28 October 1999 - Thursday

Fuji MX-2900 Review
23:50 pm - Wilfred
Digital Photography Review published their review on Fuji's latest MX-2900 2.3 MegaPixel digital camera. It's supposed to be Fuji's answer to Nikon's CoolPix 950 and Olympus' C2000Z (oh yeah!), but issit? Find out if the stylishly designed camera rise up to its impressive specifications.
My general conclusion from this simple test is that although the MX2900 appears slightly sharper this is down to the in-camera sharpening which also produces the unfortunate white halo around contrast areas (such as the figures on the clock face above).
Overall the Coolpix 950 seems to win out with more natural colours, better dynamic range and no visible artifacts.

Motherboard Temp to CPU Temp Monitor 22:41 pm - Kan
Overclockers Australia dropped us a line on some wacky stuffs to convert your existing motherboard temperature monitor into a CPU temperature monitor.

The thermister is R37 just near the BX chip, desolder this very small thermister (don’t drop it it’s a bastard to find!). Solder a thin (INSULATED) wire to each end of the thermister (the “ends” which were soldered to the motherboard. Now solder one of each of these wires to each terminal (solder spot) at R37 (or to R191 which is connected to R37). It is a good idea to wrap the wires in tape or cover them in heat shrink to provide a tuff temp probe.

Hangsim 22:34 pm - Kan
De boys over at Speedy3D posted a review on a rather rare simulation game called Hangsim. Hey, have you ever play a hang gliding game before? Sure sounds like lots of fun! 

Who would have ever thought there would be a hang gliding simulation game? I think I've seen everything now. Well, Wilco Publishing is coming out with its new game called Hangsim. Wilco calls it "The first light-flight aviation simulator." The game gives you a true to life flight that shows you dynamic views of both the terrain and sky. The key word in Hansim is graphics. The graphics are so incredible in Hangsim you might actually think your really there... but then you suddenly realize your not hundreds of feet up in the air, because were all computer nerds that sit at the computer and imagine how great it would be to do things like that. Anyway my point it that the graphics are great. You can take off with Hangsim this October.

AOE2 Review 22:32 pm - Kan
FiringSquad reviewed the recently released AOE2. If you like RTS games, don't miss this out! Here's a slap from the review:

In this crowded field of 3D RTS games, can a completely 2D game like Age of Kings snatch the RTS crown away from Starcraft? Our view as old school RTS players is that the genre doesn't necessarily need 3D like first person shooters do. The longevity of games like Starcraft and the original Age of Empires is a testament to the fact that refined, balanced gameplay will be more likely to hook gamers than 3D for the sake of 3D. RTS games often require dozens of units to be on screen at once, each firing tons of projectiles. If you're going to make a game entirely in 3D then there's going to be a real cost incurred there. Gamers who played TA Kingdoms before last week's patch know that tons of 3D units and projectiles on screen can really bring a computer to its knees.

Soyo VIA Apollo Pro 22:30 pm - Kan
HardwareCentral posted a review of the Soyo VIA Apollo Pro motherboard. You may like to take a look at this board if you wish to purchase a Athlon board:

The VIA Apollo Pro chipset has got a lot of features that make upgrading from a PC-100 system to the new PC-133 standard a whole lot easier. For example, it has asynchronous timing on the memory bus, and so can run your DIMMs at 100 MHz while your CPU is blazing at 133 MHz. Furthermore, the ½ divider on the AGP bus comes in handy too if you have a stubborn AGP card that refuses to work at anything over 20% extra on the AGP bus.

Microsoft's Handheld Revealed 22:09 pm - Sniper
According to FGN, M$ intends to have a handheld to accompany its X-Box.

This news follows IGNPocket's reports that the handheld is said to feature a powerful 3D graphics chip and processor that could be supplied by Toshiba. The unit is said to be compatible with Microsoft's Direct X API, making it easier to program for, as well as to port PC code to. The new unit could also hook up to X-Box in some way.

S3/Diamond Savage 2000/Viper 2 Preview 20:09 pm - Sniper
Another article about the Savage 2000.  Sharky has come out with a well done preview on this potential GeForce killer.

The 3DMark Max 99 scores show just why T&L is important. Without T&L support and a conservative graphics clock frequency it's no surprise that the results were not all that amazing. DirectX 6 games will not benefit from T&L and will most likely run in a similar fashion to being run on current generation video cards. On the flip side, it's good to see S3 improving upon their 16-bit to 32-bit performance within D3D. The hit, whilst apparent, is far from being significant. 

Intel Vs AMD 19:59 pm - Wilfred
This is NOT to be missed! A very interesting read about what's going on behind the brave front Intel is putting up. Their fear of AMD is showing and ArsTechnica has caught it at the nip.

We (the geek community) have for the most part turned in our long-standing admiration for the previous FPU king and moved over to AMD. If you folks are like me (and I'm assuming for the most part that's true), you don't really care who makes your CPU, as long as it runs your applications fast, and at a price that means we don't have to sell internal organs to buy parts.  Well, Intel realizes this too. Regardless of the oops that was the introduction of the i820 chipset and the forcing down our throats of RAMBUS, Intel knows there's a big market out there of people who just want to buy the fastest thing on the planet, and to hell with everything else. Well, currently they're not the fastest performance-wise and for the first time in a long time they're not shipping the fastest CPU on the market. You see, there's a whole machismo thing that goes on between AMD and Intel.  It's all about who has the biggest number on the market at one time. You'll notice that in the past, Intel would release a 600MHz part, and AMD soon followed with a 600MHz part of their own. Well, for the longest time that's how it's been. Intel ahead of AMD. Now that's all changed. AMD is shipping a 700MHz CPU. Intel is now shipping a 733... but there's two problems there: 1) According to a C't magazine article (referenced at The Register) there seem to be bugs in the 733 CPU.  Not good.  2) The 733 is designed for the i820, which has been delayed 1 to 3 months. Again, not good. So Intel turns to their next product, Coppermine.  Interesting name isn't it?  COPPERmine... wow, we think, it must feature that cool new technology: copper interconnects. Well, it doesn't... lucky choice of a code name?  Don't think so, IMHO that one was well planned.

WarpStock And Moore's Law 19:48 pm - Wilfred
Not exactly related, but these are two articles to be read at osOpinion. Well, as usual, I'll let the outflow of OS/2 enthusiasm loose since I'd always wished it a success. WarpStock is sort of an annual 'carnival' for OS/2 vendors and customers to catch up with one another. I remembered the lively user group sessions held at the Singapore IBM Towers, so WarpStock must be a fun-filled convention too! =) 'Nuff, the next article talks about the 'End Of Moore's Law' from this millennium and beyond.

This "law" has been regarded as some kind of reliable, constant, natural law, like gravity, by industry investors, consumers, and writers. It is not. It has been achieved through the the endless work, bleeding ulcers and failed marriages of industry engineers, and the huge investment of both industry and public sources. The "constant" improvement has not actually been that smooth - it has occurred in fits and starts; only the average of a whole industry across many years has been smooth. The relentless pressure of competition, and the huge profits to be gained from having the best chip on the market at the lowest manufacturing costs, have kept this development going - a scaling up unprecedented in the history of technology for its sheer magnitude.

Preliminary Savage2000 Numbers 15:19 pm - Sniper
I wish I had attended this party too. FiringSquad attended a S3 Savage2000 party and manage to get some numbers. This is going to be my favorite card!!!

I just got back from S3's Savage2000 party. I'll have a full report for you on Friday, but here are some preliminary Savage2000 numbers on a P3-600. They only had the cards clocked to 125/155MHz core/memory running on very beta drivers. Please forgive the blank tables. Our news interface is borked. 

Western Digital Caviar WD307AA 12:34 pm - Sniper
StorageReview has just posted a review of the Western Digital Caviar WD307AA. This new Caviar has joined Maxtor's DiamondMax 40 in the 10 gig/platter party. How convivial is the WD307AA? Well, it's the life of the party!

With all remaining quiet on 7200rpm and 10,000rpm fronts, 5400rpm ATA drives are where we find all the action. Maxtor recently fired the first salvo with its 10.2 GB/platter DiamondMax 40. The DiamondMax proved to be an adept performer, achieving an incredible (for a 5400rpm drive) 26 MB/sec transfer rate. The improvements combined into the DM40 package allowed it to outmuscle the previous 5400rpm champ, the Western Digital Caviar WD205AA. 

End of SMP for P3 'E's? 10:49 am - Sniper
Thanks to Micah from 2CPU for bring this to our attention.  Another scare tactic by Intel or is it for real?  Find out for yourself at the frontpage of 2CPU.

Microsoft's Dastardly Plot
09:47 am - Sniper
Hmmm, I just love to post this kind of M$ bashing news.  Read this article at ZDNet.

Microsoft has been in hot water recently with various security problems affecting a variety of products, from Windows NT to MS Messenger to MSN Hotmail. I believe the Hotmail flaw was planted specifically for long-term marketing purposes. It's actually part of a complex scheme to halt the buzz building around Web-based applications. Hear me out on this one. 

NT 4 Service Pack 6 09:33 am - Sniper
Word is out on the street that the latest service pack is out.  I can't help but to recall this quote in the Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies when I heard this news.

Elliot Carver: Mr. Jones, are we ready to release our new software?
Jones: Yes, sir. As requested, it's full of bugs, which means people will be forced to upgrade for years.
Elliot Carver: Outstanding!

Thumb Keyboard For PalmPilot
09:02 am - Sniper
This site is in Japanese but it offers an interesting product which you place over the graffiti pad in your palmpilot.

FIC SD11 06:30 am - Kan
Another new review popped out from AGNHardware on the FIC SD11 Athlon motherboard. Here's an excerpt:

The SD11 has to be the biggest motherboard that I have seen, taking up a good deal of space in even the larger cases. Even the older 486 boards that I have worked with did not need as much space as this monster. In normal situations I would assume that bigger is better, but I have to admit that I wonder if that is true when you are speaking about motherboards.  Other shortcomings of the board was a non-standard serial port, USB arrangement that left me pulling the existing and placing in the new backend that was included with the board. There was also only a single serial port, rather then the standard dual serial ports that most other motherboards include.

Guillemot Maxi Gamer 06:26 am - Kan
The daily news site VodooExtreme churned out a review of the Guillemot Maxi Gamer. This graphics card is based on the TNT2 M64 chipset, but I won't recommend it for hardcore gamers. Here's a whiff:

The Guillemot Maxi Gamer Cougar is a direct competitor to the MSI MS-8808. It is a nVidia TNT2 M64-based product, and there is no such thing as a non-reference M64. As most of us know by now, the M64 is a lowest-common-denominator chip, intended for the budget gamer. Therefore, it doesn’t make much sense for manufacturers to invest time and money into tweaking their products that use the M64, since it was never intended to be a performer in the first place.

DLink DFE-910 06:24 am - Kan
WickedPC posted a review of the DLink DFE-910 network-in-a-box kit. Actually, I like this kit a lot and it's very suitable for starting up a home LAN.

Out of the box the kit includes a 5-port 10/100 switch. A switch is the same as a hub, with one major difference - you can operate 10Mbps or 100Mbps connections simultaneously, allowing each pc to operate at its maximum potential. Just any old "switched" hub (not a switch, switched) will run 10/100, however if you strap on a 10Mbps client to a pool of 100Mbps clients, speed is sacrificed, and collisions happen too frequently slowing everything down. The switch is certainly the way to go.

Intel Pentium III E-FC PGA 06:22 am - Kan
I noticed over at AnandTech there is a writeup on the new Intel Pentium III E-FC PGA processor which is based on the Socket370 layout.

As we know from our review of the Pentium III E, otherwise known as the Coppermine processor, the ~29 million transistor CPU is the first desktop processor from Intel manufactured on the 0.18-micron process. The die features a full 256KB of L2 cache which makes the SECC-2 processor card a waste of space and more importantly, a waste of money. Since Intel already has a socketed platform ready (Socket-370, used by the Celeron CPUs), it would make perfect sense for Intel to make the transition to a socketed platform for their new Pentium III E. And thus we have the creation of the Socket-370 Pentium III E processor, or officially, the FC-PGA Pentium III E.

Monitor Guide 06:19 am - Kan
FPS3D just posted an article Monitor Guide which aims to help you in choosing a monitor.

The resolution ties in with the refresh rate (measured in Hz), which is how many times per second the screen is redrawn. Generally, this rate should be at least 70Hz to prevent eye strain and visable flickering (which is HIGHLY aggravating). A good refresh rate is 85Hz, as it provides no flickering noticable by the naked eye, and thus less eye strain. Flickering tends to cause blurriness in images and takes away from the viewing pleasure...

27 October 1999 - Wednesday

Cable Modem Vs xDSL
22:28 pm - Wilfred
Tech-Reviews churned out an article comparing the two competing technologies for the broadband future. Well, like Kan, if you cannot decide and can afford it, GRAB BOTH! =)

Digital Subscriber Line, or DSL, takes your already existing copper telephone wires and uses them for high speed data transfers. Much like cable modems, DSL uses the "left over" or unused frequencies of the copper telephone wire to transmit data at very high speeds. In theory DSL can provide speeds of up to 50Mbps under very ideal conditions. However, the most popular and most widely available type of DSL is ADSL, which stands for Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line.

If DSL is available in your area, it will most likely be ADSL. This type of DSL typically allows for data transfers up to 6 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream, however most providers limit this bandwidth or charge very high prices for it. Typical service plans will provide up to 1.5 Mbps downstream and 128 or 386kbps upstream at an affordable rate.

TennMax Stealth Voodoo3 Cooler 21:27 pm - Kan
3dWars posted a review on the TennMax Stealth Voodoo3 Cooler made specifically for the Voodoo3 3500. Hey, you can also check out our TNT Detonator Cooler review over here.

Running a Pentium 3 at 500 MHz with 128 MB of SDRAM, I decided to be a little 'risky' with the overclock. I won't bore you with my exact procedure, but in the end, I acheived a final clock speed of 211 MHz. The Voodoo3 ran like a beauty, with absolutely no lock ups whatsoever in any condition. At 212 MHz, the card would lock up after 4 hours of usage, but at 211 it ran perfectly. What does this mean and how does it affect you? To show how this can be 'appreciated' I took a few benchmarks with Quake2 at both speeds. At the default clock speed of 183 MHz, while running a Quake2 Timedemo at 800x600, I received 91.4 frames per second.

FiringSquad Mailbag 21:24 pm - Kan
Looks like our pals from FiringSquad started an "Uncle Agony" type of column in which they will answer selected mails they receive in their mailbox. Here's an excerpt:

FiringSquad gets tons of mail on a daily basis. Some ask personal questions of the staff, (I.E. what deodorant does Thresh use? Would I play any better if I used the same brand?). Some ask about key configs and setups, and others run the gamut from challenging us to Quake, to asking to be an intern, to other weird requests that I refuse to repeat in print. Overall however, most of the questions we receive are about upgrades and hardware advice. (Apparently people are getting FS e-mail addys confused with Compaq Tech support.)

Unreal Tournament Tweak Guide 21:22 pm - Kan
Our network buds 3DSpotlight posted a Unreal Tournament Tweak Guide. Remember, every extra frame counts! :)

There are some general settings, which you need to change before you go messing around with anything else. Once again, go into Advanced options (at the console type in “preferences”, without the quotes), open up, "Advanced", then "Game engine settings". Set CacheSizeMegs to between 4 to 8MB. I've mine set to 6MB.

Athlon Motherboards Roundup 21:17 pm - Kan
Woohoos. I'm glad I managed to crawl back home after a punctured tyre out in the dark streets. Anyway, our pals over at ArsTechnica posted a roundup on Athlon Motherboards. Here's some of the cream:

There's really only one adjective that sums up the stability exhibited by these test 'boards, and that's "rock".  I torture-tested these boards for 24 hours, in the heat-pumpin case, running two SETI clients, and a looping Q3 demo.  Not even one of these boards locked up, which is more than I can say for any Intel setup I've tried recently (even my PIII/BH6 reference combo locked up once). Now, I know that what I'm saying might come as a surprise.  Other sites have reviewed some of these boards as well, and a subset of these reviewers have reported problems on the stability tip.  I think that the situation is probably based on two things. First: there have been some bad boards out there.

GeForce 256 In-Depth 12:15 pm - Sniper
The Sharks took a Creative GeForce and came up with an article discussing its capabilities.

Creative Labs was first off the block in launching the 3D Blaster GeForce board in Singapore. This article is based on such a retail board (model number CT6940/1). It is decked with 32 megabytes of single data rate SDRAM.
The on-board 5ns SDRAM, although capable of 200 MHz operation, is default clocked at 166 MHz. 

3DfxCool Fan Reviews 12:10 pm - Sniper
3D-Unlimited has posted reviews of some of the best fans that 3Dfxcool makes.

We'll start with the processor fan that they sent us to review.  The test system is only a P2-266, 96 megs of ram, 6 gig HD, and a Voodoo 2. But for it's specs it was hot with only the case fan that came standard and the bad HP case with weak ventilation. (I have a new case to review, that will be my next hardware project.)

Nikon CoolPix 800 11:48 am - Wilfred
Imaging Resource posted a review on the CoolPix 800. A marvelous piece of engineering for those looking for the same high-end features and quality of the CoolPix 950, but a lower price point.

The Coolpix 800 is a great camera for those wanting many of the features of the 950 model, at a lower price point. We miss the rugged all-metal body of the 950 but understand that costs have to be cut somewhere. Overall though, the optics are good, power consumption is better managed and it takes quality pictures with accurate color representation. Nikon has done a good job of reducing costs while still providing unique capabilities that will be appealing to many users: Advanced features like Best Shot Select and White Preset white-balance setting give the Coolpix 800 top-tier functionality despite its affordable price.

Mashed Potato Is Brain Food 11:37 am - Wilfred
For all the souls now going through examination trauma, Slashdot pointed to this article about the memory-enhancing effects of mashed potato, so in desperation (or not) I believe you can try this out on your brain. =P Hmm... I'd always thought eating such carbo-rich food would put me to Zzzzz-land. Apparently not?! Check this out, only for those with POOR memory eligible.

Nutritional scientists have discovered that mashed potatoes and barley may indeed be food for thought, having the power to improve memory within minutes of eating them.

But before everyone gorges on these common carbohydrates, researchers note that it is the elderly and those with bad memories who appear to have the most to gain from eating such foods.

T-Buffer Explained By Gary Tarolli 11:30 am - Wilfred
The Pulpit put up an article by Gary Tarolli (Chief Scientist & Chief Technology Officer at 3dfx) explaining T-Buffers technology which we will see in the next generation of 3dfx cards. Chew on it!

The visual distractions caused by aliasing artifacts not only look bad, but they ruin your overall game experience. When you are immersed in a game you are in a state of willing suspension of disbelief. You know the images on the screen are not real, yet you have temporarily suspended that disbelief, and are immersed in the virtual reality. Distractions, such as a phone ringing, break you out of the suspension of disbelief. Graphics artifacts, such as aliasing in any form also jar you from this state of mind. The T-Buffer is designed to eliminate these artifacts and preserve the suspension of disbelief.  It is just the first of a series of new graphics innovations that will be coming from 3dfx in the coming years.

Windows 2000 - On Sale Feb. 17 09:18 am - Sniper
Kan's favorite piece of news.  Launch of his pet OS.

Microsoft Corp.'s long-delayed Windows 2000 operating system for corporate and network computers will go on sale Feb. 17, officials of the software giant said Tuesday.

The Plot Thickens 09:10 am - Sniper
So is the Great Satan of software fantasizing of becoming the Great Satan of hardware?  More news here that seems to confirm the speculation on the X-Box. 

One key difference between the X-Box and PCs is that the X-Box's basic components and features won't be
modifiable. In the PC business, consumers can update
their machines with add-ons that software developers
target with new products. 

Forums 06:30 am - Kan
Woohoos! If you haven't visit our Forum yet, you are missing out lots of juicy stuffs! Take a look at our residents in the forum who visit  the forum frequently and join'em as well!

Transcend TS-ABX11 Motherboard 06:25 am - Kan
ArsTechnica reviewed the Slot1 Transcend motherboard which comes with 3 DIMM slots as well as 5 PCI slots and FSBs ranging from 66 MHz to 140 Mhz. 

As you can see from the above, the board is pretty standard; it offers the variety of features and FSB speeds we’ve come to expect.  The only problem is that its settings aren't completely controlled in the BIOS.  This shouldn’t deter you from considering this board, however, because the number of jumpers and dipswitches you have to manipulate to get at the full range of FSB speeds is minimal.  One jumper sets the default FSB speed (66/100) and another sets the multiplier (3.5-8.0).  Once you’ve set the FSB default and the multiplier, you can go into the BIOS and scroll through all the odd bus speeds available.  

Athlon/K7M 06:23 am - Kan
Speedy3D dropped us a line on their what they feel about the Athlon 500 Mhz and with the ASUS K7M.

Having previously owned AMD CPUs before rather than my more common place P2/P3's that lie dormant around my office in various states of completion, I am fairly accustomed to how they work. That was until my Athlon500 came squeezed tightly in the holdings of an Asus K7M motherboard, yes the overclockers paradise one. There's not a thing you can't change on this beast and it's quite a heavy piece of silicone as well.


26 October 1999 - Tuesday

Coppermine Review 
21:00 pm - Kan
Anand over at AnandTech (where else?) posted a massive review on the Coppermine processors ranging from 500 Mhz up to 733 Mhz. The Coppermine comes with 256K of on-die full speed cache with a bus width of 256 bit compared to the 64 bit in the Pentium III and Celeron! Check out the rest of the review:

The differences between the Pentium III E and all previous Pentium III CPUs begin with the new 0.18-micron core. All previous Pentium III CPUs were manufactured on the 0.25-micron fabrication process.

The good news is that the transition from 0.25-micron to 0.18-micron is going very smoothly. Part of the reason for this is because Intel started the transition to 0.18-micron very early on. On June 14, 1999, Intel released their first 0.18-micron CPU, the mobile Pentium II 400. The CPU featured 256KB of on-die L2 cache operating at clock speed which helped bring up the total transistor count to 27.4 million transistors for a single mobile chip. Why does this matter?

Voodoo3 3000 Tweak Guide 20:56 pm - Kan
Our pals over at 3DSpotlight updated their Voodoo3 3000 Tweak Guide. If you are using the graphics card and will like to improve the performance of it, check out the article:

You can also change the Voodoo3 clock speed for better performance. When overclocking your card, its best to do so in small incremental increases, don't go from say 143 to 163, go in increments of 5 MHz, that way you'll be able to see where instability arises (lock-ups during game play, freezes, etc.).

You should also consider getting extra cooling for your Voodoo 3, to cool down the texture units on it. With proper cooling your Voodoo 3 is very overclockable & yields very good performance gains.

Homeworld Review 20:54 pm - Kan
De boys over at 3DRage posted a review on Sierra's 3D RTS game, Homeworld. Here's an excerpt from the review:

The interface is good but far from perfect. While it is simple, the commanding of your entire fleet can get complicated at times with the vast maps you must play on, and the rules by which the camera work are not to my satisfaction, as the camera must revolve around a set ship, and not free-floating in the atmosphere. While this may appeal to some, I found that if you could just set the camera to be free-floating instead of focusing on one ship or group of ships, the game would be much easier to control.

Sunon 128/80mm Fans 20:52 pm - Kan
FPS3D posted a review on the Sunon 120/80mm fans. The 120mm fans is superb powerful with a 108 CFM rating! Here's a whiff:

Of course, if you're running your computer in a closet or server room, then by all means don't be intimidated by the 120mm fan. Most of us, however, have our computers right at our knees or on our desks. To those of you (excepting the hearing-impaired), avoid the larger fan. The 80mm fan is a perfect all around performer in noise and airflow. Also available is a 92mm version which I did not have the opportunity to review. Let's continue, shall we?

The TouchMouse 19:47 pm - Wilfred
Interesting. After their innovative IntelliEye range of mice, it seems like their research labs are testing some really nifty technologies as well. The 'TouchMouse' will sense the presence of the user's palm and intelligently fade in/out the mouse pointers, menus or portions of the user interface to reduce clutter. Wow! Make them! I want!

The Touch Mouse can be used to simplify the user interface and reduce screen clutter by sensing the context of what the user is currently doing. In graphical user interfaces, there is a constant tension (due to limited screen real estate) between UI that is up all the time versus having the maximum possible screen real estate allocated to the user's document itself.

However, observe that most UI widgets can only be used when the user is holding the mouse. If the user is not holding the mouse, the widgets often serve no purpose and only get in the way. Thus, Touch and Release events from a touch-sensitive mouse can be used to fade in or fade out portions of the user interface based on which input device(s) the user is currently holding.

Monster Shades 19:41 pm - Wilfred
S3/Diamond announced that they will release new 3D stereoscopic glasses for gaming. Cool, it will be called Monster Shades and supports up to 75Hz refresh. Watch out for it come November!

The Monster Shades work like most shutter glasses on the market. In this case, each lens piece independently refreshes at a rate between 60 and 75Hz, giving compatible games a 3D look and feel. We've seen these glasses (which are supplied to S3/Diamond by I-O Displays) in action and, while a bit disorienting at first, they work as advertised. S3 is packaging a full version of LucasArts' Shadows of the Empire and a four-hour demo of Need for Speed 3 with the Monster Shades. Additionally, the glasses come with a "mood kit," which contains snap-on frames of varying colors that are supposed to mimic your ever-changing moods. Yeah, no kidding.

Coppermine Yet Again  13:45 pm - Sniper
The Sharks has done a preview of the new P3 running at 800mhz, go catch it here.  Any more of these Coppermine stuff, I might as well declare today as Coppermine day!

Luckily we managed to obtain a special "unlocked" version of the P3-733 CPU from one of Intel's OEM system integrating partners Which allowed us to easily switch the P3-733 from it's stock speed of 5.5 x 133MHz to 6.0 x 133MHz, which equals an 800MHz core speed. 

Coppermine Vs Athlon Again  12:35 pm - Sniper
One of those benchmarks between these two chips, catch it all here at The Meter.

One area we diverged in this roundup is with Microsoft's DirectX gaming API. For the Pentium III platforms, we used the new DirectX 7.0. The Athlon tests, which were performed before Microsoft shipped the latest version, were run on the older 6.1. As it turns out, that puts a small penalty on Intel. With 7.0, Microsoft focused on adding new features. As a result, performance on existing games is a little worse. For example, the 733-on-820 score for 3DMark was 7048 on DirectX 7.0, but 7096 on version 6.1.

Poll #31 Results 08:35 am - Wilfred
Here's the results of last week's poll. Cable users lead the pack with 56K modem users trailing closely. Next in line are DSL users... All right, thanks for the active participation in our polls. Have you voted in our latest poll? Or do you have suggestions for our next poll run?

Scheduled Maintenance 07:00 am - Kan
Okay guys, our server will be down for a short while from 10:00am till 11:30am for some maintenance. 

Savage Interview 06:34 am - Kan
Savage2000 posted an interview with Paul Asycough, Director of Marketing for S3 where they covered some interesting news on the Savage2000 card.

Just out of curiosity, how well does your motion compensation engine perform?

You will be stunned. It gives full 30 fps performance - with no dropped frames on just about any entry level CPU you can buy today. We have also made sure we are compatible with all major DVD software on the market today. I personally believe that there is no noticeable difference in quality between Savage2000's enhanced CPU performance and any dedicated hardware DVD decoders. With Savage2000 on board there is absolutely no need for extra DVD hardware.

Logitech Wingman Force Review 06:32 am - Kan
GA-Source reviewed the Logitech Wingman Force Review. Here's a whiff of the review:

The WingMan Force performed very well in just about every game I tested it with. Other than my aforementioned problem with setting up Joysticks for different games. I was really surprised at the strength of the force feedback. I cranked it all the way up to 150% in the control panel and realized that it was way too much to play well with. It was almost impossible to control well with that much force.

Kenwood 72X TrueX CD-ROM 06:29 am - Kan
Spotted over at AnandTech that the Kenwood 72X TrueX CD-ROM is available! This is pure insanity!

Kenwood's 72X TrueX CD-ROM drive embodies Kenwood's competitive advantage of being faster, quieter, and more reliable than other drives. The 72X TrueX drive delivers a performance range of 45X to 72X across the entire disc, unlike an advertised 56X "Max" CD-ROM drive that performs at 24X on its innermost tracks and claims performance of 56X on its outermost tracks (if the disc is full). The Kenwood 72X TrueX CD-ROM drive offers a more reliable flow of data to the user with rotational speeds that are less than half that of a 56X "Max" drive, enabling precise readability of media with limited vibration. Zen's TrueX technology allows the Kenwood 72X TrueX to read multiple tracks concurrently, resulting in a faster, quieter, and more reliable CD-ROM drive.

Mandrake Linux 6.1 06:15 am - Kan
CPU Review posted a review on the Mandrake Linux 6.1 PowerPack. Ah, talking about Linux, if we are to use it, the poll results on your right might change drastically. :)

There is no boot floppy is supplied in the package; on modern systems you can boot of the supplied installation cdrom. In my case, I just had to change the boot order in the BIOS so that the system would try to boot of the cdrom drive before booting off the hard drive. If you need it, you can generate a boot floppy from the first CD.

Russian Game Developers Interview 06:10 am - Kan
Over at iXBT-Hardware, there's a snippet on the Russian Game Developers Interview

TS Group: To tell the truth we believe that a more powerful and convenient geometric engine of DX7 (if compared to DX6) is the most important thing for us. From purely theoretical point of view, it may help us to increase the world detailization (the number of triangles used) in case we use it together with an on-board hardware T&L engine. However, in practice it hardly means anything at all: a lot of game developing companies have already spent so much time and effort on their own optimized T&L algorithms. That's why I really doubt if it can somehow influence the shift to DX7 before the cards with hardware T&L win at least 40% of the market.

ASUS K7M 06:08 am - Kan
This is probably my favorite Athlon motherboard. Overclockers Australia took a look at the ASUS K7M and had some interesting findings once the FSB reaches 110 Mhz.

and now I was set for some overclocking! 110MHz FSB, or 550MHz from our 500 unit, was a no brainer, simply change the FSB setting in the BIOS. It ran stable for a couple of hours of Driver (this stress testing is terrible work, I can tell you) with SETI in the background. 120 refused to POST. 115 would lock up halfway through loading Win98. 111 would load Win98 but crash shortly after loading Driver. Opening the case and ducting cold air onto the CPU fans with another fan prolonged it slightly, but the results were similar. I tried boosting the core voltage using the jumpers on the board (vcore adjust in the bios woulda been nice, guys) .. from the default 1.6v to 1.7v made no difference, at 1.8v it made no difference except the board beeped continuously during the boot process.. I decided not to try any higher (the board allows up to 2.0v) with this cooling. Even setting the mysterious "VIO" jumper to the highest setting, which is supposed to boost the voltage to the chipset, ram, PCI etc had no effect. Here's some pics at 550:


25 October 1999 - Monday

SoundBlaster Live! Platinum
23:57 pm - Wilfred
GamersDepot examined the newest kid on the Creative block in their review. You must be wondering if the card's worth your money, and if it's for you. For sure, it's not a price to pay for the casual gamer. So who will want it? Check it out here!

The Platinum combines the best of both the X-Gamer and MP3+ with the complete software bundles of both, plus one of the coolest things to hit sound cards since 3D, the "Live! Drive". One of the biggest frustrations with most people and their computers is having to always reach around to the back of the computer to switch between headphones and speakers. I mean, how hard can it be to rig up some kind of contraption that'll let you do those connections on the front. It would appear that our dreams have come true.  

I don't know why it took a manufacture to finally figure this out, but Creative has bundled their new "Live Drive" with the card, which is a modular control/connection unit that mounts in a 5 1/4" bay. This unit provides the utmost in sound card hookup and flexibility, however, is it enough to help justify the $199.00 price tag?

ArsTechnica: DIY Guide 23:50 pm - Wilfred
The hot rods at Ars put forth their newest guide on how to build a dream system for yourself. As usual, they cater for the poor (myself), the average Joe, the .... damn ... rich... Have a look! =)

The God Box
Total Price: US$7107
+ S&H (10/24/99)

Nikon D1 Sample Gallery 23:42 pm - Wilfred
Noticed this news at Digital Photography Review that D# Sharp Mag posted a gallery of pictures taken with the D1. It's 2.74 megapixel, and it's really sweeet (if not for the price!).

Intellimouse Review 21:19 pm - Kan
Our GXNetwork buddies 3aG sent note on their latest review on the Intellimouse with IntelliEye. Here's a whiff:

The new IntelliMouse differs from the its previous incarnation in a few ways. The first and most obvious difference is, of course, the replacement of the usual ball and flywheel mechanism with a high-speed optical sensor. The second immediate difference is the shape of the mouse itself. It slightly larger and less ergonomic than the normal IntelliMouse. In addition, it is completely smooth, lacking the normal IntelliMouse's textured surface.

PlexWriter 8/2/20 20:24 pm - Kan
Another mail trickled in informing me of FiringSquad's review of the PlexWriter 8/2/20 CD-RW drive. Ah, you gotta love this one. Anyway, check out our own CD-RW reviews as well.

DiscDupe 2000 is Plextor's disc to disc copy program. You can only use the program with two Plextor drives; it won't work with non-plextor drives. I used a Plextor UltraPlex 40max with the PlexWriter to test out the DiscDupe software. The Plextor drives and DiscDupe program managed to copy every data and audio CD I threw at it. Satisfied with the normal copies, I decided to try change things up and try copying a playstation game (for back-up purposes only, of course), and the Plextor drives were able to churn out accurate copies in under ten minutes. Note that your playstation will have to have a "mod" chip in order to play a "back-up" CD.

D-Link DSB-C300 Webcam 20:14 pm - Kan
3dWars posted a review on the D-Link DSB-C300 Webcam. Well, I'll still prefer a real digital camera. :)

Fist off, let's talk about its design. As you can see, the DVC has a very sleek design that is quite catchy to the eye. Most other cameras have the 'ball' type camera on top of a swivel base, allowing for more freedom of movement. In this case, the same exact amount of movement is allotted and it also has a much stronger base. There is a small weight inside of the base which makes it possible to point the camera at virtually any angle you would like, without having it tip over. There is a small button to the left of the camera, when facing you, that gives you the option to capture any given picture at any time.

IWill VD133 Motherboard Review 20:12 pm - Kan
ExxtremeHardware took a look at the IWill VD133 VIA Apollo Pro motherboard. This one comes with Soft CPU setup, asynchronous memory operation as well as ATA-66. Here's the stuffs:

The VD133 actually has similar expandability as many BX boards with 1 AGP, 5 PCI and 2 ISA slots. The dual ISA slots might come in handy for those who want to keep ISA modem, sound or interface cards through their next upgrade. With Intel and their 820 chipset trying their best to do away with ISA, your best bet for future ISA compatibility is surprisingly with the competitive VIA Slot-1 or Athlon chipsets. There is one potential problem with the Apollo Pro 133, and it comes directly from VIA itself. Shortly after releasing the Apollo Pro 133, VIA announced the new Apollo Pro 133A chipset that now included all the Apollo Pro 133’s features, as well as adding support for AGP 4X.

Imeron Intensor LX Gaming Chair Review 17:25 pm - Kan
3DsoundSurge reviewed the Imeron Intensor LX Gaming Chair. Imagine playing Q3Test with this chair! Here's an excerpt from the review:

The heart of the system is the Intensor Power Unit. This contains the 4 channel amplifier that feeds the actual chair  While the specifications don't list the detailed specifications of the amplifer it does indicated that its 20 watts x 4 channels. I have surmised that the four channels are as follows.  A left and right channel powering the midrange speakers on either side of the chair, a channel powering the full range speaker that sits between your legs as well as the tweeter behind your head and the fourth channel for the tactile feedback driver.   

Sharky On Coppermine 14:08 pm - Kan
Yup, it's SharkyExtreme turn as the gurus took a bite at the new Coppermine processors from Intel. Lots of benchmarks results spewed in the review. Here's a whiff:

Bandwidth needs are the primary focus of the i840, along with much improved I/O capabilities. To accomplish these goals Intel engineers started with the 1,600MB/sec maximum bandwidth potential of PC800 RDRAM and designed a platform to maximize its potential.

Unlike the i820 implementation of RDRAM, the i840 utilizes a "Dual Channel" design that allows for a dedicated dual pipeline to and from the RDRAM RIMM banks which effectively doubles their already impressive throughput.

Q3Test Geometry Accelerator? 13:58 pm - Kan
Smacked right in front of HardOCP is an article on how a second processor might act as some sort of a geometry accelerator for Q3Test.

The question we really want answered, of course, is how running high-poly settings will affect performance.  And, to throw a new twist at the question, how running high-poly settings in a dual-processor setup will affect things.  Could it be possible, as I suggested, that a second CPU could be used as a geometry accelerator of sorts?  Could an SMP rig run Q3 with the polygon detail settings turned up at about the same speed as a single-CPU rig would run the default settings?  In theory, at least, it seems like a possibility, since transformation and lighting happens on the CPU, not on the video card, in almost all the current 3D accelerators, including the Voodoo 3, TNT2, etc.  Why not put that second CPU to use processing more polys per scene?

Applica Multimedia 13:54 pm - Kan
Don't ask me what this is, but our pals over at CoolComputing reviewed a very interesting thing called Applica Multimedia which is basically a PCI card which allows another workstation to be "created" from an existing PC.

During testing, it was apparent that the Applica station takes less priority processor-wise than the host PC. When running the notoriously CPU-intensive screen-saver 3D Maze on both stations simultaneously, the Applica station displayed the maze somewhat choppily, while the host machine ran it without a hitch. When the screensaver is deactivated on the host, the maze motion immediately sped up on the Applica station. More formal benchmarking showed that the Applica station, powered by the lackluster S3 Savage3D, is not very good at 3D gaming.  The NVIDIA Riva128-based Diamond Viper V330 in the system easily outpaced the Savage, although it should be noted that the Applica station is not given nearly as much attention by the CPU as demonstrated in the 3D Maze test. 

Wilfred Coughs 09:06 am - Wilfred
Very interesting indeed. Just read about the Coppermine Vs Athlon articles posted at Aces' & Tom's. With a superior architecture, the Athlon has lots of potential and headroom, and if AMD doesn't screw up in large volume deliveries, it should prove to be the CPU of choice. Now, it is holding up even against Intel's latest Coppermine barrage. Let the prices fall boy, I might just run out there and grab a piece of Athlon meat. Ok, perhaps after the GeForce drivers gets optimised for the Athlon! =)

Tom's Hardware On Coppermine 08:49 am - Wilfred
Not exactly a fervent supporter of the great Santa Clara satan, Tom has also taken a look at Intel's latest CPU. From his benchmarks, the Athlon did very well in business apps but didn't show up that spectacularly in Q3Test (A similar observation was made by us in our own back yard benches on the Athlon 650Mhz).

I have to congratulate Intel for finally getting the best out of the good old P6-design. Coppermine has got very close to Athlon, it even surpasses it due to SSE and other enhancements in several 3D-games, particularly in Quake3. Coppermine suffers a bit from the delay of i820, but it is still able to show its teeth already. What we shouldn't forget however is that there's a new platform for Athlon due soon as well, which should give this AMD CPU some speed boost too. For workstation users the answer should still be clear, Athlon is the way better choice due to its far superior floating point performance and it will get even more obvious once there are SMP-platforms available for Athlon. Office application users shouldn't look at those CPUs in the first place really, since every office application runs just fine on K6-2, K6-3 or Celeron platforms. The story has changed a bit for gamers. Coppermine is at least as fast as Athlon in games and until the world changes significantly, game developers will help out Intel by optimizing their games for SSE rather than putting any major effort into 3DNow!-enhancements. This is partly AMD's fault, since it would be their job to supply developers with a compiler that optimizes for Athlon. The final decision will be made when you look at the pricing though. Intel hasn't changed much and will take more money for Coppermine than AMD takes for Athlon. AMD will have to get their .18-micron-process going and integrate their L2-cache on-die as well. Then we'll see if Intel has only caught up or if it will overtake AMD again.

Creative PC-DVD DVD-RAM 08:38 am - Wilfred
Yes, I typed DVD-RAM. I'm not sure if this was posted before, but I just came across this at GameSpot, a review on Creative's PC-DVD DVD-RAM kit. It is most definitely not for everyone, and the price would have already put it out of reach for most of us.

The Creative DVD-RAM drive can act as a DVD-ROM drive, but you can't take a DVD-RAM cartridge (or remove the disc from the cartridge) and read it in a DVD-ROM drive like those on most PCs.

The Creative PC-DVD DVD-RAM drive (say that fast, five times) is a pricey alternative to other backup methods. It requires an SCSI host adapter, which means it's really only suited for high-end SCSI-based systems - though you can always just drop in a cheap SCSI card and use it as a backup drive.

Stories Of The Great i820 Shambles 08:31 am - Wilfred
This article at The Register tells of the stories, problems and strange resolutions of Intel's i820 chipset. Names like Intel, Samsung and even Dell appeared with related reasons for the delay.

The problem now seems to boil down to this. The i820 chipset actually works fine. But Dell only uses Intel motherboards in its desktops and technical mistakes made by Chipzilla led to a last minute panic.

The Intel mistake is confined only to its motherboards and not to third parties, but the essence of the allegation is that as a result, Santa Clara pressed the stop button on all mobos using the i820 chipset, while it attempted to fix its own problem, calling all third party mobos in for qualification.

Intel had to stop the programme for another reason. It, and its major customers including Dell, would look very silly if their Vancouver solution failed to work while the i820 chipset hummed away very nicely on third party motherboards equipped with bright and shiny Coppermine .18 micron chips.

Coppermine 733 Mhz vs Athlon 700 Mhz!! 06:40 am - Kan
Ace's Hardware managed to get a piece of the Coppermine 733 Mhz and posted some benchmarks of it. Looks like the Athlon is still slightly faster due to it's new architecture. Check it out:

Of course, as the die of the PIII shrank, more transistors could be used. The new Coppermine counts 28 million transistors, while the PIII has only 9.5 transistors. More than 17 million were needed for the 256 KB integrated L2-cache and controller with tag bits. The Coppermine is still smaller than the .25 µ PIII: 106 mm² compared to 140 mm².

The Coppermine consumes also less power: de desktop CPU needs 1.6V, while the mobile versions will use between 1.1 and 1.5 V.

Intellimouse with Intellieye 06:35 am - Kan
Dan's Data dropped us a line on their latest review on the Microsoft Intellieye mice review. 

There are two models of IntelliEye mouse. The basic IntelliMouse has exactly the same asymmetrical shape as Microsoft's previous "ergo" IntelliMouses, and the same two button, one-wheel design, with the wheel also "clickable" as the third button. The only giveaway besides the IntelliEye printing is that these mouses return to the old shiny white finish, as opposed to the frosted beige of the opto-mechanical IntelliMouses. The wheel also has rather nice grip ridges, for extra traction. This plain model sells for $79 (Australian dollars), versus $55 for a plain OEM USB opto-mechanical IntelliMouse.

Freetech Slot-1 06:29 am - Kan
AnandTech reviewed the Freetech P6F91i (darn, I'm sure I got it right) Slot-1 BX motherboard. It supports from 66 Mhz all the way up to 150 Mhz. Here's a whiff:

The P6F91i runs on the Intel 82440BX AGPset and can take advantage of up to 768 MB of SDRAM. It has a very similar layout to Freetech's P6F107, although it is a Slot-1 rather than a Socket-370 interface. This board features a 5/2/1 (PCI/ISA/AGP) slot configuration with a total of 3 DIMM slots. Neither of the ISA slots is capable of accepting full length cards, while all but one of the PCI slots can take full length cards.

Gigabyte GA660+ TNT-A 06:29 am - Kan
Our pals over at HotHardware posted a review of the Gigabyte GA660+ TNT2 graphics card.

Just in case you were sleeping through those specs, the key difference for the "Plus" version is that the TNT2 Core Speed by default is 149MHz. and when you have the Turbo Mode engaged with the on board jumper, it runs rock solid stable at 170MHz.! In addition the memory speed jumps from the standard mode 166MHz. to 180MHz. ! We of course cranked the GA660Plus up a little higher than that and were able to run it at 175MHz Core and 190MHz. Memory Clock with full stability. You may of course see slightly different results with your board. You know how it goes...  


24 October 1999 - Sunday

DTC Drivers for Windows 2000 22:27 pm - Kan
Gosh, news today sure is slow. Anyway, NT Compatible dropped us a sniff on the new DTC-3182/3152/3?8? SCSI drivers for Windows 2000. Also, the new version of PowerStrip 2.53 is out and is available in our Downloads section.

Neon 250 22:08 pm - Kan
3aG  dropped us a line on some pictures of the Videologic Neon 250 which is already available in Japan! 

Modified Athlon 15:47 pm - Kan
Wow! Overclockin.com sent note on some pics of a modified Athlon from TrinityMicro which allows you to change the voltage, multiplier and cache settings thru DIP settings.

Imation SuperDisk 14:37 pm - Wilfred
3D Alpha spewed out a review on Imation's SuperDisk. They've covered the EIDE, USB and Parallel versions of the drive, so how does it stack up against floppies, ZIPs and CDRs?

With Imation making SuperDisk drives, it would almost seem to be a pretty stupid move not to have a USB version of this drive. This drive can read your older floppies up to twenty-two times faster than your standard floppy drive can read diskettes, which means less time sleeping in front of the computer when all you want to do is copy a 500Kb file. Of course, if you read the footnote on the box, that applies to Macintosh computers, which this drive is also compatible with. With PCs, floppy read/write capability is nineteen times faster. Still not a bad jump in speed, you'll have to admit.

Kasporov Wins The World 14:20 pm - Wilfred
Not hardware nor software related, but heck.. once again, you're not stopping me! =P Yahoo News posted of the 4-month battle between Kasporov and a worldwide team of chess players on an Internet chess game (hosted on Microsoft's Website). Well, Kasporov's 62nd move forced a resignation from the World Team. Here's some interesting snippets:

"Despite a valiant challenge from a resourceful World Team, a superior position by Garry Kasparov at move 62 forced resignation by the opposition.''

Microsoft gaming zone production manager Eddie Ranchigoda said more than 50 percent of the Internet voters opted for resignation, which under the rules conceded the contest to the Russian.

On the Web site Thursday, when it was already clear that he was heading for victory against the Internet all-comers, he issued a statement through game commentator Danny King, a grandmaster from England.

"At move 10, I congratulated The World on a great opening novelty, and to that I would like to add it was a phenomenal middlegame, a crazy human endgame,'' the statement said. "And now we have a computerized queen and pawn ending of mathematical precision.

"Within our game we have covered all the elements of modern chess. I thank The World for a great fight.''

Kasparov also promised to address a minor controversy of a week ago, when some fans on the site angrily accused Microsoft of mishandling a crucial move suggested by one of four strong teenagers advising the voters. The move 58...Qf5 was sent in late by Irina Krush of the United States -- the de facto leader of the team, which was also assisted by grandmasters -- and the Internet audience voted instead for 58...Qe4, considered weaker.

Kasparov told King however, that according to his analysis, even 58... Qf5 would have led to defeat for "The World'' team.

Internal USB 2004F Hub 14:15 pm - Wilfred
This reminded me of Creative's LiveDrive! TheTechZone has a review on a internal USB hub that fits into your 3.5" bay, allowing for up to 5 devices to be plugged in from the front. Reduce the back clutter, you'd say? Nah.. I think it's just moving the mess to the front! =)

Do you have a lot of USB devices and not enough USB ports? Then the USB-2004F Hub is for you. The card is housed in a special casing designed to fit into any 3 1/2 floppy drive bay.

The 4 port hub is a Universal Serial Bus (USB) hub, which is a USB cable concentrator and a bridge between PC USB host controller and USB devices. The USB hub has one upstream and four downstream ports. It supports both full speed (12Mbps) and low speed (1.5Mbps) devices such as mouse, keyboard, joystick, scanners, etc.. The USB hub provides self-powered mode, and also provides per-port overcurrent detection and protection.

The main advantage of this kit, besides giving you more USB ports is it relocates those ports to the front of your computer. This cleans up cable clutter behind your computer, and makes switching devices a lot easier.

Encarta 2000 08:22 am - Kan
Our pals over at ActiveWin posted their thoughts on the Encarta 2000 Reference Suite DVD software. Here's a sniff:

The Encarta Reference Suite 2000 usually comes on 5 CD's, but now with the DVD version there is no need to spend time swapping around the CD's when you are searching for information. Encarta has a number of different installation choices for you to pick from, once you insert the DVD you can install various components as shown below:

ABIT BP6 Review 08:19 am - Kan
De boys over at 2CPU posted a review on the ABIT BP6. Now, if only ABIT comes out with a Dual Slot-1 board with all the goodies like ATA66, I won't hesitate to plop two Pentium IIIs into it. :)

This has been the biggest seller for Abit.  Since the days of putting together old QDI TX based jumperless boards, I always understood the value of the jumperless design.  Abit took it a step further with Softmenu II.  If you can't set it in Softmenu II, it just does not need to be set J  The ease of setting the board up with this feature is amazing.  I only have one problem with Softmenu II.  When you are pushing a system to its limits, and you push it too far, it is a pain to go back and have to clear the CMOS to get it to boot again.  I guess that is just something I need to learn to live with.  Other than that, how can you beat it?

VapoChill 08:15 am - Kan
Overclocking.dk posted an review on the DIY VapoChill kit from ASETEK. Smacked right in the review are tons of photographs on the kit, so do check it out.

For the more objective people (yak, one has to be that sometimes) the technology is all about ordinary compressor cooling, where a fluid with a low boiling point on for instance  -25 °C is led above a hot surface, which in this connection is the CPU. The heat influence makes the fluid vaporize. It is no secret the vaporization process needs energy to make the fluid boil, whereat there is taken away heat away from the  CPU, which in practice equals cooling down. Funny enough, the small quadratic cobber plate mounted on top of the CPU (yes, guess what) a vaporizer.

23 October 1999 - Saturday

Supercooling your CPU
21:06 pm - Kan
Nothing to the extent like those Kyrotech machines, but Digital-Clips has an article teaching you how to make your own peltier coolers! Give your CPU a little treat!

A peltier gets hot.  Very hot.  You can actually fry an egg on the heat sink.  Dang.  Anyhow, how do we get rid of it?  Since the heatsink heats up quickly, you'll need extremely powerful fans (some Sanyo Denki ones might help), to move the air around the fins of the heatsink.  A nice, large heatsink will also definitely help, ala a Global Win Vek-12.  You'll also need some 80mm case fans positioned around to suck air out.  You don't want 40 degrees Celsius  air moving around your case. Uh uh.

IntelliPoint 3.0 Under Windows 2000 21:03 pm - Kan
I noticed over at NT Compatible that there is a work-around for getting the Microsoft IntelliPoint 3.0 software to work under Windows 2000. Incidentally, Windows 2000 Build 2151 is available for beta testers as well.

Anthony send me a note how to install the Intellipoint software under Windows 2000:
"Assume that the CD Rom is on the D drive
D:\Setup\Setup.exe win2000

AMD SledgeHammer 19:31 pm - Wilfred
I see you must be curious. Well, with Intel saying they would reclaim the 'megahertz' leadership in the CPU race, one cannot but worry if AMD will be able to hold their speed crown for long. RealWorld Technologies has a nice piece of reading on AMD's upcoming 'SledgeHammer'. K8? Hmmm...

Apparently the extension to 64 bits will come without too much pain either. AMD claims that stretching 32 bit x86 to x86-64 only adds 5% to processor die size, and since the same processor core executes 32 and 64-bit code the performance will be equivalent. This might be a bit of a stretch since research conducted at DEC indicates that in practice compiling an application with 64-bit addressing instead of 32-bit addressing causes a performance loss of about a 4 - 5% on average. This results from address data taking up more room in the data cache and main memory causing the cache and TLB miss rates to increase.

0.22 Micron Gigabyte GA-660 TNT2-A 19:25 pm - Wilfred
The sharp-eyed would have noticed the '0.22' and the 'A' here. Well, SharkyExtreme delivered a review on the newborn GA-660 which sports nVidia's 0.22 micron TNT2 chip. While the card is still cool and blue, is there any performance boost moving to the new process? Let Sharky tell you!

The TNT2-A is essentially identical in design to the TNT2 that we all know and love, except that it uses a .22 micron fab as opposed to the original TNT2's .25 micron fab. The advantages of a .22 micron fab are many. First, .22 micron chips take up less space, so more chips can be made on the same wafer at the same time. When you can make more chips at the same time each chip costs less to make, so the cost of making a TNT2-A is lower than the cost of making a TNT2. Second, .22 micron chips have narrower and shorter circuitry, which lowers overall resistance in the chip, which means less heat. Less heat means better over clocking speeds are attainable. So the average .22 micron TNT2-A should theoretically be able to clock faster than the average .25 micron TNT2. Lower costs and faster speeds make the TNT2-A and its smaller dye size a good thing.

PIII Notebooks To Debut 19:18 pm - Wilfred
Ahh.. what a vague header man! Of course they will debut! But when?! It's next week according to CNet, so expect to see screeching hot notebooks on the latest Coppermine Pentium III chips with speeds from 400-500Mhz.

Next week's debutants are centered around the "Coppermine" processor, an enhanced version of the Pentium III that was originally due in September. The Coppermine Pentium IIIs--which will be seen in notebooks, desktops, workstations, and servers--will run faster than current Pentium IIIs and contain modifications that will boost performance.

Coppermine notebooks will run at 400, 450, and 500 MHz, according to various sources, and come with other enhancements such as a faster system bus, the electronic pathway responsible for shuttling data between the processor and main memory. The new bus runs at 100 MHz, compared to the slower 66-MHz bus used in notebooks now.

Coppermine desktop PCs, meanwhile, will run at 733 MHz and come with a faster 133-MHz bus. Some will also feature fetching, stylish designs. Overall, the new desktop chips will narrow the performance gap between the Pentium III and AMD's Athlon, said Nathan Brookwood, an analyst with Insight 64.

"It puts the Pentium III on more or less a clock-for-clock parity," said Brookwood, "When Intel pops with a 733 MHz, there is a likelihood that they will be the fastest guy on the block."

Preview of TR4: The Last Revelation 19:13 pm - Wilfred
There's a preview of Tomb Raider 4 at GamePower in case some of you are already missing Laura. What's changed? Has she put on weight or picked up new skills? Check this out!

Gameplay tweaks abound as well. Core has implemented a completely new inventory system that is more direct and simpler to use, and Lara will keep a log that contains any maps, information, goals, and hints she encounters. Ropes have been introduced into the game, enabling Lara to grab, climb, and swing on them. You'll also encounter climbable poles. Her hand-over-hand shimmy now allows her to go around 90-degree corners and, finally, Lara can open and even close doors herself -- by using her hands, pushing or shouldering them, or even kicking them down.

In addition, Lara will have new moves when she holds certain objects, such as the crowbar, and will be able to search dead bodies.

Battle Of The Boards 19:08 pm - Wilfred
Heh! Indeed the long drawn battle reached a new climax with Abit's release of the BE6-II and the BF6 - further extending their market leadership. HardwareCentral has a SHORT review on their 'appearances' and listed the new features offered.

Looking back upon both motherboards I can safely say that the new Award 6.0 BIOS and the Softmenu III offer a slew of new features and a user friendliness that is more than compelling. If you are planning on doing an upgrade both boards will fit your needs perfectly, albeit the BE6-II has the advantage of on-board Ultra ATA/66, and the BF6 has an extra PCI-slot. Whichever you choose they are both of the infamous Abit quality and offer all the features needed to get your system running at the peak of its performance.

Next Gen High-Performance Architectures 19:03 pm - Wilfred
FiringSquad has an article about well, yes.. the Next Generation High-Performance Architectures in tomorrow's PCs. Most of you would have known that 'megahertz' is not an accurate measure of a computer's powess. Here's a snip to get you started:

The most recognizable indicator of performance in the PC world is megahertz. Sophisticated readers will realize that this measure is sufficiently flawed to not be useful as anything but a first glance approximation of a system's performance. For example, an Athlon 500 performs on par with a Pentium-III 600. However, would you believe me if I told you that an Athlon 600 gets its butt kicked by a 200MHz IBM processor? True, from a certain point of view.

Measuring performance in the world of high-performance workstations and servers is a completely different game than in the world of personal computers. Many of these high-performance workstations and servers will be used to run only one or two applications for their lifetimes, in which case a number of different factors could drastically change performance.

On a database system that is expected to handle data requests from many areas of a 1 GB database file should have a fast IO system, extremely high memory bandwidth, and a large L1 and L2 cache. On the other hand, a 3D rendering farm will require CPUs with the fastest possible floating point speed and the ability to have massive multi-processing.

Athlon K7M Review 08:00 am - Kan
I guess they beat us to it. Anyway, GamePC reviewed the Athlon K7M motherboard. This one supports FSBs from 100 Mhz to 150 Mhz and is probably the only board capable of overclocking the Athlon.

The K7M has support for core voltage adjustments, up from the Athlon's default 1.6 to 2.0V, although under our tests we found that bumping up the voltage didn't help in any of our overclock attempts, and actually hurt it under some circumstances. For example, our reference Athlon 650 chip boots into Windows, but crashes under 3D games at 715 and 733 MHz. When we bumped up the core voltage to 1.7 and 1.8, the system bluescreened upon entering Windows.

GamePC "Disruptor" Athlon Review 07:55 am - Kan
SharkyExtreme took a look at GamePC's "Disruptor" Athlon PC. It comes in a Addtronics 7890A full tower casing with two 18 GB Quantum Fireball KA hard disks as well as 256MB of memory (did I smell dream machine?). Here's a sniff:

We liked the layout of the Disruptor's internal hardware as well as the professionalism that the technicians demonstrated in installing the components. All free hanging cables were pinned down, and there were no unnecessary screw holes or loose peripherals present throughout the entire PC.

We likened the job the GamePC tech guys did on the Disruptor's installation to the polished engine bays on cherry antique show cars you see at Laguna Seca's annual Concours D'Elegance display.

Incoming Forces 07:51 am - Kan
Another new mail trickled in as Speedy3D informed us of their new preview on Incoming Forces. I must say this new game from Rage looks pretty impressive. 

As with the original there will be a slue of various multiplayer options that should keep even the most withdrawn monkeys happy. Keeping monkeys happy is a prime concern at Speedy3D so this should be good. There are now over ten different craft to control and the 

e include gunships, fighters, tanks, an escape pod, assault robots and even including a secret alien technology craft.

3D Realm/Apogee Interview 07:50 am - Kan
The boys over at 3D-Unlimited posted an interview with 3D Realm/Apogee. Here's what they asked:

Who founded Apogee?

I started the company in 1987 with the release of Beyond the Titanic, a text adventure game comparable to Infocom's games, which were top sellers during that time. I didn't hire my first employee until early 1990, who was Shawn Green, currently the lead coder for Daikatana. George Broussard, my partner, didn't join Apogee until mid-1991.

Crucial PC133 256MB Review 07:44 am - Kan
BoomGames posted a review on the Crucial PC133 256MB memory module. Ah, I won't mind filling all my DIMM slots with these... :)

RAM has gone a long way, from DRAM to SDRAM. Basically, SDRAM uses its feature of synchronous operation to help eliminate wait-times. When the CPU is ready to access data from the DRAM, it automatically goes to a specified clock point since the processor already knows when operations are going to be completed and data is going to be available. Crucial's SDRAM is extremely sweet. 

Microsoft Simulator 2000 Review 07:42 am - Kan
Gee, I guess I kinda missed this out. Anyway, Exxtreme3D posted a review on Microsoft Simulator 2000. For those who yearn to be a pilot but can't make it to the flying school, this is your chance to polish up your skills.

There are two new aircrafts you can fly that you couldn’t fly from MS Flight Simulator 98.  The Mach2 Concorde and the Boeing777-300 jet airliner are two of the best planes in the game.  I favor the Concorde, because it can clime to altitudes much faster than other planes, and the speeds they can exceed when in a straight nose-dive plummet make for great crashes.

FastTrak Update 07:37 am - Kan
2CPU dropped us a line they have updated their FastTrak review with more benchmarks using RAID 0. 

Configuring the array was pretty simple too.  After the mainboard's BIOS loads, the cards BIOS loads.  Hitting <Crtl><F> takes you into the setup.  Because I have two identical Western Digital 64AA (5400rpm UDMA66), I chose a level 0 array (striping) for performance.  Configuring the array was hardly difficult.  I referred to the manual a few times (good thing it is a very comprehensive manual) but for the most part, it is a very intuitive install.


22 October 1999 - Friday

HW1 - Volition Inc's FreeSpace 2
- Wilfred
The game no one should miss this year! Yingzong did an extensive review on his most awaited sequel, shooting non-stop for the past week to bring you this! So was the game found wanting? You'll have to read this to find out. The Greatness, The Lameless and The Conclusion.. as he so aptly summed up. =)

Striking nebulae environments are an addition to the game. They are not just beautiful cloud-like backdrops of cold space. You can actually fly in a nebula and do combat there. 
Flying in one is like a semi-blind walk in a thick fog with little visual information on whatever's going on around you. This is where the audio factor that I mentioned earlier kicks in. There was once, after destroying a Shivan fighter I had been stalking, I found myself disoriented and lost with no other target in sight. All of a sudden, an anti-fighter beam cuts across my field of view, narrowingly missing me. To my disbelief, I realised that I was just 400 metres away from one of the biggest Shivan cruisers I had ever seen! "Holy Mother of Moses!", I thought. "Now the sh** has really hit the fan!"

Plexwriter 8/20 22:14 pm - Kan
Incidentally, TargetPC reviewed the Plextor Plexwriter 8/20 CD-R drive. Nope, this one doesn't come with ReWriteable features though.

The PLEXWRITER 8/20 also supports Plextor's own hard drive disaster recovery software.* Users can record a copy of their hard drive, operating system, program
files, and data, directly to the PLEXWRITER 8/20. If the hard drive fails, users can use nearly any CD-ROM drive to boot from the backup disc, then restore not only the data, but also the entire system with original configuration for every program previously installed. There is no need to reconfigure the programs, even the user's desktop is restored to its original configuration.

Gigabyte GA-7IX 22:10 pm - Kan
Digital-Clips just whipped up a review on the Gigabyte GA-7IX Athlon motherboard. Think this is the first Gigabyte Athlon board I saw in the net. Here's a taste:

At first glance, you can be forgiven for mistaking the 7IX for another BX mobo, which it closely resembles. Gigabyte provides a collapsible Slot-A support stand for the Athlon identical to those on PII/III machines. The board's layout is clean and compact, with little PCB space wasted (unlike the massive and rather pathetically unsophisticated looking FIC SD-11). A small orange-gold heatsink sits on top of the Northbridge logic chip. The mobo generally follows the same layout as its AMD predecessor with exception of the ATX power supply connection. Gigabyte took the initiative to move it from behind Slot A connector to in FRONT of the Slot A, eliminating the need to string the thick power cables behind the Athlon. Kudos to Gigabyte for making a nice intelligent move.

Huge Digital Camera Comparison 20:44 pm - Wilfred
Wows! Before you plong down the money, I came across this link to D# Sharp Magazine's comparison page at Phil Askey's Digital Photography Review. You have seen how my Olympus performed, if you were impressed, you oughta check this link out! There're indeed better models if you can afford them! NEVER MISS THE NIKON D1 (The benchmark for ALL digital cameras!)!!!

Shadow Company 20:39 pm - Wilfred
FiringSquad sent note about their review on UbiSoft's latest foray into squad-based strategic combat games - Shadow Company. It's a negative review, so don't buy it! :)

Possibly the most annoying thing about Shadow Company was its PR. I found myself drawn back to the advertisement / press release info again and again, to make sure I had read them right. They had the audacity to claim the game has "Revolutionary A.I.?" Sure, we know all games have to stroke their own horns (how's that for a mixed metaphor?) a bit, but Shadow Company carries it to ridiculous levels, all the while being nearly the opposite of what it claims.

And what is it? Shadow Company is a buggy game, with crappy AI, uninteresting action and painfully mediocre graphics. Not only that, but it has the gall to rip off nearly everything it does from other games, becoming what feels like a pathetic imitation of an amalgamation of genres.

Wilfred Coughs 20:30 pm - Wilfred
I gave up on my PC before it gave up on me. Indeed, it's been misbehaving so bad lately, I formatted it and gave it a fresh install. Damn... what a super duper waste of my precious time! Ok, still in the process of putting the bits back, but I'm back. Back. Back. :)

Thrustmaster and NASCAR Racing Wheel 06:52am - Kan
This is as real as you can get with driving a F1 racing car. Thrustmaster just announced the new NASCAR Racing Wheel for driving frantics out there. Here's the press release.

Rage Fury MAXX 06:42am - Kan
Woohoos! HotHardware just popped in a mail on their exclusive interview with ATI on the new Rage Fury MAXX graphics card. 

Our Dual ASIC technology allows us to utilize two .25 Micron Rage128 Pro chips and two independent 32MB SDRAM frame buffers populated on a single AGP card. This technology is implemented within our proprietary software and no additional components are needed to allow the two ASICs to work together. Also, each Rage128 Pro has its own on board DAC and Triangle Set Up Engine. The Dual ASIC technology is only engaged when playing full screen 3D games. When in a desktop environment, only one Rage128 Pro chip is utilized.

GeForce 256 Review 06:40am - Kan
nv News joined the league and released the review on the nVidia GeForce 256. Check it out!

What makes the NVIDIA GeForce 256 so revolutionary?  For starters, it's the first consumer based graphics controller chip that is equipped with a graphics processing unit, or GPU.  The GPU can be thought of like a special processor, similar to a CPU, which perform specific types of calculations.

Soyo SI-7IZB 06:37am - Kan
De boys over at CRUS finish their review on the Soyo SI-7IZB which is a Socket370 board and incidentally, it comes with both AT and ATX power connectors.

The design of this board differs a bit from other AT motherboards, usually the socket is positioned bottom right but as you can see on this motherboard they have positioned it where the SLOT, socket is positioned on the ATX boards. In my EFA Discovery ZX review I pointed out that the COM, LPT and diskdrive connectors sit tight together so it’s hard to put the cables in place. On this board the have moved the diskdrive connector to the other side of the board so that it sits next to the IDE connectors. That makes it a bit easier to put the cables in place.

ASETEK Cooling Systems 06:33 am - Kan
Just like good times, smacked right in front of HardOCP are some info on the ASETEK aka Kyrrotech cooling systems. The good thing is, ASETEK is a do-it-self kit, allowing you to cool your CPU down to -20ºC.

The second generation of the VapoChillÔ is offering 100% “do it yourself” integration, allowing the end user to use existing hardware or build up a complete system from their own demands. No hardware is shipped with the VapoChillÔ only an ATX tower case containing a power supply and cooling unit. A 12V compressor driven by the computers own power supply runs the system. The 12V technology makes the systems usable worldwide independent of 115/230V wall outlet. The systems are low noise; with a noise level at revolutionary 35db(A) the VapoChillÔ is setting new standards in this area as well.

A Visit to Maxis 06:29 am - Kan
FiringSquad packed in their lunch boxes and went for a visit to Maxis headquarters (you know those guys who created Sim City?). Here's what they saw:

The genius behind Sim City and Maxis' upcoming game, The Sims, is Will Wright. When I arranged this visit with Maxis I didn't think I'd actually meet Will again (I saw him briefly at E3), so it was quite a shock to me that Will conducted the demo for us himself. In our two hour chat I learned a lot about the Sims, but also that Will Wright is a very intelligent, articulate person with a great body of knowledge about a variety of different subjects. Obviously he knows some of the finer aspects about architecture and urban planning but he seemed equally well versed in literature and biology.


21 October 1999 - Thursday

SBLive! Platinum & GeForce Launch Coverage
- Wilfred
The official launch of the Creative Sound Blaster Live! Platinum and 3DBlaster GeForce was just over. We had Wy Mun there to cover the event at the local headquarters of Creative in Jurong, Singapore. Let him tell you what he saw and heard!

... their vision points to the convergence of technologies, where PC entertainment will soon assimilate and replace the home entertainment environment, offering far more than non-interactive video / audio playback. Creative will then bundle and combine this together, providing a platform that offers a complete package to pave the way for a unique, Personal Digital Entertainment (PDE) experience – a term coined to describe the users’ experience of tomorrow.

Riva TNT2 Value Review 21:10 pm - Kan
Adrian's Rojak Pot posted what they called the 'Definitive Review' on the Creative Riva TNT2 graphics card. Here's an excerpt:

As you probably guessed it, the nVidia RIVA TNT2 Model 64 graphics processor powers the Graphics Blaster RIVA TNT2 Value while the other two faster nVidia RIVA TNT2 chips made it into the 3D Blaster line instead. Many people have been fooled into thinking that the Graphics Blaster RIVA TNT2 Value was a standard RIVA TNT2 card with only 16MB SDRAM onboard. However, that's completely untrue. The graphics processor onboard is just a crippled version of the RIVA TNT2 graphics processor used in the more powerful 3D Blaster RIVA TNT2 cards.

Interview with Kyle Bennett of HardOCP 21:07 pm - Kan
Darn, I know my chance will come soon. :) Anyway, SystemLogic posted the 2nd part of interview with webmasters of computer-related websites.

SL: How long do you spend working on HardOCP a week?

HardOCP: Jeez, I have been loafing a bit lately and not being quite as active, I just needed a damn break after a full year and a half of banging it out every single day…. To answer your question I would say conservatively I spend 30 to 40 hours per week on the HardOCP. I don’t know if everyone realizes this, but I make an attempt to answer EVERY (unless your rude ass have been filtered) email we get, even if it is to just say "thanks". That alone and the news can eat up three hours a day.

VideoLogic DigiTheatre 16:25 pm - Kan
Another new mail poppd in from 3dSoundSurge on their latest review on the VideoLogic DigiTheatre 5.1 system. Do take a look at their review as this speakers kit looks pretty impressive!

DigiTheatre 5.1 is a complete Dolby Digital 5.1 system. The 5 satellite speakers - 2 front, 2 rear and one center are all connected to the amplifier/subwoofer unit. The amplifier unit has separate inputs for each speaker. The part that does the AC-3 decoding (called the DigiTheatre Decoder) is a separate unit which has optical and coax digital in and analog front left and right channel and also comes with a remote control. The DigiTheatre Decoder can also be purchased separately which is worth consideration if,  for example, you wish to upgrade your Dolby Surround system to a Dolby Digital.

Kan Yawns 16:23 pm - Kan
Today is pretty havoc. The Magix (ADSL) installation man came in the morning (blur guy) to install the ADSL modem. Gee, in the end I taught him how to hookup the ADSL with my computers and my cable modem together. Definitely a fruitful day for him. Alas, in the end I found out the Ethernet version of the modem won't work with Windows 2000 or Linux. Duh. I don't understand why can't they use a web-based authentication program instead of their proprietary software called RAS Manager (which only works in Win95/98). 

AVB USB Joystick 16:21 pm - Kan
TheTechZone just whipped up a review on the AVB USB Joystick. From the drawing, the joystick looks a bit cheapskate though. Nevertheless, here's an excerpt from the review:

Looking like an idiot for about a half hour, I tested out the competition. After making rounds from the cheap of the cheap, to the high priced Force Feed back joysticks, I found the AVB GC-2000B+ beat them all in two things…One, the handle on the AVB GC-2000B+ fits. You would be surprised to see how many joysticks out there are thin. The GC-2000B+ seemed to be the only that fit my hand comfortably. Second, the movement on the GC-2000B+ is stiff, which is a good thing, when playing games you don’t want a handle that acts like a wet noodle, a handle flopping around only hinders your game.

BIOS Startup Tweak Guide 16:20 pm - Kan
3DSpotlight launched a BIOS Startup Tweak Guide with all the necessary info to optimize your PC. 

You can boot up faster & improve your performance by changing settings in your BIOS. First of all need to access it. When you're starting the PC, hit the Delete key. It should bring up the BIOS a few seconds later. Substitute Delete for whatever key it is on your system to bring it up.

Monthly Hardware Guide 16:18 pm - Kan
3DRage posted their first Monthly Hardware Guide touching on the latest products available on the market. Here's some of them:

The AMD Athlon CPU's are currently the fastest processors on the market, and availability is no longer a problem. Motherboards are starting to fall in price and overclocking has been extremely successful. I would recommend the Athlon over any Pentium III CPU, as they are better performers as well as better overclockers. The 500 Athlon is for the user who is on a rather low budget, but mind you that the 500 Athlon has been known to hit the 650Mhz mark. Also, the price is excellent, only $20 more than the P3 450

Microsoft Intellimouse Review 16:17 pm - Kan
Yup, 360 Degrees also posted a review on the Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer (yep, the one with the laser beam).

The rodent on your desktop is a great vacuum for dead skin, dirt, oil, sweat, hair, and other repulsive things.  The ball after time gets stick and enhances this feature. It literally picks up all the dirt and deposits it inside on the wheel of the mouse.  This causes the wheels to get stuck and slow down.  They even pause as you get fragged while on an UT rampage.  This leads to slamming the mouse down to move again or moving is erratic circles (like to power a G4 MAC: Mouse Activated / Actuated Computer).  Or if you used to it like many gamers then you turn the mouse on its back and remove the ball and begin cleaning.

RISC vs CISC 16:15 pm - Kan
Something you always wanted to know but didn't dare to ask. Our pals over at ArsTechnica posted an article on RISC vs CISC processors. Is RISC definitely faster? 

The majority of today's processors can’t rightfully be called completely RISC or completely CISC. The two textbook architectures have evolved towards each other to such an extent that there’s no longer a clear distinction between their respective approaches to increasing performance and efficiency. To be specific, chips that implement the x86 CISC ISA have come to look a lot like chips that implement various RISC ISA’s; the instruction set architecture is the same, but under the hood it’s a whole different ball game. But this hasn't been a one-way trend.  Rather, the same goes for today’s so-called RISC CPUs. They’ve added more instructions and more complexity to the point where they’re every bit as complex as their CISC counterparts. 

VIA Apollo Pro 133A and VCSDRAM Part 2 10:00 am - Kan
AnandTech posted part 2 of the article on the VIA Apollo Pro 133A and VCSDRAM.

The i820 chipset does not natively support SDRAM, either because Intel wants to force manufacturers into pursuing RDRAM as the only memory option or simply because they want to save on cost. In order to gain RDRAM support on an i820 motherboard, the manufacturer must use a Memory Translator Hub (MTH) to allow for the SDRAM slots to be accessed by the Memory Controller Hub of the 820 that can only "talk to" RDRAM. The situation is like having a translator convey a message you speak in English to a friend that can only speak Japanese; the translation is often slower than if you could speak the original sentence to your friend in English. Two problems present themselves with this approach -- using SDRAM with an MTH will most likely be slower than SDRAM on a BX board and the cost of adding the MTH will also be reflected in the overall cost of the motherboard. Where does VIA come in?

The Awakening Project 09:56 am - Kan
Exxtreme3D did an exclusive preview on The Awakening Project.

In game speech is quite a problem lately, people being able to shout all the way to the other side of the map is quite unrealistic, and that considering that AP will probably have one of the biggest online worlds ever created there had to be some kind of a fix. Well it’s quite easy, you can only talk to people close to you, and you won’t even know somebody’s name until they tell it to you. The team is considering voice communication and a text-voice plug in.

Colour Palms To Come! 09:23 am - Wilfred
Yippee! Rejoice owners of Palm Computing's Palm devices. The company has pledged to release their first PDAs with integrated colour LCD, together with the recently unveiled 33Mhz Motorola DragonBall CPU. For the full blurb, check out The Register:

Palm Computing finally responded to Palm users' most frequently made request, yesterday, when it pledged to release a Palm handheld with a colour screen during the first half of 2000.

Palm's promise was, of course, widely anticipated following Monday's launch of Motorola's latest Dragonball CPU, the 33MHz VZ. The new chip, due to ship early next year, is the first to integrate colour LCD and touchscreen control technology onto the die, allowing Palms to ship with colour screens but without extra motherboard logic.

Still, Mace admitted the colour Palms would be larger than the current monochrome devices, but not, he promised, as big as Windows CE machines, which have offered colour for some time.

Internet 2 Demonstrations 09:15 am - Wilfred
Nah! You shall be deprived of it! As intended, the new cyberway backbone will first cater to military and academic institutes and research facilities, so hopefully the rest of us will get to use it in our time. Have a look at ABCNews' coverage of its debut which streamed HDTV down a fat fat pipe.

The demonstrations also highlighted the technical barriers that still plague the Internet. A single, high-quality HDTV picture streams at a rate of 270 megabits per second — that’s 4,937 times the capacity of an average 56K modem and 6.7 times more data than a digital satellite transmission handles.

Even Internet2 can only handle 622 megabits per second, making multiple streams nearly impossible — for now. One of the biggest challenges facing researchers, according to Internet2 spokesman Greg Wood, is to increase the bandwidth available on the research network or to figure out a way for multiple users to take advantage of a single stream.

“If we make the network smarter and replicate the streams intelligently through the network, we could send one stream to thousands of people and save a lot of bandwidth,” Wood says.

Official nVidia 3.53 Detonator Drivers 09:07 am - Wilfred
I'm sure you are aware of it already? I've downloaded mine. I'll put up the link anyway, so if you're GeForced... you can't possibly miss this!

Distributed Denial Of Service Attacks 09:00 am - Wilfred
Interestingly ZDNet has an article about a new style of cyber attacks carried out by malicious programmers, using a coordinated but distributed approach to deny a targeted network access to the Internet.

A garden-variety denial-of-service attack uses a single server to attempt to tie up a network's connection, denying its users access to or from the Internet. Distributed coordinated attacks, however, use hundreds or thousands of servers co-opted by a malicious programmer to tag-team a single server. Because so many servers are used, each attack can be camouflaged as a legitimate connection attempt, making it difficult for the victim's intrusion software to identify that it is under attack and impossible to identify just who is attacking.

"Typically, you block the single network address that is attacking you," said Longstaff, whose group works with the Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Center at Carnegie Mellon. CERT/CC tracks and responds to network attacks. "By spreading out the attack over a large number of addresses, it becomes much harder to deal with."

TRG's New Palm With CompactFlash Slot 08:49 am - Wilfred
TRG Inc announced a new Palm clone that will feature a CompactFlash slot. Aside from the additional slot, the device is similar to a Palm IIIx but with 8Mb of RAM and use PalmOS 3.3. Wow! This means you can fit up to 96Mb of CompactFlash memory or even the 340Mb IBM Microdrive. There's more and you can check it out here!

The TRGpro comes equipped with a CompactFlash slot that can be used to add a variety of memory and I/O devices. Presently, CF memory cards range in size from 4MB to 340MB and other available I/O cards include barcode readers, modems and Ethernet cards.

Driver Review 08:42 am - Wilfred
Our pals at iGamer.Net delivered a short review on Driver, the fast-paced arcade racing game for outlaws! Bored lately? Try this game for thrills of evading cops!

I have to tell you, the smile I found on my face every time I smashed up a cop car was from ear to ear" hehe". I enjoyed the game but I still need a drivers kit, so I can be able to beat the 142 in 100 zone, I was nabbed for on my way to work last year LOL. 

I would not suggest trying some of the stunts you see in the game in real life, take it from me you'll pay dearly for it, I am. To bad  they didn't make the game with online internet\ multiplayer, it would have been a blast on the net.

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