Tech & Gaming
Maximum PC

Maximum PC August 2017

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 Limited US
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R 119,02
R 153,08
13 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
the true value of a pc is more than its specs

a thing or two about a thing or two I THOUGHT $699 WAS CHEAP. I was wrong. Several issues ago, we attempted to build a respectable computer without going above the $699 barrier, and that was already a feat in itself. But after much deliberation and wrangling, we decided that we could do even better: Try $599. The rules were simple. We had to reduce the price of the system, but not drastically have it take a performance hit. This was no easy task. Take it from me—I’ve never built a PC that was less than $1,000, even though I’ve tried. It’s easy to go high-cost, but it’s a challenge to set a budget and stick with it. Back in the day, I built a “home” PC that had an external fiber-channel RAID…

3 min.
xbox goes 4k

the beginning of the magazine, where the articles are small The One X is twice the price of the One S, and plays the same games. ON NOVEMBER 7, you’ll be able to swap $499 for what Microsoft proudly claims to be the world’s most powerful console: the Xbox One X, previously known as Project Scorpio. And yes, the name is a little clumsy. The headline is enough power for full 60fps 4K gaming. The sleek black box packs a custom 2.3GHz eight-core processor, a 40 Compute Unit AMD GPU, and 12GB of GDDR5. Plus, there’s 1TB of storage and a UHD drive. A decent, if not spectacular, hardware upgrade. And that’s what this is: not a new system as such, but an Xbox One with more oomph. The One X is twice…

1 min.
election hack worse than first thought

TWICE AS MANY states as originally feared were hit in the attack on the electoral system during the last election, according to a leaked NSA document. Most intrusions attempted to steal data and potentially embarrassing emails; however, in Illinois, hackers tried to alter voter data, but failed. Thankfully, a full attempt at disruption wasn’t attempted, either through lack of access, fear of reprisals, or because it was designed as an intelligence-gathering hack. Investigations were hampered by the fact that federal authorities had no jurisdiction over state electoral systems. That has been addressed, and the electoral system has now been designated a national critical infrastructure, giving greater power to inspect and intervene in state systems. The interference highlights vulnerabilities in the electoral system, currently a patchwork of disparate technologies. Democracy stands or…

1 min.
most powerful apple yet

APPLE’S ANNUAL developer conference, WWDC, brought a slew of updates, new hardware, and a very long keynote speech. We got the iPad Pro, watchOS 4, Siripowered HomePod, and myriad hardware and software upgrades, including beefier hardware on just about every Mac. But what many came to see was the iMac Pro. It looks fantastic, packs some delicious hardware, and is also majestically expensive. Creative types have been complaining that their shiny Macs have fallen behind PCs. The company is seen as concentrating too much on the iPhone and iPad, and not enough on its desktops. The workstation market is growing, too, up over 20 percent in three months. The Mac Pro hasn’t been updated much since 2013, and is struggling. A new modular version won’t arrive until next year at the…

2 min.
intel makes us wait

A LITTLE WHILE BACK, we were all ready and excited about AMD’s official announcement of Threadripper, its 16-core monster processor, when along comes Intel and announces it was going to 18 cores with its new Core i9 line. It transpires this was a little bit of gamesmanship by Intel to undercut AMD’s reveal. Release of the new Skylake-X Core i9 chips is to be staggered over several months, and it is going to start at the bottom, and work upward. This means the juicy 14, 16, and 18-core versions won’t be here until October. This leaves AMD’s massive Threadripper—the chip and socket are huge—as the top multicore chip for the summer at least. Widely called the Ryzen 9, it was notable that, at Computex, it was called Threadripper only. AMD’s James…

3 min.
the pcie lanes conundrum

You can’t do dual x16 graphics cards in SLI or CrossFire unless you buy a $1,000-plus processor. The problem is, many PCs are severely lacking in the PCIe lanes department—and it’s largely Intel’s fault. Starting in 2009, with socket LGA1156, Intel moved the fastest PCIe lanes directly on to the CPU package. Eight years ago, we had 16 PCIe 2.0 lanes on Intel’s Lynnfield (first-gen Core) processors, and for the mainstream platform, that’s where we’ve stayed. Doubling the bandwidth per lane going from PCIe 2.0 to PCIe 3.0 helped curb our need for more lanes, but we’re fast running into bottlenecks. Consider a reasonably high-end PC, with a fast GPU and NVMe storage. The graphics card still gets the 16 PCIe lanes from the CPU, but the NVMe SSD shares bandwidth with networking,…