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iPadOS 15: Widgets, App Library, better multitasking, and more

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Windows 11 is free, but your CPU might not be supported

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Windows 11 is arriving later this year as a free upgrade for Windows 10 users, but many are discovering that their hardware isn’t compatible. Microsoft has altered its minimum hardware requirements, and it’s the CPU changes that are most surprising here. Windows 11 will only support 8th Gen and newer Intel Core processors, alongside Apollo Lake and newer Pentium and Celeron processors.

That immediately rules out millions of existing Windows 10 devices from upgrading to Windows 11, and even devices like Microsoft’s own Surface Studio 2 which the company is still selling right now for $3,499.

Windows 11 will also only support AMD Ryzen 2000 and newer processors, and 2nd Gen or newer EPYC chips. You can find the full list of supported processors on Microsoft’s site, but here’s the basic breakdown:

Windows 11 support for Intel

  • Intel 8th Gen (Coffee Lake)
  • Intel 9th Gen (Coffee Lake Refresh)
  • Intel 10th Gen (Comet Lake)
  • Intel 10th Gen (Ice Lake)
  • Intel 11th Gen (Rocket Lake)
  • Intel 11th Gen (Tiger Lake)
  • Intel Xeon Skylake-SP
  • Intel Xeon Cascade Lake-SP
  • Intel Xeon Cooper Lake-SP
  • Intel Xeon Ice Lake-SP

Windows 11 support for AMD

  • AMD Ryzen 2000
  • AMD Ryzen 3000
  • AMD Ryzen 3000
  • AMD Ryzen 4000
  • AMD Ryzen 5000
  • AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2000
  • AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3000
  • AMD Ryzen Threadripper Pro 3000
  • AMD EPYC 2nd Gen
  • AMD EPYC 3rd Gen

Many Windows 10 users have been downloading Microsoft’s PC Health App (available here) to see whether Windows 11 works on their systems, only to find it fails the check. As Microsoft now requires a TPM (Trusted Platform Module), this has led to some additional confusion around hardware support.

Windows 11 will require a TPM capable of 2.0 support, and UEFI Secure Boot. Both of these technologies are designed to improve the security of Windows, and prevent malware and ransomware from tampering with encryption keys and other secure elements of the operating system.

While Microsoft has required TPM support for OEM hardware certification since Windows 10, it hasn’t actively required Windows to have this fully enabled. That’s changing in Windows 11, and it means if your laptop or PC shipped without these BIOS options enabled then you’re going to have to go searching for a setting to switch on.

Windows 11 has new hardware requirements.

“Almost every CPU in the last 5-7 years has a TPM,” explains David Weston, director of enterprise and OS security at Microsoft. Weston is recommending that Windows 10 users failing Microsoft’s Windows 11 upgrade checker requirements should ensure BIOS options for “PTT” on Intel systems are enabled, or “PSP fTPM” on AMD devices. As every BIOS has different settings, you might need to refer to your laptop’s manual if you’re struggling to find the option.

If you’ve enabled TPM support but you’re still not passing the Windows 11 upgrade checker, it’s likely because your CPU isn’t supported. Intel has confirmed Microsoft’s Windows 11 CPU requirements. “A broad range of Intel-based platforms are expected to support Windows 11: 8th Gen and newer Intel Core processors, as well as Intel Pentium processors and Intel Celeron processors from the ‘Apollo Lake’ generation and newer,” says an Intel spokesperson in a statement to The Verge.

This is the first significant shift in Windows hardware requirements since the release of Windows 8 back in 2012, and the CPU changes are understandably catching people by surprise. Microsoft is also requiring a front-facing camera for all Windows 11 devices except desktop PCs from January 2023 onwards. It’s another change that will shape the hardware that Windows 11 will run on in the coming years.


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3 dead, hundreds injured by rare tornado in Czech Republic

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A rare tornado has torn through southeastern Czech Republic, killing at least three people and injuring hundreds of others

PRAGUE — A rare tornado tore through southeastern Czech Republic, killing at least three people and injuring hundreds, rescue services said on Friday.

The tornado formed late Thursday as strong thunderstorms hit the entire country. Seven towns and villages have been badly damaged, with entire buildings turned into ruins and cars overturned. Over 120,000 households were without electricity.

They were using drones and helicopters to search the rubble.

The regional rescue service said at least three people have died.

“It’s a huge tragedy,” Prime Minister Andrej Babis said. Babis was in Brussels to attend an EU summit and was planning to visit the damage-hit region on Friday.

Marek Babisz, deputy mayor of Hrusky, told Czech public radio half of his town was almost completely destroyed.

“The church is without the tower, the elementary school has no roof and insulation any more, only walls remained from what were houses. There’re injured, it’s really terrible.”

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Steam Summer Sale: 10 discounted PC games to buy now

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Amazon Prime Day is out, Steam’s annual Summer Sale is very much in. There are tons of PC games with huge discounts on the Steam store at the moment, such that the store has a choose-your-own-adventure style menu to help you browse through them all. It’s worth taking time out to explore it all, especially if you’re into indie games. 

To help get you going, we’ve picked out 10 fantastic games that are discounted on Steam. This include brand-new titles like Mass Effect Legendary Edition as well as games that are slightly older but still great. 

Steam Summer Sale lasts until July 8th, and we’ll update this post as new titles are added or new gems unearthed. 

Valve

Half-Life: Alyx isn’t just a new Half-Life game — which is like purified air at this point — it’s also the best reason to invest in VR yet. A fully-fledged AAA developed from the ground up for virtual reality platforms is exciting, especially when it comes with a pedigree like Half-Life. 

BioWare

Mass Effect Legendary Edition is just over a month old, yet here it is in Steam’s Summer Sale. It’s $10 off, a 17% reduction, at $49. That’s some amazing bang for your buck when you consider the hours and hours and hours (and hours) of content here, which includes the three main Mass Effect games plus all their DLC content. 

Supergiant Games

Hades won many Game of the Year Awards in 2020, and now is a fabulous time to see why. It’s a stylish game in every sense, from the art to the combat, and includes many memorable characters. It’s absolutely worth playing — especially for just $17.50. 

EA

Battlefield V is the most recent game in the storied franchise, launching back in 2018. It’s gotten a bunch of expansions and DLC content, which is all included in the Definitive Edition. It’s massively discounted, at just $12.50, and will serve as good target practice ahead of Battlefield 2042. 

Capcom

Video game remakes are very hot right now, and Resident Evil 2 is arguably the best one yet. It’s a faithful remake of the PlayStation 1 original (unlike Final Fantasy 7 Remake, which is more of a reimagining), and it’s a fantastic one. Racoon City is horrifying, but worth a visit — especially at $16. 

Square Enix

Final Fantasy was a console exclusive for many years, so many PC diehards probably missed out. If you’re curious about the franchise and looking for an in, Final Fantasy X is as good a place as any. The remastered combo of X and X-2 are 50% off.

Microsoft Studios

Forza Horizon 4 is on Xbox Game Pass, so you should play it through that service if you haven’t already. If you’re not into subscriptions though, the excellent open-world racer is 50% off right now. 

Giant Sparrow

What Remains of Edith Finch is a narrative-based game that you can breeze through in about three hours. It explores the traumas experienced by the Finch family and the story of its eponymous character through a series of minigames. That may not sound too exciting — but it’s a three hours you won’t forget. 

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