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Subject: Mobile | October 27, 2008 - 06:25 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
You have seen Smooth Creations incredible paint jobs before, they created the system we gave away for Memorial Day. They have branched out from full sized systems to include netbooks, which gives you a chance to show off a incredible paint job without having to cart around over 10lbs worth of PC. TECHGAGE did find the WiFi to be a little under-par, and wanted a little more power under the hood for the price, but no one can argue that you have to pay a
Subject: Systems | October 27, 2008 - 02:28 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
AVADirect is a custom system builder that uses a lot of the tricks you find in boutique systems, without the insane prices. The system that Ryan tried has a C2Quad Q9450 pumped up to 3.40 GHz and 4GB OCZ Platinum EB Edition PC3-12800, giving you some serious power. The 9800GTX+ is a little odd to include; it is still a solid card but will have great difficulties keeping up with the speed of the CPU and RAM. At $2450 it is has rather impressive stats and you can always customize your build to beef up the graphics subsystem.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | October 27, 2008 - 01:16 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
If you are looking for a case that will give you enormous amounts of space and some heavy duty cooling, you should at least consider the Tagan Monolize-CS. It does lack some of the features high end cases offer, but as it costs 1/2 as much, you can't really be too surprised. It does offer a lot of space in the interior, tool-less drive cages and a pair of 250mm fans on it's side panel.
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 27, 2008 - 11:58 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
If you fire up GPU-Z and have only 560 shader processors as opposed to the 640 that are on the card then you have a card with a pre-production BIOS. There is good news, it looks like only reviewers have ended up with these cards, they are not likely to have made it into the channel, though it is possible some slipped through. As well, you can take hearst in the fact that this is a BIOS issue only. The processors are there, they are just going unused and a simple BIOS flash can fix that. AnandTech did some testing and you can see the difference in performance,
Subject: General Tech | October 27, 2008 - 11:44 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
If you haven't already given up on it completely, there are four tweaks at ExtremeTech that will help make your Vista machine a little more friendly. Some, like the tweak that allows you to switch application icons are of limited use, others that let you affect the templates used in Windows Explorer so that spreadsheets do not come up as a thumbnail preview are a little more useful. Check them out.
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
Subject: General Tech | October 24, 2008 - 05:36 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
What are perceived as random problems
are often easily diagnosable and repeatable errors, assuming you have the right tools and/or experience to identify them. You can do it the hard way, and after years of seeing dying PSUs, faulty memory, conductive crud, spyware, adware and viruses you may be able to identify problems as they occur. Instead you could take the easier and less traumatizing approach, and use a program like Process Explorer which will give you a way to identify the likely suspects interru
Subject: General Tech | October 24, 2008 - 02:36 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
The recently reviewed NuForce Icon-1 Amplifier and S-1 Speakers take a different approach than many other PC sound systems, a fact that did not escape TECHGAGE. Instead of loading the system with umpteen billion virtual channels and the ability to hear someone playing an FPS game from the next block, they simplified their entire system and focused on quality. If your ears are offended by the loud and distorted sounds coming out of your current speakers, maybe this amp and speaker combo
Subject: Motherboards | October 24, 2008 - 01:54 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
The X58 chipset is a great example of how not to do a product release. We have been seeing plenty of boards that use the new chipset, but we have yet to see a benchmark, for the i7 processor line is still under NDA. Overclock3D has that exact problem with their review of the ASUS Rampage II Extreme. You can read all about the various features available on the motherboard, but you won't see any performance numbers.
Subject: Processors | October 24, 2008 - 12:39 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
To kill time waiting for the Corei7 to appear on the market, and likely die in droves as people over-volt them, X-bit Labs is revisiting the current batch of quad core processors. The ageing Q6600 competes against the newer
Subject: General Tech | October 24, 2008 - 11:56 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
A butterfly hatching out of a barnacle is probably not a good sign, nor a familiar cityscape arising from the sands of the beach. The grown up Little Sister still bearing a homemade Big Daddy doll hints that whichever ending you chose in the original; there was something that you missed. Check the HD teaser over at Cult of Rapture; it's not a trailer, it's a teaser, so don't be too frustrated when you don't have any of your theories proved or disproved.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | October 23, 2008 - 05:41 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
The branding "No Rules Power" on the Xigmatek NRP-MC851 850w Power Supply
might make some people nervous, there are a lot of rules that need to be followed if you want to make a PSU that is even slightly reliable. [H]ard|OCP was quick to point that out and unfortunately it was a harbinger of bad news to come. The build is solid, the capacitors used are high quality, as is the technology behind the unit, so it should be a shoe in. That turned out not to be the case.
Subject: Memory | October 23, 2008 - 02:49 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Crucial's new Ballistix Tracer DIMMS are DDR3-1333 with a CAS Latency of 6 and timings of 6-6-6-20. It runs at 1.8v, not low enough for a Corei7 system, but lower than many DDR3 kits available. You won't even need to pump the voltage up too high when overclocking, Think Computers hit DDR3-1818 8-8-8-24 and they only had to raise the DIMMs to 1.84v. You c
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 23, 2008 - 01:53 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
For a limited time, and while supplies last only, customers who buy ANY BFG GeForce GTX 200 Series graphics card October 22, 2008 or later, will get
- a free full copy of Far Cry 2 (DVD) a $50 value.
- a free full copy of 3DMark Vantage Advanced Edition (online download; BFG will supply Serial Number) a $20 value
- a BFG branded mini super bright LED torch (priceless!).
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 23, 2008 - 12:33 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
We are going to need a new way to rate low end graphics cards. There are so many really good choices out there that best price for performance is rather difficult to decide. Do you go for the high end HD4830 at about $150, or a low end HD4850 for a few dollars more, or do you want a heavily overclocked 9800GT, again about $150? Do you get cheaper but buy two, or get the fastest single card you can? Are you willing to pay $17.50 for an extra hundred GFLOPS, or only $7.38?
Subject: General Tech | October 23, 2008 - 12:10 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
nVIDIA is flat out denying that they will be dumping all but six of their resellers, at least when asked by The Inquirer. That isn't really going to change ECS and the other companies bottom line much however. nVIDIA cards are sitting on store shelves, but are not being purchased. Their high end cards are faster, but also more expensive than AMD's offerings and the huge glut of sub-$200 and even sub-$100 cards available means that their market share is falling there
Subject: General Tech | October 23, 2008 - 11:44 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Journey deep into a war-torn African state to complete an impossible mission: to find the Jackal. Armed only with a copy of Far Cry 2 and an XFX GeForce 9 Series graphics card, you emerge victorious. Don't you just love a happy ending? We do.
Engineered to generate a mind-blowing gaming experience, XFX GeForce 9 Series graphics cards offer such industry-leading features as PhysX, Cuda, PureVideo and Hybrid Power technology. XFX's 9 Series cards deliver the highest data transfer speeds that generate a more realistic game experience.
Subject: Systems | October 22, 2008 - 06:13 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Snbeamtech's UFO case will give you a very unique looking system, the clear acrylic lets people see every component you chose in clear detail. They've expanded their lineup with an HTPC model, keeping the clear acrylic but reducing the size to fit in with stereo components. Four 80mm fans keep the air moving and your components cool, though you should not expect too much, the acrylic sides do not radiate any heat as metal would. See right through it in the review on Hardware Secrets.
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 22, 2008 - 02:46 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
The early beta of nVIDIA's 180 series of drivers, which bear the name Big Bang II have arrived just in time for FarCry2. The major improvements come in the form of changes to multi-monitor support, a topic dear to Ryan's heart. There are also claims of significant performance increases, and as Ryan is Steaming through the download of FarCry2, you should keep your eyes open for a sneak peek at performance. You can also bet the game will make it into the benchmarking section of future graphics cards.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | October 22, 2008 - 01:43 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
NZXT's Hush is a mid-sized tower with a fair bit of cooling ability and some serious noise reduction features. That made it a good case for those able to fit their systems into a mid-tower, but leaves those looking for the extra space provided by a full tower. Enter the Whisper, a full tower E-ATX version with the sam
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 22, 2008 - 12:54 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
All BFG graphics cards on the BFG Store are at least 10%
off, and all BFG power supplies (including Scratch and Dent!) are 30% off!
On top of the instant savings, there is an additional $20
off via mail in rebate on the GTX 280 OC, GTX 260 OC MAXCORE, and
the GTX 260 OC - so be sure to view the product page to download the