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.
Build your own small Steam Box PC using Valve's Big Picture Mode
As PC gamers, we’re big fans of Valve Software’s Steam service and can’t imagine life without it. We’ve got a huge library of installed games, all of our friends are on it, and almost every AAA title is released on Steam, making it indispensable. The only “problem” with Steam has been that its interface was designed for sitting 24 inches away, at a monitor, making it incompatible with couch-bound gaming. Valve has rectified this dilemma with its recently launched Big Picture Mode, which slaps a 10-foot interface on top of Steam and makes it easy to control with a gamepad. Since distance and connection issues can get in the way of running your desktop PC on your HDTV screen, we’re going to walk you through a more workable solution. First, we will advise you on selecting a small-but-powerful PC that’s suitable for a living room, then we’ll walk you through selecting appropriate peripherals, and finally we’ll show you how to get it all up and running, ready for Big Picture Mode deployment.
Note: This article appeared in the Holiday 2012 issue of the magazine.
A chronological gallery of conventions for all levels of geek!
If you've ever wanted to dress up as Batman or Harley Quinn and mingle with fellow cosplayers in full garb (and why wouldn't you want to?), don't worry, you're not alone. There's a convention for that -- several, in fact -- along with conventions for all levels of nerdery, places you can go and get your geek on with fellow science-fiction fanatics, movie buffs, or whatever it is you're into.
Not quite the fastest single-card, but definitely the fastest Single GPU
On Tuesday we posted our preview of the GK110-based Geforce GTX Titan from Nvidia, and like all of yall we were eager to stuff the Titan into a test system to see what it could do in both single-card and dual-card configurations. Now that the dust has settled and our initial testing is complete, we have to say we think we misunderstood what Nvidia was said to us when we asked them how the Titan compares to the GTX 690. The Titan is one hellishly fast single GPU, but it's not the fastest single-card solution for gaming. That title still rests comfortably with the dual-GPU GTX 690.
A massive GPU that’ll be hard to find, and even harder to beat
Today Nvidia is pulling the wraps off the GK110-based GeForce GTX Titan, a single-GPU card that is expected to easily capture the title of Baddest Ass GPU in the world when benchmarks are released this Thursday, February 21st. The Titan is Nvidia’s “Big Kepler” GPU, and has double the transistors and almost double the CUDA cores of the mid-range GK104 chip found in its flagship GeForce GTX 680 GPU. Though it runs at a lower clock speed in stock trim, it should still offer a sizable performance improvement over the already capable GTX 680.
Today is February 14th, otherwise known as Valentines Day, but we're not here to share chocolate and roses. No, our true love is in computer hardware! We couldn't think of a better way to share the hardware we love than to give our Best of the Best section a big update.
It’s been more than a year since our last big case roundup, which focused on full-tower enclosures. In that time, case manufacturers haven’t been idle. The USB 3.0 spec finally got an internal header, new competitors joined the mid-tower market, and the price of a great case has steadily decreased. We gathered seven of the newest and most exciting mid-tower cases, all priced between $100 and $160, and put our two most seasoned case reviewers to the task of separating the run-of-the-mill from the cream-of-the-crop. We’ll leave no stone unturned and no metaphor unmangled. Yes, we’re on the case.
Note: This article was taken from the September issue of the magazine
Two 4TB drives with 7,200rpm spindles go platter-to-platter
Hardcore PC performance fanatics are rarely satisfied. For example, when we were first given 1TB hard drives, we were excited, but wanted 2TB. Then we got 2TB and wanted 3TB, and so on, until we had a 4TB drive in the Lab. When that drive finally arrived, rather than rejoicing, we continued griping because the drive in question was a Hitachi 5K4000, which spins at a lowly 5,400rpm. The capacity was appreciated, but we wanted a drive with 4TB of capacity and a 7,200rpm spindle speed (we actually want a 4TB SSD, but that’s beside the point). Now the griping shall cease (for the most part), as we finally have 4TB 7,200rpm drives from Hitachi and WD. These fine specimens are the fastest and largest drives of their kind, so if you’re a data hoarder with a need for speed, one of these drives belongs in your rig.
Western Digital’s first 4TB SATA hard drive is the one to get if you have a lot of data (and money).
We highlight the hardware that gets you the most performance per dollar spent
We all know that, generally speaking, buying the newest top-end part gets you the most performance. But in most cases, the premium you pay for that part covers a whole lot of other stuff as well that has no bearing on frame rates or video encoding times. We’re talking about the added cost of covering research and development, product marketing, lower production yields, etc. That high price also includes a vanity tax, if you will—the extra charge incurred by folks who simply want to have the latest hardware, hot off the fab, for bragging rights.
Note: This article was taken from the December 2012 issue of the magazine.