While most GeForce 8800 GTX cards are all based on the same product, with the exact same specs, EVGA has taken the 8800 GTX a step ahead. They cherry picked cards that can run high GPU and memory speeds and engineered a card that is running at higher clocks right out of the box. In our testing we see about 10% increased performance, especially at high resolutions with demanding games.
Soundgraph has updated their own VFD series with a new display which is not only twice as big, but one could say twice as good as well. The one aspect which did not get bigger, but in fact, smaller is its price. While the original Soundgraph VFD had a price tag of ~$100 the new Ultra Bay sells for $95. The new graphical LCD is a great choice to display any type of font, while the new buttons make navigating even easier than before. This is the display that makes any case into a home theater enclosure with some excellent software to control it.
The A-DATA Super Info SD card comes with a little LCD readout that can display volume name and remaining capacity. This is a very useful feature because it allows you to check what is on the card without inserting it into a computer. The performance of the card is good as well, transfer rates are in the 12 MB/s range with access speeds of only 1.3 ms.
The I-Rocks Superman Returns series is an officially licensed set of input devices and accessories. The collection includes a keyboard, optical mouse, card reader and USB 2.0 hub. All of these have fairly low price tags and come in various colors, fitting the Superman theme. We take a look at the optical mouse and the card reader to figure out if the price/performance ratio is down to earth or out of this world.
Sharkoon has released a refresh of their 1337 Gaming Mat series. The new pads have grown considerably and carry the XL label. The big downside of the original 1337 Gaming Mat was its small size. The new XL mouse pads still have the great quality and performance of their smaller variants, while keeping the price down - perfect for low sensitivity gamers.
OCZ's XTC Memory Cooler is a plug-on cooling module for your motherboard's memory modules. With people pumping more and more voltage through their memory, temperature becomes a concern and often limits the maximum overclock. In our testing we saw about 20°C decrease in memory temperature and increased overclocking capability.
The Pertelian X2040 is a multi purpose display, which can display IM messages, media information, stock and Ebay items among other things. Its software is based on an ever growing number of plugins, allowing the user to add further functionality to this LCD. The device is very well constructed and the display is quite bright. We give the display a try and set up a few plugins, to evaluate how useful such a secondary display can be.
OCZ's Dual 1GB SD-Card is a hybrid approach to giving you the optimum connectivity on an SD card. You can use the card either like any regular SD card or after removing a little cap like a USB stick. The card is rated at 80x speed which is about 12 MB/s. OCZ is selling the 1 GB version for about $40 which is a good price considered the added functionality of the product.
The Sharkoon Rush Laser mouse brings high DPI laser technology down to an affordable price range. For a mere 20 Euros you get up to 2000 DPI with variable on-the-fly switching, solid feel and build quality as well as a little pouch to get your weapon of choice to and back from a LAN party safely. We take the mouse for a spin and let you know if we feel the rush.
Where would computers be without coolers? Nowhere... High-end systems put out heat just like an engine, and they need to be cooled just like an engine. Water cooling is becoming a more popular format to keep these systems in line, but what if you don't want or can't afford a water system? High-end air coolers are the only next option. XIGMATEK is now starting to fulfill this need with coolers like the 055 which we'll look at today.
The Biostar V7603GS21 V-Ranger is based on NVIDIA's GeForce 7600 GS but comes at a higher memory clock. In addition to that Biostar added some changes to the PCB to allow software to change the GPU and memory voltages, which allows much better overclocking of the card. In our testing we could increase the core clock by 63% and the memory clock by 20% which made the card play in a completely different performance league.
Today we will be taking a look at the recently launched and highly anticipated SteelSound 3H gaming headset, which should bring some quality audio to the low-/midrange headphone market. The headset can be folded together nicely to take up very little space in your LAN party backpack, for a very competitive price of $50.
The A-DATA Vitesta DDR2 1066+ 2 GB memory kit is an excellent choice for overclockers who are looking to maximize their clock rates and performance. Even though it is specified to run at CL5, we had no problems running at CL4 above DDR2-1000 - CL3 is possible as well at reduced clock rates. What makes this versatile memory kit even more attractive is its fair price of $365.
The Thermaltake Bach VX case is nothing ordinary, even though the slogan "The Charm of the Ordinary" may imply some form of simpleness. The case sports some gorgeous looks and comes feature packed from start to finish. A brushed aluminum front, black drive bay covers, multiple locks and a partially screws-less design are just some of the highlights. We fill the case with hardware and let you know if we are still smiling in the end.
The I-Rocks IR7330 4-Way Navigation Laser Mouse is a very light, but robust 800/1600 DPI mouse. It offers more than the usual functionality and comes with a very small and slim piece of software to customize these. If you are a gamer looking for an ultra light mouse, this one may be for you. We won't be distracted by the fancy blue scroll wheel and take a close look at form, functionality, feel and performance of this mouse.
With the Tarantula Razer has created a keyboard that is designed to suit the needs of gamers. The keyboard offers programmable macro keys and lets you also reorganize your keyboard layout by swapping keys. As always, Razer's software is intuitive to use and offers a lot of features. Unfortunately with a $129.99 price tag the keyboard is fairly expensive.
Goldenmars are expanding from being an OEM manufacturer to targeting the retail market. To facilitate the changes, the company launched its signature brand "GeeDom" line of memory modules and flash based storage products. We are testing the Identity flash drive and SD card today which comes with a small LCD display that shows volume label and available capacity, even when disconnected from the PC.
Razer has always been known to produce some of the best mice and sensors on the market. They established their reputation with the Razer Diamondback which has now found a worthy successor. The Razer DeathAdder is the best mouse we ever tested, in both low sensitivity and high sensitivity. The bundled control panel is a breeze to work with and boasts a huge number of features. With a price of $59.95 this mouse also offers an excellent price/performance ratio.
At CES Zalman announced that they will enter the monitor market. The first product is a 3D display based on LCD technology. Initially there will be two sizes available, 19" and 22". Another more traditional new product was a fan controller that can measure the system's power draw.
The Radeon X1950 Pro series is one of the hottest selling video cards at the moment. It is competitively priced and can run all current games without breaking a sweat. Gecube has engineered a special TEC cooled solution for improved overclocking. In our testing we saw amazing clock increases of 20% on both the core and memory for a final clock of 682 MHz / 816 MHz.
The SteelSeries SteelSound 4H is a headset made specifically for gamers. Like its big brother, the 5H, it is designed to give you an advantage in games by making sure you hear all the little details like footsteps. The SteelSound 4H offers great wearing comfort even when used for gaming sessions of several hours.
A-DATA's My Flash PD7 USB Drive is certified for use with Microsoft Windows Vista ReadyBoost. In our testing this drive takes the performance crown with a sustained read transfer rate of 34 MB/s, far more than any other USB drive we tested so far. Access times are very important for ReadyBoost. Here the PD7 can shine too, only 0.6 ms is a new record as well.
Super Talent has recently announced their RBST line of USB sticks that support the Windows Vista ReadyBoost feature. ReadyBoost is a technology that enables you to increase system performance without doing any complex hardware upgrades. In our testing we see that the RBST offers amazing access times of only 0.9 ms and solid transfer rates of 17 MB/s for a very competitive price.
Everglide has been known to produce very high-end mouse pads for years. Now they ventured into the gaming headset market with their S-500 series of professional headsets. The headset offers excellent wearing comfort, even when used over longer periods of time. Also the sound quality is good for both gaming and listening to music.