Custom PC (magazine)
Custom PC No. 091, April 2011
|Circulation||8,094 Jan–Dec 2018|
|Company||Raspberry Pi Trading|
Custom PC (usually abbreviated to 'CPC') is a UK-based computer magazine created by Mr Freelance Limited, and published by Dennis Publishing Ltd. It's aimed at PC hardware enthusiasts, covering topics such as modding, overclocking and PC gaming. The first issue was released in October 2003 and it is published monthly. Audited circulation figures are 9,428 (ABC, Jan–Dec 2014). Gareth Ogden retired as editor of Custom PC at the end of Issue 52. Issue 53 was edited by Deputy Editor James Gorbold; from Issue 54 onwards the magazine was edited by Alex Watson. From Issue 87 to Issue 102 the magazine was edited by James Gorbold. From Issue 103 onward, the magazine has been edited by Ben Hardwidge.
Between 2009 and January 2012 the magazine was partnered with enthusiast site bit-tech.net, with the two editorial teams merging and sharing resources across both the site and the magazine. Custom PC's James Gorbold took over as Group Editor of the two teams. However, since February 2012, the two brands have separated and content is no longer shared between the two publications, although many of the magazine's writers continue to write for bit-tech.
The magazine includes reviews, features, tutorials, analysis columns and sections devoted to magazine readers. The most current regular sections includes:
- From the Editor
- Introductory column by the editor Ben Hardwidge
- Tracy King
- Sceptical analysis of the ways in which technology and gaming are presented in the media
- Richard Swinburne
- Analysis of hardware trends in Taiwan
- Hobby Tech
- Tips, tricks and news about computer hobbyism, including Raspberry Pi, Arduino and retro computing, by Gareth Halfacree
- Folding@Custom PC
- Custom PC encourages readers to use their idle computers for the purpose of scientific research – Folding@home is a program created and run by Stanford University that uses spare processor cycles to simulate protein folding for disease research. Each month the magazine features a league table of their top folders, the 'Custom PC & bit-tech' team is currently ranked number 6 worldwide. One random folder receives an item of PC hardware each month (stopped in 2010), while the top folder that month is noted in the 'Folder of the month' section.
- CPC Elite
- A 10-page section of CPC's latest recommendations for the best hardware in several categories (motherboards, processors, cases etc.).
- CPC Magazine review the latest hardware and software (including games), they rate the product with their own rating system, and CPC give their stamp of approval (including a Premium Grade award for excellent products) to any product that they feel excels in its particular category. While hardware reviews are the focus of the magazine, games reviews are included.
- Custom Kit
- 2 pages of short reviews of computer gadgets and accessories.
- Lab Test
- Each month CPC tests related hardware from different manufacturers / different specifications (such as graphics cards or hard-drives) comparing them to discern the best choice. The tests include extensive benchmark comparison tables. Unlike most computer magazines, CPC doesn't do price point labs tests. Instead each item is awarded a value score that reflects whether the item is worth the asking price.
- Reviews of the latest games plus graphical comparison guides that show the difference made by different graphical settings.
- Inverse Look
- Opinion and analysis of PC gaming, by Rick Lane
- Several in-depth articles on computer-related topics (normally 2 per issue)
- Customised PC
- Two-page column dedicated to modding, water-cooling and PC customisation, by Antony Leather
- How To
- 5 pages of step-by-step tutorials written by Antony Leather.
- Readers' Drives
- Readers of the magazine get the chance to show off their computer modification skills. Each month a different reader is photographed with his rig and answers questions on its specification and how it was constructed. Featured modders win a prize pack of assorted computer hardware.
- James Gorbold
- The back page column is written by previous editor, James Gorbold, who now works for Scan Computers.
Anyone who subscribes currently receives a free tool kit or another freebie such as a custompc mug or recently (28 January 2011) a Muc-off Screen Cleaning Rescue Kit, targeted at computer maintenance. Subscribers receive a Special Subscriber Edition which features exclusive artwork (usually the "flat-out coolest" photo from the cover shoot, according to Alex Watson).
List of the editorial staff as of Issue 187 (April 2019).
- Publishing Director:- Russell Barnes
- Editor:- Ben Hardwidge
- Modding Editor:- Antony Leather
- Games Editor:- Rick Lane
- Art Editor:- Bill Bagnall
- Production Editor:- Julie Birrell
- Regular Contributors:- Edward Chester, Mike Jennings, James Gorbold, Phil Hartup, Tracy King, Richard Swinburne
- Photography:- Antony Leather, Gareth Halfacree, Henry Carter, Mike Jennings
- Regular Art & Production Contributors:- Magic Torch, Mike Harding
Printing / Distribution
- Printed by:- BGP.
- Cover printed by:- Ancient House.
- Distributed by:- Seymour Distribution