We feel honored that you guys can't get enough of the Maximum PC No BS podcast. We really do. It almost brings a tear to our old wretched eyes...almost. Anyways, we've heard your cries for more podcasts and we're trying our best to deliver. After all, how could we say no to a face like this?
One is an outlier. Two a coincidence. But three, as we know from News Media Statistics 101, is a crystal-clear trend.
And that’s just what we have with the Digital Storm Bolt, which follows on the heels of Alienware’s X51 and Falcon Northwest’s Tiki: proof that the PC is making an assault on the living room. Of course, the “assault on the living room” is our own private fantasy about the PC pushing the traditional game console overboard—Digital Storm just presents the box as a small PC (although we will note that the machine came with a wireless keyboard and game controller).
Note: This review first appeared in the January 2013 issue of the magazine.
We had the opportunity to get our hands on the Razer Edge, which Razer is advertising as the most powerful gaming tablet in the world. Our particular unit costs $1,450 and is armed with an x86 i7 CPU and a discrete GeForce GT640M video card. No integrated graphics and ARM processor here, folks: This is a full PC. Watch as we unbox the device and it's various peripherals (console dock, controller extension, and more).
When Nvidia launched the GTX 680 back in May it handily cleaned the AMD HD 7970’s clock, but that wasn’t enough for Nvidia (or us, to be honest). So Nvidia did what any rational power-hungry company would do, and married two GK104 GPUs to a single PCB, connected them with a 48-lane PLX PCIe 3.0 bridge chip and dubbed it the GTX 690. It currently reigns as the only current-gen dual-GPU card available since AMD’s dual HD 7970 card never officially materialized. Though we’ve reviewed the GTX 690 before, and also chose it for our lust-inspiring Dream Machine 2012, we had previously sampled the Asus board, so this month we’re checking out the other GeForce GTX 690, from EVGA. The two cards are clocked the same—slightly lower than a stock-clocked GTX 680 on each GPU—but the EVGA card is $50 less expensive.
Note: This review was taken from the January 2013 issue of the magazine.
PC adventure games have seen a much-needed resurgence in the past couple of years, attracting newer audiences and developers who wish to get in on the fun. With renewed interest in the once-forgotten genre, we're seeing sequels to cult classic, new tales with familiar heroes, and in the case of some newcomers, those who dare to push the boundaries of convention. Going beyond simple detective stories, murder mysteries, and real-world trappings is welcome, and while we have a handful of modern examples doing so, the edgiest games were found in the genre's formative years. Some hardly made sense. Others ended up weirding out or offending and alienating audiences completely. We're celebrating the oddities of twenty of the strangest PC adventure games ever. Let's get weird.
The concept of the desktop PC that folds flat like a tabletop is catching on. HP was first, with its Z1 workstation, but Lenovo brought the technology to consumer all-in-ones with its very sexy IdeaCentre A720. Now Asus has adopted the idea for its new ET2300 series (we reviewed the model ET2300INTI-B022K).
Note: This review was taken from the January issue of the magazine.
Attention, would-be cord cutters: If you’re going to tell the cable man to shove it, you’re going to want a full-featured media center app to make browsing your digital movies, music, and pictures as pretty and painless as possible. Two of the top no-cost contenders are the open-source XBMC and Plex, a partly proprietary fork of XBMC that focuses on streaming media to multiple devices. Which is the blockbuster and which is the dud? Let’s find out.
Note: This article first appeared in the December issue of the magazine.
Dishonored is a refreshingly stealthy change of pace in a first-person-shooter market crowded with Call of Battlefield-type games that seem like they were produced by Michael Bay. Don’t get us wrong—we love blowing stuff up, and we love killing terrorists, but sometimes we like to take a break from the frantic action and unwind with a night of stealthy throat slitting and neck snapping. After all, a man’s got to relax. This is what Dishonored delivers; a game based on stealth, tactics, and the delightful task of mastering a broad range of mystical abilities, providing us with a much-needed change of scenery in an FPS landscape dominated by desert warfare shooters, Borderlands 2 notwithstanding.
Note: This review was originally featured in the January 2013 issue of the magazine.
"Could ya'll possibly make an 'all rant edition' podcast this year like there have been in previous years? I liked those episodes of all the rants from the past year cut up into one." – user steven4570
Most power users would be perfectly willing to upgrade to Windows 8 if it weren’t for two things—the tile-based “Metro” interface and the missing Start button. While Metro is like a rash in that you eventually get used to it, we can’t imagine getting used to the lack of a Start button. It’s too bad Microsoft didn’t give us the option of using both features, but fortunately, two third-party utilities do. If you want the speed of Windows 8 and your old buddy the Start menu, one of these utilities belongs on your system. Let’s find out which one.
Note: This head-to-head feature appeared in the Holiday 2012 issue of the magazine.