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.

When AMD launched its 2nd Generation Ryzen processors, we initially examined to the two top-end “X” variants -- the current flagship 8-core Ryzen 7 2700X and its 6-core cousin, the Ryzen 5 2600X. Of course, we love looking at the latest and greatest high-end hardware around here, but as is often the case, scaled-down versions of a particular product commonly offer significant value, without sacrificing much in terms of performance or features. With that in mind, we were eager to see what the lower-priced Ryzen 7 2700 and Ryzen 5 2600 could do. These processor are virtually identical to their X-branded counterparts after all, and because they’re unlocked, tweaking a few settings... Read more...
After the splash that AMD made with Ryzen and Ryzen Threadripper in 2017, it should come as no surprise that AMD would follow-up with second generation variants. We've already seen the mainstream side of things with the Ryzen 2000 Series processors, and now at an event at Computex 2018, AMD has just announced its second-generation Ryzen Threadripper family. Like the Ryzen 2000 series, second-generation Ryzen Threadripper processors are based on 12nm Zen+ architecture. That means that the new High-End Desktop (HEDT) processors offer lower latencies, higher clock speeds, and Precision Boost 2 capabilities for finer-grained clock control. AMD isn't giving away too many details... Read more...
Amazon and Google are massive tech giants, for vastly different reasons. Google is the leading search engine provider, a smartphone platform juggernaut, and huge advertising machine, while Amazon is the largest e-tailer in the world and a cloud services powerhouse, though Google is coming up strong. Though they are different animals, these two companies find themselves locked in heated battle with their respective Google Home and Amazon Echo devices; a battle for AI dominance that could determine who will ultimately control a good chunk of the Smart Home market. The Smart Home market has massive growth potential over the next decade and it's an area that Google wants to own. We all remember how... Read more...
Last week, Arm showed off the inner workings of its new Machine Learning Processor design, but that is not all that company had waiting in the wings. Arm is also detailing more cutting-edge technology in the form of its Cortex-A76 CPU, Mali-G76 GPU, and Mali-V76 VPU designs. All three chips are slated to be heavy-hitters in their respective categories, and thanks to some on-campus, in depth briefings earlier this month, we have all of the details to share... Cortex A-76 The Cortex-A76 represents Arm’s most radical overhaul over previous designs. The A76’s brand-new architecture brings decisive improvements to power and efficiency. Arm’s processor engineers worked with a... Read more...
Qualcomm is looking to make Extended Reality (XR) the next big thing in mobile computing. XR is the term that Qualcomm has coined to describe the full gamut of Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality (MR) experiences. With XR, Qualcomm is looking to provide a single platform that developers will be able to leverage for an array of different devices. This is how Qualcomm describes XR: At some point in the future, we envision the convergence of the smartphone, mobile VR headset, and AR glasses into a single XR wearable. In this scenario, a single pair of XR glasses will primarily be used for AR, but will also occasionally be used for VR. XR could replace all the other screens... Read more...
After taking a measured, wait-and-see approach to machine learning, Arm is ready to jump into the fold full throttle. Today, the company is following up on its Project Trillium announcement from back in February with new details surrounding its machine learning processor, also known as the neural-network processing unit or NPU. To quickly recap, Project Trillium encompasses Arm’s push to leverage machine learning and neural network operations across their line-up of processors – whether that processing takes place on the CPU, GPU, or its new NPU. Arm’s goal is to make machine learning feasible “on the edge.” The edge largely describes standalone devices such as smartphones... Read more...
Today marks the official launch of AMD’s latest additions to the Ryzen Pro family, which include new processors with integrated Radeon Vega graphics. AMD has released Ryzen Pro APUs for both desktop and mobile form-factors, and all include features specifically geared towards business customers.  With AMD's new Ryzen Pro offerings, you’ll find security-centric features like AMD GuardMI Technology with on-chip DRAM memory encryption, secure boot, fTPM/TPM 2.0, and what the company calls “enterprise-grade” reliability. On that latter point, AMD is guaranteeing a stable supply of chips for its enterprise customers, with at least 18 months of software updates, two... Read more...
Western Digital recently launched a new family of NVMe-based solid state drives targeting gamers and enthusiasts. The simply-branded WD Black NVMe SSD family has a similar naming convention to some previous-generation solid state drives built by the company, but these latest offerings are packing some new technology and offer performance much higher than any of the earlier WD-made storage product offerings that came before it. The WD Black NVMe SSD family features a new controller, 64-layer BiCS3 3D TLC NAND flash memory, an intelligently laid-out PCB that optimizes thermal characteristics, and firmware tuned for enthusiast desktop applications. The drive’s main features and specifications... Read more...
Intel is upping the ante in the enthusiast storage space again, with a brand-new 3D Xpoint-based drive called the Optane SSD 905P. As its name implies, the Optane SSD 905P isn’t a major departure from the Optane SSD 900P that was released a few month back, but Intel was worked a bit of magic to improve performance in a few ways. Peak capacity of the drive has also been doubled, and a new, edgier design language makes a debut – complete with integrated lighting. We put the Intel Optane SSD 905P through a battery of benchmarks on our updated test bed and have our results laid out for you on the pages ahead, but before we dig in, let’s cover some specs and take a quick tour of... 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...
AMD initially announced its 2nd Generation Ryzen desktop processors back at CES earlier this year. Our coverage of the event is available for you here, but to quickly recap, 2nd Generation Ryzen processors are based on a refined update to the Zen architecture, dubbed Zen+, that offers higher clocks, lower latencies, and a more intelligent Precision Boost 2 algorithm that improves performance, system responsiveness, and power efficiency characteristics. The chips are also manufactured using a more advanced process, however, they still leverage the existing AM4 infrastructure and are compatible with the same socket, chipsets, and motherboards as the first generation products -- with a BIOS / UEFI... Read more...
Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that AMD's second-generation Ryzen processors have been making the rounds on the internet for a while now, at least unofficially. Production processors were sold accidentally ahead of schedule, giving us all some good looks at the overall performance and overclocking ability of AMD's latest Ryzen processors. Today, however, AMD is giving us our first official details regarding the new mainstream 2nd Gen Ryzen family of processors, and there aren't too many surprises, given what we've already seen from the plethora of leaks. That said, pricing and detailed specs show some exciting new alternatives from AMD and... Read more...
EVGA is best known for its graphics cards, and for good reason. EVGA is the number one NVIDIA authorized board partner in the U.S. and they have been for a long time. Like many brands in the PC enthusiast space, however, EVGA has started to branch out beyond just graphics cards and today they have a wide range of items in their product stack, ranging from motherboards and notebooks to peripherals and power supplies. Despite being in the peripherals game for a relatively short while, however, EVGA already has five gaming mice in the market, and it just introduced its first mechanical keyboard, the Z10. Like most products released by EVGA, the Z10 is designed with enthusiasts in mind. To accommodate... Read more...
Today is a big day for Intel -- the company is announcing a massive update to its processor families with new 8th generation Coffee Lake-based Core SKUs for both mobile and desktop platforms. On the mobile side of the equation, the most interesting processors are no doubt Intel's new six-core Coffee Lake parts, starting with the Core i7-8750H. This processor comes with base/max single-core turbo boost clocks of 2.2GHz and 4.2GHz respectively, while the Core i7-8850H bumps those clocks to 2.6GHz and 4.3GHz respectively. Both processors have six cores (12 threads), a TDP of 45 watts and 9MB of shared Smart Cache. However, the new flagship processor is without question the Intel Core i9-8950HK,... Read more...
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