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Daily News Round #5 for November 9, 2003

Daily News Round #5 news post from TweakTown's online news computing and technology content pages for November 9, 2003

By Steve Dougherty on Nov 9, 2003 11:03 pm CST - 2 mins, 58 secs reading time

- Gaming Mouse Surface Roundup

It's not very often you'll see a roundup of "Mouse Pads" as most people tend to class such an item as being at the bottom end of their priority list. However if you're like me, a smooth, quality & decent sized pad makes the world of difference when you're at your PC all the time, particularly if you're also a fairly intense gamer. Nathan over at Hardavenue has gathered a few of the more recent "high-end" pads out there and not only come out with a clear winner, but in the process of doing so helps point out to us what makes a good mouse pad such a worthwhile investment for the long run.

For the majority of gamers out there, it is only a matter of getting the right CPU and Videocard, and their off. For the slightly more serious gamers, particularly the ones who enjoy FPS and RTS style games, there is also the matter of getting the right mouse.

However a mouse is only as good as the surface it is being played on, I say. You can get the best darn optical wireless contraption your heart desires, but it will still suffer on the Looney Toons mouse pad you bought at K-Mart for $9.95. What you need is a mouse pad with style, functionality and practicality, one that is designed for the split second reaction gamer in mind. Today, we check out three pads designed for just that.

- HighPoint Tech RocketRAID 1640

AMDZone have given us a clear rundown of HighPoint's latest controller. It is S-ATA based but can obviously be utilised with more common P-ATA drives using S-ATA -> P-ATA converters. The best part about this particular card is it's ability to operate in "RAID 5" mode. Definitely worth checking out if you're looking to RAID your existing hdd's or purchase a few new ones for the job.

With the plummeting price of hard drives and the increase conversion of our lives to digital representations, keeping all that data safe is becoming an increasing problem. While it is possible to do periodic backups, but lets face it, the average person is strapped for time and even the tech savvy do not like to back up.

Of course, there is a solution to this problem. Most motherboards today have RAID built into them and offer you the ability to hook up two hard drives to either run them as a super fast large drive (RAID 0) or create a mirror copy of a single drive (RAID 1). This is a great idea, until you decide to upgrade your motherboard. Then you are left with a new problems: how do you migrate the RAID array to a new motherboard? Are you restricted to the same RAID chip? Even if they have the same chip will it work? I'm not the only person who has run into this problem and I have found it very frustrating to limit my motherboard choices to systems with identical RAID chips.

So the easiest solution to this problem is to simply get a non integrated RAID card. But why buy a PATA RAID card when everybody knows its on the way out? I decided to try converting my PATA drives to SATA with Abit PATA->SATA converters and using HighPoint's RocketRAID 1640.

- Samsung Tantus LTM405W 40 Inch LCD TV / PC Monitor Review @ TweakNews
- Gigabyte GA-7NNXP AMD nForce2 Ultra Motherboard @ PCGuide Australia
- HIS Excalibur 9800Pro IceQ 128MB Review @ HardAvenue
- TYAN Transport GX28 B2880T1S (1U AMD Opteron Barebone) @ Hardware Zone

Steve Dougherty

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Steve Dougherty