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.

Abit's BD7II-RAID Vs. MSI's 845E Max2 BLR Two Fully Featured i845Es Do Battle... By, Marco Chiappetta August 6, 2002      With the release of their "new" Pentium 4s, Intel revised their mainstream i845 chipset to add official support for 533MHz front side bus frequencies.  This new revision of the i845, was dubbed the i845E, which is the chipset powering the two motherboards we'll be looking at today.  Abit's BD7II-RAID and MSI's 845E Max2 BLR are two full featured, Socket 478 mainboards, targeted squarely at the enthusiast looking for a quality product, that doesn't carry a premium price tag.  Both of these products have on-board RAID and Ethernet... Read more...
  The ATi Radeon 9000 and Radeon 9700 Preview ATi 's Next Generation Products Unveiled By, Jeff Bouton July 18, 2002   The video card wars are heating up once again.  The rivalry between ATi and NVIDIA has never been more intense.  The two are poised for yet another battle in their ongoing attempts for market supremacy.  As of late, the two seem to be in strike / counter-strike mode.  ATi launches new drivers and NVIDIA launches Cg.  Just as was the case with the Radeon 8500 launch, ATi is the first to break the silence and have announced their next generation technology.  We can only assume that NVIDIA is lying in wait, to see what their arch-rival has... Read more...
The ABIT "Legacy Free" AT7 & IT7 MAX Motherboards Innovation Through Elimination... By, Marco Chiappetta July 9, 2002 Over the years, we haven't seen too many "standards" completely tossed aside.  For example, analysts have been saying for some time that the "end was near" for the good old floppy drive, but most of us still have one in our system.  When USB was first introduced, serial and parallel ports were immediately rendered obsolete, yet we still see these "old" ports on the vast majority of motherboards currently available.  Even ISA slots, which are inferior to PCI slots in every way, weren't done away with until very recently. ... Read more...
  The ABIT KX7-333R Motherboard Review Plain on the Outside, Potent on the Inside By, Jeff Bouton June 27, 2002 Ever since the KT333 was first released, we have seen a wide variety of motherboards incorporating VIA's newest chipset.  Some manufacturers developed new motherboards that focused on impressing the user with not only with performance, but also with its bundle and appearance.  We've seen several companies build top of the line systems that not only incorporated VIA's latest and greatest, but also came with uniquely colored PCBs and a slew of extra components.  Companies like MSI and Soyo produced products that not only exhibited excellent design qualities and performance,... Read more...
  The ASUS P4T533 i850E Motherboard Review i850E Armed with 32-bit RIMM 4200 By -Chris Angelini and Dave Altavilla June 17th, 2002 ASUS first earned acclaim with the hardware enthusiast community for building reliable motherboards that deliver industry-standard performance.  Their products often feature value-added integrations, such as IDE RAID, USB 2.0 and C-Media?s six-channel audio processor (as opposed to the software codec many manufacturers opt for).  Accordingly, ASUS boards often command a premium price.  The P4T533 is no exception, coming in at more than $300.  The price doesn?t tell the whole story however.  Along with the motherboard, you also get a 512MB... Read more...
  ATi's New "Catalyst" Software Package Improved Performance, Reliability & More! By, Jeff Bouton June 13, 2002 In a quest to maintain their position as a leader in the video card market, ATi is constantly looking to improve the end-user's overall experience.  This applies to their latest hardware releases, as well as new and improved software developments.  As we've recently seen, ATi has begun to seriously address some issues that have plagued them in the past.  Lately, we've seen a marked increase in their efforts to improve driver performance and reliability.  It seems like this year alone they have released updated drivers at an ever increasing pace,... Read more...
  AMD's Athlon XP 2200+ Processor The "Thoroughbreds" at .13 Debut! By, Marco Chiappetta June 10, 2002 Approximately one year ago, AMD Athlon processors based on the "Thunderbird" core, were reaching the end of their lifespan.  The "Thunderbird" had long been a favorite of the enthusiast community.  It was priced very competitively and performed on par, or better than anything Intel had to offer at the time.  AMD wasn't done giving Intel a hard time yet, however.  They introduced a new version of their immensely popular CPU based on a new core dubbed "Palomino". With the new "Palominos", AMD incorporated a few key enhancements... Read more...
Abit's Siluro GeForce 4 Ti 4600 Does Abit's Overclocking Legacy Live On? By - Robert Maloney June 6, 2002 The GeForce 4 series by Nvidia is indisputably the most powerful line of video cards available on the market today. At the top of the line is the GeForce 4 Titanium 4600, but this comes with a hefty price tag. A number of companies, both well and lesser known, have jumped on the bandwagon to offer their own versions using this chipset. Aside from aesthetic differences, how can the customer decide which of these are worth his or her hard earned spending money? Right on the heels of reviewing Abit?s Siluro GeForce 4 Ti 4200,  I got a chance to look at the flagship Abit Siluro GF4 Ti 4600... Read more...
Abit's Siluro GeForce 4 Ti 4200 A Sub $200 Power-House! By - Robert Maloney May 23, 2002 With every revision of the GeForce line from Nvidia, there seems to be more and more variations, each fulfilling a certain need in the graphics card market. First released in the GeForce 4 line were the Ti 4400 and Ti 4600 models, which undoubtedly provide the most power, but at a considerable cost. Now, we are starting to see Ti 4200 models, which will be priced a bit more moderately, for the mainstream consumer. They are still based on the NV25 core using the new technologies that make it a Gamer?s dream but the core and memory clock speeds are slower than its cousins, topping out at 250MHz for the GPU,... Read more...
The ASUS V8460 Ultra GeForce4 Ti4600 Power and ASUS Quality By -Chris Angelini May 10th, 2002 When you think of the movers and shakers in the motherboard industry, names like Abit, MSI, and ASUS immediately come to mind.  Their solid products generally deliver the best stability and more often than not, performance above and beyond their competition.  A reputation like that takes years to build and can be torn apart in a single product cycle.  So you can be sure that when a big-name Taiwanese manufacturer releases hardware, it?s already been through the ringer on their end.  Nowadays, the large manufacturers don?t seem to be content building motherboards alone.  They?ve... Read more...
  The Abit SD7-533 Motherboard With Crucial DDR PC2700 Memory A SiS645 Pentium 4 board with Abit flare - DDR PC2700 Done Right With Crucial By, Dave Altavilla April 23, 2002     There certainly has been no shortage of motherboard variants on the market, that support DDR SDRAM for the Pentium 4 architecture.  Now that Intel has "the gloves off" as well, with their DDR version of the i845, it is open season for DDR SDRAM standards to ramp in speed and available chipset offerings from the likes of SiS, VIA and of course Intel themselves.  With rumblings of the DDR400 spec being nailed down by the JEDEC committees and even word of a Dual Channel DDR SDRAM chipset... Read more...
  The ATi All-In-Wonder Radeon 8500 Review Will The Real All-In-Wonder Please Stand Up? By, Jeff Bouton April 22, 2002   ATi has been manufacturing video cards and other multimedia products since 1985 and was one of the earliest companies to institute the concept of a combination TV/Video card.  The theory seemed simple, combine a quality graphics card and TV tuner into a single PCB, that would give the consumer the best of both worlds in a single product.  And so the ?All-In-Wonder? product line was born.  These days, ATi has been releasing new models of the ?All-In-Wonder? at a feverish pace, with three new versions since last fall alone, the All-In-Wonder Radeon 8500DV,... Read more...
ATi All-In-Wonder Radeon 8500DV One card, a multitude of technology By Dave Altavilla 12/26/01   ATi's extremely successful "All-In-Wonder" series of graphics cards has garnered critical acclaim for many years now, with its highly integrated offering of Multimedia, TV and Digital Video capabilities.  Where most all other manufacturers opt to handle TV Tuner and Input/Output Interfaces in discrete external solutions, ATi's packs it all on one standard AGP implementation.  The only other vendor that was able to deliver this level of integration, was the now extinct 3dfx, with their impressive at the time, Voodoo3-3500TV. Since then times have changed dramatically and there... Read more...
  The ATI All-In-Wonder Radeon 7500 Review Not Just a TV Card By, Jeff Bouton April 4, 2002 I'm sure if you asked any computer enthusiast to name a manufacturer of combination TV/Graphics cards, there is little doubt that many would say "ATi."  We're not saying that they are the only game in town but it is hard to argue that they haven't carved out quite a niche for themselves.  With competition from players like Hauppague, as well as the relatively recent edition of nVidia, with its "Personal Cinema" product, ATI still holds a major share of the combination TV/Graphics card market. What sets ATI apart from the rest, is that they were one of the first to pioneer... Read more...
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