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|Computer Hardware and Software Reviews|
"As I search for a video card with maximum performance and value, I spot the 3dfx® Voodoo3 3500 TV on the horizon. The card appears to have it all but does it. ATI®'s Rage Fury sports the power of 32MB's of RAM and 32bpp color (True Color). And let us not over look Diamond®'s Viper V770
Ultra which also is gunning for 3dfx with 32bit rendering as well as an astonishing 2048x1536 maximum resolution."
Will the 3500 support 32bpp? Only internally
What will the maximum resolution be the same, 1600x1200, as the current Voodoo3 card? Will the Voodoo3 supported card blow TNT2 and Rage Fury out of the water when it arrives in July? Will it be able to take full advantage of AGP 4x and higher (coming third quarter this year from Intel®)? Is the Voodoo3 3500 TV going to be able to meet my demands?
A Closer Look:
Neither the ATI® nor the Diamond® card support radio and TV input on the same card (ATI requires a secondary daughter card). The numbers Diamond uses when comparing their V770 to 3dfx's 3000 are assuming you have AGP 4x (not out yet). Why the unfair comparison? Your graphic adapter's performance is limited by the system it in installed in.
Voodoo3™ 3500 TV Product Fact Sheet
|The Intel® SE440BX-2 motherboard has stolen
my heart. This rock solid Slot One motherboard is one of the most trusted and rated in the
industry. The SE440BX-2 is a great value. Unlike several motherboards I have been
encountering, the USB ports actually work on the SE440BX-2 (note: Windows98 is required).
The on board Yamaha PCI sound found on the SE440BX can be disable (so you can install your
new Creative Labs SoundBlaster Live! or Diamond® MX300).
For those of you who want to save a few bucks, you can order the SE440BX-2 NA.
A word of caution: Not all PC100 memory work on Intel® motherboard. Be sure to check with Intel's tested memory list.
|Alas poor FreeTech. It appears the FreeTech
website will never be complete. It has been under construction for well into a
month. For those of you looking for support for FreeTech products, please
point your web browser to http://www.flexus.nl/.
|A note to those reading reviews and comments below this text. My comments and reviews are based on the information I had at the time I wrote them and my experience I had with the current products. As new products surfaces and companies change so do my opinions. I have left the comments below simply as a referance to see how my views develop.|
|I strongly support FreeTech for their excellent Main Boards. I have found their boards to be fast and reliable. FreeTech boards use an Award BIOS and real (not cloned VXpro and TXpro) Intel chipsets. Another nice thing is they come with the PS/2 port and most cables you will need to get going.|
|I use Adaptec SCSI controllers for a reason. They rule! Adaptec controllers are fast and reliable. They are also easy to setup. Please do not use 2920 cards because they were not created by Adaptec. They are a card designed by another company and just absorbed into the line. I recommend using a 2940 if you are just starting out. 3940's are great but are also a huge investment. I know I'd have a 3940UW if I had the money. True 64bit cards are on the way. Go read about them at http://www.adaptec.com .|
|All of my hard drives used to be EIDE Western Digital's. I had purchased WD because at the time they were the only drives I trusted to keep my data safe. I couldn't afford SCSI drive. I would have love someone dropping an IBM, HP, Seagate, or Conner drive on my lap.|
|You may have noticed two of my computers don a Creative Labs sound card. One has a Sound Blaster 16 and the other has an AWE64. The reason for this is in DOS Sound Blaster is the most accepted by games (Adlib use to be a game standard). Now every sound card you see is "sound blaster" compatible. You do pay extra for a true Sound Blaster. Windows 95 more forgiving with new PnP sound cards.
If you are looking for a good sound card but don't want to spend the money for the Creative Labs name, I recommend buying an ESS. The Newer ESS models are easy to install and setup. Many compatible sound cards take up to 4 IRQ's. This is not acceptable in PC with large number of devices. ESS uses a minimum number of IRQ's making them more desirable.
|I chose Microsoft
Windows 95 SR2.5 w/ IE4.01 SR1 as an operating system. I know "chose" isn't
exactly the word I should use; however that's what I am using. I love DOS especially
version 6.22. I was one of the last of my friends to start using Windows3.11. DOS was
still faster and I didn't need to take my hands off my beloved keyboard. Then I discovered
I needed Windows for my scanner. I also I found I could run multiple DOS prompts though
Windows. I quickly learned the keystrokes along with every possible way to hack Windows
apart. I modified everything. I downloaded hundreds of utilities to change the appearance
and add features. Some of my personal favorites were: ALL-3D (which gave all of the
dialogs a 3D look); DOS BAR (which made DOS boxes look like the ones in Win95); NewDATE
(let you set the date attribute to what ever you wanted); MyGroup(assigned custom Icons to
your Groups); MOB4WIN(added a customizable button bar to all of your windows); Plicon (a
Control Panel applet for Windows that gives you control over the position of minimized
I started running a BBS and heard of all the wonderful things OS/2WARP did. Just for fun I purchased a copy of OS/2 version 3. Oh my goodness. This was not DOS. What a mess. I respect IBM for there PC's back in the days. And IBM's Mainframes Rock. WARP was nothing like what I expected. My hardware was not supported. It just would not install. I used my entire 30days of free tech support just to get it installed. And, of course, nothing ran in OS/2. Again, Microsoft won and I converted back to DOS & Windows.
Then along came Windows95. I saw several Beta's and was intrigued but was not impressed. Release 1 finally came out. I stuck with Windows 3.11. Time went by and I tried Windows95. It seemed bugs to me. It crashed a lot and most definitely needed more than the box said. At the time I was running with at least 16MB of RAM and a Pentium 120. Again, I went back to Windows3.11.
When the much hush-hushed SR2 of Windows 95 came out I was finally happy with it. Drivers had been developed for 95 now by many of the hardware companies. SR2 is by far more stable than Windows3.11. I can do almost anything in it. Sure I have added a lot to it. Power Toys did tons. I like it.
What about Windows 98? Well I have the BETA at work. I wouldn't pay $90 for the upgrade. It looks like IE4 and runs like 95 SR1. The install program is pretty and some LAN features were added. When the final release it out I'll let everyone know what I think of it then. For now my answer to "should I upgrade when it comes out" is NO!
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Last updated: June 15, 1999