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Subject: General Tech | February 20, 2009 - 06:26 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
One of our members has turned his hobby of collecting older electronic equipment and is finding about 10% of the motherboards that he tested before sending them off arrive dead. Do you have any ideas as to what might be killing the motherboards, or maybe you feel it's more likely user error?
Subject: Cases and Cooling | February 20, 2009 - 02:56 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Whether you think Steampunk is the greatest thing since wrap around mirror shades or just a bunch of hot air that will be gone soon, this case mod will grab your attention.
SteamPunk Frankenstein stands 8' tall, has more brass fittings and pipes than any spider ever ridden in the wild west and even sports LEDs for a classic green glow. Check it out through MAKE:Blog.
Subject: Graphics Cards | February 20, 2009 - 02:38 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Highlights of the ATI Catalyst 9.2 Windows release include:
- Crysis DX10 - performance gains of up to 20%
- Crysis Warhead DX10 - performance gains of up to 20%
- World in Conflict DX10 - performance gains of up to 5%
- Fear 2 CrossFireX support - Fear 2 now includes Multi-GPU performance enhancements
Subject: Systems | February 20, 2009 - 02:18 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Glacialtech seems well at home designing HTPC cases, as you can see from the Altair A381 Media Center PC Case. It looks very much like a stereo receiver and will be at home sitting with any kind of stereo system. The included remote control is a nice touch as is the LCD display. Techware Labs feels that this is the best HTPC case they have run into as of yet.
Subject: General Tech | February 20, 2009 - 12:11 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Motherboards today sport onboard sound that rivals most current add in sound cards. They support HD audio, either 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound and usually a host of optical, SPDIF, component and other input and output choices. The higher end audio cards feature components usually only found previously in studio grade equipment. ExtremeTech feels that the audio quality possibilities beg an important question; why do speakers intended for PCs have to suck so much?
Subject: General Tech | February 20, 2009 - 12:02 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Good things come in packs of 24, and AMD's Istanbul can be included among that group. The Tech Report has pictures of a four socket system with four 6-core Istanbul processors, for a rather impressive task manager. Perhaps even more impressive is that with specific Socket F motherboards, a BIOS flash is all it will take to allow you to drop one of these new Istabul chips in for a hefty upgrade. Follow the link to see just how hefty.
Subject: Systems | February 19, 2009 - 04:16 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Even grouping any ATX/BTX types, you are still left with full sized desktops, laptops, notebooks, netbooks and now we have nettops. You could point out a strange little beast called the iMac, but as far as ASUS is concered their Eee Top ET1602 is the first nettop available. The most noticeable
feature, and really the only part to the nettop is the 5.6in touchscreen LCD with a 1,366x768 resolution which also happens to house the entire system. An Intel Atom N270 + 945 GSE and 1GB of DDR2 provide the processing power, which may be why HEXUS feels a little sceptical about the
Subject: Memory | February 19, 2009 - 03:17 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
The new Corsair 1866C8 TEC is a 3GB memory kit that ships with a TEC and compatible waterblock system, up to and including an external box with controllers. Nordic Reviews tries three different timings in their quest to get these DIMMs to go as fast as they can, and even without relaxing the timings you can see a fairly nice increase in speed when overclocking. Perhaps the biggest dissapointment is these DIMM's ability to overclock without the peltier, the maximum speed they saw using the TEC was onl
Subject: Processors | February 19, 2009 - 01:20 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
One month after finishing their AM2+ review, The Tech Report has now published their full review of the AM3 models that AMD has recently released. With 8 pages of benchmarks comparing over 20 processors, you really get a feel for how AMDs new chips perform as well as a look at how software is evolving to cope with multiple cores and multiple threads. They also cover overclocking procedures on these new chips, like bumping up the HyperTransport speed and hit a fairly respectable number, which you can see towards th
Subject: Cases and Cooling | February 19, 2009 - 12:37 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Most arguments that fans of Intel face come from AMD fanatics and deal with microprocessors. There is one area in which all seem very quiet; which is chipsets. Over the past decade we have seen the decline and disappearance of motherboards built on chipsets from ALI and SiS and the extinction of the KT series from VIA which was a popular choice for enthusiasts at one time. AMD only supports AMD, and while the 780 series is powerful, it pales in comparison to the features on the high end 700i series and X58s.
Subject: General Tech | February 18, 2009 - 05:55 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
[H]ard|OCP believes firmly that there can never be too much power, hence their review of a system with a pair of GeForce GTX 295s set up in Quad SLI. The installation was a snap, they had none of the problems that plagued SLI set
up in previous generations, problems which slowed the adoption of multiple graphics cards. If you can manage to provide the $1000 and 290W to your graphics cards, you will be playing games at 2560x1600 with every option maxed out and still have no fra
Subject: Motherboards | February 18, 2009 - 03:16 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Sapphire's new 780G board is built to offer gamers a relatively inexpensive way to set up a gaming rig. A Socket AM2+
board with Hybrid CrossFireX support and an AMD SB700, a built in ATI Radeon HD 3200, support for up to 16GB of dual channel DDR2-1066 and a single PCIe 2.0 x16 slot
give you a good opportunity to populate this board with some serious hardware. Bjorn3D was quite impressed with the boards overclocking abilities, they hit a stable 245MHz bus speed, and figured a little more tweaking might have them all the way to 250.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | February 18, 2009 - 02:17 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
The new 800g Xigmatek Thor's Hammer is a designed as a dual fan heatsink with black nickel plating and should run about $70 when it becomes available, plus the cost of fans as it ships without any. The heat pipes are in direct contact with the CPU, which will add to the effectiveness of cooling in theory. In testing, Tweaktown did find it to be a reasonably effective cooler, though performance will vary significantly depending on which fans you choose to attach to the cooler.
Subject: General Tech | February 18, 2009 - 12:03 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
In the last half of March, users of XP and Vista will be able to try out the new Internet Explorer, with exciting new features like a "monetization ecosystem". While it is hard to know exactly what is meant by that phrase, Tech ARP makes a likely guess, it will have something to do with advertisements. The other focus of the update is searches, it sounds as though the web portal will be resurrected
once again. There are also some unspecified privacy and security improvements; we will see how wel
Subject: General Tech | February 18, 2009 - 11:51 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
NVIDIA responded to a court filing in which Intel alleged that the four-year-old chipset license agreement the companies signed does not extend to Intel's future generation CPUs with "integrated" memory controllers, such as Nehalem. The filing does not impact NVIDIA chipsets that are currently being shipped. Intel is trying to delay the inevitable value shift from the CPU to the GPU.
NVIDIA believes that our bus license with Intel clearly enables us to build chipsets for Intel CPUs with integrated memory controllers.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | February 17, 2009 - 03:27 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Unless you are an electrician, or plan on setting up in the laundry room, you are going to need some one to come in and redo your wiring if you want to play with the Ultra 1600 Watt PSU. It only has one 12V rail, breaking the tradition of many PSUs supplying multiple rails. There is a very good reason for that single rail, it can provide up to 1404W and 117A, which should power any amount of graphics cards you might want to put in your sys
Subject: Mobile | February 17, 2009 - 01:56 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
The MSI GX630 is a notebook aimed at gamers that costs under $1000. It has 4GB DDR2-667, a 9600M GT and a 15.4" TFT that can handle 1280x800, the big price break comes from the processor, an Athlon X2 QL-62 @ 2.0GHz. By using AMD's product, the premium you pay for a C2D and compatible chipset never enters into the price. The testing done by The Tech Report bears out witness to