Misc

The annual Consumer Electronics Show – CES – is typically chock full of bleeding-edge technology. Numerous companies take advantage of CES as the backdrop to launch or announce new products, and this year's CES 2017 was no exception. But for every killer piece of technology shown off at CES, there are a dozens of chintzy unmentionables that fill the millions of square feet that comprise the show's multiple venues. The Las Vegas Convention center and virtually all of the surrounding upscale hotels and resorts are packed to gills with CES-related tech products every year. It can be tough... Read more...
Don't beat yourself up if you're not familiar with the Cougar brand. It's a German company that's been in the game since 2007, though its presence in the United States is largely overshadowed by companies like Razer and Logitech, two of the bigger dogs in the gaming peripherals scene. But like Roccat, another device maker headquartered in Germany, Cougar is making an effort to establish a higher level of brand recognition on our home turf by releasing competitive gaming gear that blend form and function. The product we're looking at here is Cougar's 600K Mechanical Gaming Keyboard. It's a subdued... Read more...
We have been talking about Intel's Thunderbolt technology here at HotHardware since well before it received its official name. Way back in the day, Thunderbolt went by the Intel codename "Light Peak". We had discussed Intel’s Light Peak technology on a number of occasions over the last few years and caught glimpses of the technology at work at past Intel Developers Forums. Light Peak eventually matured into what now is known in the market as Thunderbolt technology, which debuted initially as an Apple I/O exclusive last year. As we mentioned in our IDF coverage... Read more...
It's only been five months since Skyrim hit store shelves, but the amount of work done on the game by both Bethesda and an army of modders has been enormous. With the Creation Kit now in the wild for several months, we've rounded up some of the best mods available and brought them for your consideration. We'll also walk you through the modding process and how to get started. ProTip: If you re-map the "F" key in Skyrim's key bindings, the new key to assign a favorite is "A." This isn't explained or listed anywhere in game; we found it by accident. What Makes a Mod 'Must-Have? There are literally... Read more...
This year's Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas, Nevada offered some of the most exciting product announcements we've seen in any previous CES show thus far.  The past three years' CES shows have been rather snoozy, to be honest, with the economy taking its toll on product design investment and innovation.  However, this year's CES showed great promise of not only emerging technologies and product innovations but with the sheer number of announcements and the notable increase in attendance (as well as city traffic, which was a nightmare), it was all a very encouraging sign of... Read more...
Touted as one of the biggest milestones in Windows games development in recent years, DirectX 10 ultimately didn't live up to the hype as far as end-users were concerned. A large part of the disappointment was perhaps due to a misunderstanding of what DirectX 10 was supposed to be. DirectX 10 was a fundamental refresh of the entire API and it brought a much-needed reboot to an aging API model. The reboot removed a lot of the legacy clutter left over from over a decade of previous DirectX developments. DirectX 10 was never really about the end users at all, it was really about the developers. It... Read more...
Computer cases tend to reveal certain things about their owners. With one glance, your friends can estimate just how serious (or casual) your computer hardware addiction may be. Whether the chassis is a generic, cream-colored throwback from the 90's, a standard mid-tower with a couple of LED fans, or an extravagant full-tower gaming behemoth with see-through side panels and custom graphics, first impressions unavoidably start with the enclosure. Although the market is loaded with a myriad of attractive cases, one product from Thermaltake caught our attention from the moment we laid eyes on it and... Read more...
This week may be as big a week in the company's history as Microsoft has ever had. We know, that's a pretty bold statement, but there's a lot of evidence to back that up. Microsoft has been drowning in negative press and negative vibes for most of Vista's life; it has tried for years to spit-shine the image of its "Wow!-inducing" operating system, and by and large, it has failed. In order to really understand the importance of Windows 7, we've got to go back in time a bit and take the whole of Microsoft's work into account. For those of you old enough to remember Y2K and that underground bunker... Read more...
When going to a party, it's customary to not show up empty handed.  Depending on the type of party, a cake, pastries, a bottle of wine or maybe even your favorite beer are all acceptable items to bring as a gesture to the host, thanking them for the invitation.  When it comes to a LAN party, however, the term 'customary' can take on a totally different meaning. With LAN Parties, it's more about the guests getting to show off their system's performance, their superior gaming skills or the beauty of their custom built dream machines.  Yes, there... Read more...
There are only a select few PC enthusiasts who like to show off their hardware more than gamers do. With all the questing, spying, and fragging going on, they still find the time to appreciate the machine that grants them such pleasure. As you know though, these days, any old box just won't do. No; something a little flashier than the mundane is needed, especially if you're headed to a big LAN Party. While we've reviewed some great cases over the years here at HotHardware, producing a case that receives a gamer's approval has it's own set of special requirements.... Read more...
Thermaltake is a company that offers a wide variety of products for custom computer builders. Whether you are looking for specialized cooling solutions, such as an active hard drive cooler, a water cooling kit or a quality CPU cooler like the Golden Orb II we recently reviewed, Thermaltake has an answer.  Top that off with Multifunction displays, USB hard drive enclosures, and top of the line chassis, and you'll find that Thermaltake has a multitude of products available to help give your rig a personal touch. The Tai Chi Aluminum Extrusion Case is a new addition to Thermaltake's line of enclosures. ... Read more...
Whether you're a serious overclocker or simply want a quiet and cool running system, choosing a quality CPU cooler is crucial.  There is no shortage of choices available, making the decision factor a daunting task for some, but taking the time to research the right cooler can result in a positive long term experience. Some coolers specialize in specific tasks, such as low noise or extreme cooling regardless of sound, while others tackle both issues in a single design.  One such cooler that fits virtually any situation is Thermaltake's Golden Orb II.  The Golden Orb II is a behemoth... Read more...
As the old saying goes, "Times are a changing".  When the personal computer first caught on, word processing and text based gaming was all the rage, and then there was this thing called the "Internet" on the rise.  Today, the Internet is at the center of the technological universe and the PC has become a powerful tool commonly used in everyday life.  Today's PCs have a myriad of uses from running the latest games to controlling all of the electrical components in our homes.  The possibilities available to the average consumer are now only limited by imagination... Read more...
3/00 The Thermaltake Golden Orb Bright and Shiny Heavy-Metal Cooling High Performance CPU Cooling and Heat Sinks themselves, have literally become an art form over the past few years.  From wild water cooled rigs to simplistic brute force multi high speed fan set-ups, many inventions have been mothered by the overclocking community's relentless need to eliminate heat from their CPUs and cases.   Many innovative designs of heat sinks, some even with exotic metal alloy combinations, have been brought to market.  With each new iteration of CPU technology it seems as if the cooling... Read more...
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