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[H] Enthusiast Archives: July 2002Archive Listing

Wednesday July 31, 2002

[H]ardNews - The Real Deal

Euro ATi R300 Review:

While it is certainly possible that this is the real deal, it is highly unlikely that it represents final silicon or final drivers. Still fun to see with lots of graphs! Take your translator.

Also, it is my guess that their numbers are going to be a bit low compared to the card ATi will direct sell. The benchmarks get rolling on page 8.

Get Connected:

At FileConnect that is. I am not sure of the validity of this, but they has a supposed link for a DX9 install as well as drivers "leaked fresh from the ATI dev site, new DX9 compliant versions of the 6118 set". The ATi drivers linked on their own site gives me an error that they are stealing their own bandwidth. Dunno about that. Someone drop me an FTP that I can grab them off of please. Thanks!

[H]ardNews 8th Edition - NV30 NOT Taped Out

NV30 NOT Taped Out:

Unfortunately for everyone waiting on NVIDIA to roll out the NV30, it looks like you might be waiting a little longer than you thought. While everyone has been lead to believe that the NV30 taped out already back in early June, it was revealed during the latest NVIDIA confrence call that it has not yet taped out. The exact exchange between NVIDIA's CEO and one industry analyst went like this:

"It should be available for holiday season" J. Huang

"Has the NV30 taped out yet?" Analyst

"Historically Nvidia done a good job with tapeouts etc... We're in the process of wrapping it up" J. Huang

"So it has not been taped out yet?" Analyst

"We're in the process of wrapping it up so the answer is not" J. Huang

Now, while this may be taken many ways, we talked with NVIDIA and they again reiterated that they will make their Fall release. Also there is something we have to remember, NVIDIA has historically went 90 - 100 days from tape out to product release with all their cards so they could very well meet their expected release date.

[H]ardNews 7th Edition

AOL Investigated:

AOL is being “looked at” now too by the SEC and the Justice Dept.. Good God how many companies went nuts over the last ten years and thought it’d be a good idea to fake revenue or hide it, embezzle it….sheesh. We aren’t sure what AOL did ( if anything ) but this is getting old quick. There isn’t something that cropped up overnight, these guys have spent the last 8 – 10 yrs doing this stuff.

The Justice Department has opened an investigation into accounting practices at AOL Time Warner, according to a person knowledgeable of the probe. U.S. prosecutors in Virginia, where the company's America Online division is headquartered, are working in tandem with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Last week, AOL Time Warner disclosed that the SEC is looking into certain transactions at the company's Internet division. CEO Richard Parsons said his company is cooperating with the SEC.

Sony Loses Suit:

Sony sucked it down in this last round of legal wars against people modding their PS2. Sony was pissed because some guy was modding peoples PS2’s to play copied games and games from other regions.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which helped Johnson fight the lawsuit, said Monday that it has long believed region coding is detrimental to consumer welfare because it restricts access to competitively priced goods. ``Australian consumers can now enjoy games legitimately bought overseas, as well as authorized backup copies, by legally having their consoles chipped,'' he added. Sony said it was considering an appeal.

ASUS GeForce4 Review:

A very good write up on the GF4 4600 Deluxe and 4200 Pure from ASUS at Lost circuits. They throw in some Radeon 8500 and GF3 Ti500 action as well for comparison. Good stuff.

We have taken the ASUS V8420 Pure and the V8460 Ultra Deluxe and compared them to the ATI RADEON 8500 and the GeForce 3 TI 500 (ASUS V8200 T5). What it comes down to is pretty much a deathmatch between the RADEON 8500 and the V8420, especially since both cards are positioned in the same price range. So where are the winners and where are the losers? And let's not forget the "Best of Show" either.

Killer Gaming Rig 7:

The last day to enter the Killer Gaming Rig 7 is the 31st. You might as well register to win the $100 a Day from CompUSA while you are there, but the big fatty-bo-batty Killer Gaming Rig winner will be drawn tomorrow. What is in the Killer Gaming Rig 7? Well, let me quote myself:

2.53GHz P4 @ 3.1GHz, 512MB Corsair XMS3000 DDR, GeForce4 Ti4600, 100GB ATA100 WD Hard drive with 8MB cache, complete watercooling kit from OCH, Clear Case by Clear-view Tech, 22” Cornerstone Monitor, 48x16x48 ASUS CDRW…and more

[H]ardNews 6th Edition

DIY Clear Case:

Mikhailtech cracks out the super glue and bonding compound for his latest review. The gang looks at one of them DIY clear cases ( unassembled ) and their experiences assembling the unit.

This is definitely not your ordinary case, something I noticed when the FedEx guy arrived at my door with a suitcase style box. Yup, that's the case in there. Although acrylic doesn't weight nearly as much as steel or glass, the box was incredibly heavy, mainly because the panels range from 5-8mm which is pretty thick for any material. Good thing there was a handle, else I'd probably be reviewing a badly damaged piece of equipment, and we all know how easily acrylic gets messed up. Being a mid tower, this case has about as much expansion as you can throw a stick at. With four 5.25" bays and a total of seven 3.5" spots, even the biggest power user won't run out of space.

You have to remember, the case they are looking at is for the diehard who wants to assemble this case himself. People who just want a clear case can buy them $20 cheaper fully assembled right here.

nVhardpage At Guru3D:

The Guru3D has one of the handiest utilities around, the nVhardpage. This utility enables the Coolbits hack that adds the overclocking sliders in your video control panel at the touch of a button. It also has a built in refresh rate fix, and so on. A very handy utility and it has just been updated…check it out.

Another Shuttle SS51G Review:

Legion Hardware joins the legions of websites to review the Shuttle SS51G miniPC. This one is equipped with an AGP slot though, so at least we have a few on the market now with an AGP slot.

Shuttle have made their XPC’s (that’s Shuttle’s name for Small Form Factor PC’s) so successful I believe by combining excellent hardware. The combination of the chipset, motherboard, case and cooling designs that Shuttle has enhanced over the past few XPC’s has lead up to the SS51G. By now I believe Shuttle has designed an effective way to keep these barebone systems cool, quiet and of course powerful.

[H]ardNews 5th Edition - Intel Rumor Mill Revisited

More Guys Talking, More things Heard:

One of the great things about “The Rumor Mill” is that, as soon as you get a good solid lead on something, you get information totally to the contrary. We posted earlier on the possibility of Intel getting ready to jump back into the enthusiast mindset themselves by not only selling CPUs that are unlocked but marketing the feature as well. We now have reports to the contrary saying that for obvious reasons, Intel will continue through with current plans, not opting to introduce unlocked processors at this time. Honestly...that is what makes “The Rumor Mill” so fun, people talk, and you hear things. Some things will pan out while others never see the light of day.

[H]ardNews 4th Edition

FBI Needs Hackers:

O.K., so some guy hacked one of the al-Qaida prime internet communication sites, he immediately contacts the FBI to let them know they have a “Free Pass”…and the FBI dropped the ball. Why?? They had a hell of a time finding someone with the "know-how" to get the job done….UGH. They might need to hire the RIAA to hack or DOS al-Qaida in the future (rimshot please ).

When Web operator Jon Messner gained control of one of al-Qaida's prime Internet communication sites, he offered it to the FBI to use it for disinformation and collecting data about sympathizers. What followed, he says, was a week of frustration. FBI agents struggled to find someone with enough technical know-how to set up the sting. By the time they did, the opportunity was lost as militant Islamic Web users figured out the site was a decoy, said Messner of Ocean City, Md. "It was like dealing with the motor vehicle administration," said Messner, who runs Web sites, many of which sell pornographic materials. "We could have done something that could have seriously impacted things. It took me so many days just to get somebody who understood the Internet."

SiSR658 For RDRAM:

SiS has debuted the SiSR658 chipset today at the Rambus Developer Forum in Taipei. Here is a clip from the full PR:

The SiSR658 is the first chipset in the world that supports Dual RDRAM at 1066 MHz. The SiSR658 flexible memory interface supports all device configurations, single Channel module systems, and up to 4GB memory capacity. Furthermore, with its proprietary MuTIOLR technology, the SiSR658 can easily achieve up to 1GB per second northbridge-to-southbridge front side bus bandwidth transmission. This technology allows systems to take full advantage of the high performance, low power consumption and high compatibility characteristics of the SiSR658. The SiSR658 supports up to 4GB 1066/800 MHz RDRAM memory capacity, and also fully supports the AGP8X graphics chip. Together with the new southbridge SiS963, it boosts northbridge-to-southbridge transmission speed to 533MHz per second. In addition, the SiSR658 is equipped with powerful multimedia functions, including 5.1 ChannelAC'97 2.2 Audio, 10/100MB Ethernet, Home PNA2.0 and Dual ATA133/100/66 IDE Channels. The SiSR658 supports six PCI slots and six USB 2.0/1.1 ports.

Teach Them Young:

[H]ard reader, Keith Klevenski and his lovely wife, welcomed their newest overclocker into the family two weeks ago, and pops has already started the training with the latest in overclocked toys….the Pooh Mobile XP.

News Image

[H]ardNews 3rd Edition

The 333MHz AMD Bus:

The Tech-Report has a good article online about exploring the 333MHz bus and the AthlonXP. AMD has said there wouldn’t be one, but facing the fact that they are being backed into a corner by Intel, the jump to 333MHz bus might be what the Doctor ordered until the Hammer arrives. Good reading here.

Intel's Northwood Pentium 4, with its 0.13-micron process technology (and resultant sky-high clock speeds), 512KB L2 cache, and 533MHz bus, has come on and come on strong: it's at 2.53GHz and counting, with rumors of 3GHz before the year is out. The Athlon is still a strong player if you factor in price-performance ratio, but the Pentium 4 is king of the hill, and as time goes on, the Athlon is fading. AMD, meanwhile, is betting that its upcoming Hammer chips will turn things around. But, stray rumors aside, all indications are that the first Hammer won't be ready until December of this year at the earliest. What's AMD to do in the meantime?

Corsair CAS2 PC3200:

Corsair Memory, Inc., an industry leader in ultra-performance DDR DRAM modules for gaming and overclocking applications, has announced that it is now offering two new eXtreme Memory Speed ("XMS") modules tailored specifically for ultra-performance computing enthusiasts. The first part, Corsair part number CMX512-3200C2, is a 512 MByte module guaranteed to operate at 400 MHz with a Column Access Strobe ("CAS") latency of just two cycles. The second part, part number CMX256A-3200C2, is a 256 MByte DDR DIMM with the same performance specifications.

Each XMS3200 module is tested in a test fixture based on a currently popular motherboard based on a performance chip set such as Via's KT333 Athlon, Intel's i845E, or SiS' 645 Pentium IV platform. The testing rig is set to exhaustively exercise the memory at the following settings:

Memory bus speed: 2x200 MHz

CAS latency: 2.0 clock cycles

RAS precharge: 3 cycles

RAS-to-CAS delay: 3 cycles

RAS active to precharge: 6 cycles

Command rate: 1T (1 cycle)

Population: 1 module/system

The CMX256A-3200C2 is built using the same 32Mx8 DDR SDRAM components as the CMX512-3200C2. The RAMs have been carefully screened to meet these demanding performance requirements. The modules have been extensively qualified in motherboards based on chip sets from Via Technologies, Intel Corporation, and Silicon Integrated Systems (SiS) that are capable of supporting the required high-speed memory bus. The modules are shipped with a pre-installed aluminum heat spreader.

[H]ardNews 2nd Edition

ASUS P4B533-E Review:

Weighing in with a review of the ASUS P4B533-E is Something really interesting about newer boards from ASUS is the 4 pin Molex header built right on to the motherboard, this is certainly a cool little feature.

The P4B533-E is based around the Intel i845-E (Brookdale-E) and ICH4 chipsets that support the new 533MHz FSB standard and the Intel P4 ZIF Socket 478 processor line in speeds from 1.4 - 2.4GHz and beyond as additional BIOS flashes allow. The board features an adjustable programmable 4MB flash ROM Award BIOS. This is very user oriented and features many overclocking options including an adjustable FSB and voltage increase options for the CPU, RAM and AGP that allow stable overclocking results.

IBM Buying Pricewaterhouse Consulting:

No, they are not buying off the consulting firm…they are actually BUYING them. Interesting move on the part of IBM, who is looking to broaden their horizons. Pricewaterhouse was going for over 18 Billion just two years ago. Here’s a clip from the big dollar deal.

International Business Machines Corp. on Tuesday made its largest acquisition ever, saying it would buy PriceWaterhouseCoopers Consulting for $3.5 billion in cash and stock. The purchase is aimed at boosting slowing revenues in the computer giant's large services business, which now accounts for more revenue than its well-known computers and mainframes. Armonk, New York-based IBM is paying only a fraction of what its competitor Hewlett-Packard Co. had bid in 2000 for the unit -- $18 billion. HP later pulled out of those talks and PriceWaterhouseCoopers said at the time it would carry on with its plan to split itself in two.

Copper GPU Cooler:

OverclockersRIP has posted their review of the Vantec Iceberg. The unit itself is a sweet polished copper unit that has good looks to go along with good performance. It also comes with copper chipset heatsinks as well. Here is a snippet from the review:

The Iceberg is a complete All-In-One VGA and Chipset Cooling Kit, thus it also contains 2 chipset coolers for use with your Northbridge and Southbridge chipsets as well as thermal compound, thermal tape, and a power adapter. All of the components are made of copper, for great thermal transfer, if that matters with low heat emitting Southbridge.

[H]ardNews 1st Edition

Win2K SP3:

The Win2K Service Pack 3 looks like it is available from Microsoft for download. Hit the link for the SP3 goodness. The list of fixes and changes is obviously to long to list, so grab it if you need it. It weighs in at 124MB.

9700 Price and Shelfdate:

Our undercover “friend” in the retail industry just gave us a date of September 15th and a MSRP of $399.99 for the Radeon 9700. From the information provided, it looks like ATi is shipping plenty of these units to each of the major retailers to make sure there is plenty to go around. I am sure there will be “specials” and “deals” held by separate retailers, but the Bad Boy 9700 looks like it will not only over take the performance lead, but the price lead as well.

NVIDIA Cg Contest:

The NVIDIA Cg Contest winners are in and there are some pretty damn cool entries. The top three submissions include a cool lightning effect, a black and white shaded plane / ship…and a furry donut. Really good stuff done with the new Cg Toolkit NVIDIA came out with.

Never Argue About:

What are the two big things people say you should never argue about? Politics and Religion, especially when you are liquored up hanging out in you local trailer park. Joe sent me this link that just goes to show you why you this is a bad combo.

Johnson County Sheriff Bob Alford said a witness who was the designated driver for the group told police the four men were sitting at a table outside a trailer park after their night on the town and began arguing about religion. The talk became heated when the subject turned to who would go to heaven and who would go to hell.

[H]ardNews - The Intel Rumor Mill

Guys Talk, You Hear Things:

Many of us "old-timer" enthusiast well remember the day that Intel started locking chips. It was a sad day indeed, but it was always something we understood Intel was doing to combat illegal remarking of their CPUs. Keep in mind, we did not like it, but we understood. Many things have changed between now and then and AMD has dug deeply into the enthusiast market with low prices and CPUs that were unlocked allowing us to push front side bus speeds way beyond spec. Trust me, Intel has taken notice of this and may just be getting poised to do something to win back the hearts and minds of the enthusiasts. No doubt their Pentium 4 CPUs have already won many of us back with their wide overclockability, but what if they upped the ante a bit? Word on the street is that Intel may just be getting ready to jump back into the enthusiast mindset themselves by not only selling CPUs that are unlocked but marketing the feature as well. Don't be surprised if you see boxed Pentium 4 Northwood Desktop CPUs show up "Xcelerated" or something to that effect.

Intel has also been hard at work testing their HyperThreaded version of the Pentium 4 CPU as well. If you remember back in June when we spoke with Bill Siu, Intel Vice President and General Manager of their Desktop Platforms Group, he mentioned HyperThreading to us being a big possibility but Intel was certainly focused on rolling it out only if they could meet their in-house "no harm" philosophy, meaning that they do not want HyperThreading breaking any programs being used by pretty much anyone. Word is that Intel has validated almost 1000 applications with HyperThreading and that means it might be very close to becoming a reality soon.

Lastly on the Intel Rumor Mill is gigahertz. We have thought for a long time that the current Northwood core had the ability to scale over the 4GHz range and it seems that Intel is getting close to that number. Pentium 4 CPUs seem to be operating in the 3.6GHz range as we speak. Now an unlocked 3.6Ghz Pentium 4 sounds like it would be fun to get hold of.

As always, there are no "facts" here, just what we heard when we got the local Intel rep thoroughly liquored. I have never seen anyone drink so much Wild Turkey...

Tuesday July 30, 2002

[H]ardNews 8th Edition

AMD 2400 and 2600 ??

You'll remember that AMD told us there would be no 166MHz FSB parts when we last talked to them in person, well AMDMB is doing a little of the top secret "heard it from a friend" thing and going with a story saying that the 166MHz FSB is on, and it will yeild 2400 and 2600 CPU's out of AMD running at 2GHz and 2.1GHz respectfully. Interesting even if it doesn't pan out.

I have news of the next Athlon XP processors to be released as the 2400+ and and 2600+ to combat the on going competition from Intel. While simple speed increases are not big news for a processor, there is more to this than meets the eye. Even before the introduction of the Athlon XP 2200+ processor, AMD knew they were having a small problem with the .13 micron cores and thus a second revision of the Thoroughbred core was put underway. This new revision, while not officially announced (and it may not be) is under going some testing with great results. The 2400+ processor is set to run at 2.0 GHz and the 2600+ processor is looking to be at 2.13 Ghz. As Intel has plans of releasing a 3.0 Ghz processor towards the end of this year, this kind of speed boost from AMD is desperately needed -- perhaps even more.

Heatsink Shootout:

Now there is a funny mental image a heatsink shootout. No little cowboy hats, and I doubt anyone except the OCIA team is wearing spurs during this review. Coupla coolers getting tested, some are good some aren't, some are loud...some aren't, ( you can tell I didn't read the whole review ) you get the idea.


LAN Party HaHa's are almost as bad as importing games laughs. Neither comic would be funny if they weren't so true.

[H]ardNews 7th Edition

ASUS Ti4600 Deluxe review:

The Active Hardware gang takes a long look at the Ti4600 Deluxe from ASUS. They seemed to really like the card overall, giving it high marks in their review. This is the card with the monster sized custom copper heatsink on it that we looked at awhile back. You can see our review of the card here.

Not only does the V8460 Ultra Deluxe possess all the bells and whistles of its predecessor, the V8460 Ultra (which we reviewed previously), but it also comes with a number of features that are rarely seen as part of other graphics cards. These include S-VHS in and out, RCA in and out video connectors, a flat-panel display port, a DIV /2 VGA adapter, and a pair of 3D stereoscopic glasses.

Postal Service Owning E-mail:

Blair sent this story about the postman almost owning e-mail. Sounds bizarre, but it's true, check it out.

Imagine that the U.S. Postal Service was in charge of e-mail. Sound absurd? It does to most people—until they realize that it almost happened.

In 1977, when I first came to Washington, DC, I joined the communications policy program of the Aspen Institute, where I was assigned to research how the impending telecommunications revolution would affect postal service. Instead of muddling through backwater, I uncovered a goldmine of plans and policy dilemmas.

Xabre Roadmap:

A little roadmap action concerning SiS cards here at VRZone. Is it accurate? what is a Xabre 600? What about the Xabre II?? Hell, I don't know either, I am looking at the roadmaop just like you are. SiS has done a great job with their new GPU's by adding a decent card to the competition in the budget gaming arena, which helps us all in the long run. So while a Xabre may not be for the high end gamer, it still serves other purposes on many levels.

Here's the latest SiS Xabre GPU roadmap dated 25th July showing that Xabre 600 will be scheduled for end of this year and comes with 128MB of DDR SDRAM while Xabre II will arrive in Q1 next year. There will be a higher clock Xabre 400 as well at 270Mhz Core and 270Mhz Memory clock coming in August.