|Editor in Chief Tuan Nguyen|
Company Future US
Total circulation (2011) 192,611
|First issue August 1996 (as boot) September 1998 (as 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.
- Product reviews
- Notable features
- Differences from boot
- Maximum Tech
- Italian edition
Maximum PC's tone is often brash and irreverent, giving the editorial content a distinctly populist feel. In September 1999, Editorial Director Jon Phillips authored a product parody of an imaginary videocard called the Bitchin'fast3D2000, 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|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 PCGamer.com, appearing as the hardware section of the website from that point forward. The magazine was not affected by this change.
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.
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.
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 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.
As of October 2016, the site at http://www.maximumpc.com/articles/pdf_archives is no longer online.
Maximum PC also has many freelance contributors, including 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. Moreover, columnists Tom Halfhill and Thomas McDonald write editorials on a monthly basis under the names Fast Forward and Game Theory, respectively.
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. The last issue of Maximum Tech was the Sept/Oct 2011 issue.
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.