Maybe Intel should give up on making performance motherboards. You’d think an Intel chipset would stand the best chance in a board designed by Intel. That’s not the case. The desktop partner to Intel’s crazy-ass Skulltrail platform, the DX48BT2 board is code-named Bonetrail, and of the four boards here, it is the most disappointing.
If the EVGA nForce 790i board is a Shelby Cobra—a bristling big-block V8 with drum brakes and leaf springs—Asus’s Striker II Extreme is a high-tech, twin-turbo, all-wheel-steering Nissan Skyline GT-R R35. In other words, the Striker II Extreme is a spectacle of bells, whistles, and doohickeys. So much so that you actually won’t mind shelling out $450 for it. Read on to find what your dough'll getcha.
We weren’t impressed with Nvidia’s follow up to the popular 680i chipset. The 780i felt like a retread of the original and lacked support for Intel’s top proc: the 1,600MHz FSB Core 2 Extreme QX9770. Plus, PCI Express 2.0 was simply tacked on as an extra chip and DDR3 support was glaringly absent.
Nvidia heard our complaints and created the 790i chipset, represented here by EVGA’s Ultra SLI board. It has native PCI-E 2.0, 1,600MHz FSB support, and DDR3. This board even addresses another shortcoming of the 680i and 780i reference boards: lack of eSATA. Read on for the full review!
Gigabyte must have read our minds when we were thinking of our dream motherboard because the X48T-DQ6 has a feature we’ve been longing for: eight frigging USB ports! That’s just one of the things Gigabyte does right with this motherboard. Based on Intel’s DDR3, 1,600MHz FSB chipset, the X48T-DQ6 is a far better example of what a performance X48-based board should be than, well, Intel’s own implementation. It's fast and overclocker-friendly, with the safety net of an Intel chipset.
On the eve of the GeForce GTX 280 launch just last week, ATI unveiled a bombshell—a brand-new GPU architecture that utilized better process technology and a more power efficient design to outperform Nvidia's gargantuan new GPU. ATI eschewed the huge, hot monolithic GPU for a more compact, but modular core. With twin goals of decreased power consumption and more efficiency per die area, ATI looks poised to dethrone Nvidia, and all without building a videocard that sports an aural footprint roughly equivalent to a Dyson vacuum cleaner.
With the new RV770 GPU comes two products, the $200 Radeon 4850 and the $300 Radeon 4870. While their prices vary wildly, the videocards all use the same GPU. Click the jump to find out exactly what makes it tick.
OCZ has partnered with Fatal1ty (or more aptly, the corporate entity known as Fatal1ty), “to deliver a range of exciting new memory and power supply products that are engineered specifically to meet the unique needs of gamers worldwide”. In non-sales speak that means they are going to stick the “Fatal1ty” name on some RAM to sell to the masses. It’s a Jedi Salesman mind trick. Think you are going to play like Fatal1ty if you buy his RAM, Video Card, Motherboard, or whatever? Hardly.
From the Air to the Pro, Apple’s MacBooks are winning the hearts and minds of consumers everywhere—including PC enthusiasts. Maximum PC investigates whether the hoopla is warranted.
What do you really get for the money when you throw down for a MacBook, and how do these Apple computers compare to their PC counterparts in terms of performance, features, overall usability, and price? Maximum PC tests and reviews the MacBook Air, the standard MacBook, and the MacBook Pro against five PC models sporting similar price points and formfactors. It’s time we set the record straight.
We wondered if Dell was making a passive-aggressive statement when it shipped us its new XPS M1530 in flamingo pink. Perhaps the boys in Austin think the MacBook Pro is a bit effete, so the pink is fitting. Or perhaps someone on the reviews team just finished watching Reservoir Dogs and was channeling Steve Buscemi’s Mr. Pink.
Whatever the reason, the XPS M1530—be it pink, blue, or brown—is a worthy contender to Apple’s vaunted MacBook Pro. Featuring Intel’s 2.5GHz Core 2 Duo T9300, 2GB of DDR2/667, a 250GB Samsung SpinPoint drive, and a GeForce 8600M GT, the XPS M1530 certainly has the specs to compete with the MBP in performance.
We’re always a little taken aback when we see Apple’s MacBook Pro in the hands of PC power users. For example, we’ve seen PC game developers typing on MBPs at industry events. And at trade shows, it isn’t uncommon to see Windows app developers sporting Apple’s pro-class portable. Are we far from the day when Bill Gates is a proud MacBook Pro convert?
Even diehard PC users will be wowed by this portable's specs.
With a 15.4-inch screen, Acer’s TravelMate 5720 skirts the edge of what qualifies as a mainstream notebook. But at 7.5 lbs. of carry weight, it’s still pleasantly portable for a device that offers respectable multimedia and gaming functionality with a good-size battery.
Check out our full review of this jackrabbit-of-all-trades laptop after the jump.