generates free cash flow per dollar of its market price.
Free Cash Flow Yield = Free Cash Flow TTM / Market Capitalization
I compared this figure of NVIDIA with other technology companies and closest competitors. Alas, the company’s figure is the lowest:

Nvidia vs other tech stocks free cash flow
Data by YCharts

The free cash flow that NVIDIA generates for every dollar of its capitalization is about 1%. This is lower than the US 10-year treasury yield. I don’t even compare with inflation. In general, this is a wake-up call for an investor.
From October to November last year, NVIDIA’s share price rose nearly 80%. During this period, two gaps were recorded. These gaps have defined strong support levels. And the first of these levels seems to have already been broken. In my opinion, before the level of the second support is reached, it is premature to talk about the completion of the correction.

Nvidia technical Chart

TradingView

TradingView
I do not share the optimism of those who believe that NVIDIA is an extremely attractive investment at its current price. I won’t jump to conclusions about the company’s long-term potential just yet, but it’s highly likely that the decline will continue in the short term.
This article was written by
Disclosure: I/we have no stock, option or similar derivative position in any of the companies mentioned, and no plans to initiate any such positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

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