If we were grading on sex appeal alone, the Timber Wolf would skip to the head of the class. Its unique shape and two-tone color scheme instantly catch the eye, and gaming on the keyboard is sublime. When it comes time to work, however, we’re not so easily seduced; indeed, we have serious concerns about embarking on a long-term relationship with this board.
We all know that water-cooling delivers more cooling power to the CPU than air-cooling does, but even water-cooling has an Achilles’ heel. It can’t achieve temperatures below the ambient room temperature. The Coolit Freezone gets around this limitation by using six thermoelectric coolers (TEC), aka Peltier coolers, to chill the water to below room temps. It’s a fantastic idea, and it seems like the best CPU cooler ever made, on paper. In practice, however, it’s not quite as awesome as we expected.
Though the Akuatek looks like a run-of-the-mill heatsink/fan setup, it’s actually a water-cooler in the same vein as Cooler Master’s Aquagate Mini. The heatsink comes prefilled with water, which circulates throughout the device, aiding in cooling.
We gave the Golden Orb II a mediocre 7 verdict back in October 2005, but the Blue Orb II is bigger and much, much better. It’s a massive cooler that squats over the CPU socket like a sumo wrestler, taking up every square millimeter of space.
Most people don’t keep up with the backup drive game, and we don’t blame them. It’s about as exciting as a “You’ll never believe what happened to me last night in Oblivion” story. The Cliff Notes overview is that WD’s Dual-Option Media Center drive has ruled the roost for a long time. We loved its high capacity and somewhat-easy-to-use software, but what really set it apart from the competition was its front-mounted USB port and 8-in-1 media reader.
If you’re the kind of road warrior who has spent an hour driving around aimlessly looking for an unsecured wireless router to check your email, it might be time to invest in EVDO service.
EVDO, which stands for evolution data optimized, offers “broadband-like” speeds using the CDMA mobile phone network. Such technology has been available for some time but never at the affordable prices it is today.
Sprint’s Mobile Broadband package is available two ways: $40 for 40MB of usage and one-tenth of a cent per additional kilobyte, or all you can eat for $60 (provided you have a voice account with Sprint.)
We reviewed the new Premium version of the H20-120, which is Swiftech’s standard high-performance water-cooling kit. Since we last reviewed the kit, Swiftech made several changes in order to simplify installation, improve performance, and promote silent operation. All in all, Swiftech has fixed almost every issue the previous kit had, with one exception—the instructions are still horrible.
This cooler’s predecessor is the Big Typhoon—a great cooler, as long as your PC doesn’t have a side door. You see, that cooler is so damn big that it extends almost all the way to the door of most cases, depriving the cooler of a source of fresh air. Thermaltake recognized the issue and thus the Mini Typhoon was born.