Audio Video News February 2007

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Samsung Syncmaster 226BW 22″ widescreen

Hardware Overclock Austria :: Monday, February 26, 2007
Hardwareoverclock Austria has reviewed Samsung’s newest TFT Monitor, the Syncmaster 226 BW, a 22″ widescreen. Wide 16:10 aspect ratios let you multitask, with room for more than one application at a time. The extra room also makes working with graphics programs and multiple tool palletes easier. An ultra-fast 2 ms (G to G) response time is perfect for motion graphics editing. And exclusive MagicBright 3, MagicColor and MagicTune technologies give you complete control over outstanding color.

The HD-DVD/Blu-ray Peacemaker: LG’s BH100
Futurelooks :: Monday, February 26, 2007
Who’s already tired of this Blu-ray/HD-DVD format war? Well, LG has the solution for you! Behold the Super Multi Blue Player. We had the priviledge of meeting with the good folks at LG to have a sneak peak at what’s sure to be the first of many solutions to this ridiculous format war.

Sapphire X1650 Pro Ultimate Video Card Review
Driver Heaven :: Monday, February 26, 2007
We recently reviewed the X1650XT, ATI’s best middle-range graphics card solution, intended for people on a tight budget that would still like to enjoy some of the newest games on the market. The X1650XT makes the Pro version of the card somewhat redundant, as its performance is substantially less. This is not the case with Sapphires Ultimate card though, as this card is targeted at users who above all prioritize noiseless operation. This trait is especially important to people looking for a good card for their living room multimedia PC. While it would certainly be nice if the card was capable of playing the newest games, it is far more important how it deals with HD video and how much noise it creates.

Leadtek WinFast PX 7950GT Videocard 
Monster Hardware :: Monday, February 26, 2007
“I am sure you have all heard the line “it is not the size that matters it is how you use it”. Well, that statement doesn’t apply when you are talking about videocards. When I finish therapy remind me to tell you, the readers, my adventure trying to fit a GeForce Ti 4600 into a micro tower case. Sorry I am not able to finish the story now but I just recently stopped having nightmares about it. Fortunately you shouldn’t encounter any such problems with any reasonable sized case with the Leadtek WinFast PX 7950GT, as it is quite a bit smaller than the XFX GeForce 6800 GS. Size matters. There, I said it.”

Connect3D X1950 Pro Review 
XS Reviews :: Monday, February 26, 2007
“There are a variety of ATI graphics cards, ranging from the very high end x1950XTXs to the more budget range x1600s. However, it is often hard to find a middle ground with such hardware. Usually the cards are too expensive or underpowered; but this is where Connect3D come in. Their x1950 Pro card promises top notch performance with a mid range price tag, can it pull it off? Lets see.”

Altec Lansing FX4021 2.1 Speakers
The TechLounge :: Saturday, February 24, 2007
“The demand for 2.1 speakers such as Altec Lansing’s FX4021 is quite high. Available for as little as $100 this speaker set is very appealing to anyone who wants sound to kick a little harder than when it eeks out of their earbuds. But the question that must be answered is, how much bang do you really get for your buck

Abit’s iDome DS500 and SW510 speakers
The Tech Report :: Saturday, February 24, 2007
WHEN ABIT WAS ACQUIRED last year, the new owners pruned the company’s product line to focus its attention squarely on motherboards. Graphics cards and other ancillary products were cut, but one plucky side project managed to survive. That side project spawned Abit’s new iDome digital speakers and may inspire a revolution in PC audio.

That probably sounds a little melodramatic, but consider this. The iDomes were designed from the ground up with digital input in mind, and Abit has taken great care to ensure that they deliver every bit of the pristine quality of a digital bitstream to your ears. That bitstream—digital audio in its purest form—can be provided by fancy sound cards and “free” integrated motherboard audio alike, setting up the iDomes to challenge not only other speakers on the market, but the very need for a discrete sound card as well.

And so the stage is set. Can the iDomes, when paired with integrated motherboard audio, challenge the output quality of the best PC sound card on the market? Read on to find out

XFX NVIDIA 8800 GTX XXX
Technic 3d :: Saturday, February 24, 2007
“The XFX 8800 GTX XXX arrived Technic3D. The Graphic Card XFX NVIDIA 8800 GTX XXX with 630 MHz Core and 1.000 MHz Memory better than others OC High-End Graphic Cards? Technic3D will see that, with Overclocking, in the following Review.”

OCZ Technology 8800 GTX Video Card Review 
OCIA :: Saturday, February 24, 2007
“The OCZ 8800 GTX, like most every manufacturer’s offering, is based on the NVIDIA reference design, so don’t expect anything new or ground breaking here. But there are a few things that do set the OCZ card apart from others. First, the OCZ 8800 GTX is “binned to perfection” — this means that every OCZ card is pre-screened and only the best cards make it to market. In theory, this would point to higher core and memory overclocks and in general, a very stable card.”

Logitech Harmony 880 Remote Review 
Extreme OC Tech :: Saturday, February 24, 2007
“The LCD display menu walks you through the first few steps up until you need to install the software. Unlike most universal remotes, the Harmony 880 is actually programmed via your computer (PC or Mac) in a web interface. One thing to note with the web interface is its current incompatibility with FireFox and you may need to temporarily disable security software before the remote can be programmed.”

Gateway FPD2485W 24″ Monitor Review 
Digital Trends :: Thursday, February 22, 2007
“The FPD2485W specs are impressive on their own. 1920 x 1200 resolution, 1080p support (with HDCP), 1000:1 contrast ratio, 450 cd/m2 brightness, 6 ms response time, and a built-in, four-port USB 2.0 hub. Keep in mind that most people will only need to know the above specs to make a purchasing decision. These specs match or surpass those of the competition. The contrast resolution is good enough for watching darkly-lit video scenes, giving good color saturation. The 6 ms response time means no ghosting or blurring during fast-paced gaming or video. ”

Razer Barracuda AC-1 Gaming Sound Card
PC Apex :: Thursday, February 22, 2007
“The card itself is a built on a nice black PCB that should look good installed on many motherboards. The Passive EMI shield™ has a nice graphic on it, not that you’ll ever see it once it is installed. But if you do have a windowed case, Razer has a nice little surprise designed to add a little style. The familiar neon green usually associated with Razer, and missing with the HP-1 headset, is well represented here. A small piece of black plexi with green lettering is placed at the top of the card. Behind it is a double row of green LED’s positioned to illuminate the Razer logo. Nice touch.”

Alienware HUB 2.1 Speakers
3dgameman :: Thursday, February 22, 2007
“The Alienware HUB did not reproduce much quality sound at any of the settings. I tried my best with all styles of music, even breaking into the different Music Filters inside the Zune. Nothing really gave me a great tone. I could get a better tone out of a twenty five dollar stereo from the local grocery store. I also need to turn the volume up quite a bit to start to hear the bass. At this point of hearing the bass, it was more of a slight thump rather than a resonating bass tone…”

Catalyst 7.2 Comparison
Technic 3d :: Thursday, February 22, 2007
“ATI-AMD Catalyst 7.2 Comparison on Technic3D. Faster then Catalyst 7.1? See you in the following Catalyst Roundup up to Catalyst 6.9.”


Overclocking the GeForce 8800 GTS 
Bjorn 3d :: Thursday, February 22, 2007
Additionally, it is human nature to blame someone else if something goes wrong. This is where I warn you, the reader of this article, that neither I nor Bjorn3d.com recommend that you overclock your video card. This article explains how I conducted these experiments on my own property. Bjorn3d.com and the author of this article will not be responsible for damages or injury resulting from experiments you choose to conduct on your own property. If you read beyond this point, you are accepting responsibility for your own actions and hold Olin Coles and the staff of Bjorn3d.com harmless.

For this project I have selected the FOXCONN NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS as my test subject, which I reviewed here at Bjorn3D back in November 2006. Presently, the 640MB version of the GeForce 8800 GTS is the second-best video card available on the market. Gamers and computer enthusiasts alike have already speculated on how the GTS could be made to perform to the same level as the GeForce 8800 GTX with some tweaking. Unfortunately, this just isn’t possible. What is possible though is taking a great product and making it even better; and do it all for free.

CyberHome 6-Speaker Surround Sound Headphone System Review
Big Bruin :: Thursday, February 22, 2007
The CyberHome 6-Speaker Surround Sound Headphone System offers some what of a mixed bag. They are very affordable, look good, sound great, and are the most comfortable headphones I have ever had the pleasure of wearing. Despite the positive points, the headphones seem to suffer from a lack of quality.

ExtremA, a reference class-A DIY amplifier
Hardware Analysis :: Thursday, February 22, 2007
Most commercial amplifiers offer mediocre performance and distortion figures, the here presented design offers nearly immeasurable distortion levels you’ll be hard pressed to find with any commercial or DIY amplifier.

NOW PLAYING: D-LINK TV
D-Link :: Thursday, February 22, 2007
D-Link, the end-to-end networking solutions provider for consumers and business, today announced the premiere of D-LinkTV?, an Internet video portal designed to better educate and entertain consumers, business customers and resellers on advancements in networking and connectivity solutions

The new world of high definition optical discs and associated
Missing remote :: Wednesday, February 21, 2007
The new world of high definition optical discs and associated acronyms

The Problem With Digital Rights Management (DRM)
The TechZone :: Wednesday, February 21, 2007
While a number of analysts have said under their breaths that the best DRM is no DRM, that isn’t going to happen. DRM is big business and it is going to get even bigger. Problem is, it’s splintered. Everyone has a solution. Each is built on their platform with their technology. Every time a DRM/CA solution is introduced it is cracked. The content is shared. Content owners, artists and all the “little people” are screwed !

http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=2085
Driver heaven :: Wednesday, February 21, 2007
To cope with the ever-increasing details in today’s games the graphics card manufacturers look for all kinds of solutions. The most obvious one is making the cards faster, but such an approach has negative consequences in the shape of overheating. So if you decided to go all out and overclock your card beyond all limits the amount of heat generated would rise as well. Sapphire decided to do just that and follow the old saying “Drastic situations call for drastic measures” to the letter. The end result is an overclocked, water-cooled X1950XTX (which was a fast card to begin with) that every enthusiast will want to own.

http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=2081
XS Reviews :: Wednesday, February 21, 2007
“A year or two ago Foxconn were the rising stars of the motherboard world. Having shown the enthusiasts that they were here to stay Foxconn moved onto graphics cards and once again have hit hard into the high end market with a wide range of GPUs on offer. Today I have their 8800GTX which has all the speed of the other manufacturers models, but with a packaging and cooler that our older readers would probably describe as “Cosmic”. Read on to find out if its performance is as “Far out” as its packaging.”

ASUS Radeon EAX1950 Pro Video Card in CrossFire Mode
Viper Lair :: Wednesday, February 21, 2007
“The performance of a single EAX1950 Pro makes it a great bang for your buck video card, coming in at about $183 USD for the non crossfire card and $219 for the Crossfire version you are looking at a nice dual card set up for about $400 plus shipping. Sure your not going to see FPS in the triple digits, but your going to save a few hundred dollars and pay your electric bill.”

Ultimate Ears Super.fi 5 Pro Review 
Digital Trends :: Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Nearly every aspect of the listening experience exceeded our expectations. Highs, mids, and lows are balanced and clear. Bass is tight, but still has boom without sounding muddy, and highs are bright, but not screeching. Overall, the general tone of the Super.fi 5 Pros was energetic and accurate. The sound stage was satisfactorily wide and distant, without showing separation or the feeling of far-off sounds. The sound wasn’t harsh or warm, but somewhere in between. Spatial cues were somewhat limited, since canalphones in general lack the ability to convey 3D virtualization accurately.

SteelSound 5H v2 Headphones 
Modders Inc. :: Wednesday, February 21, 2007
SteelSeries is well known for their gaming headphones, I have seen people rave about the SteelSound 5H, 5H v2, and 5H v2 USB on numerous occasions. After completing the 3H and 4H reviews SteelSeries asked me if I would like to take a look at their 5H v2 gaming headphones. I was absolutely ready to see what their top of the line unit has to offer after hearing how well the lower end units performed.

ATI R600 will NOT launch this quarter
techPowerUp :: Wednesday, February 21, 2007
The reason is that their R600 Series is not where they want it to be yet, so they decided to move the launch to be able to deliver a competitive product. Also I am hearing that at the Q2 launch we will see more than just GPU related stuff, so I would guess Physics or GPGPU computing.

AMD 8.34.8 Display Driver
Phoronix :: Wednesday, February 21, 2007
“Last month with the 8.33.6 release we had seen the first signs of Radeon X2000 (R600) product support. The AMD Radeon Xpress 1250 IGP (both Intel and AMD processor models) are supported by today’s driver. Additional work has gone into the 8.34.8 drivers with this release to prepare for the Radeon X2000 launch shortly. More information will be available shortly.”

Razer Barracuda AC-1 Sound Card Review
XYZ Computing :: Wednesday, February 21, 2007
While we all have been waiting to check out Razer’s sound card, they released the Barracuda HP-1 headphones first so we have had a few months to play with them first. This surround sound headset was an appreciable accomplishment for the company, but I felt like it could not really be completely judged until used with the Razer sound card. After all, while they do not have to be used together, they are a matched pair. So my hope is that by using them together we will be able to get the most out of each. It could just be a clever marketing scheme combined with a strange connector though, so we’ll see.

In their product material Razer tells us that the AC-1 uses Razer’s Fidelity system to bring “optimized audio signals directly from the computer game to the gamer, creating the most realistic gaming environment.” The audio card also uses Razer’s Enhanced Sonic Perception and 3D Positional Gaming Audio Engine for better directional sound effects than found on past equipment. Impressed yet? Well, don’t worry, there is a lot more to talk about than a few trademark technologies…