Catalyst 8.5 is now available

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 21, 2008 - 03:52 PM |

Performance improvements

Source: AMD

Not your usual Alienware

Subject: Systems | May 21, 2008 - 02:00 PM |

It may seem a little strange for Alienware to produce a system that uses a Radeon HD 2400XT for it's graphics, and has no hope of playing any of the new titles, but that is exactly what the Hangar18 HD

Entertainment Center has.  The name really gives it away, Alienware has jumped into the HTPC market and they have done it with all the class you would expect from them.  Drop by Think Computers for a look.

It's the story of two men, and their love ...

Subject: General Tech | May 21, 2008 - 12:13 PM |

... for gaming.  But trouble is a brewing, as one likes PnP and tabletop gaming while the other prefers Poke-cards, and has no idea where WarCraft came from.  Or maybe it's really the struggle of coming to terms with Deep Crows and Fruitfu ... err the gaming store guy. 

Source: Shacknews


Subject: General Tech | May 21, 2008 - 11:56 AM |

He may be proud to have a card certifying him as one of the only sane lawyers in the state of Florida, but I don't think Jack Thompson is too proud of the 27 counts of misconduct that he was just found guilty of.  [H]ard|OCP has the link to more info on this feel good story for every gamer out there.

Any bets that he will claim to have been affected by his work on violent video games and that they were to blame for his misconduct?

Source: [H]ard|OCP

AMD Will use GDDR5 Memory on Next-Generation ATI Radeon Graphics

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 21, 2008 - 09:38 AM |

AMD took the time today to announced that it was going to be using GDDR5 memory technology on its upcoming R700 "next-generation ATI Radeon graphics card products."  Not much else is detailed in the press release other than they are working with multiple vendors and that it will be faster than GDDR4.  Duh.

One interesting quote is this:

Thecus Technology Partners with Farstone Technology to Provide DriveClone Pro 5.0

Subject: Storage | May 20, 2008 - 06:50 PM |

Thecus Technology Partners with Farstone Technology to Provide DriveClone Pro 5.0

Backup is an essential element for computer users and network administrators. There are many possibilities that a user can lose all or part of their files due to computer viruses, accidental deletion or hardware failure.

ASUS Eee PC In the Wild - Adoption higher than we thought

Subject: Mobile | May 20, 2008 - 06:33 PM |

This was interesting - while I was out at the mall today I noticed in the local Cincinnati Bell store (local land line and cell phone provider) was demonstrating their in-home wireless networking with the ASUS Eee PC as the client machines.  The setup was meant to show how much faster Cincinnati Bell's DSL service was compared to other options, and they in fact had both a black and a white Eee PC model:

The easy way to be unique

Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 20, 2008 - 06:24 PM |

Does your desire for a custom case wither and die when you realize how much work you would need to put into it?  Check out what techPowerUp! has found.  Mountain Mods lets you pick your own design for a case, and they assemble it for you.

Source: techPowerUp!

Snakes have fins?

Subject: Memory | May 20, 2008 - 03:05 PM |

Patriot's new 2GB DDR3 kit is called the Viper Fin PC3-15000, and runs at 1866MHz with 8-8-8-24 timings.  Hardware Zone was rather impressed by the new cooling solution, it wasn't even warm to the touch at 2.5V!  A little tweaking and by relaxing the timings just a little, to 9-9-9-28 and bumping the voltage up to 1.9V, they hit 2000MHz.

Quiet, we're trying to game here

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 20, 2008 - 01:50 PM |

The passively cooled ASUS EN9600GT Silent offers a way to get good performance at the $150 range, without the noise of it's actively cooled relation.  [H]ard|OCP considers this card a great value, considering you are getting the performance of an 8800GT for less.  Don't expect lower temps or a great overclock from this ca
Source: [H]ard|OCP

Mmmmm ... audio

Subject: General Tech | May 20, 2008 - 12:58 PM |

M-Audio may seem like a no-name brand to many PC gamers, but anyone who has done anything related to the audio trade will recognize the name right off the bat.  These M-Audio Studiophile AV 40 speakers will give you a sound that goes a bit beyond what you might expect with a desktop speaker system, as they have a rather impressive response.  Check out the full spec

Source: ModSynergy

Remote hardware molestation

Subject: General Tech | May 20, 2008 - 12:30 PM |

A new type of attack has been theoretically identified, dubbed a Permanent Denial of Service (PDOS). By taking advantage of remote firmware updates, an attacker could theoretically kill hardware using a tampered BIOS flash file.  If the hardware is set to automatically update it's firmware, which is the default setting in most cases, your server could be taken down until the hardware is replaced.  You can get more info by following the link at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot

Corsair DOMINATOR Hits 2462MHz - Sets Memory Frequency World Record

Subject: Memory | May 19, 2008 - 06:42 PM |

Fremont, CA, May 20, 2008 - Corsair, a worldwide leader in high performance computer and flash memory products, announced today that Corsair Labs has set the world record for the highest achieved DDR3 frequency.

Verified and validated by CPU-Z, Corsair Labs achieved an astounding speed of 2462MHz at CL=9 with a single-rank 1GB module. This new world record eclipses all previous CPU-Z validated memory benchmarks. This record was set using Corsair's award winning DOMINATOR DDR3 memory module paired with an Asus P5E3 Premium motherboard based on the Intel X48 chipset.

Room to grow

Subject: Motherboards | May 19, 2008 - 04:52 PM |

The Gigabyte EP45-DQ6 has an almost obscene amount of connectors, from 10 SATA ports to four PCIe based Realtek 8111C Gigabit LAN ports and triple RAID.  It's not ready for retail yet, but you can see this incredible board at Hardware Zone.

Tough enough?

Subject: Mobile | May 19, 2008 - 04:42 PM |

In what has to be one of the most fun to do reviews ever, Slashdot has linked to a durability test of three ruggedized notebooks.  All three are 810F-compliant systems, one each from General Dynamics Itronix, Getac and Panasonic, which get frozen, broiled and drowned, among other things.  Check the videos by following the link.

Source: Slashdot

GreenPower gets bigger

Subject: Storage | May 19, 2008 - 04:24 PM |

Western Digital extended their Caviar lineup to include the GreenPower series.  Costing a bit more, but with various powersaving enhancements inside, they were mostly aimed at the enterprise level.  The powersaving technologies did slow the performance a bit, something most enthusiasts would never accept.  OCIA's testing of the Western Digital Cavia

Source: OCIA

1000 very quiet watts

Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 19, 2008 - 04:12 PM |

If you happen to have an odd mix of priorities, and desire a PSU with sic 12V lines totaling 960W and want the PSU to produce barely any noise, the Zalman ZM1000-HP was built for you.  SPCR's tests showed that not only does it perform more quietly than anything similar that they've tested, it is more efficient as well.  It also has some seriously stable lines.

AMD's got game?

Subject: General Tech | May 19, 2008 - 03:54 PM |

AMD is working at redesigning
the way people buy games with their AMD GAME! program.  The basic idea is that games will come with a logo, either AMD GAME! Ultra or AMD GAME!, the AMD GAME! Ultra should be playable at 1600 x 1200, default settings at above 30 fps, the non-Ultra at 1280 x 1024, as long as your system matches their defined requirements.  Anandtech takes a look at this initiative, and shows some of the promo slides.

Source: AnandTech

1-year Anniversary of a Blog Post

Subject: Editorial | May 19, 2008 - 12:55 AM |
Tagged: blog

I had a couple of people remind me that it had been just about year since my last "blog" post.  Well, rather than let it lapse completely, I'll make this post.

You can STILL hear from me though by keeping up to date on our bi-monthly podcast or by following me on Twitter.  Both will give you a mix of personal and professional (website) information so you can keep up with what is going on behind the scenes. 

ASUS Eee PC 901 no longer getting WiMax

Subject: Mobile | May 19, 2008 - 12:48 AM |

This seems more to be a blow towards WiMax than anything else, but according to this report the upcoming Atom-based ASUS Eee PC 901 machine will no longer come with WiMax support built-in but will instead be an option only for contract customers. 

Source: Digitimes