|21 April 1999 - Wednesday
Connection Guide 15:11 pm - Kan
put up a Internet Connection Guide.
56k modem too slow? Try other options like DSL, cable, satellitle and more!
Depending on a number of factors including
where you live, who you get your service from, and what kind of cable modem you have, you
will see throughputs of anywhere from 500K/second to 20Mb/second or even 30Mb/second.
Upload speeds are usually not symmetric (the same as) your download speeds, but are
generally very high as well - frequently, upload speeds are measured in megabits, just
like the downstream rate. In a nutshell, cable modems have the potential to provide ultra
high speed connects, always on service, and relatively low prices. Sounds pretty good
right? Is cable the holy grail of internet connectivity?
Singnet DNS Server
Down 13:24 pm - Wilfred
Got a shock of my life and I thought my Magix
died on me again when all everything refused to load on my browser. Then I found out the
DNS server was down. Fiddlesticks!
Your Heatsink. Their
Heatsink. 13:15 pm - Wilfred
What's a heatsink? Things with fins sticking
out of them? Mmm.. almost. But how do you tell the good ones from the bad? HardOCP has got a new article for ya!
How do you recognize a good heatsink from a
not so good one, and more importantly what makes a good heatsink work. Is it the material
used, the way it is build, or simply how powerful its fans are. These questions come
around quite often, I get mails on a regular basis from people asking if they should spend
that extra cash on a heatsink made out of some special aluminum alloy or even copper. Is
there any gain if your heatsink is made out of copper, does this really affect performance
that much. Ill try to shed a different light on things and give you the lowdown on
how to recognize a good heatsink from a not so good one.
Creative Savage 4
Pre-Order 13:10 pm - Wilfred
Whoopee! Fellowman, have you seen the
pre-order coupons for Creative's Savage 4 in today's Computer Times? S$229 for a 32Mb
card. Not bad huh? Be sure to pop over Zone A to check out the card in action.
Windows Convergence To
Happen? 11:22 am - Wilfred
Over at CoolInfo, I read Mr
Gates' promise that via a kernel upgrade next year, Windows 2000 will be updated and
brought into the consumer markets. If this is real magic and not another empty promise, I
really want to see this happen soon!
The kernel of Windows 2000--the current
name for the next release of Windows NT--will be updated next year to take the operating
system into consumer markets, Microsoft chief Bill Gates said here on Monday. Gates
demonstrated the upcoming operating system during his opening keynote this morning at the
Spring Comdex show and followed up with comments about Windows 2000 during the Microsoft
Insider's Summit this afternoon.
Gates seemed to indicate that the company's
Window NT and Windows 98 lines are heading toward convergence. "We think it's a lot
better to have one kernel that we're focusing on," he said, adding that "the
next turn of the crank" in 18 to 24 months would find the OS kernel updated for
consumer use on PCs.
FreeSpace 2 Announced 11:10 am - Wilfred
Interplay has announced Freespace 2
coming winter 99. Yeah, now aside from the Wing Commander series, I've got another award
winning franchise to watch out for! Space sim fans rejoice!
FreeSpace 2 will offer players significant
new gameplay advances, including the most engaging dogfighting ever seen in a space combat
simulation, all new single and multiplayer missions, and immersive nebula effects that
will add an all new dimension to the space combat genre.
Requiem Review 11:05 am - Wilfred
Tempting me again. GameCenter has a review on Requiem.
Yes, great graphics and a seemingly interesting storyline. I think I may want to check
this out very soon.
Requiem's most impressive feature is the
way these powers are folded into the game--they flow naturally from the subject matter.
Not since the Force powers in Jedi Knight have a game's "spells" been so
innovative and smoothly integrated into the story line. You can inflict locusts on your
enemies, boil their blood, or turn them into salt. This salt effect is one of the most
enjoyable attacks I've seen in a first-person shooter. If you became giddy when freezing
your enemies and then smashing them into ice cubes in Hexen, you'll love watching them
turn into pillars of salt and then dissolve in Requiem. Just as ingenious is the ability
to warp time into slow motion, allowing for some John Woo-style firefights. Your angel
learns to fly, throw brimstone fireballs, possess enemies, and convert them to help him
Slashdot Effect 10:58 am - Wilfred
posted about the Slashdot
Effect and what it's like to be 'Slashdotted'. Well, it is the dream and also
nightmare of any web administrator to be given this honour.
Slashdot (http://slashdot.org) boasts not
only a nearly unpronounceable URL, but also a readership of more than 70 000 hard-core
geeks. The slogan "News for nerds - stuff that matters" is well suited to a site
that gathers information from all around the Internet in search of news of interest to its
Linux-loving fans. Readers have a certain pride in the "Slashdot effect", caused
by thousands of users pouncing on an unsuspecting site simultaneously when a link is
posted on Slashdot. The effect and the term "Slashdotted" are now in wide use
after being listed in Wired Magazine's jargon column, and at least one semi-scientific
paper has been written on its causes and effects.
StarSiege Patch 10:56 am - Wilfred
Vault has put up the latest v1002
patch for StarSiege. Here' a little info about what it does:
- OpenGL speed improvements
- Lower memory/VM requirements
- Fixed bug in server query causing inf loop
- Addresses known console server attacks
- Other little things
Altec Lansing ADA-70 10:20 am - Kan
Altec's brand new USB speakers are reviewed by FPS3D. Looks cool!
I booted up, and Windows said it
"detected a new USB device." It automatically installed everything i needed. I
didn't have to press even one key! Before i knew it, Windows had rebooted me, and I was
glaring at my desktop, thinking, "Wow, I thought USB was a little more complicated
than that." I then popped into IE5, and grabbed the latest version of the ADA70 GUI
from Altec Lansing's FTP. I checked over everything one more time, then installed.
Age of Empires II 10:17 am - Kan
One of my favourites, Gamespot previewed Age of Empires II which
should be out in Fall 1999.
Age of Empires II takes place over
roughly 1000 years during the Dark Ages and Renaissance in Europe. Neither the Dark Ages
nor the Renaissance touched Asia, although the countries in that area did experience
changes that were similar to those experienced by the Western nations during that time
period. The Japan depicted in Age II is the medieval Japan popularly depicted in films and
media, the same Japan in which samurai fought epic battles for their daimyo, and ninja
plied their dark trade behind the scenes.
Which/Whose Linux? 10:16 am - Kan
If you are confused with the various flavours
of Linux, Planet IT takes a peek
at the various distributions like Caldera, Debian, RedHat, SuSE and others.
Perhaps you want to power some intranets
cheaply, support processing-intensive applications, or just gain some experience with
Linux so you won't get caught off guard by the question, "So, what's our Linux (or
Open Source) strategy?" So you get ready to employ Linux on your Pentium systems...
...only to discover you have to choose
among several dozen versions of Linux from different vendors offering distinct bundles:
Red Hat, Caldera, SuSE, Debian, Walnut Creek, WGS, Slackware.
RedHat 6.0 10:15 am - Kan
According to News.com, RedHat
6.0 will be announce on the coming Monday. Hurray! Okay, those people with ADSL better get
ready to download it. :)
Version 6.0, code-named Starbuck,
incorporates the new version 2.2 of the Linux kernel and will
offer improved capabilities for multiprocessing. The CD version of the OS will also
probably cost more than Red Hat's current flavor of Linux, said chief executive
Robert Young. The product is expected to be available in stores May 10, he said.
The current version retails for $50. Young
also said the new version will be downloadable for free.
ACT Labs Force RS 09:35 am - Kan
FF Wheel review over at 3DHardware. Momo wheel again huh?
The wheel itself is a very qualitative
construction. Although it was initially supposed to built entirely in metal, and come with
a real leather grip, the solution ACT Labs finally delivered doesnt leave you let
down. The wheel base is large and sturdy, and is fastened to the table with relatively
large rubberized metal clamps, making it stick to the table even during the most violent
treatment. The actual wheel is of a diameter of about 10.5 inches, making it a bit smaller
than your ordinary car steering wheel, but big enough to feel realistic. One of the nicest
touches to the wheel is the grip. The wheel is covered with a padded synthetic leather,
preventing the grip from becoming sweaty and uncomfortable during long driving sessions.
Ultra ATA Hard Drive
Comparison 09:31 am - Kan
posted the April 1999 Ultra ATA Hard Drive
Ziff Davis Winbench 99 was used to
show the real-world transfer rates achieved by the individual drives, measured in
megabytes per second. Ziff Davis Winstone 99 was used to show the real world
performance increase by using one drive as opposed to another while running Business or
High-End applications depending on the test bed. Both tests are designed to represent real
world cases including sequential reads/writes to the disk (audio/video editing
applications), random data access, as well as CPU utilization and disk access time.
MSI 6147 Micro-ATX 09:28 am - Kan
Two new reviews over at FiringSquad. The MSI 6167 Micro-ATX as
well as the Kenwood
52X TrueX CDROM drive.
Targeted as what is meant to be the
"all-in-one" solution motherboard, the MSI 6147 includes not just onboard audio,
but also onboard video. The audio chipset is a genuine Creative chipset, based on the same
chipset that the retail Ensoniq PCI cards use. On the music playback side, the Ensoniq
chipset provides 32 wavetable voices, and supports a standard 2-speaker stereo setup. No
3D positional audio here. Driver support is maintained by downloading the latest Ensoniq
PCI drivers, and since Creative is good about frequently updating audio drivers, that
shouldn't be a concern.
Guide 09:24 am - Kan
I noticed over at Sharky that they have updatd their Voodoo3 Overclocking Guide.
If you want to know whether the 2000 and 3000 are overclockable, they are!
So are these retail boards overclockable
then? In a word YES. Do the boards get hot enough to frazzle the skin off of your fingers?
Is it worth it? We certainly think so (overclocking and not burning your
skin- we don't condone that). The benchmarks conducted on the Voodoo3 2000 certainly
showed that even without cooling one can 'safely' (we say 'safely' because 3dfx does not
condone or encourage the use of freeze spray or overclocking blah blah) overclock as high
Graphics Chip Roundup 09:21 am - Kan
posted a heavy 25 pages review on Graphics Chip
Roundup, covering everything from the Voodoo3 to the Permedia 3.
3dfx really know how to make FAST 3D
cards (and it seems, 2D as well). Together with Rendition, they kick- started the consumer
3D market that we all love so much. They gave the gamer the first really useful 3D card to
play with. Because of this, and maybe because of their naming scheme, they have an almost
fanatical following. This, of course, also means they have rather big expectations to live
up to. They have managed to do this quite well in the past though they have had their
mishaps, namely the Voodoo Rush and the Banshee.
Voodoo3 2000 09:20 am - Kan
Here's another Voodoo3 review from iXBT. Want a viewpoint from our favourite Russian
friends? Check this out!
Here we get the whole set of cool options.
We may not only smoothly change Voodoo3 chip performance and memory frequency from 120MHz
to 200MHz, but also disable Vsync (monitor refresh rate synchronization with RAMDAC).
After changing the frequency, the PC should be restarted. By simply trying all the
suitable combinations we managed to find the maximal frequency - 175MHz, when the card
shows a rather stable performance. It even exceeds the nominal frequency of Voodoo3 3000
(166MHz), which is very pleasing for all overclocking fans.
Redline 09:16 am - Kan
Dudes over at CRUS
finished the review on Redline.
Hey, I'm interested! How does it compare to NFS3? :) Thrash it out in the Q&A forum!
However the cars are lovely and very
detailed, however they turn so damn fast you wont see any other part but the front
of the car, but thats another story. When it comes to coloured lighting and explosions
they are all rather over the top, blow up a flammable container for example and if you
anywhere close to it, it involves a bright yellow screen and instant death. There really
isnt anything really good or bad to say about the graphics, they are very pleasing
to the eye, even though its overly colourful I just wish they had have worked on the
ATI All-in-Wonder 128 09:13 am - Kan
reviewed the ATI All-in-Wonder 128
graphics card. It comes with 16 MB of RAM and includes goodies such as video
capture/editing, DVD playback, support for digital TV etc.
One needs to be very careful here. The
All-in-Wonder 128 provides Digital TV, however it is not an HDTV or SDTV tuner. The RAGE
128 GL chipset used is HDTV upgradable to the HD0 720p format. HDTV in the US is still in
its infancy and there are numerous approaches to HDTV. Of particular note is the dichotomy
between 1080i and 720p. 1080i provides higher quality images with more resolution, but is
interlaced making it poor for the PC. 720p only has 720 lines of resolution (still higher
than DVD) and this is what the the HD0 level of HDTV support promoted by Intel and
Microsoft is using.
|20 April 1999 - Tuesday
Intellimouse Explorer 20:46
pm - Wilfred
Mice with no balls? Whoa! Microsoft seems to
have another winner in their hands. With their upcoming Intellimouse
Explorer, the rodent will feature optical tracking ability which will replace the need
of a moving mouse ball. The advantages are many, first there won't be dirt build-up inside
the mouse, second we can use the mouse without a mousepad. Hmm.. check out Tech-Review's
||Microsoft IntelliEye optical technology
is a revolutionary digital optical tracking technology for computer mice that helps ensure
unsurpassed precision, control and reliability over time. IntelliEye replaces the mouse
ball and other moving parts inside a mouse with an optical sensor and built-in digital
signal processor that capture and compare digital images, tracking movement on virtually
||Because there are no moving
parts to wear out or collect dirt and dust, the IntelliEye optical sensor never needs to
be cleaned and a mouse pad is never needed.
Looks mighty cool yah? I remember plonging down my S$129
bucks for the Intellimouse 2 when it first debut in Singapore. Surely this rat thing will
cost a bomb again!
K6-III vs PIII 20:45 pm - Kan
Our bud over at ArsTechnica has a SIMD shootout: K6-III vs
PIII. Pretty interesting article. Apparently, there are some routing problems between
my ISP to their server for the past few days. :(
Ars Technica has published a fairly
exhaustive look at the K6-III vs. the Pentium III (with an obligatory overclocked Celeron
thrown into the mix). We've included benchmark scores from 3DMark 99 Max which show the
advantages of SIMD extensions like 3DNow and SSE, among other things. We even show a
bit of TNT vs. Rage 128 16/32-bit color action. This review should give you a pretty
good idea where things stand in the PC processor market today, if nothing else.
Odyssey Give-Away 20:44 pm - Kan
told us that they are giving away two copies of The Red Odyssey add-on for BattleZone by
just filling in their reader's poll. Let's
try our luck!
RAM Guide 20:43 pm - Kan
sent note on their RAM guide article.
If you ever wanted to know what are stuffs like Level 1 cache, latency etc, it's time to
find out. :)
RAM doesnt bite. RAM is where
information is stored before being sent to the CPU for processing, and where it is stored
after being processed by the CPU. These days, RAM comes in two different types of memory
module single inline memory modules, or SIMMs, and dual inline memory modules, or
DIMMs. The older of the two types are the 72-pin SIMMs. Most machines use 168-pin DIMMs
instead these days. Pentium and higher processors require a data width of 64 bits, but
SIMMs are restricted to 32 bits and therefore must always be installed in pairs in Pentium
and higher systems. DIMMs have the required data bus width of 64 bits and can be installed
as single modules without problems.
Championship 20:41 pm - Kan
posted a review on the game Superbike World
Championship review. I think I better stay away from racing games for a while... :)
EASports latest title, Superbike World
Championship has finally been released. It has been a long time for someone to finally
come around and make a genuine motorcycle racing game that does a excellent job of
providing arcade and simulation elements for the gamer. Initially it was my presupposition
that Superbike World Championship would be at best a mediocre game. After all, EA has
occasionally released games that are very mediocre and sometimes they have managed to
capture the true essence of the sport, games such as FIFA 99 and Madden 99 are a great
examples of what a good game should be like.
Hollywood Plus DVD/MPEG-2
Playback Card 20:39 pm - Wilfred
has a review on the Hollywood
Plus DVD/MPEG-2 card. Yes, Byron Hinson said it is the best there is, like we found it
I assume that most of you are wondering
if it is worth spending a few extra $/£ to get a DVD Decoder card. Well all I can say is
that the Hollywood Plus DVD Decoder card is by far and away the best out there today, if
you like watching DVD movies (and now some games) then I recommend getting the Hollywood
Plus card as it does far more than your average software decoder in both terms of picture
FYI, the Creative Dxr3 card IS based on
the Hollywood Plus from Sigma Designs. Well, check out our very own review on the Sony Maximum DVD Kit which also
features this card.
Voodoo3 20:33 pm - Wilfred
The Voodoo 3 is
reviewed at GameCenter today. I think everyone's
quite impressed with the card, but are just holding back their final conclusions until the
bigger, badder cards like TNT2, Savage4 and all are laid on the table. Have a look:
Image quality was excellent, rivaling the
RIVA TNT in 16-bit games. We were especially impressed with the color fidelity in games
such as Thief and Requiem. Voodoo 2 tends to give colors a washed-out look, but 3dfx seems
to have improved quality considerably with Voodoo 3, rendering colors more vibrantly.
Image quality is also helped by Voodoo 3's ability to run games at 1,024 by 768 at high
How To Build A
Computer 20:30 pm - Wilfred
posted a guide on 'How
To Build A Computer' for any of you out there needing some help. Step by step they'll
take you through the process of getting the thing up and working. Aside from 9 pages
of text, they've even got realplayer clips on how it is actually done. Quite thorough if
you ask me.
In this article, we're going to teach you
step-by-step how to build your own custom gaming rig. Whether your system sports a
processor from AMD or Intel, or your computer knowledge is limited to just the basics,
this guide will provide you with an overview of what you need to know.
Better Graphics Patch For
HyperSnap 20:27 pm - Wilfred
Thanks to Johnny of DemoNews for sending this info. Hyperionics has released a patch for their current version of
HyperSnap letting us with 3dfx cards get better visual quality on the snaps with take in
games. This little fellow weights only 46 k.
The 1Ghz Speed Barrier
Broken 20:24 pm - Wilfred
The chubs at HotHardware sent an ecstatic note of their
overclocking success in a dual processor unit. It's no mean feat all right! Take a look at
their pride and joy!
Already we have heard of Quake 3 Arena and
Falcon 4 support for SMP. So I ask you, why play the MHz. game when you can just add
another processor and increase your processing power exponentially? OK, so let's back off
on the hype for a minute. We aren't quite there yet. Win2000 isn't out yet and
applications and games that support SMP are just now being announced for release later
this year. At this point it really doesn't make sense for the average user. Only people
who are running high end NT Servers and Linux Servers need apply for this kind of set up.
However, at some point this technology will absolutely be a viable option for the
TNT2 vs TNT1 20:22 pm - Kan
emailed us on their new review on the Leadtek
WinFast 3D 32 MB TNT2 card. Read how they compare the card against the ASUS V3400 TNT
First note that this is a pre-production
card. Any numbers or information posted here may or may not be true at shipping time
on this card. But with Leadtek's experience with video cards and NVIDIA's track
record with drivers that just keep kicking more and more ass...we have a good idea of what
is to come.
The WinFast 3D S320 II 32 Pro I received
comes with 32 megs of SGRAM memory, SVGA out, SVHS out, RCA video out and Digital LCD Flat
Panel out. The default settings are 150MHz for the core and 160MHz for the
memory. The memory is 6ns SEC (Samsung) SGRAM which seems to be maxed at the 160MHz.
|19 April 1999 - Monday
Coolpix 950 21:55 pm - Kan
If you are looking for a digital camera, our
bud over at Digital Photography just finished a
review on the Nikon Coolpix 950. Nowadays, these cameras are so clear that I feel
uncomfortable being taken by them! :)
For people new to the digital camera
market this behaviour probably seems a little extreme. The excitement around the 950 grew
up from the reputation of the Nikon Coolpix 900s (also known as the E910 in Japan), this
very fine camera opened peoples eyes to the abilities of digital cameras to capture the
moment in a high quality, detailed and well balanced manner, some people found it's swivel
body design (now inherited by the 950) a little quirky but once you get used to it it is
actually quite comfortable and useful, and offers a slim easy to carry package when not
X-Wing Alliance 21:54 pm - Kan
posted another game review, X-Wing
The return to a strong atmospheric
storyline with a cohesive plot linking the missions recreates a Star Wars experience
central in its magical appeal. There are 50+ scripted single player missions plus an
instant skirmish mode to pilot all the in-game ships that makes for limitless replay in
the combat simulator. Through the missions youll progress from a transport freighter
pilot to a front line fighter pilot, flying all the crafts from the Rebel Alliance
arsenal. The refreshing addition of freighters offer the ability to either jump into the
gunnery turrets while letting the AI fly the ship, or fly while the AI handles the guns
with sufficient intelligence.
Windows 2000 21:52 pm - Kan
Game Palace sent note on the ordering page for Windows 2000 Beta 3. Damn,
it cost $59.95 just to try out beta software (not to mention Windows products are
generally beta softwares).
Life After NT Service Pack
4 20:38 pm - Wilfred
updated themselves today with a brand new article from Panders. Titled "Life After NT Service Pack 4",
this writeup will advise you on what to patch and how to go about it.
Many of us are still stuck relying on this
OS as our stable productivity machine. Indeed, this OS has at least two years of life left
in it in many business and educational environments. All you can do is try to stay on top
of the tide of information coming out of Redmond.
Which patches should be applied? What is
the best order in which to apply them? That's where this Editorial comes into play. I hope
to show you some guidelines in keeping up with all of the hotfixes (regardless of
environment complexity) - the ones you need, the ones you can do without, the order in
which to apply them, alternative methods of installing them, and so on.
EverQuest Newbie Guide 20:24 pm - Wilfred
posted a newbie
guide for those freshman in EverQuest. Need some orientation and tips? Check this out
Let me first start by saying this is not
going to tell you how to set up speech macros, hot buttons, or even how to make your
character move. That is what the Everquest tutorial program, players guide, and handbooks
are for and I suggest you make use of them before attempting to play the game. Instead, I
wish to give the inexperienced player some tips to help you progress through the lower
levels of the game a little easier than many of us others did.
Information: WHQL TNT
Detonator Drivers 20:22
pm - Wilfred
Dave of System
Logic has got an article
about the Microsoft WHQL certified Detonator drivers for the TNT. So is this any good?
If you look at the charts you will notice
that the update and the new drivers increased the 3D Mark score by 229 3D Marks. That is a
gain of 8.6%. Performance gain was terrific: I gained 4.7 FPS on the race, 6 FPS on
the First Person Game, 75.2 FPS on 2 MB texture rendering speed, 42.5 FPS on 4MB texture
rendering speed, 20.4 FPS on 8MB texture rendering speed, 8.6 FPS on 16MB texture
rendering speed, and 2.6 FPS on 32MB rendering speed. I would definitly recommend
downloading this new driver and the Windows 98 patch if you have a TNT card and Windows
EH's TNT2 Guide 20:15 pm - Wilfred
Hardware has thrown up a little guide to the
dozen of TNT2 cards that shall be making their appearances soon. Hmm.. the Asustek
AGP-V3800 seems most interesting of the lot.
Colour WinCE Palm-Size
PCs 18:17 pm - Wilfred
Over the past week, The Gadgeteer came up with two reviews on the Compaq Aero 2110 and the HP Jornada 420. Looking for a palm
sized device that suits your needs? Colour? Read this.
||So, what's the bottom line? Would I buy
the HP Jornada 420? I'd take one if someone gave it to me, but I wouldn't spend my cash on
one. Why? It is just too slow and the audio quality is horrible. I also don't like the
chunky body but that is just a personal thing. So, if audio and overall speed are
important to you I would think twice about the 420 or at least try one out before you buy
||The bottom line is that I would say the
Compaq Aero is presently my favorite PSPC. It has terrific audio, good speed, and a nice
color screen. Will I replace my Palm V with the Aero? No, but I will be sorry to
send it back to Pdamart after this review. If the Aero was just a bit snappier and had a
brighter screen, it would be very tempting to switch. For those of you shopping for a PSPC
though, you really should check the Aero out. It is the best PSPC available at this time.
Given the choice, I'll get myself a Palm V, then send it
down to EFIG.COM for an upgrade to 8Mb (efigV8). Though
there's no colour yet, it's damn sleek, weighs nothing, memory efficient, the battery runs
for a month and there's a zillion apps to use.
New Playcenter With
SoftPC-DVD 16:12 pm - Wilfred
Wowzers! I've never failed to uncover some
nice jewel with every visit to my buddy's Alive! site. It was a Comdex thing
that Creative announced
a new version of its PlayCenter which will feature SoftPC-DVD support. Here's the list of
its impressive features:
- A complete all-software DVD
- Decodes MPEG-1/MPEG-2 Video
- Decodes Dolby Digital®
(AC-3®) and MPEG Audio*
- Supports full DVD Navigation
- Includes tamper-resistant
- Supports Microsoft®
Windows® 95 and Windows 98
- Compatible with Creative
PC-DVD 5X drive (DVD5240E)
- Creative PlayCenter: Sound
Blaster Live! support and customizable playlists
- Full frame MPEG-2/MPEG-1
video with smooth delivery and no duplicated frames
- No tearing of video through
- Supports up to 32
- Supports closed captioning
- Supports letterbox formatted
content and Pan Scan-formatted content
- Supports scaling with
bilinear interpolation to maintain aspect ratio
- Single frame stepping through
- Conforms to all test
procedures as defined by ISO/IEC 13818-4
- Decodes Dolby Digital®
(AC-3®) 5.1 channels
- Playback MPEG-1 layer 2
- Playback MPEG-2 multi-channel
up to 7.1 channels
- Playback Linear PCM up to 8
- Downmix 5.1 channel Dolby
Digital or MPEG-2 to stereo
- Supports up to 8 audio
- Conforms to all test
procedures as defined by ISO/IEC 13818-4
Voodoo 3 3000
Review 15:34 pm - Wilfred
Get used to it. You are going to see many more
of this headlines. Voodoo 3, Voodoo 3 and MORE Voodoo 3 in all its various iterations,
rounded up with many other cards. WickedPC has done
a review V3 3000 which is
the fastest version until 3500 comes out.
Current owners of a SLI'd Voodoo2 with 24Mb
ram will probably want to stick with the Voodoo2 combination. The only reason you would
want to switch to a Voodoo3 is to get rid of a crappy 2D card, to get the better visuals
of the Voodoo3, or to free up 2 PCI slots. The performance increase of the Voodoo3 isn't
enough to warrant the $194 for this card unless you want the above features badly. Owners
of the TNT, Rage 128, G200, and owners of a single Voodoo2 will find that this is probably
the best video card on the market right now to buy. As I stated earlier, I can't comment
on the TNT2 as we just don't know what it will do. It might be in your best interest to
wait a month until we can get a retail version of the TNT2 to test and see what happens.
One strong thing to consider is Glide too. You can't play Glide games on anything but a
Voodoo board, and that's something which isn't to be taken lightly. The
soon-to-be-released Voodoo3 3500 might also be the better choice for super-power users as
it will undoubtedly provide better performance ratings.
Matsushita Demos MPEG-4
Compression 15:25 pm - Wilfred
In this EETimes article, it is reported that
Matsushita demonstrated on Tuesday its multilayered video compression, or object-based
compression, algorithms for the first time.
Matsushita's technologies enable users to
transmit moving pictures of a quality that is twice as good as conventional frame-based
video-compression techniques, which use no layered structure, according to Matsushita.
And, as the multilayered video transmission handles each layer or object separately,
viewers on the receiver side can access individual elements and do some operations
such as hide and extract, a company spokesman said.
In the multilayered video compression
technology, elements or objects of a video sequence, such as human figures and background
images, are treated as individual layers. The individual layers are separately encoded and
transmitted. After it is received, the coded data is decompressed into the original layers
and overlaid to form the original video sequence for display.
Voodoo 3 2000 11:21 am - Wilfred
snatched a review on the V3 2000. Andy
went into detail about how the eye works to explain 16-bit vs 32-bit rendering.
The Voodoo3 is FAST. 3dfx have
traditionally always had the fastest 3d part, with other manufacturers playing catch up.
And for now, the Voodoo3 is King of the Hill on pure polygon pumping power. Nowadays
however, with framerates regularly passing 100fps, speed isn't such an issue, and image
quality is becoming more important. And this is where the Voodoo3 starts to fall down.
Fundamentally, 3dfx are still using the same engine introduced with their original Voodoo
Graphics part. OK, two iterations down the line, and things are now seriously fast, but
Voodoo3 still over-filters textures, and some games, particularly Quake2 look "washed
out", especially compared to the TNT, G200 or even the i740 (gulp!).
Half Life Audio
Benchmarks 11:12 am - Wilfred
Mark sent word that he's got a new article
ready at 3DSoundSurge. In his comprehensive
review of Half Life, you can find some cool audio benchmarks he performed on a handful of
When it comes to the sound score it's
important to know that each category got a score compared to what we think is possible to
do with that technology so you shouldn't compare the EAX score with the wavetracing score.
The wavetracing lost a few points on the lack of any water effect, the muffled sound and
especially the significant CPU hit.
EAX didn't get a perfect 10 because of the
muffled sound, choosing the wrong reverb effect at some places and no way to choose how
strong reverb you want, which is possible with a few other titles. I think the MX300
produces the most compelling sound in this game, this is especially true if you use
headphones or 2 speakers. With 4 speakers the Live is pretty close when it comes to 3D
sound but I found the wavetracing to be more compelling than EAX. If you care a lot about
your fps numbers you're probably best of with the Live and as said with 4 speakers you
don't lose much compared to the MX300.
Voodoo3 3000 09:10 am - Kan
over at TheTechs. This baby card is running at 166
MHz and is faster than the good old Voodoo2 SLI configuration. Already, I can see someone
tempted to get one of these... :)
The V3 2000 will run at a clockspeed of
143mhz, the 3000 will run at a clockspeed of 166mhz, and amazingly the 3500 will run at a
clockspeed of 183mhz! Now the main conflict for people here is which V3 do I buy,
especially if I already have a V2 SLI in my system? Well the 2000 is definitely a good
card, but if your already running a V2 SLI in your system then forget about it because the
2000 is just as fast as a V2 SLI.
Heroes of Might and Magic
3 09:06 am - Kan
Review of this game over at CRUS.
Multiplayer, as with most games is where
this game really stands out, its really quite fun to play a hotseat game with your
friends, teamplay or no, its always more satisfying to kill your friends then the
computer. Maybe that little line will get in included in that lawsuit going on in America
where one of the arguments is that Doom honed that boys aiming skills, so that means that
this would hone his army leading skills then??? I dont think so somehow. Another
good one would be saying that playing Carmageddon on his keyboard honed his driving
skills, how many cars do you know of that you can steer by pressing a key with an arrow on
3dfx and Glide 09:03 am - Kan
Some news to keep you guys busy. Over at FPS3D, there's an article on the 3dfx and Glide
suitation. Glide doesn't seem to be as popular as previously, and this is bad for 3dfx.
A Glide Wrapper is little program that
intercepts Glide calls and converts them into either Direct 3D or OpenGL calls (of course,
it could be used with other APIs). Glide Wrappers first started making their appearance
around mid-98. With the advent of nVidia's all-powerful TNT card, no one wanted to give up
their 3dfx-capabilities, and everyone wanted the increased power and speed of the TNT.
IDT Winchip2 266 00:37 am - Kan
just finished their IDT Winchip2
266 review. My personal opinion, I won't get this processor. Nah.
In comparison with IDT Winchip we hardly
see any changes here: the FPU was and still is its weak point. However, the obtained
result doesn't necessarily mean that the situation won't change in real applications. The
thing is that though Winchip 2 coprocessor is not so fast as that of AMD K6-2, it operates
simultaneously with the integers, which is impossible with the non-pipelined FPU of its
AMD opponent. This feature influences processor performance in real applications, which is
displayed in the chart below. By the way, the result achieved by Intel Celeron 266 given
for a better comparative analysis, clearly shows the great improvement of Intel's
Iwill LE370 00:15 am - Kan
posted the Iwill
Socket370 motherboard review. Based on the LX chipset, it comes with 5 PCI/1 AGP/1 ISA
As you can see, the LE370 is a fairly
full-featured board, with 5 PCI slots (1 shared), as well as 2x AGP. The motherboard is
jumperless as well, utilizing "Jumper Inside" technology, which is basically
their version of Abit's Softmenu. Thus, the multiplier and bus speed settings are
configured in BIOS. Also, this motherboard comes with a full version of McAfee VirusScan,
so you can be sure to get some infection security there. Rounding out the software bundle
is Iwill's PC Doctor, a hardware monitoring utility.
|18 April 1999 - Sunday
OpenLinux 2.2 Review 20:44
pm - Wilfred
Wanna try Linux but don't know which
distribution to try? Well, you must have heard about RedHat by now, but there is quite a
handful of other distributions worth your notice. Amongst them, OpenLinux 2.2 would be a
strong competitor. LinuxWorld takes a look
at this beautiful version of Linux from Caldera. Care for a game of tetris?
||The Linux-based installation
program is entirely graphical, and it's easy as pie. Once you get the first few
configuration details out of the way and choose an installation set (minimal, default,
default with commercial applications, or custom), it begins installing the packages in the
background while it steps you through the final installation questions.
||If you answer all the questions before the
background installation process is finished, it drops you into a game of Tetris. That's
right, Tetris. It keeps you occupied while you wait for the remaining packages to be
||The background installation
and Tetris feature is a brilliant idea. I chose the largest installation: default plus
commercial applications. Yet the background installation went so quickly that I was only
able to complete a single round of Tetris before the installation finished. Then again, I am
a really good Tetris player, so your mileage may vary.
Although Caldera automatically boots at this point,
it installs a boot manager called BootMagic that lets you choose between Windows and Linux
the next time you start up your system.
Poll #9 Results.
Interesting. 20:30 pm - Wilfred
Okay people! Is this the single largest number
of unique participants in a Singapore-based poll about the problem of piracy, I do not
know. But according to a snip from our local Computer Times (7 April 99)... their poll
from 634 phone interviewees suggested that pricing was one big factor that drove people to
buying pirated software.
Over 1,000 people were selected for the
survey in December last year,but only 635 with PCs at home took part in the telephones
interviews. Of these interviewees, 29 per cent admitted to owning pirated software, while
59 per cent of the violators said they would buy them again. While Microsoft singapore,
who commision the survey,expressed surprise at the results, users Computer Times
interviewed said that it was the high price of software that persuaded them to turn to
So how has our poll coincided with their
results? Out of a total of 1507 votes from a 1 week poll, 831 people or 55% felt that
better pricing would be the best solution to software piracy. This differed from the views
of Microsoft Singapore's Mr Butt (extract from CT):
Microsoft of Singapore however, see no
direct correlation between software piracy and the cost of software. Said Mr Butt Wai
Choon, marketing manager of Microsoft Singapore: "One cannot fight piracy with
pricing." Instead, Microsoft will be stepping up its education efforts and plan to
launch a big campaign aimed at corporate users to educate them about software piracy.
Well, what do you think about this? Share your thoughts,
write your comments right here in our forum pages!
Team Singularity 17:55 pm - Kan
sent note on their new Singularity
Team Fortress Classic clan. Go join in the fun!
Welcome to the launch of Team Singularity!
A TFC/TFII team dedicated to foster teamwork and strategic play between it's members.
Check out our recruitment page for information on joining our team!
Where Is It All
Heading? 17:24 pm - Kan
had a short article on the future
That all sounds great, but I think Im
overlooking one important feature. The internet, and multiplayer. I love the fact that my
spellcheck doesnt recognize these words. And it brings up and interesting question. Three
years ago there was no internet, at least what we consider the internet today. With
internet2 coming up, what can we expect in 10 years? I think Ill leave that up to you guys
to figure out, and dream about. I know I can picture a game with 0ms ping, 0% packetloss,
no lag whatsoever. But, its probably much better than that.
Dynamix StarSiege 15:46 pm - Wilfred
also got down to piloting a HERC and sending you this review
they'd done. A special mention besides the high 87% awarded, there's a portion I totally
agree with the editor on the high quality of the printed manuals. Applause!
I'd just like to add that the printed
material in this game is some of the best I've ever seen. Over the years, game manuals
have gotten smaller and slimmer, and many these days don't even fill up the small booklet
that tucks inside the jewel case. Dynamix has gone the other way completely, putting in
not only a nicely-thick game manual, but also a slick-paged full-color well-written and
illustrated history and storyline that really gets you into the game universe before you
even install the game. Nicely done, Dynamix. Let's hope we see more of this in future.
Gravis Gamepad Pro USB 15:38 pm - Wilfred
Central sent note of a new review on the
Gravis Gamepad Pro USB. It looks pretty much like the Playstation controller. Check out
what Jason has to say about it:
All in all, the Gravis Gamepad Pro USB is
an excellent gamepad, and its small (we stress small) faults are negligible. We feel that
for its price, it is a worthwhile purchase, and will provide accurate, comfortable gaming
for a long time.
Age of Empire II
Preview 15:29 pm - Wilfred
Oh yeah! U-Games.com
previewed Microsoft's upcoming AOE2.
Since I know none of you had enough of the first game nor it's expansion pack, you will
want to find out here what the new game will bring.
Improvements will be evident too in
the AI which will switch between three different models, one for unit movement, one for
tactical and one for strategic all of which adds a new level of complexity to the game
play. You have the option to determine the level of aggression for each and every unit you
posses in an attempt to better control even the bits of your territory you can't keep your
beady eye on for the whole time. Added to this, there's all the options to patrol, guard
and attack, plus a new idea in the form of the option to follow enemy units across the
Poll Questions 10:28 am - Kan
Do you have any questions you want us to ask?
Pen it down all here at our Q&A forum.
ActionTec Phone Link Network
Kit 10:21 am - Kan
PlanetHardware did a review on the ActionTec ActionLink Phone Link Network
Kit. This kit allows you to make use of your exisiting phone line to network your
house, up to a maximum transmission speed of 1 MB/s. Not bad huh?
As I have had a 100mbps network at home for
the past few months, I found the speed of file transfer with this kit to be quite slow. It
took about 45 seconds to transfer a 5 meg file, whereas with my normal network, it takes
just a couple. However, to someone who doesn't have an ethernet network, this would seem
quite acceptable. LAN gameplay worked pretty well in most games. I had a ping of around 40
in Quake, which is very playable (playing Quake over the internet with a modem can give
pings from 150 to 300, after which it gets completely unplayable).
X-Wing Alliance 10:21 am - Kan
finished their X-Wing Alliance
review. Take a look now, the game and story line looks great... now if Wilfred will
stop playing it and join me in updating Hardware One... Grrr... =)
One of the many highlights of X-Wing
Alliance is the plot. The story of X-Wing Alliance is engrossing from start to finish, as
the developers did a superb job of integrating the plot with the actual game play. One of
my pet peeves is when you're playing a game that seems to only advance the plot line
through intermediate cut scenes, while the actual missions seem detached and unrelated to
the story. You won't get that with X-Wing Alliance. The story line meshes with the actual
missions and gameplay, resulting in a more satisfying and engrossing gameplay experience.
Hitachi SuperScan 813 10:18 am - Kan
Hardware posted the last of the 21" monitors roundup, the Hitachi
The Hitachi 813 offers some of
the most appealing features of any of the displays we looked at. It is aimed at the
CAD and Professional graphics user, and we found that it is appropriately targeted to that
market. We tend to feel that 3D gaming is one of the most demanding on displays, and
the Hitachi makes a superb gaming monitor.
The CRT in the SuperScan 813
uses Hitachi's exclusive PrecisionFocus technology to provide a brilliant picture.
With a horizontal dot pitch of .22 and vertical of .16 (.25 average), the Hitachi was one
of the crispest displays we had ever seen.
Good Writing in Games 10:12 am - Kan
put up a The Advent of Really Good
Writing in Games. Should games have good storyline? Of course!
After reading the Reuters article about
Michael Crichton starting up a company I decided to write a little article on why
something like this is great. To start off I would like to say that the point of this
article is not to say that there hasn't been a game that has had good story, because this
is obviously not true. The point of this article is to prove exactly why good writing
makes a game and why more authors like Tom Clancy and Michael Crichton should join into
the game making process.
HardBall 6 2000
Edition 10:10 am - Kan
Something new over at SystemLogic is the review of HardBall
6 2000 from Accolade. Btw, they are beta testing their new site and it'll help if you can
visit it and tell them any kinks you encountered.
The graphics are complete ass compared to
some of the other sports games out, especially from what I have seen from Electronic Arts
in Fifa 99, NBA Live 99, and Triple Play 99. All of those games look great with
awesome detail on everything from the crowd to the player themselves. With Hardball
the faces of the players looked nothing like the actual player, and the fields looked
somewhat alright but when zoomed in a bit closer, for example when batting, the field
|17 April 1999 - Saturday
Online 23:52 pm - Kan
New edition of EH Online. This time, Vince talk
on the Voodoo3, TNT2, AGP4X and lots more!
Though it's been mentioned several times,
the Glide API is losing its glitter, but it is still far from unimportant to gamers. I
still download the occasional 3D game demo that requires 3dfx Glide compatibility to run
in accelerated modes and there are still retail versions that ship with dual Glide/D3D
support. One of the areas these debates tend to miss out on is 3D game compatibility. Even
if the overall performance was lower, I tend to use the 3dfx Voodoo2 SLI for my 3D gaming,
simply because it's as close to a plug-n-play D3d/OpenGL/Glide device as you'll ever see.
In all my gaming experience, I've yet to have a serious problem with my Voodoo2 in any new
demo or retail purchase. I cannot say that about any other 3D card, and I'd easily give up
5-10 fps for that level of compatibility. Just don't ask me about 16 vs. 32 bit rendering,
or the 16 MB vs. 32 MB issues, as those are thornier questions to be sure.
Cheetah 18LP 22:46 pm - Kan
Hardware reviewed the Seagate
Cheetah 18LP. This is a totally awesome drive spinning at 10,000 rpm. It's loud. It's
hot. But it's damn fast.
The Cheetah series of drives did not need
to get any better. The 2nd generation of Cheetah drives were capable of 25% less
power consumption than the original Cheetahs and boasted an average seek time of 5.7
seconds. There were the first drives on the market with 10k RPM spindle speeds, and
they helped to set that standard that 10k drives would follow from that point on.
Diamond Monster Fusion 17:57 pm - Kan
reviewed the Diamond
Monster Fusion card based on the 3dfx Banshee chipset. Forget about Banshee man! Get
the Voodoo3 or TNT2 !
Presented in a single chip package, the
Banshee contains essentially the same 3D texture processing capabilities as the Voodoo2
with one major disadvantage in order to decrease cost. The Banshee only has a single
texture processor (known in the Voodoo2 community as a Texelfx processor) meaning it
requires two passes to render multi-textured environments.
Celeron 466 17:54 pm - Kan
emailed us on their new review on the Celeron
Let me tell you we are really really
excited here. With just a stock heatsink fan, we had our Celeron 466 running at a whoppin'
525Mhz at 2.0V and the unit POST at 580Mhz! We are right now calling Global Win and
begging them to send us a CPM25603-12.
We don't know if our Celeron 466
represents what all Celeron 466 can do when they go on sale. We may just have lucked out
and got a really good unit. Time will tell. However this could very well represent
what you'll get with a Celeron 466 since they will be using the highest quality Celeron
core that Intel produces.
Aopen MX3L 10:14 am - Kan
Something new over at FiringSquad is the Aopen MX3L
The MX3L also has some additional features
which make it more interesting. First of all, there's the variety of wake-on headers. This
motherboard practically has wake-on everything. I bet I could turn this motherboard on
from the microwave in the kitchen! Between the FOUR options to turn on your computer,
either remotely or from in front of the machine, you shouldn't have any problem getting
your computer powered up. These options are nice to have, although in practicality
Solaris 10:10 am - Wilfred
Hardware posted an introduction
to running Solaris for home. Yup, you can get Solaris free from Sun. Totally awesome.
Why not? Solaris 7 (the latest release) is
a mature and well supported UNIX flavor used widely throughout the commercial and
government sectors. Though the Intel edition doesn't have the same user base as the SPARC
version, many vendors, including Sun itself, have worked hard to implement widespread
support for Solaris x86, and they have succeeded. A good number of commercial Solaris
applications run on both the x86 and SPARC platforms and freeware (Open Source, GPL'd
code, etc.) can be easily recompiled if a binary is not available.
TennMax Stealth V3 Fighter 09:40 am - Wilfred
has announced a slick new
cooler fan specially designed for 3dfx's Voodoo3 card. When it ships, this must be the
highest performing active cooling solution for that hot V3 of yours!
||The Stealth V3 Fighter comes in a more
compact yet very powerful package that can be neatly installed onto the Voodoo³ chipset
with minimal user intervention.
||The V3 Cooler fits well on all
V3 2000, 3000 or 3500 boards. The cooler uses push pins attachment for secure installation
on all 3Dfx chipsets. It utilizes a more conductive thermal interface materials which
enhances the thermal conduction between the cooler and the chipset. We will post details
installation procedure later.
Do check out our very own review on the StealthV2 and LasagnaX!
Ultra TNT2 Review 09:26 am - Wilfred
UK has a review on nVidia's Ultra TNT2 card. Ok, you know what to expect, so point
your browsers right here.
We found the Ultra TNT2 VIP card offered
super-image quality and excellent performance, while it was also easy to install and
seemed to offer good driver support - at least for the relatively small number of games we
tested it upon.
Team Fortress Classic 09:11 am - Wilfred
posted their review
on Team Fortress Classic - Valve's free add-on to Half-Life. Does it live up to the
standards of Half-Life?
If you already own Half-Life, you might as
well give TFC a shot, since it's not going to cost you anything. If you have a fast
computer and a non-modem internet connection, definitely give it a shot. If you hated
Half-Life's online lag, don't expect it to get any better for TFC - in fact, it gets worse
in some places. For those of you who were angry about the issue of TF2 going full retail,
then consider yourselves vindicated, because TFC, as a free Half-Life addon, is a whole
lot of fun. Valve's excellence in graphics and sound in Half-Life have carried over very
well to TFC, while keeping almost completely true to the gameplay of the original Team
Fortress. Hardened TF players who have battled on these maps over and over for years now
may be annoyed that The Hunted was technically the only "new" map (which, even
then, was based loosely on an original TF map). Granted that, TFC will still open up
TeamFortress to a whole new set of players who missed its wonderful gameplay the first
Q&A Forum 00:44 am - Kan
You know, you are missing a lot if you don't
pop by our Q&A
forum. It's cool. It's fun! So hop right in for a look and
join the discussions!
The LuiGui Set Up 00:37 am - Wilfred
According to this pointer at Slashdot, a Linux/Unix
Independent Group for Usability Information was set up whose aims are to couple the
power of Unix with user-friendly interface. This is how /. put it:
Their goal: "to couple the power of
UNIX with user interfaces that are consciously designed to allow novices to become experts
without removing any of the existing functionality." They look serious.
I am sure many people knows that Unix's
relative ease of usability is one big lag in the grand Unix world. Now that we have a
special interest group set up to promote its adventure, we certainly like to see
Linux/Unix make some headroom on the average Joe's desktop.
|16 April 1999 - Friday
DSB-H4 21:16 pm - Kan
Over at USB
Workshop, they reviewed the D-link
DSB-H4 hub. Hey, it even comes in the famous iMac matching colour.
The design of the hub eliminates the
problem of "tipping" as seen on some other USB hubs. Users frequently hot
swapping devices will be pleased to see ports are located in front of the hub. However, it
would be nice for companies to design hubs to have ports on either side of the hub. DSB-H4
supports per-port switching, preventing every USB device to go down when a port is
malfunctioning. I found the hub odd to show green lights for port status even when
no device is connected. Users will find hard to know which port is not working. When
operating in self-power mode, the self-powered orange LED is on but the port status LEDs
are still in green.
Dreamcode 21:13 pm - Kan
posted the PowerColor Dreamcode
Aimed at gamers less apt to pulling their
machines apart, the DreamCode is an Intel 440BX-based motherboard, accepting Pentium II's
up to 450MHz, Pentium III's up to 500MHz and Celeron's up to 466MHz (and potentially
beyond, in all cases). PowerColor have also thrown an integrated video card into the fray.
While in most cases users frown on this, it's target market is the type of user that is
reluctant to open up their case and pop a new card in there. Then there's the fact that
the onboard card is in fact a Riva TNT with 16 Megs of SDRAM. For sound, PowerColor threw
in a Yamaha 3D Sensaura chip. Not a bad bundle. It also leaves users with 3 PCI and 1 ISA
slot to put extras in, such as a pair of Voodoo2's or a network card.
Viewsonic/iiyama 21:09 pm - Kan
Hardware posted another two new 21" monitor reviews, the Viewsonic
815-3 as well as the iiyama
Vision Master Pro 502. Very expensive stuffs...looks like the Viewsonic P815-3 bagged
their AGN Editor's Choice award.
The tube that the P815-3 is based on
offers a vertical dot pitch of .25 (.22 for horizontal), this gives you a great looking
crisp image on the monitor at even the highest resolutions. The monitor also features true
digital focus and convergence, keeping the image stable on even cards that are not
providing the best output. The user can even fine-tune both the focus and convergence to
ensure that the image is the best quality possible. The monitor is based upon SuperClear
screen technology, this improves the brightness by 30% and also improves the color and
makes it look richer. They have even treated the monitor with a special anti-glare
treatment, allowing you to actually see what you are doing with sun shining on your
Enlight EN-7308 21:08 pm - Kan
posted their first casing review, the Enlight EN-7308
microATX Mini Tower. Hmm... the casing looks a bit too small for my usage...
With any microATX case, you get a small
case that can fit anywhere, but sacrifice some expansion possibilities. While the two
5.25" and two 3.5" bays of the Enlight EN-7308 seem pretty limiting, it is
necessary to remember that only a few drive bays are available in any microATX case and
the EN-7308 is not abnormal at all. In fact, it's probably pretty much average in terms of
Voodoo3 Review 21:06 pm - Kan
sent note on their new review, the Voodoo3 2000 AGP.
Read what they have to say on this killer card.
As I investigate further, I came upon the 8
pieces of 2MB SDRAM made by SAMSUNG ('SEC' in short), the number 1 memory manufacturer in
the world who is reknown for their high quality. All the 8 pieces are under the code
'-G7', which are a class higher than my system's SAMSUNG '-G8' 125MHz SDRAM. From sources,
'-G7' refers to the ability to support up to 150MHz. This is proved by the fact that both
the memory and chip are clocked at 143MHz, 7MHz short of its theoretical limit. However,
do bear in mind that the SDRAM will most probably be able to overclock pass 150MHz if you
use a 'Powerstrip' or similar utility to tweak the card.
Lands of Lore 3 19:40 pm - Kan
Our bud over at Singularity just posted a review on the game Lands of Lore 3. Hey, I remember
playing Lands of Lore many years ago. Didn't really like it... :)
The latest edition to Westwood's famous
Lands of Lore series evidently seeks to silence much of the criticism leveled against it's
predecessor, Lands of Lore 2 : Guardians of Destiny. Many players of LoL2 felt that
excessive genre-blending made the game stray too far from its roots as an RPG, becoming
less of a conventional role-playing game and more like the accidental bastard-child of a
first-person shooter and an adventure game. In LoL3, Westwood takes a step back to
the RPG roots of the original Lands of Lore game, whist adding innovations like a guild
system and an NPC familiar to accompany you in your journey. Read on....
Creative Sheds Light On TNT2
17:53 pm - Wilfred
Here's a good reading
piece from SharkyExtreme. Creative has
spoken regarding their stance on the TNT. Funny, Creative's VP Graphics Business, referred
to the V3 as a Banshee2. Haha!
Sharky Extreme: Can you
talk a bit about the clock speeds you will be choosing for your products? What reasons do
you have for choosing those? This includes memory and of course the graphics clock.
Steve Mosher: "What
clock speeds will we ship products at? First off, I'm not going to break any news on
upcoming products. EVERY supplier of TNT2 and Ultra TNT2 will ship a product that out
performs any of the Banshee2 (AKA, Voodoo3) products. Every supplier of TNT2 products will
ship cards that look better and perform better than the Banshee2 (OK, Voodoo3). Having
said that, we take a no compromise approach to our performance products.
Wow! You heard that? He's saying EVERY TNT2
will outperform the V3? Saw the V3 2000 selling for S$239 today... Not too expensive but I
would rather play safe - better to wait and see. =)
Everybody's Got A Kenwood
52X Today 17:34 pm - Wilfred
Hmm.. Seems to me everyone's got the 52X for
review today. FPS3D sent word on their review too. If you are not jumping onto
the DVDROM bandwagon yet, then this must be the fastest CDROM you'll find on the market
StarSiege Game Guide 14:19 pm - Wilfred
No! Don't force me to look at this! GameCenter has delivered a game guide
for those stranded in their StarSiege missions (like me). If you need some tips and wise
advice, check this out at once!
The key to being successful in Starsiege is
pretty basic, but it's easier said than done: Learn how to hit moving targets while moving
yourself. If you can do this with frequency, you'll be one of the top pilots. So how do
you get good at this? Practice, of course. Play the training missions with the smallest
Hercs and learn to hit them on the run. If you have trouble hitting targets while you are
moving, then pilot the larger Hercs. They are naturally slower and can take much more of a
pounding. These Hercs are the equivalent of a boxer who expects to take a beating but is
confident he can outlast his foe or land a knockout punch.
Yah, I haven't been very into mech games
before, and kept getting blasted into smithereens the first couple of missions. That was
until my good pal shared this tip with me. Now, I'm lasting a little longer!
Singapore Linux Portal 08:43 am - Kan
Yup, it's here. The Singapore Linux Portal is now hosted under S-One. So, give 'em a visit if you are a Linux geek. =)
Kenwood 52X 08:31 am - Kan
did a review on the Kenwood 52X
TrueX CD-ROM drive. This drive is fast, but I would really prefer a DVD-ROM these days...
Just when you thought you had seen it all
with the 40x TrueX CD-ROM drive, Kenwood follows it up with the 52x TrueX. The 7 MB/sec
transfer rates beat the 40x TrueX performance by over 25% when it comes to reading data.
Digital audio extraction was a little slower at 10x (not that 10x is slow), compared to
12x on the 40x TrueX.
Everquest Follow-Up 08:24 am - Kan
sent note that they have a Everquest vs Ultimate Online followup
article based on what readers sent to them.
There is a very fine line here when you
talk about role-playing capabilities. I agree in that Ultima Online allows a player to
create a character that never leaves town and can master smithing or one of the many trade
skills. EverQuest forces the player to fight monsters or perform quests to gain
experience, increase your level, and raise the skill ceiling. So a smith in EverQuest must
venture out and slay monsters before he can work the forge. I can see how this may look
like a severe limitation on trade skills and a crippling element to role-playing.
22 Bits Color 08:22 am - Kan
posted an article on 22 bits color - How
to run the HQ Filter on. It involves some registery hacking to get 22 bits color to
work properly under the Voodoo3.
As reported in my last Article about 22 bit
color there are some problems with the control panel delivered as a part of the
Voodoo3 drivers. More precisely the button to turn the High Quality Post-Filer on is
malfunctioning. 3dfx is working on an updated driver but since this better filter is very
essential to the output quality of the Voodoo3's they decide to release the Registry
Entries that need to be changed to turn the filter on. This although they originally asked
me not to reveal them. Apparently they changed their mind.
Newbie Guide To Overclocking
00:26 am - Wilfred
posted a Newbie
Guide To Overclocking. If you're doing this kinda stuff for the first time, I don't
see how it'll hurt to check this article out first. Don't do it wrong, it could mean
inconvenience, it could mean disaster. Heh!
The gates in the CPU are
based upon transistors which are used as switches (as opposed to amplifiers, as you may
have learned in school). When they have less than a certain treshhold voltage applied they
are closed and when more than a different, higher voltage treshhold is applied, they are
open to let electricity flow. The different treshholds are used to keep a "neutral
zone" in between that is a safety margin.
To faciliate the
switching, an electric charge has to be driven out of the circuit or a charge has to be
built up, quite simply spoken. The effort is the same in each case.
the voltage applied, the faster you drive out the charge/build up the charge and the faster
the switch operates. Also, the smaller the charge, meaning the smaller
the capacitance in the circuit, the faster it switches, that is why chips
based on smaller circuitry can run faster (.25 vs. .18 micron process) and need less
voltage to do so, making room for higher clock frequencies to use up the thermal leeway.
|15 April 1999 - Thursday
2 Pic & Specs 23:18 pm - Wilfred
Check Chris' homepage! He's
scored with this Playstation 2 pic and specifications. Sweet sweet stuff man! Check this!
Trident Blade 3D Graphics
Card Review 23:05 pm - Wilfred
done a review on Trident Blade 3D
card. It's little known but ok you know what? It sucks!
Not everyone can afford a TNT 2 or Voodoo
3. Not everyone wants to settle for an Intel740. Trident has created something that is a
competent solution for people earning $1.25 an hour at the local Levi's sweatshop. Ok,
i'll cut the crap. You wanna know what I think? This card sucks it down harder than Dan
Quayle at a press conference. I went easy on it because it looks alright. But spank me
hard and call me Susan, this card will never find it's way back into may AGP slot again!
This thing isn't even adequate. Buy an ATI or Intel if you want cheap. The box looks nice,
the card installed easy, and the drivers work. Who cares? The card eats it down in any
first person shooter.
NetMeeting 3.0 Beta 22:18 pm - Kan
Bryon from ActiveWin
pointed to us that Microsoft released NetMeeting 3.0 beta. You can grab a copy from here directly.
I tried it and it looks very different from the 2.x series. Hmm..
A first for us here. We have just gotten
e-mail from Microsoft stating that Windows Netmeeting 3 Beta (Notice the rename we
mentioned before has been confirmed) has been released. You can download it right
this moment, it is a major update over the previous version and will take you a while
to get used to, but well worth it.
Creative on TNT2 19:45 pm - Kan
scored an interview with Steve Mosher over at Creative on the company's opinions on the
clock speed issue.
While Creative has yet to formally announce
a TNT2 based product, Mr. Mosher has shed some much needed light on the technical and
business practices behind speed binning, clock speed yields, component qualification and
his take on why the Voodoo3 3500 has to be released later than the 2000 and 3000. While we
may infer the same reasoning on the Ultra TNT2 availability as compared to the TNT2, he
did not mention that. He also has a bit of trouble recalling the actual name of the 3dfx
product (Banshee 2?) that is the top speed competitor for the TNT2 and uses his own
mudball catapult to good effect here and there.
Sony GDM 500PS 19:42 pm - Kan
I guessed AGN
Hardware beat me to it. My dream monitor, the Sony
GDM 500PS was reviewed over there. =)
The on-screen controls on the Sony are
among the best we have seen on all the 21" monitors we looked at. Like most of
the displays we looked at, the controls are hidden under 5 buttons on the front display.
Some of the abilities of the monitor could not be found on the other models we
looked. Landing correction was very well implemented for getting the 4 corners of the
display in the 4 corners of your screen, something that can quite annoying on monitors
that do not have this feature. A nice feature was the control lock that helps to keep
your display the way you like it and very helpful for protection against curious children
Pentium III Xeon 19:40 pm - Kan
Kenn from FiringSquad
sent note on their latest review on the Pentium III Xeon. Extremely
powerful stuff at a high price.
There are two main differences that
separate the Xeon line with the standard Pentium line. The first is cache implementation.
The Pentium II and Pentium III processors use a backside cache of 512KB, which runs at ½
the speed of the CPU core. This means a 400Mhz P2 has 512KB of cache running at 200Mhz. A
500Mhz P3 has 512KB of cache at 250Mhz. The Xeon line breaks with this by supporting
variable amounts of L2 cache, with models ranging from the standard 512KB to even more
expensive models carrying 1MB and 2MB. L2 cache on a Xeon also has the additional benefit
of running at full CPU speed. A 500Mhz P2 Xeon can have an L2 cache of 512KB, 1MB, or 2MB,
which will run at 100Mhz.
P6BXT-A+ 13:59 pm - Kan
also did a review on the Elitegroup
P6BXT-A+ Slot1/370 motherboard. Do take a look!
Although this board does not have voltage
adjusting capabilities, it was a very competent "overclocker". We set up our
Celeron 300a at 450 MHz. We also set our RAM up in a CAS2 configuration to acheive optimal
memory performance. This board was rock solid stable through our battery of tests. The
BIOS is easy to configure. Once you set a jumper on the board to the 100 MHz. FSB setting,
you can adjust the speeds from 100-133 MHz. We also tried 112MHz. for a total of 504 with
PlanetHardware 13:57 pm - Kan
Our bud over at PlanetHardware just sent note on their new
facelift. They also included some new goodies like the 3dfx Voodoo3 2000, Elitegroup P6BXT-A+
Slot1/370 motherboard as well as the Matrox Marvel G200-TV
IDE HDD Roundup13 13:52 pm - Kan
Over at iXBT,
they posted an IDE HDD roundup.
Included in the roundups are the Quantum Fireball, the Western Digital Caviar, Fujitsu as
well as the IBM hard drives.
Life is inexorably taking its course, and
harddisks manufacturers are on their guard. Well, actually, it was put too mildly: they
are at their best! That's why we had to give up the idea of collecting all the novelties
and testing them all together - we simply couldn't keep pace with the manufacturers. In
this respect we decided to test the new harddisks little by little as soon as we manage to
get an interesting sample. So, today we would like to introduce you the samples from the
most popular HDD class - harddisks with capacity from 4GB to 15GB.
Microsoft Launches MP3
Killer 08:46 am - Wilfred
Half the file size, same quality? Microsoft launches WMT beta, a supposed
killer of MP3. Well, with built-in anti-piracy features, do you think that's going to
At the core of WMT is the MSAudio
compression scheme, which the company claims generates files half the size of those
produced by MPEG 1 Audio Layer 3 (aka MP3). It's interesting to note that Microsoft has
gone back on its earlier claim that MSAudio offered superior sound quality to MP3 - now
it's merely "equivalent quality", confirming reports from Register
readers who have already tried the software.
IBM Deskstar 22GXP 08:01 am - Kan
New hard drive review over at Storagereview. The IBM
Deskstar 22GXP is a 7200rpm with a whopping 22 GB and supports the ATA-66 interface.
As expected, the Deskstar 22GXP delivers
bleeding-edge performance. Its performance, however, seems remarkably similar to that
delivered by the WD Expert. WinBench 99 Business Disk WinMark tests yield close results.
The IBM drive outpaces the Expert by about 3% in the Windows 95. The matchup flip-flops in
the High-End WinMark, though, where the Deskstar slipped behind by 4%. The similarities
tighten up even more when it comes to NT: In both the Business and the High-End Disk
WinMarks, the IBM drive leads by an all-but-undetectable 1%-2%. A look at the individual
High-End WinMark tests also yields a very tight correlation between the two drives, with
one notable anomaly: in WinBench 99's Adobe Premiere 4.2 disk access test under Windows
95, the 22GXP fell behind the Expert by 17%.
Gigabyte GA-BX2000 07:45 am - Kan
There's also another review of this motherboard
over at SharkyExtreme. This is the one with
dual BIOS which will kick in when one of the BIOS fail.
See, the DualBIOS feature on the BX2000
mainboard is exactly that: a dual BIOS system. Gigabyte has literally slapped a 2nd flash
BIOS chip onto the BX2000 for use if the first BIOS chip goes bad, or self-destructs, or
Now excuse us if we can't see the logic
here, but frankly we were having a tough time understanding the need for this
AMD K6-III 400 Mhz 07:41 am - Kan
Yup, the guys over at WickedPC also did a
review on the AMD K6-III 400Mhz. Anybody know what's the keyrate for this baby doing RC5? Tell me.
AMD calls the K6-III a 6th generation
processor. It's a known fact that cache on a processor helps performance a great deal, and
the more cache there is, the more performance you get. AMD implemented something
interesting called TriLevel cache. Instead of just L1/L2 cache, there's now L3 cache. L3
cache is found on Super7 motherboards, which are essential in order to run the K6-3 400
on. Super 7 motherboards are the same design as Socket 7 motherboards, except they accept
ATX power supplies, have an AGP slot, and take SDRAM. There are other differences, however
they are minor.
Everquest 07:40 am - Kan
There's also another game review on Everquest by iGamer. This is a role playing game and it's highly
Everything was drawn to scale, bringing
very high realism. The city Kelethin is the woodelf city, which is basically a city in the
sky, because it is in the treetops. Late at night I walked the different conduits that
connected the city, and there were more than a few close calls where I almost fell down.
Each time I felt butterflies develop in my stomach, and I realized this game was way too
Planescape: Torment 07:38 am - Kan
us on their new game review, Planescape:
The Planescape universe has sharp-edged
visuals, bizarre adversaries that can murder you with an idea, and strange magics that
unravel common conceptions about physics and metaphysics. Explore Sigil, a city of magic
and industry, barnacled within the polluted interior of a hollow doughnut where the
mightiest angels and the vilest fiends will invite you to tender your views on how
mortality affects the physical and emotional relations between the sexes. Manage a party
of the strangest allies to walk the face of alternate planes... and count on them to be
highly unpredictable. Encounter items with personalities - weapons that sing, get jealous,
or even become cowardly when drawn from their sheaths.
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