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.

Once you've been bit by the enthusiast bug, a funny thing happens. Graphics cards are never fast enough. Processors will never be too powerful. And motherboards will never have too many features. Manufacturers continue to push the envelope and make enthusiast level products because of demand. Along with the goal of being the best in their respective markets, many hardware companies continue to improve their product line up to stay competitive, while also offering consumers options at different price points and performance levels. Located in Brea, California, EVGA has a solid reputation in the industry. Their customer service support is top notch with an exclusive Step-up Program and... Read more...
When it comes to high end graphics cards, too much is never enough. As gamers, our insatiable thirst for more pixel pushing power leads to a never ending cycle of exotic, enthusiast level videocards, including dual GPU models that take up two or three expansion slots on our motherboard. Add In Board (AIB) partner companies like EVGA regularly take supplementary measures to accommodate consumers who desire products that perform faster, run cooler, and operate with less noise than reference design models. For the most part, these steps may consist of more aggressively binning GPUs in order to provide factory overclocked options, redesigning the PCB and heatsink to support more voltage for... Read more...
Western Digital recently began to ship a new series of Caviar hard drives that included the company's Advanced Format technology. The new Caviar Green models are nearly identical to their standard brethren, but offer double the cache (64MB instead of 32MB at 1-2TB) and have a different model number. A WD10EARS is an Advanced Format drive; a WD10-EADS is a 'normal' drive. WD isn't marketing Advanced Format much at the moment, but it's important to understand what the technology is and how it works, particularly if you're still running Windows XP.Understanding Advanced Format The new data label for Advanced Format drives. Pay attention. Hard drive sizes are typically given in terms of total storage... Read more...
Synopsis:  EVGA's Interview Dual Monitor System incorporates a pair of 17" widescreen LCDs with an innovative rotatable stand that allows the user to flip a panel over to share a desktop display with someone sitting across from them on the other side of the desk.  These twin TFT displays support a native resolution of 1440X900 and rotate 180 degrees vertically and 90 degrees horizontally.  They will also re-orientate themselves depending on which direction they are flipped, in order to provide the correct viewing orientation for the user that is facing the display.  The system also comes with a three port USB hub and an integrated web cam for web conferencing on the system. ... Read more...
Nearly every motherboard manufacturer on the market today makes at least one line of products for the "enthusiast" market. Typically, these motherboards are a bit flashier, offer better cooling, enhanced overclocking, more features and are priced significantly higher than their mainstream variants. In the majority of cases, these boards are half-hearted attempts to cash in on unknowing buyers who think that these boards will overclock better than their mainstream siblings. One of the brands that has been producing motherboards, which are actually in tune with what high-end users are demanding, has gained quite a loyal fan following over recent years. That brand is EVGA. While they are relatively... Read more...
Bigfoot Networks generated quite a bit of buzz back in 2006 when the company launched the original Killer NIC M1. As many of you probably remember, the original Killer NIC was / is a PCI-based device that featured an on-board network processor, or NPU, that was supposedly able to lower in-game ping times and free up CPU resources, which in turn could increase framerates. The Killer NIC performed these duties by bypassing the Windows networking stack through the use of custom software and offloading network related tasks from the host CPU. And generally speaking, the Killer NIC delivered on all fronts to some degree.The $250+ price tag of the original Killer NIC was tough to justify, however,... Read more...
A few weeks back, we took an in-depth look at the dual-GPU powered NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295. Just to recap a bit; the GeForce GTX 295 is NVIDIA's current flagship graphics card that couples a pair of 55nm GT200 GPUs with 1792MB of frame buffer memory, culminating in what is ultimately the fastest, single graphics adapter on the market at this time. It appeared after about 5 months of work and fine tuning, NVIDIA was sick and tired of letting AMD's Radeon HD 4870 X2  lead the pack as the fastest single graphics card in the market.In our launch article, we also gave you a glimpse of the EVGA GeForce GTX 295 Plus, but due to time constraints, we weren't able to benchmark and fully evaluate the... Read more...
AMD has been fighting an uphill battle on two fronts for the last few years. For a time, fierce competition from NVIDIA, coupled with some of their own problems executing, put the ATI graphics division in a deep hole. And ever since the introduction of the original Core 2 processors, and more recently the Core i7, AMD's processor division has fallen well behind Intel in terms of overall performance.Starting in November of 2007 though, we got a sense that AMD was slowly, but surely, clawing its way back into the fight. It began with the introduction of the Spider platform, which consisted of AMD's native quad-core Phenom processors, 7-series chipsets, and 3800-series graphics cards. Individually,... Read more...
Intel's recent launch of the Core i7 processor and its accompanying chipset platform, was met with plenty of buzz and splash, due not only to the product's architectural enhancements but also its performance gains.  However, the new serially enabled Core i7 also brought fairly significant platform changes as well. Though some folks may be resistant to it, most times, change is good.  And Intel's new, more scalable QPI serial interface was long overdue.  In fact, the Core i7 marks what could be considered one of the most significant changes in Intel's desktop processor architecture in many years.  Though the new CPU requires a new processor... Read more...
Here at HotHardware, we have a special place in our hearts for companies that transcend the norm in order to better appeal to the small, niche group of hardware fanatics that we like to call enthusiasts. The end result often times is that new design innovations are also introduced to the mainstream, due in part to this focus on the technophile's requirements.  As such, when we saw EVGA's latest nForce 790i SLI-based motherboard, we had to get it in our labs to take a closer look at it. Today, we finally have the opportunity to present our thoughts and performance results from testing the EVGA nForce 790i SLI FTW Digital PWM motherboard (EVGA part number: 132-YW-E180-A1). The name of the... Read more...
  When we think about ECS and their product lines, we typically expect a budget-minded approach.  Solid products at reasonable prices that don't exactly wow the consumer, but don't hit them hard in the wallet either.  The ECS X48T-A motherboard that we looked at a few weeks ago was one of the first steps by ECS to change that image, although a few missteps with the construction as well as some overclocking issues didn't overly sway us to their new way of thinking.  Thus, we were a bit surprised when we first heard about the ECS GeForce 9800 GTX+ Hydra - a twin pack of high-end graphics cards consisting of two GeForce 9800 GTX+ cards combined with liquid-cooling. ... Read more...
As enthusiasts, we'd all love to own a killer quad-core powered rig complete with a healthy amount of RAM, super-fast hard drives, and a pair of NVIDIA's flagship GeForce 8800 GTX cards pushing the pixels. The kind coin required to assemble a system like this puts them well out of reach for the majority of us, however, hence the immense popularity of more affordable, mainstream products like the one we're going to talk about today, EVGA's e-GeForce 7950 GT KO. As the newest member of the GeForce 7 family, the GeForce 7950 GT has a lot going for it. The GPU offers all of the features of its more expensive sibling, the GeForce 7900 GTX, and arguably more thanks to the full HDCP... Read more...
When we first took a look at the Gigabyte GA-SN-SLI Quad Royal motherboard a few months back, we gave it solid praise, yet lamented on what we thought was an exciting opportunity. The board was capable of supporting up to four individual PCI-e based graphic cards, but the Quad Royal was only able to support two GeForce cards running in an SLI configuration. Around the same time we posted that review, however, NVIDIA was promoting Quad SLI in pre-configured systems through a handful of resellers - typically for a premium. NVIDIA remained mum on the prospect of a DYI Quad SLI setup for a time, while in the labs they better prepared the hardware and drivers. From this testing was born the GeForce... Read more...
"I wish we could open our eyes to see in all directions at the same time. Oh, what a beautiful view . . ." - Death Cab For Cutie Welcome Some "Special" folks at E3... Gears of War Mural Classic Gaming in Kentia Hall More Classic Gaming... And Zaxxon - Such Memories! Hello & Goodbye - The Final Day At E3, Day Three There's a myriad of things to see and do at E3, and after two solid days of hoofing it around the convention center, it still feels like there's so much yet to see. The morning started out in Kentia Hall. It's typically where many lesser known companies set up their booths, but it's also a good location to meet and do business. And that's... Read more...
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