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Intel Core i5 3470

While the i5 3470 will give system integrators some wiggle room on price, we're fans of sticking to the i5 3570K for everyone else.

ATI TV Wonder Elite

Aptly named, the ATI TV Wonder Elite is easily the best PC TV tuner card we've seen.

ATI Radeon 9800

ATI Radeon 9800 XT

ATI Radeon X1800

ATI's second-best 3D card brings all of the requisite features to the 3D gaming table, but its specialized performance makes it less compelling.

PNY Verto GeForce 7800 GT 256MB

With a couple of exceptions, PNY's Verto GeForce 7800 GT card provides everything we like to see from a 3D-card package, including fast performance.

Matrox Millennium G550 AGP 4x, 32 MB

Dedicated 3D gamers need not bother, but home or business users will appreciate the solid 2D performance and a new approach to face-to-face communication over the Internet.

AMD A8-3850

We recommend the AMD A8-3850 to mainstream desktop PC users in search of capable gaming power and multithreaded application performance.

Sound Blaster Wireless System for iTunes and Receiver

The Sound Blaster Wireless System for iTunes and Receiver is a painless way to stream audio from your PC or Mac to a set of speakers or AV receiver.

Powermat

The Powermat isn't entirely free of wires, but it succeeds at being different and at powering your phone. On the other hand, we don't see it fulfilling a need.

Anker USB 24W USB Car Charger

If you find it at a discount, the Anker 24W USB charger is an excellent option for powering multiple smartphones or tablets while on the road.

Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-500 MCE

Hauppauge's WinTV-PVR-500 MCE is a good choice if you want to record two programs simultaneously, but it assumes you have a Media Center remote and the correct decoding software.

Editors' Choice
$499.99 MSRP

nVidia GeForce GTX 295

Nvidia's GeForce GTX 295 is the single fastest 3D card on the market, and for a relatively aggressive price. Added bonuses like power efficiency and PhysX support sweeten the deal, but even without those extra benefits, we'd still recommend this card for its processing power and comparative value.

iSocket Systems iSocket 3G

This plug is smart enough to know when its outlet doesn't have power, and uses cellular signal to keep you informed.

Asus ROG Avalon

The proof-of-concept motherboard-chassis hybrid combines to make it easier to install new components, but it's not perfect.

GeForce 8800 GTS

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.

Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 955

Intel's new second-generation dual-core chip draws less power, leaving the door open for system builders to use it in new desktop designs. The performance picture still needs clearing up, but our preliminary results show some improvement over Intel's lackluster first-generation dual-core Pentiums.

Editors' Choice
$349.00 MSRP

ATI Radeon X800 XL 256MB, PCI

The ATI Radeon X800 XL is unmatched when it comes to providing top-notch 3D speed at a low price. It's our current favorite standalone card.

Editors' Choice
$499.99 MSRP

ATI Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition

Unequivocally the most powerful graphics card on the market, ATI's Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition hands Nvidia's new card a stunning defeat.

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