29 December 98 - 31 December 98
Highlights within this period includes:
  • K6-2 350 vs Celeron 300A
  • #9 Revolution IV 32MB
  • Hercules BEAT Supercharged
  • 3 Speakers Compared
  • 2D/3D Chipsets
  • Falcon 4 Review
  • SB Live!
  • K6-2/333 Upgrade Module
  • MS Intellimouse Drivers
  • Diamond C400 Mobo
  • The Intel Rule
  • Asteroids
  • Dungeon Keeper II Preview
  • Hackers Sentenced to Death
  • OCP Contest Winners
  • T-Leader 3D Review
  • CnC2 Tiberian Sun Preview
  • Understanding K6-3
  • Motherboard Monitor 3.82 and 2.1 Lite
  • Force Feedback Wheel
  • Wing Commander Prophecy Gold
  • Norway Legalises Hacking
  • Matrox Marvel G200-TV
  • PowerSlide Review
  • Gainward Dragon 4000 Banshee
  • Diamond Viper V550
  • Review of Diamond RIO
  • Upcoming Floppy Drive Replacements
  • Space Sim Fans: Freelancer
  • FIC KA-6100 Mobo Review Up
  • Getright 3.3
  • G200 Vs TNT
  • Guillemot Banshee Review
  • Casing Buying Guide
  • Death of Manual
  • Windows 98 OSR 1.0
  • Top Shot USB Wheel
  • Buyer's Guide
  • New Creative Banshee/TNT Drivers
  • AMD 1000Mhz K7
  • Mouse Pad
  • Marvel Vs Buz
31th December 1998 {Thursday}
Marvel vs Buz 23:24 pm - Kan

Freak did a wonderful comparison between the Matrox Marvel G200 and Iomega Buz. The Buz looks good er? It comes with a Advansys SCSI adapter with an integrated Zoran based video capture chip via a PCI bridge.

MJPEG (Motion JPEG) has become my personal favorite method of video capture for several reasons. First of all, the quality is pretty good. It's generally better than MPEG and a little worse than raw video capture. Secondly, the quality/size ratio is a little more balanced and you can always convert to MPEG via software later. Third, MJPEG allows for capture of up to 720x480 or 704x480 at 30 fps which is higher than raw video or MPEG captures.

The Buz is capable of capturing MJPEG video at the resolutions of 176x120, 352x240, and 720x480 at 30 frames (60 fields) per second. The Buz is also rate to capture data rates as high as 6MB/second sustained. Video input can come from a composite source or a s-video source.

Mouse Pad 23:06 pm - Kan

I know someone will do it sooner or later. VoodooExtreme posted a EverGlide mousepad review which looks like a serious contender to the 3M Precise Mousing Surface.

So on to the positive things: Advertised as having "Traction Control Technology", it does indeed offer greater traction than the average mouse pad, especially over those horrid foam and fabric POS, but come on, we all know traction controls are for cars ;) Being made of thick plastic, it’s extreme durable. They state that it will never crack, peel, or wear out. And on top of that it’s washable (don’t ask), plus it is supposed to reduce hand and wrist strain (and please, don’t tell).

As mentioned earlier, mousing is very important in games like Quake 2…so I broke out Q2 for some online deathmatching. The pad being more "slick" had to have been compensated by lowering my sensitivity, but after getting used to it, I found that movement was just was easy, and aim with the Railgun was just as effective as ever.

Goodbye... 23:01 pm - Kan

1998 and Welcome 1999. 59 minutes more to 1999. So, what's your new year resolution? Enuff said, my babes are waiting for me...

AMD 1000 MHz K7 21:24 pm - Kan

Read from The Register that AMD intends to release a 1 GHz K7 in early 2000.

Sources close to AMD said today that future plans for the K7 are already well in place, after its Dresden fab comes onstream next year.

AMD has always had designs to use copper, as first revealed by The Register when it talked to senior VP Dana Krelle at the introduction of the K6-2 in Versailles 15 months back. But now sources at the company have revealed that it will launch a 1000MHz K7-Intel buster early in the year 2000.

They say it will have an even faster bus than the 200MHz on the second iteration of the K7, expected in the second half of 1999.

New CL Banshee/TNT Drivers 21:09 pm - Kan

Just caught them off from Creative. New drivers are available for Creative RivaTNT and Banshee.

This is an updated software package for the Graphics Blaster RivaTNT.

  • Allows Dialog box button text to be shown correctly if large fonts are being used
  • The "No" option in the License dialog box can now function

This is an updated version of the 3Dfx Banshee OpenGL drivers (v1.46) which added support for the following games:

  • Sin
  • Half Life
  • Heretic 2
  • Hexen 2
  • GLQuake
  • Quake 2

Buyer's Guide 21:09 pm - Kan

SharkyExtreme had a new Buyer's Guide for December. The mention of the hardware listed inside make me drool for them!

The Sharky Extreme staff reviews a whole caboodle of hardware each and every month. Each and every week we put every possible piece of hardware under the hammer. We have to say that by the most part we're left unimpressed and only a 'select' few products make it into Sharky's and Mako's PCs. Alas the list below reflects what Craig and I recommend for the month of December after several long phone calls and some snowball fights. With it being the post Xmas season and in keeping with the 'Winter Sales' season we've been sure to include out top picks for those on a tight budget.

Top Shot USB Wheel 18:24 pm - Kan

Another USB Force Feedback Racing Wheel from Avault.

The Top Shot USB Force Feedback Racing Wheel is another USB controller from AVB for Windows 98 systems. The system features force feedback effects powered by the Immersion I-Force technology, and has features common with the other steering wheel systems. Like ACT LABS, AVB offers the wheel (referred to as the GC-FBW1) for just under $140 US.

Of the three wheels reviewed, the Top Shot USB Force Feedback Racing Wheel is in the middle as far as size goes, with the ACT LABS Force RS as the wheel with the largest footprint and the Microsoft SideWinder Force Feedback Wheel as the smallest. Once again, the steering wheel base houses all the connections, with the pedals connecting via a telephone cable with RJ11 plugs. Like the Microsoft wheel, the AVB offering is all high quality plastic with no sharp edges to be found.

Unlike the Microsoft and ACT LABS offerings, the AVB wheel has what I would call futuristic styling with the wheel actually being more of a yoke, with a non-slip strip running along the length of it. Two LEDs hide behind the strip to indicate whether power is being supplied to the unit and if force feedback effects are being produced. Also unlike the other two wheels, a power switch is present right on the base. This is a handy inclusion that prevents you from having to unplug the power brick when the wheel is not in use.

Windows 98 OSR 1.0 18:19 pm - Kan

According to an article from ZDNet, Microsoft Corp. recently issued an interim build of the Windows 98 OEM Service Release Beta 1 and acknowledged a number of issues that continue to dog the operating system, which was released last June.

The interim build, which includes several minor changes, is aimed at "refreshing" the version of OSR 1.0 now being used by testers, especially at PC OEMs, Microsoft officials said. OSR 1.0 Beta 1 was first introduced in November.

The interim build was made available for download just before Christmas. A second beta of OSR 1.0 and SP 1.0 will be released early in 1999, according to Microsoft officials.

"Basically, this build was to just fix problems from the first release, and of course update things like [Internet Explorer] 5.0 and Outlook Express. The only thing different is the new mail format in Outlook Express, because testers hated the .ODS format in the original release. [Microsoft] also did some small bug fixes [and] added new drivers," said one beta tester.

Beta 2, according to the tester, may be out as soon as January 15.

Death of Manual 11:42 am - Kan

PlanetHardware (where they serve you hardware parts like nuts and bolts as well as ram chips for your dinner) just posted an article called The Death of the Manual.

Getting new hardware is usually a great experience. You put it into your computer and load up your same, tired, old applications and marvel at how much better they look, how much faster they run, or how much better they sound. And of course you are obligated to show off that new piece of hardware to your computer literate friends so that in a month or two they will have to one-up you. Of course that is only the case some of the times. Other times you are calling your friends over to get that new piece of hardware to work.

The is nothing worse when dealing with computers than having a new piece of hardware not work short of having an old piece of hardware break or having a hard drive crash and losing all your data that you neglected to back up. In an ideal world every piece of hardware out there would work on your system but we all know that is not the case. Because PCs are not closed systems, like a console or a Macintosh, there are many differences between them. Sometimes a piece of hardware will not agree with all of the other hardware in your system or the operating system you run. It is in those cases when manuals come in handy.

Casing Buying Guide 11:31 am - Kan

Ars-Technica unleased a Casing Buying Guide article. For me, I like big, fat casings that look like mini fridges, e.g. Sun450 servers. :)

Cases are easily the most overlooked, under-estimated, and heck, under-loved of all computer components.  Do you love your case?   I love mine!  Cases really are components, despite what you may think. Some cases sport more fan power than the Wright Brother's first flyer and more lights than that big old Christmas tree in Chicago.  More importantly, when it comes down to price and performance, a good case can make a good system great.  And finally, a good system case is going to be your most lasting computer investment.  A good case can house many systems, so don't let the price of a high-quality case intimidate you.

I'm not joking, either.   A good case can make a great deal of difference with respect to both your system's performance and its lifetime.  If you're an over-clocker, you already know what a case is - it's a heat trap, but cooling problems ultimately can affect everyone, not just us crazy OC types.  Nevertheless, what you want out of a case can be dictated by any number of factors.  I hope to help you out by pointing out those features which the Ars Crew looks for in a case.  First, let's get the obvious considerations out of the way, and then we'll talk about tofu.  

Kan @ Rantings 11:29 am - Kan

Sue me. You will still be seeing the old Hardware One Look <tm> for a while. Okay okay, maybe just for a short while.

Guillemot Banshee Review 10:02 am - Kan

Looks like GameCenter cracked up a Guillemot Maxi Gamer Phoenix review. Have you read our Creative Banshee review?

Fierce competition and low memory prices have driven the prices of boards based on 3Dfx's Voodoo Banshee chip below $100. That's an astoundingly low price for a 16MB 2D/3D graphics card, and it makes you wonder whether the Banshee might be an economical way to add life to an older PC. To answer this question, we went to the test bench with the PCI version of Guillemot's Banshee-based Maxi Gamer Phoenix.

Voodoo Banshee, 3Dfx's first integrated 2D/3D chip, offers gamers several key features. By integrating the Voodoo 2 architecture with a fast 2D engine, it delivers a complete, inexpensive graphics solution that's compatible with games designed for 3Dfx's proprietary Glide API, along with Direct3D and OpenGL titles.

G200 vs TNT 09:59 am - Kan

PCTechware posted a comparison article between the Matrox G200 and nVidia Riva TNT.

It´s been months since this Matrox G200 Millennium found its way into my hands, and since then it has been waiting to be reviewed. It was one of the first products I got with reviewing it in mind. However, as things run and in my naiveté, I decided to wait until the G200 was totally complete. "What was missing?" one might ask. Here begins a long story...(but I'd better keep it short ;) )

Three 3D graphics standards can be found on the market: Glide, OpenGL and Direct 3D. Glide is a 3Dfx-only standard, and not available with non-3Dfx cards, so for those a flawless support for OpenGL and D3D is very important. What good is a fast and good looking card if it´s incompatible with the most common software?

30th December 1998 {Wednesday}
Getright 3.3 18:39 pm - Kan

Just caught it off from Betanews that Getright 3.3 has been released. You can download the program from here.

FIC KA-6100 Mobo Review Up 18:35 pm - Wilfred

Anand has completed his review on the FIC KA-6100 motherboard, an AT form factor PII mobo to be more specific. His examination has covered lots of the good as well as lots of the bad as well.

Since the violent takeover of the ATX standard, most motherboard manufacturers have placed new AT products at the bottom of their list of priorities, and those that didn't usually produced lack-luster, low quality solutions for their once popular AT users.

Tell me you don't need an AT PII board will ya? Why?!? (Full review)

Space Sim Fans: Freelancer 18:26 pm - Wilfred

CGO has posted a short preview on the upcoming game to be published by Microsoft. Created by Chris Roberts, the original maker of the Wing Commander series, will try to fuse sci-fic with WWII-style combat.

Upcoming Floppy Drive Replacements 15:27 pm - Wilfred

PCPowerhouse has put up an article on upcoming replacements for that archaic 1.44Mb drive we're forced to have in our system. He wrote about the Iomega's ZIP, Imation Superdisk, Caleb UHD 144, Samsung PureFD, and the Sony's Hi-FD! Hey, what do you use your FDDs for these days? Boot & rescue disks?

Now even though the 3.5-inch disk drive came out on top, for several years, you still needed to have both a 5.25 and 3.5-inch disk drive in your system. The reason why was simple, many software vendors would release their programs on either media type, but not on both, in order to keep costs down and avoid piracy. Then of course as software became larger and larger, more floppy disks were required to hold all this data. This became known as the floppy disk shuffle, as programs took up stacks of floppy disks just to install a single program. This problem thankfully went away when software developers started using CD-ROM's to distribute their programs instead of floppy disks. The other major problem with the 3.5-inch floppy drive is its speed, or lack thereof. Spinning at only 300RPM, it's not hard to see that the worst bottleneck in you whole entire PC is this simple device. You want to bring your whole system to a sudden standstill, try formatting a floppy disk while your playing music from your CD-ROM drive. What's that I hear, did your music just stop for a moment.

Review of Diamond RIO 14:14 pm - Wilfred

3D Audio Immersion brings you a new review on the Diamond RIO portable MP3 player. Don't bring this player if you picking up a girl coz' it'll surely draw away her attention! Here's Steven's verdict:

If you are a person that has to have all the coolest gadgets, don't stop at the red light, go get it. A very cool piece of hardware, I think if I had a good job I would buy one. A little on the expensive side, but worth it for the pure portability! Mmmmm.... let the mp3 revolution begin!

Diamond Viper V550 13:59 pm - Wilfred

Today we see the avalanche of video card reviews from all over. MPOG.COM has written a nice review on the Diamond Viper V550 TNT card. Loads of praises for the visual fidelity of the Viper TNT card but here's what I think said it all:

Voodoo 2 isn't dead yet, but the Diamond Viper 550 is certainly a wakeup call to 3Dfx that there are other players on the field. With the recent merger of 3Dfx and STB systems, we won't be seeing anymore 3Dfx cards from Diamond, Creative Labs or Canopus in the future. If you want the 3Dfx brandname you'll have to buy your card from STB/3Dfx.

Two months ago I played 95% of my games through my Voodoo 2 cards. Since I installed my Viper 550 card the only games I play using the Voodoo 2 cards are the ones that are 3Dfx ONLY. I never realized how many games were just using the Direct3D capabilities of the Voodoo cards, and all these games are just as easily accelerated on the Viper 550 and look better and run faster doing it.

Don't go removing your Voodoo cards just yet - you may still need them for a little while longer. But if you are buying or building a new PC, or just wanting to upgrade your existing PC, then purchasing a Diamond Viper 550 may eliminate the need for a secondary video accelerator card. There are very few games that are 3Dfx only these days. If you can live without those, then the Diamond Viper 550 is the only video card you will need for a long time.

Gainward Dragon 4000 Banshee 13:41 pm - Wilfred

You'll find this card selling at Sim Lim Square so you might want to hear what 3DHardware.net have to say about Gainward's Banshee card.

The core clock was completely stable at 110MHz and mostly stable at 115MHz. The RAM, being rated at 125MHz, was also of course stable at 125MHz. Based on those speeds, this is the most overclockable Banshee I have tried yet. The Dragon 4000 features a big green heatsink with a unique design. It is bonded to the Banshee chip using thermal compound, unlike most other heatsinks out there. This is probably the key to its overclockability.

You heard that boys? If it is stable at 125Mhz, it is certainly more stable than Creative's offering - cheaper still. Buy!

Powerslide Review 13:35 pm - Wilfred

Sharky Extreme has reviewed Ratbag's Powerslide. The new and virtually unheard of Australian company has sent many many heads turning with this stunning title... and I see the Sharks going breathless trying to describe their overwhelming addiction for this game!

"What do you call a 3D racer with a wide variety of cars, a large number of tracks, absolutely addicting play control and handling, stunning visuals and level design that would embarrass most first person shooters? You call it Powerslide, and you call it the Winner of the Sharky Extreme - Extreme Game Award. 1998 was characterized by many landmark titles across the entire genre spectrum; Half-Life for FPS's, Starcraft for RTS's, Falcon 4.0 for flight sims, Grand Prix Legends for driving sims, Grim Fandango for adventures and Madden '99 for sports. Powerslide joins this very exclusive list as a benchmark title, as it's easily the best arcade racer of 1998."

"Not only does Powerslide compete with the other arcade racers of 1998, it outright beats them in almost every aspect. Sound? Yes. Graphics? Oh ya. Physics? You betcha. Gameplay? Unequivocally. Level Design? You better believe it. Story? Actually… yes. Powerslide even has a sizeable back-story."

Want more details? You'd better check this out or go grab the game at once. I'm leaving soon... =)

Matrox Marvel G200-TV 02:39 am - Kan

Gamecenter posted a review on one of my favourite cards, the Matrox Marvel.

Even with compression, however, the disk space requirements of video are staggering: 176MB/min at a 6.6:1 compression ratio. That means you'll need over 5 gigabytes of disk space to record a single episode of Friends.
Using the included Avid Cinema editing software, we were able to capture video, edit it, and output it full-screen to a VCR. We were impressed by this software, which offers simple titling (overlaying text on the video) and effects such as wipe and dissolve (smoothly transitioning one scene into another). The overall video quality was good, certainly adequate for amateur video editing. (Note: Motion JPEG is a "lossy" compression format, so there is some image degradation in the editing process. Decrease the compression ratio, however, and you can increase image quality, with the trade-off being the consumption of even more disk space.)

Norway Legalises Hacking 02:32 am - Kan

After China hang people and Singapore jail people for hacking, Norway legalises hacking! This is according to an article from The Register.

Norway's supreme court has ruled that remotely exploring computers connected to the Internet is not a crime.

The ruling sets a precedent that any system connected to the Internet (at least those in Norway) can be legally probed for security leaks.

"The essence of the ruling is that if you want to join the Internet, you have to assure that you're protected," said NDDS CEO Gunnel Wullstein. "If you don't want to be visited, close your ports". ®

Wing Commander Prophecy Gold 02:25 am - Kan

The girls over at Avault also posted a review on Wing Commander Prophecy Gold. This Gold version includes the Secret Missions that are available for download from the net.

For those without an Internet connection, or without the time it takes to download the full 125MB game, Origin has packaged a full product together available through normal retail channels, and thus we have Wing Commander Prophecy Gold. The four-CD product is really two games in one, with the first three CDs making up Prophecy, unaltered from its original form, and the last CD being Secret Missions. Because we reviewed Prophecy last year, which you can read right here, the basis for this review will be the Secret Missions.

Force Feedback Wheel 02:22 am - Kan

Avault posted a review on the Microsoft Sidewinder Force Feedback Wheel. Gentleman, start your engines.

If you aren't familiar with Force Feedback technology, it is a technique first used in the arcades that actually takes an active part in gameplay. Depending on the situation and/or your actions (or reactions), feedback is returned via the joystick, steering wheel, or some sort of device. Force Feedback has hit home in a big way, and we'll race to the end of 1998 with reviews of three force feedback steering wheel sets.

First up, Microsoft and the other new controller joining Microsoft's SideWinder family of game controllers, the SideWinder Force Feedback Wheel. As the second force feedback controller from Microsoft (the first being the SideWinder Force Feedback Pro joystick), the Force Feedback Wheel is an all-digital controller with the SideWinder-styling and the SideWinder Game Controller Software. Full-size pedals complement the wheel, which also features a quick-release clamp to secure it to your desk.

29th December 1998 {Tuesday}
Motherboard Monitor 3.82 and 2.1 Lite 23:24 pm - Kan

Read from BetaNews that a new version of Motherboard Monitor is available. You can download them from here.

  • Added the function "RestartLM78" which I had removed in 3.8, on some machines the LM78/79 would not initializise without this function

Understanding K6-3 23:11 pm - Kan

Ace's Hardware posted an article on 'Understanding the Performance of the K6-3'.

The die is cast, the K6-3 finally shows the potential of the powerful K6-core. Anand treated us to some very interesting benchmarks, showing the impact that a full speed L2 cache has, but there is more to the K6-3 performance than meets the eye. Let me take you on a journey in to the transistors of the K6-3. I promise you there is a lot to discover under the hood of this interesting and speedy piece of silicon!

CnC2 Tiberian Sun Preview 23:02 pm - Wilfred

The FiringSquad has just thrown up their latest preview on CnC2: Tiberian Sun. Noting that with all NEW games, graphics are always spruced up but is that all that excites you? Read this:

Perhaps the most exciting part about the upcoming Tiberian Sun is the extreme interactivity of the environment. Units can move both over and under objects, so be careful - someone might bring that bridge crashing down over your head. Random effects will also be part of the game, like ion storms which disable your high tech units, and destructive meteor showers that can deform the landscape, creating craters to hide inside. Objects will also obey a real world kind of physics, so the explosive discs thrown by some GDI infantry will bounce differently depending on where they land.

Judging from the preview, Westwood may stand a chance to reclaim some lost ground in the RTS genre.

Exhilarating Day 22:55 pm - Wilfred

This might be titled another "Wilfred Coughs" section, but it has been an exhilarating day for Kan and myself. We went out to meet some folks and discussed some truly earthshaking stuff about Hardware One (earthshaking for us!). Something beyond our upcoming revamp. I can't tell you more yet since nothing has been finalised. Oh anyway, thank Kan for "dedicating" the latest Intellimouse drivers to me (as if he wrote them? =P) and did I read "Hackers Sentenced to Death?". Wah! *shudder!*

T-Leader 3D Review 15:45 pm - Kan

AGNHardware posted a new gamepad review, the T-Leader from Guillermot.

The T-Leader from Guillemot is quite similar in appearance to the Nintendo 64 controller. It does resemble a “T” as the name implies but in general it’s modeled after the N64 gamepad. This is certainly not a problem since the N64’s design is excellent and makes for a very comfortable as well as functional controller. There are 6 buttons for the right hand in a “3 over 3” layout, with buttons at the top for the index fingers as well as an extra trigger-like button underneath. Overall that makes for 9 buttons but the trigger button duplicates the 5th button and the 2 index finger buttons duplicate buttons 5 and 6. Basically this lets you use buttons in different locations which might be useful for pinball games or other non-standard games. The T-Leader 3D also has a digital D-pad as well as a mini analogue joystick. As well, the gamepad has 2 buttons in the upper-middle, which toggle the mode of operation and auto-fire for the buttons.

OCP Contest Winners 12:16 pm - Kan

For those who took part in OCP 3DMark99 Benchmark Rodeo, do you know that the results are out? Gosh, how did those guys get those astonishing results? Anyway, congratulations to the winners!

Hackers Sentenced to Death 11:01 am - Kan

Don't you just love China? Accordingly to News.com, two hackers had been sentenced to death for breaking into a bank computer network and transferring 260,000 yuan electronically.

The Yangzhou Intermediate Court in Jiangsu province also confiscated 40,000 yuan ($4,830) from Hao Jinglong, formerly an accountant at the Zhenjiang branch of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and his brother Hao Jingwen, the newspaper said.

The two opened 16 accounts under various names in a branch of the bank in September and later broke into the branch to install a controlling device in a bank computer terminal, the newspaper said. They used the device to electronically wire 720,000 yuan ($86,975) in non-existent deposits into the bank accounts. Afterward, they successfully withdrew 260,000 yuan from eight different branches of the bank, the newspaper said.

Dungeon Keeper II Preview 10:33 am - Kan

OGR posted a preview on Dungeon Keeper II.

If you somehow missed it the first time around, the original Dungeon Keeper was basically an anti-hero strategy game: instead of playing the forces of good, you played the forces of evil or, rather, you were the leader of a force of evil: you were a Keeper, out to build yourself a nice nasty underground pad while taking on all-comers, both in the form of your "brother" Keepers and those absolutely awful ne'r-do-bads, the pompous "Forces of Good." The original original Dungeon Keeper—the game as initially conceived—had you as a Keeper designing a dungeon that other human players, acting as Good, could then invade, but that just didn't happen—instead, multiplayer had other humans act as competing Keepers (keep it within the family, you know), and that's how it's going to be for Dungeon Keeper II as well. Nick Goldsworthy, the game's producer, tells us that setting up playable Forces of Good would require creating a whole Good game structure as well; currently these supporting characters pretty much walk in from off-stage, digging into Keepers' dungeons to rid them of evil and plunder their gold (plunder gold? Maybe those Forces of Good aren't so good after all, which is good…).

Asteroids 10:27 am - Kan

AVault posted a review on Asteroids.

1998 has been a banner year for clones of the classic video hit Asteroids, first unleashed upon us way back in 1979. Earlier this year three small companies -- Logicware, Reflexive, and Shepherd's Worlds -- released Astrorock 2000, Swarm, and Juggernaut Corps, each of which represents an excellent effort to update and enhance the original graphics, sound, and gameplay to entice the more sophisticated and demanding audiences of the 1990s.
Astrorock 2000 has fun rock music and funky lighthearted swirling obstacles and pick-ups; Swarm has a dark foreboding reptilian mood and stunningly detailed visuals and lighting effects; and Juggernaut Corps has injected highly creative enemies, such as those that look and act like gnats, and highly original weapons, such as those whose projectiles ricochet off the side of the screen to get you. Each has its own well-developed personality, and each goes well beyond the boring task of simply blasting away large space rocks that are headed your way.

The Intel Rule 10:21 am - Device

According to a article from Techweb, Microsoft's antitrust trial won't be the only trial grabbing the headlines next year: The Federal Trade Commission's suit against chip maker Intel is scheduled to begin in February before FTC administrative law judge James Timony.

A government win in the Intel case could have a greater impact on the technology industry than the outcome of the Microsoft case. But in any event, the two cases are inextricably linked, since the government may use an Intel executive's testimony in the Microsoft trial to bolster its case against Intel.

In June, the FTC charged Intel with violating antitrust regulations, saying it had used its monopoly in the microprocessor market to deny three of its customers and potential competitors access to technical information needed to develop products based on Intel's chips.

Diamond C400 Mobo 10:20 am - Kan

Read from AGNHardware that UpgradeCenter posted a review on Diamond Micronics C400 BX motherboard.

Documentation: The documentation on this board is fairly sparse, mostly because the manual is in a PDF file on the driver CD. I dislike this compared to a printed manual since its much easier to use while installing the board, but its adequate. The board also comes with a sheet explaining the different connectors and jumpers on the board.

Expansion: 1 AGP slot, 5 PCI slots and 2 ISA. While this configuration was once something of a luxury, it is now a bare necessity as more components become PCI. This allows for a variety of PCI components to be installed on the board, such as VooDoo2 cards, a SCSI card, a DVD decoder, etc.

MS Intellimouse Drivers 10:17 am - Kan

Dedicated this piece of news to your favourite editor Wilfred that new Microsoft Intellimouse Drivers are available for download from here.

K6-2/333 Upgrade Module 10:11 am - Kan

Read from HPC that Steel Dust did a review on a AMD K6-2/333 CPU replacement unit for Socket 5/7 motherboards.

Our new CPU package incorporates a PowerLeap PL-Pro/MMX Plus! adapter with an AMD K6-2/333 CPU running on a 66 MHz bus with a 5.0 internal multiplier. The K6-2/333 is normally spec'd to run on a 95 MHz bus with a 3.5 multiplier. The 66x5.0 is noticeably slower (see Tom's Hardware for a comparative discussion of the K6-2/300 at 100x3.0 vs. 66x4.5), but in this case I was willing to sacrifice some performance for ease of installation (see here for more discussion).

SB Live! 10:00 am - Kan

HardwareCentral did another review on the SB Live!. You mean you haven't read our exclusive review on SB Live!?

With their SoundBlaster series of sound cards, Creative Labs' products have always been known for their widespread support. However, what Creative Labs was never really know for was innovation. The differences between one of their first sound cards - the SoundBlaster 16 and the last year’s Awe64 (which is still on the market) were minimal. However, with the new SB Live!, Creative has turned the tables. The SB Live! is definitely the best and most innovative sound card that Creative Labs has ever developed.

Falcon 4 Review 09:56 am - Kan

GameOver just did a review on Falcon 4. Yeah yeah!

I'm not going to start with the graphics because everyone does that, and with a game like Falcon 4.0 they are not really as important as, well everything else. The game is very broad ranging in its appeal. It has many different settings for difficulty and realism which allow the user to vary the degree of AI, and how the plane handles. Obviously the higher the realism setting, the more realistically the aircraft will fly.
There are lots and lots of training missions to go through dealing with everything from how to roll the aircraft, all the way up to using short, medium and long range offensive weaponry in both air to air and air to ground roles. I definitely suggest playing the training missions before even considering the campaigns.

2D/3D Chipsets 09:54 am - Kan

According to an article from EETimes, Philips just launched their new 2D/3D graphics chip.

Squarely targeting the Internet and Windows-terminal market, Philips Semiconductors has launched an integrated video and 2-D/3-D graphics chip.

The SAA9730 integrates PC-level graphics capabilities, I/O functions and high-speed Internet-interface and accessfeatures.

The chip is designed to interface with a MIPS R5000 or X86 CPU, and includes an NTSC/PAL encoder.

The chip is suitable for system OEMs looking for easy-to-use, low-cost Internet solutions, according to Rodger Sykes, director of marketing for the Windows systems group at Philips Semiconductors, based here. Several system vendors are working to deploy solutions that are similar to but differentiated from WebTV, he added.

The SAA9730 comes with the ability to flexibly interface with either a modem or Ethernet communication interface, so it can be used not only within regular homes “but also in hotels, schools or in any other thin client environment where an Ethernet communication port may be preferred,” Sykes said.

3 Speakers Compared 09:49 am - Kan

That is a 3 speakers comparison review over at GamersDepot. Compared speakers are Microsft DSS80, Labtec APX-4620 and Midiland 4030.

As both sound cards and game music/sound effects keep getting better and better, it has become even more crucial to have a speaker system that can keep up.  With that said, we decided to do a "round-up" of 3 different speaker systems in the $150-$200 price range, from 3 well-known leaders in the industry.  One thing to keep in mind, is that when it comes to an individuals hearing/listening tests, that it is very subjective.   In other words what may sound good to me, might sound like crap to Tom or any of the other staff, and vice-versa as we all have a different set of ears, and have different preferences on what we each think something should sound like.

Hercules BEAST Supercharged  09:43 am - Kan

SharkyExtreme re-reviewed the Hercules BEAST video card based on the Savage3D chipset. This time, the SuperCharged Savage3D are modified to pump up the core speed.

First, Hercules is screening the Savage3D chips they're using for the Beast Supercharged, in an effort to be able to provide a better foundation for overclocking the part's MHz speed. The standard Hercules Beast ran at a fixed core speed of 100MHz. We're not allowed to give the exact number that the Beast SuperCharged's Savage3D chips are screened at, but an educated guess along with our testing would indicate that 120MHz is the right number

Second, the revised Hercules Touch drivers are greatly improved and streamlined over the version we tested three months ago. The best improvement this edition includes is the "HercuMeter" slider, which allows a user to set their Beast SuperCharged's core MHz speed anywhere from 100MHz to 130MHz. Thanks to the Savage3D screening mentioned previously, SharkyExtreme was able to run, play, test, and torture the Beast SuperCharged at the HercuMeter's maximum setting of 130MHz. As the Mossad says folks: "Not too shabby."

#9 Revolution IV 32MB 09:39 am - Kan

PlanetHardware posted a review on Number Nine Revolution IV 32MB video vard. This video card is based on #9's Ticket to Ride IV chipset.

Number Nine has held a close grasp on 2D image quality, and care about that as the number one issue on the board. In this crazy world of 2D/3D boards, companies might not focus on 2D as much as they should (S3's Savage3D comes to mind), but rather focus on 3D speed as much as possible, because sadly, that's what sells. Larger companies have produced chipsets with great 2D, along with fast 3D. Companies like Nvidia, Matrox, and 3Dfx's all have great 2D image quality built on, but still are pushing their way into 3D. Number Nine has put 3D speed in the background to 2D quality on this board, and that shows quite a bit.

K6-2 350 vs Celeron 300A 09:36 am - Kan

Ace's Hardware posted a comparison between a AMD K6-2 350 MHz vs a Celeron 300A.

ARE YOU READY TO RUMBLE!?   That seems to be the question posed by the monsters of the CPU world today.   Each day thousands of computer users, both novice and pro, must make a tough decision.  Which CPU should I use for my next system.  Do I stick with Socket 7 and use the AMD K6-2 3DNOW! processor, or perhaps throw caution to the wind and jump into the Slot 1 world of computing.  Each platform has its definite perks and quirks, but no one really knows what is the best for them.  Hopefully, this little experiment will clear up some misconceptions and shed some light on which route may be best for you. So sit back, relax and get ready to be knocked off your rocker, cause here we go.

[Beam me to the previous news archive!]

Copyright © 1998 Hardware One
Last updated 30 December 1998 22:59