December 2001

12/31/01

EN: Nostromo n50 - 12/31/01 @ 8:58 pm - By: NeilY - Source: Envy News
Yes, buried above is in fact what we're reviewing here, the Belkin Nostromo n50 SpeedPad. At first glance, the packaging combined with the name and the device's design will make you perform a 'double-take'. In a bold move by Belkin Components, they've decided to enter the lucrative market of computer game and console accessories. Bright packaging, black-colored plastics, sexy industrial design, and best of all, an affordable sticker price - all add to a very noticeable product on a store shelf.

Nostromo n50 SpeedPad


Titanium Shootout - 12/31/01 @ 6:22 pm - By: MikeC - Source: Email
The German web site Media Xplosion is ending the year with a GeForce Titanium shootout. The GeForce2 Ti and GeForce3 Ti 500 from Asus and the GeForce3 Ti 200 from Hercules are put to the test.


RTCW Clan Forming? - 12/31/01 @ 1:26 pm - By: MikeC - Source:
I remember when a few of used to get together and play Quake 3 Arena. One of our Linux moderators, fdiv_bug, is thinking about forming a RTCW clan. As soon as I get the game, you can count me in guys. I know Brian is addicted to RTCW (that's why he hasn't been working on his reviews lately...heh.) Anyone else who's interested, click on the headline.

MikeC: I was a member of a Quake clan for almost two years. In order for a clan to succeed, it must have a leader, be organized, have dedicated members and of course a good server. We also practiced as a clan every Sunday night.


Second Encounter - 12/31/01 @ 10:52 am - By: HalcYoN - Source: Email
Planet savage has their preview of Serious Sam: The Second Encounter, based on a downloadable demo, up for your viewing pleasure. They include screenshots and info on new power-ups, weapons and enemies.

The chainsaw is pretty straightforward. It is only to be used in close range combat...specially those monsters that don't use projectiles for their attacks. It's a good weapon because it kills fast but it's not good to be left just with it late in the game. The sniper rifle (forgot the gun code) is a very powerful fun but has a slow rate of fire which is the drawback. The secondary fire function of the gun is the use of the scope. The gun is more effective when the scope is used and when fired from a steady position. It is good for killing those big and mean monsters from a very far distance. The other new weapon is the Flame Thrower which is not yet available in the downloadable demo.


Z-560 Impressions - 12/31/01 @ 10:01 am - By: MikeC - Source:
I picked up the Logitech Z-560 4.1 speaker system from CompUSA yesterday. While I was checking out, I ran across fellow NVIDIOT James Silcox who told me that he was contemplating getting an ATI All-in-Wonder. I immediately slapped him upside the head and he proceeded to buy VisionTek's Xtasy Everything :)

After spending the past few days on various message boards, my main concern with the Z-560's was the excessive amount of bass that the sub-woofer generates. Just check out the heatsink on the back of it.

I read one of the better reviews of the speaker system over at Extreme Tech which recommended keeping the subwoofer out in the open (or not exclosed against a wall or desk). In my case it worked out great.

The subwoofer is 18 inches from me and is situated in the left corner of the room. It sits on the lower shelf of an end-table which is 4 inches above the floor. With 12 inches of clearance between the two surrounding walls and the subwoofer, it has some breathing room.

The amount of bass can be managed with the control module, which is the unit standing on the desk, as well as in the advanced audio properties (SB Live). I'm not an audio junkie, but the system sounded great playing back my collection of MP3s. As for gaming, I only had a chance to test Quake 3 where the bass was more prevalent. It was a new experience however, and the rocket launcher will definitely make the floor shake :)

I would recommend the Logitech Z-560's for those of you contemplating a 4.1 speaker setup. And yes, they are quite loud. I've only been able to get away with the volume at the half-way point before my wife complained...heh. That's why I also bought the Koss KSC-50 earphones for $12 at Circuit City.

MikeC: Yea, I'm going to hire an interior decorator. Some new furniture and curtains would be nice.

HalcYoN: Make like Bob Vila and put up some track-lighting.  That was Bob's answer for everything.

MikeC: Unfortunatly, I haven't been able to get the nForce's ACR, which provides rear and center speaker support, to work. I'll be getting on the batphone with NVIDIA next week.


nForce MCP Article - 12/31/01 @ 9:24 am - By: MikeC - Source: Email
Digit-Life takes a looks at the networking and audio features of the nForce Media Communications Processor. The article also contains a question and answer session with Luciano Alibrandi from NVIDIA's European branch.

We listened to quality of sounding and positioning of sound sources in Max Payne, Serious Sam, Deus Ex and RTCW games. The nForce's sound subsystem demonstrates excellent sound reproduction at the level of modern multimedia sound cards on a PCI bus such as Hercules GT XP and TB Santa Cruz on the CS4630 or Live! and Audigy from Creative. And it is quite difficult to say which sounds better.


GF Tweak Utility - 12/30/01 @ 6:41 pm - By: Pakman - Source:
There's a new version 3.2t11 Beta of the GeForce Tweak Utility available. It has a ton of tricks for tweaking your NVIDIA cards with. It's priced just right too, at $0. You've gotta love freeware programs.

I hope that everyone had a good Christmas. I gave an X-Box to my niece and nephew this Christmas. I can verify that the X-Box is a geat game counsol, and that Halo is a top notch game. Microsoft and NVIDIA really produced a heavy-weight gaming platform. It's definitely a good buy for the money. Two kids who had brainwashed my niece and nephew into thinking that the X-Box sucked ompared to the PlayStation2, got to play a few games on the X-Box and said that they liked it better than their PlayStation 2 after trying it.

Anyway, I'm glad to be back home. The news usually grinds to a halt at this point every year. I'll try to keep you informed of any important news that may show up. Click on the headline of this post to go to where you can grab the GTU Beta program.


BitBoys Info - 12/30/01 @ 1:58 pm - By: Typedef Enum - Source: Beyond3D
Update: It seems that this site thought it would be a really big goof. Here's another post on the front of the website.

"Como muchos ya sabéis u os imaginais, la anterior noticia era nuestra Inocentada para el 28 de Diciembre. Pedimos disculpas a los ilusionados con el tema, no era nuestra intención molestar a nadie. Bien, esperemos que la noticia que publicamos hace algunos días, que sí era cierta, nos permita disponer de una muestra de la tarjeta en breves meses "

Which, by my own quick/dirty translation:

As many already know, the previous post was our "Inocentada" for the 28th of December. We apologize, as it was not meant to hurt/bother anybody. (this is, by all accounts, similar to our April Fools Day)

Ben: Hehe . Happens to the best of us. Hopefully, everyone has a good New Year's holiday. I'll be back the day after...


GF3 Ti 500 Review - 12/30/01 @ 12:56 pm - By: HalcYoN - Source: Blue's News
Source Magazine has posted a review of the VisionTek Xtasy 6964 GeForce3 Ti 500.

The Ti line is a rework of current technologies, and the Geforce3 Ti 500 is no different. It would be considered a Geforce3 Ultra if NVIDIA chose to stay with their past lines of video cards. The Xtasy 6964 has all the goodies, such as VGA out, TV/S-Video out, and also DVI out for digital flat panel connections.

It is a pretty quick review with just a few benchmarks.


Titanium Review - 12/30/01 @ 12:11 pm - By: HalcYoN - Source: Email
Hartware.net examines GeForce2/3 Titanium Performance. The review is in German, but here is a summary.

We compared the new GeForce2 Ti, GeForce3 Ti200 and Ti500 with the older GeForce2 Pro, Ultra and GeForce3 cards and threw a Kyro2 and the ATI Radeon 8500 in the mix, too.

You can give an online translator a shot here.


WinFast Titaniums - 12/30/01 @ 12:06 pm - By: HalcYoN - Source: Email
Dark Crow has reviewed the Leadtek WinFast Titanium line-up.  The review is not in English but there are so many great screenshots and pics of the cards, you should spend some time browsing.


NVIDIA Hacked - 12/30/01 @ 8:29 am - By: MikeC - Source:
Just found a press release announcing that NVIDIA had been hacked. Evidently Dutch teenagers hacked into NVIDIA's network and were impersonating NVIDIA and Microsoft employees in e-mails to obtain proprietary intellectual property.

In one of the first private enforcement actions against cross-border computer hacking detrimental to a publicly traded U.S. company, the international law firm of Coudert Brothers LLP has coordinated enforcement actions and settlement of a case against two Dutch computer hackers. The hackers posed as employees of San Jose's NVIDIA Corporation to obtain highly confidential source code and new product release plans and post them on their computer news Web site.

According to Robert Christopher, Managing Partner for the Northern California offices of Coudert Brothers, who headed NVIDIA's legal team, "In order to misappropriate NVIDIA's information, the young men hacked into NVIDIA's internal communications network and were fraudulently impersonating NVIDIA and Microsoft employees in e-mails to obtain proprietary intellectual property. NVIDIA's information technology experts traced the e-mails back to their source in The Netherlands and, with the help of Dutch counsel, we were able to quickly obtain a seizure order and confiscate their personal computers as evidence."

Christopher added that the motives of the two perpetrators seemed to be self-promotion and the sharing of information within the community of computer enthusiasts who enjoy using games and graphics products that employ chip technologies developed by NVIDIA. "They did not seem to be motivated by financial gain or any interest in harming the company," Christopher said. "Although they admitted the information had been obtained illegally, they argued that they were providing a 'public service' to other computer enthusiasts who read their on-line newsletter."


GeForce3 & Linux - 12/30/01 @ 7:27 am - By: MikeC - Source: nV Max
Nicholas Petreley of LinuxWorld has written an article in response to reader feedback from a previous article on installing the GeForce3 under Linux. There are also tips on how to use antialiasing in Unreal Tournament and Quake 3. Cranky? Sounds like me...heh.

What does this all have to do with Linux? First, now that you know I was a flower child, all it takes is a little math to figure out that I'm getting old and cranky. This week's critical letters from readers not only made me even crankier, but they brought the words blood, sweat, tears, and proselytize to mind. These readers were reacting to tips I offered last week's 7 steps to a successful GeForce3 installation on how to get your GeForce card working with NVidia's accelerated graphics driver and graphics libraries.


GeForce3 Reviews - 12/30/01 @ 7:10 am - By: MikeC - Source: Email
Couple of GeForce3 reviews. The Austrian Gaming Experience has a detailed article on the GeForce3 Ti 200 while Legion Hardware checks out a couple of GeForce3 Ti cards from X-Micro.


Updated GeForce FAQ - 12/30/01 @ 4:02 am - By: JonathanM - Source: Email
Another huge update to the GeForce FAQ. I'm glad to see Chris hasn't just let his FAQ remain idle for more than a few months. It's still an almost undisputed source for information about anything related to GeForce cards. Too many updates to list here.


New Chip Names - 12/30/01 @ 3:56 am - By: JonathanM - Source: Email
A contact from a fairly small manufacturing plant leaked out this info about the new names of NVIDIA's upcomming GeForce lineup:
  • NV17
    • GF4 MX420 SDR
    • GF4 MX440 DDR
    • GF4 MX460 DDR

  • NV25
    • GF4 Ti 4400

  • NV25Ultra
    • GF4 Ti 4600
I wonder what the 4600 means? Memory speeds? And we see NVIDIA's re-use of the Titanium name tags... Only time will tell if this stays true.

HalcYoN: This is not good. I have a Ti 500 in my system right now, and I already have wonderlust for the next-generation. Maybe I should seek professional help.

Capt. Kirk: We need more power Scotty!


Morning News Bits - 12/29/01 @ 9:18 am - By: MikeC - Source:
I'm very close to finalizing my selection for a new speaker system for my PC. As much as I would like to go with a Dolby Digital setup, I've been impressed with reviews of Logitech's Z-560 4.1. Having been mentioned alongside the Klipsch ProMedia 4.1 and being $100 cheaper, they've certainly caught my eye.

A feature that's important to me, that was lacking in the Dolby Digital systems, is the ability to drive a set of headphones. Believe it or not, there are folks as passionate about headphones as we are about graphics cards. I was surprised to learn that the Koss KSC-35 and KSC-50 are highly recommended and are less than $30 (at Circuit City). So it looks like I'll be out shopping later on today (after stripping off wallpaper in the upstairs hallway...heh).

Now for some news bits...

  • Run, don't walk, over to 3D GPU as their messageboard is back on-line.
  • 3D Spotlight checks out the VisionTek line of GeForce Titanium graphics cards.
  • Hexus has an extensive review of the Hercules GeForce3 Ti 500.
  • Dark Crow (Korean web site) has reviewed Innovision's GeForce3 Ti 200.
  • Bjorn 3D has posted a review of the Swedish developer GRIN's first game - Ballistics.
  • Overclockers Melbourne announces that their new forums are open for business.


Revisiting GeForce3 - 12/29/01 @ 5:17 am - By: Typedef Enum - Source:
Just checking some of the other sites, and came across this article over @ Firing Squad.

The basic premise is that the author has been accused of being an ATI fan, and should revisit the GF3...just to be fair.

So, how do the GF3 products stack up? Take a look at the following...it just might surprise some.

I went into this thinking that the Leadtek card would be fast, but would end up disappointing me to such an extent that I would just return the card and put my Radeon back in. However, having worked with the card for some time now, I've actually decided to keep the darn thing and let my Radeon sit on the shelf. All I really want is rock solid 2D, high quality colors and a whole lot of speed, and this bad boy delivers on all counts. I never thought I'd see the day when a Geforce based card would compete so well against my Radeon in terms of 2D quality and speed, and I surely never thought that the Detonator drivers would end up being so stable. No, they are not perfect, but they sure seem to be good enough for me, and that is really all that matters in the end.


NVIDIA And Multichip - 12/29/01 @ 4:34 am - By: Typedef Enum - Source:
Sometimes, something is posted in the forums that raises my interest, and this is one of them.

When I read mromain's post, I instantly recognized the name. Does anybody remember that quick Voodoo5 6000 preview that was hosted by VoodooExtreme?

Well, the same guy that authored that preview has made a post in our forum. Allow me to do a rip-job on the post:

There is one aspect of the newer NVIDIA chips that has been borrowed from 3dfx - multi-chip configurations. The NV17 is being tested now in a multi-chip configuration by a company who will remain nameless for the time being. (Those familiar with 3dfx can probably guess who the company is. )

...and he then follows up one of my questions with the following:

Actually, I'm hoping to be able to do a review of their system with a multi-chip setup. I should know more details later next month.

He does insist that the consumer products won't be utilizing this technology; however, the important thing to grasp is that nVidia IS making use of some 3dfx tech., and it would be something at their disposal in the future.

I don't know about anybody else, but I'm certainly looking forward to the 1st true nVidia/3dfx product. It looks like we'll still have to wait a bit before that comes to pass.


Stealth Mode Gaming - 12/28/01 @ 8:48 pm - By: HalcYoN - Source: Browsing
Tweak3D has taken it upon themselves to prove that an impressive system need not sound like a freight train.

When AMD released their first Athlon Thunderbird processor, users were starting to face tremendous heat problems. This was solved by adding more fans and bigger heatsinks. One problem with this is the more fans that are in a case, the louder it is which becomes irritating for some people. Also when using a larger heatsink, faster spinning fans are used to keep the temperature. Fans used on these heatsinks often times spin upwards to 7000RPM. At that speed the fans make a whirling sound which becomes extremely annoying if you're trying to concentrate.

In this article, I will guide you through building an Air-Cooled PC that performs on-par with the fastest systems but runs virtually silent.

The system uses an ATI Radeon 8500 so just substitute your favorite flavor of GeForce. :þ

HalcYoN: My level of sanity has improved since purchasing a ThermoEngine with 5000rpm Thermaltake fan for the gaming system, replacing the Alpha PAL6035 with the 7000rpm Delta. The workstation, however, has been running in stealth mode for some time now as the CeleronII 566@850 has never needed a fan on its heatsink. Amazing, eh?


1900+ MP Dually - 12/28/01 @ 8:37 pm - By: HalcYoN - Source: Browsing
SimHQ has built a God-Box.
  • 2 X AMD Athlon MP 1900+ Socket A processors at 1.60GHz
  • Tyan Thunder K7 (S2462) with Adaptec AIC-7899W SCSI
  • 512MB of Crucial ECC PC2100 DDR RAM
  • PNY Verto Ti-500 64MB
  • Detonator XP Driver 21.81
  • Seagate Cheetah ES 36.9GB 10000RPM SCSI Ultra160
  • Creative Labs SB 128
  • Acer 40X IDE CDROM
They use a few flight sims and synthetics to show off.

It is clear that F4 benefits from SMP but the question is how much? These scores are the highest we have ever seen. One of the biggest benefits to hit Falcon 4.0 in a very long time are these new spins of NVIDIA silicon in the form of the Titanium line. This PNY Verto Ti500 and coupled with the AMD Athlon MP and the rest of these great components have allowed us to reach scores in Falcon 4.0 that we (at least I) never thought were possible using the 1.08us patch.


M/B & HDD Roundup - 12/28/01 @ 10:28 am - By: MikeC - Source: Email
Digit-Life has a couple of hardware roundups. First is a roundup of motherboards featuring the Via P4X266/A chipset (Pentium 4). The second roundup covers hard drives from Maxtor, Samsung, and Western Digital.


H/W Year In Review - 12/28/01 @ 10:21 am - By: MikeC - Source: Email
Chris and Todd over at GamePC take a look back at the hardware scene for 2001. Their thoughts on the year's best and worst products are given in a point-counterpoint smackdown style. The "best of" awards are in categories like Most Over-Rated Product, Best Looking PC Component, Breakthrough Product, Best I Wish I Had Product, and much more.


AIW Radeon Review - 12/28/01 @ 10:11 am - By: MikeC - Source: Email
Hot Hardware has posted a review of ATI's swiss-army knife of graphics cards - the All-In-Wonder Radeon 8500DV.

Tonight we have a product on review that frankly was a bit of a "sleeper" to us until it hit the test bench. The ATi All-In-Wonder Radeon 8500DV turned out to be one hell of a 3D/TV/DV powerhouse graphics card! Actually, calling it a graphics card really doesn't do it justice. It is more like a Multimedia/3D Gaming System for your PC!

HalcYoN: I dig the RF remote which will work through walls. While the range on the Personal Cinema is very good, it is still bound by line of sight.


New RAID Tutorial - 12/28/01 @ 10:08 am - By: MikeC - Source: Email
Void You Warranty has slapped up an aticle on the advantages and drawbacks of many different RAID modes that are useful to PC users. The article discusses what to expect from RAID (do you even really need it?) and how to choose a configuration that is right for you.


Gaming On Linux - 12/28/01 @ 10:04 am - By: MikeC - Source: Email
Tech-Junkie recently put up an article looking at the usability of RedHat 7.2 and Mandrake 8.1 as a desktop operating system. Linux's port of Quake 3 and Return to Castle Wolfenstein performance was compared to Windows XP. Here's a summary of the article.
  • Graphical installation
  • Desktop usability
  • RedHat 7.2 vs Mandrake 8.1 vs Windows XP (Quake 3 & RTCW retail)
  • Interview with RedHat and Mandrake


For Sale/Trade Forum - 12/28/01 @ 9:55 am - By: MikeC - Source:
If you got a shiny new GeForce3 for Xmas and want to sell your old graphics card, don't forget about our for sale/trade forum. Now that I mention it, I see a pretty good deal on an Elsa Gladiac 920 GeForce3 :)


GeForce Tweak Util - 12/28/01 @ 3:16 am - By: JonathanM - Source: NVchips-fr
There's a new beta version of the GeForce Tweak Utility available for download. The new additions:
  • A bitmanager for the Expert tab
  • Multilanguage support
  • 3-faces layout: Newbie, Normal, Expert
  • Export presets as reg file
  • What about a skinned GTU, eh?


EN: Sky Hawk 4611 - 12/27/01 @ 10:40 pm - By: NeilY - Source: Envy News
Some of you may have heard of Sky Hawk Computers, as they have been in the computer enclosure market for over 10 years now. I had heard of them about a year ago when I started to scour the internet looking for different makers of Aluminium cases. Sky Hawks name had of course come up in my searches and the most common positive quote amongst all the reviews and literature I could find on Sky Hawk was the price. So of course this brings to my mind as I am sure many of you, "I wonder what it's like if it is so cheap?" Well hopefully by the time this review is over we will have our answers.

Sky Hawk MSR4611AP-D Mini Server Case


MSI nForce BIOS - 12/27/01 @ 9:48 pm - By: MikeC - Source: MSI nForce Forum
MSI has released an updated BIOS (version 2.1) for their nForce based K7N420 Pro motherboard. Here's a list of the changes.
  • Remove RTC Alarm item in BIOS setup because chipset dont support APM
  • Added CPU FAN detect item in BIOS setup
  • Support AMD XP 2000+ CPU
  • Added CPU Ratio item in BIOS setup


New NVIDIA Patent - 12/27/01 @ 7:07 pm - By: Ben - Source:
Interesting. NVIDIA has been granted a patent for a method of Tile Based Rendering (Thanks Marco!) Click the headline for the information on the patent.


GeForce FAQ Update - 12/27/01 @ 5:36 pm - By: HalcYoN - Source: Email
The GeForce FAQ has been updated, version 19.2.  The FAQ is an invaluable resource and a great first line of troubleshooting defense.


NVIDIA On Audio - 12/27/01 @ 5:02 pm - By: Ben - Source:
Hope everyone has had a good Christmas. I've been away celebrating with my family and couldn't have asked for a better Christmas.

A few days ago , Mike reported on job openings at NVIDIA. Reactor Critical, which did a search on jobs at the talent.nvidia.com site, found 3 positions open for audio related employees. At the time, they and myself logically assumed that NVIDIA was entering the audio market.

I asked NVIDIA for clarification on the matter and here's Brian Del Rizzo's response (NVIDIA PR Manager).

Q: Does NVIDIA have any plans to enter the addin soundcard market? NVIDIA has several openings for Audio engineers on your website?

A: As we've said before, no. The market for add-in audio cards has been steadily decreasing over the past couple of years, with the downward trend continuing even sharper moving forward.

Q: Would it be safe to assume that follow-ons to nForce would have improved audio capabilities?

A: Of course. We are fully committed to furthering development of integrated audio.


EN: Otterbox - 12/27/01 @ 1:52 pm - By: NeilY - Source: Envy News
Otter Products, based out of Fort Collins, Colorado, produces high-quality watertight boxes that claim to protect your valuables from the harsh elements and bumps that come from a truly hardcore lifestyle. Otter Products stands behind their claims that their products are nearly indestructible and impervious to the elements; the boxes are constructed from fiber-glass reinforced ABS resin and have a neoprene o-ring that forms a positive seal. Otter Products is so confident in the OtterBox line that they offer a lifetime guarantee of their products; they stand behind this guarantee under even the most interesting of circumstances, as I found out during the course of this review.

Otterbox 3000


Creative Ti 200 - 12/27/01 @ 11:31 am - By: HalcYoN - Source: Email
3D Spotlight reviews the Creative Labs Europe 3D Blaster GeForce3 Titanium 200.

They spend a lot of time rehashing the DXT1 short-comings of NVIDIA GPUs when rendering Quake3's sky. My question is why use it? The GeForce3 Ti 200 is a 64MB card with fairly efficient use of of its memory bandwidth. The point of having the memory crossbar and z-buffer checks is to eliminate the need for texture compression. Whatever.


HUGE GF Roundup - 12/27/01 @ 11:00 am - By: JonathanM - Source:
Borsti over at Riva Station is the man. He was able to con errr... receive sponsorship from 10 different video card manufacturers to have a huge GeForce Titanium roundup containing 21 video cards!


Creative's P. Cinema - 12/27/01 @ 10:54 am - By: JonathanM - Source: Email
NVchips-fr has posted a review of Creative's Personal Cinema setup which from what I've heard is the only Personal Cinema setup available in Europe. The review's in French, but here's a translated link courtesy of Google.


Inno GeForce2 Ti - 12/27/01 @ 10:49 am - By: JonathanM - Source: Email
Overclockers Online reviews another GeForce 2 Ti today, made by InnoVISION. These new GeForce 2 Ti cards are a great deal if you are looking for an affordable but well performing video card, so check it out at O²!


SUMA GF3 Ti 200 - 12/27/01 @ 3:21 am - By: JonathanM - Source: NVchips-fr
Seems SUMA's Ti 200 with 3.6 ns RAM isn't cracking up to be what was anticipated. Hardware.fr checks out the card and found the memory could only reach 510 MHZ as opposed to the 550MHz it's rated at. Seems low voltage is the factor.

BTW It's great to be back. I've had a ton of problems with my system the past month and studying for exams hasn't been a piece of cake either, but I'm hoping to pop out a number of articles before university starts up again. I've just gotta get work out of the way... ;) Merry Christmas to all and be sure to treasure those moments with the family.


More On Halo - 12/26/01 @ 11:22 pm - By: MikeC - Source:
Halo, and the Xbox continue to impress. I've been watching Dave and his friend play in co-op mode, and it's a real blast. Until I figure out if I can grab a screenshot from the game, this pic will have to do.

Halo Co-op Mode

Uh, please disregard any distractions that may appear in the picture :)

BTW, what did you get for Christmas? We want to know!


Holiday Greeting - 12/26/01 @ 10:50 pm - By: HalcYoN - Source:
Christmas or not, remember to cherish your family and friends.  While high framerates and fast cars may be reason enough to live, be sure to spend a little time with those that may be neglected in pursuit of the trivial things.

...and then show off Castle Wolfenstein and your new exhaust system, heh.

Happy New Year.


Xmas News Bits - 12/26/01 @ 8:03 am - By: MikeC - Source: Email/Browsing
I'd like to wish Grace from ProLink a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. She sent me a Chrismas card all the way from Taiwan which I received yesterday. Yes Grace, the review is almost done :)

These webmasters should be getting premium pay...

HalcYoN: I just got home from the folks to try and catch up on a bit of news.  You know, this really is about all the news, heh.  Thanks, Mike.


Forums Retrospect - 12/26/01 @ 7:36 am - By: MikeC - Source:
AshG Claus takes a look at the best and worst forum posts at nV News and Envy News during the past year. Our moderators do an outstanding job and the recently added Linux forum has become quite a hot spot. Upgrading to UBB 6.0 was a good thing and I plan on renewing our membership soon to take advantage of new releases.

5. Most helpful members (non-staff).

I've pluralized this category simply because there's too many people who deserve this honor. In the Video Card forum, it's nam^ng. Dude knows his stuff. Elsewhere, I'd have to say Matthyahuw. He's managed to contribute informatively to about every post in Gen Hardware and Motherboards/CPUs, Operating Systems, etc. I wish I had half the knowledge that these guys do. I didn't mean to leave people out, so don't think I'm not proud of everyone here!

HalcYoN: I want to take a second to thank the moderators.  You can not appreciate how difficult their job is when their main job requirement is to enforce subjective rules.

Hats off to you guys...


Xbox Impressions - 12/26/01 @ 6:58 am - By: MikeC - Source:
We finally unwrapped the Xbox late last night and felt right at home after the system asked us to provide the language, date, and time after turning it on. We checked out the sound and video options and boy how I would long for a HDTV/Dolby Digital setup. But that will come in time.

Nevertheless, while I did use the component video hookup, Halo boasts quite an impressive display of graphics. Even Dave's friends, who both have the Playstation 2, were foaming at the mouth. I thought about mentioning antialiasing to them, but decided against it...heh.

The game controller felt comfortable, although with Halo there's a learning curve getting used to it. It was quite entertaining as we eventually made it out of the main complex to the outdoor area. We must have knocked off well over a hundred aliens too.

At that point it was late and we called it a night, but have a few other games such as Project Gotham Racing, Azurik, and Mad Dash Racing to check out. All in all it was a great experience, but I still like my PC better :)


Happy Holidays - 12/25/01 @ 10:47 pm - By: Typedef Enum - Source:
Hey guys,

I just wanted to drop in real quick and wish everybody a happy AND safe holiday.

As a military veteran, I would also like to say 'thanks' to the boys (not gender specific here) overseas. I remember what it was like being on deployments during this time of year. God speed.

Anyhow, I hope everybody stays safe, and we'll get this thing pumping once again, after the dust has settled.


VIA Latency Patch - 12/25/01 @ 1:44 pm - By: MikeC - Source: Email
Martin Mitchell has put together a RAID comparison showing the benefits of VIA's PCI Latency patch using the HD Tach benchmark. The newly released patch is said to also resolve issues regarding VIA motherboards and SB Live! series sound cards.

Update: For whatever reason the page at BarrysWorld has been taken down. But I did manage to find a message thread on the patch over at Via Hardware.


Radeon Revisited - 12/25/01 @ 1:39 pm - By: MikeC - Source:
HardOCP takes a second look at ATI's Radeon 8500. Drivers can certainly make or break a card but the Radeon's have improved quite nicely (although there are still a few glitches with TruForm).

Overall the Radeon 8500's new 3286 drivers are a great step in the right direction. It's good to see the performance increase and the image quality fix's in these drivers. ATI has come a long way in terms of drivers. With the 3286 drivers the Radeon 8500 is competition for the GeForce3 Ti 500.


GeForce3 Review - 12/25/01 @ 1:34 pm - By: MikeC - Source: 8Dimensional
3D Velocity has posted a review of the GeForce3 Ti 500 from Creative Labs. They cover the technology behind the GeForce3 and top it off with benchmarks as well as a section on DVD playback quality.


Somethings Missing - 12/25/01 @ 12:03 pm - By: MikeC - Source:
Umm, feeling like a kid again. I took a photo from Dave's bedroom after him and his brother Steve cleaned it up this morning. As you can see, there's room for an electronic device (about the size of a breadbox) on the end table next to the TV.

Dave's Room

Hmm, I wonder what it could be :)

Our Christmas Tree

Ho, ho, ho!

MikeC: Uh, please disregard that hole in the wall in the hallway from the first picture. I've been meaning to get it fixed after I did some plumbing work about 6 months ago, but I've yet to get around to it...heh. I also need a paint touch-up behind Dave's door.

HalcYoN: I have been trying to convince my wife that because the server's date is still screwy, I should get to open my presents today, heh. she did let me open my Zaino Bros Car Polish early. Haet, it's Farbissina's Christmas, too.

MikeC: Hehe, Steve raves about the job Zaino does on his Mustang. Although I tend to think he went a bit overboard this time...

HalcYoN: Zaino rules.


GeForce2 Ti Review - 12/24/01 @ 3:52 pm - By: HalcYoN - Source: Email
Hexus.net reviews the Sparkle 6600 Ti.

Sparkle's card follows the official NVIDIA specification pretty much to the letter. We have 64Mb of DDR memory running at 400Mhz, 250Mhz core speed and TV-out. As far as clocks go, the Ti sits between the old GeForce2 Pro (200/400) and GeForce2 Ultra (250/458) cards by stealing the memory clock from the Pro and the core clock from the Ultra.

HalcYoN: Just got back from the in-laws in Houston. Off we go now my folks for a little holiday festivities. I need a nap...


KT266A vs Sis 735 - 12/23/01 @ 8:19 pm - By: Pakman - Source:
There's a lot of debate lately on which chipset is fastest. OnePC gas a comparative analysis of the VIA KT266A and the SiS 735 up. The winner looks to be the VIA KT266A. I am using that chipset myself, using Windows XP Pro. So far, I have not had any problems with it and the latest NVIDIA drivers or with my Creative sound card. On a sidenote, I will be leaving soon for Christmas away from home. I just want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas.

It's pretty obvious that VIA is still the market leader with their KT266A chipset in the Athlon DDR chipset arena. From our benchmarks, it can be pretty easily said that the KT266A outperforms the SiS735 by a significant amount. So, does this make the KT266A a better choice for you? Yes and no.

Yes in that it is the fastest and most stable solution available for Socket A processors. If you're looking for a high-performance platform to run that new Athlon XP processor with, then this is your choice. The board that we tested the KT266A chipset with, the DFI AD70-SR is an excellent example of what this chipset is capable of. Loaded with features such as on-board RAID and an AGP retention mechanism, the AD70-SR can even be thought of as the best Socket A motherboard that we've looked at yet.


Updated Benchmarks - 12/23/01 @ 8:24 am - By: MikeC - Source: Email
The German web site 3DCenter has updated their benchmarking section to include tests for the following games:


Visiontek Xtasy - 12/22/01 @ 9:05 pm - By: MikeC - Source: 3D GPU
nvmax.com has completed a review of Visiontek's Titanium graphics card lineup which includes the GeForce2 Ti, GeForce3 Ti 200, and GeForce3 Ti 500.

The new Xtasy boards from Visiontek incorporate the very latest NVIDIA technology that will be used on the forefront for at least this 6 month product cycle. NVIDIA have raising the GeForce 3 barrier to new speeds whilst reducing cost price and also introducing a new budget card; the GeForce 2 Ti.


Nvidia And Audio? - 12/22/01 @ 8:18 pm - By: Ben - Source:
As a followup to Mike's post on positions open at Nvidia, Reactor Critical is reporting that Nvidia is looking for 3 positions for Audio Engineers. While Nvidia has never publicly stated one way or another entering the soundcard market, they do have one of the better solutions on the market with the Nforce integrated audio. Nvidia seems to be doing a lot of hiring, more than 200 positions last quarter and at least another 100 open positions right now. I wonder what their plans are ? ;)

Audio Software Engineer - Drivers, Audio, Software Engineering

Audio Architect: The audio architect will work in the area of audio hardware architecture, algorithms, and software development, building on NVidia`s architecture and products and helping to define next generation audio processing, capabilities, and effects. In this capacity, the architect will perform research supporting the development of new algorithms and ideas, document the mathematics involved in the algorithms, generate test programs to validate the ideas, and write models and tests in C to assist in hardware design and verification.

Senior Product Manager- Audio: Define Nvidia`s audio products, drive them to market and position them. Specific responsibilities include: product definition, positioning, pricing, forecasting, promotion/branding, project scheduling, field training, competitive analysis, business development and managing cross-functional teams.


MSI nForce Review - 12/22/01 @ 2:25 pm - By: MikeC - Source: Email
Here are a couple of reviews of MSI's nForce based K7N420 motherboard - TweakTown and Hartware.net (in German).


Work For NVIDIA - 12/22/01 @ 7:25 am - By: MikeC - Source:
Was checking out NVIDIA's web site and noticed they've updated their job opportunities page with a search capability. They have a wide variety of positions available including one that I may be qualified for since they are a heavy user of SAP business software. The company I work for is still involved in the migration of our key legacy systems to SAP. We're in our 5th year now :0


Maxtor HDD Review - 12/22/01 @ 7:04 am - By: MikeC - Source: Email
Three out of the four hard drives from my two PCs are ATA-100 Maxtors. Serial Addiction checks out their new D740X ATA-133 drive. Don't forget about Maxtor's Acoustic management software for fine-tuning performance.

The drive I received was not equipped with Maxtor's new Fluid Dynamic Bearing system but was very quiet all the same. Even with the Acoustic management software turned off for maximum performance the drive ran very quickly and very quietly. There was no way to even tell that the drive was running until I hooked up the HDD_LED cable.


Motherboard Mania - 12/22/01 @ 6:54 am - By: MikeC - Source: Email
The motherboard reviews keep rolling in...


NV Loop Article - 12/22/01 @ 6:35 am - By: MikeC - Source: Email
Via Arena has put together an article explaing the infinite loop error assoicated with NVIDIA's latest Detonator drivers. They cover the symptoms and offer some solutions to get around the problem.

Update: Evidently, this issue is affecting more than just NVIDIA based graphics cards owners. This message thread at Icrontic has seen similar problems from users of Voodoo, 3D Labs, S3, and ATI based graphics cards. Thanks for the tip Andy.


128MB 3D Memory - 12/22/01 @ 4:48 am - By: Typedef Enum - Source:
Now that my workweek (and effectively the next 2 weeks) are coming to a close, I thought I would just throw something out there.

Flash back to 1999. It was about 2 years ago that we witnessed something very similar to what Gainward is providing: As I seem to recall, Dell was releasing a somewhat limited number of GeForce (original DDR) 64MB cards...and as it turned out, it would end up leading us to a 64MB standard in the industry with the unveiling of the GF GTS that Spring. It was, essentially, a sign of things to come.

For quite some time now, we've heard rumblings of 128MB cards coming out, but no real substance. It's been nearly 2 years since the jump from 32->64MB. Will this be a foreshadowing of things to come? I certainly hope so.


AT&T & Comcast - 12/21/01 @ 11:45 pm - By: Pakman - Source:
AT&T and Comcast inked a deal to work together as a broadband behemoth force. This means that AT&T decided to pass on the bids by Cox and AOL Time-Warner. The whole state of broadband cable is in a state of flux at the moment. My guess is that Microsoft may have sweetened the deal enough for Comcast to clinch the bid.

In the background of the deal sits Microsoft, which agreed to turn the $5 billion in debt financing it gave AT&T Broadband several years ago into a simple equity stake in the new company. That was a key part of the deal, as AT&T's massive overhang of debt had been a sticky point. The merged companies will still retain about $23 billion in debt, executives said, but will have a considerably better debt-to-earnings ratio than AT&T Broadband itself.

Microsoft's huge investment in the cable giant has not given it much of an advantage in the past, however. AT&T Broadband originally did agree to try out Microsoft's interactive TV software, but ultimately switched emphasis to competitor Liberate Technologies' products. The cable company has not made final decisions about interactive TV plans, however.


NVIDIA Tuning Guide - 12/21/01 @ 9:54 pm - By: HalcYoN - Source: Tweaker's Asylum
Tec Central has posted their Nvidia VGA Card Tuning Guide. The guide is in German but a Google translated-to-English version can be deciphered here.


GeForce2 Ti Review - 12/21/01 @ 9:49 pm - By: HalcYoN - Source: Email
Tweaker's Asylum has reviewed the Inno3D GeForce2 Titanium. Budget card does not mean budget bundle over at Inno...

The Tornado GeForce2 Titanium comes ready bundled with MegaPack software suite, including Win DVD2000 software, Ulead PhotoImpact, Colorific, the InnoCreation Clip Art, and Midnight GT game form Rage Game Limited. Inno3D uses the same software bundle and color scheme with the Tornado GeForce2 Titanium that they did with the Tornado GeForce3 Tis.


3D Blaster Ti 500 - 12/21/01 @ 9:42 pm - By: HalcYoN - Source: Email
Creative Labs was one of my personal favorites in the video card market.  However, they have decided to discontinue stateside participation in the video card market.

3D Velocity was kind enough to review the card for those of us outside of the European market.

One thing I wasn't expecting from Creative was the rather impressive looking cooling arrangement. Creative have historically been rather loath to "pretty up" their cards in the past, preferring to go for solid functionality at a sensible price. There's no denying that the Ti500s warm up quite nicely and needs a well thought out cooler, but the addition of ram sinks and the polished chrome effect came as a surprise, although it was a nice surprise.


WindowsXP AntiSpy - 12/21/01 @ 1:29 pm - By: Pakman - Source:
XP-AntiSpy is a freeware program which allows you to disable all the "phone home" features built into Windows XP. You'd be surprised to know how many things are built into XP to allow Microsoft to keep tabs on your rig.

XP-AntiSpy is a little utility that let's you disable some built-in update and authentication 'features' in WindowsXP. For example, there's a service running in the background which is called 'Automatic Updates'. I don't know what this service transfers from my machine to other machines on the internet, especially the MS ones. So I play it safe and disable such functions. If you like, you can even disable these function manually, by going through the System and checking or un-checking some checkboxes. This will take you approximately half an hour. But why wasting time when a little neat utility can do the same in 1 minute? This utility was successfully tested by lots of users, and was found to disable all the known 'Suspicious' Functions in WindowsXP. It's customizable, but comes up with the Default settings, which are recommended.


EN: Inspire 2.1 2400 - 12/21/01 @ 1:07 pm - By: NeilY - Source: Envy News
I'm sure some of you are, at this very moment, planning or even building that new 4-digit MHz upgrade or new box for your father, sister, or wife's uncle's daughter's brother's friend. And to top things off, their budget is ludicrous. You've shaved a few dollars off here and there, but you still need to factor-in a decent 17" monitor and speaker system. Enter the Creative Inspire 2.1 2400 - a low-cost bang-for-the-buck entry level speaker set.

Creative Inspire 2400 2.1 Speakers


750 MHz. DDR - 12/21/01 @ 6:02 am - By: Typedef Enum - Source: ReactorCritical
I've been a bit out of the loop recently. I've been putting in ~ 14-16 hours/day for the last 3 weeks or so, and I've had a family illness to deal with as well.

Anyhow, I just got home from work, and noticed that Reactor Critical has posted a news item regarding 375 MHz (750 effective) DDR.

They go on to say that production volumes will begin in the 1st Quarter of 2002.

Hmmmm....12 GB/sec bandwidth...that would be nice :)


Morning News Bits - 12/21/01 @ 5:54 am - By: MikeC - Source: Email
One more day at work and then I'm off for 11 days! Wohoo!
  • Digit-Life takes a look at the Hercules 3D Prophet III Ti 500 and Gigabyte's Thundra GeForce3 Ti 500TF.
  • Got Apex? has posted a review of AMD's Athlon XPT 1900+ processor.
  • Hot Hardware has put together a KT266A motherboard shootout among Abit, Asus, MSI and Soyo.
  • Bjorn 3D checks out the Hercules Game Theather XP sound card.
  • 3D GameMan has a video review of Microsoft's Trackball Optical and Explorer.
  • 3D Spotlight has some operating system tweakage with an article on tweaking Windows XP Services.
  • PsychoSy could pass for Stone Cold Steve Austin. He sure has a great looking daughter though.


Leadtek Ti Review - 12/20/01 @ 9:15 pm - By: HalcYoN - Source: Email
x-bit labs has reviewed two Ti cards from Leadtek, the WinFast Titanium 500 TD and Titanium 200 TDH.  Both cards feature the spiffy one-piece mondo-sink and 3.8ns DDR SDRAM (ESMT on the Ti 500 and EliteMT on the Ti 200).

Leadtek WinFast Titanium 200 TDH card worked stably at the maximum frequencies of 230MHz core and 580MHz memory (the nominal values are 174Mhz and 400MHz respectively). The overclocking potential of Leadtek WinFast Titanium 200 TDH core could be considered a high one, because GeForce3 Ti200 works at the lower frequency than GeForce3 and GeForce3 Ti500. However, the core of this card failed to overclock even to the frequency of GeForce3 Ti500, not to mention the overclocking result of Leadtek WinFast Titanium 500 TD equal to 260MHz. This means that NVIDIA started sorting out its chips taking into consideration their stability at various frequencies, and now the chips with different potentials are marked differently and used for different cards. Please, take a closer look at the chip pictures: at the lower edge of the metal cover there is a "T" letter on NVIDIA GeForce3 Ti500 chip, and a "V" letter on GeForce3 Ti200 chip. We discovered this tendency when we examined all the NVIDIA GeForce3/Ti500/Ti200 based graphics cards available at our disposal: NVIDIA GeForce3 chips did not have any mark on the cover, the GeForce3 Ti500 chips were marked with "T", and GeForce3 Ti200 were marked with "V" or "VP".


EN: Piccolo 64MB - 12/20/01 @ 7:12 pm - By: NeilY - Source: Envy News
Here at Envy News we like our beers cold, our women hot, and our USB storage devices small. As a matter of fact EnvyNews has seemed to develop a thing for gathering and reviewing the tiniest of mass storage devices: USB 'keychain' hard drives. With four reviews online already and a fifth to come, Envy has developed a reputation for putting these things through the paces.

Let's go ahead and introduce everyone to the latest entry into the Envy News USB Flash gang, the Sonnet Technologies Piccolo USB Flash Drive. Sonnet Technologies has long been a provider of quality processor upgrades and add-ons for the Macintosh community, and they've now entered the multi-platform market with their Piccolo series USB Flash Drives.

Piccolo 64 MB USB Drive


Jumbo Confirmed - 12/20/01 @ 6:30 pm - By: Ben - Source: Reactor Critical
Reactor Critical has the press release from Gainward on the Gainward Geforce3 PowerPack !!! Ti500 "Jumbo" Golden Sample card based on the Geforce3 Ti200. Click the headline for the official press release


Gainward 128MB - 12/20/01 @ 1:19 pm - By: Pakman - Source:
The Inquirer reports that Gainward is planning on releasing NVIDIA cards with 128MB of memory on the cards.

Graphics overclockers Gainward are set to introduce a TI 200-based card with 128Mb of memory, we hear. The card will be equipped with 4.0ns memory. The company has decided to give this card quite a long name: Gainward GeForce3 PowerPack!!! Ti/500 JUMBO Golden Sample. Be aware, though, that we are talking about Ti 200-based card not one based on the TI 500 chip.


AMD In The News - 12/20/01 @ 8:11 am - By: MikeC - Source:
AMD's been receiving some well deserved attention this week. First their Athlon processor was awarded as "Overall Product of the Year" for 2001 by CNET's Computer Shopper Magazine. And more importantly, the Athon is being taken seriously in the corporate server market as DaimlerChrysler has selected the Athlon XP to run its servers.

Based on AMD's advanced multiprocessing solution, DaimlerChrysler is utilizing the strength of several hundred AMD Athlon MP processors in one of the largest high-performance Linux clusters in the German automotive industry, to run crash simulations for Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

BTW, AnandTech looks at AMD's 760MPX Chipset and gives it a positive outlook.

AMD has the performance and they're quickly building a name for themselves in the server and workstation market, but there's a long road ahead before they can even begin to claim the same victories in those markets that they have in the desktop world. The stakes are much higher in these markets and it also means that the competition is even tougher; it's clear that AMD has a lot resting on a successful launch of their Hammer line of processors.


David Kirk Interview - 12/20/01 @ 7:50 am - By: MikeC - Source:
Dr. David Kirk, Chief Scientist at NVIDIA, has been getting quite a bit of attention lately (click here for search or read our interview here). The Tech Report is the latest web site to interview the mastermind behind NVIDIA's technology.

Q: In the past, we have seen where disabling hardware T&L has increased 3DMark 2001 frame rates in the Nature scene. What's going on there?

A: That question is probably best explained by MadOnion. In order to truly test hardware T&L versus software T&L, you need to send the exact same data regardless of which box is checked. I think 3DMark 2001 sends less data when software T&L is checked. High-end CPU's are not faster at doing vertex shader operations than a GeForce3. We implement vector operations (SIMD processing) to a large degree, and in many cases, some of the vertex shader functions are many times the performance of the fastest CPUs out today.


GF3 Ti 500 Review - 12/20/01 @ 7:39 am - By: MikeC - Source: Email
Digit-Life has posted a review of MSI's GeForce3 Ti500 Pro-VTG graphics card.

We have examined the most feature-rich card on the GeForce3 Ti 500 (except ASUS V8200T5 Deluxe, but the MSI G3Ti500 Pro-VTG, unlike the ASUS, supports stereo glasses not only in games but also in movies). The card shows excellent speed and quality characteristics peculiar to all GeForce3 Ti 500 cards. The card is almost impossible to overclock, but all other cards on the Ti 500 do not perform much better as the Ti 500 itself works with its last bit of strength as it is just an overclocked GeForce3.


Talon Graphics Corp. - 12/20/01 @ 7:25 am - By: MikeC - Source:
It's not often that we get an e-mail such as this one from the founder of an upstart graphics company, but it's exciting news nevertheless.
Mike, I am the founder of the new Talon Graphics Corporation, and we would like for you to post us on nV News.

We're a company just starting, so give us time to work on our product. We just recently formed ourselves a few days ago, but have been designing a card for quite some time now.

I can't tell you much about our company, nor our product. We already have a design for our product. The name of our graphics card is going to be Apocalypse. I can't say anything except it will blow any competitor out of the water from what we expect from this card.

Hopefully it will be up, and running in 2 years, or less. You wanted competition for nVIDIA? Well, it's coming...

Please, post us on nV News, My co-founder and I would greatly appreciate it.

Sincerely,
Ryan Warner
Founder Talon Graphics Corp.
Josh Anderson
Co-Founder Talon Graphics Corp.


GameSpy GOTY - 12/19/01 @ 8:35 pm - By: HalcYoN - Source: Email
GameSpy has started announcing their 2001 Game of the Year Awards recipients.  There is one game a day announced over thirteen days culminating with Best Overall which actually started yesterday.

If nothing else, the list may help with a last minute gift idea...


Price Guide Updates - 12/19/01 @ 8:32 pm - By: HalcYoN - Source: Email
Preemptive Strike.  These guys should all be updating their price pages today or tomorrow...


Taking A Beating - 12/19/01 @ 8:27 pm - By: HalcYoN - Source: Work
The end of the year always promises to be calm around work and every year, it gets busier than the year before it.

Aside from deadlines and due dates for last minute revenus oppurtunities, carriers and ISPs like to schedule rolls.  Let's just say I am tired.

Couple of updates:

  • RTCW rulez.  What little spare time I have, I have been trying to get in a few Nazi Zombie frags.

  • The Athlon 1900+ is just plain fast.  XP runs smooth like buttah.

  • The double shot latte at Ruta Maya coffeehouse is well worth braving the cigarette smoke and angry beat poets at midnight.

  • My VisionTek Ti 500 review is the unfortunate victim of recent escalations in work overtime.  It's coming, I promise.


Been busy - 12/19/01 @ 5:27 pm - By: Ben - Source:
As some may have noticed, I've posted only a couple of news bits recently. I've been busy writing an Nforce review . One major component of the review will be an extensive look at compatibility with various videocards and soundcards that I've collected over the last couple of years . As a small preview, here's some default 3dmark 2001 scores. The Nvidia cards were using 22.40 Det drivers,and the AIW Radeon 7189 drivers. Note no tweaks of any kind were applied to the test runs besides shutting off extraneous programs .

Nforce: 2374 Click here for the compare url

Geforce 2 MX: 2734 Click here for the compare URL

Geforce3 Ti500: 7998 Click here for the compare URL

All In Wonder Radeon: 3064 Click here for the compare URL


64-Bit Color Soon? - 12/19/01 @ 4:58 pm - By: Pakman - Source:
The Inquirer has an article which deals with the possibility of future use of 64-bit color by NVIDIA.

To implement this into cards you need two times larger frame buffer and much faster chips as well as two times more memory than you would need to pay the same game in 32-bit color. Basically you would need card with 128 Mb memory to have same performance you could expect on the same game with a 64Mb card. Not to mention how fast chip needs to be.

It is also important to note that for improved precision to pay off, the entire graphics pipeline, including access to the frame buffer for storage, support the improved precision. The big win for improved precision is for support of complex shading operations, and a few bits of internal precision simply don't solve the problem, Nvidia told us.


GeForce Ti Roundup - 12/19/01 @ 2:07 pm - By: MikeC - Source:
Damn, I'm spending way too much time reviewing Prolink's GeForce3 Ti 200 :) No problem for Tom as they check out 21 GeForce Titanium cards!

MikeC: Note to reviewers. A graphics card is intended for gaming and readers appreciate relevant benchmarks. Please use the most recent version of Quake 3 for performance testing.

Pakman: He explains it with this - "Quake 3 was benchmarked in the comparatively old version v1.17, as the time demo test routines in the current version v1.30 prevent exact measurements. Even after the fourth run, the results showed a spread of up to 10 fps!". Have any of you noticed this? It may make a good little piece to write an article about. Measure the difference between the various versions, and report on any version which is whacked.

MikeC: Sorry I overlooked that comment. However, I've not experience that problem in my testing. I've noticed that following the second run under Windows XP performance had increased. But after subsequent runs, there was no difference.


Linux Easier Than XP - 12/19/01 @ 1:58 pm - By: MikeC - Source:
Here's something our Linux friends will be proud of as The Register is gloating that Mandrake 8.1 is easier to use than Windows XP.

Windows addicts curious to see how the other half lives but wary of the installation challenges Linux is supposed to present will find Mandrake 8.1 considerably easier to install and configure than Win-XP. It's quite nearly Harry Homeowner-proof.

Ready for some cultural tourism? No need to hesitate; the Pro package sells for a mere $70.00, compared with XP's $300, so it's hardly a major investment even if you should run home to Redmond in the end.


RTCW Review @ FS - 12/19/01 @ 1:51 pm - By: MikeC - Source:
Hey, if the Firing Squad gives something an 85% rating, it must be pretty good. That's what they gave Return to Castle Wolfenstein. Ahh, so many games, so little time...


EA & LOTR Games - 12/19/01 @ 1:44 pm - By: MikeC - Source: Blue's News
You knew it would happen as Electronic Arts announced they have signed an exclusive deal with New Line Cinema to create games based on the upcoming The Lord of the Rings movies. Definitely some great material to work with - let's hope EA can deliver.


Phantasy Star Demo - 12/19/01 @ 1:35 pm - By: MikeC - Source: ShackNews
Heard quite a few good things about this game which was originally written for Sega's Dreamcast. Well now there's a demo (13MB) which can be played on the PC.

Phantasy Star Online lets players gang up to adventure through the sci-fi world of Ragol smacking dragons, powering up floating briefcases, chatting to each other and generally being very cool indeed. PC RPG fanatics be warned - its role-playing, Jim, but not as you know it.


On Chip Shortages - 12/19/01 @ 1:28 pm - By: MikeC - Source:
Reactor Critical has posted information (from DigiTimes) in regards to temporary chip shortages being experienced by NVIDIA.

For example, in October and November NVidia could only fulfill 85% of Leadtek's orders and 80% of Prolink's. It is believed that NVidia's chip shortage will not be resolved until after January. We have no information from other companies, however, after talking to several distributors, we have concluded that it is all the same with expensive boards - there is simply not enough of them, while the demand is quite high.


NVDA Press Release - 12/19/01 @ 1:18 pm - By: MikeC - Source:
NVIDIA has issued a press release today which states that the GeForce3 Titanium has gained widespread adoption from more than 50 of the top PC OEMS and system builders worldwide.

Have you jumped on the NVIDIA bandwagon?

"2001 has been a landmark year for NVIDIA," stated Jeff Fisher, vice president of worldwide sales at NVIDIA. "NVIDIA's GeForce Titanium series of GPUs strengthened our position as the unequivocal leader in graphics technology for the desktop PC market."


Sound Card Review - 12/19/01 @ 1:12 pm - By: MikeC - Source: Email
Digit-Life has posted a review of Hoontech's SoundTrack Audio DSP24 value sound cards. First time I've heard of Hoontech and according to the review they offer home and professional sound cards, accessories for SoundBlaster Live!, and internal and external modules for home recording and project studios.


Radeon Under Linux - 12/19/01 @ 1:07 pm - By: MikeC - Source: Email
Tommti Systems has put together a guide on getting the ATI Radeon 8500 operating under Linux. The article is in German, but there's a translation button on the page.


5.1 Speaker Review - 12/19/01 @ 1:05 pm - By: MikeC - Source: Email
Void your Warranty has posted a review of Klipsch's latest PC Speakers: The ProMedia 5.1. Here's a bit from the review.

DVD playback is where this system shines. StarWars: The Phantom Menace offers probably the best visuals and sounds than any other DVD out there. During many sequences, I felt that I was actually back in the theater. The center channel does wonders, handling the voices while the fronts take care of the main sound with the rears handling ambient sounds. The PM5.1's deliver in DVD quality. For those who never experienced a home theater setup, this will truly be an enjoyable experience.

From an nV News visitor.

I first bought Klipsch in June of 2000 upon the recomendation of multiple reviews on the web, I loved them as did my friends and they ran out and purchased them as well. After six months all of ours started to become progressively more static and choppy, two of my friends had theirs replaced by Klipsch under the 1 year warranty, yet they failed a mere one month after replacement.

While the Klipsch are nice speakers the amplifier that comes with them is not reliable and seems to most definitely fail. I believe this problem may come from the lack of an on/off switch so that the amplifier constantly had power circulating through it, this is now altered but I will never again buy the Klipsch computer speakers.


Asus P4S333 Review - 12/19/01 @ 1:02 pm - By: MikeC - Source: Email
GamePC looks at the new Asus P4S333 motherboard, which not only combines the Pentium 4 with DDR memory, but combines it with 333MHz DDR memory. They check out the layout of the board, features, and overclocking abilities, and test it against various other Pentium 4 platforms from Intel and VIA.


RTCW Tweak Guide - 12/19/01 @ 10:59 am - By: MikeC - Source:
This web page (click on heading) contains a tweak guide for Return to Castle Wolfenstein. Most of the information is common sense to avid Quake 3 players, but you might find a tweak or two for faster framerates or pings. There's even an explanantion of the NVIDIA fog extension. Feedback on the page can be found here.


GTU v. 3.1.1 - 12/18/01 @ 10:59 pm - By: Pakman - Source:
The Guru of 3D has released v. 3.1.1 of GTU. It's not a bad freeware tweak proggie for use with NVIDIA cards.

The new Detonator 23.xx drivers absolutely kept the programmers busy on a newly introduced DirectX encryption, anyway GeForce Tweak Utility is now fully compatible with them. Guru of 3D just released version 3.1.1 of this fantastic tool which is a must for any NVIDIA videocard fanatic.

Version 3.1.1 changes:

  • The GTU now is 100% compatible with the 23.1x driver.
  • A messagebox popped up at the wrong place with GTU 3.1
  • Added w-buffer scaling
  • Switched to an updated installer
  • Added database file for 23.1x drivers
  • Due to the changes in the 23.xx drivers we had to modify the database file layout a tad.


Pogo Linux Review - 12/18/01 @ 3:25 pm - By: MikeC - Source:
The folks over at Evil 3D have posted a new review overing the Athlon XP based workstation from Pogo Linux.

Interested in a new computer system? Have you been sourcing out the latest components for compatibility with Linux and Windows XP? If so, you may want to check out what Pogo Linux has to offer. Alternatively, if you need it spelled out for you, you can read our review of their Athlon XP based Altura. This baby comes equipped with kick ass components, Red Hat 7.2/Windows XP in a dual boot configuration, and Linux based support all at an affordable price. Not to mention the fact that it is equally adept at performing as a workstation or gaming rig.


M$ & Cox/Comcast - 12/18/01 @ 12:42 pm - By: Pakman - Source:
Cnet reports that Microsoft has agreed to back both Cox and Comcast in their bid to acquire AT&T broadband services. This is apparently to keep AOL-Time Warner from landing the deal, which they too are bidding for. As we all know, Microsoft doesn't want AOL-Time Warner to grow any larger. Microsoft has agreed to throw billions of dollars into the mix, in order to help keep it out of the hands of AOL-Time Warner. There may be hope yet for those of you who are snail-crawling around with AT&T "broadband" service.

By participating in two bids, Microsoft has essentially hedged its bets in the hopes of keeping the cable operation, which boasts nearly 14 million subscribers, out of archrival AOL Time Warner's hands.


EverQuest Graphics - 12/18/01 @ 11:28 am - By: MikeC - Source:
Looks like you'll have to get a Pentium 4 to experience the best graphics experience for EverQuest :)

"Working with Intel will allow us to deliver the best possible online experience for today's gamer," said Scott McDaniel, vice president of marketing, Sony Online Entertainment. "Gamers are a savvy group of people, always looking for new games and equipment. Through programming teamwork and expertise we are able to significantly enhance the gaming experience for Intel Pentium 4 owners."

"Intel is pleased to be working with Sony Online Entertainment to optimize EverQuest for Pentium 4 processor-based systems", said Deborah Conrad, Vice President, Intel Solutions Marketing Group. "A Pentium 4 processor based system is the ideal EverQuest gaming platform, giving gamers the speed and fluidity they want."


Abit's NV7M nForce - 12/18/01 @ 7:25 am - By: MikeC - Source:
x-bit labs has a blurb on Abit's nForce motherboard. Dubbed the NV7M, Abit has decided to use only 2 DIMM slots for PC1600/PC2100 DDR SDRAM.

We would like to point out right away that ABIT preferred to save time and trouble explaining the thing about the memory bus width (128bit or 64bit) depending on the number of memory modules installed into the DIMM slots. They decided to equip its product with only 2 DIMM slots for PC1600/PC2100 DDR SDRAM, while most of the similar solutions from other manufacturers have three of them.


Intel 845 Chipset - 12/18/01 @ 7:19 am - By: MikeC - Source:
Intel announces their 845 chipset today which offers support for DDR memory with the Pentium 4. The first previews can be found over at Digit-Life, The Tech Report and Tom's Hardware.


MOH AA Goodies - 12/18/01 @ 6:48 am - By: MikeC - Source: Voodoo Extreme
I'm continuing to play the Medal of Honor demo and am trying to put my finger on why I find the game so appealing. Maybe it's the "feel" of the weapons. Little things like your aim being altered when getting hit by a bullet add to the realism. The constant "looking behind your back" syndrome also plays a key role, although there are areas where you feel "safer" shooting from. Of course you can move around the level, but you're never quite sure when someone is hiding in a corner, or the stairs above you, waiting. And I never feel very comfortable out in the open...

Anyway, Allied Assuault has a few tidbits for the Medal of Honor. Find out how to enable blood, force feedback, or even try out a new custom weapons skin.

I'll probable be playing again tonight on one of the East servers. Be on the lookout for a soldier named Generic Brand :)


nForce RAM Article - 12/18/01 @ 5:58 am - By: MikeC - Source: Email
AMDWorld has put together an article showing results from using various memory configurations available on the nForce chipset.

This seems to be the debateable forum topic at present and the explanation is quite logical. To make or take full advantage of the 128 bit twin bank memory you have too use two modules of either 128mb/256 or 512 and these are populated in DDR bank 1 and DDR bank 3 on the MSI K7N420 Pro motherboard.These modules must be off identical specification and using a third module will disable the 128 bit mode .In the following test three identical modules of Crucial DDR DRAM are used and each test was performed five times to avoid any error and get some consistency in the results.


Via 4-in-1 Drivers - 12/17/01 @ 7:35 am - By: MikeC - Source:
Via's 4-in-1 4.36 drivers have been patched. Here's the scoop straight from Via Arena:

As mentioned on 12 December, the new 4.36 drivers contain a silent installation of a patch which adjusts a memory setting in BIOS on some VIA Apollo chipsets to ensure stability with the latest video drivers under all Windows Operating Systems.


Apache's Top 10 - 12/17/01 @ 7:18 am - By: MikeC - Source:
Robert "Apache" Howarth over at Voodoo Extreme has posted his top 10 personal favorite games for 2001. I'm sure some won't agree with his choices, but at least he provides us with a good list of games that make for great gifts.

MikeC: I've been a bad webmaster since I didn't feel like posting news yesterday (thanks Brian & Ben). What was I doing? Playing Medal of Honor of course! I'll give it two thumbs up. Heck, I'll even add two toes to that :)

HalcYoN: No problem there, Mike.  The hardware web, like almost everything else, is slowing down for the holidays.


Serious Sam Cheats - 12/17/01 @ 7:10 am - By: MikeC - Source: Voodoo Extreme
Have you playing the demo of the second episode of Serious Sam and not been able to find the secret areas? Your in luck as Invisible Dream has a guide on secret areas, cheats, and even performance tips.


GeForce Tweak Utility - 12/17/01 @ 6:55 am - By: MikeC - Source:
The Guru of 3D shutting down is sad news, but I can certainly relate to what Hilbert was going through. Those of you using the GeForce Tweak Utility are in good shape as the author of that program in staying on-line. Click on the headline for the new address. No word on where RivaTuner is going to end up.


Another Site Leaves - 12/16/01 @ 6:01 pm - By: Ben - Source: Guru3d
Sadly, another of my favorite 3d hardware sites is leaving . Guru3d, is closing its doors on Monday. Click the headline for the news story.


GF3 Ti 200 Review - 12/16/01 @ 2:05 pm - By: HalcYoN - Source: Riva Station
Mikhailtech reviews the Gainward GeForce3 Power Pack Ti 200 Golden Sample. Golden Sample, you ask?

I received the retail box from MC which to my knowledge is the same one Gainward ships all their cards in. However, mine was special. On the left side it had the "Golden Sample" sticker. This Ti450 (synonymous with Ti200, don't ask why cause I don't know) has slightly faster memory and better cooling which we'll discuss a bit further down the road. In essence, it should yield better results and faster clock speeds as well as increased stability at those levels.


3D Specs Review - 12/16/01 @ 1:57 pm - By: HalcYoN - Source: Email
Another review of the eDimensional 3D specs, this time from SIMHQ.com.  They tested on a number of popular flight sims and threw in a couple of FPSes and driving games.  As expected, different games yielded different results ranging from disappointing to outstanding.


Crystal ORB Review - 12/16/01 @ 1:53 pm - By: HalcYoN - Source: Email
Think Techie has a review of the ThermalTake Crystal ORB chipset cooler.  Not sure which card it was tested on, but I know it was some form of recent GPU.


3D Specs Review - 12/15/01 @ 7:54 pm - By: HalcYoN - Source: Email
The Tech Zone checks out the E-D Glasses from Dimension technologies.  You may remember The Tech Zone's review of their LCD 3D Flat Panel monitor.

Knowing that not all gamers have the kind of cabbage required to own the 3D flat panel, Dimension Tech has released a set of 3D Specs for your gaming pleasure.

Taking a look at the Nvidia Detonator's Stereo properties panel's, you can see that setting up support for these glasses is pretty much a no brainer. Control's to approximate the size of your monitor's display, modifying the level of image seperation, as well as setting up hotkeys for controlling aspects of the software, and for specific games (and there is a dizzying number of games listed as being supported) is simple and straightforward.


Random News Bits - 12/15/01 @ 7:44 pm - By: MikeC - Source:
Been a busy day on the homefront. I ended up getting Dave his own 27-inch Phillips TV so he can use it for the Xbox. To get optimal video quality from the Xbox, I also purchased the High Definition Audio/Video Pack which provides a component video connection to the TV. Of course this is all for Christmas, so I hope he doesn't read this news post.

Now for some news...

  • This web site has a petition for customers that aren't satisified with AT&T's broadband service.
  • This press release has details on an ex-NVIDIA engineer being fined for $250,000 due to insider trading.
  • Firing Squad has put together a Detonator driver comparison (version 23.11 against 21.83)
  • Overclocker Cafe is reminding us there are only three days left to enter their drawing for an Asus V8200 GeForce3 Pure
  • ExtremeTech tells us why now is the time for making the move to Linux.
  • tbreak checks out MSI's 845 Ultra motherboard which supports DDR memory for the Pentium 4.
  • Hardware Extreme has put together a holiday buyer's guide.


Driver Database - 12/15/01 @ 7:43 pm - By: HalcYoN - Source: Email
Tweaker's Asylum has updated the Windows XP Detonator Driver Database with results from 23.10 and 23.11 falvors.  ;Test system is a P4 2.0 GHz/GeForce3 Dell Dimension.


GF3 Ti 200 Review - 12/15/01 @ 7:39 pm - By: HalcYoN - Source: Email
Planet Savage has reviewed the Inno3D Tornado GeForce3 Ti 200.  It's a spiffy card sporting a black PCB, blue ORB-style cooler and blue RAMsinks.

A video card review wouldn't be complete without an overclocking test. The odd thing was that the GeForce3 Ti 200 sent was downclocked. It was running at 175/366 (core/memory) instead of the default 175/400. The Inno3D GeForce3 Ti 200 reached a maximum stable overclock of 210/450 from a default of 175/366. It was just in this particular case that the sample card was downclocked. The retail Inno3D Tornado GeForce3 Ti 200 is at 175/400. At any rate, the overclock isn't too low nor is it too high. It just happened that the Inno3D Tornado GeForce3 Ti 200 had some good cooling on it so expectations were pretty high. At any rate, the GeForce3 Ti 200 has been known to be able to hit GeForce3 speeds or near that so this card is an excellent card for the money.


Medal of Honor Demo - 12/15/01 @ 2:07 pm - By: Pakman - Source:
The Medal of Honor: Allied Assault multi-player demo is available for download. Grab it at one of these links:


Radeon Review - 12/15/01 @ 12:20 pm - By: MikeC - Source: Email
Digit-Life has posted a review of the Radeon 8500 and 7500 from SuperGrace. Quite a few screenshots on image quality - even some animated gifs showing TruForm in action.


Moment of Truth!? - 12/14/01 @ 6:26 pm - By: Typedef Enum - Source: Beyond3D
In what has become a legacy...Honestly, the BitBoys name alone will either garner applause/anticipation, or straight-up laughter.

But this just might be the turning point that all the would-be BitBoys backers have been waiting for.

I was taking a short break from work, and saw this post by one of the Beyond3D regulars. I'll just rip the whole thing...I do believe that he did, in fact, translate this himself.

If you go to the original link, this translation is taken from a Finnish IT mag called "Micro PC," which was just released today.

Bitboys chip gets to the silicon

Limits of the modern silicon process are being tested in gfx chip development. Noormarkku based Bitboys was plannig to introduce PC-display adapters based on companys own graphics technology a year ago in Comdex. Instead they gave up the whole silicon implementation of chip, called Glaze3D at the time. A new, further developed design is in the silicon process at the moment. Also a follower to this chip is being designed. Chip under manufacturing has increased embedded memory, leading to the total size of 12 MB. Also the internal bus has been doubled to the width of 1024 bits.

"I know we have been shallow in our comments, but I can reveal that chip design is complete and chip is being manufactured", says Juha Taipale, general manager.

One aspect making the chip design harder was difference between embedded ram and logic. Embedded ram benefits from large capasitance (sp?) of the chips silicon, when on the other hand, it's vice versa with the logic. Large capacitance allows the use of small size memory cells, but same time increases the size chips area used for logic operations.

"In a sense, our graphics process is as hard to manufacture as state of art main cpu's.", comments ASIC-designer Harri Syrjä.


VisionTek & NVIDIA - 12/14/01 @ 4:21 pm - By: Pakman - Source:
The Inquirer reports that VisionTek has wrestled the job of producing NVIDIA reference cards away from MSI. It states that this started with the Ti series of cards. VisionTek is based in the USA, and MSI is based in Taiwan. This move should help with fine tuning and designing the reference cards quicker, due to the fact that NVIDIA and VisionTek are both based in the USA.

We understand that Nvidia realized that it would be much easier to have its reference board partner closer so that changes can be made more quickly and Nvidia designers can stand over the ref boards and tug their beards and suck their teeth.


Windows Networking - 12/14/01 @ 7:50 am - By: MikeC - Source: G256.com
The Shields Up web site, which is greared towards computer security, has an article called Windows Networking 101. The lenghty and informative article discusses alternative methods on networking PCs. I was recently hit with the Nimda virus which has led me to investigate configuring my home network to be as secure as possible.

The problem is that file and printer sharing services function by turning any PC wanting to share its files into a file and printer server. When this trusting and sharing computer is connected to a network, this "service" is naturally extended and made available to the all the other computers which are also connected to the network. But when that network is THE INTERNET, suddenly your computer is literally offering its files to every other computer in the world!


MP CPU Shootout - 12/14/01 @ 7:14 am - By: MikeC - Source: Email
GamePC looks at two workstation-class CPUs as they compare AMD's Athlon XP at 1.6GHz (1900+) and Intel's Pentium 4 Xeon at 1.7GHz. Tested in multiprocessor configurations, workstation, and gaming applications, it's a good old fashioned processor showdown.


Press Release - 12/14/01 @ 1:48 am - By: MikeC - Source:
More press as Anark has signed a co-marketing agreement with NVIDIA. This deal allows the two companies to deliver interactive media, comprised of 3D and 2D graphics, video, audio, and data, to the broad audience of digital media supporters.

"3D has become a pervasive medium for all to use and experience," stated Dan Vivoli, vice president of marketing at NVIDIA. "This partnership combines all of the pieces needed to deliver advanced 3D graphics along with 2D, audio, video and data on virtually any platform."


Top 50 Game Demos - 12/14/01 @ 12:57 am - By: MikeC - Source:
I've added a new page that some of you might find handy. It's a listing of the top 50 game demos available at FilePlanet. A permanent text link has been added to the right side menu just above the Amazon International button. The page acts kind of flaky at times so if you don't get a listing of the top 50 demos, clicking the refresh button on your brower should bring it up.

Currently the top 5 demos are Serious Sam: The Second Encounter, Return to Castle Wolfenstein Multiplayer TEST, Stronghold Multiplayer (English), Battle Realms, and Star Trek: Armada II.


Ti200 w/3.3ns RAM - 12/13/01 @ 11:56 pm - By: JonathanM - Source: Email
Joe from eVGA sends word that they've released a new lineup of cards that come equipped with faster rated memory. The first card available is the Ti 200 with 3.3nx RAM as we reported back here. Hopefully I'll be able to take a good look at one of these cards in the near future. Peanut over at 3D Chipset has spent some time with the card and has a few words for those few who are dreaming of a Ti 600 at bargin bin prices:

I for one have seen this card and I can tell you that it is flawed. I guess eVGA doesn't do research as the Ti200 PCB boards aren't capable of providing enough stable voltage to the hynix 3.3ns memory to have it run at its default 600Mhz speed rating. The sad thing is that the board I tested was able to hit 480Mhz stable as anything higher produced texture tearing.

480 is still better than 400 but many other cards, such as the one below were able to hit higher. This looks like an interesting card to try a voltage mod on though. ;)


Updated Powerstrip - 12/13/01 @ 10:11 pm - By: HalcYoN - Source: Email
Warp2Search has the latest build of Powerstrip 3.11 available for download. Of interest to us NVIDIOTS is the addition of a few "new NV D3D registry switches".


EN: Klipsch 4.1 - 12/13/01 @ 9:54 pm - By: NeilY - Source: Envy News
Klipsch. I don't know about you, but when I hear that name, I smile. Why? Well, it all goes back to around 1999, when Klipsch released their ProMedia V.2-400 Speaker System for personal computers. It was a 400-watt RMS, 4.1 THX-certified computer speaker system, with beautiful jet-black design and a subwoofer that was described best as a small nuclear reactor. When I first read that back in 1999, I had to blink twice. THX certified? 400-watt RMS? Priced about $249.95, for your computer? There had to be a mistake.

Klipsch ProMedia 4.1 speakers


EN: SanDisk 192MB - 12/13/01 @ 9:52 pm - By: NeilY - Source: Envy News
Phew! One hundred and ninety Megs in the palm of my hand, close-fisted. Imagine that! Today, that's quite plausible, but five years ago, you'd be part of a travelling road-show circus attraction if you wielded that thing. It's quite amazing how over time things keep getting smaller and smaller. Of course, the smaller they get, the greater chance that if it breaks, it's just a hunk of disposable plastic.

SanDisk 192MB CF Card


MSI nForce Review - 12/13/01 @ 9:49 pm - By: HalcYoN - Source: Email
I really appreciate the fact that NVIDIA released a motherboard chipset. Think of all the news that we can now link too that becomes actually relevant. Heh.

Hexus.net, where the fashion world goes for cosmetics and hair supplies, has reviewed the MSI K7N420 Pro motherboard based on the nForce 420-D chipset.

With the nForce being such an unusual beast, we'll take a look at benchmarks from a few perspectives. First off we'll test with a Ti500 installed, the onboard graphics core unused and the system at stock speeds with no overclocking. Then we'll remove the Ti500 and test the GeForce2 MX core. Finally we'll try our hand at overclocking on the MSI and have a quick look at TwinBank and it's effect on things.


New pViewerPRO - 12/13/01 @ 6:08 pm - By: MikeC - Source: Email
The folks over at nTOOLS send word of an updated pViewerPro which is a TV Utility designed specifically for Elsa based graphics cards.
  • ELSA Victory Erazor for Win9x/Me
  • ELSA Erazor III for Win9x/Me
  • ELSA GLADIAC series for Win9x/Me & Windows 2000/XP


Radeon 8500 DV - 12/13/01 @ 6:04 pm - By: MikeC - Source: Email
Lars over at Riva Station takes a look at ATI's All In Wonder Radeon 8500 DV. This card contains the Radeon 8500 (R200) core and a variety of multimedia features such as a TV-Tuner, Video-In, Video-Out and two IEEE 1394 Firewire Ports.


Asus Ti Roundup - 12/13/01 @ 5:59 pm - By: MikeC - Source: Email
Digit-Life has posted a roundup of the following GeForce Titanium based graphics cards from Asus:
  • ASUS AGP-V7700TI (GeForce2 Ti, 64 MBytes DDR, 250/200 (400) MHz)
  • ASUS AGP-V7700TI Deluxe (GeForce2 Ti, 64 MBytes DDR, 250/200 (400) MHz, TV-in/out, 3D-stereo glasses)
  • ASUS AGP-V8200T2 (GeForce3 Ti 200, 64 MBytes DDR, 175/200 (400) MHz)
  • ASUS AGP-V8200T5 (GeForce3 Ti 500, 64 MBytes DDR, 240/250 (500) MHz)
  • ASUS AGP-V8200T5 Deluxe (GeForce3 Ti 500, 64 MBytes DDR, 240/250 (500) MHz, TV-in/out, 3D-stereo glasses)


3D Stereo Driver - 12/13/01 @ 5:54 pm - By: MikeC - Source: Email
NVIDIA sends word that they have released a Detonator 3D Stereo Driver today. This driver enables stereoscopic viewing with 3D enabled glasses or monitors and works with all NVIDIA graphics processors. Drivers for Windows 9x/ME and Windows 2000/XP are available.


23.11 Driver Woes - 12/13/01 @ 12:59 pm - By: Pakman - Source:
The Inquirer reports that sources close to NVIDIA are saying that VIA is to blame for the Detonator 23.11 problems. They say it has to do with the VIA BIOS, and that a patch is available on the VIA Arena website. However, some Intel chipset users are claiming to have problems as well. Which puts the ball back into NVIDIA's court. What a mess, this has really put a blemish on NVIDIA's near perfect driver history. I've heard that the new VIA drivers will actually slow your video performance down. I'll stick with a different set of NVIDIA drivers, rather than altering my system. If any of you have installed the new VIA 4 in 1 drivers and are using the 23.11 drivers, please post your results in terms of performance gains or losses in this string in our forum boards.

Nvidia sources said that the problem with 23.11 and Via chipsets is related to a BIOS glitch and that is why a patch is being made available to its end users on the Via Arena site. Yet, as we reported last week, other people using Intel chipsets also seem to have been plagued by the problem - which would seem to put this sensitive ball back in Nvidia's half of the court.


Prolink Video Maker - 12/13/01 @ 7:05 am - By: MikeC - Source: Email
Along with offering a full lineup of NVIDIA based graphics cards, Prolink also carries a varied line of multimedia add-on cards. Along with the PixelView GeForce3 Ti 200, they also sent me their PlayTV USB Pro to check out.

The ProLink Video Maker is another add-on multimedia card which is reviewed over at Tweaktown. The Video Maker is a TV tuner for the PC and a real-time MPEG-II encoding card. With S-Video and composite video connections, you can record, playback, edit, and save video from multiple sources.


GeForce3 Review - 12/13/01 @ 6:37 am - By: MikeC - Source: Email
got apex? has posted a review of 3DPower's Morpheus GeForce 3 Ti 200 and Osiris GeForce 2 Ti.

If it were me, and it is, I'd save for an extra week or so and get the Morpheus over the Osiris. I just think a Ti200 is going to last you longer, and be a better value overall. For general computer builds, or to replace ancient cards like the TNT/GeForce, the Osiris is a decent value, especially as a quick fix to hold you till the next generation GPU's.


Linux - Early Days - 12/13/01 @ 5:43 am - By: MikeC - Source: Email
Brock sends word that Google Groups has added several hundred million usenet posts to their group search and now have 20 years of usenet postings. They mentioned you could find historical posts if you searched correctly such as these posts made by Linus Torvalds in the early days of Linux development.


VIA 4-In-1 v4.36 - 12/13/01 @ 5:24 am - By: MikeC - Source: Email
An updated 4-In-1 service pack has been released on Via Arena's drivers Page. This includes the new and improved IDE driver version 1.20. It also includes a silent installation of a patch which adjusts a memory setting in BIOS on some VIA Apollo chipsets to ensure stability with the latest video drivers under all Windows operating systems.


Price Guide Updates - 12/12/01 @ 11:13 pm - By: HalcYoN - Source: Email
Here they are again, the usual suspects...HalcYoN: I am going to pass out now. The end of the year crunch is almost over. Working nights would not be so bad if I didn't have to work the days too, heh.

MikeC: I know your a big fan of Serious Sam, so when you get some free time, the demo of the Second Encounter awaits you :)


Everything Review - 12/12/01 @ 11:09 pm - By: HalcYoN - Source: Email
SL Central (formerly System Logic) reviews the VisinTek Everything.  This is the GeForce2 MX 400 bundle of the NVIDIA Personal Cinema.

Can you see where I'm going at with this? Convergence in terms of technology is the merging of all your technologies into one thing. Can you picture something like that happening? I know that I can, in fact, if you're up-to-date on your technology, you'll know that a bunch of the stuff I mentioned is already happening right now, pretty cool huh?

While they had issues with timeshifting, it worked fine for me.  You can check out our review here.


Space Simulator - 12/12/01 @ 10:36 pm - By: DaveW - Source: Forums
Forum visitor "cjl" posted a heads-up on a free space simulator he is working on called Celestia. It's a neat simulation of the entire galaxy on your desktop. You can visit their home page to download it here.


Serious Sam Demo - 12/12/01 @ 9:18 pm - By: MikeC - Source:
A demo of Serious Sam: The Second Encounter has been released. I'm downloading it now from Fragland (click on the headline) at 100KB/sec.

This demo is designed to give everybody a glimpse of what's to come in The Second Encounter addition to the fast and fun FPS action title, Serious Sam. This demo will contain many new enemies, weapons, powerups and features from full version.A new Technology test level packed with some great new features of the Serious Engine is included.


GF3 Ti200 Cooling - 12/12/01 @ 8:05 pm - By: MikeC - Source:
nV News visitor Keith sent in a these comments a few days ago in regards to offering a low cost and effective solution for cooling his Leadtek GeForce3 Ti 200. Thanks Keith!
The Leadtek GeForce3 Ti 200 is an excellent performer, particularly as it can be overclocked by a significant margin. The large heatsink attached to the GPU and RAM chips is a nice feature on this card. However, the heatsink is potentially the card's weak spot as heat from the GPU could result in the RAM chips running hotter than if they were not connected to the heatsink at all!

It's therefore crucial that this heatsink be well cooled in order for the card to achieve its true overclocking potential - particularly the RAM clock speed. The small fan supplied with the card doesn't cut it as far as proper cooling is concerned. Also, the design of the heatsink does not lend itself particularly well to aftermarket video card coolers (such as the Blue Orb).

Click to Enlarge - 117KB

There are low profile fan assemblies that can be mounted in the PCI slot next to the AGP slot, however they tend to be expensive, not easy to find and may not provide the airflow that is required. A simpler, cheaper solution that provides excellent results is to mount a large fan (three or four inch) inside the computer case, and pointing towards the heatsink on the video card. In the picture, a four inch fan is mounted onto the base of the case using thin steel brackets. The brackets are bent to the required shape. Holes are drilled in the base of the case to accommodate the brackets. Other methods of mounting the fan could be used, depending on the materials to hand. The motherboard had a spare three pin fan header available to power the fan. Total cost of the materials is basically the fan, $10US.

I have not yet fully explored the overclocking potential of the card with this cooling arrangement, but am currently running at 202MHz core clock frequency and 525MHz RAM clock (which should be supported by the 3.8ns RAM chips on the card). At these frequencies, the heatsink does not even get warm.


NVIDIA Awarded - 12/12/01 @ 7:44 pm - By: MikeC - Source:
NVIDIA has been awarded the coveted "Eddy" Award From Macworld Magazine. Macworld recognized the GeForce3 as the most advanced graphics processor on the planet.

"NVIDIA's GeForce3 is one of today's most advanced graphics processors -- and it came to the Mac first," Macworld magazine reported. "With 57 million transistors in its graphics-processing unit, it's more complex than the G4 processors that drive today's Macs. It even includes a feature called the nfiniteFX engine that allows game developers to add custom real-time effects to their titles. Hard-core gamers and 3-D professionals shouldn't pass this one up."


Updated 3D Digest - 12/12/01 @ 7:35 pm - By: MikeC - Source: Email
Digit-Life has wrapped up November's installment of their 3D Digest. You'll find a wealth of information on just about every 3D graphics card on the market.
  • 5 testing platforms used
  • 6 games and applications used to test performance
  • 19 games and applications used to test image quality
  • 38 cards tested and 25 more in archive
  • drivers released from October, 20 to November, 20 were tested
  • perfomance checked under WinME and WinXP
  • S3TC/FXT1 influence on speed and quality (Windows 98SE) investigated
  • anisotropic filtering on the example of Serious Sam (Windows 98SE) investigated
  • peak and minimal FPS in Giants (Windows XP) investigated
  • 3D cards rating for the end of Nov.
  • two huge screenshots galleries
They have also have posted their Storage Digest.


EN: ClickSmart 310 - 12/12/01 @ 2:44 pm - By: NeilY - Source: Envy News
Enter the Logitech ClickSmart Camera series. Logitech, provider of high-quality computer peripherals of every sort, has decided to test the waters of convergence technology by fusing the webcam and digital camera genres together into one piece of high-tech art: a DualCam. Housed in the fashion colors of the Logitech Fall 2001 line (black and gunmetal gray, with blue trim), the ClickSmart 310 looks classy, relaxed, and ready to go to work. Although not the pioneers of this idea (Kodak's EZ200, for example), Logitech has fashioned some new turns and twists in their implementation.

Logitech ClickSmart 310 Camera


Broadband Affairs - 12/12/01 @ 1:41 pm - By: Pakman - Source:
Excite@Home will cease to exist on February 28, 2002. After that time it will be up to the various companies such as Cox, Comcast & Rodgers to figure out if they can create their own networks and keep their broadband services flowing. In a related story, many AT&T cable users are very upset with the performance of AT&T's broadband service. Citing that their connection has gone from almost 4mbps down to 1.5mbps. Let's hope that Cox and the other companies can do better than that.



AT&T's network allows customers to receive up to 1.5 megabits of data per second from the Internet to their computer (the downstream speed) and to send up to 128 kilobits of data per second from their computer to the Internet (the upstream speed).

By contrast, Excite@Home's customers say they were able to receive up to 4 megabits downstream and send 128 kilobits upstream. That means AT&T customers who have been switched to AT&T's Broadband Internet system since Excite@Home cut off their high-speed Internet service have less than half the downstream abilities of their old service.


Updated RivaTuner - 12/12/01 @ 10:01 am - By: MikeC - Source: Email
The Guru of 3D has released an updated version of RivaTuner. In addition to minor fixes, the major updates include the following.
  • Added nForce northbridges support to the low level graphics subsystem diagnostic module.
  • Added more VIA northbridges to the hardware database.
  • Disabled 'NVIDIA specific display adapter information' diagnostic report category for Aladdin and nForce integrated display adapters.
  • Disabled low level memory clock adjustment for Aladdin and nForce integrated display adapters.
  • FAQ updated.


Workstation Guide - 12/12/01 @ 9:38 am - By: MikeC - Source:
Ace's Hardware published the first part of their workstation guide over the weekend. They look at the performance of dual processor Athlon MP systems using lower cost motherboards such as Tyan's Tiger MP. Performance is compared using high-end 3D animation packages like Maya, 3D Studio Max, and Lightwave to single processor desktop PCs and a dual-processor Pentium 4 Xeon workstation.


Athlon XP 2000+ - 12/12/01 @ 9:03 am - By: MikeC - Source:
AMD is upping the ante in the processor wars as they will be releasing the 2000+ version of their Athlon XP processor next month. According to the story at the Inquirer, Intel will also be debuting a .13 micron fabbed Pentium 4 running at 2.2GHz.


GF3 Ti 200 Review - 12/12/01 @ 8:57 am - By: MikeC - Source:
HardOCP has kicked up a review of the Hercules 3D Prophet GeForce3 Ti 200. Those of you that are still running an original GeForce or GeForce2 MX and are looking to add some punch to your system at a reasonable price, the GeForce3 Ti 200 makes for a great choice.

When it comes to evaluating your video card purchase for this holiday season no one can deny the incredible value the Ti 200 class of video cards. They have GeForce3 level of features and support at an almost value video card price. As for computer enthusiasts who like to tweak and overclock to get the best out of their system, this card has the potential to reach regular GeForce3 performance at the very least from our experience.


3DGPU Back Online - 12/12/01 @ 5:22 am - By: MikeC - Source:
Great to see that 3DGPU is back up and running as they are being now being hosted by Gaming Groove. Click on the headline to find out what's going on over there.


The State Of Intel - 12/11/01 @ 7:17 pm - By: MikeC - Source: Email
Josh over at Penstar has posted his latest "Today" article concerning Intel and its business model/plan. Josh discusses what Intel has done right, done wrong, or not done at all, and compared to what benefits each of these decisions have brought.

Intel has always been an innovator, but that does not always mean that they were always correct. Intel is about pushing performance, and delivering a solid and fast computing experience. When work on the Pentium 4 started, Intel was well into working with RAMBUS on next generation memory technologies. RAMBUS promised high performance memory with low pin counts that promised to make chipset and motherboard design easier. Intel saw this as the memory technology of the future, and Intel in fact essentially turned its back on JEDEC, which was moving forward on SDRAM based solutions.


GeForce3 Review - 12/11/01 @ 6:56 pm - By: MikeC - Source: Email
I'm pleased to say that Innovision 3D has decided to renew their advertising contract with nV News for another six months. I would like to thank all of you for continuing to support us. They've been pleased with the results of advertising here and without your support, we wouldn't have been able to pull it off. I feel another giveaway coming up...heh.

Inno 3D offers a full range of GeForce based graphics cards and Neokseeker checks our their Tornado GeForce3 which received a rating of 93%. Click on the headline for the full review.


Skull OGL Demo - 12/11/01 @ 6:41 pm - By: MikeC - Source:
Our own GPSnoopy, who's been dabbling in OpenGL for a bit, has released a small demo. The demo renders a skull which contains approximately 60,000 polygons and is T&L intensive. The frame rate is written out to a log file. Nice job GP!


MSI nForce Review - 12/11/01 @ 6:07 pm - By: MikeC - Source: Email
Overclockers Australia has put together a review of MSI's nForce based K7N420 Pro motherboard. A good review to check out with plenty of shots of the board and accessories. They test performance of the integrated graphics as well as a GeForce2 Ultra. Other than the subpar overclocking tools in the BIOS, they were generally pleased with NVIDIA's first motherboard chipset.

Well, I've come away from this review feeling overall very positive. For a first try at a motherboard chipset, nForce is a brilliant effort from NVIDIA. The integrated stuff seems to score mightily over that included with other chipsets and the chipset itself seems very fast.


New Press Releases - 12/11/01 @ 5:53 pm - By: MikeC - Source: Yahoo Finance
NVIDIA and the GeForce3 continue to receive accolades from the graphics industry. Here are a couple of press releases noting so.
  • NVIDIA Shading Technology Recognized for Advancing Game Development

    Each year, Game Developer Magazine singles out select hardware and software companies for providing a breakthrough product that streamlines the game development process and awards them the Front Line award. Front Line Award winners are determined by a panel of industry-leading game developers specializing in the fields relevant to each category.

  • NVIDIA Honored by Fabless Semiconductor Association

    In recognition of its increasing momentum in 2001, NVIDIA Corporation, a publicly held fabless company focusing on advanced graphics and multimedia processing technologies, was honored by the Fabless Semiconductor Association (FSA) for its outstanding accomplishments made during the year. NVIDIA was voted by the FSA and its members as the Most Respected Public Fabless Company and also earned the distinction of the Best Financially Managed Company.


CPL CStrike Winner - 12/11/01 @ 3:52 pm - By: DaveW - Source: The CPL
"NIP" from Sweden is the official winner of this year's winter CPL World Championship. He won $50,000 for his "m4D 5K1LLz" in Counter-Strike. Counter-Strike is next summer's game too in case you were thinking of entering :)

MikeC: That's certainly a nice chunk of change. My son Dave was a huge Counter-Strike player. I say huge since he's quit playing due to accusations of him cheating. I've sat and watched him play in clan matches and the things he does with the sniper rifle are amazing. He doesn't cheat and for all the time spent improving his skills, he ends up getting banned from servers and having to record demos to prove he doesn't cheat. It's pretty sad if you ask me.


WinZip 8.1 Released - 12/11/01 @ 3:36 pm - By: Ben - Source: Warp2Search
My favorite Zip compression utility has been updated to version 8.1 . Click the headline to download it


1M Xboxes Shipped - 12/11/01 @ 3:31 pm - By: Ben - Source:
Microsoft has announced that more than 1.1 million Xboxes have been shipped to retailers in less than 3 weeks. Click the headline for the full story.


ATI vs NVIDIA - 12/11/01 @ 12:40 pm - By: MikeC - Source:
Extreme Tech takes an in-depth look at the video features of ATI's All-in-Wonder Radeon 8500 DV and compares them to VisionTek's Xtasy Everything which is based on NVIDIA's Personal Cinema.


A Look At NVIDIA - 12/11/01 @ 7:43 am - By: MikeC - Source:
Hardware Central takes a look at NVIDIA and wonders if they've spread themselves too thin by entering new markets. They continue to question NVIDIA's decision to use the GeForce2 MX as the core for the nForce's integrated video.

The nForce chipset is an excellent example. The question of which integrated video to include must have been a real hot potato -- Nvidia couldn't exactly slap a GeForce3 core in there, lest it anger OEMs who make a nice profit on high-end graphics cards. Instead, the company swung too far in the other direction by choosing the GeForce2 MX core, which subsequent production delays made something of a performance joke.

Performance joke? Compared to what other integrated graphics chipset? Certainly not Intel's 815 chipset...heh. I have one and it made me cry when I played Quake 3 on it.


NVIDIA Financials - 12/11/01 @ 6:40 am - By: MikeC - Source:
Edgar Online has put together a summary of NVIDIA's most recent income statement. For the period ending October 28, 2001, gross profit rose to $138 million based on revenue of $370 million. Research and development costs increased to $44 million.


Ti Chip Shortages - 12/11/01 @ 6:30 am - By: MikeC - Source:
x-bit labs is reporting that NVIDIA may be faced with a shortage of Titanium chips to satisfy growing demand. They also mention that TSMC's limited production of 0.13 micron chips may keep the next generation NV25 as a 0.15 micron part. We'll have to wait and see if this information pans out.


Xmas Buyers Guide - 12/11/01 @ 5:40 am - By: MikeC - Source: Email
Gaming in 3D has put together the first part of their holiday buyer's guide. The wish list consists of 10 items, one of which I've been recently eyeing.

Know a gamer? Then this is definitely the present for them. The THX certified Klipsch ProMedia 5.1 is simply the best set of speakers you can buy for the home computer.

Then again Hot Hardware has just reviewed Logitech's Z-560 THX Certified 4.1 Speaker System. Ahh, decisions, decisions, decisions...


Lite-On CD Review - 12/10/01 @ 9:43 pm - By: MikeC - Source: Email
I picked up LiteON's 24/10/40 CD Burner a few months ago for only $99. CD Freaks takes an in-depth look gives it a rating of 94.5%.

LiteOn has brought out a true 'top bargain' on to the market. The drive does everything a person can wish at a very attractive price Shortly... If you want a cheap solution for a Plextor drive you can have a look at LiteON!


Professional 3D - 12/10/01 @ 6:41 pm - By: MikeC - Source: Email
Digit-Life has posted a Professional 3D Accelerators Roundup using 3D Studio MAX 3.1. They test NVIDIA's GeForce3, Quadro2 Pro and Quadro2 MXR along with ATI's Radeon and FireGL2. Pentium 4 and Athlon based systems were used for testing.


3.3ns RAM Ti 200 - 12/10/01 @ 1:12 pm - By: HalcYoN - Source: JonathanM
The J-Bomb is studying so he sent me a link to a company that is accepting pre-orders for a 3.3ns DDR SDRAM equipped Ti 200 card from eVGA. Bonus - $189 with FREE shipping.


GF3 Ti 500 Review - 12/10/01 @ 10:46 am - By: HalcYoN - Source: Email
AMD World reviews the Absolute Morpheus Ti-500.  Like the Morpheus, the Morpheus Ti-500 comes in the spiffy wooden box.  The gold RAMsinks are replaced by larger purple ones, I think a better match to the blck PCB abd purple ORB-style cooler.

Once again as we see the product itself is very much dominated in appearance by the large heatsink and fan combination which is not only cooling the core (GPU) it is cooling the ram chips as well, thus allowing potentially some enthusiastic overclocking. Once upon a time video cards were just green circuit boards that got slot in the agp or pci slot and forgot about but today as the enthusiast demands more speed with quality and we are now seeing cpu cooling features become the standard feature. Yes the fan and heatsink on the GPU has that orb design look and comes in a trendy purple color for those who take pride in there hardware appearances.


Top 10 Sleepers - 12/10/01 @ 7:11 am - By: MikeC - Source:
Voodoo Extreme takes a look at 10 under appreciated games that have been released during the past year or so. Some awesome titles are on the list - definitely worthwhile gifts for your Christmas list.

Giants had it all: great graphics, fun gameplay, hilarious dialogue, midgets - err, meccaryns, hot topless blue chicks with sexy French accents and even a rampaging titan named Kabuto. The only thing it didn't have was a stable release due to Interplay forcing the game out the door early and never provided any funding to support the game once it was released. Yes, Giants did win quite a few awards that year for being the best action game, but when the biggest buzz on Giants was about its bugs, it didn't take an ad wizard to figure out it wasn't going to sell. I really enjoyed Giants, but I would've really liked to play the true game that Planet Moon had envisioned, rather than what Interplay forced it to be.


Hardware Digest - 12/10/01 @ 6:58 am - By: MikeC - Source: Email
Digit-Life has completed their hardware digest for November. They offer tidbits on technologies, processors, motherboards, and memory. Here are comments on the nForce.

Comdex Fall 2001 brought a load of NVIDIA nForce motherboards as well: both on the "senior" nForce 420 chipset version (K7N420 Pro from MSI, A7N266 from ASUS, NV22 from Abit, GA-7NTX from Gigabyte), and on "lighter" nForce 220 with 64-bit IGP (below is A7N266 from ASUS).

Moreover, in the second half of the month they've even announced sales of complete nForce 420 systems with new AMD Athlon XP processors and DDR SDRAM memory. Pity, a high enough price and not so high performance of built-in nForce graphics (lower than GeForce MX400 cards), now makes nForce not so actual. Mass appearance of nForce motherboards is expected in December.


Linux Driver News - 12/10/01 @ 6:47 am - By: MikeC - Source: Email
The folks over at Evil 3D discuss the performance increase related to the latest Linux drivers. They've discovered that the reason is the implementation of page flipping. That's all well and good, but this new feature for Linux is only available in three combinations of X and full screen OpenGL app. If you're interested in what they are, click on the headline.


eVGA.com Giveaway - 12/10/01 @ 6:43 am - By: MikeC - Source: Email
eVGA.com is giving away a brand new AMD 1.2GHz Athlon based computer system - shipped just in time for the holidays. The catch is you have to beta test their new web based SyScan Software. The software is used to determine system configurations and diagnose possible system related problems over the Internet.


nForce+Ti500=60fps - 12/09/01 @ 4:49 pm - By: Ben - Source:
Interesting. Turning on 8x (64tap) Anisotropic filtering and 4X AA at a resolution of 1024x768@32bpp I received 59 fps in Quake3 1.17.

System: 1800+ Athlon XP, 256MB PC2400 DDR, 60GB Maxtor 7200 RPM, 12X DVDROM, Onboard sound (disabled).


YPM: bLaCkOuT - 12/09/01 @ 12:41 pm - By: MitchF - Source: gossip
Attention K-Mart shoppers Mr. Foy has left the Internet! Yup, Yur Pal Mitch gets caught in the Excite meltdown in the one called bLaCkOuT .

Click Me

Got Yur Blue Light Special right here...


GF3 Ti 500 Review - 12/09/01 @ 11:05 am - By: HalcYoN - Source: I am not a geek
AthlonXP.com reviews the Gainward GeForce3 PowerPackIII Ti 550.  The review is a quick read...


nForce Superstability - 12/09/01 @ 10:59 am - By: HalcYoN - Source: Riva Station
GamePC examines one of the features (depending on how you look at it) of the nForce chipset called Superstability.

The performance drops are due to a feature nVidia calls "Superstability" mode, which has never been brought to the public's attention until now. Superstability mode is only enabled under a certain set of circumstances with specific DDR memory configurations. This BIOS feature ensures the nForce chipset is compatible with all DDR SDRAM in all slots, even when that specific memory has not been validated or tested by nVidia and its OEMs.

Here's how Superstability mode works. When a memory module is installed in the motherboard, upon boot-up, the motherboard will read the SPD elements off the memory stick, which can effectively tell the memory controller for which speeds the memory stick is rated for, as well as memory size. If the SPD data isn't satisfactory for that particular DIMM slot, "Superstability" mode kicks in, and clocks down the memory speed to ensure complete compatability.

Using the NVIDIA nForce Reference board and the MSI K7N420 motherboard, they test a number of differnet DDR DIMM brands and configurations. They found that depending on the type of memory, you will want to use different slot configurations for maximum performance.

As you can see, any configuration where there is a dual-sided memory stick in DIMM #2, we see up to a 25% drop in memory performance. If you avoid that slot and use DIMMS #1 and #3, everything is perfect. When DIMMS #1 and #3 are used together, performance is simply fantastic. Once that second module gets put into play, it goes downhill.

JonathanM: Heh, It's been a while coming but HalcYoN's finally made a double post again. I was starting to miss it. ;)

HalcYoN: I have said it before, I'll say it again.  Do you think I read this biased site? 


Random News Bits - 12/09/01 @ 10:46 am - By: HalcYoN - Source:
Time to play a little catch-up on all the not-so-NVIDIA news.  We'll start on topic and work our way out...
  • Overclocker Cafe has had their share of problems with the 23.11 Detonators on Win2K machines.  They have posted specs in case you are curious.

  • Electic Tech has another set of Voodoo 3/4/5 drivers for those of you that still running Voodoo Inside.

  • Neoseeker reviews the Gigabyte GA-7VTX Motherboard.  Nothing too exciting about this KT266 board, but it does sport an AGP Pro slot for your GeForce.

  • EX Hardware checks out the SiS 645 DDR Pentium4 Chipset.

  • The GameSpy Network has launched PlanetWolfenstein.  Need help finding the secrets?  I know I do, heh.

  • 3D Spotlight reviews the Abit KG7 RAID.  They cover the finer points of the AMD-760 chipset equipped Abit board including overclocking results.

  • PC Stats shows off the lovely new green Athlon XP.  Not that there is anything wrong with dirt brown of the current batch, but green suits a high-performance CPU a little better.

  • PC Fusion tests the Thermaltake Dragon ORB 3.  I swore off the ORB line-up after one cracked my first T-Bird.

  • x-bit labs is feeling a bit SCSI.  They round-up six of the latest and greatest SCSI hard drives, including three new 10K models.


QBM For Video - 12/08/01 @ 12:08 pm - By: Pakman - Source:
The Inquirer reports that both ATi and NVIDIA are investigating quad memory for use with their video cards. Chances are that if it is used, it won't be for another year or so.

Nvidia told me that it will not use QBM technology immediately, at least not in their up-and-coming products. But Kentron did tell me that Nvidia is actively investigating the technology.


nForce Numbers - 12/08/01 @ 11:54 am - By: Ben - Source:
I got a reference Nforce board in and I've been playing around with it. Some preliminary benchmarks using 22.40 drivers, 1800+ Athlon XP , 256MB PC2400 DDR memory. These scores are with the onboard video. Compare it with your Intel 815 video and integrated Sis chips!!

Quake3 Arena Retail 1.17 no tweaks
1024x768 32bit Max settings : 47.6 fps

Just for fun here's another score

800x600 32bit max settings 4x FSAA: 20.6


Book Review - 12/08/01 @ 11:37 am - By: HalcYoN - Source: Email
The Tech Zone reviews the latest guide from Thomas Roberts entitled Build The Ultimate Athlon Computer.

The Zone points out one of the more interesting passages when discussing video card selection. From the book:

After the processor, the Video card has the most influence on system performance. The test system used a Jaton 3Dforce2-MX 32 MB AGP card. It uses the Geforce2MX400 chipset and provides excellent performance for a great price (about $65). I highly recommend this card because it is a great deal.

The Tech Zone recommends renaming the book to building the Ultimate Value Athlon System, heh.


Press Releases - 12/08/01 @ 10:37 am - By: MikeC - Source: Yahoo Finance
Here are links to a couple of press releases NVIDIA sent out yesterday.


RivaTuner 2.0 RC8.1 - 12/08/01 @ 3:59 am - By: Typedef Enum - Source:
Just a heads up...I received an email from Alexey (author of RivaTuner), and he should be releasing this latest version sometime today (which would be sometime Friday).

Typedef: I guess I should have waited about 5 more minutes :) Here's a screenshot that will show you the panel which allows Super-Sampling on your GF3.


Rendering Card - 12/07/01 @ 9:59 am - By: JonathanM - Source: Email
Got some cool inside info from our sponsor Amazon Tech about a card they'll be announcing shortly for their lineup of graphic workstations. The PURE PCI Renderer features an amazing 512 megs of on-board SD RAM! Priced at 2475 pounds, this isn't for everyone.


HOS Disabled? - 12/07/01 @ 9:52 am - By: JonathanM - Source: NVchips-fr
The Inquirer is reporting that NVIDIA has disable support for High-Order Surfaces in the recent 23.11 drivers to improve performance in various games that support ATI's TrueForm tech, as these tended to enable NVIDIA's N Patch implementation in software thus reducing performance of the games.

Why did Nvidia disable HOS? The answer the techies gave us was because the "few games: that use Truform technology, by default turn on the software implementation of N Patches on Nvidia cards and that results in unacceptably slow frames per second (FPS).

The real answer is that Nvidia does not have any hardware implementation of Truform. That's because it's ATi's technology.


Ti 500 Shortages? - 12/07/01 @ 9:46 am - By: JonathanM - Source: NVchips-fr
Asia Bit-tech states that NVIDIA as well as ATI are currently experiencing shortages of their high-performance chipsets. Seems weird to me.

Asustek confirmed Nvidia had a short supply of its T1500 since the end of October, halving the company's delivery of high-end graphic cards from the previous 20,000 pieces to the current 10,000 pieces, and sending its November sales down around NT$100 million.


Linux Drivers - 12/07/01 @ 9:39 am - By: JonathanM - Source:
Linux Hardware compares the newly released 1.0-2313 drivers against their predecessors. The new drivers add an amazing 30 fps at 1600x1200!


GF2 MX 400 Review - 12/07/01 @ 8:58 am - By: HalcYoN - Source: Email
NeoSeeker takes a look at the Abit Siluro MX400.

ABIT has stuck with the basics in the box contents and, as usual, they have done a very good job of it. I am speaking mostly about the manual which is the most thorough video card manual you will probably ever see (other than the ones made for extremely high end 3D rendering dealies :] ). With detailed diagrams and screenshots of just about every screen you'll see during configuration, this manual doesn't leave anything to chance for the inexperienced end user - it even covers the BIOS flashing process.


Random News Bits - 12/07/01 @ 6:11 am - By: MikeC - Source:
I'm finding that my reviews are taking much longer to complete. This isn't necessarily a bad thing since I tend to focus on the gaming experience as well as the typical benchmarks. However, I've got some great image quality examples in an upcoming review of Prolink's GeForce3 Ti 200.

I got around to playing the Aliens vs Predator 2 single player demo last night. Being a huge fan of the Alien series of movies, I will say that this game is awesome. The atmosphere is perfect and as I play most games with headphones, there were times where I was pretty darn nervous. It's not often that a game keeps you constantly looking behind your back or strafing along walls to avoid confrontation.

  • The Tech Report pits the GeForce3 Ti 500 against ATI's Radeon 8500.
  • NVIDIA's updated Game Spotlight is featuring Everquest: The Shadows of Luclin.
  • NVIDIA also has a developer white paper on shadow mapping on rendering hardware-accelerated shadows in OpenGL and D3D.
  • GamePC looks at a slightly controversial and undocumented feature of NVIDIA's nForce chipset named Superstability mode.
  • Tommti Systems has a German review of the ATI Radeon 8500.
  • High Speed PC is offering an Athlon XP CPU unlocking kit for $11.99.


KT266A at 221MHz - 12/06/01 @ 9:36 pm - By: HalcYoN - Source: Email
Epox released a new BIOS release for the 8KHA+ that gives a 3/4 CPU-RAM divider option.  Looks like there will be some insane CPU overclocking results where memory used to by the limiting factor.

VR-Zone has a couple of screens showing the FSB and a run of 3D Mark using the 221MHz FSB.


Monitor Review - 12/06/01 @ 9:28 pm - By: HalcYoN - Source: Email
The Tech Zone looks real snazzy in their new blue layout, eh?

The Zone reviews the Sony CPD-G420S 19" Trinitron montior.  Yeah it is a little pricey, but it is a damn good monitor.

This monitor has a max resolution of 1800x1440, and can achieve this at a refresh rate of 70Hz. Although Sony recommends you use set the resolution at 1600x1220 and refresh rate at 85Hz, I took it to the max. Text tends to look quite small at this resolution, and becomes unreadable on lesser monitors. This wasn't so with the CPD-G420S. Even at it's maximum resolution, the text was still very readable.


I'm Still Alive - 12/06/01 @ 9:18 pm - By: HalcYoN - Source:
The last couple of days at work have pretty been the same as taking a massive thrashing. I am physically tired to go with the brain-fry. Such is telecom.

Quick update from the lab: VisionTek Ti 500 review very soon, more Athlon XP 1900+ benchmarks very soon, VisionTek Ti200 and GF2 Ti on the horizon.


EN: Marble Mouse - 12/06/01 @ 6:54 pm - By: NeilY - Source: Envy News
I'd love to be able to manipulate data on the computer using thought-control and a combination of spoken-commands. However, we're still a decade or two away from that flawless consumer-accepted reality. We humans evolved to use our hands, hence our opposable thumb - there's a primordial desire to be able to manipulate ethereal representations of data on your computer screen with our hands. It's satisfying, and that is why I believe mass-market acceptance of other forms of computer control will be a continuing uphill battle for designers and engineers for a long time to come.

Logitech Marble Mouse


Car Rims For Sale - 12/06/01 @ 5:22 pm - By: MikeC - Source:
My son Steve is selling four 15-inch chrome rims that were replaced on his 1999 Mustang. They are in excellent condition. If you're interested in purchasing them at a cut-rate price, drop me a line.

Click to enlarge.


On 23.11 Problem - 12/06/01 @ 1:42 pm - By: Pakman - Source:
VIA Hardware has the news about the problems with Detonator 23.11's and WinXP. There is a patch available to possibly fix problems. Apparently, the new drivers call for much more aggressive use of memory and there are problems with the Memory Write Queue timer. It seems that there are some wrong values written which will cause a problem with KT266x boards.

This patch detects the 0305, 3099, 3102, and 3112 (KT133x, KT266x, VT8662, and KLE133) *only*. On these chipsets, it will patch register 55 in the Northbridge, which will supposedly switch off a Memory Write Queue timer.

In the KT133A datasheet, register 55 is "reserved". But - yikes! - in the KT266, the documented MWQ register is register 95, not 55. Register 55 contains unrelated DDR timing adjustments and could actually be dangerous to program. For this reason, I do not recommend installing this driver on the KT266x chipsets until VIA examines this issue. For now, use WPCREDIT and set bits 5, 6, and 7 to zero in register 95 instead. Electic lets us know they have this driver for download here.


23.11 & WinXP - 12/06/01 @ 11:55 am - By: Pakman - Source:
The Inquirer reports that VIA is blaming NVIDIA for problems with Windows XP users who are trying to use the Detonator 23.11 drivers. I haven't noticed any problems, but apparently several users have.

End users have found compatibility and stability problems when using Nvidia 23.11 drivers for Windows XP, but Via sources claim today that motherboard manufacturers are the innocent victims of the increasingly aggressive graphics war between ATi and Nvidia. One Via source said that there is a "fundamental problem with Nvidia's driver development, and compatibility wasn't a major concern when developing this driver." As we reported in our Hardware Webwatch yesterday, there are workrounds for the problem, but the easiest answer seems to be to use old Nvidia drivers that have Microsoft's WHQL certification.

HalcYoN: My dad can beat up your dad.


NV BIOS Editor - 12/06/01 @ 10:15 am - By: JonathanM - Source: Email
There's another new version of the NVIDIA BIOS editor, bringing it up to version 0.99a. The fixes:
  • Support for Windows XP interface
  • Removed buttons "Save changes", now all changes saved automatically
  • Added full featured HEX Editor


GeForce Tweak Util. - 12/06/01 @ 10:12 am - By: JonathanM - Source: Email
The Guru of 3D just released version 3.1 (final) of the GeForce Tweak Utility. This utility allows you make modifications to the registry settings of any GeForce videocard (GeForce256, GeForce2/MX/Pro/Ultra, GeForce3 (Ti), Quadro, Quadro2/Pro/MXR, and Quadro DCC). This version does NOT work 100% with the new 23.11 Detonator driver yet! Wait for the next beta.

Besides of the standard OpenGL/Direct3D/System tweaking possibilities the GTU comes with the following new features:

  • ASUS compatibility update (w9x)
  • Because of some color correction problems (black screen) I added a new function: Whenever you press CTRL+C in the GTU then the default colors will be initialized which should prevent the system from showing a black screen.
  • I possibly fixed the GTUs most serious bug: The "black screen" bug... remember: If the GTU ever does this again, press CTRL+C twice and then please TELL ME about it!
  • Big changes at the Stereo3D settings. Earlier GTU versions were only able to customize the main functionality ... now you have a lot more possibilities to tweak your Stereo settings even while running applications!
  • Stereoscopy support with 22.xx drivers under Win2k/XP!
  • Of course there are plenty more changes (about 20), check out the homepage for more info!


Modded Asus Drivers - 12/06/01 @ 10:09 am - By: JonathanM - Source: Email
Technogarb has modified the latest batch of reference drivers so that the Asus driver interface and tools may be used.

Our newest drivers are for Windows 2000/XP and they are based on Nvidia's 23.11. With our drivers the user will have all the tools which are in official Asus drivers (for example: Stereoscopic support, Asus control panel, and others).


MSI GF3 Ti Reviews - 12/06/01 @ 10:03 am - By: JonathanM - Source: 3D Chipset
Motherboards.org has posted a review of MSi's Ti 200 and Ti 500 cards.


Creative GF3 Ti's - 12/06/01 @ 10:01 am - By: JonathanM - Source: 3D Chipset
x-bit labs has information, as as well as pictures, about Creative's new GeForce3 Titanium cards. x-bit labs states that MSI will manufacture the cards.

Maybe Creative feels a bit embarrassed that some third manufacturer will be producing its graphics cards and hence they asked MSI to use the regular green textolite to make the boards less recognizable? Who knows... But we don't think that there is anything to be ashamed of: MSI graphics cards have always been good.


The Console Wars - 12/06/01 @ 6:33 am - By: MikeC - Source:
Tom's Hardware covers the gaming console scene with an article authored by Dundee Securities analysts David Hodgson, Dr. Jeff Rabin, and Katherine Down.

With so much hype surrounding these gaming consoles in recent weeks, we thought it would be interesting to take a look at the earnings potential for both ATI and NVIDIA. Although we explore this further in our report, below we've included a quick summary of what the latest-generation gaming consoles will do for the bottom line at the world's two leading graphics chip companies.


Driver Comparison - 12/06/01 @ 6:01 am - By: MikeC - Source: Email
The Guru of 3D has updated their Detonator driver database with results from the 23.11 drivers. They test using three different benchmarks and resolutions from 800x600 to 1600x1200.


GeForce3 Reviews - 12/06/01 @ 5:57 am - By: MikeC - Source: Email
Hot Hardware takes a look at a couple of hot GeForce3 graphics cards from Asus - the V8200T5 Deluxe (GeForce3 Ti 500) and V8200T2 Deluxe (GeForce3 Ti 200).


23.11 Driver Issue - 12/06/01 @ 5:46 am - By: MikeC - Source: Email
The folks at Little White Dog dropped a line in regards to an issue with the newly released 23.11 Detonator drivers. The problem can cause an "infinite loop error" under Windows XP and is isolated to the VIA chipset. For additional details, click on the headline.

Update: Be sure to check out Via Arena Forums for additional information on this issue.


D3D Anisotropic Keys - 12/06/01 @ 5:15 am - By: Typedef Enum - Source:
I was checking the forums, and saw this post by craiggen.

Here's the bottom line. FYI, to pinpoint the exact location that the nVidia drivers currently reside, go to the following key (in Win2k/WinXP):

\HKLM\HARDWARE\DEVICEMAP\VIDEO\DEVICE\Video0

Double click on that guy, and take a look. In most cases, it will point to:

\REGISTRY\Machine\System\ControlSet001\Services\nv\Device0

Which, in all reality, is:

\HKLM\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Services\nv\Device0

In there, you need to create a new DWORD (though it looks like NVIDIA is using binary registry keys, but DWORD's will work).

D3d_D3D_74095213

If you're familiar with how NVIDIA's drivers had been setting the anisotropic filtering level before, it's the same.

aniso 2x = 0x2
aniso 4x = 0x4
aniso 8x = 0x8

Works like a charm. Kudos to craiggen!

The best thing to do, until the tweakers catch up, is to create some registry keys, and put some shortcuts on the desktop.


More XBox Sales - 12/05/01 @ 9:46 pm - By: Ben - Source:
According to NPD TRST , the leading source for sales and market data on the video game industry, the XBox has taken the lead in sales after two weeks. Click the headline for the whole story. Here's a snip:

The Xbox(tm) video game system from Microsoft Corp. had the best-selling video game console launch on record after two weeks of sales, according to The NPD Group Inc., the definitive source for sales and market data on the video game industry.

"The data clearly show that Xbox is off to a torrid start," said Robbie Bach, chief Xbox officer at Microsoft. "Xbox sold out as soon as we launched, and we're selling systems as fast as we can produce them. More than 100,000 units a week are being delivered to retailers, so game players are likely to find Xbox systems throughout the holiday season. With one of the best launch lineups ever, I understand why Xbox is the most sought-after gift for the holiday."

Most importantly, Xbox purchasers can't get enough of the Xbox launch games. According to The NPD Group, gamers are buying 2.4 Xbox games with every Xbox, resulting in the highest game attach rate ever recorded for a console at launch. Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. sold 1.9 games with every PlayStation 2 during the first two weeks of its launch last year, and Nintendo Company Ltd. has sold 1.9 games with every GameCube to date


New Favorite Pic - 12/05/01 @ 8:23 pm - By: MikeC - Source: FilePlanet
Time for an updated favorite pic which comes to us courtesy of the IL-2 Sturmovik demo from UbiSoft. I know most of you aren't heavy-duty flight sim gamers, and neither am I, but you'll definitely be in for a visual treat. The game runs under OpenGL (preferred) and Direct 3D and I was impressed while watching playback from the two included demos which run for about 5 minutes apiece. Of course you'll want to enable some form of antialiasing :)


SS: OGL vs D3D - 12/05/01 @ 12:55 pm - By: Typedef Enum - Source:
I thought it might be interesting to show a quick comparison between these 2 API's, since Croteam just released a patch which exposes these 2.
Direct3DOpenGL
83 FPS Avg.119 FPS Avg
High peak: 174 FPS High peak: 227 FPS Avg
Low peak: 50 FPS Low peak: 75 FPS Avg
High sustained: 137 FPS High sustained: 199 FPS Avg
Low sustained: 60 FPS Low sustained: 86 FPS Avg


nForce Review - 12/05/01 @ 12:39 pm - By: Pakman - Source:
The Inquirer has kicked up a nForce review. In it, you can see that the nForce lays the smack-down on the AMD 760 and is proclaimed to be a damned fine product.

It is fast - although maybe not the fastest one - but still a very nice performer. At DM 400 this board is not too expensive, given all the integrated features which add up to a good multimedia package. If we consider Nforce to be Nvidia's first board chipset, then we have to say it has done a great job. There are very few companies that make products which shine from the start and Nforce is one of them.


Faster Radeon 8500 - 12/05/01 @ 6:15 am - By: MikeC - Source:
X-bit labs is reporting that ATI may lauch a faster version of their Radeon early next year to complete with NVIDIA's NV25.

According to one of our unofficial sources, in February 2002 ATI is planning to announce a clone of its RADEON 8500 working at 300MHz core and memory frequency. Now the company is offering two RADEON 8500 modifications: working at 250MHz and at 275MHz. But there is a number of facts proving that ATI has every chance to produce faster chips. First of all, the professional FireGL 8700 and 8800 graphics cards built on the same chips as ATI's gaming cards support 300MHz chip frequency. Secondly, PowerColor Company mentioned the possibility to supply graphics cards based on ATI RADEON 8500, which would work at 300MHz core clock.


GameCube vs Xbox - 12/05/01 @ 6:11 am - By: MikeC - Source:
ExtremeTech looks at the inner workings of Nintendo's GameCube and Microsoft's Xbox consoles. They discuss fill rates, memory buffers and bandwidth, geometry processing and much more. Pop quiz tomorrow.


OpenGL Support - 12/05/01 @ 6:04 am - By: MikeC - Source:
OpenGL.org has put together a survey for support of OpenGL 2.0. Here are some details.

Now that the OpenGL 2.0 white papers are in review, we'd like to find out who is considering taking advantage of these developments. The primary goals for OpenGL 2.0 are to add support for pixel and fragment shaders, improve memory management and give applications more control over the rendering pipeline. This will still provide compatibility with OpenGL 1.3 - so older applications will run on graphics accelerators with OpenGL 2.0 drivers.

If your company is in favor of the direction and ideas behind OpenGL 2.0, please take the time to indicate your support by entering your company name, e-mail address and any comments below.


Driver Comparison - 12/05/01 @ 5:52 am - By: MikeC - Source: Email
Tweakers Asylum has updated their Windows 9X/ME Detonator Driver Performance Database with the latest official 23.11 Detonators. Another comparison using Windows XP can be found over at Warp2Search.

You can also check this thread in our drivers forum for feedback.


Hardware Reviews - 12/05/01 @ 5:42 am - By: MikeC - Source: Email
Anyone is need of a processor upgrade? Do you go with AMD or Intel? To help you decide, GamePC reviews the AMD Athlon XP 1900+ (1.6GHz) while IAmNotAGeek checks out the 1.7GHz Pentium 4 from Intel.

Of course you'll need some memory too. How about Crucial's PC2100 DDR which is reviewed at Serial Addiction?

And to top it off, how about a souped up GeForce2 Ti from Gainward? Digit-Life has you covered.


Radeon Reviews - 12/05/01 @ 3:25 am - By: Ben - Source:
A couple of Radeon reviews - SharkyExtreme checks out the 8500 and 7500 while Hartware.net reviews the 8500 (in German).


8500 vs GeForce3 - 12/05/01 @ 2:06 am - By: Typedef Enum - Source:
I came across this site by accident, but they do put an 8500 up against a GF3.

Let's get right to the their conclusion...

Gamers want to game. Is gaming the end all be all of computing? Maybe not for some, but here at IGW yes it is. The Geforce 3 Ti 500 is noticably faster in real world gaming consistently. It works flawlessly. It is compatible with every Micro$oft operating system I have tried it with. (98,ME, and XP). The picture quality is much improved over the Geforce 2.

Different review, same conclusion.


EN: Inspire 5.1 5300 - 12/05/01 @ 1:15 am - By: NeilY - Source: Envy News
So, you want to join the ranks of those that watch DVD-video on their PCs, but Klipsch, Logitech, and Altec Lansing's 5.1-channel speakers are just too expensive for your wallet. What if I was to tell you that Creative has a pair that is very light on the purse, but packs most of the great features of speakers four times it's sticker price! They look pretty shwanky too, so hop on over for some 6-speaker love, at your local gadget shop.

Creative's Inspire 5.1 5300 Speakers


GeForce3 Giveaway - 12/04/01 @ 9:46 pm - By: HalcYoN - Source: Email
Overclocker Cafe is giving away an Asus V8200 GeForce3.  You have to answer a few questions pertaining to the donor of said prize.


Game Console Sales - 12/04/01 @ 9:45 pm - By: Ben - Source:
Credit Suisse First Boston has released it's weekly report on the console market for the week of November 18-24. Nintendogamer has the full story which you can read by clicking the headline. Here's the obligatory snip:

Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB) has released its weekly report on the interactive entertainment industry, only this time focusing on the week of retail for the period of November 18-24 - the time period kicked off by the GameCube launch.

CSFB analysts estimate that over 469,000 GameCube units were sold during its first week of availability at retail. A total of 810,000 software units were also sold, for a launch tie-in ratio of 1.7; a number which reflected a limited selection of titles on hand for the system's debut. Luigi's Mansion was the top selling videogame on any platform for that specific week, moving an estimated 257,000 units.

On the Microsoft side of things, Xbox sales for that week were clocked in at 186,000 units, bringing the total number of consoles sold to 556,000 units in the nine days the system had been on store shelves. Halo continues to be the top selling game for the Xbox, moving about 97,000 units over the period of time from November 18-24. The tie-in ratio for Xbox now sits at 2.4, as a total of 1.32 million titles for the console have been sold.


ATI 8500 Review - 12/04/01 @ 9:43 pm - By: HalcYoN - Source: Email
x-bit labs takes a look at the Radeon 8500 and 8500 LE.  the reivew features a ton of interesting benchmarks including comparisons to the Ti 200 and Ti 500 with settings and features tested extensively.

So, the worthy competitor for NVIDIA has eventually appeared. ATI RADEON 8500 graphics cards don't yield in performance to the cards based on NVIDIA GeForce3 Ti500. At that, RADEON 8500 as well as GeForce3 not only conforms with DirectX 8.1 specification, but also sports new 3D technologies improving image quality noticeably. These technologies are, for example, TRUFORM and SMOOTHVISION, and their support is not provided by GeForce3 Ti500/200.


Dell Uses Via - 12/04/01 @ 9:37 pm - By: HalcYoN - Source: Email
This is definitely an interesting development out the #1.  Dell's latest 1RU server uses a Via chipset.

Will this open the door to Via in the consumer line?


Cox & Comcast Alive - 12/04/01 @ 9:25 pm - By: Pakman - Source:
Cox and Comcast have both cut a deal with Excite@Home to keep up Internet access. This leaves AT&T out in the cold still though. The word is that the younger dudes who run Excite, just didn't like the way the suits at AT&T play ball. Being that Excite is trying to up the offer to purchase price from AT&T, it makes sense that Excite put the squeeze on AT&T.

Philadelphia-based Comcast Cable Communications and Atlanta-based Cox Communications each agreed to pay $160 million to Excite@Home for three months of high-speed Internet service. Those agreements will replace the existing contracts, which had the cable partners paying Excite@Home monthly subscriber fees.


nForce Review - 12/04/01 @ 8:19 pm - By: MikeC - Source: Email
Bjorn 3D has completed their review of NVIDIA's nForce chipset using a reference motherboard. Armed with an Athlon XP 1800+ processor and GeForce3 Ti 500, they are out to do some major damage. They also test the performance of the GeForce2 MX integrated graphics.

MikeC: I have yet to start on our nForce review, but I'm planning to split it into multiple parts. The review of Prolink's GeForce3 Ti 200 is taking longer than expected. One reason is that I'm using some java code which really hits the nail on the head when showing comparisons of image quality. The time consuming part is taking screenshots and ensuring the exact X and Y positions are retained in each example.


23.11 Released - 12/04/01 @ 1:25 pm - By: Typedef Enum - Source:
I noticed that nVidia has officially released the 23.11's this morning. Go grab em.


New OpenGL Demos - 12/04/01 @ 12:10 pm - By: MikeC - Source: OpenGl.org
Was checking out OpenGL.org and noticed a couple of posts in regards to new/updated OpenGL demos. The first is from NVIDIA on shadow mapping which has been updated to includes support for GeForce3 hardware shadow maps. The demo shows the progression of shadowmapping techniques from TNT to GeForce to GeForce3. NeHe has 19 new demos which were created for their Productions Apocalypse 2001 contest. You can also vote for your favorite demo.


AMDs Breakthrough - 12/04/01 @ 11:49 am - By: MikeC - Source:
AMD announced today it has built a CMOS transistor that achieves the fastest switching speeds yet reported in the semiconductor industry. As a result, microprocessor performance has the capability to increase ten-fold by the end of the decade.


Press Release - 12/04/01 @ 11:44 am - By: MikeC - Source:
NVIDIA has issued a press release announcing that their GeForce3 Ti 200 and GeForce2 Ti GPUs are available in the SCALEO line of home personal computer systems from Fujitsu Siemens.


GeForce2 Ti Review - 12/04/01 @ 11:40 am - By: MikeC - Source: Email
Bjorn 3D has posted a review of the Hercules 3D Prophet II Titanium (GeForce2 Ti). The compare performance to VisionTek's GeForce2 Ti on a 733MHz Pentium 3.

If you've made it this far then you've realized we weren't really able to attain this review's objective: we weren't able to determine major differences between the offerings of VisionTek and Hercules. However, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. After all, it's very hard to improve what's already a proven and reliable design.


GeForce3 Contest - 12/04/01 @ 11:34 am - By: MikeC - Source: Email
The folks over the Overclocker Cafe are getting into the holiday spirit by giving away an Asus V8200 GeForce3. Click on the headline to check it out.


nVidia Raising $1B - 12/04/01 @ 7:58 am - By: Typedef Enum - Source: Fool
Before heading off to bed, I noticed an interesting post over @ Fools. This link will take you to a page where you can see that nVidia is going to raise another $1 Billion in cash (selling 20 Million shares).

In another thread, a story that was yanked from Reuters had the following to say:

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday, Nvidia said it plans to use proceeds from the offering for working capital and general corporate purposes, including developing technology and hiring more people.

So it begs the question...nVidia, reportedly, has nearly $1 Billion in cash, sitting in the bank right now. Raising another $1 Billion begins to make you wonder...Is there something else going on? Is nVidia making a move? Speculation over @ Fools ranges from an acquisition of AMD (where Jen-Hsun Huang used to work), to buying SGI outright...


SS Article Update - 12/04/01 @ 4:54 am - By: Typedef Enum - Source:
I just wanted to let you guys know that I've added one more page to my article on supersampling and the GeForce3.

What I basically did was perform an experiment in which I could realistically calculate the performance gain that one could expect, if nVidia provided Super-Sampling AND you could harness the architectural features of the GF3.

Recall, using this hack, you lose those GF3 optimizations (IE advanced memory controller, Z-Compression, etc.).

I think you might be surprised at the results.

Enjoy...


nForce Review - 12/03/01 @ 11:04 pm - By: JonathanM - Source:
NVchips-fr has posted a review of the reference nForce. The review's in French.


More on SUMA - 12/03/01 @ 11:01 pm - By: JonathanM - Source: NVchips-fr
Reactor Critical has some additional information about SUMA's tweaked out Ti 200 based card reported here. They have a huge product shot of it, (from Akiba) and add that SUMA intends to add a Conextant TV-out on the Platinum versions. It's price is hovering around $200 with the conversion and with the awesome specs, some lucky people may end up getting a Ti 500 for that price. ;)


Herc & Gigabyte - 12/03/01 @ 10:53 am - By: JonathanM - Source: NVchips-fr
Digit-Life has an interesting post containing a picture of Hercules' Ti 500 offering as well as Gigabyte's Ti 500 offering, and they're identical! Their Hercules even had a sticker with GF3500, the name of Gigabyte's card on it.

NVchips-fr has a response from Hercules about this. Here's the quick translation:

Q: The GF3500 sticker?
A: It's the abbreviation of the GeForce3 Ti 500.

Q: Identical components?
A: Absolutely normal as both are based on the reference design.

Q: How could there be two identical cards?
A: Hercules has contracted out the manufacturing of their cards, it is possible that they have the same manufacturer.

And the last question which is answered quite vaguely...

Q: Does Hercules manufacture the Gigabyte cards?
A: I am witheld from answering that question due to professional secrecy concerning Gigabyte.


RS Calendar - 12/03/01 @ 10:31 am - By: JonathanM - Source:
Borsti over at Riva Station has a new calendar up for the month of December. This month's pinup is Gainward's CARDEXpert GeForce 3 Ti500 TV.


Dell Drivers - 12/03/01 @ 10:24 am - By: JonathanM - Source: Email
Electic sends word that Dell has released some new drivers for NVIDIA based products. These drivers have only been tested with DELL products and are based on the NVIDIA Detonator Drivers Version 21.89. The drivers are available for Windows 9X/ME/2000/XP.


Teppro Products - 12/03/01 @ 7:49 am - By: MikeC - Source: Email
Herman from Argentina, South America sends word that Teppro has various flavors of GeForce2 and GeForce3 Titanium based cards from X-Micro available. We reviewed a couple of their GeForce2 (MX and Ultra) cards a while back and they are solid products.


Radeon Reviews - 12/03/01 @ 7:40 am - By: MikeC - Source: Email
Fortunately, I'm still with cable modem service as Cox Communications continues to negotiate with Excite @Home. However, 850,000 customers of AT&T had their service pulled from them yesterday. See story.

I was busy yesterday attending to a couple of things. Painting continues in my wife's quest to spruce up parts of the house. My breaks were spent re-installing Windows XP on our second machine due a hard drive (30GB Maxtor) failure. Jack-of-all trades, master of none, eh?

Scott came through with another great article on how to use supersampling on the GeForce3. Although antialiasing is in it's infancy on consumer based graphics cards, I've become fond of it and am looking forward to future enhancements from NVIDIA.

Here are a couple of links to reviews of the Radeon 8500 - Guru of 3D and DarkCrow (Korean).


Beast Project - 12/02/01 @ 11:32 pm - By: DaveW - Source: N/A
Well this is cool... fans of two of my all time favorite games - Freespace 2 and Homeworld Cataclysm - are attempting to cross-breed them into a mod called The Beast Project. Their idea is to recreate the whole Homeworld Cataclysm campain as a Freespace 2 TC Mod. I hope they pull it off...


GF3 Supersampling - 12/02/01 @ 7:35 pm - By: Typedef Enum - Source:
I have posted my article which covers the capability of supersampling antialiasing on the GeForce3. Many thanks go out to Alexey Nicolaychuk (of RivaTuner fame) for "hooking me up."


'Tis The Season - 12/02/01 @ 12:07 pm - By: HalcYoN - Source:
Two words: College Football

Go Horns!

Update: Can the Hokies come back? Maybe? Nope.

Update: Florida lost!!! The Horns have their destiny in their own hands.

Update: Chris Simms is a no-talent a**-bag!!! He is the best player of the game, FOR THE BUFFALOES. I guess he is afraid to play for the national championship.

Update: Major is THE MAN!

Final Update: Couple of bonehead coaching calls from both sides let the Longhorns back in and also slammed the door.  Congrats to the Buffaloes, represent the Big 12 proudly.


New OpenGL Demo - 12/02/01 @ 11:00 am - By: HalcYoN - Source: Email
Cass Everitt, NVIDIA's OpenGL Engineer, sent a message to let me know there is a new OpenGL demo available.  Here is the skinny.

Hey, guys, there's a cool new GeForce3 demo written by Simon Green at NVIDIA. It's based on Jos Stam's stable fluid solver.

One of the really cool features of the demo is that it uses GeForce3-enabled recursive dependent texturing to smear an underlying texture image based on the vector field. It's totally interactive, and has lots of cool bells and whistles.


NVIDIA & Compaq - 12/02/01 @ 10:28 am - By: HalcYoN - Source: News.com
Missed this one a couple days back...

NVIDIA powered Compaqs topped the field in PC Magazine's Ultimate PC Round-Up.

Further validating the Company's top-to-bottom, cross-market business strategies, NVIDIA(R) Corporation (Nasdaq: NVDA) today announced that its revolutionary graphics technologies helped Compaq Computer Corporation (NYSE: CPQ) sweep the "Ultimate PC" round-up in issue 21 of PC Magazine. The feature, entitled "Whiz Bang Boxes," pits 11 consumer PCs and five business PCs from the industry's top OEMs head-to-head, with one PC in each category crowned the definitive champion. Of the 16 systems reviewed, 13 included NVIDIA's graphics and multimedia technology, with two systems -- the Compaq Presario 8000Z consumer PC featuring the GeForce3(TM)Ti 500 and the Compaq Evo D500 business PC featuring the NVIDIA Vanta(TM)-- earning the prestigious Editor's Choice award.


Enron's Loss - 12/02/01 @ 10:19 am - By: HalcYoN - Source: News.com
...is NVIDIA's gain.

Many Texans are still baffled over how the energy powerhouse in downtown Houston could cook the books so far out of whack to cause a complete melt-down. When you eat it, the analysts have to remove your company from major indexes and someone moves in.

NVIDIA will be replacing Enron Corp. in the index. The index committee of Standard & Poor's stated that NVIDIA will be added to the S&P 500 GICS (Global Industry Classification Standard) Semiconductors sub-industry group and the Electronics (Semiconductors) industry group.

I have a brother-in-law that recently moved to Enron to be part of the growth and "excitement" of the now collapsed mega-enrgy corporation. Not many saw this one coming.


GeForce3 Cooling - 12/02/01 @ 10:12 am - By: HalcYoN - Source: Email
Tweak Max stuck an Alpha 153 low profile heatsink/fan unit on to their VisionTek GeForce3 to see if they could a little bit more bang for the buck.  Results were solid, showing another 10% of core overlcock-ability and few extra MHz on the memory as well.


BIOS Editor Update - 12/02/01 @ 9:53 am - By: HalcYoN - Source: Email
BIOS Editor has been updated to .98a, available over at Electic Tech.  I don't really recommend use of this program unless as you never know what could happen, heh.


GF3 Ti 500 Review - 12/02/01 @ 9:39 am - By: HalcYoN - Source: Email
Tweak Town has posted their review of the Leadtek WinFast Titanium 500 TD, giving it nine stars out of ten.  They start with a little history and work their way into the "flagship".

The card comes with a large silver color heatsink/fan scheme as past cards have, however, this one is even larger. YES, Leadtek has gone all out in cooling this card. The heatsink itself has a groove that slots onto the top edge of the card to distribute the weight of the HSF thoughout the entire card and not just on the locking pins. Again, like its GF2 Ultra's and standard GF3's, the Leadktek heatsink/fan covers both the GPU and ramsinks. This provides maximum cooling for both components.


IrfanView 3.60 - 12/01/01 @ 6:42 pm - By: Pakman - Source:
IrfanView 3.60 is available. This is a freeware multimedia viewer and is one of the best image viewers available. Changes in this version include improved Windows XP compatibility, support for JPEG2000 format, some minor bugs/features fixed/added (crop).

MikeC: I've been using IrfanView for years. In fact, all the images used in my reviews are put together using IrfanView.


Max Payne For Xbox - 12/01/01 @ 6:30 pm - By: MikeC - Source: Voodoo Extreme
According to 3D Relams, Max Payne will be released for the Xbox and Playstation 2 on December 7th. Click on the headline for more goodies on Max Payne and consoles.


@Home In Limbo - 12/01/01 @ 5:23 pm - By: Pakman - Source:
Today, a judge ruled that Excite@Home can end it's partner contracts. This leaves 4.1 million users in a limbo mode, as there is yet to be word from any of the companies involved as to whether they will suspend service. There is hope that AT&T may up it's bid for Excite@Home and keep things afloat. AT&T has offered $307 million and they may up that slightly to $400 million. There is still a chance that cable customers may soon be shut off from cable internet access. This effects 45% of cable modem users in the US, and can really throw a monkey wrench into the internet gears if service ceases to exist suddenly.


Another Article - 12/01/01 @ 12:52 pm - By: Typedef Enum - Source:
I just wanted to pass along to you guys that I've got something in the works which I believe a lot of you guys will be interested in.

This one won't take nearly as long to finish, and I'm hoping to have it done sometime this weekend.


Goodbye George - 12/01/01 @ 12:06 pm - By: Pakman - Source:
Well, another Beatle has passed away. George Harrison was a great guitarist and all around nice guy. He always strived to find a spiritual reason for life and death, and was considered to be the "quiet" Beatle. His wide range of guitar styles were quite amazing, he will be missed by many. But, as George said "All things must pass".




@Home Alternatives - 12/01/01 @ 10:26 am - By: Pakman - Source:
Cnet has an article which deals with the possibility of Excite@Home having it's plug pulled today, and where to get alternative service. I know that I need to study this article, and that about 4 million other users may want to.

Worries about a service shutdown have cable companies accelerating plans to build their own networks to keep high-speed Internet access customers in the loop. Cox announced Wednesday that it will use gear from Riverstone Networks and ADC Telecommunications to build its network faster. Cox had planned to have its own broadband network built by June 2002 but has since "moved up the timetable," according to a spokeswoman. The effect of an Excite@Home outage would vary for each cable company. Following is a look at how cable providers plan to cope with a possible shutdown.


NVIDIA & TSMC - 12/01/01 @ 9:13 am - By: MikeC - Source:
While NVIDIA remains mum on their strained relationship with semiconductor manufacturer TSMC, the Inquirer has a few tidbits of information for us. According to the report, United Microelectronics has struck a deal with NVIDIA to produce chipsets for the Xbox. Also, TSMC will continue to produce .15 micron parts for NVIDIA.

We were the first to report that TSMC and Nvidia were entering a troubled period, but according to reports, the graphics firm will continue to use the number one foundry to produce .15 micron products.

The argument, in fact, hinges on .13 micron technology, which TSMC appears to have some difficulty producing at the right price and in the right quantities.


Poseidon's Story - 12/01/01 @ 9:01 am - By: HalcYoN - Source: Email
It seems as though the Poseidon water cooling system for the GeForce3 Ti 500 has fallen off the radar. Got Apex? tells the story of its product development, beginning to end(?).

Originally, this product was introduced by me to one of our associates at a certain company. After convincing them that this product would be a great product for the hardcore gamer/overclocker in all of us, they agreed to give development a shot. I approached a 3rd party manufacturer with the intention of pushing this product out within a two to three month time frame. Now if any of you out there are familiar with the technology industry, you are well aware that this is a tall order. Most prototype development can take up to a full calendar year before it is shipped to retail. Needless to say, I worked closely with the 3rd party to get the design perfect. This process involved several testing stages and redesigns. Despite the pressure and a couple of major setbacks, we delivered the product to the company in time for day two of COMDEX 2001. We had pulled it off! The first GPU/RAM Block to be mass manufactured and distributed by a known retail company to the retail market, or so we had thought.


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