Some of the biggest breakthroughs in future tech revolve around some of the smallest materials on Earth. Even calling these technologies "micro" is magnitudes of measure larger than their actual tiny sizes. From the nano-scaled heat transfer of Nanowick Cooling down to the single atomic-level of Graphene and Quantum Computing, our white papers will help you wrap your head around the maximum potential of these miniscule technologies.
We’re not living so close to the cutting edge here at Maximum PC that we can’t see the utility of a no-frills, budget portable that’s capable of performing all the common day-to-day computing tasks. Whether it serves as a secondary machine for work on-the-go or as a primary PC for a school-age kid, we get it. It’s the same need that netbooks were meant to fulfill, if only they hadn’t fallen short of the mark. What netbooks taught us is that today’s common computing tasks—which include things like gaming and high-def video playback—require more power than an Atom processor and integrated graphics can muster.
NZXT’s H2 is a simple-looking case—in fact, simplicity seems to be the overall theme—and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In the world of PC building, simple can be good.
The H2 is an ATX mid-tower, constructed of sturdy steel. The side panels (which lack windows or adornment of any kind) are lined with acoustic-dampening foam to keep your hardware quiet. It works well for the most part. We had the case running three fans, and the addition of the side and front panels made the case noticeably quieter.
Here at Maximum PC, we adhere to the cable news statistics rule that two data points is all you need to create a trend. So being presented with the second white system we’ve seen in the last three months, we can now declare that white is the new black (which was the new beige).
And, (Kent Brockman voice-over) it’s a trend we like. Far from gaudy, Polywell’s Ignition X5800 manages to look powerful, stately, and professional. It’s an appropriate aesthetic coming from a company with a long history of making computers for work. For 24 years, Polywell has cranked out workstations, servers, and even Alpha-based rigs.
Riddle me this: When is a portable PC not a laptop? When it’s so heavy you’re afraid if you put it on your lap you’ll never be able to get up again. Though we wish Eurocom’s Panther 2.0 had shipped with a weightlifter’s belt, our testing left little doubt that the chiropractor bills will be worth it. This outlandishly large machine has the power and flexibility of a true no-compromise mobile workstation.
Gigabyte really went all out with the weapon-themed G1.Assassin board, but for folks who don’t know: It’s a motherboard, not a weapon. Repeat: not a weapon.
And just in case someone thought you could somehow slap the magazine-shaped heatsink into your M4A1 and start rocking the happy switch, you can’t. Gigabyte says as much with a warning label on the end of the heatsink/magazine: “Heatsink: Not a weapon. Cannot be assembled as a weapon.”
Last year, more than 70 domains were seized by the Department of Homeland Security for copyright infringement and replaced with layered 1990s drop-shadow graphics so eye-bleedingly bad they may have violated the Geneva Convention. Some of those seizures were as legally questionable as the government’s design sensibilities, targets of the copyright industry rather than real criminals. Rather than get shy about extralegal crackdowns, the New York DHS decided to double down.
With Vista and Windows 7, Microsoft has been making some big strides in the quality of Windows’s native search. For regular, targeted searches (finding a file in your downloads folder, for instance), it does a great job of giving you near-real-time results. Unfortunately, that’s not always good enough.
Sometimes you know you’ve got a file, but you just can’t remember where you put it. That means you’ve got to resort to the dreaded Search Local Disk (C:), or even worse, Search Computer. It doesn’t take as long as it used to, but it can still take quite a while to find what you’re looking for. If you find yourself in this situation regularly, you need true instant search. You need Everything.
We don’t much care what our routers look like, because they’re usually hidden inside a closet (unless we’re benchmarking them). But Asus’s engineers lavished as much attention on the RT-N56U’s skin as they did its guts: This dual-band router is a looker, and it’s also pretty damned fast.
The influence and demands of console gaming weigh heavily on Dragon Age II. For PC gamers this is not a good thing. I feel like the word “streamlining” must have appeared in every design memo. You can almost hear BioWare thinking, “These kids today, they can’t be bothered to move their rogue behind a target in order to properly execute a backstab. Let’s do all that for them!”
Part of me gets it. Positioning party members can be a little fussy, so why not just cut that stuff out in order to get right down to the combat?