We haven't looked at a new Razer product since February of 2007 when reviewing the DeathAdder, but with products from the Copperhead to the Mantis, we have been impressed with their exceptional quality. The Razer Barracuda AC-1 did initially have some problems with Linux, but those have since been worked out with the ALSA Snd-Oxygen driver. Today up on the review block is a new Razer audio product and that is the Piranha Gaming Communicator, which is a headset designed for gamers with true-to-life audio quality and a noise-filtering microphone.
4 April 2008
We have looked at many Gigabyte motherboards and graphics cards at Phoronix, but this computing company also maintains products in the mobile and communication sectors with such products as Bluetooth adapters, VoIP devices, Ultra Mobile PCs, wireless routers, and 802.11b/g/n wireless modules. Today we are checking out our first Gigabyte wireless product as we review the AirCruiser N300, which is a MiniPCI 802.11n (draft) wireless adapter. This wireless adapter uses the Ralink RT2860 chipset, and in this review we'll tell you how to setup this wireless card using ndiswrapper on Ubuntu 8.04.
26 March 2008 - 12 Comments
In the market for a simple notebook stand but aren't interested in the various notebook cooling contraptions like the Thermaltake iXoft or Prime Cooler CoolPad? If so, you may be interested in the Logitech Alto Express. The Alto Express is a notebook stand that raises the notebook display for increased viewing comfort and convenience.
20 March 2008
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?
19 February 2008 - 2 Comments
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.
1 January 2008 - 3 Comments
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.
2 December 2007
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?
11 November 2007 - 7 Comments
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?
7 November 2007
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.
3 November 2007
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.
27 October 2007 - 21 Comments
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