Misc

To say OCZ has had a tumultuous year in 2013 would be putting it mildly. The company took a brutal beating financially and was knocked down, but not out. Now, thanks to an acquisition by Toshiba, the newly formed and revitalized OCZ Storage Solutions, is poised and ready to make another run at enthusiasts and the enterprise. In an effort to clear up some of the rumors and hear what Toshiba’s OCZ Storage Solutions Group has in store this year, we reached out to OCZ’s CMO, Alex Mei. Here’s what he had to say: HH: How will Toshiba’s acquisition of OCZ affect future... Read more...
As the resident open source zealot, I thought it might be nice to have a quick rundown of some of the best apps that are free, open source, and cross-platform available to our readers.  Experienced users may find fault with me for leaving out their favorite app, but hopefully they will agree that the ones I’ve picked here are deserving of recognition.  I especially hope this is useful to those that are unaware of the existence of these applications due to the long shadows cast by the proprietary icons of their respective categories. If you feel I did miss an important app, please... Read more...
When we sat down to review Corsair's acclaimed 700D and 800D chassis, we couldn't help reflecting on how much the PC case market has evolved over the last decade. Ten years ago, when we were cutting our teeth on CPUs with code names like Coppermine and Thunderbird, enthusiast enclosures were few and far between. With the exception of Lian-Li, which was building $200+ all-aluminum nerd artwork even back then, the majority of the companies providing cases to the DIY market were busy churning out beige boxes with features that included: Complimentary Band-Aids 1x 80mm 6000 RPM rear fan with an... Read more...
DDR3; it's the future of desktop system memory, plain and simple.  However, it's far from becoming the mainstream standard.  As it stands now, there is little benefit to DDR3 as high costs and latency makes DDR3 a less attractive option in its current state.  It's a familiar story.  If you recall, back when DDR2 was in its infancy, the same argument was made, with price and latency being major detractors.  Over time, however, the technology went through the normal maturation process, and with that, the latency factor was overcome and DDR2 became the dominant memory techology. Today we... Read more...
For the last several months, DDR2 memory development has been largly stagnent. The fastest DDR2 memory kits from last summer were, for the most part, still the fastest DDR2 memory kits this spring. We haven't seen any truly significant developments in DDR2 since Micron stepped up to the plate with their D9 chips. Although manufacturers continue to release new DDR2 memory, speed increases are fewer and harder to come by. It seems that even the mighty D9 has run out of headroom and it's becoming very difficult to produce faster DDR2 memory while still maintaining acceptible production yields.... 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 all high-end memory module and graphics card memory manufacturers use some sort of additional cooling doesn't seem to matter. For a long time, I was a member of this camp as well. The first memory modules with heat-spreaders showed themselves in... 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 a large number when it comes to power is instantly an attention grabber, in both positive and negative ways. It's been quite a while since the first enthusiast targeted 1000 watt power supplies hit the market. There were 1000 watt power supplies before,... Read more...
  As computer enthusiasts, we all love to see PC components get more and more powerful. Unfortunately, with this increasing power often comes an increase in power demands. This is especially true of video cards. In fact, it can be reasonably argued that if it weren't for the high-end video card market, power supplies probably wouldn't be anywhere near the 600W or more that we see in typical enthusiast-level PSUs these days. When you begin to crave high-end dual or quad GPU configurations, you must realize that a high quality and high capacity power supply is probably in your future.... Read more...
  Last month we took a look at two recent sets of memory from Corsair and Kingston that were pushing DDR2 technology ahead, offering higher clock speeds and lower latencies to complement leading edge motherboard technologies.  Each set did very well in our benchmarks, offering up premium peformance with solid stability. But, besides death and taxes, the only other constant in this world is that the speed of most PC components increase every six months or so.  While Kingston was the first to reach the 750MHz barrier with their HyperX KHX6000D2K2/1G memory, we now have faster sets... Read more...
  One Hot Athlon Overclocking  Card From Outside Loop Computers As the old saying goes, "where there is a will, there is a way".  When AMD's Athlon first hit the market many were disappointed with the lack of user configuration options for the first round of Athlon Motherboards.  Still today, there aren't many boards out there that can do much in the way of overclocking the Athlon.  That didn't stop the good folks at Outside Loop from inventing a truly convenient way to overclock your Athlon processor in just about any motherboard imaginable.  With the twist... Read more...