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Maximum PC

Maximum PC April 2018

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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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United States
Future Publishing Limited US
13 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
the builder’s curse

I THINK I’M CURSED. For the life of me, I can never seem to build a PC that works the first time around. You might be thinking, “How’s that even possible?” But the truth is, it’s happened every time I’ve built a machine, whether it’s for myself or someone else. Things always go wrong. Even when I’m upgrading, things go wrong. Once I bought a blazingly fast 52x CD-ROM drive to upgrade my aging unit. It didn’t work. I had to exchange it for another. It’s so bad that my uncle once asked me to help him build a PC, but instructed me not to touch anything, only sit there and tell him where to put things. Like I said: cursed. To make sure you won’t have the same horrific building…

3 min.
new chips, new problems

EVEN WITHOUT a major launch, it’s never quiet with Intel and AMD, both of which are busy consolidating their ranges and trying to shake off the fallout from Spectre and Meltdown, which won’t be easy or cheap. Having launched a full range of new architectures last year, AMD is fleshing out the range and filling in the gaps. Imminent are two low-power versions of its rather tasty Raven Ridge APUs: the Ryzen 3 2200GE and Ryzen 5 2400GE. Power consumption drops from 65W TDP to a svelte 35W. They share the same basic specifications as their big brothers; the cost for the parsimonious power use is clock cycles. The 2200GE drops the base clock to 3.2GHz from the 2200G’s 3.5GHz, while the 2400GE loses 400MHz over its big brother. It’s not…

1 min.
industry wants to kill old online games

IN DECEMBER, the Copyright Office started considering whether to allow museums—specifically the Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment—to run old online games, such as EverQuest and City of Heroes, to preserve them. Researchers are already allowed to circumnavigate security on old games, but the museum wants to go one further, and run fully playable servers that visitors can use. Sounds reasonable enough—games are part of our history, and once the commercial servers are shut down, they shouldn’t be allowed to die completely. The Entertainment Software Association has moved to block the proposal, however, issuing a 40-page list of arguments against it. It cites the fact that since the museum charges for entry, it is making commercial use of the games, a clear copyright breach. It also does not relish the prospect…

1 min.
direct purchase comes to mixer

MICROSOFT IS ADDING the ability to purchase its games directly though Mixer. Streamers can elect to promote downloadable content from the Microsoft Store on their feeds; a link next to the channel name will activate a pop-up window to the promoted DLC. When you buy anything, it is added to your Xbox or Windows library—no need to stop watching or redeem codes. In return, the channel owner gets a 5 percent slice of any sale. Initially, the option will only be available to Mixer Partners, but is expected to be available to all in due course. Twitch added a similar system last year. The ability for streamers to make money is important to attract and keep the top players, as YouTube Gaming, Twitch, and Mixer fight for market share. Each competes…

1 min.
venezuela launches cryptocurrency

DESPITE HAVING the world’s largest oil reserves, Venezuela is in a financial mess. To help earn hard currency, the government has launched its own cryptocurrency, the Petro, backed by those oil and mineral reserves. What’s more, the government has decreed that government industries use it, and that citizens can use it to pay taxes and buy other services. It’s a slightly odd development, because a keystone of cryptocurrencies is that they are independent of state control, and have no collateral. No longer, it seems. The initial offering went well, if President Nicolas Maduro is to be believed. He claims it raised $735 million, although it’s not clear who the largest investors were. He also plans to launch a second currency, Petro Gold, backed by the state’s gold reserves. Iran is also…

1 min.
tech triumphs and tragedies

TRIUMPHS ✓ TEENY C64 RETURNS The trend for retro gaming continues with the half-size and fully-functional Commodore C64 Mini, with 64 games for $70. ✓ ONE TICK A YEAR The installation of Jeff Bezos’s $42 million, 500ft tall mechanical clock has started, designed to run autonomously for 10,000 years. ✓ CHARGING BY LASER Engineers have demonstrated a system that can charge a cell phone via a laser across a room. TRAGEDIES ✗FORM OVER FUNCTION Apple’s new HQ apparently has employees walking into the glass dividing walls, distracted by their smartphones. Yes, that’s irony. ✗ COINBASE FLAW A bug caused payments for small transactions to be processed multiple times. ✗ TESLA CLOUD HACKED Tesla has been a victim of cryptojacking—stealing resources for cryptocurrency mining. No data was stolen, just clock cycles.…