hardware

  • The Vigor Colossus desktop powerhouse PC: it's as manly as it sounds

    Those of us in the prestigious pro blogging field could probably get by with a Newton for all the processing power we use (or even a MacBook Air in a pinch), but not everyone is so modest in their needs. Developers, CG artists, and HD video editors need an insane amount of cycles to do their work, and they probably don’t care if their rig costs over seven thousand dollars. I… Read More

  • Nvidia committing to newfangled 55nm process


    Son, I remember the days when chips were 55 meters! Ain’t no one ever even heard of a nano back then. Had troops o’ monkeys cartin’ ice packs to and from the walk-in freezer just to keep that machine from meltin’ down and burying us all in hot copper — dag nabbit! Seriously, though. Nvidia’s newest, fastest cards are being done on a 55nm process, which… Read More

  • OCZ make-a special RAM for your gaming lap-a-top


    Those DIMMs may not look that special, but they’re secretly sweet. These DDR3 modules are much faster and use less power than what you’ve got in your laptop right now, although I’m skeptical that laptop RAM uses more electricity than, say, the fans (especially in a high-performance laptop). Still, any saving of power is welcome, especially when your main concern with a laptop… Read More

  • Maybe SSDs do save battery life after all


    You may remember a story a little while back suggesting that SSDS did not in fact save battery power. Well, that really pulled the tail of the great cat “The Internet,” resulting in heavy criticism of the testers’ methods. People feel that the higher-end SSDs may have been using more power, but the tests ignored that their higher capacities meant they would do more work… Read More

  • ATI's Radeon 4870 hit NVIDIA so hard their prices fell down


    Damn, when I first heard about the GeForce 260 and 280 I thought it was checkmate. No one expected much of the new line of Radeons in the first place given ATI’s lackluster offerings lately, and combine that with the improvement in the 65nm 280 — I think I was justified in thinking so. But the Radeon 4850 came out a little later and jaws dropped. It offered nearly the performance… Read More

  • Explaining multi-core processors to your great-aunt


    If you’re reading this website (you flatter us) you’re probably one of the more tech-savvy people in the family. So doubtless you get tapped occasionally to fix Aunt Estella’s printer or de-spyware your parents’ machine. And every once in a while, someone will want to buy a new computer. While there’s no better time than the present, they will certainly be… Read More

  • Matrox comes out of its cave, offers new video cards


    You may remember Matrox. They were a significant competitor back in the days when the graphics card scene was TNT2 vs. Voodoo3. The dark horse was always Matrox, whose dual-display-oriented cards always perplexed and intrigued me. I still don’t use more than one monitor but it’s far more common these days, with people like our own Doug, who is rocking I believe four monitors at… Read More

  • Today's a good day to upgrade your video card


    Or maybe over the next week or so. With the release of the ATI HD 4850 and NVIDIA’s new 55nm-based 9800GTX+, the price/performance ratio is really nice right now. Of course, as with all components, the longer you wait, the better the deal is, but if you’re looking for an upgrade right now, these new releases will drop quite a few prices across the board. The 4850 is available for… Read More

  • Review: Razer Lycosa gaming keyboard


    I’ve been using the same keyboard for the last, well, many many years, so it’s fitting that all of a sudden I should have several dropped in my lap. I’m currently juggling offerings from Microsoft, Razer, and SteelSeries. I can tell you right now that none of them sucks, but if you want more you’ll have to read the reviews. Today we’ve got Razer’s… Read More

  • High-end keyboard roundup! Get excited!


    What is your hand on right now? No, other hand. That’s right, it’s sitting on the home row of a cheap, dirty keyboard. Probably the one that came with your computer. For shame. There is a world of keyboards out there — wireless, media-controlling, programmable, waterproof, there are keyboards that are all of these things and right now I’ve got a baker’s pair… Read More

  • Raw-looking hard drive enclosure for 5 HDDs


    I actually could have used one of these last night when I was swapping and backing up my internal HDDs and didn’t have enough space in my case to hold ’em all. This multi-hard drive enclosure is not really a new kind of product, but it is by far the simplest (and the price is right). They’ve essentially just ripped the HDD cage out of a computer case and are selling it as… Read More

  • Handy: modular 2.5" front port thing with USB ports, card readers, drive slot


    Now here’s something I could use. My computer’s front looks good, but it only has the optical drive bay at the top and two ports at the bottom — why not make it pretty and functional? Brando USB has these handy front port modules available with swappable bits in case you decide you need a 2.5″ drive bay more than a multi-reader. Front port things have been around… Read More

  • Interesting: 3D chips with microscopic water cooling


    Chips these days are pretty much flat. And I’m not talking about tortilla chips. They call those silicon things wafers for a reason: all those little gates and channels are lying flat in a single layer. Chipmakers know that you can stack chips on top of each other and multiply your computing power due to the decreased distance the signal has to travel (I’m kind of at the edge of… Read More

  • Intel's next barrage: Nehalem gets previewed


    Those lucky bastards over at AnandTech got their mitts on a couple totally unofficial Nehalem chips. For those of you not in the know (a group which included me until about 15 minutes ago), Nehalem is the second part of the Intel processor cycle that started with the 45nm Penryn shrinkage all those months ago. Just as the Core microarchitecture (and the phenomenally popular Core2 Duos) were… Read More

  • Woot today: Razer Barracuda AC-1 sound card, $55 shipped


    Looking to break free of Creative’s SoundBlaster yoke? There are other companies making sound cards, you know, and although I haven’t tested out Razer’s offering, I’m confident that it’s capable of delivering a perfectly decent sound experience. It’s got support for all the DTS and Dolby-type things you like, 24-bit output and good signal processing. For… Read More

  • Video: VIA Mini-ITX setup with Nano processor playing Crysis

    It’s not exactly a revolution in computing, but the fact that the game appears somewhat playable on a setup with such a small form factor is nice. They’ve got a PCI Express x16 slot for the GeForce card they’re using, and the Nano processor seems to be pulling its weight nicely as well. The idea, I think, is that basically you’ve got nearly every benefit of a larger… Read More

  • Hynix Semiconductor shrinks solid-state memory by 1/3

    I don’t pretend to understand the subtleties of flash memory manufacturing. But I think what’s happened here is that Hynix has contrived a way to put three bits instead of two into each cell, increasing the data density of a chip by 50% – or reducing the size by 30%. Before now they could only do this on 16GB NAND modules, but now they’re doing it for 32GB ones. High… Read More

  • SteelSeries eBays its gaming gear for China charity


    SteelSeries, the across-the-pond pro gaming gear outfit, has set up an auction for a bunch of their stuff with the proceeds going to the Red Cross Society of China. I currently have most of the stuff they’re putting on the block, and I can for sure recommend the Ikari mouse and the gaming surfaces. Not all the items are up yet so check back for new stuff — they should have a… Read More

  • Good shots of the Samsung i900 finally surface

    While the Samsung i900 was announced almost a month and a half ago, every shot of the handset released thus far has been crap. The best shot of it was a black and white mock up, watermarked to the point of insanity. Chinese news site pconline.com.cn managed to get a hands on with the device, and they were nice enough to bring back some visuals. The i900 is Samsung’s newest Windows… Read More

  • Very nice: Biostar's P45 mobo for the discerning overclocker


    That’s-a sexy motherboard. Reminds me of my own, actually — I think it’s the unbelievably annoying placement and orientation of the six SATA connectors. It’s also got 10 USB ports like mine and the cooling system is similar. The P45 series will be the successor to my P35 so I’m not surprised they’re similar, but I don’t see any really… Read More