January 2000 - Friday
It's The Games, Stupid! -
18:12 pm Wilfred
takes a cynical
look at the PC upgrading cycle spawn by release of
multimedia-rich games that pushed the envelop of
peripheral development since the dawn of computing.
Here's a categorization of people with their various
reasons to upgrade... I'm a schmuck (but without deep
pockets), so described.
crazy. Will that GeForce card make Microsoft Word
type faster? Nope. Will the 500MHz CPU make voice
recognition work? Yeah, right.
no question that it was business apps that made the
IBM-compatible market explode, and relegated Apple
to the niche markets it currently holds. But since
CPU's hit about 300MHz, there's been no driving need
for business to have these smokin' fast machines. So
why in the hell are we going gaga over
Pentium and Athlon chips running at 800? Why do we
care that you can get a $500 video card that's what,
10% to 30% faster than the previous generation?
And it seems to be broken down into three groups:
Those without means get Playstation, Dreamcast and
Nintendo boxes. Those kids whose parents don't know
a computer from a calculator and who are of deep
pockets, those ones get the monster PCs. And
finally, you get the schmucks like me (or more
accurately, my friends) who just have to have the
latest and best, and nothing else will do.
Camino Roundup -
18:03 pm Wilfred
pushed out a brand
new roundup on some of the i820 boards in the
market. If you're considering a Camino board today,
here's some 19 pages of ANANDY-goodness you won't want
you’re in the market for an i820 motherboard,
AOpen is the way to go. The AX6C and AX6C-L are both
very stable and very reliable contenders for the
best i820 motherboard, and just as the AX6B was to
the BX motherboard market, expect these motherboards
to remain on top in terms of reliability and
stability in the long run.
ability to manually select the RDRAM clock
multiplier is a very useful feature, especially when
overclocking, and it was a very good idea for AOpen
to include that feature within the BIOS setup of
GA-71X Athlon Mobo -
17:59 pm Wilfred
the way of AMD? The Athlon is good stuff, but you have
to have a worthy motherboard to match it! Gamers
Depot reviewed the GA-71X
motherboard and you will want to know what they
have to say about Gigabyte's entry!
AMD 751 "Irongate" Northbridge and the AMD
756 "Viper" Southbridge chipset, you see
that it fully supports 2X AGP, UDMA/66, and 3 DIMM
Sockets. 3 DIMM sockets should be suitable for most
gamers, as I have yet to meet any that are running
more than 768MB.
slapped various Athlon chips into the board,
including a 650, 700, 750, and an 800. We ran the
GA-71X for hours on end testing for system
stability, and how well it did with heat build up in
the case. During the course of all of our Athlon
processors, we didn't have any crashes at all, and
were pleasantly surprise to see that it appears that
Gigabyte has stuck to their motto of "Quality
The Register -
17:54 pm Wilfred
of interesting bits and bytes one should never miss,
The Register has several headlines that demand
reading. First, yes, the colour
screen Palm IIIc will ship in February and next,
it seems like yields
of RAMBUS continue to fall which doesn't spell any
chance of a recovery or price drop any time soon. This
means: no one will adopt it just for the exorbitant
yields have slumped from 25 per cent to less than 10
per cent, according to dealer and distributors
attending this week's Computer Trade Show.
Mackenzie, head of memory broking at Rambus licensee
Memory Corporations, said: "Rambus is dead. The
yields are low because Intel is trying to force
through the technology."
3D Prophet DDR-DVI -
17:51 pm Wilfred
let us know that they too reviewed the 3D
Prophet from Hercules (now a division of
Guillemot). Of course, what sets this card apart from
the rest is it's good overclockability and support for
digital flat-panel displays which could hit the world
by storm (soon, I hope... but don't hold your breath
Hercules 3D Prophet DDR-DVI offers incredible
performance, wonderful image quality, and one of the
best overclocking possibilities on the GeForce 256
market. The Digital Visual Interface offers digital
flat panel users one of the best graphics cards on
the market that will enable them to play their
favorite games at blistering fast speeds. TV-Out is
supported and works perfect from what we've seen, as
does the DVD-Video acceleration that is handled
exceptionally well by the GeForce 256.
And Future Of Texture Compression -
17:45 pm Wilfred
has an article
which talked about the present and future of texture
compression. Check this out!
we all know, texture compression has only fairly
recently been a "must have" feature in 3D
accelerators. Although we've seen modern types
of texture compression since the days of the
Savage3D, and various other types of compression
dating all the way back to the Voodoo 1 and even
before, only recently has there been a
"critical mass" of support for texture
compression. Nearly every vendor supports it or has
announced support for the future: S3, NVIDIA, ATI,
3dfx, and even Bitboys have either shipping or
announced products which support texture
nVidia GeForce DDR/SDR Massive Roundup -
05:59 am Kan
Check out iXBT-Hardware
massive roundup on the various GeForce
DDR/SDR video cards. Tons of benchmarks smacked in
their usual 1 page style. Be sure to take a look!
usual, we would like to start with 2D graphics.
Although we can hardly say anything new here. The
difference between the performance of the graphics
cards described in the first part of our comparison
and that of the cards described today is almost
nought. That is why we consider these graphics cards
to be on equal footing here. The only evident
observation is that the graphics cards equipped with
a TV-out (such as ELSA Erazor X2 reviewed
before and Leadtek WinFast GeForce 256 DDR) fall
slightly behind. However, the presence of TV-out on
ASUS AGP-V6600 Deluxe didn't tell on the 2D quality
at all. Anyway, the lag is noticeable only at super
high resolutions starting from 1600x1200 and up. At
lower resolutions all graphics cards on NVIDIA
GeForce 256 show absolutely equal 2D quality.
UE1205RU NIC -
05:56 am Kan
have a review of the Smartlink
UE1205RU NIC card from TheTechZone.
This is a 10/100 Mbps NIC using the REALTek chipset.
REALTek is pretty popular and should support most OSes
without any difficulities.
speed difference between a 10 base NIC and 100 base
is pretty amazing. While you may not be able to tell
much of a difference during a Quake LAN party, you
will really see the speed advantage when
transferring large files from one computer to
another. Files that use to take 30 minutes to
transfer on 10 base took about 4 minute to do on the
SmartLink. Of course you will have to use a 100 base
hub to take full advantage of this speed. If you
have a normal 10 base hub, the SmartLink will work
with that too, just at a much slower speed.
Gold Finger Review -
05:53 am Kan
The word Maximizer just caught my eye first. Anyway,
our buds over at HardOCP
have a review on the Maximizer
Gold Finger. Now with this kit, you can actually
overclock your Athlon processor without actually
altering the PCB directly. Here's some of it:
we put ours through the paces and it worked great.
It does everything it is advertised to do. We
had our Athlon 600 up and running at 750Mhz in no
time. You can shut down and tweak the voltage
and multiplier as needs. This is what the
Maximizer is designed to do and it accomplishes
these two jobs flawlessly. You know in these
cases there is not a lot to say, unless it was junk,
and it is not junk. It worked very well and I
think it is a unit that could make a lot of the
peeps happy with their purchase.
select the voltage and the speed by simply flipping
the switches on the dips. If you have rather
large fingers, like myself, you had better get you a
very small screwdriver or paperclip. The
dipswitches instead of dials is the only negative
thing I found about the unit.
6153 Review -
05:50 am Kan
have the MSI
6153 motherboard review over at 3D-Unlimited.
This is a PPGA motherboard with 5 PCI/2 ISA. With 16
FSBs to choose from, it's a pretty overclockable
motherboard as well:
MS-6153 comes with a very good array of utilities to
help manage your computer. 3D Turbo II is a small
utility that lets you change the core clock speed or
the RAM clock speed of your video card. Although,
this utility does work fine, there are better and
more functional overclocking available. Soft Cooler
II is also included and it is basically a utility
that helps your computer use less power and
therefore decreases the CPU temperature. Another
utility is PC Alert II. PC Alert II provides you
with real-time information on CPU and System
temperature, fan speeds, voltage usage, CMOS battery
status, suspend mode voltage, network management,
memory statistics and case intrusion. PC Alert II
works very well and is one of the best of its kind.
05:48 am Kan
to CDR-Info who
pointed to us that RealMagic Netstream 2000 cards will
be able to have DVD support under Linux.
Sigmadesigns going to support Linux with REALmagic
NetStream 2000 card
the past several months, we have received hundreds
of e-mails from Linux users who have asked us to
support DVD under Linux. We're happy to announce
that very soon, Linux users will be able to play
DVD's using the new REALmagic NetStream 2000
Athlon/P2 Cooler Comparison -
05:41 am Kan
Australia has been busy lately and did
a roundup between four different types of coolers
for your Athlon/P2 processors. If you are itching for
a new cooler, check'em out:
less beefy-looking, this unit has thinner heatsink
fins and smaller fans (Delta Electronics 50mm
ball-bearing units). Both these fans are intelligent
and the unit is supplied with a Y-connector for
sharing a single fan header if required. GlobalWin's
mounting placement of these fans seems a little odd
to me. Stuck right on the edge of the heatsink as
they are, you'd think that the inner edge of the fan
would eject air straight out of the heatsink through
the gap cut for the mounting clip, and the outer
edge will eject straight out the end, hardly even
touching the heatsink. I think that mounting the
fans side-by-side in the centre of the sink would be
more effective - certainly more of the blade area is
over the sink itself and the air will have to travel
the length of the sink to escape. A little
experimentation in order here, I think. It uses the
same exercise-in-frustration mounting system as the
VEK-32 but it's a lot easier to remove because you
can get a screwdriver in there to lever the tabs
out. This unit sells for AUD$45.00 with a free tube
of thermal paste.
Cooling Guide -
05:39 am Kan
all know how important is PC Cooling. FastGraphics
whipped up an article teaching us the importance
of proper cooling in our system as well as how to
do it correctly.
remember the time when I bought a AMD 486 DX4-100
which had a inscription saying "heatsink + fan
reqd". It was one of the fist chips that really
needed active cooling to keep it from overheating.
As the speed increased the need for bigger heatsinks
seemed to be quite underestimated by some companies.
A CMOS device (which a CPU is) is very critical to
it's operating temperature. When CMOS devices become
too hot, the speed of random moving electrons will
get too high, which can result in malfunctioning of
the circuits (the processor)... There can be very
small mix ups which you will not, or hardly notice,
but it can also cause your machine to crash. Apart
from the possible crashes when temperature goes up,
electronic parts also wear down a lot faster when
they're running at high temperatures... If you run a
CPU with insufficient cooling for extended periods
of time, you shouldn't be surprised if you find it
dead one day...
CPD-420GS Monitor -
05:32 am Kan
dropped us a line on their review of the Sony
CPD-420GS 19" Monitor. It doesn't look like
this model is based on the new FD Trinitron tube, but
then again, the guys seem to like this model a lot.
So, here's a summary:
of the monitor was a breeze, so now for a few notes
on this monitor.
Its screen was nearly FLAT.
When Windows started, I was greeted by an
exceptionally clear screen (at least compared to my
POS 15” monitor).
The icons were of perfect color, and contrast
was very acceptable.
Of course, I remedied the brightness settings
by turning it up to 50%, which was perfect in my
was very little to no distortion on the screen,
though earlier “flat” models from other
companies, including Sony, were plagued by a
displeasing warping of the screen image.
Basically, this is the sharpest monitor I
have ever laid my eyes upon.
8-point text was quite readable at 1600x1200,
at a refresh rate of 76Hz.
Graphics were absolutely splendid coming from
my LeadTek TNT2 Ultra.
I am enthralled by this high quality Sony
product. My only qualm about the monitor, out of all
of its excellent aspects, is that the auto-sizing
doesn’t work very well.
Iomega Zip 100 USB -
05:22 am Kan
over at ArashBest,
the dudes took a look at the Iomega
Zip 100 USB drive. Definitely faster than the
parallel port versions, the ZIP drive offers easy
exchange of data between your friends. But then again,
I prefer at least a CD-RW nowadays with DVD-RAM to be
the norm soon.
however, that since it is a USB device, it does
require Win 95 OSR2 (or above) to connect to your
computer. The ZIP USB is also compatible with some
Mac systems with USB capability, such as the iMac.
This drive is not perfect however. The 100MB Zip
disks may be a tight fit for media professionals
with large projects. Also, the ZIP disks are
relatively expensive these days considering a 650MB
CD-R can be poached for less then a Washington!
January 2000 - Thursday
ASUS P3C 2000 Camino Motherboard -
21:22 pm Wilfred
on the latest Intel Camino boards that hit town? Wy
Mun reviewed the first Camino board to grace our labs
and rated its highs and lows. Don't
Olympus And Nikon's Answers To 3.3 MP -
18:26 pm Wilfred
This is the best news I heard today!!! Yes, over at
Digital Photography Review, there are 2 links to
sources of information to Olympus
upcoming 3.34 Megapixel cameras! Here's a blurb of the
C3030Z taken from DigitalKamera.de:
new digital camera, called C-3030 Zoom, is coming
along in a classic black gown. The "black
knight" signs his pictures with 3.34 million
pixels, and is additionally "armed" with a
modern USB interface. Nothing escapes his keen eye
with its 3 x zoom; not even moving images (in
QuickTime-MotionJPEG format), speech or music are
not safe from the C-3030 Zoom.
the taking of images, the C-3030 Zoom is
uncompromising, too: focusing, exposure and white
balance can be controlled both automatically or
Behind The Coppermine? -
18:21 pm Wilfred
put up an article
for those curious what's in a CuMine that makes it
different from the earlier Katmai PIIIs. If you pick
up one of those jewels, they really overclock
Intel was able to shrink the die size of the Pentium
III by using a 0.18 micron process, they now had the
proper configuration to implement 256k of full speed
on-die L2 cache, as opposed to the 512k of 1/2 speed
off-die L2 cache. Now some of you may be wondering
why would having 256k of L2 cache be faster than
512k? Well for starters, the 256k of L2 cache is
located closer to the CPU, making it faster to
access. Second, the 256k of L2 cache runs at the
full clock speed of the CPU, so the L2 cache on the
800 MHz Intel Pentium III Coppermine runs at 800 MHz
as opposed to 400 MHz if it were an original P3. The
faster the rate at which the L2 cache runs, the
faster the processor. Combine the on-die placement
of the L2 cache with the increased speed, and you
have yourself an increase in overall CPU
To Stick With Intel -
18:16 pm Wilfred
what friends are for eh? NOT! But anyhow, Yahoo
News reports that Dell will not switch partnership
to AMD despite Intel supply shortage. Check
told analysts on a conference call that the Round
Rock, Texas-based company was studying how to ensure
a better supply of components but was not ready to
spurn its long-time supplier Intel Corp. (NasdaqNM:INTC
-- at least just yet.
are not going to see us change our approach to
partnering based on one difficult transition,'' Dell
Rage Fury MAXX -
18:12 pm Wilfred
let us know a new review
they rolled out. Judging from the verdict, they quite
liked the Rage Fury MAXX especially the DVD
acceleration. Gamers should prolly stick to the
MAXX is probably the most unique video card today,
as it takes a novel approach to the "scan-line
interleave" idea in "Alternate Frame
Rendering." Even though the ATI Rage Fury MAXX
can't generally keep up in 3D performance, the fact
remains that it is a fast video card by today's
standards. Performance wise, the ATI Rage Fury MAXX
is roughly 85% the speed of a GeForce SDR. We should
also note that the GeForce drivers have matured over
time, so the performance gap can only decrease as
ATI improves its drivers.
With VIA -
18:07 pm Wilfred
our pals at Tech-Junkie
scored an interview
with VIA's Richard Brown, Director of Marketing,
regarding their fight with Intel on the chipset front.
The Intel 820 chipset relies
heavily on the success and adoption of RAMBUS,which
has proven to be unfavourable due to exorbitant
prices. Has Intel shot themselves in the foot by
relying too much on RAMBUS? If the prices of RAMBUS
does plummet and become viable, will VIA support it?
Where does VIA see the memory industry going?
Brown: We believe that the
mainstream memory this year will be PC133, and that
it will migrate to DDR 266 in 2001. RAMBUS memory
will still be available, but we think that its
market share will remain low because of the cost.
GearHeadPhones Guide -
16:30 pm Sniper
for a pair of good headphones? IGN
took a few of them for a test run. Hurry over there.
Looking to upgrade those dinky little Walkman
headphones? Bombastic workplace cutting into your job efficiency? Think those little
in-ear headphones are gross? Well, it sounds like it's time for you to
graduate to a decent set of headphones. With hope this expose will help
you in your quest.
Diamond Monster Sound MX400 -
16:21 pm Sniper
just checked out the Diamond Monster Sound
MX400. You can find the link here.
Once again, Diamond capitalized on the Monster branding as they teamed up with ESS for the latest
edition to this famed series, the Monster Sound MX400. Simply by
having a higher model number, many consumers will automatically assume that the MX400 is better than the MX300, but remember that
Diamond was effectively forced to change their high-end sound card. Let's take a look at what Diamond
can do with the ESS Canyon3D to see if it's really better.
Windows 2000 Report -
11:21 am Sniper
Magazine chunk out a report on the upcoming
OS. Need to find out more before you make a
decision to switch? Check it out.
It's been a long time coming, but now that Windows 2000 is
here, it's time to make decisions. Different types of users will
have very different reasons for upgrading, and some people
shouldn’t upgrade at all. PC Labs has explored every aspect
of the new OS in depth. Our special report has all the details.
China's Web Secrecy Rules -
08:38 am Wilfred
News reports that China laid down some rules
about operating websites, chatrooms and bulletin
boards in the land, that all operators and their sites
must undergo security checks and get the State's
organizations and individuals are forbidden from
releasing, discussing or transferring state secret
information on bulletin boards, chat rooms or in
Internet news groups,'' the State Bureau of Secrecy
announced in the rules carried in the Communist
Party's flagship daily.
Web site that provides or releases information on
the World Wide Web must undergo security checks and
approval,'' the rules state.
To Overclock With Rock Hard Stability -
08:34 am Wilfred
what an interesting heading to start the article.
Learn from what Tweak3D
has to say about the nuances and pitfalls of
overclocking.. the little things you can do that might
just create success! Here's a blurb:
are generally two types of testing that I perform on
a newly overclocked system. One is an intensive
integer/FPU test which keeps processor utilization
up between 95 & 100% for upwards of a half an
hour. If the CPU passes this test, the overclock on
the CPU itself is stable. However, even if the
system passes that test, I still run a gaming test.
The gaming test determines how well the rest of the
system responded to the overclock (this is
particularly important when dealing with
non-standard bus speeds and out-of-spec RAM. Another
test that I recommend, if you own the software, is
the SiSoft Sandra benchmarks, or alternatively,
WinBench 2000. Both pieces of software do subsystem
specific testing - something that can be very
important, particularly if you are trying to
determine which pieces of hardware within your
system are causing a failed overclock.
Erazor X2 DDR -
08:30 am Wilfred
extremists at VE
reviewed the ELSA
Erazor X2 DDR card in their barracks today. Along
with the good 9 page read, check out also my
review of the product.
Erazor X2, along with other GeForce DDR solutions
are the first and currently only boards which make
[email protected] a reality. It is absolutely the
fastest board available. On top of that, the GeForce
packin' Erazor X2 has a blazing fast T&L engine,
though its true potential is yet to be unleashed. If
only the price of the board was around $25-$40
lower, ELSA would have the ultimate performance
solution. Luckily, TV-out and Revelator deals may
make the Erazor X2 the card of choice for that niche
56K USB Call Waiting Modem -
08:24 am Wilfred
like call-waiting is a major selling point for modems
these days eh? SystemLogic
looks at the popular ActionTec
56K modem several sites had their hands on with.
Here's an brief description of the call-waiting
modem uses a simple technique to detect the tone a
call waiting service makes to notify you of an
incoming call. Once a chip inside the modem detects
the tone, it tells the modem to emit an audio
warning of the call. When the audio warning is sent
out, the modem waits for the user to pick up the
phone that is attached to it and when no one picks
up the phone, the modem ignores the incoming call
and stays online. If someone does pick up the phone,
the modem sees that and lets the user talk for a
brief 7 seconds before terminating the connection
unless you hang up before 7 seconds. This is a
simple concept to understand and to familiarize
yourself with and simplicity was ActionTec's
focus when making this modem with a USB interface.
Logitech Mouseman Cordless -
06:18 am Kan
jumped into the boat as well and reviewed the Logitech
Mouseman Cordless. I'm sure we have a review of
that as well over
here. Check'em out if you are shopping for a new
years one thing has plagued PC users. The mouse
cord. Now, cordless mice have been around for a
while now, but for the most part, they have had
disadvantages that corded mice did not have, or had
functional problems. Logitech, famous for their
second-to-none mice, have taken arguably the most
comfortable and useful mouse shape and layout and
made it cordless. Gamers especially have felt the
burden of the cord, as a cord stuck under something
keeps you from pulling into perfect aim in Quake 3,
or selecting that trireme in time in Age of Kings.
But the casual computer user runs into cord-related
problems as well. For example, when trying to hit
the corners of the screen while web browsing, word
processing, or using your computer as your personal
jukebox. The lack of a cord gives you excellent
control over everything and great freedom.
ATC-200 Thermal Case -
05:45 am Kan
person once asked me whether my casing is sexy. I
replied it's 'macho' looking. GamePC
reviewed the CoolerMaster
ATC-200 Thermal Case whch I will classify it as
under 'macho' as well. Check it out:
of the motherboard tray, it's capable of holding
MOST motherboards. We loaded the motherboard tray
with some quite large BX and i820 motherboards and
it worked with all of them. But of course, since it
IS a mid-tower case, it can't hold everything.
Larger boards like Supermicro's I840 boards, and
Tyan's Thunder 100/Thunderbolt motherboards don't
have a chance of fitting in here. If they could
possibly squeeze in the case, there would be no room
for hard drives and connectors. Coolermaster has a
full-tower version of the case coming out in a while
that should accommodate users with large
motherboards. The motherboard is held to the tray by
a set of incredibly flaky stands, which fall out
quite easily, we would recommend Coolermaster take a
cue from Addtronics and integrated some sturdy
stands for their next cases.
vs WinDVD -
05:43 am Kan
an comparison review over at FastMHZ
on the differences between PowerDVD
vs WinDVD. To keep things short, here's an
this is your only DVD player, the parental controls
are useful especially if you have movies in your
collection that you do not want your children to
control is safe guarded by a password, and can only
be changed when that password is entered; however
default is off.
One control box to note that I did not find
was a Region Selector.
Some of this could well have been simply
because I purchased the US version and it is
automatically set to Region 1 (US/Canada) or that
this feature requires an additional/external program
such as DVD Genie.
I like the fact that it has brightness
controls, however found it terribly bad judgment on
their part not to include a contrast or sharpness
control, especially considering how comprehensive
the rest of the configuration toolbox is.
January 2000 - Wednesday
16 Year Old DeCSS DVD Crack Maker Jailed -
23:56 pm Wilfred
to the link at Ars
Technica that I got to read
this. I dunno how best to put it in my own words
but quoting what Hannibal blurbed "They
raided this kid's house for evidence, arrested him,
and locked him up. You know, when a kid gets thrown in
jail over the fact that the American motion picture
industry is upset because he proved that their
encryption scheme is unsecure...well, that makes me
Anyway, this is a short snip:
police arrested a 16-year-old student who sent the
U.S. movie industry into a frenzy when he helped
create a program that breaks the encryption on DVDs
that spread like wildfire on the Net.
an interview today, Jon Johansen said that police
raided his house yesterday to collect evidence
stemming from allegations that he violated trade
secrets to create a program called DeCSS, which
cracks the security code in the DVD Content
Scrambling System. That, in turn, allows people to
view digital movies through unauthorized players,
such as computers running the Linux operating
3D Prophet DDR-DVI -
23:43 pm Wilfred
a number of GeForce related reviews today. Hardware
Central threw out a review
on the Hercules 3D Prophet card. This is a quite a
hefty read, good stuff.
Hercules 3D Prophet DDR-DVI is one of the faster DDR
boards currently on the market, as well as arguably
the most overclockable. Both Hercules and Guillemot
are well known in terms of reliability, so owners of
this card can rest assured they’re getting a
high-quality product. Keep in mind, however, that if
you’re set on a GeForce DDR board, we do encourage
you to look around and attempt to find one that best
suits your personal needs. All things considered,
the 3D Prophet DDR-DVI is a card definitely worthy
of consideration, and one I’d be proud to have in
3 3500 TV -
23:37 pm Wilfred
posted a 'fun read' on the V3
3500 TV card. They checked out the card's digital
VCR functions, tested the card in Windows 98, NT and
even Linux. So what's the mileage?
next thing we tested was video capture quality.
Unfortunately the V3 3500 couldn't compete with
other hardware based vidcap solutions like the
Matrox Marvel G200 in quality. It's a great
application for recording that one TV program you
always want to see but always seem to miss. I love
The Simpsons, and never get to see them, so I set
the Visual Reality software to record the
appropriate channel between 6 and 6:30 every day. It
saves the file in MPEG2 format, taking about
10MB/minute on the low quality setting, which I'd
compare to a recording made by a $60 VCR. On the
higher quality settings, the V3 3500 looks better,
and would be acceptable for recording back out to
tape or a digital source (like CD-ROM).
V6600 GeForce SDR Deluxe -
23:33 pm Wilfred
shot for the day. They checked out the ASUS V6600
GeForce SDR card (some more down-to-earth stuff
following the Quadro DDR they did earlier). Read this:
all is considered, ASUS has created a powerhouse of
a card with the V6600 Deluxe. Is the increase in
price worth the increase in performance and
features? You bet! The shipping clock speeds of
140/195 MHz provide a speed increase not yet seen in
any GeForce SDR card and the overclocked speeds of
158/208 MHz leave even the most hard-core gamer
8/4/32 CDRW -
23:27 pm Wilfred
Depot posted a lookie at the Plextor
8432 CDRW drive and gave it a high rating of 5 big
drools. You oughtta read Wy
Mun's take on it too. Great drive.
the CDRW market becoming even more crowded, it's
becoming even more important to choose a drive that
not only has good brand name, but also one that is
going to offer the end user the most complete
out-of-box experience. With the Plextor 8/4/32
Plexwriter. you have an entire history backing you
up in your purchasing decision. Along with this
history comes an expertise that is rarely found in
most other drives of its kind.
Hollywood Plus DVD Decoder Review -
16:45 pm Yingzong
a hardware solution for that lacklustre Matrix DVD
title running on a software decoder? Sigma Designs'
Hollywood Plus DVD Decoder/Remote might just be your
Extreme has done a thorough review
on the product and gave it a thumbs up. Check it out
Hollywood Plus' real strength is that it is an all-in-one
DVD playback solution, which comes into play if
you don't already have an acceptable DVD setup.
Combining excellent TV output with onboard sound
processing, the Hollywood Plus excels regardless
of the quality of one's video and sound cards. The
Hollywood Plus can be slapped in an old, low-end
system and still offer a full DVD experience. However,
if your system features a decent CPU (300Mhz+) and
is already decked out with a high-end video card
(a GeForce, G400, or Rage Fury), the Hollywood Plus
probably isn't worth the extra money. Even though
your image quality will improve slightly, it's not
worth an extra $60, when you already own a capable
The Hollywood Plus has all the features that one
could ask for in a DVD Decoder: great image quality,
consistent playback, and a wealth of playback options.
For those who are serious about DVD playback, but
don't want to make the jump to a full-fledged set-top
DVD box, the Hollywood Plus is a great choice for
a mere $60. Being an all-in-one device, it is available
to all users, even those with less-than impressive
computer systems. Sigma Design's handheld remote
puts the icing on the cake, making the experience
of watching movies on one's computer truly enjoyable
and also making it almost seem normal.
PT795 19" Monitor Review -
16:30 pm Yingzong
some non-cpu stuff (Heh!) down at CPU
Review. They have just done a review
on the Viewsonic PT795, a 19" monitor that gives
you that extra "edge". So did they like
it? Read on :
monitor powered up without any difficulties; but
(as can be expected) the default settings were less
Trinitron/Diamondtron fans would love this monitor;
it produces an extremely sharp picture; and the
difference in the aperture grill measurements between
the center and the edge (0.25mm vs. 0.27mm) was
Viewsonic PT795 is a good value; it provides excellent
display quality for a good price with a great set
Sound Blaster Live! Platinum -
16:25 pm Yingzong
Spotlight has posted a review
of the Creative Labs Sound Blaster Live! Platinum.
They were very impressed with all the features and
extra stuff the card came packaged with. So how now,
brown cows? Is it time to change that legacy soundcard
now? Here's a snippet :
more than a year since the first Sound Blaster Live!
Card appeared in the market, Creative is now bringing
us three new cards as an addition to the Live! Family,
each one aimed to different type of users in order
to full fill the needs of everyone out there looking
for the latest in 3D sound for the PC.
important to notice that all the cards are based
in the same EMU10K1 audio processor that powered
the original Sound Blaster Live! Card, this can’t
be considered a drawback however, as you might know,
this chip from Emu Systems (which is owned by the
same Creative Labs) is re-programmable so that with
newer LiveWare! Releases you can keep updated with
new technologies including newer versions of EAX.
Reviews Planescape : Torment -
16:15 pm Yingzong
can change the nature of a man?". This phrase
should bring back memories to those of us who enjoyed
Planescape : Torment. The big boys down at FiringSquad
have given the RPG a thorough
run down and they absolutely loved it, awarding
it their first Editor's Choice of 2000. I don't blame
them for the indulgence; it is a really great title!
thought, effort and design that went into Torment
must have been tremendous. The game is a stunning
work of art, full of creativity and originality.
It is faithful to the rules of both AD&D and Planescape
yet bends them enough to make for a different experience
for hardcore veterans without ruining the game.
Everything from the storyline to the music is just
… right. Black Isle has definitely achieved that
magical mix that every developer tries for in every
of all, they've given us the eye-candy that we all
want. The beautiful maps, great cut-scenes and stunning
sound have definitely set a new standard for RPGs
to follow. The cut-scenes are extremely well-done.
In terms of technical quality, they are second only
to Blizzard's WarCraft III trailer. The cut-scenes
are in all the right places and reveal everything
you need to know and nothing more. Yet they wisely
avoid being overdone and giving too much away.
Black Isle has an amazing game on its hands, which
avoids the pitfall of being a BG clone despite using
the same engine. The emphasis on the story and the
play of the game above the desires of the players
and expectations of critics has made Torment the
premier singleplayer CRPG so far. It has achieved
a seemingly perfect balance of story (which tends
to require linearity) and freedom, while at the
same time offering totally new and innovative features.
Rage Fury MAXX Review -
16:08 pm Yingzong
guys at HotHardware
have done their review
of ATI's Rage Fury MAXX. Capable of Alternate
Frame Rendering (AFR) using the dual Rage Fury Pro
GL chips, performance appears top-notch. Here's their
the time we first open the box to the very last
benchmark, the ATI Rage Fury MAXX impressed me as
a solid performer with features that differentiate
it from the competition. The DVD playback on the
MAXX has to be seen to be believed. 3D performance
is in the running with today's top accelerators
and 2D Desktop image quality is superb, rivaling
our long time favorite, Matrox. The retail price
of the MAXX is said to be $299 with a $30 rebate.
This puts it in the pack with DDR based cards. Finally,
there should definitely be significant performance
enhancements in 3D mode with forthcoming driver
release, so long as ATI can execute in this regard.
We so no reason why they shouldn't. The MAXX is
a solid foundation to build upon.
7200 RPM with Ultra160 SCSI -
06:10 am Kan
nice, Quantum began
shipping their 7200 RPM range of hard disks equipped
with the new Ultra160 SCSI interface. Thanks to CNEWZ
for this piece of news:
Atlas V Ultra160 SCSI drive incorporates advanced
SCSI interface features such as Cyclical Redundancy
Check and Domain Validation, as well as the new
Fairness feature which improves overall system
performance by providing more balanced access for
all SCSI devices on the bus. Furthermore, Quantum is
the only supplier committed to implementing
Asynchronous Information Protection (AIP) which
provides added data reliability for asynchronous
data phases such as SCSI commands and messages. The
advanced interface is also fully backward compatible
with Ultra2 and Ultra SCSI systems for easy
integration with existing networks.
Athlon 800 Mhz and Gigabyte GA-71X -
got their paws on a really smoking rig running
on an Athlon 800 Mhz processor on top of a
Gigabyte GA-71X motherboard. *slurp*
like the Athlon 750Mhz, the Athlon 800Mhz uses to
set its L2 cache speed at 2/5 that of the processor,
or, if you prefer, to 325Mhz - as stated on the
label afixed to the processor. For all intents, the
Athlon 700Mhz seems to have been the last of the
bunch to be able to implement an L2 cache of 1/2
processor speed. The problem stems from the fact
that it is becoming increasingly difficult to find
affordable memory capable of operating at such high
speeds. Eventually, the solution will be to imbed
the L2 cache directly on-die, thus cutting it loose
from the dependency of the memory manufacturers, and
simultaneously enhancing the speed of the L2 cache.
That said, AMD is not expected to release a CPU with
an on-die L2 cache until the second half of 2000.
January 2000 - Tuesday
Singapore Bans Half-Life -
over at GameSpot.
Well, you can head over to our forum to vent your
Earlier this morning, a GameSpot reader in
Singapore wrote in with some bad news for gamers in the Southeast Asian island-nation.
Apparently, the Singapore Board of Censorships and the Ministry of Arts have
banned the sale of Valve Software's Half-Life and all of its associated third-party
mods, including Counterstrike, claiming that the game
contains too much violence, despite the game's built-in parental lockouts
Speaker Comparison -
19:49 pm Kan
have a Speakers
roundup over at Dan's
Data comparing the Sony's stylish little
SRS-Z750PC speakers against a whopping four different
models of Juster three-piece sub/sat speaker systems.
assume you're on a budget, and don't want to buy
some monster multipoint setup. Let's also assume
that you don't have a spare hi-fi system whose
auxiliary input you can hook up to your computer's
line output - this is the cheapest way to get great
bassy stereo sound, but if you don't actually have
a spare stereo or the space to put one in the
computer room, it's not an option. Stereo speakers
are also, usually, not magnetically shielded, so
they'll distort the image on your monitor if you put
them close to it. Computer speakers, including all
of the speakers in this comparison, have
magnetically shielded drivers that won't muck up the
image on any monitor (or TV, for that matter).
19:46 pm Kan
Australia took a shot at the ABIT
VA6 motherboard. Based on the VIA Apollo Pro chipset,
it's one good board which supports the 133 Mhz FSB
as well as ATA-66 interface. Anyway, check out our
blurb on the VA6 as well over
famous SoftMenu II is employed on this board,
allowing you a wide range of FSB settings - 66, 75,
83, 100, 103, 105, 110, 112, 115, 120, 124, 133, 140
and 150MHz. Not as impressive as some of their later
BX offerings such as the BP6 and BE6-II, but a
comfortable spread above 100MHz. Below 100MHz the
jumps are dissapointingly wide, the dreaded 83 to
100MHz gap is there which can be a killer for
high-multiplier Celerons. At 100MHz the PCI divisor
becomes 1/3 and at 133MHz it becomes 1/4. This is
partly how VIA can claim native 133MHz FSB support -
the PCI and hence AGP drop neatly back into spec at
133MHz whereas on a BX-based board you are seriously
overclocking both buses, usually beyond stability.
Erazor X And Outrageous 3D GeForce -
19:20 pm Wilfred
to pay Uncle
Tom a visit today and I wasn't disappointed,
having chanced upon a review
of the ELSA Erazor X and Absolute Multimedia's
Outrageous 3D GeForce cards.
has the slickest looking board (not that it makes
games faster) armed with the unique ChipGuard
feature and a solid driver interface. The price is
right there with the competition and the board can
be found on many of the big online stores. You get
video out and the option to buy the wireless 3D
Revelator glasses for a bit more.
Multimedia's Outrageous 3D performs on par with the
Leadtek DDR at a slightly lower price if you grab
the single software version.
No More Neptune - Consumer Version Of W2k -
18:38 pm Wilfred
am utterly, totally and absolutely confused. Roll over
Register and have a read of this report.
Come on, the popular consumer OS has stagnated for a
long long time... it's going to have to be Microsoft
or somebody else!
the consumer version of Win2k, has been cancelled,
according to Windows-watcher Paul Thurrott. Instead,
Microsoft is merging the project with Odyssey, which
was intended to be the next version of Windows 2000.
This effectively completes the bizarre little detour
Microsoft's Windows roadmap took early last year,
when Microsoft started making big promises for both
the Neptune and Millennium projects.
was originally pitched as a consumer OS built on top
of Windows 98, but the initially ambitious talk
faded swiftly, and it slid back to service pack
status as 1999 came to a close. Thurrott proposes
that Millennium will now be out under the tag
Windows 98 Third Edition in the summer, and that
seems a reasonable enough estimate. Really, the only
question now over Millennium is whether Microsoft
will just ship it as an OEM refresh or whether it'll
take another bite at retail OS revenue, as it did
with Win98 SE.
BitBoys Glaze And Glitz -
18:27 pm Wilfred
Accelerated Gaming posted some head-turning
information from BitBoy's announcement (although
the text was all out of alignment when I had to read
it...) of a new architecture that tremendously
increases the bandwidth of graphics cards. Here's an
revolutionary Xtreme Bandwidth ArchitectureT (XBAT)
utilizes Infineon Technologies AG's leading embedded
memory technology (eDRAM) with 9 MB of extremely
high speed memory integrated with the graphics
engine and additional external memory to deliver
unprecedented bandwidth to 3D graphics. The XBAT
technology has been created as part of company's
first chips utilizing XBAT provide two to three
times the memory bandwidth over the nearest
competitors, totalling 12 Gigabytes/sec with a
single processor and over 20 Gigabytes/sec in the
dual processor configurations.
PhotoPC 850Z Digital Camera -
18:18 pm Wilfred
Camera Resource put up a review
of Epson's highest-end 2.1 MegaPixel digital camera.
If you're digging for one lately, I told you the
Olympus C2020Z has hit our shores, haven't I? Heh,
this is one innovative feature I thought worth
one other gadget of note on the top of the camera,
that only a few cameras have. Epson calls it
"Solar Assist" -- it's a prism that takes
in sunlight to serve as the backlight for the LCD.
If you're outside in sunlight, you should definitely
use this -- it's not quite as bright as the
backlight, but it saves batteries like crazy. Of
course, it's hard to make out what's on the LCD
outside anyway, regardless of the backlight source.
New Strategy: 'Free' Solaris 8 -
18:09 pm Wilfred
very bold moves as we near Win2k's official launch
date. Over at ZDNet,
they have a report
on Scott McNealy's aggressive positioning of their
flagship operating system.
is a relative term, however. Sun in December
eliminated fees for Java 2 Standard Edition but
still requires developers to pay for compatibility
tests required to maintain their licenses. And Linux
advocates and other industry watchers have claimed
that the Sun Community Source License is not as free
or open as Linux and other open-source licenses are.
will pitch Solaris 8 against Microsoft's high-end
Windows 2000 package called Windows 2000 Datacenter,
which is in beta and won't be commercially available
until midyear, at best.
in November announced a free
early access version of Solaris 8. Sun is
positioning Solaris 8 as the most scalable and
reliable network operating system on the market.
56K USB Modem -
18:04 pm Wilfred
if you are not already on some form of broadband
connection, a 56K will still suffice compared to slow
traffic days with even broadband. ExtremeHardware
let us know of this new
review they have... check it:
stuck with a 56K dial-up account can really leave
you out in the cold when expecting important phone
calls, but Actiontec has come to the rescue with a
hardware call waiting modem. The Actiontec 56K USB
Call Waiting Modem is not the highest performing
modem on the market, but it does have that killer
Call Waiting feature, which can save you both the
cost of a second line, or the hassle of missing
calls. Add to that is diminutive size, USB interface
and exceptional ease-of-use, and you have a great
match for both the inexperienced and veteran dial-up
2000: How To Bench The GeForce -
17:47 pm Wilfred
GeForce posted an article
written by nVidia's Derek Perez on how to benchmark
the GeForce using 3DMark 2000. I guess it more for
reviewers like us to read eh? Supposedly, this article
was written in response to HardOCP's
T&L benchmarking article.
guide is intended as an aid when reviewing the
GeForce 256 with the new 3DMark2000 benchmark. While
it is a stunning visual application, 3DMark2000 has
a number of significant flaws that, if not worked
around, make it a questionable benchmark. Using the
benchmark in its default configuration will produce
confusing and misleading results. It is only by
altering the default parameters that 3Dmark2000 can
produce any meaningful information to predict game
Athlon 750 on a K7M -
17:25 pm Kan
Ars over at ArsTechnica
juiced down their
thoughts on the Athlon 750 Mhz processor running
on a ASUS K7M motherboard. Probably one of the fastest
gaming rig in the market, check out some of their
beautiful writings here:
has had a bizarre problem on their hands since the
introduction of the Athlon line. Their problem
is that the CPUs they're producing off the line are
too high quality. It's quite the predicament
for AMD, who traditionally had worse yields than my
pappy's moonshine biz. This time around, when AMD
first fired up the Athlon line, they were making too
many 600s. This creates a problem... they
didn't have very many 500s coming off the production
line, so they've been marking down their CPUs for
quite a while now. 600s have been seen
masquerading in 500MHz cases, and even some 650s
have been placed in a lowly 500MHz casing. So,
as AMD ramps up their production line, we're going
to be seeing more of these kinds of surprise.
Optimization Guide v6.0 -
17:22 pm Kan
Our buds over at Adrian's
Rojak Pot upgraded his BIOS
Optimization Guide to v6.0. Some of the new
features include the Read Around Write, 32-bit disk
access, USWC Write Posting (what the heck?) and
many more. Check'em out.
Beta Detonator 3.72 Win9x Drivers -
17:20 pm Kan
kindly sent note on the new Detonator 3.72 Win9x
drivers available for download from
MSI-6905 CPU Converter Card -
17:18 pm Kan
just dropped us a mail on their review on the Microstar
MSI-6905 slotket. Here's a blurb:
MSI converter can run both, the older Celerons as
well as the newer FC-PGA Coppermines. You can adjust
the vcore between 1.50 to 2.00 volts or just set the
jumper to automatic to let the motherboard decide.
Besides setting the voltage, you can also select FSB
speeds of 66, 100 or 133 or, again, set it to
automatic to let the motherboard decide. Finally,
one last jumper lets you adjust the converter
between a single or a dual processor motherboard.
USB Radio -
17:15 pm Kan
D-Link product review today over at The
Tech Report on the D-Link
USB Radio. Junk away those FM tuner card of yours
and start tuning in to the waves by using the portable
USB radio kit!
that I've talked about what a great idea this thing
is, let's have a look at it. The radio comes in a
box a little bigger than a VHS tape. There's not a
whole lot to it: a base with a couple of wires
coming out of it, an antenna, an instruction manual
and a CD. That pretty much covers it. The
instruction manual seems to limit itself to PC's,
which is surprising, since the base is done in iMac
style. Note that since this is a USB device, it's
only gonna work right under Windows 98 or Windows
2000. As for the iMac look, I guess that's why God
invented spray paint.
DFE-910 Networking Kit -
17:13 pm Kan
reviewed the D-Link
DFE-910 Networking Kit. More and more people are
setting up their own LAN in their house and if you are
looking for a 10/100 Mbps LAN, then do check out the
DFE-910 (my personal favorite).
networking was not designed for the normal
household, which led to expensive products and
complicated installation procedures. This has caused
numerous manufacturers such as Intel, Diamond and
D-Link to come out with networking products that
take the normal hassle of setting up a home network.
That, along with improvements to the native
operating system that simplified the networking
process, has permitted home networks for gaming,
home offices and normal home use to become more of a
Low Cost 17" Monitor Round-up -
15:05 pm Sniper
looks at several low cost 17" monitors.
Just nice for me when I'm intending to buy two monitors.
Many monitor polls have pointed out that 17" is the most popular
size, so I'm going to focus mostly on monitors of this screen size.
I am also going to attempt to stay under $300 as well as sticking
to well known brands. Since this is supposed to be a "low cost"
guide, you won't find any uber models with huge price tags here.
We are going to focus on brand name, good quality 17" monitors.
Please note that I tend to use the terms "monitor" and "CRT"
(Cathode Ray Tube) interchangeably -both refer to the "monitor".
NVIDIA Quadro DDR -
14:55 pm Sniper
just finished a review
of the NVIDIA Quadro DDR card. Go check it out.
NVIDIA's Quadro GPU ( NV10GL) is set apart from the consumer grade GeForce (aside from it’s price
tag) by enabling certain features on the Quadro that were left disabled on the GeForce since the latter was
not intended to be a high end solution. Among these features is enhanced support for
anti-aliased points and lines, which although isn’t a commonly used feature with most users, was an extremely poor
performance point for the GeForce. While these settings might conceptually be “enabled” on the GeForce
through driver tweaks/registry hacks, it is unclear exactly what methods NVIDIA went to in order to make
sure that they were disabled on the GeForce, to this date no one has discovered the magic hack.
Windows Roadmap -
11:18 am Sniper
to this ZDNet
Microsoft plans to make changes to its Windows
"again" ( say that ten times).
Where the company had
planned "Neptune," a
consumer-oriented version of Windows based on the NT kernel, Microsoft Corp.
(Nasdaq: MSFT) is now readying a combined consumer/business version of the operating system,
code-named Whistler. Whistler also supplants Odyssey,
referred to by some sources as NT 5.5, which had been
slated as the first full-fledged upgrade to Windows 2000.
ECS P6IWT-Me/i810E -
06:33 am Kan
mail popped in as SharkyExtreme
notified us of their review on thge ECS
P6IWT-Me i810 motherboard. Comes with 3 PCI slots
as well as an integrated video, this type of mobo is
pretty good for people looking for a fast (to a
certain limit) and cheap solution.
primary reason for component integration is overall
motherboard cost, which also has an effect on
overall system costs. By assimilating most of the
basic chips on one board, expenses can be reduced in
both the manufacturing and system design areas. For
instance, we see very low volume pricing some of the
hottest video or sound chips, but the retail product
ends up costing quite a bit more. Deducting the PCB,
packaging and marketing cost from the final product
helps lower costs significantly. An integrated
motherboard is also extremely easy to install,
standardized drivers ensure compatibility and system
installation can take upwards of half the time.
and SHOUTCast -
06:33 am Kan
you are into the MP3 cult, you will have heard of
ICECast and SHOUTCast. AbsolutePC
took the opportunity and reviewed these
software which allows you to listen to streaming
MP3s thru your friend's PC or public servers.
the birth of the ever-popular SHOUTCast audio
streamer software, the number of things you can do
with it has exploded. Just heading on over to
www.shoutcast.com shows you all of the servers that
are running, what they’re playing, and other
information such as that. Say you see something that
says ‘101.9FM Live Stream from New York’, and
you can listen to a radio station from the big
apple. Or perhaps one labeled ‘24/7 Dance – Live
DJ’s’ is more to your taste. In fact, at the
moment I’m writing this, I’m tuned into a comedy
stream with over 40 other people. Anyhow, with
SHOUTCast, anyone can become a DJ with the Internet
as your audience.
IWill WS-133 -
06:25 am Kan
WS-133 motherboard was also reviewed by HardwareCentral
lately which supports the newer Coppermine processors
and is running on the i810e chipset.
box contents and packaging were nothing short of
exemplary. Not only has Iwill included all of the
standard components (the board, manual, IDE &
FDD cables, Install CD-ROM), but they’ve gone out
of their way to make sure everything you need is in
one box. Since the WS133 does not use the standard
ATX I/O layout, Iwill has included an ATX I/O shield
that can be installed in any ATX case. As well,
they’ve added a second serial port riser, and
appropriate back-plate. A small bag with three
additional jumpers is also included, should one get
dropped or lost somewhere along the way.
Furthermore, the processor retention module comes
pre-installed, to save on installation time.
06:23 am Kan
pretty popular board, the FIC
KA-11 is based on the VIA Apollo Pro 133 chipset
and was reviewed by ActiveHardware
today. Comes with 5 PCI and 2 ISA slots, there's room
for 4 DIMM sticks as well.
of the KA-11 takes a bit more dexterity than a 100%
jumperless board, as Fic doesn't seem to have
divested itself completely of jumpers, in favor of
BIOS functionalities. Thus, configuration of the
KA-11 is accomplished from a series of DIP switches
in order to set the clock multiplier, while bus
speed is determined from the BIOS sub-menu labeled
"Chipset Features Setup". Another BIOS
feature found in the "Chipset Features
Setup" menu, permits the user to set the
operating frequency of the memory to a setting equal
to that of the main bus, and to add or subtract
33Mhz from that number.
06:21 am Kan
Rats (literally) day as TechReport
reviewed the Ratpadz
Mousepad. From the pics, it looks similar to the
Everglide chopping board (the type my mum uses). Here's an excerpt:
adjustment I had to make: turning the pad 90
degrees, so that I had more space to run the mouse
up and down. I've always done the same with other
mousepads; somehow, I seem to need more room on the
vertical axis. Also, the contoured edge of the pad
seems geared toward folks who like to rest their
mouse hands off the edge of the pad. I prefer to
rest my hand on the mousepad, which is probably why
I need more length than width. The Ratpad'z
contoured bottom edge was just an annoyance for me.
The fix, however, was simple.
06:20 am Kan
reviewed an interesting program called Viscosity.
It's able to reproduce the animated banner you see on
top with ease and it's ideal for beginners to play
around with animated graphics. Here's some of it:
of the best features of the program is my favorite
feature of my favorite image editing program, Adobe
Photoshop. The feature is layers. Layers
allows you to have different images on top or below
others, so say I have a background picture of a
house, I can cut out a picture of me, and then put
me on the roof as a new layer. Then if I
wanted to move JUST ME around I could do so by
moving that layer. Viscosity incorporates
layers into their program, and let me tell you, for
animation this is a VERY important aspect. It
allows for much better animation techniques and much
Ultra160 SCSI Card -
06:17 am Kan
The lucky boys over at GamePC
managed to get their paws on the Adaptec
Ultra160 SCSI card. 50% faster than a U2W
interface and 240% faster than ATA-66, this must be
smokin' fast! Eh-oh guys, the card is not cheap
question of "What are the advantages of SCSI
over Ultra/ATA?" is always a major topic when
hard drives are being discussed. Kicking off in the
mid 80's, SCSI has since then become the number one
interface to be used in workstations and servers.
And with that Adaptec has taken its new technology
to the max and has created four different types of
cards to be aimed at every type of computer user.
Ranging from desktop to high-end server use, Adaptec
has integrated Ultra160 technology into four
different to meet those specific needs. From
Adaptec's point of view, these four new cards will
be taking the place of older UltraSCSI / FastSCSI /
SCSI-2, Ultra Wide and Ultra 2 cards. To test the
new Ultra160 technology, we will be looking at
Adaptec's 29160 Ultra160 model. Though aimed at
mid-ranged servers the 29160 will be able meet the
demands any power hungry speed freak.
the Geek FAQ -
06:15 am Kan
whipped up a Ask
the Geek FAQ and for this issue, the guys are
covering the concepts of CD-Writers as well as Re-Writables.
must understand that CD Writing is a complex process
that puts high demands on both hardware and
software. The seamless interaction of both these
entities contributes to the successful writing of a
CD. (In this article, when we refer to CD, it can be
referred to either a CD-R or CD-RW disc). With the
latest writing software packages on the market, the
complexity is hidden away from the user. However,
knowing what is involved in writing a CD will allow
the user to prepare the data and system to properly
write a CD. In the following pages are the areas of
interest that deal with CD Writing.
S4 4060 -
06:13 am Kan
posted a review of the Midiland
S4 4060 speakers. This is the new series of
speakers from Midiland and and promises better base
and sound reproduction.
control module can be attached to a free 5.25"
slot in your computer chassi and the necessary
screws and "passthrough" cable are
supplied. The satellite cords are around 2½ meters
but the audio input cable is shorter. As the
speakers are supposed to sit next to the monitor the
cable-lengths are quite adequate. This time around
MidiLand increased the length of the cable that
connects the Control Module to the subwoofer - it is
now ~ meters and will be enough for most rooms. So
far MidiLand has only corrected a few
"misses" and improved on some smaller
details. The satellites aren't bigger but the
subwoofer is. The S4 4060 have a 6.5" driver
for reproducing the bass and the subwoofer enclosure
is also larger to increase the amount of air mass
for stronger bass response.
May Lower Cable Modem Prices -
06:10 am Kan
local news to start of the day. There's a
blurb over at ChannelNewsAsia
on the possibility of SCV lowering their cable modem
prices before March this year. Definitely good news
of Singapore Cable Vision's broadband cable modem
services may enjoy lower prices before March this
SCV said that is because the cost of international
leased circuits could fall by as much as 50 percent
with the entry of new telecom players from 1st April
SCV depends on these circuits, which it now gets
from Singapore Telecom, to provide its broadband
January 2000 - Monday
3D Video Blowout!! -
17:09 pm Wilfred
is a MUST
READ for today! Right after the real explosives I
posted about, a note from Ace's
Hardware went off in my mailbox, pointing me to
this mega-blowout (NOT shootout!) between the top 14
graphics cards out there! Tested upon 5 platforms,
this is one comprehensive article.
that's right. Your humble servant has been testing
fourteen different video cards and nine different
video chipsets on five different platforms. More
than 200 benchmarks (7 different games) have been
conducted and whether you've got a Celeron, a PIII,
a K6-2, a K6-III or an Athlon plugged in your gaming
rig, we will find the best videocard for you.
is not everything, of course, we will also take a
look at DVD features, LCD support, image quality and
product lifespan (how future-proof a card is). I am
telling you, if you can't make up your mind after
you read this review, you never will! :)
Digital DTT2500 Review -
17:02 pm Wilfred
underwent a classy site overhaul and returned with a
bonus review on the Cambridge
SoundWorks DTT2500 speakers.
who is involved in the speaker market will know that
Cambridge Soundworks has always delivered a solid,
well performing speaker. With the DTT2500, they
continue the tradition by creating one of, if not
the best Dolby Digital 5.1 computer speaker set
available on the market today. With exceptional
clarity and excellent overall sound quality, the
DTT2500 will have you in the middle of the action.
Our only qualms with the set are the subwoofer,
which could use just a little more power, the lack
of a headphone jack on the decoder/amp unit, and the
inability to really drive out the power that causes
your neighbors to call the police. We praise
Cambridge for including the Powered Subwoofer output
port, and for creating an excellent set of
multimedia speakers that produce crisp and clear
sound no matter what the content.
Athlon Box Running Linux -
16:58 pm Wilfred
It seems like the chums at CPU
Review haven't had enough with the Sys Cold Fusion
1000 PC they have in their labs. Today they rolled out
detailing their experiences with a 1GHz Linux box.
V6600 GeForce 256 -
16:56 pm Wilfred
got a taste of ASUS's
honey today and gave their thoughts about it in a
long 17-page review. Here's the snippet:
Asus V6600 Pure is the best GeForce SDRAM card that
I’ve seen to date. Offering top framerates (thanks
in part to frequent driver updates), a low price (in
comparison with other GeForce 256 cards), and a good
software bundle, the V6600 Pure is hard to beat.
Compared to other GeForce SDRAM cards, it currently
has the best price/performance ratio.
16:19 pm Wilfred
no! Are we supposed to jump for joy or what? Not
exactly IT-related but heck, I saw it on Slashdot and
read it. Seems like some researchers at University of
Chicago synthesized a new highly-explosive molecule
- a compound rated to be "more powerful than the
best non-nuclear weapons". Then again, man always
think he can use his inventions wisely... so let's see
where things will lead to:
new explosive - octanitrocubane - has been
synthesized by chemists Philip E. Eaton and Mao-Xi
Zhang at the University of Chicago and its structure
proven by Richard Gilardi of the Naval Research
Laboratory in Washington D.C. According to
calculations, octanitrocubane could be more powerful
than the best non-nuclear explosives.
does the explosive effect come about? Oxygen atoms
contained in the molecules of the explosive oxidize
the other "combustible" parts of the
molecule, in most cases carbon and hydrogen. This
causes heat and hot gases to be released very
quickly - leading to an explosion. In a detonation,
the most violent form of explosion, speeds up to
10,000 m/s, temperatures up to 6,000 °C, and
pressures up to 300,000 bar can be achieved in the
Kai FK-603 -
16:09 pm Wilfred
When issit out turn to check this casing out?! Anybody
seen it around town? Anyway, right after the
AnandTechies, the boys at Ars
Technica also pushed out a review
on this highly-regarded box from Fong Kai Industrial
Company. They liked it very much and awarded it a 4.5
out of 5 woohoos! Nice, but catch this para... had a
good laugh myself!
front of the FK603 is a mixed bag. The sleep, power,
and hard drive light indicators are bold and clear.
The power button is formidable, and what should
be the reset button is nice, too. Unfortunately,
Fong Kai must think that most of us aren't running
Windows 9x, because the real reset button is a
pencil lead size button that's a real pain in the
keester to use. The button that I think should've
been used for reset is a freaking sleep
switch. Egad, do I hate "sleep."
Fortunately, I was able to swap the cords behind the
scene and make a real reset button out of the sleep
switch. I'll never use the sleep function, so I
couldn't care less.
Athlon Overclocking Guide -
16:03 pm Wilfred
again! They published a GIGANTIC
guide for overclocking the AMD Athlon. I'm sure
those of you wanting to make the switch to a true 7th
generation processor will want to read this! Overclock
are two methods that can be used when overclocking
the Athlon: increasing the FSB frequency on the
motherboard or increasing the clock multiplier of
the Athlon itself.
latter requires either a physical modification to
the chip or the use of an overclocking card attached
to the feature connector on the Athlon’s PCB while
the former requires a motherboard with adjustable
Tournament Tweak Guide -
15:59 pm Wilfred
everyone could use some tweaking! 3DSpotlight
delivered a little tweak guide for the UT freaks out
to it now!
Chip To Come Soon -
15:57 pm Wilfred
has an editorial titled Transmeta
chip to arrive sooner than expected. In a few
months, we will see if they have made a dent in Intel
and AMD's market share.
know that many of you are probably wondering about
the prototypes. I believe that they are forthcoming.
Diamond, IBM, Toshiba, Sony. All of them and
numerous others probably have long-standing
agreements with Transmeta to develop with their
chips if and when they were available. We must all
remember that Transmeta has been planting seeds and
making agreements for almost five years. There's an
awful lot that can be done in five years of secrecy.
With over 2000 nondisclosure agreements, it's not
difficult to imagine how many products will be
coming out of the woodwork. I'm surprised that the
reporters at Transmeta's press conference did not
ask if they had participated in the creation of
reference platforms for the new chips. By reference
platforms I mean motherboard designs that would be
ready for varied form factors. We wouldn't expect
anything less from AMD or Intel, then why from
Transmeta? I wouldn't be surprised if Transmeta's
partners have many cards up their sleeves.
Slocket II S370 To Slot-1 Converter -
15:53 pm Wilfred
converter card in a short and sharp 1 page writeup.
If you just bought your 500E or 550E, then you might
want to grab one of these!
though the many recent boards allow these states to
be changed manually, this option is useful for
boards that force the use of the detected FSB.
Jumper 8 is the most important jumper for FC-PGA
overclocking simply because it must be set to
correspond with the FC-PGA chip. There are two
settings -- PPGA for Celerons and FC-PGA for the
Pentium III's but the default is PPGA. The final
jumper, J9, must be changed from the default
settiong for Intel processors when using Cyrix's
rival processor, the Joshua.
15:50 pm Wilfred
sent word of their new review on the Pioneer
DVD-303S SCSI drive. Can't go wrong with a Pioneer
a SCSI drive it is a lot more stable in data
transfer than IDE is (not gonna get into the joyz of
SCSI right now though, but it helps, trust me).
Also, if you're like me, and have your CD-RW on SCSI
too, it makes a perfect way to pass the time while
you burn a CD. And since it's SCSI, unless your CD-RW
drive is crap, it shouldn't have much/any trouble
Preview At iXBT -
15:46 pm Wilfred
good guys at iXBT
Hardware posted a technical
preview about Transmeta's Crusoe processor. They
have some pics of the processor spiced up with
detailed goodness. They said PowerPoint and even Quake
runs fine! Very interesting.
any other normal processor intended for Windows
(since the list of reliable operation systems
includes Microsoft Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows
NT and Linux), TM3120 has to comply with ACPI power
management. And it does comply with it, consuming
only 0.015W in Deep Sleep system state. Of course,
if the processor carries out some complex
calculations the power consumption gets several
times higher. For example, it grows up to 2.9W
during DVD playback, which is also damned good if
compared to mobile Intel or AMD processors.
for the second version, TM5400, everything mentioned
above can also refer to it with a few corrections,
though. First, the working frequency increased up to
500-700MHz. Second, which is also important, the
cache size significantly increased: besides, 124KB
(64+64) L1 there also appeared a 256KB L2 cache.
Here the core voltage depends on the frequency and
varies from 1.2 to 1.6V. However, the power
consumption grows only up to 1.8W even during DVD
playback due to the effect made by LongRun.
The Coppermine -
09:10 am Wilfred
the world is evil, no doubt about that!!! Everyone's
tempting me to grab a CuMine! If not for the fact that
my pockets are shallow, the deal would have been an
almost irresistible offer. Anyway, Game
Forces has a short
writeup on the Intel Coppermine processors. Read
this customary snip (the processor you'll want!):
III processors at 550 and 500 MHz are also available
in an innovative flip-chip (FC-PGA) package. This
advanced flip-chip package technology results in a
smaller processor package that enables a new
generation of smaller, sleek, high-performance PCs,
with improved ease of use.
Vs Software Rendering -
09:03 am Wilfred
Soffer of Voodoo
Extreme kicked off an article on hardware
vs software rendering. He gazed into this crystal
ball for the future:
solutions are limited. They are fast, efficient, and
easy to use, but nevertheless, limited. Currently,
the limitations of hardware are few because most
graphical elements which can't be done in hardware
can't be done fast enough in software either. In the
future this will change dramatically. CPUs will be
fast enough to render true curves, or even ray-cast
in real time. If a developer feels the urge to make
an ray-casted engine, they will resort to software
unless the hardware is capable of doing this.
Unfortunately, when processing time becomes so
plentiful, there are so many ways to store and
render environments that it may become impossible
for hardware to have ways of accelerating them all.
2000 Tweak -
08:54 am Wilfred
over at Voodoo
Extreme this link where you can grab this patch
to tweak your favourite soccer title. This release
from FSH Soft will enable you to play it up to
1280x1024 res with triple buffering. Sounds cool, go
try it and tell me.
Viper II: S3 Savage 2000 -
08:41 am Wilfred
Sharks turned savage
today and reviewed this unit from Diamond Multimedia.
It's the usual hefty read with lots of benchmarks for
comparison. Here's a blurb:
if all you want to do is play Quake 3 and Unreal
Tournament, the Viper II will hold some appeal. If
you do anything else, you may be waiting
indefinitely for the driver support most people
expect out of the box. We also had good experiences
with Half-Life, but with the 3D Mark 2000 issues, it
still seems questionable as to which applications
will work out of the box.
Viper II has a lot of potential to be a great
product, but we still don't feel it is complete. It
will be interesting to see if S3 is able to deliver
on the drivers that will enable the full
functionality of the card in a timely manner. If so,
the upcoming Viper II LE Z400 may be something to
consider more seriously.
Water Cooling Kit -
08:34 am Wilfred
Overclockers let us know of their new review
on this zanny water cooling apparatus for your PC.
Incredible stuff if you have the courage to install
these into your box.
matter how you look at it, cooling electronics with
water kicks ass! I've never received such
awesome overclocking results EVER. Heck, this
cooler was even able to overclock a previously non
overclockable POS Celeron 500 to 630MHz. Just
think of what this bad boy could do for a Pentium
III 550E... It makes me drool just thinking
Supermicro PIIISED ATX Slot-1 -
06:15 am Kan
reviewed another motherboard today on the Supermicro
PIIISED ATX Slot-1 i810. This one comes with 6 PCI
slots, no ISA slots and 2 DIMM slots only.
layout of the PIIISED follows the ATX specification
and almost all of the components were placed to
minimize cable clutter. All hard drive and floppy
connectors are optimally located at the front of the
board, so that no cables are forced to run over
either the CPU or the memory. However, the ATX power
connector is placed at the back of the board, behind
the CPU slot. Running the power cable over the
memory and CPU leads to more clutter and reduces
airflow through the case. While this is not a dire
problem, it would be nice to see optimal design
embraced, making the lives of computer technicians
easier. To be PC99 compliant, the standard colored
connectors are included on the backpanel.
Erazor X -
06:05 am Kan
sent note on the review on the Elsa
Erazor X GeForce SDR graphics card. This is
probably the only non-reference design board out here
card itself is in the NLX form factor, something
unique to this card over any other. Most of the
time, when a video card manufacturer is going to
produce a GeForce card, NVIDIA produces a reference
design for them. This eliminates the need for each
manufacturer to make small changes to things, but
also means that most GeForce cards look the same.
Well, not this one. In 1997, Intel came out with a
new form factor for the PC, NLX. By cramming stuff
together and changing the size of certain hardware,
one is able to make the PC much smaller. This is NLX.
The Erazor X did not follow the NVIDIA reference
design and instead designed a card that would work
in all PCs, even the NLX ones. This explains why
there is a big gap between the face plate and the
card itself. This space would be full of ports in an
NLX system. Of course, if you don't have an NLX
system, screw it, it has nothing to do with you.
Networking 101 -
06:01 am Kan
wrote a guide called Home
Networking 101 which answers all your questions on
networking as the guys touched on the technologies
behind the hardware from null modem cables to
networking is quickly moving from the realms of the
“nice-to-have” to the “must-have”, and for
good reason. Installing a network, previously an
incredibly complicated and arcane task, is now made
much easier through increasingly intuitive software,
and easier-to-install hardware. The benefits of a
home network are obvious – not only can you play
games with an incredibly low ping (and enjoy the
perks of being an LPB), but you can also share a
printer, files, and even an Internet connection.
Added to the fact that having a home network
automatically gives you bragging rights… it’s
just too tempting to resist!
on Comdex West -
05:59 am Kan
written a short
blurb on Comdex West held in Vancouver Canada.
the Comdex in Las Vegas, the Vancouver Comdex is
much more regional in scope. Instead of showing off
new products, most of the displays are the stuff
already shown at the Vegas Comdex. In terms of size,
there's no competition. The Vancouver Comdex had
just over 100 exhibitors. Vegas had over 2,000. I
think Microsoft's display at Comdex Vegas would have
taken up the whole convention space at Comdex
Smart Card Crypto Genius Sent To Trial -
01:05 am Wilfred
read this and my heart went out to this guy. Well, if
you will go on to read this you will understand what I
mean. A kind genius, perhaps too smart and too nice...
The Register has the story:
didn’t discover a crack in the system," he
said appearing in a Paris court. "I showed the
card company managers that the entire system from
A-Z was unsafe. The group which controls the use of
credit cards did not believe me so I showed them I
could fool any terminal by cracking the basic
mathematical formula based on 96 numbers."
is charged with using false credit cards to buy 10
Paris Metro tickets from an automatic dispenser. He
made this transaction, and sent the receipt to the
credit card company, to prove that his false card
worked without being detected.
was arrested in September 1999, three months after
making contact with the credit card control group
through a lawyer.
01:00 am Wilfred
IN! Mike Chambers of nV
News popped a note in the box about this new review
done by Neil Yates. Hmm, this doesn't look like the
split ergonormic design but heh, hope I don't see this
in Sim Lim Square anytime soon or I'll have to spend
precious dollars again!
some, the Logitech Cordless iTouch keyboard may
appear as a total gimmick. But to those whose
lives revolve around the home PC for communications,
entertainment, and education – the iTouch's
wireless ability resounds with clarity.
00:54 am Wilfred
saucy rumours (oxymoron?) just came rolling out of the
Register has some documented for your reading. The
headlines there went "HP
to buy Compaq, VIA to buy S3 outright".
Cobra 2000 USB Memory Card Reader -
00:50 am Wilfred
Data has cooked up a review
on memory card readers. Well, if you are into digital
photography, or use gadgets like MP3 players, you
would want to check it out. They are fast.
Maxi-Sound Fortissimo -
00:46 am Wilfred
just put up a neat review of the Maxi-Sound
Fortissimo sound card from Guillemot. Putting
through quite a hefty load of tests, the guys love it
and your mum can afford it.
$49.99 expectations were low for the Fortissimo, but
surprisingly the board came packed with great
features and excellent performance in comparison to
the price. A3D, EAX, built-in DirectSound3D, and
Sensaura Interactive Positioning is hard to pass up
at such a low pop. Money-conscious consumers have
their soundcard, but the hardcore gamer and/or
hardware enthusiast (like myself) have high
standards when it comes to anything 3D. So I'll say
it again: the Fortissimo is an excellent 3D Audio
solution based on a price to performance ratio.
January 2000 - Sunday
Fong Kai FK-603 ATX Mid-Tower -
20:55 pm Kan
a review of the Fong
Kai FK-603 ATX Mid-Tower casing over at AnandTech.
Pretty normal looking with three 5.25" drive bays
and two 3.5" bays, it comes with a 250W ATX 2.01
compliant PSU as well.
look can be changed slightly through the use of two
different bezel modules, consisting of just the gray
part of the front panel. They're interchangeable
simply by snapping one off and popping the other one
on. One allows the direct exposure of both external
3.5" drive bays, while the other masks one of
those bays in favor of what Fong Kai calls a
"peek-a-boo floppy." This floppy design is
essentially a molded floppy drive slot that lends a
smoother look to the front panel. It should be
compatible with most 3.5" floppy drives on the
market today. Potential problems may arise with
older drives and it is, of course, useless for
something like a Zip drive, tape backup, or most
other non-floppy devices. The rest of the front
bezel simply comes off with a tug, but removing it
often shouldn't be necessary. Interestingly, the
FK-603 offers a plastic rear bezel that cleans up
the look of the back of the case just a bit.
STIKit Joystick Review -
15:25 pm Kan
reviewed the interesting STIKit
Joystick which actually sits on top your cursor
if your looking for a cheep joystick here's one for
ya the STKit... This little thing mounts on your
keyboard with small magnets. Its a revolutionary
device ideal for some gaming and Internet use. It
also helps with some difficult cursor keys. Whether
you're surfing the net, gaming or maneuvering
through spreadsheets, STIKit makes it somewhat
The STKit requires no power wires, software,
connections or batteries.
STIKit using small-enclosed magnets, adhesive disks,
and it also comes with an adjustment tool to custom
adjustment to your keyboard...
MX1700 Digital Camera -
15:21 pm Kan
Hardware reviewed the Fuji
MX1700 digital camera. It comes with a 3X zoom
lens as well as 1.5 Megapixel resolution. If you think
1.5 Megapixel is a lot, then check out those crazy 2.1
Megapixel cameras the rest of the editors (except me)
things first - what does the camera look like, after
all, style is everything. As you can see below, it's
not lacking in the looks department! The holes from
top to bottom: front of viewfinder (has separate
zoom lens), timer LED, automatic flash LDR, flash,
main lens, digital output (serial), video output, AC
adapter input. The SmartMedia slot is under the
funny lump (vertical) near the bottom right of the
picture. The most sexy thing about this camera has
to be the lens when you turn it on. When off, a
circluar lens cover covers the lens. When you flick
the power button, this slide away and the lens moves
out of the camera. When you turn it off, it does the
opposite, the lens retracks, and then the cover
slides back over, with a satisfying whishing sound.
You really have to see it to understand how cool
Wilfred Coughs -
13:33 pm Wilfred
Not too much news as of now... got back my upgraded
Palm V and wondering what to do with 8MB of RAM in it.
Also, I just received a protest from Yingzong about my
cough last night. He said this, "Fool... I
already got Planescape: Torment and I completed it two
weeks ago." Oh well, now we know who's nuts!?!
Advantage Over Windows 2000 -
13:30 pm Wilfred
with the imminent release of Windows 2000 this
February, Novell must be feeling the heat and the need
to do something before the siege begins.
Interestingly, they put up a page
on their site which will display the advantages of
Novel Netware over Windows 2000. It even has a daily
"Did you know(s)" about Microsoft's upcoming
OS and a long point-by-point rebuttal to Microsoft's
claims about Netware. Go
check it out!
Windows 2000 finally about to ship, Microsoft's
marketing machine has turned into high gear,
launching what is expected to be the most expensive
marketing campaign in software industry history. As
part of its hype, Microsoft positions Windows 2000
and Active Directory as a viable alternative to
Novell's NetWare and NDS eDirectory platform.
this site, Novell will help you separate the hype
from the reality, and give you compelling reasons
why Novell's networking solutions fulfill today's
business needs more effectively than Microsoft's.
With eDirectory, Novell is well positioned to extend
its core networking strength to fast-growing
Internet markets and Web applications. This site
will include a daily "Did you know"
article about features in Windows 2000 that
businesses should understand before making their
those companies which deploy Windows 2000, Novell
will continue its tradition of adding value to
Microsoft and integrating Microsoft products more
efficiently into heterogeneous networks
Emulation Relaunch -
13:24 pm Wilfred
my old correspondent from Technotopus,
sent note of the re-launch of their emulation site.
Roll over for a look and they will be bringing you
more fresh updates!
MC370 Review -
13:21 pm Wilfred
Firingsquad posted a review on the Swiftech
MC370 peltier cooler, affectionately called
"Baby Kryotech" by the editors. It earned a
87% rating, see if you want it!
get this straight, the Swiftech MC370-2 probably
isn't going to run your CPU at -40 degrees Celsius.
Nor will it necessily allow you to overclock your
CPU XXMHz higher than a conventional Alpha or
MC370-0 heatsink/fan would.
doesn't guarantee this and neither do we.
we are saying is that the Swiftech MC370-2 is a very
powerful cooler, the most powerful cooler currently
residing in our office in fact. If you want your CPU
chillin' like a cool Coke, (not freezing like an ice
cube!) the MC370-2 delivers.
Razor Boomslang 2000 Review -
10:30 am Wymun
are just getting sexier and sexier these days. After
reading Game Wire's
on the Razor Boomslang 2000, I just feel the need to
get this critter to satiate my Quaking
performance of this mouse will amaze you! I can't
stop talking about how great the performance of this
mouse really is. I can really feel the 2000 DPI this
mouse runs at. I can aim at anything with no
problems, and I can change the sensitivity to any
situation I encounter myself in. Whether sniping or
just going on a shooting rampage, I can set the
I like it.
Erazor X Review -
10:20 am Wymun
Turkish pals at Hardware
Mania have also gotten hold of an Erazor X for review.
Here's a snippet, but don't forget to check out our
on this GeForce card as well:
to talk about the overclocking potential of Erazor
X. Although this board has a decent overclocking
potential, the gain of this process is not as
satisfying as I hoped. The graphs will show you the
difference in speed. As you can easily figure out,
overclocking the SDRAM GeForce boards is just not
worth the risk of possible damage that could be
caused by overheating. However, it is nearly
impossible to end up with such a disastrous event
using Erazor X because there is a utility called
ChipGuard that checks the temperature of the board
750 Coppermine Review -
10:15 am Wymun
chaps at T-Break,
have taken a comprehensive look
at Intel's PIII 750 Coppermine and brought it through
its paces. Hmmm....Ever since I managed 800MHz
on my 550E chip, just wondering who wouldn't settle
for that configuration instead?
of Linux Mandrake 7.0 -
10:14 am Sniper
wasn't too long ago that I was presented with an AMD
Athlon running at 700Mhz that threw all the
benchmarks out of the water. Today, I have two CPUs
from Intel based on their Coppermine Technology; the
Pentium III 733 and the Pentium III 750 - both with
faster clock speeds than the Athlon. But before we
dive into benchmarks lets talk a little bit about
7.0 is the latest Linux distribution out there
currently, read this article
for a review of it.
wasn't however moving from Windows, but from Red Hat
6.1, and I thought it should be possible using the
upgrade-option, considering Mandrake's boasting
about being 99% compatible with Red Hat. This was my
first disappointment. I was told that I could
almost any version of Mandrake, but not from Red
Hat. I decided to try it anyway, and when Mandrake
didn't protest, I figured everything was ok.
Digital VCR? -
10:10 am Sniper
to this link
Sony's PS2 is expected to have digital VCR
capabilities next year.
digital VCR capabilities will likely come as a
part of a hard drive add-on that Sony is preparing
for the console.
"Ball-less" Mouse Review -
10:05 am Wymun
has struck up a short
take on the MS Intellimouse Explorer, renowned for
its "castrated" mechanism.
all know the common troubles associated with
traditional mice... every once in a while you will
have to blow out or even scrape out the lint stuck
on the sides of the rollers. You won't ever have to
deal with this annoyance anymore with the
Intellimouse, but the real question is, how well
does it perform?
On The Afterburner For That Athlon -
09:55 am Wymun
days, it seems that no CPU will be complete without an
overclocker's kit. And the "Freak!-sters"
have managed to snag one from Outside Loop Computers
(termed the Afterburner) for review.
how far did my Athlon 500 go? Well, first of all, I
made small jumps of 50Mhz and tested each with
several loops of 3DMark99, Winstone 99 and Content
Creation Winstone 2000 to make sure there weren't
any crashes. In addition, I tested Quake III Arena,
Ligos LSX-MPEG Encoder, and Kinetix's 3DStudioMax to
see what kind of real world performance increase I
would see. I continued to do this until I reached
700Mhz. I had to bump up the voltage to 1.7v
to attain maximum stability at 700Mhz. I also tried
to coax my 500 to play nicely at 750Mhz but even
raising the voltage up to a scary 1.9v proved
January 2000 - Saturday
Wilfred Coughs -
23:10 pm Wilfred
were we?? Heheh! Fortunately, today is yet another
slow news day which is common for weekends, so not TOO
much to post about. Bad excuse for our absence? Oh how
about my CuteFTP refusing to work and giving me
strange GPFs when I load it up and thus couldn't
access HW1?! Yes, until I switched to BulletProof FTP.
Hmm.. anyhows, the forum
is bustling with activity. So go down there for a
W8500 WTX Server Tower Case -
23:05 pm Wilfred
on wheels! AnandTech
has a review
on the Addtronics W8500 WTX server tower case. With
wheels and all, it looks pretty heavy duty to me, but
for the home desktop, I still crave for my SuperMicro.
you've got one of the first WTX motherboards on the
market and are looking for a high quality case to
house it, look no further than the Addtronics W8500.
It's one of the few WTX cases on the market at this
point in time, excels at cooling, and has great
expandability - all without any major flaws. At
almost $300, the price seems a bit hefty, even for
the intended audience, the entry level server
22:57 pm Wilfred
remember Yingzong trying very hard not to buy this
game last time. Now, I'm not sure if he has succumbed.
Anyhow, go check out SharkyExtreme's review
of this game from Interplay. It seems like Yingzong
will prolly get it if he read this:
Torment is an extremely well-made game, with an
engaging story, fascinating characters and deep
gameplay that makes exploring the detailed world of
Planescape less of a game and more of an adventure.
A game that bodes well for Black Isle and RPGs in
general, Torment has something to offer both
newcomers and RPG veterans alike, and while it's by
no means a leap forward from previous releases, it
stands as a finely tuned effort that hints of more
great things to come.
Transmeta-Linux Connection -
22:31 pm Sniper
Today has an interesting article
describing the link between Linux and Transmeta.
For nearly three years, it seemed like the classic red herring: What was
Linus Torvalds doing on the Transmeta roster?
Industry observers wondered and open-source observers speculated,
but the more they looked, the less sense it made. Why would
Transmeta, a hardware company obsessed with maintaining a low
media profile want to bring onboard Linus Torvalds, a software
programmer with almost Hollywood-scale name recognition?
Elbrus E2k Claims Transmeta Credit -
08:31 am Wilfred
we detect the slightest bit of envy here,
check out this story at The
Register where the director of Elbrus said that
Transmeta had borrowed their ideas for the Crusoe
International, the Russian chip design outfit that
says its E2K chip design would be a Merced-killer if
only it could raise the money to build it, is
claiming Transmeta's Crusoe family of chips owes a
lot to its designs. Crusoe, which was publicly
unveiled earlier this week, is intended to combine
high performance, low power and low cost with
multi-chip compatibility via what Transmeta terms
Data Theatrix Dolby 5.1 Soundcard -
08:25 am Wilfred
has a review of Best
Data's Theatrix Dolby 5.1 soundcard based on Forte
Media's FM801 Multi-channel PCI chip. Though
relatively unknown in the PC sound card playing field,
this seem like a very feature rich card. Have a read:
output was also available if you wanted to output
the audio to a receiver. After choosing 6 speaker
mode, I started to play the Matrix. I couldn't
believe what I was hearing, the surround sound was
amazing! I specifically played the scene where they
are on top of the roof and the Agent starts shooting
at Neo and you can hear the bullets traveling from
front to back and left and right. I'm not used
to this, so it was absolutely astounding. My home
theatre system didn't even sound this good! and
neither did my Diamond Monster Sound MX300 paired
with a quad set of Boston Acoustics speakers running
in 4 speaker down-mixed mode! It's unbelievable how
much difference a center channel can make.
PIIIDM3 i840 Motherboard -
08:17 am Wilfred
delivered a review on SuperMicro's
i840 motherboard, the PIIIDM3. Other than being
one of the first i840 boards to be reviewed, check out
the pictures of it... diagonally placed heatsinks and
lots of features onboard. Real high-end stuff but it
seems like it does have some issues:
enough, our I840 scores came in behind I820 in most
tests. We do see the I840 outperforming all of the
other platforms on the high-end Quake3 tests, where
all of the cards are equally bottlenecked by the DDR
video card. Perhaps I840 can handle AGP signals
faster than the rest, but even so, the Supermicro
board didn't win by much. While the I840 won a few
of the higher resolution tests, it's still nowhere
near the performance level that most people would
expect out of this high end chipset.
the board didn't retain stability throughout all our
tests. Like the 4-DIMM Asus P3C-2000 board which
crashed on us every 20 minutes, the Supermicro board
with DIMM's couldn't run through all of our tests
without crashing. Quake III crashed during our
stress test loops, giving a memory allocation error,
and 3DMark 2000 would randomly cut out. Considering
this is a high-end server motherboard, and ultimate
stability is a must, we'd advise gamers and business
types a like to stay away of ANY I840/I820 with
SDRAM. Every board we've tested hasn't gone through
our stability tests successfully. Although, to it's
credit, the board successfully ran overnight with
dual processors running two copies of Prime95. Each
CPU was running at 100% for over 12 hours without
heat problems or crashing.
ELSA Erazor X SDR and X2
DDR GeForce - Wilfred
sure you now have several choices amongst the crop of
GeForce cards that arrived. I had the opportunity to
test out the ELSA
Erazor X SDR and X2 DDR GeForce cards in this
review. Do check it out!
Linksys Etherfast 10/100 Card -
00:42 am Kan
of the Linksys
Etherfast 10/100 card over at ArashBest.
OS compatibility is the most important, so make sure
the network card you are buying is supported by the
EtherFast has all the modern features; RJ-45 port,
PCI card format, 10BaseT or 100BaseTX compatibility,
full Plug-n-Play, software drivers for all major
software, and LED status lights. It also includes
more advanced features, such as newly added
Wake-On-LAN (to boot PCs from anywhere on the
network), full software configurability, and 32-bit
"multimaster concurrence technology,"
which improves data transfer by accessing the CPU
"directly." Compatibility is also
topnotch, the EtherFast 10/100 works with the latest
software, hardware, and operating systems.
Heatsink Testing Methodology -
00:40 am Kan
posted their own Heatsink
Testing Methodology in which they touched on how
to measure the effectiveness of a heatsink. Here's an
test with the simulator is used to judge
about the heatsink's cooling performance. You might
wonder why we're not using an actual CPU for the
temperature measurements. Well, for one reason:
Precision. When using an actual CPU as a heat
source, it is hardly possible to measure exactly how
much heat is emitted to the heatsink. All you could
do is measure the power usage of the entire
motherboard, with CPU and extension cards. In
addition, the CPU power usage depends on the CPU's
operating state, different combinations of
instructions result in different power usage. There
are simply too many variables to consider, the
result is less than ideal precision.
CO-3123 Control Panel -
00:37 am Kan
may be wondering what's this gadget all about. TheTechZone
reviewed this and it's
actually a control panel that controls the fans
and temperature probe in your system. Hmm, pretty ugly
looking but it looks like it's quite effective:
Services just keeps coming up with more innovative
devices all the time. The latest is the CO-3123
Control Panel. I know, you're wondering what in the
world does this thing do? The CO-3123 Control Panel
controls the fans and temp probe in your overclocked
system. Those of us who run our system overclocked
will have quite a number of fans in the computer to
keep it cool. All those fans running at the same
time can get pretty loud. What the CO-3123 allows
you to do is to either cut the fan speed in half or
turn them off completely, all with the flick of a
few switches. In addition to controlling the fans,
the CO-3123 also lets you monitor the temperature of
up to two devices.
G400 19" Monitor -
00:33 am Kan
check out DansData
review on the Sony
G400 19" FD Trinitron flat-tube monitor. This
monitor is one hell of a monitor if you can't afford
G500 Monitor, but still need a larger screen than the
traditional 17" monitors.
you spend a lot of time staring at a screen, a good
monitor is essential. And, for many people,
"good" means, first and foremost,
"big". No matter how clear and sharp your
15 inch or, horror, 14 inch monitor is, it's still
going to give you eyestrain if you use higher
resolutions. And, since dot pitches (see sidebar)
much below 0.25mm are pretty much unknown, it's just
flat-out impossible to display higher resolutions
than 1024 by 768 sharply on a 15 inch screen