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.

We've got a couple of editors out in Las Vegas currently at the whirlwind that is the Consumer Electronics Show (myself included), and saw some cool stuff at an event this evening that we thought many of you would like to check out.  There are a few big announcements coming over the next couple of days that we'll be talking about in due time, and the show technically doesn't start until tomorrow, but that didn't stop some major players from showcasing their wares a bit early...          NVIDIA and Viewsonic NVIDIA was showing off a few things, including its Ion platform, which couples an NVIDIA chipset and IGP to Intel's Atom processor.  The tiny Ion... Read more...
It's not very often that we see innovation in a PC chassis.  Of course, just about every other component in a typical PC is enhanced or somehow improved on a regular basis, but chassis haven't really changed all that much in the last few years.  Aesthetically they have gotten more pleasing and diverse, new materials are being used, and there have been some acoustic improvements mostly due to the use of larger, low-RPM fans.  However, take away the fans and fascias and underneath most chassis are pretty similar.  In fact, it's not uncommon for the same chassis to be sold as numerous different models, just with different bezels on the front.The folks at Cooler Master thouggh... Read more...
A few months ago, we rounded up some of the fastest DDR3 memory kits that were available and came away impressed by how well frequencies and performance had scaled in the short time since DDR3 had been introduced on the desktop.  Since that article was published, however, not much has changed on the DDR3 front in terms of overall performance.  1800MHz kits are still the cream of the crop and the latency of the top kits hasn’t dropped below CAS 7.  The landscape has changed a bit though, thanks to ever dropping prices, maturity, and some newly introduced features. At the time our round-up was published, we praised one of Corsair’s kits in particular, the TWIN3X2048 - 1800C7D, for... Read more...
Like giant, transformable robots, once a year a contingent of editors from HotHardware change form and morph from our typical, reserved, hardware-loving selves into fast walking, fast talking scoop hunters throwing hip-checks and stiff-arms on the insanely busy show floor at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. As many of you are no doubt aware, CES is held at the gigantic, 3.2 million square foot Las Vegas Convention center, but numerous other exhibits spill out into adjacent hotels and resorts.  The sheer number of things on display, and the busy means of transit between them, necessitates the aggressive transformation.  If you want to catch a glimpse of the hottest... Read more...
It’s a fact that extremely large, high-wattage power supplies tend to get the most press online, as the vast majority of PSU manufacturers are caught up in the never-ending competition of trying to get the highest wattage products out there. While this competition has fostered innovation in this market, in addition to pushing down prices of lower-wattage power supplies, the negative effect that it’s had is that most people believe that ultra-high wattage power supplies are an absolute necessity with today’s mid-range to high-end systems. This is a myth which power supply manufacturers are happy to let people to buy into, since they can see increased sales on high-dollar power supplies... Read more...
Data. Can't live with it, can't live without it. We're sure you can all understand why we can't live without it, but you may be curious why we say we can't live with it. The problem with data is not the data itself but rather the users of that data. More accurately, we should say that the real problem (or challenge or opportunity, depending on your perspective) is the protection of and access to that data. A fine line exists between providing authorized users simple, unencumbered access to sensitive personal or company data and keeping unauthorized eyes from seeing that same data. In a personal setting, data protection may not be much of a concern to you, but with identity theft so... Read more...
Over the last few years, Thermaltake has had an increasingly greater presence at Computex. The company has used Computex as a launch pad for a number of new products, and this year’s show was no exception. New coolers, cases, power supplies, and even a few gadgets were on display at Thermaltake’s booth.         One of the first coolers on display that caught our eye was the DuOrb, essentially two of Thermaltakes popular Orb coolers combined to form one giant heatsink fan. The DuOrb was designed as a quieter and more efficient replacement for the stock cooling units on high end graphics cards like the GeForce 8800GTX. Thermaltake explained that... Read more...
One of the more interesting items MSI had to show at Computex wasn’t even on the show floor. MSI had a back room showing of a new technology product they are calling Luxium. The idea behind Luxium is pretty simple, it is essentially an enclosure that houses an external PCI Express x16 slot and is connected to your PC through an external PCI Express interface (ExpressCard in case of notebooks). As you may have guessed, Luxium’s value proposition is to bring high end desktop graphics capabilities to computers without much graphics horsepower, which amounts to a large majority of the notebook market today.         Many enthusiasts want high end... Read more...
While inspecting Hall 2 today, we saw Gigabyte’s cartoon mascot and decided to take another walk through their booth, this time focusing on their new, non-motherboard products.       We immediately noticed that Gigabyte was showing off some new processor heatsink fan designs. Most interesting of which is named the Gigabyte Volar.  As you can see from the pictures, the heatsink is tilted at a 45 degree angle, so that the exhaust air can more easily exit the system as well as cool the motherboard MOSFETs in the process.       We then moved on to Gigabyte’s two new power supplies, the Thor 1200W... Read more...
Last night in our Pre-Computex coverage, we saw that ASUS had some interesting looking displays set up at the front of their booth, but they were covered up and we weren’t able to take a close look at what was underneath.   Today, we were able to dig a little deeper into ASUS' booth, however, and hiding in one display was their new Crosslinx-enabled Republic of Gamers motherboards. Crosslinx is going to be featured on a couple of P35-based motherboards to enhance their PCI Express lane configurations for optimal performance in a multi-GPU configuration.                    At the heart... Read more...
Yesterday we ran through the Taipei convention center to see how construction of the booths for this year’s Computex trade show were progressing. When we walked by Shuttle’s booth in hall 2 of the convention center, we saw pictures of three un-announced barebone small form factor systems, the X38 based SX38P3 Deluxe, the G33 based SG33P3, and the P35 based SP35P3 Deluxe. Although the show is still one day away, we came back to the Shuttle booth and were able to see all three of these new systems.         The first system we looked at was the SX38P3 Deluxe, Shuttle’s new flagship barebone system. The SX38P3 will replace the SD37PV2 as the Shuttle’s... Read more...
In PC enthusiast circles, Corsair is a name that needs no introduction. For years, the company has consistently produced some of the most sought after, high speed memory modules available at the time. Their XMS line of DDR memory was incredibly popular when it was initially released, as were the company's Pro and Xpert modules. Today it's Corsair Dominator memory kits that are enticing PC enthusiasts, thanks to their innovative cooling solution and high-performance.  In this article, we'll be focusing on Corsair's latest Dominator memory kit, the TWIN2X2048-10000C5DF (2GB, 2 x 1GB DIMMs). The PC2-10000 DIMMs used in this kit are high-capacity and... Read more...
Last week a few members of the HotHardware crew hopped on a plane and headed out to sunny Las Vegas, Nevada for the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show.  We make the trek every year not only to check out the latest and greatest in consumer electronics and PC technology, but to meet face to face with representatives from many of the companies we work with throughout the year, and to rub elbows with many of our peers as well.        In its 40 year existence, CES has morphed into a gigantic event that fills not only the enormous Las Vegas Convention Center, but numerous suites and hotel meeting rooms surrounding the event.  The show is a great place to witness... Read more...
     Showcased by none other than our own Dave and Marco, we see the upcoming refresh of the ASUS Lamborghini VX1 notebook which we previously reviewed with positive results. This new system addresses all of the minor gripes we had with the previous model, setting the stage for what should truly be a stunning piece of hardware. Although there are some significant changes, one can clearly see that the loud yellow color which is synonymous with Lamborghini will be retained for the new model.     Opening the lid of the latest version of the Lamborghini VX1, we see that the aesthetics of the system have undergone a major facelift. Gone is the somewhat bland appearance... Read more...
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