We’re constantly on the hunt for top-shelf PC performance—you’re not reading Bottom-Feeder PC, after all. When rendering our review verdicts, we do factor in price, but recommending a subpar product just because it’s cheap is sacrilege to us. Pricing can be relevant, but when it comes to videocards, we typically anchor our opinions on the toughest criteria we know of: 3D performance in the most demanding games on the market, at resolutions of 1920x1200 and higher and with all eye candy enabled.
While our editorial mantra might best be expressed as “better, faster, stronger” (hey, we should do a cover story on that!), there’s no escaping the fact that the videocard market boasts a broad spectrum of inexpensive—and intriguing—alternatives. In fact, as AMD and Nvidia have been battling for supremacy at the top of the market, we’ve watched the entry points for penultimate-performance videocards gradually but consistently come down to earth. Sure, playing Crysis on a 30-inch panel might be out of the question if you’re running one of the lower-priced cards, but we still wanted to discover the 3D tipping point—the point at which you’re better off giving up PC gaming altogether because the card you’re running is horribly, utterly lacking in horsepower.
The doors have officially opened and the madness has begun. Comic-Con 2009 is in full swing, and we've made the rounds in the main convention halls to catch the geek out in action. Tonight, we're bringing you a gallery of the sweetest, sexiest, and coolest toys we've seen so far. Many of these are from Sideshow Collectibles, but we also have shots of figures from DC direct, Hasbro, and other manufacturers. This is just a small sampling of what's on display behind glass shelves here, and we'll continue grabbing photos of any other toys that catch our eyes. Enjoy!
Click on to see the entire gallery! Some of it may be not safe for work!
As the setup for tonight's Comic-Con 2009 opening continues, we've managed to sneak inside yet again to see how the show floor looks one day later. Vendors and studios are putting the final touches to their booths, some even shielding big props with curtains to hide big reveals from curious eyes. This afternoon's gallery has highlights from Sideshow Collectible's famous booth, Hasbro's GI Joe presence, and Warner Bros.'s giant tumble weed. We're just as confused as you. Confirmed, though, is the presence of the Black Hornet's car and an Iron Man 2 armory with at least 4 full-size suits on display. Check back tonight as we'll post coverage from tonight's Preview Night events.
Every attendee of Comic-Con revcieves a complimentary gift bag, which they can use to fill with posters, pins, and other freebies that will be given out on the show floor. We snagged a bag when we picked up our attendee badges, which you can check out below. We'll probaby be giving away our Comic-Con swag to in a contest after the event, so keep tabs on our official Twitter and Comic-Con landing page for updates.
Woohoo! We've arrived in sunny San Diego for this week's Comic-Con 2009 festivities, and can't wait for the show to start! In fact, we were so impatient that we sneaked our way onto the show floor to grab a portfolio of spy shots of the show's setup. Inside the cavernous exhibition hall, comic book vendors, toy companies, and movie studios are assembling their booths, revealing details about the surprises they're planning on revealing when doors open tomorrow night.
So far, we've been able to spot new movie posters, movie props, and a full-size Transformers Bumblebee Camero on display. Over at the Marvel booth, signs reading "Stark Enterprises" and "Stark Expo" indicate that this will be where the highly anticipated Iron Man 2 will be showcased (armor gallery, maybe?). Other highlights include a mech from Avatar, Lego Stormtroopers, and a Stargate. There are already rumblings that Seth Rogan will be on hand tomorrow for the unveiling of Green Hornet's Black Beauty car.
Check out the photos to see what you can pick out. Come back tomorrow when I'll post more photos of the floor before 100,000 sweaty nerds make their way in.
With the recent hullaballoo over the dangers of talking on the the phone while driving, we couldn't help but be reminded of a real-world experiment our sister publication Mobile ran way back in February 2005 about the very same issue. Using noted drinker Roger Hibbert as a guinea pig, they headed for the hallowed grounds of our local Malibu Grand Prix, carrying a phone, a stopwatch, a Breathalyzer, and bottle of 100-proof Absolut. Our goal: To find out if our subject could stay on the road while besotted or blathering. Our results will shock you to your very soul. Naturally, the tests are completely un-scientific, but it's a funny read, and the results are sobering (a-ha!) so we thought we'd repost it here for your consideration. Enjoy!
HDMI (the acronym stands for High-Definition Multimedia Interface) is one of the consumer electronics industry’s more remarkable innovations. This de facto HDTV interface enables the transmission of high-definition digital video, up to eight channels of digital audio, HDCP encryption, the Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) protocol, and five volts of electrical power over a single cable.
HDMI 1.0, introduced in December 2002, had all of these features. The latest version, HDMI 1.3c, boasts several more, including support for Deep Color, auto lip sync, and the two high-definition multichannel audio formats used in Blu-ray discs. Let’s take a look at how HDMI accomplishes all this while remaining backward-compatible with the earlier DVI standard.
Doom might arguably be the most memorable (or at least the most popular) PC game of all time, and with good reason. Prior to Doom's release, programmers found themselves in the stone age of game development. For the most part, building a game meant starting from scratch and compiling all new code, but like the invention of the wheel, the advent of the game engine forever changed the PC gaming landscape.
Now, we know what you're thinking, and we're well aware that game engines existed prior to Doom's release in 1993; we're even going to cover some. But it was id Software's now legendary first-person shooter that pushed reusable 3D game engines as a viable programming model, and videogame development has never been the same since then.
On the following pages, we look back at all the major PC game engines and what made each one special. As a prerequisite, be sure to check out our history of 3D graphics, which covers video cards from the Voodoo to the GeForce and everything in between. Once you've digested these two features, you're guaranteed to have a new-found respect for gaming on the PC!
Windows 7's display configuration settings have gone through some of the biggest transformations from previous editions, including Windows Vista. And, the changes are more than skin-deep. With improved support for portrait displays, better ways to detect and manage multiple monitors, easy projector connections, and better theme controls, Windows 7 makes it easier than ever before to make the visual components of Windows work the way you want them to. Join us after the jump for all the details.
Ding! If you're still using AOL's default instant messenger (or Google Talk, or Yahoo! Messenger, or...), then you're missing out on a wide range of alternative features--more than you perhaps though possible in a common messaging application. Or, worse, you're trying to converse with your friends across the various networks by using three or more individual applications at once. While this might have been the only way to bridge the gap between these services before, you can plead ignorance no longer. Start the uninstaller--and this article--and by the time you're finished with both, you'll never go back to the antiquated world of official messaging applications. Third-party is where the real party's at.
What can you expect to find in these open-source and freeware apps? For starters, an interface that combines a number of common messaging networks into a single program. In some cases, you can even lump your friends' various online names across the separate chat networks into a single, unifying alias--click a drop-down box to specify which network you want to reach them on. Beyond that, these programs can bring a number of plugins and external connections to the table. Combine your Facebook and Twitter feeds into your friends list, find out when people are about to message you before they do so, and call your buddies through your messenger interface akin to Skype. And that's just the tip of the IM iceberg.
Get a list of your favorite emoticons ready to go and hit the jump. The competitive world of instant messaging applications awaits!