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[H] Enthusiast Archives: July 2005Archive Listing


Sunday July 31, 2005

[H]ardNews 4th Edition - Video Card Edition

PowerColor X800 XL:

Hardware Zone takes this PCI-E with a newly tweaked BIOS for a short spin. Further they highly recommend this new BIOS in case you already have this card.

When PowerColor offered us a tweaked version of the BIOS for its RADEON X800 XL 512MB PCIe card, our initial thoughts were that PowerColor had probably overclocked its card by setting higher default operating frequencies for the card's core and memory in the new BIOS. After all, that seemed like the straightforward approach. As we had reviewed this card earlier and expressed our reservations about its high operating temperatures , we were rather skeptical about the extent of the performance gain from overclocking.

Workstation Comparison:

The Adrian's RojakPot has assembled a very handy workstation graphics card comparison guide. Most offerings from ATi, nVidia and Matrox are covered.

These days, there are so many workstation graphics card models that it has become quite impossible to keep up with the different configurations. Therefore, we decided to compile this comprehensive guide to over 70 workstation graphics cards.

Crucial X850 XT:

Hexus warms up the PCI-Express Platinum Edition. Putting it head to head with 5 other cards in class. But the lack of bundled games or a really good price point left them cold.

Crucial has been the latest board partner to throw its hat into the ring and market the X850 XT as the must-have performance video card. Crucial's well-regarded in the industry and its customer service is legendary. The question is, is this the X850 XT card to own. Let's find out.

Gigabyte 7800 GTX:

Bjorn3D examines the Gigabyte GV-NX78X256V and benchmarks it against the Reference GeForce 6800 GT.

The current hype and excitement over the 7800 GTX definitely is justified. The price seems to be too considering how many people are snatching them up. The performance gains offered by the Gigabyte 7800 GTX over the excellent 6800 GT make it worth every penny to hard core gamers. Even with just a single 7800 GTX, you can play games at detail levels that were previously unplayable (unless you like slide shows). Two 7800 GTX's in SLI are basically too powerful to be fully exploited by even the most powerful processors and systems available today.

BFG 7800 GTX OC:

Hot Hardware looks at the overclocked BFG version of the GeForce 7800.

Sporting a goosed up core GPU clock at 460MHz (30MHz faster than the NVIDIA reference design) and GDDR3 cranked up a notch to 1.3GHz (1.2GHz is the stock GF7800GTX spec), the card is a true testament to the fact that NVIDIA is perhaps holding back a bit, saving some extra juice to perhaps counter whatever ATi's next gen product brings to the fight. For now however, the spotlight is on NVIDIA, or shall we say BFG? Bringing in the "big guns" is what this new graphics card suggests it will allow you in your gameplay. Right then, let's lock and load.

[H]ardNews 3rd Edition - Connected Edition

Ninjam:

Listen up all you Hepcats while I lay down these smooth grooves. Justin Frankel the daddy-o behind Winamp, Gnutella, Shoutcast, Waste, and Jesusonic has just released Ninjam. This almost made last week's edition till the story got pulled by the man. But I dug up an echo.

He's launching a new software called Ninjam, which allows bands to play together over the Internet, without any hint of latency.

His software lets a server in the middle record what each musician is playing, and then play it back a measure later or loop it for others to jam over. For now, the service is free, although there's not unlimited slots online available to play.

We Got Your Protocols:

You want protocols? I got your protocols right here. First up The TechZone offer a complete guide to Wireless security protocols, next Bona Fide Reviews covers Session Initiation Protocol employed in VoIP and finally eWeek discusses PGP inventor Phil Zimmermann's proposal for a secure encrypted VoIP protocol.

Using the open-source, cross-platform softphone Shtoom and the Diffie-Hellman key agreement protocol, Zimmermann has developed a session-based encryption tool that lets two users on a SIP (Session Initiation Protocol)-based VOIP connection verify each other's identity to avoid snooping.

IM Generation:

BetaNews highlights a new Pew Internet and American Life Project which points out that nearly nine out of every ten children ages 12 to 17 are now online and that they heavily favor IM over email.

Half of the 21 million teens now online log on once a day, and over half (51 percent) now live in homes with a broadband connection. 81 percent of teens now log on to play games, which is up from 66 percent in 2000. 76 percent check news regularly, up from 68 percent. Shopping online has also increased, now at 43 percent versus 31 percent in 2000.

Pod What?:

Citing the very same Pew Internet and American Life Project report, Daniel Terdiman points out that the vast majority of Americans are often clueless when it comes to underlying technologies like RSS or cultural phenomena like podcasting. Most likely think its from the Invasion Of the Body Snatchers. I think the old term for this was generation gap.

The lesson seems to be that while geeks get bored with hot new technologies in about 45 minutes, the general public can still be months or even years behind. And generally, it takes something like Apple's iTunes putting a spotlight on a technology like podcasting before even that paltry 13 percent catches on.

Can You See Me Now?:

Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends features research by IsraCast that seems to indicates microwave radiation used by cell phones can damage your eyes. Well, just so long as hair doesn't grow on my palms.

In a recent scientific study conducted by a team of researchers from the Technion, a possible link between microwave radiation, similar to the type found in cellular phones, and different kinds of damage to the visual system was found. At least one kind of damage seems to accumulate over time and not heal, challenging the common view and leading the researchers to the assertion that the duration of exposure is not less important than the intensity of the irradiation. The researchers also emphasized that existing exposure guidelines for microwave radiation might have to change.

Cableless Cable:

WiredNews relates that the cable industry wants to become an oxymoron. Thats right, no cable for the cable industry, cut the cord and go wireless.

After all, customers now want to take their entertainment and communications with them everywhere they go. The last thing cable operators want is to be left out of that party. "The winners and losers are going to be determined by issues like portability and mobility," said Lindsay Gardner, executive VP of affiliate sales and marketing at Fox Cable Networks.

Ive Seen The Future:

Well actually I just saw The TechZone's article on the Future of Internet TV, but it was less dramatic that way.

Get ready because "there's going to be television out the wazoo!" This according to Jonathan Klein, the president of CNN - U.S. operations in a USA Today story on the merger of the Internet and television. Major broadcast networks, cable networks, and content providers are gearing up for the 'mother of all media battles' in staking out territory on the new and rising medium called "Internet TV".

Big Business Broadband:

Cnet reports on the proposed bill aimed at largely deregulating broadband, satellite and cell phone services. I wonder if there is any relation to the stories above? Naw, merely a coincidence Im sure.

Underlying Congress' revamping of the 1996 law, which could take a year to complete, are competing philosophies of how the government should treat telecommunications providers. Are consumers better served through price-setting by regulators--or by letting competition flourish? Is it wiser to mandate that companies permit rivals to use their networks, or will that discourage investment in fiber links?

Hyperbol In The Big Apple:

Rounding out this edition we have the Big Apple slapping Sprint, T-Mobile USA and Nextel Communications with a

lawsuit alleging misleading advertising. Say it ain't so Joe.

Sprint believes it complies with advertising regulations, according to spokeswoman Lisa Malloy. Nextel plans to fight the case, as it believes its ads truthful, said spokesman Scott Sloat. T-Mobile USA, which is owned by Deutsche Telekom, declined comment as a matter of policy.

[H]ardNews 2nd Edition - Windows Edition

IE7 Reviews:

FlexBeta,ZDNet and Andrew Rondeau take IE7 Beta out for a spin.

It is very clear that, unlike when Microsoft targeted Netscape, they are using their classic method of producing superior software by catering to the needs of the user. This is not IE 6 with a few features borrowed from the competition, but rather a clear step in the evolution of user-centric design by addressing two areas that IE 6 is known to be lacking. Specifically, they’re working on technology to address the problem with phishing, and they’ve implemented tabbed browsing.

Beta Or Bust:

BetaNews is reporting that the new IE7 Beta release and the leaked version in the wild is busting popular Instant Messaging applications. Trillian, Gaim and IM2 all spit out error messages. There is a possible workaround involving removing MSN support, at least in Trillian.

Sources tell BetaNews the problem ostensibly lies in a DLL file used by the multi-network clients to connect to the MSN Messenger service. IE7 brings a new version of wininet.dll, which causes the crash if users connect to AOL Instant Messenger while also connecting to MSN.

Beta Nukes Search Toolbars:

The Register also reports that IE7 Beta nukes both Google and some Yahoo! search toolbars. There is also some interesting linkage surrounding these reports.

There are sound compatibility reasons for Microsoft disabling third-party toolbars in an early cut of the software. But it does raise ominous echoes of Microsoft's previous tactics of foreclosing competition by hiding the alternatives available to users. For anti-competitive reasons, Microsoft is unlikely to risk such a move in the finished product

Vista Longhorn:

Direct from the Windows Vista Virtual Pressroom pictures of Longhorn. Err..Vista, :p Seems Longhorn is now the Server codename.

The first beta of Windows Server, code-named “Longhorn,” also is now available to a limited number of participants in the Technical Beta Program, including hardware manufacturers, original equipment manufacturers, independent hardware vendors, system builders, independent software vendors and developers. The next version of Windows Server, code-named “Longhorn” is designed to provide a secure and reliable server platform, helping customers reduce IT complexity, increase end-user productivity and deliver rich new applications. The new server operating system is slated for final release in 2007.

Patent Push:

The New York Times ponders the implications of Microsoft's patent push, and software patents in general.

It must feel like a bit of a stretch to come up with 60 fresh, nonobvious patentable ideas week in, week out. Perhaps that is why this summer's crop includes titles like "System and Method for Creating a Note Related to a Phone Call " and "Adding and Removing White Space From a Document."

Smiley Rescued?:

In related news ZDNet reveals that Microsoft's efforts to patent emoticons has run into a snag, the patent application isn't quite a simple as just an emoticon rather the process of emoticon transmission, however prior art appears to already cover that aspect.

"What Microsoft is patenting has already been in use for more than 15 years; just take a look at the unofficial X-faces NNTP [a USENET protocol] header that is used in newsgroups by users to include a small graphical image with their messages."

[H]ardNews 1st Edition - Gaming Edition

Gaming At 18%:

ExtremeTech examines Microsoft Meltdown 2005, Microsoft's gaming oriented conference. Which includes the following little tidbit regarding user averages.

As Microsoft set out to build its next-generation operating system, it first set about collecting data. What exactly do people spend all their time doing on their Windows PCs? The numbers are pretty surprising. 35.5% of the time spent on a Windows PC is browsing the net, but the No. 2 activity—by a wide margin—is playing games. 18% of a Windows user's time (and this is all Windows users here, even grandma) is spent playing games. Granted, this includes casual games, not just multi-million dollar AAA blockbusters that cost $50 at the store. The third and fourth highest- activities by minutes of time spent were using the shell and doing email, at just over 9% each.

Xbox 360 HD-DVD:

Softpedia covers the effects of the new Microsoft Toshiba alliance. The 360 is getting HD DVD as opposed to Blu-Ray. Eventually.

Considering that such a decision would postpone the launching date, Microsoft will equip the initial models with classic DVD drives, and only after the new HD-DVD are ready, the Xbox will incorporate them.

Empire At War:

Gamespot has a preview of the new Empire At War from LucasArts, you can view a trailer now as well.

We had a chance to take an updated look at Star Wars: Empire at War, the upcoming real-time strategy game from LucasArts and Petroglyph. While we had previously brought you an updated look at the game in advance of the show, at E3, we were able to see some new features in action, such as the galactic map and the role of hero characters in the game.

[H]ardNews 6th Edition - Paranoia Edition

Disturbing Results:

SecurityPark reports on a study conducted by ScanSafe indicating that spyware accounts for up to 8% of all outbound web traffic on some of their pilot spyware screening service networks. They point to our old but constantly morphing adversary the CWS Trojan as a prime culprit.

Spyware applications are becoming more and more stealthy in their ability to hide their outbound “covert” channels among the magnitude of normal web traffic coming in and out of the enterprise firewall. The trouble is that a firewall can’t distinguish the difference between legitimate and hostile port 80 traffic, thus creating a significant security vulnerability.”

Sued & Gagged:

Wired News tells the tale of Mike Lynn a security researcher formerly with Internet Security Systems and how he has now come to the point he is under investigation by the FBI, sued by Cisco and his former employer and gagged from further discussion of his flaw discovery.

Both companies knew in advance about Lynn's plan to talk and originally supported it. But at the last minute, the companies tried to halt the presentation or force Lynn to allow Cisco representatives to speak as well. They threatened Lynn with a lawsuit if he talked and made good on that threat after his appearance, when they filed a restraining order to prevent him from saying anything else about the flaw.

Free Hosting Nexus:

ZDNet Australia relates how WebSense have identified web sites that offer free hosting services are being employed to both store and distribute malware.

"These fraudulent, free personal Web sites have an average lifespan of two to four days, making them difficult to trace. Some of the sites may be created with automated shared hacking software… others are built to appear more legitimate. For example, one of the sites included music that accompanied a greeting-card message which runs while your computer is being infected," said Hubbard.

Like Money In The Bank:

PhysOrg points to a 2005 study conducted by Carnegie Mellon University and financed by the Department of Homeland Security which found the greatest risk to banks still come from insiders, with 49% of security breaches going to their credit. But then cite:

Still, the risk from spyware itself is significant, because 90 percent of spyware traversing the Internet is written for criminal purposes, according to Kaspersky Lab, an international anti-virus developer with an office in Woburn, Mass. "An entire industry exploded in 2004 as virus writers and hackers became increasingly involved with criminals to create malicious code," said Steve Orenberg, Kaspersky Lab's president.

Process Monitoring:

TechNewsWorld looks at Process Monitoring, and how as the scale increases or the user sophistication decreases its utility value falls. Not surprising, process monitoring is but a layer in a defense strategy, though one I personally find invaluable.

Process Monitoring can be useful once a computer has been quarantined or isolated as a cause of disruption, he indicated it is seldom a priority for enterprise IT users and administrators, who have grown somewhat accustomed to malware running on their machines. "It's just about prioritization, frankly, and they're just not going to dig too deep," he said. "It may be even more difficult [if they do]," he added. "It gets to be a complete mess, and who's got the time to get into that?"

Hunting File Format Flaws:

With the last round of Windows Security Updates two of which where critical and related to file format flaws reports Cnet. Security researchers and very likely Black Hats are more closely reexamining these extremely insidious exploits, that can in the case of image files simply require viewing for a system to be compromised.

There could be a significant increase in the discovery of such flaws. iDefense, a security intelligence company, is making available tools that let researchers automate the discovery of file format vulnerabilities. The company released the tools Thursday in conjunction with Black Hat.

Smart Spam Hunter:

NewScientist expounds on what a team from IBM and Cornell University are proposing as a solution for spam. Software that learns to identify the routes taken by spam employing SMTP Path Analysis.

The SMTP Path Analysis algorithm "learns" by examining the string of internet protocol (IP) addresses included in both spam and legitimate email headers. When a new message arrives, it is then able to judge, with relative accuracy, whether it is legitimate or, in fact, unwanted spam.

64-Bit Risks:

InternetNews.com looks at the potential risks 64-bit computing pose. And covers the release of Eset's NOD32 64Bit on Tuesday.

There have been no serious 64-bit-specific attacks to date, though Symantec intercepted the first known virus targeting 64-bit Windows. According to the company, W64.Shruggle.1318 was a fairly simple "proof-of-concept" virus programmed to attack 64-bit Windows executables on AMD64 systems.

Saturday July 30, 2005

[H]ardNews 5th Edition - Memory Edition

DDR2 Consolidation:

DigiTimes reports that since many of the smaller DRAM houses are heavily invested in DDR SDRAM production adoption of DDR2 is likely to force yet another round of consolidation.

According to Chang, most small to medium-size DRAM module houses and assembly companies have invested in equipment supporting small outline package (TSOP) for producing DDR DRAM modules. However, DDR2 DRAM does not utilize TSOP, so manufacturers must invest in equipment supporting ball grid array (BGA) technology to compete in the market. This is a large investment for these smaller players, Chang indicated.

Memory For Today's Computers:

Check out LegionHardware's Guide to Memory 2005. Which covers types of memory your likely to encounter today, delves into frequencies, timings and even offers a rudimentary memory capacity and configurations section.

Most users are unsure about the differences between the original DDR memory and the new DDR2 memory type. Most of the questions were “Which memory type is faster?”, “Can both DDR and DDR2 be used at the same time?” and of course “Which memory should I buy?”

GSkill F1-4400DSU2:

PC Modding Malaysia reviews that wonder alphanumeric naming the GSkill F1-4400DSU2-1GBFC. I don't even want to try to understand that naming convention.

G.SKILL Extreme series memory modules are very popular among overclockers all over the world. Previously their Extreme DDR PC4800 that was using the Samsung TCCD chipset is well known because it had been rated at DDR600 which is a dream module for every overclocker. However, Samsung has already announced to stop the production of TCCD chips not long ago, this would mean that the legend of TCCD will be history soon. Anyway, today we’ll look another highly overclockable memory module from G.SKILL; FC series which is using Samsung TCC5 which will replace TCCD.

OCZ EL DDR PC-3500 Gold GX:

TechPowerUp fires up 2 512MB sticks of OCZ's EL Dual Channel Gold Edition GX.

If you ask an overclocker "Best memory chips ever?" you will most probably get the reply "Winbond BH5". These chips from Winbond were THE overclocker memory around 2002/2003. They are known for running very tight timings and high clock speeds, if the voltage is right. Unfortunately Winbond stopped production some time in 2003 and supply of these chips was running dry pretty fast. Now Winbond is back with their BH5 UTT.

Corsair XMS2:

InsaneTek reviews yet another brilliant effort in brand name retention, the Corsair XMS2 TWIN2X1024-8000UL PC2-8000UL 1GB Dual Channel Kit. The mind boggling part is someone pulled a paycheck that named that one.

The pioneer to DDR2 was hard and continues to be hard. Perhaps the major reason behind that is because of the lacking performance on Intel's chipsets. DDR2 is far from lacking in performance. However, because there is still only one platform that supports DDR2, the demand or even the hype of DDR2 won't reach its maximum. Memory companies are finding ways to increase the DDR2 demand since DDR2 is the future, whether everyone likes it or not. With Intel's newest 955X chipset, overclocking DDR2 memory has reached a whole new level.

ECC 101:

Class has already started at Real World Technologies in fact it commenced back in 2003. But thats OK tardy slips aren't being handed out, the Hall Monitor graduated long ago. So catch up on Error Correcting Code Memory in Part One and Part Two: Myths and Realities.

Data in modern memory systems is largely stored in a binary format. The data storage is susceptible to corruption due to electronic noises. As a result, there is a need to design memory systems to locate and correct any errors that may occur while the data is stored in the memory system. In this article, we will cover some basic error detection, location and correction algorithms. We begin the discussion by focusing on the simplest form of memory error detection, parity memory protection scheme.

[H]ardNews 4th Edition - Storage Edition

Frankenstorage:

Imagine if you can a petabyte of data, one thousand terabytes, what would you possibly do with all that space? Well not that long ago people said that about terabytes didnt they? Cnet covers the opensource license Capricorn Technologies has released to build affordable and massive storage arrays.

In June, Capricorn shipped a petabyte worth of PetaBoxes to the Internet Archive. The petabyte system occupies about 16 racks and contains a few thousand hard drives. The Internet Archive submits all of its intellectual property to the open-source community. Since the storage system was designed on a commission from the organization, the organization owns the designs to the system and hence opened them to the public.

DVR Monster:

At the OpenTech Conference last weekend Promise TV impressed the crowd with a DVR that can record an entire week's worth of UK digital TV, Tivo on steroids and no preselections required. And you thought the story above couldn't possibly have any applications to you. Again Cnet covers the story.

To Doctorow, an editor of the popular culture blog BoingBoing and the Electronic Frontier Foundation's European outreach coordinator, Promise TV has broken impressive new ground with its DVR, which it plans to unveil next month. "There wasn't a jaw in the room that wasn't scraping the floor during (the) demo," he said. "It was genuinely futuristic."

Fox Backs Blu-Ray:

Cnet reports that Twentieth Century Fox has thrown their weight behind the Blu-Ray format against HD DVD, joining Sony Pictures Entertainment and Disney. In the other corner we have Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures and Universal Pictures.

At stake are billions of dollars in royalties to owners of patents covering which technology comes to dominate the industry. Movie studio support is critical because consumer electronics makers plan to sell new DVD players this holiday season, and they need new DVDs for consumers to play.

[H]ardNews 3rd Edition - Odds & Ends Edition

Sneak Peek Weekend:

Yes that right registered members of [H]ard|Forum can view the main subscription forum this weekend, the infamous General Mayhem. Posting still requires subscription but the mysterious, bizarre, and off topic is just a click or two away.

Step Right This Way, see the dogfaced boy, the bearded lady and Mongo the World's Biggest Geek. View the incredible World Association Game the longest thread in the history of [H]ard|forum.

Its All In the Wrist:

PC World covers the Holy Grail of monitors for digital artists, or is it tablets? Well actually it both the Cintiq 21UX a 21" Touchscreen from Wacom with a street price around $2500.

Testing my shipping unit with Photoshop was a real treat. I found myself working almost exclusively with the program's brush palette, switching out different tips and making little digital paintings and drawings. The monitor had me using Photoshop in a totally different way, and it allowed me to spend more time following my creative fancy.

9 Megapixel Fujifilm:

PhotoReview Australia exposes Fujifilms announcement Thursday that the to of the FinePix line will have a 5th Generation Super CCD (Charge Coupled Device) HR (High Resolution)Image sensor capable of a 9 MegaPixels. Something new for a consumer level camera.

For still shots, photographers can select between JPEG and RAW, with the top image file size being 3,488-by-2,616 recorded pixels. Movie clips can be recorded with VGA-quality at 30 fps. The LCD and electronic viewfinder have frame rates of 30 frames-per-second or 60 frames-per-second for smoother viewing. A dual media slot accepts xD Picture card and CompactFlash/Microdrive'

Ive Never Trusted That Printer:

The Electronic Freedom Foundation is hunting spys and needs your help. They would like test sheets from folks printers in an effort to determine which printers are government spys and which aren't.

Imagine that every time you printed a document, it automatically included a secret code that could be used to identify the printer -- and potentially, the person who used it. Sounds like something from an episode of "Alias," right? Unfortunately, the scenario isn't fictional.

[H]ardNews 2nd Edition - Mobo Edition

Component Shortages:

The Digitimes reports that Motherboard manufacturers may be facing shortages of entry level core-logic chipsets and even even printed circuit boards (PCBs).

A serious power shortage in China has sent top mobo makers rushing to book capacity or place orders in advance with PCB makers whose China plants are likely to be affected. PCB supply has become tight due to precautionary measures, the sources said.

The Demise Of BIOS?:

The news of BIOS imminent death where greatly exaggerated a few years ago, but Cnet covers a recent development with the Extensible Firmware Interface which may hasten BIOS as we know it into the great beyond.

The United EFI Forum will essentially try to pave the way for EFI to succeed the basic input/output system, or BIOS, inside PCs. Though the BIOS was once relatively straightforward in its design, over the years it has morphed into a figurative bowl of spaghetti as it's been changed and updated to accept new technologies.

ECS PF88:

Depending on who you talk to the ECS PF88 is either a Hybrid, an Extreme Hybrid or just plain Schizophrenic.

In the spring of 2005, EliteGroup Computer Systems Ltd. (ECS) sent word that they were completing work on releasing a motherboard that supported both the INTEL LGA775 platform and the AMD 939 platform. Able to support all current and future CPU's, the ECS PF88 was born to allow enthusiasts to easily change from the onboard INTEL platform to an AMD platform with just a simple addition of a piece of hardware that housed the AMD CPU on a daughterboard that plugs right into the existing board.

ECS 915P-A:

Viperlair fires up another ECS and from the name you might have guessed this is an Intel 915P Express chipset board for the socket 775. But again flexibility has been built in with a PCI-E x16, two PCI-E x1, two PCI and an AGP Express slot. Then there is the memory supported.

The board itself is much more interesting, as it provides both DDR and DDRII memory options, as well as PCIe x16 and "AGPExpress" video card connections. As for cards that work in the "AGP" slot, ECS has a list of supported video cards. The fact that only one IDE channel exists is fairly annoying for those who still have a IDE based hard drive and optical drive as well, an add-on IDE controller like that included with the Albatron board would be nice, especially for a board aimed at those just wanting to move to a new socket design.

Head To Head:

BitTech stages a death match between the MSI P4N Diamond & Gigabyte GA-8N-SLI.

It wasn't all that long ago when Intel and NVIDIA agreed to sign a broad cross licensing agreement. At the time, many wondered what that would mean in terms of products – what could NVIDIA add to Intel's line up? Of course, Intel are keen to get some credibility back with gamers and enthusiasts after a number of weak products turning many of them over to AMD. This meant one thing: SLI.

Iwill DK88:

Now for something completely different Digitimes has a picture and the specs for the new Iwill dual Opteron workstation and server motherboard that get this supports not four, not eight not even sixteen gigabytes of RAM, try sixty four gigabytes.

The DK88 offers 16 DDR memory DIMMs (eight DIMMs per CPU) on board, with each DIMM supporting up to 4GB of memory. It also supports registered memory with ECC and chip-kill functions, the company stated. Iwill chose to use digital VRM (voltage regulator module) instead of traditional aluminum electrolytic capacitors for delivering the maximal memory capacity for the motherboard.

[H]ardNews 1st Edition - CPU Edition

Xeon M?:

Cnet reports that the new Xeons will trace their parentage to the Intel notebook Pentium M family to take advantage of the low power consumption and thermal profile.

Code-named Sossaman, the chip puts out a maximum of 31 watts, fairly low for server chips, which can boast thermal ceilings of 110 watts.

Opteron Hits 10%:

PC World reports that the Opteron has met and exceeded its stated goal of 10% of the server market shipment last quarter.

According to data from Mercury Research, Opteron shipments made up 11.2 percent of the total number of server processors using the x86 instruction set shipped during the second quarter, says Dean McCarron. "The market has gotten a little more competitive. The share reflects a very significant uptick in [Opteron] shipments during the quarter."

Cleaning Up:

ExtremeTech scrubs up to take you on a tour of one of the cleanest places on earth an IC fab. A companion piece to their Tomorrow's CPUs Today and CPUs Up Close exposés.

How clean is it? About 10,000 times cleaner than a hospital operating room. Transistors in a modern chip are 50nm (0.05 microns) in width, about 2,000 times narrower than a human hair. The tiniest speck of dirt can wreck a transistor, potentially ruining the chip. Air in the cleanroom is filtered several times a minute, and all workers must be encased in "bunny suits" to prevent them from contaminating the air.

Future Tech:

Gaze deeply into the crystal ball as eWeek peers into Intel's proposed future with coverage of Silicon with Carbon Nanotubes and Photonics.

The ability to decrease the size of today's silicon-based transistors, which in turn allows chip makers to boost their chips' performance by packing more transistors into each processor, will eventually hit a wall, leading chip makers to look elsewhere. That's the point at which carbon nanotubes, nanowires or other materials and manufacturing techniques made possible by nanotech research could come into play.

Megacomputer:

NewScientist drops a supercomputer bombshell, Japan's ministry for Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology along with NEC and Hitachi have announced plans to build a 10 petaflop supercomputer. Which will likely feature a hybrid architecture of several different types of processors.

Japan has revealed plans to build a supercomputer so staggeringly powerful that it will be five times swifter than the 500 fastest systems on the planet today – combined.

VIA OC Guide:

VIAarena serves up their overclocking guide, covering the BIOS, processor and memory.

Originally overclocking was frowned upon by manufacturers as it stressed their hardware in ways it was not designed to be. Then there were companies such as Intel and AMD who wanted to protect their high-end processors. Most users could not see the value in purchasing a $500 US processor when an overclocked $200 US processor could match it in speed.

Open Chips:

Again we head over to eWeek this time to examine processor designs anyone can employ, or modify for either free or with a small royalty.

The efforts of groups like OpenCores.org or Power.org might ultimately make it easier or cheaper—or both—for companies to acquire processor designs. However, open processors are somewhat different from open software, in that they are likely to be used by a relatively small group of companies. While it's certainly possible, it's less likely for an individual to experiment with an open processor than an open software application.

Friday July 29, 2005

[H]ardNews 12th Edition

BFG GeForce 7800GTX OC:

HotHardware has just posted a review of the BFG GeForce 7800GTX OC that you should read if you are shopping for a new video card. For comparison purposes, you can see our review here.

Another thing to throw into the mix that should weigh heavily for you if you're looking at cards that claim to be "overclocked" out of the box, is the warranty. Here again BFG stands tall in the crowd offering a lifetime warranty on the card while others we've tested recently only offer a 1 year warranty.

General Mayhem Sneak Peek Weekend!

If you are a registered member of the forums and you want a free peek into the General Mayhem forum and see what all the talk is about, this is the weekend. Hit the link and check it out.

General Mayhem will be available for viewing to registered/logged in members. "Guests" cannot post and they cannot access the Web Linkage Worth Clicking or the Soapbox sub-forums.

Blind Video Game Kid Follow-Up:

I got an e-mail from Brice Mellen the blind 17 year old kid we told you about on Tuesday. The kid is a whiz at playing video games but there is only one problem thieves STOLE his console and now he doesn’t have a console anymore to play on. I contacted Brice and let him know that the [H] has his back and we are sending him a new Xbox. I’m trying to scrape together some fighting games in the mean time to go with it. If anyone wants his address e-mail me maybe you got an old Xbox game laying around that could be put to good use.

He told me the story of how he has had his gaming console stolen not once but TWICE from his house. One of the times he was actually at home talking to the "thieves" while they took the console. But even with those setbacks Brice is still has a positive attitude and a strong desire to play games!

[H]ardNews 11th Edition - Mods & Ends II

Cooling:

Thermaltake Big Typhoon @ Overclockers Online - Mushkin's New Memory Heat Spreader @ Legit Reviews - Zern PQ-Plus water heatsink @ Hardwareoverclock - Spire KestrelKing VI AMD Athlon64 HSF @ ModSynergy

Etc.:

High Power, Power Watcher 480Watt Power Supply @ ThinkComputers - Philips ShoqBox PSS110 Portable Music System @ CoolTechZone

Cases & Modding:

Logisys Yin Yang Acrylic Case @ Techgage - Sunbeam Chameleon & Lightbus @ XYZ Computing