Most of us know television is bad for us. Daytime TV in particular is single-handedly responsible for the mass eradication of students' brain cells across the nation -- Trisha, you have a lot to answer for.
Here at Crave, we've turned to our PCs to escape the televisual plague, but it seems even computers aren't immune to this menace. Always keen to turn us all into gibbering TV monkeys, Terratec has just sent us its Cinergy 2400i DT -- the first dual Freeview PC tuner to hit UK shelves.
Earlier this month, Crave revealed AMD's brand-new flagship processor, the Athlon 64 FX-60. At the time, we speculated it would easily become the fastest desktop CPU money could buy, and we've since spent a significant length of time with the chip to assess its full capabilities.
From a consumer perspective, AMD was literally shooting itself in the foot with its high-end CPUs. The fastest card in its line-up, the 740 Athlon 64 FX-57, was the undisputed king of gaming performance, but the 560 dual-core X2 4800+ was a smarter purchase. Not only was it far cheaper, but it was also better at running everyday applications, and only slightly slower than the FX-57 when running games.
The release of the FX-60 is significant, as it is designed to match the multitasking performance of the X2 range while reinforcing the FX series as the gaming processor of choice. Continue reading...
Intel marked the UK launch of its 'Viiv' platform, initially announced at CES, with a lavish party at London's Floridita bar last night.Â Crave was on hand to hear all about it, check out some Viiv devices, and more importantly, test the free food and drink.
Intel shied away from explaining the technical side of Viiv, which is essentially any PC that uses an Intel Core Duo processor, provides at least 5.1-channel surround sound, and has the Windows XP Media Center Edition operating system.
Instead, the company concentrated on what the product could offer consumers. Donald McDonald (no, really), vice president and general manager of Intel's digital home group, said Viiv PCs could potentially let you watch big-name movies on the day of release, or niche broadcasts such as Bollywood movies, on demand. Continue reading...
Everybody knows networks are great, but a wired LAN can turn your house into a messy orgy of cables, and wireless networks can be subject to interference, slow connection speeds and complicated setup procedures.
ZyXEL, perhaps hearing our network-related screams of frustration, recently sent us its PL-100 Powerline Ethernet Adaptor, which provides an alternative to mainstream wired and wireless networking methods.
As instructed, Crave plugged one end of the device into our PC's LAN port, and the other into an electrical power outlet, et voila, it turned our power lines into a house-wide network infrastructure. So now we can make toast and share illicit MP3s using the same technology. Continue reading...
Today ATI lifted the lid on its flagship graphics card, the Radeon X1900 XTX. Ours arrived a few days ago -- delivered under the cover of darkness by armed men in dark suits.
Reading from the accompanying technical document (which inevitably self-destructed after ten seconds), it becomes clear why the X1900 XTX is set to be the new reigning champion of graphics cards. Codenamed 'R580', the card is said to have 100 times the power of a Pentium 4-based PC, and provides over half a teraflop of computing power.
It has a graphics processing unit (GPU) clocked at 650MHz, an effective memory speed of 1.55GHz, and 48 shader units (three times that of its predecessor) for delivering ultra-realistic scenes. Continue reading...
Here at Crave, we love a good joke. For example: "What do you get when you cross Batman and Robin with a steam roller? Flatman and Ribbon." Or, "What do you get when you cross a polar bear with a seal? A polar bear."
Ahem... It appears AJP likes a good chuckle, too -- for how else would you explain the Neo64 -- which is basically what you'd get if you crossed a desktop PC with a laptop. Okay, so the outcome isn't actually that funny, but it is peculiar.
Like a character in a horror film who awakes to discover the hospital has transplanted the heart of a serial killer into her young, innocent body, the iMac desktop computer awoke on 10 January to discover that the heart of its arch enemy was pounding deep in its chest.
Apple gave up on waiting for IBM to produce a worthy successor to the G5 and is introducing the faster Intel chips across its new range. The first desktop Mac to use an Intel processor is this, the new iMac. Arriving much sooner than expected, the new iMacs use 1.83 and 2GHz Intel Core Duo processors with a 667MHz system bus. Graphics are handled by an ATI Radeon X1600 with 128MB or GDDR3 memory. In normal human language: disgustingly fast.
The Dimension 5150c is tiny -- pictures just don't do it justice. On its arrival, its petite proportions led us to believe Dell may have accidentally dropped it into its corporate washing machine on a hot cycle.
It's Dell's first foray into the world of small form-factor PCs. It's also the company's first desktop to use a BTX (Balanced Technology Extended) design.
It's a little too early on a Monday morning to get into full nerd mode, but this basically means the 5150c is designed with the most modern PC technology in mind, but is very small, quiet and doesn't produce much heat. In other words, it's perfect for sticking in your living room. Continue reading...
The world of high-performance PC components never stands still. Hot on the heels of Nvidia's four-card Quad SLI graphics setup is the latest evolution in uber-fast computer processors, the AMD Athlon 64 FX60.
Released today, the FX60 is touted as the fastest CPU money can buy. It's what you'd get if you bolted a pair of Athlon 64 FX-57 processors together, smeared them in greased lightning and left them to stew in a vat of caffeine for six weeks.
Thousands of products come to CES, but only a few go away with the coveted Best of CES award. After visiting innumerable stands, sitting through uncountable hours of press briefings and walking what felt like the distance from London to Las Vegas, CNET's editors selected the best products in 12 categories, ranging from cameras and camcorders to televisions. From those 12, the standout product was crowned best in show. And the winners were...
Cameras and camcorders: Sanyo Xacti HD1
Car technology: Pioneer AVIC-Z1
Cell phones and PDAs: Samsung ZX20
Computers: Intel Centrino Duo Mobile Technology
Emerging tech: ZenSys Z-Wave
Gaming: Nvidia GeForce Quad SLI
Home audio: Denon AVR-2807
Home video: Pioneer BDP-HD1 Blu-ray player
MP3 and portable audio: Creative Zen Vision:M
Networking: The D-Link SecureSpot All-in-One Internet Security Appliance
Peripherals: Belkin CableFree USB hub
Televisions: Samsung HL-S5679W HDTV
The 2006 CES served as the first opportunity to get solid information on tantalising hardware glimpsed over the course of 2005. Among the biggest news was Intel's move to reveal the exact specifications for PCs using its new Viiv (rhymes with 'jive') system, but not to be outdone, AMD launched its own rival (and rhyming) platform, known as Live.
We didn't see any Live kit, but there were a few vendors showing off Viiv systems. Alienware announced the fairly standard-looking Area-51 3550, and the more unorthodox Area-51 5400, the company's first all-in-one PC. According to Matthew Elliot, it uses the dual-core Centrino Duo CPU, has an integrated camera, and should set you back around $2,000 (1,130).
There's plenty of movement in the world of laptops, too. Justin Jaffe saw Sony debut two new dual-core notebooks, the high-end VAIO FE series, and the thin-and-light SZ series. The former features a 15.4-inch Xbrite widescreen display, an integrated Webcam, and an optional TV tuner. The latter is set to replace the Vaio S series, and has a 13.3-inch screen, biometric security, hard-drive protection and Bluetooth. Continue reading...
With all my Crave money spent, I've been promised one more Christmas present, (virtual) money no object. I've been a pretty good boy this year, so Santa owes me big. This is especially true since the bloated, greying old schmuck has ignored my letters requesting a Lamborghini Diablo for the past twenty years.
I'm a little older and wiser now, and have come to the realisation that a Diablo simply wouldn't be useful in London. Not only would it get scratched by deviant children, but I don't think Italy's finest is fast enough to evade Ken Livingstone's array of congestion charge cameras.
With this in mind, I've decided my ultimate Santa gift should be a little more practical, so I've gone for the Sun Fire E25K Server -- Large edition. Nick Hide's awesome Alienware PC is a true gaming monster, but when it comes to raw computing horsepower, the E25K is like a 100-strong herd of steroid-addled stallions pulling a chariot made of Styrofoam. Being driven by a cockroach. If it were a car, it'd make the Diablo look like a wind-up toy tractor. Continue reading...
Here's my problem: I'm a complete klutz, but I love computer games. This means consoles are a no-no, for most kinds of games, because the handheld controllers are too clunky. PCs, on the other hand, offer the greatest, most klutz-friendly interface ever devised -- the mouse. But a decent PC that'll run 3D-heavy modern games is very complicated, which is where we get to my other problem: I know nothing about computers.
Thank heavens, then, for Alienware, with its off-the-shelf approach to high-performance gaming and wacky boy-racer designs. No colour is too bombastic for these chaps, no movie tie-in too shameful. And boy, do they move polygons. As we've noted before, playing Battlefield 2 on an Alienware is the closest our fire-and-forget generation will (hopefully) come to real war. It's seat-of-the-pants stuff, jet-plane fast and wounded-tiger furious -- utterly unpredictable and seamlessly drawn. Continue reading...
The Mac Mini caused something of a stir when it was first unveiled, prompting Apple-loving fanboys to mock PC users relentlessly for months on end.
Most of the Windows faction simply responded by asking, "Am I bothered?" But secretly they were very perturbed. They yearned deeply for their own PC-flavoured Mac Mini with the sort of passion that only manifests itself when a fat child sees cake.
Fortunately Evesham is set to answer PC users' secret prayers with the Mini PC. It's not hard to see where the Mini PC got its inspiration. Designed by Aopen, it shares the same dimensions as a Mac Mini but uses a laptop motherboard and processor. Continue reading...
This is the first installment in a series of posts in which I, your favourite Crave reporter, will spend 5,000 on the Christmas presents I most desire in the world. My first choice is the quad-core Apple G5.
Some computers are fast, others are raging demons of hell-fulled anger that blister through Photoshop tasks like US soldiers taking out Vietnamese jungle. There is no fury like an Apple scorned, and this company has had its fair share of detractors over the years.
Perhaps you are less easily swayed, but I cannot resist the seductive lure of the aluminium chassis, the perforated vents, the quad-core G5 processor. The tech which beats aggressively in this silver womb instills in me the kind of desire that cannot be reasonably described in polite company. This G5 quite simply is the best Christmas present anyone could hope to recieve.
At 2,299, this G5 takes a fair chunk out of the 5,000 budget I've been given to squander by my CNET overlords, but I don't care: I can buy it at the Apple Store and that's what I'm going to do. But can you put a price on two dual-core 2.5GHz PowerPC processors, PCI-Express expansion slots and an Nvidia GeForce 6600 graphics card? I'd posit not. Continue reading...
Ah, Christmas, a time of infinite craving for countless digital desires... We've decided to put our craving to the test and from now until 25 December we'll be on a mission -- each member of the team has been given £5,000 in Virtual Crave Pounds (VCP) to spend on the best consumer electronics gear he or she can find.
The rules are astonishingly strict. All Crave Christmas shopping products must be available for purchase online in the UK with normal English pounds sterling. Every VCP must be spent, right down to the last Virtual Crave Penny. To keep things interesting, every writer has been given one free Santa gift.
Here at Crave we look at all the latest high-tech gizmos. Yesterday we outdid ourselves with news of the very latest bag, but today we're upping the ante to bring you essential information on (drum roll please) a box.
Before you close your browser window and report us to the loony police, we should probably point out that this is no ordinary box. This is the SD11G5 -- the very latest small form factor (SFF) barebones case from Shuttle.
It looks much like any Shuttle XPC box. In other words, it's small, attractive and will probably make you the envy of your friends. What's different about this unit, however, is that it's compatible with the Pentium M processor, which until now has only been found in laptops. Continue reading...
ViewSonic -- it's an interesting name. If the powers of sound and vision were to join together and fight the forces of evil, that's what they'd be called. Or it's a Californian company churning out cheapish flat-screen TVs. The N3260w is a 32-inch LCD with high-definition compatibility, and it undercuts most of the competition at only £700.
The N3260w may not be as stylish as Samsung's LE32R41BD, instead offering a plain design similar to Toshiba's 32WL56. But if you're a connectivity junkie (and let's face it, what Crave reader isn't?), you'll let out a little moan when you see the cheeky HDMI input. Then you're likely to go light headed when you see high-definition component and VGA inputs -- they're just gagging for the Xbox 360 when it launches next month. The saucy minxes...
Assembled by shipbuilders on the Clyde and intended for voyage across the Atlantic, the Fusion Multi Media PC lacks a certain subtlety -- but then so would you if you were a fat steel beast. Despite its gargantuan size, old Fuzzy packs a title-winning right hook. For starters, the tacky Windows Media Center remote control has been upgraded to a smart-looking custom-built remote with a host of options that the stock controller leaves out.
Other vital stats include a 3GHz Pentium 4 processor, a 200GB SATA hard drive and 1GB of RAM. There's also a dual-layer DVD writer (for all your, ahem, backup needs) and a digital TV tuner.
Big White is at it again -- while other companies would be content with updating the world's most popular MP3 player last week, Apple just can't stop inventing. Today it's launched a new range of Power Macintosh G5s and PowerBooks. Dismissing what was cutting edge technology only yesterday (dual-core processors), Apple has gone straight to quad cores for their new G5. Vindictive pundits note that while Windows machines are still unable to utilise dual-core processors, OS X uses these quad processors right out of the box. Continue reading...