We know the Radeon R9 290X can go head-to-head with a GTX Titan, but can this extra-long, hot-running GPU hang in a small form factor chassis like a Titan can?
For a while now, we’ve considered doing another Build It with a "shoebox" case like the Silverstone Sugo SG08 we used in the June 2013 issue. If you recall, we wedged Nvidia's GeForce GTX Titan into a mini-ITX system, and it provided a surprising amount of firepower to a system that was remarkably small. The Titan is able to hang in a tiny chassis due to Kepler’s efficiency, making it highly effective in close quarters. Fast forward to the present, and AMD has released the Radeon R9 290X, which performs about as well as a Titan but costs around $550—nearly half the price. However, the R9 290X runs a bit hot under the collar, typically at 94 C, and is a half-inch longer than the Titan, as well. Though it’s certainly competitive with Titan in benchmarks, we wondered whether the R9 290X can withstand the rigors of a small form factor build. To find out, we stuffed it into a new shoebox chassis from Cooler Master, and added a new Corsair closed-loop cooler designed specifically for small enclosures. We added a modular power supply from Seasonic that is also designed for SFF builds, so this should be one badass box
Note: This article was originally featured in the February 2014 issue of the magazine.
Imagine you are stranded on a desolate island, isolated from the rest of humanity with only a PC for company and some games to choose from. What PC games would you choose? League of Legends? Dota 2? Well tough luck, because this island unfortunately does not have Internet (but somehow provides power via generators...or something). What now?...
How will you fill your time? What would be the games you pick to occupy the days, weeks, and possibly years before your rescue?
For most video-watching aficionados, VLC is an essential piece of software. The open-source app is well known for being a fantastic movie and music player, but there are a few clever tricks that can help you get a lot more out of the media player. We gathered seven fun and useful VLC features, that will help you get the most out of the media player.
Every Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) deciphered (Updated!)
If you're returning here by way of bookmark, first off, please accept our condolences. There's only reason you spend time reading a Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) article, and that's to try and solve a problem you're having with your own system. If we could give out a teddy bear stuffed with cash to each person that visited this article, we'd do it. Sadly, we don't have teddy bears, and what little cash we have is usually spent at the pub.
A truly custom computer case is a work of art. It is a one-of-a-kind unique statement that stands out among mass-market boxes, and pushes the aesthetic of the creative ‘case mod’ (adapting an existing case with paint and trim) to the edge.
A variety of websites to put a smile on mom's face
Raising a geek has its challenges. Just ask your mother who could only shake her head when you straightened out your Slinky. She also had the patience to carefully and methodically peel the stickers off your Rubik's Cube to rearrange the color sequence after you messed it up and couldn't figure out how to solve the contraption. Your memory bank is probably filled with such shenanigans, along with loving gestures, like decorating a birthday cake to look like R2-D2 and finding Star Wars themed party favors to match.
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: Baseline, Performance, and Ultra. Baseline gets you a powerful system for gaming and content creation at 1080p, Performance beefs everything up across the board, and Ultra lets the dogs out.
3 free and easy tools to transfer your data from one drive to another
You just bought a brand new shiny SSD and want to throw it into your aging mid-tower PC. But wait, the horror of having to reinstall Windows again and all of your applications begins to set in. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of reinstalling Windows, you can use a simple cloning utility to clone your old drive to your new SSD. We’ve rounded up three free cloning utilities that are easy to use so you don’t have to go through the effort of reinstalling your OS and applications all over again.
Over the years, we've upgraded every nook and cranny of our rigs, from major parts like GPUs and CPUs, to minor things like trying different thermal pastes and swapping out case fans in an attempt to squeeze a few more degrees out of a rig's ambient air temperature. It's a bit OCD, we admit, but the point is, we've tried everything, and usually we're only able to see a small gain from our investment of time and elbow grease. That is not the case with SSDs, which deliver an eye-popping, profanity-inducing speed increase for relatively little cash outlay. If you've heard the hype about SSDs, we're here to tell you two things: First, the hype is real, and second, you need one in your system.
Note: This article first appeared in the February 2014 issue of the magazine.
Showcasing the sexiest, most photogenic game screenshots this side of the Internet
We've got our Rig of the Month feature for amazing case mods, but what is a graphics afficionado supposed to do with his or her stellar screenshots? We've got you covered with Graphics Porn. Every month, we'll be collecting and publishing the most beautiful, photogenic, and amazing screenshots submitted by Maximum PC readers.