hardware

  • Interesting: 3D chips with microscopic water cooling


    Chips these days are pretty much flat. And I’m not talking about tortilla chips. They call those silicon things wafers for a reason: all those little gates and channels are lying flat in a single layer. Chipmakers know that you can stack chips on top of each other and multiply your computing power due to the decreased distance the signal has to travel (I’m kind of at the edge of… Read More

  • Intel's next barrage: Nehalem gets previewed


    Those lucky bastards over at AnandTech got their mitts on a couple totally unofficial Nehalem chips. For those of you not in the know (a group which included me until about 15 minutes ago), Nehalem is the second part of the Intel processor cycle that started with the 45nm Penryn shrinkage all those months ago. Just as the Core microarchitecture (and the phenomenally popular Core2 Duos) were… Read More

  • Woot today: Razer Barracuda AC-1 sound card, $55 shipped


    Looking to break free of Creative’s SoundBlaster yoke? There are other companies making sound cards, you know, and although I haven’t tested out Razer’s offering, I’m confident that it’s capable of delivering a perfectly decent sound experience. It’s got support for all the DTS and Dolby-type things you like, 24-bit output and good signal processing. For… Read More

  • Video: VIA Mini-ITX setup with Nano processor playing Crysis

    It’s not exactly a revolution in computing, but the fact that the game appears somewhat playable on a setup with such a small form factor is nice. They’ve got a PCI Express x16 slot for the GeForce card they’re using, and the Nano processor seems to be pulling its weight nicely as well. The idea, I think, is that basically you’ve got nearly every benefit of a larger… Read More

  • Hynix Semiconductor shrinks solid-state memory by 1/3

    I don’t pretend to understand the subtleties of flash memory manufacturing. But I think what’s happened here is that Hynix has contrived a way to put three bits instead of two into each cell, increasing the data density of a chip by 50% – or reducing the size by 30%. Before now they could only do this on 16GB NAND modules, but now they’re doing it for 32GB ones. High… Read More

  • SteelSeries eBays its gaming gear for China charity


    SteelSeries, the across-the-pond pro gaming gear outfit, has set up an auction for a bunch of their stuff with the proceeds going to the Red Cross Society of China. I currently have most of the stuff they’re putting on the block, and I can for sure recommend the Ikari mouse and the gaming surfaces. Not all the items are up yet so check back for new stuff — they should have a… Read More

  • Good shots of the Samsung i900 finally surface

    While the Samsung i900 was announced almost a month and a half ago, every shot of the handset released thus far has been crap. The best shot of it was a black and white mock up, watermarked to the point of insanity. Chinese news site pconline.com.cn managed to get a hands on with the device, and they were nice enough to bring back some visuals. The i900 is Samsung’s newest Windows… Read More

  • Very nice: Biostar's P45 mobo for the discerning overclocker


    That’s-a sexy motherboard. Reminds me of my own, actually — I think it’s the unbelievably annoying placement and orientation of the six SATA connectors. It’s also got 10 USB ports like mine and the cooling system is similar. The P45 series will be the successor to my P35 so I’m not surprised they’re similar, but I don’t see any really… Read More

  • BIOS modding strikes again: turn your Geforce 9600 into an 8800GTS


    Back in the day, the cool thing to do was to modify your lower-end Radeon 9800 into a 9800Pro, or at least something like it, by essentially drawing on it with a pencil. Well, here’s a sequel that might actually apply to you. If you have a certain kind of Geforce 9600 (like this one), all you have to do is flash the BIOS and it rejiggers the card to unlock the unused shader units and the… Read More

  • The Naked Pico-ITX challenge has begun

    They were still taking bets when I heard about this about a week ago, but now the challenge has begun. For those of you not in the know, Technovoyance and VIA doing a stunt right now where they’re running this super-efficient little Pico-ITX chipset with no fans, no heatsink or anything until it croaks. They took bets from people on how long it would go with the prize being a build kit… Read More

  • Silent, affordable, adequate video solution: Asus' passively cooled 9600GT


    If you’re in the market for it, this silent Asus 9600GT is a great deal right now. The hardware and performance are quite good enough to play Call of Duty 4, Team Fortress, or World at War, but the price is a drop in the bucket. It competes on a par with the 8800GT and Radeon 3870, and has the benefit of being completely passively cooled. Bad news if you’re an overclocker, but… Read More

  • AMD's new "GAME!" badges aim to standardize gaming rigs


    Well, it’s not exactly standardization, it’s more a simplification of all the insane model numbers, product lines, and motherboard configurations that go into a serious gaming PC. Since gaming is getting more and more traction among non-gamers, it follows that many technically inexperienced people will be looking at a lot of kit and trying to figure out what it all means. Read More

  • Nvidia looking to simplify its product range


    I’m a gamer, and I try to keep on top of things when it comes to video cards, but in the last couple years it’s been increasingly difficult. I remember when the choice was TNT or Voodoo. That was easy to remember (hard to choose though). Now you’ve got this smorgasbord of 4-digit numbers, several three-letter designations which say nothing in and of themselves, and then… Read More

  • Hands-on with SteelSeries' gear lineup


    SteelSeries is an established brand over on the other side of the pond, and their gear is respected among pro and enthusiast gamers — there are even SteelSeries-sponsored clans and teams. Now the company is bringing their game over here and I have been so lucky as to get a good look at their full range of stuff. Look for full reviews later, but for now, if you’re curious… Read More

  • Computer not turning on? Here's an exhaustive list of possible problems and solutions

    I had this problem a few months ago when I was putting together my current PC. First I got a loud system beep and the CMOS display would stop somewhere in the 20s. That turned out to be my video card being improperly powered. Then it would boot and crash hard before getting to the OS. Turned out to be a bad stick of RAM. I’m glad I had my laptop around to look up CMOS codes and stuff, but… Read More

  • Ben Heckendorn's Apple IIgs hardware mod

    Remember the Apple IIgs? I had an Apple IIc but my friend across the street had the Apple IIgs, the lucky bastard. Oh what I wouldn’t give to be a kid again. Not a care in the world except trying to get from the castle to the bottom of the mountain without falling to my death in King’s Quest III. Anyway, Ben Heckendorn has built a gorgeous laptop version of the Apple IIgs with… Read More

  • Value-testing l33t overclocked PC hardware


    Tom’s Hardware has been doing a feature for the last week comparing the performance of six systems: budget (sub-$1000), mid-range (sub-$2000), and high-end (sub-$4000) PCs and then the same PCs overclocked as far as they’d go. The object was to find what offers the best value for the dollar. They ran about five billion tests, but I’ve got the Cliff’s Notes here. And… Read More

  • Asus getting into the sound card game, Creative starts to sweat


    Asus, who has been doing so much stuff right lately, has begun dipping its toes into the sound card game. I understand the onboard audio on their motherboards is supposed to be the best, but as with onboard video, that’s not saying much. So Asus has separated their sound unit and beefed it up, making it a PCI-e interface card. It’s a full-featured, high-quality card now… Read More

  • They call this case the Tempest for a reason


    If you’re running SLI GeForce 8800GTs, you have 4 7200RPM HDDs, plus sound and possibly physics cards all going on a 1000W PSU, you’re generating a ton of heat and even 4 standard fans are going to be unable to keep it cool. I guess that’s why the NZXT Tempest has six case fans. Two on the top, two on the front, one in the back and one on the side. Sounds like my usual… Read More

  • Keep that receipt: GeForce 9800 GX2s have heat problems with some motherboards


    There was a big to-do yesterday with the release of the GeForce 9800 GX2, the dual-GPU supercard from Nvidia. Reviews were cautiously positive, but Bit-Tech had a mysterious problem: constant overheating. They did some testing and found that on some nForce 700 mobos (in their tests, the Asus Striker II), the placement of the nForce 200 chip made for a hot pocket of up to almost 200… Read More