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February 2008 Hardware Roundup 67

Tom's Hardware has a nice roundup of some of the new shiny hardware for February '08. Everything from a screaming fast 2 GHz DDR3 to liquid cooled cases and back again. "Unlike previous Zalman cases that used a heat pipe assembly, the LQ1000 has a traditional water pump and flexible hose for connecting the case's sinks to CPU and graphics coolers. A passively-cooled finned side panel and fan-assisted rear radiator remove heat, while a lighted flow indicator shows the bottom-mounted pump in action."
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February 2008 Hardware Roundup

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  • Unfortunately (Score:2, Insightful)

    by opusman ( 33143 )
    By the time you've clicked through all 21 pages, it will be March already.
  • Stop this. (Score:5, Informative)

    by BeeBeard ( 999187 ) on Friday February 01, 2008 @03:01PM (#22264918)
    Please stop linking to "articles" on the page-o-ads tomshardware site and making them money. They have a hardware roundup every month; there's no need to link to them just to improve their ad revenue stream.
  • All this looks nice. I have to get the ddr3 memory in my system i heard the latency is LOW. Now for the liquid cooled cases call me crazy but I've always been skeptic of having anything liquid around my electronics. I'll stick to the traditional antec 900 gaming case with the 120mm fan along with like 4 other 80mm fans. That keeps my system running cool enough!!!
    • by BalorTFL ( 766196 ) on Friday February 01, 2008 @03:49PM (#22265572)
      I'm not sure who told you that DDR3 RAM was low latency, but the statement is dead wrong. If you RTFA, you'll see that the new 2+GHz DDR3 has a CAS 10 latency!! While it's true that it's clocked more than double a typical DDR2 module @ 800mhz, these DDR2 modules are typically CAS 4 or 5, and timings can sometimes be tightened even further. The throughput of DDR3 memory is certainly boosted greatly over DDR2, but no matter how you measure it, memory latency has not seen the same improvement.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        They are about equal in terms of actual clock time, 5 cycles at 400mhz = 10 cycles at 800 mhz. Equal latency as the processor sees them, but twice the throughput.
      • I've been buying quality RAM for like a decade now, paying attention to timings and bandwidth and so on, but when it comes to RAM, I have to admit that in all my gaming experience (which is extensive enough), I have seen *tangible* benefits from increasing memory bandwidth (by switching dual channel mode on/off), but I have never been able to establish a *tangible* benefit or detriment to my general computing or gaming by tightening or loosening my RAM timings.

        I understand the technical details on w
        • by Rycross ( 836649 )
          Slashdot posted an article done by a tech site that benchmarked different RAM latencies, and they basically found that you're getting some very low performance benefits. I think it was something like 2%, and 1 or 2 FPS. Can't find the article with a quick search, sorry.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Cup-of-Tea ( 792473 )
          The only way you're going to see latency cause large effects on performance is if you turn off the cache on your processor, or run some kind of program that always results in cache misses (which isn't at all realistic). The whole point of cache is to mask the effects of latency. For example, if you have a cache with a 98% hit rate (meaning that only 2% of all memory accesses need to wait on memory, which is fairly realistic for today's processors), then if you doubled your memory latency, your performance (
    • Didn't you ever see the articles about the computers submerged in oil?...Thats a liquid

      Example: []
    • That was a main reason for me to switch to water cooling - blissful quietness, instead of sounding like I parked next to a wind tunnel, or an airport. Liquid systems are fairly common now, and have had the kinks worked out. I never had a water leak.
  • by JK_the_Slacker ( 1175625 ) on Friday February 01, 2008 @03:03PM (#22264964) Homepage
    I'm waiting for the swimsuit edition.
  • Traditional? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Applekid ( 993327 ) on Friday February 01, 2008 @03:05PM (#22264996)

    traditional water pump and flexible hose
    Water cooling is traditional now? I guess I gotta start shouting at kids to get off my lawn because my computer is air cooled.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by rucs_hack ( 784150 )
      I guess I gotta start shouting at kids to get off my lawn because my computer is air cooled.

      Who needs a reason?

      Um, I didn't say that....
    • It's much more commonplace now, and has been for a few years. I believe Apple ship a water cooled G5. That said, sometimes the cost outweighs the performance. My friend has the same system as me pretty much, but he's watercooled his CPU and done some other tricks. He spent £150 (at least) on his cooling system. I've bought replacement fans, my CPU cooler is Zalman. It was a real bastard to get on, but my CPU idles at only 5c above his and my load temp is about 15c higher. He's kinda regretting
      • The only reason I might consider water cooling is to make the machine quieter. Especially for media centers and such, I'd rather pipe the heat to a massive heatsink with a big, slow, quiet fan than have the number of fans I have in there now. I just haven't seen a good solution yet for my machine, and I don't have the cash to drop on it.
        • I upgraded my case recently. Went from a little box thing that I'd hacked pieces out of over the past eight years, to a brand new things with fans and perspex all over the place. It's massive too, I could easily fit my old box inside it with plenty of room to spare. The thing that surprised me most, was even with a 320mm fan on the side, a 240mm on the front and top - it's quieter. The only thing that REALLY bugs me is the LEDs now. Stupid things light up my room.
    • It's traditional for high performance rigs. If someone wants to spend a lot of money on a computer, liquid cooled has been the standard for a while. Considering how much I'm willing to spend on a computer, it's a little ridiculous, but if you're going to spend over $3,000, why not?
  • by Gat0r30y ( 957941 ) on Friday February 01, 2008 @03:10PM (#22265070) Homepage Journal
    - a bunch of novelty cases
    - overpriced power supplies
    - and 6 new DDR3 modules at varying frequencies
    • by jandrese ( 485 )
      - and a bunch of motherboards with various features.
    • And all of it is crap you don't need yet.

      I put together a system last week for $1200 that runs Oblivion + Qarl's Texture Pack 3 @ >60 FPS. Quite frankly, anything more would be a hideously excessive waste of money.

      Hell, I feel guilty about buying a $100 power supply with LED's.
  • I don't think it's wise to "be up to date" with the latest and greatest hardware. Obviously it's essential to know what's going on with current technology, but I find trying to keep up with the shiniest, fastest hardware out just makes me depressed that the top-of-the-line hardware I just bought a month ago is already second rate.
  • by rhdaly ( 1072244 )
    Since the hardware experts are all here and you're all complaining about Tom's Hardware's advertisements and novelty/enthusiast equipment, can anyone recommend a good hardware review site, especially for (comparative) beginners? I'm a graphic designer and could use some advice on buying a new computer that's more detailed than, "buy the mac that fits in your budget." And even if the best advice really is to buy that mac, I'd be a lot more comfortable paying it's thousand dollar price tag if I knew why.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Hatta ( 162192 )
      And even if the best advice really is to buy that mac, I'd be a lot more comfortable paying it's thousand dollar price tag if I knew why.

      Because of OS X. The hardware doesn't even enter into the equation.
      • by rhdaly ( 1072244 )
        I spend most (95%) of my time in applications. Photoshop, Illustrator, etcetera. Those will run fine on either OS. Yes mac is UNIX, but it doesn't make a bit of difference to me; I'm using my OS for peripheral hardware management and file wrangling. On the other hand, I obviously don't want to take the performance hit from Vista, and XP32 is limited to 2 gigs of ram which sounds suboptimal. I've heard nothing good about XP64. How much ram can OS X support for a professional workstation? And, again, anyone
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by HebrewToYou ( 644998 )
          The new MacPro supports up to 32 GB of RAM and is the best option for a true pro workstation. I would purchase my monitors, hard drives and additional RAM separately as Apple tends to mark those up significantly. Just configure the high-end model -- dual 3.2Ghz quad-core xeons -- with the minimal specs and install the rest yourself. It's fairly easy to do. Such is my advice to you.
        • I spend most (95%) of my time in applications. Photoshop, Illustrator, etcetera. Those will run fine on either OS.

          I obviously don't want to take the performance hit from Vista, and XP32 is limited to 2 gigs of ram which sounds suboptimal. I've heard nothing good about XP64. How much ram can OS X support for a professional workstation? And, again, anyone know of a good hardware or buying guide sorted by intended use?

          The "performance hit" from Vista might not be a problem with the impending release of Service Pack 1 and the supposed workstation-class driver quality of Quadro and FireGL video cards.

          The Mac Pro is a nice option IF your needs are not met by a single quad-core processor and 8GB of dual-channel 800MHz ECC DDR2 memory. Unfortunately (IMO), Apple doesn't offer a decent single-processor workstation option that doesn't use FB-DIMMs.

          Other replies have suggested three good sites with "system guides" (Tech R

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by PitaBred ( 632671 )
      Ars Technica []. They aren't pure hardware review, but they do a good job and have much more insightful articles. Really, the difference between a Mac and a PC any more is the operating system and the fit and finish. The only reason to use a Mac is if you need/want OSX. Not a bad reason to use it, but that's the main differentiator between Macs and PC's. That, and design. Macs tend to have a certain spartan, minimalist yet functional design that appeals to a lot of people. It fits with their Ikea furnit
    • The only hardware site that remains in my daily bookmarks is the Tech Report []. One of the few honest sites on the web.

      How to build a PC []

      Christmas 2007 system guide []

      Note that most hardware sites are geared toward gaming. As you're a graphic designer, your requirements are probably

      0) color accuracy (don't know anything about this, really)
      1) gobs of memory
      2) gobs of storage
      3) fast CPU

      Then there's software limitations, which are out of the purview of most hardware sites. 32-bit Windows is limited to about 3 GB of
    • I wouldn't imagine it would be really hard to build a machine for a graphics designer. Here's how I would do it:

      1. Get some really nice display(s)
      2. Appropiate video card to drive those display(s)
      3. A lot of ram (4-8GB+)
      4. A motherboard that will support the above, preferably with some room to expand atleast the ram in the future
      5. A reasonable higher end CPU, faster is better of course, but the bang-for-the-buck ratio isn't that great here
      6. Fill in the details such as optical drive, harddrive(s), c
  • by dbleoslow ( 650429 ) on Friday February 01, 2008 @03:28PM (#22265286)
    Wow! 21 pages with 50% ads. Now I remember why I stopped reading Tom's Hardware years ago.
    • by Mex ( 191941 )
      You were modded "Funny", but I would have modded you "insightful". I was a faithful TomsHardware reader(back in the Quake days, even), and the page has grown so disgustingly difficult to navigate, that I just don't bother anymore.

      Today I visited them again, just to see if things have improved, and I gave up at by the 3rd page. It's ridiculous.
  • by Joe The Dragon ( 967727 ) on Friday February 01, 2008 @03:35PM (#22265390)
    only one am2+ nvidia board and where is sb700 for the AMD chipset boards?
  • Big and bulky (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Telvin_3d ( 855514 ) on Friday February 01, 2008 @03:38PM (#22265436)
    Is it just me, or is everything in that article big and bulky? It's all RAM that's been made faster by adding cooling fins the size of bricks to them and other hardware made for running a server. I realize that all these hardware sites pander to the extreme gaming crowd, but where is the sleek and small?

    Instead of the case larger than some bookshelves, where is the one designed to run silent and unnoticed by my TV or under my desk? Instead of the super ram and massive hard drive racks, where is the clever wireless network storage solution that will move media around my house? Instead of the computer case with a big fat LCD screen built into the front, where is the sleek standalone screen that that can wirelessly connect to the server in the basement and display pictures when not in use?

    I don't think anyone is surprised to discover that by making everything twice as big, loud and hot you can get the most blazing performance. How about showing me something that impresses me instead?
  • IMHO, the Asus XG Station []. That external graphics enclosure might be interesting.

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