Dell UltraSharp UP3214Q 4K Ultra HD Monitor Review

In case you didn't get the memo, the 4K Ultra HD revolution has begun. What's been remarkable about the ongoing transition from Full HD 1080p to 4K Ultra HD is that hardware makers and content creators didn't get stuck in a 'chicken and egg' scenario. Typically when new technology emerges, hardware makers wait for software developers to come out with content that can take advantage of the new capabilities, while software developers are reluctant to code for new hardware until there's a big enough userbase to justify the investment. In this case, we're talking about monitor manufacturers and...

OCZ Storage Solutions Interview With Alex Mei

To say OCZ has had a tumultuous year in 2013 would be putting it mildly. The company took a brutal beating financially and was knocked down, but not out. Now, thanks to an acquisition by Toshiba, the newly formed and revitalized OCZ Storage Solutions, is poised and ready to make another run at enthusiasts and the enterprise. In an effort to clear up some of the rumors and hear what Toshiba’s OCZ Storage Solutions Group has in store this year, we reached out to OCZ’s CMO, Alex Mei. Here’s what he had to say: HH: How will Toshiba’s acquisition of OCZ affect future...

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls: Better, Faster, More Fun

In about six weeks, Blizzard will launch Reaper of Souls, the first expansion pack for Diablo 3. I've spent the last few weeks playing in the beta for RoS, and while I normally hold an article this extensive for a launch, there's enough locked-in differences to be worth discussing at this stage. This new expansion comes with the usual slew of goodies -- a new Act for the game, new quests, a new enchanting ability, and a new skill for each existing class, as well as a new Crusader class to experiment with. The ancient city of Westmarch: Location of Act V All of this falls into the "expected"...

Hands On with Dell's 27-inch P2714T Touch Monitor

When Microsoft launched Windows 8, the company gambled on consumers welcoming touch on the desktop, just as they had on mobile handheld devices, namely tablets and smartphones. It remains to be seen if that gamble will pay off, but in the meantime, peripheral makers and other hardware partners have stepped up with products built to take advantage of Windows 8's touch friendly interface. That includes Dell, which sent us its 27-inch P2714T Touch Monitor to test drive. The P2714T brings support for 10 points of multi-touch input, so if you want to get up close and friendly with two...

Battlefield 4 Gameplay and Performance Preview

EA took the wraps off Battlefield 4 this past week, offering players a chance to experience a taste of what the game offers via an early beta. We've spent time with the game, tested its early performance, and come back to report the findings. AMD, of course, has been talking up the Battlefield 4 combination with a vengeance, highlighting the features of its new Mantle API and close partnership with DICE, Battlefield 4's developer. At the same time, however, this is just a beta -- while we'll be checking performance and commenting on game changes, this isn't a full review of the final product....

Corsair Obsidian 750D Case: Well Built For Water Cooling

Over the past few years, Corsair has steadily ramped up the number and types of computer chassis it manufacturers. The high-end 700D and 800D have been followed by a number of midrange products and one uber-expensive deluxe model, the massive 900D. The case we're reviewing today, the 750D, is meant to drop into the sub-$200 price bracket, where it faces competition from Corsair's own 650D mid-tower as well as a number of other chassis from manufacturers. Despite the name, the 750D is actually somewhat smaller than the original 700D/800D family. Those chassis were 24 inches long, 24 inches tall,...

Grand Theft Auto V Review: A Triple Dose of Satirical Fun

Let me state right off the bat that I'm primarily a PC gamer. You might not know it if you set foot in my living room, where you'll find an Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Nintendo Wii all jockeying for attention in my home theater rack, but outside of sports titles and the occasional party-type game played through the Kinect, I play games on a PC. I bring this up because Grand Theft Auto V isn't yet available for the PC, marking one of the title's few shortcomings in what's otherwise an engaging, open world with a connected storyline that's masterfully woven through the perspective of three playable...

Hands and Eyes On The Oculus Rift VR System

A year ago at PAX Prime 2012, the Oculus Rift was a fusion of electronics, barely more than an idea and literally held together with duct tape. Even then it delivered an impressive demo running a VR-optimized, playable version Id Software’s Doom 3. What a difference a year makes. The Oculus Rift, circa 2012 at PAX Prime This year PAX Prime 2013 Oculus VR had an entire booth and a dozen stations for press and fans to check out the latest generation of the Oculus Rift technology. And clearly enthusiasm and excitement for the Oculus Rift is exploding. The line to try them was densely packed...

HotHardware's 2013 Back To School Shopping Guide

It's that time again. The time of year when students and parents frantically hit e-tailers that offer fast shipping in order to get that all-important back-to-school technology into a dorm room or backpack before classes begins. It's back-to-school season, and whether you've started classes recently or are awaiting (dreading?) that first 8AM lecture, there may be a few bits of techno-shopping that need to be taken care of before you can be on your way to that straight-A report card. Credit: Google Whether you're about to begin the Fall semester of college or your...

ASUS PQ321 Ultra HD 4K 31.5-inch Monitor Review

We have a confession to make (well, several actually, but all the rest date back to our college days, and some secrets are best left untold). Reviewing monitors isn't as fun as it once was. It's not that we've grown jaded over the years, but plain and simple, the monitor market has become stale, lacking the kind of 'gee-whiz' innovations that tend to excite us. Panel makers seemed to stopped pushing the envelope once they developed 30-inch In-Plane Switching (IPS) screens, and for the longest time, that's where the high-end has sector been stuck, as if caught in quicksand with no rope in sight,...

NVIDIA SHIELD Tegra 4 Android Gaming Portable

NVIDIA made quite a splash at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show when they first unveiled their SHIELD portable gaming device. If you missed the original announcement, or the myriad of related posts we’ve put up about the device since then, SHIELD is a Tegra 4-based portable gaming machine that’s packing a 5-inch multi-touch screen, a console-grade game controller, and an unmolested version of Android Jelly Bean. NVIDIA SHIELD Portable Gaming Device In some respects NVIDIA’s SHIELD is simply a small Android tablet with a kick-ass game controller attached. But of...

SanDisk Extreme microSDXC UHS-I Memory Card Review

A couple of weeks back, SanDisk launched a new line of Class 10 UHS-I microSDHC / microSDXC cards targeted at performance conscious consumers. When describing the cards, SanDisk’s director of retail product marketing Susan Park said, “The SanDisk Extreme microSDXC card allows users to do more with their devices…Our high-performance and high-capacity microSD cards enable consumers to take advantage of the high-quality HD video and imaging capabilities in the latest 4G smartphones, tablets and action cameras." With up to 80MB/s read and 50MB/s write speeds, the new SanDisk...

AOC Q29630 29" UltraWide IPS LED Monitor Review

Ask any person who owns a dual-monitor setup and they'll all tell you they couldn't fathom going back to a single display. Maybe you're one of those people, and if so, you know exactly the feeling we're talking about. But what if you could enjoy all the benefits of a dual-monitor configuration from a single monitor? Would you be game to reclaiming some desk space by trading in two panels for a single display? AOC aims to answer that question with its new 29-inch Q2963PM display. Armed with an UltraWide In-Plane Switching (IPS) panel, this LED-backlit monitor boasts a 2560x1080 resolution with 21:9...

Microsoft Reacts But Did It Get Windows 8.1 Right?

For Windows users of all kinds, the Windows "Blue" 8.1 update has been long-awaited. Those who've been using the base OS since launch have no doubt been anticipating some of the enhancements that are coming, while many others have been waiting patiently to see if the update manages to right enough wrongs to help persuade them to make the move. Has Microsoft succeeded in either of these cases? That's what we hope to find out. At the moment, Windows 8.1 is available only as a preview, and if you are looking to give it a try, there are a couple of things to be aware of. The most important is...

High End Case Roundup: In Win, Lian-Li, & SilverStone

If you love building computers, you probably appreciate a good case or chassis. While there are plenty of excellent products available for a song, there’s also an upper echelon of models that cost quite a bit and offer all the premiere features you could hope for. While it seems as though there’s a lot of similarity between low-end and midrange cases, once you get to a certain price point, various companies take things in very different directions. The three premium chassis we’re looking at in this roundup certainly bear that out. In Win, Lian Li,...

Embracing Windows 8 With A New PC System Build

One of the perks of working at a place like HotHardware is that we have access to some of the hottest hardware around. So when I decided to dive into Windows 8 head-first a few months ago, I thought I’d give the OS as much breathing room as possible and install it on a freshly built, ultra high-end rig. Building myself a second system for Windows 8 while tweaking and getting accustomed to the OS’s new interface, and whatever other quirks popped up, would help me remain semi-productive before making the actual transition to the new machine. Before I show you the hardware I...

Definitive Bioshock Infinite Review with Benchmarks

We're not going to beat around the bush, here. BioShock Infinite is game-of-the-year material. The floating city of Columbia is one of the most evocative, intense, gorgeous environments I've ever seen -- but how much you like it may depend on what sort of visual wizardry you prefer. BioShock Infinite is built on Unreal Engine 3, and while it pushes that framework's capabilities into the stratosphere, there's a clear difference between BioShock Infinite and, say, Crysis 3. It's a testament to Ken Levine and the artistic team at Irrational Games that the gap feels like a stylistic choice rather than...

Hell Hath No Fury: Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm

When Blizzard announced that they were splitting Starcraft II into three titles, Wings of Liberty, Heart of the Swarm, and Legacy of the Void, the general reaction from fans was controversial. The fear was that Blizzard would pad out the contents of each game with busywork missions and red-herring plot devices, while charging full price for each. The company later clarified that the second campaigns would be priced like expansion packs. Heart of the Swarm is the first chance we've had to see if Blizzard's expansion strategy would result in the same quality of game play. Wings of Liberty (WoL) launched...

Crysis 3: Amazing Graphics, Boring Execution

Let's get one thing clear up front. Crysis 3's graphics are absolutely stunning.  Crytek's latest game doesn't raise the bar -- it annihilates it. At the highest settings, Crysis blows Battlefield 3 out of the water, makes mincemeat of Max Payne, and makes the original Crysis -- itself a graphics powerhouse -- look more like the first Call of Duty. Crysis 3 really is that stunning, provided that you've got the video card to handle it. Like the first game, this title is capable of bringing even a high-end card to its knees; the Radeon 7950 w/ Boost Mode that we used for testing struggled...

Can Legacy Dual-Core CPUs Drive Modern GPUs?

A few weeks back, we examined whether a new GPU like the GeForce GTX 660 could breathe new life into an older quad-core gaming system built in mid 2008.  The answer, we concluded, was definitely yes -- but many of you of you asked us to reconsider the question, this time using a dual-core Core 2 Duo. We've done so. And just for fun, we've added overclocked CPU results into the mix as well. The Q6600 we originally tested was one of the best-selling enthusiast processors of its day, but dual-core chips were very much the norm. At the time, there were only a handful of games that could even take...

Case Conundrum: Affordable Midtowers Compared

Today we're reviewing a series of mid-tower cases at a variety of affordable price points. These four cases are all marketed towards enthusiasts and ship with what were once considered upscale options, including external water cooling mounts, multiple 120mm fans, screwless installation, removable case vents, and board cutouts for third-party heatsink installation. That's great news if you're tired of seeing full towers get all the high-end love from case manufacturers, but it makes the prospect of picking a single enclosure a bit daunting. We've rounded up options from Antec, Corsair, Fractal,...

Missing The Mark: Nintendo Wii U Review

History has a funny way of repeating itself, and the more things change, the more they stay the same. Nearly six years ago to the day, Nintendo completely changed the way the world viewed console gaming. The Wii remote (affectionately dubbed Wiimote by most) was a brand new paradigm in gaming control, and it ushered in a wave of motion-based gaming that forced Sony to follow suit with the Move, and Microsoft to do likewise with Kinect. Pundits seemed certain that Nintendo's risk taking would be its undoing. They seemed certain that motion-based gaming could never be a success in...

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