ask the doctor


I am new to “higher-end” PC gaming and I have a couple of questions. How do I tell what graphics card I have? I have thrown the box away and the only thing I can see on the card is “Direct CUII.” The DirectX diagnostic tool, Windows system devices, and AMD Catalyst screens all just say, “AMD Radeon R9 200 series” and not the actual model I have. I don’t know if it’s an R9 270 or a 290. Second, I currently game on a PS3 on a 42-inch HDTV. What PC games can you recommend that will really showcase the fact that the PC has better graphics than the PS3 and PS4?

Note: This article was originally featured in the September 2014 issue of the magazine. 


Doctor: Cooling Colors, Movin' On Up & Where's My SSD?

The Doctor answers all your questions about wifi, coolants, and solid state drives.


Windows’ Compatibility tab contains lots of options for running legacy programs in Windows 7 and later.

The doctor tackles Upgrades and Sidegrades, TV Tuners, Missing Boot Managers, and more

Is My CPU Melting?!

I’m still running a 32-bit Windows XP system, and am looking to upgrade it to Win 7. The computer has an AMD Phenom II X4 965 on a Gigabyte GA-770T-USB3 motherboard that is 64-bit ready, according to Belarc Advisor. I want to go with 64-bit Windows 7, but am at a loss as to what will happen if I try and save all my 32-bit software when I upgrade. When I’m told to save the files I want to keep before transfer, I have to save them as 32-bit files. How do I transfer them to Win 7 as 64-bit? I don’t think that can be done, so do I lose all that and have and start over? Can they be run as 32-bit in a 64-bit system? April 8th is coming all too soon and I want to make the change by then, or soon after.

Note: This article was originally featured in the June 2014 issue of the magazine.


Ask the Doctor

The doctor tackles Too Much GPU, Wi-Fi Upgrades, Disabling SkyDrive, and more

From Integrated to Top-Shelf

After almost 30 years developing software on stock PCs, I finally performed my first build from the pages of Maximum PC. I scoured your pages from many issues and planned a build during a long weekend and it’s been purring along for 18 months.


The doctor tackles Big Coolers, Old Motherboards, IVB vs. SB-E, and more

Too Big?

In the August 2013 issue you indicate that using a third-party, aftermarket CPU cooler is a good idea. I have always had a concern about cooler and fan weight damaging the motherboard. I build in mid- or full-tower cases and it seems that having so much weight hanging from the motherboard risks damage. Is this a valid concern? I would probably use one of the Thermalright coolers designed for an AMD FX-series CPU.

Note: This article was originally featured in our November 2013 issue of the magazine.