Components

For long-time enthusiasts that were around during the ascent of personal computers, the Commodore Amiga remains one of the most beloved systems of all time. When it was originally released back in the mid-80’s, the Amiga could do things that no other consumer-class computer could – its graphics, sound, and multi-tasking capabilities were simply unmatched at the time. That initial sense of amazement at the Amiga’s unique capabilities is one of the reasons why the platform continues to have rabid fans some 30+ years later and why a small group of skilled enthusiasts have designed and manufactured... Read more...
Toshiba has announced an array of products featuring various flavors of its 64-layer BiCS 3D Flash memory. We previously took a look at the speedy Toshiba XG5 NVMe M.2 SSD, and found it to be a capable performer. Today, however, Toshiba takes its 64-layer BiCS 3D Flash technology in another direction with the brand-new TR200 series SATA solid state drives we’ll be showing you here. The Toshiba TR200 series SSDs are built around 64-Layer 3-bit-per-cell TLC (triple-level cell) BiCS Flash, but use the legacy SATA interface and target budget-conscious do-it-yourselfers. Toshiba’s BiCS Flash memory... Read more...
The upheaval of the high-end desktop processor segment continues today with the official release of Intel’s latest Coffee Lake-based 8th Generation Core processors. 2017 easily been one of the most exciting years in a decade for desktop processors, thanks in no small part to AMD’s entire line-up of Ryzen products, including the monstrous Threadripper, which propelled the company back into contention at virtually every price point.Intel was at the ready with a host of ultra-high-end processors – namely the Core X series – that allow the company to lay claim to the fastest desktop processor on the... Read more...
Crucial recently launched a new series of solid state drives that somewhat defy convention. While a number of other recent releases feature various flavors of TLC NAND, the Crucial BX300 series we’ll be showing you here actually features 3D MLC NAND flash memory. In the current SSD landscape, MLC NAND isn’t typically used for consumer-class SSDs any longer, especially in lower-priced offerings, but Crucial is bucking the trend this time around.The Crucial BX300 series also tops out at a relatively small 480GB capacity. For an affordable boot drive, that’s still plenty of storage for most people,... Read more...
Over the last few months, Intel slowly divulged a number of details regarding the two processors we’ll be covering today, its flagship 18-core, behemoth Core i9-7980XE and its slightly smaller sibling, the 16-core Core i9-7960X. The fact that these two processors were in the works was officially disclosed all the way back in May, no doubt in an attempt to quell the impending AMD Threadripper firestorm, but specifics like frequencies, cache, and TDP were initially held back.Those specifications were eventually revealed, and some benchmarks leaked as well, but today we’ve got the full, official scoop.... Read more...
Update, 9/15/2017: We've updated our Ethereum mining benchmark numbers in this article to include AMD's recently released Radeon RX Vega graphics cards. Head here for that updated data or journey on for the full guide. Cryptocurrency mining is a big buzz topic in technology these days. And why not? Utilizing your computer to digitally mine what seems like free money only begs the question, "where do I sign up?" Your machine will actually be "mining" or processing transactions for a decentralized currency, the hottest variant of which is called Ethereum.  Poised to overtake the industry... Read more...
Today we are going to take a look at three popular Intel Z270-based motherboards targeted at power users and gamers, produced by enthusiast favorites Gigabyte, ASUS and MSI. The three boards we've rounded-up here cover a wide range of price points. The Gigabyte Aorus Z270X-Gaming K5 and ASUS ROG STRIX Z270F Gaming boards represent more mainstream segments, while the MSI Z270 XPOWER Gaming Titanium targets the ultra high-end. Although AMD's powerful Threadripper processors and Intel's upcoming 18-Core Skylake-X behemoth have gotten the lion's share of attention lately, more mainstream processors... Read more...
WD recently updated its mainstream Blue line of solid state drives with new 64-layer 3D BiCS NAND flash memory. When we first took a look at the original WD Blue SSD, we found it to be an admirable performer with competitive pricing. This new generation of drives, however, promises better performance and features all of the firmware tweaks and optimizations WD has gleaned over the Blue SSD line’s lifetime.In addition, SanDisk branded versions of the drive are hitting the market as well. Internally the WD Blue with 3D NAND and new SanDisk Ultra 3D are virtually identical, but the drives will target... Read more...
The new iStorage diskAshur2 is a specialized, external hard drive geared toward security conscious consumers. The diskAshur2 is a little pricey, and although it's no slouch in the speed department (we'll get into that in a bit), it's certainly not going to compete with that shiny new internal SSD you've got your eye on in terms of transfer speeds either. But here's the thing: It's plenty fast enough for just about anything you'd want to do, and just as importantly, it's both rugged and secure. So, despite a somewhat lofty asking price, the diskAshur2 is actually a pretty good deal. If you need... Read more...
Creative Labs was instrumental in evolving PC audio with notable products, like the Sound Blaster 16, AWE 32, AWE64, Live!, Audigy, X-Fi, and Extigy, and algorithms like EAX technology. Most of its competitors through the last three decades, like Yamaha, ESS, Turtle Beach, Auzentech and M-Audio, evolved their product line-ups or faded into obscurity. There were acquisitions of Aureal and Sensaura technologies that further boosted Creative's technology portfolio, too. Sound cards seem passé nowadays, as motherboard manufacturers hop up high-definition audio codecs with higher quality op-amps, capacitors,... Read more...
The Samsung Portable SSD T3 was a compact, durable, lightweight, and fast external solid state storage device, that offered killer performance when it launched. The T3 has been out for quite a while, however, and Samsung has since released a few newer types of flash memory, which are better suited to low-power, portable storage devices. As such, the company decided to tweak the T3’s design, update it with newer 64-layer 3D V-NAND flash memory, massage the firmware, and the brand-new Samsung Portable SSD T5 was born.We’ve got one of the new Portable SSD T5’s on-hand and have some benchmarks to share... Read more...
Today is the day AMD's Radeon Technologies Group has been working towards for a long time. The official launch of the Radeon RX Vega is here, and it's now time for AMD RTG's moment in the spotlight. Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) has been on a tear as of late; the desktop and server processor group executed successful launches of its Ryzen desktop processor, EPYC server platform, and finally the big bang last week with its Ryzen Threadripper enthusiast 12- and 16-core processors, which were met with high praise. Ryzen, EPYC and Threadripper are tough acts to follow, just ask Intel. So too... Read more...
AMD’s unrelenting attack on the desktop CPU market continues today, with the official launch of the company's beastly Ryzen Threadripper processors. If, by some cruel joke, you are unfamiliar with Threadripper, it is AMD’s premium, high-end, many-core desktop processor, that leverages the same Zen microarchitecture that debuted with the Ryzen 7 series a few months back. The flagship chip in the initial AMD Ryzen Threadripper line-up packs 16 physical processor cores and supports 32 threads through the use of SMT (Simultaneous Multithreading). To date, the largest number of cores supported on standard... Read more...
AMD's Ryzen series of next generation desktop processors have garnered a lot of buzz and praise around the web, but among the family of chips, none have created quite the stir as the company's Threadripper models of 16-core and 12-core processors.  While Ryzen helped propel AMD back to essentially performance parity with Intel Core series processors, Ryzen Threadripper offers the hope of surpassing even Intel's latest Core i9 Skylake-X family, with more core resources and PCIe connectivity at its disposal. As it turns out, our first hands-on experience with AMD Ryzen Threadripper wasn't afforded... Read more...
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