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...

Gigabyte Aorus X570 Motherboard And PCIe 4.0 SSD Preview: Ready To Rock Ryzen 3000

To say the just-released AMD Ryzen 3000 series processors and Radeon RX 5700 series graphics cards are game-changers for AMD (and PC enthusiasts) would be an understatement. The Zen 2-based Ryzen 3000 series processors aggressively take on Intel's competitive offerings in virtually every metric and offer features, like PCI Express 4.0, not yet available on other platforms. PCI Express 4.0 means more bandwidth for components like graphics cards and solid state storage, and more bandwidth can translate to fewer bottlenecks and increased performance, especially for storage. AMD's latest offerings...

Gigabyte Z390 Designare Review: A Motherboard For Creative Pros

Today we are going to take a look at Gigabyte’s Z390 Designare motherboard, one of the company's more recent Socket 1151-based boards for Intel's 8th and 9th Generation Coffee Lake-based processors. This board has a lean and mean look about it, even menacing in a way, with its mostly black aesthetic with silver highlights scattered about. Its VRM heatsink even carries a yin-yang motif, with the black sink at the top and silver to the left of the CPU socket.   This color palette provides a clean, sharp look with its M.2 slot sharing the same light and dark offset and the PCH...

Gigabyte's Q4 Product Blitz From GeForce RTX To Intel Z390

We have seen a flurry of product launches over the past few months from Intel, AMD, and NVIDIA. While we get to reap the rewards of technology’s ever steady march of progress, their partners have been hard at work ensuring their offerings can withstand the ever increasing demands of bleeding-end hardware, and appeal to consumers at the same time. In this spirit, Gigabyte recently invited us to a launch event in Miami for its newest Aorus branded motherboards, graphics cards, and peripherals. Technically, everything Gigabyte showed us had already been announced, but the presentations...

Intel Z270 Motherboard Round-Up: MSI, Gigabyte, And ASUS Offerings For Kaby Lake

Today we are going to take a look at three popular Intel Z270-based motherboards targeted at power users and gamers, produced by enthusiast favorites Gigabyte, ASUS and MSI. The three boards we've rounded-up here cover a wide range of price points. The Gigabyte Aorus Z270X-Gaming K5 and ASUS ROG STRIX Z270F Gaming boards represent more mainstream segments, while the MSI Z270 XPOWER Gaming Titanium targets the ultra high-end. Although AMD's powerful Threadripper processors and Intel's upcoming 18-Core Skylake-X behemoth have gotten the lion's share of attention lately, more mainstream processors...

AMD Announces X300 And X370 AM4 Motherboards For Ryzen Processors, All Chips Unlocked

AMD has a lot riding on Ryzen, its new generation CPU architecture that is supposed to return the chip designer to its former glory among power users and enthusiasts. We won't say it is a make or break release for AMD—the company has shown an uncanny ability to survive through tough periods—but it is certainly the biggest and most anticipated CPU launch by AMD in several years, and arguably over a decade. To ensure everything goes well without a hitch, AMD has lined up over a dozen high-performance AM4 motherboards from five hardware partners, including ASRock, ASUS, Biostar, Gigabyte, and MSI....

Gigabyte Z170X-Designare Motherboard Review: Affordable, High-Tech, Great Performance

Today we are going to take a look at Gigabyte’s Z170X-Designare motherboard, one of the company's more recent Socket 1151-based boards for Intel's 6th Generation Skylake-based processors. At first glance this is an unassuming board, at least in terms of its appearance. It features a dark and subdued black PCB with chrome highlights and nothing overly dramatic or gaudy. Yet for the sub-$250 price tag, this motherboard is loaded up with a strong array of cutting edge technologies. Among them is support for Intel Thunderbolt 3 across the board’s USB Type-c connection on the back I/O. This...

Rivet Networks Killer E2500 Gigabit Ethernet For Gamers With Advanced QoS Tested

Rivet Networks recently announced its latest Killer networking product, the Killer E2500 Gigabit Ethernet Controller. For the uninitiated, the very first Killer Networking cards were introduced way back in 2005 and were designed to maximize throughput and minimize ping times for gamers. While total throughput is often similar between network controllers today, Killer networking products reckon they can still deliver a superior experience through improved ping times and quality-of-service (QoS) prioritization.While the Killer lineup has shifted hands a time or two, from Bigfoot Networks to Qualcomm...

MSI Z170A Gaming M9 ACK Motherboard Review: Sharp Dressed, Feature Packed

We have another premium Z170-based motherboard on the test bench today, by way of MSI. The MSI Z170A Gaming M9 ACK motherboard is the company’s top end gaming board for use with Intel 6th Generation Skylake-based Core series processors. The MSI Z170A Gaming M9 is packed with a host of premium features aimed at improving and enhancing your experience. Like most gaming enthusiast boards, this one also commands top dollar, but still manages to ring in $100 shy of the wallet-busting ASUS Z170 ROG Maximus VIII we previously reviewed. Some of the more notable features on this motherboard include a built-in...

Gigabyte, Intel And Corsair Enthusiast PC Components Summit Highlights

Gigabyte, Corsair and Intel held a press event in California on June 30th to show off some of their new hardware. Though Intel just talked broadly about its thoughts on the PC gaming market (it's growing, and they are committed to it, basically), Gigabyte and Corsair both demo'd high-end gear it first unveiled at Computex. We were on-hand to check everything out, and have the details lined up for you here. First up, we have some video of many of the products... IntelIntel didn't have anything new to show, but wanted to reiterate its commitment to the PC gaming and high-end desktop spaces, as evidenced...

ASUS Z170 ROG Maximus VIII Extreme Motherboard Review: An Impressive Platform For Skylake

The Asus Z170 ROG Maximus VIII Extreme motherboard is the latest in Asus' flagship line of enthusiast-class motherboards for gamers. It’s a top-end premium solution with a dizzying array of tuning options to supercharge your next build and tweak overall performance in games, networking and more. Our previous motherboard eval featured the Gigabyte Z170X-UD5 Ultra Durable, which was a budget-friendly Z170 motherboard that offered strong performance, without a ton of superfluous bells and whistles. Yet the Gigabyte board was quite the performer, holding its own in most tests and even coming out ahead...

Gigabyte Z170X-UD5 Ultra Durable Motherboard Review: Affordable, Uncompromising

To expand on our coverage of Intel’s Z170-chipset, we now turn our focus to another Gigabyte motherboard for Intel Skylake CPUs. The Gigabyte Z170X-UD5 Ultra Durable motherboard is up at the plate and has the budget-builder firmly in its sights. Conversely, the company’s pricey Z170X-Gaming G1 motherboard, which we previously reviewed, is loaded with premium features that enthusiast gamers crave. Features such as Bluetooth, WiFi, 4-way CrossFire and SLI support, baked-in liquid cooling accommodations, and the like, are all absent on this more svelte GB product. With much of the fat trimmed, Gigabyte...

Intel Core i7-6700K And Z170 Chipset Review: Skylake For Enthusiasts

Although Intel is holding many of the architectural details regarding its latest Skylake-based, 6th generation Core processors back until the Intel Developers Forum goes down in San Francisco in a couple of weeks, the company is announcing a pair of new processors and a companion chipset today. Skylake is a “tock” in Intel’s release cadence, which signifies a new microarchitecture, built using a mature process—in this case the same 14nm process that brought us Broadwell. The new Skylake-based Core i7-6700K and Core i5-6600K squarely target performance enthusiasts, and pack all of the goodness we’ve...

Gigabyte Z170X-Gaming G1 Motherboard Review: Features Galore For Skylake

Intel Skylake processors have landed and motherboard manufacturers now have a wide range of boards sporting the necessary LGA 1151 socket and Z170 chipset to support the CPUs. Under the microscope today we have a high-end model from Gigabyte, the formidable Z170X-Gaming G1—a board that's virtually bursting at the seams with top-end features for the discriminating enthusiast. It's got everything from a 22 phase power array, to support for USB 3.1, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, quad GPUs, Gen3 x4 M.2 connectors and dedicated network processing via onboard Killer DoubleShot Pro X3 NICs—just to name a few.Gigabyte...

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