DIY How-To Reviews And Demos

Anyone with a screwdriver, some zip-ties and a little bit of know-how can build a PC these days. However, you also might want to know what's going on under the hood of that hot new laptop, or even how to build your own NES Classic console or Amiga PC with something as simple as a Raspberry Pi. This channel my geek friend is for you.

It seems a little late in the game to be reviewing Arctic's Accelero Xtreme IV GPU cooler, so what gives? Well, I recently upgraded my ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card to an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition model, and while that is a solid GPU upgrade for sure, it is a downgrade acoustically and thermally. Some people prefer the blower style cooler that ships on Founders Editions cards. I am not one of them. My main system sits in an open air Thermaltake Core P5 chassis, so there really is not a benefit to expelling hot hair out of the rear of the case, as Founders... Read more...
Dell’s XPS 15 2-In-1 is a unique hybrid convertible, premium ultrabook in a couple of respects, partly because of its high quality Dell XPS series machined aluminum and hybrid carbon fiber construction, along with its beautiful 15-inch, 400 nits, near bezel-less Dell Infinity Edge display. However, the machine is also powered by a unique processor that marks the first collaboration of its kind by two archrivals in the PC processor arena, both Intel and AMD. Otherwise known as Kaby Lake G, the new Intel 8th Gen Core Series with integrated AMD Radeon RX Vega M graphics is a potent hybrid... 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 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,... Read more...
Intel’s newest 8th generation Core processors are here and have delivered promising early results in our initial tests on the desktop, and more recently in Dell's XPS 13 laptop. The biggest change with Intel's 8th Gen Core Mobile processors comes by way of doubled core counts. This makes many of this new generation of Core i5 and i7 mobile chips true quad-core processors now, with support for up to eight threads with Hyper Threading, all within a 15W TDP target. This improvement does not come without trade-offs, of course, as we see base clocks dropped by up to 900MHz relative to each chip’s... Read more...
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...
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 something special on its hands. At the time of its launch, the Amiga was the most advanced personal computer money could buy – bar none. It offered multimedia features that were unmatched for many years, it was affordably priced (relatively speaking), and was the first personal computer with... 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 you're willing to mess with it. That's all well and good, but if you weren’t able to get your hands on one this past holiday season -- like the majority of people -- getting your retro-gaming fix isn't happening any time soon, unless you fork out an unreasonable sum, paying hundreds to... Read more...
Overclockers and frequent PC builders alike can appreciate the advantages of having an open air bench or rack for testing. These make component swapping a breeze for comparisons and provide a flexible platform for checking a build before installing it inside a tight case. Few things are more frustrating than learning your motherboard is dead on arrival after you finished meticulously routing every last cable.As nice as open air cases and test benches are, however, they have largely come with their own share of hassles. Many test benches walk a spectrum between structural rigidity and layout flexibility.... Read more...
Though it still hasn't grabbed consumers like some manufacturers had hoped, the smartwatch market is growing rather quickly, and a number of good options are currently available. For some users, price may be one of the key factors holding them back from buying a smartwatch. While many watches cost at least $250, and some can run hundreds of dollars more, ASUS’s latest ZenWatch 2 we'll be showing you here is available for as little as $129. Of course, any time we see a budget-friendly smartphone, laptop, tablet, or smartwatch we assume sacrifices were made to keep the price low. In the case of the... Read more...
Periodically, Amazon updates and revamps its lineup of tablets with upgraded models and new names. While the company's tablets have kept the Fire branding over the years, the combination of letters and numbers that follow have changed. This year, for example, Amazon removed the HDX tag and now offers tablets with simply “Fire” or “Fire HD” branding. As its simpler name may suggest, Amazon’s latest Fire tablet is a more basic model that doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles of the HD series, which is available in three sizes. Instead, the all-new 7-inch Fire tablet has an ultra-low $50 price... 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... Read more...
Competing with Apple in the mobile space isn't rocket science, it's just a matter of sticking to a proven formula for success -- build a premium device with superior specs than the one Apple is selling, inject it with Android, and then undercut the iWhatever in price. That's not to say Apple is the only premium slate target of opportunity but we'd surmise Apple would consider it the sincerest for of flattery anyway. Incidentally, we've just described the ASUS ZenPad S 8.0. It's a well designed Android tablet with Intel inside, and it boasts better specs than the iPad mini 3. It's also less expensive... Read more...
We just left Samsung’s Unpacked 2015 event in New York City, at which the company unveiled its latest flagship, big-screen smartphones, the Galaxy S6 Edge+ and Note5. Immediately following the on-stage presentations and big reveals, Samsung opened up a demo area featuring the new devices and we got to spend some hands-on time with each of them. A video of both devices in action is embedded below. Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ Home Screen Before we dive into the video, we should point you all towards our existing coverage. We’ve got additional details regarding the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ available at... Read more...
Many of us have gazed in awe at some of the gorgeous, high-definition videos captured with ultra-expensive drones, and wished we could produce the same kind of imagery on our own. But for most of us, budgets would not allow it.  With that in mind, Parrot sought to integrate a quality, full HD video camera into a lightweight drone, built with safety and accessibility as top priorities. The company also wanted to produce a drone that offered an engaging piloting experience with substantial range and an expertly designed, custom controller kit. The end result is the Bebop Drone and Skycontroller... Read more...
1 2 3 4 5 Next ... Last