AMD-Xilinx Kria KV260 Starter Kit: Exploring Machine Vision AI

Machine learning is everywhere. It's an integral part of our smartphones and smart home appliances, running customer service chat bots for big retailers, and hard at work recognizing people and actions in security systems, among numerous other applications. Neural networks are the backbone of the robotics and automation push in the manufacturing sector, and it's intelligently touching up the photos we take when we're on the go. It's even making a pizza for us like a seasoned professional.  AMD's recent acquisition of FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) and adaptive computing stalwart Xilinx...

Apple Mac Studio Review: Evaluating Value And Performance Vs PC Alternatives

While it's only been about six months since Apple introduced the M1 Pro and M1 Max SoCs that would power the 16-inch and 14-inch MacBook Pro, the architecture within those chips can trace its roots back another full year to the dawn of Apple Silicon in the Mac mini's M1 processor. This is when Cupertino left Intel behind, and its x86 processors, to roll its own Mac-focused chips based on its legacy of high-performance mobile SoCs found in the company's iPhone and iPad line-ups. By and large, it delivered outstanding performance in both single-threaded and multi-threaded workloads, especially when...

Falcon Northwest Tiki 2022 Review: Tiny Gaming PC That Slays

Back in the mid-90s, I recall sitting around with friends at the school lunch table poring over glossy magazines like PC Gamer and the long-defunct PC Accelerator, as well as the immense, phone-book-like Computer Shopper. Sure, you had your Dells, and your Compaqs, and your smaller vendors too, like ZEOS, Quantex, ALR, and the fledgling Alienware. Yet among PC gamers in the 1990s, none of those names held quite the same prestige as Falcon Northwest. Whether it was the high specs of the machines, sleek designs, or their unique, classy advertising, Falcon Northwest established itself as the Bugatti...

Dell XPS Desktop 8950 Review: Intel 12th Gen Tower Of Power

Dell recently reached out and offered a review unit of their newest XPS 8950 desktop. We initially said, "but we've already reviewed that one," to which Dell replied "no, that was the 8940 Special Edition. We've since dropped the 'Special Edition', and updated the hardware. It's got a 12th-gen CPU now, and we made its chassis larger to accommodate more powerful graphics cards, better air flow and ease of access." Fair enough, Dell, send it. So, here it is, the freshly updated Dell XPS 8950 mainstream gaming desktop. Don't be fooled by its understated looks, though. Despite its rather clinical exterior,...

Origin PC Neuron 4000X Review: A Powerful, Clean 12th Gen Gaming PC

Origin PC has been building top-flight gaming rigs for over a decade now, and the attention to detail that the company demonstrates in its builds is right up there with the best of them. There was a time when Origin PC featured custom chassis designs, like the Genesis series of years past, which only Origin had in its line-up. Since being acquired by Corsair, however, there has been a shift in design philosophy that has played out well and has been beneficial to both Origin PC and its customers. This integration with Corsair has enabled Origin to create a tight-knit ecosystem within its gaming...

Intel NUC 12 Extreme Dragon Canyon Mini PC Review: A Fire-Breathing Little Beast

When Intel introduced its first NUC systems featuring its Compute Element, it said the modular design would decrease the time to market for newer, more powerful small form factor systems. That certainly appears to be the case. Hot on the heels of our NUC 11 Extreme review from a few months back, we have the latest NUC 12 Extreme. At first glance, the NUC 11 and NUC 12 Extreme are nearly indistinguishable from each other. However, this latest little beast – code named Dragon Canyon – is packing a 65W Alder Lake-based 12th Gen Core processor, which should boost performance up quite a...

Maingear CEO Patents Gaming PC Innovation That Dramatically Simplifies Cable Management

We recently became aware of Gigabyte's beautiful Aorus Project Stealth PC concept, with connectors and cable routing moved behind the motherboard deck, in what seemed to be a truly innovative gaming desktop design with better air flow and an easier build process. It appears, however, that Maingear patented the design 10 years ago and pitched a number of partner on it at the time. So, what gives? Was Maingear ripped off? And is this the new efficient and ultra-clean PC build of the future? Show Notes: 06:43 - Meeting Maingear's CEO, Wallace Santos 14:01 - Touring The Maingear Facility BITD (Link...

Intel NUC 11 Extreme SFF PC Review: Unleashing Beast Canyon

We’re long-time proponents of big, bold and bodacious desktop systems around here. We’ve been evaluating the latest and greatest PC hardware for over two decades after all, and many of us have ben PC enthusiasts even longer than that. As much as we dig fully-loaded, high-end desktops though, there’s just something awesome about a powerful small form factor system like the Intel NUC 11 Extreme we’ll be showing you today, codenamed “Beast Canyon”. Intel’s latest enthusiast-class NUC takes all of the goodness of the NUC 9 Extreme—like the modular design...

HiFive Unmatched: Exploring A RISC-V Computing Experience

Experimenting with SiFive's HiFive Unmatched RISC-V development board over the last few weeks has felt a bit like stepping back in time. The experience left me feeling a bit nostalgic. Picture this. It's 1997. I'm a high school sophomore. I head over to my friend's house after class because a long-awaited CD with something called "Slackware Linux" on it has arrived. It's installed on a 486DX4 100 PC that lives in their poorly-lit, unfinished basement. The day's 30 minutes of free dial-up from the local ISP are used to download "tarballs" with "Kermit." Linux is strange and confusing, but I do like...

Falcon Northwest Talon (2021) Review: Alder Lake Takes Flight

It hasn't been long since we last took a look at the 2021 version of the Falcon Northwest Talon, and found it to be impressive. However, it’s finally time for Intel’s Alder Lake 12th Gen Core processor launch and we all know what that means -- a deluge of reviews with tons of charts and opinions for you to digest. Of course, we've got you covered, too, with our in-depth review of the Intel Core i9-12900K and the Core i5-12600K, for everyone wanting to sink their teeth into the finer points of Intel's new platform. However, this launch also marks a chance for OEM system builder...

Alienware Aurora R13 Review: Alder Lake Invades Dell's Gorgeous Revamped Gaming PC

If there's been one drawback to Alienware's previous gen Aurora desktop series, it's that the systems we've gotten in for review have made a bit of a racket at times. These systems have always been well-equipped with the latest hardware and turn in some great performance, but their noise floor has sometimes been a drawback compared to some competitive offerings. It doesn't matter if we're looking at an Intel-powered version or its AMD-equipped counterpart, previous Aurora systems have tended to be louder than their 40-liter volumes suggested they should be. Regardless, It should come as no...

Intel Is Confident It Can Win Apple Back As A Customer After Being Exiled From Macs

Apple may be on the precipice of releasing its latest processors, the M1 Max and M1 Pro, but that doesn't stop Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger from counting Intel out. Apple is now moving to its second generation of M1 CPUs after transitioning away from Intel, following 15 years of partnership. In 2020 Apple announced its own silicon and marked the move away from Intel as its CPU of choice ushering in an entirely new operating system and way of thinking for developers. The Apple M1 is an 8-core ARM-based CPU built on the 5nm architecture and is an absolute unit when it comes to efficiency. This was a sizeable...

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...

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