Archive for December, 2009

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Gigabyte P55-UD6 Review…..

December 25, 2009

                   Gigabyte has claimed that overclockers have succesfully used their new Gigabyte P55-UD6 motherboard to overclock Intel’s new Core i7 870 processor pass the 5GHz mark (the default is 2.93GHz), which is nothing short incredible.The basic layout and design of this motherboard in fact very similar to the X58 boards offered by Gigabyte. Of  course , as this is meant to be a high end motherboard for overclockers and gaming enthusiast , so it makes senses to have similar specifications. One thing that stands out here is the 24 ferrite chokes used for the 24 phase power design by Gigabyte. Other than improving the power delivery to the CPU , heat for the Voltage Regulator Module (VRM) is evently spread to the 24 power phases for a cooler and more stable system. Perhaps the most noteworthy fact here is the fact that the P55-UD6 features the Ultra Durable 3 feature which includes the much promoted 2 oz copper on each power and ground layers of the PCB.

         As once mentioned , the idea behind the increased amount of copper in these layers is to essentially reduce the amount of impedance in the board, which Gigabyte claims goes up to a 50% of reduction. Less impedance equals to better current flow , which means that less energy is wasted , and as a result less heat is generated. The extra copper used also means better signal quality , greater system stability , and increased margin levels for overclocking. By using the Ultra Durable 3 feature , Gigabyte essentially extends the lifetime of the product as well as give overclockers an easier time in achieving stable overclocking results.

           Given it’s greater overclocking capacity , a good P55 motherboard with an Intel Corei7 870 processor would certainly outperform an X58 paired with the low range Corei7 900 series processors. Not a fair comparison , but considering  you can pay less and get more.

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Linux Sabayon 5 Review…..

December 21, 2009

  Sabayon 5 came out on October 2 , 2009. As has been the norm since the last couple of releases , it’s been divided into a KDE and GNOME live DVD. The boot screen of the DVD gives you several options to boot the following : GNOME , KDE , a media centre desktop , UMPC . etc. I’ve only tried the first two.

     The desktop theme is based on the greyish ClearLookSL theme for control , and the black MurrineCleanGlass windows border theme , which gels well with the overall Sabayon look. Unlike KDE , desktop effects don’t work out-of-the-box here. You’ll need to activate the Compiz Fusion based effects by double-clicking the Compiz Fusion icon on your desktop. When activated , it triggers the Emerald Theme Manager to load up (accessible from the system tray ). which gives you a handy selection of themes to choose from. On the down side , enabling Compiz gets rid of the Alt + F2 shortcut association to trigger the run dialogue on my system. A very displeasing bug.

   Overall , Sabayon is indeed a lovely distro. It looks great and is quite stable , yet it somehow gives the feeling that there’s something missing. Whatever the reason , Sabayon does looks pretty rough around the edge – a good example is the package manager , and the default selection of apps. So i figure it does need alot of love if it wants to compete in the mainstream.

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Sapphire HD 5750 Vapor-X 1GB Video Card Review

December 3, 2009

     Hi there again…This month , I had a bad experience with my display card , the Nvidia Geforce Fx5200. The display card seems to be faulty/broken fully. First thing , It cannot play 3D games , Then , there is a flicker in my windows xp , secondly , it doesn’t have a display at all. My Athlon XP +1700 1.46GHz cannot boot up due to the AGP display card that is faulty.

   To anyone watching the graphics card market right now, it really does seem like NVIDIA is indeed pulling back from the high end segment in preparation for the debut of their upcoming Fermi architecture. However, the HD 5750 was released into a market is swimming in options for the budget conscious buyers among you which means it is competing against both older ATI cards and current NVIDIA products as well. In this kind of situation, every dollar of saving counts so when Sapphire approached me with their HD 5750 1GB Vapor-X, I was understandably a bit confused as to why they decided to give the coolest-running, most efficient 5000-series card a heatsink makeover. 

Sapphire HD 5750 1GB Vapor-X Specifications

 

Lately, Sapphire’s Vapor-X products haven’t been seeing many huge bumps in clock speeds but that is to be expected as engineers come to grips with the limits of this new technology. The HD 5750 version isn’t much different with an overclock of just 10Mhz on the core and 40Mhz for the memory. This will make a difference in the charts but we can guarantee you that you will never see a difference when it comes to real-world gameplay.
          

             This card’s claim to fame is of course the Vapor-X heatsink that dominates its otherwise reference looks. To be perfectly honest with you, we were a bit disappointed to see such a massive cooler on a card that is advertised as being efficient. This was mentioned during the original HD 5750 1GB review but it is even more baffling here since Sapphire has demonstrated in the past that that Vapor-X cooler can be slimmed down to single-slot height while still providing phenomenal temperatures. What makes matters worse is the fact that the cooler’s shroud actually protrudes about an inch over the PCB which expands the card’s length to about 8 1/4”.

          Certaintly , I’m going to buy a new display card next year for my PC. I’m going for the 512MB AGP Display card , due to financial restriction. Well . the GPU ofcourse is one of the main factor i’m going to choose the display card , beside the memory. Well , let’s hope for the best , shall we…

Regards..

Khairul Azrin B. Azman.