Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6850
The quad-core Core 2 Extreme QX6850 keeps the desktop CPU performance belt tied firmly around Intel's waist at a price that helps offset the lack of sizable performance gains. New products at the end of the year may outclass this new chip when they arrive, but for now, the QX6850 reigns supreme.
Callpod Chargepod Bundle Pack CHPA-0002
The Callpod Chargepod does its job well, but the convenience comes at a high price.
Planon Universal Mobile Charger
The Planon Universal Mobile Charger delivers cell phone power in a pinch, provided it works with your phone.
EVGA e-GeForce 8600 GTS ( PCI-e, 256MB)
If you care more about HD movie watching than gaming and you need a new video card for the task today, we recommend a 3D card like this EVGA with Nvidia's newest mainstream graphics chip. Gamers can get more performance value from Nvidia's higher-end 8800 cards, but for anyone, it would be a good idea to wait to see what's new from ATI in just a few short weeks.
BFG GeForce 8800 GTS ( PCI-E, 640MB)
No other 3D graphics card comes close to this bang for the buck, making the 320MB XFX GeForce 8800 GTS mostly an easy decision if you need a midrange upgrade. Nvidia still has to polish off its Vista software, and the sooner-or-later arrival of competing cards muddies the waters a bit, but if you need a midprice graphics card today, this should be your pick.
MSI GeForce 8800 GTX ( PCI-E, 768MB)
This one is easy. Nvidia's GeForce 8800 GTX not only beats ATI to market with its next-gen 3D graphics hardware, it also eliminates ATI's image-quality advantage in current-generation titles. Throw in its sheer horsepower, and Nvidia gives the high-end enthusiast every reason to make this purchase.
Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700
If you thought dual cores were over the top, get ready. Intel presents the Core 2 Extreme QX6700, a single CPU with four distinct processing cores. At $999, the first quad-core CPU will remain an enthusiast part for a while, but as a glimpse of the future, it's clear that clock speed is out and core counts are in.
ATI Radeon X1950 Pro
If you're looking for a gaming card to run Vista and play most games, ATI's Radeon X1950 Pro will get you there, but not perfectly, and its real-world pricing is higher than we'd like. We're more interested to see ATI's next-gen cards use the newly refined CrossFire dual-card technology, debuted here, but that will have to wait.
The reasonably priced Creative Xmod does a remarkable job of making audio sound brighter, deeper, and more vibrant.
ATI Radeon X1650 Pro ( dual link)
We don't recommend paying even $125 for this new budget 3D card from ATI, but assuming you can find it for $100 or less, the Radeon X1650 Pro will meet your Windows Vista and basic gaming needs without overheating your PC or your wallet.