We attempt to build the best PC for Crysis 3 without suffering a financial crisis
The Mission When the original Crysis dropped six years ago, it quickly became the gold standard for visual splendor—and enthusiast agony. Gamers the world over fired up the demo, only to find their previously potent GPU coughing and sputtering. Thus began The Great Upgrade Rush of 2007, as we all upgraded just to play Crysis, and the game became the benchmark for PC gaming for years to come. Whenever a new GPU arrived, the first question on everyone’s mind was, "Will it run Crysis?" When Crysis 2 came along it was a console port, and somewhat scaled-back technologically. The environments were small by PC standards, and developer Crytek didn't expose advanced settings for us to mess with. With Crysis 3, though, Crytek has claimed it would make your PC its bitch, and we must say after benchmarking it that we agree; bitches will be made.
Note: This article was originally featured in the May 2013 issue of the magazine.
We put six high-end keyboards to the test in search of the best keyboard
If you’re a gamer, you can probably identify a few points in time when you realized something important about your control setup that made you better at the game. When you discovered that putting your left hand on WASD gives you more options than putting it on the arrow keys, for instance, or when you realized that your crappy optical mouse was actually holding you back in shooters. These kinds of peripheral epiphanies don’t happen every day, but it might be just about time for you to have a new one. It might be time for you to realize that your keyboard is holding you back.
Note: This article originally appeared in our March 2013 issue of the magazine.
We like building our own PCs because there's a certain satisfaction that comes from hand-picking the right combination of parts, putting them together, and then fine tuning their collective performance both on a hardware and software level. A home brewed PC is never finished -- we can always add, subtract, or upgrade components, and over time, our machines become a living entity that grows alongside us. What started off as a lean, mean, pixel pushing machine may eventually end up as a whisper quiet home theater PC (HTPC).
Windows 8 ships with a new version of Windows Defender that’s supposed to offer the same level of protection as Microsoft Security Essentials. Along with other security upgrades, we’re left wondering if there’s any reason to saddle up with a third-party antivirus program. To find out, we compared Windows Defender with Avast, which as we discovered in last month’s antivirus roundup is a formidable ally to have by your side as you romp around the web.
Note: This article originally appeared in the May 2013 issue of the magazine.
What time is it? It's time to build a PC with our Blueprints! This month, we've built three rigs at three approximate price points:Budget, Baseline, and Performance. Budget gets you a capable but affordable rig, Baseline gets you a powerful that is suitable for gaming and content creation at 1080p, and Performance gets you even more.
These rigs are lab-tested and editor-approved. Feedback is, of course, welcome. Tell us what you think!
Two large, affordable gaming notebooks go fang-to-fang
Gaming notebooks can be quite pricey, but Gigabyte's P2742 and CyberPower's Fangbook X7-200 remind us that we don't need to break the bank to get PC gaming on the go. Not only are both of these 17.3-inch notebooks affordable at around $1,500, they also both feature the same Core i7 Ivy Bridge processor. Which one is worth your hard-earned money? Read on to find out.
Note: This article was taken from the May 2013 issue of the magazine.
For whatever reason, audiophile-quality headsets don’t exist unless you can spring for something like the $250 Sennheiser PC 360. Fortunately, you don’t have to use a dedicated headset anymore and can stick a capable microphone right onto your beloved headphones. The Zalman ZM-MIC1, the AntLion ModMic 2.0, and ModMic 3.0 are all priced under $50 and are aimed at headphone users.
The Samsung 840 Pro was our top SSD until the OCZ Vector came along several months later and was able to run neck-and-neck with the Sammy through our benchmark gauntlet. As it currently stands, the 256GB versions of these drives both wear a 9/Kick Ass bandolier around their midsections, but there’s still another contest that has yet to be decided. So this month, we gathered the 512GB versions of both drives and set them loose in the blood-splattered arena known as the Lab.
Note: This review was originally featured in the May 2013 issue of the magazine.
Learn how to root your Nexus Android, HTC One, and Samsung Galaxy S4
Android offers a wide variety of advanced customization options, but that’s only scratching the surface of everything you can do with Google’s open source operating system. With root access you can get down to the system level and tweak things to your liking, even going so far as completely replacing the OS.