In today’s latest trend, Small-Form Factor (SFF) systems are all the rage. The premise; pack as much crap into a small box. Well, in a turn of events, VIA Technologies has released two SFF boards designed not for the LAN Gamer, but the ‘media merging’ crowd – those that want a ‘HiFi deck’ that will play 200GB of MP3s, a jukebox of DivX films, etc. In our first real foray into the SFF world, we bring you an exclusive review of the EPIA V9000 motherboard . Here’s a snip:
“Now that the MHz race which drove the 90s has more or less lost its appeal, people are beginning to dream of getting more functionality from their PCs than just a beige box that you can play games on as well as watch DVDs. This is where the VIA EPIA V9000 takes center stage.”
FlexiGlow EL Cable & Standard Cold Cathode Kit Review
Branching off the end of the inverter box is a total of 5 wires, an
ON/OFF/Flash switch used to toggle modes. A dimmer knob is used to control
the level of brightness of the FlexiGlow Cable and a power connection
which plugs into a Molex Adapter. Two quick snap cables are designated for
attaching combined lengths of FlexiGlow from 1 to 10 meters. Exceeding
this limit will damage the inverter. FlexiGlow also emphasizes that the
inverters and EL cable are designed for exclusively indoor usage.
The 17" display size (actual) provides a good amount of screen real estate, especially when used at the native resolution of 1280x1024... Short of supporting digital input for use with DVI video cards, the ViewSonic VA720 is easy to recommend to those seeking an exceptional TFT LCD monitor providing crisp, clear images.
Overall, I loved this case. It has most of the features I would expect in a case of this size and price with very few flaws. I would highly recommend this case to anyone who wants a great case for mid-size server, file storage, water-cooling, or just plain low temperatures. If you want something for LANs, this case may not be for you do to its size. At $200, this case certainly isn’t cheap, but you get what you pay for. I will use mine for years to come.
Iwill's XP4 Mini-PC, cutting size but not performance
Many manufacturers have turned their attention to other properties of the PC, such as size and noise. Often sacrificing performance or reducing the number of upgrade options, such as free PCI or AGP slots, here's how Iwill's XP4 mini-PC performs.
The good old optical drive, the same one that served your countless optical needs, has just gotten better. I remember when I bought my very first CD-RW drive. I thought an 8x8x32 drive would suit my needs just fine and would never have to upgrade… That is, of course, until reality exposed its façade and technology decided to leave me behind in its dust! Nowadays you have at least 3 different devices, along with their various formats to choose from. More are expected to come as newer formats (DVD-R/W or DVD+R/W specifically) become “official” and/or developed. So far, “officially”, you have the run of the mill CD-ROM drives, the bit more fashionable CD-RW drives, and the ever so extravagant DVD-ROM drives; all of which are at your disposal in this day and age. Well, that just wasn’t gonna cut it. A new frontier was explored with the addition of CD-RW/DVD combo drives. It is, exactly what the name suggests, a combination drive consisting of elements from all three drive types. Now you can enjoy nearly all of the optical media available with one drive, hooray!