Intel Kentsfield Quad-Core CPU Coverage: here on Anandtech. here and here on LegitReviews. here on HWSecrets. here on Hexus. here on Tech-Report. here on XbitLabs. here on HotHardware. here on PCPerspective. here on HWZone. here on HardOCP.
From Ambush: Venture-funded Israeli startup Yoggie Security Systems is readying a tiny, Linux-based remote access device [that] runs sophisticated firewall, VPN, and monitoring software on a hardened Linux kernel. The pro model offers SPI firewall, VPN client, intrusion detection & prevention, HTTP, FTP, POP3, SMTP proxies, antivirus, antispyware, antispam, antiphishing. More info here.
Thermaltake are giving away prizes including CPUs, for whoever gets the highest scores in an online game.
HWSecrets report on Robson technology, which is how Centrino will use an integrated flash memory disk cache to speed up access and save energy. If you take a look on a typical disk access, the majority of the time is spent moving the mechanical parts of the disk rather than transferring data.
DVHardware explore the Run line in Windows. I must hit "ctrl-esc, r" a hundred times a day.. should really learn to use that Windows key. :)
the_rick spotted a multiple-format disk that could help end the Blu-Ray / HD-DVD war. By putting the same film on a single disk in the two competing formats, movie studios can save money and consumers do not have to worry if they are buying the right disk for their player.
From Oosh: As announced by Bungie here, Halo Wars (website here), a new RTS game based in the Halo universe, is to be developed by Ensemble Studies (of Age of Empires fame). Which further explains why Halogen was forced down the tubes by MS. Also announced, a new partnership between Bungie and Wingnut Interactive, a newly formed video game studio run by Peter Jackson & Fran Walsh, whom ofcourse are working on the Halo Movie too. What this project is, who knows? Exciting times in the world of Halo. :)
Online Community Survey
(link) Thursday, 28-September-2006 04:41:20 (GMT +10) - by Agg
We've been contacted by City University in Hong Kong who are doing a study into online communities etc.. sounds interesting. Anyway, I said I'd post it on OCAU for people to complete if they feel like it, and we'll apparently get a copy of the results once they're consolidated, which we may be able to use to get a feel for what people want from the forums etc.
A judge has dismissed much of AMD's lawsuit against Intel, saying that international parts of it are outside their jurisdiction. In the ruling, Judge Farnan agreed with Intel, stating "AMD has not demonstrated that the alleged foreign conduct of Intel has direct, substantial and foreseeable effects in the United States which gives rise to its claim."
Quite a few people sent in this awesome RC plane with onboard camera that goes to VR goggles and follows your head movements and.. oh, just check out the video. :) A Canadian RC airplane enthusiast shows us some sweet unanticipated convergence between a model RC airplane and virtual reality gear.
madkat spotted this Half Life 2 mod where giant spaceships battle each other. Pilots coordinate strikes with invading infantry in order to take down the behemoth capital ships from both the inside on-foot and the outside with spaceships. Full of fast-paced action both in space and on foot, Eternal Silence offers a seamless blend of two exciting genres.
SharkyExtreme have a high-end gaming PC buyer's guide. This guide also represents the median between our Value Buyer's Guide with only a $1000 limit, and our Extreme Buyer's Guide with its massive $4000 budget.
DailyTech report on a new low-cost liquidcooler from Asetek. Sadly it's not available for retail, but might appear in an OEM system near you soon. Still, it reminds me of the Aquagate Mini if you want something similar.
Tomshardware consider the best value gaming cards. This list is for gamers who want to get the most for their money. If you don't play games but surf the Internet and edit video, the cards in this list are probably too expensive.
TechSpot check out how well Company of Heroes works as a benchmark. In total 14 graphics cards were tested from both ATI and Nvidia.
They also report on a new motherboard from ASUS with three PCI Express x16 slots, suggesting the third is for GPU-based physics acceleration. However TheReg reckon they slipped up and hinted at an upcoming physics card from nVIDIA.
Meanwhile if you thought the Pentium name was dead, DailyTech seem to think it'll be back with Conroe-L CPUs from Intel. Three Pentium E1000 models will be available initially. These models include the Pentium E1060, E1040 and E1020 clocked at 1.80, 1.60 and 1.40 GHz respectively.
BCCHW compare a big hdd and a fast hdd. We realize they are not technically in the same class seeing as the Raptor is a 10k rpm drive, while the Samsung is a 7200 rpm drive, but we thought it would be an interesting comparision to see the diferences between the two.
LG have advised that they do not, in fact, have plans for a combined Blu-ray and HD-DVD player. A ray of hope in the standards war, however, is a disc that could be played in either type of player.
From Wayne: This guy made his own DIY car for $2500 out of two modified scooters. It is really efficient with an average efficiency of 85 mpg (36.1 km/litre) and a top efficiency of 100 mpg (42.5 km/litre) in "economy mode" which tops out at 64km/h.
From Bern: Nvidia have started releasing beta Linux drivers, starting with version 1.0-9625 for x86, AMD64/EM64T, Solaris x64/x86 and FreeBSD.
TweakTown spent some time with Brian Kim from Zalman. Nothing too deep mind you, but certainly enough to wet our taste buds and get us thinking about what Zalman has planned for the future in terms of company direction and new products.
The G5 PowerMac sports an undeniably sexy case - pvanr's project is to convert it to an SLI PC with watercooling, without butchering the G5 case. Quite a few nice details in this worklog, with lots of pics and details:
A few people noticed that ATI have released Catalyst 6.9 drivers.
ExtremeTech have Top Tips about a range of PC-related topics. So my question is, should I make more than 1 partition? And if so should I have more than 2?
Weird Al has a new (?) song/video out called White and Nerdy, with a few funny geek references.
Battlefield 2142 has apparently gone gold now, with a release date of October 17.
Speaking of which, here's a mod that adds supersonic bullet cracks to BF2, adding to the "realism" of someone shooting at you. And remember that when you hear the crack the bullet has already passed you by so don't worry too much about it. The old saying is that "You never hear the one that hits you".
Nick spotted this exploding IBM laptop on slashdot. This used to be Alan's laptop, an IBM Thinkpad 600 with third-party batteries we bought separately: ie possibly not IBM's. Last night it exploded.
From James: Steorn energy. Steorn’s technology produces free, clean and constant energy. This provides a significant range of benefits, from the convenience of never having to refuel your car or recharge your mobile phone, to a genuine solution to the need for zero emission energy production. Unlike most people who make these kind of claims, they seem to be open about having their technology tested and verified. This represents a significant challenge to our current understanding of the universe and clearly such claims require independent validation from credible third parties.
DriverHeaven consider the world of MMORPG gaming. Since most of the world is only now getting proper broad band infrastructure it comes as no surprise that MMO games have only recently started to gain true popularity.
Dan has more letters. In this edition: Consoles vs PCs, remote PC control, UPS batteries and a Keyboard of Mystery.
HWZone have an interview with AMD about the merger with ATI. Hardware Zone managed to catch up with Bryan Low, the VP for Sales and Marketing in South Asia at AMD to answer our queries of the merger, current status and upcoming plans.
The OCAU Events are over!
(link) Sunday, 24-September-2006 11:02:17 (GMT +10) - by Sciby
Well, with the end of the Sydney BBQ, two weekends worth of OCAU folk getting together to socialise, throw balls down lanes, shoot each other with lasers, pass people on the inside under brakes and other shenanigans has come to a close.
Thank you to everyone who came along to various events in both Brisbane and Sydney. Between event issues and cancellations, and extreme weather conditions at both BBQ's (Pouring rain in Bris, hurricane winds in Syd), everything went well and I'm pretty sure most folk had a good time. Well, no one's complained yet.
And yes, before other people ask, we will do more in the future and in other major cities, but we need a break first. ;)
Speaking of we, time to thank people: Thanks to Wolfy for assisting greatly in the organisation of things and for cooking at Brisbane; Travis, Brother of Wolfy for BBQ loanage; Bern, Wedgie, Sabz, Meowmix and TheTron for photos and videos in Bris; Er... I dunno if anyone took photos yet in Syd, but when they appear, I'll thank them too; Teddy for guiding us various places in Syd and making sure we didn't go insane and of course Agg, for... I can't remember. Some junk.
Anyway, thanks once again to everyone who turned up and made the two weekends a great time. Cheers!
(Agg on the left, myself on the right, yes, I know I'm pulling a bit of a fruity face, but that wasn't red cordial in my glass, ya know. :P )
Sydney OCAU Weekend events update.
(link) Friday, 22-September-2006 08:29:29 (GMT +10) - by Sciby
We've had to juggle around a few things and look at options, but here's what we've got for this weekend. We've had the details in the huge weekend thread as well as the thread for alternative event suggestions after paintball was cancelled.
Anyway, if you'd like to come along, email me and let me know numbers!
1:30pm BOWLING AT AMF ENFIELD - 546 Liverpool Road - 2 games, $19.50 per person (for adults, dunno about under 18 prices, cheaper no doubt). Get 480/483 bus from Strathfield apparently.
AFTER THAT .. food.. somewhere.
6:30pm ZONE 3 CAMPBELLTOWN - info here. Walking distance from Leumeah train station.
12:30pm FREE BBQ AT P'MATTA PARK ROTUNDA, map here
No doubt followed by a few hours of throwing things around and general stupidity.
Please note that we WILL have OCAU Merchandise for sale at these events, hassle Agg or myself if you want to grab something, Polo Shirts (various sizes from S to 2XL) $15, Stubby Holders $5, stickers free if you buy something, no mugs or tshirts, all gone! So bring cash if you want to grab something.
Frank sent word that Al Gore's movie about climate change, An Inconvenient Truth, is now showing in Australian cinemas. There's a thread about this movie here in our Forums.
Here's a cool Temple of Nod PC, based on Command & Conquer. I planned to use aluminium-plates along with red transparent acrylic for the case. I also wanted to do some engraving on all of the acrylic, since that delivers a cool effect. I bought 1000 bright red LEDs to use in conjunction with the engraving - stay tuned to find out how that worked!
Timbot spotted some tiny Linux PCs. The 200xm-cf is powered by a 200MHz PXA255 XScale processor, and contains 64MB of RAM and 16MB of flash memory. Its I/O includes a 10/100 Ethernet port, along with a Type II CompactFlash slot suitable for storage devices (including microdrives) or CFIO peripherals such as WiFi cards.
GideonTech list their Top 10 Worst Movies for portraying technology. It's one thing to make a fantasy movie, it's another to dream up impossible technological feats in a modern day drama. Just because technical jargon would fly right over most people's heads, there's no reason to make up stuff. Independence Day doesn't even get a mention? Pfft!
Lil noticed this portable film festival. The Portable Film Festival is an international festival of short films just for portable devices. Sony PSPs, iPod videos, 3G phones, laptop screens, you name it. Films compete through an open vote by punters who review, argue and score the films online. And it’s all free.
SilentPCReview have an article considering exactly what silence actually means in terms of computing. Some years ago, Intel and Microsoft actually laid down guidelines for computers in certain applications, using the term "silent" as one of the descriptors. The response from acoustics engineers in the industry was swift and merciless.
Trilby sent in this cool customisable keyboard. The DX1 consists of a Pad on which you place Keys anywhere you want, and then you tell the computer what you want the Keys to do.
GideonTech wonder if AM2 is worth it. AMD touts this as a major technological breakthrough. Let's take a look and see if it's all talk or there's something to back that claim up.
TweakPC have a bunch of impressive pics.. I assume they're previews of games in 2007, coz the translation is a bit dodgy. Perhaps you still remember our diagram hammer article from the last year. Some the plays, which we showed in the last year are meanwhile available or to be supposed to appear shortly - there it becomes time again once a view in near and perhaps also somewhat further future balances.
We reported back in July that the Grumman F-14 Tomcat had flown its last carrier mission in the US Navy. Well, reax sent word that today it has been officially retired, with the final official flight being to a museum. After today's ceremony, the Navy will mothball some F-14s in the Arizona desert and ship others to aviation museums.
As I am sure some of you know (well, those of you with alternatives for Net access, that is), Veridas's network has been down since Wednesday, with no indication as to what is happening yet (other than rumours, be they accurate or not...). Apparently some 30,000 customers are affected.
If you are affected (like I am), and are looking for information about the current status of the service (and cannot contact your ISP - like I cannot), Whirlpool is a good source of information (and misleading rumours and irate customers...), specifically:
Episode 19 of the OCAU Podcast is now available for download. This delayed episode is a "Special Edition" devoted entirely to interviewing Australian watercooling legend Cathar. We chat about a range of topics including the development of his highly successful waterblocks, and the state of watercooling technology and the industry in general.
You can grab this week's episode via iTunes here (you might need to subscribe (free!) in iTunes before you can see the new episode), or download the files direct from our server:
Quite a few people sent in this ion cooling setup for a silent PC. More info here. By combining the ion cooling, lots of heat sinks and ram drives, the machine is truly silent. Ion buildup isn't just a problem for space ships anymore.
From Wayne: I thought you might want to put this on the news page. A new TV show premiered on ABC 2 on Tuesday night. It is called "Good Game" and is an Australian show which focusus on gaming and computer hardware stuff. I believe this is the first of its kind on Australian TV. Thread here. Their site is here and it's on ABC 2 on Tuesdays 8:00 - 8:30pm. Shame I can't get ABC2 here, bah.
From Sparky1240: Some fairly in-depth information on the new P-RAM from Samsung. Called phase-change random-access memory (PRAM), the patents for this concept date as far back as 1968. While the idea is conceptually simple, the problem for the last four decades has been finding the right balance of chemical materials that will behave as predicted on paper.
TechReport compared Core 2 chipsets. Since the Core 2 processor relies on the chipset for its memory controller, one's chipset choice can also have a much more profound impact on performance.
Anthw27 wonders if ebay will replace banks one day. If I wanted to look 20 years out, I would say there will not be a banking industry as we know it today. Most of the functions that they carry out will be handled by online or electronic brokerages.
Dan has a new article: There's a common PC connector that turns fifty-four this year. It's finally dying out, but I still think that's pretty good going. Find out which one it is here.
Technibble have an explanation of the physics of good airflow. Just shifting the same stale air around isn’t going to help keep the components cool, in fact, it’ll only heat them up.
SharkyExtreme have updated their Value Gaming System Buyer's Guide. To do this, we pay special attention to the price-performance ratio of each component, making sure to match the hardware according to their value from an overall system performance standpoint. One of the few such guides that isn't an affiliate spamfest nowadays.
Xbitlabs checked out how modern video cards perform in Vista. We want to fill in the blank and carry out a test of today’s graphics cards in the publicly available version of Windows Vista using a few popular games.
They also have some info on an affordable quad-core from Intel. Intel’s first quad-core microprocessor for desktops - Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 - is projected to operate at 2.66GHz, use 1066MHz processor system bus and come equipped with 8MB level two cache (4MB unified L2 per physical die).
MadShrimps have a high-end PSU roundup, with 3 units compared. Today we're taking a look at some high-end power supply's from 3 well known brands : OCZ, Silverstone and Sharkoon. The PSU's we are looking at are 700-750W units, and there for geared towards the so called "enthusiast" community of dedicated gamers, high-end users and overclockers.
Adam spotted a new game on the way, focussing on schoolyard bullying. The game, produced by the makers of Grand Theft Auto and due for release next month, is promoted as an "action adventure in which you can rip your school apart".
They also apparently have a YouTube wannabe on the way, thanks Nick. Soapbox will be offered to a limited number of users during an invitation-only test phase, but Microsoft said on Monday it will go fully live as a part of MSN Video within six months.
TGDaily have more interesting stuff about using your GPU for general computation, thanks Murray. Simply by adding the horsepower of graphics cards to an existing computer, the company claims that the original system can be accelerated by a factor of 20x.
LegionHW compared the 7950GT and X1900XT in the "value performance" video card arena. Therefore, while the GeForce 7950GT has successfully bridged the gap between the 7900GT and 7900GTX, it has also brought some much needed competition to the Radeon X1900XT.
From n2o: found a site hosted by Amnesty International promoting the freedom of speech on the net. hope we can get people to sign the pledge for internet freedom. Interesting. Amnesty International, with the support of The Observer UK newspaper, is launching a campaign to show that online or offline the human voice and human rights are impossible to repress.
Here's a pretty cool forum thread that had me flashing back to childhood.. Mitch01's Guess The Nostalgic Toy thread in The Pub.
Episode 20 of the OCAU Podcast is now available for download. In a departure from tradition, Episode 20 is being released before Episode 19, which should hopefully be available soon (and is devoted to an interview with Cathar). In Episode 20 I'm joined by Sciby and John Selby, and we chat about Dell & AMD, Intel's VT, alternative PC interfaces, the power consumption of portable devices, folding on GPUs and PS3s, land speed records and misc other stuff. We also have an "Apparently It's A Fact" from Scythe. I must however warn you that the words "paradigm", "coalesce" and "convergence" all make an appearance.
You can grab this week's episode via iTunes here (you might need to subscribe (free!) in iTunes before you can see the new episode), or download the files direct from our server:
Paintball Sydney - CANCELLED
(link) Tuesday, 19-September-2006 00:39:35 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Righto, due to some confusion it seems we are NOT booked into paintball after all in Sydney and we didn't really have enough people anyway. So, people who are coming to Sydney, or people who live in Sydney and know stuff to do, let me know in this thread if there's something else cool we can do on the Saturday.
Well the Brisbane OCAU weekend was a roaring success and much fun was had by all. I had a great time at the BBQ and really enjoyed meeting all the weird and wonderful OCAU people who showed up. The karting on Sunday was an ABSOLUTE BLAST and will be one I will remember for a long time. The bowling that night was also great and was a pure laugh riot as well. The first major lot of photos are up from Bern (as per usual :-D). If you do have a gallery up somewhere please post the link in the comments for this post and I will do my best to add it to the news post.
Talk like a pirate day is coming up on the 19th of September. For those who haven't mastered the art yet and want to get in on the action, Joanna sent in a link to this instructional video.
There's apparently a software glitch in Segways' line of electric scooters. Those who have one might want to chase this up for the software upgrade. Those who have one and have stacked it, you've just found yourself a valid excuse for doing so.
MadboxPC have an article covering some new MSI graphics cards on offer. Site isn't in english, but you can see the pics and specs okay. If you'd rather push your current nVidia card a bit further before upgrading and aren't too good with a soldering iron, you might want to check out this BIOS volt-mod how-to that has been posted on AOA Forums. You'll have to push pretty hard to compete with Kinc who just reached 16,000 points in 3dmark06.
Genesis sent word that Seagate reckons 2.5TB desktop drives will be here by 2009. He also pointed us to the story about a Iraq Veteran who was fitted with a bionic arm. She's a former marine who lost her left arm at the shoulder in a motorcycle accident two years ago and now has a new robotic arm she can move just by thinking.
Hardware secrets have put up an All CPU Sockets article. It includes a table containing all sockets and slots used by all PC processors released to date, with examples of compatible CPUs and pinouts. So definitely worth bookmarking if you're in to pin modding.
Some more information about Nintendo's Wii. The release date in Oz will be the 7th of December bundled with "Wii Sports" and carry a price tag of $400. More information at Nintendo and Gameworld. Gameworld also have a live blog feed from the European Wii Press Conference.
If you can't decide on what game to play next, perhaps have a read of DriverHeaven's article about games you should have played, but probably didn't. Wonder if they're playing any of those games at the World Cyber Games finals which is covered by ThinkGaming.
Finish up tonight with a couple of guides. DV Hardware have posted a quick guide on how to boost your notebook's battery life and DigitalHardware have a guide to buying a high-end digital camera.
As I am certain many of you are aware, the Free Trade Agreement that was signed between Australia and the United States has a few implications for the IT world. As reported in today's Sydney Morning Herald, draft legislation will effectively prohibit the use of devices and services designed to circumvent copy control technological protection measures, with fines for users of such technology, and even larger fines and possible prison time for distributors of such techology.
What may this mean for the average Australian? Mod chips (even for legal backup uses) would most likely be targeted, as would the use of software such as DeCSS to display commercial DVDs on operating systems for which no licenced decrypter is available (Linux, for instance).
On the positive side, it would become legal under new legislation to rip CDs to play on mp3 players, and limited exemptions for libraries... but will we be giving up too much in exchange for such new freedoms?
If you have nothing planned for the weekend, perhaps consider downloading and playing the FEAR Extraction Point Demo that is currently available for download at Ausgamers. Of course there are the OCAU gatherings on the east coast this weekend for those in that area. Others might want to check out Last Train to Freo highlighted to us by allabouttrust.
Pro-Clockers have an article stepping through an HTPC Buildup using NMediaPC products. If you are after something quieter to sit in the entertainment centre, you might want to add a CoolIT Systems Home Theatre PC Liquid Cooler that Futurelooks have previewed. Using one of these Solid State hard drives will make it even quieter still.
With Multi-Core CPUs and Multiple GPUs becoming more and more mainstream don't skimp out on power supply. If you're wondering how much power you're going to need for the next big upgrade, or want to see if you're underpowered, check out the eXtreme PSU Calculator. Speaking of multi-core, Antonio informed us of an article at Anandtech which discusses the Mac Pro. Seems that Kentsfield (quad core) support is there straight out of the box!
Here's something everyone needs to read. Bit-Tech have posted an article on the top 10 unique game controllers. I remember the "NES Zapper" from my childhood and the good times and cursing it bought to me and my school chums. Another good one was sent in by Jonathon Boles about the Apple Product Life Cycle. It definitely puts a spin on Apple's Showtime event, which is covered by HardwareZone.
Finally, the TechZone have had a look at the state of IPTV (Internet Protocol Television). Tough to believe we are now on the third generation of Internet in such a short time (starting in the early '80s). Darn thing just keeps getting better, more versatile, more indispensable. IPTV is now entering the picture and EVERYONE is wildly enthusiastic about the $$$. So...who will reap the profits? I don't know, but it's looking good for those of us who get bad DigitalTV reception.
Have a fun and safe weekend!!
OCAU Brisbane Events This Weekend!
(link) Friday, 15-September-2006 00:36:05 (GMT +10) - by Agg
This weekend the first of the 2006 OCAU Weekends takes place in Brisbane. It's probably a little late to book in for most things, but if you want to come along for a free BBQ at the Roma St Parklands at 12:30pm tomorrow (Saturday), feel free! Please put your name down on the booking form tho - there's no charge for the BBQ, but we need to know how many snags and cans of drinks etc to provide, so numbers in advance is good. :)
Sydney next weekend! The discussion thread for both weekends is here.
GeForce 7950 GT Reviews Hit The Web
(link) Thursday, 14-September-2006 16:02:14 (GMT +10) - by Agg
About a week ago NVIDIA announced the GeForce 7900 GS and 7950 GT. It seems that the 7950 GT has become available for review, with quite a few websites releasing reviews today. This is essentially a 7900 GT with faster clocks and twice as much memory.
Xbit have part 2 of their Core 2 Duo memory article. In this review we will be testing a few overclocker-friendly DDR2 SDRAM kits from Corsair, GeIL, OCZ and Patriot currently available in shops.
Hapkido spotted an interesting article about watercooling in datacentres. The SprayCool technology uses inert liquid in a closed loop system, directly applied to server chips. It's currently selling as an aftermarket attachment for x86 servers and racks.
PCPerspective have a mobile GPU battle between NVIDIA's GeForce Go 7900 GTX and the 7900 GS. We pit two similarly configured Dell XPS M1710 laptops against each other to test everything from performance to power consumption to see which GPU you should get.
HardCoreWare have an 8 PSU roundup. All of these units are compliant to at least the ATX12V 2.01 spec; some are 2.20. Some units have EPS12V connectors and multiple PCI-E connectors, while others do not. What does all this mean? We explain all that as well.
T-Break had a bit of a chat with AMD about upcoming products etc. Next, we spoke about upcoming AMD products and were informed that the K8L is very much on schedule. For those not familiar, the K8L is AMD’s upcoming quad core CPU that will consume no more power than their current dual core solutions at identical speeds.
A few people at TrustedReviews consider their top 5 games of all time. So, after constantly just talking about it in the office, we decided to round up our top five games of all time and tell you guys about them – just in case you missed some of them over the years.
From John: Just found a reference to OCAU in a law textbook I'm reading for my research: Yochai Benkler's The Wealth of Networks. It mentions Overclockers Australia on p83 with regards to Folding@Home teams. You can download the book here. Yochai Benkler is a Professor of Law at Yale Law School. His research focuses on the effects of laws that regulate information production and exchange on the distribution of control over information flows, knowledge, and culture in the digital environment. His particular focus has been on the neglected role of commons-based approaches towards management of resources in the digitally networked environment. He has written about the economics and political theory of rules governing telecommunications infrastructure, with a special emphasis on wireless communications, rules governing private control over information, in particular intellectual property, and of relevant aspects of U.S. constitutional law. Not bad for OCAU to be cited by a prof @ Yale, the #1 law school in the US!
Wednesday Night Reviews
(link) Wednesday, 13-September-2006 12:15:26 (GMT +10) - by PuGZoR
HWGN have an NVIDIA roundup of graphics cards. I’ll be starting off at the bottom of the pile and working my way up to the elite, top of the range, 'burning a hole in your pocket', cards. Unfortunately the only benchmark they use is 3DMark, but it gives you an idea of each card's general position in the range.
From DarthDVD_AU: Do you want some portal action but you cant wait until next year... try out naracular drop from the guys that are producing Portal. The guys (and 2 girls) showed their final project (before they graduated from digipen a game development institute), and before the end of the persontation got hired on the spot. please watch the following videos on 1up.com for more back ground information. the game narbacular drop can be found here.
From Arv: Swedish DJ - has #1 eurodance songs about an irc bot and warcraft3 dota. Video clips with subtitles can be found here (and on youtube, googlevids): anna, dota. I can’t believe this guy’s songs are #1 on the top40 in Scandinavia… (Sweden, Denmark and Norway) BassHunter has recently released an album entitled "LOL <(^^,)>". More info here.
TweakTown overclocked a GeForce 7900 GS from Palit. Was it just one good overclocker out of the batch? Or is this going to be the next “in” graphics card for people on a budget?
From Eric: KENNETH Ray Brooks is sore, embarrassed and awaiting trial after his attempt
to rob a Florida bank ended with his trousers exploding. Ok, so it's got nothing to do with technology, it's just damn funny!
Thetron sent word that his "tech/geeky based show vodcast video distributed over the internet" has its first episode up, covering action from Motherlan 06. Check it out here, there's a few OCAU people involved.
There's an interesting watercooled project in the PCDB, from Argus Tuffed. A dual Xeon box with rigid copper tubing throughout, and an external radiator box with a spring-mounted pump to reduce vibration. Nice work!
Actiontec announced that the Enermax Galaxy 1000W PSU will be available in Australia from September 20. The result: Five 12V rails, which are an integral part of the upcoming revision of EPS12V PSU design guide by Intel, which will specify 1000W class PSU’s and respective technical requirements especially five rails as a must to be versatile enough to power QUAD CORE & QUAD CPU systems as well as QUAD graphics (GPU) systems (= TRIPLE QUAD). Moreover, it can power even TRIPLE QUAD + 24, because it is modular. Besides 6 natively connected drives, up to 18 additional drives can be connected. The sophisticated 6-pin sockets allow SATA and PATA connection without restrictions. More info here and pics below:
click to enlarge
Antec announced a retroactive five-year warranty for their premium PSUs, previously only covered for 3 years. Antec's high-efficiency Neo HE and TruePower Trio lines of PSUs will be warranted for five years from the date of purchase for parts and labor. All Antec products have previously been backed by its industry-leading Three-Year Warranty. The new warranty will be retroactive to all selected PSUs purchased prior to the announcement of the new cover. More info here.
ASUS have two new CPU coolers employing heatpipe technology for AMD CPUs. More info here and pics below:
click to enlarge
Foxconn have announced a range of GeForce 7 series video cards. "Foxconn has leveraged its expertise in the PC components business and worked closely with NVIDIA to develop this complete range of graphics solutions," commented Vincent Yuan, General Manger of Foxconn Channel Services Division. More info here.
OCZ released some ATI CrossFire certified PC2-5400 memory, with ATI-branded heatspreaders. Tested and qualified under ATI’s renowned certification program, the PC2-5400 CrossFire series not only meets a high standard of quality, but guarantees superior compatibly with CrossFire technology. More info here.
Lots of motorsport on TV tonight, both Formula 1 and MotoGP. I better grab some extra beers..
Reaper sent word of a Transformers convention in Sydney soon. The main attraction is the entire massive collection of Griffins transformers that he will be shipping down from Brisbane to Sydney for the event.
If you're a Second Life user, you should pay attention to this security announcement. Detailed investigation over the last two days confirmed that some of the unencrypted customer information stored in the database was compromised, potentially including Second Life account names, real life names and contact information, along with encrypted account passwords and encrypted payment information.
Someone considered one of the world's worst spammers has had his appeal rejected. Thousands of people fell for his scam, grossing Jaynes' operations up to $750,000 per month, investigators said.
3DGameMan have part 2 and part 3 of their video guide to Building a KICKASS Gaming Rig.
From Sparky1240: Halogen - A modification between EA’s Command and Conquer Generals: Zero Hour, and Microsoft / Bungie’s Halo - has received a cease and desist letter; Arguing that it was infringing upon intellectual copyright. This is a sad day; firstly, because there was much hype and anticipation over this modification, which is run by and done by many volunteers - all doing it for fun, and out of love of the games they play. Secondly, it puts into question fan based modifications - what can you do; and where is the line between intellectual copyright, and when does it become your own work?
A few people sent in these light-emitting shirts from Philips. Coming soon to a rave near you, no doubt. I wonder what happens when it rains.
Matt spotted some TV's with frickin' lasers in them. As if shopping for new flat-panel, high-definition television is not hard enough, Mitsubishi is scheduled to announce this week that it has developed commercial television that uses colored lasers to display bright, deep images on large, thin, lightweight screens - surpassing images seen on film.
Here's a translated-from-German review of a free horror game called Penumbra. The Gruselshocker Penumbra is used of Frictional Games from Sweden as technology demo for the internal 3D-Engine as well as for Newton Game Dynamics physics engine. The play is free of charge, atmospherically close, but turn out unfortunately somewhat briefly.
Adam sent word of SydneyFood.tv, a streaming video guide to restaurants in Sydney.
Matt meanwhile has a ISP config finder website for Australian ISPs. It's essentially a work in progress database of ISP configuration information all in one spot.
Tweaktown have a DDR2 memory roundup with a focus on overclocking. Today we are taking a look at DDR-2 in our roundup of 8 modules from various companies in various speeds to see just what each company has put out and just what can be obtained from our Athlon 64 X2 AM2 platform.
XbitLabs meanwhile help you choose the right memory for Core 2 Duo systems. In this first article we are going to talk about system memory with respect to the Core 2 Duo, particularly we will try to find out which memory parameter has a bigger effect on performance of Core 2 Duo systems, bandwidth or latency.
The Space Shuttle Atlantis is due to launch in just under two hours from now. The hatch into Atlantis' crew cabin has been sealed for flight following the strapping in of all six STS-115 astronauts inside the ship. Commander Brent Jett and his crew are now setting switches and bringing the orbiter's systems online as the countdown to an 11:15 a.m. launch ticks on.
With this mission, NASA is ready to get back to building the International Space Station, marking the first time in almost four years that a space station component has been added to the orbiting outpost. ... During their three spacewalks, crew members of Atlantis will install the P3/P4 integrated truss and a second set of solar arrays on the space station, doubling the station’s current ability to generate power from sunlight and adding 17.5 tons to its mass.
NASA's much-delayed STS-115 Atlantis Shuttle mission is scheduled to launch early tomorrow morning our time. The conditions at Kennedy Space Center for Friday's launch look promising with only a 30 percent chance that weather could ground the flight.
Flatout spotted some more info about folding on PS3, and a Cell-powered supercomputer in the works. The machine, codenamed Roadrunner, could be four times more potent than the current fastest machine, BlueGene/L, also built by IBM. The new computer is a "hybrid" design, using both conventional supercomputer processors and the new "cell" chip designed for Sony's PlayStation 3.
From Mr -=E=- Man: Yeah, technology is getting smaller..... but it's not so small that this wouldn't be uncomfortable!!! FOUR prisoners in an El Salvador jail hid mobile phones, a phone charger and spare chips in their bowels so they could co-ordinate crimes from their cells, prison officials said today. I'll bet they're just glad they didn't have to do that in the early 90's!
From Slug69: Apple will pay $A131 million to rival Creative Technology to settle patent lawsuits over technology for navigating through songs on the iPod. Does this help settle the Zen vs iPod arguments in the forums?
The v1.4 patch for BF2 is available on AusGamers. As well as a zillion bug fixes, there's some new stuff:
- New level: Road to Jalalabaad (Conquest 16-32-64, Singleplayer, Co-op)
- New Server Option: No Vehicles mode
- The vehicle drop has been modified to help prevent exploits such as blocking enemy vehicles, destroying vehicles and commander assets, or as an alternative to artillery.
- C4 tossing distance has been reduced.
- A prone->crouch delay has been added.
Sydney Paintball - Last Chance!
(link) Wednesday, 6-September-2006 18:37:58 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Ok, we may end up having to cancel the paintball event planned for Saturday 23rd September in Sydney unless we get more numbers. So if you're thinking about coming, do it, it's always awesome. If you're already coming, bring a friend or two! If we don't have enough numbers by tomorrow (Friday) at 5pm, we may have to cancel our booking!
Congrats to Team OCAU.mc!
(link) Wednesday, 6-September-2006 18:24:25 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Congrats to Team OCAU.mc aka Numpty Bros Racing, who competed in the Wakefield Park 5 Hour motorcycle race on the weekend. Despite some complications (like wind, rain and, at one point, hail on the track) they came first in their class!
There's an official thread here in the OCAU.mc forum, and another photo report here. Note that your OCAU Forums login won't work there, you'll need an OCAU.mc login (also free) to view/participate. It's a cool community with nearly 5,000 members - so if you do ride, or you'd like to, feel free to join up!
NVIDIA 7900 GS and 7950 GT
(link) Wednesday, 6-September-2006 17:33:09 (GMT +10) - by Agg
NVIDIA have released two new GPUs, the 7900 GS and 7950 GT. "These new GeForce 7 Series GPUs are designed to deliver an extreme high-definition gaming and video experience at prices any gamer can afford," said Ujesh Desai, general manager of desktop GPUs at NVIDIA. "Gamers can now get more performance and features at these popular price points than ever before."
Will you one day be slotting an AI chip into your PC, next to the physics chip and GPU? Called the Intia Processor, the AI chip would work in conjunction with optimized titles to improve nonplayer character AI.
Here's another Floppy RAID article, this time under OS X, thanks Tim.
You know it's all going to go wrong when someone makes an artificially-intelligent robot and calls it Crusher.
From Mr -=E=- Man, someone multitasking badly. A 34-year-old saleswoman was caught driving down a Swiss motorway while she was using her laptop computer and chatting on a handheld mobile phone, police in northeastern Switzerland said. All that while dodging goats, amazing!
A bit of a short one tonight, but expect some more reviews soon...
If you're a Windows user considering giving Linux a go and run an ATi graphics card in your system, you might be interested in the ATi Linux Blog. Originally documenting a 50 day trial of using ATi graphics in a Linux box, it is now being updated again to discuss new Linux software and driver updates. Considering Vista is tipped to cost up to $670 in Australia, switching to Linux might become a lot more appealing!
Ever wondered why it's so frustrating when your family and friends ask you to build a PC for them? Hardware3D have written an article on why it's difficult. You could always just handlball them to Techpowerup who have posted a guide to building a computer, so they can do it themselves. Then you are free to spend your time building yourself a kickass gaming rig.
While we're on the topic of guides, here are a few more. Digital Grabber have a step-by-step guide to reinstalling WindowsXP and Technibble have a how-to outlining the replacement of your GPU fan. TheTechZone have a PDA and Handheld Computer purchasing guide and Virtual-Hideout have a Motherboard Tray Mod article for those who like to frequently change their CPU cooler.
Several people sent word that there will be a show on the ABC premiering on the 19th of December called Good Game. Marketed as A program for gamers by gamers, I wonder if they know these tips on how to protect your eyes. Still with gaming, we were sent a link to a cool video on YouTube showing some dude playing Starcraft in Linux with a touchscreen.
To wrap it up here is an interesting article sent in by Murray Chapman. Researchers at Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology have crafted a micromotor that is powered by the movement of bacteria. A special protein causes the bacteria to all move in one direction, pushing against the feet and thereby spinning the motor at a speed of about two rotations per minute.
Here's a cool 747 simulator, complete with mobile cockpit, made by an Australian guy! The approximate size of the simulator is 13ft wide x 11ft long and 9ft high. It will include every switch and panel in the 747-400.
PCPerspective cover active vs passive cooling using Thermalright coolers. What we really want to find out is how the HR-01, which is designed for passive cooling, compares to the XP-120 and Ultra-120, which rely on active cooling with a fan.
There's a whole pile of classic literature available for free on Google now. Now, with the help of our wonderful library partners, we're able to offer you the ability to download and read PDF versions of out-of-copyright books from some of the world’s greatest collections.
The RAAF is getting look and shoot technology for its F/A-18 Hornet fighters, thanks Sciby. By aiming a crosshair, projected on the helmet visor, over the desired target and pressing a button, pilots can quickly and easily aim weapons and their radar.
TechnologyReview report on spintronics progress. The promise is clear: spintronics could lead to computers that turn on instantly and electronics that use far less battery power, and also overcome the looming limits to Moore's Law.
Darren spotted this seamless triple monitor. The display measures 50" diagonally and has a 350 cd/m brightness along with a 500 to 1 contrast ratio. The response time at 16 ms is not that great compared to modern LCD monitors designed for gaming. Buyers will need a graphics card that can handle three DVI inputs.
ExtremeTech have a hi-res slapdown between SLI and Crossfire. Of course, all that graphics horsepower isn't meant to sit idly by while you run games at 1280x1024 on a 19" LCD monitor. You want a big, expensive, hi-res display, to go along with it.
Think Outside Bluetooth Keyboard & Mouse
(link) Monday, 4-September-2006 11:59:23 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Ambush reviewed a cool little keyboard and mouse from Think Outside. It's mostly intended for use with PDAs of course, but as it connects via Bluetooth you could use them on your compatible phone or even a PC. The keyboard even folds up for ease of transport with your PDA.
Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin Killed
(link) Monday, 4-September-2006 06:54:45 (GMT +10) - by Agg
A zillion people sent word that Aussie character Steve Irwin, AKA The Crocodile Hunter, has died. Paul's comments probably summarise it best: Steve Irwin has been killed in a freak accident where a stingray drove its spike through his chest whilst filming a documentary. The guy did wonders for the tourism industry in Australia as well as raise awareness of our wonderful country and the creatures that inhabit it. Almost always a positive bloke and a hyperactive one at that, we all knew he would die some day from one of Australias creatures, but most of us had our money on a Croc doing the job. True Legend!
Love him or loathe him, he was definitely a character and at 44, gone too young. Info here, here, here, here, here and here.
Bern and myself went to the rather spectacular "Riverfire" fireworks here in Brisbane this evening and although we didn't get the greatest spot we did manage to still get some pretty decent pics. There is also an AWESOME video that I took with my camera of the F-111 flying over at the end of its "Dump'n'Burn".
Don't forget that it's Father's day on Sunday so time's running out to buy him something nice. I'm sure he'd appreciate one of these as much as me.
First up, Rodgrech sent word that there will be an early start to the bushfire season in NSW. There will also be a NSW Rural Fire Service Open Day on the 16th of September. Would make for a fun day out with the kiddies.
Digital Trends have posted some reasons why Vista will Rock for Gaming. No matter if you can't tell Company of Heroes or Crysis from a cantaloupe. The OS still boasts numerous sweeping improvements guaranteed to generate excitement in virtual circles. And yes, that goes for both casual and diehard enthusiasts. I must admit, I found the chess game bundled with the beta version of Vista quite entertaining.
I'm sure everyone will appreciate this one. Nick sent in a link to an article about waiting for email responses. Ever sit there waiting for an email response and wonder what's going on? Did they get it? Did it get filtered? A study looks at the responding habits of a large group of corporate users.
On to hardware, it may or may not surprise you that some brands don't actually manufacture all of their products! Subsequently, if you have a burning desire to find out who really manufactured your PC power supply, Hardware Secrets have an article which shows you how to find out.
TechSpot have had a look at the overclocking performance of Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 and E6700 processors with particular focus on whether the 4MB cache is worth the extra dosh. Meanwhile, TrustedReviews have done an AGP Graphics Card Group Test to see how AGP is fairing performace-wise nowadays. Speaking of analysing performance, Tech-Hounds have also just finished part two of putting Benchmarking on Trial.
Here are a few guides to broaden your tech skills. Technibble show us how to install laptop ram, whilst OCC step through the delicate task of removing the IHS from A64 and Opteron processors. And to appeal to the d00f d00f fans out there, Hardware 3D outline the hooking up of a PC to some car audio gear.
To wrap it up, PC Perspective have written an article comparing the passive and active cooling solutions from Thermalright. Our three contenders include the Thermalright HR-01, the XP-120, and the Ultra-120. What we really want to find out is how the HR-01, which is designed for passive cooling, compares to the XP-120 and Ultra-120, which rely on active cooling with a fan.
Enjoy the weekend!
More Press Releases
(link) Friday, 1-September-2006 02:41:46 (GMT +10) - by Agg
ASUS have what they're calling the ultimate gaming LCD monitor, the PG191 with 2ms grey-to-grey response time and built-in webcam and speakers. Pictures below, and there's an interactive preview of the monitor here.
click pics to enlarge
Corsair introduced "Dual-path Heat Xchange" (DHX) memory technology. Under the name XMS2 DOMINATOR, this DHX technology will be showing up on both Corsair parts designed for extreme overclocking and on memory designed for performance computing and gaming. More info in this PDF and the product page. Coverage on LegitReviews, too.
Toshiba announced a range of USB thumb drives up to 16GB in size. The four models in the TransMemoryTM U3 series will be launched on the global market at the end of November, while the TransMemoryTM 16GB Limited Edition will be available from the end of December, exclusively through Shop 1048, Toshiba's online shop. More info here.
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