In episode 238 of the No BS Podcast, we tackled a number of hot issues that include the PC release of GTA V and what it looked like in 4k using three Titan Xs. We then switched over to Linux's chicken-or-the-egg problem with proprietary software and paying customers. In addition, with Apple Watch coming out, we talk about that (we figure you might want to hear our thoughts on the subject). We also had to say farewell to Tom McNamara, who will be leaving Maximum PC at the end of the week. Alex says he's going to miss letting the air out of Tom's tires. C'est la vie. In all seriousness, we're going to miss Tom and wish him well. And, finally, as always, we take time to answer some reader questions.
Microsoft's been fairly mum when it comes to offering a release date for Windows 10, though the company has said to expect it sometime "this summer." That's only semi-helpful if you're planning a new build around Windows 10 and don't want to bother with the free upgrade. In that case, how's end of July suit you? During an earnings call last week, AMD CEO Lisa Su let slip that Windows 10 will launch in just three months.
Fractal Design rightfully assumes that there's a userbase no longer interested in optical drive bays. That's not to say everyone falls into that category, but with Valve's Steam platform dominating game sales and companies like Microsoft and Adobe moving services to the cloud, the need for an optical drive lessens by the day. So, some will find Fractal Design's decision to omit optical drive bays in its new Define S to be a good one, especially since it purportedly means a better focus on airflow and silence.
Patriot Memory on Monday fleshed out its solid state drive lineup with the introduction of the Ignite Series. The Ignite is a line of M.2 SATA SSDs that Patriot says is intended for portable devices such as ultrabooks, notebooks, and ultra-compact PCs, or mini PCs as they're also called (think along the lines of Intel's NUC and Zotac's Zbox systems). The obvious benefit here is faster boot times from a piece of hardware that's about the size of a stick of bubble gum.
Company feels its UDP-based QUIC network protocol is almost ready for prime time
Over the last quarter, Google has been busy stress-testing its QUIC (Quick UDP Internet Connections) network protocol, subjecting it to an ever increasing amount of traffic. At the moment, “roughly half of all requests from Chrome to Google servers” are being sent over QUIC. The results, the company says, are heartening and point to a tangible performance improvement over TCP.
The interplay between Chrome OS and Android is not just limited to the ongoing effort to get Android apps to work on the former. They are drawing close to each other in other respects as well, and the latest Chrome OS update, which began rolling out on Thursday, is a case in point.
Sorry spammers, you need to pay $5 per account to keep enjoying the service
With spam on Steam getting out of hand and users becoming increasingly fed up, Valve has finally stepped in. The company has tweaked the prerequisites for lifting of limits on new user accounts. As first pointed out by Reddit user “KillahInstinct”, Valve now requires that a user spend a minimum of $5 in order for the various limits on all new user accounts to be lifted.
Nvidia’s latest and greatest GPUs remain unchallenged
Advanced Micro Devices will talk about its much-awaited (and long overdue) next-gen graphics cards later in this quarter, the company’s CEO Lisa Su said in an earnings call earlier this week. This is significant because if there was ever a need for a graphics card refresh, it’s right now.
Have you used Bing lately? An increasing number of people are, and perhaps one day it will earn verb status the way Google has. In the meantime, Microsoft can celebrate snagging a 20.1 percent share of the search market as of the end of March, up from 19.8 percent at the end of February. It's also the first time that Microsoft has crossed over the 20 percent mark, according to data provided by comScore.
Building a computer isn't all that difficult. Though it may seem like a daunting proposition to anyone who's never assembled a PC before, it's really just a matter of preparation and patience. Where things tend to get a little more challenging is when you aim for a professional looking build like the boutique vendors offer. How do they do it? See for yourself -- boutique builder Origin PC is going to live stream the construction of a Millennium desktop PC later this month.