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.

Intel Skylake processors have landed and motherboard manufacturers now have a wide range of boards sporting the necessary LGA 1151 socket and Z170 chipset to support the CPUs. Under the microscope today we have a high-end model from Gigabyte, the formidable Z170X-Gaming G1—a board that's virtually bursting at the seams with top-end features for the discriminating enthusiast. It's got everything from a 22 phase power array, to support for USB 3.1, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, quad GPUs, Gen3 x4 M.2 connectors and dedicated network processing via onboard Killer DoubleShot Pro X3 NICs—just to name a few.Gigabyte Z170X-Gaming G1 MotherboardSpecifications & FeaturesCPU:Chipset:Multi GPU:Memory:Audio:Connectivity:Slots:Storage:USB... Read more...
Although the $999 GeForce GTX Titan X is currently the King of the single-GPU hill, NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 980 Ti is the far more palatable option for most hardcore enthusiasts, due to its lower $649 starting price point. As we showed you in our initial coverage of the GeForce GTX 980 Ti, however, the card is still a monster in terms of performance. It typically outpaces AMD’s flagship Radeon R9 Fury X (at least with DX11 titles) and it finishes only a few percentage points behind the much pricier Titan X.NVIDIA’s partners have also taken the GeForce GTX 980 Ti and morphed it into something even more powerful, thanks to their custom cooling solutions and factory overclocks. Virtually all of NVIDIA’s... Read more...
We already know a lot about the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960. In our launch coverage of the GPU we noted, “The GeForce GTX 960’s low-power characteristics, beefed up video engine, and overclocking headroom, in addition to support for technologies like NVIDIA’s Voxel Global Illumination (VXGI), Multi-Frame sampled AA (MFAA), Dynamic Super Resolution (DSR), and DX12,l make the card a compelling choice.” The GTX 960 is an excellent choice for MOBA gamers or gamers running single displays at resolution of 1080P, or below but at high image quality settings.The GeForce GTX 960 also happens to be a very power efficient GPU, that’s doesn’t need a ton of cooling and most cards require only a single supplemental... Read more...
When it launched its initial line-up of Haswell-E based processors and the companion X99 chipset, Intel’s motherboard partners hit the ground running with some fairly exciting products. At the time of the launch, we featured a few offerings in our review—you can check them out right here. But, as is sometimes the case, the second wave of products based on a particular technology are sometimes more exotic and may offer features not found on the first release. Such is the case with the motherboards we’re going to show you here from Gigabyte. Although they’re based on the same chipset, the Gigabyte X99-SOC Champion and X99-Gaming 5P are actually quite different. One of the boards is a non-nonsense... Read more...
Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto series has been wildly successful for many years now, offering some of the edgiest story lines, game play tactics and objectives the gaming industry has ever seen. With psychopathic main characters, you are left in the depraved communities of Los Santos and Blaine County, to walk a path few would dare choose in real life, committing nefarious acts, robbing and pillaging to complete your objectives. In short, it's rather entertaining that you're tasked with leaving a virtual world worse off than you found it, consequences be damned. But if you're reading this, you're probably well aware of this game's much maligned story line, and the fact that it's one of the most... Read more...
Ever since the Sony hack was unveiled, it's been clear that the movie studios haven't given up on SOPA, but an analysis of the MPAA's collective actions on the anti-piracy issue have unveiled plans that go far beyond simply sponsoring legislation or advocating for particular positions. Now, Google has announced it will fight to dismiss lawsuits filed by Mississippi's Attorney General Jim Hood, alleging that the AG in that state is acting as a paid, sponsored lackey of the movie industry.  Understanding Project Goliath The collision between the MPAA and Google arises from a fundamental disagreement over what Google's role should be when it comes to piracy prevention and what powers... Read more...
Do you know what gets our juices flowing even more than high-end hardware? It's having the opportunity to wrangle and evaluate multiple versions of a top-tier product. In this case, we've gone out and collected NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti graphics cards from three different enthusiast brands: EVGA, Gigabyte, and MSI. Each of the cards in this roundup go above and beyond NVIDIA's reference blueprint -- they're all factory overclocked, custom cooled, and designed to run quiet so you can hear when an enemy tries to sneak up on you. Before we discuss each individual card, let's take a moment to recap the GeForce 780 Ti. This is one of NVIDIA's fastest single-GPU consumer graphics cards, second... Read more...
NVIDIA's 2014 GTC (GPU Technology Conference) kicked off with a bang this morning in San Jose California, with NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang offering up a healthy dose of new information on next generation NVIDIA GPU technologies for the professional workstation, big data analytics, cloud computing, gaming and mobile markets.   As members of the press took their seats front and center, we were treated to a spectacle of sight and sound, NVIDIA-style and Jen-Hsun wasted no time diving in on the latest NVIDIA cutting-edge GPU technology advancements.  First, we've pulled together sort of a highlight reel of NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang's presentation and some of the more impactful overviews and... Read more...
We’ve already seen what ASUS has to offer in the way of its Republic of Gamers Z87-based motherboards, and now we’re having a look at Gigabyte’s take on Intel’s latest chipset that supports 4th generation Core Series Haswell processors. Gigabyte sent us a sampling of three motherboards that offers a broad overview of the options in the company’s line: the solid and affordable Z87X-UD4H, their G1.Sniper5 gaming beast, and the Z87X-OC Force flagship overclocking board. Gigabyte's Z87X-UD4H, G1.Sniper 5 and Z87X-OC Force Motherboards Gigabyte's Primary Z87 Features The heart of Gigabyte’s Z87 platform is its Ultra Durable 5 Plus, which includes its heatsink design,... Read more...
Let me state right off the bat that I'm primarily a PC gamer. You might not know it if you set foot in my living room, where you'll find an Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Nintendo Wii all jockeying for attention in my home theater rack, but outside of sports titles and the occasional party-type game played through the Kinect, I play games on a PC. I bring this up because Grand Theft Auto V isn't yet available for the PC, marking one of the title's few shortcomings in what's otherwise an engaging, open world with a connected storyline that's masterfully woven through the perspective of three playable characters, each with different skill sets and personalities. It's also relevant to understand my... Read more...
There’s just something about high-end, custom graphics cards that makes us a little giddy. Perhaps it’s their menacing appearance--even the fastest, most powerful processors just look like their lower-end counterparts when sitting side-by-side. But a hulking custom graphics card, with an elaborate, oversized cooler and fierce heat pipes wrapping around a gargantuan heatsink just looks freakin’ cool no matter how you slice it. Whip out a high-end graphics card and a CPU in front of a casual geek and we promise you they’ll point to the graphics card and blurt out, “What the heck is that?” far more often than not. That’s exactly what happened the first... Read more...
After 25 years of typing on keyboards, I've field-tested everything from IBM's legendary Mode M to the sort of $4.99 specials that were, as far as I could tell, constructed from styrofoam, packing peanuts, and pocket lint. About a year ago, I made the jump to a pair of mechanical keyboards and haven't looked back since. Marco wrote an excellent explanation on the various types of keyboard switches and capabilities that I'd recommend reading for more background info. The board on the table today is Gigabyte's Aivia Osmium, and it's an impressive beauty. The Osmium includes a USB 2 port, USB 3 port, headphone/microphone jacks, five macro keys, five profile settings, a double-set of stands to adjust... Read more...
Trusted sources we've spoken to in the semiconductor industry have implied that TSMC is considering a partnership with Apple that would realign the manufacturer's technology roadmap and fundamentally alter the balance of power between the foundry and its other customers. Morris Chang, TSMC's CEO, spoke about the possibility of closer collaboration with its customers in general terms last Friday, but at the time we thought the likelihood of an Apple alliance was unlikely. We've since been given reason to think otherwise. A dedicated alliance with Apple that gives the company first access to 20nm production and/or a dedicated fab could fundamentally redefine the foundry-customer relationship... Read more...
Over the last few months, we have looked at plenty of Z77 based motherboards here at HH, covering a wide range of price points. But today we dive deep into one of the higher-end models available, the Gigabyte G1.Sniper3. We slapped an Ivy Bridge chip in this one instead of the Sandy Bridge Core i7-2600K and 2700K's we've tested in the boards thus far, to see how well Intel's newest chips and the Z77 work together. Specifically, we used an Intel Core i5-3470 chip, which we reviewed in depth here. The Gigabyte G1.Sniper3 supports LGA 1155 processors and features support for up to 32GB of DDR3-2066 (OC) system memory. As a gaming motherboard, Gigabyte saw fit to include support for... Read more...
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