31 July 1999 - Saturday
Kan Yawns 22:26 pm - Kan
In case you are not aware of, yes, we shifted our server again (WTF!?). Spent the whole day trying to grease stuffs to make'em move smoothly. 

Hardware-One, after being alone for so long, finally joined the cult GXNetwork, along with cult brothers like FiringSquad and Riva3D. While this may not be significant to daily visitors out there, it's a milestone for us here. 

We thank you for your continued support. Okay, enough of rants. Let's kick some ass!

David Smiles 21:30 pm - David
Went for a geek walk to SL Square today and saw the Creative TNT2 Value 16Mb for S$145. Maybe I should get one :)...

Super Cooling Guide 21:25 pm - David
Hardware Central posted a tutorial on Supercooling to a GigaHertz

Needless to say, a system with this kind of supercooling setup is capable of being clocked to a much higher speed than it could be with conventional cooling. We’ve done some testing on the Windows NT 4.0 platform using WCPUID as a means of displaying the CPU’s clockspeed.

The increase in efficiency of the CMOS CPU is clearly visible, as we were easily able to clock both Pentium III / 500 CPU’s to 620 MHz. And after having done some modifications to the Pentium III PCB, Motherboard, Bios Revisions and the cooling setup we were able to clock it up to an unbelievable and completely stable 993 MHz. The next step was to try and break the 1 GHz barrier, which turned out to be possible, but was somewhat unstable. However, the results prove a CPU can be run at a much higher clockspeed than it was originally designed for, due to increased efficiency of the CMOS CPU core at very low temperatures.

Tyan S1598 Trinity ATX board 21:20 pm - David
Super 7 Hardware Guide has done a review on the Tyan S1598 Trinity ATX mainboard. Check it out here.

TYAN, who since 1991 has focused on designing, manufacturing, and marketing high-performance PC system boards heard the cries of disgruntled super7 users, and had a brainstorm. Using the MVP3 northbridge of the VIA chipset, which supports AGP, high speed SDRAM, and the 100MHz front side bus, and incorporating the southbridge of the MVP4 chipset, which offers new technologies like Ultra ATA/66 support, Tyan developed, in its S1598 Trinity ATX mainboard a board which offers the best of both chipsets. We were quite excited when the announcement was made for the S1598 Trinity and immediately contacted Tyan to see if we could obtain a sample for review. Tyan graciously offered us the loan of one and I was somewhat perturbed with the condition of the package UPS brought, thinking I would have to wait for another sample, as the box appeared to have been stepped on by an elephant. Once installed however the board functioned fine so I was relieved and ready to put the Tyan S1598 Trinity ATX to the test.

Hole Opens Office 97 Users To Hijack 16:34 pm - Wilfred
Another serious security hole was discovered by Juan Carlos G. Cuartango. Here's a clipping from ZDNet's news story:

The hole, which is present on any Windows or NT system containing Version 3.51 of Microsoft's "Jet" database engine, allows an e-mail message or Web page to execute an arbitrary command on the user's system. The vulnerable version of the engine was shipped with Microsoft Office 97. It may also have been included with other Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT) products and development tools, and/or with third party applications.

The security hole does not involve macros but rather database queries which trigger the execution of commands on the user's computer system. A dangerous query can occur in a spreadsheet formula, a field in a wordprocessor document, or a data file used by a database-enabled application. Virus scanners which look for dangerous macro viruses do not look for such queries and therefore do not prevent the hole from being exploited.

CDs Get Small 16:27 pm - Wilfred
Wowzers! How technology advances! Think about penny-size CD's that can store 5 hours worth of movies? Read this:

The Princeton University electrical engineer has created CDs that can concentrate data 800 times more efficiently than current discs. Chou performed this feat by drastically shrinking the already tiny data-coding pits on the CD's surface. Chou can make a CD the size of a penny that could store five hours' worth of movies.

3dfx T-Buffer 16:15 pm - Wilfred
Most of you would be interested to know what new technologies 3dfx would be incorporating into its 'Voodoo4' cards. AGNHardware wrote about T-Buffers - what's that? Read on...

"The T-Buffer is a new feature of the upcoming VoodooX that was designed by 3dfx’s Gary Tarolli and promising to offer true photo-realistic features to your computer. The T-Buffer features several different features including true Anti-Aliasing, Motion Blur, Depth of Field, Soft Shadows and Soft Reflections."

"Lack of Anti-Aliasing is about to change, thanks to the new Anti-Alieasing feature of 3dfx’s upcoming T-Buffer hardware feature of their next-generation product. This new Anti-Aliasing method promises to work with all games, thanks to the fact it is a hardware features instead of software. The end results is no frame rate loss and quite an advancement in image clarity. When armed with 3dfx’s T-Buffer technology during your ride through space, you will no longer see asteroids with jaggie edges and missles that pop at you in the wrong ratio. Instead everything will be displayed on the monitor like the developers intended them to, all thanks to the T-Buffer’s Anti-Aliasing ability. "

Apple iBook 16:09 pm - Wilfred
ComChip did a review on the very 'platable' iBook from Apple. With it's deliciously bright colours, I'm certain that this toy is a love-or-hate affair. Now I don't think any businessman, wanting to be taken seriously, would lug this thing around right? =)

iBOOK is a notebook computer that is geared towards the internet. The 300-megahertz PowerPC G3 processor and 32MB of SDRAM is more than adaquate for the internet.
It also has a 3.2GB IDE Hard Drive, Built-in 24X CDROM, 56k modem and even a 10/100BaseT Ethernet card! If you want, you can get the 11-MBPS Air Port wireless networking card which I will talk about later.

I should talk about the iBOOK's battery for a second. It promises up to 6 hours of battery life, but these figures are always a little off the reality so expect 4-5 hours on average if you are always running electric intensive stuff on it. Even with 4-5 hours between charges is great so I wouldn't worry about the battery for this notebook.

TennMax P3TF 16:05 pm - Wilfred
Almost as soon as I posted their last news, a new mail from SysOp popped in. So in addition to the mobo review below, check out their article on the fierce looking TennMax P3TF active heatsink.

Cambridge SoundWorks 4Pt Speakers 16:01 pm - Wilfred
SystemLogic reviewed the Cambridge SoundWorks 4PtSurround Speakers, an entry-level set I would surely use to put together a new system equipped with an SBLive! Value.

Would these baby's be worth the $100 that they sell for? In one word, WOW! When I powered up my homebuilt, and got into Unreal, the sound literally blew me away! Especially, during the fly-by intro! And especially, when the speakers are hooked up to the Soundblaster Live! Sound Card. For the most part I was very impressed, but the speaker setup did have some minor problems. I did happen to notice some distortion when I turned the volume up on the separate volume control, but let's face it, who's going to crank the volume up to the max anyway <g>. Although the subwoofer cranked out good bass, there was also some distortion when I turned up the bass on the subwoofer. But it kicks out plenty of bass at a medium bass level.

The SoundWorks Speakers also did incredibly well when I played music. On the CD's I played, the sound was unbelievable. I could've swore that I was at a live concert it was that good!

Voodoo 3 3500 TV Ships 15:56 pm - Wilfred
ShugaShack has got a press release of the news. Hmm... now that even NV10 and Voodoo4 loom in the horizon, the buzz is just now there anymore. These are the new ingredients:

Voodoo3 3500 TV allows consumers to interact with their PCs just as they would a high-end television or VCR, enabling them to surf channels, zoom in on the TV picture, record their favorite television programs and play them back in DVD quality. Equipped with the finest quality TV video and FM stereo available on a PC, the 183 MHz Voodoo3 3500 TV supports real-time MPEG-2 video and audio capture via the GoMotion™ software codec from Ligos Technology, and includes such advanced VCR features as timed recording and fast forward. With Voodoo3 3500 TV and third-party video editing applications, users can add motion picture-style special effects to any video imported into the PC with ease, and store them on the hard drive for playback using the Voodoo3 3500 TV MPEG-2 software decoder. Voodoo3 3500 TV also provides full support for DVD playback via either the Digital Video Port interface or from the supplied WinDVD software DVD player from Intervideo.

The Voodoo3 3500 TV features 3dfx's acclaimed VisualReality software, http://visualreality.3dfx.com which allows the user to adjust and tune television display including screen size, tint, channel-blocking for parental control and closed captioning. VisualReality software also features advanced VCR operations, and will record up to seven programs throughout the week. In addition to its cutting edge feature set and multimedia capabilities, Voodoo3 3500 TV comes with an external A/V connection “pod” and six-foot cable. The pod connects to the back of the Voodoo3 3500 TV and allows for convenient connection of various audio and visual devices such as a VCR, camcorders and speakers. The new board also ships with a full-featured multimedia software suite including: Microsoft NetMeeting; VDONet VDOPhone; WDM drivers for WebTV support; Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0; and Ulead VideoStudio video editing software.

Wilfred Coughs 14:01 pm - Wilfred
Boo! Who called me a nitwit?! =P Anyway, things are moving fast and if you remembered us changing host awhile back - we've moved again. We ask of your continued support. =)

Creative 6X DVD 11:56 am - Kan
GameWire just posted a review on the Creative 6X DVD drive. Darn, if only DVD titles are cheaper.

Now the bad, two minor problems I had were, first the VGA loop cable was right next to the connection were you plug your monitor in, which got in the way but can be solved by relocation the card and Creative really can't control where developers put their VGA output ports. Basically all it did was make me have to plug my monitor from an angle. The last thing is Creative keeps on pushing you to register their product really badly. This can easily get annoying, but if you register it's all over.

Twin Turbo TT-900 11:45 am - Kan
This sounds more like some motorcycle engine than a cooler review. :) Anyway, 3DRage posted a review on the Twin Turbo TT-900 dual fans cooler which will fit into any 5.25" drive bays and ventilate the casing. Pretty cool!

Recently, 3DCool.com sent us their Twin Turbo TT-900, which will fit in any 5.25" bay with no problem. While blowing air into your case is important, it is just or more important to exaust the hot air that is hovering inside your case. A good combination of air intake and exaust is the key to successfully cooling your system, and because hot air rises, the best place to put the TT-900 is near the top section of your case. The name Twin Turbo comes from the fact that the unit has two fans incorporated into the plastic casing. These dual 92mm fans are spinning on two tiers at 2100RPM, which results in 80CPM of air flow. It's also quiet, running at 27dbA, a whisper is 23dbA.

ABIT BE6 11:42 am - Kan
Guys, check out our buds over at SG-Gaming with their ABIT BE6 motherboard review. This is the motherboard I recommend to people looking to upgrade their existing computer. :)

The BE6 has everything you'd expect from an Abit motherboard. The BE6 being one of the last few 440BX-based boards in Abit's lineup, offers more than it's predecessors. There are so many 440BX-based boards out there to chose from, namely from Asustek, Microstar and more... It will be the final fight for Abit on the BX-based market before the i820 chipset comes out. One of the most important features in the BE6 is it's support for UDMA/66 devices. Besides being Y2K ready, the board is also designed to meet the PC 99 specification. The board is also overclocking friendly, giving you more than the standard FSB speeds.

Celeron 366 @ 605 Mhz 11:37 am - Kan
More overclocking madness over at TheTechZone where the guys managed to get the Celeron 366 running at 605 Mhz. Insanity!

These 2 Celerons can already run at 550Mhz at 2V with just a standard heatsink. The purpose of getting them was to see how far prime example chips can be overclocked. I know after this article, I'm going to be blasted with email asking who supplied these 2 Celerons to me. Please don't ask. I'm not going to tell unless that company request I do.

All 3 Celeron 366s carry the S-Spec SL36C. These are OEM PPGA units and so far are the only Celeron 366s to be reported  running at 550Mhz.

NV10 Preview Part 3 11:33 am - Kan
CRUS posted Part 3 of the NV10 preview. Darn, all the talk about this graphics card makes people go crazy! :)

The graphic cards using the NV10 chipset will probably beat all the other boards on the market, if it’s released before the 3dfx ”Napalm”. The ”Napalm”, or Voodoo 4 as it probably will be called Voodoo 4 when it’s released, presumably V4 will have almost the same specs as the NV10. There are also other competitors out there. Matrox always try to compete with the others in the top, but they haven’t had the same success as 3dfx and Nvidia. There is another contender that no one has mentioned in this competition, that’s Rendition.

STB TV Tuner 11:27 am - Kan
SystemLogic posted a review on the STB TV Tuner. Pretty good for those people who don't have enough space in their room to squeeze a TV in, and yet want to watch TV programmes.

I was intrigued when an FM antenna fell out of the box along with the supplied cables. A quick look at the card and then the manual confirmed a nice extra that I had overlooked when I first glanced at the box; the Desktop TV (at least this model) is also a FM radio tuner. I wasn’t really sure how FM radio really ties in with TV, but it was a nice extra, useful for anyone who doesn’t have a radio within earshot of his or her computer. For those that do, however, the extra $30 that the FM tuner model costs may not be worth the redundancy (unless you’re really dead-set on listening to the radio on your computer).

Palm IIIx and GoType 11:23 am - Kan
Over at Dan's Data, the babes posted a review on the Palm IIIx (only nitwits like Wilfred uses'em) as well as the GoType keyboard for the Palm. Pretty nifty I must say.

I am typing this on a rather small keyboard, which is attached to an even smaller computer. At a glance, you might think the computer was just one of those little organiser thingies that marshals phone numbers and addresses and beeps at you to remind you about appointments, but if you were a bit more geek-savvy you'd recognise it as a Palm IIIx, arguably the best, if not the most elegant, of 3Com's wildly successful Palm super-micro-organisers-with-more.

Need for Speed: High Stakes 11:13 am - Kan
Over at Ars-Technica, our buds posted their thoughts on one of my favorite games - Need for Speed: High Stakes.

In career mode you start with a fixed amount of money to buy a cheap car, like the Z3.  ("cheap" is a relative term) Then you enter races with that car.  If you win you get money, but if you lose, you just get laughed at.   You can apply your winnings to upgrades and repairs to the Family Truckster, or save your pennies for a new car.  As you win races, you progress to better race circuits with more money at stake, and better opponents in faster cars.  Eventually you even race other people for their cars (hence the name, High Stakes). Unfortunately you have to have more than one car to enter a high stakes race, so I haven't gotten to try it yet.

30 July 1999 - Friday
Yamaha XG Quad 17:11 pm - Wilfred
Here's probably the world's first pics of Yamaha's upcoming XG Quad sound card! Based on the powerful YF744B chip, this card will sport 4-channel sound, EAX, 3D Sensaura Sound, XG Voice support, Dolby Digital and more... Here's a short brief or if you'll prefer the press release.

YMF744B (DS-1S) is a high performance audio controller for the PCI Bus. DS-1S consists of two separated functional blocks. One is the PCI Audio block and the other is the Legacy Audio block. PCI Audio block allows Software Driver to handle maximum of 73 concurrent audio streams with the Bus Master DMA engine. The PCI Audio Engine converts the sampling rate of each audio stream and the streams are mixed without utilizing the CPU or causing system latency. By using the Software Driver from YAMAHA, PCI Audio provides 64-voice XG wavetable synthesizer with Reverb and variation. It also supports DirectSound hardware accelerator, Downloadable Sound (DLS) and DirectMusic accelerator.

Legacy Audio block supports FM Synthesizer, Sound Blaster Pro, MPU401 UART mode and Joystick function in order to provide hardware compatibility for numerous PC games on real DOS without any software driver. To achieve legacy DMAC compatibility on the PCI, DS-1S supports PC/PCI and Distributed DMA protocols. DS-1S also supports Serialized IRQ for legacy IRQ compatiblity. DS-1S supports the connection to AC '97 which provides high quality DAC, ADC and analog mixing. In addition, it supports consumer IEC958, Audio Digital Interface (SPDIF), to connect external audio equipment by digital.

Features

  • PCI 2.2 Compliant
  • PC'98/PC'99 specification Compliant
  • PCI Bus Power Management rev 1.0 Compliant (Support D0, D2 and D3 state)
  • Supports clock run
  • PCI Bus Master for PCI Audio
  1. True Full Duplex Playback and Capture with different Sampling Rate
  2. Maximum 64-voice XG capital Wavetable Synthesizer including GM compatibility
  3. DirectSound Hardware Acceleration
  4. DirectMusic Hardware Acceleration
  5. Downloadable Sound (DLS) level-1
  • Legacy Audio compatibility
  1. FM Synthesizer
  2. Hardware Sound Blaster Pro compatibility
  3. MPU401 UART mode MIDI interface
  4. Joystick
  • Supports PC/PCI and Distributed DMA for legacy DMAC (8237) emulation
  • Supports Serialized IRQ
  • Supports I²S serial input for Zoomed Video Port
  • Supports Consumer IEC958 Output (SPDIF OUT)
  • Supports Consumer IEC958 Input (SPDIF IN)
  • Supports AC '97 Interface (AC-Link) Revision 2.1
  • Multiple CODEC (Connectable two AC '97s)
  • Hardware Volume Control
  • EEPROM Interface
  • Single Crystal operation (24.576MHZ)
  • 3.3V Power supply (5V tolerant)
  • 128-pin LQFP

Battle Of The Motion Sensing Gamepads 17:03 pm - Wilfred
The Firingsquad pitted Logitech's coming Wingman Gamepad Extreme against Microsoft's SideWinder Freestyle Pro. Whoa! New toy to experiment with!!

So the question remains - is a motion sensing gamepad right for you? To be quite frank I thought the idea was horrible prior to writing this review. Before trying out these two products I envisioned games playing totally out of control, but that was not the case at all. I was pleasantly surprised at how much control both pads give in motion sensing mode. I think with enough practice, one could even use this type of pad in a competitive situation.

Windows 2000 Uninstall Guide 16:57 pm - Wilfred
You know how to put in the files, but how do you rid your system of them? BetaOS has put up an uninstall guide for those of you who's had an awry time with W2k and decided to remove it.

US Plans Y2K Bunker 10:46 am - Wilfred
Here's reason to take the millennium bug REALLY seriously, as well as reason NOT to be fools and panick. The panick streak could very well be a self-fulfilling prophecy! CNN reports that the US government is setting up an unprecedented command center to cope with any year 2000 emergencies.

"While monitoring and collecting information on system operations across the globe ... has never been tried before, I am confident that the structure we have put in place" will work, he said.

Koskinen said the focus of his work was shifting to "event management" to deal with possible disruptions caused by confused computers."

"... At the heart of the new phase is the Y2K Information Coordination Center (ICC), the Washington-based hub of a multimillion-dollar crisis management bunker to be operational by Oct. 31 and wind up by June 2000."

WTO Declares MS Profits Illegal 10:37 am - Wilfred
Hmmm... the software giant is into some trouble again. Take a look at The Register's story that the World Trade Organisation has acceded to the European Union's request, and declared Microsoft's reported profits - illegal. Here's some paras:

The US government describes the FSCs as "a tax incentive for US exports", and allows reduced tax on profits from foreign subsidiaries. Microsoft's financial reports have been notably silent about this dispute and the potential effect on profits, which may prove upsetting to shareholders. More than half of Microsoft's income is from outside the US.

Microsoft's hard man in international tax matters is Mike Boyle, who apart from being chairman of the International Tax Committee of TEI, which arranges courses on what is now seen to be an illegal tax evasion scheme, also came to notice in January because of his involvement in the case of Charles Pancerzewski. It was Boyle who had the "resign or be fired" lunch with Pancerzewski after he blew the whistle (under the 1997 Whistleblowers Protection Act) on Microsoft's accounting practices, as a result of which Microsoft showed steadily increasing profits that exceeded Wall Street expectations, because of, er, allegedly illegal practices. Pancerzewski is believed to have received a $4 million settlement after suing Microsoft. Coincidentally, the SEC at last decided to investigate Microsoft's business practices.

It's hard to assess the extent to which Microsoft has benefited from this FSC subsidy, but the US has been given until October next year to change its law. It may also appeal when the final adjudication is available in September.

HDDs To Move Into Consumer Electronics 10:28 am - Wilfred
At EETimes, it is reported that a new class of consumer digital video recorders will soon use HDDs as the storage medium, moving away from tapes and the ancient. Read the full story here.

For the consumer electronics titans, the new systems are not just digitally enhanced VCRs but represent an important beachhead in their plans to build a networked home-entertainment environment independent of the PC. For the drive makers, the audiovisual hard-disk drive (AV-HDD) is pushing them toward new command sets and interfaces, such as 1394, as well as generating new demand for ultra-high-capacity platters.

Leading U.S. drive vendors, including Quantum Corp. (Milpitas, Calif.), Western Digital Corp. (Irvine, Calif.) and Seagate Technology Inc. (Scotts Valley, Calif.), said that consumer products built around the technology will feature new functions such as live-broadcast pause: The consumer can hit the pause button, go to the fridge for a beer, then pick up the broadcast where it left off, as the system simultaneously records multiple streams of audio, video and data.

But many consumer vendors see AV-HDD as more than just a gimmick for delivering new features. By tucking a storage device into all manner of digital appliances, from satellite decoders to TV receivers, they hope to gradually build a distributed repository for media streams at home, if not offering a central home server outright, said an executive at a leading consumer electronics company who spoke on the condition of anonymity. In building that infrastructure, vendors hope to control and architect a comprehensive home network system that doesn't rest on the shoulders of the PC.

AOL Convenes Instant Msg-ing Advisory 10:23 am - Wilfred
Well, it is said at CNet that AOL had convened an advisory board to set standards for online instant messaging. Though AOL claimed to have invited Microsoft to sit on the panel, the rest of the pack comprised the Redmond giant's harshest critics.

Instant messaging has become one of the most popular ways to communicate on the Web, because it alerts users when friends are online and lets them chat through instantaneous messages over the Internet.

Microsoft earlier this week asked AOL to join efforts to create industry standards for instant messaging. Microsoft was responding to a letter from AOL that asked for a "business agreement" to resolve the battle.

"It's a lot of posturing" from both AOL and Microsoft, said analyst Bruce Kasrel of Forrester Research. "AOL has built a valuable asset, and they don't want it to be a commodity."

Microsoft wants to tap into AOL's service for free and gain access to AOL's more than 40 million instant messaging users, he said.

"A better solution is for [AOL and Microsoft] to work out a business solution so they don't look like a bunch of teenagers fighting over a video game," Kasrel said.

Wilfred Coughs 10:14 am - Wilfred
I don't see many more review notices coming in this morning, so I'll move on to the 'news' segment. =) Before that, I'll indulge in some self praise.... 'Without a doubt, Hardware-One is your best hangout for the latest IT development, reviews and gossip!' Unhappy with what I said? You can write that in our forum! ;)

Matrox G400 Review 10:10 am - Wilfred
MPOG has completed a review on the G400 card. From all the reviews I've read, Matrox has quite a competitive product at hand.

Matrox products have never really posed a threat to 3dfx or NVIDIA when it came to the gaming community. Then again the same could be said of Matrox and their hold on the graphics community. The G200 was a very nice product, but was seriously overshadowed by what 3dfx and NVIDIA had to offer in the way of performance. Now with the introduction of the G400 series the same seems to be the case. Even with its new features and amazing graphics the Matrox G400 is still seriously outmatched by the competition in performance. I've done some pretty extensive benchmarking to illustrate this point later in this review.

Intel RoadMap 10:07 am - Wilfred
Kyle just pooped a short memo that he's got a nice Intel roadmap smacked on his front page. Roll over to the HardOCP now!

BeOS R4.5 10:04 am - Wilfred
Caesar at Ars-Technica threw up a review on the popular alternative operating system. If you don't know or haven't found out what BeOS is about, you can read this review for a start:

The theme that kept coming up again and again amazed me. Some folks were actually irritated that yet another OS was available for public consumption. I had Mac users writing who were peeved to see the BeOS on Intel. I had Linux users write me saying that the world doesn’t need any more dumb-user OSes.  Windows users, well, they always complain about the same thing: none of their apps will run on the BeOS, why should they care?

I found myself in discussions actually trying to justify the existence of this OS, as if every commercially available OS needs to be put through a rigorous philosophical inquiry before being offer to the public.

New Reviews @ AGN Hardware 06:50 am - Kan
Hurry! Catch the latest reviews @ AGN Hardware. The guys posted a review on the Dell Inspiron 7000 (yummm...) as well as the Desktop Theater 5.1 DTT2500 speakers

Right out of the box, I could tell I was in for a treat.  The DTT2500 are bundled with everything you need to get the best quality multimedia available for the PC. The DTT2500 improves upon the design of the FPS 2000 in several ways.  For starters, there is an included center channel, which brings the speakers into the range of true surround sound.  Cambridge has also included all of the power of Dolby Digital by adding a Dolby ProLogic decoder and several levels of control via a new Decoder Amplifier (based on the original Desktop Theater 5.1).  The end result is a speaker system that thoroughly impressed us with features and performance.

Celeron 500 Mhz Review 05:38 am - Kan
We also have the Celeron 500 Mhz review from SharkyExtreme. These 2 processors are the latest offerings from Intel. Darn, ain't they sweet?

As with the Celeron 466 before it, the Celeron 500 CPU will only be offered in Intel's PPGA Socket370 format. The days of Slot-1 Celeron CPUs are long gone now, and the days of the Pentium III's relatively new SECC2 Slot-1 format are numbered as well.

Both moves were made to cut the cost for manufacturers that design and implement mainboards for Intel's CPUs. Socket370 offers savings that are insignificant to the end user (approximately $4 - $8 per mainboard), but quite dramatic to the mainboard vendor producing over 150,000 mainboards a month.

Pentium III 600 Mhz Review 05:36 am - Kan
Today over at the House of Anand, Anand posted his thoughts on the Pentium III 600 Mhz processor. 

The Pentium III, like the Pentium II, features 32KB of L1 cache that operates at its core clock speed (in the case of the P3-600, that speed is 600MHz) and an additional 512KB of L2 cache that operates at ? its core clock speed (300MHz for the P3-600). As briefly mentioned before, the Pentium III features a clock locked 6.0x clock multiplier, for you overclockers that means that like all Intel processors manufactured after the release of the first Celeron in 1998 the Pentium III 600 can only recognize a single clock multiplier, 6.0x. Contrary to rumors, mystical beliefs, or whatever you’d like to call them, the Pentium II, Pentium III, and Celeron all use the same technology that make them what we like to call "clock locked" (meaning their clock multiplier cannot be manipulated), that technology, without physically modifying (and potentially damaging) the processor cannot be worked around.

Bleem! Review 05:34 am - Kan
FiringSquad also reviewed the Bleem! emulator today. Pretty good piece of software I must say.

So, after all that, what IS bleem, really? Why would someone want to play Playstation games on their PC? Well, assuming they can live without an honest-to-gosh Playstation controller, the idea here is 3D acceleration. That's right, bleem, like everything else these days, is in 3D. What's next, huh? A 3D accelerated Word paperclip? Back in my day . . .

Bitterness aside, though, bleem has a good idea with support for Direct 3D; acceptable resolution for TV output is 320x200, which is ludicrous in the world of computer monitors. Even with a possible 500+ lines of horizontal resolution, few games ever make use of high res video, and viewing it on a TV isn't optimal at any rate.

Creative TNT2 Ultra 00:51 am - Wilfred
This is a not-so-ordinary review on Creative's TNT2 Ultra coz the guys at the FiringSquad went the extra mile to test a sample of 3 pieces (self bought!) for their overclockablity. Don't miss it!

On our first card (we'll call them Card 1 through Card 3 from here on), our overclocking tests were the simplest we've ever run. Overclock, crash, reboot. Reduce, crash, reboot. We got it stable at 155MHz/185MHz, but no more. From the default 150/183 settings, this is not exactly what we'd consider a stellar performer.

... the other two cards were more adept overclockers in our test system. Card 2 successfully reached 166/190MHz stably, while Card 3 was able to pull in a more than respectable 170/191MHz. In most cases, overclocking made more of a difference on the memory bus, and memory overclocking is more of a benefit for high resolution, high color depth (32-bit) tests, so if 1024x768 or 1280x1024 is your kinda bag, then overclocking will help you more than us 640x480-low-detail-uglified Quakers.

Screenshots MS Flight Simulator 2000 PE 00:42 am - Wilfred
SystemLogic just put up some screenshots of the upcoming FS2000 Professional Edition. Sweeet... if you're into flying non-military planes. Check the pics out!

Cambridge SoundWorks FPS2000 Digital 00:37 am - Wilfred
ExtremeHardware has a review on the FPS2000 Digital speakers. You know the company, you've heard of their speakers. Take a look!

"One of the main features of the FPS2000 digital speakers is that they can connect to the SoundBlaster Live!'s digital input port, providing a full digital sound experience, since no analog conversion takes place (which can cause a loss in audio quality). While having support for digital audio sounds great on paper, the real question remains: does it really make any difference? After some extensive testing, I would have to answer yes. Overall, digital output gives music a clearer sound. Additionally, music has a fuller sound to it. However, digital output is not dramatically better than analog output. If you've got a full SoundBlaster Live! (not Value), digital output is a nice feature to have, but not a critical one. Unless you have acute ears, it is not likely that you will hear much difference between analog and digital outputs. One aspect of digital audio that is somewhat noticeable is that different audio tracks (in any given song) seem to mix well together especially at high volumes."

How Linux Could Screw MS In Q4 2000 00:29 am - Wilfred
Oh yes, if the world hasn't yet ended that is. Keke... The Register posted an article about how Linux could well overtake Windows if MS doesn't get its act back together. I dunno, I think it's a tat optimistic. Read it anyhow!

Microsoft's inability to keep pace with the demands of the hardware is hardly news. Through the various iterations of the joint PC9x system design guides the company has repeatedly failed to deliver the software on time - more usually, it slips a year, even two years. In the past that hasn't mattered for Microsoft, because it's been the only game in town, so the hardware has just had to wait for Microsoft to catch up. But the roadmaps for next year's platforms are there, the hardware data is coming, and Microsoft doesn't look so much like the only game in town any more. If the rivals start now, Christmas 2000 could get pretty interesting.

29 July 1999 - Thursday
Power Color Sniper TNT2 M64 18:28 pm - Wilfred
Wowzers! The TechZone reviewed the Sniper TNT2 M64 from Power Color, coming with a whopping 32Mb RAM and selling for only US$100. What's more, they found the chip's core to be very highly overclockable. If you need a little convincing, here's it:

The core of the TNT2 M64 chip is very overclockable. I was able to overclock the core speed from 100Mhz to a mind blowing 160Mhz! This is faster than the stock speed of a TNT2 Ultra! Not bad for just $100! Too bad I couldn't say the same thing about the memory speed. With slow 7ns ram aboard the best I can get out of the memory was 145Mhz. Up only 35Mhz from stock. Still for a $100 video card, you can't lose.

With the SNiper running at 160/145, the card became a different animal. The SNiper was able to beat the Viper 770 in nearly every test but Quake 3, where it is just plain unplayable at the test settings.

Innovation According To Gates 18:20 pm - Wilfred
There's a tongue-in-cheek editorial response to Gate's recent remark about Apple's idea of innovation over at osOpinion. A short read...

Linux Distro War 18:17 pm - Wilfred
CPU Review decided it was time to pit all the Linux distributions together for this comparative review. Just what are the different flavours about?

As you can see RedHat ended up with a slight lead; strangely OpenLinux, SuSE and Mandrake (Macmillan edition) ended up in a dead tie. Slackware was left behind due to outdated documentation and installation procedures; but it is still a fine distribution.

Viper 770 Ultra At HardOCP 18:13 pm - Wilfred
All that glitters is not gold, but the Diamond Viper 770 Ultra at HardOCP. In fact, Kyle has a more appropriate description for the gem in his hands. He managed to run his P3-450 at 558Mhz using the card (something we failed to achieve on our Spectra5400PE sample! Hmm...) Check it out:

But would I be able to run the V770 Ultra at a 82MHz AGP bus speed? This being on a PIII-450 overclocked to 4.5 x 124Mhz.  Would I be able to OC the card at those bus speeds?

Well to quickly answer that, I have to tell you yes!   While we did not push the card further than 200Mhz Memory and 175MHz Core it would go beyond these limits. Stability is an issue at higher speeds with the increased AGP bus, but our V770 Ultra hung on all night long. I would say it is one of the most stable TNT2 U cards I have used.

Kingpin Review 12:00 pm - Kan
Time for lunch. Anyway, our pals over at ArsTechnica posted their thoughts on the game Kingpin which contains lots of violence and adult language (my cup of tea). Here's some juice:

At the beginning of Kingpin there is a cinematic sequence that gives you an intro to the story.  Looking down at an alley, from a third person perspective, you hear that "Nicky" doesn't want you in Poisonville anymore.  After that, you're on your feet, and wondering what you're supposed to be doing.  You start out in pretty bad shape (having just gotten a real good beating), and with nothing but a lead pipe.  Your goal?  You don't really know - no one tells you, and the packaging isn't very explicit, either.  For the most part, your purpose is unbeknownst to you.  It's a complete opposite situation from, say, Half-Life.

Updated Slot-1 Roundup 11:56 am - Kan
Review-Zone just updated their whopping 24 pages Slot-1 motherboard roundup with more motherboards, bringing it up to a total of 16 motherboards being compared.

We’ve said this before (and we’ll say it again), but the motherboard is not only one of the most important components of any system but also one of the components least often recognized as such. When was 
the last time someone came up to you and bragged about their really cool motherboard, as opposed to, to pick an entirely random example, their new processor or their new graphics card or sound card? You could think of this as a case of missing the wood for the trees, since your motherboard is literally the most fundamental part of your computer in that everything else connects to it, directly or indirectly. That also means, however, that it is your motherboard that determines what exactly you can chuck into your computer.

Pentium III 600 10:48 am - Kan
Ace's Hardware also posted a review on the latest flagship processor from Intel, the Pentium III 600 Mhz.

Intel's CPU's have always been excellent overclockers. Intel's has been manufacturing .25µ CPU's with great success, and yields have been even better than Intel's engineers expected. However, 600 MHz is getting close to the maximum possible clock speed for Intel's .25 micron process.

And it shows. Our overclocking attempts were not very succesful, even on a good overclocker's motherboard, such as the ASUS P2B-F. The processor, cooled with a huge heatsink and a fast fan, booted at 671 (6x112 MHz) and 660 MHz (6x110 MHz), but Windows 98 stubbornly refused to boot. It is the same phenomena that we encounter when we try to overclock the K6-III 450 to 500 and higher, the K6-core meets its .25 micron clock speed limit at more than 500 MHz.

Coolers Roundup 10:45 am - Kan
Our pals over at BxBoards posted a wonderful 4 Socket-370 coolers roundup. Check out which coolers are the best:

Here I look at 4 of the most popular Socket 370 compatible cooling solutions in an effort to determine how well they work and whether the more expensive after-market coolers are necessary or just hype.

The heatsink lineup includes the Socket 370 version of the Alpha cooler and Global Win's newest FDP32. As well as the lower end Global Win CPM25603 and VDP-12 which could be considered equivalent to a retail type cooling setup.

Tyan 1598 10:31 am - Kan
ComputingPros penned down their thoughts on the Tyan 1598 Socket 7 motherboard. Actually, I will prefer to get a Socket-370 board than a Socket 7 motherboard. Ah...pro-Intel. :)

Tyan enjoyed their Super7 success with their S1590 board and now has continued with the S1598. So what's so innovative about the S1598? Well they've managed to include the best of both worlds by incorporating the benefits of the MVP3 (North Bridge memory and AGP controller) with the MVP4( South Bridge Super I/O controller). Why didn't Tyan just use the newer MVP4 chipset by itself? Despite the MVP4's new Ultra DMA 66 support it lacked AGP support hence, had poor video performance. With the combination of both chipsets on one motherboard you can pick and choose your own video card and benefit from the Ultra DMA 66 support.

NV10 Preview Part 2 10:29 am - Kan
CRUS posted part 2 of their NV10 preview. It's supposed to be out in September (kinda fast to me) and you should probably hold off any video card purchases till this baby is out.

There are also rumours out that Nvidia will release a reworked TNT 2 soon. The new TNT 2 will be called TNT2-A/Ultra or TNT2 PRO. The TNT2 PRO is supposed to run at higher clock speeds and is made in a TSMC lab. I don’t know who released these rumours first, but I saw it on Riva station and you should perhaps check it out there too.

These rumours are not the same that have been circulating around about the NV10 for a while and I don’t think that we will be seeing a TNT 2 PRO in the stores. Perhaps it’s the NV10 that will be called TNT2-A/Ultra or TNT 2 PRO, as the name hasn’t been decided yet. We will just have to wait and see what the name of the new graphic cards with the NV10 chip on will be called. The most likely is TNT 3 and it will probably be called that to.

Interview With AMD 09:46 am - Wilfred
ExtremeHardware posted an interview they had with AMD regarding the Athlon K7 chip. Here's the juice:

EH: Will there be any bus speed or multiplier locking on the Athlon (to prevent overclocking)?

AMD: As far as I know, there are no plans to lock either the multiplier or bus frequency on the AMD Athlon processor. Overclocking may not be as easy as it is on the Super7 platform, but it won't be locked.

Carmegeddon: TDR2000 Screenshots 09:41 am - Wilfred
3DRage sent word of some new screenshots they of SCI's upcoming Carmegeddon: TDR2000. Looks very fine indeed!

 

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