PC & Tech Authority Magazine Issue: February 2008
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Issue: 123 | February 2008

About PC & Tech Authority Magazine:

Australia's premier computer magazine, PC Authority gives you the facts, opinions and insight to make informed PC and tech purchasing decisions. Every issue is packed with the latest products, reviewed by an expert team of technical writers and guarantees more Aussie exclusives and first looks than any other Australian PC magazine.

Trusted for its reliable & objective product reviews, the foundation of the magazine is the comprehensive and thorough evaluations of every product tested by the tech team in our Labs. Its readers are both PC enthsusiasts at home and small-medium business decision makers at work.

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Current issue
Issue 123| Februray 2008

What's in the mag?

* XP vs. Vista
* Superguide to HTML & 3D graphics
* AMD Phenom
* Mobile browsing
* Unreal Tournament 3

What's on the DVD?
* McAfee Spamkiller 2006
* Panoweaver 3.01 Professional
* Timeshift Multiplayer
* Call of Duty 4
... and more ...

PLUS: Subscribe and you could win gear from Gigabyte! FIND OUT MORE INSIDE THE JANUARY ISSUE OUT NOW

In this month’s PC Authority we’ve some great features for you.
Vista is about to turn one year old but there’s still an enormous amount of controversy concerning its impact and, whether it’s actually better than its predecessor, Windows XP.

As contributor Tim Danton puts it, “A year on and it’s clear that there’s still a big security problem. In one month we installed security updates for Vista Gadgets, Media Player, Microsoft XML Core Services and Vector Markup Language.”

“Of course, Windows XP requires a similar number of monthly security updates. The problem for Microsoft is perception. Danton says, “Windows XP users are generally happy with their computers’ stability and security; if you asked Joe Bloggs how many security updates his system had installed in the past year, his guess would be no better than a stab in the dark. He might even guess zero, so transparent has the update process become.

So is it worth upgrading now – one year on? Read our Windows vs Vista feature to find out.

But that’s not all we’ve got this month. Bad news is also heaped on to AMD. Not only does its new quad-core Phenom processor leave us cold but its new top-end graphics card struggles to play the latest top-end games.

Speaking of games, it looks like the worlds’ armies won’t be using AMD Radeon graphics cards in their war machines. In this issue we look at the Road To War 2.0. Can we really expect real-life Unreal Tournament war bots to be driven from command centres across the globe? If you fancy doing that job, get the practice in now - you can play UT3 now in the safety and comfort of your own home. Buy the magazine this month to read our double-length review.

Nick Ross
PC Authority

What's on the Disc?

McAfee SpamKiller 6
Keep your PC in tip-top shape for 1 year, free!

Unreal Tournament 3
Fast-paced FPS action with bigger, badder weapons -- bring on the fragfest!

Play the entire first level of this ground-breaking game.

Disc Index

Full Version Software
Agnitum Outpost Firewall 4
Ashampoo Magical Uninstall 2.81
Paragon Total Defrag 2008 SE
PC Tools Registry Mechanic 6
Windows Live OneCare (90-day trial)

AbiWord 2.5.2
Ambient Design ArtRage 2.5 Starter Edition
Audacity 1.2.6
DeepBurner Free 1.8
GIMP help files
GTK+ 2 Runtime Environment v2.10.13 (required for installation of the GIMP)
Open Office 2.3
PDFCreator 0.9.3
The GIMP 2.4.1

Real World Benchmarks
Creating a burned CD-R from an ISO image with DeepBurner
Download iPod tools
Open-source games

Crysis (Demo)
Unreal Tournament 3 (Demo)

System RescueCD 0.4


Ad-Aware 2007
Adobe Reader 8
AVG 7.5.503 Free Edition
EditPad Pro 6.3.2
ExplorerXP 1.07
Foxit Reader 2.2
Google Desktop Search 4
Google Earth 4 Beta
Microsoft Windows Media Player 11
RocketReader 8.20
Spybot Search & Destroy 1.5
True Launch Bar 4.2
Tweak UI
WinRAR 3.71
WinZip 11.1

AOL Instant Messenger
Crazy Browser 3.0 Beta2
CWShredder 2.19
Diino 4 Trial Account
FileZilla 3.0.1
Google Toolbar 4.0
Mozilla Firefox
Mozilla Thunderbird
MSN Messenger 7.0 (98/ME)
Portable Firefox
Remote Administrator 3.0
SpamBayes 1.0.4
Trillian Basic 3.1.7
Windows Live Messenger

ATI Catalyst 7.10 Control Center Package (XP)
AVG Free Edition Updates
DirectX 10
Norton AntiVirus definitions update
NVIDIA Forceware drivers for the FX, 6000. 7000. and 8000 series GPUs. Version 163.75 (Vista)
NVIDIA Forceware drivers for the FX, 6000. 7000. and 8000 series GPUs. Version 163.75
NVIDIA Forceware drivers for 7800 and 7900 GO Series Version 84.63 (Laptops)
Spybot Search & Destroy Update
VIA HyperionPro drivers 5.13A
Realtek AC'97 Codec
Realtek AC'97 Codec (Vista)
Realtek High Definition Audio Codecs
Realtek Realtek High Definition Audio Codecs (Vista)
Zone Labs ZoneAlarm Firewall

Articles in this issue

3D Graphics

David Fearon introduces 3D models and rendering

Acer Aspire M5630

Another big name brand PC gets a cutting-edge, all-format, high-def optical drive capable of playing Blu-ray and HD DVD.

Acronis True Image 11 Home

Another minor revision, but the addition of privacy functions further extends its impressively wide focus

AMD Phenom 9500

A world first on the desktop, Phenom is good but a long way from outstanding.

Buying an HD TV

Read David Field's primer on Full HD before buying a new flat screen.

Chimei CMV 222H

Impressive features for a reasonable price, but image quality leaves us cold

Eizo FlexScan SX3031W

Stunning image quality and colour reproduction, plus some innovative features

Getting to grips with HTML basics

Despite the profusion of point-and-click web-design software, there’s still no excuse for not knowing HTML. Will Head walks you through the basics

HP Color Laserjet CP4005n

A workgroup printing workhorse that delivers classy mono and colour print quality

Lenovo ThinkPad T61

This notebook was designed from the ground up with business and security in mind, and it succeeds.

Lexmark E450dn

A solid workgroup mono laser that delivers above-average quality and plenty of features for the price.

Nintek liquidated after relationships fail

Forums have lit up with activity since it was announced that online retailer Nintek is in liquidation.

Nokia E51

A well-rounded business phone that’s far smarter than it looks, offering 3G, Wi-Fi and more.

Pacstar 88GTGamer

A fast, quiet, good-looking PC that's great value.

Panasonic HDC-SD5

A dinky AVCHD camcorder, with respectable video performance and a reasonable price.

Preview: Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9770

Can Intel steal Phenom's performance thunder with this top-end quad core chip?

Sapphire Radeon HD 3870

A competent card with older games, but it can’t handle the new generation of games.

Syncing a Bluetooth phone with a Linux box

Leigh Dyer explains how to do it, including pairing and sharing Blueooth devices under GNOME.

TI Extreme power 8800

A monster PC thanks to some very high-end components. But it’s noisy and expensive.

Upgrading Vista - best downloads for Vista Basic

If you find yourself at the economy end of the Vista ladder, third-party downloads can give you some Ultimate power

Wacom Bamboo Fun Medium

Easy to use and great value for digital imaging enthusiasts

XFX GeForce 8800

An affordable way to get excellent frame rates.


Still not sure whether it's worth upgrading to Vista? We put XP and Vista through the ultimate face-off.

Zepto Znote 6625WD

One of the cheapest Vista SSD notebooks we've seen yet, though we're surprised by the benchmark results.

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