Plus, a Raspberry Pi competitor, Alienware's $3600 Titan-Z system, reader questions, and more!
This week on episode 227 of the No BS Podcast, the Maximum PC crew came together to chat about a supposed leak of Haswell-E specs and weigh the likelihood of a Windows 9 release this year. We also debate whether or not we'd buyAlienware's newest made-to-order system (is it a deal, or is the Titan-Z still not worth it?), and the potential of a souped-up competitor to the Raspberry Pi board, called the HummingBoard, for pet projects. All this plus staff picks, questions from readers, and a particularly spirited rant from Gordon.
Check out footage of this cool, revolutionary chassis
In this video, Gordon walks you through Origin PC’s Genesis. The Genesis features the company’s custom designed and modular chassis that lets the builder add a bottom slice with additional radiators or hard drives as well as the capability to mount the motherboard tray in four orientations including reversing the tray and window. It’s truly a unique and dare we say it—revolutionary approach to case design. And yes, just like custom systems from other vendors, you can get the case—you just have to buy entire system and gut the parts. The case isn’t quite perfect though so Gordon walks you through what works and what doesn't. And no, despite what Gordon seems to imply, you can’t actually change the orientation of the motherboard willy nilly. That’s done when you order the machine and when it’s being built.
AMD exec doubles down on assertion that Nvidia Gameworks presents a threat to PC gamers
This week on episode 226 of the No BS Podcast, AMD graphics guru Richard Huddyjoins the Maximum PC crew. For those unfamiliar with the AMD exec, Huddy has spent time working at ATI, AMD, Nvidia, Intel, and is now back at AMD. He’s also widely considered one of the pioneers of DirectX. Suffice it to say, he knows his stuff.
In this special edition of the podcast, we pick his brain on a variety of topics relating to AMD. Easily the most exciting part of the discussion is the fact that Huddy doubles down on AMD’s assertion that Nvidia Gameworks presents a threat to PC gamers, most notably by adding lines of code to games that would hinder performance on AMD graphics cards (It’s some pretty damning assertions).
We reason there are a number of you who have heard of The Walking Dead, but have never gotten a chance to exercise your mouse fingers in this quasi-game. This has led us to wonder: Is the second season of Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead compelling enough to make one go through the entire series up until this point? Could you even jump back in if you had a peek at Season One but never quite got around to finishing it?
Note: This review was originally featured in our March 2014 issue of the magazine.
When it comes to creating the greatest island nation in the world, we will stop at nothing to achieve this. What we can’t understand is why our denizens never seem to appreciate the measures we take to achieve this goal. Sure, child labor doesn't sound like the greatest thing in the world, but when jobs need filling, what are you going to do? After all, it is for the betterment and advancement of Tropico!
It’s not black and yellow, but we think we know what it is
Some rigs are built to stand out. Others are purely functional with little to no attention given to aesthetics or design. Adam Birli’s Black Gold stands somewhere in between the two extremes. It’s sexy, but understated; flashy, and stealthy at the same time. It’s no Orogenesis, but it’s beautiful in its own way. Beautiful enough, that it’s worthy of being this month’s Rig of the Month.
There’s a little secret in the high-end PC market—few if any of these premium rigs actually have truly unique case enclosures. Instead, most boutique builders start with existing off-the-shelf chassis and customize from there.
\Note: This review was originally featured in the January 2014 issue of the magazine.
We know the Radeon R9 290X can go head-to-head with a GTX Titan, but can this extra-long, hot-running GPU hang in a small form factor chassis like a Titan can?
For a while now, we’ve considered doing another Build It with a "shoebox" case like the Silverstone Sugo SG08 we used in the June 2013 issue. If you recall, we wedged Nvidia's GeForce GTX Titan into a mini-ITX system, and it provided a surprising amount of firepower to a system that was remarkably small. The Titan is able to hang in a tiny chassis due to Kepler’s efficiency, making it highly effective in close quarters. Fast forward to the present, and AMD has released the Radeon R9 290X, which performs about as well as a Titan but costs around $550—nearly half the price. However, the R9 290X runs a bit hot under the collar, typically at 94 C, and is a half-inch longer than the Titan, as well. Though it’s certainly competitive with Titan in benchmarks, we wondered whether the R9 290X can withstand the rigors of a small form factor build. To find out, we stuffed it into a new shoebox chassis from Cooler Master, and added a new Corsair closed-loop cooler designed specifically for small enclosures. We added a modular power supply from Seasonic that is also designed for SFF builds, so this should be one badass box
Note: This article was originally featured in the February 2014 issue of the magazine.