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.

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... 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... 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... 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... 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... 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... 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,... Read more...
MINIX offers a wide assortment of ultra small form factor (SFF) systems targeting an array of use cases, from home theater PCs and digital signage to other industrial applications. Despite their diminutive size, the machines are typically full-featured and come with memory, storage, and an operating system – either Windows or Android depending on the model. The new MINIX Neo N42C-4 we’ll be showing you here today is a Windows-based system, but unlike previous models in its class this one includes Windows 10 Professional, rather than the more common Windows 10 Home. The Window... Read more...
Origin PC has been making the case for buying a premium PC from a boutique builder, ever since its founders set up shop in Florida nearly a decade ago. A little more recently, Origin PC started quite literally making the case, designing a custom chassis for its Genesis (full-tower) and Millennium (mid-tower) desktops that were first introduced in 2014. We are now in 2018 (barely) and to drive home the pun, Origin PC is still making the case (get it?) for these desktop lines. With a new year came an opportunity for Origin PC to refresh these desktops, and that is exactly what it did, both inside... Read more...
If you've shopped for a custom built gaming desktops recently, you might have come across a company called Xidax, a relative newcomer to the boutique building scene. Xidax launched online in 2013, right in the midst of a resurgence in PC gaming. To some, it may have seemed downright crazy at the time to enter a market that had previously chewed up and spit out other players (does anyone remember Hypersonic?). But Xidax forged ahead anyway in hopes of rising in the ranks of brand recognition. Xidax is not quite there yet among the more established brands, though it is definitely more recognizable... Read more...
CES 2018 has come to a close, and so begins the arduous wait, for some of the exciting devices we saw, to come to market. The Consumer Electronic Show held in Las Vegas, Nevada is where companies come to tout new wares and announce upcoming products and technologies. While some of the cool tech that was shown leaves us with that "shut-up and take my money" feeling, it’s often not retail-ready, with months of lead-time separating consumers from getting their hands on the geek goodness we spied last week. For those who couldn’t attend the show, it can be difficult navigating the CES myriad... Read more...
When we looked at Dell's Alienware Area-51 Threadripper Edition gaming desktop earlier this year, the machine was still technically in a pre-production state. Though we took you on a preliminary guided tour of the system, we felt it premature to look at it under our full-review lens. At that point we were still doing emergency alien brain transplants on it, after all, bringing the machine we had up to production silicon specs, by replacing the pre-production AMD Threadripper chip that shipped with our system. Eventually, things matured with this beastly Threadripper-powered Alienware... Read more...
Dell has continued to push the recent design innovations of its premium XPS family further down its product stack, in an effort to enhance its mainstream consumer products as well. When we reviewed Dell’s XPS 27 7760 All-in-One desktop PC earlier this year, we were impressed with its performance, features, and design aesthetic, including its impressive sound system. Continuing that effort to marry both form and function, we received the new Dell Inspiron 27 7000 All-in-One desktop for review. It turns out this system was the winner of a 2017 COMPUTEX Design and Innovation Award, but it has... Read more...
Anyone who is into street racing knows never to assume what the other driver is rocking underneath the hood. Sure, that family sedan may look like it would get throttled by a Mustang or Camaro, but if it's sporting a souped up engine inside and maybe even a shot of NOS, it will burn rubber with the best of them. Likewise, Dell's updated XPS Tower Special Edition desktop system rolls to the line with a subdued style that seemingly belies what lays inside its compact chassis. Make no mistake, the XPS Tower SE is not a run-of-the-mill OEM system. It has some unique features that we will get to shortly,... Read more...
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