You’d never credit your headset after winning a Team Fortress 2 match, nor would you ever brag about your soundcard after just acing a round in Call of Duty 4, but any gaming veteran knows that having a sweet set of cans is a must for even the casual gamer’s setup. This is especially true today with the vast majority of professional gamers using headsets instead speaker systems.
Unfortunately, deciding which audio hardware is right for you can become aggravating very quickly with USB headsets, 5.1 headphones, onboard mixing, analog inputs, and incompatible interfaces confusing the market. With this roundup, we’re going to scrutinize six gaming headset options, and examine the largely unspoken differences between analog and USB audio technology.
Last week we updated our Budget Badass to reflect the current price drops and made some improvements in hardware. This week we are shifting our focus to the power user. Shifting our focus also means shifting our cost up, but a higher budget means better hardware and faster performance. We've made a couple of adjustments to the video card and CPU as well as adding a second hard drive while taking your suggestions into consideration. While the final cost of this build exceeds a little past the $2500 mark, we believe the extra performance gain is well worth it. Keep in mind this is a Power User's PC, where our main focus is on utilizing the power of the processor through multitasking and multimedia programs. Read on to see our new setup for this Power User beast.
Economy got you down? No longer able to make those day-long trips to your local computer store of choice for all the latest and greatest software tools? Tired of paying top-dollar for programs that don't quite have the functionality you want? Well put away that wallet. We spent the past week showing you the best (and cheapest) software we've been able to find across different themes: graphics design, system optimization, games, and office/productivity, and have compiled our picks into this comprehensive list.
Today's batch of awesome open-source (or freeware) applications centers on a single word: wow. No, they don't help you level up in that MMO. We're going to show you a batch of free programs whose features are cool enough to make your jaw hit the floor, a small puddle of drool to escape from your lips and into your keyboard, and your twitter to light up with all messages you'll be sending your friends about these must-have applications.
We're serious. Prepare to be amazed. But if you haven't checked out the twentyotherthemedapplications we've hit up in our last four open-source updates, now's the time to fill in the backstory! Once you're ready for greatness, hit the link below. And get your bib on standby.
Welcome to Monday! In honor of the start of the work week, we're going to take a look at some of the top open-source and freeware office applications. We're not just talking about suites, though. Like our previous three features, we're going to run through programs that cover a wide range of activities you might encounter during a typical, nine-to-five day. Hey, maybe you'll even be able to convince your friendly IT person of choice to install these finds across a batch of computers! You'll be a hero! You'll save your company millions in licensing fees! Promotions will be thrown at your cubicle like butter on bread!
Open-source and freeware applications are just that exciting. But don't take our word for it. Check out the full list of applications after the jump!
When man first booted the PC, he saw the BIOS screen: a jumble of monochromatic numbers that made about as much sense as the binary language of load lifters. Sadly, not much about the BIOS has changed since the DeLorean and skinny ties were cool. Decades later, in our modern, visual-based world, we’re still greeted with a screen full of text from machines 1,000 times faster than those that were around when the ol’ BIOS was born.
Most PC lightweights simply ignore the BIOS and wait for their OSes to take over. Power users, however, know that the BIOS can be a friendly and rewarding place to go spelunking.
And by spelunking, we mean caving. And by go, we mean hit the jump.
We've already shown you our picks for top-notch open-source (or freeware) graphics applications and system optimizers. To celebrate the start of the weekend, we're going for the gusto this time around: games. But the difficulty in this list stems from the fact that there are a ton of excellent games in the independent scene right now. We frequently profile these as much as possible on the Maximum PC monthly CD, but even then, it's tough to pick five examples of top-quality games--we could fill an article with five hundred. Your favorite open-source game might not have made our list this time around, but feel free to leave comments about other awesome alternatives you've sampled!
Now that the disclaimer's out of the way, cancel your appointments and throw up your away message. It's time to game, and it's time to game for free. Check out our list of awesome free games after the jump!
We're back! In our last feature, we showed you the best open-source/freeware graphics applications. But we realize that not everybody is an artist. Thus, we're aiming for a general market this time around. Enclosed within this article are the top freeware system optimization tools we've discovered in our might search of the Web. Clean your PC of spyware! Keep it virus-free! Run new, scary program in a virtualized environment! And much more--our full list of awesome, must-install applicaitons awaits you after the jump. Check 'em out! Your PC isn't complete without them!
Economy got you down? No longer able to make those day-long trips to your local computer store of choice for all the latest and greatest software tools? Tired of paying top-dollar for programs that don't quite have the functionality you want? Well get ready. It's freeware and open-source week at Maximum PC. We're going to spend the next week showing you the best (and cheapest) software we've been able to find across different themes: graphics design, system optimization, games, and office/productivity.
Just because it doesn't come in a box doesn't mean that these titles are any less powerful than their retail counterparts. The graphics category exemplifies that fact, offering programs that are every bit as good as their hundred-dollar Adobe counterparts. But just for good measure, we threw in our favorite free Adobe graphics program too. Check out that, and the rest of our exclusive list, after the jump!
Since our last Budget Badass update back in July, the hardware industry has made some dramatic turns as far as new technology goes. With the release of the energy-efficient Penryn core from Intel, we took a side step away from the Kentsfield core and took a swing at the Q9300. While the Q9300 sports a slightly smaller cache than the Q6600, we found the Penryn to perform better in our tests. With the extra leeway we had in the budget from the previous configuration, we also swapped out the Radeon 4870 for a beefier GTX 280 while keeping the final price tag under $1500. Now this, my friends, is what we would like to call a Budget Badass!