It (literally) pays to know all the crafty ways you can save money without sacrificing your power user cred
As much as we love ogling top-of-the-line PC hardware and fantasizing about price-be-damned rigs, we also love, love, love to stretch a dollar. Does that make us cheapskates? You betcha, if that’s what you want to call someone who doesn’t pay a premium when he or she doesn’t have to. Sign us up! In fact, where computing is concerned, knowing all the various angles to save a buck—a buck that can then be put toward new and better gear, mind you—is as much a part of being a power user as knowing how to flash a BIOS or overclock RAM. If you’re currently spending top dollar on your PC activities, it’s time you got schooled in the fine art of penny-pinching. From free software alternatives, to the best deals on all forms of digital entertainment, to hardware-buying tips, to our blueprint for a $600 PC, this year’s Cheapskate’s Guide can save you thousands of dollars and make you a more savvy consumer in the process.
Note: This article appeared in the October 2012 issue of the magazine.
LucidLogix Virtu Makes Hybrid Graphics on the desktop possible
Historically, integrated graphics, with their notoriously lackluster performance, have been of little interest to power users. But perceptions began to change with Intel’s Sandy Bridge, and later its Ivy Bridge, microarchitecture. While Sandy Bridge’s DX10-class, Intel HD 2000/3000 graphics engines aren’t cutting-edge by any means, they offer enough performance for many mainstream PC users, and consequently, helped Intel gain market share in the graphics race. Ivy Bridge further improves the situation with a more powerful graphics core outfitted with additional execution units and DX11 support. Whereas Intel’s HD 3000 offers 12 EUs, Ivy Bridge’s HD 4000 engine has 16.
Websites to stream the game online, watch Super Bowl commercials, and more
Regardless of whether or not you, the geeky PC enthusiast that you are, are excited about watching (arguably) the two top teams in the NFL meet for their annual head-to-head, commercial-filled extravaganza; we've got 10 fun Super Bowl-related websites to keep you entertained. Puppy Bowl, anyone?
So if you truly want to enrich your bone-crunching football experience, check out one of the many companion websites below that will help make the big game day even better.
Do you remember the "good old days" when console gamers would say, "PC gaming is dead?" Well, they're "dead" wrong and here are just 13 PC games in 2013 alone that are ample proof the platform is thriving.
So flip through the gallery below and click on the game titles to see trailers for each game.
What do you think of our list? Would your top 13 look any different? Let us know in the comments!
We know what you’re thinking. Why is Maximum PC dedicating precious time doing another roundup of all-in-one PCs? You’d never buy one of these machines as your primary computer, right? Right. We’d never be satisfied with just an all-in-one, either. But we can’t think of a better second computer.
Intel’s long-awaited Thunderbolt has finally arrived on the PC after being exclusive to the Macintosh platform for more than a year. With its promise of 10Gb/s‑per‑channel throughput, what self-respecting power user wouldn’t opt for a Thunderbolt-based external backup solution? Well, before you get too excited, let’s compare T-bolt point-by-point with its natural competitor, USB 3.0. After all, there’s more to a technology than pure performance, as we found out.
Intel’s enthusiast platform puts out the heat—here are seven ways to take it off
Intel’s Sandy Bridge-E enthusiast platform brings with it a new Intel socket, and that means new cooler mounting brackets! One nice thing about the X79 chipset: The boards ship with an integrated universal CPU mounting backplate, so no more fiddling around behind the motherboard.
With our skepticism of Thunderbolt officially blown away (see last month’s Head to Head) we’re now ready to embrace the new I/O interface. But unless you’re one of the lucky few to have an older Asus board with support for the company’s Thunderbolt add-in card, you’ll need to buy a new motherboard to enjoy Tbolt goodness. Luckily, Thunderbolt boards have arrived. To gauge the choices, we gathered up both the priciest and cheapest Tbolt boards we could find and set at them.
The Asus P8Z77-V Premium comes fully loaded with features, including Wi-Fi antennas.