Maximum PC July 2019
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Published 25th June
We’re used to building PCs here at Maximum PC. It’s what we do. We often take it for granted. In our defense, we piece together at least one machine every month, and sometimes there can be a couple of other rigs needed as well, which means that over a year, we can easily hit 20 builds. And as with anything you do a lot, there are numerous techniques, corrections, and nuanced changes that we instinctively do without really thinking about them.
This issue, we attempt to distill this knowledge down on to the page, so you can benefit from our years of experience, hopefully ensuring that your next build is as smooth as possible, and potentially turning a perfectly capable, if unexciting, system into something you’re truly proud of. Our “Builder’s Handbook” is absolutely the sort of article that’s worth keeping until the next time you ease a motherboard into a case.
It’s also the sort of feature that’s worth having with you if you like the look of the media center we build this issue. This is the kind of system that will look good under your TV, thanks largely to the Fractal Design Node 202 chassis we’ve used. Cases can be important when it comes to stamping your own sense of style on a system, but when you’re looking at a media center build, fitting in with your existing furniture is essential (as is keeping fan noise levels down to an absolute minimum—which is one of the reasons why we didn’t slide a discrete graphics card into the build, even though there is room for it).
We also look at what’s lined up for the latest Windows update. Microsoft is doing a good job of introducing useful new features with these updates, and while they haven’t always gone smoothly, there’s a clear move with this patch to improve the whole update process. There are a few subtle quality-of-life changes that are worth reading up on as well.
We have two other big features this issue: The first looks at taking control of your own smart home with open-source software, while those interested in building a big data store will be delighted to discover the joys of storage spaces. This system for handling drives is included in Windows, but it’s limited by default. There is a way to unlock more advanced setups though, which is where our feature comes in. Once configured, it’s a powerful tool that can build a versatile system to handle drives.
On top of all of that you’ll find the usual great array of tutorials and reviews, as well as news, analysis, and commentary. Whether you’re looking to see if Nvidia’s latest graphics card, the GeForce GTX 1650, is worth picking up, or want to check out the latest M.2 SSD from Western Digital, we’ve got you covered.