Tech & Gaming
PC Pro

PC Pro April 2018

The UK’s biggest selling PC monthly magazine, and your source of professional IT news, reviews and tests. Combining in–depth industry comment and analysis with rigorous product testing.

United Kingdom
Dennis Publishing UK
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£4(Incl. tax)
£31.99(Incl. tax)
12 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
don’t dismiss old technology–let it inspire you instead

NEVER GO BACK. That’s how the saying goes, with its implicit assumption that nostalgia applies a soft-focus gloss to our memories. Things were never quite as good as we remember, whether that’s 1970s-era Liverpool FC, Findus Crispy Pancakes or the PDAs we used back when mobile phones were only used for phone calls. A yearning for past glories is a powerful stimulant, though, as illustrated by the vinyl resurgence and the popularity of retro graphics in modern games. When you add in forces such as Indiegogo, which allows anyone with a compelling vision to find financial backing for their projects, we shouldn’t be surprised to see products such as the Gemini PDA – a modern take on the Psion Series 5. This hits all the right retro buttons for me. I was…

4 min.
response to chip security crisis “chaotic”

CHIP MAKERS, SYSTEM builders and software companies are still trying to come to terms with the wide-ranging consequences of the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities – with the industry’s response to the major threat described as both “a mess” and “garbage”. First discovered in June 2017, the two critical weaknesses could allow attackers to sniff data as it’s processed and they affect almost every mobile and desktop processor. But, to date, fixes have been randomly applied, glitch-ridden and confusing. Patches for the problems – which affect Intel, AMD and ARM processors to varying extents – started being rolled out days after they were publicised in early January, but many of these had a significant impact on performance. One Windows patch effectively bricked PCs running on AMD processors. “The response has been less than ideal,…

1 min.
five stories not to miss

1 Apple admits handset slowdown Apple was forced to offer a discounted battery replacement scheme after it admitted dialling down performance in older versions of its iPhone to preserve ageing cells. The company explained that the reduction in performance was necessary to prevent excessive strain on batteries during power-intensive operations – and absolutely not a ploy to encourage upgrades. 2 Facebook “should be regulated like tobacco” Facebook faced fresh calls for regulation – even from within the tech industry – over fears concerning addiction and its power to change society. Although politicians have flagged their worries in the past, Salesforce chief Marc Benioff upped the ante when he claimed “cigarettes – they’re addictive, they’re not good for you, maybe there’s all kinds of different forces trying to get you to do certain things,…

3 min.

► AMD Ryzen 2 AMD has revealed details of its second-generation Ryzen processors and new Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) that combine processing and graphics tasks in one piece of silicon. The gradual rollout of processors will fill in missing sections of the company’s Ryzen portfolio, with the first desktop Ryzen processors with built-in Radeon Vega Graphics expected to arrive soon. Integrated graphics are now a key component of general purpose machines and Intel currently has a clear advantage. During 2018, AMD says it will release integrated GPUs to compete with most of Intel’s offerings, a move that should mean the company can better compete with its rival in areas such as the corporate desktop market. The first integrated graphics processors to launch will be the Ryzen 3 2200G and Ryzen 5 2400G. The Ryzen…

2 min.
bt guarantees 100mbits/sec broadband–but not for all

BT HAS ANNOUNCED guaranteed 100Mbits/sec “ultrafast” broadband services, but they won’t be available to everyone and could create another location lottery for broadband speeds. Using a technology called G.fast – a DSL variant over short runs of copper – BT has launched products that promise speeds of up to 330Mbits/sec and a guaranteed connection speed of no less than 100Mbits/sec. The guaranteed connection quality is a bold statement, but the company won’t be offering the service to all households and the technology used will restrict the rollout. G.fast degrades quickly over the copper lines that run from the cabinets to homes – anyone further than about 370m from the green boxes is unlikely to be able to sign up. “From our figures, it looks like about 64% of premises could get G.fast,”…

1 min.
qualcomm vows to fight €1bn antitrust fine

ACCORDING TO THE European Commission (EC), the substantial fine relates to payments made by Qualcomm to Apple as part of a deal to exclusively provide the LTE base chips used in mobile devices – payments that could have locked other providers out of the market. “Qualcomm paid billions of US dollars to a key customer, Apple, so that it would not buy from rivals,” explained the European commissioner for competition Margrethe Vestager. “These payments were not just reductions in price – they were made on the condition that Apple would exclusively use Qualcomm’s baseband chipsets in all its iPhones and iPads.” Qualcomm confirmed that the case referred to an expired deal that ran from 2011 to 2016, but denied it had breached antitrust regulations. “We are confident this agreement did not violate…