More nForce2 & Some Thoughts on HL2

Good afternoon HotHardware fans!  How is everyone doing today?  I take it you all took care of Mom yesterday, and spent some time with the family!  With my nephew's confirmation last Friday and Mother's Day this past Sunday, you know this guy spent some serious time around the dinner table this weekend!  I also put some quality time in with a SMOKIN' laptop powered by ATi's Mobility Radeon 9700 (review forthcoming!).  I'm not going to give away too many details though, you're just going to have to check back with us to see it for yourself.  For now, I have a healthy serving of hardware news to keep that jones of yours in check...

 More NVIDIA nForce2 Ultra 400Gb:

TechReport
NVNews
OverclockersClub
PCPerspective

 Chaintech AV-710 @ Verum Media:

"For quite a while, the computer audio market was dominated by one name, Creative Labs. Over the years, Creative Labs has built solid products that have brought better and better audio technology to the computer enthusiast, and many view their DSP to be one of the, if not the best available in a non-professional audio peripheral card. Due to the relative lack of competition for high quality audio, many users were forced to go down the Creative Labs route, which for many has meant headache after headache from driver support issues. Let's not forget the mess than happened during the initial switch over to WindowsXP as an example. Audio enthusiasts became fed up with these problems and began looking into other options. At this time, VIA was taking over the reigns on the ICEnsemble series of audio controllers."

 Valve admits that it was premature in its release hopes for Half-Life 2 @ ArsTechnica:

"Valve kicked off quite a scandal last Fall when they chose ATI over NVIDIA for sponsorship of their upcoming guaranteed-hit, Half-Life 2. Such choices are made all the time, of course, but this instance was a little different. Valve's honcho programmer, Gabe Newell, publicly shamed NVIDIA and their then-current products at the time, saying that they weren't up to snuff for the new DirectX 9 code in beta (or alpha?) builds of Half-Life 2 (and technically, they weren't). NVIDIA was caught with its pants down for basically cheating at Pixel Shader performance, but the company also said that Valve had failed to ask them about the matter."

 Epox 8HDA3 Review @ MetkuMods:

"Epox has taken brave leap forward and offers altogether six SATA ports in this particular motherboard model. There are also two network-controllers present, which are manufactured by 3Com and VIA. 3Com controller offers gigabit connection speed whereas VIA is only 10/100. Integrated audio features are carried out with VT8237 southbridges integrated AC97 audio controller and Realtek ALC655 audio codec. This combo provides lots of features and connectors but audio quality is probably not as good as it could be."

I'm going to run, folks!  Check back a little later, I'm sure we'll have some more of the good stuff for you.  Peace.

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