The other Rock Band game

Subject: General Tech | December 4, 2007 - 12:24 PM |

If you somehow manage to get tird of playing Guitar Hero and Rock Band, as inconceivable as
that might be right now, you could always consider making your own music.  ExtremeTech looks at 3 music creation suites, that will let you compose what is in your imagination with your mouse.  Not all of these are created equal, and while it might be tempting to jump into this by picking up professional level software, you might find yourself overwhelmed.

Microsoft is abandoning everyone's favourite Vista feature

Subject: General Tech | December 4, 2007 - 12:01 PM |

No longer will anyone be able to complain that WGA ate their Vista install; Microsoft is gong to be removing it in Service Pack 1.  I guess we will have to complain about something else in Vista now .  Read more about this sudden outbreak of common sense on the Inquirer.

Source: The Inquirer

AMD HD 3850 Cards Continue to Show up

Subject: Graphics Cards | December 4, 2007 - 10:59 AM |

After a very turbulent month of November, we are just now getting time to sit and relax and take it all in.  What the hell actually happened last month??!? 

Spider ate the Quad FX

Subject: Processors | December 3, 2007 - 05:33 PM |

After a talk with an rep from AMD, The Tech Report got an update on dual Quad cores and Quad FX ... it isn't happening, at least not soon.  It looks like Phenom will not support this feature, so anyone who picked up a platform that was supposed to support Quad FX won't have anything to stick in that second socket.  Instead AMD has focused on projects like Spider, and we are left wondering what Intel's plans will be, and if Skulltrail will die as well.

A different kind of gaming keyboard

Subject: General Tech | December 3, 2007 - 02:43 PM |

The Razer Lycosa takes gaming keyboards in a slightly different direction than the oversized, extra numpad sporting ones that we have been seeing quite frequently.  Instead of adding buttons, they modifed them, topping them with rubber and shortening them to a height more often found on laptops.  The WASD keys glow, and the lighted logo also toggles the windows key on and off. 

Source: Extremetech

Fixing a big oops

Subject: Mobile | December 3, 2007 - 01:21 PM |

Madshrimps have a very specfic review, covering some surgery on a Gateway laptop, but their experiences can be carried over into other laptops.  Opening up and upgrading a laptop is a bit more time consuming and frustrating than a full sized PC, so if you have never tried it before this article will give you a good idea what is involved.

Source: Madshrimps

Gimme a Temjin, but hold the extras

Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 3, 2007 - 12:31 PM |

SilverStone's Temjin enclosures rank up there with a very few others at the high end of quality features and especially price.   Many enthusiasts just are not willing to drop more than $200 on their case, especially if they have no plans to use the extras that raise the price so much.  SilverStone's answer is the Kublai KL01, which shares the look of the Temjin, but with some of the extras trimmed down. 

Source: t-break

Happy Birthday Vista

Subject: General Tech | December 3, 2007 - 12:08 PM |

Vista has turned one, and over it's first year it has had some difficulties.  With many of the channels dumping Vista for XP, or at least offering a choice between the two, driver nightmare issues, and the lack of a service back, home user adoption is slow.  Not even Crysis and other DX10 games are spurring sales.  On the business side it is even more bleak with incredibly low adoption numbers, and now the news that many corporations that were considering a 07-08 change-over have pushed that back to a 08-09 switch. 

Source: The Register

Providing tools to help you navigate the wild waters of high tech

Subject: General Tech | November 30, 2007 - 06:02 PM |

When we are doing benchmarking at PC Perspective, an easy way to see how a program responds to additional CPU cores is to disable 1 or more cores and run the benchmarks again.  All hardware and speeds stay the same, but with less cores available, making any scaling that occurs easy to spot.  As an enthusiast trying to use a new dual/quad core CPU, having a disabled core isn't exactly what you want and it can be quite frustrating when that happens.  There is also a thread in that forum that can help out


A silently cooled 8800GT?

Subject: Graphics Cards | November 30, 2007 - 02:53 PM |

For the reasons laid out in the beginning of the AnandTech article, the idea of a silently cooled 8800GT seems preposterous, die shrink or not.  The mind pictures a one slot card with a 3 slot passive cooler and heatpipes that extend beyond your case.  As it turns out, this card really isn't that large, and while the temperatures do go well over 100C, the card exhibited no errors after a Crysis torture test.

Source: AnandTech

Better than your average HDD?

Subject: Storage | November 30, 2007 - 02:08 PM |

You may have seen drives labeled "RAID edition" or "enterprise" that seem to be much more expensive than drives that don't sport those labels.  Two recent releases; the Barracuda ES.2 and Caviar RE2-GP aren't that much more expensive than their brethren, and claim a much longer MTBF thanks to better quality firmware.  Drop by ExtremeTech to see if the higher quality guts also translate into better speeds.

Loading ...................................................................

Subject: General Tech | November 30, 2007 - 12:08 PM |

Dan, who is incapable of not asking a question once it crosses his mind and then tracking down an answer from somewhere, takes on the mystery of save games.  Why is it that some games end up with a save folder larger than the rest of the game combined, while others seem to have tiny saves that barely make a scratch on your HDD, or fit in a tiny bit of flash memory.  Why do some games load saves quicker in some areas than others, and others seem to load the same regardless.

Source: Dan's Data

February will be busy

Subject: General Tech | November 30, 2007 - 11:49 AM |

Following yesterday's announcement that AMD's triple core processors will be available in February, nVIDIA has announced that the GeForce 9 series will also make it's appearance in the same month.  The information DigiTimes has is still pretty vague, nVIDIA is keeping this series close to their chests.

Source: Digitimes

OCZ Technology Introduces New DDR2 8GB Quad Kits for Advanced Gaming Systems and Professional Workst

Subject: Memory | November 30, 2007 - 11:15 AM |

Sunnyvale, CA - November 29, 2007 - OCZ Technology Group, Inc., a worldwide leader in innovative ultra-high performance and high reliability memory, today announced the 8GB Platinum PC2-6400 "Quad" Kit. These high-density, optimized kits offer users the option of both high speeds and high capacities needed for their demanding gaming PC and Vista-upgraded desktops in a unique 4 x 2048MB solution.

An odd mix of features

Subject: Motherboards | November 29, 2007 - 05:13 PM |

The Abit IX38 Quad GT has a rally strange mix of features.  It supports a 1600MHz FSB, which is fairly rare; but it partners that with DDR2, skipping any chance you have of having synchronous RAM and CPU buses.  The motherboard certainly isn't cheap, so the use of the older RAM doesn't seem to have much to do with making this the basis of a cheap system.  CPU3D put the board through

Source: CPU3D

Does this Rogue get to steal the ultimate gaming SFF title

Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 29, 2007 - 02:32 PM |

The NZXT Rouge is supposedly the ultimate gaming SFF case, and there are some features that you might expect from a case that makes that claim that are completely missing.  The two biggest omissions would have to be the complete lack of handles, or any way of carrying the box, and the fact that even thought the case is huge for SFF, it only allows the installation of micro-ATX boards.  Nevertheless, Virtual-Hideout decided to give the case a fair trial, and found the case did have enough redeeming factors to rate a good, but not ultimate.

For those with full size cases, I recommend looking at Lee's review of the enormous Thermalright Inferno IFX-14 CPU Cooler, and it's accompanying backside cooler.

"Deciding what chassis to house your computer in these days can be an agonizing decision. The selection of computer cases on the market is simply astonishing which tells you it's a lucrative market segment and everyone wants a piece. Not to mention everybody needs some type of case for their system so just like the selection of automobiles is huge to try to fit every personality and situation, so tries the case market. However it's not every day that a product launches that simply breaks the normal segment boundaries. NZXT just launched such a product called the Rogue. It's tagline is "the ultimate gaming SFF chassis". Let's take a closer look at the specs and see just what's so different about this new case."

Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:


Timing your speed just right

Subject: Memory | November 29, 2007 - 01:37 PM |

Legit Reviews puts Corsair's TWINX Dominator Dual Channel 1800MHz DDR3 against it's self in a battle of timings.  It is rated to run with 7-7-7-20 at 1800MHz, but LR discovered that at 1333MHz, it can run at 4-4-4-12 timings.  Of course the obvious next step was to run it at those to speeds, as well as 7-7-7-20 at 1300MHz, to see what differences appear.

Revenge of the GTS

Subject: Graphics Cards | November 29, 2007 - 12:19 PM |

The new 8800GTS, the 512MB G92 version appeared on TweakTown's doorstep, begging to be tested.  This is the second revision of the 8800GTS, released after the 8800GT that destroyed the first GTS revision in performance and especially on price.  Unfortunately you shouldn't expect this new revision to work in SLI with your original series GTS.

Source: TweakTown

Triple cores in the first half

Subject: General Tech | November 29, 2007 - 11:48 AM |

Just in time for SAD, AMD offers another reason to isolate yourself and bathe in the glow of artificial lights, they will be releasing two Tolimans in February.  2.5GHz is a nice step up, and since it was motherboard makers that told DigiTimes the date,

Source: Digitimes

AMD Expands R&D Presence in India

Subject: General Tech | November 29, 2007 - 11:19 AM |

BANGALORE, India - Nov. 29, 2007 - AMD (NYSE: AMD), a leading global provider of innovative processing solutions in the computing, graphics and consumer electronics markets, today announced the opening of a new silicon design and platform research and development (R&D) facility in Bangalore.

As India's role and importance in AMD's global R&D network increases, the number of employees in Bangalore continues to grow, requiring a new facility that will accommodate the current team while also providing room for future growth.

Source: AMD