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.

Custom variants of NVIDIA's mighty GeForce GTX 1080 Ti are finally available -- more so than the initial run of the stock clocked Founders Editions. As always, however, fortune favors the prudent buyer or simply those more recently flush with cash. In this custom 1080 Ti offering, MSI marries old form with new... Read more...
As modern datacenters grow, so too do their demands. The processor race is heating up with both ARM and AMD vying to unseat Intel from its throne. Banks of RAM are beginning to become augmented by Intel’s Optane memory and other products leveraging 3D XPoint technology. However, some of the most interesting changes in... Read more...
We have another premium Z170-based motherboard on the test bench today, by way of MSI. The MSI Z170A Gaming M9 ACK motherboard is the company’s top end gaming board for use with Intel 6th Generation Skylake-based Core series processors. The MSI Z170A Gaming M9 is packed with a host of premium features aimed at... Read more...
Micron announced its 9100 Series NVMe enterprise-class solid state drive back in April. The drives come in multiple flavors and form factors, with the Micron 9100 PRO series targeting read-centric environments, while the 9100 MAX targets mixed-use cases. Capacities for the drives in the Micron 9100 series range from 800GB on up to 3.2TB, though... Read more...
When NVIDIA launched the powerful GTX 980 and 970 last month, it was obvious that these cards would be coming to mobile sooner rather than later. The significant leap forward that Maxwell offers in performance-per-watt means that these GPUs would shine in mobile contexts -- maybe even more than in desktop. The mobile Maxwell die Today, NVIDIA... Read more...
Samsung made some waves earlier this year with the introduction of its 850 Pro family of solid state drives and the first commercial use of 3D stacked NAND Flash memory. Micron is striking back today with a lower manufacturing process geometry in conventional NAND, however, and a new Flash technology it claims, will accelerate performance... Read more...
If your any kind of a computing enthusiast, you're quite familiar with EVGA, even if you haven't bought and of their hardware. From power supplies to motherboards and graphics cards, the company has established a solid reputation for producing high-quality, enthusiast equipment. EVGA recently sent over one of their new Torq X10 gaming... Read more...
When we reviewed the Maingear Epic Rush a few months ago, we found its performance jaw-dropping, and thus we expected the same out of its sibling, the Maingear Rush. However, these are different systems with different configurations on board. For instance, they have different CPUs--the Rush we're testing today has a newer, more powerful GPU... Read more...
Despite being limited by the capabilities of the SATA interface, many solid state drive manufacturers continue to innovate and introduce new products that improve on previous generation products. For example, Micron recently released its M550 series of drives, which was an evolution of the previously released M500 series, but built around... Read more...
Although the market for them is relatively small, we love to check out elaborate, no-holds-barred gaming PCs from time to time--you know, the kind of system that costs about the same amount as a serviceable used car. As fun as it is to check out an ultra high-end gaming rig, we also do it to gauge the user experience and to see just... Read more...
We’ve already had a taste of what ASUS and Gigabyte have to offer in the way of Z87 motherboards, and now it’s time to give MSI’s lineup a spin. MSI’s offering of Z87 motherboards has essentially three tiers: the “POWER” series (which includes four XPOWER and MPOWER boards), a trio of gaming boards, and... Read more...
For Windows users of all kinds, the Windows "Blue" 8.1 update has been long-awaited. Those who've been using the base OS since launch have no doubt been anticipating some of the enhancements that are coming, while many others have been waiting patiently to see if the update manages to right enough wrongs to help persuade them to make... Read more...
Just before the mid-range AMD Radeon HD 7790 hit store shelves in early April, NVIDIA countered with the GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST. NVIDIA’s move also involved pricing changes that were good for mid-range card shoppers, but what matters most is that the card NVIDIA managed to launch coincident with the Radeon HD 7790’s launch, offers... Read more...
Micron is announcing a brand new, enterprise-class solid state drive today, the RealSSD P400m. We have a looked at a number of Micron-built solid state drives in the past, including the ultra high-end RealSSD P320h PCI Express-based beast and the consumer-targeted RealSSD C300, but what makes the P400m somewhat different is that it was... Read more...
History has a funny way of repeating itself, and the more things change, the more they stay the same. Nearly six years ago to the day, Nintendo completely changed the way the world viewed console gaming. The Wii remote (affectionately dubbed Wiimote by most) was a brand new paradigm in gaming control, and it ushered in a wave of motion-based... Read more...
We've often spoken about the future of SSD technology eventually evolving away from "bridged" interfaces like SATA and SAS, to direct-attached, native interfaces like PCI Express.  It just makes sense.  With the ultra-fast random access times and high IO bandwidth of solid state storage, it's not the storage media itself that's... Read more...
Let's cut right to the chase. The first and most important thing you need to know about Max Payne 3 is this:  It's not a happy game. In the first Max Payne, you assumed the role of a deep undercover DEA agent tasked with breaking a massive drug ring. On the night of the worst snowstorm in New York's history, Payne finally breaks the case... Read more...
It’s been a while since our last case roundup--a long while, actually--so it’s high time we did another. We take a look at a slew of (mostly) mid tower cases on the following pages, each designed for a slightly different consumer.  Every case in this roundup has strengths, weaknesses, and features that the others may not have,... Read more...
Over the last couple of years, MSI has made a concerted effort to bolster their reputation as a premiere brand in the PC enthusiast space. MSI’s motherboards, graphics cards, notebooks, and virtually every other high-profile product family in their repertoire has been revamped and updated in some way to differentiate them from the competition.... Read more...
Last week, Futuremark released the latest version of 3DMark.  We've taken the new benchmark for a spin using CPUs from Intel and AMD as well as GPUs from AMD and NVIDIA. The new version, dubbed 3DMark 11 (in reference to its level of DirectX support, not the upcoming year) includes a fresh set of tests, a game demo sequence, and measures... Read more...
You have to love competition. With the release of AMD's affordable HD 6870 and 6850 graphics cards, the folks over at NVIDIA decided to respond with a move of their own. In case you missed it, the same day the Radeons launched, NVIDIA dropped the price of their mid-range GeForce products to gain a competitive advantage in the market, and more... Read more...
Prior to its launch, Mafia II was portrayed as a deep, character-driven drama that would take full advantage of PhysX to add depth and realism to the game. With the game out and available, we sat down to investigate how PhysX enhances Mafia II; our review of the game is on page three. The term APEX is also used when discussing PhysX in Mafia... Read more...
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