Minecraft is a veritable juggernaut in the PC gaming world, with a bustling mod community, dedicated Let's Play streamers, and hundreds of variations on play to keep things fresh. Nearly everywhere you go, even in department stores, you see the gaping mouths of Creepers, blank stares of Steve heads, and even diamond pickaxe styluses.
See what’s draining your Windows 8.1 PC’s battery in 'InstantGo' standby mode
Windows 8.1 devices, as long as they’ve the right hardware, can be put into a network-connected standby state called InstantGo (known as Connected Standby in Windows 8 and Windows RT), allowing for apps and tiles to retain Internet connectivity and remain updated even when the system is in standby mode. It’s undoubtedly a great feature, but it’s easy to see how a few battery-hogging apps and system activities could combine to ruin its usefulness. Enter Windows 8.1 Sleep Study, a diagnostic tool for analyzing battery usage during InstanGo sessions.
A truly custom computer case is a work of art. It is a one-of-a-kind unique statement that stands out among mass-market boxes, and pushes the aesthetic of the creative ‘case mod’ (adapting an existing case with paint and trim) to the edge.
Time-tested tips for PC building that will help you avoid common pitfalls and enjoy a more fulfilling DIY experience
PC builders don’t drop out of their mommies with a Phillips head screwdriver in one hand, a Leatherman in the other, and start winning PC-building contests. No, most experienced PC builders accumulate their knowledge through horrible mistakes, case scars and flesh wounds, and the sorrow of having to completely take apart a machine they just assembled because a single, crucial step was neglected at some point in the process.
Note: This article originally appeared in the April 2013 issue of the magazine.
It (literally) pays to know all the crafty ways you can save money without sacrificing your power user cred
As much as we love ogling top-of-the-line PC hardware and fantasizing about price-be-damned rigs, we also love, love, love to stretch a dollar. Does that make us cheapskates? You betcha, if that’s what you want to call someone who doesn’t pay a premium when he or she doesn’t have to. Sign us up! In fact, where computing is concerned, knowing all the various angles to save a buck—a buck that can then be put toward new and better gear, mind you—is as much a part of being a power user as knowing how to flash a BIOS or overclock RAM. If you’re currently spending top dollar on your PC activities, it’s time you got schooled in the fine art of penny-pinching. From free software alternatives, to the best deals on all forms of digital entertainment, to hardware-buying tips, to our blueprint for a $600 PC, this year’s Cheapskate’s Guide can save you thousands of dollars and make you a more savvy consumer in the process.
Note: This article appeared in the October 2012 issue of the magazine.
What's new in Jelly Bean 4.2, best Android apps, and Android battery saving tips
With the recent release of Android version 4.2 (codename: Jelly Bean) and a handful of new Nexus devices (See: Nexus 4, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10), we figured it was time we updated our Android Guide. This time around, we’ve got some useful tips for getting the most out of the newly added features in the latest Jelly Bean update, a few general tricks for all of the Android users out there, and a list of great apps that are worth checking out.
We wanted to share with you a YouTube video posted by Carey Holzman that shows, in great detail, how to a build a PC from scratch using parts from our "Get the Best Bang for the Buck" feature in the currently shipping December 2012 issue of Maximum PC. If Holzman's name sounds familiar, it's because he used to co-host the Computer America Show for about 6 years where Deputy Editor Gordon Mah Ung and Senior Editor Josh Norem, along with former editors Jon Phillips, Will Smith, and George Jones could frequently be heard.
Alright, Windows 8 fans. You’ve taken our advice and speed-ran your way through a clean installation (or upgrade!) of Microsoft’s latest OS. You’ve created or attached an existing Windows Live account to your installation, you’ve taken care of the few prompts Microsoft’s asked you to fill out or click through, and you’ve even given a cursory glance to the company’s brief “How to use Windows 8” video.
Saying that Windows 8 is a major shift in strategy for Microsoft is pretty obvious at this point. Between the Metro interface, complete dismissal of the start menu, focus on touch screen devices, and myriad other changes; this is not the Windows of the Bill Gates era. One change which hasn’t received much discussion is the idea of Windows 8 being Microsoft’s next iteration for not only Windows 7, but for Windows Home Server.
This small gaming PC isn't as wee as our Wee Ass-Kicking Machine, but it kicks more ass
Way back in December 2010, we built an awesome Mini-ITX gaming rig dubbed the Wee Ass-Kicking Machine. It featured a Core i7-870 CPU, a GeForce GTX 460 GPU, 4GB of DDR3, a 1TB hard drive, and a 120GB SSD—all crammed into a Silverstone SG07 chassis not much larger than a shoebox. The total cost? Around $1,600 (at the time).
It’s, uh, been a while since then, though, and I thought it was high time we built another Mini-ITX gaming rig. This one’s not quite as small, but it’s got a lot more oomph. We’re using the BitFenix Prodigy, which has room for a full-size ATX PSU, scads of hard drives, and even a 240mm radiator (if you swing that way), while still being small enough to be lugged around by its convenient carrying handles.