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[H] Enthusiast Archives: February 2004Archive Listing


Sunday February 29, 2004

[H]ardNews 2nd Edition

2.4A Pentium 4s:

Jay Roth questions why are 2.4GHz / 533MHz bus Prescott (noted by the "A" on the part number.) Pentium 4s showing up at NewEgg. Of course the Prescott core is much smaller than the Northwood and therefore is a much cheaper produce. If any of you have grabbed one of these to OC, please give us your feedback! We have one on order.

Model: Intel Pentium 4 2.4A, Core: Prescott, Operating Frequency: 2.4GHz, FSB: 533MHz, Cache: L1/12K+16K, L2/1MB, Voltage: 1.25-1.525V

Update: One of the members of the Shuttle Support Team did point out that these CPUs do NOT have HyperThreading turned on. Certainly something to think about. I did also have one report last night of on particular 2.4A being OCed to 3.4GHz at stock voltage, then the board it was running on burning up.

Intel's Insides:

Long time [H]'er, Matt Waters, sent along this link to a presentation given by ex-Intel's Bob Colwell, a former CPU architect. I have not had time to view it entirely yet, but I am told that Bob gives a great insider view of the behind-the-scenes at Intel and some specifics on Pentium core limitations. Give yourself an hour to partake of the whole presentation and for those of you that really get into the guts of CPUs, this is a must-view.

Corsair XMS3500RE:

Low latency sticks from Corsair are given the once over at SystemCooling.

Why is registered memory important? Well, my main system uses an AMD FX51 on an Asus SK8V motherboard, which requires registered memory. So, it’s important to me. Currently I’m using four 512 MB sticks of Corsair registered PC3200 memory. Soon we'll see if Corsair's XMS3500RE has anything extra to offer.

Tech Traffic Down:

TheInq's best and most reputable writer, Charlie Demerjian, muses openly about why tech site traffic has been on the decline.

So, the question remains, why is tech site readership in the toilet? Since the beginning of the year, there has been a ton of news, some breaking stories, and general fin and mayhem in the silicon world. This should be a net plus, but it is a net loss. Does anyone have an answer?

I think I know Charlie. It is quite simple. It has been boring as a senior citizen's thumb wrestling championship. There has been nothing going on tech-wise. And when something has actually been happening, like AMD64 and Prescott, the fanfare has been worth a day or two of excitement and then it is back to the usual. Thank goodness DOOM3, R420, and NV40 are all right around the corner. At least if the hardware sucks, I will still have a new game to play.

Ima Loser:

With the Infinium Labs legal threats this week, I lost focus on my eyeballs. Congrats to Justin_Ashburn. I just hope you feel good as those were to be going to good use by my poor blind grandma.

Bidding has ended for this item. You were outbid.

[H]ardNews - Mods & Ends

Cooling:

Spire HSF @ 3DXtreme - Zalman HSF @ CrazyModders

Etc.:

PowerLeap Upgrade @ ATrueReview - SilverStone USB Hub

Modding:

Chenbro Case @ HardwarePacers - Chieftec BX Case @ Hexus - CaseWrap Review @ Walibe! - Soldering Guide @ Madshrimps - Painting your Case @ VirtualHideout

Saturday February 28, 2004

[H]ardNews 5th Edition

Making Games = Hard:

This article titled "Game Development: Harder Than You Think" is definitely a must read for everyone who has ever bitched about a game, game quality and delays. Take what you learn from this article and apply it to the handful of industry leaders ( examples like id Software, Epic, Valve and so on ) and this is magnified 10 times over. Very good reading.

The hardest part of making a game has always been the engineering. In times past, game engineering was mainly about low-level optimization—writing code that would run quickly on the target computer, leveraging clever little tricks whenever possible. But in the past ten years, games have ballooned in complexity. Now the primary technical challenge is simply getting the code to work to produce an end result that bears some semblance to the desired functionality.

Hitachi 3D Display:

Remember this post about Hitachi developing a 3D display? Well our man Rob “Madwacker” Watts found this link to an article that shows you the actual product and design drawings. Pretty schpankity even though it is just lasers beaming onto a spinning mirror. Now if they could just get the size of that spinning mirror up to about 21” you’d have a nice 3D desktop and wind tunnel all in one. Check it out.

[H]ardNews 4th Edition

ACON4 Gaming Tournament:

Check out the ACON4 Gaming Tournament sponsored by such heavy hitters as ABIT, Intel, Kingston, Viewsonic and more. There will be qualifying events that will eventually lead to one person being selected from each of the 19 countries involved to attend a championship held in Shanghai.

ABIT, along with Intel, Kingston, Dong Feng Yueda Kia Motors, Western Digital, and Viewsonic are pleased to announce the ACON4 Worldwide Gaming Event. Spread out over 19 countries and territories, ACON4 promises to be one of 2004's most exciting gaming events. "We've assembled a gaming tournament on a truly global scale," says ABIT Marketing Director Scott Thirlwell, "ABIT along with our partners are excited to be able to bring this competition to gamers world wide."

[H]ardNews 3rd Edition

BFG Tech FX5950 Ultra:

The BFG Tech Asylum FX5950 Ultra is one of the baddest GFFX5950U cards out there. Great support and a lifetime warranty make this an extremely popular card. See what Accelenation said about it:

BFG Tech’s Asylum FX5950 Ultra is an excellent card for gaming. Whether you’re still on a 2 year old Athlon XP2000+ or Pentium 4 2.2 GHz or so, the card will perform excellently. The card produces excellent frame rates to make your gaming experience smooth. Even if you’re on a last generation platform, an upgraded graphics card will make your gaming experience more enjoyable.

Leadtek FX5900XT:

The naming scheme on this card is a bit confusing since ATi brands its cards with “XT” for their high end cards. This Leadtek FX5900XT reviewed at R&B; Mods is actually a mid-range card but a hell of a nice “middle of the road” warrior, if I do say so myself.

This is something amazing. The card goes for around 200$ and still performs superb. It's a cheap card that most people can afford and with the really good overclocking possibilities you can make it even better.

FREE Processors:

I rounded up a bunch of 2.8GHz “C” processors last week for this weeks giveaway at my alter-ego site Hypothermia. There is only one day left, so make sure you throw your name in the hat to try to win one of these processors.

After the last contest being somewhat of a downer (41% of our regular entries) I concluded that you guys just weren't too interested in the 400/533 FSB stuff anymore...so I pulled a bunch of strings and got six new 2.8GHz "C" 800MHz FSB processors for this next giveaway. Now I KNOW you guys will dig on these bad boys, so click the damn pic and get in it to win it!!!

[H]ardNews - Blair's Tech Ed.

Itanium Not Paying Off:

I think we’ll all agree that the Itanium has been a huge misstep for Intel. I think you will also agree that the success of all their other CPUs kinda lessens the blow. Think about it, how many CPU “duds” has Intel had in the last few years? Not many.

In its biggest strategic mistake in a decade, Intel has spent an estimated $2 billion creating a high-speed computer chip, the Itanium, that most customers don't want and don't need.

Mars Rover Battery:

If you don’t think of an Energizer bunny commercial when you read this article, there is something wrong with you.

The batteries put out about 900 watt hours per day when the vehicles landed, but that output drops about 100 watt-hours every 50 days, Richard Cook, project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory told reporters during a Friday

Chameleon Tire:

How about a tire that changes color when the tire is under inflated? This is some pretty cool stuff.

More than a quarter of all passenger vehicles on the road in the United States have one or more underinflated tires—a condition that can lead to tread separation and blowouts. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration estimates that up to 10,000 injuries could be prevented annually if all vehicles had systems that warned drivers of underinflation.

Fastest Stopwatch:

Holy hell man, a watch that can measure a millionth of a millionth of a millionth, of a second. Wow.

A new ultrafast stopwatch can now measure the speed of atomic processes down to the smallest fraction of a second yet. Krausz describes the device as "the fastest stopwatch in the world", capable of measuring the movement of atomic particles in time units of under a 100th of an attosecond - the name given to a quintillionth, or a millionth of a millionth of a millionth, of a second.

[H]ardNews 1st Edition

Air Cooling:

Spire SkiveStream III @ R&B; Mods - JetArt JAKS29 HSF @ Mod Synergy - Cooling Duct Guide @ Untouchable Mods - AeroCool Deep Impact HSF @ MTB - Evercool Fan Controller @ Extreme Reviews - Thermalright ALX800 HSF @ Legion Hardware

Case & PSU:

Antec Overture ATX Case @ MadShrimps - CoolerMaster WaveMaster ATX Case @ PCStats - Lian Li PC70 @ PCTweaks - SeaSonic's Super Tornado 350W @ DataFuse - SilenX iXtrema 400W PSU @ FastlaneHW

Etc.:

Ezonic 5.1 Headphones @ Designtechica - Macally USB2 Hub @ R&B; Mods - iRiver MP3 Player @ Tbreak - TweakMonster Fan Bracket @ JSIHardware - Mutant Mods Modding Equipment @ TechTastic - Ultimate Ears Headphones @ Exhardware

H20 Stuff:

Wyavet Crystal Clear Reservoir @ SweMOD - H20 Raid Box @ HardForums - Koolance EXOS Al @ Viper Lair

Friday February 27, 2004

[H]ardNews 9th Edition

MS On Every DVD?

Microsoft gets a nod from the SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) on its VC-9 video decoding technology. A pretty big win for MS who has been working towards this since last year.

An industry standards group has made a preliminary decision to include Microsoft's video compression technology in a next-generation DVD format, giving the company a key boost in the digital media arena. The steering committee for the DVD Forum on Friday announced provisional approval for Microsoft's VC-9 and two other video technologies--H.264 and MPEG-2--as mandatory for the HD-DVD specification for playback devices.

[H]ardNews 8th Edition

Canada Spurns Illegal Satellite:

The Canadian government is against illegal satellite TV service and says they will send you to jail for using US satellite service if they have their way. The good news is, Canadians can still use Canadian satellite service…or else, whether they like it or not. Wait a minute, that isn’t good news, that sucks.

People caught illegally buying foreign satellite television service could face stiffer penalties if proposed legislation is passed. Bill C-2, an amendment to the Radiocommunication Act, would increase penalties on individuals from maximum fines of $10,000 and six months in prison to $25,000 and a year in prison.

Wet & Willy Review:

The Modfathers have reviewed the Wet & Chilly Chips CPU water block. These blocks are not widely available in the US yet, but all of you in the UK and abroad will definitely want to take a look.

The block really is a hell of a lot better than I had expected, it's the looks that give you the false impressions. There is little doubt that this block gives the small bore systems some real performance options.

GFFX 5700Ultra:

The Tech Zone has a review of the Gigabyte FX5700Ultra posted today. The 5700Ultra is a decent mid-range graphics card but it has a few things against it. This 5700Ultra is priced much higher than its competition from ATi. You also have to remember the recently released 5900XT is a much stronger card in the same price bracket.

After looking at Power Color's 9600XT, its time to give Gigabyte's FX5700 Ultra a turn in the spotlight. Bargain cards are a hot topic for the average consumer whom is looking to upgrade their "playing power".

[H]ardNews 7th Edition

PC Console Editorial:

Joel Hruska over at Sudhian takes a long hard look at PC Console systems. The article covers two separate PC-like console systems, the ApeXreme and the Phantom from Infinium Labs, and why he thinks both PC console systems are doomed to failure. Here is a quote from the article:

I’ve been blunt through this entire piece, so I don’t intend to stop here. I think most of the evidence we’ve seen thus far (with a few small exceptions) points towards Phantom as a giant fake. Even if I’m wrong, however, I still don’t think the company’s business model is viable.

System Backup 101:

If there is one thing we cannot stress enough it is backing up your system files. Fast Silicon has taken the time to give you a basic “Backup 101” guide that should help you get back up and running in the event of a disaster.

To most, even computer enthusiasts, backup is considered a four-letter word. You know you should do it, you need to do it, you even want to do it, but you don’t do it. When Windows crashes or that new game you installed causes error messages you didn’t even know existed, you regret not performing that simple system backup.

[H]ardNews - Computer Raffle

Computer Raffle:

Many of you know Brian Smith from ProCooling.com. During the delivery of Brian's brand new baby girl, his wife suffered a stroke and the outlook isn't good. Brian now has 4 children to take care of while his wife is lying in the stroke ward at the hospital. As the first of two fundraisers, I am personally donating a complete 3GHz computer system to be raffled off to benefit Brian and his family. There will only be 400 spots open at $5 each which will give all of you who enter a good chance of winning at the same time donating to a worthy cause.

[H]ardNews - Blair's Tech Ed.

Trick Domain Name = Jail:

That guy who was peddling porn on websites with trick-misspelled domain names (like misspelling Disneyland..etc.) got sent to prison today. The best part of the whole article was this:

John Zuccarini, 56, arrested in September in Hollywood, Fla., sobbed and apologized before he was sentenced in federal court. Zuccarini pleaded guilty Dec. 10, admitting he capitalized on the tendency of youngsters to misspell, fooling them into finding sites that advertise for pornography, among other things.

Hitachi 3D Display:

This 3D display developed by Hitachi sounds hella cool. Let’s just hope it doesn’t suck.

Hitachi Ltd. has developed a prototype three-dimensional display that can show an object from any and all directions, a full 360 degrees. The Transport 3-D display system, built by the Hitachi Human Interaction Laboratory, is essentially a cylinder with a projector at the bottom and a mirror at the top, facing it. In between, 24 mirrors are arranged along the cylinder's circumference and a rotating screen sits at its center.

Auto Pilot:

This isn’t like conventional auto pilot, we’re talking about computers flying your plane…the whole way. That gives new meaning to the term “system crash”.

As you fasten your seat belt a "welcome aboard" announcement is made by a computer — because there is no captain. While plane designers dream of a high-tech future, the aerospace industry is debating whether if it will become feasible to fly passengers without pilots.

IBM Wins Lawsuit:

IBM won the lawsuit that accused them of "systemic chemical poisoning". This case isn’t related to the times when we accused IBM of “systemic craptacular hard drives”.

A jury in Santa Clara, California, on Thursday rejected a lawsuit by former employees of IBM Corp. who alleged that the company knowingly exposed them to working conditions that caused cancer. The jury voted unanimously in favor of IBM, according to Margie Hijduk, a clerk in the Superior Court for the State of California for the County of Santa Clara.