Audio Video News March 2008

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Samsung SyncMaster 2243BW 22″ Widescreen LCD Monitor Review

Tweaknews :: Friday, March 28, 2008
“One of those reputable name brands in today’s market is Samsung and today we will be reviewing one of their new SyncMaster 2243BW 22″ monitors which is boasted to be an affordable thin bezel monitor which will be enjoyed in the home/office as well as in a gamer’s den. Let’s see if that claim is true.”

Radeon vs. RadeonHD Drivers In H1’08
Phoronix :: Friday, March 28, 2008
“For Linux distribution vendors, right now is proving to be an awkward time for them as they decide which ATI driver will ship as the default choice in their spring distribution refresh. The problem used to be whether to ship a binary-only driver in the distribution in order to provide “out of the box” support for all available graphics hardware, but on the ATI/AMD side the software distributors are now facing the challenge of which open-source driver they should call the de facto standard. In this article we are briefly looking at the matter of the xf86-video-ati vs. xf86-video-radeonhd drivers, the highly political issue of AtomBIOS, and what some of the popular Linux distributions are deciding to use this spring.”

Glacialtech Altair 380 Media Center PC Chassis
Techware Labs :: Friday, March 28, 2008
Today we have a quick look at a relatively new player in the chassis market, Glacialtech. On the review bench we have the Altair 380 a Media Center/HTPC focused chassis that is tall on features and extras. Matt explains why the Altair 380 is an ideal choice to fit into your living room and wraps up the review with a few suggestions.

Sapphire HD 3870 Toxic Review
Club OC :: Friday, March 28, 2008
The video card war is still alive and well, but it appears that AMD/ATI have conceded the high-end market to nVidia and instead have focused their efforts on the mid-range market. While some may see this as an omission of defeat, others will see it as a smart business move. More consumers buy the mid-range cards versus the high-end ones. Let’s face it, not all of us can afford a top of the line video card. When it comes to the mid-range card, AMD/ATI has one of the best GPU’s, the 3870. Sapphire has taken the 3870 up a notch by incorporating their custom Vapor-X cooler along with a very nice bundle.

nVidia Chips Comparison Table
Hardware Secrets :: Thursday, March 27, 2008
“If you don’t follow almost daily the video card market it is really complicated to understand the differences between the several different nVidia graphics chips available on the market today. To facilitate knowing and understanding the difference among these chips, we have compiled the following table:”

Why buy an Add-on Sound Card?
Techware Labs :: Thursday, March 27, 2008
With the widespread availability of onboard sound why would a consumer select an add-on sound card to their system? We take a look at the actual difference between onboard and add-on and give you insight as to the technical differences and important features to look at before making this decision.

AMD Releases Production Microcode For All Radeon GPUs
Phoronix :: Thursday, March 27, 2008
“In the next step towards open-source 3D support for the R500 and R600 GPUs (Radeon X1000 and Radeon HD 2000/3000), AMD has just pushed its production microcode into the Mesa/DRM git tree. This is the microcode found in the fglrx driver and it covers the Radeon R100 to R600 product families.”

AMD ATI Chips Comparison Table
Hardware Secrets :: Wednesday, March 26, 2008
“With more and more graphics chips being released every day it became very complicated for the user who does not follow the video card market to know the differences among all ATI graphic chips in the market today. To facilitate knowing and understanding the difference among major ATI chips, we have compiled the following table.”

HIS HD 3870 IceQ3 512 MB
techPowerUp :: Wednesday, March 26, 2008
The HIS Radeon HD 3870 IceQ3 uses the proven HIS IceQ3 cooling solution. It also comes with higher clocks out of the box which are among the highest we have seen so far from all manufacturers. The recent price drops from AMD make this card a solid choice for the sub-$200 segment.

Apollo Radeon HD 3850 512 MB Video Card Review
OCIA :: Wednesday, March 26, 2008
“Today I will be looking at the Apollo Aposonic Radeon HD 3850 512MB. It is a mid-range DX10 card,Crossfire ready, sitting in the notch between the geForce 8600GTS and the 8800GT. Will the HD 3850 make me turn my back on nVidia? Read on and see.”

Bgears b-Envi Cube Case 
Techware Labs :: Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Adding to our recent coverage of HTPC and Media Center PC’s is another look at a HTPC focused chassis. The b-Envi from Bgears is a rather interesting case full of features and includes some extras we don’t normally see that make this case both an eye pleaser and much more functional.

XFX nForce 790i Ultra SLI and XFX 9800GX2 Review
Gamepyre :: Wednesday, March 26, 2008
The nForce 790i Ultra SLI seems to be an ok update to the nForce 780i chipset, adding true PCI Express Generation 2 capability to NVIDIA motherboards for the first time, DDR3 support and native support for FSB 1600MHz Intel CPUs. From a performance perspective this board disappoints as it only edges the nForce 780i by a small percentage in most of the motherboard tests we tried with it with one or two tests being slower than the 780i motherboard. If you want the fastest most powerful single card graphics platform at the moment it is the 9800GX2. NVIDIA has not approved QuadSLI tests as of yet and it’ll be an interesting comparison to see how it fares against the ATI 3870X2 Quadfire solutions. In any event, read the reviews on the web look at all the data before making a purchasing decision and spend your money wisely as I always say, don’t just take my word for it.

NVIDIAs 9800 GX2 The Week That Was
Tweak Town :: Tuesday, March 25, 2008
“You might think that it sounds exciting to test such a high-end card, but when you’ve done it as much as I have over the past week then you look forward to seeing the back of the model. Since the 15th of March I’ve written five pieces on the GX2 for TweakTown, and another piece for a local magazine.

Not only that, but it’s now taken over my weekly editorial and I’ve still got another two reviews to do on the card over the next few days. Last week I spoke about how content is king, and this week just proves how right I am. The GX2 is hot! – Everyone wants to know about it, but to be completely honest, next to no one’s going to buy it.”

Asus EN8800GT TOP Review
Overclockers Club :: Tuesday, March 25, 2008
“As a factory overclocked card, the expectation was that the increase in core clock and memory speeds would not be that significant. Overclocked cards usually have little performance headroom left to increase the clock speeds to gain additional performance. The final speeds I attained were 60MHz above stock on the GPU core and 44MHz on the memory. Neither were really significant, but high enough to increase the performance of the Asus 8800GT. This allowed the card to perform much better than a stock clocked 8800GT. The performance increase in benchmarks was sometimes not evident in games until the higher resolutions were run.”

An Early Look At Mythbuntu 8.04
Phoronix :: Monday, March 24, 2008
“Last November we had looked at Mythbuntu 7.10 and found it to be an excellent MythTV distribution. With its LiveCD MythTV front-end capabilities and intuitive Mythbuntu Control Center, this distribution is far more than just a re-branded edition of Ubuntu with a couple MythTV packages. Being released in tandem with Ubuntu 8.04 “Hardy Heron” next month will be Mythbuntu 8.04 and today we are taking an early look at this spring refresh using the recently released beta.”

XFX 8400GS Dual-Screen Graphics Card 
Bjorn 3d :: Monday, March 24, 2008
It may come as a surprise to some, but graphics cards aren’t always just about getting the best frames per second. Home theater, fileserver, and other specialized PCs may never see a game but in most cases they still need a video card to operate. And of course that is leaving out the surprisingly large number of PC users that simply do not play videogames (I’ve been told such people do exist).

Asus 9800 GX2 1GB (EN9800GX2)
Overclock 3d :: Monday, March 24, 2008
“The 9800 GX2 card is Nvidia’s new top end baby. With two G92’s in tow, how does it compare to our 3 Way SLI setup? Find out inside…”

AMD Radeon HD 3200 / 780G On Linux
Phoronix :: Monday, March 24, 2008
“Last year AMD introduced the flagship 790 Chipset series as part of their Spider Platform for use with the Phenom processors and Radeon HD 3800 graphics. Until earlier this month when AMD introduced the 780 Series, missing was any chipset with integrated graphics capabilities supporting these first AMD quad-core processors. Now we have AMD’s 780G and 780V Chipsets, which are designed to be the mainstream solutions to the 790FX, but they pack the best integrated graphics processor (IGP) ever created by the combined ATI/AMD engineering talent. Since its launch at the CeBIT trade show, the AMD 780G has received rave reviews for its vehement performance due to its graphics core that’s derived from the AMD RV610. The benchmarks available on launch day were only for Microsoft Windows operating systems, but this morning we have the Radeon HD 3200 Linux results from the AMD 780G. Is this IGP a crown jewel on Linux?”

ZOTAC GeForce 9800 GX2 Graphics Card
Tweak Town :: Monday, March 24, 2008
“It feels weird to have done four articles on the 9800 GX2 without having actually had a look at a single retail card yet. The first retail card to come out of the gates comes in the form of a ZOTACoffering.

With the latest WHQL driver in hand, the 174.53, we’re going to see how the GX2 holds up against the direct competition, the HD 3870 X2 from AMD.”

Driver Heaven :: Monday, March 24, 2008
GMC is a Korean based company who focus almost entirely on the design and production of HTPC cases. We had a look at several of their products in the past, each of them designed with a different purpose in mind. Today we will take a look at their latest HTPC case, the AVC-S7. The AVC-S7 is an elegant but very short case which is designed to match DVD players and other home theater equipment. Let us see if such a short case can be practical for housing modern home theater systems.

EVGA GeForce 9600 GT SSC 512 MB
techPowerUp :: Friday, March 21, 2008
EVGA’s e-GeForce 9600 GT SSC comes at increased clocks compared to the NVIDIA reference design. Also the cooler has been adjusted slightly to match the company’s color theme and design. With a price premium of just $10 over the reference card it can can deliver in both performance per Dollar and performance per Watt.

Logitech FreePulse Wireless Headphones Review
Hardware Secrets :: Friday, March 21, 2008
“Wiring is the bane of modern technology. Each new shining piece of equipment brings forth cables and wires that clutter rooms, tables, homes and offices. The 100% wireless future is still a utopia but at least you can try to get rid of a common wire: the headphone cable. There are several wireless headphones on the market and Logitech has just released one that’s not only good for iPod owners but also for any sound system with a stereo minijack. The FreePulse Wireless Headphones use a small 33 ft. range Bluetooth transmitter that makes you say goodbye to one of the many cables that plague modern life. Plus, it also delivers quality sound and a comfortable listening experience.”

Saitek Cyborg 5.1 Headset Review 
Overclockers Club :: Friday, March 21, 2008
“The Cyborg 5.1 headset is constructed very well. The unit itself does not feel flimsy at all and I think that’s partly due to the fact that the sliders are made of metal instead of plastic. You’ll find soft padding on top of the headset and felt-like padding on the ear cuffs. The cuffs can turn 90 degrees inwards and they can slightly turn outwards. If you look closely, you can see each speaker inside of the headset. The microphone jack is located on the left ear and isn’t very noticeable.”

ASUS EAH3870 Top Video Card Review
i4u :: Friday, March 21, 2008
“Today we are checking out the ASUS EAH3870 Top video card powered by the ATI HD 3870 GPU. This card is factory overclocked for higher performance right out of the box. I was happy with the performance of the ASUS EAH3870 Top video card. It performs very well for the price and ASUS has a nice bundle that includes Company of Heroes- Opposing Fronts with the card. The factory overclocking of the card is very nice and on the whole the ASUS EAH3870 Top is a good option for ATI fans.”

Soyo Topaz S 24-inch Widescreen LCD Monitor Review 
Think Computers :: Friday, March 21, 2008
LCD monitors are pretty much common in all homes, it is not often you see someone with a CRT monitor anymore. With LCD’s being very common the standard seems to be 19 and 20-inch displays. If you want something larger you can go with 22-inch display, but you are still getting the same resolution so the next step up is a 24-inch display. Soyo who we don’t know for making LCD’s just sent us their newly released Topaz S 24-inch Widescreen LCD monitor. Let’s check it out!”

Samsung SyncMaster 2243BW 22″ Wide Screen LCD
Hot Hardware :: Friday, March 21, 2008
Today at HotHardware we look at one of the latest additions to the 22″ LCD monitor market segment, the Samsung SyncMaster 2243BW Wide Screen LCD. While the Samsung 2243BW may be aimed at business use, its specifications suggest that it should be capable of quite a bit more than just spreadsheets and word documents. With good viewing angles, a decent 5ms response time, good brightness and an excellent 1000:1 static contrast ratio, the 2243BW should be well equipped to handle any multimedia thrown its way. The 2243BW is actually has slightly better specifications than the wildly popular Samsung 226BW, which is one of the most widely and highly recommended 22″ monitors. Head on over to the site and check it out…

ASUS GeForce 9600GT 512MB
Phoronix :: Friday, March 21, 2008
“In late February NVIDIA had introduced the GeForce 9 series with the introduction of the mid-range GeForce 9600GT 512MB graphics card. Earlier this week they then introduced the GeForce 9800 GX2 graphics card, which consists of two NVIDIA GPUs bridged together with SLI support. We have been quiet on how the GeForce 9 series performs under Linux, but this morning we are providing our initial GeForce 9600GT results using an ASUS EN9600GT TOP HDMI and comparing its Linux desktop performance to its GeForce 8 sibling and the ATI Radeon HD 3850 and 3870. On Windows the GeForce 9600GT has been able to outperform the Radeon HD 3850/3870, but on Linux an entirely different story is rendered.”

Nvidia Partners Launch Pricey New 9800 GX2 Cards
PC Magazine (Graphics Cards) :: Friday, March 21, 2008
Graphics cards based on the new Nvidia GeForce 9800 GX2 architecture have hit the street – and boy, what a price tag.

Sony DAV-HDX279W
PC Magazine (Speakers) :: Friday, March 21, 2008
Preview of the Sony DAV-HDX279W.

How to Buy a Plasma HDTV
PC Magazine (HDTV) :: Friday, March 21, 2008
Before you whip out that credit card, find out how to pick the perfect plasma. Our comprehensive guide takes you through the pro, cons, and myths.