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Maximum PC July 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.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Future Publishing Ltd
Frequency:
Monthly
SPECIAL: Save 40% on your subscription!
R 101,18
R 130,13R 78,08
13 Issues

in this issue

3 min
lakes of rockets and stuff

WE DID IT! We finally took new portrait shots for the mag. The beard is gone! OK, so I haven’t had a beard for a long time, but that’s beside the point—this was the first time we managed to slot in a portrait shoot in over a year, and it all happened because of one tiny mistake. Our staff writer, Sam, embarked upon his first ever PC build this issue. I decided it was time to throw the boy in at the deep end, to get his toes wet in the murky system-building pools that are Maximum PC’s mainstay. As Sam lives so far away from the office, we decided it was best if he built the rig, took photos of what he wanted, then we would recreate that and shoot it…

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3 min
bitcoin’s bubble

BITCOIN NEVER seems to be far from the news, whether it’s for startling rises in price, dramatic crashes, or both within days. It has always been a unstable creation, but the real roller-coaster ride didn’t start until October 2020. Recently it has been particularly volatile; as we write, a coin is worth $39,750, although it could be vastly different by the time you read this. Just within the last month, it reached $59,000, and even hit over $63,000 in April. Go back a year, and it was “only” worth $10,000. Predictions on where bitcoin will go next are pointless. Many maintain it will reach $250,000 or more within the next few years, which would bring its value to that of gold. Others forecast a fall of equally dramatic proportions. In February,…

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1 min
irreparable goods slammed

THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION has made its final report on manufacturer-imposed restrictions on the repair of hardware, and has concluded that things are far from ideal. It has examined the reasons for the restrictions supplied by manufacturers and found that “the majority are not supported by the record.” There are, apparently, eight main ways you are stopped from repairing things, from the requirement to use special tools, through to using soldered components and citing (non-existent) safety worries. Many of the problems are baked into the designs, and exacerbated by limited information. The worst offenders are the makers of smartphones, laptops, and cars. Apple received some special mentions, too, for ensuring that only Apple can fix its products. The FTC was pleasingly thorough in refuting manufacturers’ excuses, and in its support…

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1 min
amd and gf finally part ways

AMD AND GLOBALFOUNDARIES (GF) have announced a change to the Wafer Supply Agreement (WSA), which removes all exclusive arrangements. GF was originally part of AMD; the split came in 2009, but AMD retained a third ownership. At first the pair were close, and AMD was to move most of its business to GF. But the two fell out, and AMD sold its interest in GF in 2012, so it could shop elsewhere. GF struggled to keep pace with AMD’s technical developments. When AMD reached 14nm, production was licensed to Samsung. Since then, GF has been left making I/O and legacy chips. AMD moved to TSMC for 7nm and below, but was obliged to use GF for all 14nm business. This it no longer has to do, though it has agreed…

1 min
tech triumphs and tragedies

TRIUMPHS ✓ FIRST 2NM CHIPS IBM has produced wafers with a transistor density of 333 million per mm2, using “nanosheets.” ✓ PHOTOREALISTIC RENDERS Intel has demonstrated a system that uses AI enhancement to render at “interactive” speeds. Results in GTA V are incredible. ✓ OVERCLOCKING RECORD Somebody has got Intel’s new Rocket Lake Core i9-11900K to run at 7.14GHz on all cores using liquid nitrogen cooling. Result. TRAGEDIES ✗ XBOX LOSES MONEY Microsoft has revealed that it has never made a profit from selling consoles. ✗ CONFUSED BY CONES Waymo’s self-driving taxis can’t cope with traffic cones; a car blocked the road and required rescue. Fully autonomous driving is still some way away. ✗ FLASH TO BE KILLED Windows is to finally kill Flash, with mandatory removal in a forthcoming update.…

1 min
hackers cut fuel supply

RANSOMWARE ATTACKS reached new heights in early May when hackers hit Colonial Pipeline and demanded payment for 100GB of stolen data. The company operates the biggest fuel pipeline in the country, running 5,500 miles from Houston in Texas to Linden in New Jersey. It supplies about 45 percent of the gas, diesel, and aviation fuel for the whole East Coast—over 2.5 billion barrels a day. It’s not clear if the hackers had the ability to trigger dangerous events, but Colonial Pipeline had little choice other than to hit the “off” switch. This led to unscheduled plane landings to refuel elsewhere, panic buying, and a jump in gas prices. Colonial Pipeline also had little option but to pay—about $5 million in bitcoin. Normal service (mostly) was resumed five days later. Colonial Pipeline…

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