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Archives > 2008 > Mar
Monday, March 31, 2008
US Modular Cold Fusion DDR2-800 2x1GB Memory Kit Reviewed @ TheTechLounge
"US Modular's enthusiast parts are all recent additions to their portfolio. In fact, the Cold Fusion RAM is their first big, branded push into the profitable arena, and it's kicking off with the DDR2 reviewed here. While they're mostly known for their portable hard drives and USB flash drives, US Modular has been making system memory in California long enough to know how to bin the good stuff and slap some swanky blue heatspreaders on it. Of course, in order to make a name for themselves, this memory will have to fly. Does Cold Fusion have what it takes to stir up the ranks?"

More information can be found here.
ECS GF7100PVT-M GeForce 7100 mATX Motherboard Review @ Bigbruin.com
"The ECS GF7100PVT-M GeForce 7100 mATX motherboard provides the necessary features to handle the basic demands of an HTPC in a package that won't break the bank. While it does lack in some areas, it does include integrated video capable of VGA, DVI, or HDMI output, HD audio, and four SATA headers capable of a variety of RAID configurations."

More information can be found here.
OCZ Rally 2 Turbo 4GB
"OCZ Technology has certainly had an impressive array of USB flash drives over the past few years, but they haven't stopped there. OCZ is continuing to revise their flash drive series and their most recently example of that is the Rally 2 Turbo. We found the original OCZ Rally to be fast, but the Rally 2 Turbo claims to take data transferring to incredible new heights with its latest dual-channel technology offering up to 35MB/s reads and 30MB/s writes. Like the original Rally, the Rally 2 Turbo is encased inside an aluminum chassis and comes with a lifetime warranty."

More information can be found here.
Skullcandy Full Metal Jacket Headset for iPhone and Curve
"Straight out of the box, you can see Skullcandy Full Metal Jacket Headsets are not just “plain Jane” headphones. They look very funky with their aluminum foil looking, coiled metal cable and cool skull logo on the side. Besides a nice little carrying case, the iPhone FMJ also comes with 3 sets of ear tips for a custom fit to your ear. After using the FMJs for a few weeks now, I am actually convinced that the COMPLY foam tips that Skillcandy includes are some of the best I’ve used in an earbud..."

More information can be found here.
HP Pavilion Elite m9200t PC Review @ Digital Trends
"HP's m-series computers are designed for mainstream home users with rigorous multimedia demands, such as watching HD movies, recording TV, and maybe even some light gaming. HP calls the m9200t an"

More information can be found here.
Friday, March 28, 2008
JVC Everio GZ-HD6 Review @ Digital Trends
"The next generation of hard drive camcorders are here with the JVC GZ-HD6 which records in glorious 1080p."

More information can be found here.
Arctic Cooling Accelero Xtreme 8800 Cooler @ techPowerUp
"Arctic Cooling Accelero Xtreme is the name of their newest graphics card cooler for GeForce 8800 cards. The Xtreme is also available in a version that supports ATI HD 2900 cards. The cooler uses 107 aluminum fins with three 80 mm PWM controlled fans to blow air over a large amount of fins for maximum heat dissipation."

More information can be found here.
I4U: XFX 9600 GT Alpha Dog XXX Video Card Review
"Today we are looking at the just released XFX 9600 GT Alpha Dog XXX. This video card has the highest overclocks you can get your hands on and comes bundled with one of the best games on the market. There is a lot to like with the XFX 9600 GT ALPHA DOG XXX. The card retails for $169 and includes one of the best games on the market right now. Call of Duty 4 still sells for around $50 in most stores. The card also performs well. The only complaint I had is that the new fan used on the card is louder than the fan on the stock clocked cards."

More information can be found here.
NVIDIA Quadro NVS 140M
"Earlier this month we took a look at the NVIDIA Quadro FX1700, which is one of NVIDIA's mid-range workstation graphics cards that boasts 512MB of video memory, support for CUDA (Compute Unified Device Architecture), OpenGL 2.1, and the power consumption for this PCI Express graphics card is less than 50 Watts. In the tests that followed, the FX1700 had performed quite well at the workstation-oriented SPECViewPerf benchmark and we had compared its Ubuntu Linux performance to Solaris Express and Microsoft Windows Vista. The NVIDIA Linux driver with the FX1700 had the best performance and it ended up being a nice graphics card for around $500 USD. Today we are looking at the NVIDIA Linux workstation performance once again but this time it's on the mobile front with the Quadro NVS 140M, which can be found in a number of business notebooks including the Lenovo ThinkPad T61."

More information can be found here.
Palit GeForce 8800 GTS 1GB Sonic SLI Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
"At the heart of our Palit GeForce 8800 GTS 1GB Sonic graphics card is the G92 core clocked at 730 MHz which is a generous step up from the 650MHz that comes on most GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB cards. Not only does our card have double the memory, it’s clocked higher than the standard 512MB cards as well, coming in at 2100MHz versus 1940MHz for the standard card. After a bit of testing different speeds we overclocked our cards up to 760MHz core, and 2250MHz memory clock frequencies. While this isn’t a huge increase it is still an impressive 30MHz core and 150MHz memory increase over an already substantial overclock..."

More information can be found here.
Lian-Li A71 @ NordicHardware
"Lian-Li cases are synonymous with tasteful design, quality construction, and performance options. For those who may not be familiar with their products, they are sold by select retailers, and command premium prices. Quality comes with a price, to be sure."

More information can be found here.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Patriot Viper Series 2GB PC3-12800 DDR3 Memory Kit Review @ Bigbruin.com
"Configuring the Patriot Viper Series 2GB PC3-12800 DDR3 memory kit was extremely easy, which made getting up and running at over 1600MHz and 7-7-7-18 timings even more enjoyable. It usually takes some tweaking to get the test system stable at such elevated frequencies, but this kit was pretty much plug and play."

More information can be found here.
I4U: NVIDIA 9800 GX2 Quad SLI Review
"Today we are looking at a pair of NVIDIA’s new 9800 GX2 graphics cards in quad SLI mode. Running together you have a pair of the fastest graphics cards around. In all whether or not quad SLI would benefit you depends on what you want to do. If Crysis is your game, then Quad SLI is just what you need to get playable frame rates at very high settings. However if benchmarks are what you want to run Quad SLI might not be for you."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: Gigabyte iSolo 210 chassis
"There's basically two ways to look at the iSolo 210 and it depends if you're a glass half full, glass half empty or an"

More information can be found here.
Intel Core 2 Duo T9300 "Mobile Penryn"
"For a year now Intel has been flaunting its 45nm"

More information can be found here.
Gigabyte AirCruiser N300 802.11n
"We have looked at many Gigabyte motherboards and graphics cards at Phoronix, but this computing company also maintains products in the mobile and communication sectors with such products as Bluetooth adapters, VoIP devices, Ultra Mobile PCs, wireless routers, and 802.11b/g/n wireless modules. Today we are checking out our first Gigabyte wireless product as we review the AirCruiser N300, which is a MiniPCI 802.11n (draft) wireless adapter. This wireless adapter uses the Ralink RT2860 chipset, and in this review we'll tell you how to setup this wireless card using ndiswrapper on Ubuntu 8.04."

More information can be found here.
Interview with Alex 'Unwinder' / RivaTuner @ techPowerUp
"The VGA Tweaking Utility RivaTuner has changed a lot over the years, and so has its creator. TPU talks with 'Unwinder' about software development and the role he played in starting the softmod community."

More information can be found here.
Exclusive: ASUS 3850 Trinity specifications, benchmarks @ NordicHardware
"Sooner than expected, we've been served some more information about the prototype triple-core card from ASUS. Radeon HD 3850 Trinity will sport three RV670 cores, all on  separate MXM modules. Last we reported we did not know the exact specifications of the card, but those have been unveiled today. "

More information can be found here.
ASUS Eee PC Review @ Digital Trends
"The tiny Asus Eee PC uses a 4 or 8GB solid state hard drive and fits in the palm of your hand."

More information can be found here.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Antec Mini P180 mATX Case review in Metku.net
"The original P180 case was launched already three years ago and has since been replaced by a new and improved P182 model. The P1-series also includes the P190, which is a larger case including same design features as the P180, but it also offers room for EATX-motherboards and dual power supplies. Now the performance 1 series also includes a long awaited mATX-case - say hello to the P180 Mini!"

More information can be found here.
I4U: Cooler Master Aquagate Max Review
"Today we are checking out one of the first NVIDIA ESA certified liquid cooling systems on the market. The system is called the Cooler Master Aquagate Max. The only really bad part about this system is that Cooler Master uses simple screw on compression fittings. That means if you ever need to remove the system to change cases you will have to drain the fluid. A few bucks worth of quick connect fittings like Corsair uses in its Nautilus system would have made the Cooler Master Aquagate Max much more user friendly in that respect."

More information can be found here.
Thermaltake Bigwater 760i Water Cooler Review @ Legit Reviews
"For my first venture into water I learned a lot, and the main thing is that it’s not nearly as hard or complicated as I thought. That may be due to the Thermaltake Bigwater 760i kit, but either way the whole process was very easy. It took all of 30 minutes to do the pre-install and fill the system, the long part was the bleeding the air from the system and leak test. I chose to do this out of the case for the fact it was easier to fill the tank and work the bubbles out of the lines. That and the nagging thought of a leak..."

More information can be found here.
Accelero Xtreme 2900 VGA Cooler @ Bjorn3D
"One positive result with the release of new graphics cards from AMD and NVIDIA is that older models usually drop in price. AMD’s first DirectX 10 card, the HD2900XT might no longer be the fastest card out there but it still packs a lot of punch. While it works well it has two “faults”: the card runs quite hot and the fan is pretty loud. Arctic Cooling has the solution for this problem. The Accelero Xtreme 2900 promises not only to cool the GPU more than 20C lower than the stock cooler but also make the card run much more silent."

More information can be found here.
Fanatec Porsche 911 Turbo Wheel @ techPowerUp
"The Porsche 911 Turbo wheel is an exact replica of the real wheel and comes with hand stitched leather and wireless technology for unrestricted racing fun. The pedals and choice of gear box round up the exclusive package. The gearbox is available as either 6+1 speed H-pattern gear stick or a sequential version."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: Windows Vista SP1 Core Performance
"Overall, there are the occasional epic performance improvements and some epic losses, but for the most part the performance is very consistent. Considering all the additional fixes -- the compatibility improvements, the security fixes and other tweaks, we'd suggest Windows Vista SP1 is worth installing unless you do something where there's a big performance drop... a lot. . . . For the most part though, having used Vista SP1 RTM and the full release for the best part of a several weeks now, we can't say it'll sway more people into buying the OS -- the improvements are subtle and virtually unnoticeable to the end user... both looking from core application performance and gaming performance perspectives. And one thing Vista SP1 definitely isn't is another Windows XP SP2 -- most will still consider Vista to be"

More information can be found here.
Gigabyte GV-NX98X1GHI-B GeForce 9800 GX2 Video Card @ BmR
"It seems like it was just yesterday that I bought my first discrete graphics card to outfit an overclocked Cyrix M2-300 6x86MX-based computer. Back in those Windows 98 (first edition) days of 1998 the term GeForce wasn't even in existence yet, and NVIDIA was called referred to as nVidia. So when I bought my first computer late that year, I would have never thought Quake II played on my RIVA TNT2 AGP video card would mark the last time I would spend money in an arcade. This was nearly ten years ago and since that time NVIDIA has developed several successful GeForce product lines, including the newly launched 9th generation. On the 18th of March 2008 NVIDIA launched the GeForce 9800 GX2 to coincide with their 790i motherboard chipset. Because gamers were teased by NVIDIA's first 9-series release which barely satisfied the middle-market with their GeForce 9600 GT, the discussion as to which upcoming product would become the new king of the hill quickly became a heated topic. Since the 8th generation GeForce series launched with a monumental success, starring the still powerful 8800 GTX and 8800 GTS, most hardware enthusiasts come to expect the same level of awe in this launch of new generation of discrete graphics. Few enthusiasts would say NVIDIA has outdone themselves again, while most others will claim that they have disappointed the community. Benchmark Reviews ignores the chatter, and makes a solid case with the Gigabyte GV-NX98X1GHI-B GeForce 9800 GX2 video card."

More information can be found here.
XtracPads Fat Mat at Modders-Inc
"X Trac Pads Fat Mat is a Cloth Nanofiber mouse pad that is relatively large and has a soft 1/4 inch thick foam backing. The large slick surface and extra thick soft material is invented to provide a more comfortable and efficient mouse surface."

More information can be found here.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Strata Mini Loudspeaker Review @ Digital Trends
"The Strata Mini Loudspeakers give a statement with their South American Rosewood finish, and planar magnetic drivers."

More information can be found here.
CrossOver Games Preview & Benchmarks
"While we're continuing to see new Linux-native games introduced (such as the recent Shadowgrounds announcement) and the continued work by Linux Game Publishing with different games, the Linux gaming market is still far from being saturated and it keeps many gamers from even trying out Linux because of the limited choices. As they near version 1.0, WINE has been making strides at allowing gamers to run their Windows game binaries on Linux and last year Transgaming had introduced Cedega 6.0 with expanded game support -- among other improvements. Today though another option has been introduced and that is using CrossOver Games to run your favorite Windows games on Linux."

More information can be found here.
XFX GeForce 9800 GX2 Quad SLI Video Card Testing @ Legit Reviews
"NVIDIA has done a great job with Quad-SLI and with some driver improvements it should only get better. The XFX GeForce 9800 GX2 graphics cards running in a quad-SLI showed increased performance in every application we tested versus a single GeForce 9800 GX2, which is something that can not be said about the ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 as they had some driver issues on Tomb Raider: Anniversary. We almost didn't include Tomb Raider: Anniversary in our testing, but our two store-bought DVD versions of Bioshock say they have been installed too many times, so this game was a last minute addition..."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: Windows Vista SP1 gaming performance
"On the whole then, the benefits of Windows Vista Service Pack 1 from a gamers' perspective are quite small at the moment -- you should see similar performance to what you're getting with an up-to-date vanilla Vista installation with all of the latest hotfixes applied. That's a good thing in many respects, but it won't fulfil the hopes of the Service Pack magically increasing gaming performance for gamers. It does add quite a few new features though and if you're stuck deciding between installing it and not, we recommend going through the change log to see if any of the changes are useful to you. Of course, there is another side to the Windows Vista Service Pack 1 coin---2D application performance---and that's something we're going to be investigating later this week."

More information can be found here.
Modders-Inc Mod Your Mouse Contest
"Grab that mouse and mod it like there is no tomorrow. Cut it, paint it, put a window in it, do what ever it takes to win theses great prizes from XTracPads and Logitech."

More information can be found here.
XFX MG-630i-7159 Motherboard @ Bjorn3D
"In late September 2007, XFX announced the introduction of three new small-form factor motherboards with integrated GeForce® 7 series Graphics. Billed as the “most affordable—and graphically intense—triplets ever delivered”, the boards include the XFX nForce® 630i with GeForce® 7150, nForce® 630i with GeForce® 7100, and nForce® 610i with GeForce® 7050."

More information can be found here.
Exclusive: ASUS EAH3850 Trinity - three GPUs with one card @ NordicHardware
"We knew that CrossFireX would bring new multi-GPU setups, but we did not expect anyone to actually use more than two cores with a single card. ASUS proved us wrong, as EAH3850 Trinity is a tri-core card."

More information can be found here.
Thermaltake BlacX HDD Docking Station @ techPowerUp
"For those users out there that are constantly swapping around parts, Thermaltake introduces the BlacX HDD Docking Station. This USB 2.0 device is a variation of a hard drive enclosure that lets the user plug a bare drive into an opening on top, and then eject the drive with a push of a button. The BlacX is so simple and easy to use, anyone with extra drives laying around should think about picking one of these up."

More information can be found here.
Zalman FG1000 Gun Mouse FPS Controller Review @ Tweaknews.net
"This product combines some the best features of gaming mice with a trigger attachment to give a new and unique experience to FPS games. I have to admit, using a trigger instead of a mouse button is a lot of fun and making the transition was not as awkward as I anticipated."

More information can be found here.
Why Apple Should Not Open It's Mobile Platform @ CoolTechZone.com
"The recent trend in the tech space is to open everything and let go of closed standards. Obviously the tech industry is following the Web closely with its excitement around open networks and platforms where users can interact with one another and form like-minded communities. On the tech front, naturally, the communities revolve around developers and an abundance of applications for particular devices where the amount of buyers and applications will end up determining the success of a given product."

More information can be found here.
I4U: PNY 9800 GX2 Graphics Card Review
"If you are in the market for a high-end graphics card and have the budget for the $600 price tag, the PNY 9800 GX2 is a great option. After all the testing was done, my second round with a PNY 9800 GX2 reaffirmed what I found the first time out with the XFX branded card. The 9800 GX2 is one beast of a graphics card. The PNY 9800 GX2 is able to play games at settings unobtainable with any two other video cards."

More information can be found here.
XP On OLPC's XO: Is It A Smart Move? @ OSWeekly.com
"It’s been interesting to watch the evolution and adoption of the XO laptop that’s been created by the One Laptop Per Child project. Like most of you, I still haven’t had the chance to get my hands on one and experience what it’s like, but I hope that the opportunity presents itself soon. There’s no doubt that the goals behind the project are respectable and the implementation sounds good, but I won’t be able to fully understand what it offers and how it works until I use one of the laptops."

More information can be found here.
Best Way To Create Your Own Ubuntu @ OSWeekly.com
"This is something that I have been toying with as an idea - creating my own distribution, based on the Ubuntu core, but making sure some basics that continue to go ignored are covered. In this quest, I have been led down an interesting road of discovery. Here are some of the tools that I think might be helpful, should you decide to take this path."

More information can be found here.
Mobile Web Browsing: What Optimized Sites Leave Out @ OSWeekly.com
"Mobile operating systems are obviously much different than their bigger brothers. They have different requirements, usage patterns, functionality, and so on. When you’re on your home computer, it seems as if anything goes, but mobile platforms are more limited in certain ways, and that’s just the nature of the beast. Newer mobile operating systems have enhanced the functionality that we’ve grown accustomed to and given us a lot more power and flexibility, but even then, various limitations are still there."

More information can be found here.
Monday, March 24, 2008
Razer Lachesis Review @ Digital Trends
"The Razer Lachesis is definately not the killer its name makes it out to be, but for left-handed gamers it may be a godsend."

More information can be found here.
Aeneon XTUNE 1GB DDR2-1066 Dual Channel Memory Kit Review @ Bigbruin.com
"While a 1GB dual channel DDR2 kit might be a tough sell considering the demands of operating systems like Windows Vista and the extremely low prices on 2GB and 4GB kits, the Aeneon XTUNE 1GB DDR2-1066 Dual Channel Memory Kit did perform well. The speeds and timings are competitive with many kits from other brands, and the performance was quite respectable."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: DDR3 with both EPP 2.0 & XMP support "is possible"
"Terry Groth, a Product Marketing Manager at Crucial Technology has revealed to bit-tech during a conversation at this weekend's i33 LAN party that making DDR3 memory modules that support both EPP 2.0 and XMP is definitely possible. However, Groth later added that having modules supporting both Nvidia's and Intel's extended memory performance profile standards"

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: First Look: Cyberlink PowerDVD 8 & Media Show 4
"If you're a film-nut and want to spill your beans on a dedicated website then PowerDVD 8 has got to be the way to go, and this is even truer if you're into your High-Definition content. However the prime place for this is a Home Theatre PC, but since it's a stand-alone piece of software and not easily able to integrate into a current portal like MythTV or Windows MCE, Cyberlink is seriously missing a trick, still. In addition, while the mashups and MoovieLive services are an ingenious market niche, I'm not going to sit on my sofa in front of my TV and start using the software extensions and website through a TV. At the same time, I'd prefer not to spend a few hours sitting in a computer chair, watching a movie on a monitor, but I know a lot of people do. If Cyberlink was to sell a PowerDVD 8 plugin with HD support that bolts onto popular HTPC media player software it'd probably sell bucket loads. While it has a good OEM business doing this with people like Acer, for example, there are many of us that are looking for the same kind of support."

More information can be found here.
Cooler Master Cosmos S @ techPowerUp
"The Cooler Master Cosmos S is the "sport" variant of the original Cosmos chassis. Coolermaster has taken various aspects of the Stacker series and fused them with the original Cosmos case. The door is gone and the plastic top has been redesigned to fit a triple radiator of your choice. The new Cosmos S is also made of Aluminum which makes it much lighter."

More information can be found here.
What is Happening to Modding
"Strangely enough it seems that lately there has been a decrease in the Modding community. We see more of the same mods over and over and less new stuff. So, why is that? I have an opinion, yeah I know everyone usually does and they usually stink! lol"

More information can be found here.
AMD Radeon HD 3200 / 780G On Linux
"Last year AMD introduced the flagship 790 Chipset series as part of their Spider Platform for use with the Phenom processors and Radeon HD 3800 graphics. Until earlier this month when AMD introduced the 780 Series, missing was any chipset with integrated graphics capabilities supporting these first AMD quad-core processors. Now we have AMD's 780G and 780V Chipsets, which are designed to be the mainstream solutions to the 790FX, but they pack the best integrated graphics processor (IGP) ever created by the combined ATI/AMD engineering talent. Since its launch at the CeBIT trade show, the AMD 780G has received rave reviews for its vehement performance due to its graphics core that's derived from the AMD RV610. The benchmarks available on launch day were only for Microsoft Windows operating systems, but this morning we have the Radeon HD 3200 Linux results from the AMD 780G. Is this IGP a crown jewel on Linux?"

More information can be found here.
XFX 8400GS Dual-Screen Graphics Card @ Bjorn3D
"It may come as a surprise to some, but graphics cards aren’t always just about getting the best frames per second. Home theater, fileserver, and other specialized PCs may never see a game but in most cases they still need a video card to operate. And of course that is leaving out the surprisingly large number of PC users that simply do not play videogames (I’ve been told such people do exist)."

More information can be found here.
VIZO Luxon Advanced ED HDD caddy Review @ XtremeComputing
"Today I am going to be looking at another product from a company that I have only recently been introduced to. The company is Vizo Technology Corp and the item under review is the Luxon Advanced ED hard drive caddy. After the very promising introductory product I have quite high expectations of this little piece of hardware"

More information can be found here.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
HTC Touch Dual Review @ Digital Trends
"The HTC Dual Touch is arguably the most feature-rich phone currently on the market, and it's good looking to boot."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: Frontlines: Fuel of War
"If I was to say that Frontlines: Fuel of War disappointed me then you¡¯d probably get the wrong idea, so I won¡¯t say that. But it kind of did. You see, / /Frontlines isn¡¯t a bad game at all. It¡¯s actually quite a good game. There¡¯s a good balance to everything and the game always makes it possible to salvage victory from the jaws of defeat if you have a good understanding of where to put your tanks and helicopters. If you get a group of people working together then it can take on an enjoyably military feel, especially with the inclusion of artillery and airstrikes. However, with the history behind / /Frontlines of the boy-wonder modders who¡¯ve struck the big time, we have to admit we were hoping for something a little more interesting. Kaos Studios is a developer built on a team of amateur modders from outside the industry, so the logical if misplaced hope is that bringing them within the industry could lead to a few interesting and new ideas. But that hasn¡¯t happened. Instead, the result is that Kaos has used their knowledge of how games are played to create a well-balanced shooter. What they haven¡¯t really done is introduce any fundamentally new ideas. There¡¯s nothing here to set / /Frontlines apart from any other game like it on the market ¨C in fact, it feels very, //very similar to //Enemy Territory: Quake Wars pretty much all the way through. So, while the game itself isn¡¯t flawed in any major way, it doesn¡¯t really do anything to stand out in the crowd either."

More information can be found here.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
An Early Look At Mythbuntu 8.04
"Last November we had looked at Mythbuntu 7.10 and found it to be an excellent MythTV distribution. With its LiveCD MythTV front-end capabilities and intuitive Mythbuntu Control Center, this distribution is far more than just a re-branded edition of Ubuntu with a couple MythTV packages. Being released in tandem with Ubuntu 8.04"

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: No More Heroes
"No More Heroes is a game that really does thrive on surprising players and it’s great to see a completely accessible game like this that manages to shock players without ever relying on shock tactics. It’s also one of the funniest and most entertaining games that we’ve played on the Wii – it goes a long way to addressing the huge gap between decent Wii releases. //Super Mario Galaxy was a long time ago now, so if you’ve been itching for something worthy to flail your Wiimote at then //No More Heroes will certainly fit the bill. //No More Heroes isn’t a perfect game at all and it has some very identifiable problems which occasionally put players off. Given that the appeal of the game lies in blind-siding the player with off-beat humour and wit, it also may not be suitable to everyone. And once you’ve got to grips with it then you may find it a tad tiresome if you’ve not got the same sense of humour as the writers. //No More Heroes is an excellent example of how an eccentric character design and storyline can compensate for some technical failings though and the combination of bizarre characters and striking presentation really do make the mini-games and such a minor concern at best. If you’ve been looking for a more adult game to play on your Wii then //No More Heroes should come highly recommended."

More information can be found here.
Rosewill R6XR8-BK Black ATX Computer Case Review @ Legit Reviews
"The overall process of putting everything together in the Rosewell R6XR8-BK case was a seamless and painless one. Rosewill’s idea of screw less design certainly delivered and made the process a little more enjoyable. The two supplied 120mm fans..."

More information can be found here.
Friday, March 21, 2008
I4U: Belkin N1 802.11n Wireless USB Network Adapter Review
"This is a USB powered 802.11n adapter that connects without requiring any opening of your PC case. Installing the Belkin N1 Wireless USB Network Adapter is the easiest network card install I have ever done. To set the adapter up you simply plug it into the USB port and then install the software and you are done."

More information can be found here.
SteelSeries Ikari Optical Mouse @ techPowerUp
"The SteelSeries Ikari Optical gaming mouse is aimed at hardcore FPS gamers who want the best possible tracking. The optical version of the Ikari mouse looks just like its laser brother, but without the LCD display that indicates which profile is being used."

More information can be found here.
ASUS GeForce 9600GT 512MB
"In late February NVIDIA had introduced the GeForce 9 series with the introduction of the mid-range GeForce 9600GT 512MB graphics card. Earlier this week they then introduced the GeForce 9800 GX2 graphics card, which consists of two NVIDIA GPUs bridged together with SLI support. We have been quiet on how the GeForce 9 series performs under Linux, but this morning we are providing our initial GeForce 9600GT results using an ASUS EN9600GT TOP HDMI and comparing its Linux desktop performance to its GeForce 8 sibling and the ATI Radeon HD 3850 and 3870. On Windows the GeForce 9600GT has been able to outperform the Radeon HD 3850/3870, but on Linux an entirely different story is rendered."

More information can be found here.
Thermaltake BlacX Hard Drive Docking System Review @ Bigbruin.com
"The Thermaltake BlacX Hard Drive Docking System seemed like a great idea to me prior to getting my hands on one, and I am no less impressed after the review. While not a mobile solution, it is much more convenient than a traditional hard drive enclosure for those with multiple drives to be accessed from one location."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: Enermax Pro 82+ 625W power supply
"The Enermax Pro 82+ 625W power supply is an excellent unit that delivers great performance, but sadly all of the hard work done there is marred by an asking price that prices it out of the competition. If the market wasn't full of great power supplies at lower price points, we would argue that the Enermax was worth the much higher asking price. Unfortunately for Enermax though, there are a lot of very good products (some with higher ratings) that perform as well as the Pro 82+ 625W. We raised the serious price concerns with Enermax (“...are you serious?”) when we first talked about and tested the Pro and Modu 82+ PSUs. When told the RRP before launch (it has dropped by only a few pounds since then), it was clear that Enermax had an uphill struggle but the bottom line is that it doesn't matter how good the product is if the asking price is far, far too high to remain competitive. As a predominantly PSU-centric company, I hope Enermax realise this soon and not sit in a warm bubble back patting from the impressive performance results it is getting, otherwise it'll not notice people are shopping elsewhere."

More information can be found here.
Foxconn X38A Digital Life @ Bjorn3D
"Upgrading your rig can be such a pain can't it? Trying to figure out where technology is headed so you don't waste your money on obsolete garbage. With the speed at which progress takes place it is no wonder that many people find themselves searching for answers. Take for example the new DDR3 standard. Right now DDR2 is so inexpensive you can get 4GB for under $100 USD and that is just an awesome price. But DDR2 days are numbered and DDR3 is so expensive right now it just doesn't make much sense. What is an enthusiast to do? Thankfully Foxconn has a solution. They have taken Intel's X38 high-end chipset and installed it on a board capable of supporting DDR2 or DDR3. Now you don't need to worry about which standard to choose. Better yet when the time comes to migrate over to DDR3 you won't have to throw away your motherboard. But are things as rosy as they appear? We have seen these hybrid motherboards before and what they bring in compatibility they usually lack in raw horse!"

More information can be found here.
I4U: ASUS EAH3870 Top Video Card Review
"Today we are checking out the ASUS EAH3870 Top video card powered by the ATI HD 3870 GPU. This card is factory overclocked for higher performance right out of the box. I was happy with the performance of the ASUS EAH3870 Top video card. It performs very well for the price and ASUS has a nice bundle that includes Company of Heroes- Opposing Fronts with the card. The factory overclocking of the card is very nice and on the whole the ASUS EAH3870 Top is a good option for ATI fans."

More information can be found here.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
EVGA GeForce 9600 GT SSC 512 MB @ techPowerUp
"EVGA's e-GeForce 9600 GT SSC comes at increased clocks compared to the NVIDIA reference design. Also the cooler has been adjusted slightly to match the company's color theme and design. With a price premium of just $10 over the reference card it can can deliver in both performance per Dollar and performance per Watt."

More information can be found here.
Logitech Alto Express
"In the market for a simple notebook stand but aren't interested in the various notebook cooling contraptions like the Thermaltake iXoft or Prime Cooler CoolPad? If so, you may be interested in the Logitech Alto Express. The Alto Express is a notebook stand that raises the notebook display for increased viewing comfort and convenience."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: Warhammer 40k Dawn of War: Soulstorm
"There’s a fair bit to like about //Soulstorm. It’s stand-alone for starters, which means you don’t have hunt down an old copy of //Dawn of War if you want to play it. It also does a good job of wrapping up all the previous expansions and content from the original for those who just want to jump straight in and play, while at the same time being an excellent platform from which to backtrack into the rest of the series. However, there are down sides. The graphics in particular are a sore spot and it seems like Iron Lore must not have been listening to fans of the original game who have long been crying out for a better view of the battlefield. The low-res textures and occasionally jerky unit animations too would have been easily fixable problems. It’s a crying shame really that Iron Lore’s last game should prove to be such a…well, not a disappointment, but certainly a //surpriseless game. The studio had an enormous amount of talent within it and could have been capable of much, but //Soulstorm doesn’t really build on the quality of //Dawn of War as much as it builds on the quantity. In the end, //Soulstorm is your typical, unimaginative expansion pack. It offers up more of what the hardcore fans might really like, but doesn’t stray at all from the formula and, in the end, that might put off a lot of people who have since found much better and graphically superior RTS games to invest their time in./"

More information can be found here.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
HIS HD 3870 IceQ3 512 MB @ techPowerUp
"The HIS Radeon HD 3870 IceQ3 uses the proven HIS IceQ3 cooling solution. It also comes with higher clocks out of the box which are among the highest we have seen so far from all manufacturers. The recent price drops from AMD make this card a solid choice for the sub-$200 segment."

More information can be found here.
MSI X48 Platinum Motherboard @ Viper Lair
"Overclocking the old fashioned way was actually very easy, despite the E6750's 333MHz FSB. With little effort, we were able to reach 490Mhz on air, which is the exact same result we hit on the MSI P35 earlier this year. Default voltage wasn't enough for this though and we were required to increase the voltages to the max allowable for CPU and chipset."

More information can be found here.
AMD Releases Production Microcode For All Radeon GPUs
"In the next step towards open-source 3D support for the R500 and R600 GPUs (Radeon X1000 and Radeon HD 2000/3000), AMD has just pushed its production microcode into the Mesa/DRM git tree. This is the microcode found in the fglrx driver and it covers the Radeon R100 to R600 product families."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: Intel talks about Nehalem, Larrabee & 32nm - Analysis
"Intel sees Larrabee as a 'catch all' for visual computing - Smith said that Larrabee"

More information can be found here.
Antec Sonata Plus 550 Case at Modders-Inc
"Need a stylish case with plenty of power included, but want to maintain a low noise level? Perhaps the Antec Sonata Plus 550 is the case for you. We will take a closer look at the Antec Sonata Plus 550 and see just what Antec has to offer in this stylish case."

More information can be found here.
Radeon vs. RadeonHD Drivers In H1'08
"For Linux distribution vendors, right now is proving to be an awkward time for them as they decide which ATI driver will ship as the default choice in their spring distribution refresh. The problem used to be whether to ship a binary-only driver in the distribution in order to provide "out of the box" support for all available graphics hardware, but on the ATI/AMD side the software distributors are now facing the challenge of which open-source driver they should call the de facto standard. In this article we are briefly looking at the matter of the xf86-video-ati vs. xf86-video-radeonhd drivers, the highly political issue of AtomBIOS, and what some of the popular Linux distributions are deciding to use this spring."

More information can be found here.
Samsung SyncMaster 2243BW 22" Widescreen LCD Monitor Review @ Tweaknews.net
"One of those reputable name brands in today's market is Samsung and today we will be reviewing one of their new SyncMaster 2243BW 22"

More information can be found here.
OCZ Technology PC2-8000 Platinum Edition 4GB DDR2 Kit Review @ Bigbruin.com
"Rated at 5-5-5-18, the OCZ Technology PC2-8000 Platinum Edition 4GB DDR2 kit is quite impressive in terms of timings, speed, and capacity. Running at 1000MHz it was able to outperform competition in the form of DDR2 from Patriot and DDR3 from OCZ Technology. While overclocked to 1080MHz it was even able to outperform the DDR3 kit running at 1333MHz."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: First Look: Nvidia's nForce 790i Ultra SLI chipset
"Nvidia is pushing hard on the platform front with its technology portfolio – ESA, EPP 2.0 and SLI are all core Nvidia products associated with the nForce 790i Ultra SLI motherboard and this launch. While some are open standards, so no royalties are claimed when using them, it doesn't mean all is well for the ultra-high-end user. To say the cost of upgrading to use the nForce 790i (Ultra) SLI is significant is certainly an understatement: on top of one of the most expensive motherboards ever sold, you'll need super expensive performance DDR3 memory (with EPP 2.0) to make the most of it. Then there's the fact that running at over 1,600MHz limits the board to just two DIMM slots, so running 4GB in 2x2GB has just gone from selling organs to selling your children as well. There is a value add with all manners of SLI support, but you can get that with plenty of other nForce 7-series boards, although in this case the north bridge is tweaked to use SLI better. ESA is entirely optional if you want to invest in it or not and again provides an upgrade feature choice – that said, we expect this more to be jumped upon by companies that build complete systems, rather than end users. It was designed to be too expensive and a niche product, so don't get your knickers in a twist. While you may care about that because you want the latest and greatest, Nvidia doesn't. And you can bet your cotton socks that the top Futuremark slots will all consist of nForce 790i SLI boards going forwards – that’s prime marketing material above all else. Be wary of what's coming out in the next few months too: there's no telling what else Nvidia will launch in the summer on the Intel front, because it has promised a chipset that sports Hybrid SLI support, and would you want to spend all that money on a new board and not have access to these new technologies? Well, maybe not in actual fact, because those running a 30"

More information can be found here.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Logitech G51 Speakers Review @ Digital Trends
"With a street price at under $200, the Logitech G51 speaker system is an incredible bargain."

More information can be found here.
I4U: XFX 9800 GX2 Video Card Review
"Today we are checking out the latest NVIDIA based video card, and it is one seriously high-end performer. The new 9800 GX2 uses a pair of 9800 GPUs and delivers record breaking performance. This is usually the point where I say that I couldn’t run Crysis at over medium settings. Today for the first time ever I was able to run Crysis at 1920 x 1200, all settings on high and with 2xAA at smooth and playable frame rates. I used Fraps to record frame rate data from the initial beach insertion until the battle with the first enemies."

More information can be found here.
PC Building Guide @ NordicHardware
"On the following pages, we'll be presenting all the components inside, and connected to, your computer. On top of that, we'll cover how to safely and efficiently install the components. Through text, images, and even videos, this article should be more than able to help you build your own computer."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: XFX's GeForce 9800 GX2 graphics card
"Overall then, if you're after the fastest single card solution on the market, the GeForce 9800 GX2 is it and if you don't have an nForce motherboard, it's currently the only way to enable SLI technology on other motherboards and could quite possibly be the fastest graphics solution in that situation as well, given some of the performance differences between the GeForce 9800 GX2 and the Radeon HD 3870 X2. If you do have an nForce motherboard and aren't likely to suffer from the documented heat problems, there are options available for less money that deliver similar performance in most scenarios, but the GeForce 9800 GX2 isn't really about delivering value for money. What it is about is delivering the fastest graphics card on the market and, in that respect it delivers. And what's more, Nvidia will soon release a driver to enable Quad SLI on a pair of GeForce 9800 GX2s to potentially deliver more performance than three GeForce 8800 GTX/Ultra cards – we just hope Quad SLI is better than it was last time."

More information can be found here.
Technic3D/Zotac 9800GX2
"The new Zotac NVIDIA GeForce 9800GX2 arrived Technic3D. The Dual Graphic Card from NVIDIA better than the AMD HD 3870X2? Technic3D will see that on Windows Vista in the following Review."

More information can be found here.
Zotac GeForce 9800 GX2 @ techPowerUp
"Today NVIDIA launches their GeForce 9800 GX2 dual GPU card. It comes with two G92 GPUs and uses a new cooling design where a single cooler sits in the middle and cools both GPUs. We have the card from Zotac on our testbench today which follows the reference design specification. Unlike many other publications all our testing was conducted in Windows XP because we think that's what the majority of users still plays on."

More information can be found here.
XFX GeForce 9800 GX2 Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
"It's been nearly two years since NVIDIA has produced a dual PCB video card design and they feel they have a winner in the works with the GeForce 9 series. One of the reasons NVIDIA feels so strongly about the GeForce 9800 GX2 is because they have a whole new approach at how the video game frames are being rendered. The first generation Quad SLI technology seen on the GeForce 7950 GX2 back in 2006, used a hybrid mode of split frame rendering (SFR) and alternate frame rendering (AFR) to enable concurrent rendering on four GPUs. With the latest games utilizing complex shaders, inter-frame effects, and multi-pass rendering, SFR becomes less efficient..."

More information can be found here.
XFX 9800GX2 @ Bjorn3D
"Well today NVIDIA and its board partners are introducing NVIDIA’s new high-end GPU the 9800GX2. We should actually just call this NVIDIA’s new card since like AMD/ATI’s 3870X2 this is a card using 2 GPU’s. NVIDIA has been down this road before with the 7950GX2 of 2 years ago."

More information can be found here.
Tagan BZ 900W Power Supply
"The last time we had looked at a Tagan power supply was last October when exploring the Tagan ITZ 1300W and comparing it to Thermaltake's ToughPower 1200W power supply. While most enthusiasts don't need power supplies in excess of 1,000 Watts, for those that do the ITZ 1300W did perform admirably but its voltage rails did fluctuate some, though it did have the"

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: An interview with BioWare's Matt Atwood
"*Bit: It’s interesting you’d say that because a lot of PC games are moving more towards console games in an effort to avoid piracy. Was piracy a factor in the console launch?* Piracy is always a concern obviously, but if we were that worried then we wouldn’t do a PC version at all, right? Hmm, maybe I should qualify that. We’re very concerned about piracy and we put steps in to stop people doing that. At the end of the day the BioWare team spent four years—it’ll actually be more than that when the PC version is out—of their lives making just the first game in this trilogy. Four years of their lives with very many long hour days. They deserve to have consumers pay for the title – they’ve put a lot of work in. That said, piracy didn’t factor into our platform choice massively and the sequels will be released in the same way – //Mass 2, Xbox 360."

More information can be found here.
Steelseries Ikari Laser Gaming Mouse Review @ Tweaknews.net
"All through testing I experienced nothing but comfort and that neat feeling only quality can give you. Like all good things though it comes at a price and the Ikari Laser is certainly not cheap coming in at around US$65. This is certainly not the type of product your average home user should be looking at, unless you have money to throw away, but for the enthusiast and or Gamer it's a worthwhile investment."

More information can be found here.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Fujifilm Finepix s8100fd Review @ Digital Trends
"While not as high-performing a D-SLR camera, the s8100fd has a lot of good things going for it, including the price."

More information can be found here.
I4U: Rocketfish Universal Wireless Rear Speaker Kit Review
"Today we are looking at the Rocketfish Wireless Universal Rear Speaker Kit. This kit allows you to make any rear 5.1 surround speakers into a wireless system requiring no wires running from your receiver to the rear speakers. Once everything was connected up the system worked flawlessly. As soon as I pressed the connect button on the transmitter the rear speakers synced up. In my room the rear speakers are about 30 feet from the transmitter. There was no lag, popping or other issue noticeable with the sound when watching a Blu-ray movie."

More information can be found here.
Seagate Momentus 5400.4 250GB @ Bjorn3D
"Seagate blessed Bjorn3D this week with their newest and largest 2.5 inch hard drive, the Momentus 5400.4 RPM 250GB (3.0Gb/s). First impressions out of the box left me thinking it was going to be much slower than a 7200 RPM hard drive. Boy was I wrong. Way wrong. I noticed that the interface was faster than the 7200 RPM but I wasn't sure how the RPM differences and interface differences would scale out. The Momentus 250GB hard drive is faster and is as quiet as the hard drive in my Dell Latitude 820 (TravelStar 7200 RPM 80GB 1.5Gb/s). These facts, and the 5 year warranty Seagate provides, make this a great buy if you are looking for a new drive."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: Crucial Ballistix Tracer Red PC-6400 4GB kit
"In the past, we’ve found Crucial memory to be a bit more expensive regardless of the type you buy, and even though you get free delivery when you buy from Crucial direct, it’s often difficult to find a comparison elsewhere because there are few other stores stocking it. You are paying for the"

More information can be found here.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Panasonic Toughbook R7 Review @ Digital Trends
"Panasonic Toughbook R7 is not your typical notebook. In fact, there is only one place you can find it in the U.S."

More information can be found here.
Ubuntu Disk Encryption Benchmarks
"Introduced in Ubuntu 7.10 was install-time encryption support where using the alternate installer one can fully encrypt their disk in an LVM using dm-crypt. Unfortunately, the Ubiquity installer in Ubuntu 8.04 continues to lack LVM and encryption support, but using Ubuntu 8.04 Alpha 6 we have looked at the performance cost of this encrypted configuration on Ubuntu Linux. Rather than looking directly at the disk read/write overhead caused by the encryption process, we have provided some benchmarks to see how the real-world performance is impacted in both gaming and other desktop tasks."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: Arctic Cooling Silentium T2 Eco 80
"In the words of Sam Beckett: “//Oh, boy.” Really, it’s hard to know where to begin with a case like the Silentium T2 ECO 80. On paper, Arctic Cooling’s intentions are cleary for the good and aiming in all the right directions. The idea of using rubber around the fans to prevent vibration and using heatsinks instead of fans to cool the HDD is fine and we of course love anything that can help make computing a more environmentally friendly hobby. The real problem though is that the execution is terrible and the finished product is really just a mish-mash of ruined ideas. On some level it’s actually quite depressing and there’s a distinct feeling that if the Silentium T2 was a person then it’d be a bright and promising young student who got tragically mauled by a sledgehammer-wielding Rottweiler. The whole case just stinks of good ideas gone wrong and bad ideas left to run rampant. In the end, with a number of structural problems, poor thermal performance and a generally unappealing look it’s hard to recommend the T2 to anyone. Frankly, this is the type of thing we really do wish Arnold Schwarzenegger would come back from the future to destroy. A shame."

More information can be found here.
Thermaltake Xaser-VI VG400BWS (LCS) Case Review @ XtremeComputing
"The model that I shall be looking at today is the VG400LBWS, or more specifically the ‘Xaser VI Super Tower Black with Transparent Side Window With Embedded Liquid Cooling’. Yeah, that’s quite a mouthful; but Thermaltake have made 8 variations of this same model case, so they have to distinguish between them properly somehow!"

More information can be found here.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Sleek-Audio SA6 Earphones @ techPowerUp
"Sleek-Audio SA6 is the name of a brand new pair of earphones with customizable performance. The earphones feature both a treble and bass tuning system that allows the user to alter the audio performance according to their needs and preferences. This is not done via electronics as one might expect, but by physically replacing parts of the earphone."

More information can be found here.
Review: Cyber Snipa GamePad V2 @ GideonTech.com
"There are enough keys on the gamepad to provide everything you need to frag your opponent. They enlarged the standard movement keys to help with the cramping you can get in your hand. This new version has changed the color of some of the keys to help you recognize your options."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: Lost Empire: Immortals
"Lost Empire: Immortals can't claim innovation and the game is utterly predictable in almost everything it does. Combine this with incredibly long games and huge playing fields and you’re left with a game which is going to leave a sour, tired taste in the mouths of nearly all gamers. Hardcore strategy fans though may find something appealing though, provided they can look past the admittedly rough edges."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: Mass Effect: Bring Down The Sky
"I'm giving this one the benefit of the doubt. There are flaws, least of not allowing you to just jump in and play the episode if you've already completed the main game, but it does do what BioWare set out to do: it adds new characters and new conflicts to the whole story arc, and I hope that we'll be seeing more of the Batarians in future episodes. Whether or not you think 400 points is too much to spend on 90 minutes of additional gameplay depends on how much you're interested in the Mass Effect story. If you want to immerse yourself in everything the Mass Effect universe has to offer you, including the novel, then you should definitely be downloading this episode. If, however, you're dithering and you're not sure, ask yourself this: did you enjoy completing the side missions of the original game? If you did, then you'll enjoy Bring Down the Sky. If you thought they were an extra chore best left alone, then you'd probably be better off leaving this episode alone too. You don't know what you'd be missing though, and when the Batarians come back wanting reparation, don't say I didn't warn you. Because I did..."

More information can be found here.
Friday, March 14, 2008
AT&T Tilt Review @ Digital Trends
"The AT&T (HTC) Tilt is one of the most versatile and powerful Smartphones we have ever seen."

More information can be found here.
Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9770 @ NordicHardware
"Intel is at it again. After the recent launch of its first 45nm and so far most extreme CPU, the QX9650, it’s now time for the QX9770. The logic behind the model numbering is questionable, but what’s new with this model is 400MHz FSB, which thanks to Intel's quadruple bus give us an effective transfer rate corresponding to 1600MHz. This is denoted by the third number; 97"

More information can be found here.
Eagle Tech ET-CSIU2J-BK JBOD External Storage System Review @ Bigbruin.com
"All of the enclosures reviewed at Bigbruin.com have begun to blur in my mind, but every once in a while one of them is different enough to stand out. Eagle Tech Computers has a new product that offers a unique design, as well as a configuration that isn't what you see in the typical hard drive enclosure. The ET-CSIU2J-BK JBOD External Storage System is a compact enclosure that supports two 3.5 inch SATA drives connected via USB 2.0."

More information can be found here.
AMD Releases R300 3D Register Guide
"Last month right before FOSDEM 2008, the 3D programming documentation for the R500 GPUs (Radeon X1000) series was released. This documentation consisted of a register reference guide for the R500 GPUs as well as a programming guide covering such areas as the command processor, vertex shaders, and fragment shaders. While the register reference guide for the R600 series is still being worked on, for those with older ATI graphics processors, AMD has went back and created a register reference guide for the R300 series."

More information can be found here.
OCZ ReaperX HPC 4GB PC2-6400
"Last July we had looked at the Reaper HPC DDR2 memory from OCZ Technology, which not only was clocked well for its time with a memory frequency of DDR2-1066MHz, supported NVIDIA's EPP (Enhanced Performance Profiles), and boasted OCZ's admirable lifetime warranty with EVP (Extended Voltage Protection), but it was the first model to bring forth their next-generation patent-pending memory heatspreaders. The Reaper HPC (Heat Pipe Conduit) cooling solution is made up of normal heatspreaders attached to the ICs, but bonded to the top of that is a single copper heatpipe in a loop that passes through an aluminum fin array. We were pleased by both the cooling and memory performance with the Reaper HPC, but OCZ Technology didn't stop there in their quest to deliver 110% customer satisfaction. OCZ has taken their Reaper HPC design to the next level by strapping on two copper heatpipes, ensuring that each memory IC is in direct contact with one of these thermo-conductive pipes, and greatly increasing the size of the aluminum fin array. This newest memory cooling solution is known as ReaperX HPC and can be found on the PC2-6400 ReaperX HPC EB 4GB dual channel kit, which we are reviewing today."

More information can be found here.
Army of Two @ Bjorn3D
"EA is no stranger to top-notch games and they hope to continue the tradition with Army of Two. Hyped as no ordinary third person shooter, will Army of Two give gamers a reason (outside of the sports genre) to connect a second controller to their console? Let's find out as we take a closer look at the Xbox 360 version."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: A modder's guide to acrylic
"Acrylic at its worst can be a garish mess of various transparent colours, glued together roughly or fastened poorly with screw-heads hanging out and cold cathodes everywhere. An LED fan here, a fluorescent something or other there, packed with a rat's nest of cabling. However, at its best it can be the only case that goes from solid black opaque panel to perfectly translucent window with no visible seam. The reservoir can be built directly into the front panel, creating a"

More information can be found here.
MemoRight GT MR25.2-064S 2.5-Inch 64GB SATA SSD @ BmR
"For a little over a year now Benchmark Reviews has anxiously awaited the fabled Solid State Drive that could replace our current list of preferred Hard Disk Drives. Making this wait seem even longer was the fact that HDD manufacturers were constantly improving there product and adding new enhancements to the technology. First there was perpendicular storage, then came fluid bearings, and finally there was the increase in cache buffer DRAM. Performance has always been the hurdle that SSD's have had a tough time clearing, with read and write bandwidth creating the largest obstacles. Response time and reduced power consumption has been the key arguement for owning an SSD, but without the bandwidth throughput to measure up against HDD's they became an expensive niche item. That time has passed. After a long wait, Benchmark Reviews has discovered the MemoRight GT MR25.2-064S 2.5-Inch 64GB SATA SSD Solid State."

More information can be found here.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Samsung BlackJack II Review @ Digital Trends
"The BlackJack II offers the best of the original: the power of a PDA with the ease of a basic Smartphone."

More information can be found here.
ASUS Silent Knight II Heatsink Review
"In this review Frostytech is evaluating the ASUS Silent Knight II heatsink. The Silent Knight II is a copper heatsink vaguely reminiscent of the Zalman CNPS9700NT. Like most thermal solutions being introduced, it's compatible with Intel Core 2 Duo/Quad/Extreme and AMD Athlon64 processors. A 92mm PWM fan is set within the body of the heatsink and spins at 800-2300RPM, generating no more than 46 dBA in Frostytech's real world measurements. A pair of blue LEDs illuminate the translucent impeller blades, giving the Silent Knight II a nice visual effect. "

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: Icy Box IB-MP303S-B Media Player
"We have to respect the Icy Box IB-MP303S-B for doing exactly what it says on the tin, but it's certainly nothing special. The lack of extra cables for decent video quality and a network port really means it loses out to other solutions. Simply put, there are too many other, more viable alternatives on the market for the cost of a decent hard drive and the Icy Box. It's a nice idea that will suit a few people, but the MP303S is not something that demands considerable attention from many."

More information can be found here.
ASUS Xonar D2X 7.1 Channel PCI Express Sound Card Review @ Bigbruin.com
"The ASUS Xonar D2X isn't your typical sound card. It features a host of impressive features, a generous bundle of software, and a variety of connections and cables to help you get fully connected right out of the box. The large Aluminum EMI shield gives it the appearance of a high end graphics card, while the PCI Express x1 connector finally gives you something useful to stick into those unused slots on your motherboard."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: Army of Two
"Here’s what //Army of Two has to offer; a fun, over-the-top shooter filled with mindless swearing and attitude. You’ve got a wide arsenal of customisable weapons to tinker with, a predictable array of levels to test them over and a load of collectibles to scrounge for in between your mass murders. It’s enjoyable and clearly doesn’t take itself as serious as it might seem to. Basically, think something along the lines of a two-player, linear version of //Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction, which is no bad thing. If you’ve got a hankering for something violent and team-based and you’ve got friends who want the same thing then //Army of Two will be right up your street. It isn’t massively long in the tooth and it isn’t as hugely groundbreaking as you might hope, but it’s a passable romp that’ll strike a chord with gamers across the market."

More information can be found here.
Lancool Metal Boned K7 @ techPowerUp
"The Lancool brand is created by Lian-Li and combines the flawless, understatement exterior with the sturdy bones of steel. This makes for the name "Metal Boned K7". The case is meant for LAN Parties and offers the same innovations found in the more expensive Lian-Li branded cases."

More information can be found here.
QNAP TS-409 Pro 4-Drive SATA Gigabit NAS @ Benchmark Reviews
"Times are a little tough right now for many small business owners, so any product that offers to save them money while still performing every function they require is sure to interest many of them. The task of providing an affordable product, that cuts overhead yet still performs up to par is not any easy undertaking. Most small businesses today have at least some level of data storage needs. It may be as simple as storing bookkeeping records, emails and customer contact information, it may involve storing legal documents or patient records, it may involve storing work product such as digital artwork or CAD drawings, or it may even involve hosting the company's retail sales website. The bottom line is that in today's business world it is hard to find a small business that doesn't have some need to store their digital data. This is where the Network Attached Storage servers come in and today Benchmark Reviews will be taking a close look at one of these NAS Servers, the QNAP TS-409 Pro."

More information can be found here.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Dell XPS M1730 Review @ Digital Trends
"Dell's XPS 1730 is the company's flagship gaming notebook, and is available in several configurations."

More information can be found here.
RadeonHD Driver Introduces Major Changes
"Following a period of relative inactivity in the xf86-video-radeonhd git tree over the past few weeks, this afternoon Novell's Egbert Eich had pushed forward 55 changes to this open-source R500/600 driver. The AMD Radeon HD 3400 and 3600 series are now supported and there are a number of other significant changes. The RV620/635 mode-setting support has required the most significant work since the R500 series, since all output blocks have been altered due to the introduced DisplayPort capabilities. We have already tested out this latest code and were left with a positive impression."

More information can be found here.
World-Exlusive: Sapphire HD 3870 Toxic @ techPowerUp
"Sapphire's new HD 3870 Toxic is built on the same Vapor-X cooling technology that the HD 3870 Atomic uses. This means that the card comes with a single slot cooling solution making it a premier choice for Quad CrossFire systems. The accessory package also includes an HDMI cable, PowerDVD and a 3DMark license, not bad for a $40 premium."

More information can be found here.
Mil-Spec Aerospace Fan on Scythe Orochi Heatsink - Big just got bigger!
"In this article Frostytech is going to have some fun with the Orochi and conduct a little experiment with the help of one very powerful mil-spec aerospace fan. The Orochi heatsink comes with a 140x140x25mm fan that spins at a leisurely 500RPM and is almost totally silent. Will it perform significantly better with significantly more airflow? To find out, Frostytech mounted a mil-spec IMC Magnetics vane-axial fan on top of the Orochi and dawned hearing protection...."

More information can be found here.
Auras CTC-868 Heatsink Review
"What makes the Auras CTC-868 heatsink stand out is that it's split into thirds, with the two outer sections holding the integrated fans. A slip connection at the base of the CTC-868 allows each outer third of the heatsink to pivot on the connecting heatpipe 20 degrees, in the process noise is slightly reduced and the exhaust airflow can be directed down towards the motherboard."

More information can be found here.
WinFast Leadtek PxDTV2300H @ Bjorn3D
"The ways we can watch TV have increased over the years. In the beginning we were forced to sit by the TV and watch one of the few analogue channels that were broadcasted through the airwaves. Today however we have a lot more options. Not only can we still watch TV on our TV-sets, though now in various digital form, but we also can watch TV on our computers, either through the internet or through a TV-card in our computer."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: BFGTech GeForce 9600 GT OC 512MB
"After some careful analysis of the changes, it doesn’t appear to make much sense spending any more than about ?120 on a GeForce 9600 GT now, because at that point the stretch to ?140 isn’t too far away. BFGTech’s GeForce 9600 GT OC is currently sitting at around ?115 including delivery (if you take advantage of Scan’s free delivery offer for regular contributors to the bit-tech community) – at that price, it’s not a bad deal but I do have some concerns. For out-and-out gamers, I have no problem recommending BFGTech’s GeForce 9600 GT OC 512MB graphics card – it delivers strong performance at a good price point for those that cannot afford to stretch to ?140 for a GeForce 8800 GT. The ten year warranty is also a good peace of mind if you’re planning to use the card as a family (or even a personal) hand-me-down, where it makes its way into older systems as and when you upgrade your main machine. However, if you are looking to use the card in a home theatre PC, the bundle is missing both the DVI-to-HDMI converter and S/PDIF cable, which means that you won’t be able to connect the card to your HDTV and carry audio over the HDMI cable at the same time. Of course, you can acquire the required parts elsewhere, but that’s at an extra cost that you can avoid by purchasing another GeForce 9600 GT that //does That ultimately prevents us from giving the card an outright recommendation, but that’s not to say there aren’t users that should lap up this card at its current asking price. Just be aware of its limitations if you were hoping to use it in an HTPC."

More information can be found here.
Diamond Viper ATI Radeon HD 3870 512MB Video Card @ BmR
"Benchmark Reviews recently reviewed the ZOTAC 8800GT ZT-88TES2P-FSP, NVIDIA's very impressive answer to the HD3800 series. Though the NVIDIA beat ATI/AMD to market, the 8800GT release is a direct result of ATI/AMD's HD 3800 series. Today we'll be looking at one card responsible for the exceptional mid-range offering we are enjoying, the Diamond VIPER 3870PE4512 - ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 PCIE 2.0 512MB GDDR4 Video Card; ATI/AMD's mid-range card that curiously happens to be their top performing single GPU card."

More information can be found here.
Zalman ZM-RS6F USB 5.1 Surround Headphones/Headset Review @ Tweaknews.net
"Despite a couple minor shortcomings, the ZM-RS6F remains a decent contender for those in the market for a set of surround sound headphones. The USB connector and sound card allow for a convenient setup especially for laptop gaming. The surround sound quality is good and after gaming with these, it will be difficult to go back to a pair of standard headphones."

More information can be found here.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS Review @ Digital Trends
"The Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS is an 8-megapixel camera with 3X optical zoom and optical image stabilization."

More information can be found here.
VVIKOO GeForce 8800 GT Max 1024 MB @ techPowerUp
"Even though the GeForce 8800 GT has already been out for a while, it still has the punch to play all the latest games. The VVIKOO 8800 GT Max 1 GB comes with the Zalman VF1000 pre-installed and also features double the video memory. But is there any performance to be gained by going from 512 MB to 1024 MB of memory?"

More information can be found here.
Measuring Fedora's Boot Performance
"Last month we had measured Ubuntu's boot performance via the open-source Bootchart utility and had done this on all Ubuntu releases between Ubuntu 6.06 LTS and the latest development build at the time for Ubuntu 8.04 LTS. From this testing we had found the boot time to decrease with each official release and the maximum disk throughput increasing. With Fedora 9 Sulphur due out next month, we have done this same boot performance testing on the Fedora side with Core 4, Core 5, Core 6, 7, 8, and 9 Rawhide."

More information can be found here.
AMD 780G Chipset - Gigabyte MA-78GM-S2H Motherboard @ Legit Reviews
"The AMD 780G chipset is the first new chipset that was designed by AMD after the AMD/ATI merger and it performs like a winner. Usually when a company designs a chipset with integrated graphics they just take half of a desktop GPU and stick it inside the chipset, but the 780G is the first chipset generation to have the whole graphics engine inside. The Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H motherboard is a great example of what the 780G chipset can do when properly used. The board didn't leave us with any bad to say as it was found to be stable with a BIOS that could easily worked with..."

More information can be found here.
BFG 8800 GTS OC 512MB at Modders-Inc
"It performed the best overall through the testing process and comes in at the same price range of the HD3870."

More information can be found here.
Scythe Orochi SCORC-1000 Low Noise Heatsink Review
"The Scythe Orochi is the largest heatsink ever to pass through the Frostytech Labs. It's big: 155mm tall, 120mm wide and a staggering 194mm long. The Orochi contains 10 heatpipes, weighs over a kilo and from afar it looks like an industrial cooling unit. This Intel and AMD heatsink is so large, it should almost require slowly blinking red aircraft anti-collision lights... okay, that's an exaggeration. Scythe made the Orochi heatsink large for a reason, so that it can be paired with a slowly rotating ultra quiet fan to gently move air through the massive heatsinks' fins, or even used passively."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: Make It Again, Man
"It all comes down to that age old nightmare – game design. As I've said before, design is hard – it’s certainly the hardest thing about making good games. As an indie developer, I get to do all the jobs, and the design bit is the one I find hardest of all, although ironically it's the bit I get praised for in reviews. I'd like to put forward the theory that the difficulty of design is a reason we should love sequels. Let me explain... I worked for three years on Lionhead’s //The Movies and I ended up being known as the AI coder even though I actually worked on lots of different parts of the game. Because I was involved more or less from the start of the project I saw the game design evolve over time, which it did rather dramatically. If you haven't seen //The Movies, let me describe it briefly. //The Movies is a management game where you run a movie studio, with a 3D view of your studio lot. You pick the actors, sets, costumes, and (and this was the cool bit), you actually got to see the finished movie that you made, with the option to add subtitles, sound effects and so on. Commercially, //The Movies did alright, but not breathtakingly. I left Lionhead just as it was released so I don't know the exact figures, but I know there won't be a sequel. There was an expansion, but the first add-on pack for a game is always in development before it ships – that's just the logistics of things. The game got some good reviews, but it didn't set the world on fire. Now if you’re an investor, a publisher or a money man then your immediate thoughts are these:/ * /The game did not provide as good a return on investment as expected. / * /The game did not sell enough. / * /The last thing we would do is another game like this./ /Which makes absolute sense. Why throw good money after bad? Would you fund The Movies 2?"

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: Hard to be a God
"Still, the combinations of poor graphics and an unwieldy targeting system that requires all targeting to be pixel-perfect and camera-relative do seriously detract from the game. The fact that the vast majority of the dialogue is completely ancillary and the narrative is poorly introduced doesn’t really help much either. The game’s also more than a little repetitive and having to wade into one fight after another does make things feel a little samey and dreary after the first hour or two – the game is most assuredly combat focused for the most part and there’s only so much sword-swinging anyone can do before they want to sit down and solve things peaceably. Basically, it comes down to this; if you’re a big fan of the Strugatsky novels or you just want something a little bit predictable to play then //Hard to be a God If hacking and slashing isn’t your bag though then you’ll probably want to look elsewhere for your whinging deities – it’s not that the game is especially / may just be the ticket for you. With presentation this awful it’s also highly likely that the game will be dropping in price fairly quickly too, so you may be able to snag it cheaply if you wait a little bit. /bad, just that it’s like a meal of mediocrity – with a side-salad of ugliness and poor spelling. The basics of the game all work, but never wow and if the Earth took God seven days to make then this probably took him less than seven minutes."

More information can be found here.
Alphacool External 240x128 LCD-Display Review @ XtremeComputing
"The screen editing software has a lot of control over everything that you could possibly want to add, you can modify existing screens or create a new one completely. You can even drop a picture into the background (2 tone pictures work best)."

More information can be found here.
Honeywell SecuraDrive 80GB USB 1.8-Inch Pocket Drive @ BmR
"The Honeywell SecuraDrive portable USB hard drive is perfect for storing MP3 music files, videos files and photos, or for protecting sensitive and private data while on the go. Featuring Password Protection Technology, the SecuraDrive allows the user to allocate part or all of the hard drive's capacity to be public or private, with the private areas only accessible with the proper password, regardless if the SecuraDrive is lost or stolen. Benchmark Reviews tests the 80GB SecuraDrive FM-HWS80U2 for modern-day performance and reliability."

More information can be found here.
Monday, March 10, 2008
LG VX5400 Review @ Digital Trends
"Not every phone out there has to have fancy bells and whistles. Case in point is the no-frills LG VX5400. It just works, nothing more, nothing less.."

More information can be found here.
Patriot Memory PC3-15000 2GB Dual Channel Kit @ Viper Lair
"Our latest sticks come to us via Patriot and sport a PC2-6400 sticker on them, they also have this nifty little stamp"

More information can be found here.
CeBIT 2008: Girls @ techPowerUp
"After an exhausting six days at CeBIT 2008 we bring you pictures of the hot booth babes and all other pretty girls that were working there. By popular request we have added ultra high-res versions for all 231 pictures."

More information can be found here.
Tyan Tempest i5400XT
"When the Intel Quad-Core"

More information can be found here.
OLPC: A Lost Cause @ CoolTechZone.com
"OLPC is a lost cause. It's amazing how an otherwise interesting project with headline-grabbing mission could spiral out of control with disastrous results. The project has always had noble intentions. I can't fault them for that. Anytime an organization is giving back to the community and contributing back to society is a good organization in my book. However, the management is ludicrous. Not only did they not realize the magnitude of the ramifications for changing their mission, but they couldn't pinpoint their ultimate desire either."

More information can be found here.
Why Microsoft's Facebook Bet Won't Work @ OSWeekly.com
"Microsoft made a mistake with their investment in Facebook. Just because Google has made a business out of Internet advertising doesn't mean that a traditional software company is going to do well here, too."

More information can be found here.
Web Browsing Experience: Windows Mobile vs. iPhone @ OSWeekly.com
"One of the most important things to me in terms of purchasing a new cell phone is how well it could be used on the Internet. Long before the iPhone, I wanted a device that gave me full e-mail and Web support so that I could always be connected wherever I was, but whenever I took a look at some of the available devices on the market, I was never completely impressed. A few of them came close to delivering the results I wanted, but in the end, they just didn’t do the job. Of course, all of this changed when the iPhone came along."

More information can be found here.
Leopard On G4: The Test @ OSWeekly.com
"Although I’ve had Leopard installed on my Intel iMac since it was first released, I’ve put off installing it on my PowerBook G4 due to concerns that it would noticeably affect the performance of the machine. I read the experiences of several users who had made the upgrade successfully, but even though they seemed optimistic, I wasn’t convinced. I mean, how could a more advanced operating system like Leopard run just as well as Tiger did on this G4 machine?"

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: Dark Messiah: Might and Magic Elements
"Up until now it's mostly been pretty good news for Dark Messiah -- not fantastic news perhaps, but good enough. However, there are still a few little problems with //Dark Messiah that might prevent it from reaching the loftiest of heights. For starters, the game is just a little bit buggy and laggy at times. We never had our Xbox 360 crash, but there were more than a few times when we had clipping bugs and ended up underneath the ground. The framerate would regularly plunge too, getting stuttery whenever there was a bit too much going on on-screen -- like the first time you face a Cyclops. The framerate problems are probably the biggest issue we'd have with //Dark Messiah: Elements too and framerate drops are something I honestly just can't tolerate on a console game. When you are aiming for specific hardware then there's no excuse to let your game get into a framerate dropping scenario. Aside from that, the game's major fault is that despite the changes and tweaks it doesn't actually do all that much above and beyond the PC version -- it's just rebalanced and with a few new levels slapped in. There's nothing wrong with that at all---//Dark Messiah: Elements is perfectly alright---but it was never going to bowl us over, not with the engine starting to show its age./"

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: CeBIT 2008 - The Best of the Rest
"While attendance was clearly down this year at CeBIT, it doesn't prevent it from still being a mammoth show with many companies attending. There's so much to see and not enough time to see it all -- we covered the major announcements in our news feed, but there wasn't time to write about everything we saw during the week. So here's the best of the rest we came across in our four days of show floor adventuring."

More information can be found here.
Rosewill Xtreme RX950-S-B @ Bjorn3D.com
"It seems to me that every manufacturer in the industry is getting into the power supply business. We have seen memory makers, such as OCZ and Corsair, graphic card makers, such as BFG, and cases manufacture, such as NZXT and Tuniq are making power supplY. Combine these newcomers to the old and established power supply makers, such as Antec, Enermax, and Seasonics, we are having a big battle among power supplies. Even so, it does not deter other manufacturers from entering the arena and tries to fight against all odds to hopefully come out as a winner."

More information can be found here.
Ultra Dual-Computer 7-Port USB2.0 Hub Review @ Tweaknews.net
"Whether you like it or not, if you are big into the use of external peripherals, you will sooner or later being taking a hard look at a USB hub in your future. There will never be enough USB connections on your motherboard and realistically, who wants to have a rats nest of USB cable running to and from the front and rear of your computer when with one neat connection you can have seven components connected with no problems."

More information can be found here.
A-Data Vitesta DDR3-1600X CL7 PC3-12800 RAM @ Benchmark Reviews
"Benchmark Reviews has amassed the largest collection of DDR3 memory modules anywhere, and we are now ready to showcase the thirteenth product of our High-Speed DDR3 Review Series. In this article, we test the performance from A-Data's Vitesta X series DDR3, and discover if this overclocker-specific system memory is built for the task. Rated for 1600MHz, Benchmark Reviews successfully pushes the AD31600X002GU well beyond its PC3-12800 rating without disturbing the low 7-7-7-20 clock latency."

More information can be found here.
Canon PowerShot A590 IS Review @ Digital Trends
"Coming in at under $200, the Canon PowerShot A590 IS has a lot to offer including a 4X optical zoom, and 8MP imagery."

More information can be found here.
Sunday, March 9, 2008
bit-tech News: The Club (PC)
"Basically, The Club is still, after all, a Marmite game. Even on the PC, you'll either love it or hate it. So the question is not one of whether the PC version is better or not than the console version. That's a moot point: apart, perhaps, from slightly shinier graphics, the console and PC versions are identical. The pertinent question, then, is whether the PC version has a place in our hearts. That's where we get to the problem. You see, / /The Club is a console game through and through. You keep getting reminders of this when you're asked to press the A button to continue. The mouse control should be better than a console gamepad, but it never feels that way. The game always seems to be a fraction of a second behind your mouse, and never quite where you want it to be. That's the major problem with the PC version of //The Club -- the one extra, main advantage that the PC platform may afford you has been lost because the game was clearly designed for Xbox 360 first. //The Club is clearly a //port and not a remake for a different platform, and that is a bit of shame. Having that extra-precise control could have made us prefer the game on PC over any other platform, but that control system isn't implemented that well and the PC version doesn't really best the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 versions."

More information can be found here.
Saturday, March 8, 2008
Maximo iMetal iP-HS1 & iP-HS2 Headsets for iPhone Users @ Legit Reviews
"These headsets performed quite well during our battery of tests over the weeks that we tested them. Both the Maximo iMetal iP-HS1 & iP-HS2 headsets reproduced sound clearly and loudly. When using the iPod player, the iP-HS2 seemed to reproduce lower frequency better than the HS1’s. Both headsets were able to stay in our ears for long periods of time listening to music before our ears showed signs of fatigue. Of course, the key for comfort when using the iP-HS2 Isolation Headset is choosing the right eartip size..."

More information can be found here.
Friday, March 7, 2008
NVIDIA Quadro Performance: Windows vs. Linux vs. Solaris
"Earlier this week we previewed the Quadro FX1700, which is one of NVIDIA's mid-range workstation graphics cards that is based upon the G84GL core that in turn is derived from the consumer-class GeForce 8600 series. This PCI Express graphics card offers 512MB of video memory with two dual-link DVI connections and support for OpenGL 2.1 while maintaining a maximum power consumption of just 42 Watts. As we mentioned in the preview article, we would be looking at this graphics card's performance not only under Linux but also testing this workstation solution in both Microsoft Windows and Sun's Solaris. In this article today, we are doing just that as we test the NVIDIA Quadro FX1700 512MB with each of these operating systems and their respective binary display drivers."

More information can be found here.
Powercolor HD 3650 Xtreme 512 MB @ techPowerUp
"AMD's new HD 3650 is basically an improved version of the 2600 XT without any major technological advances other than a smaller die size resulting in cheaper cards. PowerColor's HD 3650 Extreme comes equipped with 512 MB of fast GDDR3 memory and runs at higher clocks than the AMD reference design."

More information can be found here.
Cooler Master Cosmos S @ Bjorn3D
"Generally I don't pay much attention to enclosures. It doesn't have to be a particular brand, model or color -- though I prefer black. My thoughts regaring PC cases had changed over the years. The case does not need to be fancy, flashy or unique anymore. What I do care about is the functionality, overall simplistic look and price. A lot more manufacturers release such cases nowadays. The boom for extraordinary designs had gone with the wind. I do however like a tiny bit of finesse that goes along with the case."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: Lost: Via Domus
"In the end then, it's purely a matter of judgement -- is Lost: Via Domus worth a peek from the type of Lost fanatic who might have read this far? Personally, I'd say probably not. The new story released here is interesting enough if you're really into the Lost franchise -- but it is by no means essential to understanding the greater themes of the show. The dialogue between NPCs and the player is dull and minimal too, so don't be expecting anything interesting to emerge about them either. What we're left with then is a mediocre game at best that is filled with poorly thought-out obstacles, many of which break from the style of game fiction the series has tried so hard to create. It's a lame cash-in of the most obvious and derivative sort and it's that which gives me the guts to just come out and say that the game was badly designed. There was room with the Lost franchise to do something fairly interesting in the spin-off game and a lot of what has been put before players here could have gone towards making a game that would have been worth playing if you're a fan of the series. Unfortunately though, this potential has been forgotten and what is left is a game that's broken and mediocre at best."

More information can be found here.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
ATP Electronics ProMax II CompactFlash Card and Reader Review @ Bigbruin.com
"If you happen to have a device that needs a CompactFlash card, there is no reason not to look at the ATP Electronics ProMax II line. Transferring large amounts of data is best done at high speed, and a UDMA capable card provides the best transfer rates you are going to get at this time . If you do get a ProMax II CompactFlash card, be sure to pick up the ATP Electronics ProMax UDMA card reader."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: Hyundai W241D 24" widescreen monitor
"If you are in the market for an all-purpose 24-inch monitor with a high end PVA panel, the good news is that the Hyundai W241D is cheaper but broadly as good as the competition. After all, it shares the same panel technology. Similarly, several of its minor glitches, such as slightly oversaturated colours and a touch of inverse ghosting, are very likely present on its key competitors. In that sense, the choice is fairly simple in the 24-inch segment at the moment. Those with tight budgets will put up with the relatively poor viewing angles, mediocre contrast and dull colours that TN+Film units consistently suffer from. People who can stretch a bit further can enjoy a more vibrant but not necessarily more accurate PVA model. If you fall into the latter camp, the W241D should be on your shortlist. Admittedly, it's a shame that there's nothing based on the latest IPS panel technology and offering a little more accuracy available in 24-inches currently. But unless you're a graphics or media professional who demands seriously tight colour control, odds are you be very happy with the W241D or one of its PVA-powered brethren."

More information can be found here.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Apple MacBook Air Review @ Digital Trends
"The MacBook Air represents Apple's concept of a truly next-gen notebook. While it's not for everyone, you still need to check it out."

More information can be found here.
Thermaltake V1 CPU Heatsink @ techPowerUp
"Thermaltake's V1 CPU heatsink has a classy, elegant design like no other. The all-copper construction and subtle scrolls make this heatsink stand out from the rest. While the V1 is not Thermaltake's flagship cooler, it still performs very well."

More information can be found here.
I4U: PNY Verto GeForce 9600 GT Graphics Card Review
"Today we are looking at the PNY 9600 GT graphics card. The PNY 9600 GT is virtually identical in performance to the XFX 9600 GT we tested a while back. After all the test were done the PNY Verto GeForce 9600 GT was a near tie in performance with the XFX 9600 GT, which was to be expected since the cards both run the same clock speeds. The PNY Verto GeForce 9600 GT retails for $179.99 and is available now."

More information can be found here.
I4U: AMD 780G Chipset & AMD Athlon X2 4850e Dual-core CPU Review
"Today we are looking at a new chipset and processor form AMD. The AMD 780G chipset features integrated DirectX 10 compliant graphics and a wealth of other features. After all the dust settled the 780G and Athlon X2 4850e performed well. Especially so when you consider that the CPU retails for only $89 and the CPU with the mainboard will cost around $180. Throw in a $50 HD 3450 discrete graphics card and you have a very low cost machine that can play games like Crysis (albeit at low settings)."

More information can be found here.
Intel Linux-Ready Firmware Developer Kit
"Intel's Open-Source Technology Center is involved with a number of open-source Linux projects such as Threading Building Blocks, Moblin, PowerTOP, and the X.Org graphics driver. Intel also has vested interests in numerous other projects such as Xen and KVM. One of Intel's lesser-known projects, however, is the Linux-ready Firmware Developer Kit. The Linux-ready Firmware Developer Kit is a bootable CD that analyzes the BIOS or EFI on the test system to see how well it's able to work with Linux and what features are supported via the firmware. The primary purpose of this kit is for use by firmware developers, but it's also able to aide end-users in determining what BIOS features on their system will work with Linux."

More information can be found here.
XFX 9600GT 512MB @ Bjorn3D
"Today we have the distinct pleasure of introducing the XFX's rendition of NVIDIA's 9600GT 512MB graphics solution. The model of the card we received for testing from XFX, the PV-T94P-YDF4, has the same specifications as NVIDIA's reference standard card. We have been assured by XFX that two other factory overclocked models will be available in the very near future. It has been our experience in testing a base model card such as this that often we're able to achieve an excellent overclock, in many cases even superior to the factory overclocked models. We'll soon see!"

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: Phase III scratch built case mod
"I know, cubes aren't exactly 100 percent original - but they're still one of the most popular and yet least done builds - and the smaller they get, the less of them you see. I'm sure a part of that is due to the difficulties inherent in fitting everything, as the cube shape almost requires the motherboard to be in only one of two places - flat on one of the faces (and facing inwards), or dissecting the middle. The first idea is fairly boring and straight-forward. Take a normal case and give it a little extra width, and you're done! All the goods go on one side, the motherboard's back faces out and that's it. Dissecting the case with the motherboard to put it on display is another thing entirely, though. Suddenly, there's a challenge in how small you can get the cube and still fit everything you need - a DVD drive, HDD and PSU get to be harder to fit. By the time you add multiple hard drives, card readers, LCD display and watercooling components, you get quite a challenge indeed. It's this challenge that initially attracted Chris Cook (aka cc3d on our forums) to design and build"

More information can be found here.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Catalyst 8.3: Better Hardware through Drivers @ TheTechLounge
"As of Catalyst 8.3, a.k.a."

More information can be found here.
Sony MDR-NC500D Headphones Review @ Digital Trends
"The Sony MDR-NC500D are the world's first digital noise canceling headphones."

More information can be found here.
AMD 780G Chipset Motherboard Preview @ Legit Reviews
"During a recent trip to visit ATI we got a chance to see numerous AMD 780G motherboards and while we are finishing up our 780G review this should hold you over. AMD expects 780G based motherboards to be priced between $80-$120 with some manufacturers boards available this week and others later in the month. With the 780G and SB700 chipsets motherboard manufacturers can come up with some interesting designs and today we will be showing you what ASUS, ECS, Foxconn, Gigabyte, MSI, J&W and Jetway have developed..."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: AMD's 780G integrated graphics chipset
"Without doubt the AMD 780G chipset is a revolution in performance for Home Theatre PCs -- we finally have a platform that can playback everything we throw at it without compromises, regardless of the CPU used. It's strange to think that AMD is not only releasing a very inexpensive chipset but it also (inadvertently) encourages you to buy the cheapest, lowest power CPU possible because it'll still be more than capable thanks to the 780G's Unified Video Decoder (UVD) engine. For those not wanting to bother with Blu-ray (or HD DVD), it'll still save you money because it affords lower power across the board on all common compression types: MPEG-2, H.264 and MPEG-4 (Divx/Xvid). But then again, a PC Blu-ray drive isn't / /that expensive any more -- the only thing that's missing is full bitrate High-Definition 7.1 channel audio pass through. Currently PC users are still limited to DVD quality 5.1 channel Dolby Digital and DTS audio. There are other features like Hybrid CrossFire, and the new 2.5GHz 45W AMD Athlon X2 4850e CPU which we will be reviewing separately at a later date, but as far as the chipset goes for use in an HTPC, this is the only option on the market to currently consider. Mind you, Nvidia will soon deliver its GeForce 8200 solution to market, and if Intel's G45 is anything like its G35 in terms of video playback quality, it could give the AMD 780G a run for its money. That said, if Intel's G45-based boards share the same price difference as G35 versus 780G, the AMD solution should remain leagues ahead. It's also important to remember the mobile aspect -- even though the M780G isn't going to be available for a little while yet, the dedicated low power processor and very power efficient chipset will increase battery life massively. It'll also allow OEMs to create inexpensive notebooks that can still to handle Blu-ray Disc playback at full HD resolutions. This could give AMD considerable leverage, providing that is, it sorts out its mobile CPUs and makes the platform as good as Centrino (an unlikely event, it has to be said), or alternatively release a mobile north bridge supporting Core 2 CPUs -- that's something I can't see happening though, because it goes against the AMD's recent"

More information can be found here.
NVIDIA Quadro FX1700 512MB
"Workstation GPUs are not our main focus at Phoronix, but with the increasing use of Linux on workstation systems, we will be starting to look at professional graphics products this month and likely more of them in the future. We are beginning this expedition by looking at the Quadro FX1700, which is one of NVIDIA's mid-range workstation graphics cards. This Quadro graphics card boasts 512MB of video memory, support for CUDA, and OpenGL 2.1 support. According to NVIDIA's product literature, the Quadro FX1700 is engineered to deliver exceptional performance, quality, and price for professionals."

More information can be found here.
Microsoft Reclusa Gaming Keyboard Review @ Tweaknews.net
"Overall, I have to say that the Razer based Microsoft Reclusa is a solid constructed piece of computer hardware that should be permanently placed on your desktop for many years with little to no problems."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: Conflict: Denied Ops
"There are some glimmers of hope to be had with Conflict: Denied Ops. If you can get past the graphics, cardboard cut-out story, wonky physics (a shotgun blast pokes a tiny hole in plywood, but rifle-butting a door will splinter it out of the frame?!) and disjointed, confused gameplay then there is an semi-enjoyably mindless shooter here. Maybe. Crippling / /Conflict: Denied Ops though is that the competition is composed of far better, cheaper games. It comes down to this. When I was at university I¡¦d occasionally dip into my student loan on a slow week and go trawling the bargain bins at my local GameStation with a fiver in hand. I knew that the games I was buying would most likely turn out to be awful, but I¡¦d buy them anyway because they¡¦d fulfil my need for a cheap, forgettable game to while away the time between thinking about starting my dissertation and forgetting to start my dissertation. / /Conflict: Denied Ops is about on par with those old bargain bin games from three years ago. It ranks next to games like //Stolen, //Project I.G.I/ and /Aikens Artifact. There are people out there who¡¦ll disagree with me and who¡¦ll claim a deep love for / /Denied Ops ¡V but these are the type of people who claim that the original //Evil Dead is the best film ever made and they should be discounted completely. Don¡¦t listen to them; listen to me and wait until //Denied Ops drops into the bargain bins if you must play it at all."

More information can be found here.
33-Way Thermal Interface Material Comparison @ Benchmark Reviews
"Benchmark Reviews has seen a lot of products made for the purpose of delivering better performance. Some of these products exist for overclockers and enthusiasts, and often times help deliver performance out of otherwise tame hardware. Other products sometimes only deliver the empty marketing claim of improvements. Of all the products we have seen and tested, one particular category always stands out as the culprit for over-hyped promises: Thermal Interface Material (TIM). Of all the heatsink compounds and thermal pastes made and marketed, they must all only concentrate themselves to deliver the simple function of mating the CPU to the cooler with the highest thermal conductivity possible. Of course, some work better than others, and this is exactly what Benchmark Reviews intends to discover. Please join us for a comprehensive testing of 33 different TIM products."

More information can be found here.
Monday, March 3, 2008
VVIKOO GeForce 9600 GT Turbo @ techPowerUp
"VVIKOO's GeForce 9600 GT Turbo brings many changes over the NVIDIA reference design. You can see one of the first DisplayPort implementations, an HDMI output, two DVIs and optical SPDIF-in. The card also features the Zalman VF-1000 cooler which makes sure the card stays cool at all times. Since the card runs cooler, the card comes overclocked straight from the factory."

More information can be found here.
100% Passively cooled case build @ Metku.net
"I have wanted to build a fully passively cooled computer case since I had my first Athlon Thunderbird 800 MHz. That time the fan noise was amazingly high, and manufacturers didn´t much care about the noise levels, and didn't offer products for building a quiet PC. Nowadays a quiet PC is not much of a challenge to build, but totally silent?"

More information can be found here.
Gigabyte GA-EP35-DS4 DES
"Back in December we looked at the Gigabyte GA-P35-DS4 motherboard and compared it against the ASUS P5K-E WiFi, which was also backed by Intel's P35 Express Chipset. In that review, the Gigabyte motherboard had presented a slight lead when it came to the Linux desktop performance, but both motherboards received our recommendations. Since then, Gigabyte has made a few changes to their latest motherboards in order to provide heightened power efficiency. The newest Gigabyte motherboards support DES, or Dynamic Energy Saver, technology. In this review we are taking a brief look at Gigabyte's efforts into green computing with their Dynamic Energy Saver technology on the GA-EP35-DS4 motherboard."

More information can be found here.
Noctua NH-U12P Heatpipe CPU Cooler Review @ Bigbruin.com
"The cooling performance of the Noctua NH-U12P Heatpipe CPU Cooler is exceptional. With the fan at full speed it produces minimal noise and provides excellent thermal results, and cutting the fan speed down to near silence doesn't impact the cooling at all. Even though the performance was exceptional, achieving it took more effort than I am used to needing in order to install a CPU cooler."

More information can be found here.
Ãœberclok Ion: Custom built fragging goodness @ Bjorn3D
"So you like to play games; a lot of games. You want a powerful machine but just don't have the time to research all the different parts. You also prefer to have a company standing behind you in the case something goes wrong. You've been to the popular boutique builders and you quickly realize if you are going to game on one of their systems you will probably need that arm and leg they are asking for. So what do you do and where do you turn? Here at Bjorn3D we recognize that not everyone wants to build their own machine. Some people prefer to order one and be done with it. For those of you that just want to game on some of the latest hardware and have it pushed to the absolute limits have I got a treat for you. To help usher in a new era of system reviews here at Bjorn 3D is with a lot of excitement that I introduce to you Überclok and their ION gaming machine. Don't worry if you have never heard of Überclok because they are a new to the field but when you hear what they offe!"

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: Misinterpreting the Enthusiast
"The bottom line is all about how the enthusiast is defined. To hardware companies, //they'd like to think we are one of two distinct types: the people that have so much disposable income they will always get the latest, bleeding edge parts regardless of cost, and take the accumulated benefit of all it to a slightly better system than anyone else. Well, for three to six months. Every company that makes an ‘enthusiast’ product only really wants to know this type of people because it’s how they make their margins. Think of 3-way SLI, the 8800 Ultra, CrossFireX, Intel Extreme Edition processors and just about any ‘gamer’ motherboard you can think of. The greater majority of us are enthusiasts for an entirely different reason: cost efficiency, value and a love for tinkering with a product to get the most out of it. We are the type of people that want to get the most out of the least we can get away with – this is where overclocking a £750 system to make it equivalent to something that retails at £1,500 seems like a sound investment. This is where our history lies before all these companies jumped in on the ‘enthusiast/gamer’ bandwagon, only to re-spin it in shiny housing and flooding it in blue LEDs. It's then pimped out as having bigger numbers than the next guy (euphemisms encouraged). We've got to stop the rot of this ‘gaming-enthusiast-platform’, stop being massaged into a corner – no matter how good it might feel. The opportunity to do something homebrew will be diminished to the point where only a handful of the most hardcore electrical engineers with oscilloscopes, thick glasses and degree plagues mounted on the wall will be able to do cool new things. In some ways I fear for our creed because I'm afraid there the little tangible benefit to future ‘features’ hyped up to the max by marketers: PhysX and Killer NIC immediately come to mind. I just hope the press, companies and the community can understand the differences between real enthusiasts and those who just want to update their 3DMark score with an injection of e-peen. What we, as members of the press, need to ensure is that our reviews of products don't purely become a list of features and buzz words, and instead talk about its relevance to the //actual computing experience. There will always be a market for the latest and greatest, and yes, we always love to know about it even if we can't afford it, but let’s not get coaxed into going down that a path of no return that restricts our future choices."

More information can be found here.
akasa 1000w PowerMax PSU Review @ XtremeComputing
"Akasa has been around for a while and in the PSU game since we reviewed the Akasa pax power 460W which was a high end PSU back then, since then they have released some solid performers and for the right price too. Now we look at there latest offering the Akasa PowerMax 1000w PSU, will it perform as well as its predecessors, only one way to find out so let us get on with the review."

More information can be found here.
Lacie d2 Quadra 500GB Review @ Digital Trends
"The d2 Quadra is one fully-loaded hard drive with eSATA, FireWire 800, FireWire 400 and USB 2.0 interfaces."

More information can be found here.
Sunday, March 2, 2008
AMD & NVIDIA's Linux Control Panels
"It was a year ago that AMD had replaced its aging FireGL Control Panel inside its Linux driver with the AMDCCCLE, or AMD Catalyst Control Center Linux Edition. Since that time, this Catalyst Control Center for Linux continues to mature with a few new features being added here and there, and version 2.0 could in fact be introduced in an upcoming release. At the same time, the control panel utility that ships with NVIDIA's binary driver, nvidia-settings, has stayed more or less the same for the past few years with only a few minor revisions. How do these two Linux control panels compare though when it comes to the features? For this article we have put AMDCCCLE and nvidia-settings side-by-side to compare and contrast both utilities."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: Ideazon Merc Stealth Gaming Keyboard
"I suppose it’s a little ironic that a keyboard that has been crafted to target a market so specifically should succeed at everything except the genre to which it should be most suited – but that’s the reality of it. On paper, the Merc Stealth is an excellent gaming keyboard and, with time and practice, I don’t doubt that gamers could learn to use it fluidly and masterfully. The downside though is that it / /takes time and practice at all – other keyboards we’ve looked at use a much more sensible layout of keys that manages to be both familiar and enhanced. Why can’t the Merc Stealth? It’s a shame. The Merc Stealth is as great a looking keyboard as it would probably be possible to get if one were shopping for gaming inputs and the ergonomics of the design are at times fantastic. The angle and slopping of the gaming section is definitely not painful to use as some keyboards are. The media keys, connections and all-round feel of the Merc Stealth is in order too, and we like that the board can be raised in steps to accommodate different hands. Unfortunately, the one area where we’d have wanted the Merc Stealth to really shine turned out to be a bit of a letdown and despite us spending longer than usual getting to know the board, we still couldn’t get practiced enough for it to rival a WASD set-up – for that reason, though the keyboard is decent enough despite the extra gaming keys, we can't really recommend spending the whopping £60 on it compared to any other keyboard on the market."

More information can be found here.
Saturday, March 1, 2008
AlienTrap Software Nexuiz 2.4
"Since the release of Nexuiz 1.0 in 2005, we have been tracking its progress as one of the leading open-source first person shooters. With time, this fast-pace game has picked up a nice level of artificial intelligence for its in-game bots, engine optimizations, single-player campaign missions, and a variety of technical advancements. Nexuiz has always been one of the leading open-source first person shooter games, and with the release of Nexuiz 2.4 yesterday it reaffirms that you don't need to be a major game studio -- or a game studio at all -- to develop a quality title and even for being a free software game it has impressive graphics. With the graphical settings near maximized, a GeForce 8600GT on a quad-core system was brought to its knees by this free software (and free content) game."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: Beautiful Katamari (European Release)
"The unique approach taken to the art design and game premise for Beautiful Katamari is equally fascinating and entertaining. There's a real sense that an enormous amount of effort went in to creating this weirdly attractive and colourful world, as well as making the game as accessible and appealing as possible. Unfortunately, that effort has always been properly targeted and there is some scar tissue that mars the brilliance of/ /Beautiful Katamari. Multiplayer and co-op especially are a little lack lustre and, while multiplayer suffers mainly from a lack of imagination, co-op gaming is just an exercise in frustration. Two people controlling one ball just doesn't work. There's also a huge amount of dialogue to wade through, mainly from the King and having him pop up and dominate the screen in the middle of the game is just plain stupid and requires players to forego Katamari control to dismiss him. The dialogue itself is witty, peculiar and pleasant enough not to offend, but we question why the text speech is overlaid with horrible scratching sounds that slowly irritated us more than needles stuck in our teeth. The lack of autosave is a frankly massive oversight too and one by one we each fell victim to this omission, abandoning unsaved content by mistake. / /Beautiful Katamari is a fun game and one that pretty much every family would do well to have in their household as it'll effortlessly woo and seduce any and all onlookers into playing it. Small children, parental non-gamers and the hardcore PC-playing master race -- all will be rolled up in //Beautiful Katamari's wake. The game itself is far from perfect though and there are numerous flaws that, while never destroying the fun of the game, so occasionally mar it."

More information can be found here.
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