Intel buys Project Offset, makers of the Offset engine

Subject: Graphics Cards | February 27, 2008 - 04:28 PM |
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An interesting bit of news came across earlier in the week about Intel purchasing Project Offset, makers of the Offset Engine.  While no games have actually come out with it yet, I can remember seeing demos of the technology at NVIDIA/ATI press days for several years. 

Source: Ars Technica

High value at a low cost

Subject: Graphics Cards | February 27, 2008 - 03:56 PM |
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When you are building a low cost system, AMD is still a great way to go, and the ECS A770M-A (V1.0) AMD 770 can be the basis of a low cost, highly reliable PC.  ECS have placed a lot of extras on this board and have still managed to keep it's cost well below $100.  Big Bruin's review shows that it is solid, but if you are looking for overclocking potential, high powered cooling and a ha

Source: Big Bruin

It's still great, even if it does need extensions

Subject: Cases and Cooling | February 27, 2008 - 01:37 PM |
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Lee is at it again, this time pitting the Zalman ZM1000-HP 1,000W Power Supply against our abusive teting policies, to see just how much it can take.  As it turns out, this PSU has a lot going for it, deserving the 80+ rating it received and keeping the temperatures and sound level reasonable, even at full load.  That comes partly from the fact that the HP part of it's name signifies that this PSU uses heatpipes to

AMD Collaborates With Microsoft on Windows Server 2008

Subject: General Tech | February 27, 2008 - 12:22 PM |
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SUNNYVALE, Calif. - February 27, 2008 - AMD (NYSE: AMD) today announced it has worked closely with Microsoft throughout the Windows Server 2008 development process, to deliver the ultimate server solution.

Source: AMD

It's all in the timing

Subject: Memory | February 27, 2008 - 12:19 PM |
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R&B Mods looks at G.SKILL's DDR2 PC2 8500, which have been constructed a with a little more attention to detail that some other modules we've seen.  It's stock speed of 1066 @ 5-5-5-15 really isn't all that impressive but 4-5-5-13 @ 285 FSB isn't too bad, and they manged to hit 300Mhz with loose timings.  Maybe you can pick up a kit and do even better

Multiple personality disorder

Subject: General Tech | February 27, 2008 - 11:48 AM |
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X-bit Labs picked up a Santa Rosa based Apple MacBook Pro, and for some reason they installed Vista on it.  Not only did it work, they compared it to an ASUS Lamborghini VX2S in several benchmarks.  The Apple even beat out the Lamborghini in all gaming tests except Crysis.  The pairing isn't really that strange if you compare the price of the

Source: X-Bit Labs

Intel Ships New Processors for Embedded, Communications and Storage Markets

Subject: Processors | February 27, 2008 - 11:23 AM |
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SANTA CLARA, Calif., Feb. 27, 2008 - Intel Corporation today announced expanded offerings for embedded market segments with new processors with extended, 7-year life cycle support, a new chipset and a carrier-grade server. The processors, based on Intel's revolutionary high-k, metal gate transistor formula and manufactured on the company's 45-nanometer (nm) process, include the Quad-Core Intel Xeon processor 5400 Series and Dual-Core Intel Xeon processor 5200 Series.

Intel demonstrates ray tracing on ultra-mobile PCs

Subject: Graphics Cards | February 26, 2008 - 04:08 PM |
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As frequent readers of PC Perspective know, we have been very interested in the work of on Daniel Pohl, now an employee at Intel, that developed some of the first modern ray tracing gaming engines.  Daniel has written a couple of articles here on PC Perspective on the subject including Ray Tracing and Gaming - Quake 4: Ray Traced Project and Ray Tracing and Gaming - One Year Later.  I have also covered a lot of the technology behind ray tracing such as the Terascale pr

The 9600 GT is still hard at work

Subject: Graphics Cards | February 26, 2008 - 04:00 PM |
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Not convinced that nVIDIA's new 9600GT is one of the best budget cards around?  Check out the Tech Report's review, where they overclock it to the point that it is beating the 8800 GT, never mind the HD3850.  It's one Achilles heel is it shaders, but we probably won't be seeing games with shaders that are so complex that the card starts to slow down for a while.

Sitting naked on the dock

Subject: Storage | February 26, 2008 - 03:59 PM |
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Ryan has finished his review of a very handy little product, the Thermaltake BlacX SATA USB docking station.  This dock is a little different than ones we have seen before, it is designed to let you stick in uncovered drives into the slot at it's top.  No screws, no buttons or clips, you just slide it in and away you go.  Keep reading to find out more.

Meet the future of games

Subject: General Tech | February 26, 2008 - 03:38 PM |
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Ars Technica spent some time at this years GDC, which had a lot of new independently
created titles on show.  Ranging from customized controllers to games for all the consoles as well as the PC, there is a lot happening this year in gaming.  Microsoft will have a huge impact on what makes it big, if you are designing a game for the PC or the XBox, you are already working with Microsoft.  Check out the big hits from the GDC here.

Source: Ars Technica

Not coming soon to a store near you

Subject: General Tech | February 26, 2008 - 03:23 PM |
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According to DigiTimes, it will not be easy to get our hands on a triple-core Phenom.  All of their stock is going to OEMs to go inside full systems.  This move is not unprecedented, but it is worrying when you think about the rumours of low yields with the B2 stepping.

Source: Digitimes

DELL BRINGS FULL-THROTTLE GAMING WITHIN REACH

Subject: Systems | February 26, 2008 - 03:05 PM |
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With a starting price of $1,249, the XPS 630 delivers stellar performance with the latest technology and innovative features, all in sleek, compact brushed-aluminum chassis.

Gamers won't outgrow the XPS 630 as since it's based on a standard ATX chassis, making future upgrades easy. It's ATI CrossFire and NVIDIA SLI-ready, and will support Corsair memory and Intel Extreme processors. Gamers can tweak performance by overclocking processor and memory through the control panel.

Source: Dell

Low carb computing

Subject: Systems | February 25, 2008 - 06:40 PM |
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Ars Technica has put together a green system guide, for those energy conscious PC users out there.  They cover a lot of the basics and also offer a pair of systems builds.  The first is for the gamer, and while it doesn't have Crossfire or SLI, it should still be able to handle almost anything you throw at it.  The second is a more extreme system built around an EPIA processor, but with a draw of 58.4-97.3W, it certainly won't add onto your power bill, or your carbon footprint.

Source: Ars Technica

Joysticks on a mouse?

Subject: General Tech | February 25, 2008 - 02:45 PM |
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The next step in the eternal search for the perfect input device comes to us from Sandio, with their 3D O2 Gaming Mouse.  It promises keyboard free gaming, as well as better control over 3D programs like Google Earth and Sketchup.  BCCHardware was brave enough to try it out, even risking their reputation with some online gaming. 

Source: BCCHardware

Soyo and Honeywell join in a display of force

Subject: Displays | February 25, 2008 - 02:30 PM |
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Soyo used to be a major motherboard manufacturer, although they have moved on many have fond memories of their Dragon series.  Now, in a venture with Honeywell, they have released the Soyo Topaz S 24" LCD, a 1920x1200 TFT display with a 6ms refresh.   ASE Labs tried it out and found it to have no problems gaming or playing DVDs, or with Linux as the used Ubuntu to test it.

Source: Aselabs

Good looking, and talented too

Subject: Cases and Cooling | February 25, 2008 - 12:18 PM |
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The Lian Li PC-A17 and the B model (which is black), is the new case from this popular manufacturer, and OCIA has only one thing bad to say about it, no tool-less construction.  Fortunately, not all of the luxury features have been removed; there is a removable motherboard tray and plugs for watercooling setups.  The case itself carries on the look of the previous model<

Source: OCIA

Xbox 360 HD-DVD Drive canned - but you can buy it cheap!

Subject: General Tech | February 25, 2008 - 12:07 PM |
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I guess it had to happen; Microsoft officially announced the end of the Xbox 360 HD-DVD drive.  Too bad we found it to be the best and most practical HD content drive during the entire format war; you could even use it on your PC for HD playback if you wanted.  Well, if you still want one, apparently places like Amazon and Best Buy are just giving them away.  Just be sure you realize the format is, well, DEAD.

Virtually unknown

Subject: General Tech | February 25, 2008 - 11:56 AM |
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If you are not familiar with application virtualization,
you are not alone.  As with many IT solutions that are offered by multiple vendors, the definition changes depending on who you are talking to.  At it's very core, the idea is to be able to distribute complete programs in such a way that they are self contained and need no installation, as well as ensuring the program runs with an isolation layer between it and the OS preventing any opportunity the program might have to damage the OS.  AnandTech can

Source: AnandTech

Former AMD CTO Promises 4x the memory for you

Subject: Memory | February 25, 2008 - 11:53 AM |
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If you were curious what Fred Weber is up to these days, as the former CTO of AMD, look no further than to a company called MetaRam that is promising 4x the current capacity of memory modules with little to no price hike or performance penalty.  According to this engadget post, MetaRam "uses a specialized "MetaSDRAM" chipset that effectively bonds and
addresses four cheap 1Gb DRAM chips as one, tricking any machine's
memory controller into using it as a 4x capacity DIMM."

Source: engadget