DIY Builds

As a kid, if you liked to tear things apart just to see what made them tick and didn't worry about being able to put things back together later, this section is for you. Anybody with a screwdriver, some zip ties and a little bit of know-how can build a custom enthusiast gaming PC. Here we'll offer you that all important know-how, skill set and insight, along with some other cool project-based stuff, from DIY Amigas to retro gaming systems built on maker platforms like Raspberry Pi and even 3D Printers.

The good people at Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island have been helping kids with critical health conditions make their dreams come true for decades now. Founded in 1980, Make-A-Wish "grants wishes for children between the ages of 2½ and 18 years of age with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the... Read more...
We first got a taste of the Intel NUC 9 Extreme, codenamed Ghost Canyon, back at CES 2020 earlier this year. Like previous Intel NUCs, the NUC 9 is a small form factor system that will be sold in a variety of flavors. The NUC 9 extreme will be offered in barebones configurations, where customers must purchase memory... Read more...
Fully-assembled MiSTer FPGA DIY console It seems like it wasn't too long ago that we crowned the Raspberry Pi 4 as one of the best retro game consoles around. Indeed, the Raspberry Pi foundation's latest single-board computer still a low-cost DIY powerhouse. However, retro gamers are picky about one thing that haunts... Read more...
Welcome to HotHardware's PC Component Buyer's Guide, where we help prospective system builders pick out just the right collection of components to build the rigs of their dreams -- or at least the rig which makes the best use of your budget. We've picked out the best bang for the buck in processors, graphics cards... Read more...
The Raspberry Pi 4 is one of the cheapest single-board computers around, and thanks to its substantial performance boost over its predecessors, it also represents a good bang for the buck if you're interested in learning Linux, or just want to kick back and play some of your favorite retro games in Lakka. The good... Read more...
We recently had the chance to spend some time with the folks at Maingear HQ and built a beautiful, water-cooled AMD Rzyen 3000-based rig. That system was destined for Dave’s lab and has become his daily workhorse – in fact, that rig produced the video you’ll see below. Not long after we took that... Read more...
Back in June, the Raspberry Pi Foundation announced their newest single-board computer, the Raspberry Pi 4. This tiny PC packs a quad-core Cortex A72 SoC from Broadcom and up to 4 GB of DDR4 memory at a very attractive price. While aimed at emerging markets for folks new to computers, the Pi really caught on with... 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... 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 of 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... Read more...
Dave Haynie, one of the chief engineers that worked on the Amiga back in its heyday, put it best when he said, “Amiga users make Macintosh users look like PC users”, in the Viva Amiga documentary that was released early this year. Those of us that were around when the Amiga initially debuted knew Commodore had... Read more...
Buying a shiny new car is an easy way to get the latest in-car technologies, but it’s not the most economical. I've had my fair share of new car purchases in the last decade – a 2008 Chevy HHR SS, 2011 Volkswagen Routan SE, 2014 Mazda 5 Sport and a 2015 Nissan Leaf – and driven hundreds of press cars featuring the... Read more...
Retro gaming made a major resurgence this past holiday season, with the release of Nintendo’s ultra-hyped NES Classic, a scaled down clone of the original Nintendo Entertainment System. Out of the box, the NES Classic has thirty preloaded game titles, though some recent hacks exposed a method for uploading more if... Read more...
As longtime enthusiasts, we tend to get most excited for the latest, big, bad, benchmark-busting specimens of PC hardware to hit the lab. However, there’s something about ultra-small form factor devices that’s intriguing as well. The focus on power efficiency and performance-per-watt from virtually all semi-conductor manufacturers over the... Read more...
3D printers have come a long way since our first round-up review in 2012. This exciting technology has created everything from toys to running shoes, to prostheses for amputees. Is 3D printing, however, practical in a home office or in a classroom use case? The New Matter MOD-t 3D printer claims to be the most... Read more...
Although updated sales figures haven’t yet been released, and some initial reviews were less than stellar, if the movie is any indicator, EA’s Star Wars Battlefront is poised to be a resounding success. And with an expansion pack inbound, that will likely feature content that ties in with the Force Awakens, it’ll... Read more...
We recently set out to design a mini desktop computer with the wildly popular Raspberry Pi single board computer. The Raspberry Pi is a Linux-driven, ARM processor-based micro computer that is known for its low cost and small size. People use the device for a variety of projects, from micro-servers to low cost media players. Basically, our... Read more...
As Intel (and other chip makers) have been able to shrink its processors, integrate more features, and reduce power requirements over the years, manufacturers have been able to fit them into smaller and smaller form factors. That means notebooks and tablets have gotten thinner, lighter, faster and more portable over the years, of course, but... Read more...
It's official, folks -- we can finally stop arguing over which is the superior game console, the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. Quite frankly, it's a pointless debate, and it took a self-taught engineer to put the argument to rest, which he did by combining both game systems into a 22-inch laptop. Ladies and gentlemen... Read more...
The small form factor market has seen a ton of innovation as of late, and while it’s quite nice to have so many tiny PC options that offer generally impressive performance in a package that you can stick just about anywhere (often with price tags that make these machines affordable enough as your second PC), system builders need... Read more...
These are the days of form factors. The PC market is changing rapidly as tablets supplant some laptops, new players such as the Chromebook disrupt the old WIntel model, and innovations in processors and graphics allow for ever-smaller PCs such as Intel’s NUC. Here’s a new one for you: a tiny NUC-style PC that doubles as a video... Read more...
Mini PCs are big business these days, whether you consider devices like Valve's Steambox initiative, ASUS' Chromebox, Zotac's ZBox line or Intel's own NUC (Next Unit of Computing) mini PC. In fact, Intel has gone on record, projecting mini PCs like this have shipped over a million units in 2013 and are projected for strong growth this... Read more...
If you're a proponent of the desktop, don't worry, the sky isn't falling on your form factor. Yes, we've read the same reports you have, the ones pointing out how traditional PC sales are shrinking in the wake of a mobile revolution that has consumers turning to tablets and smartphones for surfing the web and logging into Facebook. There's... Read more...
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