AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT Review: Navi Targets 1080P Gamers

Back in October, AMD released its Radeon RX 5500 series GPUs for OEM desktop and mobile systems. The Radeon RX 5500 featured the same RDNA-infused Navi GPU architecture as the more powerful Radeon RX 5700 XT, but scaled things back for lower-power applications and more affordable price points. The cards weren’t destined for the channel or traditional retail availability, but rather pre-built systems and laptops. Soon thereafter, rumors began swirling that a somewhat more powerful, Navi-based mainstream solution was in the works, however – known as the Radeon RX 5500 XT. Well, it turns...

AMD Unveils Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020 Edition With Radeon Boost, Streamlined Interface, New Features Galore

Over the last several years, AMD has released major new driver features and enhancements at the end of the calendar year, and as 2019 draws to a close, it is no different. The just-released Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020 Edition overhauls the driver suite's installation and interface to surface what's important, adds new features (and enhances several others), and promises performance improvements in a variety of games. This new driver suite supports any GCN-based Radeon going back to the December 2011 release of the Radeon HD 7970 all the way up to the latest Navi architecture and the Radeon RX...

Build A Great Rig With HotHardware's PC Components Buyer's Guide, Just In Time For Black Friday

Welcome to HotHardware's PC Component Buyer's Guide, where we help prospective system builders pick out just the right collection of components to build the rigs of their dreams -- or at least the rig which makes the best use of your budget. We've picked out the best bang for the buck in processors, graphics cards, storage, and more in an effort to assemble some truly drool-worthy gaming PCs at a variety of price points. From top to bottom, rest assured that we've done the hard work of balancing price and performance in a way that gets the most performance possible from a given budget. Because...

AMD Threadripper 3970X And 3960X Review: Multi-Threaded Domination

AMD has been on an impressive run since the release of its first-generation Ryzen processors a couple of years back. After a long stretch playing second-fiddle to Intel in the desktop processor space, unable to effectively compete at the high-end of the market, AMD’s Zen micro-architecture propelled the company into a much more competitive position. And follow-on products turned the heat up on Intel even further. Today, that heat becomes a blazing hot inferno as AMD completely reshapes the HEDT landscape with a pair of processors as impressive as we’ve ever seen. At the risk of...

Intel Core i9-10980XE Review: 18-Core Cascade Lake-X Battles AMD [Updated]

Intel officially took the wraps off of its upcoming Cascade Lake-X based HEDT processors back in early October, revealed its updated pricing strategy, and the new features coming to its flagship desktop processor line-up. If you missed the original announcement and array of leaked performance data since then, Cascade Lake-X is a essentially a refresh of Skylake-X (the processor cores are mostly unchanged), but with official support for faster memory, more aggressive clocking and boost algorithms, and DL Boost integration, to help accelerate and array of AI workloads. Cascade Lake-X will work in...

GeForce RTX Ray Tracing On A $300 To $500 Budget: What To Expect

When NVIDIA's GeForce RTX graphics cards first launched, there weren't many games on the market that could take advantage of Turing's new bells and whistles. Over time that's changed, however, and some of this year's biggest hits—titles like Control and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare—can take full advantage of stunning ray-traced visual effects. NVIDIA's high-end Turing cards include some of the fastest GPUs around with equally eye-watering pricing, but it doesn't have to be that way if you want to take a more modest approach. The $299 - $329 GeForce RTX 2060 6 GB and $499 GeForce...

AMD Radeon Pro W5700 Review: Affordable Navi For Workstations

AMD launched its Navi-based Radeon RX 5700 series GPUs for gamers a few months back and customized, higher-clocked boards from its partners quickly followed soon thereafter. Navi, and its newly-designed RDNA-infused microarchitecture and instruction set, will be the foundation of an entire family of GPUs from AMD moving forward, that will span multiple market segments. The first products based on Navi targeted enthusiast gamers, but now AMD is ready to inject its leading-edge GPU architecture into the pro-graphics space with the brand-new Radeon Pro W5700, which we’ll be showing you here....

AMD Ryzen 9 3950X Review: A 16-Core Zen 2 Powerhouse

When Dr. Lisu Su took to the stage at an event back in June and officially announced the Ryzen 9 3950X, it didn’t come as much of a surprise to be honest. Considering the fact that Zen 2 CPU chiplets feature 8-cores each, and the Ryzen 9 3900X with dual CPU chiplets launched with only 12-cores enabled, there was immediate speculation that a 16-core Ryzen 3000 series variant was in the works and that AMD was perhaps holding it back for strategic reasons. Of course, there were a multitude of leaks leading up to the announcement that continued to fuel the flames, but needless to say a 16-core...

Sound Blaster X3 Review: Portable Super X-Fi Audio For PCs And Consoles

Creative Labs has been on something of a roll in 2019. The company has diversified into all kinds of gaming products from keyboards and mice to headsets and speakers. At the same time, Creative never lost track of its PC audio roots, and its flagship Sound BlasterX AE-9 delivered the goods with its high-end SABRE-class DAC and external breakout box with tons of connectivity options. You can't really stuff a PCI-Express card into a notebook or many small form factor PCs, however. For audio enthusiasts who need a USB solution, the $119.99 Sound Blaster X3 is the newest external audio device...

Intel Core i9-9900KS Review: The Fastest Gaming CPU Bar None

Intel has been talking about its Core i9-9900KS processor for months now. It was all the way back in May that the company first revealed what would become the new flagship processor in its mainstream computing platform. The Core i9-9900KS is not something totally new, however. As the “S” in its name implies, the Core i9-9900KS is something akin to a special edition of the existing Core i9-9900K. The processors are built from the same slab of silicon – an 8-core, Coffee Lake-refresh based die, packaged up for Intel’s LGA1151 socket. What makes the Core i9-9900KS different...

GeForce GTX 1660 Super Review: Turbo Charged 1080p Gaming

NVIDIA is expanding its GeForce GTX family of graphics cards today, with a pair of new Turing-based GPUs. As their branding suggests, the new GeForce GTX 1660 Super and GeForce GTX 1650 Super sit above their “non-Super” branded counterparts in NVIDIA’s line-up, but a notch below GeForce GTX Ti variants. It is only the GeForce GTX 1660 Super that is arriving on store shelves today, however. The GeForce GTX 1650 Super will be arriving at little later in November. NVIDIA is introducing some new driver and GeForce Experience-related features today too, which we will cover in a just...

Intel Tremont CPU Microarchitecture: Power Efficient, High-Performance x86

Late last year, at its Architecture Day event, Intel revealed a new, low-power microarchitecture, codenamed Tremont, that would power and array of processors and SoCs targeting products across the client, data center, 5G networking, and Internet of Things markets. While Intel did disclose the codename and show-off a Foveros-based SoC featuring Tremont -- codenamed Lakefield -- it did not dive deep on the microarchitecture or discuss its inner-workings. Today, however, at the Linley Fall Processor Conference that’s currently underway, Intel discussed Tremont in-depth and revealed its main...

Kingston KC2000 NVMe SSD Review: Competitive Pricing And Performance

Kingston recently expanded its portfolio of solid state drives, with a new family of products targeting high-performance desktop and workstation applications. The Kingston KC2000 series of drives feature a PCI Express Gen 3.0 x 4 controller, 96-layer 3D TLC NAND flash memory, and boast of peak transfer speeds north of 3GB/s. The drives are offered in an array of capacities, ranging from 250GB all the way on up to 2TB, and they support a number of security-conscious features as well. All told, the Kingston KC2000 series drives try to cater to a myriad of use cases, from mainstream consumer desktops,...

Integer Scaling Explored: Sharper Pixels For Retro And Modern Games

It'd be a gross understatement to say that retro gaming has experienced something of a renaissance in recent years. Nintendo's NES Classic and SNES Classic mini-consoles or the Switch Online's NES and SNES catalogs might be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about older games, but the House of Mario is hardly alone. Sony stumbled into the retro scene last year, and both the Sega Genesis and NEC TurboGrafx-16 (by way of rights-holder Konami) will get their respective official love letters shortly. We'd be remiss, however, if we didn't think about the technology at the heart of...

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