The boys and girls at AMD officially launched the company's 2014 A-Series Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) with integrated Radeon R7 graphics. You know the parts by their codename "Kaveri," which AMD says is representative of a major architecture improvement. Kaveri sports completely redesigned cores, new Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA) features, new accelerators, and enhanced power management on a new 28nm manufacturing process.
Nvidia's new 64-bit CPU to be based around Kepler and feature 192 CUDA cores
We had the chance to attend Nvidia’s CES 2014 press conference and the company touched upon a number of topics such as GeForce Experience, G-Sync Monitors, and GameStream, but it was Nvidia’s announcement of its new “super chip” K1 that was the talk of the show.
Intel doesn't yet offer an 8-core processor for consumer desktop applications, but by the end of the year, that's going to change. The world's largest semiconductor company, despite being motivated to aggressively compete in the mobile market, is said to be readying the launch of 8-core Haswell-E chips in third quarter of 2014. If you're hoping to pick one as you send your Ivy Bridge-E setup into retirement, you'll want to start saving up now.
If you’ve been following the CPU-cooling market over the past year or so, you’ve probably noticed some stagnation. Multiple vendors license a design from a few manufacturers, resulting in a roughly identical product. Sometimes the fan control software is the same program with a different skin. Wouldn’t it be nice to shake things up a bit? Silverstone seems to think so, and it seems to understand that it’s not just about looking fancy.
Note: This review was originally featured in the November 2013 issue of the magazine.
Things you need to know to become a PC hardware expert
Knowledge is power, and when it comes to PCs that’s especially true, because only by knowing how your components’ specs actually affect performance can you get the maximum power you need for the type of computing you do—and avoid being seduced by features that sound impressive on the box but won’t do squat to improve your experience. Knowing your stuff has other benefits, too. An in-depth understanding of what makes all your parts tick enables you to better troubleshoot problems, upgrade in ways that make sense, and converse with other nerds in your own secret language. Turn the page to begin your crash course in PC spec-speak.
Note: This article was originally featured in the August 2013 issue of the magazine.
This month, we build an affordable AMD-based gaming rig to find out just how good (or bad) a CPU/GPU combo can be
The Mission We've put together some spendy systems recently. Hey, there’s a reason this mag is called Maximum PC. However, it’s caused a few readers to wonder if we drive gold-plated Humvees to work. As if! We have chauffeurs for that kind of thing. The fact is, we like the challenge of building to a rig’s optimum potential, at any price. So this month, we turn the tables and go full-on budget build.
Note: This article was originally featured in the October 2013 issue of the magazine.
In the world of enthusiast system cooling, water is the new black. Even the fanciest, biggest air cooler can’t seem to keep up with a good closed-loop liquid cooler these days. NZXT ups the ante by expanding from the standard 12cm form factor to 14cm. It may not seem like much, but the increased surface area gets impressive results, especially when the Kraken X60 doubles it to 28cm.
Note: This review was originally featured in the September 2013 issue of the magazine.
Moving to 64-bit could introduce big performance gains in some apps
Intel has a lot of catching up to do in the mobile space. The big dog on campus in mobile is ARM, which powers many of the smartphones and tablets currently available. One thing Intel is looking at to change the tide is 64-bit computing in mobile, which it demonstrated during an investor meeting. The demonstration consisted of an Android tablet with a 64-bit Atom processor inside based on Silvermont.
It's no secret that Intel fell behind in the mobile race. Even though Intel is the largest semiconductor company in the world, most smartphones and tablets run on ARM hardware. Intel chief Brian Krzanich told analysts and investors at a meeting this week that he's "a little embarrassed" at how he and his company "seemed to have lost our way" in terms of its mobile portfolio.
We tackle the five most pressing problems in each major component category!
It’s happened to us all. You get home from a long day at work and you want to blow off some steam with an hour of gaming or maybe browsing the web, but when you tap your mouse button or punch the power switch, the unthinkable happens. You’re SOL.
Note: This article was originally featured in the July 2013 issue of the magazine.