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Date of review: 13-November-1998
Type Of Review: CD-ROM/DVD/CD-RW
What Comprises The Upgrade Kit?
- Sigma Designs REALMagic Hollywood Plus (DVD/MPEG-2 Playback Card)
- Sony DDU220E DVD-ROM drive
When Wilfred asked me if I wanted to review the Maximum Performance Upgrade kit, featuring REALMagicís Hollywood Plus MPEG-2 playback card, I almost fell over, literally.
Up till that moment, all my reviews have been on hardware that I had to purchase with my own hard-earned cash. =) And here was a chance to review a highly recommended system for free!
I quickly took him up on the offer and met Michael from Convergent Systems which distributes the DVD upgrade kit in Singapore. THANKS, Michael!
The system I tested it on is as follows:
- Celeron 300A (overclocked to 450MHz)
- ABit BH6 motherboard (FU BIOS)
- 128MB PC100 SDRAM (TI 3rd Party)
- Asus 2740/TV (i740 AGP 2x VGA card with TV input and output)
- Aureal Vortex1 (8820) reference design soundcard
- Samsung SyncMaster 17GLi
- Creative/Cambridge SoundWorks Desktop Theater 5.1 system
(my Encore DVD system was removed for the purpose of the review)
"Unlike the Encore, the RM does not use a conventional VGA passthrough. A special cable, much like Canopusí WitchDoctor connection, plugs from the DB15 of your VGA card to a special DIN input on the RM card. I was a little intrigued by this device and wondered if it will improve the quality of your existing VGA card, since the Encore was plagued by serious degradation."
However eager I was to review the unit, I was unable to do so, as I had just started work in a new department which left me very little time to tinker with my PCs. As it turned out, the new job took a lot more out of me than I expected, and this review was delayed for far longer than I would have preferred..
Since I already have an Encore DVD kit, I will also be comparing the two PC-DVD upgrades in this review.
But enough with my preliminaries already. Letís get on with the review proper.