NitroWare attended the Sydney COMDEX expo. Here is some of the more interesting products we saw.

Anyware / Lian-Li

One of their new model aluminium cases (PC-71) has externally removable 3.5 drive caddies accessible via a door in the bezel. These take up the otherwise empty space or fixed hd rack in the regular Lian-Li cases.

Having this feature negates having the front case fan however since your drives would be in the racks, and the door takes place of the front venting.

Alltech

On display was a water-cooled P4 Northwood running at sub 3Ghz with a X-Micro GF3Ti500. We were told his machinehad scored approximately 10,000 3D2k1 marks when in over clocked guise. Paired with this machine was an Samsung 210T LCD monitor (4:3 aspect), which had a very wide viewing angle and picture was quite legible when viewed side on. (Shrek DVD was being used for demonstration purposes)

Their other PC was a Dual AMD Athlon MP machine, which was Running Serious Sam 2 on a Samsung 240T LCD monitor (16:9 aspect). The difference between these screens was incredible and when viewed side by side the 16:9 model would be obvious choice.

Intel

Intel did not have a large stand this year and only had 4 coffee table sized podiums each manned by Representees by Intel and a Pentium4 powered notebook from each of companies shipping Pentium4 Notebooks. Most of the time was spent trying to convince passers by to apply an Intel tattoo. If the tattoo glowed from UV light then you won one of the laptops.

AMD

AMD had a large green stand which was opposite one of the Intel tables, AMD was promoting tatoos to counter Intel's promotion. On display was some Ferrari F1 merchandise since AMD is sponsor of that team now, some new Socket A Mainboards from tier 1 manufactures including AMD 762, Nvidia nForce 415/420, VIA KT333 and SiS. Samples of the latest AMD Athlon XP 2100+ and Duron were on display but there was no Throughbred or Hammer chips.

 

Kingmax

This Taiwanese company had their famous memory products on display ranging from SO-DIMM to the latest BGA DDR400 Sticks, in both Tiny and Long BGA package/module formats. Kingmax now is a distributor of Cyberlink's PowerDVD XP 4.0 as a OEM inclusion with Systems/Peripherals but this is just a 2 Channel version not the deluxe and does not decode multi channel sources to 4/5/6 Channels.

 

Protac

Protac is the only and the official Australian distributor of the PC-Chips group of Mainboard. On display was the famous Elitegroup (ECS)K7S5A SIS735 Mainboard, the P4S5A SIS645 Mainboard, and ECS P4M266 Mainboard, as well as PC-Chips branded SIS735 board.

While both these brands of Mainboard are identical, Protac covers ECS with a 2 Year warranty and PC-Chips with a 1 Year warranty.

We were informed that the K7S6A SIS745 Mainboard is expected to be available for Australia in about a month and that a newer board K7S7A is coming, chipset unknown at this time. No information was avalible on wether PC-Chips would be producing a socket 478 board utilising SIS645DX/SIS648. The SIS645DX is a S478 P4 chipset with DDR400 at 133FSB, The 648 is a DDR400 with AGP 3.0.

Head over to OC Workbench for more information as they have reviewed/previewed the 645DX reference board and ECS SIS745 based board.

Protac is also a distributor for other brands such as Chaintech and Ricoh. On display were SIS 305/315 based AGP cards as well as the GeForce4 MX. The Ti boards were not available in time for display at the expo. Ricoh optical products were represented in the guise of a DVD+RW drive.

Finally for Protac, the ECS branded notebooks were on display running 3D Mark 2001, however we noticed the brightness and viewing angle was not up to the standard of the other notebooks on display at the expo.

Ingram Micro

is a large distributor for computing products, they were show casing a new type of PDA, which was combination Win CE and mobile phone, all in a palm sized package. This was quite impressive and the LCD image was projected onto a screen with a mini version of IE showing yahoo, which was quite useable despite the resolution/screen size

 

Cassa IT distribution

Cassa Shared a stand with an server case distributor. Cassa has several Asus boards on display, notably A7N266-C nForce 415 with Dolby Digital MCP. They also had two models of Asus notebooks on display, A1 and B1 series.

The A1 has a glowing translucent keyboard and front panel(blue) It features hotkeys and CD controls which work in off mode. Powered by P3-850 or C700 with 64MB on board plus one SO-DIMM socket and featuring SIS630 chipset and graphics with 13.3 TFT 1024x768.

The B1 is aimed to a more professional market, P3-1000+, two SO-DIMM sockets, featuring biometric fingerprint scanner, hotkeys, SPDIF digital out, graphics by VIA Twister with 15/14" SXGA 1400x1040 TFT LCD, and LAN/V90 Modem, 1394 and Bluetooth, and more.

 

Asus USB memory keying also displayed, with a 'standard' clip to attach to an ID tag neck cord. Very impressive machine. Note the A1 has the translucency while the B1 doesn't, both silver.

Southern Cross Cable Networks

Southern Cross had a Net Cafe set up, with LCD terminals and a retro style coffee stand. The staff were dressed up in reflective silver uniforms and moved around on Roller blades. The terminals had direct connection to internet via the Expo's LAN (provided by Extreme networks) and Southern cross backbone. The international speed could have been faster but was speedy nevertheless.

The terminals has mIRC and Counter-Strike 1.0 Retail installed, so Selvan and I had a game. What was the score? I won 5-nil. This drew quite a crowd due to the sound from the speakers. Their coffee could have been better though.

Domes Technologies

This Australian Company produces case badges for electrical/electronic/computer/industrial areas as well as others corporate. Australian readers might remember them as the producer of the Overclockers Australia Case Badges. They had badges from almost all of the companies they have produced badges for, all of which were of exceptional quality. We couldn't find the OCAU badge in their display.

Domes included a sample badge with their information pamphlet, which is a red glossy seal. Their information claim that their product does not discolour, crack, or haze and is protected against ultra violent and cleaners/solvents

Atomic / PC Authority

Various prizes and gaming PC's were on display at this stand, though the main focus was selling discounted volumes of the two magazines as well as subscriptions. Set-up in one corner were two customised blaster PC's with Serious Sam 2 multiplayer gaming via the Audigy 1394 connection.

Reality Systems

Reality Systems occupied part of the PC Authority/Atomic stand and had a tubular steel sit in car cockpit with V8 Supercar style steering wheel/seat/pedals. This was to match the preview copy of EA V8 Challenge running on the pc in this steering wheel setup. The simulator was impressive but the game was even more impressive, very high quality texture filtering, and 3dmodels. The trees around Mt. Panorama circuit were realistic gumtrees and not 2D sprites

This was a preview copy as the retail version will be released in a few months time.

Symantec

While Symantec is well known for their software security and data integrity solutions they were promoting some hardware solutions at their stand. But not much as in display material mainly literature and sales representatives.

Overall the expo was much smaller than last year with some of the larger companies pulling out or having smaller representation.

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