CPC Issue 70 Preview: Letting The Mac Out Of The Bag

Written by Alex Watson

May 16, 2009 | 13:01

Tags: #folding #mac

Companies: #apple #custom-pc

We’ve just got our copies of the next issue of CPC in the office, and it’s something of a milestone for us. As I (admittedly mischievously) hinted a few days ago in the forum, it’s got a Mac on the cover for the first time in the magazine’s history. Not only have we never had a Mac on the cover, we’ve actually only ever fully reviewed one Apple product, a monochrome screened iPod in a group test from 2004.

So what’s changed? Is CPC going all lifestyle? Did we get mixed up with Mac User this month?
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Of course not – instead, the Mac is a focus of the issue’s main feature. Our ‘build a PC’ features are some of the most popular we do, but they’re usually focussed on either building a great gaming machine, or a powerful budget PC.

CPC Issue 70 Preview: Letting The Mac Out Of The Bag

We’ve had quite a few emails asking us to broaden the focus of these pieces, and when a 24in, top-of-the-range iMac pitched up in the labs, we couldn’t resist pitting our wits against it. While simply bashing the iMac with a big hammer had its attractions, a closer look (well, it was irresistibly shiny) revealed that it wasn’t without its charms. We weren’t the only ones who thought this – it turned the heads of many passers-by. So we decided to try and build a PC rival that competed with the iMac, not just in terms of performance – because few people buy iMacs if they just want raw speed – but in terms of looks, noise, ease-of-use, and of course, desirability.

In addition to the ‘Make a Mac Killer’ feature, the issue also has an absolutely huge look at Folding@home (17 pages, no less). Given the success of the Folding team, and the fact it’s been a very long time since we’ve covered Folding in detail in the magazine, we thought we needed to go the extra mile with our coverage. We’ve got two articles, the first looking at the science behind the project, and the second looking at how to get all the various clients working, as well as James’ attempts to build a Folding supercomputer using an Asus motherboard with six PCI-E slots...

Subscribers should get their copies today or at the start of next week, depending, of course, on Royal Mail.

As well as being interested in getting feedback on the issue overall, I'd also be interested in hearing, in the comments, about how you think (or perhaps would expect) a custom built PC to compare to a Mac. Are Macs completely without saving graces, selling only to the gullible solely because of the brand? Are aesthetics the only thing Apple knows how to do well? Or is the recent upsurge in Mac sales due to the fact that actually, they're not bad computers? Finally, if you had a friend who was set on buying an iMac, what sort of PC rival would you spec up for him or her?
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