Poll: What sort of products should TR cover more?

We’re constantly evaluating our content mix here at TR. There are only so many hours in each day and much interesting hardware to cover. In recent years, new product categories have emerged to compete for our attention. Smart phones and tablets seem to be all the rage in some circles, and we haven’t done much with either. There are also segments within the realm of traditional enthusiast PC hardware that live on the fringes of our core focus.

In this week’s poll, we’d like to hear what you think we should be covering more of here at TR. The results won’t necessarily dictate our editorial schedule, but we’ll use them to inform our decisions about future reviews. You can vote below or in the middle column on the front page.

Last week’s poll tackled the subject of gaming and, specifically, whether you prefer to play alone or with others. Somewhat surprisingly, a clear majority (64%) prefers single-player game modes. 17% of those who voted would rather enjoy a cooperative multiplayer campaign, while 14% are fans of team-based multiplayer. Only 5% favor the adversarial multiplayer experience offered by a traditional deathmatch.

Comments closed
    • Buzzard44
    • 8 years ago

    Poll idea: When do you think SSDs will reach 1 GB/$?

    At the rate things are going, we could have a fairly wide spread of estimates.

    • paulWTAMU
    • 8 years ago

    I’m fairly satisfied. Maybe more tablet coverage, but not if it is at the expense of something else. Also, maybe the occasional review of a lower end GPU/CPU (like once or twice per generation) so we can see how they stack up to IGPs and mid range cards…

    • Kulith
    • 8 years ago

    Office chairs. I’ve been thinking about buying the Herman Miller Mirra ever since Cyril’s feb 2008 article: [url<]https://techreport.com/discussions.x/14096.[/url<] Although I'm probably going to keep using my cheapo office max chair until it literally falls apart, which shouldn't be long now.

    • DeadOfKnight
    • 8 years ago

    Well I want to see everything since this is my most trusted site for tech news and reviews. But there is one thing that I would like to see more of: Roundups. It is good to read how the hottest selling products stack up when pitted against each other. Personally these shootouts influence my final purchasing decisions the most.

    I would also like to see you revisit some of the older products that struggled in your reviews due to problems such as immature drivers or compatibility issues that have since been addressed. Many of these products just get dismissed and forgotten but it would be nice to see what kind of support these companies are giving their products as they come out with new and improved revisions over time. Just a thought.

    • RagingDragon
    • 8 years ago

    Motherboards, laptops, keyboards and pointing devices. These, along with GPU’s, are the reviews which I think the TechReport authors/editors execel at. At the moment I find the market for good motherboard rieviews is especially underservered by your competitors. I find server hardware reviews interesting; however, I’m buying/spec’ing servers anymore, so I have little practical use for them.

    Case reviews are tough to do well. I can get plenty of internal pictures and a feature list from the from the manufacturer web site. So a review with 10 pages of case photos is a waste. A quick review focusing on build quality and whether on those feature work is well is somewhat useful. Detailed reviews that delve into multiple temperature and noise measurements are far more useful, but I assume are also time consuming and require moderately expensive equipment.

    To be useful, PSU reviews require a considerable investment in test equipment. I’d be interested to see results from your passive load tester versus the active load testers used by others; however, you’d have to upgrade the rest of your test equipment. For example resistors are imperfect, thus their resistance varies with temperature and current. Thus you should measure both voltage and current out of the PSU instead of measuring voltage and calculating current based on the (incorrect) assumption that resistance is constant. This is my best guess as to why your low-load efficiency results were so far from everyone else’s.

    Cooler reviews are commonplace. I don’t see the value here unless you devise a methodology which gives us something the others don’t. For example using a hardware thermocouple (or grid of of thermocouples!) instead of relying on software monitoring of built in CPU sensors.

    • clone
    • 8 years ago

    Smart Phones: too many and short lifespans make review value dubious.

    Tablets and Atom notebooks:… bleh a necessary evil I guess.

    laptops: a crowded field of rapidly changing product makes review value dubious.

    cases: are the least interesting thing to review on the planet, built once and taken for granted until replaced.

    coolers:… kind of hit a wall with cooling performance although instead of a bunch of individual reviews that would just drag things out a comprehensive quarterly or bi annual balanced review roundup would be good.

    PSU’s: are always good fodder for reviews but you’ll have to up your game to the level of Johnny Guru for them to really be of value.

    Motherboards:…. you guys really need to focus on low end boards and not limit motherboard reviews to the ultra high end overpriced niche that no one buys unless they forget how little they are getting for the money.

    Server Class Hardware:…. personally don’t care but it’s about equal in popularity as Tablets so whatever ….

      • travbrad
      • 8 years ago

      I completely agree on the low-end/mid-range motherboards suggestion. I never buy those ULTRA EXTREME GAMER SPECIAL EDITION motherboards, and I think that’s the case for most of your visitors.

      It’s not as if lower-end motherboards aren’t any good either. They usually overclock/perform almost identically to the high-end boards. They just don’t have so many extra ports that almost no one uses (like 2 LAN ports..), and are sometimes missing SLI/CF support (while it’s nice to have let’s be honest, most people run single-GPU).

      My $90 board (which is admittedly a couple years old) has 8 USB ports, 6 SATA, onboard LAN, 6 expansion slots, and can easily reach 500mhz FSB (from it’s default of 333mhz). I really can’t imagine most people would need more than that.

      • Firestarter
      • 8 years ago

      +1 on low-end motherboards! I just ordered a H67 build for my girlfriend, the fact that she doesn’t need a decent GPU instantly made all TRs system guides useless as they either focussed on some kind of gaming system or a HTPC.

      • ShadowEyez
      • 8 years ago

      +1 on low end boards – the difference between low end and high end boards is shrinking for what most ppl use them for, though I have to admit: i have a mid-range board w/2 pci-e slots, 1 for GPU and maybe 1 for a revo drive…

    • dashbarron
    • 8 years ago

    The problem I have with smart phone reviews are the relatively short life in a rather populated market. They don’t seem to last that long without being replaced by something new and better*. Take in consideration all of the brands and models to choose from, it seems like you can’t even begin to do the market fair justice.

    At least with discrete GPUs, you have two companies to chose from. You can review a few of them that meet different ends of the power band and the audience gets a good idea of the entire GPU discrete market.

      • Ryszard
      • 8 years ago

      I’d be very happy to see TR skip the launch-day reviews of new smartphones to do roundups that really go in-depth. Launch-day reviews always mean the site hasn’t experienced the phone and software long enough to really do them justice. Ignore the time constraints of that type of analysis and TR could really add something to comparative roundups of the things.

      Most of the best data on smartphones comes after longer term usage (a proper view on battery life for example, rather than a “well, we’ve only had it for two days and we charged it once while giving it this completely atypical usage that doesn’t reflect anything you’d ever do normally” view).

    • bandannaman
    • 8 years ago

    Keep the current review mix (which is excellent) but in the system reviews and benchmarks I’d love to see non-3D-oriented workstation systems covered better, especially VM performance.

    Most vendors equate “workstation” with “CAD/CAM”, but when I build my systems I generally skimp on the graphics card at first and go crazy on I/O bandwidth, RAM, and capacity for multiple high-res displays (which impacts the PCIe slot allocation). This isn’t the same as “server-class” — I don’t need ECC memory, redundant power supplies, web server throughput, etc. I need multiple super-snappy virtual machines running a variety of systems with varying loads. Firefox compile in a VM? Yes please!

    Virtualization performance (performance of machines running inside VMWare Workstation on the review system) would be a suberb addition to the test methodology.

    • d0g_p00p
    • 8 years ago

    I votes other because i think storage should be covered more. Storage is the most important part of your computer. it holds your data. OS, games & everything. RAID setups, different add in cards, NAS boxes, etc.

    For the love of your deity though, please don’t test cell phones. I cannot think of anything more boring than reading a cell phone review. While I also think that cell phones will be the main computing experience in the future (which is not here yet) , there are other places to go to read about cell phones and this ain’t the place for them.

    This is a PC hardware enthusiast site not blandboringcellphonereport.

    • flip-mode
    • 8 years ago

    Reviewing monitors seems like a very demanding task. I’m not sure it’s a good thing to focus on.

    What format would be best? It would almost have to be in the round-up format. Reviewing one monitor would hardly be useful since there are probably a dozen other monitor models that are comparable.

    How do you handle all the different market segments? You could review by size, by panel type, by cost, by features Size breaks down at least 3 ways, panel type by two or three, cost by probably 4 or 5, and features by probably 3, 4, or more (10 multi-input monitors compared – 10 swivel-stand monitors compared – 10 3d monitors compared – 10 LED backlit monitors compared).

    What’s the testing methodology?

    How much of the readership is interested (I can say I really am not)?

    After you figure out how many different types of monitor reviews you want to deal with, how often do you have to revisit each topic?

    Those questions all have answers, but some are much harder to answer than others. How much time are we talking about to answer those questions and to arrive at a solid monitor reviewing business strategy?

    I’ve never read a single monitor review all the way through and have probably only partially read 5 monitor reviews ever. I wonder what percentage of TR’s readership is the same in that respect.

    None the less, it’s pretty cool that “boing” got a +41 on his post. I think that’s a record. Perhaps if there was a monitors option in the poll it would provide a better answer. One thing you can say about the poll results so far is that they are anything but decisive 😀

      • GTVic
      • 8 years ago

      I agree. If you do review monitors, it should be limited to above average but not insanely priced products that cater to more demanding users.

      • Bensam123
      • 8 years ago

      Yup, I noted this as well in my post. There is relatively little difference from monitor to monitor now and the results can’t be generalized. Monitors just seem to be a epeen thing of who has the biggest one, while the technology behind them hasn’t changed all that much. Now if TR reviews things out of the norm to give readers a idea of the differences between tech that’s different. Such as a plasma screen as a gaming monitor, OLED LCD, even comparing a old good CRT to modern LCDs would be interesting, but as it stands just reviewing random monitors seems stupid.

    • Fragnificent
    • 8 years ago

    SFF PC’s. I almost exclusively use Shuttles at home, for gaming PC’s and Home Theater uses. I’d like to see reviews of new models when they come out, I can’t be the only one using these tiny guys. Also, a review of LCD panels with a primer on whats what and how to tell which ones are quality would be cool.

    Also, I’m not sure why all the requests for smartphone reviews are getting voted down, but I am ready to get a Android phone and there are a dizzying array of options. It’d be nice to see these reviewed occasionally. Like it or not guys, these things are here to stay, and they’re basically full blown computers.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 8 years ago

    I would vote like this if I could:

    1. Desktop components
    2. tablets
    3. budget laptops

    • Bensam123
    • 8 years ago

    Other. I would like to see more reviews on sound cards and audio hardware in general and storage subsystems. I also like the breadbox reviews on Shuttle systems you guys used to do. Not necessarily just Shuttle, but small powerful systems in general. This could be extended to media PCs and reviews on mini-itx cases. Surprisingly, it’s really hard to find a good mini-itx case and they’re pretty cheap, so they could be reviewed in bulk. A simple check list could be amassed to note common faults, features, and pluses. It’s a area not many reputable websites have delved into.

    I would also vote networking, but that’s almost an entirely different area that you could make a completely different website on and never see the bottom of or put it into context for the readers with a few articles.

    Another selling point, not really related to the poll is statistics. You guys do a excellent job of statistical analysis and you could even go a bit further with that. Most websites offer a subjective view with a handful of results, but you guys take it a step further. That definitely shows and makes you guys stand out. You just need to highlight it a bit more and going further with statistics would be sweet too.

    I would also like to vote ‘NOT’ small electronics and even laptops. There are plenty of websites floating around that deal with that stuff and it all in all is sorta stupid. Most of the finding can’t be generalized beyond that exact product, I would even vote not laptops either as I believe they fall under that same category.

    When a new graphics card is reviewed it’s results can be generalized to the entire line. If they come out with a successful architecture or not. When it comes to something like laptops it’s usually good or not. Laptops vary wildly from one to the next and even if a Dell XYZ is rated great, the Dell XYX can be outright atrocious. The same goes for monitors and small handheld electronics outside the realm of the three big console names.

    That said you’d have to amount a giant amount of data to put any of those smaller products into light and it’s clearly beyond the reach of TR, there are simply too many crappy electronics. That would be like reviewing memory or a router. A speed bump in memory or nice timings actually have a meaningful impact as those findings can be generalized, but not the name.

    People are enamored with gadgets and trinkets at this point in time, but the likeliness of a very niche review on such devices wont make them run out and buy one. It’s frivolous and largely pointless, at least in my opinion. Instead of catering to the masses, look for something that sets you apart from other websites. Concentration on a specific genere in hardware instead of just throwing out whatever is the latest fancy will help solidify the website. Someone suggested server hardware and I also agree that’s pretty cool, but beyond most peoples buying budget by far.

      • Anonymous Coward
      • 8 years ago

      [quote<]I also like the breadbox reviews on Shuttle systems you guys used to do. Not necessarily just Shuttle, but small powerful systems in general. This could be extended to media PCs and reviews on mini-itx cases.[/quote<] Yes more of this. With much attention paid to cooling, power efficiency, and noise! [quote<]I would also like to vote 'NOT' small electronics and even laptops.[/quote<] Mostly seconded. I am most interested in trends about laptop components or in laptops that indicate an interesting corner in the progress of laptops in general.

    • hubick
    • 8 years ago

    Other – all the niche stuff that geeks love where it’s hard to find reviews of elsewhere. Even if written where you understand we won’t necessarily buy it, but give us a glimpse into those worlds. Maybe bring in guest writers for some of it.

    – High end audio/video stuff studio musicians might use.
    – uATX or car computers.
    – Home automation.
    – Robot and I/O controller cards.
    – LED signs.
    – mATX cases, HTPC stuff like PVR boxes/cards, DLNA receivers (can I stream video+surround sound from my tablet to my home theatre?).
    – Don’t be afraid of covering Linux/DIY solutions for all this stuff.
    – Night vision, covert micro fiber optic cameras, helmet cams (love my new POV.HD).
    – Geeky details on the technology running: factories, casinos, street lights, subways, data centres, etc. What algorithms do elevators use? I once met a consultant who wrote niche software to manage brothels – once you get past the initial WTF, the engineering required was *fascinating*.

    I like reading Ars and Wired for meeting some of that stuff, but there are soo many niches. Maybe I need to set the PVR to record more Discover Channel, or?

    • Cuhulin
    • 8 years ago

    I voted for smartphones, but what I really have in mind is systems like Atrix. There aren’t many now, but I expect we will see more of them.

    There are plenty of sites that cover smartphones as phones and portable devices, but there aren’t many that have the history of quality comparative reviews that TR has. I think a site that works on how such systems work will be a worthy transition from the current work you do to the future of portable systems that work together with other systems and equipment.

    • swampfox
    • 8 years ago

    Love you guys the way you are, though I’m occasionally looking for another thin-and-light laptop review in the 12-14″ range. 🙂

    • FireGryphon
    • 8 years ago

    Remember, the poll asks what you want to see *more* of (in addition to what’s already here), not what you want to see absolutely. I take this to mean that we may want the same number of PSU reviews, but we’d like more laptop reviews *as well*.

    • jalex3
    • 8 years ago

    oh please…. do people really what this to become a lame gadget site? id rather keep it how it is just increase the quantity of reviews. as for smart phone are the future…. call me when i can play arma2 on one….

    • cegras
    • 8 years ago

    I did not vote in this poll. I am actually not very sure of what TR can expand it’s coverage to.

    Anand does consumer electronics very well, as does Engadget.

    JonnyGuru is a PSU specialty website, and is supplemented well by xbit.

    Everyone does case reviews, it’s the easiest for websites without real testing equipment or know how.

    Mobos nowadays are pretty much at quality parity. You can’t really do wrong with many quality mid range offerings.

    I think TR is fine as is. And it might be a symptom of oversaturation in the online website review space.

    • BobbinThreadbare
    • 8 years ago

    I prefer it when TR can be as objective as possible, and on that note I don’t really want to read phone, tablet, or laptop reviews when it’s all about subjective opinion.

    I voted for motherboards, but really I wish I could vote for “not phones, tablets or laptops.”

    • xii
    • 8 years ago

    I don’t think there should be more attention given to smart phones or tablets… Most sites are full of that stuff and it gets terribly repetitive. They are very consumer-oriented gadgets too, and it’s not easy to review them apples-to-apples from a hardware component point of view.

    • Captain Ned
    • 8 years ago

    Mobos, mobos, mobos. I want TR to find the niche supplier that licensed the Abit uGuru tech and will give us fine-grained control of fans based upon several different temp sources, all in the BIOS. My IP35 Pro is long in the tooth but I need a mobo with the requsite BIOS-level controls before I upgrade.

    • Deanjo
    • 8 years ago

    Expansion cards, TV tuners, Capture cards, sound cards, raid cards, and more linux stuff.

    • 5150
    • 8 years ago

    Less video cards, more anything else.

    • dpaus
    • 8 years ago

    Although I voted for smartphones (because, as others have pointed out, they are the future of computing), I’m not sure that they, tablets or laptops really fit well with TR’s image. TR has always excelled at testing [i<]components[/i<] of a system, and comparing the relative performance of otherwise-identical assembled systems with the substitution of just the different components under review. That's not going to be possible with smartphones, tablets and/or laptops.

    • eitje
    • 8 years ago

    I’m all about mITX boards and other SFF/low-power/low-noise reviews.

    But I understand not many other people are, so I voted for Laptops, because I’d rather read a TR laptop review than a laptop review from just about anywhere else.

    • vvas
    • 8 years ago

    Out of the provided options, I voted laptops, because in my opinion you guys do laptop reviews better than almost anyone else. And the thing is, while you have an excellent track record in picking really interesting models to review, the converse does not always hold; i.e., there are often certain interesting models in the market for which there is no TR review. More ThinkPads for example? In any case, keep up the good work!

    • My Johnson
    • 8 years ago

    More reviews about tacos:

    I had two excellent tacos in Berkeley, CA. One was a Chicken taco. They took a corn tortilla and dipped it in oil and fried it right on the grill. Added cheese and boiled chicken. Then sour cream and green sauce. It was the bomb.

    The second taco was a pork street taco made in some immigrant’s backyard. He took marinated pork and fried it on an outdoor grill. The grill was like a large hubcap with the pork deep frying on the side and he’d warm the tortillas in the center. He’d top those with cilantro and onion and a side of lime.

    What about hamburgers? Nations? In and Out’s Double Double?

    • designerfx
    • 8 years ago

    other category for comedy option.

    Why? Because the categories currently covered are good and simply “more articles” would also be good, although the question is whether it’s viable in the first place and also because if anything I’d like to see more gaming covered too.

    • plasticplate
    • 8 years ago

    Apart from my Desktop, I use my smartphone a lot. And im guessing its the same for a majority of TR readers (Mabe not a desktop as ur primary, but smartphone as secondary). TR already covers hardware in great detail and i dont think theres much room for development or improvement there. And as long as u know the hardware architecture in detail, theres no point in going into depth with regards to the differences in server, desktop and mobile versions of hardware. So i would really like TR to cover smartphones more, since thats what i spend most of my remaining time with. Right now i use engadget or anandtech for my mobile news and guess what…engadget sux. anandtech is great, but i would rather TR cover smartphones cause TR is my primary tech news source and it would be awesome to catch up with all of the tech news at one site. Please take this into consideration.

    • bhtooefr
    • 8 years ago

    Input and output devices.

    That includes, yes, monitors, but also includes keyboards, mice, and other such items.

    (And, yes, I know, the Model M and one of the Das Keyboards have been reviewed.)

    But, the monitor is the thing you spend the most time looking at, the keyboard and mouse are what you spend the most time touching, and they’re an important part of the optimal computer system.

    • mutarasector
    • 8 years ago

    I voted ‘other’ because I figured coverage of the other poll choices will likely be market driven anyway.

    While EE Times and Digitimes are good for this, what I miss these days is something like the old ‘Byte’ magazine, and its old companion (pre-web era) online service ‘BiX’. I’ve sort of found TR to be a somewhat closer approximation of this.

    I’d like to see more coverage/discussion of emerging _underlying_ technologies shaping the direction/morphing of consumer electronics technology (ie: “USB 3.0 to Debut as Chip Interconnect
    USB now also goes inside the box” – interesting article), but provides a bit of a reader’s digest condensed coverage somewhat more suitable to laymen.

    But then I guess I’m being something of an anachronist. 🙂

    • sparkman
    • 8 years ago

    After 57 comments am I the only one who saw the typo?

    Last sentence: “traditional a traditional”

    Or is that some weird phrase I’m not privy to?

    • cads73
    • 8 years ago

    For myself, I would be interested to know about setting up a home server. Things like the following:
    Hardware requirements: can we use a desktop cpu, standard motherboard
    OS: what to expect from Microsoft home server vs. a linux OS
    Security: third party software options, Wired vs Wi-Fi
    Features: Remote desktop; home cloud computing such as using desktops, laptops, tablets
    Price: what price structure gives us the best dollar value.

    I am guessing this may become more of an issue if we resort to more mobile or “independent” devices such as smart phones and tablets. Especially if having a home server is a better option than say paying a monthly fee for cloud storage. More secure this way?

    • thesmileman
    • 8 years ago

    I would like to see more articles on the technical aspects behind gaming technologies but meant for the general gaming community. For example articles about MLAA, CUDA, OpenCL things like that but not extremely technical just for an average reader.

    • Flatland_Spider
    • 8 years ago

    I’d really like to see articles on building low-power stuff and maybe a guide to sizing PSUs.

    For instance, I’m looking at building DNS, DHCP, and SSH jump server, which should have a small an electrical foot print as possible. I don’t need to keep my desktop on all the time, but I do need to get to my LAN from time to time.

    Also, more Linux(Linux that isn’t Ubuntu)/FreeBSD/Unix stuff wouldn’t hurt. 🙂

    • jensend
    • 8 years ago

    My guess, based on the timing of this poll and the sentiments expressed in Scott’s Xeon X7560 and Dell R810 review, is that a primary purpose of this poll is to gauge the interest in more reviews of server-class hardware. I don’t think that’s the best direction for TR to be turning more attention towards- I’d say “look down, not up!”

    It’s hard to get reviews of server-class hardware right. Some other sites spend *lots* of resources trying to do a decent job of covering lots of different kinds of workloads in their benchmarks but the resulting reviews still don’t seem like they paint a clear enough picture to be all that useful to most sysadmins etc making purchase decisions. I’d imagine that specialized hardware setups also make it more difficult to make real apples-to-apples comparisons of particular components (as compared to the simplicity of having a single testbed for, say, a GPU comparison).

    The audience is also a lot smaller- not just because only a tiny fraction of the hardware-buying public is seriously looking at server-class hardware but also because people’s interests there so much more specialized and segregated. A lot of gear will only really be relevant to people looking for a particular type of server (virtualization, DB, file/storage, FP-heavy supercomputing, various kinds of web servers, etc etc).

    As I’ve said before, I think TR should pay more attention instead to midrange and lower-end gear. Sure, it’s not as glamorous to review dual-core CPUs, inexpensive motherboards, Mini-ITX cases and power supplies, etc as it is to review ten-core CPUs costing thousands of dollars, but it’s a lot more relevant to most people. Even parts which many of us would eschew in favor of costlier gear when building our own primary system are important and interesting to know about- certainly more so than Extreme Edition-type gear where the price/performance ratio is horrid; many of us end up building other systems which have to fit smaller budgets (for relatives or friends, for jobs or projects, or just for ourselves for various uses).

      • Flatland_Spider
      • 8 years ago

      I agree that servers are dictated more by the quirks of the software which will be running on them then pure hardware muscle, and TR testing set solutions like Dells or HPs doesn’t make a lot of sense.

      There is still stuff TR can do.Testing Tyan boards would be a good place to start. They could test remote management solutions (I’m talking KVM over IP stuff built in to the boards). They could build NAS boxes with different budgets in mind and white box servers in general. They could test RAID cards vs onboard vs software. They could see what kind of weird stuff they could get ESXi to install on. Etc.

      • JustAnEngineer
      • 8 years ago

      Even if a review of a low-end graphics card concludes that it’s worthless for gaming, at least it provides the evidence to show why and can make it easier to convince someone to step up to a mid-range card.

        • Anonymous Coward
        • 8 years ago

        Yes I definitely appreciate the short reviews of things at the bottom of the market. Its nice to have numbers.

    • FuturePastNow
    • 8 years ago

    I didn’t choose “other,” but I’d like to see more testing of general accessories. Drive cases, add-on cards (a comparison of USB 3 controllers, perhaps?).

    I’d also like to see a review that revisits older graphics cards to see if driver updates have improved them since their original reviews, and as their prices have come down.

    • Meadows
    • 8 years ago

    I will second [i<]that guy's[/i<] "monitors" recommendation, but have a different favourite for myself. Coolers and accessories, to be specific. Many times now, I've found myself looking at CPU cooler reviews elsewhere, or information such as designing airflow/pressure inside a case, or what dust filters are preferable and where is it the easiest to get such things. And when I do find the information, I simply miss the good old TR writing. Mr. Wasson sir, you will cover each and every release of CPUs you can possibly get your hands on, you will even spend a couple hours overclocking them each perhaps, but it doesn't look like you ever looked at an aftermarket cooler recently - or if you did, it was a fleeting one-sentence "recommendation" in one of the system guides or something. I will be honest, it's shameful, but I don't read those with any sort of close attention. Key angles that one would approach would be noise, airflow direction and effect on the rest of the case, availability, and last of all, thermals. I say last, because we're familiar with the factory coolers' rejuvenated capability to keep them evil Celsiuses in check, yet enthusiasts will still buy aftermarket coolers, so pure thermals aren't the only reason why people consider the switch. (You might also want [b<]size disclaimers[/b<] with it - I have an unfortunately large ring-shaped CPU cooler that works like magic, and it indirectly blows at the motherboard on one side and the RAM on the other side too due to the shape (which was important for my inner peace, I often overclock RAM too), but it's also large enough that it [i<]forced me to pry the heat-spreaders off of two of my brand-new Corsair Vengeance modules[/i<] or else the contraption wouldn't fit.)

    • bdwilcox
    • 8 years ago

    I’m going to be the odd man out and say “None of the Above”. The reviews I immediately gravitate toward are reviews of esoterica that enhance my computing experience. Things like removable hard drive docks, media servers, thumb drives that come with tall claims about their performance, durability, or security, LCD monitor arms, KVM switches, etc. These are the things that few others review and when you need one you end up throwing yourself on the mercy of Newegg reviewers.

    • sweatshopking
    • 8 years ago

    Seems pretty even across the board. Looks like you guys will need to pay me some overtime!

    • puppetworx
    • 8 years ago

    ‘Personal massagers’, am I right?

    I like your graphs of component performance/cost the most. I’d like to see similar for laptops and maybe tablets.

      • bdwilcox
      • 8 years ago

      iMassage is a bit of a disturbing product name.

        • mutarasector
        • 8 years ago

        “iRub” is simpler to spell… 🙂

          • dpaus
          • 8 years ago

          ‘iStroke’ is more accurate, though

    • tbone8ty
    • 8 years ago

    id be cool to have an article on how you test in damage labs, more about the test rigs and how you go about test multiple cpus or gpus or hardrives/ssds.

    • SnowboardingTobi
    • 8 years ago

    I voted other because I’d like to see more reviews/how-tos/guides about:

    1) NAS servers/devices. Something like how to roll your own NAS using FreeNAS or reviews of Synology products (especially their DS1511+ *hint, hint*)

    2) RAID cards – to go with building your own NAS.

    3) Home networking. Things from like routers, switches, wireless bridges, Tomato firmware, media streaming, etc

    4) Strategies in backup and reviews of cloud backup services (Crashplan, JungleDisk, Carbonite, etc)

    5) Software reviews or at least little blurbs about software that might be useful and to checkout. Download Squad was a fav site to look stuff up like this but they recently closed down.

      • flip-mode
      • 8 years ago

      Your whole post is awesome.

      • Pegasus
      • 8 years ago

      I voted cases but this would be great too.

      • anotherengineer
      • 8 years ago

      Most of that is covered on [url<]http://www.smallnetbuilder.com[/url<] & the sister site [url<]http://www.smallcloudbuilder.com/[/url<] Good stuff for sure but a pretty big can of worms in itself.

      • ante9383
      • 8 years ago

      I completely agree, I would LOVE to read more on TR about NAS and networking!!!

      • rhysl
      • 8 years ago

      I agree on all 5 points .. now will we hear back from TR ??

    • Oem
    • 8 years ago

    System-building components (++SSDs) + selected mobile outliers (++ultraportables).

    I come to TR for news related to things I may buy in a current or future system build, and everything else is gravy. Tasty gravy, sometimes, but gravy. That means:

    [list<] [*<] TR's existing coverage of [b<]motherboards, cases, & PSUs[/b<] is great and the reason for TR's existence, IMO. Keep it up. Re cases: Might be nice to see roundups that compare cases feature-by-feature, as it is hard to keep track of who had this or was missing that (say, a removable / slide-out motherboard tray). [/*<][*<] I love the [b<]storage-related reviews and benchmarks[/b<], my only complaint is, more please. Seems storage is the bottleneck in PC performance today, and also ground zero for the SSD revolution, so should be a bigger focus. Throw in RAID benchmarks & reviews, and you have a full time job. I built my latest system's non-storage stuff in a couple weeks, including research, shipping, assembling & software installation. The storage system, for cost, product intro waiting, and other reasons, has taken the better part of a year to build out, and I still haven't bought the solid state part of that (OCZ hasn't started shipping the drive I'm waiting for yet). This is a huge focus of interest and research, and I doubt I'm alone or that this will change any time soon. [/*<][*<] [b<]Server-class hardware[/b<] can be interesting, but only if it is relevant to system-building. That is, is it remotely affordable? If a 256GB consumer SSDs are going for (say) ~$500, a 256GB "enterprise-class" SSD that offers extreme performance at say ~$1000 is a useful thing to review / report on. I might conceivably spring for that if it is worth it for my performance purposes. A 2TB SSD for $4000 is not.[/*<] [/list<] Mobile thoughts: [list<] [*<] [b<]Tablets and smartphones[/b<] are almost totally uninteresting topics, I have little interest in either. I would think tablets and smartphones are way more interesting / useful to teenagers and the non-tech-savvy. YMMV, but in any case, these things are being covered more than adequately elsewhere. I need a keyboard, otherwise it is a toy (for consumption rather than productivity), so tablets are out. Smartphones are at least more portable, but buying one would still double the number of OSes to support / buy apps for in my personal infrastructure. That's why I have a pocket-sized PC instead, and a normal phone (which doesn't do any of the new cool stuff -- the only thing it does really really well is, you know, talking to other people). [/*<][*<] [b<]There are so many laptops,[/b<] and often so little to distinguish them. And you can't really tinker with the hardware like a typical system building reader does with their desktop. Which also shortens the useful life of the machine as bits break or become outdated. Unexciting category. Except, for the outliers. What is the cheapest / fastest / smallest / best value / best screen / best battery life etc.? If I'm in the market for a laptop, I'm going to pick one or two important criteria and make a bee-line for the best-in-class in those categories. These machines are worth reviewing. [/*<][*<] [b<]Ultraportables:[/b<] These have a special place in my heart. Who is making the smallest & lightest Windows (& therefore Linux) compatible keyboarded portables? Viliv N5 is arguably the king of this category right now. Might stretch the category to 7" or even 10" screens, but beyond that it's just another laptop. On the small end, these things are exceedingly rare, and offer something neither laptops (size) nor tablets (keyboard) nor smartphones (OS) can, and thus interesting. A breath of fresh air compared to the deluge of stale tablet coverage. They're also not covered well elsewhere. I would love to see more here.[/*<] [/list<]

    • anotherengineer
    • 8 years ago

    Other

    SOFTWARE

    I think software can be one of the biggest performance issues to any PC, I think it would be interesting to see how different software performs/consumes, ie Foxit reader vs adobe, or WMP vs everything and different driver versions and bios versions.

    I think that would really be interesting.

      • Ngazi
      • 8 years ago

      Adobe and MPCHC you need anything else?

    • gbcrush
    • 8 years ago

    These:
    [url<]http://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&node=289760[/url<] and [url=http://www.amazon.com/gp/search/ref=sr_nr_n_3?rh=n%3A1055398%2Cn%3A!1063498%2Cn%3A284507%2Cn%3A289754%2Cn%3A289758%2Cn%3A289759&bbn=289758&ie=UTF8&qid=1304616588&rnid=289758<]these[/url<] [url=http://www.amazon.com/gp/search/ref=sr_nr_n_0?rh=n%3A1055398%2Cn%3A!1063498%2Cn%3A284507%2Cn%3A289754%2Cn%3A289758%2Cn%3A3737051&bbn=289758&ie=UTF8&qid=1304616635&rnid=289758<]these[/url<] and [url=http://www.amazon.com/gp/search/ref=sr_nr_n_4?rh=n%3A1055398%2Cn%3A!1063498%2Cn%3A284507%2Cn%3A289754%2Cn%3A289758%2Cn%3A289901&bbn=289758&ie=UTF8&qid=1304616665&rnid=289758<]these[/url<] 😀

    • kristi_metal
    • 8 years ago

    I voted for laptops, would be nice to see more laptops tested, especially affordable gaming laptops, but also it would be nice to see more reviews on cases, not just talk about fastest CPUs and GPUs.

      • cobalt
      • 8 years ago

      I have some interest in laptop reviews, but really only for something particularly exceptional. For example, if you find a thin, powerful laptop with a high-resolution display on its spec sheet, by all means, try it out and let us know if it nukes your lap or the designers threw away the pageup/pagedown keys for some annoying three-button contortion!

    • Silus
    • 8 years ago

    I voted tablets, because they’re all the rage these days and it would be nice to see TR jump on that wagon.

    • ew
    • 8 years ago

    frozen pizza!

    • Game_boy
    • 8 years ago

    I voted for server systems, as the reviews you have done have been in great detail but been significantly later than launch (I believe you’re only just reviewing the 6100 series right before BD launches) and not comparing them to a wide range of alternatives (the low-power Intel servers were not compared to the Opteron 4100s).

    • Da_Boss
    • 8 years ago

    I’d vote for more smartphone, tablet, and notebook reviews, as they’re the fastest growing sector in the computing space right now. The world is starting to shift to a more mobile paradigm, so more reviews in this area seems to be the smartest choice to me.

    EDIT: I almost forgot! SSDs. The reviews you guys did on the SSDs contenders for 2011 really did stand head and shoulders above most others I’ve read. Maybe even include a RAMDisk for good measure?

    • mcnabney
    • 8 years ago

    Sex Toys!

    Because geeks share other interests

      • bdwilcox
      • 8 years ago

      Around here we call them “marital aids”.

      How about [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsO5hdrh9XU&feature=player_embedded<]this[/url<]?

        • Meadows
        • 8 years ago

        I call it Thor.

    • yuriylsh
    • 8 years ago

    I voted “Other”. This is a short version. The long version is below 🙂

    It might sound a little bit weird given the current coverage, but I would like more articles on software. Games already have some love on this site for probably many reasons. But one of the reasons might be (or couse I’m just guessing here) that games are kind of software which pushes hardware requirements and thus keeps people interested in new hardware covered here.

    I would like TR to explore other areas of software or classes of software that benefits from new technologies such as hardware acceleration, maybe new instructions in CPUs, stuff like that. How it works, what it does and what it does not, what to pay attention too when picking hardware, which classess of software benefits from this or that new feature in hardware, examples, maybe deep dive into it, etc. Thing like video/photo editing, encryption/decription software comes to mind immediately, maybe some other software that uses SSE, GPGPU, OpenGL/DirectX, havily IO bounded software, etc. Some of those topics are somewhat touched during hardware reviews, but I would like some coverage aimed specifically at this area where software and hardware converges, not as a paragraph or two in related CPU/GPU/SSD/[you name it] review.

    I do see some pitfalls of covering this. Regular Joes doing email/facebook on his computer probably is not going to be much interested in such coverage and chances that besides email/facebook they are interesed in gaming on PCs are higher than that theay are interested in soft I described above, but still, I would love if TR considered such topics. And to make clear I’m not talking about reviewing a software itself or user guides how to use it, far from it, I mean more exploring the area when this soft meets hardware, how it works there and how it benefits from the hardware.
    Another potential pitfall is that some products of this kind of software might be very expensive and thus TR might have hard time to have it’s hands on it, but well, maybe TR can figure out what to do about it 🙂

    • jjj
    • 8 years ago

    Can’t vote for just one option.
    Smartphones are the future of PC,tablets are a hybrid,laptops are selling a lot more than desktops so they shouldn’t be ignored but the traditional desktop PC hardware reviews can’t just go away.You guys have pretty good PSU reviews so i wouldn’t mind more of those (The Beast might get bored otherwise), at mobo reviews i like seeing the “peripheral performance” (for sata perf it would be nice to see it tested both with a hdd and ssd) since not many sites bother with that but i hate that you mostly ignore overclocking.Cases,coolers and all other reviews,bring ’em on, if we need a mobo or a CPU we need all the other parts too,what matters is not so much the topic but the quality of the review.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 8 years ago

    Actually, I’m pretty satisfied with the product mix TR reviews now.

      • ew
      • 8 years ago

      Seconded! I’d add that you should review the stuff you want to review in order to keep the quality of the review up as high as they are now and keep it interesting for yourselves. Don’t trust what your users tell you that much as people often don’t know what they actually want.

        • anotherengineer
        • 8 years ago

        True it is better to do several things really well rather then everything mediocre.

        That being said there is some room for improvement in your current reviews for SSD’s. I find most of those reviews are tested with an Intel chipset. I think for a proper and thorough review they should also be tested on an AMD chipset and a discrete sata card.

        Which would give a very good idea of performance and compatibility on ‘non Intel’ hardware.

      • odizzido
      • 8 years ago

      I am happy with how things are now as well.

      • SomeOtherGeek
      • 8 years ago

      Agreed! I think what makes you guys so unique is that you just review by the “seat of your pants”, so to speak. So, just stick with what you are doing.

      • Biggins
      • 8 years ago

      I agree! The product mix is good now. I started reading the article published about the Intel server and got bored on the second page. It’s not interesting to me. I mostly come to this site for news and reviews on PC hardware. Stick with reviewing processors and graphics with the occasional motherboard, sound card, laptop, etc. Power supplies are boring. Monitors are easy to understand, although most reviews end up saying TN sucks and IPS rules. I get tired of all the IPS snobs. TN is cheap and it works really well. It doesn’t have to have perfect color reproduction. I could keep going…

      Oh yeah, NO APPLE reviews. It makes me mad that a lot of tech websites have been taken over by Apple. CNET, PC Mag, PC World, Engadget, Gizmodo, etc. I hate Apple!

    • flip-mode
    • 8 years ago

    wOw, tough poll without multiple choice. Hmm… thinking aloud:

    [list=*<] [*<]Smart phones: no. Just plain no. [/*<][*<]Tablets: again, no. [/*<][*<]Laptops: I like when you review laptops, but they're hard to get excited about [/*<][*<]Cases: YES PLEASE. Cases from every segment of the market. Will probably vote for this. [/*<][*<]Coolers: Am I the only one that feels like it's hard to go wrong and so almost pointless to review? Besides, SPCR kinda has this territory covered. The occasional cooler roundup would be nice - kinda like once every 6 or 12 months. [/*<][*<]PSUs: as much as I hate their pompous nature, HardOCP has this base covered. However, you guys have typically done roundups, which is actually not that common and yet probably the most useful format. HardOCP reviews PSUs one at a time and it's hard to get a feel for which it THE PSU. I'd also like to see a roundup that covers more than one market segment at once, kind of a "multi roundup" of sorts. Again, maybe once every 6 or 12 months to keep a finger on the pulse so to speak. [/*<][*<]Motherboards: Yes, more please. Tempted to vote for this. [/*<][*<]Server-class: that's a huge category. Are we talking home built? Rack or tower? NAS type or full-fledged server? Is it going to be primarily about SPEC scores? That's not very interesting to me. I'm more interested in storage features and performance and virtualization. I'm tempted to cast my vote for this, but it is too broad to vote for.[/*<] [/list<]

    • FakeAlGore
    • 8 years ago

    I would like to see more coverage of mini-ITX systems. Intel Wireless Display is going to be added to the new Atom chips leaving only a power cord sticking out of a custom set-top box.

    Speaking of which, whatever happened to WiTricity?

    • DancinJack
    • 8 years ago

    Cases – especially of the mATX and mini-ITX classes.

      • cobalt
      • 8 years ago

      Seconded! Wholeheartedly. There aren’t that many good, attractive SFF cases out there, and the few reviews of them aren’t that useful — often the reviews target lower-end hardware, for example. A lot of the newer mATX and mini-ITX cases are geared more towards enthusiast class hardware, but you still run into issues like finding a CPU HSF that will fit in the case but keep an OC’d 2600k cool, or whether a full-size modular ATX PSU really fits, or whether the airflow design forces you to make tradeoffs in GPU vs PSU cooling.

      (I’d love some good media center case reviews, too, but I haven’t seen much even worth reviewing recently…. I have almost no interest in full-ATX or even mid-ATX cases anymore; I can’t imagine where I’d be able to fit one if I bought it.)

      (Edited: for clarity.)

        • DancinJack
        • 8 years ago

        It also follows the trend of computing shifting to a more mobile state. I know a lot of people wouldn’t consider mATX or mini-ITX mobile, but with (worthwhile)graphics being integrated into more CPUs it makes sense for a lot of folks to shift to smaller form factors.

    • Hattig
    • 8 years ago

    Beard trimmers.

      • bdwilcox
      • 8 years ago

      Smart beard trimmers. Or iTrimmer for short.

        • NeelyCam
        • 8 years ago

        Only if it’s white, slow and costs 30% more than a regular one.

          • bdwilcox
          • 8 years ago

          And secretly tracks where you’ve trimmed you beard.

            • mutarasector
            • 8 years ago

            And has incredible battery life w/adaptive recharging via a USB dock w/built-in cappuccino/latte cup holder/warmer.

    • Ryhadar
    • 8 years ago

    Most of the things you listed I already get from other hardware sites because they do them more frequently than TR. That said your coverage of motherboards and cases are second to none; I love reading your reviews on them.

    You already do motherboards enough (I think), so I voted for case. However, I’d like it if you did more reviews on small form factor cases.

    • dpaus
    • 8 years ago

    Where, exactly, is the line between smartphones and tablets?

      • indeego
      • 8 years ago

      The long vertical part of the letter “d.”

      • allston232
      • 8 years ago

      “Where, exactly, is the line between smartphones and tablets?”

      Well, when you put a “communicating device” near your face to start talking a phone and if you feel like a “mini-me” next to it, then that “phone” is too big. So, it is a tablet.

    • Sargent Duck
    • 8 years ago

    I can’t really vote, as I’d vote PSU’s, Coolers and Cases.

    These three components are necessary for any build, but never get the attention they deserve. I mean, the PSU is probably the single most important component to insuring a system stability and long life, yet…*crickets chirping*. Likewise, keeping your processor/video card cool means higher overclocks and better system health, yet again, not enough.

    And cases, well, your local store might not always carry the case you’re eyeing on newegg and you need some high quality pictures and reviews to see if that is really for you.

      • NeelyCam
      • 8 years ago

      If there’s more PSU coverage, I would prefer a focus on low-power PSUs. Sure, tri-SLI is exciting, but I bet a vast majority here would be fine with <300W PSUs.

      Maybe a review on those Seasonic passive PSUs would be good…?

        • anotherengineer
        • 8 years ago

        Hardware Secrets and JonnyGuru both do excellent PSU reviews.

        And I agree with you, 1000W psu’s aren’t really mainstream.

        250W to 650W would probably be the best ballpark.

          • vvas
          • 8 years ago

          Silent PC Review is also great for PSUs / coolers / cases, with an emphasis on low power, good airflow, and of course quiet operation. It’s one of those sites that took a niche that noone had been addressing properly before and really nailed it.

    • Usacomp2k3
    • 8 years ago

    How about systems? Especially the mini-ITX or Net-top style. Anywhere from the Revo to the Eeeekeyboard or the Dell Zino.

      • mutarasector
      • 8 years ago

      I’d like to see more SFF/mini-ITX/netpc system coverage as well.

    • boing
    • 8 years ago

    Monitors.

      • Nutmeg
      • 8 years ago

      Yeah monitors would be good. I’d love to see TR roundups of new monitors, and there’s plenty to geek out about them if you scratch beneath the surface, so to speak.

      • RobbyBob
      • 8 years ago

      Another vote for monitors here.

      • NeelyCam
      • 8 years ago

      I also vote for monitors

      • anotherengineer
      • 8 years ago

      Indeed monitors.

      More motherboard comparisons amd 880g (msi, asus, giga, etc) compared to each other.

      Sound cards?

      Usb keys (slc or mlc, transfer rates, etc)

      Add on cards (sata-raid, usb 3.0, network)

      Moar HDD & SSD’s with other chipsets than Intel please

      I know lots of work but that’s what a review site is all about.

        • Veerappan
        • 8 years ago

        “Add on cards (sata-raid, usb 3.0, network)”

        I’d also like to see some more reviews of entry-level hardware RAID, NAS, and SAN equipment.

        And Monitors.. I’ll be in the market for at least one in the next few months (LED-backlit IPS or similar probably).

      • Parallax
      • 8 years ago

      This would mean expending a huge amount of effort into things like calibration, etc… that many other sites already do. Unless TR can do it better I would stick with what they are good at now.

      But they could always surprise me 🙂

      • ScrmnCheez
      • 8 years ago

      Chalk up another vote.

      • DancinJack
      • 8 years ago

      I just can’t get with this. 3D is something I have absolutely zero interest in and there just isn’t enough changing here to spend time/money reviewing them to me.

      • NeronetFi
      • 8 years ago

      Agreed, monitors would be a nice additon

      • Firestarter
      • 8 years ago

      ++! How can one overlook that which one stares at all day?

      edit: bonus points for covering 120Hz monitors, not for the sake of ‘3D’ (don’t care) but to actually use that graphical horsepower for that underestimated quality: QUANTITY!

      editedit: Did I mention Creamy Smoothness(tm)? Yeah that’s right, 120Hz is the new SMP 😎

        • Ngazi
        • 8 years ago

        Yea if anyone has a link I would like to know if 120hz and or 2ms matter at all.

          • Firestarter
          • 8 years ago

          120Hz matters, even when you’re not gaming at all: [url<]http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/monitors/display/samsung-sm2233rz_5.html#sect0[/url<]

            • Ngazi
            • 8 years ago

            Nice site but it really just makes me want a monitor that goes black between frames. Good thing I have back up CRTs.

      • Rectal Prolapse
      • 8 years ago

      +1, this too!

      (btw, can we have a poll on what products to cover LESS of? How about…less Apple coverage? 😛

      • sparkman
      • 8 years ago

      If you read the TR system guide carefully, TR explains why they don’t cover monitors and it’s probably the same reason why monitors wasn’t in the poll.

      In short, monitors are too complicated, too expensive, and there’s too much marketing BS such as changing the design of a model in huge ways from one production run to the next without telling anyone.

        • ludi
        • 8 years ago

        Perhaps a stream of TN-panel reviews are not necessary, but identifying and evaluating some higher-end *VA and *-IPS monitors would be nice. I know there are sites that specialize in that sort of thing, but getting a few models out there from time to time would be nice.

        • lilbuddhaman
        • 8 years ago

        That sounds like the exact reason we need our trusty TR guys to help us out !

      • ludi
      • 8 years ago

      Savannah, or Hall?

      • designerfx
      • 8 years ago

      seeing TR do some in depth monitor reviews would be nice. I think anandtech is one of the few other sites that does some real serious monitor reviews.

      • lilbuddhaman
      • 8 years ago

      Yet another Vote for monitors.

      Still looking for that magical sub $1k 30in with all the right specs.

      • DancinJack
      • 8 years ago

      You guys can’t be serious.

      [url<]http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/[/url<]

        • anotherengineer
        • 8 years ago

        True they are very good and thorough. Be nice if there was a good option on this side of the pond though, so we could have better prices and selection to compare to. Also I don’t know if the 50Hz power over there affects monitors differently than the 60Hz power over here?

          • DancinJack
          • 8 years ago

          There are SO many monitors out there though. There isn’t enough different about monitors to spend the time on them in my opinion.

          e: I think most of the monitors they review are for sale in the US.

      • Bensam123
      • 8 years ago

      Monitors haven’t really changed and the whole scene has sorta stagnated now. The only real difference seems to be in size… all the other stats are roughly the same.

      Just like laptops it seems like a very niche and offers small returns in terms of offering meaningful information to it’s readers.

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