Archive for June 2008

Asus Xonar D2X Sound Card review

Soundcards and Speakers 105 Published by Brann Mitchell 0

The Asus Xonar D2X is a high-end sound card without equal for your enthusiast-level PC. Behold its over-the-top looks, marvel at its no-holds-barred features, and be captivated by the sound it makes. The D2X isn't for everyone, it's expensive, it's a showboat, and it wants power. But, it is without equal. You may find better, but certainly not an equal.

Guru3D VGA charts updated

Graphics Cards 1673 Published by Hilbert Hagedoorn 0 VGA ChartsHere at Guru3D we have something that is called the VGA charts. The VGA charts is simply put a selection of games in which we will show you performance numbers (measured by average framerate). The distinct difference review results and these charts is two-fold, in our reviews we can only show you 5 maybe 6 comparative graphics card results due to limitation. In the VGA chart you can see all the reference cards we have tested in an orderly and easy to comprehend manner.

Though not finished (the charts are a lot of work) I've just updated the bigger part of the charts with the newly released cards. Obviously there is still a lot of work in progress and after this week we hope to produce and include a nice selection of Crossfire results for the new Radeon series.

The VGA charts landing page can be found here:

Creative's 1st Wi-Fi player, iTunes rival being made

Speakers 98 Published by Hilbert Hagedoorn 0

Creative's ZEN X-Fi player is still in progress and is being more directly targeted at Apple on both the hardware and software sides, says a slew of leaked information obtained by epiZENter. Spotted in an official product shot, the X-Fi changes the look of the original ZEN to an aluminum-and-chrome look believed to be drawing heavily on the visual appeal of the iPhone. According to leaked documents from the company's UK website, the new ZEN will also be Creative's first wireless player and will have a unique nine-point directional pad to take advantage of integrated Wi-Fi: users will have the option of instant messaging on Windows Live or Yahoo Messenger with a phone-style system for typing without either a touchscreen or a full QWERTY keyboard.

The device's wireless access will also be trumpeted for its media sharing features, which are still relatively rare among its competitors. On a local network, the ZEN X-Fi will have access to a host computer's own content to play it in another room. An Internet-based media pool, described as a Public Home Server, should also give access to at least some content at virtually any other Wi-Fi hotspot.

Reflecting its name, the portable player will have X-Fi audio technology borrowed from the company's sound cards and will use it either to restore lost detail in MP3s and other compressed files, as with most X-Fi devices, or to create a concert-like audio effect that puts the sound at the front of the user, even with earbuds or headphones.


An SD card slot will carry over from the original ZEN, but a built-in speaker will be new, according to Creative. Notably, not every ZEN X-Fi will have wireless abilities, suggesting a model range split that gives more expensive models the wireless option.

The release of the ZEN X-Fi should further mark the release of Creative's first jukebox software that plays more than audio. Named Creative Centrale, the software will also play and manage photos and videos and is considered integral to the ZEN X-Fi's sharing feature. Although details are still unclear at this stage, Centrale will allow users to rip DVDs and will create a home server for wireless music sharing similar to iTunes' sharing ability; it's also expected to play into the creation of the Public Media Server.

A release date for the new player is uncertain, though the now on-again ZEN X-Fi was recently hinted by a Creative official to appear no later than July, while epiZENter itself alludes to the possibility of an announcement within two days.

Cooler Master V8 CPU cooler launched

Cooling 272 Published by Hilbert Hagedoorn 0

Spotted already at the CeBIt early this year, Cooler Master officially introduced the V8 processor cooler. This unit features 8 heatpipes, four sets of modular aluminum fins and a copper mirror-finished based. The heatsink weighs 865g and has a 120mm fan.

Taking center-stage with its rugged industrial design, this wicked V8 monster has enough horsepower to perform its duties with any high-performance CPU while under the most critical heat conditions.

On top of its stylish design, the V8 Cooler includes some very rich features. For heat dissipation it is a smart 180W cooling solution, which is modularized by 4 separate sets of aluminium fins linked by 8 diagonal up-rise heat pipes. The V8 structural design allows for speedy heat transfer from its mirror-finished base to a large heat dissipation surface.

For optimal performance, Cooler Master placed a center mounted 120mm fan which blows cool air through the fins of the modularized heat sink, enabling ultimate cooling of the heat created by the CPU.

As an added value feature, the V8 comes equipped with an adjustable fan speed controller which allows you to adjust the fan speed manually from the back of the chassis, providing the most favorable balance between performance and noise level. The fan adjustment allows differentiation from 7V to 12V and fan speeds of 800-1800 RPM, allowing peak performance during game time and silent cooling while watching your favorite movies.

Camouflage Extreme Gaming Laptop

Generic News 1994 Published by Hilbert Hagedoorn 0

Pretty cool to see honestly, available in a variety of skins, the Cizmo CX1730M features a "2.26GHz Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB of DDR3 RAM, a 160GB SATA hard drive, WSXGA+ panel, a 2-megapixel webcam, NVIDIA's 512MB GeForce 8800M GTX and a plethora of ports." Prices start from $2249. 

This one tips the scales at "only" 8.7-pounds, which actually isn't half bad for a unit this potent. Additionally, it looks as if you can order this puppy in a variety of flavors, including this camouflage version.



Download: GPU-Z 0.2.5

Graphics Cards 1673 Published by Hilbert Hagedoorn 0

GPU-Z is a lightweight utility designed to give you all information about your video card and GPU.


- Fixed BIOS Reading on HD 4870. Please do not flash non-128K BIOSes to GDDR5 cards
- Fixed GDDR5 bandwidth calculation
- Fixed texture fillrate on RV770 and RV730
- Added three extra on-die temperature sensors to RV770 monitoring
- Removed states.dmp file creation
- Fixed GPU activity readings on RV770
- Changed devices list order to be more intuitive (by bus number now)
- Added Shared Memory support, see the forum for more info
- Fixed more 190

Google going from desktop to your TV with media server

Generic News 1994 Published by Hilbert Hagedoorn 0

In he old days, we used to watch a simple device called a television. Nowadays, all the stuff worth watching and listening to tends to be stored on or accessed through a computer. To help remedy this, google releases the Google Media Server.

Requiring at least Google Desktop 5, the Windows only Google Media Server lets users connected their PC with a UPnP-enabled device (works with the PlayStation 3) , thus making stored videos, music, photos, that are stores on the former, viewable via your TV.

Google Media Server is a Windows application that aims to bridge the gap between Google and your TV. It uses Google Desktop technology such as Desktop gadgets for the administration tool and Google Desktop Search to locate media files. All you need is a PC running Google Desktop and a UPnP-enabled device (e.g. a PlayStation 3). At the touch of a button, you can then:

  • Access videos, music, and photos stored on your PC
  • View Picasa Web Albums
  • Play your favorite YouTube videos

It's easy to install, so please try it out.

PhysX on ATI Radeon

Graphics Cards 1673 Published by Hilbert Hagedoorn 0

Astonishingly, someone thought of the idea of going through the CUDA SDK and PhysX SDK to make PhysX run on a graphics card from ATI, also good at running GPGPU applications. Eran Badit at, known for his tailored ATI drivers, is the man who came up with the idea. He managed to get PhysX acceleration with a Radeon HD 3870 by making the NVIDIA PhysX application run on the card from the competition.

The results didn't take long. With PhysX support enabled, he achieved a CPU score of 22,606 that resulted in a final 3DMark Vantage score of P4262. A similar system without the PhysX support should land at P3800. A significant difference.

Alas, Badit doesn't have access to a card from the Radeon HD 4800 family. We will keep an eye on the development over at NGOHQ, especially how AMD and NVIDIA will respond to this.

Radeon HD 4870 X2 photo's

Graphics Cards 1673 Published by Hilbert Hagedoorn 0

The Radeon HD 4870 X2 R700 prototype card is out and definitely will beat the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280 in 3DMark Vantage.

The R700 card is basically made up of two RV770 GPUs with 2x256-bit memory interface and will likely cater GDDR5 memories. We asked our sources about R700 in Computex and apparently AMD is going to let AIB partners to decide the specs themselves.

Board partners will set their own clock speeds, PCB design, memory types, cooler solutions etc. It seems there will be Radeon HD 4850 X2 and 4870 X2 cards differentiate by the memory type. The R700 card apparently doing pretty well at this stage scoring about X5500 in 3DMark Vantage Extreme preset while the GeForce GTX 280 card is scoring X4800. Both sides are still working hard on optimizing their drivers for the new architecture so probably we will see the performance to improve over time.

The black PCB of the HD 4870 X2 shows the RV770 couple, a PLX PCI-Express 2.0 bridge chip (look between the GPUs) and, front plus back, 1GB of Qimonda GDDR5 via 16 memory chips.

The Radeon HD 4870 X2 should be released in August.

photo's are courtesy of chiphell

Bill Gates Retires leaves 33-year legacy

Generic News 1994 Published by Hilbert Hagedoorn 0

 t an employee event held today, Bill Gates said farewell to the company he co-founded back in 1975. Gates will move from one giant to another, as he will turn his focus on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is the world's largest charity. Reports say Gates and Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer delivered speeches to the assembled employees and press, each choking back tears as they spoke.

"There won't be a day in my life when I won't be thinking about Microsoft, the great things that we're doing and wanting to help," Gates told the crowds. The 52-year-old self-professed nerd will now work on finding vaccines and helping to finance projects in developing countries as part of the Foundation headed up by him and his wife. He will remain Microsoft's chairman and contribute to special technology projects.

Under Gates' oversight, Microsoft went from creating the operating system for IBM PCs, MS-DOS, before developing the first graphical user interface of that program, Windows, in 1985. More recently, the company came out with its Xbox gaming console in 2001 to fight Sony's entry into the market at the time, the PlayStation 2. Apple's iPod popularity led to the software giant to develop the Zune series of portable music and multimedia players in 2006.

Gates' various roles at Microsoft will be replaced by three individuals. The chief software architect is now Ray Ozzie, Craig Mundie will act as chief research and strategy office while Steve Ballmer, Gates' long-time friend and Harvard classmate, will assume chief executive officer duties.

Download: CPU-Z 1.46 released

Processor 721 Published by Hilbert Hagedoorn 0

CPU-Z is probably the best ever diagnostic tool that provides information on your CPU, including: processor name and vendor, core stepping and process, processor package, internal and external clocks, clock multiplier, partial overclock detection, processor features, supported instructions sets, L1 and L2 cache information, location, size, speed, and technology.

CPU-Z is a freeware that gathers information on some of the main devices of your system.


* Name and number.
* Core stepping and process.
* Package.
* Core voltage.
* Internal and external clocks, clock multiplier.
* Supported instructions sets.
* Cache information.


* Vendor, model and revision.
* BIOS model and date.
* Chipset (northbridge and southbridge) and sensor.
* Graphic interface.


* Frequency and timings.
* Module(s) specification using SPD (Serial Presence Detect) : vendor, serial number, timings table.


* Windows and DirectX version.

Download - click here.

OCZ Announces 3GB DDR2 SODIMM Kits

Memory 234 Published by Hilbert Hagedoorn 0

Not bad to have in the good old lappy. OCZ announced its new 3GB PC2-5400 SO-DIMM kits for notebooks. According to the company, 3GB (1GB and 2GB modules) is optimal for most notebooks with 32-bit operating systems; besides, 4GB would cost more.


  • 200-pin, DDR2-667, unbuffered,
  • 1.8V voltage
  • CL 5-5-5-15 timings
  • Available in 512MB, 1GB, and 2GB modules
  • Available in 2GB, 3GB and 4GB kits
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Part Numbers: OCZ2667512VSO (512MB), OCZ26671024VSO (1GB), OCZ2MV6672G (2GB), OCZ26672048VSO-K (2GB), OCZ6672MV6673GK (3GB), OCZ2MV6674GK (4GB)

Video: Spore 'Will Wright' interview

Games 1603 Published by Hilbert Hagedoorn 0

Spore Creator WillW right talks about some of the game's unique features. 
Spore is slated to arrive on PC and Mac September 7, with a Nintendo DS edition, titled Spore Creatures, hitting on the same day. The game's creature creator will be available for PC and Mac on June 17, a move meant to help populate the title's vast online universe. 

Diablo III Announced

Games 1603 Published by Hilbert Hagedoorn 0

Blizzard Entertainment today officially announced Diablo III, the newest entry in its critically acclaimed action role-playing-game franchise. The announcement was made during the 2008 Blizzard Entertainment Worldwide Invitational at the Porte de Versailles Convention Centre in Paris, France. A cinematic trailer and an extended gameplay demonstration with commentary from the development team introduced the game to the thousands of players in attendance.

Diablo III will pick up the story twenty years after the events of Diablo II. Mephisto, Diablo, and Baal have been defeated, but the Worldstone, which once shielded the inhabitants of the world of Sanctuary from the forces of both the High Heavens and the Burning Hells, has been destroyed, and evil once again stirs in Tristram. Playing as a hero from one of five distinct character classes, players will acquire powerful items, spells, and abilities as they explore new and familiar areas of Sanctuary and battle hordes of demons to safeguard the world from the horrors that have arisen. The first two characters classes -- the barbarian and the witch doctor -- were shown as part of the announcement at the event today in Paris.

Diablo III will feature a custom 3D-graphics engine to render lush indoor and outdoor areas of Sanctuary with a high level of detail and vivid special effects. The game's physics-enhanced environments will be interactive and destructible, offering traps and obstacles that create added danger for players and monsters alike. These elements, along with a new quest system and random scripted events, will be integrated into the game's random-level generator, giving Diablo III the ultimate combination of dynamic gameplay and replayability. Cooperative and competitive play will be available online through an upgraded version of Blizzard Entertainment's renowned online gaming service,