Tech & Gaming
PC Powerplay

PC Powerplay

Issue 280

PC PowerPlay is Australia's original and best-selling PC games magazine. Offering a mix of games and hardware coverage, the magazine gives a complete picture for the PC entertainment enthusiast. Inside is breaking news of new games, detailed previews of upcoming games, and advice to help readers make sense of the array of hardware and tech products that hit the market each month. PC Powerplay doesn’t just promote tech, it benchmarks and analyses it to help gamers make the most intelligent purchasing decision they can.

Future Publishing Ltd
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6 Issues

In this issue

1 min.
build it your way

Welcome to a whole new year, and a whole new decade! As usual, we’re kicking off this trip around the sun with an in-depth technical handbook, packed with PC building advice, our favourite gear of 2019, and a few hints and tips to get you firmly grounded in the state of the PC art for 2020. If money’s no object, you’ll be really keen to have a look at our massive $9K beast, and if money’s tight, our challenging $1,000 build might be more your speed. Regardless, we’re sure PC gamer/ builders will find something to suit everyone in this issue. But we’ve not forgotten games, either. Not only is this the perfect time to look back on 2019 and pick our fave titles of the year, but we’ve got a…

3 min.
dram breakthrough puts us one step closer to instant-on pcs

After all these years, we are still not at the point where our PCs turn on instantaneously, or restore an active session in Windows. Waking from sleep or hibernation can take anywhere from a short while to what feels like an eternity, depending on the system. Part of the reason for this is because of the PC’s reliance on DRAM, and how it works. Good news though – researchers at the University of Lancaster in the UK have created a type of non-volatile memory that could one day make instant-on PCs a reality. They’re calling it UK III-V memory. Non-volatile memory is not new by any stretch, but the key differentiator here is speed. UK III-V memory is fast enough to replace DRAM, and uses a fraction of the power. To understand…

1 min.
amd s 5600 xt may launch with faster clocks to counter rtx 2060 price cut

In case you missed it, Nvidia officially slashed the price of its GeForce RTX 2060 Founders Edition to US$299 last month in an obvious attempt to steal some thunder from AMD’s upcoming Radeon RX 5600 XT launch. Now, rumor has it AMD is pushing out a VBIOS update to its board partners to enable significantly faster game and boost clocks. I’ll get to the rumor in a moment, but let’s go over the specifications of the 5600 XT. It represents the newest member of AMD’s Navi-based graphics card lineup, with 36 compute units, 2,304 stream processors, and 6GB of GDDR6 memory (12Gbps) pushing data through a 192-bit bus. AMD lists the stock game frequency at 1,375MHz and the stock boost frequency at 1,560MHz. With those specs in tow, AMD claims the RX…

1 min.
cherry is building a cheaper mechanical key switch for the value market

Cherry is a major player in the key switch market, with its MX variants (Blue, Red, Brown, Black, Speed, and so forth) found on many of the best gaming keyboards, like the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum and HyperX Alloy Elite RGB. Technically, keyboards built around the Viola switch would not compete with those and other MX models, but it’s too early to tell how it will all play out. The Viola is a brand new switch, built different from any of the MX switches. It employs a coil spring and V-shape bronze contact system, and comes housed in a plastic polymer reinforced with eight pillars to prevent wobbling. Cherry is also using an industry standard cross-stem design, so the switch is compatible with a wide range of keycaps, and a POM…

10 min.
gear of the year

Over the next six pages, you’ll find the best gear to have been released this year. The hardware, systems, and components that stand out as the best options around. If you’re looking to treat yourself, this makes for a great wishlist of where to drop your cash. Or, if you’ve already bought something that we’ve covered, congratulations – you have great taste. The big news of 2019 was the release of AMD’s Zen 2 architecture, as found in the Ryzen 3000 series of CPUs, and with it came support for PCIe 4.0, which saw impressive bandwidths in SSDs in particular. There’s been plenty of great motherboards for these new chips, too, making it a great time for anyone looking to upgrade their system with a whole new powerful base with lots…

2 min.
sea of thieves

Chris: No matter what kind of pirate you are, Rare added something to Sea of Thieves for you this year. Fishing is the perfect activity for solo players with a nice array of fish that can only be caught in certain parts of the world and sometimes only in specific conditions. PvP-hungry pirates got the option for finding quick, chaotic matches in the Arena instead of having to sail for ages to find human opponents. And the lore-heavy Tall Tales are perfect for a few hours of co-op sailing and puzzle solving with friends, and most Tales are even doable alone. Plus, if you’re the kind of pirate who likes to spend real dubloons, there are pets now, too. The beautiful world of Sea of Thieves always had potential, but…