Wow.. woke up today and it’s 28F, I thought it was supposed to be spring?
Anyway, it’s time for the news. On the PC side of things Nvidia just launched their new video card, so there’s many of those reviews in here. On the mobility side of things we’ve got Bluetooth stuff, cases and notebooks in there, and of course the rest of the weekly news from all over the world!
Corsair Nova Series V128 128GB Solid State Disk
QUOTE: “Since CES Marvell and SandForce has been making big headlines and getting a lot of attention, but their controller introductions have brought an old favorite into a new price category. For the last year we have been singing the praises of the Indilinx Barefoot controller for its perfect mix of high performance, data capacity and low cost. Even though it is highly debatable, when given the choice between an Intel X25-M 80GB and an Indilinx Barefoot 128GB drive, we would choose the Barefoot each time.
Indilinx has made things easy for SSD manufacturers to produce lower cost drives. Their latest version of the Barefoot called ECO was introduced several months ago and we first took a look at one when we reviewed the G.Skill Falcon II. The ECO allows manufacturers to use NAND flash from the joint Intel Micron group that costs less than most other flash on the market. The lower cost trickles down to the consumer and we are already able to buy the 128GB Corsair Nova for 339.99 USD. This is quite a bit less than other standard Barefoot drives that still sell for 400+ USD.”
SilverStone DS221 2.5″ HDD Enclosure
Review Link : http://www.bayreviews.com/computers/2118-silverstone-ds221-enclosure
Quote : “A little while ago we tested the Thermaltake BlacX Duet eSATA & USB Docking station and now we can compare it to this DS221 2.5″ HDD Enclosure by SilverStone Technology. It has two bays that support 2.5″ SATA drives that are hot swappable. Let’s see how it compares to the Thermaltake BlacX Duet.”
OCZ Platinum DDR3-1600 4GB Low Voltage Dual Channel Memory Kit Review @ ThinkComputers.org
Quote: “Keep in mind that though most of us in the PC Hardware website realm generally fall in or near what I call the “extreme enthusiast”, more interested in overclocking, high-end gaming, or just owning powerful rigs…pretty much what you would have considered “an enthusiast” just a few years ago. But the term “enthusiast” has changed, encompassing a large number of new “enthusiasts”…the HTPC crowd, and those with high-end workstations. So rather than purchasing the upper end memory which will generally be purchased by the extreme enthusiast or o verclocker, it is more likely that the buyer will get DDR3-1600 or DDR3-1333 memory. Today I will be looking at OCZ’s Platinum DDR3-1600 Low Voltage Dual Channel 4GB Memory Kit. It sports some tight timings of 7-7-7, and meets Intel’s requirement of doing its thing at a max of 1.65 volts. An has those beautiful platinum-plated OCZ Platinum heatspreaders. Will it live up to the expectations we have for OCZ memory? Read on to see!”
ASUS DRW-24B1ST DVD-RW Optical Drive.
SNIP:Rewritable DVD drives are a basic necessity in almost every modern day computer. Either it be a typical laptop or desktop machine, its bound to have a DVD-RW drive. Picking an optical drive when building the next computer may be as simple as sorting by price and clicking ‘Add to Cart’. The fact is, there is plenty to reconsider when buying an optical drive other than cost. Quality should be the main priority, no one wants to replace a DVD drive within a couple months due to failure. Features & software is another thing to consider and with most companies focusing on going ‘green’, you should consider that as well.
OCIA.net has posted their review of the Icy Dock 2.5″ to 3.5″ SATA SSD HDD Converters.
“With the ever increasing speeds obtainable from modern solid state drives, more and more enthusiasts are switching to using them as their primary system drive in desktop machines. Since most SSDs are designed in the 2½” notebook format however, which many desktop computer cases are not equipped to handle, this leaves users with a quandary over how to mount their new drive. Use only one or two screws to hold it? Double-sided tape? Or maybe just leave it dangling at the end of the SATA cable? For those who want something a little more secure and a cleaner looking installation, Icy Dock has the perfect solution.”
Direct Link: http://www.ocia.net/reviews/icydockssd/page1.shtml
LaCie Rikiki Review
“If James Bond carried a portable hard drive, it would be LaCie’s Rikiki. Sure, his version would fire harpoons and self-destruct with the press of a button, but it would look – and function – a lot like this little wonder. The Rikiki, which means “tiny” in French, is among the smallest and subsequently most portable hard drives on the market and it doesn’t sacrifice speed or jack up the price to get there.”
Link to the review:
http://www.digitaltrends.com/product-reviews/hard- drive-dvd-blu-ray-burner-reviews/hard-drive-external- reviews/lacie-rikiki-review/
AXUS FiT500E : External HDD-Drive with up to 10 Terabyte
If you are often doing backups and need much of space, then you should take a look at the AXUS FiT500E.
ASUS BC-08B1ST Bu-Ray Combo Drive Review
Blu-ray Combo drives are popular among PC enthusiasts today as they can both play back the latest Blu-ray Disks and burn a DVD for Data Storage or other uses. The BC-08B1ST has 8x speed which is one of the fastest currently available drive on the market today. Blu-ray media when needing to transfer files requires a fast speed and there are hardly 8x Blu-ray media to take advantage of this drive yet. This drive has a 2MB cache and works right out of the box with the included ASUS BD Suite which consists of CyberLink’s BD Suite of software version 7.3.
Tsunami Ultimate II 3500 USB2 Enclosure Review @ Vortez.co.uk
“But what do you do with your old drive? I have several collecting dust which could be put to use, but I don’t want to have lots of external caddies lying around nor the hassle of constantly swapping the drives inside them. Enter the Tsunami Ultimate II 3500 USB2 Enclosure.”
Plextor PX-128M1S 128GB Solid State Drive / SSD Review
“Plextor, best known for manufacturing optical drives, has finally stepped into the SSD market with the PX-128M1S, a 128GB drive that uses multilevel cell (MLC) NAND flash memory. The PX-128M1S is a 2.5″, SATA 3Gb/s drive, which makes it compatible with most notebooks. It can also be installed into a desktop computer with use of a mounting bracket (not included). With a capacity of 128GB, the Plextor PX-128M1S is well-suited as a boot drive. Unlike 64GB drives which can be a little tight in that regard, you’ll have enough space to install Windows, everyday applications like Microsoft Office.”
Transcend aXeRAM 4GB DDR3-2000 @ PureOverclock
Review URL: http://www.pureoverclock.com/article941.html
“If you’re looking for some high performance memory modules to satisfy your enthusiast cravings that aren’t fussy, look great, and run fast, then today’s product will certainly interest you. We’re looking at a set of Transcend aXeRAM 4GB DDR3-2000 CAS9 modules that have some promise from what we’ve been told. Forgive us if we don’t take Transcend’s word for it though, we prefer to see for ourselves.”
Vantec NexStar 3 SuperSpeed USB 3.0
Brief:USB 3.0 has slowly been gaining market share over the last months. Vantec is one of the first companies to offer a USB 3.0 compatible external 3.5″ enclosure. We take the NexStar 3 for a spin to see if the USB 3 promise holds up to the test.
Patriot Viper II Sector 5 2000MHz 4GB Memory Kit Review @ Legit Reviews
Article URL: http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1232/1/
In the need for some more memory bandwidth? Overclocking like a madman but running out of overhead with your DDR? Patriot thinks they have the answer with their Viper II Sector 5 2000MHz kit. This kit is designed to give you some room to squeeze every ounce of performance from your system. We take a look at it to see if it does just that!
QNAP TS-459 Pro NAS Server @ Benchmark Reviews
DESCRIPTION: Network storage has become the convenient answer to centralized data for corporate enterprise environments. The QNAP TS-459 Pro NAS server uses the energy-efficient 1.66GHz Intel Atom D512 processor with 1GB of DDR2 system memory to enable VMware Ready iSCSI for virtualization deployments. Dual Gigabit Ethernet network interfaces allow failover safety, while four SATA drives deliver basic-disk or RAID configurations. In this article, Benchmark Reviews tests performance of the QNAP TS-459 Pro against several other network attached storage servers.
Corsair Force Series F100 100GB SSD Featuring the SandForce 1200
QUOTE: “We knew going into last week that the first SandForce controlled drive for the consumer market would be in our hands before the weekend. Things got a little sketchy when the drive we were counting on arriving ended up being shipped from Taiwan with a three day service instead of the next day option that a situation like this deserves. How could such a thing happen when no one has performance numbers of the SandForce SF-1200 online and retail products are on the way to e-tail locations as I type? Just when all hope had faded, a lonely delivery driver came knocking to the door like Superman coming to the rescue of Lois Lane. Superman this time was wearing a brown uniform and was empowered by Corsair, not the sun.
We have all known that Corsair was planning a flagship product around the SandForce SF-1200 for a few weeks now. The press release has already been issued and the buzz already started. What we haven’t known is how the consumer controller was going to perform or if it was even comparable to the enterprise SF-1500 products we have already seen. At the time of writing no one has really commented on the performance of the new upper to high end consumer drive that when merged with existing product lines will force the Indilinx Barefoot products into budget to mainstream SSD category. The SF-1200 was designed to displace the Barefoot from its price category and at a time when Indilinx made it possible to produce lower cost drives.”
Imation Pro WX 1.5TB Wireless USB
Quote: Remember when Bluetooth came out? No one bothered to care for a long time until an explosion happened a few years ago. We believe that Wireless USB is in the same boat. The technology solves a problem that people need; the ability to connect peripherals to their computer without a wire. It is just that we are suffering on the implementation and faced without market saturation, the Wireless USB field seems to be stagnating. There are glimmers of hope and Imation brings the first Wireless USB enclosure to the table.
Corsair Padlock 2 8 GB
Corsair’s latest Padlock revision brings about more changes than just a new look. Data is now secured with a 256-bit AES encryption, unlike the original Padlock 1, which just cut off power to the flash drive unless the correct PIN was entered. We drill the Padlock 2 to see if it holds up or snitches under pressure.
Audio / Video:
Arctic Sound E352 Wooden Earphones
Quote:The E352 earphones that we received don’t have a microphone and therefore come with a standard 1/8″ stereo plug, but the big feature on these is the wooden construction of the earbuds. Of course the internals and the part on which the silicon earpieces attach is aluminum, but the main sound chamber is actually made of wood. . .
JayBird SB1 Sportsband Bluetooth Stereo Headphones Review @ Legit Reviews
Article URL: http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1244/1/
“Many people with mobile phones and other devices that are Bluetooth capable want to be able to use that feature. That is where the JayBird SB1 Sportsband comes in. These headphones are designed to let you enjoy a rich sound experience and let you be wireless at the same time using the Bluetooth connection of your device. The JayBird SB1 Sportsband is also targeted to those that live an active lifestyle (hence the name “Sportsband”). Today we take a look at these to see if they are the solution to listening to your tunes as they were meant to be heard, and if they are really built for those that do more than just sit and listen to their music…”
Auzentech X-Fi HomeTheater HD sound card @ APH Networks
The Auzentech X-Fi HomeTheater HD incorporates elements that made the X-Fi Prelude such a success, as well as new technologies such as the ability to output bitstreams of high-definition, multichannel audio from Blu-ray Discs with no downsampling. Is the Auzentech X-Fi HomeTheater HD the new ultimate in high end PC audio? We composed this 12 page review for you today, so read on to find out!
* Link: http://aphnetworks.com/reviews/auzentech_x_fi_hometheater_hd
HDMI – An Evolving Standard
QUOTE: “The design brief of HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) was to create a connector to provide digital high definition content, in one simple, easy to understand cable. Eschewing analog legacy cabling such as composite, S-Video and Component did indeed make things easier for consumers. For a time, things were less confusing than they had been in the past. Unfortunately, as malleable technology goes, it is increasingly easy to build on a standard. However, this mentality seems to have rebelled against the very basics of why the cable was created.
The latest iteration of the technology; 1.4 was standardised in the middle of 2009 and will soon be seen in the latest crop of 2010 consumer electronics, including LCD and Plasma Televisions, Blu-ray players, Amplifiers and Set-top Boxes. But what does this latest technology really offer? This is what we shall look at today.”
Arctic Cooling Arctic Sound E361-WM Earphones @ PCShopTalk
“The Arctic Sound E361-WM Earphones from Arctic Cooling that I will cover more in-depth in this review, have a nice aluminium chassis a special shape and large drivers to deliver deep bass, precise highs right into the ear canal. They are also shipped with a little box to carry them easy and 3 different sized silicone cups, to fit all ear sizes.”
Kidz Gear Wired and Wireless Headphones
Quote: Both the wired and wireless Kidz Gear headphones were given to several kids to test out. On a three hour trip, none of them took the headphones off. At the final destination, they all stated the headphones were more comfortable than the ones that came with the vehicle. The parents of the kids now have to buy new headphones!
Overclock3D have just published a new article titled: SteelSeries Siberia V2.
Quote: SteelSeries have updated their popular Siberia headset. Does it improve on the already great Siberia?
Plantronics .Audio 476 DSP Foldable Headset Review @ Legit Reviews
Article URL: http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1254/1/
The Plantronics .Audio 476 DSP headset is a foldable USB 2.0 powered stereo headset that offers digital signal processing to enhance the sound quality. The noise canceling microphone uses a wideband acoustic echo cancellation to get natural sounding voice audio. Read on to find out how the Plantronics .Audio 476 DSP headset handled our day to day grind.
Sennheiser PMX-680 Adidas Sport Headphones
“Sennheiser has teamed up with Adidas to design their latest sports-headphone offering for runners and exercise enthusiasts – the PMX680 Sports Neckband Headphones. Retailing at $79.95, they aim to provide a comfortable, durable and secure fitting set of sports-headphones without sacrificing a sweet-sounding listening experience. Let’s take a look to see if they’ve succeeded.”
Mobile / Notebooks / Netbooks:
Nokia N97 Mobile Phone
Review Link : http://www.bayreviews.com/electronics/3367-nokia-n97-mobile-phone
Quote : “The Nokia N97 mobile phone is a compact phone with a slide out full QWERTY keyboard and a huge 3.5″ touch screen with tilt. I would mostly use this as a personal phone to get all my emails, surf the web, take pictures and videos and of course store them in the huge 32 GB storage space. So I tested it for about two weeks and these are my results.”
Speck PixelSkin iPhone Case Review @ ThinkComputers.org
Quote: “Last month we took a look at our first iPhone case from Speck, the Fitted Case. It proved that Speck is not one of those companies creating garbage cases just to jump on the popularity of the iPhone. They were nice enough to send us another case, the PixelSkin which is a rubber case with a textured tile pattern that provides a comfortable, tactile sensation in your hand and a no-slip grip. The case offers openings to all ports, controls and sensors for convenient accessibility. Let’s take a look at the PixelSkin iPhone case!”
‘Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 15’
The ThinkPad Edge tries to update the classic ThinkPad design with rounded corners and a new keyboard. We take a look at the 15″ model and find out if its worthy.
The Full Article can be viewed at
ASUS G73Jh DX11 Gaming Notebook Review – ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5870 @ Legit Reviews
Article URL: http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1248/1/
Today we take an in-depth look at the ASUS G73Jh. Featuring the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5870 mobile GPU, mobile gamers once again have an offering of top-of-the-line graphics performance in a notebook. Paired with an Intel Core i7 720QM mobile CPU, the G73Jh offers some serious performance both for gamers and video encoders. Throw in a 17.3″ Full HD display and you are probably wondering what the price tag is… That’s the best part!
Dell Alienware Area-51 Core i7-980 X Infused Gaming PC:
Dell recently afforded their Alienware division the inside track on Intel’s benchmark crushing Core i7-980X Gulftown 6-core processor and the resources to get it validated for delivery to market quickly. We’ve had the new Dell Alienware Area-51 in for testing for a week now and have spent some quality time with the machine, helping it break its first sweat, globally we might add…
Technocel T360 Bluetooth Headset Review at CCEReviews
Quote: While there may be a couple things for Technocel to improve on, the T360 is still a winner as an affordable and reliable Bluetooth headset for your phone.
Acer Aspire AS5738PG-6306 Touch Screen Notebook
So can one be in love with a notebook? I think I am, and the main reason is the touch screen that it has. Today for review I’ve got the Acer Aspire AS5738PG-6306 Notebook that features a nice large 15.6” touch screen with a resolution of 1366×768. Inside you’ll find a Core2Duo T6600 CPU along with an ATI 4570 graphics card and it’s also got 4 gigs of DDR2 ram. You’ll also find a very nice set of Dolby virtual surround sound speakers that round this notebook off nicely as a portable media centric laptop. The main feature of course is the touch screen and I absolutely love it, it makes using the computer so much easier and a lot more fun. Included is TouchPortal which is essentially a second desktop that is specifically designed for the touch screen putting all of your media and more literally right at your fingertips. So read on…
When more cores are just not enough
QUOTE: “The CPU market is now flooded with multi-core and multi-threaded CPUs. We see them in everything from smartphones (with Dual Core Cortex A9 from ARM) to the highest end notebooks and desktops where the Core i7-980X is now king. But the question many people are asking is; what will more cores give me? – So let’s take a brief look at why even with 6 and 12 core CPUs in the channel we do not see better multi-thread and multi-tasking support in our applications and operating systems.
The question of what does more cores get me is an important one and one that needs to be answered by the big software companies. If you go back a few years (like around 10), you will see that it was not until very recently that even the big names like Microsoft began to seriously consider multiple CPUs or cores in their products. True, you had Windows NT that would support more than one CPU, but the scheduler that handled the tasks was very basic, though it still achieved the end result and allowed you to use more than one CPU through the OS.”
Building Your Own Home Theater PC: What You Need to Know @ TechwareLabs
Quote: Today’s growing technology makes it easy for us to build PC to do anything. So why not make one to control your whole media environment. Easily done and can be done for the same price you would have paid for any number of a combination of media equipment.
NVIDIA Drops Their Open-Source Driver @ Phoronix
Direct Link: http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=14714
Summary: “NVIDIA’s open-source Linux efforts as it concerns their GPU support have historically been minimal. The xf86-video-nv driver has been around that provides very basic 2D acceleration and a crippled set of features besides that (no proper RandR 1.2/1.3, KMS, power management, etc) while the code has also been obfuscated to try to protect their intellectual property. However, NVIDIA has decided to deprecate this open-source driver of theirs. No, NVIDIA is not working on a new driver. No, NVIDIA is not going to support the Nouveau project. Instead, NVIDIA now just recommends its users use the X.Org VESA driver to get to NVIDIA.com when installing Linux so they can install their proprietary driver.”
Samsung ML-2525W Workgroup Monochrome Wireless Laser Printer Review @ Modsynergy.com
Quote: “Incorporating a printer within a home network or a small business can be quite a task if you don’t know what you’re doing. There a number of steps to follow such as putting every computer you own on the same workgroup, allow file sharing/printer sharing, assigning an IP address to the printer, and much more. Frankly all this adds up in the time department and means wasted productivity.
Change Your Wallpaper on Windows 7 Starter
Few people would argue that Windows 7 is a great step forward for the platform — but those folks probably don’t use the Starter edition. Anyone who is stuck with it will know that this entry-level variant of Microsoft’s operating system is swathed in red tape, and is a real bummer to use beyond browsing the Web or checking your email.
Windows 7 Tuning: Maintenance for better performance @ TweakPC.de
Windows 7 got a new looking GUI, it is comfortable and fast. But there is a lot of older stuff runnning in the background and you will have to take care for Windows 7 keeping fast.
brite-View LinkE PowerLine Kit
Today for review I’ve got another PowerLine kit, this one is from a company called brite-View. Not long ago I reviewed a Hercules brand powerline kit, the brite-View kit I today though is a bit different in that it’s also a 4 port switch, so you can connect more than one device to it. So for testing I’ve put it up against the Hercules kit and my gigabit ethernet I have at home, so read on to see the results and how this kit works.
Nvidia Fermi Coverage:
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480: Has The Waiting Paid Off? @ InsideHW
Nvidia GeForce GTX 480 Review: Fermi Arrives @ TechSpot
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 Fermi Video Card @ Benchmark Reviews
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 Review @ HardwareHeaven.com
NVIDIA Geforce GTX 480 Review @ Hardware Canucks
Nvidia GTX-480 (Fermi, GF100) @ Bjorn3D
NVIDIA Geforce GTX 470 Review @ Hardware Canucks
Microsoft SideWinder X4 Keyboard Review @ DragonSteelMods
Nintendo DSi XL Review @ Digital Trends
Just Cause 2 (PC) @ GamingHeaven.net
Mionix Naos 5000 Mouse @ Rbmods
Heavy Rain Complete Walkthrough @ [OC]ModShop
SPARKLE Geforce GTS250 Series SXS2501024D3L-NM Video Card @ PCShopTalk
iPhone 4G Release Date Likely for Summer 2010 After Job Posting Appears for LTE Technology Expert?
XFX Radeon HD5830 DX11 Video Card @ Benchmark Reviews
Prolimatech Megahalems Rev.B CPU Cooler Review @ Tweaknews
Gigabyte X58A-UD3 @ Bjorn3D
Microsoft Arc Wireless Compact Keyboard @ Benchmark Reviews
NZXT Sentry 2 Fan Controller @ Pro-Clockers
I-Rocks KR-6401-BK Slim Keyboard Review @ Tweaknews
Jetway NC94-510-LF IPC Motherboard @ PCShopTalk
HIS Radeon HD 5570 1GB Graphics Card Unboxing Video @ eTeknix.com