Tech News March 2008

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ASUS Striker II Extreme (nForce 790i Ultra SLI) review

Tech Spot :: Friday, March 28, 2008
Today we have in our hands what is easily the most lethal SLI platform yet, as we bring you the ASUS Striker II Extreme motherboard, based on the new Nvidia nForce 790i Ultra SLI chipset.

Unlike the previous generation 780i, this new chipset has been completely redesigned to properly accommodate technologies such as PCI Express 2.0 and Triple-SLI. The nForce 790i adopts Nvidia’s C73 north bridge and MCP55 south bridge, giving it proper 1600MHz FSB support for the latest Intel 45nm processors.

OCZ Technology PC2-8000 Platinum Edition 4GB DDR2 Kit Review
Big Bruin :: Friday, March 28, 2008
Rated at 5-5-5-18, the OCZ Technology PC2-8000 Platinum Edition 4GB DDR2 kit is quite impressive in terms of timings, speed, and capacity. Running at 1000MHz it was able to outperform competition in the form of DDR2 from Patriot and DDR3 from OCZ Technology. While overclocked to 1080MHz it was even able to outperform the DDR3 kit running at 1333MHz.

Sunbeamtech UFO Acrylic Cube Case (ACUF-T) Review 
Hardware Logic :: Friday, March 28, 2008
“With a history of well received items, Sunbeamtech has had their share of success with many well known items, the most popular being the Tuniq coolers and cases. Will their eye for detail continue on with their latest case offering? HardwareLogic looks into (and through) this alien attempt at a completely clear case…”

GIGABYTE DES and ASUS EPU Tested
Tweak Town :: Friday, March 28, 2008
“With the big focus on the environment and how much of a negative impact the 21st century society is having on it, it’s not surprising we are seeing things moving towards “green”. When we refer to green, we aren’t talking about the colour, we are taking about measures used to reduce the devastating impact we are having on the environment because of our industrialised society.

Computer companies are now starting to take the green initiative very seriously with new production methods to make them more environmentally sound. The first stages have already been implemented with the RoHS designs from GIGABYTE and ASUS, this is accomplished by moving from lead based solder to a totally lead free substitute, thus reducing the overall amount of lead required.”

Antec Sonata Plus 550 Case 
Modders Inc :: Friday, March 28, 2008
Need a stylish case with plenty of power included, but want to maintain a lownoise level? Perhaps the Antec Sonata Plus 550 is the case for you. We will take a closer look at the Antec Sonata Plus 550 and see just what Antec has to offer in this stylish case.

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.

Windows XP SP3 RTM Schedule & Updates! 
Tech ARP :: Friday, March 28, 2008
“With the exception of Windows XP Media Center Edition and Windows XP Tablet Edition, Windows XP Service Pack 3 will be released in both standalone and integrated formats. It will be available in both CD and DVD formats, except for the Japanese language version which will only be in DVD format.”

Intel and Microsoft Fund Multi-Threading Research
Hot Hardware :: Friday, March 28, 2008
“Even today, writing software able to take advantage of multi-threading is notoriously difficult. In order to help drive the development of the tools and threading-aware applications, Microsoft and Intel are together awarding the Univerity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of California at Berkeley $10 million dollars over five years to fund two Universal Parallel Computing Research Centers (UPCRC).”

Q Q6600 Heatsink Roundup -12 Tested 
Dragonsteel Mods :: Thursday, March 27, 2008
“As a follow up to the Heatsink Roundup on C2D, I’ve got another batch of tests using a Core2Quad Q6600 CPU, I’ve got twelve coolers in all being tested. I’ve eliminated a couple coolers I used for the C2D roundup though as they were not adequate to cool the C2D so they would not be able to handle the C2Q, but I’ve added Liquid Cooling and the Thermalright Ultra 120 eXtreme to the testing charts. The same as before, you’ll find testing involving the fans connected to the CPU header, connected to a Molex and of course coolers that are able to use no fan at all. ”

Kingston HyperX 2GB PC3-14400 DDR3-1800 Review
ASE Labs :: Thursday, March 27, 2008
” Even though my previous reviews on Kingston Technology products were about their flash division, Kingston still is very much an enthusiast RAM company. Their HyperX series now comes in DDR3 at very high speeds. While DDR3 is still very new, Kingston offers a kit that runs at a scathing PC3-14400 which is 1800MHz DDR. The KHX14400D3K2 is on the bench for review. ”

ABS / Tagan BZ900 900W Power Supply Review
Hardware Canucks :: Thursday, March 27, 2008
If you look at things from a pure performance standpoint, the ABS / Tagan BZ900 exceeded our expectations by putting out some impressive numbers. Efficiency, voltage regulation and ripple suppression were all spot-on and the 135mm fan gave a new name to the term “silent operation”. Tagan also deserves a huge pat on the back for including every extra that an enthusiast could ever want.

Coolink Chipchilla Chipset Cooler Review 
RB Mods :: Thursday, March 27, 2008
Chipset coolers are often overlooked in a computer build, as most people focus on CPU coolers and case fans. But as computer performance increases, these chipset temperatures are also rising. Today we’ll look at a new chipset cooler, the Coolink Chipchilla Chipset Cooler. Will this chipset cooler be an improvement over a stock chipset cooler? Read on to find out.

Acer Closes in on HP, With Inspiration from Apple
Digital Trends :: Thursday, March 27, 2008
I was at the Acer launch of their Aspire Gemstone laptop line in New York and was very impressed with their new showing. Of course the fact they started with one of my favorite driving tunes (eiffle 55s Blue – which my wife hates) helped a lot. Acer, now chasing HP for the number one spot in the notebook market, appears to be taking inspiration from Apple in terms of user experience and quality of design with this unique Acer offering. Let’s talk about what makes this line interesting and weave the Apple influence into it.

MSI X48 Platinum Motherboard 
Viper Lair :: Thursday, March 27, 2008
“Overclocking the old fashioned way was actually very easy, despite the E6750’s 333MHz FSB. With little effort, we were able to reach 490Mhz on air, which is the exact same result we hit on the MSI P35 earlier this year. Default voltage wasn’t enough for this though and we were required to increase the voltages to the max allowable for CPU and chipset.”

OCZ Reaper HPC DDR2 1066 2 x 2 GB Review
Overclockers Club :: Wednesday, March 26, 2008
“I wanted to see how far I could get the memory to go, so I started playing with numbers. The highest overclock I could get was 1167MHz, but to get there I had to loosen the timings all the way to 5-8-8-22. At these timings, the scores were lower than the stock speeds so they were not usable as an overclock. The sweet spot that I found for the best performance was at 1120MHz with the stock timings of 5-5-5-18. This gave a slight improvement and was thoroughly stable. These are the scores I am going to use for overclocked benchmarking later in this review.”

Mtron Pro 7000 2.5-Inch 16GB SSD SATA7025
Benchmark Reviews :: Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Mtron offers the Pro 7000 SSD as a high performance storage device designed to solve the bottleneck of computing system by traditional hard disk drives. The Pro 7000 SSD can be a drop-in replacement to hard disk drives without any additional software installation. Customers may benefit instantly from the SSD’s high random access performance and solve the legacy problem of access time bottlenecks traditional to hard disk drives. Benchmark Reviews tests the performance of the Mtron SATA7025 Solid State Drive to see if it’s worth the high purchase price.

EVGA NVIDIA 790i SLI Ultra / 9800GX2 1GB Review
Motherboards.org :: Wednesday, March 26, 2008
The new 790i motherboard brings NVIDIA up to speed on many of the features that have left them a bit dragging behind Intel for the last two quarters and makes a strong comeback on the new 790i. DDR3 was one of the most lacking features in the 780i series and is addressed well in the 790i as it can handle up to 2000MHz EPP DDR3 memory without a hitch. This and PCIe 2.0 are the main new features to be seen here and they both bring a bit more performance to the table when combined with the right system parts that enable these features to shine.The new 9800GX2 is a great card for anyone who has a 24” or bigger monitor as the card really begins to rock in resolutions of 1920X1200 or larger. In these instances this card is the fastest single slot solution there is on the market currently and cannot be touched by ATI’s 3870X2 card. These are both hot products for the enthusisat and gaming crowd!


VOX V1 750GB External Hard Drive Review
Techgage :: Wednesday, March 26, 2008
External hard drive enclosures are a dime a dozen… kind of. VOX’s solution delivers similar features as the others, such as USB 2.0 and FireWire connections, along with some backup software. In the end though, what should be a killer offering proved to be a very mediocre one.

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.

OCZ XTC Memory Cooler Review
Club OC :: Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Surprisingly, the heatspreader of the Ballistix reached up to 60C even when under a load for 15 minutes, which is more than I expected. Not surprising, the XTC RAM cooler did an excellent job of cooling the RAM to reasonable levels, idling at 32.9C and loading at a mere 36.1C, with a delta of nearly 24C. Even better, the XTC was barely audible when running.

Noctua NT-H1 Pro Grade Thermal Compound Review
Hardware Canucks :: Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Noctua has realeased a long line of high performance cooling products so it was only a matter of time until they released a thermal compound. The NT-H1 is Noctua’s first foray into the highly competitive thermal compound market but does inexperience in TIM equate a good debut?

Cooler Master Real Power Pro 850 W Power Supply Review
Hardware Secrets :: Wednesday, March 26, 2008
“Real Power Pro is the high-end power supply series from Cooler Master, featuring models from 550 W to 1,250 W. We reviewed the 850 W model (a.k.a. RS-850-EMBA), which features a big 135-mm fan, dual-transformer design and six +12V rails, being targeted to high-end systems featuring three or four video cards. According to Cooler Master this unit was labeled at 50º C and can deliver up to 1,000 W during peaks. Let’s see whether this is true or not and also let’s take a trip inside this unit.”

Rosewill R6XR8-BK Black ATX Computer Case Review
Legit Reviews :: Tuesday, March 25, 2008
“The overall process of putting everything together in the Rosewell R6XR8-BK case was a seamless and painless one. Rosewill’s idea of screw less design certainly delivered and made the process a little more enjoyable. The two supplied 120mm fans…”

Scythe Kama-Flex 80mm Case Fan Review
Dragonsteel Mods :: Tuesday, March 25, 2008
” Touting a 80000 hour life span and a fan speed clocking in at 1500, the KamaFlex looks like a great fan for keeping your case cool and quiet for quite some time. Like the 92mm version, the Kama-Flex 80mm Case Fan features the Sony developed S-FDB (Fluid Dynamic Bearing) to provide quieter and improved performance”

Antec Sonata III Mid-Tower Case Review
Futurelooks :: Monday, March 24, 2008
In many ways, the Sonata III seems to be more of a tweaked version of the Sonata II than a complete imagination. Why mess with something that works? But are these tweaks really an improvement or just cosmetic changes to sell a few more cases? Today, we’re going to find out if Antec continues with the “Quiet Computing” legacy with the Sonata III.

ASUS M3A32-MVP Deluxe/WiFi-AP Motherboard Review
Think Computers :: Tuesday, March 25, 2008
“ASUS is one of the most well-known motherboard manufacturers. Its boards are known for consistent stability and awesome features, as well as excellent design. ThinkComputers reviewed the M3A32-MVP Deluxe/Wifi, a top-shelf, Crossfire-capable motherboard using the AMD 790X chipset and an on-board wireless module. This writer’s first motherboard review, I load this board with everything I could throw at it: a top of the line power supply and graphics card, oodles of RAM, and three operating systems.”

Intel E8500 Core2 Duo CPU Review
Motherboards.org :: Tuesday, March 25, 2008
The E8500 is the fastest Core 2 Duo solution on the market with the clock speed set at 3.16GHz, fully 266MHz higher than the next fastest E series CPU. For a MSRP on the Intel CPU price list of $266 this makes an affordable solution for those not wanting to spend $999 on an Intel CPU like the QX9770 that’s upcoming. Dual Core CPUs like the E8500 are excellent choices for the everyday user. The E8500 also overclocks like a beast reaching 4.389 GHz, a nearly 40% overclock on normal air-cooling. Other people have reached over 4.5GHz on theirs. Dual Core processors still have a market as only the Q6600 Core 2 Quad CPU reaches this level of price but performance on the E8500 beats that CPU in many cases.

Icy Box NAS 4220 Enclosure Review
OCIA :: Tuesday, March 25, 2008
“Today I have for review an Icy Box multi-drive NAS device, the IB-NAS4220-B. NAS is short for Network Attached Storage, and unlike a typical external hard drive enclosure which must be connected directly to a host computer in order to access, a NAS device uses a network client to allow access across a shared medium, like Ethernet.”

Asus Striker II Extreme
t-break :: Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Last week we have reviewed a motherboard based on the Intels latest chipset for enthusiasts, X48. Nvidia closely monitored the launch of Intels new chipset and decided to take on it with its own high-end chipset for Intelss processors, nForce 790i Ultra SLI. New chipset brings support for DDR3 memory, 3-Way SLI, 1600FSB and all 45nm Penryn-based processors. Finally.

Zalman ZM750-HP Power Supply Review
Hardware Logic :: Monday, March 24, 2008
Zalman opened up shop in 1999 with a focus on bringing peace to the computer world – in the form of silent computing. They became well known for their quiet and unique (if not bizarre at times) cooling products. Nearly a decade later, Zalman’s product line has expanded, but their philosophy of producing unique and quiet products has continued. That philosophy can be seen in the Zalman HP power supply line. The Zalman HP line of supplies are designed for silent performance and utilize a heat pipe system in pursuit of that. It’s unique, and it’s oh so “Zalman.”

VIZO Luxon Advanced ED HDD caddy Review 
Xtreme COmputing :: Monday, March 24, 2008
“Today I am going to be looking at another product from a company that I have only recently been introduced to. The company is Vizo Technology Corp and the item under review is the Luxon Advanced ED hard drive caddy. After the very promising introductory product I have quite high expectations of this little piece of hardware”

Paragon Disk Manager 2008 Suite
Techware Labs :: Monday, March 24, 2008
Matt takes a look at the Paragon Disk Manager 2008 Suite. This suite by Paragon Software includes several handy tools for managing your PC, improving performance, backup and restore, and even migration tools. Read our review to find out if we liked this software and if it performed as well as it should.

What is Happening to Modding
Modders Inc :: Monday, March 24, 2008
Strangely enough it seems that lately there has been a decrease in the Modding community. We see more of the same mods over and over and less new stuff. So, why is that? I have an opinion, yeah I know everyone usually does and they usually stink! lol

Mediasonic SU2LA Dual Bay RAID + NAS Enclosure Review
Hardware Canucks :: Monday, March 24, 2008
Today we will be looking at one Mediasonic’s newest products: the HUR1-SU2LA. This unit is a 2 bay Raid+ NAS Drive Enclosure Kit that not only includes USB connectivity but also RJ45 network abilities. Just like its other siblings it has RAID 0 and 1 capabilities and can use any standard SATA 3.5” hard drive.