In our world, performance and silence go together about as well as Aliens and Predators. Each one has its appeal, but put them together, and you generally get a turd.
That’s a fact AVADirect has set out to disprove with a PC apparently named by U.S. Army logistics command: Custom Gaming PC, Silent PC, Low-Noise Custom Computer System. Despite its funktastic name, the AVADirect PC doesn’t disappoint and seems capable of creating its own alternate reality where performance commingles harmoniously with peace and quiet
You want to know a secret? Building a high-end PC on an unlimited budget ain’t that hard. You just click the "Bestest" button and add to cart. What’s hard is building a PC on a strict budget. Do you sacrifice CPU, GPU, or storage? Do you cheap out on the case or the PSU?
So when WarFactory decided to ship us its Immortal budget box instead of the usual shoot-for-the-moon rigs we test, we thought it would be interesting to see how the more modest PC would measure up.
Every year, Maximum PC does outreach at the annual nerdathon known as Comic-Con. For the 2011 convention, we wanted to make a big splash by combining two subjects dear to our hearts: Star Trek and PCs.
But just how do you do that? We decided to enlist the aid of MaximumPC.com columnist and former Star Trek writer David Gerrold, creator of the beloved episode "The Trouble with Tribbles." Gerrold's vision of the ultimate PC served as the foundation for our Comic-Con creation.
Crafting such a PC wasn't something we could do entirely in-house, though, so we tasked legendary Star Trek designer Michael Okuda with creating a blueprint for the custom case, and we had MNPCTech.com fabricate a machine worthy of representing the best TV series of all time. Read on to learn how it all came together.
Ever since Intel’s 810 “Whitney” chipset hit the streets in the late ’90s, integrated graphics have been synonymous with suckage. This year, though, integrated graphics have been making a comeback as Intel and AMD have put their might toward offering game-worthy graphics alongside the CPU.
Can AMD’s A-series chip. Code-named “Llano,” offer decent gaming with integrated graphics? We gave our $667 PC an AMD makeover to find out.
As any system builder knows, there’s a constant yin-and-yang balancing act between performance and noise. When you crank up performance, you crank up the noise. And as you bring down the acoustics, so goes the performance.
With built-in 3D support and some serious muscle under the hood, MSI’s Wind Top AE2420 3D offers a tantalizing view of the future of this form factor. A 2.8GHz Core i7-860, 4GB of RAM, an ATI Radeon Mobility HD 5730 graphics part, Wi-Fi, and 1TB of SATA2 storage make this a solidly conceived all-in-one PC, even if it feels a wee bit unpolished.
In an age of overly synthesized catchphrases ginned up by some suit to commercialize new soda pop or body spray, the term “pure PC power” was never intended to be marketing hype.
Instead, it was conceived to describe our obsession with performance computers and it has withstood the test of time. Who would have known that 16 Dream Machines later, the pursuit of all-out computing power could still be viable?
But that’s just what this year’s Dream Machine again proves: Despite pundits predicting the PC’s death many times over—speed still matters. For this year’s Dream Machine, we decided to build a rig that balances top-notch performance with the style and elegance of an exotic sports car. The overall package is well-behaved and even fairly modest at power consumption, considering the amount of performance it packs.
As always, it’s not just about the PC proper, though. For our Dream Machine, we tracked down the best hardware available, such as NEC’s freaking-awesome PA301W panels and the wireless Cyborg R.A.T. 9 mouse, to make a lust-worthy setup that any of us would kill to have grace our desktop. So join us as we celebrate another year of the PC’s supremacy.
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’s clear that HP sees the value in this category. The PC maker’s new TouchSmart is sleek, polished, and is the first all-in-one we’ve ever seen to feature a subwoofer-out jack. HP makes a subtle but valid point here: The truth about these systems is that, regardless of where we set them up—kitchen, living room, garage—we find ourselves frequently using them as music stations, so why not aim for higher audio fidelity? Conveniently, HP has also integrated Monster’s (and Dr. Dre’s) Beats environment, allowing the TouchSmart 610 to pump out impressive enough sound to make people do a double-take.