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.

  ATI RADEON 9500 Pro Performance Analysis Seriously Powerful Mainstream Graphics By: Dave Altavilla November 27, 2002 As you probably are aware, High End / Enthusiast 3D Graphics cards, make up a relatively small slice of the overall TAM (Total Available Market) in the Graphics Card arena.  What is perhaps the largest portion of this market, is what some would call "mainstream" graphics, or the value segment.  That is to say that graphics cards, that are priced below $200 or so, make up the largest percentage share of all retail and OEM business in the marketplace.  So, as you can surmise, although it is important to have that all-powerful King of the Hill 3D Gaming... Read more...
  ATI RADEON 9700 and 9500 Family Preview Meet The Whole Family! By: Chris Angelini October 24th, 2002 ATI has been hammering away at NVIDIA?s firm grasp on the hearts and minds of gamers, multimedia enthusiasts, corporate users and laptop owners.  Up until now, they have done so with individual product announcements, like the RADEON 9700 Pro, RADEON 9000 Pro, and so on.  Each card effectively delivered a well-aimed blow to NVIDIA?s comprehensive lineup, currently consisting of the GeForce4 Ti and MX families.  With the 9000 and 8500 cards covering the mainstream market, ATI is poised to further its cause in the mid and high-end 3D arenas, filling the gap between the RADEON... Read more...
  ATI All In Wonder 9700 Pro Review The Fastest 3D in a Multimedia Package By: Chris Angelini November 4th, 2002 Back in September, ATI gave us a peek at a project on which its multimedia team had been working.  Dubbed the All in Wonder RADEON 9700 Pro, we knew it would be incorporating the R300 Visual Processing Unit (VPU).  Imagine our surprise when ATI also divulged that the 3D core would probably be running at the same frequency as its flagship RADEON 9700 Pro card.  Typically, All In Wonder variants, when first introduced to the market, had to be scaled back in clock speed a bit - but not this one.   From there, the preview only got better. Not only would the... Read more...
  The Abit Siluro GeForce Ti4200 OTES Taking Value to a New Level By, Jeff Bouton October 30, 2002   Today we'll be taking a look at the Siluro GeForce4 Ti4200 OTES, a high-performance, value minded graphics card from Abit.  Capitalizing on the reputation of the GeForce4 Ti4200 being a great overclocker, Abit has taken the popular card and given it some tweaks of their own.  This is no ordinary Ti4200, but one that comes with a GPU and memory that is clocked faster than your average Ti4200.  The end result is a midrange video card that offers high-end performance without the high-end price tag.  In order to give the Siluro GeForce4 Ti4200 OTES its extra edge, Abit... Read more...
  The Asetek Vapochill Vapor Phase Cooling System Taking the Pentium 4 To 3.3GHz And Beyond By, Dave Altavilla October 23, 2002 The last time we checked in with the folks at Asetek, back in July of 2000, we were working with the Pentium III at its highest core clock speed of 933MHz at the time.  The world of Personal Computing has changed dramatically since then and so has the Vapochill, Asetek's Vapor Phase Cooling System for Pentium 3/4 and Socket A Athlon platforms.  Back then, we were impressed with the capabilities of the unit but were set back a bit by its somewhat complicated and cumbersome setup and assembly process.  Regardless, once the product was properly setup,... Read more...
The Asetek Vapochill and Abit CX6 An Adventure In Over-Clocking June 27, 2000 - By Dave Altavilla  Art form, hobby, addiction.... whatever you want to call it, Over-Clocking and the quest for every last MHz. that can be wrung out of a CPU, is beginning to become a national and global past time.  With each new Motherboard, CPU, Heat Sink or Over-Clocking tool, new plateaus of performance are being reached that were unattainable with standard equipment.  The "need for speed" has truly been the mother of invention.  Some extreme over-clocking setups begin in the lab and others still are conceived in a garage or basement.  In either case, the people behind the cause... Read more...
Asus V8420 Deluxe GeForce 4 Ti 4200 Review A Ti 4200 For Gamers & Video Aficionados... By - Robert Maloney October 16, 2002 The Asus V8420 Deluxe is a bit of a paradox at first glance.  It could be assumed that this is a budget package.  After all, it does contain a card built on the NVIDIA GeForce 4 Ti 4200 chipset, technically the "low man on the totem pole" of the three cards in the GF4 Titanium series.  A closer examination reveals that Asus didn't just give you any board based on the Ti 4200 but a faster and more powerful version than most competitors. Then they threw together a bundle unmatched by most other companies. You want games?  How about two full... Read more...
  The Asus P4PE And Intel D845GEBV2 Motherboards Intel's  i845PE and i845GE Chipsets Hit The Ground Running With DDR By, Dave Altavilla October 7,  2002 As a starting point for this article, we'll offer some confessions.  We admit it.  For a long time now we've been die hard RDRAM fans, when it comes to Pentium 4 configurations.  It was just too hard to ignore the simple fact that RAMBUS driven i850/i850E setups offered the best performance, hands down.  We're performance enthusiasts around the HH Lab and there is no way we'll settle for second best, when we have the top dog at our disposal.  As a result, our platform of choice for the Pentium 4 had to... Read more...
  The AMD Athlon XP 2700+ With The nForce 2 The Athlon Gets a BUS Speed Increase & A Killer New Chipset By, Marco Chiappetta October 1, 2002 It seems like some rivalries will never die.  History is riddled with intense rivalries that people will never forget.  Sports fans have the Yankees versus the Red Sox and Ali versus Frasier, and techies like you and I have Intel versus AMD!  The rivalry between Intel and AMD gets even more intense, with today's introduction of two new CPUs, the Athlon XP 2700+ and the Athlon XP 2800+.  What makes things even more interesting is that not only did AMD increase the clock speed of these new Athlons to 2.17GHz and 2.25GHz respectively,... Read more...
  ATI All In Wonder 9700 Pro Preview The Fastest 3D in a Multimedia Package By: Chris Angelini September 30, 2002 If ATI were a Winston Cup NASCAR, we'd say that the company is efficiently firing on all eight cylinders.  The Mobility RADEON 9000 rules the mobile market, the well publicized RADEON 9700 Pro delivers the best performance to gaming enthusiasts, and the RADEON 9000 Pro is a solid mainstream card.  Further, ATI's latest round of hardware has been complimented by relatively stable drivers - a first, as far as the gaming community is concerned.  After the past few months of heightened success, what more could we ask for from the Canadian firm?  Well, consider... Read more...
  The ABIT SR7-8X Motherboard Review SiS and Abit, a Powerful Combination By, Jeff Bouton September 22, 2002 As a whole, when we think of chipset manufacturers that produce products loaded with features and performance, two names come to mind:  VIA and Intel.  But it is incorrect to ignore another manufacturer that has proven it's equally capable of competing with the two big boys on the block.  We are talking about SiS.  When it comes to Athlon based motherboards, it is difficult to argue that VIA holds the majority of the market share when it comes to chipsets.  But when it comes to the Pentium 4 based systems, SiS has itself a unique opportunity.  With Intel... Read more...
The AMD Athlon XP 2600+ The Thoroughbred Core Gets a Shot in the Arm... By, Marco Chiappetta August 21, 2002 It's hard to believe that it has been three years since the introduction of the first AMD Athlons.  To celebrate the occasion, AMD has unveiled two new processors in their Athlon XP lineup, the 2600+ and the 2400+.  The Athlon XP 2600+ is clocked at 2133MHz, and the 2400+ is clocked at an even 2GHz, making these two new processors the first AMD CPUs to officially break the 2GHz barrier.  The road to 2GHz was a rough one for AMD though.  They may have beaten Intel to the 1GHz mark in the Pentium III days, but with the release of the Pentium 4 Intel has been able to increase... Read more...
  The ATi Radeon 9700 Pro Full Release Review ATi Technologies Overtakes NVIDIA's Flagship GPU By, Dave Altavilla August 19, 2002 Taking risks is a way of life for people as well as companies, if there is a desire to achieve and be the best at what they do.  If you look at the patterns and modus operendi of the average "over achiever", you'll note that taking chances and educated risks is standard procedure.  Often times an individual, if they are to expand their scope of influence or grow, needs to take themselves "out of their element" and take the risk of something totally new, foreign or innovative.  Likewise, one certainly could draw a conclusion on... Read more...
The Asus A7V333 KT333 Motherboard Asus Perfects The VIA Flagship Athlon Line By, Robert Maloney August 13, 2002 Asus is one of those hardware companies that has earned a reputation for reliability. As with most motherboard vendors, they started producing motherboards, but then branched out to video cards, as well as modems and Ethernet cards. In my time building and testing systems, I often found that Asus provided some of the best performance boards usually combined with some of the latest and greatest features. A few of them even found their way into my own personal system like the P3V4X, which was up until recently my favorite (Pentium 3) board of all time. Thus, I was pleased when their latest... Read more...
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