Leading up to the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) last month in Las Vegas, we received many invitations to check out various booths, receptions, other displays, and even a Gulfstream G5 flight out to the San Fernando Valley. One of the booth invitations we received was from a company known as OtterBox. Their booth had consisted of various protective cases for PDAs, iPods, phones, and GPS devices. We had initially written off Otterbox as a company of little interest to our Linux readers seeing as they just manufactured cases for consumer electronic devices. However, that was before we had noticed the OtterBox 7030. The OtterBox 7030 is a notebook case that is not only waterproof but also crushproof, can even be dropped up to a meter with your notebook inside, and of course is engineered to prevent any damage to the laptop itself. Keeping in mind we are the ones that boil USB flash drives and use motherboards to open beer bottles, we have our hands today on the OtterBox 7030. Is this polypropylene chassis able to protect a notebook inside when it's being used as a winter sled?
Normally at Phoronix we don't look at any digital photography products, but the DXG-110 from DXG USA had caught our attention as being the first 10 megapixel digital camera available for under $200 USD (it retails for $170 to be exact). Higher megapixel cameras are often misinterpreted by consumers as meaning a higher quality product, while that is not always the case and with the DXG-110 you shouldn't set out looking to take professional-grade photographs. In this article we are also looking at some of the photo management programs available to Linux users.
With most motherboards these days, you are provided with a more than adequate number of Serial ATA cables and for most users that is good enough. However, if you are in need of additional SATA cables or are just looking for something different, SilverStone has their CP03 and CP04 cables. The CP04 has a SATA 2.0 connector rotated 90 degrees, while both the SilverStone CP03 and CP04 have a metallic EMI guard layer and a sturdy locking mechanism.
Whether you are using Windows or Linux, you are never free of running into hardware problems. It could be a bad power supply or a faulty motherboard, but an incorrect diagnosis can be costly and timely in production environments. PC-Doctor Inc, a company serving the computing community since 1993, recently sent out their PC Doctor Service Center 6 for review. This PC diagnostic test kit includes a variety of hardware and software for helping to diagnose computer problems. While this kit can help in solving computer problems, is it worth $400 USD?
For enthusiasts, stock coolers just never cut it. Period. It doesn't matter whether it's a video card, a CPU, a motherboard chipset, or anything that puts out a decent amount of heat. After-market heatsinks and other cooling solutions have become a huge market. One of the bigger cooling issues these days is graphics cards. Even the big beefy coolers you see on the GeForce 8800 series rarely perform as well as they look. Many times the performance can be radically improved simply by removing all of the thermal paste and using a compound like Arctic Silver 5 and ensuring good contact with the GPU, but sometimes not. This is where Thermaltake steps up to the plate. Their newest incarnation of GPU cooler is the DuOrb CL-G0102, but does it perform well?
The technology world is becoming increasingly mobile-oriented these days. The Internet is present in everyone's lives. However, it's not about choosing between life and Internet anymore, it's about the integration of the web and life, and leveraging its power. Thus notebooks are growing more powerful and more mobile than ever before. Even though the days of scalding-hot laptops are gone, laptops still need cooling in order to increase its lifespan. Passive coolers have only been marginally effective. Active coolers tend to be noisy or as bulky as a second laptop. Most people try them for a while and religiously lug around a clunky plastic stand with their other laptop gear. Eventually the coolers just are stuffed in a corner to collect dust. So what does one do? Is there an effective passive cooler that doesn't take up a second laptop's space? Thermaltake seems to think it has the answer with the iXoft Notebook Cooling Pad.
Since breaking open bottles of beer with heatpipes and other hardware last month at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, we have been cutting open a number of different heatpipes. In this article we have some new details to shed on heatpipes from a numbers of manufactures, including Thermalright, Thermaltake, OCZ, and Abit. These cooling mechanisms are supposed to keep our beloved PCs from overheating, but how does their manufacturing quality differ? With this article, we have plenty of pictures and videos showing you the differing qualities in heatpipes.
We don't review many disk controllers or hard drives at Phoronix but we decided to take a quick look at the Promise Technology SATA300 TX4 PCI controller card, which promises to be a cost-effective 4-port Serial ATA 2.0 controller. Two of the features include Native Command Queuing and Tagged Command Queuing support, but how does its performance compare to solutions integrated on the motherboard? In this review of the Promise SATA300 TX4 we tested it with Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn using an nForce 430 chipset.
We don't look at many cooling fans at Phoronix, but after being impressed by a variety of SilverStone products over the years -- such as the Sugo SG03, Temjin TJ09, and Zeus ST75ZF -- when SilverStone told us about some new variable speed fans they had released, we decided to take a look at them. The fans we are looking at in this review include the SilverStone FM83 and FM123.
Rexus, ever hear of them? Neither had we until an ambitious representative had contacted us and sent out three of their Rexflo fans. Rexus does sell a number of different fans manufactured by Panaflo, Delta, Sunon, Evercool, and Nidec, but they also maintain the Rexflo series for fans that run very quiet and use PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) for reducing noise and managing the fan speed. The fans at hand today are the Rexflo 80mm, 92mm, and 120mm models.
We don't normally publish reviews on networking hardware and other peripherals unless we have thoroughly tested the product internally for some time and find it to be truly great or a product that is simply a disaster. Today we have the SMC SMC2870W 802.11g Wireless Ethernet Bridge. This wireless bridge is capable of turning any wired networking device into a wireless node and can also act as an Internet Access Point along with a built-in 802.11b/g repeater. What category of righteousness does this product fall into? Well, for Linux users, the SMC bridge is falling down.
The Razer DeathAdder is an exceptionally well-designed mouse with an 1800DPI 3G infrared sensor, five buttons, 16-bit data channel, and a variety of other features. In this review, we have our thoughts on this new Razer mouse after having experimented with it for several weeks.
Nocuta is a newcomer to Phoronix, so when they had first asked us to look at a couple fans we were a bit hesitant. In the past year, the only cooling fans we had reviewed were the Sytrin KuFormula SFFD120 and the Enermax Marathon Enlobal Fan, which were both unique products compared to a traditional computer case fan. Ultimately, we decided to accept Noctua's invitation to try out the NF-S12 and NF-R8 fans, and in this review you will find out why.
Razer has been known for their array of professional gaming mice while recently we had looked at their Barracuda AC-1 and HP-1 audio products, but how well is this company able produce a professional gaming keyboard? After months of anticipation the Razer Tarantula Keyboard is finally shipping to retailers, and we happen to have our hands on this keyboard to see whether it is worth using under Linux.
Looking for a nifty stocking stuffer this holiday season? The Logisys Optical Finger Mouse is a very innovative gadget that may be perfect for your traveling family member. The MS601BK model is an 800DPI mouse that works on nearly any surface and works by the movement of your fingers. We have been trying out the Logisys Optical Finger Mouse now for several weeks and have been impressed by its abilities.
It has been almost two years since we first heard of LTB Audio Systems and decided to look at their USB True 5.1 Surround Sound Headphones. The headphones were surprisingly well designed for coming from this relatively unheard of company. Listen To Believe (LTB) has recently introduced their Magnum 5.1 USB Headphones, which is what we will be looking at today. These headphones offer a built in microphone, onboard audio control, and is true 5.1 surround sound.
The Razer Barracuda AC-1 promises "pinpoint specific audio sound cues in-game with 38% greater accuracy than conventional soundcards, providing for the ultimate gaming experience," but is this the truth? After this week's official launch of the Barracuda AC-1 we have our hands on this new sound card and today are offering up a preview. In this preview we expose what audio processor is really is at the heart of the Barracuda AC-1!
Earlier this month we presented an exclusive preview of the Sytrin KuFormula SHF1 Ultra, and today we are back to share our concluding thoughts on this HDD cooler. In the remainder of this article we focus primarily upon the installation and performance. Since publishing our KuFormula SHF1 Ultra preview we have also learned a few additional details from the folks over at Sytrin.
Throughout the 1990's computer gaming was largely perceived as a past time for couch potatoes or as a form of relaxation for teenagers, but the gaming industry has largely expanded in all directions even onto the professional playing table. Just as with any athletic sports, having the proper equipment is critical for performing well against your opponents. SteelSeries has been one of the companies to recognize this growing market, and their mission statement is to create performance enhancing gaming gear. Of the products they manufacturer at this time is mouse pads, keyboards, headsets, software security, gaming gear accessories, and gaming wear. We have looked at several SteelSeries products in the past, and today we are trying out the SteelSound 5H V2 gaming headset, which is slated to be an optimized version of the original 5H headset.
Yesterday we had previewed the Sytrin KuFormula SHF1 Ultra and today we're the first again to offer up a preview of another Sytrin innovation. What we have our hands on this afternoon is the Sytrin KuFormula SFFD120.
After the success of the Nextherm ICS-8200 and KuFormula VF1 Ultra, Sytrin is now preparing to introduce the KuFormula SHF1 Ultra. The Sytrin SHF1 Ultra is designed to be a multi-functional high performance HDD cooler. While this product has yet to be officially announced, we at Phoronix have several of these hard drive cooling devices inside our labs. Continue on for exclusive photographs and details in this world premiere.
For years now, Razer and their array of gaming mice as well as mouse surfaces have impressed us. Most recently, they have begun to venture into developing audio products for gamers, with their inaugural product being the Barracuda HP-1 Headphones. The Razer Barracuda HP-1 Gaming Headphones rely upon eight drivers, individual channel volume control, and a detachable microphone to deliver the ultimate audio experience while gaming.
OCZ has been gearing up for a break-through in the cooling arena for some months now. Earlier this year they had announced the Cryo-Z phase-change cooler, but unfortunately this product has yet to hit the retail sector. For those after air-cooling, OCZ Technology had recently unveiled the Tempest CPU Cooler. The OCZ Tempest offers a pure copper base, four heatpipes, and pure aluminum fins while supporting all major AMD and Intel sockets.
Last year we looked at the SilverStone Nitrogon NT03. This cooler was quite compact in size, but it managed to adequately cool an overclocked Pentium D 820. Up on the review block today we have the Nitrogon NT06, which promises to cool even the hottest CPUs in the world.
ASUS has been known for their motherboards and graphics cards for some years now, but few have been exposed to their recent efforts to create viable wireless networking equipment. One of their most recent efforts is focused on the WL-500g Premium. With support for attaching external hard drives and cameras, as well as a unique download platform, ASUS has certainly placed itself in an interesting position. Did we mention that the router's firmware is also open-source and runs Linux?
While this product may look good on paper, after we had disassembled the unit, and carried out our thorough testing process at Phoronix, we found the results to be very dissenting. In our tests, the reported Voltages by the CaseBuy LCD EZ Power Supply Tester 3 were inaccurate.
Two years ago to this day we had first reviewed the AlphaShield Hardware Firewall. This product was unlike anything we had ever come across, as it was personal dedicated hardware firewall designed for consumer use. The firewall is designed to be placed between the cable/DSL modem and router, or to be placed as the intermediary on the network to a specific computer, in order to add an additional layer of security. In fact, the AlphaShield Firewall claims a 100% guaranteed level of security or your money back. Since we first had the AlphaShield Firewall at Phoronix back in 2004, they have continued to revolve around improving network security, and have recently unleashed the AlphaShield Professional Edition.
From magnetic-barometric enlobal bearings to magnetic flux, we have all of the details covered in this word-premiere coverage of the Enermax Marathon. We followed it in the review by taking it for a bath, and dismantling her blades.
Over the years we have seen some interesting cooling contraptions designed by Thrmaltake from the Beetle CL-P0086 to the BigWater SE and Volcano. In this article, we are taking our first look at their server cooling offerings in the form of the ITBU CL-P0303. Thermaltake is renowned in the enthusiast market, but do they deserve the same for their ITBU server cooling solutions? To start with, the CL-P0303 is designed for Xeon Dempsey 2U systems with an LGA-771 socket, while making this design possible are copper fins, dual heatpipes, and a near silent fan. Today we are strapping the Thermaltake ITBU CL-P0303 on top of Intel's fastest Xeon Dempsey to take it for the ride of its life.
The last time we had looked at a SteelPad product was back in 2004 when trying out their newly unleashed QcK+. However, this morning up for testing we have their new SteelPad 5L. What is unique about this mouse pad is that it is composed of five layers -- plastic, cloth, soft polyisoprene, hard plastic, and rubber elements. However, just how well is this pad? We will find out today.
159 peripherals articles published on Phoronix.