Roll your own SMT hot air pencil

Subject: General Tech | February 15, 2008 - 11:59 AM |
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Trying to replace a dead capacitor on a motherboard, or playing with advanced tweaks and repairs to add on cards is incredibly difficult to do successfully without a hot air pencil to help you get the solder off.  All to often you will get the component off, and bake the area around where it used to be.  MAKE:Blog has a project for all you modders out there, with an inexpensive hot air pencil you make yourself.

Source: MAKE: Blog

Have no fear: the podcast will soon be here!!

Subject: Editorial | February 14, 2008 - 06:47 PM |
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For those of you that are desperately worried (and I am sure there are just TONS of you), the podcast for this week was delayed thanks to AMD.  Really, they made me leave my warm cozy home to head for Canada (eh?) for a day and it just happens to have wrecked our podcast schedule.  Not to mention Valentine's Day - and I really wanted to spend it with Jeremy and Josh.

Regaining CPU cycles on the cheap

Subject: General Tech | February 14, 2008 - 05:37 PM |
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Diamond Xtreme Sound 5.1 offers you away to get 5.1 (or 2.1) sound out of your PC without relying on the onboard sound, which frees up CPU cycles ...

Source: Gamepyre

Low latency, big fins

Subject: Memory | February 14, 2008 - 02:59 PM |
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The Patriot Viper Fin Extreme Latency PC2 6400 run at 800MHz, 3-4-3-8 latencies and 2.3 volts, plus they have a very impressive looking heatsinks.  With the low latency that these DIMMs have, they can keep up with the competition, but when they are overclocked their performance really starts to shine.  Overclocker's Club hit 1234MHz by reducing the timings to 5-4-4-10, fairly impressive for RAM with a 800MHz stock speed.

Good news everyone!

Subject: Graphics Cards | February 14, 2008 - 02:31 PM |
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The Tech Report was paying close attention during nVIDIA's 4th quarter conference call, and caught mention of physics processing coming to certain nVIDIA cards.  After further discussions, it turns out that any card with CUDA (Compute Unified Device Architecture) will be able to start doing physics processing with a tweak to the software, no hardware changes necessary.  The good news is that all 8800 series cards use CUDA, meaning that any and all of those cards are capable of physics processing using their GPUs.

A secure case for your next LAN Party

Subject: Cases and Cooling | February 14, 2008 - 12:17 PM |
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Lian Li's Lancool Metal Boned K10 Case has some features the LAN party crowd might really appreciate.  On the back of the case is a place for a padlock, like you often see on eATX sized server cases which allows to to make sure no one can easily get the side off of you case and sabotage (or go shopping in) your rig.  There is also a lock on the front door of the case to keep your optical drives safe.  The door is pretty heavily buil

Mmmmmm, open sauce

Subject: General Tech | February 14, 2008 - 11:43 AM |
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Looking for a substitute for WinZip, FrontPage or Norton Ghost, either because of the price, or to support the open source community?  Over at WHDb is a list of 50 common programs and an open source alternative, plus a huge amount of comments with suggestions for alternate programs.  Some of the choices on the list may not be the ones you would choose, and it is inconsistent in mentioning if some software is Linux only, but it is a great time sav

Source: WHDb

Maxed headroom?

Subject: Processors | February 13, 2008 - 06:33 PM |
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With a quick flash, The Tech Report turned the Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe
into a perfect test platform to try out the unlocked multiplier on the 9600 Black Edition Phenom processor.  One of the newest features you might notice has to do with the TLB workaround, which has been implemented in an odd way.  They did manag

ATI Catalyst 8.2 Display Driver for Windows Vista (64 bit)

Subject: Graphics Cards | February 13, 2008 - 03:02 PM |
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Get your brand new 64-bit drivers for Radeons, with the new Catalyst 8.2 drivers.  Not all the kinks have been totally worked out, but you can see the list of fixes in the release notes.

Source: AMD

Power in an ultra portable

Subject: Mobile | February 13, 2008 - 01:26 PM |
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With a C2D T7500 at 2.2GHz and 2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz, the ASUS U6S packs a fair amount of power into a 3.46lb package.  One drawback to putting that much power into an ultra portable is battery life.  About 2.5 hours really isn't that impressive a time for this type of machine, but those looking for a little extra power while the battery lasts may not mind at all. 

Source: HotHardware

NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT Specs

Subject: Graphics Cards | February 13, 2008 - 01:11 PM |
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In what might be the last article from Charlie at the Inquirer, he details information on the upcoming 9600 GT from NVIDIA.

Source: The Inquirer

Intel price cuts coming...in April

Subject: Processors | February 13, 2008 - 01:07 PM |
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Fudzilla has rumors of an upcoming drop in Intel processor prices.  How does a Q6700 going from $$527 to $270?

Source: fastlanehw

Another member of the campaign for real benchmarks

Subject: General Tech | February 13, 2008 - 11:58 AM |
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When you are reviewing a game, or more often a video card, there are several methods that present themselves.  The first is to load up a timedemo or a built in benchmark, let it run through a few loops and write down the numbers it gives you.  A bit of math and a bunch of typing and your review is done and ready to be published so that your readers can make informed decisions about their next purchase.  On the other hand, you can sacrifice a day (and probably a night) spending quality time with a PC and a box of beer, playing through the game and saving a specific spots where th

Source: [H]ard|OCP

To boldy go ...

Subject: General Tech | February 13, 2008 - 11:39 AM |
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If you are sick and tired of the internet and your browser working the way you want them to, why not try FireFox3 Beta3?  You do get a sneak peek at the Gecko1.9 rendering engine, and if you run under Windows it will install to a separate directory; leaving your FireFox2 installation alone.  Not so the case on Linux or Mac, it will install overtop of your existing FireFox.  Read what else you can expect over at The Inquirer.

Source: The Inquirer

NVIDIA COMPLETES ACQUISITION OF AGEIA TECHNOLOGIES

Subject: General Tech | February 13, 2008 - 11:08 AM |
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SANTA CLARA, CA - FEBRUARY 13, 2008 - NVIDIA (Nasdaq: NVDA), the world leader in visual computing technologies and the inventor of the GPU, today announced that it has completed the acquisition of AGEIA Technologies, Inc., the industry leader in gaming physics technology. AGEIA's PhysX® software is widely adopted with more than 140 PhysX-based games shipping or in development on Sony Playstation 3, Microsoft XBOX 360, Nintendo Wii, and gaming PCs. AGEIA physics software is pervasive with over 10,000 registered and active users of the PhysX SDK.

Source: NVIDIA

Too good to be true?

Subject: Cases and Cooling | February 12, 2008 - 05:34 PM |
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The Silencer 610 EPS12V 500W Power Supply comes with a Chroma 8000 report that shows the PSU peaking to 680W and providing 84.5% efficiency at 615W, not bad for a PSU sitting at the $100 mark.  Add  to that the fact that it maintains a 45C temperature and can live up to it's Silencer name, this PSU that Hardware Secrets reviewed is perfect for all but the most po

Chacun a son gout

Subject: Cases and Cooling | February 12, 2008 - 02:39 PM |
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Icrontic has published a review of two heatsinks, the Noctua NH-U12P and the SilverStone Nitrogon NT06-Lite.  These are two very different coolers, the Noctua is designed for heavier usage, while teh SilverStone is intended for lighter duty, as the name might imply.  Each fills their targeted roll quite well, as you can read in the full review.

Source: Icrontic

The talented new Crossfire

Subject: Graphics Cards | February 12, 2008 - 01:32 PM |
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A little experiment over at CPU3D has turned up some very interesting information, you can link an HD3870 and an HD3850 together in Crossfire, with no extra work!  They could only test the single core version of the HD3870, so it

Source: CPU3D

AMD Sharpens Focus On Latest Multimedia Technologies To Create Immersive Mobile Entertainment Experi

Subject: General Tech | February 12, 2008 - 01:17 PM |
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BARCELONA, SPAIN - Feb. 12, 2008 - Today at the GSMA Mobile World
Congress, AMD (NYSE: AMD) announced an expanded portfolio of products
and technologies to enable such popular, media-rich applications as
mobile TV, 3D games and high-fidelity audio, delivering immersive
entertainment to tomorrow's mobile phones and handheld devices.
AMD has enhanced its established line of innovative, open-standard
handheld device technologies with upcoming AMD Imageon processors,
as well as next-generation 3D and vector graphics cores available for
licensing.

Source: AMD

A tight squeeze

Subject: Motherboards | February 12, 2008 - 11:58 AM |
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The MSI K9A2 Platinum seems to have displayed a split personality when it underwent testing at [H]ard|OCP.  It is designed to support Crossfire-X, but the slots are so close together you wouldn't manage to fit 4 double height cards.  The chipset heatsinks are small, but they are positioned so close to the CPU that it is very hard to fit a large cool

Source: [H]ard|OCP