PC Components, Peripherals And Gadget Reviews And News

Dig into our deep-dive product reviews and news of PC components from processors, to motherboards, graphics cards (GPUs), sound cards, and storage, along with other gadgets and peripherals that complete the computing experience. Whether you're a DIY PC enthusiast builder or just looking to read-up on what should be inside or connected to your next pre-built PC, here's where you'll find all the nuts and bolts sorted on what makes modern computer systems tick, as well some of the best user interface devices to go with them.

The effect cryptocurrency mining has had on the PC gaming industry, specifically the now sky-high cost of graphics cards, is profound. However, someday mining algorithms may change enough such that GPUs aren't the only non-specialized compute engines capable of processing cryptocurreny hash algorithms effectively, or at least aren't so dominant. That said, one fairly popular coin that's based on a CPU-optimized algorithm right now is called Monero. Monero or XMR utilizes the CryptoNight hashing algorithm (as do a few other altcoins). It also just so happens that AMD's Threadripper family of processors is relatively adept at mining it, or so we've learned recently. We've shown you some of the... Read more...
AMD is getting out in front of the impending influx of CES-related announcements and unveiling a number of upcoming chip products for the new year. After ramping 10 new product lines in 2017 -- if you consider its entire breadth of CPUs, GPUs, and semi-custom APUs -- AMD is readying more new and/or updated products for 2018, including next-generation Ryzen and Threadripper desktop processors covering every market segment from mobile to HEDT, and an array of Vega-based graphics products that target new markets and form factors. Ryzen Mobile Goes Pro Let’s start with the mobile news. We recently gave you a look at an HP Envy notebook powered by an AMD Ryzen 5 APU with integrated Radeon... Read more...
When we launched our early preview look at AMD Ryzen Mobile performance with the new HP Envy x360 15z laptop last week, we expected it would pull in a few eyeballs. Our benchmark results were likely some of the first anyone had seen that showed what AMD's Ryzen core CPU architecture, coupled with its Radeon RX Vega GPU on the same piece of silicon, could do versus a plethora of Intel 7th and 8th Gen Core series laptops. We wanted to paint a detailed picture of its performance characteristics across various workloads and answer a few other questions a long the way regarding other aspects, like battery life. But in the end, we were left with a few questions as well, after testing the model we picked... Read more...
AMD’s Zen processor microarchitecture is targeted for deployment across the company’s entire processor product stack, from desktop with Ryzen and Threadripper, to the data center with EPYC, and finally in laptops and convertibles with Ryzen Mobile. Ryzen is set to yet again take on Intel’s dominant position in the market. However, in this latest implementation, Zen is being coupled with AMD’s Vega graphics cores for a fully integrated laptop solution with the potential for a significantly more robust multimedia and gaming experience as a result. On the desktop, Ryzen has proven itself to be very competitive versus Intel Core series processors, especially considering... Read more...
AMD has had a banner year thanks to the launch of the many incarnations of its Zen processor architecture (Ryzen, Ryzen Threadripper, EPYC), as well as its Vega graphics cards (Radeon RX Vega 56, Radeon RX Vega 64). Now, however, the company is set to launch the combination of those standout architectures in a single die linked together with its Infinity Fabric. The result is what's internally known at AMD as Raven Ridge, and now will simply be referred to as Ryzen Mobile. There are two initial chips in the processor family that AMD is announcing today: the Ryzen 5 2500U and the Ryzen 7 2700U. Both processors feature four cores capable of executing 8 threads with SMT. However, there are differences... 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 desktop platforms, without resorting to enterprise-class processors or dual-socket setups was... Read more...
Adjustable sit-stand desks are all the rage these days, after some smart person in the healthcare field put two and two together to figure out that planting your backside in an office chair all day long is really not good for you, and in more ways than one. Adjustable height desks come generally in two variants, stand-alone models like the Autonomous Smart Desk 2 you see above and desktop risers that essentially convert a standard desk to sit-stand positioning capability. Pricing for the various model types out there range from the cheesy $149 versions, to north of $500 or so for premium, motorized adjustable models. However, the Autonomous Smart Desk 2 is a bit of an enigma. The cleanly-styled... Read more...
We are neck-deep in testing AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper processors and their companion X399 motherboards, and will have a full review with benchmarks and overclocking posted soon. In the meantime, the media kit AMD sent with the processor samples was so over-the-top and customized that we just had to show it to you. Here is a quick unboxing video of the processors and Threadripper-related goodies that’s we’ve got in the lab. Unfortunately, time isn’t on our side with this launch, so we burned through this one, but we still think you’ll enjoy the hardcore geek-porn. And no, you can’t have that personalized Threadripper CPU. That’s going to be a permanent fixture on my desk...... Read more...
AMD has officially lifted the veil on its new Radeon RX consumer graphics line-up, featuring the company's next-generation Vega GPU architecture. After months of architecture disclosures and rumors, we finally have real specifications and details on the actual Radeon RX Vega graphics card line-up, including pricing, and what AMD is doing to make the cards as attractive as possible for gamers.Initially, there will be four cards in the Radeon RX Vega line-up, the standard air-cooled Radeon RX Vega 64, a Radeon RX Vega 64 Limited Edition with stylized metal fan shroud, the liquid-cooled Radeon RX Vega 64 Liquid, and the lower-cost Radeon RX Vega 56.At the heart of all Radeon RX Vega... Read more...
When Dell announced in June that its Alienware gaming division would be the exclusive OEM partner for pre-built 16-core AMD Ryzen Threadripper systems, we figured Alienware would have a jump on the rest of the OEM pack, but we never thought they'd have this much of a head-start. In fact, we have Ryzen Threadripper test kits still incoming from AMD, but Alienware beat them to the punch here with delivery of the all new Area-51 Threadripper Edition. So naturally, we fired-up this 16-core multi-shredding beast post haste to get a look at what it's made of and how she rolls. And let's just say, she rolls good...   The new Alienware Area-51 Threadripper Edition shares the Triad chassis design... Read more...
AMD is officially launching its latest series of Ryzen processors today, the affordably priced Ryzen 3. As the branding suggests, Ryzen 3 will complement the previously launched Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 5 series of desktop processors, but will target lower cost, entry-level price points. Ryzen 3 isn’t your typical, entry-level processor, however. Ryzen 3 actually utilizes the same die as its higher-end siblings, but has fewer active cores and symmetrical multi-threading (SMT) has been disabled. Ryzen 3 processors feature quad-core configurations, however, they leverage the same socket and packaging, have the same features, and are fully unlocked for easy overclocking. We’ve got the Ryzen 3 1300X and... Read more...
Today, we are looking at a gaming monitor from Acer with a blazing-fast 240Hz refresh rate and NVIDIA G-SYNC support. The Acer Predator XB252Q gaming monitor speaks clearly to both media buffs and hardcore gamers who have a penchant for fluidity and triple-digit frame rates. This display offers a Full HD (1080p) native resolution and an ultra-quick 240Hz refresh rate to complement the uber-high frame rates possible with a modern, high performance gaming PC. Toss in an attractive set of connectivity options, ports, and a few other key bells and whistles and we have a formidable addition to any gamer's arsenal.Honestly, we were not surprised by the impressive package Acer put together... Read more...
Today marks the launch of AMD's EPYC family of processors for data center servers. Based on the company's Zen microarchitecture, it has become abundantly clear that AMD was targeting the lucrative data center market first and foremost with its new CPU architecture and the highly scalable Naples platform that leverages it. Of course Zen scales well for client/consumer desktop applications, as we've seen with AMD's successful Ryzen processor launch. However, the data center is near and dear to the AMD's heart, due to significantly higher chip pricing and better profit margins; not to mention the explosion of the cloud, from software as a service-built platforms like Amazon AWS, to AI, and big data... Read more...
ARM has developed a new generation of mobile chips that will empower smartphones and tablets of tomorrow with machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities, along with claimed significant increases in power efficiency and performance. The company's new Cortex-A75 CPU core for premium, high performance device requirements and Cortex-A55 processors for mobile power-efficient workload processing will also both be the first to feature ARM's DynamIQ technology, which gives design partners like Qualcomm more flexibility in how they pair CPU clusters. Prior to ARM's DynamIQ design, Qualcomm and others could employ big.LITTLE designs that paired a cluster of high-performing CPUs with the... Read more...
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