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Enermax MODU87 + (600W)

Enermax's new line of desktop PSUs indudes the natively cabled PROB7+ and the modular MODUB7+ series, both of which are available in 500-, 600-, and 700-watt models. In this review, we looked at the 600W MODUB7+. The MODUB7+ has an attractive gold and black casing with a prominent 140mm Twister-bearing fan covering the rop. The integrated SpeedGuard &n control ranges from 330 to 1,000rpm ro ensure the perfect balance between cool­ing and quiet operation, while HearGuard keeps your PSU's

fan running for up to a minute after shur­down to expend excess heat. One of the MODUB7+'s most notable features is its ability to run at B7 to 92% efficiency at almost any load, thanks to Enerrnax's new DHT (Dynamic Hybrid Transformer) technology, which uses dynamic, rather than static, frequencies, voltages, and conversions. For our tests, we built our MODUB7+ PSU into our PSU torture chamber the sysrem listed in the Test System Specs section. To Stress our system, we simul­taneously ran four instances of Prime95, looped 3DMark06, and played an audio CD on repeat, all continuously for about three hours.

Lenovo IdeaPad S 12


A 1O-inch nerbook may be fine for occasional use, but for prolonged typing or a lot less browser scrolling, you wan t at least a 12-inch screen. The 12.1- inch, 1,280 x 800 LCD in Lenovo's IdeaPad SI2 is a vast improvement over the more cramped 1 O-inch competition. The netbook's fuller keyboard is more usable, and it ships with the common specs you'd expeCt for Windows XP Home. At $449, it's a good deal for a functional ultramobile that is neither exceptional nor disappointing. The standout fearure of this S 12, though, is its VIA Nano UL V platform, our nrst serious challenger to the Atom­opoly. We threw PCMark05 and Pass­Mark's PerformanceTest 7 at the SI2 and an OCZ Neutrino based on the ubiquitous Atom N270. Despite the Neutrino having a slightly higher CPU clock (1.6GBz vs. the Nano ULV2250's l.3+GHz) and 2GB of 667 MHz DDR2 compared to the Lenovo's 1 GB, the SI2 clearly emerged as the better performer.

  The PCMark CPU Test Suite composite was 4% higher for VIA In PassMark's 3D Graphics Mark, VIA's inte­grated Chrome9 graphics crushed Intel's GlvIA 950, 89.6 to 20.9. Overall, the com­posite PassMark rating finished at 359.4 for the 12 and 183.8 for the Neutrino. The price to pay for VIA's superior per­formance is in battery life. Preferring a real-world test to the usual "abso I ute longest runtime" approach, we started with Lenovo's lowest power profile and kept adding whatever was necessary to

continuously view a stream from I-hilu at 50% screen brightness. The system shut down at 2 hours 57 minutes-not great but still acceptable for heavy hotspot usage. Ultimately, we had to give the S 12 a fair rating for being a fair netbook, but with VIA's platform undercutting the Atom equivalent by $50, the Nano itself is a great value in this space .


by William Van Winkle

SpeakerCom 360



We're all for hardware mat takes an outside-the-box approach. Wim mat in mind, meet ykos SpeakerCom 360 ($19.99), a mic/earbud combo for the Xbox 360 mat also integrates a speakerphone so everyone in proximiry can hear yom online opponent's angst. Technocel's upcoming Ear Vibe ($29.99), meanwhile, is hailed as "the first stereo headset [hat vibrates to the beat of your music." Whemer the ability to "literally vibrate when your tunes hit the low frequency bass" equals "the ultimate music listening

accessory" is up to you. Finally, beyond announcing that it's developing the Onza Professional Gaming Controller ($49.99) with mappable multifunction Hyperesponse buttons for faster, crisper Xbox 360 anion, Razer is working with Sixense Entertainment to develop a "revolutionary true-to­life, next-generation motion sensing and gesture recognition controller for PC gaming." The companies,

along with Valve, demoed the controller in January using Left 4 Dead 2. Razer President Robert Krakoff stated the end result will "fill me gap between consoles and PCs in terms of human interface devices

ViewSonic Seeks Your PMP Biz


We'll reserve judgment on ViewSonic's upcoming MovieBook VPD550T until it's officially released this spring, but if it flJ­fills its promise, we'll certainly throw an "attaboy" ViewSonic's way--especially considering the 8GB, 5-inch touchscreen (800 x 400) MovieBook will COSt JUSt $199.99 and include HDMI output at up to l080p. Throw in an impressive array of NV format sUppOrt (reportedly covering MPEG-4, VOB, AVI, DVD Video, MKV, W1vIV, MP3, W1v[A, AAC, OGG, DTS, and others), voice recording, microSD slot, and calendar/clock, and we're talking potential here. Also look for 8GB 5-inch VPD513T ($189.99; nOp) and 4GB 4.3-inch VPD403 ($149.99; 480p) versions .

ViewSonic VOT 1 32

in the '90s, the term "book PC" was a euphemism for a small form-factor PC that was about the same size as a book ... if the book happened ro be an unabridged Webster's dictionary. The View onic VOT 132 is a "nettop PC" based on the L.6GHz dual-core Atom 330 CPU and vidia MCP7A-ION graphics processor, and it's literally smaller than my kid's paperback copy of "Percy Jackson & The Olympians." The VOT 132 ai ms [0 put media and productivity computing in more places, not replace older, bigger PCS. ViewSonic bundles a mounting kit to snap the sys­tem OntO a monitor's VESA mount, mak­ing it a zero-footprint Pc. Alternatively, a stand comes included for vertical standing on a desk or shelf.

Sitring idle at a desk­top, the VOTI32 con­sumes only about 18W. Under a heavy bench­marking load, it peaked around 32W with the audible, but not obnox­ious, system fan running. Speaking of benchmark­ing, the VOTI32 refused to run 3DMark Vantage, bur it did complete a PCMark Vantage run (PCMark overall score: 1752; Mernories: 1369; TV and Movies: 1455; Gaming: 1532; Music 2090; Communications: 1399; Produc­tivity: 1569; HDD: 2734). We were moderately impressed with the unit's media playback capabilities.



Specs: CPU. 1.6GHz Intel Atom 330, 2GB DDR2, 320GB hard drive, Video outputs: DVI, HOMI, Ports. Gigabit Ethemet, 6 USB 2.0, S/PDIF out, analog mic, and stereo out, 802.11 b/g/n, Windows 7 Home Premium





DVDs looked excellent, as did pretty much all content up through nop. At full­screen, Hulu was hopeless­ly choppy, and YouTuhe 1080p video was unwatch­able on a 15Mbps FiOS conneccion. Interesringly, 1080p content loaded on the hard drive as well as our Seagare BlackArmor 440 NAS played flawlessly. Audio and HDMI Output quality were both impressively crisp and vibrant,

No, this is definitely not for 3D gaming. Bur for productivity and local media, the VOTI32 is a stylish, low­energy, space-saving alternative to con­vencional PCs.

by William Van Winkle

Alienware M 11 x

The AJienware M IIx isn't your typical gaming notebook. Whereas most so­called mobile gaming machines are rela­tively large and heavy and packed with battery-crushing hardware, the Alienware Mllx has an ultraportable form factor, weighs in at only 4.5 pounds, and is Out­fitted with a balanced mix of components that offers not only strong performance but also excellent mobility.

The machine is built around an 11.6- inch LED-backlit LCD, and it's appoint­ed with a slick, backlit

keyboard. A logo underneath the screen, an "Alien head" power switch, and a couple of accents at the front of the machine are backlit, as well-all customizable using Alienware's included AlienFX application.


The M 11x's build quality is top-notch. It features a sturdy metal shell, and the keyboard area has minimal Rex (if any at all). The touchpad/wrist rest area has a tex­tured matte finish that's comfortable and resistant to fingerprints, which keep the machine looking clean. The glossy screen, however, attracts flngerprin ts galore.

Using the Alienware M II x was an ab­solute pleasure.

the screen is very good (although not great), and the machine's form factor is large enough to allow for a near full-sized keyboard. Battery life is excellent for a machine with this much horsepower, and performance was sur­prisingly good. Gaming ar the panel's native resolution is a cinch for the vid­ia mobile GPU, even when using high­quality settings.

AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition

If there was any doubt in your mind that the core race hasn't cooled off, then the temporal proximity of AlvID's Thuban-based hexa-core launch and that of Intel's Core i7- 980X Extreme Edition should settle me matter. Based on the price of the Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition, you might deduce mat AlvID minks a six-core processor is for everyone. It's a noble position, for sure, but you'll have to read on to determine if everyone needs one.

Phenom II Plus 2

The Phenom II X6 1 090T Black Edi­tion is JUSt the latest ch ip to spring from AlvID's KI 0 architecture. Like with Intel's foray into six-core processors, mere's not much architecturally new here. AlvID stuck with irs 45nm SOl (silicon-on­insulator) immersion lithography process, which yielded a 346mm2 die. The socket AlvI3 chip features a 3.2GHz core fre­quency, integrated memory controller that supportS up to dual-channel DDR2- 1066 and DD R3-1600 memory, 512KB of L2 cache per core, 6MB shared L3 cache, and a 125WTDP.

AlvID also launched its 890FX chipset, which, together with the Phenom II X6 1090T, composes the Leo platform. The chipset supports HyperTransporr 3.0, SATA 6GBps, 32 PCI-E 2.0 lanes for graphics (two x 16 slots or four x8 slots), six x l lanes, and one x4 lane for peripher­als on me northbridge, and another two PCI-E lanes on the southbridge. The 890FX doesn't suPPOrt USB 3.0 natively, bur if the MSI 890FXA-GD70 is any indication, chips from Marvell or NEC will likely appear on 890FX boards and put those extra PCI-E lanes on the south­bridge to good use.



Turbo CORE

AfD's six-core dynamo in conjunction with any AlvI3 motherboard is capable of 

increasing the frequency available to three cores when running applications that don't scale well in parallel. Like Intel's Turbo Boost, Turbo CORE automatical­ly tells the underurilized cores to go idle while boosting the remaining cores' fre­quencies (to within the listed TDP) to process the poorly parallelized tasks more quickly. For the Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition, frequencies on the three running cores can max out at 3.6GHz. Bur, as a Black Edition processor, you can overclock the CPU to achieve me same results (or better). AlvID's OverDrive util­ity also lets you tweak the Turbo CORE,

i ncl using the number of cores to utilize and the clock frequency.

The Bottom Line

The difference between AMD's six-core and Intel's is night and day. But AlvID knows it and has priced the Phenom II X6 I090T Black Edition accordingly. Extreme mulritaskers and content creators who typ­ically run highly parallelized tasks, such as decoding, encoding, rendering, and image editing, will see real benefits here. With nonparallel tasks, Turbo CORE lends a hand on par wirh a healthy overclock. It's good to see mat A1vlD (like Intel before it) recognizes that throwing more cores at the software isn't the only answer, and we're happy to see the answer can be ours for comparatively lirde pocket change.

by Andrew Leibman