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Tech & Gaming
Maximum PC

Maximum PC January 2020

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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Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Future Publishing Limited US
Frequency:
Monthly
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13 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
the year in review

CLOSING THE YEAR by looking at the best hardware from the past 12 months is a great way of seeing how far we’ve come, and this year is no different. The constant march of progress means that a PC that you build today is going to be notably more powerful than one you could have built a year ago, and this year that machine is more likely to be built around one of AMD’s Zen 2 chips, with their abundance of cores and support for the latest PCIe 4.0 speedy NVMe SSDs. That hasn’t been the only advance, though, so turn to page 24 to see the gear that wowed us the most. Our other big features include the best projects for the Raspberry Pi 4, and a look at the…

3 min.
stream on

GAME STREAMING is going to be big. Google’s Stadia has been launched with its Founder’s Edition for early adopters (read guinea pigs). For your $129, you get a Stadia controller, a Chromecast Ultra, and a three-month subscription to Stadia Pro, after which it will cost $9.99 a month. Initially destined to have just 12 “carefully selected” games, Google added another 10 just before launch. There are some decent titles, including Destiny 2, Mortal Kombat 11, and Red Dead Redemption 2. A reasonable start, but Google needs to add more games quickly. Stadia will come in two levels, a subscription-free base level, and Stadia Pro, which unlocks 4K, free games, discounts, and more. There have been a few teething troubles. Many didn’t get access codes they needed, cue much grumbling. More importantly,…

1 min.
intel enters discrete gpu market

THE WORLD OF CONSUMER GPUS has been a contest between AMD and Nvidia for so long, it’s hard to remember that the market used to be crowded with contenders. That will change—Intel has been working on its own discrete graphics card tech, the Xe Graphics Architecture, for some time. Its first iteration, code-named Ponte Vecchio, is a 7nm chip (Intel’s first). It uses a high-speed Compute Express Link (CXL) and Intel’s 3D Foveros system, which enables chips to be built in layers. It has also announced its first card featuring Ponte Vecchio, which Intel claims is an exascale GPU (capable of a billion, billion FLOPs). Before we get carried away, Intel is aiming its initial efforts at the very top of the market; this is a server card for heavy HPC…

1 min.
firefox bug scam

SCAMMERS HAVE BEEN EXPLOITING a bug in Firefox that can cause the browser to freeze, even resisting a restart. When you hit a booby-trapped page, the malicious code stops Firefox, and a pop-up appears that claims your Windows Registry key is illegal. You are invited to ring technical support within five minutes, or your system will be disabled. You’re put through to a person claiming to be from Microsoft, who tries to get you to pay for a Windows license you don’t need. It can get nasty, as you can’t close the pop-up. The only way to get out of the loop is to shut down the process in Task Manager. If you have Tab Restore enabled (turned off by default), it reappears next time you start the browser. To…

1 min.
navi goes professional

AMD HAS A NEW WORKSTATION graphics card based around its 7nm Navi GPU: the Radeon Pro W5700. It’s a workstation version of the consumer RX 5700, and uses the same Navi 10 GPU. AMD has changed its card naming convention, shortening the WX prefix to a plain W, and bringing the numbers into line between the two ranges. The W5700 has 36 compute units, 8GB of GDDR6, and runs at a maximum clock of 1,930MHz. This is faster then the RX 5700, and pushes the 32-bit floating point performance above the RX 5700 XT. It’s for graphics work, not AI; AMD is still behind Nvidia here. The W5700 is touted as a replacement for both the Vega-based WX 8200 and Polaris-based WX 7100; it isn’t as fast on paper as…

1 min.
tech triumphs and tragedies

TRIUMPHS ✓ SUSPENDED ANIMATION A trial to treat trauma can put people into suspended animation for up to two hours, by replacing blood with ice-cold saline. ✓ GLASS STORAGE Microsoft’s Project Silica has stored the movie Superman in a pane of glass using 100-plus layers of “voxels.” ✓ 5G TYRE Pirelli’s Cyber Tire uses sensors and 5G to transmit data on road conditions to nearby cars. TRAGEDIES ✗ MY PEOPLE TO DIE Microsoft has stopped development for My People in Win 10. Very few people used it. ✗ PATCH HITS PERFORMANCE A fix for a bug in Intel’s Skylake architecture has taken a couple of percent off its performance; compiler fixes will reduce that. ✗ UBER TO RECORD YOU As an aid to security, Uber plans to make audio recordings of your journey, initially in Latin America, but destined to come here.…