Tech & Gaming
PC Powerplay

PC Powerplay special issue 2018 #2

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.
we’re just getting started

Welcome to our annual PC PowerPlay Hardware & Tech Special! Computex has come and gone for another year, leaving us with our annual hardware withdrawal symptoms. 2018 may not have been the biggest year in the PC world so far, but there’s still a lot of new and refreshed tech on the shelves. We eagerly await the arrival of the goodies we saw presented at Computex and the announcement of new Nvidia GeForce graphics cards later in the year. We were lucky to have a peek at some of the most gorgeous monitors we’ve ever seen and we’re waiting for them with the anticipation of a starving man eyeing off a burger. Like last year, Computex seemed to lack an overall theme. This seems partly to be a consequence of big…

9 min.
state of play: cpus

“Broadwell did see a very limited release, topped by the i7-5775C, but theywere quickly replaced by sixth generation Skylake CPUs.” If we had to write a state of the CPU industry article in 2016, we could probably just have reprinted what we wrote in 2015… “AMD is a non-factor. We’re waiting for Zen, and Intel made a quad-core CPU that’s a 10 per cent faster than the one the year before”. That would have summarised most of the consumer CPU industry. Here in 2018 though, things are very different. There’s a lot that’s happened and a lot of exciting things to come. A competitive AMD deserves a lot of thanks for this change in pace. Without the threat from AMD, Intel may well have been content to push out just another quad-core.…

1 min.
cpu fun facts

A typical human hair is about 80,000 nanometres across which means you could line up about 5700 14nm transistors end to end to match its width. The first transistor in 1947 was built by hand. Nowadays you could fit well over 100 million transistors onto the head of a pin. The silicon used in CPU manufacturing is sourced from common beach sand. If a typical house was to shrink at the rate that CPU transistors have, you would not be able to see it today without a microscope. Before setting on the name ‘Intel’, the company founders Gordon Moore and Robert Noyce toyed with the idea of naming the company Moore Noyce (More noise!) The company was initially registered under the name NM Electronics in 1968 shortly before settling on the name Intel, which…

5 min.
state of play: gpus

Writing an article about the state of the GPU industry is difficult this year. There’s almost nothing new in 2018 that we didn’t have in 2017, but the back end of 2018 is looking good, with all eyes on Nvidia as we await the announcement of the next GeForce line-up. GRAPHICS CARDS OR MINING CARDS? The early part of 2018 was dominated by the mining craze, as graphics card prices shot through the roof in the face of unprecedented demand. We reviewed the Asus ROG Strix Vega 56 earlier in the year and were quoted a ridiculous RRP of $1,299. That same graphics card is $749 at the time we went to print. As we approach mid 2018 the mining boom has died down, with a combination of algorithmic difficulty increases and…

5 min.
state of play: mobos

“One of the things we’d really like to see is more motherboards supporting 5- or 10Gb Ethernet. Gigabit is so 1999.” A QUIET YEAR FOR MAJOR MOTHERBOARD RELEASES In the absence of a new platform launch, it’s been a fairly quiet year for major motherboard releases. We’ve seen plenty of refreshes, with the likes of AMD’s X470 and Intel’s B360 and H370 carrying the torch. The rest of 2018 is looking good for the high end, though many new products are still likely to be refreshes. Having said that, there should be one or two exceptions. There are some very cool boards to come, and of course there’s plenty of awesome stuff out there already that leaves you spoiled for choice. Let’s have a look at where we’re at with motherboards as…

4 min.
state of play: storage

“The highest capacity drives top out at 14Tb right now, though as time goes on we will see even larger drives.” Storage is never boring. There are always a ton of products from all different segments. Hard drives, SSD, NVMe, NAS, Optane. It’s all happening! MECHANICAL HARD DRIVES ARE HERE TO STAY The world is producing ever larger amounts of data. The likes of IoT, analytics, deep learning, and all those cat memes means there’s a constantly increasing need to store it all. SSDs are too expensive for mass storage and probably always will be, so there is still plenty of life in the humble mechanical hard drive. The highest capacity drives top out at 14Tb right now, though as time goes on we will see even larger drives. Western Digital demonstrated its microwave-assisted…