Overclocking is running a chip at a greater speed than what it is rated for. With everything from reviews of the latest cooling solutions and motherboard overclocking options to do-it-yourself guides to overclocking, let Tom's Hardware help you get the most performance out of your hardware.
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?
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.
System Builder Marathon, Q4 2012: System Value Compared
Dec 6, 2012 - in Reviews
This quarter is full of surprises, from a value-oriented $500 build that includes a Radeon HD 7850 to a $1,000 machine based on AMD's FX-8350 and a $2,000 box armed with a pair of Radeon HD 7970s. We mix it up by adding new benchmarks. It's anyone's game!
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.
In Pictures: 20 Do-It-Yourself Geek Projects From Instructables
Nov 8, 2012 - in Picture Story
Do you remember MacGyver? The guy who could make just about anything with a piece of string, a paper clip, and a pocket knife? Well, a real geek can make a 3G antenna out of a pie plate and turn a simple USB-to-PS/2 adapter into a keylogger.
Sapphire Toxic HD 7970 GHz Edition Review: Gaming On 6 GB Of GDDR5
Sep 3, 2012 - in Reviews
Sapphire gives its new flagship graphics card 6 GB of very fast memory, compared to the mere 3 GB on AMD's reference card. Does this give Sapphire's Toxic HD 7970 GHz Edition a real-world speed boost? We connect it to an epic six-screen array to find out.
System Builder Marathon, August 2012: Alternative $2000 Gaming PC
Aug 23, 2012 - in Reviews
Starved by the limits of our System Builder Marathon benchmark suite, Thomas decides to explore what happens when he really uncorks the graphics system. A helping of 5760x1080 across three monitors is being added to the complete four-course test set.
System Builder Marathon, August 2012: System Value Compared
Aug 22, 2012 - in Reviews
Paul, Don, and Thomas each took a stab at building the best value-oriented performance machine within their budget limits (some more successfully than others). Which of these machines will stand out for delivering the most bang for your enthusiast buck?
System Builder Marathon, August 2012: $2000 Performance PC
Aug 21, 2012 - in Reviews
We took our highest-priced build back to the drawing board to focus on features, rather than price. Can I compete with the less expensive configurations without spending all of my time worrying about benchmark results? Tomorrow's analysis will be telling.
System Builder Marathon, August 2012: $1000 Enthusiast PC
Aug 20, 2012 - in Reviews
This quarter, we construct our most powerful $1000 enthusiast build ever, complete with a Core i5-3570K, GeForce GTX 670, and solid-state storage. Can it beat the value of Paul's $500 machine or come close to the performance of Thomas' $2000 system?
System Builder Marathon, August 2012: $500 Gaming PC
Aug 19, 2012 - in Reviews
Paul went all-out last quarter, cramming massive graphics performance into his $500 gaming PC. This time around, he pulls back a little bit on his GPU in order to use a better-balanced processor. Can he maintain playable frame rates in our gaming suite?
Professional Help: Getting The Best Overclock From AMD's A8-3870K
Aug 7, 2012 - in Reviews
We recently hooked up with overclocking guru Sami Mäkinen to get his take on the best way to overclock AMD's A8-3870K APU. Using his advice, we tweaked five retail -3870Ks and compared their overclocked gaming performance to a discrete Radeon HD 6670.
Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 Super Overclock: Now With Windforce 5X
Aug 5, 2012 - in Reviews
Gigabyte’s Radeon HD 7970 Super Overclock is huge, heavy, overclocked, and very different-looking. Its Windforce 5X cooler employs five 40 mm fans. We benchmark the card, spend some time tweaking it, and measure the noise those blowers make.
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: $1000 Enthusiast PC
Jun 5, 2012 - in Reviews
With a $250-smaller budget this quarter, Don re-creates the previous build as faithfully as possible just to see how much of a difference two memory channels make. With no room left for an SSD or extra RAM, we think you'll be surprised by the results.