Custom PC UK

Custom PC UK April 2020

Custom PC is the UK’s best-selling magazine for PC hardware, overclocking, gaming and modding. Every month, Custom PC is packed with in-depth hardware reviews, step-by-step photo guides and informative features, all with a focus on tinkering with your computer’s insides. Along the way, you’ll also find hard-hitting tech opinion, game reviews and all manner of computer hobbyism goodness, from small Pi projects to extreme PC mods.

United Kingdom
Raspberry Pi


graphic content

Making sense of the current sub-£350 graphics card market is a bit like trying to unravel an intricate logic puzzle. It’s only been nine months since we last took a snapshot of this part of the market, and since then we’ve seen seven new GPUs introduced, as well as several older models disappearing from the shelves. Add in a veritable Alphabetti Spaghetti of different suffixes and model numbers, and it becomes hard to make a buying a decision. What’s the difference between a GeForce GTX 1660 and a 1660 Super or 1660 Ti? Can you really run ray tracing on a £250 graphics card? Does a last-gen Radeon RX 590 with a price drop offer better value than a current-gen GPU at the same price? In order to make sense of it…

powerful changes

I’ve made some calls and I can exclusively confirm for Custom PC that the biggest change to PC power supply design since 1995 – Intel’s new ‘ATX12VO’ platform –will launch this year. However, it will only be exclusive to commercial system builders at the beginning. The new ATX12VO (the ‘O’ stands for ‘only’) platform completely redesigns PC power as we know it. Intel has removed the 3.3V and 5V rails, so the PSU will only provide 12V power to the motherboard, graphics cards, storage or other internal peripherals. Intel has removed the 3.3V and 5V rails, so the PSU will only provide 12V power Meanwhile, the 24-pin ATX socket is being replaced by a new 10-pin connector, and the EPS connector that goes near the CPU socket will only be optional. Even…

an apple games machine?

Apples feature in several fairy tales, from Greek myths to Snow White. They’re even called ‘forbidden fruit’ following the Garden of Eden story and a Latin translation error (the word ‘malum’ means both apple and evil). The most modern apple-based fairy tale, though, doesn’t involve any princesses or dwarves. There’s a rumour, allegedly a leak from Apple’s China manufacturers, that the computing behemoth is about to launch a $5,000 US gaming machine. The industry press has responded with scepticism, not least because this rumour crops up fairly frequently but never bears fruit. But this time, I’m not entirely sure it’s seedless. Jobs and Wozniak first collaborated on the Atari classic Breakout, after meeting as hobbyists at the Homebrew Computer Club Apple’s origins are via custom PCs and gaming. The two Steves, Jobs and…


INTEL UNVEILS GRAPHICS CARD Intel has finally taken the wraps off its new graphics card, or at least some of the wraps anyway. The Intel Xe DG1 absolutely exists, and it’s definitely able to do graphics, but further details are thin on the ground. The prototype card was demonstrated running Destiny 2 in a live demo at CES 2020, but is currently only intended to be used by software vendors. Intel says it’s not necessarily representative of the final product. Externally, the Intel Xe DG1 is a small card, equipped with RGB lighting, and its cooler has a simple aluminium casing with a single fan, suggesting that it’s aimed at the budget end of the graphics card market. Intel hasn’t given any solid indication of pricing or release dates either, but the…


Base frequency 3.7GHz (10900X); 3.5GHz (10920X); 3.3GHz (10940X) Max boost frequency 4.7GHz (10900X); 4.8GHz (10920X and 109040X) Core Cascade Lake-X Core Cascade Lake-X Manufacturing process 14nm Number of cores 10 (10900X); 12 (10920X); 14 (10940X) Number of threads 20 (1090X); 24 (10920X); 28 (10940X) Hyper-Threading Yes L3 cache 19.25MB L2 cache 10 x 1MB (10900X); 12 x 1MB (10920X); 14 x 1MB (10940X) Memory controller Quad-channel DDR4, up to 2933MHz Packaging LGA2066 Thermal design power (TDP) 165W Features Turbo Boost Max Technology 3, Turbo Boost 2, FMA3, F16C, SHA, BMI / BMI1 + BMI2, AVX-512, AVX2, AVX, AES, SSE4a, SSE4, SSE3, SSE2, SSE, MMX…

intel core i9-10900x, 10920x and 10940x/ £612 (10900x); £707 (10920x); £823 (10940x) all inc vat

Intel has taken a good battering from AMD recently. The latter’s Zen 2 architecture has seen the company draw level in areas where it previously lagged behind, exceed Intel in other areas and close gaps where Zen+ was noticeably slower. Meanwhile, AMD’s 3rd-gen Threadripper CPUs have given AMD a commanding lead at the top of the stack too. It’s forced Intel into the highly unusual move of slashing prices of its HEDT CPUs, so its latest 10-core,12-core and 14-core Cascade Lake-X CPUs are much more affordable than their predecessors. Stock seems to be thin at the moment, and some retailers appear to be charging exorbitant prices, but we’re going with Novatech’s pricing for this review, which was the cheapest we could find for bona fide, checkout-capable pre-orders. For instance, the Core i9-10940X,…