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 ATi Radeon 9600 Pro Debut Decent card, fuzzy naming convention By - Marco Chiappetta April 16, 2003 It seems like we've been covering new video card releases on an almost weekly basis over the last few months.  Since the beginning of the year, we've seen NVIDIA announce, and then release, multiple flavors of GeForce FX cards, albeit on very limited basis.  Announcements have also been made recently by SiS and even by the infamous S3.  ATi has also announced a line of products based on their R350 VPU, which is a revamped version of the very successful R300 core.  Back in early March, we took a look at the flagship Radeon 9800 Pro but on that day, ATi also formally announced... Read more...
  Review on the Abit BH7 Motherboard The Legend Continues... By Robert Maloney April 9th, 2003 Everyone holds a few memories close to their heart; their first kiss, the first time they drove a car solo, and the first time they got a sweet overclock on a motherboard.  OK, that last one might be a bit of a stretch, but there are a few of us who have clung onto boards, perhaps longer than we should have, because the features and stability made it such a winner.  Abit's BH6 was just such a board.  It was a reputation builder for Abit, and was widely regarded as one of the best 440BX boards of its day.  The BH6 helped herald in the age of jumperless boards, making system setup... Read more...
Albatron's GeForce4 Ti4800SE Powerful Graphics on a Budget By - Jeff Bouton March 26, 2003 Albatron is one of those companies that seemed to come out of nowhere and rapidly make a name for themselves.  Just around the time NVIDIA was rolling out their GeForce 4 product line, Albatron slipped into the spotlight, and became a player in the video card market.  Then, in an attempt to gain a maximum amount of exposure in a relatively short amount time, they released a slew of review samples to hardware community.  Since then, Albatron has grown into a very successful manufacturer of quality motherboards and video cards.  Today, like many other companies reliant on NVIDIA's success,... Read more...
Asus V9280S Geforce 4 Ti4200 A Ti4200, or something more? By - Robert Maloney January 22, 2003 Marketing -  simply defined as the process of bringing a product to market.  Tim Cohn, on www.marketingprinciples.com, describes marketing as "to find out what your customers want and then give it to them."  Sometimes it can make or break a product.  A manufacturer can produce all of the hardware they want based on the latest technologies, but to get the sale they must find a way to differentiate their product from the rest of the pack. There are just too many companies that, for better or worse, are providing the same item.  So, what can a company do to satisfy the... Read more...
  The ATi Radeon 9800 Pro Full Release Review ATi Technologies Distances Itself From NVIDIA Once Again By, Dave Altavilla March 5, 2003 This article and review showcase should come as no surprise to those of you that have been following the never ending saga of World Domination in the 3D Graphics Card arena.  Just a few short weeks after NVIDIA officially allowed the GeForce FX 5800 Ultra to peek its head out from the test lab and on to the pages of no more than a couple select on-line and print media publications, the Engineering and Marketing teams at ATi are launching another volley right back at their competitor, once formerly known as the "Chipzilla" of 3D Graphics. ... Read more...
The Abit BG7E Motherboard Review An Abit Board For the Masses... By Robert Maloney February 24, 2003 A few months back, we published a three board round-up of products based on the new Intel I845PE Chipset, including one from Abit, that being the BE7-RAID.  Without regurgitating facts about the chipset, suffice it to say that it proved to be a great update of the original I845, providing official support (finally) for DDR333 memory, as well as 533MHz FSB Pentium 4 CPUs, USB 2.0, and 6-channel on-board audio.  All of the boards that we reviewed really shined in the performance and overclocking areas, and we were hoping for more of the same with today's entry, the Abit BG7E.  At... Read more...
The AMD Athlon XP 3000+: A 2.16GHz CPU with 512K L2 Cache Has AMD Done Enough to Take The Speed Crown From Intel? By, Marco Chiappetta and Chris Angelini February 10, 2003 Calendar year 2002 was a great one for the computer geek.  The economy may not have performed very well, but most of the major players in PC Hardware were on a roll, unleashing a myriad of new products and technology.  In 2002, we saw Intel break the 3GHz barrier and bring their Hyper-Threading technology to the desktop.  We also saw ATi seize the 3D performance crown with the introduction of the Radeon 9700 Pro, and saw NVIDIA try to regain that crown with the announcement of their GeForce FX.  AMD made... Read more...
The Abit IT7-Max2 v2.0 vs. The Iwill P4HT-S Two Fully-Loaded i845PE's Duke it Out... By, Marco Chiappetta January 24, 2003      Over the past couple of years we have seen quite a few core logic chipsets hit the market for the Pentium 4.  We have tested motherboards based on the i850, i850e, a slew of variations of the i845, the SiS648, VIA's P4X266, 333 and 400...the list goes on and on.  Thanks to a few choice products, a good all-around feature set, including USB 2.0, Hyperthreading support and true DDR333 support, and top-notch performance one chipset in particular has won over many of the enthusiasts out there, the i845PE.  Today, we're taking two of the... Read more...
  The Asus A7N8X Deluxe Motherboard Review May the 'nForce2' be with you By, Jeff Bouton January 9, 2003 Back when NVIDIA first announced they were entering the chipset market, one couldn?t help but wonder if companies like Via, Intel and SiS were looking over their shoulders.  At the time, NVIDIA shared control of the high end 3D Graphics market with no one, although ATi was poised for a long overdue resurgence.  The question was whether or not the company, who was extremely successful in the graphics card industry, would be able to carry that success over to the chipset market.  Certainly on-line media was eager to see if they were going to be able to inject new energy into... Read more...
  Abit NF7-S Motherboard Abit's Version of the NVIDIA nForce2 Chipset By, Tom Laverriere January 7, 2003 When NVIDIA announced the release of its second generation NFORCE chipset, dubbed the nForce2, there was much anticipation amongst the enthusiast market.  After all, the NFORCE, although it wasn't completely polished, displayed good potential.  Many hoped that this potential would be fully realized in the nForce2.  Much to our delight, once we got our first boards into the lab, we were not disappointed.  The nForce2 has now become mainstream and is the chipset to pair with your Athlon XP chip, at least for some.  With AGP 8X and official Dual DDR400 support, the... Read more...
The Asus P4G8X Deluxe Motherboard Intel E7205 - Granite Bay Infused Horsepower By, Dave Altavilla December 18, 2002 The first Granite Bay (Intel E7205 chipset) motherboard to grace the HotHardware Laboratories not long ago, was MSI's GNB Max.  This board, supports Dual Channel DDR and AGP8X, as well as a host of other features, for the Pentium 4 platform.  However, this board, as well as a few others we have seen specifications for, seems to be more targeted at the High End Workstation crowd, rather than the enthusiast or "Overclockers" out there.  In fact, Intel's strategy with this new chipset for the Pentium 4, is also to target this space as well.  Intel's follow-on... Read more...
ASUS P4S8X SiS 648 Motherboard AGP 8X, Serial ATA and More! By: Chris Angelini December 16, 2002 Manufacturing chipsets for AMD's Athlon XP is one thing.  SiS, VIA and NVIDIA all vie for market share by focusing on different areas, be it price, performance or features.  Contending with Intel in the Pentium 4 chipset market is quite a different story, though.  Between the i850E, i845PE, and latest E7205 Granite Bay chipset, Intel has maintained a commanding position in the Pentium 4 chipset market.  VIA has tried, with limited success, to attract attention with its P4X266 and P4X400 chipsets, but Intel has been quick to file suit, claiming VIA doesn't possess the necessary... Read more...
  The Asus CRW5224A - 52X CDRW Drive The fastest rated burn speed on the planet.. for now. By Dave Altavilla December 13, 2002 It seems as though CDRW Drive technology is evolving as fast, if not faster, than Hard Disk technology these days.  It's amazing to think that CD Burning speeds are now on par with Read speeds.  However, that's exactly what the Asus CRW5224A is proposing it brings to the market.  With 52X Write, 24X Re-Write and 52X Read speeds, this drive should by all rights serve you as not only a speedy CD Burner but also a fast CDROM reader as well.  Asus historically has made a good name for themselves as a quality motherboard manufacturer targeting the... Read more...
The Abit IT7-Max2 i845E Motherboard A New Addition to Abit's "Legacy-Free" Product Line... By, Marco Chiappetta December 5, 2002 About six months ago, Abit Computer Corporation caused quite a stir with the introduction of their MAX line of "Legacy Free" motherboards.  For years, PS/2, serial and parallel ports were found on virtually every PC sold around the world.  With the emergence of USB, however, and the proliferation of devices using USB, these legacy ports were technically no longer a necessity.  In an effort to draw an even larger pool of early adopters and enthusiasts to their products, Abit did away with serial, parallel and PS/2 ports on the first... Read more...
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