hardware

  • The Naked Pico-ITX challenge has begun

    They were still taking bets when I heard about this about a week ago, but now the challenge has begun. For those of you not in the know, Technovoyance and VIA doing a stunt right now where they’re running this super-efficient little Pico-ITX chipset with no fans, no heatsink or anything until it croaks. They took bets from people on how long it would go with the prize being a build kit… Read More

  • Silent, affordable, adequate video solution: Asus' passively cooled 9600GT


    If you’re in the market for it, this silent Asus 9600GT is a great deal right now. The hardware and performance are quite good enough to play Call of Duty 4, Team Fortress, or World at War, but the price is a drop in the bucket. It competes on a par with the 8800GT and Radeon 3870, and has the benefit of being completely passively cooled. Bad news if you’re an overclocker, but… Read More

  • AMD's new "GAME!" badges aim to standardize gaming rigs


    Well, it’s not exactly standardization, it’s more a simplification of all the insane model numbers, product lines, and motherboard configurations that go into a serious gaming PC. Since gaming is getting more and more traction among non-gamers, it follows that many technically inexperienced people will be looking at a lot of kit and trying to figure out what it all means. Read More

  • Nvidia looking to simplify its product range


    I’m a gamer, and I try to keep on top of things when it comes to video cards, but in the last couple years it’s been increasingly difficult. I remember when the choice was TNT or Voodoo. That was easy to remember (hard to choose though). Now you’ve got this smorgasbord of 4-digit numbers, several three-letter designations which say nothing in and of themselves, and then… Read More

  • Hands-on with SteelSeries' gear lineup


    SteelSeries is an established brand over on the other side of the pond, and their gear is respected among pro and enthusiast gamers — there are even SteelSeries-sponsored clans and teams. Now the company is bringing their game over here and I have been so lucky as to get a good look at their full range of stuff. Look for full reviews later, but for now, if you’re curious… Read More

  • Computer not turning on? Here's an exhaustive list of possible problems and solutions

    I had this problem a few months ago when I was putting together my current PC. First I got a loud system beep and the CMOS display would stop somewhere in the 20s. That turned out to be my video card being improperly powered. Then it would boot and crash hard before getting to the OS. Turned out to be a bad stick of RAM. I’m glad I had my laptop around to look up CMOS codes and stuff, but… Read More

  • Ben Heckendorn's Apple IIgs hardware mod

    Remember the Apple IIgs? I had an Apple IIc but my friend across the street had the Apple IIgs, the lucky bastard. Oh what I wouldn’t give to be a kid again. Not a care in the world except trying to get from the castle to the bottom of the mountain without falling to my death in King’s Quest III. Anyway, Ben Heckendorn has built a gorgeous laptop version of the Apple IIgs with… Read More

  • Value-testing l33t overclocked PC hardware


    Tom’s Hardware has been doing a feature for the last week comparing the performance of six systems: budget (sub-$1000), mid-range (sub-$2000), and high-end (sub-$4000) PCs and then the same PCs overclocked as far as they’d go. The object was to find what offers the best value for the dollar. They ran about five billion tests, but I’ve got the Cliff’s Notes here. And… Read More

  • Asus getting into the sound card game, Creative starts to sweat


    Asus, who has been doing so much stuff right lately, has begun dipping its toes into the sound card game. I understand the onboard audio on their motherboards is supposed to be the best, but as with onboard video, that’s not saying much. So Asus has separated their sound unit and beefed it up, making it a PCI-e interface card. It’s a full-featured, high-quality card now… Read More

  • They call this case the Tempest for a reason


    If you’re running SLI GeForce 8800GTs, you have 4 7200RPM HDDs, plus sound and possibly physics cards all going on a 1000W PSU, you’re generating a ton of heat and even 4 standard fans are going to be unable to keep it cool. I guess that’s why the NZXT Tempest has six case fans. Two on the top, two on the front, one in the back and one on the side. Sounds like my usual… Read More

  • Keep that receipt: GeForce 9800 GX2s have heat problems with some motherboards


    There was a big to-do yesterday with the release of the GeForce 9800 GX2, the dual-GPU supercard from Nvidia. Reviews were cautiously positive, but Bit-Tech had a mysterious problem: constant overheating. They did some testing and found that on some nForce 700 mobos (in their tests, the Asus Striker II), the placement of the nForce 200 chip made for a hot pocket of up to almost 200… Read More

  • Alienware now has 9800 GX2 in its Area 51 systems


    In concordance with all the other press being released on the 9800 GX2, Nvidia’s biggest and baddest card, Alienware now includes it as an option on their top-end Area 51 system. The good news is that Alienware makes some bad-ass computers and the 9800 GX2 allows for quad SLI (slightly excessive) and no compromise on the motherboard area. The bad news is that the Area 51 starts at… Read More

  • Nvidia's dual-GPU 9800 GX2 will break you: review roundup


    The first reviews are showing up for Nvidia’s beast of a single-slot card, the 9800 GX2. In case you don’t remember it from when it showed on the scene, the GX2 is basically a pair of 8800s in a native SLI, one-PCI-express slot configuration. It costs an arm and a leg (~$600) and it’s very, very powerful. And how does it stand up? The consensus seems to be that the 9800… Read More

  • Microsoft's new keyboard/mouse combo looks pretty solid


    I’ve been a Logitech guy for a while now, but before that I had an excellent Microsoft keyboard/mouse combo, and this new offering looks nice enough to perhaps tempt me back to the dark side. Or the translucent side, really. They say the design is inspired by Aero, but unlike that demanding Vista feature, this keyboard’s good looks don’t require an extra gig of RAM. I like… Read More

  • Study finds that two out of three of Commodore's gaming PCs are tastefully designed


    I’m not usually a fan of custom-painted cases — too often they are some Night Elf chick showing cleavage or else something like an eagle clutching a flag, and they all look like velvet paintings. But Commodore seems to have the right idea with these cases. Now, I’m not a “brown Zune” kind of guy, but the Space Invaders motif really sells the color here. And the… Read More

  • Bug Labs going live on Monday

    Here are the first shots of the BUGBase Hiro P model that goes on sale this Monday when the store opens up. This is the final production model, but is, sadly, sans Wi-Fi. Yeah, seems that open source Wi-Fi drivers were causing some issues and Bug Labs decided to ship out the base stations without Wi-Fi modules rather than delaying shipment. To make up for this indiscretion, early adopters will… Read More

  • iPod Touch sports under-the-hood improvements over the iPhone


    The gadget-smashers at iSuppli have cracked open and indexed the iPod Touch’s parts, and found that it’s more than a crippled iPhone (some would say the iPhone was crippled already, but that’s another story.) The parts used are 90 percent the same, they say, but the iPod Touch has a more unified design. It uses a single PCB for one thing, and the touchscreen and a different… Read More

  • Bug Labs opens SDK, starts Wiki for users

    What good is open source hardware without an online home for the developers? It’s not, so Bug Labs, has introduced the community side of its website, which includes the SDKs and a virtual BUGBase and collection of hardware components, so you can start getting your bug on now. For those not in the loop, Bug Labs is targeting hardware the way Linux targets operating systems; making… Read More

  • Asus wants you to break the seal

    It’s good to hear good sense coming from a good company like Asus. Sure, one can argue back and forth whether their motherboards are better or worse than Abit’s, or Gigabyte’s, but here they’ve revealed a position every hardware manufacturer should emulate: ASUS Computer International (“ASUS”) recently received feedback from one of its valued customers… Read More

  • CG Holiday 2007 Recommendation: Make your own freaky hardware

    From the excellent MAKE blog comes a little catalogue for the craftier among us. I personally can find my way about the guts of a computer pretty well, but the thought of soldering something onto a PCB fills me with anxiety. Fortunately, many of these little DIY projects were set up with people like me in mind, and even serve as a sort of primer in the world of makin’. Two cool… Read More