Maximum PC

Maximum PC, formerly known as boot, is an American magazine and web site published by Future US. It focuses on cutting-edge PC hardware, with an emphasis on product reviews, step-by-step tutorials, and in-depth technical briefs. Component coverage areas include CPUs, motherboards, core-logic chipsets, memory, videocards, mechanical hard drives, solid-state drives, optical drives, cases, component cooling, and anything else to do with recent tech news. Additional hardware coverage is directed at smartphones, tablet computers, cameras and other consumer electronic devices that interface with consumer PCs. Software coverage focuses on games, anti-virus suites, content-editing programs, and other consumer-level applications.

Prior to September 1998, the magazine was called boot. boot and sister magazine MacAddict (now Mac|Life) launched in September 1996, when Future US shut down CD-ROM Today.

In March 2016, Future US announced that the Maximum PC website would be merged with, appearing as the hardware section of the website from that point forward. The magazine was not affected by this change. As of July 2nd 2018, browsing to no longer forwards to the Hardware section of[2]

Maximum PC
Maximum PC logo
Maximum PC Holiday 2018 cover
Holiday 2018 cover
Executive EditorAlan Dexter
Total circulation
First issueAugust 1996 (as boot)
September 1998 (as Maximum PC)
CompanyFuture US
Based inSan Francisco

Product reviews

Product ratings are rendered by editors on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the best. The only product to receive an "11" rating was Half-Life 2 in January 2005, raising some objections from readers.

Outstanding products are also given a "Kick Ass" award. Exceptional products with a "9" rating and all products with a "10" rating receive this award.

Each review also includes a "Pros and Cons" section, providing a quick summary of the product. Shortly after the "Pros and Cons" first appeared, the editors began attaching humorous notations to their entries, many being puns or word play on the product itself or its function. For example, in a review of two monitors, one section is captioned LCD (pros) vs. LSD (cons). In another it is liquid crystal (pros) vs. crystal meth (cons). Other comparisons have used B-58 vs XB-70, Miley Cyrus vs Billy Ray Cyrus, and Delicious vs Malicious.

Notable features

  • How To - detailed guides for things like creating a RAM disk or sharing a mouse and keyboard between two PCs.
  • Ask the Doctor - advice for fixing computer-related problems.
  • R&D - a look into the inner workings of commonly used hardware today.
  • In the Lab - a behind-the-scenes look at Maximum PC testing. This section often includes humorous features sometimes involving "torturing" interns.
  • Softy Awards - a yearly roundup of the staff's favorite new software (mostly utilities)
  • Facebook poll - A monthly question about anything to do with tech. It includes comments from readers that are usually funny.
  • Quickstart - a selection of brief news items bringing readers up to speed on notable events in PC technology.
  • Comments - reader mail and questions
  • Dream Machine - an annual attempt to build the best-performing PC on the market, using the best components and techniques available.
  • Build It - a monthly walk-through of a new and interesting PC build, such as a computer submerged in mineral oil.
  • Geek Quiz - an annual computer/technology quiz that claims it will have even the most hardcore geeks grinding their teeth.
  • Gear of the Year - a review of the best PC parts for the current year.
  • Tech Preview - an annual sneak-peek of upcoming hardware.

Differences from boot

When boot was published, it was criticized for being elitist in its approach to product reviews, and for the "price is no object" philosophy of its editors. boot was aimed at a hardcore PC enthusiast audience that was highly advanced in its technical understanding, and prepared to pay top dollar for the best PC hardware. When boot relaunched as Maximum PC, it dropped much of the perceived attitude and focused on being accessible to a wider array of PC users and gamers. boot also featured a monthly column by Alex St. John, (nicknamed "The Saint") regarding the emerging DirectX standard, which he was instrumental in developing at Microsoft, often leading to some controversy in the gaming community on the merits of DirectX vs. OpenGL. His arguments with id Software's John Carmack became famous during this time in the gaming community.


The magazine claims a 2010 circulation rate-base of 250,000.[3]

Maximum PC also provides an archive of back-issues in PDF format free of charge on their website. This archive currently reaches back to the December, 2003 issue[4] although nothing new has been published since the October 2014 issue.

All but a few of the Maximum PC issues published from October 1998 to December 2008 are available to view on Google Book Search.[5]


  • Executive Editor: Alan Dexter
  • Deputy Editor: Zak Storey
  • Senior Editor: Jarred Walton
  • Hardware Lead: Bo Moore
  • Hardware Staff Writer: Joanna Nelius

Maximum PC also has many freelance contributors, including Jeremy Laird, Alex Cox, Neil Mohr, Phil Iwanuik, Matt Hanson, Loyd Case, Pulkit Chandna, Brad Chacos, Ken Feinstein, Tim Ferrill, Tom Halfhill, Paul Lilly, Thomas McDonald, Quinn Norton, Bill O’Brien, Dan Scharff, Justin Kerr, Nathan Edwards, David Murphy, and Nathan Grayson. [6]

Maximum Tech

In September 2010, the Maximum PC editors started producing a quarterly magazine focusing on consumer tech. The basic idea of Maximum PC "Minimum BS" would be preserved in the magazine.[7] The last issue of Maximum Tech was the Sept/Oct 2011 issue.

Italian edition

An Italian edition of Maximum PC was launched in December 2004 by Future Media Italy, the Italian division of Future Publishing, and ceased publishing after only six issues.

See also


  1. ^ "eCirc for Consumer Magazines". Audit Bureau of Circulations. June 30, 2011. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Maximum PC" (PDF). Future US. 2010. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  4. ^ "PDF Archives Technology". Maximum PC. January 2004. Archived from the original on 7 September 2009. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  5. ^ Maximum PC. 3. Future US, Inc. 1 October 1998. p. 148. ISSN 1522-4279.
  6. ^ MaximumPC: Contact Us.
  7. ^[primary-term]/announcing_maximum_tech_our_latest_mad_creation

External links

Bloomfield (microprocessor)

Bloomfield is the code name for Intel high-end desktop processors sold as Core i7-9xx and single-processor servers sold as Xeon 35xx., in almost identical configurations, replacing the earlier Yorkfield processors. The Bloomfield core is closely related to the dual-processor Gainestown, which has the same CPUID value of 0106Ax (family 6, model 26) and which uses the same socket. Bloomfield uses a different socket than the later Lynnfield and Clarksfield processors based on the same 45 nm Nehalem microarchitecture, even though some of these share the same Intel Core i7 brand.

Bundling of Microsoft Windows

Bundling of Microsoft Windows is the installation of Microsoft Windows in computers before their purchase. Microsoft encourages original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) of personal computers to include Windows licenses with their products, and agreements between Microsoft and OEMs have undergone antitrust scrutiny. Users opposed to the bundling of Microsoft Windows have sought refunds for Windows licenses, arguing that the Windows end-user license agreement entitles them to return unused Windows licenses for a cash refund. Although some customers have successfully obtained payments (in some cases after litigation or lengthy negotiations), others have been less successful.

CD-ROM Today

CD-ROM Today was an American magazine targeted at computer users. Published from 1993 to 1996 by Imagine Publishing (now Future US), the magazine was initially issued once every other month, before becoming a monthly. Each issue included software and hardware reviews, as well as a CD containing fonts, video and text files, system updaters, freeware and shareware and demo versions of commercial software. Products were included for both Macintosh and Windows PC.

CD-ROM Today was the highest-selling review magazine for both Macintosh and PC users in 1996. In 1996, after four seasonal and 25 numbered issues, the magazine was discontinued, with two newer publications replacing it: MacAddict for Macintosh users, and boot for Windows users. Both magazines were first issued in August 1996 and have since been renamed MacLife and Maximum PC, respectively.


ESET is an IT security company that offers anti-virus and firewall products such as ESET NOD32.|title=About ESET: Company Profile: History|publisher=ESET|accessdate=1 July 2011}} ESET is headquartered in Bratislava, Slovakia, and was awarded the recognition of the most successful Slovak company in 2008, 2009 and in 2010. It plays a significant role in overall Cybersecurity.


EasyOffice is an office suite for Microsoft Windows developed by E-Press corporation that came in two versions:

EasyOffice Freeware, free for non-commercial personal use. It was featured in Maximum PC magazine as the second best alternative for Microsoft Office in 2004.

EasyOffice Premium, consists of EasyOffice Freeware plus a PDF Filter and EasyAntiVirus, an antivirus programEasyOffice has been replaced with the another suite, simply called One. The company's former website ( is now a parked domain.

First-person shooter engine

A first-person shooter engine is a video game engine specialized for simulating 3D environments for use in a first-person shooter video game. First-person refers to the view where the players see the world from the eyes of their characters. Shooter refers to games which revolve primarily around wielding firearms and killing other entities in the game world, either non-player characters or other players.

The development of the FPS graphic engines is characterized by a steady increase in technologies, with some breakthroughs. Attempts at defining distinct generations lead to arbitrary choices of what constitutes a highly modified version of an 'old engine' and what is a new engine.

The classification is complicated as game engines blend old and new technologies. Features considered advanced in a new game one year, become the expected standard the next year. Games with a combination of both older and newer features are the norm. For example, Jurassic Park: Trespasser (1998) introduced physics to the FPS genre, which did not become common until around 2002. Red Faction (2001) featured a destructible environment, something still not common in engines years later.

Free to Play (film)

Free to Play is a 2014 documentary film by American video game company Valve Corporation. The film takes a critical look at the lives of Benedict "hyhy" Lim, Danil "Dendi" Ishutin and Clinton "Fear" Loomis, three professional Defense of the Ancients (DotA) players who participated in The International, the most lucrative eSports tournament at the time. The central focus of the film is how their commitment to DotA had affected their lives and how this debut tournament for the sequel, Dota 2, would bring more meaning to their struggles.

Future US

Future US, Inc. (formerly known as Imagine Media and The Future Network USA) is an American media corporation specializing in targeted magazines and websites in the video games, music, and technology markets. Future US is headquartered in the San Francisco with a small sales office in New York City. Future US is owned by parent company, Future plc, a publishing company based in the United Kingdom.

Its magazines and websites include:

PC Gamer

Official Xbox Magazine


Maximum PC

Electronic Musician

Guitar Player

Guitar World

Multichannel News

Broadcasting & Cable


Id Tech 6

id Tech 6 is a multiplatform game engine developed by id Software. It is the successor to id Tech 5 and was first used to create the 2016 video game Doom. Internally, the development team also used the codename id Tech 666 to refer to the engine. The PC version of the engine is based on Vulkan API and OpenGL API.

John Carmack started talking about his vision regarding the engine that would succeed id Tech 5 years before the latter debuted in Rage, but following his departure from id Software in 2014, Tiago Sousa was hired to replace him as the lead renderer programmer at the company.

On June 24, 2009, id Software was acquired by ZeniMax Media. It was later announced in 2010 that id Software's technology would be available only to other companies also belonging to ZeniMax Media.

List of online magazines

This is a list of historical online magazines.


MacLife (stylized as Mac|Life) is an American monthly magazine published by Future US. It focuses on the Macintosh personal computer and related products, including the iPad and iPhone. It’s sold as a print product on newsstands, and an interactive and animated app edition through the App Store.

Between September 1996 and February 2007, the magazine was known as MacAddict (ISSN 1088-548X). In Germany, a magazine of the same name but with no association is published by Falkemedia from Kiel (ISSN 1860-9988).

Mobile Magazine

Mobile Magazine is an online publication which started in December 2000. The magazine covers mobile technology, including notebook computers, mobile phones, personal digital assistants, MP3 players, digital cameras, mobile gaming, and other portable electronics and computing devices as well as automotive technology.

Mobile Magazine is a registered trademark with the USPTO and CIPO, in the USA and Canada respectively, and owned by Navneet Narula. In June 2005, "Mobile PC" published by Future Network USA changed their name to "Mobile". A cease and desist order on the use of the confusingly similar magazine name and website domain was sent to Future Network USA. The print publication "Mobile" ceased publication as of November 2005 due to undetermined reasons and the domain name was transferred to Pilato Private Consulting. Outstanding subscriptions to Mobile PC were fulfilled by subscriptions to Maximum PC, a sister technical magazine.

Sacrifice (video game)

Sacrifice is a real-time strategy video game published by Interplay Entertainment in 2000 for Microsoft Windows platform. Developed by Shiny Entertainment, the game features elements of action and other genres. Players control wizards who fight each other with spells and summoned creatures. The game was ported to Mac OS 9.2 in 2001.

Unlike many of its contemporary real-time strategy games, Sacrifice places little emphasis on resource gathering and management. There is no system of workers; the players' wizards collect souls to summon creatures, and their mana—energy for casting spells—constantly regenerates. Players customize their attacks by choosing from spells and creatures aligned to five gods. To defeat an opponent, the player's wizard sacrifices a friendly unit at the opposing wizard's altar, thereby desecrating it and banishing the enemy wizard. Aside from a single-player campaign, Sacrifice offers a multiplayer mode, in which up to four players can play against each other over computer networks.

Sacrifice was created by a small team of developers; most of the work was done by four key personnel. The graphic engine of the game uses tesselation: thousands of polygons are used to display an object and as lesser details are needed, the number of polygons is reduced. By adjusting the required level of detail, Sacrifice can be run on various machines with the highest possible quality of graphics. Complementing the graphics of the game were the voice work of professional actors, such as Tim Curry, and the musical compositions of Kevin Manthei. Sacrifice was praised by reviewers for the novel designs of its creatures and for its humorous content. The high level of attention needed to manage its frenetic combat was mentioned as a flaw. Despite winning several awards, Sacrifice was not a commercial success, and no sequels are planned.


SmartScore X2 is a music OCR and scorewriter program, developed, published and distributed by Musitek Corporation based in Ojai, California.


Tyan Computer Corporation (泰安電腦科技股份有限公司; also known as Tyan Business Unit, or TBU), is a subsidiary of MiTAC International, and a manufacturer of computer motherboards, including models for both Intel and AMD processors. They develop and produce high-end server, SMP, and desktop barebones systems as well as provide design and production services to tier 1 global OEMs, and a number of other regional OEMs.

The company was founded in 1989 by Dr. T. Symon Chang, a veteran of IBM and Intel. At that time, Dr. Chang saw an empty space in the market in which there were no strong players for the SMP server space, and as such he founded Tyan in order to develop, produce and deliver such products, starting with a dual Intel Pentium-series motherboard as well as a number of other single processor motherboards all geared towards server applications. Since then, Tyan has produced a number of single and multi-processor (as well as multi-core) products using technology from many well-known companies (e.g. Intel, AMD, NVIDIA, Broadcom and many more). Notable design wins include that of Dawning corporation for the fastest supercomputer (twice); first to market with a dual AMD Athlon MP server platform; winner of the Maximum PC Kick-Ass Award (twice) for their contributions to the Dream Machine (most recently, the 2005 edition); and first to market with an eight (8) GPU server platform (the FT77C-B7079).

Tyan is headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan, separated between three buildings in the Nei-Hu industrial district. All three buildings belong to the parent company, MiTAC. The North American headquarters are in Fremont, California, which was also the previous corporate headquarters before the merger.

The merger in question was with MiTAC, a Taiwanese OEM which develops and produces a range of products (including servers, notebooks, consumer electronics products, networking and educational products - as well as providing contract manufacturing services), was announced in March 2007 [1] and completed on October 1 of that year. Under the umbrella of MiTAC, Tyan acts as the brand leader and core engineering and marketing arm for delivery of server and workstation products to the distribution and reseller channel, and continues to act as a design and production services house for OEM customers.

MiTAC International Corp. spun off the Cloud Computing Business Group to the newly incorporated MiTAC Computing Technology Corporation on 1 September 2014. TYAN is a leading server brand of MiTAC Computing Technology Corp. under the MiTAC Group. [2]

TYAN launched the first OpenPOWER reference system based on the IBM POWER8 architecture in Oct 2014. TYAN is one of the founding members of the OpenPOWER Foundation, which was established in 2013.

Unreal Engine

The Unreal Engine is a game engine developed by Epic Games, first showcased in the 1998 first-person shooter game Unreal. Although primarily developed for first-person shooters, it has been successfully used in a variety of other genres, including stealth, fighting games, MMORPGs, and other RPGs. With its code written in C++, the Unreal Engine features a high degree of portability and is a tool used by many game developers today, with it being source-available. The most recent version is Unreal Engine 4, which was released in 2014.

Velocity Micro

Velocity Micro is a privately held boutique computer manufacturer located in Richmond, VA (USA), specializing in custom high-performance gaming computers, pro workstations, and high-performance computer solutions. Its extended product line includes gaming PCs, notebooks, CAD workstations, digital media creation workstations, home and home office PCs, home entertainment media centers, Tesla-based supercomputers, and business solutions. All products are custom assembled by hand and supported at the company's headquarters.

VideoPad Video Editor

VideoPad Video Editor (or simply VideoPad) is a video editing application developed by NCH Software for the home and professional market. The software is complemented by the VirtualDub plug-ins that work with the software. VideoPad is part of a suite that integrates with other software created by NCH Software. This other software includes WavePad, a sound-editing program; MixPad, a sound-mixing program; and PhotoPad, an image editor.

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