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GuardID ID Vault

Today’s simple username/password system is a single-factor authentication mechanism—your credentials are the only information necessary. When an evildoer has that information, whether it was stolen with a keylogger or a “phishing” email, you’re screwed.

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MSI K9N SLI Platinum

We loved MSI’s last nForce4 board so much that we gave it a Kick Ass award and even bumped the Asus A8N32-SLI board from our Best Of The Best list. Unfortunately, MSI was so late to the nForce4 SLI x16 party that the board debuted right on the cusp of the AM2 launch; thus its lifespan was brief, and product was impossible to find.

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Swiftech H20-80 Micro

Swiftech’s dual-radiator Apex Ultra water-cooling kit is the current cooling record-holder (in our Lab, at least), so when the company told us it had a Micro kit that was designed to fit in tight, cramped cases, we were intrigued. Like most hardcore PC users, we assumed a small radiator couldn’t get the job done—at least without making a ton of noise. Boy, were we ever wrong.

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OCZ Tempest

This month, memory-maker OCZ wades into the hotly contested CPU cooling arena with its blingy Tempest cooler. Though the Tempest has the signature OCZ flair, we were let down by its midrange performance and loud operation.

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Seagate eSATA External Hard Drive

We’ve been waiting several years for eSATA (external SATA, that is) to show up. This month we’re happy to see the first eSATA drive actually arrive to market. If you’re looking for an external backup drive that’s much faster than a standard USB or FireWire drive, Christmas has come early.

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iBuyPower Gamer's Fire

You can look at every PC as having its own personality—an essence comprising its strengths, quirks, and flaws. Take iBuyPower’s Gamer’s Fire PC, for example: It’s a crossbreed of Rodney Dangerfield and Steven Seagal. You might not respect its pot belly and ugly golf clothes, but it can snap a suite of benchmarks like a twig.

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Zalman Reserator 2

Zalman’s Reserator is a silent, fanless cooler that needs no introduction. Though we’ve praised the previous versions of this water cooler, Zalman has seen fit to completely redesign the newest Reserator model. And in doing so, it addresses the few issues people had with earlier versions, while unceremoniously introducing a few new issues.

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WinBook Jiv Mini

When we first received WinBook’s Viiv-ready Jiv (both words rhyme with five—go figure), we realized that we didn’t really know exactly what it meant to be a “Viiv” PC. And remember, we pride ourselves on knowing the difference between an AMB and AMT.

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Etymotic ER-6 Isolator

The relentless snare drum crack on “Jack of Speed” was enough to make some of the lesser earbuds beg for mercy, but the Etymotic ER-6 Isolators delivered it nearly perfectly. More importantly, they served up Beck’s bass with equal authority.

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