I haven’t been keeping up with the hardware. Last year I was all set because I’d recently built my PC, but all this dag-nabbed Macintosh-using has made me lazy. So when Kingston says their new HyperX 2400MHz DDR3 RAM is the fastest in the world and is timed at 9-11-9-27-2, all I can do is nod my head, open a new tab, and hit “New Post.” The result… is what you see. → Read More
Bad news for the XP diehards out there, hard drive manufacturers are tired of supporting you, and the next generation of controller technology is not going to work properly with DOS and Windows XP users. Of course it won’t be a major issue until 2011, and maybe not even then. → Read More
The MOS Technology sound interface device (SID) has been a favorite of electronic musicians for decades. Originally released within the Commodore CBM-II, 64, and 128 series of computers, this little chip could create 4 different waveforms on 3 analog channels. The guys over at HyperSynth have some custom SID synthesizers for sale, along with a software plug-in to talk to your favorite recording… → Read More
Many countries like Japan and those in the European Union are banning electronics made with lead. This is bad news bears for those companies still using lead-based solder. But there’s a new kid in town that seems to have a solution while addressing a few other issues surrounding stacked computer chips. The key is magnets. → Read More
Do you like PC hardware? Do you like graphs? Well, tell the secretary to hold all your calls, because you’ve just booked yourself an afternoon of CPU feature inspection. Okay, it doesn’t sound that exciting, but if you’re at all interested in processors or PC hardware, you probably owe it to yourself to check out the real-world consequences of multiple cores, hyperthreading, and other things that… → Read More
There’s a story going around right now that the development costs for Apple’s A4 chip, which powers the iPad, might be as high as a billion dollars. Let’s not get carried away here. Apple licensed the CPU and GPU from ARM, and the A4 shares a lot of elements with the Tegra 2.
The billion dollar investment here is for designing a chip “from scratch.” Is that really what happened here? → Read More
One of the small surprises of the iPad announcement was that it was running on Apple’s own custom silicon. Well, that’s true to an extent, but it’s not like Apple actually invented the processor in-house. It’s just not OEM hardware. In fact, other guys are running with many of the same parts.
The A4 is a custom implementation of the ARM A9 processor, also found in Snapdragon (running the Nexus… → Read More
‘Tis the season for building systems — well, ’tis always that season, but right now you’ve got a pretty nice spread of components to pick from, whether you’re into the AMD or Intel flavor of things.
Of course, if you’re feeling really spendy, or just want to have a different top-end processor from the guy next to you at the LAN party, then sometimes you have to get creative. → Read More
There’s already been quite a bit of ink spilled over the demise of the CrunchPad but I thought I’d add a few drops. My opinion is this: the CrunchPad was a testament to the power of online media and a fascinating study in the ability of new media to enact real changes on the real world. While the product faltered, it’s fascinating that the project went as far as it did given the… → Read More
Not that you guys need to hear everything about the paydowns and “outstanding senior notes,” but you might like to know that AMD isn’t going to bite the dust any time soon. With $1.2bn in Intel blood money going straight into debt reduction, the other chipmaker should be able to continue making hardware for years. That’s good, because I’d hate to see them lose while… → Read More
A while back I went to a fun overclocking event held by AMD, where there was a lot of vapor, some exploding burritos, and some overclocking that got tantalizingly close to 7GHz. It was just an arbitrary number, and they broke a bunch of other records, but they couldn’t quite hit that last target. But a few months and I can only guess how much liquid helium later, they nailed it. → Read More
When I first saw Eyefinity demoed, I thought “that’s pretty awesome, but aren’t you going to have to pull some shenanigans to get that many monitors hooked up? I mean, daisy-chaining monitors isn’t science of the rockets or anything, but it does mean certain restrictions need to be observed, and certain accessories bought.
But what if your graphics card had as many outputs as you had monitors? → Read More
Conventional wisdom regarding computer memory has for some time been that all RAM is created equal. Stated another way, it’s not really worth it to buy expensive ECC RAM because errors just don’t occur frequently enough to worry about. Even in server-grade products, designed to be running 24/7 in mission-critical environments, ECC RAM is often optional. Mainboards and RAM sold for consumer home… → Read More
Every few months we get a press release about some great device from a no-name manufacturer who promises to change the world. One example was the TXTR reader from Germany last January. Another is zzzPhone, a company selling dual-SIM Android powered smartphones from China. Neither company produced much of anything. Era of the Silicon Valley success story – two guys making something cool in a… → Read More
Water cooling is where it’s at, currently. Any gamer will tell you that keeping your PC cool is critical for making sure you computer runs smoothly and effectively. The issue is, it’s a pain in the butt to set up. It looks like Cool IT intends to help us with that problem. → Read More
Some day, I too will have three identical monitors for gaming purposes. It’ll have to be in my game cave once I retire as an eccentric millionaire, though. Don’t have room for it here. That’s probably a good thing, though, since I also don’t have the money required, and besides that there are still a few quirks to be worked out. Not to mention the fact that the best games are barely playable on… → Read More
Do you remember the days when video cards were only as large as your hand? I personally remember installing a TNT2 — and at the time, I thought that was big. Now you’ve got dual-GPU monsters like the just-leaked 5870 X2 coming out which, in addition to taking up two PCI-e slots and requiring a secondary power source, are nearly a full foot long. Not that you’d be buying one unless you’re… → Read More
The more my games stutter and the more my HD content skips frames, the more I think about that wonderful day when I shall put together a beautiful new system with all new hardware. The trouble is that Intel’s got the processor thing locked down and AMD has the lead on graphics. I don’t really want to mix and match, but the pull of the Radeons might prove to be too strong. That new 5800… → Read More
Well, this is interesting. Some out-of-the-box thinkers at DFI decided that it was silly to limit ourselves to one computer per box — so they made a motherboard that will support two completely different configurations that you can switch between at will.
You could do a high-power and low-power thing, as they demonstrate with an Atom and traditional socket 775-based setup living together on… → Read More
AMD just revealed a processor for their “Mainstream Desktop Platform” that will be going for less than a bill. There are cheap processors out there already, but this is a full-featured, quad-core 45nm part, not some cut-rate piece of garbage. Sure, the Athlon II X4 620 isn’t going to set any speed records, but it’s part of the excellent AMD ecosystem. Paired with a similarly low-cost video card… → Read More
Those of you who run multiple monitors know the freedom it gives as well as the pain of configuration. While I’ve arrived at a sort of compromise with NView in how my desktops work, I wouldn’t say it was particularly easy (and sometimes the backgrounds freak out). AMD’s new DirectX 11 cards are shipping with a tool called Eyefinity, which allows multiple monitor setups to be handled natively as… → Read More
While the latest in motherboard news may not be particularly thrilling, if you’re planning on building a PC any time soon (or just ordering one), it pays to be aware of what’s out there. I’m going to be putting something together myself in a few months, after these boards have clashed for a while and a clear victor remains, and while I’m not yet decided on AMD vs Intel, if it’s the latter I’ll… → Read More
You’re just waiting for that clock to tick over to 5:00, right (well, you West-coasters anyway)? When I was a 9-to-5er, I had the same compulsive time-checking starting a little after 4, especially on Mondays and Fridays. Well, here’s something to tide you over until it’s safe to leave — something you might have to pick back up at home, since it’s a bit technical and lengthy.
The SSD… → Read More
BFG has always been one of the go-to brands for high-end video cards and hardware, and their latest opus continues the tradition. The BFG GeForce GTX 295 H2OC is the beastliest card out there, and is easily the most powerful single-card solution out there, even beating out such dual-GPU solutions as the Radeon HD 4870 X2. That’s some serious power… must be why it costs $800. → Read More
Asus dropped word last week that they would be coming out with the world’s first USB 3.0-capable mobo, and I was itching to make it the basis for my next PC. But then Asus had to go and spoil my dreams by cancelling the P6X58… and why was that again?
Not for any particularly interesting reasons.
God, thanks for clearing that up, Asus! → Read More
At a time when most people are trying to decide whether 4GB is worth it, it seems a bit decadent to consider the case of 12GB. But the fancy-pants overclocking world doesn’t care about your netbooks or you petty “worldwide financial collapse.”
Sometimes, you just need to know how much is too much. → Read More
When you’re planning on spending a grand or two on a gaming rig, it’s probably not the biggest consolation that you’ll be getting a free game, but for those of you who were considering CyberPower already, here’s a point for them. If you buy any CyberPower PC right now with an Nvidia 200-series video card in it, it’ll come with SFIV. Sure, it’s not world-changing, but hey. → Read More
While I was sliding down bannisters and having -160° alcohol poured on my hands, the AMD camera crew and the overclockers we were all there to see were putting together an honest-to-god documentation of the event.