Bargain shopping

Subject: Systems | April 15, 2009 - 02:50 PM |
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The Tech Report has been keeping a close eye on the falling prices in the electronics industry and has capitalized on those savings by updating their system recommendations.   Sure, their Double Stuff system is $2,628.90 in total, but you get a pair of GTX275's and an X-25 M SDD among others.  The Sweet Spot sits at about half that price, but their Econobox runs a hair over $500.  Check out their specs here.

It would be a Twinkie thirty-five feet long, weighing approximately six hundred pounds

Subject: General Tech | April 15, 2009 - 12:15 PM |
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If you are looking for a little ghost busting action you have only a few more months to wait.  DriverHeaven tried the current version of the game, which has most of the code finished and it looks like it is on track for a June release.  The original actors and writers were involved in the long, drawn out and sluggish production of this game, which rivals Duke Nukem for development length and convoluted history.  Fans of the movies will love the nostalgia from the franchise while newcomers wi

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Tick, tock, thunk

Subject: General Tech | April 15, 2009 - 11:44 AM |
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Intel's profits have plummeted by about 1/2 in value, but did manage to beat market expectations by a wide margin.  Experts predicted a $0.03 per share in earnings, Intel managed to hit $0.11 per share.  That number might be awful in a normal year, but at this particular time it places them very highly in the market.  The Atom processor that was heralded as the savour of Intel had sales drop by about 1/4, so it seems that it may not be enough to pull Intel through the downturn unscathed. 

Source: Ars Technica

Get a serious upgrade for low money

Subject: Graphics Cards | April 14, 2009 - 06:15 PM |
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If you can find it for sale, the SilenX IXG-80HA2 VGA cooler with the optional fan kit can give you a significant boost in performance or a reduction in noise.  Made to fit almost any of the new cards from AMD and nVIDIA, in Think Computers testing it at full speed allowed them to increase clock speeds by over 30% and still kept the temperatures below the stock cooler at factory speeds.  For those who are simply sick of hearing the noise generated by their HD4870 or other card, the low and medium settings on this cooler enables silent running, while still keeping the temperatures bel

A little bundle of joy

Subject: General Tech | April 14, 2009 - 01:51 PM |
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For just $60 you can get your hands on Tom Clancy's new HAWX as well as a Thrustmaster T-Flight Hotas X.  Flight sims are on the decline, so the joystick market has changed a bit.  What was once a diverse market with a huge amount of choice and price ranges has evolved into a market with really nasty low end joysticks or expensive metallic works of art that can run you hundreds of dollars.  The middle ground is very sparse. 

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Stop me if you've heard this one

Subject: Storage | April 14, 2009 - 12:07 PM |
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Back in February, Allyn was writing his first review for PC Perspective, a review of the new Intel X-25 M SSDs.  As he tested their various speeds, he began noticing some odd behaviour from the shiny new SSDs.  At the start of the testing the drives were incredibly fast, but over time the performance degraded significantly.

Talking with the asset part of 'Asset Smart'

Subject: General Tech | April 14, 2009 - 11:39 AM |
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X-bit Labs had a chance to sit down and talk with Tom Sonderman, Vice President, Manufacturing Systems and Technology at Globalfoundries.  As comes naturally to a VP at a relatively new company, there is a bit of market speak and spiel in the interview, but it also touches on the 32nm process that the Fab in Dresden is currently producing.  Read what else they touched on in the full interview.

Source: X-Bit Labs

Four ways to an AM3

Subject: Motherboards | April 13, 2009 - 05:12 PM |
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The Asus M4A78T-E, Gigabyte's GA-MA790FXT-UD5P, a Jetway HA08 and MSI's 790FX-GD70 are all compared in a big motherboar

You can teach an old notebook new tricks

Subject: Mobile | April 13, 2009 - 04:37 PM |
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I4U decided that an aging Thinkpad X40 could use an upgrade to an SSD for both the performance enhancements and the noise reduction it would bring.  Specifically, they picked a KingSpec SSD which will supposedly just drop in and work.  It's a 1.8" MLC SSD that claims average access times of

0.2ms, sustained read

of 65MB/S

and write

at 47MB/S.  While i4U didn't get around to benchmarking the drive, they did prove just how easy it is to get a lot more from your X40, X41 or X41T.

Source: I4U News

A chill way to use phase change cooling

Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 13, 2009 - 04:03 PM |
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When you think of setting up an active phase change cooling system, you tend to be planning to get a big overclock on an high end gaming system.  [H]ard||OCP is going at it in a different way, using a Thermaltake Xaser VI case in conjunction with a Xpressar Refrigeration System to create a very quiet running system with a mild overclock.  As it turns out, while that is certainly a possibility, the Xpressar is powerful enough to handle a big overclock by

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Peeking at the new Lenovo mobile products

Subject: General Tech | April 13, 2009 - 03:43 PM |
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Hardware Zone got a peek at Intel's new notebooks and desktop system at CES.  The two Ideapads will use C2D processors and DDR3, with the larger Y650 using the Intel GMA X4500MHD GPU to power its 16" screen, the smaller 14" Y450 uses both a GeForce GT series GPU and an integrated Intel GMA X4500 GPU.  Also on display was the IdeaCentre A600 All-In-One Desktop PC, which will house a C2D T6600 and up to 4GB of DDR3 in a 21.5-inch "frameless" screen/casing.  It will also sport a BluRay pl

PC Perspective on TWiT Live: Episode 20

Subject: Editorial | April 11, 2009 - 11:36 AM |
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If you missed my weekly show on TWiT Live (http://live.twit.tv/)
with
Leo Laporte yesterday, we have the entirety of the show now
available for you here.  In this episode we discussed the AMD Radeon HD 4890 and GeForce GTX 275, the ION-based Acer AspireRevo, AMD's Fusion Media Explorer, the netbook market hurting Intel's notebook market, SSD goodies and a bit more!

First Look at Larrabee Wafer

Subject: Graphics Cards | April 10, 2009 - 06:23 PM |
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Hardware FR attended Intel's IDF in China this year and they came away with the first photographic evidence of the existence of a finished Larrabee processor.  Near the end of their article, they have a picture of Pat Gelsinger hoisting up a 12 inch (300 mm) wafer full of supposed Larrabee dies.  While the picture is somewhat grainy, we can see that each individual die is very large.  Hardware FR believes that each individual die is around 600 mm square.  After squinting at the picture I count

UW PC Gamers LANFest Change of Venue

Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 10, 2009 - 04:51 PM |
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Unfortunately renting out the ice rink in Laramie was a bust, so they are moving the LANFest to the brand new Hilton Garden Inn and Conference Center.  This is located at 2229 Grand Avenue in Laramie, and should be a bit of an upgrade from the ice rink.  Apparently power issues and dealing with the City of Laramie made this a no-go at the last minute.


Not exactly the best branding

Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 9, 2009 - 03:06 PM |
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Sapphire, one of the biggest and oldest ATI partners is branching out into new and unexpected areas.  They've just announced the Sapphire FirePSU 625W, a fancy looking, if poorly named PSU.  The voltage supplied is relatively stable, the noise it produces is very reasonable and there is even a nice LED light behind the fan.  The only thing Elite Bastards didn't find out about the PSU is it's pricing and availability.

Stepping around old obstacles

Subject: Processors | April 9, 2009 - 01:17 PM |
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The Core i7 920 CPU has a new stepping, D0, and it promises to annihilate the old overclocking records.  AnandTech has put up a preview of it's performance and it is an impressive change from the previous C0 stepping CPUs.  They hit 4.309 GHz with memory running at 2052 @ 7-8-7-20 1T, and they did it with noticeably lower
power requirements.  Check out just how much lower they were here.

Source: AnandTech

It's a bird ... it's a plane ... it's SuperPipe!!!

Subject: Graphics Cards | April 9, 2009 - 11:55 AM |
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As you can tell someone is a doctor if they have the right letters after their last name, you can tell a graphics card is not a reference model if it has a posse from Alphabet Street following it around.  For instance, the MSI N285GTX SuperPipe OC does not run at spec, but then again, it doesn't beat stock speeds by much.  The GPU is 680MHz, 32MHz higher than stock, while the memory is 2.5GHz having been pushed up half as much as the GPU, a whole 16MHz.  They didn't even touch the shader clock.  [H]ard|OCP was able to push the card beyond that point and the cooling solution

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Is it OK to stop panicking now?

Subject: General Tech | April 9, 2009 - 11:32 AM |
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The Conficker worm has finally managed to something more than make people snicker at it's name; it's using P2P to transfer encrypted files.  The  chances are very good that it is doing so to update its self via the bot net it created.  As far as the infection goes, if you somehow managed to catch it and not get rid of it, then you have a keylogger or something similar on your system.  After May 3rd, the worm will go dormant and stop spreading, but infected machines will remain a problem. 

Source: The Inquirer

Highlights of the ATI Catalyst 9.4 Windows release

Subject: Graphics Cards | April 8, 2009 - 03:20 PM |
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New Features

  • ATI Catalyst 9.4 - New ATI OverDrive auto-tuning application
  • ATI Catalyst 9.4 includes a new ATI Overdrive auto-tune application to estimate the over-clocked engine and memory values for ATI Overdrive supported ATI Radeon Graphics accelerators
  • Designed for the ATI Radeon HD 4000 Series

Resolved Issue Highlights

Source: AMD

It's a mixed platter of results

Subject: Storage | April 8, 2009 - 02:52 PM |
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The new Seagate Barracuda 7200.12s have a few advantages over the previous generation.  There is no bad firmware to give this generation a bad name, as well they have made a move to 500GB platters for this generation.  Bjorn3D's testing showed that the move did not result in a clear improvement; speed for burst and read seems to have decreased, while the write speed has increased.  On the other hand, once in a RAID environment the drives showed improvements from the previous generation, in addition to needing

Source: Bjorn3D