Maximum PC September 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
SPECIAL: Get 40% OFF with code: START40
13 Issues

in this issue

3 min
videography mastery

ALTHOUGH Moore’s Law may be fluttering around the edges today, its effect on the industry is well-documented, and very apparent. In fact, thinking of computing performance, just how much we’ve managed to gain in ever-smaller form factors is seriously impressive. Take Apollo 11’s guidance computer, for example: According to some figures, modern iPhones house over 100,000 times more processing power than the legendary computer that landed man on the Moon. And that’s just in the world of mobile…. Even in the last five years in our own heady domain, computational performance has quadrupled in the mainstream marketplace, and in the land of HEDT it’s more than six times higher than when we first started, and that’s just on core count alone. Moore’s Law may not be to thank for that—intuitive complex…

4 min
threadripper goes pro

AFTER WEEKS of rumors and leaks about AMD’s new Threadripper, AMD has revealed what it likes to call “the first and only 64-core professional workstation processor”: the Threadripper PRO 3000WX series. There are four in all. The top model is the Threadripper PRO 3995WX, which has 64 cores and a base clock of 2.7GHz, with a maximum boost to 4.3GHz. Below this are the 32-core 3975WX, the 16-core 3955WX, and lastly the 12-core 3945WX. The clock speeds increase as the core count drops, all the way up to 4.0GHz on the base model 12-core chip. Essentially they are pro versions of existing Threadripper chips, employing the same 7nm Zen 2 cores: The 3995WX is a 3990X, and so forth. The base clock rates are a shade lower across the range,…

1 min
oculus go gone

OCULUS HAS two versions of its standalone VR headsets: The accomplished Quest, and the considerably cheaper Oculus Go. But no longer, as the Oculus Go is to go. There will be no new software or updates after December, although you’ll still receive security patches and bug fixes until the end of 2022. The Go was an attempt at low-cost VR. Lacking position tracking and fancy controllers, it managed to sell over 2 million headsets in a year. The Go was designed to introduce VR to people unwilling to invest in the bigger headsets, but the limited capabilities didn’t show VR at its best, and it was still too expensive for the mass market. Oculus is to concentrate on higher-end headsets with the full six degrees of freedom, and high-resolution graphics. Oculus…

1 min
second new xbox due

THERE HAVE BEEN MUTTERINGS of two versions of the Xbox Series X for months. We had two codenames after all: Anaconda, and Lockhart. Leaked documents confirm that Microsoft is going to make another more affordable version of the X Series. It will be aimed at 1080p or 1440p gaming, rather than the exotic heights of 4K and beyond, which will keep the cost of the required graphics silicon down. It makes sense: The company sold two version of its Xbox One after all. It also enables Microsoft to undercut the PS5 with a “budget” model, and out-perform it with the full version. Tech specs are unsubstantiated, but it is expected to run a slightly slower CPU, have less usable RAM and a slower GPU, and ship with no optical drive.…

1 min
tech triumphs and tragedies

TRIUMPHS ✓ NEW CHAMPION Fujitsu has unveiled its Fugaku supercomputer, with 158,976 ARM A64FX processors. ✓ NO DOUBLE-DIPPING Microsoft’s Smart Delivery system for Xbox games won’t allow developers to charge you for a Series X version if you already own the game. ✓ THUNDERBOLT IS STILL GO Intel has release the specs of Thunderbolt 4, due to debut with its Tiger Lake chips. TRAGEDIES ✖ END OF SEGWAY After 18 years the iconic Segway PT is to retire. The company is to concentrate on electric scooters. ✖ BLU-RAY FAIL Thousands of Samsung Blu-ray players have died at once, perhaps due to a firmware problem with expired SSL certificates. ✖ PAY TO PLAY Google Play Music is to close as YouTube Music takes over. There’s a fee to use Google speakers, even if you own the music.…

2 min
apple’s transition

APPLE’S DECISION to ditch x86 processors and move to ARM-based chips for all its machines has caused a stir. Now we are starting to get an idea of what’s in store as development kit is distributed, based around the existing A12Z Bionic chip, along with beta software. There are no meaningful direct benchmarks yet, its not the final hardware, or software, and there’s lots of emulation going on. However, developers have been impressed. Apple’s new iPad Pro already runs an A12Z chip, and it’s no slouch, holding its own against a MacBook Pro armed with a Core i5-8257. The next version will be based around this, although exact details are still fuzzy. We can expect a SoC version with more cores, higher frequencies, and integrated GPU. Some analysts are predicting…