Crypt whipped up an
interview with Nels Bruckner from Dynamix
on Tribes 2.
titles such as Quake 3 Arena and Unreal
Tournament coming out months before Tribes
2 is even tentatively scheduled for completion,
what measures is Dynamix taking to ensure
that Tribes 2 isn't obsolete before it hits
We don't look at Q3A or UT as being big
competition to Tribes 2. Team Fortress is
much more of a direct competitor. I think
the best way for us to compete with all
those titles though is just to get the project
that we are working on out, on time, with
the features that we want. If we can do
that, we shouldn't have to worry too much
about what other people are doing.
just did their OpenLinux
2.2 review. Though I've never tried OpenLinux
personally before, it looks great.
the boot process, OpenLinux correctly detected
my ATAPI CDROM drive, ethernet card, and
correctly noted that I did not have any
SCSI or PCMCIA controllers. Caldera definitely
went overboard with the amount of animation
on the Lizard startup screen; but I have
to admit that Lizard is a nice installation
one of those times when you're just posting
irrelevant stuff 'cos your fellow editor has
gobbled up all the news already. Hope this
won't spoil your interests in computer news
and reviews! Anyhow, my good buddy Shirley
just mailed me about her depressing day at
work. Hey, cheer up munchkin, I'll be your
clown to liven up your day anytime! And yeah,
all you others who're happy today... don't
be; 'cos my buddy's depressed. And may the
Frown be with you.
Maxi Gamer Xentor 32 Review 14:00
has just reviewed
yet another Ultra TNT2 card. Seems that he
wasn't too impressed with it. Watch out for
his Diamond Viper V770 Ultra and his ASUS
V3800 TNT2 reviews which should be coming
out soon. Of course, you can always checkout
this cool page you're on from time to time
for updates. Here's the news in brief :
that the card is guaranteed at 175/183,
don't expect to be able to up the memory
frequency too far above 183MHz (there's
a reason Guillemot dropped the spec from
195 down to 183MHz), and you'll get diminishing
returns as the core speed approaches and
passes the 183MHz mark, provided it'll even
hit that far. Another interesting thing
AnandTech noticed, the spec sheet for the
Xentor 32 only lists it as an AGP 2X compliant
part, if this is an indication that the
Xentor 32 is not AGP 4X compliant (like
most other TNT2 boards), then the verdict
is definitely a pass on this one, if not,
then Guillemot had better amend their spec
sheet before they scare away too many customers.
If Guillemot fixes the problems AnandTech
experience by the time they begin shipping
the Xentor 32, then it may turn out to be
a very viable option, until then, leave
Guillemot off your wish list.
pals over at 3DsoundSurge
just posted their Benwin
BW2000 speakers review. They look high
quality and features the flat panel speakers
technology licenced from NXT.
electronic exciter, mathematically
positioned on the on the back of a flat
surface sends electrical currents through
the flat panel. By changing and regulating
each electronic tap, the exciter creates
different volumes and frequencies that vibrate
through the panel. The resulting vibrations
are heard as sound. The
exciter sends multiple taps along multiple
paths resulting in overlapping sound waves.
The image below is a snapshot of panel motion,
after excitation with an impulse.
5400 and 5400PE 09:20
for the link. Over at P3D,
they have a Canopus
Spectra 5400 and 5400PE
also know that both the 5400 and 5400
PE will have support for Canopus' currently
600, which should extend the addon's
lifespan for quite some time. Also, both
will support the SSH
Type-B addon, providing BNC
Guide Part 4: Memory Timings 09:13
posted Part 4 of the Memory
Guide installation series. Don't know
what are those CAS and latency settings? Read
it to find out more!
are several timings that are of interest.
They include tAA (address access time),
tRAC (row access time), and tCAC (column
access time). The address access time is
important during page mode, because this
is the time from the column address being
applied until data is valid. Row access
time is important because this is the time
required for the first (or only) data access.
The column access time is the amount of
time necessary to read the data from the
sense amp (after /CAS is low) and place
it on the output lines.
Dynamite TNT2 Ultra 06:18
reviewed the Hercules
Dynamite TNT2 Ultra. Touted as the most
overclockable TNT2 out there, let's see how
good it performs with the rest.
Dynamite TNT2 Ultra, as the name implies
is based on an "Ultra" version
of the TNT2 chipset, which according to
NVIDIA, indicates that the core clock speed
and the memory clock speed should be no
less than 150MHz and 183MHz respectively.
While the 150/183MHz clock configuration
is considerably higher than the 90/110MHz
configuration of the original TNT, it still
doesn't live up to the hype that benchmarks
of the first pre-release TNT2 Ultra cards
inspired. Regardless of the factors that
went into NVIDIA's decision to lower the
core clock speed from 175+ down to 150MHz,
the bottom line is that had manufacturers
stuck to NVIDIA's 150MHz clock speed they
would've most definitely lost quite a few
supporters with their inability to deliver
a more competitive product.
|30 May 1999 - Sunday
version of Powerstrip (2.50) out 22:45 pm - Yingzong
Overclockers rejoice! The first official
release of Powerstrip is
out! This time, with support for the NVIDIA Vanta/TNT2, Voodoo3, Savage4 and Rage128 under
Windows 95/98 and NT. Say it with me:
V - O - O - D - O - O - 3...
T - N - T - 2....
S - A - V - A - G - E - 4...
Now that you're in zombie mode, you can
bramble your way to 3DFiles for your very own Powerstrip 2.5...
Results of Poll #15 22:08 pm - Kan
Here are our results for Poll #15. Looks
like the PSX2 will kick some arses. Talking about ass, our next poll is "Who has the
nicest butt". Hmm, who do you think will win? Anyway, voice your opinions over at our Forum
SoundFX NT 21:08 pm - Kan
Philipp from NT Game Palace sent note on a new version of SoundFX NT which is actually a
Soundblaster 16 emulator for Windows NT DOS box.
The new release (1.07) adds support for the
standard games port providing 4 analogue & 4 digital inputs. Ideal for flight
sims requiring yoke, throttle, rudder pedals and POV hat.
This release is only available for registered users. A demo is not available.
Home NIC for both PCs and
Macs 19:15 pm - Yingzong
Read this interesting piece of news from CNN about a new networking PCI card from Farallon that will work for both PCs and Macs. It's
about networking PCs to Macs through phone lines. Supposed to be the first and only in the
world. Sweeet... wonder if it works for Singapore. Here's a piece of the news :
Intel, Diamond Multimedia, and other
companies also offer home networking products that support HomePNA, but none are
"ambidextrous" and work for either Mac or PC. A hybrid CD-ROM that comes with
the HomeLine cards provides networking software for both systems. Because the disc is a
hybrid, a Mac will read and install the Mac version of the software, while a PC can read
and install the PC version.
The HomeLine starter kit consists of two
HomeLine PCI cards, software, and cabling for connection to the phone line. It also ships
with "Surf Doubler software" that lets two simultaneous users connect to the
Internet on a single connection, says Ken Alan, HomeLine product manager.
Video Card O/C Guide &
FAQ 18:45 pm - Yingzong
has just posted a Guide cum FAQ for
overclocking them video cards. It's quite a thorough and informative piece of work. For
those of you who have only a vague idea of what overclocking is, this is a recommended
read. For those hardcore overclockers, you might think that it's another run-of-the-mill
O/C FAQ but it's honestly rather well-written. Here's a clip :
Q: Why would someone overclock a video
card, especially when it is a very fast one?
A: There isn't a simple answer to this
question, but I have a few reasons for overclocking a video card:
It's like a video card upgrade, except
It's a very simple process. A game
running at 24 frames per second could be bumped up to 30 frames per second which would be
a lot more "playable".
You may develop a cool nickname like
"Tweak Monkey" if you overclock enough hardware.
Cambridge Soundworks 17:00 pm - Kan
Thanks to Dimension-X, Stratics Network did a review on the Cambridge
The satellites are small, shielded, covered
by metal grills and stand on metal feet. The stands are not as impressive as
Boston Acoustics design, as it didnt afford any solid grip on our table
surface and allowed the speakers to be moved or rotated with surprising ease, which became
an inconvenience as our tests continued. The speakers are connected to the subwoofer via
standard speaker wire, but we were dismayed by the cheap quality of the clips on the
speakers and subwoofer: the wires were amazingly easy to pull right out from their clips.
The subwoofer was of excellent quality, weighed a ton for its size, and was solid as a
rock. Despite its diminutive size, it pumped out some damn good bass.
Motherboard Reviews 16:58 pm - Kan
Two new motherboard reviews over at AnandTech. They are the Gainward 6IZB i440ZX
microATX Socket370 motherboard and the Microstar MSI-6182
Slot-1 810 motherboard. The Microstar features 6 PCI slots and 1 AGP slot and that's
no ISA slot in it. Looks pretty impresssive.
The MS-6182 makes use of the 810-DC100
and Memory Controller Hub) with a 4MB 100MHz display cache on the board itself. The
two 2MB SDRAM chips are manufactured by Goldstar (LGS) and easily make it up to 133MHz, an
overclocked setting provided for by the Award BIOS setup part of the board's 802AB FWH (Firmware
Hub). The board features no ISA slots, a feature which will become extremely popular
with most 810 boards, removing the need for an ISA bridge extension, therefore leaving the
left hand of the 6182's PCB essentially unpopulated by anything other than the last 3 PCI
slots. Of the 6 PCI slots, 4 of them are capable of accepting any full-length PCI cards,
the other two are potentially obstructed by the front panel LED connectors and the
on-board PC speaker (the latter may or may not be an obstruction depending on the PCI
Hard Drive and Case Cooling
Guide 16:56 pm - Kan
put up their 3rd installation on the cooling guide. This time, the guys touch on Hard Drive and Case Cooling.
Hard disks are getting so hot nowadays (especially those 10,000 rpm) that it's necessary
Additionally, SCSI drives are of some
concern, as some of them are quite hot as well. Finally, systems that have multiple hard
drives and CD-ROMs mounted near each other are a concern. Since the mounting for hard
drives and CD-ROMs is usually done vertically, when you have more drives the heat rises up
to the next unit above it. As a result, hard drive coolers have been created to address
News Update down at Tom's 14:00 pm - Yingzong
Hardware has just posted a couple of news flashes for the benefit of
the online community. For those of you into economics, it has articles on market takeover
plans, bankruptcies, futuristic simulations, and increased productivity! The works man.
Okay, I'm kidding, but it's kinda close. Savour the juice here dudes :
Intel Corp. is planning to develop an
all-in-one PC-on-a-chip, which is targeted for release late next year. The as-yet
unannounced "Timna" chip will be manufactured in .18-micron technology and will
include a Pentium-II class processor, a graphics controller, 128KB of L2 cache, and a
Direct Rambus memory controller. Already, Intel's plans are causing speculation that the
chip maker will use the Timna processor to enter the graphics and memory market. If Timna
succeeds, it could drive Rambus DRAMs into the mainstream.
Hard Drive Tweaking Guide 12:35 pm - Kan
Ben from WickedPC
sent note on their new article Hard
Drive Tweaking Guide. Incidentally, you can improve your system performance by using a
software called Cacheman
which optimizes your disk cache buffers in Windows.
The next step into making your hard drive
faster is to set it up properly in the BIOS. With computers, terms tend to get mixed up
quite a bit. If you don't know how to get into your BIOS, skip this step. It's not
something you want to play with if you don't know what you're doing. Once you are in the
BIOS, you'll want to make sure that the hard drive is set to PIO Mode 4, or Auto. After
that, you'll want to search for an option to disable "IDE Busmastering". You
don't want busmastering enabled in your BIOS, as it will slow you down quite a bit.
3D Blaster Riva TNT2 Ultra 10:23 am - Kan
posted their review on the Creative 3D Blaster
Riva TNT2 Ultra card.
One of the things that a major manufacturer
can differentiate themselves with is their drivers. Creative's Blaster Control allows you
to do is have a virtual desktop larger than the current on screen resolution, which is a
handy feature that not all manufacturers include. The Blaster Control also lets you adjust
monitor position and size, color settings and a full range of Direct 3D and OpenGL tweaks.
One tweak that is missing is a clock speed adjustment. Creative already has released a
beta version of a clock adjustment utility. It allows you to overclock the TNT/2 Ultra up
to a maximum of 166mhz core, 200mhz memory (from a default of 150/183).
Yingzong Sez 10:05 am - Yingzong
For those of you who still don't know, an
entire reel of the Phantom Menace was stolen from a US cinema last week. Won't be long
before we see our friendly neighbourhood tattoo uncles selling high quality bootleg copies
of the flim. Guess the QC back at Piracy Inc. isn't satisfied with just copying films
behind some quiet corner of the theatre now, huh?
TennMax Stealth V3 Fighter 10:02 am - Kan
posted a review on TennMax
Stealth V3 Fighter. Very good quality fans which allows you to overclock your Voodoo3
3000 to a whopping 198 MHz.
After adding the Stealth V3 Fighter, I was
able to overclock up to 198 MHz before the card failed. At 190 MHz, the card was rock
solid. I got it up to 195 but only a few tests would run before the PC would lock up. Even
at 195, the card was still cooler than the overclocked Voodoo3 with only a heatsink. I
tested the Voodoo3 at 166 MHz to represent the default setting, 178 MHz to represent the
overclocked Voodoo3 with only a heatsink, and 190 MHz to represent the Voodoo3 with
Stealth V3 Fighter cooler. Note - I believe it's far more dangerous to run the card at 178
without any active cooling (fan) than it is to run the card at 190 with a Stealth V3
Low Cost Performance 09:59 am - Kan
Spotted something new over at Avault. Their new article: The Hardware
Game - Low Cost Performance touches on how to piece together a great machine at a low
The rest of the components matter
somewhat less. The SR440BX requires at least a 145W power supply, and will fit in a
microATX case. We specified a 40X CD-ROM because that's as far as we know the lowest price
point in current production that's readily available, and is less expensive than DVD. If
you can find a decent one that's not as fast, it should still be fine.
Contest 09:55 am - Kan
sent note on their
contest in which you simply enter your email address to download Desert Fighters Alpha
release and you will be automatically entered into the lucky draw. Prizes include 4 3DFX
Voodoo3 AGP cards, 100 Desert Fighter T-Shirts and 3 Intensor chairs!
Download the Desert Fighters demo - Enter
to WIN one of 3 Intensor chairs, 4 3DFX Voodoo3 AGP cards and 100 Desert Fighter T-shirts!
Winners will be chosen at random from valid email addresses. All entrants will receive a
follow up email from Desert Fighters. By entering you affirm you are over 13 years old and
agree to receive an email from us. If you do not want to enter or receive email, type
"no" in the e-mail field. Minimum requirements: Windows 95/98/NT4.0, Pentium
200, 32MB RAM, 50MB Hard Drive Space, SVGA 256 colors, Mouse, Joystick, DirectX 3.0 or
higher. Online Connectivity: Internet via 28.8 Modem or better.
Intel Anypoint Review 09:45 am - Kan
Over at AGN Hardware, the guys posted their review on the Intel
Anypoint kit which allows you to hook up your PCs with your home's phonelines.
Like the Bestdata phoneline kit that I
reviewed a few months ago, the Anypoint home networking system uses your home phoneline as
a LAN cable to hook up other computers. For testing I pulled out the Dell Inspiron Laptop
of mine and drug its 10 pounds of mass into the kitchen to hook up to the phone line
hanging on the wall. After 5 minutes setup time of hooking up, installing and plugging
into the wall, I was ready to plug into that massive 1Mbit of bandwidth powering through
my phone line. Ok so I admit that I am a little sarcastic, the problem is once you have
used a 100baseT network connection in your house, jumping down to 1Mbit seems like you are
making a trip back to the Stone Age.
|29 May 1999 - Saturday
Blaster TNT2 Interview 23:30
pm - Yingzong
just posted their interview with Jim
Carlton, Senior Brand Manager (Graphics and Video) of Creative Labs about their upcoming
3DBlaster TNT2 Ultra video board. With an incredibly low retail price and the promise of a
Glide compatible wrapper by Creative, it looks like a potential hit for the budget
hardcore gamer. Here's a lookie on the interview here :
this we hear about Glide compatibility through a wrapper? Will there be any perormance hit
cant really measure the performance yet because the wrapper is just in beta.
Weve been working mostly on stability, not really on performance. On a couple games
weve looked at it and were seeing in the range of 5% [performance hit]. We
expect that to be in that range, maybe a little bit less. Its extremely playable.
Youre not getting your framerate cut in half.
compatible with most Glide games too?
we did we looked into it and saw that there are only 22 Glide-only games. No OGL,
no D3D patch you can only run them on Glide under Windows. Those are our target
games. Weve been testing with Unreal it runs okay, but the games that
were going to go after supporting are the 22 Glide only games, so youll use
your D3D or your OpenGL version instead of the Glide version when theres multiple
Introduction 22:00 pm - Yingzong
Hi! I'll be your temporary editor while
Wilfred is busy "tuanging" overseas. That lucky bastard... he'll be back soon
after a satisfying trip in the land of big boobs and beer. As for now, cheers and keep
Cooling Guide: Video Cooling 13:00 pm - Kan
Hop over to FiringSquad where the guys posted Part 2 of the Cooling Guide.
This time, they touched on video cooling for your graphics cards.
We don't think anyone can dispute the fact
that video cards are running hotter than ever. With the exception of some of the
just-released video chipsets, video cards are very hot, and trying to see how hot by
touching the chip might result in a burned finger! Many video card manufacturers are
incorporating heatsinks and fans on their cards, or just heatsinks alone. The video
manufacturers have recognized the extreme heat that is produced after many hours of
intense video usage (gaming), and we should as well. Fortunately for us, companies that
produce cooling solutions for CPUs are turning their eyes towards the video world as well.
As a result, we are being offered new solutions for video card cooling.
E3 Part 2 12:45 pm - Kan
Over at VoodooMag,
the guys posted Part 2 of the E3
held few weeks ago. Read what the guys have to say on E3.
Microsoft is going after the sports sim
market in a big way. Football fans will drool when they check out NFL Fever 2000. The
graphics are amazing, with up to 15,000 polygons per character! At one point the person
giving the demo zoomed in on the Quarterback's hands, fingers and even his fingernails!
Character animations were great too, with the receivers looking towards the QB right
before the snap. The play-book interface bares more than a passing resemblance to NFL
Blitz, but that's where the comparison ends. This game is much more of a sim than that
button masher, but novices should be able step up and play without too many problems.
Boston Acoustics 12:42 pm - Kan
sent note on their latest review on the Boston
Acoustics speakers. And yes, they are giving the speakers free in a contest where you
need to answer two questions.
The speakers are pretty small, and I think
that makes the speakers better looking, but the design itself is basic. The
subwoofer looks neat just because it has a bunch of different plugs and knobs on the
front, which can get to be a pain because of wires getting in the way. The speakers
plastic is good because it is thick, also not the cheap stuff, this improves audio quality
Midtown Madness 10:37 am - Kan
This game gonna be in my favourite list
soon. Avault reviewed Midtown
Madness and it's indeed pure MADNESS fun! Now, to find myself a copy...
||The 50-plus races included are varied
enough that sometimes you'll swear you've moved to a different city. Chicago takes on a
decidedly different feel when real-time weather effects, such as rain and snow, come into
play, as well as morning, noon, dusk and nighttime racing.
Neon 250 PowerVRSG 09:20 am - Kan
Hardware had an interview
with Videologic's David Harold on their latest card, the Neon 250 PowerVRSG.
How would you rate the performance of the Neon 250 compared to the original PowerVR? Are
there any performance specs you can give us?
David Harold: Roughly
five times that of PCX2 (the chip on the Apocalypse 3Dx and Matrox M3d.) PCX2 was 500K
poly/s and 30Mpx fill rate. PowerVR 250 is over 4M poly/s and 200 - 500 Mpx fill rate.
Cracking Open the Pentium
III 09:15 am - Kan
Over at Gamasutra,
there's a new article on Cracking
Open the Pentium III. Included in the article are assembly codes to check for the new
SIMD instructions etc.
The new Pentium III Streaming SIMD
instructions are functionally similar to the instructions AMD added to the K6 with its
3DNow! instruction set, but the Pentium III instructions are implemented substantially
differently. Whereas the K6-2 processor is a SIMD device, it only operates on two
floating-point numbers at once. On the other hand, the Pentium III operates on four
floating-point numbers at once. On the K6-2, the pair of 32-bit floating point values are
held within one of the 64-bit MMX registers, which, as everybody knows, are aliased onto
the floating-point registers.
New Back Orifice-like Trojan
Horse Found 09:12 am - Kan
Now, this is what I call exciting. According
a new trojan house is found. It comes in a email form and poses itself as a screen saver
or game update (ha!). Once executed, it will turn the victim's computer into an "open
With both programs, a victim is tricked
into executing an e-mail attachment which then opens his PC to remote connections via the
Internet. Once a victim is infected, a hacker can do anything to a machine that the victim
can -- included erasing all files or copying all files.
Such tools represent a dangerous blending
of what might once have been considered relatively harmless pranks by virus writers and
hackers, Viveros said
Epox EP-S1C Slot1 Converter 09:10 am - Kan
posted the Epox EP-S1C Slot1 converter for
your Socket370 processors. This one allows you to install 2 Celerons without any
modifications to your processors.
There really is not much to explain here,
setup was extremely easy. It was only a matter of installing the Socket 370 CPU's onto the
Slot 1 adapters and placing them into the S1 slots on the dual mainboard. The bios
detected the two processors immediately, as did Windows NT.
Viper 770 Review 09:02 am - Kan
More TNT2 reviews over at The TechZone.
The new Diamond Viper V770 is a mix emotion
video card. On one hand it has all the 3D features one can want. 32 megs of ram, large
texture support, AGP 2 and 4 times, etc. However, on the other hand, the NVIDIA TNT2 chip
this card is based on runs at only 125Mhz core and 150Mhz memory. This makes the V770 not
much faster than an overclocked Viper V550. If it were not for the fact that this card
could overclock so well, I would have toss it in the trash can.
Guide to 3D Terminology 08:56 am - Kan
had another new article on the Guide to 3D Terminology Part 3.
Read about anti-aliasing, polygon edge anti-aliasing etc and impress your friends with
Polygon edge anti-aliasing is what we
commonly see when anti-aliasing is switched on in any given Direct3D title. Accelerators
such as the RIVA TNT2 support this feature. When using PEAA the accelerator or the driver
or the application determines which triangle edges to anti-alias and then renders these
edges again with a slight offset and lower opacity to produce a smoothing effect. The end
result is a smoother image and no ugly jagged polygon edges.
IBM 22GXP 22GB 08:53 am - Kan
just emailed us on the IBM 22GXP
review over their site. This is a 22GB hard drive running at 5400 rpm. Hmm, you can
probably store a lot of stuffs with 22GB.
IBM has had their Deskstar 22GXP on the
market for a short period of time, and surprisingly, it has gone unnoticed. The 22GXP is a
22Gb hard drive, one of the largest IDE hard drives on the market, and also runs at speeds
of 7200RPM, and an enormous cache of 2 Megabytes. Its access time averages 9ms. Comparing
those specifications to the "pricewatch" or "computer show" priced
hard drives, they prove that without even looking at the hard drive it's sure to be a
winner. On top of all this, it supports ATA/66, although we won't be doing too much with
ATA/66 in this review (more on this later).
Pioneer 6X DVD-ROM 08:50 am - Kan
Review of the Pioneer 6X DVD-ROM over at
The Techs. Prices of DVD-ROM drives are getting
cheaper now, and it's a good idea to get one of 'em.
Since there is no benchmark for DVD drives
I will just have to talk about the speed and quality from personal experience. I also have
a Creative Labs Encore 2x DVD-Drive, so I used that drive as a comparison against the
Pioneer 6x DVD Drive. The Pioneer drive loaded up the DVD disc about 2.5 times faster than
the Creative Labs Encore did. The Pioneer is slot-loaded, compared to the Creative Labs
tray-loaded feature. The image quality was about the same on both drives, when using the
Creative Labs DxR2 decoder board. The sound was far superior from the Pioneer drive, due
to the technology advances between the two generations.
TNT2 Buyers' Guide 08:48 am - Kan
put up another new article on the TNT2
In general, the standard recommended TNT2
memory speed is 150MHz, which requires 7ns RAM. The recommended memory clock for TNT2
Ultra is 183MHz, or 5.5ns. While there's nothing wrong with using RAM of the recommended
speed, sticking to spec does hinder overclockability, as the memory used is not rated to
operate any faster. It's far more likely to overclock a vanilla TNT2's memory to 166MHz if
its RAM is rated at 6.5ns, or a TNT2 Ultra to 183MHz with 5.5ns memory.
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