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Custom PC UK May 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.

United Kingdom
Raspberry Pi
R 66,33
R 580,86
12 Issues

in this issue

2 min
first step into water cooling

If you’ve ever gazed at the photos of gorgeous water-cooled PCs on the Internet, with coloured coolant and lights, and thought ‘wow, I wish my PC looked like that’, then this issue’s main cover feature (see p76) is for you. Building a water-cooled PC certainly has its challenges, and you’ll want to set aside a decent chunk of time to do it, but the end result will be a cool, quiet and lush-looking system that you can proudly put on Instagram and say ‘I built this!’ We’re looking at this as your first step into a larger world (it’s best to imagine that line in Alec Guinness’ voice, obviously). We haven’t gone all-out on custom case modding and hard line water cooling for this PC – we’ve based it on a…

3 min
what’s in a name?

After launching its RTX 3000-series of GPUs for laptops, Nvidia decided to remove the Max-P branding, allowing laptop makers to set the chips’ power draw and clock speeds in practically any way to fit their designs. The Max-Q branding stays, but you could be buying any of 28 variations of the RTX 3060, 3070 or 3080. This means an RTX 3080 with baseline 80W TDP would have a fraction of the performance compared with one with a full-fat 150W TDP, yet it still costs the same amount of money. Buying a mobile RTX 3080 only guarantees that you’ll get 6,144 CUDA cores – otherwise, the base clock ranges from 780MHz to 1350MHz, while boosts vary from 1245MHz to 1710MHz. Nvidia says you can find this information in the Control Panel, which…

3 min
gamer snake oil

It’s been a year of pandemic. A year is a short time in science, and a huge number of amazing medical advances have been made very quickly that would otherwise have taken a decade, or perhaps never been funded at all. If governments and private pharmaceutical companies (Big Pharma) throw enough money at a problem then positive things happen, such as the vaccines. In this case, Big Pharma is providing an expensive light at the end of a long, dark tunnel. Big Pharma does lots of amazing, life-saving or life-improving things that cost a fortune to research, develop and test, and I fully support that. But they also do some ugly, profiteering, cynical or outright dangerous stuff (Ben Goldacre wrote a great book about this called Bad Pharma). Enter the supplements industry. Taking…

5 min

CORSAIR WATER-COOLS SSD Corsair has launched a new range of high-performance PCI-E 4 NVMe SSDs, with the top model featuring a waterblock that can be plumbed into a custom water-cooling loop. The new range starts with the MP600 Core, which has stated sequential read and write speeds of 4,950MB/sec and 3,950MB/sec respectively, and comes in 1TB, 2TB and 4TB capacities. The two top models are the MP600 Pro and MP600 Pro Hydro X (pictured), which have a sequential read speed of 7,000MB/sec, and a write speed of 6,550MB/sec. The MP600 Pro has a heatsink, but the Hydro X model features Corsair’s new XM2 waterblock, which will also be available separately. Do you need a waterblock on an SSD? Nope, but the latest PCI-E 4 SSDs do get very hot, and a waterblock will…

3 min

One more Valhalla test? While your recent graphics card reviews were interesting, I wondered if you might be able to do me a little favour and run one of your new tests on an old GPU. I currently have an AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT, and I’m very interested in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (I’m a Bernard Cornwell fan, and I love the idea of traipsing around Anglo-Saxon England). However, if I buy the game now, and it runs like a dog, I know I’m going to end up looking for a new GPU on eBay, and then I’m going to be much poorer. The new Radeons cope with the game surprisingly well – how do the old ones fare? You don’t happen to have an old Radeon RX 5700 XT knocking about, do…

4 min
lga1200 cpu intel core i9-10850k / £378 inc vat

SUPPLIER ebuyer.com One main reason why Intel’s CPUs haven’t been that competitive recently is their price. The Core i5-10600K and Core i9-10900K were good CPUs, but they were just too expensive, with the latter not leaving you with any change from £500, while the Ryzen 9 5900X offered two more cores for the same money. Intel’s answer is the Core i9-10850K – a 10-core CPU at a lower price. What’s more, it’s in stock in the shops, which is more than you can say for AMD’s Ryzen 9 5900X. In the Core i9-10850K’s favour, it has the same ten cores and 20 threads as its more expensive siblings and surprisingly hefty frequencies, despite coming from lower-binned rungs of Intel’s production line. It has a 5.2GHz peak boost frequency, which is only 100MHz…