"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.
Dream Machine 2012 is the PC utopia we all long for
Conventional wisdom says that PC performance doesn’t matter anymore. That’s because the average consumer, the average gamer, and the average PC jockey can’t tell the difference between a slow POS machine and a fast one. Well guess what, baby? That’s a bunch of crap.
Some people believe piracy has no negative effect on sales. I am not one of those people. So I sympathize with EA's desire to combat piracy with SimCity. However, I do not believe that requiring users to always be connected to EA's servers to be the best solution to the problem, especially when those servers come crashing down and prevent honest customers from playing legitimate copies of their game.
PC gaming is where you go for high-octane visuals, and the original Crysis was no exception when it dropped in 2007. The highly anticipated sequel in 2011, however, proved a less ambitious affair. We traded a vast, free-roam jungle for the relatively restricted avenues of a war-torn New York City. There was usually more than one route to take, but this more linear experience arrived with some seams showing: Its advanced graphical options were inaccessible, the AI did not impress, and it did not even use DirectX 11 (at first). Crysis 3 fares better in some ways, but not in others.
An in-depth Q&A with one of the best professional LoL teams
With an astounding 32 million registered players and one billion hours of collective playtime each month, League of Legends (LoL) is the most-played videogame in the world. The free-to-play title pits two teams of five players against each other and has them destroying enemy bases: think team-based tower defense gameplay where players have different designated positions. The deep, complex game is just as competitive as it is popular and features unprecedented lucrative tournaments that have multi-million dollar prize pools. Throughout the process, LoL has created several gaming rockstars in the burgeoning eSports world.
One such rockstar team is top-10-ranked Team Curse. Based in Las Vegas, Nevada, the American team currently has a record of 9-2 this season and has garnered sponsorships from such companies as Cooler Master. Team Curse is so well-respected in the community that its players charge up to $250 an hour for gameplay lessons. While this fee sounds astronomically high for what is nothing more than a videogame practice session, Team Curse tells us that requests for lessons can be at times overwhelming.
Maximum PC had the opportunity to conduct an in-depth interview with the beloved team where they talk about their insane practice regimen, discuss what it's like to recieve so much attention from fans, share tips on how to become a better player, and much more. Read on for the full interview.
Water cooling is the way to go if you're serious about keeping your CPU thermals in check, and the easiest way to dip your toe in the water-cooling pool is an all-in-one unit that bolts onto your case. You don’t have to mess with pumps, tubing, or fans, and the kits will work with any modern CPU and most chassis, so their appeal is maximum cooling with minimum effort. Thermaltake is on board with this concept, and offers three tasty all-in-one entrées in its Water2.0 series: a low-end “Performance” model, a double-rad “Extreme” model, and the mid-range “Pro” version we examined this month.
Note: This review was taken from the January 2013 issue of the magazine.
Zalman’s Z9-U3 isn’t a great case but, at a cost of $70, it would be difficult to expect this mid-tower chassis to move many mountains.
The case’s design isn’t all that different from the company’s previously released Z9 chassis. Changes include the removal of the case’s grilled side in favor of an acrylic window and the happy inclusion of USB 3.0 connectivity on the chassis’ front—two ports, with internal headers. Although the switch from a grilled side to acrylic means that you’re down two potential fan slots, the case supports five fans in total (ranging from 12cm to 14cm) and comes with three preinstalled for you.
Note: This review was originally featured in the January 2013 issue of the magazine.
From telling Iran they shouldn’t torture quite so many bloggers to complaining about China hacking Google, America is big on pushing Internet freedom around the world these days. Even before the Arab Revolutions, ensuring Internet freedom was an official foreign policy objective. But you know what would make us more plausible advocates for a free Internet? If we had one.
Note: This column was originally featured in the Holiday 2012 issue of the magazine.