High Tech - News, Reviews and Tests
Five Z97 Express Motherboards, $160 To $220, Reviewed
Aug 14, 2014 - in Reviews
Intel’s “mainstream” socket continues to spawn enthusiast parts with the company’s fastest-ever gaming-oriented CPU. You’ll probably want a feature-packed motherboard for that, and five companies stepped up to show off the best of the sub-$220 segment.
The Pentium G3258 Cheap Overclocking Experiment
Jul 29, 2014 - in Reviews
You wanted a comparison of Intel's Pentium G3258 using low-cost platform components. Can an entry-level motherboard and bundled heat sink still deliver a satisfying overclocking experience, or does going cheap ruin this dual-core CPU's value appeal?
System Builder Marathon, Q2 2014: A Balanced High-End Build
Jun 26, 2014 - in Reviews
Competition tightens (along with pricing) as we respond to frequently-requested budget updates for $500, $1000, and $1500 machines. In response to other requests, we add an operating system to each machine. Can today’s cheaper PCs still perform well?
System Builder Marathon, Q2 2014: Our Enthusiast PC
Jun 25, 2014 - in Reviews
Faced with a more aggressive budget, we're dialing back our mainstream enthusiast PC's hardware, while trying to maintain aggressive performance in games, productivity, and content creation applications. This quarter's config goes heavy on value.
System Builder Marathon, Q2 2014: Our Budget Gaming PC
Jun 24, 2014 - in Reviews
This quarter's System Builder Marathon kicks off with some new rules inspired by feedback from you, our readers. Can Paul match the potency of last quarter's configuration at a lower price point, or does today's all-AMD PC struggle to keep up?
Intel Pentium G3258 CPU Review: Haswell, Unlocked, For $75
Jun 17, 2014 - in Reviews
It's a momentous occasion. Intel now offers an affordable dual-core Pentium with an unlocked multiplier based on its Haswell architecture. How well does it overclock? Can it beat AMD's potent little Athlon X4 750K? We run both through our benchmark suite.
Core i7-4790K Review: Devil's Canyon Tantalizes Enthusiasts
Jun 10, 2014 - in Reviews
Despite a clear performance advantage, Intel just doesn't seem like an enthusiast-friendly company. Certain elements in the organization want to change that perception, though. Devil's Canyon is meant to allay power users with more speed.
Five Overclockable 32 GB DDR3 Kits, Reviewed
May 20, 2014 - in Reviews
Eight gigabytes per DIMM has become de rigueur for high-end builds, even though you get the best data rates and latencies from lower-density modules. We test five 32 GB products to see if it's still possible to squeeze out enthusiast-class performance.
System Builder Marathon, Q1 2014: The $750 Gaming PC
Mar 26, 2014 - in Reviews
After building two successful gaming-oriented configurations under $1000, rising prices force Paul to switch up the composition of his $750 machine. But can a compromise in processor performance be made up for by a faster GeForce GTX 770 graphics card?
System Builder Marathon, Q1 2014: Our New Enthusiast PC
Mar 25, 2014 - in Reviews
I wanted to see how a GeForce GTX 780 Ti and Core i7-4770K compare to last quarter's GeForce GTX 770 cards in SLI and Core i5-4670K. In addition, we updated our price/performance evaluation. So, this System Builder Marathon should be full of surprises!
System Builder Marathon, Q1 2014: The $2400 People’s Choice PC
Mar 24, 2014 - in Reviews
I built a sweet system last quarter with Radeon R9 290s. But based on your feedback, the highest-priced build for Q1 2014 integrates several alternative components. Can this new system do more things right than the configuration I parted out myself?
PowerColor LCS AXR9 290X: Water Makes Hawaii Comfortable
Mar 5, 2014 - in Reviews
AMD’s Radeon R9 290X is an incredibly powerful gaming card. Unfortunately, the company's cheap cooling solution results in inconsistent performance and excessive noise. PowerColor’s liquid-cooled LCS AXR9 290X is set to solve both issues with finesse.
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?
ASRock M8 Mini-ITX Barebones Gaming PC Review
Oct 24, 2013 - in Reviews
Some of us love compact gaming builds, but the best of these have always been pre-configured into custom enclosures. Is ASRock’s M8 the perfect open-architecture alternative? We load this $550 barebones up with hardware and test its mettle.
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.
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.
AMD's Piledriver And K10 CPU Architectures Face Off
Aug 18, 2013 - in Reviews
Vishera, Deneb, Trinity, and Propus are code names for some of AMD's most value-oriented processor configurations from the past couple of generations. We get our hands on several models to compare in productivity, content creation, and gaming workloads.
System Builder Marathon, Q2 2013: System Value Compared
Jun 25, 2013 - in Reviews
Our top three builders struggled to fit big performance into three tiny ITX-based platforms at three budget levels. Will the more expensive machines once again justify their higher prices through dramatically-improved performance? Read on for more.
System Builder Marathon, Q2 2013: $2500 Performance PC
Jun 23, 2013 - in Reviews
Can a bigger budget help this quarter's tiny PC beat my previous performance monster? Is it any more attractive than some of the mini-ITX-based platforms from the boutique builders? I'll answer that first question for you, and you answer the second.
System Builder Marathon, Q2 2013: $1300 Enthusiast PC
Jun 18, 2013 - in Reviews
Our mid-range System Builder Marathon configuration gets a larger budget so that we can fit it into a mini-ITX enclosure. How does it compare with last quarter's less-expensive machine? We run our complete benchmark suite to find out.
Five Z87 Motherboards Under $220, Reviewed
Jun 3, 2013 - in Reviews
Intel’s Haswell architecture displaces Ivy Bridge in its desktop line-up, bringing with it yet another new CPU interface. We tested six motherboards that claimed to be ready for your overclocking efforts, and included the five survivors in today’s review.
Six Low-Voltage Dual-Channel 8 GB Memory Kits, Overclocked
May 12, 2013 - in Reviews
We've abided by Intel's 1.55 V recommendation for two architectures and two die shrinks, yet most performance memory manufacturers ignore it. Recent problems with one of our builds raised the question, how far can we push RAM without killing CPUs?
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?