littleBits Smart Home Kit Review: Internet of Things for DIYers
Retrofitting an existing home with so-called "Internet of Things" gadgets isn't cheap, but with the right tools you can hack cloud functionality into your dumb appliances. littleBits is an ever-growing library of small electronic modules that easily connect together. Created by Ayah Bdeir, it started as a tool to help designers incorporate electronics into the prototyping process. Today, it's much more than that. Think of them as Lego bricks for the iPad generation.
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.
Litecoin Mining Using Enthusiast PC Hardware
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.
Building a Hackintosh The Easy Way
Building a Hackintosh has definitely gotten easier over the years but there's still plenty of tinkering involved for the uninitiated. Earlier this year a company known as Quo launched a Kickstarter to fund a motherboard designed to run "any operating system". Though they don't explicitly market it as a Hackintosh board, it's clearly one of the board's key selling points. For the past few weeks we've been experimenting with the Quo motherboard (and the office's brand new hackintosh), here's how it all went...
These 10 Electronic Devices Are Nearly Impossible to Repair
It's becoming tradition that with every new high-profile gadget release, we showcase whatever findings the repair commandos at iFixit.com share with us, whether it's the latest iPhone 5S and 5C, the Nvidia Shield, Moto X smartphone, or the yet unfinalized Oculus Rift VR headset.
In a follow-up article we'll list devices and gadgets you can service on your own. But if it's controversy and indignation you want, this is the week you've been waiting for! Here are iFixit's top 10 hardest-to-repair electronics.
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
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.
Building a Small Form Factor Gaming PC: Silverstone SG10, Haswell Hardware and More
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.
In Win D-Frame Case Review
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.
Building a Thin Mini-ITX PC: Small and Silent Performance
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.
The Battle of the Army Green Cases: Corsair vs. Thermaltake
Gamers tend to take a lot of pride in building their own rigs, but it's generally not enough to have top-notch performance without the looks to match. Motherboards, for instance, have transformed from generic green slabs to works of art. Interestingly, it seems increasingly common to find aggressive military styling among high-end motherboards. 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 earlier this year with the C70 series which comes in Military Green. Thermaltake also launched the Level 10 GT Battle Edition with the same olive drab paint job and a few nifty details that are well worth a look if Army-themed gear is your thing.
Battle of the CPU Coolers: 4-Way Comparison
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.