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Maximum PC

Maximum PC September 2018

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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.

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United States
Future Publishing Limited US
13 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
the changing face of entertainment

THE WAY WE CONSUME MEDIA has changed. According to the Digital Entertainment Group, which monitors disc sales in the US, physical media sales dropped by 14 percent in 2017, compounded by a 10 percent drop the year before. To put some cash on the table, last year we spent $4.7bn on DVDs, Blu-rays, and Ultra HD 4K Blu-rays, but $9.5bn on Netflix, HBO Go, and Amazon. It’s clear what the future for entertainment looks like. So, the sun is setting on owning a large pile of tapes, DVDs, and Blu-rays. Even if you haven’t made the switch yet, you’ll soon have to, unless you’ve got a particular reason to cling on to offline options (mostly down to a flaky Internet connection). What does that mean for our media center PCs? It means…

3 min.
amd piles on the pressure

THE GUYS AND GALS at AMD are busy bees. Not a month goes by without something interesting emerging. This month, we have some fleshing out of the midrange Ryzen family. There have been “leaks” (the processor world does seem very prone to this) on four new Ryzens. We have the Ryzen 5 2500X, a four-core, eight-thread chip, running at a base of 3.6GHz, with a boost of 4GHz. It’s faster than the 1500X, but loses out on 8MB of L3 cache. Sitting under this is the Ryzen 3 2300X, a fourcore, four-thread CPU, running at 3.5GHz, with a 4GHz boost. We also have two low-power Ryzens due soon. The Ryzen 5 2600E, a six-core, 12-thread chip, with a base speed of 3.1GHz. Above this is the Ryzen 7 2700E, an eight-core, 16-thread…

1 min.
bitcoin crashes, again

Is reality catching up with Bitcoin? BITCOIN IS the poster child for cryptocurrencies—just before the end of last year, it topped out at $19,783. At the time of writing, it stands at $6,519, a 67 percent drop. Analysts have naturally looked around for causes for the latest crash. Among the cited culprits is a report on the Bitfinex exchange by the University of Texas, which pointed to market manipulation of cryptocurrency Tether influencing Bitcoin’s value. Algorithms uncovered an association between the Tether and Bitcoin spikes. Also, last month Coinrail, a South Korean cryptocurrency exchange, was hacked, and $40 million in various coins was spirited away. China’s continuing clamp-down on fundraising through cryptocurrencies also worried others. Whatever the catalysts were, the drop points to a lack of confidence. Some heavyweights of the financial world have…

1 min.
win 7 still loved

WHICH IS SOMETHING OF A PROBLEM FOR WINDOWS 10 PEOPLE REALLY LIKE WINDOWS 7. The June figures from the analyst Net Applications show that Win 10 runs 40.4 percent of Windows PCs, while Win 7 has 47.3 percent. Win 10 managed to add a full point, but mostly at the expense of Win 8 and XP. If trends continue, parity is not expected until November. Other analysts differ. StarCounter, for example, is far more favorable to Win 10, putting it ahead. But all still show Win 7 in a strong position. This is the problem: Support for Win 7 is due to be pulled in 18 months, by which time it’s estimated that it will still be running on 30–36 percent of systems. When Windows XP had its plug pulled, it was…

1 min.
are our games spying on us?

Red Shell tracker sneaks into top titles DO YOU EXPECT your games to send marketing information gathered from your online activity to a third party? Of course not. So when gamers found that the “spyware” Red Shell was bundled with their Steam games, there was an online uproar. The list of titles featuring the unwanted extra runs to over 50, including Civilization VI, Elder Scrolls Online, and Conan Exiles. The online backlash has prompted many publishers to remove it, and others have promised to. Red Shell (yes, a Mario Cart reference) is a marketing tool to track the effectiveness of adverts; it watches to see whether you visit marketing campaigns on Facebook, Twitter, and the like (only while the game is running). No personal data is collected, and nothing sold on. However,…

1 min.
tech triumphs and tragedies

TRIUMPHS ✓ SAVED FROM PREDATOR Researchers have developed a graphine film that acts as adaptive thermal camouflage, effectively masking hot objects. ✓ FACEBOOK TESTS AR ADS Try that lipstick first, virtually at least, as new augmented reality ads put products on people. ✓ LOCATION IS PRIVATE The Supreme Court has ruled that where you were or are is your business, unless a warrant says otherwise. TRAGEDIES ✗ GAS PUMP HACKED Detroit police are looking for two thieves who remotely stopped a gas pump’s fuel cut-off and made off with about 600 gallons of gas. ✗ EXACTIS DOES IT AGAIN After last year’s data breach, this time details on 230m Americans were left on a public server. ✗ TRACKER TOO REVEALING Polar has pulled its publicly viewable map, which revealed where you were exercising, even if that was in the White House.…