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[H] Enthusiast Archives: November 2004Archive Listing


Tuesday November 30, 2004

[H]ardNews 12th Edition

ASRock 775V88 VIA PT880:

If you are building a budget box and you need a low price motherboard the ASRock 775V88 VIA PT880, reviewed by the folks at PCStats, might be what you need. Besides, if you build a system with this board, you could actually be able to say “ASRock” in casual conversation or at the dinner table with a straight face. Well….you could.

ASRock's socket 775 Pentium 4 775V88 motherboard is a good solution for anyone seeking to assemble a PCs for dull workstation-style tasks, or for the budget conscious gamer. If you equip this board properly, it'll fly with the best of them.

MSI 915p Neo2:

While we are on the subject of LGA775 motherboards, you might as well read this MSI's 915p Neo2 review at Gamers Depot. Seems like the GD staff was particularly impressed with the 915p Neo2, see for yourself:

Pound for pound, feature for feature, the 915p Neo2 ranks among the best solution of its kind we’ve tested to date. BIOS tweaks, good on-board audio, Gigabit Ethernet and a ton of I/O ports are icing on the cake of a board that overclocks well and runs cool.

You can see what our man Morry thought of the board when we reviewed it here back in October.

[H]ardNews 11th Edition

[H]ardForum [H]appenings:

Welcome to Tuesday’s installment of [H]ardForum [H]appenings. Cool deal of the day is this $20 off coupon on video cards at BB. Hot deal of the day is definitely this 1GB PC3200 Dual Channel Kit Kingston HyperX. Get a gig of some good memory on the cheap. There is a discussion going on about that Lycos spam screensaver. Is fighting spam with spam a good thing or bad? See what other think or simply let your voice be heard. The For Sale & Trade forum is jumping with activity, folks buying selling and trading all kinds of good stuff in there. Got something you want to buy, sell or trade? Do it here. As always there are 125,000 other threads in the forums at this very moment for you to participate in…or you could always make your own. Have fun.

[H]ardNews 10th Edition

Flaw Opens Crack In Windows Servers:

Microsoft says there is a remote buffer overflow flaw that could enable an attacker to run malicious software on vulnerable servers. Read more at C|Net.

A flaw in popular Windows server software could allow remote attacks to be launched against systems, Microsoft has confirmed. The vulnerability is in Windows Internet Name Service, or WINS, a network infrastructure component of server products.

Stun Gun Option?

Dashboard cams in police cars are the norm, why not a Video Digital Power Magazine in Tazers? What the hell is that you ask? Well, there isn’t a lot of details available yet, but a Tazer that could be used to capture data (including video) when the stun gun is used by police might be handy.

A new video and audio recording system will be optionally available for TASER conducted energy weapons, the company announced last week at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Los Angeles. Shipments are expected by mid-2005.

[H]ardNews 9th Edition

Half Life 2 Coded Against NVIDIA?

This thread in our forum alleges that HL2 is coded to not allow some of NVIDIA's hardware to perform as well as it could. Now as forum threads go, we see a lot of things alleged, but if you are using a last-gen NVIDIA GPU video card, you might give this "fix" a try and see what happens. We have requests into ATI and NVIDIA for their thoughts on this. Valve only sends us form letters now days...

Again, using 3dAnalyze you can test this. It is capable of forcing a card to use only FP16 shaders no matter what is requested. You'll see no image quality difference doing that - just a HUGE performance boost. Why? Well, because while FP16 is all that Half-Life 2 *needs*, if they let the GeForce FX cards do THAT, they might have been competitive! So, instead, they forced FP24 (unneeded), which caused the GF-FX cards to render the DX9 mode in FP32 all the time. With the obvious associated performance hit.

[H]ardNews 8th Edition

Valve Wins Against Vivendi:

Valve won a summary judgment in their cyber cafe suit against Vivendi. The judge ruled that Sierra/Vivendi Universal Games, and its affiliates, are not authorized to distribute (directly or indirectly) Valve games through cyber cafes to end users for pay-to-play activities pursuant to the parties' current publishing agreement.

Judge Zilly ruled in favor of the Valve motion regarding the contractual limitation of liability, allowing Valve to recover copyright damages for any infringement as allowed by law without regard to the publishing agreement's limitation of liability clause.

"We're happy the court has affirmed the meaning of our publishing contract. This is good news for Valve and its cyber cafe partners around the world," said Gabe Newell, founder and CEO of Valve. "We continue to add value to our program and we look forward to working with cafes to get them signed up and offering Valve's latest games to their customers."

[H]ardNews 7th Edition

Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe nForce4:

PCPerspective has a little Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe nForce4 review action posted today for your viewing pleasure. The PCP crew had issues with their test board during initial testing but had much better results today with a beta BIOS supplied by ASUS. Hit the link to get all the details. You can also see the ASUS A8N-SLI in action in our NVIDIA SLI upgrade guide for comparison.

It would seem that all the problems and complaints we had against the board initially have been taken care of. No more GPU issues, SATA issues and performance has been bumped just enough to put it in the top AMD ranks, if not THE top.

EPoX 5EPA+:

If you are upgrading on the Intel side of the isle there is an LGA775 powered EPoX 5EPA+ motherboard on the grill at Legion Hardware. Other than minor gripes about the board being bland they seemed to like it overall.

The only feature the board really lacked was Firewire. Overall, the 5EPA+ is an ideal solution for anyone looking to build a computer capable of just about anything.

The Unstate Of 3D:

Michael Schuette over at Lost Circuits has an editorial posted today titled The Unstate of 3D that covers the current, somewhat confusing, state of 3D. Here is a lengthy quote from the write up:

The current (un)state of 3D is about as confusing as it has ever been. Shader wars between 2.0 and 3.0, API wars between OpenGL and DirectX are already known and have polarized those who need to be polarized. AGP vs. PCIe is already getting kind of stale since there is really not much to argue about. But what about SLI vs. single card speed enhancements? Not to mention the necessary infrastructure of it all. And who was it who swayed the votes in favor of PCIe, to enable - in the final analysis - SLI? Last not least, whatever happened to product launches?

Penny Arcade’s Child’s Play:

You can snag a cool $1,000 as part of the latest push to help Penny Arcade’s Child’s Play 2004 reach out and help sick kids. Penny Arcade gathers toys for sick, hospitalized children suffering alone in hospitals during the holidays. If you have a chance, at least take a look and spread the word.

This year Child's Play is expanding to help Children's Hospitals across the United States. Each star on the map below represents a Children's Hospital that needs your help.

[H]ardNews 6th Edition

Infinium Labs Sued By Investors:

According to the Whereisphantom website, it would seem that Infinium Labs is being sued by investors for breach of contract and fraud. Here is a bit of the information WIP has posted:

SBI-USA the investment firm that has been working with Infinium Labs to raise investment capital has sued Infinium Labs for what else? Non-payment. The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court, Central District of California, against Infinium Labs and its CEO, Tim Roberts, stating claims for breach of contract and fraud arising from Infinium Labs Inc.'s default under an Investment Banker/Advisor Agreement entered into with SBI-USA, LLC in March 2004.

[H]ardNews 5th Edition

H20 Your GF 6800GT:

ModdersHQ has posted a small guide to water cooling your GF 6800GT if you are so inclined to do so. The review uses the Swiftech MCW-50 but their methods can be applied to any GF 6800GT water block installation.

As far as performance is concerned, the GPU sits at 39C without oveclocking (350Mhz) and 41C overclocked to 410Mhz. The only problem is without the fan assembly the memory on the card is now passively cooled so cant be overclocked as much.

PCs Hijacked In Minutes:

All the more reason to make sure you use protection when you venture out into the wild and wacky, world wide web. According to this, unprotected PCs are compromised within minutes of going online without protection…and surprisingly enough, people still do it all the time.

Simply connecting to the Internet - and doing nothing else - exposes your PC to non-stop, automated break-in attempts by intruders looking to take control of your machine surreptitiously.

Top 100 “To Do Before I Die” List:

Somehow I think that the Top 100 “To Do Before I Die” list compiled by New Scientist magazine will be significantly different than my personal top 100 list of things to do before I die list. How do I know? Because I checked the list twice and I didn’t see hookers, turtle wax or the lottery anywhere on the list.

A thinktank of British scientists has come up with a new way of quickening the national intellect - a brain-taxing spin on the old formula of 100 things to do before you die.

[H]ardNews 4th Edition

MS Cans Win2K SP5:

Those of you still on Windows 2000 waiting for service pack 5 will be disappointed to know that MS plans on simply going with a collection of updates, rather than a full service pack. The update collection will include fewer fixes than a service pack, with most of those having already been released separately

Microsoft has decided to make its final update to Windows 2000 largely a collection of previously released fixes rather than an all-new service pack.

[H]ardNews 3rd Edition - Mods & Ends

Cooling:

Thermalright SI-97 Heatsink Review @ ap0calypse.com - Thermalright XP-90 AMD64 CPU Cooler Review @ 3DXtreme

Etc.:

WinTasks 5 Professional @ Bjorn3D - 512MB SanDisk Memory Stick PRO Review @ Rojak’s Pot - LTB True 5.1 6 Channel Surround Sound Headphones Review @ CoolTechZone

Cases & Modding:

XG Titanium Case Review @ Buddha's LAN Room

[H]ardNews 2nd Edition

Lycos Screensaver Follow-Up:

Thanks to a bunch of you guys out there I now have a link to the spam fighting screensaver from Lycos. The place to get the anti-spam screensaver is appropriately named “makelovenotspam.com”.

The program - titled Make Love Not Spam, and available for Windows and the Mac OS - sends a request to view a spam source site. When a large number of screensavers send their requests at the same time the spam web page becomes overloaded and slow.

Unfortunately the makelovenotspam.com site is now down and the only thing left of the site is this message:

Yes, attacking spammers is wrong, you know this, you shouldn't be doing it. Your ip address and request have been logged and will be reported to your ISP for further action.

[H]ardNews 1st Edition - Press Releases

NVIDIA Forms Chinese Gamer Alliance:

NVIDIA Corporation and Chinese Gamer International Corp., a leading developer and service provider of online games, announced today that they have reached an agreement to collaborate on the development and marketing of games created by Chinese Gamer. The first title to bear the fruit of the cooperation is Jing Yong Online 2.0 which, like its predecessor, is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game based on the famous martial art novels of the author Jing Yong.

MSN Shopping Spikes Up 30%:

Sales on the MSN® Shopping channel are on course to top last year's. Total spending and site traffic rose 30 percent over that of November 2003, fueled by great bargains, an expanded selection of gift guides, holiday specials and exclusive promotions, along with other features shoppers have come to expect: familiar, trustworthy brands; easy-to-use search and compare features; and a hosted free shipping page and returns center. This year's increase builds on last year's preholiday sales spike, when spending and site traffic increased by 50 percent in November.