Hardware Roundup

Amazingly good stuff from the Web

WE HAVE A TREAT for you today. Everyone likes a bit of softcore geek porn with smart looking babes talking in foreign accents and reading a second meaning into every other word they say. It seems Asus might have accidentally struck gold when hiring these chaps to introduce its O!Play HD Media Player.

Who cares if she’s saying “oztech headquarters”?


You can see a review of the Zotac single PCB GeForce GTX 295 at IT Reviews. We are weary of reviews that say “We also saw class-leading performance in Call of Duty: World at War (…)” which sounds a bit to marketingese for us, but hey it *is* a $500 graphics card, how wrong can that be?

In the land down under (that’s Australia), OCAU compares several families of Radeon HD graphics cards. Of course they all fit into their price classes, but even the ‘puny’ HD 4670 pulls its weight and more than a few games in higher graphics settings. See the tests here.

Tom’s Hardware has, like clockwork, updated its ‘Best Graphics Card” feature with September stats. Not much going on except maybe the writer showing the high expectations regarding upcoming graphics chips from ATI. Feel him quiver, here.

Recycling and renaming chips does have a silver lining, just ask Gigabyte when they picked up a 9800GT… you’ve got to get creative, don’t you? Fudzilla reviews the 9800GT Silent Cell edition. Silent Cell means just that. No noise, no moving parts, just a hot copper grill… give it a look.


Yes, motherboards, those temperamental little things who get in the way of a good overclock. Guru of 3D reviews and drools over MSI’s P55-GD80. It seems that it was completely won over by the board’s performance and features, in particular the OC Genie and DirectOC features.

The other type of motherboard that keeps trying to win over enthusiasts, is the HTPC-type micro-ATX stuff that is just about everywhere. Asus has its M4A78-HTPC/RC board tested at Bjorn3D.


Legit Reviews has a more down-to-earth memory kit being tested. It’s Kingston’s HyperX DDR3 4GB 2133MHz dual channel memory. Sure it’s $379, but then again Brian does call it the ‘Bugatti Veyron of memory kits’.


Cases, cases, case… erm, That’d be just the one, today. And a very unique one at that. PC Perspective looks at the nMediaPC HTPC 8000 Wood ATX case. With the looks of an old valve radio, you can just sink into that Fallout 3 feeling. 


Corsair, the maker of sexy little performance DIMMs we oh-so-love to overclock, gives enthusiasts a peek at its flagship Ice T30 Dominator cooling solution. This mounts a couple of 40mm fans overhead while sucking out the heat with liquids by using the integrated waterblock. How cool is that?

Xbit Labs plays around with the Zalman VF2000 LED hybrid cooler. And just why is it hybrid, you ask? Well, it can be used either for CPUs or GPUs. Despite not being a champion in either, it is low profile and should keep an HTPC graphics card mildly overclocked and cooled. Read about it here.

The big hulking tower design of CPU coolers is really getting to us. Just how big does it need to be to keep a Core i7 cool? Well – moaning aside – Think Computers has a review of a rather tall Tuniq Tower 120, which keeps temps down almost as well as a liquid cooling system.

Madshrimps is known for its overclocking mastery. Well, it’s been put to the test on a Core i5-750 with both phase-change and LN2 cooling. 5GHz seems all good and well, if you’d like to give it a try (don’t forget your gloves).


Netbooks and CULVs seem to be on a collision course. Notebook makers are looking at the added performance of CULV-class processors and releasing Netbook-like devices for just a few bucks more. Case in point, the Gateway EC1803h, at SilentPCReview.

Hot Hardware gives us a whiff of the Dell Studio XPS 16, a moderately-specced machine with Full HD display. You can game, you can work, what can we tell you? It just looks too expensive to take seriously.


TechARP focuses mostly on the architecture aspect of hardware, but does the occasional review like the one on the Super Talent 128GB UltraDrive GX SSD. Despite being the highest-ranking member of the Super Talent ranks, it is the MLC version tested here. It kicks Raptors around the playground, but it does cost quite a bit…

Hexus.net also has an SSD on test. It’s the Kingston SSDNow V Series 64GB notebook kit. It’s a budget SSD – if such a thing exists – and costs £99 (that’s about $165). Cheap? Sure. But so is the JMicron controller.

Full System

Testing full systems does give us a better measure of the market’s pulse. See here, for example, a Falcon Northwest Talon, built on a Core i7 860 processor. For $2500 you get a SLI gaming rig equipped with Blu-ray and SSD. It’s for deep pockets only, of course.


Definitely one of the coolest things you can do with a simple PC and some DIY skills: a MAME Arcade Cabinet. Yeah, I know… you thought about it a couple of times but never got round to pulling out the tools. Well, you can find some instructions here.S|A

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