Friday, April 11, 2008

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Canon to release its digital camera with lens shift-type Image Stabilizer

Canon is going to release its digital camera ‘IXY DIGITAL 20IS’ in Japan market, which features its lens shift-type Image Stabilizer(IS) system. It is equipped with DIGIC III image processor, 8M CCD sensor and 3X optical zoom lens.

Supporting up to 30fps in 640 x 480 resolution and ISO 1600, it comes with five different colors including Silver, White, Caramel, Brown and Pink.

Measuring 86.8 x 22 x 54.8mm at 125g, it is expected to be available in early March for 35,000(JPY).

Dell to present 30-inch UltraSharp 3008WFP monitor

Dell presented an award-winning 30-inch UltraSharp(TM) 3008WFP monitor during CES 2008 which was demonstrated at last year's CES as a concept product.

It features 30-inch display with amazing 2560 x 1600 native resolution. The fast 8 ms response time (grey-to-grey), and incredible 3000:1 dynamic contrast ratio lets you view images, documents, graphics and video with extreme detail, vivid color and fluid motion.

ASUS to present its silent and stylish pc 'Essentio CS5110

ASUS presented its silent and stylish pc 'Essentio CS5110' during CeBIT 2008, which features its slim design with glossy dark and satin finish. Reflecting the latest trend, the Essentio CS5110 also supports 802.11n and Bluetooth 2.0.

< AVING Special Report Team for ‘CeBIT 2008’: Publisher and Editor, Min Choi, Kevin Choi, Jason Lee, Joshua Shim, Caleb Ma, Danyan Yu >

Monday, March 10, 2008

Top 5 Gaming Desktop PCs

1) Xi MTower IGE-Stacker

The impressive MTower IGE-Stacker from Xi Computer proves once again that you don't need to move to quad-core computing--or take out a bank loan--to obtain a desktop system capable of winning performance.

This dual-core unit's performance surpassed that of the quad-core power and gaming systems we recently tested, and earned a record-breaking score of 139 in our WorldBench 6 Beta 2 test suite; the previous high was the CyberPower Gamer Infinity Ultimate's score of 129. Better still, at $3299 (as of September 12, 2007), it's one of the least expensive power-oriented PCs we've seen of late.

The MTower is equipped with Intel's fastest dual-core processor to date, the 3-GHz Core 2 Duo E6850, which Xi overclocks to 3.3 GHz (and covers under warranty). The CPU also boasts a faster frontside bus speed (1333 MHz) than its dual-core forebears had (1066 MHz). Using a single, 768MB EVGA GeForce 8800 GTX graphics board on an nForce 680i SLI-ready motherboard, our MTower was a racehorse in its graphics performance, earning the highest scores for most resolution settings among the four power systems we tested in the latest batch. For example, running at 1280 by 1024 resolution with antialiasing turned on in the graphically intensive game Far Cry, the MTower averaged 232 frames per second, compared with its rivals' average of 200 fps.

The MTower's black aluminum case (Cooler Master Stacker 832) features mesh grilles on both side panels as well as on the top and bottom sides. A hinged front panel conceals six external drive bays, two of which in our test model were occupied with a DVD burner and DVD-ROM/CD-RW combo player (but no multiformat card reader). Port connectors for USB, FireWire, and audio are sensibly located at the very top of the case, making them easy to access if the system sits on the floor. Additional USB and FireWire ports are provided on the back, but no parallel or serial ports for older devices are included.

The case's side panel and a second inner panel (featuring three of a maximum four 120mm fans) both come off easily without tools. The IGE-Stacker also has a liquid cooling system (Cooler Master Aquagate S1), and you can adjust its fan speed via a dial on the back of the rig (useful if you wanted to tinker with overclocking the processor yourself--though doing so would void Xi's warranty). As shipped, the liquid cooling of the MTower wasn't noisy or overly distracting, but I could definitely hear it humming along. Two of the four internal drive bays were filled with a pair of 150GB, 10,000-rpm Western Digital Raptor hard drives configured in a RAID 0 array, and of the four memory slots, two were occupied, giving our test machine a total of 2GB of DDR2 RAM. Our test model also offered two PCIe x16 and two PCI slots, but both PCIe x1 slots were unavailable: One was covered by the extrawide graphics card, and the other was blocked by the water cooler's adjustable dial bracket.

The bundled 22-inch wide-screen LCD, a ViewSonic VX2255wmb, delivered excellent color fidelity in both still and moving images, and readable text in small sizes. I also liked the convenience of its built-in microphone and 1.3-megapixel Webcam. The included Logitech Deluxe 250 keyboard and optical mouse were responsive but offered no extras; you may want to spend a few extra bucks on more versatile input devices.

If you don't require quad-core capability out of the box, the overclocked MTower IGE-Stacker offers top-flight performance and easy expandability at a very reasonable price.

2) CyberPower Gamer Infinity Ultimate

The Gamer Infinity Ultimate may lack the exotic looks and customized touches that uber-gaming systems from high-end boutiques like Voodoo and Alienware possess, but it makes up in function and price for any shortcomings in form. At $4399 as of March 16, 2007, including ViewSonic's VG2230WM (a $320, 22-inch, flat-panel display), the Gamer Infinity Ultimate costs thousands of dollars less than some gaming systems, yet delivers top-flight performance and first-rate hardware.

For gamers, performance is king, and the Gamer Infinity Ultimate qualifies as royalty. Its WorldBench 6 Beta 2 score of 129 was the highest of the eight power systems running Windows Vista that we tested recently. The Gamer Infinity Ultimate runs on Intel's latest quad-core, Core 2 Extreme QX6700 CPU, which CyberPower overclocked to 3.46 GHz. Notably, the system scored very well on the multitasking portion of WorldBench 6 Beta 2--second only to the Xi MTower IGE-SLI, which runs on Intel's dual-core Core 2 Extreme X6800 CPU.

Using dual SLI XFX GeForce 8800GTX graphics boards, our Gamer Infinity Ultimate scored very well: Frame rates while running Doom 3 and Far Cry were very high for most resolution settings; in some cases they were second only to the Xi MTower IGE-SLI, which used a single 768MB XFX GeForce 8800GTX graphics board.

In lieu of occupying an exotically sculpted case, our test PC came in a relatively staid Cooler Master CM Stacker 830 tower. Unlike many aluminum cases, the CM Stacker feels sturdy, and--as the name implies--it offers excellent cooling. Every face, including the bottom, has vents in it; and the interior holds five fans. Speed-hungry overclockers who aren't fans of liquid cooling systems will like the included Vigor Gaming Monsoon II CPU cooler, which combines airflow with a powerful Peltier cooler.

Data storage should be no problem for even the most inveterate digital packrats. Our review model came with two high-performance 150GB, 10,000-rpm Western Digital Raptor hard drives configured in a RAID 0 array, an additional 500GB hard drive, and a LiteOn Blu-ray DVD drive that can stores up to 25GB of content per disc. The $557 Blu-ray drive included with our test model is nice, but a frugal buyer could substitute a far less expensive DVD drive to lower the overall system cost. Gamers will like the Logitech G15 gaming keyboard, which carries its own LCD display for gaming stats plus 18 programmable buttons for gaming shortcuts.

Latches enable you to release both side panels for quick access to the case's interior, and the bank of four cooling fans located under one side panel pops off easily. You can add a card or drive without tools, but the bulky graphics cards block several of the expansion slots, and you have to remove a graphics card to reach the hard-drive bays.

The ViewSonic VG2230WM flat-panel display that accompanied our review unit displayed crisp details and rich colors, though we had to adjust the contrast to brighten the screen for DVD movie playback. Small type (6.8-point font) was sharp and readable at 1024 by 768 resolution.

The Gamer Infinity Ultimate may be expensive, but it packs a lot of value for gamers and power users who need speed, storage, and the ability to upgrade.

3) Alienware Area-51 7500

The impressive Alienware Area-51 7500 delivers strong performance and excellent features. At $6007 (as of July 11, 2007), it's the most expensive quad-core model we've tested thus far. You get a lot for your money, though. Our review system carried 2GB of 800-MHz DDR2 memory and Intel's 2.66-GHz Core 2 Extreme QX6700 quad-core processor, overclocked by Alienware to 3.2 GHz and kept stable with liquid cooling. It's the first overclocked Area-51 7500 system to come through the PC World Test Center. Alienware began overclocking the line only in March 2007; the company previously reserved such CPU tweaks for its premium ALX machines, in which pricey extras like liquid cooling and 1066-MHz RAM are standard. Alienware's adjustments helped the Area-51 7500 to a WorldBench 6 Beta 2 score of 125, a mark on a par with those of other overclocked gaming PCs and just four points behind the fastest PC we've tested to date, CyberPower's Gamer Infinity Ultimate.

The Area-51 7500 uses two 768MB EVGA GeForce 8800 GTX graphics boards in SLI mode, providing plenty of muscle and Direct X 10 gaming capabilities under its preinstalled Windows Vista Home Premium operating system. The Area-51 7500 averaged 165 frames per second on our Doom 3 test, versus the average of 143 fps set by the rest of the gaming PCs we tested. It averaged 187 fps on our Far Cry test at the same resolution settings, tying with the Gateway FX530XT but falling well behind the 202-fps result of the Dell XPS 720, which was equipped with a 768MB nVidia GeForce 8800 GTX board.

Our test system had plenty of storage, as well. Two 150GB, 10,000-rpm Western Digital Raptor hard drives were installed in a RAID 0 configuration, and the PC also had a 250GB, 7200-rpm Seagate drive. An additional unoccupied internal drive bay can accommodate yet another hard drive.

The Area-51 7500 has Alienware's signature imposing black case, with clean lines and a sizable footprint; unfortunately, its shiny plastic tends to show fingerprints easily. Closing the side panel entails maneuvering several metal tags into place before the panel clicks back into position. The fans in the case's removable side are powered by touch contacts instead of cables, so you can easily remove the side panel without having to unplug the fans first.

The system has backlit, front-mounted ports, including two USB 2.0 ports, a FireWire port, and microphone and headphone sockets. The system's Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer sound card pairs well with the bundled Logitech z-5300E 5.1 (280-watt) speakers. Our test system also featured Logitech's G15 gaming keyboard, which has a small LCD panel for showing game info or song titles, and Logitech's G5 mouse, which lets you add or remove small weights from its underside to get the right feel for your hand. The mouse has three settings for tracking sensitivity, with two buttons below the scroll wheel for attaining fast or precise movement.

Our test system's 24-inch wide-screen Dell UltraSharp 2407WFP LCD monitor produced attractive, bright, and sharp images, and showed smooth motion when playing back a movie DVD (though it needed some tweaking to produce optimum image quality).

The powerful, full-featured Area-51 7500 is great for gaming. For the high price, you get Alienware's thoughtful design and attractive styling--as well as DirectX 10 readiness.

4) Xi MTower IGE-SLI

Using the same components found in other high-end systems, Xi Computer builds PCs that regularly top our performance charts--and the MTower IGE-SLI Gamer (priced at $3655 as of March 16, 2007) is no exception.

Of the eight Vista-equipped power desktop systems we recently tested using the Beta 2 version of our WorldBench 6 test suite, the MTower earned the second-highest score--a mark of 127, just behind the 129 posted by the CyberPower Gamer Infinity Ultimate. The MTower cemented its gaming credentials by posting the top frame rates in our Doom 3 and Far Cry tests at various screen resolutions. Its mark of 204 frames per second while running Far Cry at a 1024 by 768 resolution beat the frame rate of its nearest competitor--the Gamer Infinity Ultimate--by more than 10 percent.

The MTower achieved this performance with a less-powerful processor and graphics card combo than the CyberPower used. The MTower sported a dual-core, 2.93-GHz Core 2 Extreme X6800 overclocked to 3.2 GHz and a single EVGA 8800 GTS graphics board. The MTower posted the top score on the multitasking portion of our WorldBench 6 Beta 2 tests, too.

The lesson: You may want to forgo a quad-core CPU and a second graphics board until more software can take advantage of these features. Fortunately, the MTower's nForce 680i motherboard gives you the option of waiting until later to upgrade; it supports Intel's new quad-core CPUs and can accommodate a second SLI graphics card.

The MTower's black midsize tower case isn't terribly stylish: A large window on one side reveals the system's innards bathed in an eerie blue light, but otherwise the exterior is standard fare. The unit came with a floppy drive; this may come in handy for BIOS upgrades or RAID installs, but most hardcore gamers would rather have a second DVD drive and a third hard drive to complement the two 150GB, 10,000-rpm Western Digital Raptor drives (which are optimized for performance in a RAID 0 array).

Unlike many water-cooled PCs equipped with SLI, the Cooler Master water-cooling system in the MTower is quiet and permits unobstructed upgrading. The case's cover pops off without balking to reveal an uncluttered, roomy interior. The presence of a single SLI graphics board helps avoid blocking the expansion slots (dual-card systems tend to make access more difficult). You may have to brush aside a few cables and cooling lines to reach the drive bays or RAM, but they are easy to reach, too.

I especially liked the Logitech MX3200 laser mouse and keyboard. The mouse has a pleasing ergonomic fit and lots of control buttons that aren't prone to accidental clicks. The keyboard includes a small LED screen and plenty of multimedia and other control buttons--among them, VoIP controls.

The $200, 22-inch Sceptre X22WG-Gamer flat-panel display delivered rich, colorful images in still graphics, game play, and DVD movie playback. Small (6.8-point) text was readable, though the edges of letters did blur slightly.

The MTower may not have the fancy looks of boutique PCs that cost thousands of dollars more, but it should satisfy any power user who wants fast performance and easy upgrading.

5) Polywell Poly P3503

At $3999 (as of September 12, 2007) bundled with a 22-inch LCD, the P3503 is a well-equipped system that includes a generous total of 650GB of hard-drive space and offers solid performance.

The model we looked at has a 2.93-GHz Core 2 Extreme QX6800 processor that Polywell has overclocked to 3.33 GHz (and covers under warranty), plus 2GB of DDR3 RAM. The company also offers the P3503 with Intel's 3-GHz QX6850 quad-core CPU for the same price as the QX6800.

Interestingly, however, even when competing with models using the QX6850, the P3503's overclocked QX6800 processor held up fairly well in our tests.

Running Windows Vista Ultimate in our WorldBench 6 Beta 2 test suite, the P3503 earned a score of 122, putting it a little behind the gaming-PC field's average of 126 but well behind the blazingly fast Xi MTower IGE-Stacker's WorldBench 6 Beta 2 result of 139.

Equipped with a single 768MB EVGA GeForce 8800 Ultra graphics board, the P3503 scored consistently well for all resolution settings in gaming performance. It ran at 180 frames per second in Doom 3 at 1280 by 1024 resolution, just beating competing models, including the Xi MTower IGE-Stacker.

The P3503's black, midsize-tower case has ventilation grilles on the front and side, both backlit with blue lights. The side panel comes off easily, and inside the case a water-cooling system and a copper heat sink help keep the system from overheating.

Our test machine came with a dual-layer DVD burner that supports LightScribe labeling (a silk-screen-like, high-contrast label on the top side of CD or DVD media), a DVD-ROM/CD-RW combo player, and a multiformat card reader, leaving three of the six external drive bays open. A Seagate 500GB hard drive and two Western Digital Raptor 74GB, 10,000-rpm hard drives occupy three of the four internal drive bays, and five open slots (two PCIe x1, one PCIe x16, and two PCI) are available for further expansion.

The P3503's Asus P5K3 Deluxe motherboard supports CrossFire graphics (using two CrossFire-compatible cards, not the SLI-compatible GeForce 8800 card in our test system), and it includes on-board wireless networking and an adjustable antenna. The P3503 also provides an ample number of ports on the front and back, including nine USB ports and two eSATA connections, but it lacks ports for serial and parallel peripherals.

The bundled Samsung SyncMaster 225BW wide-screen LCD was easy to adjust, and it displayed strong image quality with clear, readable text and colorful graphics, including great-looking Vista Aero features. The Logitech Premium Desktop keyboard and wireless optical mouse were both responsive, solid performers, but gamers may want devices with more programmable features.

The Polywell P3505 provides plenty of power and is a worthy choice for any power user.