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Intel Core i9-7980XE Extreme Edition

Introduction, Chip Background CPU Testing We haven’t been counting (we haven’t had the time!), but we’re convinced that 2017 has seen more PC-platform/product launches for desktop processors than the last few years combined. While that may make for some frazzled reviewers and analysts, it also means you’re not suffering for choice if you’re in the market for a new high-end ... Read More »

Intel Core i9-7960X

Introduction, Chip Background CPU Tests We’ve seen and tested so many new high-end desktop CPUs from Intel and AMD over the last several months that it’s becoming tough to fit all the relevant models into any single benchmark chart. Plus, these new processors span so many different platforms, our test bench is getting mighty crowded with all the required test ... Read More »

BitFenix Portal

It took 10 years, but the iconic Valve game Portal finally spawned its own PC. Or at least its own PC case. Now, now: No lame puns about how “The case is a lie!” We’ve heard them all already. That’s because we made them.  The BitFenix Portal chassis is a quirky outlier of a PC chassis, meant for compact DIY ... Read More »

Intel Core i7-7820X

Introduction, Chip Background CPU Testing If you’re in the market for a new desktop CPU, you’re definitely not suffering for choice here in 2017. We started off the year with the launch of Intel’s 7th Generation “Kaby Lake” Core i7-7700KRyzen 7 1800XCore X-Series on the Intel side, and AMD’s competing Ryzen Threadripper chips on Team Red’s side of the test bench.  ... Read More »

Gigabyte Aorus GTX 1070 Gaming Box

Introduction, Design Features We had mixed success with the last Thunderbolt 3 external graphics-card box we reviewed, the PowerColor Devil BoxAlienware Graphics Amplifier.) The Devil Box worked to some degree with the systems we tested with, but that was the overall problem: “some.” At the time we reviewed it, the Devil Box was certified by PowerColor as compatible with only two ... Read More »

Asus Radeon RX 550 (4GB)

Introduction, Design Features [Editors’ Note: Be aware that pricing and features for video cards based on a given graphics chip can vary, depending on the actual card maker. AMD and Nvidia make video “reference cards” based on their graphics processors, which they sometimes send out for review. Third-party partners—Asus, MSI, Sapphire, Gigabyte, and others—make and sell cards that often adhere ... Read More »

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X

Introduction, Design Features On the one hand, 2017 has been a year of astonishing improvements in desktop PC processors, after years of ho-hum, mostly single-digit percentage gains from one chip generation to the next. It started with AMD’s Ryzen 7 launch in March (see our review of the top-end AMD Ryzen 7 1800X), followed by midrange Ryzen 5 and lower-end Ryzen 3 chips. In ... Read More »

In Win 301

Introduction Design Considering a new PC build? If so, we suspect you’re using one of two basic approaches. You’re likely choosing your core components first, and finding a case that will accept them. Or you’re starting with a chassis you really like, and choosing your components based on what will fit. In Win’s 301 is better suited to the latter ... Read More »

Gigabyte X299 Aorus Gaming 9

Introduction, Design Features The X299 Aorus Gaming 9 is the third Intel X299-based board we’ve looked at in recent weeks, and at $499.99, it’s the most expensive of the three. (The X299 chipset was made to support Intel’s new Core X-Series line of high-end CPUs.) The Asus ROG Strix X299-E Gaming comes in at $349.99 and is a solid choice ... Read More »

AMD Radeon RX Vega 64

Introduction, Design Features [Editors’ Note: Be aware that pricing and features for video cards based on a given graphics chip can vary, depending on the actual card maker. AMD and Nvidia make video “reference cards” based on their graphics processors, which they sometimes send out for review. Third-party partners—MSI, Sapphire, Gigabyte, EVGA, Asus, and others—make and sell cards that often ... Read More »

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