AMD's new Phenom X4 9850 is overpriced and outclassed compared with its Intel-based quad-core competition. If PC vendors can use this chip to make cheap systems (as they did with older Phenoms), we might have nicer things to say, but as a DIY part at this price, we can't recommend AMD's latest quad-core CPU.
Nvidia's new GeForce 9600 GT graphics chip gives the Asus EN9600 GT some of the best bang-for-the-buck we've seen in a midrange 3D card. If your goal is reliable frame rates in the latest PC games, you should pick this card up as soon as you can.
The 3D graphics card market changes too rapidly for us to get bullish about a card with premature driver software. The ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 shows promise, even outscoring Nvidia on many PC games, but we would still wait until AMD works out the kinks before handing over your $450.
The Monster iSlimCharger is an ideal travel accessory for the iPod Shuffle.
Despite the usual caveats of an ever-fluctuating 3D market, for the moment, at least, ATI's new Radeon HD 3850 graphics card delivers the best value for money in PC graphics hardware. Until now we haven't had an acceptable sub-£150 option for PC gaming this year. Thanks to AMD, now we do
AMD's new Phenom quad-core CPU has little to recommend it over competing chips from Intel. The Phenom is marginally less-expensive, but not enough to make up for its subpar performance. Unless AMD drops prices more aggressively, it looks like Intel will maintain its grasp on the CPU market for the foreseeable future.
AMD's new Phenom quad-core CPU has little to recommend it over competing chips from Intel. The Phenom is marginally less expensive, but not enough to make up for its subpar performance. Unless AMD drops prices more aggressively, it looks like Intel will maintain its grasp on the CPU market for the foreseeable future.
The CPU market is due for a lot of upheaval over the next 12 months, so you might be wise to wait for a clearer picture before plunking down $1,000 or so on Intel's new Core 2 Extreme QX9650 quad-core desktop processor. But if you want to claim ownership of the fastest multicore CPU around today, look no further.
The Belkin Dual USB Power Adapter is a great accessory for those with numerous USB-powered devices.
If you're looking to build a home theater PC, we recommend ATI's Radeon HD 2600 XT as the midrange card to use, thanks to its nearly perfect HD video image and its no-fuss installation. But for 3D gaming, you'd be much better off looking for a good deal on a faster, older graphics card.
For the aspiring digital DJ, the M-Audio Torq Mixlab is an unmatched value.
Griffin PowerJolt power adapter - car
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.
The Plextor PX-HDTV500U Mini Digital HDTV Receiver provides a cheap and easy way to watch and record HDTV on your PC. We recommend this compact tuner and antenna kit particularly for laptops that feature Microsoft's Media Center app.
Korg KAOSS Pad
The Xbox 360 Wireless Gaming Receiver lets you use wireless Xbox 360 peripherals with your Windows PC, but it won't be a must-have PC gaming peripheral until more compatible games are available.
The Belkin Laptop Cooling Stand manages to both look good and offer effective cooling, despite having only a single fan.