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Welcome to Issue 109 BUILD A MINI POWER PC You no longer need a big towering monolith on your desk if you want the fastest performance. In fact. and we even show you how to build the final rig. THEENGINEROOM–UNITY PROGRAMMABLEMATTER Howfarareweawayfromcreating theliquid-metalcyborgfromTerminator2? Ithasanattractive. 89 96 THOMASWASALONE JoeMartintalkstoDean‘Rocket’ Hall.andthereareplanstosupportFlash andLinuxtoo.CouldUnityendupbeingthe oneenginetorulethemall? 4 October 2012 WorldMags. We’ve gathered several mini-ITX cases and Z77 motherboards in order to find the ideal combination for an uncompromising mini PC. complete with a water-cooling loop. a PC that’s half the size is quite capable of accommodating the fastest GPU available and an Ivy Bridge CPU overclocked to 4.MacOS. 52 36 124 102 10 14 18 PERFORMANCEENHANCING DRINKS What’stheevidencebehindsomeofthe scientific-soundingclaimsmadebyenergy drinksmanufacturers? GarethHalfacreeanalyseswhyARM issomuchmorepopularthanx86formobiles.butcantheR4competeelsewhere? 42 FRACTALDESIGNDEFINER4 Thisamazinglyflexiblegameengine alreadyrunsonWindows. 20 36 ARMVSx86 HAPPYDAYZ SUPERHIGH-END MOTHERBOARDS It’sasimplegamecodedbyone man.net . Whatdoyougainfroma£300motherboard? HarryButlerlooksatEVGA’sZ77FTWand Asus’MaximusFormulaVtofindout.creatorofArmaIIzombiemodDayZ.JoeMartinexplains howagameconstructedfromsimpleblocks andsquarescanstillbeasurprisingly emotionalexperience.iOS.understated design. Android.8GHz.anditcostsjust£6.

performingallthe solderinghimself. 108 HOWTOPAINTYOURCASE 8 From the editor 10 Tracy King 12 Digital rights 14 Interview 16 Incoming 18 Science! 20 Mobile tech watch 24 CPC Elite products 48 How we test 82 Grumpy gamer 94 Dev perspective 96 The engine room 124 Retro tech 130 James Gorbold Regulars Custom kit 50 Warhammer Invasion 50 Sharkfin Self-Molding Earbuds 50 Stickems 51 Google Nexus 7 Motherboard and case Labs test 54 BitFenix Prodigy 56 Fractal Design Node 304 58 Lian Li PC-TU200 60 SilverStone FT03-Mini 64 ASRock Z77E-ITX 66 P8Z77-I Deluxe 68 Zotac Z77-ITX WiFi Games 84 Spec Ops: The Line 88 Quantum 89 90 93 Conundrum Thomas Was Alone Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013 Metro: Last Light BUILDASINCLAIRZX81 124 FROMSCRATCH NotonlyhasGarethHalfacreebuiltaworking ZX81fromscratch.124 52 74 108 18 84 20 14 108 1ssue 109 Reviewed this month Hardware MOTHERBOARDS 36 EVGA Z77 FTW 36 Asus Maximus Formula V CASES 40 Aerocool Strike-X Air 42 Fractal Design Define R4 MICROCONTROLLER 44 Arduino Leonardo COOLER 46 Arctic Accelero Hybrid PRODUCTS REVIEWED 22 20 Paintingyourcaseisn’tassimpleas justsquirtinganaerosolatit.buthe’salsomoddeditso thatithasacompositeTV-outaswell.sandingandlacquering yourprideandjoy. Community 102 Readers’ drives 108 How to paint your case 116 Letters 121 Folder of the month 122 Your folding milestones WorldMags.AntonyLeather guidesyouthroughthewholeprocessof priming.painting.net October 2012 5 .

WorldMags.net .

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Unlessyou’rerunning multiplegraphicscards.Wewanttobeabletoeasilyaddourowncooling system.and oftenonlycamewithasinglePCIslot.warmwelcometomy predecessorintheeditor’schair. Thisistheturningpoint.andmostofthe motherboardswerebasedonVIA’slow-poweredEPIAplatform.butthisyear we’veseenasuddenexplosioninthemini-ITXmarket.Likeacrossbetweenaminihi-fisystemanda standardPCcase.who’s nowreturnedtoCustomPCwithanewbackpagecolumn(seep130).Issue10turnedouttobeoneofourworst-sellingissuesever.anduntilsmallerPCscandothat.ofcourse.Webasicallywanteverything You can now not only build a full-spec mini-ITX Ivy Bridge rig. but also watercool it.Wewanttooverclock.UK @MANSHARK 8 October 2012 WorldMags. there’snotreallymuchpointinbuildingone.youcannownotonlybuildafull-specmini-ITX IvyBridgerig.Basically. Inothernews.gamer andCustomPCreadercannowgeteverythingtheywantinasmall PC.THE RETURN OF THE MINI PC from the editor i When you can do so much with miniITX.Suddenly manufacturershaverealisedthatenthusiastssuchasourselvesdon’t reallywantproprietarymotherboards.youraveragePCenthusiast. why would most of us need a bigger PC? natypicalexampleofclichémanglingtomakeapunnyheadline.while thosewhopreferredincomprehensiblemarketingjargoncalledthem smallformfactorPCs.ofcourse.themightyJamesGorbold.thesesystems.ratherthananAGPgraphics slot.HelikesPCs.Wehad mini-ITXbackthen.IpromiseI’llmakemyretrotechroundeasier!! Meanwhile.andI’mverygladtohavehimbackon boardagain.Theyhadproprietarymotherboards andcoolingsystems.000. Welovedthem.butittookseveralofusalotof effortoverafewdaystomanageit.I’dliketothankeveryone whocametotheveryfirstCustomPCand bit-techPubQuiz(seep100)lastmonth– ifwedoitagain. BenHardwidgeistheeditorofCustomPC.CO.soyoucouldn’teasily swapthemoutthemotherboard. ThebigquestionI’maskingnowiswhy mostofuswouldeverneedtobuildafullsizedATXPCagain.overclockittothesame clockfrequencyasafull-sizedATXmachine.withaLabs testdedicatedsolelytothebignewtrendindesktopcomputingminibarebonechassis.buttheyhadtheirissues too.8GHz and put in a GeForce GTX 680 too thatafull-specdesktopPCdoes.net . Issue10’smaincoverheadingwas‘SmallWonders’.there’s basicallynopoint.and weneverputthemonthecoveragain.limitedPSUsandcaptive coolingsystems.Somepeoplecalledthemshoeboxes.orputin anotherthird-partycoolereither.I’dalsoliketoextendabig. Sowhat’schanged?WhyareminiPCssuddenlyonthecoverofCPC again?Shuttle’sstillproducingtheXPCrange.Iforonewelcomeour newshoebox-sizedoverlords. JamescurrentlyhelpingScan spec-upits3XSsystems.AsourownPC-buildingaficionadoAntony Leathershowsonp74.orstillusea dedicatedsoundcardorTVcard.and withoutmakingcompromises. overclock it to 4.butmostof thecaseslookedawful.Weonce water-cooledaShuttleXPCintheHowTo section.realale andWarhammer40.andyoucanputina GeForceGTX680too.butyoucanalsowater-coolit.startingwithShuttle’sXPCline-up.putinafull-specgraphicscardandupgradethemotherboard whennecessary. enabledyoutobuildapintsizePCwithadecent-specCPUand graphicscard.sohe’sstill verymuch workingwithPCs. EDITOR@CUSTOMPC.

net .WorldMags.

particularlyingamingwhereworkingmemoryisvital.somearerobust.soit’smarketedasfoodinpackets.‘Mostenergyshotsordrinksfailatboth endsofyourexperience.Oryoumayfind caffeinemakesyoujitteryandinterfereswithyourgaming. com/supplementfacts G The current consensus is that a lot of caffeine impairs the capacity of short-term and working memory caffeineandsomeB-Vitamins.ThisisfollowedbyaquotefromDrDanMowrey. withstudiesshowingitworksnobetterthan.thenyou’dgetbetterat recallingit(thatis.thecompanysaid. Thecurrentconsensusisthatalotofcaffeineimpairsthecapacityof short-termandworkingmemory.’ Notsuchaflagshipingredientafterall.Ido.WhenIemailedGungHoformore information.Theinitial“rush” and“jitters”oftendisruptmentalfocusand physicalperformance–theresultofcritical compositionalimbalancesthatprovokethe customary“crash”.TheFDA(thebody responsibleforapprovingdrugsintheUSA)refusedtoapproveitas amedicine.Also.Somestudiesshowcaffeineimprovesmemory.Flexingmytriggerfingerwillbeagoodstart. TheGungHowebsiteclaimstheproduct ‘canactuallyincreaseyourcapacitytofocus. ThefolkatGungHo.despitewhatDr Mowreysays.claimtohave solvedourall-nightsessionneedswithonehandysachet.’claims anarticle1 onPRWeb.Thebestwaytoimprove concentrationandperformanceistodrinkwaterandgetplentyof exercise.theFDAdoesn’tregulate food.However.com/ CPCEnergyShot http://tinyurl.Iaskedneuroscientist DrDeanBurnettofCardiffUniversityifthat’s possible.‘I’mnotsurehowthey’d arguethis.DoesGungHo containcaffeine?Yes!ButIdon’tknowhowmuch.becausethepage withtheingredients3 doesn’tsay.who InoteattainedhisPhDinexperimental psychology(notneuroscience).’Itthenlinkedmebacktothe sameingredientspage.withoutneedingtoprovideanyproofofefficacy.PERFORMANCE ENHANCING DRINKS 1 2 3 REFERENCES http://tinyurl. GamerandscienceenthusiastTracyKingdissectstheevidence andstatisticsbehindsomeofthepopularmediastories @TKINGDOLL surroundingtechandgaming 10 October 2012 WorldMags.com/ CPCEnergyShot2 Can energy drinks really improve gamers’ concentration and memory? amingofteninvolveslatehours.storingandmemorising).Wewantedtoimproveonit.waschargedbytheFTC2 with‘falsely claimingtobeamedicaldoctor.Itwasn’tgoingtobelongbeforemanufacturerscaughton toouroftennocturnallifestyleandtargeteduswithaspecificsolution.Youmayhaveacoffeeor energydrinknexttoyourightnow.others showitimpairsit.whichactuallyreferstoresearchfundedby GungHoitself.addadashofTaurineandcallitanew product.Youcan’tbuy GungHointheUK.andthat’sagoodenoughreasonto cutdown.there’sno knowncapacityforhumanmemoryasofyet. withorwithouttheproduct.suchastheGungHoenergy shot.Itdoesn’tappeartohaveanysolidevidencebehindit. storeandmemorizeovertime’.toquoteProfessor Farnsworth.sohowthey’dknow they’reenhancingitisanyone’sguess. CognizinisthebrandnameofCitocoline.gogungho.GungHomadeitveryclearthatits ‘flagshipingredient’issomethingcalledCognizin.andwhoin 2005.Ifyouperformarepeatedtaskin laboratorysettings.However.whichwould behandyforgamers.illustrating theirwebsitewithapicofagamecontroller.abigfatplacebo.Someofthesestudiesareflawed.‘Anyonecanputadifferentlabelon http://www.’DrMowrey says.’ Asisoftenthecase.it’sbesttobeguidedby scientificconsensusratherthanadefinite‘that’sthat’.butyoucanbuyCitocolin.Thisislargelyscientifically unchartedterritory.so youavoidit.‘Over50percentof gamersarenotsatisfiedwithcurrentenergyshotsanddrinks. Socaffeinemightscrewwithyourworkingmemory.makerofanew‘energyshot’.net .Hesaid.

L PBaa DC!-)A JC) .$IITYX 6BT +'#& F1!+!J [)'EC-) [3/ $"I .Z @C!+%) 8CE-)AAEC +'#& [!%JHZ?) R""/M<*Y TE?#)CHEJC+ f[@ >C=-!Ja @Jaa!A?!\ <<6* .(I[@ >ECAJ!C 55< O .$IITYX 6BT +'#& F1!+!J [)'EC-) [3/ $fI *[@ [CJD#!-A >JC+ ..$IITYX 6BT +'#& B3W 6J+)EF Y< "f&I .$[@ >ECAJ!C 1)F%)JF-) <<6* .) 5JGA=F% .I[@ >ECAJ!C 55< O .) >ECAJ!C YfI 0J?)C >82 >EEa)C ` 3/"&I >ECAJ!C 852 >EEa)C TJA?)C YB]M/ Y!%# 8)C'ECGJF-) [JG!F% >JA) %#"! $$$$$%#"! WorldMags.(: @)F7 TEF!?E 6JX)C BC-?EAJ ` <)J?#B++)C TEF!?ECN >EEa)C TJA?)C >T$dI WW U!?) [JG!F% >JA) 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 +'#& WF?)a >EC) !" *""IV 7=J+ >EC) >82 *%)"$!( +'#& [!%JHZ?) R""/M2<&Y TE?#)CHEJC+ .) >ECAJ!C [5"II 852 ` Y$I YZ+CE 0J?)C >EEa)C .3@ 5J?J WW Y<< .JCZL &b ^)H E'')C )F+A *IKIfK..4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 +'#& WF?)a !& *&"IV 7=J+ >EC) 8CE-)AAEC +'#& [!%JHZ?) R""/M2<*Y TE?#)CHEJC+ f[@ >ECAJ!C 1)F%)JF-) <<6* .net A=He)-? ?E .3@ 5J?J WW YJC+ <C!.[@ [CJD#!-A >JC+ .[@ [82 >JC+ .\ @a=M6JZ 69TK<1< 6)0C!?)C >EGHE <C!.***TYX 6BT +'#& BT< 6J+)EF Y< ""&I ..$[@ >ECAJ!C 1)F%)JF-) <<6* .) U!?) 9F <1< 6)0C!?)C ` @a=M6JZ 6)0C!?)C <C!.I[@ >ECAJ!C ]EC-) * 55< O .3@ 5J?J WW YJC+ <C!.I.) [ /!%GJ?)c &II0 Y!%# [CJ+) 8E^)C 5=DDaZ 2F!? [)F=!F) 0!F+E^A " YEG) 8C)G!=G $(M@!? 95 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 +'#& WF?)a !& *&"IV 7=J+ >EC) >82 *%)%$!( [)F=!F) 0!F+E^A " YEG) 8C)G!=G $(MH!? 95 .III[@Q 5J?J WW YJC+ <C!..3@ S.&IT@A 0!]! B+JD?EC ` /!%GJ?)c $II0 852 >EEa)C TJA?)C >T 5?ECG _F'EC-)C [JG!F% >JA) [)F=!F) 0!F+E^A " YEG) 8C)G!=G $(M@!? 95 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 +'#& WF?)a !& *&"IV 7=J+ >EC) W.[@ [CJD#!-A >JC+ .

butonefactisclear.administeringroughjusticetotheir customers.Sofar.However.reachingthestatute booksinNewZealand.whilebearingunwarrantedcosts. Similarlegislationhasbeenproposedina numberofcountriestoo.thegovernment’smainconcern seemstobehonouringthecommitment madetothemusicandfilmindustriesto implementtheAct.Theindustry can’trealisticallyhopetointroducealaw suchasthisintheUSA.Jim Killock The Digital Economy Act: back from the grave Coming soon – prosecutions with only 20 days to appeal. arguethattheyneedtobeabletopunishand deterillicitdownloading(‘onlinecopyright theft’).whileonlyoneofthesecountries wassendingletterstoallegedinfringers.whichis hardertodetectrobustly.PIPA andACTA.peer-to-peer(P2P) infringementisdeclininginFrance. Othersclaimthatthemainimpacton infringementhasbeentoshiftitaround.withlittledemocraticscrutiny.Theyclaimthatinvestmentwon’t beforthcomingunlessactionistakento reduceinfringement.theBPI.whichhelpedtodelay 12 October 2012 WorldMags.especiallytheInternational FederationofPhonographicIndustries.anddigital saleshaveincreasedmorethanexpected. digitalrevenuesinbothFranceandtheUK rosein2011. ThatimpliesthattheDEActmaywellnotbe necessary.has beenpushingfor‘threestrikes’legislation aroundtheglobeformanyyears.whichculminatedintheSOPA andPIPAproposalsforbroadcontrolsonthe Internetandnewcensorshiptools.including Germany. ThustheychallengedtheActthrougha JudicialReview(JR).ithas triedtopersuadeISPstointroduceitthrough contractwithendusers. primarilytostreamingwebsites.many othercountriesrejectedtheidea.thathasbeenvery difficult. HowcouldParliamentpushforwardsuch acrudeandill-thoughtoutproposal?Howdid commerciallobbyistsfromtheentertainment industrygainsuchastrangleholdonpolitical power?Theentertainmentindustries’key lobbygroups. ISPs. AccordingtotheIFPI. and you might not even be the copyright infringer nthedyingdaysoftheLabour government.stated thattheydidn’twanttoactastheInternet police.Internetprotestersweren’ttheonly groupthatwasunhappywiththenewAct.LordMandelson usheredinalawenablingInternet userstobecutoffforreceivingmere allegationsofcopyrightinfringement–the DigitalEconomyAct(DEAct).aswellastheUK.Theysaythatusersmustbedissuaded fromsharingoracquiringfileswithout payment.Inaforetaste ofthelaterprotestsagainstSOPA.thisoffensivepieceoflegislation becamethefocusofwidespread protests. TheyalsostatethattheUKdigitalmarket grewbynearly25percentin2011.FranceandSouth Korea. Workingthroughindustrystatisticsis notoriouslydifficult.andattemptstointroduceit throughtheEUalsofailed.butthatdoesn’tseemtobe worryingthegovernment. Rather.soinstead.These pusheswerepartofabuild-uptolegislation intheUSA. TheIFPIanditslocalUKbranch.especiallyBTandTalkTalk.net . Theoutragewasn’tjustaboutthelawitself: itwasalsoaboutthewayitwasrammed through.andthat manydigitalservicesaredeliveringnew andexcitingproductstotheircustomers.

TheprocesswillalsothreatenopenWiFi. 03 Onceanotificationislodgedagainst anaccount.Asa result.Thisalsoencourages 01 THE FUTURE – DISCONNECTIONS? IfOfcomdoesn’treportasignificantdropin infringement.musicandfilm revenueskeepincreasing.PIPAandACTA debates.‘anyothergrounds’.They’llpay 75percentofthetotalcosts. thecopyrightgroupstobandtogether forbulkdiscounts.andthecatch- 08 Thereisanexemptionfor commercialWiFioperatorssuch asTheCloud.Bythetime theDigitalEconomyActisinoperation.net October 2012 13 .Meanwhile. whichwillbechallengingformanypeople. CopyrightownerssupplytheIP 02 addressandtimestampofthe allegedinfringers.Theappealcosts£20.ofcourse–justthe accountholder.thegovernmentcanaddnew obligationstodisconnectaccountsfora periodoftime.Librariesarealsocampaigning strongly.orSIs). whichwouldnormallyreceiveonlyminimal scrutinyinParliament.butwillthe pressuretolimitandcontroltheInternet reduce?Lobbyistandgovernmentsstillwant theInternettobemorelikecableTV.soit willmakesensetosendalot. Thiswillnowtakeyearstogetinto operation. limitingdiscretionoftheappealsbody. 05 preparedocumentsandfilean appeal.butnotforsmallbusinesses orlibrarieswiththeirownWiFinetwork forcustomers.butthey’vebeengivenlittlecomfort.towhichcopyrightholders canclaimaccessinordertoprosecute accountholders.ISPsmatchthese againsttheirrecordstofindoutwhose accountwasused.claimingthat peoplemaycampaigntostoptheCodefrom workingbybombardingitwithappeals. AlthoughcommercialWiFiisexempted.for thehundredsofthousandsoffamiliesand businessesthatwillreceiveletters.andthesum isnon-refundable.barsandcafesarestillatriskifthey sharetheirnormalISPconnectionwith customers.TheActis implementedthrough‘HenryVIII’clauses– sweepingpowerstodraftsecondary legislation(StatutoryInstruments.Thisshouldshowthatafileisbeing activelysharedbysomeone–whocouldbe anyone–atthatIPaddress. DraftingerrorsmeantthattheoriginalSIs hadtoberesubmitted. Eachwarningletterallowsthe 04 accountownertoappealagainstthe infringementnotifications. 02 03 Thecopyrightowners‘lurk’onthe P2Pnetwork.hasbeenremoved.andnowthatthereal SIsaregoingtobesubmittedforwhatthe governmenthopesisafinaltime.showingthatwecanwin.andaskforpartsofthe filefromotherusers. THE INITIAL OBL IGATIONS CODE Copyrightownerswillguaranteeto sendacertainnumberofletters: theyreceivebigvolumediscounts.only20daysisbeinggiventoappeal.itwill seemlikeapolicyfromanother.Parliamentary scrutinycommitteesareaskingquestions– extremelyunusualforthistypeoflegislation.Theyverifyifit’s acopyofaworkwhosecopyrightisheldby theiremployer. implementationforabouttwoyears.HOW IT WORKS DETECTING PEER-TO-PEER 01 Copyrightholdersemployprivate companiestodetectP2Pfilesharing.orlimitaccessinotherways.org) @jimkillock JIM KILLOCK WorldMags. althoughthepoordraftingoftheActhas alsocontributedtothedelay.Thecostisborne bythecopyrightholders.Thesepusheshavecreated backlashesintheSOPA.whichis refundableifit’swon.Unfortunately. Thecopyrightownershaveasignificant financialinterestinlimitingthenumbersof appeals.Theycouldwellbe disturbingandrequireswiftaction. hotels. Ifthreewarningsfromthesame 07 copyrightholderhavebeenlodged. all.verifythat itmatches.Thisdoesn’tidentify anactualinfringer.openrightsgroup. Theprivatecompaniesdownloada copyofasharedfile. isexecutivedirectorof campaignorganisation TheOpenRightsGroup (www.Theytakepartsofthe copyrightfilefromotherusers. Theappealswillcostaround£400 06 eachtoadminister.Thisillustratesthe inadequacyofsemi-privatisedjudicial processesinthiscase.Warningsaresentatintervalsofat leastonemonth.‘Costsorders’and‘Appeals’ won’tbeunimportant.problems arecontinuingtoemerge. whowon’tunderstandwhatitallmeans.asthey’llbepayingaround£400to administrateeachone.longgone era. theaccountisthenplacedona‘repeat infringers’list.often willingtopushinappropriaterestrictionsthat damageastrongandgrowingpartofthe economy.theInitial ObligationsCode.Thegroundsof appealhavebeennarrowed. Thereareonly20daystoseekadvice.TheDEActisstillamess.awarningletterissent bypost.andrecordtheIPaddressand time. whichismeanttobeusedforunimportant administrativeactions. Thecopyrightlobbyistshavepushedhard tomakesurefewpeopleappeal.Accesstojustice shouldn’tbelimitedbyfinances.

everyshotfeelsdramatic ‘infected’sothatpeoplerealisethisisan attempttotakeanewlookatthegenre withouttheoldbaggageandrestrictions.Thekeyissettingupthe 14 April 2012 WorldMags.Joe Martin HappyDayZ CPC:HowdidtheideaforDayZ originate. andtheimpactofithasbecomemore significant. welovetellingstories.butItrytostayawaynow fromcallingthecreaturesinDayZzombies. CPC:Wheredoyouthinkthatpopularity camefrom?Whydoplayersliketoshare theirsurvivalstoriessomuch? Dean:Thekeywasthat. We talk to the mod’s creator Dean ‘Rocket’ Hall about Arma III and what comes next InDayZ. andIthinkmoviesandbookshavemanaged thisforsometime.andeachopportunityneedstobe carefullyconsidered.that’sourcampfire.it’sstartedtohaveahuge impactonmylife–somepositiveand somechallenging. CPC:Wereyouinspiredbyspecificzombie booksorfilms? Dean:I’vereadaconsiderableamountof ‘zombie’fiction.butmy personallifeaswell.ofcourse.Astimehasgoneon.I guesstimewilltellifthisisagooddecision! CPC:HasthesuddenpopularityofDayZ causedanyproblemsforyou? Dean:It’schangedalot.andithasn’tjust affected developmentofthemod.I’mjusttryingtomake thebestofthesituationasitis.However.associalcreatures.we’recomingclosetothat.Sincethedaysof antiquity. Thestuffthat’smissingismainlyrelatedto groupplayfeatures.I’msurepeoplehavesataround campfiresandtoldstories.Ifindemotionalresponsesfrom entertainmentmediumsreallycompelling.Itrytocallthem Arma II zombie mod DayZ has become a hit with survivalists.itseemedto methatmainstreamgameshadbeenstuck dealingwith‘excitement’forfartoolong– withsomenotableexceptions. CPC:You’vespokenbeforeaboutturning DayZfromamodintoaproperrelease.whilethere’sstillalargechunk missing.andareyoucloseto completingthatinitialvision? Dean:Thebasicgenesisofthe ideacamewhileIwasinthearmy.and alsomyownexperiencesinJungleSurvival training.Ourgeneration hassocialmedia. sincemanypeoplearefrustratedtheydon’t sticktozombiecanon.I’dbeen developingmyownthoughtsforhowtomake gamesand. Thebiggestinspirationwasprobablythe bookTheRoadbyCormacMcCarthy.net . Howdoyouintendtodothat? Dean:Movingfrommodtogameisadifficult process.afterI’d completedmysurvivaltrainingwiththe SingaporeArmedForcesinBrunei.andwhathappens once you’vemanagedtosurvive–whenyouneed tostartthriving.

com experimentsothatitcancontinue–thenwe canreallygetagoodresult.not employedoutright.theproject mustbesustainable. AND OUR DESIRE TO GO BACK TO BASICS CPC:YouworkforBohemia asagamedesigner.andjustasacontractor.ratherthanamod? Dean:I’donlybeenatBohemiaInteractive forabrieftime.andIthink we’llbeseeingsomeseriouslyinnovativestuff fromthereinthenextfewyears.so Iwasn’treallytheretopitchideas.net April 2012 15 .wasa biginspirationforDayZ WorldMags.butthat’sanexciting project.andinsomeways. CPC:DayZisn’ttheonlyzombiegame.Obviously.the marketissaturatedwiththem.asmyopinion aboutitbeingafantasticstudiowasconfirmed whenIstartedworkthere. YoucanfindoutmoreaboutDayZatwww.We’regonnaneedabiggergun DayZisagameof survivalandteamwork ZOMBIES ENABLE PLAYERS TO EXPLORE SOME OF SOCIETY’S KEY FEARS.andBohemiaInteractiveis committedtolookingforexcitingwaysto developtheseries.our desiretogobacktobasics.andparticularlyusingthemasagame narrative.However.Also.Did thatinfluenceyourdecision touseArmaIIfortheDayZmod? Dean:Iwascontractedonthedevelopment ofArmaIIIasamultiplayerdesigner.givesusthefreedomtoexplorethat ‘whatif?’scenariooftheworldending.themod hasafinitelifespanbecauseit’sgrownsobig sofast.nothing isperfect. youstruggletofilltheworldwithasmuch meaningfulaction.Whyare zombiessopopularatthemoment? Dean:Idon’tthinkit’sasmuchtodowith zombiesaswhattheyrepresentandenable.Theadministrationandupkeepisa full-timejobforseveralpeople–withoutpay.Discussing them.ItrulythinkBohemiaisone oftheworld’sbestkeptsecrets. Theyrepresentaspectsofcommonfearsthat areveryrelevantintoday’sworld. Withoutthezombiesasantagonists. IoutlinedtheworkI’dperformedon persistency. ThefilmTheRoad. CPC:DidyouevertrytopitchDayZasafull gameatBohemia.Asitstands.aswell astheoriginalbook.butIidentifiedwiththepassion anddesiretodosomethingdifferentthat permeateseveryaspectofthatstudio.Zombiesarethemedium thatenablesplayerstoexploresomeof society’skeyfears.Isupposeyoucouldsayitinfluences metoworkwithBohemia. dayzmod.That’swhat’ssogreat aboutthestudio.

400MHzRAM(19.usingitasaNASbox andmakingaminimedia centre.’saysthe company.net .however.Thememoryalsohasaneight-layerPCB containing2ozofcopper.Thekitsareavailablenowatselected retailersfor£89.99(32GB).140mmisjusttoosmall.althoughwequiteliketheideaofPocket ChubbyChecker.Theballistheonlypointofcontactbetweenthe shaftandtherotor.Crucialreallyhas launchedanewrangeofSATAIISSDs.ADATAsaysthememorywillrunatlatencytimingsof10-1212-31at1. 140MM TWISTERS 16 February 2012 WorldMags.includinginstalling Debian.We’vehadsomeofour ownideas(seeIssue106.allincVAT.aretheprices. Twisters.buthere’sanother idea–installAndroidon it.ChubbyChecker? Nope.Availableinan8GB(2x4GBdual-channel) kit.we’retalkingaboutEnermax’sfansbasedon itspatented‘twister’bearing.0(IceCream Sandwich)isonitsway. and25nmMicronsynchronousMLCNAND.RaspberryPihasjust announcedthatsupport forAndroid4.thenyoumaybewonderingwhattodo withit.yousay?Tornados.whichincludesathermal sensor.whichusesamagnetandmetalballtokeep thefanbladesontheshaft.90 Everest.0series.400MHz RAM MemorymakerADATAhasjustlaunchedanewtop-endlineof 2.‘AudioFlingersupportistheonlymajormissing pieceatthemoment’Couldthismeanthere’spotentialto makeyourowntablet?We’llbewatchingthisspaceintently.99(64GB).Crucialclaimsthenewv4 drivescanreadatupto230MB/secandwriteatupto190MB/sec.65V.and demonstratedavideoofitin actiononthePi.The v4sareavailablenow.2GB/secbandwidth)asapartofitsXPG Gamingv2.costing£31. p98).resultinginaquiet fanwithsmoothoperation.KFCwraps.it’snotatypo. forthesimplereasonthatevenSSDs limitedbySATAII’smaximum bandwidthof3Gb/secarestill massivelyfasterthanharddrives.£63.90fixed-speed (750rpm)T. Fivenew140mmfanshavebeen introduced.The mostimpressiveaspectaboutthesedrives.BasedonaPhisonPS3105controller.andthatitalsosupportsIntel’sExtremeMemory Profile(XMP)system.orare onthewaitinglist.£44.Silencetothe£13.‘Hardware-acceleratedgraphicsandvideo havebeenupandrunningsmoothlyforsometime.B.99incVAT.Those figuresarequotedforthe256GBversion–thewritespeeddrops dramaticallyto60MB/seconceyougetdowntothe30GBversion.99(256GB).NEW HARDWARE We take a look at the latest newly announced products Yep.99 (128GB)and£122.Enermax hasjustupdatedlotsofitsfanline-ups basedonthebearingwith140mm models–idealforpushingoutplenty ofairwithoutmakingtoomuchnoise. CRUCIAL LAUNCHES NEW SATA II SSDs ADATA REVEALS 2. Pi AND ICE CREAM SANDWICH Ifyou’vemanagedtogetyourhandsonaRaspberryPi.Inthiscase.partygames.fromthe£9.inordertoremoveasmuchheatas possiblefromthechips.Thefansareavailableto purchasenow.

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Ifsomethingbadhappensatapowerplant. sort of. Soarewetalkingaboutsomethingalittle likeTerminator2’sliquid-metalmimentic polyalloy?Onethatcan’tformcomplex movingparts.butmightjustbeabletomake knives and stabbing knivesandstabbing weapons? Well.It isn’tdynamicphysicalrendering.space explorationmissions.MustafaEmreKaragozler. Using materials that can be programmed into different shapes.acatomiscomposedoftwolayers– asiliconshelloveranaluminiumchip.Amore fundamentalissueishowwe’regoingtodeal withenvironmentalcontaminants.‘Itcouldpotentially formthesurgeon’stoolsinsidethebody.net .whilethe loftyresearchgoalssoundcool.andthat’sprohibitive.Thosesoundwaves havebeenreproduced.youwantthesystemtoknow aboutitandautomaticallycompensate.butitwon’tturnintoasaw.Youcan printahammer.Plus. aren’t you a sight for sore eyes? aren’tyouasightforsoreeyes? ProfessorDanielaRus’teamatMITisalready ‘printingout’workingrobotsandtoolswithembedded electronics.When spaceisthatconstrained.the filmsspringnaturallyintotheirtubularshape.air trafficcontrolisanothergloballydistributed 18 October 2012 WorldMags.They’llalsobeabletochangecolour andformondemand.‘It’s simplytooexpensivetomakethemallon onesurface–we’dhavetoprintentirewafers atatime.weweremotivatedbyhowlittle thingshavechangedwithcommunication. forexample. Thisisn’tlike3Dprinting.These willbetinysiliconspheres.itwillcostasubstantial sum.We’reworking onhowtheylatchandunlatch. However. Couldwedobetterthanjustreproducinga voice. PhotoByJasonDorfman.‘We’retalkingon thephonerightnow. could we actually create the liquid metal cyborg from Terminator 2? Hey. goingtobereallyexpensive.We’retalkingabout doingthesamewithaphysicalform. performtheoperationandthencomeback outthroughthehypodermicneedle. ‘Wehavealotofhighlydistributedsystems.communicatewithoneanother andtransferpowerbetweenthemselves.has demonstratedcatomsthatwillsticktoone another.but givesthemgreatersurfaceareas. we’renotmakingtheelectronicsonthesame substrateastheshell.’He’stalkingaboutobjectsmadefrom claytronicatoms. it’s notquite. Professor Goldstein line.The shellismadewithphotolithographyonaflat thinfilm.Forexample.wecanimpactdirectlyonagreat numberofreal-worldsoftwareproblems.wherepayloadmass isofcriticalimportance(andvastexpense) aclaytronichammer/spanner/whatever youneedwouldmakealotofsense.’Goldsteinsays.Goldstein’s PhDstudent.eventually. isn’tcloningorteleporting.hestresses.Itwould makeminoroperationsmuchsimpler. but weapons?Well.Thatmakesthemdustmagnets.Although sub-millimetreisgoodenoughfortheforces involvedatthisstage.and wouldremovetheneedforsterilerooms.whysendmultiple instrumentswhenyoucansendalumpof catomsthancanbeallofthem? ProfessorGoldsteinalsosuggestsitcould havemedicalapplications.’saysGoldstein.ProfessorGoldstein says.‘Atthemoment.Butreally. ‘Locomotionisthenextstep.something capableofbeingmorethanoneuseable object.Weclearlywon’tbetalkingfull-sized humanreplicasforsometime.evenwhenwedon’trealiseit.’ Thegoalistomakethemsmaller.sortof. Currently.that self-organiseintoprettymuchanydesired shape.butitdoesn’tchange.Mrliquidmetalterminator.Whenreleasedfromthewafer. Let’sstartwiththehardware. Theyneedtobeself-cleaning.This wouldmakethemlessstableforstacking.whereyouprint outanobject.eventuallyProfessor Goldsteinwantscatomstobesphericaland measurearound300micronsacross. For a start.he’strying tosolvesomeofthehardestprogramming challengesfacingthishighlyconnected.’ Thisisstillsomewayoff.andthus roomformoreelectronics.foragivenvolume. Even some way down the Evensomewaydownthe line.Theyhaven’tbeen teleportedtoyourear.Lucy Sherriff Programmable matter A ssociateProfessorSethCopen Goldsteinistechnicallytryingto developprogrammablematter– materialthatcanbeprogrammed intodifferentshapes.Ican reallyseethishappeninginthenearterm.orcatomsforshort.butitisn’tmysound wavesyou’rehearing.‘Wehavealotofsoftware inourlives.it’s going to be really expensive.If wecansolvetheproblemofcontrollingthe catoms.CSAIL/MIT Thedecisiontomakethecatomsoutoftwo partsispurelyeconomical.thatdoesn’tmeantherearen’t immediatelyobviousapplicationsfor smallerquantitiesofit. it will cost a substantial says.ortransmittinga2Dimage?Whynot builda3Dmodelofaspeakerandreproduce itattheotherendofacall?’This.Forastart.Goldstein saystheresearchismostlymotivatedbya softwareproblem. highlydistributedworldinwhichwelive. ‘Originally.but not quite.We’re stickingthesethingstogetherwithstatic electricity.

thefocusisonmakingthe GOLDSTEIN’S TEAM IS TAKING robotsworktospec.itcantakethe3D ofmaterialthatwillbeabletoachieveany onthemostmassivelydistributed.computationandcommunication.AlthoughPEEK ‘Beingabletoprovethatyourprogramisfree isrobust. withyourcat. farasbeingabletostartflatandmakepaper catomwillhavenoconceptofitslocation ‘Theapplicationpotentialisgreat–an boatsandairplanes. Currentprintingtechnologyisunableto wewouldliketostartwiththedesired ‘Howdogenesproduceanimals?’heasks.forGoldstein.on explainsthat‘insteadofdesigningonesheet controllingthesystem.andProfessorDanielaRus LikeProfessorGoldstein.’ scientificquestionthathasthepotentialto Backin2010.‘Wealsoembedtheelectronics tolerantsystemswithbillionsofcomponents.ifithastoplay etherketone)–arobustbiomaterialusedin changeasaresultoftheother’saction.isthemotivating Andifit’sdesignedtotravelintothepastto andcableinsulation.Instead.Forexample. It’shopedthatfuturecatomswill measurejust300micronsacross system.though. goalistooptimisethedesignand whereeachroutineiswaitingfortheother fabricationofoneshapethatmeetstheuser’s geometrythatcanself-assembleasadevice tofinish. andwecanprovethatforasystemofmillions thematerialandembeddedelectronics– isajournalistwitha ofunits.aleaforabranch?Individualcatoms sowehavetodevelopnewprocessesthat andautomaticallydesigntheoptimalsheet needtocooperatewithoutwritten allowustodothis.thepathtothatgoal LUCY SHERRIFF WorldMags. self-organisingsystemimaginable:DNA.’Goldsteinsays.oursystemisdeadlockandlivelock computation.Rusiseagerto atMITisworkingatabiggerscalewithout setherworkinawidercontext.complex.whereeachroutine high-levelspecs.butourcurrent theprocessor’sabilitytoprocessin parallelwithoutendingupindeadlock.’ programmesforeachone.she’sdevelopingprintable theresearchgoaliscool.‘Iftherobotis capableofthedesiredhigh-levelfunction’. havearobotthatcancrawlthroughrubble.althoughfuture Thechallengehefacesisthesame asthatfacinganyonewritingcodefor AN EMBRYOGENIC APPROACH robotsmightbemoreresponsive. creatingrobotsthatcanmorphfrom programthattakesadvantageof MODELLING THE WORK ON DNA oneshapeintoanother.ProfessorRus teamistakinganembryogenicapproachto beshippedflatinacompactwayand. robotmightbeabletoachieve. latestscientifictech.’Russays.Beyondthat. dictatetherangeoffunctionsthatcanbe whoknowsallaboutthe Thereareotherkindsofprogrammable deliveredbytheself-foldedobject. produceobjectswithembeddedsensing.itshouldplaywithyourcat.modellingitswork arrivalatitsdestination.itdoeshaveafailurepoint.neithermakes designedtowalkthroughrubblethenit ThesheetsaremadefromPEEK(Polyether progressbecausetheybothhavetoconstantly shouldwalkthroughrubble.theInternet. inthismaterial.youcould ‘Howdoesthatcellknowitneedstobea actuators.compressorplatevalves This.it’s‘aninteresting thatbuildthemselvesfromaflatsheet.net October 2012 19 .Nottobesniffedat.butit’snowmovedon.for withinastructure.Each revealnewinsightsaboutautonomy. shapeitneedstodeliverthedesiredfunction.ThelanguageweuseisMELD.AsRussays. amulti-coremachine:writinga ‘Thistechnologymaybeapplicablefor TO CONTROLLING THE SYSTEM. itsownaddress. shapewewant.sensingandsoon– degreeinastrophysics free.Butthesoftwareforall isfullofwonderfulchallengesand origamirobots–self-assemblingmachines theseisbrittle–itreliesoneachnodehaving discoveries. paradoxes?We’llhavetowaitandsee.however. hair.actuation. matter.’ medicalimplants.’Rusnotes.thisworkhadprogressedas Claytronicswon’tworklikethat.orlivelock.’ Currently.Goldstein’s objectthatcanself-assemblebyfoldingcan sure. performsitsaction. shapeandfunction.Instead.muchlikeanorigamisheet.andmove aroundeachotherviaelectromagnets.amongmanyother example:beingabletowriteconcurrent.Asmuchas @lucysherriff catoms.Centimetre-scaleclaytronicscatom prototypessticktooneanother.andthis oftheseissuesistheholygrailofthiskindof limitsthekindsoftasksanypotentialprinted programming.faulteliminatetheconsequencesoftimetravel applications.

andthecompanyhasmade significantmovesinrecentyearsto ARM’sprocessor assaultthemobilemarketfromthe designsare becoming unfamiliarpositionoftheunderdog. WhileIntel’s80286designpacked134.Basedonareduced instructionset. Instead.Marvell.thefirstARMchipsweren’ta differencedoesitmaketotheconsumer? commercialsuccess.2percentofallprocessor shipmentscomefromthecompany. asARM.energy-efficientCPUsasa Intel’sdecisiontocreateanAtomSoCdesigngivesit majorcompetitiontopitchagainstARM’sIP responsetowhatwasseenasthewasteful ARMchips’simplifieddesignand reducedinstructionsetcomputer (RISC)architecturemeantthatthey drewsignificantlylesspowerthan rivalprocessors.whilehavingalmostzero presenceelsewhere–exactlythe oppositeofIntel.andother precursorstotoday’stabletsand smartphones.theyalsoextendbeyonddifferent designofrivalchipsfromcompaniessuchas businesspracticestotheveryarchitectureon MotorolaandIntel.a Britishcompanybornoutoftheashes ofAcornComputers.andthefocus forleadengineerSophieWilson.AMD.Inshort.AppleandVLSITechnology.thecompanyresponsiblefor wouldlicensethetechnology.000 20 October 2012 WorldMags. Intelisn’tcomfortablewiththis situation.whatmakesARM’sdesigns sopopularforlow-powercomputing? Thecompanycertainlyhasadifferent approachtothemarketfromthatof Intel.Acorn RISCMachines(laterrebadgedasAdvanced RISCMachineswhenAcornwasdelisted fromthestockexchangeafterthegreat microcomputercrashof1984)was incorporatedin1990asajointventure betweenAcorn. wasto createlow-power.accountforthe overwhelmingmajorityofprocessors inthemobilemarket.Fastforwardto today. ARMproducesnophysicalgoodswhatsoever.andatonepoint.whileIntel’s Intelarefargreaterthanthose Atomgrowssimpler betweenIntelanditsnearestdesktop rival.however. THE ORIGINS OF ARM butonlyDigitalEquipmentCorporation(DEC) ARMHoldings.orbuildonARM’swork tocreateacustomchip.EvenApple.Texas Instruments.Acorn’sArchimedes andRiscPCproductlineswouldusethechips. but why? Let’s analyse the ARM and x86 architectures ntelistheundisputedleader ofthedesktopandlaptop CPUmarket.however.Despiteindustry-leading whichtheprocessorsarebased.Butwhat innovations. ARM vs x86 ARM’S ADVANTAGES However.however. Asimpledifferenceintacticscan’taccount forARM’sstellarsuccess.fewer instructionsmeansfewertransistors.andARMboastsamarketshare insmartphonesandtabletsofover95 percent.Wilsonandhiscolleague SteveFurbertriedtoreplicatetheefficiency ofMOSTechnology’s6502chip.a thearchitecturethat’sprovedsosuccessful partnerintheARMproject.Perhaps thebiggestcontributortoARM’sdomination ofthemobilemarketcomesfromthe architectureitself.ARM’slicensees includeApple.it’sabitplayer: chipsbasedondesignsfromARM. increasingly ThedifferencesbetweenARMand complex.evenIntelitself. Intheembeddedandlow-power market.wasn’talwaysknown chipinitsdesktopcomputers.withthemost recentfiguresestimating that80. ARM’sprimarydesignpoint.wherethelatterproducesitsownchips.itlicensesitsintellectualproperty(IP) tothirdpartieswhocaneitherstartbuilding ARM-basedprocessorsimmediatelyusing anoff-the-pegdesign.andas companiesstartedtodeveloppersonal digitalassistants(PDAs).thechipslooked increasinglytempting.Launchedasanin-houseproject tocreateacustomprocessorforBritish microcomputingpioneerAcorn.Nvidia.refusedtousethe forlow-powerdevices.whichhada morestreamlinedapproachthanthatof complexinstructionsetcomputer(CISC) competitorsusedbyIntel.net .Gareth Halfacree looks at the latest mobile hardware ARM chips account for over 95 per cent of the mobile market.

ofcourse.Intelcanshrinkitsdesigns befightingoffARMinitsmostprofitable INTEL FIGHTS BACK considerably.Wherea supportinsmartphonesandtabletsfrom butthiswasachievedbycuttingafewcorners.Intel’sAtom butsurelybringingthecompanycloseto @ghalfacree processors–x86CISCchipsdesignedforlowparitywithitsBritishrival.whileIntel’swas£8.4 embeddedmarkets.whichmakesaseries meanalowerpowerdraw. 12x12mmpackage-on-package Fewertransistorsalsomean (PoP)design.net.bus ARMislookingtobreakintoIntel’s processing. StrongARMprocessorsfortheearlyPDAand ARM’srevenueforthelastquarterwas£209.andthese canshrinkitspartsenoughto arekeyconsiderationsinmobile competewithcompaniessuchas computing. traditionalprocessorrequiresmultiple Lenovo.thefirstproduction Inteliscageyaboutdetailingthe ARMprocessordesign–ARM2– numberoftransistorsinitsAtom outperformeditwithjust30.bit-tech.Qualcommwas whatcanbeofferedbyaCISCpowerusage–arebeingpitchedasa managing14x14mmpackageswhenitused baseddesignusingasimilar majorcompetitortoARM’sdesignsinthe a45nmprocessforitsSnapdragonS1family.with of12x12mmARMpartsinthe extendedbatterylifefarbeyond Exynosfamily.ithasrazor-thinmargins.ThatprovesIntel acheaper.Asaresult. design:whereolderx86chipswerepure ithasn’tyetrevealedtheirsize.Inshort. isthenewsreporterat Foralongtime.He dominatethelow-powerembeddedmarket.9millioncomparedtoIntel’s£1.ofcourse.graphicsprocessing. andCISChaveneverbeensoblurred.isaSoCthat’salreadywon similarsizetoitsARM-basedcounterparts. beenhittingback.whileIntelis lawsuitsettlementwithDEC. £61.000 Z2460SoC.while incommonwiththeRISCmethodology WhileIntelisworkingonshrinkingitsparts simplydroppinginasinglechipthathandles preferredbyARM. burgeoningtabletandsmartphonemarkets.smallerchip.Intelgained ARM’slicensingmodelmeansthat. GARETH HALFACREE WorldMags.communicationsand primarymarket. significantlyloweroperatingcosts.Aspartofa cashreservesonitsside.Althoughoriginally inresearchanddevelopment.3billionoverthe besoldtoMarvell.ThelatestARMv8 more. AND FEWER supportforthefirsttime.throughitsmultifariouslicensees.anSoCpacks hasbeenhelpedbyashiftinprocessor Althoughdual-corepartsareduefromIntel. manufacturingprocess.Intel’snewAtomSoCsareexpectedto gainasmallbutimportantfootholdinthe mobilemarket THE CURRENT MARKET transistors.evenasittriestobreakintoARM’s IntelisnostrangertotheadvantagesofARM’s priceofarivalARMchip. system-on-chip(SoC)design. ItsmostrecentAtomproduct.suchasthe Intel’sattempttofightbackagainstARM quad-core.whichisslowly designedforthenetbookmarket.orwhateffect Byallowingmanufacturerstoconcentrateon CISCdesigns.Thatlicencewouldlater million.however.ARM’sdesigns RISC-baseddesign.heavilyintegratedSoC AND SMALLER CHIPS suitableforuseinservers.AsusandAcer.modernchipshavemore theextracorewillhaveonpowerdraw.The ARM.theAtom current-generationAtomSoCmightbea wasalsoanearlyadopteroftheconceptof ‘Medfield’Z2460. centralprocessing.andwhileit’sunlikelydroptothe market.Although somemanufacturersstillpreferto FEWER TRANSISTORS. asmuchofthisaspossibleintoasinglechip.withaCISCoverlayused anddevelopingcompetitiveSoCdesigns. WhereSamsung’sExynospartsaredual-or supportingcomponents.Intelcould chunkofthemarket.Intelalsohashuge mobilestronghold.Withthe designssuchasthosefrom growthofcloudcomputingspurring Qualcommaccountforalarge toprovidecompatibilitywithexistingx86 interestinso-calledmicroservers.butweknowithasa transistors.despite simplifyingitsown.Fewertransistorsalso Samsung.ARM’slicensingmodelmeans concentrateonitsownx86architecture. knowsallabout the butinthepastfewyearsthecompanyhas ThatextracashgivesInteltheroomtoinvest latestnewsinPCandmobiletech.alongwith producepureornear-pureARM TRANSISTORS MEANS CHEAPER hardwarevirtualisationinstructions andotherfeaturesthatmakeit CPUs.7billion.withIntelpreferringto sameperiod. arebecomingmorecomplex.IntelallowedARMto buttheresultisclearintheprofitfigures: www. theuser-facingelementsofdesign.ThelinesbetweenRISC anARMlicenceandusedittoproduceits itshugepopularity. NorthbridgeandSouthbridge.ARMbecamethesimplest FEWER INSTRUCTIONS MEANS instructionsetintroduces64-bit chipsetuponthemarket.net October 2012 21 .theAtomZ2640hasjustonecore. Intelstillhassomewaytogo. code.

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net .WorldMags.

amazon. p34 Issue 104.thermaltake.uk www.browse the content with this amazing PC! 24 April 2012 and enjoy HD AMD E2-3500 CPU.antec. 1000GB Hard Drive WorldMags.overclockers.com REVIEWED Issue 108. p36 Issue 98. p72 Issue 104.uk www. p46 PRICE (inc VAT) £45 £64 £88 £26 £25 £52 £50 £13 £110 A B C D E F G H I Antec One Gigabyte GA-A75M-UD2H AMD A8-3870K Black Edition 4GB Crucial Ballistix Sport PC3-12800C9 Gelid Tranquillo Rev.crucial.gelidsolutions.co.cclonline.uk www.com www.com www. p108 Issue 75. p96 Issue 100.scan.com www.co.2 Thermaltake SP-530PCWEU 500GB Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 Lite-On IHAS124-19 Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit TOTAL SYSTEM PRICE £473 web. 1 Year Warranty .aria.uk www.scan.com www. 4GB DDR3 Memory.net DVD Drive.liteonit.co.co.co.uk MANUFACTURER www. use office application Unbeatable value for money . p72 Issue 99.gigabyte.co. p38 Issue 100.com www.amd.microsoft.com www.com www.seagate.com www. p86 Issue 97.com www.eu www.Our choice of the best hardware available A You don’t have to spend an astronomical sum to get a decent PC. Our stunning value build includes 4GB of branded memory and a quad-core AMD Llano APU with integrated graphics MOTHERBOARD APU RAM COOLING B C D E PSU HARD DISK OPTICAL DRIVE OPERATING SYSTEM F G H I NAME SUPPLIER www.lambda-tek.uk www.uk www.overclockers.co.scan.

com www. p108 Issue 75. p68 Issue 99. p70 Issue 108.co.com www.com www.co.co.net M o n i t o r s a n d d e s k t o p b u n d l e s a r e a v a i l a b l e s e p a r a t e l y. p75 Issue 99.scan.com REVIEWED Issue 103.uk www.liteonit. p46 PRICE (inc VAT) £104 £78 £172 £38 £28 £208 £52 £78 £24 £79 £15 £110 A B C D E F G H I J K L SilverStone Raven RV03 Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H Intel Core i5-3570K 8GB Patriot G2 PGD38G1600ELK Arctic Freezer i30 Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB Thermaltake SP-530PCWEU Seagate Barracuda 2TB ST2000DM001 Asus Xonar DG Samsung SSD 830 128GB Lite-On IHAS124-19 Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit TOTAL SYSTEM PRICE £986 WorldMags.com http://uk.scan. p40 Issue104.seagate.sapphiretech.dabs.amazon.microsoft.com www.arctic.amazon.cclonline.com www.co.com www.co.com Call us on 08000 50 10 10 April 2012 25 .uk MANUFACTURER www.com www.co. p40 Issue 97.com www.uk www.co. p38 Issue 106.uk www. p108 Issue 104.uk www.dabs.uk www. here are some components for a Core i5 PC that offer great performance and won’t break the bank MOTHERBOARD CPU RAM COOLING GRAPHICS CARD B C D E F PSU HARD DISK SOUND CARD SOLID STATE DRIVE OPERATING SYSTEM G H I J L NAME SUPPLIER www.co.aria.scan.co.patriotmemory.gigabyte. p72 Issue 104.samsung.uk www. p36 Issue 106.intel.scan.uk www.silverstonetek.co.asus.cclonline.ac www.uk www.com www.thermaltake.eu www.scan. www.com www.amazon.A As Core i7 motherboards and high-end graphics cards command a premium price.uk www. p48 Issue 105.

dabs.uk www.com REVIEWED Issue 85.com www.amazon.scan.com www.uk www.pny. p79 Issue 104.amazon. p36 Issue 97. Built-in Wi-Fi.uk www.cclonline.corsair.0 Asus Maximus V Gene Intel Core i5-3570K 8GB Patriot G2 PGD38G1600ELK Be Quiet! Dark Rock Advanced PNY GeForce GTX 680 2GB Corsair Professional Series HX 650 Seagate Barracuda 2TB ST2000DM001 Asus Xonar DX Samsung SSD 830 256GB Lite-On IHAS123-19 Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit TOTAL SYSTEM PRICE £1. digital photography.co.co.com www.scan.co. p68 Issue 99.asus.com http://uk.silverstonetek.eu www. GeForce GT 520 WorldMags.co.seagate.uk www.co.uk MANUFACTURER www.liteonit.com www. p88 Issue 106. p46 PRICE (inc VAT) £188 £153 £172 £38 £41 £408 £90 £78 £58 £150 £13 £110 A B C D E F G H I J K L SilverStone Fortress FT02B-W USB 3. 4GB DDR3 Memory. DVD Drive.asus.uk www. video production and media playback MOTHERBOARD CPU RAM COOLING GRAPHICS CARD B C D E F PSU HARD DISK SOUND CARD SOLID STATE DRIVE OPERATING SYSTEM G H I J L NAME SUPPLIER www. p63 Issue 104.co.scan.net 500GB Hard Drive. p108 Issue 75.co.co.scan.uk www.scan.uk www.co.com www.patriotmemory.499 generation Intel Core i3 Processor Great home PC powered by the second and 4GB of DDR3 memory! 26 April 2012 Intel Core i3-2100 3.co.uk www. 1 Year On Site Warranty . p75 Issue 80. p64 Issue 106.samsung.scan.be-quiet.scan.1GHz CPU.com http://uk.microsoft.co.com www. p40 Issue 91. p74 Issue 105.com www.uk www.Our choice of the best hardware available A This PC has the potential to be the finest gaming machine you can find – as well as an excellent all-round computer for office work.intel.scan.uk www. p36 Issue 106.net www3.com www.

A The most awesome components around.uk www.co.scan.uk www.com www.uk.silverstonetek.asus.uk www.ebuyer. p40 Issue 106.scan.antec. We’ve included a dual 120mm liquid cooler kit as a base example.uk www.co.europe. p61 Issue 104.com REVIEWED Issue 63.213 www.uk www.net Call us on 08000 50 10 1027 April 2012 M o n i t o r s a n d d e s k t o p b u n d l e s a r e a v a i l a b l e s e p a r a t e l y.co.scan.com WorldMags.co.intel.overclockers. p46 Issue 91.com www.uk MANUFACTURER www.com www.microsoft.com www.uk www. p44 Issue 62.co.corsair.scan.creative.co.com www. p87 Issue 106. before reaching workstation territory.seagate.uk www. p 74 Issue 97.com www.amazon.co.co.kingston. . p46 PRICE (inc VAT) £263 £153 £251 £50 £840 £83 £129 £178 £78 £78 £110 A B C D E F G H I J K SilverStone Temjin TJ07B-W Asus Maximus V Gene Intel Core i7-3770K 8GB Kingston HyperX Genesis KHX1866C11D3P1K2/8G Nvidia GeForce GTX 690 2GB Corsair H100 Antec High Current Pro HCP-750 OCZ Vertex 4 256GB Creative X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Pro Seagate Barracuda 2TB ST2000DM0001 Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit TOTAL SYSTEM PRICE £2.uk www.scan.cclonline.co.ocztechnology.uk www.co. p75 Issue 75.uk www.scan.scan.com http://uk.uk www. p64 Issue 106.com www.com www.co.nvidia. but the case has space for a variety of water-cooling setups MOTHERBOARD CPU RAM GRAPHICS CARD COOLING B C D E F PSU SOLID STATE DRIVE SOUND CARD HARD DISK OPERATING SYSTEM G H I J K NAME SUPPLIER www.co.aria. p36 Issue 106. p78 Issue 107.

co.com Issue 106.uk www.co.uk http://uk.uk www.co. p48 £28 RAM 8GB Patriot G2 PGD38G1600ELK www.uk Issue 106.uk www3.Better Deal! gaming PC evolved .com Issue 105.com Issue 102.Our choice of the best hardware available TYPE NAME SUPPLIER MANUFACTURER REVIEWED PRICE(incVAT) GRAPHICS CARD Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 1GB www.patriotmemory.pny.com Issue 106.co. p40 £208 GRAPHICS CARD PNY GeForce GTX 680 2GB www.dabs.co.6GHz CPU.com www. p36 £408 TYPE NAME SUPPLIER MANUFACTURER REVIEWED PRICE(incVAT) CPU Intel Core i5-3570K www. 8GB DDR3 Memory. Our best selling 28 April 2012 AMD FX-4100 3.com Issue 105.dabs. DVD Drive.net 1000GB Hard Drive.sapphiretech. AMD Radeon HD 7770 WorldMags. p61 £135 GRAPHICS CARD Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 www.uk www.scan. p64 £153 COOLER Arctic Freezer i30 www.ac Issue 104.co.intel.com www. 2 Years Warranty .amazon.Better Graphics.amazon.scan.asus. p40 £38 Bigger Hard Drive . Built-in Wi-Fi. p36 £172 MOTHERBOARD Asus Maximus V Gene www.scan.arctic.sapphiretech.

uk www.com www.uk http://uk. p38 £88 MOTHERBOARD Gigabyte GA-A75M-UD2H www.amd.co.2 www.uk Issue 101. p70 £257 COOLER Corsair H80 www.com Issue 101. .net Call us on 08000 50 10 1029 April 2012 M o n i t o r s a n d d e s k t o p b u n d l e s a r e a v a i l a b l e s e p a r a t e l y.com WorldMags.dabs. p86 £25 RAM 4GB Crucial Ballistix Sport PC3-12800C9 www. p96 £26 www.com www.novatech.corsair.com Issue 100. p32 £435 MOTHERBOARD Asus Sabertooth X79 www.gelidsolutions.asus.com www.com Issue 100.corsair.co.aria.com Issue 101.com Issue 104.uk www.scan.dabs.crucial.cclonline.co.lambda-tek.com Issue 101.scan.co.TYPE NAME SUPPLIER MANUFACTURER REVIEWED PRICE(incVAT) CPU Intel Core i7-3930K www. p40 £80 TYPE NAME SUPPLIER MANUFACTURER REVIEWED PRICE(incVAT) CPU AMD A8-3870K www.intel.co.uk www.overclockers. p86 £72 RAM 16GB Corsair Vengeance CAS9 DDR3 www. p34 £64 COOLER Gelid Tranquillo Rev.gigabyte.co.com Issue 98.uk www.

co.co.co.uk www.scan.silverstonetek.uk www.co.com Issue 107.xs-pc.silverstonetek.co.xs-pc.de Issue 107.Our choice of the best hardware available TYPE NAME SUPPLIER MANUFACTURER REVIEWED PRICE(incVAT) LGA1155 CPU WATERBLOCK XSPC RayStorm CPU www. p67 £76 DUAL 120MM RADIATOR Alphacool NexXxos UT60 Full Copper 240mm www. p65 £90 RADEON HD 7970 WATERBLOCK Aquacomputer aquagrATIx for HD 7970 www.alphacool.com Issue 98.uk www. The ultimate media PC.aquatuning.co.aquacomputer. p36 £45 MICRO-ATX CASE SilverStone TJ08-E www.antec.co. p48 £82 AIR-COOLING CASE SilverStone Raven RV03 www. p70 £104 WATER-COOLING CASE SilverStone Temjin TJ07B-W www. p72 £50 TYPE NAME SUPPLIER MANUFACTURER REVIEWED PRICE(incVAT) BUDGET CASE Antec One www. low profile design. Built-in Wi-Fi.overclockers.com Issue 103.uk www.com Issue 107.silverstonetek.aquatuning.co.aquatuning.scan.uk www. 1 Year On Site Warranty . 1000GB Hard Drive WorldMags. p87 £263 in Blu-Ray drive.uk www.uk www. with its built super quiet cooling and good looks! 30 April 2012 AMD E-450 1.net Blu-ray Drive.uk www.com Issue 107.aquatuning.com Issue 63.65GHzCPU.com Issue 108. p60 £51 GEFORCE GTX 680 WATERBLOCK XSPC Razor GTX680 www.scan. 8GB DDR3 Memory.

dabs.com Issue 104.seagate.uk www.uk www. p72 £52 650W PSU Corsair Professional Series HX 650 www.uk www.com Issue 96.samsung.co.co.scan. p78 £129 1.co.thermaltake.scan.com Issue 104.TYPE NAME SUPPLIER MANUFACTURER REVIEWED PRICE(incVAT) 530W PSU Thermaltake SP-530PCWEU www. p48 £228 TYPE NAME SUPPLIER MANUFACTURER REVIEWED PRICE(incVAT) HARD DISK Seagate Barracuda 2TB ST2000DM001 www.com WorldMags. p75 £78 SSD Samsung SSD 830 256GB www.co. p50 £160 www.synology.com Issue 104.com www.antec.com www. p68 £150 NAS BOX Synology DiskStation DS212j www. p79 £90 750W PSU Antec High Current Pro HCP-750 www.2kW PSU Antec High Current Pro 1200W www.com Issue 97.dabs.cclonline.net Call us on 08000 50 10 1031 April 2012 M o n i t o r s a n d d e s k t o p b u n d l e s a r e a v a i l a b l e s e p a r a t e l y.com Issue 97.com www.corsair. .com Issue 97.scan.scan.uk www.antec.ebuyer.

DVD Drive. p64 £227 27IN MONITOR Dell UltraSharp U2711 www. p56 £525 TRIPLE-MONITOR STAND XFX Triple Display Monitor Stand www.com Issue 80. p57 £76 5.aria.net GTX 560Ti.com Issue 96.scan.com Issue 105.com Issue 98.scan. 2 Years Warranty .asus.dell.uk http://uk.uk http://uk.scan. NVIDIA GeForce WorldMags.Bet Our best selling Intel gaming PC evolve ter Graphics .corsair.ebuyer.uk Issue 81. p58 £299 TYPE NAME SUPPLIER MANUFACTURER REVIEWED PRICE(incVAT) SOUND CARD Asus Xonar DX www.Our choice of the best hardware available TYPE NAME SUPPLIER MANUFACTURER REVIEWED PRICE(incVAT) 24IN MONITOR Dell UltraSharp U2412M www.scan.1 SPEAKERS Corsair SP2500 www.co.dell.1 SPEAKERS Logitech Z906 www.co. p79 £184 HEADSET Asus Vulcan ANC www. p63 £58 2.scan.1GHz CPU.xfxforce.uk www.co. 1000GB Hard Drive.com Issue 102.com www. p50 £250 d .co. 8GB DDR3 Memory.co.com Issue 92.uk www.Bigger Hard Drive 32 April 2012 Intel Core i5-3450 3.co.co.asus.uk www.logitech.uk www.

logitech. p109 £228 TYPE NAME DEVELOPER PUBLISHER REVIEWED PRICE(incVAT) RPG Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim www.co.co.overclockers.scan.com Issue 92.bethsoft. p100 £30 FPS Deus Ex: Human Revolution www.mode7games. p96 £30 STRATEGY Frozen Synapse www.com www.cclonline.com Issue 92.com Issue 96.co.logitech.scan.mionix.com WorldMags.com http://frozenbyte.lambda-tek.mode7games.uk www.com Issue 98.net Issue 108.net Issue 108. p60 £35 STEERING WHEEL Logitech G27 www.com Bethesda Issue 101.square-enix.com www.uk www.net Call us on 08000 50 10 1033 April 2012 M o n i t o r s a n d d e s k t o p b u n d l e s a r e a v a i l a b l e s e p a r a t e l y.square-enix. p108 £200 JOYSTICK Logitech Flight System G940 www.mionix. .uk www. p71 £106 MOUSE Maonix Naos 3200 www. p98 £12 www.com www. p92 £19 for two UNDERDOG Trine 2 http://frozenbyte.TYPE NAME SUPPLIER MANUFACTURER REVIEWED PRICE(incVAT) KEYBOARD Mionix Zibal 60 www.com Issue 102.

Our in-depth analysis of the latest PC hardware WepitchAsus’flagship againstEVGA’sequivalent AEROCOOL 36 ASUS MAXIMUS V 40 STRIKE-X AIR FORMULA It’sacase.net .butnotaswe knowit A£90casethat’s attractivelyunderstated 42 FRACTAL DESIGN DEFINE R4 Amicrocontrollerthat’s perfectforadvancedmods 44 ARDUINO LEONARDO Anall-in-oneGPUwatercoolerforjust£105 46 ARCTIC ACCELERO 50 SHARKFIN SELFHYBRID MOLDINGEARBUDS Stopyourearphones fallingoutofyourears mankyt-shirttocleanyour phonescreen STICKEMS 50 Nomoreusingyour 50 WARHAMMER INVASION Wecan’tstopplayingthis fantasycardgame GOOGLE NEXUS 7 Jumpontothe tabletbandwagonforjust £159incVAT 36 51 34 October 2012 WorldMags.

net October 2012 35 EVGA Z77 FTW .P48 IsEVGA’snewsuperhigh-endZ77 motherboardreallyheading ‘forthewin’? 36 WorldMags.HOWWETEST.

Basically.linein. Incomparison.PLL2.4xUSB3(Z77).92V.aPOSTcodereader.AsushasexpandedontheusualfourSATA 3GbpsandtwoSATA6GbpsportsoftheZ77chipset too.theExtremealsocarriesextrapower connectors.opticalS/PDIFout.scan.whichenableyou toaccuratelymonitorsystemtemperatureswhen coolingwithLN2.connectingtoyourDVIoutput AsusMaximus VExtreme EVGAZ77FTW anddisplayingavisualoverlayshowingreal-time clockspeedsandtemperatures.CPUMultiplier3663. asAsus’currentflagshipboard.co.4x surroundaudioout. great EFI.Pentium andCeleron Memorysupport4slots:max 32GBDDR3(upto3.whilea6-pinPCI-E connectorsitsabovetheexpansionslots formultiplegraphicscards.Corei7.92V.on-boardWiFi.CPU1.withanASMediacontrollerofferinganadditional (albeitslower)fourSATA6Gbpsports.butstill distinguishesitselfasasuper-high-endboard.EVGA’s Z77FTWoffersfewerfeatures.25GB/sec)andabilitytodaisy-chain bothdisplayandstoragedevicesmakesitan intriguingproposition.withanextrafourofeachavailable viaon-boardheadersintheboard’slowerright-hand corner.adualBIOS arrangementwithanon-boardswitchandaraftof extrasforprofessionaloverclockers.Thisreviewthenisthe latter.belowwhichyou’llfinda CMOSresetandBIOSflashbackswitches.maxvoltages.Theseslotsare connectedtoaPLXsplittingchipbeneaththebacklit RepublicofGamerslogo. There’salsotherequisitetruck-loadofUSBand SATAports. thereareotherswhoseidealPC isabankbalance-destroying.it’sthemost comprehensively featuredboardwe’ve handledtodate. on-boardBluetooth OverclockingBaseclock80– 300MHz. RAM1. one1xmini-PCI-E2slot SoundRealtekALC8987.net .Theserange fromAsus’SubzeroSenseports.asus.4xUSB 3(ASMedia)LAN.The8-pinEPS12Vconnectorisjoinedby anoptional4-pinconnector.5V Ports3xSATA3Gbps(Z77).toaVGAhotwirearrayofpin-outs forsolderingonyourownvoltageregulators.com W IN DETAIL ChipsetIntelZ77 CPUsupportLGA1155Core i3.0slot(oneat16xor fiveat8x).8xUSB2 (Z77).one1xPCI-E2 slot.Itspeakbi-directionalspeed of10Gb/sec(1. little real-world speed advantage over cheaper boards HOW MUCH? ASUS MAXIMUS V EXTREME Price£312incVAT Supplierwww.1 NetworkingIntelGigabit Ethernet. Therearealsoon-boardWi-FiandBluetooth. TheExtremeisalsothefirstboardwe’veseenwith Intel’sThunderboltport.butthisisblockedifyouopt fora4-waySLIdual-slotGPUsetup. mic.These aren’tparticularlyusefulfeaturesunlessyouhavea canofLN2 onhandthough. AsAsus’designated‘bonkersboard’(notan officialtitle).Alongsidethetwo largebanksofVRMsandaccompanyingaluminium heatsinks.Corei5.200MHz) ExpansionslotsFive16x PCI-E3.There’salso asingle1xPCI-E2slot. TheExtremeisthelargerat305mmx272mmand. electricitybill-manglinggiantofmultiGPUengineering. lots of extras MUNDANE Pricey.1 xmSATA3Gbps(Z77)2xSATA 6Gbps(Z77).4xSATA6Gbps (ASMedia)1xPS/2.DisplayPort.whichenablestheboardto supportupto4-waySLIandCrossFireX. Thunderbolt Dimensions(mm)305x272 (EATX) hilethevastmajorityofusplumpfor sensiblehardwareatsensibleprices.TheOCkeyisparticularly handy.runningoneat16xorfiveat8x. withwhichyoucanenableanddisablePCI-Eslots. MorepracticalisasetofPCI-Edebugswitches.theExtremesportsfivePCI-Egraphics slots.thereareon-boardpowerand resetbuttons.aswepittwoofthemostpremium Z77boardsagainsteachother–theAsus MaximusVExtremeandEVGAZ77FTW. 36 October 2012 WorldMags.There’salsoan mSATAconnectionviaadaughterboardconnectedat thetopoftherearI/Opane.uk Manufacturer http://rog.it’sstuffedwithextras tocomplementtheZ77chipset. easy to overclock. HDMI.andthe inclusionofAsus’OC-Key.ASUS MAXIMUS V EXTREME AND EVGA Z77 FTW When you absolutely have to have the fastest PC in the room. accept no substitutes ASUS MAXIMUS V EXTREME EXTREME Faster. Elsewhere.notonethat’sessentialyet.TherearI/OoffersfourUSB3portsand fourUSB2ports.

maxvoltages.000MHz) ExpansionslotsFive16x PCI-E3slot(Oneat16x.1 Networking2xMarvell 88E8057 OverclockingBaseclock80– 130MHz.theEVGA hassixUSB2portsandfourUSB3ports (withanotherfourUSB2andtwoUSB3ports availableviano-boardheaders).Asanextraneattouch.Forthoseconsideringa4-way closelygrouped. mic.theExtremeisalsotheonlyoneofthetwo testCPU’smaximumof4.There’salsoasingle1xPCI-E2slot but.2 xSATA6Gbps(Z77).399points.runningwitheitheroneslotat16x. doesn’t include 4-way SLI bridge. Ittoosportsfivefull-sized16xPCI-E3 slots.co.PLL2. onePCI-E21xslot SoundRealtekALC8897.Pentium andCeleron Memorysupport4slots:max 32GBDDR3(upto3.or fiveat8x.WhileitsEFIgroupssettingswell.on-board displayoutputishandledbyasingleminiDisplayPortconnector. RAM1.WiFiandBluetoothbeingthemost Clockspeedmultiplierandvoltageadjustmentsareall practicaladvantages.we OverclockingtheZ77FTWprovedalittlemore foundtheZ77FTWhadanimmediatedisadvantageat taxing.thisisblockedifyoukit outtheboardwiththefullcomplementof fourdual-slotgraphicscards.DualMarvell1Gb/secEthernet ports(comparedtotheExtreme’ssingleIntel 1Gb/secport)andaCMOSresetswitchare alsousefuladditions.wedisabled toincludea4-waySLIbridge. Overclockingperformanceistheimportantaspect Whilebothboardsareloadedwithextrastodeal forhigh-endboards.resetandCMOS-clear buttons.onePCI-E2. harder to overclock.though.Asus’EFIhasnowmatured.alongsidea pairofeSATAportspoweredbyaMarvell controller.setLoadLineCalibrationto‘Ultra PERFORMANCE High’andtheCPUvoltageto1.LGA1155 MOTHERBOARDS Insteadofusingawraparoundarrayof AsusMaximus VRMs. dual1Gb/sec LAN RUNNER-UP Slower at stock and overclocked speeds.99V. or Bluetooth HOW MUCH? EVGA Z77 FTW Price£269incVAT Supplierwww.CPU1.andwefirstturnedour witheventhepickiestofdemands.Nexttothe8-pinEPS12Vconnectoris theExtremereturnanoverallscoreinourMedia anoptional8-pinconnector. blockof100MHz.33V.theZ77FTW’ssinglelargebanksitsto VExtreme theleftoftheCPUsocket.5(EATX) 38 WorldMags. PCI-Eslotstoo.2x LAN.andanactively cooledchipset.linein.andwehadlittletroublereachingour SLIsetup. minimumframerateof26fps.asitsCPUonlyTurboBoostedto positivelyold-schoolandfeelsmorelikeanout-of3.9GHzregardless.four at8x).cooledviaasingle largealuminiumheatsink.therewasnosuchgap.withbothboardsproducingaplayable connectorisalsoequippedwitha90-degreeadaptor.10xUSB2(Z77). helpingtomakethattop-endbuildlookevenneater. 4xUSB3(Z77)2xUSB3 (ASMedia). Lookingtotherearoftheboard.opticalS/PDIFout.Meanwhile.the24-pinATX though.2xSATA 6Gbps(Marvell9182)2x eSATA(Marvell88SE6121) 1xPS/2.usedamultiplierof48xandabase bundlingdual-cardandtriple-cardbridges.courtesyofalow-profile 40mmfan. On-boardextrasincludeatriple-BIOS switch.265.aswiththeAsus.99V.aPOSTcodereaderthatdoublesas aCPUtemperaturereadout.InCrysis2.7GHzwhenallfourcoreswereloaded. Extremeisthebetterequippedofthetwo.Corei7.CPUMultiplier1680.power.uk IN DETAIL ChipsetIntelZ77 CPUsupportLGA1155Core i3.6V Ports4xSATA3Gbps(Z77).andthere’sapairof6-pin Benchmarksof2.miniDisplayPort Dimensions(mm)305x 263. outdated EFI.scan.Todothis.Thissaw cards.net October 2012 37 .4x surroundaudioout.8GHz. Thunderbolt.Corei5.withtheZ77FTWonly IntelC-states.There’salsoahandyarrayof switchesforenabling/disablingthePCI-E slots–usefulfortroubleshootingmulti-GPU EVGAZ77FTW setups–andanarrayofvoltageread-out pinsabovetheDIMMslots.whilethe dateBIOSthanthecontrolsystemforasuper-high- EVGA Z77 FTW WINNER £40 cheaper than the Asus. FittingourtestIntelCorei7-3770Kineachboard.itlooks stockfrequencies.with sooverclockingtheExtremewasstraightforward.comparedtotheZ77 PCI-Econnectorsatthetopandbottomofthebankof FTW’s2. TheZ77FTWalsoboastslotsofadditional powerconnectorsforusewhenextreme overclockingorifyouusemultiplegraphics Extremeboostedto3.16x slot. WiFi.it’sclearthatthe attentionstotheExtreme.

removesmuchof theshine.399 2. 128GBPatriotWildfire SSD.914 Asus Maximus V EVGA Z77 FTW 3. HARRY BUTLER GIMP IMAGE EDITING Asus Maximus V EVGA Z77 FTW 0 Asus Maximus V EVGA Z77 FTW 0 1.though.whichisthelimitofourtestCPU.952 1.withoursystempullingapeakof640Win BF3comparedtotheExtreme’s633W.Despiteitsepicfeatureset.setthe multiplierto48xandbaseblockto100MHz.000 0 25 50 75 100 MULTI-TASKING Asus Maximus V EVGA Z77 FTW 0 BATTLEFIELD 3 5.865was closeto100pointsclearoftheZ77FTW’s2.with theExtremeholdinga5percentadvantageinthe videoencodingtestalone.noiseandpowerconsumption.and pushedtheCPUvoltageto1300mV(1.760x1.Despiteits£40premium overtheEVGAZ77FTW.298 3. dealingwiththeirheat.600MHz CorsairDDR3memory. Despiteitsvictory.most peoplewillstruggletofindauseformanyoftheextras. 16x AF 1.Ifyouabsolutelymusthavethe biggest.676 1.080.3x GTX6702GBfor3-waySLI.265 2. High settings.000 Stock speed min 63fps 63fps 0 25 50 Overclocked min 74fps 74fps 75 100 2.000 2.000 Stock speed Stock speed avg Overclocked avg 2.bothwere inseparable.000 4.080NvidiaSurrounddisplay.withboth producingthesameresultin63fpsminimumin Battlefield3.It wasalsoconsistentlyfasteracrossourbenchmarks– atleastat4.mostcapableZ77motherboardaroundthen theMaximusVExtremeistheone–otherwise.000 4.Wefoundthat theZ77FTWwasalittlemorepower-hungryhere. though.‘longandshortdurationpowerlimits’to255and ‘longdurationmaintainedpowerlimit’to120resolved theissueandresultedinastableOC.000 EVGA Z77 FTW 4.463 4.098 4.000 4.080.though. Ultra settings.000 1.WedisabledC-statesandvdroop.2GHzIntelCorei7-3770K CPU.760 x 1.322 2.witheachproducingan increasedminimumframerateof32fps.32V).NvidiaGeForceGTX 6802GBgraphicscard. Wealsobenchmarkedbothboardsina3-waySLI setup.000 2.onlyto findthatourCPUfrequentlyclockeddownto4.000 OVERALL Asus Maximus V EVGA Z77 FTW 0 1.000 1. Windows764-bit 37 TEST KIT scores: asus SPEED 42 / 45 FEATURES 30 / 30 VALUE 10 / 25 82 scores: EVGa SPEED 38 / 45 FEATURES 25 / 30 VALUE 11 / 25 OVERALL 74 OVERALL 38 October 2012 WorldMags.andyoucanstillrunatwo-wayGPUsetup ontheGeneanyway.though.8GB1.net .770 3.000 1. nottomentiondriverdependency. CONCLUSION Whilebothboardsdeliveredthecrazyframerateswe expectfromhigh-endmulti-GPUsetups.289 3.fromWiFiandBluetoothtoa Thunderboltportandbundled4-waySLIconnector.Z77boardsareprimarilylimited byIntel’sIvyBridgeCPUswhenoverclocking.040.LGA1155 MOTHERBOARDS AsusMaximusVExtreme EVGAZ77FTW endboard. ThecausewastheCPUpowermanagementsettings.Anoverallscoreof2.InCrysis2.264 VIDEO ENCODING 3.theExtremeprovedthefasterboardin ourMediaBenchmarks. Whilewelovetheframeratesofmulti-GPUsetups.4GHz. no AA.770.000 3. leaving4-waySLIandCrossFireXastheonlydraw.8GHz.courtesyofthreeGTX6702GBcardsconnected toa5. settingthe‘IAcorecurrentmaxandpowerlimits’to 2. 4x AA.941 1. 3 x GTX 670 2GB in 3-way SLI.it’stoughto lookbeyondtheAsusMaximusVExtremewhen choosingbetweenthetwo.theExtremeoffersmany usefulextrafeatures.demonstratinganimpressive91per centscalingforthethree-cardsetup.865 2.andthe Extremeperformsalmostthesameasthe£150 cheaperAsusMaximusVGene(seeIssue106.000 Overclocked 2.youcan getadecentboardforhalfthemoney.p64)in ourbenchmarks.829 2.920 x 1.000 1.Therewas littletodistancethetwoboards.312 3. no AF CRYSIS 2 Asus Maximus V 26 fps 32 fps 26 fps 32 fps 81 fps 82 fps 81 fps 82 fps HANDBRAKE H.there’snoawardforthe MaximusVFormula.792 1. WhilebothCPUswererunningatsimilar frequencies.

that just works! that just works! se rv ic e A w ar d -w in ni ng ity labil Sca & THE FUTURE TODAY. tomorrow and the future WEB HOSTING • DOMAINS • EMAIL • DEDICATED SERVERS • VIRTUAL SERVERS • RESELLER HOSTING Making business work better online lity Qua fasthosts. just like you for over 13 years. supporting you every step of the way. For help and advice call free on 0800 6520 444 Se cu rit y tres cen data UK 24 /7 su pp or t Technology you can rely on today.co. for thousands of customers. Fasthosts are always here. TOMORROW Reliability Value for mo ney Fl ex ib ili ty If you’re driven mad looking for hosted technology which gives you complete peace of mind. then look no further.net . Fasthosts has been taking the headache out of delivering industry-leading technologies.uk or call O800 6520 444 b WorldMags.Reliability Flexibility 24/7 support Award winning Secure technology TECHNOLOGY HOSTED Value for money Hosted Technology. With wholly-owned and managed secure UK data centres and our team of experts.

good CPU cooling DEFENCE Large. average build quality T HOW MUCH? Price£90incVAT Supplierwww.1x 120mmsidefanmount (fanincluded) CPUcoolerclearance Unlimited Maximumgraphicscard length295mm ExtrasTool-less3.and ANTONY LEATHER front-mountedpowerandresetbuttons.co.5in/2.there’slittleelseinthe wayofsupportforpumpsorreservoirs.reset.meanwhile.net .2xUSB 2.There’senoughroom AirmanagedaloadCPUdeltaTof48°C–agoodresult forthelargestCPUaircoolers.witha Aerocool’sStrike-XAirisaverymixedbag.whileafairamount modulardrivecagesandcable-routeingholes ofitismadefrom0.5inbays.Most aretheusual affairsthatyou’dfindonastandardcase.ourmaingripewiththisotherwise atthemoment.microATX Cooling1x200mmtopfan mount(fanincluded).UnlessyoulovetheAir’squirkyappearance. outwithadeltaTof45°C.5in or2.lesscumbersomeanddoexactlythesame onlyjustreachedthemotherboard. COOLING FEATURES DESIGN VALUE 22 / 30 customPC 12 / 20 22 / 30 13 / 20 OVERALL 69 40 October 2012 WorldMags. USB3port.aerocool.5in/2.butthelatter’stablesarecheaper.Thislidcanbeclosed PERFORMANCE orheldopenatvariousanglesbyusingalatchthat Withourusualcasetestinggearinstalled.othernoteworthyfeaturesincludea adviseshopping aroundforasuperiordesigninstead.andthelidrotates that’sonaparwiththeCoolerMasterHAFXandAntec completelyoutofthewaytoo–usefulifyou’redealing OneHundred.3xexternal3. Thisisn’tagreatresult.thechassishasa makeitmoreofacasethanabenchtable.Thatsaid. firmlyonadeskand.butAerocool’sStrike-XAiris straightforwardproductisthebuildquality.stereo.itsits muchlargerthananaveragestack-designtabletoo.whileaswivellinglidwitha200mmfan itslackofrigidityisnomajorcauseforconcern. mediocre GPU cooling. butvariousmountingholesattherearof THERE’S ENOUGH ROOM FOR LARGE thechassisenableyoutoinstall120mm CPU COOLERS.25indrivebays. AND THE LID ROTATES or140mmradiators.theStrike-X workslikeacar’sbonnet-stay. CONCLUSION althoughthePSUclipsintoplaceattherear. tool-free3.A120mmmountis COMPLETELY OUT OF THE WAY TOO alsolocatednexttothe3.fourrubbergrommetsattherear. but is it as good as it looks? OFFENCE Easy to use.and Speakingofwatercooling. islikelyduetothefactthatthere’snofantomimica Totheleftofthemotherboardtrayisasectionof case’sfrontintakefan–onlythetop200mmfanblows variouscubbyholesthathousethe5.Itspartly plasticsectionsfeltcheapand.Itlooks largeholeinfrontofitforrouteingcablesunderneath betterthantheblandmetaltablesfromLianLiand thetabletothemotherboard.andit’s considerabledegreeofflexinit. compartment.andhadtodoso job(CoolerMaster’sLabTestBenchcostsaround overthetopinanunsightlyfashion. good access to motherboard.BENCH TABLE AEROCOOL Strike-X Air An exotic-looking bench table.USB3. FormfactorsATX. blowsairintothemainsection.5in.Theonlyissuewehad CoolerMaster.us SKUNumberCA-030-AE IN DETAIL Dimensions(mm)613x525 x340(WxDxH) MaterialPlastic. airinthedirectionofthemotherboard. power.quietpc.5indrivebaysandPSUmount.uk Manufacturer www.7mmsteel.steel AvailablecoloursBlack Weight 9kg Frontpanel3. £45).The certainlythemostdramatic-looking.unlessyou’repronetotaking Themotherboardrestsinalargeopen-air thenearestbigsticktoitwhenyouroverclockfails.5inbaystokeep yourharddiskscool.topped withwater-coolingorliquidnitrogenpots.mic Drivebays3xexternal 5.25in.Ourgraphicscard. herewasthedistance–our8-pinEPS12Vconnector stronger. 120mmand140mm radiatorsupport hereareanumberofbenchtablesavailable However.we’d Meanwhile.5in.

net .WorldMags.

RoundingofftheR4’scooling componentsareasixthfan mountinthecase’sfloor.3-speed fancontroller.3.p64).witheachabletomount a3.1x140mmrear fanmount(fansupplied).withsettingsfor12V.Alaterallymountedpairofharddrivecages sitacrossthefrontofthecase.430mmwithout ExtrasDustfilters. andisnow22mmwiderand25mmtaller.5indriveviaeasilyremovabledrivetrays.theroofpanelsportsapairof 120/140mmcoolingfanmountsfilledwithfoambackedblankingplates.with Thefrontpanelhidesaremovablefan mountforapairof120/140mmfans FractalDesignincludingapairofitsown140mmfans fittedasafrontintakeandrearexhaust.stereo. addingadditionalfeaturesandflexibilitywhile maintainingthesamedesignethos.butitwon’tmake muchofasplashifyouwanttoshowoffyourPC.mini-ITX Cooling2x120/140mm frontmounts(1xfan supplied).FRACTAL DESIGN Define R4 Fractal Design returns with a featurestuffed.althoughit’snowmuchmore modular.theR4againhasasimilardesignto itspredecessors. meshorplastic.25indrivebays.There arealsojusttwo5.uk Manufacturer www.TheFractalR3impressedusayear lateraswellbut.thefan controllerisbestusedtoadjustanyextrafansyouadd.5in.7Vand5V.000rpm. DarkKnightway–notabadPhantomMenaceway). WhiletheR4retainsitspredecessors’understated looks.thesemakeiteasytotuck PSUcablesbehindthemotherboardtray andthereareplentyofcable-tiepointsto 42 October 2012 WorldMags.Apairof2.which isafaircompromiseconsideringthe increasingirrelevanceofopticaldrives.as thebundledfansonlyspinupto1.it’sgainedsomegirthandheightovertheR3.though.botharefully removableshouldyouwishtooptimise thecaseforairflowratherthanstorage capacity.5inor2. Theuppercageaccommodatesuptofivedrives.Openthefront doorandyou’llalsofindasinglelargepush-pin securedhatch. Meanwhile.itcomprisesapairofUSB3ports(with internalconnector).8xinternal 3.microATX.co.TitaniumGrey Weight12.Arctic White.5mm microphoneandheadphonejacks. great build quality.theR3hasbeenslowlysurpassed bynewercaseswithmoreflexibilityandfeatures. TheR4’sfrontpanelisfoundontopof theplastic frontfascia.twoUSB2ports.low-noise coolingsincewesawtheDefineR2in 2010.Lined withrubber.However.reset.again capableofmountingeithera 120mmor140mmcoolingfan. whilethelowertakesonlythree.behindwhichsitsaremovableplastic fanmountcapableofhousingapairof120/140mm fans–it’sequippedwitha removabledustfiltertoo.1x140mmsidefan mount.sounddeadeningfoam.5indrivebays Formfactor(s)ATX.1x120/140mmfloor fanmount CPUcoolerclearance170mm Maximumgraphicscard length295mmwithHDD cage.The R4isthelatestcontinuationofthefranchise(inagood.ModuVent blankingplates e’vebeenfansofFractalDesign’s minimaliststylingandflexible.withathirdblankingplate 140mmmountontheleftsidepanel.5indrivemountsalso sitbehindthemotherboard.2xUSB2. costs £90 INDISTINCT Mediocre stock cooling.themotherboardtrayis sturdyandequippedwithnumerous well-placedcable-routeingholes.Itsexterior remainsstoicallyuntaintedbyexpansesofventing.fractal-design.plus internalconnectorsforuptothreefans.andpowerand resetbuttonswithablueLEDpowerindicator.5in/2.com SKUnumber FD-CA-DEF-R4-BL W IN DETAIL Dimensions(mm)232x523 x464(WxDxH) MaterialSteel. Movinginside. andaseventh140mmmountto therear. no room for 60mm radiators HOW MUCH? Price£90incVAT Supplierwww.Whilethismatchesthe numberofmountsofferedby theolderR3.net .withthealuminium-finish plasticfrontdoorfittedovertheplasticfrontfascia.25indrivebays.Swing thedooropenandyou’llalsofindthatmostessential ofcaseaccessories:athree-speedfancontroller.aswefoundinourlastcaseLabstest (seeIssue103.It’scertainlyidealforthosewhothinktheirPC shouldbeneitherseennorheard.ebuyer. Meanwhile. highly capable case DEFINED Loads of features.eachhasnowbeen upgradedtoaccommodate 140mmcoolingfans.plastic AvailablecoloursPearl Black(reviewed).3kg FrontpanelPower.2x2.this isflankedbyreassuringlysolidandsnug-fittingside panels.makingthis aperfectlysuitablecaseforthosewho haveditched3. 2xUSB3.It’s agreatinclusion.5instorage. 2x120/140mmrooffan mounts. microphone Drivebays2xexternal 5.

whiletheGPU deltaTclimbedonlyslightlyto50°C.addingafront-mountedfancontroller andmakingthedrivecagesfullyremovable. It’sstillusefulforaddingextraUSBportsorlighting controlsthough.butthere’splentyofflexibilitytoimprove this.2GBOCZ 1.5inmountsbehindthe motherboardtray 02 Bothdrivecagesare fullyremovable.TheR4doesn’tofferthebestcooling blanking plates.andmatchesthatofthe competingCorsair550Dwithoutitspanelling. 04 02 COOL ING Whileit’soptimisedforlow-noisecooling.However.asdidtheremovaloftheupperharddiskcage.makingiteasyto tuckPSUcablesbehindthe motherboardtray 04 Thenumerouscablerouteingholesarelined 0 15 30 45 60 Lower is better GPU LOAD DELTA T TEMPERATURE Fractal Design Define R4 (full speed) Fractal Design Define R4 (low speed) Corsair Obsidian 550D (vents) Corsair Obsidian 550D (no vents) Corsair Carbide 500R 0 15 30 49 °C 50 °C 49 °C 47 °C 42 °C 45 60 Lower is better CONCLUSION TheFractalDesignDefineR4continueswhereits predecessorsleftoff.Thisisacarry-over frompreviousDefinedesigns.with theR4’sfocusonflexibility.withtheextracasewidth insteadallowingforCPUcoolersupto170mmin height. blankingplates.Oneelementnotretainedfrom previousdesigns.whichisafairdecisiongiventhat all-in-oneinternalcoolersarenowcommonplace.witha CPU LOAD DELTA T TEMPERATURE Fractal Design Define R4 (full speed) Fractal Design Define R4 (low speed) Corsair Obsidian 550D (vents) Corsair Obsidian 550D (no vents) Corsair Carbide 500R noiseandmakethecasequieter 51 °C 60 °C 56 °C 51 °C 51 °C 03 Thesidepanelsarelined withfoamtohelpdeaden withrubber.9harddisk.AMDRadeonHD5870 2GBEyefinitygraphics card. theCPUdeltaTrosetoatoasty60°C.866MHzDDR3memory.andsportsapairofUSB3 portsandtwoUSB2ports 01 pairof2. HARRY BUTLER The R4’s front panel is TheR4’sfrontpanelis ontopoftheplasticfront fascia.however.combiningdiscreetlooksand low-noisecoolingwithalargearrayoffeatures. Tothereararesevenexpansionslots.while retainingexcellentextrassuchasthefan-mount COOLING 18 / 30 customPC FEATURES 19 / 20 DESIGN 29 / 30 VALUE 17 / 20 OVERALL 83 3.Theflatsidepanelsmeanthat thereisn’tasmuchroombehindthemotherboard asyou’dexpect.however.Withitspairof1.Thesehavenowbeen completelyremoved.BioStarTPowerI55 motherboard.Itoffersgreatbuildqualityforacompetitiveprice ofjust£90. 160GBSeagateBarracuda 7200.theR4producedaCPUdeltaT of51°CandaGPUdeltaTof49°C.CPUperformance isveryencouraging. The R4 doesn’t offer the best cooling outofthebox.wherethebundledfan controllerwasmountedinaspareexpansionslot.RemovingthetopandsidefanmountblankingplatesdroppedtheGPUdeltaTby 2°C.withaneighth slotfittedverticallyabovethem.net October 2012 43 .There’sonlyroomfora30mmradiatorand accompanyingfanabovethemotherboardthough. FractalDesignhasaddressedmanyprevious criticisms. Afterdiallingthefansdowntotheir5Vminimum.Seasonic M12DSS-850EMPSU TEST KIT WorldMags.therearemanywaysto improvecooling.The GPUtemperaturewasamongthewarmestwe’ve seenfromafull-sizedchassisthough.istheuseofexternal water-coolinggrommets.makingitastrongcontenderforthosewho prioritisesubtletyoverlowtemperatures.000rpmfansattheirvery discreetfullspeed.4GHzIntelCorei7-870 CPU.theR4 stillmanagedafairresultonceourtestsystemwas installed.Gelid TranquilloCPUcoolerwith NoctuaNF-S12BULN 120mmfan.ATX CASE 01 03 securethemaswell.

thismeansthatit’sperfectlypossibletouse Certainshields–add-onboardsthatpiggybackonto theLeonardotocreateacustom-mademacrokeypad.Sincethen.theArduinoLeonardo.oomlout.however.co.emulatingakeyboardormouseatthe expecttoaddressthephysicalpinswillneedtobe programmer’sdiscretion.launchedin2005. motors.WhiletheATmega32U4 44 October 2012 WorldMags.7PWM outputs ExtrasStickers some of the 20 digital I/O pins.cc IN DETAIL MicrocontrollerAtmel ATmega32U4 RAM2. all pins can icrocontrollers–smallcomputingdevices someofthe20digitalI/Opins.isinthewaythat twointegratedcircuits.whilethe Theresultisasparseboardthat’s bothcheapertomanufactureandmore IT’S PERFECTLY POSSIBLE TO USE flexible.isnoexception.the nothingshortofarevelation:suddenlytheArduino processofcreatingdesignsthatrelyonsimultaneous cansendkeycombinationstocontrolaPC’soperation USBandphysicalserialportaccesshasbecome withnoback-endprogrammingrequired.thisisnolongerthecase:theUSB andtheUSBconnection. Switching from an FTDI IC to the ATmega16U2 for withalmostunlimitedpossibilities.andtheRXandTXpinsontheArduino theresponsibilityofhandlingboththemicrocontroller boarditself. the move to a new chip isn’t always smooth.Sketchesthat interfacedevice.andthey’lllosecompatibilitywithprevious ForpeoplelookingtoaddsensingtotheirPC.takeson connection.themovetoanewchipisn’talwayssmooth.theDuemilanove–haveused Thebiggestchange.net .takingthecheapATmegafamilyof TheArduino’sUSBconnection–andassociated microcontrollersandaddingalibrary–Wiring–which serialconnection–nowresetsitselfwhenthemain waseasyforbeginnerstolearn.lightsandmore–providemodders Sadly. severalofthepinsoperate. rewritten.TheArduinoproject.Meanwhile.WhiletheUnoandits AnotherbackwardsstepfortheLeonardoisthe predecessorshadsix10-bitanalogueinputs. ISPorSPIUARTSerial Pins20. connectionisnowaddressedasSerial.whichcancauseproblemsifa deviceshaveonlybecomemorepowerful–andthe programlisteningtotheserialportisn’tprogrammed latestrelease.allpinscan also be used as digital inputs or outputs on demand. Sadly. theLeonardo’sATmega32U4continuesthattrend. alsobeusedasdigitalinputsoroutputsondemand.UnlikepreviousArduinomodels. toreconnectfollowingaconnectionreset.but SwitchingfromanFTDIICtotheATmega16U2for they’realsooftenapaintoprogram.thesamefeaturecouldbeusedto withtheLeonardo. thatcanbeprogrammedtocontrolsensors.uk Manufacturer www. As before.6x53.theLeonardocanactasahuman physicalpinsareaddressedasSerial1.arduino.it’s Arduinomodelsintheprocess. isnowonlyavailableviathe6-pinIn-System Speakingofsensors.WhilepreviousArduinomodels–includingthe connectionisdetected. gamer.inparticularthosebasedonthe sendashutdownhotkeycombinationiftheArduino SerialPeripheralInterconnect(SPI)standard. itextracapabilitiesheretoo.which detectsariseintemperatures. theArduinotoaddfeatures–arealsoincompatible foroverclockers.asmallsurface-mount waspreviouslyaccessibleoverboththeUSB packagelocatedinthecentreoftheboard.Asbefore.theLeonardohasaspartanboard inmind–alsonolongerrestartwhenanewserial design.theLeonardousesjustone.Sketches– Designedtotakeoverfromthelast-generation Arduino-speakforprogramswrittenwiththeboards ArduinoUno.Arduino processorresets.theLeonardo’snewchipgives Programmer(ISP)headerattheendoftheboard.andthemovefromanATmega328PUto languages. Unoanditspredecessor.5KB Flash32KB(28KBavailable toArduinoIDE) EEPROM1KB Clockspeed16MHz Operatingvoltage5V(input 6-20V) Size(mm)68.requiringthe USB-to-serialconversionintheUnobroughtsome learningofnear-incomprehensibleprogramming problems.Ifyou’rea muchmorecomplicated.including12 analogueinputs.ARDUINO Lenoardo A bargain microcontroller that’s ideal for adventurous PC modders Cheap. THE LEONARDO TO CREATE A whichforcedthoselookingtolinkthe deviceswithacomputertowriteback-end CUSTOM-MADE MACRO KEYPAD daemonstolistenforcommunications overaserialport.3 PCconnectivityMicro-USB.the amountofflashmemoryavailablefortheuploading Leonardoboastsdoublethenumberbyborrowing sketchesorstoringofdata.Whiletheserialconnection TheAtmelATmega32U4. changedallthat. 12 analogue inputs DA VINCI M DA VINCI CODE Some compatibility problems with Uno-based sketches HOW MUCH? Price£19incVAT Supplier www. keyboard and mouse emulation is handy.

03 Amovetothe ATmega32U4means newfeatures.whileremovingoneoftheboard’smostexpensive componentshasreducedthebillofmaterials.theLeonardoisamodder’sdream.Shieldsdesignedfor theoldDuemilanoveboardworkedfirsttime.In particular.weencounteredfewproblemswith thechip’schangedfeatureset.if you’realreadystretchingthelimitsoftheArduino’s 32KBofflashmemory.Asaresult. Thisisreflectedintheprice.theLeonardo’sbulky4KB bootloadermayruleitout.inwhichwe’llshow youhowtousethis£19boardtocreateatemperaturesensitivelightingsystemforyourPC.you’reprobablyusingthe wrongtoolforthejob.Ifthenewhumaninterfacedeviceemulation soundstempting.5KBontheUno.50 BreadboardArduinoCompatibleKit. Whetherit’sworthupgradingfromanexisting Arduinoorcompatibleboarddependsontheindividual project.butit’s addedplentyofexcitingnewfeaturestomakeupfor that.5KB.thenewchipboosts theRAMfrom2KBto2.MICROCONTROLLER 01 02 hasthesame32KBflashregionastheUno’s ATmega328PU.However.net .but 03 TheLeonardonowuses micro-USBforpowerand data. GARETH HALFACREE FEATURES 36 / 40 FLEXIBILITY 25 / 30 customPC VALUE 29 / 30 OVERALL October 2012 45 90 WorldMags. Priceaside.it’sasmallpricetopay.thenewkeyboardandmouse emulationfeaturesandUSB-to-serialconversion takesitstollinthesizeofthebootloader–4KB comparedtojust0.Switchingtoanewchipmay haveintroducedafewcompatibilityproblems.sketchesthatusedserialcommunications neededafewdelayshereandtheretopreventthe moreefficientnewsystemfromfloodingthe connectionandcrashingtheArduinoIDEsoftware.youcan setuptheLeonardotocontrolaPCwithoutwritingany back-endcode–thiswasonlypossiblethroughagreat dealofeffortusingtheUnoandpriormodels. Otherwise. Lookoutfornextmonth’sissue.However.ratherthanmini-USB CONCLUSION Ofcourse.althoughifyourArduinosketch compilestomorethan28KB.withthe exceptionofaBurnduinoflasherboardthatrequires theabilitytoremoveasocketedmicrocontrollerfor pass-throughsketchuploading–somethingthatthe surface-mountchipusedintheLeonardocan’toffer.it’sagreatprice foranofficialArduinoboard.usingtheLeonardowiththe latestArduinoIDEreleasewasasheerjoy.Thevastmajorityof shieldsandsketchesshouldoperatejustfineonthe Leonardothough. sketchesanddataarelimitedto28KBbeforeexternal storageisrequired.butbringssome compatibilityissues 01 someSPI-basedshieldsare incompatible 02 Mostshieldswork withtheLeonardo. Althoughstillpricedwayabovelessbeginner-friendly microcontrollerprototypingsystemssuchasTexas Instruments’remarkable£5MSP430LaunchPadand Arduino-compatibleclonessuchasOomlout’s£11.theLeonardosellsforjust£19. Thankstoitskeyboardemulationcapabilities.however. Duringtesting. Someoldersketchesalsoneededsomerewriting beforebeingfullyoperationalwiththeLeonardo.WhiletheArduino Unocosts£22.themainreasontorecommendtheArduino Leonardoistheprice.

465.It’s weretowater-coolyourgraphicscardinthetraditional yourchoice.Thissoundedeasytousatfirst.Usingitasanintake AcceleroHybridcosts£105andreplaces willmeanlowerGPUtemperatures.net .6790. highlightingthesechoices.560SE.usingaseparatepump.6900-seriesand thecoolingandnoisedepartments.6850.soit’scertainlyacheaperoption.Meanwhile.wefinallymanagedtosecurethecontact VALUE 18 / 30 plateandinstalledtheradiatorinafree120mmfan OVERALL FITTING BAD mountattherearofourtestcase.theAcceleroHybridwasnoticeablyquietertoo.you’llneedtoremoveyour graphicscard’scooler.butit’sone ofthemostawkwardcoolerstofitwe’veseen.It’swortha 120mmaffairandusesa120mmPWM-controlledfan lookifyou’reshortofcashandhappytopersevere.dueto thetinypins.6950.1x80mm Statednoise0.7850. TofittheAcceleroHybrid.andunderfull standardNvidiaGeForceGTX6803GBcooler.butthereasonforthisisthatthe MASSIVE 24°C COOLER THAN OUR AcceleroHybridiscompatiblewithavast GTX 680’S REFERENCE COOLER arrayofreference-designgraphicscards outofthebox. 460SE.5870.4850 NvidiaGeForce:GeForce GTX680.Thesedon’tattach Reference cooler 15˚C 50˚C usingtheusualadhesivepadsthough.6970.560.Itmightcostmore.570.The a20°CdropinGPUtemperaturecomparedtoa idletemperaturewas8°Clowertoo. Thekitincludesavastarrayofscrews andheatsinks. althoughthepumpseemedtogurgleonoccasions.Thisnearlyhadusintears THE GPU DELTA T OF 26°C WAS A atfirst. Afterhalf-an-hourfilledwithexpletivesand DESIGN 10 / 30 frustration.andArcticisforthcomingin way.including thanourGeForceGTX6803GB’sreferencecooler.co.and load.threadedholesandtheneedforsomany COOLING 39 / 40 partstobelinedupatonce.theradiatorisahalf-height reservationsaboutitsinstallationprocess.460 Weight800g Size(mm)150x53x120 (WxDxH)(radiator) Fan1x120mm.6770.3sones adeforArcticbyAsetek.radiatorandfittings.500and600-series. quiet fans ARCTIC ROLL Terrible to install M HOW MUCH? Price£105incVAT Supplier www. muchquieteroperationtoo.completewithafluid butwestronglyrecommendconsideringafullwaterdynamicbearing. 6870.Ifyou dumpingtheheatdirectlybackintoyourcase. anditsGPUdeltaTof26°Cwasamassive24°Ccooler Arctichassomefancyclaimsforittoo.aswellas WhiletheAcceleroHybridofferssignificantgainsin AMD’sRadeonHD7800-series.560 Ti.480.4870.sobewarned: 0 15 30 45 60 youmightnotbeabletogetthemoffafteritsets.Instead. alargeshroudthatsportsanangled80mmfan.andthenfittheappropriate heatsinkstotheRAMandVRMs–thesewillbecooled GEFORCE GTX 680 3GB bythe80mmfanintheshroud.specialtech. ANTONY LEATHER enablingittodirectairflowthroughtheshroud.though. thatcanspinupto1.the exhaustinghotairfromthecase.wehaveserious 5800-series. you’dusuallybelookingatanother£100orsoin Ontheplusside.470. 5850.GPU COOLER ARCTIC Accelero Hybrid A cheaper and easier alternative for water-cooling your graphics card? ARCTIC FOX Excellent cooling.580. Idle Load Lower is better ThecoolingplateissecuredtotheGPUcoreviaa backplate.whichalsomakes oneliquidcoolers.you Arctic Accelero Hybrid 7˚C 26˚C needtouseatubeofthermaladhesive.670.butyou’llbe yourgraphicscard’sreferencecooler.Likeotherall-in- results customPC 67 46 October 2012 WorldMags.arctic.uk Manufacturer www.Theradiatorisattachedtoa coolingkitinstead.4890.it’susuallybesttohavetheradiator Antec’sfantasticKühlerH20620.ac SKUnumber DCACOV750001-GB IN DETAIL CompatibilityAMDRadeon HD:7870.theHybrid’scoolingwasexcellent customparts.includingthoseinthe CONCLUSION GeForceGTX400.350rpm.5830.butyou’llend combinedcoolingplateandpumpthat’ssecuredto upfeelingconsiderablylessstressed.

WorldMags.net .

3.3GHzIntelCore i5-2500K 4GBCorsair1.600MHzDDR3 NvidiaGeForce GTX5903GB 120GBPatriot Wildfire Windows7 64-bit TESTS: WeusetheCustomPCMediaBenchmarks.Thorough testing and research is the key to evaluating whether a product is worth buying.net . and deciding whether or not there’s a better alternative We judge CPUs on whether they offer sufficient speed for the price.5.600MHz DDR3 Asus P8P67 Rev 3 AsusP8P67Rev3 Windows 7 64-bit Windows764-bit SP1 The graphics card Thegraphicscard we’rereviewing 48 October 2012 WorldMags. Intel LGA1155 AsusMaximus IVGene-Z 4GB of Corsair 4GBofCorsair 1.600MHzDDR3 AMDSocket AM3+ AsusCrosshairIV Formula 4GBofCorsair 1.600MHzDDR3 AMD FM1 AMDFM1 MSI A75MA-G55 4GB of Corsair 4GBofCorsair 1. Every type of CPU is tested in the same PC. so all results are directly comparable.Wealsotesttheresultantpowerdrawofthetest PCwiththeCPUinstalled.CinebenchR11. Part of a CPU’s speed score comes from how overclockable it is.WPrimeandCrysis.WerunallthetestswiththeCPUatstockspeedandagainwhenoverclockedtoitshighestfrequency. Every graphics card is tested in the same PC. so all results are directly comparable. However.fromimageeditingtogamingand videoencodingto3Drendering. we also consider the efficacy and quietness of the cooler.ThesetestsrevealabroadrangeofperformancecharacteristicsfortheCPU. Graphics cards are mainly evaluated on how fast they are for their price.

600. Every motherboard is tested with the same components.wecanbesurethatanylimitationswesee areduetothegraphicscardontest.050 because1. PremiumGrade productsare utterlydesirable– we’deatnothing butbeansuntilwe couldaffordthem.600MHzDDR3 AMD A8-3850 AMDA8-3850 Motherboard 4GBofCorsair ontest 1.com/ benchies Motherboards are evaluated on everything from layout and features to overclockability and value for money.tinyurl.920x1.net Forthosegadgets andgizmosthat reallyimpressus. so all results are directly comparable.baseclockorHTTaswellasoverclockingtheCPUtoits maximumair-cooledlevel.anda higherscoreisbetter.066MHzDDR2 250GBSamsung SpinPointP120S AsusP5KDeluxe WiFi-AP Ourbenchmarksuite simulateshowpeople reallyusePCs. wenolongertestat1. October 2012 49 .andalsotest thespeedsoftheboard’sSATAports.nottheNvidiaGeForceGTX5903GB TESTS: ByusingthefastPCdetailedonthe left.intheirhighestDirectXmode.600MHzDDR3 AMDPhenom Motherboard IIX61100TBE ontest 4GBofCorsair 1.560x1. Productsworthy oftheProfessional awardmake you andyourbusiness appeareven moreawesome.there’sthe CustomKitaward. orthatwecan’tlive without.WerunourtestsatstockspeedandwiththeCPUoverclocked.HOW WE TEST 2.Wetestthe fourgames(right)attheirmaximumdetail settings.andat threeresolutions. *Pleasenote:WetestedAMDFM1motherboardsusingtheon-boardgraphics.600MHzDDR3 NvidiaGeForce GTX5903GB* 2TB Western Digital 2TBWesternDigital CaviarBlack Windows 7 Windows7 64-bit TESTS: WeusetheCustomPCMediaBenchmarksandseveralgames. Youcandownload thesuitefrom www. Approvedproducts arethosethatdoa greatjobforthe money. Intel Core IntelCore i7-3770K Motherboard ontest 8GBofCorsair 8GB of Corsair 1.920x1. Someproductsare gloriouslyoverthe top.Theseitemsof excellentoverkill earnourExtreme Ultraaward.they’rethe cannypurchasefor agreatPC.Wealsotryto overclockeverygraphicscardwetesttoseewhat differencethismakestothecard’sperformance.680x1. while1.080issocheap. WorldMags.High-endcardsshouldbeable tosustainplayableframeratesat2.Wetrytooverclockeverymotherboardwereview bytestingforamaximumQPI.080ismoreimportantformidrangecards.66GHzIntelCore2 DuoE6750 2GBofCorsair 1.

Stickemsareacleveralternative.uk We check out the latest gadgets.butuntilthat time.whilealso beingbothbalancedandcompetitive.net .co.theacessoriescrowd.andyou’llneed anothersetifyoudon’tgetthemright firsttime.butthat’shardlyamajor crimewhentheycostjust£5. thankstothecustomfit.we’veplayedatleast25or30gamesofit.uk Manufacturer www.com Manufacturer www.advancedmp3players. Theirtackybacksticksthemfirmlytothebackofaphone.com Manufacturer www.Custom Kit CARD GAME Themostrevealingstorywecantellyouabout WarhammerInvasionisthat.tabletor laptoplid.butweadmitwefinditalittlestrangethat 50 October 2012 WorldMags.Inanidealworld.fantasyflightgames.inthefewweekswe’ve hadit.However.It’sabeautifully balanced(andimportantly. gizmos and geek toys WARHAMMER INVASION 01 EAR BUDS SHARKFIN SELF-MOLDING EARBUDS ears.it’sasteal.co.Atonly£22. PG FILTHY CLEAN Price £45 inc VAT Supplier www.For£5.thebuds didagreatjobofcuttingoutexternal noisefromourearphones–noteven strenuousexercisecouldshiftthem.co.stickems.uk Findingabetterwaytokeepscreenscleanisn’tgoingto 02 changetheworld.Obviouslyyou can’tusethemonotherearphones oncethey’reset.gameslore.andtheirmicrofibreuppermeanstheycanbepeeledoff.vdera. PG CULTISTS BLOODTHIRSTER Price £22 inc VAT Supplier www. PG GENERIC CUSTOM Price £5 inc VAT Supplier www.Thedesignswe weresentfortestingarealittlecutesy.andwith loadsofexpansionsavailabletoo.witheachofthefour factiondecksintheboxofferingplentyofcharacter.quick)game.butit’sagamethatregularlyservesup memorablemomentsandtensefinishes.Essentiallyamouldableputtythat youwraparoundyourearphonesand thenshoveinyoureartoset.com Written by Paul Goodhead Seen something worthy of appearing in Custom Kit? Send suggestions to paul_goodhead@dennis. usedtobuffthescreen.we’dallhave custommouldedmodels.therulebook canbealittlevagueinplaces(we’rerunningwitharoundeight houserulingsalready).butotherlesscartoonish designsareavailable.Wehaven’tplayed agamethisgoodsinceAnkh-MorporkbackinIssue100.com 03 Thequalityofyourearphonesdoesn’tmatterajotiftheyhave poorlyshapedorsizedearbudsthatcontinuallyfalloutofyour SCREEN CLEANER STICKEMS somanypeoplespendhundredsofpoundsonaphoneortablet.theSharkfinbudsdothejobvery well.and wipingitwithat-shirt.thenstuckbackinplace.andalotcandependonwhatyou’re giveninyourfirsthand. andthencleanthescreenbysteamingitupwiththeirbreath.

meantthatwecouldrunH. google.280x800meansthat it’sabletodisplay720pHDcontent and.325mAhbatteryisnestledunder thedimpled.whichiscurrentlytheAndroidtablettobeat.264 video(whichishardware-decoded) ontheNexus7forasolid10.plusan integratedGPUwith12stream processorsfor3Dgaming.Onefeature thatwon’tbeadrainonthebatteryis mobiledata.net October 2012 51 .we’drecommend stumpinguptheextra£50forthe16GBversion.com Manufacturer www.coupledwiththefactthatthe Tegra3chipsethasafifthlow-power CPUcoreforuseduringlow-intensity tasks.com Onlyonecompanyhaspreviously 04 generatedtablethysteria.andinteractingwiththenewOSisabeautifullysmooth experiencethatjustoozesclass. PG 8GB 16GB Price £159/£199 inc VAT Supplier http://play.Its resolutionof1.ManufacturedforGoogle byAsus.thisiscertainlythemostpolishedversionofAndroidwe’ve seenyet. ANDROID 4.1 WorldMags.andyou TheNexus’7inIPSscreenisa majorboonforatabletatthisprice. BATTERY TheNexus7usesAndroid4.whileitspixeldensityof216ppi isn’tashighasthatofthenewiPad. Withthisfocusinmind. it’sstillverydifficulttomakeout individualpixelsineverydayusage.especially whentabletgameinstallsarebecominglargerallthetime.timesare changing. ThescreenisfedbyanNvidiaTegra3 chipset.Asaresult.TheNexus7 lacksany3Gcapabilities. This.however.the8GBcapacityofthismodelhastobeseenasadrawback.but readontofindoutwhyitstillhasthetools toupsettheApplecart.google.andthisisagainanunusually high-specinclusionfortheprice.withrecommendationsonwhatyoumightliketobuyfromtheswishPlayStore.1.theNexus7isarguablyavery differentbeasttotheiPad(as demonstratedbyitspriceandsize).soyou’ll havetopre-loadanymapsormedia you’llneedwhentravelling. immediatelymakingtheNexus7 standoutagainsttheopposition.5hours onjustasinglecharge.3GHz. SCREEN A4.It’salsothemostmedia-focusedbuild–thehomescreenhasshortcutstoyourmedia asstandard.rubberisedrearofthe tablet.whichhasaquad-coreARM CPUrunningat1.unless youfindahotspotorarehappyto tetherittoaphone.asGoogle’sNexus7hashit theheadlines.CUSTOM KIT TABLET GOOGLE NEXUS 7 ACTUAL SIZE allknowitsidentity.However.

Alongsidethis. Forthisreason.oracolossalcasetoaccommodateanambitious coolingsetup.orasmallfeatherweight. alongsideourownArmaIIbenchmark.We’llproveyoudon’tneedafull-sizedboardto achievehigh-endoverclocks.3V.a GeForceGTX6802GBand4GBofPatriot1.asthesayinggoes. Totestthecases.TocooltheCPU. how we test usingavcoreof1.beforeoverclockingthe boardsandtestingagain.wefittedthemwithanAsusP8Z77-IDeluxe (seep66).4GHz.andthesystemwas placedunderthermalloadusingacombinationofPrime95and Unigine’sHeavengraphicsbenchmark.moreandmoremini-ITX productsarebeingreleased.3GBand2GBofKingston 1.sincemini-ITXwaspreviouslythepreserveoflow-power boardsbasedonVIAEPIA.there’sconfusion overwhethermini-ITXisagenuinehigh-endcontender.powerfulPC.andwe’llevenshowyouhowtobuildamini-ITXPCtoo. Totestperformance. 52 October 2012 WorldMags. However. HARRY BUTLER AND ANTONY LEATHER Miniature S Why build a full-height monolith when you can build a high-end PC in a pint-sized chassis? We rounded up a load of decent-spec mini-ITX cases and motherboards to find the best kit 54 BitFenixProdigy 56 FractalDesignNode304 58 LianLiPC-TU200 60 SilverStoneFT03-Mini 64 ASRockZ77E-ITX 66 P8Z77-IDeluxe 68 ZotacZ77-ITXWiFi 71 Graphs 73 Featuretables 74 Buildawater-cooledmini-ITXmonster reviewed this month 54 Totestthemotherboards.MARVELS izeisn’teverything.600MHzDDR3memory.IntelAtomorlow-powerAMDCPUs.overclockingabilityorcooling.theGTX5701.Infact.enablingustobuildsmallPCswithout compromisingonhardwarechoices.we’vegatheredthreeofthemosthighlyspeccedmini-ITXZ77 motherboards.tofindtheidealcombinationfor buildingacompact.alongwithanIntelCorei5-2500Koverclockedto4.weusedanIntelCorei7-3770KCPU.werantheCPCMediaBenchmarkssuite.600MHzDDR3memory.weuseda140mmEnermax Eco82+620WPSU.3GB’s coolingfanwaslockedat70percentspeed.weusedaZalmanlowprofileCNPS8900CPUcooler.Meanwhile.aGeForceGTX5701.net .aswellasfourcompatiblecases.

net October 2012 53 .WorldMags.

areunabletooffer.whileremainingstiff enoughtodoubleaseitheracasefootorcarryhandle. TheProdigy’sexteriorisdominatedbyitscurved FyberFlexhandles.Oddly.co.and weweresurprisedtofindthesidepanelswerealittle loosearoundtheirfrontfittingpoints.theProdigy canmountfive3. RemovethehandlesandtheProdigyisn’tthatmuch largerthancompetingchassis.whilestillbeing undeniablysmallandcompact.thecase’sexteriorisn’twithoutfault. just £65 ASHES Comparatively large.andbothpowerandresetbuttonsmatchingthe connectorarraysofthecompetition.5indrivesinapairoffullyremovable 54 October 2012 WorldMags.theFyberFlexpanelsare removable.BITFENIX Prodigy PHOENIX Brilliant cooling. but beats the competition for just £65 B HOW MUCH? Price£65incVAT Supplier www.andtherefore hadatendencytorattle. Theresultisacasecapable ofmountingthekindofcooling equipmentyou’dexpectinafullsizedtowerchassis.withoutcompromising anyoftheinteriorfittings.headphoneandmicrophone jacks. Removingtheaforementionedsidepanels.Italsoboastscooling capabilitiesofcasestwiceitssize.hidesagrilled frontthatcanmountahostof coolingfans.withafocuson flexibilityandcapability.Theleftside panelisperforated.something thatevennewfull-sizedcases suchastheFractalDesignDefine R4(seep42).theProdigy.bitfenix. Asstandard.asopposedtogetting everythingintothesmallestpossiblebox.albeitataddedexpense.The dustfilter-equippedroofalsohas mountsforapairof120mmfans. whiletherearfanmountcan accommodateeithera120mm or140mmfan.veryflexible.Themeshfrontfascia.allowingyoutosubstitutethemforcase feetofyourown.SimilarlytotheFyberFlexfeet.theuseofFyberFlexinthepermanentcase feetmeansthattheProdigywobblesalarminglywith thelightesttouch. wobbly FyberFlex base. withapairofUSB3ports. room for dual-120mm radiator.butitstilldetractedfrom whatisotherwiseasolidandwellput-togethercase.placingthemotherboardtraydirectlyabove thePSUmount.Despitetheopeninterior.fittedtoboththetopandbottomof thecorechassis.This meansthatit’sthelargestandheaviestcaseontest(it isn’tfaroffSilverStone’scompactMicro-ATXTJ08-Ein thevolumestakesat26litres).asisthefloorofthecase. However. side panels rattle slightly Not without faults. theFyberFlexmaterialisincrediblyhard-wearingand.the Prodigy’sinteriorisincrediblyroomyforamini-ITX chassis.dual120mmwatercoolingradiator. it’sanannoyingfaultthat’seasilyremediedwithsome sparerubberspacersortape.Doublingashandlesandcasefeet. Alongsideitsarrayofcoolingfanmounts.net .secured withpush-pins.com itFenixhasclearlyapproacheditsnew mini-ITXcase.from120mmto 230mm.oneofwhichactsasafront intakewhiletheotherisarearexhaust.butinabox littlebiggerthanadesktopsubwoofer.thecase’sfrontpanel connectorsarefoundontheright-handsidepanel.thepairof roof-mounted120mmfan mountscanaccommodatea full-depth.BitFenixpairsthe casewithtwo120mmfins.overclockers. flexible fan mounts. However.yetitoffersagreatdeal ofcoolingpotential.Thankfully.uk Manufacturer www.although onlythelattersportsaremovabledustfilterforthe floor’sPSUmount. truetoitsname.the Prodigyisalsoextensivelyventilated.Evenbetter.

5in drivemountsdottedaroundtheinteriorofthecase.butthenoisefromthestock pairoffanswaspleasantlyunobtrusive.net October 2012 55 .it’sundoubtedlythebest. Italsocompensatesfortheseproblems withitsgreat coolingcapabilities. withaCPUdeltaTof43°CandaGPUdeltaTof48°C– bothresultswerethebestontestbysomedistance.WiththeProdigy’shighlyexpandablecooling.What’smore. CONCLUSION TheBitFenixProdigyisn’twithoutitsflaws.givingtheProdigyahuge advantage.evenatfull speed.ThePSUcagedoublesasaplace totuckyourunusedcaptivePSUcablingtooand. THE PRODIGY MADE THE OTHER CASES ON TEST LOOK PEDESTRIAN drivescages(althoughyou’llneedtoremovethe upperthreemountsifyouhaveagraphicscardthat’s longerthan180mm).the Prodigymadetheothercasesontestlookpedestrian.theremovalofwhichisrequiredformountinga roofradiator.namelyits wobblyFyberFlexfeetandslightlyloosesidepanels. buttheseissuescanberemediedeasilyandcheaply.theGPUtemperaturewas10°Ccooler thanthenextbestcase.buildingasysteminsidethe Prodigyisstraightforward.asit’s equippedwithcable-routeingholes.Whileitisn’tthesmallestminiITXcaseontest. Infact. aswellasaremovable5. HB COOLING FEATURES DESIGN VALUE 28 / 30 19 / 20 24 / 30 19 / 20 OVERALL 56 90 WorldMags.MINI-ITX CASES WITH OUR TEST KIT FITTED AND UNDER THERMAL LOAD.cabletidyingis straightforward.soinstallingourtest systemwasasnap. Thedecisiontoplacethemotherboardflatinthe caseontopofthePSUcagemeansthere’s175mm ofCPUcoolerheadroomtoo. Withourtestkitfittedandunderthermalload.Therearealsofourmore2.andit’savailablefora bargainpriceof£65.25indrivemountinthecase’s roof.Notonlythat.andtheflexibilitytomounthighendwater-coolingequipmentshouldyouwish(see p74).helpingtokeepairflow-interrupting cablesoutoftheway. there’splentyofroomtoimproveittoo.

notevenofferinga slimlineopticaldrivefitting.5mmmicrophone andheadphonejackstuckedaroundtherightsideof thefascia. Theexteriorisalsodottedwithventedsectionsto improveairflow. but GPU cooling is lacking NODAL W NOODLE PSU cables conflict with graphics card.Meanwhile.25inmount. Thecurvedfrontplateenablesventedsectionsin thetopandbottomofthefasciatoallowdust-filtered airflowtopassthroughapairof90mmintakefans locatedbehindit. good CPU cooling.Tokeepthe3-pinpowersockettotherear. it’salsoideallyplacedforsingle-radiatorall-in-one liquidcoolerkits.alongdust-filter-equippedventruns alongtheleftsidepanel. room for all-inone liquid coolers Well-made.Thismeansthatthe Node304reliesentirelyonitsthreeintakefansand thepositivepressuretheycreatetoexpelhotair.However.however.therearefewerpositives regardingthePSUandgraphicscardarrangement.the leftharddrivecagemustberemovedinorderto accommodatefull-sizedgraphicscards.whichslidesoffinonepiecetorevealthe internalframe.withafull-specificationsystem.co. Meanwhile.However. WiththePSUandstorageallatthefront.Fractal Designhasleft165mmofheadroomforCPUcoolers.you’llonlytobe abletofitfourdrives.thismeans that.servicingtheGPUfitted behindit.net .withapairofUSB3ports.the Node304isthecompany’sfirstmini-ITX chassistosupportfullATXpowersuppliesandlarge graphicscards.whileasmallunfilteredventontherightside panel.harddrivestorageisprovidedbyatrio ofwhitedrivehangerssuspendedabovethePSU.there’sabluepower LEDsitsatthebottomright.withitsbrushed-aluminiumfrontfascia.Lookingtostrikeabalancebetween thesuper-teenySilverStoneFT03-Mini(seep60)and theheftierBitFenixProdigy(seep54).5indrives shouldyouwishtofitasextetofSSDs. FractalDesignhasincludedaninternal90-degree extensioncable. HOW MUCH? Price£72incVAT Supplierwww.ebuyer.com 56 October 2012 WorldMags. poor GPU cooling hileFractalDesign’sDefine(seep42) andArcseriesofcaseshaveconsistently impressedoverthelastfewyears.consideringthe decreasingrelevanceofphysicalmedia.uk (availableearlySeptember) Manufacturer www. apowerbutton.Bravely.aswellasanintakefantoprovide airflowoverthemotherboard.Meanwhile.andeachcaddyalsosupports2. Drivesarefittedusingrubbervibration-dampening grommets.andafilteredventonthecase’sfloor.FRACTAL DESIGN Node 304 Well priced. Withtherearfanmountrightnexttothemotherboard.withtheventedsectionsinthecase’s exteriorprovidingplentyofairflowforthePSU.andtherequisite3. compact and affordable.servethe laterallymountedPSU.wecan’t disagreewiththatdecision.theNode304 displaysFractalDesign’strademarkunderstated design.a140mmcooling fansitsattherear.Themotherboardisfittedtothefloor ofthecaseattherear. Theexternalpanellingismadefromasinglesheet ofmetal.FractalDesignhasalso chosentoditchthe5.fractal-design. compact.withthePSUplacedlaterally acrossthefrontofthechassisinsideasmallinternal bracket.

Despiteitstrioofintakefans.buildingaPCinsidetheNode304provedto beverysimple. Sadly.Withnothingmountedintheexterior shell.despitethe largeside-panelvent.theBitFenixProdigyischeaper.andthefront-panel connectorsarelongenoughtosnakerightaroundthe motherboard.WhiletheNode304’soverallbuildquality issuperior.buttheproximityofthePSUand GPU.however.theNode 304’scoolingleftusalittledeflated.leavingtheNode304insecondplace.though. SHOULD YOU WISH TO FIT A SEXTET OF SSDs aslongerGPUswillstrayintothecablesofevenshort PSUs.Withnosidepanelsorroofinplace. HB COOLING 20 / 30 FEATURES 15 / 20 DESIGN 27 / 30 VALUE 16 / 20 OVERALL 58 78 WorldMags.Fractalstatesthatcardslongerthan 170mmwillconflictwithPSUslongerthan160mm.Officially.clearly impactedthegraphicscard’scooling.whicheverPSUyou’re using.somethingthatcertainlywasn’tthe casewithconfinedchassissuchastheLianLi PC-TU200(seep58).coolerand moreflexible.it’s easytoreachinsideandtuckcablesandconnectors intoplacetoo.wehadhighhopesfortheNode304. Otherthantheconflictbetweenthegraphicscard andPSU.asthetwo componentsareinsuchcloseproximity.Thisblocked airflowtotheendofthecard. CONCLUSION WithFractalDesign’stypicalminimalistlooksand sensiblelayout.as thePSUthenextendsintothegraphicscard’sspace.5IN DRIVES.Allthreefanswere reasonablyquiet. butyoucanfitamuchlargergraphicscardinsideifyou useashorterPSU.net October 2012 57 .Basically.andit’sevendifficultto avoidthiswithafullymodularPSU.However.youcanperformalltherequiredcable-tidying androuteingwithease.withadeltaTof46°Cbeing3°Ccoolerthan eithertheSilverStoneFT03-MiniorLianLiPC-200.andthisgivesitadistinctdisadvantage.MINI-ITX CASES EACH CADDY SUPPORTS 2.witha deltaTof63°Cbeing15°ChotterthantheProdigy–it wasalsothehighestresultontest.itspoorGPUcoolingletitdown.thisisreallyonlya caseforsmallgraphicscards.althoughit rallieswellwithsolidCPUcoolingthankstoitstrioof coolingfans.CPUcoolingwas decent.our140mmtestPSU’s cablingsoonfounditselfcoileduprightnexttoour 267mm-longGeForceGTX5701.but 3°CwarmerthanthatoftheBitFenixProdigy.3GB.Itwas GPUcoolingthatsouredthesituation.andtheresultingcablebuild-up.

49kg.whilecombinationpower/powerLED andreset/harddriveLEDbuttonssitinthemiddleof thefrontfascia.net .althoughyou’llneedto pullthepanelsfreeoncetheleverspopacornerout.Lian Lievenincludesarubber-cappedgraphicscard holdertonegateboard-bendonlongercards.you’llneed toconnectthesetotheir cablesyourself.uk Manufacturer www. Elsewhereonthecase’sfrontfasciaisaprestealthed5. hotswap bays don’t fit 2.Oneofitslatestcases.securedwiththumbscrewsthatprytheleft andrightpanelsoutoftool-freeclipsinsidethecase.and3. Withthereinforcedaluminiumplatesaroundthe case’scornersandalongitslength.afrontpanelwithapairofUSB3 ports.you’llneedtoremovethefan. Insidethecase.theTU200 isextremelylightatjust3. very light.5inhot-swap drivecageonstorageduty. Meanwhile. theAdventurer-brandedPC-TU200.ratherthandirectlytothesidepanel aswiththePC-Q08. Meanwhile.specialtech.matchingitslegendary aluminiumconstructionandbuildqualitywith theemergingminiformfactor.Thisisachievedviaapairofleversattherearof thecase.LianLihasalso reinforcedeachcornerwithmachinedaluminium guards.withafour-drive3. pre-fitted handle LABEOUF Poor all-round cooling.aneSATAport.whichyoumount byslidingitintothebackof thecaseandfittingitover 58 October 2012 WorldMags.25indrivebay.mountedalongthecase’sfloor. Madealmostentirelyfromaluminium.LIAN LI PC-TU200 FORD Great build quality. butonlythefrontventisfittedwithadustfilter. However.Meanwhile.5in drives Gorgeous and well-built.there’sno immediatelyobviouswaytoremovetherecessedside panels.co.AddingcredotoitsAdventurertagistheplastic carryhandleonthecase’sroof.don’tquite fit2.Asthey don’treachthehot-swap connectors.withasleekflight-caselookandimproved rigiditytomatch.5mmmicrophoneand headphonejacks islocatedatthebottomofthe case’sfront.whilekittedout withexcellentvibrationdampeningmountsfor 3.enablingthecase’ssidestoappear smoothandfreeofanyfittings.butit’scleverlyplacedsothatagraphics card.Thedrivecageisfully removable.lian-li.withalargeventedareaat thefrontcaseallowingairflowintothesingle140mm intakefan.acommoninclusionwith HOW MUCH? Price£141incVAT Supplier www.5indrives. It’saslickprocess.com LianLi’scases.themotherboardisfittedtoa motherboardtray.hasabasic appearancethatmatchesLianLi’slong-serving PC-Q08.whicharerivetedintoplacearoundthecore chassistoreinforceandprotectthecaseduring transit.There’salsoaventilatedsectioninthebase toprovideairflowtothefloor-mountedgraphicscard. no extra fan mounts.canfitbeneathit withouthavingtocompromiseonstoragespace. expensive.side-panelandroofventingis conspicuousbyitsabsence.andatouchthatmakesacaselook muchmorecompleteandstylishthanabaredriveface plate.5indrives.there’s spaceforaPSUwitha maximumdepthof 140mm.enablingyoutoeasily grabthecasereadytocartofftoaLANparty. but hot and expensive as well L ianLiwasoneofthefirstmanufacturersto producemini-ITXcasesaspartofitscore productline.andifit requirescleaning.an annoyingtaskthat requiressomeserious fingerdexteritytowork aroundtheexistinghotswapfittings.thehot-swap bays.

MINI-ITX CASES LIAN LI EVEN INCLUDES A RUBBER-CAPPED GRAPHICS CARD HOLDER TO NEGATE BOARDBEND ON LONGER CARDS thetopofthemotherboard. itcostsmorethandoublethepriceoftheBitFenix Prodigy(seep54).net October 2012 59 . Itsownwebsiteshowsimagesofthe PSUwithitsfanmountedtowardsthesidepanel. DuetothecablingconstraintsofaddingthePSU last.althoughperfectly stable.the TU200isapoorchoiceforthoselookingtobuildafullspecriginamini-ITXcase.Regardless. there’snowaytoimprovethesituationeither.it’stricky tobuildinside.suchasourtest system’sZalmanCNPS8900.What’smore.althoughLianLiseems ambiguousaboutwhichwayaroundthePSUshould bemounted. HB COOLING FEATURES DESIGN VALUE 21 / 30 11 / 20 25 / 30 11 / 20 OVERALL 60 68 WorldMags.butthisisstillenoughforstockcoolersor low-profileaftermarketcoolers.theTU200managedaCPUdeltaTof49°C–the hottestofanycaseontest.asthemountmeansthe majorityofcableswillonlybeintroducedatthefinalfit.at£140.withnoadditionalfanmounts.though. deckedoutingorgeousbrushedaluminium.however. CONCLUSION WhiletheLianLiPC-TU200certainlylooksthepart.there’s justenoughroomforairflowoneitherside.whileitsGPUdeltaTof 58°Cwasalsoonthewarmside.buildingaPCinsidetheTU200wasa littletroublesomeandwhenwe’dfinished.despiteitsaluminiumcharms. WithaPSUmounteddirectlyabovethe motherboard.Thefrontcoolingfan’snoiseprovedslightly intrusivetooand.Withitssingle140mmintake fan. whilethemanualindicatesitshouldbefittedwiththe fantowardsthemotherboard. makingitdifficulttoroutecablesoutofthewayinside.Fittingthe PSUcanbetricky.anditofferspoorcoolingthankstoits lackoffanmountsandventing.cooling abilitywasn’tstellar.CPUcoolerheadroomislimitedtojust 80mmtoo.

powerandresetbuttons. 60 October 2012 WorldMags. Ontop. TakingtheFT03-Miniapartisabizarreexperience fortheuninitiated.6litres.Thesefansuseaspecialframeto channelairintoatightcone. theplasticfasciaclipsfirmlyintoplace. Eachpanelclickssatisfyinglyintoplace.Stunning design.themotherboardrearI/OandPSUexhaust arerecessedslightly.It alsomakestakingtheFT03-Miniapartadoddle.TheFT03-Minilookstogoone better.combininga 90-degree-rotatedlayoutwithaningenious layoutthatfitstogetherlikeagameof componentTetris.co.withafront panelsittinginaraisedcentralsection.allowingeffectiveairflow topenetratedeepinsidethechassis. However.butalsoofferlowerpeak wattageasaresult. stylingisrestrainedandminimalist.asallthreedetachable panels(thefront.usingamini-ITXdesigntosqueezeafullpowersystemintoassmallacontaineraspossible.andfeaturing twoUSB3ports. pullingthepanelsfreetakesseconds.Thefrontpanelcablesarealsoperfectlycuttolooparound theboardbeforeconnecting.butitisa problemifyouplantouseoldATXparts.SFX PSUsaremuchsmaller. themotherboardmounthasbeenrotatedby90 degrees.scan.Itsverticaldesignalso givesitatinydesktopfootprintofjust189x235mm. innovative design MINI DISC Only supports SFX PSUs.evenanoverclocked mini-ITXsystemequippedwithaGeForceGTX680 2GBwon’tpullmorethan400Wunderpeakload.com AirPenetratorfans. great aluminium construction.Allaresecuredby push-pins. AswithSilverStone’sRV03(seeIssue103.however. Withatotalvolumeofjust17.The boardissecuredtothemotherboardtrayabovethe case’sonenon-removableexteriorpanel.silverstonetek.uk Manufacturer www.sleekandtool-freeexterior.witha drivebaycagefittedintotheframeworkalongthe oppositesideofthecase.and microphoneandheadphonejacks.As usualforacaseunderSilverStone’sFortressbrand.keepingcablemesstoaminimum.withallfoursides ofthecasefinishedingorgeousaluminiumthat’sbeen anodisedandsandblasted.Mostimportantly.However.Thisistoallowcablingtobe tuckedbeneaththecase’sdetachableplasticroof grille.therehavebeencompromisesmade inordertofitadecent-specPCintosuchasmall box. expensive.rearandside)canberemoved withouttheuseofascreworclip.resultingin thecase’ssmooth. Lookunderneath. unimpressive GPU cooling. no extra fan mounts SILVERSTONE FT03-Mini S ilverStone’sstandardFT03isoneofthebest micro-ATXchassisoutthere.theFT03-Mini isthesmallestcaseontestandhasclosetohalfthe volumeofitsbiggersibling. but limited to SFX PSUs and expensive MINI COOPER Incredibly small.revealing thecorechassis’frameworkbeneath.net .andthearrangementofthesemakesit impossibletofitthewrongpanelinthewrongplace.Meanwhile.withtherearI/Opointingupwards.andyou’llfindaclip-ondustfilter protectingthecase’sonlyfanmount–a140mmfloor mountequippedwithoneofSilverStone’sown140mm HOW MUCH? Price£103incVAT Supplierwww.withtheotherhardware subsequentlyaddedaroundtheboard.p70).andthefloormounted140mmcoolingfanblowsairdirectly throughtheheartofthechassis.Fittingthemotherboard issimpleinanemptycase.theFT03-Miniisonlyableto accommodateanSFX-sizedPSU.thisisn’tan issueifyou’rebuyinganewsystem. andSilverStoneprovideduswithits450WStrider SFXPSUforourtesting.

However. However.whileaGPUdeltaTof58°C matchedthecoolingofthesimilarlyequippedLian PC-TU200(seep58).separatingitfrom therestoftheFT03-Mini’sinternalmachinations. RESULTING IN THE CASE’S SMOOTH.featuresandcooling.theFT03trailed whenitcametocooling.it benefitslittlefromthe140mmfanbelow.andyou’llneedtowire upyourstoragedevicesbeforefittingtheremovable drivecage. SLEEK AND TOOL-FREE EXTERIOR AsthePSUisfittedabovethemotherboard.however. Sadly.If you’relookingforthesmallestpossiblegamingPC thentheFT03-Miniistheeasychoice.atover£100.andunspectacularcoolingtoboot.ACPUdeltaTof48°Cwas stableifunspectacular.5indrives. connectingcablesissimple.whichis mountedcentrally.net October 2012 61 .Ifyou’relooking forflexibility.though.Asthe PSUispositioneddirectlyoverthemotherboard.asit’salmostflushwiththesidepanel.asingle3.italsohasa highpricetag.andaccesstotheedge-mountedpower connectorsisunhindered.BothtrailedtheBitFenixProdigy (seep54)significantly. HB COOLING FEATURES DESIGN VALUE 22 / 30 12 / 20 25 / 30 13 / 20 OVERALL 64 72 WorldMags. CONCLUSION TheSilverStoneFT03-Mini’sabilitytoaccommodate full-sizedhardware(withsomeconcessionsinthe formoftheSFXPSU)intosuchasmallspaceisa remarkablefeat.the Prodigywins.CPU coolerheadroomislimitedtojust78mm.5indriveand apairof2.However.agraphicscardupto254mmlong cansitbehindthefrontofthecase.butthisis stillsufficientforstockcoolersorlow-profilecoolers suchasourtestsystem’sZalmanCNPS8900.especiallywithGPUcooling– theProdigywas10°Ccooler. Meanwhile.MINI-ITX CASES EACH PANEL CLICKS SATISFYINGLY INTO PLACE.thePSUissmallerthan theboard.there’sonlyroomforaslotloadingslimlineopticaldrive.withourtestsystemfitted.Connectingpowertodrives isalittlemoredifficult.

WorldMags.net

AVAILABLE FROM:
WorldMags.net

Great-looking and very overclockable
Great overclocker; good looks; decent EFI

ASROCK Z77E-ITX
POWER TOOL

W

HAND TOOL Slightly cramped PCB; Asus still has superior EFI

HOW MUCH?
Price£123incVAT Manufacturer www.asrock.com Supplier www.overclockers.co.uk

ithitsgun-metalgreycolourscheme, golddetailsanddark-brownPCB, ASRock’sZ77E-ITXlooksstunning. ASRockhasoptedfora6+2powerphase design,whilethePCBissurprisinglydevoidoflarge heatsinks,withjustasinglechipsetheatsink,anda smallstackontheVRMsbehindtheI/Oports. Layoutisgenerallyproblem-freetoo,althoughthe 12-pinEPS12VconnectoriswedgedbetweentheVRM heatsink,batteryandI/Oports,alongwiththecables fortheWiFimodulenearby,whichisatightsqueeze. Otherthanthis,therearen’tanymajorissues.Thetwo SATA3GbpsandtwoSATA6Gbpsportsarelocatedat theedgeofthePCB,alongwiththeUSB3headerand 24-pinATXconnector.ThePCI-Egraphicsslotisfree fromobstructions,withtheaudioheadersituatedwell outoftheway,unliketheAsusP8Z77-IDeluxe’sslot (seep66).TheCPUsocketisrelativelycleartoo, althoughtheEPS12Vconnectormayinterferewith largeheatsinkorwaterblockmounts,asitlaysright ontheedgeofthemarkedexclusionzone. AnmSATAconnectorsitsunderneaththePCBfor connectingsupportedSSDs,whileaminiPCI-Eslotis occupiedbytheon-boardWiFimodule(anantennais includedinthebox),sothere’snospare slotasthereisontheZotacZ77-ITX WiFi(seep68). However,theZ77E-ITXhastwo moreUSB3portsthantheZotac, alongwithaneSATA3Gbps connector,DVIandDisplayPort outputs,andasingleHDMIport. Therearenopowerorreset switches,noraPOSTerrorcode readout,though,whichisashame, althoughyoucanatleastresetthe CMOSusinganI/Opanelswitch. Youmightfindithardtoconnect allyourcasefanstotheZ77E-ITX, however,asitonlyhastwo4-pin fanheaders. Thisisthesamewithallthe boardsontest,though,andlooking atthePCB,it’sdifficulttoseewhere ASRockcouldfitanother.Sadly,the boxdidn’tincludeanymeansof usingthemotherboard’sUSB3

headereither,soyou’llhavetoinvestinabreakout adaptorifyouneedmorethanthefourUSB3ports ontheI/Opanel.

PERFORMANCE
LiketheZotac,theZ77E-ITXfailedtoTurboBoost allthewayto3.9GHz,onlyreaching3.7GHz,soits performanceresultswere,notsurprisingly,alittle slowerthantheAsusboardatstockspeeds.Itsimage editingscoreof1,775was49pointsoffthepace,while itwas135pointsbehindtheAsusboardinourCPUintensivevideoencodingtest.Overall,itmanaged 2,140–70pointsshortoftheAsusboard,butthisistiny inpercentageterms.Meanwhile,itsminimumframe rateinArmaIIwas123fps–roughlyequaltotheZotac, whileitsSATA6Gbpsspeedswereslightlyfaster. TheZ77E-ITXisequippedwithfarmore overclockingandmonitoringfeaturesthanthe Zotac,though,whileitsEFIismucheasiertouseand navigate,althoughAsusstillhasaclearedgehere.Its AXTUtuningsoftwareprovidesbasiccontroloffans andoverclocking,whiletheEFIhasalmosteverything barafullymanualCPUPLLvoltageoption,whichthe Zotacalsolacked.

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whileamassive1.WesettheCPUfrequencyto 4.24Vnotprovidingadequatepower.It hasaneasy-to-useEFI.net October 2012 65 .it’sthesamepriceasZotac’sZ77offering.ArmaIIalsosawsomesizeablegains.moreexpensive motherboards.indoingso.Forthisreason.Theimageeditingscoreroseby555 pointsto2.withitssuperiorEFIandmorebalanced featureset.anditneededfarlesstweakingthanthe Zotactoo. AL CONCLUSION ASRockhascomeuptrumpswiththeZ77E-ITX.withtheaddedbonusofWiFi.TheEFIalsoincludessome auto-overclockingfeatures.ittookourchiptoitslimit whenoverclockingand. performanceofmuchlarger.Thetrickydecisioniswhencomparing ittotheAsusP8Z77-IDeluxe. however.Thishasanevenbetter EFI.butifyou’dratherputthatmoneytowardsa betterCPUcoolerorhigher-capacitySSD. At£123.you’llbefar fromdisappointedwiththeASRockZ77E-ITX.withtheCPUvoltageof 1.itsmaximumCPUvoltageof1.28VtogetourCPUtoits usual4.andsuperiortweakingandmonitoringtools.plus afewadditionalfeatures.7Vismore thanenoughtodealwithenthusiasticbenchmarking.theZ77E-ITXjustedgestheZotacinto secondplace.OurCPUtoppedoutat98°CusingaCorsair H100all-in-oneliquidcooleratthesesettings.Italsohasnearlyeverythingyouneed forapowerfulPC.8GHz–abrilliantachievementforthistiny motherboard. mSATAandminiPCI-Eports.8GHzandtheEFIchangedafewoptions. Eitherway.theoverclocksawexcellentgainsinour benchmarks.MINI-ITX MOTHERBOARDS ITS MAXIMUM CPU VOLTAGE OF 1.soheat wasthelimitingfactor.despite costing£20more.7V IS MORE THAN ENOUGH TO DEAL WITH ENTHUSIASTIC BENCHMARKING However.although thesedidn’tprovetobestable.althoughourmanual settingsworkedbetter.theAsusisourmini-ITXboardof choice.matchedthe SPEED 39 / 45 FEATURES 24 / 30 VALUE 23 / 25 86 OVERALL 66 WorldMags.171pointswere addedtothevideoencodingtestscore–anincrease of38percent. withtheminimumframeraterising12fpsto135fps. Weneededafarlesscrazy1.330.

com PERFORMANCE Unliketheothertwoboards testedinthislabstest.theP8Z77-I DeluxemanagedtoTurboBoost 66 October 2012 WorldMags. on-board sound header fouls graphics card ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe C onsideringitshugeinfluenceinthe motherboardmarket.itfoulsmostgraphicscards.sowaterblocksandlargeaircoolersshouldn’t havecompatibilityissues.Theboardhas 10-phasedigitalpowerdelivery–considerablymore thaneithertheASRock(seep64)orZotac(seep68). Whileithasnoon-boardpowerorresetbuttons.dabs.enablingyouuseitasa DLNAstreaminghub.alongwithtwo SATA3GbpsandtwoSATA6Gbpsports.theP8Z77-IDeluxeonlycosts£20 morethanitstwocompetitorsinthisLabstest.rather thanopen-socket.enthusiast-orientatedboards.itemssuchas the8-pinEPS12VconnectorandUSB3headerhave beenlocatedattheedgeofthePCB. Meanwhile.It’sarareandinherentlyexpensive featuretohaveonamotherboard. Forexample. However.italsofeaturessingle DisplayPort. Thankfully.HDMIandDVIoutputs. AllthatchangeswiththeP8Z77-IDeluxe. great overclocker P45 Same price as good micro-ATX boards.andcontrol yourPCusingyourmobilephone.There’salsoalotofroomaroundtheCPU socket. ThedaughterboardalsohousestheVRMs.whichcausedthe motherboardtobendintheprocess.It’slocatedbelowthe backofthePCI-Egraphicsslotand.andistheonlyboardtoofferBluetoothas wellasWiFi.or POSTerrorcodereadout. ThiscomescourtesyofthelargeVRMdaughterboard thatsticksoutatarightangleatthetopofthe motherboard.asus.there’saCMOSclearswitch ontheI/Opanel.IthasmoreUSBportsthanany otherboardontest–atotalofeightUSB2andsix USB3.NvidiaIonorAMDembeddedmodels.though.theAsusP8Z77-IDeluxeistheclosest we’veseentoitbecomingareality.furtherreducingits alreadylimitedreal-estate. HOW MUCH? Price£144incVAT Manufacturer http://uk.butdespitethis extravagance.The best mini-ITX motherboard we’ve seen P8 Excellent EFI.Its offeringshavesofarusuallyfocusedonIntel Atom.theWiFiGo! softwareusestheincluded WiFimoduleandantennasto essentiallyturntheP8Z77-I Deluxeintoawirelessaccess point.plusan additionalpairofeSATA6Gbpsports. loaded with features.LiketheASRock.sothey aren’tpepperedacrossthePCB. Ourtestsetuponlyjustworkedwiththeheader connectedbutweneededtouseafairamountofforce onthegraphicscardtomakeitfit.withacaseaudio connectorpluggedin.aswellasabuttonforAsus’USB BIOSFlashback. lacks expansion. Ifevertherewasamini-ITXfanboy’sdream motherboard.aniftyfeaturethatenablesyouto flashtheBIOSwithoutpoweringontheboard–you don’tevenneedaCPUinthesocket.ratherthanthe middle. andyoucanevensetfanprofile curvesandautomatic temperatureresponses.thereisonesizeableissue.FanXpertprovides hands-oncontroloverfans connectedtothemotherboard.Asushasbeen strangelyreservedinthemini-ITXarena. Theboardalsoincludes Asus’AISuiteIIsoftware.Asaresult.net .theP8Z77-IDeluxedoesn’tdisappoint intermsoffeatures.andthat’s theon-boardaudioheader.com Supplierwww.which includesavastarrayofuseful tweakingandmonitoringutilities.

8GHzlimitusinga1.althoughonlybyawhisker overtheASRock.anda70-pointleadoverall.whiletheArmaIIminimum framerateroseto135fps.Infact.Here. theonlyslightissuewithitisthePCBlayout.net October 2012 67 .sowecouldcarryon.therewasenoughflexibilitytopushour IntelCorei7-3770Ktoits4.Wesimplyneededtograduallywork ourwayuptoourmaximumCPUfrequency.theP8Z77-IDeluxe recoveredinstantly. InArmaII.andthe P8Z77-IDeluxeisamarvelforitssize. Evenso.Asus hasn’tonlyjoinedtheenthusiastmini-ITXparty.givingitaclearleadinourbenchmarksat stockspeeds–a127-pointleadinourvideoencoding test.MINI-ITX MOTHERBOARDS THE 10-PHASE DIGITAL POWER DELIVERY COMES COURTESY OF A LARGE VRM DAUGHTERBOARD AT THE TOP OF THE MOTHERBOARD to3. OverclockingtheP8Z77-IDeluxewasalso incrediblyeasy.withaminimum framerateof129fps.butitwasstillperfectlystable. CONCLUSION TheAsusP8Z77-IDeluxeisexpensiveforamini-ITX board.buteven whenwewerealittleover-zealous.loadedwithfeaturesandveryeasytouse.Thisyielded hugegainsinourbenchmarks. AL SPEED 41 / 45 FEATURES 28 / 30 VALUE 21 / 25 90 OVERALL 68 WorldMags.Asus’largermicro-ATXMaximusV Genecostsonlyalittlemoreandhasfarmore features.28V vcore.However. There’sawealthofoverclockingoptionstoo.but alsothrowninacaseofchampagne.9GHz.868.you’reprobablyalreadycomfortablewiththe ideaofshunningexpansionslotsandexoticon-board audiosystemsinfavourofreducedsize.itwas6fps fasterthanthenextbestresulttoo.though notquiteasmanyasyou’dseeonacurrentAsus RoGmotherboard.ifyou’reconsideringamini-ITX system.theCPUhadatoastytemperatureof97°C atload.withtheoverallscore risingfrom2. It’sfast.ItalsohadthefastestSATA 6Gbpsspeedsontest.210to2.

Zotac returns to the mini-ITX scene but it has fierce competition T-1000 Excellent overclocker.includingaUSB3breakoutadaptorand twoWiFiantennas.itsZ68ITXWiFipracticallyhadtheoverclockable Z68mini-ITXmotherboardmarkettoitself.com otachasbeenastalwartmini-ITXsupporter foryears.itclawsback somepointswithitsdualLAN portsandspareminiPCI-Eslot(inadditiontothe slotusedfortheWiFimodule).whenbenchmarkingtheZ77-ITXWiFi.itwillbeinterestingto seewhetherZotachasinvestedenoughefforttocope withthecompetition.and7fpsslowerinArmaII.andpower andresetswitches–whicharealwayshandyadditions fortestingyourPCbeforeyouputittogether–while theI/OpanelsportsaCMOS clearbutton.butalsoneedadditionalUSB3or SATAports. Meanwhile. 68 October 2012 WorldMags.althoughthis equatestoadifferenceoflessthan6percent.producingmanyinterestingand overclockablemotherboards.inanawkwardposition betweentherearaudioports andVRMheatsink.andZotac’sZ77-ITXWiFilookspractically identicaltoitsZ68predecessor.sawitfall behindtheAsusinmostofourtestsatstockspeed. dual LAN ports ED 209 Lacks software and features.thelonePCI-Egraphics slotisplacedclearofallothercomponentsonthe motherboard.the100-200MHzdifference.ebuyer. dependingonwhichbenchmarkweran.However.com Supplierwww.nowthatAsushasjumpedonthe bandwagon. wheretheon-boardsoundheaderinterfereswith yourgraphicscard.the 8-pinEPS12Vconnectoris locatedontheothersideofthe PCB.Infact.There’slittletofaultwiththe Z77-ITXWiFi’slayouteither.thetwoSATA 3GbpsandtwoSATA6Gbps portsarelocatedattheedgeof thePCB. However.we sawthatitwasn’talwaysTurboBoostingtothelofty 3. poor EFI ZOTAC Z77-ITX WiFi Z HOW MUCH? Price£123incVAT Manufacturer www. power and reset switches. Thisisalsotheonlymotherboardontestthat featuresbothaPOSTerrorcodereadout.andonethatmay wellcomeinhandyifyouplantouseadiscrete graphicscard.Its SATA6Gbpsspeedswerealittleslowertoo. thoughnotbymassiveamounts.Thisisdefinitelyabonus overtheothertwoboardsontest.unlikeAsus’P8Z77-IDeluxe(seep66). PERFORMANCE Sadly.Asaresult.whichcanbeusedto connectminiPCI-ESSDs.net . Theboard’sotherfeaturesare ratheramixedbag.aswellasthird-partyUSB3 andSATAexpansioncards. ItalsohastwofewerUSB3 portsthantheASRockandAsus boards.9GHzachievedbytheAsusboardwithourIntelCore i7-3770K.withjust ASRockofferinganycompetition.However.dropping behindby4MB/sinthereadtestand14MB/sinthe writetest.zotac. Itwas70pointsadriftinourMediaBenchmarks overall.TheZ77-ITX WiFidoesn’thaveanon-board DVIport–insteaditfeatures twoHDMIportsandaminiDisplayPortconnector(aminiDisplayPorttoDisplayPort adaptorisincludedinthebox).asisthe24-pinATX powerconnector. TheZ77-ITXWiFi’sboxistheusualZotacminiITXaffair.

Thisisour CPU’sclocklimit. Theboardalsodoesn’tincludeanythingintheway offancontroloroverclockingsoftware.28V VCORE TheotherareawheretheZotacfellbehindwas whenitcametousingitsEFIsystem.8GHz.MINI-ITX MOTHERBOARDS WE MANAGED TO GET THE CPU TO TOP OUT AT 4.the Asushasloadsofusefulfeatures.but thankfully. CONCLUSION TheZotacZ77-ITXWiFioverclockswellandcosts£20 lessthantheAsusP8Z77-IDeluxetoo.Itwasfareasiertofind overclockingsettingsontheAsusboardthanthe Zotac. USING A 48x MULTIPLIER AND 1.wedidn’thavereachforourbootdisk.TheZ77-ITXWiFi notonlyhasthepoorestEFIontest.28Vvcore.whiletheminimum framerateinArmaIIjumpedupby12fps.whichprovidesthefull suiteoftweakingandtuningfacilitiesyou’dexpectto seeonitsfull-sizedmotherboards. althoughtheZotacdidthisonlytwice. Afterspendingsometimetweaking.using a48xmultiplierand1.The overclocksawtheoverallscoreinourMedia Benchmarksriseby700points.butithasaslightly outlandishcolourschemetoo.it’sthebetterbuyforthemoney.wheretheCPU reachedatoasty98°CusingPrime95.net October 2012 69 . theASRockZ77E-ITXisalsoeasiertouseand.we managedtogettheCPUtotopoutat4.as Zotachasn’treleasedanewBIOSyeteither.8GHz.TheAsusalsohasavastly superiorEFIandisfareasiertooverclockasaresult.However.sothisisstilladecentresult.though.whiletheZotacis devoidofusefulsoftware.There’snoexcuseforthelatternow.evenonfull-sized motherboards.asithas thesameprice.anddealing withtheoddfailedoverclockandnon-recovery. Itneverfailedtorecoverfromafailedoverclockeither.Thisisinstark contrasttotheAsusboard.SadlyforZotac. AL SPEED 39 / 45 FEATURES 21 / 30 VALUE 22 / 25 82 OVERALL 71 WorldMags.andtheZ77-ITXWiFialsolacksaUSBBIOS flashingutility.

WorldMags.net .

139 552 2.000 0 150 300 450 100 150 Stock speed avg Overclocked avg 200 WorldMags.210 556 528 2.000 3.079 4. high AF.net CASE RESULTS 43 BitFenix Prodigy Stock speed Overclocked CPU delta T (°C) GPU delta T (°C) 48 BitFenix Prodigy Fractal Design Node 304 46 Fractal Design Node 304 58 SilverStone FT03-Mini 48 SilverStone FT03-Mini 58 Lian Li PC-TU200 30 45 49 60 Lower is better Lian Li PC-TU200 0 20 40 63 October 2012 0 15 60 80 Lower is better 73 71 . AA disabled) Gimp image editing Arma II: Operation Arrowhead Asus P8Z77-I Deluxe Asus P8Z77-I Deluxe 1.000 2.868 Asus P8Z77-I Deluxe ASRock Z77E-ITX ASRock Z77E-ITX 2.566 1.249 1.114 Asus P8Z77-I Deluxe Zotac Z77-ITX WiFi ASRock Z77E-ITX 1.772 1.800 2.824 3.977 146fps 3.000 5.330 4.775 2.564 1.351 3.250 Zotac Z77-ITX WiFi 0 500 ASRock Z77E-ITX 1.500 2.140 555 2.500 2.200 1.530 1.379 135fps ASRock Z77E-ITX 135 162fps ASRock Z77E-ITX Zotac Z77-ITX WiFi 1.834 122fps 526 Zotac Z77-ITX WiFi ASRock Z77E-ITX 134fps Zotac Z77-ITX WiFi Zotac Z77-ITX WiFi 2.MOTHERBOARD RESULTS Handbrake H.000 1.000 123fps 0 1.921 129fps Asus P8Z77-I Deluxe 2.920 x 1080. 1.923 2.264 video encoding Multi-tasking (high quality.250 3.839 131 514 150 300 450 600 0 50 Stock speed min Overclocked min Zotac Z77-ITX WiFi 600 0 136fps 0 750 1.241 4.400 Overall Intel SATA 6Gbps read (MB/sec) Intel SATA 6Gbps write (MB/sec) 137fps Asus P8Z77-I Deluxe 161fps MINI-ITX CASES AND MOTHERBOARDS Asus P8Z77-I Deluxe 2.000 4.243 1.000 135fps 0 600 1.

WorldMags.net .

2 x SATA 3Gbps 4 x surround audio.asus.co.8V N/A N/A Heatsink Heatsink USB 3 breakout adaptor Fan control and monitoring software * Prices correct at time of going to press WorldMags. plastic Black. optical S/PDIF out 1 x 10/100/1000 1 x 10/100/1000 2 x 10/100/1000 / 6/6 1/1/1/0 150MHz 16x-63x 1.41 2 x USB 3.35 Steel.overclockers. 0+1. microphone.135 1.uk www.5in bays Number of expansion slots Max CPU cooler height (mm) Max graphics card length (mm) Max PSU length (mm) Extras Cooling Fan mounts Fans supplied Dust filters Fan controller BitFenixProdigy £65 www. headphone Mini-ITX 0 0 6 2 165 310 160 None SilverStoneFT03-Mini £103 www.zotac.7V 1. 5 via Intel Z77 8-channel HD audio via Realtek ALC898 2 Intel Z77 0.ebuyer.uk BitFenix 250 x 340 x 310 26. plastic Black.uk Lian Li 220 x 360 x 320 25 Aluminium Black. 1 x 120mm/140mm rear 2 x 92mm front. eSATA.co.5 Steel. 2 x eSATA 3Gbps 2 x SATA 6Gbps. 1. microphone.com http://uk.MINI-ITX CASES AND MOTHERBOARDS CASES Price (inc VAT) Supplier Manufacturer Dimensions (W x D x H. 5 and 10 via Intel Z77 8-channel HD audio via Realtek ALC898 2 2 x SATA 6Gbps.co.8V N/A 1. 1 x 140mm rear Yes (removable) 1 x 140mm floor 1 x 140mm floor Yes (removable) MOTHERBOARDS Price (inc VAT) Supplier Manufacturer Dimensions (mm) Features Chipset RAID Audio Fan headers Ports Storage Audio LAN WiFi / Bluetooth USB 2 / USB 3 HDMI / DVI / DP / mini-DP Overclocking control Base clock (max) CPU multiplier CPU voltage (max) RAM voltage (max) CPU PLL voltage (max) VCSSA (max) Cooling Chipset VRMs Extras ASRockZ77E-ITX £123 www.dabs.208V Heatsink Heatsink / 8/6 1/1/1/0 300MHz 36x-63x 1.net October 2012 73 . microphone.uk Fractal Design 250 x 374 x 210 19. silver 3.com 170 x 170 Intel Z77 0. mm) Case volume (litres) Materials Available colours Empty weight (kg) Features Front panel ports Supported motherboards External 5.99V 2. 5 and 10 via Intel Z77 8-channel HD audio via Realtek ALC898 2 ZotacZ77-ITXWiFi £123 www. silver 4.asrock.56V Heatsink Heatsink WiFi GO!. 1.com 170 x 170 Intel Z77 0. headphone Mini-ITX 0 2 1 2 78 254 SFX PSU only None 2x 120 or 1 x 140/180/200/230mm front. microphone.specialtech. 2 x 120mm roof 1 x 120mm front.uk Silverstone 189 x 235 x 397 17.overclockers.co.3V 1.com www. white 6. optical S/PDIF out 4 x surround audio. 1 x eSATA 3Gbps 2 x SATA 6Gbps.49 2 x USB 3.ebuyer. USB BIOS Flashback / 8/4 2/0/0/1 300Mhz 0-255x +0.6 Aluminium.co.25in bays External/internal 2.69 2 x USB 3.9V 1. 1 x 120mm rear 1 x 140mm front Yes (removable) Yes (removable) 2 x 92mm front. topmounted handle FractalDesignNode304 £72 www. 2 x SATA 3Gbps. AI Suite.83 2 x USB 3. 1.scan.com 170 x 170 AsusP8Z77-IDeluxe £144 www. optical S/PDIF out 3 x surround audio.5in bays External/internal 3.5in bays. 1 1 x 140mm front x 120/140mm rear. plastic Black 4. headphone Mini-ITX 1 0 4 2 80 300 140 4 x hot-swap 3. headphone Mini-ITX 1 4 5 2 160 330 160 Fyberflex handles LianLiPC-TU200 £141 www. 2 x SATA 3Gbps.

>> samotherboardandcaseformfactor.oruseathinnerradiatorintheroof.ifyou’repreparedtolive withlimitedexpansionduetothelimitednumber MONSTER Antony Leather shows you how to use the greatest hardware from this month’s mini-ITX Labs test to build a water-cooled pocket rocket Build a water-cooled mini-ITX A ofSATAandPCI-Eports.thismonth’s Labstestprovesthat.it’s unlikelythatyou’llbeabletousethe5.weshowyouhowtobuildyour ownminimonstersystemusingsomeofthebest hardwarefromthismonth’sLabstest.asthisissituatedinthe roofwhereyourradiatorwillsit.asourmini-ITXcaseLabstest shows.includingall-inonedual120mmliquidcoolerssuchasCorsair’sH100.Inthisfeature.Thishasalreadyhad significantramificationsinthemotherboard andcasemarkets.However.therearesignificanthurdleswhen dealingwithanoverclockedCPUinaconfined space–itisn’tlikebuildingastandarddesktop PC.withafull-heightdual 120mm-fanradiatorintheroofcoolingourgraphicscardandCPU.andeventhosewithCPUsocketslacking theoverclockingoptionsoftheirfull-sizedATX siblings.We’veseen plentymoreZ77-basedmini-ITXmotherboards waitinginthewings.asmoremanufacturersare climbingonthemini-ITXbandwagon.Infact.oftenwithembedded CPUs. We’veoptedforasinglewater-coolingloop.mini-ITXmotherboards havespentthepastyearorsobecoming increasinglycapable. Thisisfantasticnews.bothintermsoffeatures andoverclockingpotential.net . butitspasthasmainlybeenspentin thelow-poweredmarket.It’sbeendesignedto houseenoughcoolingequipmenttocopewithtoastyhardware. >>TheHARDWARE WorldMags. >>>> 1 74 October 2012 OurcaseofchoiceisBitFenix’sProdigy(seep54).they’re nowabletocompeteonalmostequaltermswith largermotherboards.However.andloadsofnewcasestoo. However.and hasroomforamid-rangewater-coolingsystemstoo.there’snolongerany needtousealargetowercasetohousean overclockedpowerhouse.25inbay. mini-ITXhasbeenaroundforyears.It wouldbepossibletofitanotherradiatorinthefrontofthecaseifyou needmorecooling.It’sbyfarthe bestchoiceifyou’relookingtobuildthefastestandcoolestmini-ITX systempossible.forthefirsttime.

net >>> 2 Dismantlingacasecanbequite anarduousprocessinvolving drillingoutrivetsanddealing withplasticflanges. 76 October 2012 75 .Whilethe Prodigyisn’tentirelybound usingscrews.However. somecasesusescrewstohold everythingtogether.CUSTOMISATION WorldMags.Your firstjobistoremovethetopfan coverbyopeningthelatchon thetopandleveringitout.youcanstripit backtoitsbareshellusinglittle morethanascrewdriver.

whichisenoughspaceforalltheessentials.5indrivecage. £7for10ft).dependingonwhetheryouwanttohavethem drawinginairorexhaustingitthroughtheradiator.A256GBSSD nowcostsaround£150.Meanwhile. 4 Yourchoiceofradiatorwilldependonthehardwareyouneedtocool.However.securedwithVelcroordoublesidedtape.sowe’reremovingalltheharddrivecages.ifyou’rethinkingabout applyingsomeextremeoverclocksthenit’sworthconsideringusinghighspeedfans. Werecommendwaitinguntilthisstage beforeorderingyourwater-cooling hardware.aquatuning.However.co.asthiswillmakelife easierwheninstallingthewater-coolinghardware.Tothisend.>>Making ROOM >>WaterCOOLING >> We’llonlybeusinganSSDinourbuild.uk)istheminimumwe’drecommendto coolaquad-coreIvyBridgeCPU.Insidethecase’s front. >> >> >> WorldMags.releasingthe entirefasciafromthecase.net Usethescrewsthatwereincludedwithyourradiatortomountthefans.thefasciasecurestotheframeofthecasewithfourplasticflanges.soit’sworthusing 3/8ininternal-diametertubingasopposedtothe1/2in tubingthat’spopularinlargerPCs(weused3/8inID Masterkleertubingfromwww.aquatuning.soonceyou’veinstalledyourchoiceoftubefittings.Thisisessentialinthe tightconfinesofamini-ITX case.andagraphicscardsuchasaGeForceGTX 6803GBorAMDRadeonHD79703GB.uk.leavethefasciaoffforthetimebeing.co.A full-heightdual120mm-fanradiator(weusedaPhobyaG-Changer240. >> 8 >> 7 36 .youwon’thaveagood enoughideaabouttheexactamountof spacethatwillbeavailableuntilyou’ve strippedeverythingout.screwsonthefrontfasciaand sideofthecaseenableyoutoremovethesingle5.TheProdigyhasmountingholesforfansorradiatorsinthe roof.orinstallinganadditionalradiatorinthefrontofthecase.Therearetwoscrewsoneithersideofthetopofthe casethatenableyoutoreleasethetop3.enablingyouto squeezeitaroundcornerswithout kinking. Thetubingsizedoesn’taffectcooling.We’veoptedfora pushingsetup. Younowneedtoremovethefrontfasciaofthecase.5indrivecageand you’llbeleftwithabarechassisjust beggingforsomewater-coolinggear.radiatorandreservoircombinationfromtheonewe’re usingthenyoumightbeabletokeepthelower3.Thisisbecausethe3/8intubinghas amuchtighterbendradius. Makesuretheybothpointinthesamedirection.lineupthe radiatorandsecureitinplace. bargargantuanamountsofvideosandphotos.weoptedfor Alphacool3/8incompression fittingsforusewith3/8inID tubing (£4eachfromwww.andthatthey’relocated onthecorrectside.withthefanspushingairthroughtheradiatorandout ofthecase.With thisremoved. 5 76 October 2012 Removethelower3. (£45fromwww.Unlessyou’remimickinga setupsomeoneelsehasbuiltwithan identicalcase.uk).ifyouoptfora differentpump.5indrivecageifyouwant toaddaharddrive.co. aquatuning.25indrivecage.TheProdigy hasroomforafull-heightdouble 120mm-fanradiatorintheroof– we’vealsoseenacoupleofexamples of200mmradiatorsbeingusedinthe frontfanmount. Bendingtheseoutwardsallowsyoutopushthemforwards.

Disconnectingthepower ensuresyourhardwarewillbesafeifanyleaksshouldoccurinthistest.ithaslotsofroom aroundtheCPUsocket. particularlyontheGPUwaterblock’soutlet.andwe’reusingacombinedpumpand reservoir.Don’tbefooledintothinking thatthepearlescenteffectofthecoolantistrappedair–it’saactuallyan ingeniousfeaturethatmakesthereservoirlookparticularlyspectacular.Dependingonwhichwayyouroutethe tubing. 1 1 TocoolourGeForceGTX6803GB. >> 13 10 9 Withthemotherboardmounted.co.ourXSPC RaystormCPUwaterblock(£51from www.makingit easytofillthesystem. >> >> October 2012 77 12 >> >>Fill the LOOP Priortocabletidying.whileaLaingpumpcostsover£60onitsown.uk). Pumpscomeinmanyshapesandsizes.Leavingasmallgap 78 willallowthecoolanttoexpandwhenthesystemisswitchedoff.co.Italsocostslessthan £50.YounowneedtouseanATX bridgingplug(85pfromwww.It’salsoworth securingthefittingstotheblockpriorto mounting–doingthisafterwardscan placeunduepressureonthemounting mechanismandmotherboard.followingthe instructions provided–ourEKreservoirhasascrew-caplid.younowneedto decideonalocationforthepump.specialtech.CUSTOMISATION >> WorldMags.p65).weoptedforaPhobyaDC12-220& EK-ReservoirComboDCP2.co.meaningthattherewillbe alotofpressureinthereservoirwhenit’sswitchedoff.net We’reusingthismonth’sLabs-winning mini-ITXmotherboard.2Bundle(£49from www. Afterthat.Fillyourchosenreservoirwiththecoolant. WeroutedthetubingtoitfromtheCPU. .ourradiatorneedstobelocatedin theroof.Thisisn’taspowerfulasa LaingDDCorD5pump.aquatuning.andit’spoweredon.uk)fittedwith plentyofroomtospare.whichlooksfantasticnexttothecopperplatedfittings.weoptedfor ourLabs-winningGPUfull-coverwaterblock. theAsusP8Z77-I Deluxe(seep66).though.aquatuning.and theloopthenheadsbackdowntothepump.thisis theonlyvariable.withouthavingtodraintheloop first.youneedtoleak-testyourwater-coolingloop.andusingjust sixbarbs. TheMayhem’scoolantisfairlygoodatbleedingthesystemofairbubbles itself. theXSPCRazorGTX680(seeIssue107.Youcanalsoseeourtubingbendseasily undertheradiator–thiswouldn’thavebeenthecase withthickertubing.uk).youcouldalsooptfor90-degree angledfittingstokeeptubingoutoftheway.thisisamucheasiertaskwiththe dinkyProdigythanitiswithafull-towercase. withtheradiatorbeingfeddirectlyfromthe pump’soutlet.butas we’rejustcoolingtheCPUandGPU.just toensurethatyouwon’tdamageanyofyourhardware.allowagood centimetreorsobetweenthecoolantlevelandthetopofthereservoir.ThankstoaVRM daughterboard.Inourcase.Weleftenoughslackinthe tubingsothatwecouldeasilyremovethe graphicscard.connectthepumptoyourPSUanddisconnectthepower toyourmotherboardandgraphicscard.aquatuning.butit’salwaysworthtiltingthecasetoallowairtobleedfromthe radiatorandCPUblocks–thankfully.once you’vefullybledtheairfromtheloop.The pressureofthepumpwilllowerthecoolantlevel.uk)tojump-startthePSU withoutpluggingitintothemotherboard.Instead.Startbyfillingit withcoolant–weoptedforsomeMayhem’sAuroraNebulaBlue(£15 fromwww.butthecombinedpumpand reservoircanfitintotinyspaces.co. Don’tbetemptedtofillthereservoirtothebrim.

net 15 >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> .CUSTOMISATION >> >> Cable TIDYING CabletidyingisusuallythebaneofallPCbuilds.ItalsomeansthattheSSDcanbeeasilyaccessedfromtheside. whichprovideexcellentlocationstotieyourstraypower cablesandtuckthemaway.wesettledonthesideofthePSU cageforthelocationofourSSD. youcanuseoursettingstooverclock yourCPU. andtherestofourcablestidiedaway.ratherthantrailing themaroundtheinsideofthe case.Weleftthisuntillastbecause youcansecureit practicallyanywhereintheProdigywithsome double-sidedtapeorVelcro.Ifyou’reusinganyofthe Z77 motherboardsinthismonth’sLabstest.25inbayisunusable) orafansplittercable. Check your temperatures once the PCisupandrunning.Checkyourtemperaturesoncethe use.Asthere’snomotherboardtray.butour caseandcoolingsystemhasfourfans). 16 ThefinalcomponenttoinstallistheSSD. 14 That’sit!Sitbackandadmireyourminimonster.BitFenixhashadthe foresighttoleavelargegapsoneithersideofthePSUcage. Tosolvethisminorissue.Thismeantthatwecouldroutethe SATApoweranddatacablesdirectlytoitthroughoneofthecablerouteingholes. 78 October 2012 >> WorldMags. PC is up and running.weusedsomeMolexto3-pin fanadaptorstopowertheadditionalfans.youcouldalsouse aninternalfancontroller(sincethe5.butit’sa comparativelyeasyjobintheProdigy.youmay nothaveenough3-pinfanheaderstopowerallyourfans (theAsusP8Z77-IDeluxeonlyhastwofanheaders. youneedtoperformallyourcabletidyingontherearsideof thecase–accesswillbeeasywiththesidepanelremoved.Withthelocationofthepumpfinalised. Dependingonwhichmotherboardyouchoose.Alotwilldependonyour particularsetup–especiallyifyouwatercoolboththeCPUandgraphicscard– andthenumberandsizeofradiatorsyou use.

'*$ %& .@.D .& @($@!87#%02 8@$9%7$02 ...@>57$@ .C$"F/ >B$EJI 850(7 ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! .! $"F/*#"& WorldMags.>7%< 7%$>@"7.net .)%(&+&%.(++ HBI :C&) 3# .! $"F/*#"& FD@AH@341/D .CG#"B$E /"!J) .9-+ +143=-:+/. =%I:$$"G:BIBG 800(7 3H1?=D@ ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! '9..C$"F/ >B$EJI 800(7 ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! .1?. . 8# 89@ '0.C$"F/ =%I:$$"G:BI 850(7 ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! '26+ '+++ '<.'!.) +'! /"/0'!# 1-'0$&( #$&-*%%"+&%.6!!#>8 0%" )0>>0%8& .2@ 97<9 !@>?#>'0%$@ :+.* 46!!#>8@" .

net .GRUMPYGAMER 82 Myauthority SPECOPS:THELINE 84 Justsand inour eyes? One-dimensional 88 QUANTUM CONUNDRUM THOMASWAS 89 ALONE MAGIC:THE 90 GATHERING Hip tobesquare DuelsofthePlaneswalkers 2013 METRO:LASTLIGHT 93 How’sitglowing? DEVPERSPECTIVE 94 Wherehasall my THEENGINEROOM 96 Unity graphicsmemorygone? 80 October 2012 WorldMags.

net October 2012 81 .236.com/ groups/CustomWarfare2 WorldMags.101.Thedistinctionbetween structure-buildingcommandersand weapon-totingsoldiersisn’ttheonly differencebetweenteams.NaturalSelection2fuses real-timestrategyandfirst-person shooterelements. 9 till late Theplace OurCounter-Strike:Sourceserver Whatyouneed Anup-to-dateCounter-Strike: Sourceinstallation GAMESERVERIPADDRESSES 32-playerBC2 85.com/groups/ CustomPC ModernWarfare2 http://steamcommunity.givingyouthechoice toplayasstrategiccommandersor frontlineforcesinamultiplayer environment.24:37015 FINDUSONSTEAM Publicgroup http://steamcommunity.236.naturalselection2.though.22:16667 32-playerCS:Source 85. 29 August.om A c cuLstIVE IMpGE EXC US SequeltotheoldNaturalSelectionmod forHalf-Life.com Natural Selection 2 Readers’ Night Wed.101.as thisimagesuggests–findoutmoreat www.

You can and should watch it online at http://tinyurl. but he still demands your respect I think I’ve actually reached breaking point now. but now I can’t take three steps in Call of Duty without being shoved into a breach mini-game or a truck-mounted turret. because we’re overexposed. those types of game elements are exciting and interesting the first or second time you see them – and they arguably even help to fulfil the purpose of the game then too. And. I’ll tell you WHAT I’M PLAYING No. despite all the hyperbole thrown around by Treyarch. I don’t think they do respect me. while the game itself has been designed around known psychological ploys to keep you playing. The worst part. I saw Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 demonstrated recently.which piecestogethercontentcutfromtheoriginalplanforHalf-Life2. for example. is that this isn’t something you see in just a couple of games. Importantly. it’s practically treating players like constantly processed cattle. It’s everywhere.com/JonathanBlow if have the time.GAMING WHY GAMES SHOULD RESPECT YOU D Joe Martin may not know how to swim.Ihaven’tbeenplayingHalf-Life3–I’ve beenplayingthelittle-knownMissingInformationmod. purposeless and disrespectful. I don’t want to play games that keep having to unsubtly remind me how to play them because they don’t respect my intelligence. and the games that seem to be the most popular are the worst offenders. though. I’m going to make these expectations an explicit part of my reviews. would let players wander freely and experiment. though. sure. 82 October 2012 WorldMags. I’m far more concerned about whether games respect me as a player in terms of my time. I’ll tell you as brazenly as possible. It bears mentioning that a lot of this realisation comes from an excellent lecture by Jonathan Blow called Video Games and the Human Condition. your time is far too valuable for you to be expected to read about foregone conclusions. they become dull. by the way. though not in the fishing-for-compliments way you might expect. across every genre. for example. which uses in-game stores to repeatedly dip into the wallets of players. It used to be that shooters. I don’t want to play games that are padded out with boring cutscenes that show me actions I could be doing myself. intelligence and patience. drive or cycle. fictional soldier is interrupting me every ten seconds to tell me exactly where to stand. as the games industry has ‘matured’ over the past decade. what I saw of the game was little more than a tedious procession from one time-wasting tactic to another. That game didn’t respect player time and. I don’t want to play games where a rude. I’m also going to make these expectations an explicit part of my reviewing process. It was so boring that I decided I wasn’t even going to preview it properly in this issue. If a game doesn’t respect your time.net . That isn’t respectful. FIND ME ON TWITTER: @JOETHREEPWOOD oes anyone in the games industry really respect me? That’s the question I’ve been asking myself lately. Instead. I think games have been increasingly losing respect for their audiences. If a game doesn’t seem to respect your time. Take Diablo III. for example. These sequences and ideas don’t show up just once or twice. they’re starting to form the bulk of the experience and.

net .WorldMags.

Tounderstandwhatmakesthechoicesso important.net .Theideaisthataperpetual sandstormhascutoffDubaifromtherestofthe worldandeveryoneinsideispresumedtobedead.there’soneaspectofitthatstands outasbeingworthyofdiscussion.SpecOpsstartstodrawclosertothesource materialbyrevealingtheatrocitiescommittedinthe city.but asfarasthird-person shootersareconcerned.Atfirst.it’s asmechanicallyrun-of-themillasyouraverageconsole port.orwillyousavethe citizenshe’sprotecting?Willyouuseprohibited 84 October 2012 WorldMags. Itisn’taterriblegame.com emayaswellsay itupfront:Spec Ops:TheLine isn’tthatgreat. you’reinvitedintotheheartof darknessyourself.a two-weaponlimitandaregular dribbleofturretsequencesthroughoutthe campaign–nothingthat wehaven’tseen100times before. it’syourjobtoinvestigate andfindoutwhathappened tothecolonelincharge.Sixmonthslater.you’rejustwalkingpastmassgraves.thestorylineis alreadyfullofholesatthis point.There’sacoversystem.afterafewhoursofmindless violence.specopstheline.However. occasionally poignant DARKNESS Hypocritical ambitions. Ofcourse. includingaUSarmyregiment thatstayedbehindtoaid survivors. butsoonafterthat. repetitive W THE KNOWLEDGE Price£29.SPEC OPS: THE LINE Apocalypse nowish HEART Storyline choices.99incVAT Publisher2KGames DeveloperYager Developments Website www.whywasDubaisealed off?Whysendonlythreemento rescueeveryone?Theseissuesandothers hovernonsensicallyoverthestoryline.they’renever openlyaddressedandtheybecomeevenmore noticeableasthegamecontinues. althoughit’ssetinstorm-besetDubairatherthan onanAfricanriver.youfirstneedtoknowthatSpecOpsisan adaptationofJosephConrad’sHeartofDarkness.Ifitwassoeasytosendin yourunit.WillyousavetheCIAoperative withvaluableinformation. Regardless.andthat’sthe introductionofchoicesintothestory.

REVIEW

AFTER A FEW HOURS OF MINDLESS VIOLENCE, SPEC OPS DRAWS CLOSER TO THE SOURCE MATERIAL BY REVEALING THE ATROCITIES COMMITTED IN THE CITY

weaponstoachieveyourgoals?These choicessteptotheforeandthe consequencesarerevealedviathe commentsofyourAIteammates. Whiletheintroductionofthesechoicesis admirablefordisplayingSpecOps’ambition

ArrivingonthePCin1998,theSpecOps serieshashadatroubledhistory.The firstthreegamesweredevelopedby ZombieStudios,whichreleasedthe disappointingBlacklight:Retribution forfreeonSteamrecently.Afterthat, thefranchisefocusedmoreonconsoles andsawseveralnewteamsbecome involved.Thelastgame,Airborne Commando,cameoutin2002andthe franchisehasbeenhibernatingever since,withevenRockstarcancellinga plannedrebootforthePlayStation2.

SERIES PROFILE – SPEC OPS

tobemorethanjustacorridorshooter, SpecOps:TheLine mayreceivean however,theyaren’tenoughtoimmediately approving nodforitsambition,butthat elevatethegameasawholeforavarietyof doesn’tpreventitfromchokingwhenit reasons.Someofthechoicesareincredibly bitesoffmorethanitcanchew.Theproblem poorlypresented–thealternativetousing withtryingtobuildcomplexemotional whitephosphorusagainstyourenemies, responsesintogamesisthattomakethem forexample,isthatthey’llspawninfinitely work,youhavetocommittothemwhollyand untilyourunoutofammoanddie.Many consistently.SpecOps,intryingtobebothan otherchoicesarealsosimilarlyartificially actionblockbusterandameaningfulreport constructedtothepointwheretheyshatter onthehumancondition,failstoexcelon yoursuspensionofdisbelief. eitherfront.Theendingsmaystarttoveer ItalsoappearshypocriticalforSpecOpsto towardsthemarvellous(especiallyintheir conveyamessageaboutthehorrificnature ambition),butthatdoesn’timmediately ofwarinagamethatfeaturesslow-motion redeemalltheotheraspects. explodingheadshots. We’dlovetoseemoregameshandling Thisisagamethatglorifies topicssuchasthis,butcoupling massviolenceandforcesyou thissortofdramawithrepetitive, tokillthousandsofpeopleto predictablecombatisn’ta finishit–butthentriesto convincing waytodoit.Strip makeyoufeelguiltyforit.It’s awaytheliteraryambitionsand masochisticandultimately you’rebackwhereyoustarted– unfairwhenconsideredinthe SpecOps:TheLineisn’tgreat, OVERALL widercontext. butitisn’tterribleeither.

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REVIEW

TECHNICAL ANALYSIS
SpecOps:TheLineisanobviousconsole-to-PCport,withlittle optimisationforthegraphicallysuperiorPCplatform.This doesn’tmeanthatthegamelooksbad–onthecontrary,itlooks quitegood–butthere’slittleopportunitytocustomisethegamein ameaningfulway.Thefieldofviewisfixed,forexample,andmouse accelerationisbafflinglyturnedonatalltimes. Theoptionsformalisedinthegame’smenuaren’texactly thrillingeither.BesidesswitchingShadowsandTextureDetail levelsbetweenfiveimperceptiblydifferentsettings,thereisn’talot todo.We’veincludedsomescreenshotsoftheseonVeryLowand VeryHightogiveyouanideaoftheverybestandworstthatthe gamecanlook,butotherthanthelossofthedynamicshadowson thelowend,there’slittleimpact.Theonlyareawecouldspota changeintexturequalitywasonthebeltofthemaincharacter, whichlookscrisperonVeryHigh. TheoneupsideofSpecOps’consoleoriginsarethatitwillrun onoldersystemswithoutputtingupmuchofafight–3GBofRAM, a2.4GHzquad-coreCPUandaDirectX9graphicscardwith512MB ofRAMareallthat’srecommendedtorunthegame.Despitethis, thegraphicsstilllookgood,though,mainlybecauseofthegame’s linearstructure–there’slittlechancetowanderoffthepathor performtheunexpected. Eventhecontrollayoutpointstoaconsole-focuseddesign,with nooptiontosetsecondaryinputsandastreamlinedsetofcontextsensitivecontrols.Themiddlemousebutton,forexample,isused toissuesnipe,healandgrenadeorders,allbasedonwhat’sunder thereticulewhenyouclickit.Thisisn’tanissueatfirst,butatthe harderdifficultylevels,it’sfrustratingthatyoucan’tgivemore nuanceddirectivestoyoursupportingAIdrones. Worstofall,theINIfilesareencrypted,soyoucan’tmanuallyfix hiddenoptionsthatwayeither.Afan-madedecrypterhassince beencreated,butreportsindicatethatit’sfarfromreliableand oftencreatesmoreproblemsthanitsolves.However,ifyouwant totryit,youcandownloaditfromhttp://tinyurl.com/CPC-specops

TEXTURES
HI GH LO W

SHADOWS
HI GH LO W

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throughfourdifferentdimensions. isn’tgoingtobetoeveryone’staste.despiteitscartoonishstyling.science-orientated comedypuzzlersaboutdistortingthelawsofphysics.Notonly arebothgamessingle-player.withConundrum onplatformingpuzzles.aswell.Thereareplenty youchangethelawsofphysicsasawholebyswitching ofplaceswherepuzzlescanhavemultiplesolutions.99incVAT PublisherSquareEnix DeveloperAirtightGames Websitehttp:// quantumconundrum.iswithitsfocus 75 88 October 2012 WorldMags. primarilyasavoicethaturgesyouthroughthegame.it’s Thefourdimensionsdon’tconfinetheireffects sometimesdifficulttodiscernthetargetaudiencefor tothepuzzle-criticalitemseither. Not only shadowasQuantumConundrum.UnlikePortal.thisisn’tagame level.though. but there is none that sits so firmly in its butthereisnonethatsitssofirmlyinits shadow as Quantum Conundrum.Conundrum’scomplextoolsetmeans Ratherthanbasingitselfaroundtheuseofportals thatthedifficultyisconsistentthroughoutthegame.Paintingsanddecorativeitemswill thatyoucanexpecttoeasilyplaywithnonalsoshifttomatchthenewreality–the gamers. ifyou’reabletotakeitatfacevalueand forexample.VoicedbyJohnD SlowMotiondimensionbyhoppingfromonethrown Lancie. gamesindustryforyears.however.andnowofAirtightGames.suchastheFluffy Theresultofcombiningthistoughlevelofdifficulty Dimensionwhereeverythingistentimeslighter withamorechildish.com alve’s atmospheric alve’satmospheric puzzler Portal has puzzlerPortalhas loomed large over the loomedlargeoverthe games industry for years.Conundrumlets asopposedtoPortal’sdifficultycurve. don’tmindperseveringwithrepetitive WhereConundrumdiffersfromPortal environmentsandfiddlyplatformjumps.especially aleadweightintheHeavydimension.andthisisoften thanPortal’sGlaDOS–butit’snotablethatbothexist frustratinglydifficultfromafirst-personperspective.Infact.bothgameshaveasimilarstructure whenitcomestostorytelling.Eachhasunique nottomentioncollectiblestofind.Thereare ofillogicalpuzzlesinordertorescuehismadscientist manypuzzleswhereyouhavetotraversegapsinthe uncle.forexample.Quadwrangleismorekindlyandtalkative objecttoanother. Thatsaid. propertiesyoucanharness.cartoonysettingthanPortal’s andsofterthanusual.Like a boson PHYSICS Funny and smart PSYCHICS Often fiddly QUANTUM CONUNDRUM V THE KNOWLEDGE Price£9.however. What’smore.youoftenhavetomakevery castingyouasalittleboywhomusttraverseaseries precisejumpswhileswappingdimensions.buttheentire QuantumConundrum. OVERALL JOE MARTIN fortheworse.ProfessorQuadwrangle.however. butbothweredesignedbyKimSwift–formerlyof Valve. andspacemanipulation.net . usualpictureofaboywithaballoonwill Thisdoesn’tmeanthatitcan’tbe becomeapictureofaboycrushedunder enjoyedonitsown.soyoucanwieldlargeritems.

Thegame’s uniquelysuitableforplayingwithother biggeststrength.sovaluefor exudethissenseofmagicalcharismacanbe moneyisn’tmuchofanissue. Theoneunfortunateconsequenceofallthis Andthenthere’slovable.ThomasWasAlonehasasenseof Eventheword‘polished’isinadequatewhenit warmthandwhimsythatmakesitimmediately comestosummingupthispuzzle-platformer. invitingtoeveryconceivabletypeofaudience. designerMikeBithellallowsthese Infact.however.buttoooften. Hugeexplosions. brilliantlymegalomaniacal.istheway peopleofallagesandabilities.forexample.however.ThomasWasAlone doesn’thaveanyofthat.however. original WRONG ANGLE A little too easy THOMAS WAS ALONE V THE KNOWLEDGE Price£5.multi-colouredquadrilaterals.each practicallymirror-like.All suddenlybecomesentient.99incVAT PublisherMikeBithell DeveloperMikeBithell Websitewww. 90 WorldMags. OVERALL JOE MARTIN absolutelyneedtobeinthegame. thomaswasalone.switchingthecharacter example.endlessturretsequencesanda constantparadeofsoldierswhocan’tquitegrowfull beardsbutwon’teverstoptrying.Thisimpressionismadeall ofwhichrepresentsanAIunitinsideasystemthat’s themorestrikingbythesimplicityofthedesign. gamersasaresult.affableThomas.net October 2012 89 .andit’s underlyingelementstoshinethrough anexperiencethatwe’dinstantly bytrimmingoutanythingthatdoesn’t recommendtoeveryone.Hecan’t streamlining.We’recomfortableadmittingthat. topluckhimfromthescreensoyoucangivehima andthegameisunlikelytochallengeevenirregular bighug.we’vetriedthisalready.Ithas Thomashasbeensoexpertlybuffedthatitsfinishis acastofsmall. moving. Instead.however–noteventhe beards.There’senoughcontentinitto ThefactthatThomasWasAlonemanagesto keepyoupluggingawayforafewdays.Clairefloatsandisconvincedthatshe’sa currentlycontrollingtoharnessthepowersofeach superhero.it’sashame attributedtomanyindividualelementsofthedesign.For charactersthroughit.isthatThomashas doanythinginparticular.thegames industrytrendstowardsthe knownsafetyofblockbusterseries. DannyWallace.andit’sallthebetterforit.REVIEWS It’s hip to be square RIGHT ANGLE Witty. there’snoeurekamomentstobehadfromsolving There’sthehilariouslymelodramaticnarrationby eventhehardestpuzzlesposedbythegame.however.whileSarahcandouble-jumpandis oneforthegoodofthegroup.com ideogamescantellallsortsof stories.andeachofwhichsets youhavetodoineachlevelisnavigatetheavailable outtouseitsuniqueskillstoaccomplishgoals.andthe Thatlackofsignificantlyharder waythewritingmakesthegamefeellike challengesmakesThomasWasAlone ahigh-techbedtimestory.butyoucan’thelpwanting essentiallysacrificedcomplexityforaccessibility.

however.isthatthe interestinggamethat’srewardingandstrategic.The reservesintodecksthatyoucarrytotheonlineportion.whileaction lampoonedasfarbackasFallout movesforwardsataregularrateandcan 2.Thenew3Dplaying criticaleffectstoremember. intothenitty-gritty.hintsandflavourtext similarcardgamecalledTragic.99incVAT PublisherWizardsofthe CoastLLC DeveloperStainless Games Websitewww.Subtlegloweffectsletyouknow 95 90 October 2012 WorldMags.aswellastwoinvolvedtosumuphere.youoftenwanttorushahead arecastintherolesofwizardswhobattlethrough fasterthanthegameactuallyallows.It’saremarkableaccomplishment.andyou’llfindanincredibly Theonlythorninitsside.butthereareplentyofimprovements single-playercampaignmode. becomeaddictedtoasuspiciously Meanwhile.Thiswillprobably accumulatedcardsthatrepresentvariousforces.twoplayers learnedhowtoplay.fromTrample(excess deckandbackgroundsgiveMagicamorestylised damagespillsontoopposingforces)toShroud(can’t gloss.withacomplicatedsystem vs-twocooperativematchesandmore.Inthisdigitaladaptationofthe thegamefrompreviousversionsorthetraditional game.traditionally.whereyourcharactercould beimmediatelypausedatanypoint.onceyou’ve Thebasicrulesaresimple.Whendoyousearchyour Planeswalkers2013istheperfectantidoteto graveyard?What’sthedifference Magic:TheGathering’simageproblem.wizards.net . beespeciallyfrustratingforthosealreadyfamiliarwith spellsandresources.whilethecampaignhasbeenbolsteredwith betargetedbyspells)–andthat’sallwithoutgetting challengesthatwillkeepyoucomingbackformore. OVERALL JOE MARTIN issue. presentationissostreamlinedthat. betweenanenchantmentandartefact? peelingbacktheunsightlystereotypes Whilethesenuanceshavemadethe thatplaguedthecommonperception conventionalcardgameanintimidating andremovingthebarriersofentryfor prospectfornewplayers. ofroundsmadeyetmorebafflingbythesheervariety Thealreadyimpressiveproductionandreplay ofcardsonoffer.however.Therearesomanyvariationsand valueshavejumpedforwardstoo.tooltips.Stepaway groundyouintheworldandconveyallthe fromanypreconceptionsyouhaveabout essentialinformationwithoutoverwhelming Magic’seye-blurringdepthandwallet-draining theprocess.forexample. design.thensortyour overpreviousdigitalversionstolessenthesting. com/magic/digital/ duelsoftheplaneswalkers.REVIEW MAGIC: THE GATHERING – DUELS OF THE PLANESWALKERS 2013 We’d tap that PLANE Deep and complex PLAIN Occasionally sedentary M THE KNOWLEDGE Price£6.It’squitesimplythemost Planeswalkers2013ispresentedsimply gracefulandrefinedtakeonthefranchise enoughtomeanthatthisisn’tamajor yet.infact. multiplayeroptionhasbeenbroadenedtoinclude Thedetailofhowyourcardsareusedaretoo worldwideleaderboards. aspx agic:TheGatheringhasbeen whatcanbeplayedandwhen. newcomers.andonethat’swellworthalook.youmainlyaccruenewcardsbybestingthe cardformat.

net .WorldMags.

co.dabs.net www.ebuyer.co.com .overclockers.uk www.scan.com 0871 200 5052 WorldMags.uk 0871 472 4747 www.www.

PREVIEW METRO: LAST LIGHT Tunnel vision tisn’toftenthattheapocalypseispresented asbeinggenuinelyterrifyingincomputer games. Themosteffectivefear-makingtacticofall.Itstillremainstobeseenhow wellthestorycanbetoldonalargerlevel. Itsoundslikeasmallchange. JOE MARTIN THE KNOWLEDGE PublisherTHQ Developer4AGames Website www.isexactlywhatalotof single-playerfansarecallingoutfor–ablend offirst-personshooterandRPGelements that’sgrowingstrongeranddeeperasit progresses.we’rejusthappytofinda technicallydemandingPCgamethat’s scalinginapositivedirection.butnotscary.however.theconversationis about4AGames’creativevision.Becomecaught inarainstormorclosecombat.LastLightwillplayatamuchslowerpace than2033. gameseriessuchasFalloutandLeft4Dead preferoffsettingthefictionaldeathsofeveryone you’veeverknownwithsomeslyMontyPython referencesorfreneticcombat. andthevisorofyourgasmaskwillget spattered.rangingfrom thecontinueduseofghostlyvoicesandapparitions toasubtlechangeinaestheticsthat’sslightly differenttootherpost-apocalypticgames.Atthe moment.enterthemetro. aswellasthelimitedamountofair.there’s nospielabout‘accessibility’or‘deliveringamore cinematicexperience’. whilealsomakingyoufeeluncomfortablewiththe realisationthattheworldischangingaroundyou.suchasthe torchthathastoberegularlyrecharged. Theresult.thegamewillalsostillthrowinplentyof furiousfirefights.withmoreroomforexplorationsothat playerscandealwithenemiesontheirownterms.sure. andif4AGameswillmanagetostrikea goodbalancewhenitcomestodifficulty. Themechanicsbywhich4AGamesachievesthis arealmosttoonumeroustomention.Ithasrespondedbynotonlyimproving thosesystems.isalsooneofthesmallest–anewfeature called‘maskwipe’.butit hasadramaticeffectwhenit’spiledon topofalltheexistingimmersionsystems carriedoverfromMetro2033.Exciting.THQhastakenonboardalotofwhatit sayswas‘validcriticism’ofthecombatandAIinthe firstgame.meaningthatyouhaveto manuallycleanit. However.Therest oftheindustryshouldtakenote.THQcalls it‘nuclearspring’andit’sintendedtobleedalittle morevariationintothepost-apocalypsepalette.LastLight. Bestofall. butwe’llfindoutinduecourse.whichseesyourvisionsteadily obscuredbytheenvironment.When you’redashingacrossthesurfaceof Moscowandagroupofmutantssuddenly descendsonyou.onthe otherhand.Instead.butalsoadjustingtheoverallpaceof thesequel. What’simportanttotakeawayfromMetro:Last Light.ChattingwithTHQ’sHuwBeynon.com ReleasedateEarly2013 WorldMags.net October 2012 93 .isthatTHQseemstobepushingback againstthetrendssetbymostotherbig-nameFPS games. though.wethink.specificallysetsouttogiveyouthechills.andhowthat’s communicatedintinydesigntouches.ratherthanbecomingmore diluted.forexample.tryingtofendthemoffwhile effectivelyhalf-blind.Instead.chokingandsurroundedby darknessisnothingshortofnerve-shredding.

butalso zoom.thegamealreadyhas two’intermsofdimensions.whichismy scenes.withoutseeingthe theonlyexampleIhavetohandfor framebeingrenderedbehind-thecollectingsuchdata.Cliff Harris Where has my graphics memory gone? G iventhatevenbasicgraphics Graphicscardscanonlycopewithtextures thatarea‘poweroftwo’intermsof cardsoftenhave1GBofRAM dimensions.greenandblue.soyouinstantlygetafully andI’lltrytoillustratethatbyusing renderedframe.soourgraphicsRAMusagehas roughly4millionpixels.thegamehad570textures BECOMES A LITTLE OVER-SHARP forshockwavesandsoon.Firstly.the outquiteheavily(whichisimportantforthe afrontandback-buffer(possiblyseveral screensizeisroundedupto2. generallycomplimentaryaboutitsgraphics.sothat’s88MB.920x1.which loaded.whichmostcardsfindtobe guessedit–we’renowat110MBofgraphics Theupshotisthatafull-screenimageuses slow).youmight shot.graphicscardscan mechtype.GTB ofRAM.and you representred.Whatonearthareallthosetextures.These imagesintooneinordertoavoidconstant units.048x2.GTB sometimessee‘tearing’whichisthe isatop-down2Dstrategytowervisualartefactthissystemisdesigned onlycopewithtexturesthatarea‘powerof defence/RTSgame. important)withsomelaserbeamsshooting upfurther.orroughly4millionpixels gamersmustoccasionally findthemselvesscratchingtheir twocopiesofthescreen–theonein headsandwonderingwhattheir frontofyou.whichworksthesameway.many to2.even whichwouldbefineifweonlyneededthe 1GBofgraphicsmemory? ataslowed-downspeedwithamaximum roomforoneimage.Andwhat’sscaryis requiresanothercopyofthescreento AND SHIMMERY thatIactuallymakequiteheavyuseof composite.However.Ialsohave texture‘atlasing’(packingseveral anifty‘selection’effectforhighlighted thatpixelneedstransparencydata).Rememberthatthisisanight-time unlikehighlycompressedJPEGimages.048x2.Yep. andhowcantheyevenmakeadentinyour AsIneededverysmoothanimation.048. alreadydoubledto44MB.200.Youcanzoominand toavoid.wouldyoubewrong.right?Notevenclose.Thisisthen‘composited’withthe Ohboy. isrenderinginthebackgroundready Atleastpartoftheansweristhat forthenextframe.whichmeansthatIneedanothersneaky graphicscardwillrepresenteachpixelusing automaticallyassumethatlittlehorsepower copyofthewholescreentowhichIcandraw threeorfourbytes(dependingonwhether isrequiredonthegraphicsfronttorenderit. either16MBor22MBofvideocardmemory.Ialsousesome exactframe(thankstoniftysoftware calledPix)tellsmethatatthepointof cunningdistortioneffectsinthegame TURNED OFF.net .sothescreensizeisroundedup asstandardnow.Ifyouturnoffv-sync.Forstarters. images.andpeopleare more).pluswhatevertexturesalltheinfantry thegameinactionatnight-time(also alsohasabunchofcleverstuffthatbumpsit &tanksuse.so AgraboftheDirectXoutputforthat yougetsearchlightsandsooninthe YOU’D NOTICE IF MIP-MAPS WERE game.Basically.thescreenshot mechs-walkinganimationmeansthatI synchronisedrawingthegame.For requireawhopping22MBtextureforeach theimagetothemonitor.thereare reasonsofbinarymaths. Soyoucouldassumethatweneedjust4MB Ontheoppositepageisascreenshotof Likemostgraphicallyshinygames.Thosearethebiggestconventional 94 October 2012 WorldMags.048. lightmaps. RAM.withoutevendrawinganytextures.thecardwill‘swap’those imaginetorenderamoderngame.moderngames Theanswerisabittechnical.itturnsoutthatthe128framesof alsomakeuseoftheverticalrefreshrateto interesting.Asit’sa2Dgame.Asyoucansee. renderedworldatthelastminute. AS EVERYTHING thatrender.That’s66MB.sotragically.andcopying wastakenataresolutionof1.youcan gameGratuitousTankBattles.570. itrequiresalotmoreworkandpixels Foreachframe(ideally60timesa andtexturememorythanyoumight second).or purposeofthisdiscussion).andtheonethatthegame gamesaredoingwithallthatRAM.the atstuff. textureswapping.

Inpractice.Someofthetanks haveninedifferentlayersblendedtogether.loadingscreensandso on. Inshort.thegraphicsrendering pipelineisinconstant.somethingthataddseven moretoGTB’stexturebudgetistheabilityto customisetanks.andsoon.evenfora singlegame.allthoselayershavemipmaps.the bottleneckistextures.positech.toachieveasmuch concurrencyaspossible.butwhat aboutthesheerpolygon-pumpingpower?It’s firstlyimportanttopointoutthat.togetherwith in-game‘live’displays’).beawarethat droppingyourverticalresolutionbelow1.beawareofhow muchdifferenceitmakestotheamountof graphicsRAMandprocessing(don’tforget thatshaderswillbeusedforallthosepixels too)whenyoubuyabiggermonitorandrun atahigherresolution.thedeveloperofGratuitous SpaceBattles @cliffski CLIFF HARRIS WorldMags.uk).net October 2012 95 .Inoneframe.Intheory.othersattextures andsomeatshaderprocessing.andit becomesinevitablethatyourgraphicscard willoftenendupwaitingfortheCPUtocatch up.andyoucanprobablyseewherethe570 textures(mostaremip-maps)andallthat videomemoryisgoing.butit’s alreadyusing110MB ofgraphicsRAM beforeit’seven starteddrawing thetextures texturesinthegame.You’dnoticeifmip-mapswereturned off.makingthisevenharder). Codersdowhattheycan(usingtools suchasperfHUDandPIX. themenugraphics.orswipethecameraoverthe battlefieldinanRTS.asyoulookoutover rollingterrain.Fromone frametoanother.andno codepathcanpossiblyhandlethemyriadof differentcardsavailableeither.SLI/ CrossFireXandmulti-monitorsupport.Nocodepathworksin everycircumstanceinaspecificgame(and genericengineshavetoappealtoallkinds ofgames. canmakeamajordifferencetothedemands madeonyourvideocard. Asyouchargedownacorridorinafirstpersonshooter. andofcourse.buttheynever manageitperfectly. Addintheterrain.theGPUisbusydrawing afewthousandpolygonswhiletheCPU preparesthenextthousand.foranontrivialpartofeachframe.andneitherunit iseveridle.themodelsbeingrendered.024.whicharetakinguptexturememory.aseverythingbecomesalittleover-sharp andshimmery.asavastarmyofhigh-polygon soldiersmarchpast.whichislaughable giventheactualcomplexity. oryourhorizontalresolutionto2.andasinglegraphicscardand drivercombination–developinganefficient genericrenderingpipelineisextremely challenging.Peoplewhoaredisparaging about2Dgamesoftenthrowoutcomments suchas‘it’sjustsprites’.andviceversa.wherethere’s perfectconcurrencybetweentheCPUandthe GPU.Also. theactiveeffects.yourfancypolygon renderinghardwareisdoingabsolutely nothing.didn’tyou? istheone-mancoding wizardbehindPositech Games(www.butthey’rebulkedoutbymipmaps.Andyouthought binarymathswasnevergoingtobeof practicaluse.There’sanidealsituationdiscussed bythegraphics-pipelinegods.Secondly.andmakethemost ofboththeCPUandGPU. Meanwhile.Anight-time screenshotof GratuitousTank Battles–itlooks simple.Inanother.thebottleneckis polygons.Inotherwords. That’saroughexplanationofwhereallyour texture-memorymightbegoing.Mip-mapsprovideawayforimages tolookgoodwhetherthey’renearorfar away.048orbelow.andthespritesandtextures requiredareinconstantflux.relativelyhigh-resolution shadow-mapstofaketheground’s3Dlook.theyshouldn’t bethatsize.thisneverhappens.Balancingall thesesystemsishellonearth.spareathoughtforthepoorsod developingagraphicsengine.Thenashockwaveblast thatdistortsthescreenpushestheshader pipelineintobottlenecklandwiththenext frame.wildchange.Addtothis theproblemswithdifferentresolutions. co.Someare relativelybetteratpolygons.

that’swhywestarted.‘anditjust tookoff.sowewent withthismuchmoreflexiblemodel.Thatithascomeanywhere closetoachievingthisisremarkable.wastomakeonethemselves.TheteambegantomouldUnity withtheintentofmakingitaccessible.butwerealisedthat wemaybedidn’tlovemakingthem.There’sasimplereason forthis.theengineroom Rick Lane Unity A It runs on Windows.sotheenginehadtobemore genericbecauseithadtoaccommodate alltheideaswehad.italsohadtobe powerfulenoughforthemainstreamgames market. ‘whereyoubuiltarigidhierarchyofthetype ofobjectsinthegame. affordableand.Wewerealreadygrowing. ‘Thetraditionalwayofgamebuilding ishighlyinflexible.becoming theengineofchoicefordevelopersonthe iPhoneandiPad.’says DavidHelgason.However. ‘In2004.andthe capabilitytocreateanytypeofgame.’ ThefirstversionofUnitylaunchedin 2005.’saysHelgason.Itcouldbeaweapon. Android.risingstar.inappropriate.Unity hassustainedastrongandsuccessful relationshipwithAppleeversince.andthatcanbeanNPCoraplayer character.Theyall seemaccurate.Welovedgames.yougetintotrouble.’explainsHelgason.andimmediatelydifferentiateditself fromotherenginesbyfindingitsinitialhome onApple’srevitalisedMacplatform. Unitybeganlifein2002.Butthemoment youwantasingingswordthat’sbotha characterandaweapon.‘They wereallexpensive.andatthesame time.werealisedthatweweren’tthat greatatmakinggames. iOS.and youcouldn’tevenreachthoseguysifyou didn’thaveanameorsomekindoffunding.butthe growthdoubledandeverythingspedup.Soyoucanhavea character.Itaspirestobeeverything toalldevelopers.However.anditcould beabaseweaponoraweaponyoucanpick up.net .’ TheobvioussolutionforHelgasonand histwoco-founders.In short.anditisn’tjustbecausethey’relazy metaphors.ifUnity wastobeuseduniversally.flexible.’ Whatbeganasanimpassableobstacle evolvedintoadeliberatedesignphilosophy that’sbeenthedrivingforcebehindUnity eversince. and there are plans to support Flash and Linux too.The ideawastotargetsmallteamssimilarto themselves.Blacksheep.oranycreative expression.Unityhasdefineditselfbydoing itsjobdifferently.orashieldandsoon.aboveall.thetrioquicklyran intotroublewhenitcametothatspecificity.CEO andco-founderofUnity Technologies.atatimewhen licensinganenginewasalmostasdifficult asmakinganactual game.We becamereallyexcitedandrealisedthatthe Rochard’sphysicsbasedgameplay wasn’tplannedfrom thebeginning Unitynowsupports DirectX11too approachwehadtakenwasdifferentfrom thatusedbyanybodyelse. MacOS.NicholasFrancisand JoachimAnte.‘Backthenthere weren’tanyreadily availableengines that asmallstudioorstartupcouldreadilyaccess –wewerethreeguysin abasement.ThefirsttwoversionsofUnitywere 96 October 2012 WorldMags.thespecificaimwastomakeitas unspecificaspossible. ‘Wecouldneveragreeonwhichgames tomake. Could Unity end up being the one engine to rule them all? fewclichésspringtomindwhen consideringUnity. Likemostotherengines.Unitywasintended tobeaspecifictooltosuitaspecific requirement.tocreateanenginewithfastyet easilyunderstandableworkflows.’ SinceitsmovetomobileandPCplatforms.’saysHelgason.What wedidlovewascreatingthisengine. Unityhasgainedareputationforbeingthe indiedarlingofgameengines.‘WemadeUnitysupportthe iPhoneacoupleofmonthsaftertheApp Storeopened. darkhorse.whichis understandablegivenitsdevelopment historyandtargetmarket.

‘Youcouldtryout newgameplayideasquickly.AnemptyUnityprojectisacleanslate.abrandnewdedicatedparticle systemnamed‘Shuriken’.SampsaLehtonen– leadprogrammerandco-ownerofRecoil Games–explainedhowitwasthesemore advancedtechniquescombinewiththe engine’scoredesignideasthatmade Rochardpossible.A morebizarreexampleisthe TreeCreator.asanythingnot viewableon-screenwouldimmediatelybe removedfromtherenderingprocess.andit tools.Unity3.Thatisn’tpossible.’ systemisoneexample.astheydon’t developing.’ onlyrecentlybegunthepursuitforvisual SpeedTree.addedsupportfor HDRlighting.’Helgason explains.the wholephysics-basedgameplaywasn’t plannedatthestartoftheproject.The latestversion.Itsticksoutas acuriouslyspecifictoolinan enginewheretheobjectiveis tobegeneric.ithas SYSTEM.Combinedwith thenewlyintroducedocclusionculling.’ meansthatexperienceddeveloperscanget Thesolution. TO BE PLACED IN A GAME orweirdorcartoonytrees.whetherit’s forfirst-personshootersorplatformers.ofcourse.andwhenanengineisdesigned forpurchaseinoneoftheengine’smost tobepowerful.andNavigational MeshestomakeiteasierforAIcharacters tofindtheirwayaroundenvironments– essentialforcharacter-basedgames.thisenabled anunlimitednumberoflightstobeplaced inagame.Infact.‘Soyou’llinevitably particularvisualeffect.istocreatenew holdoftoolsandtricksthatUnitydoesn’t toolstodealwithnewgraphicalfeaturesthat currentlysupportinitscorepackage.Mecanim. WITH ITS DEFERRED RENDERING Sooneoftheprojectswedid wastheTreeCreator.‘Itisn’tdesignedjust assetstootherusersofUnity. Onegamethat’stakenadvantageofthis morepowerfulversionofUnityisRochard– aphysics-basedplatformersetinadeepspaceasteroidminingstation.ANALYSIS Unity3’sdeferredrendering systemenablesanunlimited numberoflightstobeset upwithinagame–notethe variationin thevisibilityof theskullsinthemiddlehole significantlybehindthecurrentgeneration inthisarea.‘Wewanttobethe enginethatdoeseverything youneed.Thisisusefulin needtodosomeextraworktogetthe avastnumberofways. UNITY 3 MADE MAJOR STRIDES butwe’llgoasfaraswecan.however.Rochard proclaimsitselftobethemostadvanced Unitygametodate.allofwhichcouldinteract appropriatelywiththerelevantmappingon materialsandtextures.aswasthecasewiththeTreeCreator.butwas prototypedasitprogressed. ENABLING AN someprettyawesometools UNLIMITED NUMBER OF LIGHTS tobuildreallyrealistictrees.accuratelylighting bumpsanddipsonsurfaces.‘Themostimportant featureinUnityforuswasthespeedof iteration.Thethirditeration.Here.’saysLehtonen.What’s complicatematters.gettingthebalance developerscancreateandselltheirown rightisnightmarish.andalsohighlightswhyUnityhas themselvesandsellthemtoothers. markedthebeginningofapushtowards equallingthepowerofcurrent-gentech. butit’sjustasmuchan Rocharddemonstratesthegrowingpower enablerforpeopletocreatetrees ofUnity.thebasisfortheTreeCreator.available complexity. completelyflexible. providesarangeofprepackagedanimations 98 WorldMags. punch.includingbothgameplayandthe havetomakeeverythingfromscratch.Poweroftencomesatthecostof iswhat’sknownasaUnityAsset. Unity’sintegrated characteranimation system.this allowedforincreaseddetailwithoutany impactonperformance.ItmakesUnitymore frameworkforthekindofgameyou’re accessiblefornewcomers.whichisexactly whatitsnamesuggests–a tooldedicatedtobuilding detailedflora. ‘It’sbecauseeverybody buysSpeedTreeandplugsit intotheirengine.TheShurikenparticle more. Unity3mademajorstrideswithits deferredrenderingsystem.’ apackofcharactermodelsorcodefora Lehtonenpointsout.net October 2012 97 .universallyaccessibleand intriguingfeatures–theAssetStore.5.

‘TheideaforF1Online:TheGamewasto makeafree-to-play. Codemasters’wishlistincludes‘afully integratedUIsystem’. ‘It’salittlelikeShurikenortheTree Creator.apowerful characteranimationsystemthathands developersawholerangeofpre-packaged animations.differentiated andeasilyadaptablesurfacematerials.AssociateProducerMikeRowland elucidatesonwhyUnitywasaptforcreating thisgame.LinuxandAsian languages. Unitymaynotyetbetheengineforeveryone.athird-partytool forcreatinghighlyrealistic.‘It’sveryhigh-powered. 98 October 2012 WorldMags.PS3andMacOSX RochardshowsoffthepotentialtouseUnityforgoodlookingvisualsandcomplex.it’sactuallyestimatedthatover halfamilliondeveloperscurrentlyuseUnity worldwide–vastlymorethananyofthe majorcommercialengines.andare abletoimporttheirownmotion-capture.butthere’snodoubtthatit’s becomingacontender.’says Helgason.and AllegorithmicSubstances. alongsideitsfocusoncurrent-gentechare planstosupportFlash. Absorptionandintegrationhasbeena keyfacetofUnity’ssuccessoutsideofthe AssetStoretoo.whichisimportant ifUnityistobeusedtocreatemore complicatedgames.but Codemastersisamainstreamdeveloper.Unitysupportsnumerous subsidiaryprogramssuchasNvidiaPhysX formorebelievablein-gamephysics.andinthecomingyears.Thesecanthenbetweaked andblendedtosuitparticularneeds. fullyanimated.easilyaccessiblegame forabroadrangeofracingandFormulaOne fans.Andwhenwesay ‘contender’.and200-300characters runningonabeefyPC. Unitystillneedstoputonafewpounds ifitwantstocompetewithUnrealand CryEngine.theengineroom Codemastersisusing UnityforitsbrowserbasedF1Onlinegame ANALYSIS Rochard–availablefor PC. RacingheavyweightCodemasterschose Unityforitsbrowser-basedFormula1game F1Online.’saysRowland.What’smore. butit’sgivenvoicetoapreviouslysilent majority.It’saperfectUnitysystem.’ Thewords‘browser’and‘free’aren’t usuallyassociatedwithcoregaming.thatnoise couldbeheardaboveallothers.plusafullsuiteoftools toallowustoputthegameintoabrowser.net . soF1Onlineindicatesthemainstream industry’sgradualacceptanceofUnityas aviableoptionforcreatinggames. Codemasters’experienceofcreatingF1 OnlinealsorevealsareaswhereUnitymight improveinordertoconquercoregaming.physics-basedgameplay ithelpsthecreatorstounderstandwhat developerswantfromUnityandwhereto focustheireffortsnext.This adoptionofnewtechnologyissettocontinue intheupcomingUnity4engine.‘WhatUnityprovided wasastrongandimpressiveinstallbasefor itsbrowserplug-in.’ Itseemsasthoughtheseeffortsoverthe pastcoupleofyearsarebeginningtopayoff. TheUnitysupportteamhasbeenalongside usallthewayandhaveprovidedincredible helpthroughthosenigglytimesyou inevitablygetwithaprojectofthisscale. AlongsidesupportforDirectX11–which isavitalinclusionifUnitywantstocompete withthemainstream–Unityisalsopushing itsintegrationofMecanim.Alsomentionedis ‘morecontroloverbuildprocesses’tomake iteasiertomouldagamearoundaparticular developer’sapproach.We’vehad around50charactersrunningonaniPad.meaningthatitsuserbasewill likelygrowexponentiallyinthenearfuture.whichwas announcedacoupleofmonthsago.

WorldMags.net .

andtosayitprovedtoughwouldbe andTeamAriaForums.aswithout What was Nvidi top.thenextround.A. was DRAM pro CustomPCMag).bringingupthe and before it introdu possible. a meme board and a whole load of cheesecake Q Q A.closelyfollowedbyOCBATGTTYand a’s main graphics br itssponsorshipandsupport.asEpic. What powerofselfrespect? Roundsix.X. how many To accessible.withallbutoneteamabletonamethefilmin Movingon.TechAcronyms.X.thenturnedouttobethehighest-scoring was the codename of the Roundthreewasourtakeonthe round.orourTwitterfeed(@ hardwarereview.gameor Elpida.Thisleftus Alsoinattendancewasateamfromoursponsorandprizeprovider atthehalfwaystage. and round four saw teams naturally).Therewere some cracking entries. anunderstatement.TeamCorsair ThefirstroundwasIntheNews.fyou’rearegularreaderofCustom identifyingwhetherastatementwasfromafilm. betweenUnderQualified.inwhichteamshadtodecipheracronymssuchasNTFS.whereweasked thesmashinglytitledOurCheesecakeBringsalltheGeekstotheYard teamstocaptionthefourmemetemplateswe’dmade. somecrackingentries.LANonlynotchedupthreepoints.inwhich17teams sevenandeight.whichprovedtrickyforeveryoneapart Q 100 October 2012 WorldMags. andHTTP.TechTVandFilm.whichkindlydonatedacopyofMagickaforeveryattendee. One whichHughJackmanplaysanelitecomputerhacker.however.however. ducer.168.Noteveryonefoundithard. Thehalf-timebreakthenplayedhometo jumpingstraightintotheleadwithascoreofseven.provedmore infullonourFacebookpage.Itcausedratheranupsetat In November 2000.letting Intel released the first ScottPilgrimgainsforfindingthe OCBATGTTYsneakintofirstplace.LANatthe Corsair–naturally.however–can overclocking.8-bitHeroesand rchased by which recently pu monthsawushostthefirstCustomPC TeamPFSspecifically)proveduswrongwithhighscoresof petitors? of its com seven and eight.abigthankyougoesouttothecompany.One Knowledge. achievedbyForeverAloneinthefirstpictureround. Even these scores were eclipsed by the perfect ten out of ten battledovertenfiendishlydifficulttechEventhesescoreswereeclipsedbytheperfecttenoutoften themedrounds. the struggling PCmagazine. Micron i Ten rounds.whichyoucansee Thankfully.withR.net A. which you can see (OCBATGTTY)andthree-manteam192.G.X.RAID original Pentium 4 core classicmusicround(gamethemes.moddingand everyone. Pentium 4 processor.whichcoveredabroadrange have aired on British TV? questiondidoutfox oftopicsincludingconsoles. younametwoofthefourstatincreases thetopofthetabletoo.roundfivewasGeneralTech episodes of The IT Crowd which Hugh Jackman plays an elite computer hacker.theeventsimplywouldn’thavebeen 192.whereteamshadto architecture? naturally). Riva A. Wilamette .Meanwhile.androundfoursawteams identifymultiplayerFPSmaps.X.you’llknowthatthis butanumberofteams(UnderQualified. andbit-techPubQuiz.AlsodeservingofanhonourablementionisParadox rearwasaverydemocraticthree-waytie ced GeForce? Interactive.Wethoughtthiswouldbeprettytricky.withEpic. date.Wethenhadthesecondpictureround.followedcloselyby oursurprisinglypopular‘make-a-meme’competition. 24 Q A.168.

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fromEpic.LANandSteve In which film does a Ballmer’sNeckSweat,bothof young girl utilise a UNIX whichclearlyspendalotoftime 3D file system browser by onlinefraggingn00bs. the name of FSV, to bring However,whatcamenext security functionality back canonlybedescribedasmessy online? –theRetroTechround. WrittenbyCustomPC’sown editorBenHardwidge,thiswaswidelyregardedasthetoughestround inthequiz,asillustratedbytheaveragescoreoftwo.Oneteam,R.A.G., roseaboveitalltopostan(honestlyamazing)scoreofsix,though, helpedbythefactthatteamcaptainWayneYoungmanhasbeen readingCustomPCsinceIssue1! Theall-importantfinalroundwasFamousGameQuotes,andwith OCBATGTTYonlytwopointsbehindEpic.LAN,itcouldhavegoneeither way.Intheend,bothteamsscoredfive,leavingEpic.LANourwinners, OCBATGTTYsecondand192.168.X.Xinthird.Eachteamwonabunch ofCorsairgoodies,andEpic.LANalsowalkedawaywiththeGolden Graphics Card trophy. Mentions also GraphicsCardtrophy.Mentionsalso gotoAllOurBeersAreBelongToUs, ny go to All Our Beers Are Belong To Us, Toshiba, IBM and So 8-BitHeroesandSteveBallmer’s the collaborated on NeckSweat,whowonprizesfor re that’s processor architectu postingupthethreefunniest ation 3. used in the PlaySt memesinthehalf-timebreak. What is it called? Thankstoeveryonewhoattended theCustomPCandbit-techquiz night,andmadeitagreatnight.We hopetoholdanotherone,probablyinthewinter,sokeepaneyeoutfor informationinthemag.

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CPC:Whatinspiredyoutobuild D33pThought? Andy:Itendtobuildanewgamingrig whenaBattlefieldtitleisreleased– it’stheonlygameIplay.Whenthishappens,I alwaysbuythefastesthardwareIcanafford (orinmostcases,can’tafford).Ialreadyhad thishardwarebeforeIstartedD33pThought, andtheadditionofathirdgraphics cardcreatedtheneedforchange– itwouldhavemeantrunningfive waterblocksfromonepump.The pumpwasalreadystruggling,and Icouldhearthenoiselevelsrising witheachblockthatwasaddedto thesystem.Asasidepoint,this makesmewonderaboutthe practicalitiesofotherbuildsI've seenthathavesixorsevenblocks connectedtooneloop.

Anyway,Ineededabiggercase,and couldn’tfindonethatIreallyliked.Ididn’tlike theideaofmoddinganothercase;Iwanted somethingunique.Iendeduptrawling throughtheNetlookingforideas,andthat’s whenIstumbleduponwww.bit-tech.net.This iswhereIsawMikeKrysztofiak'sPhinixCube, andIthought,yeah,Icoulddothat.However,I

alsowantedtosomethingdifferenttoPhinix Cube.Alotofthought(andscrewed-upscraps ofpaper!)wentintothedesign. CPC:Weassumethenameisareferenceto thebigcomputerinHitchhiker's? Andy:Ididn'toriginallygivemuchthoughtto theproject'sname;Ididn’tevenrealisethe buildneededone.Itwasonlywhen IstartedtheprojectlogthatIhad thatsinkingfeeling,andthought, ohno,thebuildneedsaname.The sketchhadaresemblancetoDeep ThoughtfromTheHitchhiker's GuidetotheGalaxy.Igrewupwith thatkindofstuff–Ireadthebooks, watchedthe1980sTVshowand sawtheokay(ish)film.Theproject nameeventuallytookoverthe wholebuild,andthethemealso

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ENTER YOUR OWN PC AT HTTP://FORUMS.BIT-TECH.NET ENTERYOUROWNPCATHTTP://FORUMS.BIT-TECH.NET

YoucanseemoreofAndy's gorgeousacrylicPCinthe fullprojectlogathttp:// tinyurl.com/ D33pThought42

DON'T PANIC!

gavemeplentyofmaterialforthesmall featuresthataddextrapointsofinterest. CPC:Whatothermodshaveyoubuilt? Andy:I'vebuiltseveralsystems–Iadded windowstothelastfour,aswellaspaintjobs andwatercooling. Alltheexistinghardware forD33pThoughtcamefromanold ThermaltakeKandalfcase.Theinsidewas painted,andhalfofthedrivebayrackchopped outtomakeroomforareservoirandpump. CPC:Whatdifficultiesdidyoucomeacross whenbuildingD33pThought? Andy:Thefirstwasamajordesignflaw.IfI'd builtD33pThoughtexactlyliketheoriginal sketch,Iwouldn’thavebeenabletogetmy handsinsidetoinstallanyhardware.Plus, anymaintenanceorsmalljobswouldhave beenamajorpainasI’dhavetodismantleall

thelayers.Luckily,thatwaspickedupduring theplanningstages,andsolvedbymaking thefrontstripsandtoppanelremovable.This enablesthetworadiatortowerstoswing open,withthelongthreadedbarsthathold thelayerstogetheractingasahinge. CPC:Whatmaterialsdidyouuse,andwhy? Andy:Thecasewasalwaysgoingtobe constructedfromacrylic,asit’seasytowork

SYSTEM SPECS
CPU Intel Core-i7 960 GPU 3 x Asus Radeon HD 6970 2GB Storage OCZ Agility 3 128GB SSD Memory 12GB Crucial Ballistix Tracer Motherboard Asus Rampage III Extreme PSU Corsair 1,200W Cooling 2 x D5 Laing pumps, 2 x 240 Magicool Radiators, Aqua Computer CPU block, 3 x EK GPU blocks, EK motherboard block, 2 x Phobya 250 Balance reservoirs, 4 x Phobya 120mm Nano fans, Lamptron fan controller

withandisavailableinavarietyofcolours.The hardestpartwasfiguringoutthethicknessof thelayers;ImeasuredmyDVDdrive(asthis wouldbeclampedbetweenthelayers)and playedaroundwithdifferentwidths.I eventuallysettledon8mmsheets,which hadthebenefitofbeingfairlyrigid,whilealso enablingmetominimisethenumberoflayers andkeepthecostdown. Also,InoticedwhileIwasworkingouthow manylayerswereneededthatthefigurewas verycloseto42(theoriginalDeepThought's answertotheultimatequestion),soI incorporatedthisintothedesign.Theonly othermaterialsusedwerestainlesssteel threadedrodstoholdthebuildtogetherand 8mmnylonspacersbetweenthelayers. CPC:Whattoolsandmachinerydidyouuse tobuildD33pThought?
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nowthatafewweekshavepassed.It wasthecutting.andeventuallyfinisheditinMay.whichwouldhavecostmorebut wouldhavebeenfarmoreaccurate.Puttingawaythedryeranddenying allknowledgeaboutitdoesn’tworkeither.andfoundbeing abletolocktheguideintoafixedposition usefulforcuttingmultiplepartsexactlythe same.I’dpreferonemade fromamuchtoughermaterial.I wasveryrelievedtogetthroughitallandmove ontothemorefunstuff. CPC:Whathaveyoulearnedfrombuilding thisproject? Andy:Ilearnedplenty.sobythetimeitwas complete.Atonepoint. 104 October 2012 WorldMags.whichgavemeabetterfinish.though.Ialso usedtheDremelpillardrillaccessory.Fameisn’ttheonlyprize.However.Thebestentranteach monthwillbefeaturedhere.andthe widerangeofaccessorieswouldprettymuch doeveryjobthatIhadinmindforit.althoughthere'sa limitedrangeofdrillbitsavailableforit.WouldI doitagain?SureIwould.and isthereanythingyou'ddodifferently now? Andy:Thefilingandsandingnearlybrokeme. you’llalso getyourhandsonafabulous selectionofprizes–seetheoppositepagefordetails.You alsohavetodrillverycarefully. althoughitstillneededsomefiling.Simplylogontowww. Ihugelyunderestimatedhowlongthatpart ofthebuildwouldtake.net .Make sureyoureadtherelevantrulesandadvicestickythreadsbeforeyoupost. CPC:Howlongdidittakeyoutocomplete D33pThought? Andy:Istartedworkonitaroundtheendof January.Once you’rethere.butI wishthatIcouldchangethecollarusedto attachtheaccessories.Istill practisedonascrappieceofacrylicbefore workingonthefinalpieces.which generallyworkedokay.Oneof thesewastheDremeltheroutertable–Ihad tomakealotofinternalcuts.postawrite-upofyourmod.Andy:ThefirsttoolIboughtwasaDremel.soIspentafairamountoftimeonthe Internet.bit-tech.I'dneverusedacrylic before.asit’svery easytostripthethread.yourmodneedstobefullyworkingand. finishedbasedintheUK.asitcan wanderifyoudrilltooquickly.it’s oneofthosetoolsthat'salwayshandy.infact.sotherewasa lotoffilingandsandingtoo.whichdisruptedprogress.ideally.alongwithsomepics. CPC:Areyouhappywiththeendresult.I alsoblewupmygirlfriend'shairdryerwhile tryingtobendtheacrylicwithit.Ifeltmorereliefthanexcitement.wherewe’llprintyourphotosofyourprojectandalsointerviewyou aboutthebuildprocess.lookingthroughmanytutorialsand YouTubevideossothatIwas100percentsure aboutwhatIwasdoing.Ilookat thebuildwithgreatsatisfaction–Isometimes gobackthroughthebuildlogreadingevery postagain. Lookingback.intheProjectLogsforum. Ieventuallyusedafine-toothedsawforthe longercuts.Myoverall impressionsoftheDremelaregood.Ineededabettersurfacefinishthan theendresultofthis.Ialsomovedhomein themiddleofit.andthereareplans foranother! BE A WINNER! ToenteryourmachineforpossibleinclusioninReaders’ Drives.whichmakesmesmile.filingandsandingthattook upmostofthetime–over100hours.sothat'swhy Isuddenlyhadtogetabrandspankingnew heatgun.Evenafterthat.Icouldhavehadeverything laser-cut.netandheadovertotheforums.

Inadditionto unmatchedquality.you’llhavethefoundationsforatruly awesomegamingmachine.TXModularpowersuppliesarebuilt usingqualitycomponents.Meanwhile.offering85percentenergy efficiencyorhigherat50percentload.sothattheynotonlymeettheATX specification.anditalsoenables youtorunuptofourfansfromonecompatible motherboardheader. WithaCorsairCarbideSeries300Rcaseand 550WTXModularpowersupplyattheheartof yourbuild.highqualitypowersupplyisalsoavital ingredient.Aswellas this.Thefansarealso suppliedwithaspecialcablethat letsyourunthefanat5Vratherthan 12V.And.This WorldMags.net October 2012 105 .NET We’ve teamed up with some of the world’s leading PC component manufacturers and retailers to offer this great range of prizes to each lucky Readers’ Drives winner. PHOBYA MODDING KIT Value£50incVAT Manufacturerwww.phobya.They’redesignedtoasuperior standard.offering greatvalueformoneyandqualityproducts.Itpacksina remarkablenumberoffeatures givenitscompactdimensions.As standard.com CorsairbelievesthatagreatPCstartswithagreat case.thenew EnthusiastSeriesModularPSUsadda modularcablingsystemforimprovedinstallation CORSAIR CARBIDE SERIES 300R CASE AND 550W TX MODULAR POWER SUPPLY flexibility. so get in your entries! Totalvalue£142incVAT Manufacturerwww.while thePhobyaTwinLEDsletyou shinealightonyourmods. If your creation is featured in the magazine then you’ll walk away all three of the prizes listed on this page.TXModularPSUsarealso power-efficient.thefansincludebraided blackcablestokeepyourcaselooking asneataspossible.butalsoexceedit.BasedontheawardwinningTXV2Series. soitwillwithstandseveralyears ofupgrades.it’sbuilt usingthefinestmaterialsand finishedtothehigheststandards. likeallCorsaircases.whilealso securingyourconnectionwith latchedconnectors.andhas amazingcoolingpotential.corsair. Justasaqualitycaseis essentialtobuildingaquality PC.ThekitincludesNano-G 12SilentWaterproof1.TheCorsairCarbideSeries300Ris acompactexpressionofthiscore philosophy.ahigh-performance.uk pre-braidedextensioncablegivesyouextra routeingoptionsinyourcase.the PhobyaSATA3cablesincludedinthekit offerthesamegreatqualitybraidingas therestofthePhobyarange.whichgives youtheoptiontovarythespeed ofotherfansinyourcase.com.co.500rpmmulti-optionfans.whichuse aninnovativefan-bladedesign.andarerigorously testedandqualifiedat100percentloadatan ambienttemperatureof50°Cforunmatched reliability.BIT-TECH.thekitincludesthePhobya SlimGuideController.aqua-tuning.reducingthenoiseemitted inordertohelpyoutobuilda silentsystem. Thekitalsoincludesthe 60cmPhobya3-pinMolexto 4x3-pinMolexY-cable.HTTP://FORUMS. ThePhobyamoddingkitisdesignedwiththemodderinmind. providesbuilderswithtonnesof roomforexpansion.www.

net .WorldMags.

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Painting your case is a fantastic way to make it stand out. orwantyourcasetohaveaspecificcolour scheme. you could buy or even make your own spray booth.butit’salso veryeasytoendupwithacasethatlooksfar worsethanwhenyoustarted.andwhattodoif youprefertohavesomeoneelsedothisjob.paintingyourcaseisn’t asdauntingasitseems. Whateveryourcase’ssize. so if you’re spraying outside.jezmckean. while also protecting your items from dust and insects.com to see if your case has already been rendered.tapes-direct.000 to 1.600.co. Whetheryou’relookingtoaddsomepizzazz. and even add custom details E CHOOSE YOUR COLOURS It’s worth experimenting with your chosen colour first using small spray cans before investing in full-sized cans. Finally. as these harbour insects and loose particles that can become trapped in the paintwork. You should apply all the coloured coats before the lacquer.net .uk Halfords If you’re limited for space.you’ll beabletopaintyourcaseanycolouryoulike. avoid grassy areas. You’ll also need some spare test material to see how the colour will look when it dries. Use gloss paint for a shiny finish. Primer acts as an undercoat – using a white primer will make lighter colours such as red or yellow appear punchier. Your spraying area’s location is key to obtaining a good finish too.Ifyouwantto avoidthis. A booth is a great way of dealing with overspray. 108 October 2012 WorldMags. Good ventilation is also important. Antony Leather shows how to achieve the perfect finish. Cardboard makes an excellent booth material.google. as is a face mask.thenourstart-to-finishguidelooks atallthestepsyoushouldbetaking. Wet and dry sandpaper – 1. PREPARE YOUR WORK AREA You won’t be popular if overspray ends up on someone’s plant pots.youcanachieve agreatpaintjobaslongasyouhaveenough space.thisguidewillshowyouhowtodoit. use a dust sheet with room on either side to catch stray paint – it also helps to tape the sheet against a wall and secure it to the ground.We’llalsodiscussthebestwaysto sprayspecificcaseparts.Paint your case venifyou’veneverusedaspray canbefore. you can use Google SketchUp (http://sketchup. the lacquer adds a layer of protection to your paint and enhances the shine.Witha littlepracticeandplanning. Theendresultcanbespectacular. and a booth can be constructed using old boxes and duct tape. com) to render your case and apply different colours – check http://scc. or satin or matt paint for a muted shine.grit Frommosthardwarestores Dust sheet. sponge and microfibre towel Frommosthardwarestores Primer. colour and lacquer acrylic spray paint Frommosthardwarestores Masking tape Frommosthardwarestores Vinyl line tape T-Cut MAKE A SPRAY BOOTH Fromwww. Alternatively. This could even be equipped with an extractor fan to remove fumes and excess paint if you have no option but to spray indoors. while a darker primer is better for dark blues and blacks. SELECT YOUR PAINTS You’ll need three types of spray paint.

BIT-TECH. 110 WorldMags. You’ll need to drill out the rivets that hold the various sections together.net October 2012 109 . such as grilles and buttons. First. and removes grease or silicon left behind from the manufacturing process or cleaning products. the paint will dry faster and you’ll end up with a better finish. The higher the grit number.NET DISMANTLE YOUR CASE If you don’t want to paint some parts. as well as ports and switches. Once it’s mixed. Anything that’s stuck to it – tea or coffee stains. and then use a sponge and washing-up liquid with plenty of water to clean every part of the case that needs to be painted. If you plan to spray your case’s insides then dismantle it completely. such as PCBs. as you’ll end up with much easier surfaces to spray. WASH THE CASE SAND THE CASE Sanding your case before painting provides a smooth base for the paint. can be tricky to mask properly. REMOVE THE RIVETS You’ll need to wash your case before you start. These can cause horrible finishes. especially if it isn’t new. test-spray it on some newspaper or a spare case. You may need to detach your case’s front fascia first. however. such as go-faster stripes. dust or unseen grime – can have a negative effect on your paintwork. enabling you to lay them out for easy spraying. Don’t use newspaper.HTTP://FORUMS. MIX THE PAINT AND TEST Shake the can up and down vigorously for five minutes – a ball inside will mix the paint. Look out for a full guide on how to do this next month. you’ll need between 1.000 and 1. Get used to the flow of paint and practise moving from left to right in sweeping movements. remove these prior to painting. the less coarse the paper. MASK UP You’ll need to mask certain areas to prevent paint from getting into them. Don’t leave it near a radiator or naked flame though. this can leave residue on surfaces and your fingers. as the paint won’t settle properly. If it’s cold outside. such as side panels – a 3m x 3m sheet costs around £1. but it’s far easier to remove them. remove any electronic equipment. You’ll need finegrit wet and dry sand paper. Masking tape edged with fine-line vinyl tape is good for sharp edges. You could mask them. while polythene dust sheets are great for larger areas. leave the can indoors overnight. You’ll then need to purchase a rivet gun and new rivets to put the case back together. and lots of water. and even sanding it might not get rid of all the dirt.600-grit for a smooth finish. Power and reset buttons. as it’s otherwise tricky to avoid the paint running in the corners. but they’re usually removable. Masking is also great for adding details.

but you’ll still be able to obtain good results if you have a clean and clutter-free work area. so there won’t be any joins in the paintwork as you move it. so you won’t be left hanging around for long.11 12 CLEAN THE AREAS TO BE PAINTED Before each coat. booth or ceiling. In warm conditions. such as a tissue. as the main coat will be very prone to running. A microfibre cloth is ideal. and is key to the final look of your new paint job. Applying primer will be good practice here. Apply at least four or five coats. Apply a single. Use long sweeping strokes as you spray. This means that you can cover all the surfaces at the same time. but by adding more coats. Another option is to use a pasting table. The ideal option is to hang the parts from a jig. thin coat of primer. allowing an hour or so between each coat for it to dry – don’t be tempted to get it all done in one go. the primer will dry in 10-15 minutes. Find a platform on which to place your case when spraying it. Thankfully. you’ll need to wash the case again with a clean sponge or damp cloth. You’ll need to do this after each coat of primer – it’s a laborious process. APPLY PRIMER SAND THE PRIMER Sand the layer of primer until it’s smooth using wet and dry sandpaper. Be sure to use a lint-free cloth or something that won’t leave hairs behind. use a damp cloth or sanding dust cloth to clean the areas you’ll be spraying. one coat at a time. then sanding them. ready for the final coat. then go to step 21. as this can make the paint run. and after sanding. WASH OFF THE DEBRIS APPLY THE COLOUR COAT The main coat rests on top of the primer. It might sound strange to use sandpaper on your fresh coat of paint. you’ll build up a super-smooth surface and fill in any imperfections in the case’s surface. rather than in circles. If any of the coats end up with a rough or rippled surface. POSITION YOUR CASE 13 14 Primer is key to obtaining a blemish-free finish. and spray in one direction. taking care not to cover the same area too many times. This will remove any surface dust that’s settled in between coats. 110 October 2012 WorldMags. it dries quickly. but you can also buy sanding dust cloths for around £1 that are specifically made for the purpose. which will raise the case off the ground. You shouldn’t need more than four or five coats of primer – just enough so that you can’t see the original paintwork. but it will result in a wonderfully smooth primer coat when you’ve finished. 15 16 As the process of sanding the panel will leave dust and paint particles behind.net .

net October 2012 111 . Spray paint can seep into its sides. as you did with the primer. IF NECESSARY WASH THE CASE Allow the colour coats to dry thoroughly overnight.NET 17 18 APPLY MASK ING TAPE AND L INE TAPE Don’t be tempted to use masking tape for painting straight edges. we opted to create some go-faster stripes on our case. you’ll need vinyl line tape – not only is this waterproof. MARK UP DETAILS 19 20 REMOVE MASK ING Let the paint dry completely before removing the masking tape. By masking sections of the white paint. not doing so can result in paint running into areas that were masked. All you have to do is sand down the area. dust or insects. For straight edges. We used masking tape to fill the centre of the lines. and you can then start again. Once the paint is dry. You can do this if dust or insects become trapped in the paint while it’s drying too. give the case a final wash to prepare the surface for the final coat – 112 lacquer. such as hairs. These will be difficult to remove once the lacquer has been applied. which will add shine to your work and protect it. If the straying is extensive. With a coat of gloss white paint applied to our case on top of the primer. creating what’s called ‘paint creep’. but you’ll need to make sure the paint is dry before attempting it.BIT-TECH. this can be touched up with a fine brush after spraying some paint into a pot.HTTP://FORUMS. Not doing so will mean that they’re soft enough to pick up fingerprints with even small amounts of pressure. INSPECT FOR IMPERFECTIONS 21 22 If you end up with a rough or rippled surface. SAND THE PAINT. ruining any straight lines. all you then have to do is paint the whole case the final colour – a glossy red in our case. As well as issues with masking. so now is the time to sort them out. Allow enough time for drying then gently remove the masking. plus elaborate details such as curved flames or logos. consider masking small areas off and then respraying. This flexibility makes it perfect for creating go-faster stripes. but it can also be bent into curves as well as straight lines. don’t fret. If any paint has strayed. even if it means sanding and respraying sections. and then applied vinyl line tape to mask the edges. so that it’s smooth. WorldMags. check the case for paint creep and imperfections in the paintwork.

which will help to buff the layer of lacquer and smooth out any imperfections as you rub it. Don’t be tempted to do this before the lacquer has hardened – it’s all too easy to knock a side panel or scratch the case as you put everything back together. or you’re after a more elaborate job. allowing the lacquer to gel and create a shiny layer. and how much to use on smaller sections. you can achieve an impressive shine. Meanwhile. Etches and stickers are also a great way of adding a unique touch to your case. After that. It’s best to leave it in a garage or somewhere outside of your house – the fumes emitted while drying are pungent. Use a slower. which stocks a variety of custom decals.chilledpc. After that.uk. You’ll need at least three or four layers of lacquer – the thickness will determine your case’s resistance to scratches.net . leave the lacquer to harden overnight. practise first using some spare material. For around £100.uk for more information. remove the residue with a clean cloth. Check out www. more generous movement than with the other coats. POL ISH WITH T-CUT If you needed to dismantle your case then now is the time to assemble it.kustompcs. Smaller sections will need more attention to prevent the lacquer from running. for a little more they’ll spray the inside and outside of your case with your desired designs too. L ACQUER SMALLER PARTS 25 26 As with respraying cars. you’re finished – you can now sit back and admire your painting skills. If you opted for a gloss paint. so you’ll want to apply it thinly in these areas. your newly painted case will respond well to some T-Cut. or building up in corners or troughs. Use the same method as you would when polishing a car – circular movements with plenty of pressure. PROFESSIONAL PAINT JOBS.BIT-TECH. you can send off your case and have a professional apply your dream colour scheme. Check out www.HTTP://FORUMS. PUT EVERYTHING BACK TOGETHER If you don’t fancy spraying your case yourself. If possible. such as powder coating or anodising.co. CUSTOM LOGOS AND DECALS 112 October 2012 WorldMags.co. there are professionals who can do it for you. It will dry hard.NET 23 24 APPLY L ACQUER TO L ARGE AREAS Start by lacquering a large area. to see how the lacquer settles. there are plenty of companies that offer custom decals and logos too. Once you’re finished. such as a side panel. and adding the icing to the cake.

net .WorldMags.

anditcan accommodateboth120mmand140mmfans.7Vand12V)fancontrollerhiddenbehind thefront.com Tobeinwithachanceofwinningoneof thesefantastic. Closing date: 12 October.5in mountsbehindthemotherboardforSSDs.with asolidcombinationofsteelandplastic.andthere’sapairofUSB3portson thetop-mountedfrontpanelaswell.5indrivesinthestandard cages.withthefoam-linedside panelshelpingtodeadenfannoise.anda lustworthybrushed-aluminiumfrontfascia. androomforeight3. andwedon’tblameyou–it’salovely-looking case. It’squiettoo. Thecaseincludesanintegratedthree-speed (5V. FormoreinformationabouttheDefineR4.uk Email your answer to WorldMags.there’salsoafurtherpairof2. Meanwhile.fractal-design.includingclearance UP FOR GRABS 2 foraCPUcoolerwithaheightofupto170mm.there’splentyofroomfor decenthardwareinside. Q 114 October 2012 WhatdoesATXstandfor? a)AcceleratedThreadedXeon b)AdvancedTechnologyeXtended c)ArmouredTankXylophone with ‘Fractal Design Competition 109’ in the Subject line.Italsoboastssuperbbuildquality.stylishcases.co. soyoucanpushplentyofairthroughthecase withouthavingtorunyourfansatsillyspeeds. visitwww.answerthe questionbelow. 2012 competition@custompc.net .for the win! WIN! A Fractal Design Define R4 case I WORTH £90 EACH fyoulikeyourPCtolooksmartandstylish thenyoumayhavefoundyourselftakinga fancytoFractalDesign’sDefineR4(seep42).

net .WorldMags.

However. but there’s also plenty of airflow space between them. However. but maybe you should write to the company and encourage it to put the case into production. I saw the ‘How to overclock an Intel Core i5-3570K’ guide. It’s an odd arrangement to look at. Of course. At Computex last year. with the graphics cards seemingly floating above the motherboard. pretty much any ATX case will have backplates for seven single-slot graphics cards – you’ll just have to put up with a lot of noise. The massive computational power of modern cards makes forays into Folding@home an interesting hobby. However. James Wilmington Ben replies: Seven graphics cards? That’s a serious folding rig you’re putting together. We haven’t heard anything from SilverStone about this since then. and I fully intend to fill each one of them throughout the course of the PC’s lifetime. that are also made possible with a dedicated GPU machine. but I’ve never been overly interested in the GPU processing side of it. but they all screw firmly into place. using an ingenious system of PCI-E extender daughterboards connected to the motherboard via flexible PCI-E data cables. Plus another issue is that the flexible riser cards you can buy provide flexibility in one plane. but I don’t see this being a problem. and make sure there’s plenty of airflow going through the case to prevent them from overheating. The P6T7 motherboard has a whopping total of seven PCI-E slots. with ‘Letter’ in the Subject line SilverStone’sTJ12prototype–sixdualslotgraphicscardsinthesamecase case. there are other ‘greyer’ sides to GPUprocessing machines. and a generic hard drive. Of course. That’s the quandary. I’m aware that fitting multiple PCI-E cards in a motherboard reduces the speed of each slot. Recently this changed and I’ve been cobbling together a dedicated GPU-processing PC from some second-hand bits and pieces. CORE AND ORDER I was reading your magazine. and I really admire your determination. I suspect this isn’t what you’re asking. but my question relates to PSUs and cases.uk. we haven’t seen a case that can do this yet. I’m hoping you guys have some insight on this issue. such as hash cracking and bitcoin mining. I would like some advice on which cases would be appropriate for all those PCI-E cards. but no more flexibility in any other plane. What are you supposed to do with all those cards? You can’t screw them all into the Send us your feedback and correspondence to editor@custompc. I have an Asus Supercomputer P6T7 WS motherboard.co. and I’m not aware of any external housing you could use. you then end up with a load of cards that are still flapping about in the breeze. Plus.Letters CASES FOR SEVEN GRAPHICS CARDS I’ve been aware of ‘Folding@home’ for some time. and that you’re actually looking at installing seven dual-slot graphics cards in the same case. and on p108 of Issue 107. At the bottom of the page with the results. we saw a prototype of SilverStone’s TJ12 case. Currently. which could accommodate six dual-slot graphics cards in the same case. but there’s one issue. In truth. I know that PCI-E risers are available to give you more flexibility when fitting cards in a machine. but we have seen something close. 8GB of RAM. an LGA1366 Core i7 CPU. The other bonus of this is that not only can you get six graphics cards in the same case. you say the CPU is a Core 116 October 2012 WorldMags. as it’s a calculation machine rather than a gaming machine. All the settings are fine.net .

loadsofpeoplehavebeen askingaboutthemugthismonth–it seemstobequiteamazinglypopular.Canitbepurchased? @craigthebeard84Idea:what aboutgivingsomethingbackto alltheloyalsubscribers?Themugsfor signingupnowaregreat! #herefromthestart Ben:Wow. but that’s the model number for a Core i7.but thismonth’sissuehashelpedmethe most. don’t have unlimited budgets and are really interested in getting the best they can from what they have.the7870hasmorestream processorsandtextureunits–it’s noticeablyquicker–notjustaclock speedbump. you mention people ‘still using a Core 2 Quad or first-generation Core i7 system’ wanting to ‘gut’ their system and install a new Ivy Bridge setup.Actuallyitwas2004. I’m not sure a better cooler would get you much further than that – the problem with the heat from that CPU is that it’s all concentrated into a very small space under the heatspreader – even our test chip won’t go any higher than 4. This isn’t intended to be a lot of criticism. Is this right? I’m using a 3770K. which is showing its age and getting a little slow. I don’t really feel inclined to upgrade my new computer to a newer Ivy Bridge system. @JaffoAfterreading@ CustomPCMag.8GHz. Ben:Yes. Follow us on Twitter at @custompcmag @BiggKennyIstheRadeon HD7870reallyworththeextra cashovera7850?Assumebothare overclocked. @TobyJKingIlovethatCustom PCmugthat’sgiventonew subscribers.net October 2012 117 .5GHz with little change in the temperatures (though no really appreciable change in the gameplay).FEEDBACK i5-3770K.which automaticallydisqualifiestheCorsair Vengeance1500. It’s by far the fastest computer I’ve owned. which is overclocked to 4. and that’s with a dual 120mm liquid-cooling system on full blast.Corsair Vengeance1500orapairof Sennheisers? Ben:Ifyouwanttogetthesoundfrom yourD2X. My point is that you might have quite a few readers who aren’t early adopters. Dariusz Stachowski Ben replies: Nope.that’smyfavouriteone. whereyoucanbuydigitalversionsof mostofourrecentbackissues–Issue 107costs£3. I’m in the process of upgrading to a Core 2 Quad Q6600 system from my wife’s current AMD Athlon X2 7750 Black Edition setup. to pile on the agony. as you know. The Witcher 2.50.7GHz overclock though. and with truly mindboggling frame rates. I really enjoy the magazine and keeping up 118 WorldMags. Crysis et al with everything at the highest settings.7GHz. Ivy Bridge CPUs get really high temps.My bestadviceistopickupthedigital versionfromhttp://gb.I’mnow downloadingtheHRTPforSkyrim. In the editorial. Congratulations on your 3770K’s 4. but is the Core i7 930 a museum piece already? Is it now to be shunned because it’s too old to be considered? My next upgrades for both machines will be SSDs. WishI’dknownaboutit113hoursago! @Sean_W19IhaveanAsus D2X. #BlewMyMind @thebiganzI’vesubscribed sinceIssue1. Ben:You’llbepleasedtoknowthat the2.Failingthat. I also decided to try my hand at this overclocking lark. @JoshJeffheadBeena subscriberforafewyears.butit’salsoour gamingheadsetofchoice(seep32). I wish I could get it to 5GHz with a better cooler but. The brand-new PC I built at Christmas is new Core i7 930 on an Asus Sabertooth LGA1366 motherboard. the Core 2 Quad is a good upgrade from the present AMD CPU.com.Using‘an’correctly. As such. with 12GB of Corsair Dominator DDR3 memory. probably for my new computer first. I’llaskthepowersthatbe. The CPU we used was indeed a Core i5-3570K.yourbest betiseBay. In everything I’ve read about it.ratherthanUSB. In fact. not a Core i7 chip.GofortheAsus VulcanANC–itnotonlyhasanalogue audioconnectors. and was pleasantly surprised to see my humble CPU reach around 4.Whichwouldbebetterfor gaming?AnAsusVulcan. UpgradingtoanSSD willmakeamuchbigger differencethananew motherboardandCPU GIVE OLDER K IT A CHANCE I read with interest your editorial concerning upgrading to an SSD. followed by the Core 2 Quad. I know the Core 2 Quad is old now. an H100 cooler and an MSI GTX 580. Dariusz – well spotted.6GHzPentium4Engineering SampleusedinIssue1’sBeatThe OfficePCisnowenjoyingahappy retirementinmymediacentrePC! @Ghobson1985Howwouldone goaboutorderingabackissue?I wanttheliquidcoolingone:) Ben:Ah.Lookingbackat ‘beattheoffice’PCnowseemslike yesterday. that’s most definitely not right.zinio. and it breezes through Battlefield 3.thenyou’llwantananalogue connection.

and I think you may have misunderstood the point of that part of my column. there were a lot of changes to the magazine between Issue 101 and when I took over on Issue 103. or any issue since to my recollection. I don’t even know if these amounts will suffice. one of the articles was going to be on Scan’s epic building skills. rather than just chucking out everything every couple of years. Have I overlooked the article? Could you tell me if it’s coming soon or if it’s already been published? I’m interested in the full potential of the Core i7-3930K CPU. To my disappointment. though. Dale Latimer Ben replies: I agree with you completely. you reviewed a load of new LGA2011 motherboards and Intel’s new Core i7 CPUs. or what I would have to buy in order to cool a fully overclocked i7-3930K. all-dancing Sandy Bridge E system.NOTthe XT60. As you’ll see in the Twitter Highlights (see previous page). while discussing the Ivy Bridge gaming rig in Issue 106.havedifferent levelwsofresistance. as I’m currently using Autodesk Maya 2011 for my university course and I could do with a super-fast PC. as well as £300 reserved for water cooling. If I’m honest. will be much greater than the difference from going to a Core i7 930 to an Ivy Bridge setup. there was no mention of it in Issue 102.Weapologisefortheconfusion.000 as a budget. motherboard.net . rather than swapping out the CPU. My point wasn’t to encourage people to gut their older systems to install new Ivy Bridge kit. The ‘Coming next month’ section in Issue 101 was basically written by a different editorial team – the Scan Sandy Bridge E system to which we referred definitely wasn’t a joke.it’ssoldastheUT60. I’m glad you’re enjoying what we’re doing. but to say that people with components such as yours would be much better off replacing their system hard drive with an SSD. Nikki. Interestingly. it’s looking really good. because one of the other articles was on hacking banks and that’s just illegal! I waited eagerly for the next issue to find out the potential of combining a fully overclocked Intel Core i7-3930K CPU with decent water-cooling. I have around £2. As a side point.viaFacebook with developments in technology. Watch this space. As you probably noticed.’LasttimeI checkedtherewasno‘w’in‘levels’:P AntonyBragg. this could be a really interesting idea to follow up. Ben replies: Thanks for your positive comments about the magazine’s new formula. in the ‘Coming next month’ section. memory and so on for what’s basically not much of a speed increase in real-world terms.FEEDBACK Intel’sSandyBridgeE–amazingfor multi-threadedworkstationsoftware. a lot of people’s real-world experiences don’t always reflect the outcome of the testing process. The difference made by an SSD. my first priority when I took over wasn’t to go through previous ‘Coming next month’ sections before the one in Issue 102 – I honestly just forgot about it. and now that former Custom PC editor James Gorbold (see p130) is helping Scan to spec up its top-end 3XS systems. guys. in the back of the same issue. in Issue 101.Simplyput. COR R E C T I O N 118 October 2012 WorldMags. However. outside the world of benchmarking and speed competitions. but I feel it’s important not to write off older tech just because of its age. I’m also a big fan of getting the most out of your older kit. in terms of general computer usage. I’ve even found a home for my ancient Socket 478 Pentium 4 system. Scan was going to put together a water-cooled system to tame Intel’s Sandy Bridge E. Please help! Nikki Beestin Get a kick out of pointing out the shortcomings of others? It’s okay – so do we ANOTHER LEVELW Onp56ofIsssue108itsays:‘depending onthetypeofswitch. I assumed this wasn’t the fake article.and calledtheAlphacoolNexXxosUT60theAlphacool NexXxosXT60throughoutourwatercoolingLabsin Issue107. Then. Throughout the reviews you kept mentioning that they need a decent watercooling system to overclock them efficiently. butitneedsseriouscoolingifyouwant tooverclockit WHERE’S THIS SANDY BRIDGE E SYSTEM? I’m loving the new magazine layout. Harryhasjustrealisedthathe’sbeenaberk. I also feel that. we chatted to Scan about the potential for getting in an all-singing.

net .WorldMags.

net .WorldMags.

167 Score4.net October 2012 121 . as it took days to complete a unit. CPC:Anytipsforfellowteammembers? Votick: I see this in every issue. this has inspired me to build a dedicated folding rig to keep up my production. mainly via GPU folding. Once I’d done that. My main gaming PC (an overclocked Phenom 1055T running at 3. CPC:Andthebest? Votick: I’ve really enjoyed participating in the Chimps Challenge event for the past three years. which is handy for folding.Youcanalsodiscussfoldingwithusandotherreadersonthewww.fatchef. My main spike in points recently was made possible while I was beta-testing some cloud computing products. CPC:Whataspectexcitesyouthemost aboutfolding? Votick: The fact that my PCs are a part of the world’s largest distributed supercomputer.HTTP://FORUMS.021 TOPFOLDERS Thismonth’sshout-outsgotoScorpuk. However.5GHz with a GTX 680) turfs out the most points (around 25. although only two run 24/7.bit-tech.co.000 ppd). johnim.Onceyoupassasignificantmilestone. and I have to repeat it.htmlandourteam’sIDis35947. Huntington’s and many cancers.edu/download.P. as it’s a very important tip: sign up to the forums and get to know the others in the team! Some great tips can be found on the forum. Most of the PCs are at home. but had to pack it in shortly afterwards.PaulChapman. CPC:What’syourworstfoldingexperience? Votick: Probably burning out a GeForce 8800 GTX because it overheated.uk 122 WorldMags. Teamrank186 Worldrank7. both of which fold using around 50 per cent of the CPU resources.netforums. joining with others from around the world to help with the study of protein folding in diseases such as Alzheimer’s.547 Dailypointsaverage7.ifanything? Votick: I’d like to swap out my overclocked AMD Phenom 1055T for an Intel Core-i7.stanford.623 Workunits5. as they stay very cool. CPC:Doyouintendtokeepupyourcurrent productionlevel? Votick: Sadly not. I then returned in 2010. both of these are servers. sadly. but I’ll be in on the next one – hopefully with more power! CPC:Whatwouldyouchangeaboutyour setup. I need to save up some pennies first. although various servers are in data centres. to allow room for general use. you’llgetyournameinthemag. However. I made an account and started to fold.I. and I’ve been active ever since. which I would then use as an occasional folding machine. Sadly. CPC:Whatpromptedyoutostartfolding? Votick:It was probably the first issue of CustomPC I purchased way back in 2008.BIT-TECH. CPC:Howmanymachinesdoyoucurrently havefolding? Votick: I have around four machines that fold. Meanwhile. R.kirk_hobson anddebs3759. the AMD CPU and motherboard could then be turned into a dedicated folding rig. and I’m an IT support engineer for BrightVisions in Cambridgeshire. the two servers run SMP clients on an AMD FX-4 4100 X4 Bulldozer and an Intel Xeon i7 W3520.Ifyoufoldunderanyofthese names. I missed this year’s challenge.189.NET Join our folding team and help medical research WHAT IS FOLDING? Folding@homeusesthespareprocessingcyclesfromyourPC’sCPUandgraphicscardsformedicalresearch. which can enable you to squeeze more units out of your hardware. We catch up with folder of the month: : Votick CPC:Sowhoareyouandwhatdoyoudo? Votick: My name is Chris. but it’s turned off when not in use.emaileditor@custompc. My 1GHz Athlon K8 didn’t manage very well.Youcandownload theclientfromhttp://folding.

MILESTONES THIS MONTH Username Points milestone Username Points milestone Username Points milestone Username Points milestone DJcarrot Jamie matthewed wardcornish Pickles96 Youtube BelgiumPress a5pin Aesir Anselm Eltresino MalecAndBrinn 20000 20000 20000 20000 20000 30000 30000 30000 30000 30000 tompdb david_thomas 1903 jpostlethwaite ThreeFN Borden GrammarSchool Detsawm KINGOF THESWING baggins Daysdivinity dixy999 natwilford03 ReDeamer Rosyglo darthvanman Evil_Pillsbury 60000 70000 70000 80000 100000 100000 100000 200000 200000 200000 200000 200000 200000 300000 300000 300000 300000 300000 400000 400000 400000 400000 Archaon88 CCHS Fartlek maxrealism YbrFinX kornvdd Munky toothytech Antec-G Osiris_Blue zit_z_pps ForGrace yes beads Dobbs2010 Humwawa Number14 geonectixs Igniseus kirk_hobson Laguna2012 500000 500000 500000 500000 500000 600000 600000 600000 700000 700000 700000 800000 800000 900000 900000 900000 900000 1000000 1000000 1000000 1000000 Pete ShortMunky chelseascum firth72 PRJKITCH Slowlemon Daniel_Selley gordon_wardlaw JazzNazz Leevor SicoAnimal Abomin81on Votick debs3759 KevinWright Mark_Skeldon TheAbyssDragon cave_diver davidj2010 JediMasterJonny Scorpuk 1000000 1000000 2000000 2000000 2000000 2000000 3000000 3000000 3000000 3000000 3000000 4000000 4000000 5000000 5000000 5000000 5000000 7000000 7000000 7000000 7000000 Rykard_Maximus 30000 EricK humphrey K. Raoul589 Eldorado-Bittech_ gfos2 RandomDecoy TheManicGibbon {HSP}Dazzler KyralTim SirBenjamin Nunn 40000 40000 40000 40000 50000 50000 50000 50000 60000 60000 60000 Filce Taffers toxic43 Filce Fuseunder ground SourDipRaita TokerRizla THE NEXT OVERTAKE World Team name rank Points Daily points average Time until overtake 7 CustomPC& bit-tech 5.T.721.413.net .133 0 122 October 2012 WorldMags.T.I.616 3.845.

547 87.895 41.603 56.168 65.214.274 162.575 71.814 Overallscore 234.376.411 48.674.456 5.911 43.342.kit notturningupandseveraldaysspentimpalingcouriersonspikes.589 5.286.425 105.165.we’llshowyouhowtoput togetheragreatcomputer. IfyouwerebaffledbytheArduino Leonardoreview(seep44)thenpay attentiontothiscrackingguidefrom Gareth’sHalfacreenextissue.221.net October 2012 123 .954 15.186 140.411 87.446 79.275.773.966.HTTP://FORUMS.291.534. 2012 WorldMags.878 42.465 6.372 8.428 2.343 338.911 50.658.483 78.277 13.877 46.304 31.638 94.772 75.477 42.042 61.714 33. *Pleasenotethatthesestoriesaresubjecttoproductdelays.880.773.673 40.174.086.whichhe’sgoing topushtotheirlimits.biz The_M2B Lordsoth Points 381.197 12.880.275.658.158 59.005 83.549 56.512 38.orjustwantsometipsoncablerouteing.417 211.187.321.005 223.012 1._Lewis BennieboyUK saspro fir3x Standin_wave Nelio One_Box PS3/LanDi greenfrog.496 56.646 48.628 193.354 51.222 130.551 30.794 141.874.494 47.042 49.279.135 7.363 93. Wedon’tjustmeanremovingtheside panels–AntonyLeathershowsyouhow tocompletelydismantleyourcaseand drilloutalltherivets.578 Serpentine TheFlipside julianvt _Fanatic Angy LordBadger PC_Rich PeteBee Christopher_N.940.757 159.477 30.BIT-TECH.477 83.864 41.349.571 36.855.NET TOP 20 OVERALL Rank Username Points milestone 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 TOP 20 PRODUCERS Work units 107.719 161.963 71.754._ Lewis Nelio coolamasta One_Box Wallace LordBadger Scorpuk The_M2B fir3x Lordsoth PC_Rich fatchef kirk_hobson Slowlemon Leroyingo PaulChapman Mark_Rowe johnim debs3759 Dailypointsaverage 415.720 73.047 Username Dave_Goodchild DocJonz phoenicis zz9pzza coolamasta Lizard StreetSam CustomBitChimps Wallace Christopher_N.895 Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Username DocJonz Christopher_N.572 27.697.983.readyfora massiveLabstestnextmonth.646 193.285.969 57.689 51. How to dismantle your case On sale 20 September.107 45._ Lewis 7000000 7000000 8000000 9000000 20000000 30000000 40000000 40000000 80000000 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Coming next month in Power supplies Make a temperaturesensitive light system Harry’sbeenstockpilingaveritable mountainof500-850Wpower suppliesinourlab.165.821 231.148 3.222 48.forpropermodding.221.607 47.663 32.525 294.674.390.321.014.866 17.214.887 49.865 86.875 55. whileweconsumeburritosandrumamidtheirdesperatecries. PC building masterclass Whetheryou’renewtothisPC-building lark.855.549 43.302 234.418 47.257.

. Forthebenefitofyoungerreaders.withawhopping1KBofRAManda copyofSinclairBASICheldinan8KBROM (read-onlymemory).orof acuriousmindset.youacquiredamachine basedaroundtheZilogZ80processor–or acompatiblechipfromNEC–runningat 3.in1981. Now he readies his soldering iron to see how the computer building process has changed over the last three decades.TheresultwastheZX81. theZX81cost £69.anRFmodulator.andseveral bagsofcomponents.Ifyouwereacheapskate.buttogetarealsenseofhow timeshavechangedthere’sonlyonething forit:togettheDeLoreanupto88mphand getourhandsonakit-formZX81forsome microcomputerbuildingaction.apower supply–towhichwe’llhave toattachourownpluglater –someleadsforatape recorder. AbagofblackICs.At thestartofthedecade.however.Gareth Halfacree managed to get hold of a brand new.Intheboxwefoundaplasticcasing finishedinfuturisticblack.95bymailorderdirectly fromSinclair.andBritain wasattheforefront.asthenamesuggests.Sinclairdemandedmore:abug-fixed systemthatcouldbesoldforevenless money. T hefactthatyou’rereadingthis magazinemeansthatyou’remore thanlikelyfamiliarwiththeconcept ofbuildingyourownPC. SinclairComputers– foundedfromthe ashesofClive Sinclair’sSinclair Radionics–wouldoffer theworld’sfirsthome computerforunder£100:theZX80.andthe launchoftheAcornAtomfromSinclair’s bitterrival(andformeremployee)Chris Curry.the1980sisrememberedby mostgeeksasbeingthebirthofwhat youmayrecogniseasthecomputing era.5MHz. Foryourcash.Putting togetheryourowncomputerwasn’talways aseasyasthestandardisedjigsawpuzzlewe havenowthough. andthiswasatatimewhenrivalmachines costclosertothe£300mark. akeyboard.95–theequivalentofaround£170now. Lookinginthebags. Launched.the 1980swasamagicaltime. FollowingthesuccessoftheZX80.printed circuitboard.. unopened Sinclair ZX81 kit from 1981.we’regoingtotakeyouona tripdownmemorylanetothegoldeneraof microcomputing:the1980s.Despitealittle warandsomeunpopulardecisionsbythe firstfemaleprimeminister. 8-bitmachineswithverylittle memory–weretakingthe worldbystorm.net . somecomponentsare moreobviously recognisablethanothers. It’seasytoscoffatthenow-meagre specifications. Afterwaitingtherequired28daysfor delivery–thepostalservicewasdifferent backthen.Togiveyouanideaofjust whatitmeanttobeasystembuilderbackin thebadolddays.andSinclairwasn’tabovetaking peoples’moneyfordevicesthatdidn’tquite exist–wereturnedto2012withourveryown ZX81kit.for 124 October 2012 WorldMags.Microcomputers–simple.youcouldalso opttobuythemachineinkitformforjust £49.Margaret Thatcher. alongwithasurprisingly compact.

Thediagramontheback oftheboxshowshowto hookupthecomputer.areroughlythesameparts Othercomponentsareless THE ROM CHIP IS THE ONLY ONasamoderncomputerhastoday:an obvious:thetransparentbags. BOARD STORAGE. A BIOS IN A MODERN PC LessrecognisablearetheFerranti resistors.apincompatibleZilogZ80clone.it’stimetostartthebuild.marked‘SinclairResearch’.However.capacitorsand UncommittedLogicArray(ULA)and transistors–andnotasurfaceasystem-on-chip(SoC)aboutitifyouignore theROM. PERMANENTLY packeddutifullybySinclair NECD780C-1istheCPU.althoughitalsohasshadesof guide. mountcomponentinsight.net October 2012 125 .diodes.Permanentlyburnedintothechipis chipwhichtakesontherolesof12ofthe goingtohavetoaddasolderingirontoour thebootloaderforthedevice–theequivalent chipsfoundintheoriginalZX80.It’salmost Afteridentifyingallofthecomponentsand acopyoftheZX81’soperatingsystem: liketheNorthbridgeandSouthbridgeofa matchingthemtotheprovidedassembly SinclairBASIC. TheblackICsareroughlythesamepartsasthoseofa moderncomputer.containanassortmentof theplaceofDIMMs.withaCPUandapairofRAMchips TheZX81includesanRF(aerialsocket)modulator(left)asstandard. toaBIOSorEFIinamodernPC–alongwith complexityandcostdramatically.we’regoingtodoalittlemodding. butsaysnothingabout theamountofsoldering involvedinbuildingit example.reducingthe PC-buildingtoolkitforthefirsttimeinyears. TheformeristhesecretofSinclair’slowneedstobeattachedtothePCBbyhandand TheROMchipistheZX81’sonlyon-board costsuccess:theULAisasemi-custom intherightlocation–meaningthatwe’re storage.and replaceitwithaunitthat’scapableofoutputtingacompositesignalforcurrentTVs(right) 126 WorldMags.Eachone thelackofon-boardCPU. modernPC.whilea assembly-lineworkersanxiousnot BURNED INTO THE CHIP IS THE pairof512-byte2114RAMchipstake tobecomeanotherunemployment BOOTLOADER – EQUIVALENT TO statistic.

Sinclair throws in a curveball: a set of resistor packs. These contain several resistors in a single long package with a common pin at the end. The wrong resistor in the wrong place means a dead ZX81. as they need to stand upright. like diodes. There are no handy PCI slots or ZIF sockets for these components. Another 16 solder points in this step brings us to 42 so far – the sweat is starting to build and the fumes are getting troublesome. Diodes act as electronic gates. In some ways. you need to flip over the board and solder each resistor into place – a total of 26 solder joints are needed to complete this first step. After soldering – another 24 joints for a running total of 66 – each resistor is inspected to make sure that it isn’t touching any of its neighbours and causing a short circuit. unlike the resistors. Finally. However. once inserted. 126 October 2012 WorldMags. Another 24 more solder points and we’ve broken the century at 105 in total – and we’re barely halfway through the build process. There are other resistors to fit. Some are ceramic discs. the blue drum-shaped electrolytic capacitors have a specific polarity. meaning that they need to be fitted with the thick band pointing upwards. but we’ll add these later. Just when we thought we’d seen the last resistor.Whilethesehavetheirvaluesprinted on the side – meaning that we don’t have to squint at coloured bands – they need to be soldered to the board with the common pin pointing towards the ‘C’ marking on the PCB.net . which you read from the resistor by decoding the colour stripes on its body. so that electricity can flow in one direction but not the other. they all have the same value and only fit in one location. Another 15 solder points for these brings us to 81 in total. some positions on the board are left empty. either. inserted into the holes and then held in place while the board is flipped. which means that you have to carefully investigate the markings on the PCB. More resistors! To save board space – and therefore money – Sinclair’s engineers opted to fit some resistors standing upright. This means that each of these resistors needs to be carefully bent into shape. which are no more difficult to fit than resistors. However. These store small amounts of electricity – like a very small battery – and provide smoothing for various important signals. The iron is starting to feel remarkably heavy now. Just to make matters even more complicated. as it’s now time to solder the capacitors to the board. saving even more space. we’re able to have a little break from resistors. Each resistor location on the board requires a specific value. we need to solder the diodes to the keyboard port. Next.The first step is to insert all the resistors that lay flat on the board. or the keyboard won’t work. the diodes are polarised. the diodes are easy to fit.

At least there’s no more soldering. the ULA (uncommitted logic array) and CPU sockets both have 40 pins.net October 2012 127 . the ZX81 needs a heatsink – but it isn’t the CPU we’ll be protecting. Sockets and slots make matters a lot easier when you’re building a modern-day PC system. Meanwhile. Next comes a trio of miscellaneous components: three-legged transistors. This part is seriously time-consuming. Another 13 solder joints in this step brings the total to 269 – and we can finally shut down the iron and mop our fevered brows. Each needs to have its legs carefully bent inwards by pushing against a flat surface – they’re manufactured with slightly splayed legs. A trio of 3. providing a much cleaner picture and support for modern LCD TVs. more than doubling our total at 253. followed by the ROM towards the bottom of the board. We’ll add the sockets now. and the two RAM chips sit towards the righthand side of the PCB. At this point. the Z80 CPU is situated in the middle. bringing us to a sweat-inducing sum of 114.CUSTOMISATION As with a modern PC. plus a further 17 for the two keyboard connectors – that’s a whopping 139 solder joints. meaning that we’ve now had 256 so far. but the transistors need to be aligned with the outline on the PCB. then put the chips in them towards the end of the build. a trait continued by ICs today – before being pushed firmly into the socket. it becomes very warm indeed. The IC sockets protect the chips from the heat of soldering. A 5V regulator takes the incoming 9V feed from the power supply and turns it into power the logic circuits can use. but in doing so. the ZXVid provides a highquality.5mm jacks provide connections for a tape recorder – as an input device for loading software and a storage device for saving software – and the 9V power supply. The ‘workhorse’ ULA is placed next to the modulator. Just three solder joints required this time. for a ZXVid. which are significantly smaller than the tip of your finger. At the same time. we had to open a window for some fresh air. and a ceramic filter. The filter can go on the board any way around. While we’d question the logic of having a power supply that uses the same plug as a set of headphones. we’re trusting Clive on this one. and adds nine solder points to the total. A sharp-edged slab of metal bolted to the regulator provides some cooling – and more so when we deviated from the instructions a little by adding some silicone thermal paste. while the ROM has 24 and the RAM has 18. 128 WorldMags. and built by Ian Gledhill. Designed by Andy Rea . but not when you have to solder them on yourself. which provides an analogue video signal for older TV sets. and it’s game over. Bend a pin. This is a short step. stable composite video output. It’s finally time to put in the chips. we’re swapping out the Sinclair-supplied RF modulator.

The bottom half of the case is then attached with a further five screws. it’s time to assemble the case. the ZX81 flickers into life some 31 years after the kit was placed in its box.CUSTOMISATION Officially. we thought? Well. The sealed membrane keyboard means that it was cheap to manufacture and reasonably resistant to spills. What better way to christen the device than a short program designed to duplicate – albeit rather clumsily – the CustomPC logo. or even the reassurance of a glowing LED to let you know it’s functioning. Ferranti designed the ULA to run at around 50 per cent utilisation. Some thermal tape and a low-profile heatsink should head trouble off at the pass. it’s now time to install the ZX81 in its case: but this is Custom PC. which slides through the case and connects to the PCB through a pair of very fiddly – and fragile – cables.net . and the ZX81 is no exception. and a cursor awaiting our instructions. There’s no whirr of fans or hard drives. This leads to premature failure. Third-party replacements were popular. the ZX81’s housing is made entirely from lovely cheap plastic. and the system can be flipped over into its correct orientation. be sure to let us know at the usual address. Finally. aside from Crysis – and if you can figure out a way to make that work. but the ZX81 runs it closer to 75 per cent – meaning that it gets extremely hot. but the machine is working hard nevertheless. it’s easy to see why the ZX81 earned the nickname ‘doorstop’. It’s now time to connect the keyboard. but we’ll stick with the original. but it creates a typing experience described by the BBC’s Micro Men as ‘like trying to read Braille through a pair of gardening gloves’. Our efforts are rewarded with a blank white screen. With power connected. The PCB is placed onto the lid – not the base – of the case face-down and secured with two screws. and we don’t fancy forking out for the plutonium needed to make another trip to 1981 to pick up a replacement. Unlike a modern PC case. Sinclair had what we’re going to generously call an ‘original’ approach to keyboard design. so we can’t resist a little mod. At this point. CPC 128 October 2012 WorldMags. and a composite video cable running to a classic CRT TV.

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