Microsoft missed the boat by not bolstering Windows cross-platform capabilities
Let’s begin with the most amusing part of the widely derided launch of the Xbox One: At least some of the game demos for the new system were run on a PC using Windows 7 and an Nvidia graphics card. See! Even Microsoft doesn’t use Windows 8 for gaming!
Things you need to know to become a PC hardware expert
Knowledge is power, and when it comes to PCs that’s especially true, because only by knowing how your components’ specs actually affect performance can you get the maximum power you need for the type of computing you do—and avoid being seduced by features that sound impressive on the box but won’t do squat to improve your experience. Knowing your stuff has other benefits, too. An in-depth understanding of what makes all your parts tick enables you to better troubleshoot problems, upgrade in ways that make sense, and converse with other nerds in your own secret language. Turn the page to begin your crash course in PC spec-speak.
Note: This article was originally featured in the August 2013 issue of the magazine.
Official support for AMD Radeon R9 and R7 Series graphics cards
It's time to retire that beta driver you've been running your AMD Radeon R9 or R7 Series graphics card on and step up to AMD's newly minted Catalyst 13.12 WHQL-certified driver. The new Catalyst software is available now and in addition to official support for the Sunnyvale chip designer's latest graphics cards, it also resolves over a dozen issues, adds new Enduro Technology profiles, and more.
Don't forget to set aside a few dollars for food and other bills
Word to the wise -- don't go quitting that second job you got to pay for all the games you bought during Steam's Autumn Sale, you're going to need it to fund another round of discounts. The 2013 Steam Holiday Sale is now on and runs through the remainder of the holiday shopping season, all the way up until January 3, 2014. As always, big savings are to be had on popular titles, such as 50 percent off Batman: Arkham Origins ($24.99) and 75 percent off Bioshock Infinite ($9.99).
You could toss a small fortune into Apple's trash bin-shaped workstation
For those of you who like to keep abreast of what's happening on the other side of the pond, Apple's cylindrical Mac Pro systems are now available to order, though don't bother shopping for one unless you're ready to drop some serious cash. Window shopping won't cost you a dime -- hopefully we didn't just give Apple any ideas -- but to bring one of these workstations home, you'll need to wave around at least three large.
If mobility is the name of the game, Acer's K335 portable projector won't bog you down. On the contrary, Acer says its newest projector weighs a mere 2.8 pounds -- that's Ultrabook territory -- and measures 9.1 inches by 6.5 inches by 1.8 inches, small enough to fit easily in a briefcase or backback. That being the case, Acer is pitching the K335 LED projector as being suitable for both home entertainment and business presentations.
We were all first-time builders at some point, and whether that describes you now or you're looking for a case that's supposed to be easy to work with and affordable, BitFenix believes its Comrade chassis fits the bill. According to BitFenix, Comrade sports premium features and functionality that are typically found on cases that cost twice as much, though there's one thing missing from the equation.
EVGA has designed a handy DisplayPort hub that allows for multi-monitor connectivity from a single DisplayPort source, negating the need to invest in another graphics card. The hub supports up to three DisplayPort compatible monitors without any special software or drivers other than your graphics card driver. It does require external power, so EVGA includes an external power adapter in the box.
Gaming peripherals shipping in white in time for winter
If you're looking for gaming peripherals to match the white computer case you just bought, Genius may be your ticket to color coordination. Genius has just given its GX Gaming series of peripherals a white makeover, including the DeathTaker mouse, Imperator Pro keyboard, and GX-Speed mouse pad, all three of which have started shipping to North America, Genius announced today.
LG on Wednesday announced plans to show off what it claims is the first ever "Chromebase," otherwise known as an all-in-one (AIO) PC powered by Google's Chrome operating system, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas next month. The LG Chromebase (model 22CV241) will sport a 21.5-inch widescreen with a Full HD 1080 (1920x1080) IPS display and a "raft of advanced features" all wrapped in a space saving design.