Desktop Computer System Reviews And News

Desktop computers come in all shapes and sizes these days, from traditional floor-standing cases to small form-factor PCs that fit in the palm of your hand. Regardless, each of these different systems and platforms have their pros, cons and distinct feature sets. Find out what your platform and form factor of choice might be, then gain insight into top desktop products and systems from big brands names and high-end boutique builders alike, right here.

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...
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...
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 10 Pro upgrade will allow the machine to join a domain and offer Group Policy Management, Bitlocker,... 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 and out. As you might expect, the Millennium setup the company sent us is running the latest hardware,... 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 today than it was even just two years ago, let alone when it first arrived on the scene. Even then,... 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 of strategic product blitzes, press releases, and unveiling videos. So we whipped up a quick cheat-sheet... 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 rig such that we even used it as a megatasking demonstration vehicle for our AMD Ryzen Threadripper... 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 been updated since then. In addition, the model we have in for testing happens to be powered by something... 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, but more importantly, it is able to keep pace with sportier looking desktops. To what extent depends... Read more...
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