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About Tom’s Hardware: Our Staff, Ratings and History

Our Mission

Tom's Hardware is the leading destination for tech enthusiasts of all skill levels. Whether you're building a PC, buying a laptop or learning how to create robots with your kids, we've got comprehensive editorial resources and a vibrant expert community to help you on your journey.
  

Our Team

Avram Piltch, Editor-in-Chief (@geekinchief)

Avram Piltch

Avram's been in love with PCs since he played original Castle Wolfenstein on an Apple II+.  Before joining Tom's Hardware, for 10 years, he served as Online Editorial Director for sister sites Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag, where he programmed the CMS and many of the benchmarks. When he's not editing, writing or stumbling around trade show halls, you'll find him building Arduino robots with his son and watching every single superhero show on the CW.

Contact Avram: Email | Twitter 

   

Matt Safford, Managing Editor (@mattsafford)

Matt Safford

(Image credit: Future)

Matt began piling up computer experience as a child with his Mattel Aquarius. He built his first PC in the late 1990s and ventured into mild PC modding in the early 2000s. He’s spent the last decade covering emerging technology for Smithsonian, Popular Science, and Consumer Reports, while testing components and PCs for Computer Shopper and Digital Trends. When not writing about tech, he’s often walking—through the streets of New York, over the sheep-dotted hills of Scotland, or just at his treadmill desk at home in front of the 50-inch 4K HDR TV that serves as his PC monitor.

Contact Matt: Email | Twitter

   

Anj Bryant, Assistant Managing Editor (@anjbryant)

Anj Bryant

Anj provides content layout and development support, and coordinates editorial initiatives for the talented group of authors and editors at Tom's Hardware. She enjoys putting her love for technology and her past IT experience to good use. With a background in Enterprise software that started with Cybermedia she eventually caught the hardware bug and hasn't looked back. Outside of Tom's, she's mom to two tech-savvy girls who keep her busy with questions about Minecraft modding.

Contact Anj: Email | Twitter

   

Paul Alcorn, Deputy Managing Editor (@PaulyAlcorn)

Paul Alcorn

As a teenager, Paul scraped up enough money to buy a 486-powered PC with a turbo button (yes, a turbo button). Back when floppies were still popular he was already chasing after the fastest spinners for his personal computer, which led him down the long and winding storage road, covering enterprise storage. His current focus is on consumer processors, though he still keeps a close eye on the latest storage news. In his spare time, you’ll find Paul hanging out with his kids or indulging his love of the Kansas City Chiefs and Royals.

Contact Paul: Email | Twitter

   

Scharon Harding, Senior Editor (@ScharHar)

Scharon Harding

Scharon helps with editing of any and all articles on Tom’s Hardware with a special affinity for monitors, gaming peripherals, laptops and virtual, augmented and mixed reality. She previously covered business technology, including hardware, software, cyber security and other IT happenings, at Channelnomics. When she’s not exploring all things PC, Scharon is usually outdoors searching for sunshine, nature and music, or watching movies she should’ve seen ages ago (sorry, Infinity War).

Contact Scharon: Email | Twitter

    

Andrew E. Freedman, Senior Editor (@FreedmanAE)

Andrew Freedman

Andrew oversees laptop and desktop coverage and keeps up with the latest news in tech and gaming. His work has been published in Kotaku, PCMag, Complex, Tom’s Guide and Laptop Mag, among others. He fondly remembers his first computer: a Gateway that still lives in a spare room in his parents' home, albeit without an internet connection. When he’s not writing about tech, you can find him playing video games, checking social media and waiting for the next Marvel movie.

Contact Andrew: Email | Twitter

   

Jarred Walton, Senior Editor (@jarredwalton)

Jarred Walton

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Jarred's love of computers dates back to the dark ages, when his dad brought home a DOS 2.3 PC and he left his C-64 behind. He eventually built his first custom PC in 1990 with a 286 12MHz, only to discover it was already woefully outdated when Wing Commander released a few months later. He holds a BS in Computer Science from Brigham Young University and has been working as a tech journalist since 2004, writing for AnandTech, Maximum PC, and PC Gamer. From the first S3 Virge '3D decelerators' to today's GPUs, Jarred keeps up with all the latest graphics trends and is the one to ask about game performance.

Contact Jarred: Email | Twitter

   

Les Pounder, Associate Editor (@biglesp)

Les Pounder

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Les Pounder is a creative technologist and for seven years has created projects to educate and inspire minds both young and old. He has worked with the Raspberry Pi Foundation to write and deliver their teacher training programme "Picademy".

Contact Les: Email | Twitter

   

Michelle Ehrhardt, Staff Writer (@ChelleEhrhardt)

Michelle Ehrhardt

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Michelle Ehrhardt likes taking computers apart to see how they tick, from hardware to code. She's been following tech since her family got a Gateway running Windows 95, and is now on her third custom-built system. Her work has been published in publications like Paste, The Atlantic, and Kill Screen, just to name a few. She also holds a master's degree in game design from NYU.

Contact Michelle: Email | Twitter

   

Kenneth Butler, Social Media Editor (@KRichButler)

Kenneth Butler

Kenneth digs into the world of enthusiast PC and tech culture to help tell stories that get readers looking, voting, sharing, thinking and laughing on social media platforms. He’s worked as a fact checker, staff writer, and production director for Laptop Mag and Tom’s Guide. Off hours, his hobbies include early morning runs, writing comedy, obsessing over details in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and planning his ultimate Halloween costume, Major Payne.

Contact Kenneth: Email | Twitter

   

Josh Simenhoff, Community Manager

Josh Simenhoff

Josh helps Joe manage the forums and serve the millions of Tom’s Hardware members across the globe. In this role, he helps our moderators maintain a supportive and engaging community. Josh also assists editorial on topics such as gaming and cryptocurrency. In his free time, Josh enjoys wargaming, boardgaming or writing.

Contact JoshEmail

   

Our Contributors

  • Ash Puckett, Contributing Writer (Pi News & Features)
  • Niels Broekhuijsen, Contributing Writer (News)
  • Zhiye Liu, Contributing Writer (News)
  • Garrett Carver, Contributing Writer (Coolers)
  • Christian Eberle, Contributing Writer (Monitors)
  • Joe Shields, Contributing Writer (Motherboards)
  • Nathaniel Mott, Contributing Writer (Peripherals)
  • Aris Mpitziopoulos, Contributing Writer (Power Supplies)
  • Sean Webster, Contributing Writer (Storage)
  • Kevin Carbotte, Contributing Writer (VR)
  • Allen 'Splave' Golibersuch, Contributing Writer (Overclocking)
  • LowSpecGamer Alex, Contributing Writer (Gaming)

How We Test and Rate Products

Tom’s Hardware is renowned for its benchmark testing. We subject every product we review to a rigorous set of quantifiable tests based on a combination of homegrown, Tom’s Hardware-only benchmarks, and industry standard benchmarks where applicable.

As of May 2018, all new product reviews are rated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best. Each product may also receive an Editor's Choice badge, which designates it as the best within its niche. The ratings mean the following:

5 = Practically perfect
4.5 = Superior
4 = Totally worth it
3.5 = Very good
3 = Worth considering
2.5 = Meh
2 = Not worth the money
1.5 = Buy for an enemy
= Fails horribly
0.5  = Laughably bad

24 Years of Tom's Hardware History

Tom’s Hardware has its name and roots in Dr. Thomas Pabst, who was one of the first people to bring technology journalism to the internet, as early as 1996. Back in these early days, the site was still called “Tom’s Hardware and Performance Guide” and its domain was sysdoc.pair.com, pair.com being a Pittsburgh-based hosting company.

One of Tom’s Hardware’s journalistic milestones was Tom’s findings regarding the Intel Pentium III 1.13 GHz processor, which forced the chip company to postpone its launch by months. Since then, Tom’s Hardware has kept up the tradition with unrivaled scrutiny of technology.

The current domain, tomshardware.com, was added on September 11, 1997, followed by additional language versions, including the French, German and Italian sites, all of which are run by independent teams. Pabst moved on to other pursuits in 2008, Tom's Hardware and sister site, Tom's Guide, became part of the Purch company in 2013 and Purch was purchased by Future Plc in 2018.

Today's Tom's Hardware is more than just a site for PC builders. While we've maintained our rich tradition of thorough component testing and reviews, we've expanded our coverage to meet a broader swath of enthusiasts with different needs and levels of experience. If you'd rather buy a laptop or desktop, you're on your first PC build or you want to share your love of tech with your family, we're there to empower you with accessible editorial and a helpful, supportive community.

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