I build computers as a hobby and I fix friends computers as a courtesy. They often ask for advice but sometimes don’t listen. Others look at me funny when I say things like “Asus and Abit make good motherboards, for my money I don’t trust anyone else”. They have never heard of Asus or Abit and don’t know why they should pay $30 extra for a brand they have never heard of over some other brand they have never heard of. When I say that I have never heard of some particular brand you found a deal on its because it so small that it doesn’t even register on my radar. The reason I know these things is because I read hardware review sites daily and have done so for the past 6 years.
My Daily Reading:
[H]ard|OCP – The [H], as its known, is THE place for graphics card reviews. They have a particular methodology that is unique. They are also a great place for a daily dose of hardware and gaming related news. The forum is very active and covers hardware, modding and deals.
Anandtech – General hardware review site. Usually well written. Also covers industry trade shows. Good CPU reviews and comparisons.
Toms Hardware – Run by a German dentist. He knows his hardware and tests all sorts of kit. Covers trade shows, home networking, storage etc. Good motherboard reviews in particular.
Other places I check on occasion:
- General Reviews/News
- Specialised Review Sites
If you find some irresistible deal, and you have to ask if its any good, check these sites. If you cant find a review or a good word in any of the forums, steer clear. If I say I’ve never heard of it I just saved you lots of reading you didn’t want to do anyway.