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Subject: Graphics Cards | July 11, 2007 - 11:04 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Albatron has recently announced the exciting new "Blue Ray Decoder Card" giving mainstream users a great alternative to Integrated Graphics. This low-profile VGA card can provide even the most basic systems with High Definition video playback including Blu-ray and HD-DVD. This card also supports DirectX 10, boosting 3D graphics performance for the Windows Vista operating system.
Blu-ray vs. DVD Video Playback
Subject: Motherboards | July 10, 2007 - 05:29 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Hot on the heels of eVGA, XFX has released a pair of motherboards, the 680i LT and the 650i Ultra. Both are C2D boards, and are capable of supporting a 1333MHz FSB, and have all the onboard goodies you would expect, although only the 680i supports SLI. The full review at Legit Rev
Subject: Storage | July 10, 2007 - 02:59 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
The Maxtor 750GB OneTouch III makes sure you have no excuses to not have a backup. Connect it to yo PC via USB or Firewire, and with the touch of one button you can back up selected files, or your whole harddrive. Overclockers Club couldn't find a single disappointing thing about this drive in their review.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | July 10, 2007 - 02:22 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
The new hotness in cooling is the self-contained watercooled heatsink. With no risk of spillage and no more complex to install than a normal heatsink, they are much easier to setup than a full watercooling system. AnandTech reviews the Xigmatek AIO and the Evercool Silver Knight, to see if this new cooling technique has what it takes to compete with Thermaltake and Scythe's top of the line air coolers.
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 10, 2007 - 11:59 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
With the disappointing launch of the 2900XT a few driver revisions behind us, [H]ard|OCP revisits the card to see what improvements have been made, and if it can start to challenge the 8800 series. They set up a Crossfire rig to benchmark against a single 8800 GTS OC. With the falling price of overclocked 8800's, can the Crossfire setup and new drivers make the 2900XT the better choice?
Subject: General Tech | July 10, 2007 - 11:39 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
The next time you are thinking about a mod, and have some features you can't figure out how to keep attached, try glue. Instead of paying through the nose for conductive epoxy from a specialist store, make your own with the help of a link on MAKE:Blog. Paint on circuits, use it as solder, or maybe even redo the old pencil trick mod, permanently.
Subject: General Tech | July 9, 2007 - 06:44 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
PALO ALTO, Calif. and SANTA CLARA, Calif., July 9, 2007 - VMware, Inc., the global leader in software for virtualization solutions today announced that Intel Corporation, through its global investment arm, Intel Capital has agreed to become an investor in VMware. VMware's base virtualization platform virtualizes the Intel architecture.
Subject: Systems | July 9, 2007 - 05:16 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Shuttle's brand new HTPC, the SDXi is based around the Intel 975X
with a ICH7-R
southbridge. Handling up to 8GB of RAM, and any C2D Extreme, you get a lot of power for your HTPC, a philosophy they complete by offering custom watercooling setup for an X1950 Pro. HotHardware reviews this flaming hot HTPC barebones kit and it's paint job, which is the only way you will see it until Shuttle starts making them available.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | July 9, 2007 - 02:36 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
TechARP presents the PC Power Management Guide, a perfect primer on figuring out what exactly is going with power in your PC, beyond how many amps to expect from your 12W rail. If you are confused between ACPI and APM, or trying to figure out what a C4 State is and why your CPU went there, then read on, and all shall become clear.
Subject: Processors | July 9, 2007 - 12:05 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
At Legion Hardware, they are testing two 2GHz processors, Intel's Celeron 440 against AMD's Sempron 3600+. While the Sempron line is being phased out in preference for the BE series, you are much more likely to find a Sempron for sale. Both are priced very low, and the TDP is lower than many of the top of the line chips, giving them a niche of their own. Check out how they fare against one another.
Subject: General Tech | July 9, 2007 - 10:52 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
In the next few weeks, Vista users may be approached by mysterious men in shirts with little blue M's, asking them to volunteer to see what side effects they suffer when trying out a new patch. The beta version of service pack 1 for Vista should be out soon, although the testing will probably not be as public as the pre-release versions of Vista were. The Inquirer points out that the actual service pack is still not due until 2008, which is a long wait for corporate customers that have no plans to switch OSs until
Subject: General Tech | July 9, 2007 - 10:31 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Taipei, Taiwan, 9 July 2007 - VIA Technologies, Inc, a leading innovator and developer of silicon chip technologies and PC platform solutions, and Mecer, one of South Africa's leading PC manufacturers, today announced the new Mecer Education PC powered by the 1.5GHz VIA C7-D desktop processor.
Subject: General Tech | July 6, 2007 - 04:39 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
It's getting harder to keep track of everything that can go wrong with a PC, especially considering just how many extra features are on the motherboard. Sometimes we can spend so much time focussed on the arcane problems that can appear, we can all manage to forget some of the simpler ones, or that a simple solution can solve some of the more bizarre problems.
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 6, 2007 - 02:12 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
At just under $600, and faster than an Ultra at default speeds, PNY's XLR8 8800 GTX OC is going to turn a lot of heads. HotHardware found it to never stray more than 5 fps from the Ultra, and at a noticeably lower price. It also turns out that this card can be overclocked beyond the speed it runs at out of the box, although not to the point that some 8800 GTXs have reached.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | July 6, 2007 - 01:46 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
TechwareLabs grabbed the CoolIT Freezone, a CPU waterblock, attached to a TEC radiator that is to be attached to one of the rear outake fan grills at the back of the case. Unfortunately, they used a 92mm fan, rather than opt for the 120mm, but as the pictures show you, it is a tight squeeze and the 120mm might not have worked in many cases. The technology is sound and the performance is great, but Techware Labs thought there were a few improvements to be made to this powerful cooler.
Subject: General Tech | July 6, 2007 - 12:45 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
AMD has invested a sizable chunk in Transmeta, who once manufactured semiconductors like the Crusoe and now focuses more on intellectual property and design. They helped AMD with the HyperTransport Bus as well as their move to 64 bit architecture. The Inquirer has more on this interesting development for AMD.
Subject: Storage | July 5, 2007 - 05:41 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
PCApex has posted a review of the Aero Cool Infinity 25-in-1 card reader. It is designed much the same as most fan controllers, and sits in an unused 5.25" bay, and offers more than just card reading capabilities. It sports 2 USB ports and hides a 2.5" notebook HDD in it's interior. It's not as easy to remove as some devices, but it is more semi-portable than fully portable, and it will solve any card reading problems you might have, and more.
Subject: Systems | July 5, 2007 - 02:57 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
[H]ard|OCP recently put the high end $5600 710 H2C Dell, and now they are examining their value end, with the $1000 Dimension E521. Not only do they put the machine, as configured by Dell, through the wringer, they also scoop up a few higher end video cards to see if they can beef up the performance after the fact. That testing lead to a few interactions with Dell's tech support. Head over and get the full story.