• Maybe SSDs do save battery life after all

    You may remember a story a little while back suggesting that SSDS did not in fact save battery power. Well, that really pulled the tail of the great cat “The Internet,” resulting in heavy criticism of the testers’ methods. People feel that the higher-end SSDs may have been using more power, but the tests ignored that their higher capacities meant they would do more work… Read More

  • ATI's Radeon 4870 hit NVIDIA so hard their prices fell down

    Damn, when I first heard about the GeForce 260 and 280 I thought it was checkmate. No one expected much of the new line of Radeons in the first place given ATI’s lackluster offerings lately, and combine that with the improvement in the 65nm 280 — I think I was justified in thinking so. But the Radeon 4850 came out a little later and jaws dropped. It offered nearly the performance… Read More

  • Explaining multi-core processors to your great-aunt

    If you’re reading this website (you flatter us) you’re probably one of the more tech-savvy people in the family. So doubtless you get tapped occasionally to fix Aunt Estella’s printer or de-spyware your parents’ machine. And every once in a while, someone will want to buy a new computer. While there’s no better time than the present, they will certainly be… Read More

  • Matrox comes out of its cave, offers new video cards

    You may remember Matrox. They were a significant competitor back in the days when the graphics card scene was TNT2 vs. Voodoo3. The dark horse was always Matrox, whose dual-display-oriented cards always perplexed and intrigued me. I still don’t use more than one monitor but it’s far more common these days, with people like our own Doug, who is rocking I believe four monitors at… Read More

  • Today's a good day to upgrade your video card

    Or maybe over the next week or so. With the release of the ATI HD 4850 and NVIDIA’s new 55nm-based 9800GTX+, the price/performance ratio is really nice right now. Of course, as with all components, the longer you wait, the better the deal is, but if you’re looking for an upgrade right now, these new releases will drop quite a few prices across the board. The 4850 is available for… Read More

  • Review: Razer Lycosa gaming keyboard

    I’ve been using the same keyboard for the last, well, many many years, so it’s fitting that all of a sudden I should have several dropped in my lap. I’m currently juggling offerings from Microsoft, Razer, and SteelSeries. I can tell you right now that none of them sucks, but if you want more you’ll have to read the reviews. Today we’ve got Razer’s… Read More

  • High-end keyboard roundup! Get excited!

    What is your hand on right now? No, other hand. That’s right, it’s sitting on the home row of a cheap, dirty keyboard. Probably the one that came with your computer. For shame. There is a world of keyboards out there — wireless, media-controlling, programmable, waterproof, there are keyboards that are all of these things and right now I’ve got a baker’s pair… Read More

  • Raw-looking hard drive enclosure for 5 HDDs

    I actually could have used one of these last night when I was swapping and backing up my internal HDDs and didn’t have enough space in my case to hold ’em all. This multi-hard drive enclosure is not really a new kind of product, but it is by far the simplest (and the price is right). They’ve essentially just ripped the HDD cage out of a computer case and are selling it as… Read More

  • Handy: modular 2.5" front port thing with USB ports, card readers, drive slot

    Now here’s something I could use. My computer’s front looks good, but it only has the optical drive bay at the top and two ports at the bottom — why not make it pretty and functional? Brando USB has these handy front port modules available with swappable bits in case you decide you need a 2.5″ drive bay more than a multi-reader. Front port things have been around… Read More

  • 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