February 2000 - Monday
IBM Plans Fastest Chip -
23:48 pm Sniper
from CNet reveals that IBM is planning a chip that
will be 5 times faster than today's Pentium.
The new system has a distributed clock function. In most
standard computer chips, the clock paces the speed of the circuits and a centralized clock synchronizes the
operations of the entire chip. The clock waits for all
operations on a chip to finish before starting the next cycle, so the speed of the chip is limited to the pace of the slowest operation.
GlobalWin FDP32/FEP32 -
08:21 am Kan
took the GlobalWin
FDP32/FEP32 heatsink coolers for a spin over at
their playground and came out with the following
conclusion on these bad boys:
FEP32 is the adjusted version of the slightly bigger
FDP32. Due to the FDP32's monster size, it does not
fit in some motherboards, like the ABIT BP6 or the
ASUS P5A. For this reason, thoughtful Global Win
also offers a smaller version, called the FEP32. If
you don't have an Abit or ASUS motherboard, then you
will want to invest in the FDP32, which provides a
little better cooling for a slightly higher price.
If you do have an Abit BP6 or other motherboards
that are not compatible with the FDP32, go for the
FEP32 all the way!
Pentium III 550E Review -
08:19 am Kan
a review of those new Coppermine 550E processors?
Check out Ultimate
Chaos review of it over
here. Tons of pictures included, here's an
a few days of playing, we determined that the CPU
is stable at a maximum of 704MHz (128MHz bus, 1/4
PCI divider) at default voltage. Here, we do a few
laps in Viper Racing, one of our favorite drunken
LAN games around the UC Crackhouse.
TV Wonder -
08:14 am Kan
review over at the house of Anand
where the guys took a look at the ATI
TV Wonder PCI graphics card. This card got all the
functions like stereo TV tuner, digital VCR, closed
captioning etc. Probably your all-in-one card for your
area of the card was a bit disapointing. When the
card first arrived, I followed their brief
instructions and installed the card. Then came the
driver installation, that went fairly smoothly. So
after the usual reboot, it was time to try out the
card. Well, it didn't work. First the software would
not scan for channels in the install, but after
trying it again it finally worked. Secondly, the tv
software crashed enough to warrant a ritualistic
driver cd burning festival. So, after that
frustrating event, a call was placed to ATI to ask
if there was any drivers that worked. ATI provided
us with some new drivers, and testing began on
those. Everything went without a hitch with those
drivers except for the fact that WebTV wouldn't work
with the drivers.
Overclocking Adventure -
08:10 am Kan
sure sounds exciting with Dan's
Data short thriller on An
Overclocking Adventure. Basically Dan went on a
ride with the little Pentium III 700 Mhz processor as
well as the ABIT BF6 motherboard in the Overclocking
Park and met the eveil Dr Heat (err, don't worry if
you don't understand what I'm trying to write). Here's a summary:
all of their heatsinks are made of the usual 6063
aluminium alloy (aluminum-magnesium-silicon, with
better thermal conductivity than other aluminium
alloys), but they've also recently started making
models like the PAL6035, with inset copper heat
spreader plates. This is a significant innovation,
because copper is a better conductor of heat than
aluminium - although aluminium is pretty good.
08:08 am Kan
a quick one, nV News
dropped us a
line on some of the benchmark results from the
new nVidia BenMark software which is designed to
measure the T&L performance under Direct3D.
are some results from NVIDIA's BenMark demo running at
[email protected] using the default settings on a
P2-450MHz & Annihilator Pro @ 140MHz core / 340MHz
numbers are based on millions of triangles per second
and were determined by adding additional lights
(directional, point, and spot) to each scene.
I've also provided illustrations of what the different
light sources look like.
MM700 Speakers -
08:05 am Kan
start off a brand new day with an exciting review of
MM700 speakers from TheTechZone
(I just love the big woofer) and the speakers comes
with a decent price tag as well.
though Monsoon calls these dipole-radiating
satellite planar magnetic speakers, they should not
be mistaken for true dipole speakers. The satellite
speakers are really nothing more than planar
tweeters, which looks very much like ribbon
tweeters. The satellite are mounted on a metal stand
that angles them up at the ears for better sound
effects. Each satellite speaker receives 11 watts of
power from the amp built into the sub enclosure. The
sub woofer gets 22 watts of power.
February 2000 - Sunday
Inari Passport: Network Via Home AC Wiring -
17:15 pm Wilfred
I'm interested! The
FiringSquad wrote about the Inari
Passport Network Kit that allows you to network your
home/offices via the AC wiring within the premise. This
is really cool stuff, and I wish I can get hold of this!
The guys reported acceptable performance and relative
the network would perform better in multiplayer
gaming. I was a little discouraged by the average
transfer rate, but 125kbps should be fast enough for
most multiplayer games. I pinged the client machine
from the server and got a 18ms average. I quickly
started up a multiplayer game of Quake 2. Pings ranged
between 20-30ms which is the same as a normal LAN. I
played for a while on both machines, and I didn't
notice any lag or other network issues. The PassPort
Network performed very well in the gaming tests.
Slocket II -
17:10 pm Wilfred
like everyone wanted their hands on the Iwill
Slocket II for review eh? Digital-Clips
let us know they reviewed the Slocket II.
second incarnation of the Slocket series comes with
native hardware support for Intel’s PIII E series
processors, the Coppermine-core 100MHz FSB chips that
are an overclocker’s wet dream come true. While all
Slocket adapters allow for the chip’s voltage and
FSB to be set manually via onboard jumpers, the
Slocket II adds a further array of voltages and FSB
settings aimed specifically at Coppermine chips.
What’s more, Iwill’s gone an extra step further
and built Joshua compatibility onto it, so when VIA
finally releases its Socket370 processor, you can plug
it right in.
Water Cooling Kit -
17:06 pm Wilfred
for cooling those thirst-quenching reservoirs of water
in your offices, the Senfu
Water Cooling Kit is a hardcore CPU cooling
apparatus that should sent your heartbeat racing (when
installing?) with the thought of passing fresh water
thru pipes around your processor. Club
Overclocker has a lookie:
has created something good here. This water cooling
system is definitely going to be the future
replacement for my conventional heatsink. If it wasn't
for the reliability of the water pump and lack of a
descent water container, I would be running this right
now. I have some ideas for a sealed water container
similar to the ones you can find over at www.overclockershideout.com.
A small sealed container would work perfect and should
fit inside a computer case right next to Senfu's
awesome dual fan water cooler.
for the water pump. All I can say is don't
use it. If you are using it, look for a
replacement. The pump is a great design and the hoses
connect quite nicely but the pump is too underpowered.
If the water container is above or below the water
cooler by more than a foot, the pump stops. This is
very, very bad. If it hadn't been for the pump,
Senfu's water cooling system would be permanently
mounted in my case right now.
KW15 i810E -
16:59 pm Wilfred
is certainly not the most exciting of boards to read
about if you are a hardcore DIYer, but still, check out
KW15 i810E board reviewed at Anand's.
Have a read of the options if you're shopping for a
budget motherboard. The review shouts "STAY AWAY
reviewing Supermicro's i810E
PIIISED, FIC's KW15 was very disappointing. Low
stability, scant overclocking options and somewhat
confusing documentation made this board less than
ideal. The addational CDs were nice to see, but they
do not make up for the aforementioned problems.
performance is not the top priority and low price is
the primary concern when constructing a system, the
FIC could fill that role. However, if you feel that
stability is important, there are better boards to
08:34 am Sniper
had an interview with Linus during the launch of the
Crusoe processor, here is the full
GNet : How do you see your current role in the whole Linux movement then ?
Linus : I am mostly like a technical person, systems integrator kind. I think I could call
myself a "source management system with brains" (laughs), able to determine whether some
new feature is good or not. To a large degree, I am some sort of connection point for
different projects that happen all over the world, and I kind of act as the person who brings
them all together. Occasionally, I say what I think is the right thing to do, and sometimes I
must go one step beyond when things
are not going the way I would like them to go - then I
just have to sit down and do it all myself. But I try to avoid that.
08:17 am Kan
GameForce went for a spin with the remote-control
car simulation game ReVolt.
Definitely an interesting game to play around with,
check out some of the dazzling graphics:
offers both single player and multiplayer options;
however, the game is primarily geared to single
player. Under the single player option, there are a
variety of different modes that you can choose from.
These modes include single races, championship, time
trial, practice, and stunt arena. The single and
championship modes pit you against computer-controlled
opponents, while the other modes allow you to race
alone. Each type has a goal for you to work toward,
which will unlock new levels or cars.
DDR T&L Testing -
08:14 am Kan
News did some testing on the Creative
Annihilator Pro using the Indy3D benchmark software.
They managed to obtain some scores on the polygon count
rate by adding in spotlights to each scene. Looks like
performance decreases drastically once you added up to 6
stress the GeForce's lighting processor on the
Annihilator Pro, spotlights were added to each MCAD40
and MCAD150 scene. Indy 3D supports a maximum of
6 spotlights and these results are reported in
polygons rendered per second.
Unlike the official Indy 3D results, where 1/3 of the
MCAD scores are based on running in an antialiased
wireframe mode, this test is based entirely on polygon
Flaws of 3DMark 2000 -
08:13 am Sniper
for missing out this one, 3DGPU
discussed the flaws in benchmarking the GeForce with
3DMark 2000 in this article.
is it a "flaw"? I call it a preference, not
a "flaw". In Quake II, the default
"handedness" for the player is right-handed.
Is that a "flaw" if you are left-handed? For
many games, the default settings for the keys have the
up arrow for moving forward, down arrow for moving
backward, etc., etc. I like the "W" key for
moving forward, the "S" for backwards, etc.,
etc. Are all these games "flawed" simply
because the default settings are not to my liking?
Slot1 Converters -
08:09 am Kan
Data did a roundup on two PCPGA
to Slot1 converters (ASUS S370-133 vs Eagle) and
here's some of the performance details:
Coppermine FC-PGA P-IIIs seem quite happy, with the
right supporting hardware, to run 40% or more faster
than their sticker speed. This doesn't just make them
faster than much more expensive processors - it makes
them faster than the stock speed of any Intel
processor you can currently buy.
II Quadzilla -
08:07 am Kan
just dropped us a line on their thoughts on the Montego
II Quadzilla soundcard. Quadzilla as it is called,
support up to 4 speakers as well as A3D 2.0. Here's some
Quadzilla is a great card and it shows.
You might notice some improvement in your
MP3’s, but it won’t put your 4 speakers to use.
The real sound is in the games, playing
Half-Life Counter Strike (a popular add-on mod, which
I spend most of my time playing) will really give you
the advantage. You
will be able to hear the Terrorist behind you or
walking near by.
You’ll have the edge when it comes to sound
KX133 At Tom's -
00:28 am Wilfred
Tom's, at Tom's... two in succession eh? Well, I didn't
drop by everyday so kinda missed what he posted. Just
saw that he'd put up a very
interesting article on the Apollo KX133 chipset with very kind words for the new entry from VIA.
long awaited Apollo KX133 chipset from VIA
Technologies is without the slightest doubt a good
product. In all benchmarks it performed better than
AMD's aging 750 'Irongate'-chipset, beating it in some
by more than 50%. It is the one thing that AMD really
needed to keep Athlon competitive with Intel's
Coppermine. In my eyes VIA was able to keep its
promises for the very first time. I remember numerous
previous VIA-chipsets that always looked great on
paper but never lived up to its specs. The
KX133-reference board is also the first pre-release
VIA-motherboard I ever received, that worked without a
flaw in a very instant. If this should be a sign for
the direction in which VIA is heading, then I want to
send my deepest 'kudos' over to Taiwan, the former
February 2000 - Saturday
Panzer Elite -
23:22 pm Wilfred
very often we have tank combat games right? The hunks at
got all excited by the gameplay offered in Panzer
Elite, they gave it a very high 84% rating! You
might like this game as well!
Elite is a tremendous step forward in the evolution of
tank combat games. We had an incredible time with it
and enjoyed all its options for realism. However, if
you're not so inclined, remember that they are just
options and can be toggled off. World War II tank
combat has never felt so real and so alive. No more
turn-based style fighting in the Steel Panthers
tradition, but with just as much nitty-gritty realism.
The campaigns are excellently done, putting on more
responsibilities of an officer to the player than just
commanding men in battle.
At Tom's -
23:16 pm Wilfred
posting about this for a day or so, it seems like Tom
wrote an article on Transmeta's
Crusoe processor over at his site.
at Web pads and mobile clients the TM3120 features 96
KB of L1 cache, a die size of 77 mm² and runs Mobile
Linux in ROM. It is immediately available costing $65
for the 333 MHz and $89 for the 400 MHz version. The
TM5400 is sampling and is supposed to be shipping by
mid 2000. It comes with 128 KB L1 cache, 256 KB L2
cache, runs Microsoft Windows and NT, is aimed at
ultra-light mobile PCs and costs $119 for the 500 MHz
and $329 for the 700 MHz version. The die size is 73
mm². Both processors have an integrated Northbridge.
Olympus D-450 Zoom User Review -
16:38 pm Wilfred
Digicam posted a user review of the Olympus
D-450. If you are looking for an affordable digital
camera for everyday point-and-shoot, the D-450 features
3X optical zoom and 1280x960 resolution (1.3 megapixels)
that will suffice for most uses.
bottom line is that I have no reservations whatsoever
in recommending this camera to those who do not need
to make prints bigger than 4x6" size. The D-450
Zoom is a highly refined 1.3 megapixel camera with a
sharp and fast lens. It's easy to use but still packs
the features that advanced shutterbugs desire in a
camera. It's fairly small and compact and if your LCD
useage is kept to a minimum it will run all day on a
charged set of NiMH batteries. The real bottom line is
image quality and this camera delivers that in spades.
The overall color, saturation and sharpness is very
good, even when used in mixed lighting conditions.
9100 CD Writer Plus -
16:34 pm Wilfred
Packard has got some of the neatest looking CDRWs
around, but they cost quite a bit more. So does the
quality and performance warrant the extra dollars? The
it for you today!
HP 9100i is one of the most complete recordable CD
system I've came across. Everything you need to create
your own CD is included, even a CD label maker! Yep!
You can make you own CD label with this unit. The
software bundle doesn't disappoint either. You get a
copy of Adaptec Direct CD, Adaptec Easy CD Creator, HP
Disaster Recovery, Filing Central by eFax.com,
Broderbund Print Shop Multimedia Organizer
Professional and Corel Print Office
To Windows 2000 Professional -
16:30 pm Wilfred
put out a general 6-page
guide for Windows 2000 Professional. Here's a blurb
Screens of Death’s are still happening in
Windows2000, not in the same extent as in Windows9x,
but when they happen you have to reset your computer
to get away from it. A BIG minus to Windows2000 which
in my opinion is the operative system I have been
waiting for, it supports games, doesn’t crash as
often and is in a way very similar to Win9x. Of course
you cannot expect Microsoft to make a totally
“uncrashing” OS, but is it too much to ask for?
Linux doesn’t crash often, it is way more powerful
in handling drives, LANcards and memory. This is what
makes a good server operating system.
Mousing Surface Reviewed -
16:22 pm Wilfred
sent note that they've reviewed the Ratpadz.
Heh, if you think it's time to get your mouse a company,
consider the Ratpadz. ;)
short the Rat Pad is a fine addition to your mouse
controlled gaming arsenal. The additional precision
and speed you will experience when using it will have
your friends dropping the server connection in total
frustration after you spank them silly in a death
for the other fantastic "features" of the
Rat Pad, well let's just say this thing is an untapped
resource!!!!! It also makes a mean Pasta-Fragoli
for that special romantic dinner you need to help get
you out of the dog house from the prior evening's all
HW1: Matrox Marvel G400-TV -
14:03 pm Wilfred
Ping completed a very comprehensive look at the Matrox
Marvel G400-TV card just before he went off for
Chinese New Year visitations. For anyone into
video-editing, this is a nice bundle to own! Don't MISS
State Of 3D Accelerators -
13:53 pm Wilfred
Systems put together an outline of the present state
of 3D accelerators in the market today. Since you
must have heard about most of the other popular
accelerators, let's have a read on the still 'vapourware'
paper the Glaze3D looks like a great accelerator, and
it may just be. Unfortunately Bitboys do not have the
best reputation for getting out products.
Designing a chip of this complexity is a huge
undertaking, and they probably had to be very
inventive to get many parts of it to work. There still
is no working silicon and none is expected until the
year 2000. Advanced features include: quad texturing,
full-scene anti-aliasing, motion blur, soft shadows
and reflections (all accumulation buffer effects, like
3dfx's T-Buffer), 4X AGP, Embedded DRAM, 32 bit color,
32 bit Z-buffer, and other advanced filtering
fillrate on this chip is pretty hefty. The 1200 is
supposed to output about 1200 MegaTexels/second. The
Glaze3D achieves this magnificent number by having 4
pixel pipelines that can spit out two textures a
piece. The chip itself is scheduled to run at 150
Mhz (4 pixel pipelines x 2 texture outputs x 150Mhz
core speed = 1200 MTex/Sec). In comparison, todays
fastest chips run up to 183 Mhz (TnT2/Voodoo3) on the
.25 micron process. The Glaze3D will be produced on
the Infineon's .20 micron process with Embedded DRAM.
This shouldn't be a problem because companies like
TSMC already is in volume production of .18 micron
parts, so by 2000 there should be enough Fab space at
Siemens/Infineon to produce this chip.
Intellimouse Explorer -
13:50 pm Wilfred
Sharky Extremists (there are quite a few extremist
sites out there...) took the MS
rodent for a walk in the park today. I'm sure you've
read Les and Kan's review
IntelliEye sensor is coupled with a powerful RISC
processor that delivers up to 18 MIPS of raw
processing power, which is pretty impressive for a
mouse. This combination allows the Intellimouse to
provide unequaled accuracy by delivering up to 1,500
"scans" per second, which is about twelve
times what a conventional mouse offers. If that's not
enough, at an impressive 1200 dpi, the Intellimouse
Explorer is also far more sensitive than any competing
solution on the market today.
Millennium G400 -
13:44 pm Wilfred
Mechanic's Maximum3D posted a review
of the G400 card. A sweet card for those demanding the
best image quality in 2D and 3D.
who knows anything has heard of Matrox. They've been
in the video card business since I was a fetus (slight
exaggeration). But, typically, when we think of gaming
cards, we generally concentrate on the war between
3dfx and nVidia, with the Voodoo and GeForce chips
respectively. Well, Matrox is back with the G400. The
card has been out for a few months, but only now have
we gotten a chance to play with it. Lemme say this:
The G400 gives the 3dfx and nVidia counterparts a real
run for their money.
Athlon 800 Mhz Review -
09:08 am Kan
spinned the Athlon
800 Mhz processor and showed us some great benchmark
results on this mutha today:
get down with the specifics of the Athlon 800, and
what makes it what it is. Just as with the Athlon 750,
the 800 has a slowed down 2/5 cache divider, meaning
the L2 cache on the Athlon 800 is running quite a bit
slower at a lagging 320 MHz. Intel's Coppermine
Pentium III's only have 256k of L2 cache, it's running
at full processor clock speed (733 MHz core/733 MHz L2
cache), and that gives quite a performance gain,
especially for 3D gaming. The Athlon's slower 512k
cache can't hack it anymore, and is very visibly
slowing down the benchmarks we ran on the processor.
This problem won't occur when AMD integrates the L2
cache onto the processor core with their upcoming
"Thunderbird" processors, but in all
likelyness we won't be seeing these processors until
March or April. Once the cache is on-die, AMD will be
free to take the Athlon core to it's fullest
potential, which is more than likely beyond 1.2 GHz
from what we know.
Prophet DDR/DVI -
09:06 am Kan
took a look at the 3D
Prophet DDR/DVI GeForce card. The good thing is it
includes a TV-Out based on the Brooktree's 869 chip,
thus enabling you to watch your favorite DVDs on your
it is their hottest flagship high-performance
videocard based up-on the GeForce 256. The card is (at
this time) a very high performance card due to it's
Double Date Rate SGRAM 32MB Frame buffer, 4x4
integrated Transform and Lighting (Frees up CPU
bandwidth), 256-bit QuadPipe rendering (Fast graphics
performance), AGP 4x with fast write (to makes it even
faster). If you'd like to know more then you should
definably continue to read our review continued on the
next pages ...
V6800 Raw Data -
09:03 am Kan
took apart the default heatsink from the ASUS
V6800 GeForce graphics card, slapped on their own
bad-ass cooler on top of the card and showed us some
overclocking madness in the process. Here's an excerpt:
motherboard used during testing was a BE6-II and the
problem was with the AGP voltage. Running QIIIA with
the motherboard's AGP voltage at default 3.3 volts I
would get picture anomalies. ASUS website recommends
running the 3.62 drivers for QIII due to its OpenGL
support. After an installation of the 3.62 drivers I
still had the same visual problems in QIIIA. After
reading a post, it was recommend that I raised the AGP
voltage. The voltage for my AGP slot was raised to 3.6
volts and the problem is fixed. The Smart Doctor
Software registered my 3.6 volts at 3.48 volts.
Cooler Review -
09:00 am Kan
what a wacky name. Fast
Mhz reviewed the 2CoolCPU
Cooler today and it definitely looks effective!
difference between the two is the plus has a higher
output ball bearing fan. I would suggest the Plus for
those cases loaded with PCI cards to get that hot air
away from the cards or any cases that are less than a
full size case. Small cases seem to hold the heat
Sound Fortissimo -
08:58 am Kan
Kawai Network took the Maxi
Sound Fortissimo soundcard for a short ride today,
beat two traffic lights and arrived at this conclusion:
the physical part of the installation, it’s very
easy, stick your card in one of your PCI slot, hook
the up the audio cables and you are done, once you
boot into Windows 98, it detects the sound card right
away, pop in the CD and you are done. Install this
sound card is everything but smooth in Windows 2000
(server, Build 2195), Windows 2000 install the drivers
for the sound card but it refuse to work, after hours
of troubleshooting, I finally gave up.
to Integrate Voice Technology -
08:55 am Kan
this is possible with the future releases of DirectX.
that they will be implementing the new DirectPlay®
Voice into future APIs inside DirectX, enabling players
to talk to each other while playing games etc. Thanks to
Electic for the info.
the addition of this technology to the DirectPlay API
in DirectX, Microsoft will provide game developers
with a powerful set of programming interfaces to
cleanly integrate voice technology into their
games," said Paul Donlan, program manager for
DirectX at Microsoft. "Real-time voice
communication between players will greatly enhance the
gameplay experience. Imagine table talk during an
online bridge game or squad collaboration during World
War II-era flying games such as 'Combat Flight
Simulator.' Once embedded into DirectX, voice
technology will bring multiplayer gaming to a new
Motherboards from Transcend -
08:53 am Kan
renown memory manufacturer Transcend announced
that they are releasing 6 new Socket370 motherboards
which are capable of utilizing the new FC-PGA
processors. Thanks to Dimension-X
for the press release!
FC-PGA, or "Flip Chip Pin Grid Array" is a
new CPU package terminology that involves flipping the
silicon core to face up. The core sits on top of the
actual package and makes direct contact with the
heatsink. For this reason, the CPU will have better
heat dissipation. The system will be more stable and
end-users will benefit from the increased durability
and reliability of the whole system.
February 2000 - Friday
19:23 pm Kan
Managed to beat Wilfred today before his usual coughs.
=) Tomorrow is Chinese New Year, so on behalf of the
dudes behind Hardware One, Happy New Year! Anyway,
something drastic will be happening late next week or so
(can't say much about it), but oh boy, am I excited!
safely, and have a good time guys.
19:21 pm Kan
Those space-sim fans will love this. FiringSquad
managed to get a
preview of Microsoft's latest multiplayer 3D online
space/combat game, Allegiance. It definitely looks good!
basic idea behind Allegiance is very simple, and
easily explained. Earth has been destroyed by an
asteroid, space is aflame with war, with three unique
factions duking it out over the Solar System and other
former possessions. Nothing stunning so far, right?
Well, where Allegiance separates itself from the crowd
(be they RTS or space-sim games), is in the play.
19:18 pm Kan
This guide is more suited for reviewers out there. Cole
3D did a quick
summary of all the keywords and commands you need to
start those benchmarks running on games like Quake and
games, there are several programs that are based
around benchmarking. Some of my favorites are 3DMark,
3D Winbench, and SiSoft Sandra. 3DMark and Winbench
are pretty much only graphic related, but SiSoft
Sandra is more of a total system benchmark, and is
often used in CPU reviews to determine the Dhrystone
and Whetstone scores.
T&L Benchmarks -
19:14 pm Kan
hard gals over at HardOCP
put the GeForce under their microscope and whipped up
T&L Benchmarks article. Instead of running
endless benchmarks using 3D WinBench, the guys decided
to stress the GPU by using Test Drive 6 as the benchmark
you might or might not know that we looked into the
world of Transform & Lighting, better known as
T&L here lately. (not to be confused with
T&A, but I can point you to a site that discusses
that later) The nVidia GeForce is the ONLY
consumer card on the market now that boasts a Hardware
T&L engine, the GPU. We have put the GeForce
under the microscope lately with benchmarking programs
that created all kinds of controversy. Instead
of another benchmark, let's use a real game this
WinFast GeForce SDR -
17:39 pm Wilfred
chums at AnandTech
review factory delivered another, this time on Leadtek's
SDR GeForce card. No frills solution for all!
comparison to other SDR GeForce cards, the choice to
buy the Leadtek WinFast 256 SDR card is a difficult
one. Selling at a price of about $230, the WinFast
lies around the price of the other SDR GeForce cards
reviewed. A solid performing card when at stock speed,
the Leadtek WinFast 256 GeForce SDR is great for those
without high overclocking goals.
17:35 pm Wilfred
I tell you I have a soft spot for OS/2 related news (and
recently digital photography? =P )?? Anyway, osOpinion
put up another iteration of Warped
Perspective. Though I think the author made some
clever points, I feel IBM's marketing is a letdown in
comparison to the technology they produced. If they have
to play the game to survive, then please... play it?!
your hands if you know the answer: What is the purpose
of "Revision Numbers" or "Version
Numbers" of software applications?
short answer is: Marketing. That's it, plain and
simple. The purpose of changing a version number is to
imply to potential users of the software product that
there has been some kind of significant improvement in
the software. Note that the versioning does not
"legally" make this claim; nor does such a
version number change "prove" that anything
inside is different. But version numbers for software
serve the same purpose as Model Year numbers on cars:
they imply newness without necessarily delivering it.
FireBall Ict10 -
17:32 pm Wilfred
let us know that they've reviewed the FireBall
Ict10 drive from Quantum and called it the fastest
budget drive out there!
Fireball lct10 is arguably the fastest budget drive
around. Even so, that's not the story here.
StorageReview.com readers (ourselves included) simply
don't look at value drives when building a performance
system. There are many applications, however, that
require the utmost in quiet operation. In fact, here
at SR, we're in need for the quietest drive around.
The finalization and construction of our new testbed
is imminent. As you can imagine, the boot disk in that
new testbed needs to be the quietest around, to better
subjectively gauge other drives yet to come. The
Fireball lct10 looks like it'll be the drive we need
for such an application. The promising thing is that
this "QDT" technology doesn't seem to be
limited to the value-class ATA
Fantasy 8 -
17:28 pm Wilfred
have waited long? Now that it's arrived, how are the ratings
for it? 3D Rage
takes a look at the RPG game from SquareSoft.
Fantasy 8 is, without a doubt, one of the most
addicting games that I have ever played, but there are
several factors that contribute to its downfall. Not
to say that Final Fantasy 8 is not a great game, which
it is. I'm just saying that it could have been better
through the utilization of higher resolutions,
tweaking the junctioning system, enabling more ways to
obtain magic other than drawing it from monsters,
implementing a way to skip GF animations, and several
more that are failed to be mentioned. The storyline,
while failing to unfold as smoothly as I would like,
will keep you glued to your monitor for hours on end
just hoping that you'll uncover another twist or turn
in the plot. The cinematic sequences are absolutely
the best that I have ever laid eyes on, and I would
purchase the game just to get a look at those
Linux 7.0 Review -
17:23 pm Wilfred
threw up a 7-page
review on Mandrake Linux 7.0. They have quite some
good things to say about this particular distribution.
has been some hype about Mandrake
being a more user-friendly Linux distribution when
compared to its contemporaries, Red Hat Linux being
the most oft-cited. I have had some experience
in the past using Mandrake 6.x and I thought it was
okay, but felt it was clearly Red Hat Linux with some
extra user-oriented applications and a bit more
Pentium optimization. I can safely say that with
Mandrake 7.0, the good people over at MandrakeSoft
have pieced together a distribution all their own. The
biggest changes are both obvious and non-obvious.
Firstly, they have totally redesigned the installer
that they use. In fact, they really create a
revolutionary look to installing Linux via X - thanks
to their new DrakX graphical installer. On the
underlying side, they introduce a good deal of
improvements to things, among them hardware
detection/device configuration in the form of Lothar.
Thermal Compound -
17:19 pm Wilfred
is novel! Club Overclocker sent note that they reviewed
thermal compound they received. Using it, they
achieved some 8 deg C decrease in CPU temperatures!
then applied Millisec's
Silver Thermal Compound to our heatsink and CPU. I
could not believe the difference this stuff makes. A
whopping 8° F cooler! It's amazing how CPU temps can
be dramatically lowered by simply using high quality
New S3 Q3 Maps -
15:25 pm Sniper
and girls! Want to take your Viper II for a fragging
session? Download these new S3TC
maps before you do that.
Photography News! -
13:55 pm Wilfred
at our affiliate's page at Digital
Photography Review, you'll find loads of updates on
new cameras to come. They've got juicy information on
the really sleek bodies from HP
The Canon EOS Digital SLR looks set to chart new waters!
I urge you over for a lookie!! ~droolz~
Network In a Box -
08:58 am Kan
took a look at the D-Link Phoneline
Network in a Box today. Capable of up to 10Mb transmission,
I'm always curious whether it will work if someone picks
up the telephone on the other end. =)
the 10Mb speed of the new HomePNA 2.0 spec, you get a
much more straightforward feel transferring files. You
aren't accessing them quite fast enough to watch a DVD
movie from a drive in another room, but it isn't that
far off either. At 10Mb, you are operating across the
network at approximately the speed of a 8x CDROM
drive. That is good enough for me to be able to build
a machine without a CDROM in it, and do all the
installs across the network.
08:54 am Kan
to forget those Ars
who reviewed the IWill
VD133 motherboard. Based on the VIA Apollo Pro 133
chipset, it supports up to a maximum of 150 Mhz FSB and
comes in a 5 PCI/2 ISA slots configuration.
motherboard comes bundled with one of the nicest Ultra
66 cables I've ever seen, a floppy cable, and a CD.
Now this isn't just any CD, this is an Iwill Power
Installer CD. This takes the cake as one of the
smoothest CD's I've seen bundled with a motherboard
ever. It's got your standard stuff on it, VIA
chipset drivers, Hardware doctor software, Anti-Virus
software, user manual, yadda yadda yadda. You
know what's on a disk. Here's the cool
part--this disk is bootable. That's right, boots
right up into some Linux-y thing. (You can tell
I'm well versed in Linux right?) When you boot
into the Power Installer CD you have the ability to
make some driver disks for their motherboards.
The VD isn't on that list (d'oh!). It's a nice
idea at least.
Rage Fury MAXX -
08:49 am Kan
pals over at iXBT-Hardware
produced their thoughts on the ATI
Rage Fury MAXX. Check out their usual solid blurb in
one single page:
is worth saying that the necessity to shift between
different frame buffers from time to time causes quite
tangible delays, which may lead to visual artifacts.
Below we will try to show if these fears are grounded
or not. The thing is that quite a lot depends on the
type of the game and its requirements towards the CPU
and graphics card. Let's consider the case when the
game doesn't utilize the processor that much: the CPU
manages to calculate the frames very quickly and
transmits then to the graphics chipsets for further
rendering. In this situation, the first chip fails to
finish rendering a frame in the buffer while the CPU
is ready to submit another frame.
Quest for Gigahertz -
08:44 am Kan
went for a spin and produced The
Quest for Gigahertz article. Overclocking,
increasing die-shrink and cooling are all part of the
game to reach the Gigahertz barrier.
as technology progresses, we always tend to find new
ways of getting the most out of our current designs by
scrutinizing and subsequently optimizing parts of the
design which are holding the processor back from
operating at an even higher clockspeed. One of the
most obvious is the die-shrink.
reason that a processor can be clocked to a higher
speed if we use a smaller die is the fact that the
individual transistors as well as the length and width
of the interconnecting traces is reduced. The
reduction in size causes for far less propagation and
switching delay in the transistors, allowing the
processor to be clocked at a higher speed. Thus by
simply shrinking the die size as well as having a
scalable CPU design, we’re able to clock the same
processor to much higher speeds than the earlier
and Visual Effects -
08:41 am Kan
Ha! Smacked right here this morning are news from PlanetGeForce
on the demos and visual effects proggies available
for GeForce users. Source code included too! Ideal
for people who wish to poke around with the programs.
Here's some of'em:
is a collection of demo executables and source code
that demonstrates many effects and techniques that are
possible with today's graphics processors. Most of the
executables require a specific processor function, so
QuickTime moves or JPEG stills are provided to show
the effect on systems without the hardware.
34GXP Vs FireBall KX -
08:34 am Wilfred
decided to spice things up a little and pitted IBM's
Deskstar 34GXP against the Quantum Fireball KX in
their review this morning. Looks like the 2MB buffer
gave the Deskstart a slight edge:
IBM Deskstar did not out perform the Quantum Fireball
Plus KX by much. Leaving to understand IBM’s larger
buffer advantage does not increase the overall
performance by much. Overall, the Fireball Plus stays
close behind in many of the tests due to his slightly
quicker reading access time. A person may thing, oh .5
MS difference, what a big whoopdee doo but in fact
that .5 MS makes up for the lower buffer size and how
it can still stay and play with the big boys. Another
thing to note is how quite both drives ran when
testing the two. Both drives were actually quieter
then the case fans. As for heat produced by the two
spinning at 7200 RPM’s, the Deskstar did run
considerably warmer (which is no surprise since I have
the 22GXP and it too runs fairly warm) over the KX.
Erazor X2 Review -
08:31 am Wilfred
blokes at HardwarePros
took the Erazor
X2 for a quick spin and you will want to see what
they said about this card (how about checking out our
take on it too?):
has put together a great video board at a decent
value. The fact that it's based on NVIDIA's GeForce
256 and has 32MB of DDR SGRAM is enough to make most
people's mouths water. The only decision you'll
have to make is which DDR board you want to get and
will it cause a huge hole in your wallet! If the
money isn't an issue, then the best way to choose a
board is by looking at what extra features each board
offers and what software bundle you're getting.
The ERAZOR X2 does come with an S-Video out and a
decent game bundle which includes the award-winning
Lifts Half-Life Ban -
08:25 am Wilfred
rejecting an earlier appeal to lift the ban on
Half-Life, the censorship board reviewed its stance and
overturned the decision. Whew! Kudos to whoever made
that decision!! All is not lost yet! Check out the full
details at CNet
Films Appeal Committee (FAC) has reviewed the ban on
the video game Half-Life and decided to lift it (the
ban)," said Pang Cheng Lian, FAC chairman.
deciding to lift the ban, the FAC took into
consideration that the gaming centers and individuals
have invested in the game on the assumption that it
was not banned, and that the game has been in the
market for more than a year.
the more practical approach in this case is to lift
the ban," Pang said in a statement.
BE6-2 Motherboard -
08:22 am Wilfred
has reviewed the ABIT
BE6-2 BX motherboard downunder. As always, you can
trust the guys to be concise and neat! Here's a snippet:
Abit's plan was indeed to build the most comprehensive
and kick-ass BX motherboard, they did a darn good job
of it. Packed with features and refinements, the BE6
Revision 2 is the ultimate BX motherboard. Despite the
slight lag in performance in comparison with the
original BE6, Revision 2 still shines because of
Softmenu III and the excellent clock generator that
will allow overclockers to go crazy.
Networking Article -
08:19 am Wilfred
put together a 5
page article teaching us just how to get your 10/100
network kit up and running at home. For those of you
looking to wire up your home, here's where to start:
is networking? Networking is the communication of two
or more computers. This communication allows computers
to share resources like files, printers, Internet
connections, and the ability to play multiplayer
games. When you want to network a computer, you don't
just change settings, add drivers, and hope they will
communicate by paranormal means. No, they need to be
wired to each other.
February 2000 - Thursday
Heats Up GHz race
21:55 pm Sniper
given up all these "need for speed"
stuff. Anyway ZDNet
has this article
that outlines the future of Intel's chips. Well, I
just want to have a Cursoe Webpad and a PS2. That's
The chip, in addition, is expected to include Willamette
Processor New Instructions -- a new set of single instruction, multiple data or SIMD multimedia
instructions. These instructions are used to help enhance
the processing of certain multimedia data, such as video.
A Starter's Guide to Video
21:46 pm Sniper
caught my attention while I was surfing. For those
interested in video editing, so what are you waiting
Computers eventually started to ease the video editing process, but this was limited by cost
to the high-end professional market. The beauty of these expensive editing computers was
that you could edit a video just like a document with cutting and pasting. This was called
non-linear editing, as opposed to linear editing, in which a video had to be edited in
sequence. These new computers were also capable of adding digital effects, smooth
transitions and multiple layers of audio.
PS2 First-Person Sim Uncovered
21:40 pm Sniper
Second Skin Media Managing
Director Russell Murray has given FGN Online
details of his company's upcoming PlayStation2 "first-person
simulator". Read on to get the full scoop
"So in this mission, you would have to not speak
normally because it's not just what you say, but how you say it is important. These voice-recognition
engines can now verify your voice, and you can now even determine whether someone's agitated or
nervous while they shout and add it into the equation, so you end up speaking to characters information-wise kind of emotionally as well, and
that's quite important when it comes to multiplayer which will also feature in Second Skin!"
Single-Fan Water Cooling Radiator -
21:02 pm Wilfred
Australia posted a review
of this funky cooler for your PC. Things don't get more
hardcore than this... having a bath tub of water next to
your splendid casing.
have to say I'm very impressed and give Senfu the big
thumbs up for not only producing the unit at all, but
for doing such a quality job with it. This kind of
thing is exactly what the hardcore overclocking market
needs, proper mass-produced products that address our
unique needs and work well. I'm sure some people will
complain that the elite, hardcore aspect of
water-cooled PC's is eroded by mass-market products,
but I think it's a great sign that overclocking is
being recognized more by the industry.
20:56 pm Wilfred
FiringSquad whipped up a review on Jane's
USAF. As always, top quality simulation from Jane's
with detailed visuals, flight models, tactics and all.
Have a read:
being strong in eye candy and options, I struggled
with USAF after playing through the game. There is
much depth to the training and learning what it takes
to fly a modern jet in USAF and perhaps that can
suffice for most people. But for those who crave the
endless exhilaration from a game like Falcon 4.0,
getting USAF to stay around on your hard drive after
finishing the game might be a problem. It just does
not have great legs because of its static campaigns.
USAF manages to excel is in its ability to offer
simmers more than just the every day cruise around the
park. You can fly some of the greatest planes ever
made and feel the different aspects of each one. The
idea of this is not new but the way Jane's implements
this is new.
DVD 104S -
20:51 pm Wilfred
looking for a DVD-ROM drive? Pioneer has the best looker
around for a long while, and today at The
TechZone they checked out the 10X version in an
you're getting a new computer and are wondering
whether to get a DVD-104S or just a normal CD ROM, get
the Pioneer. The price is not that much more and the
CD read speed is just as fast as most stand alone CD
ROMs and you'll be able to read all disc formats but
DVD RAM. It doesn't get much better than this.
GA-MG400 Matrox G400 AGP -
20:47 pm Wilfred
also put out their review
on Gigabyte's rendition of the Matrox G400 card. Tell me
you like it 'cheap and good'!!
to the regular G400s from Matrox, the MG400 is a
steal. At $120 for a 32MB card, the MG400 comes in a
full $60 cheaper than a 32MB Millennium G400. The only
thing that $60 buys you is DualHead support with the
Millennium G400, if you don't really care about
DualHead support then the MG400 is a pretty good deal.
Unfortunately if you don't already have a supported
Gigabyte motherboard, then the deal loses some of its
appeal because you now have to purchase a new
motherboard for your new video card. If you were going
to upgrade your motherboard regardless, this may be an
added incentive to go with a Gigabyte board, but then
it does severely limit your motherboard choices.
20:44 pm Wilfred
Review has a short review on Altec
Lansing's 5-piece ACS54 speakers. Here's a blurb:
ACS54 is an inexpensive way to enhance the sound
experience you get from your games or DVDs. A good
face it, a <$80 set of speakers (including
subwoofer) is not going to rival a good audiophile
setup that can easily cost $5000+ ... but it can
definitely sound far better than the normal cheap
speakers you get with your computer.
Blaster Annihilator GeForce FAQ -
14:13 pm Wilfred
to Mike Chambers of nV
News for the heads up. Here's Christopher Hill's detailed
FAQ for the Annihilator GeForce cards. If you own
ANY GeForce, I bet you can use a read!
On some levels in Quake 3 Arena I get severe slowdowns
with all of the settings maxed out. How can I fix
down the texture colour depth to 16-bit or slide the
texture detail slider down one notch. There's not
quite enough memory to store all the textures in the
video memory on certain levels, such as Q3DM6, Q3DM9,
Q3DM11 and Q3DM15
USB Radio -
14:09 pm Wilfred
sent note that they got the D-Link
USB Radio blasting in their labs for a couple of
days and are now back with a writeup on its worth. Read
what they say:
is nice and free, but is subject to net congestion and
eats so much bandwidth that it's almost silly. Modem
users often have to all but dedicate their internet
connection to the connection, while users of
high-bandwidth connections only have to add to the
radio is a field we haven't seen much new to lately.
People have gone off into CD and MP3 fields, while
others have diverted to Internet Radio. This has
actually forced many radio stations to begin offering
the Internet as another source of reception of their
transmission. Over the internet, there is no static.
However, there are transmission interruptions and the
compression algorithm really cuts down the audio
quality. The technology isn't quite ready for
ABIT BE6-II Review -
14:07 pm Wilfred
also released a review
of the BE6-II today. This is still ABIT's top-end BX
motherboard that comes with ATA/66 support. The snip:
is the fun part about Abit boards, overclocking. Abit
made sure they stayed on the top of other motherboards
in terms of overclocking when they implemented the
1MHz increments via the Softmenu III. The BF6 and
BE6-II are virtually the same, so the overclocking
results are identical when using the same hardware on
GA-6CX i820 Mobo -
14:03 pm Wilfred
got hold of Gigabyte's i820 board for testing and
churned out a short
review of it. Here's a blurb from their verdict!
the 6CX wasn't our pick for Editor's Choice in our January
2000 i820 Motherboard Roundup, the board itself is
a very solid and reliable solution which is something
we've come to expect from Gigabyte as a manufacturer.
lack of voltage manipulation and the somewhat limiting
FSB settings do not make the 6CX the ideal board for
overclockers looking for a good i820 motherboard , but
the DualBIOS and VGA BIOS on Motherboard Technology
supported by the motherboard help to mask those
as with most other i820 motherboards, the biggest
thing keeping the 6CX out of the hands of most users
isn't the motherboard itself, but rather the inflated
cost of RDRAM.
7.0 Review And Install Guide -
14:01 pm Wilfred
at Cole3D, they've
cooked up a review
on Mandrake 7.0 and published an installation guide for
it. The latest OS comes with many enhancements and
newbies (note, newbie doesn't exclude techies) will like
it's improved user-friendliness.
7's installation is the easiest one I have seen so
far. I popped in a bootdisk that I made (my BH6
doesn't like to boot off CD for some reason), and
began. I was greeted with a nice screen asking me if I
wanted a Recommended, Custom, or Expert installation.
Recommended will partition the disk for you (So you
might wanna stay away from this unless your drive is
completely blank), Custom allows you to partition the
drive yourself, and Expert allows you to partition the
drive yourself and install individual packages. I
happened to choose Custom. Mandrake's partitioning
utility was extremely easy to use, and completely
graphical. I removed my old partitions which had
contained Red Hat 6.1, and made a new swap and /
partition. Mandrake's disk partitioner is by far the
easiest to use.
Will They Beat The Odds? -
13:54 pm Wilfred
you like daily commentaries, today osOpinion
has another set of articles you can check out! Here's
full on Transmeta and what they've done right so
has apparently done two correct things. First, they
claim to have actual chips in actual products real
soon now (this phrase not capitalized to avoid
conflict with Jerry Pournelle). We've seen the chips,
and we've seen them work, and we soon (with luck) will
get our own hands on them. All this will happen while
the product named "Crusoe" is still fresh on
our brains. Compare this to Intel's self-inflicted 64
bit "Merced" processor FUD attack. The
computer press has been printing news, analysis and
rumors about "Merced" for at least two years
that I can (possibly faulty) recall. Is it any wonder
people may give up on it ever appearing if they think
the media leaks are signs of a hemorrhage?
Fantasy VIII Review -
10:35 am Sniper
another review of the game FF8, role playing fans go
take at look.
early 1999, Final Fantasy VIII for the Sony
PlayStation sold millions of copies within days of its
release in Japan. Now, one year later, the epic
role-playing game has become available for the PC with
much less fanfare surrounding its publication,
probably because most everyone who wanted to play
Final Fantasy VIII already has. What's more, the PC
version of Final Fantasy VIII seems hell-bent on
completely alienating its audience of innocently
curious computer gamers, as they'll likely end up
utterly bewildered if they ever made the mistake of
buying it. That's because Final Fantasy VIII for the
PC is a completely inadequate conversion of the
attractive yet problematic console role-playing game.
MidiLand 7100 5.1 -
10:25 am Sniper
took this affordable speakers for a test run. Find
out for yourself if its better than the Creative ones.
recently acquired an SPL (sound pressure level) meter
to use while setting up some home-theater speakers. I
couldn't resist giving it a whirl after I set up the
Midiland 7100 speakers. I popped in one of the
Springsteen Live 1975-1985 CDs (it's a three-CD set)
and cranked up Born in the USA. At one point, the SPL
in the near field (sitting in front of the monitor)
reached 105 decibels - the speakers were clearly
clipping, but they were able to hit over 100dB and
stay fairly clean. Clearly, the emphasis with these
speakers is volume.
08:45 am Wilfred
posted a preview
on an engineering sample of the VIA KX133 mainboard.
They covered some important benchmarks and from the
looks of it, the board is a good performer!
have to say that I am impressed by the KX133.
The stability of the board was top notch. I had
expected more problems with AGP 2X and 4X. I
experienced no lockups with the TNT 2 and did not have
to resort to registry hacks to enable 2X, 4X or side
banding. It looks like Via has done an excellent
job following the AGP spec.
was also satisfied with the chipsets performance.
Sure it lagged in some tests, but remember that the
KX133 will excel when using applications that that
access the memory heavily. This is why it pulled
ahead of the AMD 751 with Winstone 99 and Content
Creation. Gaming performance is a little bit
trickier. While it held its own with the 751 I
was hoping to see an improvement of some sort with AGP
4X enabled. In all of the testing I have done so
far I have not seen a definite increase.
08:41 am Wilfred
guys at The
Firingsquad scored an interview
with VIA, the company that's turning heads with their
recent core logic chipset success. So what plans are in
When do you plan on releasing PC266 chipsets and will
they be available for both AMD and Intel platforms?
We plan to announce our DDR product plans in the
second quarter of this year. Chipsets will be
available on both Intel and AMD platforms, though the
schedule hasn't yet been finalized.
BE6-II Motherboard -
08:37 am Wilfred
onto motherboards this morning as Jsi
Hardware dismembered their systems for a BE6-II
board. Listen to what they have to say about it:
is one seriously cool motherboard, with so many Fsb
settings to chose from i thing that this is the best
overclocking board available at the moment. Ultra Dma
66 Support Future Proofs this board for quite a while
(Until Ultra dma 100 is released next year)
Vancouver i820 Motherboard -
08:25 am Wilfred
popped us a note on the i820 Camino board from Intel.
One of the first to hit the streets as Intel try to push
its adoption. Pay Vancouver
VC820 does perform well, but it sure doesn't stand out
from the crowd in any way, which is what we've come to
expect from Intel. If you want the most stable, down
to earth Intel 820 that money can buy, keep your eyes
fixated on the VC820. The board design is well done
(No ISA slots, thank god!), and it just plain works
without a hitch. Most gamers will want to look to the
I820 boards from Asus, AOpen, and Abit rather than
Intel, which frankly, is what we would do too.
February 2000 - Wednesday
Digital Photography Info -
19:36 pm Wilfred
once again to our excellent local digicam site for the
Photography Review blurbed on more than a handful of
news breaks. Here's some of them:
Announced 3 New Digital Cameras!
The DSC-S70, S50 and S30 that sport 3.3, 2.1 and 1.3
megapixel CCDs respectively!
FinePix 4700 Sample Pix At PC Watch
Yums! But I think the Canon S20 samples look a tat
nicer! Whaddaya think?
C2020Z Review At Imaging Resource
Damn! If only they have trade-ins for people like me?!
I want the enhanced C2020Z!!! This is a really sweet
camera if you can't wait any longer for those 3.3 MPs!
Playstation 2: Emotion Engine -
19:26 pm Wilfred
over at PC World
about the PS2. It's coming isn't it?! The world awaits
in anticipation... gigaflops computing powess!
Emotion Engine and its accompanying processing chip
change all that by excelling at a processing function
called floating-point performance, which can help it
adept is it? According to MicroDesign Resources, the
processor can handle 6.2 gigaflops at 300MHz. A single
gigaflop equals one billion floating-point operations
per second. MDR says that makes the chip two times
faster than a 733-MHz Pentium III and 15 times faster
than a 400-MHz Celeron at handling tasks like
full-motion video. For the statistics-minded, the
processor can handle 75 million 3D transformations per
second, and can render images at 2.4 billion pixels
MX400 Sound Card -
19:19 pm Wilfred
took apart the Monster
MX400 today in their labs. Go and see what they
found! Stick with your SBLive! or MX300 if you already
where did Diamond end up with the MX400? They made a
product aimed at gamers that delivers quality. About
the only way in which it really fell short was in CPU
utilization. I would have hoped that it would have
been a little lower. As it was, I hardly noticed it on
the higher end machine I tested on. If you have a
machine in the 450 range or lower, and are not
planning on a CPU upgrade in the near future, the
MX400 may not be your best choice. If your CPU is
faster than that, or if you are planning to upgrade to
that in the near future, then the MX400 is a decent
choice. If you already own an MX300 (or any other
Vortex 2 based card) or any of the SoundBlaster Live!
family would I recommend replacing it with the MX400?
Probably not, as you really won't change your sound
experience by a whole lot.
On T&L In New Viper II Drivers! -
19:14 pm Wilfred
of you with a Viper II rejoice! First, get the new Viper
II drivers released yesterday
and gotta try this out eh? Thanks to Voodoo
Extreme on the blurb:
"Simple" benchmark: 5.64908 fps
"Simple" benchmark: 16.7954 fps
DeCSS Not Jailed And More?! -
19:14 pm Wilfred
yes Mr 16-year-old DeCSS was taken in for questioning
and his home searched by Norwegian police. But he was
released and he's got something
No. They took me to the local police station. But my
father was sick, so they questioned him here at home.
But they just took you in for questioning -- they
didn't arrest you or anything like that?
Johansen: Well, the biggest Norwegian
newspaper regarded this as an arrest, since they
hadn't told us that they were coming and they brought
me in. So the biggest Norwegian newspaper looked upon
that as an arrest.
Burning Titles -
19:14 pm Wilfred
CDR burning software you might want to pair up with
that brand new 12/4/32 drive in the bay.
you're looking for the Swiss-army-knife of CD-R apps,
look no further than Nero, It's astoundingly cool, and
amazingly inexpensive, and the only bone I could
really pick with it was it's not-yet-fancy-
multi-session support. Is that worth sacrificing $50
and a bit of performance and reliability? I
don't think so.
Linux To Support Code Morphing -
19:08 pm Wilfred
Turton at osOpinion
wrote an article
suggesting how Linux can be extended to support code
morphing, now that Transmeta's Crusoe has come to light.
Transmeta already has the code morphing licked and
their Crusoe chips can execute x86 legacy applications
at near Pentium III speeds, what else needs doing?
Transmeta's processors are designed to run under the
control of operating systems like Windows® that know
nothing about code morphing. Hence the code
morphing process has to be completely invisible to the
operating system, which thinks that it has direct
control of the bare metal (except for a thin layer of
BIOS). Transmeta has design their Crusoe
processors in such a way that their code morphing code
lives in ROM and loads automatically into RAM whenever
the machine is power on. It reads in the OS
bootstrap loader, translates it into Crusoe native
machine code, and executes it. The bootstrap
loads the rest of the OS kernel into RAM. This
also has to be translated and executed. All x86
code translated in this way, and the code morphing
code itself, has to be kept somewhere, so each Crusoe
processors reserves an extent of the available RAM and
hides it from the x86 operating systems and
applications that run upon it.
Slocket II Review -
19:04 pm Wilfred
Hardware let me know that they checked out Iwill's
Slocket II converter for both FC-PGA and S370 PPGA
performs flawlessly with FC-PGA Pentium III and S370
Celeron processors, is compatible Coppermine-ready
Slot 1 motherboards, and is one of the few next-gen
Slocket adaptors available. Just based on these points
alone, I can recommend the Iwill Slocket II if you're
in the market for a FC-PGA Pentium III, but want to
use it with a higher performing Slot 1 motherboard
SY-6VBA133 Motherboard -
19:01 pm Wilfred
VIA Apollo 133 board from Soyo is examined at BXBoards.
got a high 4.5/5.0 rating from Andy.
is an excellent product and in many ways is almost
identical to the Soyo SY-6BA+ IV,
which is high praise. Overclockers will enjoy the AGP
/2 divider that the VIA PC133 chipset brings, although
it has to be said that the VIA PC133 chipset is a
slower performer than Intel BX.
expansion opportunities of the board are excellent,
and it is very nice to see 4 DIMM slots in addtion to
the 5 PCI and 2 ISA slots, meaning that this board is
2000 Sweepstakes -
18:58 pm Wilfred
3,000 names are picked, but 3,000 more copies of Windows
2000 are still waiting to be won in Microsoft's
Sneak Preview and Sweepstakes. If you are above 18
years of age and reside in the United States, check this
has begun the last leg of the Windows 2000 Sneak
Preview and Sweepstakes; already 3,000 lucky Windows
fans have won full copies Windows 2000 Professional.
On Friday February 4th an additional 3,000
full copies of Windows 2000 Professional will be given
away. This week's sweepstakes is the last chance to
enter to win a full copy Windows 2000 before it's
official release on February 17th. Don't
miss this opportunity to be the first on your block to
own Windows 2000 Professional. The sweepstakes is
limited to United States residents 18 years and older.
Duper Slot Fan -
18:54 pm Wilfred
Stats posted a review on the 'Super
Duper Slot Fan'. Oh what a name!?! Coming from
3DCool, we expect some quality stuff don't we?
coolers are basically thin squirrel fans that
mount in an empty ISA/PCI bay and work to expel hot
air from inside the case. While meant primarily
to cool adjacent cards, they also help to keep
the case temp down as well. We took a look at one from
3Dcool and tested
just how well it did at these two jobs - cooling an
adjacent video card, and cooling overall case temp.
Scaleable Architecture -
18:49 pm Wilfred
Hardware wrote a second
parter to their 3dfx's VSA Technology Preview posted
some days back. Ok, you read about T-Buffers and
Fullscreen Anti-Aliasing right?
doubt that right after the launching of Voodoo5 we
will see any games using T-Buffer effects (except FSAA)
or gaming patches providing the support of these
effects. Why? Firstly, we haven't yet seen any
announcements from game developers. Secondly, the
situation with HW T&L is a good example of what
may actually happen. Even under the most favorable
circumstances only in three months after the first
graphics cards on GeForce 256 had been sold we saw the
first games supporting hardware T&L, which were
very few, in fact. Besides, you should also take into
consideration that NVIDIA spends a lot of money and
effort promoting hardware T&L support among
applications developers. If you remember, HW T&L
is supported in DirectX 7.0 and in OpenGL. At the same
time, T-Buffer, though it is announced as an open tool
is still 3dfx's innovation and it is not so beloved
among the software developers.
V6800 Review -
15:00 pm Sniper
impressive review of the V6800 Deluxe from Anandtech.
Check it out here.
Because they already had a proprietary design to use, ASUS skipped the
whole reference board design and made the V6800 out of the same ASUS design found in the V6600
Deluxe and Pure models which received high marks in prior tests. Using the same board design with more
powerful DDR memory, ASUS assumed that it had a winning card on their hands, an assumption that
proved to be correct.
14:29 pm Sniper
did a preview of the next generation 3dfx graphics
architecture. Full details here.
The most interesting thing, which attracted most of you probably, was the possibility to use SLI and
T-Buffer simultaneously. First of all, under "SLI" in case of VSA 3dfx understands something different
from the old SLI technology used in Voodoo2 epoch. In other words, 3dfx simply used an old, already
well-known name to denote a new technology. A new SLI version implies much more than ordinary
frame lines interleave
Sybase In Action -
09:29 am Sniper
and Sybase demonstrated a demo of SQL at LinuxWorld,
full story here.
is quickly putting that notion to the test, running a
demo this week that shows a sales force automation
application based on the company's SQL Anywhere
database running on a Crusoe-powered device that can
syncronize via a wireless hookup to a back-end
09:05 am Sniper
went to search for his elusive Valentines Day gift so
I'm here to start the new day for all of you.
First piece of news is an article on Mobile Linux.
Go chew on it.
When Linus Torvalds takes center stage at
LinuxWorld on Wednesday, he will no longer wear the hat of the impartial
shepherd of the Linux operating system, but
that of the creator of a new Linux distribution, Mobile Linux.
February 2000 - Tuesday
ASUS K7M Motherboard -
19:57 pm Wilfred
also found on AnandTech
is a review on the ASUS
K7M motherboard. If you have an Athlon and looking
for a partner for it, be sure to consider this!
K7M is one of the best Athlon motherboards on the
market, however there is room for improvement. If
you're looking for a good Athlon motherboard for
overclocking then the K7M is probably your best bet
right about now. Even with motherboards based on
VIA's KX133 chipset coming out over the next few
weeks, you can expect the K7M to hold its own in the
Athlon motherboard market for at least a bit longer.
RS Shifter -
19:55 pm Wilfred
Hardware got their hands on the RS
Shifter from ACT-LABS too and issued their verdict
on its performance on the circuits.
added realism that the RS Shifter provides is
fantastic. Judging purely on its gaming benefits, I
would recommend it as an upgrade to most ACT Labs RS
Wheel owners. However, its $60 price is a little too
high, since only three games support it at the
moment. If you’re a serious racer, the $60
shouldn’t be too hard to swallow, since there is
nothing on the market that compares to the RS
shifter. Casual racers, on the other hand, will
probably want to save their money for another
hardware upgrade or an extra game.
19:52 pm Wilfred
checked out the Hercules
3D Prophet card. They got the SDR variant, so
let's see if they liked the performance at all?
Guillemot 3D Prophet is certainly a rockin'
performer, and anyone would be happy to have it as a
new addition to their system. However, you must
decide if it's the right card for you - although
it's performance is up with the best of the GeForce
SDR cards, it doesn't compare to the DDR cards in
19:48 pm Wilfred
scored an interview
with the BitBoys regarding the Glaze3D chip. Surely a
very interesting product though many have passed on
waiting for its debut.
core of the Glaze3D is listed as 150MHz, despite the
0.20micron process that it will be manufactured on.
The transistor count also seems quite low,
suggesting relatively low heat output. What is
holding back the clock speed?
speeds of our architecture will increase over time
and products generations. The 150 MHz is in line
with the other chips coming out this year,
considering that we don't really need much more
clock frequency as we have an eight-texel pipeline
instead of a two-texel pipeline like the upcoming
Voodoo5 or the four-texel engine of the Geforce
products. Running an eight-texel pipeline at 150 MHz
is like running a two-texel pipeline like Voodoo5 at
Gigabyte GA-MG400 16Mb Matrox G400 -
18:30 pm Wilfred
not confused I hope! SharkyExtreme
posted a review
on Gigabyte's 16Mb videocard that's based on Matrox's
now we're down to the wire. Should you get a
GA-MG400, Gigabyte's graphics card based upon
Matrox's G400? Its highs are excellent 2D and 3D
video quality, a strong game bundle, a low projected
price and acceptable game performance. Its lows are
you can only use it with certain Gigabyte
motherboards, you can get an SDRAM GeForce and much
higher frame rates for only $100 more (well, over
double the price, but still not that much more and
worth it for hardcore gamers), and if you get the
GA-MG400, you will be dependant on Gigabyte to port
Matrox's drivers in a timely manner to avoid facing
Overclocking And Cooling -
18:25 pm Wilfred
delivered a neat article
on overclocking and cooling your latest GeForce
investment. I'm sure some of you will kill for that
few extra frames-per-second! Check it out, they've got
pics to guide you along if you need to surgically
remove that factory-installed heatsink.
the beast is together, back in my case, and ready to
rock. Using Hercules overclocking features, I set
the Memory to 380 and the core to 160. The first
test showed some discolored, twinkling pixels on the
screen. I clocked the memory speed down until I
found no more artifacts on the screen. The highest,
stable speed I could set it to was
Crusoe Be Shipwrecked? -
18:20 pm Wilfred
has got a new editorial you might want to check
out! The author wrote about what he thinks
Transmeta's Crusoe will need to survive the voyage.
purchasers of Crusoe devices need games like Stock
Market Exploiter. If you have a wireless
Internet connection, it will give you continuous
updates of the Dow-Jones and S&P indices. To
impress your friends you can pretend to enter stock
bids, and every day it will tell you how much
make-believe money you have earned. You can
configure the game so that your stocks go up and up
and up, regardless of what they are doing on the
To Install A Temperature Monitor -
18:13 pm Wilfred
GameForce has an interesting
idea some of you DIY-ers may have some spare time
to try out! Install a little temperature monitor LCD
panel on the front of your PC chassis ala your
you have just made a thermal probe in two simple
steps. Now, you just need to decide where you want
to put the probe. The probe has a 10ft cord, so the
possibilities are endless. Finding out the
temperature of an component only requires a quick
glance to the readout on your case.
Coppermine Motherboards -
18:09 pm Wilfred
just popped a their press release in our mailbox
announcing 2 new motherboards for CuMine processors,
one based on the i820 Camino and the other on VIA's
Apollo 133A chipset.
REVIEW / NEWS COVERAGE (for immediate release)
TWO NEW SOYO MOTHERBOARDS -- For Coppermine PIII
CPUS, with Camino Chipset / Via Apollo 133A
chipsets, featuring RAMBUS / DIMMs support.
and consumers considering a Pentium III system with
Intel's new Coppermine CPU's have the freedom of
choice thanks to SOYO.
Inc. has delivered a pair of Intel Pentium III
motherboards, which support Intel’s Coppermine
CPUs and feature a choice of Intel’s
high-performance 82820 Camino chipset or VIA
Technologies’ Apollo PRO133A chipset with 4x AGP
graphics support. Both of these boards are available
for review to qualified product reviewers.
SOYO’s new SY-6ICA ATX footprint motherboard
supports Intel’s Coppermine Pentium III CPUs to
800MHz and beyond. It features Intel’s 82820
chipset with 100/133 MHz FSB, 4X AGP graphics, and
onboard AC 97 Codec Software Audio Solution with an
ATA 66/Audio Modem Riser Slot in an ATX form factor.
The board is expandable to 512MBs RAM with its two
RamBus RIMMs slots, and features five 32-bit bus
mastering PCI slots and one universal AGP port.
SOYO’s new SY-6VCA ATX footprint motherboard
ultilizes VIA’s PRO133A chipset with 133MHz Front
Side Bus chipset with support for Celeron, Pentium
II/III CPU’s to 800MHz, 133 Front Side Bus, AGP 4X
graphics support, and high-speed ATA66 to power new
generation high-speed hard drives. The SY-6VCA
includes four 168-pin SDRAM DIMM sockets, which
support up to 1.5GB of memory. The board also
supports PC133/PC 100 DIMMs. The board is expandable
with five 32-bit Bus Mastering PCI slots, two 16-bit
ISA slots (one shared ISA/PCI slot) and one 4x AGP
is a news release. Contact Len Fernandes at
510-538-8916 or [email protected] for additional
info or to arrange for delivery of an evaluation
RELEASES PENTIUM III MOTHERBOARD
INTEL’s 82820 CAMINO CHIPSET or VIA’S APOLLO PRO
133 CHIPSET AND AGP 4X GRAPHICS FREMONT, CA
(February 1, 2000) – SOYO, Inc. today delivered a
pair of Intel Pentium III motherboards, which
support Intel’s Coppermine CPUs and feature a
choice of Intel’s high-performance 82820 Camino
chipset or VIA Technologies’ Apollo PRO133A
chipset with 4x AGP graphics support.
new SY-6ICA ATX footprint motherboard ($139 MSRP
U.S.) supports Intel’s Coppermine Pentium III CPUs
to 800MHz and beyond. It features Intel’s 82820
chipset with 100/133 MHz FSB, 4X AGP graphics, and
onboard AC 97 Codec Software Audio Solution with an
ATA 66/Audio Modem Riser Slot in an ATX form factor.
The board is expandable to 512MBs RAM with its two
RamBus RIMMs slots, and features five 32-bit bus
mastering PCI slots and one universal AGP port.
new SY-6VCA ($105 MSRP U.S.) is an ATX footprint
motherboard that ultilizes VIA’s PRO133A chipset
with 133MHz Front Side Bus chipset with support for
Celeron, Pentium II/III CPU’s to 800MHz, 133 Front
Side Bus, AGP 4X graphics support, and high-speed
ATA66 to power new generation high-speed hard
SY-6VCA includes four 168-pin SDRAM DIMM sockets,
which support up to 1.5GB of memory. The board also
supports PC133/PC 100 DIMMs. The board is expandable
with five 32-bit Bus Mastering PCI slots, two 16-bit
ISA slots (one shared ISA/PCI slot) and one 4x AGP
makes it easy to fine tune the SY-6ICA or SY-6VCA
for performance-oriented applications such as 3D
modeling, animation or gaming with its jumperless
Sofset configuration technology. Both boards support
multiple selectable sets of CPU and PCI clock speeds
inside the BIOS directly, allowing for easy,
no-jumper configuration. The CPU Frontside System
Bus (FSB) and PCI bus clock to be configured 16
different ways -- from 66MHz-155MHz.
I/O on both boards include two RS-232 serial ports,
one parallel printer port, one floppy disk port, two
Ultra DMA66/33 IDE ports, two USB ports, PS/2
Mini-DIN mouse & keyboard ports, and an IrDA
port with optional cable for transceiver.
includes its Hardware Doctor Software package, which
enables users to control and monitor their system at
all times. The SY-6ICA and SY-6VCA also support WOL
(Wake On LAN) to simplify network management Each
board includes a Symantec software bundle with
Norton Anti-Virus, Ghost and Virtual Drive.
Inc. is the U.S. subsidiary of SOYO Computer, Inc.
Founded in 1985, with worldwide headquarters in
Taipei, Taiwan, and branch offices in Germany,
Holland, Hong Kong, Japan and Korea, SOYO is one of
the fastest growing major motherboard manufacturers
in the world with 1998 sales of $280 million. The
company sells its products through a Tech Data and a
select group of resellers, system integrators, and
VARs worldwide. SOYO’s U.S. headquarters are at
41484 Christy Street, Fremont, CA 94538. For
information, call 510-226-7696 or visit
is a registered trademark. Other product names are
either trademarks or trade names of their respective
10/100 Network In A Box -
17:58 pm Wilfred
Unlimited let us know that they reviewed a network
kit from the popular Taiwanese company, D-Link.
Great value and performance coupled in a single
winning kit. What more can one expect?
you are looking for a great network starter kit, or
an upgrade kit, this is definitely the only for you.
With it's small size and very versatile features
this works in almost any environment and situation
you can through at it. With it's great features it
can handle anything from a small office LAN to a
large, high network traffic office with many
clients. Also, most network kits on the market
feature hubs for the means on connecting everything
together, this kit uses a switch, which is not only
faster, but more efficient, with less bottlenecks
and faster performance.
'Quad-pump' Bus -
09:22 am Sniper
suggests that Intel is developing a new bus for its
Intel Corp. is developing a new "quad-pumped" processor
bus that is expected to reach a clock speed of 400 MHz
when running in Intel's next-generation Foster and McKinley server microprocessors, according to industry sources.
08:56 am Sniper
will drool when he reads this.
just released a new clustering technology that connects
hundreds of workstations and servers into a supercomputer.
What's special is that it is not OS dependant. I
must go sweet-talk Kan to buy it so that I can run
it in my office to crack RC5!
differs from Beowulf Linux clusters in many ways.
EnFuzion runs on Linux as well as on all major Unix
platforms and Microsoft Windows NT. And unlike with
Beowulf, enFuzion allows most serial applications
to run without modifications, greatly simplifying
the migration from single-system computing environments
scalable, distributed processing parallel computing
D-Link 10/100 Network-In-a-Box -
06:13 am Kan
got note from 3D-Unlimited
that they have published their review on the D-Link
10/100 Network-In-a-Box kit.
normal, D-Link has provided lots of documentation
for this product. This, in my opinion, is one thing
they are known for, lots of documentation., which is
very helpful, for beginners you will need to refer
to these manuals often. These manuals provide lots
of very useful info for setting up a network for a
personal or business LAN. Also, goes above and
beyond, for example, showing you how to setup a
networked printer for your network. The kit provides
an In-depth Product Manual for each product, and a
special "D-Link Quick Starter Guide And Network
Basics" - a complete how to install a network
manual designed for a network beginner.
05:57 am Kan
Australia review of the Creative
GeForce Pro DDR over here. *drool* I think all the
reviewers in HW1 have this card sticking in their
system. Crazy...crazy. I'm still using using a S3 Trio
1 MB card in my office. Heh.
is the heart of the chip that is also known as the
worlds first Graphics Processing Unit which takes
the transform and lighting calculations and
processes them instead of the CPU having to do so.
It leaves the CPU to get on with other important
aspects such as artificial intelligence. The nice
thing about T&L is that games using OpenGL and
Direct X 7 can utilize this feature so programming
games for T&L in future will be very easy to
implement through these two API's.
G500 21" Monitor -
05:20 am Kan
also reviewed the mutha Sony
G500 21" Monitor. I liked
this a lot, and you will do. Now run along and
grab a piece (oh yes, pay for it as well) from your
favorite computer store. =)
Sony's MultiScan FD Trinitron technology, the G500
should be a well-rounded monitor that falls
perfectly into the corporate professional market.
Supporting a maximum resolution of 2048 by 1536 at
75 Hz it beats out their 21" monitor flagship,
the F500. Many of the current high-end video cards
on the market should be able to hit that resolution
without any problems; the one we used with the G500
was ASUS's V6800 GeForce DDR card. As you all know
by now, many monitors of today support super high
resolutions, but running at those resolutions often
create eyestrains and blurred images. Here comes the
interesting part. Input to the monitor can be done
through two ways. Those two ways being BNC or HD15.
HD15 is basically the standard for all monitors on
the market. BNC on the other hand has also been
around for a while but has only really been used on
high-end monitors, mainly because of the increased
accuracy of signals sent from the video card.
05:16 am Kan
reviewed the Plextor
PlexWriter 8/4/32 CD-Writer. We liked
it a lot too, and here's some of their comments on
up of the PlexWriter 8/4/32 was a breeze. It
went as easy as installing any other drive in a
system. One note of caution however, is that
Plextor recommends installing the drive as a
"Master" and preferably on its own EIDE
channel. This is standard procedure for most
EIDE recordable CD drives, for best reading and
ATA II -
05:14 am Kan
send note on the newly announced Seagate
Barracuda ATA II hard drive. Ah, new model, how
sweet. And to think that Wilfred just got a piece of
the old (was new) Barracuda as well. =)
Technology, Inc. (NYSE: SEG - news) today unveiled
the Barracuda ATA II, the newest addition to the
most popular line of PC disc drives in the world.
Protected by Seagate's 3D Defense System, Barracuda
ATA II is the world's most rugged 7,200-rpm hard
disc drive and can withstand 300 Gs non-operating
shock. With up to 30.6 Gbytes of capacity, the
Barracuda ATA II is Seagate's third-generation
7,200-rpm ATA disc drive targeted at the value
performance and commercial desktop systems. It
features the fastest seek time and data transfer
rates in its class, an improved platform with new
electronics, a four-fold increase in cache, and
fifty percent higher capacity per disc, for up to 15
percent better performance over all previous ATA
Fuji's SuperCCD Technology -
01:37 am Wilfred
you've just read about Fuji's blockbusting 6.1
megapixel camera and wondering why they are the only
firm boasting of such incredible specifications? It's
gotta do with their Super CCD sensor technology! Find
out more at Digital
Fuji FinePix 4700 has 2.4 million pixel SuperCCD
sensor which produces a 4.3 million pixel image.
Fuji Finepix S1 Pro has a 3.2 million pixel
SuperCCD sensor which produces a 6.1 million pixel