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.

  While many of us are impressed with the features and performance promised by today's top of the line graphics cards, in reality, not too many of us have the budgets to afford one of these gaming powerhouses.  Often times, the common user needs to keep things in monetary perspective and consider a more practical approach to... Read more...
  It's a shame, really. After nearly one year on the market, Socket-939 Athlon64 motherboards are finally getting to a point where we've always wished they would be. Feature packed, refined, tweakable, and quiet. Why is this a shame? Well, as AMD is transitioning to their new Socket-AM2 interface, interest in Socket-939 platforms... Read more...
With most of the fuss revolving around video cards such as Nvidia's 7900 series and ATI's X1900 series these days, it's easy to overlook entry-level offerings like the GeForce 7300. That is unless you don't have a ton of coin to throw down for a high end card. As great as it is using high resolutions with anti-aliasing... Read more...
Over the past few months, we've posted a multitude of graphics related articles here at HotHardware.com. Since September, we've covered no less than seven product launches from ATI, five from rival NVIDIA, and even S3 chimed in with one of their own. Some of these products were mid-range or entry-level offerings, but a couple of them redefined... Read more...
There is a current trend in PC hardware to have two of everything.  Whether it's two (or more) drives in a RAID configuration, dual-core CPUs, dual-channel memory, or adding an additional video card to increase frame rates; it's apparent that doubling-up is here to stay.  Up until recently, running two video cards simultaneously... Read more...
  End user demand for increased hard drive capacity is waning somewhat, now that we can store over 200,000 typical digital photos, or 60,000 music files, for less than a $100 street price. Sixty thousand music files could play for almost six months without repeating and you'd have to stay awake for almost 70 days straight if you look... Read more...
After recently reviewing the Leadtek WinFast TV USB II Deluxe and Diamond's Xtreme TV PVR 550 Power Pack, there are certain things we've come to expect in PC TV tuners. For one, easy driver and software installation is important. And the bundled software and its functionality is a primary concern as well.  After all, what good is a TV... Read more...
It's been less than two months since NVIDIA initially announced the availability of their new GeForce 7800 GTX, and already we ourselves in the enviable position of showcasing a third retail-ready version of NVIDIA's flagship card. We've previously showcased BFG's Editor's Choice Winning GeForce 7800 GTX OC and EVGA's e-GeForce 7800 GTX EGS,... Read more...
By now you've all probably heard about PCI Express and why it's rapidly replacing the aging AGP slot; there is no need to beat a dead horse. Nonetheless, the AGP market is still going strong with plenty of potential buyers out there who don't want to replace their motherboard just yet to accommodate a PCI Express graphics card. We can... Read more...
In all of our experience with personal computers, we've never quite came across a device like the one which is the focus of today's review, the PistolMouse FPS by MonsterGecko.  Suited primarily for first person shooters, the PistolMouse is an 800dpi optical mouse masquerading as a Glock pistol.  When we first laid eyes upon its... Read more...
  Currently, if you're in the market for a video card, there are two great options that will get you premium performance without blowing your budget: the Radeon X800XL from ATi and the GeForce 6800GT from nVidia.  Sure, there are more powerful cards, namely the X850XT and GF 6800 Ultra, but the price of these cards alone can sometimes... Read more...
As Intel's Alderwood and Grantsdale chipsets have brought a whole new platform of technology to the P4, OEMs are now in full swing, bringing their own flavors to the mix.  With support for Intel's new LGA775 processors, DDR and DDR2 and PCI-Express, the playing field has certainly changed.  Granted, while upgrading will require a... Read more...
In the past few months we've seen numerous announcements for PCI Express equipped core logic chipsets, and we have already evaluated a few of them as well.  We've previously looked at Intel's 900 Series of chipsets, NVIDIA's nForce 4 and ATi's RADEON XPRESS 200, and hope to get our hands on VIA's K8T890 and SiS' x56 chipsets very soon. ... Read more...
Now that the DVD format war is essentially over, thanks to the advent of Dual-Format drives, the market's next big push is towards Dual-Layer recording.  One of the most noticeable differences with the next generation of DVD drives is low pricing from the start, unlike the initial DVD offerings of years past.  This instant affordability... Read more...
A few years back, if you wanted the best of DVD playback and CD burning, you had to buy separate drives for each task.  With the advent of combo drives hitting the mainstream market, however, users can now get top-notch CD and DVD performance from a single optical device.  MSI's XA52P for example, reads DVD-ROM discs at 16x, writes... Read more...
The MSI GeForce FX5900XT-VTD128 A Value Priced Powerhouse... By, Marco Chiappetta March 25, 2004 With all of the fan-fare reserved for high-end cards powered by NVIDIA's GeForce FX 5950 Ultra or ATi's Radeon 9800 XT, its easy to forget that these expensive products comprise only small percentage of the overall... Read more...
MAD DOG Entertainer 7.1 DSP Sound Card 8 Channels of Chest Pounding Sound By Tom Laverriere February 17, 2004 Many of today's motherboards are equipped with more than ample integrated sound solutions, which has made aftermarket sound... Read more...
The MSI FX5950 Ultra-VTD256 NVIDIA's Flagship GPU, MSI Style... By, Marco Chiappetta February 12, 2004 After facing some fierce competition from ATi's R3x0 GPUs and fielding a mountain of criticism regarding questionable driver "optimizations", NVIDIA has had to deal with quite a bit of adversity as of late.  They have also... Read more...
The M-Audio Revolution 7.1 Viva la revolución! "Burned in" by Robert Maloney June 23rd, 2003 The history of the audio card industry can be summed up by saying there has always been Creative Lab's SoundBlaster line, and then there have been the "others".  When Aureal disappeared from the picture in 2000, it seemed to... Read more...
  The MSI GeForce FX5200 TDR128 A Budget Card with a Little Extra By: Jeff Bouton June 3rd, 2003 If there is one thing that is certain, it's that there is no other channel of the PC hardware industry more heated in competition and embroiled in controversy than the graphics sector.  This is a fierce market consumed with debates over... Read more...
  Maxtor's DiamondMax Plus 9 Serial ATA Drive Serial ATA Drives Mature By Dave Altavilla March 20, 2003   Our first look at a Serial ATA drive, quite frankly, was a little less than inspiring.  That is to say that, even though the SATA 150 standard offers a higher bandwidth interface and those tidy, thin little cables, ... Read more...
  The MSI CR52-A2 - 52X CD-RW Drive Breaking the speed barrier at 52X By Tom Laverriere March 14, 2003 The first CD-RW drive I ever bought was an 8X4X32X unit for around $200 beans and I thought it was amazing how fast that thing could burn CD's.  It took me only about 10 minutes to burn a full disc of songs.  I was loving life. ... Read more...
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