Maximum PC Holiday 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
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13 Issues

in this issue

3 min
all good things

WELCOME to our final issue of 2021. What a year it’s been, filled with crazy ups-and-downs, and still stuck in the middle of a pandemic that refuses to budge. But before we get on to next year, next issue, and our predictions for what’s going to happen in the world of tech in 2022, we need to wrap up these last 12 months in style. To that end, this edition of the mag is jam-packed with a ton of epic content to really celebrate this orbit around the sun. We have the annual Maximum PC Gear of the Year awards, a guide on how to get into PC modding from our own resident system-building guru Kris, a full explainer on how supercomputers predict the weather and earthquakes from Ian, and…

4 min
intel goes hybrid

WE HAVE been waiting for what seems like ages, but now Intel has finally introduced its Node 7 process, and it has gone hybrid: welcome Alder Lake, the 12th Generation of desktop processors. Intel calls this the “biggest ever leap in our x86 architecture”. Alder Lake uses a mix of high-performance cores (P-cores) using the Golden Cove architecture, and high-efficiency cores (E-cores) using the Gracemont architecture. It’s a sound idea that has served Apple’s M1 chip well. Meanwhile, AMD has stated that it is sticking to its single-core type designs, for now. AMD also has patents covering hybrid architecture, so the option is on the table. Initially, there are six versions of Alder Lake, with another 28 versions to follow. To start though we get the Core i5-12600, i7-12700, and i9-12900. Each…

1 min
alexa is listening

SMART SPEAKERS, or digital assistants, have been a huge hit. There are over 90 million of them in the US, and by 2025 it is expected that three-quarters of homes will have at least one smart device. And all of them are gathering data. It transpires that Alexa is the most adept at this. A new report from looked at all the major players to see just what you are giving away to their parent companies. The top five all collect the basics: your name, time zone, phone number, location, and IP address. Some dig a little deeper, including your address, payment information, age, and personal interests. The best at this is Alexa, which collects this and more, including your voice characteristics. It also delves into your profile and tracks…

1 min
win11 se to land next year

WONDERFUL AS IT IS, Windows is no lightweight OS, which is something of a liability in a world where smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices outnumber PCs considerably. Enter Win11 SE, a cut-down version aimed at the school laptop. Builds of Win 11 SE have been leaked online, but the official release is set for 2022. The leaked version has a few features disabled, including customization settings, but isn’t a final build. It will come ready-installed in a range of budget-friendly devices, such as Surface laptops, but isn’t a replacement for Win11 Education Edition, a version designed for school PCs. Bringing the Windows experience to smaller devices has been a Microsoft goal, but it cannot be shoe-horned onto anything smaller than a laptop without compromises. In a recent interview, Bill…

1 min
tech triumphs and tragedies

TRIUMPHS FCC EYES SPAM TEXTS The FCC is looking to make mobile carriers block spam texts. A staggering 7.4 billion were delivered in March 2021. BIGGEST BUG BOUNTY YET Immunefi paid a researcher $2 million for discovering a bug on a finance platform that put $850 million of cryptocurrency at risk. STEEL WOOD Scientists have found a way to make wood tough enough to take an edge better than a steel knife. TRAGEDIES AMAZON’S PRACTICES Internal documents prove that Amazon copies popular items then fiddles with search code to promote them over rivals. FACEBOOK UNFOLLOWING A developer who built an extension that enabled you to empty the News Feed has been banned from Facebook. BITCOIN POWER Half of Bitcoin mining is carried out by just 50 miners. The top 10% of miners control 90% of it.…

2 min
apple’s new silicon

A LITTLE OVER a year ago, A pple’s M1 processors arrived, and from nowhere Apple entered the processor market with a chip that was touted by many as a real rival to x86 silicon. Now it has returned with two new versions: the M1 Pro, and the M1 Max. These two ARM-based SoC designs build on the original but are much bigger beasts. The M1 Pro has eight high-performance cores, double that of the original M1, plus two high-efficiency cores. These are coupled to 14 or 16 GPU cores, again twice the original number. There’s 24MB of L2 cache, a 16 core Neural Engine, and up to 32GB of unified memory. This adds up to a total of 33.7 billion transistors. The M1 Max is the true monster, with 57…