Tech News March 2006

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Spire Rocketeer 500 Watt Power Supply
Hi-Techreviews :: Friday, March 31, 2006

I was pleasantly surprised when I removed the cover off of the Rocketeer and looked inside, I was expecting to find a jumble of wires like most power supplies plus a couple of heatsinks stuck in the middle to cool everything off. To my surprise I found a very well organized and tidy compartment with the wires not only well grouped and sheathed but also having nylon ties affixed to them for added neatness.

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Titan Eagle GPU Coolers
Pro-Clockers :: Friday, March 31, 2006
Quote: Today, video cards are getting faster and more powerful. Because of this speed and power there is more heat. The manufacturers of these cards provide you with just enough cooling power to get back. So, that is why we rely on companies like Titan to give us gamers and overclockers what we need to beat the heat. Titan we generous enough to send us a couple of their new GPU coolers, the Eagles.

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SICURO DEC-900 Laptop CardBus TV Tuner Card w/FM Radio/Video Capture Reviewed
Futurelooks :: Friday, March 31, 2006
Wouldn’t it be cool to be able to watch TV on your Laptop while trying to get work done? Well now you can! This little gizmo was dropped in our laps for our laptop. Is it all that, or does it need to go back to the drawing board? Let’s find out!

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News: Abit’s AN8 32X motherboard
The Tech Report :: Friday, March 31, 2006
The first step in Abit’s bid to reclaim the enthusiast market could be the AN8 32X, a Socket 939 Athlon 64 motherboard based on NVIDIA’s nForce4 SLI X16 chipset. One of only three X16 motherboards available for sale, the AN8 32X doesn’t mess around with cheesy gimmicks or Fatal1ty branding. Instead, it’s equipped with useful peripherals, passive chipset cooling, loads of overclocking potential, and best-in-class fan speed control and hardware monitoring. But is all that enough to keep up with the latest enthusiast-oriented motherboards from Asus, DFI, ECS, and MSI? Read on to find out.

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Dell XPS 600 Renegade Systems Sell Out
Legit Reviews :: Friday, March 31, 2006
“When Dell put the systems on sale last week they were jam packed with the latest in technology and the price reflected that. The Dell XPS 600 Renegade system came with the Dell 3007WFP 30-inch flat panel monitor and prices started at $9,930. While we saw many publications joke about the rich buying these and some stated no one would buy these Legit Reviews found out that they sold out in under a week! Who is laughing now?”

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Irresponsible, Distrustful and Lame
CoolTechZone :: Friday, March 31, 2006
“And again, Windows Vista is delayed to January 2007, as opposed to its original and vague Q4 2006 release date. What is Microsoft thinking? Seriously, the company has been delaying Vista for a long time now. Not only that, but Microsoft stripped numerous critical features to make the deadline, but apparently the laziness, disguised as security improvements this time, depicts irresponsibility and distrustfulness beyond what most of us expect from the Redmond, Washington-based software “giant” (so much for that moniker).”

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Vizo MirrorBox 32-in-1 Card Reader Review
XS Reviews :: Friday, March 31, 2006
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Quote: “When I recieved the Vizo Mirrorbox 32-in-1 card reader, I had no idea who VIZO was; even google had a hard time finding this little known company. However, “What’s in a name?” I thought, and progressed with my testing. Needless to say, I was very impressed, read on to find out why.”

Asus A8R32-MVP review
Neoseeker :: Friday, March 31, 2006
“The A8R32-MVP’s general motherboard performance is directly on-par with the established top-dogs, including the DFI LANParty nF4 SLI-DR and ASUS A8N32-SLI Deluxe, and it has proven itself extremely reliable. While we’re on the topic of performance, I’m going to point out that the A8R32-MVP is still only in line with a one-year-old motherboard. The performance records set by the DFI board a year ago have yet to really be beaten by any board we’ve seen out there. Given all of ATI’s design choices in the RD580, and ASUS’ design experience, there simply isn’t a dramatic leap in performance over year-old chipsets and hardware.”

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ThinkOutside Stowaway Travel Mouse
Think Computers :: Friday, March 31, 2006

Quote: “Need a mouse? Need a very small mouse that you can take anywhere with you that will work with a plethora of devices? Look no further, today I have the Stowaway Travel Mouse from Think Outside that could be the thing that you need. It is Bluetooth enabled and can be used with any device that is Bluetooth enabled, such as PDA’s, laptops, and Pocket PC’s. Let’s check it out…”

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Zalman HD160 HTPC Case
HTPCnews :: Friday, March 31, 2006

“Since this is a Zalman product we expected it to be extremely quiet and were not disappointed. There was no noticeable difference between the x15e and HD160 running at 5v fan speeds. From any distance over a foot, the case is simply not heard except an occasional heavy hit on the hard drive. ”

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The State of Digital Music in 2006
Designtechnica :: Friday, March 31, 2006
“With the start of 2006, digital music has started its growth from infancy into adolescence. In the week between Christmas 2005 and New Year’s, 20 million tracks were downloaded in America, and another million in Britain. Those are some seriously healthy numbers. Not only do they reflect the huge amount of iPods and other portable devices sold, but also the spread of broadband connections, and the fact that people are now comfortable consuming their music digitally, on a track-by-track rather than album-by- album basis. Long predicted, the listening habits of the general population are beginning to shift.”

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ECS KA1 MVP Extreme Motherboard Review
The Tech Zone :: Friday, March 31, 2006

This motherboard complies with ATI’s CrossFire technology, a parallel processing technology that allows you to run two ATI video cards at the same time for up to double the video speed. Supporting a wide range of ATI based graphics cards and motherboards, the CrossFire platform offers flexibility and compatibility with all of today’s Radeon X800 and above graphics cards. To take advantage of CrossFire, you will need to buy one CrossFire master card and one standard ATI based card. Unlike NVIDIA’s SLI setup, the graphic cards do not have to be the same model, nor do they need to be the same brand.

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How To Reinstall Windows XP
Laptop Gamers :: Friday, March 31, 2006
For anyone that has reinstalled their operating system a few times the process seems pretty straightforward as they have found all of the gotchas the first few times. I have lost mail and contacts but not much else over the years by following (or not following) a system to reload my operating system and software. This purpose of this guide is to give you a checklist to follow so that a reloading of Windows goes smoothly the first time.

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Cooler Master Centurion 534 Case
Hardware Secrets :: Friday, March 31, 2006
“Centurion 534 is the latest case in the Centurion series from Cooler Master. While its front panel is aluminum made, the rest of the case is made of zinc-coated steel (a.k.a. SECC). It is a good intermediate solution for those without the budget to go straight to an all-aluminum case. We took a look on this new release by Cooler Master.”

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Firefox versus Internet Explorer in a Corporate Network
Digital Grabber :: Friday, March 31, 2006
Two years ago I blogged about a similar subject. I discussed the advantages of Internet Explorer (IE) over Mozilla and other web browsers in a corporate environment. I concluded that IE is by far the better choice. Recently we deployed about 250 new computers and so I considered this question again. Now, Firefox is the main rival of IE. The decision was not so easy this time, but IE won again in the end.

I am using Firefox myself for a quite while and I really like this web browser. However, when it comes to the question of switching to a new web browser in a corporate network, other arguments have to be considered.

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Vizo Mirrorbox 32 in 1 Card Reader
TechTastic :: Friday, March 31, 2006

Quote: With the amount of consumer electronic devices that use flash memory cards, it makes sense to have some sort of card reader for your computer. Flashcard readers are a handy and fast way to get your data from your digital device to your computer.

Today we take a look at one such flash card reader, the Vizo Mirrorbox 32 in 1 Card Reader. As the name implies, the reader can be used with thirty two different varieties of flash cards.

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VIZO Shuttle Portable 2.5″ HDD Enclosure Review
Virtual-Hideout :: Friday, March 31, 2006

Quote: “The installation is so damn simple, a caveman can do it {;-Þ No tools are needed because VIZO supplies one for you. Start by removing the 2 screws in the end cap. Then plug the end cap on to a 2.5″ HDD, slide the HDD into the enclosure and then button it up with the screws. See, I told you a caveman could do it.”

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Nexenta Alpha 4 Elatte
Phoronix :: Friday, March 31, 2006

Summary: “Nexenta, an operating system forged by using the Solaris kernel while tapping into the Debian and Ubuntu packages, has reached its Alpha 4 stage for Nexenta OS, with the codename being Elatte. This testing release provides massive cleanups of the userland, Nexenta OS installer, re-designed and optimized for speed, and Nexenta OS hardware database. In total, there are 3627 packages in Alpha 4. With this hybrid OS of GNU/Solaris, the results were quite interesting.”

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SuperTalent PC2-6400 2GB Dual Channel Kit
ViperLair :: Friday, March 31, 2006
“SuperTalent does a nice job of exceeding my expectations, getting all of the way to 880MHz, while maintaining 4-3-4-8 timings. I did have to juice them to 1.9V but lets be serious here, I put my OCZ modules at 2.0+V frequently (I must note however that the OCZ heat spreaders are much more substantial then those SuperTalent uses, of course there is yet to be proof of any value to overclocking performance, I digress however).”

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AGEIA PhysX.. First Impressions
Techgage :: Friday, March 31, 2006

Quote: “Last week at the GDC, the buzz was all around us. At hardware and software booths alike. I was able to see the Ageia PhysX card in action as well as sample ATI and NVIDIA’s approach to physics and gaming.”

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How Digital Signal Processing Works
Digital Grabber :: Friday, March 31, 2006
It happens that many people have no idea what Digital Signal Processing means, although they hear more and more often these words, today. Considering the name, Digital Signal Processing, people are lead towards thinking that this procedure deals with digital signals. No; Digital Signal Processing is a method of improving the quality of the analog signals, only. Indeed, the naming used is rather improper, because it relates to all types of digital processing, only that the methods, and the techniques used in DSP deal only with signals that are analog in nature. In the digital signals case, we can only compress, encrypt, and translate them to other digital formats; these (different) procedures do not require any DSP techniques. Using the DSP name when referring to digital signals causes confusion.

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Antec P150
Pro-Clockers :: Friday, March 31, 2006
Quote: Antec is one of the top manufacturers of cases in the entire world. The name is mentioned in any conversion dealing with cases. Taking that reputation and adding in the words quiet and well built, you get the P150.

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Modding the Large HSPC Tech Station Guide
Virtual-Hideout :: Friday, March 31, 2006

Quote: “When all of that is finished, mount the supplied PCI brace and you are DONE. You have just now reversed the layout of the stock large Tech Station. With the motherboard mounted on top, you will not be limited with larger heatsinks…”

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Sharkoon Silent Eagle 2000 120mm Cooling Fan
Pro-Clockers :: Friday, March 31, 2006
Quote: Remember back during the days of XP mobile processor overclocking, when it was necessary to have a high spinning fan like a Delta or equivalent. Yes, those days are far behind us now. Today we don’t have to pump loads of voltage in our processors nor do have to resort to using loud 80mm case fan. Today, we have larger 120mm, slower spinning, noiseless and high CFM fans. Sharkoon was kind enough to send us their latest offering into the 120mm cooling fan market, the Silent Eagle.

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Sansun Bat Case
Think Computers :: Friday, March 31, 2006

Quote: “As a modder, I’ve seen plenty of pre-mods, especially ones based on comic book characters, anime characters and the like. The Bat case is no different in that respect. Here we have Batman’s cowl wrapped around a standard seeming mid-tower enclosure with the obligatory glowing eyes and hinged door. But all pre-mod cases are not created equal, some are of high quality and others are seemingly held together with a bit of bailing wire and a prayer. How does Sansung’s Bat fit into this collection of pre-mods? Let’s take a closer look.”

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News: NVIDIA ‘SoundStorm 2’ to power Playstation 3 audio?
The Tech Report :: Friday, March 31, 2006
Slides now online from Sony’s presentations at GDC include some juicy details about the Playstation 3 and the chips that power it. Among the slides is a high-level block diagram of a PS3 system that shows many of the system components connected as one would expect. But right there among them is an arrow shooting out of the side of the NVIDIA-supplied RSX graphics processor with a label that will raise some eyebrows: “8 Ch. Audio”. This suggests none too subtly that the RSX will provide the PlayStation 3’s audio capabilities as well as its graphics.

I would be inclined to dismiss this possibility outright, had I not been in the room when NVIDIA’s CEO vowed to create a “SoundStorm 2” the very morning the Sony deal was announced…

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Crucial Gizmo! Overdrive 1GB USB Flash Drive
Big Bruin :: Friday, March 31, 2006

Quote: All of our tests demonstrated under certain conditions the transfer rates that Crucial advertises are definitely possible. The additional functionality of the encryption-based PortableVault software helps improve this product’s rating. It is reassuring that personal or confidential data will remain safe on this drive, even if the Gizmo! is lost or stolen.

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HP Photosmart R927 Review
Designtechnica :: Friday, March 31, 2006
“In digital imaging HP is best known for its inkjet printers. Yet the company has over a half-dozen digital cameras meant for casual picture taking. While not targeted to Ansel Adams wannabes, better HP Photosmart digicams more than do the job for the vast majority of photographers. We were big fans of the now discontinued 5MP HP R707. That model is long gone, replaced—and then some–by HP’s top-of- the-line R927, an 8.2-megapixel point-and-shoot camera with a 3x optical zoom. What really sets it apart is its 3-inch LCD screen, one of the largest you can get. The camera has a number of other pluses and minuses. Does the Photosmart R927 offer more plus than minus? Let’s start shooting and find out.”

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Modifying an nVentiv Mach I for extreme subzero performance
Madshrimps :: Friday, March 31, 2006
Quote: “In this article I will show you how I improved nVentiv’s first Subzero machine, the Mach I, so it can easily match the Mach II GT and asetek Vapochill LighSpeed performance wise!”

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Samsung SP2504C 250 GB SATA-300 Hard Disk Drive Review
Hardware Secrets :: Friday, March 31, 2006
“Samsung SP2504C is a 250 GB hard disk drive using the new SATA-300 interface, which allows a maximum theoretical transfer rate of 300 MB/s. Its main specs also include an 8 MB buffer, 7,200 rpm rotation speed and support to NCQ (Native Command Queuing). In this review we checked the performance of Samsung SP2504C installed on a motherboard using a regular SATA-150 port and also on a motherboard using the new SATA-300 port.”

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