The Steam Machines may not be here yet, but these small form factor PCs may be the next best thing
Ask a civvie what a gaming PC is and they’ll say it's a machine slightly smaller than an HVAC system that breathes fire. That, gentle readers, is no longer the case. Alienware planted the seeds of a revolution with its first X51 by shoehorning a real GPU into a machine the size of a VCR. And in the year-and-change since then, interest in micro-towers has exploded (partly due to the looming Steam Machines, no doubt).
Note: This Article was originally featured in the November 2013 issue of the magazine.
When big blockbuster games get ported to PC, we tend to be cautious about our excitement, as PC gamers have been shafted over the years with tons of bad console ports. Our blood boils when we see crucial missing options like Vsync, Anti-Aliasing, and high-resolution textures. Worse even is when the games flat out don't work as they should. We’ve put together a list of ten titles that run poorly on the PC because they’re lazy console ports.
With a stock price of $1,149 at the time of this posting, it's safe to say that Google has been on a roll lately. However, having said that, the company has had its fair share of misfires. With Google recently purchasing Nest for a massive 3.2 billion dollars, quite the audacious move, we couldn't help but reflect on the company's greatest triumphs and tribulations over the years.
Updated: Now with specs and even more Steam Machine pictures!
Note: We have since updated the gallery below with more pictures and specs following Valve's CES Steam Machine unveiling.
Up until now, most of the images you've seen of the Steam Machines have been leaked images or renders. With CES 2014 now under way, we decided to round up official Steam Machine pictures and everything we know about the Steam Machines so far. So make sure to peruse the gallery below and let us know what your favorite Steam Machine is so far.
The doctor tackles Big Coolers, Old Motherboards, IVB vs. SB-E, and more
In the August 2013 issue you indicate that using a third-party, aftermarket CPU cooler is a good idea. I have always had a concern about cooler and fan weight damaging the motherboard. I build in mid- or full-tower cases and it seems that having so much weight hanging from the motherboard risks damage. Is this a valid concern? I would probably use one of the Thermalright coolers designed for an AMD FX-series CPU.
Note: This article was originally featured in our November 2013 issue of the magazine.
Expect Steam Machines, wearable computing, and more
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is undoubtedly the biggest tech convention in the world. Tons of gadgets and gizmos are revealed at the show every year and with CES 2014 taking place next week, you should expect nothing less.
A family of unlocked processors, a slew of faster interfaces, new GPUs, and an Atom that doesn’t suck!
Part of being a Pure PC Power freak—a badge we wear proudly—is living in a constant state of anticipation and excitement over the next advance in performance. Because advances always happen. As surely as we can predict that Grumpy Cat will one day end up an even grumpier has-been with matted fur and a bad cat-nip habit, we can count on PC components to get ever smarter, ever faster, ever more refined, even if those advances aren't being live-blogged. That's just the way of technology, and yay for that!
Note: This article was taken from the December 2013 issue of the magazine.
Looking back at the biggest feature stories of the past year
2013 was a big year for technology, specifically for the enthusiast PC market. We saw a bunch of new high-end graphics cards come out in addition to a new major CPU line from Intel and even a new, updated OS from Microsoft.
Everything you need to know before installing Steam OS
Valve recently released its Beta version of SteamOS, based on the Debian distro of Linux. Naturally, we were intrigued by its release and wanted to take the new OS for a test run. We’ve put together a guide on how to install the operating system, and also provide you with our hands-on impressions of Valve's software.
NOTE: Before beginning, we highly recommend that you back up everything on your system before attempting to install SteamOS, as the installer in this guide will erase your entire drive.
Revisiting the top tech headlines of the past year
Another year is in the books and you know what? The PC isn't dead! Not that we ever thought our beloved platform was ever in jeopardy, though you wouldn't know it if you listened to analysts and market research firms predicting all kinds of gloom and doom for the desktop. We're happy to say the sky didn't fall, and as we look ahead to 2014, we're more excited than ever about all the advances in technology -- 3D printing, wearable computing, and advances in storage are just some of the things gaining momentum as we head into the new year.
Before we look too far down the road, however, we wanted to take a moment and reflect on some of the biggest news stories of 2013. We've put together a list of the most popular happenings of the past year based on a variety of factors including traffic, reader engagement, and of course editorial discretion. Some are included here because of their lasting impact on the industry, and others because they piqued the interest of you, our readers, and sparked lively debates.
Ready to get nostalgic with us? Then off we go as we relive the top 13 news stories of 2013!