QuoteWhen people think about ITX, there are a few stigmas that come to mind. The first is that there is limited choice. The second is that performance is lacking. While these two points may have been true in the past, no longer is ITX relegated to the specific niche crowd. Intel has been releasing ITX boards for a long time and their latest releases have come a long way. The DG45FC is an ITX board that accepts 45nm CPUs. Pairing this board with a Core 2 will give you performance of a full sized desktop in a tiny package.
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.
QuoteQuote: NZXT is teaming up with Bigbruin.com to sponsor a College Football Bowl Game Challenge! Up for grabs are four great items from the NZXT line up, and in order to enter you just need to make your picks for seven of this season's top college football bowl games! The first of the bowl games involved is to be played on January 1st, so there is still time to enter.
QuoteQuote: The ASUS Xonar D1 is a 7.1 channel solution designed to fit into full sized or low profile systems, and offers exceptional audio in 3D games and home theater applications. If you are serious enough about sound to realize that the onboard solution just isn't cutting it, the Xonar D1 is worth considering. It offers great sound, appealing features, and it won't break the bank.
QuoteQuote: The OCZ Technology SLI-Ready 2GB DDR3-2000 dual channel memory kit is almost ahead of its time. The eVGA 790i motherboard does support SLI-Ready memory up to 2000MHz, but it did have some trouble staying stable at that speed. Testing really didn't show much advantage over a 'slower' kit, and if you can run with tighter timings at lower speeds you may be better off.
QuoteQuote: The features, specifications, real world performance, and physical appearance of the Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD4870 X2 2048MB graphics card are all incredible. It is one of the highest performance cards on the market, while also probably being one of the coolest and quietest. This low noise and low heat is even more impressive when you consider that it isn't just the GPU being cooled, but the CPU and the case, too.
QuoteQuote: "The Corsair Dominator 6GB PC3-12800 DDR3 triple channel memory kit was a fun memory kit to review as it features a revised heat spreader and some Samsung ICs that were friendly to overclocking. The memory performance seen on Intel Core i7 platforms never gets old and is just as impressive today as it was when I saw it for the very first time. It was only a matter of time before Intel moved beyond dual channel technology and it seems that the time was right other than the fact that the country is in a recession...."
QuoteXigmatek is an unfamiliar name for power supplies in these parts. However, the company does have some degree of presence out there in the world of CPU cooling; and we've gotten more than a few requests to see how good their watt boxes are. Today I'm finally taking a look at one of them in the NRP-PC501. This is a 500W value oriented unit boasting a good sized 140mm fan and 80 Plus certification.
QuotePinnacle has sent me over their Video Transfer product for review, it allows the user to simply and easily transfer videos from numerous sources and store them on a portable hard drive, flash drive, iPod or even a PSP. It encodes in MPEG-4 format so the end results will be playable on most devices, and you can even select from three different quality settings as well. The great thing about this device is that it does not use your PC, it's a stand alone unit, you plug your source video into on end, your storage device into the other, hit record and walk away, no fuss, very simple and easy to do.
QuoteWhen the Big Boss Man said that we were getting another Koolance full coverage video card block in for review and it was for an ATi HD 4870, I jumped at the chance. Koolance has been around from the beginning and they are well known for their high quality products. As a matter of fact, my first ever video card water block was from Koolance many years ago. One of the main reasons I stopped using them back then is that they were primarily small tube low flow systems and I had moved on to massive big tube custom built high flow systems. But here in the past year or so, Koolance has developed products that work well with both types of water cooling loops. So I'm really looking forward to seeing just how well their block will stand up to one of the industries' favorites, the Swiftech MCW60, as well as Sapphire's own high-end air cooler, the Vapor-X.
Quote* Jonathan Wendell, better known by his gaming handle "Fatal1ty," came to fame in the gaming world after winning many well-known video game tournaments. With his success came sponsorships and eventually his own brand of computer parts and gaming supplies. OCZ produces Fatal1ty-brand RAM and has now produced a Fatal1ty-brand, non-modular, 700W power supply unit. ThinkComputers checks it out in this review."
QuoteI have to admit that until the HD 4830 arrived on my door step I really hadn't heard of it; a bit like what happened to NVIDIA a while back when everyone was more interested in seeing what ATI was doing with the new HD 4800 series. Now the tables have turned and everyone is paying more attention to the new NVIDIA cards due out rather than what ATI is doing at the moment. The HD 4830 is the latest card to enter the HD 4800 series line-up and is the lowest of the bunch. The thing is, though, I really do wonder how much lower it is than the HD 4850, which is one of the best valued cards on the market to date.
QuoteFrom my experience, 2008 has been a very good year for CPU coolers. We've tested the OCZ Vendetta 2 to perform as well or better than coolers twice its price, and we've discovered that the Thermaltake V14 Pro can deliver top cooling performance while looking good. But heading into 2009 we must bid farewell to the LGA775 platform, which has been the home to many of our most popular products, and welcome in the new LGA1366 socket for the Intel Core i7 CPU & X58 platform. This Best CPU Cooler Performance - Q4 2008 article will be the last foreseeable socket T series round-up from Benchmark Reviews, unless something really big changes the landscape.
QuoteThe Guardian 921 is an interesting looking chassis, featuring a "shield" as a door and a "head" raised above the rest of the case with a temperature LCD screen. Included with the case are three temperature sensors that can be placed at important locations that need to be monitored.
QuoteThese cooling methods have always been more expensive than traditional air coolers. Today, Cooler Master has helped sooth this issue by putting together their Aquagate Max cooling system. This system comes with everything you will need to get your water cooled rig ready to go. There have been many kits such as this that simply don't offer any benefit over air cooling due to their cheap construction. Cooler Master hopes to buck this trend, but can they do it while still maintaining a decent price?
QuoteOur friends at Cable Organizer sent me over the PowerSquid Home Theater Surge Protector for review, yes it's the real thing, from Flexity, the original makers of the Squid surge protectors. There are many other imitations out there, I've got a few myself actually, but only the real PowerSquid from Flexity is the original that offers great features over the imitations like swiveling plug, illuminated outlets, lifetime warranty and warranty protection of up to $500,000 for connected equipment.
QuotePut simply, the Swiftech H2O-120 kit is a real winner. There are a lot of good things to say about it. It is beautiful in its simplicity with high quality components and top-notch performance. You couldn't find a more compact water cooling system that performs as well as the H2O-120 kit if you tried. We'd like to also give special mention to the incredibly innovative Apogee Drive water pump that is also available on its own. This is a fantastic little pump and waterblock combo that can make any DIY compact water cooling project a joy.
QuoteQuote: "The performance of the Domino A.L.C. simply blew me away like no other cooler has in years. When the performance numbers showed that the Domino A.L.C. was outperforming the Thermaltake BigWater 760is I was floored to say the least. The price tag on the Thermaltake BigWater 760is is $149, which is more than double that of the Domino A.L.C. and it performed worse. This just goes to show that a water cooling kit needs to be a well rounded and polished to get the best performance. CoolIT Systems seems to have the Domino A.L.C. setup with the optimal hardware and water flow to have a winner on their hands..."
Quote"With the number of netbooks on the market continuing to increase each month and more of these mobile devices switching to solid-state drives for their reliability, extended battery life, and faster performance, SSDs are becoming quite common and finding themselves meeting many Linux hosts. How though does the real-world performance differ between hard disk drives and solid-state drives on Linux? We have run several tests atop Ubuntu on a Samsung netbook with a HDD and SSD. In addition, we have also looked at the encryption performance using both types of drives."
QuoteWith video cards not only getting bigger and faster, they are requiring a lot more power to run them. And with them using more volts and having more capabilities, it is only natural for them to run hotter. Video card manufacturers usually only use the bare minimum on cooling solutions for the cards that they sell. For many of us, when we buy a new CPU, we normally purchase an after market cooler for them because we know that the standard cooler just does not cut it when it comes to cooling. With this being said, we can not expect a standard cooler to handle today's video cards. It is also rare to find a GPU cooler that fits both Nvidia's 2xxGTX's and ATI's HD48xx video cards. The folks at SilenX have made a GPU cooler that not only cools well, but fits both Nvidia's 2xxGTX series of cards and ATI's HD4870 GPU's. So, let's take a look at the IXG-80HA2 GPU cooler and the Tri fan IXG-3F2from SilenX.
QuoteNow that the price has dropped on Sony's BDP-S350 to $299, full-featured Blu-ray Disc players are coming into reach for the rest of us. Early generation Blu-ray Disc players were not only more expensive, but bulky, and took a long time to start up (time to run to the kitchen for a snack). Sony addressed these problems in the BDP-S350, a player that launched this past summer. The Quick Start feature shaves minutes off start up time, and the new design is no larger than a slim-line DVD player. But don't let the familiar look and feel fool you: This is full high-definition picture and sound. Add features like 1080p/24 for filmed movie playback, BD-Live and Bonus View for online special features, and you have a player that will give you all you want from a Blu-ray Disc player at a more affordable price.
QuoteThe Black Series X58B-A "Nehalem" Motherboard with LGA1366 socket support for Intel's all-new "Core-i7" processors is currently the flagship motherboard for ECS Elitegroup. With the Intel X58 Express chipset handling the North Bridge duties and the Intel Intel ICH10R South Bridge handling the rest of the board you know this will be a sound and stable platform. Read on to see how the ECS X58B-A motherboard does on the benchmarks and to see it overclocks.
QuoteEvery once in a while two of the titans in memory manufacturing produce a kit that could almost be twin brothers on paper. When that happens it's that rare time when we can do an SPD shootout. By that we mean we can compare two kits that will run at the same speed with the same timings against one another with a level playing field. In this case a 6 GB kit of Kingston HyperX DDR3 1600 and a kit of Corsair Dominator DDR3 1600. In all fairness to the Corsair Dominator kit the specified timings are 8-8-8-24 @ 1.65v and the Kingston kit is rated to run at 8-8-8-20 1.65v so there is that minor difference in the kits.
QuoteIn the review of Nehalem CPU we haven't said anything about gaming performances. Since new X58 chipset has support for nVIDIA SLI and ATi CrossFire, it would be great to see those performances, but that combination would come with hefty price tag at the moment, so we decided to test single graphics card system. We have used Intel DX58SO motherboard in combination with Palit Revolution 700 Deluxe (HD 4870 X2) and Palit GeForce GTX 280. Other configuration was based on ASUS Rampage Formula motherboard as representative of older X48 chipset.
QuoteFor those who have the budget and inclination to plunk down the cash for the RiDATA Ultra-S Plus 128GB, it makes a significant and worthwhile upgrade. The rest of us can hope that they come down in price and start appearing as standard features in popular notebook models.
Quote"This motherboard has a successful classic design -- it can accommodate a graphics card of any dimensions without hampering other devices or blocking three PCI slots. Owners of PCI devices must be pleased, because this board does not have any connectors behind the outermost PCI slot (for brackets with USB, etc)."
Quote"In the first part of this article, devoted to the new architecture from Intel, we'll try to find out what we can expect from the new processor without tests, proceeding only from its specifications. And the second part of the article, to be published a tad later, will be devoted to verifying our assumptions in practice."
Quote"ASUS P5Q Deluxe motherboard is a good example of a top model, which does not irritate common users with its exotic features for 'hardcore gamers' and the like. Four LAN ports are twice as cool as two ports, of course, and six PCIEx16 slots are approximately three times as 'powerful' as two standard slots. But this motherboard works out its high price not resorting to quantitative measures."