Tech

6 portable Windows tools for USB thumb drives

PC Gamer at

A USB thumbdrive can be a lot of things—a backup of important photos, a quick transfer device for big files, a cheap way to give out documents. It can also be a Swiss Army knife of portable software, filled with software that runs straight off the USB drive. These tools can be useful for working with computers you can’t install your own software on, or laptops that have dropped the CD drive for a thinner chassis. Our colleagues at TechRadar have covered a variety of portable tools, and we’ve put together six we recommend below. Make your own USB Swiss Army knife.


AMD gears up for a hardware fight on all fronts with cheaper chips, graphics cards and SSDs

Dave James at

Whether it’s a new bunch of processors, cheaper chips, new graphics cards or even the arrival of a new range of solid state drives, AMD are trying to build a bit of a buzz about their new hardware at the moment.Considering its Intel and Nvidia-shaped competition are on the verge of releasing brand new, super-exciting products themselves, AMD know they’ve got some serious work to do. The latest slew of announcements should help.


Logitech G402 Hyperion Fury review

Dave James at

However disgruntled I’m becoming about the amount of gaming hardware being named after classical Greek characters, I have to admit to being seriously impressed by the latest Logitech mouse.

It’s being marketed as ‘the world’s fastest gaming mouse’ and to be fair Logitech have got a point. It’s not trading on the sort of crazy-high DPI settings it’s bigger sibling, the G502 Proteus Core, can manage, but it’s capable of tracking your movements however quickly you hurl your gaming rodent around the desktop.


Windows 9 preview set to arrive late September

Dave James at

We're ready for Windows 9 to wash away the sins of Windows 8, and it looks like Microsoft is, too. According to ZDNet's veteran Microsoft reporter, a "technology preview" version of the OS is coming in late September or October, with the final release scheduled for spring 2015. More tantalizing: that technology preview may be freely available to the public.


10 essential Windows 7 applications

PC Gamer at

Windows 8.1 has been out since October 2013, but we still cling to our installs of Windows 7. We love its reliability, even if it's missing some of Windows 8's under-the-hood improvements. If you're also still using Windows 7, your gaming PC is probably loaded with years of accumulated software. But are you using the best? Our colleagues at TechRadar put together a list of the best free programs for Windows 7, and we've boiled that list down to the 10 programs we think are essentials. If you don't have these programs installed already, here's why you should download them.


LG's 34-inch 21:9 monitor has convinced me that ultrawide is better than 4K

Dave James at

Having spent a long time using 4K monitors I’ve become a bit jaded about next-gen gaming resolutions. They don't tangibly deliver anything above what you can get from a beautiful 27-inch IPS 1440p screen. The problem is, while 4K does deliver a huge upgrade in terms of pixel count, it doesn’t make a huge difference in games where the texture resolution hasn’t changed. All you’re really doing is shanking your frame rate in return for the possibility of being able to knock your anti-aliasing settings down a notch. If you want a dramatic upgrade of your gaming monitor you should have a good think about the new ultrawide 34-inch 21:9 screens trickling out of all good monitor manufacturers’ factories at the moment.


Intel show off DirectX 12 performance advantage

Dave James at

Gamescom isn’t the only big conference going on at the moment, though, if you’re into Witcher 3 footage, Tomb Raider exclusivity rage and Snake slithering onto the PC, it’s probably the most important. Still, this week has seen SIGGRAPH 2014 taking place in Vancouver, the 41st international conference on computer graphics. Intel has been there showing off how good DirectX 12 is going to be for its processors.

Using one of Microsoft’s new Surface Pro 3 tablets, rocking an Intel Core i5 CPU, they have been showing a neat little graphics demo that could have been ripped directly out of Elite: Dangerous.


We built the Large Pixel Collider Jr., an insane gaming PC for the living room

Evan Lahti at

We love building PCs. Last year, we set out to assemble the most irresponsible gaming rig imaginable, and we called it the Large Pixel Collider. Over the past nine months, we’ve spent a ton of time writing stories, making videos, and playing around with our absurd, $10,000 computer.

But as Valve’s incursion into the living room started taking shape this year, we wondered: what if we could build an equally ridiculous but smaller PC suited for playing games on a couch?


Roccat Nyth MMO mouse supports 3D printed buttons in a fully modular grid

Andy Chalk at

The world of specialty gaming mice is about to get a little more exotic thanks to Roccat's new Nyth MMO mouse. It's a "fully modular" design, meaning that gamers can customize its mouse grid with any kind of layout they like—and if you don't like what Roccat has to offer, you can use a 3D printer to whip up your own.


The best free antivirus software for PC

PC Gamer at

The last thing you want on your PC is a virus. The second-to-last thing you want on your PC is antivirus software that slows down your computer when you're gaming. Spending money on your antivirus software doesn't guarantee that you're getting the best, either. These days, there are a ton of free antivirus options, and many of them will keep your computer perfectly safe from the trojans and spyware and adware that lurk on the Internet.


Logitech unveils the G402 Hyperion Fury, claims "fastest gaming mouse" title

Andy Chalk at

Logitech's G402 Hyperion Fury "Ultra-Fast FPS Gaming Mouse" promises to be the fastest mouse on the planet, capable of reliably and accurately tracking at speeds of over 500 inches per second.

Gaming in 4K: the future is now, if you give up 60 frames per second

Wes Fenlon at

The future—aka 4K gaming—is made up of very, very small pixels. After spending the past two weeks checking out games on Samsung's U28D590D 4K monitor, I'm still going to call 4K gaming the near future rather than the present. Yes, you can play games at 3840x2160 pixels right now. Yes, 4K monitors are becoming more affordable. But are they worth it? After spending a couple weeks using one, I can comfortably say: no, not yet. Even for a high-end graphics card (or two), 4K is too demanding for max settings and high framerates. If you're willing to play at 30 frames per second, though, 4K is a different story.


Make horror games scarier with these three great headsets

Dave James at

I’ve been playing around with the Early Access disturb-o-fest that is Darkwood. Last night I had to stop as every hair on my body stood to attention.

That’s the power of a great audio soundscape, and of linking that up with a quality gaming headset. A decent set of speakers is fine for music and the bluster of a gunfire-racked war zone, but if you want to hear every little touch of a game’s audio track then the aural isolation of good headphones is impossible to beat.


Aorus get into the peripheral game with an MMO mouse

Dave James at

Gigabyte’s new gaming offshoot, Aorus, is branching out from slimline gaming laptops and taking a shot at peripherals. The first is the Thunder M7, an MMO/MOBA mouse with a lovely embossed presentation case and more buttons than you’ve got fingers.


Palit's GTX 750 Ti employs passive cooling for quiet, low-power performance

Dave James at

Graphics card manufacturers, Palit, must be fans of PC Gamer as they've obviously seen my jury-rigged, passively-cooled GTX 750 Ti from April and surely been inspired to create their own.

Hubris aside, the Palit GTX 750 Ti KalmX has taken the standard reference design from Nvidia and strapped a hefty heatsink atop the GPU. Not only that but the copper base also covers the power components. Because they’ve followed the reference design, the GTX 750 Ti KalmX doesn’t require any external PCIe power connectors to run in your machine. That makes it a great choice for a small form factor, living room machine, combining a small footprint, low power requirements and completely silent operation.


Nvidia announces Shield Tablet and wireless controller, an 8-inch Android tablet focused on games

PC Gamer at

Last week Nvidia was rumored to be prepping the reveal of a new device running Android and capable of streaming games from your PC. Today, it revealed the Shield Tablet, an 8-inch tablet that uses Nvidia's Tegra K1 chip to do just that.


This SSD plugs into a spare PCIe slot, but is it faster?

Dave James at

That thing in the above picture is an SSD, and a hoofing big one too. The Plextor M6e is the first M.2 SSD I’ve had arrive in the office, and it’s a 512GB drive that aims to circumvent the limitations of current SATA connections by using the same PCI Express bus that's been providing oodles of bandwidth to graphics cards for years.


Steelseries talk mouse design, sensors, weight and the wireless future

Wes Fenlon at

A good mouse is instantly forgotten. Whether you prefer a finger-grip or a flat-palm stance, once you've found a good mouse it seems to vanish from consideration the moment you touch it. It's just an extension of your will. A lot of work goes into the design and construction of the modern mouse to achieve this effect, so we asked Steelseries' chief technical officer, Tino Soelberg, what constructors consider when creating new designs, and to speculate a little on the future of these vital peripherals.


Is silicon doomed? IBM invests billions in quest to find alternative

Dave James at

The days of silicon sitting inside our CPUs and GPUs are numbered, according to a recent announcement by chip giant, IBM. They’re betting a cool $3 billion dollars on being able to find a decent alternative before silicon starts to hinder hardware progress.


Octo-core Intel chips incoming this Autumn, priced at $999

Dave James at

Intel is widely expected to be dropping the octo-core Haswell-E bomb in September. The smart money places launch sometime around their Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, but only the most committed enthusiasts will want to put down $999 for Intel's new tech.