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...

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...

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...

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 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....

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...

How To Overclock Raspberry Pi 4 Over 2GHz For A Tasty Speed Bump

The Raspberry Pi 4 is one of the cheapest single-board computers around, and thanks to its substantial performance boost over its predecessors, it also represents a good bang for the buck if you're interested in learning Linux, or just want to kick back and play some of your favorite retro games in Lakka. The good news is, the latest version of the Raspberry Pi Foundation's Linux distribution, Raspbian Buster, comes with a new firmware revision for the tiny system which removes the previously imposed 2 GHz clock speed limit and loosens restrictions on voltage boosts, so of course we had to...

The Killer 32-Core AMD Threadripper Build You'll Love To Hate

We recently had the chance to spend some time with the folks at Maingear HQ and built a beautiful, water-cooled AMD Rzyen 3000-based rig. That system was destined for Dave’s lab and has become his daily workhorse – in fact, that rig produced the video you’ll see below. Not long after we took that trip to Maingear though, my personal rig started acting up. I have been rocking an Ivy Bridge-based system for about 7 years now that has made it through multiple OS upgrades and served me quite well. I had been planning to build a new rig for many months, but my current rig had been...

Raspberry Pi 4 With Lakka May Be The Best Retro Game Console Yet

Back in June, the Raspberry Pi Foundation announced their newest single-board computer, the Raspberry Pi 4. This tiny PC packs a quad-core Cortex A72 SoC from Broadcom and up to 4 GB of DDR4 memory at a very attractive price. While aimed at emerging markets for folks new to computers, the Pi really caught on with retro gamers and "makers" in general from the start. The latest Pi has a whole lot more computing horsepower than the last iteration, but software support hadn't quite caught up—until just now. The LibRetro team released Lakka version 2.3 with a ton of new features, a retro gaming...

Commodore's Beloved Amiga Is Being Revitalized With Updated Retro Hardware

Although it has been over three decades since the first Commodore Amigas were originally released, a fan base for the beloved systems is still going strong. Of course, the Amiga install base is a small fraction of what it was during the machine’s heyday, but the community supporting the Amiga is still vibrant and very much alive. In fact, the Amiga community – and many other retro-computing communities for that matter -- seems to be more active now that it has been in years, and a number of exciting new hardware projects have cropped up or hit major milestones in recent weeks. Two relatively...

How To Build A Commodore 64 With Raspberry Pi Zero For Under $50

The Commodore 64 holds a Guinness World record as the highest-selling single computer model of all time. After its initial release in August 1982, the C64 went on to sell millions of units – outselling all other popular 8-bit machines at the time, including the Apple II. For many long-time technology geeks, including me, the Commodore 64 was the first personal computer they ever owned. So, it’s no surprise that all these years later, the machine still hold a special place in our hearts. It is with that in mind, along with knowing how popular our Building An Amiga Emulator article was,...

Build A Killer Amiga Emulator For Under $100 With The Raspberry Pi 3

Dave Haynie, one of the chief engineers that worked on the Amiga back in its heyday, put it best when he said, “Amiga users make Macintosh users look like PC users”, in the Viva Amiga documentary that was released early this year. Those of us that were around when the Amiga initially debuted knew Commodore had something special on its hands. At the time of its launch, the Amiga was the most advanced personal computer money could buy – bar none. It offered multimedia features that were unmatched for many years, it was affordably priced (relatively speaking), and was the first personal computer with...

NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet Powered In-Car Infotainment System DIY Project Guide

Buying a shiny new car is an easy way to get the latest in-car technologies, but it’s not the most economical. I've had my fair share of new car purchases in the last decade – a 2008 Chevy HHR SS, 2011 Volkswagen Routan SE, 2014 Mazda 5 Sport and a 2015 Nissan Leaf – and driven hundreds of press cars featuring the latest technologies and infotainment systems. Despite new cars being technically superior on paper, the average age of vehicles on the road in 2016 was 11.6 years old, according to IHS Markit. We’ve seen substantial upgrades to the car stereo and infotainment systems in the last decade,...

Building Your Own Classic Game Console, A DIY RetroPi Project With Raspberry Pi

Retro gaming made a major resurgence this past holiday season, with the release of Nintendo’s ultra-hyped NES Classic, a scaled down clone of the original Nintendo Entertainment System. Out of the box, the NES Classic has thirty preloaded game titles, though some recent hacks exposed a method for uploading more if you're willing to mess with it. That's all well and good, but if you weren’t able to get your hands on one this past holiday season -- like the majority of people -- getting your retro-gaming fix isn't happening any time soon, unless you fork out an unreasonable sum, paying hundreds to...

Gigabyte Brix S GB-BSi5HT-6200 Ultra Compact SFF PC Review

As longtime enthusiasts, we tend to get most excited for the latest, big, bad, benchmark-busting specimens of PC hardware to hit the lab. However, there’s something about ultra-small form factor devices that’s intriguing as well. The focus on power efficiency and performance-per-watt from virtually all semi-conductor manufacturers over the last few years has enabled some pretty impressive hardware in fairly tiny form factors, and it’s now possible to have a fully-functional – and rather quick – desktop PC that literally fits in the palm of your hand.Take the Gigabyte Brix S (model number BSi5HT-6200)...

New Matter MOD-t 3D Printer Review: Low Cost, User-Friendly Creation

3D printers have come a long way since our first round-up review in 2012. This exciting technology has created everything from toys to running shoes, to prostheses for amputees. Is 3D printing, however, practical in a home office or in a classroom use case? The New Matter MOD-t 3D printer claims to be the most user-friendly printer ever and is supposedly “designed for 3D printing beginners and enthusiasts alike.” Is this device, however, something that truly belongs in your home office or a teacher’s classroom? Naturally, that's what we're here to find out. First, what is 3D printing and how is...

AMD Powered Star Wars Battlefront Radeon 380X-Powered Gaming PC Build

Although updated sales figures haven’t yet been released, and some initial reviews were less than stellar, if the movie is any indicator, EA’s Star Wars Battlefront is poised to be a resounding success in the gaming community. And with an expansion pack inbound, that will likely feature content that ties in with the Force Awakens, it’ll probably continue that success for quite a while. AMD has been offering free copies of Star Wars Battlefront to new buyers of Radeon Fury graphics cards since mid-November 2015 and will continue to do so through the end of this month. But with...

HOT Raspberry Pi DIY Mini Desktop PC Build

We recently set out to design a mini desktop computer with the wildly popular Raspberry Pi single board computer. The Raspberry Pi is a Linux-driven, ARM processor-based micro computer that is known for its low cost and small size. People use the device for a variety of projects, from micro-servers to low cost media players. Basically, our goal was to turn what is currently one of the cheapest bare-bones computer boards  into a fully enclosed mini desktop computer that could be taken anywhere without the need for cabling or setup. One of the high level goals of this project was also to learn...

Intel NUC5i5RYK Broadwell-U Mini-PC Review

As Intel (and other chip makers) have been able to shrink its processors, integrate more features, and reduce power requirements over the years, manufacturers have been able to fit them into smaller and smaller form factors. That means notebooks and tablets have gotten thinner, lighter, faster and more portable over the years, of course, but it also means that desktop systems no longer need to be big boxes crammed with numerous components and cooling hardware. In some ways, Intel’s NUC series of products are the epitome of this dynamic. Intel’s NUC systems are ultra-small form factor systems that...

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