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[H] Enthusiast Archives: April 2003Archive Listing

Wednesday April 30, 2003


Gettin' Polled:

No, this is not a "bend over and grab your ankles" type of polling...that those Iraqi soldiers are used to. This is the type of polling where we want to know what your hardware habits are.

Please take a moment to tell us about your how often you trade out video cards. Many thanks! And remember, don't bend over to get the soap if Steve is anywhere close.

[H]ardNews 9th Edition

OutsideLoop Salutes:

Back from Iraq and need to get your game on? Well wipe the sand from your eyes and head over to OutsideLoop and check out what they have to offer.

Active Military Discount - Active Military will recieve a 5% discount off of the listed price for all parts on the Outside Loop store through July 31. Please fax a copy of your military ID to (303)772-0520 for eligibility. Discount does not apply to shipping costs.

Computex Put Off:

The 2003 Computex trade show, originally scheduled for June 2-6, will be postponed to the second half of this year, show organizer Taipei Computer Association (TCA) announced today.

[H]ardNews 8th Edition

Microsoft Code Names:

Here is a site that lists all the code names for Microsoft products. Cool way to waste a little time checking out code names like “Astroid” for Windows 2000 Service-Pack 1 or “Snowball” for Windows for Workgroups 3.11. Thanks to dondon for the linkage.

Lithography Too Complex?

It seems the chip industry is a little behind the learning curve when it comes to optical lithography. As things get smaller and faster, engineers are having a tougher time than they planned for. Thanks Blair.

Imagine what would happen if Major League Baseball decided to shorten the distance between the pitchers' mound and home plate, then cut the number of spring training days by half. It's safe to say that even the league's best sluggers would be lucky just to connect with the ball when regular season begins. Engineers in the optical lithoghraphy business are going through a similar ordeal as they struggle to keep up with Moore's Law. The rule book keeps changing and there are fewer opportunities to practice their craft in preparation for volume manufacturing.

ABIT Contest:

ABIT has a contest open to all ABIT BH7, IC7 and IC7-G motherboard owners. You can win yourself all the components to give you the fastest retail PC anywhere. There are some pretty big name sponsors on the list like Intel, Kingston, Asetek, ABIT and more. Check it out.

To celebrate having the fastest PC in the world at CeBIT 2003 with our ultra-overclocked GigaSystem™, ABIT is having a GigaContest™ to allow users of IC7/IC7-G and BH7 motherboards to build up their very own GigaSystems™

[H]ardNews 7th Edition

ASUS P4C800:

Lost Circuits busted out this review of the ASUS P4C800 Canterwood mainboard today, giving us a little insight into the boards performance and features.

Every mainboard manufacturer of rank is rushing to market with their incarnation of i875-based mainboard to grab a piece of the pie while it is still hot. Among the heavy weights, one might have guessed it, is ASUSTek with their P4C800.

RIAA Chat?

Don’t answer that instant message just yet…it might be the RIAA threatening you. No kidding. Thank Joe Alpert for that one.

The recording industry is turning file-swappers' own tools against them with a new campaign to send warnings to people who are offering copyrighted materials online. Tapping into the chat functions built into software programs such as Kazaa and Grokster, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on Tuesday started sending automatic messages to people who are providing copyrighted songs online, warning them that they're breaking the law. About 200,000 people who use Kazaa and Grokster received the warning notice Tuesday and millions more will get notices in coming weeks, said Cary Sherman, the RIAA's president

Heh, I think I just found a new way to play jokes on my friends that swap tunes. Message them with “This is the RIAA, put your hands up and drop the MP3s”, heh…that is too funny.

Mods & Ends:

AMS gTower Case @ Maximum3D - Volcano9 HSF @ TechSeekers - Zalman CNPS7000Cu @ Bytesector - Thermo MAXX Fan @ OCIA - Spire FalconRock II Cooler @ OCPortugal

[H]ardNews 6th Edition

Athlon 3200+ Coming:

The Athlon 3200+ with a 400MHz FSB is on the way in the next two weeks, according to C|Net. It’ll be interesting to see how well the processor overclocks at that high of a bus speed…it didn’t seem to hamper the new 800MHz FSB Pentium 4, which many people were worried about too.

The chipmaker is set to deliver its new Athlon XP 3200+ chip during the first half of the month. The chip will sport at least one new feature, a 400MHz system bus, according to sources familiar with the company's plans. The move to the faster bus, a step up from the company's current 333MHz bus, is intended to give the Athlon XP more performance by accelerating data traveling between the processor and system components such as memory.


It seems that everyone has a small form factor PC coming out. You can add ASUS to that list now too. Joel and the gang at SFFTech have the review, let’s see what they had to say:

As more and more companies introduce SFF products we've begun to see distinctions emerging in the various types of product offered by companies. Companies like Shuttle, AMS, and Soltek have thus far focused mainly on enthusiasts and high-end users, IWILL's initial XP4 (minus AGP) was introduced into the budget-SFF market, and MSI has thus far mainly released corporate / business SFF's.

Detonator 43.51 WHQL:

The Guru3D gang has let me know that they have Detonator 43.51 WHQL drivers available for download. Get them if you need them and as always, let me know if they bork your box.

We just posted Detonator drivers 43.51, these are WHQL certified drivers which a lot of people where waiting on. We have both Windows 98/ME and Windows 2000/XP available. Furthermore all nVidia graphics cards to date are compatible with these drivers and thus includes the newer GeForceFX 5200, 5600 and 5800 series.

[H]ardNews 5th Edition

Spamming For Felonies:

Get caught spamming a fraud, go to jail…do not pass go, do not collect $200. I love it. Now if we can just manage to get them ALL arrested, we’d be doing great.

In the toughest move to date against unsolicited commercial e-mail, Virginia enacted a law Tuesday imposing harsh felony penalties for sending such messages to computer users through deceptive means. The law would be enforced against those who use fraudulent practices to send bulk e-mail, commonly known as spam.

[H]ardNews 4th Edition

Asus A7N8X Review:

A little more nForce2 action today. AMD3D has the scoop on theAsus A7N8X Rev.2 motherboard. What makes revision 2.0 any different from revision 1.0? Read on to find out:

So are there any REAL significant differences between the old N-Force2 and the newer N-Force2 SSP (Ultra 400) chipset? Well, apart from the official support for 400FSB processors ... it's almost identical. If you place a standard Athlon XP2000+ (266FSB) processor in both motherboards and ran them side-by-side ... the performance is near identical.

Comic Relief:

This edition of MegaTokyo would not be so funny if it wasn’t so true. Thanks to Damon Schmidt for pointing out that beer cooling your CPU is so wide spread now that even cartoons are doing it. Funny stuff.

XFX GeForce4 Ti4200 8X:

While the Ti4200 cards are now getting a little long in the tooth, the OCModshop gang reviews the XFX GeForce4 Ti4200 8X. The good thing about new products emerging at break neck speed is the fact that it helps drive the prices of cards like this down dramatically.

This is the second Geforce 4 Ti4200 that I have reviewed and I am very impressed with it. The thing I am most impressed about with this card is that it is such a good overclocker. Not only does the cards memory come overclocked but it is able to overclock even more from that!

[H]ardNews - Blair Tech Ed.

Fear Of Nanotechnology:

Groups from Canadian bioethicists to the UK's Prince of Wales have expressed fears about the safety of nanotechnology. Other critics dismiss the emerging field as hopelessly overhyped. In an exclusive interview, New Scientist put these concerns to the man who coined the phrase nanotechnology, Eric Drexler. He is a founder and current chairman of the Foresight Institute in California, a nonprofit organization aiming to help prepare society for advanced technologies.

Finding Dark Matter:

British scientists equipped with state of the art detectors deep underground in northern England have begun a search for one of the most tantalizing secrets of the universe -- known as Dark Matter. "If we are successful in our quest then we are looking at a place in the history books," Neil Spooner of Sheffield University said on Tuesday. "This will be one of the great discoveries of our time." Teams of scientists around the world are racing to be the first to discover the truth about Dark Matter, which cannot be seen because it does not emit light.

Memory Architecture:

IMEC the international research consortium for microelectronics, has added a key piece to its suite of SoC memory optimization tools. The set, known as ATOMIUM, is a comprehensive set of interactive tools that traverses application code, optimizing it to reduce the number and cost of memory transactions. It then assists users in defining the optimum configurations of memory arrays to support the code. The process can result in dramatic reductions in system energy consumption as well as die area.

Importance Of Simulators:

U.S. pilots who bombed Baghdad say increasingly detailed flight simulators helped familiarize them with the terrain, the threats and even the weather conditions they would face on the battlefield. The location of my flight and the tactics employed were exactly like we were practicing in the MTC (Mission Training Center) ... before we left," the F-16 pilot who dropped the first HARM missile on Baghdad wrote in an e-mail to trainers at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina. "It was pretty cool to see the terrain and scenario 'as practiced."

[H]ardNews 2nd Edition

ABIT Cancels Computex Booth:

We talked a bit about companies canceling their Computex appearances due to SARS, it seems that ABIT is the first to cancel their booth. While this is unfortunate, it is the right thing to do under the circumstances.

Owing to the strict quarantine measures imposed by the Taiwan government on visitors from Hong Kong, China, Canada and Singapore because of the threat of SARS, and the subsequent cancellation of most visitors to Computex, ABIT has decided not to have a booth at this year's show. Although Computex authorities are still deciding weather the show will be cancelled or postponed, ABIT has decided it is in the best interests of our partners and customers not to exhibit at this years show.

ABIT had planned to display our new ABIT Engineered product line, including the Fastest PC in the World, featuring an BH7 motherboard, Vapochill cooling system and Kingston DDR RAM, as well as our igaSystemT featuring an IC7-G with a Vapochill and Kingston RAM. Instead, we will host visitors at our Neihu headquarters.

[H]ardNews 1st Edition

New Motherboard Monitor :

Motherboard Monitor is here! Motherboard Monitor is here! This brings the handy monitoring utility up to version….get it if you need it.

FIC A95P 9500 Pro:

FIC makes more than just motherboards, they make video cards too. Today, the FIC A95P 9500 Pro showed up in this review at Envy News. Here is a snippet from the review:

The piece of hardware I am referring to is the A95P (Radeon 9500 Pro AGP 8x 128MB) from FIC, which is based on the VPU from the wonderful CANADIAN company ATI. Perhaps it isn’t so much the A95P that brought forth the lyrics but the new movement on ATI’s part to share with others the fruits of their labors in the R&D; department for eye candy goodness which we all love to drool over.

Radeon 9800Pro Review:

The current heavyweight champion of the graphics card world, the Radeon 9800Pro is reviewed today at OCAddiction. Good review, great card.

I consider myself lucky to review this card. It was not sent to me by a sponsor or ATI. I happened to be in Fry's Electronics here in Southern California the day it came out and they had a box sitting on the ground with six shiny, new RADEON 9800 PROs in it, so of course I snagged one. So the results you see are from a retail card, not hand picked by a manufacturer.

Tuesday April 29, 2003

[H]ardNews 9th Edition


Got a killer mini-pc mod you want to do? What about a HTPC for the ol’ living room? Well, Envy News has a review of the VIA EPIA M9000 which is a perfect choice for a small DVD or MP3 box. Check it out:

All in all, this is a good, cheap system and you will be hard pressed to create a mainstream PC for this sort of money. A reasonably decent motherboard costs the same as the entire M9k system itself, all you need to add is a case, CD/DVD drive, some memory and a harddrive. It's a fair bet to say a lot of you will have some if not all of these components lying around from old systems.

Biostar M7NCG Review:

Keeping with the mini-pc theme, Bjorn3D has a review of a nForce2 board from Biostar that comes in the micro-ATX form factor. Might be a cool board to do a project with.

The Biostar M7NCG is a well-built Micro-ATX motherboard, based on the NVIDIA nForce2 chipset. It's a complete solution with the all the peripherals needed for a basic computer system integrated into the motherboard.

[H]ardNews 8th Edition

3DMark 2K3 Patch:

3DMark 2003 now supports DX 9.0a. You can grab the 5mb patch or you can just re-download the whole thing again at 177mb. There is a long list of fixes, updates and new features posted on the website.

Futuremark is pleased to announce the release of a new version of 3DMark®03 - Patch (320)! The new version introduces new features, new functionalities and ensures more reliable functionality with new hardware.

Get Your ZZZs:

The 167th edition of ZZZ Online is posted. This week our visit to the bizarre bazaar features some of the weirdest and wildest tech stuff like:

A remote controlled helicopter with wireless video uplink. Microjets for use on small aircraft – manned or unmanned. A mini-segway. Supercavitating underwater rockets. “Fishing” for mines with robot controlled miniguns. Crackless eggs: fake eggs used to find out where and how so many break in processing plants.

Mods & Ends:

Zalman PSU @ Trainwrecker - Sunbeam UV Fans @ FuriousTech - Antec LANBoy Case @ Bit-Tech - Blue LED Keyboard Mod @ BitBender - Speeze RaptorCool @ R&B; Mods