hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

PC Hardware

Giant computer  photo
Giant computer

This huge laptop is as much a 'laptop' as my German shepherd is a lapdog


Mechanical keyboard clad gaming laptop
Jan 05
// Steven Hansen
My dog Hook (see him here) isn't one of those big dogs who fancies himself a lapdop, for which my hairy-enough wardrobe is thankful. He is too heavy, and my lap, stomach, back, chest, shoulders are usually occupied by the cat...
Logitech contest photo
These things are amazing
[Update: Contest over!] Destructoid has once again partnered with our friends at Logitech, and this time we're giving away two G910 Orion Spark RGB mechanical keyboards to lucky readers! If you've never used a mechanical keyb...

Review: Logitech G910 Orion Spark

Nov 23 // Darren Nakamura
G910 Orion SparkManufacturer: LogitechMSRP: $179.99 Logitech has been making gaming keyboards for a while now, but the G910 Orion Spark is the first to use the specially engineered Romer-G mechanical switches for the keys. These are tactile switches -- they require a minimum applied force before they will begin to depress -- but the actuation distance is lower than that of its closest competitors, which theoretically improves actuation speed. A more obvious design element are the facets found on the keys. More angular than standard keys, the intent is to keep the user's fingers centered over the keys in order to decrease unintentional key presses. Almost all of the keys at least have inclines on the right and left sides, but each key within three spaces of WASD also has a lip on the top side. I could not detect a noticeable improvement in accuracy due to these facets, but they do feel like they can help keep fingers from sliding around unintentionally. Among the three-faceted keys on the G910 are the nine custom G keys: G1 through G5 run down the left side of the keyboard and G6 through G9 span across the top of the F1 through F4 keys. Fully programmable, these keys are meant to take the place of additional functions that are usually assigned to keys furthers from WASD, or to use as macros in place of multiple key presses. The keys along the left side took some getting used to, because I could typically hit the CTRL key without looking just by finding the bottom-leftmost key on the keyboard. With G5 in that place, I mistakenly hit it a few times when trying to quickly copy and paste outside of a game. It is not a huge deal, but it requires a bit of reprogramming, either of muscle memory or of the G5 key itself. [embed]284169:56422:0[/embed] The last design innovation of the Romer-G switch worth noting is that it is built to allow the most light through, allowing the LED underneath to really shine (so to speak). The G910 comes with four lighting modes, each boasting millions of colors. The first lighting mode is Freestyle, which simply allows the user to assign any color to any key at will. For regular use, I just go with this, with all of the keys set to a dark green. The Zones mode groups certain keys together and lights each group individually. WASD is its own group, lit up while the rest of the letter keys are dark, the G keys are a group, the F keys are a group, the number keys are a group, the arrow keys are a group, and the keys to the right and left of the space bar are a group. This could be used to quickly find important keys and re-center for those who look down and move all around the keyboard. The Commands mode seems more functional for learning a new game or keeping track of games that use a lot of key commands. Upon loading the Logitech software, common games are detected and their profiles loaded. When playing a particular game, only those keys that have a function are lit; useless keys are unlit. Some of the newer releases were not automatically added (for example, Civilization V was detected but Civilization: Beyond Earth was not), but profiles can be manually created for any new games. The last lighting mode, Effects, is simultaneously the silliest and the prettiest. Different visual effects can be applied, including a rainbow wave, a slow illumination and delumination, a random key twinkling, and lighting that shows up and slowly fades after a particular key has been pressed. They are neat to play around with, but they are far from functional. Another use for the lighting is to help visualize the heat map, which is probably the most useful feature for the average gamer. Before starting up a gaming session, the user can initiate key press recording. This part of the software keeps track of the play session, counting how many times each key is pressed. The reason this is useful is that it provides a visual for which keys are used and to what extent. For instance, if the Y key is used more frequently than the T key, it would make sense to switch the mapping in order to decrease the travel distance of the finger between WASD and the desired function. In extreme cases, it can help to move a game function from a key that requires the player to look at the keyboard to one that is easily touch-typed. The one major downside to the heat map is that the key recording seemed to take a significant chunk of my CPU process, slowing down the game I was playing while it was active. My rig is getting on in its years, so newer systems may not be affected like this. Along the top of the unit is a simple docking area for a phone or a tablet. This is not a true docking station with any sort of electronic connection, but it is meant to be used for games with second screen capability or along with the Logitech companion app ARX Control. This app can be used to quickly launch games, monitor vital system statistics, remotely control audio and video, and easily remap the G keys. The app's functionality is not necessary for the operation of the G910, but it is a cool free addition.  Overall, the G910 Orion Spark is a fine product. Though most non-competitive players will not notice a huge difference in performance, it is clear that a lot of work went into engineering it specifically for gaming. The keys have a nice tactile feel without being too clicky and loud. The lighting modes run the gamut between form and function. The key press heat map can help improve players of all skill levels. For those willing and able to plunk down the cash, the G910 Orion Spark is a great gaming keyboard. [This review is based on a retail unit of the keyboard provided by the manufacturer.]
Logitech G910 Orion Spark photo
Reaching for the stars
In high-level competition, every little advantage counts. It is why Olympic swimmers shave their bodies before a race, why pre-med students fight tooth-and-nail for every half point on every test, and why gaming keyboards exi...

Friday Night Fights photo
Friday Night Fights

Friday Night Fights: That new PC smell


Game with the Dtoid community
Oct 17
// ChillyBilly
Happy Friday! I recently (read: last month) built a new PC to play games on. My old PC was just shy of eight years old and hadn't had a decent upgrade in roughly four years. Needless to say, most of the games I have been want...
 photo

Test your might with the first 4K Ultra HD benchmark from 3DMark


Good luck!
Oct 13
// Dale North
You know that hammer carnival game where you hit the base as hard as you can to test your strength? I feel like every benchmark I try is like that. I hit it with all my might (new hardware, OS tweaks, etc.) and the damned thi...
 photo

Look at this super skinny gaming rig from PiixL, two inches thick


Straps to the back of your TV
Oct 10
// Dale North
I've hid my gaming/media PC rig behind or under my television for years. It's much easier these days with all of the small form factor boxes available.  But I don't care how lovely they make these things; I'm still hidin...
 photo

Project CARS lists supported steering wheels


And even 12K display support
Aug 29
// Dale North
Project CARS wants you to use your existing racing gaming hardware. That's great news for this racing game enthusiast. But they really mean it: wheels, controllers, VR headsets, 4K televisions...hell, even 12K displays. You'l...
Ryse on PC photo
Ryse on PC

Ryse: Son of Rome on PC shows tons of detail, runs at 4K


But you'll need a pretty nice rig
Aug 14
// Dale North
This fall, Xbox One launch game Ryse: Son of Rome comes to the PC with some significant visual upgrades. This morning at gamescom, we met with Crytek's Brian Chambers, senior producer on Ryse, to check out the PC build for the first time. It looks goooood.
Origin PCs photo
Origin PCs

Origin is offering 4K-ready PCs for less than $4K


Which is still a lot of money
Aug 11
// Alasdair Duncan
True story time, kids: On Friday, there was a power outage in my apartment complex and when it was restored a few hours later, my PC refused to boot. I'm hoping it's just the PSU that's blown but my suspicions are that my mot...
Hardware photo
Hardware

MSI unveils WS60, the second lightest workstation ever


Slap a 880m in it and I'll buy it for a dollar
Aug 07
// Brittany Vincent
MSI has unveiled its WS60 ultralight workstation. It features a choice of 1080p or 3K resolution screen, 16GB of DDR3L ram, 128 GB SSD + 1TB hard drives, and the ability to stream 4K video via its Thunderbolt 2 connectors. It...
Logitech photo
Logitech

Here's Logitech's attempt at creating the world's fastest gaming mouse


Call it Algernon and send it flowers
Aug 01
// Brittany Vincent
Logitech has announced its G402 Hyperion Fury gaming mouse that claims to have taken the throne as the worlds fastest gaming mouse. The G402 can reliably track over 500 inches per second and includes Logitech's exclusive Delt...
PC gaming photo
PC gaming

PC gaming hardware market holds lead over consoles


Enthusiasts continue to drop big bucks for big hardware
Jul 17
// Brittany Vincent
The PC gaming hardware market, which consists of personal computers, upgrades, and peripherals used for gaming, is alive and booming in contrast to the general decline in the mainstream PC market. Ted Pollak, Senior Gaming An...
Gaming laptop photo
Gaming laptop

Origin doing razor thin gaming laptops with EVO series


That's 'razor' with an 'o' and not Origin the EA thing and not EVO the tournament
Jul 15
// Steven Hansen
And I thought people referring to Early Access games as "EA" was confusing. Origin -- the PC manufacturer -- debuting its EVO series laptop right after the end of EVO -- the fighting game tournament -- is a good one. Anyway, here's a new $2,000 laptop you should expense if you work for a wealthy company.
Computers photo
Computers

Newegg and iBUYPOWER join forces to unveil custom configurator


♬ Do you want to build a computerrrrrr? ♬
Jul 09
// Brittany Vincent
iBUYPOWER and Newegg have announced that they will be joining forces to offer another venue in which you can build your very own custom PC. Using an intuitive selection system you can easily pick and choose which parts fit yo...
Keyboard and Mouse combo photo
Keyboard and Mouse combo

Roccat's Sova keyboard and mouse combination aids PC couch play


12 hours of battery life and a sliding mousepad
Jun 11
// Chris Carter
This week at E3, hardware maker Roccat unveiled the Sova -- the "first fully realized modular wireless keyboard and mousepad combo." Phew! The unit allows players to game on the couch with a mouse and keyboard comfortably, mo...
 photo
Plus two awesome gaming mousepads
Our friends at Logitech have hooked us up with an awesome set of PC gaming gear to give away to one lucky Dtoider! Up for grabs is the G502 Proteus Core gaming mouse, which features 11 programmable buttons, in-game DPI adjust...

Nvidia Titan photo
Nvidia Titan

Nvidia's Titan Z costs more than the last car I bought


By $500 and it doesn't even take me to and from the welfare office
May 29
// Steven Hansen
Nvidia is preparing to launch the previously announced GeForce GTX Titan Z. It costs three grand. Roughly $.50 for each of its 5,760 CUDA cores or $250 for each gig of its 12GB GDDR5 VRAM. This is not a product for normal human consumption, of course, unless you are a lunatic or think your four door sedan could use a jet engine.

Review: Cambridge Audio DacMagic XS USB DAC

May 03 // Dale North
Product: Cambridge Audio DacMagic XS USB DACManufacturer: CambridgeInput: USBMSRP: $199.99 ($189 on Amazon) The Cambridge Audio DacMagic XS USB DAC is a tiny little thing, just barely bigger than a Zippo lighter, and far lighter. Its top edge of its brushed aluminum body features a mini USB port and its bottom edge has only a single 1/8" audio jack. On the front face you'll find volume buttons and the Cambridge Audio logo -- and that's it. Simple and clean. That USB port connects the DacMagic to any PC or Mac (via the included mini cable), which lets you completely bypass the internal DAC, giving you access to high-quality sound. I first tried it out on my office computer, a Macbook Pro Retina (the device is 100 percent plug-and-play on any Mac). I didn't expect it to much for what I was listening to at the time -- streamed music on YouTube -- but it did. I immediately picked up improved definition, a tighter low end, and a smoother top, making songs I've heard dozens of times on my office sound setup sound better than I've ever heard. Intrigued, I quickly jumped to trying out the DacMagic with higher quality source material. Most of my newer playlists are stored in Apple's format at 320kbps, so it was no problem putting the DAC through its paces. R&B tunes had a very satisfying kick/bass guitar range through my main listening headphones, the AKG K545. I'm not really an EDM guy, but listening to Japanese artist M-Flo's new album, Edm-Flo, had me grinning wildly for most of the time I sat through the 20-track album. My other favorite phones, the AKG K702, took all that sweet, clean high end the DacMagic put out and made my ears happy, like they were born to be together. For high quality audio file rips (DacMagic supports up to 192kHz sample rates in its optional USB 2.0 mode), I was quite pleased with its performance as I heard a new depth to songs I've heard many times before. But for older MP3s I could hear every tiny little compression artifact and cymbal crunch. Too much power can be bad sometimes. This tiny little box was equally impressive in gaming. It only took a few seconds to appreciate the improved balance and detail while poking through my Steam library with the DacMagic connected, and gaming headphones on. It made my SteelSeries phones sound better, no question. I'm already unbelievably bad at CloudBuilt, but I was even worse this time as I was too busy appreciating the sound work and the outstanding musical score to get anywhere. I did side-by-side comparisons using several sets of phones on the same games, switching between the DacMagic and the internal sound of my gaming rig, Razer's Blade 14. Again, no contest: through the DacMagic, games sounded shiny, impressive, and considerably more immersive. In Cloudbuilt, I picked up on atmospheric effects that I never noticed before, like voice echos and musical reverb trails. Even simple games like DuckTales Remastered and Joe Danger had me clearly hearing the benefits of an upgraded DAC. It got to the point where switching back was a bit of a bummer. I'll never look at my rig's headphone port the same again, sadly. It's too bad I have to send this thing back. If you are looking to improve sound quality for gaming, music, movies, or anything else that comes out of your computer, the DacMagic is a really easy and convenient way to do that. It's so small, light, and portable (and comes in a nice drawstring bag) that you won't ever sweat taking it with you. A DAC like this might be a tough sell to gamers with its $189 street price, especially when it's hard to convey what exactly it would do for their gaming experience. But I think gamers are becoming smarter and more selective about audio, and the headphone/audio business is growing rapidly as a direct result of gamer demand for quality listening experiences. We now have access to very high-quality headsets, and we should want to plug these into only the best source. That's where a DAC upgrade makes sense to me. Just short of $200 is a tall order for this  matchbox of a thing, but hearing is believing. This little thing made a big difference for me, and if you're running motherboard stock audio, it probably will for you too. If you're the type that wants your games to sound their best, check out the DacMagic. It might be exactly what you're looking for.
USB DAC review photo
USB DAC can make your games sound better
Before I tell you why you need this DAC or any other, let me tell you what it actually is.  Think of a Digital to Analog Converter as an external upgrade for the circuitry of your audio device's innards. Every modern aud...

Watch Dogs photo
Watch Dogs

Pick up select GeForce graphics card, get Watch Dogs for free on PC


You'll be able to watch so many dogs
Apr 30
// Brittany Vincent
Thinking about picking up a new graphics card? Nvidia your style? Starting today and continuing "for a limited time," purchase any qualifying GeForce GTX graphics card to receive a free code for Watch Dogs, redeemable via Ubi...

Review: Razer BlackWidow Ultimate

Apr 22 // Dale North
Product: BlackWidow UltimateManufacturer: RazerInput: USBMSRP: $139.99 Before we get to the keys, let's cover the board itself. The newly updated Razer BlackWidow Ultimate is built to impress with its solid weight and flex-free casing. The matte finish is welcome! They went with their standard green-on-black scheme, with cool backlit keys that made my office look like a science lab with the lights off. The light is super bright, though. The new, in-house designed mechanical key switches (nope, not Cherry this time) are so responsive that, again, they feel connected to my fingertips. I love how it feels to type. But this is a more dampened feel than their previous board, which positively affects sound levels (more on that later). I don't feel like much was sacrificed to dampen the sound, but those looking for that super crisp feel might think some of that exciting edge is missing with the BlackWidow Ultimate. I like the middle ground here because I never felt like I was making accidental key strokes, and I never typed my way to a headache from the sound. With gaming, the experience was so good that I forgot about what I was using after awhile. It became transparent. I felt very dialed in playing games like Earth Defense Force and Resident Evil Revelations. The space bar is a joy. Apparently there's a shorter travel time for Razer's switches, but I never felt that difference. No matter, though -- what they have was definitely working for me. Outside the feel and responsiveness of the keys, there's very little in the way of gaming-specific features to point out for the BlackWidow Ultimate. You won't find much beyond the row of five macro keys on the left side of the unit, which may not be enough for some types of gamers. It's just the goods and not much else. You can use Razer's Synapse software to do key bindings and macros, mind you. My favorite part? The keys are clicky, but not noisy. I love the mechanical feel of a premium board, but I'm usually out the door on even the best keys when it comes to very noisy clicks. The last model I tried had me distracted, even with gaming headphones on. That's not a problem with the BlackWidow at all.  The Razer BlackWidow Ultimate does one thing and does it very well, with no frills or dorky features getting in the way. It's a good-looking, solid board that seems like it'll hold up to years of gaming and typing. It's a bit expensive at $139, but you're getting a quality input device that should last you a while for the asking price. For many, this will just be an update to a long-respected gaming board. They'll want to try out these new switches for sure (there's a hole in the box that lets you do so). But if you're in the market for a new gaming board, this one is definitely worth a look. 
Razer BlackWidow Ultimate photo
2014 version
asdf;lkjas;dlfkj;aslkjdf;lakjsdf;lkj Home key attack! It feels so good to type on super responsive keys, especially for someone that spends 6-8 hours a day typing on those chicklet-style laptop keyboards. Razer's new BlackWid...

Nvidia photo
Nvidia

Nivida announces $2,999 GeForce GTX Titan Z


This sounds like a dare
Mar 25
// Jordan Devore
Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang announced the GeForce GTX Titan Z today at the company's GPU Technology Conference and, all right, there's no real getting around the card's sticker shock. 5,760 CUDA cores. 12GB GDDR5 VRAM. $2,999. ...

Two new Razer laptops offer power and profile at a premium

Mar 12 // Steven Hansen
Razer Blade Pro (17") The Razer Blade Pro is in an iterative year. Of course there has been an obsessive attention to making the laptop more powerful, abetted by Nvidia's Maxwell generation Geforce GTX 860M. With what is seen as the fastest mobile GPU, the Pro has seen 46 percent higher benchmark performance.  With the 860M comes a host of Nvidia Geforce features. ShadowPlay allows for easy live streaming to Twitch and ten-minute buffered game capture without performance issues while GameStream allows streaming from the Pro to a remote display. Nvidia's Battery Boost, meanwhile, can reportedly double battery life. Locking the frame rate to 30 will help with that as well. Doubled RAM (now 16GB) and a fourth-generation Intel i7 have all been jammed into the Pro's consistent form factor. Razer is also pushing its Switchblade UI. The touch pad on the Pro is also a screen, which you can use to browse Twitter or watch YouTube -- even while you're playing a game. It's all customizable and Razer has more partnerships in the works with applications. A new Twitch app lets you watch streams on the little screen and even chat while the Windows 8 Charm app tries to pare down the new OS. Razer even co-developed a DJ app with electronic/dance artist Afrojack.  It starts at $2,299. Razer Blade (14") Here's where things get crazier. The (relatively) cheaper 14" Razer Blade started at $400 less last year. We expect technology to go down in price. I think we still do. I still do, anyway. But an edge-to-edge glass 3200 x 1800 10-point capacitive multi-touch display doesn't come cheap. And it looks incredible, thanks also to a 250 percent improved contrast ratio and 160-degree viewing angle on both axes. In his review, Dale was disappointed with the Blade's lack of vibrancy and color in its display, particularly, "compared with Apple's MacBook Pro Retina." Razer clearly took that criticism to heart, delivering the highest resolution 14" laptop display there is. Somehow Razer managed to squeeze that ludicrous touch display -- does that really make Windows 8 that much more usable? -- into its flagship gaming laptop without sacrificing its claims of being the thinnest and lightest in its field. ".7 inches thin," Razer explains in the same way my mother talks about how many "years young" she is. Sei vecchio, va bene. The new Blade uses Nvidia's GTX 870M, a fourth-generation Intel i7, and a bunch of other computer parts (specs are on site, naturally) to deliver around 65 percent benchmark improvements. Which means when Battlefield 4 crashed, it wasn't the computer's fault, and Sleeping Dogs looked more vivid than ever and all I want to do now is play it more. The average FPS at 3200 x 1800 during its benchmark was over 50. You could probably run that on the battery for longer than my laptop will play a movie with the display turned off (critical warnings before one True Detective episode finished).  It starts at $2,199.
Razer's new laptops photo
Razer? I hardly even know her!
Every time I see a razor blade in person I have to pick it up. Those things are dangerous and shouldn't be left lying about. Kids could put them in their mouth or pigeons could weaponize them. Maybe mobsters will smuggle them...

Steam Machines photo
Steam Machines

Which Steam Machine is the best one?


Origin PC - Chronos comes out on top
Jan 17
// Chris Carter
Steam Machine information is starting to roll out, and thanks to Steam Dev Days, even more info is coming in every day. Future Mark has put these systems by the test, rating them by their 3DMark Fire Strike scores from Window...

Review: Nyrius Aries Pro Wireless HD for Laptops

Jan 14 // Dale North
Aries Pro Wireless HD for Laptops Manufacturer: NyriusMSRP: $399.99 ($249 on Amazon) The Aries Pro Wireless HD for Laptops is a streaming solution that sends 1080p HD video and its accompanying audio wirelessly, letting you use your PC or laptop (or console) without having to bother with rewiring. A transmitter the size of a pack of gum has an HDMI port on its end, and this is to be plugged into any video source. A small box about the size of a deck of cards acts as a receiver. Its HDMI port lets you run a cable to any television or monitor to receive the streamed A/V signal. The transmitter is powered by a USB cable, while the receiver is powered by a 5V DC power cord.  My house is a mess of game systems. Now, I'm not bragging, but I have game systems everywhere. In multiple rooms -- bedroom, living room, offices --  you'll find both current and next-gen consoles as well as debug/test kits, and that's not to mention my work and gaming laptops. My home office is where most of them reside, but they never seem to stay completely together. I can't tell you how often I'm carrying systems around my house to get work done.  I've just come off a week-long marathon gameplay session for Square Enix's Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII for an upcoming preview and review, so I had moved my PS3 test kit into my living room to get comfortable with this lengthy RPG. In getting back to work the following week, I wanted to return to my office where I could take notes during gameplay. The Aries Pro let me simply unplug the HDMI cable from the PS3 kit and plug in the transceiver instead of moving the system. The USB power was supplied by one of the PS3 kit's front ports. Back in my office, which is about 20 feet away in the corner of my house, I turned on my office gaming television and used a DualShock 3 controller to play wirelessly.  It works like a charm. The television showed that it was receiving an HD signal, and my audio receiver showed that it had locked into a Dolby stream. I loaded up the game and found that it looked pretty good for a signal that had traveled across a couple of rooms. While not pristine like a direct HDMI connection, the gameplay still looked sufficiently HD, with even the smallest text remaining readable. Dark scenes had the signal quality occasionally dropping, making it look more compressed. But, for the most part, I was totally fine with the compromise. I played for about two hours, and I found that after awhile I completely forgot that I was playing over a streaming connection. I was impressed with the responsiveness. While I have no doubt that some kind of signal lag is introduced, it had no effect on my gameplay of Lightning Returns, which has a new battle system that favors action over menus. I noticed no lag in a couple of hours of play. Nyrius claims there is "zero lag" with its solution. In a shorter-range test, I had the Aries Pro streaming across my office to send a signal from my Wii U to my office television. I found that shorter distances had the video quality improving greatly. From about 10 feet away Super Mario 3D World looked almost indistinguishable from a direct HDMI connection. We're talking absolutely flawless -- no stuttering or pixelization at all.  More importantly, Super Mario 3D World played perfectly. I had no problem with any delays as I made precise jumps and turns in a few test levels. Very impressive. Couch surfing and playing through my Steam game collection from my couch had me really seeing the appeal of the Aries Pro. I have a pretty long living room, but the connection had no problems keeping up. In the process of going through several games and websites, as well as watching some streaming video, the stream never broke from its highest quality. The experience was completely free of issue. For a range test, I was able to use my long living room and line of sight from adjacent rooms to test Nyrius' claims of a 160-foot range for the Aries Pro. It may be that it had to pass by three large clusters of wireless electronics, but the best I could get was about 60 feet before the signal dropped intermittently. The signal had no problem going through walls for this distance, but when I tried to push beyond 60 feet, or add another room between the transmitter and receiver, the signal would drop out. But even at 40 feet the signal was fairly clean between my laptop and my office television. For some reason I got even better results from my laptop than I did the PS3. I found that below 25 feet seems to be a sweet spot for the Aries Pro. Again, in my living room and in my office, the streams were always flawless. Latency was never a problem for any of the games I tried, either. This should be more than enough for most living rooms. My bedroom television is connected to a Roku box for watching streaming content, and I make do with that, leaving my only DVR in the living room. Using the Aries Pro, I was able to catch up on shows in bed without having to run any cabling. Of course, changing channels meant that I had to go to the other room, but the streaming video never faltered. If you had a ceiling-mounted projector, the Aries Pro would be an ideal product. You could have a clean installation, never having to worry about HDMI cable runs up your walls and on your ceiling.  The Aries Pro supports eight transmitters, so the included remote control will let you switch sources wirelessly.  A drawback to the transmitter design is that its width prevents it from being plugged into some consoles. I couldn't test it on the Xbox One because the HDMI port is placed so closely to the power port that the transmitter wouldn't fit. The PS4's HDMI port is surrounded by plastic in a way that the transmitter won't fit. Nyrius includes an L-shaped female-to-male adapter to help with this issue, but this has the transmitter sticking out, and it may prove to be too tall or wide for your entertainment center setup. Yes, the HDMI signal is compressed or compromised in some way, and the range isn't quite as great as advertised, but the Aries Pro manages to impress despite these issues. Again, for the most part, the video signal is good enough that I forgot that I was playing on a streamed connection. And I still can't believe that there's no perceptible lag with the Aries Pro when it comes to gaming, even after a week of using it.  If you need to send HD video and audio wirelessly, the Aries Pro is an excellent solution, and at about a $250 street price it's quite a bit cheaper than any of the professional products you'd have to buy to get similar results. Highly recommended.
Wireless HDMI? photo
Wireless HD video
Connecting your PC (or game console) to your television isn't necessarily difficult, but the cabling can be a bit of a hassle. The HDMI outputs on better laptops and most GPUs make it easier by sending both video and audio ov...

 photo

You're going to want Nvidia's G-SYNC


When it's cheaper, and if you use Nvidia GPUs
Jan 09
// Dale North
We've known about Nvidia’s G-Sync tech for a bit, but seeing how it performs first hand at CES today has moved the purchase of new compatible hardware up my priority list by quite a bit. Nvidia had several of the newly ...
 photo

Up close and personal with Razer's Project Christine


And some details on how it works
Jan 08
// Dale North
At CES today, Razer snuck us in to get a closer look at their newly unveiled modular PC concept, which they've codenamed Project Christine. We got to talk to them about how this odd looking tower of blocks would work, and then we got to get up close to take some pictures.  I got in trouble for touching it!
Steam Box photo
Steam Box

Digital Storm reveals Bolt II Steam Box hybrid PC


A small form factor and water-cooled too
Jan 06
// Conrad Zimmerman
We're going to be seeing a whole lot of Steam Box models over the next several months, I suspect, and here's another option to be considered. Digital Storm has announced today the Bolt II gaming PC, which will sport both Stea...
Steam hardware survey photo
Steam hardware survey

Steam hardware survey shows Windows 7 is still king


Windows 8 is slowly making up ground
Jan 06
// Alasdair Duncan
The Steam Hardware & Software results make interesting reading whenever they are released as it gives us all an idea about what the average gaming PC is like. Maybe the most telling statistic is that Windows 7 continues t...
 photo

Nvidia's G-SYNC kills screen tearing and stuttering


First monitors debut at CES this week
Jan 06
// Dale North
Monitor makers will be showing off their new models that support Nvidia's new G-SYNC technology here at CES this week. This tech synchronizes the monitor refresh rate with the GPU's rendering to make problems like tearing and...

Review: D-Link DGL-5500 Gaming Router

Dec 17 // Joshua Derocher
Product: D-Link DGL-5500 Gaming RouterManufacturer: D-LinkMSRP: $199.99 The D-Link DGL-5500 is a dual band router, with a 2.4GHz band and a 5GHz band. It supports Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS), four gigabit LAN ports, one gigabit WAN port, a USB 2.0 port, and all of the security features that you would expect in a modern router. It has an MSRP of $199.99, which is normal for a high-end router. Setting up the DGL-5500 is very easy. It comes with an installation CD, and if you don't have an optical drive you can access the router's set-up from your web browser. I had it up and running in a few minutes, and the default setup wizard left me with a setup that I haven't needed to mess with since. Basically, if you have been able to set up any other router on your own, you will be able to set this up just fine. Once the router is online, you can access its settings by going to http://dlinkrouter. The interface has been updated from older D-Link products I have used -- it's clean looking and easy to find the settings you need to change. You can clearly see what devices are connected to the network, and how much bandwidth each device is using. You can prioritize devices very easily to make sure the internet is going to where you need it the most. The DGL-5500 is great at showing you where all your bandwidth is going, and how it's being used. A statistics page in the router's settings will show you charts of how much data an app uses, how much time is spent in each app, and the times the apps were active. Apps include most software programs that connect to the web, such as Netflix, Twitter, Steam, Pandora, etc. This would be extremely helpful to anyone who has a bandwidth cap on their internet service. You can also see what apps on each device are using bandwidth, so you can tell how much data your laptop has downloaded from Steam or Netflix. The range on this router is fantastic, even on the 5GHz band. My desktop is a floor above where my router is located, and it's a couple of rooms over with old thick walls that are the enemy of wi-fi signals. A $50 Netgear router was completely unable to provide a good connection upstairs on the 2.5GHz band. Before setting the DGL-5500 up, I was using a Linksys EA2700 Smart Router, and while it had great coverage on the 2.5GHz band all over my apartment, the 5GHz band would only work on the first floor where the router is located. The DGL-5500's 5GHz band covers the whole apartment, even up here in my office. I was shocked, actually.  While the DGL-5500 might not offer speeds that are faster than some other routers, I did notice that my overall experience was smoother when using multiple devices. The DGL-5500 uses a technology called "StreamBoost," which works automatically prioritize your network's bandwidth in an intelligent way. To put it simply, it can tell what data is for your games, or your video streaming, and it will make sure the things that need constant internet will get it. To test out what this thing can handle, I had a PlayStation 3 in the living room streaming Amazon Instant Video, a Roku upstairs in the bedroom streaming video on Plex, my PC was streaming Amazon Instant Video, I had BitTorrent going around 200 kB/s, and I was playing EVE Online. There also about three or four phones hooked up to the network while I was testing it, but they weren't doing anything special. I did not experience any slowdowns anywhere. The video streaming was constantly smooth, and I was still able to browse the web. That test wasn't too far from what our normal internet usage every day. There are four people living in my apartment on the network, and we all rely on the internet for our television watching, so there's usually one to three people streaming video at any given point in the day. The DGL-5500 has been able to handle the load without any issues, which is more than I can say of the Linksys EA2700 I was using before this -- it would start to buckle when two people were streaming video, or I had BitTorrent open. I really love this router. It can withstand the heavy internet usage we have, and it doesn't flinch when ten or more devices are hooked up and are fighting for bandwidth. The speeds are similar to routers you can get for a lot less, but the the extra cost is worth the amazing 5GHz range and for how many devices this thing can handle at once. If you live alone in a small apartment with only two or three devices, then this might be overkill for you. If you live in a larger apartment with other people, then a router of this grade is almost a necessity if you want to keep everyone connected.
D-Link DGL-5500 photo
A high-end router for gamers
Having a good router is a necessity these days. Every electronic device you own connects to the internet, and many play games online and stream HD video. Your PC and consoles are beginning to rely more and more on digital cop...


Auto-loading more stories ... un momento, corazón ...