The Kraken X40 breaks the current trend of closed-loop water coolers rocking 12cm fans by upping its fan size to 14cm fan, which NZXT promises delivers more heat dissipation and better cooling without subjecting users to deafening fan noise. It’s a lofty promise, but having tested it, we can tell you that this Kraken's bite lives up to its bark.
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?
As part of our neverending quest to keep Max PC readers up to date on all the latest and greatest tech hardware, we're launching a new monthly feature called Kick Ass Gear. In it, we'll give you a quick rundown of all the products that got a Kick Ass award or a review score of a 9 in the previous month's issue, and we'll link you to the products' online reviews.
As a general rule, our belief is that pairing two slow-performing cards using SLI or CrossFire is a bad idea—you’re usually better off running a single faster card. However, the Radeon 4850 X2 delivers astounding performance compared to the single-GPU boards in its price range, spanking the Radeon 4870 and the GeForce GTX 280, with none of the pitfalls that have plagued dual-GPU boards in the past.
At the heart of the board is a pair of ATI’s RV770 GPUs running at 625MHz, just like the single-GPU in the 4850 boards. Each GPU features a full complement of 800 stream processors, which are connected to identical 1GB GDDR3 frame buffers running at 993MHz on a 256-bit bus. Although X2 boards are labeled as featuring 2GB of memory, because the contents of each GPU’s frame buffer must be mirrored, applications can utilize only 1GB of video memory.
We love the shape of this mouse—it’s comfortable for even the longest session—and the DeathAdder just gets better from there. The sensor delivers pixel-perfect accuracy, and we love that the driver lets us adjust everything from X and Y sensitivity to the lights on the mouse. We’re still not sold on the idea of constantly updating firmware for a mere mouse, but Razer’s built a highly compelling rodent with the DeathAdder.
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.
It’s no secret that the expensive Samsung 245T hosts an S-PVA panel beneath its slim black exterior. But this display’s performance is certainly worth the price. The 245T offers a stunning picture for its class, trumping our longtime favorite 24-inch panel, Dell’s 2407WFP, and even its latest rev, the 2408WFP.
This 1920x1200 display boasts a 97-percent color gamut and the effect is clear. The 245T dishes out notably vibrant blues, reds, and greens, and its color saturation remains strong at even very light levels. To us, the display’s colors feel just right: crisp and bold without any hint of oversaturation. But even if you disagree, the monitor comes with a number of preset options for tweaking the coloration to your exact preferences. We found success using the Mild preset, as Normal made images appear drab and Brilliant made our images look like a supernova.
From Deschutes to Penryn, from Voodoo2 to GX2, from floppy drives to SSDs, the definition of pure PC power has changed radically over the last decade, and Maximum PC has been there—hands-on and no holding back—helping computer enthusiasts make sense of it. In honor of those 10 eventful years, we take a look back at some of the key moments in the magazine’s history, hear from some of the editors who have been there along the way, and take a wild guess at how another 10 years might shape the computing landscape. Strap on your sneaks, folks, we’re taking a walk down memory lane.
Celebrate 10 years of pure PC power after the jump!
We’ve seen this day coming for a long time. There was no way that Western Digital was going to sit back and let other manufacturers usurp the Raptor’s place at the top of the storage speed charts. Consider the rule of the speedy terabyte drives a hiccup on the timeline. The Raptor is back: upgraded, renamed, and… physically smaller.
To read our full review of the Velociraptor (not the preview we gave you before), hit the jump.
Fans of Star Wars and Star Trek finally have a role-playing game that’s worthy of their love. Mass Effect takes the most compelling themes and ideas of both franchises and mind-melds them into one of the best science fiction games we’ve ever played.
The full review of this stellar science-fiction epic is after the jump!