Desktops

The sound of silence -- there’s nothing like it, especially when it comes to a media PC. The last thing anyone wants while binging on the new season of Game of Thrones is the distracting drone of a fan or whir of a hard drive. Silence is precisely what the Streacom DB-4 chassis we'll be featuring here has to offer. I’ve been wanting to build a Home Theater PC (HTPC) for years now. My current rig actually started life as an HTPC, but was soon upgraded for gaming and workstation tasks and now lives under my desk instead of in my living room. When Streacom reached out to us to review the DB-4, I was... Read more...
AMD's Ryzen series of next generation desktop processors have garnered a lot of buzz and praise around the web, but among the family of chips, none have created quite the stir as the company's Threadripper models of 16-core and 12-core processors.  While Ryzen helped propel AMD back to essentially performance parity with Intel Core series processors, Ryzen Threadripper offers the hope of surpassing even Intel's latest Core i9 Skylake-X family, with more core resources and PCIe connectivity at its disposal. As it turns out, our first hands-on experience with AMD Ryzen Threadripper wasn't afforded... Read more...
When Dell announced in June that its Alienware gaming division would be the exclusive OEM partner for pre-built 16-core AMD Ryzen Threadripper systems, we figured Alienware would have a jump on the rest of the OEM pack, but we never thought they'd have this much of a head-start. In fact, we have Ryzen Threadripper test kits still incoming from AMD, but Alienware beat them to the punch here with delivery of the all new Area-51 Threadripper Edition. So naturally, we fired-up this 16-core multi-shredding beast post haste to get a look at what it's made of and how she rolls. And let's just say, she... Read more...
It used to be that large physical dimensions were a telltale sign of a Herculean gaming PC. Looming desktop towers with wild looking exteriors indicated the presence of serious hardware inside. Cracking one open might reveal multiple graphics cards and fancy liquid cooling setups, both almost considered prerequisites in order to crank up the eye candy in demanding games and to play at high resolutions. But somewhere along the way, things began to change. While some of the most powerful gaming systems still reside inside gargantuan full tower enclosures, a growing number of decked out desktops have... Read more...
The Lenovo IdeaCentre Y710 Cube is a small form factor (SFF) PC aimed at hardcore gamers on the go. The toolbox-size computer packs solid desktop hardware, including an Intel Core i7-6700 processor and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 GPU, giving it the horsepower necessary to handle most modern games. And, like a toolbox, the Y710 Cube has a handle so you can grab it and go. Compact PCs have become increasingly more popular with gamers who want the power of a desktop system, but don’t want to lug a large PC when the need arises. They’re also popular at LAN events, for the same reasons. Gaming... Read more...
There has always been a parallel between building and modding performance PCs and tuning muscle cars, both of which revolve around squeezing every ounce of power and speed available out of a careful selection of parts, a practice that Maingear helped spread to a wider audience. Maingear took an obsession enjoyed by a niche crowd of overclockers and modders and turned it into a full-fledged business that's now going on 15 years strong. That is not to say Maingear was the first boutique builder on the block. Far from it. However, it might be the only vendor whose founder, Wallace Santos, actually... Read more...
Over the past couple of years, Dell has been driving a widespread redesign effort of its consumer and commercial product lines and has been systematically been updating both design signatures and the technology platforms within them. Dell's premium consumer XPS product line, perhaps more so than any, has seen the most significant design reinvention, with features that could be classified as "iconic," as with the company's XPS 13 and XPS 15 laptops that employ Dell's Infinity Edge display technology and premium carbon fiber composite materials.  Today, Dell is taking the redesign of their XPS... Read more...
‘Tis the season to stomp on your enemies with the help of new gaming hardware, so we jumped at the chance to fire up a couple of Lenovo’s top gaming machines, a burly 17-inch gaming laptop and a gaming desktop PC designed in conjunction with Razer. Just a small side note: we're actually giving away these machines in the days ahead to a couple of lucky individuals participating in our Lenovo HOT Holiday Giveaway. We thought it might be interesting to preview these to beasts before we gave them away, though.  Regardless, the maker of the ThinkPad line has been fighting its way into the... Read more...
The Gigabyte BRIX Gaming UHD is an exciting small form factor PC prospect. It packs a surprising amount of muscle into a tiny frame. This little flyweight may not sound too beastly with its GeForce GTX 950, but Gigabyte reckons it is more than capable of streaming 4K UHD media and taking a few swings at 1080p gaming with good image quality. Its 4.3-inch square footprint should help it blend into many entertainment centers or find a home on a dorm room desk for work, play, business or pleasure. Most ultra small form-factor computers, by comparison, rely on integrated graphics to due to thermal constraints.... Read more...
Time after time we hear reports from market research firms highlighting declining sales in desktop PC shipments. Taken at face value, it is a wonder that boutique gaming system builders ever bother with high end system configurations, but those quarterly figures don't tell the whole story. For one, the market is still being flooded with hundreds of millions of PCs every year. And secondly, PC gamers have been bucking the overall trend for several years now. Jon Peddie Research noted this in one of its most recent GPU shipments report. "If anyone doubted that the PC was the platform of choice for... Read more...
Season's greetings; it's that time of year again, when we here at Hot Hardware assemble our holiday gift guides for your browsing and shopping pleasure. There was an embarrassment of riches this year, as the industry continued to innovate and come up with interesting new designs based on the latest, greatest technologies. Those of us buying computer hardware demand more and faster from every iteration, and many OEMs usually manage to deliver. Some don't but you won't see them on this list. This list is a collection of some of the best hardware for gifting in four top categories that we think are... Read more...
Microsoft unveiled its first all-in-one desktop system yesterday, known as the Surface Studio. Just in case you missed the announcement, you can find our initial coverage of it right here. We’re not going to rehash all of the specifications and main features again, but to quickly reiterate and provide a little more background, the new Surface Studio is a premium, all-in-one PC that’s outfitted with an Intel processor, NVIDIA graphics, and hybrid storage system. It also has a super-thin, ultra-high resolution 28” / 125mm thin touch display that is optimized for color accuracy and wide viewing angles.... Read more...
Store shelves are packed with fresh pencils, pens, and backpacks. Kids are begging their parents for new clothes and kicks. And teachers are frantically organizing their classrooms in the last few days of summer. It is that time of year again -- back-to-school season is upon us, like it or not. If you are looking to pick up some new tech gear for you or a loved one for the impending school year, but do not want to do all of the homework necessary to find that perfect product, do not sweat it, we have got you covered. This is Hot Hardware's personal study guide to help you choose the perfect laptop,... Read more...
As much as we like piecing together formidable desktop systems crammed full of high end hardware, the future of PC gaming for many mainstream users may lie in more compact setups. Certainly there's been a push to get PC players out of a dank basement and into the living room with Steam Machines and similar console-sized PCs. However, Dell's Alienware division is hoping to take things to the next level with its pint sized Alpha R2 system, an ultra small form factor (SFF) gaming desktop. We have to use the world "desktop" carefully here because the Alpha R2, like its predecessor, is more of a "shelf-top"... Read more...
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