Reviews Of Desktop PCs, DIY PC Builds, All-In-Ones, And Small Form Factor PCs

In-depth product reviews and news of Computer Desktops, DIY PC Builds, All-In-One PCs, and Small Form Factor PCs. If it crunches numbers, pushes pixels, throws down the frag or provides a digital canvass for content creation, you'll find it there.

AMD's Ryzen 3000 series processors have made a positive impact on the PC enthusiast market, the likes of which we haven't seen in years. From a performance-per-dollar standpoint, AMD's disruptive Zen 2 architecture offers a strong value proposition for new desktop PC builders from all walks of life and for many use cases including gaming, content creation and other workstation-class requirements. In fact, we were so impressed by Ryzen 3000 series processors in our launch review, that we decided we needed to have AMD's new architecture in our production flow here at HotHardware. This also presented us with an opportunity to call upon a few industry friends like Maingear Computers, Gigabyte, EVGA... 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...
One of the advantages to owning a custom PC from a boutique builder is the meticulous attention to detail. Tight cable management is not just a perk, it is an expectation when paying a premium for a boutique shop to assemble your rig with off-the-shelf components, and having to wait a bit longer compared to buying from a bulk OEM is an inherent trade off. Or is it? Maingear, a stalwart in the boutique space, would argue otherwise. Maingear Vybe At PAX East 2019 - AMD Ryzen Edition Earlier this month at PAX East, Maingear announced what it is calling the Vybe Enthusiast Platform. You might already be familiar with the Vybe name -- it is the least expensive line of desktop PCs in Maingear's stable,... Read more...
Purchasing a powerful, good-looking gaming PC used to require a visit to a boutique PC maker or a custom-built system from a local computer shop. There was a time when you couldn’t simply walk into a Future Shop or CompUSA and pick up something roughly equivalent to a DIY gaming system. Nowadays though, PC gaming has gone mainstream, and all of the OEM major players offer ready-built systems that cater to those that may not have the desire to build their own. What if you don’t have the time or skills to build your own system, but want reputable, name-brand components and a PC that could easily be upgraded or modified down the road? That's where desktops like the HP OMEN Obelisk can... Read more...
Dell-Alienware's Aurora gaming desktop PC lineage continues with Intel's latest 9th Gen Core processors on board and a fresh injection of ray-tracing, courtesy of NVIDIA's Turing GPUs. The Alienware Aurora R8 promises richer image quality for ray-tracing supported titles, while continuing to push performance boundaries for a compact gaming PC, with evermore powerful platform hardware and self-contained liquid cooling. RTX equipped configurations can span from an Intel Core i7-9700K paired with a GeForce RTX 2070OC, 16GB of DDR4 2666MHz RAM, and a 128GB SATA SSD + 2TB HDD system for around $2,159, on up to a Core i9-9900K with a GeForce RTX 2080Ti OC (or dual GeForce RTX 2080's), 64GB of HyperX... Read more...
Intel has embraced small form factor systems for many years. Whether it be high-end mini-PCs like the Hades Canyon NUC, complete with discrete graphics for gamers, or ultra-tiny devices like the Compute Card, Intel has consistently pushed small form factor markets forward, for just about as long as ‘performance per watt’ has been a thing. The Hades Canyon NUC and Compute Card target some rather niche markets, however. For more mainstream, everyday computing applications, Intel’s standard 4"x4” NUC (Next Unit of Computing) systems are much more apropos, and the Intel NUC8i7BEH we’ll be showing you here may just be the best all-around unit yet. The Intel NUC8i7BEH... Read more...
The Consumer Electronics Show, or CES, is one of the biggest events in the Tech space each year. We typically see a dizzying array of new products launch during the week of CES; more than we are likely to see in the following few months. Not all products are block-buster standouts though, and some of these technological spectacles inevitably shine brighter than others. After sifting though all the products we saw last week, we've compiled a list of the best products that we got time with at CES 2019. And with that, we'll just dive right in... Asus ProArt PA90 Asus's ProArt PA90 is a cylindrical mini-PC that packs a surprising amount of power into it a compact enclosure. These systems... Read more...
To celebrate the launch of Marvel's Spider-Man, the hotly anticipated game developed by Insomniac Games and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment exclusively for the PlayStation 4 Pro, Sony released a limited edition PS4 themed after the arachnid super hero. Themed consoles are nothing new, though this one seems to have struck a cord with gamers. Every time a retailer replenishes its inventory, it sells out faster than Peter Parker can change from an unassuming teen to a web-slinger in tights. Lucky for me, I was able to snag one at my local Walmart, which for a brief period of time claimed to have exactly five units in stock. I placed my order online, picked it up, and promptly sold it... Read more...
Although it has been over three decades since the first Commodore Amigas were originally released, a fan base for the beloved systems is still going strong. Of course, the Amiga install base is a small fraction of what it was during the machine’s heyday, but the community supporting the Amiga is still vibrant and very much alive. In fact, the Amiga community – and many other retro-computing communities for that matter -- seems to be more active now that it has been in years, and a number of exciting new hardware projects have cropped up or hit major milestones in recent weeks. Two relatively new projects, led by popular members of the Amiga community Paul Rezendes and John “Chucky”... Read more...
It’s evolving. Alienware’s Area-51 is back with new upgrades to accommodate Intel’s most demanding enthusiast CPU yet – the Core i9-7980XE. Sure, on the surface everything seems similar to previous iterations of the machine, but within something new courses through its veins. The new Alienware Area-51 R5 arrives with liquid cooled GPUs for the first time since the brand was introduced. This is the natural next-step for one of the most powerful gaming desktops. Additional cooling should allow for more performance to be squeezed out of its already impressive hardware to tackle more demanding graphics workloads. The Skylake-X flagship CPU inside is joined by twin NVIDIA GeForce... Read more...
Boutique, custom-built Gaming PCs from some of the more prominent brands are almost always a cut above mainstream pre-built computers from larger OEMs. However, even among premium boutique brands, build quality, design aesthetics and cost can vary greatly. Maingear has delivered its share of ultra-high end killer gaming rigs to us for evaluation over the years, but perhaps nothing so custom and so premium in design as the machine we're about to dig deep on today. We got a look at Maingear's highly custom F131 back at CES 2018 in Las Vegas, and though we came away impressed at the time, it was really only a quick chance to kick the tires. Now that we have it in house for a full review? Well,... Read more...
There are a litany of reasons why you might consider buying a gaming PC rather than rolling your own rig, including cost. Yes, many graphics cards have recently settled down closer to MSRP, but who knows if they will go back up again? On top of that, system memory is still trending on the high side (compared to a year or two ago). For the most part, pre-built systems have been somewhat sheltered from these volatile markets relative to the channel. That means the opportunity still exists to get into PC gaming at a reasonable price with a pre-built PC; Dell's Inspiron Gaming Desktop (5680) is a prime example. In fact, the Inspiron Gaming line has consistently represented one of the best values... Read more...
The Intel NUC8i7HVK, codenamed Hades Canyon, is an interesting product for a number of reasons. First, because it’s the most powerful NUC released to date and packs more I/O and connectivity than any of Intel’s previous mini-machines. It also has user-configurable lighting and activity LEDs and an aggressive design-language that looks great, in our opinion. Perhaps the most interesting thing about the Intel NUC8i7HVK, however, is that it’s powered by an Intel 8th Generation Core processor with integrated Radeon RX Vega M graphics. More specifically, the NUC8i7HVK is packing a Core i7-8809G with a Radeon RX Vega M GH GPU and 4GB of HBM2 memory, linked together on a single package... Read more...
The Commodore 64 holds a Guinness World record as the highest-selling single computer model of all time. After its initial release in August 1982, the C64 went on to sell millions of units – outselling all other popular 8-bit machines at the time, including the Apple II. For many long-time technology geeks, including me, the Commodore 64 was the first personal computer they ever owned. So, it’s no surprise that all these years later, the machine still hold a special place in our hearts. It is with that in mind, along with knowing how popular our Building An Amiga Emulator article was, that we decided to show you how to build your own ultra small form factor Commodore 64 emulator,... Read more...
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