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Alex Evans

Alex Evans

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As gamers and hardware enthusiasts, it’s easy to get jaded by Extreme Edition processors and multi-card CrossFire configurations. They push performance full-bore. And although you’ll never hear AMD, Intel, or NVIDIA recommending against using their enthusiast offerings in higher-end configurations, there’s no denying that Xeons, Opterons,... Read more...
ATI’s FireGL brand of workstation-class graphics cards have played second fiddle to NVIDIA's offerings for some time now. NVIDIA’s rival Quadro lineup has been an incredibly strong competitor, and combined with the fact that the last several FireGL card releases have suffered from late arrival dates and lackluster performance by the time they... Read more...
  Seagate was surprisingly late to join the small, but elite club of storage manufacturers shipping one terabyte (1TB) class hard drives. Somewhat expectedly, the first out of the gate was Hitachi, who made it to market several months beforehand with a high-density five-platter 1TB hard disk design. While Hitachi’s performance, thermals,... Read more...
Intel’s latest chipset family, the P3x-series, can certainly be qualified as a hit thus far. While Intel P3x-series chipsets, like the mid-range P35 series and the budget-targeted P31 series, don’t sport any truly exciting new features in comparison to their previous generation counterparts, they’re showing themselves to be extremely reliable... Read more...
It’s a fact that extremely large, high-wattage power supplies tend to get the most press online, as the vast majority of PSU manufacturers are caught up in the never-ending competition of trying to get the highest wattage products out there. While this competition has fostered innovation in this market, in addition to pushing down prices of... Read more...
It’s been almost one year since Intel launched the 965 series of chipsets, which were originally designed to be packaged with Intel’s Core 2 Duo series of processors. While the 965 series didn't perform quite as well as Intel’s flagship 975x chipset in some cases, most notable in multi-GPU configurations, it made a name for itself due to its... Read more...
Intel has spent millions making their "Core" brand synonymous with high performance processing. In these days of the Core Duo, Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, and Core 2 Extreme, it’s pretty easy to find a Core microarchitecture-based processor to match nearly any possible price point. The performance levels of the Core 2 product lineup have been... Read more...
While they are still not known as a tier 1 player in the motherboard market, on par with the likes of MSI, Asus, or Gigabyte, DFI is a still a highly regarded name in many circles. DFI is one of the few companies in the market which are genuinely in tune with what overclockers and enthusiasts are interested in. Their LANParty series in particular... Read more...
Nvidia based motherboards and SLI technology typically go hand in hand. In the past, SLI technology was only featured on high-end Nvidia platforms, although throughout the years Nvidia has moved this technology down to lower and lower price points. In years past, one would only purchase an SLI enabled motherboard if they had a specific need... Read more...
Graphics processors are, and have always been, extremely parallel in nature. This sentiment has been expressed time and time again by various GPU architects from all of the major graphics chip designers. If you want additional performance, in the vast majority of cases, you can gain it by adding on more rendering pipelines or a second (identical)... Read more...
Nvidia had been somewhat slow getting out of the gate with their initial Intel Core 2 compatible chipsets. Their first nForce 4 and nForce 5 series products for the Core 2 weren't very well received by enthusiasts, who mostly opted for more stable and less power hungry Intel based chipsets, unless Nvidia's SLI technology... Read more...
For reasons unknown, a good portion of the enthusiast market still thinks that memory cooling is a fruitless effort. Many high-end users still believe that memory chips run plenty cool, and that putting heat spreaders and heatsinks on them is a superficial effort at best, and that they don't provide any major benefits. The fact that nearly... Read more...
There is a common occurrence in the graphics industry that happens near the launch of any major new architecture. Before a company introduces a major change in their GPU designs, they will take their existing GPU designs and offer them at a wide variety of different speeds and price points, sometimes surprisingly low priced, in order to clear... Read more...
A thousand watts, a kilowatt. A kilowatt or a thousand watts. We can't decide which term sounds larger when spoken aloud. In any case, when said aloud, both terms are conversation starters when in discussion about PC power supplies. In this day and age where energy efficiency is something which many gravitate toward, anything with such... Read more...
Nvidia's newly launched nForce 680i SLI for Intel's Core 2 processors is undoubtedly the most lavish, extravagant, and exiting chipset currently on the market. This chipset, which we recently looked at in depth with our review of the high-end Asus Striker board, features such features like DDR-1200 memory support, triple PCI Express... Read more...
There are only a few motherboard makers today who don't design boards with the enthusiast in mind. It's been proven that the enthusiast market, as small as it is, gets the most press coverage of any segment of motherboards. Thus, enthusiast markets do have the ability to influence purchases of an entire company's range of motherboards.... Read more...
  Nvidia's SLI technology launched in mid-2004, and was designed to provide high-performance rendering power for gamers. Because the technology was brand new, and the fastest thing on the market, SLI configurations demanded exorbitant price premiums over single card configurations, despite first generation issues like software compatibility,... Read more...
In the last two years, we've seen a major push for home theater PC's by big names in the computer industry. Intel is pushing their ViiV initiative for HTPC market, AMD is pushing their competing AMD Live! program, and of course, Microsoft got in the game with their Windows XP Media Center Edition operating system. While the product... Read more...
  When news first broke that Abit was going to be purchased by USI earlier this year, it seemed unlikely that Abit would continue their long-running tradition of producing enthusiast level motherboards. After all, USI is a much more traditional electronics company, and enthusiast/overclocking platforms didn't seem like they would... Read more...
Water cooling for high-end PCs is, in theory, a terrific idea. Using water to cool vital system components like your CPU and GPU allow for cooler temperatures, lower noise levels, longer component life spans and / or enhanced overclockability. Water is simply a more efficient medium for transferring heat compared to traditional metal-based,... Read more...
ATI's chipset division, talented as they are, seem to have always played second fiddle to rival nVidia. Both nVidia and ATI started originally producing chipsets in 2001/2002 for low-end markets, using their experience in producing graphics processors as leverage to produce chipsets with integrated graphics abilities. Over time, both nVidia... Read more...
Kingston has been known throughout the industry as a steady-hand, a reliable partner, a company which is stable and never really pushed the bar in terms of enthusiast memory modules. If you wanted a solid, name-brand memory module which would be almost guaranteed to work, Kingston was one of the few brands which one should look for. They were... Read more...
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