A few years ago, SUVs were riding high, with throngs of the massive gas-guzzlers clogging the highways. Compact cars were considered wimpy and passé. Fast-forward to the present day and suddenly small is back in style. It’s not the size that matters, as the saying goes, it’s what you do with it. Since the advent of Asus’s Eee PC, manufacturers have been racing to bring tiny, low-powered laptops, also known as netbooks, to the market. You probably won’t use a netbook as your primary computer: limited storage space, integrated graphics, and the lack of an optical drive make them unsuitable for any really intensive tasks. But as small, eminently portable word-processing and Internet-browsing devices, netbooks hit the price/performance sweet spot for many people. By the end of 2008, more than 8 million netbooks will have been shipped.
In just the past several months, the netbook market has gone from nonexistent to immense, with dozens of models out already, most of them built around Intel’s low-voltage Atom processor, but some on VIA’s C7-M.
For this roundup, we chose three Atom-based netbooks running XP from three different vendors at three different price points to determine what this new category of portable PCs is capable of and how much price figures into performance. Ultimately, we aim to answer whether this new breed of portable PC is something we should even care about.
There are fewer delights in life greater than the fabled "holiday break" that comes this time each year. For those fortunate enough to have some time off from their places of business, it's a treat to be able to come home to a roaring fire, a loud desktop machine, and a week-or-so's worth of frantic Web browsing and video game playing. This is also the perfect time of year to run some tweaking on your computer, and invariably the perfect time of year for Murphy's Law to curse you with an unresponsive desktop or faltering operating system. But fear not! Santa Maximum PC is ready with a bag full of freeware applications for you to tinker (or save your computer) with.
Click the link and start opening your software presents!
Today, I had an epiphany: E3 is going to be a snooze-fest. Blizzard is making their big announcement tomorrow, most every PC game at the show will just be a high-res console port, and apparently Half-Life 2 Episode 3 won't even have a presence. Soon after, however, I stumbled over a piece that lightly patted me on the shoulder and assuaged all of my fears. Jump past the break for said piece and its bionic arm -- plus more!
Do yourself a favor: make sure your car is up to code by this July—no broken headlamps or taillights, up-to-date registration, etc. – and, oh yeah, make sure you pick up a hands-free Bluetooth device for your cell phone. On July 1st a new law will go into effect in California making it illegal to talk on a wireless phone while operating a motor vehicle. If you are 18 or older, and you want to use your phone while driving, you will need to use a hands-free device – no “ifs”, “ands”, or “buts” about it—and there will be no grace period either.
We put a dozen of the newest Bluetooth devices through the wringer to help you find the right one for your car-talking habits. All of the devices were tested with one phone along the same stretch of highway at the same time of day, and call clarity was compared via voicemail recordings.
It pays to be an Intel fan these days. You have not only the supremely powerful Penryn CPU in your corner, but also a host of performance-oriented, feature-packed motherboards to choose from. Contributing to the bounty are two recently released enthusiast core-logic chipsets—Intel’s own X48 and Nvidia’s nForce 790i Ultra SLI—which represent the pinnacle of LGA775 computing. But which should you choose? Even two chipsets that offer similar features can differ markedly in performance. And the variations even persist within different mobos using the same chipset. That’s why we’ve called in four of the hottest Intel-based motherboards currently available, two representing X48 and two representing 790i. We’ll put these boards through their paces to determine a winner in each camp—and ultimately, the superior chipset.
The complete feature, including links to reviews, benchmarks, and more after the jump!
Welcome, guys and gals, to the inaugural edition of the Gaming Roundup. The aim of this little column? Well, if you can’t deduce that from reading the title, then Lord bless you, at least you’re trying. Regardless, I implore you to sit back, relax, and enjoy some gaming news in tiny, fun-sized pieces. And if that doesn’t work, you can just read this article.