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.

Samsung is the largest and one of the more popular consumer electronics companies in the world. Besides its hugely successful HDTV lineup, the company also makes some equally exciting LCD monitors. Samsung's offering of flat panel displays have proven to be stylish, dependable, and competitively priced. Generally, we've... Read more...
Network-attached storage (NAS) devices come in all shapes and sizes; some even come without hard drives--with the intention that the users will add the drives themselves. There is even a relatively new category of NAS devices that don't have any internal drives at all, and instead use USB-attached drives as their storage source. These NAS... Read more...
With the growing popularity of cloud-based storage solutions, such as the Amazon S3 and Nirvanix services, many businesses--both large and small--are eschewing traditional onsite file servers, and instead opting for offsite, third-party storage solutions. But the ongoing cost of maintaining cloud-based storage as well as the often unproven... Read more...
Regardless of their size or industry, most businesses depend on ready and secure access to their data. To a business, "secure" means that its data is protected from hardware or software failures and is safe from prying eyes. But small and even some medium-sized businesses often can't afford to maintain a data center, let alone a dedicated... Read more...
  When AMD launched the Radeon HD 4870 X2 a few months back, the company hinted at the impending release of another, more affordable, dual-GPU powered card aptly named the Radeon HD 4850 X2. Like the more powerful 4870 X2, the 4850 X2 would sport a pair of RV770 GPUs on a single PCB, but on the 4850 X2 they would be clocked somewhat lower... Read more...
Traditional hard disk storage is living on borrowed time. We know it and storage manufacturers know it. Solid state drives, which use non-volatile memory chips instead of rotating metal discs for storing data, are simply a better medium in the long run. They consume less power, create nearly zero heat, and produce no noise – but best... Read more...
The price of LCD screens has steadily declined and in the last few years, larger monitors are starting to become relatively affordable. This is especially evident in the 19", 20" and 22" categories, where we see a significant number of products in the sub-$300 range. However 24" and larger screens still remained premium products until very... Read more...
Let’s talk about SCSI for a moment. The disk interface which was once ubiquitous with high-end workstations and servers is now on the verge of obsolescence. With the influx of inexpensive and reliable Serial ATA hard disks and hardware SATA RAID controllers (which can provide excellent performance at a fraction of a SCSI’s price), it’s... Read more...
The intoxicating smell of fresh paint was the first sensation to greet us when we opened up a very special package from Diamond Multimedia and Smooth Creations. This was quickly followed by jaw-dropping awe as we admired the meticulous detail of the system's custom paint job. Speculating at the power waiting to be unleashed under its hood,... Read more...
When we're asked by readers for hardware advice, one of the most popular topics involves the graphics card.  With a myriad of options out there covering the price and performance spectrum, it's not always a cut and dried answer.  First, we need to consider the person's budget requirements, then assess the rest of their... Read more...
For each type of product and in each market, there is usually a specific price segment that will provide the best value proposition for consumers, often known as the 'sweet spot'. For quite some time, the 19" widescreen was the sweet spot of the consumer LCD monitor market. Hovering between the cheaper but aging 17" screens and the... Read more...
In late January, ATI unveiled several new entry level GPUs manufactured using the 55nm process that was first employed with the more powerful RV670 GPU.  Not only did the new process help ATI deliver more competitive graphics cards at attractive price points, it also improved on such things as power consumption, which is of growing... Read more...
A few months ago, we evaluated the 1-terabyte (TB) Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 SATA hard drive. We found the drive to offer many positive features in addition to its massive capacity. In this article, we'll be looking at Seagate's flagship enterprise-class, mass storage solution, the 1TB Barracuda ES.2 SATA hard drive. While the Barracuda... Read more...
It seems like a new year always evokes the feeling of renewed hope and high expectations.  And for AMD / ATI at least, 2008 appears to have reinvigorated their graphics division, which appears to be firing on all cylinders at the moment.  After a year or so of NVIDIA dominating the high-end graphics space,... Read more...
  Seagate was surprisingly late to join the small, but elite club of storage manufacturers shipping one terabyte (1TB) class hard drives. Somewhat expectedly, the first out of the gate was Hitachi, who made it to market several months beforehand with a high-density five-platter 1TB hard disk design. While Hitachi’s performance, thermals,... Read more...
Upon its release, it was expected that even the most ardent power users and enthusiasts were going to tread lightly at first with respect to adopting Windows Vista as their primary OS.  Though end users in this demographic are classically early adopters, in terms of new hardware technologies coming to market, an operating system change brings with... Read more...
A lot of attention is paid to framerates when discussing graphics hardware, and rightfully so.  Some argue that they are an outdated method for assessing a video card's performance, but when assessing a potential purchase, buyers need some way to determine why one card is superior to the other.  We can talk about how... Read more...
End user demand for storage capacity is expanding exponentially year after year, as multimedia content, email, and document and file generation show explosive growth in this age of new media.  In addition, protecting that data is becoming increasingly more critical, with investments in digital music and video collections, as well as those... Read more...
Graphics processors are, and have always been, extremely parallel in nature. This sentiment has been expressed time and time again by various GPU architects from all of the major graphics chip designers. If you want additional performance, in the vast majority of cases, you can gain it by adding on more rendering pipelines or a second (identical)... Read more...
There is a common occurrence in the graphics industry that happens near the launch of any major new architecture. Before a company introduces a major change in their GPU designs, they will take their existing GPU designs and offer them at a wide variety of different speeds and price points, sometimes surprisingly low priced, in order to clear... Read more...
While we all sit and wait to see what AMD/ATI have in store for us with their next-gen, DX10-class R600, the Radeon X1950 XTX remains ATI's current flagship desktop GPU. In light of NVIDIA's excellent GeForce 8 series of cards, the Radeon X1950 XTX has certainly lost some of its initial luster, but nevertheless it's still... Read more...
Today's high-end flagship video cards may cost an arm and a leg, but that segment of the market is not where the real money is. The big money is made in the low-end and mid-range (or mainstream) segments of the market. It's simple really: most people shopping for a video card have budgeted $100-250, while relatively few have $400+... Read more...
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