20 October 1999 - Wednesday

Imation Super Disk Drive
21:54 pm - Kan

SystemLogic whipped up a review on those 120MB Imation Super Disk Drive. 120 MB is good for small frequently updated files, but a CD-R still rules for archiving of data.

As with most external drives, hardware installation is just a few simple steps. Imation went the extra mile to include a detailed Quick Start Guide to show how to hook up the drive in 6 easy steps. First, make sure the computer is off. Then connect the curved end of the parallel port cable to the back of the drive, and plug the other end into the back of your computer. Next, plug the power supply into the back of the drive. Then, turn off your computer. I also thought that the pass-through parallel port on the interface cable was a great addition, just in case you wanted to hook up a printer or scanner to your computer. That's all there is to it for hardware installation!

TNT2 with P90 Heatsink 21:53 pm - Kan
Slapped right in front of HardOCP is a TNT2 with a P90 heatsink on it. Not too bad as the TNT2 is able to run at nearly 150 Mhz, an increase of 30 Mhz from the default stock 120 Mhz!

So what are the results?  Well, I used PowerStrip to crank it straight up to 140MHz and tried a little Q3Test action.  It was rock-solid.  So I bumped it up to 150MHz and let it run a Q2 demo loop for 30 minutes or so.  Still, no problems.  Up to 160MHz, up above a lot of the TNT2 Ultra cards out there, for a little more Q2 demo loop action.  After a good half-hour, it still hadn't crashed or locked, but it was playing the "on a very bad acid trip" version of the Q2 demo loop.  Trippy.  I bumped it back to 150MHz and, without rebooting, immediately ran Q2 again.  Zero problems. 

Intel Pentium III on Coppermine Core 21:46 pm - Kan
Our buds from iXBT-Hardware finished writing an editorial about the Intel Pentium III on Coppermine Core. The usual one page article is
smacked right down here.

However, Coppermine has a 256KB L2 cache instead of 128KB as by Celeron. And although L2 cache became twice as small as that of Pentium III, its working frequency has nevertheless doubled. The BSRAM microchips used in former Intel Pentium II and Pentium III processors proved unable to work at the full core frequency that is why their working frequency was twice as low as that of the CPU. And now that L2 cache is integrated into the processor core its working frequency reaches processor full frequency. Developing the idea of drawing analogies between Celeron and Coppermine, we have to prevent you from identifying them: the latter's cache is of better latency that's why even the latest Intel Pentium III can boast higher L2 cache bandwidth than Intel Celeron.

New Articles Down At osOpinion 17:50 pm - Yingzong
Just read this refreshing article down at osOpinion. Chew on this first :

My background in the fast food industry taught me one important fact, "The consumer is not always right but s/he does demand satisfaction" - even if they only spent 29 cents on a bag of fries. Most computer users in a corporate environment spend nothing, they just run whatever software someone put on their computer and expect it to work. But they still demand satisfaction if something goes wrong.

Words of wisdom aren't they? Wished that everyone had a clear idea of this. For those who have installed Linux and wonder why the whole world isn't using it, check this out :

Until my mom can install Linux without a Linux geek at her side, it's a dead issue. And the next person who says, "You're not a real Linux user until you've compiled your own kernal", will be shot. Pah-lease, I just want to use it, I don't want to make love to it. I just want to type, save and print a document.

Can anyone tell me why no Linux distribution that I know of has a brain dead application as straight forward and as easy to use as Windows' NOTEPAD? Don't bother arguing with me that you can make vi, ed or emacs do the same thing. Why should I have to "make" them do anything? It's a dead stupid program but when I run it, it does exactly what I expect.

How They Did IT At Thresh's FiringSquad 17:40 pm - Yingzong
Is everyone doing it? Hell of course everyone's doing it! Else how in the world can there be... Oh wait. Wrong news front. *Ahem* The guys at FiringSquad have has just put up a new GeForce 256 overclocking article. Like they said, the "dirty deed" was done and it's "spilling over with benchmarks".

We saw that most of the overclocking only yielded small performance gains. In Quake 3, gains averaged around %10. The gains were higher in the high resolution, high quality settings, but the low frame rates at those high settings make the gains almost useless. We did see the overclocked SDRAM board hold its own against the DDR board in Quake 2, but we have to wonder how much frame rate improvement we would see if we could get the engine core higher than 130MHz. We'll probably see cards that can handle higher speeds as NVIDIA improves GeForce 256 yields, but for now we can only wait.

We originally thought the boards were stable at 135MHz, but extended use proved us wrong. Sounds like we need to operate on the GeForce's heatsink and fan solution, but we'll have to make up a plausible explanation for Mr.Perez first.

Promise Ultra66 ATA-66 Controller Review  17:30 pm - Yingzong
Yeah, I know it's in the department of redundancies department(!) to have Ultra66 and ATA-66 together in the same heading. Anyhow, Tech-Review has given us the low-down on the Promise ATA-66 Controller. Here's a brief look :

If you're looking to take advantage of your ATA 66 hard drive, but your motherboard doesn't support ATA 66, then the Promise Ultra66 is for you. The addition of the card will guarantee you a very nice performance boost, especially with the latest ATA-66 drives that run at 7200 RPM, and increase your IDE drive support from 4 IDE devices to 8 IDE devices.

As more and more motherboards begin to support ATA 66 onboard, the need for the Promise Ultra 66 will disappear. However, there now becomes two distinct paths of upgrading, either purchase an ATA 66 adapter card like the Ultra66, or buy a completely new motherboard that provides ATA 66 onboard. The decision is up to you, but the Ultra66 from Promise, provides the performance boost related to ATA 66 and does so at a decent price of $69.

AMK-2X60 SECC CPU Cooler Review  17:25 pm - Yingzong
The Tech Zone has dropped us a CPU cooler review. This one's on the AMK-2X60, a rig-up meant for your PII and PIII monsters. Touted as a serious competitor to the GlobalWin VEK32, it looks like a fine piece of work. Here's a blurb :

The fans used in the 2X60 are the same ones used in the Global Win VEK32. They come with finger guards on them. While this is a nice touch, it's not really needed. The fans are rated to move an impressive 26CFM of air each. AMK's reasoning is that if the heatsink on the 2X60 is already bigger than the Global Win VEK32, adding the same fans the VEK32 use should make it perform better. That's the theory anyway.

EA NHL 2000 Review  17:10 pm - Yingzong
The Intelligent Gamer (IGamer) has done a brief review of Electronic Art's NHL 2000. For the hockey fan in you, you might want to check it out.

Ladies And gentlemen are you ready for hockey night Y2K its here and its a killer. I never really got into sports but i was having a lot of fun with NHL2000. you will be glad to know that you'll be able to see your self in the game playing as Who else but you yes you all you need to do is scan a pic of you cute little face and import the pic. Then tada your in the game. The game is a blast and all you hockey fans will agree that the game play is smooth and reaction of the players are rather fast. I didn't get to scan a pic of myself but i will, I'm just wondering if you'll be able to see it in multi player internet play but i would think so.

Matrox G400 MAX Review  17:00 pm - Yingzong
Windows Newslink has gotten their hands on one of the babes from Matrox, the G400 MAX. Where does it stand now? I was hoping for it to be a hit but unfortunately, the impact wasn't there. Anyhow, check out this review :

So far, the G400 Max is the most appealing video card I have had the opportunity to test. It is a rounded solution, providing everything from next-generation features (256bit bus, EMBM) to hardware DVD decoding, from multiple-display and TV-Out capabilities to great D3D and OpenGL performance. One should not forget the enhancements offered by the Matrox drivers and PowerDesk utilities, the incredible 2D and 3D image quality, and the good CPU scalability –useful if you plan to hold on to your card for a while.

While the price of this card is steep (around $240, the price of a Creative GeForce), bear in mind that you can find single-head and dual-head vanilla G400 boards with 32MB or 16MB memory – the cheapest of them for around half the price of the G400 Max. But even at $240 I find the Max terribly attractive, especially since it has a few extras to offer besides sheer speed and other gaming-related features.

Slot 1 to Slot 2 Converter  03:25 am - Kan
Riva3D smacked a short blurb on the Slot 1 to Slot 2 converter. Pretty interesting, so if you are interested in popping your P3 into a Slot2 motherboard, take a look at the review.

Setting up Slot 2 adaptor cards were laughably easy.  All you need to do is simply plug the adapters into the Slot 2 connectors and away you go.   Before investing in a Pentium III Slot 2 combo, make sure that your BIOS has support for Pentium II/III CPU’s -- in most cases all that is required is a BIOS update.

Kryotech Athlon 800 03:22 am - Kan
AGN Hardware just posted a review on the Kryotech Athlon 800 Mhz system! Woohoos!

Upon opening up the box, I found a respectable looking system encased in the generic beige color of PC’s today. When I first heard that this system was running 800 MHz, I half expected something of a beast to jump out of the box. Once pulled from the box, the first thing the eye is drawn to is the enlarged base with the LCD, the foot for the mid size case that would house the innards of the computer. 

NT Game Palace Renamed 03:29 am - Kan
Our pals over at NT Game Palace just sent note that the site is now called NT Compatible (remember to bookmark the new site). So, if you are looking for the latest info on Windows 2000, check it out


19 October 1999 - Tuesday
Interview With Kan 23:29 pm - Wilfred
Yeah right! In your wildest dreams! =P SystemLogic posted an interview with Alex 'Sharky' Ross, webmaster of your popular SharkyExtreme site. I like this snip particularly...

SL:  Other than computers, what do you like to do in your spare time?

SE:  Well before working full-time in this industry, I used to have a life. That's changed somewhat. I used to like Rave's, Clubs, playing football, films etc... and especially travelling. I still travel a lot but it's not the same thing anymore.

Poll #30: The Beast 23:25 pm - Wilfred
Oh yeah, the beast in you? Nah, your PC! So let's see what most of our readers have beating in the box. Wow, I can only suppose everyone visiting here are enthusiasts (duh?!)... there are more Athlon than Pentium users. A sizeable number of you have fat wallets, and are already using Pentium IIIs (unlike poor me on Celeron). Whaddaya think?

The New Kings: Epson's New Photo Printers 23:36 pm - Wilfred
Wilfred bangs head against wall> Arrghh... dammit! Did I tell you I just got myself an Epson Stylus Photo 750? Right, I can only say it's virtually 'pixel-less' already. So what more can we expect from Epson? Kok Leong has a blurb about a new range surfacing in Japan, coming with better speeds, quieter printing and an even smaller drop size of 4 picoliters! Check it all out at Digital Darkroom!

Flanker 2.0 Preview 18:27 pm - Kan
Our partners in crime over at FiringSquad brought to us a preview on SSI's latest simulation game Flanker 2.0.

While the old Flanker-A continued to be used for electronics and engine testing, the newly designed Flanker-B or "T-10S" flew for the first time on April 20th, 1981 or nearly 10 years after the introduction of the first production McDonnell Douglas F-15A. The newly designed Su-27 was thought to finally be superior to the American made F-15 and so production of the new "Flanker" (designated Flanker-B) was accelerated. While Moscow did not know it yet, the Su-27 was to be become Russia's most feared fighter aircraft ever.

3Dfx Interview 18:23 pm - Kan
Speedy3D interrogated 3Dfx's public relation's manager Brian Burke on topics like T-Buffer, FXT1 etc. Take a look at here:

All 3D content creators can use FXT1 texture compression as it allows them to use more and higher resolution textures in their content, without incurring the performance bottlenecks associated with uncompressed textures. When too many textures are required to render a given scene and they cannot be transferred efficiently from memory, a bandwidth bottleneck occurs which dramatically limits the fill rate performance of the 3D accelerator.

Maxtor DiamondMax 40 18:21 pm - Kan
StorageReview sent us a note on their review on the Maxtor DiamondMax 40 which comes with a whopping 41 GB of hard disk space and ATA-66 interface. Woohoos!

The Maxtor DiamondMax 40 is the successor to the DiamondMax 36, a drive that, strangely enough, has not yet been reviewed at StorageReview.com. Through a series of factors that we have yet to understand, Maxtor has delivered us an evaluation unit of the DiamondMax 40 before we've even gotten our hands on the DiamondMax 36. The DM40's 10.2 gigabytes per platter (!), however, delivers a platter capacity that seems to be standard across the lines of drives forthcoming from all major manufacturers.

VIA Apollo Pro 133A & VCSDRAM 12:40 pm - Kan
AnandTech posted a new article covering VIA Apollo Pro 133A & VCSDRAM (future of SDRAM?). Here's some juice:

This new chipset isn’t really new at all; instead, it is a somewhat modified version of the North Bridge we've seen in VIA's Apollo Pro 133 thus justifying the small change in the name of this chipset solution. The part has been dubbed the Apollo Pro 133A and is essentially identical to the Apollo Pro 133 in every aspect except it adds the support for AGP 4X, making it a true competitor to Intel's 820. Why even bother with anything other than the i820? Intel has always produced high quality and high performing chipsets in the past, why even consider VIA?

Promise FastTrak RAID Controller 11:42 am - Kan
2CPU just dropped us a line of their latest review on the Promise FastTrak ATA-66 RAID controller. Throw in two IBM 22GXP and you will be rocking away!

When I opened the box, I was pleasantly surprised.  I found the FastTrak66, two UDMA66 cables, two floppy disks and a very thick manual.  The manual is what caught my eye.  No wimpy little book here!  This manual is thicker than most motherboard manuals!  It is well laid out and filled with all the information needed to properly install and set-up the card.  The detailed FAQ is sufficient to troubleshoot most any problems you may encounter while setting up your RAID array. 

Hard Disk Cooler Roundup 11:40 am - Kan
Wanna cool your hot hard disks? TheTechZone just finished their hard disk coolers roundup on 5 different brands

The best performing hard drive coolers were the AMK HD-3 and the Global Win King Kong cooler. The King Kong had the lowest temp reading on top of the Quantum while the AMK HD-3 had the lowest reading on the bottom of the Quantum. To rank these coolers overall, I looked at cooling performance, price and features.

Microsoft Fights IE Holes 09:16 am - Sniper
Wilfred was just telling me last nite that he came across a web site that seems to be scanning his hdd. Well this could most probably be the cause of the problem.  My advice? Use Netscape, it works.

Last week, Microsoft acknowledged that Internet Explorer 5.0 was vulnerable to a Guninski exploit that let malicious Web site operators view visitors' files. The exploit bypassed Microsoft's security measures by running the script from within a frame--a smaller window in a Web site--where the security checks did not apply.

FireWireless 09:09 am - Sniper
Kan managed to get rid of his "ball".  Well I just want to get rid of my cables lying around, hope this technology could fulfill my wish.

Canon has developed a wireless version of the IEEE 1394 bus capable of transmitting data at a rate of 100Mbps, Japanese newswire Nikkei reported today. 

1 GHz Mad Race  08:57 am - Sniper
The Register has two articles about 2 sworn enemies trying to out race each other to get the first 1 GHz x86 chip out by this by winter. The Athlon and the Willamette.  Read on.

Sources close to AMD's plans have said that the company is likely to intro a 1GHz Athlon early next year. 

Intel knows in its heart that Coppermine just can't cut it in the race against Athlon, so Chipzilla has a little surprise up its sleeve - the next generation of IA32 processor, codenamed Willamette, could be here a staggering nine months early. 

Creative GeForce and Platinum Launch  06:48 am - Kan
Our pals over at Alive! written a very good writeup on the Creative GeForce and SB Live! Platinum launch which was held on 15th October. Hardware One was there too *wave* (and boy, are we glad we were there :) ) ! 

The day began with Mr Sim's presentation on Creative in the Next Millennium - the challenges and opportunities.

With its roots in the PC hardware and peripheral business, Creative finds itself in a very low profit margin market. Virtually every product in the marketplace is falling in price very quickly, as new and more advanced solutions are introduced at breakneck pace. One example is the graphic card business, which goes through major changes in a matter of months.

Marvel G400 TV-Review 06:30 am - Kan
SharkyExtreme chewed a bite on the Marvel G400 TV-Review. I sure won't mind getting my hands on one of these! 

Basic video quality from the TV tuner is as good as or better than any consumer standalone card we have seen. Color fidelity is fine and color bleeding is minimal. The sharpness is quite good. The underlying tuner software is superb and this is an area where many tuner suppliers fall far short. Like most, Matrox uses a remote control metaphor for punching up channels, changing inputs, etc., but the options behind it are very thoughtful for the video grabber. Screen caps can be handled by assigned hot-keys and sent to incrementally numbered image files in .BMP or .JPG formats.

Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer 06:22 am - Kan
Balless is really getting popular nowadays. USB Workshop also posted a review on the Intelimouse Explorer. One thing I will like to share with you guys is that the Intellimouse 3.0 software does not support Windows 2000 yet! Darn!

Plug it in, point, scroll and shoot. 

Windows 98 SE, instantly recognizes the new Intellimouse Explorer in either USB or PS/2 mode. According to the small, (8) page, installation pamphlet, the Explorer mouse is also Win98, Win95, NT and Mac compatible.

Naturally, I chose to use USB mode and removing the PS/2 adapter from the end of the mouse plug, I installed the mouse via the onboard USB port of a new MS Natural Keyboard Pro. The top buttons of the mouse are enabled and right, left and scroll, function perfectly, right out of the box. 

Microsoft Natural Pro Keyboard 06:20 am - Kan
I must have left it out yesterday but nevertheless AGN Hardware posted a review on the Microsoft Natural Pro Keyboard.

Connecting the Natural Pro requires at least a PS/2 connection and USB is optional. You can connect just the USB plug but some of the features will not work like the volume control and mute keys and keyboard will sometimes be unavailable during bootup, so be sure to connect both. The keyboard will work fine at this point but to get the full use you need to install Microsoft’s Intellitype Pro software. With that installed you can then use the 19 hot keys across the top. 

Elsa Gloria II 06:18 am - Kan
SystemLogic dropped us a line that they have some preliminary specifications for the new Elsa Gloria II graphics card. Woohoos, 64MB of memory and AGP4X support sure is the next thing to go for.

The ELSA GLoria II is the latest and most powerful graphics solution for use in demanding professional graphics. Uncompromising 3D graphics performance for high-end CAD, visualization, animation and digital content creation are combined with rapid 2D acceleration for image processing and all standard applications. 

Soyo Super7 Motherboards 05:47 am - Kan
Win-News reviewed two Socket7 motherboards from Soyo, the 5EMM and 5EMA+ v1.0. Here's an excerpt from the review:

The SY-5EMA+ and the SY-5EMM are Soyo's current offer of ATX motherboards for Super7 users. Both boards are built around the mysterious ETEQ chipset which, in case you did not know already, is nothing other than a remarked VIA MVP3, revision CE. The lesser 5EMM has in fact a microATX layout. In practice, this means that the board is considerably smaller than the normal ATX version but a little larger than the average AT board. The more expensive 5EMA+ is a standard ATX.

ABIT BF6 05:46 am - Kan
HardwareUpgrade posted a review on the new ABIT BF6 motherboard which comes with 6 PCI slots, 1 ISA slot as well as a AMR slot.

The construction of BF6 is similar to that of BE6, except for some details. As already said, BF6 and BE6 rev. 2.0 are based on the same PCB and you can see this looking at the preset for Highpoint HPT366 chip and the two additional EIDE channels available in BE6 rev. 2.0. The components are set as any Slot 1 motherboard in ATX format: on the upper part the are the Slot 1, the three DIMM memory Slots, the north bridge of Intel 440BX chipset, the connectors for EIDE channels and Floppy drive, the ATX power connector and I/O ports (with different colour to match PC99 specifications).

SuSE 6.2 First Look 05:45 am - Kan
CPU Review sent note on their review on SuSE 6.2. Still haven't tried out Linux before? Read the review and hopefully you will be convinced. :)

SuSE 6.1 was an impressive release; it came on five CD's and included almost close to 1000 applications... what could they have done to improve it? Let's look at Suse 6.2; starting with the packaging.

The front cover highlights the inclusion of StarOffice 5.1, and mentions that SuSE 6.2 comes with 1,300 applications, KDE 1.1.1, and kernel version 2.2 on six cdroms with a 430 page manual, boot disks and 60 days of installation support.

Active-Hardware 05:42 am - Kan
For those people who have been visiting High Performance PC Guide, the whole site has been revamped and is currently called Active-Hardware.To kick off with the new site, the guys posted a review on the Shuttle AV61 Slot1 VIA Apollo Pro133 motherboard. There's also a new review on Alpha Coolers for Socket7/Socket370. So, take a look!

As concerns the AV61's configuration, things are a bit different. Effectively, the installer is faced with two choices. First of all, an array of jumpers for configuring clock frequency, memory frequency, clock multiplier, and the processor's core voltage. Nest, all these functions - but the core voltage function - can also be performed from a menu within the BIOS named "CPU Speed Settings". Finally, a function within the "Chipset Features Setup" menu permits the adjustment of the memory frequency synchronous with that of the system bus by adding or subtracting 33Mhz from the former. For example, you may set your system bus to 133Mhz, and by subtracting 33Mhz, operate PC100 memory without problems.

18 October 1999 - Monday

Glaze3D Preview 21:56 pm - Wilfred
Vapourware? Time will tell. Anyway, VoodooExtreme released a preview about the technologies to be found in the much hyped Glaze3D chip from the BitBoys...

The Glaze3D looks to be one of the first graphic accelerators to truly harness the power of embedded DRAM. A 9.6GB/sec bandwidth should be more than enough bandwidth for even the most bandwidth intense operations (1600x1200x32bit color gaming, for example). Even though 9.6GB is more than enough bandwidth, Glaze3D still supports texture decompression on the fly. This further reduces bandwidth requirements and allows for many more Glaze3D features to be employed without worries of bandwidth bottlenecking. In other words, all the math stuff is crude approximation.

Embedded DRAM is expensive and since it is embedded in the silicon, adds to the heat dissipation of the processor. According to BitBoys, 9MB eDRAM is enough for 1024x768x32bit color rendering. (front buffer, back buffer, and zbuffer = 96bits * 1024x768 = exactly 9MB. (9MB = 9x1024x1024, NOT 9x1000x1000). According to BitBoys, not enough gamers will play at 1600x1200x32 (due to monitor restrictions, for example) to warrant more than 9MB of eDRAM. Note that the Glaze3D supports higher resolutions, but not all the buffers will be stored in eDRAM. 

Pre-Modified Athlon 500Mhz 21:49 pm - Wilfred
BXBoards posted a review on a pre-modified Athlon 500Mhz that's clocked to 650Mhz and sold for a little extra cost. Looking for the best bang? The answer can only be overclocking... =)

AMD, has again impressed me with their Athlon it extremely overclockable and rock solid. The FAK7X2B is a God sent, it really tamed the 650 during many of hours of use. I would highly consider it, if I was in the market for a Athlon. And I"m sure ComputerNerd is going to offer the FAK7X2B and Athlon 500 @ 650 as a kit very soon.

Now, as shown above the Athlon was able to run with the CoolMaster but at a much higher temperature and that will add up to a shorter CPU life span. Which is really something you must think about when running a overclocked CPU.

Abit BE6 Review 21:40 pm - Wilfred
Nah, it's not the BE6-II yet. HardwarePros has a review on the very successful Abit BE6 board, recognised as one of the best ATA66 capable BX mobo available. Still a decent choice!

The Abit BE6 is definitely a very capable motherboard.  With decent overclocking capabilities and built-in Ultra DMA/66 support, this board has everything most users will need.  So if you're a regular user looking to upgrade your system to a Pentium III, and you want Ultra DMA 66 support, this is a great motherboard with a good price.  However, for the power users and those who want to be on the cutting edge, there are better options out there, most notably from SOYO and Abit's next generation motherboards, the BF6 and BE6-II.  We are also on the verge of Intel releasing the i820 chipset and some users will want to upgrade to an i820 motherboard (provided all the problems are worked out). 

SB Live! X-Gamer and MP3+ 20:34 pm - Kan
Something to juice you up today is the review on the SB Live! X-Gamer and MP3+ soundcards by AGN Hardware.

The first advantage that the Sound Blaster Live! X-Gamer offers to the most picky music fans is support for true digital audio, thanks to a digital Din connector on the back of the card. This will allow you to hook up your FPS 2000 in digital mode, DTS or AC3 supporting receiver or whatever other options there may be. This move to true digital audio is something that only the full version of the Live! supported before, so the trip to a $99 sound card is a welcome site.

Guillemot Prophet 3D GeForce Review 20:23 pm - Kan
Our pals over at FiringSquad smacked a review on the Guillemot Prophet 3D GeForce card. Here's how it performs:

Our overclocking results were somewhat disappointing. We were only able to get the card up to 130/180 from the default core/memory speed settings of 120/166MHz. At first, we thought the card was stable at 135MHz, but framerate would eventually halve after extended use at 135MHz. We were surprised with the 180Mhz max on the memory - when Vanguard says 5.5ns, they really mean 5.5ns.

We shouldn't really complain about these overclocked numbers (they're pretty respectable), but we've been spoiled by the highly overclockable Voodoo3 and TNT2 cards. We have to remember that any increase in core speed has a larger effect on fill rate because of the GeForce's quad-pixel pipeline.

Full Tower Case Roundup 20:21 pm - Kan
3dWars posted Part two of the Full Tower Case Roundup in which they compared between five different casings. Here's some juice:

From first looks, this case is a monster. It's the largest one that I reviewed and probably will be the largest one that I will ever review. However, along side of it's gargantuan footprint, there is a very well designed case. On the front bezel, we have a big 'door' with a lock to the right. This lock opens the door that opens the world of expansion possibilities and much more. Once open, there are nine total 5.25" drive bays ready for use. At the very top, there is an LED panel with a two buttons. Those two buttons are for power and resetting the computer. There is a total 11 LED lights

Labtec LCS-2414 20:19 pm - Kan
3DHardware.net took a look at the Labtec LCS-2414 speakers. The 4" subwoofer definitely looks good and it cost less than US$50 bucks!

The LCS-2414 box design doesn't differ from the rest, nothing to savvy but definitely very professional looking. First thing that struck my mind when laying eyes on the box was how small the box was and opening the box didn't make things better. Indeed, the LCS-2414 are very small, the satellite speakers are no bigger than those found in the Cambridge Soundworks' Four Point Surround package. The 4" subwoofer comes in a sturdy wooden cabinet and is of the down-firing design. Although not a very large wood cabinet, the subwoofer oozed with great Labtec quality.

Alpha P125 Heatsink Review 20:18 pm - Kan
I'm sure I get it right this time. Anyway, Overclockin.com reviewed the Alpha P125 heatsink for your Slot-1 Celeries.

The heatsink was tested with a very thin coat of heatsink compound between the heatsink and the processor.  I used standard Radio Shack silicone heatsink compound (Catalog # 276-1372).  The ambient temperature readings were taken with an indoor/outdoor digital thermometer from Radio Shack.  The internal system temperatures for the tests were taken using the built-in system temperature sensor as well as the thermistor included with the ABIT BX6-2. The thermistor was placed in contact with the processor core in order to get a consistent reading on all the tests.  

Quantum Fireball KX 27.3 GB 15:07 pm - Kan
Well, another hard drive review by Tech-Review on the Quantum Fireball KX 27.3 GB hard disk. A good chance to see whether the Quantum or the Western Digital hard drive is faster. 

The bigger the hard drives get, the bigger our appetite becomes for larger and larger storage capacities. When we first heard about the 27.3 GB hard drives that all the major manufacturers were releasing, our jaws dropped. Finally a hard drive large enough to manage every program and game we ever wanted to use. As we continue our examination of the latest and greatest large capacity hard drives, we take a look at the new Quantum Fireball KX, which provides a whopping 27.3 GB of storage space.

Western Digital 27.3GB Hard Disk 15:03 pm - Kan
Our pals over at 3DSpotlight posted a review on the Western Digital 27.3GB hard disk. Hmm, I sure won't mind such a big hard disk in my casing. 

The outside of the WD 27.3GB drive looks very similar to that of IBM drives. This is because Western Digital licensed a lot of IBM’s drive technology. This is good for Western Digital, IBM and for us.

Western Digital Drives are available almost everywhere, while IBM drives are not and IBM drives, in the past, were the fastest drives around. Now, when you buy a Western Digital drive you can expect to see performance near that of IBMs and that is what I expected from my 27.3GB Western Digital drive.

Microsoft Intellimouse 12:40 pm - Kan
GameWire also posted the review on the Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer. Life without balls sure is smooth going :).  Here's an excerpt from the review: 

USB can also create a problem if you have anything less then Windows 95 OSR 2. If you don't know if you have OSR2 or higher, the general rule is if you bought your system in the year 1997 or after, and it has USB ports, then you have everything you need to get this mouse working. If you are still unsure, press start, settings, control panel, system, and if it says B after your windows version then you have it.

Matrox G400 Max 12:35 pm - Kan
Our pals over at iXBT-Hardware just popped a review on the Matrox G400 Max. Dual-head and bump mapping definitely are the strongest selling points for the card. But how well does it perform? Check it out:

But let's return to Matrox Millennium G400 MAX. After Matrox Millennium G400 16MB we managed to get hold of a similar card with 32MB memory and without DualHead. However, it didn't show any remarkable results and the only difference was the possibility to use the resolution of 1024x768x32 in OpenGL. We didn't consider this 32MB version worth our particular attention. But now when we got Matrox Millenium G400 MAX we will undoubtedly make use of the results achieved by that Matrox Millennium G400 32MB, which will be taken for a starting point of our comparison.

Driver Review 12:31 pm - Kan
Over at 3DRage, the guys posted their thoughts on the game Driver. If you like NFS type of gameplay, check this out:

Driver is the latest game developed by Reflections and published by GT Interactive which pits you as a deep undercover cop investigating one of the most infamous crime orginizations in the US. This is probably the first game that involves racing a vehicle through the streets that I have purchased for the computer, as I've never been an avid racing fan, but hopefully Driver will change all that. Technically, Driver is not a racing game, but a game in which you must dodge cops and beat the clock to reach your destination without wrecking your car, a mix between Midtown Madness and Grand Theft Auto. Read on to see if Driver can live up to the hype.

Diamond Stealth III S540 Xtreme 06:26 am - Kan
SharkyExtreme had another new review, this time on the Diamond Stealth III S540 Xtreme card peppered with steriods.

Their Savage 4 Pro powered Diamond Stealth III 540 was good enough to earn an overall score from us of eight back in May. Now they've whipped up a faster card using the Savage 4 Pro Xtreme chip, with surprisingly high 160MHz graphics clock and 166MHz memory frequency. This is a nice bump up from the regular Stealth III 540's 125MHz graphics clock and 143MHz memory frequency. The Xtreme also has an even more surprisingly low price of $99 after a $30 rebate, which is the same price as the original. We decided to put the Xtreme to the test to see how good the "low-end" has gotten.

Freespace 2 Review 06:24 am - Kan
ActiveWin sent note on their review on Descent Freespace 2. If you haven't lay your paws on this game, you should!

Mission designs are pretty good, there are the basic escort missions seen in such games as X-Wing Alliance, Wing Commander, but also some massive battles against Shivan and NTF Capital Ships. These Capital ships are massive, probably the biggest ships I have seen in any space shoot-em up simulation. The AI of the enemy is pretty good, not perfect as many of the ships still like to fly into you but there is very little in the way of bad points I can make about the enemy AI. It is also nice to see some intelligence from my Wingmen during the game too, shooting asteroids so that other ships wouldn't crash into them etc, but they do seem to like to get killed by capital ships far too easily.


17 October 1999 - Sunday

Hardware-One Microsoft IntelliEye Mice - Wilfred
Hey! We have a new review for your consumption. les and Kan had lots of fun with Microsoft's latest range of optical mice, and together they've given their verdict if these balless rodents are worth your extra dough. Here's a peek at the Explorer's cute butt! =)

With the Intellieye optical sensor, the mice are capable of scanning surfaces at a rate of 1,500 times per second to track movement. There are two types of digital camera technologies used widely today; The first being the popular CCD technology and the other uses CMOS technology. The Intellieye uses CMOS technology akin to a tiny digital camera, taking a whopping 1,500 pictures per second on the surfaces beneath the mice. After taking the pictures, the 18 MIPS digital signal processor will analyze these pictures and translate the movement of the mouse to reflect the cursor position on the monitor screen. With "image correlation processing" techniques, the mice provide smoother and more precise pointer movements than ever before.

Quantum Fireball KA 14:38 pm - Wilfred
TechZone has a write up on the 9.1Gb Quantum Fireball KA HDD. It is Quantum's first ATA/66 drive featuring an average seek time of 8.5ms and a 512Kb buffer.

Under real world gaming situations, the drive performs great. I was always among the first to get onto a each Quake 3 level. I also notice a nice speed increase from Unreal Tournament. With my old drive, which only spun at 4,500 RPM, Unreal Tournament was very choppy. The choppiness disappeared with the Quantum drive.

Great performance, great price, good warranty and lots of storage space. There's isn't much missing from drive. The icing on the cake is the Quantum KA is very quiet for a 7,200 RPM hard drive. With a street price of about $180, I can't see how you can lose going with the Quantum 18 Gig KA.

Xsense MIH-120 xRouter 14:25 pm - Wilfred
PC Mechanic posted a short review on the above gadget, which will allow you to share a DSL/cable connection with up to 262 PCs within your office or home. The device also doubles up as a 4-port Ethernet hub.

I feel, that because of it’s whopping price tag of around $250-$300 US, it’s only affordable for small business, and home users that really want a server, but don’t want to spend $2000 US just to share their high speed internet connection.  For the small business, its only real use is to share Internet access.  If your business grows, it might need a File server, and maybe even a print server, which the XRouter does not do.  When your business grows to the point where you do need a server, you also want the control a server gives you, such as user logins, and file access control.

Hardware Buyer's Guide 10:16 am - Kan
SharkyExtreme updated their monthly Hardware Buyer's Guide and added new stuffs including the Athlon 700 Mhz as well as GeForce graphics cards.

After poking and prodding our various Athlon-powered PCs for over two months we've come to the conclusion that they're very powerful, as well as stable, x86 software platforms.

With the release of the Athlon 700MHz CPU, AMD has vaulted into the high-performance realm usually reserved for workstations and the brute force of the chip has won us over versus the slower performance of the rival Intel Pentium III 600 CPU.

Klipsch vs Cambridge Roundup 10:12 am - Kan
As promised, the thrash-out between the Klipsch and Cambridge DTT 2500 speakers are out over at AnandTech. These two pair of speakers are superb for your home computer and you won't go round getting any one of those.

The sound quality here is just superb. The bass will knock your socks off in comparison. I think the mids and highs are even more clear than the Cambridge due to a couple of things: they separate the mids and highs by using a horn for highs and a 3" driver for the mids; and, the fact that there is so much power to play with means you don't have to drive the electronics so hard to get ear-blistering levels. The subwoofer is, of course, powerful. But beyond the power, the bass is punchier here and clear due to the twin 6.5" drivers and the 6th order enclosure.

Tiberian Sun Review 10:01 am - Kan
Though it's out for quite some time now, but Exxtreme3D smacked a lengthy review on the history of Command and Conquer right up to the gameplay of Tiberian Sun. Here's an excerpt:

The new Command and Conquer is even better than the two originals.  Though it has a lot more new units and building, and the graphics and realism have increased, but the great story line, involving the NOD and the GDI is back too.  I loved the aliens in it too.  The way the alien space craft was just laying there in the bottom of that pit, with all the search lights, and NOD excavation equipment around it.  That was great.  I never play a better game by Westwood.

Twin Turbo Review 09:59 am - Kan
Nah, it's not a review on the Skyline GTR but rather the 3DCOOL Twin Turbo fans reviewed by our pals over at FPS3D.

A good fan, by definition, is one that does it's job, and does it well. 3DCOOL has developed a reputation for the latter, and for the last half year, has been introducing some of the most effective yet still sweet-looking cooling devices on the planet. One of their latest products, the Twin Turbo, aims to continue this reputation. Of course before I say anything else, check out some pics of this honey.

16 October 1999 - Saturday

Hitachi Superscan 19" Monitor
23:05 pm - Kan
Speedy3D reviewed the Hitachi Superscan 19" monitor. It comes with a 18" viewable distance but has an impressive depth of 15.5" only. This is a pretty good monitor so check it out:

Actually they were common until Hitachi NSA added the SuperScan CM761U 19" monitor to their family of SuperScan displays. With 18 inches of viewable area and an overall depth similar to a 15" display, the CM761U can save you precious workspace while at the same time provide you with superb image quality, flicker-free refresh rates at high resolutions, and also exceptional contrast at the corners and edges.

Hardware Price Watch 23:05 pm - Kan
It's the time of the week again where SystemLogic updated their Hardware Price Watch. Well, it's encouraging to see RAM prices dropping again. :)

As for prices, you will see a huge price drop in Athlon processors, as well as 133MHz Pentium III processors.  Also known as the PIIIB series.  The Xeon 500 with 1MB cache, also had a significant price drop.  One great thing we are seeing is a drop in RAM prices this week.  Actually it's a huge drop, considering prices went as much as $50 lower, hopefully this whole RAM price boost is over!

AOpen AX6BC Pro 20:49 pm - Kan
Overclockers Australia just finished their review on the AOpen AX6C Pro Slot-1 motherboard. Though it's out for a long time already, this board is still renown for it's stability under overclocked conditions.

The core voltage can be raised in +0.1V steps to a maximum of 2.2V for 0.25 micron cpu's. Core voltage adjustment is also supported for both 0.18 micron and 0.35 micron cores, to a maximum of 0.2V over specification. There are no negative voltage steps available. If you're using a socket370 CPU, you could always use a slocket such as the MSI 6905 v1.1 which allows you to adjust the voltage

ATop Vs SuperMicro Casings 19:21 pm - Wilfred
3DWars posted a review on the two casings. If you're going to splurge, you might as well be more careful. These are not cheap dudes you can pick up just anywhere.

The power supply is one of the best features that this case has. At a bold 300W, running out of power should not be a problem for any user. Yet, this is a power supply with a redundant cooling system in it. In a nutshell, as the case temperature gets hotter, the power supply will get hotter. As the power supply gets hotter, the fan in the power supply speeds up, cooling it down faster by blowing the air out of the case at a faster rate. That's not all though. The second feature is
a thermometer that is connected to an internal speaker and LED light on the front bezel. Whenever the case's internal temperature exceeds 68 degrees Celsius (about 154.4 degrees Fahrenheit) an alarm will sound and the LED will be lit up. There is a switch on the back to shut off the alarm, but the LED will remain on until the temperature is brought down. This is a great feature for the overclockers out there. With a solid power supply and these two features, this PS setup was one of the best I've seen.

Athlon Motherboard RoundUp 19:13 pm - Wilfred
GamePC has a short roundup of 3 available Athlon mobos retailing out there. Sure you know the Athlon is a hot babe, but you've got to find it a suitable companion. Have a read!

Overall, it seems as though our weight has shifted over to the Gigabyte motherboard. The MSI board also is a quality board in all respects, and the FIC is too, if you're running under 650 Mhz. FIC has told us there will be a BIOS to fix this problem, and when it's released we'll adjust this review accordingly. Also, word is that they're adding a new chip on their motherboards that will squash the 650+ mishap, and that will be shipping in their latest batches of motherboards. When we get one, we'll test it out and let everyone know how it runs. We've tested boards in-house that allow for overclocking, and are higher quality than all of these boards tested, but unfortunately they won't be going onto the production lines for another few weeks. For now, the real gamers choice would have to be either the GigaByte or MSI boards, both are compact and well-designed, and allow your system to harness the true power of the Athlon.

1GHz Copper Athlon Production Next Week 19:04 pm - Wilfred
The Register has news that AMD will begin production of their 1GHz copper Athlons next week, at their Dresden fab. Way to go...

AMD has an unpleasant history of not quite managing to get its production schedules together, but so far Dresden doesn't look at all bad. It's the first plant outside of the US capable of using a copper process, and as it comes into commission this year it seems to have been hitting its targets.

Initial production is intended to be at 0.18 micron, with a maximum Fab capacity of 5,500 wafers a week, and 300 Athlons per wafer. That's a lot of Athlons, but the big question now will be yield - if AMD can get this up fast, it could be sitting pretty at last.

Why Linux Will Hurt Windows 19:00 pm - Wilfred
osOpinion has an editorial about the penguin and devil duel, this time written by a Microsoft Certified Professional. Seriously, if this sums up the views of qualified network guys out there, Microsoft really has to wake up. Have a read:

I’ve been an MCP for about three years. I started learning about Windows NT because I thought NetWare was on it’s last legs, and I wanted our shop to be on the latest and greatest. I don’t want to get into an emotional debate here, but Windows NT was a good thing. It forced Novell to wake up and put some real improvements in their product, as well as implementing a pricing model that real companies could live with. It was good from an industry standpoint. From a technical standpoint, well, it left a bit to be desired.

To Microsoft’s credit, they made NT pretty easy to use. User and device management were way beyond NetWare’s tools for ease of use (NetWare would later surpass NT, and has superior tools to this day) and that made it a cinch for a bunch of simpletons raised on Windows to administer servers for the first time.

There was only one problem with NT. It crashed. Alot. Microsoft would go on to improve it, add features such as a more fully functional GUI, a web server that was actually useful, drivers for just about every device under the sun and so on. But it kept on crashing.

Now, I came from IBM’s System/36 (and later AS/400) world, where logging wasn’t just a fact of life, it was life. If something went wrong, there was so much information written that tracing exactly what went wrong was trivial. If something went wrong. It was rare. IBM doesn’t call the AS/400 bulletproof for nothing.

On those rare occasions when something did go wrong, it was easy to trace the sequence of events that caused the problem. Executives were used to getting absolute explanations as to what went wrong and what was being done to fix it. Not so with NT. Explanations frequently amounted to "uh, we think it might have been the antivirus program." We were never sure.

Promise Broken 18:50 pm - Wilfred
According to this report at ZDNet, Microsoft will delay (again, yes) the launch of Windows 2000 to February next year, abandoning their 1999 date. I know no one is surprised and those of you blue in the face for holding your breath should have known earlier than be so silly. After all, Steve Ballmer said "We're going to take our time and make sure the thing is absolutely, positively right." =)

Microsoft officials maintain the product will release to manufacture, or RTM, this year -- sources say Dec. 5 is the latest target -- and therefore Windows 2000 would technically ship this year, even though users won't have the software in hand for six to eight weeks after RTM.

But even Microsoft seems resigned to the idea that, given Year 2000 issues, shipping a product at the end of this year is not an ideal strategy.

"I joke and tell [CEO] Bill [Gates] that this is the worst time in the last couple hundred years to ship a new software product," said Brian Valentine, vice president of Microsoft's Business and Enterprise Division and head of Windows 2000 development under Senior Vice President Jim Allchin.

Klipsch ProMedia v.2 - 400 10:36 am - Kan
It's high end, but what a weird model name for a pair of speakers, but AnandTech reviewed this pair of speakers and gave their thoughts about it:

If there was ever a company that, throughout audio history, have helped define "Sound Quality", it is Klipsch. The ProMedia speakers are a shining example of high-end computer audio. The speakers reproduce sound in the most clear and accurate manner I have heard to date from PC speakers. When a set of speakers come out and rival $1000+ sets of home audio equipment, people stop and listen. As usual, when testing speakers, I used a Creative SoundBlaster Live. I played probably over 200-300 songs over the past week and just can't turn these things off. I also watched some DVD movies and the speakers sound fantastic, only lacking a decoder and an extra speaker to experience 5.1 AC-3 sound. Gaming sounds nothing less than immersive.

Logitech Gamepad Extreme 10:32 am - Kan
AGN Hardware reviewed the Logitech Gamepad Extreme (which looks similar to the Microsoft Gamepad Pro). Here's some juice:

Once that fiasco was over with, the Gamepad Extreme really performed well. I expected the tilt feature to be lacking like the Microsoft Freestyle, but it turned out to be surprisingly accurate.The included partial version of Rogue Squadron worked great with near joystick accuracy. Using a tilt sensitive gamepad is quite impressive, as the usual resistance that a joystick has when turning is totally gone. Instead you have a virtual joystick that you move in 3D space to convey your movement.

Transcend i810 Mainboard Review 10:30 am - Kan
SharkyExtreme took a bite at the Transcend i810 Mainboard. Well known for their RAM solutions, especially in the notebook industry, here's how the board performs:

Today Sharky Extreme is taking a look at Transcend's cost-sensitive, value-orientated i810 mainboard, the TS-UWH31. With integrated sound and video as well as a small size and good overclocking potential, the UWH-31 may be the right board for users seeking more work potential than entertainment capacity from their PC.

Is this board right for your needs? Lets examine the UWH31 in more detail and attempt to answer that very question.

Soyo Motherboards 10:18 am - Kan
Smacked right in front of HotHardware are some juice on the new  Soyo boards they are coming out with.

  • Athlon is coming -- In time for COMDEX there will be a new family of Athlon boards. the first generation will feature AMD chipsets, the next gen will have VIA chipsets. Even though this is "6-layer" technology, Soyo will come in at a price point that will make both sytems integrators and endusers drool.
  • New Soyo boards with VIA chipsets will support 4x AGP. Soyo's SY-6VBA 133 with its 2x AGP support is a sound board. However, in time for COMDEX or for upgrade freaks who want to put a little extra graphics performance under the Christmas tree will be Soyo models to support VIA 4X AGP.
  • "Camino" & RAMBUS -- stay tuned here. Obviously some retooling had to be done on these forthcoming motherboards. We expect to have models that be have either SDRAM or RAMBUS. I'm not certain on the ship dates as of today.

Windows 2001? Linux 2001? 10:15 am - Kan
Thanks to CPUReview, the guys wrote an interesting editorial on what will happen if Windows 2000 is delayed. Well, this could give Linux the chance to finally catch up with the consumers market.

NT 5.0 / Windows 2000 is already late; pushing the delivery date into 2000, even if the delay was to increase compatibility and reliability (which is laudable) the delay certainly won't help Windows 2000 gain market acceptance.

I wonder what is causing the delay? It must be quite a problem for Microsoft to accept the bad publicity inherent with such a delay; the anticipated fallout from whatever is causing the delay (had Windows 2000 been released with the hypothetical problem) must be considered to be worse than taking the delay's PR hit.

GeForce 256 CAD Benchmark Results 10:13 am - Kan
Alright, take a look at nV News on their CAD benchmark results ran on the GeForce 256.

As mentioned this morning, I have conducted a series of tests with the GeForce 256 using the Indy3D MCAD OpenGL benchmarking software suite.  Indy3D's rating is based on 4 tests known as MCAD 40, MCAD 150, Animation, and Simulation.  I've included results for a few other other CAD graphics accelerators that appear on the official benchmarking table at Sense8.  The GeForce 256 test results can be viewed here

S3 Savage2000 Interview 10:10 am - Kan
Guys, check out FullOn3D interview with S3 on the new Savage2000 graphics card (hope it comes out soon!).

Fullon3d: When will S3 have review silicon ready?

Nick: In the region of about four weeks, but I can’t say for certain because I haven’t been given that information. I know that we go into production in October and that retail cards should be available by the 1st November. We expect them to sell for around $150 to $250, bearing in mind that Geforce cards will cost between $300 & $400.

Sound Blaster Live! Platinum Review 10:04 am - Kan
Looks like our buds over at 3DsoundSurge beat us into it. Anyway, they've 'orchestrated' their thoughts on the Platinum soundcard and here's how it sounds:

The actual optional Digital Output Module will connect to the external digital mini-jack on the Live! card itself. The card also has the same digital connector as the original full version of the Live but most likely you will be using this for the Live!Drive. However, the LiveDrive itself has an internal digital expansion connector that is the same as the connector found on the cards so you can check out add on boards from Hoontech with optical in and out as well as the possible optical I/O board from Creative.

Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 27.3GB 10:01 am - Kan
Tech-Review smacked up a review on the Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 27.3GB hard disk. This hard disk is smacked full of goodies like 7,200RPM, 2MB buffer as well as ATA66 support. Here's how it performs: 

Taking a look at the scores reveals the Maxtor's superior Business Disk mark in both Windows 98 and NT. In Windows 98 the Maxtor lead the WD by 6% and by an even greater 17% under Windows NT. Falling behind in the High End disk mark under Windows 98 by 12% compared to the Western Digital, the Maxtor fights back under NT overtaking the WD by 10.5%. Maxtor's Dual Wave technology can partially be responsible for its high performance, in conjunction with the 2 MB of 100 MHz cache.

ABIT BP-24S 09:55 am - Kan
Okay guys, I know how hard it rocks to have a 8-processors Celeron motherboard, but it ain't true. =( Below is just a pic manipulated using Photoshop. Thanks to TheTechZone for telling us! Nice work though! =)

A reliable source whose identity I'm not at liberty to disclose has passed along to me some information that was leaked to him by an Abit employee. Apparently Abit is working on a 8-way server motherboard  based on Celeron processors. I got some preliminary specs but these may change. The board features two sets of specially modified Intel BX chipsets, three 64-bit 66MHz PCI slots and 4 regular, support for 2 AGP graphics cards, 3 GB of ECC RAM, and accommodates 8 socket-370 Celerons. It's called the BP24-S. Supposedly it's overclockable too. 8-way server on the cheap? Whatever you do, don't tell Intel.

Peltier Cooling Guide 09:48 am - Kan
3DRage released the 4th part to the Peltier Cooling Guide and described the benefits, how it works and the dangers they post to us. Here's an excerpt:

While a Peltier Cooling unit can cool your CPU substantially more so than a standard heatsink and fan combo, there are many more dangers when using a peltier unit. As mentioned before, the peltier element works by making one side very hot and one side very cold, but because of the extreme temperatures of the hot side of the peltier, you must have a high powered fan to dissipate the heat. If this high powered fan gives out or breaks, then your CPU could fry under the extremely hot temperature.

VIA Apollo Pro 133A Review 09:46 am - Kan
Over at iXBT-Hardware, the gurus posted a review on the VIA Apollo Pro 133A chipset. Lots of benchmarks are slapped into the review as well.

VIA Apollo Pro133A design is almost identical to that used for its predecessor Apollo Pro133. The only thing that distinguishes the newcomer is the support of a high-speed protocol AGP 4x, which is not yet supported by any other chipsets. Hence Apollo Pro133A inherited all the positive features of the previous chipset version such as 133MHz system and memory bus support. VIA Apollo Pro133A is completely asynchronous that's why the processor and system memory bus frequencies are set independently from each other. It implies that you can still squeeze the maximum out of PC133 memory even if you don't have a 133MHz processor (with index B). And vice versa: the old PC100 system memory can be used with the processors intended for a 133MHz bus.

K7 Athlon 650 Mhz 09:44 am - Kan
Our pals over at HardOCP penned down some of their thoughts on the new Athlon 650 Mhz processor. Also, they have some exclusive info on the new Coppermine processors. Be sure to check it out!

There will be two version of the Coppermine CPU that I know of so far.  One is SC242 (Slot-1); the other is FC-PGA (Socket 370).  The FC-PGA version of Coppermine has changed it's pin out definition compared to Celeron, so the current Celeron Socket370 boards will not run the Current Coppermine architecture.  But this does not mean that only the 810e platform can run the FC-PGA Coppermine.  Our Slot-1 Coppermine was VERY much at home on our BX chipset board.   Once the pin configuration is worked out we might very well see BX Chipset boards able to run the Coppermine in a Socket370.  Also it seems as if slower than 666MHz Coppermines will run at 1.6 volts while the faster CPUs will use a 1.65 voltage.

15 October 1999 - Friday

Toshiba PDR-M5
11:03 am - Wilfred
Steve's Digicams posted a user review of Toshiba's latest 2.1 MegaPixel digital camera. Offering 3X Optical Zoom, 1600x1200 resolution, and a sophisticated DSP for superior shooting speeds, this is one stylish camera bursting with features.

Abit BE6-II And BF6 Press Releases 10:55 am - Wilfred
Over at AnandTech's, they have the press releases of the BE6-II and the BF6 splashed over the news page. Go and have a look!

ABIT's new BF6 has One AGP, Six PCI and 1 ISA slot to handle all of your expansion needs. It also offers official support for Intel's newest Pentium®III and Celeron® processors and completely supports Pentium®IIs and earlier Celerons® as well. Furthermore, it comes with the following features: all the specifications for AGP spec Rev. 1.0 for improved 3D graphics performance at a lower cost, APM/ACPI power management, USB, PS/2 mouse and keyboard connectors, CPU auto-detect, AWARD write protect anti-virus, Wake On LAN, Suspend to RAM, and hardware health monitoring. APM is there also which stands for Advanced Power Management. It is a feature rich power management function for a more energy efficient P.C. It includes Soft Power On/Off, Sleep, Suspend and Stand-By mode, Real Time Clock (RTC) Alarm and RTC Power On, and Modem Ring On. The networking standards Wake On Lan (WOL) and Wake on Ring are also supported.

Does Time Exists? 10:48 am - Wilfred
New Scientist has an interesting article about the existence of time. I dunno about you, but I will be really glad if it didn't! But wow! You definitely should read it.

TIME seems to be the most powerful force, an irresistible river carrying us from birth to death. To most people it is an inescapable part of life, a fundamental element of the Universe.

But I think that time is an illusion. Physicists struggling to unify quantum mechanics and Einstein's general theory of relativity have found hints that the Universe is timeless. I believe that this idea should be taken seriously. Paradoxically, we might be able to explain the mysterious "arrow of time"-the difference between past and future-by abandoning time. But to understand how, we need to change radically our ideas of how the Universe works.

Tom Updates GeForce Review 10:41 am - Wilfred
Noticed that at Tom's Hardware, an update to their full review is published. He included tests of the integrated T&L engine such as, benchmarks of Dagoth Moor Zoological Gardens (WXP's technology demo) running on the GeForce. nVidia must be waiting for that killer game to showcase their GeForce to the fullest!

Well, things haven't really changed significantly since our first review of GeForce. The T&L-engine is a great feature as long as an application makes use of it and GeForce was able to show its muscles quite well in Dagoth Moor Zoological Gardens. However, the performance of the rendering pipeline really doesn't knock me off my feet, especially when single data rate memory is used on the card. It constrains the rendering pipeline with its low memory bandwidth even more.

Intellimouse with IntelliEye 06:53 am - Kan
Over at AGN Hardware, the guys reviewed the new Microsoft mouse with the optical technology. Personal experience - Life withOUT balls is pretty cool! :)

Been feeling a little frustrated about your mouse?  Thinking that it's time for a change?  Before you run out and buy another mechanical mouse, you should check out the new IntelliMouse Solid State with IntelliEye technology.  Microsoft claims that this is the best advancement in mouse technology in 30 years, but how does it stack up?  Watch the video to find out!

Rogue Spear 06:49 am - Kan
FiringSquad reviewed Rogue Spear, the sequel to the popular Rainbow Six. If you ever wanted to be a SWAT member but didn't make it, this is the closest you can get! :)

The game Rainbow Six put you in the shoes of the antiterrorist group of the same name - you had to zip around the world to carry out hostage rescues, terrorist hunts, and more. R6 utilized squad combat from a first person perspective, but what really made Rainbow Six stand out from the rest is the amount of realism built into the game from the ground up. All real weapons were included in the game - everything from submachine guns to shotguns and pistols with real specs were part of your arsenal. One shot kills were the rule, not the exception.

Interact Force Feedback Racing Wheel 06:47 am - Kan
Vrooom! Get ready for the Interact V4 Force Feedback Racing Wheel reviewed by Speedy3D. Momo-like wheel makes driving even more pleasurable.

Installation was a snap, taking less than 5 minutes. All you have to do is snap on suction cups, screw on clamps and plug in connectors. Interact has even included extra long cords with this wheel to reduce wear and tear on them. This is also very helpful if you are attempting to plug the wheel into a far away socket. Installing the drivers from the provided CD went smoothly. Windows 98 detected the new wheel once I booted up and drivers installed smoothly from the provided CD.

Vantec PCSC-100 Cooler Review 06:43 am - Kan
TheTechZone reviewed the Vantec PC System Cooler which is basically a cooler which plugs into one of your PCI slot drawing hot air out of the system.

The Vantec PC System Cooler 100 is a slot cooler designed to exhaust hot air from your computer case. The first thing you'll notice about the PCSC-100 is the high air flow rating. 42CFM is a lot for a slot cooler. Vantec claims this is up to 5 times higher than their competition.

The PCSC-100 gets its great performance from it's uniquely designed blower setup. Instead of using a fan like most slot coolers, the PCSC-100 uses a bunch of blower blades. It looks very much like the squirrel blowers you get from the local Radio Shack.

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