Welcome to Part 1 of Tom's Hardware's 2011 Holiday Gift Guide. This first installment is geared toward system builders planning to pool some Christmas cash to build a new performance- or value-oriented system. We have something for everyone this year.
Forty-two PCIe lanes give the 990FX a clear connectivity lead over competing Intel chipsets. We compare five class-leading products using AMD's FX-8150 to see which offers the best combination of performance, overclocking, integrated features, and value.
AMD’s 1 GB Radeon HD 6950s are certainly cheaper than their 2 GB predecessors. But are they really a better value? In theory, the Cayman GPU runs out of steam before 2 GB is needed. So, we're comparing five custom 1 GB cards to the 2 GB part to find out.
Targeting inexperienced tuners with easy-to-use buttons, several motherboard vendors now provide one-touch overclocking technologies that take away the guesswork. We examine the ease, effectiveness, and safety of methods provided by four major brands.
A real enthusiast chipset deserves a real enthusiast motherboard. Today we're comparing four feature-packed platforms that most folks who call themselves hardcore (and informed enough to know what hardware meets their needs) can actually afford.
Advanced on-board graphics put AMD’s Llano-based APU far ahead of Intel’s Sandy Bridge architecture, at least when it comes to 3D apps. But you’ll still need a new motherboard to support the Socket FM1 platform. Today we test six affordable contenders.
Today we put four factory-overclocked GeForce GTX 580 cards to the test: Gigabyte’s GeForce GTX 580 Super Overclock, MSI’s N580GTX Twin Frozr II/OC, Calibre’s X580 Captain, and Zotac’s GeForce GTX 580 AMP²! Edition. Which one is worth its premium price?
Value-oriented system builders celebrate new-found performance and features as Intel continues pushing its mainstream platform towards the high-end. Today, we draw a line in the sand and consider five motherboards priced between $100 and $160.
AMD’s Brazos platform, driven by the Zacate APU, offers a lot of performance per watt. It comes up short on features, though. Eight manufacturers try to change that perception by adding slots, controllers, and even overclocking in a couple of cases.
Intel reserved its most feature-rich LGA 1155 platform for (or four?) months past the launch of its Sandy Bridge-based processors, but was it worth the wait? We compare three upper-mainstream Z68 examples to a top-quality P67 predecessor to find out.
We gave the GeForce GTX 560 Ti a thorough evaluation at launch. But Nvidia was perhaps most excited about some of its partners were doing with GF114. And so, we set out to find customized boards. Our search lead to five factory-overclocked alternatives.
Most of Intel's Core i5 and i7 CPUs lock out overclocking enthusiasts, which we hate. But the K-series chips win us back over with insane scalability. Would you believe that cranking the dial on performance doesn't necessarily tank overall efficiency?
Improved per-clock performance and higher achievable frequencies are sure to put Intel’s latest K-Series CPUs on top of many builders’ whish lists, but they’ll still need a new socket to put it in. We test nine enthusiast-oriented LGA-1155 motherboards.