08 December 98 - 14 December 98
Highlights within this period includes:
  • Graphics cards roundup
  • 1 million Banshee shipped
  • Windows 64
  • Mac OS 8.5.1
  • New A3D drivers
  • ATI Rage Fury review
  • Dell Inspiron 7000
  • Hitatchi 12,000 rpm drive
  • Marvel G200 review
  • Another ATI Rage Fury review
  • Java 2
  • Dreamweaver 2
  • 3D Guide Part III
  • Enhancing your overclocking experience
  • New cable modem
  • VDSL
  • S3 .18 micron design
  • Where will Voodoo3 leave 3Dfx
  • More On Overclocking
  • Matrox G200 ICD
  • Sharky On ATI Rage Fury
  • Microsoft Y2K Glitch
  • Intel .18 Micron Technology
  • SB Live! Review
  • Microsoft New Anti-Piracy Technology
  • Lack of New 370 Parts
  • Intel RoadMap
  • G3 and the BeOS
  • Understand CPU Cache Part 2
  • ATA/66
  • Katmai?
  • Matrox Unified BIOS 3.47
  • Celeron @ 450Mhz Vs SL2W8 @ 450Mhz
  • Sun Double Standard
  • PowerVR and Voodoo 3
  • 3rd Generatiom Smartcards
  • Katmai
  • Installing BeOS 4
  • Abit SlotKet
  • Shogo Challenge
  • MX300 Vs SBLive! RoundUp
  • Diamond Micronics C200
  • On Katmai
  • New Matrox G200 Drivers
  • Dangers of Overclocking
  • Which 3D Cards?
  • Diamond MX300
  • Motherboard Monitor V3.80
  • Tom On Rage Fury
  • iMac Notebook
  • Benchmarks of Katmai
  • Fillrate and VSD
  • VM Bug
  • Digital Cameras
  • Pure3D II Drivers
  • Elan Vital T-10AB Case Review
  • Diamond RIO PMP300 Review
  • Cooling the TNT
  • Katmai and Celeron 370
  • CL Riva TNT
  • More MX300 Versus Live!
  • Shogo 2.1
  • DR-DOS
  • Webcam
  • Guillemot Maxisound
  • Viper Racing
  • Dreamweaver 2
  • Prince of Persia 3D
  • New Shogo
  • Cambridge SoundWorks DT5.1
  • Diamond RIO
  • AMD K6-2 350Mhz
  • ICQ Build 1672
  • BH6 Review
  • FrontPage 98 Easter Egg
  • Remarked P-II Processors
  • Monster Fusion
  • Overclocking Myths
  • Creative TNT Benchmarks at OCP
  • Updated MX300 Benchmarks
  • Adobe Premiere 5.1
14th December 1998 {Monday}
Adobe Premiere 5.1 23:36 pm - Kan

Adobe Systems Incorporated today announced the immediate availability of an enhanced version of Adobe Premiere 5.1 software, its award-winning digital video editing solution. Called Adobe Premiere RT 5.1, it fulfills the demand from video professionals for real-time capabilities at an affordable price. Adobe Premiere RT 5.1 software enhances productivity and expands creative freedom for video professionals with a superior, cost-effective real-time solution.The application will only be available as a software/hardware bundle from two leading video board manufacturers: Pinnacle Systems and Matrox Video Products Group.

Adobe Premiere RT software's real-time capabilities, enabled by an expansion of the Media Abstraction Layer in Premiere 5.1, allow video editors to add transitions, apply filters and create 2D and 3D video motion without having to render the effects. Hardware developers who take advantage of this new API can offer their Adobe Premiere RT customers significantly improved performance for faster processing time and enhanced creative freedom, enabling a wider range of unique video effects -- all of which, until now, have only been available from video editing systems costing tens of thousands of dollars more.

Updated MX300 Benchmarks 19:48 pm - Wilfred

Saw at our buddy site 3DSoundSurge about some updated benchmarks a reader sent them. Apparently, the Monster Sound MX300 performs better in terms of CPU utilisation when using the latest drivers. Interested MX300 buyers should definitely take a look at this:

Thanks to Jody for pointing me to some new MX300 benchmarking numbers using ZD's Audio WinBench 99. These numbers are in line with the impovments I am also getting using the 215 Vortex 2 reference drivers which you will see when out MX300 review goes online. Here's a clip but head over to AGN3D for the numbers.

Thought you might be interested in the latest CPU utilization figures for the MX300.. I finally got my card and am doing a review writeup. The figures I got are much better than the ones at www.agn3d.com review of the MX300, for example, and they were on a P2-450.

I'm using the latest reference drivers (even newer than what shipped with the card itself-- from Aureal's web site)-- earlier reviews were using beta drivers. My tests were performed on a P2-400 with 128mb memory, running Windows 98.

Finally a piece from me huh? Yap, I'll be working to post up a review soon before I fly off to S.Korea for a trip. Heh heh...

Creative TNT Benchmarks at OCP 19:33 pm - Wilfred

Our affiliate Overclocker's Comparison Page put up his benchmark tests on the Creative TNT card with some impressive numbers to show. Kyle ran the card through a series of benchmarks like Quake II and Half-Life, plus many overclocked speeds of the Celeron A from a humble 300 to 504Mhz as well as a K6-2.

Overclocking Myths 19:05 pm - Kan

Ars-Technica had some comments on the e-mail made by the Intel people over at Kyle's OCP. Take a look at them.

The first statement that I have a major problem with is the following by Karl Andrews:

Also, faster chips can be sold for higher prices, right? When we test manufacturing batches, we sort them by maximum reliable speed. If a 333 MHz chip was capable of running reliably at 350 or 400, don't you think we would be selling it at that speed, with it's correspondingly higher price? Whatever you may think of Intel, we aren't stupid.

Intel may not be stupid, but I have to wonder about someone who ridicules a practice Intel has been blatanty engaging in for several months now. Faster chips can be sold for higher prices--but if there are more of those faster, more expensive chips than there are people who want to pay tons of cash for them, you end up with a glut. Intel has made no secret about its yields exceeding even its own rosy expectations. Intel announced recently that it was pushing up its roadmap because things are just so peachy.

Monster Fusion 18:57 pm - Kan

3D Gaming had a review on the Diamond Monster Fusion Banshee card.

Fastest Voodoo Banshee based board If you're in the market for the fastest card based on the Voodoo Banshee, look no further than the Diamond Monster Fusion. Diamond has added a very well constructed heatsink/fan combo with their Fusion board allowing it to run much cooler & faster than other Banshee based boards that have only heatsinks. However, the primary reason why the Fusion burns all the other Banshee's is that Diamond overclocked BOTH the core and memory! The standard core of 100MHz has been upped to 105MHz and the SGRAM onboard is clocked to 115MHz from the original 110MHz specifications.

Remarked P-II Processors 11:17 am - Kan

Okay, okay, I'm a bit slow. But here's a piece of news from Tweak It on remarked P-II processors.

On the outside it appears to be a 100% genuine Intel Pentium II 450MHz. Even a distributor who sees thousands of CPUs a day would be fooled by the packaging. I personally had the processor for close to two weeks before I noticed anything and probably would have never caught it if I hadn't looked up the "S-spec" number. When I couldn't find the "S-spec" number listed in Intel's quick reference guide, I got a little more curious and decided to pop the cover. What I found inside, hidden from the world was surprising.
The PCB had a modification to it that smacked of foul play, although at this point I was not convinced all was not right. I had seen companies use a similar modification technique before to get the product out the door with out the extra cost of a PCB revision, but I did doubt that Intel would do it.

FrontPage 98 Easter Egg 10:45 am - Kan

Dedicated to people like me who uses FrontPage more than any other programs, here is an easter egg taken from ActiveWindows.

  • Start FrontPage Explorer.
  • With FrontPage Explorer application open, hold down the Shift key
  • Select Help | About
  • Click OK
  • With the Shfit key still held down, click on Help | About for the second time
  • Click OK
  • With the Shfit key still held down, click on Help | About for the last time
  • The credits screen should appear with a song

That's a whole lot more Easter eggs available at their site.

BH6 Review 08:53 am - Kan

CRUS just posted their first motherboard review, the ABIT BH6.

The BH6 Soft Menu II system even lets you modify the voltage for the CPU core in 0.05 and 0.1 V steps. This has helped alot of people that getting their Celeron 300A or PII 300 (0.25 micron) systems up to 450 Mhz (and even higher!), making the combo of a BH6, a Celeron 300A and some PC100 a really kickass combo at a VERY low cost.

ABIT has always been known for making very good motherboards, in the past we have seen exelent examples of this in motherboards such as the IT5H (rev 2.0) and in the ABIT LX6 which was the first motherboard to feature a 100Mhz bus and the Soft Menu system. And as you probably could have guessed the BH6 is no exeption to this. Now, lets get more in depth and see what the BH6 really features:

ICQ Build 1672 08:46 am - Kan

I've mirrored ICQ 99a build 1672 onto our S-One server from our affiliate Beta Test. If you feel like testing the new software, you can grab it here.  I tried it and visually, it looks the same as build 1620.

As usual, download and execute the program at your own risk.

AMD K6-2 350 Mhz 08:38 am - Kan

PlanetHardware written a review on the AMD K6-2 350 Mhz processor.

My second point to why the K6-2 is still behind the Pentium II is the work it takes to get the processor running at full speed. AMD says the chip is faster than a Pentium II, when running an application that uses the 3DNow! instructions. Many people who I talk to think that when you use the K6-2, every application will use 3DNow! from then on, and will fun faster, sadly, this isn't the way it works. For each program to utilize 3DNow!, you must download a patch for that particular program/game, along with that, you have to make sure your video board's drivers have 3DNow! optimizations. When you have all these combined, you've got one wickedly fast processor, but without them, the K6-2's Floating Point Unit can't stand up to the Pentium II in the least.

Anyway, check out our benchmarks of the Celeron @ 504 Mhz. It simply blows everybody away.

Diamond Rio 08:31 am - Kan

SharkyExtreme had another new review, this time the Diamond Rio Portable MP3 player.

Comprised of no moving parts and requiring only one AA sized battery to supply up to 10hrs of music, the Rio PMP300 is the first product of what is sure to be many based on the growing music compression format known as MP3. MP3, or MPEG-1 audio layer 3, is a phenomenon that has quickly grown into a mainstream business. Quite simply, when used with an MP3 decoder, full-length songs can be compressed to a size that's 10X smaller than they are in their native state while retaining near CD-quality fidelity.

Cambridge SoundWorks DT5.1 08:22 am - Kan

NetExcite reviewed the Cambridge SoundWorks Desktop Theatre 5.1. If you missed our Soundworks 5.1 review, you can get it here again.

What makes this speaker set different from others? The most significant feature of this unit is that it includes a 5.1 Dolby Digital decoder built-in on the amplifier. As an audiophile, this feature makes me in purchasing this unit with my PC-DVD kit. The 24-bit Digital to Analogue converter is only found in high-end home theatre amplifier. Besides that, it includes 4 speakers and 1 subwoofer, which is the best companion to your SoundBlaster Live! for the ultimate Environmental Audio experience. The handy control unit is rather big. It allows you to select audio modes such as music, movie or stereo. Other options allow you to select the Dolby in type (Pro Logic or Digital AC3), mute and even a speaker test button. Obviously, it allows you to adjust the volume of the speaker, surround channel, center channel and subwoofer. Now, let's move on to the real world tests.

New Shogo 08:22 am - Kan

CRUS posted a new review based on the new patch which have improved AI.

Now an enemy will shoot you if you shoot him, his teammate will join in too, even if he didn’t see you. Tanks aren’t so weary of obstacles anymore and the spiders aren’t glued to the ground anymore. Some other improvements include some guys running off for help and others charging at you if you are weak. Gameplay wise this game has the best single player experience bar one other game (you know which), it is a little easy but it has made me want to play through it 4 times, another help factor is that there are two endings, one Mech, one on-foot
13th December 1998 {Sunday}
Prince of Persia 3D 11:57 am - Kan

GaGames reviewed Price of Persia 3D, an all time classic series.

Prince of Persia 3D is a third person point-of-view, real-time adventure/action game which is a sequel to the best-selling Prince of Persia games originally created by Jordan Mechner. Prince of Persia 3D includes all the features which made Prince of Persia so popular, including fluid, realistic animation, devious traps, and an elegantly simple interface for running, jumping, climbing, and sword fighting. The new version of Prince of Persia uses advanced 3D technology to combine the fast-action combat of a fighting game with the depth and immersion of a classic adventure/action game.

Dreamweaver 2 11:50 am - Kan

Netigen had a review on Macromedia latest product, Dreamweaver 2. This product is great!

In terms of the user interface, Dreamweaver is a sobering experience. The main program window is complemented by three toolbars positioned according to your current resolution. If necessary, additional palette toolbars may be opened for more user-specific tasks. For veteran users, the interface remains virtually unchanged -- meaning that these toolbars can still be a nuisance. Dreamweaver 1.2 would quickly clutter the desktop when multiple palettes were open. Version 2.0 functions identically, but now you can group multiple palettes into a single toolbar (with tabs to distinguish between each palette). This is especially helpful in reducing screen clutter.

Keep in mind that Dreamweaver functions primarily as a WYSIWYG (What You See is What You Get) editor. In more practical terms, this means that you can treat Dreamweaver as a desktop publishing tool; just drag-and-drop images and begin typing content. All of the coding is done in the background, so unless you prefer to view the code behind your rendered page, you'll never see HTML.

Viper Racing 11:46 am - Kan

Our affiliate 3DSpotlight had a new review on Sierra latest game, Viper Racing.

The graphics of Viper Racing is the best thing of the game, remember... good graphics doesn´t mean it´s a good game, poor gameplay in this case. Although the races´ enviroments are boring and the trees look awful, the graphics are nice, cars look sharp and have got transparent windows, in general they look much like a real Viper, reflections are just ok, nothing special since all racing games are using this feature now

Guillemot Maxisound 11:42 am - Kan

Hardwire sent note on their latest review, the Guillemot Maxisound Game theater 64. This thing is a ISA card!?

The software bundle is nothing special, but the real focus should shift on the driver interface.  The card ships with the Maxi FX interface for EQ and effects configuration on audio output.   It will take a bit of messing around to get the sound output clean.  The installation defaults were causing all kinds of hissing and popping on the ACS-48 speakers used in the review.   The best bet is to set the EQ controls to the midline and work from there to enhance the sound to your own tastes without having it sound bad.

Webcam 01:28 am - Kan

PCME had a new review on the Logitech USB Webcam. Oh yes, we may just review the Creative USB Webcam we got today.

Logitech just keeps banging out a great variety of USB peripherals for the Windows 98 user. I've been really impressed with this new standard in connectivity. Installations are always incredibly easy, and I really haven't had any problems with the USB functionality built into the products I've been taking a look at. The Logitech QuickCam Home has been no exception. Logitech, as you might know, acquired Connectix Corporation a little while back and the QuickCam line has now been integrated with Logitech's already award-winning line of products. Logitech seems to be poised to ride high in this market of new technology with the recent acquisition, and there's no doubt in my mind, that the QuickCam Home will help build that foundation.

Kan @ Rantings 01:20 am - Kan

Is this site a one man show or what!? Where's Wilfred? Where's everybody?


DR-DOS 01:09 am - Kan

You mean they haven't been bought over by Microsoft? I just read this from BetaNews on DR-DOS 7.02.

    DR-DOS from Caldera provides features that other solutions don't offer; such as, support for Year 2000 operation, patented power management, and true multitasking. Discover what developers from companies like Sun, Intel, and Symbol Technology have discovered: There's no safer choice for embedded technology projects than DR-DOS.

    System requirement is a real joke!

  • IBM PC, AT, PS/2 or compatible
  • 640K RAM
  • Hard disk with 6MB (basic installation) or 12MB (full installation) free space
  • DPMS support requires 286 or above CPU and a minimum of 1MB of RAM
  • Multitasking requires 386 or above CPU and a minimum of 4MB of RAM
  • Includes DOS ODI drivers for all of the most popular network adapters.

Feeling Windows too slow for your computer? You can download an evaluation copy of DR-DOS thru here.

Shogo 2.1 01:01 am - Kan

The new patch for Shogo is out and available for download from here directly. Below are the improvements and bug fixes:

  • Added support for launching from The Zone.
  • Fixed ShogoServ.exe bug where it crashes when #levels in list is > 16. Now supports up to 50 levels.
  • Made a bunch of memory leak fixes (hopefully this will fix the servers crashing after 8 hours or so)
  • Fixed the bug that caused a crash when using the mpmech cheat. This bug also caused the weapons to get placed on the wrong nodes when models were changed (gun sticking out of knee bug). This also fixes the crash when changing to kid mode.
  • Added a client-side console command "AutoWeaponSwitch" which defaults to 0. If set to 1, weapons will automatically be switched to when picked up in multiplayer (i.e., it will work the same way as single-player).
  • Fixed a couple of bugs with the host's list of selected levels and using custom levels (it wouldn't restore them properly the next time).
  • Fixed the problem of the in-game interface going away when killed/hit while zoomed in with sniper rifle.
  • Fixed being stuck in ground bug (load world via console).
  • Fixed more memory leaks (most were single-player only).
  • Fixed ShogoSrv so that it actually loads custom rez files properly.
  • Improved net performance on some modems that were having "high ping" related problems.
12th December 1998 {Saturday}
More MX300 Versus Live! 23:44 pm - Wilfred

Do you need another verdict? Here's one from <don't blink!> FastGraphics, who'd decided to run down both the cards for you to scrutinise their guts. So what is it, MX300 or Live? MX300 or Live? Take a look at the review.

Both the Creative Labs SoundBlaster Live and the Diamond Monster Sound MX300 are great products. Looking at the configuration of the boards we see that the SoundBlaster Live is clearly targeted at the more serious sound user, while the Monster Sound MX300 is targeted for gamers. Looking at the price we see that both cards are carrying the same tag. The SoundBlaster Live is available in two versions: A Value at $99 version which doesn't come with the I/O daughter card with SPDIF in/out and extra MIDI connectors, and there is the full version with the daughter card which sells for about $199.. The value version is comparable with the MX300 ($99) since that one also comes without the daughtercard. For now it's not clear: The SoundBlaster Live offers better performance due to less usage of CPU power, while the MX300 holds the advantage of wider API support. Personally I really love both cards, and I think you can't go wrong with either one of them.

Sheesh, basically no verdict again. Here we go again: "Can't go wrong with either..."

CL Riva TNT 23:06 pm - Kan

Frontline had a new review on the CL Riva TNT board. Read how they trashed the card!

The Graphics Blaster Riva TNT is a bare bones card with no video in/out, looking very much like a reference design. This explains the low cost of the card compared to other TNT cards like Diamond's and Canopus'. The Graphics Blaster Riva TNT runs very hot and Creative has wisely chosen to put a heatsink on the TNT chip. However, no fan was included. Bummer! At least they didn't use those darned green heatsinks that you see on most BX motherboards. (Asus V3400 TNT cards uses one of those! Heh). However, the Graphics Blaster Riva TNT has a "Video Port" of sorts.

Katmai and Celeron 370 20:36 pm - Kan

Yup, the pretty babes over at Hardware Extreme managed to have the Katmai as well as the new Celeron based on the Socket 370.

Socket 370 Celeron

Cooling the TNT 20:23 pm - Kan

Tweak3D had an article on cooling your TNT card using a conventional 486 as well as a Pentium heat sink + fan.

Go buy a Pentium cooling fan/sink and remove the heatsink from your card. Don't know how? It's simple. Run the card for a while, until it is hot. Shut down the machine, remove the card. Carefully -using a flathead screwdriver- pry off the heatsink. They come off fairly easy. Use a razor blade to scrape off any hard glue. Use a slightly dampened cloth with rubbing alcohol to remove the remains of glue. Wait for the rubbing alcohol to dry and gently rub a dry cloth on it. When it is dry you're ready to start.

Diamond RIO PMP300 Review 15:44 pm - Wilfred

After the release in Singapore, you should have seen it in shops around Sim Lim Square selling this at S$360. Thresh's Firing Squad has thrown up a nice review on it - the greats & the drawbacks as well. Check it out if you're eyeing the Diamond RIO PMP300.

At "CD-Quality" 128-kbps encoding, we're talking roughly 30 minutes of music, or around 6-10 songs, depending on length. It's not quite up to snuff compared to the 74 minutes on a music CD/MiniDisc. Diamond recommends using lower-bit rate encoded music, which relieves the memory bottleneck somewhat. At 64kbps, you would definitely be able to notice the difference in sound quality, but you would also be able to store roughly 60 minutes of audio on 32MB. However, you may not be able to discern the quality of the sound if you're using a below-average pair of earphones. (Esp. the ones that come with the Rio)

Elan Vital T-10AB Case Review 14:52 pm - Wilfred

A case review? Yap, not the first of its kind but certainly not many to be found around. AlienPC has written a short review on the Elan Vital T-10AB ATX casing.

"Mounting the components in the case was very easy.  The MoBo tray is not removable but, the drive bays are.   You simply turn a little locking lever at the top of the 3 1/2 drive bays and they slide right out.  Then the 5 1/4 drive bays will slide out also.  This provides you with plenty of room to mount the MoBo with little trouble.  Then you simply mount your drives in the bays and slide them back into place and lock the lever.  There is a bar that runs across the inside of the case to stabilize and brace the case.  It is easily removed and no problems but, definitely necessary." 

"I was able to assemble the complete system very quickly due to the wonderful ergonomics of this case and would suggest it to anyone with moderate cooling needs."

Pure3D II Drivers 10:25 am - Kan

The new beta drivers are available from our Video Drivers section or from Canopus directly.

This is the latest Windows 9X update for the Pure3D II and Pure3D II LX by Canopus Corporation. No support will be provided on these beta drivers. These drivers are being released for the Glide 3.0 support. No support for DirectX 6 has been added because we still have some issues that are being addressing but thought who ever needs these drivers can download them and use them safely.

Digital Cameras 07:57 am - Kan

PCWorld had a roundup on a whole list of digital cameras. If you are looking for one, be sure to read the review on them.

Good looks go only so far. Take digital cameras, for instance. Since their inception, they've been among the flashiest gizmos a gadget freak could tote; but if you were after more than oohs and aahs, many early models were bound to disappoint. Despite their steep prices, they couldn't hold a flash bulb to the picture quality of a $10 disposable camera.

Suddenly, though, digital photography looks a lot brighter. Image quality is advancing rapidly, and new cameras carry a fuller complement of useful features. Has yesterday's cool status symbol morphed into today's mundane business tool? Not yet, except for folks whose jobs revolve around instant images--such as insurance adjusters and real estate agents. Still, judging from the ten cameras we reviewed for this article, digital photography is well on its way to joining the mainstream.

VM Bug 07:44 am - Kan

There seem to have a bug on the recently released Java Virtual Machine from Microsoft, according to an article from Techweb.

Sun Microsystems' internal testing of Microsoft's recently released Java virtual machine has turned up a bug in the VM's handling of arithmetic functions, Sun executives told InternetWeek.

The potential bug was found during a run of the Spec Java Benchmark, which tests and measures Java speed and performance. The tests were run at the same time Sun is running a battery of compatibility tests to determine if the Microsoft VM, released this Monday in response to a preliminary court injunction, is indeed Java compatible.

InternetWeek was first alerted to the potential bug by a high-ranking Java Software unit executive. A Sun spokeswoman told InternetWeek Thursday that according to one of the Sun engineers involved in the testing, the potential problem occurred during the first and only run-through of the Spec Java Benchmark, and "was pretty easy to find."

Fillrate and VSD 07:41 am - Kan

No, VSD is not some sexually transmitted disease. Instead, it stands for Visible Surface Determination. AnandTech had a new article on this.

VSD stands for Visual Surface Determination, as mentioned above. As the name implies, VSD is the process of determining which surfaces are visible to the viewer. (in a 3D engine) As you may have guessed, there are many different methods of approaching the problem of determining the surfaces (pixels, polygons, or scanlines, depending on the algorithm) which are visible. Many of them involve storing the world in an organized data structure. The algorithms which will be discussed are: BSP Trees, Portals, an algorithm I call "Sectors" [Still haven't made up a cool acronym for it], and other approaches such as only Z-buffer (not really feasible for games, explained later), and depth sorting (not really used because it sucks, maybe in Playstation) Read on to learn about BSP Trees and how they can be a pain for your graphic accelerator.

Benchmarks of Katmai 07:37 am - Kan

BxBoards posted results of the Katmai.

I've been sent some scores for the Katmai running @ 500 and 560. Download them here (Winbench 99 / 3dMark format). As you would expect there is nothing around to test KNI instructions right now, but pay special attention to the stepping number of the unit which reports 0x0387F9FF. System Information / CPU name reports it as a CPU model 7 - normally P2's are reported as a model 5.

11th December 1998 {Friday}
iMac Notebook 23:02 pm - Kan

Read from MaximumPC that Apple is coming up with the iMac notebook.

What's translucent, cute, and doesn't have a floppy? If you guessed Apple's desktop iMac, you might be wrong.

The PC we're talking about--reportedly named the WebMate--is actually a lightweight, low-cost notebook version of Apple's popular desktop system, the iMac. Apple hasn't released any actual details about the product--currently slated for release during the first half of 1999--but interim Apple CEO Steve Jobs did allude to the new portable at an educational conference held yesterday in Seattle, saying only that "Apple's new consumer portable would be introduced sometime later in the year."

Tom on Rage Fury 22:58 pm - Kan

Toms Hardware also did a review on the Rage Fury. Looks like this new chipset from ATi will be a killer!

1998 will be their by far best year in history, companies like NVIDIA, Matrox, Diamond, Creative, STB and also 3Dfx can only dream of the revenues ATI was making this year. The reason for this success doesn't come from nothing. It does not take the fastest and shiniest chip on the market to be successful in this business.

What it takes is a decent product, reliable shipments, good prices and an excellent customer support as well as a smart strategy. More than 60% of ATI's chips are ending on a motherboard, most of them for lower end systems. Many OEMs are using ATI cards in their systems, helping them to offer a decent system at an attractive price point. High end 3D chips are a nice feather on every 3D chip maker's hat, but it doesn't have to be what it takes to be successful.

Motherboard Monitor v3.80 22:38 pm - Kan

Motherboard Monitor v3.80 and Lite v2.00 is out and available from our Utilities section. Alternatively, you can download straight from the Motherboard Monitor homepage directly. What's new include:

  • Added support for more LM75's this means I needed to change some layout of MBM Full, like MBM Lite it now has listboxes where you can select the sensor you want to readout.
  • Because more LM75's can be readout this means a whole bunch of new motherboard will be compatible.
  • To make it all a bit more simple for other boards the Asus TX specific compensation (intel, amd, cyrix) has been removed and replaced with a simple compensation button
  • The above means that the "old" users that have an Asus TX now have to select LM75 -2 for CPU readout and add their compensation value on the compensation tab
  • Moved the CSV symbol from Log Tab to General 2 Tab
  • Made some internal changes to MBM Lite so it is easier to add more sensor at a later date
  • Renamed SystemInfo.DLL to SysInf.DLL since on some machines the long file name would cause troubles
  • Updated the help file........ hope I got it all

Diamond MX300 22:25 pm - Kan

That's a new review out at Voodoo Extreme on the Diamond MX300.

A3D 2.0 is really something cool in positional audio technology. Like I said, the new features are occlusions and reflections/wavetracing. An occlusion would be a sound that is blocked by a wall or an object. The sound wouldn’t be muted out, but rather would be transformed into a muffle. Take a game like Half Life, and imaging that a grunt tossed a grenade at you. The sound generated by the explosion would be different according to what was between you and the sound source, in this case, a grenade. The sound would be different if you had decided to sit on the grenade like an egg, or if you decided to do the smart thing and run for cover

Which 3D Cards? 22:22 pm - Kan

Adrenaline Vault posted a new article on which 3D cards to buy is out.

The first thing to think about is what sort of video card you're after, and why. You can get video cards that support only 2D display in hardware (that is, what you normally see in Windows), that support only 3D display in hardware, or that do both. If you play games like most simulations or side scrollers, 2D is enough. You'll care primarily about how much you can put onscreen (maximum resolution), how many colors you can get, and how fast the game can update the display. The amount of memory on the video card is the primary determinant of resolution and color depth, while the speed of the memory and the quality of the 2D acceleration core control the update rate.

Dangers of Overclocking 16:44 pm - Kan

OCP had posted a mail from another Intel employee on the dangers of overclocking, in particular Electromigration.

"Electromigration (EM) remains a serious problem for the reliability of VLSI integrated circuits, and will become an even more serious issue as future IC's employ linewidths below 0.2 micron, since current densities will not scale as quickly as interconnect cross-sectional area shrinks. Future scaling of circuit geometries will increase the fraction of lines susceptible to EM. It has been observed experimentally that as linewidths shrink, the median-time-to-failure (MTF) actually increases for "bamboo" lines whose linewidths are equal to or smaller than the grain size of the constituent polycrystalline metal film, but early failures become a severe concern. "

New Matrox G200 Drivers 15:23 pm - Kan

The new Beta 3 of the G200 drivers fixed all the problems with Socket 7 and the AMD K6-2 processors. You can download them from here.

This product includes a display driver and the Matrox PowerDesk for Windows 95/98 for the G200 only (including G200 PCI).  DX6 support. 
Note: All known Socket 7 and AMD issues have been resolved.

On Katmai 14:34 pm - Kan

The Katmai due to be out on 1st quarter 99 will work on the current BX boards (100 Mhz FSB). The newer Katmai which is due 2nd quarter 99 will require a new motherboard to support the 133 Mhz FSB. They will come in 533 Mhz/600 Mhz variants. Thanks Bob!

Diamond Micronics C200 13:52 pm - Kan

Planet Hardware posted a review on the Diamond Micronics C200 Socket 7 ALI motherboard.

The C200 board is based on the video-problem tarnished ALi Aladdin 5 chipset, for full 100-MHz bus speed operation. Unfortunately this average chipset may as well describe the entire board, average in every way. Now this is most likely what Diamond wanted with their first line of motherboards, a good, steady line of boards just to get their name out in the motherboard market. If this is what Diamond was shooting for than they hit the arrow right on the target. The C200 boasts pretty standard specs, including a 4/3/1 PCI/ISA/AGP expansion slot configuration, as well as three 3.3 volt DIMM slots, and the standard ATX plugs, including two USB plugs, PS/2 keyboard and mouse, along with two serial ports and a parallel port. Additionally, the board boasts such nice features as Creative's Sound Blaster Link, an IrDA infared port, as well as Wake-On-LAN and Wake-On-RING plugs.

MX300 vs SB Live! Roundup 12:49 pm - Kan

It's finally out and available from those Sharks. For those of you who have been thinking whether to get a Live! or a MX300, do take a look at the review.

Both the Creative Sound Blaster Live! and the Diamond MX300 have had their fair share of online accolades and positive reviews thrown at them over the past month. With the retail release of the MX300 finally occurring this week, Sharky Extreme felt that a head to head shootout between the two cards was justified.

In the following article we're going to evaluate the general abilities of both cards towards determining which product best offers an immersive 3D gaming atmosphere.

The various features of both cards will be compared, as will their nuances. 3D audio positioning via MS DirectSound3D, MS DirectSound3D EAX, and Aureal's A3D 2.0 will be the most important factor we evaluate towards determining a winner.

Shogo Challenge 12:43 pm - Kan

Got this from Singapore Gamecenter (those dudes still owe me the PalmPilot :P)

Come December 17, computer gaming enthusiasts will get to experience a new reality in 3D as they compete at the Shogo Challenge '98.

Hosted and co-sponsered by Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), the championship will be held at the AMD Extravaganza at Singapore's major IT shopping maill, Funan, The IT Mall, over four days.

Shogo:Mobile Armour Division is a 3D shooter game that supports the DirectX 6.0 API, which is optimized for 3DNow! Technology. Shogo comes with a gripping story in which the player assumes the character of a commander pilot who has to locate and assasinate the leader of a terrorist group.

Championship contestants will use Compaq Presario 5220 systems, powered by AMD-K-2/380 processors with 3DNow! Technology.

ABit Slotket 12:32 pm - Kan

ABit announces the new Slotkey - Slot 1 to Socket 370 conversion card.

With the ABIT Slotket card. In order to provide the most flexibility and options for the end user, ABIT has developed the Slot 1 to Socket 370 Slotket adapter card. The Slotket card is an adapter for use with Slot 1 motherboards that will allow the use of a Socket 370 CPU.

Our engineer team has worked long and hard to figure a simple solution for the end-user confronted with different architectures and CPUs. The Slotket uses the same high quality engineering that you would expect from the makers of some of the most famous motherboards in the world. With this winning combination from ABIT you can purchase among Slot 1 Pentium CPU's, Slot 1 Celeron CPU's and PPGA Celeron CPU's. Now you can buy an ABIT motherboard with confidence knowing that you can definitely use the widest variety of CPU's on the market!

Installing BeOS 4 12:24 pm - Kan

Ars-Technica had another new article on how to install BeOS on your Intel processor.

BeOS has it's own (kickin', high-tech) filesystem, so you can't just install onto some FAT or NTFS partition. You'll need an empty partition (or better yet, an empty disk) available if you want to install the BeOS. But don't fret it if you don't already have these things. Disk space is cheap, and better yet, the BeOS R4 CD comes with a special version of Partition Magic (for 9x and NT) that can aid you in your quest for love. If you've got a FAT32 partition of 8GB, and you're only using 3GB, just fire up this special version of Partition Magic and resize that partition and you’re ready to roll. If you don't need to resize any partitions, I recommend using BeOS's boot-time partition manager. It's just plain slick. More on that later.

Katmai 12:19 pm - Kan

BxBoards posted a picture of the Intel Katmai.

The Katmai information I posted yesterday has caused a lot of interest and also some scepticism :) Here is a picture of the internals of this beast - pay attention to the 4ns L2 cache - this leads me to believe than this is more than an SL2TV or something similar...

3rd Generation Smartcards 11:24 am - Kan

Read from CoolComputing on this piece of news.

Today the Forte project team, lead by Litronic in partnership with the National Security Agency, and Atmel, announced the first 32-bit processor smartcard with a high-speed Universal Serial Bus (USB) interface, fast-math coprocessor, on-board encryption, and a broad array of interoperable cryptographic algorithm modules. This new cost-effective technology breaks the price-performance, and application-specific barrier that has been stifling smartcard deployment in the US.

Until now, organizations demanding secure information services have been forced to choose closed architecture products limiting them to a single application and a single security services protocol. Typically, no single application or vendor meets all of an organization's needs and this means breadth of service is sacrificed. If this problem is restrictive within an organization it becomes a magnitude worse when there is a requirement to agree on the applications used for extranet services, electronic commerce or funds transfer with clients, partners, and suppliers. Project Forte, coupled with its software support products and USB and ISO 7816 compatible reader from Litronic, offers the solution for organizations to deploy robust security throughout highly sensitive network environments.

PowerVR and Voodoo3 11:20 am - Kan

CoolInfo posted a roundup on the PowerVR 250 and Voodoo3 chipsets.

Several months ago, NEC announced the PowerVR 250 (PVR250), a 3D graphics accelerator with enough horsepower and features to give any respectable company in the business a run for their money.  However, soon after that announcement, NEC signed a contract with Sega, a console manufacturer that had been heavily maligned due to the unsuccessful Saturn gaming system, that allowed the company to use the PVR chipset in their upcoming Dreamcast console.  After months of inactivity in the press regarding the PC version of the PowerVR, it appears that NEC will be releasing their new accelerator very soon.  The ever-so-innovative citadel of gaming, 3Dfx, has also announced plans to release a new line of products, the Voodoo 3 2000 and 3000, both seem to be complete solutions and, most importantly, fast.   

Sun Double Standards 02:10 am - Kan

From Techweb, Microsoft accused Sun Microsystems on Wednesday of having a "double standard" regarding Java compatibility for native method support, in the landmark antitrust trial the software giant is fighting in federal court.

Both in court and on the steps outside the U.S. District courthouse, Microsoft attorneys and representatives painted a picture of a biased Sun that gave preferential treatment to Netscape while shunning advances from Microsoft to work jointly on a native interface for Java developers.

"Java is not an open standard; Java is a double standard," Microsoft spokesman Mark Murray said on the courthouse steps following Wednesday afternoon's proceedings.

Celeron @ 450 Mhz vs SL2W8 @ 450 Mhz 01:56 am - Kan

PCTechware had some benchmarks on the Celeron 300A @ 450 Mhz vs the Pentium II SL2W8 300 Mhz @ 450 Mhz.

The Celeron is meant to run in a board with "EX"-chipset, the 300 for "LX" chipsets. However, they both are compatible (and since recently also officially supported) to run in boards with "BX"-chipset, which allow higher FSB speeds. (83,100,112 and so on...) Given, that you have a BX-based board which allows to run CPUs which declare themselves to be 66MHz only, to run at higher speeds like 100, you can operate those CPUs at much higher speeds than they´re meant to. This is often called "overclocking", or rather it´s a part of overclocking, which generally means operating devices at higher speeds than they´re rated for.

However, it has its flaws. First of all, you void your warranty if you run your CPU higher as it´s officially rated, second, if you are forced to make a big frequency step due to a locked multiplicator (150 MHz at 300MHz Intel CPUs), then the risk of not getting stability at this high frequency becomes greater. Approximately 40-50% of the Celeron 300As are not able to reach 450MHz under default circumstances (usually voltage, but also cooling).

10th December 1998 {Thursday}
Matrox Unified BIOS 3.47 20:49 pm - Kan

The file is available from our Video Drivers section. If you like more information, you can go over to Matrox website.

Changes - All Flat Panel Bios:

  • All DDC Slave addresses are scanned (not only the standard one) to verify Flat Panel presence.
  • Fix a bug with Duke Nukem 3D (640x480)
  • Works with the oldest version of bios fp

Katmai? 20:31 pm - Kan

Read this over at BXBoards on a supposingly Katmai processor.

I've been sent a report on a couple of 500Mhz Katmai's that a large US retailer (who I will call Satan) has acquirred. Some interesting stuff (pics soon!)

  • It's an SECC2 cartidge with the new H-PPGA(OGLA) CPU package. It's a tiny little blue core about 3/8 of an inch square.
  • The cache is SEC 4ns with the following markings...


  • There is a Chip on the BACK of the PCB that has the S-SPEC (which is NOT listed on top like the 350MHz SECC2 carts I have) and has the following markings:

INTEL (m) (c) '95

I honestly have no clue what this chip on the back is, maybe you can let me know? :) I'm guessing it's the EEPROM that is rumored to be on the CPU's.

But on that same note, I have done a quick overclocking check on my ABIT BH6 with GY BIOS, and it is NOT bus speed locked, but it is multiplier locked. I was able to boot up Win98 at 560MHz (112x5) with a 2.2 volt setting, and it was stable for the 20 mins I had it up. Setting it at 100x5.5 resulted in just 500MHz. I have stepped it down to 103x5 at 2.0 volts (which the BIOS says is 522MHz? but ctcm16n says correctly 515) cause I have no clue how good this fan is and don't want to fry this CPU the first day I got it :) The BIOS doesn't say Katmai or KNI or anything of course, just PENTIUM-II MMX at 522MHz.

ATA/66 19:09 pm - Kan

Saw it over at AGN Hardware that the Western Digital 13GB Caviar Ultra ATA/66 is available for sale.

Ultra ATA/66 hard drives are here! The Ultra ATA/66 interface (also commonly referred to as Ultra DMA/66, ATA-5, and Fast ATA-2) allows this 13GB Western Digital Caviar hard drive to reach burst data transfer rates of up to 66.6MB per second - that's double rate of Ultra ATA/33 hard drives. The result is fewer bottlenecks during data transfer, especially during sequential operations required by audio/visual applications.

Ultra ATA/66 is backwards compatible with both Ultra ATA/33 and DMA, and with existing EIDE/IDE hard drives, CD-ROM drives, and host systems. So if your system does not meet the Ultra ATA/66 requirements (see list below), then you can also connect this drive to your older controller card or motherboard. In fact, this drive ships with its Ultra ATA/66 feature disabled because some BIOS versions have potential issues with the interface that can lead to data corruption. The software for re-enabling the Ultra ATA/66 interface is available for downloading at Western Digital's website.* To use the Ultra ATA/66 capability you will also need an Ultra ATA/66 controller card. And whether you are connecting this drive to an Ultra ATA/66 controller or not, you will need a 40-pin 80-conductor cable. Since this cable has 40-pins, you can connect it to your existing 40-pin headers.

Now, where are the motherboards supporting ATA/66 ?

Understand CPU Caching Part 2 17:23 pm - Kan

Yup, the babes over at Ars-Technica posted part 2 of the CPU Caching and Performance.

The one comment I have is about the description of caches. For example, not all caches have a 90% hit rate. Of course, it does depend on the application, but even for a given application, some caches do much better than others. Typically, an L1 cache will get over 90% hit rate, while the L2 cache is much lower. This is because the L1 is a ‘smarter’ cache than the L2 cache. Smarter equates to more logic, more real-estate, and more expensive, as you have pointed out, but also a higher hit rate, even though only a few KB compared to the L2 cache. The fact that an L1 cache can achieve such a high hit rate even though it is a fraction of the size of the L2 cache is a dramatic reminder of the difference your caching algorithm can make.

G3 and the BeOS 12:03 pm - Kan

Ars-Technica had an article on the G3 and the BeOS: a match not meant to Be.

In case you didn't know, the BeOS doesn't officially support the G3. Whether you're talking about R3 or the upcoming R4, if you've got a G3, you won't be running BeOS, at least not with Be's blessings and support.

This is quite interesting because BeOS was exclusively PowerPC before April of ’98 when R3 debuted on both the PPC and the Intel platforms. Now, all of the sudden, the bleeding edge support has sifted from the modestly meaty PPC machines (i.e., the pre-G3 pickings) to the Intel PIIs (they’ve even run it on Quad Xeon’s, folks). I wanna just cry. I would have paid admission just see an Apple Macintosh G3 run BeOS R4 with a fully optimized G3 kernel.  

Intel Roadmap 11:44 am - Kan

Intel will release its 450MHz and 500MHz Slot One Katmai chips at the end of February next year and is pricing them at $528 and $760 respectively. But those prices are set to drop to $445 and $675 respectively on the 11 April 1999.

The processors, which use a 100MHz bus and come with 512K of L2 cache, include additional MMX instruction sets designed to appeal to workstation and high end desktops.

Intel is hoping to shift its process technology to 0.18 microns during next year. The introduction of the Katmai processors at February end will coincide with price cuts on its 350MHz, 400MHz and 450MHz PIIs, which will then cost $190, $270 and $470 respectively. That will spell the end of the 333MHz Pentium II.

Last week, Intel confirmed that while it would honour orders on 266MHz and 300MHz parts until the end of 1999, it had effectively discontinued supplying them. But Intel will continue to slash prices as it introduces other processors at the beginning of next year.

In early January, as earlier revealed here, Intel will introduce a 400MHz Celeron processor with a Mendocino core, and will slash prices on its 366MHz part to around $150.

Lack of 370 Parts 11:39 am - Kan

Taken from The Register, sources close to Intel said today that the company has already started shipping volumes of its 370-pin Celerons at speeds of 333Mhz and 300MHz.

And Intel has also started shipping 366MHz 370-pin ships in engineering quantities, the same source said.

That follows reports from a number of motherboard manufacturers and distributors that they are having difficulty sourcing silicon.

One distributor said: "So far I have not received any 370 pin parts, although I was expecting shipments in the first and second weeks of December. I haven't even had Intel picking notes for them yet."

He claimed that large quantities of Slot One Celerons were sitting on shelves and suggested Intel wanted to purge these through the channel first.

Taiwanese board manufacturer Soyo, in particular, is irritated at Intel's inability to supply parts in volume.

"There's no point in shipping [370] motherboards in Europe until the beginning of next year because there isn't enough quantity in the channel," the source said.

Other manufacturers including Evergreen, are also having trouble sourcing parts, he added.

Microsoft new Anti-Piracy Technology 10:31 am - Kan

First, it's those folks over at Intel who told us on the new Anti-overclocking technology. Now, it's Microsoft with the new Anti-Piracy technology. Better start saving for Office 2000 and Windows 2000 now.

Microsoft will include the Registration Wizard in Office 2000, a new technology to discourage piracy.

The Registration Wizard makes registration a part of installing the product and helps prevent illegal installations. Customers can use the product 50 times before registration is required.

Microsoft has recently been stepping up efforts against software piracy. This year, the company has sued many computer resellers across the country for allegedly selling pirated versions of the Windows 95 operating system and Office 97 Professional software, among other products.

In addition to automating registration, Office 2000 will include a hologram on the CD to help customers identify the authenticity of the Office product. Microsoft will also introduce a new type of in-box packaging to prevent thieves from easily removing the CD from the box in retail stores.

SB Live! Review 10:30 am - Kan

Those babes over at 3DSpotlight posted a review on the SB Live! For those of you who wanted to get a new soundcard, be sure to read reviews on the card!

Creative has been bringing us one of the best sound cards in the last couple of years but when the Aureal3D Vortex audio processor came out, sound cards went top a whole new level, the SB AWE64 wasn´t enough and the SB PCI128 which was supposed to be ready for possitional audio had a very poor DirectSound 3D support, now the SB Live! is the first true 3D sound card from Creative and yes, it´s a 3D Gamer sound card !

Although it has been out for a couple of months now, the SB Live! is still one of the best products out there, new revisions of the drivers of the SB Live! have been improving it´s features, from the original 256 MIDI voices now they´ve been improved to 512 although just 64 of them are implemented in hardware.

Intel .18 Micron Technology 10:29 am - Kan

Read from our cool affiliate CoolInfo on Intel's new .18 micron technology.

Intel Corp. came to the 44th International Electron Devices Meeting with a description of the 0.18-micron process it will take into volume production next year with its Katmai processor. The delay per stage was reported to be less than 11 picoseconds at 1.5 V, which Intel claims is the best reported in the literature to date for a 0.18-micron process. The process was designed for operating voltages of 1.3 to 1.5 volts. And instead of using copper, the company is sticking wiht aluminum wiring, for now. Eschewing copper, Intel chose to stick with aluminum wiring, but adopted a fluorided silicon oxide (SiO2F) material for the inter-level-dielectric. By adding 5.5 percent fluoride to silicon dioxide, the ILD has a k value of 3.55, compared with 4.1 for Intel's previous SiO2-based ILD.

By using the lower-k dielectric, and pushing the aspect ratio (height vs. width) of the metal lines to reduce the resistance of the narrowly spaced lines, Intel claims that its 0.18-micron technology is faster than IBM Corp.'s copper-based process, and at lower process costs. A test-vehicle chip created with the process-a 16-Mbit SRAM with more than 100 million transistors-operates at 900 MHz. The SRAM cell takes up 5.9 square microns per six-transistor cell, an indicator of the area required to eventually put large amounts of cache on the same die as the processing core.

The 0.18-micron process "is poised to go into volume production in the next few quarters," said Simon Yang, the Intel engineer who presented the paper at IEDM. The Intel process-development group was able to achieve a 130-nm physical gate length for the NMOS device, and 150 nm for the PMOS transistors. Intel has gone to more aggressive gate-length scaling. Mark Bohr, director of process architecture and integration at Intel's site at Hillsboro, Ore., said that at the 0.35-micron technology node the gate length also was 0.35 micron; at the 0.25-micron generation (as defined by the Semiconductor Industry Association's road map), the gate length was "close to 0.2," and in the 0.18-micron generation the gate length was scaled to 0.13 micron.

Rather than shift to copper interconnects and a dual-damascene process, Intel chose to put its energies into figuring out how to create the "tall and skinny" wires that can be spaced far enough apart to avoid capacitive coupling, and yet with enough metal to reduce the resistance that plagues thin wires.

Microsoft Y2K Glitch 10:26 am - Kan

Here's some gossip news from ZDNet. Microsoft has admitted to "minor year 2000 issues" in Windows 98 and is issuing software to fix the problem.

The Year 2000 update is to be made widely available, downloadable from the Web site or on CD from the Microsoft Year 2000 hotline on 0870 333 2000.

The glitch could result in the incorrect display of dates in 2000 in some cases, although Microsoft stress it poses no risk of data loss and claim customers face "an extremely small chance of ever running into these issues" in normal, daily computer use.

Still the problem will cause embarrassment to Microsoft, who claimed Windows 98 was Y2K problem free. David Weeks, Windows product manager at Microsoft said: "Microsoft understands the critical nature of the year 2000 issue and is committed to diligently testing its products and promptly providing solutions if issues do arise."

Sharky On ATI Rage Fury 10:21 am - Kan

For those of you who have been waiting for the review over at SharkyExtreme, it's finally out.

Sporting enhanced features as well as enhanced speed, the Rage128GL will be the foundational part in several new ATi video products throughout 1999, and possibly beyond. The initial ATi product that the new chip will be equipped on is the Rage Fury 32MB AGP video accelerator. The Rage Fury is ATi's new high-end solution for those who want the best of all worlds: 2D/3D speed, hardware DVD support, 32MB of SDRAM, and TV-Out.

Memory plays a big role in the foundational requirements for any video card, and the ATi Rage Fury is no exception. A massive 32MB of SDRAM is included on the card, specifically for the speed benefits it provides at higher resolutions/color depths. Many people have chided 3Dfx's upcoming Voodoo3 performance chip because it doesn't include an option for 32MB of ram. The reality is that since the Voodoo3 doesn't make use of any 3D color depth settings beyond 16bpp, it really doesn't need the extra ram, as 16MB will perform within 10% of what a 32MB variant would perform at when used at the lower color depth.

Matrox G200 ICD 10:13 am - Kan

Beta 1 of the ICD is out and available from Matrox.

What is an ICD?

An ICD (Installable Client Driver) is a software driver model that will enable OpenGL applications to be accelerated by graphics hardware. Historically, it was the original OpenGL driver model used with professional graphics accelerators for high-end design applications. A fully optimized and final ICD will bring MGA-G200 performance and quality to applications ranging from CAD and design to games.

More on Overclocking 10:08 am - Kan

Overclockers Comparison Page had a letter from an Intel employee on overclocking future Intel chips.

Let me say up front that I work for Intel, and that this is not an official Intel statement, only my opinions.  That out of the way, I help design microprocessors, so maybe I can shed a little light on this subject.

Yes, with the currently available crop of chips, you can usually get away with moderate overclocking.  What you are trading off is reliability and chip life.  There are certain semiconductor failure modes that are speed sensitive.  We design chips with these in mind for a certain (rather long) lifetime.  Overclocking reduces this, but many people don't care as they will have traded in their machines long ago.  We care, because we honor the warranty on that chip, no matter who has it now, so overclocked chips cost us extra money in support.

Also, faster chips can be sold for higher prices, right?  When we test manufacturing batches, we sort them by maximum reliable speed.  If a 333 MHz chip was capable of running reliably at 350 or 400, don't you think we would be selling it at that speed, with it's correspondingly higher price?  Whatever you may think of Intel, we aren't stupid. The speed-sensitive error causing that lower speed rating may or may not be significant to your application, but how do you know?  We don't label the chip with the type of error, only the maximum reliable speed.

Anyway, the newer chips coming out soon have more effective speed control methods built into them, so overclocking will soon become a dead subject. Why do we go to such great lengths to prevent hobbyists from experimenting with their personal property?   Ah, if that were all it was...

There are people who make their living by grinding off the speed labels on our chips, and reselling them at higher prices.  The unsuspecting buyer of a system with one of these chips doesn't know this, they were only interested in maximum speed at minimum price.  Then when problems pop up, who has to pay for replacing that chip?  Not the overclocker, they are offshore somewhere; and not the screwdriver shop that assembled the system with grey-market components, they too are long gone.  Who is still around to catch the blame?  Intel. That's why we care.  It comes out of my paycheck in the form of a slightly smaller year-end bonus, so I care, personally.

9th December 1998 {Wednesday}
Where will Voodoo3 Leave 3Dfx? 20:56 pm - Kan

Game Asylum wrote an article on where the new Voodoo3 will leave 3Dfx in.

3Dfx has probably lead one of the most unstable, uncertain, yet surprisingly bright lives of any company in history. From it’s original Voodoo chip to it’s Quantum 3D spin-off to the upcoming Voodoo3, there have been many surprises, and only a few disappointments. Let’s take a brief look at 3Dfx’s past and future chips and their meanings

June 20, 1997: $14 ½ Per Share
3Dfx Interactive goes public

December 31, 1997: $20 ½ Per Share
Huge Christmas Voodoo and Voodoo RUSH sales, along with excellent reports from Voodoo 2 beta testers leaves investors gleefully awe-stricken at the sight of a startup making such success.

April 20, 1998: $35 ¼ Per Share
With Voodoo 2 selling excellently in the high-end and Voodoo dominating it’s new "budget gamer" market, 3Dfx’s stock peaks to it’s highest point ever.

September 10, 1998: $8 Per Share

S3 .18 Micron Design 15:42 pm - Kan

While competitors remain focused on older 0.25 micron designs, S3 Incorporated (Nasdaq: SIII - news) and UMC Group today announced that they have successfully produced the graphics industry's first 0.18 micron design. Recognized as one of the most advanced processes in the world, UMC Group's 0.18 micron technology will enable S3 to deliver significantly higher-performing graphics accelerators that exceed even Intel's Pentium II processor in terms of gate complexity.

"By breaking the barrier to advanced process technologies, S3 has surpassed every graphics competitor," said Ken Potashner, president, CEO and chairman of S3 Incorporated. "This technology lead gives us significant advantages that we expect to quickly pass on to our customers in terms of higher performance, lower power consumption and increased levels of integration."

"Consistent and substantial investment in research and development has made us the undisputed technology leader in the dedicated foundry world," said Jim Kupec, president of UMC Group (USA). "Although we were not the first dedicated foundry, we were clearly the first to offer production capacity at 0.25 and 0.22 micron. Furthermore, our production volumes and yields at 0.25 micron are orders of magnitudes ahead of the competition. It is only natural that we will be the first to offer 0.18 micron capacity due to our successful relationships with industry leaders like S3."

According to Sharky, we may be seeing .18 micron of the Savage3D 2 for the laptops first before moving later on for the desktop versions. For the full article, read here.

VDSL 15:02 pm - Kan

Looks like Texas Instruments is focusing on developing a new chipset for VDSL (Very high bit rate digital subscriber line).

Very high bit-rate digital subscriber lines (VDSL) provide connections at lightening-fast speeds of up to 52-mbps, TI said today, announcing it is developing dedicated processors for VDSL modems. The company expects to offer DSP (digital signal processor)-based solutions to modem manufacturers by late 1999.

VDSL can transmit voice, data, and multimedia simultaneously to consumers or businesses, and is considered a candidate for real-time video-conferencing, a data-intensive service that demands high bandwidth.

"VDSL service would eliminate the perception of distance by delivering real-time video and real-life, high quality teleconferencing," the company said today.

New Cable Modem? 14:32 pm - Kan

Okay, okay. I know this may not be new, but the Motorola CableModem looks different from mine!

The new one comes with 6 LED lights in front. Mine only got four. Added TX/RX LEDs to show that your PC is transmitting/receiving information.
The modem is black in colour.

18 Speakers Roundup 14:01 pm - Kan

That is a full blown 18 speakers roundup over at Stratics Network.

The confusion is in part because speakers are a hard thing to shop for.  There is no way to benchmark a speaker, and really the industry is still young enough that there is little information about the speakers except that provided by the companies.  But therein lies the problem, if you don´t buy a 3d accelerator based on company specs, why should you be constrained thusly when buying speakers?  The basis of choosing a speaker should be on the quality, the features and the value of the product.  Many people find themselves wondering how good the speakers sound, in games and in other applications.  Others find themselves wondering if it is worth shelling out $200 on a pair of speakers, if they could pick another set up for less than half that much.  Well, we at Stratics have wondered long enough, so now we set forth to give you the answers.

OCP Contest 11:23 am - Kan

Our buddy over at Overclockers Comparison Page has a new contest coming right up. The first price is a 300A Celeron, second prize is a Skywell TNT and the 3rd prize is a ABIT BH6. There are also 10 registered copies of 3DMark to be given away. Go over to there to take a look!

Here is what we are gonna do.  We are going to have a big ass contest to see who can get the best benchmark score using the   3DMark™ 99 Lite program (see below).  We will break it down into several categories and also have an overall section.  Go it?  As we get more specifics down about the contest as to who, where, why, how, and when, I will post all the dirt right here.  Email me with any questions.  But if it ain't posted here. I DON'T KNOW YET!

Computer Mouse turns 30 11:21 am - Kan

Ouch. The mouse is actually older than me. Read the full article here.

It's been hailed as the bridge between our physical world and the virtual life inside our computers, and criticized by some as a source of very sore wrists. The inventor says it's just a nifty device.

The computer mouse celebrates its 30th birthday Wednesday.

Although it didn't start showing up on desks until the mid-1980s, the mouse was first unveiled in public in 1968 at a computer conference as the best "pointing device" to help computer users interact with their machines. It beat out trackballs, light pens and small tablets.

The stubby, hockey puck-size block with a button impressed those at the conference. They liked the idea of a device outside a computer that moves things around inside the computer.

The inventor, Douglas Engelbart, says he can't remember who named it a mouse, but with its small, rodent-like shape and wire of a tail, it certainly seemed fitting.

Enhancing your Overclocking Experience 11:06 am - Kan

Those guys from SysOpt posted a article on 'Enhancing your Overclocking Experience'.

This section is for those of you who already know how to overclock their CPUs, and are looking for tips in order to improve the CPU's overclockability. If you still don't know what overclocking means or how to do it, please read our Overclocking Guide before going any further.

People tend to think that overclocking is just a matter of switching the CPU bus and/or the multiplier to a higher value. If it works, then the CPU works fine when overclocked, if it doesn't, then you can't overclock it to that setting. But there are many other factors that may have a direct influence in the CPU's overclockability. By learning more about these external factors, you will be able to maximize your overclocking experience.

Spectra 3200 Benchmarks 11:02 am - Kan

Hardware Extreme posted some niffy benchmarks on the Canopus Spectra 3200.

FinalReality 1.01
Database Entry Benchmark results:
Radial blur, 5N, 50.75, rips, 7.019, Rmark
Chaos zoomer, 5N, 82.63, rips, 4.015, Rmark
25 Pixel, 5N, 282.16, kpps, 9.018, Rmark
Robots, 5N, 53.41, rips, 13.837, Rmark
Fillrate, 5N, 104.57, MPps, 22.635, Rmark
City scene, 5N, 49.84, rips, 12.367, Rmark
Video card bus transfer, 5N, 70.29, MBps, 2.238, Rmark
Direct3D bus transfer, 5N, 97.19, MBps, 8.307, Rmark
Visual appearance, 100.00, percent
Overall 3D, 4.282, Rmark
Overall 2D, 5.517, Rmark
Overall bus rate, 4.059, Rmark

3D Guide Part III 10:59 am - Kan

Ace's Hardware posted part III of the 3D Guide buying series. 

Will 3DFX strike back, now that they have lost the 3D-crown to NVIDIA? What about ATI? Should you wait to upgrade? As I mentioned in part 2, although Slot 1 users can opt for the TNT based cards, the Super 7 users are far more limited in terms of AGP performance. Well, here is the next wave of videocards, battling to be plugged in your AGP-slot.  We've got prices, features, opinions and more to help you to make up your mind. 

The ATI RAGE 128 will probably not be as fast as the TNT, clock for clock, but it looks like ATI has a very good solution for those huge texture games. K6-2 users, you might want to wait for this one, since with 32 MB on-board RAM you will not notice the slower AGP-implementation of the ALI and VIA-chipsets. It is rumored that ATI has promised some good 3DNow! drivers (not official yet), so you might plug this card in your K6-3 PC... unless the benchmarks don't agree of course. 

US Server down 00:59 am - Kan

It seems that the US sever is so pathetic that we are looking for a new web host. If you know of any reliable hosts, please contact us. Thank you.

Dreamweaver 2 00:54 am - Kan

C|Net Singapore had a short article on the new MacroMedia Dreamweaver 2. If you like to try this software, you can download a trial version from here.

Dreamweaver 2 has several improvements on the functionality of its predecessors, making designing Web sites even faster and easier.

The most immediate difference is its new interface called "What You See Is What You Serve", giving Web designers a visual rendering of server-side content within a Web authoring environment for the first time. Currently, Web designers have to post a site to a server and preview it in a browser in order to see server-side content when creating or updating dynamic Web sites.

Java 2 00:38 am - Kan

Sun announces the new Java 2 platform (formerly known as Java SDK 1.2).

The JavaTM 2 platform is stable, secure, interoperable, faster and compatible with past releases of the Java Development Kit (JDK) and all major operating systems.

The JavaTM 2 platform's rich class libraries and basic tools provide enterprise developers with the elements needed to build portable, distributed applications for any program written in the Java programming language, whether running on a smart card, consumer device, stand-alone PC, or a network computer. Fifteen core class libraries now comprise the core of all Java technology: applet, awt, beans, io, lang, math, net, rmi, security, sql, text, util, accessibility, swing, and corba.

8th December 1998 {Tuesday}
Another ATI Rage Fury 18:06 pm - Kan

Avault also posted a review on the ATI Rage Fury. This thing is even faster than the TNT, do you want it now?

In our tests, the ATI Rage 128 chip powering a Rage Fury board almost always outperformed both Voodoo2 and Riva TNT at resolutions from 800 x 600 on up in 16-bit and 32-bit color, and lost only a frame or so per second switching from 16 to 32-bit color. Even better is that performance comes in a small, cool package - ATI's 0.25 micron chip runs cool enough to need neither fan nor heat sink.

There are still dents in the floor from our jaws dropping - the colors were brilliant, the motion glass smooth, and the 3D effect so strong that the characters and effects seemed to reach out of the screen. We lost an hour and a half in single-player before we realized it, and still hadn't connected up the LAN to that computer. Playing on a mere computer monitor will always seem second best after that.

Marvel G200 Review 18:01 pm - Kan

3DXTC did a review on the Marvel G200. Now this is the card I will get if I want to do video capturing at a low cost. If you are interested in this card, go and read it!

Hitatchi 12,000 RPM Drive 17:54 pm - Kan

StorageReview did another hard disk review. This time on the Hitatchi 12,000 RPM drive!

Yes, we've got a new champion here. In its prerelease form, the Pegasus outran the Seagate Cheetah 9LP in most tests. The drive fell just short of breaking 2500 in it's Business Disk WinMark 98 figure under Win95, a full 16% increase over the Cheetah. The increase in the High-End WinMark was a bit more modest 10%. The results carried over somewhat to tests under NT, with the Hitachi scoring 13% and 9% higher than the Seagate in the Business and High-End tests respectively. ThreadMark, as usual, presented some interesting results. In Windows 95, the Pegasus actually lagged behind the Cheetah by 14%. Yet in NT, it leapt ahead by a margin of 19%. As usual, however, use in my own personal system once again proved that ZD's WinBench test correlates far more accurately to performance delivered than ThreadMark does.

Dell Inspiron 7000 16:25 pm - Kan

The Sanctum posted a review on the Dell Inspiron 7000 laptop. We seldom see laptop reviews around here and I must say this laptop is good with a Pentium II 300 Mhz and a whopping 15" TFT screen!

The Dell Inspiron is The Ultimate NoteBook on The Market now. It Features all the latest Goodies and Power to Compute on The go. Dell also designed this Travelling Pixel Crusher With The Gamer in mind. The Inspiron 7000 packs with a ATI Rage LT Pro featuring 2x AGP Execute, and the kicker…..8 Megs of Video Ram! ATI also released some OpenGL Drivers, so Quake II on the road or in the air is very do-able. You’ll also make everyone Jealous with Your 15” inch XGA ActiveMatrix TFT Color Monitor! Dell also managed to Pack all this Firepower with a Attractive Price to match.

Dell ships The Inspiron7000 with Intel’s Mobile Pentium II 300,sitting on The 440BX Chipset. 2 128Meg SDRAM Dimm’s also are included. The 6.4GB Hard-Drive gives You Plenty of room for Work or Play.The Drive is no sloucher either. It’s CPU Utilization was Around 3.3% with DMA Enabled! Read Burst Speed hit 20.6 MB/s and Random Access Times around 20.9MS. Wanna Watch Some DVD Movies on the go? The Inspiron7000 Includes A 2X DVD-Rom Drive. The best thing is The DVD and Floppy Drive are housed In one unit making it easy to remove and swap another Li-ion Battery into it. 2 Batteries Equal twice the Power. The Battery Life is very good. With One Battery in Use You can Expect to Compute for over 2 hours. Using Two Batteries a hefty 4 Hours! The Inspiron Also Packs with an Internal 56K Modem, and Optional Ethernet Card.

ATI Rage Fury Review 16:15 pm - Kan

3DHardware.net had a preliminary review on this card. This card is definitely HOT. It comes with 32mb of SDRAM and will definitely kick some ass in 32 bit mode. The benchmarks from this card were great, scoring 34 frames on Quake 2 at 1024x768x32 with VSync ON !

Thanks to ATi's 0.25 micron process, there is no heatsink required on this bad boy! And even after hours of benchmarking, it still ran a lot cooler than many other card that have heatsinks on them. There could be some major overclocking potential here that will have to be explored at a later date.

The ATi Rage128GL is one of the few chips out there that supports multitexturing in a single pass. Currently, other than the Rage128GL, only the Voodoo2 and Riva TNT can do it. The upcoming 3DLabs Permedia 3 will support multitexturing as well. Not every game takes advantage of multitexturing at this point in time, but it will certainly become a more and more important feature as next generation games arrive with more special effects. Furthermore, DirectX6 has complete support for multitexturing built in, so this feature will become even more useful as more DirectX6 games arrive.

New A3D Drivers 16:08 pm - Kan

Aureal released the new A3D Drivers.

Below are Aureal Semiconductor's reference drivers. They will be different than the ones that you received from the manufacturer of your sound card. Each of the sound board manufacturer's drivers are modified to support various features that are unique to the board. As a result, Aureal in no way guarantees the functionality and stability of these drivers and they are made available for reference purposes only. Please contact your sound board manufacturer for support questions.

Some A3D sound cards use the Aureal Vortex AU8820 processor, some A3D sound cards do not. Verify that your sound card uses the Vortex AU8820 before downloading these drivers. Additionally, the following sound cards and PCs are sufficiently different from the Vortex reference design.

  • Turtle Beach Montego A3D
  • Aztech PCI 338-A3D
  • TerraTec XLerate A3D
  • Compaq Computers (does not use Vortex)

Mac OS 8.5.1 12:58 pm - Kan

Apple OS 8.5.1 will ship "immediately," on all Apple hardware, including all notebooks and the popular iMac computer, according to a company spokesperson. Mac OS 8.5.1 is available for free on its Web site and can be ordered on CD-ROM for $9.95.

Apple interim CEO Steve Jobs introduced Mac OS 8.5 last October, touting its enhanced performance and ease of installation and calling it a "must-have upgrade." Apple promoted the new OS's faster performance when saving files over the network and the integrated file and Internet search functionality christened "Sherlock."

Mac OS 8.5.1 includes:

A patch for CD-ROM installation problems.

  • A fix for a memory leak in AppleScript.
  • Improved support for third-party peripherals such as joysticks.
  • A patch for data-corruption problems.
  • Updated version of Sherlock for use with certain proxy servers.
  • Plug-ins for Web sites including: Amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, CNN Interactive, Direct Hit, GoTo.com, and LookSmart.

Windows 64 12:55 pm - Kan

Microsoft is trying to build a 64 bit of the upcoming Windows 2000 operating system.

The software giant has come under fire for being slow to build a 64-bit OS -- deemed essential for a vendor that wants to storm the enterprise with heavy-duty data-center solutions -- but Microsoft's timing may actually be in line with what customers are looking for.

Many analysts said there is little interest among corporate users for a 64-bit version of Windows NT that runs on Intel-based servers. The obvious reason is that Intel's Merced chip will not ship until mid-2000. But perhaps as important, 64-bit computing is not crucial for most mission-critical applications in the near term, they said.

Windows 2000 will include 64-bit extensions, such as Very Large Memory, or VLM, capabilities. But Microsoft is trailing in the race to build a full 64-bit OS, as other OSes -- Digital Unix; SGI's Irix; IBM's AIX, OS/400, and OS/390; HP-UX; and Sun Solaris -- are already there.

According to one source, Microsoft is engineering its future version of Windows 2000, dubbed Win64, to be processor-bit independent so that over time it can be easily moved to next-generation processors, such as 128-bit or 256-bit.

Updated BH6 FAQ 12:48 pm - Kan

Our friends over at Hardware Extreme updated their BH6 FAQ. Updated items in the new FAQ include:

Q: What is the difference between the BX6 and BH6 ?
The BH6 also has SB-Link and only two 3-pin fan connectors. The BX6 has 3.

Q: Why is the BH6 cheaper than the BX6 ?
The main reason is the 6 TI data buffers on the BX6. These buffers are necessary for stability for 4 dimm usage on the BX6 and are quite costly. An extra few inches of PCB is relatively inexpensive comparatively.

Q: What is the SEL#66/100 Feature ?
You may want to also state that this feature only works on Pentium II 350's and 400's produced BEFORE Aug19th. After this date, all P2's are locked at their respective multiplier and SEL100/66# can not break it.

Q: I heard that the SoftMenu II allows voltage tweaking...Is this true ?
Cannot exceed 2.3v without Andy's voltage breaking technique.

Q: Please explain the different BIOS revisions...
All BH6 motherboards come pre-flashed with the BIOS revision FL which supports the Celeron 300 & 333 CPUs with built-in cache. The BH6 also needs the Award Flash Write Version 6.22 to successfully flash the BIOS with this parameter... actually, you want to use version 6.6. Version 6.22 is made for the BX6 and has been known to corrupt the bios. It's only for 1meg bios's, and the BH6 has 2 megs.

1 Million Banshees Shipped 09:28 am - Kan

From Yahoo, 1 million Banshees had been shipped by 3Dfx. This is rather good considering the Banshee had been out for only a short time.

3Dfx Interactive® Inc. (Nasdaq: TDFX - news) today announced that it has shipped more than 1 million Voodoo Banshee™ chips, the company's acclaimed high-performance integrated 3D and 2D graphics chip designed for mass-market applications, which began shipping in August. With its growing popularity fueled by strategic PC-OEM wins and its success at retail, Voodoo Banshee and the 3Dfx Voodoo® family of accelerator chips comprise three of the top-selling video cards, according to PC Data's most recent Hits List.

"Today's news points to one powerful fact -- 3Dfx products are driving the enormous popularity of 3D among mainstream users," said Greg Ballard, president and chief executive officer for 3Dfx Interactive. "With our PC-OEM and retail partners channeling Voodoo Banshee into the hands of consumers around the globe, people everywhere can experience the ultimate platform for entertainment and have access to the broadest selection of the most popular and innovative games."

Graphics Cards Roundup 03:38 am - Kan

PCWorld came out with a Top 10 graphics cards roundup. 5 from PCI and 5 from AGP were selected. The card which won the PCI category was the Diamond Viper 550 while the card which won the AGP category was the Matrox Millennium G200. Here's how PCWorld tested the boards :

We test boards under Windows 95. Business tests include PC WorldBench 98, a PowerPoint test, and a Macromedia Director script. Our 3D score is based on four games, each evaluated on frame rate and image quality. For AGP cards, we add a texturing test using Caligari's TrueSpace3. PCI boards were tested in a Micron Millennia Mme with a Pentium MMX-233 and 32MB of RAM. AGP boards were tested in an NEC Direction 333 with a PII-333 and 64MB of RAM.

New Windows Updates 00:38 am - Kan

Microsoft released a number of updates today. One of them is the Y2K bug fix. You can get it at Windows Update directly.

Microsoft Corp. today announced that it has identified and addressed minor year 2000 issues in the Microsoft® Windows® 98 operating system. The identified issues pose no risk of data loss or PC damage, and customers would be unlikely to encounter the issues during normal, daily use of their computer. Nevertheless, because these minor issues can potentially result in the inaccurate display of dates in 2000 in certain areas of the operating system, Microsoft is making the Year 2000 Update widely available so its customers can obtain and install it easily. Customers can download the free Windows 98 Year 2000 Update from the Windows Update Web site at http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/ or call (800) 363-2896 to receive it on CD-ROM.

Another one is the new Java Virtual Machine.

Microsoft Corp. today announced availability of its latest Java Virtual Machine for the Microsoft® Windows® operating system, which continues to be the fastest execution environment for Java. According to widely used performance benchmarks, Microsoft's latest Virtual Machine outperforms competitors' most recent offerings by 30 percent or more. In addition, this version expands the options for developers who choose to integrate applications written in Java with the vast diversity of Windows-based software and services. An update to the Virtual Machine for Windows that shipped with Internet Explorer 4 is also being made available. Both of these versions include support for the Java Native Interface (JNI) to be in compliance with the recent ruling in the San Jose Federal District Court.

Kan @ Rantings 00:25 am - Kan

Funny, I don't understand the 'Ho Ha what the Ba' about Wilfred going away. Sheesh....cluttering the screen like that. Gosh, this site is full of words that I am going to faint...


[Beam me to the previous news archive!]

Copyright © 1998 Hardware One
Last updated 15 December 1998 19:54