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Subject: Graphics Cards | March 23, 2005 - 12:17 PM | Ryan Shrout
HardOCP has come back to the table with an updated look at the status of SLI gaming. Since we last heard from them on this topic, a new driver has been released that promised additional SLI support for everyone! Did it happen?
We are still very concerned with the frequency of driver releases and bug fixes, however. As you can see in our gameplay testing, this driver has quite a few problems. Right now, there is a temperature issue bug, and a bug with Coolbits not allowing overclocking in SLI.
Subject: Processors | March 23, 2005 - 12:15 PM | Ryan Shrout
Scott over at The Tech Report has taken a good, detailed look at the current state of the 64-bit world by comparing the Athlon 64 and the new Intel EM64T processors against each other in several series of benchmarks.
For PC enthusiasts and gamers, moving to 64 bits may not present as many obvious advantages in the near term, but there's also very little apparent penalty in going with Windows XP Pro x64, even if it's only to run 32-bit applications.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 23, 2005 - 11:42 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
So, just how important is the choice of fan nowadays? There used to be quite a bit of difference between the performance of fans, but now it seems that the size of the fan is your most important consideration. Mikhailtech compares 6 80 and 92mm fans, 2 Panaflo's and 4 Delta's. Go see who comes out on top.
"Make no mistake about it, this is the ultimate 92mm fan you can get. Rated at an astounding 126.48CFM, it also sounds like it.
Subject: Storage | March 23, 2005 - 02:31 AM | Mark McKee
Check out this review of Samsungs TS-H552B 16X DVD-R/RW over at Verum Media.
"As you can see from the selection above, Samsung has offered up a solid product package and software suite for the TS-H552B. This drive is quite cheap, ranging in the mid $60 range shipped. Anything offering high speed burning and a software suite at a price like that needs to be given a good look. Now that we've seen what Samsung offers with the TS-H552B, let's take a quick look some data and write times obtained in our tests.
Subject: Graphics Cards | March 22, 2005 - 12:07 AM | Ryan Shrout
I have a couple of GPU reviews here for you tonight.
First, PenStarSys has reviewed the Sapphire Radeon X800 XL. Though he over enthusiastically points out a $299 price point, the card is still a good performer.
Next, the gang at HotHardware are looking at a pair of cards from HIS: the X850 XT and the X800 XL.
Subject: Systems | March 22, 2005 - 12:02 AM | Ryan Shrout
Bringing the nForce4 chipset to the SFF market isn't a small feat, but Shuttle has managed just that with the new SN25P model of their XPC line.
I have to admit that I've become very fond of the SN25P after playing around with it for couple weeks. It really is an amazing little system packed full of features you would never expect, not to mention far more stable than older versions of the XPC. It appears that Shuttle has finally overcome the heat issues that have plagued SFF systems.
Subject: Motherboards | March 21, 2005 - 11:59 PM | Ryan Shrout
The DFI NF4 Ultra has been getting a lot of play recently, this time in the overclocking arena.
The DFI will run very stable at 300 x 8 using TCCD 512x2 @1T, achieving 300 x 9 with simple air-cooling credits to how well the BIOS, memory controller and the quality of this board to work in concert with each other. This board is simply splendid in reaching the best possible performance.
Subject: Processors | March 21, 2005 - 11:57 PM | Ryan Shrout
If you think you might want to change that old 478-pin motherboard over to a 479-pin Pentium M platform, then you may want to look at the Asus CT-479 that will do just that. This article does little more than give you a vague look at the product, but more a more complete look is coming soon here at PCP.
The CT-479 seen above actually has a quite a bit more to it than one might expect. Since the adapter will not allow a standard socket 478 heat sink to be used ASUS provides one with the kit.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 21, 2005 - 11:56 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
There's been a nice spread of case reviews over the past week, from silent to stormy and from fancy to frugal. A True Review looks at one right in the middle, the XPER X-Armor ATX Case. A nice inexpensive box, with good 120mm powered cooling and a 420W PSU.
"With all the mid-range cases on the market, it's hard to find one that has great airflow. We all know 120mm fans are the way to go, but they're reserved for higher priced cases, right? Wrong!
Subject: Systems | March 18, 2005 - 08:39 PM | Ryan Shrout
I just wanted to drop a note to everyone that I have updated the Hardware Leaderboard again to reflect some changes in the PC market. Enjoy!
There is a big change in the PC Perspective Hardware Leaderboard: in this edition, all three systems are using PCI Express motherboard and graphics cards. I have finally seen prices drop on the new platforms to a level where I feel they are ready for entry into every segment of the DIY market.
Subject: Graphics Cards | March 18, 2005 - 07:10 PM | Ryan Shrout
Definitely one of the lesser known GPU vendors, the Club 3D X800 XL PCIe card is being reviewed by the gang at Viperlair today.
I've not had a chance to look at a Club-3D product before; I've seen them in the shops occasionally along with other brands but for some reason I've not actually picked one up.
Subject: Motherboards | March 18, 2005 - 07:07 PM | Ryan Shrout
DFI really set the stage for tweakers and overclockers with this board and are now reaping the benefits of its hard work and research. As of today (March 18), fifteen of the top twenty systems in the 3DMark05 hall of fame use DFI SLI systems!
Subject: Graphics Cards | March 18, 2005 - 07:03 PM | Ryan Shrout
Scott Wasson of the Tech Report has a bit of an editorial on the price gouging on vendors and the new ATI video cards. It turns out, it may not completely be the vendors fault after all...
The moral of the story, it seems to me, is clear: ATI's second set of lower pricing numbers for the X800 and X800 XL was essentially incorrect. In reality, in the market, the 16-pipe Radeon X800 XL competes with the 16-pipe GeForce 6800 GT.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 18, 2005 - 11:45 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Not too much is happening on the watercooling front. However, that doesn't mean the quality of the products is declining, as Legit Reviews can show you with their look at Corsair's new COOL. Have a great friday!
"With the majority of today's processors becoming hotter water cooling is something that is becoming more mainstream. Corsair has been doing watercooling for years with the Hydrocool 200 and has decided to bring out a new product called the COOL to replace their old unit.
Subject: Motherboards | March 17, 2005 - 02:53 PM | Ryan Shrout
Geoff (that's pronounced "Jeff" for us Americans) of The Tech Report has posted his review of the Abit Fatal1ty AN8 motherboard today. In case you also want to read what I had to say about it, you can read my review as well.
In addition to OTES exhaust coolers, Abit also bundles an OTES RAMFlow memory cooler with the board.
Subject: General Tech | March 17, 2005 - 02:50 PM | Ryan Shrout
I saw this post on HardOCP about an article at Wired.com that discusses fab companies being able to use chips that fail stringent quality tests for other uses. Rather than quote the article, I am going to quote Steve of HardOCP's joke instead! :)
There is an idea circulating that maybe some of the chips that are tossed in the trash every year by big companies can be 'good enough' for other things.
Subject: Processors | March 17, 2005 - 02:47 PM | Ryan Shrout
If you have heard anything about the recent announcements of the PS3 and the development of something called a "cell processor", then you'll want to read Anandtech's article on the architecture. Anand finds out some damn detailed info on the new processing sytle, and what it might mean to you, very soon.
Cell's architecture is similar to the next version of Microsoft's Xbox and upcoming PC microprocessors in that it is heavily multithreaded.
SUNNYVALE, CALIF.-March 15, 2005- Keeping in line with St. Patrick's Day's lucky green color scheme, this week Seventeen Magazine is giving away a modded AMD processor-based Averatec notebook in its monthly sweepstakes offering. The custom-painted green notebook is profiled in Seventeen's Freebies sweepstakes found in the print and online March issue, reaching more than 2.9 million teenagers. The lucky winner of the Mobile AMD Athlon(tm) 64 processor-based Averatec notebook will be selected Sunday, March 20.
Subject: General Tech | March 16, 2005 - 09:56 PM | Joe White
SUNNYVALE, CALIF. - March 16, 2005 - AMD (NYSE: AMD) today announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded AMD's Cool'n'Quiet(tm) technology with an ENERGY STAR(r) Certificate of Recognition for advancing computer energy efficiency. All AMD Athlon(tm) 64 desktop processors have the innovative Cool'n'Quiet technology, a system-level feature that lowers the power consumption of a computer whenever maximum performance is not needed. AMD received the certificate on March 15 in conjunction with the 2005 ENERGY STAR Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C.
Subject: General Tech | March 16, 2005 - 09:52 PM | Joe White
SANTA CLARA, Calif., March 15, 2005 -- Intel Corporation today announced the 17 winners of its Supplier Continuous Quality Improvement (SCQI) Award for outstanding commitment to quality and performance excellence in 2004. The SCQI, the company's most prestigious award for suppliers, recognizes companies that provided products and services deemed essential to Intel's business success. This select group will be honored at a ceremony in Burlingame, Calif. on March 15.
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