Graphics/Sound

Over the past few years, many companies have altered their approach to the enterprise. Where IT departments once made purchasing recommendations based entirely on their own view of the company’s requirements, many administrators now get (often unsolicited) input from employees who don’t want to get saddled with computers, tablets, or accessories that don’t fully meet their needs. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon for companies to let employees choose their work laptops or make suggestions. With so many employees influencing purchases, computer- and accessory makers have been quick... Read more...
It doesn't matter how hard your earphones pound your eardrums with cranium shaking noise, you can't truly call yourself a power user unless you're ticking off the neighbors and scaring the hell out of the dog with a surround sound setup that rattles the walls and punches copious amounts of bass. Without it, you might as well give your man-card away to someone who plans on fulfilling the requirements for membership in an illustrious club that demands everything be over the top. Logitech's famed Z-5500 system fit the bill, and there are many who consider it to be the king of multimedia speakers.... Read more...
Intel's Sandy Bridge processors have won acclaim for their hardware-accelerated video transcoding capabilities, dubbed Quick Sync, but there are significant limitations in the current iteration. LucidLogix, a company that's heretofore been known for its multi-GPU Hydra hardware, has developed a software-only solution named Virtu that it claims will solve one of the major issues that prevent enthusiasts from taking advantage of Sandy Bridge's transcoding performance, however. The problem is this: At present, there's no way to easily use a discrete graphics card and access Sandy Bridge's transcoding... Read more...
About a year ago, Lucid started making waves in the graphics space with claims of being able to revolutionize multi-GPU computing. It promised consumers the ability to add any graphics card, unrestricted by model or vendor, to an existing set up and achieve highly efficient load balancing with near linear performance increases. This option presumably provides consumers the flexibility to buy an ATI graphics card, install it next to an NVIDIA model on the same motherboard, and see a boost in graphics rendering performance close to the sum of both individual components. Today we have... Read more...
When we talk about video cards, the focus is typically on the latest high-profile offerings that leave many of us in a perpetual state of hardware envy.  It's a common picture, with ATI or NVIDIA releasing a new model and the other usually answering with their own killer product not long after.  It's a constant dance called "competition", which is the driving factor that keeps the technology moving forward.  However, the high-end sector only accounts for a small percentage of the big picture, with mid-range and value class products comprising a much larger percentage of... Read more...
Years ago, when computers with a 200MHz Pentium processor and 32MB of RAM were all the rage, we came upon a nifty device that came pre-installed in a wimpy Packard Bell PC. This device was a PCI TV Tuner Card. Back then, the ability to watch TV on a computer was somewhat of a rarity.  And now, while there are many more options available, its still pretty uncommon.  However, users are no longer limited to simply watching.  In fact, there are a myriad of other uses for this kind of device. One addition has been the ability to receive and even record FM Radio signals. Today on HotHardware,... Read more...
The Leadtek WinFast A350 TDH MyViVo & The Abit Siluro FX 5900 OTES Two GeForce FX 5900s Square-Off... By - Marco Chiappetta August 19, 2003         On May 12, NVIDIA formally introduced the NV35 to the public, dubbed it the GeForce FX 5900 Ultra, and enthusiasts began to drool.  The original FX-Flow cooler found on the 5800 Ultra was gone and a 256-bit memory interface had replaced the 128-bit interface used in the NV30.  The NV35 was everything the NV30 should have been.  Unfortunately, one thing did carry over from the 5800 Ultra to the 5900... Read more...
Leadtek WinFast A300 Ultra TD MyVIVO A "Friendly" GeForceFX 5800 Ultra... By - Marco Chiappetta April 25, 2003 NVIDIA's latest flagship GPU the NV30, now known as the GeForce FX 5800, has been a long time coming.  Products based on the GeForce FX 5800 Ultra are just now starting to arrive in very limited quantities.  The first batch of products to ship to pre-order customers were all basically the same.  They were all based on the same reference board design, and they all shipped with the now infamous "FX-Flow" cooler.  Gainward was one of the first companies... Read more...
The Logitech Z-680 5.1 Channel THX-Certified Speaker System A Killer Home-Theater Sound System for Your PC... By - Marco Chiappetta February 5, 2003 PC enthusiasts are constantly upgrading their systems in an almost never-ending endeavor to improve their multimedia and gaming experiences.  All too often we find ourselves replacing our once top-of-the-line video cards and adding RAM or a faster processor, only to be unimpressed with the overall impact made by these upgrades.  That's not to say having a fast system isn't paramount to an enjoyable gaming experience though.  If your... Read more...
The Leadtek Winfast A250 Ultra TD The GeForce4 Ti Card With A Massive Heat Sink By -Dave Altavilla March 26 2002 We've been working with Leadtek hardware, here at HotHardware, since our beginning way back in late 1998.  At that point in time, Leadtek was known for designing and building top end graphics cards with various chipsets, including workstation "professional" level graphics.  Since that time, Leadtek has diversified its portfolio of product, with TV Tuners, Motherboards, EIDE/SCSI Controllers and even video conferencing technologies folding into the mix. However, what... Read more...
The Logitech Z-560 THX Certified 4.1 Speaker System High Performance and Fidelity At A Low Price By - Dave Altavilla December 9, 2001   It's that time of year.  In the PC Hardware and Peripherals industry, you almost can't keep up with the onslaught of new products hitting the market for the holiday season.  Likewise, the HotHardware Test and Tech Writer Team, almost can't keep up with the volume of new gadgets showing up in the lab for test and showcase.  The key word here is "almost", because we always seem to find a way to squeeze in an article on a new product... Read more...
The Leadtek Winfast GeForce 2 MX DH Pro An MX With all the Goodies... By Marco "BigWop" Chiappetta December 21, 2000 As a hardware review site, we come across many products competing for the same space in a particular market. No where is this more evident than the video card market. nVidia has been, and now that there is one less competitor, surely will remain the most dominant supplier of video chipsets to OEMs. Many companies that sell products using chipsets from nVidia, simply take nVidia's reference design and churn out cards that are essentially exact replicas. This practice makes... Read more...
The Leadtek Winfast GeForce 2 MX Worth every cent...and then some... By Marco "BigWop" Chiappetta 10/10/00 nVidia has been on a roll as of late.  They are seemingly starting to dominate the performance gamer market with their powerful GeForce 2 GTS.  As if that wasn?t good enough, they will soon be releasing an ?Ultra? model that will further establish their position.  Being a dominant force in a single market segment isn?t enough for nVidia though.  Their design win with the Microsoft X-Box should establish nVidia as a major player in the console market.  They... Read more...
The Leadtek WinFast GeForce3 TD A Reference Design With Attitude... By, Marco "BigWop" Chiappetta June 27, 2001     Now that the GeForce 3 has been widely available for a few weeks, we find ourselves in the same situation we we've been in numerous times before, since the days of the Voodoo2. Manufacturers follow a standard reference design, mass produce it and market it under their recognized brand name. The advantage of this process is knowing you are getting a product based on a proven, tested design. The disadvantage is that differentiating one product from another becomes... Read more...
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