14 November 1999 - Sunday

23:23 pm - Kan
Looking for a new BX motherboard? Then check out SharkyExtreme's review on the ABIT BF6 Slot-1 motherboard. 

Towards that goal the BF6 offers some advantages over Abit's higher end BE6 and BE6-II mainboards, including a lower price tag and an additional (sixth) PCI slot.

The BF6 differs from either of the BE6 boards in one major way however, and that is its removal of the High Point Technologies UDMA/66 controller chip. Because of this the BF6 cannot access the fastest mode of newer UDMA/66 supporting hard drives, but it can still use the next best thing, which is UDMA/33.

Athlon 700 Review 21:59 pm - Kan
FiringSquad just posted their views on the Athlon 700 Mhz processor. This processor is the fastest you can get out there and with an attractive price, the Athlon is definitely hard to beat!

Another additional feature present in the Athlon CPU is the 200MHz EV6 bus licensed from Digital. Unlike Intel's P6 bus which features a 100MHz frontside bus, the EV6 bus is a point-to-point bus. This means that various components such as RAM and the CPU itself all have their own exclusive "channel" (or path) to the chipset. With the P6 bus, each component shares the 100MHz frontside bus. If you were to add a second CPU to the system, the second CPU gets its own 200 MHz path to the chipset present on the motherboard. With Intel's P6 bus, both CPU's share the 100 MHz frontside bus.

Soyo SY-6VBA133 18:58 pm - Kan
AnandTech rounded up a review on the Soyo SY-6VBA133 motherboard based on the Apollo Pro 133 chipset. This board comes with 5 PCI slots and 2 ISA slots as well as 4 DIMM sockets.

The layout of the SY-6VBA133 is also virtually identical, with the ATX spec followed closely, for the most part. One of the advantages of the ATX specification is that the layout minimizes cable clutter. Soyo made an exception to the spec with the placement of the ATX power connector behind the Slot-1 connector. This forces the power cable to run over the CPU and memory slots, cluttering up the inside of the case. Unlike the AOpen, the floppy drive and the HDD connectors are located where they should be, right at the front of the board. The board is of average length, which means it should fit fine in any ATX case.

Athlon 500 at 800 Mhz!! 18:58 pm - Kan
Gary from Overclockin.com dropped us a line on how they managed to get a Athlon 500 Mhz processor running at 800 Mhz on a standard heatsink! *drool*

As you can see, there is nothing really amazing here as far as cooling goes.  Just a standard FKK32 heatsink that has a couple of 27CFM fans.  It seems to be more than capable of handling the heat generated.  I had no problems during the 2 hours or so I ran the processor at 800MHz.  Admittedly, this is not to be considered a full stability test.  I did some benchmarking and testing, but more testing will need to be done to assure that it is completely stable at 800MHz.  How about some benchmarks??

Intellimouse Review 17:59 pm - Kan
ExremeHardware dropped us a line on their review on the Microsoft Intellimouse with optical eye technology. Here's an excerpt:

Whatís the one component of the mouse that really gives everybody a hard time? The painful ritual of cleaning the mouse ball socket to get the smoothest movement is an unfortunate part of any computer userís life. Different types of mouse pads are usually used to help ease the amount and frequency of cleaning needed to be done. There has to be a better way, right? Well, while I was a student at Ohio State University, one of the computer labs had Hewlett Packard stations with optical mice. The mice worked on a reflective grid mouse pad and tracked the motion of the mice by comparing the picture underneath the mouse at different intervals and translating the difference into mouse movement on screen. It was pretty neat and certainly erased the hassle of those pesky mouse balls.

Matrox G400 Review 10:40 am - Kan
Beyond3D also reviewed the Matrox G400 Millennium (not MAX) graphics card. Bump mapping effects are simply awesome and it definitely adds a new dimension to gameplay. 

But just how does EMBM work? Well the other day I was explaining it to someone, and to do so I used a TV remote control. Now on my remote, the buttons stand a good 1/4 inch above the actual body of it. So, assuming this was in a game, what would be done to simulate buttons being raised without them actually being so (which would cost a good deal more triangles). Well basically it involves lighting tricks. Now if the buttons on the remote were perfectly flat, there would be no variations in the light. Now if you add bump mapping, it acts as though the buttons do stand out and adds shading (or lighting) to places where it would be if the buttons really where there. Because of the way the light hits it, it gives a simulated effect that the buttons are actually raised..

Omikron Review 10:35 am - Kan
Over at Maximum3D, the guys also posted a review on the game Omikron. Lots of niffy screenshots as well, here's an excerpt:

From fantasy, to mythology, to straight up sci-fi, Omikron covers it all. The storyline is basically about a parallel world called Phaenon in which early in their history, humans battled the hordes of a demon tyrant named Astaroth in endless epic combat. The story goes that one human in particular, named Kushulainn, challenged Astaroth directly to single combat. At the end of the historic clash, Astaroth lay weakend (almost to the point of death) on the ground, while Kushulainn was no where to be found. It was thought by the people that Kushulainn had died -- but this was not so. Siezing the opportunity, the people trapped the fallen demon, who layed helpless, and cast his evil hiney into a pool of lava, entombing him for generations. Some time later, Kushulainn resurfaced and learned of what became of Astaroth.

3DWars Part 2 10:33 am - Kan
Exxtreme3D just posted the 2nd part to the 3DWars article where they compared the various graphics card chipsets in the market.

"The Voodoo2.  Coupled with an enhanced Glide shield, the Voodoo2 offers us many advantages over Nvidia.  We can coat every blast with dual textures, making them better and twice as fast as shots fired with Direct3D.  Coupled with 12MB of firepower, Nvidia doesn't stand a chance."  The Emperor continued explaining all of the ins and outs of the new Voodoo2 to those in the room.  The race to build the Voodoo2 was a short one, though.  In a matter of weeks, 3DFX was ready to christen their new titan.

Epson GT7000 Windows 2000 Drivers 10:32 am - Kan
Our pal Philipp from NT Compatible just dropped us a mail on the new Epson GT7000 USB scanner drivers are available for Windows 2000.

V3 3500TV Review 10:10 am - David
Our pals over at Hardware Pros has written a review on the V3 3500TV card, anyone getting this card?:

 The Voodoo3 3500 TV is a remarkable product.  It is probably the first card to provide awesome 3D power along with an decent set of TV Input/Output features.  It's 3D image quality is quite good, performance is excellent and compatibility is second to none.  The TV/FM Tuner on board allows you to listen to the radio and watch full screen cable TV on your monitor. The image quality when using TV-Out is above standard and makes watching DVD's a pleasure on a big screen.  The video and still image capturing are fun to play with and work quite well but feature and quality wise, it's not quite as good as ATI's All-In-Wonder 128 or Matrox's Marvel G400, but you have to have some trade-off's right? In the end, you have a very powerful gaming card, with some excellent features which would make a welcome addition to anyone's system all for a very decent price.

Overclock your Athlon! 09:55 am - David
Wow, Tomshardware has came up with an idea of overclocking your Athlon without soldering by using the internal connector. Absolutely cool! 

Summarizing the requirements gets us to the following list:

  • An AMP-connector 40-pin, pitch 1.27 mm or 1/20 inch
  • A PCB which you design according to the above diagram plus the area of the 3.3 V voltage-regulator
  • Two 8-switch dipswitches
  • Four 4 x 56 Ohm SMD-resistor clusters
  • A low wattage SMD 3.3 V voltage-regulator
  • A PC-power supply Y-cable (supplies wires and connector for the power supply of the card)

With those parts you can build your own universally usable Athlon overclocking-card. I know that many of you won't be able to design their own PCB, but I am sure that shortly after the publication of this article, many companies will start building their own overclocking-cards. With the information taken from the circuitry that I published, the offered cards will hopefully be more professional than what's currently out there.

Wheel of Time Impressions 09:11 am - David
nV News has something to say about the game: The Wheel of Time, interested? Here's a whiff:

Ahh...The Wheel Of Time.  What an outstanding game!  It's everything I expected and more.

First and foremost before you begin playing; pretend you've never played Quake or any other FPS and get in a dark fantasy roleplaying frame of mind.  Otherwise, you will miss out on the intent of the Wheel Of Time.

The graphics are superb.  Playing under Direct 3D, in 32-bit color (oh yea) at a resolution of 1024x768 on a PII-450MHz/GeForce 256 SRD, was a sight to behold.  All options to the max and framerates were smooth as a baby's behind (I didn't apply the patch).  I would think that the TNT/TNT2 on a reasonably fast processor would provide excellent gameplay as well.

ASUS P3C-2000? 09:10 am - David
Wows, saw the link to this page, looks cool eh?

Q1. What features does the P3C Series deliver?
A1. P3C Series motherboard is designed for the demanding PC user who wants many features in a small package. So P3C Series motherboards deliver the following benefits:
  • l Intel Pentium III CPU Support
  • l Based on Intel 820 chipset. The new architecture of this chipset supports the Direct Rambus (RDRAM), the new generation of memory and implements 133MHz FSB.
  • l Latest AGP 4X, and AGP Pro Support. AGP Pro slot supports cutting edge 3D graphics solutions.
  • l UltraDMA/66 Support! ATA66 IDE interface increases the throughput of the disk I/O bus utilization.
  • l Latest RDRAM and SDRAM support! The use of RDRAM bus boosts the memory bandwidth to 1.6MB/s, doubling that of the PC100 SDRAM.
  • l Latest Ultra160 SCSI Support
  • l Intel 82559 10/100Mbps integrated LAN Support

Matrox TurboGL editorial 09:09 am - David
PC Paradox has written an editorial on Matrox's TurboGL drivers, check it out:

When I first saw the news of a new TurboGL driver my expectations were very high, but at the same time I was really curious about how they planned to "fix" all the problems and raise the performance of the very immature OpenGL ICD. Well, the answer is actually quite simple, the TurboGL is not a full ICD (Complete OpenGL Support) and instead is like a MiniGL driver optimized for Quake2/3 and such. If any of you have ever had a Voodoo based card, then you will know what I am talking about. Essentially, Matrox is going to make a specialized mini-ICD which caters only to the OpenGL calls used within the optimized program, and thus will not run on normal GL applications like 3D Studio MAX. What are the pluses of this MiniGL? Well for starters there is a big performance increase, the Bad? Well only Athlon and Pentium III are supported, because the optimizations are based on the 3DNow and SSE instructions of these processors. Matrox is really pulling out their hidden cards right now. So with these new TurboGL drivers, let's put a Pentium III system on the table and see if they hold up!

13 November 1999 - Saturday

Matrox Marvel G400-TV
23:59 pm - Kan
Guys, check out FullOn3D fantastic review on the Matrox Marvel G400-TV graphics card. Dual monitor, desktop TV and video editing thrown into one card sure sounds good! Here's a taste:

Whereas composite video is a combined signal that can be sent down a single wire, S-video sends the luminance and chrominance information down separate wires. Separating the information in this way reduces the chance of cross interference and therefore makes the quality of S-video potentially higher than that of composite video. As with composite video, audio information is dealt with separately and is not part of the S-video standard. This type of video signal is used more in the Far East.

Kodak DC280 And Olympus D-450Z 23:55 pm - Wilfred
Digital Camera Resource delivered 2 reviews today. Here's two of the most popular consumer cameras around. If you're shopping for a reasonably good digital cam, these must be considered as well.

On The D-450Z:
The D-450Z is definitely a mixed bag. For one, it's a camera I cannot ecstatically recommend. On the other hand, it isn't a camera to be ignored. For under $600, it has quite a few nice features in a snazzy case, with good photo quality, and point and shoot ease-of-use. If you can live with the issues I raised (many of which are minor), then it's a good choice.

On The DC-280:
Overall, the Kodak DC280 is a winner. Everything you need to get into serious digital photography is in the box, and the camera has all the features that most everyone will need. However, enthusiasts may be scared off by the lack of manual controls, and the lousy low-light shots.

Baldur's Gate 2 20:55 pm - David
FiringSquad has done a preview on Buldur's Gate 2. Sounds interesting, check it out: 

Another big addition to the Baldur's Gate world is the presence of strongholds. Unlike BG1, characters in BG2 can advance all the way up to 20th level. While this obviously allows you access to high level weapons, armor, and spells, you'll also have the privilege of earning a class specific stronghold. By completing certain tasks, a Fighter can actually earn the use of a Keep and rule a small fiefdom. Strongholds like the Keep give the player more responsibility. If you take over a keep you'll need to attend to the happiness of the surrounding peasants, their well being, and mete out justice when necessary. Succeed in your rule and you'll be rewarded with money and treasure and other goodies - fail, and you could have a rebellion on your hands and lose your keep.

iiYama VisonMaster PRO 450 12:35 pm - David
Anandtech has reviewed the iiYama VisonMaster PRO 450 monitor for a change. By the way, the 450 makes it sound like some pre-assembled system with a 450MHz processor. :-)

The 19" monitor market is quite large these days, considering every manufacturer is making at least one 19" model; there are so many to choose from. Making that choice is a very, very tough decision. Buying a monitor can be the most expensive thing to add to your PC. That's why no matter what you read, try to test the monitor before buying it. I can't stress this enough - if you have to sit in front of it for a long period of time, you might as well buy something you enjoy looking at.

The VisionMaster PRO 450 uses Mitsubishi's DiamondTron NF TM Tube, which is a natural flat tube. Is it more flat than the older Trinitron tube? Yes. I have viewed this monitor along side a 21" Sony Trinitron and a ViewSonic SonicTron tube and there is no comparison. They look like bubbles beside the VisionMaster Pro 450. During the first few viewing hours, you actually get the impression that the tube is concave, but you get used to it; and after your eyes adjust, there is no turning back.

Weekly Hardware price update 12:30 pm - David
System Logic has updated their weekly hardware price list. Wowsers! they even added the Xeon 667 and the GeForce 256 DDR. *drool* 

"For video cards we see some major changes in prices. The TNT2 32MB goes down $12, making room for those GeForce's. Also in the TNT2 Ultra. The G400 MAX goes down $14, which is a pretty major change, but as we see TNT2 prices going down, expect a drop in all that generations video cards because of the competition. Plus the Savage2000 will be out very soon. As for 3dfx's Napalm, you'll need to wait. Also, there is a big gain in the ATI Rage Fury 16MB making it only $2 lower than its 32MB version, so if you are going to buy this card, go for the 32MB one."

Leadtek WinFast GeForce 12:12 pm - Kan
Our pals over at HotHardware just published their first-on-the-net review on the Leadtek WinFast GeForce graphics card. Check out how the card performs here:

Physically, the WinFast GeForce doesn't vary much from Leadtek's prior design with the WinFast S320II TNT2 card. However there are a few obvious changes of note. The memory on this card is 5ns. SDRAM from ESMT. Also, it goes without saying that this board is based on the all new NVidia GeForce256 GPU (Graphics Processing Unit). The chip itself is clocked to 120MHz. Core and the memory subsystem is clocked to 166MHz. However, let's not get caught up in the MHz. game here folks. The new GeForce256 chip from NVidia is capable of processing four 32 bit pixels in a single clock cycle. Obviously that means you get more processing power per clock cycle and thus GPU clock cycles exponentially are used more efficiently.

RealMagic DVD Remote Control 11:42 am - Kan
Something is cooking over at Overclockers Australia with their latest review on the RealMagic DVD Remote Control kit. The remote is attached to your COM port and basically allows you to PLAY/PAUSE etc while watching movies on your DVD drive. Here's a snippet:

The 5 menu navigation controls are prominent near the top end of the remote, followed by 6 buttons for DVD features such as titles, sub-titles, menu, language selection, on-screen data, and camera angle. Below those are the familiar player controls (play/pause, stop, slow-motion, eject, rewind, fast forward, etc) as well as volume +/-, mute, L/R audio channel selection, TV/VGA selection, and a numeric keypad for interactive titles. At the very top left and right corners of the remote are an on/off button, and a program button, which launches and shuts down the player application.

Omikron Review 10:33 am - Kan
SharkyExtreme posted a game review on Omikron: The Nomad Soul. Sound effect is top notch in this game and there are lots of pics to go around with in the review:

The plot of Omikron is intricate and deep. Much of the joy of Omikron comes from uncovering what is actually going on. The basic premise is that your soul (yes you, the video gamer) has been transferred into the body of Kay'l, a police officer in a parallel universe. Your mission is to save the planet from a terrible demon threat. It's a decent plot, but frankly, it's cheesier than Kraft Macaroni and Cheese (the cheesiest!). As plot points, which we won't reveal, get uncovered in the game, you have to fight to keep your suspension of disbelief. It just gets incredibly hokey. Omikron has an entertaining and deep plot but it gets really lame at points.

Mid-Month Rant 08:42 am - Kan
Our pals over at FPS3D posted their Mid-Month Rant, covering topics like the GeForce, ATI Rage Fury MAXX and the new EMU10K1 processor from Creative.

However, the astonishing results with the 3D aspects of the card are what truly showed the GPU to be nothing more than hype that simply couldn't make a difference in today's market. ATI never quite led the pack in the 3D Wars of our current generation of cards, so its complete and total (excuse the pun) "annihilation" of the Annihilator came as a shock. All the Transform and Lighting engines in the world couldn't save the GeForce-based Creative board from defeat in 32-bit quality benchmarks. This proves true what 3DFX have argued since the GeForce vs. "Napalm" debate began - GPU means nothing against Fillrate, Fillrate, and more Fillrate.

Switches Shootout 08:42 am - Kan
Gamer's Depot whipped up a roundup between switches (yup, those type that looks like a hub, but 'switches' data instead of broadcasting them). Here's an excerpt:

With gaming and networking technology fitting together more then ever before, it has become even more imperative to pick out a switching backbone, as to maintain a lag free environment.  This is especially critical in situations like a LAN Party, or even when you have multiple machines going at once accessing the network like we do here in the GD Labs.  In this review we'll take a look at some companies that within the last few months or so have been the 3 primary frontrunners jockeying for position to get your hard-earned dollar. 

Sega To Leave Console Business?! 08:28 am - Wilfred
Wow?! Sega shall be leaving the console business, with the DreamCast as its last product. They are reassuring support for the DreamCast, but you know how things will go from here. Oh well, I'm not a console person at all, but I know Boon Kiat will mourn for days.

Crowds were surprised at a recent ceremony held at the Okawa Foundation when the chairman of Sega Enterprises, Isao Okawa, announced during a question and answer session on the Dreamcast's future that it would likely be Sega's last console. Earlier, incorrect reports labelled the original story as a mistranslation, but further investigation shows the statements were actually made. The future of the company instead rests on the Internet and software. "I will say that the future doesn't necessarily lie in the hardware business," said Okawa. "I think in the future there is the possibility of Sega becoming a software-only company." Moreover, when asked if Sega would make the shift if Dreamcast sales were unacceptable, he replied that "even if Dreamcast does sell, we will make that shift!" These bold statements fit well with earlier rumors that the company was considering a name change to Sega.com.

No Diablo For Your Millennium Celebrations 08:24 am - Wilfred
PC.IGN has got some news you might not like to hear of. Blizzard has confirmed that Diablo II will not make the Q4 '99 ship date. So some of you may like to adjust your wish list coz even Santa cannot do anything about it.

Rumors have been flying around the Internet about Diablo's Q4 '99 status, with word on the street placing the game's new release date as Q1 '00. In a formal press release today, a spokesman for Blizzard confirmed the rumors by announcing that the game will be released early next year, citing ambitious development and the large scale of the project as reasons for the delay.

Is Mozilla Or Netscape Dead? 08:20 am - Wilfred
By now, many of you must have read some press claiming that the browser war is over and Netscape lost. Apparently, this editorial cum interview at Evolt.org states otherwise. So Netscape takes on the form of Mozilla and where from here?

Although the latest release of Netscape Communicator is version 4.7, the foundation for Communicator 5.0 has been in the works for over a year and a half now in a product we know as Mozilla. Since most of us have heard about the fact that its open source, highly customizable, fully standards compliant, and all-around coolness, I'll skip the usual intro.

AOE2: Age of Kings 08:13 am - Wilfred
A good game must never be missed! Over on the other island, our Hong Kong pals, Digital-Clips, reviewed Microsoft's long-awaited sequel to AOE. Now I'm certain word has reached you that you gotta play AOK, at all costs! The scenes look damn sweeet. Check this out!

Gorgeous. Gorgeous. Gorgeous. Bam, smack, drool, this game is the definitive benchmark of good graphics.  The game looks and plays as good as its predecessor, and more.  Even that is an understatement. Although the terrain is not dynamic (the trees are still, the ocean do not crash onto the beaches), the detail and effort that Ensemble has put in shows. AOK contains the most luscious and diverse environment possible on todayís hot boxes. From the Mongolian Steppes, to French Pastures, to the Saharan Desert, AOK delivers it in all their glory.

The Live! Experience ReVisited 08:08 am - Wilfred
The good guys at nV news (nope, it's not only nVidia news..) took Creative's SoundBlaster set menu for a roundup. Man, are we lucky here in Singapore not to have all the confusing variations? Damn! Now count with me, 1.. 2.. 3.. 4.. 5... =)

  • Live!
  • Live! Value
  • Live! Platinum
  • Live! X-Gamer
  • Live! MP3+
  • Live! Player
  • Live! CT4830 (OEM)
  • Live! Pro
  • Live! Digital Entertainment

Annihilator Against The G400 08:02 am - Wilfred
GamePC has thrown up a review pitting Creative's GeForce Annihilator against Matrox's G400 (hmm.. saw that Gigabyte will make G400s also).

At any rate, the 3D Blaster Annihilator really destroys the competition under OpenGL. Gameplay under Q3Test was silky smooth; I even had a couple of close games with Jeff (our resident Q3Test expert, the guy who should have won the S3 Savage2000 tourney!) While the fill rate and 3D rasterization are strong under Direct3D 6, texture management still looks a bit suspect. In both arenas, the image quality was great. While only being clocked at 120 MHz, the GeForce256 keeps up very well with TNT2 Ultra and the G400 MAX under Direct3D 6 and will most assuredly blow them away when DirectX 7 games hit the market.


12 November 1999 - Friday

ELSA Erazor III eXtreme 21:10 pm - David
Pals over at Extreme Hardware has written a review on the ELSA Erazor III graphics card, here's some juice:

The software packed with the ELSA card isnít that impressive. No full games are bundled with the card, although a CD sampler is provided with over twenty demos. Some of the demos include Descent 3, Motoracer 2, Rogue Squadron, and NBA Live 99. It is a disappointment that Elsa didn't include any in game bundle to the card. Not everyone has games laying around for them to play with and you do sometimes find games you want bundled with peripherals you buy. There is a video editing software included, but Iím not very adapted at that sort of thing so I wasnít able to test that out. They could be useful for those who are interested in amateur film production.

The design of the Erazor III isnít too bad, except for an absence of one component that most 3D cards have nowadays: a cooling fan. Attached to the NVIDIA chip is a heat sink to cool the chip. Because of this and the card's 7ns RAM, I was unable to overclock the card so that it was stable for a long enough period to test.

AMD to retake speed crown 19:41 pm - David
According to this report at Cnet, AMD's releasing a 750MHz K7 soon. looks like the clock speed wars are not over yet. :-)

With a 750-MHz processor, AMD will take away the performance crown from Intel, which has put out a 733-MHz and isn't slated to speed up its processors until an 800-MHz Pentium III next year. Of course, there is also a theoretical element to the debate. Intel's 733-MHz chip is right now nearly impossible to find, said several sources. AMD's 700-MHz Athlon, announced in October, only seems to be emerging in numbers now.

Even so, AMD has planned out an aggressive chip road map through the end of 2000. In the first quarter, AMD will release 800-MHz versions of the Athlon and continue to manufacture more of its chips with copper, rather than aluminum, wires, which is expected to boost performance

Consumer privacy? 19:40 pm - David
Cnet has an article on consumer privacy, here's an extract:

The IETF debate focused on whether a federal law that requires the telephone infrastructure to support law enforcement wiretapping also applies to Net telephony. Consumer advocates had been hounding the IETF for the past month regarding the privacy implications of building backdoors into Net protocols for government agents.

"We believe that such a development would harm network security, result in more illegal activities, diminish users' privacy, stifle innovation, and impose significant costs on developers of communications," privacy groups and security technology makers stated in an open letter to the IETF this week. "At the same time, it is likely that Internet surveillance protocols would provide little or no real benefit for law enforcement."

Toshiba PDR-M4 19:37 pm - Wilfred
Tech-Reviews popped a review on Toshiba's PDR-M4 still digital cam. Though small, the camera is feature complete to meet your daily point-and-shoot requirements.

The M4 offers a plethora of features that are sure to please anyone who picks on up. With two available resolution modes of 800x600 and 1600x1200, each offering three degrees of compression quality, extremely fast storage times, and five different photography modes, this camera has a lot to offer.

Abit WB6 810e Press Release 19:16 pm - Wilfred
Abit sent a press release of their new Intel i810-based WB6 motherboard our way. It's htmled for your reading. Need a budget setup? Abit describes this as a "value-oriented but performance enhanced board."

With the 810e chipset, the WB6 supports: 66/100/133 MHz Front Side Bus speeds, Ultra DMA33/66, Two 168-pin DIMM sockets support SDRAM modules for up to 512MB with stand-by voltage to support the STR (Suspend to RAM) function and integrated AGP 2X 3D graphics accelerator with 100MHz Dynamic Display Memory Interface and On board AC Link '97 video with 4MB SDRAM Graphics Memory, Micro ATX form factor, 3 PCI slots and One AMR slot.

Alpha Socket7/370 Cooler 18:32 pm - Kan
Fast Mhz just finished their review on the Alpha Socket7/370 cooler. E'nuff had been said about these coolers, so here's the juice:

When you want the best of the best of the socket 7 heatsink coolers the Alpha Heatsink is the one. This cooler comes two ways, as a kit or bare bone. The kit comes with a YS-Tech fan 27 CFM and Thermal grease and finger grill. This is still one of the best coolers available. Here's the parts to the cooler.

Quake III Arena Beta Testing 17:09 pm - Kan
Our buds over at FiringSquad just posted a detailed account on their recent trip to id Software to beta test the latest build of Q3Test. Here's what they saw:

The next match was another one on one. I had a little more trouble with this map, as there were more resources, a slightly more intricate level, and more chance to run into the bot in an open area, a situation you would rather not face a bot. Still, with a little camping, resource control, and ensuring that battles were only engaged with superiority in armor and position, I was able to get through without much difficulty. The rest of the first two tiers went similarly smoothly, and I was able to pass each level with no more than 2-3 attempts (basically taking the time to become familiarized with the level layout)."

Alpha P3125 16:07 pm - Kan
TheTechZone just sent note on their latest review on the Alpha P3125 cooler for your P3 processor. This thing is enormous and should have enough horsepower to properly cool any processors out there. Here's what they said:

By itself, the new Alpha P3125 is the highest performing cooler that we have ever tested. It easily beat all the other heatsinks we have tested here in the last few months. However, that doesn't mean there is no room for improvement. We decided to see if we can improve the performance of an already great cooler.

We started with our Pentium III-450 and ran the Alpha P3125 as recommended by Alpha. This setup produced the lowest temp reading at 580Mhz that we have ever recorded. We would tell you the measurements we got but we're saving that for the complete P3125 review. This article will show how we management to improve on the factory setup without spending any money.

Wizardry 8 Preview 15:05 pm - Kan
3DRage just shot out a preview on the game Wizardry 8. If you have time and are interested in RPG games, check it out:

Wizardry 8 is a genuine sequel and takes place right where Wizardry VII: Crusaders of the Dark Savant left off. Don't worry though, there will be a special beginning sequence that will explain what happened at the end of Wizardry VII for those who haven't played the aforementioned game. Ok, if you have in fact played Wizardry 7, then you might remember that in the end the Dark Savant had taken flight with a device calle the Astral Dominae, which, according to Sir-Tech, was an incredibly powerful artifact that contained the secret of life itself.

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do 13:47 pm - Wilfred
This is definitely not a sad tale of lost love. So now that the findings point at Microsoft being a monopoly, what's next? Or rather, what will be done about it? Or nothing at all? osOpinion posted their 'Tech Opinions' once again, viable remedies anyone?

I've been a bit surprised that this situation has not been discussed more in light of the trial. Microsoft has been careful to market these two products to different market segments on the basis of their differences. However, in most areas of significance to the average consumer, Windows 9x and Windows NT Workstation are virtually identical. Of paramount importance, both operating systems include fully functional implementations of the win32 and win16 APIs. What little differences there are between the two will only become further blurred with the release of Windows 2000.

Based upon these facts, I propose that Microsoft be split into two separate companies, one with Windows 9x and one with Windows NT. In the name of fair competition between the two, the win32 API would become an open standard maintained by a standards body such as the W3C or the IETF.

Pause for a moment and ponder the fiercely competitive nature of this scenario. We would have two companies with ample resources and motivations to compete and both would be beyond the "applications barrier to entry". Furthermore, the standards body would make it impractical for either company to create proprietary APIs.

Athlon 750Mhz On The Scenes! 13:47 pm - Wilfred
The Register has some good things to report about recent developments at AMD. READ this brief snip!

AMD told the analysts that it had managed to produce a 750MHz Athlon ahead of all expectations, but also said that the average selling price of its flash memory had suffered degradation.

Top tier OEMs will ship the Athlon 750MHz part, as revealed here earlier, while some analysts are speculating that AMD may break even this quarter.

We said Coppermine was "A processor you can't find, for a platform that doesn't work, with memory you can't afford". Herb repeated those words.

AMD has also successfully moved to .18 micron technology and will be able to deliver 800MHz, 900MHz and 1000MHz versions of its Athlon very soon.

Detonator 3.53 Vs 3.56 13:32 pm - Wilfred
Saw this link at Anand's to a benchmark comparison between the Official nVidia 3.53 Detonator drivers against yesterday's unofficial release of 3.56 drivers. Difference? Hmm... check it out, but I think I shall stick with 3.53 for a while more.

Razor Boomslang 1000 12:02 pm - Kan
BoomGames just posted their thoughts on the Razor Boomslang 1000 mouse. This mouse is super sensitive all right!

Razer did not forget PS/2 users, either. Built into their driver is a smooth-looking version of PS/2 Flex. This utility allows you to overclock your mouse (crazy, huh?). PS/2 Flex is capable of updating at the speed of 200 times per second. Although you have this ability, you don't want to go that high. The polls lag your CPU which has synchronous operation. If it has to spend 200 cycles per second worrying about a mouse (oh, beleive me, Windows makes this 8000 or something :P), your CPU will suffer. It shouldn't hurt to bring it to USB speed. The Scrolling Wheel has 45 dots per revolution. Your mouse probably has 18, if it even has a scrolling wheel.

Athlon Buyer's Guide Part 3 - Video Cards 11:50 am - David
Anand has written a guide on the video cards to match your Athlon processor. Here's a bite:

It turns out that the video cards we compared performed virtually identically across the three different CPUs.   While the scores were naturally higher on the faster Athlon 700, the breakdown of fastest and slowest of the bunch remained relatively similar at all three CPU speeds.   The GeForce 256 is the fastest of the group, but we already knew that from our review of the GeForce 256 itself.   

Because of the power of the CPUs themselves, the Matrox G400MAX fairs very well in the tests, often times beating out the TNT2 Ultra.  Not to mention that the G400MAX brings quite a few features to the table (i.e. DualHead) that the TNT2 Ultra cannot deliver.  The faster memory clock of the G400MAX gives it a good boost in 32-bit color rendering situations, sometimes even pulling ahead of the "faster" GeForce. 

The Voodoo3 performs quite nicely, but the Voodoo3 truly shines on CPUs slower than the Athlon where the TNT2 and G400 don't fair as well. 

Falcon Northwest SE Xentor Review 11:20 am - Kan
A new catch from SharkyExtreme on the Falcon Northwest Special Edition Xentor graphics card review. This graphics card is freaking fast with a 195 Mhz core! Here's a bite:

The Falcon SE Xentor shares much of the same physical traits as the standard Xentor 32. The PCB board is an exact duplicate and they share the same VGA-out and S-Video back plate connectors. The Falcon SE Xentor PCB is even labeled "Xentor 32" and has the same physical layout, though the Xentor 32 was a 2X AGP card and the Falcon SE Xentor is AGP 4X compliant. The other differences between the Xentor 32 and its SE brethren are with the included TNT2 Ultra chip and the SDRAM memory. The Falcon SE Xentor's TNT2 Ultra chips must have been very hard to come by, considering that the stock speed of the TNT2 was only 150 MHz.

Sound Blaster Live! Platinum 10:27 am - Kan
Our pals over at 3DsoundSurge also whipped up a review on the Sound Blaster Live! Platinum soundcard. Here's some juice:

Creative has listened to the needs and wants of gamers, musicians, and music lovers alike and reengineered the software bundles and connectivity of a whole new 10K1 based Live!. In Europe that means one package, the SB Live Player 1024 for the gamer and DVD enthusiast and another higher end card just bristling with connections via the card itself and the LiveDrive II which gives access to connections on the front of the computer.

Logitech Cordless Mouseman 10:20 am - Kan
Exxtreme3D also reviewed the Logitech Cordless Mouseman. Hey, check our own review on this mouse as well. Now, if only there is a cordless mouse with optical technology! :)

Well you probably all read the title, which kind of gives away all the surprise factor.  Yes indeed, there is no cord attached! This mouse uses radio technology to communicate with the transmitter (which plugs into your computer in the PS/2 or Serial Port).  The mouse can be away from the transmitter for up to six feet. You will need two AAA batteries for the mouse, which are included and are guaranteed to work for quite a while (around 3-5 months).

AOpen AX63Pro 10:15 am - Kan
ActiveHardware reviewed the AOpen AX63Pro which is based on the Apollo Pro 133 chipset. This board comes with 5 PCI, 2 ISA and 1 AGP slot as well as 3 DIMM slots supporting up to a maximum of 768MB. Here's a sniff: 

Within this menu, we may: adjust the clock frequencies, choose clock multipliers, and adjust the processor's core voltage. Finally, a pair of jumpers (JP23 and JP29) permits the user to choose the range of clock frequencies available in the BIOS menu. Choices available include: automatic frequency adjustment by the system, 66Mhz to 83Mhz, 90Mhz to 124Mhz, and 124Mhz to 155Mhz. Within the BIOS, it is also possible to adjust the memory speed to that of the front side bus and to add or subtract 33Mhz from that frequency. For example, you can set your processor to operate at with a FSB of 133Mhz, and subtract 33Mhz from that frequency in order to employ PC100 memory.

Altec Lansing ADA-880 Review 10:12 am - Kan
HardwareCentral reviewed the Altec Lansing ADA-880 speakers.

As mentioned, the system includes 4 separate satellites. They can be arranged as a 4-speaker system, or as a 2-speaker system. Using a 4-speaker setup, the larger satellites, which house one 3Ē full range driver, and one 1Ē dome tweeter each, are placed in front of the listener, while the two smaller rear satellites, each boasting one 3Ē full range driver, are positioned to the rear. Using a 2-speaker setup, the 2 rear satellites can be detached from their bases, and attached to the top of the 2 front satellites. Overall, a very clever design--users without the need or desire for a 4 speaker setup can still use the surround speakers at the front, without taking up any desk space. When attached at the front, the 2 rear satellites are oriented in a side-firing direction, which projects sound around the user and creates a simulated 4-speaker environment.

ABIT Flash Program 10:10 am - Kan
Our hardrock pal Kyle from HardOCP dropped us a line on the latest version of the ABIT BIOS flash program, bumping it up to v7.12. As usual, use them at your own risk. The pleasure of having a dead motherboard is simply ecstatic. :) 

Anyway, if you are using the Yamaha 6416S CD-RW, a new BIOS (v1.0c) is available for download from the Yamaha website.


11 November 1999 - Thursday

Voodoo3 3000 AGP review
23:59 pm - David
Ultimate 3D has written a review on the V3 3000, quite a nice card, in my opinion. 

The Voodoo3 delivers unbelievable framerates while still managing to include the excellent 2D that was present in the Banshee. But, there was one thing holding the Voodoo3 down: the image quality. It was the same 16-bit color that had been used in the Voodoo, Voodoo2, and the Banshee. 3dfx knew the TNT2 would dominate if the Voodoo3 couldn't offer more than 16-Bit Color. So, 3dfx released new drivers, which allow the Voodoo3 to run in 22-bit color mode.

The Voodoo3 3000 that I got ran happily at 185/185Mhz without any extra cooling. That's a 19Mhz overclock without any extra cooling and in my opinion, that's pretty good. After adding a fan onto the heatsink I got the Voodoo3 to 190Mhz stable and with a V3 Fighter, it ran at 195Mhz with no lockups in games.

Linux Official OS For China 23:41 pm - Wilfred
Wows! Learnt from here that the Chinese government will be making Linux the official operating system for the Peoples Republic of China.

The Chinese government is so enthusiastic about the community ethos behind the open source community that it is making Linux the official operating system of the Peoples Republic of China, thanks to a deal struck with US server side computing firm GraphOn.

The deal will allow a variety of server side applications to be run on cost efficient Linux boxes in Chinese universities, military installations and even within the government.

According to GraphOn there is a strong identification between communist China and the open-source free operating system that is taking the western world by storm. "Enthusiasm for Linux is coming from the very highest level of the Government in China," says Robin Ford executive vice president of GraphOn. "There are cultural reasons why they are so interested in Linux in China, because it is open source."

Interview With Anand 23:34 pm - Wilfred
SystemLogic has interviewed Anand Shimpi. Your idol? Right! Check this out if you're still trying to figure out where 'boy wonder' finds time for his Internet business. Here's his Oscar winning speech: =P

As a person, my parents were my greatest influences in life. I have been around them for the past 17 years and when it comes down to the basics, they are the two people that have been around me enough to influence my thoughts and my life the most.

Other than my parents, the greatest influences in my life would have to be the friends that are closest to me. As a teenager some of the most influential people you will ever meet are your peers, and I feel that it is always important to cherish the time, albeit limited, you have with them.

Building A Stable Athlon System 23:26 pm - Wilfred
Overclockers Australia dropped us a line on their new article. You could learn something here if you're assembling a new Athlon system.

The good news is my old RAM isn't dead for anything except Athlon application. The Siemens stick is running very happily at 100MHz/CAS2 in my Celeron Linux box and hasn't missed a beat. I'm going to test the NEC RAM in it again before I sell it just to make sure it isn't fried. I don't think it is though, if the Siemens was bad enough not to even allow the second MSI board to POST and it still works, the NEC must be fine. I am sodded if I know why the Athlon demands such high quality RAM. Obviously there's more to it than just the speed. I couldn't even get my Athlon stable at 90 or 95MHz FSB speed, and slowing the RAM down a notch from its auto-detected SPD ratings seemed to make it worse, or definitely no better anyway. I wish I could figure it the reasons, but there are the facts. RAM is the first step you need to take towards a stable Athlon system.

What's All That In My System Tray?! 23:20 pm - Wilfred
Most of you must have encountered these annoying, pesky programs who'll all want to run in the background and make your already slow system slower. osOpinion has an editorial about such pains.

Like most geeks, I spent as much as I could on "the most powerful computer on the planet". (That was a good three weeks ago so it's a bit outdated now.) Seriously, it was a year ago, and I built a PII 450 with 128M PC100 SDRAM and a fast hard drive. That should be plenty to surf the net and play any game that exists. After installing Windows 98 or Windows 2000 I boot to 97% free resources. My games play smooth as silk and I don't see any error messages or get any conflicts. Then I start installing things and all hell breaks loose.

nVidia 3.56 Drivers for Windows 2000 18:56 pm - Kan
NT Compatible dropped us a line on the new nVidia 3.56 drivers available for download on the Windows 2000 platform.

Airboard Wireless Keyboard 18:54 pm - Kan
CPU Review reviewed the Airboard Wireless Keyboard. Ah, finally! A keyboard which allows me to sit further away from my big monitors. :)

I have to admit, the cabling is a bit illogical. The keyboard connector is PS/2 style, but the mouse connector is a standard 9 pin RS232 connector. Strangely enough, the manual says that a 9 pin serial to PS/2 mouse connector converter is included, but there was no such converter in the package I received.

The Big  3D Fight 18:51 pm - Kan
TheTechZone posted an article titled The Big 3D Fight in which they talked about the various 3D graphics manufacturers in the market. Here's a snip:

At this stage it was still 3DFX who were the kings of the hill. . .S3 and Savage3D flopped, ATi had the Fury but it wasn't so popular even though it was fast, it lacked decent OpenGL. . .Matrox who were the first of this 2nd generation of 3D cards (with all their AGPx2 glory) were a little too early and the performance of the G200 wasn't too good in 3D games and they had NO OpenGL drivers at that time. . .NEC and Videologic were getting in bed with Sega with their lovely PowerVR2 (and indeed they stayed in bed, had a cigarette or two afterwards and forgot about their first love the PC market. . . alas, it is so difficult to please everyone all the time. . .but I digress).

ECS P6BAT-A+ 15:17 pm - Kan
Our motherboards guru pal over at BxBoards reviewed the Elitegroup P6BAT-A+ Socket 370/Slot1 motherboard. Here's an excerpt from the review:

The mainboard ships in ATX form factor with 4 PCI slots, 2 ISA slots and 3 DIMM slots. There is no AMR slot - no great loss - although Elitegroup support an optional add-on riser card, to allow modem and sounds card connections on the mainboard to communicate more easily with the outside world. When used, this occupies the space that would otherwise by used by ISA Slot2. The 3 DIMMs allow up to 512 megabyes per DIMM slot, an improvement on the BX range, which due to chipset limitations can "only" support registered 256 megabytes DIMMs as a strict maximum. 8 mid-range size 1000uf capacitors straddle Slot1, and 6 more provide support for the Socket 370 PPGA interface. Board layout is generally sensible although the non-standard positioning of the ATX power connector to the extreme right of the board may cause some problems in certain cases.

Athlon Motherboards Roundup 15:15 pm - Kan
TomsHardware whipped up a massive six Athlon motherboards roundup. If you are shopping for a reliable Athlon board, take a look at the review:

The ASUS board is the only board that provides the new fangled AMR slot which is so very popular on Intel platforms. The AMR slot allows for the low-cost addition of a soft-modem or audio via a special codec equipped adaptor board. These AMR based adaptors utilize the CPU for there operation thus robbing bandwidth from the processor. For integrators this allows for a lower-cost system. For users who aren't avid game players (on or offline) these AMR based adaptors will fit the bill.

Intel PC Camera Pro 15:11 pm - Kan
USB Workshop reviewed the Intel PC Camera Pro USB webcam. Pretty cute looking with the words 'Intel' splashed across the whole camera, here's a taste:

PC Camera Pro has impressed us with a very nifty oval-shape design. With a tilt-swivel base, the camera can be placed on a tabletop or top of a monitor.  The base also serves another purpose to avoid jitter during recording. The snapshot button on top also conveniently gives users quick access for images captures and the focus dial is perfect for fine-tuning the images. Good thing that the camera comes with a lens cover to protect the lens from dust or scratches when not in use.

Interview 15:06 pm - Kan
SystemLogic carried on with their interview fetish and this time round, they managed to catch hold of John "Motto" Chow from TheTechZone. Hey, when the hell is my turn to be interviewed?? :)

SL: What exactly got you started working on The Tech Zone?

TTZ: The Tech Zone started out as Moto's Project 504. It was a personal home page about the first computer that I built myself. Never dream it would become what it is now. Back then, the whole site was just 6 pages long.

Managing your NT Services 15:02 pm - Kan
Those Ars boys whipped up another new article on Managing Your NT Services. A good read, so check it out here:

A note about the Default Settings: the defaults here are representative of what you get, as an end user, when you install Windows NT from the media.  It doesn't necessarily represent what you get on an OEM machine with Windows NT pre-installed.  So, we've listed all of the standard services here, even the ones that seem extremely innocuous, just so you can compare the default media config with what you have. You'll sometimes notice that settings that we claim are default, or enabled on your machine, and vice-versa.  That's usually the doing of the OEM, or perhaps another piece of software you've installed.

Razor Boomslang 1000 15:00 pm - Kan
3AG dropped us a mail on their review on the Razor Boomslang 1000 high precision mouse. Sounds good, but how good is this rodent actually? Here's a whiff:

When it comes down to FPS gaming, accuracy is everything. Extremely often you wind up duking it out with someone, both with Glocks, both with similar health. What it all comes down to is who can move the quickest, and who can make their shots hit home. With the latter in mind, Razer designed the BoomSlang 1000 mouse. The difference in the BoomSlang is pure sensitivity.     

Amusing Things People Do 08:27 am - Wilfred
Had a rolling good laugh at this page, oh boy! Saw at ArsTechnica this link to Project E.U.N.U.C.H where some wacky dudes decided they'll overclock the 486SX-25 to 247Mhz (to spite Kyle?! LOL!). Ingredients to success includes Vodka, Beer and Gin.

Hot Chix And Stix Review + Demo 08:15 am - Wilfred
Hot chicks? I guess that's what the name is trying to hint at? But really, DemoNews posted a VERY short review on this low-costing (US$15) racing game that features 70's muscle cars. It's but a page worth, but I think you can check out the 12Mb demo along with it.

It all was a fun a experience, I've never had so fun with such low costing game as it is. There's a wroom sound from your V8 that makes you live into the game, by hearing the gear shifting and oinking, and you can forget the movie effect for tires, the constant beep from the tires when there's a turn. I actually don't know how Hollywood think we think, I guess they believe we haven't been in a car chase, we do know that it's not always tire burns in every single turn.

D-Link DFE-910 Network Kit 08:05 am - Wilfred
Just received mailed from AbsolutePC of their review on D-Link's DFE-910 networking kit. It's a very fine kit if you'd read Keith's review, supporting even the Linux platform out-of-the box!

We had a blast with this kit. The 25 MB file transfer took approximately 11 seconds and ping times in Quake III were constantly between 0 and 5. WOW. Streaming MP3ís from one computer to the other was flawless, as was everything we put this kit through. 

I am very very proud to say that this kit works with Linux. Thatís right it does! The disk comes with a Linux driver, however our version of Mandrake had support for the card already. Setup was as easy as can be expected in Linux and we had no problems getting the computer to communicate with the Windowís based machine. Definitely a plus for this product as Linux is our true love.


10 November 1999 - Wednesday

Elsa Erazor III 
23:42 pm - Kan
Chip Testers sent note on their review on the Elsa Erazor III with the 3D Revelator glasses. Hey, have you read our own review on the Elsa Erazor III yet. :)

If you could care less about the way your eyes are fooled, ship this paragraph. Still here? Good, because it's interesting: The glasses fool your eyes into seeing depth perception in almost the same way the red/blue 3d glasses work. The image on screen must first be separated into two parts, with each object on screen being separated according to its value in the Z-buffer. The further the object is from the player, the more separation it will incur. Each eye is given a short time to view one half of the image when the LCD screen of the glasses blocks out vision from the other eye.

GlobalWin I-Storm Hard Disk Cooler 16:40 pm - Kan
TheTechZone posted another review today on the GlobalWin I-Storm hard disk cooler.

As you all know, hard drive coolers don't really make your hard drive go any faster. What they do is reduce the operating temperature of the drive. A cool running drive is always a good thing to have. It will last longer and be more reliable than one that overheats. The questions are what kind of hard drive do you have, and do you need such a product. If you're using a super fast Ultra SCSI hard drive, then the answer is a resounding yes. If you're just using a run of the mill 5,400 RPM IDE drive, then you can skip the hard drive cooler for now. The 7,200 RPM is kinda middle ground.

Benwin BW2000 Flat Panel Speakers 16:34 pm - Kan
Our buds over at 3DSpotlight informed us on their new review on the Benwin BW2000 Flat Panel speakers.

The flat panel technology of the Benwin speakers work by using a disk that sends out electrical current throughout the surface of the panel producing vibrations. This can use the surface of the speakers to project 3D sounds. In my experience with older technology based on the traditional cone speakers, I would have to point the speaker at me to get the full effect. With the BW2000 speakers, I can place them in almost any direction and they still sound the same.

AMD Athlon Buyer's Guide - Part 2 13:00 pm - Kan
AnandTech posted the AMD Athlon Buyer's Guide - Part 2 article. This time Anand concentrated on the overclocking aspects of the processor:

Since the release of that article, many individuals that are a little more than skilled with their soldering irons have taken it upon themselves to make a few bucks off of the modification. The fact of the matter is that when AMD released the Athlon back in August, they could already hit 750MHz in their own labs, so it makes perfect sense to expect that the Athlon is at least a decent overclocker. At the same time, the higher clock speed Athlons are out of the price range of many, while the Athlon 500 weighs in at a very competitive and reasonable price. What do these two events have in common? Take an Athlon 500, overclock it to 650MHz, and you now have a 650MHz Athlon for around $250.

Guillemot Maxi Sound Review 12:59 pm - Kan
SharkyExtreme posted a review on the Guillemot Maxi Sound FORTISSIMO (darn, what a nice name) review. Here's a bite:

As we said in the introduction, the FORTISSIMO has an impressive array of features for any card, and doubly so for such a low-priced one. The first feature that jumps out at you is its four-channel support. There are the front two channels for normal use and two rear channels for surround sound. When you couple the four-channel support with DirectSound3D or Sensaura, you have the potential for some wicked audio fun in games and some pretty good movie sound. But four channels and those sound formats are not the ultimate in sound these days. No sir, Dolby Digital (a.k.a. AC-3), with its five channels plus subwoofer, is the current ultimate in sound immersion.

Sunon 120mm Fan 12:49 pm - Kan
Fast Mhz just posted up their review on the Sunon 120mm case fan. These fans are freaking powerful, but freaking loud as well. Here's some breeze from the review:

This SUNON Case Fans  (120mm) is very inexpensive. If your going to mount this 120mm in your case the best place is on top of the case so the hot air is pulled out of the case. I have one 120mm in my case and it really keeps the case cool. It has air flow of 108 CFM and a RPM"S of 3100 with five blades. If you tend to mount this monster air mover you're going to need a six inch hole saw. But the best way to cut this hole of six inches is find someone that has a drill press that you can use, because you will have a ruff time using a stander drill.

Server Building 101: Shopping 12:49 pm - Kan
2CPU dropped us a line on their new article titled Server Building 101: Shopping. What should you get when you build a server? ECC memory? Dual processors? Here's some juice:

To ECC or not to ECC?  That is the question.  In a small network like ours, Error Correction Checking memory (ECC) is not as important as it would be in a larger environment.  Save a little money by not buying ECC SDRam and put that extra money into buying more SDRam.  Most server class operating systems are very memory dependant, so the more you can afford, the better.  128mb should be considered a minimum, with 256mb total system memory recommended.

GamePad Pro 06:34 am - Kan
Beyond3D posted a review on the Microsoft Gamepad Pro as well as Dual Strike controllers. Boy, I'm excited about releasing our own review on these controllers as well. So watch out for it.

To ensure more than a "simple" gamepad, Microsoft has added something special to this pad. First of all, it's USB only; this makes for an extremely simple installation. Just plug it in and the installation begins. The pad is shipped with SideWinder Central 4.0, which of course helps you set up the pad very easily. I was never fond of the previous versions of this software, but 4.0 now has everything combined into one program and it is very easy to assign special keystrokes or sequences of keystrokes to each of the "14" buttons (I'm including the shift + buttons here). There is no more talk about profiles, now everything is called schemes.

Matrox Interview 06:23 am - Kan
HotHardware fired off an interview with Matrox's Product Marketing Manager. Here's a shot:

The Matrox G400 series has been received extremely well by consumers and also in the OEM sector. Our online store has had unsurpassed success with both of these products. Since it's announcement, the Matrox Millennium G400 has received incredible OEM and SI support. Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Siemens and IBM have all selected Matrox Millennium G400 Series graphics cards to power their next generation high-performance systems and more will follow as OEMs are authorized to make announcements based on next generation processors and chipsets.

Commentary on DVD Crack 06:21 am - Kan
Here's something fresh for you from Tech Report. Basically it's talking on the program which is able to strip away DVD  copy protection. Here's an excerpt:

An article in USA Today details how the creators of DVD have reacted to the cracking of the format's copy protection a little over a week ago. Apparently, they have already shut down the web sites that were offering "DeCSS.exe" (the program used to strip the copy protection from DVD movies) for download, and changed the keys that were compromised so those keys won't work on any new movies that come out on DVD in the future.


9 November 1999 - Tuesday

HW1: FIFA 2000 Review 
- Wilfred
I'm not sure how many of you are soccer fans here? Well, les is, and since he owns virtually all of EA Sport's soccer titles, you might want to hear if he has kind words for their latest hit! Gotta read it ok?!

That was for the player physics so let's talk about ball physics now. Simply put, itís realistic. In fact, it was so realistic that once my defender cleared the ball in the penalty box, it hit an opponentís back and flew into the net. I guess sometimes realism ainít that good after all. So like any good AI, I learnt my lesson and have never cleared the ball into an opponentís back since.

Sun's MAJC And Intel's IA-64 19:37 pm - Wilfred
After you've caught Sharky's coverage of the Intel Vs AMD scene, Hannibal at Ars Technica has another on Sun's MAJC processor as well as the IA-6A. Jargon? :)

The MAJC processor unit consists of four functional units, each of which has its own set of registers. These functional units are what do the actual number crunching. Unlike a traditional architecture, and unlike IA-64, each MAJC functional unit is data-type agnostic. That means that there are no floating-point units, no integer units, no address generation units, etc.; any functional unit can operate on any type of data. The advantage of this is that you're actually able to use all of the functional units all of the time.  In a traditional multiple-issue machine like the K7 some FUs (functional units) do only floating-point ops, others only integer ops, and others only address calculations. It's a rare occasion that you'd be executing a batch of integer ops and a batch of fp ops at the same time; most applications only do one type of op at a time. So while a K7 is running gcc, for instance, which is an integer-intensive app, all of that fancy fp hardware is sitting idle, just taking up die space. In contrast, a MAJC chip can send any op to any unit, so no unit has to sit idle because of the nature of any particular piece of code. This in turn allows you to save space, because you can cut back drastically on the number of units that you need to get the same overall amount of work done.

In addition to having data-type agnostic FUs, MAJC also has data-type agnostic registers. There are no int, fp, or SIMD registers. Any MAJC register can hold any type of data. Once again, this makes the most efficient use of space, because fp- or integer-intensive apps can use all of the registers on the chip, instead of limiting themselves to some subset of available registers.

By way of contrast, Intel's IA-64 has dedicated fp and int units and registers. Something tells me that the dedicated approach is slightly faster, but that's only a hunch.

Netscape 5.0 - A Little Too Late? 19:47 pm - Wilfred
BetaNews has a short blurb about Netscape Communication's announcement of their long awaited Netscape 5.0 browser. Well, I really hope they try a lot harder than now. But the new features look promising, at least we should expect less incompatibility problems with the way these fellas display our html. :)

Netscape Communications, Inc. announced today that its much anticipated Netscape Navigator 5.0 will be available for trial later this month, the final version coming in February of 2000. With a beta version of Internet Explorer 5.5 coming soon, what will happen to Netscape?

Code named "Gecko" and "NGLayout" (Next Generation Layout), Netscape 5.0 will finally be able to offer the same support as Internet Explorer 5.0 offered one year ago. After many delays, the latest build of the Gecko Project can be found at Mozilla.org.

Offering HTML 4.0 support including forms, and style support for HTML 3.x and limited HTML 4.0 support, Netscape is catching up to Windows after a year without releasing a new version. Full CSS and some CSS 2 support is also available with Mozilla 5. The newest web language, XML will also be supported along with W3C Java and C++ compatability. New rendering capabilities such as alpha blending and double-buffered rendering ensure that Navigator will be able to handle the latest HTML tags and dynamic content.

Linksys 4-Port USB Hub 19:38 pm - Wilfred
Tell me how many USB devices you're overloaded with? If you faced the problem I faced some months back, then a hub is probably your only answer. SystemLogic has a review on Linksys' 4-Port USB Hub.

This is clearly a great product and a great tool for expanding your current array of USB devices. The fact that it could run under the computerís power was really what made me a believer and the installation was incredibly simple, just plug it into your computer, no need to even plug in the power. Linksys has been making networking products for a long time and they have a winner with this product.

45% Of Compaq Server Customers On Linux 19:30 pm - Wilfred
From an internal company research, Compaq says that close to 50% of their server customers are running Linux or using it on pilot projects. Just FYI.

Intellimouse Explorer Review 19:23 pm - Wilfred
Overclockers Australia mailed us about their latest MS Intellimouse Explorer review. It's the rodent in vogue, don your sunglasses and be seen with one in your palm. After you've checked that,  don't forget we also have an in-house review on them. Talk about mousing on all surfaces... you've gotta read this snip:

This mouse will move silky smooth on just about anything with a non-reflective opaque surface. Here is a small list of things that I've tried it on, with which it worked perfectly. Table (with or without table cloth), black tshirt, bed quilt, CD (reflective surface UP, I don't know how that works), curved fuzzy-fabricked arm of an arm chair, my leg. It does not work very well at all on anything which produces light, such as my monitor. Some things which it still worked on but had slightly more difficulty with are - my head, a transluscent antistatic bag, some bubble wrap. It's hard to say whether it was the transparency of the latter two items (no, my head is not transparent) that caused difficulty or the fact that it was hard to hold them flat without putting something solid and opaque such as the table underneath them. In such cases it went back into "perfect" mode, probably because it would have had the extra surface underneath to reflect off. I think the main problems it had with all these 3 surfaces is that none of them are flat, it does need a fairly even surface to work properly, even if that surface is curved and fuzzy. But I can't complain about that, a regular mouse needs a flat, non-fuzzy, horizontal surface to work. Which reminds me, this mouse obviously doesn't need to be on a horizontal surface, it can be used on any angle, even upside down. The back of the box says it may have problems also tracking over highly repetitive patterns, such as some printed photographs from magazines or newspapers. I've not seen such a pattern though so I can't test this. You'd be pretty silly to be using a repetitive newspaper or a magazine photograph for your mouse mat anyway.

Linux Wars: Distribution Wars II 18:05 pm - Kan
CPUReview just posted an article called Linux Wars: Distribution Wars II in which they compared the various distributions of Linux (OpenLinux 2.3, SuSE 6.2, Mandrake 6.1) available to the end users.

The Mandrake desktop beat out SuSE and OpenLinux by a hair; mostly because Mandrake came with more window managers.

Please note that you may have different criteria for judging the desktops of the distributions; or you may decide to give more weight to some rows than others... for the score as computed above, each row has equal weight.

Viewsonic P815 21" Monitor 14:09 pm - Kan
Ahhh...21 inches of luv. GamePC reviewed the Viewsonic P815 monitor and nope, it's not based on the new flat-tube CRT.

Viewsonic's P815 21" monitor is their second best of their large screen models, the best being the P817 which has a larger input clock, therefor allowing it to run at higher resolutions at faster refresh rates than the P815. Nevertheless, the P815 is one heck of a monitor, and no doubt everyone in the country with a 15" or 17" monitor could drool over. The P815 is better than your basic 21" monitor (basic being 19.8" viewable screen, 0.25 dot pitch, 1600x1200 max resolution at 80 Hz), being that it can show a screen of 1,800 x 1,440 at 78 Hz refresh rate, not too bad at all. The monitor boasts a 20 inch viewable screen, and a fairly rounded CRT look, compared to the Flat-CRT Sony and less-curved Cornerstone monitors we looked at before.

Athlon Buyer's Guide Part 1 14:06 pm - Kan
I noticed over at AnandTech there's a new article called Athlon's Buyer's Guide. If you are thinking of building an Athlon system, let the gurus tell you what you need to take note of:

You need to be able to pick the right memory, the best motherboard, the fastest video card, and the most reliable power supply. And when dealing with the Athlon, picking the best of the best can be even more difficult than usual, simply because of the obstacles that AMD has faced with getting this CPU into the hands of you, the consumer. In the next few articles we will be focusing on choosing the best components with which you can build your supreme Athlon system. This section of the guide will concentrate on choosing the perfect Athlon motherboard from among the boards that are currently available, with an eye on those that are soon to be out. 

Internet Gaming Modems 14:03 pm - Kan
3Com came out with those niffy Internet Gaming Modems which promise lower latency and better connection rate. Are they really good? Let Dr. Damage from Tech Report enlighten you. Here's an excerpt:

The question is: what is this 3Com gaming modem, and how could it be better than any other plain ol' modem out there?

The answer, near as I can tell, is two-fold. First, this is not a software modem. A huge portion of the modems out there these days use a software driver and the host PC's processor to get the job done. Software-based modems don't play well with alternative operating systems, but so long as you plan on running Win9x, they generally work well enough for web surfing and e-mail. However, run a CPU-intensive 3D game (or anything else, for that matter) at the same time, and there's the potential a software-based modem could introduce serious latency. (I mean, even beyond the usual lagginess of a dial-up connection.)

AMD vs Intel 14:00 pm - Kan
SharkyExtreme posted an in-depth review on the architecture of the AMD vs Intel processors. If you like stuffs like clock cycle, pipelining and multi-threading (my cup of tea), this article is for you!

The FPU would seem to be the weak link in a 64-bit x86 CPU. Although the Athlon has a strong FPU, it can not compete (clock-for-clock) with the RISC cores of Alpha and SUN and it surely won't be able to compete with Intel's Itanium. The K8 and its siblings would be able to compete with the IA-64 CPU's as long as there are not many IA-64-bit programs. But once IA-64 programs are prevalent, the IA-64 FPU would slaughter the 64-bit x87 FPU. Considering how important FPU has become for desktop CPU's, and how important it has always been for workstations, this is a huge problem. AMD has, however, anticipated this problem.

Tweaking Your Modem Guide 13:58 pm - Kan
3DSpotlight dropped us a line that they have almost rewritten their Tweaking your Modem Guide. So if you like to know how to squeeze an extra few bits out from your modem, check the guide out.

Soyo 6BA+ IV 13:56 pm - Kan
Alright guys, check out our buds over at HardOCP on their latest review on the Soyo 6BA+ IV motherboard. Here's a sniff:

I think it was very much supposed to be a part of the 6BA+IV.  Yeppers, IDE RAID built on the board.  I was really keen on this.  Being able to slap in an identical drive and write to both at the same time so I would have an ever-updated backup in case I lost a drive or something of that sort.  I think it was supposed to support IDE RAID 0 and 1, making it possible to write half the data to each drive theoretically cutting write and read time in half.  

Ultimate Hard Drive Cooler 13:55 pm - Kan
TheTechZone posted a review on the Ultimate Hard Drive Cooler (yup that's the name) and it sure looks impressive!

Hard drive coolers don't make your hard drive go any faster, but they do reduce the operating temperature of the drive. A cool running drive will last longer and be more reliable than one that overheats. The question is do you really need such a product? In most cases, the answer is no. A case with proper air flow should keep your drive cool without the need for a hard drive cooler. Also most computers still come with 5,400 RPM hard drive that don't get too hot.

Maxtor DiamondMax VL20 13:53 pm - Kan
StorageReview posted another hard drive review, this time it's the Maxtor DiamondMax VL20 20.4 GB ATA-66 hard drive. Here's some info:

The largest difference arises in buffer size- while the DM40 features a beefy 2 meg cache, the VL20's buffer weighs in at a svelte 512k. Interestingly, Maxtor's literature gives no indication that they've compromised in the area of electronics. The VL20, for example, sports the DualWave processor, a technology Maxtor seems to take much pride in. The drive also features the same reliability measures seen in Maxtor's mainstream drives, such as ShockBlock, a combination of stiffer Head-Disk Assemblies and lighter read/write heads. All told, from both Maxtor's literature and some conversations with Maxtor representatives, the VL20 seems to be almost the same drive as the DM40, excepting the smaller buffer and slightly slower seek time

Voodoo3 3500 TV Review 06:59 am - Kan
Exxtreme3D just posted a review on the Voodoo3 3500 TV graphics card. Even though the next generation of graphics card are coming out, the TV out feature in the Voodoo3 is pretty interesting:

The I/O is a very impressive part of the Voodoo 3500TV package. The permission to play consoles on your computer and run your VCR is great.  You can record your favorite show or tape and send it to your friends or upload it to an FTP. Now you can share you wealth of cable TV.  Wondering what the I/O Pod looks like?  Check it out:

Alpha P3125C Heat Sink Review 06:29 am - Kan
I noticed over at AGN Hardware there's a new review on the Alpha P3125C heat sink cooler for Pentium III processors. Here's an excerpt from the review:

Most significantly, the face of the heatsink has been forged out of copper, which while more expensive then aluminum, facilitates heat transfer much more efficiently then aluminum. The idea behind the copper face is to move heat off of the core of the CPU faster and into the aluminum over a greater surface area, cooling the CPU in a more effective manner. Alpha also recognizes that overheating of the cache is a major limitation of overclocking and has added special vents on the face of the heatsink to allow air to pass across the cache chips. The P3125 comes packaged as a kit from Streamland Multimedia, which besides the heatsink, also includes (2) Y.S. Tech 27 fans, all the hardware necessary for mounting the heatsink, and 7g of thermal grease (which is enough to cover quite a few processors).

Promise FastTrak66 IDE RAID Controller 06:26 am - Kan
Oops, meant to post this earlier. Our pals over at ArsTechnica reviewed the Promise FaskTrak66 IDE RAID Controller. Throw in two hard drives and use RAID 0 and you get a very fast hard disk in action:

RAID 0 makes use of disk striping, which uses at least 2 drives to increase performance by means of distributing the reading & writing of data (in "parallel") over "n" number of spindles (RAID-related term for drives).  This model is widely considered to be the fastest array for both reading & writing data, but is accomplished, mind you, without any fault tolerance.  Additionally, if any drive in the array fails, data on all drives making up the array are lost.  In a nutshell, this is the option for systems needing exceedingly fast read & write I/O performance without regard to fault tolerance.

Cambridge DTT2500 Review 06:23 am - Kan
3DsoundSurge reviewed the Cambridge DTT2500 surround speakers. Yup, the DTT2500 may be your dream speakers all along, so check it out:

While many audiophiles just laughed at the tiny speakers and low power output many PC users found it offered a great sound experience for their DVD movies when used with a PC. While many liked the system most still wished for a system with more power and better sound quality using some of Cambridge SoundWorks better quality speakers. Earlier this year Creative decided to do a major upgrade and released the Desktop Theater 5.1 DTT2500 Digital that features 7 watts  driving each of the 2.5" long throw drivers found in the front and rear satellites, 21 watts driving an identical center channel and 20 watts driving a 51/4" woofer for the subwoofer.

Pentium III Heatsinks Roundup 06:21 am - Kan
Over at 3dWars, that's a roundup on Pentium III heatsinks. If you are trying to bump your Pentium III processor to run at a higher speed, check out which heatsink cooler does the best job:

The good old heatsink and fan combination for a Pentium 3 is what you have! You don't need a fancy peltier cooler or high-end alpha to give you extremely high overclocking speeds. Although, those will give you great speeds, the money is not worth it all of the time. What will get the job done at a very reasonable speed is a nice heatsink with a few fans on top of it. Now, there are tons to chose from, so lets take a look at the top line of makes and what they have to offer. First, we have the 2CoolTek VGS08H P3 Dual Fan Cooler. Second, we have the 3DfxCool T3-REX-FAN. Third, there is the Card Cooler's Thin Fin P3 Cooler. Fourth on the list is another fan from The Card Cooler known as the Ultimate P3 Cooler. Last and surely not least is the well known P3 TF from Tennmax.    

Updated Oxygen VX1 Review 06:19 am - Kan
SystemLogic dropped us a line that they have updated the review on the Oxygen VX1 graphics card with more benchmarks and talked about the new drivers 3DLabs released. 

3Dlabs has been a longtime leader in the professional graphics field with it's Oxygen line of graphics cards. The new Oxygen VX1 is 3Dlabs' entry level professional graphics solution. With 32 MB of SDRAM and the new GLINT R3 graphics processor, the VX1 provides some powerful graphics performance at an affordable price. It may not be as good a performer in games as the Voodoo 3, TNT2, G400, or the new GeForce256, but it's not targeted towards gamers.

ATI Rage Fury MAXX Preview 06:16 am - Kan
Another ATI Rage Fury MAXX graphics card preview over at TomsHardware. If this graphics card tickles your heart, check it out:

Now you might say that this little time it takes for one frame might not be noticeable, but consider the following. Let's say the game is running at an average frame rate of 60 fps. This means that it takes 16.7 ms for each frame in average, more realistically 15-20 ms. Now it really depends what kind of gamer you are. If you are used to playing multi-player games on a LAN with a ping of 10-20 ms, an additional lag of 15-20 ms is definitely noticeable. Even if your ping is usually 50 ms you will still be able to feel a graphics card that adds another 15-20 ms. People that play single-player games or modem-users with pings of up to 200 ms won't be bothered by Fury MAXX' additional lag. It's up to you to decide if the immanent lag of ATi's AFR-architecture is able to bother you or not.


8 November 1999 - Monday

Poll #33 - How Much You Sleep! 20:07 pm - Wilfred
Not bad, most of you get to sleep 5-8 hours each day? From the poll, we see only 11% getting the recommended hours of beauty sleep. 5% are pigs and 4% hardly sleeps (liarS! =P).

November Issue At MegaPixel.net 19:55 pm - Wilfred
Didn't post this up last night after my blurb in the forum, but here it is, Megapixel.net's November issue. They reviewed the Sony DSC-F505, Toshiba PDR-M5, Ricoh RDC-5300 and the Agfa ephoto CL30 digital cameras and MORE! Droolz...

72X Kenwood CDROM Drive 19:51 pm - Wilfred
Wows! So are you abandoning the CDROM for DVD drives yet? If only we can find their drives here in Singapore. The scoop is at The Register. Read it!

The internal 72x unit is based on US developer Zen Research's TrueX technology, which equips a slower drive with multiple lasers. Since more data is read in a given time -- more than six bits can be read simultaneously -- the drive appears to run faster than in fact it does.

The drives spin at a range of speeds to ensure a constant linear velocity (CLV) to allow the lasers to rates read data at consistent rate wherever they're stored on the disc. Regular drives spin at a constant angular velocity (CAV), so the linear velocity of the disc, and thus the speed at which data can be read, slows as the laser moves away from the edge of the disc.

Direct Rambus Memory - Part 1 19:47 pm - Wilfred
RealWorldTech delivered another must read for techies (or wannabes). You learn something new everyday. This will be a fruitful one!

The good news about Direct Rambus is that it is faster than current memory technology, but the bad news about Direct Rambus is it is slower than current memory technology. How can something be both faster and slower? Because there are different aspects to memory speed.

Think of the data flow out of a memory system as being similar to the baggage carrousel at an airport. The delay between the start up of the carrousel and the appearance of the first suitcase is analogous to memory latency, while the rate at which subsequent items appear out of the chute is equivalent to memory bandwidth. Direct Rambus is strong on bandwidth. In fact, data can flow in or out of each DRDRAM data pin at up to 800 million bits per second (Mbps), a rate eight times faster than today's memory standard bearer, the PC100 synchronous DRAM (SDRAM).

The bad aspect of Direct Rambus is latency. Rambus Inc. likes to say that its fastest DRDRAMs have the same 20 ns page access latency as the fastest PC100 SDRAMs. This is technically true when you consider the memory chip in isolation. But DRDRAM-based memory systems differ from SDRAM-based systems in several significant ways in how the chips are wired together and communicate with the memory controller ASIC which add tens of ns to the effective latency.

Asus Denies Athlon Mobo Rumours 19:43 pm - Wilfred
Hmm... Hmmm... So say Asus that "..Nothing has changed at all." But even as they deny that they will chop the K7M due to pressure from Intel, these words from a high-ranking Asus executive surely tells the story. Check out this blurb at The Register!

A high-ranking Asus executive, who requested anonymity, said: "I have no comment about that [the K7M]." He continued: "Nobody can talk about the K7. It's a very sensitive topic, we don't want any employee to release any K7-related information to anybody."

MP Shuttle 19:27 pm - Kan
Check out Tech Report review on the MP Shuttle (car MP3 player which can store 7,000 MP3 titles). Here's a taste:

Basic operation is as follows: Press the power button to turn on the Shuttle. The backlit display fires up and displays a Xeenon logo while the Shuttle plays a "startup sound" that could be very loosely compared to a Windows startup. I assume that the unit uses this time (about 5 seconds or so) to perform the equivalent of a POST (power-on self test in a PC). When this process is complete, the display changes to show the tracks on the disc. You can scroll through the tracks using the track up/down keys, or choose the first "track" in the list, which is always called "Random Play." Guess what this does? 

ATI Rage Fury MAXX 19:20 pm - Kan
Here's another ATI Rage Fury MAXX review by FiringSquad. 64MB and dual ATI Rage Pro slapped together into a card sure sounds like a winner:

The MAXX card has the supports the same features as the regular Rage Fury 128 Pro, which means the card has 32-bit color and ATI's famous hardware DVD support. While other graphics chips still rely on software DVD players to do all the work, the Rage 128 chip can offload most of the work from the CPU and onto the video card.

The card also features support for DirectX Texture Compression, which is the same TC technique S3 contributed to DirectX. ATI also improved the 16-bit rendering image quality while updating the Rage 128 engine. The Rage 128 Pro now uses higher precision on texturing filtering calculations.

Intel 810E Review 19:18 pm - Kan
Our pals over at iXBT-Hardware did it again and posted a review on the Intel 810E chipset.

First of all, i810E supports 133MHz system bus. Due to this progressive feature it appears possible to use i810E based mainboards with new Intel Pentium III processors supporting 133MHz system bus. They can be based on Katmai (533 and 600B) core as well as on Coppermine. However, you should keep in mind the following thing. i810E chipset is completely asynchronous because it is made on accelerated hub architecture (as well as its predecessor - i810). That is why even if the installed processor works at 133MHz bus frequency (as well as at 66MHz), the system memory frequency will remain 100MHz. In other words, it repeats the situation with i810: i810E supports only PC100 SDRAM memory no matter what processor is used - Celeron, Pentium II or Pentium III.

Sony Mavica FD73 15:52 pm - Kan
TheTechZone posted another digital camera review today - Sony Mavica FD73.

The Digital Mavica uses a Quick Access 2X High Speed Floppy Disk Drive. This technology developed by Sony allows for double the speed when recording or playing back images. The high speed spindle motor combined with new DSP also allows for quicker JPEG compression. It takes just 4 seconds to write the file.

You take pictures with the Digital Mavica using a large 2.5" full color LCD screen. This is one of the biggest screen provided on a digital camera and I found it much easier on the eyes than the smaller screen on the Epson PhotoPC.

Creative GeForce vs ATI Rage Fury MAXX 15:52 pm - Kan
Gamer's Depot dropped us a line on their latest roundup on the Creative GeForce vs ATI Rage Fury MAXX. Here's a whiff from the review:

2D image quality under Windows was excellent on both cards, although on the higher resolutions, the ATI did look less distorted.  And when it comes to DVD playback, there is absolutely no contest here, the ATI kicks the GeForce and sends it home crying like a red-headed step child. 

Using hardware motion compensation, the Rage Pro chips on the ATI card will leave you in DVD erotica.  Meanwhile on the GeForce, the DVD performance leaves you feeling like you've just taken a dump and there's no toilet paper around, (Not that I've experienced this of course:) if you're running on a slower CPU.

Lady Justice Cleaves The Monopoly 13:32 pm - Wilfred
Not too long after the verdict, our friends at osOpinion has readied an editorial about the court's findings. Now how many of you 'respectfully disagree' with Judge Jackson's verdict too? :)

We all know now the judge's verdict: Microsoft is a monopoly, it has abused that monopoly by stifling competition and the consumers have been harmed.

Indeed, Lady justice has cleaved the Monopoly with her sword and has shattered Microsoft's windows of opportunity to embrace and extend its power forever. To call Microsoft the Monopoly is now an anachronism.

ATI Rage Fury MAXX 09:16 am - Kan
SharkyExtreme posted their latest hands-on preview on the ATI Rage Fury MAXX graphics card. Here's how it performs:

Through a software engineering technique ATi calls Alternate Frame Rendering, each Rage128 Pro chip on the Rage Fury MAXX board renders every other frame in the image being presented. The end result is that each of the chips is handling half the load that a single-chip board would have to, thereby doubling the potential fill-rate.

By instructing the processors to each render every other frame for the 3D application that's being run, (odd for one, even for the other) ATi eliminated the possibility for load imbalance, as well as visual acuity errors.

Hop on in to our Forums 08:00 am - Kan
Today is really a slow day for news. If you are feeling bored like me, why not hop into our Forums and blast your hearts out? Here's some of our residents in the forum:

Intellimouse Review 07:56 am - Kan
More reviews of this bad boy over at Tweak3D. E'nuff said about this mouse, here's a taste:

So exactly how does the IntelliEye work? Basically, it scans surfaces 1500 times a second and converts the noticeable change into cursor movement. The human eye and brain detect movement much in the same way. To go a little more in-depth, a tiny CMOS digital camera takes 1500 pictures of the surface below the mouse. The images are sorted, and an onboard 18 MIPS processor studies the images and translates the difference in direction and image change into crisp, and surprisingly accurate cursor movement... while not chewing up any CPU power (when used as a USB mouse).

Thin Fin P3 Cooler 07:50 am - Kan
Speedy3D took a look at the Thin Fin P3 cooler. The looks of this cooler sure looks impressive! Here's a blurb:

Rather than getting smaller and smaller the world of the PC seems to have been going in much the opposite direction. We now see systems actually increasing in size, most notably with Pentium2-3's and Athlon (K7) CPU's and respective motherboards. This tends to mean that at the same time as silicone shrinks it also gets more instructions and features added to it and added to it at a rate that exceeds that of the shrinkage. 

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