What a difference a year makes. It was about this time last year that we discussed why building a gaming PC was a bad idea, but thankfully a lot has changed since. You may recall, DDR4 memory and graphics card prices were through the roof a year ago. GPU availability was quite poor and on top of all that, we were at the end of a few product cycles. Fast forward a year, what's changed?
There was plenty to be excited about PC hardware in 2017, but there's a lot to be upset about as well. Part one of this series will be dedicated discuss DDR4 memory pricing and why it's so high. RAM pricing is currently a big issue plaguing those wanting to build a new computer or update an old one, more than doubling in price in less than two years.
The TechSpot PC Buying Guide offers an in-depth list of today's best desktop PC hardware, spanning five unique budgets. Whether you're a first time builder seeking guidance or a seasoned enthusiast, we have you covered.
With some 16 months having passed since our first look at the RVZ01, Silverstone has returned with another compact gaming chassis. The Raven RVZ02 is 15% smaller than the original while promising to support graphics cards up to 13" long. Silverstone believes that the RVZ02 is one of the easiest compact Mini-ITX cases to build a gaming system in and we'll be putting together multiple hardware configurations to test this claim.
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.
If you're looking to treat virtual coin mining as a hobby, Litecoins are probably the best bet right now and we'll show you how to get started with choosing and configuring the hardware and software you'll need. Also note we are aiming this article to PC enthusiasts who likely have spare hardware around, separating our project from milk crate builds, this seems like the most logical approach for us to get started.
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?
Recently we compared 10 of the best CPU air coolers and while we didn't think twice about stamping the NH-U14S with our Outstanding Award, we've since wondered how it would fare against a basic water cooling setup. On paper, closed loop systems simplify the process of diving into water cooling, being about as safe and easy to work with as air cooling while delivering much of the performance you'd expect from an elaborate custom loop at a fraction of the cost.
Even if the Asrock M8's style is not your thing, there's less room to argue that this is a unique gaming PC barebones kit and that was enough to earn our attention. We've been impressed with the looks of previous Asrock products -- including its mini PCs -- but the M8 is a clear step up having been designed by BMW Group DesignworksUSA, the driving force behind Thermaltake's Level 10 chassis, a case as overpriced as it is iconic.
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.
An often overlooked but always important side of PC building, we must admit our knowledge on the latest aftermarket CPU cooler offerings was a little dated, so it felt like the perfect time for a roundup.
We test 10 of the best CPU coolers in the market including top units from Noctua, Thermalright, Xigmatek, Silverstone and Thermaltake.
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?
Branded the Obsidian 350D, the newcomer crams its more expensive sibling's features into an affordable microATX package and sports the same clean, black brushed-aluminum finish, handy tool-free design and innovative cable management.
While the base 350D is available for around $90, a second edition goes for $110 that adds a side window. So how does Corsair budget Obsidian fair? Read on and find out.
For years now we've had the ability to take a compact Micro ATX motherboard along with a high-end GPU and squeeze them into a custom case not much bigger than a shoe box.
We are putting today's top small form factor hardware together in hopes of building an enthusiast-worthy gaming system that you can easily transport, use as a a small workstation or fit comfortably along your living room equipment for HTPC purposes.
Before last year, no In Win cases really caught our attention. That changed when we spotted the open-air X-Frame midway through 2012. Following the X-Frame's success, In Win introduced the H-Frame -- a similarly unique chassis with a feature list that includes eleven diamond-cut aluminum plates.
In Win's latest open-air chassis has to be their finest creation yet. The D-Frame is a limited edition aluminum pipe and tempered glass case that is unique and equally pricey. DIY'ers will be pleased nonetheless.
The idea behind the Thin Mini-ITX form factor, besides the obvious which is to create seriously compact computers, is also to allow for DIY all-in-ones (think of little PCs you can attach to the back of your monitor). Having that said, we don't fully intend to go the all-in-one route in this article, but are aiming to build a powerful Thin Mini-ITX system that can be used in the office or at home as a media PC.
This is what our finished system should look like: extremely compact, powerful, and near silent operation, as in no-moving-parts silent. For less than $700 including a 256GB SSD, we believe you'll love what the final product will look like.
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".