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Maximum PC Holiday 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
13 Issues

in this issue

3 min
a return to normality

IT’S NICE FOR ONCE to just start writing this and not have any problems. No bad news to share, no major issues to deal with. You know, it’s been a long and bumpy year, and one of the weirdest ones I’ve experienced in my lifetime. From getting my dream job here at Maximum PC, to a global pandemic occurring with multiple waves, to being stuck inside for weeks on end, losing budget and pages, and then having to let some of our writers go temporarily, it’s been rough for sure. And despite the craziness going on around us right now, it’s nice that the mag itself is back into a decent shape, at least as far as budget, content, and page counts go. I just want to say to all of…

4 min
amd does it again

BY THE TIME you read this AMD will have officially launched its Zen 3 processors. It’s been less then four years since it launched the first Zen-powered chips, and the rate at which they have been improving has been startling. Zen 3 will offer about a 19 percent improvement in IPC (Instructions Per Cycle) on Zen 2. This means AMD has managed to scale the design faster than any other processor in the last 20 years. Zen 3 is a ground-up redesign that AMD says will finally beat Intel at single-threaded gaming, the one area where the Blue Team always won. There are four initial chips, spread neatly across the market. Top of the pile is the $799 Ryzen 9 5950X with 16 cores, a base clock of 3.4GHZ, and a…

1 min
no facebook, no oculus

THIS SUMMER FACEBOOK MADE a Facebook account mandatory for users of Oculus VR sets. Now it transpires that if you delete your Facebook account, your Oculus games are gone forever, and your VR headset is an expensive conversation piece. Your social media account and your VR game accounts are irrevocably fused together—you can’t walkaway from either without losing both. Meanwhile there have been reports of a good number of Oculus Quest 2 owners having their Facebook accounts disabled when trying to create or link to them, leaving bricked headsets. An automated message claims that the accounts didn’t meet Facebook’s Community Standards. Facebook’s handling of Oculus has not won it many friends. Oculus’s founder, Palmer Luckey, has offered a cash reward to anybody that can “jailbreak” the Oculus Quest 2 from…

1 min
the 10,000 ppi screen

RESEARCHERS AT STANFORD, working with Samsung, have developed a new type of OLED screen boasting 10,000 pixels per inch or more. Currently even the best displays can’t reach 1/10th of this. The technology borrows from work done on solar panels, and uses extra layers: One reflective, and one termed a “meta-surface.” This has a grid of tiny (100nm wide) pillars, and clusters of these are used to control the color of each pixel. The light bounces between two silvered layers before being emitted. The obvious use is for VR displays, where the screen is so close to your eyes that the lines between pixels become visible. At more reasonable viewing distances the advantages are less obvious. This is still a proof of concept research project, but Samsung has reportedly started…

1 min
tech triumphs and tragedies

TRIUMPHS ✓ CHROMEBOOKS UP 90% One effect of education moving online in a big way has been a huge surge in Chromebook sales, 90% up year on year. ✓ POTATO DOOM Someone’s played Doom on a TI-84 graphing calculator using a large potato battery array. ✓ PCIE 5.0 FIRST TEST Intel and Synopsys have run an “interoperability” test for PCIe 5.0. It’s expected to reach mobos late next year or early 2022. TRAGEDIES ✗ CRUCIBLE IS DEAD Amazon has pulled the plug on the online PvP game after six years of development. ✗ AMPERE DELAY The big-memory version of the RTX cards won’t be here anytime soon—GDDR6X production difficulties apparently. ✗ ANOTHER VR CAUSALITY Google has finally killed Daydream VR. Strapping a phone to your head wasn’t a suitable VR solution after all, it turns out.…

1 min
the doj takes on google

THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE has filed an anti-trust lawsuit against Google, the largest case since Microsoft found itself in hot water over 20 years ago. The accusation is that Google’s search and advertising “empire” is against federal anti-trust laws. Google has nearly 90 percent of the search market. This market dominance was achieved, according to the DoJ, by “problematic” business practices. These include simply paying companies large amounts to be the default search engine. Google’s reach has enabled the company to enrich itself through advertising, strengthening its grip on the market, making it tough for competitors, stifling innovation, and reducing consumer choice. This isn’t the first time Google has been in the DoJ’s firing line. A case in 2012 was called off. This time, we assume, the DoJ is better prepared.…