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.

As ECS continues to gain respect and attention in the enthusiast motherboard market, the company is of course extending its reach into the segment it is best known for - the budget segment. While high-end and enthusiast-level boards often cost $150 or more, budget and entry-level motherboards can usually be had for $70-90. Entry-level doesn't necessarily equate to a lack of great features though, as demonstrated by the two review candidates on the test bench today. The ECS 945G-M3 motherboard is based on Intel's 945G chipset, while the ECS C19-A SLI motherboard is based on NVIDIA's nForce4 SLI XE chipset. Both boards sport an LGA775 socket, 667MHz DDR2 support, 1066MHz FSB support,... Read more...
"To game is to live." - Anonymous Gamer The Day After Yesterday - Welcome To E3, Day Two The majority of yesterday was spent in the West Hall, which consists primarily of console games with the Sony and Nintendo booths overshadowing everything else in the hall. I tend not to spend as much time in this area, but thought that you might be interested in seeing what those companies had in store for the global consumer. Welcome to another day at E3 E3 Crowds... A Vista of the South Hall My Lambo was parked in the sun However, today was a day for primarily PC gaming and hardware meetings. But first I had to find parking for my yellow Lamborghini. Okay, maybe it's just a photo of someone... Read more...
"You'd do better in a volcano with a nitroglycerine towel." That's a quote from our E3 shuttle bus driver sans non-family friendly commentary. Welcome To E3 Here I am back for my 10th E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) - unfortunately, I missed out on the very first one in 1995. Hopefully, never again. E3 is many things to many people, but at the end of the day, it's about the games that are coming to market in the upcoming year(s). Some folks think E3 is just one monstrous arcade and to some degree it is. After all, attendees can see and usually play the majority of games launching across PC, console and handheld platforms in the coming year (and often beyond).  But... Read more...
Looking back on 2005's list of hot products, dual-core CPUs and dual-graphics solutions are a couple of things that immediately come to mind.  Adoption of dual-core processors continues to increase, with both Intel and AMD bringing their own renditions to the frontline.  Both company's products have their own pros and cons, however.  AMD's dual-core processors in general are a bit more expensive, starting at over $300 for the A64 X2 3800+.  This is offset by terrific backward compatibility, though.  Upgrading to a dual-core Athlon 64 X2 usually means nothing more than a BIOS update in most cases.  Intel comes in with somewhat lower priced dual-core CPUs, starting... Read more...
If we took a moment to reflect on some of the biggest technological advancements in recent history, SLI has to be on the short list.  Thanks in part to the increased bandwidth of PCI Express, NVIDIA paved the way for running two matching PCI Express based video cards concurrently, resulting in what we know today as SLI.  As with virtually any technology, there are positives and negatives to SLI.  First, the cards used must be the same and designed specifically to support SLI.  Second, the power requirements of today's NVIDIA graphics cards will require many to add a new PSU to their upgrading budget, in many cases.  However, these added considerations can yield some impressive... Read more...
Almost immediately after we begun working with NVIDIA's reference GeForce 7800 GTX cards in the days and weeks leading up to the launch, we were contacted by a handful of NVIDIA's launch partners and informed that they'd have retail hardware ready to coincide with the official announcement of the GeForce 7800 GTX.  Leadtek, Gigabyte, BFG, MSI, Asus and EVGA were among the first to contact us with some specifics regarding their respective GeForce 7800 GTX cards.  The first one to send us a sample for review, however, was EVGA. The e-GeForce 7800 GTX we'll be showcasing today is one of three 7800 based products EVGA currently has in their line-up, but we know a fourth model with a custom... Read more...
When Intel released the i925XE chipset, it took their existing line of top-tier motherboards to the next level, by providing additional support for CPUs running on a 1066MHz bus.  The current list of CPUs that run at this speed is, however, quite short. Combine this fact with the imminent release of Intel's dual-core processors and the 955/945 boards that will support them, and the lifespan of the 925XE seems to be waning.  This is the way it has always been; by the time many items hit the retail market there's already newer stuff waiting to replace them.  The "here and now" is what concerns us most.  The hardware available today is what we can actually hold... Read more...
Back in May '04, NVIDIA introduced the GeForce 6800 Ultra Extreme Edition to counter the launch of ATi's Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition, and gamers the world over took notice.  Just a few weeks earlier, the GeForce 6800 Ultra was unveiled, and at the time it was smoking through benchmarks like nobody's business.  Then, about a month later NVIDIA announces this new card and it's got a 16-Pipe NV40 core running a full 50MHz faster than the "stock" 6800 Ultra.  On top of that, it was said that some AIC partners may even ship cards with faster memory as well, offering even higher performance.  Today, we'll be taking a look at just such a card. The eVGA GeForce 6800... Read more...
It's been a long time since several pioneering companies bridged the gap between the TV and the PC.  What initially started out as a novelty is now driving the industry in a new direction with the merging of TV and Radio with the personal computer.  Today, thanks to faster hardware, and the advent of the mini-PC, manufacturers and users alike continue the push to merge the PC into our lives as a complete media device. One of the components needed to make this possible is a TV/Video card.  Without a solid video card and TV card solution, the "home theater PC" could not exist.  While each component can be bought separately, space constraints can make a combination... Read more...
Epox 4PDA2+ V2 Motherboard Review One Step Closer to Near-Perfection "Burned" in by Robert Maloney September 3, 2003           Today on HotHardware we have another Springdale-based motherboard to add to the mix. Intel has made some recent comments about "shutting down" the PAT enhancements being done by various OEMs on the i865PE.  However, today's entry, the Epox 4PDA2+ Version 2, has slipped under the wire, with their "Accelerated Memory Mode" (AMM) still a major part of the package. While we did not have a chance to sample the earlier version of this board, for the most part we have heard positive comments about... Read more...
  E3 2002 Wrap Up A quick take at the Los Angeles Gaming Extravaganza By, Chris Angelini May 26, 2002   Thousands of gamers annually trek to Los Angeles for one of the largest entertainment industry tradeshows in the world.  Luckily, I live 15 minutes away, making the journey an easy one.  A combination of PC and console games, along with a smattering of hardware, populates the exhibits that span the entirety of the Los Angeles Convention Center. Although the convention focuses on the gaming industry, several of the most influential hardware vendors were also present to demonstrate their technology paired with the latest software.  Intel and AMD were there showcasing... Read more...
  The eVGA e-GeForce4 Ti4600 Video Card with ACS2 A "GeForce" To Be Reckoned With By, Jeff Bouton May 7, 2002 eVGA.com is a relative newcomer to the video card market, starting their operations in 1999.  Although they may not be a household name just yet, we have a feeling that things are about to change for this "new" company.  Becoming a major player in a market that is fiercely competitive is no small task, however. Early on, eVGA realized that they had to offer the user a product line that would give them something the other manufacturers couldn't.  For starters, the team at eVGA put together a patented install software package, dubbed ADM (Automated... Read more...
ECS P4IBAD versus Transcend TS-ABR4 Budget i845s Do Battle! By, Marco Chiappetta March  28, 2002 When the Pentium 4 was initially introduced, the only motherboards available were based on the Intel i850 chipset, which required the use of relatively expensive (at the time) RDRAM.  While the performance of an i850 / Pentium 4 combo was excellent, the price was prohibitive and kept Intel's new CPU out of the hands of many users.  Intel took too long to ready an alternate chipset that used less expensive memory types, which opened the door for companies like SiS and VIA to snatch up some of the Pentium 4 chipset market.  A Pentium 4 coupled with a SiS 645 or VIA P4X266A and some... Read more...
The ECS P4VXAD -Vs.- The Azza P4X2-AV Battle of the VIA P4X266s! By, Marco Chiappetta November 29, 2001 Intel and VIA are entangled in a nasty legal battle, and because of this, VIA's P4X266 Pentium 4 chipset has been surrounded by much controversy.  Intel is trying to stop the distribution of the P4X266 because they claim VIA is not licensed to use some of their technology, while VIA alleges all of the licenses they need to manufacture this chipset were obtained when they purchased S3.  All of the legal matters surrounding VIA's chipset have prevented some manufacturers from embracing the P4X266.  Dave took a look at a P4X266 board from Shuttle a few weeks back, but other than... Read more...
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