, formerly known as boot
, is an American
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...
Magazines, periodicals, glossies or serials are publications, generally published on a regular schedule, containing a variety of articles. They are generally financed by advertising, by a purchase price, by pre-paid magazine subscriptions, or all three...
and web site published by Future US
Future US is a United States media corporation specializing in targeted magazines and websites in the video games, music, and technology markets. Future US is headquartered in the South San Francisco with offices in New York City and Los Angeles...
. It focuses on cutting-edge PC
IBM PC compatible computers are those generally similar to the original IBM PC, XT, and AT. Such computers used to be referred to as PC clones, or IBM clones since they almost exactly duplicated all the significant features of the PC architecture, facilitated by various manufacturers' ability to...
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 drive
A solid-state drive , sometimes called a solid-state disk or electronic disk, is a data storage device that uses solid-state memory to store persistent data with the intention of providing access in the same manner of a traditional block i/o hard disk drive...
s, optical drives, cases, component cooling, and other hardware intrinsic to PC building projects. Additional hardware coverage is directed at smartphones, tablet computer
A tablet computer, or simply tablet, is a complete mobile computer, larger than a mobile phone or personal digital assistant, integrated into a flat touch screen and primarily operated by touching the screen...
s, 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.
Maximum PC's tone is oftentimes brash and irreverent, giving the editorial content a distinctly populist
Populism can be defined as an ideology, political philosophy, or type of discourse. Generally, a common theme compares "the people" against "the elite", and urges social and political system changes. It can also be defined as a rhetorical style employed by members of various political or social...
feel. In September 1999, Editorial Director Jon Phillips authored a product parody of an imaginary videocard called the Bitchinfast3D2000
, an absurdly long graphics card running five competing 3D chipsets. In February 2002, the magazine's cover image of a nurse administering aid to an ailing PC generated controversy among readers.
Prior to September 1998, the magazine was called boot. boot and sister magazine MacAddict (now Mac) launched in September 1996 when Future US shut down CD-ROM Today
CD-ROM Today was an American magazine targeted to computer users. Published from 1993 to 1996 by Imagine Publishing , the magazine was initially issued once every other month, before being changed to a monthly...
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
Half-Life 2 , the sequel to Half-Life, is a first-person shooter video game and a signature title in the Half-Life series. It is singleplayer, story-driven, science fiction, and linear...
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 notation to their entries, many being puns
Puns may refer to:*Partido de Unión Nacional Saharaui, the Sahrawi political party* Pun, figure of speech* Phoenicians...
or word play on the product itself or its function. For example, in a review of two monitors, one section is captioned LCD
A liquid crystal display is a flat panel display, electronic visual display, or video display that uses the light modulating properties of liquid crystals . LCs do not emit light directly....
(pros) vs. LSD
Lysergic acid diethylamide, abbreviated LSD or LSD-25, also known as lysergide and colloquially as acid, is a semisynthetic psychedelic drug of the ergoline family, well known for its psychological effects which can include altered thinking processes, closed and open eye visuals, synaesthesia, an...
(cons). In another it is liquid crystal
Liquid crystals are a state of matter that have properties between those of a conventional liquid and those of a solid crystal. For instance, an LC may flow like a liquid, but its molecules may be oriented in a crystal-like way. There are many different types of LC phases, which can be...
(pros) vs. crystal meth
Methamphetamine is a psychostimulant of the phenethylamine and amphetamine class of psychoactive drugs...
(cons). Other comparisons have used B-58 vs XB-70, Miley Cyrus vs Billy Ray Cyrus, and Delicious vs Malicious.
- How To - short, technical instructions on modifying computer components.
- 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" intern
Internship is a system of onthejob training for white-collar jobs, similar to an apprenticeship. Interns are usually college or university students, but they can also be high school students or post graduate adults seeking skills for a new career. They may also be as young as middle school or in...
- Softy Awards - a yearly roundup of the staff's favorite new software (mostly utilities)
- Autopsy - a diagram of the innards of various devices, such as a printer, a camera, etc.
- 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.
- Lean Machine - a feature showcasing the best computer possible for that year with a price tag of about $1,500.
- 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.
- The List - a list listing and describing top items in a given subject.
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 elitist 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
Alex St. John, along with Craig Eisler and Eric Engstrom, created the original Microsoft DirectX specification. Alex became a Windows game technology evangelist for DirectX through magazine articles and interviews on the newly created web....
, nicknamed "The Saint", regarding the emerging DirectX standard, which he was instrumental in developing at Microsoft
Microsoft Corporation is an American public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing through its various product divisions...
, often leading to some controversy in the gaming community on the merits of DirectX
Microsoft DirectX is a collection of application programming interfaces for handling tasks related to multimedia, especially game programming and video, on Microsoft platforms. Originally, the names of these APIs all began with Direct, such as Direct3D, DirectDraw, DirectMusic, DirectPlay,...
OpenGL is a standard specification defining a cross-language, cross-platform API for writing applications that produce 2D and 3D computer graphics. The interface consists of over 250 different function calls which can be used to draw complex three-dimensional scenes from simple primitives. OpenGL...
. His arguments with id Software
Id Software is an American video game development company with its headquarters in Richardson, Texas. The company was founded in 1991 by four members of the computer company Softdisk: programmers John Carmack and John Romero, game designer Tom Hall, and artist Adrian Carmack...
's John Carmack became famous during this time in the gaming community.
The magazine claims a 2010 circulation rate-base of 250,000.
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.
All but a few of the Maximum PC issues published from October 1998 to December 2008 are available to view on Google Book Search
Google Books is a service from Google that searches the full text of books that Google has scanned, converted to text using optical character recognition, and stored in its digital database. The service was formerly known as Google Print when it was introduced at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October...
- Editor-in-chief: George Jones
- Deputy Editor: Katherine Stevenson
- Senior Editor: Gordon Mah Ung
- Reviews Editor: Michael Brown
- Senior Associate Editor: Nathan Edwards
- Art Director: Natalie Jeday
- Online Managing Editor: Alex Castle
- Online Assistant Editor: Alan Fackler
- Podcast Producer: Andy Bauman
- Editorial Director: Jon Phillips
- Editor Emeritus: Andrew Sanchez
Maximum PC also has many freelance contributors, including Chris Comiskey, Gord Goble, Andy Salisbury, Mark Edward Soper, Justin Kerr, Brad Chacos, and Paul Lilly. Moreover, columnists Tom Halfhill and Thomas McDonald write editorials on a monthly basis under the names Fast Forward and Game Theory, respectively.
Starting in September 2010, the Maximum PC editors will produce a quarterly magazine focusing on consumer tech. The basic idea of Maximum PC "Minimum BS" will be present in the magazine. Currently, the magazine is newsstand only.
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...
edition of Maximum PC was launched in December 2004 by Future Media Italy, the Italian division of Future Publishing
Future plc is a media company; in 2006, it was the sixth-largest in the United Kingdom. It publishes more than 150 magazines in fields such as video games, technology, automotive, cycling, films and photography. Future is the official magazine company of all three major games console manufacturers...
, and ceased publishing after only six issues.