SteelSeries 7G keyboard for pro gamers

Lars Göran Nilsson | Peripherals | Nov 14, 2007 1:58 AM CST

Danish specialist gaming accessory maker SteelSeries has launched it long awaited 7G series keyboard and it had been designed specifically for professional and competitive gamers. SteelSeries claims that it has the most powerful PS/2 buffer system ever created and it allows you to press every single key on the keyboard simultaneously. It's meant to reduce any ghosting effects that you can get with regular keyboards which tend to result in a kind of lag.

Each of the keys features a gold plated mechanical switch and a 50 million operation life time. SteelSeries claims that this gives the 7G an edge for gamers as it offers more actions per minute than any other keyboard in the world. Any takers? All keys also operated at 60g with a travel time which is meant to be about 50 percent faster than other competing products.

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Radeon HD 3850 HDMI card spotted

We happened upon a few pictures of a somewhat different Radeon HD 3850 card from a Chinese manufacturer that we're not familiar with and we can't really make out the name, as it's only in Chinese, although the card also says Zero on it, but if this is the brand, then we're still not familiar with the company behind this card.

What makes this card so different is the fact that an onboard HDMI connector, rather than relying on a DVI to HDMI converter commonly used on ATI cards. This could be an advantage in tight spaces, as you don't need to make room for those extra couple of centimetres that the dongle takes up.

Continue reading: Radeon HD 3850 HDMI card spotted (full post)

New ForceWare 169.09 drivers

Steve Dougherty | | Nov 13, 2007 5:30 PM CST

Though still in beta status, NVIDIA have made available their latest ForceWare 169.09 drivers today; these are particularly Crysis happy as they add full SLI support to the game, fix a major water reflection bug and also add Control Panel anisotropic filtering support.

Running Crysis in SLI should now yield a 40 to 50% increase in overall performance, and an upcoming patch from Crysis is said to push SLI performance even further again.

Continue reading: New ForceWare 169.09 drivers (full post)

Ttake release first 1500W SLI PSU

Steve Dougherty | Video Cards & GPUs | Nov 13, 2007 5:30 PM CST

Thermaltake have reached new heights in the PSU market this week, announcing the world's first NVIDIA SLI Certified "1500W" power supply, this as a member of their Toughpower series.

With four 6-pin and four 8-pin PCIe power connectors, this PSU is suited to beefed up systems with next-gen quad-graphics card arrangements. The PSU is of modular design and sports four individual +12V rails as well as an efficiency level of over 85%. A 140mm dual ball bearing fan is used to cool the monster.

For further information on it, you can read the official announcement here or head straight to the product page on Thermaltake's website.

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Intel Shelton low cost platform in 2008

Lars Göran Nilsson | | Nov 13, 2007 3:36 AM CST

Intel is working on a new platform for ultra low cost computers for what the company refers to as the "Next Billion Users". This was talked about at IDF Taiwan earlier this year, although no real information about this new platform was revealed. HKEPC has now managed to get some further information on this new platform and it will go under the name of Shelton.

Although the first product is already available and it's the D301GLY2 motherboard you can see below which is using the SIS671 chipset. Intel is planning to use its own 945GC chipset in the future and it will be paired up with the Diamondville processor. The CPU will be soldered onto the motherboard to reduce cost, but it also limits any possible upgradability of these low cost machines.

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AMD's Spider platform gets revealed

Lars Göran Nilsson | | Nov 13, 2007 3:08 AM CST

AMD's new platform codenamed Spider has made its way onto the internet and it looks like quad CrossFireX is on the menu. The pictured system contains an RD790FX based board with a Phenom processor of unknown speed, but most importantly, it has four Radeon HD 3850 cards in it.

The system appears to be all up and running, but we wouldn't bet on the fact that the quad CrossFireX setup is working properly, bridges connected or not. We're also curious as with regards to how the first and the last cards communicate with each other, as there's no direct connection between the two, unlike Nvidia's three-way SLI which connects all three cards together.

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Asus launches four x16 slot X38 board

Lars Göran Nilsson | | Nov 13, 2007 2:16 AM CST

There doesn't seem to be anything stopping Asus from releasing a multitude of X38 boards and the latest addition is the P5E64 WS Professional. This board differs slightly from the previous workstation offerings by having four x16 PCI Express 2.0 slots. It's targeting a very small and specialized market, those that need more than four displays connected to the one and the same PC. It might actually work with four-way CrossFireX as well, but the future will have to tell that story.

The board features a PCI Express switch, which splits the 32 lanes of PCI Express bandwidth into four, which means that each x16 slot ends up with x8 bandwidth. There's also a single open ended x4 slot, but this one is not PCI Express 2.0 compatible, as well as a pair of PCI slots. But the special features of the board don't stop here as Asus has also implemented something it calls the G.P. Diagnosis card.

Continue reading: Asus launches four x16 slot X38 board (full post)

AMD HD 3800 series pricing revealed

Steve Dougherty | | Nov 12, 2007 2:36 PM CST

OOooooh looky here folks! Seems retailers are starting to jump the gun on AMD's yet to be officially released HD 3800 series graphics cards, these based on the highly anticipated next-gen RV670 GPU.

Aussie retailer TEK CORP has listed GECUBE's HD 3870 card on their site with a full rundown of the specifications along with pricing, a quite reasonable $358.00 AU. ITSky has followed suit and listed the same card on their site, though for a whole dollar more.

American website Buy.com has disregarded the official launch date as well, posting up U.S. pricing for both a HD 3850 and HD 3870 card.

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40GB PS3 dissected, 65nm CPU after all

Lars Göran Nilsson | CPU, APU & Chipsets | Nov 12, 2007 10:34 AM CST

It appears that Sony did indeed change the CPU in the new 40GB version of the PS3 to a 65nm chip after all, despite what you might've read earlier. It took a while for Sony to admit to doing so, but Kazuo Hirai, the president of SCEI came clean and said that the Cell Broadband Engine in the 40GB model is indeed produced using a 65nm process.

The story started in Japan with some journalists noticing a much lower power usage of the 40GB model, although Sony did initially deny that there were any new chips in the latest revision of the console. However, now the company has come clean and although the Cell processor has had its die shrunk, the RSX graphics chip remains at 90nm.

The Japanese website Impress PC Watch has stripped one of the new consoles and they've also done some power testing. The old model draws 170W at boot, while the new model only draws 117W. During DVD playback we're looking at 198 versus 140W and playing Ridge Racer 7 the old model draws 191W while the new model only draws 136W. It seems strange that the PS3 draws more power during DVD playback than when you're playing games though.

Continue reading: 40GB PS3 dissected, 65nm CPU after all (full post)

Radeon HD 3870 CrossFire benchmarked

Lars Göran Nilsson | Video Cards & GPUs | Nov 12, 2007 2:04 AM CST

What appears to be a brand new review site has got its hands on a pair of ATI Radeon HD 3870 cards and they've put the cards through their paces to see how well they perform in CrossFire. The cards are apparently clocked at 777MHz for the core and 2,252MHz for the memory. These aren't exactly the expected stock speeds, but at least it's not far off.

They've kindly dissected one of card for everyone's viewing pleasure as to show you what the card looks like without all that plastic and metal on top. The test system specs are very vague at best, the site used the 7.10 Catalyst drivers as well as the brand new Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 CPU, but apart from that very few details are available. It looks as if the cards are on a board that was only capable of dual x8 PCI Express, at least that's what showing on one of the driver screenshot pages, but it's a PCI Express 2.0 board.

The benchmarks for the CrossFire setup are limited to 3DMark06, but there are also some Crysis numbers from a single card. We're looking at scores of 12,590 3DMarks for a single card, while two cards in CrossFire manages 20,383, compared to 13,837 for a single 8800 GT at 1,280x1,024. At no time does the single card outperform the 8800 GT in 3DMark06, although it seems like this is a very limited review, as no other resolution was used.

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