Reviews

9.5
Date: May 9th 2006
Author: infrared
In: Mouse Pads
SteelPad QcK+ Gaming mousepad

SteelPad have been around for some time now and have an excellent reputation for producing high quality mouse pads. The SteelSeries SteelPad QcK+ is made with the gamer or graphics designer in mind. This pad offers so much surface area that you will never run out of space when things get hectic. The fabric used ensures high precision in all scenarios, even the highest resolutions on optical mice. Another plus is that this nice pad comes at a bargain price of under $15.

8.9
Date: May 7th 2006
Author: W1zzard
In: USB Sticks
OCZ Mini-Kart 1GB Flash Drive

The OCZ Rally USB Stick revolutionized performance of USB sticks. Now OCZ has released another stick called the Mini Kart which is optimized for size and ultra-portability. The stick which comes in a 512 MB, 1 GB and 2 GB version has a height of only 2.8 mm. Small enough to carry it around in your wallet. Considering how thin the Mini Kart is, we tested its strength using the weight of OCZ's latest PSU hooked to the end of the USB stick to see if the stick would snap.

9.4
Date: May 2nd 2006
Author: W1zzard
In: Memory
A-Data Vitesta DDR2-800

AData is well-known in the overclocking scene as a high-quality memory brand which offers good overclocking on all their memory modules. We have their Vitesta DDR2-800 kit on the testbench and were impressed that it could be overclocked to DDR2-900 without any problems. Even though the default timings of 5-5-5-15 are a bit slow, they can be tightened down to 3-2-2-4 when running lower clocks. Another plus is that this memory will work great even at stock voltage of 1.8V.

8.0
Date: Apr 30th 2006
Author: Frederik S
In: Mouse Pads
XTracPads Ripper XXL

XTracPads is known to produce some of the absolute best performing cloth mats on the market and they have specialized accessories to suit even the most demanding gamer. Over the last years they have produced a variety of different mats, right from the Micro hard plastic mat up to this new Ripper XXL measuring in at an astounding 914mm width, 457mm height. Yes, that's right. You can put your keyboard on it and still have plenty of space for the mouse.

Date: Apr 28th 2006
Author: W1zzard
In: Video Cards
NVIDIA Quad-SLI vs. ATI Crossfire

At this year's CeBIT the most controversial and most debated new hardware was NVIDIA's Quad-SLI, which was awarded "best product of CES" earlier this year. We had the chance to put two identical retail 7900 GX2 QuadSLI and X1900 XTX CrossFire systems right next to each other and evaluate them. There were quite a bunch of surprises.

7.7
Date: Apr 28th 2006
Author: W1zzard
In: CPU Coolers
Thermaltake Mini Typhoon

The Thermaltake Big Typhoon is known for being one of the top-performing air coolers out there. Now Thermaltake has released a smaller, lighter cooler called the Mini Typhoon which is is supposed to offer the best features of the Big Typhoon at a fraction of the cost. Can six heatpipes and a 92mm fan keep your CPU cool?

9.1
Date: Apr 23rd 2006
Author: W1zzard
In: Memory
G.Skill F2-4200PHU1-512SA

A few weeks ago I got me a new notebook from Lenovo, the Thinkpad X60s. Soon I realized that the default memory configuration of 512 MB is not enough. Since the official memory upgrades are rather expensive I thought I'd give G.SKILL notebook memory a try. These modules come for about half the price of the original memory and offer rock stable performance for your memory hungry applications.

8.5
Date: Apr 20th 2006
Author: Darksaber
In: Video Cards
Point of View GeForce 7900GTX 512MB

Today we take a look at the Point of View 7900 GTX, which is based on the current high end chip from NVIDIA, the G71. The GeForce 7900 Series was introduced during CeBIT this year, and has replaced the old 7800 Series line up. A major change is the increased clock speed of 650 MHz on the core and 1600 MHz on the GDDR3 memory. While the card is not exactly budget at $499 it is still cheaper than most other 7900 GTX cards from the competition.

9.2
Date: Apr 18th 2006
Author: Urlyin
In: Cases
Thermaltake Tai-Chi

Thermaltake provides the Tai-Chi in two versions, one with pre-installed water cooling and one without. Obviously the water cooled equipped Tai-Chi comes with a hefty price tag and is one of the most expensive cases. Gazing at this behemoth one would expect it to do laundry too, however everything I wash turns pink even the poka dots. So after having to explain to the kids we didn't get a new TV I lugged the box indoors. Time to see what's inside the crate and makes this the top of the line Thermaltake offers.

9.5
Date: Apr 12th 2006
Author: Frederik S
In: Mouse Pads
SteelSeries SteelPad 5L

SteelSeries has been manufacturing gaming gear for the gaming enthusiast for half a decade. The SteelPad 5L is the latest incarnation of there SteelSeries gaming surface series and today we take the SteelPad 5L for a test drive. The gaming surface at first glance looks like the typical cloth type mouse pads of back in the day when we all had roller style mouses and input devices. The cushion layer thats between the surface and backing resembles a thin layer of neoprene, so the surface has a stiff but sponge like feel to it. The surface is comfortable and smooth to the touch. Let's have a look.

8.0
Date: Apr 11th 2006
Author: W1zzard
In: CPU Coolers
Pentagram NXC 100-Cu

Pentagram has been a leading supplier of communication products for the european market in the last years. Now they are entering the CPU heatsink business with a load of new products. The NXC 100-Cu heatsink uses the proven "flower" design in an all-copper approach. The cooler supports all current CPU sockets and comes with an easy to use fan controller.

9.2
Date: Apr 5th 2006
Author: W1zzard
In: VGA Coolers
Evercool Turbo 2

The Evercool Turbo2 is a universal GPU cooler which fits all cards from NVIDIA and ATI, including the 7800/7900 and X1800/X1900 Series. What really makes this fan stand out compared to other solutions is that it is extremely quiet while still being able to keep your card cool. Another plus is that you can find it online for a bargain $20.

9.0
Date: Apr 4th 2006
Author: W1zzard
In: Memory
G.Skill F2-4200PHU2-1GBNT

The F2-4200PHU2-1GBNT are G.SKILL's latest budget DDR2 memory kit. Even though they lack heatspreaders they offer excellent overclocking. Our sample would go from the advertised DDR2-4200 up to a blazing DDR2-5800. What makes this kit even more attractive is that you can tighten the timings to 3-3-2-4. All this comes at a very competitive price of only $75 for a 2x512 MB dual channel kit.

7.8
Date: Apr 2nd 2006
Author: Urlyin
In: Video Cards
Diamond Viper X800GTO

With all the attention on the high ends cards being released most people overlook the bargain video cards that are already out by numerous OEM manufactures. It seems everyone is on the band wagon and this includes Diamond Multimedia. With the release of the GTO and GTO² series there are some goods deals to be had. We'll be taking a look at Diamond's Viper X800GTO PCI-E to see it's no X1900 but would take the sting out of finally upgrading to PCI-E.

Date: Apr 1st 2006
Author: W1zzard
In: Video Cards
ATI's CeBIT Graphics Press Coverage Analysis

At this year's CeBIT NVIDIA had a load of new products and was very aggressively marketing them, which made ATI's existing customers feel insecure. In order to level the playing field and reassure distributors that ATI is indeed able to compete, this presentation was created. It quotes several big websites on topics like X1800GTO, 7600 and 7900.

9.0
Date: Mar 25th 2006
Author: W1zzard
In: Motherboards
ASRock 939SLI32-eSATA2

ASRock did it again. The 939SLI32-eSATA is the killer budget board of 2006. It comes with two PCI-Express x16 slots and supports NVIDIA's SLI. Other new features are Gigabit Ethernet and support for eSATA. Also the overclocking has been polished some, the dreaded 275 MHz limit is gone and there are more memory timings options available. With a CPU socket upgrade card this board can even run with AMD's upcoming AM2 CPUs.

Date: Mar 24th 2006
Author: W1zzard
In: Video Cards
The Product Stack

In this presentation ATI talks about "The Product Stack" which is one way to measure how much bang you get for your buck. There is a comparison of different price segments against what the competition from NVIDIA has to offer. Also there is a hint of "cable-free CrossFire mode" with upcoming Catalyst 6.5.

9.3
Date: Mar 23rd 2006
Author: W1zzard
In: Memory
G.Skill F1-4000BIU2-2GBHV

G.SKILL presented their new 2GB F1-4000BIU2-2GBHV DDR memory kit at Cebit. If you are looking for a well overclocking 2GB memory kit you should definitely take a look. Even though it comes with CL3 timings, it will also run at CL2 and CL2.5. It can do all its overclocking magic at only 2.6V so this may be a good choice for users of budget motherboards which do not offer allow voltage adjustments in the BIOS.

9.2
Date: Mar 22nd 2006
Author: W1zzard
In: Memory
OCZ EL DDR2 PC2-6400 Platinum XTC

OCZ has been a technology leader in the overclocker's memory business for quite a while now. Their new DDR2 PC2-6400 Platinum XTC kit comes with stock timings of 4-5-4-15 which we could tighten down to 3-3-2-4 and still get some serious overclocking out of the memory.

Date: Mar 21st 2006
Author: W1zzard
In: Tradeshows
Cebit 2006: Day 6

Our Cebit coverage ends with reports from SiS, Asetek, Foxconn, Primecooler, Scythe, Arctic Cooling and NVIDIA. The highlights here are definitely the NVIDIA Quad-SLI and slides from the NVIDIA press conference.

Date: Mar 20th 2006
Author: W1zzard
In: Tradeshows
Cebit 2006: Day 5

In this Cebit report we have coverage of ASUS, Gigabyte, Elitegroup and MSI. With those names you can bet you will see a lot of AM2 motherboards. Also nice were ASUS' leather-covered notebooks.

Date: Mar 19th 2006
Author: W1zzard
In: Tradeshows
Cebit 2006: Day 4

Today we have Day 4 of our Cebit experience with the latest products from Biostar, ASRock, Sapphire and DFI. The highlights here are the various AMD Socket AM2 motherboards and Sapphire's HDMI+HDCP+Audio video card solution. Sapphire also showcased their Blizzard VGA watercooling which is based on a Thermaltake design.

Date: Mar 18th 2006
Author: W1zzard
In: Tradeshows
Cebit 2006: Day 3

In this Cebit report you will find coverage of Albatron, Corsair, Tyan, Akasa and Powercolor. One highlight is Albatron's new i975 motherboard which is designed to run with two PSUs and comes with 10 SATA ports and 7-phase CPU power.

Date: Mar 17th 2006
Author: W1zzard
In: Tradeshows
Cebit 2006: Day 2

Our second day of Cebit coverage includes the companies GeCube, Sparkle, Sirtec, AOpen, Zalman and ABIT. Among the highlights are dual-GPU X1600 from GeCube, quad-12V rail PSUs from Sirtec and overclocking with Crotale at ABIT's booth.

Date: Mar 16th 2006
Author: W1zzard
In: Tradeshows
Cebit 2006: Day 1

This is our Day 1 coverage of Cebit 2006, the biggest electronics expo in the world. We have reports from the memory manufacturers A-Data, G.SKILL, Kingmax, OCZ Technology and Patriot.