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[H] Enthusiast Archives: April 2005Archive Listing


Saturday April 30, 2005

[H]ardNews 5th Edition

Abit OTES Technology:

ABIT has sent over a few pictures that shows off their upcoming Silent OTES technology that will apparently be making their way into their flagship board products.

64-bit Office:

Microsoft is planning a 64-bit version of its Office product franchise, although it remains mum on details. Even as the company's top dogs last week talked up the newly shipping 64-bit Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP, insiders confirmed plans for a 64-bit version of Office 12, the successor to Office 2003.

ViewSonic VX924 LCD:

Not too long ago, we got our hands on the latest technological breakthrough in consumer LCD monitors. The BenQ FP91V+ was the first to introduce a stunning 6ms Gray To Gray (GTG) response time. We had anticipated then that the competition would heat up with other manufacturers starting to adopt the GTG standard in reporting monitor response time and we were right.

Celeron & Sempron Comparison:

AMD started competing with Intel's lower-end CPUs back when the Intel Celeron made its market debut with their Duron line of processors. The Duron was AMD's alternate choice to Intel's Celeron line and offered performance along the same lines and budget. Years later AMD is still competing with Intel in this market only the name has now changed to the Sempron line and the CPUs make the move to the Socket 754 platform that is now AMD's lower-end alternative.

R.I.P. Socket 754 for AMD64:

Amdboard.com has information on the EOL date for the AMD64 socket 754 processor. Keep in mind the 754 platform will still be in service for the Sempron processor for the next little while, until they start fabricating them in the 939 array.

RIAA and Ouch!:

While Firefox broke the 50,000,000 barrier today, the RIAA broke a more dubious barrier this week: It has now sued over 10,000 file sharers for copyright infringement, making it a good time to ask if the RIAA will ever throw in the towel.

[H]ardNews 4th Edition

Dutch MP3 Tax:

Ouch! The Dutch government has in the works a tax specifically for MP3 players. The price of the tax could be almost $3.23 US per GB. So for a sweet 60GB iPod Photo you would be looking at $193.80 extra!! This initiative is to curb downloading of music from P2P programs, and the internet.

The Netherlands, like Germany, already charges similar levies on DVDs and blank CDs...

[H]ardNews 3rd Edition

SoundBlaster Audigy 2 NX review:

If you are in the Market for a basic sound card, packed with features, check out SoundBlasters Audigy 2 NX. techniz.co.uk has a review of the cards performance, and runs it through its paces.

The overall package is well packed with software, you can play cd's DVD's, record audio and change the way it sounds, ie using sound profiles ie CMSS. The handy demo CD igives you an idea of WHAT this card can really do. The good thing with this unit that you can have three inputs, and still have a 5.1 speaker system plugged it. Many other units make use of the mic and line inputs to provide the 5.1 support, not this one!

Custom Wal-Mart CD's:

Wal-Mart has decided to take its 400,000 title catalogue, and provide a CD creation service. I am not 100% positive who this is aimed at, as CD-R/RW drives are very inexpensive.

We recognize music is not only important, but incredibly personal to our customers. The service is readily accessible to customers without a CD burner or who prefer not to download music.

Lasers!!:

Do you like lasers? I LOVE lasers! They are so cool; I have always been fascinated by how the energy is transferred through such a narrow beam of light. I am no physics guru, but I know when I see something neat!

Sanders' laser builds on a phenomenon known as supercontinuum generation, in which researchers convert single-color lasers, such as a green or a red laser, into a multicolored beam using a special kind of optical fiber. Photonic crystal fibers enable them to generate this "white" laser beam, says Sanders.

Mac Quicky:

Apple has given more than just a new OS. Mac Minute has the Details!

Now that Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger has been released into the wild, many users are looking for things to do with their new operating system. Apple has you covered.

[H]ardNews 2nd Edition

Nasty Face:

While Friday night has passed, TechReport had a fairly entertaining topic. Makeup: Gross or what?

Dirge: Have you ever considered makeup and push-up bras a form of deception?

[H]ardNews 1st Edition

DFI LanParty UT nF4 SLI-DR:

Good Morning [H] Readers! It's a beautiful spring morning, and PimpRig has a review for the DFI LanParty UT nF4 SLI-DR. The boards black on yellow color scheme might not impress all, but the other features should not be overlooked. This board is feature packed, and is designed for the overclocker in mind. True fans of the DFI LanParty series will be right at home with this board.

Here are a couple of features that are targeted directly towards folks like us. If you are like me, my main rig is rarely completely put together and often runs on my Senfu bench outside the case. DFI included a power and reset switch directly on the board so tweakers don't have to use their modded adapters to power up or reset the board.

OSX Tiger Released:

Late last night Apple released its newest version of their operating system; Tiger. OSX 10.4 was received last night by a long line up at Apple's downtown San Francisco store by with over 200 people. Apple has reached 'cult' proportions over the last few years with its popular products, like the iPod and Mini Mac. If you are an Apple follower, don't forget to get your copy.

Library supervisor A.J. Real turned out with two friends to snag a family pack of Tiger, a $199 version of Tiger that can be used on up to five computers in a household.

Friday April 29, 2005

[H]ardNews 11th Edition

Koolance EXOS-2:

In case you haven’t noticed, we posted a review of the Koolance EXOS-2 today that will definitely be of interest to performance enthusiast and cooling aficionados alike. Hit the link and see what our new cooling editor thought of the EXOS-2.

The EXOS-2 is a very well built, attractive water cooling system. For those looking to buy a new off-the-shelf system to cool a top end system like our 3.8ghz Prescott or an Athlon64 FX system, when price is not an issue, should look no further than the EXOS-2.

Dell Dimension XPS Gen-4:

Hexus has a review of the Dell Dimension XPS Gen-4 posted tonight for those of you interested in buying a pre-built gaming rig. Hexus has a few gripes about the latest XPS system but most of the complaints were minor cosmetic issues. Here is a clip from the full review:

The base unit scores relatively well, thanks, in main, to decent accessibility, quiet operation, good ventilation, and thoughtful choice of components. The XPS chassis, whilst fine when viewed internally, is too plasticky and cheap-looking for a top-of-the-line machine.

BFG 6800 OC / NewEgg Exclusive:

BFG Technologies, Inc. announced today that their new BFG GeForce™ 6800 OC™ 256MB PCI Express™ graphics card will be available exclusively at Newegg.combeginning April, 2005. “We recognize Newegg.com as one of the premier channels of choice for the educated computer and electronics consumer”, said Shane Vance, EVP of sales for BFG Technologies, Inc. “We believe the BFG GeForce 6800 OC 256MB is a perfect fit for Newegg’s hard-core PC enthusiast customers who are ready to experience the next level of performance in a PCI Express-based system.”

[H]ardNews 10th Edition

Socket 754 Dead?

AMD Board has what appears to be an updated AMD roadmap and a few other graphs showing the end of the socket 754 Opteron processors. The Sempron will have the socket 754 all to itself.

AMD has officially informed European resellers about the end of socket 754 Athlon 64. According to the chart published today at AMDboard.com, orders will still be accepted until March 25 and June 15 for final deliveries before September 25.

[H]ardNews 9th Edition

Firefox Hits 50 Million:

All of you Firefox users can pat yourselves on the back, Firefox hit the 50 million downloads mark this morning. Firefox gave out some limited edition coins to celebrate. Damn, I was hoping to hear the CEO was going to climb Mt. Everest or something to celebrate.

At 8:58 AM PST this morning, we rolled over the 50,000,000 downloads line. Thanks to the hundreds of you who have regaled us with your heartwarming and often hilarious tales of spreading Firefox.

Mars Rover Stuck:

Oh no…the Mars rover is stuck in a sand dune. We told NASA to use [H] approved 37” BFG Mud Terrains but would they listen? Noooooo! Now look what happened.

"A note to all you Opportunity fans: Get used to the current scenery, because we’re going to be here awhile," said Steve Squyres, lead scientist on the Mars Exploration Rover effort at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. "We are very optimistic that we’ll be able to get out of here, but we’re really going to take our time doing it."

MS Servers Go 64-bit:

MS upgraded its servers to the new 64-bit version of Windows Server 2003. Why this is news, I have no idea. It’d be news (and funny) if they refused to upgrade to their own product.

Danny Beck, Microsoft Windows client senior product marketing manager, confirmed Friday that servers running the company's Web site and MSN Search and Messenger applications had been migrated to the 64-bit version of Windows Server 2003.

[H]ardNews 8th Edition

Vivendi And Valve Settle:

It looks like Valve and Vivendi have settled their lawsuit. Under the terms of the agreement, Vivendi will no longer distribute retail packaged versions of Half-Life, Half-Life 2, Counter-Strike, Counter-Strike: Condition Zero and Counter-Strike: Source after the 31st of August 2005.

Additionally, VU Games has notified distributors and cyber cafes that were licensed by VU Games that only Valve is authorized to distribute Valve games to cyber cafes and grant cyber cafe licenses. Cyber cafe operators that were licensed by VU Games have also been notified that any license agreement from Sierra Entertainment, Vivendi Universal Games or any of their affiliates or distributors that may have granted rights to use Valve games in cyber cafes, whether written or oral, is terminated.

[H]ardNews 7th Edition

WinHEC 2005:

The crew at The Tech Report have posted their thoughts on WinHEC 2005. The overall theme of this year’s event is 64-bit, 64-bit and 64-bit. Here is a quote from the article to get you started:

If we learned anything from Microsoft’s Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) 2005, it's that the move to 64-bits will be a very quick and easy transition, with most new systems containing x86-64 processors by the end of 2005. WinHEC launched Microsoft’s long-awaited Windows x64 operating systems in XP Professional and several Server 2003 flavors. Everywhere we turned, x64 desktop and server systems were on display.

nForce4 SLI Roundup:

While we are on the topic of 64-bit technology, how about a nice little nForce4 SLI roundup over at Legion Hardware today. The roundup features boards from ASUS, EPoX, Gigabyte and DFI, head on over and see how these boards stack up against each another.

The consumer really is faced with a difficult buying decision, though on the other hand if you know what you want the decision becomes a whole lot easier. On the plus side it is hard to go wrong when purchasing an nForce4 SLI motherboard as they all seem to be such excellent products.

HiS Excalibur X800XL & X850XT-PE:

GD Hardware has both the HiS Excalibur X800XL and X850XT-PE video cards on the review bench today. You can see our reviews of the ATi X800XL and the ATi X850XT-PE here for more information.

It’s easy to see why we really value both cards, but give a bit of a nod towards the X800XL model because it offers very compelling performance at a significant price savings – a savings you can use money for a faster CPU or other critical part.

[H]ardNews 5th Edition

[H]ardForum [H]appenings:

Welcome to Friday’s installment of [H]ardForum [H]appenings. Today, Friday stands for Folding...Folding for the [H]orde that is. If you aren’t folding for the number one folding team on the planet, then you need to join now. On the gaming side of things, the next-gen console game 2 Days To Vegas seems to have everyone impressed. Definitely a “must see”. If you don’t have anything planned for the weekend, head on over to the [H]ardClub/LAN Parties forum and see if there is a LAN party in your area. If hanging out, gaming and swapping por…video files isn’t your thing, how about starting a new case mod project? It isn’t as hard as you think…just take your case and start cutting / painting! The deal of the day is this ATi X800XT All-In-Wonder for $345 with rebate. Pretty spanky deal. Runner up in the DotD department is this deal on Athlon 64 3000+ socket 939 processor. Maybe you can do some upgrading over the weekend, that’ll keep you busy. As always, if you don’t see something here that blows your skirt up, jump into the forums and see what else is going on or make a thread of your own. We’ll see you in there.

[H]ardNews 4th Edition

New Apple Benchmarks:

I really shouldn’t show you guys these new Apple G5 benchmarks because it can only cause one of three things to happen: A.) You run right out and buy a G5 and throw your PC out the window. B.) You pull your hair out and scream at Apple’s benchmarketing bravado. C.) You die laughing.

The PowerPC G5 out-shoots the Pentium 4 in a battery of tests. But it’s in the rough-and-tumble of real-world performance that the G5 really shines — shredding the PC’s reputation in the process.