Maximum PC July 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.

United States
Future Publishing Ltd
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13 Issues

in this issue

3 min
the revolution has come

FOR THE LAST TWO ISSUES I’ve s tarted out my Editor’s Intro by bringing up some bad news in one form or another. Whether that’s page cuts, budget cuts, temporarily letting go of Jarred and Alex, or something else, it’s been tough. I joined the team one week before our publishing house went into lockdown, and I’ve gotta say it’s been a hell of a first experience. That said, this job is everything that I’ve wanted it to be, and the support I’ve received from all of you who’ve mailed in, and from those who I’ve spoken to personally on our Discord server (shameless plug: has been fantastic. We couldn’t do what we do without you all, and I just want to thank you for that. Nevertheless I’m happy to…

3 min
nvidia builds a beast

NVIDIA HAS a new GPU architecture called Ampere, and it is big. In fact the first Ampere chip is the world’s biggest 7nm IC, with 54 billion transistors. It took, according to a “keynote” speech made by CEO Jensen Huang from his kitchen at home, the result of the efforts of thousands of engineers over several years. The first card to use the Ampere architecture will be the A100. This is aimed squarely at the data center where it will toil away at cloud services, data analysis, and artificial intelligence. This is the world of high-performance computing, and Nvidia’s press materials are dotted with bar charts showing Ampere’s capabilities above its previous card, the Tesla V100. The A100 card will have, according to Mr. Huang, “a profound impact on how we…

1 min
microsoft was wrong about open source

IN 2001 THE THEN-CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer, called Linux “a cancer that attaches itself to an intellectual property sense to everything it touches.” The company has calmed down since then. The current president, Brad Smith, thinks that “Microsoft was on the wrong side of history when open source exploded.” Not only has Microsoft stopped fighting open source, it has joined in. A Linux kernel is now part of Windows 10, enabling it to run Linux software directly, and the company is now the world’s largest single contributor to open-source projects. Microsoft’s new “open design philosophy” means we are likely to see more open-source projects folded into Windows, and a bit more of Windows opened up to the world.…

1 min
amd offers a reprieve for 400-series boards

WHEN RYZEN, and its AM4 socket, was launched in 2016, AMD said it would support the socket until 2020. Which it has, although some interpreted this as meaning the motherboard chipsets would also support all AM4 chips. When the Zen 3 came along AMD said you needed a 500-series board. Its new B550 has just arrived, and it doesn’t support Ryzen 3000-series Picasso chips with integrated graphics, or support older Ryzen 2000 or 1000-series chips. The company has now decided to change course. The issue was room on the ROM. AMD is preparing a BIOS update that will enable Zen 3 support on B450 and X470 boards. This works by making room on the ROM by ditching support for older Ryzens. It’s a one-way process that kills the board for older…

1 min
tech triumphs and tragedies

TRIUMPHS ✓ VIDEO GAMES RECORD We spent more in the last quarter on games then we ever have—a whopping $10.9 billion, up nine percent on last year. ✓ FOUNDRY FOR ARIZONA TSMC is to build a cutting-edge semi-conductor foundry in Arizona to produce 5nm parts. It’ll be ready by 2024. ✓ MICROPROSE ISN’T DEAD Classic game-maker MicroProse is being resurrected, with new games and refreshed work. TRAGEDIES WINK OUT✗ With little notice, Wink has moved to a $5 a month subscription—if you don’t pay, your smart home hubs stop. ZOOM✗ It seems that Zoom’s claim of having 300 million daily active users wasn’t true: It counted every participant in every call. WALMART CLOSES JET✗ The online shopping site that cost Walmart $3 billion in 2016 is set to close.…

1 min
tiger lake has claws

INTEL’S 11TH-GENERATION Tiger Lake is set to launch, and the company claims there are 50 “fantastic” notebooks ready to roll. Tiger Lake is the replacement for the Ice Lake series of low-power mobile processors with integrated graphics. It uses a 10nm processor and sports Intel’s most modern core architecture, Willow Cove, an enhanced version of Ice Lake’s Sunny Cove. The specifications read well: We have PCIe 4.0, Wi-Fi 6, USB 4, Thunderbolt 4, deep-learning AI boost, HEVC, and VP9 hardware decoding. The two things that stand out are the graphics subsystem: This will be the first commercial appearance of Intel’s Xe graphics engine, with up to 96 execution units, against 64 in Ice Lake. The other is that Intel has managed to crank up the clock speeds while keeping power consumption…