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[H] Enthusiast Archives: January 2004Archive Listing


Saturday January 31, 2004

[H]ardNews

BF1942 1.5 to 1.6:

FileShack has the latest Battle Field update weighing in at 268MB. The patch from v1.5 to v1.6 can be had here. Thanks Chris Sanny!

New Map - Liberation of Caen is a new map for BF1942 owners. It includes a whole new army, the Canadians.

Pretty cool eh hoser?

(If you are seeing some scoreboard problems, you might find a fix here, but as always, make mods at your own risk. Thanks Nathan Fredrickson!)

[H]ardNews 2nd Edition

WaterCooling:

Watercooling may be coming to a CPU near you sooner than you think. Especially if we see CPUs getting smaller and hotter as they go. FastLaneHW reviews the Corsair HydroCool 200. I am personally a fan of the Koolance Exos as we never had the problems that we did with the HydroCool. It seems though since then Corsair has gotten a lot of their issues figured out though as we have had test units since our review that worked correctly. I still like the Exos form factor a bit better though.

The HydroCool is not a WWR-killer, and it shouldn't be regarded as one. While the HydroCool does not deliver earth-shaking performance (but enough to solidly beat our aircooling setup), it has advantages that no other watercooling system has-- it's extremely easy to install and transport, low maintenance, and doesn't require a gigantic case just to install it.

GFFX Roundup:

The ModFathers have a full testbench today. They cover a 5700U, a 5900XT, and a 5950U all in the same review. Quite a nice spread and one that will be of interest to many of you as you are looking for that mainstream card that gives great performance but will not break the bank. My money is on the 5900XT! They do use all canned benchmarks, but since there is no ATI in the mix, the results should be somewhat reliable. The graphs are so small and full of artifacts I found the hard to

decipher though.

So I have to throw my hands up and let you draw your own conclusion as I do not have a solid answer to give.

Etc.:

Enermax

PSU @ ViperLair - MouseMat @ MTB

Modding:

LED Case Feet @ CreativeMods - Super LanBoy @ SystemCooling

[H]ardNews 1st Edition

Tune This:

aTuner, the tweaker tool that goes both ways, is new and improved this morning. It is now ribbed for Catalyst 4.1 support and a few other things.

Tweaked XBox Feedback:

We posted on this "enhanced XBox" last week, and mentioned that we really did not see the point in it. We finally got back some feedback on the unit from someone that had seen one in person. Bennett Ring of Australia's #1 gaming mag, PC PowerPlay, had this to say:

I tried out this unit at last year's Computex 2003, and it was pathetic.

The guy who demonstrated it to me kept going on about how fast it was, and I could see why when he booted it up - the games all ran at twice their normal speed! And I'm not talking about frame rates, we're talking game speed. It was bloody ridiculous, yet they touted this as a 'feature' of it!

Oh yeah, none of the DVD intros at the start of games worked either, but I'd say that's fixable. Unlike the "game on crack" effect.

Stay the hell away!

I guess that goes to show you that faster is not always better, but your gf could've told you that.

Optic Razer:

Brian Sullivan pointed us towards a PDF that shows Razer's new optic mouse. Gone is the carpal tunneling effect of the older model. Thank goodness. I loved the old Razer mice, I just could not hold onto them for long. The ergonomics were not my cup of tea. I like something meaty to hold onto...you know what I mean. You people need to get your minds out of the gutter.

Intel Love Inside Too:

We linked IntelRecon earlier this week and discussed how Intel was asking them to "fix" their domain name as it intruded onto their trademark company name. It seems as though Intel thinks that "Inside" is all theirs as well.

Robin C. Mueller is a psychic who strives to connect her clients' spiritual energy with angels, and others who've gone to "the other side." When the Armonk, N.Y., medium applied for a trademark for her company name, "SpiritInside," she was challenged by Intel Corp., which said her name infringed on its well-known trademark "Intel Inside."

Wasted Time:

Fly the helicopter the farthest, win nothing. But hey look, I am now one hour closer to death. YEA! Blame Kevin Jahnke.

Friday January 30, 2004

[H]ardNews 10th Edition

Cape KC41-X2 H2O Block:

Dark Tweaker has a look at an interesting looking water block called the Cape KC41-X2 Plex. The block itself is made from Plexiglas and according to the article performs very well. Keep in mind that we are not sure if this block will be available in the US, but we still like to point out new and unusual blocks when we see them. Here is a translated quote:

The waterblock comes in 2 parts, the body and the retainer, which is also from Plexi. The body with our current model is also from Plexi and makes itself possible a view of the river of the life. The other models are available from aluminum manufactured, also with base plate from copper and in 3 colors.

Mods & Ends:

CoolMax Silent PSU @ FastLane HW - SilenX 400W PSU @ Legit Reviews - ClearPC Case @ Avault - SilverStone Temjin ATX Case @ 3DXtreme@ - Sunbeam “Skull” Fan Grill @ R&B; Mods

[H]ardNews 9th Edition

Apple To PC Mod Snafu:

Overclockers posted an Apple G5 to PC mod the other day that apparently showed someone gutting a brand new dual processor G5, giving away the internals, then replacing everything with a lame Micro-ATX Athlon based board that didn’t even sport an AGP slot. Tons of people responded only to find out the whole thing ended up as a prank on Overclockers and the story really didn’t happen like the author said it did. Ed has updated the article to let readers know what happened:

Are the pictures real? Yes. Is it my own G5 case that has been cut and hacked? Yes. Did I give away two G5 2GHz processors (IBM PC 970)? No! So what happened? I got a free G5 shell from a buddy of mine and pulled a prank on a Mac loving friend. He got so upset. I wrote up a little story, my imagination and warped sense of humor kicked in. I sent it to OC.com just to see the reaction. I honestly didn't think it was going to be posted.

Obviously, if you were going to do a mod like this, you would expect the new PC components to meet or exceed that of the existing Apple hardware. Or go to the other extreme and make a fishbowl out of the G5 or something like that. We happen to like Apple to PC conversions, but we like them when they are done correctly. Our very own Rotten Apple project took a G4 case and filled it with the “best of the best” PC components available at the time and color matched the whole project in [H]ardOCP red.

[H]ardNews 8th Edition

101 Dumbest Moments:

Instead of doing a “Freaky Friday” post, I have a list of the 100 dumbest moments in business for a little Friday afternoon reading. There is some really, really good stuff on the list…and yes, SCO makes the list. Here is one of my personal favorites:

Dairy Queen franchisee W.A. Enterprises is docked $700,000 by a jury in Richmond, Va., after DQ employee Ayman Ahmed Hasaballa allegedly slides into a booth next to a female customer, pulls down her sweater, bites her breast, and says, "I am like Dracula." The jury holds the company responsible because it didn't fire Hasaballa six months earlier after he allegedly attacked a female co-worker.

[H]ardNews - Gateway / eMachines Info

While some of you might see this Gateway buying eMachines story as a bit boring, it could have a big impact on the CPU market. If the big guns over at eMachines end up running a significant portion of Gateway operations, we could see some Intel-only business be opened up to AMD. Linked here is a full presentation of why Gateway is considering this strategy and what it would take to get it done.

[H]ardNews 7th Edition

Deals On The Web:

When it comes to finding great deals on the internet, you guys are tops! Here are just a few of the best deals on the internet, submitted by YOU. My man Joel Barsotti sends word of a Radeon 9800Pro for $230. This a brand new OEM card, in stock. Blair Myers sent me a link to a massive 200GB Seagate ATA100 hard drive. This is a 7200RPM, 8MB cache drive, these are awesome drives, not some low end part. Kim Houston sent me a link to a sweet 17” Hitachi black LCD for $409 shipped free to your door. You need to enter the “trophy” coupon code to get $65 off the price of the monitor at checkout. Edward Cabarles pointed out this $233 3GHz “C” Pentium 4 800MHz FSB retail processor with free shipping. Damn, it sure seems like a good day to be buying stuff, doesn’t it?

[H]ardNews 6th Edition

Gateway Buys eMachines:

It looks like Gateway is buying eMachines for a bargain basement price. Oddly enough, eMachines has been much higher profile in the last year with some surprisingly strong desktop / notebook offerings while Gateway hasn’t been heard from all year. Good move for Gateway.

Gateway plans to acquire rival eMachines in a bid to regain its footing in the PC game and broaden the distribution of its Gateway-branded consumer electronics devices at retail. The Poway, Calif., company plans to purchase privately held eMachines for $30 million in cash and 50 million shares of stock. Based on Gateway's closing price of $4.09 per share Thursday, the total value of the deal would be approximately $234.5 million.

Pixar & Disney Split:

In what has to be the biggest blow to Disney, who is already having a tough, tough time right now, now Pixar is packing up and taking their show on the road. Honestly, I don’t think Disney has had a non-Pixar related hit ( animated movies ) in the last 5 – 7 years.

Pixar, the computer animation pioneer founded by Apple Computer Inc.'s Steve Jobs, said it would look for another studio partner to distribute its films starting in 2006, when its current deal with Disney expires. The move was an unexpected blow to Disney, which reaped a financial bonanza and critical acclaim from the partnership and has struggled with its own strategy for animation.

New VIA Euro Distributor:

VIA is teaming up with Rutronik Electronic Components, a large European electronics distributor, for its VIA Embedded Platform products. Here is a clip from the press release:

VIA Technologies, Inc, a leading innovator and developer of silicon chip technologies and PC platform solutions, today announced that it is teaming up with Rutronik Electronic Components GmbH, one of the leading European distributors of electronic components, for distribution of products marketed by the newly created VIA Embedded Platform Division (VEPD). The agreement with Rutronik covers the complete range of VIA Eden™, VIA Eden-N and VIA C3™ E-Series embedded processors, VIA's embedded platform core-logic chipsets and a wide array of companion chips, including networking, communications, multimedia and audio solutions.

[H]ardNews 5th Edition

MSI GFFX 5700Ultra:

Bjorn3D has a review of the little red card that could, the MSI GFFX 5700Ultra TD128. The bright red PCB and spanky looking copper heat sinks on these bad boys also make them popular with case modders and folks with windowed cases as well. Have a look:

The FX5700 Ultra is certainly successful in addressing the shortcomings of the FX5600 cards. It fits nicely in the middle ground between the price leader FX5200's and the top end FX cards. As usual with NVIDIA graphics cards, it is ultra-stable and compatible. Head-to-head tests with the ATi 9600XT confirm that essentially the two cards are even in terms of performance. The 9600XT has a slight visual edge, however, at least to my eyes.

PowerColor Radeon 9800XT:

Proof positive that the PowerColor Radeon 9800XT kicks much ass no matter where you are in the world. This review isn’t in English, but the universal benchmarks say it all. Here is a translated quote from the full review:

Its impediment is its raised price, but if it will not be able to pay for a plate of these I think that it can always go for example for one 9800Pro that she is consideravelmente cheaper and it offers a similar performance to this 9800XT. Penso that nobody will go to justify its purchase alone for the capacity to read the temperature of Core, Overdrive, or the cooling most advanced, since the price exactly is too much raised to only have these things in relation to 9800Pro.

CPU Comparo:

Sudhian has posted a workstation CPU round-up of sorts that compares the Barton to the Opteron and Intel Xeon.

When it’s all said and done, AMD and MSI have done a terrific job building products that can stand up to Intel’s Xeon 3.2 in both performance and stability. Having worked with both Xeon and Opteron workstations for weeks now, we can safely say we wouldn’t’ hesitate to deploy either solution (though we would junk the Xeon’s default fans).

[H]ardNews 4th Edition

MikeRowe Sells Out Again:

At first it seemed like poor little Mike Rowe was getting reamed by MS. Sure he was demanding $10k from MS, but he had a believable story…kinda. Then Mike Rowe caved in and sold out for a handful of cash, an Xbox and some MS training….we thought that was pretty weak. Today, the kid is auctioning off the Microsoft documents collected throughout this week long ordeal. So I guess this whole thing was about money after all.

We were starting to feel sorry for Mike Rowe, the British Columbia teenager who gave up the rights to his Web site's domain name, www.mikerowesoft.com, after a certain software company raised objections. But it seems Mike may have been after the money after all. He's put one of the inch-thick legal dossiers Microsoft's lawyers sent him up for auction on eBay.

[H]ardNews - Blair's Tech Ed.

Microscopic Monitors:

Daniel Nocera and his colleagues in MIT’s Earth System Initiative—a research project that relates science and technology to the earth’s biosystems—have created microscopic sensors that can be tailored to glow or stop glowing in response to pollutants or even biochemical-warfare substances such as anthrax. Nocera, who is the W. M. Keck Professor of Energy and professor of chemistry, and his team created “supramolecules,” large molecules whose subunits can perform different tasks, and attached them to microscopic lasers.

X-rays Cause Cancer:

Medical X-rays are to blame for many thousands of fatal cancers every year, according to the most comprehensive analysis to date. Medical experts stress that X-rays and CT scans can be very beneficial, but believe the new work shows that they should be used as sparingly as possible. "They are of enormous benefit for such things as early cancer detection, but medical experts need to be aware of the quantifiable risks of X-rays." says Amy Berrington, of Oxford University, UK, and one of the research team. "If you need an X-ray for medical reasons then I should not worry about it."

Handy Elves:

Scientists are finding a computer program called Elves to be a nearly magical solution to the tedious and time-consuming task of determining the 3-D shape of proteins - a major focus of cutting-edge proteomics today - from X-ray diffraction data. According to Elves developer James Holton, who recently received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, researchers can unleash Elves on a set of X-ray diffraction data and go on to other things - or take a nap - while the computer does the hard work and spits out a protein structure. "This is the first time anyone has reported a computer generating a protein structure by itself," he said.

Making Better Pictures:

It's not hard to create a long-lasting inkjet photo print - as long as you store the print in dark, low-humidity conditions. Trouble is, few people enjoy their pictures this way. Eastman Kodak Company's Tech Brief for January examines the delicate balance of paper and ink that help picture-takers enjoy home-printed digital pictures the way most people view photos: in a picture frame, in an album, or as an unmounted snapshot stuck to a refrigerator. Kodak scientists developed a universal inkjet photo paper to meet those demanding conditions: New KODAK Ultima Picture Paper with COLORLAST technology.