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Custom PC UK March 2021

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.

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12 Issues

in this issue

2 min
happier new year

Happy New Year, fellow devotees of PC hardware! And let’s hope there is indeed some quality happiness to be found in this year. It seems crass to complain about the supply of PC components when people are losing their loved ones to the pandemic, as well as their jobs, but while it’s nowhere near as important, fixing the stock issues would bring a welcome dose of happiness to us in a time when it’s in short supply. As we put the finishing touches to this issue in mid-December, we’re hoping that January will bring us a slightly less dire supply of components in some areas, although we’re not expecting the whole situation to settle down for a while yet. As such, we’ve devoted a large chunk of this issue to choosing…

3 min
ddr5 to arrive by july

Memory maker TeamGroup is currently getting ahead of the competition. A year ahead, in fact. In a recent press release the firm said it was taking a global lead on DDR5, which is surprising since there’s no supporting platform announced from either AMD or Intel yet. However, TeamGroup’s statement says the firm ‘will coordinate its releases with the DDR5 platforms of the top two CPU manufacturers, Intel and AMD. The company’s DDR5 memory is expected to be available as early as Q3 2021’. This clearly reveals that DDR5 platforms are coming from both AMD and Intel during this year, with at least one potentially dropping as early as this July. So, what is it? Intel has already announced that it’s releasing its 12th-gen Core (Rocket Lake) CPUs in April. These CPUs…

3 min
good science

The Queen once referred to a bad year as ‘annus horribilis’, which gave everyone exactly the laugh we needed to counter the horrible year, even if just for a moment. 2020 has been the most horribilis of all the annuses, but it’s also had some amazing gaming science, and that cheers me immensely. Science is how we’ll beat the ’rona, but it’s also still ticking along nicely elsewhere. While some of the headlines have been a little overblown (as is often the case with tech headlines), late 2020 heralded the news that Google’s Deep Mind has made major progress towards solving a decades-old protein-folding puzzle with potentially huge implications for medicine – it’s worth seeking out Professor Mohammed AlQuraishi’s blog on the implications and limitations. Science is how we’ll beat the ’rona,…

1 min

CORSAIR RELEASES AMPERE WATERBLOCKS The options for water-cooling a GeForce RTX 3000-series card have just widened, as Corsair has announced a new line-up of waterblocks for GeForce RTX 3080 and 3090 cards from a number of board makers, including Nvidia’s Founders Editions. The blocks feature a full-length aluminium backplate, 50 high-density cooling fins and 16 individually addressable RGB LEDs. Corsairs says that the Hydro X Series XG7 RGB blocks will cool all of your card’s components, including the memory and VRMs, as well as the GPU. Meanwhile, the lighting can be controlled by Corsair’s iCUE software, as can the limited integrated lighting on the Founders Edition cards. The blocks are available to buy now from corsair.com starting at £145 inc VAT for a GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition block. VULKAN GETS RAY-TRACING SDK There’s now…

2 min
amd radeon rx 6900 xt / £999 inc vat

Just as we were going to press this month, we managed to get hold of a sample of AMD’s new top-end ‘Big Navi’ graphics card, the Radeon RX 6900 XT. We didn’t have time to run the full suite of tests on it, but we’ve managed to quickly get some numbers to see how it fares. We’ll do a full review of it in a future issue. As you’ll read in James Gorbold’s column on p114, supply of these cards is basically non-existent. In fact, one (large) anonymous etailer told us they received only 20 Radeon RX 6900 XT cards on its launch day, compared to several hundred GeForce RTX 3060 Ti cards the previous week. Both Nvidia and AMD are having stock problems, but it looks as though the problems…

3 min

Cheap memory alert Earlier on today I was putting together a PC Part Picker list for my friend, and I saw you could get 32GB of Corsair Vengeance Pro RGB RAM for under £150! I also want to add that I always look forward to the delivery of your magazine. Keep up the good work. MARCUS WHITE Ben: Indeed, while it’s a truly rubbish time if you want to upgrade your graphics card right now, it’s an awesome time to upgrade your memory – the prices are amazing. There’s 16GB of Corsair Vengeance Pro RGB RAM in our build guide this month, and at current prices, it costs just £81 inc VAT for a dual-channel 3600MHz kit. Heat of battle I just had a GeForce RTX 2080 Ti card crash three times in VR. I…