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 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, that we decided to show you how to build your own ultra small form factor Commodore 64 emulator,... 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 goal was to turn what is currently one of the cheapest bare-bones computer boards  into a fully enclosed mini desktop computer that could be taken anywhere without the need for cabling or setup. One of the high level goals of this project was also to learn about programming with Linux and get a good feel for it with the Debian distribution.Update 11/28/2015:... Read more...
We just recently ran a contest on HotHardware in which we planned to give away a high-end, custom-built gaming system (built by yours truly), to one lucky reader who came up with a creative name for our weekly video podcast. The parts for the system were as follows… CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 970 Black Edition   Cooler: Xigmatek Dark Knight   Motherboard: Asus CrossHair IV Formula   Graphics: Asus EAH6870   Sound: Asus Xonar D2X   RAM: 4GB OCZ DDR-1333   SSD: WD Silicon Edge Blue 64GB   HD: WD Caviar Black 2TB   PSU: OCZ 850W Z-Series   Optical: Asus Blu-Ray Drive   Case: CoolerMaster HAF 912   Audio: Psyko 5.1 PC Gaming Headset  ... Read more...
Building a Home Theater PC is often times a much better option for enabling your entertainment center for various forms of digital media playback capability.  Rather than stepping up to additional discrete components, like a stand-alone Blu-ray, DVD or CD player, why not infuse your living room entertainment center with real intelligence and multimedia muscle and build an HTPC (Home Theater PC)?  In this video, we'll give you some suggestions on a few component selection options for building an HTPC, as well as a high-level overview of its assembly and a few key design points to look out for.  We'll then of course demo our systems for you to show you what you can do with an HTPC. ... Read more...
    So what does a PC Geek and EIC for a Hardware Enthusiast site do on a holiday long weekend?  Well, beside sipping a few umbrella decorated drinks by the sea, at night you can find this odd breed playing with the latest Tech Toys of course! This weekend I built a new high performance Workstation/Gaming Rig - something I haven't done in a VERY long time...        The case I chose is the bomb... ThermalTake's VA7000BWA Shark.  In all seriousness, this case is REALLY nice.  Light-weight aluminum, 300mm fans and an HD rack with trays that have rubber bushing screw mounts for vibration dampening - like I said "da bomb"! System Specifications... Read more...