Components

Modern video surveillance systems with video recording capabilities can an be an expensive proposition, especially if you contract out installation and service. However, the combination of a high-capacity storage device, like a Synology DiskStation NAS (Networked Attached Storage) and IP surveillance cameras is a great alternative way to add a layer of security to monitor your home or business without dropping major dough. The DiskStation, like any Network-Attached Storage (NAS) device, can be used in a variety of ways ranging from simple network storage to a media server. Today, however,... Read more...
Intel has been gradually rolling out its 7th generation Kaby Lake-based Core series processors for an array of computing platforms, from desktops to notebooks and 2-in-1 hybrid devices. We've shown you what Kaby Lake can do for enthusiast and gamer desktop platforms. We've even recently explored optimizing its price/performance ratio through overclocking, and of course, Kaby Lake notebooks led Intel's charge starting in the summer of last year.What we haven't gotten a chance to look at yet is Intel's lowest powered Kaby Lake variant, known as Kaby Lake-Y. Kaby Lake-Y is the the 4.5 -... Read more...
Intel's 6th Generation Skylake family of Core processors has been available for some time now. We previously gave you a look at the desktop variant that Intel initially rolled out. However, the mobile variant of Skylake is perhaps Intel's most potent incarnation of the new architecture that's power-optimized on 14nm technology and with a beefier graphics engine, for more capable thin and light notebooks. In late Q3, Intel started rolling out Skylake-U versions of the chip in a 15 Watt TDP flavor. This is the power envelope that most "ultrabooks" are built with and it's likely to be Intel's highest... Read more...
EA took the wraps off Battlefield 4 this past week, offering players a chance to experience a taste of what the game offers via an early beta. We've spent time with the game, tested its early performance, and come back to report the findings. AMD, of course, has been talking up the Battlefield 4 combination with a vengeance, highlighting the features of its new Mantle API and close partnership with DICE, Battlefield 4's developer. At the same time, however, this is just a beta -- while we'll be checking performance and commenting on game changes, this isn't a full review of the final product.... Read more...
Today, for the first time since Atom first debuted, Intel is launching an updated version of the core that does more than integrate additional function blocks and lower power consumption. The tablet iteration of the new SoC is called Bay Trail, and it's aimed at the red-hot tablet and handheld market currently occupied by various chips from Apple, Qualcomm, Samsung, and NVIDIA. Our first thought?  Finally. This is what Intel's Atom architecture always aspired to. Intel Atom Z3000 Bay Trail Die - 22nm Low Power 3D Tri-Gate Technology Intel has done some impressive things with Atom, including... Read more...
In Part I of this series, we discussed ARM's business model and how it works with its various partners as compared to Intel. Today, we're diving into a specific technology that ARM believes will allow it to differentiate its products and offer superior performance to Santa Clara and the upcoming 22nm Bay Trail. big.LITTLE is ARM's solution to a particularly nasty problem: New process nodes no longer deliver the kind of overall power consumption improvements that they did prior to 2005. Prior to 90nm, semiconductor firms could count on new chips being smaller, faster, and drawing less power at a... Read more...
It takes serious guts to try and remake Half-Life. Valve's 1998 first-person shooter didn't change FPS gaming, it redefined it. Before Half-Life, blockbusters like Quake and Quake II were lone gunman affairs with little to no interaction with non-hostile NPCs (Non-Player Character). Half-Life took that entire model, and blew it apart. The train ride into Black Mesa gave players a glimpse of a vibrant, functional world. Scientists and security guards roamed the halls, interacted with panels and equipment, joked with each other, and expressed nervousness about the upcoming experiment. Inbound, To... Read more...
Alright, we'll come right out and gush a little bit. Our cynical, sometimes overly-critical opinions can occasionally be tempered by momentary flashes of greatness. We see a lot of high-end (and low-end) gear around here, so after a while, you can't stop your eyeballs from glossing over and a yawn from escaping from the cranium. However, when Maingear computers first stepped out with their high-end SHIFT line of gaming and workstation PCs, we took note and were genuinely impressed; a bit of rarefied air if you will.  It wasn't so much the component selection that stood out,... Read more...
Batman: Arkham Asylum was one of the top hits of 2009. It told the story of the Joker's surprise escape and takeover of the notorious Gotham facility for the criminally insane and Batman's struggle to subdue the Clown Prince of Crime and stop his plans to create an army of monsters. The game captured the look and feel of Batman and the Gotham universe perfectly and explored Bruce Wayne's backstory and mental fragility without becoming campy or bogging down. Come...and I will show you something different from either The best news about Batman: Arkham City is that it's a sequel that lives up to and... Read more...
Battlefield 3 dropped last week, promising a strong single-player campaign, an impressive new graphics engine, and up to 64-person multiplayer mayhem on huge maps. Despite a rough few days post-launch, the game delivers much of the multiplayer goodness that it promised, with a strong emphasis on team dynamics and an experience system that rewards both focusing on a particular class and learning the capabilities of all four. Before we dig into the game's extensive online goodness, however, we have to deal with its tedious, flawed, and boring single-player missions. Battlefield 3's single-player... Read more...
One of the fun things about being a hardware analyst is that every now and then, research and comparison between products turns up something both interesting and unexpected. In this case, we were testing and comparing image quality between ATI's 5970 and the GeForce GTX 480 as part of a system review when we stumbled across an officially confirmed antialiasing bug in NVIDIA's 197.41 drivers. Unlike some "bugs" that artificially inflate benchmark performance or lower detail levels, this one improves image quality by performing supersampling AA (SSAA) across the entire image. Antialiasing 101... Read more...
In a market where dual-GPU, single-PCB graphics cards are readily available from most major OEMs, product manufacturers are increasingly turning to water cooling as a way to differentiate their products and out-maneuver their competitors. The superior thermal characteristics of liquid cooling allows companies like BFG to hit higher core / memory clocks than they might using air alone.  However, H2O-reliant high-end video cards cater to an even smaller slice of the market—specifically, those enthusiasts with big money to spend and who are comfortable using water in their own PC. BFG's GTX 295... Read more...
Thanks largely to all of the attention surrounding the Intel Atom platform and its alternatives like the Via Nano and NVIDIA Ion, small form factor (SFF) systems have been generating tech news in a big way for the past half year. While tiny toaster-sized machines have been relevant for some time, as proven by the continued success of Shuttle Computers, it has been a relative niche that doesn't get nearly as much hype as gigantic, fire-breathing gaming rigs. Historically, there have been very good reasons why tiny little ITX machines weren't more mainstream. Pre-Atom, they have been a rather... Read more...
We recently had the chance to have a conversation with John Malley, BFG Tech's Senior Director of Marketing, regarding the company's recently released Phobos line of high-end gaming systems. We asked about the current state of the Phobos product line and its unique features and service options, and John also spoke about future possibilities for the company as well. Read on to see what John had to say about Phobos and why BFG thinks now was the right time to introduce such a system... HotHardware: With the economy currently struggling, why would BFG introduce an ultra-high end, boutique system at... Read more...
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