In one of those “what if” situations, Seattle PC company Puget Systems (of Windows 7 deal fame) recently shared information with Tom’s Hardware about how they went about building the ultimate desktop machine. Puget showed them their latest, a quad-Opteron powered monster with 32 gigs of RAM and custom water cooling.
I can’t even imagine how much noise this thing would make if it was just air… → Read More
A Dutch retailer briefly lists a “Radeon 5870 X2,” along with specs — conspiracy? Coincidence? Sham? Legit? Or just a typo?
Well, check out the specs and then… you be the judge. → Read More
The economic crisis and resultant drop in spending has slowed down a lot of tech industries. Even the big players like Intel, NEC, and IBM are taking major hits, part of which is due to, well, people not buying their products. Intel in particular has delayed some rollouts due to a warehouses of Core2 processors and motherboards they expected to have sold by now.
MAINGEAR, a boutique PC builder that makes machines targeted at creative professionals has just announced their newest creation, the Remix Cretaive workstation PC. This is one beast of a machine. → Read More
If you’re looking to upgrade your computer’s case one of these days, consider moving into a nice spacious one like the Whisper. These full-tower things are perfect for expanding your system into and avoiding unsightly external storage. Plus, the Whisper has sound-deadening foam along the inside to hide the noise of your dual Radeon 4870s.
Click on through for a video adventure through the… → Read More
Those big packages from Intel must have arrived at all the custom prebuilt computer sites, because all of a sudden they’re all making a racket about how their latest setups rock the new Core i7s like a hurricane: Dell has them in their XPS 730x starting today at $2K Alienware has them in the X-58 series starting at $1650 (or $3700, your choice) Gateway has them in the 6800 series starting at… → Read More
Looks like Alienware is sensitive to the needs of country. In these times, when the only people who can afford top-shelf parts are AIG executives, we need an option that doesn’t break the bank, yet can pull down 50fps in Far Cry 2. Alienware may be little more than a Dell organ now, but they still make good computers, and if you’re looking for something premade with a little more… → Read More
I might have to pick one of these up. A good PSU is essential for a good system; people tend to buy cheap and then are surprised when they’re loud, inefficient, and breaky. Well, here’s a little comparison of two of the newest silent PSUs on the block and it looks like (spoiler warning) the Silverstone Nightjar 450 is the pick of the litter. At 450 watts, it’s not going to run… → Read More
I’ve been saying this a lot this year: it’s a good time to be in the market for a video card! NVIDIA and AMD are firing volley after volley of significant improvements and price reductions. Although NVIDIA’s on-GPU physics processing is compelling, AMD’s new 4870 X2 (essentially two of the impressive 4870 cards stuck together) provides an insane amount of power for the… → Read More
I can be a chip-head sometimes when it suits me, but most of this discussion is way over my level of expertise. You can read the 16-page writeup over at Anandtech if you want, but you better be ready to deal with terms like “16-wide Vector ALU” and “cache coherency.” See what I mean? From what I understand, Intel is looking into creating a sort of chameleon CPU with a ton… → Read More
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 is… → Read More
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 under… → Read More
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 of… → Read More
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 this… → Read More
Originally the high-end keyboard roundup was just three keyboards, but Das Keyboard caught wind of it and wanted to throw their famously blank keyboard into the mix. The one I got my hands on is actually printed, but I do like the idea of the blank one. I’ve only had it for a day so a full review isn’t really in order, but I’ve typed out a few posts on it and that’s enough… → Read More
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 latest… → Read More
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 forever… → Read More
HP’s stunningly good-looking and high-powered Blackbird 002 gaming PC is getting its availability expanded. I have no trouble recommending the configuration they have for retailers: a Core2 Quad 9450, 4 gigs of RAM, an nForce SLI mobo and dual 9800 GTs. It’s only got one 500GB HDD, though, and onboard sound, which is surprising considering the setup costs $3300. As usual with these… → Read More
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 groundbreaking… → Read More
In this exhaustive review, the StealthXStream is taken apart and examined minutely by what I can only describe as zealous enthusiasts in the hardware field. Normally I just read the comments at Newegg to see whether a PSU lives up to its power promises, but these reviewers break it to pieces and track the manufacturers. It’s an interesting read if you’ve never contemplated the bits and… → Read More
Asus has some green ambitions. Last time it was bamboo laptops, now it’s power-saving mobos. Their P5E3 Premium mobo has all the features you’d want in a good motherboard (I can’t see how many SATA slots though) in addition to a new hardware power monitor that is said to increase energy efficiency by up to 50% and reduce consumption by up to 80%. Big claims for an as-yet unproven… → Read More
Just don’t try to play any games with it. I thought this was worth mentioning since people have complained of the cost of DX10 cards. Well, now you can get one for 50 clams. Of course, for that amount of cash you’re probably getting 64 megs of RAM (they don’t specify), which is almost enough to run Daikatana. But if you’ve got it set up right, you’ll be getting… → Read More