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I’ve always built my own PCs. Perhaps it’s the maker in me, but why pay someone else to have all the fun, when I can do as good a job myself? The sad truth is – while I’ve built other systems – my main home system has remained more or less the same Intel Sandybridge Core i5 2500K from back in 2011, and why not? With 16GB of memory it’s remained more than fast enough. A new graphics card here, an updated motherboard there and it’s stayed competitive for my needs.

Six years on and it finally looks like there’s a range of affordable upgrade options from both Intel and AMD – six cores, multiple threads, lower-power use, better hardware acceleration, faster interfaces – that make an upgrade really desirable.

Open source users should be as at home with their hardware, as they might be using Nano. So this issue we have our expert guide to building the best PC possible, running Linux and configured with a bulletproof filesystem. More generally, open source activists are becoming ever more interested in opening up hardware. While we can’t talk about truly open hardware yet, killing the Intel ME is one step forward, RISC-V is progressing and at least we can control some of our hardware by knowing what goes into it and running Linux on it.

As always we'd love to hear from you: what projects you’re contributing to, the latest software you're using and any problems you might have. Email us your thoughts to send your problems to and catch all the FLOSS news at our Facebook page or follow us on the Twitters.

Issue 233, February - on sale now

Build the Best PC!

Build the best PC! We help you get the Linux system you’ve always dreamed of with our expert guide. Easy-to-follow step-by-step advice. Choose AMD Ryzen or Intel Core processors. Set up the optimal filesystem, with your favourite open source distro, add a spot of bcaching and never look back!

Protect yourself with the best password manager, choose from the latest Chromebooks, discover the Calamares installer framework, code more Android apps, build your own desktop environment, tweak your Gnome desktop and so much more.


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