There are only a handfull of places you can bump into a laid off Storm Trooper and a dude dressed up in full garb as Princess Peach in the same day. One of those places is the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX), which is a series of gaming festivals held in Seattle, Washington and Boston, Massachusetts. It's a place to celebrate game culture, to let loose and participate in LAN parties and game tournaments, and if you're brave enough, to dress up as your favorite game character.
Cosplay (costume play) is all about having fun, and the guys and gals at PAX do it in spades (and tights and makeup and everything else). If you weren't able to attend the event this past weekend, don't worry, we rounded up a collection of 20 of the wildest, goofiest, and downright craziest costumes to grace PAX Prime 2012. Fair warning, however -- some things you simply can't un-see (don't worry, it's all safe for work), but then again, that's all part of the fun. Enjoy the geek gallery, and be sure to tell us which costume is your favorite!
PC users must be optimists. Sure, we flame and troll and gripe about every little thing, but how on earth can you explain the fact that so many of us don't back up our data, other than raw, bordering-on-delusional optimism? Your hard drive is safe right now, of course, but what are the odds that it will get damaged, corrupted, power-surged, hacked, stolen, flooded, burned or earthquake-d in the next year? We'll answer that one for you: too high to ignore.
So if you've managed to go this long without implementing a good backup system, read on. We've put together a quick primer on the 6 forms of data backup available to you. Pick two, spend 30 minutes setting them up, and you'll never have to worry about your data again.
When Nvidia launched its new Kepler architecture earlier this year with the GTX 680, the question on everyone’s minds was what features Nvidia would sacrifice in future cards to hit lower price points. With the arrival of the $299 (base price) GTX 660 Ti we have our answer, and thankfully that answer is "not much!" This card is very close to the blazing-fast GTX 670 (itself a slightly stripped down version of the GK104 GPU from the GTX 680) both in terms of specs and performance. It has the same number of Cuda cores (1,344), texture units (112), and SMX’s (7) as the GTX 670. The only real differences between the GTX 660 Ti and its beefier cousin the GTX 670 are the ROPs (the 660 Ti has 24 to the 670’s 32), the L2 cache (384KB versus 512KB), and the memory bandwidth (192-bit versus 256-bit).
We’ve collected cards from Gigabyte, EVGA and MSI that offer a range of clock speeds, cooling shrouds and price points to see how this new card fares in the heat of battle. Hit "Read More," to, well. Read more.
Once every four years, there’s a chance for the best of the best to compete for international acclaim and recognition. The competitors, who have spent their lives training for this moment, come prepared to put it all on the line.
That’s right, it’s the 2012 PC Building Olympics, held right here in the Maximum PC lab. This year we’ve put together a list of our 6 favorite events from the games—let us know if we missed your favorite.
With today's ever-changing job scene, chances are you will end up moving from one company to another at some point. Turning in your work PC will be an inevitable part of the process, but irresponsibly doing so may jeopardize your personal security, leave you ill-prepared for your new job, and unknowingly burn bridges. Here are five essential tips to avoid these pitfalls.
We may have been down in San Diego helpin' our parent company at the Future / Hyundai Undead booth, but we still found time to shoot some pictures of the weird, the wacky, the far-out, and the excellent among the costumes we saw on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
Harley Quinns and Jake and Finns were some of the most common themes this year, but we also saw plenty of Chells, Leias, steampunks, Catwomen, Riddlers, and, well, odder things.
San Diego Comic-Con is just getting started, but it's already packed with cool things to delight our inner fanboys and -girls. We're here repping our parent company at the Future US booth (#4445, if you're in the neighborhood), which features a one-of-a-kind zombie-proof 2013 Hyundai Elantra schemed up by Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman himself. Nothing in that previous sentence was a joke, by the way. We actually have a zombie-proof Elantra at our booth. It has spikes. And a hydraulic cannon.
Pretty sure this thing ain't street legal.
Anyway, we took a break to wander the show floor before the wall-to-wall crush of fans and cosplayers and cosplaying fans that is Thursday and Friday at Comic-Con, and we saw some cool things. What kind of cool things? This kind:
The PC upgrade is, sadly, a lost art form today. Fifteen years ago, the vast majority of PC buyers bought machines with long-term plans to upgrade them as newer, more capable parts became available. Today, most people would rather just chuck an aged PC into an e-waste bin and buy a completely new computer. We say boo to that. A well-thought-out upgrade can be the most economical option, extending the life of your PC’s still-useful parts—not to mention giving you a tremendous sense of satisfaction at your resourcefulness.
On the following pages we detail three distinct PC builds desperately in need of performance boosts. We walk you through our thought process in determining realistic upgrade goals for each PC and how and why we choose the parts to get there. Before and after benchmarks reveal the fruits of our labor.
Intel’s new 22nm “tick” brings native USB 3.0, PCIe 3.0, and twice the integrated graphics performance (not that we’ll need it) to Socket LGA1155
THE MISSION Intel’s Ivy Bridge CPUs (and the corresponding Z77 Panther Point chipset) finally dropped in late April, and Ivy Bridge brings more than just the expected thermal and power improvements over Sandy Bridge. You can read an in-depth report on Sandy Bridge in the June 2012 issue of Maximum PC, but for our purposes, it’s enough to know that the Ivy Bridge Core i7-3770K is the successor to the Sandy Bridge Core i7-2600K. It has a slightly faster clock speed than the 2600K, but it requires less power and delivers more performance per clock than its predecessor. It doesn’t make sense to upgrade from a Sandy Bridge to an Ivy Bridge processor or motherboard, but if you’re building a new PC, Ivy Bridge is the way to go.
This month’s project, then, is simple: Build a new gaming PC with an Ivy Bridge motherboard and CPU. I’ll also be using Nvidia’s GTX 680 GPU and Western Digital’s new 1TB VelociRaptor, just for kicks.
If you're in the habit of giving credence to tired clichés, you're probably aware that a good chef never blames a mistake on his tools. That's not quite true when it comes to case modding. Anybody who's ever tried molding metal (or anything else) into newfound shapes knows that skill is definitely a factor, but even Modderati masters can't turn ducks into swans if their tools aren't up to snuff. On the flip side, solid tools can help novices pump out professional-looking mods.
But just what tools does a modder need in his toolkit? We're glad you asked. If you found yourself flipping through our kick-ass case mods gallery and wondering how you -- yes, you -- could craft such beautiful works with your own hands, this handy-dandy guide will get you going in the right direction. Everything from beginning tools to advanced tools to sources for super-advanced services can be found in this lengthy tome… and most of the basic tools could already be sitting in your garage.