Time-tested tips for PC building that will help you avoid common pitfalls and enjoy a more fulfilling DIY experience
PC builders don’t drop out of their mommies with a Phillips head screwdriver in one hand, a Leatherman in the other, and start winning PC-building contests. No, most experienced PC builders accumulate their knowledge through horrible mistakes, case scars and flesh wounds, and the sorrow of having to completely take apart a machine they just assembled because a single, crucial step was neglected at some point in the process.
Note: This article originally appeared in the April 2013 issue of the magazine.
You’ve bought the game, you’ve mastered the basics – or failed horribly – and you’re ready to show off your exploits to the rest of the gaming world. That, or you’ve officially thrown in the towel on your Starcraft II career and are ready to become a broadcaster instead of a Baneling rusher. As Bronze Leaguers ourselves, we understand; multiplayer isn’t for everyone. Sometimes it can be more fun to watch than participate, especially if you catch a fellow Starcraft enthusiast throwing down the fabled Protoss Mothership as a last-ditch effort to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
THE MISSION The all-in-one PC is predicted to be one of the hottest PC form factors over the next few years. That’s great for Joe 12-Pack, but for an enthusiast, an AiO is pretty much as monolithic as you can get. Sure, you might be able to add RAM or swap the HDD, but that’s usually the extent of the average AiO’s upgradeability.
Note: This article originally appeared in the February issue of the magazine.
When the flip did it become so damn difficult to download a program from the Internet? If you've recently tried to grab a screensaver or software utility from the web, you know exactly what we're talking about. Somewhere along the way, the simple act of downloading a program has become anything but easy, even for Internet veterans who aren't easily duped. Many download sites are now designed to test the wits of savvy users and prey on the impatient with link landmines that will blow up your browser with toolbars and other unwanted add-ons. Even worse, you could end up with a malware infection. Should you give up?
Best free antivirus programs and virus propection tips
So you got caught with your pants down on the Internet (figuratively, folks) and contracted a virus. That sucks. Or maybe you were wearing protection but still fell victim to some nasty bit of code that managed to slip by your antivirus software undetected. That sucks even more. Either way, it's nothing to feel ashamed about. The web is a dangerous place and even the most tech savvy users sometimes slip up. You can even get a virus through no fault of your own simply by visiting a reputable website that, unbeknownst to you, has been compromised by a hacker with malicious intent. The web is a war zone, and even if you're not a target, you can still end up a casualty.
We build a machine that’s red and black to hopefully beat our benchmarks black and blue
The Mission Variety is the spice of the Lab, so this month we decided to eschew our traditional builds and go with one you don’t see every day—an all-AMD computer, built with (most of) the best parts we could get our hands on. We’re sure some of you will question the purpose of this build, so our pre-emptive answer is we built it because we could, and we were curious to see how a balls-out AMD build would benchmark, as we haven’t seen over-the-top AMD rig since The Matrix: Revolutions let us down. Plus, everyone is always ragging on us for ignoring AMD, so here you go AMD enthusiasts—an entire PC built just for you.
Note: This article was originally featured in the January 2013 issue of the magazine.
What's new in Jelly Bean 4.2, best Android apps, and Android battery saving tips
With the recent release of Android version 4.2 (codename: Jelly Bean) and a handful of new Nexus devices (See: Nexus 4, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10), we figured it was time we updated our Android Guide. This time around, we’ve got some useful tips for getting the most out of the newly added features in the latest Jelly Bean update, a few general tricks for all of the Android users out there, and a list of great apps that are worth checking out.
Alright, Windows 8 fans. You’ve taken our advice and speed-ran your way through a clean installation (or upgrade!) of Microsoft’s latest OS. You’ve created or attached an existing Windows Live account to your installation, you’ve taken care of the few prompts Microsoft’s asked you to fill out or click through, and you’ve even given a cursory glance to the company’s brief “How to use Windows 8” video.
Saying that Windows 8 is a major shift in strategy for Microsoft is pretty obvious at this point. Between the Metro interface, complete dismissal of the start menu, focus on touch screen devices, and myriad other changes; this is not the Windows of the Bill Gates era. One change which hasn’t received much discussion is the idea of Windows 8 being Microsoft’s next iteration for not only Windows 7, but for Windows Home Server.