Audio Video News January 2008

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MSI Radeon HD 3870 X2 OC Graphics Card

Tweak Town :: Tuesday, January 29, 2008
“So it’s easy; we have the HD 3870 X2 in our hands, it’s tested and that’s probably all that really matters. We’re going to have a quick look at the package that MSI have put together, a look over the specifications and then we’ll get straight into the benchmarks.

As far as features go we’ve got a pretty good line-up; HDMI support, PCI Express 2.0 (but backwards compatible), Dual GPU with Quad GPU support coming and a pre-overclock.”

Desktop Graphics Card Comparison Guide 
Tech ARP :: Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Covering 320 desktop graphics cards, this comprehensive comparison allows you to easily compare 18 different specifications for each and every card. If you need to find out about the specification of any card, just come over and check out our Desktop Graphics Comparison Guide.

We hope it will prove to be a useful reference. We will keep this guide updated regularly so do check back for the latest updates.

In this revision, we have updated the specifications of the NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT and GeForce8800 GS 384MB graphics cards.

OnAir HDTV GT Review
ASE Labs :: Tuesday, January 29, 2008
” With the demise of analog signals in America coming soon, there are many ways to get into the digital age. You can buy a set top box or rent one from your TV provider. The digital TV signals also promise more channels and improved clarity over the air. AutumnWave steps in to provide mobile HDTV with their OnAir HDTV GT. It turns your laptop into a HDTV. ”

A quick look at SanDisk’s Sansa Clip MP3 player
Tech Report :: Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Always obsessed with finding the right tool for the job, I’ve long run not one, but two MP3 players. The first—currently an 80GB iPod—is responsible for storing my vast MP3 archive of almost 450 albums ripped with the most anal quality settings possible. Being able to carry around this extensive library of tunes is fantastically convenient, making the iPod perfect for toting around town and even better for traveling. I’ll even take the iPod skiing, which isn’t terribly jarring, and it does just fine at the gym as long as I’m lifting weights and not otherwise bouncing the fragile hard drive around. But if I’m running or navigating one of my bikes down technical singletrack littered with roots, rocks, and other bits of bone-jarring nature, I tend to shy away from anything with a spinning hard drive.

Nvidia GT and GTS Showdown: XFX, Zotac and Gainward
Driver Heaven :: Tuesday, January 29, 2008
With a new graphics card launch the initial batch of cards is followed by a flurry of enhanced models and the 8800 GT and GTS are no different. In today’s review we will be taking a look at some of the more impressive enhanced models that are available, the first two products are supplied by XFX and Zotac and are factory overclocked GTS models.

XFX are highly experienced in this area and while Zotac are relatively new to this sector this has not stopped them impressing us with previous overclocked models. In fact their 8800 GT AMP! Edition is still the fastest GT branded card we have tested. The third product in this review is Gainward’s 8800 GT Golden Sample. Gainward have enhanced clock speeds on this particular card and have chosen to attach an impressive looking cooler and one gigabyte of memory. The heat is on …

ATI Radeon HD 3870X2 1 GB
Inside HW :: Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Just as we predicted some time ago that the Radeon HD 2600XT Dual is going to open the portal to the multi-GPU development, it is coming true. The very next step ATI has made shows a huge advancement compared to the one-month old newborn. Ladies and gentlemen, we present you with ATI Radeon HD 3870X2 graphics card. For now, this is the best graphics card in the entire market and the most complete choice one can get for his/her money. As the author of these lines would gladly carry this baby home, the award we will give this card is fully deserved.”

Diamond Radeon HD 3850 512MB Ruby Edition Video Card
Legit Reviews :: Thursday, January 24, 2008
“Diamond Multimedia doubled the on-board GDDR3 memory from 256MB to 512MB on the Diamond Radeon HD 3850 512MB Ruby Edition Video Card, which should significantly help frame buffer performance in gaming, but that isn’t all they did. They also tossed the old single slot cooler and went with a larger and improved cooling system that lowered temperatures across the board. To top it all off they designed their own PCB! As you can see, Diamond went back to the drawing board and came up with a video card that should impress most of the ATI fans out there…”

ASUS EAH3850 Top ATI HD 3850 Video Card Review
i4u :: Thursday, January 24, 2008
“The Asus EAH3850 Top is factory overclocked and has a clock speed of 730MHz on the core and 1.9GHz on the memory. The card uses 256MB of DDR3 RAM and is built on a 55nm fabrication process. One of the nicest features of the Asus EAH3850 Top is the built-in 5.1surround sound that allows video and audio out on an HDMI cable.”

Gainward Bliss 8600 GT PCX Golden Sample GLH Edition 256mb
Overclock 3d :: Thursday, January 24, 2008
“Gainwards Golden Sample “Goes Like Hell” Edition is famous for overclocking like mad. We take a look at an HDMI-endowed 8600 GT and see how it does”

Falling in Love Again with High-End Audio
Digital Trends :: Thursday, January 24, 2008
“CES 2008 was stuffed with great-sounding audio gear-and the mainstream media missed the story.”

Otterbox for iPhone Defender Series Reviewed 
The TechLounge :: Wednesday, January 23, 2008
“Next up in our series of iPhone case reviews is the OtterBox for iPhone Defender Series. OtterBox is well-known for offering extremely rugged, often waterproof cases for everything from laptops to smart phones, PDAs and iPods. The Defender Series is touted as having bump, drop, and dust protection, and, while not waterproof, will provide protection against rain and other precipitation. Otterbox also has an Armor series for the iPhone, which is even more rugged: completely waterproof, dust-proof, and drop-proof.”

ATI Catalyst 8.1 Analysis – XP & Vista
Tweak Town :: Wednesday, January 23, 2008
“With the slow run that AMD have been having with driver releases over the past few months it will be interesting to see what happens with the new release. Considering January is generally a pretty quiet month for hardware sales thanks to the fact that everyone spent their money over Christmas, who knows what AMD will have up their sleeves with this release.

The most interesting (and potentially disappointing) fact about this driver release is that AMD mention no form of performance improvements with the driver update. We hope this isn’t true, but let’s find out what happens when we place the driver through our typical line-up of games and graphics cards.”

Westone UM1 Earphones
techPowerUp :: Wednesday, January 23, 2008
The Westone UM1 in-ear-monitors are aimed at people wanting good sound quality on the move without having to spend several hundreds of dollars. With a price of $109 they are Westone’s contribution to a highly competitive price segment.

BlueAnt X5 Stereo Bluetooth Headset Review
Legit Reviews :: Wednesday, January 23, 2008
“The BlueAnt X5 Stereo Bluetooth Headset is designed for not only those Bluetooth devices that support the A2DP Profile natively, but those audio devices that you want experience wirelessly. BlueAnt incorporates a small dongle that can be used with any 3.5mm jack to bridge the sound between audio device and X5 headphones. With a retail price of $149, BlueAnt tries to deliver a complete package to the user and prepares them for almost any situation one can think of. How well does the BlueAnt X5 stack up against the Motorola and Plantronics? Read on…”


Logitech Harmony One Review
i4u :: Tuesday, January 22, 2008
“The Harmony One can control up to 15 home theater and home automation devices. All you need to know about your components to program them into the remote is the brand and model number. You choose the brand from a drop down list with a huge amount of choices, there were companies listed I had never heard of before. After choosing the brand you put in the model number and you are ready to program.”

CES 2008 – LG Electronics and Samsung
Futurelooks :: Tuesday, January 22, 2008
On one hand, you’ve got a company that makes everything really pretty and on the other hand, you’ve got a company that does the pretty stuff too. The question is, which Korean sibling does it better? Both Samsung and LG had some rather massive booths at CES 2008, so let’s just provide a few highlights of the most interesting products we saw at this year’s trade show.

Diamond Multimedia HD 3850 Ruby Edition 512MB 
techPowerUp :: Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Diamond has designed their HD 3850 Ruby Edition with additional cooling performance in mind. Their cooler is a custom dual-slot solution which does quite a good job at keeping the card cool. In addition to that the memory has been doubled to 512 MB of GDDR3.

XFX 8800GTS 512 Alpha Dog Edition
CDR Info :: Tuesday, January 22, 2008
XFX ships a new overclocked graphics card based at the newly re-designed 8800GTS series with 512MB on board. The performance was good, even an overclocked 8800GT card is very close in terms of absolute performance and of course retail price…

MSI 8800GT 512MB Review
XS Reviews :: Tuesday, January 22, 2008
“The 8 series of nVIDIA cards have been around for over a year and have almost completely dominated the market in terms of high end support. Now with the 9 series just around the corner, partners are finishing up with their last set of performance cards before focusing on the next generation. One of these last cards is the 8800GT; near performance of a GTX with a sub GTS price tag.

MSI might be a bit late in the game to release an 8800GT model, but they’ve done it none the less and it’s here with me today. Let’s see if it lives up to the 8800GT’s sterling reputation.”

Desktop Graphics Card Comparison Guide 
Tech ARP :: Monday, January 21, 2008
Covering 320 desktop graphics cards, this comprehensive comparison allows you to easily compare 18 different specifications for each and every card. If you need to find out about the specification of any card, just come over and check out our Desktop Graphics Comparison Guide.

We hope it will prove to be a useful reference. We will keep this guide updated regularly so do check back for the latest updates.

In this revision, we have added the NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT and also updated the NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GX2 graphics cards.

Dell Crystal Display
Digital Trends :: Monday, January 21, 2008
“Unlike Dell’s traditional big-screen panels that are rimmed with matte black plastic and dotted with unobtrusive silver buttons, the bezel on the Crystal display is designed to be a lot more than an end to a screen. In fact, you could say this display starts at the end of the screen area. A single 4mm-thick sheet of tempered glass sits over the LCD panel, extending past it on all sides and providing a transparent canvas of margins for Dell’s designers.”

XFX 8800 GT Alpha Dog XXX Edition 256MB Review
Neoseeker :: Monday, January 21, 2008
“…the XFX 8800 GT Alpha Dog XXX edition, at a low-$200 price-point, is unarguably a fine deal, and a good purchase. It really held its own against the 512MB 8800 GT in our tests, and the 256MB of memory does seem like enough GDDR3 to deliver smooth gaming experiences.”

GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB Roundup – Albatron, eVGA and XFX
Legit Reviews :: Monday, January 21, 2008
“The Albatron, EVGA and XFX GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB video cards are all great cards that can play all the current games and overclock like no other. As you saw from the testing the different core clock, memory clock and shader clock frequencies vary from card to card and did impact performance. Higher clock frequencies did improve performance as the XFX card took the lead in nearly every single benchmark…”

Club 3D 8800 GT 512MB GDDR3 – New model coming soon
Hardware XL :: Monday, January 21, 2008
Club 3D the european graphic card specialist, annouced today a new high-end model Club 3D 8800GT (CGNX-G882DDF) based on the Nvidia G92 chipset with a special radial heatpipe cooling solution. The Club 3D 8800GT (CGNX-G882DDF) is outstanding in performance and price. Fully loaded with DirectX 10 technology for richer game environments and ultra fast frame rates when image options are maximized. A must have for the serious and passionate gamers.

Limited Release Of NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GS? 
Tech ARP :: Friday, January 18, 2008
“Both cards are based on the NVIDIA G92 GPU. However, the GeForce 8800 GS 768MB will not only have more graphics memory, but also higher core and memory clock speeds than the 384MB model.”

Samsung SyncMaster 245T 24-Inch LCD Monitor Review
Tweaknews :: Friday, January 18, 2008
“Overall the 245T brings much more to the table than any standard computer monitor on the market and this is directly apparent in its premium price. With industry leading color reproduction, excellent contrast and clarity to take advantage of with a literally a buffet of video connections, the 245T would be best described as swiss army monitor option in the 24″ monitor market.”

Remixed audio cards in Windows Vista
Tech Report :: Friday, January 18, 2008
Creative has all but dominated the PC sound card market, in no small part thanks to its prowess with hardware-accelerated 3D audio. The EAX positional audio framework born from the SoundBlaster line became the de facto standard for 3D audio in games, giving Creative a distinct advantage over its rivals. Creative licensed EAX, of course, but it kept competitors at version 2.0, limiting them to 32 concurrent 3D voices and standard-definition sampling rates and resolutions. Meanwhile, Creative extended EAX to version 5.0 with support for 128 simultaneous voices and high-definition resolutions and sampling rates.

Despite its positional audio dominance, Creative has faced increased competition of late, largely from sound cards based on C-Media’s Oxygen HD audio chip. Microsoft’s decision to drop hardware acceleration for DirectSound 3D audio in Vista has also posed a challenge to the SoundBlaster monopoly by blunting some of EAX’s appeal. All the while, motherboard makers have diligently worked to improve the quality of onboard audio solutions, creating a perfect storm that has spawned more PC audio choices than we’ve ever seen before.

Interestingly, two of the most recent additions to the sound card ecosystem use existing audio chips. Asus’ new Xonar D2X, for example, is based on a tweaked version of C-Media’s Oxygen HD. More interestingly, it comes with a PCI Express interface, finally providing fodder for the scores of empty PCIe x1 slots that dot the enthusiast landscape. On the other side of the fence we have Auzentech’s X-Fi Prelude, which is the first third-party card to employ Creative’s X-Fi silicon. The Prelude uses a custom board design and upgraded components in an attempt to wring better sound quality from the already impressive X-Fi audio chip.

The Xonar and Prelude both target the high end of the desktop sound card spectrum, so it’s only fitting that we face them off against each other in Windows Vista. Read on to see how they fare in a range of gaming, signal quality, and subjective listening tests.