Antec Sonata Plus 550 Case

As we've uncovered in our P182 and P190 evaluation, Antec is a very capable designer of computer enclosures. In their Performance One line of cases, Antec was able to bring together well built cases that offered great noise and thermal performance. The P182 and P190 are in the higher end of the spectrum however. In this review, I will be taking a look at Antec's Sonata Plus 550 enclosure. The Sonata series of cases from Antec are targeted more to the mainstream and entry level enthusiast level. Today I will be determining if Antec can extend it's successful Performance One formula to the Sonata series.

Daily News for Jan 15

Synology Disk Station DS207+ Review @ TechwareLabs
Our networking and storage guru Matthew Homan takes a look at the DS207+ from Synology. This updated version of the DS207 includes several new features as well as hardware upgrades. Matthew provides detailed information about this device and how it can save your small to medium business a lot of money with its wide array of uses, supported features and high effeciency.

Limited Release Of NVIDIA GeForce 8800 [email protected] Tech ARP
Both cards are based on the NVIDIA G92 GPU. However, the GeForce 8800 GS 768MB will not only have more graphics memory, but also higher core and memory clock speeds than the 384MB model.

What's New In Windows Vista Service Pack 1? @ Tech ARP
Microsoft is fully aware of how much of a premature baby Windows Vista was and had been working hard on Service Pack 1. In this article, we will take a look at what the upcoming Windows Vista Service Pack 1 will consist of. The following are Microsoft's latest lists of improvements and enhancements in Service Pack 1.

D-Link DHP-300 Powerline Ethernet Adapter Review @ OzHardware
Instead of running messy cables all around your house or unit, one of the latest trends in home networking is Ethernet Over Powerlines, we take a look at D-Link’s DHP-300 unit to see if it’s any good.

OCZ Technology PC3-10666 ReaperX HPC 2GB DDR3 Kit Review @ Bigbruin
With the 6-5-5-18 timings, the OCZ Technology 2GB PC3-10666 ReaperX HPC DDR3 Dual Channel Memory Kit is very impressive right out of the package at 1333MHz. Testing showed that it can outperform other comparable memory with looser timings, providing a quick plug-and-play upgrade for those who aren't all that into overclocking and tweaking their BIOS.

Cooler Master Real Power Pro 1250w Power Supply Review @ Tweaktown
Today we will take a look at one of the latest high-end power supplies offered by Cooler Master. It is from their Real Power product line and offers 1250 watts of power. We’ll delve into its features and then see how well it handles itself when put under a bit of stress. With this much power one would expect to have a lot of compatibility and the Cooler Master Real Power Pro 1250 doesn't let us down.

Samsung SyncMaster 245T 24-Inch LCD Monitor Review @ Tweaknews
Overall the 245T brings much more to the table than any standard computer monitor on the market and this is directly apparent in its premium price. With industry leading color reproduction, excellent contrast and clarity to take advantage of with a literally a buffet of video connections, the 245T would be best described as swiss army monitor option in the 24" monitor market.

CES 2008 Booth Babes Gallery @ TechwareLabs
No coverage of CES would be complete without a look at the glamorous CES 2008 booth Babes. Each year flocks of eager geeks gather to eye these amazing babes. We have a small but glorious gallery for you guys this year. Take a peek.

Xigmatek HDT-S983 Exposed Heatpipe-Base Heatsink Review @ Frostytech
In this review Frostytech is testing out Xigmatek's new HDT-S983 heatsink, an innovative thermal solution that employs sculpted & textured aluminum fins, and large copper heatpipes that make direct contact with the CPU. If you take the Xigmatek HDT-S983 and look at the bottom you'll see an aluminum base with three 8.5mm wide grooves cut deeply into it. Set snugly within each groove is an 8mm diameter copper heat pipe, which has been flattened so everything is flush. Instead of using a bulky copper plate, Xigmatek use the superior heat conducting capabilities of heat pipes to conduct heat away from the core of an AMD or Intel processor.

Foxconn DigitaLife X38A Intel X38 Express Motherboard Review @ PCSTATS
In this review PCSTATS is testing out Foxconn's DigitaLife X38A motherboard, an Intel X38 Express and Intel ICH9R platform that supports both DDR2 and DDR3 memory formats. The Foxconn X38A works with 45nm Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad processors, and every other socket 775 CPU that runs on a 800/1066/1333MHz Front Side Bus. The DigitaLife X38A has four DDR2 and two DDR3 memory slots, these accommodate either 8GB of DDR2-1066/800 memory or 4GB of DDR3-1333 RAM respectively. Memory types cannot be mixed together though.

Daily News for Jan 14

Auras LPT-700 Heatsink Review @ Frostytech
The Auras LPT-700 is an Intel-only socket 775 heatsink designed for quiet cooling. The LPT-700 is equipped with a 92mm PWM fan that scales in speed from 700-2100RPM with compatible motherboards, and at its fastest speed is moderately audible. Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) compatible fans are noted by their 4-pin power connectors, and what PWM does is enable the BIOS to directly control fan speed. Versatility is the key to any good heatsink, and the PWM approach ensures you computer can keep itself cool when under load, yet decrease fan noise when it isn't.

Thermaltake Big Water 760i Review @ 3DXtreme
At stock the Big Water 760i was impressive and completely overtook the stock cooler without a problem. I fear adding a GPU block with more heat would more than likely start to push this system further than it can really go. For $150 it’s a great starter kit, a great alternative to air cooling and allow someone who might want to play with water cooling to enter the foray in a safe way.

Zerotherm Hurricane HC92 CU 8800 VGA Cooler Review @ Tweaknews
In the final analysis, ZEROtherm's Hurricane HC92 Cu 8800 VGA cooler showed a marked improvement over the OEM solution while adding some style and bling into the mix. The inclusion of a fan speed controller, along with the three configuration options, gives the user some control over cooling performance and noise levels; always a plus.

ASUS EN8800GTS 512MB Graphics Card Review @ Tech ARP
The ASUS EN8800GTS 512MB is based on the NVIDIA G92 GPU, which is the leaner, meaner version of the ground-breaking NVIDIA G80 GPU that powered graphics cards like the GeForce 8800 GTX and the GeForce 8800 Ultra. The ASUS EN8800GTS 512MB looks set to blaze a new trails in both performance and value for money. It not only boasts the smaller, cooler and faster G92 GPU, it also comes with the VP2 PureVideo HD video processor. As such, it offers significant advantages in performance and features over the older GeForce 8800 graphics cards.

Mediasonic Dual Bay RAID Hard Drive Enclosures Review @ Hardware Canucks
Just recently Canadian-based Mediasonic, a relative newcomer to the market, released two small external enclosures named the HUR1-SU2 (USB2.0) and the HUR1-SU2FWB (Firewire & USB 2.0). These devices are marketed as low-priced, "instant" storage solutions that are designed for archival backups, large-capacity portable storage, classified/sensitive data storage or just extra disk storage. Both of these units are small 2 bay enclosures that not only allow you to use any 3.5” SATA hard drives but also allow you to set them up in RAID 1 or 0.

Super Talent PC14400 1800Mhz DDR3 2GB Memory Kit Review @ Tweaknews
The Super Talent PC3-14400 CL7-7-7-21 High-Speed DDR3 1800MHz 2x1GB RAM kit W1800UX2GP is like a fine wine, it's not going to be appeasing to all types of taste pallets. This ram is defiantly tailor made for the high-end enthusiast that wants the fastest memory performance possible. One quick glance at spec sheets, you will find few boards at this time list official 1800MHz support.

Intel Skulltrail Out In Feb '08! @ Tech ARP
Back in October, we gave you details on the new Intel Skulltrail or V8 system. With two CPU sockets supporting up to 8 processing cores, the Intel Skulltrail will be based on Socket 771 Xeon processors. The Skulltrail will use the upcoming Intel D5400XS motherboard. Built around two NVIDIA nForce 100 MCPs, this new Intel motherboard will support up to four PCI Express graphics cards.

Adesso WKB-3000UB Wireless Trackball Keyboard Review @ TechwareLabs
Today we have a look at a mini wireless keyboard from Adesso that has a built in trackball. Its small, lightweight, and features a 30 foot range but is it easy to use? We test out the Adesso WKB-3000UB to bring you the results.

Daily News for Jan 11

Supreme Commander Benchmarking Guide @ Tech ARP
Benchmarking using Supreme Commander is very easy. The creator, Gas Powered Games, has conveniently included a built-in benchmark that allows you to run a time demo with four opponents battling it out. At the end of the time demo, you will be given a SupComMark composite score as well as a large bunch of benchmark data, the most important of which is the average frame rate.

Art Lebedev Interview and Video of the Optimus Maximus In Action @ TechwareLabs
Just a short while ago we left Artemy Lebedev the founder and designer of the Optimus Maxiumus keyboard which is nothing but overkill on the eye candy and every computer users dream. We had the chance to tinker with the keyboard and interview Artemy himself. Check out our video of what he has in store for 2008.

OCZ Vendetta Exposed Heatpipe-Base Heatsink Review @ Frostytech
OCZ's broad market availability means you won't have a hard time tracking down the Vendetta heatsink in your neck of the woods. The Xigamtek HDT-S983 was a great heatsink, and the OCZ Vendetta cooler will certainly follow in its footsteps. The OCZ Vendetta heatsink FrostyTech is reviewing today is equipped with soft rubber vibration absorbing fan posts, and a 92mm PWM fan that spins at 1200-2800RPM, and some rather unique fin geometry.

PC Hardware Myths To Avoid In 2008 Article @ Tech ARP
Okay, those are the few myths that have gotten on my nerves whenever I try to give sound advice to customers at the PC shop where I work. I try to educate buyers but when one's mind is set (thanks to the very effective marketing strategies used by PC hardware companies), one can only watch and listen to their woes later.

Glacialtech Igloo 5750 PWM Heatsink Review @ Frostytech
In this review Frostytech is testing out Glacialtech's new Igloo 5750 PWM heatsink - a versatile CPU cooler with twin Pulse Width Modulation controlled 92mm fans and a single power cord for the sake of convenience. The Igloo 5750 PWM heatsink and previously reviewed Igloo 5750 Silent are identical models, except for the fans used. If you read that review, feel free to jump ahead to the acoustic and thermal test results for the full low down. Glacialtech's Igloo 5750 PWM heatsink accomodates both socket 775 Intel and AMD K8 processors (socket 754/939/940/AM2/AM2+).

Fatal1ty CES 2008 Interview @ TechwareLabs
We recently asked Johnathan "fatal1ty" Wendell a few questions about gaming, his product line, and some funny events. We have his answers as well as a 6 minute video of our interview with Fatal1ty.

GIGABYTE’s Dynamic Energy Saver Explained @ Tweaktown
First of all, DES is not a fad and it will be available on pretty much all GIGABYTE motherboards bar the really low-end models. However, the roll-out will take some time but the good news is that GIGABYTE has already shipped motherboards with DES. As you surely have figured out, Dynamic Energy Saver is something that will save power; but it’s not very clear how this works from a marketing name alone, so let’s take a closer look at how it all works.

Daily News for Jan 9

An Introduction to the new nVidia nForce 780/750 Series SLI Chipsets @ OzHardware
Motherboards based on the 780i chipset have very slowly started showing up on hardware review sites in the last few weeks, but what are they offering? And why do you want one? Read on to find out.

Scythe Andy Samurai Master Heatsink Review @ Frostytech
The Scythe Andy Samurai Master (SCASM-1000) heatsink may be big and voluminous, but it proves to be an effective and most importantly, quiet, heatsink to operate. The Andy Samurai Master stands 126mm tall, and the upper body a shocking 120mm square, but Scythe float much of this becometh over a relatively compact lower body (78x80mm in general shape). In other words, Scythe have built a heatsink to hover over the motherboard like a Vogon mother ship. Design wise, the Andy Samurai Master heatsink weighs in at 685grams and comes packing no less than six 6mm diameter copper heatpipes and a 120mm 1200RPM fan.

Arctic Cooling MX-2 Thermal Compound Review @ Hardware Canucks
MX-2 follows in the footsteps of the extremely popular MX-1 compound and Arctic Cooling is hoping that it will be as popular as their older product and it looks like their dreams have come true. Even thuough this compound has only been on the market for a few short months, it has steadily gained in popularity to the point where it is considered one of the best thermal compounds around.

Aerocool I-Curve+ Case Review @ 3DXtreme
Aerocool has been delivering us their newest products for quite a while now and they have always impressed us with their latest designs. Today 3DXtreme is taking a look at the newest member of the ever growing product line of Cases from Aerocool. An intake, exhaust and two side intakes push the I-Curve+ Case to the edge of what’s possible with air cooling within a Case. The front panel LCD with touch button controls adds a little bit of fruit to the mix, reminiscent of an Apple perhaps?

EXCLUSIVE: Auzentech X-Tension HDMI 1.3 Board Pics @ Hardware Canucks
After a long wait, Hardware Canucks has finally got our hands on pictures of a prototype of Auzentech's upcoming X-Tension HDMI 1.3 board. As well as pictures we have also have a rundown of all the known (and some new) info about this eagerly-anticipated product.

Thermaltake SwordM Full Tower Case Review @ Tweaknews
Overall, the SwordM is an exciting case to work with. The thick aluminum construction is expertly manufactured and aggressive styling throughout give it a look all its own. The hydraulic-powered top and side panels will surely turn heads, even if their usefulness may be questionable. This chassis comes equipped with just about every feature imaginable and then some, so it can easily be a case that lasts through several more system builds.

GIGABYTE X48-DQ6 Motherboard Review @ Tweaktown
Today we have a look at the Intel X48 chipset for the first time. While it has a new name, things haven’t changed; in fact, X48 is essentially an X38 chipset that has been hand picked to run higher clock speeds and to support the 1600MHz FSB CPU when Intel finally releases it sometime this year. We have our first X48 board in hand from GIGABYTE; dubbed the X48-DQ6 it packs in some mighty features including a new heat and voltage management technology. Let’s see how it all comes together.

Auras LPT-709 Wave Heatsink Review @ Frostytech
Looking for a light weight heatsink that's compatible with both AMD and Intel processor platforms? The Auras LPT-709 heatsink is one such cooler, and it runs fairly quietly too. The LPT-709 comes with a 92mm PWM fan that scales in speed from 800-2400RPM with compatible motherboards. At its fastest speed the fan is moderately audible. Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) compatible fans are noted by their 4-pin power connectors, and what PWM does is enable the BIOS to directly control fan speed so the PC keeps itself cool under load, yet decreases fan noise when it isn't.

SteelSeries Siberia Neckband Gaming Headset Review @ Tweaknews
With sound quality almost as good as professional studio headsets you really can't go wrong with the Siberia Neckband Headset. If you have a big head like me and comfort is a concern for you however, I would suggest you look for a more conventional headset design.

Easy Homebrew 8800GT Cooling for Less Than $10 (or Free!)

I'm an owner of an nVidia 8800GT 512MB video card, an eVGA reference design model to be exact, and performance wise it's great. I'm able to play all my games at my 20" widescreen LCD's native resolution, usually with anti-aliasing and high quality settings. My one quirk with the card is that sometimes it gets quite hot. I know this because the whine of the temperature controlled fan increases high enough that I can pick it out of the background with ease. My hate of high pitch fan noise set me forth on a quest to find a way to quiet down the card. With my other video card, an 8800GTS 640MB, I never really had any noise issues. In comparing both cards, the 8800GT and the GTS, you can easily pick out the differences in the coolers. The 8800GT cooler is a mere single slot design, with a thin heatsink and smaller fan, whereas the 8800GTS cooler is a dual slot design, with a taller heatsink with more surface area and a bigger blower (not to mention it exhausts hot air directly out the case).


Daily News for Jan 7

Zalman CNPS9700NT Heatsink Review @ Frostytech
The Zalman CNPS9700NT follows in the footsteps of the popular CNPS9700 LED heatsink, and it's just as big as the latter. What sets the CNPS9700NT apart is a 100mm Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) compliant fan - making this heatsink a more attractive choice for Intel platforms than the pervious version and its manual fan speed controller. Oh, and did we mention it's chrome plated an evil Terminator-grey shade of silver? Blame nVidia for that one, personally we prefer our heatsinks in bare aluminum or copper.

ATI Catalyst 7.12 Analysis - XP & Vista @ Tweaktown
Ho Ho Ho! We hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Year, and if you have bought yourself a new Radeon based graphics card over the holiday period there is no doubt you want to see if it’s worth jumping to the newer Catalyst 7.12 driver suite. Let’s not delay as we have some performance improvements promised which you can see mentioned in the release notes.

Crysis Benchmarking Guide @ Tech ARP
At this moment, Crysis is the toughest test you can subject any graphics card to. It requires so much graphics processing power that it humbles even new graphics cards like the GeForce 8800 GT and the GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB graphics card. As such, it serves as a great benchmark for graphics cards (as well as CPUs).

Thermaltake V1 CPU Cooler Review @ 3DXtreme
If Thermaltake could just get some better instructions included with the V1 I feel they’d have a real hit on their hands. I have no reservations suggesting the V1 based on its performance just be ready for what might be a frustrating installation.

Corsair, Kingston, OCZ, Super Talent DDR3 1800MHz Memory Kits @ Legit Reviews
When it comes to DDR3 a 2GB kit will set you back anywhere from $199 for a 1333MHz kit to over $500 for an 1800MHz kit. Obviously, DDR3 memory is still for early adapters and enthusiasts, but prices are expected to drop significantly as the year goes on. Intel is getting ready to release more chipsets that support DDR3 memory with the Intel X48 Express chipset and NVIDIA is rumored to support DDR3 for the first time with their nForce 790i SLI chipsets. With both of these chipsets soon becoming the main component of their flagship performance platforms, it will lead to improved DDR3 memory sales. So, before those chipsets come out Legit Reviews gathered together four 1800MHz DDR3 memory kits from the leading memory companies here in North America. Corsair, Kingston, OCZ and Super Talent are familiar names here on Legit Reviews for good reason - they all make great enthusiast memory.

Inno3D GeForce 8800GT Standard vs. Overclocked Performance Comparison @ OzHardware
The release of the 8800GT chipset from nVidia has seen the market go crazy for what is one of the best bang-for-your-buck video cards available, and many manufacturers are offering factory overclocked versions to give you even more performance, but are they worth the money? We look at the Inno3D’s normal 8800GT and their Overclocked version to find out.

PNY DDR2 XLR8 PC2-9384 2GB Memory Kit @ Tweaktown
Intel still supports DDR2 quite readily, and even X38 and upcoming X48 motherboards will both have DDR3 and DDR2 memory controllers as options on select boards, so you still have the flexibility there depending on what board you get. Today we are testing out another somewhat unknown company to us; while we have heard of PNY before, we haven’t seen them in the extreme memory range which they are pushing for today with the new PC2-9384 DDR2 memory kit we have been sent.

Thermaltake Bigwater 760i Liquid Cooling System Review @ Tweaknews
This system is a bit different from other liquid coolers I've reviewed - rather than mounting it outside the case or on the side panel, this system is uses up two of 5 ¼ drive bays, keeping it out of the way of other components. Let's see how this setup works and more importantly, how it performs.

Hiper Type-M 880W Power Supply Review @ Hardware Canucks
Aside from being the highest wattage power supply I have tested to date, this is also the first Hiper power supply I have had the pleasure of reviewing. To tell you the truth, my expectations are quite high since this power supply is made by CWT which is the same company which built some of the better performing units we have seen in the last few months. Even though Hiper hit the ground running here in North America, finding stock of their products here in Canada is a lesson in futility but things do look a bit better for our friends south of the border.

Daily News for Jan 4

GlacialTech IGLOO 5610 Series CPU Cooler Review @ Tweaktown
Moving onto the card itself, the front looks a bit weird with a large plate covering most of the front and three little pipes heading out the top and going around the back. To the right of the card you can also see a heatsink covering some of the hotter components on the card. The specifications for the 5610 is lower than that of the 5710 so we are not going to be looking at stellar performance numbers, but honestly how low can a product line go. The 5710 were not great performers and border the low end of what a modern day CPU should use for aftermarket cooling performance. With that said though, let’s have a look at the specs and see if the GlacialTech 5610 can surprise us.

Asus EN8800GT TOP Geforce 8800GT 512MB Videocard Review @ PCSTATS
For the latest games you need a killer fast DirectX10 compliant videocard and a computer loaded with Windows Vista. Enter ASUS and a very strong contender for your cash - the PCI Express x16 ASUS EN8800GT TOP/G/HTDP/512M/A videocard. GeForce 8800GT-class videocards tend to overclock well, so it's no surprise that many come pre-overclocked from the factory floor. The Asus EN8800GT TOP videocard is tweaked to 700 MHz core and 1000 MHz memory, up from the default 600 MHz core / 900 MHz memory settings. Heck it's even faster than a Geforce 8800GTS's 650 MHz core and 970 MHz default clock speed! Oh Asus, how you spoil us gamers!

Turbo Charge TB550 Portable Cell Phone Charger Review @ Bigbruin
The Turbo Charge TB550 Portable Cell Phone Charger is a gadget designed to make sure your mobile phone always has enough power. Whether you can't reach the wall charger, can't find the car charger, or are lost in the middle of nowhere in desperate need of help, this device will take the power from two AA batteries and provide several full charges for a large selection of today's popular phones.

Corsair Padlock USB Flash Drive Review @ TechwareLabs
Removable flash drives have become very popular due to their flexibility, usefulness, and increasing storage capacity. Options for users seeking to secure the data on such devices have been limited to encryption until now. Today we take a look at the Corsair Padlock which employs a form of hardware security which helps assure that even if you lose your drive, you won't lose control of your data.

Microsoft Windows XP SP3 RC Does NOT Support HDA Article @ Tech ARP
When you try installing the KB888111 which works for SP1 and SP2, it will not work for Service Pack 3, at least for the current SP3 RC v3264. Instead, you will be prompted with a message saying that the current service pack installed is newer than the fix you are trying to apply. Even the older KB835221 does not work.

OCZ PC2-6400 ReaperX HPC Enhanced Bandwidth 4GB Memory Review @ PCSTATS
OCZ has put together a very interesting 4GB DDR2 memory kit, namely because these modules feature heatpipes and a large aluminum fin heatsink. The ReaperX HPC heatsink system draws heat way from the DDR2 BGA DRAM Modules, allowing system airflow to do all the work silently. The OCZ PC2-6400 ReaperX HPC Enhanced Bandwidth dual channel memory kit is 4GB in capacity, and it retails for a competitive price. This 4GB kit of PC2-6400 memory kit operates at DDR2-800 speeds with timings of 4-4-3-15.

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