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Maximum PC September 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
R 101,18
R 130,13
13 Issues

in this issue

2 min
backing up the future

I AM FASCINATED WITH AI. It’s one of those things that is simultaneously terrifying and exceedingly exciting from both a technological and philosophical point of view. We’ve all seen Terminator, I’m sure, and the idea of an advanced, hyper-intelligent, self-learning, self-replicating machine race certainly does have its own horrifying implications for humanity. But on the flip side, the advancements and jumps AI could potentially produce in the worlds of medicine, technology, astrophysics, and everything else in between mean it’s too enticing not to embark upon. And, let’s face it, these are still ultimately going to be machines that are confined by rules, physics, and properties that limit their capability. Nonetheless, AI is also something of a buzz-acronym. Similar to nuclear fusion, it’s one of those things that’s always been “just 10…

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4 min
can you run win 11?

AS YOU DON’T live under a rock, you’ll know we are to be graced with Windows 11 shortly. And as this is a Microsoft launch, you know that somewhere something didn’t go quite to plan. The shiny new OS may be just the job, but the hardware specifications you need to run it haven’t exactly been easy to follow, causing headaches and anger as it appeared that a lot of relatively new rigs weren’t going to make the cut. The first thing that caught people’s eye was the requirement for TPM 2.0. What is TPM? It’s a Trusted Platform Module, a chip (or integrated into the chipset or firmware) used to authenticate hardware devices. It includes a unique security key, and can generate encryption keys among other things. The Department of…

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1 min
gpu prices falling

AT LAST WE HAVE SIGNS that the ridiculous prices charged for graphics cards have peaked. There is still a healthy premium, though, and supplies remain tight. The finger of blame is generally pointed at cryptocurrency miners. In the first quarter of the year, they consumed around 700,000 mid- and high-range graphics cards—about a quarter of the entire market. Thankfully, demand is dropping, thanks in a large part to the Chinese government, which has started restricting the mining and trading of cryptocurrencies, and is even considering an outright ban. China currently mines over 70 percent of the world’s coins, often in remote areas such as Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang, where electricity is cheap. It is also largely from coal, which isn’t popular. Market analysts predict prices will return to near normal…

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1 min
windows’ print nightmare

IN MAY, RESEARCHERS uncovered a vulnerability in Windows that could enable hackers to access people’s printers. Unfortunately, they put the proof of concept online, so a potential threat became a real one. Apparently, they assumed that Microsoft had fixed the problem. Two bugs had been merged into one Microsoft security indicator, but only one had been fixed. The flaw enables hackers to remotely execute code with system level access. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency issued an emergency directive to federal agencies to disable the Windows Print Spooler or risk the compromise of the “entire identity infrastructure of a targeted organization.” Cue an emergency patch from Microsoft. The fix did cause a few printers to stop working, but it’s hardly unheard of for a patch to break something else. A…

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1 min
tech triumphs and tragedies

TRIUMPHS ✔ EXPENSIVE PLUMBER A mint copy of Super Mario 64 sold for $1.5m at auction—12 million of these were made originally. ✔ HOLOGRAPHIC MONITOR Looking Glass Factory has launched its Gen 2 3D monitors, no glasses needed. A 32-inch 8K model is $17,500. Pricey but cool. ✔ BILLIONAIRE SPACE RACE Richard Branson has been to space in his own spaceship. Bezos and Musk will no doubt soon join this rather exclusive club. TRAGEDIES ✘ COMMERCIALS IN GAMES EA has signed a deal to integrate ads in games. If you watch them you earn an in-game perk, but it increases load times. Boo. ✘ NEWEGG’S OEM IDEA If you want to buy a “hot item” it’s only available in a complete system with a $99 fee on top, and no additional warranties. ✘ CHINA’S GAMING CURFEW To ensure under-18s don’t play all night,…

1 min
worldwide ransomware attack

A RUSSIAN-BASED group of hackers known as REvil has broken into Kaseya, a Miami-based company that provides IT services, including VSA, a remote monitoring tool for networks. Modifications were made to VSA, which was unwittingly used by the victims, enabling the hackers to start encrypting files. As soon as the breach was noticed, Kaseya recommended that its customers shut down VSA, and it took all its data centers offline. A fix was in place three days later, but damage had been done. Part of VSA’s job is the automated distribution of software across networks, which makes it an ideal target for these attacks. It’s unclear how many companies have been compromised; Kaseya claims it’s 50. However, these companies have their own customers, and it’s estimated that 1,000 to 2,000 business…

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