TechSpot

Review Index Page 3

  • HTC's Vive is Virtual Reality at its Best and Worst

    By Nathan Grayson on

    Valve and HTC's Vive is the most immediately impressive (and imposing) VR headset on the market. And it comes with a price to match: $800. Once you've got everything setup you can walk through a virtual space with your own legs and grab things with your own "hands." That's the key differentiator here: while the Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR have so far been largely focused on seated experiences, Vive is more focused on standing, walking, grabbing, and bopping.
  • Building a 32-Thread Xeon Monster PC for Less Than the Price of a Haswell-E Core i7

    By Steven Walton on

    Originally released in 2012 for a whopping $1,550 and beyond, thousands of Xeon E5-2670 CPUs hit the second hand market last year as massive data centers upgraded their servers. This 4-year old CPU delivers 8-cores clocked at 2.6GHz with a 3.3GHz turbo frequency and a large 20MB L3 cache, but with supply overwhelming demand prices have plummeted to just $70. Or seen from another perspective: it's now possible to build an insanely affordable 16-core/32-thread beast for less than a Haswell-E Core i7.
  • Razer Blade Stealth Review

    By Rick Burgess on

    Diverging from its usual modus operandi, Razer introduced its first ultrabook earlier this year, the Razer Blade Stealth. This is not a gaming machine out of the box. Rather, Razer has unapologetically prioritized mobility over gaming, and its specs are in line with a number of other premium non-gaming ultrabook offerings. But does the Blade Stealth have what it takes to stand apart?
    80
  • One Wild, Occasionally Nauseating Week of Virtual Reality with the Oculus Rift

    By Kirk Hamilton on

    A week ago, Oculus sent me one of their commercial Rift headsets, along with a special loaner "Oculus Ready" PC to use with it. Since then, I've been using a pre-release version of their Oculus store and headset operating system. I'll be covering the Rift a lot over the coming week and beyond. For now, I thought I'd share some general impressions after a week of heavy VR usage.
  • HP Envy 13 Review

    By Tim Schiesser on

    For many people, spending $1,000 on a laptop is not feasible, even if high-end hardware is important. This is where the HP Envy 13 comes in: it packs hardware that's comparable to a $1,000 laptop in a MacBook Air-like package, complete with a price that starts at just $800. In some ways, the Envy is the budget high-end laptop that price-conscious shoppers may be after.
    75
  • Hitman Episode One Review

    By Riley MacLeod on

    The new Hitman seeks to combine the strongest elements of the series' previous entries. All three levels in the first episode, particularly the culminating Paris level, are glitzy sandboxes in the vein of Blood Money, featuring numerous ways to manipulate your targets into meeting a stylish demise. There are guns to fire, vials of poison to pour into drinks, fuseboxes to detonate, winches to release, and wrenches to throw.
  • Tom Clancy's The Division PC Graphics and CPU Performance

    By Steven Walton on

    The Division is set in an open world with immersive and destructive environments based on a mid-crisis Manhattan. Built upon the Snowdrop Engine, Ubisoft aims to take graphics fidelity to the next level with a focus on dynamic global illumination, destruction and a number of cutting edge visual effects, especially on the PC version.
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Review

    By Tim Schiesser on

    The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is an excellent phone and easily gets my recommendation for those wanting to purchase something this early into 2016. Samsung has addressed many of the Galaxy S6 issues while adding or improving features that make this year's flagship an extremely compelling choice.
    95
  • WD MyCloud EX2 Ultra 8TB NAS Review

    By Steven Walton on

    The newly released My Cloud EX2 Ultra from WD is essentially a more consumer-friendly version of the existing My Cloud EX2100. The drive can be purchased in capacities from 4TB to 12TB as well as without drives. Under its sleek curved enclouse you'll find a Marvell Armada 385 1.3 GHz dual-core SoC and 1GB of DDR3 memory, while connectivity includes a single gigabit Ethernet connector and two USB 3.0 ports.
    80
  • MSI GS40 Phantom 6QE Gaming Laptop Review

    By Tim Schiesser on

    The GS40 Phantom is loaded up with a 14" 1080p display, a Core i7-6700HQ CPU, GeForce GTX 970M graphics, 16 GB of RAM, and a combination of a 128 GB SSD with a 1 TB disk drive. It also packs the latest connectivity, including a USB Type-C port sporting Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.1 gen 2. When it comes to looks the GS40 Phantom's design is both understated and nice enough to stand out from the pack.
    75
  • Synology DiskStation DS216+ NAS Review

    By Steven Walton on

    The two-bay DiskStation DS216+ is designed to bridge the pricing gap between the DS716+ and DS216. Priced at $300 it's the cheapest Synology device to support the more modern B-tree file system (BTRFS). In this review we'll compare the performance between EXT4 and BTRFS while also checking out the new features offered by Synology's latest DSM 6.0 Beta software.
    90
  • Superhot Review

    By Kirk Hamilton on

    Superhot can be very bossy, and has instructed me to tell people that it's "the most innovative shooter I've played in years." I wouldn't go that far, but it's certainly one of the purest and most enjoyable I've played in a while.
  • Samsung Portable SSD T3 1TB Review

    By Steven Walton on

    The new Samsung Portable SSD T3 drives build upon the T1's strong foundation with a few key upgrades and capacities all the way up to 2TB. From a performance point of view little appears to have changed but the T1 already topped our performance charts for USB storage. Notable upgrades include the change to a USB Type-C connector and a more durable metal case.
    85
  • OCZ Trion 150 480GB SSD Review

    By Steven Walton on

    The OCZ Trion 150 SSD is meant to replace the floundering Trion 100 SSD as a slightly cheaper revision that should improve performance and hopefully reliability as well. By moving away from Toshiba's A19nm TLC NAND in favor of its newer 15nm TLC NAND, OCZ claims users will see up to a 50% increase in performance in many real world cases such as file transfers.
    70
  • Dying Light: The Following Review

    By Kirk Hamilton on

    Dying Light: The Following is just what an expansion should be: more of the the same great game, with a number of refinements and small, interesting tweaks. In one respect it's altogether different: You have an automobile now, and an enormous new explorable area that requires the use of it.
  • Dell XPS 13 Review: The Best Windows Laptop, Updated

    By Tim Schiesser on

    The revamped Dell XPS 13 includes just a handful of improvements: a new Skylake CPU, a USB Type-C port that supports Thunderbolt 3, and the option to get the laptop in gold. But considering the Broadwell-based Dell XPS 13 was our favorite laptop of 2015, we just had to get in the new model and see if it's still a class-leading device.
    95
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider PC Graphics and CPU Performance

    By Steven Walton on

    Rise of the Tomb Raider has been widely praised for its gameplay and visuals and now that the PC version is out, we are taking it for a spin. Rise of the Tomb Raider is arguably the best looking game to hit the PC yet, and without question the cut-scenes are the best I have seen. Now it's benchmark time.
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider Review

    By Evan Narcisse on

    Rise of the Tomb Raider tells the story of young Lara Croft, alone in a dangerous place, exploring ruins, solving puzzles, and shooting lots of guys with flaming arrows. This is an enjoyable sequel and the reason it's very fun is because it feels upgraded in nearly every way.
  • Division Zero X40 Pro Gaming Mechanical Keyboard and M50 Pro Gaming Mouse Review

    By Shawn Knight on

    Metadot, maker of the well-known Das Keyboard today is launching Division Zero, a new brand and product line developed specifically for the pro gaming and eSports community. Its debut offerings include the X40 Pro Gaming Mechanical Keyboard and the M50 Pro Gaming Mouse, both of which we'll be looking at today.
  • The Witness Review

    By Stephen Totilo on

    In The Witness, a magnificent new puzzle game from from developer Jonathan Blow you come upon challenges by wandering, in a first-person perspective, through the most beautiful island I've ever been to in a video game. The island is densely packed with puzzles, some propped up for you to solve, many others masterfully hidden.
  • Gigabyte P34W v5 Gaming Laptop Review

    By Tim Schiesser on

    The Gigabyte P34W v5 is a fairly typical gaming laptop that sacrifices looks to bring value with decent gaming specs. Powered by an Intel Skylake Core i7-6700HQ CPU and a GeForce GTX 970M GPU, a decent display, and a body that won't be setting any records for slimness or lightness.
    60
  • Google Pixel C Review

    By Tim Schiesser on

    The Pixel C is the first tablet to be fully developed in-house by Google. Not unlike the Chromebook Pixel that runs Chrome OS, with the Pixel line Google means to show off what's possible to build using their software platforms even if it's inpractical for most to buy.
    70
  • Corsair Carbide 400Q Review

    By Steven Walton on

    With its vast experience of case building, Corsair must have foreseen that the Carbide 600C we reviewed last month wouldn't appeal to everyone with its inverted ATX layout, so its counteroffer seems premeditated. The new The Carbide 400 series is a more traditional approach that still maintains the clean lines and curved solid-steel exterior of the 600 series for a great minimalist look.
    90
  • VRAM Put to the Test: 2GB vs. 4GB GTX 960 and R9 380, 4GB R9 290 vs. 8GB R9 390

    By Steven Walton on

    Since publishing our annual graphics card roundup, we've received several reader inquiries regarding the performance difference between GPUs sporting 2GB and 4GB. We have put together a clock-for-clock comparison of the GeForce GTX 960 and Radeon R9 380 using 2GB and 4GB cards. Also, the previous-gen Radeon R9 290 4GB and the newer (rebadged) R9 390 8GB.
  • Origin PC Omega Review

    By Rick Burgess on

    The Origin PC Omega is a small, quiet gaming machine that comes in a few different shapes, all of which are based on Silverstone's great line of mini-ITX SFF cases. Our review unit is built on the slim desktop design of the Silverstone RVZ01, which houses an overclocked Skylake Intel Core i7-6700K and a full-sized Geforce GTX Titan X graphics card.
    90
  • Microsoft Surface Book Review

    By Tim Schiesser on

    The Surface Book is one of the most compelling products Microsoft has released in several years and for the first time in decades, the company's first laptop. The Surface Book is an early glimpse into the future of hybrid computing devices.
    75
  • Google Nexus 6P Review

    By Tim Schiesser on

    Last year's Nexus 6 wasn't a hugely successful smartphone. For 2015's successor, the company enlisted Huawei to build a new Nexus in a slightly more manageable body and true high-end hardware under the hood -- two of the main gripes from last year's model. The result is the Nexus 6P, and it's one of the best Android smartphones you can purchase today.
    95
  • Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB PCIe Review

    By Steven Walton on

    Since the arrival of the these initial M.2 SSD products, we've been waiting for a more affordable mainstream release, and that's exactly what the Samsung SSD 950 Pro delivers. Made exclusively in the M.2 2280 form factor, the SSD 950 Pro comes in 256GB or 512GB capacities.
    95
  • Exclusive: Overclocking Locked Intel Skylake CPUs is Now Possible, Tested

    By Steve Walton on

    In overclocking circles it was recently noted that BCLK (base clock) overclocking might become a possibility in Skylake processors. Last night Asrock contacted us with an updated BIOS that enabled this. We jumped at the opportunity and have already tested and benched a Core i3-6100 Skylake CPU with a 1GHz overclock (4.7GHz) on air cooling.
  • Corsair Carbide Series 600C Review

    By Steven Walton on

    The Carbide Series 600C is a sleek, minimalist-looking mid-tower with a radical inverted ATX layout that's designed to show off your hardware's best angle. Corsair's latest creation makes for a master of cable management, offering ample space for high-end hardware and a side panel window to show it off.
    95