Microsoft's answer to Google Earth

Subject: General Tech | March 17, 2006 - 11:47 AM |
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It has taken a while for Microsoft to challenge Google head on, but it seems like it is coming soon.  Along with their new search engine, The Inquirer reports on their purchase of a satellite imaging company, Vexel.  There are few details as of yet, but Vexel seems to bring some interesting 3D imagery to the deal.


Happy St.

Source: The Inquirer

Silverstone's extends their quality to PSUs

Subject: Systems | March 16, 2006 - 06:40 PM |
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3DXtreme likes Silverstone's new PSU, the Zeus ST56ZF 560W.  Silverstone claims this PSU is built around an industrial core, which seems to refer to the rock solid voltage delivered by this unit.  If you aren't building a silent machine, and are looking for a high efficiency, low fluctuation PSU, this might be one to consider.

"Today 3DXtreme is taking a look at the Zeus 560 Watt Power Supply.

Source: 3DXtreme

Someone put my keyboard on their game controller

Subject: General Tech | March 16, 2006 - 03:38 PM |
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Ars Technica is playing with a very odd PC device, the AlphaGrip AG-5 handheld keyboard and mouse.  It combines both a keyboard and mouse in a device that is shaped sort of like a console gamepad.  While it takes a while to learn, they find it is actually usable, check it out.

"Although the peculiar shape and seemingly incomprehensible button placement make the device look

like a haphazard amalgamation of keyboard and gaming hardware, the layout feels relatively

natural right from the start and aft

Source: Ars Technica

King of the Dual Cores

Subject: Processors | March 16, 2006 - 02:19 PM |
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The playing feild has changed with the release of Pressler, which means all sorts of head to head battles between Intel and AMD.  Read the results of this latest battle at hardCOREware.

"Deciding between an Athlon64 and a Pentium 4 used to be a generally tough decision.

Source: hardCOREware

Plextor tries out NAS for size

Subject: Storage | March 16, 2006 - 01:08 PM |
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The Plextor 250GB Network Attached Storage device is based around a 250GB Hitachi RoHS drive which features a 7,200 rpm spindle speed and an 8MB cache, more than enough for the 100BaseT interface (ie. Cat5e).  Read the full review at Ben's Custom Cases to learn about all the tricks the included software can do, from easy backups to running an FTP server.

"Curiosity has been known to kill a cat, and one day it may just get me.

Bacteria belches to power batteries?

Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 16, 2006 - 12:11 PM |
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Meet Shewanella oneidensis at CNET, a metal munching bacteria that literally poops power.  With more study, and perhaps a bit of tweaking, this micro organism could be put into fuel cells to increase their life.   They could keep the liquid in the cells from becoming contaminated by excess waste and turn in into free electrons.

"Researchers at Rice University and the University of Southern California have embarked on a

project t

Tablet sized goodness from Gateway

Subject: Mobile | March 15, 2006 - 06:29 PM |
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The next complete system to be reviewed [H]ard|OCP is the Gateway CX200X Tablet PC.  Gateway has been fairly low profile recently, but from the looks of this tablet, they may be in for a resurgence.

"While prowess in gaming is a key feature of our program, we also like to test the overall

utility of the machine, which is why we also feature the video encoding test and put so much

emphasis on the general usability of the system.

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Getting to know your X1900 better

Subject: Graphics Cards | March 15, 2006 - 05:02 PM |
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Tech-Hounds continues their look at the X1900 series from ATI in the second part of their indepth examination.  Find out more about  the differences between ATI and nVIDIA than just the PCB colour. 

"ATI's latest offering, the Radeon X1900 XTX is strong, but it does have its weak points. We already covered the lack of performance with texture dependent games in our last article. Now we discovered that ATI's adaptive antialiasing is not as effective as NVIDIA's transparency anti aliasing.

Source: Tech-Hounds

Last chance at the ULi M1697 chipset

Subject: Motherboards | March 15, 2006 - 03:56 PM |
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Since nVIDIA has aquired ULi, it is likely that the Epox EP-9U1697 will be one of very few motherboards using the ULi1697 chipset.  The performance of this board is quite good, especially when attempting overclocks, though there are fewer features than on other boards in the same price range.  Read the full review at AnandTech.

"Our initial impression of the Epox EP-9U1697-GLi upon opening the box was one of interest.

Source: AnandTech

Coolink combines air cooling and silence

Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 15, 2006 - 01:53 PM |
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MODTHEBOX has discovered some of the quietest fans on the planet, the Coolink SWiF, accompanied by the Silent Saviour for cooling hard drives.   There are many fans in the series, from 80mm to 120mm, with varying speeds, and the loudest one they have is only 26dB.

"The appearance of the Coolink SWiF fans are slightly different from what you would expect from

standard case fans that are currently on the market.

Source: MODTHEBOX

Shannon Babb of Utah Named Top High School Scientist

Subject: General Tech | March 15, 2006 - 01:28 PM |
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WASHINGTON, D.C., March 14, 2006 — Intel Corporation today awarded Shannon Babb of Highland, Utah top honors and a $100,000 scholarship in the Intel Science Talent Search.

Poking at the IE7 beta

Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 15, 2006 - 12:05 PM |
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There are those who worry about installing alpha or beta software on their machines, and then there are complete masochists who love to try it, and see what happens.  Today, The Inquirer reports on 3 betas from Microsoft after thoroughly testing them, so you can guess which camp they fall into.


"So it fell to me to try a bunch of new betas available from Microsoft.
Source: The Inquirer

Best of the budget PSU's

Subject: Systems | March 14, 2006 - 06:15 PM |
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Looking for a good, stable PSU, but you can't spend $200 or more to get it?  Get to TECHGAGE, where they have rounded up 3 of Ultra products value PSUs, and see how well they can perform under load.

"All too often we read reviews of power supplies that are not cheap. Some good power supplies can

run between $100 and $150, if not higher!

Source: TECHGAGE

What kind of A/V cable is that?

Subject: General Tech | March 14, 2006 - 05:42 PM |
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If you have ever been stuck trying to figure out the plethora of A/V cables that are commonly in use today, you are not alone.  eCoustics comes to the rescue, with a handy guide describing all the common connectors you are liekly to come across, so keep it as a handy bookmark.

"Got the Home Theater system connection blues? It's always a bit frustrating to newcomers and

seasoned audio-video enthusiasts alike when you're faced with that array of input and output

connectors.

Source: eCoustics

Honeycomb big ... yeah! yeah! yeah! ...

Subject: Memory | March 14, 2006 - 03:30 PM |
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OCZ's newest DDR2 DIMMs, the XTC DDR2 PC2-4200 gets a full workout at OCMODSHOP today.  The XTC is Xtreme Thermal Convection, the heatspreaders are honeycombed copper, and should give you some good overclocking headroom from it's original speed, 533MHZ @ 4-4-4-12.

"PC gamers have always been on the bleeding edge of technology. As a matter of fact, PC gamers

have been the driving economic force creating the need for monster video cards faster processors,

and PC evolution in general.

Source: OCMODSHOP

Lian Li's Lucky 7

Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 14, 2006 - 01:04 PM |
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BleedinEdge reviews the Lian Li PC-7 Plus, which carries on the tradition of quality cases that you expect from them.  With two 120mm fans a window, and enough space to be able to fit top-end video cards, you will be well satisfied with this case if you bought it.

"Lian Li has certainly come up with another excellent product in the Lian-Li PC-7A Plus. It is a

solid, well built case with good looks and convenient features that make this case a winner.

Source: BleedinEdge

Intel Boosts EnergyEfficient Performance With First Dual-Core Low-Voltage Intel(R) Xeon(R) Processor

Subject: Processors | March 14, 2006 - 12:45 PM |
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HILLSBORO, Ore., March 14, 2006 — Intel Corporation is outfitting server, storage and telecommunications equipment makers with a new ingredient for squeezing more performance out of space— and power—constrained environments.

CeBIT in a day

Subject: General Tech | March 14, 2006 - 11:39 AM |
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R & B Mods only had a day to pack in everything they could about CeBIT.  There are 9 pages of photos that cover almost every area of the show, and give you a great tour.  A warning, if you are still using dial-up, it may take you a day to see their whole tour as well.

"Everyone that has some type of computer interest knows that Cebit is one of the worlds biggest

exhibitions. I had the pleasure to go down to Hannover Germany this year to take a part of this

huge event.

Is 512MB better than 256 yet?

Subject: Graphics Cards | March 13, 2006 - 06:38 PM |
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PureOverclock ran some tests comparing a standard 256MB 7800GT and a 512MB version.  With some judicious use of NiBiTor, all clock speeds were rendered equal.  Read on to see if paying for that extra RAM is really worth it.

"Does a 512MB framebuffer make any difference?

A gaming keyboard that works easily

Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 13, 2006 - 03:41 PM |
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3DXtreme has a review of the Ideazon MERC Gaming Keyboard, and they are giving it away!  It looks exactly like a normal keyboard, with extra gaming keys added to the left hand side, instead of replacing your normal keys.  It may not come in reverse for the lefties, but it does have a PANIC button.

"The MERC integrates the large gaming keys onto a standard keyboard. Incorporating the features

the Zboard is known for with a standard keyboard so that no keyset swapping is required.

Source: 3DXtreme