Hardware [M]adness in 2005: Looking Back

Others/Editorials by SidneyWong @ 2005-12-28

Another year has passed, how time flies! Our Madness continues to search for higher performance PC products at affordable prices. Let?s look back at what has happened in 2005 and what we can look forward to in 2006.

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Hardware Madness 2005

We are a year older and our [M]adness continues in search for better performance PC products. The battle fronts were as fiercely as ever before in between Intel & AMD, ATI versus nVidia, Water cooling against Giant Air Cool Heat Sink and Dual Core Processors match with Single Core. Enthusiasts were delighted to sort for AMD X2 and discovered AMD had yet another ACE card the Opteron 144 and 165.

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| Upgrade to Athlon 64 | Trapped under ICE: FX-55 Overclocking | Overclocking Pentium M |

A fantastic year what AMD has given us. One after another product releases that exceeded the previous in terms of performance and thermal characteristic; AMD continues to excite the enthusiasts quarter after quarter in 2005. The Venice, the San Diego, the X2 and suddenly the Opteron in S939 in both single and dual cores, only to be supplemented by the great success of nVidia NF4 chipset to drive the otherwise unexciting year.

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| Asus P5ND2-SLI Overclocking | Albatron K8 Ultra-U Pro |

Intel might have been awakened from a long nightmare; if not from the alarm siren headline “Intel is being sued by Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) for anti-competitive practices”. Steps are being taken in Intel product lineup in reducing power consumption. Traditionally, noises from PC enthusiasts are seldom heard by NASDAQ gurus. The year 2005 made the difference. Perhaps, some of us are getting older; acquiring more knowledge in finance than ever before. We are no longer young hobbyists, but professionals in many key industries. Let’s hope Intel will deliver what we want in 2006, surprise us for a change in a good way.

Our dissatisfaction with ATI paper launch together with “deliver what is promised” by nVidia has certainly turned the industry focus. Perhaps, Intel could feel for ATI and provided the much needed help in offering ATI the chipset contract to save the year. How could we forget NV6600GT, 6800GS, 7800 series video cards releases in 2005? We could touch the cards the day they were released against the Read Only ATI products second year in a roll. The long awaited Xbox360 sold out days before Christmas signaled the new wave of upcoming new games.

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| nVidia 6600/6600GT Tested | Gigabyte 6600 Turbo Force | Club 3D Geforce 7800GT Overclocked |

The high expectations of DDR2 and BTX driven by Intel two years before did not make much inroad. There is not much of a response based on my own observation in every DDR2 product review. With DDR2 price dropped; and complaints from foundries in low profit margin, DDR2 will have to look for better days in 2006.

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| A64 S939 DDR1 Roundup | DDR2 Memory Roundup | Return of the MushkinG | 7-Way G.Skill DDR1 Roundup |
| Bursting the A64 Bandwidth Bubble | Crucial Tracer DDR2 on C19 Tested |

BTX form factor will be solely relied on how well DELL sales in the months ahead if I am not mistaken. With DELL carrying AMD processors in the last few months of the year; who could guess what had gone through Michael Dell’s mind that Intel is not the only processor producer.

At [M], we strive to give you the best Heatsink roundups. 2005 is no exception, many thanks to our sponsors in providing us the product samples and their continuous dedication in the enthusiasts market. We examined more memory modules and power supplies than previous year when DDR1 reached the highest performance level in terms of speed and low latency corresponding to AMD S939 NF4 blistering drive; the industry hope in DDR2 success and the ever power hungry video cards and Intel Processors adapting 24-pin main together with more focus on silent power supplies.

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| Intel S775 HSF Roundup | Intel S478 HSF Roundup |
|A64 HSF Roundup Q2 2005 | A64 HSF Roundup Summer 2005 | A64 HSF Roundup Winter Holidays |

Whatever 2006 will bring us, AMD socket M2 in DDR2 and faster dual cores or Intel’s return with lower thermal loss products matching AMD in performance and pricing; ATI besting nVidia in real products; break through in Heatsink materials from innovative engineering; SLI and Crossfire battleground redefine; Microsoft Windows Vista, I am confident that our fellow product reviewers and websites will have another busy year.

We like to give thanks to all the dedicated people who work diligently to meet deadlines in our field; most importantly to our readers who come to our website and forum daily and share their experiences with us.

Wish you all a very Happy New Year, and a prosperous year ahead.

Madshrimps (c)

Question/Comments: forum thread
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