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[H] Enthusiast Archives: March 2003Archive Listing

Monday March 31, 2003

[H]ardNews 9th Edition

NVIDIA’s Linux Advantage :

NVIDIA’s approach to the Linux crowd is covered by Bjorn3D today. The features that Windows users have grown accustom to are now offered to the Linux guys…and they like it. Imagine that, no penalty ( drivers ) for using Linux. Cool concept.

NVIDIA's December 2002 release was a big step in the right direction. The March 2003 is an even bigger leap forward. People expect excellent drivers from NVIDIA. While it is reassuring to hear about NVIDIA's dedication to the viability of Linux, it is expected that their drivers will work and that they will work well. Linux Update is significant in that it removes much of the guesswork, drudgery, and hazards of previous installation procedures.

Mods & Ends:

Zalman CNPS7000-Cu @ FrostyTech - Panther ATX Case @ BoPC - XoXide Fan Grill @ R&B; Mods - MouseWax @ Dan’s Data - FlexiGlow Cold Cathode @ AseLabs

[H]ardNews 8th Edition

Spammer Gets Time:

I get wood every time I hear about a spammer going to jail. Not that I am against spammers or anything...I just want them all to go to jail. Now, if we can just find a way to send the people who forward urban legends to jail too, I’d really be happy. Thanks Blair.

"Secret Squirrel" and is now a 30-year-old resident of Fiddletown, California, was sentenced for his conviction on a federal charge of maliciously sending thousands of email messages in September 2000 to a computer server operated by Tornado Development, Inc., formerly located in El Segundo. McDanel was sentenced by United States District Judge Lourdes G. Baird, who presided over McDanel's trial last year and found that he acted with the intent to cause damage to Tornado's email server.

Heh…“Secret Squirrel” will be gathering mucho nuts in Federal Prison…how ironic.

Game Help ATi:

This is actually pretty damn funny listen to this guy talk about PC components. The article is supposed to be about how games and gamers run out and buy the latest PC’s with the latest components, and the latest peripherals..etc. etc. etc., but this quote just killed me, I was laughing so hard. You guys must be the aficionados he is speaking of. Then again, how many people that read a computer magazine or website do not know who ATi or NVIDIA are.

Unless you are an aficionado of the inner guts of computers, you probably wouldn't recognize any of ATI's products by name. The product line is a jumble of monikers, such as `Radeon 9800 Pro,' `Rage Fury Maxx' and `All in Wonder' — names that, to the average consumer, equate to the parts installed in your refrigerator. They do something but you don't know much about them.

TwinX PC3200:

Corsair TwinX PC3200 memory is on the review bench today at Legion Hardware. With the nForce2 / Granite Bay boards being so popular right now, getting matched memory is the way to go.

Overall, I am extremely pleased with the TWINX512-3200LL modules and they are just as impressive as previous Corsair modules I have used in all my test systems. It’s hard to find a weakness to this product however, the biggest deterrent most users have when purchasing Corsair memory is the price.

April Fools Day:

O.K., tomorrow is April Fools day, meaning the news is going to be very interesting to say the least. I have already been spammed with tons of goofy-ass e-mail claiming “such and such website is for sale / closing / going out of business / blew up / is on fire”. While I won’t be posting any of that stuff….you should be on your toes, I might post some of the really good April Fools Jokes tomorrow to keep with the whole theme of the day.

[H]ardNews 7th Edition

AMD & Fujitsu Venture:

Big news from AMD? How about a report that says AMD will be splitting in two, separating their memory and CPU business. Here is a clip:

AMD is expected to unveil late on Monday a new joint venture with Japanese memory chip maker Fujitsu that would dramatically changes their current partnership, according to a published report. Analysts suggest the predicted move is a precursor to AMD splitting in two, with management of its core microprocessor business based in Austin, Texas and some of the key memory business executives based at its headquarters in Sunnyvale, California.

To clarify that report, we get the actual scoop from AMD themselves in the form of this PR, released after their press conference that was webcast today. Here is the skinny from AMD:

AMD and Fujitsu Limited today announced they have executed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish a new Flash memory semiconductor company headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. A Japan headquarters will be located in Tokyo. The new company, to be called FASL LLC, will be based on the integration of AMD and Fujitsu’s Flash memory businesses, including their existing joint manufacturing venture, Fujitsu AMD Semiconductor Limited. The new company is expected to begin operations in the third quarter of this year.

[H]ardNews - Blair Tech Ed.

How Caching Works:

Caching is a technology based on the memory subsystem of your computer. The main purpose of a cache is to accelerate your computer while keeping the price of the computer low. Caching allows you to do your computer tasks more rapidly. To understand the basic idea behind a cache system, let's start with a super-simple example that uses a librarian to demonstrate caching concepts. Let's imagine a librarian behind his desk. He is there to give you the books you ask for

DVD-CD Hybrid Sucks:

An attempt to create the Holy Grail of home entertainment - a disc that plays on any DVD or CD player - has been branded a failure by an international working group. Music and movie buffs currently have to choose between CD for stereo music, DVD-Video for full-length movies with digitally compressed surround sound, and DVD-Audio with uncompromised surround sound, plus short video clips.

Saving Moore’s Law:

Experts generally agree that if another way isn't found to make computer chips, the industry will soon show Moore the door – or at least the "law" named after Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, who predicted a doubling of computer chip transistors every 18 months. While clever engineers have found ways to push the limits of what is physically possible with optical lithography, companies like Mapper Lithography in the Netherlands are experimenting with new methods.

Speeding Up Storage:

"Serial-attached SCSI will allow Hitachi to extend its server hard-disk-drive product line ... for data center and other enterprise applications," said Fumio Kugiya, general manager of the server business unit at Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (HGST). The SAS physical layer is compatible with serial ATA (SATA), a rival connection method. This should give people the choice of using either SAS or SATA drives within the same box. SAS will also allow enterprise customers to continue to use SCSI while gaining a faster 3 Gbps data transfer rate, according to the announcement.

[H]ardNews 5th Edition

GeForceFX 5800 MIA:

We have now confirmed through multiple sources that it is highly likely that the GeForceFX 5800 (yes, non-Ultra & Ultra) will never show up in major US retail outlets in any quantity whatsoever. I think there are several factors surrounding this and Vince Freeman over at HardwareCentral has some insight in an editorial.

While it's unknown just what fate will befall the GeForce FX 5800 Ultra, it's becoming clear that there are definite allocation issues with Nvidia's high-end chips. Whether it's fabrication partner TSMC failing to make the grade, or issues concerning the card design, I sense that card vendors are waiting for Nvidia to exhale and get them some chips.

Actually I think the guillotine has already fallen and we just have not heard the head hit the basket yet.

Asustek Notebooks:

Asus has been known to build some pretty healthy notebooks and this Digitimes story seems to tell that they will be expanding on that.

Asustek will pay NT$680 million for the factory and NT$300 million for production equipment. After the assets are formally transferred on June 30, Asustek will announce the value of the material stock it will purchase from ECS.

Flasher Spotted:

Blair lets us know that if you are planning on flashing the BIOS on your GF3 or GF4 video card, TechConnect has new version posted. Keep in mind this is not something you should be doing unless you have a full handle on what the outcome might be.

AMD Plans:

At 2PM PST today you can listen in to what AMD plans are for the future. The webcast will be here, registration is free.

Cough Sputter Cough:

SiliconStrategies is reporting that the semiconductor market stalled in February due to impending war with Iraq.

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The recovery in the worldwide market for semiconductors stalled in February, due to a combination of seasonal flatness and political uncertainty ahead of the Iraq conflict, but can still score double-digit growth for the year according to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).

Also check out their story on 90-nm production at IBM and UMC.

Moore's Law Out?

No, it is not out yet, but it seems that some folks are getting closer. You have to check out the pictures of the "micromachining".

While clever engineers have found ways to push the limits of what is physically possible with optical lithography, companies like Mapper Lithography in the Netherlands are experimenting with new methods.

[H]ardNews 4th Edition

Granite Bay Review:

MSI's GNB MAX mainboard is up for review at NexusHardware. We looked at this board a couple months ago and it really seems to be a "middle of the road" product that would be at home in a workstation but not in an enthusiast's box.

The board has a slew of extra features, yet lacks in overclocking.


Folding 2 Team, [H]ardOCP, passed another milestone last week. They have officially broken the 1 million work unit barrier. Congrats guys, and keep those boxes hot. Thanks Hogg.

mATX Review:

This is certainly a class of board that has always been smaller than the ATX boards we know and love. The Micro ATX form factor is not exactly tiny like some of the mini stuff we see today, but it also packs more of a punch with a few extra PCI slots as well. Hexus reviews the new board from Shuttle.

The Shuttle MN31N takes all the best bits from the nForce2 and bundles them into a micro-ATX form factor. We're still left with the all-important AGP slot and 3 PCI slots, too. It's stable, fast, and the on-board graphics work relatively well if the board is run in dual channel mode.

Faster with Software?

We fully suggest upgrading your PC if you want any real performance benefits out of it, but the guys over at ThinkTechie seem to think this software is worth 10 our of 10 stars. You think they might have actually run some timed benchmarks to prove the software is all that.

When you have an older system you need to optimize resources. SpeedUp MyPC can help anyone make their computer system more efficient.

[H]ardNews 3rd Edition


This colorfully worded post over at the XBoxHacker forums is interesting for sure. Seems as though they have Linux running on an un-modded XBox as has been confirmed by a few folks. The reach of this is now somewhat limited but it seems as though this was the crack in the armor that many were looking for. Thanks all.

A+ For Creativity:

NEW YORK -- Federal investigators have arrested an enigmatic Wall Street wiz on insider-trading charges -- and incredibly, he claims to be a time-traveler from the year 2256!

Seems like if I was going to travel back in time to take advantage of the market, I would have personally gone back about 4 years further. Thanks Aaron Oh.

To the many of you that are writing in, YES, we know this is a joke. This Yahoo site has a history of posting such sillyness. Please remember to smile when reading it and if you can't then we suggest buying a sense of humor for tomorrow.

No Dolby For Asus:

RojackPot gives a look at the NVIDIA SoundStorm and comes up with an interesting tidbit that I was not aware of. Seems as though, the Asus A7N8X does not meet the criteria spelled out in the write-up. And the criteria they did not meet was Dolby validation.

As you can see, only three products have so far been given SoundStorm certification. No other products can claim SoundStorm support. Please note that NVIDIA initially reported the ASUS A7N8X Deluxe motherboard to be SoundStorm-certified but apparently, they have been dropped from the list.

Speed Patch Posted:

We reported yesterday that a patch offered by Microsoft was helping some folks out that are hindered with laggy systems. Now Neowin and Warp2Search are serving the patch up with no support calls needed. Make sure you read up on this before installing it. Thanks Brian Carpenter and Red!

Quiet Computing:

Sound deadening material review over at XtremeMods. Lick and stick it baby. Wait, don't lick that stuff....

In fact the kit is so good that I managed to keep my computer on for 7 hours today before someone even noticed that it was running as I took the LED’s out and turned the Matrix Orbital LCD off to see what would happen.

Cleaner Water:

Andrew Tung drops a thought on us about water cooling and keeping you lines clean. Here is the cut and paste.

I read the plugged article for clean water. What I would like to suggest for serious [H]ard fans who want the very best for their computer is analytical grade water – this is as pure as water gets. For those of you who are familiar with the pharmaceutical sector, it’s the same water they use when they’re searching for new drugs. A product description can be found at with a product search for the products 34877 or 34877. Of course water this pure costs quite a bit, and the good people at Sigma Aldrich might get a tad bit suspicious too. But hey, you can run this stuff for months inside your water block and not build up any crud.

[H]ardNews - Fam News Ed

Sunny Outlook:

SAN FRANCISCO--Sun Microsystems expects major PC makers soon will begin bundling Sun's software for running Java programs on their computers, Sun executives said Friday.

That Enron Feeling:

AOL said the SEC has told the company that the agency's "preliminary view" is that the revenue should not have been recorded as advertising revenue but as a reduction in costs of AOL's $800 million repurchase of its stake in AOL Europe from Bertelesmann.

New Chip Tech:

Motorola plans to announce on Monday that it has manufactured prototypes of a flash-memory chip that relies on a thin layer of silicon crystals to retain data, a breakthrough that could help the flash industry overcome looming technical hurdles.

Adobe DVD:

One of the main advantages of Encore DVD is that it allows users to easily move content back and forth between it and Adobe's Photoshop image editing application, the most common program for designing the interactive menus DVDs use for navigation. "We've basically taken the guts of Photoshop and put it into Encore," Baker said.

Sunday March 30, 2003

[H]ardNews 2nd Edition


Vantec CopperX @ ViperLair - Cool Spiral Water Block @ Modtown - XDream HSF @ PCReviewSpot


Round Cables @ DVHardware - Pre-placed side panel with Window @ ATrueReview - MicroFlow II @ 4Peeps


Can O'Card - 17" Flat Panel @ HexaPlague - CD/MP3/FM Player @ ByteSector - Digital Laser Printer @ TweakNews - USB Finger Drive @ TechTastic - HP 4X DVD +RW @ HardwareZone - Maxtor 200GB/8MB Drive @ TechDreams - SATA Dongle Review @ EnvyNews

[H]ardNews 1st Edition

i845PE Review:

Chaintech has undoubtedly been getting more attention as they have been adding lots of extras to their mainboards. But don't be fooled, Chaintech has been building solid mainboards since the early BX-chipset days. OCTools has the review.

One of the best things about this board is that this is one of the few boards that I didn't have to clear the CMOS at all even when overclocking goes to the limit. It resets itself automatically to the default cpu speed without resetting other settings. This is really neat for all overclockers and enthusiast. This is how all "overclocking" boards should be.

There is no doubt about that. Every OC board builder should include features like BIOS FSB and Mult Default on Failure, BIOS Settings Save to EEPPROM, and Dual BIOS.

Keep It Clean:

IPKonfig zeros in on a subject that Steve and I were discussing last week, and that is keeping your watercooling system clean. If you are running an H2O setup and are not aware of the damage that can be done by nasty water, or simply untreated water, you will want to read this. He touches on some things about Wetter that are misunderstood by many as well.

The important thing, of course, is knowing what you're pouring into your liquid cooling system. It's something that can't be stressed enough, and is overlooked by many. Water alone has the highest heat transfer properties of virtually any liquid. Additives make less than noticeable differences.

Cool RC:

To continue on with a bit of RC action this weekend, Ryan Starks drops us a link to a water cooled nitro truck that is impressive to see for sure.


Trust me, if you buy an XBox, make sure you get an extended warranty. Mine burned up twice on me in less than a year costing $300 in repairs. Consequently, the next console to bless my house will be the PS3.


Power Down Protector @ FuriousTech - Portuguese Vantec Aeroflow @ OCPortual


Pretty Lights @ AllHardwareZone - Silent Antec Case @ Ascully - Pretty Fans with Pretty Lights @ Gruntville


Dell Multimonitor Review @ MaximumOC - Logitech QuickCam @ GeekShelter

Saturday March 29, 2003

[H]ardNews 3rd Edition

RC Feedback:

We posted up a movie link of a "real" RC car this morning and from the feedback, I would have to say that more than a few of your are into the RC thing. Here are a couple of shots of the [H]-Mobile

News Image News Image

Our buddies over at ClubOC even have a review posted of the "fastest" RTR off road racer. I prefer the 4X4 Monster stuff myself. You can take a look at what is under our body at the Traxxas site. They have some cool videos posted as well. If you are looking into some real folks experiences, check out the TriLordy site.

[H]ardNews 1st Edition

9700 Pro OCing:

No doubt that this could be a good start at getting those near 9800 speeds out of that "old" 9700 Pro. Chris Hinton has put together a tutorial that outlines his experience and what he found out along the way.

On most Radeons the shim prevents the heatsink from making direct metal (hs) to core contact because the top of the shim is slightly higher than the top of the GPU. To address this issue (which may or may not have been by design) ATI uses a thick thermal pad between the GPU and the stock heatsink. Unfortunately, due to manufacturing imperfections, many installations of the heatsink have been insufficient and there are numerous reports of Radeon owners who experienced overheating GPUs due to insufficient contact.

Just to correct a myth surrounding this, ATI did in fact place that shim there for a reason and is engineered to spec.

Music Pick:

Alternative metal band, Scratching Post, has some nifty tunes. And like the 9700 Pro, they hail from the Great White North. You can grab a couple of tunes for free from MP3.

Do You Ubi?

If you are a Rainbow Six fan or think you might want to be, they have two minutes of ingame play for download. The video is taken from the meat packing plant mission if you are wondering about the file name. Kinda reminds me of the coed dorms in college. About 25MB. Shhh, the password is "beef".


And you will of course need a video card to play that Rainbox Six on. Sadly, the one reviewed at ReviewNation is not the one you will want to buy most likely. I suggest picking up a 9500 Pro should you be looking for new sub-$200 card.

This card has very little lacking with its cooling and overclocking capabilities, and for the price, it simply can't be beat!

Uh...yes it simply can, and you will notice they did not compare it to the competition.

AMD in Your Phone:

Our buddy, Nocturnal Angel, sent in a picture of a cell phone cracked open with an AMD chip inside wanting to know exactly what it is.

News Image

AMD has a big flash memory biz and that is what the chip is. In fact, you are likely to find AMD flash memory in lots of different electronic devices.

That’s what drove us to create MirrorBit™ architecture – a breakthrough in Flash memory that, for the first time, enables a Flash memory cell to hold twice the data without compromising data integrity.

And because we know that you need Flash memory as unique as your designs, we’ve created a broad portfolio of MirrorBit Flash memory devices – from 16 Megabits to 256 Megabits, ideal for any application.