|28 January 1999 - Thursday
MP3 System 20:15 pm - Wilfred
I fell over my chair seeing it at The Register. Ouch! Take a
close look at this man! Now if we have fully digital software-based dashboards to go with
it? (No, not the 'Start' button!)
The device contains up to 28.2GB of disk
storage (the base model contains just 2.1GB of storage), allowing users to store some a
massive 476 hours of MP3-encoded music, the equivalent of 500 albums.The unit also
features a FM stereo tuner, and can be removed from the host vehicle's dashboard for
security and to load it with music tracks.
Because the Empeg-Car is effectively a
StrongARM-based computer running the Linux operating system, Empeg hopes the device will
not fall foul of the kind of legal battle that briefly held up the release of Diamond
Multimedia's Rio portable MP3 player. Computers are exempt from US legislation requiring
consumer devices capable of recording music to pay a royalty to the music industry.
ForceFeedback Wheel 20:02 pm - Wilfred
Vince sent word that he's posted a new review on the MS
ForceFeedback Wheel. From what he described, it sure sounded like he wanted to call it
The first time I sat down in
front of this wheel, I felt a sense of comfort that I've rarely experienced with any game
controller. The wheel is perfectly shaped, with easy-to-reach buttons and shifters and
with a heft and wheel angle that's close to perfect. Ergonomics definitely played a big
part in the wheels manufacture and the MS engineers deserve kudos for the excellent
placement of the steering wheel, buttons and pedals. The MS Force Feedback Wheel is also
the most visually stunning game controller Ive ever seen. Its sleek lines and
incredible flair give it a space age, or perhaps comic book, appearance. It has a
"cool factor" thats off the scale and is certain to elicit oooohs
and aaahs from your impressed family and friends.
Guide 19:54 pm - Wilfred
has written a information guide on hard
disk drives. If you haven't familiarised yourself with terms like Average Seek Times,
Internal Transfer Rates, Areal Densities, and lah lah lah lah lah... then you might want
to check this out!
Small Computer System Interface (SCSI)
and pronounced 'Scuzzy' is the other standard for connecting hard drives (among other
things) to your computer. Instead of relying on your system BIOS, SCSI has its own built
in BIOS that does all the necessary translation work for the drives connected to it.
Generally SCSI connectors are included through add-on expansion cards (either PCI or ISA),
but there are motherboards that have SCSI built into them. One of the major benefits of
SCSI is the many different types of peripherals that your allowed to connect to it. From
hard drives, scanners, and CD-ROM drives, to tape drives, and all types of removable
media, SCSI connects just about everything to your PC.
Quake 3 Arena
Preview Updated 19:25 pm - Wilfred
has updated their nice Q3A preview
and if you haven't already checked it out, you can't be a Quaker.
At first glance my initial reaction was
"Wow." The graphic quality increase is instantly noticeable. Sure Half-Life,
SIN, Unreal, etc all used 16 and 24bit color, but the quality of the images just don't
seem to compare.
Mr. Carmack has done such superb work
with the renderer; the colors just pop out at you. If you've read through Carmack's
previous .plan updates and been to any of his speeches you are probably familiar with the
tecniques he is using. The short list of improvements is 24bit color, curved surfaces,
volumetric fog, mirrors, and drastically higher poly counts in general.
Final Downloadble 19:23 pm - Wilfred
Can't make you happier than having the
'cutest' FTP program updated again right? Sigh... whatever! Grab the file here.
CombatSim's Labs 19:18 pm - Wilfred
It's been a while since I last posted sumthin'
from CombatSim. Today, I noticed that they'd reviewed the Diamond MX300. Catch it!
I've read that WW2 Fighters supports the
reverb effect of the Live, yet I can't imagine the game sounding better than it did on my
MX300. And the same goes for Longbow 2-the crisp sound of your egg-beater fills the room,
punctuated by the staccato bursts of your 20mm cannon.
So it appears that Diamond has delivered
the goods with the latest installment in its line of Monster sound cards, from hassle-free
installation to incredible 3D sound that begs for its owner to have four speakers.
OCP Moves &
Renames! 19:14 pm - Wilfred
Frivolous?! The Overclocker's Comparison Page
has moved AND renamed! It is now to be known as Hard OCP or Hard Overclocker's Comparison
Page... find it at www.hardocp.com alright?
Thief: The Dark
Project 19:08 pm - Wilfred
Our buds at the FiringSquad sent word about a review on Thief: The Dark Project which they'd
done. Haven't it impressed enough people yet?
Probably the only thing
keeping Thief from 5 stars is a better graphics engine. Aside from that, we loved the game
through and through. The incredible sound engine, innovative design and game play lift
Thief above all others as a single player adventure. Even if you're not a fan of first
person games, you'll want to at least try out Thief.
PII-400 or K6-2 400? 19:05 pm - Wilfred
Loyd Case of GameSpot
has thrown up a roundup titled "Gunfight at the 400Mhz Corral",
pitting the Celeron 400, the PII-400 and the K6-2 400 together. Which to get?
The Pentium II is well-known
by now. It has 32K of level 1 cache (16K for instructions and 16K for data). The level 2
cache is decoupled from the processor and runs at half the CPU speed. So, the level 2
cache on the 400MHz part runs at 200MHz. The Pentium II / 400 also uses a 100MHz frontside
bus, which makes for fairly speedy memory accesses.
The Celeron 400 is built on the Pentium
II core, but only has 128K of level 2 cache. However, that level 2 cache is actually
embedded in the CPU chip itself and runs at the full clock speed of the CPU - 400MHz. This
speed difference between the Pentium II cache and the Celeron 400 cache makes up a bit for
the size difference. The flip side is that the Celeron 400 uses a 66MHz frontside bus (so
the clock multiplier is a staggering 6.0x).
The K6-2 has a bigger level 1 cache - 64K.
The problem with the K6-2 is that the level 2 cache resides on the motherboard and hence
only runs at 100MHz. The soon-to-be released K6-3 will have its level 2 cache on the chip
itself (albeit only 256K), so it will likely run faster than the K6-2. I'll give the K6-3
a spin when it's released.
EPox EP61BXA-M 09:57 am - Kan
Fresh3D had a
new review on the EPox EP61BXA-M Slot 1 BX
The EP61BXA-M (from here on
in, the BXA) is one of the fastest motherboards we've used, and at the same time is very
stable. It is performing admirably well in all three environments we introduced it into.
First, as a workstation in our offices, all our new computers are running this
motherboard, and together with Intel Pentium II 350 CPU's, it is providing us with a very
stable and solid platform to run our business applications in Windows NT 4.0 Workstation.
Second, as a server, both our new servers are running this motherboard, and it has proved
to be very capable in this setting, as well as very stable running Windows NT 4.0 Server.
Review 09:55 am - Kan
a review on the Pentium II-300 SL2YK processor.
Andy mentioned the in his SL2W8 review how the Deschutes P2-300 came into
being. We are not looking at the boxed version - the SL2YK. To recap the brief history, in
the beginning, the PII300 used the Klamath core (0.35 micron technology running at 2.8
volts), which was not a friend in the heat department. With the newer Deschutes core,
using 0.25 micron technology at 2.0 volts, you now have something you can work with. If
you're lucky enough or smart enough to do your homework before buying, you can increase
your odds of obtaining a part that will overclock to impressive and stable levels. One
example is the stepping I have, SL2YK -perfect for 450Mhz.
Gainward TNT 09:48 am - Kan
posted a new review on the Gainward CARDExpert TNT
The actual board layout isn't
all surprising, it's almost identical to the layout of STB's Velocity 4400 TNT
board, but not quite as wide. The board is equipped with 7ns Hyundai memory chips, (2x8)
16 megs total of SGRAM. We won't get into the whole SGRAM vs. SDRAM argument, but I can
say this, this SGRAM is top-quality, in fact, I've never seen TNT ram that has the ability
to be overclocked so much (can we say 135 MHz memory clock?).
Intel Celeron 400A 09:33 am - Kan
The new review of the Celeron
400A from AnandTech is completed. Is it overclockable? Read on to find out.
What is the difference between 512KB of
L2 cache running at ½ clock speed and 128KB of L2 cache running at clock speed? In terms
of performance, very little. If a CPU attempts to access data located in the cache and
fails during the request (a cache miss), regardless of how much L2 cache is present and
how fast it is operating, the performance of the system (overall) will not vary as a
direct result of the cache size/speed. The only time performance would be biased towards
one of the two processors would be in the event that the CPU succeeds in retrieving the
data (a cache hit), in which case the CPU with the faster cache would prevail.
Multiprocessor Systems 09:32 am - Kan
new article is on the benefits of Multiprocessing
As you can see, the performance of single
processor systems under multitasking environments is much lower than that of dual
processor systems under the same conditions, which is to be expected. The interesting
points to notice are that the difference between a dual Pentium II 266 and a single
Pentium II 400 in general multitasking performance benchmarks still favors the single
Pentium II 400 due to its sheer advantage in processing power over the dual 266. While
that may not apply to high-end applications, it does apply to this scenario illustrated by
AnandTech for the other type of multiprocessor user
Katmai Introduction 09:30 am - Kan
had an introduction to the new Katmai processor.
The only catch isthe first appearance of
the PIII is going to be crippled by too many factors (IMHO) for it to be an intelligent
upgrade at that time. Initially, the only real benefit will come from the 70 new
instructions (KNI = Katmai New Instructions) incorporated into the PIII architecture. This
certainly wont be an overpowering enough reason (not for me anyway) to rush out to buy one
as soon as theyre available. In order to take advantage of KNI, Software will first need
to be coded to recognize all those newer
Diamond Viper 550 09:28 am - Kan
Our pals over at 3DSpotlight posted a review on the Diamond
Viper V550 Riva TNT card.
In the other hand the TNT falls a bit
behind the Voodoo2 in games that use OpenGL API such as Quake 2, SiN and Half-Life. It's
also important to mention Unreal, as we know this game just supported Glide (3Dfx only)
and PowerVR when it shipped and now there is available a beta OpenGL patch for cards like
the TNT but it's performance isn't the best, Epic has announced that a new OpenGL driver
will be included in the 221 patch that will make TNT cards perform as fast (or faster) as
|27 January 1999 - Wednesday
RIO Dilemma Escalating 22:52 pm - Wilfred
got an article about
this new functionality added to Diamond's RIO MP3 player enabling it to transfer
data/music out of the device. The new hack (not posted by Diamond) has generated quite a
stir and apparently Diamond is not happy.
Diamond argued in defense that, since files
couldn't be copied or otherwise transferred from the Rio to other devices, the Rio is
merely a playback device and was therefore exempt from the Act.
"We specifically disabled the ability
to copy files from the Rio to other devices as a form of copy protection," said Wirt.
"We've not released the specs that allow people to interface with the Rio outside its
standard software interface."
But that didn't stop the two enterprising
hackers, one in England and one in California, who separately managed to restore the
unit's two-way transfer functionality.
A preliminary injunction sought by the RIAA
against the Rio's release was denied in October, and although the suit is still pending in
court, thousands of the Rio players have already been sold around the world.
Civilization for Linux! 22:45 pm - Wilfred
Oh yes, now who says Linux is all work but no
play? CoolInfo reported that Loki Entertainment
will be porting Activision's Civilization: Call to Power to the Linux platform. They are
planning to release the game simultaneously with Activision's launch.
Based on its agreement with Activision,
Loki Entertainment Software is porting the game from the original source code so that the
graphics, action and user interface will be the same as the PC version. The Linux version
also will include the new tools, options, combat and graphics featured in the PC game. It
will be based on the identical story line and characters, challenging players to create a
civilization of their own making through the 7,000 years from primitive history to 3000
``We couldn't ask for a better title to
launch a new game line and are committed to providing an identical port of the new
release,'' said Draeker. ``From our review of the code and working with the program, we
think Activision has created a worthy addition to the best-selling Civilization franchise.
Linux users will be able to enjoy 'Civilization: Call to Power' in the Linux environment
with all the benefits that entails.''
Contest 22:37 pm - Wilfred
Ok, my host has just mailed me about this
really simple to join contest at Gamehut. By just entering your name and email, you'll
(perhaps end up in a mailing list? =P) stand a chance to win a copy of either Heretic II,
Half-Life or Starcraft BroodWars (a total of 9 sets).
So what are you waiting for? Click here!
Myth II: SoulBlighter 22:31 pm - Wilfred
dk of Frontline had excitedly mailed me about
he's done on Myth II. Listen to this:
With compelling story and gameplay
enhancements (with 2 secret levels), Myth II: Soulblighter is a real time strategy game
that should provide weeks of sleepless nights, well it only took me a week (yawnz) to
Interview with E-Mu's Chief
Scientist 22:21 pm - Wilfred
Alive! pointed me in the direction
of this interview Ee Siang read
about in MaximumPC. Creative has posted the whole bag of love.
Maximum PC So when will we see a
consumer-grade soundcard with pro-caliber performance from Creative Labs?
Rossum As far as
soundcards go, the Sound Blaster Live! is most of the way there. The SB Live! is very
similar to our Emulator 4 in terms of its overall sound quality. The SBLive! uses
eighth-order interpolation for its pitch shifting, actually one point higher than the
algorithm used in the Emulator family. The pitch-shifting algorithm is the source of most
of the distortion involved in wavetable synthesis. When you construct a sound library, you
base a lot of your work around how effectively you can shift the pitch of the samples.
Because the SB Live! is at least the equal of the Emulator 4, the sound libraries are
easily ported over with no loss in quality.
We didn't put the Morpheus technology into
the SB Live! because its complex filters are very expensive to do. SB Live! sells for an
awful lot less than an Emulator 4, and that's one of the shortcuts we had to make.
Voodoo 3 4000 Clarifications
22:12 pm - Wilfred
Extreme posted a little mouthful on this email from 3Dfx saying that while the V3 4000
will make use of AGP 4X chipset in the upcoming CPUs but it does NOT require it. Check out
BX6 2.0 Review 17:21 pm - Kan
Hardware did a review on the new ABit
BX6 2.0 motherboard. This board is solid!
To start with the BX6 2 includes enough
multipliers to get you lost when you are flipping through them with your arrow key in the
bios. From a lowly level of 2X, the board goes in increments of .5 all of the way up to
8.0. With a little bit of math in your head, you can see that this board will support up
to a 800MHz P3 if it is running on a 100MHz FSB. As we already know, multipliers are not
going to help us out at all with overclocking. It is that FSB adjustment that squeezes the
extra speed out of our Celeron or Pentium 2 processors.
New Banshee Drivers 17:18 pm - Kan
Creative sent note that the new Creative Banshee drivers are out.
3D Blaster Banshee BIOS
& Windows 95/98 Driver Update
3DBB-9XBIO-1-US (Rev 2)
* Allows users to disable DirectX 6.0 support when running DirectX 5.0 applications for
* Solves mouse scrolling problems in virtual desktop mode
* Allows DirectX 6.0 users to select from texture stages=1 for accelerated performance or
texture stages=2 for enhanced visual quality with slower performance.
|26 January 1999 - Tuesday
Q&A On EAX + Dolby
Digital & Soundcards 21:02
pm - Wilfred
If not for the links at Ee Siang's Alive! I was surely going to miss
these articles at Creative. I really wished I could
snip off the delicious parts, but the whole chunk is damn good. Gotta read!
Why Geometric accoustic modelling may be better?
Game developers who, like film directors, want
control over the expressive quality of their 3D audio environments therefore find an
appropriate tool in EAX. Their needs aren't easily addressed in a geometric modeling
system like ray tracing. If, for example, you decide to increase the reverberation decay
time to provide a greater sense of awe in a simulated cathedral, there is (under the ray
tracing model) no simple knob to tweak for the increase. You may instead have to increase
the size of the geometric audio model by moving walls out to get that effect. This is
difficult to do and, worse yet, creates an audio model that's much different from the
graphic model, which can cause problems as you move linked sound sources and graphic
objects around through the models. And if you can work through those problems, the result
is still proscribed by the laws of physics. You can't go beyond them to find the
psychological realism and emotional engagement that game designers, like film directors
before them, may want in the sound.
(Q&A On EAX)
What's installed for your SB
... in an upcoming Live!Ware update, users of Soft-DVD and the Sound Blaster Live! will be
able to tap the Dolby Digital signal from a DVD source and send it to four speakers, while
using your PC's host processor to do the decoding. (Dolby Digital & Soundcards)
1394B - 2X Faster Than
Apple's 1394. 20:52 pm - Wilfred
Register has this about an "Anti-Apple" coalition who proposed an
alternative to Apple's 1394 FireWire standard, in an effort to side-step Apple's
$1-per-port licensing fee. The standard sounds promising and real fast... but wait 2 more
According to a report in, a number of
developers are proposing what they call 1394B. Not only is the specification twice as fast
as current FireWire technology but avoids relying on the Apple-patented signalling
techniques that Apple is using to justify charging a licence fee.
'Apple-free' 1394 would operate at 800Mbps instead of the current 400Mbps and use a
signalling system borrowed from the Fibre Channel world. The next stage of the design
process would be to incorporate support for current FireWire devices in a way that also
eliminates the key Apple intellectual property.
Intel Backs Off Pentium III
ID Feature 20:46 pm - Wilfred
I read this news that Intel reversed its announcement and now its Pentium III will NOT
automatically transmit identification codes when a user go online. Catch this:
Facing an imminent boycott by online
privacy groups, Intel reversed course Monday and announced its new Pentium III processor
will not automatically transmit identification codes when users go online. "We don't
have to make the choice on the behalf of the consumer," said Howard High, an Intel
spokesperson. "If they want to be anonymous they can; if they want a more secure
connection they can do it as well."
Exclusive Abit BM6 Review 19:57 pm - Wilfred
All this exclusives are driving me green with
envy. Thresh's FiringSquad has had this review
on the Abit BM6 Socket370
board. Read what they say here:
Of course, the biggest and best reason for
investing in the BM6 is for the overclocking potential. After all, why use a 100Mhz
chipset (the 440BX) for a motherboard dedicated CPUs running 66Mhz FSB? Considering Abit's
history, it makes sense that the BM6 is to Socket 370 what the BH6 is to Slot 1, quite
simply the most advanced and easy-to-use overclocking motherboard on (or about to hit) the
Still disoriented? Take a look at Flashman's Abit BM6 Press Kit to get a
complete feel of its features.
Thief Game Guide 19:53 pm - Wilfred
Wanna know how to thief around? Look no
further coz here's another game guide I discovered today. Gamespot has posted this really cool looking online guide for Thief:
The Dark Project. This guide contains:
- Information on being a thief and staying
alive - all at the same time
- A level-by-level account of how to beat the
twelve missions in Thief and the best ways to do it, from Lord Bafford's Manor to the Maw
Heretic 2 Takes On The
FiringSquad 19:50 pm - Wilfred
Yes, Bob sends word of a new review they've done
on Heretic 2. I dunno what to say here, but you might want to hear them describe it:
Wow, what can I say? Heretic II was one of
the most amazing games I've seen in a while. The 3rd person perspective (done right)
provided a fresh, unique style of gameplay that has been rarely seen before. The
beautifully rendered levels, attention to detail, and fluid animation/gameplay really sets
this game apart from the rest. If nothing else, Heretic II has raised the bar for
third-person POV games to come -- Drakan and Max Payne have some huge shoes to fill.
Microsoft Cordless Phone
Review 19:32 pm - Wilfred
Hullo? Was kinda surprised when I followed
this link on BetaNews to this review of the MS Cordless Phone
system at The Upgrade Center. It sounds
like a tremendous piece of technology... requiring Windows 9X to function!
The Microsoft Cordless phone's base
station, separate from the charging station unlike most cordless phones, has something
extra than your standard lights and page button.. its got a tail. A serial cord that is,
that attaches to the serial ports on the back of your computer. Using this connection, the
companion software to the MS Phone, Microsoft Call Manager, enables many more features on
the phone, giving it the extra punch needed to make it a good buy.
Microsoft Call Manager enables the Voice
Command, Answering machine, Call Screening, etc. that are included with the phone. Using
this program, this phone quickly becomes one of the most powerful phones available today.
So what's Uncle Bill going into next? MS Intelli-Wok
(ergonomic but not for left handers) that tilts itself to cook your food evenly and MS
Force Feedback Washing Machine to rock all the grime off your laundry!
BroodWars Game Guide 19:26 pm - Wilfred
Still struggling to complete StarCraft
BroodWars (like me?? =P), GameCenter posted a GameGuide for it.
Read it if you must coz they have also covered things like build order, so you never have
to miss a beat when amassing your armies!
We begin with a quick rehash of basic
StarCraft strategies for the rusty, the uninitiated, and the clueless. Before we go any
further, though, remember that it's essential to learn the hot keys. Whether you're
fighting against a human opponent or the AI, speed and efficiency are of the utmost
importance. Learn to use hot keys to quickly select your advanced units with special
abilities, such as Ghosts (who have that nifty Lockdown spell).
Learning to build efficiently and quickly
is key. Real-time strategy games traditionally reward players who get their empire up and
running in no time flat; StarCraft is no exception to this rule.
Tom's Monday Blurb 19:18 pm - Wilfred
Tom Pabst has released another of his 'Monday Blurb'. A
long long blurb that attempts to dissect all the important development in the hardware
scene lately. Here's an excerpt:
Intel is offering a cheap and very well
performing processor line, the Celeron. Intel wants to fight AMD with those CPUs, they
certainly dont want to jeopardize Pentium II sales. Marketing campaigns and the
support of the OEMs (who are smelling the strong taste of lots of money) are supposed to
make sure that Pentium II-sales remain untouched. Dont let them get away with it!
Also consider AMD and the K6-3 as a player that well deserves to get into the high-end
system lines. This should also result in a strong signal to the motherboard-makers, so
that they will stop supplying us with crappy Socket7 and Socket370-boards.
Final Linux 2.2.0 Kernel
Released 19:11 pm - Wilfred
It's here today! So the Linux world rejoices!
Yes, BetaNews has got an excited blurb on this.
Check this out!
Two months and 10 days after the last
stable Linux Kernel, 2.2.0 has reached final release and the Linux world can rejoice once
again. As we announced on Friday, Linus is right on schedule with this release, making
sure pre9 had no major problems with it.
Bus Clock Locked Celeron
366? 19:06 pm - Wilfred
So full of questions today you say? Ars-Technica received a rude shock from this
unsporting Celeron 366 processor. Read about their experience!
The practical upshot of all that is above,
is this: I tested the Celeron 366 in multiple motherboards, with multiple bus speeds,
multiple SEL 100/66# settings, and 2 different types of PC100 SDRAM. Any attempt to force
the Celeron to run at a bus speed of 100MHz or higher, resulted in a failure to POST.
While not unequivocal, this is good evidence that Intel has introduced bus-speed locking
on Celeron 366s and probably 400s also.
Voodoo 3 4000 - Are the
Gamers' Wait Over? 18:53 pm - Wilfred
Very interestingly, SharkyExtreme has posted some very tasty bits after they
dropped by 3Dfx Labs.
3Dfx disclosed that besides the V3 2000 (clocked at 125Mhz)
and V3 3000 (clocked at 183Mhz)... they will release V3 4000 AGP. At this stage, we know
little about it and here's the juicy part:
... what little we do know about the board
is that it will require the use of an (as yet unreleased) Intel Camino chipset. It will
also be specifically designed and optimized for Camino in order to take advantage of AGP
4X just in time to compete head to head with nVidia's .25micron TNT2. This is indeed a
first for 3Dfx and it seems as though (with 4X), AGP is finally worth more than it's
initials and is thus getting full implementation. Remember for both the Voodoo Banshee and
the Voodoo3 -2000 and -3000 the board will be compatible with AGP slots but won't support
full AGP 2X texturing as 3Dfx will stick with their own memory transfer routine. 3Dfx will
time the release of the Voodoo3 -4000 to coincide with Intel's launch of Camino in summer
New Savage3D Drivers 18:48 pm - Wilfred
Noticed over at VoodooExtreme that S3 has released a new non-beta
driver for its Savage3D cards. Grab them at this link.
S3 Savage3D Win95/Win98 Driver With ICD,
S3 Savage3D TVOUT Utility Version : 1.00.05
Authentic Celeron Keychain 18:41 pm - Wilfred
Just fried your Celeron? Here's a consolation from Tim Brinkley coz' he will
show you how to make a keychain out of that chip. Really!
I'm also sure that at least one or two of
you out there has ended up with an overcooked celery that no longer has electrons coursing
through through it's veins. Hmm, I knew 3.0 volts was a little to much juice...
XStore Pro Drivers - Does it
Deliver? 18:32 pm - Wilfred
Alan of Freak!
wrote to tell us about this mini-review
on the XStore Pro Bus Mastering Drivers he tested on a Super7 board. So are they superior?
From the physical drive benchmarks, it
shows that XStore Pro doesn't give you any performance advantages. If anything, they are
very close to Windows98's own native drivers. In 'real-world' testing however, XStore Pro
shows that it's read ahead caching technology can edge Windows98 by a significant amount.
This shows that with a very small CPU utilization hit, XStore Pro delivers on its premise
of higher system performance and optimization. Though WinBench 98's 'real-world' testing
isn't really indicative of today's applications, we can assume that since newer
applications are based on the same architecture, XStore Pro should still give you a marked
Honey Jar 06:43 am - Kan
This reminds me of Pooh The Bear soft toys
which can be bought from McDonald's outlets now.
has a new review column called the Honey
Jar where you can view your opinions on BeOS 4.
The Honey Jar is for BeOS users who came to
the OS for the love of it and are now looking for the best ways to get some use out of it.
None of us are so feeble-minded as to think that an operating system as newly commercial
as this has a lot of power apps orbiting it yet. On the other hand, we'd like to think we
aren't going to have to spend all our time watching a cube revolve either.
AOpen AX6B+ 06:40 am - Kan
Another motherboard review over at HardwareCentral. The AOpen AX6B+ features a
onboard Adaptec Ultra Wide SCSI controller onboard as well as 4 DIMM slots.
Almost every setting can be made in the
BIOS. Unfortunately, you can not change as many advanced settings in the AX6B BIOS as you
can in the Soft Menu II of the Abit BH6. One major omitted feature was the ability to
change the CPU voltage. This can greatly limit the overclocking ability with some chips.
The only jumpers on the board are CMOS Clear and AGP Ratio. CMOS Clear is used incase a
bad CMOS entry causes the motherboard not to boot at all. The AGP Ratio setting changes
the AGP bus speed to Auto, 2/3, or 1/1 of the front side bus.
Shuttle HOT-649a 06:32 am - Kan
Circuits posted a review on the Shuttle HOT-649a Dual BX Slot1
Ok, with regard to unlocking the real
possibilities of the HOT-649a, it is finally time to let the cat out of the sack. It all
comes down to one undocumented jumper, that is JP45 already mentioned above, located next
to the voltage jumpers (so you dont have to scroll back) and described as factory
reserved. As soon as JP45 is removed, finally all possibilities of the HOT-649a start to
unfold in that, by setting both bus speed and CPU multiplier to autodetection / default,
it is now possible to go into the BIOS and specify any possible bus speed there. This, in
turn, is rewarded by a blast of performance unmatched by any other BX board so far. In
this regard, also the positioning of the FSB selector jumper block in the path of the AGP
card is no longer a bad choice since there is no need to access it anyway.
Saitek R4 Force Review 21:00 pm - Wilfred
The Saitek R4 Force
feedback wheel & paddles are reviewed by our buds at Hardgame. Naturally, they can't escape discussing the
effects they experienced playing NFS3.
... whereas in The Need
for Speed 3, the force feedback implementation is excellent and actually adds to
the gameplay. When implemented correctly, the force feedback effects on the R4
Force are excellent. Looking at the Need for Speed 3, there are
several good effects. The road effects are not just limited to the changes between smooth
and bumpy roads but also account for traction as the wheel slips back and forth in snow or
rain. Additionally, resistance can be felt in tight turns. A vibrating engine effect has
been around since force feedback was invented, but in recent games it is much improved.
The amount of vibration is proportional to the engine rpm level and car model. This not
only increases the realism and the differences between the cars, but also helps with
Wilfred Coughs & Chokes 20:51 pm - Wilfred
I was so thrilled today playing around with my
Palm III (acquired from your other friendly editor).
It's not the first day I got it... and it's been long since
its launch. In fact, the Palm III X and Palm VII will be out soon. But hey... I just think
sending emails, surfing to Hardware One as well as ICQing my friends on the Palm III was
Now wait till I purchase my GSM kit! I'll be responding to
you from anywhere!
The Sensaura Technology 20:48 pm - Wilfred
Mark of 3DSS
sent word that he's finished an article on Sensaura's 3D
audio technology. Something big, but not everybody's heard of it. They've been around and
they've got exciting things in the works!
Sensaura early this year will also
(probably first quarter) introduce something new they call MacroFX. Current
implementations of HRTF aren't good at placing sound within 1 meter of the listener,
especially when using loudspeakers, MacroFX will fix this.
MacroFX provides 6 zones, where zone 0
(far distance) and zone 1 (distant mode) will work just like DS3D distant model. The other
4 zones are Near Field, in the right ear, in the left ear and inside the head. Sensaura
claims that this will allow the game developers to offer special 3D sound effects like
whispering in the ear, wind noises (very useful when you're skiing, running, cycling etc),
headphone simulation (e.g. air-traffic) and ultra-close fly-by (useful for bullets,
rockets, insects etc).
RIO to Upload/Download Files
16:48 pm - Kan
Talking about MP3, that's a news over at FiringSquad on how to use your Diamond RIO
as a portable media to store your files.
Out of the box, the Diamond RIO MP3 player
makes it so that you can only upload .mp3 files to the flash card. It doesn't allow you to
download anything, nor can you upload any files BESIDES .mp3s.
That's all changed now with a little
utility called RioGeo.
The version up on the website is a tiny (70K) utility that allows you to upload AND
download ANY kind of files from the RIO. So what's the big deal you ask? Well basically
with RioGeo, now your tiny little RIO is a jury-rigged, ultra portable 32MB disk.
One-third the capacity of a standard zip drive but infinitely more portable.
Right now RioGeo is a command line only
program, so if you're not quite familiar with how to use DOS prompts you better wait for
the Windows version. A Linux version is also in the works. Use RioGeo AT YOUR OWN RISK. We
haven't tested it, but the news was too exciting not to report right away.
MP3 CD Support! 15:13 pm - Wilfred
Wow! Noticed this hot hot chunk off PlanetHardware that we might soon be able to
transfer our harddisk full of MP3 files onto CDs and have them played by on your home or
car stereo system!
Wouldn't it be great to play
MP3s on a regular CD player?
GoodNoise is working on just such
a technology. The Internet music label will work with Adaptec, a designer of computer
components, to come up with new software that lets CD players and car stereos read MP3
files recorded on CDs. GoodNoise (OTC: GDNO) and Adaptec said it plans to introduce the
technology later this year. When it comes out, the technology could turn MP3 from a geek
toy into a mainstream audio format.
Check out the article off Wired
News. I can't wait... but how about the highly probable legal battles that will bound to
Lotus Notes For Linux 13:51 pm - Wilfred
Over at BetaNews.com,
I noticed this interesting post taken off
ZDNet's [email protected] Resellers Online. Surely, this is
good momentum for Linux.
Lotus Development Corp. plans to release a
Notes version of Linux in the second half of 1999, adding the support of yet another major
vendor and adding fuel to the fire under Microsoft Corp. Elements of Linux support are
already undergoing testing at Lotus' Iris subsidiary, say company insiders.
The move is just one of a series of
developments planned for Notes over the next couple of years that will transform Notes
from basic groupware into a Web-savvy knowledge-management environment.
More Therapy For You At
Hardgame 13:48 pm - Wilfred
The chumps at Hardgame have completed another series of their Hardware Therapy for ya! This time
about the long time debate that "30 fps is NO difference from 60 fps". Makes a
The World and fans of chips like the
PowerVR saying "the human eye cant differentiate above 30 fps." and
"20 fps is the same as 60 fps
" among other famous lines. This 3Dfx demo
clearly shows that is not the case and definitely makes a case for higher framerates at
lower colour depths, something that I think was the intent all along. The demo was
impressive enough to win 3Dfx some new fans and did wonders for their old ones too.
Another MX300 Review 13:41 pm - Wilfred
We're never bored with more aren't we? Thanks
to a link at 3DSoundSurge which pointed me to this review at GA-Source. Here's a snip of the reviewer's dizziness:
WOW!!! I hooked 4 speakers up and used the
flying helicopter demo that is part of the card's drivers and it sounded real. I felt like
I had a helicopter circling around my head. I then decided to try a few games. I loaded
Recoil first, and it's hard to truly pass along the feeling of hearing seagulls circling
above you with rapid-fire machine guns, plasma weapons, and missiles going off all around
you. In Half-Life the sound effects were almost disturbing... I felt so immersed in the
game that I began to get scared at the little sounds I heard behind me. The difference in
the way that echoes sounded-- depending on the room's wall and floor surfaces -- was
fantastic. Unreal was also very good, especially the background music. Each of the
instruments were seemingly suspended in space around me in different locations. Jedi
Knight (which I bought when it came out largely because of the Star Wars authentic sound
effects) was spectacular. Descent 3? Words almost can't describe it.
Exclusive Abit Interview! 13:33 pm - Wilfred
Terry of Hardware Extreme popped me a mail in the
morning about an exclusive
interview with Abit he posted. Will there be a BH6 2.0 board following the upcoming
TERRY: When will the BX6 2.0 be
avaliable ? I heard that TC Computers has stock of the BX6 2 already.
JEREMY: Yeah you can get some from the states, but the official launch date is not
until Feb 1st.
Hercules Dynamite TNT 13:27 pm - Wilfred
is on a roll again, closely following his review on the Elsa Erazor II review is this
writeup on Hercules'
Dynamite TNT card. Pitting the card against the Creative and Elsa TNT boards, the
board championed all the benchmarks!
In the performance department, the
Dynamite TNT cannot be beat, since you are getting a card which is running 8mhz faster
than the competition. Of the TNT boards I have tested, I see no reason why a performance
gamer would settle for anything but the Dynamite TNT. To think that the Dynamite TNT board
is only an option for performance gamers is a mistake, because with an excellent retail
price, and even better street price, the Dynamite TNT rivals the Creative Lab's RIVA TNT
solution for cheapest board on the market. Hercules has managed to give us a high
performance card at a low price, and for that they deserve my recommendation.
Evolution Review 23:50 pm - Wilfred
For all of you, Krank has completed his first review of a Dreamcast
game - Evolution. It is
the first RPG game for the Dreamcast
console and you have to read what the man has to say about it!
... if Evolution is this good for a
1st Generation RPG for the Dreamcast, then I have very high hopes for future RPGs on the
system. The battle system ranks top notch in my books, as well as character design.
Environment wise, it isn't really much. Not like pre-rendered ones, but it still allowed a
total immersion of gameplay rather than distraction.
Gainward Cardex GX3 Savage3D
23:42 pm - Wilfred
has thrown out a review
on Gainward's Savage3D based card. Still looking for a cheap and fairly good card?
With the Gainward GX3, it seems as if S3
has finally worked out most of the kinks in their Savage3D drivers. Now that things are
pretty stable and fast, the Savage3D becomes a much more viable option. It's not the
fastest card in the world, but it's sort of a compromise between a TNT and a Banshee. You
get the price and performance of a Banshee, but the capability for 24-bit rendering from
the TNT. Then you also tack on S3's own texture compression and this package is starting
to look better and better.
And since we are on S3D, I noticed on Frontline reporting that Savage World posted news on the latest Win9x Savage3D
reference drivers 6.13.08.
More Sections In Q&A
Forum! 21:27 pm - Wilfred
Have you visited our forum? I've just added 4 more sections. You'll
find sections on CPUs & Overclocking, Video Cards, Sound Cards, Gaming! The
registration is easy, so let the discussions begin!
Micronics C400 19:06 pm - Kan
Another motherboard review by The Techs on the Micronics
C400 BX motherboard.
What about overclocking, gotta love that
Celeron The C400 automatically detects the speed that the chip should be run at and locks
the BUS frequency with no way of changing it. This leaves virtually no way to overclock
your system. Unless you have an older Pentium design where the multiplier clock is not
locked, you will not be able to change anything on the system. This has done away with
Celeron overclocking for any of the Diamond motherboards.
Celeron o/c Guide 19:06 pm - Kan
updated his Celeron
overclocking guide. Updated in the guide include the latest processors like the
Celeron 366 as well as Celeron 400.
This meant that the Celerons were literally
'frozen' at their respective speeds when they shipped. Luckily for the legions of
overclockers on a tight budget, Intel overlooked a critical fact. The release of the Intel
440BX 100MHz FSB chipset and the accompanying PC-100 SDRAM brought a variety of new
mainboards out on the market almost overnight. Most of these mainboards had the ability to
override the 440BX's CPU autodetection routine, and thereby set the Celeron's bus speed
upwards from the stock level of 66MHz to 100MHz or beyond.
Freetech P6F9li 19:02 pm - Kan
A rather rare board, the Freetech P6F9li BX motherboard was reviewed by
Freetech were an unknown quantity to me
when I was first asked if I would like to review some of their boards. Let me say straight
away they are no "Mr. Generic" of the motherboard world! Designed in the USA and
manufactured in Taiwan, this new startup company are hitting the ground running with a
number of boards including this BX based offering, as well as entries in the Socket 370
arena, video cards and even dual SCSI BX motherboards. Let's take a look at what this new
company have brought to the table....
Jane's World War 2 Fighters 18:59 pm - Kan
One of my favourite games by Janes. Reddawn did a review on World War 2 Fighters and I
must say the game is fantastic!
Among the numerous World War 2 flight sim
titles, none would match the fantastic graphics from WW2F. Upon starting the sim, you
would be greeted by a nicely done intro and then to the beautiful virtual museum. Here you
have the option to select multiplayer, quick mission, mission builder, campaign, check out
the Aces and single mission. All the above are presented in a "Kiosk" layout and
not to forget the impressive hangar where you can scroll sideway to view all the aircraft
flyable in the sim. Sitting in the hangar are: Britishs Spitfire F.IX, Germans
BF 109G-6, FW 190A-8, ME 262A-1A, Americans P-47D, P51D and P-38J.
Elsa Erazor II Review 16:48 pm - Wilfred
The Elsa Erasor II TNT
card is reviewed at AnandTech. Well, boy Anand is
not impressed, but as a TNT card it still satisfies!
The Erazor II is a better board than
most; however, when compared to other TNT boards, it failed to impress. While the
marginally slower performance of the ELSA board wasn't a major issue in my disappointment,
the price is. The board does feature an excellent manual, SGRAM, and a fan; however, the
lowest street price I could find (~$130) does not justify this cards advantages over
competing TNT boards, which are priced under $130, some around $110.
PC133 Vs DDR SDRAM 16:42 pm - Wilfred
has got this interesting article
citing sizeable developer support for the new PC133 SDRAMs.
Though Intel Corp. has turned thumbs down
on adding hooks to its chip sets for SDRAMs running faster than PC/100, several chip
makers don't see things the same way. A small chip-set company, Reliance Computer Corp.,
and IBM Corp. believe there's plenty of life left in synchronous DRAMs. Carving a path
that parallels Intel's straight road to Rambus, the companies foresee using PC133-standard
133-MHz SDRAMs first, and then double-data-rate (DDR) SDRAMs.
Advocates argue that the performance gain
from 133-MHz SDRAMs is significant. Where Direct Rambus DRAMs may be dogged by a supply
shortage, the next generation of SDRAMs will be plentiful, as DRAM vendors will find it
relatively easy to tweak their process to bump up the speeds. And while certain
modifications will need to be made to the dual in-line memory module (DIMM), they are
fairly straightforward, supporters said.
Intel CPU ID for Data
Security - Gimmick? 16:35
pm - Wilfred
I'm not certain if this is late news, but I
just thought I'll post a note about this after reading it. Tom's Hardware has posted some expert comments
on this matter:
The serial number is tied to the processor
chip. To uniquely identify an individual, there would have to be a fixed one-to-one
user-processor relationship. While this may be true (at least to a certain extent) for
computers used at home, it would be useless in environments where people share computers.
Of course, the identification would change with every processor upgrade, change hands
legitimately by the computer (or the CPU chip) being sold or given away, and SMP
environments would feature multiple unique serial numbers. Additionally, ID-less CPUs will
be around for a long time, and even on chips that have it, it can be disabled through
software. Therefore, it is unlikely that software will ever rely solely on the CPU serial
number to identify a user.
Diamond MX300 Review 16:11 pm - Wilfred
has reviewed the Diamond
Monster Sound MX300 card. If you are buying a new sound card and needing some opinion,
check this out!
MX300 is one hell of a sound card. For just
US$99 or S$178, you could have a totally new gaming experience as well as near theatre
sound effects. Playing a game and watching a movie with your DVDs will never be the same
again. Not to forget, it does play your favourite Clinton's jokes wav files pretty well.
Running the Celeron In SMP 16:07 pm - Wilfred
has put up an article on "Running the Celeron
In SMP". So if that's your taste, be sure to check this out!
So, It is possible to run the Celeron in
SMP (Dual) configurations. But how is it done? Well the main thing to remember is that the
Celeron is merely a crippled P2. Although the lack of L2 is the most visible
"feature" of this processor, Intel also performed some behind the scenes
sabotage, aimed at firmly anchoring the Celeron at the low end. However despite the
publication of the original article I am please to be able to confirm that the dual SMP
trick does indeed work with the Celeron300a and 333!
Due to the excellent overclockabiliy of the Celeron 266 and 300 in particular (the
cache-less 300 and 333 with 128k of L2 are not recommended for overclockers due to their
lock at a higher multiplier), it is quite feasible to run a Celeron 266 @ 4 x 112.
Multiply that by 2 for the dual configuration and we have near 1 Gigahertz of computing
power at our finger tips!
MSI 6163 ATX Part 1 16:06 pm - Kan
WorkBench also posted the MSI 6163 ATX BX
The packaging contains the manual, the
Retention Module and the cables for HDD and FDD and 1 CD.
From what I would see, The MSI 6163 looks
very similar to the MSI 6119 that I reviewed earlier on. Both has the same footprint.
Other than that, the MSI 6163 has 5 PCI, 2 ISA and 1 AGP port for expansion. The most
appealing thing about this board is that it now supports the following FSB: 66, 68, 75,
83, 100, 103, 112, 117(2), 124, 129, 133, 138, 143, 148, 153 Mhz.
Other than that, it now includes CPU/System
temperature detect, CPU/Chassis Power fan speed detect and CPU/System voltage detect. It
also has an optional audio module based on Creative ES1373
Dual Socket 370 Celerons 16:05 pm - Kan
WorkBench translated an article from http://kikumaru.w-w.ne.jp on how to modify the MSI 6905 (Socket370 to
Slot1 Adapter) to support dual Socket 370 Celerons. I must say by using the adapter,
it's even simpler for home users to modfiy the hardware to support dual.
If you have read his previous articles at
his web site in Japanese and mirrored at some other sites in English, you would probably
already know that he was successful in bringing the possibility of a Dual Celeron (Slot1)
Now as Slot 1 is about to be killed and new
higher end processors like the Celeron 366 and 400 is out. Is SMP still possible ? The
answer is YES !
According to Intel Celeron Data Sheets,
BR1# pin is reserved. Now, reserved pins are normally used for some purpose. It was
mentioned earlier on this pin does the trick by connecting it to the B75 pin on the
Celeron Slot 1.
ThrustMaster Frag Master 15:34 pm - Wilfred
mailed to tell us a new review they've put up on the ThrustMaster Frag Master. Looks like
one futuristic toy to play with!
Rant-A-Plenty At Alive! 15:28 pm - Wilfred
Ee Siang popped a note to tell me of this new Rant#4 which he put up on Alive!. Basically the rant coincides with a
poll which he started asking if you're want EAX 2.0 to be a proprietary or open API?
Here's a quote:
"...a lot of people
prefer to get the MX300 over the SBLive!. Why? Simply because consumers like to play safe.
They want the best of both worlds . They want A3D 2.0 and they want EAX 1.0 too cause they
know that Creative being a heavyweight in the industry, chances are EAX 1.0 would be
widely supported. Why get a cutter when you can have a multi-function Swiss Knife? This
mindset is clearly evident in all the MX300 reviews that appear. All consider support for
EAX 1.0 an important factor in choosing MX300 over SBLive! which cannot support A3D 2.0
.It is make worse by the fact that some renowned websites proclaimed that they got
"Flawless EAX" on the MX300 when EAX drivers for it are not even out yet ! Add
to this the marketing effort by Aureal to create the impression that EAX 1.0 is so simple
to support, consumers are easily mislead into thinking that they can get the same EAX
Wilfred Coughs - After A
Long Time 15:23 pm - Wilfred
Oh yes, I'm back in action after my PC caught
this terminal illness forcing me to perform a massive surgical operation on it. Damn..
though it's finally alive and chumming away, my scanner still refuse to work.
|23 January 1999 - Saturday
Compudex IW-A500 12:58 pm - Kan
posted another new ATX case review. The Compudex IW-A500
is a mid-tower casing which supports a removable motherboard tray and has a 300W ATX
This case isn't poppa bear or momma bear;
it's baby bear--that is, it's just right, dammit! It has three 5.25" external
bays, two external 3.5" bays, and one internal 3.5" bay. I was able to fit a
Tyan S1836DLU, which is the biggest damn motherboard I have ever seen, into it without
using a hacksaw. Of course, I wouldn't have been able to fit the Tyan board in had I
been using the second processor slot on this mobo, but I was impressed to see the rather
large Tyan footprint snuggle up in this case like Goldy Locks in baby bear's bed. When I
went to move my Abit BH6 in, I was even more impressed. 'tis simply a nice fit.
Epox BXB-S BX Dual Processor
12:52 pm - Kan
finished his review on the Epox BXB-S BX Dual
Processor Slot-1 motherboard. This motherboard also includes onboard U2W SCSI
controller as well as support registered 256MB DIMMs.
If you look over the specs on the
EP-BXB-S there is one thing that should stand out at first, and that is the expansion slot
configuration, 4/2/1 (PCI/ISA/AGP). What's so special about having 4 PCI and 2 ISA
slots? The fact that on the BXB-S, none of the PCI or ISA slots are shared, meaning
all 7 on-board slots can be occupied at once unlike other motherboards that either feature
a 5/2/1 or a 4/3/1 configuration which sacrifice either one PCI or one ISA slot in order
for all 7 slots to be filled. Since the 4/2/1 configuration of the BXB-S is
non-shared expansion slot configuration, the expandability of the board is equivalent to
that of a 5/2/1 board when using 2 ISA expansion cards. A unique approach to the
relatively uncharted dual processor market, and an eye catching one at that.
Monster Fusion Review 12:48 pm - Kan
Hardware did the review on the Diamond's
Monster Fusion. The Banshee with the ability to support native Glide games, is
probably the reason why gamers choose it instead of the Riva TNT...
The Banshee is also one of the strongest
2D performers on the market, thanks to a 2D core based upon the same innovation that 3Dfx
implemented in the 3D side of the chip. The internal 250MHz RAMDAC allows you to run at
even 1600x1200 without image degradation. The chip also features hardware support for DVD
acceleration, giving you comparable output to standalone DVD decoder cards. The chip can
also render 2D and 3D in the same space, thanks to a shared frame buffer. This should make
it the perfect solution for upcoming technologies such as Microsofts Chrome. (Which
has been delayed due to lack of hardware to run it as Microsoft intended)
Dixon 12:45 pm - Kan
You probably heard of them before. The new
Pentium II PE, code-named Dixon will run at clock speeds of 300 MHz, 333 MHz as well as
366 MHz. The special thing is that it will feature 256K of cache integrated directly onto
Speed, however, is more crucial than size
and the chips with the 256K should outperform even faster chips with the 512K of alongside
cache. The PE designation exists to differentiate between the integrated and
non-integrated chips that run at the same speed. The PE designation will fade out as all
of the mobile chips become integrated. Intel added an "A" to Celeron chips when
integrated cache came to that product line
For the full article, read here.
ATI Rage 128 12:43 pm - Kan
Another high quality review from FiringSquad on the ATI Rage 128.
The following hands-on preview is based on
beta silicon and beta drivers. The beta drivers, which are now a month old, are nowhere
near stable enough for day to day work. I experienced lots of random freezeups and 2D
graphics glitches during testing of the card on my primary machine. Note that such major
and minor problems should be fixed by the time the product ships. Game compatibility on
the other hand was certainly good enough to complete my testing, though as of this writing
it was far from perfect. So take all these results with a grain of salt, because they may
or may not be indicative of performance you will see from a retail boxed version.
Storm PageScan USB Scanner 12:40 pm - Kan
did a review on the Storm
Technology PageScan USB scanner. Talk about USB, how I wish I have a USB scanner
The software that comes with this scanner
is excellent; very easy to use, flexible, and feature-laden when you need more power.
Scanning is easy; the default scanning software is called ScanBank, and is is very
intuitive. You can also use any TWAIN-compliant software for scanning, such as Adobe
Photoshop 4 or 5. The PageScan USB does a great job of scanning pages for optical
character recognition. And as long as the pages scanned for OCR are uncomplicated and
simply formatted, the integrated TextBridge does a satisfactory job. For complex pages,
small or unusual fonts, or to retain the original page formatting, you will need a full
version of TextBridge or OmniPage Pro
Next Expansion Bus 12:38 pm - Kan
sent note on their Next Expansion Bus
So your overclocking your system, and now
the PCI bus is running at 37.5MHz or ever 41.5MHz. How would you like to run your PCI
cards at 66MHz, 100MHz or even 133MHz? Not only that but at twice the bit rate (64-bit
instead of 32-bit). Well the PCI-X specification developed by Compaq, Hewlett-Packard, and
IBM will let you do just that. Heck you might be able to get rid of your AGP video card
and replace it with a card running at 133MHz and sending data at 64-bits instead of AGP's
66MHz and 32-bit interface. Care to find out more? Than go check out our article on Your Next Expansion Bus
Septerra Core 12:34 pm - Kan
Yeah yeah, I know I'm slow (better slow then
nothing), but FiringSquad posted a preview of Septerra Core, a RPG/adventure game.
To understand the story behind Septerra
Core, you must first get acquainted with the geography of the planet. The planet has seven
continents that lie in concentric layers over top of one another, like the layers of an
onion. The richest people, known as the Chosen, live on the top layer and consume massive
quantities of resources and energy and dump refuse on to the lower continents. You play
the role of Maya, a junk scavenger who lives on the layer immediately below the outer
continent and you make a living by gathering the most useful refuse to sell.
ATI Rage Fury 21:51 pm - Kan
That's a new review on the ATI Rage Fury over at FastGraphics.
Looking at the specs of the chipset it
could be a twin brother of the Riva TNT chipset from nVidia. TNT does single pass multi
texturing, so does Rage 128. TNT supports full screen anti aliasing, so does Rage 128.
nVidia supports 32 bit rendering, so does Rage 128. ATI did a pretty good job in making
the Rage 128 chipset a head to head competitor with Riva TNT. On paper the Rage 128 is
even a bit faster: since it uses a 100 MHz CORE speed it has a theoretical fill rate of
200 Mpixels, while TNT has to do with 180 at it's default clockspeed of 90 MHz. To lure to
customers in buying Rage 128 products ATI added a few more features like memory
configurations of up to 32 Mb and hardware DVD support.
New ADSL Trial 21:48 pm - Kan
SINGAPORE--In a move to make high-speed
Internet access cheaper, SingTel Magix, Intel Corporation, in conjunction with Newbridge
Networks and Efficient Networks have announced the field testing of a new ADSL technology.
G-Lite, previously known as Universal ADSL has the
potential to offer a lower cost high-speed Internet connection because it eliminates the
need of hardware like splitters or additional home wiring. "The knowledge gained from
the trial will benefit consumers by accelerating the deployment of less expensive and more
robust high-speed communications," said Kevin Kahn, director of communications
architecture at the Intel architecture labs.
The Singapore trial started in December 1998 with 20
participants, while the second phase will expand to 50 users by the end of the first
quarter of 1999.
For the full article, read here.
300A @ 600 MHz 09:58 am - Kan
PC Kingdom had a short article on how they managed to get the 300A working at 600 MHz, for
err...10 minutes. They actually put the processor in the freezer for a couple of hours
before taking it out.
The reason that we do not recommend
freezing your cpu is that once you take it out of the freezer and place it in your
computer the coldness of the processor will create condensation by sucking water molecules
out of the air and condensing them. This can make the cpu and surrounding material moist
which is obviously not a good thing. So what are we saying? Try this at your own peril! We
currently have somebody working on making a liquid super cooler and we'll keep you posted
on our news page once he has made any suitable progress.
Pentium III Technology Brief
09:54 am - Kan
had an article on the Pentium
III Technology Brief. The new Pentium III processors will be available at the end of
next month (Feb 28th). So, are you going to upgrade?
So Intel is about to release their latest
CPU, the Pentium III in both 450MHz and 500MHz flavors. Previously known as Katmai, the
Pentium III is to boast some 71 new SIMD instructions to improve performance. The 71 new
Streaming SIMD (Single Instruction Multiple Data) Instructions, formerly known as Katmai
New Instructions or KNI, are to boost 3D performance and multimedia performance in
general. But in order for these new instructions to work, software developers and hardware
companies have to specifically code their programs or drivers to use them. Currently there
are a few games in development that will utilize these new instructions, including Quake
3: Arena. In addition, Microsoft's Direct X 7 will natively support KNI.
Labtec APX 4620 09:52 am - Kan
Our bud over at 3DsoundSurge
posted the Labtec APX 4620 speakers
Any Brian Adam's fans out there? Waking
up the neighbours is a distinct possibiltiy with this system! The 4620's put out a total
of 70 watts RMS using five, yes thats five, discrete amplifiers! There's 44 watts to the
progressive suspension subwoofer, 7.5 watts to each pair of midrange drivers and 5.5 watts
to each tweeter. Frequencies are split using a 3 way electronic crossover. The satellites
use what is called a D'Appolito speaker configuration
Adaptec 2940-U2W 09:50 am - Kan
also posted a review on the Adaptec
2940-U2W SCSI card. In my opinion, this card rules for home users!
Of course, the main attraction to buying
such a high-end SCSI board is the speed you'll gain from it. In the case of this board,
your main concern is Ultra2 SCSI LVD. If you're not too familiar with this, it's simply a
subset of Ultra Wide SCSI, with new LVD capabilities. LVD stands for "Low Voltage
Differential", which basically just sends data packets through two SCSI wires instead
of one, providing data transfer rates up to twice as fast as standard Ultra Wide SCSI (80
MB/s for Ultra2 LVD, 40MB/s for Ultra Wide SCSI). The new LVD cabling allows for data to
be transferred with less electromagnetic and noise interference, which in turn allows for
a clearer data signal along with the ability to have longer SCSI cables. In fact, you can
have an Ultra2 LVD cable up to 12 meters long, whereas Ultra Wide SCSI cables are limited
to 3 meters maximum cable length.
Diamond FirePort 40 09:46 am - Kan
posted a review on the Diamond FirePort 40
I think most clear-headed but slightly
cynical users will not believe upstart Diamond could put out a better SCSI card than
industry veteran Adaptec. I hate to break it to you guys, but the FirePort 40 creamed the
Adaptec 2940UW in all tests.
How can this be, you ask?
Latest News from AMD and
Intel 09:44 am - Kan
You can find the news from TomsHardware. They
don't seem to be the latest news to me though...
K7 is also still on track, planned release
time is Q2/1999. This seems surprising, because the delay of K6-3, which was expected in
January 1999. K7 will be running in a new unique platform using a slot called 'SlotA',
which is mechanically identical to Slot1, but using a completely different bus protocol.
Thus K7 will not run in Slot1-boards and no Intel CPU will run in SlotA-boards. K7 will
require its own new chipset and AMD will be the first supplier of one. The bus protocol
used by K7 is called 'EV6', known from Digital's Alpha CPUs. The EV6-bus of K7 is supposed
to run at 200 MHz, offering a significantly higher bandwidth than the 100 or later 133 MHz
bus clock used by Intel's Pentium II and Pentium III CPUs.
Race Leader 3D 09:41 am - Kan
Hardware finished the review on the Race
Leader force feedback wheel. If only there is a force feedback helmet to blow your
Guillemots entry into the wheel
market is its Race Leader 3D, with a retail price of only $129.99. The wheel features a
total of 20 buttons, an amount that could confuse a team of trained monkeys. Guillemot
promises that their wheel will give you the most bang for your buck. I will give you my
impressions of the wheel to see if that is true. They say that their wheel "Is priced
to deliver the maximum amount of features at the minimum amount of price."
Celeron 400 Slot 1 09:38 am - Kan
came out the Celeron 400
Slot 1 review. This processor is clocked locked at a multiper of 6.0 which means it
will be more difficult to overclock than the 366 MHz Celeron.
As you can see from the chart above, the
6.0x multiplier is tough to overcome. It sends MHz levels shooting into the stratosphere
too quickly, and forces jumps of nearly 75MHz between settings. One positive note lies in
the 6.0 x 83MHz selection, as 500MHz for $170 is a pretty fair bargain. In fact, even our
in-house P2-450 CPUs can only overclock to 504MHz (4.5 x 112) thanks to their handicapped
4.5ns L2 cache, so when the Celeron 400 CPU is evaluated by gamers for purchase, it seems
clear that it brings a lot to the table.
PowerStrip 2.35 09:35 am - Kan
Just got it from Betanews that PowerStrip 2.35 is available.
- PowerStrip 2.35 syncs the latest OEM and
shareware releases, and includes - amongst other things - better support for ATi and
NVidia chips, as well as some fixes for the G200 and Savage3D
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