My current rig is an HP Pavilion M8530F with a Viola-GL8E motherboard. The CPU is a 2.2GHz Phenom X4 9550. The board is AM2+. I asked HP for a copy of the mainboard’s user manual hoping it could tell me what AM2+ chip I could drop in. However, I find myself even more confused. I think a 2.6GHz Phenom 9950 X4 will work even though it is a 125-watt chip and my current 9550 is a 95-watt chip.
I’d rather not spend the money only to be proven dead wrong and be stuck having to borrow my fiancée’s Vaio laptop. It may be nice, but it’s not my desktop. So far, the only change made to my rig in the two years I’ve had it was the addition of a graphics card cooler, of the intake variety. I’ve done research and the more questions I have answered, the more confused I get. If I could, I’d just buy/build a new rig, but that’s not an option. Some newer games, like BioShock 2, require AMD core speed in excess of 2.2 GHz, and mine barely meets the requirements. Even the budget upgrade article in the July 2010 issue is vague on whether I can upgrade. Doc, please steer me in the right direction, lest I crash on the rocks of inaction.
Read the Doctor's advice for Lucas after the jump.
So, the desktop PC will become nothing more than a truck? Well, here’s your Mack truck, Mr. Jobs, filling your rear-view mirror on Interstate 80 as you try to get that tablet-sized, Flash-less-powered toy out of the fast lane. Oops, sorry about running you over.
Our take? If the future of the desktop PC is as a truck, it might as well be one hell of a fast and powerful truck. In building Dream Machine 2010, we embraced the notion of raw, wanton power. The result is a power rig capable of hauling a heavily threaded load uphill in top gear while other single- and dual-processor machines are barely chugging along in the slow lane with their hazard lights on.
At the onset of our Dream Machine project, we were concerned. 24 threads. Three videocards. 24GB of RAM. 4.4 terabytes of storage. Could we get it all to work together? And could we overclock the CPU and GPU enough to qualify as the fastest PC in the world? It took some wrangling, but we’re happy to reply with an emphatic YES. Even better, all this power has some astounding real-world benefits in multithreaded applications.
The simple paint job and tough-looking grills and fans on this year’s system complete the theme. This is not a system for the faint of heart. Read and enjoy.
Back in September of 2004, we ran a sidebar in the Dream Machine issue where a couple of editors made their predictions about what the Dream Machine of 2010 would look like. Well, it just so happens that the 2010 Dream Machine issue is on newsstands now, so we thought we'd take a look at how those predictions held up. First, the predictions in question:
So how'd we do? Well, Logan (now the Editor in Chief of PC Gamer) pretty accurately described the modern smartphone. Still, don't expect to see an iPhone on the cover of the September issue of Maximum PC any time soon. Josh Norem.... Well, the less said about his predictions, the better. We will, unfortunately, have to wait for another 90 years before we can test Will's predictions.
But Gordon's predictions... Not half bad! Being as he's right here in the office, we asked him to tell us about his predictions, and about the reality of this year's Dream Machine. Read on to find out what he had to say (and to hear his predictions for 2015)!
Every year, a wave of nostalgia comes crashing down as we make the final tweaks and finishing touches to our annual Dream Machine. Because we remember the amazing machines we built in the past, and know that the knowledge we gained and the lessons we learned directly influence our newest ultra-beast computers, year after year. So, as we wipe the sweat from our brows for 2010, we invite you to take a look back at four of our favorite Dream Machines of the past couple of years. Hit the jump to check them out, and click to enlarge them if you'd like to pick up some spiffy new wallpapers. Enjoy!
It's that time of year again - Dream Machine time! In honor of our 15th Dream Machine we thought we'd go back, way back, to the very first Dream Machine. We got Online Reviews Editor Michael Brown, the only current staff member who was also around back then, to share his thoughts on the experience and we've got the whole original story. Come with us now on a journey, a journey of 24MB memory, reminisce with us over SCSI, laugh over recommendations to upgrade "later this year" to IEEE. And stick around for the rest of the week - we've got more Dream Machine retrospectives on the way, as well as this years wicked rig! (Also, check out our 2004 predictions for this years Dream Machine!)
Sometimes, you just have to keep things real. Last year, our Dream Machine was a paean to excess, a chrome-plated $17,000 wünder-rig. While we’re still quite fond of that machine, this year we decided to take a different tack and see if we could build a more reasonably priced, but still lust-worthy Dream Machine. Well, actually, we built three of them. While the combined cost of these three machines is about half the price of last year’s rig, we packed a lot of awesome into our relatively tight budgets. The lesson is simple: Dream Machine isn’t about spending a ludicrous amount of cash on a PC, it’s about getting the best rig you can for the money you spend. I think you’ll agree that these three machines pack a ton of power and are all great values.
Without further ado, we give you this year’s crop of Dream Machines.
A Dream Machine graced the inaugural issue of Maximum PC back in 1998, and the tradition of building an annual no-holds-barred PC beast has continued unabated since then. True to form, this year’s rig is the most audacious, most powerful dream rig to date. Equipped with no fewer than eight processing cores, four graphics cores, and five hard drives, DM2008 is probably also our most controversial build. But as Lando said, it’s not our fault.
In the old days, we would just pick the very best hardware available. But those were simpler times, when parts vendors all got along and their sole mission was to provide you with badass gear. Sadly, the stakes are so high today that politics has an undue influence on hardware configurations.
To find out who's on our naughty list, and see an in-depth kick-ass examination of our Dream Machine, hit the jump! And hold onto your hat.
We've given you the gear. Now take a trip into the Maximum PC Lab with an exclusive Web-only look at how we constructed this year's Dream Machine 2008--the fastest PC you can buy, hands-down. Be there for all the heart-wrenching fluid leaks! The painstaking storage decisions! The bits and pieces we had to break just to achieve our Dream Machine...dreams!
If you have yet to check out what we packed into this rig, be sure to catch up on our first, second, and third looks at the parts of this over-customized rig. But if you're ready, then pop open the Lab door by clicking that little "Read More" link and take a look at how Maximum PC master-builders brought forth this year's PC powerhouse!
And thus, the grand story of the Dream Machine 2008 comes to its final edition. And do we have a reveal for you! We're going to show you the ultra-secret case that encloses the mighty guts of our speedy Skulltrail machine. We're also giving you a first-look at the not-quite-as-secret videocards powering the graphics of this hefty rig. Before it catches ablaze, we'll also show you the cooling setup and what we used to rock out whilst checking the cooler for leaks.
That's right. Today, you're getting the case, the graphics, the cooling and the sound--an epic conclusion to the most powerful rig we've ever built. If you're just joining us, you'll want to check out the beginning of the story as well as the second edition of the Dream Machine saga, where we officially showed off this machine's spankin'-fast processors.
But enough small-talk. Click that little "read more" link and prepare thyself for greatness.