You are your own worst enemy, indeed. In this month’s matchup, we pit Windows 8.1 against its predecessor, Windows 8, in not so much an outright battle, but a comparison of some of the more notable tweaks that Microsoft has slapped into its first refresh of the controversial operating system. Just make sure you tell your system to stop hitting itself, OK?
Note: This article originally appeared in the Holiday 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, Performance. "Budget" is an entry-level rig with pep, Baseline gets you a powerful system for gaming and content creation at 1080p, and Performance beefs everything up across the board.
Is there anything better than cranking up the settings and sitting down to play an amazing PC game? 2013 was a great year for PC gamers, but 2014 looks to be even better. Games like Watch Dogs, The Division, and The Witcher 3 are looking amazing so far. With that said, we've compiled a list of 20 games you should get excited about.
A USB key, aka thumb drive, is a must-have item for any hardware-fixing performance junkie, and now that USB 3.0 versions have arrived we all want the fastest one we can get our sweaty digits on. To find out which key holds the combination to our hearts, we put four models with top-tier specs through their paces. Since most of them don't come with any extras, they will be judged primarily on straight-line speed and overall usability. May the best key end up on your keychain!
Note: This article was taken from the December 2013 issue of the magazine.
Oxide Games developer Dan Baker helped answer some questions we had about AMD’s new API. Oxide’s upcoming game, Star Swarm, will support Mantle out of the gate and the company has been very vocal about Mantle which it believes can help all gamers and also start a dialogue about the future of APIs on the PC.
With our lab coats donned, our test benches primed, and our benchmarks at the ready, we look for answers to nine of the most burning performance-related questions
If there’s one thing that defines the Maximum PC ethos, it’s an obsession with Lab-testing. What better way to discern a product’s performance capabilities, or judge the value of an upgrade, or simply settle a heated office debate? This month, we focus our obsession on several of the major questions on the minds of enthusiasts. Is liquid cooling always more effective than air? Should serious gamers demand PCIe 3.0? When it comes to RAM, are higher clocks better? On the surface, the answers might seem obvious. But, as far as we’re concerned, nothing is for certain until it’s put to the test. We’re talking tests that isolate a subsystem and measure results using real-world workloads. Indeed, we not only want to know if a particular technology or piece of hardware is truly superior, but also by how much. After all, we’re spending our hard-earned skrilla on this gear, so we want our purchases to make real-world sense. Over the next several pages, we put some of the most pressing PC-related questions to the test. If you’re ready for the answers, read on.
Note: This article was originally featured in the October 2013 issue of the magazine
Update: A new graphically-demanding game is crowned. See which one it is!
At Maximum PC we love pushing our PCs to their limits by testing high-end games at maximum settings. To reach these limits, you'll need to fire up the most über-demanding games. What are themost graphically-demanding games you ask? We’ve thrown together a list of the gnarliest PC games that will give your precious gaming PC a kick-ass workout.
Five ways to put your collection of neglected USB thumb drives to good use
Although they were once considered expensive luxuries to most users, USB thumb drives have become nearly as ubiquitous as the now defunct floppy disk. Thumb drives of all shapes and sizes are currently sold at corner drug stores, freely disseminated at trade shows, and even given out as digital business cards. Thumb drives are so commonplace now that it’s not unusual for PC users to have amassed huge collections of drives that, for the most part, do little else but sit around collecting dust. We speak from experience.
Note: This article was originally featured in the September 2013 issue of the magazine.
The Cosmos II debuted in 2011 to much fanfare. Indeed, it was the chassis of our dreams. It housed our precious Dream Machine that year, and was easily the best “super-tower” available. In 2013, the Corsair 900D came on the scene boasting a similarly mammoth stature, and was itself chosen for Dream Machine duty due to its water-friendly nature and towering physique. Both cases represent the pinnacle of PC case design, so they must do battle.
Note: This article originally appeared in the December 2013 issue of the magazine.
While nothing can ever replace gaming with a keyboard and mouse on a killer rig, mobile games can be a godsend while you're in a waiting room, if, you’ve got the right games. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of the 20 best Androidgames. They range from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas to Dots, Kami, and games like Space Team. There’s something for everyone, and many of the games are available for free.