Maximum PC December 2021

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
quantum leap

IT’S BEEN a heck of a month for myself and the team at Maximum PC. There’s been a lot going on in the background, and the next few issues look seriously awesome from a content perspective. Honestly, some of the features we’ve got lined up are going to be epic! From Ian’s long-form excellence to Nick’s software-based goodness, it’s all go. On top of that, we’re expecting new processor launches too (which always makes us happy fellas). AMD is, without a doubt, king of the hill right now when it comes to CPU performance, but with Intel about to debut its next-gen chips, could this be the moment Team Blue takes back the multi-core crown? We’re not so sure, only time will tell. With that notion wedged firmly in our minds,…

3 min
facebook’s dark side

BY ANY MEASURE, Facebook is a picture of success. From small beginnings in 2004, it has grown into a company with a market capitalization of around $900bn. There are nearly 2.9 billion users worldwide, with an estimated 70 percent of all Americans having an account. On top of this, you can add a billion Instagram accounts. Success inevitably brings detractors, but Facebook is under fire, and its ex-employees are providing some of the best ammunition. A Facebook data engineer, and whistle-blower, Frances Haugen, leaked thousands of internal documents that highlight the problems and went on to testify to the US Congress. “The thing I saw at Facebook over and over again were conflicts of interest between what was good for the public and what was good for Facebook,” said Haugen. “Facebook,…

1 min
china bans crypto

AFTER THE RESTRICTIONS IMPOSED on cryptocurrency mining this summer, the Chinese government has declared that all transactions of such currencies are illegal. This isn’t a new thing. Virtual currencies were first ‘banned’ in 2009. Bitcoin transactions by banks were banned in 2013. In 2017, there were bans on exchanges. In total, there have been 19 attempts to stifle the market, but each time, it seems to thrive. This time, all citizens trading in coins are involved in illegal financial activity; the law singles out overseas exchanges providing services within China. One exemption is the digital Yuan (e-CYU) cryptocurrency, which is under government control. The fact the process chews through a lot of electricity doesn’t help, given the current shortages. Has this caused Bitcoin to plummet? No, it merely wobbled and…

1 min
the empire strikes back

AS WE WRITE, the official launch of Intel’s Alder Lake-S chips is within sight. Alder Lake is a 12th-generation chip employing a new LGA 1700 socket, so new boards are required. It’s a hybrid architecture, mixing Golden Cove cores for power, and Gracemont cores for efficiency. Each Golden Cove core gets 1.25MB of L2 cache and there’s up to 30MB of shared L3 cache, DDR5 support, and PCIe 5.0 lanes. Next year, it will reach laptops, with the Alder Lake-P series, followed by the Alder Lake-M for ultra-low power devices. The top-of-the-range chip is the Core i9-12900K, with eight cores and 16 threads. It is fast—a test using Ashes of Singularity gave the blue team around a 20 percent lead over AMD’s Ryzen 9 5900X—and Intel has released a desktop processor…

1 min
tech triumphs and tragedies

TRIUMPHS HUMBLE BUNDLE The game-selling firm gives a percentage to charity and has now passed the $200m mark. A NEW PLANET? After losing Pluto, simulations of the creation of the solar system indicate we may have a Marssized planet out there in the cold. OLD SCHOOL DEATH Quake inspired a generation of FPS games and it has now been remastered with 4K resolution and greatly updated graphics. TRAGEDIES BAD MEMORIES Chia miners in China are dumping their SSD drives onto the used market. Avoid. FACEBOOK SNAFU After a software update to its Border Gateway Protocol, Facebook’s empire shut down, including the doors at its HQ. BLANK WINDOWS Just before the Win11 launch, a report found that 62 percent of Windows users were unaware that a new version even existed.…

1 min
smooth operations

ELDER SCROLLS Online, which was originally launched in 2014, will be the first game to benefit from Nvidia’s latest piece of wizardry: Deep Learning Anti-Aliasing (DLAA). It’s a development of the existing DLSS (Deep Learning Super Scaling) system. At its most basic, DLAA is DLSS without the upscaling, instead, the AI concentrates entirely on anti-aliasing. It employs the Tensor cores found in Nvidia’s RTX 2000, and 3000 series graphics cards, so you’ll need one of those. There are various ways to remove the jaggles, all cost processing power, and hence frame rates. One method is Temporal Anti-Aliasing (TAA), which combines pixel data from previous frames with the current frame. It works well but doesn’t always handle motion effectively, leading to a ghosting or smearing effect. DLAA uses AI to track motion,…