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Best SSDs For The Money: March 2014
Mar 11, 2014 - in Reviews
It's particularly easy to love SSDs when they're affordable. As the price per gigabyte of solid-state storage falls, it's easier for everyone to get in on the action. Thunderbolt is (slowly) gaining traction too, and we cover a new development from Asus.
Best Graphics Cards For The Money: March 2014
Mar 4, 2014 - in Reviews
This month was a tidal wave of graphics card releases, including Nvidia's GeForce GTX 750 Ti and 750, based on Maxwell. We also look at the new GeForce GTX Titan Black, the brand new Radeon R9 280, and the recently-released Radeon R7 250X and 265.
System Builder Marathon Q4 2013: System Value Compared
Dec 31, 2013 - in Reviews
This quarter's System Builder Marathon was downright chaotic. We reallocated our budgets to boost gaming performance, and watched as the prices on AMD's highest-end cards shot through the roof. When the dust settles, whose system offers the most value?
System Builder Marathon, Q4 2013: A $2400 PC That Costs $2700
Dec 30, 2013 - in Reviews
Thomas also suffers the impact of a run on AMD's graphics cards. His performance-oriented build purchased for $2400 now costs $2700 to replicate. Is it worth the extra cash, or are you better off stepping back to the parts he picked last quarter?
System Builder Marathon, Q4 2013: $1600 Enthusiast PC
Dec 27, 2013 - in Reviews
Don gets a slightly expanded budget and the command to target gaming performance. Based on his choices, he's the only one who doesn't get bit in the rear by AMD's pricing issues. Can he use this advantage to outmaneuver Paul's entry-level powerhouse?
System Builder Marathon, Q4 2013: $800 Gaming PC
Dec 26, 2013 - in Reviews
This quarter, Paul Henningsen asks for (and gets) a higher budget for better gaming performance. What he didn't expect was that AMD's graphics cards would shoot up in price, shattering the upper limit of his $800 ceiling. Can his system still compete?
Thermal Paste Comparison, Part One: Applying Grease And More
Oct 10, 2013 - in Reviews
If you find yourself fighting a stubbornly-low overclock, there's a chance that your thermal solution isn't working as effectively as it should. We're testing a number of thermal pastes that might help. But first, let's go over the basics of CPU cooling.
Z87 Hits The High End: Four Sub-$300 Motherboards
Oct 1, 2013 - in Reviews
Situated barely below the priciest premium boards, which typically exceed $300, high-end Z87 Express-based motherboards offer enthusiasts almost everything they could want except for three-way SLI support. We put four of these platforms to the test.
System Builder Marathon, Q3 2013: $350 Bonus Entry-Level PC
Sep 26, 2013 - in Reviews
Last quarter's bonus build was a $400 mini-ITX-based gaming rig, designed to be about the same size as a new console. This time around, we're slashing the budget even more to see if we can build a viable general-purpose PC for about $350 using an APU.
System Builder Marathon: Performance And Value Compared
Sep 25, 2013 - in Reviews
Can a PC that costs twice as much offer two times the performance? We compare our $650, $1300, and $2600 machines across the Tom's Hardware benchmark suite in order to find out. There's even a new test introduced to better-reflect our storage results.
System Builder Marathon, Q3 2013: $2550 Performance PC
Sep 24, 2013 - in Reviews
Last quarter, we managed to squeeze amazing performance from a $2500 box based on mini-ITX. How much more performance can we get for similar money if we get back to the world of ATX enclosures? How about a little Sandy Bridge-E and three-way SLI?
System Builder Marathon, Q3 2013: $1300 Enthusiast PC
Sep 23, 2013 - in Reviews
With access to new components like the Haswell-based Core i5-4670K and Nvidia's GeForce GTX 770, we're confident that we can build a $1300 enthusiast-class system that beats last quarter's. How does the previous mini-ITX PC stand up to this new hardware?
System Builder Marathon, Q3 2013: $650 Gaming PC
Sep 22, 2013 - in Reviews
This quarter, Paul Henningsen gives AMD's FX-6300 its chance to shine in our least-expensive configuration. He manages to fit in a GeForce GTX 760 graphics card and 8 GB of memory. The result is quite capable, as you'll see from our benchmark results.
System Builder Marathon, Q1 2013: $1,000 Performance PC
Feb 27, 2013 - in Reviews
With his budget cut in half, Thomas is trying to take the value crown by building the highest-end PC in this quarter's System Builder Marathon for $1,000. Can he out-do the value of Paul's $600 config or Don's $800 effort using solid-state storage?
System Builder Marathon, Q1 2013: $800 Enthusiast PC
Feb 26, 2013 - in Reviews
Last quarter, Don had $1,000 to spend on a mid-range enthusiast-oriented PC. This time around, we challenged him to build something better with $800. Is that even possible? Our System Builder Marathon continues, as we benchmark three hand-picked setups.
System Builder Marathon, Q1 2013: $600 Gaming PC
Feb 25, 2013 - in Reviews
After one quarter after another of Pentium-based budget-oriented gaming builds, Paul Henningsen is ready to put together something a little more potent. We gave him an extra $100 and asked him to show us how to spend that money. He obliged, gladly.
Four Closed-Loop CPU Coolers Take On Noctua's NH-D14
Dec 30, 2012 - in Reviews
Closed-loop liquid coolers relieve stress from our motherboards, without the portability and maintenance issues of traditional open-loop kits. Are these the best devices for system builders who plan to move their machines and want to avoid damage?
System Builder Marathon, Q4 2012: $1,000 Enthusiast PC
Dec 4, 2012 - in Reviews
Tired of seeing Intel CPUs dominate our System Builder Marathon? Finally, we have a processor from AMD able to go up against the fastest Core i5. We give its new FX-8350 a chance to distinguish itself in our final System Builder Marathon of 2012.
System Builder Marathon, Q4 2012: $500 Gaming PC
Dec 3, 2012 - in Reviews
We were hoping to kick this quarter's System Builder Marathon off with AMD's new Athlon X4 750K. But a lack of availability compels us back into the arms of Intel's dual-core Pentium. Happily, an affordable Radeon HD 7850 promises great performance.
Tom's Hardware's 2012 Gift Guide, Part 2: For Gadget Geeks
Nov 28, 2012 - in Picture Story
Our annual holiday season gift guide continues! In Part 2, we focus on peripherals and portables. Whether you're looking for productivity, capacity, connectivity, or sheer, sexy awesomeness, we've got 17 amazing suggestions to make your season brighter.
Six Socket FM2 Motherboards For AMD's Trinity APUs
Nov 25, 2012 - in Reviews
After just one generation, Socket FM1 is dead. We test six Socket FM2-based motherboards able to take AMD's newest APUs built using the Trinity architecture. Can any of these platforms, armed with AMD A85X Fusion Controller Hubs, get us to upgrade?
Best SSDs For The Money: July 2012
Jul 29, 2012 - in Reviews
Although we saw some small price adjustments over the last month, that's not the biggest news. A past recommendation, Samsung's 830, was based on a promotional bundle that some readers reported not getting. We took the issue to Samsung for resolution.
System Builder Marathon, June 2012: System Value Compared
Jun 7, 2012 - in Reviews
Frugality returned in this quarter's System Builder Marathon, tipping the balance towards less-elaborate gaming rigs. Does cutting deep into the budgets end up hurting our lower-cost build too much for it to compete, or is its value enhanced instead?
System Builder Marathon, June 2012: $500 Gaming PC
Jun 6, 2012 - in Reviews
After stripping $150 from his already frugal budget, Paul is forced to make a tough gamble in order to hit his build goals. Will the decision to spend big on graphics bite him in the rear when he has to cut back on everything else, or is the choice sound?
System Builder Marathon, June 2012: $2000 Performance PC
Jun 3, 2012 - in Reviews
After a little inflation over the past few quarters, we chop $600 off of the most recent build. Is there such a thing as more performance from a smaller budget? Thanks to Intel's Ivy Bridge architecture and GeForce GTX 680, the answer is: sometimes.
System Builder Marathon Bonus: Newegg Customer Choice PC
Mar 29, 2012 - in Reviews
We've shown you our three System Builder Marathon picks. Now it's time for something new. Using Newegg's user ratings as a guide, we picked the site's most celebrated components, built a PC, and overclocked it. Can this "Customer Choice" setup compete?
System Builder Marathon, March 2012: System Value Compared
Mar 28, 2012 - in Reviews
Three different builders took two different approaches this quarter. Paul and Don struck out in search of more graphics performance, while Thomas gave up some GPU horsepower in favor of a stronger CPU. Whose strategy paid off? It's time to compare!
System Builder Marathon, March 2012: $2600 Performance PC
Mar 27, 2012 - in Reviews
At four times the budget of our cheapest PC, today's build minimizes compromise in the name of delivering unparalleled quality, performance, and features. Thomas takes the opposite approach as Paul and Don, beefing up on his CPU. Was it the right call?
System Builder Marathon, March 2012: $1250 Enthusiast PC
Mar 26, 2012 - in Reviews
Using the same sort of approach as Paul did yesterday, Don picks the parts for his System Builder Marathon machine with a bias toward gaming. How much performance can you expect from a mid-range PC sporting a $550 Radeon HD 7970? It's time to find out!
System Builder Marathon, March 2012: $650 Gaming PC
Mar 25, 2012 - in Reviews
This quarter, we're starting our System Builder Marathon with a little experiment. Paul wanted to build a gaming PC for $650 that'd target smooth performance at 1920x1080. He had to make a couple of sacrifices in the process, but the result is compelling!