A USB key, aka thumb drive, is a must-have item for any hardware-fixing performance junkie, and now that USB 3.0 versions have arrived we all want the fastest one we can get our sweaty digits on. To find out which key holds the combination to our hearts, we put four models with top-tier specs through their paces. Since most of them don't come with any extras, they will be judged primarily on straight-line speed and overall usability. May the best key end up on your keychain!
Note: This article was taken from the December 2013 issue of the magazine.
Oxide Games developer Dan Baker helped answer some questions we had about AMD’s new API. Oxide’s upcoming game, Star Swarm, will support Mantle out of the gate and the company has been very vocal about Mantle which it believes can help all gamers and also start a dialogue about the future of APIs on the PC.
With our lab coats donned, our test benches primed, and our benchmarks at the ready, we look for answers to nine of the most burning performance-related questions
If there’s one thing that defines the Maximum PC ethos, it’s an obsession with Lab-testing. What better way to discern a product’s performance capabilities, or judge the value of an upgrade, or simply settle a heated office debate? This month, we focus our obsession on several of the major questions on the minds of enthusiasts. Is liquid cooling always more effective than air? Should serious gamers demand PCIe 3.0? When it comes to RAM, are higher clocks better? On the surface, the answers might seem obvious. But, as far as we’re concerned, nothing is for certain until it’s put to the test. We’re talking tests that isolate a subsystem and measure results using real-world workloads. Indeed, we not only want to know if a particular technology or piece of hardware is truly superior, but also by how much. After all, we’re spending our hard-earned skrilla on this gear, so we want our purchases to make real-world sense. Over the next several pages, we put some of the most pressing PC-related questions to the test. If you’re ready for the answers, read on.
Note: This article was originally featured in the October 2013 issue of the magazine
Update: A new graphically-demanding game is crowned. See which one it is!
At Maximum PC we love pushing our PCs to their limits by testing high-end games at maximum settings. To reach these limits, you'll need to fire up the most über-demanding games. What are themost graphically-demanding games you ask? We’ve thrown together a list of the gnarliest PC games that will give your precious gaming PC a kick-ass workout.
Five ways to put your collection of neglected USB thumb drives to good use
Although they were once considered expensive luxuries to most users, USB thumb drives have become nearly as ubiquitous as the now defunct floppy disk. Thumb drives of all shapes and sizes are currently sold at corner drug stores, freely disseminated at trade shows, and even given out as digital business cards. Thumb drives are so commonplace now that it’s not unusual for PC users to have amassed huge collections of drives that, for the most part, do little else but sit around collecting dust. We speak from experience.
Note: This article was originally featured in the September 2013 issue of the magazine.
The Cosmos II debuted in 2011 to much fanfare. Indeed, it was the chassis of our dreams. It housed our precious Dream Machine that year, and was easily the best “super-tower” available. In 2013, the Corsair 900D came on the scene boasting a similarly mammoth stature, and was itself chosen for Dream Machine duty due to its water-friendly nature and towering physique. Both cases represent the pinnacle of PC case design, so they must do battle.
Note: This article originally appeared in the December 2013 issue of the magazine.
While nothing can ever replace gaming with a keyboard and mouse on a killer rig, mobile games can be a godsend while you're in a waiting room, if, you’ve got the right games. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of the 20 best Androidgames. They range from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas to Dots, Kami, and games like Space Team. There’s something for everyone, and many of the games are available for free.
We talk to Mnpctech owner and modder extraordinaire Bill Owen about his path to possessing the ultimate geek dream job
Bill Owen isn’t your run-of-the-mill case modder. Twelve years ago, he founded Mnpctech (www.mnpctech.com) and his life changed forever. Now he’s one of the most prolific pro modders in the industry. What started as a hobby evolved into a full-time business that he runs with his wife, completing mod projects for companies like AMD, FrozenCPU, and even Maximum PC. Mnpctech is also a thriving parts business, selling products aimed at the DIY enthusiast market: milled-aluminum fan grills, custom side panels, vinyl appliques, case handles, Modder’s Mesh, and even something they like to call the Modder Reference Tool. We sat down with Bill to learn how he went from dabbling in fan grills and case windows to being the king of modders.
Note: This article was originally featured in our November 2013 issue of the magazine.
We’ve seen a mixed reaction to Intel’s new Haswell CPU and LGA1150 socket from enthusiasts. Some, like us, see it as a solid piece of hardware with welcome improvements for the platform if upgrading from older hardware. Others have unfurled “Don’t Reboot Me” flags and refuse to give up on their LGA1155 socket until we pry it from their warm, moist hands.
Note: This review was originally featured in the November 2013 issue of the magazine.
Rocky Marciano never lost a bout during his professional career, and so far in our own sanctioned cage fights, neither has Spotify. The spunky streaming music service handily dispatched Rdio when we tossed the two in a ring two years ago, and more recently, Xbox Music took a beating, losing four out of five rounds. Google, however, has come out swinging with a promising music service of its own. Will there finally be a new champ?
Note: This article originally appeared in the September 2013 issue of the magazine.