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News Archives for June 2008

ThePlanet Suffers Major Outage - 9,000 Servers Offline

Posted: June 1, 2008 @ time: 06:27PM
Author: Nemo

An electrical fire and explosion at ThePlanet's H1 data center in Houston resulted in a power outage knocking 9,000 servers offline. At approximate 4:55 PM CDT on Saturday, a short circuit in the electrical equipment caused an explosion powerful enough to knock down three walls. No one was injured and none of the servers or networking equipment were damaged in the explosion. However, due to the resulting power outage many websites hosted at the site were unavailable and none of the backup generators could be used due to fire department instructions. As of 7:47 PM Sunday, management teams were still scrambling to restore power to the site. More information can be found at ThePlanet forums.


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Transformers a threat to British aviation safety

Posted: June 1, 2008 @ time: 11:06PM
Author: Andrewr05

When flight security goes too far! A British man was told to change shirt last May because it was threat to the safety of their airlines passengers. Now a few things are probably going through your mind, the fool probably had a shirt with distasteful text on it or maybe it had a bomb on it or something. Unfortunately you would be wrong, the inexcusable offense was that his shirt depicted Optimus Prime (from the Transformers series) with a hand based projectile launcher of some sort. It is not even remotely a violent shirt, it is just Optimus Prime standing straight up and holding the previously mentioned weapon. They need to spend more time finding the real terrorists and leave the people wearing sweet t-shirts alone!


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Hardware Roundup: Monday Edition

Posted: June 2, 2008 @ time: 03:59AM
Author: Nemo

Leading up to Computex 2008, our roundup Kicks off the new week with a look at the differences in architecture between the AMD Phenom and Athlon X2 processors. In the cooling department we offer another look at the NH-U12P CPU cooler from Noctua (also reviewed by OCC here). There are a trio of video card reviews along with a look at a Hauppauge TV tuner card. And that's not all folks, so continue reading the rest of today's lineup by following the links below.

Cooling
Noctua NH-U12P CPU Cooler @ RBMods

CPUs
AMD Phenom versus Athlon X2: Something Old, Something New... @ PC Perspective

Digital Photography
Used Lens Buying Guide @ Tech ARP

Mobile
Plantronics Discovery 925 Bluetooth Headset @ Legit Reviews

Monitors
Honeywell Arius 22-inch Widescreen LCD Monitor @ ThinkComputers

Music/Video Players
iRiver Clix 2 DAP @ 3DVelocity

Prebuilts
Asus Unveils Atom-Powered Eee Box Desktop @ HotHardware

Video
Visiontek HD3870x2 Overclocked Edition @ Overclocker Cafe
ECS 8800GT 256MB Graphics Card @ Virtual-Hideout
Sapphire Radeon HD 3870 Ultimate Edition @ TweakTown
Hauppauge WinTV HVR-1800 @ Bjorn3D

Miscellany
NVIDIA Tegra: The Mobile Charge @ PC Perspective


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Nvidia Announces Tegra Processors

Posted: June 2, 2008 @ time: 10:38AM
Author: Nemo

Nvidia announced its Tegra processor aimed the mobile device market. The chips are designed from the start to be a low power integrated chip that includes graphics and video processing features. At the heart of the chip is an ARM 11 processor running at either 700- or 800MHz depending on the model. The new chips are targeted at what Intel has dubbed MIDs - Mobile Internet Devices - which fall somewhere below ultra-mobile PCs in size and performance. Because the ARM 11 is a RISC-based processor, the new chips are not-X86 compatible but are designed to run under Windows CE or Windows Mobile operating systems.


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Best Buy to Pilot Free Electronics Recycling Program

Posted: June 2, 2008 @ time: 11:10AM
Author: Nemo

Electronics retailer Best Buy has announced a test program to begin accepting old electronics gear to be recycled at no charge. The pilot program will run in 117 stores in eight states, and depending on how it goes, may expand to the remainder of Best Buy's 922 stores in the U.S. Under the program, consumers can bring in up to two devices a day including computers, monitors and TVs up to 32 inches. Large appliances, console TVs and oter large items are not covered under the trial.


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Microsoft Make Search Deal With HP

Posted: June 2, 2008 @ time: 12:01PM
Author: jammin

Microsoft's Live Search falls behind both Google (who top the field by a considerable margin) and Yahoo in terms of traffic. In an attempt to bolster these numbers, Microsoft has signed a deal with Hewlett Packard, which will make Live Search the default search engine on all HP built machines (in the US and Canada) starting from January 2009. MS already has a similar deal running with Lenovo, but notably market leaders Google have deals with both Dell and the Firefox web browser. This move from Microsoft comes after dropping out of the bid to buy Yahoo after lengthy negotiation and speculation in the media.


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ASUS Show Off WiMAX Products At Summit

Posted: June 2, 2008 @ time: 12:59PM
Author: jammin

Neatly fitting into the beginning of Computex in Taipei is the WiMAX summit, which gives companies from around the world the opportunity to get together and talk about where the technology is going. It also gives those companies the chance to show off any WiMAX compatible kit they may be flogging to you in the near future. ASUS was showing off several porducts that make use of WiMAX, including the new Eee PC 901. If you don't fancy buying a new notebook just for WiMAX support then the WUSB25E2V2 (nice name!) USB dongle might be a bit more useful. WiMAX is aimed at delivering last mile broadband services, so ASUS was also showing Customer Premesis Equipment (CPEs), such as the WMV25E1+ as part of its lineup. If you are confused about WiMAX and whether it is something you should be interested in, then you can read more at the WiMAX Forum site. You can expect more from ASUS (as well as every other big company) during Computex this week. Watch out for coverage of the event from OCC as well.


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Gaming News - Free COD 4 Map Pack Coming June 5

Posted: June 2, 2008 @ time: 02:04PM
Author: razor

On June 5th, the online multiplayer world of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is going to get a little bigger, as an Nvidia-sponsored Variety Map Pack will be available as DLC for PC gamers! In addition to the four new maps, Broadcast, Killhouse, Chinatown and Creek, gamers will also be able to download a patch that updates the game to v1.6, which fixes a few bugs, and gives players some new options. What's really great about all of this is that Nvidia is picking up the bill, allowing PC gamers to download the new content for no charge - while console gamers will have to pay extra for new DLC.


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Time-Warner Introduces Internet Allowance in Texas Town

Posted: June 2, 2008 @ time: 02:39PM
Author: razor

New Time-Warner Cable customers in Beaumont, Texas will be the guinea pigs in the CATV giant's experiment in metered Internet usage and reflective billing. Under the new plan, customers can choose an Internet connection with 768Kb/s download speeds and a 5GB monthly combined upload/download cap for $29.95, or a beefier package offering 15Mb/s download speeds with a combined 40GB cap for $59.95. Also, an over-limit fee at $1 per GB will be assessed starting in the third billing month, as the first two are penalty-free. Time-Warner claims that because 5% of its customers consume up to 50% of its available Internet bandwidth, this new pricing scheme will better reflect the real usage patterns of consumers, light or heavy. Existing customers in Beaumont are currently exempt from the test.


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Play e-Hold 'Em on Electronic Gaming Tables

Posted: June 2, 2008 @ time: 03:40PM
Author: razor

If poker night has gotten boring, or if you suspect one of your regulars is dealing from the bottom of the deck, you might be interested in this fully functional electronic poker table. Sporting personal 12.1" card screens for up to 10 players and a centralized 27" LCD that displays community cards and chip counts for each player, this unique table is programmed to deal Texas Hold 'Em or Blackjack at up to 50 hands per hour. To make sure you can wager to your heart's content, the table - from Play Hard Gaming - can deal both games at once, and comes with free lifetime game updates. Many casinos already employ e-tables like this that add pizzazz to the gaming floor, and cut costs by eliminating human dealers - but they don't come cheap. If you'd like one of these in your basement, it'll run you $30,000!


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Asus Spotlights Handheld Devices at Computex

Posted: June 2, 2008 @ time: 04:37PM
Author: razor

Adding to their already immense technology cache, Asus has been concentrating on a number of personal handheld devices that feature innovative software, touchscreen tech, high speed downloads and user-friendly interfaces. Among the items on display at Computex 2008 is the Asus Glide - a handheld device capable of multitasking, featuring Asus Today, and operating environment that simplifies tasks and incorporates a full desktop experience - including e-mail, calendar, and a music player - in the tiny device. Also of note are the EziPhoto and EziMusic applets on the Glide, which allow users to experience their favorite pictures and music in a totally new way, even allowing a user to record a clip from their favorite song and turn it into a ringtone! Also on display is the Asus Lamborghini ZX1 - a beast of a PDA sporting a carbon fiber and stainless steel casing, touchscreen, and a customizable GUI. Next up is the Asus P320, the world's smallest Windows Mobile PDA phone. Last, but not least, Asus is offering Personal Navigation Devices (PND's) which offer a 3D map function to help simplify complex directions, and one PND that projects navigation instructions onto the windshield so that the driver never has to take their eyes off of the road.

2007 was a great year for Asus, bringing home 2568 awards from all over the globe. For the 10th year in a row, Asus was ranked as one of Business Week's "Top 100 InfoTech" companies, and also won the "Number One in Quality and Service" award from the Asian edition of the Wall Street Journal.


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Asus Represents Republic of Gamers with Innovation, Ultimate Gaming Experience

Posted: June 2, 2008 @ time: 05:17PM
Author: razor

Always playing offense when it comes to gaming experience advancements, Asus' commitment to gamers is on display at Computex 2008, with products designed to enhance the gaming experience in several major ways. Asus' innovation is clearly at the heart of a "concept car" technology in the form of a video card. Based on three liquid-cooled HD3850 GPU's and sporting 1.5GB GDDR3, the Asus Trinity offers a 139% performance improvement over single card solutions - and while it's not destined for production, the Trinity's design will surely impact future multi-GPU cards from AMD/ATI. GPU cooling is always on the minds of gamers and manufacturers, and Asus isn't resting on its laurels here, either. First up is the Matrix Hybrid GPU cooler that intelligently switches between passive and active cooling, with the fan being automatically controlled according to GPU load. This is followed by the Glaciator, an active GPU cooler that can effectively dissipate heat at only 25dB - almost silent in a quiet room. Asus hasn't forgotten about the consumer who demands performance and zero noise, either. Combining two unique heat dissipation technologies hitched together with three heatpipes, Asus' V-Cool technology provides excellent performance and noise at 0dB.

Since there's more to a gaming rig than just video cards, Asus is displaying a number of high-performance components, including its Maximus II motherboard that supports the latest Intel chipset and DDR2 memory for stability and overclocking, plus a PCI-E x1 SupremeFX X-Fi audio card that will outperform onboard sound frag-for-frag. How you power your rig is as important as the parts that comprise it, and Asus has you covered with a 1kW ATX power supply that's 80+ certified and can easily power your entire setup - including PCI-E 2.0 video cards. The heart of any gaming rig is its CPU, and Asus knows that keeping cool is the name of the game. The Axe Square CPU cooler can cool up to 180W of overclocked CPU heat, taking advantage of its Aureate design that allows for powerful cooling and quiet operation.

Finally, Asus is jumping right in to the pre-built arena, with its ARES gaming PC and G-series gaming laptops. Both beasts boast multi-core Intel CPU's, and almost every conceivable combination of RAM, single or multiple GPU's, storage and cooling to provide users with the perfect combination of power, flexibility, and cost. Keep your eyes peeled on OCC's Computex 2008 coverage for pics and details!


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Super Talent Launches MasterDrive 1.8" SSD's

Posted: June 2, 2008 @ time: 08:17PM
Author: razor

World-renowned RAM and Flash memory manufacturer Super Talent unleashed a trio of super-fast 1.8" Solid State Drives aimed at the small notebook and UMPC segments. The SSD's - from Super Talent's MasterDrive KX line - are available in 30, 60, and 120GB sizes, are built from MLC NAND Flash, and offer superior power savings and shock/vibration resistance. Operating at maximum read/write speeds of 120MB/s and 40MB/s respectively, these ultra-quick SSD's sport an incredible 0.1ms access time. Super Talent will have these small wonders on display at Computex 2008 - which OCC is covering - and are already available through newbiiz.com.


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday Edition

Posted: June 3, 2008 @ time: 03:51AM
Author: Nemo

Computex 2008 has officially opened in Taipei and with it comes a slew of product launch announcements. We've been seeing reviews of motherboards based on Intel's Eaglelake chipsets for a while and now Intel has officially launched the P45, G45 and G43. NVIDIA announced its Tegra integrated processor for mobile devices. Asus has a new series of Eee PCs with the launch of the 901 and 1000 series. Stay tuned for additional coverage of the latest from Computex right here on OCC.

CPUs
Centaur Technologies Tour - Making The Via Nano CPU @ Legit Reviews

Gadgets
Griffin RoadTrip with SmartScan for iPod @ ThinkComputers

Monitors
Zalman Trimon ZM-M220W Monitor @ RBMods

Motherboards
ASUS Rampage Formula X48 Motherboard @ TweakTown
Intel P45 & G45 Launch @ Neoseeker
Intel 4-Series Chipsets: G43, G45, P45 @ Techgage

Notebooks
HP's 2133 Mini-Note subnotebook @ Tech Report
ASUS Eee PC Updates - 901 and 1000 Series @ PC Perspective

Storage/Hard Drives
QNAP Q35s Automatic Backup Station @ OCModSHOP
Hard Disk Drive Myths Debunked Rev. 3.1 @ Tech ARP

Trade Shows/Conventions
Computex 2008 @ TweakTown

Video
GIGABYTE GeForce 9600GT TurboForce 512MB @ TweakTown


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Hardware Roundup: NVIDIA Tegra Edition

Posted: June 3, 2008 @ time: 04:47AM
Author: Nemo

As we reported yesterday, NVIDIA has launched its Tegra processor aimed at the mobile market. Designed as a low-power system-on-a-chip for mobile Internet devices, there are two versions of the chip clocked at 700- and 800MHz and feature a RISC-based ARM 11 processor with integrated graphics and video processing capabilities. Tegar is designed to run on Windows CE and Windows Mobile platforms and some are seeing the Tegra as the biggest threat to Intel's recently announced Atom processors.

HotHardware
Legit Reviews
Techgage
Tech ARP
PC Perspective


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Microsoft Issues Security Advisory for Apple's Safari Browser

Posted: June 3, 2008 @ time: 07:28AM
Author: Nemo

Microsoft is looking into reports of issues with Apple's Safari browser installed on Windows XP and Vista machines. Users can be tricked into visiting a malicious web site that download software enabling the remote execution of code on the victim's computer without requiring any action by the victim. Apparently this only affects machines where the default download location in Safari has not been changed. Safari is not installed on Windows machines by default (doh!) and must be installed through Apple’s update application. However, Apple had been making Safari available to users of its iTunes service and installed the browser by default if users updated their iTunes software. Apple suspended that practice after coming under intense criticism from many fronts. Microsoft issued a security advisory on the issue and recommends not using Safari on Windows machines and/or changing the default download location until Apple can resolve the problem.


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AMD Readies New Single-Socket Server Chips

Posted: June 3, 2008 @ time: 07:56AM
Author: Nemo

From Barcelona to Budapest - that's the path AMD is following on its processor roadmap as it prepares to unveil three new processors this week at Computex 2008. The new CPUs are quad-core Opterons targeted at the single-socket server market. While AMD has enjoyed good success in the multi-CPU server market, it has not been much of a threat to Intel in the single-socket arena. The Budapest chips give AMD a shot at the low-end server market for enterprises and small and medium-sized businesses. The 1300-series chips will be clocked at 2.1- to 2.3 GHz and support DDR2 memory using AMD's new HyperTransport 3 technology. Current Barcelona processors use the older HyperTransport 2. Initially the CPUs will be manufactured using a 65nm process with a transition to 45nm next year. Once that transition occurs, the processors will also migrate to a new socket, AM3, and support DDR3 memory.
 


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Asus Unveils Three New Eec PC Models at Computex 2008

Posted: June 3, 2008 @ time: 09:39AM
Author: Nemo

In just six months, Asus has succeeded in shipping 1 million units of its now famous Eee PC. Now Asus is creating additional excitement at Computex with the announcement of three new additions to the Eee lineup – the 901, 1000 and 1000(H) models. In addition to the solid state drives Eee PCs are known for, the new models are now equipped with Super Hybrid Engine technology that can extend battery life to an unheard of 7.8 hours. The new models are also now available on both Windows and Linux operating systems. With the inherent safety and durability of its solid state drive the Eee is outdoor use by the likes of reporters and photographers. Super Hybrid technology allows the user to adjust voltage, CPU frequency and screen brightness to reduce power consumption and increase battery life. With the new models comes additional new features including larger screens ranging from 8.9 to 10 inches, a larger keyboard and a 1.3 megapixel web cam. The innovations are not limited to the insides with new cover designs and colors infused directly into the chassis. Another new featue is Asus is making 20GB of online storage available to augment the Eec's intrnal storage.


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Intel Ramps Up Production to Ease Atom Shortage

Posted: June 3, 2008 @ time: 10:26AM
Author: Nemo

Although Intel just officially launched its Atom processor lineup yesterday at Computex, the chip is already in short supply and that has some Taiwanese manufacturers concerned. The low-cost ultra-mobile PC bandwagon is getting crowded these days as more companies scramble to get a seat before being left behind. Asus just announced two new Eee UMPCs along with the Eee box mini-desktop PC, all of which will use the Atom processor. Encouraged by the Eee's phenomenal success, other manufacturers such as MSI (Wind) and Acer (Aspire One) are also launching Atom-based PCs. With Asus forecasting sales of 5 million units this year and Acer predicting sales of up to 7 million units, Intel has promised increased production. The Atom is manufactured on 300mm wafers using a 45nm process. Due to its diminutive size, Intel can squeeze 2,500 processors onto a single wafer. Hardware makers are hoping Intel can solve the supply shortage in time for the back-to-school and year-end holiday sales seasons.


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Acer Enters UMPC Market

Posted: June 3, 2008 @ time: 11:28AM
Author: oldfett

Bigger isn’t always better as ASUS proved with the launch of its now famous EePC and other companies are eager to get in on it. Acer is the latest manufacturer to jump into the UMPC (Ultra Mobile PC) waters with the news that it is to begin production of its Aspire One. The laptop is just as small as its fellow brethren at 9.8” x 6.7” x 1.2” and weighing just under 2 pounds. Happily the device makes use of Intel’s hot new Atom processor paired with either 512MB or 1GB of RAM. You also get the choice of either Linplus Linux Lite or the more mainstream Windows XP Home. Amazingly Acer is deviating from other companies in that it is offering the option of either an 8GB NAND SSD or an 80GB HDD which is not an option on many other dinky lil-laptops. Base prices for the new Acer Aspire One will start out at around $379.


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iPhone Applications Coming Soon

Posted: June 3, 2008 @ time: 12:03PM
Author: oldfett

iPhone users will get a nice addition this coming Monday with the ability to finally use third-party applications on that slick little device. Steve Jobs is expected to unveil Apple’s App Store at the Worldwide Developers Conference, App Store will be the only way to get and install applications on your iPhone. Developers have to submit their applications to Apple for product testing and verification before they will be allowed to enter Apple's App Store. Apple isn’t doing this out of the kindness however as they will be making 30 percent off of every application sold for the iPhone. The iPhone applications will be compatible with current versions of the iPhone as well as the new 3G version which is expected out later this month so upgrading to the newer model isn't necessary at this time.


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Latest OCZ Products At Computex

Posted: June 3, 2008 @ time: 12:11PM
Author: jammin

Computex got underway today if you hadn't already noticed, and OCZ is among the many companies showing off its latest wares. OCZ has branched out from its core memory market in recent years, but it continues to pump out top of the line modules for the enthusiast market, and from today is showing the new PC3-17000 Flex II modules. These modules are being demoed at a speed of 2133MHz and have been designed with high-end water cooling systems in mind. As well as the ultra fast memory, OCZ owned PC Power & Cooling updates a couple of its Turbocool series PSUs. The 860W version now features ESA, while the 1200W version (which already had ESA support) now features an adjustable rail design. Flash memory is another product on display with the Spyder, Diesel and Fortress USB drives offering high capacity storage and the Core series representing OCZ on the SSD front. Interestingly, OCZ will also be offering products aimed at the mainstream gamer which will include mice, keyboards and power supplies. These will be branded under the 'Alchemy' line. To top things off there will also be a sneak peak at the company's new DIY notebook including a demo to show how to set one up for your personal needs. Expect updates with links to pictures once we can get them.


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More Computex News: Patriot Memory

Posted: June 3, 2008 @ time: 12:40PM
Author: jammin

Patriot seem to be using collaboration with Intel as a selling point during Computex, as it plans to have its Extreme Performance Viper Series DDR3 on display at a number of booths during the event. This will include having the modules used in demo units at Intel's 4 series chipset launch on Wednesday, as well as being used in the displays of other major motherboard partners such as MSI and Foxconn. Patriot's DDR3 is programmed with Intel's Extreme Memory Profile (basically fancy SPD settings which make overclocking more straight forward). Intel are obviously happy to have memory manufactures tailoring modules for use with its chipsets.


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NVIDIA Pump Out 9 Series Mobile GPUs

Posted: June 3, 2008 @ time: 12:57PM
Author: jammin

NIVIDIA is claiming that the new GeForce 9M GPUs are up to 40% faster than their 8 series counterparts, and of course considerably faster than certain integrated GPUs (Intel). The new parts incorporate features such as Purevideo HD with support for DVI, HDMI 1.3 and DisplayPort 1.1. The 9M series also includes Hybrid SLi technology, allowing low power integrated video to be used for the day to day grind and the high performance part to kick in when needed. As with NVIDIAs desktop video solutions, DirectX 10.1 support is lacking but that isn't a huge deal. The 9 series will be aimed at the value, mainstream and performance arenas, with the 9100M G taking care of the bottom line. Midrange is filled out with the 9400M, 9300M GS and 9200M GS, while the 9600M GT, 9600M GS and 9500M G cover the high end bases. Driver support for PhysX is also expected in Q3.


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Get Sports Scores On The Go Thru Google

Posted: June 3, 2008 @ time: 07:22PM
Author: ClayMeow

How many of you have tried simply typing the name of your favorite sports team into Google from your phone? Well if you want to keep up-to-date on scores while you're rushing to get back to watch the game, maybe you should give it a try. Google apparently has had this service for over a year.  Don't be surprised if you haven't heard about it though, because the company (curiously) never announced it, nor can you get these scores via Google's regular web search.


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday Edition

Posted: June 4, 2008 @ time: 03:42AM
Author: jammin

More hardware reviews for you today as well as more from Computex 2008 in Tapei. This includes more coverage of Intel's chipset product launch, plus a look at its SSD drive and Nehalem system at TweakTown (other Computex news from them here). Reviews include video cards, power supplies and whatever else you can find in the links below.

Video
Twintech GeForce 9600GT XXT OC Edition
@ TweakTown
XFX GeForce 9800GX2 Black Edition @ Motherboards.org

Displays
Lenovo L220X 22" Widescreen LCD Monitor
@ Techgage

Cooling
Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 LP CPU Cooler
@ TweakTown

Power
Thermaltake Purepower RX 600W @ [H]ard|OCP

Computex 2008
Intel Nehalem System Demo Video
@ TweakTown
New ASUS Eee PC Models Arrive for 2008 @ Techgage
Intel P45 / G45 Express Launch and Technology Preview @ HotHardware
Intel Shows Off Its Working 80GB SSD SATA-II Drive @ TweakTown
AMD's Puma Prepares To Pounce @ The Tech Report

Software
Pinnacle Studio 12 @ OCModShop

Misc
The NVIDIA Tegra - Is This The End For The Intel Atom?
@ TechARP
Hauppauge WinTV HVR-1800 @ Bjorn3D


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Comcast to Target Internet Hogs

Posted: June 4, 2008 @ time: 07:18AM
Author: Nemo

Comcast announced it will begin tests this week to limit bandwidth usage of heavy Internet users. Comcast has suffered intense criticism in the past when it was determined it was interfering with traffic using peer-to-peer file sharing protocols under the guise of 'traffic management'. Those practices eventually landed the company in hot water, not only with users, but with the FCC as well. Under the new plan, Comcast is to test limiting bandwidth for individual users instead of specific programs. During the tests to be conducted in markets in Virginia and Pennsylvania, users who utilize a lot of bandwidth over extended periods can find their bandwidth throttled during congested periods. This announcement comes on the heels of Time-Warner's testing of tiered Internet usage plan in Beaumont, Texas. In contrast to the shroud of secrecy surrounding practices in the past, Comcast seems to have learned a bitter lesson and is being much more open about the new plans by emailing customers in the test markets and posting notices on its web site. Comcast hopes to roll out the management technique nationwide by the end of the year.


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Dell and Corsair Team Together to Push Memory Performance Envelope

Posted: June 4, 2008 @ time: 10:26AM
Author: Nemo

Dell may not be one of the first names to jump into your head when you think 'overclocking' but Corsair is certainly well known for its performance memory kits. The memory maker joined up with Dell to push the limits of system performance by pairing a Dell XPS 730 gaming rig with 4GB of Corsair Dominator DDR3 memory modules. The result was a stable overclock with an increase in memory frequency to 1600MHz. The Dominator series memory kits feature DHX technology which is a quad-layer heatsink design which results in optimal heat dissipation. As overclockers, we know better thermal performance results in greater stability at higher overclocks. And higher memory frequencies result in better system performance due to increased memory bandwidth. The increase from 2GB to 4GB of memory can also result in better game play.


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Pandora Desktop Music Application Becomes a Reality

Posted: June 4, 2008 @ time: 11:32AM
Author: oldfett

Internet radio adds entertainment and relaxation to the home life while making the working mans every day grind just a little more bearable (if the boss isn’t around). One of the more popular internet radio publishers is a Music Genome Project known as Pandora which allows you to shape your own custom stations on the genre, artist or songs you like. Pandora is looking to update and expand its online radio onto your desktop through an application that resides in your system tray or dock depending if you have Windows or a Mac. Although this is a huge step forward for Pandora be warned that this is not a completed app just yet as it is still in its beta phase, but that doesn’t mean you can’t jump in and test it out! The downside is that you will have to put up with some ads, as this is how the online version of Pandora is funded it would make sense that the desktop app would follow suit.


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Intel to Deny Nvidia Permission to Produce Nehalem nForce Chipsets

Posted: June 4, 2008 @ time: 02:39PM
Author: razor

This Intel vs. Nvidia thing has the potential to negatively affect consumers sooner than later. It seems as though Intel has decided to publicly negate the terms of a chipset licensing deal with Nvidia, which is specifically meant to prohibit Team Green from producing nForce chipsets for Intel's upcoming Nehalem processor family. This clearly puts Nvidia in a very interesting situation, as being unable to produce nForce chipsets will certainly have a negative impact on its bottom line - but if Nvidia fully licenses its SLI technology to Intel, which is what the CPU giant wants, they would effectively be putting themselves in an even worse position. Intel is clearly violating the terms of a licensing agreement, and it will be interesting to see how hard Nvidia will fight to retain rights that they are contractually due.


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Computex News: Aeneon Memory

Posted: June 4, 2008 @ time: 03:14PM
Author: jammin

If you keep up with our reviews (which I'm sure you do), then you'll know we recently reviewed some DDR3 memory from Aeneon. Just like pretty much every other company out there, Aeneon (a brand of Qimonda, which was spun off from Infineon a couple of years ago.. keeping up?) also has a presence at Computex and is showing its latest memory products. New DDR3 products include an Xtune 2GB kit running at 1866MHz (CL 10) aimed at overclockers and gamers, with the unique selling point of running at the standard 1.5v, as well as a 4GB kit running at 1600MHz (CL 9). If you thought DDR2 had been forgotten, then think again, as Aeneon are also showing an 8GB Xtune DDR2 kit running at 800MHz targetted at those using a 64-bit OS. Photos later if our man in Taipei happens to drop by.


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Research Shows Foreign Cellphone Users Don't Move Around Much

Posted: June 4, 2008 @ time: 04:53PM
Author: ClayMeow

In the United States, tracking people via their cellphones without consent would be illegal.  This isn't the case overseas.  Over a six month span, researchers at Northeastern University secretly tracked 100,000 people outside the United States.  According to the study, "nearly three-quarters of those studied mainly stayed within a 20-mile-wide circle" during that time, and nearly half of the people stay within a circle slightly greater than six miles wide.  Researchers say that such data could help city planners understand traffic patterns or doctors fight the spread of contagious diseases.  Whether the public would agree with the usefulness of this data is a different matter; privacy is an issue people do not take lightly.


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Adobe Acrobat to Get Flashy

Posted: June 4, 2008 @ time: 05:31PM
Author: ClayMeow

On Monday, Adobe plans on unveiling the next iteration of one of the most popular applications in the world, Adobe Acrobat. It wouldn't be a new version if it didn't come with a new feature or two, and the big one coming to Adobe Acrobat 9 is Flash support. That's right...soon, people will be able to embed Flash multimedia right into a PDF file. Adobe Acrobat has had some interactivity for a few years now, such as hyperlinking to websites, but this will be the first time Acrobat will support any form of animated content. However, this begs the question on whether Acrobat is moving away from its original intention of being, well, a "Portable Document Format."  How portable is something you'll no longer be able to view on some mobile devices, or no longer be able to print out with everything intact? I for one often print out PDF files of manuals and guides and such.


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Hardware Roundup: Thursday Edition

Posted: June 5, 2008 @ time: 03:48AM
Author: Nemo

Computex 2008 is in full swing in Taipei and our roundup includes ongoing coverage from several of our affiliates. Even with all the news coming out of the show we still have other reviews to look at including a motherboard based on AMD's 790FX chipset, another solid state drive and a couple of video cards. There is a lot more you can read by checking out the links below.

Cooling
Thermaltake Bigwater 760i Liquid Cooling System @ ThinkComputers

Computex 2008
Intel Nehalem Motherboards on Display @ PC Perspective
Computex 2008 - Live From Taipei @ Tech ARP
Computex Taipei 2008 Coverage - Day 2 News @ TweakTown
Computex Taipei 2008 Booth Babes @ TweakTown

Memory
Mushkin 4GB Ascent DDR2 Memory Kit @ Bjorn3D

Monitors
Dell Ultrasharp 2408WFP 24" Widescreen LCD @ HotHardware

Motherboards
Gigabyte MA-790FX-DS5 @ motherboards.org

Storage/Hard Drives
Super Talent MasterDrive MX 60GB SATA-II SSD @ Legit Reviews

Video
Palit 9600GSO Sonic 768MB @ Neoseeker
BFG Tech GeForce 9600GT OC2 @ TweakTown


Complete Story


$1 Million Offered for Undisputed Proof of Bigfoot's Existence!

Posted: June 5, 2008 @ time: 09:40AM
Author: ClayMeow

That's right, folks, get out your cameras and start the hunt. Binocular manufacturer Bushnell and "Field & Stream" magazine are offering $1 million to anyone who can provide unaltered and verified proof of a Bigfoot/Sasquatch/Yeti. Of course, it's not so simple. Blurry photographs won't suffice, and in fact, any photograph alone will probably not do either. If you really want to guarantee you acquire "real" proof, you may have to get your hands dirty and acquire some physical evidence, such as a body. Offers like this have occurred in the past for other fabeled monsters, and as of yet, nothing has ever come from them.  Do you think you have what it takes to be the first?  You have until December 15.


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Gaming News - Warhead is a Crysis Expansion

Posted: June 5, 2008 @ time: 11:58AM
Author: razor

A few days after a rather cryptic "Crysis Warhead" image appeared on the Crytek website, some details on what sounds like a pretty cool Crysis expansion are coming to the forefront. Codenamed Warhead, the game will be a Crysis expansion, and not the highly anticipated second part of the proposed Crysis trilogy, and will follow the original game through the eyes of Psycho, one of Nomad's unit members. Expected to hit store shelves this fall, Warhead will be built on an enhanced version of Crytek's CryENGINE 2, and will provide players with more weapons and vehicles, as well as a possibly upgraded multiplayer function. This should be really cool...


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"Our Courts" Video Game Project

Posted: June 5, 2008 @ time: 12:05PM
Author: Nemo

If you were asked to put together a couple names of people involved in video games, I'm willing to bet that Sandra Day O'Connor wouldn't make that list. However, the retired Supreme Court justice has announced her involvement in a project to teach young people about the court system and how it works. Former Justice O'Connor says her involvement stems from her concern over attacks on judges from members of Congress, state legislatures and public interest groups that paint judges as activists and an ongoing effort by those groups to influence the judicial process.


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IBM to Integrate Water Cooling Directly into Multi-layer CPUs

Posted: June 5, 2008 @ time: 12:23PM
Author: Nemo

IBM researchers are working on a multi-layer CPU chip that stacks the components of the processor vertically instead of placing them next to each other in a horizontal layout. The beauty of this type of design is that it increases the number of possible interconnections and shortens the distance information needs to travel. The drawback to this approach is that it traps heat between the layers. To combat the heat issue, IBM scientists are incorporating water cooling directly into the chip itself using micropipes as thin as a human hair in between the layers. Destined for use in supercomputers, this type of chip is  at least five years away from commercial production.


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Lian Li to release its replacement XBOX 360 case soon

Posted: June 5, 2008 @ time: 12:42PM
Author: Andrewr05

Lian Li produces some pretty high quality cases for the enthusiast computer crowd. Now they are extending their arm out to the gamer crowd (at least the Microsoft side) by offering a replacement case for the XBOX 360. The entire front of the case is mesh which allows exponentially better cooling than the plastic venting of the original case could. The cooling is further enhanced by a speed adjustable 120MM fan mounted in the rear of the case. The case even has pre-grommeted holes for a water cooling setup and an X shaped top/side window. There is no official release date or price but it is rumored that the case will retail for $80.


Complete Story


Ben Heck Turns His Hand To Accessible Design

Posted: June 5, 2008 @ time: 01:27PM
Author: jammin

Beck Heck, creator of numerous impressive mods, including recently a laptop version of the PS3 console, has got together with eDimensional to create a the Access Controller. It is a games controller with an intruiging modular design that claims to enable one handed operation, which would be helpful for those that are impaired or simply like to drink coffee while despatching another wave of evil aliens. Accessible design (at least in the ergonomics field) can be hard pushed to be beautiful, and I think I can safely say that Access Controller falls into this category as well. What matters is if it actually works as intended. If it does then the $129.99 asking price doesn't seem quite so steep.


Complete Story


Asus Brings HDMI to Sound Cards

Posted: June 5, 2008 @ time: 10:15PM
Author: razor

At Computex 2008, Asus announced that it is readying the world's first HDMI ready sound card for mass distribution, and it's going to be feature-packed for sure. The Xonar HDAV1.3 complies with the HDMI 1.3a standard, and will decode lossless HD audio from Blu-ray discs in Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio at 24-bit, 96-192KHz, delivering up to 7.1 channels of crystal clear audio. Connecting via a PCI-E x1 slot, the HDAV1.3 uses analog audio to produce a 120db signal-to-noise ratio with very little distortion. This card should be a hot-ticket item for people lacking a high-end video card or powerful CPU, as the Xonar HDAV1.3 can handle the video end of a Blu-ray disc also, thanks to an on-board Splendid HD video processor.


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Hardware Roundup: Friday Edition

Posted: June 6, 2008 @ time: 04:38AM
Author: Nemo

Computex 2008 news continues to come in and we have the latest in today's roundup. Our roundup also includes a look at Thermaltake's BlacX hard drive docking station (also reviewed by OCC here). You can find more reviews on memory, motherboards and videocards in the links below.

Computex 2008
VIA and NVIDIA Begin Beautiful Friendship @ PC Perspective
NVIDIA Spy @ Tech ARP
Latest Information From Computex 2008 @ Tech ARP
ASUS Eee PC 901/1000 Series Launch @ Tech ARP
Albatron showcases multi-touch LCD panel @ TweakTown

Memory
G.SKILL F3-12800CL7D DDR3 Memory @ RBMods
Corsair 4 GB PC-12800 Memory Module @ ThinkComputers

Motherboards
XFX 790i Ultra @ Bjorn3D

Storage/Hard Drives
Thermaltake BlacX SE SATA to USB Dock @ TweakTown

Video
PNY Verto GeForce 9600 GT Video Card @ Legit Reviews
XFX 9800GX2 Quad SLI @ XSReviews
MSI N9600GT Hybrid Freezer Graphics Card @ TweakTown


Complete Story


Navy Successfully Shoots Down Missile in Test

Posted: June 6, 2008 @ time: 08:32AM
Author: oldfett

Pigs are flying, the fat lady is singing and the Navy successfully shot down a missile. Well maybe it isn’t as surprising as a pig flying but at least it was successful. The Navy was able to shoot down a Scud like missile in a test of its new Aegis ballistic missile technology. Eighteen Navy vessels currently house the Aegis missile system and this new upgrade would allow them to defend themselves and others against missile attacks. The 40 million dollar test showed that Navy ships are able to shoot down short-range missiles with weapons systems they already have in place. The Navy plans to upgrade these existing eighteen systems already in place over the next twenty months. The first ever missile interception from a vessel at sea came from a Japanese ship containing a similar system in December so the United States isn’t that far behind. Keep up the good work guys!


Complete Story


Phoenix Digs Up First Martian Soil Sample

Posted: June 6, 2008 @ time: 01:46PM
Author: Nemo

NASA's Phoenix Mars lander used its robotic arm to scoop up a sample of soil from the Martian surface. The goal is to analyze the sample to see if any of the frozen ice in the arctic region could have once been liquid and possibly been able to sustain some form of life in Mars' past. After exercising its arm during practice digs, mission controllers commanded Phoenix to take a sample to be delivered to its onboard Thermal and Evolved Gas Analyzer instrument. Phoenix took pictures of the sample so scientists could confirm they had a sufficient quantity for analysis. Sometime tonight controllers will send signals to Phoenix to deliver the sample to one of its on-board ovens to conduct a mass spectrometer analysis. The analysis is a four-day process won't necessarily occur over consecutive days. Phoenix contains other labs that will be used to analyze additional samples including microscopes and a wet chemistry lab.


Complete Story


WD Prepping 20k RPM Raptor to Combat SSD's

Posted: June 6, 2008 @ time: 02:37PM
Author: razor

As the price/performance ratio of SSD's continues to improve to the benefit of the consumer, traditional hard drive makers are feeling the heat, and Western Digital is ready to put up a fight. WD is developing a Raptor drive that spins at 20k RPM, 2x the rate of its current Raptor and VelociRaptor drives - and like the VelociRaptor, the 20k Raptor will actually be a 2.5" hard drive in a 3.5" enclosure to help cool the super-fast hard drive. In addition to the enclosure's heat dissipating properties, expect it to also serve as a silencer of sorts, as WD is claiming that these drives will be totally quiet. No launch date or pricing info is available at this time.


Complete Story


Time-Warner Sued by Los Angeles for Bad Service

Posted: June 6, 2008 @ time: 04:19PM
Author: razor

Citing numerous contract infringements, the City of Los Angeles will sue CATV giant Time-Warner, claiming that hundreds of thousands of customers were "ripped off" by the company. The City alleges that the CATV provider misled customers regarding the quality of its service, and has subjected LA customers to unusually long customer service hold times and service work delays. Another California town, Costa Mesa, is considering similar action against Time-Warner. The CATV giant has suffered a sizeable backlash recently, mainly due to poor customer service practices and its fledgling metered Internet service project, which the company claims will more fairly bill subscribers who do not use much Net bandwidth each month.


Complete Story


Dispute Brewing Among Chip Makers Over USB 3.0 Specs

Posted: June 6, 2008 @ time: 09:00PM
Author: Nemo

In a case of what may turn out to be an ugly fight, Nvidia and AMD are chafing over Intel's control of the upcoming USB 3.0 technical specifications and what they see as a delay on Intel's part to turn over details in time for the rival chip makers to develop host controllers that will support the new USB 3.0 standard. The new standard will deliver 10 times the speed of the current USB 2.0 connection and Nvidia and AMD, among others, claim Intel will gain an unfair advantage over its rivals if it doesn't cough up some details soon. The situation is so dire that the pair is threatening to create its own competing version of the 3.0 standard. Intel counters what AMD and Nvidia are seeking goes beyond the USB 3.0 specification and into the hardware controller itself. If this spat isn't resolved soon the end result could be two incompatible standards with users ending up on the short end of the stick.


Complete Story


FTC to Investigate Intel's Business Practices

Posted: June 6, 2008 @ time: 09:17PM
Author: Nemo

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is preparing an investigation of Intel's business practices as part of a possible antitrust investigation. The FTC has subpoenaed both Intel and AMD as part of its investigation according to sources at both companies. Intel has stated it is cooperating with the FTC in the matter. This has got to be good news to AMD which is embroiled in a legal battle with Intel over what AMD see as unfair business practices. The announcement comes on the heels a a recent decision by South Korea where Intel was fined $25.5 for allegedly abusing its dominant market position. Intel is already facing a similar investigation by the European Commission regarding rebates and discounts offered to OEMs in an effort to freeze AMD out of the market.


Complete Story


Enermax Galaxy Successor - The 'Revolution'

Posted: June 7, 2008 @ time: 05:33AM
Author: jammin

I missed this earlier on in the week, but I think it still warrants attention. It would seem that Enermax has been preparing the succesor to its well received Galaxy series of power supplies, though hasn't been proudly displaying them at Computex, but rather giving sneak peeks behind closed doors. If you remember a week or so ago, we reported on Coolermaster announcing the first high wattage supply to achieve the 80 Plus Silver certification, well it seems that both of these new Enermax supplies (1050W and 850W) also hit this target. To achieve this a power supply must return certain efficiency figures at different load levels: 85% @ 20% load, 88% @ 50% load and 85% @ 100% load. Higher efficiency not only means lower electricity bills but also generally means cooler (and therfore quieter) operation. The Revolution supplies, and their respective test reports can be found among the list of Enermax models on the 80 Plus website. Release dates likely to be late July / early August.


Complete Story


Big Brown a Bust

Posted: June 7, 2008 @ time: 03:44PM
Author: ClayMeow

Big Brown was attempting to become the first horse since Affirmed in 1978 to win the Triple Crown.  After breezing through the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, Big Brown was the overwhelming favorite to win the Belmont Stakes this evening, with 1-4 odds at racetime.  But instead of winning the Triple Crown, Big Brown became the 11th horse since Affirmed to win the first two races, only to fall short in the final and hardest one.  Big Brown did make history though, just not the kind people hoped for; he became the first Triple Crown hopeful to finish dead last in the Belmont Stakes after he eased up at the end.  Whether it was the sweltering 90 degree heat or just the fact that it's always been the hardest race to win, we may never know.  But what we do know, is Da'Tara is the winner of the 140th Belmont Stakes.


Complete Story


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