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News Archives for April 2008

Hardware Roundup: Tuesday Edition

Posted: April 1, 2008 @ time: 04:46AM
Author: Nemo

While we await the inevitable series of reviews surrounding today's 9800GTX cards, our roundup offers enough to keep you busy for a while starting with a couple of cases from Cooler Master and Sunbeam. The AMD Phenom 9850 X4 processor is reviewed by Fudzilla and motherboards.org where both sites saw overclocks in the 3GHz range. Fudzilla also posted another look as ASUS' Eee PC. Be sure to check back later for any 9800GTX reviews we discover.

Cases
Cooler Master CM690 @ Viper Lair
Cooler Master COSMOS S Chassis @ HotHardware
Sunbeam 9-Bay Acrylic Case @ Overclocker Cafe

CPUs
Phenom 9850 Black goes to 3.1GHz @ Fudzilla
AMD Phenom 9850 X4 Black Edition CPU @ motherboards.org

Input Devices
SteelSeries Ikari Laser Mouse @ Techgage

Monitors
ASUS PG221 22-inch Widescreen LCD Monitor @ ThinkComputers

Notebooks
Asus' midget Eee PC reeeviewed @ Fudzilla

Speakers/Headphones
Skullcandy Full Metal Jacket Headset for iPhone and Curve @ Legit Reviews

Storage/Hard Drives
A quick look at Thermaltake's BlacX SE hard drive docking station @ Tech Report
Kingston DataTraveler 400 2GB Flash Drive @ ThinkComputers

Video
NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT Graphics Card @ Tech ARP
Unified ForceWare 201.77 Exclusive Test @ TweakTown

Miscellany
Ray Tracing To Debut In DirectX 11 @ Tech ARP


Complete Story


April Fools Day Brings Renewed Storm Attacks

Posted: April 1, 2008 @ time: 05:05AM
Author: Nemo

We all know April 1 brings lots of chuckles as web sites try to pull one over on unsuspecting users but here's one that's no joke and could actually lead to your computer being compromised. Security researchers say the authors of the Storm Trojan are back at it with spam messages bearing various April Fool's day titles that contain links to URLs that attempt to entice users to click on executable files such as "foolsday.exe" and "kickme.exe" which are actually versions of the Storm Trojan. This is one joke you don't want to 'get'.


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Hardware Roundup: 9800GTX Edition

Posted: April 1, 2008 @ time: 07:10AM
Author: jammin

The NVIDIA 9800GTX was officially released today, so naturally there are reviews popping up all over the internet. Even we ourselves have two 9800GTX reviews out today. So take a look below to see what kind of first impressions NVIDIA's latest card makes.

XFX 9800GTX @ OCC
ZOGIS 9800GTX @ OCC
ASUS GeForce 9800GTX @ TechSpot
XFX 9800GTX @ Bjorn3D
EVGA 9800GTX @ NVNews
XFX and Palit 9800GTX @ Legit Reviews
BFG, EVGA and Zogis 9800GTX @ HotHardware
XFX 9800GTX @ Neoseeker
BFGTech GeForce 9800GTX @ [H]ard|OCP


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Intel Shows Off Atom Based Ultra Portables

Posted: April 1, 2008 @ time: 07:41AM
Author: jammin

It is looking more and more like ASUS were a little ahead of the curve when it released its Eee PC, as it appears we are going to be seeing a wide range of very similar machines from a variety of manufacturers in days to come. In the run up to the Intel Developer Forum, Intel were displaying a few Atom based machines which bear more than a passing resemblence to the popular ASUS model. Of course, ASUS itself will be adopting the Atom in upcoming Eee PCs so other companies will be playing catch up on an established brand. Also, while unidentified in the original link, Engadget have fingered the third machine in the line up as MSI's Wind PC (the name being further proof that far eastern marketing departments are a little out of touch with western culture).


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Pay-Per-View Takes on a Funereal Quality in Britain

Posted: April 1, 2008 @ time: 08:59AM
Author: Nemo

This is pay-per-view unlike anything you've ever seen - hopefully. The latest twist in online services in Britain is the pay-per-view funeral, scheduled to go live today. This item was reported by Reuters and picked up by several national news services so I am assuming this is not an April Fool's joke. Wesley Music, the company offering the service, plans to charge around $150US for viewers to access a live webcast of funeral services. Designed for friends and family unable to attend in person the system makes use of a camera mounted in the chapel and has already been tested and used by people as far away as Canada and Australia.


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Virgin Atlantic and Google Team up on Project Virgle

Posted: April 1, 2008 @ time: 09:20AM
Author: Nemo

Virgin founder Richard Branson and Google's Larry Page and Sergey Brin have reportedly teamed together in a project of epic proportions named Project Virgle. Starting in 2014 they plan to lead hundreds of people on the adventure of a lifetime to establish a permanent colony on Mars. Volunteers for this pioneering adventure are being recruited starting today (April 1). Virgil is also recruiting volunteers to man positions in mission control and other support functions for those of a less adventurous nature. Check your calendars and then head on over to the web site to take the test to become a Virgle Pioneer! Just be prepared, you'll need to fill out the questionnaire and provide a 30-second video explaining why you want to live on Mars. Good luck!


Complete Story


Microsoft Won't Pay More For Yahoo

Posted: April 1, 2008 @ time: 09:46AM
Author: jammin

This story has been running for a while now, ever since MS made an offer to buy out Yahoo back at the beginning February (yes it was that long ago). While it may have been relatively interesting at that point (providing you are into company mergers), it has now essentially reached the point of a staring contest with many waiting to see who will blink first. Microsoft seem to now be adamant that they will not be upping the offer, which Yahoo had previously said undervalued the company. So that would leave Yahoo in the position of coming to a final decision, which could be difficult one, especially if it continues to struggle as it has been. I wouldn't be surprised if it took another month or more before we find out which way this story will end up going.


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OCC represented at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2008!!!

Posted: April 1, 2008 @ time: 09:55AM
Author: kingdingeling

After OCCs presence at CES in Las Vegas, USA and the CeBit in Hannover, Germany, we now present our very own modelling line-up for the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2008! Forum user Hardnrg will be representing us over there. Hardnrg is a well known model himself, just recently featured on the front page of the April 2008 issue of "Overclock". The coverage of CES and the CeBit was received well by the community, so we hope that this news makes you as enthralled as it makes us, the staff of OCC.


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iPhone To Use Windows Mobile OS

Posted: April 1, 2008 @ time: 01:05PM
Author: razor

Earlier today, Apple announced its intent to use Windows Mobile as the OS on the much-hacked iPhone.  An Apple insider said that the change was needed because of the difficulties experienced getting a 3G phone to work with OSX.  The same insider also noted that Windows Mobile is a much more reliable platform, and far more secure than OSX.  The Fruit-based tech. firm is said to be unhappy about the change, but feels that a "world ruled by Windows" is inevitable.  April Fools!!


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IPCGA Bans HP Blackbird

Posted: April 1, 2008 @ time: 01:31PM
Author: razor

The International PC Gaming Association has decided to ban the Hewlett-Packard Blackbird from this year's International Gaming Tournament, which is to be held next month.  The IPCGA has issued a statement outlining the reasons for the Blackbird's ban.  These reasons include - the Blackbird's liquid cooling system requires practically no maintenance, giving it an unfair advantage over other liquid cooled systems that need periodic refilling.  Also, the six-way airflow system in the Blackbird's case has been deemed too effective - allowing for extended gaming sessions.  Lastly, the high-performance components that make the Blackbird so powerful are just too advanced for a normal gaming system to compete with.  Farad Soliploy, President of the IPCGA, remarked:  "The HP Blackbird 002 is just too bloody powerful. It creates unfair competition. Forget about a ‘one-arm-behind your back disadvantage,’ playing another machine against the Blackbird would be like playing without a head. It ain’t pretty."  more April Fools!!


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Purdue University Creates Transparent Display

Posted: April 1, 2008 @ time: 03:46PM
Author: oldfett

Science Fiction writers dreams are becoming a reality in the form of Transparent Active Matrix Displays. This would allow advances in car electronics, such as GPS and important data showing up on the windshield, this would allow for safer travel as well as looking cool! Other advances would be made in entertainment such as TV's that are clear when not in use, I personally think it would make a sweet shower door too! The researchers at Purdue University created the first unit using new types of transparent transistors and circuits, they also believe that their unit rivals many TV's on the market in terms of brightness. The unit bases its glory on nanowires, small cylindrical structures built on glass or plastic film, these nanowires can be as small as 20 nanometers or about 1000x thinner than a human hair.


Complete Story


Intel To Release DirectX 10 Driver

Posted: April 1, 2008 @ time: 04:30PM
Author: razor

Around the end of April 2008, Intel is expected to release a DirectX 10 driver for a number of its chipsets.  Look for the driver to be named "version 15.9", and to be compatible with the G35 PC desktop chipset, and the GM965 and GL960 notebook chipsets.  Also, the upcoming G45 and GM45 IGP chipsets will support DirectX 10 via the new driver.  Intel's G35 desktop chipset was originally set to support DirectX 10 natively, but driver issues caused Intel to release the product with DirectX 9 support instead.


Complete Story


NVIDIA Releases Forceware 174.74

Posted: April 1, 2008 @ time: 05:01PM
Author: razor

To coincide with the release of the 9800 GTX graphics card, NVIDIA has a new driver available.  Forceware driver 174.74 was launched today, and is WHQL certified for a number of products - including the 9800 GX2, 9800 GTX, and integrated graphics solutions nForce 730a and 720a.  The new driver also supports NVIDIA SLI and Tri-SLI when used with compatible video cards, and also adds support for NVIDIA GeForce 3D Stereo Technology - which allows the user to see games in an entirely new way when used in conjunction with approved passive polarized stereo displays or an Anaglyph display with red/blue stereo glasses.  Forceware driver 174.74 is available for download here - and supports 32 and 64-bit flavors of XP (including Media Center Edition), 32 and 64-bit flavors of Vista, and 64-bit Server 2003.


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday Edition

Posted: April 2, 2008 @ time: 05:12AM
Author: Nemo

After yesterday's flurry of reviews due to the release of Nvidia's 9800GTX cards we turn to China and Intel's IDF conference where more details on its Atom processor are being released. We also get a chance to look at an X48 motherboard from TweakTown. Intel's IDF is not the only source of new product news as Virtual-Hideout covers InfernaLAN. More video card news including another 9800GTX review that didn't make yesterday's roundup. So dig in and enjoy.

CPUs
Intel Atom Processor Officially Announced - More from IDF @ PC Perspective
Intel's Atom processor unveiled @ Tech Report
Intel's Ultra-Portable Atom: Unveiled @ HotHardware

Input Devices
Razer Lycosa Programmable Gaming Keyboard @ ExtremeMHz

Memory
Crucial Ballistix Tracer 2Gig PC2-8500 1066Mhz DDR2 Memory Kit @ Tweaknews

Motherboards
GIGABYTE X48T-DQ6 DDR3 Motherboard @ TweakTown

Storage/HArd Drives
Eagle Tech I-Series Dual SATA HDD USB Enclosure @ Madshrimps
Thermaltake BlacX SATA Hard Drive USB Docking Station @ PCSTATS

Trade Shows/Conventions
Penryn and Bone Trail at InfernaLAN @ Virtual-Hideout

Video
NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GTX 512MB Review - 3-Way SLI makes a return @ PC Perspective
Sapphire Radeon HD 3650 OC Edition Video Card @ ThinkComputers
ASUS EN8800GTS TOP 512MB @ Techgage


Complete Story


Intel Fleshes Out Atom Processor Lineup

Posted: April 2, 2008 @ time: 08:47AM
Author: jammin

Yesterday we saw Intel displaying some ultra portables based on Atom processors and today we see Intel adding five new processors to the Atom family. The new additions are all built on the 45nm process and range in speed from 800MHz to 1.86GHz, they also all feature 512KB of L2 cache. These Silverthorne based processors are squished onto a package roughly the size of a penny (13mm x 14mm) and are destined to find homes in what Intel refers to as Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) as well as GPS devices, portable video players and any other device you can think of that could make use of them. Prices range from $45 for the Z500 @ 800MHz, up to $160 for the Z540 @ 1.86GHz. Back up for these chips will come in the form of Intel's new System Controller Hub (SCH), which incorporates a number of useful features such as HD Audio, PCIe and USB plus WiFi, WiMAX, EV-DO and HSDPA capabilities. Also included is a graphics solution with support for hardware accelerated 720p and 1080i content. Part of the philosophy behind the Atom processor is getting Intel into new developing markets, but there seems to be enough potential here to offer useful products for well established markets as well.


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Canon Lose Ground To Nikon In DSLR Market

Posted: April 2, 2008 @ time: 10:59AM
Author: jammin

Canon have remained top dog in the camera game for some time now, at least in terms of market share (other measurements are open to interpretation). For example, in 2006 Canon held 46.7 percent of the DSLR market compared to 33 percent for Nikon. It would seem in the last year that gap closed considerably, with Canon selling 3.18 million SLR models and Nikon selling 2.98 million; shares of 42.7 percent and 40 percent respectively. So one would have to assumed Nikon is doing something right by consumers to narrow the margin by that much, with possibilities being the D300 and D3 at the higher end. Yet it is at the lower end of the DSLR market that the real numbers get shifted, and this is the market that Canon has been strong in previously. What is probably of more interest overall is that the SLR market is growing faster than that for compact cameras as prices are driven down and the compact market becomes saturated. As always, close competition is good for the consumer, so there is something to be happy about even if market share and seemingly meaningless numbers aren't your thing.


Complete Story


Microsoft's OOXML Declared ISO/IEC Standard

Posted: April 2, 2008 @ time: 12:17PM
Author: razor

The International Standardization Organization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) announced that  Microsoft's Office Open XML (OOXML) will be the international standard document format.  The OOXML format - used in Microsoft's Office 2007 - was chosen after much heated debate and a fair amount of mudslinging by parties opposed to and in favor of, to be the multi-platform standard used in spreadsheets, word-processing documents, and presentations.  104 countries participated in the joint ISO/IEC standardization process, which required a 66.67% "Yea" vote to approve OOXML.


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Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!

Posted: April 2, 2008 @ time: 12:35PM
Author: oldfett

Apple is facing a lawsuit over its new MacBooks due to a discrepancy in its advertising. Apple has been marketing the MacBooks with the slogan "Millions of Colors", when in fact it is only a little over 250,000 colors. In order to cut costs with MacBooks apple opted to use a 6-bit LCD versus an 8-bit, if they had gone with the 8-bit they would have been in the clear. A similar case came up last year when a pair of MacBook owners filed a suit against Apple for similar reasons. Apple eventually reached a settlement with the pair last month bringing the case to a close. Apple is not the first manufacturer to have problems similar to this, many including Dell, Viewsonic, Samsung and others have had court related problems with the marketing of their LCD's.


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Is Google buying Skype off eBay?

Posted: April 2, 2008 @ time: 12:53PM
Author: kingdingeling

eBay's aquisition of Skype in 2005 ($2.6 billion) is regarded as bad buy ever since by many, but the rumour kitchen of the internet has some interesting news. Google might be interested in a partnership with Skype, or possibly to buy the whole company. Google said they would not comment on rumours, but they also said that they were interested in any sort of relationship that might be useful for users, advertisers and publishers. And don't forget Google's wallet! Google itself has a Voice-Over-IP (VoIP) client themselves, called Google Talk, which, combined with Skype, could make the effort of Google to move into the mobile sector more successful. Analysts figure that Skype could sell for as much as $6 billion, but Google is not necessarily out to buy the company. They would favor it if Skype was turned into a 'hackable' program that is more developer friendly.


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Free Utility Slipstreams SP1 Into Vista Install

Posted: April 2, 2008 @ time: 01:00PM
Author: razor

A Croatian college student has produced a cool little app. that allows users to slipstream SP1 into a new Vista installation.  vLite was first created as a way to lessen Windows Vista's footprint upon installation, allowing users to shrink the OS down so far that it takes up only 1.4GB hard drive space after setup.  The newest version of vLite, the 1.1.6 Beta, allows for the use of a "Service Pack Slipstream" - which updates the files from an original Vista install disc with SP1, then creates an .iso that can be burned to a DVD that would then be used to install the most up-to-date Vista possible.  vLite also allows users a number of ways to customize their Vista installation, including - adding or removing components of the OS, which language packs are installed, and which drivers are installed.  For more info on this neat program, you can visit vLite's website and poke around a little.


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Lenovo's Intel Atom based Handheld shown at Intel Developer Forum

Posted: April 2, 2008 @ time: 01:09PM
Author: kingdingeling

Mobile computing is becoming more and more popular amongst business men and other alike. Lenovo showed a handheld computer at CES Las Vegas this January, however it did not have a name yet. At the Intel Developer Forum in Shanghai, the IdeaPad U8, as it is called, was shown. As unveiled at CES, the small device runs Linux natively, can of course connect to the internet, can be used as a GPS device, plays music and takes photos. It uses the Intel Atom processor, features a touchscreen display and is targeted at consumers, as the name IdeaPad gives away (the name of Lenovo's new laptop lineup). As Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs as Intel calls them) are not that popular in the US or Europe, it is currently only available in China, but the Intel Atom technology might change that, as the devices keep getting smaller.


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Firefox 3 Beta 5 Released Today

Posted: April 2, 2008 @ time: 01:41PM
Author: razor

Hey there, Firefox users - Mozilla announced today that Firefox 3's Beta 5 is now available for download.  New features in this release include - improvements in the user interface across multiple platforms, and alterations for new features like bookmark backup and restore, and full page zoom.  Also, core functions like security, web compatibility, and overall stability have been improved.  Beta 5 also incorporates changes aimed at improving speed, performance, and memory usage.  Interested users can download Firefox 3 Beta 5 - in 45 different languages - for Windows, OSX, and Linux.


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AT+T Partners With Microsoft to Bring Surface to Stores

Posted: April 2, 2008 @ time: 02:31PM
Author: razor

Microsoft and AT+T have announced a partnership that will give mobile device customers the chance to shop using Microsoft's Surface computer.  Surface allows users to interact with the computer by using touch, gestures, and device placement on its 30-inch screen.  This unique shopping experience will let customers compare the details of two mobile devices, simply by placing them on the Surface's surface.  The computer will recognize the devices automatically, and will display an interactive coverage map - allowing the user to scale their desired coverage from the national to the local level.  If Surface is well received, AT+T plans for expanded distribution among its 2200 U.S. retail stores - and has future plans for allowing customers to "drag 'n' drop" ringtones, wallpapers, video, etc. from Surface directly to their phones.  Cool stuff.


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Xbox 360 & Blu-ray? Will it ever end?

Posted: April 2, 2008 @ time: 02:53PM
Author: Andrewr05

This will now be the 3rd article that I have written about the possibility of Microsofts Xbox 360 console to utilize Blu-ray drives. I originally posted an article about Microsoft being in direct contact with Sony about using the medium and then I posted an article about Microsoft denying that they had ever talked with Sony. "Sources" now say (if that means anything by this point) that Lite-On is now developing BD-ROm drives for Microsofts console. The shipments of BD-ROM drives will begin in late 2008 and the "Sources" also say that a newer revision of the XBOX 360 will be produced with a 170W power supply opposed to the now 210W power supply which I'm assuming will be due to the BD-ROM drives lower power consumption.


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday Afternoon Edition

Posted: April 2, 2008 @ time: 03:37PM
Author: kingdingeling

After yesterday's release of the 9800GTX video card from NVIDIA, there is another review of one at motherboards.org. If you need a screent to go with that card, PCStats is reviewing a Samsung 17" monitor, which would leave the 9800GTX bored to death though. The 3dGameMan has some OCZ ReaperX DDR3 in the test bed, this time a 4GB kit. Madshrimps have a MSI gaming notebook on the review bench, which is one of the new models that was shown off a this years CeBit in Hannover, Germany. [H]ardOCP reviews the Noctua NH-U12P CPU cooler, which OCC did a review of here. Speaking of coolers, TechARP posted an article about the use of fake Intel Retail coolers with CPUs being sold. The Viperlair has a budget Coolermaster case in testing, which has a lot of features that you would only expect in more expensive cases. To finish off todays roundup, we have Frontlines: Fuel of War for PC and Xbox360 being reviewed at the [OC]ModShop.

Cooling:
Noctua NH-U12P CPU Cooler Review @ [H]ardOCP

CPUs:
Counterfeit Intel Boxed Processors @ TechARP

Gaming:
Frontlines: Fuel of War (PC, Xbox 360) Review @ [OC]ModShop

Laptops:
MSI GX600 Performance Laptop Review @ Madshrimps

Memory:
OCZ PC3-10666 ReaperX 4GB Memory Kit Review @ 3dGameMan

Monitors:
Samsung Syncmaster 743B 17-inch LCD Display Review @ PCStats

Video Cards:
XFX GeForce 9800GTX Review @ Motherboards.org


Complete Story


Gaming News - No Madden 09 on PC

Posted: April 2, 2008 @ time: 05:01PM
Author: razor

PC gamers get the shaft again - it was announced yesterday that Madden 09 will ship on every major platform except the PC.  This is no April Fool's joke, people - EA Sports claims that "serious business challenges" are preventing them from being able to produce a PC version of the uber-popular - and only officially licensed - NFL game.  It's also worth mentioning that this year marks the 20th anniversary of the Madden franchise - and the Xbox 360 and PS3 are getting special anniversary editions.  While I'd like everyone to read the entire entry, I need to quote part of EA Sports President Peter Moore's blog -

"We knew that our decision to not develop this year’s Madden for the PC would be an unpopular decision in some circles.  But I’ll reiterate what I said a couple of weeks ago in this space…the PC presents some very serious business challenges to us in the sports category, particularly because so many of you all are playing your favorite sports games on the PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii.  We are committed to shipping a limited number of our games on the PC this year, but we’ve also had to cut a few of our games from the platform.  We do have ideas for how to revitalize the PC for sports games and the types of games that are best suited to the platform, and we’ll continue to explore those."

Some circles?  Perhaps Peter means "everyone who plays Madden on their PC".  I'm also curious what other blockbuster franchises EA Sports intends to trim from its roster.  The most incredible thing in the above quote is the part about how EA Sports has ideas about how they can revitalize the PC for sports games - it is absolutely impossible to make things better by not releasing games.  Period.


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In Win Launches B2 Stealth Bomber Case

Posted: April 2, 2008 @ time: 09:48PM
Author: razor

Respected PC case and power supply manufacturer In Win has announced the addition of a Stealth Bomber to its lineup - the B2 Stealth Bomber case!  This exciting case brings innovate design and extreme functionality to the typically drab computer case market.  The B2 features a motorized front panel that opens with just a touch of the red button on the front of the case - when actuated, the motor flips up the drive shield and exposes every externally accessible drive.  Another quick touch and the drive shield descends to cover the bays.  What happens if the power goes out?  Well, the In Win B2 Stealth Bomber is prepared for that - there's a "Rescue" switch that can be set to "manual" to allow motor-less drive shield function.  On the inside, the B2 gets some great airflow from the four vibration-damped fans and a couple of side vents.  Also, In Win coated the floppy and hard drive rails (tool-free install, of course) in rubber, to help reduce vibration and shock.  There are even two holes on the back of the case that are perfectly sized for tubing if you run a liquid cooling setup.  You can check out the OCC review of the In Win B2 Stealth Bomber PC case here.


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Hardware Roundup: Thursday Edition

Posted: April 3, 2008 @ time: 04:26AM
Author: Nemo

After a hectic week with a lot of good reviews coming out we find today's roundup has several cooling-related articles with reviews on case fans, CPU coolers and a VGA cooler roundup. Mention networking gear and you'll likely think of makers like Linksys, Netgear or D-Link. Mention ASUS and you'll probably think of motherboards, but they have a 802.11g router in their lineup as well, reviewed today by Techgage. With all the recent PCIe video cards released recently and this week's news dominated by NVIDIA's 9800GTX cards, it's difficult to remember that there are a lot of users out there still on the old AGP format cards (you remember AGP don't you?). The last AGP card we saw was the ATI 1950 Pro. Now, PowerColor has released a AGP Radeon 3850 card and Fudzilla and has look at it.

Cooling
Xigmatek Coolers (XP-S964 & HDT-S1283) @ MetkuMods
Noctua NF-B9 92mm Case Fan @ RBMods
Mega 9-way VGA Cooler Roundup @ TweakTown

Networking
ASUS WL-520gU Wireless Router @ Techgage

Storage/Hard Drives
Honeywell 80 GB SecuraDrive Portable Drive @ Bjorn3D

Video
PowerColor's HD 3850 AGP benched @ Fudzilla
ASUS GeForce 8800GS TOP 384MB @ TweakTown


Complete Story


Comcast to Begin Offering 50Mbps Service

Posted: April 3, 2008 @ time: 05:12AM
Author: Nemo

Cable giant Comcast announced it will begin offering faster Internet service beginning today in certain parts of the Minneapolis - St. Paul region. Based on next-generation DOCSIS 3.0 gear, the new service will allow residential customers to get 50Mbps/5Mbps broadband service, albeit at a hefty price. The new service will cost $150/month, about triple the current cost. Along with the new tier, Comcast also plans to bump speed for current customers with the lowest tier getting 1Mbps upload speeds and the current premium tier seeing upload speed increases to 2Mbps. The new DOCSIS 3.0 technology acallows the use of four channels to send data instead of the current single channel. Comcast plans to make the service available to about 20 percent of its market by year end with the rollout to be completed sometime in 2010. The company was mum on which markets will get the new service next.


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Intel Branded SSD Thoughts

Posted: April 3, 2008 @ time: 06:06AM
Author: jammin

We know that Intal are planning on getting some high capacity SSDs out into the market sometime later this year, but now we have some comments from someone who has actually used one of Intel's upcoming drives. The fact that the feedback comes from an Intel company blog may mean a slightly cynical view could be taken, but if it is to be believed we should certainly be looking forward to the introduction of these could be hard drive killers. Knut Grimsrud, the guy leading the development team for the company's new high-performance solid-state drive was recently given the opportunity to put the technology through its paces on his own laptop. According to Grimsrud, he found himself surprised to be performing tasks which would usually bog his machine down with relative ease, and was disappointed when the time came to re-install his old hard drive. Genuine praise or clever marketing? I'll let you make your mind up on that one.


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CBS: NCAA Final Four Games Live and Online

Posted: April 3, 2008 @ time: 11:27AM
Author: Nemo

CBS Sports has said it will broadcast the Final Four games along with the championship game live via its On Demand video service, purportedly a first for a major US sports event. CBS had recently dropped registration requirements and provided fans with during the last round of playoff games. That decision led to the video service being distributed to over 200 sites across the web during the playoffs. The service even included a "Boss button" to hide the games for those watching during work hours.


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Gaming News - Epic Wants You to Make Something Unreal!

Posted: April 3, 2008 @ time: 11:58AM
Author: razor

Listen up, Unreal Tournament 3 mod makers - Epic Games has partnered with Intel to launch the $1 Million Make Something Unreal contest. This contest is aimed at giving the best and the brightest of the Unreal modding community their chance to shine.  The only thing contestants need to do is develop and submit a great mod for UT3.  There are four phases to the contest, but rather than having any phase being dependent on another, Epic wants modders to enter early and often.  Participants are certainly allowed to enter the same mod in all four phases, but that mod must have a tangible progression from one step to the next.  The grand prize is an Unreal Engine license - allowing the winner to develop his/her own game based on the engine, and shop it around for a possible production deal!  Other prizes include cash, Intel hardware, and Velocity Micro personal computers.  Epic is also hinting that they're searching for talent to hire during the contest, so keep that in mind - not a bad consolation prize, if you ask me!


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Windows XP Ain't Dead Yet... Maybe

Posted: April 3, 2008 @ time: 12:40PM
Author: oldfett

Microsoft has been trying to put the nail in Windows XP's sales for a while now with the most recent extension of sales until June 2008, but don't be too sure. Sure Microsoft has Vista to take over for XP, but it just doesn't work very well on low cost/budget PCs, imagine that! Because of this Microsoft has decided to let XP hang around for use in ultra-low-cost PCs until June 2010 or one year after the release of the next version of Windows, which ever comes first (I'm thinking June 2010). This extension is probably due to the recent popularity of low cost notebooks from ASUS, ECS, Everex and Intel. However as Microsoft feels that these machines will only require Windows XP Home, the original end of sales date of June 2008 is still in effect for the other versions of Windows XP.


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Asus Set to Launch Mobile Internet Device

Posted: April 3, 2008 @ time: 04:02PM
Author: razor

Major motherboard maker Asus has had great success with recent forays into other areas of the personal technology market, most notably with their ultra-portable Eee PC.  Continuing with the small, portable theme, Asus is set to release its R50 mobile internet device sometime before June 2008.  The R50 will measure a miniscule 5.6 inches, and will be available in either Linux or Windows Vista flavors.  Asus is set to release an updated version of the R50 in November 2008, which will include a keyboard.  Estimated retail price is expected to be around $500.


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Intel Announces Updated Classmate PC

Posted: April 3, 2008 @ time: 05:00PM
Author: razor

Technology superpower Intel launched the second generation of its affordable, Internet-centric Classmate PC today.  The Classmate is part of Intel's initiative to provide PC/Internet access to students from developing countries, and this updated version provides users with a platform that is more powerful and rugged than before.  Based on an Intel Celeron M CPU, the top Classmate PC offers 802.11b/g Wi-Fi capability, a 9-inch screen, 512MB RAM, a 30GB hard drive, and a webcam - all powered by a 6-cell battery.  The Classmate offers configurations with Windows XP and a few flavors of Linux - along with educational software - and will support at least eight different languages.  Future revisions of the Classmate are expected to take advantage of Intel's Atom processor.


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Google Makes First Sizable Job Cuts

Posted: April 3, 2008 @ time: 05:41PM
Author: jammin

Google has announced something of a first, as it plans to cut 300 jobs from DoubleClick, the online advertising company it aquired for over $3 billion. When companies such as Dell and Motorola are laying off thousands of workers, 300 might seem like a small number, but Google is still being relatively tentative in its statements about the cuts. DoubleClick has a US based workforce of around 1200, so 300 is a reasonable chunk of that, though Google has hinted towards this simply being part of the process of the companies merging (which does seem relatively logical on the surface). Google CEO Eric Schmidt has apparently also suggested that a further 300 jobs may go at a later date, involving the company's overseas operations. Some of the current round of lay-offs have already taken place, while others have been offered contract jobs or transitional positions.


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OCZ Announces Additions to PC Power & Cooling Silencer Family

Posted: April 3, 2008 @ time: 05:54PM
Author: razor

OCZ Technology has proudly announced a few new additions to its superior PC Power & Cooling Silencer power supply family.  PC P&C's Silencer line of PSU's have long provided system builders and modders - including me - with premium power management at an affordable price point.  The newly launched PSU's include 370W, 420W, and 500W EPS12V Silencer models - and a 500W Dell compatible model.  All of PC P&C's Silencer models offer a single +12V Rail for optimal power distribution and stability, and are also 80% efficiency certified - so you know your Silencer PSU will run cool, and provide tangible electrical savings.  PC Power & Cooling's new offerings provide users with a wide range of powerful, dependable PSU's designed to scale with your needs.  Whether you're building a new HTPC, gaming or workstation PC, or if you want to add one of today's powerhouse graphics cards to your Dell PC, PC Power & Cooling has you covered.


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Everex Cloudbook MAX to come in late 2008

Posted: April 3, 2008 @ time: 10:56PM
Author: Andrewr05

Everex' venture into the ultraportable notebook market, called the Cloudbook MAX will be available in the second half of 2008. The ultraportable will debut with an 8.9" screen, will be powered by a VIA C7-M ULV (ultra low voltage) 1.6GHz CPU and 1GB DDR2 ram. The laptop has the built in ability to access the Sprint Xohm wireless broadband network along with regular WiFi access.Te unit will run Microsoft Vista Home Basic and have a battery life of 4 hours from the 4-cell 2600ma lithium-ion battery pack.


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Gran Turismo 5 to feature car damage

Posted: April 3, 2008 @ time: 11:15PM
Author: Andrewr05

Kazanori Yamauchi has come out with some awesome information for you Gran Turismo fans. He has said that they are working on car damage and it is just a matter of getting all of the manufacturers to agree and then implementing it into the game. There will be increasing changes done to the current Prologue version of Gran Turismo through the Playstation Network, that may be an allusion that there may be updates for Prologue which could include damage models for some vehicles. It was not confirmed whether the retail version of PS5 will have damage but it is a definite yes to it being implemented into the game at some point.


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Hardware Roundup: Friday Edition

Posted: April 4, 2008 @ time: 04:26AM
Author: Nemo

In today's roundup we get to look at some variations on the CPU cooling theme starting off with a closed loop water cooling system from CoolIT over at Legit Reviews. Next up, Virtual-Hideout looks at a pair of air coolers from Kingwin that make use of direct touch heat-pipe technology. Our roundup also turned up a pair of motherboards from ASUS, one based on AMD's 780G chipset and the other on Intel's P35 chipset. Fudzilla takes a look at the Cool'n'Quiet features of the Phenom 9850. What? No video cards in today's roundup? Don't despair, you can always check out OCC's review of the Asus EN9800 GTX.

Cases
SilverStone KLO2 Kublai Series Case @ motherboards.org

Cooling
CoolIT Systems Pure CPU Cooler @ Legit Reviews
Kingwin Heat-Pipe Direct Touch CPU Coolers @ Virtual-Hideout

CPUs
Phenom 9850 at 3.1GHz idles at 28° Celsius @ Fudzilla

Motherboards
ASUS M3A78-EMH HDMI @ HotHardware
ASUS P5K Pro Intel P35 Motherboard @ ThinkComputers

Operating Systems
Windows Vista Service Pack 1: A performance check @ Tech Report

Power Supplies

BFG Tech ES-800 Power Supply @ PC Perspective

Storage/Hard Drives
Maxtor Shared Storage II 1TB @ Techgage
Hitachi Travelstar 5K250 2.5” Hard Drive @ TweakTown


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Windows 7 "Some time in the next year or so"?

Posted: April 4, 2008 @ time: 08:52AM
Author: Nemo

In a speech to the Inter-American Development Bank Bill Gates responded to a question about Vista indicating Microsoft will have a new version of its ubiquitous operating system in "the next year or so". With Vista adoption going slowly among enthusiasts and businesses and Windows XP sales slated to halt at the end of June (except XP Home versions pre-loaded on ultra-mobile PCs), this may give impetus for some to skip Vista altogether. Whether this casual comment in a speech mainly devoted to other topics is an indication the new OS will be available ahead of schedule remains to be seen. Previous indications from Microsoft were that the next version of Windows would come roughly three years after Vista's release.


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Microsoft Announces Eight Security Updates

Posted: April 4, 2008 @ time: 11:57AM
Author: razor

On Thursday, Microsoft announced its intentions to release eight security fixes spanning a number of its products.  Five of the patches are considered Critical, including fixes for all supported versions of the Windows OS, two for Internet Explorer, and one for VBScript programming software.  The other three updates are rated Important, two of which are patches for supported Windows OS's, and the other for Microsoft's Visio design software.  The updates are scheduled for release next Tuesday.


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Man Sells Pizza.com Domain For $2.6m

Posted: April 4, 2008 @ time: 12:41PM
Author: jammin

By now we all know that meaningful and memorable domain names are worth sizable amounts of money. This has certainly played into the hands of Chris Clark (43) of North Potomac, Maryland who has just sold the pizza.com domain name for a cool $2.6 million. He first bought the domain way back in 1994, thinking it would help him nab a contract for his consulting company with a pizza firm. He then had the foresight to continue paying $20 a year for the name since then, which I would bet he was very glad he did. One of the triggers for the decision to sell was the Vodka.com domain, which garnered a price of $3m back in 2006. Mr Clark has said that the sale will make a considerable difference to his life (a slight understatement maybe?).


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'Shortage' of the iPhone relaxes with signal from Germany

Posted: April 4, 2008 @ time: 12:54PM
Author: kingdingeling

The iPhone is probably one of the most talked about gadgets of the past year or so, creating discussion mainly about price and Apple's business practices (see Apple refuses to accept cash for the iPhone). Apple stores around the world have been having iPhone shortages, probably because Apple had some sort of internal supply problem. This sparked the discussion if Apple was not coming out with a 3G version of the iPhone, however as the new load of the phones is still the same as the previous ones, that discussion has subsided a little bit. The supply constraints seem to have been worked out though, as T-Mobile in Germany has cut the iPhone price by 300 Euros now, a move that would be unlikely if the supply was low. A different offer from T-Mobile consists of an 8GB iPhone for a sensational low price of 99 Euros (about 155$), however that is bound to a hefty contract. A 3G iPhone might hit the shelves around June, when the 2.0 software is being released.


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LG Launches Iron Man Limited Edition Phone

Posted: April 4, 2008 @ time: 04:10PM
Author: razor

To coincide with the silver screen debut of the legendary comic book character, LG has announced the Iron Man Limited cell phone.  The phone is based on the style of LG's Shine cellular device, but the Iron Man will be produced in colors representative of the superhero's costume - including a touch of 18 carat gold!  Because the Iron Man is technically a promotional tool for the film, the phone won't be sold in stores.  People interested in getting their hands on this collector's edition will want to visit www.inthesuit.com, which will go online April 15, 2008.  Those who visit the site will have the chance to view exclusive movie footage and behind the scenes type features - and a select few will be chosen to receive the Iron Man phone, which if sold in stores would retail for about $2000.


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LaCie Unveils New External Hard Drives

Posted: April 4, 2008 @ time: 04:51PM
Author: razor

Fashionable external hard drive manufacturer LaCie has announced the addition of three new storage solutions to its lineup.  The new drives are the first LaCie externals to feature an eSATA interface, along with the more traditional USB 2.0 and FireWire 400 ports, and are available in 500GB, 750GB, and 1TB sizes.  These very attractive storage solutions are compatible with Windows - 2000, XP, and Vista - and Mac OSX 10.3 or higher.  Expect these externals to retail for around $150, and come with a two year warranty.


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Futuremark now has an online benchmark

Posted: April 4, 2008 @ time: 07:50PM
Author: Andrewr05

Futuremark has released (or rather published) a new benchmark that runs from your browser. VirtualMark is capable of analyzing your system performance in under a minute. It is based on the 3DMark technology and compares your score with millions of others. With a plethora of results from millions of users it should be capable of showing you how well nearly all configurations work.


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Hardware Roundup: Saturday Edition

Posted: April 5, 2008 @ time: 07:14AM
Author: Nemo

After missing out on any affiliate video card reviews in yesterday's roundup, today we have a trio of 9600GT crds. The first is an LN2 cooled, volt-modded Galaxy 9600GT setup from Madshrimps where they managed to set a new world 3D record. Kind of hard to top that but we also have reviews of 9600GT cards from Asus and XFX (OCC also reviewed the XFX 9600GT Alpha Dog Edition HERE). Madshrimps also appears in today's roundup with overclockers results of the Xeon X3320 processor. There's an interesting piece from TweakTown on a purpose-built motherboard from Gigabyte dedicated solely to running a digital surveillance system. Check out the rest of today's reviews by clicking on the links below.

CPUs
Intel Xeon X3320 45nm Quad Core Overclocking Test @ Madshrimps
Intel Core 2 Performance Comparison Guide @ Tech ARP

Gaming
Obscure II: The Aftermath Review (PC, Wii, PS2) @ OCModShop

Input Devices
Logitech Cordless MediaBoard Pro Keyboard for PS3 & PC@ Legit Reviews

Motherboards
HuperLab and GIGABYTE - Joint Venture @ TweakTown

Storage/Hard Drives
Tagan Icy Box NAS4220 Server @ 3dGameMan

Video
LN2 Cooled Galaxy 9600 GT Breaks World 3D Records @ Madshrimps
XFX GeForce 9600GT XXX Alpha Dog @ motherboards.org
ASUS GeForce 9600GT 512MB Graphics Card @ TweakTown


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Asus Unleashes Crosshair II Formula

Posted: April 5, 2008 @ time: 10:47AM
Author: razor

First-tier motherboard and personal tech maker Asus has announced an update to its nForce 590 socket AM2 Crosshair mainboard - the Crosshair II Formula.  This new board is based on Nvidia's 780a SLI chipset, and supports all AM2 and AM2+ CPU's - including the Phenom quad-core.  The nForce 780a chipset provides users the ability to run two video cards in SLI, and if even more graphics processing power is needed, the Crosshair II Formula is capable of the three GPU Tri-SLI configuration.  Or, if you have a solid single-card video solution but need just a little more power for demanding games - ahem, Crysis - you can activate Nvidia's new Hybrid SLI technology, which uses the Crosshair II Formula's integrated GPU in concert with a discrete graphics card.  The Crosshair II Formula also features CPU Level Up - an automatic overclocking utility, three PCI-E 2.0 slots, HyperTransport 3.0 technology, and the SupremeFX II high-definition audio module.


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First dual GPU HD3850X2 card launched by Asus

Posted: April 6, 2008 @ time: 05:13AM
Author: kingdingeling

The HD3870X2 has been out for a while already as AMD/ATIs current top video card, but rumour had it that there would be a smaller dual GPU brother coming out. The HD3850X2 is now out, the first one as the Asus EAH3850X2/HTDI/1G. Compared to a single HD3850, the card has a performance increase of around 34%, but it's also supposed to be faster than two single cards in CrossFire. Asus claims a 5% performance increase compared to normal CrossFire, although it features the same 1GB of memory and 2x 256-bit memory interface as single cards would have. The large dual-slot cooler should keep the card cool, even if clocked at 688MHz core frequency and 1658MHz memory frequency. AS this is the OverclockersClub, you'll be pleased to know that Asus has equipped this card with something called the ASUS GamerOSD, which is a program that allows for on-the-fly overclocking adjustments for extra performance.


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