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52X CDRW: MSI & Samsung

The current cream of the crop in CD writers sports 52X write, 24X rewrite, 52X read speeds - speeds that would have seemed unachievable only a few years ago. However, even as processors have defied old naysayers with seemingly unstoppable speed increases, the same has been seen in optical drive development.
April 4th, 2003

Gigabyte GA-SINXP1394 Motherboard Review

Many of you were impressed by the performance of Intel's 7205 "Granite Bay" chipset when we reviewed the MSI GNB Max-FIR - and rightly so, since the GNB combined high performance with a wealth of features. Unfortunately, the GNB, and the 7205 in general, is limited because it really only supports up to DDR266 in Dual Channel Mode. This is why when Sis announced their Sis655 chipset, with full Dual Channel AND DDR400 support, our eyebrows rose up a knotch.
March 25th, 2003

Samsung SM-348B DVD/CDRW Combo Review

For the consumer market, Samsung has long been a dominating force for "combo" drives for as long we've been reviewing optical devices. These drives combine a high speed CD-R/RW drive with a DVD-ROM in a single cost effective, multi-purpose unit.
March 18th, 2003

MSI GNB Max Motherboard Review

Dual Channel DDR is now one of the topic buzzwords on everyone's mind. Although we've already published reviews of Nvidia's Nforce 2 boards like FIC's AU11 with Dual Channel support, it was actually Intel that first introduced us to DualChannel memory with their E7205 "Granite Bay" chipset.
March 12th, 2003

Freelancer Review

FreeLancer is a space combat game developed by Digital Anvil, and distributed by MicroSoft. Players take missions, earn money, and can purchase a variety of different ships, weapons, and equipment to use during these missions. The game has two main play modes—single-player and online—and the single player story mode uses a variety of cutscenes and in-game dialog to advance the plot along.
March 12th, 2003

AOpen H340D Small Form Factor Case

A few months ago when Small Form Factor (SFF) was all the craze, we did a small shootout of three boxes. If you remember, we had MSI, FIC, & Shuttle SFF boxes. What we have for you today is a SFF case from AOpen called the H340D. It resembles the FIC Samba box we looked at during the shootout.
March 6th, 2003

FIC AU11 Chameleon Motherboard Review

We have long been looking at VIA KT400 boards, and for a while those boards were at the forefront of AMD based boards. Technically, the KT400 didn't bring as much to the table as was hoped, but at the time Nvidia's vaunted NForce2 based boards were nowhere on the horizon.
February 28th, 2003

Gainward GF4 Ultra/750-8X XP Review

When we finished off our Ti4600-8X review, we had said that we were done with the AGP8X capable family of GeForce4 cards. In fact, at the time we had only looked at AGP8X versions of the 440MX, Ti4200, and Ti4600 cards, with no intention to go any further. Thank goodness Gainward sent us their Ultra/750-8X XP card, or else we would never have bothered to look at a Ti4800SE card, which would be a shame - because it turns out that the Gainward Ultra/750-8X card offers a more than decent balance of performance and price.
February 24th, 2003

Geforce 4 Ti4200 8X Shootout

With the recent news that Nvidia will sell only limited numbers of the GeForce FX upon launch, it seems as though Nvidia's decision to relaunch their entire GeForce4 line with AGP8X support will end up being a longer term strategy than many of us had anticipated. With our recent coverage of 440MX-8X cards and our review of MSI's Ti4600-8X, it was quite evident that the success of the AGP8X compatible Nvidia cards will depend more on marketing and the value added by individual manufacturers than on the actual merit of adding 8X support to a family of cards that's begining to look old. Today we complete our coverage of these cards with this small sample of cards from some of the industry's big names: MSI, AOpen, and Abit.
February 17th, 2003

Age of Mythology Review

Age of Mythology (AoM) is MicroSoft’s latest real-time strategy game. Built on the Age of Empires game engine, AoM combines the resource management aspects of Age of Empires and adds a new twist—gods and creatures from classic mythology. Together, the solid Age of Empires resource- and technology- management mechanics, combined with the influence the gods have over the flow of the game, lead to a fast-paced game with a multitude of strategic possibilities.
February 15th, 2003

Guilty Gear X2 Review

Guilty Gear X2 is the latest addition to Team Neo Blood and Arc System Works' fighting game franchise. It boasts gameplay that is faster and more balanced, as well as a variety of new gamplay modes and features.
February 14th, 2003

MSI GF4 Ti4600 8X Review

As noted in our review of the 440MX-8X cards, Nvidia originally introduced their AGP8X cards in the form of AGP8X capable Ti4200 and 440MX cards. It was just a matter of time before they would release the Ti4600 version of their cards with AGP8X support, and hence today we’re reviewing the MSI Ti4600 8X.
February 3rd, 2003

Thermaltake Volcano 9 Coolmod Review

ThermalTake is arguably one of the best success stories in the world of mod suppliers. We've had a long relationship with the company and have seen their reputation grow as quickly as their product line. We've used the Volcano 7+ for a long time in various systems, but recently we've started to use Volcano 9's in most of our benchmark test beds. Today we're looking at the "CoolMod" version of the Volcano 9, which differs from the original Volcano 9 only in an aesthetic fashion.
January 31st, 2003

Samsung SM-332 Combo Drive Review

At home I have a system that can support a limited number of available IDE devices, and I already have 3 Hard Drives and a CD-RW drive. Now the problem is that I have always wanted to watch DVD movies on this system, which has an otherwise good speakers and decent monitor. My friend has a Small Form Factor system, and he's faced with a similar problem: he just doesn't have the room to fit both a CD-RW burner and a DVD-ROM.
January 27th, 2003

Gigabyte Maya II Radeon GV-9500 PRO Review

With Nvidia showing off a complete line of video cards tailored to various sectors of the video market, ATI was not going to sit idle with just their 9000PRO and 9700PRO cards. The fact that the 9700PRO sits atop the performance heap gives ATI the distinct advantage of being able to exploit their powerful R300 chip and card design in more toned down cards while still offering very advanced features and very fast speeds.
January 23rd, 2003

MSI K7N2 Motherboard Review

Nvidia is best known for their video technologies, but the graphics giant has lately set their sights on core chipsets for mainboards. Thus was born the Nforce chipset. The original Nforce chipset got off to a delayed and shaky start. And the much anticipated Nforce 2 was also delayed - we were already reporting about the Nforce 2 features back in mid-2002.
January 17th, 2003

DV Expo West 2002 Report

The DV Expo is a spotlight event for many DV fans looking to broaden their horizons through seeing the newest technology for editing or production. This year showcased many tutorial sessions for the public to view, it also showed off many of the latest developing technologies. It was held in the LA Convention Center December 9-12.
January 14th, 2003

Gigabyte Maya II Radeon GV-9700 PRO Review

With the GeForce FX just weeks away, users are already questioning whether they should get the RADEON 9700 now or wait for the coming of the Next Big Thing. But even some of us arewaiting, many enthusiasts are already suggesting that the 9700 PRO will be the best high performance choice for the next few months.
January 13th, 2003

GF4 MX440-8X: MSI & Inno3d Review

Near the tail end of 2002, Nvidia refreshed a number of their products in order to satisfy the growing support of AGP8X in current motherboards. Several motherboard chipsets already support 8X and you can be sure that future chipsets will also support it.
January 8th, 2003

Thermaltake Xaser II A6000A Case Review

After our review of the Chenming File Server case, which was a basic barebones case with few frills, we thought we would cover something at the other end of the extreme: one of the more loaded cases that you can buy today. We're talking about the Thermaltake Xaser II line of cases.
December 30th, 2002

Intel Pentium 4 3.06GHz HT Review

Today we're reviewing Intel's 3.06Ghz Pentium 4 processor with Hyper-Threading Technology. The chip is a milestone for the industry because Intel has finally breached the 3Ghz barrier. It also represents a first thanks to Intel¡¦s inclusion of Hyper-Threading technology, which Intel believes will give it a performance advantage above and beyond the extra Mhz increase. This aptly named technology might sound obscure at first, but you will find that it's role in Intel's plans is really clear-cut.
December 23rd, 2002

Gigabyte 7VAXP Motherboard Review

The KT400 chipset is now widespread, and many companies have released their KT400 boards in mass quantities. To continue with our slew of KT400 reviews, we've put Gigabyte's GA-7VAXP Ultra board through our test labs and found the board to have some interesting qualities, and some irksome quirks. Overall though, I think you'll find this board to be an interesting alternative to the other KT400 boards.
December 18th, 2002

Epox 8K9A2+ Motherboard Review

Today we're looking at one of Epox's KT400 boards, which we received with much anticipation. The source of this anticipation was an Epox announcement stating this board allows the enduser to change the clock multiplier through BIOS without unlocking your Athlon chip!
December 12th, 2002

Chenming Fileserver Case Review

Behold the Chenming File Server case from ColdConcept. This case sports many of the features that made the Antec Performance Plus 880 an Editor's Choice winner, but with the promise of the low cost one would expect from a "generic" brand case. We love Antec cases, and we love this case too.
December 10th, 2002

MSI 648 Max Review

While DDR400 and official DDR333 support have been explored on the AMD platform, we haven't taken a look at too many more recent P4 boards in a while. Changes have been happening on the P4 front too, and the introduction of chipsets like the Sis648 has marked improvements that mirror changes to the AMD market.
December 5th, 2002