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.

As most of you are probably aware, Creative Labs, is one of the Founding Fathers of PC Audio and has manufactured sound cards and other audio-related hardware for 30 years. The original Sound Blaster was the de facto standard for DOS gaming audio almost right from its release in 1989. As high-profile PC games like Wolfenstein 3D came out with Sound Blaster compatibility trumpeted on their boxes, the company rose to prominence with its Yamaha OPN and OPL-based FM synthesis sound cards. Fast forward to today, and the house that Sound Blaster Built is still pumping out new and better audio hardware. Today, we're going to take a look at the company's latest flagship audio wunderkind, the just- announced... Read more...
A few months back, Samsung launched its SSD 970 EVO Plus series of solid state drives, which featured the company’s latest TLC NAND flash memory and an updated firmware optimized for higher performance. When the line-up initially arrived, capacities up to 2TB were announced, but only the 250GB – 1TB models were made available. The highest-capacity, 2TB Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus has just arrived, however, and we got the chance to take one for a spin. At its core, the 2TB Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus is virtually identical to the other drives in the line-up, save for a larger DRAM cache and, obviously, more NAND storage capacity. Here’s how the full line-up compares to the original... Read more...
Enterprise-class solid state drives used to be rare beasts that commanded heavy price premiums over their more common, consumer-oriented counterparts. As leading SSD and flash memory manufacturers have evolved their processes and technologies, however, availability and pricing for many enterprise-class solid state storage solutions have dropped dramatically. Whereas enterprise SSDs that target mission-critical workstations or data centers used to cost many times that of a consumer SSD, that is no longer the case for some products. Samsung's 883 and 983 DCT drives we’ll be showing you here, for example, are available in relatively large capacities and surprisingly won’t break... Read more...
The humble SD card has evolved in a number of ways since its introduction two decades ago. While early SD cards could hardly store more photos than a roll of film, modern cards may offer the capacity to contain hours of high-quality HD video. SD cards have also become commonly used as boot drives for lightweight operating systems, powering everything from Raspberry Pi's to server hypervisors. SD Cards, and MicroSD cards in particular, can also be useful for expanding the storage of cell phones and even laptops. Samsung introduced its blazing fast EVO Plus UHS-I MicroSD cards last year, featuring capacities from 64GB to 256GB and write speeds approaching 90 megabytes per second. We were impressed... Read more...
Although its SSD 970 EVO and 970 Pro solid state drives are widely considered to be some of the best currently available for the PC, Samsung is at the ready with a brand new line of drives dubbed the SSD 970 EVO Plus. As its name suggests, the Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus is similar to the original EVOs, but these new drives leverage Samsung’s latest TLC NAND flash memory. The firmware on these SSDs has been further optimized to increase performance as well, but they leverage the same controller and have similar amounts of DRAM on-board. We’ve got a table below comparing the 970 EVO Plus series specifications to the original EVOs. As you can see, there are only a few areas that differ.... Read more...
The solid state storage market is highly competitive, and it is also one that changes rapidly as the technology continues to evolve and prices fluctuate due to various factors. There are dozens of companies with multiple product lines that vie for dominance in the SSD space, which can make selecting a drive for a system a rather daunting task for the uninitiated. In this piece, we'll endeavor to make the task of buying an SSD a little easier for everyone by shining the spotlight on what we consider to be some of the better SSD deals currently available in a wide range of prices and capacities. Before we dig into the list, however, let's take a brief moment to review a few fundamentals for the... Read more...
You do not need to wait until Black Friday to snag a sweet tech deal. A number of devices are on sale during the Sam’s Club Super November Event. You will even be able to nab some devices for $500 USD off of their regular price. This may be a good time to purchase a smart TV. The Samsung 82" Class 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV with HDR is currently available for $500 off its original price of $2,479.00. You can grab the Vizio 80" Class XLED 4K Home Theater Display and Vizio 36" 5.1.2 Home Theater Sound System with Dolby Atmos for $1,999. This is a particularly good deal because just the television alone will run you nearly $2,300 from other retailers. A number of less expensive smart TVs like... Read more...
Samsung has been a leader in the solid state storage market for a number of years. Whether you were looking for affordable SATA-based offerings or high-performance NVMe gumsticks, Samsung usually has an answer. And we’re not just talking about internal drives either; Samsung has also released a number of excellent external storage devices, like the T3 and last year’s T5, for example. What Samsung hasn’t had was an ultra-high speed external solid state device that shed the limitations of legacy interfaces – until today, that is. Samsung’s latest storage product, the X5 Thunderbolt Portable SSD, is a durable, attractive, external device packing an NVMe solid state... Read more...
The SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD we'll be showing you here today is the follow-up to the SanDisk Extreme 510 Portable SSD. This new drive fully embraces USB-C while retaining USB Type-A compatibility for older Macs and PCs. It promises speedy storage (up to 550 MB/s claimed), a wide range of capacities (250GB, 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB), and an IP55 rating against dust and water intrusion. The drive’s slim body looks more like a portable charger for your cell phone than the bulky external hard drives of old, and it fits in a shirt pocket easily. It feels rugged, with black soft-touch material covering its back, textured hard plastic on the front panel (also black), and an orange-accented... Read more...
Ask a group of gamers or hardcore PC enthusiasts what they want in a monitor and you’ll likely get a few common answers. High resolutions and refresh rates, adequate size, wide viewing angles, thin bezels, and a fully adjustable stand will likely be on the list, along with support for adaptive refresh rate technology and perhaps HDR (High Dynamic Range). The monitor we will be showing you here today, the 32" Samsung CHG70 Gaming Monitor with Quantum Dot Technology checks many of those boxes, and ups the ante even further with a curved screen, back bias lighting (sort of), and USB pass-through, among a few other things. The Samsung CHG70 is also one of a select few gaming displays currently... Read more...
Samsung has been at the forefront of NVMe-based solid state storage essentially since the standard’s inception. The Samsung SSD 960 Pro and 960 EVO that were released all the way back in 2016 have been among the best performing, most sought after M.2 NVMe-based gumsticks available. It’s kind of hard to believe the 960 Pro and 960 EVO have been riding high for so long in such a rapidly advancing space, but it’s true. Samsung, however, is finally ready to supplant its popular drives with the brand-new – you guessed it – SSD 970 Pro and 970 EVO series that we’re going to be showing you here today. The Samsung SSD 970 Pro and 970 EVO are the company’s latest... Read more...
Samsung recently launched its latest SATA-based solid state drives, the SSD 860 Pro and SSD 860 EVO, featuring 2-bit (MLC) or 3-bit (TLC) versions of the company’s 64-layer 3D V-NAND flash memory. We’ve put up a review of a 2.5” Samsung SSD 860 Pro 2TB drive a couple of weeks back, but have something a bit different in store for you today. On tap here is an evaluation of a 2TB Samsung SSD 860 EVO, but of the M.2 variety. This drive is still packing a SATA interface, but is designed for the sleeker, more modern M.2 2280 form factor. In the current PC landscape, which is chock full of relatively affordable NVMe-based M.2 solid state drives, a SATA-based M.2 offering may seem kind... Read more...
Bleeding-edge NVMe solid state drives are a hot commodity in the enthusiast space and the premium laptop market, but there are still billions of legacy SATA ports out there just waiting to be attached to fast, reliable solid sold state storage. To that end, Samsung is delivering some band new SATA-based solid state drives today using the company’s latest 64-layer 3D V-NAND flash memory and a new controller – the Samsung SSD 860 PRO and 860 EVO Series drives. We’ve got a 2TB Samsung SSD 860 Pro in-house and have put it through its paces alongside some other recently-released SATA-based solid state drives. Before we dive into the numbers though, take a look at the specs for these... Read more...
Creative Labs was instrumental in evolving PC audio with notable products, like the Sound Blaster 16, AWE 32, AWE64, Live!, Audigy, X-Fi, and Extigy, and algorithms like EAX technology. Most of its competitors through the last three decades, like Yamaha, ESS, Turtle Beach, Auzentech and M-Audio, evolved their product line-ups or faded into obscurity. There were acquisitions of Aureal and Sensaura technologies that further boosted Creative's technology portfolio, too. Sound cards seem passé nowadays, as motherboard manufacturers hop up high-definition audio codecs with higher quality op-amps, capacitors, shielding and S/PDIF outputs, that make discrete sound cards a harder sell. But despite all... Read more...
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