For the most part, we tend to steer clear of totally bogus tech stories on April Fools' Day, though it's not always easy separating fact from fiction. Crazy things happen all the time, and since April Fools' fell on a Monday this time around, traditionally one of the busiest news days of the week, it was even more challenging discerning between factual and phony announcements.
It's also part of the fun. For example, is Scope's brilliantly conceived bacon flavored mouthwash a real thing? That's a good question to ask Maximum PC Deputy Editor Gordon Mah Ung if you decide to rent him for a day to help with his legal woes (while you're at it, ask him what became of the "Bitchin' fast! 3D 2000" graphics card featured in the September 1999 issue of the magazine). That's but one example of many, and rather than skip over them all, we've put together a gallery of our favorite faux announcements.
Why you should NOT buy a Nexus 4, iPad mini, and other popular electronic devices.
Clark Griswold's reaction to receiving a pre-paid Jelly of the Month Club membership instead of an expected bonus check in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation is exactly what it feels like to buy the 'wrong' piece of technology. For example, let's say you plunk down $200 on a subsidized top-of-the-line dual-core smartphone, and then as soon as the return/exchange period expires, the manufacture releases an upgraded quad-core model with more bells and whistles. You can shake an angry fist at Mount Olympus all you want, you're still locked into a two-year agreement. Sometimes these situations are unavoidable, but many times they're not.
The busiest shopping day of the year, Black Friday, has come and gone, but fear not. Even though Black Friday is officially over, many of the deals still remain, and even more are just getting started. On top of it all, Cyber Monday 2012 is here!
We understand you'd rather not waste your time wading through discounted toasters and button-up shirts, so we went out and did the dirty work for you. What we brought back with us is a robust collection of PC-related parts, accessories, and games, all organized into handy categories. If you see "(BF)" next to an item, it's a Black Friday deal (we'll cross out the ones that are expired), and "(CM)" indicates a Cyber Monday deal. Also, we're not fans of mail-in-rebates, so we've omitted most of those deals. For the few that we include, they're represented with an asterisk.
As the weekend progresses, we'll be updating this list with new deals as they emerge, so be sure to bookmark this page and check back often. And if you happen to find a killer deal we missed, be sure to share it with us and the rest of our readers in the comments section below.
Just last month, we put together a gallery of the 20 craziest costumes on display at the PAX (Penny Arcade Expo) Prime 2012 convention in Seattle, Washington, where everything from an unemployed Storm Trooper to a gender-bending Princess Peach could be found wandering the grounds. Now we're switching gears to the opposite side of the continent to bring you another collection of photos, this time from New York Comic-Con 2012, the largest pop culture event on the East Coast.
Like PAX Prime, the Comic-Con show in New York is place where it's perfectly acceptable (and even preferable) to dress up in full garb as your favorite character from a variety of entertainment forms, be it a graphic novel, comic book, video game, television series, or whatever. If you've never been to a cosplay (costume play) convention, put it on your bucket list and thank us later. In the meantime, check out the photos from New York Comic-Con 2012 and thank us now.
There are only a handfull of places you can bump into a laid off Storm Trooper and a dude dressed up in full garb as Princess Peach in the same day. One of those places is the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX), which is a series of gaming festivals held in Seattle, Washington and Boston, Massachusetts. It's a place to celebrate game culture, to let loose and participate in LAN parties and game tournaments, and if you're brave enough, to dress up as your favorite game character.
Cosplay (costume play) is all about having fun, and the guys and gals at PAX do it in spades (and tights and makeup and everything else). If you weren't able to attend the event this past weekend, don't worry, we rounded up a collection of 20 of the wildest, goofiest, and downright craziest costumes to grace PAX Prime 2012. Fair warning, however -- some things you simply can't un-see (don't worry, it's all safe for work), but then again, that's all part of the fun. Enjoy the geek gallery, and be sure to tell us which costume is your favorite!
The PC upgrade is, sadly, a lost art form today. Fifteen years ago, the vast majority of PC buyers bought machines with long-term plans to upgrade them as newer, more capable parts became available. Today, most people would rather just chuck an aged PC into an e-waste bin and buy a completely new computer. We say boo to that. A well-thought-out upgrade can be the most economical option, extending the life of your PC’s still-useful parts—not to mention giving you a tremendous sense of satisfaction at your resourcefulness.
On the following pages we detail three distinct PC builds desperately in need of performance boosts. We walk you through our thought process in determining realistic upgrade goals for each PC and how and why we choose the parts to get there. Before and after benchmarks reveal the fruits of our labor.
If you're in the habit of giving credence to tired clichés, you're probably aware that a good chef never blames a mistake on his tools. That's not quite true when it comes to case modding. Anybody who's ever tried molding metal (or anything else) into newfound shapes knows that skill is definitely a factor, but even Modderati masters can't turn ducks into swans if their tools aren't up to snuff. On the flip side, solid tools can help novices pump out professional-looking mods.
But just what tools does a modder need in his toolkit? We're glad you asked. If you found yourself flipping through our kick-ass case mods gallery and wondering how you -- yes, you -- could craft such beautiful works with your own hands, this handy-dandy guide will get you going in the right direction. Everything from beginning tools to advanced tools to sources for super-advanced services can be found in this lengthy tome… and most of the basic tools could already be sitting in your garage.
A kick-ass case mod makes for a kick-ass PC. It's that simple. No matter whether you're rocking a Sandy Bridge-E or a Celeron, a water-cooled, LED-lit, hand-tailored and custom milled chassis stops traffic and sets lips a-whistlin' like nobody's business, proverbs about books and their covers be damned.
The past six months have seen a flood of truly outstanding case mods hit the Interwebz. So we decided to take the time to showcase the best of the best in recent memory -- with a little extra help from master modder Bill Owen of MNPCTech, Case Mod Blog, Mod Men and Maximum PC Star Trek PC fame. Because who knows the cream of the crop better than one of the cream of the crop?
Microsoft's Metro-ified vision of the future relies heavily on users being able to access files and user settings no matter what Windows 8 device they're logged into. The SkyDrive cloud service will (obviously) be a large part of that cohesion. Gearing up for that, the SkyDrive team announced a handful of new features for the service. It's not the unlimited storage space for docs and photos that has long been rumored, but the changes are good ones nonetheless.
Building expensive, over-the-top machines is easy. It’s when you dip below the $1,000 mark that it gets difficult. This month, I undertook the challenge of building the best all-around PC I could for less than $850. To me, that meant a machine good at multithreaded tasks as well as gaming. We’ve said it before, and we’ll stick to our guns: Intel’s Core i5-2500K is the sweet spot for price/performance. Unfortunately, that price is too high for this configuration. That left me pondering whether to do yet another Core i3 box or another AMD box.
Readers have been ragging on us about what fantastic deals Phenom II procs currently are. I looked high and low and, surprisingly, I did find some e-tailers selling Phenom IIs way below the list price. For just $139, you can net a 3.5GHz Phenom II X4 970. That gives you four cores, a much larger cache, and a fully unlocked part for not much more than the Athlon II X4 has been going for. The Phenom II X4 isn’t always a clear-cut winner against its Intel counterpart, the 3.3GHz Core i3-2120, but it does hold its own in multithreading tasks and game-related chores, which are all about the GPU.