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Subject: Motherboards | August 29, 2008 - 03:06 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
The motherboard market is going a little crazy; and being quite successful at it. While the days of the $1000 video card have finally passed, the new contender for bizarrely expensive components is the motherboard. ASUS
is at the head of this movement, thanks to their Republic of Gamers series. The newest is the Rampage Extreme, which
Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 29, 2008 - 01:56 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
AnandTech was so impressed by the NZXT Khaos case that the CyberPower system they reviewed came inside of they had to write a mini-review of the case it's self. There are some interesting ideas that went into this case, from integral watercooling fittings to the ability to house a pair of PSUs to it's handle and wheels. Drop by for a gander.
Subject: Mobile | August 29, 2008 - 12:19 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tech Knowledge Arena takes a look at the current state of laptop batteries and the new types we can expect to see in the not too distant future. Currently
Lithium Ion, Nickel Metal Hydride and Nickel Cadmium batteries are the main players, each with different benefits and drawbacks. Soon we may see fuel cell and virus powered laptops.
Subject: General Tech | August 29, 2008 - 11:47 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
If what The Inquirer reports on is true and not a Photoshopped image,
someone has managed to get cards from the two different companies to work together. In this case, the nVIDIA card was handling the graphics while the Radeon was dealing with Physx. More proof that Physx can run on ATI products is good to see, but getting cards from the two different manufacturers puts to shame the news about the X58 chipset supporting SLI and the Hydra Engine.
Subject: General Tech | August 28, 2008 - 05:37 PM | Josh Walrath
As Creative learned many years ago, a company can not live by selling sound cards alone. While Auzentech made a pretty big splash by offering pretty nice C-Media based cards (four years ago I would have laughed at that sentiment), it is a market that is not exactly growing, and has competition from the likes of Creative and other seasoned players. While I have enjoyed testing Auzentech cards down the years, I have been worried about how long they could sustain their business model. Designing, manufacturing, and distributing sound cards is not the way to make untold millions.&
Subject: Processors | August 28, 2008 - 04:23 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
For just over $200 you can be the proud owner of a new AMD Phenom X4 9750 Quad Core processor, about the same price you could expect to pay for a Q6600. Not only are the prices similar, both operate at 2.4GHz, but unfortunately for AMD the performance doesn't match up well. On the positive side, H
Subject: General Tech | August 28, 2008 - 02:40 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
The Wolfking Trooper MVP mouse will give you several advantages over other players with lesser mice. Not only can you change the DPI on the fly, the mouse will tell you which setting you are currently at and there is a button that lets you chose your rate of fire. If you want four clicks for every time you hit the fire button, this mouse will let you do it. There were a few dissapointments from the mouse, as far as Overclockers
Subject: Storage | August 28, 2008 - 01:20 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
If you are looking for storage in an extra large size, checking out Western Digital's Caviar Black 1TB makes a lot of sense. For reliability, it uses NoTouch drive head technology, meaning that the head is lifted from the platter while the drive idles, reducing the chance of a head crash and increasing the longevity. To others, the most important feature is it's full 7200 RPM speed, a first from WD in terabyte drives. Not onl
Subject: Shows and Expos | August 28, 2008 - 11:13 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Ryan published a summary of NVISION08 yesterday, covering the highlights of the show and going into much more depth that he had time to do while experimenting with liveblogging. There was one big announcement that didn't make it into that article, because nVIDIA had been keeping it under their hats, ready to be pulled out when everyone was getting ready to leave.
Subject: General Tech | August 28, 2008 - 10:52 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Premature rumours of Universal abit's demise, as far as their motherboard business was concerned, were flying around earlier this year, and firmly denied by abit. The rumours turned out to be a dire warning, as this morning HEXUS has confirmed that abit is shutting down it's motherboard production at the end of the year. They will still support existing products, but all new production will cease at the close of 2008. You can still expect to see a mobile Internet device from them in the near fu
Subject: Graphics Cards | August 27, 2008 - 04:07 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
nVIDIA has displayed a fondness for odd memory buses and sizes recently. It started with the 640Mb 8800GTS and now continues with the EVGA GeForce GTX 260 896MB FTW, with a 448 bit memory bus. In the testing over at The Tech Lounge, they decided that this is their preferred card over the GTX 280, thanks to reduced power consumption, noise and heat as well as price.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 27, 2008 - 02:18 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
If you have never heard of Topower, you are not alone. That didn't stop Overclockers Online from reviewing the PowerBird 900W. Buying a PSU, especially a high wattage model, from a company you've never heard of is not usually a good idea, but you can feel safe with Topower from the test results in the review. Six 12V lines of 20A each,
Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 27, 2008 - 01:25 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Spotswood has a very interesting idea for a case, a kick drum. Available in three sizes, and with an optional kit that allows you to put drum skins on the case. Without the drum kit, you simply have a cylindrical casing for your PC, with included mounting brackets and such that will make it a little easier to install than a home made case. AnandTech
still doesn't recommend this case for anyone who is just getting into building their own PCs, this is a case for those with a bit more experi
Subject: General Tech | August 27, 2008 - 11:28 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
As more information slowly bleeds out of Blizzard, we begin to get an idea of what StarCraft II is going to look like. The newest preview movie covers a Terran assault on a Zerg base (choose the HD version or it will look more like gameplay from the original Gauntlet). You can also follow links that discuss how the single player campaign will work, and why you will be limited in troop tech at the beginning and how to get
Subject: General Tech | August 27, 2008 - 11:11 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
no plans to get into the x86 CPU business according to one of their SVPs, Chris Malachowsky. They are quite happy to be the bigger fish in a pond with only two fish and a few minnows, as opposed to opening themselves up to the fierce competition in the CPU marketplace. See as how they are currently having trouble defending their place at the top of the GPU food chain from
AMD, that seems like a smart plan. Follow the link at Slashdot for more information on this as well a
Subject: Processors | August 27, 2008 - 10:51 AM | Josh Walrath
Yesterday AMD sent out a nice little email to their channel partners detailing some upcoming products that will be detailed more thoroughly on September 1. The first bit of info is that an updated version of the Phenom 9950 is going to be released, and the big news about this is that the TDP has been dropped from 140 watts to a much more palatable 125 watts. I have a sneaking suspicion that the 9950 that AMD sent me with the 790GX motherboard is one of these 125 watt processors, because at full bore it is approximately 64 watts higher in power at the socket than the 9350e (which is
Subject: Memory | August 26, 2008 - 04:02 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
As watercooling becomes a more popular solution, we are seeing more components that are built with watercooling in mind. One of the more recent is the OCZ DDR3 PC3-16000 Flex II Water Cooled Memory, running at 2Ghz with 8-8-8-30 timings @ 2T. Not only did OCZ set these modules up to allow for watercooling, they include a full set of water-cooling adapters and tubing. Head to Madshrimps to see how these modules perform.
Subject: Motherboards | August 26, 2008 - 01:48 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Over at DriverHeaven, you can get a quick look at the state of the motherboard market. They compare eight motherboards, from different manufacturers and using different chipsets to give anyone looking to upgrade a good idea what is on the marketplace. The range covers a lot of ground, from the $85 Gigabyte GA-EP35-DS3P to the $440 Asus Striker II Extreme. See which ones might find a home with you.
Subject: Mobile | August 26, 2008 - 01:04 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
One segment of the market that just hasn't grown the way enthusiasts would like is the ability to make your own laptop. The 15" laptop chassis that OZC provides is fairly customizable, except for one small component. You are stuck with a 8600M GT as your graphics chip, that is not customizable. Check out the full deal at PC Mechanic.