7 July 1999 - Wednesday
Weekly Upgrade Guide 23:59 pm - Kan
FiringSquad sent note on their updated Weekly Upgrade Guide. Damn, you mean it's time to upgrade again? 

This brings us to the point of this guide. Technology changes quickly, and so do the prices that are associated with it. The point of this guide is to keep you, our audience, up to date on what's hot and what's a good deal. This guide will be a recurring, regularly updated piece which should offer more than several suggestions of various pieces of hardware that you may be considering upgrading. This will keep you, and your system, at a state-of-the-art place, while not taxing the pocketbook too much.

TA: Kingdoms 23:58 pm - Kan
Gamer's Crypt also did a review on TA: Kingdoms. Check out their comments on this strategy game.

Before I immerse myself into the medieval world of Total Annihilation: Kingdoms and attempt to hammer through a review of prolix pros and rhetoric, there is something I feel it only fair to confess to readers of this article forthwith: I have both privately and publicly abhorred the RTS genre for as long as I can remember. I have, in the past, been vehement in my objection towards the endless clones and wannabe titles that flooded the industry some two years past, with exception to just a few select, and stand-out titles over the years (namely Warcraft II and Total Annihilation.

Neptune - Your Next Windows? 19:06 pm - Wilfred
ZDNet has an article about what Microsoft is planning for in their next version of Windows, codenamed Neptune. This will be the (finally!) consumer version of Windows based on NT-kernel.

With Neptune, Microsoft is aiming to make Windows-based systems the hub of consumers' home entertainment experience. Neptune will include built-in support for end-to-end audio and video production and playback. The operating system will feature video play, record and edit capabilities; camcorder capture and edit functionality; and record/browse/playback support for digital and analog TV, according to documentation. DVD RAM storage will be a component of Neptune, insuring high sustained data rates.

In a Neptune-centric world, users will be able to acquire video from a TV or a camcorder, annotate or edit it and turn around and share it with others, via the Web or other methods. Users will be able to play back the video or picture slideshows through their TVs or music through their stereos.

Neptune won't be just an entertainment platform, however. Microsoft is pushing to make the operating system also able to function as a home networking/home security hub. Universal Plug and Play support will enable these scenarios. Users will be able to use home networking for traditional purposes, such as sharing files between PCs or connecting a PC to a printer. They will also be able to use home automation services or play networked games and stream audio and video using the Neptune enabled home network.

BP6 Review 17:50 pm - Kan
Our pals over at HardOCP finished their review on the ABIT BP6 dual socket-370 motherboard. This gotta be the cheapest dual boards around. By the way, if you are interested in ordering a piece, take a look at http://www.computers.com.sg

Pretty spiffy.  All the regular fare you have come to EXPECT from ABIT but also a couple of extras.  ATA66 and 33 on board.   Four IDE channels total.  Pretty nice.  We have not yet been blessed with a drive to run ATA66 so I cannot tell you much about except that it installed pretty easily, AFTER I finally found the floppy the drivers were on.  Don't look on the CD and waste your time. DOH!  Oh yeah, new bigger more efficient heatsink to boot. 

TA: Kingdoms 17:48 pm - Kan
CPRExtreme sent note on their latest review on TA: Kingdoms. If you like strategy games and you are tried of Starcraft, take a look at this game.

All the units are highly detailed and easily distinguishable from each other.  The animation of the units is incredible.  The flying of dragons is amazing to look at.  Every frame is in place as the flap their huge wings propelling themselves toward the battle.  The mighty ships are highly detailed as well.  You can see each individual plank on the ship.  Their sales billow when they are moving and hang lifelessly when the ships are still. 

Gigabyte GA-660 TNT2 12:52 pm - Wilfred
FullOn3D took a look at Gigabyte's foray into the crowded TNT2 market - the GA660 TNT2 card. Sporting a blue PCB, what sets it apart from the pack?

The GA-660 proves to be a good choice for a TNT-2 board, but the "turbo" button does not live up to much better performance when things boil down to real world applications - the core clock is negligible in the face of lack of memory bandwith. Using faster memory and raising that clock only by jumper would have been a smarter solution. This way the turbo jumper is just an oddball gimmick. The heat reduction measures on this board are the best on the market so far.

Revelator For All? 12:41 pm - Wilfred
Stereovision.net went 'public' about the possibility of getting Elsa's Revelator glasses to work on non-Elsa boards. Interested? Read on.

If Elsa offers 1) a board with the same chipset and 2) offers Revelator-compatible drivers for that board, then you may be lucky.

How: Flash the BIOS of your board - use the utility that came with your board but (and that's the important point) don't use the BIOS you got: Instead, use a accordingly renamed Elsa BIOS appropriate for that particular chipset. That done, your board will be recognized as an Elsa board, you'll be able to install the Elsa- and Revelator-drivers.

3DLabs Oxygen VX1 10:39 am - Kan
Sharky reviewed a rather rare gem, the 3DLabs Oxygen VX1 graphics card.

"The Oxygen VX1 uses the GLINT R3 chip, which is basically the workstation version of Permedia 3. The two chips are almost identical. They have exactly the same functionality and performance in games (multi-texturing, bump mapping, etc). The 2D is also the same. The only differences are in Softimage, and with multi-cpu machines."

Reviews @ GameWire 10:32 am - Kan
GameWire sent note on their new reviews and articles. First, they have a coverage on Hamfest, a computer show in in New York. Then, they have a review on The Phantom Menance as well as a review on the CH Flight Sim Yoke USB joystick. Lastly, it's the editorial on on-line games coming to the market in the near future.

You start off as Obi-Wan, in the meeting room on the Trade Federation Battleship, with just a light saber, and have to fight you way out. At first, I found it difficult to block shots with the light saber, your standard weapon, but I got used to it pretty quickly. The shots go off at random angles when you deflect them, so it's hard to kill a droid by deflecting shots if it's only 1 on1, in large groups, you can just swing your light saber once and block 5 shots, and end up killing 2, maybe 3 droids.

Importance of Well-Written Drivers 01:57 am - Kan
Over at KACHardware, the guys posted an article on the Importance of Well-Written drivers. One of the reasons why Windows is so unstable is due to the various drivers with it. So, whose fault is it?

You have just invested in a new video card, proudly plugged it into the computer and installed the bundled drivers. You quickly locate the good old Quake II CD and install the software onto your computer: You want to see what your latest purchase is up to. You press "New Game", select "Easy" and enter the first level; the graphics are supreme and running smooth! After a few hours of play the levels have grown larger and the number of monsters increased; the result is slower and slower graphics.

SMP Crackdown 01:42 am - Kan
Take a look over at ArsTechnica with their latest roundup on SMP machines. How does [email protected] Mhz against Pentium III @ 560 Mhz sound?

Also, we will keep a close eye on the Pentium III vs. Celeron contest. Although the systems aren't identical, testing in this context does lend itself to some comparison between Intel's Katmai and Mendocino processor cores.  Armed with a fat 512K of L2 cache RAM running at 50% the CPU speed and Intel's Streaming SIMD Extensions (SSE), the PIII comes to this party with an extra 56 MHz on the 300A.  The 300A, however, packs a heckuva wallop with its full-speed, on-chip L2 cache.  Since Intel's plans for the Pentium III include bringing the L2 cache on-chip later this year, it seems like a good bet that the on-chip cache design may scale better as clock frequencies rise.

ZIP 250 01:40 am - Kan
Two new reviews over at AGN Hardware. First, it's the Iomega ZIP 250MB drive as well as the ATI TV Wonder graphics card. I must say the ATI looks impressive from the screenshots taken!

Installing hardware has become pretty easy since Plug and Play so I didn't anticipate problems. The card goes into an empty PCI slot and Win 98 detected it and prompted for the drivers. I put in the CD and directed it to the proper place but it didn't want to work. Arrgh. I skipped the Plug and Play installation, loaded the drivers from the CD and restarted. When I ran the video player after reboot I had to wait for two minutes for it to load! I couldn't get any TV at all and my Sega Dreamcast console only produced sound.

6 July 1999 - Tuesday
Abit BE6 22:28 pm - Wilfred
Sharky Extreme posted a review on the Abit BE6 440BX board. Ok, so you know this is the board that made dual S370 Celeron PCs easily possible, but the single processor performance is great too!

Very consistent, the BE6 again demonstrates how identical from chip to chip the 440BX controller set really is. In our system-level benchmarks the BE6 placed near the top of the large group, in fact it ironically seated itself at the next peg down from the Abit BX6 R2 board we tested two months ago.

Almost all 440BX-based mainboards perform within the same 3% margin, it's been rare in our experience to find one that operates at a speed that's far from the majority of boards available.

Poll #20 Result 22:05 pm - Wilfred
Whoa! Most people pay less than $30 for their monthly ISP bills, not bad indeed... and some 6% don't pay? Good gracious, better don't surf at your workplace! Your boss might be watching ya?! A significant portion are freeeeaks like me who fork out more than $200 each month.

Matrox Millenium G400 32Mb 21:46 pm - Wilfred
3DHardware.net took the G400 for a spin and have an eleven page review for you. Here's a skimpy on the DualHead display.

One of the most outstanding feature of the Millennium G400, in my opinion, is the DualHead Display Technology. DualHead technology allows one single chip to output separate (or similar) images simultaneously to two different output units. The Millennium G400 has two D-SUB outputs located on the backplate, these are used by the G400 chip to output to two different display devices at the same time. Matrox have made this possible by implementing two CRTCs on the Millennium G400. The two CRTCs are the "backbone" of DualHead and stand for Cathode Ray Tube Controller, a Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) is the "technical" name of your traditional monitor. The CRTCs can retrieve data from the frame buffer or system memory, from different locations and independently from each other. Another feature is that they can also read the same image and display it with different refresh rates. The benefits of being able to do so are rather obvious, the refresh rates on both outputs do not have to be similar, thus you will not have to run your monitor in the refresh that your TV does, when using the secondary output as TV-Out.

Jane's Fleet Command 21:39 pm - Wilfred
The FiringSquad took a look at a complex Jane's title: Fleet Command. Anybody up to the challenge for this level of battle sophiscation? Control an entire battle carrier group?

Since you have no respawns, your carrier doesn't pop up all shiny and new in a new location. Once it's gone, it's gone. This makes every decision extremely important, and they are all done in real time, so you can't plan for 5 minutes, nevermind hours about what the best way to take care of those four MiG-25 Foxbats escorting three Tupolev Tu-22 Backfires is. Those same Backfires are launching AS-4 Kitchen missiles from 150 miles out like crazy, and you have no way to reach them. Any fighters you have will first need to get through the MiGs (not an easy task), and no missiles of yours can reach that far (sorry, the Phoenix missile is being discontinued. No 100 mile air-to-air sniping for you)

iMac Craze Lives On 17:14 pm - Wilfred
osOpinion has another editorial up for reading, oh yeah, the "iMac Craze Lives On" - witnessed by the number of imitation products that have emerged.

Although these iMac copycats no where near reached the elegance, simplicity and sheer beauty that Apple encompassed when releasing their product, they were to be expected from a non innovative PC World.

Despite the fact that many in the PC community would rather not accept and and instead dispute it, Apple has been a long-standing innovator in both the software and hardware arena. Their innovations have transferred over to advances in computing for all computer users and thus totally reshaped the computing industry as a whole. Unfortunately, it doesn't always seem like they get the credit they so rightfully deserve.

Leadtek WinFast S320 II 17:06 pm - Wilfred
3DSpotlight has came back online with a new review on Leadtek's WinFast S320 II. This is a budget no frills TNT2 solution that doesn't slack in performance! Not bad!

The Leadtek WinFast S320 II is an excellent choice for the price conscious gamer that doesn't want to spend a lot of money (more than $200) in a new video card, this card should be selling for $150 or less, not a bargain but definitely worth the money. I'm sure that people still using Savage3D and TNT1 based cards will want to upgrade to a TNT2 like this Leadtek.

Turtle Beach Montego II Quadzilla 16:51 pm - Wilfred
Extreme Hardware reviewed the Montego II Quadzilla card. Want a Vortex2 card? Take a look at this review:

Living up to their high reputation, Turtle Beach has produced yet another quality sound card. The Montego II Quadzilla is one of the best Vortex 2 implementations that I have seen so far. It offers everything that can be found in other Vortex 2 sound cards plus an added level of sound quality and output clarity. The only lacking feature is its dual CODEC design, which prevents users from using Aurealís reference drivers with SPDIF or four speaker output.

Old Suns Never Die 10:25 am - Kan
Ace's Hardware posted an article called Old Suns Never Die. A very interesting article if you have a fetish for Sun workstations.

Sun really began using SPARC-based systems in the 90's, and there have been a couple different architectures and implementions since then. Some are good and some were good. All SPARC-based machines are denoted with a model number that begins with Sun4, as these machines are the fourth primary group of computers from Sun. There are several different varients, including Sun4, Sun4c, Sun4d, Sun4m, and Sun4u. With the exception of the Sun4u series, all of these systems are 32-bit.

AMK-0334 10:21 am - Kan
The Tech Zone did their review on the AMK-0334 casing. This casing is targeted for overclockers and comes with a fan next to the CPU.

One of the most important component to chose when building an overclocked computer system is the type of case you will use. Most computer cases need some form of modification to get it to work really well. This normally involves adding more fans or cutting a few holes to get better air flow.

Enter the AMK-0334 overclocker's case. The first case I've ever came across that needs no mods what so ever to produce proper air flow in an overclocked system. What makes the AMK-0334 so great is that all the mods (the fans and "blow holes") are done for you.

F-16 Combatstick USB 10:18 am - Kan
It's nice to see joysticks going USB. AGN Hardware reviewed a piece of the F-16 Combatstick USB joystick.

Most users have two USB ports on the back of their PC, but most PC vendors don't even activate them in the system BIOS before shipping. So first off, you'll want to make sure you have USB ports and that they're turned on in the system BIOS. The only other requirement for this stick is that you're running Windows 98, or an iMac, as they now provide drivers for the iMac as well. Actually now iMac users can have a stick worthy of playing the Mac version of Falcon 4.0 with,  as up until now the only joysticks out there for the iMac we're pretty  lame and downright clunky feeling in-hand.

3D Dictionary 10:15 am - Kan
The chaps over at Explosive3D posted a staggering 26 pages dictionary on words related to 3D sound/3D graphics. If you want to know what does Anisotropic filtering or Anti-aliasing means, check it out!

AC-3 - technical term for Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. This is an algorithm the encodes sound into five separate channels and sends each to a different speaker. What this means? - its the technology behind what makes that big screen television with that swank sound system sound so cool when you watch movies enabled for it. You know-- the bus in Speed sounds like it comes from behind when really the sound of the bus sound is just moving from the speakers behind you to the speakers in front of you.

Sports Car GT 10:13 am - Kan
CRUS finished their review on Sports Car GT. Pretty fun game to play with, similar to games like NFS4.

This is usually followed with it becoming a luxury item, itís not produced anymore and they have sold them all, only 200 hundred left in working order. Now it costs more then it did in the first place, oooohhhh and you sold it for a measly sum to your local Second-hand salesmen just a week before. The only time when this doesnít really apply is for cars that were never popular in the first place (a Lada and such like) or those rare luxury cars that only the rich can afford anyway, the crap cars never cost anything in the first place and the luxury cars are just as expensive in 50 years as they were when they came out.

Screensaver 10:10 am - Kan
Demonews sent note on a new screensaver which is capable of rendering up to 9 different models of cars real-time. It's downloadable from here.

3D Jeep Screensaver from QS is a screensaver that displays different car models (9 jeeps models) in real-time rendered 3D. While the car is spinning you can move around it with help of the keyboard. You can choose res. and other display options. You can also choose to play MIDI songs in the background. Recommended is a 3D accelerator that accelerates OpenGL.

Win Slipstream for V3 3000 10:02 am - Kan
Speedy3D sent note on their contest in which you stand a chance to win a Slipstream enhancement kit for the Voodoo3 3000.

Today, we have decided to give away one slipstream enhancement pack for the voodoo3 3000. This product from overclk.com is an overcloking kit that helps bring your voodoo3 up to a clock speed of 200MHz easily. Read our review of the slipstream enhancement kit here.

Creative Savage 4 10:00 am - Kan
Our pals over at FPS3D posted a review on the Creative Savage4 graphics accelerator card. Actually, the price of the S4 is just right, and is indeed a good buy for low budget users.

The first thing I did after installing the card, was grab the Unreal DMS3Gallery level (an Unreal level made entirely with high-res S3TC textures) to have a look at. Simply amazing... I have never seen anything cooler in my life. It is extremely apparent that megs and megs of textures can't even dent the Savage4 PRO performance-wise. We'll get into the real numbers in a second, but seeing a texture that's thousands by thousands of pixels run at a playable framerate just blew my mind.

5 July 1999 - Monday
Next Generation 3D Accelerators 19:57 pm - Kan
Over at FiringSquad, the chaps posted an article on what to expect on the next generation of 3D accelerators cards. 

By breaking up 3D tasks between multiple processors, 3D accelerators should be able to process a proportionally greater load. Two texture processors capable of 4 textures per pass each should be able to crank out 8 textures, allowing for lighting, multitexture, bump maps, and anisotropic/trilinear filtering, all in one pass and with room to spare. Dual geometry engines will be able to process and pass off doubly complex polygon scenes without breaking a sweat.

Elbrus E2K Speculations 13:34 pm - Wilfred
Our Russian friends at iXBT Hardware has spoken about the highly speculative Elbrus E2K processor, with rumoured performance of up to 3-5 times that of Intel's upcoming Merced. It is supposed to be technically superior to the Merced in all respect, consuming less power and will run x86 codes only 10-20% slower than it's own.

According to Boris A. Babaian, chief architect of Elbrus supercomputers, superscalar architecture was invented in Russia. To quote him as saying: "In 1978 we developed the world's first superscalar computer, Elbrus-1. At present all Western superscalar processors have just the same architecture. First Western superscalar processor appeared in 1992 while ours - in 1978. Moreover, our variant of superscalar is analogous to Pentium Pro introduced by Intel in 1995".

The historical priority of Elbrus is confirmed in the States as well. According to the same article in Microprocessor Report by Keith Diefendorff, the developer of Motorola 88110 - one of the first western superscalar processors: "In 1978 almost 15 years ahead of Western superscalar processors, Elbrus implemented a two-issue out-of-order processor with register renaming and speculative execution".

In 1991 Peter Rosenbladt, the Hewlett-Packard executive, was in Moscow visiting Elbrus (by this time it was Institute of Precision Mechanics and Computing Equipment) and received exhaustive documentation on Elbrus-3. A bit later it turned out that at the same time HP started a project together with Intel, which resulted into a joint development of EPIC-processor, aka Merced. Its architecture is very similar to that of Elbrus-3, and all the differences deal mostly with the simplifications introduced by Intel in their processor.

Mandrake Linux 6.0 First Looks 13:27 pm - Wilfred
CPU Review posted a first looks at Mandrake Linux 6.0, one of the newer distributions to have arrived. So how does it rank amongst the pack? Find out here!

Mandrake 6.0 is an evolutionary step forward from RedHat 6.0; I have no doubt that RedHat will adopt Mandrakes improvements (as they should!). The cross-fertilization that occurs between distributions; and branches of existing distributions (like Mandrake is a branch of the RedHat tree) will help Linux evolve into an operating system with best-of-breed features.

Mitsubitshi Diamond Scan 90e 11:41 am - Wilfred
Ben of WickedPC sent word of his new review on Mitsubitshi's value line Diamond Scan 90e 19" monitor. 

The Mitsubishi 90e weighs a measly 54lbs. Its weight is quite acceptable, but the size is what really gets us. It has to be the smallest "back of the monitor" we've seen. Usually the tube that is behind where you see the picture sticks out quite far and deep. The Mitsubishi 90e's only pops out about 15-16" to the back, making it sit farther back on the desk and having more room for Pepsi, mice and keyboards.

AOpen AX6BC Pro 11:37 am - Wilfred
Anand has just delivered his review on the AOpen AX6BC Pro mobo. No doubt that this is one of the best boards in the market now, but Anand has chosen to give it his most critical voice (because it arrived late!) =)

Before you start to look at the AOpen AX6BC Pro, keep one thing in mind, this is the absolute best single processor BX motherboard on the market.  Unfortunately it took AOpen over a year to release it, with the Intel 820 chipset right around the corner, and the possibility of many Intel supporters switching over to the AMD Athlon platform in the coming months, a motherboard upgrade now would be reserved for those with $120 to kill.  For that reason, AnandTech will approach the AX6BC Pro in an even more critical manner than the BX motherboards of the past.

Interview With nVidia 11:23 am - Wilfred
PlanetRiva put up an interview with nVidia's Michael Hara, VP of Corporate Marketing, about Transform and Lighting, the future of 3D as well as current developments in the industry.

PR: The V3 3500 has not yet been released. Do you think that it will surpass the TNT2 Ultraís performance?

MH: If and when the V3 3500 actually ships, its performance in 16-bit color should be close to TNT2 Ultras.  Obviously, it wonít compare in 32-bit since the V3 architecture is incapable of rendering 32-bit color.  Everyone is using the same process geometry, so clock rates will be very close.  Driver and pipeline efficiencies will be the difference.  There we have proven that in both OpenGL ICD and Direct3D applications, TNT2 is the fastest.  People still want to compare MiniGL drivers to our full ICD drivers in Quake II, but even there the difference isnít worth talking about.  Try running an authoring application on a MiniGL, CRASH!  Looking forward, TNT2 supports a richer feature set, and is the one to invest in.  Itís funny to think that if you want to play old Glide games, you have to buy Voodoo3ís two-year old architecture to do it.

Linux Community Vs Linux Industry 11:15 am - Wilfred
Saw at Slashdot, this link to Linux Today which speaks about the need for the Linux community to be transformed into an industry so that Linux will better compete with the rest of the platforms.

This concept that the Linux community must cease in order for the Linux industry to grow is utter twaddle.

Whatever else Linux might be, it is essentially organic. It lives and breathes not on the basis of Profit and Loss analysis, not on the concepts of marketshare and market penetration, and not on the measure of Return on Investment. No, rather Linux lives because the people behind Linux want it to live. It lives because the Linux community has things to do and Linux is constantly developing new capabilities to meet the needs.

What is necessary is that the Linux community grow the Linux industry in an organic form, like a vine producing leaves and berries. To insist on the notion of replacing community with industry is akin to saying that now that a plant has leaves and berries, we can simply cut off those gnarled, unattractive roots. To do so would be suicide, pure and simple. Cut flowers, though attractive, cannot survive.

Mouse Gizmos At Dan's 11:09 am - Wilfred
Dan's Data have a number of mouse related writeups. You'll find something about his Mouse Bungee, a mouse cord suspender; the Tidy Mouse cleaning system and Filte Tech's strap-on mouse pad you can wear around your thighs.

VIA Apollo Pro133 Chipset 11:01 am - Wilfred
iXBT Hardware has a fresh review of the VIA Apollo Pro133 chipset. The first chipset to support 133Mhz Pentium IIIs and PC133 SDRAM.

So, as we have expected, the main trump of VIA Apollo Pro133 is still its price, which is twice as low as that of i440BX. And from all other points, except a great number of various integrated features, of view VIA Apollo Pro is none other than a huge disappointment. VIA Apollo Pro133 will have absolutely no practical value until the appearance of some new processors working with 133MHz FSB. And as soon as they appear, Intel will introduce its own core logic right away. VIA's chances to dominate in the chipset market are equal to naught, because their chipsets are considerably worse in terms of memory and AGP than those by Intel. As far as VIA's main argument is concerned, namely the support of a PC133 memory, which is cheaper than RDRAM, it is no longer that powerful, because Intel has also introduced PC133 SDRAM support in its i820 chipset last MCH

4 July 1999 - Sunday
Intel i810 Chipset 22:26 pm - Wilfred
The i810 chipset for low cost entry level motherboards is reviewed by Hardware Upgrade. Well, this is probably not the hobbyists' choice huh? Have a look at the concluding paragraph:

Intel i810 can be a good solution for cheap Socket 370 and Slot 1 systems, where the integration of the video and audio subsystems (and in the future even modems and network interface) leads to a great decreasing of costs; the performance with office applications are good, at the same level of a BX motherboard + external video accelerator (such as Riva TNT) solution, while performance with 3D graphics are affected by the presence of an old video chip such as i740, even if it is enough to play with no problem at the resolutions of 640x480 and 800x600 with both Direct 3D and Open GL games.

Abit BP6 22:22 pm - Wilfred
HardwareCentral whipped up a review on the Abit BP6. All its goodness is not going to be well appreciated if Intel really goes on to disable the Celeron's SMP ability.

For those that like to try and overclock their CPUs, the updated Soft Menu is a dream. You can adjust the core voltage separately for each CPU. That way, if one CPU needs 2.2 volts while the other runs just fine at 2.0 volts you wonít have a conflict.

The BP6 offers more bus speed options from 66MHz to 100MHz than any other board you will find. The following speeds are supported: 66, 72, 75, 78, 80, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, and 100. Unfortunately, this level of granularity doesnít exist after 100MHz. Above 100MHz the only two supported speeds are 124 and 133MHz. The PCI bus is clocked at Ĺ the front side bus from 66 to 91MHz. It is 1/3 from 92 to 100MHz. 124 and 133MHz settings use a ľ divider. Multipliers are in half increments from 2.0 to 8.0.

LCD Monitors 22:18 pm - Wilfred
Seduced by those super-flat, super-thin, super-sharp LCD monitors? There is a huge 19 monitor roundup and the market's best buys at PC World. Here's a snip:

Text is only half of the picture, though. Graphics and color--from subtle shades to pastels and bright hues--are especially important for presentations and viewing graphics-intensive Web pages.

Princeton's DPP560 took top honors again. Judges described its rendering of a color photo of Olympic sprinters as "positively lifelike." Folds in the runners' clothes were rendered in great detail, as were tiny beads of perspiration on an athlete's forehead. Honorable mentions go to Acer's AcerView F51 and ViewSonic's VPD150. Both handled a photo of juicy fresh fruit with gusto.

TA: Kingdoms Combat Map Pack 22:14 pm - Wilfred
Chris sent word that CPR Extreme has got TA: Kingdoms Combat Map Pack for download. Visit this page to grab your addon maps.

How Microsoft Plans To Remake Windows 12:48 pm - Wilfred
Very interestingly, there's this article at ZDNet about the Redmond giant's plans for Neptune - the consumer version of Windows based on the NT-kernel.

Tentatively set to go into beta next summer and ship commercially in April 2001, Neptune will include technology that enables a PC to automatically configure its network stack and connect to Universal Plug and Play-enabled devices.

Neptune also will incorporate a new, simpler Web-like user interface, eliminating Windows' typically cryptic error messages and improving support for hardware and applications, according to the Microsoft documents.

Super Slot Fan Review 12:44 pm - Wilfred
3DRage.com did a review on 3DCool's Super Slot Cooler. Yes, indeed it works very well. In only it could be thinner.

The Super Slot fan does the job it was intended to do. It exausts the hot air out of your case and therefore reduced the overall system temperature. The other great way to utilize the Super Slot Fan is to have it exaust the hot air off of your video card's heatsink and will drastically improve your chances of overclocking

3D Graphics Hardware For Linux 12:40 pm - Wilfred
You mean they exist? Sure they do! LinuxPlanet has an article about the choosing and setting up the right 3D graphics accelerator for your Linux box.

Currently, the only graphics cards which are supported in Linux are the Matrox Millennium G200, and any card utilizing a 3Dfx chipset. NVIDIA has promised to release drivers for its TNT2 boards, but it is unclear when those drivers will materialize.

The Best CPU For Your Software - Part 2 12:37 pm - Wilfred
Ace's Hardware posted part 2 to 'The Best CPU For Your Software', concentrating on gaming performance this round. Hear this:

The PIII-450 is probably one of the best choices for die-hard gamers. It over clocks very well, is not too expensive and offers SSE, giving this CPU a more lasting future than the Celeron.

The Celeron A is still a good pick for folks who prefer economize. As shown in many reports, the 66 MHz bus slows the Celeron down and lacks that extra punch that SSE optimizations provide to accelerate the heavy drivers of the fastest video card today - the TNT2 Ultra.

Windows 2000 At Millennium's Brink 12:34 pm - Wilfred
CNet reported that Windows 2000 might seem at year's end. So indeed 2000 is the keyword! Here's the story!

After numerous release date revisions, Microsoft appears to be on track to deliver the Windows 2000 upgrade by the end of the year, barring last-minute glitches, according to industry observers. But the company's efforts to stay on a revised timetable have previously been met with skepticism from analysts.

"We currently estimate that a [final release] will be around the end of this year," said Craig Beilinson, a Windows 2000 product manager at Microsoft.

Creative Encore 6X 12:26 pm - Wilfred
FPS3D.COM banged up a set of Encore 6X DVD for your reading. A DVD-ROM kit is somewhere middle of my acquisition list. Read this!

The Creative PC-DVD Player Software that comes with the kit is amazing. You can tweak just about every feature of the movie from the player, as well as from your keyboard during the movie. Instead of having to go to the desktop to customize your movie, you can do it all while watching it. The picture in 1024x768 32-bit color was crystal clear, and it ran like a dream. There were no dropped frames at all, no artifacts, and no complications.

Howdie! Howdie! 12:21 pm - Wilfred
Yuppers! So you see I'm back <again!> Yeah, Kan flew off to participate in some peace-keeping duties in Kosovo, so I'm back at the reigns after a tiring day. You must have noticed that we've shifted servers and if you find anything broke, please write us.

Guillemot Xentor 32 12:18 pm - Wilfred
Our buds at the Tech-Junkie delivered a short review on the Guillemot Xentor 32 TNT2 card. This card is very very favourably rated in numerous reviews, check out what's so likeable about it!

Once things were under way, we fired up all our favourite games. What can I say? It's a darn fast TNT2! Am I supposed to rave about how good the TNT2 is again? 2 solid weeks of MechWarrior 3 didn't hurt this baby one bit. You can thank the 175MHz TNT2 core for that.

Kan Yawns 05:33 am - Kan
Sorry for the lack of updates, but I gotta catch a plane later. Meanwhile, Wilfred's company seem to be ill-treating him with all the overtime work. :)

Need For Speed 4 05:32 am - Kan
Our pals over at FiringSquad sent note on their latest review on Need For Speed 4: High Stakes. One of my favorite games out there, if you haven't play it yet, go get it. Talking about NFS, I just saw a real Ferrari 550 parked outside Hilton Hotel yesterday. That baby probably cost more than S$1 million down here.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Need for Speed line, here's the low-down: The Need for Speed series is a series of games which allow you to race very, very fast production cars, from the Ferarri 550 to the McLaren F1, through a variety of fictional-but-realistic courses. The emphasis is on racing, with little to no off-track exploration allowed. You can race against one car, a bunch of cars, in a tournament, multiplayer, with or without traffic, etc.

3 July 1999 - Saturday
PC133 10:53 am - Kan
Our pals over at Bxboards did a review on some PC133 RAM modules. Read all the technical details of PC133 as well as Enhanced HSDRAM over there!

PC133 on the other hand is not a radical departure from the PC100 technology we have now. It works just fine at 100Mhz, and will also work on non-PC100 platforms such as LX. As the name suggests however this SDRAM is designed to perform at 133Mhz. Before CPU's became multiplier locked, 133Mhz was seen as The Holy Grail, and many hundreds of dollars were spent on SDRAM as users strove for maximum memory performance. Due to locking, gone are the days when we could run our Pentium II 333's at 3 x 133.

Kan Yawns 10:45 am - Kan
Sleep is a privilege.

Anyway, the DNS transfer is going on smoothly now. It will probably take a few more days for the DNS to be reflected world wide. Talking about DNS and stuffs like that, I read over at ArsTechnica that Network Solutions was hacked. What a perfect timing.

If you are gonna hack somebody, it might as well be a big one, right? Well, yesterday someone apparently hacked Network Solutions. Network Solutions is of course the company responsible for processing new Internet domain name registrations. Rather than hacking the NSI site and putting up some political message, like most of the web site hacks lately, the hackers redirected traffic intended for NSI's web site to other sites. People trying to visit NSI's site were instead directed either to a possible future competitor of Network Solutions, or to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. ICANN is the nonprofit organization that was recently appointed to be in charge of Internet administration.

Tread Marks 10:42 am - Kan
3DRage previewed the game Tread Marks by Longbow Digital Arts. Now, my favorite type of games are simulation games where I spend half the time reading the thick manuals in the toilet. Check it out.

The test version gives you the option of two tanks, one level, two modes of extremely fun gameplay, and LAN multiplayer. In Battle race, your tanks can't actually be destroyed, just knocked around a bit and pushed so far behind that any hopes of catching up and winning were left in the dust. However, they can have their turrets blown off so as to render them weaponless for a certain amount of time, in which their turret will be regenerating.

Alpha Heatsinks 10:40 am - Kan
If you are looking for the Alpha heatsinks seen floating around in the web, you can order a piece from Frost Garden locally in Singapore. Simply awesome, the heatsink cover your entire processor. But then again, it's a bit expensive. :)  

Windows 2000 RC1 10:38 am - Kan
Our pals over at NT Gaming Palace sent note on the release of Windows 2000 RC1. If you are an authorized beta tester, you can download the files from here.

DFI P2XBL/S 10:32 am - Kan
Review of the DFI P2XBL/S Slot-1 motherbard with onboard SCSI controller over at CRUS. Pretty old board design compared to the newer generations, but the onboard SCSI is sweet.

The motherboard is equipped with 1 AGP Slot, 4 PCI slots and 2 ISA slot. All of the PCI and ISA slots are bus masters. There are 2 USB connectors on the motherboard and 3 DIMM slots. 3 DIMM slots is just perfect on a motherboard at these times but perhaps in the future when you will do a memory upgrade on your motherboard 3 DIMM slots wonít be enough but thatís a problem that we can worry about in the future. The ATX power supply is placed so it is easy to use and itís not in the way of anything.

Caviar 13GB Ultra 10:31 am - Kan
AGN Hardware reviewed the Western Digital Caviar 13GB Ultra ATA 66 hard disk. Looks like most people have a average of 10 GB of disk space. Wow.

Would it be worth it? In my opinion, no. The promise of ďdouble the burst transfer rateĒ is very misleading since even a high performance drive only attains a sustained transfer rate of 15MB/s. At this rate, even the Ultra ATA/33 specification barely breaks a sweat. Upping the burst transfer rate to 66MB/s offers very little in terms of value added since the bottleneck lies in the hard drive mechanism itself, and not the Ultra ATA interface. It is for this reason that preliminary benchmarks only show a 2% performance increase over the Ultra ATA/33 interface.

Matrox G400 Max 10:31 am - Kan
The babes over at FiringSquad posted a review on the Matrox G400 Max. So, how fast is the G400 Max? I must say it's pretty fast, losing out only to the TNT2 Ultra 175/200.

The G400 MAX is obviously based on the same G400 chipset as the "vanilla" G400. However, true to the game, it runs faster than the Millennium G400 vanilla. Matrox has been traditionally pretty secretive about the clock and memory speeds that the G400 core and memory run at, but we should be able to speculate about what they are. At the very least, we can see how the Millennium G400 MAX performs in our suite of benchmarks and games. Let's take a look!

Interview 10:29 am - Kan
Over at HotHardware, the guys did a niffy interview with Brian Burke, PR of 3Dfx. Check it out over here

It is a pretty simple concept really. To get the maximum functionality from a board with all these features, the end user will need to plug and unplug different components into it, camcorders, VCRs, etc. For example, You file little Johnny's baseball game on the Camcorder. Take home the camcorder and record Little Johnny's first homer in MPEG2 format. Then email it to Grandma. If you make it easy for them to plug and unplug those components into, they are more likely to do it, and are happier with their purchase.

2 July 1999 - Friday

CGI Scripts for Swish-E 19:09 pm - Kan
By now you should know that we are shifting to a new server. While this may be transparent to you, it certainly means a lot of work for us. Certain links may be broken. If you spot any, be part of our 'Bugs-killer' <tm> team and report them to us.

I'm currently looking for CGI scripts which can interface with SWISH-E. The CGI must not use any MySQL modules. I will appreciate it if you can contact me on the availability of the scripts. Thanks!

Interview 19:07 pm - Kan
Over at CPU Review, the guys posted an interview with Drew Prairie from AMD on the new Athlon's (K7) processor.

[CPUReview] Does AMD believe that it has the rights to the necessary intellectual property to allow it to offer Socket 370 based processors?

[AMD] We have extensive cross licenses with Intel; I don't know the whether they would specifically cover Socket 370.

Starshot 19:04 pm - Kan
More artillery rounds over at Firingsquad with the review on the game Starshot. Hmm, the game looks rather cute.

Starshot is a 3D game in the vein of Mario 64 - you run around a cute virtual world, cutely jumping around and fighting cute baddies. (Those of you with acute cute-a-phobia are advised not to play this game without some form of anti-nausea medication) You can jump, jump higher, jump even higher, and, if you collect rocket fuel, fly, using your cute little rocket buddy. Your main (ok, only) offensive maneuver is to shoot stars that you've collected (since, of course, you were destined to become an elite killing machine, but they didn't fully wipe your conscience circuits, so you were sold to the circus to juggle stars).

Plextor 8/20 19:02 pm - Kan
DanWu sent note on their new review on the Plextor 8/20 CD-R drive. 8X is sweet, but this one doesn't come with RW capabilities.

Plextor has always been a leader of high-end CD-ROMs. In the past few years, they have taken their CD-ROM experience and delved into CD-Recordables. Their drives boast of fast access time, which is just as important as what speed the drive is. You don't want to sit there waiting for your CD-ROM to find the file you want. The PlexWriter also has an extremely high buffer of 4 megabytes, which is plenty enough. I did not encounter any problems at all with the dreaded buffer overrun when using this unit, even when running numerous programs and trying to get a buffer overrun.

PalmPilot: Tool Or Toy 16:05 pm - Wilfred
Ars-Technica has a link to this CNN article. Does the palm organiser really make you a more effective and productive person. Personally, I think not, but it's a worthy tool that does what it promises very well. Nobody really need it, but it is nice to have one. Here's the best quote:

And let's not leave out Windows CE handhelds, which are basically PalmPilots, only worse. In WinCE, Microsoft has found a competitor for the 3-year-old PalmPilots, and threw in some bugs to boot.

XML Beats Windows? 16:00 pm - Wilfred
Apparently that is what some IBM technologists think in this TechWeb article. Oh well, some paradigm shift?

Morrow said Lotus will continue to be "deeply engaged" with Microsoft to make sure Lotus products interoperate with Windows. "[But Windows is] not the only thing," he said. "I don't think [Microsoft] believes it is any longer either. You want devices that are easier than Windows to use."

For example, parents would like a camera that would take a photograph of their kids and then be plugged in to the Internet to automatically send the image to a family member. "I don't want to have to go through all the Windows stuff to do that and won't have to," Morrow said. "[XML is key] to getting the geekiness out of this world and making it natural for people," he added

Matrox G400 15:55 pm - Wilfred
iXBT Hardware has a review on the vanilla G400 card. Other than lacklustre GL performance, the card performs excellently and I think the MAX version will even do much better!

Matrox Millennium G400 graphics card proved a very powerful graphics accelerator. We saw brilliant quality and performance in 2D and evident superiority over its competitors in Direct3D in 3D-graphics. The card showed better results in Slot1 system than in Socket 7. We can recommend this card to larger monitors owners without any hesitation, because Matrox Millennium G400 will perfectly suit for professional 2D graphics as well as for entertainment - 3D-games. The dedicated Quake-fans may get confused at the card's weak point - OpenGL, however, the gaming features of the card remain on a pretty high level in this regime that's why we suppose they won't be disappointed.

Windows Vs Linux & Virtual People 15:34 pm - Wilfred
Within a day, osOpinion added 2 more editorials. Check them both out: Windows Vs Linux (A Programmer's Perspective) and The 'Virtual People'. Interesting.

Where things stand right now is that you have a choice between an operating system that does some things well, or one that does more things not as well. Although Linux is running to catch up, Windows is running to add more substandard features. If has to choose an OS for an airplane, I'd program in Linux. If I had to write a program for a clueless user, I would choose Windows. Although it is doubly hard to stay on top of two different OSes, I have no choice.

July's Hardware Crystal Ball 15:13 pm - Wilfred
The Sanctum updated their buying guide for this month, so check out their crystal ball which now includes low price searches and multiple picks for each category.

Vital Playstation 2 Details Emerge 15:11 pm - Wilfred
PSX.IGN.COM posted some cool information about Sony's Playstation 2. I couldn't resist pluggin' the entire chunk here, so here it is!

"Overall, I was really impressed with what Sony showed, and the conference overall," said the source. "I think that development for the next generation PlayStation is going to have steep learning curves. The first games will be difficult, they may be odd. Overall, it's easier to develop for the Dreamcast than the PlayStation 2.

"Having said that, there are things you can do on the PlayStation 2 you can't do on the Dreamcast. You have access to a raw, deeper rendering pipeline on PS2 than in Dreamcast. Real tessellation can't be done on Dreamcast. Bezier Curves are going to be awesome. And you have the raw access to create transformations and morphs unlike that on the Dreamcast. You will have the transformation code.

"I was most impressed with the sheer power and the sheer flexibility of that power. Unlike what's been said by another developer [who said the PlayStation 2 had the worst development qualities of both the Saturn and the Nintendo 64], I don't think the N64 enters into it at all. There's nothing bad like the N64 on this system. There are multiple processors, and those who've developed for the Saturn may have a headstart on others. Overall, leveraging the power of the system is most important, that was a big point.

"I guess the lack of Ram worries me a little. There are 32 megabytes of main RAM, and 4 megabytes of VRAM. Folks on the PC might have difficulty with this. There may not be enough. Yeah, it's kind of skimpy."

"A couple of interesting side notes caught my attention. You can use the R3000 on the PS (the main chip on the PlayStation that will appear on the PlayStation 2 as the I/O processor) as an additional general-purpose processor. Now it's called the R3300 on PS2.

Fujitsu Desktop 18 5400 MPD3173PD 14:56 pm - Wilfred
The Storage Review posted a review of the 17.3Gb drive from Fujitsu. From the review, it's not the most stellar of performer.

In the end, I can't find many cases where the Desktop 18 5400 is a sound recommendation. The fact of the matter is that the drive simply will not keep up performance wise with flashy, late-model IBM/WD's. It provides speed along the lines of the Maxtor DiamondMax 4320, which, while a good drive, is aging in its own right. Though the MPD3173AT delivers whisper-quiet operation, it's trumped in the end by its own big brother, the equally-quiet and much more state-of-the-art MPD3182AH. If the Desktop 18 5400 is available in a bargain sale, it would make a great, silent second drive. Otherwise, though, other current 5400rpm offerings offer better performance, while Fujitsu's own 7200rpm Desktop 18 provides speedier operation with equally impressive noise and heat levels.

JarJar Binks @ HardOCP 11:55 am - Kan
All right, little girls and boys. Don't say I never warn you people. Jump over to HardOCP for their JarJar Binks exclusive. :)

Vivitar Vivicam 11:51 am - Kan
Digital camera review over at UpgradeCenter. Argh, lots of 'V's in that name. Too bad this one only support 640 x 480.

Lets take a minute to talk about these features and the few quarks I had with the camera.  This may be a personal experience, but upon receiving the camera I was ready to insert the batteries, so when I opened the battery compartment I found that it is labeled which direction the batteries are to go however, it's a little confusing.  Keep in mind, it's not the way the batteries go that matters, but how the lid closed on them.  Maybe it's me, but I found this odd, or maybe just a personal preference.  Once I inserted the batteries and hit the power button I was ready to start taking pictures.  I was highly impressed! 

Shadow Company: Left for Dead 11:49 am - Kan
Exxtreme3D just finished their review on Shadow Compay: Left for Dead

To seek retribution and avenge the dead, you must quickly assemble a squad of soldiers-for-hire, and fight your way out of the jungle, back to the corporation's headquarters. Depending on the mission at hand, players handpick up to 8 mercenaries from a pool of 15 characters, weighing each member's skills and special abilities, as well as their strengths and weaknesses in relation to one another, to determine the best mix.

Wheel of Time New Shots 11:48 am - Kan
FiringSquad sent note on some new screen shots for their preview on Wheel of Time.

A few major things have changed from what we could tell. First of all, the single player game will contain one extensive campaign with Elayna, an Aes Sedai, as the protagonist. Originally it was rumored that one campaign would be included for each faction, but perhaps those might be saved for expansion packs. Another curiosity was how exactly strategy and first person action would mesh together in the Wheel of Time.

Liveware 2.1 11:46 am - Kan
In case you are still not aware of,  Liveware 2.1 is released for SB Live! owners. You can download'em from here.

ActiveHome 11:42 am - Kan
Spotted something new over at AGN Hardware. The guys reviewed ActiveHome, which is a PC based wireless system to control your lamps, air-cons, TV in your home. Pretty neat.

Speaking of remotes, the included X10 remote is actually quite easy to use and setup. The remote is a 6 in 1 remote, allowing you to set up VCR, TV, Cable, Satellite and two auxiliary devices as well. I was using the included remote and managed to have the remote running my TV, VCR and Satellite with only 5 minutes of work. As for the X10 use, all you have to do is hit the X10 button on the remote, then the number of the device.

Big Brother And P1 01:15 am - Wilfred
So what issit I'm talking about? osOpinions has 2 new editorials on their shelf with the first speaking of Microsoft's monopoly and the second about Apple's personal palmtop organizer. Here's a snip from the first blabber:

"Conformity is freedom" tells customers to mindlessly accept the lowest common denominator of shoddy Microsoft products, and not to investigate superior alternatives like Linux, OS/2, and mainframes. "Work is play" tells customers that every software product must have childish cartoons, infantile color themes, and mindless graphics instead of reliable, informative text. "Truth is a lie" tells customers that technological realities are unimportant, just accept the software slop you're given because there are no principles of science to violate, no laws of good product design to disobey, so what's under the covers doesn't matter anyway.

Bugs & Features of Win2000 01:09 am - Wilfred
BetaOS has an interesting article so aptly titled and tells of Andrej's odd experience with the OS... take a look!

I was playing (working!) around with Windows 2000 and thought I ran into a bug. I was observing it for a few hours and then, it hit me like a lightning. It was not a bug ... it was a feature that I completely forgot about. How many times have you ran into this word, "feature?"  Microsoft uses it very often. Everything is feature for them Ė even for some bugs.

Q3Test Optimization Guide 01:04 am - Wilfred
Thresh's posted a guide for Q3Test optimization. So check this out to learn how to fulfill your fantasy of that few extra frames/s.

Built For Speed 01:01 am - Wilfred
GameSpot has a 23 video card shootout posted, covering all the big ass chips from nVidia, Matrox, ATI, 3dfx, S3 and 3DLabs! You have no excuse to miss this!

My personal favorite on a fast Pentium III is either the Xentor or Hercules board. Expect to see one of them in GameSpot's Power Rig soon. But if you look at all the boards, what's striking is how good even the slowest boards are. A year ago, boards like the Create! and Stealth III S540 would have been knockouts.

TA: Kingdoms 00:46 am - Wilfred
Looks like even Dan of Dan's Hardware couldn't keep his hands off Total Annihilation: Kingdoms. He's even written a hefty review on it and judging from what he said, I should try it myself! =)

Kingdoms does a lot of things right and a few things wrong. It's a mighty achievement in game programming, and any RTS fan should check it out. If you loved Starcraft and hated TA, Kingdoms may be more like what you're looking for. If you have the opposite views, though, Kingdoms will probably initially annoy you. But stick with it and you'll see its charm.

Asus V3800 Ultra Deluxe TNT2 00:42 am - Wilfred
BXBoards reviewed the feature-packed Asus V3800 Ultra Deluxe TNT2 card. Is the card worth the extra costs?

Right now, the G400 Max, and Hercules Ultra TNT-2 is where all the smart money is going, and I can understand this. For the average gamers who just wants maximum FPS, then this Deluxe package is really overkill, especially as the 3d glasses are hardly compelling. Nevertheless, the performance of the TNT-2 Ultra chip really delivers - this is one review product that will be staying in my own personal system.

Editor Downtimes 00:33 am - Wilfred
Sigh... was preoccupied the entire day assembling a PC for a close friend. How did it go? Mighty fine! Kan is out of action on the front-end but busy with certain administrative matters regarding a possible server move. We'll keep you updated when that happens, but don't be alarmed at all, the move should be transparent and services will not be interrupted (Do I sound like the mass rapid transit station operators?) =)

 

1 July 1999 - Thursday

MS Frontal Assault On Apache 10:25 am - Wilfred
Freshmeat has got a really entertaining (should I say insightful) editorial about what he made up of Microsoft's Steve Ballmer's earlier keynote address in Austria.

Ballmer said "Apache is simply better." And then: "It is our own fault if we do not offer enough features with our servers to justify their price. When it comes to hosting several sites on one server version, Apache is simply better. Windows 2000 will solve this problem."

This is a warning sign 1000 miles high and wide that is easy to decipher knowing Microsoft's tactics and their history. Everybody knows what happened to Netscape.

Jagged Alliance + Alien Vs Predator 10:14 am - Wilfred
3DRage has whipped up 2 articles today. Check out the preview of Jagged Alliance and a review of Alien Vs Predator.

One aspect of gameplay that is a brilliant addition is the ability to target different parts of the body such as head, torso, and legs. While head shots are the most lethal, they are also the least likely to hit. Torso shots are nearly as lethal and make contact with the enemy a whole lot more than head shots. When it is your character's turn to fire, you can position the cursor over the particular part of the body that you want to hit and the word head, or torso will pop up to tell you what part of the body you're trying to hit. This is another element of strategy that has been implemented into the game that will require you to yet again think you're way through battle.

Transcend AZX3101 Motherboard 10:07 am - Wilfred
CRUS posted a review on the Socket370 Transcend AZX3101 mainboard. Well, he's pretty right in his analysis here:

Itís just a week ago since I saw a motherboard from Transcend for the first time and my first impression was that this motherboard canít be that good as I havenít seen any of their motherboards out on the market.

There were both some really good and bad things about this motherboard. Because there are so many socket 370 motherboards out right now the competition is really hard so you almost need to do everything right with the product to get the users to buy just that motherboard. I canít actually recommend this motherboard to anyone that wants to use his motherboard for future upgrades as there are so many motherboards out there that are better designed. Then you should take a look at the other Socket 370 motherboard that Transcend make instead.

More TA: Kingdoms Maps 09:58 am - Wilfred
CPR Extreme sent mail on 3 new sets of maps they've designed for TA: Kingdoms. Roll over to their downloads section for the files.

Abit BX6 Revision 2.0 09:55 am - Wilfred
FPS3D also did a review on the Abit BX6 Rev 2.0, still one of the most popular boards despite newer entries from the competition.

I have been very impressed with Abit's products in the past, and the BX6 restored my faith. There are just too many excellent features present on the BX6 to pass it by. If you are new to overclocking, and would like to give it a try, then the BX6 2.0 is a great choice. It makes installing parts a fun and quick experience

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