In a world of “me-too” motherboards, Gigabyte is known for its “not-me” risky moves. The company was the first to integrate two GeForce 6800 GPUs onto a single card, and it was the first to make dual BIOSes standard.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Seagate’s portable external drive sports the highest capacity in its class, by 40GB, thanks to its perpendicular recording technology, which packs more data on every platter of the hard drive. It comes in a rough-and-ready aluminum enclosure that keeps the drive both safe and cool.
Oh, how the world turns. Last month you marched past the Intel 975X chipset motherboards holding your nose, but with the release of the Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Extreme CPUs you’ve made a U-turn to give this chipset a second look.
It’s been our experience that you get what you pay for, more often than not. The ExtremeMac FS1 earbuds, however, fall into the “not” territory. The $150 for-sale sign hanging on these little buggers easily qualifies them as the most expensive earphones of the group, but they certainly didn’t sound like it.
The Zyxel PL-100 uses the same Intellon INT 5500CS chipset that Netgear’s XE104 uses (reviewed May 2006), and the results are predictable: In our bandwidth tests, we managed a mere 1.2Mb/s—slower than our DSL line.