Hardware

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Netgear HDX-B101

Brace yourself for this one, folks: The HDX-B101 powerline networking hardware actually delivers on its performance claims. Take a moment to breathe.

The bottom line is that the HDX-B101 is fast enough to stream video—even high-definition video—from your media server to your living room.

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Western Digital Passport 120GB

WD’s Passport is an all-around decent product, with a lot of storage and handy software, but fails to distinguish itself from similar Maxtor and Seagate products in any meaningful way.

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Sennheiser MX55 VC Street

Even after finding a good fit, many people have trouble with earbuds inexorably sliding out of their ear canal. Sennheiser thinks it has the solution—it’s called Twist-to-Fit— but we found this invention to be far worse than the problem.

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Samsung HD400LJ

Even though Seagate’s behemoth 750GB Barracuda is getting all the love from the media these days, most people can’t afford a drive that spacious. The sweet spot is still at 300-400GB drives, but even those prices fluctuate. Enter the SpinPoint HD400LJ—a drive that offers both ample room and extreme affordability.

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Pioneer BD-R 101A Blu-ray Drive

Blu-ray has finally arrived, and like a lot of first-gen products, it’s big on price, but not so big on performance. Sure, we used it in the Dream Machine last month, and we stand by that decision. The Dream Machine is all about the bleeding-edge—it boasted a beta BIOS, a beta chipset, and a Blu-ray drive too, damn it, despite despite the fact that Blu-ray movies and blank media are incredibly scarce.

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Foxconn C51XEM2AA

If you want to judge nVidia’s vision for the new AM2 nForce 590 SLI chipset, look no further than Foxconn’s C51XEM2AA. This motherboard is the closest you’ll get to nVidia’s concept design. In fact, nVidia even wrote the BIOS for this board.

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May 2006 - Hardcore Hardware!

The complete PDF archive of the May 2006 edition of Maximum PC, every article included, every page posted! Download it now!

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Ideazon Merc

Ideazon’s previous product, the ZBoard, sported interchangeable $20 keysets with custom labels for different games. The company’s latest effort, the Merc, eschews that approach in favor of a customizable one-size-fits-all design.

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Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe Wireless Edition

Asus’ modus operandi of late has been to rush out new board designs so far ahead of its competitors that the other guys just seem to give up. Witness the company’s A8N32-SLI Deluxe board. In the dual-x16 nForce category, it was the only game in town for months on end.

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