You may have been using Google and all its related tech for years, but we're willing to bet there's still a thing or two you could learn from a seasoned expert or even a newbie about the way the search engine functions, how it recalls information, and even how it can scrub specific websites for data in place of an on-site search option.
Best AC router: everything you need to know about the 802.11ac standard
Even though you might just now be getting around to upgrading your home network to take advantage of the 802.11n spec, there’s a new standard on the horizon that promises even faster speeds. How fast? Well, if 802.11n is a pitcher’s fastball, the draft 802.11ac spec is a bullet fired from a gun, at least in theoretical terms.
To all the Windows 8 haters out there, we feel your pain! The update might be too little, too late for some, but if you're ready to accept a Win 8.1 fate, our guide will get you started
Sometimes we wonder if Microsoft didn’t actually build a new OS so much as a Frankenstein that its customers could direct years of pent up anger, frustration, and fear onto. For example, just hint that Windows 8.0 ain’t that bad on the Internet, and some Windows users will react as if you keyed their mint ’64 Chevelle Malibu and kicked their dog with your steel-toed boot. To say you’ll get a beat down of YouTube-able proportions is an understatement of people’s rage at Windows 8.0 today.
Note: This article originally appeared in the January 2014 issue of the magazine.
Every power user has hopped on the cloud storage bandwagon because it’s awesome having all your files synced to any Internet-connected machine, but there are two problems. First, we have some privacy concerns; second, it’s ridiculously expensive. WD’s new My Cloud addresses both of these issues by being dirt cheap (by comparison) and by storing all your data on a “personal cloud,” also known as a NAS drive. It’s time for a clash of the clouds!
Note: This article originally appeared in the january 2014 issue of the magazine.
We know the Radeon R9 290X can go head-to-head with a GTX Titan, but can this extra-long, hot-running GPU hang in a small form factor chassis like a Titan can?
For a while now, we’ve considered doing another Build It with a "shoebox" case like the Silverstone Sugo SG08 we used in the June 2013 issue. If you recall, we wedged Nvidia's GeForce GTX Titan into a mini-ITX system, and it provided a surprising amount of firepower to a system that was remarkably small. The Titan is able to hang in a tiny chassis due to Kepler’s efficiency, making it highly effective in close quarters. Fast forward to the present, and AMD has released the Radeon R9 290X, which performs about as well as a Titan but costs around $550—nearly half the price. However, the R9 290X runs a bit hot under the collar, typically at 94 C, and is a half-inch longer than the Titan, as well. Though it’s certainly competitive with Titan in benchmarks, we wondered whether the R9 290X can withstand the rigors of a small form factor build. To find out, we stuffed it into a new shoebox chassis from Cooler Master, and added a new Corsair closed-loop cooler designed specifically for small enclosures. We added a modular power supply from Seasonic that is also designed for SFF builds, so this should be one badass box
Note: This article was originally featured in the February 2014 issue of the magazine.
Crowdfunding sites have made it possible to raise money for a business venture from your computer. While Kickstarter is king in this realm, there are other noteworthy alternatives. We kick the tires on three of them
What do Bret Easton Ellis, Ricki Lake, and Whoopi Goldberg all have in common? Believe it or not, they have all successfully launched projects through Kickstarter—the world’s largest crowdfunding site. They’re not alone, either; since the site first debuted in 2009, more than 5 million users have made donations, funding over 50,000 individual ventures that otherwise would never have seen the light of day. It is fair to say that Kickstarter has been a modern phenomenon, helping to fund a wide variety of different projects, from video games to fashion labels and even multi-million dollar feature films. It truly is an entrepreneur’s playground.
Note: This article was originally featured in the January 2014 issue of the magazine.
The doctor tackles 255 C CPU?!, Surface Power Cables, 300TB Storage Volumes, and more
Is My CPU Melting?!
I have an AMD FX -8120 processor on an MSI 990FXA-GD65 motherboard with 16GB of Patriot RAM. Sometimes when my PC boots, Core Temp reports a CPU temperature of 255 C, which causes the CPU to throttle to 1.4GHz. When I reboot, it returns to normal. I've scoured the Internet, emailed with AMD and MSI, and have only tried one thing that made sense. I set the Windows power setting to High Performance, and set minimum CPU power to 100 percent, which should have set the CPU clock cycle to 3.1GHz.
Note: This article was originally featured in our January 2014 issue of the magazine.
A dual R9 290X card isn't here yet, but the 7990 is the next best thing
The Mission The ongoing war between Nvidia and AMD for supremacy over the PC gaming landscape has been like the Hatfields and the McCoys of enthusiast computing: long, bitter, and deeply entrenched. AMD's Radeon HD 7990 is the company’s biggest salvo yet, combining two HD 7970 GPUs onto one card. It didn't come out until spring 2013, though, which was long after Nvidia's own dual-GPU behemoth, the GeForce GTX 690, had dug in its heels. And it wasn't until mid-summer that AMD began to address the stuttering issues that marred its multi-GPU setups. With AMD's R9 series arriving in October 2013, this crown jewel didn’t really have much time to shine. Today, we'll try and change that, pitting this Cadillac of a card against nothing less than Battlefield 4, with everything maxed out and running at 1920x1080. With the previous Battlefield regularly favoring Nvidia cards, this might seems like enemy territory. But this time, AMD is working closely with the developer to make sure nothing goes awry. And in December, BF4 will be the first game to feature Mantle, which AMD has positioned to replace Microsoft's DirectX API. In the end, the HD 7990 could set the bar.
Note: This article was originally featured in the Holiday 2013 issue of the magazine.
You are your own worst enemy, indeed. In this month’s matchup, we pit Windows 8.1 against its predecessor, Windows 8, in not so much an outright battle, but a comparison of some of the more notable tweaks that Microsoft has slapped into its first refresh of the controversial operating system. Just make sure you tell your system to stop hitting itself, OK?
Note: This article originally appeared in the Holiday 2013 issue of the magazine.
When it comes to your data, there are times when a USB key doesn't have the capacity or speed you need, and you can't afford to have a delicate hard drive smashing on the floor. Enter ruggedized USB 3.0 hard drives, which address all of our needs by combining speed and reliability into a supremely portable package. We put three such drives to the test, and found out which one has the speed you crave and the durability you require.
Note: This article was taken from the October 2013 issue of the magazine.