QuoteIt seemed like some time ago that external storage was the oddball for people. Times have certainly changed now that internal hard drives are so large that backing up to optical media is really an impossibility. More and more external drive enclosures are coming out to provide the need, but they aren't created equal. Icy Dock's 3.5" External Screwless Hard Drive Enclosure (MB664US-1S) aims to fit the external storage needs of everyone in a convenient to use package. I believe they have achieved that.
QuoteSince ASE Labs is getting more and more into producing videos, it is time to start reviewing digital video cameras. The first such device is absolutely perfect for the Youtube crowd and has been making the rounds on the internet. The Flip Video Mino from Pure Digital promises web videos made with ease and they aren't kidding.
QuoteA few months ago, I reviewed a DDR3 kit from Kingston that supported 1800MHz operation at fairly fast timings. It was criticized by some that the modules did not include XMP information to aid in easy system setup. Fast forward to the current market and the KHX14400D2K2/2GX delivers XMP support.
QuoteJust a few weeks ago, the Radeon HD 4850 was released and with it came a huge boost of performance for the price. The 4870 is the highend version of the RV770 series of GPU released from AMD. Sapphire provided a card for this review and the Radeon HD 4870 is here.
QuoteQuote: While the saying is that you get what you paid for, I think you might get a little extra with the ASUS TOP 512MB GeForce 9600GT. While you could easily spend three, four, or five times as much to have the latest and greatest video card, if you are satisfied with really good performance and a fatter wallet in the end, the ASUS TOP 512MB GeForce 9600GT is a good choice.
QuoteQuote: The BlackArmor 160GB encrypted portable drive provides a unique twist on a rather common item. Portable hard drives are everywhere, and in general are easy ways for people to lose valuable personal or business data. Security is the key feature of this product, and if protecting your portable data is a high priority, Maxtor has made it just about fool proof.
QuoteIt IS a great sink in terms of quality, and usability. Anyone can install it, and almost anyone would appreciate it's appearance, yet it's performance and cost are found to be lacking. If you could find this heatsink on sale it would turn out to be a great buy, but otherwise... I'm not sure exactly what would motivate users to purchase it, other than an unusual fondness for Zalman, and a wee case.
QuoteThe Venders area was a lot smaller than the last Quakecon I attended in 2k5, I don't really know the reason why. The big Intel/Dell/Alienware trailer always had a lot of attention, tournaments and giveaways. AMD/ATI took up the largest area, with gaming stations on all 4 corners, and a small stage in the middle.
QuoteThe other day we looked at the GTX 260 from GIGABYTE. Today we're going to be looking at the slightly more expensive GTX 280 version from them. Since launch, we haven't really seen any companies do much with the GTX 280. While a few have come overclocked, we have found that they've all stuck to the reference cooling option. Today we're going to be looking at the GTX 280 from GIGABYTE which follows the reference design down to a tee. The good news is that the price is also extremely competitive and for the most part the overclocks a lot of companies offer can be achieved by using a program like Rivatuner on your stock card.
QuoteLike the older card, the newer card also supports NVIDIA's CUDA, which allows the GPU to function as a CPU for computational purposes. The latest FAH has started to take advantage of this, and the preliminary results look promising. Although the newer GTX 200 series cards have a much more powerful CUDA, the fact that you get CUDA in the 9800 GTX/GTX+ means the card will be able to utilize such power when the application is able to use CUDA.
Quote* It's been a couple of years since I reviewed my first kit of memory, a pair of green camouflage OCZ Special Ops Edition (SOE) DDR modules near the end of the DDR era. Here I am, around 20 memory reviews later, with my next pair of camo OCZ modules, their Special Ops Edition Urban Elite Edition DDR3-1600 (PC3-12800) 8-8-8 2GB kit. As the original Spec Ops, the Urban Elite is basically marketed towards gamers for a simple choice in building their gaming rig, just choose the camouflage memory. Will the Urban Elite live up to the expectations we have for OCZ memory?
QuoteIntel has really pushed forward into the Express chipset lineup with the new 4 series being touted at what the 3 series should have been. It seems like the 3 series was just a stepping stone and the 5 series isn't all that far away. But that's for a totally different processor architecture. So far, we have already had the early P45-DQ6 and MSI P45 Platinum cross our paths. Today we are looking at another big wig P45 offering, namely ASUS' P5Q Deluxe Motherboard. Featuring its EPU6 energy saver, DDR2 and a wide array of features including Express gate, ASUS hopes to topple the likes of GIGABYTE and MSI. Let's see just how well it manages to perform.
QuoteNot everyone can afford the bleeding edge of graphics hardware, and not everyone needs it. NVIDIA has already made headlines with their high-end GeForce GTX 280 video card, which offers high performance at a premium price. Most enthusiasts have seen so much coverage for the high-level graphic products that it might feel like nothing exists for the lower consumer segment. Benchmark Reviews hasn't forgotten about the entry-level enthusiast, which is why we test the Foxconn GeForce 9500 GT 256MB PCI Express video card 9500GT-256FR3 against the bigger names in this review.
Quote* *Through the last few years, BFG has always been at the forefront of the pre-overclocked craze and with their OCX cards, they take things to the next level. We should mention now that in our conversations with BFG they have stated that creating a highly overclocked GTX 280 isn't as easy as it seems due to the massive amounts of heat generated by the core directly influencing the final overclock. That being said, in this review we will be looking at their GTX 280 OCX which is highest-clocked GTX 280 in their lineup that keeps the stock cooler.*
QuoteIf you are TV fan and you have wireless network and notebook, than you probably at some point thought how it would be nice to take your notebook and simply move to other room, go on balcony or backyard and with no interruptions from other householders watch your favorite show or some sport event. Still, TV tuner demands antenna and cable and that's when you realize that even though your notebook is portable, after all, you won't watch TV as you would like to.
QuoteMushkin has also jumped the 4 GB DDR2 memory bandwagon and is offering these kits at tighter than usual latencies. This kit runs at 4-4-4-12 at 2.0 - 2.1V.
QuoteToday, I will be looking at the EP45-DS3L, Gigabyte's economy-priced P45 motherboard. This is probably the least expensive newly released motherboard I have seen coming from either of the top two motherboard manufacturers in a very long time, and obviously marketed towards those buyers looking at buying boards from ECS, ASRock, or one of the other manufacturers that build budget motherboards. Will the EP45-DS3L meet the high standards that we have come to expect from a Gigabyte motherboard, with features found on its bigger brothers? Read on to see!
QuoteThe other day we looked at the Smooth Creations Asylum and inside was the new Diamond HD 4870 XOC Black Edition. This isn't your normal overclocked HD 4870, though; if you have a look at the specifications on the thing, you will quickly discover that the card is packing some mega serious clock speeds. So what we've done is pull the card out of the Smooth Creations rig and install it into our testbed to see how the card performs against some of our other favorites. Since this wasn't a retail sample, we won't be looking at the package today. What we will do is have a quick look around the card and then check out the clockspeeds before moving onto the testing phase.
QuoteUp on the review block today we've got the Sentry LX Aluminum Dual Bay Fan Controller from NZXT and it's very well made, easy to install and even easier to use. The Sentry LX is a stylish black colored aluminum with diamond cut accents so it will fit in nicely with most any chassis.
QuoteI have already taken a look at the BlacX USB and BlacX SE which is also a USB only desktop drive device. The Thermaltake BlacX units have started a new class in hard drive storage. You can't really call them carriers since you don't take them with you on the go, nor can you call them internal hot swap since they do not sit inside the case. I guess for now, until someone tells me differently we will call them desktop hot swap devices. The first two USB only BlacX units we looked at performed brilliantly for USB. In the back of my mind, though, I knew the transfer performance was being held up by the connection and recommended to everyone to just hang tight and wait until the eSATA version became available. Today we have this version in hand; the BlacX (part number ST0005U) with eSATA support has finally made its way to my door step and even though I have other articles that need to be written up first, I just had to see how this baby performs.
QuoteA few weeks ago the world was greeted to a sight many people only read about. The sight I am referring to is the dead coming back to life. No I'm not talking about the next Robert Rodriguez joint. I am talking about the rebirth of ATI and their return to the forefront of PC gaming. In an event that took the world, and NVIDIA, by surprise ATI unleashed their HD 4800 series of cards upon us. With performance levels far surpassing the previous generation and coming in at a price reserved for lesser cards, is it any wonder ATI was able to return to their former glory overnight?
QuoteCyber Snipa's Sonar 5.1. design is somewhat funky, it has these flame red ear cups and the rest of the design is all black. It has the same styling as the Cyber Snipa Stinger mouse we reviewed a while back. It's like Razer using their neon green and black theme. Cyber does it the other way round and uses hot rod red to fire things up a bit. These headphones have a bunch of neat features, for starters their 5.1 surround. This means you could actually make out the difference between an enemy sneaking up behind on your or watch your dvd's with all the sound effects and rumble. Yes that's right this headset what Cyber Snipa likes to call Force Feedback built inside.
QuoteI've seen more 9600 GT cards than I would like to honestly admit. The bottom line is, though, that the card does offer some excellent value for money and if you don't have the budget to buy new high-end cards like the HD 4870 or GTX 280 and GTX 260, the 9600 GT still remains a very good option. Today we're going to take the time to check out the latest 9600 GT incarnation from ECS and see what it has to offer over the competition. In a time where bundles and overclocks separate brands, we see if the latest version from ECS can stand out.
QuoteJust the other day, I was talking about how the HD 4870 X2 is a great card for P45 users. When I tested HD 4870 in CrossFire a few months back on both the P45 and X48, we noticed that the x8 / x8 configuration present on the P45 actually gave us a bit of a hit in performance. So, what we're going to do today is chuck a pair of Sapphire HD 4870s into a P45 board and do a bunch of tests. We're then going to pull those two cards out and stick in a single HD 4870 X2. We will run the same tests and proceed to compare. Since we've already looked at the cards themselves, we're just going to get stuck straight into the benchmarking side of things. Let's begin by taking a quick look at our testbed we're using today, before getting stuck straight into the benchmarks.
QuoteECS is very popular on the low-end segment, so we were really surprised to see this company launching a good high-end solution. The Hydra kit contains two GeForce 9800 GTX+ running at their default clock configuration and one Thermaltake BigWater 760is water cooler. The video cards come with the cold plates already assembled, so the only work you will have to do is to connect the hoses coming from BigWater to the video cards and fill the water tank with the coolant liquid that comes with the kit. We took an in-depth look on Hydra, check it out.
QuoteThanks to a glowing array of 115 individual OLED displays fitted under its keys, Art Lebedev's Optimus Maximus is the first and only keyboard that literally morphs before your eyes. Pressing shift and watching all the letters beneath your fingers leap to caps gives you some idea what the Maximus is capable of, and why it's become one of the most hyped-up, fawned-over and generally talked-about devices on the Web. While it delivers sheer novelty value in spades, we found that its princely pricetag, layout and reliability woes may threaten its practicality as a typing device.
QuoteIt has been a short while since we have had an Asrock motherboard on our test bench. Today, we are ending that dwelt with the X38TurboTwins-WiFi. We know that the X38 is almost a thing of the past but for some of us it is the best priced way to get 16x across two slots when wanting to run a Crossfire setup. So read along as we take the X38TurboTwin for a ride.
QuoteQuote: The XFX 9600GT XXX Alpha Dog Edition provides a solid performance/price card that easily fits into most gamer gamer budgets. Given it's minimal power requirements and single-slot cooler, the 9600GT would be at home in the meekest OEM computer or a mid-range custom gaming computer. The XFX 9600GT XXX Alpha Dog Edition is definitely not the fastest option available on the market but it is one of the better buys when you are trying to get the best bang for your buck. If you are gaming at 1280x1024 I would highly recommend the 9600GT as a solid purchase that will hold strong for another 12 months with medium to high quality settings in current and upcoming titles...
QuoteLike the GTX 280 which has dropped in price over the last few weeks, the GTX 260 has followed suit. Whether you're a fan of ATI or not, the release of the HD 4800 series and their performance to price ratio has forced NVIDIA to cut margins on the new GTX line-up of cards and give us an extremely powerful card for what now resembles a fair price. To date we've only had a look at one GTX 260 which came with a massive out of the box overclock. What this means is it hasn't really given us the ability to completely come to terms with what the GTX 260 offers in its cheapest form; the stock form.
QuoteAs predicted for this year, the dizzying high prices of DDR3 have finally dropped to within reason- even edging into that of DDR2's price point. The reason for such drastic price drops is that chip makers like Micron, Samsung, Hynix, and Qimonda are currently in full swing mass production of DDR3 DRAM - increasing supply and beating demand. This excess in inventory of DDR3 means a steady supply affordable and readily available chips that have helped to spur such rapid market adoption, evident with over fifty different motherboards currently on the market that support this memory standard.
QuoteQuote: If you want the absolute best when it comes to gaming graphics performance a pair of Radeon HD 4870 X2 cards are what you need. They are super fast graphics cards and at $549 each they aren't priced too high compared to where other cards have launched in the past few years. AMD has done a great job with these cards and they were able to take back the performance crown with the release of these cards. NVIDIA can no longer say they have the fastest graphics card and that has to hurt with NVISION just a couple weeks away...
QuoteAMD RS740 chipset. Graphics core is based on RV410, identical graphics core as for AMD RD690 chipset. DX10 is not supported, which isn't a big problem because there isn't any integrated graphics that can run DX10 games with decent framerate yet. Communication between CPU and chipset is limited to 1 GHz, as for 690G, and in case of full duplex: 2 GHz (communication is carried out in both directions). Since 740G doesn't support HTT 3.0 (690G doesn't support it to), it is bottleneck as far as performances of integrated GPU are concerned.
QuoteAMD is saying that the new Radeon HD 4870 X2 which was released today is the fastest single video card in the world today. Is that so? Let's compare its performance to all other high-end video cards available today. Check it out.