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.

  With all of the press solid state drives have received over the last year or so, it would be easy to think that few advancements have been made in the hard drive space. After all, hard drive capacities have seemingly hit a plateau at 2TB, performance can't come close to even a mid-range SSD in most scenarios, and it's hard to imagine prices falling any lower, when some drives can be had for about 7.5 cents per gigabyte.  However, Western Digital, despite releasing their very own line of SSDs recently, continues to push the performance envelope with traditional spinning hard drives. Need evidence? Then feast your eyes on the brand new WD VelociRaptor 600GB... WD's VelociRaptor 600GB,... Read more...
Solid State Storage products are obviously setting the computing market on fire as of late.  There is little question that the writing is on the wall.  Like the vacuum tube transistors of yesterday, spinning hard drives are bound to go the way of the Dodo bird.  It's only a matter of time; not if, but when.  However, the "when" in reality will likely not come for years yet of course.  In the Data Center, where ridiculously cheap bulk storage is critical, there is just no substitution for the cost per gigabyte metrics of traditional spinning disk media.  However, in the end user notebook and desktop markets, especially where performance is often times a differentiator,... Read more...
It happens to all of us at some point. We constantly run short of hard drive space, no matter how incredibly cavernous you thought your current drive was when you bought it. Did you really expect Dragon Age: Origins and Borderlands to soak up almost thirty gigabytes between them? Didn't think so. You either shove Office 2007 and Photoshop CS aside to make some room for your latest losslessly-ripped music and RAW photos, or grab a drive that offers up more capacity, say up to 2TB--such as the ones we're going to be evaluating here. You know the contenders. These aren't solid state drives full of a speedy but thimble-sized flash memory chips--these are large, succulent... Read more...
Apple is a funny beast. We say "beast" because it's hard to deny that this company is ripping through the tech world like no other that we've seen in the last decade. Our television programs are laden with Apple ads poking fun at Windows and seducing you into buying yet another iPod, and every quarterly earnings report is filled with optimism. Even in the midst of the worst recession since the Great Depression, Apple was breaking profit records left and right. The company has continued to sell millions of iPhones, millions of iPods and even millions of Macs.And remember, it wasn't that long ago that the industry at large considered Apple a sitting duck. The outfit's share price was abysmal,... Read more...
Windows 7 is undoubtedly the most exciting new operating system to come out of Microsoft within the past decade--and with good reason. The user interface is superb, gone are many of the oddball Vista quirks, and the operating system is light and snappy, marking a massive 180 degree shift away from the heaviness and bloat of Vista. Despite the fact that it's based on many of the same core Vista elements, Windows 7 is a different beast, and should be looked at in a fresh new light. Windows 7 RC gets ready to take on a a pile of really fast drives. As with any new operating system release, there are a lot of questions with regards to how it will perform on various hardware configurations--one... Read more...
The old adage, "looks can be deceiving," applies very well to the Western Digital My Book World Edition network-attached storage (NAS) device. With its small and simplistic physical design, housed in white plastic, and featuring only a set of white LED status lights on its front, this NAS device belies the power, features, and depth of configuration options just hiding beneath its shiny veneer.Which is not to say that the WD My Book World Edition NAS device isn't simple to use--it is actually one of the easier NAS devices we've worked with. Network storage neophytes should have little trouble getting up and running in no time. But contrary to the seemingly simple nature of the product, those... Read more...
The green technology movement is obviously in full swing now. Better efficiency through technological innovation has a trickle down effect to many facets of life style, technology and the environment. Whether motivated by cost or environmental reasons the benefits of eco-minded innovation will eventually be felt by all. When products can be produced cheaper through the use of green technologies due to cost savings to the manufacturer, consumers and the planet will eventually reap the benefits. Widespread adoption of green technology products, like Western Digital's Green Power Hard Drive for example, adds to the overall effectiveness of the green technology... Read more...
When Windows Vista first hit the scene, it was quite a departure from Windows XP. It had been a while since a major desktop operating system release from Microsoft, and consumers along with many businesses, were slow to adopt the new OS, if at all. Add to that the new and sometimes cumbersome security features and reports that Vista was slower as a gaming platform, and you had an equation for slow initial uptake.  Even as service pack 1 was released adoption was still less than stellar, prompting Microsoft to launch creative marketing campaigns in an attempt to sway public opinion.As news about Windows 7 leaked to the public, many wondered what type of improvements it... Read more...
Western Digital's Raptor line of high performance hard drives has been a long-time favorite of PC enthusiasts since its introduction several years ago.  When WD's Raptors first hit, their 10K RPM spindle speeds allowed for much lower access times than the more common 7200 RPM desktop drives of the time, and overall relative performance was strong.  Many users were put off by the relatively low capacities of the Raptor, which debuted at 36GB and topped out at 150GB, but they were still wildly successful amongst enthusiasts regardless.As time wore on though, Western Digital's competitors introduced faster and faster, high capacity drives, that began to out-perform the Raptor... Read more...
We wish the current "green" trend would have happened a long time ago, and we actually hope that it results in a permanent mentality adjustment rather than fading like so many trends do. We are happy to see that companies are now expected to be somewhat environmentally-conscious. We love to see companies compete on metrics like performance per watt and we know we aren't the only ones who have an affinity for new architectures and designs that result in both efficiency improvements and performance gains. It wasn't so long ago that efficiency and performance were almost always inversely related. In the end, we (including the planet itself) all benefit when people and companies try to... Read more...
When it comes to 7,200 RPM desktop drives, there are few names in the industry that are quite as well respected as the Western Digital Caviar lineup. It’s a time-tested brand which has consistently held its own, in terms of raw performance, acoustics, and reliability. While the Caviar name once stood for a single lineup of drives, Western Digital has now branched out the Caviar name to different markets, slightly tweaking the feature sets to address different requirements. Beyond the standard Caviar drives, which are now targeted for the low-end market, we’ve got the Caviar SE and SE16 drives for the performance desktop market, along with the power-friendly Caviar GP... Read more...
Most of you probably already know that 2.5" notebook hard drives typically aren't as big or fast as hard drives found in desktop machines. In case you aren't aware, most laptops are sold with 5400RPM hard drives that range from 60GB to 100GB. In contrast, most desktops are currently sold with 7200RPM hard drives with capacities of up to 1TB. Just like desktop hard drives, though, laptop hard drives have gotten quite a bit bigger and faster over the last couple years. While desktop hard drives hit 1TB (1,000GB) a while ago, laptop hard drives recently reached 250GB. At least one manufacturer will have a 320GB laptop hard drive available soon, but that still doesn't get us anywhere near... Read more...
For several months, the battle for the biggest consumer hard drive was only fought by Hitachi and Seagate. First, only Seagate was in it with its 750GB hard drive using perpendicular recording technology. Then, Hitachi decided to skip 750GB and go straight to 1,000GB (1TB). Seagate has announced its 1TB hard drive, but we have yet to get one in our hands or see it in the retail channel. Recently, a new combatant finally stepped into the ring as well: Western Digital entered the fray with a 750GB offering. We aren't sure why Western Digital waited so long to offer a drive bigger than 500GB, but we are happy to see the competition heating up. Plus, with storage prices so low right now,... Read more...
If we were to play a word association game with a PC enthusiast and said "Western Digital," it's likely his geek reflexes would immediately trigger and force him to reply "Raptor" before he even realized he had spoken. Western Digital makes many more storage products other than just the speed demons known as Raptors, though. While it is easy to be enamored with the Raptors, they are relatively expensive and offer only a fraction of the capacity of the 500GB and 750GB behemoths currently on the market. Our labs were blessed with one such behemoth from Western Digital, the WD5000KS, which is a member of the Caviar SE16 family. This 500GB SATA 3Gb/s drive features a 16MB... Read more...
Prev 1 2 3 4 Next