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 Gameguru Mania News - Aug,30 2006 - tech 
TechReading - Vista on January 30, 2007? - tech
(hx) 12:38 PM EDT - Aug,30 2006 - Post a comment
  • Core 2 Duo Notebook Processors Launched - According to Intel roadmaps, Core 2 Duo processors will make up for more than 55% of its total mobile processor shipments by early 2007. Additionally, Intel expects that dual core processors for the mobile platform will exceed 95% of its production output -- single core processors are definitely on the way out. One whole day after the retail introduction of Intel's mobile Core 2 Duo processors, the Canadian company has launched a new Radeon Xpress 1250 chipset for Intel notebooks. The chipset integrates DirectX 9.0-class graphics with hardware acceleration support for H.264 video, HDMI output, and TV-Out for video formats up to 720p and 1080i.
  • AMD AM2 4600+ EE 2.40GHz  - From an overclocker/performance perspective, there are better CPU's to choose from. Energy Efficient aside, there are cheaper X2's that should perform just as well. One friend has an AM2 4000+ that is stable overclocked to 3.0GHz with 1.45v.
  • Overclocking Intel Core 2 Processors - How far will they go? - If you want full control over your overclocking which will at the end of the day result in a higher overclock, Core 2 Extreme with its unlocked multipliers, higher starting clocks and higher overclocking ability makes more sense as you can go for a higher bus speed with memory running in a 1:1 ratio to give an overall system boost or simply go for the MHz race and get as much out of the processor to be the king of the hill.
  • ATI's Holiday GPU Lineup Unveiled - At the top of chain of ATI graphics cards is the previously released Radeon X1950XTX and CrossFire graphics cards. Slotted right below the Radeon X1950XTX and CrossFire cards will be the Radeon X1900XT 512MB which will be a carryover product. The Radeon X1900XTX is discontinued and being phased out.
  • RV560-based Radeon X1650XT coming soon - The launch is scheduled for September, together with the RV570-based new Radeon X1950 generation card, again one promising lower-end card.
  • ATI TV Wonder 650 Total Recall - In what appears to be a quick retail turnaround, ATI has issued a major nationwide recall of its ATI TV Wonder 650 graphics cards. Although details of the recall remain unclear and ATI has not issued official reasons for the recall, several readers have emailed DailyTech noting that the TV Wonder 650 cards have begun disappearing from store shelves. Retail chains such as Best Buy were the first to take the new cards off store shelves.
  • I-O Data BRD-AM2B/U Blu-ray disc writer review - Based on the Panasonic SW-5582, the BRD-AM2B/U supports both single and dual layer BD-R and BD-RE media, giving it the ability to store up to 50GB of data or four hours worth of HD video onto a single disc. I-O DATA's new drive can also be used to play Blu-ray Disc movies and can read and write to all major CD and DVD formats, including DVD-RAM.  
    Samsung BD-P1000 May Not Support 50GB Blu-ray -
    The good news would be that this is apparently fixable via a firmware update, but this problem is figuring into the delay of not only dual-layer movies, but other upcoming standalone Blu-ray players as well. Firmware update or not, I'm pretty sure early adopting Blu-ray buyers didn't spend $1000 to only be able to read 25GB discs.
  • Sharky Extreme's August video card price guide - The All-in-Wonder Radeon X800 XL 256MB PCIe received the largest cut and fell by $151, while the All-in-Wonder Radeon X800 XT 256MB AGP dropped by $93, bringing these more in line with other AiW and Radeon X800-based cards.
  • Vista Release Will Be January 30, 2007? - According to Amazon all the versions will be released on January 30. Pricing ranges from $99.95 for the upgrade version of Windows Vista Home Basic all the way to $399.95 for the full version of Windows Vista Ultimate.
  • Google Releasing an Office Suite - Google, Inc. bundled e-mail client (Gmail), shared calendaring environment (Google Calendar), instant messaging client (GTalk) and HTML page generator (Google Page Creator) to be used across specific domains.
  • Google to Allow Free Book Downloads - Google on Wednesday plans to begin letting consumers download and print free of charge classic novels and many other, more obscure books that are in the public domain. Using Google's Book Search service, Web surfers hunting titles like Dante's "Inferno" and Aesop's "Fables" will be able to download PDF files of the books for later reading, to run keyword searches or to print them on paper. Up to now, the service only allowed people to read the out-of-copyright books online. Google supports the service by showing its small, keyword-generated text ads on search-results pages.
  • Microsoft Patches Up Windows Media DRM Hack - In a response to an application that was originally reported to allow users to strip DRM encoding from Windows Media files, Microsoft has quickly issued a patch that circumvents the utility. originally reported on a small utility called FairUse4WM able to remove DRM information from WMA files to allow playback on any device. The new update from Microsoft updates the individualized blackbox component (IBX) that exists in PlayForSure.
  • AT&T Hack Exposes 19,000 Identities - AT&T said yesterday that hackers broke into its system and made off with the personal information of 19,000 customers. AT&T is offering to pay for credit monitoring service for customers that were affected.
  • Download YouTube videos directly to iTunes - Using TubeSock you can now download Videos from YouTube, and save them directly into iTunes in a iPod video compatible format.
  • Share Huge Files Online with Gigasize (up 1.5 GB/file) - Gigasize is new on the block, but compared to sites like Rapidshare and Megaupload, it is light years ahead. Without signing up, you can host files up to 1 gigabyte, or sign up to host huge 1.5 gigabyte files. Could sites like this kill P2P networks? /Note: You can also check out MiHD/
  • Future Batteries Will Be Better - According to an MIT battery expert, advances in materials and engineering can double battery life without sacrificing safety.
  • Auto Assault soundtrack available online - NCSoft, publisher of Mad Max meets Destruction Derby MMORPG Auto Assault decided to release the soundtrack of the game (direct link ~ 35.2MB) - free of charge, of course.  Worth leeching...
  • Wal-Mart Aims To Change How We Light Our Homes - In the next 12 months, starting with a major push this month, Wal-Mart wants to sell every one of its regular customers--100 million in all--one compact fluorescent bulb. In the process, it may change energy consumption in the United States.
  • Yoda Plush Backpack - Even if you aren't a huge Star Wars fan, this backpack will give you huge geek credibility
  • 20 Things You Didn't Know About... Death - check it out!
  • The First 3 Minutes of The Covenant - Sony Pictures has posted the first three minutes from The Covenant at the official website. The horror-thriller opens on September 8.
Intel's Core 2 Extreme X6800 reviewed - tech
(hx) 11:31 AM EDT - Aug,30 2006 - Post a comment
GamePC takes a look at the Intel's Core 2 Extreme X6800:
It shouldn't come to a surprise to anyone at this point, but we'll simply go ahead and say it. Intel's Core 2 Extreme X6800 is the fastest desktop processor available today, bar none. The X6800 beats AMD's top of the line FX-62 processor in every CPU benchmark, even when the FX-62 is running at overclocked speeds. In order to truly compete with the X6800, AMD would have to put out dual-core chips in the 3.6 – 4.0 GHz range, as Intel's performance per clock is quite a lot better compared to the Athlon64 X2 product line. With AMD's current manufacturing process technology, these kinds of clock speeds aren't going to come about any time soon, which means Intel will likely hold the performance crown for the foreseeable future. It's looking more and more like quad-core technology will be the savior of AMD on the desktop. However, if rumors are correct, Intel may even beat AMD to bring this technology to market as well.

Note that we said fastest "desktop" processor above. Astute readers will be aware that Intel's Xeon 5160 processor is based on the same architecture as the Core 2 Extreme X6800, and actually runs at higher clock speeds (3.0 GHz) with a faster FSB speed (1333 MHZ), but costs less (about $1000) compared to the X6800. While this may look like a staggering deal compared to the pricey Core 2 Extreme, one must keep in mind that Xeon motherboards are 2-3x more expensive compared to Core 2 motherboards, and Xeon systems also require more expensive / slower FB-DIMM DDR2-667 memory modules. Thus, as a whole, the Core 2 Extreme system will likely be a better value. Still, it's certainly interesting to think about.

Of course, having the best desktop processor on the market means that Intel can charge (more or less) whatever they want. As the $1200 to $1400 Core 2 Extreme is based on the same core architecture as the $400 Core 2 Duo E6600, it's a safe bet that Intel is making very, very good profits on these processors. If you're willing to shell out the cash, this will certainly be the best processor on the market you can buy today, but a good value it certainly is not. In terms of price / performance, the Core 2 Duo E6600 and E6700 models are far better values, and when overclocked, can deliver the same (or better) performance levels of the Core 2 Extreme X6800. However, with the X6800, you get all that performance without all the risk and worry of overclocking, and your warranties are kept intact.

 Gameguru Mania News - Aug,29 2006 - tech
Grab Windows Vista Pre-RC1 While You Can - tech
(hx) 04:29 PM EDT - Aug,29 2006 - Post a comment
If you are quick, you just might be able to get the Windows Vista Pre-RC1 version from Microsoft. Released to just a few testers last week, Microsoft is now offering the pre-release version of their PC OS to the public. The download is actually open to anyone, but as Microsoft explains in its invitation, a valid Beta 2 CPP product ID is required to complete the installation process. This is a limited-time offer, too: after 100,000 downloads, Microsoft will close off the test program. The pre-RC1 build-a.k.a. build 5536-was released to technical beta testers last week and reportedly brings substantial performance improvements over the Beta 2 version.
 Gameguru Mania News - Aug,27 2006 - tech
Sunday Tech Reading - Virus Can Attack AMD - tech
(hx) 01:20 PM EDT - Aug,27 2006 - Post a comment / read (2)
 Gameguru Mania News - Aug,25 2006 - tech
Friday Tech Reading - Xbox 360 Cannot Run DX10 - tech
(hx) 10:03 AM EDT - Aug,25 2006 - Post a comment / read (4)
 Gameguru Mania News - Aug,23 2006 - tech
Tech Reading - Microsoft Habu gaming mouse - tech
(hx) 07:44 PM EDT - Aug,23 2006 - Post a comment
ATI Announces The Radeon X1950 XTX - tech
(hx) 11:10 AM EDT - Aug,23 2006 - Post a comment
ATI announced its new flagship graphics card family, the Radeon X1950 series. The new Radeon X1950 XTX and Radeon X1950 CrossFire Edition work together or individually to deliver the ultimate gaming performance available today. On September 14th, both the Radeon X1950 XTX and Radeon X1950 CrossFire Edition will ship from retailers, system integrators, with an estimated street price of US$449 or EUR399 (VAT included) for each card. The Radeon X1950 family will also be available shortly from leading OEM vendors, including Dell.

The first reviews can be found on HardOCP, Driver Heaven, Guru3D, HotHardware, PCPerspective, TechPowerUp! and TechReport
There are a number of comparisons that are important to consider in this summary. First, lets talk about the 256MB Radeon X1900 XT. The 256MB Radeon X1900 XT performed very well, besting a GeForce 7900 GT virtually across the board and it finished right alongside a GeForce 7900 GTX in many of our tests. If this card is actually released at the price ATI is claiming it will be, we suspect it will be quite popular. The Radeon X1950 XTX was also an excellent performer. In a single-card configuration, the Radeon X1950 XTX was faster than a GeForce 7900 GTX in almost every test. The GeForce 7950 GX2 was faster than the Radeon X1950 XTX more often than not, however. The same scenario plays out in the multi-GPU/multi-card configurations as well. A Radeon X1950 XTX CrossFire configuration was faster than a GeForce 7900 GTX SLI setup in the vast majority of the tests, but Quad-SLI came out on top most of the time. The tests were much closer than expected though, considering the battle at the top was between two ATI GPUs and four NVIDIA GPUs.

The 256MB Radeon X1900 XT put up some good numbers considering its projected $279 MSRP as well. At that price, the 256MB Radeon X1900 XT will fall somewhere in between a GeForce 7900 GT and 7900 GTX. Its performance was clearly better than the 7900 GT though, which makes it easy to justify the increased expense. The Radeon X1950 XTX is in a similar position. With a proposed MSRP of $449, the Radeon X1950 XTX's price should lands somewhere in between the GeForce 7900 GTX and GeForce 7950 GX2. Looking at our benchmark results and accounting for its 2GHz GDDR4 memory and redesigned cooler, that's a fair position to be in. The Radeon X1950 XTX out-muscled a 7900 GTX most of the time, and traded victories with the GX2.
 Gameguru Mania News - Aug,21 2006 - tech
Monday Tech Reading - New ATI TV Wonder tuner - tech
(hx) 07:43 PM EDT - Aug,21 2006 - Post a comment
 Gameguru Mania News - Aug,18 2006 - tech
Friday Tech Reading - Hibernate fix for WinXP SP2 - tech
(hx) 07:43 PM EDT - Aug,18 2006 - Post a comment
  • Studio Torino and RUF Automobile have partnered to create the stunning RK Coupe - based on the Porsche Cayman. Engine output has been increased to an impressive 440hp and the body sports lots of custom fabrication, including a new roofline. It has a top speed of 186 mph, and was inspired by the Porsche 904 and the Dino 246 GT.
    Quad-core is On the Way - Thought Two Cores was enough? It isn't. Really. Intel confirmed today that they will be releasing a 2.67 GHz quad-core Core 2 Extreme this holiday season.
  • DDR Memory Kit Roundup: Last of the Mohicans - Team Group Xtreem DDR500 Cronus 2x 1Gb 2,5-4-4-8 LE comes with shiny-gold heat spreaders sure knows how to draw attention. The performance is incredible, with a width range of possibilities to choose from when it comes down to balancing between pure speed and tight timings. If you're searching for the best DDR kit available right now, stop looking.
  • Creative Labs Releases 3 New Sound Cards - The new E-MU 1212M PCI, 1616 PCI and 1616M PCI are targeted towards creative musicians seeking multiple input/outputs, ASIO and high quality DACs and ADCs
  • ATI's R600 has 64 real pipes - The R600 is scheduled for very late 2006, if all goes smoothly. And, if not, you might see this one in January - probably released by AMD's ATI.
  • GeForce 7950 GT performance previewed - In the games tested by PC INpact, the simulated GeForce 7950 GT sits between the other two cards. On average, it's 21.1% faster than the GeForce 7900 GT and 9.79% slower than the Radeon X1900 XT. Testing was done at resolutions of 1920x1440 and 2048x1536, though, so the GeForce 7950 GT-if it exists-may end up faring differently at more reasonable settings.
  • Zalman VF900-Cu VGA Cooler - A fantastic performing, reasonably priced, well designed and easy to install cooler.
  • Plextor Shock Proof Portable Hard Drive - Surely it will be destroyed right? Take a look as they even have some video posted of the destruction. Incredibly, this drive (mostly) survives their testing.
  • BenQ FP202W Monitor - The FP202W is BenQ's attempt at a 20 inch monitor, and a very successful one at that. It delivers a superb performance, focusing on the basics and getting them almost perfect. Compared to other monitors in the 20 inch range, the FP202W appears a little limited. Most notably, there are no USB ports built in to the monitor and it only supports VGA and DVI inputs.
  • What is the maximum CPU temperature for your PC - has now posted an guide about "What is the maximum CPU temperature for your PC"
  • Sony Launches 50GB Blu-ray Media - Pricing on the new 50GB write-once Blu-ray media is set at $48 retail.
  • Microsoft Finally Releases Hibernate Fix for XP SP2 - For those unfamiliar with the problem, the XP SP2 hibernate bug affects machines with more than 1GB of RAM when trying to hibernate.
  • Visual Studio 2003 SP1: 400+ Bugs Fixed  - VS 2003 SP1 includes more than 400 bug fixes. Next up: Visual Studio 2005 SP1. An update on the whereabouts of that fix pack is coming in the next couple of weeks, company officials said.
  • Skype + Outlook = Skylook! - Skylook records voice calls to MP3 and archives all your Skype communications into Outlook folders.
  • Apple Updates Boot Camp - Beta 1.1 adds support for the newest Apple desktop machine, the Intel Xeon-based Mac Pro; allows installation of the Windows XP partition on any internal drive (not just the boot drive, as was previously the case); and duplicates Windows' mouse right-click function with a right-hand Apple keypress. In related news, Mac OS X 10.5 brings another item to this list, known as Core Animation; Apple promises that this Core technology will make creating complex 3-D animations more accessible.
  • Sun has plans for open-source J2ME - Sun has announced details to release their Java Micro Edition (J2ME), under an open-source licence
  • Shuttle Developing XPC-based Car Systems - Shuttle's contribution to this year's CarTronics is represented by a luxurious Mercedes S-Class sedan equipped with a prototype of the XPC-based car-use information system. Placed between two rear seats, Shuttle's XPC SN21G5 mini PC performs as a key part of the system that functions as a platform for applications, such as GPS-based navigation, voice control and entertainment services.  The prototype was powered by AMD Athlon 64 3700 CPU, 1 GB RAM, and a special power supply to run on 12 volt DC.
  • EchoStar Ordered to Disable Subscribers' DVRs - In a ruling by US District Judge David Folsom, EchoStar has been ordered to disable most if not all DVR units being used by its subscribers. Today EchoStar made a statement that the Federal Circuit Cout of Appeals has temporarily blocked the injunction while it considers a long-term stay of that injunction.
  • Are DVDs Worthless Now? - British newspapers are now giving away free as many DVDs as are being purchased in stores, revealing a stealth contributing factor to the decline of Hollywood's cash cow format.
  • Websites 'leaked' Microsoft Zune details, blurry pics - A number of websites - most notably Gizmodo and iLounge were sent blurry pics of the now-familiar dark-coloured player and its UI. The latter's really to fuzzy to make out, but you can see it's reverse-video and looks a bit like the iPod's UI. In other news, EMI Group said on Thursday it has signed a deal to provide preloaded music videos for Microsoft's soon-to-launch Zune player.
  • Details and Pictures Emerge On HTC's Q Killer - The Excalibur, like the Q, will run the Smartphone OS with landscape QVGA screen and a QWERTY keyboard in a slim form factor. However the Excalibur will be a quad-band GSM/EDGE phone with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
  • Free mobile gaming for all - Newly launched website is to provide mobile games free of charge. The service, which went live on Wednesday, makes money from pop-up adverts that appear for a couple of seconds when the game starts and ends. Select a game on the site and you'll receive an SMS with a link to the download (if you're in the US). Otherwise, you can download the game to your PC and install it yourself. No registration is needed, and if you choose to download the games directly, you don't even have to give out your mobile number.
  • Yet another broadband speed test with a nice interface - check it out!
  • Lego New York City - Just like NYC, but without the piss smell and street muggers ;)
  • Top Rated South Park Quotes - check it out
ATi Catalyst 6.8 Drivers - tech
(hx) 05:22 PM EDT - Aug,18 2006 - Post a comment
ATI has released a new ATI Catalyst drivers bringing them up to version 6.8. The package contains Radeon display driver 8.282, Multimedia Center 9.15, HydraVision, HydraVision Basic Edition, Remote Wonder 3.04, WDM Driver Install Bundle, Southbridge/IXP Driver and Catalyst Control Center Version 6.8. The package weighs in at just under 35MB so grab them if you need them. According to ATi, these drivers contain a good deal of performance improvements: Prey performance improves as much as 16%, Doom 3 improves as much as 6.5%, Quake 4 (v1.2 or higher) performance improves as much as 18%, etc.
Issues Resolved in Catalyst® Software Suite 6.8:
  • Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle Earth: Playing the game under Windows XP SP2 using an ATI Radeon® X800 series product no longer results in intermittent display corruption being noticed. Further details can be found in topic number 737-21458
  • Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones: Setting the 3D slider to Optimal Quality in Catalyst® Control Center->Advanced View->3D->Standard Settings aspect no longer results in corruption being noticed in the water when playing the game under the Windows MCE operating system with an ATI Radeon® X19x0 series product installed. Further details on this resolved issue can be found in topic number 737-22975
  • QQ Fantasy: Playing the online game under Windows XP with an ATI Radeon X1600 or X1300 no longer results in the an error message being displayed and the mouse pointer control becoming erratic. Further details on this resolved issue can be found in topic number 737-22985
  • Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory: Corruption is no longer noticed during the playing the opening cinematic when AA is enabled at 8x. This issue was known to occur under the Windows XP operating system when using an ATI Radeon X8x0 series product. Further details on this resolved issue can be found in topic number 737-22983
 Gameguru Mania News - Aug,16 2006 - tech
Tech Reading - New MS Patch Causing IE Trouble? - tech
(hx) 07:53 PM EDT - Aug,16 2006 - Post a comment / read (2)
 Gameguru Mania News - Aug,15 2006 - tech
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600, E6700 and X6800 processors - tech
(hx) 04:59 PM EDT - Aug,15 2006 - Post a comment
Doom 3
Guru3D takes a look at the Core 2 Duo E6600, E6700 and X6800. In this article they describes a little more what Conroe is all about and obviously they dive into a performance overview and compare what these lovely new Core 2 Duo processors can do in terms of performance and obviously have a look at gaming performance. Here's a taster:
Well the conclusion does not need a lot of words I guess. Obviously it is crazy to see how well the Core 2 Duo processors perform. My favorite one has to be the E6600 as for roughly 320-350 USD you'll receive an amount of performance in your PC that is just really breathtaking. It'll beat the 899 USD costing Athlon FX-62 in many ways by a very good margin.

If you are buying a PC now or in the near future, fact is that you can't really miss an opportunity like the Conroe based processor. I'd really like to recommend that you step in at the 320 USD E6600 or higher. Also overclocking, I didn't have time to go in-depth here but our E6600 processor was able to run at 3 GHz on passive water-cooling. The E6700 would go towards roughly 3400 MHz and the Core 2 Extreme processor halted also at 3.4 GHz. With better cooling, you can rest assured that you can clock even faster, users have reported overclocks up-to almost 4 GHz. You just can't lose with this processor!
 Gameguru Mania News - Aug,14 2006 - tech
Nightly Tech Reading - Nintendo DS emulator! - tech
(hx) 08:53 PM EDT - Aug,14 2006 - Post a comment
NVidia Forceware Quadro 91.36 WHQL Drivers - tech
(hx) 08:24 PM EDT - Aug,14 2006 - Post a comment / read (2)
A new WHQL Forceware graphics drivers v91.36 (dated August 14, 2006 - download - Win2k/XP ~ 21.6MB) are available for download from the official NVIDIA download page. They are compatible with most current GeForce and Quadro graphics cards from NVIDIA!
- WHQL Certified
- Improved performance on workstation applications
- New NVIDIA PureVideo features and enhancements.
- Adds noise reduction post processing
- Adds image sharpening post processing
- Improved Inverse telecine algorithm
- Improved de-interlacing algorithm
- Improved compatibility with third party MPEG-2 decoders
- MicrosoftR DirectX 9.0c and OpenGL 2.0 support
- For a full list of fixed and known issues please view the Release Notes (PDF)
Athlon 64 X2 3600+ gets benchmarked - tech
(hx) 03:25 PM EDT - Aug,14 2006 - Post a comment / read (2)
AMD's yet-unannounced Athlon 64 X2 3600+ processor has materialized in Russian stores, and chaps over at the X-bit labs have managed to grab one and run it through a host of benchmarks and overclocking tests. As previously reported, the chip runs at the same 2.0GHz clock speed as the Athlon 64 X2 3800+ but halves L2 cache to 256KB.
The obtained results indicate that the new low-cost AMD processor that has already started selling turned out a very attractive solution. Although Athlon 64 X2 3600+ features half the L2 cache compared with the 'fully-fledged' dual-core Athlon 64 X2 CPUs and hence can be regarded as a 'dual-core Sempron' at some point, its performance didn't suffer that much. In the worst case, Athlon 64 X2 3600+ is no more than 5% behind the 3800+ model with the same nominal clock speed of 2GHz. And in fact, there are very few applications like that. In other words, Athlon 64 X2 3600+ offers very decent performance, especially keeping in mind that it is less expensive than the 3800+ model.

If we compare the performance of our hero against Intel Pentium D 915, which will most likely be its primary competitor from the pricing standpoint, the AMD solution turns out a definite winner. Just like before, the new AMD processor on K8 microarchitecture outperforms the competitor built on NetBurst. Even the recent price wars didn't change anything, and the recently announced Core 2 Duo processors are still in a different price category.

The important advantage of Athlon 64 X2 3600+ is that it belongs to the Energy Efficient type with the 65W maximum heat dissipation. As a result, this solution will become very popular in quiet systems, because Energy Efficient dual-core AMD processors have always been a little bit more expensive.

As for overclocking, we managed to hit only 2.6GHz clock speed, which is not too impressive. However, on the other hand, the performance boost from overclocking appeared quite tangible. Athlon 64 X2 3600+ working at 2.6GHz can compete successfully with the top model in the family with 5000+ performance rating. So, those overclocking fans who decide to go with the new AMD CPU will be happy.
 Gameguru Mania News - Aug,12 2006 - tech
Weekend Tech Reading - PC TURNS 25 TODAY - tech
(hx) 03:21 PM EDT - Aug,12 2006 - Post a comment / read (10)
The personal computer, an invention which has changed the lives of millions of people, is 25 years old today. On 12 August, 1981, the technology giant IBM launched the world's first personal computer system for "business, home and school use". And here are the top PCs ever, from machines you owned and loved to systems you've never heard of.
 Gameguru Mania News - Aug,11 2006 - tech
Radeon X1950 XTX benchmarked - tech
(hx) 08:02 PM EDT - Aug,11 2006 - Post a comment / read (1)
The chaps over at VR-Zone has gotten its hands on one of ATI's upcoming Radeon X1950 XTX graphics cards. The card's performance is impressive, and its 1GHz GDDR4 memory seems to give it a sizeable performance advantage over the Radeon X1900 XTX. Here's a taster:
Our testing shows that the X1950XTX is significantly faster than NVIDIA's 7950GX2 at rather common enthusiast in-game setting. This is definitely very appealing for the gamers, especially when you factor in the ability of the card to run true HDR with Anti-Aliasing compared to the 7950GX2 which can't do that, and the fact that the X1950XTX offers dual display without compromising performance while the 7950GX2 has to sacrifice dual GPU performance for dual display. Add the best performing and best looking default cooler found in the market and it really seems ATi has come up with quite a winner this time. It is rather shocking however, to discover that the card actually draws more power than a multi-GPU 7950GX2. Other than that this card seems to have almost everything going for it, even though 3D Mark performance boost is not catching up to the 7950GX2 at 650MHz Core clock. Now it's much of a question of the availability of the cards at launch, and this may be partly affected by the production quantity of the rather new GDDR4 Memory. For gaming enthusiasts, if this card really retails at the USD$399 it is slated to, this is THE loveboat as you won't be able to get the performance for that price looking at any other card than this. It seems that ATi has delivered quite an uppercut to NVIDIA with this!
 Gameguru Mania News - Aug,10 2006 - tech
Nightly Tech Reading - Pentium D vs. Core 2 Duo - tech
(hx) 08:24 PM EDT - Aug,10 2006 - Post a comment / read (4)
  • Pentium D vs. Core 2 Duo - Yes, the Core 2 Duo E6600 is faster than the Pentium D 805. Are we surprised by the winner?
  • TWIN2X2048-8500C5 (DDR2-1066/PC2-8500) 2 GB Memory Kit - These models are not only targeted to both Intel and AMD overclockers but also to regular users that have an Intel CPU running externally at 1,066 MHz and want to match the memory with the CPU external speed to achieve the maximum performance your system can deliver.
  • FSP Booster X3 GPU-friendly power supply - The Booster X3 is a supplementary PSU that slots into a 5.25in drive bay and is used exclusively to power your PCI Express graphics cards...
  • Zalman Reserator 1 Plus Passive Computer Water Cooling System - It's silent, has adequate cooling performance and comes complete with CPU and VGA cooling solutions!
  • Alienware Aurora m9700 SLI laptop - Driven by an AMD Turion64 processor, the Aurora m9700 can also come outfitted with dual 100GB SATA 7200-RPM hard drives set up for RAID0. Finishing all this off is a 17" widescreen LCD outputting a native resolution of 1920x1200 pixels with Clearview Technology
  • Microsoft Wireless Laser Mouse 5000 -The lack of detents really hurts it for a gaming mouse although Microsoft excuses this by saying that gamers want corded mice. Not all of us do though. I've got more than enough wires and cords laying around my desktop without adding mice and keyboard wires to the mess.
  • Beyond DirectX 10 - A glance at DirectX 10.1 - It may be a little early in the day to be talking about what happens after DirectX 10 and its supporting hardware becomes available, but seeing as much of the features and principles that will be making their way into the first point release of Direct3D 10 have already been decided upon, Elite Bastards have taken a brief foray into what we'll be seeing in the GPU world a little further down the line:
  • IE7 is basically non-compliant with CSS web standards - IE6 51% IE7 55% Firefox 93% Will this affect Web 2.0?
  • Intel Aims For Open Source Graphics - Intel is hoping to attract customers to its graphics products by going open source with its drivers. Also AMD is strongly considering open-sourcing at least a functional subset of ATI ’s graphics drivers.

  • Hacking Windows Vista - Joanna Rutkowska, the researcher who demonstrated how to bypass Vista's security, made an interesting comment that pretty much sums up my expectations. "The fact that this mechanism was bypassed does not mean that Vista is completely insecure," she said. "It's just not as secure as advertised. [But] iIt's very difficult to implement a 100 percent-efficient kernel protection." In other words, Vista will be more secure than XP, but will still face security problems. Thus, the status quo is likely to continue. That's a bad sign.
  • Free Scanner Probes PCs For Critical Windows Bug - eEye Digital Security on Thursday unveiled free software that sniffs out PCs vulnerable to a dangerous Windows vulnerability disclosed earlier this week
  • Parallels Developing 3D Acceleration for Virtualization in OS X - The company said that while it's not available yet, it plans to introduce 3D acceleration so that those who want to run 3D applications in a virtualized Windows XP do not have to dual boot their Intel-Macs to do so.
  • Weighing a Switch to a Mac  - Ten years ago, if you were a Windows user, the idea of switching to a Macintosh might not have seemed enticing. Today the calculation is different.
  • AOL gives out free .com domains to anyone who asks - The service, by the way, is called AOL My eAddress. AOL says it supports .com or .net domains, up to 100 e-mail identities per domain, 2 GB of storage, spam filtering, and open mail clients such as Outlook and Thunderbird through the IMAP protocol.
  • First Zune Models to Cost $299 - Microsoft reportedly is talking to retailers about its fall launch plans for Zune portable music/video players. The first Zune models, available in three colors, are expected to be priced at $299, according to TWICE (This Week in Consumer Electronics). The rumored Zune launch date is November 14.
  • Thanko BINOCA01 - Binoculars that takes pictures and video - It can record video in AVI format in CIF res at 30 fps and in VGA res at 15 fps.
  • Superb high resolution wallpapers - An excellent source for free backgrounds, sorted by user rating. The images are available in all common resolutions, from 2560x1600 down to 1024x768, and are very diversely themed.
  • Greenland ice cap may be melting at triple speed - The world's second largest ice cap may be melting three times faster than indicated by previous measurements, according to newly released gravity data collected by satellites.
  • Halo Director Announced - Neill Blomkamp will direct the Halo motion picture, to be produced by Academy Award winners Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh under their WingNut Films banner for Universal Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox.
  • Ford Mustang Shelby GT unveiled - For those uninterested in picking up such the 325 hp beast with automatic transmission (available only as such where the GT-H is concerned), the Shelby GT will come with available manual transmission, as well as in different color schemes: black or white with silver stripes.

 Gameguru Mania News - Aug,09 2006 - tech
Microsoft Security Bulletin Summary for August, 2006 - tech
(hx) 04:37 PM EDT - Aug,09 2006 - Post a comment
As part of its monthly security update cycle, Microsoft on Tuesday released a dozen security bulletins. Nine of them are tagged critical, the company's highest severity rating. The alerts give details of 20 flaws in Windows and three in Office, all of which Microsoft has now fixed.
- Vulnerability in Server Service Could Allow Remote Code Execution (921883)
- Vulnerability in DNS Resolution Could Allow Remote Code Execution (920683)
- Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer (918899)
- Vulnerability in Microsoft Windows Could Allow Remote Code Execution (920214)
- Vulnerability in Microsoft Management Console Could Allow Remote Code Execution (917008)
- Vulnerability in HTML Help Could Allow Remote Code Execution (922616)
- Vulnerability in Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications Could Allow Remote Code Execution (921645)
- Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office Could Allow Remote Code Execution (922968)
- Vulnerability in Windows Kernel Could Result in Remote Code Execution (917422)

- Vulnerability in Windows Explorer Could Allow Remote Code Execution (921398)
- Vulnerability in Windows Kernel Could Result in Elevation of Privilege (920958)
- Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows Hyperlink Object Library Could Allow Remote Code Execution (920670)

NVIDIA officially launches Quad SLI to enthusiasts - tech
(hx) 01:43 PM EDT - Aug,09 2006 - Post a comment / read (5)
NVIDIA has finally released a set of official drivers that enables Quad SLI support with its GeForce 7950 GX2 dual-PCB graphics cards. The new 91.45 ForceWare drivers can be downloaded here.The folks over at Guru3D, [H]ard|OCP, HotHardware and PC Perspective have already put GeForce 7950 GX2-powered Quad SLI rigs to the test. As one might expect, these systems are screaming fast!
For Quad-SLI owners, configuring a system doesn't necessarily stop once the hardware is up and running, however. To take advantage of the high resolutions offered by today's crop of large monitors, many games have to be modified manually. For power users, we don't think this will be an issue, but for gamers that don't happen to be very tech savvy, taking advantage of what Quad-SLI offers could be somewhat difficult. Keep that in mind. Another major consideration for Quad-SLI is cost. The parts needed to assemble a worthwhile Quad-SLI system are considerably expensive at this time. The products we used for our build consisted of the following core components...

Core 2 Extreme X6800 - $1300
XFX GeForce 7950 GX2 - $570 x 2
Corsair TWIN2X2048-6400C3 - $400
Asus P5N32-SLI SE Deluxe - $250
Turbo Cool 1 Kilowatt - $500
Dell 3007WFP - $2199
Total Cost - $5789

As you can see, we were approaching the $6000 mark with just the core components to a high-end Quad-SLI rig. We did not take into account a case, drives, input devices, a dedicated sound card, or any other accessories for that matter. Clearly, Quad-SLI is not for everyone; then again it isn't meant to be. But for those that can afford the hardware, there is currently nothing more powerful when it comes to graphics performance. And as NVIDIA further optimizes their Forceware drivers, Quad-SLI performance and compatibility should only get better.