15 Sept 98 - 21 Sept 98
Highlights within this period includes:
  • Intel To Stem Overclocking
  • Diamond's HomeFree
  • Ultra3 SCSI
  • Motorola Blackbox
  • Celeron 300A Photoshop Benchmarks
  • New Pentium II Prices
  • Service Pack 2 For Office 97
  • Flashing Your BH6's BIOS
  • Intel to Buy Over 3com?
  • SBLive! Review
  • Tom's Hardware On Intel Developers' Forum
  • King Quest 8
  • V.90 finally Approved
  • Katmai Vs AMD
  • Intel 1999 RoadMap
  • Singapore Post wins Dispute
  • WTX Casing
  • Secret Ops Episode 4
  • Automatic Updates
  • Adding temperature monitoring sensors
  • Gigabyte GA-5AX
  • Brood Wars
  • Creative Updates
  • Win98 Bug Alert Feature
  • RAM Comparison
  • PowerStrip 2.26.6
  • Comparison between Live! and Value
  • 76 Monitors Reviewed!
  • 3D Logic In Socket7
  • Prince of Persia 3D
  • Temperature Monitoring
  • Types of RAM
  • NEC and Altec Lansing
21th September 1998 {Monday}
NEC and Altec Lansing 21th September 22:16 pm

NEC and Altec Lansing announced a new line of monitor bases, the IntelliBase Series. The new series include four powered USB connection ports and the first speakers to utilize true digital USB audio.

Co-developed with Altec Lansing, the acknowledged leader in personal computer audio solutions, NEC Technologies will offer three separate IntelliBase models. The first, IntelliBase USB/Audio Hub, integrates both audio and USB functionality; two others offer either audio-only (IntelliBase Audio) or USB-only (IntelliBase USB Hub) connections

Featuring the industry's first USB streaming audio system in this form factor, the IntelliBase Series utilizes both analog and digital USB streaming technologies. End-users will no longer require a sound card, as digital USB audio streaming processes audio signals directly at the speakers.

Types of RAM 21th September 22:07 pm

Been a long time since we heard from CPUMadness. Anyway, the guys over there just posted an article on the types of RAM available or going to be available in the market. They include SDRAM, RDRAM, DDR SDRAM etc.

RDRAM stands for RamBus DRAM and is the newest (only used in graphic accelerators so far) form of memory on the market. RAMBUS DRAM has access times of under 3ns, and can run at speeds of up to 800mhz. (Current implmenenations only use 500mhz, I believe) Obviously RAMBUS DRAM is by far the best form of memory on the market. The problem is price. RAMBUS DRAM is relatively expensive, and currently is not supported by motherboards (largely due to the fact that bus speeds are only at 100mhz, and RDRAM isn't needed)

Temperature Monitoring 21th September 21:58 pm

Talk about paranoid. Enhance Tech have some impressive temperature monitoring devices. Features include :

  • Fits into most 5.25" slots
  • Temperature displayed in deg C or deg F to tenths of degrees
  • Temperature read every minute or every 5 seconds
  • Temperature and clock settings are easy and straightforward
  • Display includes 12-hour digital clock
  • Warning beeper sounds if excessive temperature is reached
  • Sensor temperature range from -20 to 60 deg C
  • Unit output 12V, 0.8A

Prince of Persia 3D 21th September 21:49 pm

Oh yes. I was a fan of Prince of Persia back in 1990. Avault just posted a review on this upcoming game, Prince of Persia 3D.

When King Assan, the Sultan's jealous younger brother, finds out that the Princess has gone off and married the Prince, he is outraged because she was supposed to marry his deformed son Rugnor. After the Prince and Princess fall into a trap Assan has set for them, the Prince receives a beating followed by dungeon confinement and almost certain death. Meanwhile, Rugnor carries the Princess far away to his stronghold high in the mountains. The Prince must then find a way to escape from prison and succeed in a perilous quest to rescue the Princess from her captors.

3D Logic in Socket 7 21th September 21:45 pm

Got this off from AGN3D. Apparently, AMD, VIA and Trident have been working together to integrate 3D graphics chips into the core logic. This will promise faster speed to the endusers.

AMD, which holds over 50% of the sub $1,000PC CPU market as of June 1998, delivers high performance processors based on the robust Socket 7 infrastructure and has allowed a low-cost, high-performance upgrade path to continue to exist. The advent of the Super 7 solution early this year allows a 100MHz interface to the frontside Level 2 cache and main memory system. This is equivalent to a jump of two processor speed grades on the system performance. That performance increase has prompted a renewed interest from a number of chip manufacturers willing to meet the challenge of enhancing the Socket 7 solution even further by integrating functions on a single chip.

By combining yet to be released advanced 3D and DVD core technology with core logic, we offer the sub $1,000 PC with comparable graphics performance to the more advanced systems,'' according to Dr. Gerry Liu, Trident's senior vice president of marketing. ``We are ready to open the 3D gaming experience to a completely new category of players.''

76 Monitors Reviewed 21th September 13:20 pm

Zdnet posted an impressive number of monitors reviewed - 76. Among the reviewed monitors, their sizes range from 15" to 19". If you are looking for a new monitor, why not hop in to take a look at what they have to say?

There's a new standard in desktop displays: The 17-inch monitor will supplant the 15-inch as the display most buyers choose this year. And 19-inch monitors--new to the market and barely a blip on the sales charts in 1997--should account for 5 percent of all CRTs shipped in the U.S. for 1998. What's fueling the growth? Although there have been a few technological advances in this market segment since we covered it a year ago, the biggest news is price: Your dollar buys more screen real estate than ever before, and the quality of that real estate has never been better.

Comparison between Live! and Value 21th September 07:09 am

All right, there is a comparison at Creative's website on the SB Live! and SB Live! Value respectively. Basically, they are almost identical except for the Digital IO card available in the SB Live!

PowerStrip 2.26.6 21th September 06:59 am

PowerStrip 2.26.6 is available at our Utilities section.

A minor maintanence release, PowerStrip 2.26.6 is up, featuring improved programmable refresh rate support for the TNT and Savage3D, greater precision for the Banshee clocks, scheduled DPMS services for NT, and refined color correction/gamma controls for all supported chipsets.

20th September 1998 {Sunday}
RAM Comparison 20th September 22:45 pm

Anand just came out with a RAM comparison. If you wish to know which is the best RAM out there, do take a look at the article. In my opinion, don't bother to spend TOO much money on getting high quality RAM though.

For those of you who are looking for the fastest PC100 SDRAM out there, it is about time to halt your search. Performance is not the issue when considering SDRAM, especially PC100 SDRAM.   Regardless of what some benchmark programs can produce, in real world situations, a single, well-made PC100 SDRAM DIMM will provide virtually identical performance to any other DIMM of its class. 

At the same time do not get fooled into the nanosecond hype that fell over the PC industry during the initial introduction of the elusive "10ns SDRAM DIMMs."  The nanosecond rating on a particular DIMM module does not directly relate to the performance you'll be receiving from your system overall, so don't be conned into buying a more expensive module just because it is rated at a lower speed. 

Win98 Bug Alert Feature 20th September 14:04 pm

Microsoft is testing a new feature that will alert users of Windows 98 to critical updates as soon as they log on to the Internet, the company said.

Windows Update, a new feature of Windows 98, scans the user's system and offers necessary files like bug patches as well as accessory downloads like wallpapers and screensavers.

The Critical Update Component will be an expanded feature of Windows Update. It will alert users of any new security updates or patches as soon as the system is connected to the Internet.

The Critical Update Component was posted to Windows 98 beta tester sites Thursday, and will be available via the Windows Update site when it is ready for release.

Creative Updates 20th September 08:24 am

Creative's SoundBlaster Live! page has seen a couple of updates in the past 2 days. You'll find new articles like...

19th September 1998 {Saturday}
Brood Wars 19th September 06:04 am

Starcraft is a game I still enjoy tremendously up till now. The expansion pack - Brood Wars, will be out later this year. For those of you who cannot wait for the game, here is the link to the Broad Wars FAQ.

If you wish to catch a fantastic trailer on Brood Wars, you can download it from here. This file is a whopping 36 MB, but it's worth the download. For Singapore One users, you can download it for less than 3 minutes.

What exactly is new about Brood War?
6 new units (2 per species), plus the ability for the Protoss to create Dark Templar. New Upgrades for the Terran Goliath and Zerg Ultralisk 3 new tilesets 26 missions spread across three campaigns 100 new multi-player maps 4 new cinematic sequences... New musical score and sound effects.

Dark Archon
Protoss Psionic Entity

Protoss Support Fighter

Zerg Heavy Support Beast

Gigabyte GA-5AX 19th September 01:06 am

HardWire had an exclusive review on the Gigabyte GA-5AX Aladdin V motherboard. If you are interested in Scoket 7 motherboard, go take a look at it.

One thing you could pick out with the last Gigabyte product I tested, the Slot 1 GA-686BXC, was the high quality factor. Nothing's really changed in their design of this ALI Aladdin V-based Super-7 mainboard, well, nothing for the negative. In fact, the improvement in the design came more in the way of features than in the construction of the board. More on this later.

If you compare this board to the AOpen AX59-Pro, you'll notice a very welcomed change - the presence of the 3rd ISA slot. While the AX59-Pro limited you to a 4/2/1 configuration, Gigabyte expands your possibilites with the extra ISA slot, in their industry-standard 4/3/1 configuration. This is a welcomed product for those seeking the extra ISA slot that you'd find on just about any other ATX Super 7 board on the market.

18th September 1998 {Friday}
Adding temperature monitoring sensors 18th September 09:18 am

3DHardware.net had kicked up an article on how to add your own thermistor on your own motherboard.

The nice thing about the Winbond chipset is that it uses thermistors to monitor temperatures, which are inexpensive and easy to find. A thermistor is simply a resistor that changes resistance based on its temperature. Asus chose not to integrate a thermistor for CPU temperature into the motherboard because the distance between the board and the processor in a Slot 1 setup is about half an inch. Air is not a good conductor of heat so any temperature sensor on the motherboard would not be very accurate and would react slowly to temperature changes.

Automatic Updates 18th September 09:15 am

I got this from CoolInfo on using using Internet Explorer 4.x to receive notifications when your favourite sites have been modified.

Some sites can send you news alerts or updates via e-mail. Like this idea? You can get a similar service from any Web site if you use Internet Explorer 4.x (which is also built into Windows 98). You can instruct the browser to regularly log on to Web sites that you frequent and either download updates for reading offline, or notify you when there's something new on the site. To perform automatic updates, Internet Explorer must be running and connected. Here's how to set up this arrangement.

Go to the Web site and select Favorites, Add to Favorites from the menu. In the Add Favorite dialog box, you can select "Yes, but only tell me when this page is updated" (in which case Internet Explorer will notify you by adding a red "gleam" to the site's icon or by e-mailing you), or you can choose "Yes, notify me of updates and download the page for offline viewing."

Click the Customize button to choose whether you want to download only the current page or the current page and all pages linked to it and to schedule how frequently Internet Explorer should search the site; then click OK. Click the "Create in" button to tell IE where to put downloaded pages. IE will send you a note via e-mail when your favorite pages are updated. To read them offline, select Favorites, Manage Subscriptions and then click a site's icon to read it.

Secret Ops Episode 4 18th September 09:07 am

Yup, Wing Command Secret Ops Episode 4 is out. You can download a copy of it from Fun.

WTX Casing 18th September 09:00 am

At the Intel Developers Forum '98, Intel Corporation announced the availability of the final WTX workstation motherboard and chassis specification. Details can be found at www.wtx.org.  

The WTX chassis specification, for midrange workstations, should result in a simplified design process and reduced development costs for OEMs manufacturing Intel-based workstations. The specifications include support for workstation features such as dual processing, large system memories, Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP) 4x graphics specification and AGP Pro graphics cards, and high-bandwidth I/O.

Intel continues to provide technical leadership and products to all facets of the workstation market segment. Through its efforts with industry leading OEM and application vendors, Intel has developed the new WTX system specification, which complements processor advancements such as the Pentium® II Xeon™ processor, and platform innovations such as AGP Pro.

WTX-compliant motherboards and systems will include the following capabilities:

  • dual processor IA-32 and IA-64™ support;
  • thermal, mechanical and power envelopes optimized for high-end AGP Pro graphics cards;
  • stable, functional partitioning designed to support multiple generations of graphics, memory technology, I/O and Intel® Architecture microprocessors;
  • industry standard chassis, power supply and motherboard form factors optimized for leading-edge workstations. 
17th September 1998 {Thursday}
Singapore Post wins Dispute 17th September 10:30 am

A domain name dispute in Singapore, said to be the first to reach the courts here, was settled privately two days into the trial.

The Singapore postal service Singapore Post filed a lawsuit against Internet solutions provider Cyberville Technologies in April this year. In November last year, the company started a free email forwarding service called SingPost, using the domain singpost.com.

Singapore Post--which owns the domain singpost.com.sg--alleged Cyberville was passing off this service as being from the postal service, thus damaging its goodwill and reputation.

The company denied it and in May, they fought off an injunction to hand over the domain singpost.com to Singapore Post, pending a trial.

Two days into the trial, which took place in mid-August, the two parties settled privately and the domain name has been handed over to the postal service. The terms were not disclosed.

Intel 1999 Roadmap 17th September 10:25 am

Here it is, the updated roadmap for 1999.

Xeon: 700-MHz chips made under the 0.18 micron process.

Pentium II: 600-MHz chips by end of year. Katmai ("MMX 2") technology in Q1. Chips with 256K integrated cache memory will appear in the first half, before coming in the Celeron line.

Hardware support: Native support for USB (universal serial bus), DVD, and TV tuner add-in cards.

Celeron: 100-MHz bus in the first half. Technology will lag Pentium II to preserve segmentation. Far in future: integration with graphics chips a possibility.

Mobile: Celeron mobile chips in Q1, chips with integrated cache memory to follow.

Katmai vs AMD 17th September 10:18 am

Katmai, the new processor will include 70 new commands known, somewhat unoriginally, as the Katmai New Instructions. These commands will speed multimedia processing, allowing fast 3-D graphics, higher-quality DVD playback, digital video encoding, and digital audio processing.

"We are fundamentally bound by the speed [or lack thereof] of the processor or the bus," said Michael Hara, director of strategic marketing with graphics-chip maker Nvidia Corp. "The more you open up the bottlenecks, the more we can reap the benefits."

The release of the Katmai processor will fill in a gap that AMD has been exploiting for almost half a year with its 3DNow! instructions.

Similar performance is expected from Intel's technology as well. However, the Katmai New Instructions are more comprehensive and will most likely give a bit more oomph to multimedia applications.

"In 3-D processing, Katmai and 3DNow! are essentially the same," said Peter Glaskowsky, industry analyst with semiconductor technology watcher MicroDesign Resources Inc. "However, there are a lot of functions that Katmai will speed that 3DNow! won't."

For more, read here.

V.90 finally Approved 17th September 10:12 am

Do you know that V.90 was not officially approved till now? The International Telecommunications Union in Geneva, Switzerland, yesterday gave final approval to V.90 industry standard 56-kbps modem technology, but industry analysts warn that damage from the lengthy standards battle which preceded this detente may be difficult to reverse.

Supported by both Rockwell and 3Com, V.90 was initially agreed upon in February, with Internet Service Providers (ISPs), remote access hardware vendors like Ascend Communications, and modem vendors falling in line to adopt the new technology.

Before V.90 was established, consumers had to choose between 56-kbps modems using either 3Com's x2 or Rockwell's K56 flex technology. Users then had to find an ISP that supported the modem technology they had purchased.

For more information, read here.

DDR SGRAM 17th September 10:08 am

Samsung announced they it has begun shipping commercial samples of a super-fast graphics memory chip to graphics controller makers.

Samsung said in a statement its 16-megabit double data rate synchronous graphics random access memory (DDR SGRAM) supported graphic images at up to 256 megabits-per-second per pin. The new chip's speed is twice that of a regular SGRAM chip.

Japanese and Korean memory makers are eager to advance memory capacity because they can charge premium prices on advanced technology. The last three years have seen precipitous price drops on 16-megabit DRAMs (dynamic random access memory), last year's mainstream technology, wreaking havoc on financial results for a number of Asian companies.

King Quest 8 17th September 10:05 am

Games Net posted a preview on King Quest 8 - Mask of Eternity. For those loyal fans of the King Quest series, the new version offers better graphics and a brand new 3D engine.

Everything--objects like trees, rocks, and even frogs--is a detailed 3D model. Trees can be chopped down, rocks can be pushed around, and even the frogs… Well, they can be sliced with your blade. Honestly--I saw it with my own eyes! Just about everything in the environment is yours to manipulate. In fact, the game's producers told me that there'll be so many little 3D surprises, gamers might not even find them all.

Tom's Hardware on Intel Developers' Forum 17th September 09:49 am

Tom had posted an article on his visit to the Intel Developer Forum in Palm Springs.

The most interesting announcement for me came right after those two speakers, when Ticky Thakkar gave first details about KNI (Katmai New Instructions) and other enhancements that the upcoming Katmai/Tanner architecture will bring us.

I had the chance to speak to Intel’s Senior Vice President and head of the microprocessor products group, Albert Yu. He told me again that the multiplier locking issue used on the old and new Celeron processors is a way of fighting CPU remarking.

SB Live! Review  17th September 09:42 am

Our affiliate CoolComputing had put up an article on SB Live!

The Sound Blaster Live! is Creative Lab's long-anticipated next-generation PCI sound card.  Taking the card out of the box, I was surprised at how small it was (5 inches or 13 cm long).   In fact for some reason it looked longer on the box than it actually was.   From the days of the Sound Blaster AWE 32, I still had the notion that high-end sound cards are supposed to be lengthy.  The Sound Blaster Live! has completely dispelled that silly notion of mine in a big way. 

Intel to buy over 3Com?  17th September 01:06 am

Thanks to CoolInfo, there are rumours that Intel may buy over 3Com.

Amid losses in its LAN-equipment business, Intel is looking to expand that operation by reportedly holding talks to acquire a surprising and bitter rival, 3Com, according to analysts and other sources. Reports have circulated for weeks that Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel may be looking to buy all or pieces of 3Com, which itself ran into trouble after its massive -- and painful -- acquisition of U.S. Robotics last year. 3Com said it hopes to pick up the pieces from the fallout, while also looking for a partner to fund its massive debt, analysts said.

Some analysts, however, do not believe an Intel-3Com merger is in the cards -- at least for now. "It doesn't make any sense," said Richard Faust, an analyst with Kaufman Bros. L.P., in New York. "I am not sure the FTC [Federal Trade Commission] would let it happen. There are some antitrust issues involved."

Indeed, Intel and 3Com in total own about 73.9 percent of the world's LAN-card business as of the second quarter of 1998, according to In-Stat. Santa Clara, Calif.-based 3Com is the world's leading supplier of LAN cards, with 50.4 percent market share in the second quarter, while Intel was second, with 23.5 percent, In-Stat added. A smattering of other competitors from the United States and Taiwan own the remaining portions.  

16th September 1998 {Wednesday}
Flashing Your BH6's BIOS  16th September 20:50 pm

Hi people. There's a recent spate of controversy surrounding the flashing of the BH6's BIOS. I believe some users have feedback their problems about flashing BIOS version FL with AWDFLASH 6.22 downloaded from ABIT's website.

A few kind readers have feedback that this was due to a corrupted AWDFLASH.EXE (that has CRC error when decompressed) while another has put it to be hardware failure on the floppy drive connector that caused the major problem. I'll quote a reader's word of advice:

"... put the BIOS on the hard drive and then update. Don't do it from the floppy..."

Overclocker has validated that the file obtained from ABIT's website was corrupted. The working update could be downloaded from ABIT's FTP site or The Unofficial BH6/BX6 Page.

For your information, you will not require the FL version of the BIOS to support the Celeron 300A or 333 as the BH6 works with them "out-of-the-box". Don't lose confidence in doing BIOs flashes yet! Be careful & good luck!

Service Pack 2 for Office 97  16th September 07:56 am

The new Office 97 SP 2 contains a number of upgrades including support for Euro currency changes and Y2K fixes. It also contains the Excel 97 for Windows Auto-Recalculation Patch, but if users don't want to download the new service release, they can download the Excel recalculation patch alone from the Office update Web-site.

Microsoft said that SP 2 fixes will work with Office 97 Professional, Standard, and Small-Business editions, as well as Office standalone applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access.

In order to install SP 2, Microsoft said users need to be running Office 97 Service Release 1--available free off the Office Update Web site, along with Windows 95 or 98, Windows NT 3.51 with Service Pack 5, or Windows NT 4.0 with Service Pack 3.

15th September 1998 {Tuesday}
New Pentium II prices  15th September 23:04 pm

In case you still do not know, these are the new Pentium II processor prices effective on Monday.

Processor Aug. 98 Price Sept. 98 price % Decrease
400-MHz Pentium II $589 $482 18%
350-MHz PII $423 $299 29%
333-MHz PII $316 $234 26%
300-MHz Celeron $112 $95 15%
266-MHz Mobile PII $444 $391 12%
233-MHz Mobile PII $262 $209 20%
266-MHz Mobile Pentium $241 $159 34%
233-MHz Mobile Pentium $134 $95 29%

Celeron 300A PhotoShop Benchmarks  15th September 21:14 pm

Kok Leong of Digital Darkroom has just sent word of his Photoshop benchmark test performed on the Celeron 300A. Quite a rarity I thought!

In fact, the Celeron 300A running at its normal speed of 300mz is impressive enough on its own. When overclocked to 450mz, the filters really fly.

By testing the Celeron A at its default clock rate vs the chip @ 450Mhz, saw the Photoshop filters run some 50% faster! Now if Intel will just continue producing these chips for us, we'll all be very happy people!

Motorola Blackbox  15th September 18:30 pm

Motorola touts Blackbird as the ultimate multimedia platform: it is to support 3D graphics, Java, DVD digital video, high-fidelity audio, Internet access, e-commerce and broadband networking, in one unit that plugs into a television set.

In other words, the futuristic platform is a gaming console, Internet terminal and entertainment system all rolled into one.

"This is an important milestone in the industry's transition from its legacy of islands of unconnected appliances to its future of seamless, friendly and powerful interconnectivity," said Jim Reinhart, general manager of Motorola's Media Processing and Platforms Division, in a statement

The machine is made possible by a combination of Motorola's Power PC chip technology -- used today in Apple Computer Inc.'s Macintosh computers -- and a media processor known as Project X.

The Project X Media Architecture allows the platform to change its role as needed to handle different types of media. The same processor will be able to handle video games, DVD video, cable television, high-fidelity audio, or even, theoretically, formats that have not yet emerged.

Ultra3 SCSI  15th September 06:45 am

Vendors representing a broad cross-section of the computer system and storage industry today announced Ultra160/m SCSI, a next-generation SCSI interface based on Ultra3 SCSI, according to Yahoo.

The new interface provides significant improvements in manageability, performance and cost of ownership.

Ultra160/m SCSI will incorporate the core features of Ultra3 SCSI -- double transition clocking, cyclical redundancy checking, and domain validation. Systems based on the new interface will begin to appear in 1999.

Like Ultra3 SCSI, Ultra160/m SCSI will be fully compatible with Ultra2 SCSI, providing a smooth transition from previous SCSI generations while preserving investments for most existing equipment. This backward compatibility will speed adoption of the new interface by both OEMs and end users.

Diamond's HomeFree  15th September 06:35 am

Anyway, just for interest sake, have you ever seen the HomeFree kit from Diamond? It's a wireless LAN solution which offers you up to 1 Mbps transfer rate. Based on the 2.4 GHz ISM band, Diamond claims that it is using frequency hopping spread spectrum which will change the frequency channels 83 times per second.

Intel to Stem Overclocking  15th September 00:22 am

Just when I thought every part of the PC industry is getting interesting and very affordable, Intel has to come along with this bright idea to stem overclocking. It's really a dampener right? Read ZDNet's report.

Intel (Nasdaq:INTC)has already shipped a version of its Celeron chip that includes technology designed to stop overclocking, and AMD (NYSE:AMD) is considering doing the same. The move may squelch a technique long popular among PC enthusiasts who just can't get enough speed. It also comes at a time when at least one company is making a run to bring overclocked PCs to consumers.

What I think of this? Well, from a consumer's point of view, I don't like the idea at all. I like being able to buy a low budget Celeron 300A and clock it to 504Mhz! Getting a real bang for every buck!

By selling the low cost but highly overclockable Celeron 300A chips, Intel will definitely gain tremendous inroads in the home market. Doesn't Intel realise that it is the overclockability of the Celeron A that makes it an excellent choice amongst people???

Why else would you want a Celeron for????   :)

[Beam me to the latest news archive!]

Copyright © 1998 Hardware One
Last updated 27 September 1998 23:11