Desktops

Boutique system builders tend to fall into three categories, there are the more custom or high-end offerings from some of the larger names like Dell/Alienware or HP/Voodoo (though you may or may not classify them as "boutique"), there are offerings from large e-tailers like Tiger Direct's SystemMax, and then there are independent companies as well, obviously.  A few of the major names in this third category are MainGear, Velocity Micro and the company whose product we have on the bench for you today--Digital Storm. Digital Storm as a company has been around... Read more...
In the last few years Virtualization has gone from a buzzword to a platform of choice in the world of Information Technology. Consumers already reap its benefits on a day to day basis as Banks, Internet Service Providers, online merchants, and many other companies have adopted the technology all the while transparent to the end user. The reasons why virtualization is attractive to companies are many but, to put it succinctly, it all boils down to efficiency which then translates to lower cost and higher availability. In an article on the Intel/IBM sponsored VirtualizationConversation.com, HotHardware.com's... Read more...
In the last half year, Dell has been busy revamping their entire desktop XPS lineup. First came the XPS 420 late last year, a premium multimedia workstation. Then Dell introduced a new mid-range gaming oriented desktop, the XPS 630 early this year. The 630 is a mid-tower sized gaming desktop styled after the flagship XPS 700 series but with more affordable components and a relatively thrifty price tag. We found the XPS 630 to be an excellent machine in our evaluation. While these new additions to Dell's desktop XPS lineup were certainly welcome, we hadn't seen a major update to the flagship... Read more...
If you've followed the tech sector for any appreciable amount of time, you've no doubt heard the tale of Dell Inc. - one of those stories where a guy with a dream founded a company and eventually built it into a corporate giant.  Right from the beginning, Michael Dell believed that the future of PC sales involve building and selling customized IBM PC-compatible computers directly to home users.  The first computer of their own design, labeled the "Turbo PC" helped the company gross more than 73 million dollars in its first year alone.... Read more...
For many of you, Maingear Computer may not be a household name and that would probably be just fine with the folks out at the shop in Union New Jersey.  Loosely classified as a specialty high performance system builder and retailer, Maingear's mission statement on style, performance and quality claims that they strive to not just provide customers with a computer but rather with a "way of life".  That's certainly fitting because the target demographic for the type of machines Maingear builds, probably sees high performance computing as a way of life as well.  In short,... Read more...
A short while after Dell purchased Alienware late last year, news broke that Hewlett Packard had acquired boutique system vendor Voodoo PC.  Voodoo PC is best known for their high performance gaming PC's that feature custom cases, some with lavish paint jobs, unique cooling solutions, and impeccable wiring jobs. We evaluated a Voodoo Omen some time back and found it to be an excellent product.  If you check out the Omen, you'll see why HP was interested in Voodoo. After HP's acquisition of Voodoo PC, many speculated that the company's entrance into the high-end gaming PC market... Read more...
  In this our first article of 2005, we're going to take a look back at recent history and examine a driving force in computing technology that was dominant throughout much of 2004.  Intel launched its mobile Centrino technology in mid-2003.  It took a while to ramp up but once this new platform initiative gathered steam, it took off like a rocket for what has been a hugely successful marketing and technology development effort.  The centerpiece of this new architecture was Intel's new Pentium M processor core, then code named "Banias", which has since been enhanced... Read more...
  STB's Desktop TV   TV, FM Radio, Video Capture and Edit Delivered to your desktop!       This week we had the pleasure of testing a new product from the Industry Graphics Giant, STB Systems. I was more than happy to have the opportunity to check this board out, as I expected "the fun factor" to be high. In a previous review, I mentioned the notion that it pays to delight the customer. STB absolutely delivered in this area. Here is why. Let's look at the specs first.                         View TV in... Read more...
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