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October 2006
Tuesday Morning Reviews (1 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 30-October-2006  17:31:27 (GMT +10) - by aftahours

Motherboard:
Intel D975XBX2 Motherboard on Legit Reviews
ASUS P5N32-SLI Premium on Hardware Zone
ASUS P5W64 WS Professional on XBitLabs
Abit AB9-Pro on ViperLair

Cooling:
ThermalRight SI-120 CPU Cooler on Tech Domain
Thermalright SI-128 CPU Cooler on Bjorn3D
Zalman CNPS9700 LED Ultra Quiet CPU Cooler on Tweaknews

Storage:
ThermalTake Muse OTB2.5 eSATA Enclosure on PC Modding Malaysia
Kingston Technology DataTraveler Secure 4GB on Trusted Review

Case:
Thermaltake Mozart Sx Slim HTPC Case on Hardcore Ware
NZXT Zero Ultimate Cooling Case on Overclocker Cafe
Gigabyte Poseidon Case on Motherboards.org

Videocard:
ATI Radeon X1650 XT graphics card on Techreport
AMD/ATI Radeon X1650 XT GPU on Pc Perspective
ATI Radeon X1650 XT CrossFire on HotHardware

Software:
Company of Heroes on Bjorn3D
God Hand for Playstation 2 on RBConsoles

Audio:
iRiver T10 MP3 Player on TheTechLounge
Everglide S500 Headphones on RBMods
Altec Lansings 2.1 sound system FX4021 on Techgage

Misc:
Port Ergostation on Trusted Reviews
Dell XPS M1210 12.1-inch Laptop on ThinkComputers
TeamGroup Xtreem DDR2-800 2x1gb Kit on EclipseOC
Axis 212PTZ IP Camera on Trusted Reviews
Dell W3202MC 32in LCD TV on Trusted Reviews
Ultra X-Finity 500 Watt PSU on Modders-Inc
Sony Ericsson W810i on Review Desk



Misc Bits (15 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 29-October-2006  03:35:45 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Daylight savings is now in effect for NSW and VIC, with SA switching over soon. So, instead of being about 1:30pm, it's now about 2:30pm. If you find the forums timestamping is wrong, go to UserCP and change your settings. Unfortunately it's not always obvious which combination of settings is correct, so try a few until it's right.

Looks like Decayed.cell has done another big round of updates in his New System Part Recommendations page in the Wiki, including some new higher-end price categories.

Yesterday marked the beginning of National Motorcycle Awareness Week in Australia. With petrol prices a concern, quite a lot of people are turning to two-wheeled transport simply for economic reasons. This week we encourage all drivers to Please Look Twice and be aware of motorcyclists at intersections and in nearby lanes when driving. Of course, if we rode around naked all the time we'd have no trouble being noticed. :) If you're a rider or considering becoming one, check out OCAU.mc, our motorcycle club forums.

Redhairkid went to the recent Richmond Airshow we mentioned on the newspage recently. He shot some footage which we've mirrored as a 64MB AVI here. Lots of photos here in Photography and another thread here in OCAU.mc.



Saturday Evening (17 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 28-October-2006  08:18:30 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Now that AMD have completed their ATI acquisition, there's a lot of talk about their intended fusion of the CPU and GPU. Discussion here.

Bit-Tech are reporting that Microsoft say up to 10 activations will be ok for Vista. Meanwhile Dell is recommending 2GB for Vista while Acer reckon Vista Home Basic is a lemon.

AusGamers have the new Need For Speed: Carbon demo available. Includes a Circuit track and a Drift track, and after you win those you unlock a Canyon Duel. 682MB! Discussion of this game going back several months here.

Uploading a video of yourself singing along or miming pop songs is illegal under current Australian law, apparently. Meanwhile YouTube have removed Comedy Central clips and have been asked to remove another 1000 sports-related clips.

Tassie people who are sick of being left behind the mainland can quit their whining now that serious broadband is being trialled in Hobart. Dubbed the Tasmanian Collaborative Optical Leading Testbed (TasCOLT), the trial is a partnership between government and industry that will see broadband at speeds of up to 100Mbps provided to 1,000 business and residential addresses in Hobart.

NASA have an interesting little article about a smart satellite making decisions in orbit. EO-1 can re-organize its own priorities to study volcanic eruptions, flash-floods, forest fires, disintegrating sea-ice - in short, anything unexpected.

PhysOrg meanwhile look into some of the difficulties of computing in space. Computers have become far more powerful and faster in recent decades, but these advances have been largely confined to Earth. That’s because all computers sent into space must be "hardened" or protected against cosmic radiation prevalent outside the Earth’s atmosphere, a process that slows their performance and increases their size and cost.

Bit-Tech also take a look at the state of DRM. CD burners, Napster, and DeCSS came and went, and now Metallica has a contract to be on Napster's service while DVD Jon is writing protection instead of breaking it. So sit back, and let's take a musical trip through media, content protection, and your rights as the sucker with the dough.

LaptopLifestyle are replacing the keyboard in an ASUS A8J series. I'll be guiding you through the steps and pointing you through the trouble spots that I experienced, so that you won't have to go through them.

Murray sent in this news about laser and microwave weapons in use at airports. Raytheon announced this week that it won a US$4.1 million contract, with an option of US$1.2 million more to test its Vigilant Eagle Airport Protection System. The system aims electromagnetic energy at shoulder-fired missiles to throw them off course. Raytheon describes it as an invisible "dome of protection around airfields."

Dan has a couple more letters. The first is about depth of field, and digital cameras that're strangely unable to deliver very much of it. The second is about a 22-battery UPS.

BurnOutPC are giving away some headsets, while some motherboards are on offer at Gamepyre.



Saturday Afternoon Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 28-October-2006  07:03:06 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Motherboards:
ABIT AW9D-Max LGA775 board on DriverHeaven.
ASUS M2N32 WS Professional AM2 board with PCI-X on Motherboards.org.
Gigabyte GA-965P-DQ6 vs Abit AB9 Pro P965 LGA775 boards on HotHardware.

Cooling:
Zalman CNPS7700-Cu Low Noise Heatsink CPU cooler on FrostyTech.
Thermaltake Big Typhoon VX CPU cooler on ThinkComputers.
Gigabyte 3D Galaxy II & Blue Eye watercooling kit on Guru3D.
Thermalright HR-05-SLI chipset cooler on OCOnline.

Storage & Memory:
Seagate Barracuda ES 750GB hard drive on HotHardware.
Super Talent 2GB PC8000 DDR2 on LegitReviews.
Mushkin HP2-6400 2 x 1GB DDR2 on Phoronix.

Cases:
Cooler Master I-Tower 930 on NeoSeeker.
Cooler Master Tower I-Tower 930 on Hexus.

Power Supply:
Ultra XVS Modular 600W on BigBruin.
Ultra X-Finity 500W on Pro-Clockers.

Video Cards:
PowerColor X1950 Pro on Bjorn3D.
ASUS Radeon X1950XTX 512MB GDDR4 on 3DAvenue.

Misc:
Epson Stylus Photo R265 printer on TrustedReviews.
Iiyama ProLite E2200WS 22in Widescreen Monitor on TrustedReviews.



More Game Demos (4 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 27-October-2006  07:29:40 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Here's some more demos from AusGamers Files:

Melbourne Cup Challenge (137MB): Official licenses including access to the Emirates Melbourne Cup Race, Flemington Race Course, Classic Caulfield, The Caulfield Cup, Royal Ascot Race Course, leading jockey Frankie Dettori, and more. Multiplayer online play for all platforms, allowing competitive and friendly play over the Internet. More info here.

Terrorist Takedown: Covert Operations (379MB): The player assumes the role of an American soldier serving in special forces -- lieutenant Jake Morche. You are given an extremely difficult mission to handle -- eliminate a drug cartel baron. Along with your team, you enter the enemies' territory to bring back peace in the region.

Sid Meier's Railroads (278MB): The Golden Age of railroading is back with Sid Meier's Railroads! Combining the best of real-world and model railroads, Sid Meier's Railroads! puts you in charge of building your own railroad empire, running everything from steam-powered locomotives to more modern diesel and electric trains, managing cargo and your bottom line, all while engaging in corporate warfare against rival tycoons, slick entrepreneurs and robber barons.

Sonic Riders (436MB): Gliding on air boards – which are performance-oriented for each playable character – gamers will experience a heightened sense of Extreme sports-style racing tension as Sonic and his pals perform tricks and stunts over treacherous wide-open terrain.

Warsow Full Version v0.21 for Linux (80MB): Standalone game for Windows and Linux. 3D Engine based on Qfusion (a modification of Quake 2 GPL engine.) eSport oriented FPS Fast-paced gameplay focused on trix (trick jumps) and art of move. More info here.

Made Man (196MB): The game revolves around the rise of a determined and ambitious Mafioso and takes the player from the jungles of Vietnam to the mean streets of the Big Apple. The game uses a third-person perspective and, through its multi-layered gameplay offers a dramatic insight to the world of organised crime, and those that inhabit it.

Earache Extreme Metal Racing Demo #2 (39MB): EARACHE EXTREME METAL RACING will feature ten evil Earache racing teams burning a lot more than rubber through hell and other wastelands. Along with themed tracks from the combatants on the starting grid there'll also be a plethora of extreme Earache classics making up the soundtrack of the game from such luminaries as Napalm Death, At The Gates, Cathedral, The Haunted, Hate Eternal, Cult Of Luna, Beecher, Urkraft, Anata, Mistress, Severe Torture and many others.

Medieval 2: Total War (511MB): Medieval 2: Total War is the latest release from the highly acclaimed developer, The Creative Assembly, who SEGA made headline news by acquiring in 2005. The game boasts an impressive array of new graphical and gameplay enhancements, including the capability for a massive 10,000 dynamic characters to be taken into battle at any one time.

Bionicle Heroes (336MB): Bionicle Heroes brings to life the most powerful and exciting LEGO characters ever seen in one game, in an action-packed world of adventure and discovery. Take control of a young hero as he steps out of the real world and into the strange and dangerous universe of Bionicle.

Keep on top of new games in our Games Forum!



Google Maps for Mobiles & PDAs (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 27-October-2006  05:53:43 (GMT +10) - by Darkness'

Google Maps for Mobile has been released and I thought I would give you a quick glimpse at what it's like and how it looked on my PDA phone.

If you have a recent high-end phone or PDA device, then simply browse over to this page (on your PC) and follow the instructions. What it involves is pointing your phone/PDA at "http://www.google.com/gmm" using either GPRS (Charges apply!) or WiFi and then installing a small java applet.

Here's a few screenshots of the applet running on my phone.

         

This can be discussed here in the Portable and Small Form Factor forum.



Friday Afternoon (4 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 27-October-2006  05:14:32 (GMT +10) - by Agg

HWZone have a bit of a benchmark-fest going, with their Q3 2006 CPU Performance Charts posted. To better understand how they rank today along with the Core 2 series, we rounded up almost all available dual-core processors comprising of no less than 16 processors from the mainstream to the enthusiast class to form this article.

HWSecrets advise how to set up a RAID system. RAID stands for Redundant Array of Independent Disks and with at least two hard disk drives you can setup them as a RAID array in order to increase the disk performance or to improve data reliability.

Hexus are not happy about Vista's EULA. Is Microsoft in danger of alienating the entire worldwide community of PC self-builders by new conditions it's imposing for the use of retail versions of Windows Vista? We think it is - unless it backtracks before launch time in the new year.

Here's an odd (and probably not safe for work) one: Hexus checked out which video cards are best for rendering naughty bits. Virtually Jenna is the official video game of Jenna Jameson and since it uses the popular ThriXXX graphics engine to render it we figured this would be the best combination to test out ATI and NVIDIA graphics cards to see who is best when it comes to adult gaming performance.

Speaking of which, there's a bit of an uproar about a recent trailer for DOA: Xtreme 2 on the Xbox360. See the trailer (again, not work safe) here. CAD's equally-disturbing take is here. :)

Murray spotted a bizarre little internet-connected rabbit thing. Talking, singing and waggling its ears, this rabbit interfaces with Internet content as a high-tech toy of the new millenium.

SilentPCReview have a silent PC mod that is fanless, recycled and.. made of wood. Well, the over-case is. The PC simply slides in through the open rear of the wood sleeve. A couple of wheels from an old scooter and a pair of casters make moving the heavy PC easier.

From Sil80: Incase you haven’t announced it yet - Savage is now completely free. A great combination of FPS, RTS, and RPG - this is a lot of fun. They have made it free because it looks like Savage 2 will be out in the near future.



Friday Afternoon Reviews #2 (2 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 27-October-2006  03:38:41 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Memory & Storage:
Mushkin 2GB HP2-6400 DDR2-800 on Virtual-Hideout.
OCZ PC2-8800 Gold & Corsair PC2-8888 Dominator on DriverHeaven.
LaCie PORSCHE Design Biometric USB HDD on EverythingUSB.

Portable & Prebuilt:
Alienware P2 Area-51 7500 on TrustedReviews.
eMachines E4056 prebuilt budget box on TrustedReviews.
Intel Centrino Duo notebook platform on XbitLabs.

Power Supply:
Antec TruePower Trio 650W on TweakNews.
PC Power & Cooling SILENCER 750W on PCApex.

Input Etc:
eDimensional G-Pad Pro gamepad on TechARP.
Everglide g-1000 mouse on NGOHQ.

Misc:
Nintendo Wii (hands-on preview) game console on Bit-Tech.
Everglide S-500 Headphones, G-1000 Gaming Mouse & Titan Pad on ExtremeMHz.



Friday Afternoon Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 27-October-2006  03:27:51 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Motherboards:
Foxconn 975X7AB-8EKRS2H LGA775 board on PCStats.
ECS PX1 Extreme LGA775 board on OCW.
ECS P965T-A LGA775 board on ViperLair.
MSI K9N Diamond AM2 board on LegionHW.

Cameras:
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T10 digicam on TrustedReviews.
Fujifilm FinePix S6500fd digicam on TrustedReviews.
HP PhotoSmart M627 digicam on eCoustics.
Canon 400D DSLR on Internode.
Nikon S10 6mp digicam on Techgage.

Audio / Visual:
SteelSound 5H v2 headphones on Techgage.
Pioneer Elite PRO-FHD1 50" 1080p Plasma HDTV on eCoustics.
Oono MiniDAB digital radio reciever on TrustedReviews.
Bose QuietComfort 3 noise-cancelling headphones on eCoustics.
Altec Lansing inMotion iM500 iPod speaker dock on eCoustics.
iRiver Clix 2GB media player on TheTechLounge.
Panasonic RP-HTX7 headphones on HWZone.
Steelpad 5H headset on HWZone.il.
Sandisk e280 8GB mp3 player on DigitalTrends.



Friday Midday Reviews (1 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 27-October-2006  01:55:22 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Cooling:
Antazone ASC1000 Copper Heatsink CPU cooler on Frostytech.
Zalman Fatal1ty FS-C77 CPU cooler on FrostyTech.
TTIC NPH AM2 CPU cooler on MadShrimps.
Jetart CK5000 ram heatsinks on Bjorn3D.

Video Cards:
NVIDIA Geforce 7950GX2 and the MSI NX7950GX2-T2D1GE on PCStats.
Sapphire Radeon X1300 XT OC Edition on TechPowerUp.
XFX 7950 GT Extreme Passive Edition 512MB (heh, "extreme passive") on Hexus.

Cases:
Spotswood L-18 Wooden Drum Case (video review) on 3DGameMan.
NZXT Zero quiet case on Bjorn3D.
Akasa Mirage 62 on TechPowerUp.

Software:
Internet Explorer 7 vs Firefox 2.0 web browsers on BIOSMag.
Battlefield 2142 PC game on TrustedReviews.
Gothic 3 PC game on DriverHeaven.
Fedora Core 6 Zod linux distro on Phoronix.



Thursday Morning (23 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 25-October-2006  15:47:06 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Lots of people sent word that Hong Kong-based gaming retailer Lik-Sang are out of business - and they lay the blame squarely on the shoulder of Sony's lawsuits. Sony claimed that Lik-Sang infringed its trade marks, copyright and registered design rights by selling Sony PSP consoles from Asia to European customers, and have recently obtained a judgment in the High Court of London (England) rendering Lik-Sang's sales of PSP consoles unlawful. Bit-Tech have their thoughts posted.

HWSecrets looked inside some switching power supplies. Everything you need to learn about the power supply internals: how it works, what are its main components and how to identify them. Including block diagrams, schematics and lots of pictures from inside the power supply.

XbitLabs meanwhile checked out some LCD monitor features. Over the next two days we would like to introduce to you 17 monitor models with the 20" and 21" screen targeted for different application fields and hence belonging to different price segments. Today we will look at 9 solutions from Acer, BenQ and NEC.

Germany are apparently planning to tax internet use. According to Reuters, all 16 German states have voted in a new law that will require Internet users to pay a licence fee of €5.52(£3.70) a month for each computer and mobile phone that can connect to the internet. There's a thread discussing this here in Current Events.

Wired have an interesting read about the first days of the iPod, including Bill Gates's first reaction to it. Gates' fingers, racing at Nascar speed, played over the scroll wheel and pushed every button combination, while his eyes stared fixedly at the screen. I could almost hear the giant sucking sound.

Everyone's hanging out for NVIDIA's G80 chip which arrives early next month. There's a huge discussion thread here and lots of pics of a retail card here.

Meanwhile NGOHQ have some interesting survey results, showing that the Radeon 9x00 family is the most widely-used video card among their readers at the moment. My recent 7600 GS AGP review showed a relatively cheap way to boost the speed of a machine with an R9800 Pro in it.

Ma Baker sends word that there's a group buy for OCAU's famous I'm not a Terrorist, I'm a Photographer tshirts underway in the Photography forum. This may be the last one for a while, so get into it if you're keen for a shirt.

Here's some very cool pics of a shuttle launch, taken from the International Space Station. Hmm, doesn't look high enough to me? Cool pics anyway.

Hyperstyle noticed a government statement about 100MB/s broadband in Brisbane. "This is a leading Smart State project that has the potential to boost the Queensland economy by $5 billion and create more than 15,000 jobs," Mr Beattie said. More info here, thanks Havic.

From toosocks: Just tried installing Firefox 2.0 and find that it disables lots of plugins and extensions (AIRoboform) being an important example. I've had to revert to 1.5 to get back the important bits. Might be worth pointing out to all. TweakGuides meanwhile have a FireFox 2.0 tweak guide already and ReadWriteWeb have an interview with Chris Beard from Mozilla.

If you're after some old gaming magazines, Computer Gaming World are offering 100 back-issues for free, downloadable in PDF format.

Koopz sent in this defend the fortress style timewaster. Not a bad one.. I got to level 15 then the tanks hammered me. :(



Wednesday Evening Reviews #2 (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 25-October-2006  10:28:34 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Cases:
Thermaltake Mozart TX on GideonTech.
Gigabyte 3D Aurora 570 on Guru3D.

Input Etc:
QPAD XT-R & QPAD CT mousepads on OzCaseModz.
Microsoft Wireless Laser Desktop 6000 on DigitalTrends.
Logitech G11 Gaming Keyboard on Modders-Inc.
NaturalPoint TrackIR 4:PRO head-tracker on TechFear.

Storage & Memory:
OCZ Secure Digital Dual 1GB Memory Card on Hi-TechReviews.
OCZ PC2-6400 Special Ops Edition Urban Elite DDR2 on OCrCafe.
Elife Colourful Card USB Drive on ThinkComputers.
Highpoint 1740 SATA-II Controller on TweakTown.
Lexar JumpDrive FireFly USB flash drive on TrustedReviews.
Crucial DDR2 PC2-5300 10th Anniversary on TechSpot.

Power Supply:
Zalman ZM600-HP 600W on TechARP.
Enermax Galaxy 1kW on PCPerspective.
Corsair Hx 620W on RBMods.

Video Cards:
ATI Radeon X1900 XT 256MB on TechPowerUp.
Gigabyte Silent GeForce 7600GT on PCStats.
Palit 7900GS on AoAForums.



Wednesday Evening Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 25-October-2006  10:01:38 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Cooling:
Gigabyte 3D Rocket II CPU cooler on FrostyTech.
Gigabyte 3D Rocket II CPU cooler on Guru3D.
Revoltec VGA Graphic Freezer Pro on Bjorn3D.
Zalman Reserator 2 watercooling system on Tweaknews.
Thermaltake Big Typhoon VX CPU cooler on FutureLooks.
Zalman Reserator 1 V2 & Fan Kit watercooling kit on Techgage.
CoolIT Freezone TEC-based CPU cooler (video review) on 3DGameMan.

Motherboards:
Asus M2R32-MVP CrossFire Xpress 3200 AM2 board on PCStats.
ECS P965T-A on OCOnline.
MSI K9N Diamond AM2 nForce 590 SLI overclocking on MadShrimps.
Abit AW9D Max LGA775 board on Pro-Clockers.
Albatron KI51PV-754 Mini-ITX S754 board on TechSpot.
MSI K9A Platinum AM2 board on Hexus.
ASUS P5N32-SLI Premium LGA775 board on TechReport.
ECS P965T-A Rev1.0B LGA775 board on FutureLooks.

Portable:
Alienware Aurora m9700 Notebook with SLI and RAID on PCPerspective.
Alienware m9700 on TechWareLabs.



URGENT CALL FOR BLOOD (75 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 25-October-2006  01:09:15 (GMT +10) - by Agg

The Australian Red Cross Blood Service said today it is in urgent need of donors to come forward with less than 36 hours supply remaining nationally.

"We have half a million donors who support the 6 million Australians who have been, or will be, hospitalised this year," the National Operations Manager of the Australian Red Cross Blood Service, Dr Pip Hetzel, said.

"This time last year we needed 20,000 donations each week to maintain an adequate blood supply. This year, we're needing 21,000 donations every week to meet hospital needs.

"That 5% may not sound like much but it is.

"There's no substitute for blood. If people with cancer, heart disease, kidney and bowel disease, premature babies and accident victims are going to live, they need blood to survive."

"Quite simply, Australia isn't meeting the needs of Australians at the moment," she said.

She said that people requiring chemotherapy are particularly at risk, unless donors come forward urgently, as 30% of all blood donations go to people with cancer.

"Blood donation is one of the simplest ways to give something back to the community," Dr Hetzel said.

To make an appointment to give blood, or to find out more, call 13 14 95 or visit www.donateblood.com.au.



OCAU Podcast Episode 21! (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 24-October-2006  17:22:29 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Episode 21 of the OCAU Podcast is now available for download. In this episode (recorded about a week ago) Sciby, Darkness and I chat about a range of topics including Google and YouTube, BF2142, Second Life, PC magic (and dwarves), our first net connections, folding on physics processors and a few other things. We also prove we know nothing about babies or economics.

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:

Normal Quality - 14MB
High Quality - 52MB

If you prefer the raw RSS feed, you can get that here, or an XML version here.

Comments in this thread please!



Sponsor Specials (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 24-October-2006  06:38:32 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Remember to check out our Sponsor Specials Forum if you're shopping around for a bargain. Right now there's a few deals on ADSL gear, CPUs, LCD monitors and a few general component sales. One thread even offers you the chance to win a 22" LCD monitor if you buy a Zensonic media player bundle. Always worth keeping an eye on things in there. :)


Tuesday Midday Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 24-October-2006  02:03:57 (GMT +10) - by Cryogenic

Cooling and Power Supply:
CoolerMaster Mini Aquagate at Techwarelabs
Corsair HX 620W PSU at DriverHeaven

Motherboards:
SApphire Pure Crossfire AM2 at Neoseeker
Foxconn 975X7AB at LostCircuits
nForce 590 SLI Motherboard Round-Up at HotHardware

Graphics Cards and Monitors:
Powercolor X1650 Pro at techPowerUp!
Radeon X1650Pro vs. GeForce 7300GT at ChileHardware
Inno3D GeForce 7950 GT at Bit-Tech
ASUS EN7950GT at Gamepyre
20" WS: Dell 2007WFP vs. Samsung SM205BW at PureOverclock

Notebooks and PCs:
Sony AR20 Series Notebook at UKGamer
MSI mPC 945 Barebone SFF at Viper Lair
e-bug Wielander C 1615A PC at Technic3D

Other:
Palm Treo 700p at OCIA
Kingston K-PEX100 at HardwareZone
Lots of Hi-Speed USB Pen Drives at TweakTown
Sumo Lounge Omni Bean Bag Chair at XYZ Computing
ViewSonic ViewDock Monitor at UKGamer



Tuesday Morning (10 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 23-October-2006  16:08:49 (GMT +10) - by Agg

A few people pointed out that Firefox 2.0 seems to have been uploaded to the mozilla FTP site a day early, with the launch scheduled for later today USA time. Some comments here on ArsTechnia.

The Independent have an article about some of the earliest computer games. Meanwhile this blog lists their 10 biggest computer flops of all time. Good to see Microsoft Bob yet again.

Tweaktown compared Radeon X1650 Pro video cards from GeCube, PowerColor, Sapphire and HIS. We will be looking at the cards alone with a pair in Crossfire mode to see what type of performance is on offer from one of ATI’s newest GPU’s.

HardCoreWare meanwhile compare PSUs. Today we're looking at eight power supplies from five different manufacturers. All of these units are compliant to at least the ATX12V 2.01 spec; some are 2.20.

Boy Scouts in Los Angeles can now earn a patch for respecting copyrights, thanks KP. Scouts will be instructed in the basics of copyright law and learn how to identify five types of copyrighted works and three ways copyrighted materials may be stolen. Ahh, but where's the "can source 0-day warez" patch?

ExtremeMHz checked out WinSAT. WinSAT stands for Windows System Assessment Tool. It is basically an application featured in the upcoming Ultimate version of Windows VISTA that conducts a number of tests, both during and after install, that will help determine your system's overall performance in order to provide you with some or all of its features.

Spanish site MadBoxPC have two articles (links are translated).. firstly some desk-modding and secondly, what not to do with LN2.

Apparently some internet users are addicted, spending "up to 40 hours a week" on the internet. Surely not!? :)

Interesting Threads:
I don't believe it! in AMD Hardware.
Arctic Silver's new TIM application method for Core 2 Duo in Intel Hardware.
Vegemite BANNED in the USA! in Current Events.
The Korean Wall in Current Events.
Microsoft going into chip design? in Current Events.
New way to cook up some chips (using a PC) in Geek Food.



Tuesday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 23-October-2006  15:17:38 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Audio / Visual:
X-Micro X-VDO MP4 F610 multimedia player on ThinkComputers.
Samsung SyncMaster 940BW 19" widescreen monitor on TechTastic.
Plantronics Discovery 655 bluetooth headset on BlueTomorrow.
Optoma Bigvizion HDBV3100 100" TV on DigitalTrends.

Cooling:
Monsoon II Active TEC Cooling System on LegitReviews.
Cooler Master Hyper TX LGA775 CPU cooler on BigBruin.
Sytrin KuFormula VF1 Plus VGA cooler on Bjorn3D.
Cooler Master NotePal P1 laptop cooler on TrustedReviews.
Apack Zerotherm GX710 copper VGA cooler on Tweaknews.
Vantec Iceberg6 VGA cooler on Pro-Clockers.
ASUS Silent Square CPU cooler on XbitLabs.

Cameras & Phones:
Canon S3IS digicam on Internode.
Orange SPV M600 smartphone on BIOSMag.
Samsung SGH-i320 smartphone on TrustedReviews.
Motorola KRZR K1m phone on DigitalTrends.

Cases:
Thermaltake Armor LCS on Techgage.
Thermaltake Aguila on Hexus.
NZXT Adamas on Techgage.
Sunbeam Case Chassis Feet on Modders-Inc.



Inside Intel Hardware (3 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 22-October-2006  16:53:32 (GMT +10) - by Agg

eva2000 has been busy in our Intel Hardware forum recently:

First, he experimented with lapping an E6700 heatspreader. Decided to lap my E6700 B1 IHS and it's the best lap job i've done so far compared to what I did on E6600s. E6600s didn't gain any clocks or temp reductions when lapped as the IHS was already flat. But E6700 cpu when i started to lap only the 4 corners went to copper for a while so the IHS was definitely concave!


Click for the thread!

Next, he compared three different fans on the Scythe Infinity aircooler: the stock 46.5cfm vs TT 81cfm vs Delta 190cfm.


Click for the thread!

Still not satisfied, he compared air and watercooling on an E6600 CPU.
  • stock Pentium D 2.8Ghz 920D heatsink + Sunon 80x25mm 49cfm fan
  • Thermaltake Big Typhoon + Thermaltake 120x25mm 81cfm fan
  • Scythe Infinity + 2x Thermaltake 120x25mm 81cfm push-pull
  • Corsair Hydrocool 200EX + Thermaltake Big Typhoon LGA775 mounting gear
  • Swiftech G4 Storm Water + Thermochill 120.3/MCP650 Pump

Click for the thread!

Of course, this follows on from his other recent efforts:Although, not to be outdone, Chainbolt has responded with some QX6700 (Quad-Core) overclocking!


Click for the thread!



Monday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 22-October-2006  16:00:34 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Cooling:
Thermalright HR-03 video card cooler on LegionHW.
Jetart JACSG1 northbridge cooler on Bjorn3D.
Thermaltake Big Typhoon VX CPU cooler on Virtual-Hideout.

Motherboards:
ECS nForce 570 SLIT-A LGA775 (not Slot-A :) ) board on HWZone.
Foxconn 975X7AB LGA775 board on Hexus.
Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 LGA775 board on SharkyExtreme.

Power Supply:
Raidmax Volcano 630W (video review) on 3DGameMan.
Thermaltake Toughpower W0116RU Cable Management 750W on TweakNews.
Zalman Zm600-HP on RBMods.
Spire Rocketeer III 500W on XSReviews.
Apevia Iceberg 680W on OCClub.

Software:
K-Meleon 1.02 web browser on PCMech.
GNOME v2.17.1 linux GUI on Phoronix.
Fedora Core 6 linux distro on Phoronix.
GTR 2 PC game on Bit-Tech.
Caesar IV PC game on Bit-Tech.



Sunday Evening (11 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 22-October-2006  08:44:15 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Sabretooth spotted some info about Samsung's hybrid hard drive or HHD. Q: Will Windows XP users be able to enjoy the new drives or will it work only on Vista? A: HHDs are designed to work only with Vista. . Hmm, can't really see how/why that would be enforced.

Check out these cool flame fractals. Fractal Flames were created by Scott Draves in 1992 and are an "extension of the iterated function system class of fractals".

From DarthDVD_AU:some new information about the Optimus-113 (OLED) keyboard from thouse peski russians from artlebedev.com. more information on the Upravlator (its russian for controler) keyboard (which was thought to be a gaming keyboard). and the optimus is in production!!!!

Tech-Hounds have a GeForce 7900 GS roundup posted. We're taking a look at three flavors of GeForce 7900GS today: the ASUS EN7900GS, Gigabyte GeForce 7900GS TurboForce and Leadtek PX7900GS TDH Extreme.

From OneArmedMan: not even 24 hours after IE7 was released, and an exploit has been found.

Apple has apparently shipped some infected iPods, thanks Nick. More info here from Sparky2140.

You might have thought those AMD logos on the Ferrari F1 cars just meant sponsorship money had changed hands. HWSecrets reckon there's more to it than that. They are also providing the technology infrastructure for the car’s telemetry system, which collects data in real time and send to Ferrari team during the races, so they can check in real time if something is going wrong and also instruct the driver of corrections he should make in the way he is driving in order to achieve a higher performance during the race.

Trigger210 spotted news that the Halo movie has been canned. Both Universal and Fox Studios have pulled out of the Halo movie adaptation, citing rising movie costs and concern over the inexperience of first time director Neil Blomkamp.

Sniper sent in this page about hard drive recovery with videos and other suggestions of what to do when it all goes wrong (including, it seems, paying them to fix it. :) )

NGOHQ interviewed a marketing/PR person from PowerColor. PowerColor has already earned a good reputation and has become very well known as one of the most popular of ATI’s partners.



Saturday Afternoon Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 21-October-2006  05:43:37 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Video Cards:
ASUS Radeon X1950 Pro 256MB on HWZone.
Inno3D GeForce 7900GS SLI on PCModdingMy.
EVGA e-GeForce 7600GTS on Motherboards.org.
Connect3D Radeon X1900GT and Foxconn GeForce 7900GS on DriverHeaven.
Leadtek Winfast PX7950 GT TDH Extreme on Bjorn3D.
Sapphire X1950 Pro on TrustedReviews.
NVIDIA GeForce 7950 GX2 on PenStarSys.
MSI Radeon X1950 XTX Watercooled Edition on HWZone.

Memory & Storage:
Crucial Ballistix 2GB (2x1GB) PC2-6400 DDR2 on BigBruin.
Icy Dock MB453 3 HDD enclosure on Techgage.

Cases:
mCube HFX Mini fanless HTPC system on SilentPCReview.
Enermax Phoenix on TrustedReviews.

Printers:
HP Color LaserJet CM1017MFP on TrustedReviews.
Samsung ML-2571N Laser on XYZComputing.



RAAF Richmond Air Show This Weekend! (12 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 20-October-2006  07:27:10 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Redhairkid pointed out that the RAAF are holding an air show at Richmond RAAF base near Sydney this weekend, 21-22nd October.

The Air Show celebrates:
  • 90 years of flying from RAAF Base Richmond
  • 85 years since the establishment of the Royal Australian Air Force
  • the biggest Air Show at Richmond since the Bicentennial in 1988
More info on getting there by public transport here and discussion in this thread.



Wiki Wanderings (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 20-October-2006  06:36:45 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Decayed.cell has been updating and expanding his New System Parts Recommendations guide in the Wiki. Check out these other interesting pages too:

CPU Guide
Wireless Networking
Wireless Network Security
Science Websites
Licenced Content in Podcast and Vodcast
OCAU Server Hardware
Security
BF2142 Roll Call
MythTV
Digital Audio File Formats
4x4 Off-Roading
Car Detailing
How Safety Switches Work
Google Maps Australia Locations



Friday Morning (1 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 19-October-2006  21:03:28 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Wayne has put our previous 7600GS review onto Digg. So if you're a Digg member and liked that article, consider Digging it, thanks. :)

Mojoman notes that HP is now the #1 PC manufacturer, having reclaimed the title from Dell. Hewlett-Packard's market share increased 1.2 percentage points in the third quarter to 16.3 percent worldwide, Stamford, Connecticut-based Gartner Inc. said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. Dell slid to 16.1 percent on its slowest growth ever.

From Ambush: AVG has upgraded their AVG Antivirus Free Edition to 7.5 with improvements in heuristic virus detection, NTFS data stream scanning, smaller update files, an improved interface and Windows Vista support. AVG also offers AVG Anti Spyware Free.

Internet Explorer 7 is now available, thanks David. WindowsAtoZ have a quick look at some new features in it, and there's a thread here in our General Software forum.

The complete works of Charles Darwin are now viewable online for free. Most of the editions provided here appear online for the first time such as the first editions of Journal of Researches [or Voyage of the Beagle] (1839), The descent of Man (1871), The Zoology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (1838-43) and the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th editions of the Origin of Species. Check 'em out here.

HotHardware has more info on AMD's 4x4 setup, which involves two dual-core CPUs. While Kentsfield in all likelihood will scale nicely in mutli-threaded applications and under heavy multi-tasking scenarios, the chip still shares a single front side bus, which unlike AMD's dedicated HT links for each dual core CPU, is a shared-bus architecture and potentially not as efficient. Time and benchmark data will tell the real story here of course.

Virtual-Hideout have a Mega Watercooling Roundup with 8 kits examined. Thanks to our great sponsors we were able to test the Swiftech, Vantec, Asetek, Thermaltake, Zalman, Alphacool, and Koolance kits. Each kit was installed as though it were the very first kit in order to preserve the actual experience anyone else might have. This meant unlearning some short cuts and going by any and all directions sent with each kit.



Inno3D GeForce 7600GS AGP Video Card (22 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 18-October-2006  18:08:09 (GMT +10) - by Agg

I've checked out this new video card from Inno3D, the GeForce 7600 GS AGP. That's right - AGP! Instead of a conventional review, I thought it would be interesting to see if this quite cheap mid-range card can be used to extend the life of a fairly grunty AGP-based machine. Can AUD $200 or so get you gaming in high resolution again, while you wait to move to PCI Express?


Click for the review!



Thursday Morning (3 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 18-October-2006  18:02:28 (GMT +10) - by Agg

From White Rhino: Just thought I make a mention of the Iron Photographer compition again. September Voting is under way and entries are now open for the October competition.

PocketPCReviews have info on an "Australian upstart" making an all-in-one PC/TV system. The specs and pricing are quite decent, judging from this preliminary info sheet. OzIQ plan on having the 32" PC /TV on the shelves in a couple of weeks.

DigitalTrends have video episode comparing digital picture-frames. We recently had a pretty cool DIY version in the Modding forum.

Sony has recalled another 60,000 batteries, this time from its VAIO laptops, thanks Jason. Last month Sony announced a global replacement program for its batteries used by other laptop makers but the company had insisted that batteries used in its own computers posed no risk.

Metku have a mod worklog titled Embryo Zero, while an awesome BF2142-themed casemod is featured on Bit-Tech.

HWSecrets have their thoughts on the Native CrossFire technology from ATI. Even though CrossFire is better than SLI in the way that you can hook two completely different video cards together (SLI requires that both cards to be exactly the same), it has two major drawbacks: you need a “master” (a.k.a. “CrossFire Edition”) video card to control CrossFire (“master” cards were hard to find when CrossFire was released) and the connection between the two cards are done thru a cable outside the PC. ATI is now fixing these two problems with a new CrossFire version, called “Native CrossFire”.

Tweaktown checked out some high-speed WiFi being demonstrated by Intel. At a range longer than 10 meters, Intel are recommending the upcoming 802.11n standard which has greater range than 802.11g by about 20 meters AND improves on throughput massively by offering up to 540Mbit/s compared to just 54Mbit/s offered by 802.11g.



Thursday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 18-October-2006  17:45:36 (GMT +10) - by aftahours

Storage:
ICY DOCK MB454SPF-B Internal 4-Bay Drive Rack on Virtual-Hideout
OCZ Secure Digital Dual Memory card on Overclocker Cafe
Toshiba 200GB 2.5" Hard Drive on Techgage
Scythe Kama Connect USB 2.0 to SATA/IDE Adapter on Virtual-Hideout
ICY Dock MB559UEA-1S on Bjorn3D

HTPC:
Rapsody N35 Home Media Center on Hardware Zone
Sony Vaio VGX-XL202 Media Center PC on Trusted Reviews

Camera:
Canon Digital IXUS 850 IS on Trusted Reviews
Pentax K100D DSLR on Hardware Zone

Case:
Revoltec File Protector on Driver Heaven
nMedia System HTPC 180SA & 280BA Media Center Enclosures on Bjorn3D
SilverStone TJ08 mATX Case on ThinkComputers.org
Antec Fusion Media Center Case on Tweaknews

Games/Software:
FIFA 07 on Bit-tech
Adobe Elements Bundle on Trusted Reviews

PSU:
Antec TruePower Trio 650 on techFEAR
Seasonic M12 700W Power Supply on PCStats

Cooling:
Thermaltake® Extreme Spirit II on ComputingOnDemand
Sytrin KuFormula SHF1 Ultra on Phoronix
Scythe Infinity on TechPowerUp
Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 Pro CPU Cooler on Futurelooks
Orbiter Single Fan 3.5inch HDD Cooler on Modders-Inc
Thermaltake Armor LCS on Hexus
ThermalRight SI-128 on Driver Heaven

RAM:
Corsair TWIN2X2048-8500C5 2GB Kit on OCTools.com
SyncMAX Express PC2-6400 DDR2 800 Memory on PCStats

Motherboard:
Asrock ConroeXFire-eSATA2 Motherboard on Pro-Clockers
Foxconn 975X7AB - 8EKRS2H on Overclockers Online
ASUS M2R32 MVP Crossfire Motherboard on Motherboards.org

Videocard:
PowerColor Radeon X1950 PRO 256MB on Hardware Zone
Asus EN7600GT SILENT/2DHT/256M Video Card on Viperlair
Asus EAX1950PRO on OCWorkBench
Inno3D 7900 GS on Trusted Reviews
Gigabyte Radeon X1650 Pro Silent-Pipe II on Legion Hardware
Sapphire Radeon X1950 Pro 256MB on Hexus

Misc:
Macally Protective Keyliner and Screen Wiper on Laptop Life Style
Nokia N73 Mobile Phone on UKGamer
Razer Barracuda HP-1 3D Audio Gaming Headphones on PCApex
Cyber Snipa PC Gaming Pad v2 on RBMods
ZyXEL P-336M and M-102 on Trusted Reviews



Sun's Project Blackbox (26 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 18-October-2006  07:19:57 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Shaun spotted this cool new product from Sun: Project Blackbox. It's a portable, self-contained datacentre that, when fully loaded, would rank among the world's top 200 supercomputers.

     
click pics to enlarge

Lots more pics here. Interestingly, it seems to rely on watercooling (like an old-school "real" datacentre :) ) with water in and water out, and heat-exchangers inside the unit. They have some theoretical scenarios for the datacentre-in-a-box, too.



Illusionist2002's PC (5 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 18-October-2006  04:15:07 (GMT +10) - by Agg

It's always cool when a PCDB entry walks us through a mod or an upgrade with pictures. In Illusionist2002's entry we can see as he strips the PC down, makes a top window with fan, and installs a dual-radiator watercooling setup:


Click for the PCDB entry! (16 pics)



ATI Radeon X1950 Pro (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 17-October-2006  18:20:44 (GMT +10) - by Agg

ATI have a new mid-range graphics card, the Radeon X1950 Pro. This is based on their 80nm "RV570" core and, interestingly, provides "native CrossFire", so you no longer need CrossFire Edition "master" cards or external dongles. Bringing ATI's high-end features into the mid-range gives gamers blistering performance and gorgeous image quality that's unmatched at this price. The Radeon X1950 Pro shows that ATI is taking gamers' feedback to heart with the introduction of new native CrossFire technology to make it easier than ever for gamers to get up and running with a CrossFire setup.

Coverage on Anandtech, Bit-Tech, Guru3D, HardOCP, Hexus, HotHardware, HWZone, LegitReviews, MVKTech, OCWorkbench, OC3D, PC Perspective, RegHW, TechARP, Techgage, Tech Report, TheInq and TheTechLounge

One interesting note from the press-release: For Folding enthusiasts, the GPU clients now available for Stanford University's Folding@home distributed computing project also support the Radeon X1950 Pro. For information on the project and how you can use your ATI GPU to contribute to disease research, please visit the Folding@home website at http://folding.stanford.edu. Or you can check out our Folding page here.



Wednesday Morning (5 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 17-October-2006  17:51:30 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Battlefield 2142 has a patch out already, at 17MB. I can't see anything obvious in the textfile saying what the update fixes, though.

Tech-Report have their thoughts about folding on GPUs. There's still a lot of discussion going on about this here in our Team OCAU forum.

Wired have an interesting article about catching a MySpace predator with the help of a script. The automated script searched MySpace's 1 million-plus profiles for registered sex offenders -- and soon found one that was back on the prowl for seriously underage boys.

WTF? Apparently deep-fried coca-cola is the latest hit at US state fairs. The gooey Coke-battered nuggets topped with cola syrup won the "most creative" title at the Texas state fair in Dallas last month. I can feel my arteries hardening, just reading that article.

Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (a version of which powers OCAU's servers beer and BBQ) is moving away from ReiserFS, a file system who's creator is suspected of murdering his estranged wife. As it happens, we moved from ReiserFS to XFS with our latest round of server upgrades, largely due to issues with database performance and CPU load.

Quan-Time spotted this guy who takes his hover-backpack very seriously. Andreas is designing and building a turbine-powered personal flying suit. In principle this is going to be similar to the well-known "Bell Rocket Belt", the difference is the power plant and controlling of the unit.

Hexus have posted some musings about AMD's position and future. There is also a lot of confusion over when exactly AMD will be releasing its quad-core parts. Most sources are still saying the middle of 2007, but an AMD representative recently mentioned to me something about Q1, and there are even some rumours of a November 3rd launch. However, the latter could be confused with the launch of 4x4, which appears to be two dual-core Opterons on Socket F rebranded as Athlon 64 FX and placed on a dual-socket motherboard.

Dan has more letters. In the latest issue: Twisting cable, oil cooled computing, heat pipe fluid, the Virtual Drive of Annoyance, mobile gaming and RJ naming.

Xbit have part 3 of their Core 2 Duo memory roundup, with DDR2-800 kits from Corsair, Crucial, GeIL, G.Skill, Kingston and Mushkin.



BF2142 In-Game Ads (73 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 17-October-2006  08:01:32 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Dopefish spotted a bizarre bit of info about what seems to be borderline in-game spyware in EA's Battlefield 2142. People are reporting a slip of paper in the retail box which advises "When you use the Software while connected to the Internet, the Advertising Technology may record your Internet Protocol address and other anonymous information ("Advertising Data"). The Advertising Data is temporarily used by IGA to enable the presentation and measurement of in-game advertising and other in-game objects which are uploaded temporarily to your personal computer or game console and changed during online game play."

Here's a picture of the document:


click to enlarge

Given the already lukewarm response to this game, I can't see this helping their cause at all.

Edit: for the moment there are no reports of Australian customers either receiving this piece of paper or seeing in-game advertisements. If you're buying the game, please let us know how you go!



Tuesday Afternoon Reviews (2 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 17-October-2006  06:58:24 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Motherboards:
Gigabyte GA-945GM-S2 LGA775 board on PCStats.
Foxconn 975X7AB-8EKRS2H LGA775 board on Virtual-Hideout.
SiS 771 Reference Board for AM2 on HWSecrets.
Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 LGA775 board on PCPerspective.
Foxconn 975X7AB LGA775 board on Pro-Clockers.

Cooling:
XSPC Watercooling Gear on MadShrimps.
Thermaltake Ruby Orb CPU cooler on PCModdingMy.
Voyaget Dual Fan HDD cooler on Modders-Inc.
Alphacool Ready2Go Stacker passive watercooling on Guru3D.
Antec VCool VGA cooler on Bjorn3D.

Cameras & Phones:
Logitech QuickCam Fusion webcam on Tweaknews.
Cyba Snipa Spotter webcam on DansData.
LG KG920 5-megapixel camera phone on OCWB.

Audio / Visual:
Samsung YP-Z5 1GB mp3 player on FutureLooks.
Plantronics Discovery 655 bluetooth headset on LegitReviews.
Dell Ultrasharp 2407WFP 24" Widescreen LCD on TheTechLounge.

Video Cards:
ATI Radeon X1950 Pro 512MB on Guru3D.
NVIDIA GeForce 7900GS SLI overclocking performance on LegionHW.

Memory:
OCZ PC2-5400 Special Ops DDR2 on OCIA.
Kingston 1GB HyperX PC2-8500 DDR2 on TechARP.

Cases:
Enermax Phoenix midtower on Pro-Clockers.
Enermax Phoenix (video review) on 3DGameMan.
Cooler Master ITower 930 on PCApex.
Cooler Master Mystique 631 on FutureLooks.



Swiftech H20-220 Apex Ultra Watercooling Kit (15 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 16-October-2006  11:02:46 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Sciby has posted a review of this watercooling kit from Swiftech. Given that before the kit arrived, he was a complete watercooling newbie, he's written it from the perspective of a newcomer to watercooling. Fortunately no major disasters ensued. :)


Click for the review!



Monday Afternoon #2 (6 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 16-October-2006  06:28:05 (GMT +10) - by aftahours

Yet another RIAA blunder where they have dropped the Wilke case in Chicago.

IGN have the results posted of their Best games of all time survey, listing the top 100 games.

Speaking of game reviews, Gameshadow want you to look at the videos, play some demos and cast your vote for your favourite game in each catergory here.

Anandtech have posted their Intel Core 2 Chipset Power Consumption Shootout. Full article here.

Firing squad have a look at current day PCI Express performance here. What we’ve set out to do with this article is to take an updated look at PCI Express performance with newer titles than what we initially used a few years ago, since PCI Express first debuted in 2004 we’ve seen more shader-intensive titles like F.E.A.R. be introduced, as well as more demanding benchmarks like 3DMark 06.

Interesting read here about online communication replacing the mailbox. Like the phone booth before it, the blue street-corner mailbox is rapidly becoming a casualty of the digital age. As more people send e-mails and pay bills online, the decline in first-class mail is forcing the U.S. Postal Service to remove tens of thousands of underused mailboxes from city streets.

DailyTech chat with the VooDooPC about their recent aquisition by HP.

And finally on the spam front, BT is implementing what it says is world’s first fully-automated ‘spam buster’ system designed to detect and block professional spammers and ‘botnet’-infected customers using the BT broadband network. Full read here, on IT Wire.



Monday Afternoon (3 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 16-October-2006  06:10:32 (GMT +10) - by aftahours

Graham sends in news that Daemon Tools version 4.06 is out, supporting Vista in both 32bit and 64bit versions.

The new Microsoft Windows Vista is coming soon and everyone is asking if their system will be able to run it - and how well will it run? Those questions are answered for VIA AMD platform chipset users in this article on Viaarena.

From the guys over at Hothardware.com: We spent a little time at this year’s DigitalLife show in the Big Apple, and have just posted up some tasty photos (especially the one of Carmen Electra…mmm) and commentary. We’ve got highlights from AMD, ATI, NVIDIA, HP/Voodoo, Ageia, and a handful of others. Check out the full write-up here.

ATI have a tool out that will help you assess the upgradeability of your computer to Windows Vista™ and can provide you with guidance for your computer’s unique configuration and the minimum, recommended, and optimal user experience.

ExtremeMHz have a guide posted up on making your Windows XP have the Vista 'Look n' Feel'.

Tech ARP have just posted the BIOS Optimization Guide Rev. 9.1.

From the Phoronix crew: It has been six months since ATI Technologies had introduced Radeon X1000 support in their Linux fglrx display drivers. But how has the support evolved with their monthly driver releases? At Phoronix we have retested the last six display drivers with a Radeon X1k product to answer this question. Full read here.

Jamie sent in this article about the corporate dominated gaming scene and lack of originality and how unique ideas may be popping up again in the near future... Full article here.

Hardwareoverclock Austria has posted their monthly forceware driver performance comparison. They have tested the last 91.xx and 92.xx forceware drivers, betas and official versions.

From Phalanx: Despite the axing by the Sci-Fi channel, it seems SG-1 isn't dead yet. Two DVD movies are to be made to finish out the series!

Sniper found this neat (hurr) standalone noise reducer application and noise reduction plug-in for Photoshop and compatible hosts. More info on Neat Image here.



Monday Afternoon Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 16-October-2006  06:04:09 (GMT +10) - by aftahours

Cooling:
APACK ZeroTherm BTF90 CPU Cooler on ThinkComputers.org
Thermaltake BigWater 745 watercooling kit on i4u.

Audio:
Slim Devices Squeezebox Network Music Player on XYZ Computing
iHome iH5 on Hardware Zone
Samsung K5 MP3 Player on Digital Trends

Motherboard:
Ausus M2NPV-VM Motherboard on Tweaktown
Four 975X Core 2 Duo Motherboards on Tom's Hardware

Case:
Zalman Fatal1ty FC-ZE1 Computer Case on Tweaknews
NZXT Zero on Techgage

PSU:
Ultra Products X-Finity 500W ULT31843 on Phoronix
Thermaltake Power Express 250W on Techpowerup

Videocards:
HIS Radeon X1300XT IceQ Turbo 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express on BonaFideReviews
ATI Radeon X1300XT Graphics Cards Compared on Tweaktown
ATI Radeon X1900 XT 256MB on Bit-Tech
Sapphire Radeon Toxic X1950XTX on FiringSquad.

Misc:
Motorola Q on Digital Trends
Toshiba TransMemory 2gig Thumb Drive on 3DGameMan
Company of Heroes PC game on Bit-Tech.



Interesting Forum Threads (0 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 15-October-2006  09:11:56 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Due to popular demand we've made a few new forums over the last month or so. A dedicated Electronics forum has been split off from the Modding forum. Similarly, Geek Grog has split off from Geek Food, giving the homebrewers and vodka wa.. err, enthusiasts, a place of their own. We have a forum for Musicians who are learning, playing and writing music and, most recently, a forum for Science news and discussion.

Motoring and Photography have both received facelifts recently, with extra forums including dedicated trading marketplaces for each.

Interesting Forum Threads:
October FBOX Giveaway: FBOX55 and FBOX56 in Team OCAU.
My MacBook Pro experiences: newbie thoughts on MacOS in Apple Hardware & Software.
Huge emergency - how to get rid of rust? in Extreme Cooling.
Media Centre Solutions for the Budget Conscious in Audio Visual.
HWBot - 3DMark06 Ranking in Video Cards.
Best CPU cooler around currently? in Intel Hardware.
Intel to launch 45nm dual core 'Wolfdale' Q3/07 in Intel Hardware.
Poll: software licensing in General Software.
2GB or 4GB of memory? in Memory.
Latest Prices Chart Per Gig 13/10/2006 in Storage & Backup.
RAID 5 card advice in Storage & Backup.
Walk against Warming in Current Events.
What science sites do YOU visit? in Science.
Simple delay signal circuit - for homemade IR laptimer in Electronics.
Electric or Nitro RC? in Other Toys.
Very big (and not so portable) laser pointer in Other Toys.
What happens if you quit smoking right now? in Sport, Fitness & Health.
So, I got a new toy in Photography.
D0 u n33d to lrn abt sex? in Current Events.
Hatchling Beardie (with pics) in Pets & Animals.
Breastfeeding in public in The Pub.



Sunday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 14-October-2006  16:05:24 (GMT +10) - by aftahours

Case:
CoolerMaster iTower 930 on Trusted Reviews
Antec P190 Case on XYZ Computing
Ultra Aluminus ATX Mid-Tower Case on Modders-Inc

Audio:
SteelSeries SteelSound 5H V2 on Phoronix
Frontier Labs NEXBlack on Bjorn3D
Creative X-Fi Fatal1ty Edition on XSReviews
Sondigo Inferno 7.1 soundcard on Bit-tech

Motherboard:
ECS KA3MVP Extreme Motherboard on Legit Reviews
Abit AB9 Pro on Hexus
ASUS P5B Deluxe Wi-Fi-AP Edition Motherboard on Motherboards.org
Foxconn 975X7AB-8EKRS2H on Hardware Zone
MSI K9N SLI Platinum & Foxconn C51XEM2AA on Pure Overclock

Laptop/Media Centre:
Sony Vaio VGN-SZ2XP on Trusted Reviews
Acer Aspire Idea 500 Media Centre on Trusted Reviews

Digicam:
Samsung Digimax V700 digital camera on Techware Labs
Canon Ixus 800IS Digital Camera on Internode Games

Storage:
Brando Double Dragon USB 2.0 To SATA/IDE Adapter on Bonafide Reviews
Icydock MB453 Drive Enclosure on ThinkComputers.org

Cooling:
Zalman CNPS9700 LED CPU Cooler on Hardware Secrets
BUSlink USB Notebook Cooling Pad on ThinkComputers.org

Misc:
Cyber Snipa Dog Tags Flash Drive and Tools on Viper Lair
LumaRay FL6-2006 LED flashlight on Dans Data
Evesham Freeview personal video recorder PVR160 on Hexus
Logitech Cordless Desktop MX 5000 on Modders-Inc
SynapseLife on XYZ Computing



Saturday Night (6 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 14-October-2006  12:13:26 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Optus D1, the first of their fourth generation satellites, has been successfully launched and placed into geostationary orbit. Optus D1, built by US manufacturer Orbital Sciences Corporation will be positioned at 160 degrees East and will provide direct TV broadcasts, Internet links, voice and data services for Australia and New Zealand. Its design life is 15 years.

Tech-Report are the latest to check out NVIDIA's Quad SLI technology. But does Quad SLI live up to its practically built-in hype? Can running four GPUs in tandem catapult you into a zone of pure extremeness, where new frames flow like water, object edges are feathery smooth, and textures are so perfectly mapped to surfaces that you're utterly convinced they're real?

A jury has awarded over eleven million USD in damages for internet-based defamation. Scheff says she wanted to make a point to those who unfairly criticize others on the Internet. "I'm sure (Bock) doesn't have $1 million, let alone $11 million, but the message is strong and clear," Scheff says. "People are using the Internet to destroy people they don't like, and you can't do that."

Speaking of blogs, Intel now have one. The blog offers an "inside look" at Intel’s IT operations and provides opportunities for you to exchange ideas directly with the IT experts who keep Intel’s business running and growing.

Here's a cool DIY laptop cooler - and I quite like the iPod stand, too. Pictures of the finished product. Could paint it... won't.

Here's a bit more about the Vista license terms people are concerned about. Under the new program, a copy of Vista that's judged to be in violation of its license, or is counterfeit, is disabled after a set period, leaving the user access only to the default Web browser, and then only for an hour at a time.

From Justin, info on the world's first true HDR display: "BrightSide claim they can achieve such startling results by simultaneously producing blacks 10x darker as well as whites 10x brighter than conventional displays. In fact, their unique back light technology is so bright that it is water-cooled, sporting not one but two 120x240mm radiators similar to a Black Ice Extreme II."

Transmeta are apparently suing Intel for patent infringement. Transmeta alleges that Intel infringed on one of its patents when it inserted a technology called "enhanced SpeedStep" into its models, said John Horsely, Transmeta's general counsel. Enhanced SpeedStep essentially slows down a chip when not in use to cut power consumption.

In a follow-up to an earlier story, ICANN say they won't delete spamhaus's domain, even if a court orders them to. In a statement, ICANN said that it is not party to the legal action, and cannot comply with any order requiring suspension because the organization does not have the ability or the authority to do so.

Bit-Tech report on the declining state of Counter-Strike, still a hugely popular game after so many years. Valve's answer has been to update CS:S and leave 1.6 alone, try to improve gameplay and the like. We take a look at how successful those changes in recent months have been on the next page.

From Matex: A small Aussie company has made some software called Orbysearch, and what it does, is it acts as a piece of software that brings google, amazon.com, ebay etc together into 1 interface, and searches them all. Handy if you want a book or something and cbf searching amazon and ebay. Looks free as well, can't see any spyware or banners in the program, so good for a goer! Has a few neat other features too.

Mmm, cake!



Saturday Afternoon Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 14-October-2006  07:16:40 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Video Cards:
MSI GeForce 7950GX2 on PCStats.
Gainward Bliss 7600 GS 256MB (overclocking) on XbitLabs.
Sapphire Radeon X1650 Pro on TweakNews.

Memory:
SyncMAX PC2-6400 Express DDR2-800 on PCStats.
Kingston HyperX DDR2-8500 4x512MB kit on Virtual-Hideout.
OCZ PC2-9000 Titanium Alpha VX2 DFI Special Edition on Techgage.

Power Supply:
Seasonic M12 700W on Virtual-Hideout.
Kingwin Mach 1 600W (video review) on 3DGameMan.
Be Quiet! Dark Power Pro 430W on SilentPCReview.
Zippy-Emacs 850W on Bjorn3D.

Cooling:
Noctua Fans on DriverHeaven.
Cooler Master NotePal P1 notebook cooler on BigBruin.
Asus Silent Square CPU cooler on MadShrimps.
Evercool Red Scorpion 140mm Fan on OCOnline.
Zalman CNPS9700 LED CPU cooler on HWSecrets.



Friday Night (1 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 13-October-2006  13:13:37 (GMT +10) - by Cryogenic

Laptop gamers out there will be interested to hear that nVidia has officially announced their latest mobile GPU, the Geforce Go 7950GTX. A press release from nVidia here. There is some coverage also at Hot Hardware and Legit Reviews.

TweakTown have been having some fun with Vista, doing a writeup on Release Candidate 2 from installation to benchmarking. Still with Vista, ExtremeMHz have posted an article on Enabling Aero & Flip 3D. Justin also sent in a few links discussing Vista's End User Licensing Agreement. Read up here, here, and here.

vkinetic sent in some experiences he's been having with XP's genuine detection facility. A system I built for one of my customers, with genuine XP Home installed, suddenly was showing the non-genuine Windows message, and the customer could not receive MS security (and custom) updates. We were able to re-authorise the copy (or at least we received the message from MS that the copy was already authorized), and from that point we could download and install the critical updates. But upon rebooting we again received the same messages and were unable to download the custom updates. Apparently MS are working on a fix. You can find more info here and here.

We get in a lot of news and reviews from PC Perspective. They have a write-up on their recent Server Upgrade. Information on OCAU's servers can be found in the OCAU Wiki. I didn't think our upgrade was that long ago. Where has all that time gone?

No doubt everyone has their take on the recent acquisition of YouTube by Google. DigitalTrends have posted their thoughts on Google, YouTube, and Apple. With everyone focused on the incredibly expensive acquisition of YouTube by Google, attention once again drifted away from the Apple connection to Google and what may be the big long term plan jointly being executed by both companies. So let’s take a moment to lay it out. It also appears that YouTube might be sued by a Finnish Broadcasting Corporation.

The Tech Lounge have an article discussing Computers and Cat Litter. Worth a read if you have an indoor cat and use kitty litter as those intake fans don't just suck in air! If that sort of article interests you, I'm sure you can expect more similar stuff in Dan's New Blog.

The Tech Zone have published an article celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Hard Drive. Speaking of storage, Wayne Kruse sent word that Hans Reiser (the programmer behind the Linux file systems ReiserFS and Reiser4) has been arrested in suspicion of murder. Also, here's an interesting thread on eCoustics on whether HD-DVD and Blu-Ray are both doomed.

VR-Zone have an article discussing how the 2007 Dual Core Battle is looking between Intel and AMD. Intel plans to counter 65nm AMD "Antares" dual core processor with their 45nm "Wolfdale" dual core processor based on Penryn core architecture. If all the latest releases of CPUS and sockets is confusing you, check out the Desktop CPU Comparison Guide which has just been updated by TechARP for a quick refresher.

Have a safe weekend all.



Friday Afternoon Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 13-October-2006  03:18:33 (GMT +10) - by Cryogenic

Cases and Power Supplies:
Zalman FC-ZE1 Fatal1ty at HEXUS
Cooler Master iTower 930 at Bit-Tech
Hiper Type-R 730W PSU at Technic3D
Enermax Phoenix Enclosure at Virtual-Hideout
Seasonic M12 700W Power Supply at PCSTATS

Cooling:
Vigor Gaming Monsoon II HSF at TweakTown
Zalman CNPS9500 LED Heatsink at GruntvillE
Asetek Low Cost Liquid Cooling at Hardware Secrets
Zalman VF700-CU at TrustedReviews
Titan Amanda TEC Cooler at Pro-Clockers

Motherboards:
DFI LANParty UT NF590 SLI-M2R/G at PC Modding Malaysia
Foxconn Winfast N570SM2AA at Ninjalane
ABIT Fatal1ty AN9 32X at Motherboards.org
Abit AB9Pro at Neoseeker
Abit AW9D Max at HEXUS

Graphics Cards:
ASUS EN7900GS TOP (GeForce 7900 GS) at HardwareZone
MSI Geforce NX7900GT-VT2D256EHD at Viper Lair
EVGA GeForce 7900 GS KO 256MB at HardwareZone

Other:
Globalsat Tr-101 at RbMods
SLAX v5.1.8 LiveCD at Phoronix
Corsair Flash Readout 1GB Flash Drive at ThinkComputers
Canon PowerShot A710 IS at TrustedReviews
Orange SPV M3100 Smartphone at BIOS
MSI P310 Mega Player at HardwareZone



Social Stuff (10 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 13-October-2006  02:24:20 (GMT +10) - by Agg

There's some social things on soon:

OCAU Sydney Pub Crawl this Saturday 14/10 (tomorrow).
OCAU Brisbane Guinness Pie and Drunk Bowling next Saturday (21/10).

Also, be careful of your inanimate devices today, seeing as it's Friday the 13th and all:


click to enlarge



Thursday Evening (7 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 12-October-2006  09:04:07 (GMT +10) - by Agg

ArsTechnia have an interesting article about Disney-ABC and piracy. "So we understand piracy now as a business model," said Sweeney in a recent analyst call. "It exists to serve a need in the marketplace specifically for consumers who want TV content on demand and it competes for consumers the same way we do, through high-quality, price and availability and we don't like the model. But we realize it's effective enough to make piracy a key competitor going forward. And we've created a strategy to address this threat with attractive, easy to use ways to for viewers to get the content they want from us legally; in other words, keeping honest people honest."

ExtremeTech take a look at AMD's quad-core Barcelona architecture. It's probably fair to suggest that Barcelona is to the current Opterons as Intel's Core 2 is to the Pentium M - designed from the ground up, on a base of the old with a lot of new stuff rolled in.

IBM meanwhile have ramped up their Power6 chip to 5GHz. By doubling the frequency of its current Power5 design, IBM is swimming against the current of recent chip designs that sacrifice frequency for power efficiency. Instead, IBM cut its power draw by making the chip more efficient, with improvements like computing floating point decimals in hardware instead of software, he said.

Spamhaus warn there may be more junkmail on the way now that their domain is due to be suspended. According to Spamhaus, more than 650 million Internet users - including those at the White House, the U.S. Army and the European Parliament - benefit from Spamhaus' "blacklist" of spammers that helps identify which messages to block, send to a "junk" folder or accept. Losing the domain name would make it more difficult for service providers and others to obtain the lists.

How about resting your overengineered gaming mouse on your overengineered gaming desk? :)

Jimms sent word of a broken up internet warning. The internet was increasingly being shaped by companies and organisations at the "edges" and not by government, public sector bodies and regulators, he said.

XbitLabs took another look at NVIDIA's Quad SLI. We’re going to give quad SLI a second try today to see if it has matured enough to be truly useful.



More Thursday Afternoon Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 12-October-2006  07:35:07 (GMT +10) - by Cryogenic

Power Supplies:
Antec TruePower Trio 650 at ThinkComputers
OCZ EvoStream 600w Modular at OCIA
Ultra X-Finity 500W and X-Finity 2G 600W at DriverHeaven
Enermax Galaxy 850W Modular at Techgage
Zippy 500w & 720w at Guru3D
OCZ EvoStream 600w at Pro-Clockers
Seasonic M12-700 at Silent PC Review
Ultra X-Finity 500W at OCModShop

Input:
Everglide G-1000 Gaming Mouse at Rbmods
Enermax Aurora Aluminium Keyboard at UKGamer
Corepad Victory Mousepad at Monster Hardware
XTracPads Ripper Mouse Pad at Modders-Inc

Media Players:
X-Micro X-VDO MP4 F610 at 3dGameMan
Samsung YP-U2 1 GB MP3 Player at TechTastic
X-Micro X-VDO MP4 F610 at SharkyExtreme
Samsung YP-K5 MP3 Player at HardwareZone
Cowon iAUDIO X5 at HardwareZone

Games:
Company of Heroes at DriverHeaven
Company of Heroes at Bit-Tech
Company of Heroes at TrustedReviews
GTR 2 at TrustedReviews

Other:
SendStation PocketDock for Apple iPod at Futurelooks
VidaBox RoomMate at Digital Trends
Bluegears b-Enspirer 24-Bit/192KHz 7.1 Sound Card at Bjorn3D



Thursday Afternoon Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 12-October-2006  06:05:34 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Portable:
LG P1 Express Dual laptop on AoAForums.
ASUS W5F notebook on XbitLabs.
Sony VAIO AR notebook on XbitLabs.

Video Cards:
eVGA 7600GT PCIe on OCModShop.
XFX 7600GT 570 on Sc3n3.
GeForce 7600GS SLI Performance on Techspot.
ASUS EN7950GX2/2PHT/1G on XbitLabs.

Cases:
Cooler Master Mystique 632 on PCApex.
Ultra Aluminus midtower on FutureLooks.
Thermaltake Mozart TX on Bjorn3D.

Cameras and Phones:
Nikon D80 vs Sony A100 entry-level DSLR cameras on HWZone.
O2 Ice mobile phone on TrustedReviews.

Memory & Storage:
Crucial Ballistix PC2-6400 (video review) on 3DGameMan.
OCZ Roadster USB2 flash drive (video review) on 3DGameMan.
Icy Dock Mobile Station HDD enclosure on Pro-Clockers.
Thecus YES Box N2100 network storage on Metku.

Misc:
Logitech io2 Digital Writing System on Techgage.
Bigfoot Network Killer NIC bling network card on HotHardware.
VIZO UFO 4-Port USB Hub on ThinkComputers.



Interesting Forum Threads (1 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 11-October-2006  07:55:13 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Just for something different, there's an OCAU Official Bake-Off in Geek Food, where you can win some OCAU merchandise by baking a cake. :) Here's some other interesting threads:

Keyboard shortcuts for this site in Newbie Lounge.
The last great AGP mobo in AMD Hardware.
NVIDIA nTune gets a facelift in Overclocking & Hardware.
Why use resistors with LEDs? in Electronics.
Single phase, 3-phase power?? in Electronics.
Project: redgoesfaster (robots) in Electronics.
rFactor in Games.
Medieval: Total War 2 Demo out in Games.
New CS Economy Model! in Games.
Best DVD playing software in General Software.
Turning typed words into spoken words in General Software.
Ebay Auction Sniping Software - which do you use? in General Software.
Program that automatically backs up USB drive? in General Software.
MS Windows Media Centre Edition 2005 (HTPC links) in Windows Operating Systems.
Packaging JRE + java app + other jar's into an exe? in Graphics & Programming.
New TMX Elmo in Other Toys.
Virtual Track Day! (kinda) in Motoring.
My Tropheus tank (56k warning) in Pets & Animals.
Snake catchers: call them, don't kill snakes in Pets & Animals.
About to get an aquarium - looking for pointers in Pets & Animals.
Bogus Jimmy's Massive Wildman Burger Challenge in rural Malaysia!! (with photos) in Geek Food.
Vodka infusions? in Geek Grog.



Wednesday Afternoon (5 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 11-October-2006  05:33:11 (GMT +10) - by Agg

PCI Express 2.0 is nearly here, report News.com. The central feature of the base version of PCI Express 2.0 is a speed boost. It doubles each serial line's data transfer rate from 2.5 gigabits per second to 5Gpbs. But future enhancements also are in the works. One will support high-end graphics cards that slurp 225 or 300 watts of power, said The 451 Group analyst Greg Quick in a report Friday.

Dan has more letters. In this edition: Anti-rust gizmos, vintage digicams, electric candles, dodgy headset mics, new drivers for an old card, bike light fiddling, pee-wee planes, and a strange lady.

From n20: found this site while viewing vids on youtube. its about an event thats going to take place on October 15 - 16 to remind the 189 leaders in the world that pledged to end world poverty by 2015. it is also an attempt to set a Guinness World Records as well.

Wired have an article about generating power from kites. Research by Sequoia Automation, the small company near Turin heading the project, estimates that KiteGen could churn out one gigawatt of power at a cost of just 1.5 euros per megawatt hour. That's nearly 30 times less than the average cost in Europe of 43 euros per megawatt hour.

NYTimes have their thoughts on Spore. If anyone can pull it off, it’s Will Wright. This is the guy who made the urban planning simulation SimCity into one of the all-time top-selling games in history. There is probably no one alive who has a comparable track record of combining arcane scientific theories and compulsively addictive entertainment. But even Wright hasn’t tried to simulate an entire universe before.

LegitReviews are lapping and removing the integrated heat spreader from LGA775 CPUs. Good to see the lapping technique from my ancient article is still valid. :)

TechPowerUp went to IDF Prague and have some info on terascale computing. A Terascale computer is a machine that can perform one trillion operations per second, more than 50 times of what today's high-end CPUs can achieve. But Terascale is about much more than just building a CPU that can go that fast.



AGEIA RealityMark (1 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 11-October-2006  01:54:30 (GMT +10) - by Agg

AGEIA have released a new physics benchmark called RealityMark. It allows you to benchmark the performance of your system including a PhysX card if you have one.

RealityMark is based on a version of CellFactor: Combat Training from Artificial Studios and Immersion Games. It utilizes a pre-scripted gameplay sequence much like a time demo to compare in-game performance of hardware and software PhysX. The scripted sequence is played once with the PhysX processor enabled and a second time with it disabled to determine the relative performance of each.

If you DON'T have a PhysX card installed, the benchmark runs software-accelerated physics only, and informs you of your performance relative to a standard PhysX-equipped PC.

You can get a sneak peek on YouTube here and here. There's a thread for comparing results here in the Games forum.



Wednesday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 10-October-2006  14:25:31 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Motherboard & CPU:
Intel P965 Shootout - ASUS, MSI and Foxconn on TweakTown.
AMD AM2 X2 4200+ EE CPU on NeoSeeker.
ABIT AW9D-MAX LGA775 board on Viperlair.
Sapphire PC AM2RD580 CrossFire AM2 board on LostCircuits.
Gigabyte 965P-DS3 LGA775 board on Motherboards.org.
Abit's AB9 Pro and AW9D MAX LGA775 boards on TechReport.
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe AM2 board on PCPerspective.

Cooling:
CoolerMaster NotePal P1 notebook cooler on OCIA.
Cooler Master Hyper TX CPU cooler on HWZone.
Cooler Master Eclipse CPU cooler on Virtual-Hideout.
Sytin KuFormula SHF1 Ultra HDD cooler on Phoronix.
Apack Zerotherm GX700 VGA cooler on TweakNews.
Sytrin KuFormula SFFD120 120mm fan on Phoronix.
Silverstone NT06 CPU cooler on MadShrimps.
Noctua NF-S12-1200 and 800 fans on DriverHeaven.

Audio / Visual:
Steelseries SteelSound 5H v2 headset on RBMods.
JBL Radial iPod speaker dock on DigitalTrends.
Hitachi 55PD9700 55in Plasma TV on TrustedReviews.
Parrot Bluetooth Photo Viewer on TrustedReviews.
Logitech Harmony 1000 universal remote control on DigitalTrends.



Tuesday Afternoon Take 2 (10 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 10-October-2006  06:59:55 (GMT +10) - by Cryogenic

Futurelooks have posted up some gaming statistics. It's worth having a look to see if you fall under any of them. I do, but I'm not telling you which one it is. While you're over there, also check out Futurelooks' Top Five Complaints about Computer Hardware.

Those case modders who are handy with a hammer and chisel might want to check out this article on building a Wooden PC for some inspiration. Futurama fans might prefer something along the lines of this which I didn't find disturbing at all.

Scott from TechReport has posted up his thoughts on ATI and Stream Computing. ATI is using the phrase "stream computing" to refer to the class of applications more commonly referred to under the GPGPU label, an acronym which refers to general-purpose processing on a graphics processing unit. Some pretty impressive applications and results reported in that article.

HEXUS have posted their thoughts on how AMD are helping Intel get back its market share. Intel seem to be doing pretty well themselves with their Core 2 Duo chips. Both are represented pretty well in TechReport's October 2006 system guide.

Does anyone know what Mt. Rainier is? TheTechZone wonder if it is necessary given that that Vista will support it. Those (like me) who would benefit from know what it is, can go here first. Still with Vista, TR-News have investigated the affect of the new Aero interface on power consumption.

Decayed.Cell sent a link which seems to indicate that SATA may replace ATAPI as mainstream for DVD burners in 2007. Those more interested in what ports the hackers are connecting to rather than their DVD burner should head over to BigBruin to check out their write up on securing your networked computer/s.

A few guides to help you get through life. DvHardware have a guide to buying cheap laptops, PC Modding Malaysia perform a Biostar TForce P965 Deluxe VDIMM Pencil Mod and TweakGuides have posted their BF2142 tweak guide.



Tuesday Afternoon (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 10-October-2006  06:07:03 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Lots of people sent word that Google is buying YouTube for 1.65 BILLION DOLLARS in stock, more info here, here, here and here.

Speaking of which, what happened to all the Intel/NVIDIA rumours? DigiTimes reckon something is in the works but not a full buyout. Still just rumours tho.

Sniper spotted a Wired article on the game Bully from Rockstar Games, creators of the Grand Theft Auto series. There was an uproar about this game portraying violent retribution for schoolyard bullying, but the article says the actual game is surprisingly different to expected. The game, critics somberly predicted, would inspire vicious acts of copycat bullying nationwide. Except -- whoops -- here's the thing: It turns out the game doesn't glorify bullying at all.

From Anthony: Hi there, just thought I'd let you know for all your WA community, that TheWest.com.au has just been re-launched and is set to go up against news.com.au, TheAge.com.au etc as WA's local online news resource. Think it might be worth a mention, because the old site was not that flash, but the new improved site is very impressive.

TheTechZone have an interview with Tim from Pandora, about their interesting online music service. The other half of Tim’s workdays is spent traveling across the U.S. talking to people about Pandora and the future of digital music. He mainly frequents colleges and universities setting up lectures and question and answer sessions with students and townspeople in what he calls town hall meetings.

Anandtech have a high-end buyer's guide. To recap, our definition of the high-end is that the systems focus on achieving optimal performance with price being less of a concern. This does not mean that price is not a concern, however, as there is still a huge difference between a $2000 computer and a $5000 computer - and we'll look at both today.



Sponsor Specials (0 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 9-October-2006  11:29:29 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Remember to check out the Sponsor Specials Forum if you're shopping around. From a quick glance there are nearly 10 different vendors all offering special deals in there at the moment.


Monday Night Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 9-October-2006  11:18:15 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Video Cards:
Connect 3d/Sapphire X1900 Crossfire and X1950 Crossfire on DriverHeaven.
GeForce 7950GT & 7900GS on Tech-Hounds.
HIS X1650Pro IceQ Turbo Dual DVI 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express on BonaFideReviews.
Budget ATI Crossfire - X1300XT and X1650PRO on Tweaktown.
Foxconn GeForce 7950 GT on Hexus.
Galaxy GeForce 7900GT Dual Core Masterpiece Edition on Guru3D.

Storage:
Icy Dock eSATA HDD enclosure on SilentPCReview.
A-DATA 2GB Fingerprint Flash Drive on ThinkComputers.
Brando 32-in-1 Card Reader and USB Hub on OCOnline.
VIZO Paragon PAR-250 2.5 inch One Touch Backup HDD on LaptopLifestyle.
Synology Cube Station CS-406 network storage on TrustedReviews.
Icy Dock MB455SPF 5-Bay Internal SATA Drive Enclosure on BigBruin.

Memory:
OCZ Platinum 7200 EPP DDR-2 on Bjorn3D.
Patriot DDR2-1066/PC2-8500 1GB on HWSecrets.
OCZ PC2-8800 Gold 2GB on TechPowerUp.
GSkill F2-8000PHU2 1GBHZ DDR2 on VR-Zone.



Game Demos (13 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 9-October-2006  05:13:45 (GMT +10) - by Agg

There's quite a few new demos on AusGamers Files:

Battlefield 2142 (1.5GB): The latest installment of this hugely popular series. Huge BF2142 thread here in our Games forum. Before you commit to the big download, you might want to check out people's comments on it.. feedback has been, shall we say, "mixed". :)

Star Wars Empire At War: Forces of Corruption (634MB): Exciting new land-tactical options like customizable, upgradeable bases and guerilla warfare allow for innovative battlefield tactics. Take command of and confront new fighting units for all factions (Rebel B-wings, Imperial TIE interceptors, Super Star Destroyers and more).

Dominions 3: The Awakening (99MB): Dominions 3: The Awakening, is the follow up to the acclaimed fantasy strategy game, Dominions 2: The Ascension Wars. While that game set the bar for rich, engrossing turn-based fantasy strategy gaming, Dominions 3: The Awakening seeks to raise it once more.

Age of Empires 3: The Warchiefs (541MB): The expansion pack will build off of the exciting real-time-strategy gameplay of "Age of Empires III," providing players with the ability to lead one of three proud Native American civilizations, including the Iroquois Confederation, to expand their empire and fight for control of the Americas.

Flight Simulator X (Demo #2) (837MB): The Flight Simulator X trial version includes two airports, three missions, and three different aircraft. All of the missions take place at St. Maarten in the Caribbean.

Football Manager 2007 (273MB): PC Strawberry - This file includes playable leagues from Brazil, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Scotland, Spain & Sweden, and Danish, English, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, Norwegian, Portuguese & Swedish languages, with all relevant kits, player photo´s and graphics.

Championship Manager 2007 (133MB): Championship Manager 2007 has a completely new look with new skins, menu shortcuts and a dynamic side bar, all ensuring that every gaming taste is catered for. The introduction of an International Management option enables players to manage their country and be a part of the biggest football tournament in the world.

DEFCON (61MB): The World's first Genocide 'em up. It's Global Thermonuclear War, and nobody wins. But maybe - just maybe - you can lose the least.

Lots more here. Keep on top of the gaming scene in our Games forum.



Monday Afternoon Reviews (1 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 9-October-2006  04:54:02 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Cases:
Silentmaxx ST-11 PRO on Virtual-Hideout.
Lian Li Modular Cube Case (video review) on 3DGameMan.
Antec Nine Hundred fan-encrusted case on HWSecrets.
Lian Li PC-A10 dual PSU case on OCrCafe.

Power Supply:
Seasonic S12 Energy Plus PSUs on SilentPCReview.
OCZ EvoStream 600W on PCModdingMy.
Thermaltake Toughpower 700W on MaxitMag.

Audio / Visual:
Ultrasone Edition 9 headphones on FutureLooks.
Samsung YP-K5 mp3 player on TrustedReviews.
RedPower In Dash Radio/DVD/CD/MP3 with 3.5" TFT on BigBruin.
Samsung 225BW LCD screen on XYZComputing.
Super Talent 2GB Mega Screen MP3/FM/Recorder on Virtual-Hideout.
Turtle Beach Ear Force X2 XBOX360 headset on Techgage.



Sunday Evening (5 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 8-October-2006  08:52:55 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Here's a few YouTube videos: Maxtor HDD dominos from Komodo, hard drive innards working from Ambush and hard drive platters zooming off from Timbot.

Matt sent word that another episode of MariposaHD.tv has been released. This one seems to be even less technology-related than previous ones.. but if you want to show off your HDTV setup I guess this is one way. :)

Dan checked out some vintage IBM keyboards. There's a very butch "industrial" one, a lazily designed but highly usable space-saver, and a split 'board that has to be seen to be believed.

From Bary: In case you weren't aware the Impossible Music Festival is on right now and will go through until midnight on Sunday. The set list is here.

Phoronix have compared the open and closed drivers from ATI's R300. Five months ago to the day, we had compared the open-source and fglrx display drivers here at Phoronix for the ATI R200 generation components. However, how do the drivers compare for the newer R300 generation components?

LegionHW compared the Radeon X1650 Pro and GeForce 7600 GS chipsets in the mid-range arena. Although some of the real-world gaming performance was much the same, there were a few titles that seemed to slightly favor a particular card.

Sniper sent word that MS are considering Vista coupons for the holiday season. As part of the deal, designed to drive PC sales though the holiday season, Microsoft will include coupons in each Windows XP SKU that will entitle users to a free or discounted Vista upgrade when the next-generation operating system ships in the first quarter of 2007, industry sources said.

From Greg: Yawn. So Dlink plans to release a phone that will do either GSM or VOIP at the press of Vclick. Yawn.. Nokia E70 already does that without the need to press a button - you can set default to dial on VOIP if in range of an AP, or else use GSM.



Friday Afternoon Reviews (3 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 6-October-2006  05:56:12 (GMT +10) - by Cryogenic

Cases and Power:
ProCase Noah Mini-ITX at EPIA Center
Thermaltake Soprano White at ThinkComputers
Enermax Phoenix ATX Mid-Tower at 3DXtreme
Zalman HD160 HTPC Enclosure and 460W Power Supply at PC Perspective
PC Power & Cooling Turbo-Cool 1KW Power Supply at Madshrimps

Motherboards and Memory:
Intel D975XBX2 Bad Axe 2 at VR-Zone
OCZ PC2-6400 Special Ops Edition Urban Elite 2GB Kit at Bigbruin
Crucial Ballistix PC2-5300 DDR2 2GB Kit at 3D Avenue

Cooling:
OCZ V12 CPU Cooler at Hardware Secrets
OCZ Tempest Heat Sink Fan Cooler at Legit Reviews

Audio:
Sennheiser PC150 Headset at Techgage
Acoustic Authority iRhythms CA614 iPod Speakers at TrustedReviews
SteelSound 5H v2 Headset at XSReviews
Abit iDome digital DS 500 speakers and SW 510 subwoofer at HEXUS

Graphics and Video:
Sapphire X1650Pro at DriverHeaven
ATI TV Wonder 650 TV Tuner at motherboards.org
MSI StarCam Clip at TrustedReviews

Storage:
USB Flash Drive Roundup – October 2006 at Hardware Secrets
Sharkoon Swift-Case Combo 3.5" at techPowerUp

Misc:
Ultra Power Protection Units with AVR at HotHardware
Samsung i320N Mobile Phone at HardwareZone
Hyperkore Hyper Kolor Etching at FastLaneHW
Kororaa 0.3 XGL + AIGLX LiveCD at Phoronix
Razer Copperhead Mouse - Anarchy Red at Modders-Inc



Friday Morning (10 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 6-October-2006  00:30:21 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Here's a bit more coverage of ATI's Stream Computing and Folding@Home: PCPerspective, TGDaily, AnandTech, DriverHeaven. Ambush notes: Catalyst 6.20 will enable GPU-acceleration for the Folding@Home client for Windows XP for X1900- and X1950-series cards.

HotHardware spotted Intel investing in PowerVR video cores. PowerVR video cores support a wide range of compressed video formats including MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264, WMV, and VC-1 for single and multiple streams from SD to HDTV formats.

Virtual-Hideout have a rant about what Vista won't fix. Say you are searching for some music (opera for example), but you also have a program called "Opera" that you happen to use as your internet browser. Vista will just assume that you want to run Opera.exe when you hit enter, and not do a search for it.. $#%^@

Bern spotted a phone that does GSM and WiFi. With a press of the V-CLICK button, the phone activates or deactivates the Wi-Fi connection that allows users to access websites or an Internet phone service.

Here's an interesting visual representation of the internet, thanks Wayne. The graph reflects 926,201 IP addresses and 2,000,796 IP links (immediately adjacent addresses in a traceroute-like path) of topology data gathered from 22 monitors probing approximately 865,000 destinations spread across 77,678 (50% of the total) globally routable network prefixes.

DigitalTrends went along to the WIRED NextFest 2006 recently. It’s a showcase of emerging technology that could one day change the world we live in.

PCMechanic reckon that RTFM is important, and proves it by finding some little-known but handy features in Notepad. But you would have known them, had you bothered to read Notepad's help.

Andypoo sent word that Skype 1.3 for Linux has gone gold! And if it doesn't work, we know who to blame.. :)

Here's an odd little timewaster.. Line Rider from hiroroolz.



P180 Modfest (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 5-October-2006  08:31:03 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Antec's P180 tower seems to be the modder's favourite at the moment, with quite a few projects in our Modding forum. Check out these worklogs:

 

 



Thursday Evening Reviews (1 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 5-October-2006  08:00:42 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Audio / Visual:
Viewsonic VP2330wb 23" LCD monitor on Driverheaven.
Philips WACS700 wireless music station on HWZone.
Sony 46in 1080p TV on TrustedReviews.

Video Cards:
Inno3D GeForce 7900 GS on OCrCafe.
XpertVision GeForce 900 GS Sonic 256MB on HWZone.
HIS X1650 Pro IceQ Turbo PCIe on XYZComputing.

Storage:
Vantec SATA/IDE to USB 2.0 Adapter on Virtual-Hideout.
A-DATA FP1 Biometric Thumb Drive on TweakTown.
D-Link DSM-G600 network storage on TrustedReviews.
Sandisk Cruzer Titanium U3 USB flash drive on TrustedReviews.
Icy Dock Multi-Bay Backplane Module on Bjorn3D.
Emtec Giga Cube USB storage on HWZone.

Cases:
iCute 25cm Fan Case on Bit-Tech.
Ultra Products MicroFly SFF case on PCApex.
Thermaltake LanBox on OzCaseModz.

Prebuilt & Portable:
LIX Systems LX8100-AM2BB-M2NPV Linux-based HTPC on Phoronix.
Asus W2J 17" notebook on PCPerspective.
Vidabox Roommate prebuilt HTPC on Digitaltrends.

Software:
Roxio Easy Media Creator 9 on TrustedReviews.
SmarThumb my.backup USB drive backup software on ThinkComputers.
Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy game on GamePyre.

Misc:
Sharkoon 1337 gaming mousepad on TechPowerUp.
Cooler Master Mars CPU cooler on Virtual-Hideout.



Thursday Afternoon (14 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 5-October-2006  04:28:35 (GMT +10) - by Agg

The latest rumour doing the rounds is that Intel may be buying NVIDIA. Still waiting to hear anything official though.

Microsoft will apparently cripple pirated Vista installs, thanks Nick. According to a White Paper issued by the company yesterday, Microsoft will severely limit what the operating system does when the product hasn't been properly activated, using a product key, after 30 days.

From Brad: While France is powering ahead with electric car production like this great looking and very fast Venturi Fetish, Australia has difficulty in getting even one electric car on the road.

Speaking of which, Ben sent in this enviro-supercar from VW, the EcoRacer. At the Tokyo Motor Show, Volkswagen is presenting its EcoRacera mid-engine diesel sports car with fuel consumption as low as 3.4 liters/100km (69 mpg US) and a maximum speed of 230 km/h (143 mph).

LoopGoose meanwhile spotted another engine, based on Hydration of Magnesium. Magnesium is reacted with water to generate hydrogen gas and magnesium oxide. The new engine utilizes the hydrogen gas. The magnesium oxide as a by-product of the hydration reaction is resolved into magnesium by using solar light pumped laser.

Hexus have a 3-way shootout of Radeon X1650 Pro video cards. GeCube, HIS and Sapphire fired boards our way, and it's those we present in this piece.

From ntwc, word that Speedfan 4.30 is out. SpeedFan is a freeware program that monitors voltages, fan speeds and temperatures in computers with hardware monitor chips.



Thursday Midday Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 5-October-2006  01:47:46 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Power Supply:
Thermaltake Toughpower Modular 750W on Techgage.
NZXT Precise 650W on OCIA.
Seasonic M12 700W Modular (video review) on 3DGameMan.
BFG Tech 650W on GideonTech.
Ultra X-Connect 2 550W on OCModShop.

Motherboards:
ECS KA3 MVP Extreme S939 CrossFire board on PCStats.
Foxconn P9657AA-8KS2H LGA775 board on PCStats.
ABIT AW9D-MAX LGA775 board on HWZone.
Gigabyte 'Quad' P965 LGA775 board on Bit-Tech.
ABIT AW9D-MAX LGA775 board on TweakTown.
ASRock ALiveXFire-eSATA2 AM2 CrossFire board on OCW.
Foxconn 975X7AA-8EKRS2H LGA775 board on TechFear.
Albatron KI51PV-754 S754 mini-ITX board on TechReport.

Cooling:
Silverstone Nitrogen NT06 CPU cooler on XSReviews.
Thermalright Ultra-120 CPU cooler on MadShrimps.
Thermaltake Tide Water+ video card waterblock on TBreak.
Thermaltake Bigwater 735 watercooling kit on TweakNews.



Tuesday Night (22 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 3-October-2006  13:00:11 (GMT +10) - by Cryogenic

Wow, busy night on the news page tonight. Here's more for you.

Chris Thomson has posted an article on Silent PC Review on a Superquiet Superclocked DIY Core 2 Duo System. He comments that the system is barely audible. In fact by comparison, his laptop is outrageously loud. I'm sure things will be quieter still if we could somehow incorporate this new Magnetic Fridge technology Blake told us about.

UKGamer have had a look at Samsung's Blu-Ray disc player with some interesting comments. Sadly it does seem that content will be the problem for early adopters. Most journalists I spoke to were unimpressed with the picture quality and it was clear on most of the titles we saw there was a lot of noise in the picture, visible even from a distance.

This year's Intel Developer Forum (IDF 2006) has just wrapped up and TechReport have posted their coverage. There is some more coverage on PC Perspective. On the other side of the fence, Penstarsys have an article on what AMD's recent acquisition of ATI will mean for computing. Contains a nice discussion on GP-GPUs and why it might give AMD an edge over Intel.

Technibble have posted an article on Knowing your Power Supply. In this article we discuss the one component your whole computer depends on: the Power Supply Unit. Any computer, no matter how perfectly planned, prepared or assembled, will fail to boot, sputter, smoke and eventually die if connected to an inadequate, weak or just plain faulty power supply.

Some TopGear stuff sent in from koopz. A large, but chuckle-worthy download of a TopGear Battlefield 2 parody. Whilst waiting for the download to complete, check out these TopGear time wasters.

Nick has sent word that a new data transmission record has been set at a whopping 14 Tbps. He also sent a link to an article about why Firefox is to be renamed in Debian Linux. Speaking of Linux, Slackware 11.0 is now out in case you didn't know.

Holdennutta informs us that Apple has released an update to iTunes 7.0.1. Visit Apple's website here to grab it. Then head into the forums to share your experiences in this thread.

Creative Labs asked bit-tech to build them something to showcase their new X-Fi. A nice walkthrough the modding process with some very impressive results. You've already seen the music amp mod that we created for the X-Fi. Check out how Chris 'eddie_dane' Newman and Dave 'macroman' Williams put together an Orac-style gaming system.

We'll wrap it up with a couple of guides. ExtremeMHz have a Extreme Guide to Lightscribe Labeling while TheTechZone have posted an LCD Monitor Guide focusing on contrast and brightness.



Congrats to Troy Bayliss! (25 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 3-October-2006  10:03:34 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Congratulations to Australia's Troy Bayliss for securing his second World Superbike Championship at Imola on the weekend.


click to enlarge

Hailing from Taree NSW, Troy won the world championship in 2001 and spent the last 3 years in MotoGP, before returning to WSB with a bang in 2006, winning 8 of the first 12 races and sealing the championship before the last round of the season.

Good luck to fellow Australian Kevin Curtain, who is taking his own battle down to the line, leading the World Supersport Championship into the final round at Magny-Cours.



Tuesday Evening Reviews #2 (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 3-October-2006  09:23:07 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Cases:
Ultra Aluminus on OCModShop.
NZXT Trinity on Modders-Inc.
Antec P180B on ComputingOnDemand.

Motherboards:
Gigabyte GA-945GM-S2 LGA775 board on PCStats.
DFI LANParty UT CFX3200-DR S939 CrossFire board on HotHardware.
ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe AM2 board on LegitReviews.
ASUS P5B Deluxe WiFi LGA775 board on PC-Perspective.
ASRock ALiveXFire-eSATA2 AM2 board on OCW.

Video Cards:
Biostar Sigma Gate 7300GT 256MB DDR3 on OCOnline.
MSI GeForce NX7600GT on ViperLair.
MSI NX7900GS on HWZone.
Sapphire Radeon X1300 XT Overclocked Edition 256MB on Tweaknews.
Inno3D GeForce 7600GS AGP on NGOHQ.

Cooling:
Sytrin SHF1 Ultra HDD cooler on Phoronix.
Noctua NH-U12F CPU Cooler & NF-S12-1200 Fan on Bjorn3D.
Corsair Nautilus 500 liquidcooling kit on FutureLooks.
Koolance EHX-1050SK external watercooling kit on Virtual-Hideout.
Aerocool Xfire CPU cooler on LegitReviews.
Gigabyte 3D Galaxy II and Blue Eye liquidcooling kits on HWZone.

Mini, Portable & Prebuilt:
SENYO 600 Mini-PC on EPIACenter.
MESH Elite Fire X1950 prebuilt gaming PC on Hexus.
Samsung Q1 ultra-mobile PC on OCW.
HP DV2000T Notebook PC (video review) on Digitaltrends.

Misc:
Sumo Lounge Omni & Otto furniture on TheTechLounge.
Ubuntu 6.10 Edgy Eft Beta 1 Linux distro on Phoronix.
Nikon D50 6.1MP D-SLR Camera on Techgage.
Logitech MX Revolution mouse on EverythingUSB.



Tuesday Evening Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 3-October-2006  08:35:45 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Memory:
Crucial PC2-5300 10th Anniversary Memory (video review) on 3DGameMan.
Corsair Twin2X2048-8500C5 2GB DDR2 kit on XYZComputing.

Power Supply:
Antec NeoHE 550W on FastLaneHW.
Corsair HX620 Modular PSU on ThinkComputers.
Corsair HX620 Modular PSU on LegionHW.
Antec TruePower Trio 650W on Pro-Clockers.
Corsair HX620 on TweakTown.

Storage:
Hitachi Deskstar 7K160 HDD on Tech-Hounds.
Vantec SATA/IDE to USB Adapter on Techgage.
Icy Dock MB124E external Firewire 2.5" HDD enclosure on BigBruin.
Icy Dock MB124 2.5" HDD enclosure on RBMods.
Icy Dock MB454 bay enclosure on OCrCafe.

Audio / Visual:
Sennheiser PC165 USB Headset on Techgage.
Logitech Harmony universal remote control on Digitaltrends.
Pioneer Inno XM mp3 player on Digitaltrends.
Intervideo HomeTheatre remote+software on OCModShop.



Folding on ATI GPUs - also, fold to win! (3 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 3-October-2006  00:47:53 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Using the computational power of your GPU for Folding@Home is finally possible - if you own a video card with one of ATI's X1900 GPUs. The R580 (in the X1900XT, etc.) performs particularly well for molecular dynamics, due to its 48 pixel shaders. Currently, other cards (such as those from nVidia and other ATI cards) do not perform well enough for our calculations as they have fewer pixel shaders. Also, nVidia cards in general have some technical limitations beyond the number of pixel shaders which makes them perform poorly in our calculations.

The GPU client beta is available for download from here. There's a FAQ here and a thread in our Team OCAU forum here. Remember, OCAU is Team 24!

In fact, now's a perfect time to rekindle your interest in Folding@Home - because you can win one of 5 PC's simply by producing 2000 points for Team OCAU.



Monday Afternoon (17 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 2-October-2006  06:38:04 (GMT +10) - by Agg

An Australian programmer has found an important missing word from Neil Armstrong's famous (but some say incorrect) first words on the moon. Without the missing "a," Armstrong essentially said, "One small step for mankind, one giant leap for mankind."

Here's a useful guide to the UNIX command line environment. Learn how to leverage the many shortcuts that the UNIX(R) shell provides. With a little practice, you'll work smarter, not harder.

Lenovo and IBM are the latest to recall laptop batteries manufactured by Sony due to fire concerns. Both Apple and Dell announced in late August that the companies would join Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo at a summit meeting in San Jose, California to discuss manufacturing standards for lithium-ion based batteries made for portable as well as handheld electronics.

OCClub have a guide to turning your DFI nForce4 Ultrra-D into the SLI version. So all that is stopping you from activating SLI on your supposedly non-SLI board is one tiny electrical connection.

Wired have an interesting article about the world of maps in the modern era. At least 60 million people regularly consult online maps, and last year 1.2 million cars were sold with built-in navigation systems, a number that has quadrupled over the past three years.

TechARP have a mobile CPU comparison guide posted. Currently covering over 390 mobile CPUs, this comprehensive comparison will allow you to easily compare up to 14 different specifications for each and every CPU!

Over 340 years of scientific papers from the Royal Society are freely available online until December. The archive provides a record of some key scientific discoveries in the last 340 years, including Halley's description of his comet' in 1705, details of the double helix of DNA by James Watson and Francis Crick in 1954 and Edmond Stone's breakthrough in 1763 that willow bark cured fevers, leading to the discovery of salicylic acid and later the development of aspirin.

ArTy sent word of HP buying VoodooPC, in a similar manner to Dell's purchase of Alienware a while ago. VoodooPC's owner has a blog with info here. More info here.

From Angus: Cool photography thread about a timelapse movie made with a Canon 20D Digital SLR. Very nicely done and good quality. The Airport landing sequence at LAX is awesome! I've mirrored the file here (84MB) to avoid hammering their webhost too hard. :)

Here's a page with a lot of free science and video lectures online. Various topics.

Finally, a public-holiday flash timewaster: Pac-Xon. Use PacMan to secure areas of territory. Beware time suckage (not that it matters today), I got up to level 12. :)



Wiki Wanderings (10 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 1-October-2006  11:26:31 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Decayed.cell has been working on a pretty detailed System Recommendations page in the Wiki. Here's a few other interesting ones:

LED
Running a LAN
OCAU First Time LAN Guide!
Motorcycle Jargon
CD/DVD Duplicator
Push Start
Windows XP DVB Tuner Setup
Things To Do
Compact Camera Guide
Moving Out
Power Supply Unit

What can YOU add to the Wiki?



Project: Fram'd (1 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 1-October-2006  00:49:15 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Here's a cool picture-frame PC from jboles. It hangs on the wall and cycles through a series of photos in a remote folder via WiFi:


Click for the worklog!



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