Desktops

When we reviewed the Maingear Epic Rush a few months ago, we found its performance jaw-dropping, and thus we expected the same out of its sibling, the Maingear Rush. However, these are different systems with different configurations on board. For instance, they have different CPUs--the Rush we're testing today has a newer, more powerful GPU configuration, and Maingear approached storage on the two quite differently as well. What both systems definitely do share is high performance and impeccable build quality. The Maingear Rush is a top-shelf system with killer components; there... Read more...
We've all heard the phrase "Go big or go home," but how about "Go wide or go home?" The latter is the message Lenovo is sending with its B750 All-in-One Desktop PC, which offers a spacious and brilliant 29-inch super-widescreen In-Plane Switching (IPS) display to play with. It has a Full HD 2560x1080 resolution, which works out to a 21:9 aspect ratio with copious horizontal screen estate to maneuver your documents and windows. It's also adept at watching movies, as the aspect ratio is very close to the true value of 64:27, allowing for little or no discernible black bars. Oddly enough, Lenovo... Read more...
The Sony VAIO Tap 21 is a member of a small, but growing, breed of new PCs that straddles a line between traditional all-in-one desktops and tablets. The VAIO Tap 21’s specifications read like many modern desktop systems, and include an Intel Core i7 processor, hybrid storage, a decent amount of memory and full-blown Windows 8. But the machine is also surprisingly svelte, it’s got a full HD, multi-touch screen and it packs an integrated battery that gives users the ability to simply pick up the system and go. Of course, the VAIO Tap 21’s physical dimensions prevent it... Read more...
Although the market for them is relatively small, we love to check out elaborate, no-holds-barred gaming PCs from time to time--you know, the kind of system that costs about the same amount as a serviceable used car. As fun as it is to check out an ultra high-end gaming rig, we also do it to gauge the user experience and to see just how much better it is (or isn't) versus a mainstream PC. But how great is the experience, really?  The answer needs to be darn near perfection, because – let’s face it – a midrange gaming desktop is going to give you a... Read more...
iBuypower is offering an AMD-based system in its Chimera 4SE line, which is designed to give users serious gaming performance without a wallet-busting price tag. The Chimera is part of iBuypower’s Signature Series, which includes iBuypower’s highest-priced and most powerful gaming systems, like the Revolt and Valkyrie. So, what makes a desktop PC a Chimera 4SE? The chassis, for one thing. The Chimera has a custom chassis with unique artwork that makes the Chimera easily identifiable. (We talk more about the chassis on the next page.) Overclocking is another Chimera feature.... Read more...
If we asked you to name five gaming PC manufacturers, Lenovo probably wouldn't make the list. No other company in the world ships more PCs than Lenovo, but of those machines, relatively few are dedicated gaming boxes. Traditionally, Lenovo has focused its efforts on business class desktops and laptops, though the company is known to play in performance waters on occasion, most notably with its IdeaCentre K Series of high-end towers. These aren't hardcore gaming boxes like the boutique builders offer, however, so there's room in Lenovo's lineup to add a dedicated line of systems built exclusively... Read more...
It's hard to believe there's a full fledged system packed inside Apple's slim and sexy iMac chassis. It was roughly a year ago when Apple revamped its all-in-one line, tasking the company's engineers to flatten the design as much as possible without sacrificing performance. What emerged was a sleek display measuring just 5mm at its edge with up to 40 percent less volume than the previous generation. It was such a radical design change that Apple had to abandon traditional welding methods in favor of a process called friction-stir welding, which combines friction-generated heat and pressure to force... Read more...
Unless you’re a gamer or a content-creation professional that requires a lot of computing horsepower, the latest crop of All In One PCs probably seem very attractive. AIOs tend to be quite the lookers, with sleek lines, large and crisp displays, touch capabilities--and of course, a small footprint. We’re starting to see AIOs with better and better specifications too, and although they won’t be your choice of machine for pwning n00bs just yet, products like the Dell XPS 27 Touch offer very solid specifications in addition to a premium user experience and lots of... Read more...
Mainstream All-In-One PCs have become increasingly more popular in recent years, but AIO workstations remain a rare breed. After all, workstations typically require more horsepower than your average AIO, and IT folks demand better access to a computer’s internals than most ordinary AIOs allow. That makes HP’s Z1 workstation all the more attractive perhaps: it’s meant to give you the power and access of your big workstation box in a small footprint, with no (or few) compromises. HP Z1 All-In-One Workstation Before we dive into the Z1 specifications (and its gorgeous, 27-inch... Read more...
The Intel Haswell-based gaming rigs keep coming. Digital Storm sent us a mid tower gaming machine dubbed the Digital Storm VIRTUE Level 3, which boasts some hot, next-gen components wrapped inside a stoic, unadorned chassis--rather like the CyberPowerPC Xtreme Gamer 5200 we just looked at. Digital Storm says that the VIRTUE was an effort to create a mid tower-sized option that evinced the same care and attention typically devoted to the bigger, showier gaming rigs we’re used to seeing. The VIRTUE is certainly well-made, and there’s surely a market for mid tower rigs, but like the... Read more...
Now that Intel’s 4th-generation Core processors are flowing in the market, all your favorite boutique builders are churning out new systems based around those Haswell chips. The new Intel processors require a new socket (LGA 1150), and the associated motherboards have the new Z87 chipset. If you’re as excited as we are to see how Haswell fares, stick around--there’s a lot of good stuff coming down the pike. One of our first Haswell-based system is the CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme 5200, which comes in a surprisingly subdued mid-tower chassis that belies the powerful components inside.... Read more...
We've hit a turning point in technology, one in which the old ways are, well, old and outdated. Traditional desktops still exist, sure, but bulky towers are fading right before our eyes just like that scene in Back to the Future where the people in Marty's photograph slowly disappear. In place of medium and large-size rectangular boxes are space-saving form factors like Intel's Next Unit of Computing (NUC) and, to a lesser extreme, sleek looking all-in-one (AIO) designs that are winning favor among consumers. At the same time this is happening, increasingly powerful mobile devices are flooding... Read more...
NVIDIA is launching a new, ultra high-end graphics card today, the long rumored GeForce GTX Titan. Although the card itself and a couple of its features are new to the consumer graphics card market, many details of the GPU powering the GTX Titan, namely the NVIDIA GK110, have been previously covered here at HotHardware. In fact, NVIDIA revealed the GK110 at GTC 2012 in May of last year and released its first Tesla-branded products based on the GPU a few months later. The GK110 is also a key component of the GeForce GTX Titan’s namesake, the Titan Supercomputer, which uses almost 19,000... Read more...
The all-in-one PC form factor is a brilliant, if not obvious, evolution of the desktop computer. AIO systems offer the maximum amount of screen real estate while drastically minimizing the total footprint of the computer by packing all the components inside the monitor (or in the case of this particular AIO, the base of the stand). Even better, now that ten-finger touch input is de rigeur, these machines offer new methods of computer interaction that are alternately ideal for wide-eyed youngsters, old luddites, and seasoned power users. (Give a toddler a touchscreen and she’ll figure out... Read more...
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