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Subject: General Tech | February 6, 2009 - 12:13 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
When last we heard of Hercules, they were a partner of ATI, building their own take on the 9xxx series. They've not gone out of business, they merely refocused on other components such as the audio subsystem. Their Hercules XPS 2.1 50 speakers won't compete with 7.1 systems, but as far as other 2.1 speaker kits go Hercules has done an incredible job. The look is a far cry from the off white boxes that one would usually think of as
Subject: General Tech | February 6, 2009 - 11:49 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
The Better Business Bureau has been a longstanding proponent of consumer protection. Almost everyone has heard of them at one point or another and some people may have even used their complaint process, except perhaps for PC parts. NGOHQ was idly searching through the BBB website and happened to search for nVIDIA, who as it turns out is rated an "F". As you might think, the "F" rating implies some rather dirty pool being played on nVIDIA's part. Amuse yourse
Subject: Systems | February 5, 2009 - 06:13 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
By now you are likely used to system build recommendations on hardware review sites, like our own Hardware Leaderboard, with several suggested builds at various price points. bit-tech has put together a guide that is similar, with one significant difference, the three builds they recommend are all intended to be used as HTPCs. They range from a design meant to take up as little space as possible, to an affordable system to an HTPC that can handle gaming.
Subject: Processors | February 5, 2009 - 02:16 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
You still have some time to pick up the QX9650 and QX9770, but not much longer. Whether the discontinuation will help the sales of Intel's new Core i7 processors is something we won't know for a while, nor if we will see steep price cuts soon. Thanks to TG Daily for breaking the news to us gently.
Subject: Memory | February 5, 2009 - 02:08 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Fremont, CA, February 5th, 2009 - Corsair, a worldwide leader in high-performance computer and flash memory products, today announced the launch of the new Dominator GT line of ultra high-performance DDR3 memory modules for Intel Core i7-based systems.
Sporting a new racing red color scheme and the next-generation of Corsair's patent-pending Dual-path Heat eXchange (DHX) technology, the new Dominator GT comes in 3-up 6GB kit, running at 2000MHz with latencies of 7-8-7.
Subject: Storage | February 5, 2009 - 01:57 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
If you are looking for a way to hot swap SATA drives and provide both a cooling fan and a security lock, you could consider the Icy Dock MB671SK Internal SATA HDD Enclosure. For under $50 you can pick up this internal enclosure that will handle terabyte drives and
keep them nice and cool, with absolutely no read or write speed penalties. If you are a swapper, or you would just like to be you should
Subject: Graphics Cards | February 5, 2009 - 12:09 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
New from BFG is the GeForce GTX 285 OCX, a factory overclocked GTX285
with a core of 648MHz, the shader is 1.476GHz and GDDR3 of 2.484GHz. All the other specs remain the same, which may be why the only benefit [H]ard|OCP saw was a handfull of extra frames, but not much more. It is up to you whether the small gains they
Subject: Cases and Cooling | February 5, 2009 - 11:44 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
A company called Danger was picked up by Microsoft last year, sparking talk of a Zune phone and other speculations as people tried to figure out why Microsoft would purchase the company that made the Sidekick. Now it seems that not only is Microsoft working on the Sidekick 2.0, it will utilize NetBSD an open source OS. This move seems contrary to the basic philosophy that Microsoft has had since the inception of the OSS movement, though it certainly doesn't preclude Microsoft from closing the phone once the code has been developed.
Subject: Mobile | February 4, 2009 - 02:46 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
If you need a laptop that can handle media, but won't break your bank account, the Acer Extensa 5630G is worth a peek. The C2D T5800 @ 2GHz is nowhere near top of the line now, but certainly offers enough power to do what you would need and the ATI Radeon HD3470 will help ensure your graphical experience is not distressing. InsideHW did wish it had Bluetooth functionality, but
Subject: General Tech | February 4, 2009 - 12:33 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
While Gamepyre may not remember the name Jagged Alliance, the game had enough impact to give a sense of deja vu when confronted with Hired Guns - The Jagged Edge. For those that are familiar with that ageing series and the successful mods like Urban Chaos, Hired Guns offers an end to a very long wait for Strategy First to work on Jagged Alliance 3. If you have no idea what these games are, you may not be a fan of turn based tactical squad combat and are probably happy to see Fallout turn into an FPS. On the other hand, if you enjoy micromanaging a squad or sqauds into taking
Subject: General Tech | February 4, 2009 - 12:07 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
There is a handy little trick that Windows 7 beta testers have been using fairly reliably that makes beta testing the new OS a lot more interesting. If you are installing a driver for a system component and 7 presents you with compatibility errors, simply right click on the .exe file and choose "Troubleshoot Compatibility".
That brings up a wizard that you can go through to tell 7 to install the driver in Vista compatibility mode
and you are ready to go. You can see picture
Subject: Processors | February 3, 2009 - 05:13 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Legion Hardware wanted to see what effect the new processors have on the performance given by a GTX 295. The list of processors tested is quite long, covering Core i7 and newer Core2 processors from Intel as well as a pair of Phenom II and original flavour Phenoms on AMD's side. The newer processors can certainly feed data at a pace the GTX 295 can appreciate, but it would seem that there is a limit to what even that mighty GPU can handle.
Subject: General Tech | February 3, 2009 - 02:32 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Sometimes it is important to show off a little, and a nice monitor and mouse only go so far if you are using a nasty off-white keyboard. The Razer Lycosa Mirror will help solve that problem, it's shiny finish and backlighting will look at home paired with any gaming mouse and widescreen LCD. If you are the type that likes things to look good as well as sport a few extras
Subject: Cases and Cooling | February 3, 2009 - 01:49 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Last week Lee wrapped up his review of SilverStone's newest full sized enclosure, the Fortress FT01. A rather high end case and certainly targeted toward someone with a very hot system, as the pair of 180mm fans testify. Separate cooling areas
also display a certain type of enthusiast, who is willing to pay more in order to get the best. It picked up a Gold Award and you can see why in the full review.
Subject: Systems | February 3, 2009 - 12:17 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
nVIDIA's ION platform is here, or at least on Ryan's test bench. Roughly the same size as a well made sandwich, it is capable of some impressive feats like, DX10 gaming support, HD video decode acceleration, 7.1 channel HD audio support, Vista Premium support, 2560x1600 resolution, CUDA and PhysX. Read on to get the full ION experience, and see why Atom may be in deep trouble, especially for those enthusiasts willing to pay a little more for a lot more performance.
Subject: General Tech | February 3, 2009 - 12:03 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Bigfoot Networks was big news about a year ago with the release of their 2 Killer NIC cards, designed to provide superior online gaming by eliminating lag, as well as some other specific settings and options. While there was at least some benefit to using the cards, it was hard to justify spending $150 or so to see a tiny improvement to the NIC built into your motherboard. They have been busy, trying to get their cards into boutique system builds, like Alienware, but we haven't seen anything new from them. Th
Subject: Cases and Cooling | February 2, 2009 - 12:40 PM | Ryan Shrout
If you have been one of those people pleading for Microsoft to release Windows 7 sooner rather than later, you are in luck. Microsoft has announced that there will only be a single beta period for Windows 7 - the current one we are already in! After that we will get only a single release candidate and then it will be release to manufacturer.
So to summarize briefly:
Subject: Mobile | February 2, 2009 - 12:14 PM | Ryan Shrout
Sooo.....this is interesting news from ASUS with an interesting way of spreading it. ASUS sent out a press release today that the 1000HE is going to be the first netbook to offer the Intel Atom N280 and promises up to 9.5 hours of battery life.
What's more interesting to me? Rather than providing a link to the ASUS.com page for more information and pre-order locations, instead they are pointing us all to a Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=6297967631