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.

Over the past few years, Corsair has steadily ramped up the number and types of computer chassis it manufacturers. The high-end 700D and 800D have been followed by a number of midrange products and one uber-expensive deluxe model, the massive 900D. The case we're reviewing today, the 750D, is meant to drop into the sub-$200 price bracket, where it faces competition from Corsair's own 650D mid-tower as well as a number of other chassis from manufacturers. Despite the name, the 750D is actually somewhat smaller than the original 700D/800D family. Those chassis were 24 inches long, 24 inches tall, and 9 inches wide, while the 750D is 21.5 inches long, 22.1 inches tall, and 9.3 inches wide. The other... Read more...
Let's get one thing clear up front. Crysis 3's graphics are absolutely stunning.  Crytek's latest game doesn't raise the bar -- it annihilates it. At the highest settings, Crysis blows Battlefield 3 out of the water, makes mincemeat of Max Payne, and makes the original Crysis -- itself a graphics powerhouse -- look more like the first Call of Duty. Crysis 3 really is that stunning, provided that you've got the video card to handle it. Like the first game, this title is capable of bringing even a high-end card to its knees; the Radeon 7950 w/ Boost Mode that we used for testing struggled to maintain a 30 FPS frame rate. The hell of a Cell installation on the left, New York's new look... Read more...
A few weeks back, we examined whether a new GPU like the GeForce GTX 660 could breathe new life into an older quad-core gaming system built in mid 2008.  The answer, we concluded, was definitely yes -- but many of you of you asked us to reconsider the question, this time using a dual-core Core 2 Duo. We've done so. And just for fun, we've added overclocked CPU results into the mix as well. The Q6600 we originally tested was one of the best-selling enthusiast processors of its day, but dual-core chips were very much the norm. At the time, there were only a handful of games that could even take advantage of four cores and both Intel and AMD priced by core count. That's changed now, with multiple... Read more...
New video card launches from AMD and NVIDIA are almost always reviewed on hardware less than 12 months old. That's not an arbitrary decision -- it helps reviewers make certain that GPU performance isn't held back by older CPUs and can be particularly important when evaluating the impact of new interfaces or bus designs. The downside of this policy is that it leaves a gap in product coverage. Gamers with older systems often miss out on whether or not a new graphics card will be a meaningful upgrade for aging systems. That's particularly important as the speed of the desktop replacement cycle has slowed. Here, we're going to compare the performance impact of upgrading the graphics card on an older... Read more...
Today we're reviewing a series of mid-tower cases at a variety of affordable price points. These four cases are all marketed towards enthusiasts and ship with what were once considered upscale options, including external water cooling mounts, multiple 120mm fans, screwless installation, removable case vents, and board cutouts for third-party heatsink installation. That's great news if you're tired of seeing full towers get all the high-end love from case manufacturers, but it makes the prospect of picking a single enclosure a bit daunting. We've rounded up options from Antec, Corsair, Fractal, and Rosewill and we'll start with their spec sheets.   A Quartet of Towers Specifications &... Read more...
Corsair tends to be somewhat measured in their approach to certain markets and only enters them with products that are clearly differentiated from the competition. That’s true for their cases, peripherals, power supplies, and many other product lines. Corsair, however, has been relatively adventurous in regard to Solid State Drives. Over the last few years, Corsair has offered SSDs built around controllers from virtually all of the major players, including Marvell, SandForce, Indilinx, and Samsung, among others. While Corsair has been open to working with multiple controller designs, they have not typically be first to market with drives based on brand new controllers. But that all... Read more...
I have a confession to make: I enjoy the Call of Duty series. Some may scoff and hit me with a splash of Haterade, but the fact of the matter is, there's something that remains consistent with each new game in the series: I have fun. Fun is the operative word here, because while the series, like many others, has its obvious faults, what I care about most is whether or not I'm enjoying the game, and am intrigued enough to carry on. So far, no Call of Duty has let me down. One of the obvious faults is that the series, by some respects, has begun to grow a bit stale. Well - depending on who you ask, that ship sailed long ago. While I'm a sucker for any new Call of Duty sequel that crosses... Read more...
Normally we don't cover games that are still in alpha. While beta coverage is typically a good example of how final gameplay is shaping up, alpha is a time when major design elements are still in flux. We're making an exception for Crysis 3's recent multiplayer test, however, to highlight just how gorgeous the game already is. Hi there! Last week, Crytek held a closed alpha test for Crysis 3. Players were limited to DX11 video cards and just one map, Crash Site, though 16-player support was implemented. Crytek sternly advised everyone that all of the maps and scenery were placeholders and not indicative of the final shipping product.   The ruined buildings and collapsed multi-story structures... Read more...
Corsair is one of the few companies in the PC enthusiast space that has been able to expand their product offerings, while also maintaining or even bolstering their solid reputation in the community. All too often, a company will attempt to build upon some initial success by entering a new market with a “me too” or re-badged product and end up losing credibility with enthusiasts along the way. Corsair seems to take a different approach, however. Instead of simply re-branding a product just to quickly gain a presence in a new or fledgling market, Corsair, more often than not, seems to bide their time to customize or design a product (or product family) to specifically cater to... Read more...
When we reviewed Corsair's 60GB Cache Accelerator back in May, we were impressed by the drive's ability to boost the speed of an HDD-based PC without the need for a fresh OS installation. Today, we'll be evaluating the performance of Corsair's 30GB Cache Accelerator. At $54.99 ($44.99 w/ rebate from NewEgg), it's considerably cheaper than the $84 ($74 w/rebate) price tag on the 60GB flavor -- but is 30GB enough to deliver the same performance boost? Looks a little familiar Let's find out. Cache Course For those of you who didn't read the original review, we'll quickly recap where things stand. Corsair has partnered with the software developer Nvelo to deliver an SSD product that monitors... Read more...
We’ve been impressed with what we’ve seen recently from Corsair, and we were glad that the company saw fit to send us a couple more mid-tower cases to pore over and test: the Corsair Carbide 300R compact gaming chassis and the Obsidian 550D quiet case. The two are dissimilar from one another in terms of design and purpose, but we’ve rolled them into a single review here for efficiency and your reading pleasure. Now that we’ve had a chance to explore and test the Corsair Carbide 300R, we’ve become well acquainted with the whole Carbide family, and the little bro is just as impressive as the bigger siblings we reviewed not too long ago, the Carbide 400R and 500R. The... Read more...
In a lavish suite at the Trump Hotel in Las Vegas, Asus set up a number of existing an upcoming products for eager members of the technology press to ogle and get some hands-on time. In the suite, we had a chance to checkout a handful of upcoming X79 motherboards, nettops, netbooks, notebooks, and even a few tablets and a smartphone. One of the standout products had to be the new Transformer Prime TF700T, which builds upon the original design we showed you here, but adds an absolutely awesome WUXGA 1920x1200 resolution screen, a higher-resolution front facing camera, and reportedly more reliable Wi-Fi performance.  A video of the Transformer Prime TF700T is posted above. As you can see,... Read more...
After playing through Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3's single-player campaign and spending some solid time with the game in multiplayer, we can attest that MW3 is the latest well-executed title in the long-running Call of Duty franchise. The game's production values are excellent, the single-player campaign is gripping and intense, and all of the gameplay conventions and design principles the CoD series is known for are here. Call of Duty: Death To Landmarks Whether or not this is a good thing depends entirely on how much you like the Call of Duty titles to begin with. If you've played any of the previous games you'll feel right at home in MW3—a fact that actually caught me by surprise,... Read more...
A few months back, we rounded up a half dozen SATA III solid state drives in this article. In that showdown, we had drives based on SandForceSF-2200 series and Marvell controllers represented, with both synchronous and asynchronous memory types. We ultimately found the SandForce-based drives when paired to synchronous NAND flash memory offered the best all-around performance, but they were also the most expensive. Generally speaking though, each of the drives featured in that article had merit, all things considered. Since that article was published, however, we received some updates to a couple of the products that were featured. First, Corsair sent over the 240GB variant of their excellent... Read more...
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