OCMS News December 2004

SilverStone LC03V Case Review
Thursday, December 30, 2004
Overall this is a really good case and would be great for your HTPC or server if you plan on building one. The paint job on this case is amazing and the aluminum bezel will really stand out in your house. The removable motherboard tray and drive cages make installation much easier and faster which is always a good thing. The VFD and bright blue LEDs will add a lot to the case from a functional and aesthetic standpoint. For my project I hope to have it be silent and use no fans, however if needed there is a 60mm exhaust fan as well as a punch-out for an 80mm intake fan below the drive cages.

Chaintech GeForce 6600GT AGP Review
Thursday, December 23, 2004
I am very impressed with this video card, I didn’t think that it would make such a huge improvement. This is the kind of upgrade that makes spending the money worth while. Before the 6600GT I used the 5700 Ultra in my personal system and it simply wasn’t cutting it. Many of the games I would play were choppy with good image quality or ran ok but looked unimpressive because of the lacking AA and AF. This card is also very overclockable to give you more than you paid for which is always great. All of the necessary accessories are included to take advantage of everything this card offers and the software bundle is great. If you are looking to upgrade your video card but cant afford a 6800 and don’t want to make the jump to PCI-Express this may be exactly what you are looking for.

PC AirCon PAC 400 Review
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
A Chinese company called Waffer has thought of a new way to control this heat, in the form of a small air conditioner. This unit cools outside air and forces it into the computer, benefiting the entire system. This principle is the same used in electric drink coolers for automobiles. These coolers work decently to refrigerate food because they also are completely insulated like a thermos. They also contain items that do not generate their own heat. So this idea may not work as well for a PC, as a PC case by nature should not be insulated and also generates additional heat.

Danger Den TDX Waterblock Review
Monday, December 20, 2004
Instead of using their traditional maze flow design Danger Den has made something completely different. The TDX is similar to the RBX block from Danger Den, although modified for use with only 2 hose barbs. The area of water impingement features a wave shaped set of channels with cupping divots that force water to convect with the surface via cavitations of the blocks surface right over the CPU. This design greatly increases surface area at the waters impingement, as well as increasing heat transfer by using higher pressure forced convection.

Thermaltake 350w PurePower Fanless PSU Review
Friday, December 10, 2004
As you should know by now if you have read other articles by me I love a quiet system. Computer noise today in my opinion is unnecessary. While you can go out and buy the biggest baddest fan for your heatsink and video card the benefits of doing so are not enough in my opinion. In most cases the same overclock that you would get from the loud air cooling can be achieved with quiet or silent alternatives such as lower RPM fans or watercooling. The fact that this power supply is silent makes it perfect for anyone who desires a silent system and would be an ideal candidate for a HTPC or home server.

DIY Heatcore: Inexpensive & Great Performance
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
One such viable alterative that is readily available and easily modified is a heatercore. While there are many different models that can be modified to work in a watercooling system, one that has gained quite a following is the Chevrolet Chevette heatercore. More specifically, the heatercore for the 1986 Chevette, Fedco part number 2-161 or GDI part number 399069, which is approximately 6-1/8″ x 6-3/8″ x 2″. The factory tubes are 3/4″ and 5/8″ which require some modification to work with 1/2″ ID tubing used in a watercooling system but this modification is not that complicated and well worth it considering that most auto parts stores have this heatercore for around $22. Additionally, the tools needed for the modifications are fairly expensive and they are likely ones that most already have on hand.

Crucial Ballistix Tracer PC4000 Review
Monday, December 06, 2004
Taking their well performing Ballistix PC4000 memory, and adding some wow factor, Crucial seems to have hit something their Ballistix Tracer modules. Price may be a factor for some, as listed on the Crucial website these modules will cost you $23 per 512Mb more than the regular Ballistix PC4000. I was thinking to myself however as I was finishing this article, “What is it going to take to make me take these things out of my case now that I am so used to activity lights on my memory?” I don’t know, but I can say I’m looking forward to see more Tracer modules in the future. I can say that if you’re a case modder, or looking for a bit more attention at local LAN’s for your custom built computer, you’re sure to get some heads turning with these in your case, and at no loss of performance.

Matrix Orbital MX312 Review
Thursday, December 02, 2004
I’m grateful that this product uses USB for communication; I can’t say how much I dislike using legacy connections. The LCDC software that is provided to work with the VFD is great and has tons of configuration options and many available plugins. Not only does this display look amazing but it has a built in keypad for external control. Also if you ever want to change the color of the display you just need to buy a new filter and replace the original one. One thing that I always look for with computer hardware and software is good documentation. Because everyone has a different level of experience it may be necessary to follow the documentation to get the product working the way that you want. Matrix Orbital has done an excellent job providing documentation for just about everything concerning this product and is detailed with pictures and great information. Taking everything into consideration I couldn’t ask for much more from a product…

A First Look At Half-Life 2: Deathmatch
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
Steam just released an update which included Half-Life 2: Deathmatch, Half-Life 2/Source SDK, and various tweaks and fixes. Until tonight I did not think there would be any multiplayer to Half-Life 2 other than Counter-Strike: Source. Well Valve has made a very good decision doing this and should spark more interest in the game than there already is. With this release I’m sure we will see many new maps added, different mods, and lots of excitement.