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[H] Enthusiast Archives: April 2004Archive Listing

Friday April 30, 2004

[H]ardNews 10th Edition

Retail H20 Kit Mod:

Not satisfied with the retail H20 kit you bought? Do what everyone else does, break it open and mod the hell out of it. You might be able to get a few ideas from 3DXtreme’s mod of the Evercool WC-201.

This was really just a project for me to do something with the WC-201 to see if it would perform better, I think it proved to be worth the effort. I have to remind everyone that this unit is not meant to be hardcore watercooling and even with some modding it is still not going to break records.

Albatron FX5500Q:

Not all midrange graphics cards are created equal. The crew at OC-Zone have reviewed the Albatron FX5500Q and found it somewhat lacking. Grab a translator if you want to read the review, graphs and pictures are universal though.

I think this card can be good upgrade for who has old cards like as TNT2 and GF2 MX, but the performance of this card leaves to be desire at some times even scoring behind a GF4 MX440. It run decently any game does not use shaders and still it is capable to run applications with PS1.1 (DX8), but really fails using PS2.0 (DX9) at a aceptable level.

[H]ardNews - Blair's Tech Ed.

BASIC Turns 40:

BASIC computer language turns 40 tomorrow. At least a computer language doesn’t suffer mid-life crisis and start shopping for convertibles to compensate.

On May 1, 1964, the BASIC computer programming language was born and for the first time computers were taken out of the lab and brought into the community. Forty years later pure BASIC Beginners' All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code has all but disappeared, but its legacy lives on.

Stupid Criminals:

This is a follow up to the story we posted a week or so ago about the truckload of stolen computers. Apparently there has been an arrest in the case. How hard will it be to catch this guy? Check out the truck description:

Two men have been arrested, but a manhunt continues for two others after police discovered more than $800,000 worth of stolen computers. One of the other two men at-large reportedly drove off in a purple truck cab when he saw police approaching with the search warrant, investigators said.


Want a little USB TV action on your laptop? No one does it better than ATi. Check it out:

ATI Technologies Inc. has unveiled the TV WONDER USB 2.0, a low-cost external TV tuner product that easily plugs into both desktops and notebooks.

Gibson Digital Guitar:

First there was acoustic guitars, then came electric guitars…now, we finally have digital guitars! Cool.

It also allows the player to control the sound of each string. For example, the guitarist can have a heavy metal crunch on the low strings, medium distortion on the middle strings and a clean sound on the high strings.

[H]ardNews 1st Edition

ABIT DigiDice:

Need a small form factor PC that has a little room to expand? Check out this ABIT DigiDice review posted at Adrian’s Rojak Pot. We have seen some pretty impressive systems, some even water cooled, based on this SFF.

This is definitely a SFF system you can consider if you're planning to get one. Although it is the biggest SFF system I have seen so far, it is really not a bad thing at all. With size, comes space. And I can already see case modders and extreme overclockers looking slyly at the amount of space in the DiGiDice.

Zalman Reserator:

The Zalman Reserator reviewed here is pretty snazzy looking and apparently works fairly well. Some of the complains revolve around the small pump and desk space required, but there is certainly something to be said about a near silent cooling solution.

Zalman claims to have created one of these solutions, a silent watercooling system capable of dissipating enough heat to cope with all modern processors. What they have created in fact is a unique product that is pushed to its limits by technology.

[H]ardNews - Rumor Mill

GeForce 6 Rumors

Totally unconfirmed information handed down for generations, or at least since this morning. A new GeForce 6800 "GT" is on the horizon with an MSRP of $399 sporting 16 pipes, 350MHz Core, 256MB of 500MHz GDDR3 Memories, in a single slot solution that should be with us by mid-June. Also there are rumors of a faster 6800 Ultra coming soon with an increased core clock of 450MHz.

[H]ardNews 7th Edition

PixelView PlayTV@7000:

Got a killer video card but no TV / PVR action going? Bjorn3D has the PixelView PlayTV@7000 on the review bench today giving you their opinion on what this card can do for you. Here is a clip from the review:

The PixelView PlayTV@7000 is a very good complete PVR-solution. The video quality is great and the included applications actually are good enough so you don’t need to resort to a 3rd party application. eDrive and the good (but a bit to large) remote are the icing of the cake and complete this package.

Wal-Mart Starts RFID:

Wal-Mart has launched its first live RFID test at seven stores in Dallas. If you are worried about your privacy issues, make sure you wear your tinfoil hat when you are shopping at Wal-Mart. Trust me, no one will notice.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Friday launched its first live test of new merchandise-tracking technology and tried to quell concerns that the devices could pose a consumer privacy risk.

Gainward PowerPack Ultra/960:

A1-Electronics has posted a mini-review of the Gainward FX PowerPack Ultra/960 Golden Sample. Not a whole lot of information here, but it does give you an overall picture of the cards performance.

All-in-all this Gainward FX PowerPack Ultra/960 Golden Sample is again very well made with the exception of the heatsink fan not being as good as the MSI FX5700 Ultra TD128 but that said it is a very well made top quality graphics card giving super performance but with a lack luster software selection.

UT2004 64-bit Tests:

AMDZone has a small write up on Unreal Tournament 2004 64-bit Linux performance versus 32-bit Windows / Linux performance. Performance is very low for the 64-bit Linux platform which is being attributed to immature drivers.

From our testing it appears that the video card drivers are not yet up to speed for 64 bit Linux, or for Linux 32 bit. It is also possible that the AGP drivers could be at fault. It also appears that the 64 bit bit UT2004 Linux demo is merely a straight port and does not enhance performance. It may also be that UT2004 is not able to really take advantage of 64 bit.

[H]ardNews 6th Edition

Google IPO:

Google filed for its initial public offering and expects to raise almost 3 billion dollars…but not in the conventional way an IPO is conducted. Google plans to offer stock through an online auction to make the stock more widely available. Are you planning to get in on some of that stock bidding action? It’s tempting. Google raked in almost a billion dollars last year with over $100 million of that being profits. Wow.

The company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it expects to raise as much as $2.7 billion from the offering, which it will conduct in the unusual format of an online auction in a bid to make its shares more widely available.

[H]ardNews 5th Edition

AMD’s New Chairman:

AMD’s CEO, Hector Ruiz, has been appointed chairman of the board at AMD’s annual stockholders meeting, replacing Jerry Sanders. Sanders is retiring from the board of directors after 30 years.

"On behalf of the board, we would like to express our thanks to Jerry for his leadership in managing the company from its inception through the transition to Hector as chief executive officer and today, chairman of AMD," said Robert Palmer, lead independent director. "We are pleased with Hector's performance and confident in the future of AMD."

Asetek KT03A-L30 Review:

Mod The Box has the Asetek KT03A-L30 WaterChill in house for a little hands on review action. This updated kit features a single inlet/dual outlet water block design that looks a lot like the Danger Den RBX or the Little River White Water blocks that have become so popular.

The Asetek KT03A-L30/115V WaterChill CPU Cooling Kit is based upon the newly released Antarctica water block. The kit is designed to cool a variety of CPUs based upon Intel P4 S478, AMD Socket A, and AMD S754/S940 platforms.

Mainboard Profits Down:

It looks like two of the biggest mainboard makers are reporting huge 1Q losses. Profits at ECS were down over 90% this latest quarter with MSI doing slightly better posting disappointing profits that were down 66%. Other mainboard makers are expected to post their results soon, but the outlook so far isn’t good.

Two leading Taiwanese motherboard makers – Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS) and Micro-Star International (MSI) – stunned investors yesterday with the release of their much less-than-expected first-quarter results.

[H]ardNews 4th Edition

Google & FBI?

This one is kinda funny. Google has denied allegations that they are in cahoots with the FBI. The electronic privacy folks made the claim that Google’s G-Mail would be used for law enforcement purposes and Google denies it. I think someone is confusing G-Mail with G-Man. I just can't see FBI agents sitting around searching on Google for suspects.

Google on Thursday denied that it has had any contact with the FBI regarding the design of its Gmail Web e-mail service. The search firm's denial came after the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the FBI seeking information about whether the bureau was considering the "possible use of Google's Gmail service for law enforcement and intelligence investigations."

[H]ardNews 3rd Edition

AMD Plant Tour:

The folks over at VR-Zone took a tour of AMD’s facilities in Singapore. Lots of really good pictures of the plant amd its operations.

VR-Zone has the opportunity to visit the AMD plant in Singapore where the First Anniversary of Opteron was celebrated here today. AMD Singapore plant is a testing facility for K7 and K8 assembled dies from the assembly plant in Malaysia as well as packaging before they are shipped out to the distributors around the world.

Senate OK’s Ban:

The Senate approved a 4 year ban on taxes on the internet. A collective sigh was heard around the world. It would have been nice to have a permanent ban on all internet taxes, but this will do for now.

The U.S. Senate on Thursday voted to renew a four-year ban on taxes on Internet connections such as DSL and cable modems instead of a competing plan that would have made a moratorium permanent.

GeForce 6800Ultra:

The guys at the ModFathers have posted the second half of their GeForce 6800 Ultra review.

And so the epic adventure ends. Between the two articles this has been a good and thorough look at the 6800Ultra. So am I impressed? Well, yes. There is no doubt that this is a great card.

[H]ardNews 2nd Edition - Mods & Ends

Case & Power:

RaidMax Cobra ATX Case @ 3DXtreme - Micro-ATX YY-A201 case @ Ginun - Chenming ATX-602 case @ Gruntville - Coolmax CX-450-B PSU @ Oc Prices


ADPmods Fireworks LED Fan @ The Crucible - Dr. Thermal A8641-L HSF @ Overclocker Café - Thermalright SLK-948U HSF @ Viper Lair


Xenix Black Lighted Keyboard @ Mod The Box - Philips 17PF9945 LCD TV @ Designtechnica

Thursday April 29, 2004

[H]ardNews 7th Edition

Crytek On Shader 3.0:

There is an interview with Cevat Yerli, President and CEO of Crytek at PCPerspective today. The interview directly deals with Shader 3.0 and the recent hubbub over screenshots of FarCry at the GeForce 6800 Ultra launch.

In an effort to uncover the truth behind Shader 3.0, we created a list of questions to ask Mr. Yerli. We were pleased to see that NVIDIA made no suggestions for questions and that the CEO was so willing to comply. Hopefully, these questions will help end all the speculation and myths regarding Shader 3.0.

If you aren’t up to speed on Shader Model 3.0 make sure you take a look at our Shader Model 3.0 article as well.

GeForce 6800Ultra:

Guru3D has posted their review of the the GeForce 6800 Ultra. Good stuff, but make sure you pack a lunch, this thing is 24 pages long.

To sum things up; if you have the money to spend on the best of the best then hey this might be the one for sure and also, don't count ATI out. As always in the high-end game, you'll pay the price for it alright.


VR-Zone has a little Athlon64 mainboard action for you today. The fellas put the ABIT KV8-MAX3 through the wringer and the board came through with flying colors. You can see our review of the KV8-MAX3 here for comparison.

If you are a computer enthusiast looking for an Athlon 64 motherboard, look no further. The ABIT K8V-Max3 is one of the most versatile motherboards on the market, is filled with features, and overclocks like a charm.

[H]ardNews 6th Edition

VIA KT880 Chipset:

For those of you using an AthlonXP processor looking to upgrade your mainboard, this VIA KT880 chipset review at Tech Report is for you. Great performance and loads of features, the KT880 is definitely an attractive socket A solution.

The KT880 was slightly faster than the nForce2 Ultra 400 in almost all of our application benchmarks, making it easy to recommend the chipset to enthusiasts looking to wring as much performance as possible from the Socket A platform.

Mirra PFS:

Sudhian has reviewed the Mirra Personal File Server. The Mirra PFS is very expensive and this review does point out that building a real PC for the same price is a viable option. With that in mind, you have to love this quote:

Although Mirra primarily sells the unit as a solution for home users and the technically clueless, this is a system with appeal to anyone who wants a backup solution they don’t have to design and test themselves.

Free Stuff:

I have a handful of those translucent green Halo Edition X-Box consoles up for grabs at Hypothermia. One X-Box bundle will be given away each day for the next five days, so get in it to win it!

We have a handful of brand spanking new Halo X-box bundles to give away for the next week. These X-Box consoles are the translucent green kind ( they look like X-Box developer kits ) that say "Halo Edition" on the front. Each console comes with a copy of Halo.