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Processors, Chipsets, Mainboards

Although AMD is transitioning its desktop processors to PGA939 form-factor, the older generation PGA754 processors still deliver enough performance at more than competitive price-point. Specially for those who plan to go Socket 754 roate HotHardware has reviewed ABIT KV8 Pro mainboard based on VIA K8T800 Pro chipset with support for 1000MHz HyperTransport bus.

FiringSquad has investigated overclocking potential of Intel’s latest processors in LGA775 packaging – Intel Pentium 4 3.40GHz Extreme Edition, Intel Pentium 4 560 (3.60GHz) and Intel Pentium 4 540 (3.20GHz) – on mainboards based on Intel’s premier i925X core-logic from ASUS, ABIT and Gigabyte.

Graphics Cards

There have been an ongoing discussion about possible need for Shader Model 3.0 today since mid-April when NVIDIA unveiled its long-awaited GeForce 6-series graphics chip. In about two months after the GPU release we can conclude that pixel shaders 3.0 and vertex shaders 3.0 do have some advantage for end-users from performance stand-point in some games, however, we advice you to see yourself whether you should expect 5% or 35% speed boost in FarCry from Shader Model 3.0. There are reviews of the new version of FarCry game available at X-bit labs, AnandTech, FiringSquad, DriverHeaven, TechReport and TBreak.

HotHardware shares their impressions of a retail ATI RADEON X800 PRO-based graphics card. Find out the peculiarities of ASUS AX800 PRO and learn more about its performance when compared to other graphics cards at the same price-point along with less powerful and expensive options.

Storage Products

AnandTech is trying to answer the question why two hard disk drives are always better than one. See what happens if you put two Western Digital Raptor HDDs in RAID-0.

Multimedia

[M]adshrimps has reviewed Sharkoon Gamer Headset GHS1. With low weight, adjustable head band, high-quality foam ear pads, integrated volume control, microphone mute button and noise cancellation this headset has everything to become gamers’ dream.

Besides keyboards, mice and other pointing devices, Logitech is gaining popularity as a producer of audio components for personal computers. One of the latest additions into the company’s lineup – Logitech Z5300 5.1 speaker system – has been reviewed by Rage3D. Being pretty inexpensive, the system still boasts 280W (RMS) total power and is reported to have unmatched price/performance ratio.

Modding, PSUs, etc

If you have decided to choose water-cooling instead of typical solutions, you should probably visit Tom’s Hardware Guide who describes four high-quality external water-cooling products, such as Koolance Exos-Al, Corsair Hydrocool 200 Ex, Innovatek, Zalman Reserator I, in details.

Cooler Master’s Jet 4 is an example of a funky, but powerful cooler for mPGA478 processors. Despite of being stylish, the cooler is able to cool-down Intel Pentium 4 2.40C processor functioning at 3.00GHz to 45 degrees Celsius under high-load at only 2900rpm. Find out more at Hardware Extreme.

SFF Systems

NeoSeeker has a roundup of four small form-factor PC barebones: AOpen EZ65 XC Cube, Gigabyte G-Max CA2 SFF System, Soltek Qbic 3401A, FIC Condor. Read about highs and lows of the latest breed of compact PCs reviled when competitors are put in a head-to-head comparison.

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