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 Gameguru Mania News - Mar,06 2006 - tech 
BT to launch faster broadband - tech
(hx) 11:48 AM EST - Mar,06 2006 - Post a comment
TechAmok reports that British Telecom will quadruple current broadband speeds from March 31st by adding BT ADSL Max and Premium to their current range of services. At present BT only offer a 2Mbps service, but the upgrade will see 78% of subscribers upgrading from 2Mbps to 4Mbps, over 42% to get 6Mbps and those closest to their exchange will be able to receive 8Mbps broadband access.

The plans will see the telecommunications giant upgrading 5,300 exchanges accross the UK as well as improvements to the stability of their service.
 Gameguru Mania News - Mar,05 2006 - tech
Sunday Reading - Panasonic's Interactive TV Wall - tech
(hx) 04:46 PM EST - Mar,05 2006 - Post a comment / read (1)
HDTV: Panasonic's Interactive TV Wall!
 Gameguru Mania News - Mar,04 2006 - tech
Weeekend News Round-Up - Skype limit cracked - tech
(hx) 01:33 PM EST - Mar,04 2006 - Post a comment / read (2)
- Skype 5-way Calling Limit Cracked - allows 10-way calling regardless of the processor installed.
- Windows Vista Feb2006 CTP (Build 5308) Review, Part 1 - The February CTP isn't just good, it's great
- Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - PC or Xbox 360? - The big disadvantage of the Xbox 360 version is its lack of the TES Construction Set.
- The NEC ND-4570A DVD Burner Preview - this drive performs extremely well!
- NVIDIA cuts TCP offloads to end data corruption - but the fix comes at the expense of CPU utilization.
- SDRAM prices to increase - DigiTimes reports that SDRAM prices are expected to go up in Q2
- BlackBerry deal averts service shutdown - BlackBerry wireless e-mail service avoided a shutdown
- Researchers Make Gasoline From Cow Dung - The process uses application of high heat and pressure
- NASA Study Shows Antarctic Ice Sheet Shrinking - Antarctic ice shelf is shrinking at an alarming rate of 36 cubic miles per year

- The Sims 2 - Depeche Mode: "Suffer Well" Video - check it out!
 Gameguru Mania News - Mar,03 2006 - tech
Nightly News Round-Up - ATI plans price cuts - tech
(hx) 08:19 PM EST - Mar,03 2006 - Post a comment
- Microsoft: Vista won't get a backdoor -  Will not put 'backdoors' into Windows," a company representative said
- Virus promises nude Paris Hilton pics - Bagle-DO spreads in emails
- US inquiry into music downloading - The US DoJ is investigating
- Office 2007: Users Wary of Changes - Office 2007 has a new user interface, which could require retraining
- HDA X-Plosion 7.1 Sound Card - the world's first audio card to include DTS connect and Dolby Digital Live.
- 160 GB In Your Notebook - HDDs Round-up - Hitachi TravelStar 7K100 is the best
- Nokia 770 Internet Tablet review -  It's the size of a large handheld, but has no PIM apps
- ATI plans price cuts - X1900 XTX will cost $549
Friday News Round-Up - tech
(hx) 11:12 AM EST - Mar,03 2006 - Post a comment / read (4)
- LG Xnote TX is Ultra-Portable, Impossibly Thin - The LG Xnote TX is reed-thin and weighs just 2.4 pounds!
- Realtek AC97 Driver v3.84 - supports all ALC series audio chipsets from ALC101 up to ALC861
- mobiBLU DAH-1500i Cube Digital Audio Player - one of the smallest MP3 players in the world
- EVGA 7800 GTX KO with AC3 cooling - there is a copper core inside that touches the GPU...
- France's highest court rules against personal copying of DVDs - French consumers are not entitled to make personal copies of DVDs
- Malware-Speak Spooks Symantec - if someone types "startkeylogger" or "stopkeylogger" in an IRC channel, anyone on the channel using the affected Norton products will be immediately kicked off without warning!
- SafeDisc Windows XP Fix for Microsoft Games -  download fix
- Is DC the power to solve heat problems?  - It looks like using DC outside the server removes some of the inefficiencies...
 Gameguru Mania News - Mar,02 2006 - tech
Evening News Round-up - Forceware 84.12 BETA - tech
(hx) 07:06 PM EST - Mar,02 2006 - Post a comment / read (1)
- eMagin 3DVisor Hands-on - features full support for both 2 and 3D video games
- Hardware round-up (March 2)
- Grid computing cracks Nazi codes - Three German ciphers unsolved since WWII are finally being cracked
- Continued use of DRM kills sales and targets the wrong people - DRM hurts paying customers
- NVidia Forceware 84.12 BETA Drivers - added support for 7300GS, 7300LE
- Matrox announces TripleHead2Go expansion module - allows you to add three 19" monitors!
- Samsung SGH-i300 review - music phone equipped with a 3 GB hard drive
- Software Round-Up (March 2) - AIM Fix 02-27-2006, CloneDVD2 v2.8.9...
- MS is giving away USB Memory Sticks! - I suspect it's nothing more than 32MB, but hey, it's free! :)
- CERT - Securing Your Web Browser  - configure your web browser for safer internet surfing
- 14 year old discovers Gmail vulnerability - Google have now fixed the problem 
- What is Microsoft's Origami project? (update)
Morning News Round-Up - tech
(hx) 06:25 AM EST - Mar,02 2006 - Post a comment
- Vista Versions Not so Confusing After All
- New Windows Updates: KB904942, KB912945
- Is Watching Violent TV Worse Than Playing Violent Games?
- ATI announces dual x16 Crossfire 3200 chipset
- Sony Ericsson Unveils 2006 Lineup
- Vodafone shows face recognition phone
- Olive works 400GB into Opus digital music centre
- Nanotube Paint Blocks Cell Phones on Demand
- TomTom Go 910, 710 and 510
- Laptops Required for Freshmen
- The choice of dual core vs single core
- Four plead guilty in US piracy case
 Gameguru Mania News - Mar,01 2006 - tech
ATI announces dual x16 Crossfire 3200 chipset - tech
(hx) 06:40 PM EST - Mar,01 2006 - Post a comment / read (1)
In PCMark05's CPU performance module, the Intel system had a clear advantage over the AMD rigs. The AMD based systems all performed within a few percentage points of one another though
ATI today officially introduced its Crossfire 3200 chipset, which was formerly code-named RD580. The dual-graphics chipset offers two x16 PCI Express slots and allows users to install two graphics cards without the need for a master/slave configuration, as it is the case with the Xpress 200 version. The first review can be found on Bit-Tech, HardOCP, HotHardware, PCPerspective, RegHardware and Sudhian.
HardOCP: As to the ATI Radeon Xpress 3200 chipset it self, I have to say that it was everything I hoped it would be. It is a feature-rich solution worthy of any gaming machine and is very much competitive with other solutions on the market both in terms of features, technology, and certainly performance. The ATI Radeon Xpress 3200 is a highly overclockable performance powerhouse. It would seem ATI has improved on the Xpress 200 in nearly every way. The ASUS A8R32-MVP Deluxe is a motherboard I can finally recommend to would-be Crossfire users. Even those who might not be interested in dual video solutions will find this a truly feature-rich and viable alternative to NVIDIA nForce 4 chipsets for the AMD platform. With a pair of X1900XTX's in CrossFire configuration, you can rest assured you'll have the one of the fastest gaming systems money can buy.

HotHardware: ATI is on the right track with the CrossFire Xpress 3200 chipset. Performance is competitive with its main competition, and although this is a new and inherently immature product, the Asus motherboard we tested that was based on it, remained rock-solid stable throughout all of our testing. In combination with the ULi 1575 southbridge, the chipset as a whole offers a very complete feature set that includes true dual PCI Express x16 slots for full bandwidth CrossFire support, SATA 3.0Gb/s RAID support and HD audio. In addition, the chipset also seems to have a plenty of "headroom" left, as is evident by our excellent overclocking results. One potential issue that could affect adoption of the CrossFire Xpress 3200 has to do with NVIDIA, however. NVIDIA recently acquired ULi, and we doubt they'll be too keen on supplying 1575s to ATI's partners for use on CrossFire Xpress 3200 boards much longer. ATI's own SB450 southbridge is still an option, but that product's relatively poor USB performance and its lack of SATA 3.0Gb/s support limit its appeal in the enthusiast community.

PCPerspective: There is simply no getting around that the Asus A8R32-MVP is probably the best overclocking motherboard I have ever tested. And since this is the first XPress 3200 chipset I have tested as well, both ATI and Asus can share the spotlight on that. The ATI engineers told us they built the ability to do these kinds of overclocking feats into the chipset. So once new BIOS’ are released and other board vendors start competing for the top spot I am sure we’ll see the overclocking number soar even higher.
The choice of dual core vs single core - tech
(hx) 09:39 AM EST - Mar,01 2006 - Post a comment
VIA Arena take a good hard look at AMD's dual core CPU and how it does and/or does not benefit gamers:
If you are a die hard competitive gamer and every frame per second counts and you want the extra features turned on like AA and shadows then MHz is still king. This may change as the year draws on, but everything I have seen in testing shows that the higher the MHz, the better the fps. So out of the three CPUs I have tested here, the Athlon 64 3800+ is the goer for hardcore competitive gamers.

If you like playing games but you also use your system for other applications like ripping music, video editing, graphics editing, burning CDs etc, I would definitely recommend a dual core over a single core. The performance increase in multi-tasking outweighs the drop in fps. Dual core truly comes to life if you want to play World of War Craft whilst chatting on Teamspeak and ripping a DVD all at the same time. Windows is quite capable of allocating the appropriate applications to each core to spread the workload.

I was surprised to see just how competitive the Athlon 64 3200+ was next to the Athlon 64 X2 3800+ in gaming. If you are on a budget then the 3200 is a great deal since it is over $100 cheaper than the X2 3800+. If you are concerned with future proofing your system for applications and games that will use dual core technology, save your $100 now and put it into a dual core CPU next year when prices have fallen through the floor and we will probably all find lovely whopping 4600+ X2s at today's 3800+ prices! Even if you put that $100 you saved into extra RAM, you would see a greater performance increase right now that putting that money into dual core right now.
 Gameguru Mania News - Feb,28 2006 - tech
ULi SLI Detonator Driver Patch Leaked - tech
(hx) 08:06 PM EST - Feb,28 2006 - Post a comment / read (1)
Last night, several websites started posting direct downloads to a driver patch issued by ULi (1.67MB) that actually patches current NVIDIA drivers force Detonator into thinking the M1697 Northbridge is an "SLI-ready" core logic. The driver detects if you are running a ULi based motherboard, and then patches the Detonator drivers into thinking SLI should work correctly. If a ULi chipset is not detected, the utility will quit out with the message "ULi Chipset Not Found !!" Getting the driver to work with other chipsets is probably just a matter of playing with a few registry values. The utility claims that it only enables "ULi PowerExpress Engine," but the end effect seems to be that SLI support appears in the Detonator control panel.
500 GB Hard Drive Shootout - tech
(hx) 11:23 AM EST - Feb,28 2006 - Post a comment
The chaps over at GamePC have tested the 500 GB hard drives from Seagate, Maxtor, Hitachi, and Western Digital.
Of the four drives which are on the market, we feel that Western Digital's Caviar SE16 has the best mix of price / performance / features at this time. The SE16 provided the highest sustained transfer rates of any 7,200 RPM hard drive we've tested to date (breaking 60 MB/s in a single-drive scenario), but also provided excellent overall write speeds and seek times, while consuming very tolerable power levels and maintaining low noise levels. If WD would expand their warranty to five years to compete with Seagate, it would be no contest.

Seagate's Barracuda 7200.9 would be our second choice, as our numbers looked pretty good overall, but Seagate's drives come with an excellent five year warranty, and also ran noticeably cooler throughout our intensive testing. For workstation users who care about reliably over raw performance, we still would give the nod to Seagate, as their 7200.8 and 7200.9 families have been extremely stable over time.

Hitachi's Deskstar 7K500 drive maintained solid performance throughout our tests, and still manages to hold up quite well against these newer 500 GB entries. Despite its use of lower density platters, the 7K500 is not drastically different in terms of power consumption, heat, or noise, but it does have slightly increased levels in these areas. While it wouldn't be our first choice, given that there are better options out there, if there was a good deal on the 7K500 drives, it would be foolish to pass them up, as they're still excellent drives.

As for Maxtor's Diamondmax 11, I don't quite know what to say. I tested multiple DiamondMax 11 500 GB drives, and all of them gave me terrible, awful benchmark results, despite changing every test variable to try to see if there was a source for its terrible performance. Maxtor's technical support was more or less useless in helping resolve my issues, so I'm left with a big question mark over my head. The drive performed well in HDTach disk read tests, but if it can't put up solid numbers on the Intel ICH7, one of the most solid (and high-performance) SATA-II/300 controllers on the market, there must be something really wrong with this lineup. If Maxtor gets in contact with us and provides an explanation or a fix, we will update our scores. Until that time, we can't recommend the DiamondMax 11 just yet.
 Gameguru Mania News - Feb,27 2006 - tech
Sony VAIO VGN-SZ1VP notebook - tech
(hx) 01:07 PM EST - Feb,27 2006 - Post a comment / read (1)
TrustedReviews take a look at the Sony VAIO VGN-SZ1VP notebook:
PCMark showed a similarly massive leap forward over the outgoing machine, even when running with the Intel graphics – I make a point of mentioning this, because slow graphics can have a big effect on PCMark. Running PCMark with the Intel graphics turned in a score of 2965 compared to 2729 on the S5VP, which was equipped with a GeForce GO 6400 chipset. However, once I switched to the GeForce GO 7400 chipset the SZ1VP surged forward with a score of 3586!

As already mentioned, 3D performance was vastly improved when using the nVidia chipset and the numbers do indicate that you should be able to play the odd 3D game when you switch over to the nVidia graphics.

Battery life is a massive improvement over the S5VP with the SZ1VP lasting almost 100 minutes longer - 262 compared to 165 minutes to be precise. The DVD playback time is also impressive at 218 minutes compared to 142 minutes on the old machine. Of course all those times were achieved using the Intel integrated graphics, but to be fair that's exactly what you're likely to be using when on battery power. That said, despite using the slower graphics chipset, the SZ1VP managed a MobileMark performance rating of 203, only eight points behind the S5VP.
Don't Get Stampeded By The 7.1 Parade - tech
(hx) 06:23 AM EST - Feb,27 2006 - Post a comment
Home Theater expert Mark Fleischmann explains why you should not fall for the 7.1 hype and why 5.1 surround sound is adequate for most homes. Here's an excerpt:
In film exhibition, 6.1- and 7.1-channel systems make sense. At home, however, 5.1 channels are quite enough. It's easy to generate a solid soundfield in a small space with three speakers in front and two on the rear of the side walls. To me it's self-evidently nonsensical to have four surround speakers outnumbering the three in front.

Your family's attention is riveted on the screen and that's where a home surround system should deliver most of its firepower. Adding more channels gives your surround receiver more work to do. That's never a good thing. Despite the "100 watts per channel" specs you see in spec sheets, the majority of surround receivers measure at more like 35.

So when an action-movie soundtrack swells up, it drives the receiver into clipping. This might sound like a slight deflating of dynamics. Or the sound may get harsher as it gets louder. In the worst-case scenario, the receiver overheats and shuts down. If you don't like what you hear when you turn up the volume, clipping is what you're hearing.

There are two ways to minimize clipping. One is to dump your receiver for separate components-a multi-channel power amp and a surround preamp-processor. This will cost you more money and make your system bulkier and more complex. The alternative is buy speakers with a high sensitivity rating, measured in decibels (dB), say in the low to mid nineties. Unfortunately they're not always the best-sounding ones. (Klipsch is one of the rare exceptions.)
 Gameguru Mania News - Feb,26 2006 - tech
Sunday Tech Madness-Microsoft's Origami info - tech
(hx) 05:16 PM EST - Feb,26 2006 - Post a comment / read (3)
Microsoft's Origami Project


  • Kaspersky AV Update Troubles Microsoft Users - Kaspersky Labs and Microsoft have recovered from an error that caused significant email troubles for some users of Microsoft's Antigen email security software.
  • WinACE RAR and TAR Directory Traversal Vulnerability - The vulnerability is caused due to an input validation error when extracting files compressed with RAR (.rar) or TAR (.tar). This makes it possible to have files extracted to arbitrary locations outside the specified directory using the "../" directory traversal sequence. The vulnerability has been confirmed in version 2.6. Other versions may also be affected.


  • MPAA targets Usenet - files lawsuit against news servers - The Motion Picture Association of America has found a new target in its war against piracy: search engines providing links to copyrighted material. Although they distribute no files themselves, such sites are a critical piece of the infrastructure that enables movie piracy, the MPAA says. Lawsuits were filed Thursday against:,, IsoHunt,,,,,, and The suits mark the first time the MPAA has gone after Usenet, which has largely been spared in the crackdown on illicit file sharing.
  • Met Police clamps down on movie pirates - The Metropolitan Police has joined forces with the Federation Against Copyright Theft (Fact) to target organised criminal networks involved in the manufacture and distribution of counterfeit films.



  • Microsoft's Origami Project - Origami looks to be small (approx 7"), Tablet PC style device. A marketing company has a promo video for it online - see it here (click work, then 'brandtheatre', then Microsoft Origami). From the video, it would appear that these devices can play back music, connect to WiFi networks (and possibly Bluetooth devices), and has enough power to handle graphics work and games.
  • ATI Preps First HDMI-HDCP Video Card - As you would expect, the card itself is PCI Express based and comes in a surprisingly low profile design which should appeal to those with SFF cases or heavily packed out systems
  • Video sites blamed for web-traffic crisis - CNET News have published an article documenting how the recent explosion in online video sites has experts worried and searching for more efficient technology to deliver the goods.



  • Mounting Socket 462 Coolers Onto Socket 939 Motherboards Guide - Thermalright actually modified the SI-97 slightly to make it compatible with Socket 939 motherboards. The result was a new Socket 939-compatible model called SI-97A.
  • Taking the SLI Plunge - Part 2 - check it out
  • A Beginner's Guide to Air Cooling Your Smokin Hot Computer - The most common method of keeping a computer cool is to use a combination of fans, heat sinks and a little bit of chemistry to move the hot air out of your computer and into the surrounding air, replacing it with cool, friendly air.
  • How To Replace A Broken Laptop or Notebook Display - The old lamp base somehow broke and gave way, Murphy's Law took over, and the sharp edge of the metal lampshade found its way into the top surface of my notebook display. After that, the LCD was basically unusable. The edges of the sickle-shaped gouge in the anti-reflective film glimmered with rainbows, and markedly curbed my enthusiasm for using the unit.
  • How to Build a WiMAX Network - The TechZone show you how to build one.
  • Wi-Fi Hotspot Security Tips - The best defense is to implement some simple security practices and measures that will safeguard your business and personal information
  • Keyboard Cleaning Guide - In this guide I will show you how to thoroughly clean you keyboard with some simple household items.
  • How to Buy a Cheap Laptop Computer - When planning to buy a cheap laptop computer, you need to consider factors that go well beyond performance and memory. You need to consider many factors like size, weight, screen dimensions, battery life, keyboard quality, built-in memory, and also certain other options like wireless connectivity.
  • Why You Should Not Attempt a "Do It Yourself" Data Recovery - They are some common techniques that can cause permanent data loss.
  • How Safe Is Safe - The only definite way of safeguarding against the many different kinds of threats is to have a copy of the valuable information and keep it away from the computer, this is commonly referred to as back-up
  • Top 10 reasons you should (not) buy a music phone - Want a new music phone but can't explain your significant other (or financial advisor) just why you deserve one? Fret not; infoSync World is here to help clear things up a little.
  • Office 2007 FAQ - My Microsoft Office 2007 FAQ is now available with information about the product editions, individual applications, features, and pricing


  • AVG Free 7.1.375 Build 716 (Free Anti-Virus) - AVG Free for Windows is a free anti-virus protection tool developed by Grisoft for home use. We invite you to join the millions of satisfied customers worldwide who have downloaded the software and now enjoy the benefits of AVG Free for Windows.
  • AnyDVD - AnyDVD can be used to remove the various copy protections on audio Cd's and DVDs, CloneDVD is able to compress movies to fit them on a DVD recordable and CloneCD is able to bypass copy protections on e.g. game Cd's. This new version Adds support for a new version of the Sony Arccos protection as found on "A Killer Within" R2 (German) to the option to remove "Protection based on unreadable Sectors.
  • ImgBurn - ImgBurn is a free tool that enables you to burn CD/DVD images with ease.
  • DiskInternals CD and DVD Recovery 2.0 - DiskInternals CD and DVD Recovery, as the name implies is a software solution capable of recovering data from CDs and DVDs, including multi-session ones. CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R, DVR+R, DVD-RW, DVR+RW, DVD+R DL, DVD-R DL and DVD-RAM disks are supported. (free alternative can be found here)
  • Real Alternative 1.47  - Real Alternative will allow you to play RealMedia files without having to install RealPlayer or RealOne Player from Real Networks. Supported are: RealAudio (.ra .rpm), RealMedia (.rm .ram .rmvb .rpx .smi .smil), RealText (.rt) and ReadPix (.rp). It also supports RealMedia content that is embedded in webpages.
  • SyncBack Freeware 3.2.10 - SyncBack (download) is our freeware program that helps you easily backup and synchronise your files to: the same drive; a different drive or medium (CDRW, CompactFlash, etc); an FTP server; a Network; or a Zip archive.
  • Opera 8.52 -download
  • Winamp 5.2 Build 473 (2/23/06) - Nullsoft Winamp (download full / lite) is a fast, flexible, high-fidelity media player for Windows. Winamp supports playback of many audio (MP3, OGG, AAC, WAV, MOD, XM, S3M, IT, MIDI, etc) and video types (AVI,ASF,MPEG,NSV).
  • WinDVD Platinum 7.0.B27.172 - WinDVD Platinum 7 is the ultimate DVD software player, providing you with the finest quality video and audio playback.
  • Google Toolbar - The Google Toolbar (download Win2k/XP / Win9x/ME) increases your ability to find information from anywhere on the web and takes only seconds to install.
  • x264 Video Codec r440 - x264 is a free library for encoding H264/AVC video streams
  • Drivercleaner PLATINUM - Driver Cleaner Platinum Editon is a program which helps you to remove parts of drivers that are left after uninstalling the old drivers. The program is for ATI, nVidia, Creative, Realtek, SIS, 3Dfx, S3 and more drivers.
  • ForceWare 83.50 Win2000/XP (Unofficial) - This is an unofficial driver, use it at your own risk.
  • Nvidia Driver Beta 87.15 Drivers for Vista - No word on whether this version includes a control panel or even the new updated Nvidia control panel. Download: Windows Vista Beta Drivers x86 - 87.15 / Windows Vista Beta Drivers x64 - 87.15.
 Gameguru Mania News - Feb,24 2006 - tech
Enzyme Computer Could Live Inside You - tech
(hx) 01:27 PM EST - Feb,24 2006 - Post a comment
New Scientist reports the creation of an enzyme-based computer that performs AND and XOR calculations, and combinations of the two, based on the presence or absence of specific chemicals:
The team built their computer using two enzymes - glucose dehydrogenase (GDH) and horseradish peroxidase (HRP) - to trigger two interconnected chemical reactions. Two chemical components - hydrogen peroxide and glucose - were used to represent input values (A and B). The presence of each chemical corresponded to a binary 1, while the absence represented a binary 0. The chemical result of the enzyme-powered reaction was determined optically.

The enzyme computer was used to perform two fundamental logic computations known as AND (where A and B must both equal one) and XOR (where A and B must have different values). The addition of two further enzymes - glucose oxidase and catalase - connected the two logical operations, making it possible to add together binary digits using the logic functions.
 Gameguru Mania News - Feb,23 2006 - tech
ATI Radeon X1900 XT vs XTX - What's in $100? - tech
(hx) 11:19 AM EST - Feb,23 2006 - Post a comment / read (2)
EliteBastards have an interesting article that reveals how much performance you gain with a Radeon X1900 XTX over an X1900 XT part.
At the end of the day, the numbers speak for themselves - Although how much money an additional boost in framerate is worth is a subjective thing, I really can't imagine that anybody will truly be willing to part with as much as an extra $100 to benefit from only a couple of extra frames per second across the board. Factor in the lack of speed binning of R580 cores and the use of the same memory modules on both X1900 XT and XTX parts, and you really have very little reason to go for an XTX at all. This becomes even more so the case if you don't have a problem with grabbing some software (or simply using ATI's own OVERDRIVE facility) to overclock to XTX speeds, which should be possible in the vast majority of, if not all, cases.

All in all, it feels rather strange that ATI have decided to release two SKUs based around R580 in this fashion at all - It almost seems as though the decision was made before yields of the core were known, and these two parts were subsequently shoehorned into their respective positions even though there was little technical need to do so. Of course, high-end graphics boards mean high margins for both ATI and their AIB partners, but to my mind that still doesn't excuse the feeling that buyers of the Radeon X1900 XTX are being somewhat ripped off, while those who are perhaps more technically astute (or at least better read on their potential video card purchases) are coming away with a much better side of the deal.

So, the advice from us is really quite simple here while prices stand as they currently do - Unless bragging rights are your greatest concern, forget about picking up the Radeon X1900 XTX, and find yourself a Radeon X1900 XT-based part instead. It'll give you just as many gaming thrills and spills as its more expensive brother, and leave you a hefty chunk of change to enjoy on whatever else you please
AMD's Opteron 165 and 180 processors - tech
(hx) 04:30 AM EST - Feb,23 2006 - Post a comment
TechReport take a look at the AMD's Opteron 165 and 180 processors:
Fortunately, characterizing the performance of these two CPUs is fairly easy, thanks to a startling amount of consistency in terms of relative performance across a range of benchmarks. The Opteron 180 performs exactly like an Athlon 64 X2 4800+, which is to say, exceptionally well. This thing outruns the Pentium D 950-ostensibly its most direct competitor from Intel-virtually across the board. The Opteron 180 also outperforms the more expensive Pentium Extreme Edition 955 in the lion's share of our benchmark suite. For high-end, single-socket workstations, the Opteron 180 is as good as it gets right now. Only the Athlon 64 FX-60 is faster, but that chip is targeted at gaming PCs rather than workstations.

The performance picture for the Opteron 165 is more complex. More often than not, the 165 scores higher in the benchmarks than its closest real competitor, the Pentium D 930, but the Opteron 165 doesn't have nearly the dominance that the Opteron 180 does. Although AMD's K8 architecture delivers quite a bit of performance per clock, the Opteron 165's 1.8GHz clock speed is low enough to keep it from really exploiting that architectural advantage. The 165's relatively low memory bandwidth and high memory access latencies in our synthetic memory tests compared to the other K8 chips we tested are testaments to that fact. I would recommend stepping up to a higher clock speed if possible. At 2GHz, the Athlon 64 X2 3800+ looks like a better option for those building their own systems, at least if we're talking about running at stock speeds.
IBM To Release Cell Compiler - tech
(hx) 04:29 AM EST - Feb,23 2006 - Post a comment
It isn't easy to write code for Cell, with its central processing core and eight accompanying special-purpose engines. Octopiler, which IBM Research plans to outline at a tutorial next month, aims to change all that. The software development tool converts a single, human-written program into several different programs that run simultaneously on Cell's various cores.
Octopiler has more work to do than most compilers. For one thing, it must create instructions in a different language for the eight SPEs than for the PowerPC core. For another, it must divvy up software among the nine cores and govern how those programs communicate and share memory.

And it has to scrutinize source code for the specific "single instruction, multiple data" tasks that SPEs can perform. Those tasks economize chip operations by performing the same operation on multiple data elements in one fell swoop.
The article is a bit unclear and really doesn't say too much, but it will be interesting to see how well it works.
 Gameguru Mania News - Feb,22 2006 - tech
NVIDIA GeForce 7600GT and 7900GT Info - tech
(hx) 04:41 AM EST - Feb,22 2006 - Post a comment / read (6)
Dual DVI support and SLI capable
Daily Tech has the scoop of two new NVIDIA parts, the 7600GT and 7900GT. Both cards target very different segments of the market and should be worthy successors to cards like the 6600GT and 7800GT respectively. NVIDIA's newest GPU, dubbed G71, will debut at CeBit 2006 in Hannover in a few weeks.
NVIDIA's new 7900GT is expected to use new Samsung GDDR3 memory that's reported to be operating at 1.4ns but frequencies are unconfirmed at this point. In contrast, ATI's X1800XT uses GDDR3 memory with a 1.2ns time running at 1400MHz. NVIDIA's 7800GTX 512 uses memory running at an effective rate of 1.7GHz.

Quick specifications for GeForce 7900GT from NVIDIA documents:
- PCIe native
- 450MHz core frequency
- 256-bit memory interface
- 40GB/sec. memory bandwidth
- 11B pixels/sec. fill rate
- ~900M vertices/sec.
- 24 pixels per cycle
- Built in dual-link DVI support for 2560x1600 resolution
Quick specifications for GeForce 7600GT from NVIDIA documents:
- PCIe native
- 560MHz core frequency
- 128-bit memory interface
- 20.2GB/sec. memory bandwidth
- 7B pixels/sec. fill rate
- 730M vertices/sec.
- 12 pixels per cycle
- Built in dual-link DVI support for 2560x1600 resolution
Logitec Japan to launch first 12x DVD-RAM Burner - tech
(hx) 04:25 AM EST - Feb,22 2006 - Post a comment
Japanese Logitech announced its first external optical drive in Japan that burns DVD-RAM at 12x, DVD+ or -DL at 8x and DVD+R/-R at 16x:
The external DVD-RAM is powered by the Panasonic technology. Logitec plans to release two versions of the drive. The LDR-MA16FU2/WM will come with a dual USB 2.0 and FireWire interface, offering compatibility with both Windows and Mac OS X users. The USB 2.0 version of the drive, called LDR-MA16U2, will be also available in the Japanese market at the same time, by the end of March. The drives will cost 16,380 Yen ($139) and 14,175 yen ($121) respectively, according to Logitech.

Basic specifications of both drives include 12x recording for DVD-RAM (Class 1, DVD-RAM Ver.2.2 media only, read more here), 8x for DVD+R/-R DL, 16x for DVD+R/-R, 8x for DVD+RW, 6x for DVD-RW and 48x/32x for CD-R and CD-RW media. Of course, the drive is able to read DVD-RAM Ver.2.2/2.1/2.0 media too (5x and 3x). For increased compatibility with DVD players, the drives suport the Booktype setting for DVD+R media.