Maximum PC

January 2022

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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13 Edities

in deze editie

3 min
return of the king

INTEL IS BACK. Of that, there can be no question. This month, we get our paws on the 12600K, the gamer’s choice among Intel’s new 12th-generation Alder Lake chips. If we had doubts last month about the range-topping Core i9-12900K SKU, thanks to some scary power consumption figures, that’s largely mitigated by the new Core i5 model. The 12600K reduces 12900K’s 240W power guzzling problem down to a much more manageable 150W or less. More to the point, the 12600K is now the weapon of choice for gamers. Job done for Intel? For now, perhaps, but Intel still has plenty to prove. Alder Lake is built on the so-called Intel 7 node, otherwise known as 10nm and still years behind schedule. As you’ll discover in our Tech Preview feature, AMD is…

4 min
the empire strikes back

INTEL HAS released the best of its new Alder Lake chips first, the headline-grabbing performance models. But what about the more affordable CPUs, the chips we stand a better chance of buying? Thanks to a slip up at Dell, among others, details of further Alder Lake SKUs went online well before the official launch. As expected, we have Core i7-12700, i5-12600, 12500, and 12400, and at the bottom the Core i3-12100. Curiously, the low-end chips don’t appear to have any efficiency cores. An early benchmark of the i5-12400, with six performance cores using Adobe Premiere Pro, shows it stands toe-to-toe with a Ryzen 9 5600X. Alder Lake is proving to be a match for Zen 3 across the range. What’s next? Alder Lake mobile comes first, which has entered production, ready…

1 min
facebook quits looking at faces

META, FACEBOOK’S PARENT company, is to end one of its most contentious practices: facial recognition. It will also delete the one billion ‘faceprints’ it collected from the one-third of Facebook users who opted in. As a useful dataset, it must have been valuable, but the move represents “one of the largest shifts in facial recognition usage in the technology’s history,” according to the VP of the AI division. It’s not clear what prompted the change of heart, the company has been under fire over its attitudes to privacy, and admitted that there are ‘many concerns’ about the unrestricted use of facial recognition. A couple of useful features will go along with it, the audio description that names people in pictures (handy for the visually impaired), and you’ll no longer be…

1 min
microsoft pushes edge

A PREVIEW BUILD of Win11 has pulled a sneaky trick by stopping a popular ‘helper’ app called EdgeDeflector from working. This could detect the hard-coded links to Edge that Win11 likes to scatter across the OS, then redirect them to your preferred browser. The planned update kills it dead, ensuring that Microsoft’s browser pops up instead. Trying to set a rival as your default isn’t easy either. When you install a new browser and open a link, you have to select “always use this app” to make your choice the default. But you only get one chance, if you miss it you’ll have to set it as the default for all files or link formats individually. Only Firefox manages to successfully navigate the pitfalls to install itself as the default.…

1 min
tech triumphs and tragedies

TRIUMPHS GAMING FREEDOM Windows allows you to choose where to install games from Windows Store or Xbox Game Pass: no more locked folders. THROWN INTO SPACE SpinLaunch plans to ‘throw’ satellites into space using a huge centrifuge operating at high-speed in a vacuum. A small test version works, at least. THE ORIGINAL APPLE An Apple-1 sold at auction for $500K complete with cassette adapter, and koa wood case: one of 200 hand-made machines. TRAGEDIES STOLEN RTXs A truckload of GeForce RTX 30-series cards, including 3090s, was hijacked en route to a warehouse in California. RECORD WITHDRAWN A world-beating 8GHz Alder Lake overclock by Gigabyte was rejected due to a bug in CPU-Z that can give the wrong clock speed with Alder Lake chips. LOCKED FRAMES Nvidia’s cloud gaming service locks frame rates of 12 games to below 60fps, causing jitters, even for Priority…

1 min
graphics duopoly all over

REMEMBER MATROX? How about S3 or even 3dfx? Back in the 1990s, there were dozens of graphics card designers and builders. But since then, they have either run themselves into the ground, retreated into niche markets, or been bought out. For years, there has effectively been a duopoly; Nvidia and AMD control roughly 80 and 20 percent of the market respectively. Recent times have been harsh for the industry, losing cards to cryptocurrency miners and a chip shortage that squeezed supplies and raised prices. However, the growth of cloud services, AI, and other intensive HPC applications has fueled a resurgence in GPU development. In 2019, there were 11 developers, this year it has grown to 19. Most of this development won’t find its way out of the server racks, but the…