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Motherboard Reviews for your EYEHOLES

Man is that nForce 6XX series chipset getting used and abused by everyone.  I've got 5 reviews about it and one mATX based off of AMD's 690g chipset, which sounds pretty good for a HD-HTPC.

MSI P6N SLI Platinum Motherboard Review at NVNews
Abit and MSI take on the nForce 650i @ TR-News
XFX 680i LT SLI Motherboard Review @ motherboards.org  
EVGA nForce 650i Ultra Review @ NVNews
ABIT IN9 32X-MAX 680i-SLI Motherboard Review @ Virtual-Hideout
SAPPHIRE Pure Innovation HDMI PI-AM2RS690MHD Motherboard Review @ Virtual-Hideout

Those boards are looking better and better now that I've got some CASH FLOW. I smell a build coming. 

Posted by: Franz on 4/29/07 @ 03:50:43PM
Hardware/HTPC-SFF

nVidia 8xxx Series Goodies

Wow, got a bunch of good reviews this week for some of that magical green machine goodness. Here they are, in no particular order:

MSI 8800GTX OC Liquid Review @ XSReviews
nVidia GeForce 8600 GTS - MSI and Leadtek Head2Head @ TrustedReviews
MSI 8600 GT OC Edition @ PureOverclock
GeForce 8800 Ultra Preview Benchmarks @ TweakPC
NVIDIA GeForce 8500GT 256MB @ Phoronix

That ought to keep you occupied for a short while, enjoy.

Posted by: Franz on 4/29/07 @ 11:56:24AM
Hardware

Franz: For all of you that didn't know, you can now get Cooler Master Cases with custom paint jobs by Smooth Creations straight from CM themselves.  While I believe the added cost is a bit much, there is no doubt in my mind that the end result is nothing short of awesome.
"To be honest, it performs exactly the same as the 830. Primarily because the 832 is almost exactly the same. Sure, there's now support for a 230mm EPS power supply, the airflow has been supposedly improved somehow and the door looks a little different, but in reality the case seems more like an alt..."
Posted by: Franz on 4/26/07 @ 06:58:00AM
Hardware

Franz: I think the title for this one says it all, and it is about time that one of the companies that uses ATI parts built a dual GPU card based around the x1950 Pro.  So how does it stack up against the rest? Well, read on and find out.
"Yup, Sapphire's spiced things up by launching a customized Radeon X1950 Pro that doubles up on a single PCB. A speed demon or a bridge too far?"
Posted by: Franz on 4/26/07 @ 06:46:11AM
Hardware

Franz: With all the price dropping and the comparisons on performance, I believe that, in the real world, no one cares right now who wins as long as the their rig performs. Since AMD dropped their prices so drastically the other day, a review like this was bound to happened, and I believe that it is a sort of eye opener. Then, when comparing prices over performance, the better performer for the cheaper price always wins.
"Since many can't afford the highest priced processors on the market we have focused on the sub $200 processors from AMD and Intel for an article that shows gaming performance between the two processors. To keep under the $200 budget we went with the $185 Intel Core 2 Duo Processor E6300 and the $1..."
Posted by: Franz on 4/22/07 @ 09:15:40AM
Hardware

XSRewviews does the ZEROtherm Line up

The guys over at XSReviews seem to have it in for ZEROtherm this week. They reviewed several of their different heatsink's, looks like they touched on all the important ones.

ZEROtherm GX700 and GX710 Review - XSReviews
ZEROtherm GX810 Review - XSReviews
ZEROtherm BTF80, BTF90, and BTF95 Review - XSReviews

Looks like some pretty cool stuff to me, may have to check out the video card coolers myself.

Posted by: Franz on 4/22/07 @ 08:13:33AM
Hardware

nVidia 8600 8400 Based Vidio Card Reviews

Since the nVidia 8600 and the 8400 series have just recently been released into the world to fend for themselves, there has been a flood of reviews in the box. Soo, I'm gonna throw them all in one post and you all can read as many as you like.

XFX 8600GT and 8600 GTS XXX Edition Video Cards @ Legit Reviews
EVGA and MSI GeForce 8600 GTS Preview @ NVNews
Point of View GeForce 8600 GTS Graphics Preview @ MVKTech
MSI NX8600 GTS @ Hard Tecs 4U
Nvidia GeForce 8600 GTS review @ bit-tech.net
NVIDIA G84: Architecture and Video Performance @ Beyond3D
MSI 8600GT Review - XSReviews
MSI GeForce 8600GTS - the new midrange champion @ HEXUS.net

That ought to eat up some hard earned throne time.

Posted by: Franz on 4/17/07 @ 06:13:40PM
Hardware

Franz: I seem to have a few of the more silent goodies set up for today, to start with this PSU from Chill Innovation.  It is more of a light weight, being only 520w but that is just perfect for the average HTPC.  It has modular design and a quiet running 140mm fan to keep stuff cool.  Check it out.
"Chill Innovation is a Scandinavian company that has been doing the rounds in the background of the PSU market since 2002. Now attempting to break their way into the enthusiast market with style they have released their new 520w Super Silent model. It promises silence and maximum stability, can it de..."
Posted by: Franz on 4/15/07 @ 08:39:25AM
Hardware/HTPC-SFF

Franz: I see stuff like this card and get all googlely eyed and ooo'ed and ahhh'ed up.  Mainly because I'm a heatsink freak, I've put them on everything, even stuff that doesn't really need it.  Anyhow, this monster is supposed to keep a x1950 pro cool without fans.  Will it run?  Well, I can't spoil the fun so read on.
"At a first glance, the fins on PowerColor’s Radeon X1950 Pro SCS3 heatsink look a bit like some kind of grill when they’re laid down flat. Maybe there’s room for a bit of a fire under the heatsink fins, making it ideal for flame grilling your meat. Despite this being the case, we sadly didn’t get th..."
Posted by: Franz on 4/15/07 @ 08:24:50AM
Hardware/HTPC-SFF

Cooling Options to keep your HEAD, I mean CPU COOL

I guess a CPU cooler is just another thing you have to purchase when you plan on building, upgrading, or OCing a computer. Well, I have four reviews here that ought to at least HELP in deciding which one to get.

Scythe Ninja Rev.B @ PureOverclock
Kingwin 2007 Cooler Lineup Review @ The Overclocker Cafe'
Gigabyte 3d Rocket Cooler @ GideonTech.com
Cooler Master GeminII Heat Sink Review @ Hi-Tech Reviews.com

The Gigabyte Rocket is a Monster of a cooler, make sure it will fit before thinking about getting it.

Posted by: Franz on 4/15/07 @ 08:09:27AM
Hardware/HTPC-SFF

Franz: Man the HTPC/SFF stuff is just puring out of the box the last few months.  This review is on a mATX abit Fatal1ty F0I90HD, and man does it packs quite a punch for a small board.  Read on to find out why.
"From a features point of view, the abit F-190HD motherboard is excellent, with everything you would want from a board targeted towards integrated graphics. The unique feature of HDMI on the RX700 chipset means that you will likely be safe from upgrading the monitor for a long while."
Posted by: Franz on 4/14/07 @ 05:10:34PM
Hardware/HTPC-SFF

Franz: WOW, who wants a WCed 8800GTX? Well, then you need to head to your nearest supplier of MSI products and check out their new MSI 8800GTX OC Liquid video card. Check out the quick news post about it from XSReviews too.  Pretty slickorish.
"The above card is MSI's latest incarnation of the 8800GTX, though as you can see, this one comes with something a bit extra. This overclocked GTX is called the "OC Liquid" and comes with a 610mhz core clock and a 2000mhz memory clock (Stock: 575/1800). To make sure this blazingly fast card stays ..."
Posted by: Franz on 4/14/07 @ 04:58:58PM
Hardware

Slap Happy With Case Reviews

Man have I got some good reviews on cases this weekend.  I was goning to feed em one by one but hey, why not let you all have a nice list to look through, so you can pick your favorite.

Thermaltake LAN Box HT Micro ATX Case Review  @ XtremeComputing
Antec P180B Performance One ATX Case Review @ Benchmark Reviews
3R System R110 ATX Case @ Viper Lair
Shuttle's XPC SD39P2 SFF barebones system @ TR-News
Lian Li PC-B20 Review @ XSReviews

Saving the best for last, we have one of the beter loong Lian Li cases being reviewed and does it shine!! 

Posted by: Franz on 4/14/07 @ 04:51:02PM
Hardware/HTPC-SFF

What's that stuff you loose as you get older?

Hmmm, I forgot what I was thinking of, maybe I need to do some poking around at a few of these reviews.

OCZ 2x1GB PC2-6400 Flex XLC DDR2 Memory Kit Review @ Virtual-Hideout
Crucial Technology Announces 1066MHz Ballistix & Ballistix Tracer Memory @ Tekbunker.com
OCZ PC2-6400 CL 3 DDR2 - FlexXLC Edition Review  @ XtremeComputing

Now if I could just remember what I did yesterday things would be good. 

Posted by: Franz on 4/14/07 @ 04:39:15PM
Hardware/HTPC-SFF

Franz: Haven't posted a case review in about a week so here goes.  This Aerocool Zero Degree sort of reminds me of the older CM Stackers and it has just about as much room for drives.  Again, I am attracted to the simplicity of the design and and the 250mm FAN.
"The Aerocool Zero Degree case has a nice clean outside appearance and a functional inside design that will easily accommodate water cooling setups if one should choose to go that route in the future. The 0.8mm SECC steel that is used for the Zero Degree was found to be strong and leaves you with a h..."
Posted by: Franz on 4/9/07 @ 01:06:17PM
Hardware

Franz: Ok, well I really have nothing to say other than WOW. But then what do you do but drool and dream?
"Intel slips in some more quad-core love earlier than expected. The 2.93GHz-clocked QX6800 romps through our benchmarks. See just how fast it is in this HEXUS.review."
Posted by: Franz on 4/9/07 @ 12:59:01PM
Hardware

Video Card Comparisons and Reviews

Want to figure out how to speed up Video Encoding?  Ever wonder who makes the better AGP ATI based card? Or do you just want to read a review on a X1950pro?

Accelerate Video Encoding with your Video Card's GPU! @ OCModShop
HEXUS.net - reviews :: GeCube vs Sapphire - Radeon X1950 Pro AGP: the must-have upgrade?
Overclock3D Review: Sapphire Ultimate X1950 Pro 256mb PCI-E
ASUS EAX1950PRO Video Card Review @ ThinkComputers.org

Well, have at it people.   

Posted by: Franz on 4/9/07 @ 12:29:32PM
Hardware

AMD cuts desktop CPU prices
Franz: MAN, AMD has got to be hurting. This is what, the third or forth time this year they have cut prices by a bunch on CPU's? Like an X2 6000+ for less than $250? WOW
"AMD has published price cuts for its desktop processor range with prices falling up to US$200 for high-end Athlon 64 FX-70 series processors. Several products have also been discontinued including the socket AM2-based Athlon 64 FX-64, and the socket 745-based Sempron 3400+ and 3000+."
Posted by: Franz on 4/9/07 @ 07:57:40AM
Hardware

Franz: Of course, we all like quality, well priced products and this motherboard is no exception. Then again that is what is expected when ECS is the maker. Check out their new purple monster with an AMD/ATI heart.
"ATI is now owned by AMD, and the CrossFire Xpress 3200 is based on what was once the chipset known as RD580, but is now the AMD 580X -- same thing, new marketing spin. CrossFire Xpress 3200 is AMD/ATI's highest performance motherboard solution to date, with specifications on-par with pretty much an..."
Posted by: Franz on 4/8/07 @ 01:50:45PM
Hardware

PSU Review Roundup

Well, since I'm bored sitting here with nothing to do, I'll throw together a few reviews on PSU's that are sitting in the box.

HEXUS.net - reviews :: Akasa vs FSP - 500W PSU shootout
Ultra X-Pro 600 Watt ATX Power Supply Review @ Tweaknews.net

FSP Blue Storm 500w Review - XSReview

There, that takes care of three reviews. Enjoy.

Posted by: Franz on 4/5/07 @ 01:16:52PM
Hardware

Franz: Nothing like a good review on some very good RAM, right? Well maybe there is but when you are looking at two Corsair Dominator RAM kits that are both clocked at over 1000mhz and they both have those sexy heatsinks, what's not to like?
"If money is no object and you want the absolute best money can buy then there is simply no alternative available to Corsair's PC-10000 Dominator memory. It's how Corsair has targeted this memory and how we have skewed the final scores accordingly. You are simply not going to be concerned with the ..."
Posted by: Franz on 4/4/07 @ 10:16:47AM
Hardware

Franz: It looks as though bugs are slowly moving out of the 6xx series nVidia Chipsets, and with excellent prices on mobo's like this P5N32-E SLI Plus from Asus, what's not to like about a board that will perform almost as good as its' big brother for less money.
"As a less expensive alternative to the nForce 680i SLI boards, the P5N32-E SLI Plus board is a good choice for the gamer wanting SLI on their motherboard without a large price tag. Performance-wise the board performs near on-par with the nForce 680i SLI board from EVGA. Feature-wise, the board has n..."
Posted by: Franz on 4/4/07 @ 09:57:37AM
Hardware

Franz: Just when I start whining about people not overclocking anymore, Phoronix pops in with a article on OCing an ATI X1000 series card.  It's good to know Linix people still like to make smoke.
"When it comes to overclocking ATI Radeon graphics cards under Linux the only real option has been using rovclock. Rovclock is a Radeon overclocking utility written and developed by Sebastian Witt. This tool has been in development since 2005 but it took quite a while before the<..."
Posted by: Franz on 4/3/07 @ 07:02:50AM
Hardware/Software

Franz: I have a couple of freebie give aways today, the first is THREE Super Talent RAM kits, so hit the link, get signed up, and good luck.
"Super Talent has teamed up with Virtual-Hideout for the month of April to giveaway (3) PC2-6400 DDR2 over clocking memory kits valued around $200 each! That's right, 3 prizes and 3 chances to win! Just stop by and drop your email into the box and click submit to enter! It’s that easy!"
Posted by: Franz on 4/1/07 @ 03:28:52PM
Hardware/HTPC-SFF

Franz: Nothing like using flashy lights to help sell product.  What's neat is the flashy lights on this Crucial Ballistix Tracer RAM actually show the memory usage and flash accordingly.  Sweet.
"The last time we took a look at some Ballistix memory from Crucial was way back in August when we reviewed the Ballistix DDR2 PC2-5300 memory. This time we are checking out some Ballistix memory, but it is the Tracer Ballistix memory which features two rows of eight "chasing" red and green LED's ..."
Posted by: Franz on 4/1/07 @ 03:24:08PM
Hardware

Franz: Yeah, I know you're wondering why I'm posting a review on an AGP based video card.  Well, I am quite sure there are still quite a few people out there that are looking for a way to keep from spending major amounts of money to upgrade an entire system  just to play the newest games.  While the x1950pro AGP is not DX-10, it does have the oomf to perform with some of the best of the cards out today.
"HIS brings us a highly overclocked X1950 Pro based video card with custom cooling for the AGP platform. Can it turn an aging system into a full blown gaming rig? Let's find out."
Posted by: Franz on 4/1/07 @ 02:24:08PM
Hardware


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