Type of site
|Created by||Vinny Dhir (Koolvin)|
bit-tech.net (often abbreviated to bit-tech, bit or BT) is an online magazine for computer hardware enthusiasts, gamers and case modders, based in the UK. It was founded in 2000, became a fully professional online publication in 2005, and announced its acquisition by Dennis Publishing in October 2008. Dennis Publishing then partnered the site with existing monthly publication Custom PC magazine, making bit-tech the online version of the magazine. At this point the two editorial teams were totally integrated. However, due to a restructure in January 2012 the website and magazine now have separate editors again, although several of the writers still contribute material to both publications.
The website caters specifically for the computer hardware enthusiast market, providing reviews and articles on higher end hardware and games. Bit-tech is also prominent in the custom case modding scene, providing a focus point for professional and amateur case modders. Much of the site’s content and writing style revolve around this particular reader-base, and its regular readers have been responsible for some of the most well known case mods, such as Orac3 and the Blackmesa HL2 mod.
Originally bit-tech.net was designed to be a small site where people who were interested in case modding could see new ideas from the team and discuss them in the forums, due to the relatively small presence of modding at the time.
It has since diversified and, along with the trend-setting case mods, bit-tech now also features detailed reviews of computer hardware and video games, industry news and editorials. There is now increased coverage of console games, though PC games are still the major focus.
Wil Harris was Editor-in-Chief of bit-tech for almost six years and in February 2007, he announced that he was stepping down the end of March 2007 to move onto a fresh challenge. At the time, Wil's successor was not announced and it was not until April 2007 that Tim Smalley announced that he would be taking over as Editor with immediate effect. After Tim had successfully led the site to acquisition by Dennis Publishing in October 2008, he integrated it into the new owner's technology portfolio and then stood down as Editor in April 2010 after launching a new consumer technology website at Dennis, Expert Reviews, at the start of the year. Alex Watson took over as bit-tech's Editor with immediate effect and was replaced by former deputy editor of Custom PC James Gorbold in December 2010. In January 2012, Dennis publishing restructured the editorial team and Simon Brew took on the role of managing editor of the site. In February 2013, Simon Brew stepped down and Dennis publishing appointed Edward Chester as Editor.
In April 2014 bit-tech was acquired by David Ross, who operates HEXUS and BOXFX as brands.
bit-tech is known for reviewing computer components in a less than traditional manner, where it chooses to focus on real-world benefits in real applications instead of small (or theoretical) advances in performance. In some cases, this resulted in apples-to-oranges comparisons - something that has split the enthusiast's community on many occasions.
bit-tech continues to expand its hardware and modding content in 2012, whilst remaining committed to its enthusiast style in conjunction with its sister title Custom PC magazine.
bit-tech first became widely known for its community of PC case modders who would re-shape and decorate PC hardware into a variety of more creative forms. Although the site has since expanded to include hardware and games reviews, it still runs regular modding coverage including the very popular Mod of the Month and Mod of the Year competitions and regular project articles. In 2012, bit-tech launched the Case Mod Index - an ever-growing database of computer mods, sorted by case manufacturers such as Cooler Master or SilverStone. You're able to see all computer mods based on a specific case, as well as browse dozens of completed projects.
bit-tech has been host to some of the most popular and striking mods on the Internet, including the BlackMesa Mod (currently on show at Valve), Cygnus X1, Anemone Mod, Macro Black and Lian-Li GOO Mod.
bit-tech uses an arguably more in-depth review model than many other review sites and has a strong focus on PC titles, though console and handheld reviews are increasingly common. Video game reviews do not just provide a commentary of gameplay but also include graphical analysis and a breakdown of how the game will look on different hardware. This review model means that video game reviews are typically much longer than reviews from other sites, though console reviews are a more traditional length.
bit-tech employs a percentage scoring system with 'Approved' and 'Premium' awards. Unlike many review sites, bit-tech uses the full range of this scale and scores poor games harshly, with 50% used to represent average games. While the writing style of the site often leans towards New Games Journalism, this has mostly been downplayed since the site was bought by Dennis Publishing and the current writing style is similar to that of partnered magazine, Custom PC Magazine as the site and magazine are written by the same editorial team.
Recently the site has moved to embrace the indie games community and has run several features exploring and supporting this side of the PC industry. Several prominent independent developers, including Introversion Software and writers from Free Radical Design have written columns for the site which explore a number of issues in and around the games industry.
In 2011 bit-tech's games section was rebranded as bit-gamer and now sits alongside the main site as a separate games website.
- Contributor - Rick Lane (Games Editor, Bit-gamer)
- Contributor - Jake Tucker (Console Gaming Editor, Bit-gamer)
- Contributor - Gareth Halfacree (News Editor)
- Contributor - Anthony Leather (Hardware)
- Contributor - Dave Alcock (Modding Content Lead)
- Editor - Matthew Lambert
- Harris, Wil. bit-tech takes a giant leap, bit-tech.net, 3 June 2005
- Emeran, Riyad TrustedReviews and bit-tech Get It Together, TrustedReviews, 1 June 2005
- Tim Smalley , bit-tech.net, 20 October 2008
- Harris, Wil. Changing times at bit-tech, bit-tech.net, 9 February 2007
- Bit-tech supremo steps down, shocka[permanent dead link], The Inquirer, 8 February 2007
- Smalley, Tim. Bit-tech: The Next Generation, bit-tech.net, 6 April 2007
- And It's Goodbye From Me, Tim Smalley, bit-tech.net 8 April 2010
- Bennett, Kyle. Benchmarking Future, HardOCP, June 2003
- Apples vs. Oranges, Beyond3D Forums, October 2004.
- Harris, Wil. An open letter to the graphics ecosystem, bit-tech.net, October 2005
- Chester, Edward. The Trials of Testing, TrustedReviews, March 2007
- BlackMesa Mod
- Anemone Mod
- Macro Black