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Review Index Page 19

  • Western Digital Black 4TB Hard Drive Review

    The Black 4TB has a 7200RPM spindle speed with an average access time of 4.2ms. WD says it has a drive to drive throughput of 154MB/s, making it the fastest Black hard drive yet. This in addition to dual-actuator technology, 64MB of cache, 6Gb/s SATA support and a Marvell dual-core controller.

    By Steven Walton on

    85
  • Acer C7 Chromebook Review

    A $200 laptop is a difficult thing to assess. On one hand, the Acer C7 Chromebook has that shockingly low price tag, on the other, there is weak build quality and a netbook-grade processor. The trade-offs are not trivial and that's before we acknowledge that the Acer C7 runs Chrome OS.

    By Nathaniel Wattenmaker on

    60
  • The Best PC Game Mods of 2012

    This year was a big one for PC mods, with two - DayZ and Black Mesa - rivalling commercial products for public awareness and, perhaps more importantly, quality. Here's a shortlist of the best mods released during 2012.

    By Luke Plunkett on

  • Corsair Vengeance C70 Military Green vs. Thermaltake Level 10 GT Battle Edition Review

    Despite the prevalence of military-themed motherboards, enthusiasts haven't had a whole lot of stock options for matching cases. Hoping to fill that void, Corsair updated its Vengeance gaming lineup with the C70 series in Military Green while Thermaltake launched the Level 10 GT Battle Edition.

    By Steven Walton on

  • Far Cry 3 Review

    Far Cry 3 is an open-world shooter through and through. The setup is simple: You're set loose on a massive island in the south pacific and tasked with gradually conquering it. Here's a gun. Have fun. It's an exhilarating and empowering adventure that combines player freedom with shiny technical polish.

    By Kirk Hamilton on

  • Far Cry 3 Performance Test: Graphics & CPU

    Like the original game, Far Cry 3 is set on a tropical island found somewhere at the intersection of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. We'll be testing FC3's open world environment using 29 DirectX 11 graphics cards from AMD and Nvidia.

    By Steven Walton on

  • Apple iPad Keyboard Folio Round-up

    Modern tablets were designed primarily as media consumption devices. But more recently, units like the Microsoft Surface are challenging this idea with optional keyboards for tablets. Unsurprisingly, accessory makers have come up with a few units for the iPad as well. We checked out three of them.

    By Shawn Knight on

  • Hitman: Absolution GPU/CPU Performance Review

    Hitman: Absolution is the first game to be developed using the new Glacier 2 engine, specifically built to have a strong emphasis on enabling very dense crowds and allowing players to not only interact with characters but also to influence their behavior. The engine is said to be able to handle up to crowds of 1200 characters, which makes Absolution unlike any other game.

    By Steven Walton on

  • Hitman: Absolution Review

    Absolution picks up the Hitman story where the last game in the series, 2006's Blood Money, left off. Yes, the last Hitman game was released more than half a decade ago. That's a long time between sequels, even in the relatively slow-moving video game world. But that extended time in development likely accounts for a lot of what makes Hitman such a sprawling, interesting game.

    By Kirk Hamilton on

  • OCZ Vector SSD Review

    OCZ is finally ready to unveil its first truly in-house SSD controller. It's been three years since Indilinx released a brand new controller and they are doing so today with the Barefoot 3, which is to be featured in OCZ's latest SSD series known as Vector.

    By Steven Walton on

    90
  • The Best Graphics Cards: Nvidia vs. AMD Current-Gen Comparison

    With updated pricing, drivers, and performance across the board, we are revisiting today's AMD and Nvidia graphics card offerings to see where you should spend your hard-earned cash this holiday season and into early next year.

    By Steven Walton on

  • Sony Xperia TL Review

    Each iteration of Sony's flagship device has improved and been better than the previous version, but no single attempt has been just right. The Xperia TL, available now on AT&T, is as close as the company has come to finding the smartphone sweet spot, but is that good enough?

    By Andrew Kameka on

    70
  • Nintendo Wii U Review

    The Wii U meets the standards of modern console gaming, while also supporting Wii Remotes and therefore serving as an HD version of the Wii. It does all of these things and introduces some well-realized new features to modern console gaming.

    By Stephen Totilo on

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops II GPU & CPU Performance

    For Call of Duty fans, developer Treyarch just delivered an early Christmas present when they released Black Ops II this week. As the ninth game in the Call of Duty franchise and the sequel to the 2010 game Black Ops, we are hoping to see something meaningfully new from Black Ops II.

    By Steven Walton on

  • Samsung Galaxy Note II Review

    The Galaxy Note II is a smooth and dynamic experience from top to bottom. Its above average size can be both a gift and a hindrance. It's probably too big as a phone or too small as a tablet for most, but many will find it's a comfortable compromise between the two form factors.

    By Andrew Kameka on

    85
  • Budget SSD Roundup: The Best SSD for Less Than $100

    This comparison review takes a look at 8 popular SSDs that cost $100 or less, featuring capacities of up to 128GB. The OCZ Vertex 4 128GB, Samsung 840 120GB and Crucial m4 128GB are included, while the most affordable high-capacity SSD featured in our roundup is the Kingston SSDNow V+200 120GB.

    By Steven Walton on

  • Halo 4 Review

    When Bungie introduced the sci-fi, FPS franchise over a decade ago, it wowed fans with a perfect formula of alien creatures and versatile weapons. Hardcore Halo fans can rest assured that 343 has stayed true to the core of Halo, and we urge them to keep an open mind when confronted by its new skin.

    By Tina Amini on

  • Medal of Honor: Warfighter GPU & CPU Performance

    Warfighter uses DICE's Frostbite 2 engine -- the same software that powers Battlefield 3 -- which may partly explain the high-end hardware requirements. We are testing MoH Warfighter with 29 DirectX 11 graphics card configurations from AMD and Nvidia across all price ranges.

    By Steven Walton on

  • Medal of Honor: Warfighter Review

    The Medal of Honor series has become, in most every respect, a flagrant imitation of Activision's much ballyhooed Call of Duty series. You play the game from the first-person perspective. You hold a machine gun and shoot bad guys, almost exclusively foreigners.

    By Kirk Hamilton on

  • World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Review

    Mists of Pandaria is best looked at from two different perspectives. One: how is it for the new player? And two: how is it for the experienced player? If someone's been in a holding pattern at level 85 for years, what does Mists of Pandaria offer to that player, and how do its many changes improve or diminish the World of Warcraft experience?

    By Kate Cox & Mike Fahey on

  • AMD FX-8350 and FX-6300 Piledriver Review

    AMD is refreshing its desktop processors with Piledriver, an enhanced version of Bulldozer that focuses on improving instructions per clock and frequency -- just like it did with the new Piledriver-powered Trinity APUs. In other words, instead of a major overhaul, Piledriver picks up where Bulldozer left off.

    By Steven Walton on

    70
  • Windows 8, The TechSpot Review

    Windows 8 remains a nice upgrade, possibly a Service Pack-plus caliber upgrade when you look at the desktop improvements. Metro doesn't make Windows 8 more capable, but it does pave a way for Microsoft to sell slates and appeal to a mainstream user base that craves simpler devices.

    By Julio Franco on

    80
  • Testing Thunderbolt-Enabled External Storage: Gigabyte Z77X-UP5TH meets WD Velociraptor Duo

    With most Thunderbolt products available today being storage-related, we wanted to see what the new Gigabyte Z77X-UP5 TH motherboard and its dual Thunderbolt ports had to offer in terms of performance. Put to the test: Western Digital's Velociraptor Duo, which boasts of a pair of 10K RPM Velociraptor hard drives.

    By Steven Walton on

  • XCOM: Enemy Unknown Review

    XCOM is about as perfect a remake of an old game as I could have hoped for, in that while changes have inevitably been made, they're mostly for the better, and anything genuinely new introduced is only there to improve things.

    By Luke Plunkett on

  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 Ti Review

    Having attacked the mid-range and upper-end markets, Nvidia has its sights set on the sub-$200 range, unleashing its GTX 650 Ti. At $150, the new arrival is roughly 34% cheaper than last month's GTX 660 and about 7% pricier than the Radeon HD 7770, which fetches around $140 depending on features and rebates.

    By Steven Walton on

    70
  • Guild Wars 2 Review

    With a mix of familiar MMORPG tropes and new, modern approaches to delivering them, Guild Wars 2 is an excellent, welcoming take on the genre.

    By Kate Cox on

  • AMD A10-5800K Trinity APU Review

    AMD is finally prepared to offer a desktop version of Trinity, which brings a new socket and a new high-end chipset. Given that Piledriver improved Bulldozer's power consumption, we expect Trinity to be more efficient than Llano, while Cayman's VLIW4 architecture should boost the GPU's speed -- or so we hope.

    By Steven Walton on

    80
  • Acer Aspire S5 Ultrabook Review

    The Aspire S5 comes with a beefy Core i7-3517U clocked at 1.9GHz, 4GB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage. In most instances, an SSD is the best addition period, for any modern system, but Acer took things a step further with two 128GB SSDs in RAID0. It goes without saying that the storage subsystem should be blazing fast.

    By Shawn Knight on

    75
  • Apple iPhone 5 Review

    The sixth-generation iPhone has finally landed. Apple has almost completely redesigned the phone's exterior, yet it still looks very much like the iconic handset everyone is familiar with. There's a larger 4-inch screen, LTE, a faster processor, and a new dock connector not everyone is a fan of.

    By Shawn Knight on

    90
  • Samsung 840 Pro SSD Review

    While the Samsung 830 SSD and many of its year-old peers may still be attractive, Samsung is ready to move on to bigger and better things. The new flagship offering, the SSD 840 Pro, refines the 830 Series' firmware with faster random and sustained performance as well as improved reliability.

    By Steven Walton on

    90