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.

AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su took to the stage at Computex to kick off the show’s initial international press conference, during what was the company’s very first ever opening keynote address for this venue. Of course, AMD participates in Computex every year because it is such an important event for the PC ecosystem as a whole, but during its 50th Anniversary year, it was the first time AMD was invited to actually open up the show with a keynote address – and Dr. Su took full advantage of the opportunity. Su discussed AMD’s next-generation EPYC enterprise processors, codenamed Rome, demoed Navi, its future-generation Radeon GPU architecture, and disclosed some details regarding... Read more...
Fractal Design released it highly acclaimed Define S2 case a little over seven months ago and they are already back with a new iteration, the Fractal Design Define S2 Vision RGB. That's a mouthful, but even if the name doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, this DIY PC chassis is easy on the eyes. The Fractal Vision S2 RGB takes everything that made the Define S2, and the Fractal R6 before it, great but it but now it brings RGB lighting and tempered glass panels into the mix. We aren't talking just a single tempered glass panel here, however. Fractal has literally surrounded the case with tempered glass. The front and side panels are all tempered glass, as is a portion of the top panel.... 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...
WD’s Blue family of solid state drives has historically been comprised of nothing but SATA-based offerings, but the company recently updated the line-up with some brand-new NVMe-based drives. The WD Blue SN500 we’ll be showing you here today is the first Blue-branded NVMe SSD from the company, and as has been the case with many of WD’s “Blue” products, it is aggressively priced and pushes NVMe into more mainstream territory. The WD Blue SN500, however, does not target the high-end of the NVMe market; that is the WD Black family's job. As you’ll see in the WD Blue SN500’s specifications below, it’s much more tame than many of other NVMe solid state... Read more...
A couple of weeks back, NVIDIA launched the latest edition to its Turing-based GPU line-up, the GeForce GTX 1650. As its name suggests, the GeForce GTX 1650 is similar to the recently-released GeForce GTX 1660 and 1660 Ti, but it is powered by a different GPU with somewhat tamer specifications, which results in a lower price point as well. We’ll dig into the specifics in just a moment. As was the case with the GeForce GTX 1660 and 1660 Ti, there will be no Founder’s Edition version of the GeForce GTX 1650 arriving on store shelves. Instead, NVIDIA is relying on their add-in board partners to seed the market this time around. The card we’ll be looking at today is one the higher-end... Read more...
Long-time enthusiast will remember the Corsair Hydro H50. It was one of the first closed-loop water coolers on the market and it changed the game. Though the H50 was popular at the time of its release, it was a bit of a head-scratcher, because its performance and installation weren't ideal. Consumers bought it up though, and AIO water coolers were off and running. That was Corsair's first entry into the market, however, and things have gotten considerably better since. It seems as if each new AIO liquid-cooler released by Corsair has improved on their original designs, so much so that closed loop coolers are performing at levels approaching much more expensive custom water cooling loops. In the... Read more...
Intel has officially unveiled its new line-up of 9th Generation Core Mobile processors today, along with an array of adjacent products and technologies. In addition, Intel's 9th Generation Core Desktop processor line-up is been refreshed today as well, with a wide array of SKUs that cover the gamut from a new Core i9-9900 all the way on down to low-power dual-core Celeron and Pentium Gold processors. The new flagship of the 9th Generation Core Mobile processor family is the Core i9-9980HK, designed for what Intel is calling “Musclebooks” – we’ll call them powerful desktop replacement and gaming notebooks. The Core i9-9980HK is a 45 watt, 8-core / 16-thread processor,... Read more...
Intel announced its Optane Memory H10 back during the Consumer Electronics Show, early this year. Just in case you missed the initial announcement, the company's Optane Memory H10 is a new class of products from Intel that combines 3D Xpoint memory technology and QLC (quad-level cell) 3D NAND flash on a single M.2 device. The goal for the product is to offer the benefits of 3D Xpoint and Optane Memory in conjunction with the affordability and speed of a QLC-based NVMe SSD in a single device. Initially, these hybrid drives will find their way into utlrabooks or small form factor systems that may not have the accommodations for multiple drives. 3D Xpoint and NAND flash memory can both be used for... Read more...
Like a handful of other recently-released solid state drives that feature QLC (quad-level cell) NAND flash memory, the Crucial P1 series is designed to be a relatively high-performing, but still affordable storage option, versus legacy SATA-based solutions. When it initially arrived, the Crucial P1’s MSRPs didn’t necessarily reflect this design goal, but now that availability has ramped and street prices have settled, the Crucial P1 could represent a significant upgrade for users still hobbling along with slower storage or planning a new, budget-friendly build, and it won't break the bank. We’ve got the Crucial P1’s main features and specifications outlined in the table... Read more...
Today we are going to take a look at Gigabyte’s Z390 Designare motherboard, one of the company's more recent Socket 1151-based boards for Intel's 8th and 9th Generation Coffee Lake-based processors. This board has a lean and mean look about it, even menacing in a way, with its mostly black aesthetic with silver highlights scattered about. Its VRM heatsink even carries a yin-yang motif, with the black sink at the top and silver to the left of the CPU socket.   This color palette provides a clean, sharp look with its M.2 slot sharing the same light and dark offset and the PCH sink providing a final accent. The board carries a bevy of features targeted at creative professionals.... 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...
Intel is launching its latest salvo of data-centric products today, targeting a wide range of workloads and applications. You may think that means a fresh batch of powerful Xeons are on the way – and you’d be correct but there's more. Today marks the official arrival of Intel’s Cascade Lake, many-core 2nd Generation Xeon Scalable Series Processors, but the company is also announcing or launching a plethora of adjacent products including new FPGAs, innovative network controllers, a new server chassis platform, and Optane DC Persistent memory. And along with those powerful Xeon Scalable Series Processors, more specialized Xeon-D series products, which are designed for all sorts... Read more...
When we evaluated the original ADATA XPG SX8200 SSD last year, we found the drive to be a solid value that offered good performance for the money. So, when ADATA mentioned that it had an updated version of the XPG SX8200 available for review that should perform even better, we were eager to check it out. The aptly named ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro is similar to the original drive in many ways, but incorporates a new controller and firmware that cranks performance up a few notches and adds some new features. The ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro’s main features and specifications are outlined in the table below. As you can see, sequential transfers are rated for a healthy 3.5GB/s (reads) and 3GB/s (writes)... Read more...
We are only a couple of weeks removed from the launch of the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti and NVIDIA is already at it again. This time around, we have yet another affordably-priced, Turing-based GPU to show you all, the GeForce GTX 1660 – sans Ti. As its naming suggest, the new GeForce GTX 1660 is very similar to its more-powerful counterpart; they’re both based on the same GPU, but a few cores and other components have been disabled in the GTX 1660. A handful of other changes have been made with the GeForce GTX 1660 as well, which push the card down a rung in terms of performance, but also bring down the price. We have a couple of GeForce GTX 1660 cards on tap for you here, one from EVGA... Read more...
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