Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R10 Review: All-AMD Gaming Value

We are no strangers to Alienware’s Aurora line of gaming PCs here at HotHardware. In fact, we have reviewed many Aurora systems over the years, and for good reason. Aurora desktops embody the essence of a powerful, mainstream prebuilt rig, with semi-custom, almost boutique styling, in a manner that makes them more attainable for the masses. Yet, every time we receive an Aurora in for review, it has something added we have not seen in the family before and this Aurora R10 Ryzen Edition is no exception. Strictly speaking, this is also not the first time we have had an Aurora R10 Ryzen Edition...

Falcon Northwest Talon Review: Killer Bird Of Prey Gaming PC

Even if you have never owned one, because of the long-standing boutique quality of their systems, there is a good chance you have heard of Falcon Northwest. Falcon Northwest is one of the earliest and now most well-known boutique system builders around. If I can break from the "royal we" for a moment, Falcon Northwest was a brand I have lusted after for decades, but never allowed myself to purchase, for the same reason I do not own a Ferrari. It's fast, it's sexy, but a Honda Insight, while not as flashy, is closer to my income level. Life choices and what not. Just as Ferrari offers no apology...

Lenovo ThinkStation P620 Review: Beastly 64-Core Performance

When it comes to high-end content creation, time is money. Businesses with employees that are stuck sitting around waiting for compute-intensive tasks to finish, simply can't get as much accomplished as those with speedy hardware that can power through the most demanding tasks. Tons of parallel processing power and professional-tier graphics cards for these scenarios don't come cheap, but they can certainly pay dividends in terms of efficiency and time saved. That's the story of Lenovo's ultra-powerful ThinkStation P620 workstation, which is on our test bench today.  Breaking this system from...

Behold The Sweet Rock Pi X Powered Serene Screen Aquarium And How To Build One

Some may think it strange to design and build an entire PC and custom enclosure dedicated to running a 20-year-old screensaver, but I can explain. Retro computing fans and well-seasoned enthusiasts may remember that the superlative Defender of the Crown first hit the Amiga in 1986. Four years old at the time, and eight years away from getting my first PC, I had no idea what I was missing. I figured it out a few years and a couple of computers later though, when I stumbled upon the Serene Screen Marine Aquarium. This classic screensaver from the late 90s was created by the legendary artist of Defender...

Dell XPS Desktop Special Edition 8940 Review: A Sleek Gaming Rig

A powerful PC does not have to be loud or flashy, not in today's era of computing. Proving this to be the case is Dell's refreshed XPS Desktop Special Edition, available in two subtly attractive trims: Mineral White (as seen here) and Night Sky. While each are eye catching in their own right, neither one makes the same visually bold statement as Dell's Alienware desktops, which have evolved over the years and still maintain a distinctly different -- you might even say, otherworldly -- aesthetic. The XPS Desktop is dressed in more conservative garb, but still packs a punch. Or as Dell...

Mac mini 2020 Review: Apple M1 Silicon Performance Deep Dive

When Apple announced its new Mac lineup -- consisting of a MacBook Air, MacBook Pro 13, and Mac mini -- with its new M1 processor, the company was met with a mixture of enthusiasm and skepticism. Apple's performance claims were incredible. For instance, the company said that its new Apple Silicon offers upwards of 3.4 times the performance as the last-generation Mac mini with a quad-core Intel Core i3 processor. That's the sort of thing that could make a Mac lover's eyes pop. However, proclaiming things like "more than three times the performance," without substantiating those claims, will...

Build A Great Gaming PC With HotHardware's 2020 DIY System Guide

Welcome to HotHardware's PC Component Buyer's Guide, where we help prospective DIY 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...

Alienware Aurora R11 Review: Savage RTX 3090 Infused Lifeform

If there is one thing we can count on whenever hot new component hardware arrives, it's that it will not be long before Dell integrates it into their Alienware gaming systems. So naturally, with the release of Nvidia’s latest and greatest GeForce RTX 3080 and 3090 graphics cards, it was no surprise to see Alienware desktops already shipping out with these cards on deck. The Alienware Aurora R11 we have in our lab today features Dell's highest-performance configuration with an RTX 3090 to create what representatives at Dell are calling a “Benchmark Bruiser.” We will, of course,...

Exploring AI With NVIDIA’s $59 Jetson Nano 2GB Dev Kit

Machine learning is everywhere. Voice and handwriting recognition, medical diagnoses, digital assistants (like the Google Assistant or Siri) and self driving cars are just a scratch in the surface of all the different means and methods by which machines infer, learn, grow and seemingly think on their own. NVIDIA is incredibly invested in machine learning tech, and has seen explosive growth in its datacenter business due to the massive advancements in AI. Of course, data centers are only one place where AI and machine learning live; intelligent devices at the edge also need to capture input from...

Google Coral Dev Board Mini SBC Brings Raspberry Pi-Sized AI Computing To The Edge

Single-board computers (SBCs) are wildly popular AI development platforms and excellent tools to teach students of all ages how to code. The de facto standard in SBCs has been the Raspberry Pi family of mini computers. NVIDIA of course has its own lineup of programmable AI development platforms in its Jetson family, including the recently-announced low cost version of the Jetson Nano. There are a host of others from the likes of ASUS, Hardkernel, and Google. Google's Coral development kit was a rather pricey option at $175, but now the same power is much more affordable.  The older Coral...

Rage Against The eMachine: A Ryzen And Radeon Retro Revival

The late 90s and early 2000s was a special era for personal computing. We saw PC prices drop drastically, we moved from dial-up to broadband, and we dealt with Windows ME while waiting for XP to arrive. While some of us went the DIY route at the time, many started with a prebuilt rig purchased from a brick and mortar retailer. One of the more notable brands during that era's race to the bottom was eMachines, founded in 1998 and later acquired by Gateway, which was then acquired by Acer. Plenty of "Never Obsolete" eMachines systems were sold to budget users back then and they helped introduce a...

Microsoft Is Finally Bringing X64 Emulation To Windows 10 On Arm For A Big Compatibility Boost

Always-connected Windows 10 PCs powered by Arm processors have plenty of potential as nice portable workstations with other-worldly battery life. Every time we've tested one of these machines, starting with the Surface Pro X, we've come away impressed with battery life while maintaining adequate performance for most tasks. The issue, however, has been one of app compatibility. These machines simply can't run 64-bit x86 applications, but Microsoft is set to change that for Windows 10 Insiders starting next month.  Microsoft's Chief Product Officer for Windows, Panos Panay, announced in a post...

EK Fluid Gaming 270 Conquest Review: Immaculate PC Gaming

Back at PAX East 2020 in March, we were captivated by the systems we saw at the EK booth that all featured an incredibly clean looking hard line liquid cooling setup. We were surprised to learn, however, that these were not custom builds on display to showcase EK’s renowned water blocks and fittings. Instead, EK has jumped into the boutique pre-built computer space with a line-up they are calling EK Fluid Gaming. The Fluid Gaming systems are a bit of natural offering for EK. The bulk of the gaming PC market is incredibly competitive and price sensitive. Instead of wheeling and dealing...

Maingear Turbo Review: A Jaw-Dropping Mini-ITX Gaming PC

Full disclosure, I've never been much of a mini-ITX form factor kind of guy. I mean I get the allure of a space-efficient PC design that can more easily integrate in to an office or home environment, but there are almost always caveats. Typically the trade-offs are either sacrificing performance and features, or you end up having to tolerate the noise of a small and overwhelmed cooling solution. And so when I considered the Maingear Turbo for evaluation here, at first I wasn't all that enthused. However, it seems the folks at Maingear, a highly respected custom performance PC builder out of New...

Making A Young Gamer's Wish Come True: Doug's Fantastic Gaming PC Build

The good people at Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island have been helping kids with critical health conditions make their dreams come true for decades now. Founded in 1980, Make-A-Wish "grants wishes for children between the ages of 2½ and 18 years of age with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy. For a child with a life-threatening illness, a wish fulfilled provides profound joy and lasting hope to keep fighting and dreaming for the future." In its 32-year history, the organization has granted over 8,500 wishes for...

Intel NUC10i7FNH Review: Powerful, Palm-Sized 6-Core Mini PC

Intel has been steadily updating, upgrading, and augmenting its line-up of small form factor NUC systems for many years now. Initially, most of the systems had a similar design language, but over time, Intel has expanded its offerings to address the needs of many more customers and potential use cases. Recently, we took a look at the beefy, high-performance “Ghost Canyon” NUC 9 Extreme and a couple of years back got the chance to play with its spiritual predecessor, the Kaby Lake-G-based “Hades Canyon” with AMD Radeon Vega graphics. The tiny machine we’ll be covering...

SilverStone Fara B1 Review: An Affordable, Stylish PC Case

SilverStone released a handful of new cases and coolers a few months back, targeting an array of price points for DIY PC builders. One of the more affordable additions to the line-up was the SilverStone Fara B1 mid-tower we're evaluating today. The Fara B1 is priced to move at about $60, but it has the looks and features of much more expensive cases. Of course, looks can be deceiving, so we decided to get our hands on the Fara B1 to see if its worthy of consideration for your next budget-friendly desktop #PCMasterRace build. We are going to get down and dirty with the SilverStone Fara B1 and...

Intel NUC 9 Extreme Ghost Canyon Review: Pint-Sized Powerhouse

We got our first taste of Intel's new NUC 9 Extreme, codenamed Ghost Canyon, back at CES 2020 earlier this year. Like previous Intel NUCs, the NUC 9 is a small form factor system that will be sold in a variety of flavors. The NUC 9 extreme will be offered in barebones configurations, where customers must purchase memory, storage, and an OS on their own, or as fully configured systems, with a mix of CPU options. This time around, though, Intel is leveraging its innovative Compute Element to enable future CPU and IO upgrades, and is also empowering ecosystem partners to offer customized versions...

MiSTer DIY: Accurately Simulating Retro Game Consoles With FPGAs

Fully-assembled MiSTer FPGA DIY console It seems like it wasn't too long ago that we crowned the Raspberry Pi 4 as one of the best retro game consoles around. Indeed, the Raspberry Pi foundation's latest single-board computer still a low-cost DIY powerhouse. However, retro gamers are picky about one thing that haunts many software emulation solutions that run on the likes of the Pi 4 or an NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV -- and that's lag. Thanks to a talented group of developers and some off-the-shelf parts, the MiSTer project aims for a lag-free, higher quality, more accurate retro gaming experience....

Dell OptiPlex 7070 Ultra Review: The New Disappearing Desktop PC

Dell's new OptiPlex 7070 Ultra desktop PC features a new innovative design approach that's sleeker and more useful than traditional small form factor machines, when integrating them with standard displays. Small form factor PCs, like the Intel NUC, Gigabyte BRIX and ZOTAC ZBOX, tend to include VESA mounts for easy attachment to the back of your monitor for a cleaner, all-in-one PC-like appearance while using a standard monitor. The flaw in that methodology is not all monitors have VESA mounting holes on the back and the ones that do tend to either have basic stands that have minimal adjustments...

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...

Alienware Aurora R10 Ryzen Edition Review: A 3950X Invasion

Intel had a deathgrip on high-end gaming PCs for years while AMD's processors struggled to provide enough gaming performance to be competitive in the high end enthusiast tier. The tide has recently turned, however, and this summer AMD's Ryzen 3000 series of Zen 2-based 7nm processors took the world by storm. As a result of this monumental shift, Dell's gaming products division, Alienware has more recently started offering AMD's CPUs in its desktop lineup for the first time since the glory days of AMD's Phenom II. Previously we took a look at a Threadripper-powered Alienware Area-51 desktop, but...

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