Of the many new features introduced in Windows 7, the humble Problem Steps Recorder was one of the least talked-about. At first glance, the application—which combines an automatic screenshot utility and a sort of low-grade keylogger—appears to be nothing more than a tool to make life a little easier for Microsoft’s legion of support personnel. Upon closer inspection, there’s actually much more to the Problem Steps Recorder.
In our roundup of solid-state drives, Intel’s entrant bore Marvell’s 9174 6Gb/s SATA controller, rather than an Intel one. While the Intel 510 SSD performed respectably among its 6Gb/s SATA peers, it’s not the top-to-bottom Intel drive fans have been waiting for. That drive is finally here, and despite the Intel 320 Series nomenclature, this is the third generation in Intel’s X25-M series of mainstream solid-state drives. But is a drive with a 3Gb/s SATA controller really going to cut it in 2011?
Remember the Radeon HD 5830? That videocard filled a certain price point, but it was actually the same GPU used in the high-end HD 5870, with a large chunk of the die disabled. Enter the Radeon HD 6790. At first blush, it’s similar in concept to the HD 5830. AMD took its Barts GPU (used in the Radeon HD 6870 and 6850) and disabled a big chunk of it. Voilà: the Radeon HD 6790.
The Zotac AMP edition of Nvidia’s new budget GPU, the GTX 550 Ti, pushes the clock speeds to a full 1GHz—more than 10 percent higher than the default 900MHz. It amounts to a $150 card with 1GB of GDDR5 memory that performs moderately well in modern games, if you’re willing to dial down features like antialiasing. However, Zotac doesn’t seem to be aiming this card at gamers, but rather at digital media junkies and home theater PC enthusiasts.
Seagate’s Barracuda line has long been a contender in the 7,200rpm drive space and—7200.11 firmware snafu notwithstanding—has generally vied with WD’s Caviar Black line for the 7,200rpm crown. The Barracuda XT 3TB is a five-platter 7,200rpm drive with 6Gb/s SATA and 64MB of cache, just like the Hitachi Deskstar 7K3000. So what’s the difference?
Alas, poor Hitachi; we knew him well, Horatio. Hitachi’s Global Storage division might have been gobbled up by Western Digital, but it’s still putting out product, at least for now. Hitachi’s latest addition to the Deskstar line is a five-platter, 3TB, 7,200rpm drive with 64MB of cache and a 6Gb/s SATA interface. Yeah, we can deal with that.
Nothing is less edgy than someone trying really, really hard to be edgy. I can imagine the Duke Nukem Forever team working late into the night in Red Bull–fuelled sessions trying to come up with lists: lists of offensive things, lists of gross things, lists of old action movie quotes, lists of ways to objectify and degrade women, lists of boob and penis jokes.
Near the beginning of Duke Nukem Forever, you make your way through a bona fide Duke Nukem museum. Statues, paintings, fourth-wall-shattering tributes to Duke’s greatest hits—the place nearly has it all. And we say “nearly” because one thing is missing from that perfume-scented love letter to Duke’s past: Duke Nukem Forever itself. Play for a bit longer, though, and it’s not hard to see why.
Our budget gaming rig is all about instant gratification: a way for you to fill your gaming hunger with a state of the art, speedy machine, capable of playing today’s games at 1080p resolutions, for less than $700. With our instructions, you will see how you can build it yourself in less than hour. On top of that, we’ll tell you how you can easily supersize your budget box with future upgrades.
It may not fit in an average laptop bag and you could look a little comical trying to peck away at it on the local bus, but a really big notebook with a really big display pleases us. While the Acer Aspire AS8950G-9839 didn’t impress us in terms of gaming performance, it’s one of the best movie-watching laptops we’ve ever tested.