Gaming Rigs, Mobos, Memory, Overclocking and More!

Good morning everyone.  I know you stopped by for your latest dose of news this AM, and it is a big one.  We had a slew of interesting articles sitting in our inbox covering the hardware spectrum, from memory, motherboards, P4 overclocking and a contest for some free memory too.  So pour yourself an extra large one, this is going to take a little time to get through.  

FIC Condor SFF @ Viper Lair:

"FIC put together a nice little barebone PC, but missed on some important features that enthusiasts have come to expect. While it's no slouch in gaming, it does not stand out in the performance department which is a shame as the design itself was well thought out. A change in motherboard and PSU selection is certainly in order, and hopefully FIC thinks about this with their next Condor revision."

Swiftech MCP650 Pump and MCRES-525 Reservoir @ Systemcooling:

"I've had the pleasure of reviewing several of Swiftech's water cooling and water cooling related offerings over the last few months. All of them impressed me with their quality and ease of use. When Tommy informed me that Swiftech had offered us their brand spanking new reservoir and their newest 12v pump, I jumped at the chance to review them. Both of these parts play an integral part in Swiftech's current water cooling kits, so let's see if they improve over their forbearers and are worthy of your hard earned cash."

Designtechnica Reviews the Compaq GX5000Z Desktop Gaming System:

"Compaq has developed a formidable contender with their X series gaming systems. The GX5000Z system we reviewed proved to be both fast and reliable. We love the fact that Compaq is using OEM parts from major manufacturers like MSI, Samsung and Creative Labs. This separates the Compaq X series apart from others such as Gateway and Dell because it allows their system to be upgraded with extreme ease. In essence, Compaq has built you a system using the same off-the-shelf parts that you can purchase yourself. They build the system for you, test it and then sell it for a few hundred dollars less than you would pay building the system yourself. Top it off with a one-year warranty through Compaq, and you are good to go."

The Tech Report has an article on Overclocking the Pentium 4 520 2.8GHz to 3.57GHz:

"I got an extra 770MHz out of my Pentium 4 520 2.8GHz, which is quite comfortable running at 3.57GHz with stock air cooling—not bad for a chip that costs less than $160. Could a little help from the overclocking fairy make the Pentium 4 520 2.8GHz a formidable contender against the Athlon 64? Read on to find out."

Hardware Avenue has today reviewed the ASUS WL-HDD 2.5:

"No bigger, if not smaller than a normal Access Point, this handy device takes a standard 2.5" HDD and shares it wirelessly to an existing wireless network. But that's not all, it can also act as a fully featured Access Point with WDS support, a FTP server and a USB thumbdrive reader just to name a few. Find out how it fairs in the full review."

NVIDIA PCI-Express GeForce 6800 GT @ Bjorn3D:

"PCI-Express video cards have been available for a little while now, but the high-end cards are not widely available yet. ATi's Radeon X800 and X800 XT cards are starting to show up on e-tailers' virtual shelves, but the newest NVIDIA card you'll find in retail form is a GeForce 6600 GT. Demand for PCI-Express cards probably hasn't been really high yet, though. However, now that nForce4 is about to hit the streets, I'm sure we'll see a spike in demand."

Corsair TwinX1024 PC4400C25PT dual channel memory kit @ AMDZone:

"The platinum (PT) version of the memory comes in an attractive silver which should match any color scheme in your computer. If silver is not your style, Corsair has Henry Ford's favorite color: black. The heat spreaders help dissipate heat which aids in overclocking. It also gives the memory an attractive amount of weight. I find installation of memory with heat spreaders to be a little easier, due to the reduced amount of exposed components."

Patriot 1Gb Kit PC3200 Low Latency GiveAway @ Madshrimps:

"Thanks to PC-Memory-Upgrade we are able to give away 1Gb of free memory to one of our readers, all you need to do is answer one simple question and send us the answer, near the end of this month the lucky winner will be drawn from the correct entrees!"

The Foxconn 8EKRS2 Motherboard reviewed at

"Solid stable performance with a no frills design about sums up what this motherboard is about. Everything you would probably ever need is built into the design, but no wireless LAN, very limited PATA/SATA options and basic overclocking options make this a worthy board in the mid level market as it does have all the basics, its just not a board an enthusiast is going to gawk at any time soon. Plain Jane, but that's okay for some."

Ultra Dual Channel 1024MB PC3200 DDR Memory Review @ BigBruin.Com:

"When you purchase "performance" RAM, overclocking is usually a major selling point.  The published timings of 2/3/2/5 only carried up to 420MHz DDR, and from there adjustments were required to keep the system stable. At 440MHz DDR, the timings had to be relaxed to 2.5/3/3/8, and I was able to hit a maximum overclock of 450Mhz DDR with the same timings."

That's all for now.  Going to start the weekend early this time around, turning 35 on Sunday!  Damn, it doesn't seem that long ago that I was yearning for 21 so I could buy a beer!  Getting old...