Build Your OwnFollow
If you ever plan to build your own PC, Tom's Hardware’s System Builder Marathon is a must-read. Our editorial team builds, tests, and evaluates PC systems at varying costs, using the components that we think maximize value. These components include motherboards, cooling devices, CPU platforms, chipsets, memory, cases, hard drives, networking and graphics cards and power supplies. For each build, we include performance benchmarks that include 3D games, audio and video compression, graphic design, image manipulation, and video editing. Our testing includes each configuration in its stock form and overclocked. Feel free to build along with us or watch patiently from the sidelines, because, remember—each of these systems are given away at the end of the marathon (don’t forget to enter!).
VMware Workstation 4: More Virtual PCs, More Functionality
Mar 5, 2004 - in Reviews
Imagine not one, but two, three or more separate operating systems loaded on a single PC, each of which functions as a separate OS on a separate physical machine. VMware Workstation 4 does just that by creating and managing one or more virtual machines on a single, physical host PC. Every virtual machine is a full-fledged virtual PC, where you can install a guest operating system of your choice, with network configuration and a full suite of PC software.
Printing Your Own CDRs With Ink
Jan 27, 2004 - in Reviews
Once reserved for Corporate America and those with a fat wallet, the ability to use a consumer level ink jet printer to print on optical media comes home. Now the average consumer can forget about toying with adhesive labels and just print right to the disc. It can be as easy as it sounds can it? Another marketing ploy or a useful feature?
Final Touches on ATA: Hard-Drive Accessories Roundup
Jan 13, 2004 - in Reviews
ATA hard drive vendors now look to accommodate simple server setups. A lot less pricey than SCSI, we decided to take a look at a few popular ATA accessory products from Maxtron, GUP, Promise, Raid Sonic and Star Tech to see how they measured up performance-wise.
Symbiosis Between PC And Hi-Fi Device: Pinnacle ShowCenter
Dec 5, 2003 - in Reviews
Why has the PC not managed up to now to gain acceptance as a high-end multimedia device for stereo-quality sound and DVD video? The reasons vary, between fan noise and lack of compatibility with big-screen TV screens. But now, Pinnacle has launched a silent player that imports videos, music and photos from the PC to the TV with or without wires. Appropriately called the ShowCenter, the system was designed to fit stereo cabinets. Do we even have to say it comes with a remote-control unit for couch potatoes who can't be bothered?
Optical Mice: Microsoft and Logitech
Oct 20, 2003 - in Reviews
The optical mouse sector has become a two-rat rat race, dominated by Microsoft and Logitech. We tested MS' and Logitech's newest and brightest gear to counter marketing hype with hard testing data. We also threw in for good measure performance results for the Razer Boomslang, touted by Terratec as the latest and greatest gaming mouse. For those of us who don't know enough about what optical mice benchmarks mean, but are afraid to ask, we have included an optical mice tutorial.
PC Size Means Everything
Oct 14, 2003 - in Reviews
Consumers are beginning to latch onto the idea of the Mini PC concept. We test the Bare-bones Shuttle with the Athlon 64 chipset and three other compacts from Soltek, Biostar and Shuttle based on the P4 platform, to see if performance remains on par with beauty.
Homegrown Mod Manifesto: How To Build A UV PC
Oct 3, 2003 - in Reviews
We realize not all of our readers are mechanically gifted alike. So for those of you who can't remember the last time you held a screwdriver but want to build a custom case, we created the first ever THG UV Reactive PC and walk you through the process step by step. Drilling holes for switches and sleeving cables is just some of the tips that you will find here. Believe it or not, it is not really that hard to create a snazzy looking PC with a little planning and some hard work.
The Little Keyboard That Can: Auravision EluminX
Aug 15, 2003 - in Reviews
Auravision claims it has produced a unique concept in keyboards with the EluminX, which the company says is commanding a lot of attention in the gaming community. Indeed, the backlit keyboard concept could be an ideal solution for low-light gaming enviroments, while serving specialty mainstream needs as well.
Multi-purpose Printers: Canon i450 and i470D
Jul 25, 2003 - in Reviews
Canon has launched four new multi-purpose printers. In addition to the i550 and i850 that are still featured in the catalog, Canon stands ready to introduce the i250, i350, i450 and i470D - they are less expensive, faster and simply better, all around. Here is a preview of what awaits you once the summer vacation is over, in September, just in time for back to school.
RAID 1.5 With IDE: Added Value Or Eyewash?
Jun 20, 2003 - in Reviews
DFI claims that its LANParty motherboards offer RAID that is not only secure, but also fast. They're selling a relatively unknown RAID mode - RAID 1.5. We took a look at what it could do in practice.
Unevenly Matched Mini-Trio: MSI vs. Shuttle vs. Saintsong
May 5, 2003 - in Reviews
The choice of compact PC's for daily office use is growing, but they vary in size, shape and functionality. We examined three interesting systems from MSI, Shuttle and Saintsong in our lab.
Flexible All-Rounder: External Drives from Western Digital with 200 and 250 GB
Apr 11, 2003 - in Reviews
External hard drives from Western Digital have been around for some time now. What's new is that they now support FireWire and USB 2.0 in the same device, allowing the 200 GB and 250 GB top-of-the-range models, which we look at here, to work with virtually any PC. At the same time, an 8 MB cache is now also available. Let's see how they score in performance.
Benchmark Marathon: 65 CPUs from 100 MHz to 3066 MHz
Feb 17, 2003 - in Reviews
After 300 hours of testing in the Tom's Hardware labs, we bring you a comparison of 65 CPUs - from the Pentium 100 to the latest Athlon XP 3000+. It's a monster review with 13 different CPU platforms.
VGA Charts II: Mainstream Systems
Jan 20, 2003 - in Reviews
In the second part of the big VGA Charts Update we take a look at 31 cards and how they perform on a slower system. Also, we check out how FSAA, anisotropic filtering, and a combination of both affect performance.
Prometeia: Is this the best CPU cooling system around
Dec 30, 2002 - in Reviews
After pushing the P4 to 4.1 GHz, it is AMD's turn in our labs. We set up and install a new super-cooler with an AMD Athlon XP 2700+. Then we pump up the frequency to 2835 MHz. Does this mean we have an Athlon XP 4000+? All we know is that this is one product that a true overclocker is going to love. We give you a step by step guide on how we did it.
Speedomania: 48x/16x/48x-Burner from LG
Dec 13, 2002 - in Reviews
LG Electronics recently introduced a 48x CD-R/RW drive - the GCE-8480B. We are going to compare this unit with its predecessor, the 40x GCE-8400 burner, to discover whether the improved performance justifies upgrading.
Reader How Tos: Build a PC for TV
Nov 9, 2002 - in Reviews
Arild Skullerud talks about his experiences building a PC for his living room. Can a PC combine the features of a digital VCR, MP3 server, and Internet TV? Sure it can, but at what cost?
Reader How Tos: Building For Stability
Nov 2, 2002 - in Reviews
Our second reader how to makes the grade. Tim Reynolds talks about his personal experience of building PCs, and the process he follows to try and keep things nice and stable.
Preview: ATI's All In Wonder 9700 PRO
Oct 2, 2002 - in Reviews
ATI introduces its new All In Wonder 9700 PRO, which is based on ATI's new DirectX 9 GPU, the R300. We bring you a first look at the features of this latest multimedia card.
Reader How Tos: A System To Convert VHS and 8 mm Tape To DVD
Sep 28, 2002 - in Reviews
If you wondered what it takes to get published on Tom's Hardware Guide, here's a start. Tom's Hardware reader Jim Tomlinson submitted this article, and we thought it would be a good idea to give our informed, enthusiastic, and very capable readers a chance to flex their knowledge online. Jim explains how he put a computer system together to make DVD movies from old VHS and 8MM videocassettes.
Building Your Own PC, Part 2: Assembly Step by Step
Sep 18, 2002 - in Reviews
In part one, we covered the components basics. Now, we are going to show both novice and advanced DIY builders how to assemble all of the components and put together a fully operational machine.
Building Your Own PC, Part 1: Know-How for Do-It-Yourselfers
Sep 4, 2002 - in Reviews
Novices needn't be scared of the insides of their PC. This guide provides the basics for the proverbial "dummies," though advanced users can also learn something.
Whoohoo! A Mini PC That Goes To The Max
Aug 15, 2002 - in Reviews
This Shuttle Mini PC is a beauty: P4 power coupled with GeForce 4 Ti and DDR333 just blaze away. And you can hear a pin drop over the noise (or the lack thereof) from this little baby - who could ask for anything more?
How To Customize Your PC Case & Achieve Professional Results
Jul 24, 2002 - in Reviews
In this article we talk with a professional who makes his living constructing case mods. He offers us extensive insight into a rather complex subject and at the same time provides you with an awesome tutorial on how to correctly install a window into the side panel of your case.
Goodbye to Hulking PCs: Athlon Mini-PCs Set The Trend
Jul 10, 2002 - in Reviews
The new ultra-compact mini-PCs unshackle themselves from outmoded computer concepts and offer high performance, complete features and better ergonomics. We tested the Shuttle mini PC SS40 - a quiet system with a heat pipe. This Athlon-based system hits the mark.
The Third THG Video: Silent and Ice Cold
Jul 1, 2002 - in Reviews
Water cooling offers the best conditions for overclocking and a silent PC system. We show you how to build such a PC system, step by step. Accompanying the article is a brand new Tom's Hardware Guide video that you can download.
Windows Gaming In Linux With WineX 2.0
May 31, 2002 - in Reviews
We've talked about running Windows applications inside Linux, and now we'll look at the same for Windows gaming. WineX, from TransGaming Technologies, lets you run DirectX games in a Linux environment. We ran some benchmarks to compare performance too.
First Sightings: Three Early Samples of the GeForce4 Ti4600
Mar 4, 2002 - in Reviews
Boards based on the NVIDIA GeForce4 started shipping on the first day of March, and we have a first look at 3 GeForce4 Ti4600 cards from ASUS, Leadtek, and Creative.
Getting The Most Out Of Your TiVo
Feb 28, 2002 - in Reviews
Adding more storage space to your TiVo is almost as simple as adding a second hard drive to your PC. But it definetely wouldn't have been this simple if TiVo hadn't decided to use Linux for its operating system. Armed with two hard drives, the use of some freely available utilities, this article, and some free time, you, too, can get more recording time out of your TiVo.
Build Your Own Mini-PC For The Office
Jan 11, 2002 - in Reviews
Home-grown mini-PCs can be ultra compact and powerful, as proved by the Spacewalker kit that we tested. Could this be one of the new trends for 2002?