Portable computing has come a long way since the days of the Texas calculator. Netbooks have taken the market by storm, and even Crempy, the resident PCF child reviewer, has one. Netbooks are all well and good until it comes to actually doing proper computing, and playing games that are less than 47 years old.
That’s where Lenovo’s beefy ThinkPad Edge comes in. It has a powerful Core i3 processor, an epic 2GB of memory, a whopping 1,366 x 768 15.6-inch screen, crisp Intel HD graphics and a capacious 250GB hard drive. All wrapped up in sleek black casing with ThinkPad’s trademark Ultranav navigation nipple in the middle of the keyboard. It doesn’t end there.
PC Format has just got free stuff coming out of its ears today. Mode 7 has been working on its unique and ace top-down turn-based strategy shooter (how many genres!?) for ages now, and I saw it at the dev’s Oxfordshire abode earlier this year.
StarCraft II: one of the biggest games of the year, if not the decade. It’s already sold over a million units worldwide, we’ve given it an amazing score this issue, and it’s certainly got the world back into the humble RTS. If you haven’t already got it, you’re missing out.
If you’re one of the six people who haven’t already invested in the stunning RTS, you can get it via the PC Format competition route. In addition to the Limited Collector’s Edition of the game, you can get your hands on about £250 worth of Terran-related swag, including a Jinx StarCraft II T-shirt, a BradyGames game guide, a poker set, a WoW magazine, a badge, a Noobz toy, a bag, a comic book, a SteelSeries StarCraft II mouse pad, a magnet and some stickers. It’s like a StarCraft II Christmas stocking, only without the manky satsuma and 50p. And you won’t even have to give your dad some sherry and a carrot.
We like games, and we like graphics. And because of that we like graphics cards that make games run smoothly and look dead pretty. The GTX 470 is one such card to make with the moving pictorial loveliness.
Based on the same GF100 GPU that made the overheating GTX 480 such a graphical behemoth, the £300 GTX 470 will quite happily make mincemeat out of pretty much any game you care to throw its way. With 448 CUDA cores for their parallel processing goodness, and 40 whole ROPs, this card is a bit of a beast.
That’s why we think NVIDIA’s second spin of its first Fermi GPU was so super-special, and we think it’s so good that you readers ought to have one as well. The folk that make Runes of Magic (PCF233 84%) think so too, so we’ve got together to bring three lucky readers a brand new Gainward GTX 470 graphics card as well as a boxed copy of the client and some fantastically stylish RoM threads.
If you’re looking for ultra-portability then Lenovo’s new IdeaPad U350 (www.lenovo.com/ideapad/uk) is just the ticket. PCFormat readers have the chance to win one of ten U350 laptops worth £499. As well as being light and thin, these great ultra-slim laptops come with 3GB of RAM and a spacious 250GB hard drive, as well as three USB ports, a card reader and Wi-Fi. With the Windows 7 Lenovo Enhanced Experience certification you’ll enjoy fast boot and shutdown, a rich multimedia experience and easy system maintenance. The 13.3-inch HD display is perfect for watching movies, while the Dolby stereo speakers make the most of your media.
If you were to wander into PCF Towers recently, you’d find the PCF crew lacking heads, just bleeding, messy neckstumps. This is because AMD’s latest graphics card – the HD 5870 – has literally blown our heads off. Like Mike the Headless Chicken, we’re functioning on basic motor-neuron commands at the moment, but we’re still capable of producing the ludicrously excellent magazine that is PC Format.
How did the HD 5870 achieve the collective PCFormat cranial explosion? Its sheer graphical prowess. With its 215 billion transistor count, 1,600 stream shaders, 80 texture units and 32 ROPS, this incredible card has blown everything else out of the water. Add it to any PC and you’ll have a graphics grinding power-house faster than you can say “Crysis at max setttings.”
With the long term economic climate still largely uncertain you’d certainly be forgiven for curbing some of your major PC purchases until things improve. A more sensible approach is steady component upgrades to spread the cost and enhance performance over time. And as if by magic we’ve got an incredible component giveaway this issue to fast-track the whole process for you.