Maximum PC’s mandate has always been that performance rules all else.
But recently we’ve been harping about nothing but stability. It’s not
that we previously ignored this area, but lately we’ve been inundated
with rigs that have been overclocked so aggressively they make our
standard benchmarks blow up within minutes. Because of this, our new
message has been stability, stability, stability.
Your current video projector has a 4:3 aspect ratio, but you’re planning to move up to a high-def model with a 16:9 aspect ratio next year. In the meantime, you need to replace your projection screen, which your two-year-old recently mistook for an artist’s canvas. Quite the pickle, eh?
The Genius HS-04U plugs into your PC’s USB port, instead of your soundcard’s analog speaker output and mic input, so it bypasses any EAX or OpenAL audio effects that game developers might have painstakingly programmed into the software. What you get instead—after installing a driver—is what Genius calls “Virtual Dolby.”
Tritton’s headset delivers true surround sound, just like the Turtle Beach Ear Force HPA2 we recommended in June. It also offers a feature that the HPA2 doesn’t: a powered Dolby Digital decoder module with optical and coaxial digital inputs, plus a port for plugging in a second set of Tritton headphones. Cool!
SSD’s have been hyped up lately, but it’s not exactly a new concept. My first experience with flash-based storage was the then revolutionary Hewlett-Packard Ominbook 300. The Omnibook used a combination of ROM cards and an optional 10MB PCMCIA flash card for storage almost 14 years ago. That 10MB optional flash drive set you back $1,200 and performance wasn’t exactly stunning.
We generally don’t like headphones that use active-noise cancellation because these devices mask external noise by producing noise of their own. But we decided to make an exception for theBoom Quiet because of the lofty promises the company makes for its noise-canceling mic.
If you’ve seen one Nvidia 680i reference board, you’ve seen them all. Not so with Abit’s IN9 32X-MAX board, which thumbs its nose at the me-too crowd. The IN9 32X-MAX features Nvidia’s top 680i chipset, which gets you two x16 PCI-E slots for SLI, a third full-length x8 PCI-E slot for graphics, and support for unannounced, unofficial 1,333MHz FSB processors.