August 1999 - Saturday
Drivers for Windows 2000 15:41
told us they have some brand new Voodoo Drivers
for Windows 2000. The new drivers support all
Voodoo cards from the Voodoo1, Voodoo2, Voodoo3,
Rush and Sigma 5. You can download them from
sent note on some photos the gals took during QuakeCon'99
as well as some snapshots of the Star Trek
Voyager: Elite Force. Check it out!
Full Tower Casing 15:37
is Casing day as 3D
Alpha also reviewed a casing, the Inwin
Q500-300A Full Tower Casing.
I had bought a new computer about a month ago,
the case I specified to come with it was the
InWin Q500-300A case. It's a nicely equipped
case, with a whopping 300 watts of power supply
to power your computer. Quite a nasty piece of
juice to get hit with if you plan on opening the
case without turning the switch off. The
expansion slots are broken down into two
categories: Internal and external slots. The
external slots consist of five 5.25" bays,
and one 3.5" bay, and the internal slots
are five 3.5" bays. The size of the case is
what'd you expect from a full-tower ATX case:
Big. The InWin Q500-300A could double as a
companion for your three-year old if he/she is
into imaginary friends. Of course, if they get
into tea parties, it's time to lock up your
computer room during the daytime.
X-Lucent ATX Midtower Casing 15:34
sent note on their exclusive review on the A-Top
X-Lucent ATX Midtower casing.
made it very easy to remove the side panels by
providing thumb-screws - a thoughtful touch. I
might actually put the screws back into this
case now, instead of leaving them out like I do
with my other cases. The side panels also have
plastic pull-tabs to make it easy to pull them
off. Rather than sliding all the way back like
with one of my other cases, you only need to
slide the sides back about a half an inch and
then they just pop off quite easily.
also made it so that the entire motherboard
chassis can be pulled out of the back of the
case. You'd first have to remove all connecting
wires, of course, but it makes the motherboard
accessible without having to remove the cards
and unscrew it.
and System Optimization Guide 15:32
also posted a Windows
and System Optimization Guide. Check out what
are the ways to speed up your Windows.
instructions will better tweak your computer to
higher levels of optimization. After doing
these, I freed up 12% RAM usage in Windows, and
my CPU ran a good bit cleaner. Seeing the
performance gain, I couldnít help but tell
more people about this.
I begin, I want to say that I wonít be held
responsible if something goes wrong on your
computer. I say this, because with an audience
as big as this, someone is bound to screw up,
and I donít want to be blamed. So continue at
your own risk.
Celeron Card 15:29
sent note of the appearance of the Evergreen
Celeron Card. This is a PCI card with a 433 Mhz
Celeron as well as 64MB of memory. Pretty
FF Wheel 15:26
reviewed the AVB
CC-FBW1 Force Feedback Wheel. Gee, this sounds
don't know about you but I love racing games (I
guess you can tell that by my nick name :-)).
Use to go to the arcade all the time to play
Indy 500 against all my friends. Getting behind
the wheel of that machine and doing some side by
side racing was a great way to kill off a boring
afternoon. One of the best things I like about
that arcade machine was the force feedback
steering wheel. It really added a level of
realism to the game. Coming home to play Indy
500 on the PC and keyboard was never quite the
same, until now.
Alpha sent note on their latest review on the Diamond
Monster MX300 soundcard.
I must admit this is a rather unscientific
method of testing a sound card. However, in my
humble opinion, the only proper test of a sound
card is to try it yourself, as everyone hears
things differently. The Diamond MX300 simply
blew me away. I have slowly become accustomed to
the incredible effects of surround sound on
gaming, and in those games which do not support
A3D 2.0, I feel as though something is missing.
Surround sound is as drastic an improvement to
gaming as hardware acceleration of graphics.
This card will spoil you, but I do believe
that's a small price to pay.
Socket370 Motherboard 15:23
posted a review on the Soyo
SY-7IZB+ Socket370 motherboard.
it comes to stability, I'd have to say that this
board has plenty of it. I was able to run my
300A CPU at 495MHz without any voltage tweaks.
That CPU usually requires a little extra juice.
I bumped up the speed to 540 MHz and almost got
into Windows 98 before my Seagate HD decided to
make scrambled eggs out of my data on the
spinning platters. That HD didn't like the
higher system bus speeds. One interesting
feature I noticed in the BIOS, was the IRQ
assignment setting for the PCI slots. You can
manually set which PCI slot gets which IRQ. This
is a very nice feature for fixing IRQ conflict
August 1999 - Friday
Makes PC Fast? 23:52
has an interesting
article for your reading. It's about the
considerations we all make when selecting the
appropriate parts for our PC. Take a look!
technologies lead to some obscure questions for
the PC buyer. Will your PC have a 66-MHz,
100-MHz, 133-MHz, or faster, bus? Will it come
with synchronous DRAM or RDRAM? How large is the
on-chip cache? Does the graphics technology come
close to true 3D performance or is it really 2D
clothed in 3D marketing hype?
consumers may not care about these issues, but
they will be increasingly important. Most of
these technologies are used now--or are going
into personal computers soon--and can impact
performance as much as any AMD or Intel
Vs Predator 23:44
just put up a review
on Aliens Vs Predator. Whoa! The boys really can't
keep their hands off the game. 93% overall rating!
off to Fox and Rebellion for giving us one hell
of a game.
In fact, its one of the best FPS shooters
to grace the shelves this spring/summer, and one
to not miss out.
If you are a chicken livered nerd, this
game isnít for you.
This game isnít for the weak hearted as
if you play this game, donít play with your
friends, because theyíll catch you screaming
like a girl. If
you like Quake, youíll love AvP.
If you like Duke Nukem, youíll love AvP.
If you like Heavy Gear 2, youíll love
if you love FPS shooters, AvP is the game for
List For Your HandPhone? 23:39
I'm speechless. I can imagine the fun, and the
disturbance as well. =) Check out this article
at ZDNet about such a technology under
messaging is going mobile. Web directory and
software developer InfoSpace.com is developing a
version of so-called "buddy list"
services that will let users send and receive
instant messages via digital cellular telephones
and handheld computers.
an application could significantly broaden the
usage of buddy list services, essentially
enabling individuals to exchange text messages
whether they are sitting at computers or
carrying wireless communication devices.
32 Card Zillion Pages Summary 23:33
slipped my mind yesterday to post up this huge
gigantic part 1 of his 32 card review summary.
Ok, I admit I haven't read it from first page to
the last... it is basically a summary of the
basket full of cards. Check out this mammoth at
Tom's Hardware and wait for the real meat that's
250 Interview 23:28
scored an interview
with Videologic regarding their Neon 250 card.
Interesting card to watch, though once again,
don't hold your breath waiting...
How do you think the Neon 250 will be doing it
against the TNT2, Voodoo3 and G400 in terms of
unique architecture means that for the latest
cutting edge 3D games like Quake 3 we
perform VERY well indeed, often better than
chips you've mentioned - and we are less
expensive than our competitors' high performance
PC Killer? 23:25
like Sun has some secret
PC killer project underway. Corona is its name
and it's going to try to do what the JavaNC failed
terribly in - to make PCs obsolete. Perhaps I'm
exaggerating, but read this!
has developed an "ultra-secret
PC-killer", just when everyone was thinking
that JavaStation NCs had been killed by
Corona, the new device will ship probably next
month for $499. When volume sales kick in, the
price is expected to fall to under $400,
according to Forbes
Corona has an Ethernet card but no local
storage, embedded Java and the X-Window system.
It also has a smart-card slot so users can
insert their smart card to restore their work
wrote a review on A-Trend's
ATC-6240 Rev 2 motherboard. Andy gave it high
praise, rating it amongst the best boards
available. Aren't we spoilt for choice now?
first revision of this board was not for
overclockers, and indeed A-Trend themselves
would be the first to admit that this. Revision
2 is a very different animal to revision 1 and
really is excellent. Indeed so much work has
been done between revisions, I would place it
right up there with the best right now. Praise
Heatsinks for Pentium III 21:06
just sent note that the long-awaited Alpha
heatsinks are finally available for Pentium III
good news for all our fellow overclockers who
have been waiting patiently to see Alpha bring a
PIII heat sink to market in the last two months.
I received word from their PR guy indicating
that these sinks will ship within the next few
weeks. Costs are still undetermined however we
are guessing that we are looking at a price
of the features of the new sink include a copper
heat spreader that will greatly help to
dissipate heat and a new air intake for the L2
Cache. (Can you tell we are a bit excited by all
is a pic for your viewing pleasure. I have also
included a link to the new
spec sheet on the product. Pricing
information will be released as soon as we know
Sniper 2 19:03
think I like the name more. Anyway, CPU
Review reviewed this card based on the TNT2
M64 chipset and it even cost less than 100
usual, I tried to get a good feel for the
performance of the Sniper 2. I ran a number of
popular benchmarks, whose results are reported
later in this review. Please note, these are the
same benchmarks I've been running for my other
video card reviews, so you can compare the
results shown in the different reviews on my
previous versions of the TNT2 drivers, I had no
problems with the nVidia Detonator 2.08 drivers
that I used for this review; AGP worked without
any problems on my Super 7 test-bed.
Shock 2 19:00
snipers over at FiringSquad
brought us another new preview today - System
Shock 2. Wow, games just keep getting better
and better.... :)
see, in System Shock 2, like in the original,
things move slowly. If you complained about
Quake II being slow, you haven't seen anything
yet. At the run setting, your character in SS2
moves about as fast as the Quake marine sneaking
around so as not to make footsteps. Your jumps
are agonizingly slow and small. Your attacks
will come at a deliberate pace - at its fastest,
the wrench attack in SS2 was about 2/3 the speed
of a Half-Life crowbar swing.
F400 19" Monitor 18:57
I will love to have one of these. Anyway, Tech-Review
reviewed the Sony
F400 19" monitor and the guys gave the
monitor a 4.5 out of 5 stars rating.
latest generation of Sony's high performance
monitors has arrived with the F series. As the
monitor industry has evolved, Sony has always
been at the front of the pack when it comes to
image quality and features. The F series looks
to put all other monitors to shame with its
completely flat screen rated at a true .22 mm
dot pitch over the entire screen. Here we take a
look at the 19" flavor of the F series, the
F400. The F400 takes the 19" monitor sector
to a new platform and takes the price with it.
This monitor isn't cheap by no means when
considering other 19" monitors can be had
for more than half its price. Yet, the F400
seeks to be the best in the class, and that
usually comes at a cost.
Quickcam Pro 18:56
new review from SystemLogic
as they bring you their thoughts on the Logitech
Quickcam Pro USB.
first thing that's offbeat about this
installation is that you can't install the
camera before installing the camera. You have to
install the software, power down, then do a cold
boot with the camera plugged in. Being as
stubborn as I am, I didn't look at the
documentation - I just popped the CD right in,
if I had looked I would have seen the large
piece of paper saying "DO NOT INSTALL
CAMERA PRIOR TO SOFTWARE" which later
smacked me in the forehead like a mac truck. I
had to call up their techsupport and be told
that I was the idiot in this case... Oh well, I
can take it. Besides that, the installation is
pretty easy. Install software, restart with
camera plugged in, and you're ready to go. The
Quickcam application that's installed rests in
your quick launch bar right next to Outlook
Express and Internet Explorer. The other titles
aren't installed by default.
Optimizaton Guide 18:54
whipped up another article on optimizing
get tried of waiting for your system to boot up?
Want to make it faster? Look no further as there
are many ways to make your system bootup faster
without spending a cent more!
Most of the tips requires changing your BIOs
setting so make sure you remember your old
setting so you can go back to it at anytime.
finished their review on the FIC
VB601 Slot-1 motherboard. So, what do they
think of it? Check it out:
the other VB601 motherboards (the VB601-V and
VB601-Z), the VB601 will auto-detect the CAS
level of your memory. The BIOS may be set
so that it auto-detects the CAS level and
defaults to the reported value (i.e. if
you have CAS2 memory, the system will detect
that and set the timing for CAS2 memory) or you
may manually set the values to be used.
Another nice feature that the board has is the
ability to have different CAS timings for each
DIMM slot. I didn't use this feature
because the memory used for testing was CAS2,
but it could be a nice feature to have if you
have two different types of RAM in the system.
Intel Celeron 300A SL36A 11:25
yeah, this is one of the greatest discovery in the
past month - at least in Singapore! This limited
batch of OEM Celeron 300A SL36A hit town and
created quite a buzz. Of the 3 samples we tested,
2 made it to 527Mhz at 2.0V while the last one
managed 558Mhz at 2.3V! Enough rambling, check out
sure by now, many of you have heard rumours of a
very limited stock of Celeron 300A (S-type
SL36A) in the Singapore market right now. In
fact, this batch of Celeron chips have become
quite a topic in our forum. Well, we at Hardware
One have managed to get our hands on a few of
these precious gems and a number of us have run
these chips for more than 2 weeks. This ad-hoc
article is meant to be an honest account of what
we feel about them.
stopped manufacturing the 300As in their boxed
form for the general market. But apparently, the
chips are still being manufactured for the OEM
market. Thus enters the SL36A. It seems that
this batch was somehow "conveniently
leaked" into the market.
Press Brief - Neon250 11:21
posted about their
visit to Videologic and what they saw of the
Neon 250 in action. Oh yeah, some very impressive
benchmark numbers they witnessed...
the Neon 250 is debuting rather late it still
fares well against the current competition. It
wonít most probably be the fastest out there,
but it certainly will thrash just about
everything that runs at the same clockspeed of
125MHz. The OpenGL performance is extremely
satisfying at the moment, and it might just get
better. Direct3D isnít up to its full
potential just yet, due to the very early
drivers, donít fret though as that will be
fixed until the shipping of Neon 250 around late
Celeron 466Mhz 11:04
did a review
on the Intel Celeron 466Mhz as well as the
MSI-6905 1.1 converter card. The best deal in
town? A surprise review at Hardware-One will debut
in a few mins...
overclocking we found the Celeron 466 samples to
reach two different levels, 525MHz and 583MHz.
Each CPU we tested was fitted with a Socket
Sinker from 3DCOOL.COM for optimal temperatures,
and tested for a few hours. The first CPU we
tried worked great and stable at 583MHz, but the
second wouldn't go stable above 525MHz. This
goes to show that heat isn't the only factor
limiting the CPUs, as the Celeron core is almost
maxed. If you get over 583MHz with the 466 in
any case, we would be quite surprised. The
yields of the Celeron 466 are coming out pretty
steady though, and 525MHz seems to be the
keynote for over 2/3 of the Celeron 466s on the
chums at GameWire
delivered a preview
on HomeWorld. Looks like a really interesting game
to grab! More on this 3D RTS game...
is not a newcomer to the RTS arena, but the way
it is done here is. You build research ships, up
to 6, and each one can research a separate
field, OR you can have all of your research
ships research the same subject to make it go
faster. It took me a while to figure this out.
You can Ion Cannon Frigate rush pretty quickly
now that you know this (keep it to yourself). It
takes no money (except for the research ship's
cost) to advance yourself, only time but time is
a valuable commodity. You'll find yourself
wishing you could research faster so you could
build the counter to your opponent's forces.
Canyon MS Flight Simulator Add-On 10:50
mailed about their review
on Wilco's Grand Canyon, Microsoft Flight
Simulator add-on. MS FS fans, gotta check this!
Canyon uses a 3D modelling system of unrivalled
quality. The technological developments in the
Reality Flights series allow the virtual pilots
to feel the sensations of a visual flight,
precisely and faithfully reproduced. Imagine you
are moving 200 knots at a height of 500 feet
when suddenlt the ground falls away to reveal
the majestic canyon, the most spectacular in the
world! The Grand Canyon add-on for Microsoft
Flight Simulator & Combat Flight Simulator
has the most realistic terrain ever, at least
out of my experience.
Rage Fury Pro 06:15
is Fury madness day as SharkyExtreme
also posted their
thoughts on this card.
doesn't disclose their product's internal core
speeds publicly, but since the time of its
release Sharky Extreme has known that the
initial Rage Fury card's core clock speed has
been set to run at 105MHz.
math puts the new Rage Fury Pro's internal core
speed at a 140 - 150MHz level, which sources
inside ATI have verified (off the record) as an
difficult to predict the performance gains in
real-world applications from only core clock
speed increases, so we researched and obtained a
few early benchmark results from ATI's software
engineers on the new prototype Rage Fury Pro.
and MC2000 Peltier Review 06:05
posted another review, this time it's the MC1000/MC2000
method used in the design of the MC1000 and
MC2000 is referred to as the "Peltier
Effect". The "Peltier Effect" was
first discovered in 1834 by Jean C. Peltier. The
"Peltier" principle basically states
that when electrical current flows through two
dissimilar conductors, heat transfer will occur
from the "cold junction" to the
"hot junction". The image below
illustrates how this basically works without
having to get into a very long and extremely
boring "Professor Jason" lecture on
Rage Pro Interview 05:59
Hardware, there's also an interview on the ATI
Rage Pro card. Looks like this card is
creating a storm lately...
of the most important features of the Rage 128
Pro line of boards is the fact that we have
added a new Rage Theater chip, that will allow
us to have video-in and video-out capability
with the Rage Pro boards. Users can not only get
the Tv-Out function that they had with the Rage
Fury, but now they have got one more feature
that was added to the list. This includes the
ability to capture video, take part in video
conferencing, capture still video, hook up your
game console or more. It is not as robust of an
implementation as the AIW128 products, but it
does give you full fledge video-in capability
for the Rage 128 Pro market.
with VIA 05:45
buds over at iXBT
interview with Sean Davidson, marketing
manager of VIA. Here's some of their juicy
At first we would like to ask you a question
that has been attracting public attention
lately, namely we would like to ask you about
the recent deal with Cyrix. How will it
influence the marketing strategy of your company
and the company's business in general?
Exciting stuff indeed. But there is not a lot I
can disclose right now due to the fact that we
only announced an LOI (letter of intention) to
purchase Cyrix. Details of the agreement will be
disclosed in the near future. Obviously Cyrix
rounds out our product portfolio very well and
provides us a clear hedge into the future
integration trend. We will market Cyrix
processors; but at the same time our chipsets
will be engineered and marketed to optimally
support AMD, Intel and other processors in the
posted some beautiful
screenshots of the racing game Interstate 82.
note on the press
release for the new ATI Rage Fury Pro. Check
RAGE FURY PRO answers the growing demand by PC
enthusiasts and gamers for a video add-in card
that handles the most complex games with leading
performance but does much more, including
video-in. The RAGE FURY PRO allows the capture
and editing of home videos, videoconferencing
and the ability to set up web cams. Additional
benefits of the video-in port include hooking up
a video game console to the PC monitor and
therefore freeing up the family TV. Video-in
will become a standard feature with next
August 1999 - Thursday
Live! vs Vortex2 19:00
guys over at Ars
Technica put up a comparison
between the SB Live! and the Aureal Vortex2
SuperQuad. Check it out:
both the Sound Blaster Live! and the Aureal
Vortex SuperQuad are good sound cards for the
indiscriminate Windows 98 user, Ars readers
demand more from their hardware. You want
multi-OS support, and multi-OS doesn't just mean
Windows 95, 98 and NT, it means Linux and BeOS.
With some sweet games becoming available for
both platforms, you aren't just missing the beep
when you get an email anymore. Let's begin
tallying a score.
Or 128Mb? Is More Better? 17:43
again, we can trust the guys at The
TechZone to do some investigation
that simplifies our buying decision - yeah, at
least when we're on a limited budget. So the
question on RAM - is more necessarily better? Find
hard drive is the slowest part of the computer.
The main point of getting more RAM is to keep
all the needed instructions within the L1, L2
and system RAM. Any time your comp has to go to
the hard drive for instructions, you take a big
performance hit. This is sometimes referred to
as hard drive thrashing.
the more RAM the better, right? Well, to a
point. There is such a thing as going too far.
It also depends on the applications you run.
Programs like PhotoShop eat RAM for breakfast,
lunch and dinner. This article will take a look
at how RAM affects game performance, since
that's what really counts. Who care how fast you
can scroll a MS Word document?
PIII Cooler 17:40
reviewed this snazzy
cooler for your Pentium III CPU. Perhaps the
best CPU deserves the best cooling huh? Just look
at the sleek fan enclosure...
will just smack it down to you here. The
Tennmax units temperature wavered 113 to 115
degrees F under a load, while the Vantec
unit never once got above 109 degrees F.
would have to say that if both units were
sitting side by side on the shelf and within
a couple dollars of each other in price, I
would purchase the Vantec. The Vantec
P3-D5030 is a very well constructed heatsink
& fan combination that will help you
cool your PIII to very comfortable levels
without spending an arm and a leg.
think the fact that the units mounts much
more steady and solid would keep me from
wondering if it was still mounted properly
or had been jostled loose. Also running the
same exact CPU under identical conditions,
and keeping it 5% cooler is certainly worth
your piece of mind.
To Create Athlon Family 17:37
reported that AMD plans to announce a family
of Athlon products, with versions for high-end PCs
as well as consumer pieces. What's this about
Professional and Ultra variation?
is expected to elaborate on these and possibly
other brand names on Monday, sources said. The
company will announce then, "Here's what
AMD knows needs to go into [the chips],"
said one source.
the Athlon Professional will be aimed at
desktops, Athlon Ultra chips, with support for
multiprocessing, will be used for workstations
and servers. AMD will position the chips as
alternatives for corporations that have
standardized on hardware that uses Pentium brand
processors from Intel Corp.
Double Whammy 17:34
the folks at FPS3D
reviewed the 3DCool
Double Whammy coolers for PIIIs and Slot-1
Celerons. Still feeling the heat? =)
work extremely solidly, quietly, and are backed
by the reputable 3DCool name. If you want great
cooling at a great price for your Pentium III or
Celeron, the Double Whammys fit in just about
anyone's budget. Of course there is bigger,
louder, and more expensive cooling equipment out
there, but for most overclocking jobs the Double
Whammy is definitely the way to go.
Software Gets Reborn On Web 17:31
Don't be mistaken that there's no time for
nostagia in the world of computing. There is! And
a good reason for it. Check out this TechWeb
article about the rebirth of some classic
programs now available for free from the Internet.
some cases, these classic applications can teach
modern-day developers a few things, including
interface design and how to cram a lot of
functionality in a very small footprint, said
Dave Winer, president of Userland Software, in
new review over at AnandTech
on the Monsoon
MM1000 flat panel speakers. So Is it all form
and no substance? Here's a snip:
the Benwin's provide a very space filling sound
where it's hard to tell the speaker's location,
the Monsoon's goal is the exact opposite. As
mentioned above, Planar Focus technology is
designed to direct the sound at the listener and
that it does very well as the MM-1000's are very
directional. Turning the speaker to its side it
feels like half the sound (mids and highs) just
disappears. Again, this was done in order to
minimize reflections and eliminate crosstalk
that will hopefully increase the effectiveness
of sound cards that project 3D sound from just
two speakers. And the best part is it really
Hands-On Preview 17:24
threw up a preview on Homeworld
- a new era of 3D RTS games? Surely a killer title
to watch for this September!
in all, Homeworld looks like its living up to
the hype it inadvertently created for itself.
Although our hands - on beta was multiplayer
only, it's important to note that a full 16
mission campaign will be available for single
player fans. Multiplayer online is handled
through Sierra's Won.net matchmaking service,
and the chat/game creation interface was
refreshingly clean and uncluttered. Once they
work out some connection bugs, we're sure
Homeworld is going to be a fun game to play
online. Look for this 3D strategy title to
rocket to the top of the sales charts come
SBLive! Value 17:21
Alpha Hardware also did a review
on the SoundBlaster Live! Value edition. Yup, if
you're still torn between a Vortex2 and Creative
card, perhaps reading this might help?
was personally pleased by all the options that
SB Live! Value had to offer, as well as it's top
notch performance. It delivers crisp and clear
sound, without compromising options or
performance. The drivers that are released for
it periodically help make sure that the card
doesn't go obsolete right away after purchase.
This sound card generally sells for under a
hundred bucks (Prices below review), and for the
money, it's well worth the options and features,
as well as the power behind it.
Pronto Intelligent Remote Control 17:17
wrote a review
about this remote control of all remote
controls... a nifty IR device that will remember
all the control settings of your various remotes
and be operated by a simple touch-screen. Cool? =)
consumer touchscreen remote controls are fairly
new to the market, the Pronto does a good job of
including features that make this remote a very
nice addition to your audio/video arsenal. First
off the "high-resolution" 320x240 LCD
touchscreen is large and easy to see in any sort
of lighting condition. The screen also becomes
backlit with an indigo type light each time it
is touched, making sure you can easily see which
buttons you would like to touch. In addition,
the Pronto menus are animated and move in and
out according to which menus you are accessing
which definitely adds to the Pronto's appeal.
Webcam III 17:13
Review Zone posted a review
on Creative's Webcam III. Small glitches aside,
the cute camera is quite highly recommended:
capture was also quite smooth. Assuming you
don't have any other background activity and
your hard drive and CPU are up to par, you will
be capturing video to AVI files without any
problems. The image quality was not the best
I've seen. It is, however, good in relation to
the price and should not be a reason to put you
off unless you want to use the input for
as it was beginning to seem that all is rosy and
well with the WebCam III, I have to mention one
very annoying problem. On some machines (I have
not yet located the exact reason for this) the
WebCam III would refuse to be detected on a
reboot. But it is detected if the computer has
been powered off for a while and then powered
back on. This does not seem to happen if it is
attached to a powerd USB hub. It is possible
that some component within the Webcam is not
initializing on the restart since power is being
continuously provided. It can be fixed without a
shutdown by unplugging the USB cable and
re-plugging it, but this is annoying especially
if your USB ports are in the back of the
computer. Creative is aware of this (reports of
the problem have been posted on their support
news group, news.creative.com) but has yet to
issue a fix.
VB601-V Mobo 17:10
reviewed the VIA Apollo Pro Plus based FIC
VB601-V, Slot-1 Mobo. Looking for an
alternative to BX? Hmm... then check this out!
FIC VB601-V board is a good all around board
with a price that is hard to beat. It is very
surprising to find a board with this set of
features (even if you are unable to overclock
your Celeron with it) for a price that low. If
you are looking for a board for your PII or PIII
or don't plan to overclock your Celeron, it is a
decent choice. However, if you are
planning to use a Slot1 Celeron or a PPGA with a
Socket 370/Slot 1 adapter that doesn't allow you
to force a 100MHz FSB, then you may want to look
elsewhere. There are several other boards
available that will allow you to easily
overclock your Celeron.
Hilarious Story 17:07
tells of this amusing
challenge issued by Microsoft to hackers, to
try break its Windows 2000 security system. Was
anybody impressed? You better read this:
an attempt to burnish its tarnished reputation
for network security, Microsoft issued an open
challenge on Tuesday to the hacking community.
But potential testers barely got a chance to
attempt to break Windows 2000's security system,
as the test server Microsoft offered crashed,
then remained down for most of the past 24
like IBM cooked
up a mighty powerful processor, err...actually
two processors on the same die along with the L2
cache using .18 micron design.
Power4 is the first IBM processor design to
include two processors and an L2 cache on the
same die, taking advantage of the transistor
densities possible with 0.18-micron design
CPU design is the first by the design team here
that will be able to run either the AS400 OS or
the AIX version of Unix used in IBM's RS/6000
workstations and servers, including an RS/6000
SP system sold into the supercomputer market.
Earlier Power3 designs from IBM's team in
Rochester, Minn., were able to run either OS.
a 0.18-micron process and copper interconnects,
there are a much larger number of transistors
available to the designers. One way to put them
to use is to put two processor cores on the same
die, and take advantage of the very high
bandwidth possible between them," Anderson
Pro Xtreme 08:59
posted a 'Hands-On' preview of the Savage4
before you all get your knickers in a twist
thinking the Savage4 Pro Xtreme (huh?) is a
'next-gen' or 'high-end' chip- it isn't. Sources
close to Sharky Extreme have told us that later
on in the year, when S3 does release their next
generation part, currently known as the GX4, it
will have complete hardware support for
Transformation & Lighting. The way T&L
works by offloading the geometry transforms and
lighting calculations from the CPU, it could
work to S3's advantage if they are following
their recent traditions and going after the more
competitively priced markets. Thus, rather than
dubbing the Savage4 Pro Xtreme as a 'new' chip
altogether, it's more accurate to think of it as
exactly the same that's come before with the
original Savage4, only faster (and here comes
the hook) yet at the same price.
@ AGN Hardware 08:56
Hardware where the babes posted two new
reviews. The InBusiness
Fast Ethernet Hub as well as a smashing interview
about the AMD Athlon Interview.
think that is the important part, AMD has
managed to come out with a chip that is
bypassing Intel for a change. How did you manage
to come out of this starting point with this
massive performance? Did you design all of this
yourself or did you buy the technology like you
have in the past?
the K7 core, this is really our ground up
design. So this combined all of the learning
from the more then 100 million X86 processors
that we have built over the years. So the reason
that you are going to see such a dramatic
performance increase over the previous products
from our competitors is because we have a very
capable design team and we listen to our
customers and what they need and require. Then
we build those needs into the product, to
deliver what they need. One of the advantages
for us with the Athlon is because we built it
from scratch, we did not have to incrementally
improve the performance. Instead we were able to
go from the start and creative a chip that
provides all of the needs from the beginning.
Live! Value 08:53
posted their thoughts on the wonder card (at least
in my opinion) SoundBlaster
Live! Value. Here's some of what they said:
out of the box, the Live! Value looks like any
other sound card, but looks can be deceiving.
The Live! Value has four plug-ins on the card
labeled Line In, Microphone In, Line Out (for
front speakers), Line Out (for rear speakers) as
well as the Joystick/Midi 15-pin connector. But
what makes the Live! Value such a powerful card,
is the EMU10K1 processor. At an estimated 2
million transistors, the EMU10K1 can do 1,000
instructions per second! With the EMU10K1's use
of 8 point interpolation, combined with 32-bit,
48kHz rates, the Live! Value is able to produce
very smooth and clear sound. Although the Live!
Value is geared more for a four speaker setup,
it can use a traditional two speaker setup.
guys over at 360Degrees
whipped up a review on Bleem!
- the software which emulates the Playstation on
software mode, the game looked like your average
Playstation games onÖwell on a Playstation.
Most games are very compatible in
software mode, (thatís not saying all games
work) but itís really nothing much to talk
about. Now lets get to the good part, the D3D
graphics. For the game that works in D3D mode,
wow!! The Polygons are sharp; textures are
colorful and no more ugly pixels, Playstation
games as never looked so good. You can finally
play Playstation games in high resolution, Bleem
can go up has high as your card can handle but
off course that slows the game down.
People who have 3D cards that support
32bit colors will be happy here, Bleem has the
ability to render at 24/32bit colors (some time
you have to use 32bit color for the game to
work), so you TNT/TNT2 owners can laugh at the
Voodoo lovers once again.
With all the good stuff said, here comes
the bad. Although the games looked great, just
not that many game work all that well in D3D
August 1999 - Wednesday
TennMax TNT Detonator Cooler 21:26
guys! A pal of ours, Kai Ping, sent us his review
on the TennMax
TNT Detonator Cooler. Tested on his Creative
Ultra TNT2 card, you may want to check out his
level of success in o/c-ing!
TNT2U chip surface temperature however was
markedly cooler Ė from 43.4 degrees C with the
original cooler (at 165MHz core) to 38.6 degrees
C with the TennMax cooler (at 170 MHz core) i.e.
4.8 degrees C cooler.
For The Industry 21:19
editorial goodness at osOpinion!
This time Sj12fn posted some challenges
for some of the mammoths of computer industry to
accomplish. Here's a quote:
my hardest challenge, to Microsoft. I challenge
you to open up the Win32 (and when it comes
Win64) API. Don't give me that crap about
already having it open. Show me the API that
gives me the Office 2000 save as dialogue boxes,
for starters. Opening up the API will foster
innovation, as you say you want, in the computer
industry. This move would also help along the
WINE and TWIN Windows emulators, thus allowing
Office, IE, and your other programs to open up
to the new Linux market. I know it would hurt
your Windows sales, but it would be a good thing
for Office and IE to have them on one more
platform (note to Bill: if IE is part of
Windows, why does it run on Mac?).
TV Wonder 21:15
has up on their site what is supposed to be the first
review of the ATI TV Wonder on the Internet.
Interesting high-end offering from ATI - all the
this is a very good tuner card. I really like
its features and ease of use. The only bad thing
about this card is that the supposed driver with
support for WebTV for Windows hasn't come out
yet. So every time you start the program for
WebTV, it will lock up your computer. Hopefully
the new drivers will be come out soon. ATi TV
Wonder should not disappoint most people. It is
a great card if you are thinking of watching TV
or capturing video on your computer.
posted round 2 of their BXBoard roundup, this one
on the Asus
P3B-F. Yeah, the 6 PCI slot thingy you always
Asus P3B-F proved to be a really stable
motherboard and a consistent performer; it was
able to run the PPGA Celeron 366 at 550MHz with
a Powerleap PL-PII, something we could not
accomplish with the Asus P2B rev. 1.10.
we look at the performance and stability it
offers, the PC-99 compliance and the added
Ďjumperlessí CPU voltage and busspeed
selection, we can only conclude that this
motherboard is very appealing.
- To Upgrade Or Not To Upgrade? 21:07
posted an interestingly
simple chart for a not too simple decision you
will soon have to face once Microsoft releases
W2K... Roll over to see if you should make a move
Delphine's new action/role-playing game -
Darkstone. It plays like Diablo, so does it
interest you now? =)
can I say here, it's just a direct copy of
Diablo. If you've played Diablo, you know
exactly how this one plays. You run around, hit
hit hit and run around some more. The belt,
points to add to your attribute when you gain a
level, the blocks where you store your
equipment, etc etc. are all the same, no big
posted a first looks on the Glaze3D
passed, and as always with stuff that is
promised but not delivered it all became a joke.
Glaze 3D became the 'donut chip' and no one
believed the deadline of Q499 that was initially
set. Until today, the 2:nd of August. We had
already had some small hints of what was coming
by mail this summer, but no one actually wanted
to believe it. Today we were presented to a set
of features that not only makes the T-Buffer
look a little paler, but might even make nVIDIA
executives sleep badly. A 1.5 million transistor
chip that is set to become available for the
bulic in Q1 2000 is, according to the Bitboys,
able to produce 1.2 Gigapixels per second , quad
texturing and all the graphics features you
could ever dream of. This is something nVIDIA
and 3dfx haven't dared to say about their 20
million transistor monsters coming up around the
Master CoolDrive 17:38
our pals over at ArsTechnica
reviewed the Cooler
Master Cooldrive cooler. Here's a paragraph of
what they said:
and foremost, you'll want to consider this bad
mamma because it cools down your hard drive in a
major way. Perchance you've not noticed,
most of the new drives out there (7200 and 10k
rpm) are getting pretty freaking hot! The
high-RPM drives tested in this review were, when
running at their normal operating temperatures,
very unpleasant to hold or even touch even after
only moderate usage. Said drives are
engineered to withstand such temperatures of
course, but let's be realistic - the drive is
going to have a longer running life at lower
temperatures, and the integrity of the platters
will be much greater as well. Not to
mention the fact that things like a lack of
proper case ventilation or no home A/C in a hot
summer can ratchet things up even higher.
of Persia 3D 17:34
sent note on their review on Prince
of Persia 3D. Darn, I still remember playing
this game in CGA mode and controlling the figure
with my paws using the keyboard. Pretty fun at
1989, a man by the name of Jason Mechner soley
created a game that revolutionized the gaming
industry, that game was Prince of Persia. With
its never-before-seen animation, compelling
storyline, and rich graphics, Price of Persia
set a new standard by which all action/adventure
games of its time were based upon. The game
brought joy and pleasure to fans of of any
system, whether it be a PC, Mac, Gameboy, Super
Nintendo, and the list goes on. It was the first
game to integrate the health bar, which resulted
in less frustrating play, and brought about the
idea that the storyline could absorb the player
into the action, and brought on the saying
"just one more level". The last
installment in the series was Prince of Persia
2, which like its predecessor, received rave
reviews and set an example of how a sequel can
live up to its hype.
is hot as well! FiringSquad
managed to get hold of the Diamond
III S540 Xtreme graphics card as well as some
info on the next coming GX4 chipset from S3.
S3 and Diamond are announcing the Stealth III
S540 Xtreme, based on the S3 Savage4 Pro Xtreme
chip. Diamond is once again targeting the budget
minded consumer, but don't let that
"budget" label fool you. The Stealth
III Xtreme has the goods to compete with the
TNT2 and Voodoo3.
had the opportunity to talk with S3's PR Manager
Paul Crossley and 3D Marketing Manager Mark
Hirsch about the Stealth III Xtreme. We even
managed to get the marketing boys to give us a
little info about S3's super-secret next
generation "GX4" chipset.
vs Pentium III 17:29
this out. Our pals over at FiringSquad
posted an article comparing the Athlon
vs the Pentium III at 600 Mhz. Boy boy, this
should be interesting to read.
important point to remember is that 600MHz
doesn't mean any testing is "apples to
apples." Quite literally, look at Apple's
top of the line G3 450Mhz. While a test against
a similarly equipped P2-450 might be an apt
comparison for some, who would be satisfied by
any results? We've got the P3-600 now, and you
can probably get it loaded for the same price as
Apple's 450MHz blue and white tower.
short, it may be nice to say "product x has
the fastest architecture," but if it can't
deliver in yield or scalability, raw MHz are
going to take the cake, both in psychology and
performance. This is exactly what Intel did
against Apple and PowerPC, and it's why you
don't hear anything anymore about the speed of
RISC or PowerPC's newest chips, at least on the
scored an interview with game designer Kevin
Lambert on the game Sanity
from Monolith. Here's some juice:
What was the inspiration for the development of
Lambert: The games that most
inspired Sanity are Magic: The Gathering, a
board game called Wiz-War, Diablo, and The
Legend of Zelda. We wanted to take our favorite
elements from each of these games and try to
effectively combine them into a single game.
Sanity is the result of this experiment. :)
MaxiGamer Xentor32 17:25
out our buds over at 3DSpotlight
with their latest review on the MaxiGamer Xentor32
Xentor 32 card looked pretty spiffy when I
opened up the Fed-Ex box. It came with its own
cooling fan (A definite plus), a TV-Out for DVD
playback or games on your television (NTSC and
PAL TV output), three CDs (A driver's CD,
Kingpin: Life of Crime, Speedbusters, and other
demos), one fifty-six page long manual, a thirty
dollar rebate card (good until November 30th
'99), and an advertisement for High-IQ. The
card's RAM is clocked at 5.5 nanoseconds, faster
than most NVIDIA cards, being beaten by only a
couple cards, one being Creative
Blaster TNT2 Ultra.
32 bundle wasnít bad I must admit, it came
with the full version of UbiSoftís Speed
Busters, an OEM version of Interplayís
Kingpin, XingDVD Player 2.01 for some DVD
madness and some other game demos such as Monaco
Grand Prix Racing Simulation 2, SCARS and Tonic
Trouble. As you can notice all these games (with
the exception of Kingpin) are from Ubisoft,
which is also owned by Guillemot, thatís why.
August 1999 - Tuesday
Alpha also scored a preview
on the BitBoys' Glaze3D chip, the card's features
and powess suggest that it's going to be a
freeakin' big time success when the chip hits the
shelves! (The Register has news
about it's unveiling)
the world was shocked by the news that Bitboys
Oy will actually hit the target timeframe for
the Glaze3D graphics processor. Many critics
felt that the Glaze3D would never see the light
of day. However, it seems that not only will it
arrive, but it will give the top 3dfx and NVidia
products a real run for their money. The most
impressive feature by far is the capability of
this chip to deliver 1200 million texels per
second. The current top of the line cards can't
even hit a third of that rate.
also took a hint from 3dfx's SLI technology,
which allows two Voodoo II graphics cards to run
in tandem. The Glaze3D allows up to four chips
working together. This provides for an
incredible ammount of 3D horsepower by any
standard. The chip includes 9MB of embedded
memory, which allows for a 9.6 GB/s bandwidth.
This allows the Glaze3D to access textures much
faster than other graphics chips. The Glaze3D
also includes support for up to 128mb of off-die
memory, running at 143, 166, or 200mhz, which
allows for a bandwidth of up to 3.2 GB/s. In
comparison, the memory of the TNT2 and Voodoo3
is limited to 2.9 GB/s. Bitboys didn't forget
about AGP, either, as they have included full
AGP 4x support for up to 128mb memory.
Glaze3D can actually take advantage of so much
memory thanks to the 4096x4096 texture size
limit. When you factor in the 32-bit color
support with textures that size, the memory
- Weekly Dose 23:51
just put up their first edition of their Weekly
Dose - an article about the latest
developments in the computer scene.
Guide - Part 5 23:46
Extreme whipped up Part
5 of their Memory Guide. This time the article
talks about system timing. Check it out!
memory solutions are attempting to address the
bandwidth issue. D-RDRAM is the one Intel is
banking on. One problem with increasing the bus
speed is the 'ringing', or noise on the circuit.
Rambus has addressed this with a 16-bit
interface and a point-to-point protocol. While
the maximum bandwidth is increased to as high as
1.6GB/sec, the initial latency is actually a bit
worse than SDRAM. Turnaround latency, however,
is better than current solutions. With a
projected cost increase of up to 50% over
current solutions, it is not very attractive at
will increase the bandwidth from 800MB/sec to
1.06GB/sec, but will do nothing for initial
latency or turnaround latency. DDR SDRAM will
increase the maximum bandwidth even further, to
as much as 2.1GB/sec, but the latency issue
still limits the effective bandwidth.
OS Strategy Shift? 23:34
has an article
speculating some strategy shift in Microsoft's
future OS releases. The talk mainly revolved
around Windows 2000 and the upcoming Millennium.
think Millennium is just something they threw
together to ooh and ahh the audience with this
developer release," Hilbert said, adding
that he does believe that the core of the
operating system is based on Windows 98, as
Microsoft has said. "I believe the guts, or
kernel of the operating system, is still Windows
98 based, although a good portion of [Windows]
Explorer does show signs of being Windows
no reason to invent whole new code--but that
doesn't affect the fact that they're based on
completely separate kernels," she said,
explaining that using different code is merely a
shortcut for the development team. "It
shouldn't be necessary to reinvent the wheel.
They can use the efforts of other groups."
testers assert that the situation affects far
more than an isolated dialogue box or two.
Justin Jenkins, Webmaster of BetaLabs
calls Millennium "Windows 2000 skin over
Windows 98, as far as I can tell."
With Cirrus Logic/Crystal Audio 23:30
sent note of their interview
with the Product Marketing Manager of Computer
Audio Products, David Crowell, of Cirrus
Logic/Crystal Audio. They spoke about new products
from the semi-conductor giant.
Why did you choose Sensaura for your 3D audio
They offered support of industry standards A3D
and EAX, as well as some great new technologies
such as their 4-channel HRTF solution.
Will your new four-channel DSP solution supports
Crystal currently sells many DSPs for AC-3
decoding, but they go to the audio receiver
market. With these chips and our PCI DSP, we can
offer a complete board-level solution for a
sound card with AC-3 decoder (plus we offer DTS
And AMD To Finalise Chipset Deal 23:25
to this news
Register, VIA will officially announce their
new chipset for the AMD K7 Athlon on 10 August. So
watch out for it! Here's a snip of the blabber:
to the VIA source, AMD is already incorporating
one of VIA's south bridge chips in a provisional
chipset for the Athlon CPU -- used mainly for
testing purposes. However, said the VIA source,
VIA's new chipset "has many more high-end
features than AMD's chipset".
chipset's specs include AGP 4x, PC133 memory,
UDMA-66 and a lot of other integrated features,
said the source. "It's got the same
features as say, the MVP4." The VIA MVP4
chipset includes integrated 2D/3D graphics and
Athlon chipset was relatively easy to design,
said the source. "Basically all we did was
take an upcoming [Intel-compatible] chipset, and
just put in an AMD EV-6 front side bus, every
other feature is the same."
8 For Linux Review 23:15
Review posted a rare
review on WordPerfect 8 for Linux. Here's a
short blurb on the product from Corel.
8 is a high quality, professional word
processing package. It does a good job of
importing Word documents, and provides more
printer drivers than you can shake a stick at...
Register, AMD succeeds in producing copper
K6. Hmm, will they overclock better? Read on:
director of AMD's Fab 30 in Dresden said today
that the company had succeeded this month in
producing a K6 using its copper technology.
But success with the K6 in copper is merely a
warm up for production of the K7 Athlon,
according to Hans Jeppe, who runs the facility,
He confirmed that the fab was capable of
producing 5,500 wafer starts a week, but
declined to say how many of the dies would be
good ones. There will be 300 K7 Athlons per
wafer at .18 micron.
3 3500TV 22:22
has done a review on the V3
3500TV, will you get this board? Check out
what Anand has to say:
the Voodoo3 3500 been released with the rest of
the Voodoo3 line earlier this year, it would've
been an easy recommendation to make.
However now, close to the year's end, a "go
out and pick one up" recommendation is very
difficult to make. The 3500 will set you
back at least $200 with the current estimates at
cost being around $250, and even for a gaming
solution, that is pushing the budget quite a
bit. If you do happen to have $250 to
kill, here's another thing you need to take into
consideration: the true
accelerators are going to begin shipping before
the year's end, we've all known about this and
it should come as no surprise, so investing $250
in the fastest 3dfx product today will most
likely take you out of the running for spending
$250 in 2 - 3 months on a product that'll most
likely give you 2 - 3x the gaming performance.
Celeron Retro 06:55
this is actually my favorite. Our buds over at ArsTechnica
wrote a wonderful article called the Dual
Celeron Retro explaining all the myth on these
wonder chips. Take a look at'em!
Casing Review 06:51
important for each processor to know what its
own agent ID is, because it uses this knowledge
to request the bus. Remember how I said that a
386 would just assert its BREQ# pin if it needed
the bus? Well, since each Celeron has two
bus request pins, it needs to know which one to
use when requesting the bus. Whether it uses
BR1# or BR0# depends on what Agent ID it was
assigned. If a CPU has Agent ID 0, it uses BR0#
to request the bus; likewise, if it has Agent ID
1, it uses BR1#. All the agents keep track
of the current bus owner, and they all cooperate
to pick the next bus owner in the round-robin
reviewed the CS-299PX
ATX Casing. Check out the shots of the casing
taken by the girls!
from my requirements, the case also offered a
few other value-added features. Since the right
side is curved, the designers were smart enough
to include a set of four plastic standoffs that
connect to the mainboard tray to aid in
installation. The case also features a cable
rack in the rear next to the expansion slots.
Pretty nifty in that it even comes with its own
cable management. Cool! Some of the newer cases
are also starting to feature this, a SLEEP
button. I've grown to love this function as when
I'm done with the computer, I no longer have to
power it down and then wait for it to bootup the
next time I need it. All I need to do is press
the SLEEP button, and the CPU throttles down and
power consumption crawls to a minimum as even
the hard drives power down.
sent note on their
interview with lead programmer Kevin Perko on
the free flying game Hangsim.
How long has Hangsim been in development?
It took about a year and a half to develop
Hangsim, the initial development phase took
approximately six months. At that time it was
clear to us that the initial product would be a
success (both the idea and the software itself).
ActionLink USB Starter Kit 06:46
reviewed the ActionTec
ActionLink USB Starter Kit. Hmm, I will prefer
the good old Ethernet.
the ActionLink kit to work was not a problem at
all. The installation was one of the more unique
ones, however still something that anyone who
can read a Quick Installation manual can handle
with ease. The way it works, is you install the
software on each PC first, and then connect the
cable between them second. Installation time
will be about 15 minutes for both computers, and
that includes getting the PCs talking to each
other and sharing files and playing games. The
software installed provides troubleshooting help
if things go wrong, and the software itself sits
in your system tray.
vs 128MB 06:44
Hardware posted part two of their 64MB
vs 128MB RAM comparison article. Hmm, more is
better isn't it?
it comes down to it, gaming enthusiasts will pay
almost any price to pick up a hot new video
card, input device or 3D soundcard these days.
One thing most gaming enthusiasts overlook is
system RAM. Today most PCs come with 64MB
standard, and some gaming machine vendors know
better and include at least a 128MB (and even up
to 256MB in some cases). Most games today claim
32MB of RAM is required, while under the
recommended requirements 64MB is listed. Quite
frankly, 128MB of RAM is where you want to be if
you're a gaming enthusiast.
sent note on a new
version of TweakAll, bringing it up to v1.2.
TweakAll is a graphic card tweak that can tweak
your 3dfx card and your TNT card.
Tweaking (MTU settings) have been added.
Voodoo 3 Gamma and refresh rate controls have
for the new Video and Alpha blending settings
for the Voodoo3 (latest Voodoo3 drivers
Banshee Support Added
Over Windows Stack Pages
Explorer as Default
over icon on Shortcuts
button on 'Run Programs' tab
added to TweakTray (with optional
compatible registry export
V770 TNT2 06:39
Degrees wrote down their thoughts on the Diamond
V770 TNT2 OEM graphics card.
biting the bullet and jumping on the TNT2
bandwagon my system was chugging among on a
Riva128 ZX. I missed the boat on the whole V2
craze and opted for a Riva. My mistake. Although
the Riva128 was a decent chip, offering me
playable frame rates in Q2 - what it had in
speed was severly hampered by its down right
crappy image quality. Once called "Mr
Ugly" by the long since revered Tom Pabst,
it looked like shit. In any event, the image
quality of the TNT2 is leaps and bounds above
the quality of my previous card. I wish I had
kept the card around to do some comparison
shots, but take my word for it. It's like night
and day. For visual quality examinations I've
posted some 16bit vs. 32bit shots and various
other screens to show off the TNT2 excellent IQ.
posted a review on the Transcend
ABX1103 motherboard. Spotting the same layout
as the BH6, it comes with no less than 15 FSBs for
you to play with.
on the CD is also Hardware Doctor. Hardware
Doctor is a program that controls the
temperature of the computer through the Winbond
W83977EF chip on the motherboard. It monitors
the CPU and system temperature through
thermistors on the motherboard. It also monitors
the different voltages of the computers power
supply and the core voltage of the CPU. This is
a very useful tool for providing you with
information that could help you make your system
more stable when overclocked (telling you if the
CPU needs better cooling is a good example).
Headphone Amplifier 06:36
check out Dan'sData
with their review on the Boostaroo
Headphone Amplifier (I love the name).
Boostaroo gives you 4dB gain over the input
level on each of its output channels, which are
completely separately amplified - you get the
same volume from the headphones on one channel
even if there are headphones connected to one,
or both, of the other sockets.
Boostaroo adds a weeny bit of hum, but you've
got to be listening for it - if you're using the
Boostaroo to punch your headphone volume up past
the rumble of the bus you're sitting on or the
crash of the nearby waves, there's no way you'll
notice it. The Boostaroo gets harsh at very high
volume levels, but it drove the Sennheisers
cleanly well into the headache zone.
vs nVidia 06:34
out the new revamp site 3dWars
as well as their latest article 3Dfx
the course of 3D Acceleration, these companies
have grown with games. Starting with the Voodoo
and the NV1 they set a new threshold of computer
gaming. Looking back at the cards, they were
nothing spectacular. Yet, to many consumers at
the time, these products were a new breed of
gaming. They have changed the way that we will
play and feel about games forever. Both
companies have grown from start-up groups to
multi-million dollar corporations. While being
located in the same region, the companies have
come to grow with the rest of the
August 1999 - Monday
Beefs Up W2K For Servers 22:23
to this report
at CNet, Microsoft is developing new networking
and security software for Windows 2000 Server
editions. Hmm... hopefully, they are also making
plans for their five (or six?!) service releases
in the months to come. =)
Microsoft spokeswoman would not comment directly
on the Comet technology, calling it
"premature to discuss." But she added:
"Microsoft continues to work with
independent software vendors to innovate in
areas such as firewall, caching and
are a combined hardware and software buffer that
many companies put in place between their
internal networks and the Internet, while data
are cached, or temporarily stored, in a computer
when a Webpage is downloaded.
Mook, BetaNews.com's Webmaster, said he believes
the firewall, proxy and caching technology will
become the successor to the Proxy Server 2.0
bundled the security and networking software
together for easier beta testing, but the
company may ship the technology separately, Mook
Won't Disable SMP In Celerons? 22:12
has some good
news to spread, that Intel won't be disabling
the Celerons' SMP ability for cost reasons. Take a
look at this blurb:
AN15 pin which "controls" the ability
for the Celeron to function as a SMP CPU, must
have a signal that is either "high" or
"low". Simply disabling the AN15 pin
would in short disable the entire processor, so
the AN15 pin must be supplied with 2 Volts. If
the AN15 trace was cut, the CPU would cease to
function. The pin that supplies the 2 Volts is
on the opposite side of the die and would
require major retooling in order to get a
"new" trace around to the AN15 pin to
supply power. The cost of doing this is
extremely expensive and would probably cost more
than allowing the current Celeron to infringe a
bit on PIII SMP sales.
is a shrewd business company and will do
whatever is more effective for them to maximize
their profits in the current situation. If it
will cost them more profit dollars to disable
SMP in Celerons, you can bet your bottom dollar
that it will not be done.
Combines DVDROM & CDRW 22:09
at CNet about Toshiba's latest drive which
combined both DVD-ROM and CD-RW technology rolled
new SD-R1002 drive from is
one of the first to offer both technologies,
according to the company.
a dual-purpose drive may appear to be overkill,
DVD and CD-RW serve different purposes, Toshiba
says. DVD is a high-quality video and audio
read-only technology optimized for movies and
games, while CD-RW is a more cost-effective way
to record and playback music and to backup data.
and DVD-ROM are poised to be two of the fastest
growing technologies over the next few
years," said John Freeman, president of
strategic marketing for Toshiba, in a statement.
"Today, users have to choose between CD-RW
writability or DVD-ROM compatibility."
Toshiba drive is backwards compatible with older
DVD-ROM and CD-ROM discs, according to the
company, and will work with desktop, notebook,
and workstation computers.
waited long for us to take this poll down, and
here's the results. The masses mostly picked their
ISPs for low prices, hmmmm... Actually, I signed
up for speed!
Your Online Privacy 19:33
posted an article
with some advice on how to keep your online
privacy. Yeah, man... there should be mountain
loads of information about my digital footprints
all over the web. =)
there is practically no way that you can secure
your privacy online, you can try to reduce it to
a minimum. Most of us are good citizens and
don't spam, it is just the few of the bad ones
that ruins it for the rest of us. So if you know
someone that spams, warn him and if he keeps on
doing it, then report him.
- The Apocalypse Preview 19:27
previewed Dreamforge's upcoming title, Werewolf
- The Apocalypse, a third-person perspective
shooter game that has looks interesting enuf to
warrant an investigation when it's released.
the array of third person perspective games
coming out focusing on a strong and immersive
backstory, the first person shooter will have a
hard time keeping up in the single player race.
Also, multiplayer in several of the upcoming
third person games will be offering a more
unique and strategic experience than that of
first person shooters, but saying that these
third person shooters will dominate the
multiplayer scene is quite a stretch, especially
with games such as Tribes II, Quake 3, and
Unreal Tournament looming over the horizon. I do
think however, that these third person games
will sell just as well as several highly
anticipated first person shooters, and I hope
FPS fans will find that these new third person
games will offer a new experience with a high
fun factor that will be a wonderful addition to
their gaming library. As for Werewolf: The
Apocalypse, it looks be of a more story-driven
nature than anything else, with linear gameplay
implemented intentionally to enable the player
to fully experience the story. The graphics will
be taken to the next level and you can expect
the system requirements to reflect the fact.
like Symantec falls prey to the latest hacking
spree which is quite rampant lately. Hmm, did you
see the RC5-69 challenge icon at the bottom of the
Super 7 users, 3D
Alpha has posted a review
on the Asus P5A ATX motherboard. Check it out.
we've all gone through the motherboard game I
assume. Well, I guess I also assume that most of
the readers of this review are quite literate
with computers and usually build theirs from
scratch. I could be wrong too. However, if
you're reading a review on a motherboard, you've
either got to be building a new computer, or
getting a newer and more flavorful motherboard.
Well, I wish I could review all the aspects of
the motherboard game, but it seems that I can
only give you a small glimpse on the
Socket7/Super7 side of the motherboard market.
So small, I can only review one motherboard for
you folks, so let's get this show on the road.
Even though you're just shopping for a
Socket7/Super7 based motherboard, that still
leaves a rather large array of options for you
to choose from, thus, there's plenty of room to
make a bad choice. Well, fortunately, there are
several brand names you can always rely on for
great equipment that's not only cost-effective,
but gives you more even more bang, for even less
dough. One such company is a Taiwanese based
company named ASUSTeK.
to use 100 Mhz FSB 16:54
to an article from The
Register, it looks like Intel finally decided
to adopt the 100 Mhz FSB for future Celerons.
humming and hawing throughout the year, Intel
has now decided to introduce Celeron processors
which will use a 100MHz front side bus (FSB).
Celeron, 810 chipset launched at last and
The first parts to support the faster bus speed
will be the 400MHz, 433MHz and 466MHz parts in
Q3 of this year, which will depend on the i810
They will be followed towards the end of this
year with the 500MHz Celeron at 100MHz FSB,
which Intel will introduce tomorrow in its 66MHz
And in the first quarter of the year 2000, Intel
will introduce Celerons with even higher clock
speeds, sources very close to the chip giant
III 600 Mhz Review 16:52
III 600 Mhz madness as our buds over at FiringSquad
posted their thoughts on this screamer.
P3-600 doesn't feature any big changes. It's
based on the same .25 micron Katmai core as all
the other P3 processors. It features 32KB of L1
cache running at the core clock speed and 512KB
of external L2 cache running at 1/2 core clock
speed. The processor is only available in the
slot-1 compatible SECC2 form factor. Once
Coppermine moves the L2 cache on-die, Intel will
be able to manufacture the P3 in a 370-pin PPGA
format. For now, the external L2 cache makes the
slot-1 cartridge a necessity.
reviewed the award winning game MechWarrior
gaming experience begins as soon as the plastic
shrink-wrap has been torn loose, and the seal
broken from the side of the box. The 66 page
manual, BattleMech Technical Reference booklet,
and laminated keyboard reference card that slide
from the box are not only satisfyingly thick and
in-depth, but well written, packed full of
useful and relevant information, and keeping in
theme with the BattleTech universe itself. The
game begins with a typically explosive
introductory sequence depicting giant 30ft 'Mechs
of the 31st century locked in mortal combat
thought the burnt-out husks of a desolate city.
The short movie is not at all dissimilar to the
intro of its predecessor, and could easily
follow on from the dying ebbs of MechWarrior 2,
however, this time around, the AVI video
sequences pale in comparison to the in-game
Noise Canceling Headphones 16:47
this sounds good. AbsolutePC
reviewed the Sony
MDR-NC6 Noise Canceling Headphones. So, do you
still get to hear anything after canceling the
noise? Okay okay, I know this is a lame joke. :)
Anyway, here's some of the juice:
sounding. And thatís just how these headphones
soundÖdamn impressive. I was surprised at how
much sound it really does cut out. This is
without anything playing through the headphones,
once you get it hooked up to your computer or CD
player, you canít hear a thing happening
around you. People can stand in front of you and
talk and you wonít hear anything they say.
This provides for a very high quality playback
of your music. When I go on a trip and get used
to the music being played through them it just
doesnít sound the same when I play it on my
normal home theater system or anywhere else.
Technology Summit 16:45
the girls posted an article on the 3dfx
Technology Summit aka T-Buffer article.
makes a Technology Innovator vrs. a follower is
something you can't package, market or sell.
What makes up an innovator is something called
"vision". Since their start in 1994,
the people at 3dfx have had a vision and passion
for their work that has made them the true
innovators they are today. The next innovation
of 3dfx's horizon is the essence of the caption
you see above. 3dfx intends to bring us one step
closer to the Real-Time "Hollywood"
Digital Animation and Interactivity. They
believe they can make the gaming experience as
realistic as watching one of today's high tech
digitally animated films, like "A Bugs
Life" and "Toy Story".
III 600 Mhz 16:42
posted a review on the Pentium
III 600 Mhz. Darn, it's too expensive and you
will be better off with a Celeron if you are on a
this isn't the Coppermine processor that all of
us were waiting for. Instead, Intel just took
the original design of the Pentium III processor
and slapped it around a bit to get it at 600MHz.
This is quite possible with the current
0.25-micron process, because the Pentium III 550
reaches the 616MHz mark with ease. So Intel came
up with this to fill the time gap between now
and November (the scheduled launch date for the
Coppermine processor) while still keeping the
present Pentium III lineup on a roll. Not to
mention, of course, the fact that AMD plans to
crash Intel's PIII party next month with their
new Athlon processor, though it remains to be
seen if AMD can deliver the chips on time and in
greater quantities. Needless to say, this is
also partly the reason behind the release of the
600MHz PIIIs- to compete with the Athlons.
our buds posted a review on the 2nd
generation MP3 player from Daewoo. Check it
sample we got for testing was the so called
presale sample. It meant that Daewoo
manufactured a number of MPIO players and sent
them to its distributors for tests to see if the
thing was really worth it. The companies usually
resort to measures like that when they need to
estimate the commercial potential of the product
and to get the customers' response and comments
about the quality of the device. It may even
happen that the test shows some functional
drawbacks or construction defects of the player
that's why the manufacturer will be able to
improve them and to launch the enhanced version
into mass manufacturing and into retail.
Fireball CX 09:47
hard disk reviews as Storagereview
brings you the latest Quantum
Fireball CX hard disk weighing a hefty 20.4 GB
and it also comes with a ATA-66 interface.
CX also features a rather standard and bland 9.5
millisecond seek time. Interestingly, Quantum is
sticking to its guns when it comes to buffer
size; the company is maintaining all ATA lines
at 512k. Even the upcoming Fireball Plus KX and
the CX's successor, the Fireball LCT, remain
512k drives. Some may recall that the old
Fireball SE (2.1 gigs/platter, circa late 1997
for you newbies) was the last holdout in moving
up from a 128k buffer when competitors were
reaching 256k and even 512k sizes. Even so, the
drive was among the top of the pack when it came
to performance, being bested by only the IBM
Deskstar 5. Combine this with the evidence in a
recent article of ours and it's clear that cache
size is not all it's cracked up to be. The
Fireball CX features a three-year warranty.
buds over at SG-Gaming
just whipped up a Racer
Shoot-Out comparing Midtown Madness as well as
Need for Speed: High Stakes. Even though Midtown
is pretty interesting, but the game sucks! :)
Midtown Madness and Need For Speed High Stakes
support a myriad of 3D cards for driving their
advanced 3D engine. NFSHS supports software mode
but even if you have a sub-450mhz class machine
and an extremely fast AGP 2d card, don't expect
anything short of jerky graphics. All the common
3D features like multitexturing, dynamic
lighting, shadowing effects, lens flares, car
chroming and other eye candy effects are all
here for the show. Midtown Madness features a
more lifelike depiction of what you would see in
Chicago. Tall skyscrapers, busting traffic,
pedestrians running about and so on. NFSHS has
more of a fantasy theme with beautifully
sculpted scenery. Both games have photo
realistic models of real life cars. Midtown
Madness has more "normal" vehicles
while NFSHS has a whole bunch of super expensive
sports cars. I'd say the cars in NFSHS look
better though as the texturing, modeling and
overall effect is better.
With FPS2000 Review 00:54
is back and kicking, with a spanking new revamp as
well as a new review to start the ball rolling!
Take a look at Ee Siang's review
on the Cambridge SoundWorks FPS2000!
sure what everyone is concerned about here is
does this system adds to the positional audio
experience ? Yap, it definitely does. I tried
games like Episode 1: Racer ( a A3D 2.0 minus
wavetracing title) and X-Wing Alliance ( DS3D )
and all positional cues sound crisp and
excellent. Racer rocks hard especially and
sometimes with the Jedi theme playing in the
background, I thought I was Anakin Skywalker!
I noticed that this baby brings Environmental
Audio ( EAX ) titles more "Alive!" (
pun intended ) as it flawlessly executed the
environment immersiveness that you are supposed
to experience in an enclosed environment. Try
Descent 3 if you don't believe me....
what else is good about the FPS 2000 besides
it's audio quality? Well for starters, that
irritating Auto-Power Off feature that is
present in FPS 1000 has disappeared in this
system. For another, there is a volume control
knob that let's you turn off/on the power and
adjust the front/rear speaker balance directly.
Improvements = Mass Appeal 00:49
hope for Linux to become a widespread
desktop darling any time soon, but the Penguin
mascot is steadily creeping up your window!
new version will add support for Universal
Serial Bus, improve Linux's abilities to use
infrared ports, and benefit from better video
system, according to Linux chronicler Joe
Pranevich, who has posted a description
for discussion at Linux Today.
new version of the core parts of the Linux
operating system, called the kernel,
is tentatively scheduled to arrive in the fourth
quarter, said Linux Today's Dave Whittinger.
Palm User Group Meeting 00:43
retired from being a called a Palm enthusiast,
though I'm still very fond of the device. Here's a
piece of info Jason, from SPUG,
wanted me to tell the rest of you. So don't you
miss out this coming organised meeting if you're a
hardcore Palm user (like I once was...)
Palm UG Meeting
Date: Tues, Aug 3rd, 1999
Place: Ingram Micro Asia Limited
Time: 7:00PM - 9:00PM
The agenda is very simple. We'll mill around
aimlessly for a while until more or less
everyone's arrived. Then I'll say my two cents'
worth on group plans. 3Com will talk for a while
about future Palm developments. Ingram
Micro or 3Com will say a few words about all the
cool 3rd party hardware that's available, while
our pals from St Hamilton will talk about
software. Then 3Com comes up again to cover
common user problems and the solutions, and the
floor is then open for anyone to ask anything he
or she wants.
assured that pushing sales is not on the agenda;
I've made that clear to everyone. The main item
on the agenda, of course, is getting to know
each other. GOODIES FOR ALL There will be door
gifts for everyone, and Ingram Micro will be
having a sale of its products. So come on down
with your hand and wallets open, may be a great
time to get that modem or leather case.
but not least, its FREE! For more details,
go to http://spug.webjump.com
V3800 TVR 00:35
Alpha Hardware has a short
review on the Asus V3800 TVR TNT2 card. Here's
a snip from their report:
now, you're just screaming your head off for the
bottom line. Well the bottom line is, this card
is well worth every dollar. ASUSTeK has
succeeded yet once more at delivering a great
hardware product. With the neat little extras
like TV out, and the upgradable features, (not
to mention D3D support for some of the best
games out there, and a cooling fan for the
chipset if conditions happen to get TOO heated),
it would be far from a mistake to buy this card.
The 2D options are quite nice too. In most
cases, you'll find that, for the first time,
your video card will be limited by your monitor.
August 1999 - Sunday
more T-buffer stuff 13:53
posted a review
of 3dfx T-buffering technology.
talking about improving image quality? The same
guys that brought us the Voodoo3 with largely
the same core as the original Voodoo Graphics?
The same Voodoo3 that fought in the trenches of
the 16-bit vs. 32-bit and frame rate vs. image
quality battles all over the net?
At first glance, it seems like 3dfx, the company
that has traditionally said that image quality
means nothing if the frame rate is compromised,
are now jumping on the image quality bandwagon.
However, 3dfx maintains the position that
"frame rate is king" and that 60 fps
is necessary for the best gaming experience.
They view 1024x768 as the new standard
resolution for gaming and intend to deliver all
of their new effects without compromising that
500 preview 13:40
Extreme has posted a preview on the Celeron
managed to clock the Celeron 500 @ 622MHz using
a 83MHz bus on the ABIT ZM6 mainboard. The
voltage had to be bumped up to 2.3v and needless
to say, this is one real hot CPU ! It crashed
many times during the benchmarks using the stock
Intel heatsink fan so I used a much bigger
cooling method. First, I mounted two 80mm SUNON
case fans around it. One to suck air in and one
to blow out. The room temp was at 30 degrees
celcius and the system temprature is at 31
degrees celcius after the cooling was applied.
Hardware posted a review on the Cambridge
the subwoofer positioned the next thing to do is
connect the speakerwire to the sub and
satellites. The Microworks system uses real
18-gauge speakerwire and springclips for quick
connections. At a certain level of performance
those 1/8" plugs that cheaper systems use,
become a liability. There's a reason that
regular stereo systems use speakerwire and it's
not a big surprise to see a system like this use
it. The wires come labeled with red tape on the
positive lead to make connecting the wires easy
and the wire is also pre-stripped for
convenience. Just pull off the small bit of
loose sheathing, twist the bare wire and insert
into the springclip. 2 lengths of 12' wire are
supplied to allow lots of distance between the
satellites and the subwoofer.
3Dfx's T-Buffer madness as GameSpot
an article on this latest technology.
T-Buffer technology is a proprietary visual
special-effects engine that 3dfx hopes will blur
the line between the graphics you see on most PC
games today and those found in Hollywood
blockbusters. While that hope might be slightly
out of reach for now, T-Buffer technology does
bring real-time computer graphics a step closer
to the prerendered cutscenes found in many of
In layman's terms, T-Buffer technology will
enable 3dfx's next-generation card to execute
five distinct visual effects previously
unavailable to other 3D accelerators. These
effects are: Full-scene Anti-Aliasing, Motion
Blur, Depth of Field Blur, Soft Shadows and Soft
Reflections. Let's take a closer look at
@ SharkyExtreme 09:27
there are two articles relating to 3Dfx's T-Buffer
technology. First, it's an
interview with Scott Sellers, Chief Technology
Officer and the 2nd article is an in-depth
analysis of the T-Buffer. Check'em out!
fast 16-bit color but with a 256x256 texture
size limitation wasn't quite the leap we were
hoping for. We craved 32-bit color, higher
resolution textures and improved image quality
features. 3dfx feels that their next product
release, scheduled for Q4 of this year (you'll
be able to buy it this Xmas), will curb
criticism and put them back 'in front of the
rest of the pack'. They're banking on their
proprietary T-Buffer technology to revolutionize
the look of consumer real-time 3D graphics in
similar fashion to the speed splash made by
Full Tower Review 09:25
buds over at FPS3D
posted a review on the InWin
Full Tower. It certainly does look big!
InWin full tower case has five 5.25" bays,
which is more than your average case. A regular
ATX case has about 3, the InWin has two more.
The spaces for the drives inside the case were
big and spread out.
The cables connecting to the drives have more
than enough room to get to the motherboard, and
they don't just end up tangled all around the
place like in a normal ATX case.
Live! Value Review 09:23
reviewed the SB
Live! Value soundcard. Cheap and good is what
I called this soundcard.
Labs have been pushing their Sound Blaster Live!
line of sound cards along with the PCWorks
FourPointSurround speakers from their partner,
Cambridge SoundWorks, for some time now. In
fact, a new advertising campaign known as
"The Difference Will Amaze You" should
be debuting within the next couple of weeks. The
series of boards was introduced some time ago in
the hopes that Creative might be able to secure
itself a place in the world of 3D sound. So far,
they have been able to accomplish that, with
over fifty titles that support EAX standard.
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