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.

Fractal Design released it highly acclaimed Define S2 case a little over seven months ago and they are already back with a new iteration, the Fractal Design Define S2 Vision RGB. That's a mouthful, but even if the name doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, this DIY PC chassis is easy on the eyes. The Fractal Vision S2 RGB takes everything that made the Define S2, and the Fractal R6 before it, great but it but now it brings RGB lighting and tempered glass panels into the mix. We aren't talking just a single tempered glass panel here, however. Fractal has literally surrounded the case with tempered glass. The front and side panels are all tempered glass, as is a portion of the top panel.... Read more...
Raja Koduri, SVP of AMD RTG Shows Off World's First 14nm GPU- Radeon RX 480When AMD’s Radeon Technologies Group (RTG) first disclosed details of its upcoming Polaris GPU architecture, it called it a “historic leap in performance per watt for Radeon GPUs”. If you don’t follow the GPU scene closely, Polaris is AMD RTG’s next-gen graphics architecture that will be produced using both TSMC’s 16nm and Global Foundries 14nm FinFET manufacturing processes.The goal with Polaris is to help drive Radeon GPUs down to lower overall power envelopes and enable better performance per watt. Polaris-based GPUs manufactured using the latest process technologies will also enable next gen Radeons to be used in new... Read more...
Sometimes I wonder if we should cook up a TMZ-style column explicitly for reporting on all the drama that transpires between AMD and NVIDIA. Today we’ve witnessed one of the first shots fired from one of those camps, on what’s poised to be a very heated battleground over the next several years: DirectX 12. Over the weekend press was handed access to one of the world’s first DirectX 12 benchmarks courtesy of Oxide’s Ashes of the Singularity. This isn’t a synthetic test like 3DMark’s API overhead feature test, but rather a true real-world benchmark using a pre-Beta version of the upcoming game. And we’ve all been salivating over a way to measure real-world performance improvements from DirectX... Read more...
We’re currently at the Intel Developers Forum checking out all of the technology being showcase by Intel and its partners. Just in case you’ve missed our coverage from earlier in the day amidst all of the Apple news, we’ve got video of Intel’s CEO Brian Krzanich on stage demoing RealSense posted here, in addition to news regarding Intel’s new Android Development Platform for tablets, and the first ever live-demo of the company’s next-gen Skylake platform, next-year’s follow-up to Broadwell, running 3DMark. Intel Broadwell-Based, 12.5" Tablet As if that wasn’t enough Intel-news for one day, we just got the scoop on some actual benchmarks run... Read more...
If you've been itching for a game to showcase a new video card, or to rub in the faces of your friends, with their 2005-2006 Xbox 360s and PS3s, Far Cry 3 is that game. It eschews the space-gray corridors or military battlefields of other franchises for the lush tropical environments the Far Cry series is famous for, and the game absolutely shines. After years of cooling our heels as publishers delivered console titles for DirectX 9-era hardware, the game is a welcome breath of fresh air. We've put together a comprehensive look at the game, from performance benchmarks to how it plays and whether or not it's worth your gaming dollar. Graphics: Far Cry 3 is an enormous, open-world game. Most reviews... Read more...
A few days ago, news broke that Max Payne 3 would require ~35GB of storage space. That's a huge number; even Rage, released last year, came in at a hair under 20GB. If you've followed game development at all, you've undoubtedly come across figures showing how the cost of developing a next-generation title has risen at an geometric rate over the past 20 years. Up and to the right, with a business model driven right into the dirt. Much of that increased cost has gone towards creating art assets, with another sizeable chunk for hiring actors to do voice-over work. It's not a question of whether better graphics are something gamers want (they are), or if Max Payne 3 is gorgeous (it is). The... Read more...
  It's rare we get genuinely excited around here about a product.  To be honest, likely we're spoiled by all the bleeding-edge technology we have the great opportunity to look at week in and week out.  Or perhaps it's just that we're jaded a bit and have heard one too many marketing pitches, but truth be told it takes a lot to get us fired up about a new product or technology.  Sure we can appreciate and will occasionally hand out high praise for a major evolutionary advancement but we honestly can't remember the last time a product really officially "changed the game" for us, or so to speak. The first time we looked at Fusion-io's ioDrive product, we offered the notion that... Read more...
Disruptive technology; it's a term thrown around these days by industry marketing types and quite frankly it's just plain getting worn out as of late.  In the mid 90s, a Harvard Business School Professor coined this phrase to describe a product innovation that breaks current convention and exceeds market expectations so vastly that market leaders might not see it coming and perhaps even the market itself doesn't know how to react.  Since the term was brought forth, there were many innovations over the years that overzealous marketing types have hailed as "disruptive technologies," though obviously, in reality, this level of innovation is on a different scale all together.  However,... Read more...
Solid State Drive technology is set to turn the storage industry on its ear; there is little doubt of this.  When you consider the intrinsic benefits of anything built on solid state technology versus anything mechanical, it doesn't take a degree in physics to understand the obvious advantages.  Consider the vacuum tube in its day before the advent of the transistor and you'll get the idea.  Though audiophiles may argue the tube still sounds "warmer" and more natural, you certainly wouldn't even been reading this page, if it were not for solid state technology.  As such, it's a natural evolution that obviously, some day, better technology needed to be developed for mass storage. ... Read more...
Gigabyte is typically one of the most loyal Intel partners, when it comes to chipsets. While they don’t solely produce Intel motherboards, when Intel does release a new chipset, Gigabyte is almost always there to produce several products on any given chipset.  Most often, we’ll see low-end, mid-range, and high-end products, that are usually enough to satisfy the entire spectrum of the market. With Intel’s new P45 chipset though, Gigabyte has simply gone off the deep end. At the time of writing this, a quick scan at Gigabyte’s website reveals that the company is currently mass producing nine different motherboards based on the Intel P45 chipset. Even for a company of Gigabyte’s size, that... Read more...
Futuremark has just officially unveiled the latest version of their 3DMark benchmark suite, 3DMark Vantage.  Like PCMark Vantage which was released a few months ago, this latest version of 3DMark was designed for testing Windows Vista-based systems.  This latest version of the 3DMark, however, is specifically bound to Windows Vista because it uses some advanced visual technologies that are only available with DirectX 10, which you may know isn't available on previous versions of Windows. 3DMark Vantage isn't simply a port of 3DMark06 to DirectX 10 though.  With this latest version of the benchmark, Futuremark has incorporated two new graphics tests, two new CPU tests,... Read more...
Late last year, NVIDIA introduced the GeForce 8800 GTX. Armed with a totally new unified architecture and complete DX10 support, this graphics card was an extremely potent new flagship. The world was hesitant to proclaim this new GPU as the ideal enthusiast graphics card as ATI's highly-anticipated R600 GPU was expected at any moment. But months later, we find the GeForce 8800 GTX still dominating benchmarks and AMD's R600 GPU is still missing in action. With several months out in the wild to aid in ironing out bugs and optimizing performance and functionality, the GeForce 8800 GTX is seemingly getting stronger with age. Developers have become extremely familiar... Read more...
While the majority of our coverage here at HotHardware.com tends to favor enthusiast class products, the fact of the matter is affordable mainstream products are far more prevalent in the marketplace. Flagship video cards and overclockable motherboards are certainly nice, but there is a much larger market for highly integrated motherboards with a multitude of common features already on-board. With that in mind, we present to you the Foxconn WinFast 6150K8MA-8EKRS. Foxconn's WinFast 6150K8MA-8EKRS motherboard uses NVIDIA's relatively new GeForce 6150 + nForce 430 chipset with integrated graphics. Although the GeForce 6150 IGP isn't a pixel-processing powerhouse in comparison to most discreet graphics... Read more...
Foxconn manufactures a wide range of products, ranging from video cards, to connectors, and as we'll explore today, motherboards. Over the years, we've had some experience with Foxconn, and while their products have not always been hardcore-enthusiast friendly, they have produced decent products. Today we'll be sampling Foxconn's WinFast NF4SK8AA-8EKRS, as they aim to bring an affordable, but high quality, SLI solution to the AMD Platform. Higher end motherboards from ASUS and Abit can retail for well over $160, and unfortunately many of us can't afford that. The Foxconn WinFast NF4SK8AA-8EKRS currently retails for around $125, however, which is a much more reasonable price for someone who wants... Read more...
1 2 Next