The big pc gaming hardware news to come out of this year's Leipzig Games Convention is the announcement of Microsoft's extension of the popular Sidewinder peripheral line. The Sidewinder gaming mouse, which was introduced last year to mixed reviews (we thought it was too big and had a mediocre scroll wheel) now has a little brother, the Sidewinder X5. The wired, 9-button device sports a 2000 hardware-adjustable dpi and the same awesome vertical thumb buttons that we liked about the original. In addition to the new mouse, Microsoft also announced the first Sidewinder keyboard, dubbed the X6. We are much more excited about this product, since it touts innovative features such as a detachable numpad and unique "cruise control" option. Microsoft stopped by our offices to let us get our eager hands on these new products.
Click through for the full specs, impresions, and more hands-on photos!
We often jest that SilverStone makes but one case a year—a slight modification of its most recent TJ series case. The company has since proven us wrong with the release of its Kublai series KL03 chassis. But after testing this midtower case, we find ourselves clamoring to go back to the familiar ground of SilverStone’s TJ cases. Given the TJ line’s high level of excellence, the KL03’s deficiencies stand out even more and make this chassis look like an ill-conceived side project.
Find out why we're not vacationing in Xanadu anymore after the jump!
Vista has garnered a plethora of bad press – not a commiseration - and continues to be in the news for all the wrong reasons. Yet another survey has discovered yet another Vista failure. Although it is common knowledge that Vista has to its credit an abysmally dismal adoption rate, a survey by Devil Mountain Software has found that even the ones with Vista are prone to downgrading.
Weighing in at a mere 2.20lbs, hailing from the house of Dell, please welcome the Dell Inspiron 910 (Mini Note) – the supposed Eee Pc killer. The Inspiron 910 specs have fallen into the safe hands of our buddies at Gizmodo, who claim to have covertly accessed the 910 web documentation.
The Dell 910 Mini Note will feature an 8.9” WLED screen, a 1.6GHz single core Intel Atom processor, up to 1GB memory, maximum of 16GB Flash SSD storage, three USB 2.0 ports, WLAN and mini card support for Bluetooth. As for the OS, it will either boot Ubuntu 8.0.4 or Windows Xp. From the looks of it, the netbook will be powered by a 4-cell battery as there is no mention of a 6-cell battery. The tech blog further suggests that the netbook might end up on store shelves as early as August 22nd.
The WiMax Forum has formally approved three licensed spectrum profiles for WiMax, 2.5 GHz, 2.3 GHz and 3.5 GHz. Intel’s primary focus hitherto has been on the 2.5 GHz spectrum profile as it is used in the U.S – Clearwire will roll out its WiMax service in three U.S cities later this year. The chip maker has announced that its WiMax chipset will support frequencies beyond 2.5 GHz in 2009.
Although it didn’t specify the exact spectrum profiles it plans to support, it is safe to assume that the remaining two profiles approved by the WiMax forum will be on the list. As WiMax networks in various countries around the world operate on either 2.5 GHz or 3.5 GHz, it is very obvious that Intel will soon support them. But Intel stopped short of announcing any release dates.
Tom’s Hardware reports that IBM and its chip development partners (which includes AMD), revealed that they beat Intel in creating the first functional 22 nm SRAM cell. Unfortunately 22nm processors are still 3 years out. This will put the pressure on Intel to make sure it keeps its manufacturing lead. Intel presented its first 32 nm SRAM cell wafer last September and is not expected to show 22 nm SRAM cells for another year.
While for the foreseeable future it seems likely that Intel will remain on top in CPU performance, this announcement means that we could be looking at a shakeup within three years unless Intel starts cranking away in research. We can certainly hope for things to heat up in the processor wars again. We don’t want Intel to become complacent about it’s position in the market.
We did not expect this. When we first got our hands on Zalman’s CNPS9300 AT, we assumed the company had pulled a “Honey, I Shrunk the CPU Cooler” on its flagship product, the bulky CNPS9700. That’s certainly true if you consider the tale of the tape: The CNPS9300 is 80 percent smaller than its big brother, and its total thermal dissipation area has been nearly halved, from 5,490cm2 to 2,583cm2.
Logic only dictates that this cooler should perform far worse than the Zalman CNPS9700. But the built-for-silence CNPS9300 AT nearly matches its big brother’s performance—as well as that of our top cooler, Thermaltake’s DuOrb (reviewed July 2008).
Instead of a god of the sea, Gigabyte’s midtower Poseidon 310 chassis is a petite prince. But that’s merely a reflection of this case’s size, not its prowess. It clocks in at 7.75”x17”x20”—small enough to fit into that nook in your desk or the space under your bed.
Even given its small size, the Poseidon supports up to five 5.25-inch devices. We’re unsure why this case—or any case, for that matter—still bothers with multiple external 3.5-inch bays. You get two helpings of them on the Poseidon. We would have rather sacrificed these and an additional 5.25-inch bay in favor of more internal hard drive space. Though we’re not complaining about what we get for internal storage: three hard drive bays with included rails.
Full review (with a verdict and everything!) after the jump.
No doubt you’re familiar with the Universal Serial Bus – we ranked it as our top PC innovation of all time. But what do you know about the next version of this ubiquitous interface? USB 2.0 (otherwise known as USB Hi-Speed) boosted the original 12Mbps data rate to 480Mmb/s over eight years ago, and now USB 3.0 (dubbed USB Superspeed) is set to multiply that bandwidth tenfold. The USB Implementers Forum (led by Intel) released the USB 3.0 spec to hardware partners last week after some reported disputes with AMD and Nvidia (who, afraid Intel would have a jump start in incorporating the tech in chipsets, threatened to develop their own USB standard). But how does this affect you? We dug up some new information about USB 3.0, got our hands on the new connectors, and even took a look inside the new cables.
Click through for the five reasons why we’re excited about USB 3.0
Toshiba’s 320GB portable drive is so plain it doesn’t even have a real name. It’s just the Toshiba 320GB USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive, which doesn’t quite roll off the tongue as well as Western Digital’s My Passport Elite, the Toshiba 320’s primary competition in terms of size, speed, and software (see our review of the Elite here).
The USB-only Toshiba 320 posted the slowest real-world read speeds of any drive we’ve tested. However, these lapses represent only a four percent difference in real-world performance when compared to the fastest non-proprietary drive we’ve tested, Western Digital’s My Passport Elite. Four percent is four percent, but it’s not enough to make a significant difference.