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.

  Although AMD's socket 939 platform has moved into the mainstream with the recent release of 939-pin Athlon 64 3000+ and 3200+ CPUs, products based on the older socket 754 platform are still in demand.  While the new socket 939 processors have been met with much fanfare (and relatively high price tags), the older socket 754 Athlon 64s have proven to be a solid processor.  And now that lower-speed socket 939 processors have begun to arrive, the older design has started to drop in price, and socket 754 processors have become much more affordable. While socket 754 will eventually fade away at some point in the future, there is currently no sign that demand has waned.  OEMs are... Read more...
Terratec Aureon Vs. AudioTrak Prodigy Two 7.1 24-Bit/192kHz Cards Under $150 by Jeff Bouton September 18, 2003 For a long time, when you thought of a sound card there were two basic choices; there were cards from Creative Labs and then there was everyone else.  However, over recent years, there has been an increasing number of challengers, both new and old, looking to take a piece of Creative's pie.  Recently, we've seen some compelling choices arrive from M-Audio, AudioTrak and Terratec.  Each offers a moderately priced, yet powerful audio card based around VIA's ICEnsemble Envy 24HT audio processor, which provides 5.1, 6.1 and 7.1 surround sound functionality.  The processor... Read more...
  The Teac DV-W50D DVD±R/RW Drive The Best of Both Worlds on a Budget By, Jeff Bouton August 28, 2003 As DVD burners have gone mainstream, they've also evolved into an economical burning solution, but this wasn't always the case.  When DVD writers were first introduced a few years ago, they got everyone's attention with their functionality and their high price.  We saw initial offerings in excess of $600 yet today the prices have dropped below the $200 mark.  With pricing becoming less of an issue, the only thing left to decide is which format is the best choice for you. Since the first DVD writers were introduced there has been a format war raging.  The two choices,... Read more...
  The Teac CD-W552E 52x24x52 CD-RW Drive Pushing the CD-R Limits By, Jeff Bouton August 7th, 2003 It's hard to believe how far technology has advanced over the last decade.  I can remember getting my first CD-ROM drive that came with a Sound Blaster audio card.  That was the ultimate addition to my Wang 386/16MHz computer system.  No longer was I going to need to install Microsoft Office using the 11 floppy disks it came on!  Soon after that came out, a newer, faster CD-ROM drive was released that was 2X the speed...Wow!  Today, we've got CD-ROM drives that can read at 72X speeds and can write files at up to 56X!  Let's not forget these new things called DVDs! ... Read more...
The Tyan Tachyon G9600 Pro A Little Something To Break the Monotony By - Marco Chiappetta August 6, 2003 For the last few months, budget conscious enthusiasts have been enamored with ATi's Radeon 9600 Pro GPU.  And when you really think about it, what's not to like?  It's a relatively inexpensive product, with a great feature set and above average performance.  The Radeon 9600 Pro has also earned a reputation for being quite the overclocker.  Back in April, when we first got our hands on an ATi built Radeon 9600 Pro, we overclocked its core and memory well beyond their default speeds and saw huge performance gains.  Today on HotHardware.Com, we're going to take a long... Read more...
The Tyan Tachyon G9500 Pro A Power-packed card for the mainstream "Burned in" by Robert Maloney May 8, 2003     Often, when you look at hardware ads in magazines, you will see somewhere in there a benchmark score.  A 3DMark score to be more specific, will scream "16,348 out of the box", or list the system components with a number at the bottom.  While these are prevalent, why aren't Winstones or other system benchmarks shown as often?  The reason is, no other section of the computer hardware market is as hotly contested and eagerly anticipated as the graphics industry.  New, more powerful graphics cards fuel the games we play each day. ... Read more...
  Tyan S2662 Trinity i7205 Dual Channel DDR for the Pentium 4 By, Chris Angelini February 24th, 2003 KISS - four letters that together, can mean so many different things.  It's a '70's rock band, it's a gesture of affection, and for Tyan, it's an acronym.  "Keep It Simple, Stupid" - quite possibly the best way to avoid costly mistakes that occur when a manufacture gets over-ambitious in its motherboard design.  Indeed, Tyan's corporate overview cites reliability as a primary focus of the company and its products reflect that.  And as a result, Tyan has established a reputation for dependable server and workstation boards, only recently venturing into graphics... Read more...
  Tyan S2495 Trinity KT400 More KT400 Madness By, Tom Laverriere February 17, 2003 Now that NVIDIA's nForce2 chipset has become mainstream, it seems as though many other AMD based motherboard chipsets just pale a little.  We know at least one chipset maker that would disagree with this of course, VIA.  VIA's KT400 offering has a lot of the same bells and whistles that the nForce2 provides.  With the KT400 you get AGP 8X, DDR400 ( though not guaranteed ), support for AthlonXP 333MHz front side bus processors, USB 2.0, and ATA 133 to name a few.  So, if Dual Channel DDR is not all that important to you, then the KT400 chipset should be.  Although we may not see some... Read more...
Transcend's  AVE3 Socket 370 Motherboard A newcomer makes a splash By, Marco ?BigWop? Chiappetta June 7, 2000    There are a lot of heavy hitters in the motherboard market right now.  Companies like Asus, Soyo, Tyan and Abit, among others, are always thought of first when it?s upgrade time.  Times change though, and today we?ll take a look at a board from someone relatively new in the motherboard arena, Transcend Information Inc.  The company was founded in 1988 and generally focused on memory modules prior to manufacturing motherboards.  The Transcend AVE3 is not the first motherboard they have delivered to the market however.  They actually have a full... Read more...
Transcends TS-ASL3 - i815E Motherboard Straight Shooting Socket 370 Performance By Dave "Davo" Altavilla 12/5/00 It seems like the folks at Transcend only came into the PC Motherboard scene within the last year or so.  However, they have been in business making Memory Modules and Motherboards since 1988.  Perhaps the reason they seem so new to us this year at HotHardware, is because their product offering has been rounding out nicely as of recent. On our first pass with a Transcend product, we showed you one of their VIA based offerings.  This is a HotHardware look at Transcend's efforts with Intel's very popular new mainstream chipset, the i815E.  Transcend's VIA... Read more...
    Tyan's S1854 - Trinity 400 VIA Apollo Pro133A with AGP4X       This is our first review ever of a product from Tyan here at Hot Hardware. There is no specific reason for that other than we just haven't hooked up with them before. Tyan is a US based Motherboard Manufacturer known for producing very high quality product. We are glad to see a "state-side" company in this market and were pleased to look at this exciting new board they have released. We recently looked at the Soyo SY-6VBA+133 board based on the VIA Apollo Pro133 chipset. As we noted, the board is based on the original rev of the VIA Apollo Pro133 chipset vrs. the Pro133A version. The main difference... Read more...
3/00 The Thermaltake Golden Orb Bright and Shiny Heavy-Metal Cooling High Performance CPU Cooling and Heat Sinks themselves, have literally become an art form over the past few years.  From wild water cooled rigs to simplistic brute force multi high speed fan set-ups, many inventions have been mothered by the overclocking community's relentless need to eliminate heat from their CPUs and cases.   Many innovative designs of heat sinks, some even with exotic metal alloy combinations, have been brought to market.  With each new iteration of CPU technology it seems as if the cooling folks are right behind with a better way to cool these new CPUs.  This is a look at the Thermaltake... Read more...
  How do you properly cool a Pentium III ? The TennMax P3 TF Cooler These days most custom PC enthusiasts, tend to use some sort of third party Heat Sink and Fan combination for proper cooling of their CPU. Stock Heat Sink / Fans from Intel and other CPU vendors are usually only adequate for operation of the CPU within normal specs. Obviously, this is not something the average "overclocker" will be satisfied with. Until now, there really haven't been many good cooling solutions for the new Pentium III processor. TennMax, a well known cooling solutions provider, has designed a new product for the Pentium III that follows in the footsteps of their many other innovative cooling products.... Read more...
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