QuoteWestern Digital makes some excellent products and relatively recently, it pushed very hard into the external storage market. When I asked about if they are worried about the impending SSD emerging market, there was really no big worry, yet. Even so, hard drives are their bread and butter and solutions exists for nearly every segment of the market. I always say how important it is to have a backup solution and the My Book Studio Edition II aims to fit that bill with ease.
QuoteKingston Technology makes all kinds of memory products. While most enthusiasts know of their high end RAM, there is another facet of products that Kingston has a bring presences in. Flash is a huge consumer market and Kingston hopes to capture all segments of the market including the tiny form factor type drives. The 4GB Data Traveler Mini Slim drive comes in to sweep up this "size matters" crowd.
QuoteAntec makes superb computer cases for all types of situations. One of the latest markets of custom cases is the entertainment PC. There are specific requirements for a PC that fits with a home theater setup including good cooling and a small A/V form factor. Antec has a new case called the Micro Fusion Remote 350 which targets this exact market.
QuoteWhile Logitech is a company that graces ASE Labs' test bench often, it is not often that we get to see a highly targeted type of keyboard combo. The Logitech Wave Pro Desktop is targeted to the consumer market unlike their G series products. Don't let that fool you. This combo has some good (and not so good) features that set it apart from its gaming brethren.
QuoteQuote: The G.Skill 4GB DDR2-800 Pi Black Series dual channel memory kit is an interesting new offering in the aging PC2-6400 DDR2 memory market. The kit was able to run at 800MHz with extremely tight timings of 4-4-4-12, while using a rather economical 1.8V. While the kit is rated for 1.9V, I found that much voltage wasn't necessary at stock speed, and was adequate for running the modules all the way up to 1000MHz.
QuoteQuote: I am not exactly sure how I expected the Sapphire Radeon HD4830 512MB graphics card to fare during testing, but it wound up looking more like an enthusiast grade card than an entry level offering. It should be able to handle just about any game without having to sacrifice too much in terms of frame rates or settings, making it a great option for the gamer on a budget.
QuoteQuote: The aesthetics of the unit are a little bit different from the norm, but everything is well done. In use, the Toughpower QFan 650W power supply is very impressive; providing excellent voltage regulation and near silent operation. Most high quality power supplies these days aim to be quiet, but Thermaltake takes a few extra steps to guarantee it on this unit.
QuoteQuote: The Thermaltake BlacX SE hard drive dock provides a convenient way to access 3.5 inch and 2.5 inch SATA drives without installing them in a computer, or in an external drive enclosure. You can swap out drives quickly and easily, and while the speed isn't what you might want for frequent, large transfers, it is quite good for USB 2.0.
QuoteQuote: I am definitely impressed with this Lian Li PC-A77B full tower chassis. Being a fan of simplistic yet useful design, this case has it all. The top mounted I/O ports are in a great location to access while using the computer. Lian Li has designed this case to allow you to install your components in many different configurations, which makes customizing your setup very convenient.
QuoteQuote: If you are looking for an extremely compact and stylish portable hard drive, the new Seagate Free Agent Go series is definitely worth checking out. While the aesthetics are a strong selling point, Seagate didn't sacrifice the performance in order to produce a pretty product. It may not offer the high speed transfers available with an eSATA drive, but the USB 2.0 interface performed quite respectably during testing.
QuoteQuote: The bottom line on the Crucial Ballistix Tracer 4GB DDR3-1333 memory kit is that it offers great performance right out of the box, and for those looking for more, they will gladly oblige. While they may not have the highest stock speed rating, even a novice overclocker should be able to get a few hundred extra MHz out of this kit.
QuoteQuote: Sapphire is back again with another specialty graphics card based on a high end ATI Radeon GPU. The newly released Sapphire Radeon HD4850 X2 2048MB graphics card incorporates a pair of Radeon HD4850 graphics processors and 2048MB of GDDR3 memory on a custom PCB to create one serious looking piece of equipment.
QuoteQuote: This review is going to take a look at the 22 inch HP debranded DVI widescreen LCD monitor. What we have is an LCD monitor originally manufactured by HP that was rather highly regarded as a new product, and it has basically been refurbished by a third party and made available for $189.99 at Geeks.com minus the HP badging.
QuoteQuote: This review will be taking a look at a provocatively named new mouse from OCZ Technology that includes features like on-the-fly resolution management, adjustable mouse weights, and an ergonomic design. Just this short list of items makes the Dominatrix laser gaming mouse sound promising; just don't expect this dominatrix to bend you over a table and give you a spanking!
Quoteshtick - has been well executed and very entertaining, it's also had an uneXPected side-effect as well. In short, it's lit a huge fire under the thousand or so people developing Microsoft's next operating system, Windows 7, and for the first time in over a decade, they're properly focused on slapping Apple upside the head. Much like Apple did with UNIX when the life of the company was on the line for OSX, Microsoft has taken Vista and made massive changes in the user eXPerience from how easy it is to use to how reliable it is and how well it integrates with the Web, including non-Microsoft sites and utilities (like iTunes). Of course, one disadvantage Microsoft has is that it's talking about most of this during the Professional Developers Conference (PDC) this week, and clearly Apple will see what was done and will have a little time to respond.
QuoteAsus' G50Vt rolls an impressive array of hardware into a bulky-but-inexpensive package, with a heavy-handed dose of flair smeared on top. While the style might not be for everyone, and battery life makes its wall adapter an essential umbilical cord for use, it offers a very reasonably priced and playable system for those who want to game on the go without dropping thousands on pricy boutique systems.
QuoteQUOTE: The thing is, there's something cool about having a 30 monitor powered by this tiny machine. Most of the things I find myself buying these days are because I want them, not need them. A Micro-ATX system would sit nicely in that category. The problem is that for so long there has never really been the components out there to really build a system that could power such a large monitor. But this has changed a few months ago thanks to two companies; the first was Lian Li who brought out a Micro-ATX case that was small, but not too small. What it allowed you to do was have a small footprint whilst still holding the goods.
QuoteWe got so excited in participating in the Folding@Home project that we built as many high performance systems we could running both the SMP and GPU clients. We were very happy with the results until we received our first electricity bill: our energy consumption more than doubled - and we haven't even had our systems running 24/7 for 30 days! Since we still wanted to contribute as much as we can to Folding@Home, we decided to go in a quest to find out if there is a way to score lots of points at Folding@Home and, at the same time, not going bankrupt. We got all video cards we had available here in our lab to see which one provided the best performance/consumption ratio. Check it out.
QuoteWith HTPC's gaining more and more in popularity, various input devices and peripherals for them are becoming a more integral part of the market. With many options to choose from for keyboards, mice and the combination of both, it's hard to come to a conclusion on what suits the HTPC best. Vidabox may have an answer with their Vidabox Premium Wireless Keybaord w/ laser trackball as an all in one solution.
QuoteWireless really is one of the buzz-words in the business at the moment. It seems like anything wireless is cool nowadays. Sure wireless hardware will cut down on the cable-clutter that we often find on our desks, but will this come without a cost?
Quote* One of PaulG's team chronicles her time spent playing Animal Crossing and it's surprising addictiveness that is often only spoken of when discussing WoW players. Discovering that it's surprising depth appealed more to her than her children which the title was originally intended for, it makes for an interesting read.
Quote*Zalman recently sent us the new CNPS9300 AT that they tout as an ultra quiet cooler. We were glad to slap it on our test bench to see how it performs. Not only are we going to check on the acoustics, but we want to see if this still offers the same chill to our CPU that most Zalman products offer. Stick with us to find out.
QuoteThe JayBird JB-200 is said to be the stay-put, out-of-the-way Bluetooth stereo headset for those that have active lifestyles. The headset is water and sweat resistant design that comes backed by a LIFETIME warranty against sweat. If you like to work out and don't want to worry about killing your Bluetooth stereo headset the JayBird JB-200 might be what you need.
QuoteA little while ago I took a look at an excellent all-in-one printer from Epson, the Workforce 600, today for review I've got another, this one is from Brother, it's the MFC-790CW. It's almost as feature packed as the Epson, but the Brother has a phone built in, LCD touchscreen and voice messaging center as well, something the Epson did not have.
QuoteIn early September we shared that UVD2 and XvMC is coming to Linux and that two new library files had begun shipping with the ATI Catalyst driver: AMDXvBA and XvBAW. Earlier this month the Unified Video Decoding 2 (UVD2) support was then enabled by default in the Catalyst 8.10 driver. These video acceleration improvements to the ATI Linux driver aren't exactly end-user friendly yet, but today we have information on how those interested can begin using the X-Video Motion Compensation extension with their ATI hardware along with what the XvBA extension will provide users in regards to advanced video acceleration that is very similar to Microsoft's DirectX Video Acceleration.
QuoteThe mid-range video card segment has been booming lately compared to just a few years ago when the HD 2600 and GeForce 8600 series were launched by ATI and Nvidia respectively. There was a huge gap then between the mid-range cards and the much more expensive high-end cards. This hole is being filled currently with the ATI HD 3670 and HD 3650 along with the 8800 GS, 9600 GT, and 9600 GSO from Nvidia. Now, ATI has engineered more cards to fill this gap with the HD 4650 and the HD 4670. Today we have the HD 4670 by MSI. This card hopes to keep money in your pocket while giving you great gaming performance.
QuoteAeroCool's AeroRacer Pro turned out to be a mixed bag. I like the exterior finish treatment and the overall look of the case. The cooling performance was very good although I think a few minor tweaks could enhance the airflow while reducing audible noise. I even like the large power button with its chrome bezel and blue backlighting, but the ENGINE START business seems a bit gratuitous to me.
QuoteAs the market for affordable mobile computing devices such as mini-notes and netbooks continues to grow at a pace that confounds even the most cynical of industry analysts, it should come as no surprise that more and more companies are looking to enter this fast growing new segment. This is particularly the case in China, where a growing number of manufacturers who have cut their teeth producing all manner of components, mobile phones, and consumer electronics devices are moving into this new area and are developing products for sale in both domestic and global markets. Providing these manufacturers with the right ecosystem for delivering high quality yet affordable mobile computing devices to market is the key objective of the VIA Global Mobility Bazaar Program, which was announced at an event in Shenzhen yesterday.
QuoteJust a few weeks ago Crucial released some new DDR3 modules under the Tracer line. The modules came rated at a mere 1333MHz but at a industry low 6-6-6-20 timings. One may look upon this as great when it comes to such low timings but not so great when it comes to the low speed rating. Well this is a kit from Crucial and you can beat it has plenty in the tank to give some very respectable numbers in the overclocking department. Read along to see just how high we got with this new kit.
QuoteNot too long ago BFG Tech thought that it was time to kick it up a notch and expand upon the popular OC line it already had. Expanding that line, two new OC variants were created; the OC2 which helped knock up clock speeds a bit more than the standard OC models and the OCX which was designed to offer a significant boost over stock clocks. We didn't want to look at the card that was just a bit overclocked, nor the card that was overclocked a little bit more. We wanted to look at the big daddy of the GTX 260 line from BFG, the OCX variant. So with that said, let's check out the package then from there we will have a look at the card itself and a closer look at the clockspeeds on tap before we get stuck into the benchmarking side of things.
QuoteSanDisk's slotMusic Initiative attempts to resuscitate physical media by substituting microSD cards preloaded with music for conventional CDs. While the distribution network might be shaky, the $20 slotMusic MP3 player designed to work with it actually functions as an admirably simple microSD MP3 player, whether you buy your music from SanDisk or not. On the bang-for-the-buck scale, it's hard to contest a solid player cheaper than dinner or a night on the town, but more advanced users eying the player on price alone might be better off looking elsewhere.
QuoteQuote: In the time I've had to spend with this card, I haven't really found much to dislike about it. The card has performed well in Folding@Home and in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Of course, I didn't try to push the card to ridiculous resolutions, as gamers that own 24 or 30 monitors probably aren't looking at sub-$120 video card to run them. Even with Crysis Warhead, where I thought the card could stumble and fall, as many higher priced cards did with the original Crysis, the 9800GT from MSI was able to play the game fairly smoothly at 1280x1024.
QuoteSilverstone is known for excellent quality products, especially their PC cases, but they've decided to venture into the gaming mouse market. Their first entry is the Raven Gaming Mouse, it features an OLED display to let you know the DPI settings of your mouse, a laser sensor up to 3200DPI, Macros and a very unique feature called a Flip 3D Thumb Scroll.
QuoteAs CPU thermal output is on the increase, heatsink companies are continually seeking new and improved thermal solutions. This time, Thermalright has sent us a TRUE Black 120. The TRUE Black 120 certainly doesn't disappoint in the looks department; with its shiny black finish and admirable towering posture, it doesn't cease to amaze. But no matter how good it looks, we certainly can't forget the most important aspect of an HSF: cooling performance. So does the performance hold up to the looks? Stick around as we find out.
QuoteNext time you're out shopping for a gaming mouse, definitely take the Trooper MVP into consideration. It has enough buttons and DPI levels to keep many different types of gamers satisfied, but the main advantage I found over comparable mice was comfort. The ergonomics of the mouse are exceptional which prevents cramping and other issues over long periods of use.