|7 April 1999 - Wednesday
SoundFX NT 20:24 pm - Kan
Philipp from NT Game Palace sent note on a new niffy utility that enables sound
in DOS games under NT. Bad news is you need to register the program, or it will only work
for 3 minutes.
Preview 18:40 pm - Kan
posted a writeup on 3Dfx's highest-end Voodoo3 3500 graphics card.
Due for release this month, It runs at 183 MHz and features what 3Dfx call "22-bit
filtering". Check out what the lads have to say.
Basically, the Voodoo 3 is a Banshee card
with multitexturing, running at a higher clock rate. And I can prove that this is indeed
the case: I loaded up the latest Banshee drivers from the 3dfx web site with my test
Voodoo 3 card. Almost every game I tried ran under the Banshee drivers, including both
OpenGL and Direct3D titles. While I wouldn't dream of benchmarking or testing the card
this way, it proves an important point: Voodoo 3 is the same technology we've seen before
Sonic Storm Pro
17:12 pm - Kan
posted a review on the Videologic's Sonic Storm Pro. This is a
PCI soundcard using the ESS and 3D technology from Sensaura. The best part is, they are
giving away the Sonic Storm Pro as well as a cool T-shirt free!
Now the Sonic Storm wasn't exactly hi-tech.
Boasting an ESS-Maestro 1, it was more a DirectSound than DS3D accelerator, though it did
have host-based Q-Sound algorithms. This time round, we have an ESS Maestro 2E, capable of
up to 8 DS3D streams (with driver update). 64 channels of hardware MIDI are also along for
the ride, as is a coaxial SP/DIF output
3D S320 II 17:09 pm - Kan
sent note on their latest review of the TNT2-based Leadtek Winfast 3D S320 II
The above image was taken on an even
earlier model which utilized 7ns. SDRAM. Our card actually came with 6ns. Samsung SRAM on
board and with the extra margin built into these devices, we feel it will be easy to clock
the memory to at 166MHz., possibly even 175! Notice there are also two square connectors
on this board and the Dual SVideo/Composite jacks. That's right boys and girls, flat panel
support right out of the box! Oh man, I feel the hurt in my wallet already with the idea
of a sweet 20" Flat Panel Display on my desktop! :-) Notice also the heat sink/fan
combo. This card is built VERY well and has overclocking written all over
Win98 Plans 09:59 am - Wilfred
Over at BetaNews,
there's a juicy bit about what Microsoft plans for current Win98 users. If you wonder
what's left for you with the announcement of Win98 Second Edition, check this out!
Up to this point, Microsoft
has not made it clear how current Windows 98 users would upgrade to the new version of the
OS, recently dubbed Windows 98 Second Edition. The planned Windows 98 SP 1 was killed off
in beta due to many factors including its large size, but most in the IT world still
assumed some sort of upgrade patch would be released for Windows 98 users. However, just
today Microsoft announced to testers that a special version of Windows 98 SE would be
released for current Windows 98 users. The 'StepUp' version will be available via retail
stores like the Full and Upgrade versions, although it will be only for Windows 98 users
who simply want to 'step up' their machine to the newest version. Windows 95 and Windows
3.1 users will still need to purchase the Upgrade release. Once again, Microsoft has
learned from the mistake it made with Windows 95 OSR 2 and has seemingly come up with an
ingenious marketing strategy. Despite many of its upgrades being available on Windows
Update, the Windows 98 SE StepUp version will offer a few things not available to current
Windows 98 users, including Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) and device driver updates.
It seems the Windows 98 Service Pack, once thought to be made freely available, has
manifested itself into a full blown retail release. However, Microsoft has not yet
announced pricing for Windows 98 SE and could easily charge less for the StepUp version.
The Beta Team is shooting for a May Release to Manufacturing (RTM), which means we may see
Windows 98 SE in stores as early as June.
Preview 09:48 am - Wilfred
has a preview
on the upcoming MechWarrior 3. Well, try out the demo if you haven't. You won't regret it!
After playing the demo for a
while I realized that it had me longing for more, an effect that the Mechwarrior universe
always had on me. There's something about the idea of controlling something as huge and
powerful as the Battlemechs used in Mechwarrior. This has always been the great strength
behind the series. Even though this time a relative newcomer to the series (Zipper
Interactive) is developing the game I really feel this game will be able to dig deep into
the imagination of fans of the series as well as attract some fresh recruits.
with S3 09:40 am - Wilfred
posted an interview with
S3's PR Manager Paul Crossley. Must I tell you what they talked about?
How do you see the Savage4 chipset
faring against other newly announced and upcoming chipsets, such as the TNT 2 and Voodoo3?
Paul: Obviously, we believe Savage4 will
fare very well against TNT2 and Voodoo3 given the amount of performance and functionality
it delivers at ~$100 board price. TNT2 will be a bit faster, but more expensive and will
not have all the same functionality (S3TC, hardware DVD) as Savage4. Voodoo3 3500 will be
on par with TNT2 in terms of speed and price, but is lacking considerably more
functionality and image quality than TNT2 and Savage4.
ATI Rage Pro
128 Announced 09:36 am - Wilfred
We've heard rumours on it but now it's
official. ATI has announced
the optimised Pro version of their Rage128 chip. Having undergone architectural
enhancements together with an increase in clock frequencies, the newer chip is said to
deliver up to 50% improvement in 3D performance.
"The RAGE 128 PRO combines
architectural enhancements with higher clock frequencies to achieve a 50% improvement in
3D performance,'' said Phil Eisler, Director of Component Marketing, ATI. "This
accomplishment reinforces ATI's high-end leadership already established by the RAGE 128
at Microsoft 09:29 am - Wilfred
Hmm. I was so intrigued by this article, I
actually read it from top to bottom. Well yes, check out Seattle Weekly's
feature article that Microsoft has a 9 year old boy working 13 hours a day to develop
their next breakthrough OS.
Microsoft is betting that the
technology that will ultimately render Linux obsolete is something called TR, the acronym
for Thought Recognition. Using a complicated set of electrical impulses and biofeedback
responses, a TR-driven machine accepts commands directly from the computer user's brain.
If you want to open a certain Word document, for instance, the TR operating system senses
the desire and, without having to be told, opens the file. If the user, while working in
that file, wonders, 'How'd my Amazon stock do today?' the TR would immediately open a
small window with the current Amazon.com quote, downloaded from the Internet.
New Chip from
Aureal 09:12 am - Wilfred
Aureal Semiconductor has announced the
availability of their new Vortex AU8810 audio processor chip. With Motorola soft-modem
support, it is meant to be a low cost, integrated solution for mobile or budget PCs. Not a
bad idea! A3D support on your notebooks!
Fremont, CA April
6, 1999 (AURL: OTC Bulletin Board) Aureal Semiconductor Inc., leaders in digital
audio imaging, today announced the availability of the Vortex® AU8810 audio processor, a
new digital audio accelerator for desktop and notebook PCs. The AU8810 is the
latest addition to Aureal's award-winning line of Vortex audio processors, with support
for Aureal's A3DTM positional audio standard. The new chip is a low-cost audio
solution designed for the building of PC'99 compliant systems through the integration of
audio and modem capabilities. (Press release at 3DSS)
Manager 3 09:04 am - Wilfred
A lot of you must be interested in CM3 (Hmm...
I'm not! =P) but Singularity has posted their review about it. If you are into
soccer management, then you have to check this out. I'll rather play FIFA.
Anyone who has any interest in football
(soccer, to you American folks reading this) must have played the phenomenal Championship
Manager 2. Why do I say phenomenal? How many other games can you find gamers discussing
tactics/good players to buy 5 YEARS after the game was released? In fact, I know of hard
core football fans who actually bought or upgraded their computers just to play the game.
Throughout the years leading up to Championship Manager 3, many gamers have contributed
game updates on the web that keeps in touch with transfers in the current season. The
programmers of CM2 also released the excellent CM97/98 update which not only brings player
tranfers up to date to the 97/98 season, but also included a player editor which brings a
whole new dimension to the game.
2000/3000 06:56 am - Kan
posted a review on the Voodoo3 2000 and 3000
video boards. Check out what they have to say.
The Voodoo3 2000 is the
lower-end Voodoo3 part that is aimed more towards average gamers. It has the same features
chipset features as the 3000 and 3500. The difference is that both the clock and memory
speed are lower, clocked at only 143Mhz for both. The RAMDAC is clocked slightly lower
than its big brothers, but is still at an extremely respectable 300MHz. The 2000 does not
have TV out capabilities.
Thresh 06:50 am - Kan
If you ever wanted to know more about the man
behind FiringSquad, they've updated their page on him.
Whether or not you're a
regular reader of FiringSquad site, you've probably heard of our founder and
Editor-In-Chief, Dennis "Thresh" Fong. One of the most-widely known names on the
Internet, Dennis has achieved on-line notoriety and fame through his incredible
performance in the new and growing world of multiplayer on-line gaming.
06:22 am - Kan
If you understand Japanese, HardwarePlus pointed out an article over here on
some cooling project going on. To
translate briefly (Kan knows Japanese?!), they used the Kendon cooling unit to cool a
P2-333 MHz and managed to overclock it to 620 MHz.
Re-Volt 06:20 am - Kan
Something new again over at CRUS. This time is the Re-Volt review by Acclaim. The
graphics looks astonishing!
||Re-Volt has 28 different cars that you
can choose from. There are also 14 single player tracks set in 7 different environments
and 5 single player game modes. In multiplayer mode can you play against 11 of your
friends in either race or battle mode. You have 4 multiplayer arenas to choose from. There
will also be a track editor included with the game so that you can create your own tracks
for either single or multiplayer mode.
390U2W 06:18 am - Kan
One of my favourite stuffs. AGN Hardware did a review on the Tekram
DC 390-U2W SCSI card.
The Tekram 390U2W is a fully
featured SCSI controller that is primed and ready for Ultra2 Wide devices. That
means that it has a maximum transfer rate of a whopping 80MB/second! The board is
powered by the Symbios Logic SYM53C895 Ultra2 SCSI chip. I have grown to be very
fond of Symbios based SCSI controllers, and this board is no exception. They are
tested with a wide range of SCSI devices for better compatibility, so you get added
comfort when using one.
SIA First To
Use Dolby Headphone Tech 00:07
am - Wilfred
Received word from my excited friend that
Singapore Airline will be first in the world to make use of Dolby Headphone technology. To
further enhance the quality of its in-flight entertainment system, ALL passengers on ALL
classes of travel will get to enjoy high-quality virtualised 5 speaker home-theatre sound
via normal stereo headphones.
Singapore, April 5, 1999 -
From 1 May 1999, the revolutionary Dolby Headphone technology will be available to
Singapore Airlines (SIA) passengers on all classes of travel. This will be the first time
the new technology will be available anywhere in the world.
Dolby Headphone technology provides cinema-quality surround sound to airline passengers
using standard stereo headphones. Originally developed by Australian company Lake DSP,
Dolby Headphone will soon be used in consumer electronics and personal computers. It will
be SIA customers, however, who will experience this new technology for the first time,
while enjoying SIA's in-flight entertainment system, KrisWorld.
New Edition: EH
Online 00:05 am - Wilfred
Hardware sent word that the latest edition of EH Online is up. Yes, this round the guys
have quite a bit to bring up on the V3, TNT2, Savage4 and MORE.
The Savage4 will definitely not be for
everyone, especially those who are primarily interested in straight out performance
numbers. The attraction of the Savage4 is that of a high performing card with all the 3D
features, large amounts of memory, high image quality, S3TC, and coming in at a very
competitive price. Performance is important, but OEM deals, shelf space and affordability
can easily separate the winners from the losers.
The areas I'm interested in are Win 95/98
2D performance and driver stability and compatibility, where in the case of the Savage3D,
were noticably worse than the competition. Those two factors helped sink the Savage3D
cards and will definitely have to be improved on if the Savage4 is to make a real impact.
Blood 00:01 am - Wilfred
In my excitement after my PC formatted the
drive, I thought the DS16GP 10.1Gb was gonna work perfectly. No! Arrgghh! It doesn't!
Getting all kinds of invalid boot records and bad partition table errors after couple of
reboots. Tried everything under the sun, reformatted the drive, re-did the partitions,
wrote in new MBR using IBM Disk Manager and all but to no avail. I resorted to low-level
formatting using IBM Disk Manager - but it failed at 87%!!! That's freeakin' 5 hours down
the drain! I'm returning the drive!
|6 April 1999 - Tuesday
G400 "MAX" Press Release 22:52 pm - Kan
sent note on the official PR mail from Matrox on the new version of the G400 card.
Montreal, Canada, April 6, 1999 - Today at
WinHEC 99, Matrox Graphics Inc. announced the launch of the new Matrox G400 MAX, a higher
speed version of the already blisteringly fast Matrox G400 graphics chip. The Matrox G400
MAX benefits from an increase in raw speed of more than 30% over the Matrox G400 and can
achieve peak 3D fill rates in excess of 333 Mtexels/second. On industry standard
benchmarks, the new Matrox G400 MAX comes close to maxing out Ziff Davis' 3D WinBench 99
test with a score of 1080 at 1024 x 768 resolution. The Matrox G400 MAX graphics chip also
includes an industry-leading 360Mhz UltraSharp RAMDAC capable of driving high-end monitors
at resolutions up to 2048 x 1536, 32-bpp at 85Hz.
Fly3D 0.62 22:50 pm - Kan
sent note on a new release of Fly3D
0.62. This is a game engine written in C++ which supports Direct3D 6.1/OpenGL 1.1.
Fly3D is full plugin directed. All you need
to do to create a new game is build new plugins. A plugin wizard is available for Visual
C++ that makes all the code required for a Fly3D plugin in a few mouse clicks.
Included in this version is the main
front-end exe, the editor for .fly files, one same sample scene, five plugin game demos
and some utilities (3dsMax BSP export plugin, 3dsMax BSP import plugin, 3dsMax texture map
editor, 3dsMax landscape plugin, BSP lighting tool, PVS computation tool and Visual C++
433 21:51 pm - Kan
finished his Celeron
433 Mhz processor review. Somehow, I'm always amazed by his introduction everytime
before a review. :)
You cant buy a
reliable car without mortgaging an arm and a leg, you cant live in a world without
war, and you cant know the straight facts on what processor is right for you. Hummed
to the tune of Bruce Hornsbys most remembered song, there are a number of users out
there that see the multitude of Intel processors hitting the market yet are never told
what path they should take, other than the famous six word solution, Thats Just the
Way it is.
Series 19:52 pm - Kan
had cranked out the latest super-cooler series. I just love these guys! *smooch*
is a TEC-based setup that is capable of pumping heat up to a rate of 80Watts, and thus
will cool your Celeron down to sub-zero temperatures. The SuPaChillä is
best suited for the hardcore OCer that will go to great lengths to gain that extra
MHz. The design uses a condensation seal, closed cell foam gaskets, a liquid heat
exchanger and a special aluminum casing, all parts developed and tested by the HardOCP to
guarantee absolute stability and reliability even after a long period of use. The
SuPaChillä is a compact unit, measuring approx. : 3.5x 1.8 x
1.8 that attaches directly to the Celeron CPU.
Matrox DVD 19:50 pm - Kan
Hardware did a new review on the Matrox
DVD upgrade card for the G200/G100 family.
With the exception of 32bit mode, the
Matrox DVD does an excellent job of playing back DVDs. All of the image problems that I
had seen with software solutions are non-existent and you are only using about 4% of the
system resources for playback. This means that those of you with low end systems will be
able to playback DVD, without the need of a standalone decoder. The Zoran software is easy
to use and makes navigating you DVDs easy.
Using the Marvel G200 I was able to
output the DVD to my TV, for what I have to admit was the best TV picture that I have seen
yet. One of the biggest problems with software DVD is that most video cards have inferior
TV-Out. You end up with DVD playback to TV with blurred text and an image that is not very
sharp. The Marvel on the other hand has excellent TV-Out, giving you DVD playback on the
TV every bit as good as a stand-alone decoder.
Western Digital Caviar 19:47 pm - Kan
New hard disk review over at Storagereview. The Caviar
AC420400 is a 5400rpm drive with a whopping 20.4 GB and it supports ATA-66.
A fundamental change indicates that this
latest "Caviar" may be so in name only. Caviar drives, from their heyday all the
way up to their decline always featured three platters in their
flagship designs. This time around, however, the top-of-the-line unit features four disks.
Combined with 5.1 gigs of data per platter,
this allows the AC420400 to weigh in at a respectable 20.4 gigs of space. When it comes to
the seek time, there's some
discrepancy. The original press release (dated in December) along with the box sticker
state seek time to be 8.5 milliseconds. WD's web site and promotional literature, however,
list seek time at 9.0 milliseconds. We'll assume here that the more conservative of the
two is true. Finally, like it's 7200rpm brother, the Caviar features an eye-popping 2
megabytes of buffer. This latest Caviar,
like its last two predecessors, incorporates a collection of self-tuning feature
collectively referred to as "Data Lifeguard." The drive is protected by a three
Battle For The Common
Desktop 10:45 am - Wilfred
posted a link to this interesting article
at 32BitsOnline.com where CDE and Gnome duked
it out to be king of Linux's windows manager. Well, KDE was left out.. but worth a read
This is an unfair review. In one corner,
you have a product that is the culmination of several proprietary Unix vendors' desktops.
It has a quality tool kit that has had years of refinement for its code-base. It has
features that are rock solid, dependable, and in general, very friendly. Of course, I'm
talking about the Common Desktop Environment, or CDE. This review focuses on the
implementation provided by TriTeal.
In the other corner, we have the new kid on
the block, GNOME. GNOME is a newcomer, based upon an open widget set, and has had to play
catch-up in many respects to other window managers. But it's hardly under-powered. To pit
it against CDE is probably unfair. Most people would expect GNOME to be the underdog. This
is clearly not the case. GNOME matches or exceeds the features found in a typical CDE
desktop, and that's what's so surprising. GNOME is also evolving at an accelerated pace.
The current features are just a starting point. Given the high-speed development of GNOME,
it's doubtful to me that CDE will ever catch up.
Wilfred Coughs 10:27 am - Wilfred
Had a terrible nightmare setting up a simple
harddisk drive I just bought. Dammit! Don't think it's the fault of the Deskstar 16P
10.1Gb. It's working mighty fine now, whisper quiet and all. But somehow the combination
of Win98/Partition Magic/Bad Luck screwed it up ALMOST irreversibly... till I was totally
unable to delete or create partitions with FDISK and Norton Disk Doctor refused to work on
Crossing my fingers and holding my breath, I used DiskEdit
to manually blanking out the weird things written into the FAT and partition table, before
using Linux FDISK to create my new partitions correctly. Whew! Well yeah! Now a full 18
Gigabytes to splurge on downloads and more downloads!
Saitek R4 Force Wheel 10:11 am - Wilfred
There's a review on Saitek's R4
Force Feedback Wheel at GameCenter. It sure looks good, but how does it perform?
On the other hand, Monster Truck Madness II
and Fox Interactive's force-feedback masterpiece, Motorhead, both showed the R4 in a
better light with a variety of feedback from beginning to end. In these games, the unit
performed impressively and with subtle effect transitions. Granted, it wasn't nearly
strong enough to shake our fillings, and the wheel did get annoyingly noisy when pushed to
its limits, but if it were a low-cost wheel it might do the trick. Yet therein lies
another problem: The R4 isn't a low-cost alternative. Instead, it's a medium-priced
offering that just doesn't meet the power and versatility of such products as ACT Labs'
beefy Force RS or Logitech's slick WingMan Formula Force. In non-force-feedback games,
meanwhile, the R4 performs competently, though the aforementioned idiosyncrasies keep us
from recommending it as a killer simulation controller.
If you are into wheels, don't forget to check out Julian's
review on the MS ForceFeedback wheel
as well as Flashman's article on the Logitech
WingMan Formula Force
Celeron 333A Overclocking 10:04 am - Wilfred
posted quite a whoop-ass article
on his research and experimentation with PPGA 333a overclocking. Check this out!
All of a sudden Intel releases a PPGA form
of their celeronA line. I thought to myself hmmm. What's so different from these to the
Slot 1 counterpart? This can be debated from time to time that PPGA's can be better OC
than there Slot 1 couterparts. I won't bore you with those details. I just want to share
my experience with the "Sleeper" of a CPU, the 333a. Yes that's right the 333a.
You probably think I'm crazy. With a multipler of 5 the chances are very very slim. Let me
tell you these 333a's PPGA'sare just as good as a 300a in my opinion.
Alien Vs Predator Demo
Review 09:46 am - Wilfred
Crypt posted a review
on Fox Interactive's Alien Vs Predator Demo. Ok, check this out before you get the real
Enter Aliens vs Predator. The movie tie-in
deal initially makes Fox Interactive's eagerly anticipated title sound a tad dodgy, and on
paper the whole basis of the game looks to be a case of 'old dog, new tricks,' however AvP
is hardly another 'me too' title.
DVD ROM 08:34 am - Kan
Something new over at our bud iXBT Hardware site. This time there is a whopping 7 DVD ROM drives roundup. Whoa, I
want one too!
At first sight you can easily detect an
outsider, which will definitely fail to compete with its more up to date fellows. It's
Creative Labs DVD2240E. The second candidate for our condolences, which is the last but
one according to its technical features, is Hitachi GD-2500. And then goes a rather
homogeneous group where we can single out Pioneer DVD-103S (only taking into account its
DVD characteristics). Quoting the saying on its company site "it is the only 6-speed
DVD-ROM in the world". By the way, it is the only DVD-ROM in our test, which has a
slot-in insertion opening instead of tray-insertion. However, the same company has
developed a DVD-103S's twin-brother, which is much dearer to me personally (actually, I do
not impose my likes) since it has a tray I'm so much used to.
Terratec Promedia 07:07 am - Kan
Something new over at 3DHardware is the Terratec Promedia soundcard review.
However, this is a ISA sound card... :)
The DSP chip is what makes the card
appealing, hosting real-time, hardware accelerated effects such as a four-band equalizer,
chorus, reverb and the previously mentioned spatializer.
The I/O of the chip comes in form of one stereo input and two separate stereo outputs and
a serial link to the system. The serial link can emulate a standard MPU-401 MIDI interface
and can transfer samples or other audio from or to the DSP at a rate of around 1500
kb/sec. Its this that enables the card to perform harddrive recording/playback on a
relatively low-end PC. The chip allows for stuff like simultaneous harddisk recording and,
for example MP3 player are running, all without any extra processor strain! This is done
by its support for multiple separate audio channels, all acting like separate stereo
soundcards with individual volume settings etc.
Redline 06:50 am - Kan
did their review on Redline.
Okay, I still don't have time for games yet. :(
BUT the one thing about this I did not like
was you cant hop in a vehicle that you were just fighting with. The game has them lying
around levels, and you can take those. Oh well. I believe Interstate 82 will have that
option. But each vehicle comes with tailored weapons. Ever seen a mounted shotgun on a
car? You will in here.
PowerVR Series 2 06:50 am - Kan
posted a preview on the PowerVR Series
First of you should know that a
"normal" 3D card renders a scene triangle by triangle and simply stacks them on
each other until there's a finished scene in front of you, the PowerVR architecture
doesn't do that. Instead it divides the scene into different "tiles" and then it
renders each tile one pixel at a time applying all effects needed for that particular
pixel at once, hence there is no overdraw (when the accelerators render a pixel more than
ones it's called overdraw).
AMD K7 Interview 06:45 am - Kan
Incidentally, over at Hardware Central, they have chomped up an interview with AMD
on the K7 processor.
HWC: Currently the L2 cache speeds seem to
be unknown. Should we expect them to debut at 1/3 core speed and go up?
AMD: Sorry, haven't disclosed that yet. Whatever the speed, you shouldn't necessarily
think of it as a process of moving only upwards throughout time. The K7 platform (CPU
included) is scaleable, and offers the ability to meet many different requirements for
different segments of the PC market. By varying the L2 cache size and the speed at which
the cache runs, different "flavors" of the K7 can be targeted at different
applications and markets --- from high-end desktop PCs to workstations etc.
Home PC Link Kit 06:43 am - Kan
posted a review on the Home PC Link Kit.
This thing uses exisitng phone lines and allows simultaneous internet acess from multiple
computers using one internet account as well as sharing of computers and files.
Since I was used to a regular Ethernet
network in house, you might expect me to think that the 1 Mbps speed of HomePNA cards is
slow by comparison. Speed is definitely a relative thing. If you used one computer as a
file server, and installed all of your software there, you would notice the difference
between HomePNA and Ethernet. However for most home users including me, you are going to
use it to share a printer or internet connection, and play some games. There is not
usually going to be a whole lot of file copying from machine to machine on a regular
basis. When I did copy some large files, it seemed somewhat slow, but not ridiculous.
While we were both surfing the net, it took around 10 minutes to copy a 50mb directory
from the one machine to the other.
AMD K6-2 475 MHz 06:41 am - Kan
Read it from PlanetHardware on the official launch of AMD K6-2 475 MHz.
Wow, that's just 25 MHz short of the Pentium III 500 MHz.
AMD today announced the introduction of its
475-MHz AMD-K6®-2 processor with 3DNow! technology. The AMD-K6-2/475 processor offers a
powerful combination of system price and performance and exceeds the clock speed of
Intel's fastest available Pentium® II processor. The AMD-K6-2/475 processor will power a
soon- to-be-released IBM Aptiva consumer personal computer system targeted at the retail
"With the advent of the AMD-K6-2/475
processor, we continue to deliver leading-edge, cost-competitive solutions for the
consumer and small business markets," said Dana Krelle, vice president of marketing
for the Computation Products Group at AMD. "IBM's use of our fastest AMD-K6-2
processor strengthens AMD's leading position in the retail marketplace."
Savage4 Q&A 06:33 am - Kan
Hardware scored an interview
with S3's Mark Hirsch on the upcoming Savage4. Read what Mark has to say.
speed (MHz) does the Savage4 attain? Are there different versions (processor MHz/memory
configs)? Pixel/Triangle ratings?
Mark: The SavageGT will
ship at 125 MHz/125MHz (engine clock/memory clock) and the SavagePro will ship at
125MHz/143 MHz. Keep in mind though that our internal specs are quite conservative and
that our yields on higher speed Savage4 parts has been really good. It's quite possible
that you will see a 143MHz/143MHz Savage4-based card on retail shelves.
Voodoo3 3000 Review 06:33 am - Kan
posted a review on the Voodoo3
3000. Enuff said about this card. :)
The 3000 ONLY comes in the AGP flavor, so
if for some strange reason you're looking to fill an PCI slot then look elsewhere to the
Voodoo3 2000. The layout of an STB Velocity 4400 board resembles the Voodoo3 3000 (and
indeed 2000). Except
there's a bloody great, huge, massive, heat sink (well as the
picture of the board shows, it's BIG). As bizarre as the heat sink looks, it seems to do
the job it's meant to do adequately. That is to say we never experienced any lock ups
whatsoever during the three day benchmarking period (no Easter bunnies for us folks).
Another plus point of a heat sink as opposed to an on-board fan, is that there's no extra
Everbody Chill! 06:33 am - Kan
Our bud over at Bxboards
has a chill-out article on some extreme
cooling for your processor. Check it out!
Immediately to the right of the SECC, we
see the Heat Transfer Plate. Unlike the CPU forming the basis of the HardOCP article, my
transfer plate DOES come into contact with the L2 cache chips and, therefore, I left the
assembly intact. The main heatsink is an aftermarket Antec unit with dual fans. It costs
about $28US and I bought mine at MicroCenter.
You'll also notice that I have foregone powering this array from the 3-pin header on the
BH6. I've already returned one BH6 for fan header failure and I'm not doing the mobo
"tee-tee" dance again. Fan monitoring is sacrificed, unfortunately.
Messiah Preview 06:29 am - Kan
There's something new over at ReviewZone, including a Messiah preview as
well as their updated TNT2 vs
Messiah is a third-person action game,
similar in principle to games like Tomb Raider. The protagonist is not, however, a buxom,
gun-toting adventuress but an angel by the unlikely name of Bob, who may be described
cherubic on the outside and pugnacious on the inside. He needs to be, though, because God
has sent him to sin-soaked and decadent old Earth to prevent Satan from initiating
Armageddon (No, not the movie).
Voodoo3 Preview 06:27 am - Kan
sent note on their Voodoo3
Well, the quest for the ultimate 3D card
is part and parcel of EVERY gamers life. EVERY gamers wanted a super duper fast 2D/3D card
so as "TO PLAY THE GAME THE WAY IT SHOULD BE PLAYED". With no less than 60fps,
the higher the better. 32-Bit colors seem to be a must for the best possible on screen
vivid color display. Z Buffer, Stencil Buffer, Frame Buffer and all the rest of the
technologies being used inside one teeny weenie fabricated chip.
|5 April 1999 - Monday
|SuperCooler 23:00 pm - Kan
After reviewing the JustCooler, AGN Hardware went ahead and trashed out the Jameco
SuperCooler. Boy, this thing looks a lot like my digital alarm clock :)
The unit is simple. It combines a
standard 2 fan bay cooler with a digital unit that keeps track of the time, 2 temperature
probes, and several heat alarms. The fans are capable of blowing 5.3 CFM each.
Each fan is covered by a plastic grill which covers a very thin, replaceable air
filter. The Fans can be toggled on or off using one of the buttons on the front of
the unit, or can be controlled by a heat alarm to kick in when things get a bit too hot.
Starlancer 22:54 pm - Kan
another preview on Starlancer
by Microsoft. Gosh, Microsoft is coming out lots of new games lately.
Starlancer features a strong immersive
story line based on the dynamic history of 20th century warfare. The digital effects team
who have just completed the effects for the Wing Commander movie will be creating all the
cinematics for Starlancer with more then 30 minutes of Hollywood-quality full-motion video
cinematics, 6,000 unique speech samples, and 40 custom composed music tracks
Sound and Immersion 22:53 pm - Kan
There is a special feature article over at 3Dsoundsurge on Sound and Immersion.
A rather interesting piece on what sound is all about.
Sound can be *felt*, literally. Extreme
low frequencies can cause nausea, and extreme highs can cause restlessness. A constant
sound pressure can be maintained to manipulate the audience's physical sensation. Go watch
a sci-fi thriller in a movie theatre with a good speaker system. Listen for that "low
rumble"when unspeakable horrors lurk around the corner. The low rumble is meant to
physically stimulate the audience (subliminally, of course) into feeling anticipation and
nervousness. Hitchcock was very fond of this technique.
DSL Internals 21:16 pm - Kan
Over at Avault,
there is an editorial on the internals of
DSL modems. Check out how the DSL send data up and down your telephone line.
Modulators are devices to send data over a
channel -- they're the transmit side of a modem. The essential function of every modulator
is to apply a data stream to a carrier. When that happens, the spectrum -- the range of
frequencies -- occupied by the carrier widens by an amount proportional to the rate of the
data stream. Apply a slow data stream and the spectrum broadens only slightly; apply a
fast stream and the spectrum broadens noticeably.
Elitegroup P6BXT-A+ 07:39 am - Kan
Our bud over at iXBT posted another motherboard review, this time it's
the Elitegroup P6BXT-A+
The first thing that catches your eye when
you take this exotic P6BXT-A+ mainboard is a really strange combination of two different
slots - Slot1 and Socket370. And no matter what CPU you install (a SECC, or a PPGA), the
mainboard will detect your processor type automatically. If you are a curious and risky
person and install 2 CPUs in both slots simultaneously, the system won't even start. No
wonder, since it is not a dual processor mainboard but is simply intended rather for CPU
up- or downgrade. :)
4th Coming 06:53 am - Kan
Review by Singularity. Actually, editing this website is the
most interesting game. :)
||Unlike non-RPGs, The 4th Coming is not
about winning. Its a simulation that allows you to interact with dozens of other
players whose goals may sometimes coincide with yours, sometimes oppose them. As in real
life, you have to deal with other players on an individual basis. Some will be
treacherous, some will be helpful. With time, you will learn who can be trusted and who
USB VideoBus 06:48 am - Kan
Workshop had an interesting review on the Belkin USB VideoBus.
This thing allows you to capture from video sources thru USB! Ingenious...
To record audio, users have to plug in
the RCA-to- mini-stereo plug cable. Beware that Belkins VideoBus does not use USB to
carry the audio signal to the PC. I think Belkin has considered video already occupied
over 60% (8Mbps maximum according to the Belkins specification) of the USB
bandwidth. Having audio to share USB bandwidth would be unwise. Video resolution may have
to lower in order to archive this. So, sound cards have to do the audio recording. This is
not what I expect but USBs 12Mbps bandwidth cannot do everything. Only if you wish
to record full multimedia movie, you dont really need the audio cable.
Leaderboard 06:45 am - Kan
whipped up their Leaderboard,
which is basically a short summaries of recommended drives available.
Here we'll briefly describe the drives we
believe are the best in some given categories. Note that we don't believe these capsule
comments are any substitute for reading the full reviews of the drives you're considering.
Guillemot T Leader 3D 06:21 am - Kan
posted a review on the Guillemot
T Leader 3D. I wonder why it's T-shaped, perhaps to rest on your beer tummy?
As you can see by the pictures, the gamepad
is shaped like a T as the name implies, and has a variety of buttons, controls and modes.
On the right side there are the standard 6 buttons. From the top of the controller it has
the push buttons, one for the left hand and one for the right hand. Beyond that it has a
button for when you are holding the bottom of the "T", a digital D-Pad, plus the
bonus of a small analog joystick. If that isn't enough, there's a sliding throttle
control, auto fire mode, and a mode selector for digital, Thrustmaster, and CH, which sets
the controller up for each game accordingly. Just the variety of options on this gamepad
is what impressed me the most.
Memory Guide 06:12 am - Kan
Memory Guide article over
at SharkyExtreme. Memory plays an important
role in computer performance. Oh, so does cache and bus speed. So does everything. Okay,
I'm sprouting nonsense again...
All DRAM memory designs have the same basic
core, and thus the same internal speeds and relatively large latency periods. Various
schemes have been developed over the years to optimize or hide these limitations,
sometimes improving one while having a negative effect on another. Unfortunately, because
of the relatively high cost of SRAM, and the extremely competitive nature of the industry,
DRAM is still the only real option for large amounts of system memory and for use in
graphics subsystems. SRAM memory is generally used only for cache, either externally (on
the motherboard) or internally (small amounts built into the processor or DRAM chip).
JustCooler 05:48 am - Kan
Hardware did a review on the JustCooler
hard drive cooler. In my opinion, it's totally useless (err..I mean the cooler!).
One of the biggest arguments against SCSI
hard drives is the amount of heat they create. The drives are big, they spin very
fast, and they generate a tremendous amount of heat. Some won't even use SCSI drives
because of the heat. They say that the price and heat are simply not worth the speed
increases. For those of you who know otherwise, this review is for you.
Baseball 2000 05:32 am - Kan
a game preview on Microsoft
Baseball 2000. This game looks kinda cool.
||Microsoft Baseball 2000 looks to be one
of the good sport games that will come in the next two or three months. As always when it
comes to Microsoft so can we believe that the game will be extremely well done and
everything will work from the beginning. That means no bugs or anything like that (now are
we talking Microsoft games and not the operating system).
House Of The Dead 2 00:17 am - Wilfred
Boon Kiat has returned with what he calls a
'first-look' on Sega's House
Of The Dead 2 for the Dreamcast console. Nah, I wouldn't call it a 'first look' if you
find 9 whopping pages on what he thinks of the game! =)
"I can safely say that the
Dreamcast version seems 100% arcade perfect for those levels. There are no slowdowns and
the textures are as crisp as they were, all running in high resolution, like the
"... the cheesy music, and the great
graphics and great animation will keep you hooked on the game, and just going back for
Wilfred Coughs 00:13 am - Wilfred
Forgot in my last posting to ask (again) for
your participation in the new poll! And don't let the discussions in the forums die down! Arrghh... stomach's rumbling
in hunger - methinks I need some food.
Aural Fixation: 19 Speakers
Review 00:08 am - Wilfred
posted a huge 19
speakers roundup and if you are in the market for a pair of good speakers, allow
yourself a little time to read this review first.
Still suffering with the tinny, buzzy speakers that came with your
PC? The sound in games has been improving steadily, and we now enjoy CD-quality music and
sound effects, sometimes even in 3D. This cornucopia of sonic wonders may be lost on you
if your speakers aren't up to par.
|4 April 1999 - Sunday
7 Results. You wished! 20:07
pm - Wilfred
Hiak! Hiak! If some divine intervention takes
place right now, you guys might have your wishes granted right away! If you industry gods
are listening... then come on!!!!! Give it to us!!!!!
It came as a little
surprise more people voted for faster Internet connection than for stable Windows.
<applause for Mr Gates!>
Kenwood CL-701 Speakers 18:52 pm - Kan
over at HardwareCentral. Nope, I don't
have money to buy a pair for you babe.
The human ear can hear from 20Hz to 20000Hz
(20kHz). The CL-701 claims to be able to cover that entire frequency range, although with
the omission of an extra ''tweeter'' driver in the satellites, sounds in the higher treble
frequencies will probably tend to be lost or indistinguishable from the mid-ranges. The
speakers were tested with all kinds of sounds, ranging from MP3's and CD's of every genre,
and gaming. The satellites seemed to put out quality sound, with almost no static, even at
high volume levels.
Tyan Thunderbolt 18:49 pm - Kan
boy had another new review, the Tyan Thunderbolt GX
Dual Slot1 motherboard. Yup, it's based on the GX chipset with onboard UW SCSI,
10/100 ethernet, supports up to 6 PCI slots and all the goodies you can ever dream of
Two final improvements were made to make
the Thunderbolt Tyan's newest flagship product, the first being the removal of the DEC
PCI-to-PCI bridge, and the second being the inclusion of a second ATX power connector for
cases with dual power supplies to help balance the power load in do-or-die server
situations. Speaking of which, if you've ever run a dual processor system, you'll
know that cooling can become a hassle, and with a large number of fans spinning away in
your case, you may have a tendency to run out of available power connectors for all of the
fans. Tyan's solution? The Thunderbolt features a total of 5 on-board fan
connectors, three of which are positioned around the two slot-1 interface connectors. Not
too shabby for cooling expansion.
Shuttle HOT-597 18:45 pm - Kan
Another Socket7 board based on
the VIA MVP3 is reviewed by LostCircuits.
Actually, Socket7 will really be dead if not for AMD processors.
In addition to the documented jumper
settings for CPU multiplier and bus speed, there are the undocumented settings for 112 MHz
and 124 MHz that are (SW1, 1-3) ON, OFF< ON for 112 MHz and OFF, ON, OFF for 124 MHz.
Typical for the MVP3 chipset there is a jumper selection for setting the memory speed to
FSB or AGP frequency by jumper JP9. In times when the lower bus frequencies are still used
as an alternative to reach clock speed values in between what can be achieved beyond the
100 MHz boundary, the PCI divider of 1/3 kicks in as early as 83 MHz. This is certainly of
benefit for those that are stuck with a AMD K6-2 /66 not reaching the 100 MHz bus
Elimination of Slot-1
Celeron 18:42 pm - Kan
You heard it man. Intel is going to eliminate
the Slot-1 design on all Celeron microprocessors, according to EBNews.
Intel Corp. has decided to eliminate the
"slot" design from its Celeron microprocessors, according to customers briefed
by Intel earlier this week.
The change will take place with the release
of the 466-MHz Celeron, expected about April 26. Instead, the Celeron will ship only in
the 370-pin "socketed" plastic PGA in order to eliminate the incremental
packaging costs associated with the printed-circuit board and connector used in the
"standard" Celeron package.
Search Engine Up! 14:40 pm - Kan
Well, it sure took darn long, but it's up and
available at here. My gratitude to Jason Birch on helping me get the whole thing up
(without Viagra!) Whew...
Anand: 3Dfx Voodoo 3 14:20 pm - Wilfred
also posted a "can-you-believe-it's-33-pages-long" review on the V3
today. The real show starts after page 7, but I was all giddy by the time I came to the
3dfx did a good job with the Voodoo3, it
wasn't a stellar production on 3dfx's part, the lack of 32-bit color rendering and AGP
texturing support are among the two biggest gripes you'll have with the video card, and
its lack of a true OpenGL ICD will keep most professionals from going down the path of the
Voodoo3 as most professional 3D rendering programs require a fully functional OpenGL ICD
to work properly. The 2D performance and 2D quality of the Voodoo3 are amazing,
considering just last year 3dfx was a 3D-only company, whereas now they are going head to
head with companies like Matrox that have been boasting their incredible 2D image quality
for quite some time now.
Fixes for Internet Explorer
5 and Win98 14:00 pm - Wilfred
The Register reports that
Microsoft has issued the fixes for the Win98 "49.7 days" bug as well a patch to
remove the hardware ID from your Windows system. An updated build of IE5 is available for
And another reader has since reported:
"If you're like me and haven't been to Windows Update for a long time, it's time to
pay a visit. Several patches for Windows 98 have been released and there are several
additional updates available. Most notable are the fixes for the 49.7 day bug and the
highly controversial hardware ID number given to your system during online registration.
"Microsoft has also updated both Internet Explorer 4.0 and 5.0. The updated release
of IE 5.0 went relatively unnoticed, although it most likely fixes the bugs that
accompanied the initial March 18 version. The update is only available through a complete
IE 5.0 download. The new version is IE 5.00.2314.1003 compared with the original
The first reader to notice the changes
said: "Did you know there appears to be IE5 service release already? The main fix is
to the MS Data Access components (MDAC)." Check out this place
"This site suggests there is an IE5a release that includes the fixed MDAC 2.1. (It
also suggests Office 2000 has actually been shipped as it says the update is included in
Voodoo 3 3000 Review 13:53 pm - Wilfred
has got a short review
on 3Dfx's Voodoo 3 3000. So we have the real thing in testers' hands, do we have a verdict
So here I sit, watching 3Dfx fight a
determined rear-guard action with Voodoo3. There's the $20 million ad campaign - not
targeted at you or me, mind you, but at people who know little about computers and whose
gameplaying experiences lie more with consoles than PCs. There's the argument that 32-bit
doesn't matter in today's games, and 3Dfx does 22-bit equivalent rendering. There's the
argument that 32MB cards are too expensive (someone better tell Creative Labs that).
Still, it will probably work because Voodoo3 is the final chapter in a mature technology.
Because it's a mature technology, it brings to the table excellent performance in today's
games and puts what was once a two-card, six-chip solution into a single board. There are
limitations to the current Voodoo3 architecture: no 32-bit output for 3D, 16MB maximum
memory, no bump mapping, and no stencil buffers.
Tech-Junkie Revamps 13:41 pm - Wilfred
Ever shooting for higher heights and newer
frontiers, our fellow caffiene addicts revamps Tech-Junkie.
Don't miss Issue 1 of the new funky
online magazine - Update: 15:19 pm => particularly their latest review on all 4 of ATI's
Is it just us? Has the world gone mad?
Seriously. The Rage128 would be a great card if ATI gets their act together and releases
some good drivers. We want all our games to run, regardless of what DirectX version. We
want 3DMark99MAX to run. And we want the TV Out to work. We've seen the true power of the
Rage128 in the Rage Dawning Demo. It looks great, some say better than the TNT. But if we
can't even play most of our games, something is VERY wrong.
Preview: MS Midtown Madness 12:10 pm - Wilfred
has a preview on the
upcoming luny game from Microsoft. Take a look at what Midtown Madness will bring:
With so many streets to explore I loved
taking random turns through the city just to admire the scenery, see how the traffic
works, and such. However, this game isn't about obeying the rules - it's about breaking
them and doing crazy, reckless stuff you always wished you could do! Tear around corners,
run red lights, and crash into cars. Drive through glass shop facades. Plow through rows
and rows of parking meters and spill out the change. Knock over trash cans and newspaper
machines. As you damage your car, you'll see smoke pouring from your hood and
dents/cracked glass on your car body. These damage marks will only appear in the locations
that you damaged your car!
Pentium III Review 10:49 am - Kan
Our bud over at iXBT sent note on their latest review on the Pentium III 500 Mhz. Though I will
prefer the K7 when it comes out, this processor is the best out there now (almost).
||SECC2 represents a sort of an intermediate
link between a standard SECC and its complete absence. Cartridge SECC2 has lost its front
part, the one where the cooler is usually fastened. And this is another big advantage
because now the radiator touches the chip and not the separating metallic plate pressed to
the core. It means superior heat dissipation in SECC2, and the true evidence of this
statement is the outlook of Pentium III sample, which we have received for testing: it has
just a pin radiator without any coolers
Tech Zone 10:45 am - Kan
I wonder how many of you remember, but Kraemer
moved his Tech Zone to PCVelocity. Previously, it
was at Redwood's site where he discussed his
rantings on the PC industry. Hear what he has to say.
Understanding the K7 10:42 am - Kan
Hardware sent note on their latest article, Understanding the K7.
Have a look right away!
Initial K7 systems will be based on PC100
SDRAM, since this will be the only mass market technology available in June when the K7 is
scheduled to launch. The memory market is currently in a bit of chaos, and since AMD is
not driving the memory market, we will have to adapt to whatever memory technology emerges
as the winner.
We should have RDRAM support by the end of
the year, and there may be support for PC133 and DDR-SDRAM.
|3 April 1999 - Saturday
|ATX Reviews 15:15 pm - Kan
You guys gotta check the photos over at HotHardware on the ATX casing. It must be the
easiest to install casing I've ever seen! Anyway, check out their trash out with 4 ATX casings.
When is the last time you thought about
your system chassis? It was probably when you had to get into it to replace a card or
processor. Perhaps it was when you made the jump to ATX from the AT form factor when you
bought that cool new Pentium 2 Motherboard. Regardless, you probably didn't give it much
consideration beyond how fancy it looked. The fact is, a good case with power supply is
one of the most important aspects of your system. It is the foundation on which you build
the custom PC of your own unique design. So let's take a look at a few options in the ATX
case market and hopefully show you a new home for your precious high tech. cargo.
ATI Fury 128 15:05 pm - Kan
Our bud over at Overclockers Workbench posted a
review on the ATI Fury 128.
Catch what they have to say on this card.
ATI's RAGE FURY 32MB and RAGE 128
technology offers the fastest 3D acceleration for incredible 3D gameplay. With full 3D
acceleration in all modes and color depths in resolutions up to 1920x1200 at 32bpp, RAGE
FURY will bring your power-hungry, graphics intensive 3D games and entertainment
applications alive. Together with an advanced set of 3D features including triangle setup
engine, ATI's new SuperScalar Rendering technology (SSR), twin cache architecture,
complete alpha blending, video textures, texture lighting, RAGE FURY's 3D performance at
super light frame rates delivers smooth animation, rich and realistic lighting effects and
Cough, Cough 07:27 am - Kan
Looks like I'm coughing nowadays. Anyway, just
to ask, do you guys ever click on those colourful banners on top? :)
We just received our monthly server bill and I guess I need
to get some more KY...$200 and 800 MB transferred per day ain't really what I expected.
Enough rants, click on those banners will ya? :)
Soyo SY-D6IBA 07:10 am - Kan
Looking for a dual motherboard for those 300As
of yours? How about the Soyo
SY-D6IBA reviewed by Freak! ?
I'm sure all of you hard core people out
there are wondering "what about overclocking?". Despite the lack of voltage
controls, the SY-D6IBA overclocks fairly well. I easily ran a single SECC Celeron 300A at
450 and SL2W8 Pentium II-300s at 450. The 66, 68, and 75 Mhz bus speeds work very well
with the on-board SCSI. 83Mhz is another story. I generally don't recommend the 83Mhz
since most SCSI devices hate it and a lot of IDE drives also don't like it. There are a
lot sites that show overclocking at 83Mhz as a very viable option but I think you should
really stay away from it since it stresses both the AGP and PCI buses way over their
IDT WinChip2 300 Review 06:42 am - Kan
took a shot at the IDT
WinChip2 300 processor. Are these processors ever good?
A year later, IDT introduced the
successor to this chip, still based on its sibling's older design but with several key
improvements: the addition of a pipelined FPU, 3dnow! instructions, both of which amount
to a 2x improvement in FPU and higher clock speeds of 200 to 240 (although still
relatively low by today's standards). In 1997, the three alternative processor companies
at that time, AMD, Cyrix and IDT introduced proprietary 3D SIMD (single instruction
multiple data) instruction sets as a measure to raise their 3d gaming level to that of
Intel's Pentium II.
Aztech 368DSP 06:38 am - Kan
posted the Aztech 368DSP soundcard
review. One thing special about this card is that it's base on QSound, utilizing the
Thunderbird 128 soundchip from VLSI.
The Aztech 368DSP also features
soundtechnology such as QMSS and QXpander.
QMSS is an abbreviation of QSound Multi-Speaker System, and what it does is to expand
normal stereo sound to 4 speakers. Basically, QMSS is nothing more than enabling 4 speaker
support for any stereo soundsource - nothing really special.
What QXpander does is Stereo-to-3D
conversion, producing "3D" sound from just two speakers. This feature is exactly
something you'd use frequently, as it doesn't sound that good, plus the fact that the
368DSP actually does support 4 speaker output.
Reviews 06:32 am - Kan
Guys, check out Singularity, a daily updated gaming site. They have
the following articles available:
EtherFast 10/100 8-Port 06:23 am - Kan
Hardware posted a review on the EtherFast
10/100 8-port switch.
While a Hub has a total bandwidth (10Mbps
or 100mbps) that is shared between all of the connected computers, a Switch has a
dedicated bandwidth for each connection.
This means that a 100base-TX Switch has a
dedicated 200Mbps per port in full duplex mode! Bandwidth like that makes a switch
the ideal migration for a growing LAN running off of only Hubs, because each port can
power a 100base-TX Hub without breaking a sweat.
Dual 370. Keith Is Away 02:14 am - Wilfred
Hi People! Keith just mailed me a short note
in his tiredness. See, he's just been enlisted to perform national service in the armed
forces so he's only back for weekends, tired and all. He will be replying to mails on the Dual 370 article selectively. We ask of
your understanding. =)
Melissa's Suspect Captured 02:10 am - Wilfred
Saw over at AGN3D
a news posting about the above-mentioned. ABCNews.com
reported the following:
David L. Smith, 30, of Aberdeen was
arrested Thursday night at his brothers house in nearby Eatontown, said Rita Malley,
a spokeswoman for Attorney General Peter Verniero.
Smith originated the virus, which caused
worldwide e-mail disruption earlier this week, from his apartment in Aberdeen, Malley
said. He is charged with interfering with public communication, which carries a sentence
of five to 10 years in prison and up to a $150,000 fine, Verniero said. Smith was released
on $100,000 bail.
Melissa appeared last Friday and spread
rapidly around the world on Monday like a malicious chain letter, causing affected
computers to fire off dozens of infected messages to friends and colleagues and swamping
e-mail systems. It disrupted the operations of thousands of companies and government
agencies whose employees were temporarily unable to communicate by e-mail.
Smith was snared with the help of America
Online technicians, and a computer task force composed of federal and state agents, Malley
Another Kenwood 52X TrueX
Review 01:26 am - Wilfred
The crew at WickedPC
also kicked up a review on
the Kenwood 52X TrueX CDROM drive. Hey, somebody bring this drive onto my island's shores
There's nothing else to say, except that
Kenwood scored bigtime with this drive. Not only is it fast, but it's reliable as we've
heard. Their first drive (the 40x40) had a lot of failure problems, where suddenly you
couldn't read a CD anymore. From what I've seen so far, this is a null issue with the 52x
drives, so you can expect a decent life from the drive. The price is a little bit high,
but then again, it's the fastest CDROM drive in the world.
MidiLand Forzando Plus 01:14 am - Wilfred
Those people at EH are on a streak, read their review on the MidiLand
Forzando Plus speaker systems. This system is actually developed for the low-end market
segment, unlike its other well-know siblings.
"... after using the Forzando Plus
system, I can safely say that theyre more than acceptable and even comparable to
some higher-end speaker systems. Sure, the sound could be a little clearer at times, and
the controls could be improved, but for $79, the Midiland Forzando Plus is an excellent
OpenGL Support For Elsa 3D
Revelator 00:53 am - Wilfred
Pete of Fresh3D
has brought to my attention the following, and I ask you to support their efforts as a
sort of petition.
Wanna play Quake with your Elsa 3D
Revelator? So you need a full stereo-supported OpenGl MCD/ICD for your Elsa board - a
driver which, as of now, is not planned by Elsa. Send this mail
to helping us to convince them that we need this driver! And check out the mail below we
got from Ole-Morton from Norway who is supporting us!
|2 April 1999 - Friday
Preview 18:25 pm - Kan
a Savage (wow!) posted a preview on the Savage4.
Check out what Savage4 has to offer.
The most significant new feature seen here
is the single-pass multi-texturing support, which the Savage3D lacked. This is where
in a single pass multiple textures can be rendered on the same pixel. The long
awaited feature which some say should have been in the Savage3D.
The Savage4 features a dual-texturing
pipeline which means that the Savage4 can render 2 textures on a single pixel in a single
pass. Initally it was thought to have a dual rendering pipeline but we soon found
otherwise. There are several other features which stand out like the hardware bumpmapping,
the stencil buffer etc.
AMD Interview 18:20 pm - Kan
scored an interview with AMD on topics ranging from the K7, 3DNow!, overclocking to AMD's
future plan. Check
the interview out!
AMD: No doubt the Celeron 300A is
widely-regarded as the king of overclocking, but that is really not something you are
likely to see a manufacturer touting anytime soon. Often, there are specific reliability
and manufacturing issues that determine the speed grade at which we ship a CPU. We don't
recommend overclocking ---in fact it voids the warranty -- but that doesn't stop folks
from doing it. I think the overclockability of the Celeron 300A is probably not a good
measure of the typical performance gain one should expect to see from any CPU. As for the
gaming community, 3DNow! has definitely been well received and helped us with these folks.
When we introduce the K7 later this year (with a completely re-designed floating point
unit) gamers should have a great new high-end platform
Soyo SY-V6BE+ 10:43 am - Kan
wrote a review on the Soyo SY-V6BE+
based on the Apollo Pro chipset.
The SY-V6BE+ is based on the trusty 1+4+3
layout, making it hold one AGP (1.0) card, three ISA cards and, yes, you guessed it, 4 PCI
cards. The design is getting a bit aged ans not many people have three ISA cards worth
using nowadays, whereas a lot have four PCIs. But as ISA cards stille exist, hey,
some manufacturers actually still produce ISA cards, I cant really say its a
minus. Its just not being very innovative, thats all.
Moving on to the memory the SY-V6BE+ supports 768Mb of ram in three DIMM sockets, in form
of 256Mb modules. Nothing special, although it will certainly be enough for almost anyone.
Metabyte Interview 10:43 am - Kan
Hardware did an interview
with Wicked3D on their PGC Technology. Check out the juice:
Recently I had the opportunity to speak
with Kerry Philpott over at Metabyte about their upcoming Wicked3D PGC technology. In a
nutshell, Metabyte has devised a way of getting any two 3D video cards to work in
parallel, similar to what 3Dfx has been doing with SLI with their Voodoo 2. One main
difference between the SLI and PGC is that SLI splits the screen up by the horizontal
lines (even and odd lines) and distributes it equally to the two cards, whereas PGC
technology splits up regions of the screen.
Windows 9x System Cleanup
Guide 10:40 am - Kan
had a Windows 9x cleanup tweak guide up.
If your computer is feeling sluggish these days, you better be reading what the guys have
It has been a few months or longer since
you last made a clean reinstall of your OS. The overall performance of the computer is
beginning to suffer, a product of unused DLL's cluttering up the system folder, and the
overall obesity of the registry files which Windows does a terrible job of managing. A
feeling of dread is clouding over the workspace in which the computer resides. It's time
to reinstall the OS. But wait! That painful process of deleting the Windows directory,
reinstalling the operating system, and all of the applications and games CAN be averted.
What follows is nearly a miracle of nature, a renewal of life into a drooping computer.
ATI All-in-Wonder 128 10:36 am - Kan
After Anand posted his ATI All-in-Winder 128
review, Sharky also posted their thoughts on the card.
Powered by ATi's newest 2D/3D accelerator
chip, the Rage 128GL, the All-In-Wonder 128 supports the same 3D specifications that the
successful Rage Fury card does. What differs the two products is the All-In-Wonder's Video
IN and OUT features. By placing a co-axial cable connector/tuner on the card itself, along
with an S-Video Out port, the All-In-Wonder 128 makes its intentions known to the user
right from the get go. Add in a cable connected "break out box" which holds both
RCA and S-Video IN ports, and you have one of the most well rounded video decoding and
encoding products available for purchase in any price range.
STB Desktop TV Review 10:13 am - Kan
sent note on their STB
Desktop TV review. This card looks cool, allows up to 125 TV channels and switching
between TV, S-Video or composite input mode.
The Desktop TV includes all of the cables
that you will need to get started.It comes with the Desktop TV card (big one here), the FM
Antenna cable, Installation CD-Rom, CD Audio Cable and registration card (have you ever
filled one of these out?). Once you have the card installed in one of your PCI slots, go
ahead and power your computer up. Then Windows 9x "Plug 'n Pray" will initiate
and it should recognize the card and ask for a driver disk. Then you can insert the CD-Rom
provided by STB and then it will ask you to reboot. Upon re-entering Windows, go ahead and
pop that STB CD-Rom back in the drive and an autorun application should appear. You want
to install Visual Reality, once that is done your final reboot awaits.
April 1999 - Thursday
Guide 23:49 pm - Wilfred
sent note of their Overclocking
Guide. Yes, we don't keep count here.. so this could be the 103 guide. For the
unintiated, check it out!
[You get what you pay
for...well, not exactly]
In the case of CPU's, you actually get more than you pay for,
usually. The reason why entails a brief, VERY SIMPLIFIED account of a major vendor's
manufacturing process. When CPU manufacturers produce CPUs out of certain fabrication
plants, or "fabs", they don't actually produce a certain clock speed of CPUs at
a time. What I mean is when Intel, for example, produces PIIIs, they don't actually
produce a whole bunch of PIIIs that are clocked at 500. They make a bunch of PIIIs using
their manufacturing process, and then have to clock the PIIIs to see how fast they should
be sold at. So, the CPUs that are made in a batch can be varying speeds, due a variety of
factors in regards to the very ultra-sensitive process of microprocessor technology.
Buyer's Guide 21:08 pm - Kan
New Buyer's Guide over at SharkyExtreme. If you are shopping for any new
stuff, take a look at what the sharks have to recommend.
The Sharky Extreme staff reviews a whole
caboodle of hardware each and every month. Each and every week we put every newly released
piece of hardware that we get under the hammer. If we like what we see, then it usually
ends up in our systems. 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 February after several long phone
calls and some snowball fights.
ATI All-in-Wonder 128 21:06 pm - Kan
posted the ATI
All-in-Wonder 128 graphics card.
ALL-IN-WONDER 128 is powered by ATI's
newest graphics technology, RAGE 128GL, and up to 32MB of memory to deliver the ultimate
3D experience. This translates into stunning 3D gaming action that your entire family can
enjoy. ALL-IN-WONDER 128 offers full support for DirectX 6.0 and OpenGL and includes a
host of advanced 3D features such as Triangle Setup Engine, SuperScalar Rendering, Single
Pass Multi-texturing and Twin Cache Architecture all of which can process massive graphics
textures resulting in smooth animation and life-like graphics without slowing down
Warning! Read This
Carefully. 10:20 am - Wilfred
Ok people, I'd just received this solemn
letter from Kim. Brace yourselves for a world internet outtage today. Heed the advices
closely. Thanks! (Please direct your comments here)
As many of you know, each year the
Internet must be shut down for 24 hours in order to allow us to clean it. The cleaning
process, which eliminates dead email and inactive ftp, www and gopher sites, allows for a
better-working and faster Internet.
This year, the cleaning process will take
place from 11:59 p.m. GMT on March 31 until 12:01 a.m. GMT on April 2 (the time least
likely to interfere with ongoing work). During that 24-hour period, five powerful Internet
search engines situated around the world will search the Internet and delete any useless
data that they find.
In order to protect your valuable data
from deletion we ask that you do the following:
- Disconnect all terminals and local area
networks from their Internet connections.
- Shut down all Internet servers, or
disconnect them from the Internet.
- Disconnect all disks and hard drives from
any connections to the Internet.
- Refrain from connecting any computer to
the Internet in any way during this time.
- We understand the inconvenience that this
may cause some Internet users, and we apologise. However, we are certain that any
inconveniences will be more than made up for by the increased speed and efficiency of the
Internet, once it has been cleared of electronic flotspam and jetspam.
- We thank you for your cooperation.
Interconnected Network Maintenance staff,
Main branch, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Sysops and others:
Since the last Internet cleaning, the number of Internet users has grown dramatically.
Please assist us in alerting the public of the upcoming Internet cleaning by posting this
message where your users will be able to read it. Please pass this message on to other
sysops and Internet users as well. Thank you. - Comments
Chris Owen's SBLive NG FAQ 10:18 am - Wilfred
Alive! has hosted the NG FAQ posted by Creative's Chris
Owen. Two interesting questions he answered:
When will the next Sound Blaster
Live! driver release occur? What will be in it?
The next driver release for the Sound Blaster Live! will be a big and important one, and,
as with all good software, it will be done when it's done. If you are experiencing bugs,
make sure you have visited http://support.soundblaster.com and filled out the email form
after trying the basic troubleshooting steps. That's the best way to make sure we can
coordinate our testing efforts to duplicate your problem and fix it in our next driver
Linux. What's the scoop?
There's no scoop yet. Creative has hired and trained programmers who are proficient in
Linux device driver programming, and we continue to work on drivers for various products,
including the Sound Blaster Live!. There's no set release date yet.
Epson Photo 750, 1200 And
Stylus 900 10:15 am - Wilfred
Kok Leong's printer crazy site has a couple of new stuff on
board today! Check out his quickie with the Photo 750 and
Stylus 900, as well as a lowdown on the big Photo 1200.
"No surprises that the Photo 750 is
the best of the lot with the Stylus 900 trailing really close. I can easily say that the
Stylus 900 is a photo-printer in its own right even though it only uses 4 colors. If Epson
pushes the envelope of droplet size even further (eg 1 picolitre!), there may well be no
need to go the way of 6 color printing and just sticking it out with 4 colour
"The Stylus 900 can actually be named
the Photo 900! It is a photo-realistic printer to me barring the colour reproduction (less
saturated colors. For instance, the metallic gold looks less golden on the 900 printout) which
I am guessing is a problem with the drivers."
"To summarize, brilliant printer,
though only a few people will be able to extract the best out of it. Having said that,
even with an uncorrected driver, just out of the box, it will print absolutely excellent
colour, better than anything costing many hundreds of dollars more and certainly better
than any HP, Lexmark and the like that I have seen."
Creative Encore 6X
with Dxr3 10:14 am - Wilfred
A new kit is to be borned. Thanks to the
pointer at Alive! you can have a
look at Creative's official page
on this. No wonder prices are falling for the 5X kit. So soon you ask?
The next-generation Creative Dxr3 decoder
board delivers impeccable image quality and provides better processing of color video at
high resolutions. In addition to stunning video, the Dxr3 board takes Dolby Digital (AC-3)
audio and feeds it to a receiver or DeskTop Theater 5.1 for theater-like,
room-shaking audio with a 6-speaker surround system *. Or you can connect Dxr3 to your
Sound Blaster® audio card for great stereo sound.
The versatile Creative PC-DVD 6X drive
reads DVDs at up to 6x speeds, giving you near-instant access to your data. Support for
popular disk types such as DVD-R, CD-R, CD-RW, and CD audio provide seamless access to
your existing data and audio library.
The Seven Best PC Upgrades 10:12 am - Wilfred
You can find this article at GameCenter which will advise you on the few best
things to get for an upgrade. Seven? That's about every major component you'll want to
change excluding the mousepad!
We've heard your cries and put together
some of our favorite upgrades. Some are fun, some are essential, and some may even be
dangerous. But all are guaranteed to add some excitement to the PC gaming experience.
Though most will cost you, it doesn't take much money to make a real difference in how
your system performs. A strategic upgrade now can give your PC that hopped-up feeling
you've missed for so long.
Ultra TNT2 Preview 10:11 am - Kan
whipped up a in-house nVidia
Ultra TNT2 preview. If I were you, this will be my next graphics card. Forget 'bout
the Voodoo3. :)
The 3D feature set is as you'd expect
similar to Nvidia's TNT chipset. The main benefit of the Ultra TNT2 over any past or
present 3Dfx board lies within its ability to utilize larger texture sizes. The Ultra TNT2
is capable of handling textures up to 2048x2048 as opposed to the Voodoo3's more limited
256x256. The 16-bit image quality of the TNT2 is clearly superior to that of the any 3Dfx
based product- including the Voodoo3 (see composite screenshots below). The TNT2 also has
the ability to shift these larger textures with its full support for AGP texturing (the
Voodoo3 doesn't support this feature and uses its own proprietary DME).
Matrox G400 10:03 am - Kan
Our bud Kert
did a preview on the coming Matrox G400.
Read how he describe the architecture of the new chipset.
The 256-bit DualBus architecture comprises
two independent unidirectional 128-bit buses working in parallel. The two internal buffers
store instructions and/or data. On every chip clock cycle, data from the input buffer is
sent to the engine via the 128-bit internal input bus and on the same chip clock cycle,
processed data from the engine is sent back to the output buffer via the 128-bit internal
output bus. The data multiplexing logic manages the data buffers to ensure a constant flow
of data across the dual buses. The potential of dual bus is somewhat limited by an
external 128-bit bidirectional memory bus.
Anatomy of a Re-Marked
PII-333 10:01 am - Kan
What? I'm surprised this wasn't posted up yet.
Ars-Technica did an anatomy of a re-marked
PII-333, and guess what they found inside?
A re-marker maximizes his (or her) profits
just like any good Warren Buffet disciple: he buys low and sells high. Wwere not
talking about stock, though; were talking about MHz. A re-marker buys a chip at a
low MHz rating and overclocks it to the highest possible MHz rating. The greater the
difference between the rating at which he bought it and the rating at which he sells it,
the more money he makes. A 400MHz PII overclocked to 450MHz isnt going to give him
nearly the return that a 300MHz PII overclocked to 450MHz will. So a re-marker usually
buys a CPU designed for a 66MHz bus and sells it at a speed that requires that it be run
on a 100MHz bus. This means that every re-marked CPU has to have the B21-style trick
implemented somewhere on it.
AMD K6-III 09:57 am - Kan
penned their thoughts on the AMD
K6-III processor. Now, if you study hardware architecture, you will know that cache is
a very important factor. ;)
AMD's new TriLevel Cache design implemented
on the K6-III, improves overall PC performance by providing, with the introduction of
Level 3 (L3) cache, the desktop's largest total system cache - up to four times larger
than systems based on the Pentium III processor. Combined with the new XT core's improved
Write Allocate buffer, the on-chip cache goes a long way toward sending the K6-III
skyrocketing to the top of the performance charts for all socket 7 CPUs and evening out
the playing field against Intel's Pentium III.
WingMan Formula Force 09:52 am - Kan
Also check out what PC Sports Games has to say on the Logitech WingMan Formula Force
feedback wheel. Don't forget to check out our dear Flashman's review
The Wingman Profiler is the configuration
software included with the racing unit. It allows you to assign game commands to the
buttons found on the wheel to create new game profiles. How does it work? Lets say, for
example, that I just installed Viper Racing and I want to create a new game profile. I
would click on "create new game profile" and then on "create from
scratch". From here you would be prompted to find the game on your computer and add
its executable to the profiler. Once this profile was added you could choose it and then
edit the game commands to your liking. You can edit any button or pedal on the racing
Plextor UltraPlex 40X Max
Wide 09:11 am - Wilfred
A 9 out of 10 stars rating. AGN3D has a review
on Plextor's latest ultra-wide SCSI CDROM drive that sports super low CPU utilisation and
seek times as well as great performance!
You have to love when you get more from a
product than you had expected. I already knew that I liked Plextor drives, but my
expierences with this UltraPlex 40x WIDE CD-ROM have really convinced me that their drives
are superior. I do not feel that you should run out and replace your 40x Max drive with a
Plextor 40x Max WIDE drive, but if you are looking for a new SCSI CD-ROM, I think it would
be a waste to buy anything else.
AMD K7 Preview 09:05 am - Wilfred
Yes, the hardworking folks at ReviewZone has another one for you! Read their preview on
AMD's K7 processor, and let them prepare you for its coming!
While it does throw some hurdles at market
acceptance technically the EV6 is quite a wonder. While not as radical as Suns Packet
Crossbar architecture EV6 does bring a few benefits over GTL+. For one it's expected to
debut at 200 Mhz. This is quite a bit higher than Intel's upcoming 133 Mhz bus. Secondly
it's designed to work all the way up to 400 Mhz leaving room for future expansion... What
ends up running at 200 Mhz is the part of the bus that links the CPU and the core logic
chipset (in the case of the PII the BX chipset). The memory bus can run at a snug 133 or
Morning People! *Coughs* 08:53 am - Wilfred
Caught in a heavy downpour in the heart of my
little neighbourhood. Breakfast was a cold and windy one as I chomped on noodles from the
kopi-tiam. So April's Fool day it is! What do we have for you? Errmm.. nothing really, but
you can check this The Hamster Dance then The McBlink Dance
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