We find ourselves wondering how a company like NZXT can do a better job of creating a budget version of Antec’s gamer line than Antec itself. That’s not to say the Three Hundred is a bad case; it just has little that’s special.
Hit the jump to discover what, if anything, the Three Hundred has to offer.
Let's set aside Crysis, heavy encoding, and the few other specialized tasks capable of making a high end rig writher in agony. For everything else, we're at a point where the software needs to catch up with the hardware, and that hasn't always been the case. Remember when your anti-virus program would kick in, preventing you from being able to open a Word document or perform other mundane tasks with any sense of urgency? Neither Intel's brute-force, gazillion stage pipeline nor AMD's Rainman approach to efficiency were enough to get over the performance hump, and it took the advent of mulitple core processors to blow the doors open to multitasking.
Now that dual- and quad-core processors are mainstream parts, the roles have been reversed. There exists only a handful of programs developed to intelligently utilize additional cores, and even less that take advantage of the additional computing power effectively. Toss benchmarking by the wayside and you probably won'tt be able to discern between a dual-core E8200 (2.66GHz) system, and one equipped with a quad-core Q9450 (2.66GHz). For that to change, developers must learn how to program for not only today's hardware. but tomorrow's too.
Find out what 'unwelcome advice' Intel has for developers after the jump.
Does something about this case look familiar? That’s the first thing we said when pulling NZXT’s Tempest out of the box. Save for a few minor modifications to the chassis, this case is a carbon copy of Antec’s Nine Hundred chassis. It’s built like the Nine Hundred, performs like the Nine Hundred, and even glows like the Nine Hundred, thanks to its front- and side-panel blue LED fans.
And yeah, that's a good thing. Hit the jump for deets.
AMD’s Phenom line gets some new additions with three new CPUs. The Phenom X4 9950 Black Edition which is now AMD’s fastest quad-core CPU at 2.6GHz is joined by the Phenom X4 9350e at 2.0 Ghz and the X4 9150e at 1.8 Ghz.
A few of the specs for these processors:
L1 Cache Sizes: 64K of L1 instruction and 64K of L1 data cache per core (512KB total L1 per processor) L2 Cache Sizes: 512KB of L2 data cache per core (2MB total L2 per processor) L3 Cache Size: 2MB (shared) Memory Controller Frequency: Up to 1.6GHz - 2.0GHz with Dual Dynamic Power Management
Interested in hearing how some intitial overclocking went on the 9950BE? Make the Jump for details!
Rosewill tackles the low, low end of the cheap case spectrum with its $65 R5604-TBK chassis. But save for a few minor oopsies, the case makes for a breezy installation of all your computer parts. There’s nothing fancy about the R5604-TBK, no lights or other arcane mechanical trappings. It’s just a no-frills, screwless enclosure—you get an interesting industrial-style locking mechanism for the side panel, but that’s its most daring attribute.
Hit the jump for the low-down on this small, simple, so-so case.
Vroom. Vroom vroom. The unholy sound of this case will haunt you in your nightmares.
We don’t just want to give a 1 verdict to the person responsible for the power-on mechanism in this Ferrari-themed case. We want to strap him to a jet engine. Harsh words, but you too will be driven to undertake such bold action once you hear the ear-splitting rev of a car engine after you hit the F430’s power button. You can disable this “feature” by pulling the plug on the front panel, but hearing this noise even once is too much.
Fortunately, that's by far the worst thing about it. Hit the jump to discover a few things we did like.
We never thought we’d see a sub-$100 case with tinted windows, but lo and behold, Sigma’s Unicorn has lived up to its name and shown us the impossible by “blinging up” the exterior of an otherwise stale case. Like spinning rims on a minivan, however, not all of Sigma’s design decisions are well thought out.
To see what hobbles this unicorn, hit the jump. And believe.
According to a DigiTimes report, Gainward, a longtime Nvidia add-in-board (AIB) partner, is cozying up with ATI in preparation to launch Radeon HD 4850 and 4870 series videocards, with HD 3800 series to follow soon afterward. If true, Gainward's decision to play the field could set the tone for other exclusive Nvidia partners to do the same, and there's never been a better time to consider making the jump.
AMD left themselves open to much criticism when it acquired ATI, and with good reason. With Intel taking back the reigns in the CPU war and AMD struggling with increased debt, jumping head first into graphics may have seemed a curious decision at the time. It didn't help matters when the suits in Santa Clara all but surrendered the high end market to Nvidia, and for a long time, many wondered if not only AMD would fall, but if it would take ATI down with them. Now it appears the tides are finally turning.
Click through the jump to see why Gainward's reported decision could be such an important one.
Set up a swank RAID 0 array and you'll still find situations in which your hard drives remain the bottleneck. Higher areal densities, fast spindle speeds, and beefy cache have kept hard drives from being pokey, but the future appears headed for Solid State Drives (SSDs). And with companies like OCZ pushing higher performing SSDs at increasingly lower price points, the future may be closer than you think.
Lest we get too excited, SSD technology still trails considerably behind traditional hard drives in the cost-per-gigabyte arena, but helping to shrink the gap, OCZ today announced its Core Series SATA II 2.5" Solid State Drives. OCZ dubs the new lineup as the "world's first truly affordable high-performance SSD for consumers," and while still out of mainstream reach, this is as close to that goal as high performing SSDs have come. The three new models include:
32GB - $169
64GB - $259
128GB - $479
OCZ's aggressive pricing trumps even Super Talent's recently announced MasterDrive MX series, but is the time right to jump on SSD technology? Find out after the jump.
There’s nothing we dislike more than firing up a fresh, new installation of an operating system only to find a slew of hotfixes, updates, and patches awaiting us through the Windows Update mechanism. Granted, we can take some small comfort from the fact that the updating process is relatively automatic—but not so when it comes to outfitting a new OS installation with all the requisite driver packages.
But you can reduce the time and effort it takes to get a fresh install into tip-top shape. By creating a slipstreamed installation disc you’ll have all the patches, fixes, drivers, and options you need at the ready to be easily and automatically integrated into your next OS install—be it XP or Vista.
Hit the jump and we'll show you how how to create a no-fuss OS installation disc that contains all the hotfixes, drivers, and options you’ll need.