Maximum PC


- Guy Cocker

LIKE MANY OF YOU, I’m a member of quite a few WhatsApp groups across family, friends, and colleagues. One such group of journalist­s and PRs in tech has been spamming my chat with their attempts to take the latest CPUs and GPUs, and fit them into as small a PC as possible. In the past, that’s been a challenge, but this generation’s chunky RTX 4000-series cards in particular make it more difficult than ever. Undeterred, they’ve been swapping ideas on cases, egging each other on with ridiculous cooling solutions, and posting the results to Reddit where they’ve been lapping up praise.

That’s why this issue, we’re doing our own small form factor build. You’ve no doubt looked at (or already bought) the latest gear from Intel, AMD, and Intel— now we show you how to fit it all into a chassis that’s small enough to sit under the TV or be tucked out of sight on a desk. Our build is easier to put together than many you’ll see on r/sffpc, as it uses Intel’s latest 13th-generation NUC system, which includes a motherboar­d, processor, liquid cooler, and many other components. It’s also big enough to fit an RTX 4070Ti, which is what we’ve used in the build, no waterblock installati­ons required. It’s a cutting-edge, sleek, and easy-to-build micro PC, and our builder Sam shows you how to do it from page 16. He’s also compiled a list of the best ultra-compact cases for those who want to take things further.

This month, I headed to Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronic­s Show. After last year, where I wandered the empty halls looking for something, anything to write about, this year’s show was an embarrassm­ent of riches. PC tech felt like the biggest story, with so many great laptops and displays, I sadly couldn’t include them all even in a 10-page feature, starting on page 32. If you’re in the market for a new portable PC or monitor, I would urge you to check out the feature to see what’s coming before splashing out. With RTX 4000 series graphics hitting laptops this year, as well as high refresh rate OLEDs set to become the norm, 2023 is looking like a classic year for PC fans.

However, we’re acutely aware of how expensive everything has gotten this year, which is why we thought it was a good time to highlight our favorite free apps and downloads on page 44. Whether it’s tools for web browsing, work, or entertainm­ent, we’ve got the best ways to boost your PC without spending a dime. On page 52, we map out the modern motherboar­d to help explain what the backbone of your PC system does. Plus, we cast our eye over two big new products, Nvidia’s new RTX 4070Ti GPU (page 74) and Samsung’s Odyssey Neo G8 monitor (page 76).

I’m aware we’ve been giving lots of love to Intel and Nvidia’s new products in our cover builds in recent issues, so next month, Sam will put together an AMD-based system for fans of Team Red. The company’s GPUs, in particular, look better value than Nvidia’s equivalent­s, but is it worth building a system around them? Find out in the next MaximumPC, on sale 28th March.

Enjoy the issue!

GuyisMaxim­umPC’sEditor-in-Chief. Hebuilthis­firstgamin­gPCin1997t­o play Tomb Raider on3dfx,andhasbeen obsessedwi­thallthing­sPCeversin­ce.

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