tweaktown

Has ATX run its course?

"As a technical journalist I have been very fortunate to be able to test the latest and greatest hardware as (and sometimes before) it hits the market. Lately I have noticed that our current form factor ATX seems to be reaching the limits of its usefulness. ATX (Advanced Technology Extended) was introduced in 1995 by Intel as the ‘replacement’ for the AT form factor that was pioneered by IBM in the 1980s.

Danger Den DD-GTX470 GPU Water Block

"Water cooling isn’t for everyone, but for those who do indulge in it, the benefits can be tremendous. I have had some previous water cooling experience with both processors and video cards, but at the time I last water cooled, I was on a strict budget, so for me the DD-TDX series CPU block and a Maze 4 GPU block was the way to go. Times have changed since cooling my 7600GTs or my HD 3870 and components got hotter, while the technology behind block design has gotten more efficient.

Sapphire Radeon HD 5970 TOXIC 4GB

The HD 5970 TOXIC from Sapphire has got a bit more coverage than usual when it comes to looking at a video card; the main reason for this is that not only are there limited amounts of the model around the world, but also it's the world's fastest video card thanks to some insane stock clocks on the model.

Lian Li PITSTOP PC-T1 Mini-ITX Spider

15 April 2010, Keelung, Taiwan – Lian Li Industrial Co. Ltd Ltd, today officially launches the PITSTOP T1 Mini-ITX Spider Test Bench 2010 Special Edition, promising to be an eye-catching and most innovative testing bench in the industry. Uniquely designed with spider’s four legs and M/B tray completely angle-adjustable available in red, silver and black colors, Lian Li’s PC-T1 is most ideal for hardware enthusiast looking to display an impressive computer system for the next LAN Party or to challenge family and friends with a unique looking HTPC.

ASMedia ASM1051 USB 3.0 controller

Today the USB Implementers Forum held its Taipei SuperSpeed USB Developers Conference 2010 and we were in attendance at the event to check out all of the latest cutting-edge developments to come to the new USB 3.0 connectivity standard.

One of the exhibitors was ASMedia who is a Taiwanese IC maker. These folks were showing off one of the more exciting demonstrations in the exhibitor area. They had an ASUS powered system hooked up with a Crucial RealSSD C300 SATA 6Gbps SSD connected via USB 3.0. The SSD was able to be connected to the system via USB thanks to the use of an ASMedia USB 3.0 controller bridge device that translates SATA 3.0 to USB 3.0 data signals with the ASM1051 chip.

When more cores are just not enough

"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.

High End Radeons - Then and Now

I've been fairly vocal on the interweb about my opinion on the GTX 400 series. To be honest, though, over the last week or two I've been a complete mess full of all different emotions.

Video cards are my job and I love them (most of the time!). For this reason I'm fairly passionate about releases. My frustration with NVIDIA lately has been immense due to big delays and horrible allocation on samples, but I know once I get the GTX 470 and hopefully GTX 480 in my hands, love it or hate it, I'll be excited.

ATI Catalyst 10.3 Windows 7 Driver Analysis

The Catalyst 10.3 drivers are really weird this month. What tends to happen is that we'll get the driver a few days before it goes up live on the ATI website. Once it goes live then we release our performance analysis comparing the latest version to the previous one.

Indilinx Barefoot Firmware Testing

"When we first tested the RunCore Pro IV solid state drives we had no idea that the Indilinx Barefoot firmware would be updated more often than your typical motherboards BIOS. Some people may be a little disheartened by this since it can be a pain to update firmware every couple of months, but for the most part enthusiasts welcome the additional features and with them performance advantages that come from the latest in technological achievements.

When it comes to firmware updates for solid state drives, the company that manufactured your drive DOES MATTER!

WildCharge Wireless Charging Pad

"I have always been a fan of new technology. I enjoy the implementation, creation and even the way it is marketed to the consumer (for good or bad). I am sure this is no surprise to you (given what I do for a living), but what might surprise you is that I am even more intrigued by the recent resurgence of old ideas that are finally coming to light as new technology.

Today we are looking at another resurrected technology; this time from WildCharge. WildCharge is another of the companies that is working very hard to make wireless charging a standard.

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