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since 01/02/2006


AMD Dual-Core 4600+ 2.4 GHz 01/03/2007

Speed on a budget, upgrade without going broke

AMD Dual-Core 4600+ 2.4 GHz Now that Windows Vista is upon us, and the horror stories multiply over the internet, when everyone is thinking if they should sell their right or left kidney or sell their souls to the Devil, so they can run the latest and greatest Microsoft OS, let me tell you of upgrade on a budget. So, you have an old system (please note that the definition of old in electronics is the time-space continuous of about 5 minutes after something comes out of the shop where you just bought the it ....) and you are looking for a cheap up grade in order to save some money in more important things (mothers day soon enough, that stereo for the car that you have been drooling over for same time now, the long promised holiday to your partner...) , this may be the upgrade for you Now, this CPU (central processing unit), it's a 939 socket base (the definition of sockets can and should always be checked either on the shop where you get your hardware, or at the website from your e-tailer) As the title indicates, it's actually 1 processor, but with 2 cores My actual model it's the denominated Manchester It has a data cache of 64 bytes x 2 on L1, 64 bytes x 2 on L1 instruction cache, 512 bytes x 2 on L2 cache. Core speed 2400 Mhz So, what exactly does this mean on practical terms? It means that is fast and cheap. It is the same thing than having 2 old Athlon 3800+ on you PC working at the same time. But first things first. As I stated, if you already have an old 939 motherboard, and ...

XFX GeForce 8800 GTS Graphics card 640 MB GDDR3 SDRAM 28/02/2007

Do you want a flake with this love?

XFX GeForce 8800 GTS Graphics card 640 MB GDDR3 SDRAM The world of PC components either for enthusiasts that have to have the latest hardware, or for normal people that just want to make sure they have enough ram to run the family Christmas video, it's a never ending story of upgrades, be it the CD Rom or more ram, or a shinny new state of the art graphic card. The last one, is where myself comes in.... Yep folks, after finding a home for my trustworthy Gainward 7800GT 512 megs via E-bay, I went with the hype, sailed the seas of the uncharted DX 10 hardware, and voila, I present to you the XFX8800 GTS. Now, for the boring stuff. * Fabrication Process: 90 nm * Number of Transistors: 681 million * Core clock: 500 MHz * Shader Clock: 1200 MHz * Stream Processors: 96 * Memory clock/ data rate: 800 MHz/1600 * Memory Interface: 320 bits * Memory Bandwidth: 64 BG/s * ROPs: 20 * Frame Buffer Size: 640 MB * Texture Fill Rate: 24 GT/s * RAMDACs: 400 MHz * Bus Technology: PCI Express Now, the things to have in mind it's the oddities really The 320 bit bus, the odd memory number (640 instead of the normal 512), and the new word, steam processors.. So, what exactly it's a Steam processor..? Steam processors are a collection of floating points processors. These replace the old pixel and vertex shader. In old hardware, in some games either you where pixel shader limited, or vertex shader limited, and the hardware would not make the respective balance, giving you low frame rates in ...

Company of Heroes (PC) 02/11/2006

We shall fight them on the PC

Company of Heroes (PC) Remember Age of Empires? Sudden Strike? Command & Conquer? Remember why you play RTS games? Well, get ready for WWII on all it's glory, and also all it's gore As RTS games go, Company of Heroes lives by the same principle. Build, gather resources, go up tech levels, conquer Nothing new there, right? Well, not exactly. Instead of catapult and arrows, you now have Sherman and Panther tanks. Long gone are the days of knights on shiny armor, enter the flame thrower, the PAK guns, 88's, Thunderbolt's..... The game it's divided on 3 main type of play: Mission: You lead American soldiers from D Day until the fall of the Reich. You leading a squad of paratroopers on the night before the landings, trying to eliminate all the enemy troops....You get the point. A bit more about the missions later Skirmish: It's You x Him (Him being the PC). A fun way to get your strategy up to scratch. And also to give you fits of rage. Difficult and nerve racking, satisfactory every time you manage to blow up your enemy to infinity and beyond. You have a choice of playing one on one with the computer, or having the computer command 4 different foes, and 3 allies. A big gung ho feast in this case. Online: You x other Human players. Up to 8 players can go online, although you need a hefty PC for this. Too many units on the screen, with high amount of physics can slow the experience right down (we are talking very low frame rate here people, on their 20's). Of course you can soften the ...

Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate Edition 05/10/2006

Hasta la Vista XP (Vista Beta 5728)

Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate Edition So, here we are again. We just got used to Windows XP. We live with the knowledge that almost everything that we install on our PC's works straight from the word go, and we like it like that. Or then again, maybe not. Every day there is the new security patch. The interface is dull, we are bored with the same old look. We need something different... (then again, it's probably just me...) Anyway, I had read some good and bad reviews from Microsoft new operating system, Windows Vista (or more precisely, built 5728), beta versions, and decided to spice my live, and my PC Now, for the less knowledge, this is not the final retail version (or one of the gazillion ones that will be available, if you believe the doom tellers on Internet forums), it's only a public Beta version (of many available) for download from Microsoft Website o I started by going to the most likely place, Microsoft themselves, and followed up the sign in and download procedure I also followed up the procedure to make sure my PC was up to scratch hardware wise, to run Vista. All went well, and I proceed to the download part All this is free, and also try at your own peril. Because Beta software is exactly that. A peril, a gamble, a flip of the coin. What works for me, does not work for you, and vice verse After I had send my details, I received the e-mail with the product key, and the download link The link gives you 2 options: Windows Vista ...

Thermaltake Xaser Shark VA7000SWA 04/10/2006

Does my PC look big on this?

Thermaltake Xaser Shark VA7000SWA When we go to buy a PC, our considerations normally go from "how big is the hard drive", "how much memory does it have" to "can I play Counter Strike on this?" We will go to the slightest detail possible, including colour, so it does not clash with the painting. Normally people just want to get home, get it running, and watch the latest DVD from Blockbuster in peace and quiet, escaping CeeBeebes or Eastenders..... We all love bragging that our processor runs at 3 billion times the speed of light, we can frag monsters at 1000 frames per second, and that yes, that film I borrowed from you does look really sharp on my DVD drive and my 21" monitor. We are like kids at Christmas. Who cares about the wrapping, if the present inside is good right? Well peeps, in PC land, nowadays the wrapping is as important as the present itself. Before we go any further, let's get this out of the way: If you are out of space, your desk is to immaculate to get messy, or you are into small, compact things, then this case is not for you. The case itself is 540 x 205 x 500 mm (H*W*D) respectively It weights 6.8 KG (14 pounds) Features Removable motherboard tray This little beauty allows you to screw your motherboard to the tray outside the case. It helps on many ways, specially ease of use Dual 12 cm fans in front & rear The piece of resistance in my view. One fan for air intake (front) the back fan for exhaust. Both fans are 120x120x25 mm, 1400rpm, 21dBA The rear fan ...

ASUS A8N-SLI Premium - motherboard - ATX - Socket 939 - nForce4 SLI 13/09/2006

Fast and afordable. Magical words for all

ASUS A8N-SLI Premium - motherboard - ATX - Socket 939 - nForce4 SLI Although I was "happy" with my MSI K8SLI Platinum, there was the "phwoar" factor missing. You know, that little thing that makes your day better....(but more on that on another review...) Anyway, I decided to invest in the Asus A8N-SLI Platinum, on the basis of the board being both affordable, and good value for money (or at least I expected this to be the case :)), and so i spent £95 on the board (yes, there are possibly cheaper places, but this was bought over the counter, (you know, that thing with a person behind, where you can see who is selling you your goods)......:-) The layout on the box was impeccable. Together with the board, we have the usual army of seemingly innocuous hardware, that somehow, you know you probably are not going to use, and that will just gather dust somewhere, and will truly get on the nerves of your partner/parents sooner rather than later So we have Serial ATA 2 port extension modules IEEE1394 x 1 port USB 2.0 x 2 & USB 2.0 + game port module 8 x Serial ATA signal cables,Serial ATA power cables,ULTRA DMA / 133 cables,40 - conductor IDE cable (1, ribon), Floppy cable,COM cable, I/O Shield, SLI connector, Retention Bracket, CD with drivers, Intervideo WinDVD Suite,User guide & Instant Music sticker (no, no ketchup with all this!) Now, lets get on with business. Putting the board on my case (Thermaltake Shark) was a breeze. 1 or 2 niggling problems with the IDE and power connectors, more for localization than anything else (tight space ...

Gainward 7900GT PCX DVI-DVI Golden Sample Graphics card 512 MB GDDR3 SDRAM 28/06/2006

Good and reliable Video Card

Gainward 7900GT PCX DVI-DVI Golden Sample Graphics card 512 MB GDDR3 SDRAM Having ditch my trustworthy Gigabyte 7800GTX, I invested some money on the 7900GT 512 bliss On the box, besides the card itself, it came the usual CD with the drives, Power DVD5 and Muvee autoproducer4 Also 2 x DVI to AGP adapters, and the DSUB for the power connector Let me tell you this. It's an excellent little performer's can play COD 2,Battlefield 2,FEAR, and all games at 1280x1024 (this is the maximum resolution for my 17" TFT), with at least 2xTRAA and 16xAF (that's Anti Aliasing and Anisotropic Filter for the least knowledge), and the frame rates are constant.No slow downs, no hick ups The downside unfortunately are : 1] Extremely noisy card. If you like your PC quiet, then this is not for you (and I have 2 x 120 mm fans on mine) 2] Not a very good overclooker.The stock clocks are 550/1400 (normal 7900 GT's are 450/1200) but not a lot of headroom for more speed, at least not with the cooler this card has from the manufacturer On the bright side, you have a card with 512 megs of DDR2 memory, it's HDTV compatible (means that you can plug your PC to a HDTV and watch films with HDTV quality), and can play all the latest games If you are looking for a decent performer, and don't mind the noise, then this is it Highly recommended
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