enthusiast articles

SanDisk Extreme Pro SSD Review: Trading blows with the best

Released in early June, SanDisk's Extreme Pro is the successor to the venerable Extreme II, which was among the best SSDs of its generation in terms of performance and reliability. The drive is aimed at gamers, enthusiasts and professionals who demand the highest real-world performance, and will trade blows with Samsung's excellent SSD 850 Pro.

TechSpot PC Buying Guide: Mid-2014 Update

The TechSpot PC Buying Guide offers an in-depth list of today's best desktop PC hardware, spanning four unique yet typical budgets. Whether you're a first time builder seeking guidance or a seasoned enthusiast, we have you covered.

• Decent performance • Good for everyday computing • Gaming with add-on GPU
• Good performance • Fast for everyday computing • Casual gaming
• Excellent performance • Great Multitasker • Perfect for gaming
• Workstation-like performance • Heavy multitasking • Extreme gaming

Asrock Z87 Extreme11/ac Review: 22 SATA ports, 4-way GPU support and more

Asrock's new Z87 Extreme11/ac may very well be the most extreme motherboard we've handled. It touts four-way GPU support, over 20(!) SATA ports, premium onboard audio, dual gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and -- unsurprisingly -- the largest price tag in its class. So, how exactly does a company justify $540 for a motherboard?

asrock Z87 Extreme11 ac

Is Buying a Sound Card Worth The Money? An Enthusiast's Perspective

Buying a sound card has always felt more like a gamble than an investment to me. At the same time, I know audio snobs with thousands in equipment and all-FLAC libraries, and I'd like to believe they aren't delusional -- surely there's something to be experienced beyond my basic setup. But I mean, just how much better can music, movies and games sound? Enough to prevent buyer's remorse?

Silverstone Fortress FT04 Review: Improving the Formula?

Silverstone Fortress FT04 Review: Improving the Formula?

Silverstone cases are often praised by enthusiasts and HTPC builders alike, and with good reason. We last checked the Fortress FT03 which deserved TechSpot's Outstanding award and now two years later, the much anticipated Fortress FT04 has made it to market.

Upon first glance this latest version looks a lot like the FT01 that was released back in 2008. The FT04 shares similar dimensions to the FT01, with a slight increase in size that we assume simply means it can fit drives and longer graphics cards more comfortably.

TechSpot PC Buying Guide: Mid-2013 Update

TechSpot PC Buying Guide: Mid-2013 Update

TechSpot's PC Buying Guide offers an in-depth list of today's best desktop PC hardware, spanning four typical budgets starting at ~$500 for a well-balanced machine capable of medium workloads, up to $3,000+ for the Luxury build which includes the best PC hardware recommendations when budget is not a big concern. In-between you will find two mainstream systems that are good for heavy-multitasking and depending on your choice of GPU casual to high-end gaming.

• Decent performance • Good for everyday computing • Gaming with add-on GPU
• Good performance • Fast for everyday computing • Casual gaming
• Excellent performance • Great Multitasker • Perfect for gaming
• Workstation-like performance • Heavy multitasking • Extreme gaming
Intel Ivy Bridge-E Debuts: Core i7-4960X Review

Intel Ivy Bridge-E Debuts: Core i7-4960X Review

Haswell has been out in the wild for 3 months now, while Sandy Bridge-E has remained Intel’s "ultimate" desktop platform for almost 2 years. However Intel is now ready for a refresh of its Extreme platform, but they won’t be skipping the Ivy Bridge architecture and moving straight to Haswell.

Enter the Core i7-4960X which still features 6 cores, 12 threads, 15MB L3 cache, quad-channel DDR3 memory and is supported by the same aging X79 chipset. This doesn’t sound very exciting, so what’s new?

LCDSysInfo for GOverlay: A $32 LCD gadget for PC enthusiasts and tinkerers

LCDSysInfo for GOverlay: A $32 LCD gadget for PC enthusiasts and tinkerers

As a PC builder and gamer I find it fun and incredibly interesting to monitor many things in my set-up, from the temperature of my CPU and its fan speed, to the frames per second and GPU load in games, just to see how capable my PC really is.

Traditionally I’d use a bunch of programs to monitor all these stats, including SpeedFan and Fraps, gathering info through pop-ups or windows on a second monitor. Then I was sent an LCDSysInfo – a small 2.8-inch LCD gadget that can be configured to show various stats – and monitoring my PC became significantly easier.

Reviewing Cooler Master's HAF XB "LAN Box"

Reviewing Cooler Master's HAF XB "LAN Box"

Following the success of 2008's HAF 932 chassis, Cooler Master didn't waste any time adapting its High Air Flow design to various other form factors and price points -- many of which we've covered in depth. Along with its larger options, the company offers three mid-towers: the $50 HAF 912, $100 HAF 922 and $130 HAF XM.

While the cost of these cases varies significantly, they're all fairly similar in terms of stature in that their tall, rectangular profile resembles most other mid-towers. Mixing things up, Cooler Master's latest mid-size enclosure, the HAF XB, breaks the conventional mold with boxier dimensions -- in fact, the company describes it as a "LAN box".

Weekend Open Forum: What's the oldest part in your PC?

Weekend Open Forum: What's the oldest part in your PC?

Although most of us upgrade our systems regularly, it's generally uncommon to replace every single component -- even for a fresh build. Instead, parts less crucial to daily performance such as optical drives, bulk storage, cases or even power supplies are recycled over the years...