Power to the people's USB devices

Subject: General Tech | December 9, 2009 - 12:11 PM |

MAKE:Blog calls upon you to modernize your power outlets with a nice USB device recharging plug.  Why keep a variety of adaptors that plug into a plain old wall wart when you can either order or build USB plugs directly into a power outlet?  Drop by for a link to the company that will soon be selling them or head to the Instructable on how to build your own.  Be careful; make sure you don't end up extra crispy.

Source: MAKE: Blog

NVIDIA demos 3D Blu-ray running on GeForce and 3D Vision

Subject: Graphics Cards | December 9, 2009 - 12:00 PM |

3D technology continues to gain ground with mainstream TVs being released this winter with support for the up and coming visual enhancement.  One of the most exciting things coming for the world of 3D is the introduction of 3D Blu-ray movies coming later this year.  I definitely expect a lot of noise to be made at January's Consumer Electronics Show about it.

Source: 3DCenter

Give some sugar this Holiday!

Subject: Mobile | December 9, 2009 - 11:10 AM |

Sugar Labs, the makers of the Sugar OS for the OLPC project, has released their OS bootable from a USB drive - or "Sugar on a Stick". The real potential of this is the ability to load a fool-proof OS onto a system without having to create an alternative boot partition.

Power is not everything

Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 8, 2009 - 06:20 PM |

At 1200W the Topower Tiger is certainly at the top of the charts when it comes to the amount of power it can deliver a system, but unfortunately that is not enough to make it a great power supply.  The XLR style modular cabling is a very unique and handy feature, as are the included ties but the key is the quality of power that the PSU delivers.  In this case the performance was quite good, delivering solid power without much in the way of a ripple.  As to the question of its efficiency, Overclocker

Cryo makes cool systems

Subject: Systems | December 8, 2009 - 02:59 PM |

Cryo is a UK based custom computer shop with some good taste in components and a willingness to overclock.  Their Cryo Quad is housed in a Lian Li PC7-YCF case and features a Core i5 50 CPU running 4GHz kept cool by a Corsair H50 cooler as well as 4GB of Corsair GT PC3-12800 and a BFG GTX295.  Join Elite Bastards as they benchmark every piece of this system.

Positioning the lowly sound card

Subject: General Tech | December 8, 2009 - 01:55 PM |

Sound cards have quickly gone from an absolute necessity to an afterthought for most PC enthusiasts thanks to the huge jump in quality from onboard sound.  Some of the motherboards today come with HD 7.1 sound built in, an numerous ways of outputting that signal.  This means sound cards have also had to grow, offering more than just the benefit of offloading the processing from the CPU.  The Creative X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Profe

Can Ions and Atoms keep up with Flash?

Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 8, 2009 - 12:46 PM |

The new beta 10.1 Flash player, in conjunction with new Windows drivers for AMD, nVIDIA or Intel graphics, finally pulls the workload off of the CPU and onto the GPU where it belongs.  As of yet this is not true for Linux, a bit of a shame as the biggest changes will be seen on the netbooks, not all of which happen to be running a Microsoft product.  If you do happen to have a netbook running Windows, then the new Flash player is probably a big hit with you.  The Tech Report takes a look at the differences you can

Dell Vostro V13 Announced

Subject: Mobile | December 8, 2009 - 12:08 PM |

It almost seemed like a fact of life: if you wanted a corporate laptop you’d have to settle for ugly and boring. Ironically, laptops have become a kind of status symbol – so what does your laptop say about your company? Today, Dell is announcing the new Vostro V13 laptop aimed squarely at the small-medium business segment.

Source: Dell

A Panzer with removable parts

Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 7, 2009 - 06:27 PM |

The newest case off of Steve's test bench is the NZXT Panzerbox, $100 of quality aluminium casing. 
Two 190mm fans offer air cooling but it also has holes for a water cooling setup if that is what you prefer.  He does leave you with a warning about the spacing on the PCIe slots, it is better to install the cards after the motherboard is happily installed in the case.

Pown your phone

Subject: Mobile | December 7, 2009 - 03:50 PM |

The Nokia N900 is not your average cell phone, for one thing it is running Maemo 5, a flavour of Debian and it has a prominent X Terminal
icon that gives you access to a fully functional command line.  The apps are not only developed by you, the people of Nokia are working on programs for kite aerial photography, an Etch-A-Sketch, light graffiti, a wearable compass, and skateboarding.

Source: Extremetech

PCPer PSA: Protect yourself and your laptop this season

Subject: Mobile | December 7, 2009 - 02:30 PM |

Not exactly your typical tech news, but one that's important to highlight. On December 4th, a man in Manchester was shot and killed for his laptop and cash.
This story is tragic and could happen to anyone given the current economic climate and the holiday season - you can bet crooks will be out looking for an easy mark.

Vapor-X, not vapor ware

Subject: Graphics Cards | December 7, 2009 - 02:07 PM |

As far as the factory overclock goes, the Sapphire Radeon HD 5750 Vapor-X isn't really impressive; 710MHz/1160MHz versus the reference 700MHz/1150MHz
and costing an extra $20 or so.  That isn't the real trick with this card, the Vapor-X moniker signifies a special cooler on the card, one that keeps your temperatures about 11C lower, according to the testing done at L

The joy and despair of early adoption, SuperSpeed edition

Subject: Storage | December 7, 2009 - 12:29 PM |

After 9 years of ruling the removable roost, USB 2.0 is on its way out and 3.0 is arriving to select hardware near you.  The Tech Report tried it out, utilizing the same ASUS U3S6 USB 3.0 add-in card that Ryan did, as well as the same HDD enclosure and Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB drive.  With the similar setup we see similar results, the Barracuda may be one of the fastest platter based drives on the market but it cannot hit the maximum speed that USB 3.0 offers. 

Google as an ISP alternative

Subject: General Tech | December 7, 2009 - 12:11 PM |

There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes at ISPs for them to be able to deliver the internet to you.  From bandwidth monitoring to quality assurance; the list is quite long but the current focus of Google has narrowed to DNS resolution.  If you are unfamiliar with domain name resolution, a simple way to describe it is that it is the service that changes Google.com to, or whichever IP address of the server you are trying to hit currently resolves to.  The speeds of that translation can vary significantly from ISP to ISP, so Google has created a public DNS that

Source: Slashdot

Lord Grey's Cup was handed out for the first time, 90 years ago

Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 4, 2009 - 06:44 PM |

Ryan has a new system, as his own rig was falling far behind his testbed and it is time for an upgrade.  He recorded his system build so that PC Perspective members who want can follow along to see his component choices and the actual steps he took to go from boxed components to a working PC. 

For the silicon voyeur

Subject: Processors | December 4, 2009 - 02:08 PM |

If you would like a peek at what AMD and Intel will be offering you over the coming year then head to ExtremeTech for a look at the newest roadmaps.   As you must expect from a roadmap, the large terrain is shown, but the finer details are missing.  Performance is still up in the air as is the exact time that supplies will be hitting the stores, but this is about looking ahead at what you can expect for mobile, server and desktops.  There are a lot of model names and features to familiar

Source: Extremetech

Ready for 16TB SDXC cards? Intel has you covered, even if you're not!

Subject: Mobile | December 4, 2009 - 02:00 PM |

With mobile devices gaining downloadable content, full-HD video recording, and digital cameras crossing the 20 MP mark, it's no wonder that once massive 16GB SDHC card suddenly feels inadequate. Thankfully Intel has you covered in the upcoming Arrandale mobile chipset which will support the new SDXC standard. SDXC has a whopping 16TB capacity (on paper), but at 300 MB/s you will be waiting a long time to transfer a high capacity card. I suspect we'll see a new standard before this maximum is reached.

Source: Daily Tech

Variations on a theme

Subject: Motherboards | December 4, 2009 - 12:56 PM |

The P55 chipset really doesn't have to do a lot.  The Lynnfield processor controls the PCIe and the memory, two chores that used to be the responsibility of the motherboard chipset.  That responsibility was the key to the diversity of the motherboard market in previous generations.  Now it is about the number of features that can be placed on the board, or the lowest price the board can be sold for. 

Stop hogging my side of the bandwidth

Subject: General Tech | December 4, 2009 - 12:26 PM |

Ars Technica links to an analyst's blog about the mythical status of the bandwidth hog.  Benoit Felten proposes that most ISPs simply measure the total amount of data downloaded per user and then list the top 5 percent as bandwidth hogs, not even checking if the traffic might not have been torrents or if the activity only took place during low usage times.  There seems no reason to be polite about your downloading, it is simply the sum total you download that

Source: Ars Technica

Thermaltake Level 10 Chassis finally available...for $849!!

Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 4, 2009 - 03:23 AM |

You might remember the Thermaltake Level 10 case from my post back in June of this year - a collaboration between case giant and automobile designers at BMW. 
Well, good news: the case is finally available for those interested in picking one up!
Be prepared for the price though: Newegg is selling the case for $849!!!!