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As the year comes to an end it's time to look back at the most interesting and relevant tech stories of 2012. Numerous trends consolidated during 2012: Apple’s dominance in the sector, mobile growth, fast-paced releases on the smartphone world, the Windows 8 launch, only to name a few.
This year we have divided stories in 12 heavily packed categories, with nearly 500 hand-picked headlines total. Feel free to jump around between your favored topics, but try not to miss the tech culture section where we revisit some of the most entertaining stories we covered this year. Here’s our take on 2012…
The major issue with SSD adoption over the past few years has been price, the astronomically high price when you are counting in hundreds of gigabytes. In today's comparison review we are going to look at 8 popular SSDs that cost $100 or less and feature capacities of up to 128GB.
The contenders include the OCZ Vertex 4 128GB, Samsung 840 120GB and Crucial m4 128GB. The most affordable high-capacity SSD featured in our roundup is the Kingston SSDNow V+200 120GB, while the OCZ Vertex 4 64GB, Crucial m4 64GB and Samsung 830 64GB should all offer stellar performance for under $80.
By mid 2012, SSD prices fell through the floor, costing approximately half as much as last year. Granted, that's still nowhere near as economical as standard hard drives, so companies have continued to offer affordable solutions in addition to their high-end series to drive sale volumes.
Such is the case with OCZ and the Agility 4, a budget-minded counterpart to the Vertex 4 that employs cheaper NAND flash memory. In similar fashion we recently saw the arrival of the Crucial v4 series. With both the Agility 4 and Crucial's v4 priced at just under $200 for 256GB models, it seems we have the makings of a value-driven shootout...
Massively multiplayer online gamers have different needs than those of first-person shooter or real-time strategy fans. They need social interaction. They need extremely comfortable chairs. But most of all they need buttons. So many buttons.
PC peripheral manufacturers have sensed this need and have responded with specialized MMO mice featuring so many buttons. Today we take a look at three of them — the Logitech G600, the Razer Naga 2012 and the Cyborg M.M.O. 7 from Mad Catz — to determine which is most worthy of your MMOney.
Although Intel's die shrink of Sandy Bridge isn't due until next week (Monday, rumors say), the company has long shipped Ivy Bridge's accompanying chipsets. It might seem odd to jump the gun on "next-gen" motherboards, but 7-series platforms are backwards compatible with Sandy Bridge processors, so users have actually been able to buy a Z77 motherboard and use it for a few weeks without Ivy Bridge.
After surveying Panther Point's spec sheet, we're itching to get a little more hands-on. Fortunately, we have four new Z77 motherboards in the shop and begging for attention, including the Asrock Z77 Extreme6, ECS Z77H2-AX, Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H-WB and Intel DZ77GA-70K.
Those wanting to build the ultimate performance system will naturally turn to Intel’s new LGA2011 platform which recently made its debut with the Sandy Bridge-E processors. Further, the platform is expected to support enthusiast-level Ivy Bridge processors that are slated for release by the end of 2012, adding to the platform's longevity.
More than ever we expect motherboard manufacturers deliver the goods with their X79 offerings as the platform will only be attractive to the most demanding of PC enthusiasts and gamers building heavily packed machines -- you know, those who will be paying ~$300 for a motherboard on top of a very expensive processor.
Without question one of the most affordable and thus commonly upgraded components by PC builders and enthusiasts alike is the CPU cooler. Generally the main goal is to lower operating temperatures, but aftermarket coolers can also reduce operating volumes and provide a greater overclocking headroom.
Included in the comparison are top contenders in the form of the Thermalright True Spirit 140, Prolimatech Panther, Thermaltake Frio Advanced and Noctua NH-C14. All four designed to support multiple platforms on both AMD and Intel camps.
AMD's integrated graphics received a new lease on life when the company unleashed its 32nm "Llano" desktop processors earlier this year. Sporting an on-die Radeon HD 6550D graphics processor, the AMD A8-3850 APU rendered many low-end discrete graphics cards obsolete and made Intel's HD Graphics 3000 engine look foolish in the process.
AMD is clearly targeting -- and in our opinion, commanding -- the budget market. We check out three of the most attractive AMD A75 boards from Asus, Asrock and Gigabyte.
For about a year we've been working behind the scenes on our latest project, the TechSpot Product Finder, a comprehensive up-to-date catalog of tech products. We hope this becomes your next destination to make well-informed decisions when you go out shopping for your next laptop, SSD, monitor, digital camera, HTPC, tablet, or even your next media player.
With dozens of affordable, well-equipped desktop cases begging for your cash, it can be a nightmare to find the right one for your needs. Hoping to simplify your building experience, we've assembled a shortlist of six unique sub-$200 enthusiast chassis that deserve your attention.
Included in our roundup is BitFenix's flagship Colossus Venom Edition, and their new budget Shinobi mid-tower. The Cooler Master Storm Enforcer and the highly acclaimed HAF X making an appearance in Nvidia-green. Rounding up the review is Lian Li's LanCool PC-K63 chassis and Thermaltake's Chaser MK-1.
This past week developers, publishers, media, and other groups tied to the gaming industry converged in Los Angeles for the seventeenth installment of the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3).
The conference is known for getting audiences buzzing about the hottest games of the show as trailers and gameplay footage are shown for the first time. We've put together a collection of trailers for upcoming PC games that caught our attention.
Fortunately for cash-strapped gamers, intense competition between AMD and Nvidia ensures that the sub-$150 market is well stocked. Along with wallet-friendly HD 6000 and GTX 500 products, many older mainstream cards have been demoted to the budget bracket.
We'll compare the most relevant contenders in the budget GPU market in this review, with a total of thirteen graphics card models tested.
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