The spectacular performance of the Intel Core 2 processor has sent shockwaves through the industry. The surprisingly massive increase in performance has taken most observers by surprise. In this month's PC Authority, we cover the new Core 2 technology and exactly why it's been able to topple the incumbent performance leader, AMD, from the throne.
If that's not enough, then we've also got a bumper Labs section this month, covering an enormous range of bleeding-edge notebook computers, from a group test of slim, light ultraportables, to reviews of new HD-DVD and Blu-Ray models from Toshiba and Sony, respectively. But we didn't stop there. We also covered the latest and greatest compact digital cameras, which is must-read information for camera buyers, with models priced as low as $420.
We've also got coverage of the first outrageously fast 802.11n wireless routers and the amazing 22 inch LCD monitor from Chimei, which retails for under $600. Finally, for some future-proof reading, we've got an in-depth feature on the future of processors -- beyond today's dual-core and extending into the dazzling future of molecular computing and nanotechnology.
I hope you enjoy the issue.
Editor, PC Authority
Your guide to this month’s cover discs. Full Version SoftwareParagon Disk Wiper 7.0 Personal SE
Did you know that information can be recovered from your hard drive even after it is deleted? The only way to remove the magnetic remnants of erased data is to over-write the area on disk many times over. This is the kind of precaution that military and secret Government departments use to ensure that information is destroyed (short of incinerating the drive itself). Protect your sensitive files, contacts and personal information from falling into the wrong hands by fully wiping out the information with Paragon Disk Wiper 7.0 Personal SE. Sun StarOffice 7
An evolution of the open-source, no-support package OpenOffice, StarOffice offers more rounded compatibility and a genuine support package staffed by real humans, allowing you to rely on it more heavily as a core business tool. You don’t want to get snagged with a niggling technical hurdle when your clients are impatiently waiting for a result. WS_FTP Home 2006
One of the oldest and best known file transfer applications in the world, WS-FTP is a solid, reliable tool with a simple interface that gets the job done in a businesslike fashion. It also supports virtually every form of FTP connection and protocol, allowing you to concentrate on the job at hand, rather than fiddling with connection configuration details.SnagIt 7
Snagit is a popular tool for capturing screenshots and video files from windows sessions and applications, DVD movies and games. With a wide range of configurability, it’s perfect for capturing images for use in presentations, reports or on the web. MP3 Music Samples
On the PC Authority discs, enjoy free music samples from Australian music artists. This month, we’ve got five tracks from our featured artist, “Princess One Point Five”. DISK INDEXDISC 1
-----------------------Full Version Software
Ashampoo Privacy Protector 2005
East-Tec Eraser 2006 Lite
Paragon Disk Wiper 7.0 Personal SE
WS_FTP Home 2006 Freeware
ActualDoc Standard 3.5
Adobe Reader SpeedUp 1.35
Allway Sync 4.5.3
Arovax AntiSpyware 2.01
Bandwidth Monitor Lite 2
Cerberus FTP Server 2.4 BETA 3
DynDNS Updater 126.96.36.199
EditPad Light 6.01
Eusing Free Registry Cleaner 1.1
Express Talk 2.0
FastStone Capture 3.2
Fresh Download 7.36
Fresh UI 7.60
Gizmo Project 188.8.131.52
Kana Launcher 184.108.40.206
Local Website Archive 1.24
PhoneTray Free 1.23
PrettyMay for Skype 220.127.116.11
ReNamer 4.00 RC1
Schmap Player 1.0
Startup Delayer 2.2.66
Tidy Start Menu 3.0
Visual Task Tips 2.0
Whats Running 2.2
WildBit Viewer 4.6
Ad-aware SE Personal 1.06
Adobe Reader 7.0.8
AVG 7.1.394 Free Edition
EditPad Pro 6.0.1
Google Desktop Search 4
NOD32 Antivirus System 2 (9x)
NOD32 Antivirus System 2 (XP)
Spybot Search & Destroy 1.4
True Launch Bar 3.2
WinRAR 3.60 beta 4
WinZip 10.0DISC 2
Rush for BerlinOzMusic
Featured Artist - Princess One Point FiveInternet
AOL Instant Messenger 5.1
Crazy Browser 3.0 Beta2
Google Toolbar 4.0.513.2948 Beta
Mozilla Firefox 18.104.22.168
Mozilla Thunderbird 1.5
MSN Messenger 7.0 (98/ME)
MSN Messenger 7.5 (XP)
Portable Firefox 22.214.171.124
ServerQuery 1.94.02 Beta
Trillian Basic 3.1
ZoneAlarmPatches / Updates
Ad-aware reference file
ATI Catalyst 6.2 driver suite (98/ME)
ATI Catalyst 6.6 Control Center Package (XP)
AVG Free Edition Updates
Norton AntiVirus definitions update
NVIDIA Forceware drivers 81.98 (95/98/ME)
NVIDIA Forceware drivers 91.31 (2000/XP)
Spybot Search & Destroy Update
VIA HyperionPro drivers 5.09A
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. As the delivery platform only, PC Authority and Haymarket Media cannot and will not provide support for any of the software or data contained on these discs. Although all discs are virus scanned, Haymarket Media cannot accept any responsibility for and loss, damage or disruption to your data or computer system that may occur while using the discs, the programs or the data on them. There are no explicit or implied warranties for any of the software products on the discs. Use of these discs is strictly at your own risk.
A very fast computer with decent features at a great price, whether for gaming or an all-round powerhouse
A cool, quiet and capable mini-PC that should agree with your budget.
The latest initiative to revolutionise your digital media has arrived - this time from AMD
A simple, sleek solution for anybody with two PCs and no space to spare.
Buffalo is first to show off the recently ratified Draft 802.11n specification, but the Nfiniti doesn’t really showcase its talents
Canon's reign over the compact digital camera market looks set to continue with this offering.
The Ixus 60 delivers superb image quality and is beautifully designed and built.
Offering good quality images, this highly compact camera is a fine alternative to the award winners.
Looks cheap but performs very well. At this price it’s a steal.
In space, no-one can hear you scream "why can't they just make it like Elite?!"
Fast action; neat RPG elements; huge galaxy
Repetitive; linear; dull storyline and voice acting
Whisper quiet, well built and well designed, but a lack of power and expandability will keep enthusiasts away.
Sequel to 'The Longest Journey' takes adventure gaming into the new frontier.
Is the next generation flat screen technology worth waiting for?
The only compact to offer aperture and shutter priority, but overall quality is unspectacular.
Solidly built and packed with features, HP's flagship nx9420 is a very good notebook.
A small, classy padlock-style portable drive that's the same size as a Zippo.
It might lack style and cutting edge technology, but this 19" monster packs in power and features.
Although it takes great footage directly to a hard drive, it's being held back by a few problems.
Kaspersky's first integrated security suite relies too much on the anti-virus component.
Two external hard drives in lego-esque cases. One of them is worthy of our recommended stamp.
Out of the old, onto the new.
We find out where the new HD formats are heading from the industry experts.
Durable, powerful and packed with security features. A phenomenal ultraportable.
A well priced portable that doesn't skimp on features, and packs a suprisingly powerful punch.
The screen isn't great, but everything else about this notebook is very good indeed.
The L2 has limited shooting controls, but it’s capable of producing some great-quality shots.
An attractive, light and well-built camera, but it has average image quality.
Still the best choice for speed and security, but most new additions are eye candy.
Dual-core and FireWire may be missing, but Pacstar’s system offer’s more than we expected from a value PC.
A few quirks can’t detract from the fact that this system is fast and good value
A stylish, silent well-featured Media Center PC at a decent price.
Jon Honeyball gets close to the next bona fide beta of Windows, gets in deep with printer ink coverage and still finds time to buy some new computers.
750GB of storage. Backups may be problem.
Cheaper than ever, and just as compelling.
Taking great photos in most situations, the DSC-W50 is a bargain at this price.
A minor update to the W800i, this phone boasts a wealth of features and an intuitive interface.
The format wars continue as Blu Ray comes to a monster laptop at a monster price.
It's expensive, but the YES Box successfully marries high-end and consumer features in a flexible and scalable device.
AM2 power at this price is a boon. But 3D performance is average and it’s very noisy.
Technically competent but repetitive and dull, Diablo turns in its grave.
A miniature GPS that mimics almost all the functions of its excellent Big Brother.
A stunning way to enjoy HD DVD, but the wonderful design and features come at a price
Is Ubuntu's latest release capable of meeting its lofty support goal?
HDV support and seven video tracks make this a massive upgrade, but only for the plus version.
If you don’t fancy giving the Registry a health check yourself, plenty of tools will clean it up for you.
It took less time to fight and win the second world war than to develop Windows Vista. Tim Dean looks at all Microsoft has achieved in that time.
Prepare to say goodbye to the Pentium as we reveal the next generation