Mario Kart was never my game. When it was originally released in 1992, I was already in love with another Nintendo racing game featuring high-tech Mode 7 graphics — F-Zero. I've dabbled with each iteration of Mario Kart over the past couple of decades and they all feel pretty much the same every time. But this time it's different. Within seconds of starting my first race, I could tell this was more than just plain old Mario Kart with fancy HD graphics.
Low-end desktop SoCs typically come soldered to motherboards, including AMD's 2011 Brazos platform as well as Intel's Bay Trail-D. AMD hopes to change that with its AM1 platform, which currently offers four APUs as well as a range of affordable motherboards. While checking out the new AM1 APUs, we have rounded up competing chips to give you a clearer picture of what is available in the budget CPU market.
Unveiled at CES this year, the latest member to Silverstone's Raven family quickly gained recognition for being the ultimate Steam Machine enclosure. Called the Raven Z RVZ01, this gaming chassis is among the best compact designs we've seen for cramming a fully-fledged enthusiast PC into an impressively small space.
I think I know what my favorite moment in Titanfall is. I'm in a Titan when my display tells me an enemy pilot has crawled up my back. My Titan's near death anyway and I know there won't be time to hop off and shoot the pilot down. Besides, my Titan is prepared for this exact moment. Earlier, I equipped it with a kit that would eject me, cloaked, just before it was set to explode. I should be just fine.
Thief is the long-awaited fourth entry in the storied Thief series. Its predecessors are often credited with revolutionizing if not flat-out inventing a particular genre of immersive stealth game. Unfortunately the latest release boils down to a city full of closed doors and dead ends, boxed in and lined with nothing but rough edges.
When it comes to 8" Windows tablets, the release of Windows 8.1 has seen many companies try their hands at crafting the perfect tablet. Today we check out Toshiba's Encore that packs a 1280x720 HFFS LCD display, Intel Bay Trail internals and expandable 32 or 64 GB internal storage.
There was a time when the size of a gaming notebook didn't matter so much. Three or four years ago a portable gaming rig that was nearly two inches thick and weighed close to ten pounds was an impressive thing. Pull one of those beasts out at a crowded coffee house and the other customers knew you weren't about to pull up a spreadsheet.
In nearly every way, the Lumia 525 is the same as the Lumia 520, however since the 520 launched at the start of 2013 the entry-level smartphone market has changed; new hardware has been unveiled for budget devices, and older parts have become cheaper. The competition is also ferocious, specifically Motorola's Moto G comes to mind. How does the Lumia 525 fit into the equation in 2014?
Read the full review inside -- watch the video review below:
Marking the introduction of its Maxwell architecture, Nvidia has targeted AMD's $150 Radeon R7 265 with the new GeForce GTX 750 Ti. With fewer cores being used to get more performance, Maxwell consumes less power and improves Kepler's performance per watt. Does that mean AMD's newly relaunched Radeon R7 265 could be in trouble considering it's essentially a slightly overclocked and steeply discounted HD 7850?
Enter the Nebula by Xigmatek, a striking solution with a neat cube design that offers a 2.2L capacity. It's safe to say the Nebula is unlike anything we've seen before, and that tends to come at a premium. The case is pretty new and pricing isn't entirely clear yet in the US, but it's going for €85 or about $115 in other regions -- over twice the Elite RC-130's price.
The Moto G is Motorola’s biggest and best effort yet in conquering Android's entry-level market. It’s not a handset meant to break records, but the 4.5-inch 720p display, Snapdragon 400 SoC and dual-SIM support (in certain models) will please the right crowds. Plus, at $179 for the 8 GB model and $199 for 16 GB, unlocked and off-contract, it certainly fits the definition of what an affordable smartphone should be.
It's been a few years since we published an enthusiastic review of Asrock's pricey yet powerful Vision 3D HTPC. The company has since kept our attention with annual updates, now on its fourth generation, the Vision HT 420D has received a proper upgrade to Intel's Haswell architecture as well as other improvements that contribute to the system's respectable list of features, making it one of the most impressive HTPCs to date.
The Asus Transformer Book T100 is a full Windows 8.1 entry-level 10-inch tablet, sporting Intel ‘Bay Trail’ internals, and a keyboard dock all for under $500. The Transformer line of products has typically been quite solid, so it’ll be interesting to see how this Windows convertible hybrid fares and if the T100 manages to stand out from the crowd.
AMD really is focused on gaming performance with Kaveri and believes this is where its latest APUs have a serious advantage over the competition. The company's latest processors are being pushed as budget solutions for modern 1080p gaming, though on paper the Radeon R7 doesn't look quite up to the task...
QNAP's latest two-bay NAS looks more like a set-top box than network-attached storage and that's no accident. It's becoming more common to see NAS devices replacing entire HTPCs, which makes it more practical for a design that can blend in with the kind of electronic gear you typically find around a TV.
Nokia is hoping that their 6-inch Lumia 1520 will give the Note 3 a run for its money. The Lumia 1520 is the first Windows Phone to come with a Snapdragon 800 SoC, the first with a quad-core CPU, the first with a 1080p display, and the first to compete on a hardware level with top Android devices. It also sees Nokia’s vast imaging expertise put to good use with the inclusion of a 20-megapixel PureView shooter sure to please enthusiasts out there.
Knowing the reputation (and price) the UltraSharp moniker commands, there would normally be little more to say than “immense IPS display”, “great image” but “prosumer price tag”. However, the UP3214Q’s defining feature isn’t its enormity, IPS panel, nor certainly the $3,500 sticker price. Rather, its most distinct feature is a glorious spread of 3840 x 2160 pixels which is, ironically, also the source of its biggest issues.
Gigabyte Radeon R9 290X OC & R9 290 OC Review: Immense potential lost to GPU shortages and inflated prices
AMD's Radeon R9 290 and 290X made a strong case against Nvidia's GTX 780 and Titan late last year, but that position soon weakened with unexpectedly high prices and limited options from board partners. This time we'll revisit the cards with actual production units from Gigabyte so we can weigh in on third-party performance at actual market prices.
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?
Many companies have tried to make a large, note-friendly smartphone, but none have succeeded quite as well as Samsung. While the first Galaxy Note was rather large and lacking in refinement, Samsung has steadily improved the line, this year releasing the brand new Galaxy Note 3, and it has some true competition for the first time.