Win­dows 10 turns one

Microsoft cel­e­brates birth­day with An­niver­sary Up­date


Wel­come to the Novem­ber is­sue of PC Ad­vi­sor. It’s a year since Microsoft re­leased Win­dows 10 to the world and dur­ing that time it has been in­stalled on around 300 mil­lion PCs, lap­tops and tablets. The free up­grade of­fer has ended, and Microsoft has given up­graders a birth­day present of sorts in the form of the An­niver­sary Up­date. This in it­self isn’t go­ing to per­suade any Win­dows 7 diehards to up­grade, but it does add a va­ri­ety of new fea­tures and im­prove­ments, which you can read all about in our re­view on page 18.

Buy any new PC or lap­top to­day and it will come with Win­dows 10, and there are some fine ex­am­ples, in­clud­ing the HP Spec­tre 13 (page 28). Not only does it look stun­ning but it’s fan­tas­ti­cally thin and light with­out com­pro­mis­ing per­for­mance. Okay, it’s also ex­pen­sive, but if you want the best, you have to be pre­pared to pay for it.

Speak­ing of the best, Sam­sung has achieved a sim­i­lar feat with the Galaxy Note7 (page 34). If you’re yet to try out a Note, and its com­pan­ion – the built-in sty­lus – then I rec­om­mend that you do. This lat­est model im­proves on its pre­de­ces­sor in looks and per­for­mance, and it’s wa­ter­proof to boot. If it’s out of your price range, Xiaomi’s Redmi 3S (page 31) shows the in­cred­i­ble value you can get if you’re pre­pared to order a phone from China.

We’ve tested yet more of the new graph­ics cards from AMD- and Nvidia’s new ranges, in­clud­ing Asus’ over­clocked GTX 1080 Strix (page 46), which is by far the fastest GPU we’ve ever seen. It’s far from cheap, but if you want to play games at 4K, it can han­dle that with­out break­ing a sweat. At the bot­tom of the new range is the GTX 1060, which is much more af­ford­able at well un­der £300, but is it a bet­ter buy than AMD’s flag­ship RX 480 at around the same price? Find out on page 48.

AMD is also poised to launch its brand new range of CPUs and on page 80 we ex­plore the new chips and give 10 rea­sons why the Zen wants to be your next up­grade.

Cloud stor­age is great, but of­ten you need some fast lo­cal stor­age to store and trans­fer files. On page 64 we’ve rounded up the best of the lat­est por­ta­ble drives, which will suit no mat­ter your bud­get or de­sired ca­pac­ity. The lat­est pock­etable SSDs of­fer blis­ter­ing per­for­mance and aren’t frag­ile like tra­di­tional hard drives. It’s go­ing to be a while be­fore they’re as cheap as their me­chan­i­cal cousins, but if you can live with un­der 500GB of stor­age space they are very tempt­ing.

Fi­nally, as it’s 35 years since IBM re­leased the first PC, we take apart a PC 5150 (page 74) to see just how far things have come since 1981.

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