Maximum PC - All Articles en Sapphire Radeon R7 265 Dual-X Review <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u163784/sapphire_radeon_r7_265_dualx_2gb.jpg" alt="Sapphire Radeon R7 265 Dual-X" title="Sapphire Radeon R7 265 Dual-X" width="250" height="190" style="float: right;" /></p> <h3>Meet the new king of Budget GPUs</h3> <p>In the roundup of budget GPUs from the May 2014 issue, the Sapphire Radeon R7 275 is the odds-on favorite due to its impressive specs and the fact that it consumes more than twice the power of <a title="Nvidia GTX 750 Ti Benchmarks" href=",0" target="_blank">Nvidia cards. </a>Sure, it's an unfair advantage, but hate the game, not the player. This board is essentially a rebadged Radeon HD 7850, which is a Pitcairn part, and it slides right in between the $120 R7 260X and the $180ish R7 270.&nbsp;</p> <p>The R7 265 Dual-X actually has the same clock speeds as the R7 270, but features fewer streaming processors for reduced shader performance. It has the same 2GB of memory, same 925MHz boost clock, same 256-bit memory bus, and so on. Its TDP is a very high 150w, or at least it seems high given the fact that GTX 750 Ti costs the exact same $150 and is sitting at just 60w. Unlike the lower-priced R7 260X Bonaire part though, the R7 265 is older silicon and thus does not support TrueAudio and XDMA CrossFire (bridgeless CrossFire basically). It will support the Mantle API however, some day.</p> <p>The Sapphire card delivered the goods in testing, boasting top scores in many benchmarks and coming in as the only GPU in this roundup to hit the magical 60fps in any test, which was a blistering turn in Call of Duty: Ghosts where it hit 67fps at 1080p on Ultra settings. That's damn impressive, as was its ability to run at 49fps in Battlefield 4, though the GTX 750 Ti was just a few frames behind it. Overall though, this card cleaned up, taking first place in seven out of nine benchmarks. If that isn't a Kick Ass performance, we don't know what is. The Dual-X cooler also kept temps and noise in check too, making this the go-to GPU for those with small boxes or small monitors.</p> <p><strong>$160,&nbsp;</strong><a title="Sapphire Technology" href="" target="_blank"></a></p> amd computer hardware Kick-Ass Award R7 265 radeon Review sapphire Video Card Reviews Fri, 18 Apr 2014 18:12:56 +0000 Josh Norem 27662 at Three Kickstarter Alternatives In-Depth <!--paging_filter--><h3>Crowdfunding sites have made it possible to raise money for a business venture from your computer. While Kickstarter is king in this realm, there are other noteworthy alternatives. We kick the tires on three of them</h3> <p>What do Bret Easton Ellis, Ricki Lake, and Whoopi Goldberg all have in common? Believe it or not, they have all successfully launched projects through Kickstarter—the world’s largest crowdfunding site. They’re not alone, either; since the site first debuted in 2009, more than 5 million users have made donations, funding over 50,000 individual ventures that otherwise would never have seen the light of day. It is fair to say that Kickstarter has been a modern phenomenon, helping to fund a wide variety of different projects, from video games to fashion labels and even multi-million dollar feature films. It truly is an entrepreneur’s playground.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/153832911_small_0.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/153832911_small.jpg" width="620" height="413" /></a></p> <p>But while <a title="kickstarter" href="" target="_blank">Kickstarter</a> is number one for a reason, being top dog doesn’t necessary mean it’s the right choice for you. Competition is rich in the crowdfunding sector, with literally hundreds and hundreds of sites out there all vying for your attention, so you are hardly stuck for choice when it comes to alternatives.</p> <p>If you are keen to get involved with crowdfunding, either by donating and supporting projects, or by seeking financial backing for you own brilliant idea, it’s really worth your while to explore many avenues before making any commitments. Indeed, you may already have used Kickstarter and found it difficult to raise funds, and are wondering which other sites have a good track record of raising money. The problem is, there are just so many to choose from. Which ones should you consider?</p> <p>Leaving aside the specialist sites that concentrate on one particular area or industry, here at Maximum PC we have done all the hard work for you, whittling down the hundreds of Kickstarter alternatives to three main contenders: Indiegogo, Rockethub, and Fundable. Read on, to find out how they differ from Kickstarter and why they might be worthy of your attention.</p> <p>A word of caution: Unfortunately, there are no guarantees with crowdfunding that you will be able to safeguard your ideas or any investments you make. Any money you decide to commit to a project is done at your own risk.</p> <h3>Indiegogo</h3> <p><strong>Pioneering crowdfunding site boasts openness</strong></p> <p>Arguably Kickstarter’s biggest and longest running rival, <a title="indiegogo" href="" target="_blank">Indiegogo</a> started life in 2007 when Danae Ringelmann met fellow business partners Eric Schell and Slava Rubin while attending the Haas School of Business at the University of California. They shared a common goal of creating a fund-raising model that would allow people a means of raising revenue for their business ideas. They officially launched Project Keiyaku—an early version of Indiegogo that, to begin with, focused purely on funding movies—at the Sundance Film Festival in 2008.</p> <p>Since those early days, the site has changed its name to Indiegogo and diversified the projects it hosts to cover just about any venture an entrepreneur can think of. In the ensuing five years, the site has emerged as one of the perennial crowdfunding ventures, having launched over 50,000 campaigns. Indiegogo removed the middleman and helped pioneer the way for the “modern” crowdfunding solution, influencing numerous other sites, including Kickstarter itself.</p> <p>Indiegogo doesn’t just limit itself to business ventures; it covers pretty much everything—you will find just as many private causes, such as appeals to raise money for charity or helping the needy, as you will more commercially minded projects. The site prides itself in its openness; you can take part no matter what country you come from—as opposed to Kickstarter’s limits on residents of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand—and over a third of Indiegogo’s business is conducted globally, making it a truly international venture.</p> <h4>How It Works</h4> <p>Open to any industry and any idea (as long as it’s legal), Indiegogo isn’t fussy when it comes to what you can raise money for—unlike many of its rivals that impose restrictions on what type of campaigns you can run, Indiegogo is free of rules, no matter how serious or trivial your idea. You can even raise money for personal needs if so desired, although your needs would probably have to be pretty compelling to get people to part with their money.</p> <p>To get started at Indiegogo, you have to set up an account and a funding page. You then decide on a list of perks to offer users who donate, depending upon their level of investment. It’s then up to you to promote your Indiegogo page through social networking platforms in order to gain publicity.</p> <p>You keep all of the money a campaign generates until its target revenue is achieved, and there is no limit to the amount you can raise. Once your campaign has reached its goal, a charge of 4 percent is levied to Indiegogo. Should your campaign not reach its goal, then you have the choice of keeping all of the money raised thus far, but paying a 9 percent fee to Indiegogo because you didn’t reach your stated goal, or simply refunding all of the money back to your donors.</p> <h4>Benefits over Kickstarter</h4> <p>More favorable rates and a greater diversity of projects allowed on the site are the two main reasons you might opt for Indiegogo. Unlike Kickstarter, Indiegogo distributes your funds immediately when contributions are taken through a donor’s PayPal account. On the flipside, payments made by credit card are held by Indiegogo until the end of the campaign. Indiegogo’s 4 percent charge for funds (when the target is reached) also bests Kickstarter, which charges a 5 percent commission on successful campaigns. As mentioned above, you can even keep the money if your project doesn’t reach its goal, for a nominal 9 percent charge. Kickstarter users don’t have this option—if a project doesn’t reach its goal, they will receive no money at all.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/indiegogo1_small_0.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/indiegogo1_small.jpg" alt="Setting up a new project on Indiegogo is both quick and easy—the step-by-step guide takes you through everything you need to do in order to get your project up and running. " title="Indiegogo" width="620" height="338" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Setting up a new project on Indiegogo is both quick and easy—the step-by-step guide takes you through everything you need to do in order to get your project up and running. </strong></p> <p>As mentioned earlier, Indiegogo tends to support any project, no matter what it is. If your project doesn’t meet Kickstarter’s criteria—such as not allowing you to raise money for causes—then chances are Indiegogo will accept it.</p> <p>Size really does matter when it comes to running a successful publicity campaign, and Indiegogo scores high in this area, too. Half the battle when running a promotion is finding an audience with which you can engage. Being the second-largest crowdfunding site on the Internet, Indiegogo ensures your project will be part of a vibrant community that will share your project with their friends and grow a following organically.</p> <h4>Notable Projects</h4> <p>With tens of thousands of successful campaigns under its belt, it is not surprising to find that Indiegogo boasts a number of famous projects. Let’s Build a Goddamn Tesla Museum was launched to establish a science museum in Long Island, New York, and sparked a surge of public interest, with the campaign taking home $1.7 million in just six days.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/indiegogo2_small_0.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/indiegogo2_small.jpg" alt=" An Indiegogo project in action: Genesis 3D Movie is going great guns, and thankfully has nothing to do with the Phil Collins band of the same name." title="Indiegogo" width="620" height="336" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>An Indiegogo project in action: Genesis 3D Movie is going great guns, and thankfully has nothing to do with the Phil Collins band of the same name.</strong></p> <p>Canary: the First Smart Home Security Device for Everyone broke the Indiegogo record for most money raised for a project, at $1.9 million. Its original goal of a modest 100K was met within a few hours of its launch in July this year, and it went on to gather contributions from nearly 8,000 users across the world.</p> <p>Indiegogo’s most famous project, however, was Let’s Give Karen – the Bus Monitor – H Klein a Vacation! After a number of disturbing videos were posted online depicting a hapless bus monitor being ruthlessly bullied by students, a campaign was set up to give Karen a well-deserved vacation. The original goal was to raise $5,000, yet all in all $703,833 was raised by people sickened by what they saw. The victim of the videos said she planned on using $100,000 of the money toward setting up an anti-bullying foundation.</p> <h3>5 Steps to Getting Attention</h3> <p>Your project may be the best thing since sliced pizza, but no matter how innovative it is, unless you attract the attention of others, you will struggle to find the financial backing needed to get it off the ground. After all, your project is just one of hundreds on a given site. So, how do you make your project stand out from the crowd and get the attention it deserves? Here are our five top tips for crowdfunding glory.</p> <p>Best Practices Before you rush headfirst into a campaign, take your time and study what others have done first. Look at what projects have been successful, and find out how they set about attracting publicity and backing. Follow their lead and use their success as an inspiration.</p> <p>Be Prepared to Change Devise a flexible business plan that will allow you to adapt should your original idea need tweaking. If things are not going to plan, you will need to be prepared to make changes so you can appeal to your target audience. By repositioning your product if needed, you could achieve greater results and more backing.</p> <p>Plan Ahead Even before you have reached your goal, make sure you have all eventualities covered should you get asked any tricky questions about your project’s launch and long-term future.</p> <p>Embrace Social Media Twitter and Facebook are powerful tools when it comes to promoting your ideas. Not only can they help spread the word, but they can also be a useful forum for gathering feedback from your fans and followers.</p> <p>Be Ready to Go Prepare for your project’s completion. You should devise a marketing plan that you can start using straight away, along with lining up any suppliers you may need to use once your project is launched. This way you will hopefully be able to eliminate long delays after you reach your goal.</p> <p><em>Click the next page to read about Rockethub.</em></p> <hr /> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>Rockethub</h3> <p><strong>Links to a cable TV network give it an edge</strong></p> <p>Founded by Brian Meece, Jed Cohen, and Vladimir Vukicevic, (with a forth owner, Alon Hillel-Tuch, joining a year later), Rockethub officially launched back at the start of 2010 as a means of raising money for creative projects. The owners were all from creative fields themselves, and the site came about partly because of the frustration they experienced in trying to find backing for their own individual interests. The idea was to establish a free market where artists could easily be put in touch with the financial backing they needed.</p> <p>In layman’s terms, this very loose remit means that Rockethub could cover any industry or idea in order to encourage as many entrepreneurs as possible. That said, however, there tends to be a much stronger focus on science and technology projects compared to many of Rockethub’s crowdfunding rivals. So don’t be surprised to find an in-depth planned study of microbes sitting alongside more commercial projects, such as a fashion label or music album, as you explore the site.</p> <p>Earlier this year, Rockethub announced a partnership agreement with the A&amp;E television network. Together they created <a href=""></a>, a multiplatform website produced in conjunction with the cable television channel that features handpicked projects from Rockethub entrepreneurs.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/rockethub1_small_0.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/rockethub1_small.jpg" alt=" Rockethub’s Success School teaches all you need to know about mastering the fine art of crowdfunding, so your project has a better chance of reaching its goal." title="Rockethub" width="620" height="335" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Rockethub’s Success School teaches all you need to know about mastering the fine art of crowdfunding, so your project has a better chance of reaching its goal.</strong></p> <h4 style="text-align: left;">How It Works</h4> <p style="text-align: left;">For newcomers to crowdfunding, Rockethub has an introductory site called the Crowdfunding Success School, which takes you through each and every aspect of running a successful campaign. A crowdfunding 101, it shows you how to network your idea, decide upon goals, and best practices to help attract and manage the expectations of the people who fund you. It makes for compelling reading, even if you eventually decide to use another site.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Rockethub encourages its users to spread the word about projects and complete set tasks, such as voting on others’ projects to increase exposure, and it rewards contributors with badges for their efforts. The more badges you gain, the greater your status as a power user, who others will turn to for advice.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">As with other crowdfunding websites, after setting up a campaign, you decide on how much you are looking to raise and the time frame for your goal. You then decide what rewards you will give to donors in return for their backing. You will be charged a 4 percent fee (along with a 4 percent credit card handling fee) for the total money you raise should your campaign prove to be a success. Rockethub also allows you to keep the money raised even if you don’t meet your goal, at a rate of 8 percent (plus a 4 percent processing charge).</p> <h4 style="text-align: left;">Benefits over Kickstarter</h4> <p style="text-align: left;">Rockethub is a fast-growing site, and is developing at a rapid rate. Like Indiegogo, Rockethub is much more open about what you can cover in terms of projects, so if you find you cannot get featured in Kickstarter, Rockethub may be the answer. In particular, you should consider using Rockethub if you have a scientific or technical project, as there seems to be a greater emphasis on those industries than on other sites.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Unlike Kickstarter, Rockethub allows you to keep all the funding you raise even if you do not make your set financial goal. Granted, if you choose to do this you still have a charge to pay (8 percent), but if you feel your project is still viable even without all of the money you originally wanted, this could be the better option for you.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Rockethub also has a partnership with the A&amp;E television channel. If your idea is innovative enough and you decide to apply for it, your project may be handpicked to feature on A&amp;E’s special project startup website, thus earning even more exposure and the potential for donations. In addition to that, A&amp;E will also offer funding and specialist coaching for your project, which means success is almost guaranteed.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/rockethub2_small_0.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/rockethub2_small.jpg" alt="The Project Startup website is run in conjunction with A&amp;E Networks to showcase the very best projects on Rockethub." title="Rockethub" width="620" height="335" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>The Project Startup website is run in conjunction with A&amp;E Networks to showcase the very best projects on Rockethub.</strong></p> <h4 style="text-align: left;">Notable Projects</h4> <p style="text-align: left;">The gaming and web culture video series Extra Credits is Rockethub’s most successful venture yet. The comedic web series discusses video games, with an emphasis on game design and using them as teaching tools. The idea proved to be incredibly popular, with the original goal of $15,000 ending up at a staggering $103,814 raised. The creators have vowed to use a portion of the money raised to help other like-minded businesses grow.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">AFIA: Save the World… One Dress at a Time, is one of the most noble projects to find funding, having raised $4,790, which is going to help people in Ghana. The project funds dressmakers in the African country, helping poor yet talented seamstresses acquire a fair wage and a larger market for their dresses, allowing them to be sold in the United States and other places.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">A special mention must also go to Chomp! Chomp! Chomp!, a clever idea that combines an illustrated children’s book with a tie-in app. The highly educational app includes a system that encourages young children to read—a page of text is shown before they are rewarded with a picture. The goal was met, with the project having raised a grand total of over $15,000.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><em>Click the next page to read about Fundable.</em></p> <hr /> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3 style="text-align: left;">Fundable</h3> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>The first site to offer the option of equity backing</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;">The most recent crowdfunding option here, Fundable was launched just last May, but has already experienced incredible growth and success during that short period of time. The site began life as a donation-only platform, but a few months later, taking advantage of President Obama’s 2012’s JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act, founders Wil Schroter and Eric Corl started allowing users the option to purchase equity in projects featured on the site. The JOBS Act legitimized equity crowdfunding and allowed budding entrepreneurs the ability to publicize that they were looking for backing. As a result, Fundable became one of the first crowdfunding sites to take full advantage of the act, and now runs as a dual-funding model. Fundable offers either donations or project equity, largely depending upon how much money a project’s goal has been set to—for larger projects looking to raise more than $50,000, Fundable recommends the equity option.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><a title="fundable" href="" target="_blank">Fundable</a> is a serious crowdfunding company, and as such it carefully vets its users. Only accredited investors—people with a net worth of over $1 million or an income of $200,000 in the past two years—are able to take part in offering equity funding to a project. Although in theory anyone can start a project, they will still have to apply in order to be approved for the site by the powers-that-be. No charitable projects are allowed, nor are any forms of gambling or money services, among other prohibited campaigns. Many more crowdfunding sites surely will follow Fundable’s lead and venture into equity crowdfunding, but by being the first to do so, Fundable has gained a priceless foothold in the market.</p> <h4 style="text-align: left;">How It Works</h4> <p style="text-align: left;">As mentioned above, there are two models you can choose from for raising money on Fundable—either from donations or through equity backing for your business. For both methods, you will need to apply to be featured on the site. Once approved, you then create a profile page that covers your project overview, your goals, and rewards for investment. Additionally, along with their public profile, equity-based projects will also need to create a private page that contains your business terms and related documents. Along with being featured on the site itself, you will also promote your page through the normal social media channels in order to gain interest.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">In terms of costs, entrepreneurs are charged a $99 fee each month that a campaign is running. The flipside of this is, should a project reach its goals, then no final fees are applied. You will only be able to collect your money once your pre-determined goal has been reached. This monthly charge may put a lot of people off, especially if you have the slightest doubt about raising enough capital to get your company started, but this just reinforces Fundable’s place in the market for serious businesses only.</p> <h4 style="text-align: left;">Benefits over Kickstarter</h4> <p style="text-align: left;">Fundable has been dubbed the Kickstarter for the corporate community. The equity fund-raising option is the obvious difference from Kickstarter, allowing you to sell shares in your business as opposed to offering rewards for donations. You can decide whether to go this route or stick with the more traditional crowdfunding method of raising money, although you could argue that equity is more suited to business startups. Donations are fine for creative projects, but do not offer the long-term investment possibilities that equity backing does. As more and more crowdfunding sites start to take advantage of the JOBS Act, expect to see equity fund-raising grow in popularity.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/fundable1_small_0.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/fundable1_small.jpg" alt="Looking for equity backing? Fundable is the place to go, being one of the first websites to take advantage of the JOBS Act." title="Fundable" width="620" height="335" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Looking for equity backing? Fundable is the place to go, being one of the first websites to take advantage of the JOBS Act.</strong></p> <h4 style="text-align: left;">Notable Projects</h4> <p style="text-align: left;">There are a number of projects of note that have used Fundable to establish financial backing. The Fleksy app closed at $900,000, and this revenue was part of a $3 million investment raised by parent company Syntellia to develop and market a software keyboard that helps to improve typing accuracy. The company used the $900K to release the app onto iOS and plans to release versions for Android and Windows 8 in the near future.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Celebrity Webchefs does what it says on the box and uses well-known celebrities to explain their culinary secrets in a series of easy-to-follow videos. Famous faces that have lent their names and cooking expertise to the videos include Gretchen Rossi from The Real Housewives of Orange County and Alan Thicke, the star of Growing Pains. It’s a bold and innovative idea that, thanks in part to the star power behind it, has gained a lot of media attention. The venture was funded for $435,000 in total.</p> <h3 style="text-align: left;">When Crowdfunding Goes Bad…</h3> <p style="text-align: left;">On the surface, crowdfunding seems like a great idea. But while the success stories get trumpeted for all to hear, there are even more tales of woe. It can be a risky business, not to mention a potentially humiliating one. Be it stolen ideas, poor planning, or a rushed campaign, here are the main pitfalls you should be wary of.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Exposing your Business Plan: They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but in the crowdfunding world, a good idea is there for your competitors to see and steal for themselves. There is nothing to stop them from taking your idea and presenting a similar one themselves, so be aware that when you launch your campaign that it may only be a matter of time before it is emulated. Depending on your idea, it may well be worth taking your time to complete an IP (intellectual property) process.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Tax Problems: The money you raise from crowdfunding isn't necessarily all yours to spend. Just as with any other business, you will need to declare your earnings to the appropriate authorities, and depending on what country you live in, this money may well be taxable. A qualified accountant will be able to help you here, although remember they will want payment for their services, too.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Keeping Control: Should you choose an equity-based crowdfunding model, be careful to keep a controlling stake in the company you are raising money for, whether it’s a new or existing business. Your stakeholders have a vested interest in your project; just make sure they do not wrestle the whole thing away from you.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Be Realistic: While the temptation is always there to exaggerate to potential investors just how great your idea is, try not to build up hopes too much. You don’t want your backers to feel lied to or disillusioned; at the very worst, you could end up in court as they try to claim their money back.</p> crowdfunding sites feature fundable indiegogo January issues 2014 kickstarter maximum pc project startup rockethub Office Applications Features Fri, 18 Apr 2014 17:25:08 +0000 Mark Pilkington 27519 at Nvidia Releases GeForce R337.61 Beta Hotfix to Address 4K Display Issues <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/dell_4k_monitor.jpg" alt="Dell 4K Monitor" title="Dell 4K Monitor" width="228" height="205" style="float: right;" />Nvidia's hotfix addresses issues users have been having with certain 4K panels</h3> <p>There are some growing pains associated with 4K displays, at least for PCs. Quirky issues tend to pop up due to the way the technology works. To run a 4K panel at 60Hz, you need to use a DisplayPort cable, which supports the refresh rate using Multi-Stream Transport (MST). However, this essentially treats a 4K panel as two displays, which introduces weird side effects. <strong>A new hotfix from Nvidia is intended to address these issues</strong>.</p> <p>The R337.61 hotfix is a beta download. It's intended to address issues where only half the display or no display at all is shown on Dell's UltraSharp UP3214Q and UP4414Q LCD monitors. It also fixes the Code 43 error message some users have seen after installing 337.50 beta driver on a PC with Hyper-V enabled.</p> <p>One way to avoid these issues is to use an HDMI cable, but when doing so, the refresh rate tops out at 30Hz. There's a noticeable difference in performance at 30Hz, even just on the desktop -- the mouse cursor is a bit laggy and takes some getting used to.</p> <p>You can download the hotfix <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> 4k beta Drivers geforce r337.61 nvidia Software News Fri, 18 Apr 2014 16:43:38 +0000 Paul Lilly 27661 at Microsoft Reaches 5 Million Xbox One Console Shipments <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/xbox_one_titanfall.jpg" alt="Xbox One Titanfall" title="Xbox One Titanfall" width="228" height="195" style="float: right;" />Xbox One is selling well, though not as well as Sony's PlayStation 4</h3> <p><strong>Microsoft let the world know that it's sold 5 million Xbox One consoles</strong> since launching back in November of last year. That's a strong start, expecially compared to the Xbox 360, the latter of which saw 60 percent fewer sales during the same time period when it launched many moons ago. However, Xbox One console shipments haven't been keeping up with Sony's PlayStation 4, which has notched 7 million unit sales to date.</p> <p>The other thing worth noting is that Microsoft was careful with its wording, saying that 5 million Xbox One consoles have been "<a href="" target="_blank">sold-in to retailers</a>." In other words, that breaks down to 5 million shipments -- it's not clear how many units have actually been sold to consumers.</p> <p>Regardless, the Xbox One appears to be doing well, especially in the U.S. According to data from NPD Group, Microsoft sold 311,000 Xbox One consoles in the U.S. in the month of March. Software sales are averaging 2.9 games per console. And according to Microsoft, gamers are spending an average of five hours per day on the Xbox One, which collectively have added up to more than 1 billion hours spent in games and apps on the console.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> console games Hardware microsoft xbox one News Fri, 18 Apr 2014 16:22:23 +0000 Paul Lilly 27660 at AMD Rides Next Generation Console Launches, Posts 28 Percent Bump in Revenues <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/amd_1.jpg" alt="AMD building" title="AMD building" width="228" height="174" style="float: right;" />PlayStation 4 and Xbox One sales contributed to a 118 percent jump in semi-custom SoC revenue</h3> <p>Propped up by next-generation console launches by Microsoft (Xbox One) and Sony (PlayStation 4), <strong>AMD today announced first quarter revenue $1.4 billion</strong>, which is a decrease of 12 percent sequentially but up a whopping 28 percent compared to the same quarter a year ago. Unfortunately for AMD, the jump in revenue still amounted to a $20 million loss, or $0.03 per share, though the Sunnyvale chip designer feels good about where it's at.</p> <p>"AMD continued our momentum by building on the solid foundation we set in the second half of 2013, further transforming the company," <a href="" target="_blank">said Rory Read</a>, AMD president and CEO. "Backed by our powerful x86 processor cores and hands-down best graphics experiences, we achieved 28 percent revenue growth from the year-ago quarter. We are well positioned to continue to grow profitably as we diversify our business and enable our customers to drive change and win."</p> <p>It's been a rough run all around for traditional PC sales, which resonated with AMD. Its Computing Solutions segment saw an 8 percent sequential decrease in revenue and a 12 percent decline year-over-year, both of which AMD attributed to decreased client unit shipments.</p> <p>Revenue from AMD's Graphics and Visual Solutions segment decreased 15 percent sequentially, but ballooned 118 percent year-over-year. This growth was driven in large part by AMD's semi-custom SoCs, which are primarily used to power game consoles. AMD also notes strong demand for its Radeon R7 and R9 family of products.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> amd console graphics Hardware playstation 4 ps4 revenue xbox one News Fri, 18 Apr 2014 15:26:33 +0000 Paul Lilly 27659 at Toshiba Throws 4K Crowd a Bone, Launches World's Fastest microSD Memory Cards <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/toshiba_cards.jpg" alt="Toshiba UHS-II" title="Toshiba UHS-II" width="228" height="163" style="float: right;" />The first memory cards to comply with the UHS-II standard</h3> <p><strong>Toshiba is crowning its new microSD memory cards as being the fastest the world has ever seen</strong>. They're supposedly the first in the industry to comply with the UHS-II interface standard, which is an ultra high speed serial bus interface defined in the SD Memory Card Standard Version 4.20. Specifically, the new cards are UHS Speed Class 3 enabled, which allow for 4K video capture at constant minimum write speeds of 30MB/s.</p> <p>There are two capacities available -- 32GB and 64GB. The 64GB cards top out at 260MB/s read and 240MB/s write speeds, while the 32GB cards offer a maximum read speed of 145MB/s and a maximum write speed of 130MB/s. That represents an 8x write speed improvement and 2.7x read speed improvement when compared to Toshiba's current 32GB microSD UHS-1 cards.</p> <p>"This means that 4K2K video, live broadcast and content can be recorded on high-performance cameras," <a href="" target="_blank">Toshiba said</a>.</p> <p>Toshiba has begun sampling shipments to chipset vendors and manufacturers of smartphones and other mobile devices. It's not clear when the cards will be available to the general public or for how much.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> 4k memory card microsd toshiba uhs-ii News Fri, 18 Apr 2014 14:53:33 +0000 Paul Lilly 27658 at Newegg Daily Deals: Corsair Hydro Series H110 Liquid Cooler, Asus GeForce GTX 750 Ti, and More! <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u69/corsair_h110.jpg" alt="Corsair Hydro Series H110" title="Corsair Hydro Series H110" width="300" height="162" style="float: right;" /><img src="/files/u154082/newegg_logo_small.png" alt="newegg logo" title="newegg logo" width="200" height="80" /></p> <p><strong>Top Deal:</strong></p> <p>You're not using a stock cooler on your CPU, are you? Oh the humanity! The humiliation! The...actually, there's nothing wrong with using a stock cooler, so don't sweat it -- go one with your bad self. However, if you want to kick things up a couple notches and experiment with overclocking (or just have cooler temps), then you'll need more than what a stock setup can provide. Intrigued by liquid? Then check out today's top deal for a <a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-COOLING-N82E16835181035-_-0418&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Corsair Hydro Series H110 Extreme Performance Water/Liquid CPU Cooler</a> for <strong>$105</strong> with free shipping (normally $115 - use coupon code: [<strong>0415WBTR103</strong>]. It has "Extreme" in the name, which automatically makes things run cooler! On a more serious note, Corsair's cooler packs a 280mm radiator with dual fans.</p> <p><strong>Other Deals:</strong></p> <p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-PSU-N82E16817139012-_-0418&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Corsair HX series HX650 650W ATX12V 80 Plus Gold Certified Modular Power Supply</a> for <strong>$90</strong> with free shipping </p> <p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-RAM-N82E16820231611-_-0418&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">G.Skill Sniper Gaming Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin SDRAM DDR3 1866 Desktop Memory</a> for <strong>$130</strong> with free shipping (normally $145 - use coupon code: [<strong>0415WBTR185</strong>])</p> <p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-MOBO-N82E16814121855-_-0418&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Biostar Hi-Fi A85W FM2 AMD A85X HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard</a> for <strong>$60</strong> with free shipping </p> <p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-GPU--_-0418&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Asus GTX750TI GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB 128-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 HDCP Ready Video Card</a> for <strong>$150</strong> with free shipping</p> asus Biostar corsair Daily Deals daily deals g.skill Newegg Fri, 18 Apr 2014 14:32:02 +0000 The Maximum PC Staff 27657 at Smartphone Theft in the U.S. Nearly Doubled Last Year <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/pickpocket.jpg" alt="Pickpocket Sign" title="Pickpocket Sign" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />A potential solution to rising smartphone theft is still a year away</h3> <p>It's easy to take for granted how much your smartphone is worth. You may have picked one up for free or not much more than that by agreeing to lock yourself into a two-year service agreement with a wireless carrier, but despite the subsidized price you paid, smartphones are worth several hundred dollars. It's no wonder that <strong>thieves stole around 3.1 million smartphones in U.S. last year</strong>.</p> <p>That figure comes from <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Consumer Reports</em></a>, which notes that it's nearly double the 1.6 million smartphones that were stolen in 2012. In addition to thievery, another 1.4 million smartphones were simply lost and never recovered last year, up from 1.2 million in 2012.</p> <p>It's not just the hardware itself that's valuable, but what's kept on the phone as well. Things like photos, videos, contacts, email accounts, and more. Despite all this, smartphone owners aren't doing enough to protect themselves, <em>Consumer Reports </em>says.</p> <p>In a survey of smartphone owners, 34 percent told <em>Consumer Reports</em> they don't take even simple security measures, such as using a PIN or some other form of unlocking mechanism. Those same users said they're not running AV software or backing up their data.</p> <p>Come July 2015, smartphones sold in the U.S. will include a so-called "lock switch," which allows users to remotely delete data from a lost or stolen smartphone. The lock switch will also render the phone useless, as wireless carriers won't activate a device that's been reported lost or stolen. Whether this will actually curb smartphone theft is something that remains to be seen.</p> <p>Image Credit: Flickr (<a href="" target="_blank">mkoolman</a>)</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> consumer reports Hardware mobile smartphone News Thu, 17 Apr 2014 18:51:42 +0000 Paul Lilly 27656 at Buggy Microsoft Security Essentials Update Kicks XP Machines While Down <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/mse_devil.jpg" alt="MSE Devil" title="MSE Devil" width="228" height="138" style="float: right;" />Here come the conspiracy theories</h3> <p>After more than 12 years of service, Microsoft finally pulled the plug on Windows XP by ceasing to support the operating system last week. However, Microsoft did promise to keep doling out updates for its Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) software, including the version that runs on XP, but in doing so, the Redmond outfit only made things worse. That's because <strong>the latest MSE update is causing some XP machines to freeze up and run slow</strong>.</p> <p>Anyone with a tinfoil hat will tell you this is entirely intentional on Microsoft's part and nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to get users to upgrade. The real explanation is likely far less insidious, though equally annoying for XP users who had hopes of holding onto the legacy OS for at least a little while longer.</p> <p>"I am a professional computer engineer and maintain many desktops and laptops for my customers on a daily basis: as of today (April 16th) I have seen about 12 computers on which Windows XP - after every boot up - throws up an error message referring to MSE, stating: 'MsMpEng.exe application error. The instruction at 0x5a4d684d referenced memory at 0x00000000 The memory could not be read', leaving the computer in an unusable state," <a href="" target="_blank">a user wrote</a> on Microsoft's Windows forum.</p> <p>He goes on to say that "the only solution is to disable MSE or uninstall it completely." Doing so will restore performance, but it comes at the expense of security protection, which is now more important than ever for XP users.</p> <p>Microsoft has yet to acknowledge the situation or issue a fix. One is likely coming, but in the meantime, there are third-party AV vendors that still support XP.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> microsoft Microsoft Security Essentials mse operating system OS Security Software Windows XP News Thu, 17 Apr 2014 18:20:08 +0000 Paul Lilly 27655 at Reports Shows Over a Third of Purchased Steam Games Haven't Been Played <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/steam_3.jpg" alt="Steam" title="Steam" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />Sales encourage gamers to stockpile more games than they have time to play</h3> <p>It seems like there's always a major Steam sale taking place. There isn't, but certainly Steam sales aren't exactly rare. These sales introduce big discounts to popular titles, both current and ones that are slightly older, and we often find ourselves stockpiling titles with plans to play them at a future date. Apparently that's a common practice, as a<strong> new report suggests that nearly 37 percent of registered Steam titles have never been loaded</strong>.</p> <p>Aurich Lawson at <a href="" target="_blank"><em>ArsTechnica</em></a> did some digging and uncovered some interesting numbers. He didn't pull any of these figures out of a hat, all the estimates are based on publicly available information, he says. So, what exactly did he find?</p> <p>As stated above, over a third of the roughly 781 million games registered to different Steam accounts have never been played a single time. Steam is far from a ghost town, however, as Dota 2 alone currently accounts for around 3.8 billion hours of play time. Lawson also discovered that Steam users have logged 600 percent more time into Modern Warfare 2's multiplayer mode than the single player campaign.</p> <p>Another thing we found interesting is that 17 percent of registered games on Steam have logged less than an hour of play time. If you add that to the games that have never been loaded, it means that 53.4 percent -- a little over half -- of Steam games have either never been loaded or played for less than an hour.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> games pc Software Steam News Thu, 17 Apr 2014 17:36:13 +0000 Paul Lilly 27654 at