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Archives > 2008 > May
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Yuin OK1 Earphones @ techPowerUp
"Yuin OK1 is the name of Yuin's brand new top-of-line earphone. The OK1s are rather special since they can both function as a pair of regular earbuds or as in-ears. The design is also completely revamped. When driven by a proper amp the sound is lightyears ahead of any other earbud we have previously tested."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: First Look: MSI's Wind sub-notebook
"We dropped into MSI's headquarters in Taiwan this morning to get some hands on time with its new Wind PC. For those unaware of its importance, it's not only MSI's first //netbook but also one of the first to carry the Intel Atom processor. Having played with the Eee PC and quite frankly, finding it much too small to be comfortable, the 10-inch Wind was a real pleasure to use without crippling my hands into looking like a lobster claw (fingers all pinched together). The Wind will launch in plain white, but will also have the option of these cool tattoos. Now, not being one for art splashed over the cover of electronic gadgets I have to say (while reaffirming my masculinity here) that it looks awesome. Another thing the Wind has over the Eee PC is the fact it feels like a quality product -- with the Eee, you're aware of the (inexpensive) price you pay in the feel of the plastic. I have to say that it's even got a less cheap plastic feeling than MSI's notebooks that are twice the price."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: AMD ATI Radeon HD 4850 pictured
"Visiting one of the many manufacturers here in stormy Taipei, we just happened to stumble across this little number sitting on the side. A few shots later (why is it the most important ones always have the most blur?) and we decided to ask around as to its story. Apparently, it's a dummy sample direct from the double-A team, which the companies use to get the basic gist of what they need for artwork and branding, and so that they can start working on their own cooling solutions. Said company remained exceptionally tight lipped (like a well trained terrier) about the details of the card, and we didn't have time to whip out the screwdriver to see underneath. Check the (overly zoomed) picture right to see that it's the RV770 all right!"

More information can be found here.
Friday, May 30, 2008
I4U: Radius Atomic Bass Earphones for iPods Review
"The Atomic Bass are certainly one of the best sounding sets of earphones that I have tried and give my iPhone music some serious bass, which I like. I would like to see a set of these with a mic built-in for use with the iPhone for making and receiving calls."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: Nehalem and X58 show up in Taipei
"First, the CPU and its new socket: while the roadmaps say the high-end Nehalem to be launched in Q4 will have up to eight cores, the one MSI had in its office was just a quad-core but with eight threads. The socket is still LGA, but instead of the 775 used on current boards, this one now features 1366 pins and is slightly rectangular – not Pentium Pro rectangular, but simply a stretched out square. The back of the socket now has a metal backplate to brace itself and I’m afraid you’ll be buying a new heatsink too because the socket fittings have changed since LGA775. In fact, the whole area that needs to be exclusively for “Intel CPU use” is now apparently over twice the volume of that compared to LGA775 giving motherboard manufacturers even less space to shoehorn in additional components."

More information can be found here.
ZEROtherm Zen FZ120 CPU Cooler @ Legit Reviews
"The FZ120 Zen does what I believe ZEROtherm wanted it to do, and it does a great job. It has performance very close to that of the Nirvana, is quieter than the Nirvana, and is cheaper than the Nirvana. The Zen can be found for $39 + shipping, and that’s a steal. With a price like that the Zen is an inexpensive upgrade for anyone, and is almost (depending where you shop) $15-20 cheaper than its bigger brother, the Nirvana..."

More information can be found here.
ASRock A780FullDisplayPort
"In April we had looked at the ECS A780GM-A v1.0 motherboard, which boasted AMD's new Radeon HD 3200 graphics. For being an integrated graphics solution, we were certainly pleased with the performance, as it had performed about the same as the discrete Radeon HD 2400PRO. With the success of the AMD 780G Chipset, we have decided to look at another one of these motherboards. This time around we are looking at the ASRock A780FullDisplayPort, which as the name implies it offers a DisplayPort connection for the integrated graphics."

More information can be found here.
ASUS HD EAH3870 @ Bjorn3D
"The ASUS ATI Radeon EAH3870 is up for review today at Bjorn3D and I am ready to dive in. It is a 512 MB DDR4 card with plenty of bang for the buck. Actually we are going to find out if it is more beneficial to own an ASUS EAH3870 or a Leadtek Winfast PX9600GT card. Both are priced closely at a wopping $20 difference. Will the 3870 perform better, achieve lower temperatures, and deliver the 9600GT a black eye? That is what we will find out in this review. Behold the goodness of ASUS, 'Rock Solid - Heart Touching'."

More information can be found here.
ECS A780GM-A Black Series AMD 780G Motherboard Review @ Bigbruin.com
"The ECS A780GM-A Black Series AMD 780G motherboard wound up being quite interesting. It offers quite a few appealing features, such as a back panel full of useful connections, onboard HD audio and video with HDMI output, an integrated RAID controller, support for AMD's Hybrid CrossFire and their new Phenom processors. With such a selection of goodies onboard, the relatively low price initially seems too good to be true."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: Cyberlink to launch new TrueTheatre video-enhancing technologies
"Cyberlink, the Taiwanese outfit behind the popular PowerDVD software is about to launch some new technologies -- we were given exclusive first access to its new Noise Reduction technologies, Video Stabiliser, Video Upscaling (re-engineered) and fps upsampling engines. The products are still in the development stages -- the noise reduction won't be available until next year, we were told, so the technology was still a work in progress and"

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: Akasa Mirage-62 chassis
"Due to the similarities between this and the Eclipse-62, the Mirage was always going to be compared to its sibling, the Eclipse. However, when you look at the case on its own, you realise just what a good piece of kit it really is. Probably the best removable motherboard tray I've ever used, combined with rock solid build quality from the light and durable aluminium frame make a great base for a system build, and while the look of the case could be seen as a little boring, there's plenty of room for customisation. Although the component temperatures were admittedly a little disappointing, we feel the Mirage more than makes up for this slight stumble with simple brilliant noise levels, and its customisable, spacious and straightforward internal layout. However, I can't help but feel that this update to the Eclipse could, and perhaps should have been so much more than a face lift, especially when you consider the £20 price difference between the two models. Just because something works well, doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement, and despite a few nice additions, and the excellent noise performance, I came away wanting more. In the end, both are very well built and very high quality cases -- it'll be down to personal preference whether you pay the extra money for the Mirage and its door."

More information can be found here.
Raidmax Iceberg Elite Series Gaming Case @ techPowerUp
"The Raidmax Iceberg is a sturdy case designed to suit the gamer who is also conscious of style. Coming stock with three 120 mm blue LED fans and a side panel window in addition to being quite sturdily constructed of aluminum, this case is made to please gamers."

More information can be found here.
Final Day: NZXT Tempest Giveaway @ Benchmark Reviews
"Benchmark Reviews and NZXT have partnered to bring one very lucky winner a brand new NZXT TEMPEST enthusiast mid-tower computer case. Today is the final day to enter, and all you have to do is answer five simple questions by posting here in this thread!"

More information can be found here.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
VIA Nano CPU - Codename Isaiah @ Benchmark Reviews
"On the 29th of May 2008 VIA announced the Nano CPU, a processor built from Isaiah architecture. Building on the market-leading energy efficiency of their existing VIA C7 processor family, the VIA Nano processor family offers as much as four times the performance within the same power range to extend VIA's performance per watt leadership, while identical pin compatibility with VIA C7 processors will ensure a smooth transition for OEMs and motherboard vendors, and provides them with an easy upgrade path for current system or board designs."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: Dumbing Up Gaming
"Recently someone tried to make a game out of protein folding. The idea was that if you could make an accessible fun game out of it, you could effectively get lots of people to process real data for free, and contribute towards a worthwhile goal. Great idea, but do we have to assume the game needs to be massively simple in order to catch on? I'm sure a lot of biochemists play computer games, why must we assume they are incapable of learning a complex game? You can take a lot of great game ideas, and then dumb then down to the lowest common denominator and make them boring and dull, that's a given. There are some great game ideas though that you just can't dumb down before they fall apart. Right now that means the game doesn't even get out of the starting gate. I've heard of games flopping because the marketing sucked, budget problems, piracy and poor design but I haven't heard about any big games failing because they were too highbrow. Yet nobody is even trying to make those games. In some ways it's all the fault of our old nemesis, the rocketing game budget. Rack up a four million dollar wage bill, and you need to sell a LOT of copies to break even. Selling just to biochemists won't cut it any more, you need to aim at the wider audience. But if you avoid the technology arms race and do a lower budget game, what kind of games could we make?"

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: Boom Blox (Wii)
"With all that said though, there are a few weak points in Boom Blox which perhaps limit how much fun you can have with it. The first and most damaging flaw is the length of the game because after only a few hours of gaming we¡¦d already finished nearly the entire Explore mode and were making a decent dent in the Adventure side of things. The other thing to bear in mind is that, like all puzzle games, //Boom Blox will frustrate you as much as it¡¦ll keep you entertained. Playing through the Chemical Blox campaign in Explore mode was something we did with ease until about the eighth level, at which point we got stumped for more than an hour. Lots of swear words were uttered before we eventually got a gold medal. Still, it¡¦s all very much a minor chink in the armour of //Boom Blox and this is definitely one of the must-have family games in our opinion. As a party game it may play second fiddle to the likes of //Warioware, but if you¡¦re after something to play on a week night when you don¡¦t need a bottle of tequila to have fun then this is definitely the game for you. The combination of fluid controls, screaming chickens and huge explosions is a sure winner."

More information can be found here.
X-Spice Kira CS 530W Power Supply @ techPowerUp
"Even though X-Spice is not a very well known brand name, they achieved what nobody else could do: building an extremely quiet power supply that is stable and affordable. We are testing the 530W model today and found that it could easily handle a Quad CrossFireX rig, and produced less fan noise under load than most other power supplies in idle."

More information can be found here.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
ASUS Striker II NSE nForce 790i SLI Motherboard @ BmR
"More than anything else, the new NVIDIA nForce 790i Ultra SLI chipset is designed for next‐generation processor technologies, and supports 3‐way SLI, Quad SLI, DDR3 with EPP 2, PCI Express 2.0, 1600 FSB CPUs, and the meticulous hardware control via the Enthusiast System Architecture (ESA). The ASUS Striker II NSE nForce 790i SLI motherboard provides true triple PCIe 2.0/16x lanes with support for 3‐Way SLI and Quad SLI. It includes 60 PCI Express lanes and 10 links, six SATA ports, one eSATA port, 10 USB, and two Gigabit Ethernet NVIDIA MAC, ATA‐133 interface, two PCI slots, and HD audio. Impressive right?"

More information can be found here.
Glacialtech Altair A380 HTPC Case @ techPowerUp
"The Altair A380 is an affordable slim HTPC case, with a very clean look coupled with a very durable construction. The included power supply is 80 Plus certified and can easily power today's mATX boards with multi core CPUs. Also included is an infrared remote control which is compatible with Windows Vista."

More information can be found here.
ASUS PQ5 Deluxe P45 Eaglelake Motherboard @ Bjorn3D
"The Intel® P45 boards will sport a die shrink of the onboard components to 65nm as opposed to the previous 90nm standard. This die shrink would lead us to expect less power consumption as well as improved power efficiency. The P45 also offers official support for PCIe 2.0 with more adaptable lanes to help better support the use of multiple GPUs based on the CrossFire™ architecture. The P45 based boards will feature the new ICH10 series southbridge, which is extremely close in its feature set to its ICH9 brethren, but the primary difference between the two is the ICH10 series has removed LPT and legacy PATA support entirely. While not officially offering support for the new 1600 MHz FSB processors we have it on good authority that most of the P45 boards will support these chips."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: Asus P5Q Deluxe motherboard
"Asus has appealed to the budget conscious, feature loving, overclocking enthusiast very well indeed even though some of these features are mutually exclusive in use. It's not perfect but it's evidently a clear that this is a thorough evolution over previous Asus products, even previous P35 boards as a whole. It's raised the bar //massively for what mainstream should be compared to the previous generation, yet in almost every area it's still left us wanting more. Its hardware features are innovative and daring, but we find ourselves rhetorically questioning //"

More information can be found here.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Microsoft Zune 80GB Review @ Digital Trends
"The 80GB Zune has undeniable cool factor, given its big screen and built-in WiFi. But rather than trumping the competition, it falls in that gray area between the somewhat ho-hum iPod Classic and the rip-roaring iPod Touch. We applaud Microsoft for trying to make the hardware and software as un-Microsoft (read: user-friendly) as possible, but even this second-gen model has some kinks that need working out. And although we love the wireless sync and recently upgraded song-sharing features, we hope future generations will include more practical WiFi features like a Web browser."

More information can be found here.
Open-Source ATI Driver Achieves 3D Success
"While the RadeonHD developers have been busy working on Radeon HD 3200 / 780 Series support and other features for this open-source ATI R500/600+ driver, the DRM (Direct Rendering Manager) support has been lagging behind. Earlier this month Matthias Hopf was successful in getting DRM working on an RS690 GPU and he has published RadeonHD DRM code into his personal development tree, but no code has yet to reach master. Meanwhile, as the xf86-video-ati driver is using AtomBIOS, they are able to spend more time working on the 3D features and other areas and less time"

More information can be found here.
I4U: Boom Blox for Nintendo Wii Review
"Today we are taking a look at EA and Steven Spielberg’s Boom Blox game for the Nintendo Wii. This game has modes for single and multiple players and features a full level editor to allow you to create your own levels. Spielberg says that he hopes Boom Blox will be fun for the entire family, and he certainly delivers; my entire family spent hours happily playing Boom Blox together. Usually the games I play aren’t anything my kids or wife likes and vice versa. Boom Blox on the other hand is a game that we all liked and had a lot of fun playing. The game is rate E for everyone and the controls are exceptionally easy to use and learn for gamers of all ages. Boom Blox is the family game to have for the Wii."

More information can be found here.
Hypersonic Avenger AG2 12.1" Notebook Review @ Legit Reviews
"The Hypersonic Avenger AG2 notebook was just launched on May 22nd, 2008, but that doesn't mean we haven't had a sample for well over a month now. The Hypersonic Avenger AG2 notebook is the same thing as the Clevo M72R notebook, so Hypersonic was able to get a production sample in our hands before they officially started to carry this recently released 12.1"

More information can be found here.
Aeneon XTune 2GB DDR3-1600 Dual Channel Memory Kit Review @ Bigbruin.com
"The Aeneon XTune 2GB DDR3-1600 dual channel memory kit wound up surprising me. While I didn't expect it to perform poorly, I did not anticipate that it would keep up with similar kits with tighter timings. Despite being rated for 1600MHz at 9-9-9-28 timings, it managed to perform on par with other kits with timings of 8-8-8-34 and 7-7-7-18."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: Mass Effect (PC)
"Mass Effect was already an awesome game, that much we knew. It was so good in fact that it managed to sneak its way in to our Top 10 Games of 2007. The question is though, has it got any better since then? The answer to that isn't easy, but mainly that's because there aren't that many differences between the two versions. There are some positive enhancements to consider like the new hotkey features and a smoother interface, but on the other hand these are balanced out by an awful minigame and the fact that all these changes feel insubstantial and tacked on -- where are the new quests and weapons? The deciding factor then, due to a lack of extra content, should be whether or not the game can win through on the merit of being on the PC -- does the actual input of mouse and keyboard make the game better on PC? The answer is yes, but not enough for it to make a big difference. Mass Effect is an utterly absorbing, massive and enthralling game. As soon as this review is done we're going to go play it some more and if you're a PC RPG fan who hasn't got the Xbox 360 version then this is definitely a game you'll want to pick up, but the PC version doesn't do enough to push ahead of the Xbox 360 original and in the end the two will have to settle for being equals."

More information can be found here.
Cyber Snipa Sonar 5.1 USB Surround Headset Review @ Tweaknews.net
"All in all, not a bad showing from Cyber Snipa, the Sonar 5.1s offer a reasonably priced solution with astounding bass and good surround sound. The headset is comfortable and has as many adjustments as you could possibly ask for, both physically for comfort and via software for the sound."

More information can be found here.
Monday, May 26, 2008
Open-Source RadeonHD Driver Delivers AMD 780 Support
"The AMD 780 Series Chipsets have been available for nearly four months now, and supporting the Radeon HD 3200 graphics since day one has been AMD's proprietary Catalyst driver. On the open-source side, there has been the Radeon HD 3200 / 780G support quite quickly through the xf86-video-ati driver due to its use of AtomBIOS, but the support within the RadeonHD driver hadn't arrived until earlier today. Thanks to 22 code commits made to the mainline xf86-video-radeonhd git tree, it's now possible to use this newest AMD integrated graphics processor with this Novell-spawned driver."

More information can be found here.
Travagans Colors Portable Headphone Amp @ techPowerUp
"Travagan's Colors is the name of a brand new portable headphone amplifier. It is much smaller than most normal portable amps and only costs $59. The design is quite outlandish since it resembles a dog bone. The question is of course how does this little thing stack up against some of the bigger portable headphone amps."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: Asus Xonar DX PCI-Express sound card
"The Asus Xonar DX isn't the perfect product a spec sheet would lead you to think -- its software interface might be appalling and we've had to wait for a proper EAX driver to fix popular games like //BioShock and //Half-Life 2: Episode Two, but at least it installed without issue on various systems including boards based on Intel's P965, X48 and P45 chipsets, along with Nvidia nForce 780i SLI and AMD 690G-based motherboards -- we even used an x8 slot instead of just an x1 and as expected, it made no difference. The only problem we've heard is that there are issues with it and the 790i Ultra SLI because of the PCI to PCI-Express bridge chip. The Xonar DX has a fantastic core feature set -- its sound quality is largely indistinguishable compared to the Xonar D2X and it's significantly better than on-board audio. What's more, the price to feature ratio is what makes it very accessible to buy. In games (where EAX is progressively becoming less of a key feature), the quality was absolutely excellent, and now finally there are games like //BioShock that benefit from the working GS3D 2.0 engine, but that's not to say that future EAX games will though. However, Asus did come through eventually and in only a few weeks, which is more than can be said for Creative's driver tradition. While we may harp on about Creative's record of support and bug fixing, what would happen if someone reverse engineered Asus's software to enable DTS effects on the DX? Or opened up the ALT for other use? Asus has also yet to prove itself on how it supports its soundcard products in the long term -- it's unclear whether in three years time, the D2X, D2 and DX will have"

More information can be found here.
Hiper DVI-to-HDMI Cable
"Back in 2005 we were introduced to Hiper Group, a company that started out in the United Kingdom with dedication towards delivering the best quality, design, technology, and price for every Hiper product. We had reviewed the Clavier Aluminum Keyboard and Type-R Modular PSU from Hiper, but since then they have turned to offering an impressive variety of power supplies, case fans, cases, and other computer peripherals. While a simple product, one of their newer creations is a DVI to HDMI cable. This cable is made of 24 gauge wire with EMI shielding and gold-plated connectors, but at an affordable price."

More information can be found here.
Glacialtech Altair A380 HTPC Case Review @ Tweaknews.net
"This case works well for a basic HTPC build and supports both Micro ATX and full ATX motherboards, but unfortunately there are a few shortcomings that keep it from being a fierce competitor in the case market. The inclusion of a remote, internal card reader and PSU add a lot of convenience but with only 220W of power, hardware must be planned out accordingly."

More information can be found here.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
NVIDIA Editors Day Event 2008 @ Benchmark Reviews
"Each year NVIDIA hosts a invite-only event for industry editors. Everyone from reviewers to magazine editors were on hand to learn the reasons behind NVIDIA's latest graphics processor launch. At this editor's day event, the heads of technology converge for a day of demos and discussion - and a few nice surprises. Benchmark Reviews was pleased to receive an invitation into this exclusive event, and looked forward to the opportunity to share thoughts with the biggest name in the graphics market. Prior to actually experiencing the NVIDIA Editor's Day event, I was a little bit concerned that my time would taken up with buzz-word marketing pitches and hard-line product comparisons. To my complete surprise, there wasn't a single moment that had me feeling green-washed. Actually, the opposite was true; at several points throughout various topic discussions the NVIDIA staff would often times point out where a competitors product might have done better than their own in a last-generation product lines. In fact, there were many times where the discussion felt more like a tech discussion than the voice of an industry leader. At its core, the NVIDIA Editor's Day event was about a sharing concepts and developmental ideas with the theme Gaming Beyond: Beyond Gaming."

More information can be found here.
Gelaskin for iPhone @ techPowerUp
"Gelaskins is a very thin but effective sticker to protect your portable electronics devices from scratches and other light damage, but also adds a nice individual touch to your gadget. We tested the iPhone version of the product."

More information can be found here.
Friday, May 23, 2008
bit-tech News: Overclocked: A History of Violence
"Overclocked is the unfortunate and sad reality of the adventure game genre today -- a genre populated by cheaply produced and really quite uninteresting titles made primarily for Nordic and German audiences where they somehow manage to cling to the fringe of popularity. There are many problems with / /Overclocked, not least of which is the off-kilter and often irrelevant dialogue. The interface is also a little unwieldy at times and there are a whole slew of smaller errors and tweaks that really should have been done to the game as rudimentary courtesy for players. And yet, it retains some level of charm if only on a slightly masochistic level. There is a strange pull to the story of these five people who were mentally broken from their experiences and the gameplay, while staid, is enough to make the story accessible. / /Just. At the end of the day though, the cons clearly outweigh the pros and while / /Overclocked will no doubt maintain some appeal with the adventure game enthusiasts, the majority will want to walk on by and try something a little more polished."

More information can be found here.
I4U: NVIDIA 3-way SLI with three NVIDIA 9800 GTX Review
"When all the testing was done it was apparent that on the same test machine with the same exact settings on some tests 3-way SLI performed better than Quad SLI did. The tradeoff for 3-way SLI is that not all of the boards out there support it, while many support normal SLI. You also give up all of your expansion ports save one (if you are lucky) when you have three cards in your machine."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: Watercooling Radiator shootout
"Both the Black Ice GTX and the TFC X-Changer series of radiators are well designed, but it's clear that there's definitely a difference in performance for the price increase. Feser's performance starts off with a nice and cool two degree difference at idle on the 120mm radiator, and though the idle difference shrinks as the sizes increase as we'd expect, the temperature differences at load continues to increase. Looking at either extreme, we have cost vs. performance issues. The TFC X-Changer is almost 50 percent more expensive than the Black Ice at the 120mm level, but we / /start out two degrees cooler at idle. Granted, most people should not attempt to cool an 8800GTX //and a Q66600 CPU on just a 120mm radiator, but it quickly sorts the wheat from the chaff - the TFC X-Changer wins hands down. At the moment it looks like you'll be paying quite heavily for that privilege - however, if you're looking at cooling a lot in a small space and you've already bought into watercooling, it'll be worth the investment without question. The 360mm group shows much less differentiation for the same nearly 50 percent price increase, and my best guess for the performance is above in the results section. In order to get the most out of this type of setup with either instance, you're really going to need to look at / /why you need it - If you're not looking at 8800GTX SLI setups //with a fairly well overclocked processor all in the same loop (in which case I ask,"

More information can be found here.
ASUS 3870X2 @ Bjorn3D
"Today we are going to take a look at the ASUS EAH3870X2. Yes, that's right, we are showing some love to the gang in red, err green? Red/Green? Whatever color they are we love to see what ATI has up its sleeve from time to time since it would be a very bad thing if competition didn't exist. First, for those of you who were able to saw off their arm and escape from that rock you were under, let me say this, 'WOW, who gets caught under a rock anymore?' Secondly, the X2 represents a unique approach to graphic processing. By combining two GPUs on one PCB you have a card with twice the speed of a standard HD3870 without the need to buy a special chipset or motherboard. Even better, ASUS, never leaving well-enough alone, designed a custom cooler and added a few extra DVI ports to really spice things. Let's see if this card has what it takes to earn a spot in your gaming machine."

More information can be found here.
OCZ Technology Vendetta 2 CPU Cooler Review @ Bigbruin.com
"The original Vendetta cooler performs well and is still a great option for those with limited space, but the cooling performance and low noise operation of the Vendetta 2 are really impressive. By taking the original design and scaling it up to accept a 120mm fan, OCZ Technology has created an enthusiast grade cooler that isn't so large and heavy that it might cause installation issues."

More information can be found here.
Koolance CPU-330 Water Block Review @ Legit Reviews
"The Koolance CPU-330 is very nice looking, with the anodized finish and gold plating it looks as good as it functions. With an average street price of $50 the CPU-330 is just a drop in the bucket in the grand scheme of a custom water cooling loop. As an upgrade to the 760i we saw small gains for that $50; it cost 1/3 the price of the 760i kit. Was the cost worth the gain?"

More information can be found here.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Sony HDR-SR12 Review @ Digital Trends
"The popularity of hard disk drive standard definition and high-def camcorders continues to climb. Nothing beats the storage capability of a HDD video maker-just think, you can record hour after hour of baby giggles, if that's your thing (and new parents, you can admit it). Hard drive cams are great for everyone else too since you can record anything to your heart's content for much longer than any tape or disk-based system. And nothing beats the instantly generated thumbnails that let you hop from scene to scene during playback. Sony dominates the HDD market for SD and HD video makers-just as they do every other camcorder format. That said we were happy to get our hands on the new HDR-SR12, the company's top-of-the-line HDD model that records Full HD 1920 x 1080I video along with 10-megapixel digital stills to a hefty 120GB hard drive. The camcorder even has Face Detection, the digicam feature du jour that works for video and stills. Even though there were no toddlers in the house, we definitely wanted to start recording ASAP."

More information can be found here.
Silverstone MS05 Portable 2.5" HDD Enclosure @ techPowerUp
"The Silverstone MS05 is a 2.5" enclosure which comes with an additional drive bay, to insert the unit into your computer. So you can take advantage of the eSATA interface at home, leaving you with the very portable USB 2.0 connectivity on the road."

More information can be found here.
Review: ATI HD 2900 XT Graphics card
"Recently ATI refreshed their line up of video cards, and they were nice enough to send one over for review, the ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT. Added to this new card were HD AC3 audio, 1080P video output, DX10 support for Vista, and a few other suprises. The testing and review took awhile, but I wanted to make sure things were done right."

More information can be found here.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
bit-tech News: First Look: Acer Aspire Predator Gaming PCs
"We certainly believe that Acer has a market in PC World style retail stores for first time buyers and families wanting something special, but we aren't sure if Acer will ever break into the market covered by boutique system builders like Vadim. What's more, most serious gamers are often running on a shoe-string budget, so £1,500+ for a gaming machine that will be out of date in a year is a lot of money to cough up. We'll be having a much closer look at one of Acer's Aspire Predator gaming PCs in the near future to see if our concerns turn out to be reality once production grade hardware is available."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: Haze (PS3)
"For a game that's had so much hype surrounding it, Haze should have been the perfect game. The problem is that few games rarely live up to the hype, and Haze falls firmly into that category. Nectar should have been an important part of the game, but instead it comes across as just another gimmicky power-up. It makes the opening sections of the game far too easy and appears to disappear in the rebel sections of the game, only to be used as an artefact to drive the plotline forward. The storyline itself is hackneyed and feels lazy in its execution. The tale of the corporate stooge who joins the rebels to bring down the corporation has been done before and, more importantly, it's been done far better. There are a few clever twists and turns to the tale later in the game, but not enough to drag the story out of mediocrity. Taken as a run-of-the-mill FPS, Haze certainly isn't dire, but on the other hand it never really reaches the heights to which it aspires. At around six or seven hours to complete, there's not really enough in the single player game to keep you coming back after the first play through. You might play it again in co-op mode, but even the multiplayer games aren't enough to get you hooked. Haze could have been so much more, but it falls short on so many levels. The game feels unfinished, as though it has been pushed out of the door six months early. Depressingly, it might be that another few months of spit and polish could have produced the game that the hype promised. Then again, perhaps not. Maybe every game studio is destined to produce a game that they're embarrassed about. If that's true, then Haze will be hiding at the back of Free Radical's closet for a long time to come."

More information can be found here.
Sony MDR-AS50G Headphones Review @ Digital Trends
"Sony has a winner with its MDR-AS50G sport headphones: They're lightweight, they fit securely, and they sound good indoors and outside. Their in-ear design is definitely geared towards fitness nuts rather than commuters; they don't block out a whole lot of sound, which could be a plus or a minus depending on where you work out. The low price ($49.99 USD) is a big plus, since we tend to burn through exercise headphones faster than we burn through calories."

More information can be found here.
Cooler Master CSX Spring Contest @ Bigbruin.com
"In case you haven't seen them yet, Cooler Master has launched a wild new assortment of custom painted cases available in their CSX line-up. To help spread the word, they are sponsoring a contest where ten winners will be chosen to receive gift certificates to the CSX Store, valid for purchases on anything they carry."

More information can be found here.
AMD Catalyst 8.5 For Linux
"All of the Catalyst Linux driver releases this year have been... well, boring. There have been a few bug fixes in each release and new product support for the latest ATI/AMD GPUs, but no major features have been introduced in several months. However, during this time we've been telling you to get ready for an interesting summer and that"

More information can be found here.
Cooler Master CSX Shag Wagon Aluminum Chassis Review @ Bigbruin.com
"The Stacker 830 and the Cosmos cases are both available in a variety of CSX custom paint jobs, many of which have similar themes involving popular macho subjects like flames, skulls, and monsters. When approached to review one of these cases, I had my heart set on something a bit different though, and was quite pleased when Cooler Master agreed to send over the red "Shag Wagon"."

More information can be found here.
In Search for the Next Best Online FPS! @ Bjorn3D
"If you are like me as well as many other gamers out there, you are constantly looking for the next best thing in gaming. This is especially true for online FPS games as we are always on the look out for what’s coming."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: BenQ's X2200W 22" widescreen LCD monitor
"If ever a monitor was a tale of two halves, the BenQ X2200W is it. The bad half of the equation is that the image enhancement measures area a major flop. In truth, we didn't expect a great deal. Traditionally, these sorts of techniques tend to promise a whole lot more than they deliver. In this case, they merely serve as a reminder that there's no substitute for premium panel technology. However, consider the X2200W as a more conventional 22-inch TN+Film model and it makes a much better case for itself. It's a competitive panel with a good range of input options. What it isn't however, is terribly well priced. The essentially pointless enhancement technology comes at a cost that pushes this panel into a price range that sees it competing with the more affordable 24-inch TN alternatives, complete with much higher 1,920 x 1,200 resolutions. With a quality PVA or IPS panel that might just be winnable fight. But as it is, the X2200W is simply too expensive."

More information can be found here.
ASUS BC-1205PT SATA Blu-ray Disc Optical Drive @ BmR
"The HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc format war is finally over. Now that Toshiba and Mircosoft have both jumped ship on HD-DVD, for the first time in at least a dozen introduced media types Sony finally has its moment of glory with their Blu-ray Disc format. This news is exactly what movie buffs and storage moguls have eagerly awaited for more than a year, and now that the casualties are cleared it's time to get productive and introduce new products built from the blue laser technology."

More information can be found here.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
32GB OCZ ATV USB Flash Drive Review @ Legit Reviews
"When it comes to using the OCZ ATV Flash drive, it was found to be a solid performer over the months. We've used it on the test bench, for Ready Boost on Windows Vista, and for travel with no problems at all. As for the durability of the drive, it has survived being put through the laundry wash and a number of trips in the mouth of a dog and cat when they like to run off with important things. The OCZ ATV is one tough drive no doubt about that..."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: Jetway's JNC62K (GeForce 8200 mini-ITX) motherboard
"At under £90 including VAT, the board is certainly good value for its size and niche appeal. A good mini-ITX board can easily set you back £150, and usually an Intel mini-ITX board will need to add the cost of a CPU as well. While this doesn't have the grace of a few other HTPC-orientated mini-ITX boards we've seen (Albatron's AMD 690G with component outputs was especially nice), unless you can find an AMD 780G based one we suspect this could make the smallest possible Blu-ray capable machine you can buy (we'd love to see some mods around this). 45W or 65W AMD CPU's are exceptionally inexpensive, and literally anything you buy now will be HD-capable. Yes, the GeForce 8200 did have a fit at VLC and it used nearly 50 percent CPU, however Elephants Dream is one probably of the most intensive 1080p DivX videos out there so there's still plenty of overhead before things become a slideshow. If you're unconcerned with size and are interested in IGP performance instead, the GeForce 8200 guns ahead into the distance in our real world general productivity benchmarks compared to the other IGPs---even the AMD 780G on the micro-ATX Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H board. However if you're buying for video playback performance then the AMD 780G is still the one to buy -- it's just simply more consistent and quite frankly, AMD still continues to do video acceleration better with more intuitive drivers and a more consistent UVD-enabled product list. Specifically, is Jetway's JNC62K worth buying? Absolutely. While it's not as inexpensive as a micro-ATX board, it is still great value for its size if you're looking to build a very small home theatre PC. All in all, it's a very low power and tiny motherboard with HDMI and DVI (with HDCP) and oodles of other features that vary its application. It even has a comprehensive BIOS that really surprised us -- you'll rarely find this elsewhere on mini-ITX, however you wouldn't really want to overclock on it because of its 65W limitation. Is it worth it over a VIA C7 EPIA or future Atom mini-ITX boards? Again, yes! Just for the general productivity performance alone, regardless of the fact a premium VIA C7 board like the Jetway J7F5M, which comes complete with a 2.0GHz C7, for £163.33 will be more expensive than the JNC62K and an AMD Athlon 64 X2 4850e 45W CPU, and you won't even get HDMI or HDCP. The JNC62K is the right balance of efficiency -- getting your work done in the minimum amount of time, while using a fraction of the power (and physical size) a full ATX case labours you with."

More information can be found here.
Why Apple Store is Important for Apple @ OSWeekly.com
"The Apple Store has become a familiar landmark to many consumers, and I’m sure the majority of you have probably been to at least one of the Apple Store locations throughout the United States and the rest of the world. Whether you’re a fan of Apple or not, you have to admit that these retail stores draw you in like no other store can if you’re a fan of technology."

More information can be found here.
New Ubuntu Version Fixes A Lot of Linux Problems @ OSWeekly.com
"Hardy Hero, a new version of Ubuntu, was announced a little while ago, and the features for this release of Ubuntu are actually rather compelling to me. Because Gutsy only wowed me on two levels - a better wireless stack and the inclusion of tracker by default, here’s some of what I would like to see with Heron."

More information can be found here.
Old Software: Gone, But Not Forgotten @ OSWeekly.com
"As crazy as it may sound to some people, it’s entirely possible to become attached to a computer program. We can all name the applications that we enjoy using the most, but our relationship with them doesn’t always springboard into some foolhardy devotion. When it comes to your software collection, if you can take it or leave it, then you know that you’re not in a helpless situation."

More information can be found here.
Windows XP Continues to Win Over Vista @ OSWeekly.com
"Reading news about Vista's success and failure from 2007 sends a mixed message looking to put the previous year behind us. The numbers are really all over the map."

More information can be found here.
The Dead Future of MP3 Players @ CoolTechZone.com
"Things are eerily quiet for MP3 players. Other than Apple?s iPod and Microsoft?s Zune, there?s not much going with portable audio players, and it?s a little awkward. Sure, cell phones, particularly smartphones, have captured away attention from music players, but it?s still a little disappointing to see them go ignored. Just a few years ago, they were the latest rage with video playback capabilities, text and image viewing features and much more. And interestingly enough, Apple is to credit, or blame, for much of these trends."

More information can be found here.
Touchscreen Spells Doom for Blackberry @ CoolTechZone.com
"Touchscreen is the must-have feature in latest cell phones, particularly smartphones. And the world?s two most celebrity companies going head-to-head against each other are obviously Apple and RIM. Apple?s iPhone has been called the Blackberry Killer, and RIM?s newly announced BlackBerry Bold is called the iPhone Killer. Such comparisons are meaningless, but they make for interesting reading. Although Bold doesn?t have a touchscreen, rumors are swirling around RIM and its Thunder device that?s slated to compete better against the iPhone, and yes, with touchscreen."

More information can be found here.
I4U: XFX 9800 GTX Black Edition Video Card Review
"Today we are looking at the XFX 9800 GTX Black Edition. This video card is the highest clocked of all the XFX 9800 GTX video cards, even more than the 9800 GTX XXX. The XFX 9800 GTX Black Edition is the single fastest 9800 GTX I have tested to date. XFX also offers its fantastic double lifetime warranty and bindles the card with one of the best multiplayer shooters around. If you are in the market for a 9800 GTX the XFX 9800 GTX Black Edition needs to be at the top of your list."

More information can be found here.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Booq Boa Laptop Case Review @ Legit Reviews
"Booq calls the Boa “A travel bag designed especially for frequently-traveling professionals.” This bag has about 2,000 pockets and zippers to store all your favorite gear and gadgets. Actually, we counted 9 zippered pockets, 3 magnetic pockets, with 4 large compartments for your precious cargo. The outer material is made of water-repelling nylon that will keep the moisture out. Inside the Booq Boa, the laptop is housed in its own separate compartment that is lined with protective foam covered in very soft upholstery..."

More information can be found here.
Sparkle 9800GTX @ Bjorn3D
"With the GeForce 9-series NVIDIA has created quite a lot of confusion. Instead of a major update it seems that most GeForce 9 cards are merely updated versions of GeForce 8 cards, and unfortunately named so you cannot figure out which card is based on which."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: Left4Dead hands-on preview
"Left4Dead was always going to be great, that much we knew. It was coming from Valve and it was about zombies, so even before it was unveiled as a four player co-op we all knew we were going to be in for a good time. Yet still, //Left4Dead managed to surprise us in a number of ways, for reasons both good and bad. On the one hand we were utterly shocked to see how effective the AI director is at making the game unique and constantly replayable. On the other hand though, we have to admit that the levels we played through did seem a bit on the small side and it's getting to that point where the Source engine might be starting to show its age. The thing //is four years old by now and though continued development and expansion has helped, the cause is starting to flag a little. Not that that matters hugely when you get right down to it -- as far as //Left4Dead goes gameplay is God and the multiplayer backbone of Steam means that the game will run smoothly from the off. As I mentioned to Chet when I interviewed him, Valve has a reputation among games developers for testing games absolutely to death. What for many designers would be a case a few weeks at the hands of some tired half-asleep geeks is an on-going process of refinement for Valve and it's something that really shows in //Left4Dead. The game is immediately playable and easy to pick up, but underneath the hood are some incredibly complex and effective tools to make the experience unpredictable and constantly replayable. This is //Left4Dead's key strength and it makes the game easily one of our most awaited games of this year."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: Lian Li PC-V1110 chassis
"The V1110 isn't the most startling and jaw-droppingly amazing case we've ever seen. It didn't bowl us over and whip us up into a frenzy of drool and other juices, but nor did it disappoint us. Boiled down the basics, the V1110 is a case with a quiet, unassuming design. If it were a man then you'd describe it as a gentle giant and praise it for its inner strength. You'd admire that this is a case with nothing to prove -- and that's something we can appreciate. The V1110 doesn't deliver the best thermal performance we've ever seen and nor is it the quietest we've ever heard -- but it is good in both respects and manages to sandwich these successes in between a confident and simple design that'd make it a case fit for any room or décor. It's pretty, it's a good all-round performer and the construction is through the roof. On top of all that, it's a Lian Li, which is a name many case designers have quite rightly learned to look up to. The lack of wow-factor and its price may prevent us from going over the top score-wise, but this is nonetheless a case we'd recommend you have a very good look at next time you're in the market."

More information can be found here.
AMD FireGL V8600: Linux vs. Windows
"We've published a great deal of benchmarks looking at the Linux"

More information can be found here.
Too Sexy for your Pocket @ Digital Trends
"We take a look at 10 gadgets that are both slim and sexy. High-style comes easy when you have the cash."

More information can be found here.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Gainward Bliss 9800GX2 graphics card review in Metku
"As a conclusion of the 9800GX2 I have to say that it's a truely impressive piece of kit. I had my doubts about dual GPU systems, but in our tests the SLI worked nicely and gave a significant performance boost over single card setups."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: D-Tek FuZion v2.0 Waterblock
"The FuZion v.2.0 may not be a monumental difference from its older brother, but this prettier version has a lot going for it. Outside of the convenient Pro-Mount for LGA-775 users who want to set it and forget it, it's got a lot of fluid running through its veins. The differences in this test may seem small, but we're dealing with a battle of some of the best of the best. The TDX, as I've said time and again, is far from too old to compete. But the FuZion manages to shave degree after degree off as my beefy test system starts to stretch its legs. It's to the point where I look at the radiator and wonder if it's becoming the limiting reagent of the system... All of this is before you even begin looking into"

More information can be found here.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Phoronix Test Suite 0.7.0 Released
"With the Phoronix Test Suite 1.0 codename being Trondheim, which is a city in Norway, and today being Constitution Day in Norway, what better way to celebrate than to push out a new release! Phoronix Test Suite 0.7.0 contains over 40 major changes since the previous release just a week ago. Some of the top changes in this release include advanced merging capabilities of test results, several new test profiles, and support for abstract result types."

More information can be found here.
Mountain Mods U2-UFO "Choose Your Own" Case @ techPowerUp
"For nearly five years, Mountains Mods has been wowing the enthusiast community with their series of cube cases. Now Mountain Mods takes that to the next level with the classic U2-UFO design gone "Hyper Modular" with the "Choose Your Own" case. The possibilities are endless. How will you create yours?"

More information can be found here.
Installing Linux Without a CD: The Easy Process @ OSWeekly.com
"Ever since Wubi first hit the scene for those of us who wanted to install Ubuntu on their Windows systems, it has been a great success. What a number of people do not know is that Wubi is but one of many similar options that embrace Linux as a whole, not just Ubuntu."

More information can be found here.
gOS (Linux) Usability Review @ OSWeekly.com
"As you might remember from my previous piece on gOS, some people have felt like the current gOS offering provided on Everex machines were simply not good enough for casual use."

More information can be found here.
Keeping Windows Secure: A Difficult Task @ OSWeekly.com
"Any modern operating system provides a good means for keeping the OS up-to-date. Despite this ability, however, according to this report, we see evidence that many Windows users are running applications that are borderline dangerous to use based on a lack of regular updates."

More information can be found here.
Making the Switch With Operating Systems @ CoolTechZone.com
"Operating systems seem to have received more attention these days than they have ever before, and while there are numerous available discussion points, in relation to new versions of these operating systems, one of the biggest trends that has been fascinating to watch is how people are switching operating systems like crazy. When I say switching operating systems, I don?t mean upgrading to a newer version of an operating system that they already have, but instead, I?m talking about switching platforms completely, a la the switch campaign for OS X from Apple."

More information can be found here.
Aliph Jawbone 2 Headset Review @ CoolTechZone.com
"Aliph?s Jawbone 2 is an impressive piece of technology with a plethora of important features packed into a sleek looking, lightweight Bluetooth headset for mobile phones. Available in black and rose gold, the unit is diamond-shaped that makes for a smooth top surface. Due to its shape and creative design, nearly all of the buttons are hidden at first glance, but they are there. The Talk button is on the front of the headset with the Noise Assassin button on the top."

More information can be found here.
Friday, May 16, 2008
A-DATA X-Series DDR3 1600 MHz CL7 2GB Kit @ techPowerUp
"The A-DATA X-Series is available in DDR2 and DDR3 flavors. Their DDR3 1600 MHz is set at a solid CL7 and comes with graphite colored heatspreaders in a very elaborate package. If 1600 MHz is not enough, you may go for the 1900 MHz version instead."

More information can be found here.
I4U: XFX 9800 GX2 Black Edition Video Card Review
"Today we are checking out one of the fastest and coolest video cards ever to come from XFX and NVIDIA, the XFX 9800 GX2 Black Edition. The Black Edition is overclocked even more than the legendary XFX XXX cards. There is no doubt that the XFX 9800 GX2 Black Edition is one of the best performing video cards on the market. It outperformed all the stock 9800GX2s I have tested and posted significantly better minimum frame rates on game tests. The XFX 9800 GX2 Black Edition and the Asus EN9800GX2 Top were a virtual tie performance wise. Both the cards also offer a nice game bundle. However, the XFX 9800 GX2 Black Edition edges the Asus card out in game quality and warranty."

More information can be found here.
Albatron GeForce 9600GT-512X Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
"The average improvement of the Albatron GeForce 9600GT-512X over the ATI Radeon HD 3850 for both the game and synthetic testing is over 40%. There is no way you can spin these results to the ATI Radeon HD 3850's favor! Looks like the Radeon HD 3850 is the Hillary Clinton of this matchup... it held up until the end, but the math is just not there to give it any victory..."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: First Look: Asus P5Q3 and Maximus II Formula P45 motherboards
"Even though it's a P45-based Republic of Gamers board, it's curiously not fallen under the Blitz branding that was used for the P35-based RoG boards -- Asus is changing things around slightly by slotting all Intel-based boards under either the Rampage or Maximus nomenclature, with the Striker branding saved for Nvidia chipsets on Intel platforms. When Derek Yu, RoG Product Manager, produced the first sample of the Maximus II Formula, my jaw dropped quite literally. I'm finding it difficult to describe it without swearing, but the Maximus II Formula looks like a simply //gorgeous piece of hardware. In comparison to what we have here, the original Maximus now looks like a lump of mish-mash and we now realise Asus was aware of this. In light of this fact, the company has completely revamped the styling to make it about a million times better. It's got oodles and oodles of features too -- the entire heatpipe array is screwed down with ten screws. Derek laughed as he told this to the small gaggle of hacks -- apparently, manufacturing was none too pleased because push-pins are much easier."

More information can be found here.
NZXT Tempest Mid-Tower ATX Case Review @ Bigbruin.com
"In my assessment, NZXT's claim that the Tempest is the "Airflow King" cannot be disputed. My hardware has remained cool, with temperatures of 27C for both processor cores, 32C for the system, and 39C for the graphics card. And despite having six fans installed to keep things so cool, the Tempest is one of the quietest cases I have used."

More information can be found here.
CoolIt Dual Drive Bay VGA Cooler NV Reference Series @ Bjorn3D
"CoolIt Systems has a solution to tame those heat generating GPU workhorses that they call the Dual Drive Bay VGA Cooler NV Reference Series. It is a closed loop, factory sealed pre-filled system that offers maintenance free operation for SLI setups. They claim easy installation and they say that it's 'the perfect solution for any extreme gamer or overclocker that wants to push their nVidia 8800GTX, 8800GTX Ultra SLI VGA setup to the limits.' Let's see if this holds up. But first, let's delve into a little more detail as to what it is."

More information can be found here.
TomTom ONE XL S GPS Review @ Digital Trends
"The TomTom XL S is the company's midrange GPS unit, and offers the same core functionality as the more expensive models while offering a few less features and a reduced price. It includes maps of the US and Canada, includes text-to-speech functionality for reading street names aloud, and offers a large database of Points of Interest as well. Though its functionality is primarily limited to driving directions (no music playing capability, for example), it's a highly capable and intuitive device that will serve most motorists quite well."

More information can be found here.
Lian Li PC-A09B Classical Series Mid-Tower Case @ BmR
"Lian Li is known for well made products when it comes to stylish computer cases and functional chassis. They have been on the market for seven years now and Benchmark Reviews has been pleased to have the opportunity to review several of their items. This time we will be taking a look at the Lian Li PC-A09B Classical Series Mid-Tower Case to see if it stacks up to the others."

More information can be found here.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Ubuntu 8.04 KVM (Virtualization) Benchmarks
"Back in January of 2007 we had looked at Linux Virtualization Performance as we had compared a running native OS (at that time, Fedora Core 6) against the same operating system running as a virtualized guest OS using Xen, QEMU with the (once closed-source) kqemu kernel module, and then KVM. In this testing we had found that KVM had performed well and won a number of the tests, but it wasn't the clear winner nor it had won by a substantial margin. However, the Kernel-based Virtual Machine had premiered with the Linux 2.6.20 kernel and it has matured quite a bit over the past year and a half since its christening. With that said, we are in the process of conducting new Linux virtualization benchmarks to see how these various implementations compare today. While the full comparison isn't yet ready, due to much interest surrounding Linux virtualization on desktops and servers, this morning we are publishing some initial benchmarks from the Phoronix Test Suite when running Ubuntu 8.04 LTS as the host OS and then running it as the guest operating system with hardware-based acceleration through KVM."

More information can be found here.
Sunbeam SATA/IDE to USB 2.0 Adapter @ techPowerUp
"Sunbeam has come out with a nice tool that solves the mystery of how to handle multiple formats of hard drives. The SATA/IDE to USB 2.0 Adapter can use 2.5" and 3.5" SATA and IDE drives and easily converts them to a USB 2.0 interface. Its compact size, flexibility and low price make it a nice addition to a tool bag or work bench."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: CoolIT Freezone Elite watercooling kit
"The Freezone Elite will definitely beat anything you can likely build to fit in anywhere near the same space by a mile - let alone any pre-built kits. But its price class puts it in a whole different realm, which is why I built such a big system to compare it to. An enthusiast is going to look at what he or she can build for a similar cost, not just what fits in the same space. The watercooling system I compared to costs around £200 in the UK (and $320 in the US) -- that's about £50 less, and it's quieter and cooler. However, every time I need to make a change, I invest twenty minutes in undoing everything, draining the loop, etc. And that's in a case that's designed for it. It took me all of two minutes to disconnect the Freezone Elite. Of course, then it took another five to get all the pre-applied thermal paste off, then a hunt for the manual to hook it back up again when I couldn't remember which unmarked cable goes where. They may seem like minor niggles, and they are -- but for almost £250 of yours or my money, you can damn well bet that I don't want to be talking about little niggles. With the Freezone Elite, I think CoolIT has a good product...but it has a better foundation for a great product. There's a lot of potential here, but I think it's not yet realised in this particular model. With the brilliant MTEC software and controller, the great TEC performance and the incredible ease of use, it's off to a great start -- but it will only ever get rid of as much heat as that CPU block can absorb."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: BFG Tech GeForce 9800 GTX OCX 512MB graphics card
"To be fair, I'm still in two minds about the GeForce 9800 GTX. And even though BFG Tech has gone above and beyond the call of duty here, I still don't think it's enough for me to change my mind about this particular card in Nvidia's line-up. You see, the standard cards are still on the expensive side compared to the GeForce 8800 GTX and GeForce 8800 GTS 512, while BFG Tech's GeForce 9800 GTX OCX is priced at such a point that it's no longer competing against only products in Nvidia's line-up, but also against the Radeon HD 3870 X2. And over time, it seems like the 3870 X2's drivers have improved a bit and it's now becoming a more rounded purchase when you compare it to something like the card we've looked at here today. When the 3870 X2 drags its feet in games that don't scale so well, the BFG Tech GeForce 9800 GTX OCX is a faster card, but when you get into scenarios where scaling is there, the Radeon HD 3870 X2 is generally a significantly faster proposition. And because of that, I think it's the better purchase right now in the £250 price bracket. That's not to say that BFG Tech's card is one that you shouldn't consider at all -- the company has worked to correct the omissions from its earlier bundles and you can now use the audio over HDMI functionality thanks to the included S/PDIF cable. It's also one of the highest-clocked GeForce 9800 GTX cards out there---and it's backed by an impressive warranty term---which makes it one of the best G92-based cards on the market today. It's also the first G92-based card we've seen that bests the GeForce 8800 GTX in a convincing enough manner for it to be considered a replacement."

More information can be found here.
I4U: Asus P527 GPS Smartphone Review
"Today we are checking out a smartphone that features GPS and more from Asus called the Asus P527. This phone has some very interesting GPS software that comes with the device. The software included with the Asus P527 is very interesting though with the ability to capture images with the camera on the phone and append them to a GPS route that can be uploaded to Google Earth. The software also allows for reporting your GPS position to contacts on pre-defined lists."

More information can be found here.
Why Software Still Matters @ OSWeekly.com
"No matter which operating system (or systems) you choose to use, you’re sure to find an abundance of software titles that are available for you to enjoy. By default, some operating systems come bundled with enough useful tools to keep you happy, but just because that may be so it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t explore alternatives. If you only use what’s presented to you, you’ll miss out on a wide range of open source, freeware, and shareware applications."

More information can be found here.
Ubuntu Stealing Linux Thunder? @ OSWeekly.com
"There is a growing identity crisis in the Linux community. In simplest terms, is Ubuntu taking the spotlight away from other deserving Linux distributions?"

More information can be found here.
OS Makers: Provide Videos for Your OS, Please @ OSWeekly.com
"As time goes on, operating systems are becoming easier to use than many of us thought was possible, but we’re definitely thankful for these developments. Even Linux (which has been notorious in the past for its difficulty level) has become more accessible, although it’s still not on the level of OS X, or even Windows, at this point. As any computer technician can tell you, operating systems present some of the biggest problems for users, so it’s no surprise that a lot of people despise them so much."

More information can be found here.
Why OS Features Are Difficult to Use @ OSWeekly.com
"There’s always a lot of excitement that surrounds new operating system releases. Between releases, we hear reports and speculation that give us hints as to what we may see in a new OS, but until official announcements are made and the first versions trickle out to developers, we don’t really know what to expect. Even then, the final version of an operating system may feature some changes and additions that haven’t been seen before, so anything can happen."

More information can be found here.
OS X Gains U.S. Army As A Customer @ OSWeekly.com
"As a computer user, it’s easy for me to just think about everyday people like myself using operating systems. Just like me, they go to a store like Best Buy or The Apple Store, purchase an operating system, install it, and then use it for work or play, sometimes both. In the case of Linux, maybe they’ve downloaded it and have access to it in that way. Of course, aside from individuals, corporations also use operating systems, and they use them on a scale and in a way that we can’t even begin to imagine, since many of us just fire up our computers in our home office to do some simple Web browsing."

More information can be found here.
RIM BlackBerry Bold (9000) Smartphone @ CoolTechZone.com
"RIM just announced a new smartphone for its portfolio of existing BlackBerry devices boldly called the Bold. The name is quite bold (pun intended) and obviously so. It?s a complete rehash on UI and hardware sides that make for a powerful device that?s surely to quell iPhone?s market takeover intentions. It?s not that we particular think of the iPhone as the BlackBerry Killer, but it?s the next best alternative, and with Apple moving in swiftly behind RIM, it could?ve happened. However, RIM is taking care of itself and very well so."

More information can be found here.
Why Today?s OSes and Their Apps Suck @ CoolTechZone.com
"It?s so easy to get into the habit of focusing our operating system discussions on the operating systems themselves without giving any attention to the specific applications that are included with a particular OS. Sure, an operating system should be simple, functional, and elegant, but those standards also apply to the applications contained with the entire package. Without them, we?d have an operating system, but there?d be nothing to use on it until we installed some third-party software."

More information can be found here.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Music Services Compared @ Digital Trends
"We're now in an era where everyone and their brother seem to have digital music featured on their site. And it's all blown up in a way industry insiders had hoped, but no one really anticipated. Labels have their own music shops where tracks can be bought. Streaming downloads have become more important. Portable music players are now ubiquitous, after slimming down in size but seeing storage capacities grow, with video playback now a vital component on many models. Music on cell phones is also quite standard as features go today, with many handsets made to double as music players. In short, wherever you go, whatever you're doing, you can take your music right there with you. Helping illustrate just how prolific music's online presence has become, remember, three years ago MySpace and Facebook were barely twinkles in their parents' eyes. Now, they're giants just starting to dip their toes into the record biz, either directly or indirectly, and act as vital showcases for so many bands, signed and unsigned alike."

More information can be found here.
BFG ES-800 800W Power Supply @ techPowerUp
"The ES-800 from BFG is an 800W power supply that comes with everything an enthusiast might want. It has support for up to four PCI-Express power consumers and features an unorthodox internal layout. In our testing we saw an amazing efficiency of 84.9%."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: Battleforge Interview: Volker Wertich
"BT: You said"

More information can be found here.
Aeneon XTune 2GB DDR2-1142 Dual Channel Memory Kit Review @ Bigbruin.com
"Testing showed that the Aeneon XTune 2GB DDR2-1142 dual channel memory kit could put up some solid numbers, keeping pace with another comparable kit from Kingston. At stock speeds this kit is ready for action above and beyond the JEDEC standard speed grade of PC2-8500, and with some relatively easy overclocking it can soar past PC2-9600 speeds."

More information can be found here.
NZXT Tempest @ Bjorn3D
"For many enthusiasts venturing into the world of PC building, selecting a case can be quite a challenge these days. Important factors to consider include quality, size, functionality, and now more than ever - style. Well-built enclosures with incredible features are important, but without a bit of flash and beauty, they might as well stay sitting on the warehouse shelf (and probably will!). However, there’s also another aspect of case selection that’s very important to many builders, especially those new to the game – price. Being on something of a strict diet myself when it comes to purchasing new hardware, I certainly appreciate a company that can combine all of the above mentioned features in a single product. Enter NZXT and the Tempest midtower case. Did they pull it off and create a budget-friendly winner? Let’s find out."

More information can be found here.
NZXT Tempest
"It's been a while since last reviewing a computer chassis from NZXT (November 2006 with the NZXT Zero), but today we have our hands on NZXT's newest chassis, the Tempest. NZXT describes this mid-tower steel chassis as being the "airflow king" with four 120mm fans and two 140mm fans, in addition to being ready for a dual radiator setup for water-cooling. NZXT has also taken this case a step further by accommodating eight hard drive mounts and room for an extended ATX motherboard, all inside this case that measures in at 211 x 512 x 562 mm. We first viewed the Tempest back at CES 2008, and in this review we'll tell you what we think of this newest NZXT creation."

More information can be found here.
Ultra X3 800Watt Modular Power Supply Review @ Tweaknews.net
"Testing yielded stable voltages, quiet operation and I won't have to worry about buying a new power supply when the time comes to upgrade my system. The flat, flexible modular cabling system was great to work with and has spoiled me completely. I can't imagine going back to regular cables, much less a non-modular design."

More information can be found here.
OCZ SATA-II 32GB 2.5-Inch SSD OCZSSD2-1S32G @ Benchmark Reviews
"Perhaps Benchmark Reviews like to ride the edge of technology just a little too close, since we've tested more DDR3 and SSD's than almost everyone else on the web, but the bleeding edge is what where most enthusiasts like to live. OCZ allowed us to test their first Solid State Drive product, the OCZSSD64GB, and while the pricing very affordable the performance wasn't so impressive. Now just a short three months later, OCZ has returned with one of the industries very first SATA-II SSD products, the OCZSSD2. It would be a shame to give away the details, but it appears that the extra time at the design table was very well spent. OCZ's new Solid State Drive offers industry leading performance matched by ultra-affordable pricing, and sets a new record."

More information can be found here.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Toshiba Satellite M305 Laptop Review @ Digital Trends
"Toshiba's shiny M305 notebook packs a lot of performance and features into an extremely elegant and sophisticated-looking chassis. Despite its relatively low price it offers 3GB of RAM, a 250GB hard drive and a Core 2 Duo"

More information can be found here.
OCZ Vendetta 2 Exposed Heatpipe Base Heatsink Review
"The OCZ Vendetta 2 heatsink features three large copper heatpipes that make direct contact with the top of the processor. This approach takes advantage of the superior heat conducting capabilities of 8mm diameter heat pipes to efficiently move heat from the processor to the cooling fins, without any intermediary steps. The technique is called Heatpipe Direct Touch, and as you've seen by the Top 5 Heatsinks chart... it's a winner."

More information can be found here.
Sapphire Toxic 512MB Radeon HD3870 Graphics Card Review @ Bigbruin.com
"The Sapphire Toxic 512MB Radeon HD3870 graphics card offers strong performance right out of the box, but if you have any interest in overclocking you can turn it into a real powerhouse. There are really no negatives to discuss in terms of performance, quality, and overall appeal. The card performs well, it stays cool and quiet, and the bundle of accessories is generous."

More information can be found here.
Everglide DKTBoard Gaming Keyboard @ techPowerUp
"The Everglide DKTBoard is an incredibly sturdy input device, intended for the hard core gamer. A very compact size, partial aluminum construction and backlight make it perfect for LAN parties."

More information can be found here.
Buying a New Computer Today: Force Fed Technology That The Average Consumer Doesn't Need Editorial @ Tweaknews.net
"To help me convince you that this is also true for the computer hardware industry, tell me if you have heard of anyone saying, “Man I just bought this computer 6 months ago and it is now obsolete!”. But who dictates that a computer is obsolete? Just because Rev.B of your motherboard came out, or the latest processor is 200Mhz faster than yours doesn't mean your computer is obsolete. If it accomplishes the tasks you need, it is only obsolete when it won't do a specific task for you, and nothing less. The computer industry will try to convince you that yours is obsolete by releasing a new product every six months in order to keep their sales figures high and put pressure on the layman to replce their computer."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: Grand Theft Auto IV
"Grand Theft Auto IV is a great game and although it's still very early in the year, this is obviously going to be a strong candidate for Game of The Year. It always was, frankly. Yet, there's still a little niggle of doubt in our ears here -- something that says that although Grand Theft Auto IV is a great game, it just isn't the huge leap forward we all expected it to be. This seed of doubt says that GTA IV is far more an evolution than a revolution and that that is obviously going to limit the overall impact and impression of the game. That doubt is true and is utterly justified in what it says when you sit down to really listen to it. Grand Theft Auto is a top-notch game, but it isn't as mind-blowing and impressive as something like Portal, for example. It's building on the foundations of previous games in the series and adding on a few extra features each time -- it isn't completely new and fresh itself. That doesn't make Grand Theft Auto IV any less of a Game of The Year candidate and it doesn't take anything away from the insane amount of fun to be had. What it does do though is make the entire experience a little more predictable; a lot of the time you know what's coming beforehand and the first third of everything feels like jumping through hoops just to meet an old friend. It's not game-wrecking and it doesn't detract from how great GTA IV is as a whole, but GTA IV isn't as original and shockingly good as the franchise once was. It's another re-polished and re-tuned iteration of a proven idea and though the game is definitely a must-buy, it also isn't all that startling."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: A picture-perfect quandary
"Adding to the already very muddy waters are those stuck in the fringes of each camp. No matter who says otherwise, there are many people who turn away from legal software as their legal copies don't work (while the cracked ones all do). There are also people who let the light bulb turn on that someone is profiting from all of the piracy -- all of the major sites are packed with ads, which makes one lose quite a bit of faith in the whole"

More information can be found here.
Monday, May 12, 2008
Alienware Area-51 m15x Laptop Review @ Digital Trends
"Alienware is a company that needs no introduction when it comes to gaming notebooks. The interstellar PC builder has been able to consistently raise the bar in the portable gaming space over and over, and with the Area-51 m15x it's done it once again. Though the machine's not without flaws, the m15x is almost the perfect gaming notebook due to its performance, tolerable size and killer features. Bottom line: If you're looking for a desktop replacement that will actually be an upgrade to your standard go-to system, this is it."

More information can be found here.
Best Computing Solutions: Windows vs. Linux - Part I @ OSWeekly.com
"As long as there are choices in computing platforms, there will be those that claim that their OS is the best over all others. In this article, I will work to put my own preferences aside, examine my years of experience with past clients who have used all three major platforms and why each made the most sense for them."

More information can be found here.
Leopard Breaks Retail Record @ OSWeekly.com
"As soon as Leopard was released, it was obvious that it was going to set some records. In the initial days and weeks after its launch, the OS was accepted with open arms by Mac users, and now that the sales data has been collected and analyzed over a couple of months, we have heard word from The NPD Group that the Leopard launch was the most successful operating system launch that Apple has ever had when you look at the revenues generated and the units moved."

More information can be found here.
Best Computing Solutions: The Future of Linux - Part II @ OSWeekly.com
"Take most people in the market for a new computer. Put them in places like Costco or Best Buy - what do you think they will end up with? A new Ubuntu box from Dell? Nope. A Mac? Not even close. In reality, it will likely be something from HP, and it will be clearly designed for the Vista release of Windows."

More information can be found here.
Etymotic EtyBlu Bluetooth Headset Review @ CoolTechZone.com
"Etymotic recently released a new Bluetooth headset that?s primarily marketed towards the iPhone crowd. It?s sleek, it?s cool and it?s trendy, just like the iPhone. And it has the ingredients of the iPhone to be a successful product for Etymotic. Don?t be mistaken, though, EtyBlu works just as well with any Bluetooth compatible headset as it does with the iPhone."

More information can be found here.
Microsoft Sidewinder Gaming Mouse Review @ CoolTechZone.com
"Microsoft jumps onboard with high-end gaming mice with its newly released Sidewinder. For lack of a better word, it?s interesting, and certainly a noteworthy competitor to Logitech?s G5 gaming mouse. Just like Logitech?s G5, the Sidewinder is USB 2.0, wired and has a customizable weight kit. Not to mention, it offers 2,000dpi, the highest resolution in gaming mice to date. However, there are dissimilarities that position Microsoft?s Sidewinder in a category of its own."

More information can be found here.
OCZ Technology 4GB Rally2 USB Flash Drive @ Viper Lair
"The OCZ Technology 4GB Rally2 USB Flash Drive is the fastest flash drive I've had the opportunity to work with. The drive itself has a tough, durable feel to it given the chassis is made primarily out of aluminum. Thankfully, OCZ has one of the more classic types of logos, so the corporate branding doesn't over power the aesthetics of the device."

More information can be found here.
Game Testing 2GB versus 4GB of Memory on Vista 64-bit @ Legit Reviews
"Our average frame rate increase of 1.6% in nine games was slightly higher than the 1.1% shown by Corsair in the three games they tested, but our test system was a little newer and we were running Vista SP1. Something else that we noted while running the benchmarks is that game loading times were also significantly enhanced by installing 4GB of system memory. While load times was not the focus of this article we noted that Crysis v1.21 loaded 54.1% faster (14.28s versus 22.00s) on the initial level load. After the level was loaded and then restarted (as if one died and started over) the load times were within a hundredth of a second..."

More information can be found here.
Overclocking The NVIDIA Quadro FX1700
"Back in March we had reviewed the Quadro FX1700 512MB graphics card, which is NVIDIA's lower-end OpenGL 2.1 workstation graphics card that's based upon the consumer G84 core. In the benchmarks that had followed, we had compared the Quadro FX1700 performance under Windows, Linux, and Solaris. We had found the performance of this Quadro graphics card performed well under all three platforms, but Ubuntu Linux had led the race. We are now preparing a review of the high-end ATI FireGL V8600 1GB graphics card for publishing in the coming days, but we have stumbled upon some results from the FX1700 that never ended up making it out earlier. Specifically we had overclocked the Quadro FX1700 with CoolBits and it had actually worked out quite well. In this article are the overclocking results from this NVIDIA workstation graphics card as well as comparing the performance to an ATI Radeon HD 2900XT 512MB graphics card."

More information can be found here.
Super Talent Pico: World Smallest Flash Drive @ Bjorn3D
"I often thought that US customers have such a narrow selection when it comes to the USB flash drives. Look at Far East counties, like Japan, Korean, and Taiwan, and you can see an array of flash drives in different shapes and forms. Of course, having a flashy looking drive really does not offer anything else as a flash drive is a flash drive. However, I do think that as long as a flash drive is able to deliver the performance, having an exotic and eye-catching looks is certainly a plus."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: DFI's LANParty LT X48 T2R motherboard
"For a DDR2 board the gaming performance is very good, outperforming even the Nvidia nForce 780i SLI board in all of our gaming tests. It can't keep up with the DDR3 boards, but buying 4GB of DDR2 is still a fraction of the cost of even 2GB of DDR3 -- that alone will offer significant headroom for games as well. It is more expensive than its X38 brethren and you'd be hard pressed to tell the two apart if they were standing side by side. However, if you were concerned about price you'll probably want to wait for the P45 launch anyway. It's not power friendly either, but DFI has never claimed to even care -- it's not about the latest bandwagon, it's about being true to its core, of which it does in spades. The incredible north bridge heatsink and its simple interchangeability is no greater example of this -- you're free to replace it with anything you like because they are no heatpipes. If you love your DFI boards then you'll be onto a winner with the LANParty LT X48 T2R -- everything you need out of Intel's X48 chipset is provided and there's a lot of fun and time investment to be had with it. After talking to BIOS engineers and others in DFI's QA team, the limitations we've been finding are essentially chipset level and there's plenty of beta BIOS out there to try on DFI communities that only add to its true, core-enthusiast appeal. However finding these places and knowing who to ask isn't the most obvious thing on earth -- DFI should fill its manual with more BIOS details, overclocking tips and support forum links for new DFI owners can dive into. This"

More information can be found here.
SilverStone TS01B 2.5 sata Enclosure with RFID Review @ XtremeComputing
"For this review I will be looking at a new product from the highly respected pc hardware manufacturer SilverStone. The product I will be looking at is a laptop hard drive enclosure, the SilverStone TS01B, but this is an enclosure with a difference it utilises RFID security."

More information can be found here.
DDR3 RAM: System Memory Technology Explained @ Benchmark Reviews
"These are uncertain financial times we live in today, and the rise and fall of our economy has had direct affect on consumer spending. It has already been one full year now that DDR3 has been patiently waiting for the enthusiast community to give it proper consideration, yet it's success is still undermined by misconceptions and high price. Benchmark Reviews has been testing DDR3 more actively than anyone, which is why over fifteen different kits fill our System Memory section of reviews. Sadly, it might take an article like this to open the eyes of my fellow hardware enthusiast and overclocker, because it seems like DDR3 is the technology nobody wants bad enough to learn about. Pity, because overclocking is what it's all about."

More information can be found here.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
NZXT Tempest Mid-tower case Review
"NZXT, the US-based manufacturer has come up with a new case model - Tempest - which they advertise to be the new airflow king. Cooling seems to work but the build quality leaves a lot to be desired..."

More information can be found here.
Lian Li Armorsuit PC-P80R Spider Edition @ techPowerUp
"In our CES 2008 coverage of Lian-Li you saw the awesome Lian Li PC-P80 R AMD Spider Edition case. These cases are just now coming through manufacturing, and TPU is one of the first sites in the world to bring you a detailed look at this new case. It features nearly everything an enthusiast could want, but is it truly the dream of an ADM/ATI fan?"

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: Bad Company interview with Jamie Keen
"BT: //You're sick of talking about premium content, I bet. But it was kind of a gutsy thing to do, you have to admit. JK: Yeah. BT: //So, I guess -- why did you try to do it? And why with this game especially? JK: Yeah, so...I think the thing that people need to remember is that development costs on games these days are huge. So we always need to look at new revenue streams. It's not just a question of trying to rip people off and it's not just us trying to put one over on people -- we genuinely need to y'know...well, at the end of the day it's a business, right? We have to recoup costs and we have to make money. So, there are those kinds of things happening. You'll probably see more of that in the years to come. We've got nothing more planned at the moment, we've listened to the customers and the community is really important to us. We really want to maintain that two-way dialogue with our fans. So, we're not going to be doing anything -- I mean, we're giving Conquest away as free downloadable content later on. The weapons are now going to be free -- we just hope that the fans see that we're listening to them./"

More information can be found here.
Friday, May 9, 2008
Hiper Anubis @ techPowerUp
"The Hiper Anubis is an incredibly sturdy chassis, which goes the "trusted and true" route. You will not find any fancy layout or interior screw-less system, but thumb screws instead. The beautifully designed front is one good reason to give the Anubis a little plaque with a unique serial number on it."

More information can be found here.
Coolermaster Aquagate Mini R80 Watercooling CPU Heatsink Review
"The Coolermaster Aquagate Mini R80 is a self contained watercooling system designed for a broad range of Intel and AMD processors. Unlike a lot of CPU watercooling systems which can be complicated to install, fill, bleed and monitor, the Aquagate comes pre-plumbed and pre-filled with an ethylene glycol based coolant. The system is guaranteed for two years operation without need for refill, so to get started all you need to do is mount the CPU block and attach the heat exchanger to the side of the computer case."

More information can be found here.
I4U: Gateway C-141x Convertable Tablet Notebook Review
"Today we are checking out one very nice convertible tablet notebook from Gateway called the Gateway C-141x. This notebook retails for under $1000 and has great performance as a tablet and a notebook. Overall, the Gateway C-141X is a great tablet convertible that works equally well as a tablet and as a notebook. The bargain price of the machine makes up for its general large size and heavy weight making it a great option in the sub-$1000 category."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: Warhammer Online Interview: Josh Drescher
"BT: So, speaking of other Warhammer games, did you know about Iron Lore shutting down? Their last game was the Warhammer 40K Dawn of War: Soulstorm expansion and the company said that piracy played a big part in their closure. JD: Yeah, well if I'm honest then piracy is the number one concern for a PC gaming developer. BT: You think it's putting off a lot of PC developers and driving them to consoles? JD: I think that in other genres, yes. Luckily, as an MMO we're largely insulated from all that because of our model. It's impossible for a player to pirate our game and, even if they did, then it'd be them alone in their basement. For our game to make sense you need thousands of players all playing together on a massive architecture. As a result, we're very attracted to Asian markets along with Russia and China -- places where piracy is everywhere. Piracy is just a pandemic there. So, while we're very worried about it, it doesn't really affect us as much. Obviously, I can't speak for other developers like Iron Lore. But, y'know I had friends who worked there and we tried to bring a load of them over to us when they closed. If they say piracy was a problem for them then I absolutely believe them. Piracy is why we see so many samey shooters."

More information can be found here.
GIGABYTE X48T-DQ6 @ Bjorn3D
"Today we are going to take a look at GIGABYTE's high end motherboard, the X48T-DQ6. GIGABYTE makes two versions of this board utilizing Intel's X48 chipset. The X48 which is a DDR2 variant and the X48T which is the DDR3 version that we will be covering today. The X48 brings minimal changes to the chipset when compared to the X38 and the only tangible difference should be more overclocking headroom. In recent years GIGABYTE has truly reinvented itself as a leader in innovation. In today's world the name of the game, or color to be more specific, is green. We have green cars, green homes and now you can add motherboards to the growing list of items going green. GIGABYTE has made a concerted effort to produce motherboards that use the least amount of energy possible without sacrificing performance. A task not easily accomplished. To this end they have dubbed this innovation DES or Dynamic Energy Saver. A system which can adjust voltage, power phases and clocks speeds of the boa!"

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: Iron Man (Xbox 360)
"There's nothing wrong with bad graphics in a game. There have been plenty of games in the past that have proved you don't need billions of polygons to make a best-seller -- look at Pac-man or Tetris for crying out loud. Likewise, glitches and bugs didn't completely spoil games like S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and might not have proved to be the end of Iron Man. Hell, you don't even need to have a great new mechanic or fantastic new idea to make a great game. Beat 'em ups have been spinning the same tricks ever since International Karate +. There is something wrong with a game that combines all of these with a total lack of shame. This isn't a game that is even remotely good, this is a game that someone hoped would make a lot of money and it's a perfect example of why movies and games just don't mix for the most part -- Iron Man: The Game is little more than a bucket of broken promises and rust."

More information can be found here.
I4U: Kingston HyperX KHX14400D3K2/2GN DDR3-1800 Review
"Today we are checking out a 2GB DDR3 RAM kit from Kingston’s HyperX line. This RAM is a great lower cost kit that performs well and has overclocking headroom. When all the testing was finished the Kingston HyperX KHX14400D3K2/2GN kit performed well. It has some headroom left for overclocking and performs well at the programmed SPD settings. The RAM is also a bit cheaper than some other brands of enthusiast DDR3 on the market."

More information can be found here.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
XtremeMac Tango X2 Review @ Digital Trends
"Audiophiles, listen up! XtremeMac has just introduced its next-generation Tango, the new X2, offering a high-fidelity three-way speaker system designed for use with your iPod. It contains two full-range speakers, two tweeters and a subwoofer. The question is simply as follows: Does it offer better performance than its big brother, the original Tango?"

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: Asus EAH3870 X2 1GB graphics card
"I have to say that I'm impressed with the Asus EAH3870 X2 graphics card -- it's quite a step away from the reference design and innovation like this should be encouraged. The inclusion of four DVI ports will be a welcome addition for anyone looking to run more than a couple of monitors on their workstation and what makes it even better is the fact that, unlike Nvidia's SLI, ATI CrossFireX technology scales across multiple displays. There is no need to disable CrossFireX in order to enable multi-display mode -- and believe me when I say that is a big thing for anyone like me who is a gamer but also runs multiple displays. It's for that reason alone that I have never used a GeForce 9800 GX2 or GeForce 7950 GX2 in any system that isn't used for testing purposes -- it defeats the object of having a single graphics card for me because it has all the compromises of SLI. It's not all rosy though because there are some things that aren't as likeable about the Asus EAH3870 X2 1GB. The biggest one is of course performance. In short, the Radeon HD 3870 X2 is not as competitive as it needs to be and, if you took some games in isolation, you could make the card look like exceedingly poor value for money compared to the GeForce 8800 GTS 512 and GeForce 9800 GTX, which are both retailing for under £200. The 3870 X2, on the other hand, sits at about £240 (inc. VAT) at best, and heads up towards the £280 mark at worst. Another peeve of mine is with the fansink. Now, I accept that it's a compromise that had to be made in order to accommodate the four dual-link DVI ports on the PCI bracket, but that doesn't mean it's a good thing. While the two fans don't really increase the amount of noise pollution by a significant amount, it does mean there are now two points of failure on the card -- you could say you're twice as likely to need to change the card's heatsink later down the line when one of the fans inevitably fails. There's also the fact that heat created by the GPUs is no longer exhausted out of the back of the card, which means that you end up heating up the inside of your chassis -- I doubt that's going to be a major concern for most though. On the whole though, I think that the Asus EAH3870 X2 is a good choice compared to what's on offer from other partners on both red and green fronts. It will undoubtedly please the multi-monitor crowd and that's where I see this card making the most headway. A word of warning though: Asus has two EAH3870 X2 cards---one with four DVI ports (this one), and one that follows the reference design pretty closely---so if you're unsure, please do check with the retailer before purchasing."

More information can be found here.
I4U: Asus EAH3850 X2 Video Card Review
"Today we are checking out the Asus EAH3850 X2 dual GPU video card. This is one of the fastest ATI graphics cards you will find. If you only have space for one card and you prefer ATI, the EAH3850 X2 is worth a serious look. After all the testing was done there was no doubt that the Asus EAH3850 X2 is the fastest ATI video card I have tested. It isn’t as fast as the top cards from NVIDIA like the 9800 GX2, but it’s not as expensive either. The Asus EAH3850 X2 retails for around $350."

More information can be found here.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Canon EOS Rebel XSi Review @ Digital Trends
"Like the price of a barrel of oil, the megapixel count of D-SLRs continues to climb. When Canon and others first unveiled popularly-priced digital single lens reflex cameras, 6MP was the resolution spec, and everyone was thrilled. Today, 6-megapixel cameras of any type are practically ancient history. In fact, most new D-SLRs such as the Nikon D60, Pentax K200D or Sony DSLR-A200 kick off at 10MP with 14s becoming much more prevalent in 2008, such as the recent Editor's Choice-earning Sony DSLR-A350. As for the new Canon EOS Rebel XSi, it fits right between them with a resolution of 12.2MP, but proves slightly more expensive if you look at it on a pure pixel-for-pixel comparison. Yet digital cameras are about much more than pure resolution-they're about speed, picture-taking ability and loads of little things that separate the good from the bad. With that in mind, it was time to see if Canon had a winner on its hands-or, to put it bluntly, a clunker instead."

More information can be found here.
Hyper Sonic AG2 Notebook @ techPowerUp
"With the recent purchase of Hyper Sonic OCZ has added another company to their portfolio, further diversifying their product range. Hypersonic's AG2 Notebook, which we have on our testbench today has been engineered to be light weight and portable with less than 1.8 kg. The design also looks stunning with its a high quality, glossy paint."

More information can be found here.
Intel FCLGA4-S Core 2 Extreme Reference Heatsink Reviewed
"Ever wonder how Intel's retail heatsinks stack up against the best aftermarket CPU coolers out there? In this review Frostytech will be comparing the Intel FCLGA4-S reference heatsink, which is boxed with retail 45nm Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6850 processors (and others), against one hundred Intel socket 775 heatsinks from every imaginable manufacturer. One notable innovation with Intel's FCLGA4-S reference heatsink is harder to see, a vapour chamber."

More information can be found here.
NVIDIA Hybrid SLI and HybridPower Benchmarked and Explained @ Legit Reviews
"NVIDIA Hybrid SLI and HybridPower technology are welcomed additions to the enthusiast computing scene and give consumers another reason to purchase NVIDIA platforms. Having the ability to turn off the discrete graphics at will is one of the coolest new features we have seen on a PC. It's amazing that it took this long for someone to figure it out, but the time has finally come. NVIDIA Hybrid SLI technology was found to be pretty solid for being brand new technology.The slight performance decrease was expected, but the ability to use HybridPower seems to outweigh the performance hit..."

More information can be found here.
Aluratek ADMPF311F 11" Digital Photo Frame Review @ CoolTechZone.com
"Aluratek?s 11-inch digital photo frame is interesting, to say the least. It holds a lot of the first-generation values with a couple of features added to make it a more trendy option to better compete against some of its key competitors."

More information can be found here.
Sleek Audio SA6 Earphones Review @ CoolTechZone.com
"Sleek Audio is a relatively new company that desires to compete against the more established, high-end players in the market. Frankly, it?s going to take a lot more than an expensive pair of earphones to get them going, and with SA6 as their first product, it gives us hope and confidence in them and their upcoming success."

More information can be found here.
Valve's Source Engine Coming To Linux
"There have been rumors since last year that Valve may be serious about porting Source games to Linux after Valve Software began seeking a senior software engineer with the responsibility of porting Windows-based games to the Linux platform. Valve Software has yet to officially announce Linux clients for any of its software, but at Phoronix we have received information confirming that Valve is indeed porting its very popular Source engine to the Linux platform."

More information can be found here.
Silverstone Treasure TS01B RFID Enclosure @ techPowerUp
"The Silverstone Treasure TS01B is a very unique 2.5" SATA hard drive enclosure. You may not only use it as a plain USB 2.0 powered unit, but may also set it up to safely encrypt your hard drive as well. The two included RFID tags then act as keys to gain access to your data."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: Gigabyte X48T-DQ6 motherboard
"On price, we feel the Gigabyte X48T-DQ6 holds its own and but at the same time it's not exceptional -- that said, it is worth the asking price for a premium board that's fully featured and works really very well. The performance is very good, it's easy to work with and while we still don't get on too well with the DES software, the hardware looks good and it works efficiently with finesse in the background. While it hits all the right notes for us (oodles of features, a great layout, a decent bundle and very good performance and ease of use), the Gigabyte GA-X48T-DQ6 isn't a definitive choice, but it is certainly a good one if you're wanting to invest in DDR3 with some upgrade potential."

More information can be found here.
VL System M-Play Blast LCD Case Display & Remote Control Review @ Tweaknews.net
"I always enjoy being surprised by a product and the M-Play Blast was one such device. Not only did it exceed my expectations, it thoroughly impressed me. If you are looking for a remote setup for your media center and want something that looks at home with your VCR and other entertainment systems then the retro look of the M-play Blast should be right up your alley."

More information can be found here.
World Premier: Xigmatek Achilles S1284 HDT CPU Cooler
"Xigmatek has really made a name for themselves over the past year thanks to the Heat-pipe Direct Touch technology that they have embraced. When Benchmark Reviews originally reviewed the HDT-S1283 cooler we were absolutely astonished by the incredible results. Once again, we are the very first to test the newest hardware, and you'll be impressed to know that this product delivers the performance needed by overclockers while fulfilling the enthusiasts wish list for attractive features. Benchmark Reviews introduces the Xigmatek Achilles S1284 HDT CPU Cooler CAC-SXHH4-U02 and tests the performance against the top competitors."

More information can be found here.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Archos 705 WiFi Review @ Digital Trends
"The gargantuan Archos 705 WiFi's attention-grabbing features include a 7-inch touchscreen, 160GB hard drive, integrated WiFi and digital video recorder functionality. What's more, because of its size, the device often gets compared to an ultra-portable PC, only minus the productivity features and processing speed that would make it truly deserve such categorization. But remember: Archos's goal - emblazoned on the front of the metal casing - was to make a large-screen mobile DVR for traveling video junkies. Extras like WiFi are meant more to provide greater access to content than to enable the 705 as a laptop replacement, and because it has less lofty ambitions than Cowon's overburdened Q5W, the gizmo achieves its goals fairly well. We just wish Archos had aimed a little higher with the most important feature of all: Audiovisual quality."

More information can be found here.
NVIDIA nForce 7 AMD Series Arrives - ASUS M3N-HT Deluxe Motherboard @ Legit Reviews
"We compared the nForce 780a SLI to the AMD 780G since we wanted to test out the integrated graphics and PureVideo HD functionality as well as general performance. It seems to have paid off; the test results were interesting as the HD DVD playback testing over the HDMI output showed that NVIDIA passed up ATI when it comes to offloading the CPU usage. NVIDIA claims that an HT3-based Phenom CPU is required to provide the necessary bandwidth when playing HD video using the motherboard GPU. Our testing showed this is not true, but NVIDIA claims moving from a HT1 processor to HT3 will give the integrated graphics the bandwidth it needs to better render HD content. This is something we will check out later, because if we are impressed with what a 2.5GHz AMD Athlon 64 X2 dual-core CPU can do with HT1, we'd better be sitting down for some Phenom 50-series action..."

More information can be found here.
Thermolab Nano Silencer TLI-U Low-Profile Heatsink Review
"The Nano Silencer TLI-U is ideally sized for 1U server chassis, nano formfactor PCs, car PCs and media center microATX-style cases. The entire TLI-U heatsink stands no taller than 45mm, and uses the same swagged aluminum fin technique as the Micro Silencer model. Twin sintered wick copper heatpipes and a total weight of just 214 grams make the TLI-U a capable low mass cooler for weight sensitive applications. For the sake of convenience the heatsink even comes with a pre-applied patch of 8 W/mK rated gray thermal interface material on the bottom."

More information can be found here.
Tyan Thunder n3600M
"Two months ago we had looked at the Tyan Tempest i5400XT motherboard, which was Tyan's latest product based upon Intel's newest workstation chipset and had support for dual Intel Xeon quad-core processors. We found the Tempest i5400XT to be a real winner and everything had worked terrific with Linux. Today we are looking at another Tyan workstation motherboard but the tides have turned as we look at their latest AMD dual quad-core solution, the Tyan Thunder n3600M. The Thunder n3600M motherboard supports dual AMD"

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: Corsair VX550W PSU
"Continually, we find ourselves looking at great Corsair PSUs -- the HX, the TX and now the VX have all performed fantastically. The VX550W does exactly what it says on the tin and even though our model dropped a fraction below 80 percent load under significant 3.3V and 5V stress, it's very unlikely they'll ever hit these sorts of values in a real PC. Where it matters the Corsair VX550W works exceptionally well, hitting upwards of 85 percent efficiency throughout the rest of the tests. We'd be torn between the significant benefits of buying modular, versus the extra cost and slightly lower power. I used the VX550W in my own home theatre PC for a few months prior to this review and it was nothing but fantastic. In this instance, cable management didn't matter since there was a large enough case that was designed just to be super-low noise: in that respect it worked perfectly. I even had to install an extra cathode it to tell if the system was on or off, simply because it was //that quiet I couldn't hear it unless my head was all of two inches away. I had to swap it out for the Thermaltake Toughpower Q-Fan 650W we reviewed before the Corsair and while that quotes just 17dB you'd be very hard pushed to tell them apart. I'd still prefer to use the Corsair VX550W simply because the cables are better designed (4+4-pin EPS 12V instead of an 8-pin with a 4-pin tail), even though it's not modular. For any Intel P35/P45 or AMD 770X, 780G based PC with mainstream components the VX550W should absolutely suffice, but it's not //the answer for everyone -- there are a lot more ifs and buts than when we looked at the TX750W. If you do decide to buy a VX550W though, you won't be disappointed."

More information can be found here.
ASUS P5Q3 Deluxe - Intel P45 chipset review @ NordicHardware
"In this review, we will take a closer look at ASUS P5Q3 Deluxe, which is based on Intel's P45 chipset. The difference in performance between the P35 and its precursor P965 was minimal; the question is whether the P45 has any additional performance advantages. An important difference between P35 and P45 is that the latter is made using the 65nm manufacturing process, while the former was made with the 90nm process."

More information can be found here.
OCZ PC2-6400 ReaperX HPC 4GB Kit @ techPowerUp
"The OCZ ReaperX HPC memory series is the newest variant of the heatpipe cooled memory available from the manufacturer. Its new design improves on the cooling with dual heatpipes and finer fins to keep the parts cool. In our testing we saw excellent performance going all the way to DDR2-736 at 3-3-3-12."

More information can be found here.
Cooler Master Real Power Pro 850 Watt Power Supply Review @ Tweaknews.net
"With six +12v rails and four 6-pin PCI-E connectors just for starters, it's designed for those high end overclocked gaming rigs with multiple video cards that require a lot of power to perform optimally. Let's have a look at the rest of its offerings in more detail."

More information can be found here.
NZXT Alpha Classical Series Mid-Tower Case @ Benchmark Reviews
"Fortunately, since the PC Enclosure market is roughly organized into three segments; entry/OEM level, mid-range and performance/enthusiast, all you need to do to begin your case search, is to figure out which segment of the market fits your systems needs and zero your search down to that particular segment. Someone looking to spend between $25.00-$75.00 on their future system's enclosure need not waste their time exploring the expensive performance/enthusiast segment of the market, and so forth. Well, if part of your criteria is that you are on a budget or a first time builder, then usually the place to start is at the entry and budget mid-range levels. Once there, while parusing the current multitude of styles and designs, your eye would almost certainly be caught by the entry-to-mid-range NZXT offering: the ALPHA. The first time you see it, you'll think, "I bet that's what Darth Vader's desktop looks like." Today at Benchmark Reviews, we're going to find out if NZXT's latest in their Classic series line is just another....pretty face?"

More information can be found here.
I4U: Asus R300 GPS Navigation Device Review
"Today we are checking out a portable GPS device from Asus called the Asus R300. The R300 packs in all sorts of features like an FM transmitter and an internal GPS antenna. Volume levels for the spoken directions are very good making them easy to hear over road noise and loud kids or music. The built-in FM tuner can also send the directions to your cars speaker systems and allows you to listen to music and hear audio tracks with video over the car stereo system."

More information can be found here.
Monday, May 5, 2008
Cooler Master Real Power M850 850W @ techPowerUp
"Cooler Master's Real Power M850 power supply is one of the first power supplies that has six 12V rails. This should be enough power for all your SLI or CrossFire needs. Like many other PSUs today, the M850 comes with a high gloss reflective case and a large number of connectors."

More information can be found here.
Thermolab Micro Silencer TLI-S Heatsink Review
"In this review Frostytech will be testing a low profile Intel socket 775 heatsink which could be ideal for 2U sized server chassis, small formfactor PCs and other media center microATX-style cases which are seriously height limited. The Thermolab Micro Silencer TLI-S heatsink uses a simple swagged aluminum fin and heatpipe construction, weighs a feathery 276 grams and comes with a pre-applied patch of 8 W/mK rated gray thermal interface material."

More information can be found here.
Akasa AK-TT12-80 Thermal Adhesive Tape
"Akasa's AK-TT12-80 double sided Thermal Adhesive Tape comes in a small 80mm x 80mm square, about 0.3mm thick, from which you cut out a small square the appropriate size for your application. The thermal interface material has a thermal conductivity of 0.9 W/mK, and is double-sided to ensure bonding with the IC and heatsink. Peel adhesion is rated at 1200g/inch2 - or 1.2kg per square inch."

More information can be found here.
Mother's Day Gift Guide @ Digital Trends
"If you're too tired of sending flowers, too far away to take her to brunch or too old to give her a framed picture of yourself, the question looms large, what are you going to give your mother this Mother's Day? If you're scratching your head for unique ideas, scratch no more. The following suggestions intend for you to let the past be your guide with unique gift ideas rooted in your childhood memories."

More information can be found here.
ECS GeForce 8800 GT 256MB Video Card Review - N8800GT-256MX @ Legit Reviews
"The ECS N8800GT 256MB packs in double the memory with an available BIOS update giving you the performance of a true 8800 GT 512MB. The extra memory along with a nearly silent heat sink/fan combo and a $169 price tag assures it to be a great success!"

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: Assassin's Creed: Director's Cut
"Viewed from one angle Assassin's Creed: Director's Cut is honestly a little disappointing. The PC version doesn't really add anything all that new, doesn't make the most of the platform and carries over many of the flaws of the original game. The //Director's Cut doesn't offer any new content except for the new investigations, and these aren't really all that great. / /But the game is still quite good. The thing we really like about //Assassin's Creed is how good it is for creating player stories. The open sandbox style means that players can make their own tales in a way that makes the game great to talk about. There was the time I killed the Mad Doctor of Acre by climbing some scaffolding, assassinating an archer, and climbing down in to the courtyard of the hospital. I leapt from a nearby chandelier and plunged a knife into his throat, escaping through alleyways with the aid of some vigilantes and scholars. It's wonderful and deliciously emergent, going a long way to address complaints of repetitiveness. In a nutshell, the verdict lies in a balance of these two opposing viewpoints. Is / /Assassin's Creed good? Undoubtedly -- but the //Director's Cut isn't a massive improvement over the original. You may well love the new version more than the original, like we do, but the route of that preference won't be because the game is markedly better on PC. It'll be because your PC is markedly better than a console."

More information can be found here.
Foxconn 9800GTX Extreme OC @ Bjorn3D
"Bjorn3D has previously reviewed the performance difference of the stock 9800GTX versus various high-end and mainstream graphic cards: namely the 8 series cards (review). We are fortunate to receive the Foxconn GeForce 9800 GTX Extreme OC card which features clock speed of 780/1900/2360 (core/shader/memory) as opposed to the reference speed of 675/1688/2200. Today, we will put this card against other mid-range graphic cards ranging from the last generation G80 to current generation G92 cards and even the HD card from AMD."

More information can be found here.
Sunday, May 4, 2008
The Progress Of X.Org 7.4
"If all goes according to plan, X.Org 7.4 will finally be released this month. This release isn't quite as elaborate as X.Org 7.3, which introduced input hot-plugging, EXA enhancements, and RandR 1.2 to just name a few features, but X.Org 7.4 is another update better enhancing this X server. In this article, we are presenting a release overview of the features to be found in X.Org 7.4, what's been delayed, and how this release is panning out."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: PC Power & Cooling CTO talks shop
"BT:// How do you expect the PSU to evolve in the next three to five years considering the push to greener, more efficient computing? (Personally we believe PSUs will become more of a commodity product so in the future there will be an emphasis on price and features rather than component quality). DD: I expect a major change. There will be only one DC output: +12 Volts. The +3.3V, +5V, and -12V outputs will be eliminated in the future. This will make the PSU more efficient, since +12 Volts is the most efficient output, and of course it will make the PSU simpler and less expensive. Some of the cost savings will be used to improve component quality since the cost of upgrading is minimal compared to the cost of returning a defective PSU and the cost of computer downtime."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: Matrix Orbital GX Typhoon Display
"I started the project of reviewing the GX Typhoon as one of those who thought monochrome LCD technology had well passed its heyday. But what did I end up feeling? Hope. There are things that an LCD like the Typhoon could never do. It will never be a mini movie screen. It will never show Winamp visualisations. It will also never slow my computer down or prevent me from using SLI. It will never take me more than five minutes to design a basic screen, or fifteen for a complex one. What it / /will do is give me a lot of handy information at my fingertips, and I can easily add more. It will pull my weather report from the web, display my song titles and even my calendar entries. It will display my Speedfan info on my test rig, and monitor my temperatures on my main rig. It will do it colourfully, intelligently and easily. It will allow me to control Windows Media player and it will give me data on that, too. In short, it will do everything I would ever need an intelligent display to do. Add to this the ability for / /proper add-ons -- a baybus that can run more than a few milliamps of current before it fries; a separate control panel that I could configure independently; a watercooling pump monitor or IR blaster for my TV or a lightbus that ties to my music beats or anything else that comes up that could be useful. And all this comes with an interface that's open and encourages users to develop more great ideas. With the pros and cons on the table, the GX Typhoon is, to me, proof that small-scale LCD technology isn't dead...far from, it's just starting to come back into style. The classics always do."

More information can be found here.
Saturday, May 3, 2008
NZXT Tempest Mid Tower Gaming Case @ Legit Reviews
"The Tempest from NZXT’s crafted series is a very nice looking computer case. With a current street price of $109 plus shipping it is in the same price bracket as the ever-so-popular $99.99 Antec Nine Hundred hardcore gaming case.To compare these two cases one will find that they are similar in style, but the Tempest has a little more going for it; it can hold up to 8 hard drives and the top of the case is designed so that it can mount some of the most common dual 120mm water cooling radiators to it with out modifications. Buying a case is obviously a personal decision, but it would be hard to go wrong with the Tempest..."

More information can be found here.
A-DATA S701 & SDHC Eee PC Editions @ techPowerUp
"A-DATA's S701 & SDHC card Eee PC Edition are themed flash storage parts which go especially nice with the ASUS Eee PC subnotebook. The SDHC card is a Class 6 Device which means it can offer write speeds up to 6 MB/s. Both come at no price premium over the non-EeePC branded variants."

More information can be found here.
4GB SDHC Memory Cards: OCZ vs. Crucial
"Have you been searching for a Secure Digital card that is able to accommodate all of the pictures you take on your next vacation or looking for more storage on your Internet tablet? If so, you have likely come across the latest Secure Digital High Capacity cards that overcome the earlier 2GB capacity limitation of traditional Secure Digital cards. However, there are just so many SDHC cards on the market and they are all priced similarly from different manufacturers, so what should you choose? At hand today in this weekend review are two 4GB SDHC cards from OCZ and Crucial."

More information can be found here.
I4U: Asus EN9600GT Silent Video Card Review
"The worst thing about the exclusive V-cool heatsink (really the only bad thing) is that to get enough surface area for the passive cooling to be effective the normally single slot 9600GT becomes a dual slot design. I also found that the back edge of the passive heatsink blocked the retention clip for the six-pin power connector the card requires. I had to lift gently on the fins of the heatsink to get the clearance needed for seating the power plug."

More information can be found here.
Friday, May 2, 2008
Cooler Master Centurion 590 @ techPowerUp
"The Cooler Master Centurion 590 is a very affordable entry level case that brings a lot of features from much more expensive enthusiast class enclosures. Its nine 5.25" drive bays offer ultimate expandability, large video cards will also find a comfortable home in it."

More information can be found here.
Audioengine W1 Wireless Audio Adapter Reviewed @ TheTechLounge
"Audioengine's stellar A5"

More information can be found here.
SilenX iXtrema IXC-120HA2 Heatsink Review
"Looking for a new heatsink that works on either Intel or AMD processors? Good, say 'hello' to one of the new class of direct heatpipe contact heatsinks hitting the streets - the SilenX iXtrema IXC-120HA2. Like the nearly identical Sunbeam Core-Contact Freezer model, the SilenX iXtrema IXC-120HA2 heatsink features exposed heatpipes on the bottom which give it a serious advantage in the thermal tests."

More information can be found here.
Coolermaster Hyper Z600 Passive Heatsink Review
"The Coolermaster Hyper Z600 heatsink is a novel passive CPU heatsink for today's dual core processors. Its' 'star' shape, widely spaced aluminum fins and prodigious number of silvery copper heatpipes allow it to work without the benefit of a fan, albeit within specific thermal limits. As far as passive cooling goes (and I mean true passive cooling without any fan blowing toward it) Frostytech threw caution to the wind and stressed the Coolermaster Hyper Z600 heatsink in its passive mode."

More information can be found here.
Intel Skulltrail preview @ NordicHardware
"Intel Skulltrail. Just listen to it. Now, this is a teaser, and we'll start by teasing you a bit. Just taste the word Skulltrail. It sounds so hostile, in a good way. It's something meant to totally wipe out everything in its way, including the good 'ol Quad FX platform from AMD not to mention the Skulltrail predecessor, the V8 Media Creation Platform."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: Battlefield Heroes Interview: Ben Cousins
"BT: //Between the console-based Bad Company and the more casual, kind of accessible feel of Heroes, some hardcore fans may be worried that the once realistic, PC-only shooter is now... BC: Changed? BT: //Yeah, like it's going to suddenly become this casual, console-only shooter. BC: Well, I'm the executive producer on the franchise. I'm really in charge of the entire //Battlefield franchise and it's very clear to me that there are three...well, we have to make this a three-pronged assault with the series really. First, there are consoles. Consoles are really big, we can't ignore them, we have to be on the consoles. Second, there's this casual experiment we're going with //Battlefield: Heroes and the third prong is the hardcore PC gaming experience. We've made those in the past and we'll continue to make them in the future. We aren't specifically announcing anything, but we are still going to keep those hardcore gamers very happy. A lot of people are confused when they see //Heroes because they see it and assume that that is the future of //Battlefield on PC, but it isn't."

More information can be found here.
VIA's Open-Source Efforts A Bluff?
"Last month we reported on VIA's new open-source driver efforts that was announced at the LF Austin Summit. This new strategy involves VIA providing the open-source community with NDA-free hardware specifications, code, and other resources -- in a similar fashion to what ATI/AMD and Intel have been doing for some time now. However, not everyone has been satisfied by this announcement and their new Linux website isn't yet exactly useful. We explore the VIA Linux situation in this article as well as sharing what two open-source developers have to say."

More information can be found here.
XFX nForce 790i Ultra SLI Motherboard Review @ Legit Reviews
"Performance on the XFX nForce 790i Ultra SLI motherboard was great! The majority of our testing showed that the motherboard performance was very close to what we have seen on recent Intel Express chipset based boards. Once we look at more recent gaming results like FEAR and Crysis, we see that the XFX 790i Ultra absolutely dominates compared to the boards we tested it against in this review..."

More information can be found here.
Kingston HyperX 2GB PC2-9200 DDR2 Memory Kit Review @ Bigbruin.com
"Getting the Kingston HyperX 2GB PC2-9200 DDR2 memory kit up to the stock speed of 1150MHz was tricky only because it is an odd speed that I couldn't quite dial in with the settings found in the test system's BIOS. But getting into that general range required minimal effort, and even overclocking to well above 1200MHz was pretty much plug and play."

More information can be found here.
Honeywell Arius 2216 LCD @ Bjorn3D
"In 2008, older viewers who have lived their whole lives in 4:3 will initially gawk at a custom interface like 11:15 and feel that the ratio is odd, confining, or forced – but no one is wondering whether or not a widescreen LCD looks awesome ripping HD, because we’ve warmed up to the idea in the movie theater. Widescreen seems like a natural evolution, although just a few years ago we were staring at our moderately hi-res, bulky 4:3 CRTs, and marveling at how crisp the images looked in comparison to a normal television. No doubt you’ll see some of the hip kids reverting to 4:3 for its “vintage” appeal, and there might even be readers out there who have taken that stance already; arguing that the TV ratio they grew up watching Thundercats on will never – EVER – die, regardless of what widescreen is doing at large."

More information can be found here.
I4U: Skullcandy Pipe iPod & iPhone Speaker Dock Review
"The Skullcandy Pipe is a small speaker system that can charge your iPod and play your music at the same time. Visually the Skullcandy Pipe is tiny and when I took it out of the box I wondered how something so small would produce good sound. As soon as I popped my iPhone into the Pipe those skepticisms went away. The sound that comes from the tiny speakers and small dimensions is very impressive."

More information can be found here.
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Sunbeamtech Core-Contact Freezer Heatsink Review
"The Sunbeamtech Company is best known for its 'flashy' cases and PC accessories, but under the brand Tuniq it has released CPU thermal solutions like the popular Tower 120. Today Frostytech is testing out one of the new breed of direct heatpipe contact coolers that are sweeping the industry; the Sunbeamtech Core-Contact Freezer heatsink. Sunbeamtech's heatsink stands 143mm tall, is 125mm across and accommodates one "silent" 120mm Magnetic Fluid Dynamic Bearing fan that spins at 1,000~2,000 RPM."

More information can be found here.
Phoronix Test Suite 0.5.0 Released
"A week ago Phoronix Test Suite 0.4.0 was released and today Phoronix Test Suite 0.5.0 has outdone that. This release of the Phoronix Test Suite incorporates more than 40 major changes to this open-source Linux benchmarking platform! Among the changes are new test profiles, various clean up work, sensor monitoring support, and an improved PTS Results Viewer. Development of the Phoronix Test Suite is coming along quite nicely and by early June, the public should have its hands on version 1.0."

More information can be found here.
bit-tech News: The Three Evils by Greensabbath
"I'll be honest -- of all of my deeply devoted modder friends, I initially had the least"

More information can be found here.
NZXT Tempest Giveaway at Benchmark Reviews
"Benchmark Reviews and NZXT have partnered to bring one very lucky winner a brand new NZXT TEMPEST enthusiast mid-tower computer case. All you have to do is answer five simple questions by posting here in this thread!"

More information can be found here.
I4U: LapLogic Aerogel Extreme LapDesk Review
"Today we are taking a look at a pair of notebook desks from LapLogic. Both the Aerogel Extreme and the Aerogel Extreme Wide have the same features and do a great job of keeping the heat from your notebook from bothering you. Both versions of the LapDesk are ridged and the Aerogel insulation works very well. I used the LapDesk’s with several notebooks for longer than would normally be comfortable without any issues. I even used a Gateway gaming notebook in my lap for a long time and heat was not an issue. I felt none of the heat form the notebooks through the LapDesk’s."

More information can be found here.
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