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 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...
The MSI XPower series of motherboards is clearly designed to curry favor with overclocking enthusiasts and the high-end gamers Asus has targeted with its Republic of Gamers (ROG) brand. The XPower packs full support for all the latest buzzwords and capabilities, but MSI is also claiming to offer certain unique features that other manufacturers... Read more...
Looking at current solid state drive market, it's easy to draw some parallels with the early days of 3D on the PC. When 3D graphics cards first hit the scene (before the term GPU was coined), there were only a few major players, i.e. 3dfx, Tseng Labs, S3, etc. As the technology was more accepted by consumers, however, numerous other manufactures,... Read more...
The latest socket AM3 compatible Phenom II processors have been available for several weeks now and they had proven in our initial coverage to be excellent chips, a notable improvement over their predecessors in several respects, including overclocking and in their support for higher clocked DDR3 memory. Thanks to the Phenom... Read more...
You'd be hard pressed these days to find a small business or even family home that doesn't have at least a few computers being used by a number of different local users. This multi-user scenario poses at least a couple of potential complications for managing all the files and data that gets created, stored, and used by the different users:... Read more...
A few months back, Intel released the P45 Chipset -- at the time it was considered to be their mainstream offering, playing second fiddle to the X48 Express.  With official support of a 1333MHz FSB, PCI-E 2.0, ATI CrossFire, and support for both DDR2 and DDR3 memory, there's a lot of roads to go down with the... Read more...
No matter what you think of AMD's ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series of video cards, you'd be crazy not to love what AMD did with the pricing of the first two cards (Radeon HD 4850 and HD 4870) from the series. As a result of AMD's aggressive pricing, NVIDIA felt compelled to lower the price of its latest GeForce video cards, the GeForce GTX 260... Read more...
NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 200 series of graphics cards, that launched about 60 days prior to the publishing of this article, have undergone a significant price reduction since they first debuted.  At the time, NVIDIA flexed its GPU muscle with a high-end, single GPU graphics design that their primary competition (AMD) could... Read more...
DDR3 is the future of desktop PC memory in the near term, no question about it.  Nonetheless, the transition to the next level of memory technology will be a gradual one, much like we saw when we advanced from DDR to DDR2.  With higher latencies and higher price tags, the argument for migrating to DDR3 in its current state... Read more...
Just a few weeks ago, we took a look at the two fastest workstation class graphics cards currently on the market, the FireGL V8650 from ATI/AMD and the QuadroFX 5600 from Nvidia. We found both products to be quite powerful and thought either one would be a solid choice for a high-end workstation. ... Read more...
In mid-Q4 2007, AMD released their 790FX, 790X and 770 chipsets, the final pieces required to complete their Spider platform.  As the backbone of the new platform, the 700 series chipsets were designed with new feature sets to take full advantage of the Phenom processor's capabilities.  With up to 42 PCI Express lanes,... Read more...
Not too far back, there was a time when it was inconceivable that a motherboard had anything other than a green or mustard colored PCB that had a few sockets for the CPU and DIMMs, maybe a hard drive connector or two, and a floppy drive connection.  Keyboards and mice were typically PS/2 based, although a COM port sufficed... Read more...
Speed.  It's the one thing that gets all the attention when most folks consider performance computer hardware.  Whether we're referring to the CPU, Memory, Hard Drive or Graphics card, one of the most important characteristics we consider is its raw performance, wanting to know just how fast a component is compared to others in its... Read more...
Just around this time three years ago, Intel launched their 925X and 915 motherboard platforms, bringing to market a new microprocessor socket, support for DDR2 memory, and support for PCI Express. Although the chipsets were decent performers and had good features, Intel was criticized for forcing the adoption of these new technologies when... Read more...
The premium graphics card market is in a lopsided state.  NVIDIA's GeForce 8800 series is still relatively unchallenged in the high-end space, a position which has been futher solidified with the addition of the 8800 Ultra.  By giving the GeForce 8800GTX a nominal speed bump, NVIDIA continues to maintain its lead.  ATI, on the otherhand, is... Read more...
As enthusiasts, we are always anxiously awaiting new GPU architectures, with additional pipelines and more memory. All of these aspects usually go into creating the next must-have flagship video card. Like us, you've probably been wondering when single GPU cards would sport a full gigabyte of memory. Dual-GPU cards, like NVIDIA's... Read more...
  Nvidia's SLI technology launched in mid-2004, and was designed to provide high-performance rendering power for gamers. Because the technology was brand new, and the fastest thing on the market, SLI configurations demanded exorbitant price premiums over single card configurations, despite first generation issues like software compatibility,... Read more...
NVIDIA created a ton of buzz in the gaming community when it first introduced SLI. That buzz quickly gave way to a huge success, and the buzz and success really haven't diminished since. In fact, the birth of Quad SLI has only reinvigorated the buzz.  Quad SLI is currently possible thanks to NVIDIA's GeForce 7950 GX2 video card.... Read more...
ATI's chipset division, talented as they are, seem to have always played second fiddle to rival nVidia. Both nVidia and ATI started originally producing chipsets in 2001/2002 for low-end markets, using their experience in producing graphics processors as leverage to produce chipsets with integrated graphics abilities. Over time, both nVidia... Read more...
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