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What's Hot, Whats Not
What's Hot,  Whats Not - PCSTATS
This week's edition of What's Hot, What's Not focuses on what Gamers are getting these days. If you're a Gamer, have a look and see what the hottest components of a Super Gaming System are!
Filed under: Editorial Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCSTATS Apr 10 2000   B. Ly  
Home > Reviews > Editorial > PCSTATS

Sound Cards, Speakers and Hard Drives

It's true that most gamers only worry about frame rates (CPU, Video, BUS, RAM) and ping times (high speed internet - cable or xDSL.) But having a good soundcard can't hurt at all. As usual, the Creative SoundBlaster Live! Value OEM $70 CDN ($48 USD) is selling very well. I like this card because it is stable, sounds great, and its compatibility is high. The perfect companion to the SoundBlaster Live! Value OEM is the Creative FPS 2000 Speakers $189 CDN ($130 USD.) It comes with a DIN connector for a digital connection to the SoundBlaster Live Value OEM soundcard, and offers great sound quality at a reasonable price.

Hardcore Quake III gamers are probably using stereo headphones. With stereo headphones, I get superior stereo separation and my ability to discern sounds coming from the left and right channels are greatly enhanced. Most importantly, having a good pair of headphones allows me to frag late at night without waking up my parents.

Since Aureal has now gone bankrupt, the sales of Aureal-based soundcards have essentially died with the company. We can't seem to sell any of them.

Hard Drives

Every gamer requires two things from a hard drive: the first is to be large enough to store all of the big installation files that come with installing any modern game or application. Secondly, this hard drive should also be fast, so that we don't have to wait very long for anything.

In the previous edition of "What's Hot, What's Not ," the Quantum KA/X (IDE hard drives) lines were in the lead. However, this week we see a changing of the guard, Quantum's new "LM" series of drives are here, and gamers and general computer users are purchasing them at a rapid clip. These "LM" drives bring over the nice features that the KX line had (large platters, 8.5ms minimum access time, and 7200rpm rotational speed, as well as blazing fast performance) but most importantly, the memory cache has been increased from 512KB to 2MB (10ns ram module.) The "LM" drives are priced attractively since the 10.2GB, 15.3GB, and 20.5Gb models are priced at $194, $225, and $260 CDN ($134, $155, $179 USD) respectively.

Are there any alternatives? The IBM equivalent (benchmarks show that the IBM hard drives are a little bit slower) hard drives are only a few dollars less than the Quantum LM drives at the same size. IBM 7200 RPM, 2MB cache (50ns ram module,) 20.5GB IDE hard drives are going for $252 CDN ($174 USD.) Therefore, the 20.5 GB Quantum LM drive allows you to get a faster drive, with a more popular brand name for a measly $8 CDN ($5 USD) premium.

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Contents of Article: PCSTATS
 Pg 1.  What's Hot, Whats Not
 Pg 2.  Video Cards and Monitors
 Pg 3.  — Sound Cards, Speakers and Hard Drives
 Pg 4.  RAM, ROMS and Conclusions

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