31 January 2000 - Monday

Very Hot Digital Camera News!
- 23:10 pm Wilfred
OUCH! There are some extremely HOT news announced to the world of digital photography today that got both Wymun and myself drunk in ecstasy! Today, Fuji announced several digital cameras to come: the 6.1 Megapixel professional SLR FinePix S1 Pro, the 4.3 Megapixel FinePix 4700 Zoom and the lower-end 1.3 Megapixel FinePix 1400 cameras! You can find the press releases here at Steve's Digicams!

The first of a new breed of professional digital cameras from Fujifilm, the FinePix S1 Pro has a 1.1 inch Super CCD sensor that delivers an ultra-high resolution image file with 6.1 million pixels (3040 x 2016). It uses a Nikon F lens mount and has continuous shooting of approximately 1.5 frames/second up to five frames, adjustable ISO equivalents of 320/400/800/1600, a shutter speed of 30 to 1/2000 second and compatibility with SmartMedia (up to 64MB), CompactFlash (Card Type II) and the IBM microdrive.

Fujifilm's FinePix S1 Pro will be available first half of 2000 at a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $4,000.

Also from Steve's page, you will find a link to Canon Co. Japan that is smack full of sample pictures from the soon coming Canon S20 3.3 megapixel camera! Looks mighty mighty sweet! The pix are mostly razor sharp and vibrant... would have rivaled that of expensive PRO digital cams.

Performance on i820 Chipset using SDRAM - 19:46 pm Kan
There's an analysis article over at AnandTech on the impact of using SDRAM on the Intel i820 Camino chipset. We all know that RDRAM is a total failure and the inclusion of the Memory Translator Hub (MTH) tends to slow down things significantly. Ahhh...I'm going to stick to my faithful BX chipset. Anyway, here's a bite from the review:

The data bus present between the i820’s MCH and the CPU is a 64-bit wide bus running at your FSB speed, which is at least 100MHz on an i820 motherboard.  The job of the MCH is to handle the memory transactions that occur between the RDRAM that would normally be present on an i820 board and the CPU.  On one side of the MCH, we have the 64-bit data bus that we normally refer to as the Front Side bus, and on the other side of the MCH we have the 16-bit memory bus that provides for the interface to the RDRAM slots on your motherboard.  Keep in mind that this 16-bit memory bus can be running at speeds of up to 400MHz while transferring on both the rising and falling edges of the clock.  Let’s take a step back and analyze exactly what’s going on here before we proceed to complicate things.

3DfxCOOL 7HO Alpha Cooler - 19:43 pm Kan
SystemLogic reviewed the 3DfxCOOL 7HO Alpha Cooler. The 7HO is a Socket370 cooler and it definitely packs a powerful punch in cooling that overclocked processor of yours. Here's an excerpt:

The 7HO-FAN uses the Alpha 6035 (or PFH6035MFC for you techie types) heatsink kit along with a YS-Tech fan rated at 27.2 CFM. These are pretty impressive specs for a price of $30. If you've surfed over to places like 3D Wars and HardOCP, you might've seen an ad button advertising a $30 Alpha... this is it right here, the exact model. The heatsink itself has a tremendously high density level and because of that, it is a pretty big piece of cooling.  This Alpha is a square heatsink (you can see the shape of the poles on the sink from the top, they are all spaced even throughout in the shape of a square, there are also spiral heatsinks available from Alpha Novatech but they do not have as good a airflow and performance isn't as great.  

ASUS K7M - 19:41 pm Kan
TheTechZone put up another new review today on the ASUS K7M Athlon motherboard. If you are looking for second opinions on this board, catch our own review here as well.

At this point you might be thinking "This doesn't make sense. I thought the Athlon used a 200Mhz bus?" Well, yes and no. The Athlon FSB runs at 100Mhz, not 200Mhz. The EV6 bus transfers on both the rising and falling edges of the clock, so the effective transfer rate over the EV6 bus is equal to a 200MHz FSB, but the actual FSB frequency is still 100MHz.

The K7M comes with an onboard PCI Bus Master IDE controller with two connectors that support four IDE devices on two channels. The motherboard supports UltraDMA/66, UltraDMA/33, PIO Modes 3 & 4 and Bus Master IDE DMA Mode 2, and Enhanced IDE devices, such as DVD-ROM, CD-ROM, CD-R/RW, and LS-120, and Tape Backup drives.

Diablo 2 Preview - 19:39 pm Kan
Heeehahha! GamesLink dropped us a line on their preview on the upcoming Diablo 2 game. After months of delay, we are finally seeing how the game will feel/smell like:

Amidst the current extremely slow months in the gaming industry that typically follow the December shopping craze, there is usually a large game release that breaks the silence and ushers in the windfall of literally dozens of well made games during the year. My guess that this year, this role's shoes will be filled with probably one of the most anticipated games of all time, Blizzard Entertainment's Diablo 2. With hundreds of thousands of fanatical fans waiting to get their grubby little hands on the game and log onto Battle.Net's servers, Blizzard better be ready to handle the massive onslaught of traffic. With the long development time Blizzard has been quite good with releasing information detailing the game along with plenty of screenshots, released weekly.

Hard Disk Installation Guide Walk-Thru - 19:38 pm Kan
FiringSquad put up their thoughts on installing a brand new hard disk and guide you the steps to make it as painless as possible: 

You just went out and got yourself a new hard drive, so now what? You are all ready to slap that puppy in there and starting reinstalling all of your games using the "MASSIVE" install options now that you have a ton of disk space right? Not so fast Geronimo, think about what you are doing first. Now that you have the new disk, you have to put some thought into how you actually want to install it.

CoolerMaster ATC-200 Mid-Tower - 19:35 pm Kan
Another casing review from our pals over at ArsTechnica. This time round, they put their paws onto reviewing the CoolerMaster ATC-200 Mid-Tower casing. Supporting up to three 5.25"/two 3.5" floppy bays, it's light weight characteristic is pretty ideal for those LAN parties of yours.

If anything's for certain, it's that this case is made well.  It's quite sturdy, and since it's made out of aluminum, it's lighter than you can imagine (13 pounds), and much stronger than you'd think (I'd take it over plastic or sheet metal any day).  It's also surprisingly quiet.  As you'll see later, it's a kitten compared to certain other cases.  Even at that, this case's no cutie.  The dark gray, graphite-colored side paneling couples with silvery aluminum up front to let G4 owners know what a real "brushed metal" case looks like.  Plastic just can't accomplish this.  Of course, its aggressive styling is rained on a bit since the external peripherals you're likely to use won't be riveted with metal.  Still, I prefer that to unnatural coverings that reduce the functionality and access to my drives (*ahem*). 

Voodoo3 3000 - 19:32 pm Kan
Our buds over at 3DSpotlight managed to catch a glimpse of the Voodoo3 3000 PCI video card. Yup, it's really difficult to find a fast PCI card nowadays, and the V3 happens to be one of them in the remaining PCI video cards list. 

The Voodoo3 3000 PCI is the latest addition to 3dfx’s PCI range. Being an owner of a 2000 PCI for some months now I was looking forward to see what I could get out this card.

Being a PCI model its obviously aimed at those out there who have no AGP slot on the motherboard, or those with video cards soldered into the motherboard (much like myself). So after finding the card hidden amongst the almost ridiculously large press kit, is it worth buying? Read on & find out more.  

A-Top AT900 Casing - 12:28 pm Wilfred
AnandTech reviewed a casing over the weekend, so yes gimme some space you say? Here's a look at a decent casing you can consider purchasing.

Overall, the Atop AT900 is a decent case that's fairly easy to use and cool quite well. That cooling, was of course with a case modified especially for AnandTech, but that does no good for all of you out there looking to buy this case. Further, construction quality isn't quite there and there is really little to distinguish the AT900 from the rest of the pack.

Mozilla Alpha Available - 12:24 pm Wilfred
Saw this link from ArsTechnica to NEWS.COM that Mozilla has finally reached alpha availability. Download it and try it for yourself!

With the alpha, which is posted on Mozilla's Web site, the organization is expressing its confidence that the software is stable enough to be the primary browser and mail client for members of the development team, although it still will go through several versions before a final release. In general, an alpha version is not considered stable enough for the public, but Mozilla watchers may want to give it a test spin.

T&L Testing Sneak Peek - 12:14 pm Wilfred
nV News let us know of a sneak peek of their latest work-in-progress, a T&L article. There are some interesting results worthy of a look in their preliminary testing.

A few points of interest here.  The Pentium 3 does a much better job of processing T&L in this benchmark than the Pentium 2 (yellow vs red bar) .  However, when the T&L on the GeForce is used, both processors are getting similar results results (green and blue bars) and neither is surpassed by the CPU.  Of course, a fast enough CPU would eventually catch up with the T&L processor on the GeForce.

Shuttle ME64 i810 Board - 12:10 pm Wilfred
Prolly of low interest to most hardcore DIY-ers, but still BXBoards didn't let it pass. They have a review on Shuttle's i810 motherboard that should appeal to budget integrators right here.

This is only a so-so product, hampered by its onboard video and chipset. We've seen some nice examples of i810-E boards - the Gigabyte GA-6WXM-e springs to mind - but in all honesty the ME64 isn't that hot. This isn't a critism of Shuttle who put out some excellent products on occasion, but rather of a lacklustre chipset from Intel. Performance of the i752 video is a major botteneck, and frankly you'd have to be crazy to put any other CPU into this board other than a low-end Celeron. A Celeron 366 overclocked up to 550 would give a nice system, and would be just fine for a second machine, or to build a box for the kids, but for any sort of gaming, the onboard video will be found wanting.

After the bigger item, there is also a review on TennMax's GeForce cooler (Hmm... do we need one for most GeForce cards come with a fan of its own?). Check this!

EPoX 6VBA2 - 12:05 pm Wilfred
Our local review site OWB delivered a review on the VIA Apollo Pro 133A board - EPox 6VBA2. There are various ups and downs if you go with VIA's option, but it's stable and one of the better options to pair your CuMines with. If you need any convincing before getting this board, 3 of our reviewers already splurged dollars on it (this hints at a review soon?). In anycase, here's a blurb:

If you are looking for a stable board with a low pricing, and wants that bit more of performance gain of AGP4x and ATA66, VIA based boards is the solution for you today. i820 boards are still relatively more expensive and most don't support DIMM at this moment. Newer boards are coming out to adapt MTH for DIMM support. from ASUS, MSI, AOPEN etc.

Quake3 Server How-to - 09:24 am Sniper
Like to frag so much that you intend to set up your own server for your gang to join?  Then you should read this.  And the favorite OS to do it? Linux!!!

Now for those of you asking, "What is a Quake 3 server?". The answer itself is simple. A Quake 3
server is a virtual location for Quake 3 players from all over the network (in most cases, the Internet) to connect to and frag each other. Now you might ask why you would want to run a Quake 3 server? Well the answer to that is. It is more fun then you can imagine! 

Manufacturing RAM - 09:04 am Sniper
Ever wonder how RAM is made?  A nice, detail guide is available here to help.

Memory is produced in a very large facility called a fab, which contains many cleanroom environments. Semiconductor memory chips are manufactured in
cleanroom environments because the circuitry is so small that even tiny bits of dust can damage it. Micron’s Boise facility covers over 1.8 million square feet and has class 1 and class 10 cleanrooms. In a class 1 cleanroom, there
is no more than 1 particle of dust in a cubic foot of air. In comparison, a clean, modern hospital has about 10,000 dust particles per cubic foot of air. The air inside a cleanroom is filtered and recirculated continuously, and
employees wear special clothing such as dust-free gowns, caps, and masks to help keep the air particle-free. This special clothing is commonly referred
to as a bunny suit. 

DDR-II Memory - 08:52 am Sniper
Thinking of buying PC-133 RAM?  Throw out the idea, with DDR around the corner, its better to hold on for a while.  This article is about the second generation of DDR.  Go enjoy it.

DDR-II is expected to offer a minimum bandwidth of 400 Mbits/second per pin based on 100-MHz signaling. With chip frequencies rising, a 150-MHz core could produce bandwidth as high as 600 Mbits/s per pin. The interface is expected to run at 1.8 volts, down from the 2.5 V
of DDR-I, and it will demand new packaging at both the chip and module levels, as well as a new data-capture and synchronization scheme. 

DSP On A DIMM - 08:46 am Sniper
The first of three RAM articles that I'm going to post today. EETimes reported that TI is exploring the possibility of putting a DSP on the DIMM module.

A media processor on a DIMM? 

"We reached the idea that the DSP should handle lots of data, and data is available around the memory," Itoh said. "So we decided to put the DSP on a memory module." 

Put it on a PCI bus and you encounter lots of contention over the bus, which will bog down the DSP. Put it on a DIMM, along with the right drivers supporting synchronization and multiplexing with the CPU, and you have high bandwidth coupled with quick access to memory.

Card Cooler Review - 06:28 am Kan
Over at nV News, the guys also reviewed the Card Cooler which we reviewed last month. Extremely effective for cooling your graphics card as well as system. If you are eager to bring down your system temperature, you may want to consider getting a piece of this.

Normal operating temperature on top of my GeForce at the 140MHz core clock in 2D mode is 90° F when the CardCooler is operating.  I unplugged the fans and closed the case.  Within FOUR minutes, It was 108° F on the back of the card. 3D mode locked almost instantly.

Plugging the cooler back in quickly dropped the temperature back to 90° F (about five minutes).  What this exemplifies most about the CardCooler is just how much air circulation it creates within your case.  The normal operating hotspots are eliminated as a side-effect of super-cooling the AGP video card.

Epson Perfection 1200U Scanner - 06:20 am Kan
Just hot from the stove is a review of the Epson Perfection 1200U Scanner from Digital-Clips. This scanner is pretty cool and supports USB (norm nowadays) and supports up to some 9600 dpi (2X zoom). Here's some of it:

Installation of this USB scanner is a breeze.  Finally, I’ve met with a product that means it when it advertises plug and play.  Hopefully, the catchphrase “plug and pray” will disappear forever.  The scanner under review has a SCSI compatriot, but since our unit isn’t, you can’t run it unless your computer is USB enabled.  The package comes with a power cable, an USB cable and the scanner itself along with some bundled software.  After ripping the shrink-wrap apart and feeding it to the dogs*, disregarding the Users Manual, we plugged in some juice to power up the scanner and then the USB cable into the computer and scanner.  Like magic, Windows 98 SE automatically detected the presence of a new device and asked for drivers.  After that, we popped in the CD and voila, the scanner was detected, the TWAIN drivers installed and we were ready to scan some of the latest porn from Hustler*.  

ABIT BF6 - 06:15 am Kan
Ah, the ABIT BF6 was reviewd by 3aG lately. Incidentally, we are suppose to have a review of the BF6 3 months ago. Guess I need to burn the reviewer's house to pressure him a bit. :)

When I first opened my BF6 box, I was struck by a few interesting things. I’m just going to outline them here.
DIPs - Yes, your old blue friend is back—the DIP switch. It doesn’t seem needed, but Abit did include DIP switches on the board in case you don’t want to use the in-BIOS settings for some reason. This is an interesting move. It probably won’t be used by all but a very small minority, but it is my understanding this was put in there with intentions of making the board better suited for sale as part of a whole system. This way, whoever was building the systems could set it up for the CPU without having to mess with booting each machine and setting up the BIOS.

Sony VAIO X9 - 06:13 am Kan
Chick's Hardware reviewed the sexy Sony VAIO X9 laptop. With a P3-500 processor as well as a 18GB hard disk and a 13.3" screen, this laptop is definitely cool! I want! I want!

The gadgets just keep on rolling. With some sweet (but not unique in the laptop market) LED's at the top of the screen telling the user what is going on, even tells you what battery is being used, although standard on most laptops it is nice to see them at the top of the screen so you know what is going on even when the laptop screen is closed. I find this bit amazing, there is what Sony calls a "hot swappable bay". This can be used for a second battery, DVD drive, secondary HDD, and yes a CD-RW (which costs around £400!). All of the previous can be inserted into the bay without need to reboot and can be used immediately, which is damn useful. After trying it out I can say that it works perfectly and is so easy to do. Although I don't think I will be needing another 10 Gb with 18 Gb already available, but the CD-RW is tempting me, and the second battery I will definitely be getting. However I would probably advise people to buy an external USB CDRW, which will cost almost half the price of the hot-swappable one.

And if you are looking for a less powerful laptop, then check out their review of the Twinhead Slimnote VX laptop. It's powered by a P266 MMX processor along with 2GB of hard disk. Worthy for checking mails only?

SQ2500 Vortex 2 - 06:10 am Kan
Dan's Data took their ears for a ride as they checked out the Aureal SQ2500 Vortex 2 soundcard.

Some other single-board Vortex 2 cards have digital output, but to my knowledge the SQ2500 is the only one that has an RCA electrical connector, as opposed to a TOSLINK optical connector. There's no difference in sound quality between the two digital systems, but the electrical version is more popular on lower end gear. 

Transmeta's Crusoe - 06:05 am Kan
If you are interested in the TransMeta processor, then check out SharkyExtreme's preview of it over here.

The TM5400 is intended for lightweight and full-featured mobile PC's running Windows operating systems. It can run from 500MHz to 700MHz and resides on a 73mm^2 die. It features 64KB of L1 instruction cache, 64KB of L1 data cache and 256K of on-chip L2 cache. It supports 66MHz to 133MHz SDRAM as well as 100MHz to 166MHz DDR SDRAM. The TM5400 is currently sampling and will go into production in Mid-2000.

30 January 2000 - Sunday

Wilfred Coughs
- 21:02 pm Wilfred
Whoa! Where are we? Heheh, rumours have it that Kan is out with a hot date today! So that leaves me to entertain you! I hope you haven't been clicking refresh endlessly, waiting for that magical update that happens "O! So often!" (you haven't?!!). We're occupied with work, reviews, revamp, as well as CNY preparations.. so please bear with us! =) 

Fresh i820 Chipset To Come - 20:59 pm Wilfred
Caught this at The Register moments ago, that Intel will be refreshing its i820 chipset which has yet to see success.

Sources close to the company's plans have informed us that Intel will ship an updated chipset for sampling to mobo vendors in mid-February which will, at last, support both Rambus memory and synchronous DRAM memory on the same planar.

The boards will have support for two Rambus sockets and two additional SDRAM sockets, and also will include a revised, B2 stepping of the memory translator hub (MTH) which is now called the memory conversion hub (MCH).

Microstar BXMaster i440BX - 20:54 pm Wilfred
AnandTech took a look at Microstar's BXMaster i440BX Slot-1 motherboard. Here's a short blurb on the candidate:

With no major problems and a feature list that surpasses every other i440BX board on the market, the BXMaster is the most practical i440BX board on the market. With the weak memory performance of the VIA Apollo Pro 133/133A boards, the high cost of RDRAM on an i820, and the performance hit induced by using an MTH/SDRAM on the i820, the BXMaster is possibly the best current companion for a Coppermine CPU, as long as you don't want to get into any extreme overclocking.

Major CuMine Stepping Change Apr 7th - 20:47 pm Wilfred
This is quite an important piece of news if you're intending to grab a new CuMine. The Register reports that Intel will be making some major stepping revision 7th April. Read it!

The product change notification (PCN 904), dated the 27th of December last, will affect both SECC2 (Slot One) and FC-PGA (Flip Chip) packaging.

Intel cites the reasons for the changes to improve product performance, allow the introduction of higher CPU frequencies, to change the microcode, and to correct errata discovered since it first started shipping the .18 micron Coppermine processors sometime towards the end of last year.

The processor stepping change will change from A2 to B0, and the "first availability of post conversion material" is the earliest date its customers can expect to receive the new stepping.

In the meantime, Intel customers are being warned that they will have to test the installation of the microcode update into the BIOS, test applications, and, in the document's own words, "verification that major operating systems continue to boot and run confidence tests".

How To Paint Your PC Casing - 20:44 pm Wilfred
Ok, I believe some of you always had the urge to go away from the conventional beige and even black or iMac's cherry colours. So if you are one with an acute need to change that colour on your casing, Tech-Junkie has an article telling you just how to do that!

I'll admit that there are no guarantees of a kick-ass paint job. It takes some initiative and practise to get a good paint-job. This article is just to serve as a guide for those of you considering or interested in painting the case. The Tech-Junkie God Box came out pretty good in the end! Now Joe wants to paint his PC…

SWAT 3 Review - 20:41 pm Wilfred
Sierra's SWAT 3 fans put your hands up! FiringSquad just trained their hands at the game and gave it a good 75% overall rating.

SWAT 3 loses most of its points here for a lack of multiplayer support. The graphics are great, the gameplay is fun and well designed, and the AI (the most important aspect of a tactical shooter) is a real step forward in the right direction. The on the fly squad control was a real breath of fresh air; it's very well executed, making you feel like a true battlefield lieutenant. As a single player experience, we think SWAT 3 has more to offer than Rogue Spear, but without multiplayer support, the longevity isn't quite there.

The bottom line? If you're looking for a fun filled, intense police simulation, you'll get all that and more with SWAT 3. If multiplayer is your thing, then you should either hold off until the patch or stick with Rogue Spear.

Overclocking 3 PIII-500Es - 20:39 pm Wilfred
Hardware News Net posted an overclocking review in which they took 3 pieces of PIII-500E CuMines and checked if they all overclocked well. So issit worth the money? Check this!

Our successful overclocking of the three Pentium III 500Es that we purchased from three different vendors is a favorable indication of just how well the PIII 500E coppermine CPUs overclock. I've seen several reports of really good numbers with some of the coppermine CPUs. I've only seen one request for help with getting a PIII 500E to overclock past 550Mhz, but that doesn't mean there aren't plenty such requests out there.

Ultimate Hard Drive Cooler - 20:35 pm Wilfred
Overclockin.com has a review on the "Ultimate Hard Drive Cooler" from 2CoolTek. It does look pretty cool and capable! Read how it performed right here:

Contrary to what I thought would happen, my overall cooling was improved (very slightly) in the upper half of my case, and didn't change at all in the lower half. I guess this means that the 120mm fan keeps the lower half of the case pretty well-flooded with cool air, so the upper exhaust fans don't have to pull too hard.

29 January 2000 - Saturday

GlobalWin VOS-32 Plus Cooler
- 23:59 pm Wilfred
GlobalWin is quite a popular choice here in Singapore and it seems they are making waves Downunder as well. The beach boys at Overclockers Australia stuck an incredibly huge brick onto a modified rig for their test run. What's the verdict?

Well, despite the serious looks (another candidate for the clear perspex case?) the VOS turns in a mixed performance. If you can fit the duct into your case then you'll see impressive cooling from the kit - but if not, you'd be better off with the FKK-50, which is smaller and yet, with a little work (move the fans to the middle) cools better than the VOS-32 without the duct. When you take into perspective the fact that the FKK-50 sells for AUD$45.00 while the VOS-32 Plus will set you back AUD$75.00, I'd be inclined to look at an FKK-50 and buying a normal case fan

Sound Blaster Live! Platinum - 23:50 pm Wilfred
Our good pals at Alive! popped a note that they've got the SBLive! Platinum covered. They gave the card and the accompanying LiveDrive a great 9 out of 10 rating.

With the Sound Blaster Live! Platinum, Creative has surpassed the quality and value of their previous offerings, producing an extremely compelling solution for consumers and multimedia enthusiasts alike.

Nikon CoolPix 990 First Look - 21:31 pm Wilfred
No matter how busy I am, I just have to post this! Steve's Digicam scored a first look at a beta CoolPix 990! Armed with a 3.34 megapixel CCD, this baby is one sharp shooter. Not to mention also the host of additional features CoolPix users have been clamouring for. He has got sample pics as well!!! GOTTA CHECK THIS!

The Nikon Coolpix 990 is the first of the new wave of 3.34-megapixel resolution digital cameras. It retains the best features of the Coolpix 950, adds the most-requested user improvements and includes many new and powerful features found only in the more expensive prosumer digicams.

The 990's 3.34 mexapixel CCD delivers a non-interpolated image resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels with an uncompressed TIFF image file of just under 10MB in size. Recording modes include still image capture at up to 2 frames per second in full resolution, 320 x 240 QVGA at 30 frames per second and a new movie mode that shoots 40 seconds of QVGA Motion-JPEG at 15 frames per second.

20-GHz Chip? - 17:51 pm Sniper
This article from CNet explores the difficulties engineers had to overcome to achieve higher clock speeds.

Annually, chip speeds in terms of megahertz have increased by 50 percent a year, Brookwood said. That could mean 4-GHz chips by 2003 and 20-GHz chips in 2008. 

Unfortunately, today's technology won't allow for that to happen. The largest roadblock right now lies in lithography, the process of etching circuitry onto chips, Chou said. The light waves currently used to inscribe images into silicon are too thick to be used when microprocessor makers will have to move to the 0.07-micron manufacturing process approximately five years from now. It's like trying to sculpt eyelashes with a club. 

Win2000 Security Hole - 17:41 pm Sniper
Holes beginning to appear even before its released, we should be expecting more such news in future.

The patch, released by Microsoft on Wednesday, repairs
two different security bugs in Microsoft Index Server, the
more egregious of which allows hackers to view files stored on a target Web server. Index Server is an add-on
to Windows NT 4.0 and is built into Windows 2000 (in the
form of Indexing Services). Index Server provides developers with Active Scripting and query management
capabilities. 

AOpen AX6C Camino Mobo - 14:07 pm Wilfred
AnandTech delivered a review on the AOpen AX6C and AX6CL Camino boards today which is a blend of quality and technology that unfortunately suffers from the dependent cost of exorbitant RDRAM RIMMS. Coincidentally, we'll be having a similar review baked in the coming week. So watch out for it!

AOpen brings the usual stability and reliability we have come to expect from the company with these two i820 motherboards. In addition to the healthy set of overclocking options, AOpen's unique RDRAM multiplier manipulation setting is a strong plus for these boards that will definitely set them apart from the competition. The one thing we found missing was the absence of a manual core voltage adjustment option, something that's been around for quite some time, even on older AOpen boards.

Razor Boomslang 2000 - 14:01 pm Wilfred
It's incredible how much attention the Razor Boomslang has gotten since its debut as the gaming mouse for FPS. Sure, the Intellimice are cool, but the Boomslang is born to kill. Sharky Extreme takes a look at the rodent, here's an irrelevant but interesting para:

If you wondered how kärna came up with the bizarre name for their first offering, you wouldn't be alone. The Boomslang is a highly venomous South African snake, which reaches lengths of five feet or more. Not to be outdone, kärna has designed their rendition of the Boomslang with a seven-foot cord. Although the South African snake eats mostly birds and eggs, kärna hopes the Boomslang 2000 will dine on other mice.

MSI K7Pro MS-6195 - 09:12 am Wilfred
t-break whipped up a short review on MSI's K7Pro Athlon motherboard that generated quite some interest since it's launch. Read it here!

The K7Pro offers a good selection of FSB settings. You can chose between 90, 95, 100-125, 133,140 and 150Mhz. You can also adjust the CPU voltage between 1.40 and 1.75 between .5 increments. I decided to start with the default speeds of 100MHz FSB and 1.60 Voltage.

RDJD P302 Heatsink - 09:06 am Wilfred
Ultimate Chaos just messed with the huge RDJD P302 heatsink in their system and obtained some impressive results. Ok, so it earned 4 out of 5 beers from the bummers. =)

Needless to say, the RDJD P302 is staying on this Pentium 3. The CPU temperature averaged about ten degrees cooler with it as opposed to the old heatsink/fan. And now that poor P3 is riding the 558MHz pony rock stable in Darkside's system. With some PC133 RAM, he'd be at 585 no problem..

FIC SD-11 Athlon Motherboard - 09:02 am Wilfred
Active Hardware told us they reviewed the FIC SD-11 Athlon motherboard and would like you to go read it. This is based on the newer AMD 751 Northbridge... here's a blurb:

At first glance, the Fic SD11 seems to lack the usual finishing touches. The SD11 arrives practicly denuded of all the function normally included with the near-totality of competing boards. In my opinion, this indicates that another Athlon board will soon be stepping up to the plate at Fic. On the performance side of things, there is nothing new in saying that the SD11 delivers excellent performance that puts it ahead of Gigabytes's own GA-71X, on all counts.

CuMine 550E FC-PGA - 08:58 am Wilfred
GamePC put up a review of the Intel Pentium III 550E FC-PGA Coppermine processor this morning. This is a small chip that delivers lots of oompph and runs cool as well, check this out!

Of course, the reason why many of you are reading this is the fact that the 550E is already gaining a reputation as one of the most overclockable chips out there, just as the 500E is. The reason why the FC-PGA form factor is so overclockable right now is the fact that the processor has to dissipate about half the power (which in turn, leads to less heat) than SECC-based processors. For example, the Pentium III 500 in the SECC-2 format needs to dissipate 28 watts of power, where the 500E only needs to dissipate 15.6 watts, and the 550E is also low with only having to get rid of 17.2 watts of power. The lower power consumption means that these chips pretty much run at acceptable temperatures, whatever they may be clocked at. Since you don't have to worry about getting rid of all this excess heat, that leaves you more headroom to see how fast the actual core can run the chip without the huge worry of overheating/frying the processor. The new socketed-form factor is being embraced worldwide by overclockers, and reports of how fast these processors can run under the right conditions is nothing but astonishing.

Benchmarking T&L in 3DMark2K - 01:04 am Wilfred
Kristoff Beets of Beyond3D has cooked up a nice technical piece on the recent responses from nVidia and MadOnion regarding HardOCP's findings of the GeForce's T&L capabilities. A great read that should give you a good understanding on the issue:

GeForce has a lower peak performance than some high-end general-purpose CPUs running optimized software T&L engine. But does this have any meaning for a game? Not really. In a game, your CPU is doing much more than just T&L. The whole game is running on your CPU. Now what hardware T&L does is remove load from the CPU. So the simple fact is this: a CPU running nothing but T&L is faster than the GeForce, but the essential thing to remember is parallelism. So, in a real game where the CPU has to do "so" much more than just T&L, the GeForce would end up winning. Say that 25% of the time is spent on T&L in a software situation, and during that 25% you can only reach 25% of the peak number we measure here. Our conclusion is this: in a game situation, GeForce will be faster. The CPU software T&L combo is only faster when 100% of the time is devoted to T&L, which is never the case in a real game anyway. So, although in this peak test the GeForce is lacking, it will win in all true games.

I personally do believe that NVIDIA is trying too hard to win every battle. I mean, instead of explaining that slower is not necessarily worse, they chose to twist the situation in such a way that they are faster anyway. There was no reason for this. All they had to say was that it's a peak test, and in no game will your CPU ever have 100% its time geared toward T&L. This would have solved the whole issue.

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