Components

Intel’s X58 chipset made for great platform performance, and even though the chip maker has unleashed many more chipsets since the X58 came out, there hasn’t been a true successor in the high-end of their product line-up (not even the Z68 chipset) until now. The X79 chipset looks to pick up the X58’s poll position, so we decided to bench test a few motherboards from ASRock, ASUS, and Gigabyte to see how Intel's new flagship performs. The new X79 chipset brings with it a new socket (LGA 2011) and a crop of new Core i7 processors. There are several familiar features with the new... Read more...
After years of work and a few false starts, Intel is finally ready to take the plunge into the smartphone market. At the CES keynote tonight, the CPU giant is officially launching Medfield, the 32nm smartphone SoC the company has built to take it into the next generation of smartphones (and a few tablets). The chip, now officially named the Atom Z2460, is ready for prime time. We visited Intel HQ in December and were briefed on the next-generation phone and what Intel expects it to do. After Moorestown's disappointing performance in the space, the CPU giant is keen to put its best foot forward,... Read more...
Many positive commentaries have been written about Intel's current flagship Core i7 processors and its companion X58 Express chipset, due to the solid performance gains offered by the platform. In addition to the increased performance offered by Core i7 processors though, the X58 chipset also brings with it native support for ATI CrossFireX and NVIDIA SLI multi-GPU technologies--provided support is available in the BIOS--as well as support for the flexible triple channel memory controller integrated into the Core i7.  What might be concerning for some, however,... Read more...
If the recent release of Intel's X58 chipset has taught us anything, it's that change can be good.  In our first two forays with these new boards and Intel's Core i7 processor, we've been firmly impressed by the performance gains seen over legacy Core 2 architectures, much less AMD's recent advancements and new offerings.  Now, with some time under our belts, we're going to take a look at two new Intel X58 Express chipset based boards from ASUS and MSI that we've put through the test ringer.  Focusing on the upper-tier of the PC market, both come fully stocked with additional components,... Read more...
When first evaluated in June of 2008, we concluded that the GeForce GTX 260 and 280 series offered the most raw power of any gaming graphics cards available at that time.  This premium performance, however, came with a hefty price tag, making these models too costly to justify for some folks.  A week after their introduction, ATI unveiled the Radeon HD 4850 and 4870 which proved to be decent competitors to the GeForce GTX 260 while attempting to steal NVIDIA's thunder with a lower price as well.  Not to be outdone, NVIDIA quickly followed up by introducing price cuts of their... Read more...
As enthusiasts, we aren't too fond of the idea of running a PC with integrated video. Like many of you, we prefer a discreet video card for the performance benefits, even if it has to be an entry-level solution. Despite that fact, though, most of the monitors in homes and offices across the world are connected to IGPs, and not to dedicated video cards. We love the latest flagship graphics cards as much as the next enthusiast, but we aren't completely impractical. We realize that integrated video is more than sufficient for the majority of users who spend 99% of their time surfing... Read more...
By now, we assume just about everyone knows the GeForce 8800 GT's story.  NVIDIA launched the 512MB 8800 GT in late October of last year and touted a price range of $200-250.  But retail prices initially ended up being over $300 due to supply issues. You can bet that ATI was smiling a couple weeks later when the company launched the Radeon HD 3850 and 3870 and retail stock was available closer to MSRP prices. NVIDIA hit back, though, by launching the 256MB version of the 8800 GT and getting more stock onto store shelves. It goes without saying that NVIDIA wanted this 256MB part to remain... Read more...
Many of us have fond memories of playing video games in the arcade of a local bowling alley, popping 25 cents into the machine on a regular basis to keep the fun going.  Back then, that was the main way to get your game on, displaying your skills for all to see.  If you can remember dropping quarters into the slot of a machine running Pole Position, Galaga, Missle Command or any other game of that era, you might like the business model of X-Arcade. Reminiscent of the days when quarters ruled the video game market, X-Arcade has built a product base of custom game controllers... Read more...
If silence is golden, then silence plus overclocking is platinum. Hardware enthusiasts have loved squeezing every last drop of performance out of their hardware for quite some time. Noise levels are not a concern for many of these enthusiasts, but over the last several years, more and more of them have become not only performance enthusiasts but also silence enthusiasts. So, finding a silent, overclocked product is like winning a mini lottery. For this article, we have such a product: the XFX GeForce 8600 GT Fatal1ty. Not only is the XFX GeForce 8600 GT Fatal1ty silently cooled, but it... Read more...
Here we are, barely 12 weeks out from the initial introduction of the GeForce 8 series, and NVIDIA is ready with yet another new product based on the GPU formerly code named G80. The new GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB we'll be showcasing here today is essentially the same card as the original 8800 GTS, except that the 320MB model simply has half of the amount of frame buffer memory. According to NVIDIA's reference specifications the original 640MB 8800 GTS and the new 320MB model share the same GPU and memory clocks, memory interface, stream processor configuration, PCB, etc. The actual GeForce... Read more...
Last week NVIDIA officially launched the $199 GeForce 7900 GS, and jointly announced the $299 GeForce 7950 GT.  In our coverage of the GeForce 7900 GS, we were able to reveal the 7950 GT's specifications and features, but were asked to reserve posting any benchmark results until the cards were made available. Well, here we are only one week later and that day has come.  As of September 14, you should be able to purchase GeForce 7950 GT cards from your favorite retailer. The GeForce 7950 GT we'll be evaluating today comes by way of XFX. In typical XFX fashion, the company... Read more...
Over the course of the last few months, the vast majority of news coming through the doors of NVIDIA has been in regards to enthusiast-class products such as the GeForce 7950 GX2 GPU and nForce 570 chipset. However, today the company is launching two new GPUs aimed squarely at the more mainstream price segments of the gaming community. Here, we find the GeForce 7900 GS coming to market with an MSRP of $199 and the GeForce 7950 GT which carries an MSRP of $299. With these two GPUs, NVIDIA is providing the market with a direct response to ATI's recently announced... Read more...
As of late, due to reported issues with overheating and graphic anomalies with overclocked GeForce cards, many gamers are starting to think twice before purchasing factory overclocked cards. Some hesitation before buying the highest overclocked card makes sense, but XFX along with the other companies affected by this problem are addressing customers' concerns and backing up their products with solid warranty support. If you've lost some faith in XFX, you might want to consider that NVIDIA appears to be 100% behind the company. The only factory overclocked GeForce 7950 GX2... Read more...
Around this time last month, ATI made a lot of noise with the launch of their new X1000 series of graphics cards. With much of the buzz still continuing a month later, it's little surprise that NVIDIA is feeling the need to showcase something new. With their 7800 boards covering the enthusiast market, and the new 6800 GS tackling the mainstream, NVIDIA has re-worked an existing product to specifically compete against new ATI's entry-level offering, the Radeon X1300 Pro. The card we have for you today isn't exactly new technology, it's a GeForce 6600, but some modifications have been made to boost... Read more...
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