Maximum PC June 2021

Maximum PC is the magazine that every computer geek, PC gamer, or content creator should read every month. Get Maximum PC digital magazine subscription today for punishing product reviews, thorough how-to articles, and the illuminating technical news and information that PC power users crave. Maximum PC covers every single topic that requires a lightning-fast PC, from video editing and music creation to PC gaming; we write about it all with unbounded enthusiasm for our collective hobby.

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13 Numéros

dans ce numéro

3 min
3d printing special

THEY SAID: “Zak, you can’t put ‘ 3D Printing Special’ on the cover, that doesn’t sound very interesting.” Well, to heck with management, I’ll type “3D Printing” where I darn well like…. Probably. (Please don’t fire me, I love this job.) Yep, I have been inundated with people emailing in, asking me to get some more 3D printing content in the mag—namely, a primer and guide to this wonderful world. So, that’s exactly what we’ve done. This issue, I’ve recruited one of our resident modders, Kris Butterill, to give you the low-down on all things 3D printing: Where we’re at, what’s available, and what you might want to invest in to get started. Then our other 3D printing expert, Dave Alcock, has done a fantastic DIY feature on how to…

4 min
ryzen apus go zen 3

IT’S USUALLY not long between new AMD chips, and this month the Ryzen 5000 series gets some new family members, sporting Zen 3 cores coupled to integrated graphics: Cezanne, replacing the previous Zen 2 Renoir chips. Slightly disappointingly, the graphics side of the equation remains the same, based on Vega. Hoping for an RDNA or even RDNA2 upgrade, as well as a die shrink and a new core architecture was asking a lot in one jump. The GPU speeds are actually slightly slower than the 4000-series APUs, although quite why isn’t clear. There are six new chips, split neatly into two groups, G and GE. The G chips have a TDP of 65W, sort of, using AMD’s magical system for determining such things, which is divorced from actual power draw; it’s…

1 min
anti-mining moves

GEFORCE RTX 3060 MODIFIED TO DEFEAT CRYPTO NVIDIA HAS PREVIOUSLY ATTEMPTED to stop cryptocurrency—specifically Etherium—miners using its GeForce RTX 3060 cards. It had limited success. The block was built into the card’s driver, and was circumnavigated by the miners, who promptly devoured card supplies. Now Nvidia is making another attempt to stop the card’s diversion from gaming. The GA106-300 GPU is being replaced by the GA106-302. It has a new PCI Device ID, so existing drivers won’t work, and will include “other methods” to stop mining. Reportedly, when the card detects the command to perform the hash operation, it cuts the GPU speed in half. You won’t know which version you have until you try using it. We want this on all graphics cards, covering all types of cryptocurrency, so the…

1 min
nvidia’s arm deal dies

NVIDIA wants to buy Arm, and was willing to pay $40 billion for the privilege. Arm is a British company that designs chips, and is good at it. Its designs are in most of the world’s smartphones, as well as many supercomputers. It’s also a leading AI company, and has design centers around the world, including the United States and China. It is one of the few top-tier chip businesses left in Europe. It’s owned by SoftBank, a Japanese conglomerate holding company. So why can’t a US company buy a Japanese-owned company? Politics. The UK government has issued an intervention notice, and the European Union has raised concerns. China isn’t happy either; it worries about too much technical power in US hands. Reportedly, it’s this Chinese opposition that is really…

1 min
tech triumphs and tragedies

TRIUMPHS ✓ PC SALES BOOM Year on year sales figures for the first quarter of the year show over a 55 percent rise in PC sales, with 84 million sold. ✓ ALIENWARE GOES AMD The company is to ship its first AMD-powered laptop since 2007, based around the Ryzen Mobile 5000-series. ✓ INTEL TO MAKE CAR CHIPS To ease shortages and use spare capacity, Intel is to start making chips for cars within nine months. TRAGEDIES ❌ APP STEALS BITCOIN After using a five-star app from Apple’s App Store to check his Bitcoin balance, one customer found it had stolen them. ❌ PHONE ZOMBIE APP Google’s Wellbeing app now reminds you to look up when walking and using your phone. ❌ UPDATE HITS GAMING The latest Win 10 update has brought reports of trashed gaming frame rates. The only cure so far is…

2 min
return of the tick-tock

INTEL HAS A NEW CEO. Pat Gelsinger returned to Intel earlier this year; he previously spent 30 years there, and helped design the 80486 architecture (you may have to ask your dad about that one). He’s made several announcements outlining Intel’s plans. The company is to build two big new fabs in Arizona, due to start limited production in 2024. The process is unspecified, but 7nm seems to be a safe bet; the first 7nm chips, Meteor Lake, are due in 2023. There will also be a return to the tick-tock model, where a new architecture is followed by a die shrink, then back to a new architecture. It’s how Intel operated before Skylake, after which it was forced, for various reasons, to repeatedly tick. After that there was a three-stage…