Leisure

As much as we like piecing together formidable desktop systems crammed full of high end hardware, the future of PC gaming for many mainstream users may lie in more compact setups. Certainly there's been a push to get PC players out of a dank basement and into the living room with Steam Machines and similar console-sized PCs. However, Dell's Alienware division is hoping to take things to the next level with its pint sized Alpha R2 system, an ultra small form factor (SFF) gaming desktop. We have to use the world "desktop" carefully here because the Alpha R2, like its predecessor, is more of a "shelf-top"... Read more...
The Alienware brand is as venerable a name as any in the gaming space. As Alienware celebrates over twenty years in business, its computers have become instantly recognizable thanks to distinctive, out-of-this-world styling, and science-fiction references. Dell purchased Alienware in 2006 to complement its own competing line of XPS-branded gaming machines. However, Dell has kept a largely hands-off approach, allowing Alienware to grow its own business and continue meeting consumer's expectations. So far, it has served both brands well. Alienware currently maintains three desktop families from the... Read more...
DirectX 12 is gaining momentum with both game developers and hardware manufacturers, and as a result, gamers as well. The Windows 10 enabled, low-level API is being adopted in more and more titles, with both legacy and cutting-edge game engines now taking advantage of it. Using an ASUS STRIX Radeon R9 Fury graphics card, along with a few other more mid-range GPUs, we cooked up a performance analysis shootout of sorts. Here, we'll pit DX12 against DX11, using a variety of today's popular game titles that leverage the new API, so we can see what performance looks like and if there are significant,... Read more...
As we’ve detailed a number of times here at HotHardware, the NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV console is a powerful media streaming and gaming device that features a beefy Tegra X1 processor and an integrated 256-core Maxwell-based GPU (check out Marco’s full review here). While we’ve seen plenty of streaming devices come to the market with potent quad-core SoCs before, none of them are packing the kind of graphics hardware and Android TV polish lurking inside the SHIELD. To that end, NVIDIA thought that it could use the standard SHIELD (16GB) and the SHIELD Pro (500GB) as a centerpiece for Plex Media... Read more...
ASUS takes gaming seriously. So seriously, in fact, that it has two sub-brands dedicated to hardware for gamers. One is the Republic of Gamers (ROG), a brand ASUS created in 2006 to designate products that deliver "innovative hardcore PC performance," and the other is Strix, a more recent creation that's taken from the ancient Roman and Greek word for owl. No, we're not kidding. "Strix means the keenest hearing and sharpest eyesight. Strix means feeling your environment so that you detect and react to the slightest movement. Strix means survival on the very edge of instinct. Strix is in your blood,... Read more...
PC enthusiasts and hardcore gamers are passionate about their hardware. We all lust after expensive, high-performance CPUs, GPUs, monstrous RAM kits, and ultra-fast solid state storage devices. But for many of us, top of the line PC components may be overkill, and in some situations, a more mainstream rig will do just fine. That’s the crux of the message AMD has been trying to get across for quite some time with its mainstream APU line-up. Sure, you could build a high-performance rig with a top of the line processor and beefy discrete GPU, but why spend the money if you don’t have to? To that end,... Read more...
In addition to being lots of fun, LAN parties also afford hardcore gamers and enthusiasts a forum to show off their rigs. Dusty, ho-hum home systems are the norm, of course, but there are also some modded systems, decked out with custom cooling, lighting and paint jobs. And, of course, there are the high-end, boutique-built gaming systems as well.Sporting slick cases and the latest hardware, custom gaming PCs always stand out, but they are usually huge beasts that aren’t meant to be carried around regularly. That’s where iBuypower’s Revolt 2 comes in. Designed to deliver head-turning looks and... Read more...
Whether you have a $10,000 beast of a gaming rig or a hand me down that isn't any more powerful than a toaster, having the right input devices can make a significant improvement in your work and play. Mice in particular come in all shapes and sizes to meet anyone's comfort and performance needs. That bargain bin mouse may be fine for browsing cat pictures, but its cheap sensor and total lack of ergonomics may be holding you back from pwning n00bs like you deserve.To help step your game up we're checking out three new mice that recently slid across our desk: Tesoro's Sagitta Spectrum H6L Gaming... Read more...
Overwatch, the team-based multiplayer shooter from Blizzard Entertainment has proven to be an unstoppable force in the industry having now reached the hands of more than 7 million gamers within a week of launch. Many predicted as much once the early beta saw nearly 10 million users. Admittedly, we too have been immovably glued to the game since installing the PC version early last week. It features a wide variety of characters, and play styles, with frenetic-pace gameplay that is easy and intuitive for casual players. Yet Overwatch dishes out plenty of depth and strategy for crafty players who... Read more...
Boutique gaming PC system builders are a flourishing breed these days with new brands popping up on the scene regularly it seems. It's a testament to the fact that PC gaming, and the hardware the fuels it, is not only alive and well but kicking some major butt, especially with the advent of the eSports industry. Maingear has been building high-end rigs in boutique fashion since 2002 and in the process has racked up many awards over the years, including a few here at HotHardware. Today we're taking a look at a refresh of the Maingear RUSH SuperStock, a series of high-end PCs that we haven't looked... Read more...
One evening you are chatting with that cutie you swiped right on, and suddenly you remember the perfect YouTube video to share with them. How should you share the video? Should you copy and paste the link? Should you post it on their Facebook or Twitter? Should you email it to them? Now you don't have to make these tough decisions. Google recently released native sharing for a small percentage of YouTube users. These users can invite friends into conversation threads. Friends can chat about the shared video right inside YouTube’s mobile app and reply with another video. The message threads... Read more...
A few weeks back, we gave you our initial take on the retail-ready HTC Vive virtual reality kit. While we were able to explain the Vive’s specifications, setup, configuration, and give some opinions on the experience, at that point, we hadn’t had the kit long enough to form any solid, concrete opinions. We had experience with multiple versions of the Vive throughout its development cycle, but we thought playing with the retail version for only a few days wasn’t enough time to truly understand it, so we held off on making any final recommendations. We have, however, worked with the Vive for a number... Read more...
The Xbox One, PC, and Playstation 4 are definitely not all quiet on the western front. The Battlefield 1 trailer was just released and it is big, bad, and beautiful. Yesterday the concept art was leaked, but today we get the full trailer. The game is set in an alternate universe filled with WWI-era trench warfare, naval battles, and of course Zeppelins. EA Games and DICE stated, “With Battlefield 1 we set out to create some of the largest create, most dynamic battles in FPS history while continuing to tap into what fans love most about the franchise. One of the things that makes World War... Read more...
Blizzard fans will be able to get their Overwatch fix TODAY! The Overwatch open beta will be available May 5th through May 9th on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Players who pre-purchased or pre-ordered by April 29th had access to the open beta as of May 3rd. Players will have access to Overwatch's full roster of heroes, maps, and launch-day features—including Custom Games, Loot Boxes, and Weekly Brawls. Up to twelve players can be supported on a 6v6 format. There are twenty-one available characters including a genetically-engineered gorilla named Winston. Competitive play will... Read more...
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