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Maximum PC

Maximum PC April 2019

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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.
security may not be sexy, but it’s worth paying attention to

SECURITY, LIKE BACKING UP, is one of those topics that we all should probably take more seriously than we do. Whenever reports are released highlighting popular password selections, it’s clear that not everyone is on the same page, or even reading from the same book. But whether you have strong passwords or not, your accounts can still be compromised, and then you’ve got to ask yourself what you’re going to do about it. This month’s cover feature came about after a chance comment from a colleague about the Have I Been Pwned website. Out of morbid curiosity, I decided to check my personal email address on the site, and was quickly confronted with the knowledge that it appeared in no fewer than 16 separate breach lists. To be fair, I have…

3 min.
business-ready vr

YOU’D BE FORGIVEN for thinking that VR is dead, but not everyone got the memo. HTC has upgraded its standalone Vive Focus to the Vive Focus Plus. You now get a controller for each hand, plus they have six degrees of freedom, and track as you move them. It’s powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, and has a 3K AMOLED display, matching the more expensive Oculus Quest. The headset is still rather large, and not exactly stylish, but is lighter than it looks. The original Vive Focus cost “from” $599; the Plus won’t be far off this. It is really aimed at the business market, for medical training, and suchlike, but there’s a chance you’ll see them in game arcades. HTC is working with developers, and has its Vive Wave project,…

2 min.
turing core goes gtx

NVIDIA’S JUICY NEW GPU architecture, Turing, has made its first appearance beyond the flagship RTX range, in the form of the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti. Yours for a considerably more wallet-friendly $279. What you don’t get are the ray tracing or Tensor AI cores. What you do get is Nvidia’s latest and fastest architecture; it claims the 1660 Ti is 50 percent faster than a GTX 1060. A little optimistic perhaps—first reports clock it at around a third faster, around the GTX 1070 level. It’s also around 25 percent faster than a Radeon RX 590, and steps on the toes of the RX Vega 56 in some benchmarks. We’ll have all the hard numbers for you next issue. The GeForce GTX 1660 Ti is based on a new version of the…

1 min.
are password managers safe?

PASSWORDS ARE A NOTORIOUS security weak spot, and we now have an estimated average of over a hundred each, according to a research paper on the subject. The Independent Security Evaluators, a consultancy company, has released a report claiming that the five most popular Win 10 password managers contain security flaws. Tests revealed that when running, passwords weren’t being effectively deleted from memory after use. Don’t panic: Your passwords are heavily encrypted when the password manager isn’t running. The only way to access passwords stored by a manager is to sneak around in system memory, which requires an in-depth malware attack known as memory scraping. ISE says it wants to “establish a reasonable minimum baseline which all password managers should comply with.” The report has ruffled a few feathers, so let’s…

1 min.
top game engines get rtx support

EPIC WAS RESPONSIBLE for the stunning Star Wars demo that helped bring home what ray tracing could do, and the company has now integrated low-level ray-tracing support via DX12 into its Unreal Engine 4.22, the biggest name in PC game engines, with an impressive list of features, including reflections, translucency, ambient occlusion, and soft shadows. Second only to the Unreal engine is the cross-platform Unity engine, from Unity Technologies. It, too, is to add ray-tracing support, or so a email from Nvidia’s CEO Jensen Huang let slip (there is, as yet, no official announcement). We’ll have to wait for this to filter through to games with ray tracing built in from the ground up, but the important first step has been secured. There’s still only a couple of games that make…

1 min.
tech triumphs and tragedies

TRIUMPHS NEW CPU TECH Intel reckons that the Magneto-Electric Spin Orbit process is 10 years away or less—faster and better for AI than silicon. THE 100K CART An early, super-rare version of Super Mario Bros. has sold for $100,150. RASPBERRY WINDOWS Somebody has managed to get Windows 10 running on the diminutive $35 Raspberry Pi Model B. Why? Why not? TRAGEDIES APP BRICKS SNEAKERS The app for Nike’s self-lacing shoes has failed, leaving people unable to wear them. BYE-BYE BLU-RAY It looks as if the days of the disc really are numbered; Samsung has canceled all development of new Blu-ray players. FACEBOOK HEALTH RISK Eleven apps, including health trackers, have been found to share sensitive data with Facebook without consultation.…