Loads of NT Variants.
Roadmap Splintering 18:56
pm - Wilfred
Register posted an article
on Microsoft's plans to release multiple versions of W2K and it's undetermined roadmap.
Recently, Microsoft seemed to be shifting strategies at moment's notice. The snips:
We already have three, in the shape of
Workstation, Server and Enterprise Edition. [...] In addition to these there will be new
embedded and data centre versions, and then smart card and CE versions. [...] These
different versions will be multiplied further by the move to 64-bit. This will happen at
the top end first, data centre and enterprise by 2001 (sure...) but everything else will
follow. More versionitis comes in the shape of projected splits in the number of
processors that different versions will support, so four way, eight way and beyond
implementations of Win2k will be presented as being more powerful, and therefore will cost
lots more dollars. The consumer release of NT, incidentally, is now targeted for 2002.
This explains the recent retrieval of Windows 98 from the corporate morgue -- jump leads
are being applied to the cold corpse of Good Old 9x even as you read.
Since I can't, in the near future, cash on W2k for the
consumer, I'll give old Win98 a fresh coat of paint, push it out as Second Edition!
Gaming On Linux 18:35 pm - Wilfred
has a good
reading piece for you. Nicholas Petreley wrote about the importance of gaming on Linux
boxes to spur the adoptation of the penguin OS at home.
If Linux can provide a gaming experience
like those I've described above - and do so without crashing - Linux could easily become
the de facto standard gaming platform for home use.
Think about it - what do people really
demand from a home computer system besides easy installation? A Windows GUI? Some will
argue that, but I don't buy it, at least not to the extent it has been argued. I've heard
people say that KDE is inferior to the Windows 95 interface. Even assuming they have a
case (I would disagree, personally), is that a meaningful measurement? How much did the
vastly inferior Windows 3.1 interface inhibit the adoption of Windows into the home?
What else? The most powerful word
processor? Hardly - most people I know who have a home computer barely know how to use cut
and paste, let alone the advanced features of Microsoft Word. Yet they wouldn't settle for
anything less than high-quality graphics and fast performance for game play. I'd like to
see the research, but I would bet the advancement of PC hardware in the home is driven
more by games than productivity applications.
Ha! Definitely, bring games, apps and all
onto the Linux platform. Throw in plug-&-play and support for my crap load of devices!
Err... I think I described 'a more stable version of Windows' here!
Free Online Virus Scan From
Trend Micro 18:21 pm - Wilfred
Saw over at Ars-Technica a link to this useful new service from Trend Micro. Now, though the
Internet, you can scan your system for viruses via Java/ActiveX based utility from Trend
Micro! It's FREE!
Man, is this cool. TrendMicro, makers
of PC-cillin, have developed a virus scanner that runs over the web, and it's free
to use. If you're a Netscape user you'll have to download the Java version, but IE
users can run the ActiveX scanner right from the browser. It's pretty fast, too.
Red Hat Trying To Hijack
Linux? 18:13 pm - Wilfred
CNN has got
an article about the
Red Hat conspiracy theory. While rumours have been running around for a long while, many
seem to be truly worried.
To some in the Linux community, Red Hat
Software Inc. seems to want to hijack the free Unix variant. But in interviews with
Computerworld, Red Hat President Matthew Szulik endorsed the Linux Standards Base (LSB),
the official Linux standards group.
Superbike World Championship
Review 17:47 pm - Wilfred
mail of their Superbike World
Championship review. One cannot but take notice of an Electronic Arts game right?
Also, they've snapped for you a couple of nice in game screenshots, so take a look won't
I enjoyed every moment I played Superbike
World Championship and I still play it every day as it is a fun and challenging game, with
excellent graphics, great physics and plenty of excitement. But you better have a powerful
computer to play the game with all the graphics and computer contrrolled bikers. Until now
has Grand Prix Legends been the best racing simulator but now there is a new game that
will be played by the racing fans for a long time and it is called Superbike World
Championship. Go out and buy this game now.
TNT2 Review 10:39 am - Kan
posted a review on the TNT2. Check out the
performance of the TNT2 vs the Voodoo3 as well.
Who would have ever guessed that the TNT
core was capable of such greatness? The speculation surrounding the TNT upon its arrival
on the scene last year was mixed, and many doubted that the move to a .25 micron die would
make much difference in overall performance. Sure, memory and core speed helped, but
without a smaller die and subsequent lower operating temperatures, the latter would not
have been possible. Not only has the TNT-2 bridged the performance gap between the TNT and
the V3, it has actually bested the V3. In many instances the TNT-2 flat out surprised me
with better 32 bit performance than a V3 running in 16 bit mode. I had to check and
double-check just to assure myself that the results were accurate. After spending over 25
hours in testing, I can assure you that they are. :)
HSDRAM 10:37 am - Kan
posted an article on HSDRAM.
From the above, it should be clear that the
overall transfer highly depends on the so ¨Ccalled CAS factor. The important word here is
"timing", that is there are 3 parameters that can be modified to increase or
decrease the overall throughput being the RAS to CAS delay, the CAS itself and last no
least the precharge. In other words, by reducing the number of cycles required for each of
these processes, the utilization of the bus transfer can be sped up from 4 words / 10
clock cycles to 4 words / 7 clock cycles. This translates in an enhancement of the
absolute transfer rate from 40% to 58%, resulting in a 45% higher data transfer. Needless
to say that these aggressive timing settings require highly advanced hardware.
Security Flaw in IE 5 10:29 am - Kan
Read it over at Sysopt.com that apparently there is a security flaw in IE5 such that other web
servers are able to log the contents of your Windows clipboard. Imagine them capturing
your favourite porn sites links. Duh!
Yes, you read correctly. IE5 has a security
flaw that allows web servers to log the contents of your Windows clipboard cache to their
server, without your knowledge or consent. Whenever you copy text, using the "edit
-> copy" feature of just about every windows application, or hit
"CTRL-C" to copy text, that text gets placed into the windows clipboard. You can
then paste that text to Windows notepad, an email message, or wherever you feel like it.
However, thanks to Microsoft IE5's default security setting, any web site using a snippit
of Java/Active X code can read any and all of the text you have on your Windows clipboard.
Interview 10:21 am - Kan
sent note on their interview with Dylan Rhodes, marking and product manager of Creative on
the coming 3D
Blaster Savage4 product.
Q: What resons did creative have to decided
to go for a single Savage4 model based on the PRO version ?
A: Due to our massive purchasing power and
efficient distribution network,we're able to offer a card with the Savage4 PRO chip and
32MB of memory for an incredibly low price. Making this level of technology so
affordable reduces the need for additional retail models with less memory or fewer
Logitech Wingman Formula
Force 00:40 pm - Wilfred
If you'd read Julian's review on the
Microsoft SideWinder Force-Feedback, you be happy to learn that Flashman has written short
on the Logitech WingMan Formula Foce.
||"In white dress shirt,
classy red tie and black dress pants, you see this idiot of a chap stepping on the gas
pedals, drive like a maniac with a stream of unprintable shit streaming from my
Why Microsoft Is Worrying
About Linux 00:31 pm - Wilfred
CNN has a
very very interesting
article on "Why Microsoft Is Worring about Linux" or perhaps why they
should! Opinions and more opinions!
While Microsoft struggles to take its
proprietary scalable clustering solution for Windows NT beyond failover fault tolerance,
IBM recently demonstrated the high scalability of Linux using easily available tools.
Earlier this month at the LinuxWorld Conference & Expo, IBM clustered 17 Linux servers
to create a $150,000 supercomputer that runs as fast as the $5.5 million Cray. But the
coup de grace is the fact that IBM did this with freely available Beowolf clustering
technology and a copy of Red Hat Linux purchased the day before the clustering demo.
The Linux portion of the above solution
weighs in at $49. You can't even use Windows NT to create the same solution today. If or
when Microsoft finally delivers such a solution, does anyone think it will do so for a
total of $49?
New Info On AMD's K7 00:26 pm - Wilfred
Johan of Ace's Hardware sent note of his article on the K7
chip. Here's what he sent allow too, have a look:
We have published some new (or if you
like, less know) info about the K7. This article answers questions like:
- AMD promises a 200 mhz bus for the K7, so
will we need 200 MHz capable ram ?
- Will we have to throw away our new 100 MHz
Poll #6 Results 00:15 pm - Wilfred
Yup. A week has passed quickly. So as usual, I
have with me the poll results of "What Peripherals Will You Buy Next?". Look at
the figures. Looks like most of you who surf along to Hardware One are pretty well
44% already got all the stuffs man! And there was a draw
between the desire for a scanner and web camera. Ok, take part in our new poll that has
just been set up, will ya?
Epidemic Virus Infects
Corporate E-Mail 18:58 pm - Wilfred
A computer virus
epidemic broke out within certain corporate email systems. Those hit hard included
Intel and Microsoft, where a Word macro virus that replicated pornography-related
information wrecked havoc thoughout their email systems.
The virus, which was identified by Network
Associates Inc. (Nasdaq:NETA) as
'Melissa,' originated in Western Europe and was first discovered on the alt.sex newsgroup.
Computer security experts said the virus wreaked havoc with corporate e-mail as it sped
across the Internet on Friday.
"The proliferation of this virus is
something we've never seen before," said Srivats Sampath, general manager of Network
Associates' McAfee unit.
"Because there's so much e-mail
passing through a server, it's basically taking down the servers," Sampath said. He
added that twenty large companies had been infected by late afternoon, including one that
saw 60,000 users affected.
Whoa! This is one malicious 'Melissa'. It's
one thing to be careful when opening file attachment from a suspicious source, but what if
it came from your friend? Check out what this virus does from this snip:
The Melissa virus propagates via e-mail.
Attached to the e-mail is a Word file that, if opened, launches a macro that replicates a
message to the first 50 names in the recipient's Outlook address book. The subject line
reads: "important message from," followed by a user name. The body consists of a
text message that says, "Here is that document you asked for... don't show anyone
else;-)." The infected documents reportedly contain information on porn Web sites.
The virus specifically affects Outlook and
does not trigger the multiple e-mails on other messaging platforms, such as Lotus Notes.
However, people using e-mail software other than Outlook may be able to spread affected
files by sending them to Outlook users, experts said.
D-Link DFE-905 Network Kit
Review 18:28 pm - Wilfred
posted a review on the
D-Link DFE-905 Network Kit. Keen on setting up a small LAN within your office or home, but
can't fathom the hassle? Check out this kit:
D-Link's DFE-905 Network Kit is a superb
network starter kit. It includes all the necessary equipment and network setup
information. Installation was painless for us, and the network performs just like a
well-setup LAN should. The 4 port hub leaves room for up to two more computers, and
there's an uplink port for even greater expandability. For only $110, this kit provides a
great opportunity for beginners to get their feet wet in the world of networking.
One of the things we'd really like to
stress is ease of installation. Even following well-laid directions can end up in botched
installs and hours of frustration, but the D-Link kit was a breath of fresh air. This is
one of the few times "Plug'n'Play" really delivers.
Of course, check out our very own "Networking for Everyone" article,
in which Keith reviewed the Compex 10MBits Network Starter
Wilfred Coughs 18:16 pm - Wilfred
Just finished a geek walk with Kan at
everyone's favourite hangout - Sim Lim Square! Haven't been there in a month... boy! It
was packed with people squeezing for their best buys. What I was tempted to buy today...
- IBM Deskstar 10.1Gb (S$299! Everywhere!)
- Pioneer DVDROM + Creative Dxr2 MPEG2 Card
- Creative TNT 16Mb AGP Boxed (S$152! Shop
left of MarketPlace)
What we ended up buying? Hmm... a box of CDRs for Kan and
StarSiege for me!! As always, buy original! Don't run the risk of getting the W95.CIH
virus said to be rampant in the OEM (you know what I mean?!) version.
Molding The Myth 11:45 am - Wilfred
Read the feature review of Molding
The Myth, The Games of Star Wars: Episode 1, at GameSpot.
It's a huge feature and it's not meant for fanatics only!
Given LucasArts' track record and the skill
it's demonstrated previously in the Star Wars universe, gamers are excited too. After
stepping inside the bubble of Episode I in a theater, LucasArts can now let gamers bask in
the world of George Lucas' imagination time and again in the comfort of their own homes.
"When I was a kid and saw Star Wars," admits Dreskin, "there was no way to
take it home besides the official movie magazine. I'm just so excited that we can give
everyone a piece of the Episode I experience they can play over and over again right after
seeing the film."
Everquest Review 11:37 am - Wilfred
sent note on their Everquest review which
they just posted. Have a look at what this massively multiplayer online RPG game has to
offer and what the chubs thinks of it.
There is a real sense of community within
Everquest. The communication system Verant has devised allows players many different,
color coded, ways to talk to each other. There are even different languages for each of
the races that only that race can understand. If another race doesn't understand your
native tongue all they'll see is gibberish. Of course there's the common tongue (amazingly
English has even penetrated the realms of Norrath, not to mention all the many worlds
found in Star Trek) which everyone can understand. Chatting is an integral part of the EQ
experience, whether making new friends, dueling other players, or screaming for help as
you're being chased by a hoard of Orc Centurions.
Hard Drive Guide 05:48 am - Kan
That's a lengthy article over at FiringSquad on a guide for hard drives. Check it
We here at FiringSquad have decided to step
in again with our How to series of guides. We'll show you the basics of hard drive
operation, and what determines the speed of a drive. Also, what are the differences in the
hard drives out there? There are a whole variety of features that are offered. Plus, there
are a bunch of interfaces out there, including the newer ATA-66 and Ultra-2 Wide SCSI.
We'll explain all of this, and hopefully more! There is A LOT of info related to hard
Celeron Overclocking Guide 05:32 am - Kan
Updated Celeron overclocking guide
from SharkyExtreme. This is a step by step
guide teaching you how to overclock from the 300A up to the 433 MHz Celeron.
By taking the Celeron core and mounting it
on a standard PCB wafer, overclockers could once again mount a high powered fan/heatsink
directly on the surface covering of the core itself, instead of having to put up with the
poor heat dissipation qualities of the P2's SECC Cartridge. This means that the
fan/heatsink would be able to perform its job better, and eliminate more heat that in the
covered and blocked Pentium 2 line, which leads to better overclocking.
Sony Memory Stick First
Looks! 01:02 am - Wilfred
Aik Phiang has scored a first look on at Sony's new Memory
Stick recordable memory, designed for use in next generation's digital cameras and AV
|Much more than a
new way of recording, the Memory Stick is a new way of thinking, a new way of sharing and
connecting the digital content of one's life, without barrier, whether at work or at play.
Last Day of
Poll 00:58 am - Wilfred
Before we sum things up this later this
evening, here's your last chance to vote if you haven't. Tell us what will make you part
your money next!
Flashman's Thoughts On MS
Wheel Review 23:06 pm - Wilfred
Hey! You know what? Our editors had some kind of 'scuffle' and ha! Flashman sent along his
thoughts on Julian's review
posted yesterday. Hear them both out!
Damnit! I read Julian's article with great
anticipation, feeling, well, disappointed at the comments he made, namely: 1) Steering Lag
Surprisingly, he ended on an optimistic
note, though I think it's because he blew S$359 on it and he's afraid his wife will fry
him for the spendthriftness. Me, I won't tell my wife! She'll kill me!
In any case, I've been secretly looking
around for a force feedback wheel too, and guess what? I think I found the best already.
I must confess - I'm a damned driving
maniac. From when I was 4, conversations with certain bothersome adults went like this:
Adult: Flash, what do ya
wanna be when ya grow up?
Flash: Doctor, lawyer
Adult: Why? You wanna save people? From disease and
law? How noble.
Flash: NO! Of course not!
Adult: Wha .. t?
Flash: Let me explain for the hundredth time, doctors and lawyers
make money, tons of it. And the only reason why I want to be either of them is to make
enough money to buy a sports car, trash it and sell it in one year, to buy another one.
Well, in real life, another addition to
my pathetically busy schedule has been test driving. A secret: A great test-drive spot, is
near the airport on the quiet highway Changi Coast Road, off the road, into a big piece of
flat land, and the tarmac's pretty curvy and there're virtually no cars at all times. You
can do doughnuts to your hearts' content.
Test driving the crippled (non-STI)
Imprezas, IS200 Altezzas, the new MGs and Miatas and the Alfas, qualifies me to gauge what
the hell 'good feel' is, I guess. Since I gotta do it all the time, even without a car,
the damn wheel becomes increasingly important.
So I chanced upon the new Wingman Force
Feedback Wheel, comes with a Logitec mouse and some software, and I must say, it's bloody
brilliant. Running NFS3, there's no steering lag, the 1.0 turns L-R was totally
sufficient, the size was right though smaller replica of a Momo wheel. I didn't buy the
wheel, but I bothered the shop many times during the last week, just hooting away as the
lesser Ferraris gave way to my Maclaren F1.
Force feedback was sufficient, feels like
driving a IS200 Altezza, a little lighter but you must consider that it's half the
diameter of a momo wheel.
It has 4 buttons on the wheel itself,
with 2 paddles left and right Daytona/F1 style. At a 1.0 turn maximum, this arrangement is
damn good for gearchanges, especially when I get my hands on MacRae's rally game.
Because of the 1.0 max turn, there's
absolutely no problems with the steering having too long a throw. Remember always: a long
throw must be accompanied by a larger wheel. Smaller wheels MUST have shorter throws.
Actually, there were no complaints. It
felt right. The pedals had the correct tension, and the braking had good feel. You wanna
know how it all feels like? Get behind the wheel of a Honda Civic and feel the tension,
then halve it. It's like that.
After Julian's article, I hope that those of you wanting to go for a wheel
aren't discouraged. There're better things than Microsoft now that the competition has
learned, and Logitech is a very great company when it comes to gaming peripherals now.
Considering that Logitech has thrown the full weight of its resources behind input devices
and that Microsoft has so many other things to do, Logitech is bound to come up with
better products sooner or later.
But I have to try out the MS wheel at
least once first. Before I irreversibly condemn it. And you know, I hate the Sidewinder
software for mapping and stuff like that. I need a lean and mean installation. I don't
need the lag these mapping stuff introduce, you know what I mean ...
My great testimony on the Freestyle USB still stands. That was
one great product.
So I think I'll just get out and buy a
Wingman FF Wheel today, after I hands-on the MS wheel. Julian's article really screwed the
MS FF wheel for me because I trust that guy, and my apologies to Julian for his S$359
bucks. And thanks for telling us all.
Ha! I don't know what you make of it, but isn't interesting
to see them fight? Anyway, Flashman promised me a full review on the Logitech Wingman
Formula Force as soon as he buys it for himself. So watch out for it! Flashman vs Julian
or Logitech vs Microsoft...
Past IE4 Downloads
Exaggerated 22:54 pm - Wilfred
Microsoft said its new Web browsing software
has been downloaded by more than 1 million people in record time, forcing executives to
admit the software giant exaggerated public response to the previous version, released in
1997. The full article
is at CNet, but I ripped Ars-Technica's
explanation on how it happened! Ha!
Curious about how Microsoft can be so
successful with such poor math and reasoning skills? It turns out that when they announced
that IE 4 statistic, they didn't bother telling anyone that they counted any download of
the Active Setup executable (a piddly half-meg piece of code that does nothing but
download the rest of the browser) as a download of IE 4. I think this is what marketing
people call spin; it sure has my head pulling a Linda Blair.
Perhaps other companies can adopt this practice as well; I'm sure Ford would have no
trouble outselling Honda if its statistics counted every test drive as a sale. -Dr. Evil
Promise Ultra ATA/66
Controller 22:47 pm - Wilfred
has posted his review
on the Promise Ultra ATA/66 Controller. Wait you must be distracted by the pic below?
Well, check out if Anand's findings are as what they claim.
I won't leak what he found out about the performance, but
interestingly, using this card would expand your max supported IDE devices to 4. I could
Sim Lim Square Craze 22:39 pm - Wilfred
There is a current craze in Sim Lim Square.
The Yamaha 192XG PCI original card, (Yamaha branded all over the PCB) is selling for
S$38 in Sim Lim Square to end-users. Supports full Sensaura 3D audio. Crazy! Used to be a
High-speed Mobile Data Phone
22:20 pm - Wilfred
Wow! Check out this article at EETimes. LG has developed a 3rd generation wireless
phone capable of transmitting image data at up to 384 kbits/s.
SEOUL, South Korea ¡ª A synchronous version of a
new third-generation wireless phone developed by LG Information and Communication can
transmit image data at 384 kbits/second.
The mobile phone, which was demonstrated
here earlier this month at the Anyang Central Institute, is based on the emerging global
International Mobile Telecommunication 2000 (IMT2000) standard. Along with its 384-kbit/s
image transmission capability, the phone provided 155-Mbit/s asynchronous transfer mode
(ATM) exchanger capability between networks and from central to local offices.
Pentium III 500Mhz Review
22:05 pm - Wilfred
has a short review
on Intel's Pentium III 500Mhz CPU. I don't have to elaborate, you can check out the snip
As you would expect from a part that runs
at 500MHz, performance is very good, indeed. However, if you already have a 400MHz Pentium
II or better, it's probably not worth upgrading now - wait for faster versions. If you
have a Pentium 266 or 300, it might be worth considering - but you also might just wait
for the prices to drop. But if you're in the market for new systems, 500MHz Pentium III
systems are going for the same price the PII/450s were selling for only a couple of months
ago. So, if you're not concerned about the processor serial number, a spanking new Pentium
III may be just the ticket to remove those performance woes you've been having in Unreal.
Series 22:02 pm - Wilfred
Ben of WickedPC
popped me a mail that he's reviewed the entire series of
Microsoft Intellimouse (mice).
The IntelliMouse series is quite
impressive. The software used to control the mice is easy to use as most Microsoft
products are. My favorite part about the mice is really the distance meter. It keeps track
how many miles you've moved your mouse. Pretty good for a few giggles to see how much
you've wiggled that thing.
Yeah! I love my sexily curved Intellimouse, but I should
have waited for the 'matt' budget version to appear. The smooth surface tends to
"feel oily" after hours of usage.
Expendable Preview 21:55 pm - Wilfred
Crypt sent note of a preview of
Expendable over at their site. Pop over for a look at what might come to be a great game!
At the very least, Expendable features
graphics that will make you wish you'd bought a spill-proof keyboard, as drool slips
ceaselessly from your gaping mouth. It features simple, fun gameplay, and many different
and varying environments to gib the living shit out of whatever alien force has come to
pray yet again on the unsuspecting human race. The weapons are outrageous, and incredibly
fun to use, as mowing through hordes of alien scum has always been a popular past time of
the average gamer. Power-ups, rapid fire, platform elements, and a military score in the
background - get those gamepads ready for a pounding, for April 30th will see many gamer's
monitors light up with the blast of an Expendable rifle. Amen to that.
Wilfred Chokes And Coughs
21:24 pm - Wilfred
Why? My buddy called himself a
"Liver!"? Now isn't that funny? Liver? Using the SBLive! makes him a liver? I
think it's the effect of Encephalitis on his brain. Hmmm...
Interview 14:05 pm - Kan
also had an interview with David
Kirk, Chief Scientist over at nVidia on TNT2.
What are the clock frequencies you can hit now and what's the heat like being
produced at these new high clock rates? Do you need to have heatsinks and fans attached to
keep it cool?
I don't think that we've announced target clock frequencies for TNT2 yet, but I don't
think that you'll be disappointed. We also haven't announced the thermal
specifications - our OEM board and PC partners will make these decisions for the products
that they ship.
Plextor PlexWriter 8/20
08:04 am - Kan
Hardware posted an exclusive review on the Plextor
PlexWriter 8/20 max CD writer. This baby features a 4MB buffer, 20X read and an
impressive 8X write speed. Imagine you can churn out CDs at less than 10 mins a piece.
Plextor still has a heavy reliance on the
CAV (constant angular velocity) technology, which give their drives an effective range of
speeds instead of 1 constant speed. The CD market has seen a few CLV (constant
linear velocity) drives, that have met with limited success as of late. Plextor
seems to have their own take on CAV vs. CLV, and despite the faster nature of CLV, Plextor
drives continue to win awards and the hearts of reviewers. For more on CAV and CLV
drives, read our reviews of each here: Kenwood Multibeam 40X (CLV) & Plextor UltraPlex
Aztech PCI338-A3D 08:02 am - Kan
Center had a review on the Aztech PCI338-A3D
sound card. Nah, once a Liver!, always a Liver! :)
The card had great overall performance, but
there was two things that really impressed me more than anything. Those were the
outstanding A3D support and quality as well as the outstanding midi quality. I tried
throwing everything at this card that I could. The A3D effects were always
produced properly, not to mention they were very distinct. I really felt like I was
in somewhat of a "surrounded environment."
A - Z of Overclocking 07:58 am - Kan
you ever wanted to know about overclocking, available at Review Zone.
Many people started dabbling in
overclocking during the Pentium era. The reason for this was that Intel had come up with a
chip and fabrication system which left a bit of headroom when it comes to the operating
speed of the processor. It should be noted that AMD chips such as the K5, which were in
use at the same period, did not enjoy this quality and were at the limits of their
BX6 2.0 vs ZM6 07:54 am - Kan
Kyle had a motherboard
shootout between the BX6 2.0 vs the ZM6. Will it surprise you if the ZM6 is found to
be faster than the BX6 2.0? Read on!
The ABIT ZM6 (which will now be referred to
as the ZM6 Rev 1.00, JJ :^) ) is a distant cousin to the BX6. His is a slimmed down unit
comparatively speaking. The ZX chipset which is really a cheaper version of the BX chipset
by Intel is stuck on this Mobo. What is the difference? Basically the ZX chipset only
supports about 25% as much SDRAM, and will only support 4 PCI devices (with a couple
exceptions). 2 ISA, 2 USB, 5 PCI, and 1 AGP slot.
Interview with S3 07:50 am - Kan
That's an interview with S3's
PR man, Paul Crossley, on the Savage4 chip over at savage.tentex.com.
Q: How much would it affect performance in
any sense running a 4x AGP on a 2x AGP Motherboard, have you got any actual benchmarks to
A: We are still very limited as to what we
can say regarding AGP 4X. Suffice to say that the AGP 4X version will be significantly
faster when running texture & resolution intensive games.
Dual Celeron 21:54 pm - Kan
Our pal over at Digital
Photography Review posted a review on the Dual
Celeron 300A PPGA version. Check out the pictures!
||Turning the circuit board over I used the
fine screwdriver to remove some of the insulation around this hole, took a piece of wire,
cut away all but three of the strands (to make it small enough to fit through the hole)
and slipped it through, a blob of solder on the other side and we're now connected to B75.
K Desktop Environment 1.1 20:40 pm - Wilfred
Caesar of Ars-Technica posted his review on KDE 1.1 for
Linux. Even a hardcore Linux guru can add a softer side to his OS environment right? Check
out what this GUI's got to offer!
Personally, I believe that KDE 1.1 is a
modestly extensible, quick, and stable environment, and I think you'll see from this
review that KDE is putting a face on Linux that's bridging the gap between so-called
established, "easy to use" OSes--like Windows and the MacOS--and Linux, the
mythically evil, CLI-based realm of pain and suffering. If you're new to Linux, perhaps
you could look forward to the day when KDE holds you back. If you're comfortable with
Windows' GUI, KDE is certainly not going to make you claustrophobic.
Microphone Taps in All PCs
Since 1996? 20:36 pm - Wilfred
Here's an "alarming"
story you will want to hear. ZDNet has an article that
claimed a small mic of some sort existed on ALL PCs purchased after March 1996 and it has
been routinely used by firms/ISPs to collect sound taps. Definitely a juicy read, but I'm
skeptical such a big scam could have been pulled off.
It turns out that virtually every computer
system purchased after March 1996 contains a microphone, and that the IT departments at
Polar and other companies had routinely been using special sound-activated software to
record and collect conversations.
Microphones, which cost manufacturers less
than a quarter, had been mandated in the 1996 IEEE RFC 0401 PC/Telephony spec, but few
users have taken advantage of them. However, Polar's attorneys admitted that most IT
departments, and even major Internet providers, have been running special SCP (Speech
Collection Port) software that uses the microphones to bug conversations as a
Aureal's Toni Schneider
Interview On I3DL2 20:20 pm - Wilfred
has scored an interview
with Toni Schneider of Aureal on I3DL2. Not surprisingly, the session drifted to more talk
about their competition.
A3D 2.0 even though is a very advanced
technology, is not supported widely among the game developers. You announced your support
and development in the new I3DL2, why do you feel this technology will be supported and
used by game developers?
A3D 2.0 is supported where it counts: In
the key titles and with very high quality implementations. It does no good for anyone in
the long run to be in lots of games but not sound very good. I3DL2 will face the same
challenges in terms of needing both support from lots of developers and good quality
content so the end-user actually benefits.
Team Fortress Classic Review
- Part 1 20:14 pm - Wilfred
posted part 1 of Valve's Team Fortress
Classic review. Those of you who haven't had enough of Half-Life can look here for a
boost. Here's their little teaser:
After weeks of waiting for Half-Life: Team
Fortress only to find out that it was going to be a long time before we could get out
hands on it and then finding out that Valve was going to make Team Fortress Classic for
Half-Life, I could barely contain myself as the files installed. Well now it's here, and
TFC is definitely worth the wait.
New Drivers for Creative
Labs TNT 20:07 pm - Wilfred
Saw over at VoodooExtreme that Creative has released some new
drivers for their TNT card. Both Win9x and NT versions are available.
This Win9x driver update is based on nVIDIA RIVA TNT driver version
1.13. supports OpenGL screensavers. Allows real-time stencil shadow effects
in games which support this feature, such as Unreal
Solves video synchronization and
misalignment problems in BlasterControl. Includes latest BlasterControl help files to add
context-sensitive Help topics for three new options in the BlasterControl Tweak Module.
These options are for DirectX5 and DirectX6 compatibility features.
This NT4 driver update is based on nVIDIA RIVA TNT driver version
1.12. New Tweak is supported. Solved display problems related to virtual desktop when set
to higher resolution outside the viewable area. Fixes screen flickering when running
Mystify screensaver in 8 bit color depth.
Powercolor Dreamcode 14:52 pm - Kan
did a review on the Powercolor
Dreamcode. This is a integrated gamer's motherboard with a built in Riva TNT as well
as a onboard Yamaha Sensaura 3D chipset.
I found that reviewing a mainboard that
includes onboard graphics and sound is very different from reviewing standard mainboards.
Firstly, in testing such an integrated board we are looking at not one product, but three
products, each with its own ups and downs. Secondly, integrated mainboards have some
inherant qualities which set them apart. People who like to build high-performance
computers generally shy away from integrated boards, because of their main disadvantage: a
very short upgrade path.
PC DVD 14:50 pm - Kan
posted a PC DVD - A
Player's Guide. A good read if you wish to get a DVD drive for your computer.
This overview is approaching the subject in
two ways. First off I'll give you a feature comparision between software based and
hardware accelerated solutions that are on the market as we speak. Secondly I'll give a
detailed, limited review of each of the contenders in the race, with recommendations as to
who should be pining for which solution to bring digital cinema to their screens.
Voodoo3 2000 Review 14:32 pm - Kan
chewed up a review on the revision B of the Voodoo3 2000 video card. Check out the performance of this baby.
As with all past and present Voodoo
architecture, the Voodoo3 2000 is limited to 256x256 texture sizes, which is starting to
get a little out of date. Another sore point (which Nvidia has pointed out by advertising
the number '32') is the number '32'. Although the Voodoo3 spec sheets and adverts claim
that the chip has a 32-bit color graphics pipeline, this does not mean that it supports
32-bit color 'externally'. It does render at 32-bit color internally (if that makes it any
sexier for you then so be it) but 16-bit color is the ceiling for any 3D game running on a
Voodoo3- period (unless of course you play and view games 'internally'). The 32-bits
internally, then gets interpolated by the RAMDAC and is rendered at 16-bit externally (get
Skywell Magic TNT 14:30 pm - Kan
Hot babes over at HotHardware posted a review on the good on Skywell Magic TNT card.
Skywell ships this board with the standard
reference drivers from nVidia. We got the version .48 with our board so we quickly
installed the Detonator 1.20 version drivers recently released from nVidia. For a complete
review of the performance of this board we wanted to compare it to its more costly cousin
from STB, the Velocity 4400. The cost savings of going with the lesser known name of
Skywell may prove to be this boards best asset. Lets take a look how it stacks up!
WinAmp 2.10 08:00 am - Kan
was released today. There's lots of new features in this version! Cool! You can get a copy
from our Downloads section as well.
- New preferences system
- New install screen stuff (with easier
- Improved CDDA plug-in, with auto-play
- Improved MPEG audio decoding (blip
reduction, ID3v1 URL, Shoutcast URL, Shoutcast 1.1 title streaming)
- Improved MOD/XM/IT rendering (64 bit mixing,
sample declicking, less loader bugs, etc)
- Totally new output driver (faster and more
- Language package support
- Windows font support w/ International
characterset capability (optional)
- Better filetype registration (with options
to register on start, etc)
- Desktop Icon and Quicklaunch adding
- Customizable DSP/Vis plug-in directories.
- Playlist editor has more intuitive moving
- Winamp Browser (for context-sensitive
- A TON of bugfixes (if you've been getting
GDI errors this should fix)
AOpen MX3L Review 06:58 am - Kan
Dudes over at Socket370 posted a review on the AOpen MX3L Socket370 motherboard.
This looks like some cheap motherboard with 3 PCI/1 ISA/1 AGP slots.
This board sadly doesn't have too much that
is really going for it. The best thing about this board is it's stability. I managed to
get the processor up on the first try to 400mhz and ran this for 24 hours without a hitch.
So truly this board is quite stable, though I did not expect any less from AOpen, then
again expectations can be misleading. The only other thing this board has going for it is
that it's simple to install, although most motherboards are quite easy to install.
MS SideWinder Force Feedback
Wheel 00:20 am - Wilfred
Today, Hardware One brings you a review on the Microsoft SideWinder
Force Feedback Wheel. Yep, if you are seriously into racing games then how can you go
||"If money is no issue and you
are a budding Schumacher, hit the nearest store and realised your dream. Otherwise, you
can continue driving with 4 fingers on the keyboard or one hand on your joystick."
PantherXL 00:11 am - Wilfred
Hardware has done a review
on the MadCatz PantherXL game controller. It is a specialised joystick for first-person
shooter games. If you are a fan of the FPS genre, then it'll not disappoint!
Since the Panther XL is a very
specialized joystick, I feel it should be evaluated both on its proficiency in
first-person shooters, as well as an overall solution to your gaming needs. As the scores
indicate, the Panther XL is simply the cream of the crop for games like Half-Life, SiN and
Quake 2, but it falls a bit short in other genres. Flight sims and racing games are
difficult to play and the overall feel of the Panther XL's stick does not compare
favourably to other controllers. If you're a Quake 2 junkie, this matters little to you,
and the Panther XL's trackball will definitely enhance your gaming precision with any FPS
March 1999 - Wednesday
iiyama Vision Master Pro 22:13 pm - Kan
Dudes over at AGN
Hardware did a review on the iiyama
Vision Master Pro 450 19" monitor.
At 1600x1200, the maximum resolution for
the VM Pro 450, the image quality was clear and bright. There was very little sizzle
associated with text on a white background and the maximum refresh of 80hz at that
resolution left everything clear and flicker free. Pushing the monitor with our ever
favorite Re2Flex (featured on Metabyte video cards), it was able to handle most of what we
threw at it, including some rather odd ball resolutions.
Elitegroup P6BXT-A+ 22:05 pm - Kan
posted a review on the special Elitegroup P6BXT-A+
motherboard. This is the one which offers both Slot-1 as well as Socket370 combinations.
The second thing you notice about the
P6BXT A+ is its ambiguity as a Socket-370 or a Slot-1 motherboard due to the fact that the
board features both a Socket-370 and a Slot-1 CPU interface connector. This is
a new feature just now being introduced, the ability to select between either a Socket-370
or Slot-1 interface on the same motherboard. Due to the compatibility of the
Socket-370 and Slot-1 P6 bus, it is possible for a motherboard to share both types of CPU
interfaces, while allowing only one to be used at a time. The P6BXT A+ is the
first motherboard to make its way into the AnandTech testing lab that features both
Tom's CeBIT Blurb 20:28 pm - Wilfred
Tom posted his weekly blurb in
which he talked about CeBIT 99, what he saw and thought about them. This is a cool bit he
sprouted on the PowerVRSG.
NEC/Videologic focussed onto the
PVRSG-version for Sega's Dreamcast project, which was the reason for the huge delay of
PVRSG for PCs of exactly one year. Many people got pretty pissed off with Videologic about
that, but now Videologic's back with a vengeance. I saw Videologic's upcoming 2D/3D card
`Neon 250' running Role Cage all day without the slightest problems and I also got the
chance to benchmark this card in a PIII 500-system with Quake2. The Neon 250 scored 49 fps
in Crusher.dm2 at 1024x768, 16 bit, no palletized textures! This is only slightly less
than the score of TNT2 at 175/200 MHz and certainly way ahead of Voodoo3 3500. The Neon
250 is a 16 MB AGP-card, and the 16 MB are worth a lot more than on other cards, because
as you may remember that PVRSG's special architecture does not require a Z-buffer. PVRSG
can also support 32 MB and it has got a full AGP 2x/4x implementation with AGP-texturing
support as well as support of 32 bit rendering. The Neon 250 is supposed to cost $200 US
once it hits the shells in June 1999.
The Chinese Solved Y2K In
Aviation Industry 20:16 pm - Wilfred
This cracked me up as much as the guys in Ars-Technica. Yahoo
News reported that China's aviation industry has totally ridden themselves of the Y2K
glitch. How, you ask?
Beijing, eager to solve the Y2K computer
problem in aviation computer systems before 2000, has warned officials that they must be
on board flights during the changeover to the new century.
I take my hats off their ingenuity. Way to go, boys!
Wilfred Coughs 20:07 pm - Wilfred
Kan is still putting the screws back into his
wrecked PC so we won't expect much of him (not at all, perhaps) for a while. Meanwhile,
thanks for the increase in activity at our forums.
Krisoff Responds To Gary
Tarolli 19:11 pm - Wilfred
Krisoff Beets of Beyond3D posted his reponse to Gary Tarolli's (3Dfx)
earlier talk on 22-bit colour in the Voodoo3. I think you are going to enjoy this one!
we believe him or not? I don't know. Maybe 3dfx should just get used to the fact that 3D
sites and 3D coders do not like it that 3dfx doesn't support Real 32-bit rendering. They
will be criticized for it, just as they will be criticized for not supporting higher
resolution textures. I think Tarolli should either just leave this whole discussion and
get used to it, or he should explain how it works. This kind of "believe me it
works" column sounded too much like marketing crap. In the end, we know that at some
stage of the rendering 3dfx is stuck with 16-bit quality, and no matter what they do this
fact will stay... and it will cause some kind of image quality reduction.
Shuttle HOT-649a Dual Board 18:55 pm - Wilfred
Andy of BxBoards
sent note about his latest review on the
Shuttle HOT-649a Dual CPU mobo. This board supports user voltage tweaks!
This is probably one of the best
dual motherboards for overclockers. It goes beyond the call of duty with a multitude of
bus speeds, and the PCI deviders also keep things friendly for your peripherals. However I
must say, it is not quite the most stable board when Overclocked I have tested. This
honour still goes to the Epox KP-BX6-S. Running the unlocked P2-333s @ 4 x 100 or 3 x 133
was not stable enough for any serious work. A BIOS update may or may not fix thing. With
the pair of P2-300 SL2W8's things became much better with 495 giving good and useable
A DVD Future 18:49 pm - Wilfred
has kicked up an editorial
that gives you the lowdown on DVD. A good read to go with your cup of coffee.
DVD has performed better than all other
media except the networks' broadcasts. If you've used a DSS satellite dish, you have
MPEG-2 and know how good its pictures can be. The audio side is a bit more complicated. In
the past, stereo sound tracks required only two channels, one for each speaker. Dolby Pro
Logic surround sound added a center channel and a monaural surround channel that produced
more realistic sound. DVD supports two systems for encoding sound: Dolby Surround AC-3 and
MPEG-2 Audio. Both support more speakers than other methods, but they differ in certain
ways. The Dolby AC-3 standard is a 5.1 system; in other words, there are five signal
channels plus a nondirectional subwoofer channel. Whereas Dolby Pro Logic uses a matrix
approach to encode the center and surround channels, Dolby AC-3 gives each channel its own
data stream. It assigns the five channels to the left, center, and right speakers in the
front and to the left and right surround speakers in the back, respectively. MPEG-2 Audio
is capable of the same arrangement, but it can also add left-center and right-center
speaker channels, for a 7.1 configuration. It is designed to be backward-compatible with
stereo and Dolby Pro Logic playback systems as well as with the 5.1 and 7.1
Gary Tarolli of 3Dfx Posts
Clarification 18:33 pm - Wilfred
The man behind 3Dfx's infamous Voodoo Graphics
stands up to speak for the "disinformation" about the Voodoo 3. He attempts to
explain 22-bits vs 32-bits... and why
3Dfx's technique is not inferior.
The Voodoo3 (and Voodoo2) renders to a
16-bit color depth. However, we have a special technique that displays approximately 22
bit color depth. Some continue to make the argument that 16 bit binary numbers display
65536 colors. This is true, if they are displayed without any special techniques. 3dfx
does not wish to disclose it's proprietary techniques, so we haven't described exactly how
we display approximately 22 bits of color from 16. But consider image compression for a
moment: a lossless JPEG compressed image is much smaller than the original. That same
image compressed to 16 bits, displays many more than 65536 colors, the maximum number of
colors available if there were no compression algorithm. Likewise for our own display. One
way of looking at dithering is to consider it a simplistic form of compression. We do a
form of "decompression" on the video output. Thus, it is possible to generate
more than 65536 colors of output. In fact, we can display approximately 4 million colors
and hence the *accurate* 22-bit color claim.
Another statement, that I recently read on the web, insinuated that 24-bit color, which
can display 16777216 colors, is 256 times better than 16-bit color, which can display
65536 colors. This is simply not true - just think about it - is 25-bit color that can
display 2*16777216 colors twice as good as 24-bit color just because it can display twice
as many colors? No, it's just a tiny bit better. I honestly admit that I don't know how to
measure the ratio of "subjective goodness" of 24 bit color to 16 bit color, but
from my personal experience, it's nowhere close to 256 times better. The law of
diminishing returns takes hold here.
Whether it's 16M or 4M colours, perhaps it isn't too much
of difference to most human eyes. But judging from Tom's benchmarks, the TNT2 at 32-bit
colour depth kept up or even bested the V3. So what will keep buyers from the TNT2? Price?
Glide games? Hmm.. Then think about the large texture support in both TNT2 and Savage4.
Intel Celeron 433Mhz Slot-1 18:21 pm - Wilfred
Extreme has a review
on the Slot-1 version of Intel's latest 433Mhz Celeron CPU. The CPU hit its
overclockability ceiling at a not too impressive 488Mhz.
This is the first time in recent memory
that Sharky Extreme failed to obtain a Celeron overclock at the "gravy" 83MHz
FSB speed. Honestly speaking, it wasn't even close. We experienced lockups right after
powerup, never once achieving a full Win98 boot. That's disappointing, especially to the
same group of people who were able to take two Celeron 366 CPUs to 550MHz (5.5 x 100MHz)
an almost impossible task according to the industry people we've talked to at the retail
For whatever reason, our Celeron 433 was
miserable at anything higher than 488MHz, which it handled without incident.
Skywell Magic TwinPower 22:06 pm - Wilfred
Into budget gaming? Well if you are not getting the Creative
Banshee (OEM version) for some reasons or other, you will want to check out the Skywell
Magic TwinPower. Have a look at Extreme Hardware's review
on this 3Dfx Banshee board.
"I've come to trust the Skywell name
and have found their cards to be extremely reliable. Skywell cards also contain fast, high
quality memory that easily matches or exceeds any chip vendor specification. This might
seem a small thing, but it's one of the areas that card vendors can skimp on to save money
and I always examine the memory closely when reviewing "value" cards.
The TwinPower Banshee is no exception to
the Skywell name and features 16 MB of 125 MHz/8ns memory that looks just primed for
overlocking. Using Powerstrip, I was able to jack the memory rate up to the same level
(125 MHz) as the Monster Fusion..."
Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 5120 21:59 pm - Wilfred
Gulp! 20.4 Gigabytes! Check out Storage
Review's take on the shiny new Maxtor
DiamondMax Plus 5120.
"... both myself and hordes of
e-mailing readers have come to expect nothing but the best from Maxtor's latest offering,
the 20.4 gig DiamondMax Plus 5120. Surprisingly, Western Digital (former ATA punching bag
here at SR) was the first to market with a second-generation 7200rpm ATA unit. Maxtor,
however, was a close second, shipping its 5120 drive shortly afterwards. The two drives
are an interesting study in contrasts. Both, of course, are 7200rpm. Both feature a 9
millsecond access time. Maxtor, however, managed to pack 5.1 gigs per platter, compared to
the 4.6 GB/platter of the WD Expert. Five gigs per platter, in fact, is what WD and IBM
both will ship in their 5400rpm drives. Impressive indeed! On the other hand, the 5120
that I received carries a rather paltry 512k of cache. Maxtor has since informed me that
shipping units of the drive will feature 1 meg of buffer. Though better, it's still a bit
short when compared to the hefty 2 megs with which WD and IBM have equipped their latest
Kingpin Demo Review 21:54 pm - Wilfred
CalBear sent note of a review
they'd just put up on Kingpin Demo - one of the most awaited first-person shooter
(again?!) games. Wait, don't go download it till you read this!
Many people who've played the demo seem to
love it, but Dennis and I found it was a mixed bag. My biggest problems with the demo were
the choppy play, the long load times, and the fact that they got away from the diplomacy
aspect and it degenerated into just straight run and gun at the end. I can see a lot of
potential here for a good game, and I sincerely hope that Xatrix puts in the time to make
Kingpin a winner. It would be a shame for the full version to just be more of the same.
The character interaction, if used properly, could make the single player experience
special like in Half Life or Thief.
Sony Launches USB / iLink
CDRW Drives 21:47 pm - Wilfred
Sony has launched their latest line of CDRW products
which will utilise the USB interface and the emerging iLink interface. Here's what their
new Spressa drives offer:
The new Spressa(TM) USB (CRX100E/X) and
Spressa i.LINK (CRX120E/X) drives offer a superb combination of performance,
functionality, and ease of use for average consumers as well as prosumers and corporate
The Spressa USB drive supports quad speed
(4X) recording of CD-R media, double speed (2X) of CD-RW media, and CD-ROM maximum reading
performance of 6X. By using the versatile USB interface, the drive is easily shared
between computers, and can even be disconnected and re-connected while the computer is
still running. The Spressa USB drive also offers the added flexibility of attachment to
both Macintosh?and Windows?computers.
The Spressa i.LINK drive supports quad
speed (4X) recording of CD-R and CD-RW discs, and CD-ROM maximum reading performance of
24X. i.LINK technology enables maximum performance and allows other multimedia peripherals
including digital video and still cameras to be daisy chained simply and easily. And
because i.LINK is hot plugable, devices can be attached or removed after the computer has
been turned on, making it easy to share the Spressa drive with other systems. The Spressa
i.LINK drive for Macintosh systems will be Sony's first offering, with Windows
compatibility available in the Fall.
I would be curious to know how these drives
actually perform in real life, if there will be difficulties doing CD copying on-the-fly.
Upgrade Your Palm V To 8Mb?! 21:20 pm - Wilfred
You dreamed it. So now there's someone in the
States willing to perform the upgrade for you for a fee (which I think is superbly
reasonable!). Check out the article!
While Palm V sales have been brisk, keeping
prices high, die-hard Palm users had much to complain about the Palm V. While they loved
the new industrial design, and raved about the changes throughout the Palm V, nobody was
really that excited about the 2 mb of RAM in the unit -- especially since the unit is
sealed and non-upgradeable.
Leave it to the netizens to figure out how
to open the case and upgrade the Palm V to an amazing 8 megabytes of memory! The first prototype came out
of Japan thanks to Toshio Kashiwagi. This page, was later translated into English by John
Lagerling. It caused quite a stir. Toshio had successfully unsealed the Palm V without
damage, and upgraded the memory to 8 mb using a few tools and a new memory chip.
Suddenly, the Palm V became a lot more
appealing. People everywhere wanted the 8 meg Palm V, but clearly not many people had the
skill or the equipment to do the upgrade themselves.
John Figueroa of EFIG.com now offers what everyone has been
asking for -- a Palm V upgrade service. Mr. Figueroa will upgrade your Palm V to 8
megabytes for the surprising low cost of $150.00 USD. Additionally, he plans to sell Palm
V units pre-installed with 8 megs of memory for $600.00 USD.
Ok, won't somebody on this island come out with a similar
service for us soon? You can start taking orders if you are sure you can do this!
Interview With S3 - Savage4 21:07 pm - Wilfred
aced with an interview they had with
S3 about their Savage4 chip. You MUST read it for all the additional good stuff they
Now its time for the famous 16-bit vs.
32-bit question. Is the performance loss worth the higher quality rendering? Is S3 doing
anything to lower the performance loss found with 32-bit rendering?
There is a
performance loss going from 16-bit to 32-bit rendering, but it's not very significant in
actual game play. There's a myth out there that 32-bit kills frame rates and that's why
3DFX left it out. I don't hear NVidia, Matrox or ATI saying that, and we certainly aren't.
In truth, the performance impact is around 10%, 20% max. The image quality, especially in
the most recent applications, is far better with 32-bit rendering though, and I think most
users will chose to run in 32-bit mode on Savage4.
I think 3DFX's claim of a 2X fill rate hit is ridiculous and very simplistic. Maybe, it
would be a 2X hit for them, but it's not for the rest of us. Given 3Dfx's logic, you might
also assume that supporting textures bigger than 256x256 also halves the fill rate. I
think 3DFX is relying on a very low level of sophistication in its customers in make an
argument like this.
14. To the suprise of many, Glide
is still very commonly supported. Some games are still shipping with support exclusively
for Glide with support for others being added later. Does this suprise you and how much
longer do you feel 3Dfx can keep Glide alive?
I think it's on its last legs. In
fact, I'm surprised it has lasted so long as I can't see why game developers would want to
limit themselves to 3DFX parts when there are many other good parts out there and a much
broader market for their software. It makes no sense to me. Plus, DirectX 6.0 is very
respectable at this point, so I see no reason to use Glide.
3Com Stops Shipping Palm V
Hard Case 20:54 pm - Wilfred
Learnt from PalmStation that after
much user complaints, 3Com announced that they've stop shipping the hard case for their
new Palm V.
After returning my badly manufactured Pam V
hard case, I sent an angry e-mail to [email protected]
and got this back:
"Thank you for your comments. Palm
values all of our customer's comments - both positive and constructive. We have stopped
shipping the Hard Cases and acknowledge that they are below our standards. At this point
we are reviewing our options and apologize for the inconvenience.
If you have further questions or would like
to place an order, please visit our website at www.palm.com or call 1-800-881-7256 or
So if you haven't bought a casing for your
Palm V, you'd better hold off buying the hard case.
March 1999 SDRAM Comparison 20:48 pm - Wilfred
Everyone's on a RAMpage today. Even Anand has
an article to
educate us on choosing the right memory modules when we build our systems.
Usually enthusiasts will prefer to get
whatever memory modules happen to be available at the most reasonable price, and they'll
pick up as much as they can. Because having 192MB of RAM sounds much more powerful than
having 64MB of RAM, and it sounds like you'll actually be using your computer for
important tasks rather than having a LAN party with your friends or playing multiplayer
Unreal with a couple of tough bots, which you'll probably end up doing in the end. The
bottom line is that very little attention is given to the quality of SDRAM modules on the
market today, and because of this you see an influx of lower quality parts that some
poorly educated users may end up falling for when they're constructing their systems.
ATI Rage Fury Review 20:40 pm - Wilfred
has smacked up a new review on
the ATI Rage Fury. Well, take a look at their comments on this latecoming card:
Overall 3D image quality, however, is a
mixed bag. In games that support 32-bit color, the Rage Fury's quality is impeccable. For
instance, playing Unreal in 32-bit color, we were impressed with the vivid clarity of the
smoke and explosions. But when we dropped down to 16-bit color, we noticed an annoying
shimmery, gritty appearance to textures; playing Thief showed a similar effect. When
playing Incoming in 16-bit color, we also noticed some serious dithering trouble in
rendering the sky: the Fury displayed terrible banding instead of the relatively smooth
appearance we saw when playing on a RIVA TNT card.
At this point, perhaps the TNT remains the
best choice. With the Creative TNT OEM selling at less than S$160, what's stopping you
from buying it?!
Viewsonic P815-3 21"
Monitor 18:53 pm - Wilfred
has delivered a review on
the 21" Viewsonic P815-3 monitor. This is a piece of treasure they gave a big thumbs
up over the Nokia 44XiPlus they reviewed recently.
Not sure about you, but I personally sit in
front of my computer at least 12 hours a day. Given that doesn't make family too happy
that I never spend time with them, but it's a fact of life. In order to stay sane while
looking at a flat picture all day that has no true meaning, it's a requirement with that
amount of time spent to have a decent monitor to look at. If you talk to anyone, they all
want a bigger monitor. Someone who has a 14" monitor is looking to buy a 17",
and the 17" owner is interested in a 19" or 21". For $1200, you can walk
away with a spectacular new ViewSonic P815-3.
Since we are on Viewsonic monitors, it
wouldn't hurt to take a look at Hardware One's very own review of the 21" Viewsonic P810 too. =)
RAM Identification Guide 18:45 pm - Wilfred
sent note of their latest RAM
Identification Guide that will teach you how to identify the various RAM modules from
their markings. An intro to begin with...
RAM is used to store information before it
is sent to the CPU for processing, and on the way back out of the CPU after being
processed. Generally, the more RAM in the machine, the faster it runs. As a rule, for most
desktop systems, 64 megabytes (MB) of RAM is recommended; 128 MB is better yet. Now, on to
the minutae. Computers store and manipulate information that exists in a binary form,
meaning that it is comprised of 2 digits, "0" and "1". These 2
digits (known individually as bits) are how a computer moves data around. By linking a
string of 8 of these "bits" together we get a byte. A byte is the
smallest amount of information a computer is capable of dealing with. One byte is the same
as 1 character (e.g. 01000001 = A). The idea behind 8 bits equalling 1 byte came around
back in the days of the ASCII committee.
Wilfred Coughs For Kan 18:41 pm - Wilfred
Life is not always fair and disaster strikes
at the most unexpected times. For the lack of updates till now, we can only blame the
unknown for taking down Kan's PC. <sigh>
Kewling Your Cards - Part IV 23:28 pm - Wilfred
Kyle's a little engrossed in this multi-parter 'kewling' mission he embarked on some
weeks ago. This time round, he got hold of 4 sandwich celery coolers for testing. Check
will finish up Part IV of the Kewling Series. Not that we started out thinking there would
be this many parts, just kinda happened that way. There are many high dollar sandwich
coolers out there and we decided to see how some of the less expensive guys worked on Slot
1 Celerons. We scoured the Globe for cheaper alternatives and came up with some decent
info for the peeps out there. Still have not decided whether this is a "Review"
or an "Article"... You can read it an decide.
PowerVR 250 Benchmarks! 23:19 pm - Wilfred
Wow! Look at the numbers ParaKnowYa scored! His CeBit
report on the Neon 250 (PowerVR 250) card showed astounding benchmark figures.
We were able to check the NEON 250 to get
some benchmarks and here they are the first benchmark results of a nearly final product
with beta drivers (expect the final driver performance to be higher!)
System: PIII 500MHz /w 128MB & NEON 250
Benchmark: Quake 3.20 with beta miniGL drivers
Mode: testdemo 1
1024x768x16: 61.8 fps
800x600x16: 95.5 fps
640x480x16: 118.2 fps
Mode: crusher demo
1024x768x16: 49.7 fps
800x600x16: 55.0 fps
Benchmark: 3D Mark 99 Max
A Joke To Share 22:59 pm - Wilfred
Many of you might have caught this somewhere
on the net or received in some form of spam mail from your most dreaded friend. Here it
is, probably worth a snigger...
There are three
engineers in a car; an electrical engineer, a chemical engineer and a Microsoft engineer.
Suddenly the car just stops by the side of the road, and the three engineers look at each
other wondering what could be wrong.
The electrical engineer suggests
stripping down the electronics of the car and trying to trace where a fault might have
occurred. The chemical engineer, not knowing much about cars, suggests that maybe the fuel
is becoming emulsified and getting blocked somewhere.
Then, the Microsoft engineer, not knowing
much about anything, comes up with a suggestion, "Why don't we close all the windows,
get out, get back in, open the windows again, and maybe it'll work !?"
Many times, I should think you'll need to dismantle your
windows, then put them back on again. Then ta-da! It'll work for another week! - Comments
AMD K7 Still On Track 19:49 pm - Wilfred
Inside Sources at MaximumPC has scored an interview
with AMD's Atiq Raza. According to him, the K7 is right on track for a June launch. But
Maximum PC: The floating point on the
K6-2 is notorious. Why haven't you been able to beat Intel's floating-point performance?
Raza: We will. The floating point in the K6-2--the classic IEEE-built precision
floating point--is not of the quality I would like it to be. We had a choice to improve
its performance and bring it up to par with Intel or launch our 3D technology. 3D
basically becomes a vector floating-point engine for graphics. So the value we would have
gotten with the 3D technology covered 99.9% of what the floating point was used for.
That's why we focused on it. With K7, we'll make no apologies.
Double-precision/single-precision, 3D technology extensions as well as double-precision
classical IEEE floating point. Again, the K7 will be the highest performance processor, in
both integer and floating point.
StarSiege Review 19:43 pm - Wilfred
Check out GameCenter's review on Dynamix's
StarSiege! A full 5-Star grading was conferred to this giant robot game. Amazing. They
always tempt me to part with my precious savings like that!
I've seen more than my fair share of giant,
anthropomorphic robots duking it out on the plains of alien worlds. Do I really need to go
there again? In the case of Dynamix's Starsiege, the answer is an absolute yes. This game
is easily the best of the lot, across the whole board. It's beautiful, engrossing,
exciting, full of rich story in a sweeping universe, and most important, it's a blast to
Scott McNealy 19:34 pm - Wilfred
Register has a couple of interviews
with Sun Microsystem's CEO Scott McNealy. He does have quite a bit of bitter things to say
about Microsoft. I don't necessarily disagree, but I think he's gone a little overboard.
"ActiveX is a virus by definition.
Sometimes there are good viruses, sometimes there are bad viruses. ActiveX is like putting
the controls to your automobile on the outside of you car: it's like putting you brake on
the rear bumper, the steering wheel on the side doors, and your trunk opener on the hood.
Fundamentally, anybody could walk up and drive it into the ditch, pop the trunk up and
steal everything ¨C that's what an ActiveX control is: it's an ActiveX-out-of-control control.
It's a virus ¨C that
is the design feature, it is not an accident. "The Java platform was designed
to be virus-free. ... Microsoft likes to lump Java ActiveX controls with Java applets ¨C that's like the cold virus
versus Kleenex. They're two different things. They're both used in the same environment,
but one creates the mess and the other cleans up the mess." - Comments
MS Digital Sound System 80 19:27 pm - Wilfred
Mark sent word of his review on the
Microsoft Digital Sound System 80. Roll over to 3DSoundSurge
to check out this set of quality USB speakers from the guys at Redmond.
"... the Microsoft
Digital Sound System 80 has a Digital Signal Processor that in surround mode decodes most
matrix surround formats and then creates a virtual sound field using Microsoft's 3d audio
algorithms with cross talk cancellation.
To test this feature I
started with basic music playback. The surround mode does a fantastic job of
widening the sound field. My brain was completely fooled into clearly hearing
instruments to the left and right of the speakers! Next in surround mode was a
test of Dolby Pro-Logic decoding using some samples from a test CD, then NHL 98 and Unreal
in it's own Dolby Surround mode. Again, excellent. The system does an excellent job
of filling the sound field in when using my test CD. The virtual surround channel
fills the entire room with sound. In NHL 98 (with Dolby Pro-Logic) the crowd seems
to be cheering from all around. In Unreal in surround mode, 3D definition is very
good and when I do the razorjack test (bring up the console an type "summon
razorjack") in Unreal in its Dolby Surround mode I was again very impressed. My
brain was again completely fooled into hearing the shot bounce back of forth from the
front to the back of my head! In Unreal when the action got hot and heavy
things started to bog down a bit."
WindowBlinds 0.80 Preview 15:30 pm - Kan
Our pals over at ActiveWin posted a preview on WindowBlinds
0.80, which will be out this week.
WindowBlinds is a part of the Object Desktop Network Edition. With a few days away from its release, its
already sending shockwaves through Stardock, as everyone who has it is amazed by not only
the speed improvements, but by the reduced resource usage. WB 0.50 was a resource hog,
although it was faster than 0.40 it was not ready for the big leagues. WB 0.80 changed all
that showing that its becoming more of a final product every day. Though still some
improvements could be added, and some lingering bugs could be fixed, it still looks like
WB is on its way to becoming final.
GDC Wrap Up: Video Cards 15:04 pm - Kan
also penned their thoughts on the Game Developer's Conference.
With commitments to Sega for millions of
PowerVR chipsets to be used in Sega's amazing Dreamcast console, as well as rumors of a
lack of firepower compared to its mainstream competition, its not surprising to learn that
NEC has taken the much-written about PowerVR250 out of the North American market, and will
only be selling the part in Europe.
While never impressing the press with its
meager 100 MP/s sec fill rate, the PowerVR250 is indeed a capable part in its execution,
and it seems that NEC did manage to implement it extremely well in Sega's Dreamcast
IWill LE370 LX Socket 370 15:02 pm - Kan
An IWill LE370 LX Socket370 motherboard
review popped out from Anandtech today. This is
a Socket370 motherboard based on the old Intel LX chipset.
Something is beginning to indicate that
Taiwanese motherboard manufacturers need to start spreading their offices out a little
more, as the design of the Taiwanese manufactured IWill LE370 is virtually identical to
that of most ATX Socket-370 boards of this nature such as the ABIT BM6/ZM6. The
layout is pretty much standard when it comes to Socket-370 motherboards, and allows for
all components to be easily accessed and manipulated if necessary without worrying about
damaging too much while installed in a case.
Abit ZM6 14:59 pm - Kan
Hardware did another new review today, this time on the Abit
ZM6 Socket370 motherboard.
At first glance, the ZM6 appears to look
exactly like the BM6 board from Abit, the BM6.
However, there are some differences that require more careful examination. Of
course, the chipset is a bit different, going from the 440BX Northbridge chipset, to
Intel's new 440ZX Northbridge chipset. The difference between the two lies in the
maximum RAM capacity and the number of Bus Mastering PCI slots that each chipset can
accommodate. Each will be explained in turn.
TNT2 vs Voodoo3 14:56 pm - Kan
had an article comparing the TNT2 vs
Voodoo3. Check out what they had to say about the two 3D chipsets.
The TNT2, at first glance, looks like a
souped-up TNT, using the same Twin Texel 32-bit graphics pipeline. However, with 32MB of
SDRAM (no support for SGRAM), a 300MHz RAMDAC (an improvement over the 250MHz RAMDAC of
the original TNT), a maximum display resolution of 2048x1536 and an improved rendering
pipeline, the TNT2 is a little more than merely a faster version of the original TNT. It
includes support for hardware bump mapping and motion compensation, as well as AGP 4x, in
anticipation of Intel¡¯s upcoming 440JX (¡°Camino¡±) chipset.
Sensaura 3D Technology 06:58 am - Kan
sent note on his latest article on Sensaura's 3D audio technology.
Wow! It sounds like I am taking a bio lesson. :)
The outer-ear is illustrated in the right
figure. The main central cavity, known as the concha, contains the entrance to the
auditory canal, and is also connected to a smaller cavity above it, known as the fossa.
These complex, convoluted shapes resonate at different frequencies in a direction
dependent manner, and modify the spectrum of the sound waves before they reach the
tympanic membrane. Because of the asymmetric nature of the outer-ear, each direction is
associated with a
Nokia 445XiPlus 06:55 am - Kan
posted a review on the Nokia
445XiPlus 21" monitor. Oh well, I prefer my Sony 500PS more (no, I still cannot
afford it yet)...Any comments on monitors? Post them in our Q&A forum!
Nokia pulled another super marketing gag
too. Their dot pitch claims to be 0.22dpi. That may be true horizontally, but vertically
(the number that actually matters) the dot pitch is 0.29dpi. If you get a 21" monitor
don't settle for anything but a 0.25dpi. The Nokia marketing trick makes the monitor sound
really crisp, however it just plain sucks. 0.29dpi on this monitor makes everything very
fuzzy and highly unreadable.
GDC Report #3 06:25 am - Kan
Guys over at FiringSquad posted report #3 on the Game
Logitech created quite a splash when they
announced their Wingman
Gaming mouse, purportedly the first mouse designed specifically for gamers. GDC
allowed me to get a first glimpse at this highly hyped product. When I first looked at it,
I was somewhat disappointed to find that it wasn't in any revolutionary shape. It was
simply the same triangular "paw" shape that the old Mouseman 95 used to be in.
Take a look at the pic below for reference. The Wingman mouse press release bragged about
a thumb indentation, but my old Mouseman 95 has that same indentation. Mechanically, the
Wingman gamer's mouse is identical to my trusty ol' 3 button mouse! The only difference is
that the Wingman gaming mouse is gray, and my old mouseman is white.
Elite P6BXT-A+ 06:22 am - Kan
posted a review on the Elite Group
P6BXT-A+ Socket370/Slot 1 motherboard. This is the new breed of motherboards coming
out which feature both Slot1 as well as a Socket370 configuration.
There are many good features about this
board. For instance, this board is a jumperless design. Other than that the on-board sound
is amazing, because it uses Aureal 3D sound technology. The board has two USB connectors,
one CPU Fan connector, 4 PCI, 2 ISA (1 is shared) and 1 AGP 2x slot.
VideoLogic @ CeBIT 06:18 am - Kan
SystemLogic had a writeup on
what VideoLogic displayed during CeBIT, including a new video card and a Dolby Digital
decoder for the computer.
DVD Player MPEG-2 decoder card offers us
multi-language support, stable drivers and high image quality. The presence of this card
and the VideoLogic branding within the consumer-targeted package will substantially add
value to this high-quality product. The combination of our 6x32 DVD-ROM drive and DVD
Player MPEG-2 decoder card is the ideal introduction to DVD movies for PC users. The
solution guarantees the end user has the best technology at their fingertips."
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