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.

Over the last few months, Intel has disclosed a number of details regarding its next-generation 10nm processors, codenamed Ice Lake. At an Architecture Day held in December ’18, we learned about the company's Sunny Cove microarchitecture that will be employed in Ice Lake and future-generation processors, in addition to some details regarding Intel’s Gen11 graphics engine. Today, we are able to disclose even more information regarding Ice Lake, its overarching platform and new features, and about Project Athena, the innovation program Intel has started in collaboration key industry partners, that’s meant to usher in a new breed of advanced laptop designs and... Read more...
Intel has officially unveiled its new line-up of 9th Generation Core Mobile processors today, along with an array of adjacent products and technologies. In addition, Intel's 9th Generation Core Desktop processor line-up is been refreshed today as well, with a wide array of SKUs that cover the gamut from a new Core i9-9900 all the way on down to low-power dual-core Celeron and Pentium Gold processors. The new flagship of the 9th Generation Core Mobile processor family is the Core i9-9980HK, designed for what Intel is calling “Musclebooks” – we’ll call them powerful desktop replacement and gaming notebooks. The Core i9-9980HK is a 45 watt, 8-core / 16-thread processor,... Read more...
Intel announced its Optane Memory H10 back during the Consumer Electronics Show, early this year. Just in case you missed the initial announcement, the company's Optane Memory H10 is a new class of products from Intel that combines 3D Xpoint memory technology and QLC (quad-level cell) 3D NAND flash on a single M.2 device. The goal for the product is to offer the benefits of 3D Xpoint and Optane Memory in conjunction with the affordability and speed of a QLC-based NVMe SSD in a single device. Initially, these hybrid drives will find their way into utlrabooks or small form factor systems that may not have the accommodations for multiple drives. 3D Xpoint and NAND flash memory can both be used for... Read more...
Intel is launching its latest salvo of data-centric products today, targeting a wide range of workloads and applications. You may think that means a fresh batch of powerful Xeons are on the way – and you’d be correct but there's more. Today marks the official arrival of Intel’s Cascade Lake, many-core 2nd Generation Xeon Scalable Series Processors, but the company is also announcing or launching a plethora of adjacent products including new FPGAs, innovative network controllers, a new server chassis platform, and Optane DC Persistent memory. And along with those powerful Xeon Scalable Series Processors, more specialized Xeon-D series products, which are designed for all sorts... Read more...
In October of last year, when Intel officially unveiled its 9th Generation Core series processors, the company also took the opportunity to announce a semi-new breed of workstation processor, namely the Xeon W-3175X. Technically speaking, the architecture at the heart of the Xeon W-3175X isn’t new – the monstrous 28-core / 56-thread processor is based on Skylake-SP, just like the first wave of Xeon Scalable processors that were released in 2017. What Intel has done with the Xeon W-3175X, however, is selectivity bin the die and tweak and tune the power and turbo boost profiles to increase frequencies, and ultimately performance, versus earlier Skylake-SP parts. The Xeon W-3175X is... Read more...
After years of delays, Intel is ready to put the pedal to metal with its 10nm computing products. Although it's been on Intel's roadmap for quite some time, Intel's first-generation 10nm platform, codenamed Ice Lake, is currently still tracking for a holiday 2019 launch for thin and light notebooks and 2-in-1 convertibles. Intel's 10nm Ice Lake The Ice Lake platform is highly integrated, but at its core is Intel's 10nm Sunny Cove processor microarchitecture. Also along for the ride is are all-new instructions dedicated to machine learning (DL Boost), native Thunderbolt 3 connectivity (no more need for a dedicated Intel or third-party controller), Intel's Gen 11 graphics (which... Read more...
Intel held its 2018 “Architecture Day” yesterday, where top execs plotted out the company’s direction for architecture and product roadmaps in the near-future and further out on the horizon. The event was held at a home once owned by Robert Noyce. Noyce, known as the "Mayor of Silicon Valley" back in the day, co-founded Intel in 1968 with Gordon Moore. This mansion setting was a perfect backdrop for Intel to underscore its new direction for the analysts and journalists in attendance. Intel has been under intense pressure due to delays of volume ramp of its 10nm process fabricated CPU products, but the company apparently has more than a few tricks up its sleeve to stay ahead... Read more...
Intel held an Architecture Day in Los Altos yesterday, where it disclosed a number of details regarding next-generation CPU and GPU architectures and manufacturing process technologies. In addition to the technical disclosures divulged to an exclusive group of attendees, Intel also talked about a shift in the company’s design and engineering model based on six strategic pillars -- Process, Architecture, Memory, Interconnect, Security, and Software – which it hopes will allow it to better address the needs of the current computing landscape moving forward. In addition to the architecture and roadmap news, Intel also talked about a new, very interesting 3D packaging technology it is... Read more...
Last week, we had the opportunity to chat with Ari Rauch, Vice President of the Core And Visual Computing Group and General Manager of the Visual Technologies Team at Intel. We had a long discussion about Intel’s current plans to enter the discrete GPU market in 2020 and what made this most recent endeavor different from the company’s previous attempts. If you’re relatively new to the PC graphics scene, you may be unaware that Intel has tried this before. In 2010, the company cancelled plans to introduce its Larrabee GPU architecture to the consumer market. Larrabee was first and foremost a GPGPU-centric architecture, however, and ultimately didn’t fit in the 3D consumer... Read more...
Intel has been uncharacteristically vocal about its most recent plans to enter the discrete GPU market. Over the last year or so, the company has disclosed some tantalizing information and made a few high-profile hires, in its bid to build-up and flesh-out a plan that was first set in motion a few years ago. Like any major semiconductor player, Intel is continually looking for growth opportunities in areas where the company may potentially shape the future direction of a particular market segment. As GPUs have morphed from targeted gaming and graphics devices alone, into massively-parallel AI and Deep Learning compute powerhouses, it makes sense that Intel wants to get in on the GPU’s expanding... Read more...
When Intel officially announced its 9th Generation Core processors at an event in NYC a few weeks back, it used the opportunity to also unveil a beastly, unlocked 28-core Xeon processor that’ll be arriving at a later date, and a refreshed line-up of 9th Gen-branded Core-X series processors as well. Unlike the 9th Gen Core i products, however, which leverage an updated Coffee Lake microarchitecture, the “new” Core X series remains based on Skylake-X – just like the 7th Gen Core X series processors we evaluated here. Some folks are likely to shout “re-brand” from the mountaintops in reference to the 9th Gen Core X series, but rest assured Intel has performed... Read more...
After what seemed like months of leaks and speculation, Intel officially announced its 9th Generation Core desktop CPU line-up a couple of weeks back, at a lavish event in New York City. Though the upcoming Core X series processors, the beastly 28-core Xeon W-3175X, and the 9th Gen Core i family don’t feature new architectures, all of the parts bring something fresh to the table, whether it be soldered thermal interface material, unlocked multipliers in the case of the Xeon, or updated silicon designs that incorporate more core resources, among other things. One of the most anticipated and talked about of the new processors is the Core i9-9900K we’ll be showing you here today. Intel... Read more...
Intel has taken another step forward in its perpetual march towards high-capacity, lower-cost solid state drives. Today’s release of the new Intel SSD 660p series of drives marks the first in the company’s line-up to pack its brand-new 64-layer QLC (quad-level cell) 3D NAND Flash memory, which essentially doubles the capacities available within the same footprint of previous-gen technologies. The Intel SSD 660p series also leverages NVMe technology, the M.2 form factor, and it employs firmware that’s tuned specifically for mainstream, consumer class workloads. These drives are meant to finally put a nail in SATA’s coffin, thanks to their significantly better performance... Read more...
When Intel initially released its Optane Memory line-up, it was one of the most potent and effective storage acceleration products available, right out of the gate. Due to its 3D Xpoint memory technology, which enables consistent, low-latency, high-speed data transfers at low-queue depths, Intel’s Optane Memory is ideally suited for caching smaller chunks of data in consumer systems. Couple Optane Memory’s unique performance characteristics with Intel’s robust caching algorithms and it showcases the effectiveness of Intel’s solution with today’s PCs. Intel has since updated its Optane Memory line-up with a 64GB drive and some new software that enables acceleration... Read more...
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