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GTX 1060 Review – Is It One of the Best GPUs Available Today?

gtx 1060

For non-PC gamers, graphics are usually a pretty simple subject to understand. You go with what your console gives you, and enjoy the ride.

The only real type of decision making or debate that goes on in the console community usually involves which console is superior in terms of graphical capabilities. While Xbox and PlayStation fans may be in a debate that seems unending, it pales in comparison to the complexities of PC gaming.

But for those who do choose to game on their computers, the process of deciding between graphics cards isn’t a task or even a matter of bragging rights, contrary to popular opinion. It’s fun, and it ties right into what makes custom PC building such an exciting process.

The idea of discovering what graphics card is best for your preferred games, which component works best within your setup, and which option offers the most value involves a lot of calculations – it’s right up the ally of most PC fans.

Even those who are buying PCs that are prebuilt know the value of researching graphics cards beforehand. And today we’ll be taking a look at one of the most impressive offerings on the market – the GTX 1060.

Introducing the GTX 1060: Nvidia’s Graphical Juggernaut

PNY NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB XLR8 Gaming Overclocked Graphics Card...

There are plenty of great graphics card on the market. Top developers like Radeon, Nvidia, and others push themselves every year to deliver the latest and greatest devices for making pixels pop right off monitors.

This just isn’t about making sure you can see every shadow on the game you’re playing. It’s about enjoying these little extras that really make you feel immersed in the game. Think about things like cloth physics – whereas console gamers may see a character’s clothing look like a cutout taped to their body, PC gamers with the right cards will see a beautiful, realistic array of wrinkles and waves corresponding with the wearer’s movement.

Think about Bayek’s cloak in Assassin’s Creed: Origins, or Batman’s cape in Arkham Knight. You just can’t get those effects on console.

Great graphics cards help you enjoy things like improved water physics, where you can see ripples with the wind, suds dissipating after a splash, and the sun reflecting off the water’s surface. It’s how we expect to see things in real life, and graphics cards are getting closer and closer.

The GTX 1060 is built to offer gamers all these possibilities and more. It was originally built as a direct competitor (or seemingly so) to AMD’s RX 480 – a powerful card built for 1080p gaming and VR games. This is where the 1060 excels as well. But what exact specs does it use to achieve these settings?

A Closer Look at the GTX 1060’s Specifications

Cuda Cores

1280

Texture Units

80

Rops

48

Core Clock

1506MHz

Boost Clock

1708MHz

Memory Bus Width

192-bit

Memory Bandwidth

192GB/s

Memory Size

6GB or 3GB GDDR5

Outputs

DisplayPort x3, HDMI, Dual-Link DVI

As we can see, this card has the specs where it counts. Not only can gamers utilize a multi-monitor setup, but they can expect to enjoy smooth framerates on even the most graphically demanding games out there.

The GTX 1060 has the distinction of being one of those “safety cards” PC gamers flock to. What does this mean, exactly? With a card like say, the GTX 760, gamers will get a solid product. They’ll be able to enjoy HD games and even turn the settings to high on most older games.

But when you upgrade to the 1060, you open yourself up to more possibilities. There will be few games you can’t run on 1080p on high-to-max settings with a smooth framerate. Yes, there are those notorious system melting games that are hard to run on a 1060. But those games are often designed to be hard to run – that’s the idea behind them, even if their graphical load to bear doesn’t always add much to their overall look and performance.

The 1060 has seen a lot of positive performance reviews, but let’s look more in depth about how it actually performs – not in terms of benchmarks just yet, but how the hardware inside Nvidia’s juggernaut contributes to the card’s overall performance.

What Are the Hardware Features?

tomb raider

When it comes to a great graphics card, it isn’t just about how many frames you can get on Grand Theft Auto: V – but, FYI, this one could push it to 60 on high settings.

Graphics cards are more about architecture and hardware design at their core, as they’re not just an individual component of a bigger system. They’re also systems in themselves, compromised of a number of different parts, each having its own distinct function. What are these functions? Let’s start with one of the most basic: power.

Your card can have so many cores you can’t count them, and a clock speed that just keeps climbing – but if it doesn’t have power, you won’t be gaming at all. You won’t be editing videos, surfing the web, or doing anything with your monitor unless you revert back to the onboard graphics.

But the GTX 1060 has a single six-pin PCIe power connector – a standard offering for many modern cards in the mid-to-high end range. But what’s not so standard is the 1060’s 120W TDP. This makes it massively more efficient than most cards in terms of power consumption, a trend that was also present in the GTX 980 (165W) and the 1060’s primary competitor, the RX 480.

PNY NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB XLR8 Gaming Overclocked Graphics Card...

It’s a trend that is a testament to the PC industry’s commitment to energy efficiency. Not only do video cards with lower rates of power consumption help conserve energy, but they last longer. And they take less of a toll on the power supply, making it a bit easier for the rest of the system’s components to get the resources they need. Synergy demonstrated once again as the core idea behind PC builds.

But beyond the power connector lies the Pascal chip. The GP106 is the heart of the card and offers comparable power rating to the 1070 and 1080 – if half meant cut in half. Still, though, if you got half a cut of a lotto or casino jackpot, there wouldn’t be a need to count your losses, right?

While this card only has about half the power of those cards, it has 80 texture units which means it can still work for those higher-end games. There’s also 192GB of memory bandwidth, which itself constitutes a huge improvement from the GTX 960.

PNY NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB XLR8 Gaming Overclocked Graphics Card...

The bottom line? The 1060 is way above the next model below it, but not far behind the ones above it. It’s a value card, with those beyond sometimes accused of diminishing returns – but those beneath sometimes being just shy of an industry standard for 1080p graphics on high-to-max settings.

But let’s not forget – the graphics card is not just popular for gaming. While we can all realize that graphics processing units are an integral part of a gamer’s vocabulary, there are those who use GPUs for other practices that aren’t always gaming.

Some of them may be using it solely for gaming – and nothing more. But that means they’re likely professionals or at least highly passionate hobbyists, as this card constitutes a powerful tool for graphical editing arts.

But, even then, for a card that retails between $200-$300, it is easy for it to be used by beginners in these areas as well.

What Other Applications Can the GTX 1060 Be Used For?

video editing

One of the most obvious reasons a person will need a high-end graphics card with plenty of processing power and shading units is for graphic design.

Those artists who use their computer as a canvas make beautiful 3D models, complex animations, and extremely detailed photography/videography projects. As you may imagine, this can be rough on video cards not built for the task.

Even if we do enjoy HD streaming and thus the industry has been optimized for this, not everyone needs to engage with demanding animation programs or complex editing suites. When it comes time to upgrade your hardware for the task, the 1060 is a great option to consider.

Again, it comes back to value – someone may consider buying a lower-level card to keep themselves comfortably under the $200 range for a new card. But should they? Again, even the 960 is around that range. You’d have to go down to the 760 for that, which, while not a pushover card by any means, is a clear step down in performance.

On the other hand, you’d have to be handling some truly complex animations for the 1060 not to operate well enough. In that case, even the 1070 or 1080 may struggle. For some cases, graphic artists will even use dual cards to help them share the load evenly.

computer work

The crossfire or SLI method can be very helpful for those who have higher needs. In this case, it may actually be overkill to run multiple 1070 or 1080 cards. Therefore, a case could be made that, in rigs that warrant it, the 1060 is the best value card.

Think about how professionals would consider the task – imagine a company that handles graphic designs and animations. They know their ability to make good work and retain clients depends on getting the right card. It is customers like these who are also important when NVIDIA is refining their cards each year.

While gamers make up a big part of the audience, it is also video editors and digital artists who need powerful graphics cards.  Even hobbyists need the right equipment for the job, and a 1060 is a high-quality value option.

But for the sake of understanding how the card looks when compared to those in the same class from other manufacturers, let’s give AMD’s RX 480 some time to shine.

GTX 1060 vs. RX 480: Who Wins This Close Race?

Sale
MSI GAMING GeForce GTX 1060 6GB GDRR5 192-bit HDCP Support DirectX 12...
  • Chipset: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060
  • Video Memory: 6GB GDDR5
  • Max. Resolution: 7680 x 4320, support 4x Display monitors

When it comes to value, GTX lovers will automatically look to the 1060 if they want something on the high end of the scale. Let’s be clear, though – AMD is still a powerful name in the gaming industry. The RX 480 proves this.

Not only is it highly rated, scoring in the 4-5 range on most standard five-star scales, but it is used in many popular prebuilt PCs. A great example is the GXiVR8020 series, a partnership with fellow tech partner CyberPower PC. While the modern version has the 580, the 480 was the card of 2017 on the AMD side.

MSI GAMING Radeon RX 480 GDDR5 4GB CrossFire VR Ready FinFET DirectX...
  • Chipset: AMD Radeon rx 480
  • Video Memory: 4GB GDDR5
  • Max. Resolution: supports 4x Display monitors

But not only is the 1060 a bit ahead in terms of memory speed, but it also has higher clock speeds – both base and boost. The RX 480 blows it out in the bandwidth category with a 10-percent-plus advantage and a 256-bit memory base to the 1060’s 192-bit.

Yet the point that could put the 1060 over the edge is the 120W TDP – about 20 percent better than that of the 480.

AMD’s offering may be a great card, but there’s no denying the 1060 could easily be called as good of an option or better in this category.

Product

Details

Price

MSI GAMING GeForce GTX 1060 6GB GDRR5 192-bit HDCP Support DirectX 12...

Cuda Cores
1280

Texture Units
80

Rops
48

Core Clock
1506MHz

Boost Clock
1708MHz

Memory Bus Width
192-bit

Memory Bandwidth
192GB/s

Memory Size
6GB or 3GB GDDR5

Outputs
DisplayPort x3, HDMI, Dual-Link DVI

MSI GAMING Radeon RX 480 GDDR5 4GB CrossFire VR Ready FinFET DirectX...

Cuda Cores
2304

Texture Units
144

Rops
32

Core Clock
1120MHz

Boost Clock
1266MHz

Memory Bus Width
256-bit

Memory Bandwidth
224 GB/s

Memory Size
7GB or 4GB GDDR5

Outputs
DisplayPort, HDMI 4K60

Final Verdict: Is the GTX 1060 Worth It?

The GTX 1060 is unquestionably a great card. It could be called one of the best value-based options on the market. When a person is thinking about how to choose a card, a few things come to mind. Does it have the specs necessary for the tasks you want to complete? And just as important, does it offer great value for the money?

The best way to handle the decision-making process is to list out your preferred applications and look up individual benchmarks. But, in a general sense, the GTX 1060 is easily one of NVIDIA’s best cards for the mid-to-high range rig. If you’re not running a company bringing in thousands a week but you still find integrated graphics far too limiting, the 1060 is a great spot in between to land.

Arris Modems – The Top Seven Reliable Models in the Market Today

the best arris modems

In the digital age, connectivity is everything.

What’s the most precious material possession you have in your life? We’re not talking about the most expensive items, or the most sentimental heirlooms – in terms of physical devices that impact your daily life, what ranks high on the list?

Since so many people depend on internet connectivity at a skyrocketing rate, their networking equipment is of the utmost importance. We use the internet to communicate, to check the news, to order food, to go to school, and even to work – and even for those who only use it for YouTube and Facebook, it’s a big change to go through when the connection goes down!

While you can’t control how reliable your internet service provider (ISP) is, you can choose better connection equipment.

Technically, a modem is about modulation and demodulation, computing information from cable, analog, and digital signals in a complex manner – but if done right, it results in a better connection.

Who is Arris? What Do They Offer?

arris logo

We all know that the modem is one of the core components when it comes to maintaining a stable internet connection. Good cables, secure ports, and reliable infrastructure are all very important as well – but for the home or business internet connection, a good modem is the centerpiece.

It could even be called your gateway to the internet – and much of the outside world. For this reason, it should come as no surprise that there are plenty of modem companies out there trying to offer customers the best possible product and get the most sales revenue in return.

One such giant of the industry is Arris. Touting themselves as a company that refines connectivity, they’ve set a high bar to reach from the start – and they’ve reached the said bar in many ways. Their products have emerged in various circles, with multiple types of users ranging from casuals to families to professionals all using Arris modems with great success.

But which one is the best? Today we’ll rank the modems – the top seven, to be exact. We’ll go over exactly what each one offers, and how they measure up compared to the competition.

How Do We Choose Our Ratings? Explaining Our System

Rating a modem seems like a straight-forward process, right? We all know what the device is supposed to do – provide us with a stable internet connection that stays stable. Even minimal downtime is worth knowing about, and of course, the performance-to-price comparison is crucial in the decision-making process.

For this list, we’ll be looking at how the different models in Arris’s modem inventory compare to one another. We’ll take a look at which one offers the best features conducive to a better performance. When we consider performance, we’ll factor in:

Reliability

How many problems have been reported in comparison to the number of success stories? This ratio can help customers decide if they feel comfortable buying a certain modem.

Durability

How long does a modem last? No one wants to buy hardware they have to replace every few months – especially when that replacement process leaves them with no internet access temporarily!

Consistency

Does the modem keep a connection? Does it go in and out? This matters, no matter what price you’re paying for the equipment.

Factoring in all these criteria, we’ll base our overall rating system on value and reviews. Not only should a device offer these characteristics, but they will need to have proven it through great sales numbers and overwhelmingly positive feedback.

Let’s get started – here are the top seven Arris Modems!

Top-Ranking Arris Modems: Which Models Made the Cut?

ARRIS Surfboard SB6183-RB 16x4 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem, (Renewed)-White
  • APPROVED with Comcast Xfinity, Spectrum (Charter, Time Warner, Brighthouse), Cox and more. If not sure call your cable provider to find out if approved to use. REQUIRES Cable Internet Service. Not compatible with: Verizon, AT&T, or CenturyLink
  • Cable Modem only (no WiFi router). NO support for Cable TELCO options
  • Internet speeds up to 686 Mbps on 16 Download Channels and 131 Mbps on 4 Upload Channels, based on your cable ISP subscription. Approved for plans up to 300Mbps. Gigabit Ethernet port to connect to computer or router

It’s got it all – sleek looks, a great list of features, and a design that saves you space. Combine that with a reasonable price tag of approximately $70, and you’ve got an easy frontrunner.

With a max download speed of 686Mbps and a max upload speed of 131 Mbps, this unit is fast. It’s also compatible with most major service providers, making it great for almost anyone with cable internet. Approved by Comcast Xfinity, Cox, Time Warner, Charter, Brighthouse, and many others, this unit is versatile.

Whether you want to game, stream in HD, connect multiple devices, or all of the above, this unit supports IPv4 and IPv6 internet connections at blazing speeds.

Have you ever needed a cost-efficient modem that is small enough to stick on a small end table? Something that will help fit the space and budget requirements of a young college student in a dorm, or an upstart company with multiple small offices? This can be the right choice.

Coming in at well below the $100 mark on most all sites, this unit is a great buy. The reviews don’t lie – the SURFboard is one of Arris’s most popular modems for good reason.

Arris Touchstone TM822G DOCSIS 3.0 8x4 Ultra-High Speed Telephony...
  • Backwards compatible with DOCSIS 1.0, 1.1, and 2.0
  • Flexible 8x4 downstream/upstream channel-bonding with superior throughput
  • IPv4 or IPv6 addressing modes for DOCSIS CM layer

This model is typically priced a little higher, though you can get a used version for around the same price as the number one entry.

While this one may not have the fanfare and features to make for the top spot, it isn’t close behind. Like the SURFboard, the Touchstone TM822G offers IPv4 and IPv6 addressing modes for more connection variety and stability. The Base-T 10/100/1000 ethernet interface is something that can be useful in homes, businesses, dorms, apartments, and a variety of other locations.

The unit is backwards compatible with DOCSIS 1.0, 1.1, and 2.0. In addition to that, it is also compliant with PacketCable 1.0 and 1.5.

But the factor that puts it over the top is the high sales numbers and overwhelmingly positive customer feedback – this unit has helped thousands of customers enjoy a better connection.

It’s another example of Arris being a company that balances cost-efficiency with connectivity masterwork. It’s a great fit for a variety of settings and is built to last.

ARRIS CM820A Cable Modem DOCSIS 3.0 (Latest Version - 1 Step...
  • 8x4 bonded downstream/upstream channel for superior throughput
  • Built in MoCA immunity filter
  • Two independent 96MHz wide RF tuners to receive downstream channels up to 1GHz

This unit is designed for simplicity – touting a one-step activation process, it takes a lot of those complexities out of networking.

But don’t take its simplicity for simple design. While easy to operate, it offers an 8x4 bonded channel with built-in MoCA immunity filter and two independent 96MHz wide RF tuners to receive downstream channels up to 16GHz.

This allows it to exceed expectations and deliver smooth performance in a variety of applications. Arris suggests users reach out to their ISP to check for compatibility before buying.

The only downside with this unit compared to the ones above is the price. Sure, you get a unit that could be called more simplistic, but you have to pay around $100. It isn’t a ridiculous sum to ask for a high-end modem, though, so this model easily makes our top three.

It’s a sleek, space-efficient, well-built machine that gets the job done. Like the entry above, it is known for versatility and even more for simplicity. The modem at work slowing down your productivity due to cumbersome configuration needs? The modem at mom’s house making her connection a little unstable? Try out the CM820A, and embrace a simplistic approach to good connectivity.

ARRIS Surfboard SBG6580-2 8x4 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem/Wi-Fi N600 (N300...
  • Compatible with Comcast Xfinity, Time Warner Cable, Charter, Cox, Cablevision, and more. Requires Cable Internet Service
  • Not compatible with: Verizon, AT&T, or CenturyLink. 802.11n Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi speeds up to 300 Mbps per band. DOCSIS speeds up to 343 Mbps
  • Two-in-one DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem + N600 WiFi Router

The second SURFboard on our list is the SBG65820. One look at its max download speed will show why it ranked below the other. But 343Mbps max is not bad, by any means, especially not for a unit in the neighborhood of $80.

Like the other, it is compatible with more ISPs than not – with only Verizon, AT&T and CenturyLink users left out. But it’s easy to switch, and some may consider it given this device is a two-in-one unit that doubles as an N600 Wi-Fi router.

There’s also eight download and four upload channels – meaning this unit can be great for a house full or an office full of users.

Finally, it is built with 4 separate gigabit ethernet ports and is perfect for locations around 2,500 square feet. A great unit that easily earns a spot in the top five.

Not as robust as the other SURFboard but offering a bit more in the way of total connection options this unit is one of the best Arris modems on the market.

Arris TM722G Telephony Cable Modem - DOCSIS 3.0
  • Compatible with Comcast Internet & Phone Service (and Major US Cable Providers)
  • Download speeds up to 343 Mbps
  • Flexible 4x4 upstream / downstream channel-bonding with superior throughput

Designed for compatibility with major US cable provider Comcast’s internet and phone service, this unit also boasts download speeds of 343Mbps like the model above.

It offers 4x4 channel bonding and meets DOCSIS 3.0 specifications. It is also backwards compatible with DOCSIS 2.0, 1.1, and 1.0. With unlimited long distance calling nationwide plus standard local calling options, this unit is one that can pay for itself depending on what features a buyer is looking to save on.

With high speeds capable of competing with popular competitors, the TM722G excels in most areas, all for a price that can stay below $50 if you’re a smart shopper.

The idea of telephone and internet connectivity options is important to remember – because the two are inseparable, or at least close enough related that there is some technological overlap. Arris shows here how the technologies can be bundled with value in mind.

It’s a very cost-efficient model that excels in the unique area of telephonic connectivity. And with solid internet speeds all around coupled with great backwards compatibility options, it’s a cheap all-purpose solution.

ARRIS Surfboard (24x8) DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem Plus AC1750 Dual Band...
  • 3 products in 1: 8x4 DOCSIS 3. 0 cable Modem + AC1750 Wi-Fi router + Xfinity telephony
  • Approved for use with Comcast Affinity internet & voice service with rdk-b technology to support next-gen products and services
  • Does not support Xfinity home security or home control service without also having an Xfinity home router from Comcast that only Comcast can provide; not approved on any other cable internet Providers

By far the priciest model on our list, this unit retails for over $200. But its features are better than anything mentioned thus far, too.

It’s a great unit if you’re looking to spend a little extra to get a more capable piece of hardware for faster connection speeds. With a whopping 1Gbps download speed cap, this unit is built for the fastest services offered by modern ISPs.

Built for Comcast Xfinity Internet & Voice Service, it is perfect for businesses or work-from-home professionals who need top speeds because time is always a factor. It features 24 download and 8 upload channels for more connectivity options, plus two telephone ports for Xfinity Voice devices, and RDK-B technology to support budding devices.

It’s built for speed, versatility, and the future – you can feel comfortable investing in this equipment.

The only reason this model doesn’t rank a bit higher is that of the price. It’s made for big needs, but it is still robust enough on its own merits to land on our list.

Arris WBM760A Touchstone DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem
  • WBM760A DOCSIS 3.0 compliant
  • IPv4 or IPv6 addressing modes for DOCSIS CM layer
  • Two-way high speed IP services that enable higher bandwidth for interactive services

This touchstone model is DOCSIS 3.0 compliant and offers IPv4 and IPv6 addressing modes. That includes two-way speedy internet service capabilities.

At only around $50 new and sometimes available for half as much used, it is easy to see the biggest perk of this unit is the price. When you’re looking to save money on an Arris modem, you may find this unit at the top of most suggestion lists.

We put it closer to the bottom because it doesn’t have the features of the others. But it does stack up to other low-cost modems from other brands, making it a great choice to round out our top seven.

The unit is great for what it offers – solid connection capabilities, a simple and attractive design, but best of all, value for your dollar.

Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Right Modem

Product

Details

Rating

Price

Arris SURFboard SB6183

Max. Download Speed
686 Mbps

Max. Upload Speed
131 Mbps

Compatibility
Comcast Xfinity
Cox
Time Warner
Charter
Brighthouse

Connectivity
Gigabit Ethernet
IPv4, IPv6

Warranty
2 Years

Arris Touchstone TM822G

Connectivity
IPv4, IPv6
Base-T 10/100/1000 ethernet

Compatibility
DOCSIS 1.0, 1.1, 2.9
PacketCable 1.0, 1.5

Arris CM820A

Build
MoCA® immunity filter

Tuners
2 x 96MHz wide RF

Downstream Channels
Up to 16GHz

Arris SURFboard SBG6580-2 8x4

Max. Download Speed
343 Mbps

Compatibility
Comcast Xfinity
Time Warner Cable
Charter
Cox
Cablevision

Channels
4x8 upstream/downstream

Connectivity
4 Gigabit Ethernet ports

Arris TM722G Telephony Modem

Compatibility
Comcast
DOCSIS 1.0, 1.1, 2.0, 3.0

Max. Download Speed
343 Mbps

Channels
4x4 upstream/downstream

Arris SURFboard SVG2482AC 24x8

Max. Download Speed
1 Gbps

Compatibility
Comcast Xfinity Internet & Voice Service

Channels
8x24 upstream/downstream

Connectivity
2 telephone ports for Xfinity Voice devices
RDK-B technology

Arris WBM760A

Connectivity
IPv4, IPv6
DOCSIS CM 3.0

Capability
Two-way high-speed internet service

Channels
4x4 upstream/downstream

When you’re browsing Arris modems, how do you decide which is the best fit for your money? To be sure, you need to know exactly what you’re looking to find.

Do you need something that takes up less space or costs less money? Or are you focused on finding a device that offers higher connection speeds and more connectivity options? Arris modems run the spectrum, offering combinations of features and value for buyers of all budgets.

Any unit on this list is a good option, as are many others in the Arris product line. No matter what type of modem you need or what you’re looking to spend, Arris modems are a popular choice for good reason.

Can I Run It? – How Accurate is This Tester and is It Reliable

can i run it

Isn’t that the newest game in your favorite series? Look at those graphics – you’d love to be staring at that on your own monitor, huh?

But there’s just one question you have to ask yourself before you click the buy button or hand your money over to the cashier at GameStop – can you run the game on your rig?

Can I run it? That’s a question countless gamers have asked themselves over the years. The PC elite has gone to great lengths to differentiate their experience from that of console gamers. And while some say an extra pixel here or an added shadow there doesn’t make much of a difference, PC gamers often think differently.

They know their rigs have the capacity to be more capable than consoles – but we also know that not all PCs are equal. There is a thriving hardware market out there because some parts are simply better than others. And there’s also debate about whether some combinations work better than others.

Knowing whether or not you can run a game is very important before you commit to a purchase. But how can you tell?

Determining Your Rig’s Capabilities with Specialized Tools

a boy playing computer game

As the PC community has grown, benchmarking tools have become just as popular as games themselves to a degree. There’s a badge of honor associated with knowing that your rig can play the newest and hottest titles – even if you haven’t bought them yet.

There’s also something to be said for looking ahead and being a smart shopper. Sure, snagging a game that’s available for a great deal can be irresistible if you’re thinking about buying a rig soon. But for most shoppers who buy games at regular prices, it is imperative they know they can play the game with ease upon completing their purchase.

The question of “can I run it?” has become an ongoing, echoed sentiment within the PC community, so much so it has spawned numerous tools created to answer that question. The prevailing one is Game Debate’s offering, though there are also others that work just as well.

game debate

These systems work through a simple database – they have all (or most) major hardware selections inputted into drop-down style options menus. You select your rig’s central processing unit (CPU) and graphics processing unit (GPU), then select a game, and the program will tell you whether or not you have the specs to run it.

But we’re talking about spending $40, $50, or $60 on a game – does it really bode well for you to trust a service like this? Or, for the sake of argument, let’s put the stakes even higher. What if you’re considering building a rig based off the games you want to play for it. Should you base your buying choices on results you get from one of these sites?

Let’s go over how these sites make their determinations and how accurate those determinations are. To be fully accurate ourselves in this guide, we’ll also discuss any possible exceptions to our findings.

How Do Popular Benchmark Sites Make Their Determinations?

minecraft

Contrary to what some people believe, benchmarking sites don’t use complex self-created algorithms to measure gaming performance. Can I Run It and other platforms like it usually go off one source of information – the performance requirements as listed by the game developers themselves.

This is done for multiple reasons – first, it is done to avoid liability on the part of the sites themselves. Going back to the question about how game buyers or PC builders could trust a site and be misled of their money, this ensures the site isn’t to blame.

But it’s also simply because no one knows better about what a game needs to run than the people who made it. Why? They understand the engine, the rendering distance, the character models, and all the other complexities going on within the game’s design.

This “under the hood” perspective makes it easy for them to know which components are best to run it. As game programmers, they’re also required to report to testers in some cases. Said testers need to have the right hardware as well, so there is a chance most of their determinations are accurate.

So, in that regard, sites like Can I Run It are fairly accurate, at least according to the game developers’ recommendations. But the word recommendations may sound familiar to some people, and for good reason.

Minimum vs. Recommended Settings: Are They Really Accurate?

If you’re a gamer who plays on PC, chances are you’ve probably checked out a site like Can I Run It or at least looked at the specs section on gaming platforms like Steam. How many times have you seen something like this:

Minimum Specs

Recommended Specs

Decent dual-core processor, 2010-2015 era graphics card, 2GB of RAM.

Hexacore processor, 2018-2023 era graphics card, 16GB of RAM

That’s a big leap – and while our example may be a bit of an exaggeration, there’s no doubt that sometimes the recommended specs can make people scratch their head. For example, games are only now getting to the point that they make use of more than two cores.

Yet for years and years, games have had quad-core displayed proudly in their recommend-settings section. Why is that? For some people, it’s a conspiracy – it’s a matter of the company trying to boost sales of other tech giants in hopes they’ll do the same. For others, it’s a matter of gaming developers considering other game-related activities.

What could these other activities include? They involve things like streaming or recording gameplay segments, taking screenshots, voice chat during multiplayer, and multi-tabbing to look up cheats or guides. But for accuracy’s sake, does this really matter?

In terms of knowing how much you need to run a game, much of the time you need to look for something that’s comfortably above the minimum requirements – though you may not always need what is listed under the recommended section to get full value for your dollar.

Are Some Effects More Fluff Than Flare?

tomb raider

For some gamers, the logic behind choosing their settings is simple – if they can turn a setting on and still get a smooth frame rate, their mind is already made up.

But some settings are known as performance killers. For example, microscopic anti-aliasing (MSAA) is a performance anchor that can only provide real benefits in select games and on certain types of monitors. Likewise, some shader effects don’t add much to the visuals despite making your system use every available resource.

It is possible to have an HD resolution (720p or above) with 60 frames per second on high settings – without turning on all shading and texture effects. If you go by Can I Run It, you’ll find that most of your results will be accurate. And if you tweak a setting here or there, you can still get a great looking result on most games your rig is built for.

There are a few games out there that simply melt PCs – that’s their purpose in many regards, and they’re sometimes viewed more as a symbol of bragging rights rather than a work of art to be marveled over.

But aside from these rare exceptions, are there any other issues you should know about before trusting a benchmarking site?

Beware of the Bottleneck: A Silent Performance Killer

When you talk about things that kill performance, a few culprits come to mind. Background tasks, outdated drivers, and faulty hardware all come to mind.


But sometimes your hardware is fine – it just isn’t built to work with other parts in your system. If either your CPU or GPU is notably more powerful than the other, the stronger of the two could be bogged down and held back. This limiting of potential output is known as bottlenecking.


The easiest way to avoid this is to try to keep your components around the same range, according to features and to a lesser extent cost. Sometimes you can find a killer deal on one part, meaning the cheaper one may not always be much weaker than the hardware it’d be installed alongside.


However, keeping your parts close in terms of performance can help you avoid bottlenecking, which in turn gives you the most performance for your money.

Conclusions: Should You Trust Gaming Benchmark Sites?

Games are just like any other application – they take up a specific level of resources, a lack of which makes them impossible to run properly.

You’ll get the same answers from most benchmark sites as you would from reaching out to the gaming companies themselves. And so long as you don’t feel the need to meet every max requirement, and so long as you’re aware of common exceptions to the rules of PC gaming, you should be fine trusting Can I Run It or any platform like it.

Gaming benchmark sites are a nice convenience to have. Not only can you tell if you can run a game, but you can even get an idea of how much better it could be run if you upgraded to other components. For gamers, this part is sometimes as fun as the gaming itself!

Western Digital Hard Drives – The Best Ones in the Market Today

Western Digital Hard Drives

Users who love their multimedia files like videos, music, and photos can use all the storage space that they can get.

Thus, it’s important to invest in good, dependable hard drives. We’re referring to the ones that will provide you with ample storage space, good speeds, and a price that makes sense. With that said, it’s hard to go wrong with the hard drives that Western Digital has to offer.

For this post, we’ll talk about the best Western Digital hard drives that you can find in the market.

What is Western Digital?

western digital logo

The Western Digital Corporation or WDC is a computer data storage company based in the U.S. and is one of the most prominent manufacturers of hard disk drives, side by side with its main competitor, Seagate Technology.

It’s interesting that WD was founded back in the 1970s by Alvin B. Phillips who is actually a Motorola employee. The company initially manufactured MOS test equipment before they eventually moved on to making specialty conductors.

These days, WD is mainly a manufacturer of hard drives. They also make software utility suites like the Acronis WD Edition (used to be Data Lifeguard Tools).

Best Western Digital Hard Drives

Now, we get to the good stuff!

For this list, we will be including all hard drive products of Western Digital. This means that you’ll see SATA drives, SSDs, as well as external hard drives.

Let’s get to it!

Sale
Western Digital 4TB Black My Passport Portable External Hard Drive -...
  • Auto backup with included WD Backup software
  • Password protection with hardware encryption
  • Trusted drive built with WD reliability

Capacity

Up to 4TB

File System

NTFS

Hardware Connectivity

USB 3.0

Item Dimensions

4.33 x 3.21 x 0.85 inches

Hard Disk Description

Portable

Key Features

Auto backup with included WD Backup software, Password protection with hardware encryption, USB 3.0 port; USB 2.0 compatible

The WD 4TB Black My Passport is what most people want from their external hard drive.

This 4TB drive is housed inside a 15mm-thick casing so it’s not as thin when compared to other lower capacity units. The drive is approximately 4.25 inches long, 3.1 inches wide, and weighs about 8 ounces. As far as portability goes, this portable drive just gets the job done. The drive is also available in a variety of hues such as black, orange, blue, yellow, black-gray, and white gold.

It does have a 4TB capacity, which should be more than enough to store your collection of multimedia files. If you think that 4TB is too much, the drive is also available in 1TB, 2TB, and 3TB variants for less money, of course.

The performance is fast for the most part but it does run into some bumps when transferring larger files. Overall, it’s a great, high-capacity external hard drive for a great price.

Sale
WD Blue 1TB PC Hard Drive - 7200 RPM Class, SATA 6 Gb/s, 64 MB Cache,...
  • Reliable everyday computing
  • WD quality and reliability
  • Free Acronis True Image WD Edition cloning software

Capacity

Up to 4TB

File System

NTFS

Hardware Connectivity

SATA 6.0 Gb/s

Item Dimensions

5.8 x 4 x 1 inches

Hard Disk Description

Desktop

Key Features

IntelliSeek, Data Lifeguard, NoTouch Ramp Load Technology, Ships in WD-certified box, SATA 6.0 Gbps, RPM: 7200 RPM, Cache: 64MB

The WD Blue SATA is perhaps the vanilla milkshake of storage devices. It’s safe, reliable, and you know exactly what you are getting.

In case you don’t know, WD designates color categories to their products. Blue means that it’s a solid and reliable device that you can use for everyday computing. Green is for energy-efficient devices but with slower performance. Black drives are high performance products.

Anyway, the WD Blue SATA is a hard drive that just works. While the performance can only be described as average, it has some pretty good features like IntelliSeek, Data Lifeguard, and the NoTouch Ramp Load Technology. The average user will likely not use these features, but this is still a storage solution that will serve you for a long time.

Best of all, this hard driver won’t cost you an arm and leg. If you’re looking for a SATA drive with good reliability and ample storage space, it’s hard to go wrong with WD Blue.

Sale
WD Blue 250GB Internal SSD - SATA III 6 Gb/s, 2.5"/7mm - WDS250G1B0A
  • Sequential read speeds of up to 545MB/s and sequential write speeds of up to 525MB/s.
  • An industry-leading 1.75M hours Mean Time To Failure (MTTF) and several error-correction technologies for lasting reliability.
  • Optimized for multitasking to simultaneously run resource-heavy applications without system slow-down.

Capacity

Up to 2TB

File System

NTFS

Hardware Connectivity

SATA 6.0 Gb/s

Item Dimensions

3.94 x 2.75 x 0.27 inches

Hard Disk Description

Internal Solid State Drive

Key Features

Sequential read speeds of up to 545MB/s, 1.75M hours Mean Time To Failure (MTTF), WD FIT Lab certification for compatibility, Optimized for multitasking

Back in 2016, a couple of months after the acquisition of SanDisk, Western Digital has released their own line of SSDs under the WD brand. The WD Blue SSD is one of the first SSDs that the company has released.

Again, this is a Blue SSD, so you can expect mainstream performance from this storage solution. As an SSD storage device, this one is optimized for multitasking along with other high-end computing tasks. It gives a respectable 545MB/s read speeds and 525MB/s write speeds.

Like the majority of Blue labeled WD products, the WD Blue SSD doesn’t exactly break new ground. When compared to the SanDisk X400, the hardware is almost identical but with re-tuned firmware. The WD Blue trades some storage capacity in favor of increased write endurance.

If you are an enthusiast or a heavy gamer, this SSD is definitely worth checking out.

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Western Digital 4TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive - USB 3.0 -...
  • USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 compatibility
  • Fast data transfers
  • Improve PC performance

Capacity

Up to 4TB

File System

NTFS

Hardware Connectivity

USB 3.0

Item Dimensions

4.4 x 3.2 x 0.82 inches

Hard Disk Description

Portable

Key Features

Fast data transfers, Massive capacity in a compact design, Downloadable free trial of WD SmartWare Pro, Plug-and-play ready for Windows PCs, Formatted NTFS for Windows 10

A few years ago, if you wanted an external hard drive with 4TB capacity, it will cost you an arm and leg. Thankfully, that’s not the case anymore. The WD 4TB Elements is yet another reliable and cheap way to expand your storage.

The WD Elements is a no-fuss solution for storing backups of all your important data. You don’t want to keep all your important files in your PC or laptop since these devices are prone to viruses and other potential threats. Having an external drive like WD Elements is a great way to safeguard your data just in things suddenly go south.

Unfortunately, this external drive doesn’t feature any backup software. However, you can always download a backup software on your own or just manually copy all the files to the drive.

This is a true portable drive that can easily fit in your pocket or backpack. Like with most WD products on this list, this is a cheap and reliable external drive that’s worth the money.

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WD Black 2TB Performance Desktop Hard Disk Drive - 7200 RPM SATA 6...
  • Next-generation desktop performance hard drive designed to intensify your PC experience
  • Performance storage available in up to 6TB capacities
  • 2X DRAM cache up to 256 MB for faster read operations

Capacity

Up to 6TB

File System

NTFS

Hardware Connectivity

SATA 6.0 Gb/s

Item Dimensions

5.8 x 4 x 1 in

Hard Disk Description

Desktop Hard Drive

Key Features

Dual Core Processor, High Resolution Controller (HRC), StableTrac Technology, Improved Data Protection, 2 TB capacity

Power users and enthusiasts will have a lot to like about the WD Black 2TB.

These days, SATA hard drives are now notoriously slow when compared to SSDs. However, the  WD Black might just change a few minds.

The WD Black series promises fast HDD speeds with a low price/gigabyte ratio. This 2TB hard drive runs on 7200RPM and 64MB cache. Based on our tests, the WD Black delivers in terms of performance.

In some cases, the drive runs even faster than the marketed speeds, which is nothing short of impressive. We’ve tested the drive with games and as expected, we experienced shorter loading times. It’s not SSD-fast, but it’s getting there. If you can get the 128MB model, then we can only assume that you’ll get even faster speeds.

For such a high-performance and high capacity storage, the price is just a little bit below $120. That’s a great value if I’ve ever seen one.

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WD 8TB My Cloud EX2 Ultra Network Attached Storage - NAS -...
  • Centralized network storage and access from anywhere with computers or mobile devices
  • High-performance 1.3 GHz dual-core processor and 1GB memory for seamless media streaming and ultra-fast file transfers
  • Milestone Arcus Surveillance software with unlimited camera licenses

Capacity

Up to 20TB

File System

Proprietary file system

Hardware Connectivity

Ethernet

Item Dimensions

5.8 x 4 x 1 in

Hard Disk Description

Network Attached Storage (NAS)

Key Features

Centralized network storage, High-performance 1.3 GHz dual-core processor, 1GB memory for seamless media streaming and ultra-fast file transfers, Multiple RAID configurations, Automatic file synching, Volume encryption and password protection

The WD 8TB My Cloud EX2 is one of the more popular products by WD in its My Cloud series of NAS servers.

Setting up the My Cloud EX2 is about as simple as it gets. Just plug the NAS into your network and enable it. Then, you just need to visit the MyCloud setup website to find the network. The setup application will just walk you through the rest of the steps like setting up your passwords and accounts.

The WD My Cloud EX2 displayed some pretty fast transfer speeds. However, the mobile app leaves a lot to be desired. The software only supports a limited number of file formats and has no search function whatsoever.

The price is also quite reasonable for a NAS device. However, you might want to consider getting the higher capacity depending on your needs and how many people will use it. Even an 8TB NAS will fill up pretty fast.

With that said, the My Cloud EX2 is great for households of 5-10 persons or a small office.

Sale
WD 500GB My Passport Wireless SSD External Portable Drive - WiFi USB...
  • Built-in SD card reader with one-touch copy button
  • Durable, shock-resistant SSD inside
  • All-day battery (up to 10 hours)* |*Based on streaming HD 720p, 3 Mbps video to one device over Wi-Fi 2.4 GHz single band only. Actual battery life depends on file size, type, format, bitrate, devices connected, Wi-Fi connectivity, settings and other factors.

Capacity

Up to 2TB

File System

N/A

Hardware Connectivity

USB 3.0

Item Dimensions

5.31 x 5.31 x 1.18 in

Hard Disk Description

Wireless SSD

Key Features

Built-in SD card reader with one-touch copy button, Durable, shock-resistant, up to 10 hours of battery life, My Cloud mobile app

The WD 500GB My Passport Wireless SSD is catered towards the photo-savvy users.

Nowadays, smartphones are capable of taking stunning video and images. So if your life is worth being documented by each and every moment, you’ll find yourself running out of storage space. This is where a wireless SSD device can come in handy.

The My Passport Wireless SSD can be used to wirelessly transfer files from your phone to the SSD, for backup purposes. Since it’s an SSD instead of a spinning drive, file transfer speeds will be very fast. It also sports a compact and rugged design so you can take it with you everywhere.

Another thing that we like about this wireless SSD is the My Cloud app, which you can download from your mobile device. It can be confusing to set up and use the app at first but once you get it down, you’ll be wirelessly transferring files in no time. You can use the app to view all the files that are stored in the SSD, which is pretty great.

The only downside is that the wired connection is just limited to USB 3.0, which is not as fast as the Thunderbolt 3. Despite that, you can be 100% confident that your files will be backed up.

Product

Details

Rating

Price

WD 4TB Black My Passport

Capacity
Up to 4TB

File System
NTFS

Hardware Connectivity
USB 3.0

Item Dimensions
4.33 x 3.21 x 0.85 inches

Hard Disk Description
Portable

Key Features
Auto backup with included WD Backup software, Password protection with hardware encryption, USB 3.0 port; USB 2.0 compatible

4.1 out of 5.0

WD Blue SATA

Capacity
Up to 4TB

File System
NTFS

Hardware Connectivity
SATA 6.0 Gb/s

Item Dimensions
5.8 x 4 x 1 inches

Hard Disk Description
Desktop

Key Features
IntelliSeek, Data Lifeguard, NoTouch Ramp Load Technology, Ships in WD-certified box, SATA 6.0 Gbps, RPM: 7200 RPM, Cache: 64MB

4.4 out of 5.0

WD Blue SSD

Capacity
Up to 2TB

File System
NTFS

Hardware Connectivity
SATA 6.0 Gb/s

Item Dimensions
3.94 x 2.75 x 0.27 inches

Hard Disk Description
Internal Solid State Drive

Key Features
Sequential read speeds of up to 545MB/s, 1.75M hours Mean Time To Failure (MTTF), WD FIT Lab certification for compatibility, Optimized for multitasking

4.5 out of 5.0

WD 4TB Elements

Capacity
Up to 4TB

File System
NTFS

Hardware Connectivity
USB 3.0

Item Dimensions
4.4 x 3.2 x 0.82 inches

Hard Disk Description
Portable

Key Features
Fast data transfers, Massive capacity in a compact design, Downloadable free trial of WD SmartWare Pro, Plug-and-play ready for Windows PCs, Formatted NTFS for Windows 10

4.2 out of 5.0

WD Black 2TB

Capacity
Up to 6TB

File System
NTFS

Hardware Connectivity
SATA 6.0 Gb/s

Item Dimensions
5.8 x 4 x 1 inches

Hard Disk Description
Desktop Hard Drive

Key Features
Dual Core Processor, High Resolution Controller (HRC), StableTrac Technology, Improved Data Protection, 2 TB capacity

4.4 out of 5.0

 WD 8TB My Cloud EX2

Capacity
Up to 20TB

File System
Proprietary file system

Hardware Connectivity
Ethernet

Item Dimensions
5.8 x 4 x 1 inches

Hard Disk Description
Network Attached Storage (NAS)

Key Features
Centralized network storage, High-performance 1.3 GHz dual-core processor, 1GB memory for seamless media streaming and ultra-fast file transfers, Multiple RAID configurations, Automatic file synching, Volume encryption and password protection

3.7 out of 5.0

WD 500GB My Passport Wireless SSD

Capacity
​Up to 2TB

File System
​N/A


Hardware Connectivity
USB 3.0

Item Dimensions
5.31 x 5.31 x 1.18 inches

Hard Disk Description
Wireless SSD

Key Features
Built-in SD card reader with one-touch copy button, Durable, shock-resistant, up to 10 hours of battery life, My Cloud mobile app

4.0 out of 5.0

Final Thoughts

So this concludes our list of the best Western Digital hard drives that you can find in the wild.

While making the list, we tried to cover every type of storage devices as well as consider many different needs. Of course, the budget also comes into play here. Hopefully, we have helped you find the right Western Digital hard drives that will properly cater to your needs.

Overall, I really love the WD 4TB Black My Passport and WD Black 2TB. Both devices are solid, reliable, and boasts good performance. Both of these devices pretty much meet all of my needs as a power user.

So what’s your favorite WD storage device out of the list? Do you have a particular favorite that we didn’t list above? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Gamecube Controller Alternatives – The Top 7 Replacements in the Market

gamecube controller

When looking back to old-generation video game consoles, the Nintendo GameCube always ends up as the butt of jokes.

The “hardcore” gamers deemed it as a console for children due to its library of immature first-party games (Mario, Zelda, Animal Crossing, Pikmin). On top of that, the colorful console and controllers don’t really help dispel that notion.

Well, those people have missed out.

The GameCube is a severely underrated console that is home to some of the best games of all time like Super Mario Sunshine, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Super Smash Bros: Melee, Metroid Prime, and more.

So for today, we honor the GameCube by listing some of the best GameCube controller replacements that you can buy today.

Why Get a GameCube Controller?

The GameCube had one of the most unique game controllers in history. So why exactly do people like the GameCube controller? Here are the reasons why:

  • Comfort
  • Buttons
  • Responsive input

Many people love the controller for GameCube due to its ergonomic design. Players love the comfort and fit of the controller, and it just feels right. The size is not too big and not too small. When holding the controller, your hands are not too close or too stretched apart.

Long gaming sessions become more bearable if you’re playing with such an ergonomic controller.

Why Use Replacement GameCube Controllers?

Well, the GameCube was released back in 2002 and it’s an old console now. If you want to use the original controller, there’s a good chance that you will have to pay a pretty penny for a used one.


It’s a good thing that there are many replacement controllers that you can easily buy these days. They’re not the original peripheral that’s made by Nintendo, but many of them work very well. On top of that, you can use these controllers not just for the GameCube but also for other home consoles (such as the latest Nintendo Switch) and PCs as well.


This is a great thing if you are a big fan of these controllers.

Best Replacement GameCube Controllers

Below, we have listed the best replacement controllers in case yours just gave up or you just want to use it for playing in a PC or another console.

1. Gamecube Controller, 2 Packs Classic Wired

 

Gamecube Controller, 2 Packs Classic Wired Controllers Compatible with...
  • Designed to Load, save, copy and delete GameCube games on the Nintendo Wii or GameCube that you worked so hard to achieve
  • Third Party Product and is not manufactured by Nintendo.But Compatible with the Nintendo Wii and Nintendo Gamecube.
  • Dual Analog joysticks,Fully analog pressure sensitive action buttons & D-Pad,Same great fluent features as the original Nintendo GameCube controller.

Dimensions

5.51 x 4.13 x 2.28 inches

Weight

11.5 ounces

Connection Interface

Wired

Key Features

Left & Right Analog Trigger, Fully compatible with all systems, Fully analog pressure-sensitive action buttons & D-Pad, No external power required

Now, let’s start with an aftermarket controller that offers great value.

As you can see from the price, the Huele GameCube Controller is only available for about $15, and this is for a 2-pack. Two controllers for under $20? There must be some sort of catch, right? Well, this Huele controller works perfectly and it’s a proper plug-and-play peripheral.

It’s a wired controller, so you will have to be closer to your TV or monitor to play. The length of the wire is 5.9 feet, which should be good enough for playing on the couch comfortably. For such a cheap pair of controllers, you’d think that there will be some issues with durability but that’s not the case. However, we experienced an issue where it did not work at first but it was shortly resolved.

This controller should last you a long while and it’s one of the cheapest 2-packs that you can find on Amazon.

Gamecube Controller Compatible with Nintendo Gamecube Black
  • The controller is Compatible with Nintendo Gamecube and Wii
  • Great Replacement Game Controller
  • Feels Just Like the Original Nintendo Controller

Dimensions

5.51 x 4.13 x 2.28 inches

Weight

7.4 ounces

Connection Interface

Wired

Key Features

2 analog thumb stick, 8 completely analog action buttons, 4 fire action buttons,1 shoulder buttons, No external power required

Here’s another budget-friendly replacement controller for GameCube. The Cipon Controller for GameCube stands out because it looks and feels like the original Nintendo controller.

This controller feels great during gameplay, especially when you’re playing games like Smash Melee. Comfort is also on-point as your hands won’t feel too tired even after a long gaming marathon. The buttons all feel clicky and tactile, which is always a plus. However, the A button can be a little noisy and perhaps too clicky.

The controller is also a plug-and-play device, so there’s no need to set up anything. Build quality is also on-point despite being an entry-level controller. However, we wish that the wire was a little bit longer.

As far as third party controllers go, this one is very solid and should last you quite a while as well.

Reiso 1 Pack NGC Controller Classic Wired Controller for Wii...
  • High Quality - Third party product, not manufactured by Nintendo. But is compatible with all versions of Wii/GameCube consoles. Works exactly the same as the Nintendo Gamecube controller!
  • Super Comfort - Dual Analog joysticks, Fully analog pressure sensitive action buttons & D-Pad, Convenient to hold and operate. The handle and support parts facilitate comfort even during long hours of game play.
  • High Performance - Many Super Smash Bros fans grew up playing Super Smash Bros. Melee for the Nintendo GameCube system, and they will always prefer that system's controller.

Dimensions

5.51 x 4.13 x 2.28 inches

Weight

8.5 ounces

Connection Interface

Wired

Key Features

High Quality, Fully analog pressure-sensitive action buttons & D-Pad, 2 analog thumb stick, No external power required

The Reiso GameCube Controller is a great-looking gamepad that works for both the Wii and GameCube.

For starters, it’s worth mentioning that this Reiso product is available in 17 different colors. Some of the variants are transparent, which is quite great. As you might have noticed, this controller is a bit more expensive than the previous ones we’ve featured, but for a good reason.

The Reiso controller is a quality replacement if you’re looking for a good gamepad for playing Smash Melee. Most of the buttons have a textured feel, but it’s not really that bad. The buttons, including the triggers, are also quite clicky. The rumble also works as intended.

This is also a fairly durable controller and features a solid build quality. As mentioned, the controller can also be used for the Wii. Reiso really did a good job with this replacement controller.

Sale
Wavebird Style Wireless Controller compatible for Gamecube Nintendo...
  • High Quality Wireless Controller - Specifically designed for Nintendo GameCube. It uses RF signals and works effectively up to a distance of 10 m. No straight alignment of the controller with the receiver is required. Works effectively from anywhere in the room, even from behind the curtains or covers.
  • Automatic As Well As Manual Shooting Functionality - The external round bracket cross key is useful for certain trending games viz. live football, fight games, arcade etc. The ergonomic game handle is also very useful.
  • Energy efficient - Only two AA batteries are required to operate it, and a battery set runs up to 100 hours of game-play. It has 16 channel frequencies. Thus, you can easily hook up to four controllers without any obstruction

Dimensions

7.9 x 6.1 x 3 inches

Weight

7.4 ounces

Connection Interface

Wireless

Key Features

High-Quality Wireless Controller, Energy efficient, Up to 100 hours of gameplay, 16 channel frequencies, Ergonomic design

Now, we have a wireless controller for you, and it’s a pretty good one. As far as wireless controllers go, the MarioRetro Wireless Controller is one of the better ones we’ve tried.

To set up, all you need to do is plug the receivers and wait for the red lights to become bright and steady. After that, you are good to go. The Wavebird design makes the controller very comfortable even after long hours of play. The controller uses two AA batteries that will last about 100 hours, which is quite good.

However, since this is a wireless gamepad, the connection is not that stable. From time to time, the controller experiences timeouts, which can be frustrating if it happens while you’re playing. I believe this is because of the battery-saving feature.

This is also not a good controller for playing Smash since the analog is a bit touchy and clunky. I’m sure that many of you will get used to it, but it’s not ideal for the hardcore Smash fans.

Overall, this is a good wireless controller despite some issues.

5. TechKen Wireless Wii U

Sale
Wii U Pro Controller, TechKen Wireless Wii U Controller Gamepad...
  • Brand new Wii U Pro controller, wireless with bluetooth connection.
  • Smooth control and precise dual analog joysticks - it's seamless control and comfortable to hold this controller even during extended gaming sessions.
  • Easy and quick operate. Never worry hard to use.

Dimensions

5.9 x 5.7 x 2.9 inches

Weight

7.4 ounces

Connection Interface

Wired

Key Features

Compatible with Nintendo GameCube Wii, High speed, Easy to use, Free-will figure game controller

The TechKen Wii GameCube Controller is hands-down the cheapest replacement controller that we have on this list.

For around $7, it’s easy to think that it’s just a cheap controller. However, this TechKen controller is actually quite responsive and handles nicely. It feels like the original Nintendo controller. While I can’t say much about the build quality, it’s fair to say that it’s better than expected. I kind of half-expected the controller to break down after some use, but it’s still going strong so far.

Due to the quality of the actual controller, we don’t recommend using this controller outside of casual games. This means that this is not the best controller for games like Mario Kart, Smash Bros, and fighting games. It’s not because the controller might break down, but because both thumb sticks quickly become slack.

Overall, the TechKen controller is a very serviceable peripheral with an unbelievable price.

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Mayflash GameCube Controller Adapter for Wii U, PC USB and Switch, 4...
  • Switch to "Wii U" or "PC" mode by using the switch located on the side
  • The GameCube Controller Adapter allows you to connect up to four GameCube controllers (or wireless GameCube controllers) to a Wii U system, PC USB, Switch
  • Supports the built-in Vibration Feedback with no delays by plugging the two USB ports of the adapter into your Wii U system or PC USB connector ports

Dimensions

5 x 4 x 1 inches

Weight

6.4 ounces

Connection Interface

Wired

Key Features

Switch to “Wii U” or “PC” mode, connect up to four GameCube controllers, Supports the built-in Vibration Feedback

As you can see, the Mayflash GameCube Controller Adapter is not exactly a replacement controller per se, but it’s a must if you want to play the GameCube’s controller on newer home consoles like the Nintendo Switch or your PC.

This adapter works exactly as advertised, with a very good response time. It truly is a great way to give your old controllers a new life.

When you use it on PC mode, the controller is fully mappable like a normal gamepad. It’s also a huge plus that the adapter supports rumble after you install the drivers from Mayflash’s website. If you are playing on an emulator like the Dolphin, you’ll be happy to know that this adapter works with it as well.

If you are planning to use this on the Switch, keep in mind that it will not support games that have motion controls. Well, you can still play the game but you will not be able to use motion controls.

This is the best adapter for the GameCube gamepad, and I dare say it’s better than Nintendo’s official adapter.

GameCube Controller Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Edition
  • Some will always prefer that system's Controller
  • The Nintendo GameCube Controller also could be used in the Super smash Bros. Brawl for the Wii system
  • To honor that devoted loyalty to a classic way to play, this is the Super smash Bros. Ultimate Edition GameCube Controller

Dimensions

3.2 x 6.1 x 5.7 inches

Weight

14.1 ounces

Connection Interface

Wired

Key Features

Also could be used in the Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Wii system

What’s a better replacement to a GameCube controller than an official Nintendo product?

The Nintendo GameCube Controller Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Edition is simply the best controller if you’re playing Smash extensively or competitively.

As an official Nintendo peripheral, you can trust that this controller works like a charm. It’s a wired gamepad, so there’s no such thing as signal timeouts or drop-offs when using it. The build quality is also off the charts, which is important if you’re going to play a demanding game like Smash Bros.

For about $30, it’s not exactly cheap, but if you are serious about Smash, this is the best gamepad to get.

Product

Details

Rating

Price

Huele GameCube Controller (2 Pack)

Huele GameCube Controller (2 Pack)

Dimensions
5.51 x 4.13 x 2.28 inches

Weight
11.5 ounces

Connection Interface
Wired

Key Features
Left & Right Analog Trigger

Fully compatible with all systems

Fully analog pressure-sensitive action buttons & D-Pad

No external power required

3.2 out of 5.0

Cipon GameCube Controller

Cipon GameCube Controller

Dimensions
5.51 x 4.13 x 2.28 inches

Weight
7.4 ounces

Connection Interface
Wired

Key Features
2 analog thumb stick

8 completely analog action buttons

4 fire action buttons

1 shoulder buttons

No external power required

4.2 out of 5.0

Reiso GameCube Controller

Dimensions
5.51 x 4.13 x 2.28 inches

Weight
8.5 ounces

Connection Interface
Wired

Key Features
High Quality

Fully analog pressure-sensitive action buttons & D-Pad

2 analog thumb stick

No external power required

4.0 out of 5.0

 MarioRetro Wireless Controller

MarioRetro Wireless Controller

Dimensions
7.9 x 6.1 x 3 inches

Weight
7.4 ounces

Connection Interface
Wireless

Key Features
High-Quality Wireless Controller

Energy efficient

Up to 100 hours of gameplay

16 channel frequencies

Ergonomic design

3.7 out of 5.0

TechKen Wii GameCube Controller

TechKen Wii GameCube Controller

Dimensions
5.9 x 5.7 x 2.9 inches

Weight
7.4 ounces

Connection Interface
Wired

Key Features
Compatible with Nintendo GameCube Wii

High speed

Easy to use

Free-will figure game controller

3.7 out of 5.0

Mayflash GameCube Controller Adapter

Dimensions
5 x 4 x 1 inches


Weight
6.4 ounces

Connection Interface
Wired

Key Features
Switch to “Wii U” or “PC” mode

Connect up to four GameCube controllers

Supports the built-in Vibration Feedback

4.4 out of 5.0

Nintendo GameCube Controller Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Edition

Dimensions
3.2 x 6.1 x 5.7 inches


Weight
14.1 ounces

Connection Interface
Wired

Key Features
Also could be used in the Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Wii system

3.8 out of 5.0

Final Thoughts

There you have it, some of the best replacement GameCube controllers that you can find online.

For the most part, we recommend getting the official Nintendo controller for playing the GameCube. However, if budget is an issue, we have got you covered as well. Regardless of your choice, you can’t go wrong with these recommendations.

So what’s your favorite controller to use when playing GameCube games? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section!