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.

For the average business-class user, extra RAM, a faster processor or a more powerful video card won't necessarily increase work efficiency or productivity. One of the best ways to boost your productivity is to add more inches, of screen real estate that is. If you simply add another monitor or get a bigger one, you can quickly realize the benefits of extra desktop space, like less Alt-Tabbing and more windows open at once. Although the work efficiency / productivity argument is an important one in the business world, most of us enthusiasts find it somewhat unexciting to think about. We just love having bigger and bigger monitors, especially for PC gaming and watching movies on our computer.... Read more...
  About a month ago, we had the privilege of reviewing HIS' Radeon X1950 Pro, a mainstream oriented graphics card that performed well, but we felt ultimately came up short against the similarly priced GeForce 7950 GT.  The model we received was outfitted with an oversized cooler dubbed the IceQ3 Turbo, came overclocked by default, and supported CrossFire natively using internal ribbon cables, much like SLI with NVIDIA's cards. Although we found much to praise regarding the performance of the X1950 Pro, we found that the lack of availability of HIS products in the reseller market, combined with the possibility of DirectX 10 becoming much more important... Read more...
A few weeks ago, we looked at the HIS Radeon X1950 Pro IceQ3 Turbo, a mainstream graphics card set to do battle with the GeForce 7900GS in the $200 price segment. Based on the RV570 GPU, the X1950 Pro brought a host of features to the table including native CrossFire. While X1950 Pro is a good performer for a great price, some of us were left wishing for more. For a short while, those of us willing to spend an additional $50-$100 for a bit more power than the X1950 Pro could offer had to turn to NVIDIA. That is, until the Radeon X1950 XT was released. Today, we will be checking out HIS' take on the Radeon X1950 XT, the HIS X1950XT IceQ3 Turbo. As the name implies, the HIS X1950 XT uses the... Read more...
  ATI made quite a splash a few weeks ago, with the introduction of the Radeon X1950 Pro. The RV570 GPU at the heart of the X1950 card is manufactured on TSMC's 80nm node. It's equipped with 36 pixel shader processors, 8 vertex shader units and 12 texture units. ATI's reference design calls for a 575MHz GPU clock and with 1.38GHz memory, but the card we'll be featuring here today is clocked quite a bit higher than this. The most interesting feature of the Radeon X1950 Pro, however, is Native CrossFire support. ATI has done away with the "Master" and "Slave" cards, and has incorporated the discreet compositing engine previously found on their CrossFire... Read more...
As the holiday season approaches its peak and minds rush to conjure up the ideal gifts, we here at HotHardware have taken the liberty of creating three ideal system configurations to illustrate the best way to spend your holiday budget. Although we are confident in the performance offered by each system listed in this guide, we are in no way trying to say that the budget system will compete with the flagship configuration where money is no object. However to many, the performance offered by the budget system will be surprisingly high despite the reasonable price-tag. Admittedly, we even shocked ourselves when we realized the level of performance which could be purchased for under $1,000. For... Read more...
Not long ago, when we reviewed MSI's GeForce 7600 GT, the closest ATI-based competitor available was the Radeon X1600 Pro.  It was far from an apples-to-apples comparison from a technical standpoint, however.  While both models sported the same number of Pixel and Vertex Shaders and had similar prices, the X1600 Pro's performance was hampered by fewer ROPs and DDR2 memory which was clocked significantly lower that the GeForce 7600GT's GDDR3 complement. With the recent release of the Radeon X1650 Pro, however, ATI now offers a card that matches up better to the GeForce 7600 GT, with faster GDDR3 memory and a higher GPU clock speed. The question remains,... Read more...
As power users, we'd all love to own one, or perhaps even two, of today's latest and greatest graphics cards. But wanting to own the best and having the means to do so are two totally different things.  Lucky for us, there are usually a multitude of products that fall in just behind the top-of-the-line that tend to offer similar features and only marginally lower performance for a more palatable price. The product we'll be looking at today, the HIS Radeon X1900 XT IceQ3, falls into this category. As its name implies, the HIS Radeon X1900 XT IceQ3 is powered by ATI's X1900 XT GPU. But unlike an ATI built card, HIS' model sports a custom cooling apparatus that not only... Read more...
With the holidays looming around the corner, and a bit of money burning a hole in your pocket, we here at HotHardware.com thought we'd do what we could to ensure that you spent your hard-earned cash in the most appropriate manner. Before we begin, it makes sense to outline our approach and illustrate what we're trying to accomplish. It is critical to have reasonable expectations here, as no $1,000 system is going to compete with a $4,000 SLI monster. However, as you will see a budget system does not necessarily mean lackluster performance. In fact, every system we reference in this article would be more than capable of playing any game or running virtually any business/professional application... Read more...
As the old saying goes, "It's better to burn out than to fade away".  This holds true when we think about AGP graphics cards.  While PCI-Express has certainly gained a lot of ground, AGP is not ready to die just yet.  Virtually any video card manufacturer you look at is still offering AGP based graphics solutions, even in the high-end sector.  Surely, the day PCI-Express completely eclipses AGP isn't too far off, as the bandwidth and power benefits of PCI-Express are very real.  Nonetheless, new AGP offerings continue to hit store shelves.  The latest such offerings to reach our test bench are from HIS in the form of their X850XT IceQII Turbo VIVO 256MB... Read more...
    So what does a PC Geek and EIC for a Hardware Enthusiast site do on a holiday long weekend?  Well, beside sipping a few umbrella decorated drinks by the sea, at night you can find this odd breed playing with the latest Tech Toys of course! This weekend I built a new high performance Workstation/Gaming Rig - something I haven't done in a VERY long time...        The case I chose is the bomb... ThermalTake's VA7000BWA Shark.  In all seriousness, this case is REALLY nice.  Light-weight aluminum, 300mm fans and an HD rack with trays that have rubber bushing screw mounts for vibration dampening - like I said "da bomb"! System Specifications... Read more...
  In January we took a look at the HIS X700 Pro IceQ Turbo because it piqued our interest with its somewhat unique cooling solution.  HIS took a page from the book of "OTES", which stands for Outside Thermal Exhaust System, a thermal management approach pioneered by Abit Computer, that has been out on the market in various incarnations for a couple of years now.  The HIS approach also employs a cooling scoop and shroud design in which a large fan at the rear of the assembly pushes air across the GPU and RAM heatsink plate, and out through a rear slot plate in the PC chassis.  While this design does consume two motherboard/chassis slots of real estate, the benefits... Read more...
Never before has there been such a level playing field when it comes to higher-end graphics cards.  This year, both ATI and NVIDIA have pulled out all the stops, offering the most powerful gaming solutions ever.  While we could split hairs with frame rate measurements, in the end, both companies have cards to play anything available today and probably for some time as well, with the ability to render in excellent image quality that is virtually indistinguishable from the other.  When it comes to marketing these newer cards, however, it takes some more creativity to make one stand out over the other.  Since performance and image quality have reached a relative degree of parity,... Read more...
  Hercules Audio - Muse Pocket USB External Soundcard Audio at your Fingertips Jason R. Gibson February 29, 2004 Recently Hercules is punching out more new audio devices then you can shake a stick at.  This time, they're back with yet another way of getting the groove from your computer to your speakers, the Gamesurround Muse Pocket.  Unlike Hercules's last attempt at an external sound machine, their DJ Console, one can not scratch or remix their music with this product.  However, with a simple push of a button, one acquires total volumetric control over the output of the sound card or should we say "knob". With computer modding and overall visual appearance of ones... Read more...
Hercules Video - Prophetview 920 Pro DVI A Gamer's Flat Panel And More Jason R. Gibson January 15th, 2004 It has been a while since we at Hot Hardware have taken a look at a new Liquid Crystal Display (LCD).  Back in March of 2001 my fellow H.H. colleague, Dave, ventured a look at one of the forerunners of modern LCD displays.  Needless to say, since that time, LCD's have come a long way.  Faster response times, viewing angles and contrast ratio have brought somewhat slow and occasionally grainy displays into arms reach of CRT monitor performance levels, with better brightness and clarity. In the past, LCD's offered a 2D Desktop image that was hard to surpass.  However, available... Read more...
Prev 1 2 3 4 5 Next