Gaming

If you've followed the tech sector for any appreciable amount of time, you've no doubt heard the tale of Dell Inc. - one of those stories where a guy with a dream founded a company and eventually built it into a corporate giant.  Right from the beginning, Michael Dell believed that the future of PC sales involve building and selling customized IBM PC-compatible computers directly to home users.  The first computer of their own design, labeled the "Turbo PC" helped the company gross more than 73 million dollars in its first year alone.... Read more...
For many of you, Maingear Computer may not be a household name and that would probably be just fine with the folks out at the shop in Union New Jersey.  Loosely classified as a specialty high performance system builder and retailer, Maingear's mission statement on style, performance and quality claims that they strive to not just provide customers with a computer but rather with a "way of life".  That's certainly fitting because the target demographic for the type of machines Maingear builds, probably sees high performance computing as a way of life as well.  In short,... 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...
Dell's XPS brand is instantly recognizable in computer hardware and gaming circles. Whether you've owned one or not, there is no debate that XPS branded machines, desktops and notebooks alike, are serious competitors in the high-end and ultra high-end performance markets. While the XPS brand is over fourteen years old, it didn't receive acceptance from enthusiasts until rather recently. It wasn't too long ago that the thought of a machine from Dell that could compete with the best boutique builders both in terms of style and performance would evoke blank stares.While the XPS brand has always... Read more...
As enthusiasts, we're always looking for the next great design in computer cases. We're eager to see companies innovate in various areas of design, including cooling, tool-less installation, and style. When we see a new case hit the market, we often hope that it is made of aluminum, includes quiet 120mm or larger fans, and is easy to work in. We like aluminum because it usually looks good and is typically lightweight. We prefer the convenience of tool-less installation features because we are frequently swapping out parts. We happen to have a new case in the labs that meets some of these... Read more...
A short while after Dell purchased Alienware late last year, news broke that Hewlett Packard had acquired boutique system vendor Voodoo PC.  Voodoo PC is best known for their high performance gaming PC's that feature custom cases, some with lavish paint jobs, unique cooling solutions, and impeccable wiring jobs. We evaluated a Voodoo Omen some time back and found it to be an excellent product.  If you check out the Omen, you'll see why HP was interested in Voodoo. After HP's acquisition of Voodoo PC, many speculated that the company's entrance into the high-end gaming PC market... Read more...
Heat as you all know is one of the main enemies of the PC and its many components.  Just visit any PC Hardware-related site out there today and you will find whole sections devoted to heatsinks, coolers, etc., the sole goal of which is to cool down the ever growing number of heat producing components in a typical PC.  Motherboard manufacturers have also jumped into the fray, providing their own customized cooling solutions, ranging from passive heatsinks linking the CPU, NorthBridge, and SouthBridge to the oversized Turbo coolers than we found on the Gigabyte G1-Turbo a few months back.... Read more...
If you are a regular here at HotHardware.com, you have most likely heard of Alienware, one of the companies that helped establish the market for high-performance, gaming PCs. Since hitting the scene in 1996, Alienware has become a leader not only in gaming PCs but also in high-performance desktop, notebook, media center, and professional systems. Alienware's refreshing philosophy emphasizes building a system "as if it were your own." As most of you probably know, Dell acquired Alienware about a year ago in order to leverage Alienware's edgy brand. Some may fear that... Read more...
Last summer, Dell agreed to purchase Alienware in a controversial merger of two very different companies. Alienware, who was looking to raise capital to fund its world-wide expansion, found a good partner in Dell when it came to realize that it would be able to meet its demands while simultaneously benefiting from Dell's famous supply chain efficiencies. The later being a great boon for Alienware, who had been suffering from supply woes, with customers often waiting a month or more to receive their orders. In turn, through the merger, Dell hopes to gain access... Read more...
NVIDIA's two major launches last week marked a significant advancement in both 3D Graphics and PC Motherboard feature-set and performance.  The launch of NVIDIA's G80 GPU with their GeForce 8800 series of graphics cards was the advent of the first truly DX10 capable GPU architecture on the market.  Furthermore, upon its introduction, the nForce 680i SLI was widely acknowledge as the most feature-rich chipset for the Intel Core 2 dual-core and quad-core platforms to date; even more-so than Intel's own P965 and 975X Express chipsets.  In industry... Read more...
Recently, we were given the opportunity to take a look at a preproduction sample of a new gaming platform coming from ASUS. Dubbed the "G2P", this is a robust new product that combines the latest flagship mobile components with a unique new aesthetic and gaming-specific features in one convenient package. Although we've opted to wait a few weeks so we can review the complete retail package the notebook will ship with, we've taken the liberty of posting some images to whet your appetite in the interim. At the heart of the ASUS G2P is a platform which utilizes a 17" LCD.... Read more...
  What's in a name?  So often hardware companies name their products to paint a mental picture, or set the tone for how they want potential customers to view their particular component.  The names chosen are meant to invoke feelings of speed, performance, size or perhaps the supposed exhilaration you will experience when you see that piece of hardware in action.  With the latest gaming PC to hit the HH labs, we take a look at the Sabre Intel Core 2 Extreme Gaming PC from Systemax and start off by asking: What's in a name? Merriam-Webster's online... Read more...
  Due to the fact that we're an on-line PC hardware enthusiast and technology news publication, the majority of our readers tend to be the do-it-yourself type that build their own custom systems. We cover the gamut of PC hardware, from high-end motherboards and graphics cards, to optical drives and speakers. And while we typically focus on the latest "hot" hardware here, we also like to diversify our content with mainstream hardware that has greater appeal to the masses as well. To that end, we've begun evaluating full production systems in addition to... Read more...
Over the past year, it has been interesting to see the emphasis that the big names are willing to put on the "enthusiast" crowd, in regards to notebooks. In the past, notebooks have been targeted towards businessmen and the like. These days, however, the variety is so wide that there is a notebook targeted to just about every niche and need. Consider this: a few years ago there were a handful of names making true blue notebook gaming rigs, i.e. Alienware, albeit in small quantities.  But as the gaming generation grows, so does the interest in these powerful systems. So, it really... Read more...
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