Random Access Thoughts

Plugging Video Cards

There seems to be two battles going on in the video card wars.

First, you have nVidia and ATI trying to up the one-up each other by raising the speed of the GPU in its top running model (overclockers, remember, that’s your overclocking room they’re playing with).

The second, which may actually have more of an effect (at least with this audience) is the battle of the plugs. All the ATI cards are being alleged to need just one additional power plug, while the top end nVidia is supposed to need two.

Others have said that only the very top-end new nVidia card requires two plugs, and that the lesser cards only need one.

While this may well be true for the low-end card, which runs much slower than the king of the hill, what happens when you try to overclock the medium card, which has default specs fairly close to the two-plugger? Seems to me that could represent a problem.

The Engine Is Ready, But The Fuel Isn’t

Dual-layer DVD recorders are beginning to be introduced, and the trickle should turn into a flood in upcoming weeks.

The problem is these recorders are all dressed up with no place to go.

Up to now, emphasis has been put on the likely very high cost of such media for quite some time to come.

However, some of the threads in this forum indicate that current media seems to have a more fundamental problem, as in not working right.

Given the projected improvement in the recorders over the next six months, combined with a much swifter drop in recorder prices that we ever saw in the earlier stages of CD-recorders, it seems silly to buy a dual-layer recorder now, and probably not for at least another six months.

A Horse Too Far?

Right now, the overclocking chip of note has been the mobile Barton. Unfortunately, many people have ended up being disappointed with it.

There’s nothing wrong with the chip itself. It does a little better than previous desktop Bartons, and it still lets you change multipliers, which is no longer possible with the desktop versions.

We think the reason for the disappointment is mostly because the wrong people are buying it.

If you are building a new system, or have fallen way behind the curve, this is a good inexpensive basis for an upgrade.

However, if you already have a TBredB and Barton system already running at 2.2 or 2.3 or a little better, this just isn’t going to do very much for you. Yes, it’s only about $100, but spending $100 to get maybe a 5-10% improvement is a bit expensive.

It gets grossly expensive when you find out your mobo or memory isn’t quite up to it, and you end up replacing that, too.

I know, this seems to be the only game in town. It’s frustrating, but don’t let frustration make you waste money. Don’t guild the lily; wait for a substantial improvement before spending your money.


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