Custom PC (usually abbreviated to 'CPC') is a UK-based computer magazine 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 19,660 (ABC, Jan-Dec 2006). 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 several analysis columns, as well as reviews, features, tutorials and sections devoted to magazine readers. The most current regular sections includes:
From the Editor
Introductory column by the editor Ben Hardwidge
Sceptical analysis of the ways in which technology and gaming are presented in the media
Analysis of current copyright and censorship laws, written by Jim Killock from the Open Rights Group.
A conversation with a PC game developer, by Joe Martin
Short round-up of PC hardware news
Analysis of the latest scientific advances in technology, written by Lucy Sherriff
Mobile Tech Watch
Analysis of new mobile technology, by Gareth Halfacree
Analysis of issues from the perspective of a game developer, usually written by Cliff Harris, developer of Gratuitous Space Battles
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 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 recommended 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.
2 pages of short reviews of computer gadgets and accessories.
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.
Several in-depth articles on computer-related topics (normally 2 per issue)
5 pages of step-by-step tutorials written by Antony Leather.
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.
Nostalgic look at a piece of retro PC hardware or software, written by the Editor Ben Hardwidge.
Anyone who subscribes currently receives a free tool kit or another freebie such as a custompc mug or recently (28/01/2011) 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 105 (June 2012).
Publisher:- Paul Rayner
Editor:- Ben Hardwidge
Technical Editor:- Harry Butler
Games Editor:- Joe Martin
Art Editor:- Bill Bagnall
Production Editor:- Julie Birrell
Regular Contributors:- Paul Goodhead, Antony Leather, Simon Treadaway, Mike Jennings.
Photography:- Danny Bird and Chris Wood
Regular Art & Production Contributors:- Magic Torch, Mike Harding