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.
Goodbye, next-generation systems: Thermaltake’s M9 chassis is a step up from the bottom rung of simplicity, but it’s nowhere near a top-of-the-line design.
The case is structured as if Thermaltake took a plain-Jane chassis, improved a few features—like making the PCI and 5.25-inch bay holders screwless—stuck in a front-panel blue LED fan to appease gaming audiences, and called it a day. That might not sound so bad, but in actuality, the screwless PCI holders become this case’s Achilles’ heel. And the arrow?
Perhaps taking a cue from Goldilocks and the Three Bears, memory maker OCZ hopes its newly announced 3GB SO-DIMM kit will prove just the right amount for notebook users looking for a cost effective upgrade. The PC2-5400 part targets Vista 32-bit users and is meant to occupy the sweet spot between not having enough memory, and overpaying for too much RAM.
Click through the jump for detailed specs, and to find out if you're better offer investing in a 4GB kit.
Are you ready? Every year, Maximum PC builds the de-facto, pants-shattering, best-system-ever. We crown this stunning achievement of manufacturing gusto the Dream Machine. This is its eleventh incarnation, and perhaps its most controversial: the equipment, the enclosure, the build--not a single part of this year's rig was without debate.
In this epic three-part series, we're going to give you a first-look at exactly what's going in this holiest of rigs. And we're also going to walk you through its actual construction--coolant leaks and all--in one of the most demanding chassis we've ever slapped a machine into.
Start your grand journey into the heart of Maximum PC lab by clicking that tiny "Read More" link, and enjoy.
Nvidia is preparing to roll out full support for hardware accelerated physics on its high end graphics cards including the 9800 & 200 series. New beta drivers which enable this functionality can now be found using the advanced driver search tool. Version 177.39 installs PhysX drivers that will enable the graphics card to emulate Ageia hardware. Physics acceleration is part of Nvidia’s new CUDA initiative aimed at convincing gamers that graphics hardware is more capable and valuable then CPU’s. Games of note that currently support PhysX include Gears of War, Mass Effect, Rainbow Six Vegas, and Unreal Tournament 3. The list of supported titles is expected to grow exponentially as Nvidia rolls this feature out to older hardware in the coming months.
Hit the jump to learn how to really put PhysX to the test.
Buoyed by the early promise of its ATI Radeon HD 4850 card, AMD expects its discrete graphics card market share to reach 40% in Q3, 2008 up from 30% at the beginning of this year. The performance-oriented HD 4850 is an absolute steal for $199 and most industry watchers expect it to tear into the market held by $200-300 card.
The launch of the HD 4850 left Nvidia with no choice but to drop the price of its GeForce 9800 GTX+ from $229 to $199. But when AMD decides to cut Radeon HD 4850’ price – a long way off – sales will get a huge boost.