iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






iXBT.com Editors' Awards

Striving to bring recognition to manufacturers of high-technology equipment, the iXBT.com editorial team decided to institute three awards:

Reviewed by iXBT.com

The Reviewed by iXBT.com award recognizes the products, which have gone through the iXBT.com lab tests. This award is presented to a manufacturer, whose products were tested in our lab, got reviewed, and their reviews are published on the iXBT.com web site, in the iXBT.com magazine, or on the Digit-Life.com web site.

Original Design

Modern IT market is flooded with clones. Life-cycle of a product became shorter, so most manufacturers do not spend their time and resources on their own designs. Instead, they often follow the so called "reference design", changing only the name of the product and the package appearance. That's why in order to encourage efforts of the manufacturers who create innovative products different from reference designs, the editorial team of iXBT.com institutes the Original Design award.

This award can be honored to a product with an original design, which is essentially different from the reference design. The product must be tested in the iXBT.com lab and then have a review (concerning the test results) published on the iXBT.com web site, in the iXBT.com magazine, or on the Digit-Life.com web site.

The Original Design award can be selected only once a month and must provide links to the reviews of the awarded products.

Motherboards Awards

A motherboard gets the Original Design award for one or a combination of the following design features:

  • Passive (or active, but only if necessary!) cooling system for overheated motherboard elements
  • Indication system for computer failures at startup
  • Good PCB layout, which does not hamper assemblage and upgrade
  • On-board buttons to power on or restart a computer, to reset CMOS, etc. — any feature that facilitates express-tests or repairs
  • Other things

We award only useful elements of design in our opinion: so, a stylish (or a monstrous) chipset cooler cannot be considered useful, if this chipset does not require mandatory active cooling. And the attractive design will not be awarded, if it offers no other advantages except for its good looks.

Of course, the above list does not contain all possible options (a lot of things cannot be foreseen at all) for a motherboard to get the award. Read the reviews of awarded models to find out the details and perhaps get acquainted with innovations on the market.

September 2006 Awards

Gigabyte 965P-DQ6 — a Motherboard on Intel P965

ASUS Crosshair — an Image Model Based on the NVIDIA nForce 590 SLI Chipset

TV Tuner and Multimedia Video Card Awards

TV tuner or a multimedia video card can be honored with the Original Design award, if it demonstrates the following distinctive features:

  • Original hardware solutions aimed to improve the sound and image quality
  • Hardware implementation of extra unique features, which are not directly connected with audio and video
  • Original design
  • Other things that are not listed here

September 2006 Awards

AVerTV USB MCE — Support for Hardware Encoding Into MPEG1/2 in the Best Traditions of TV Tuners USB 2.0 from AVerMedia Technologies

3D Video Cards Awards

A video card can be awarded with Original Design, if the tests revealed the following features distinguishing it from the reference design:

  • Original cooling system, which is more effective at the least possible level of noise
  • Support for extra features, such as Video-In (if it is not provided by the reference design)
  • Other things that are not listed here

It goes without saying that, for example, a PCB color different from the reference design cannot be considered an innovation.

September 2006 Awards

MSI GeForce 7600 GT 256MB PCI-E (NX7600GT-VT2D256E-HD)

MSI GeForce 7600 GT 256MB PCI-E (NX7600GT-T2D256EZ)

Excellent Package

It's always pleasant to buy a product and find out that the package includes additional equipment, software, games, souvenirs, etc. It's nice to think that the product you bought is well worth its price, and it's twice as nice to buy a well-bundled product at a moderate price. In practice, some manufacturers tend to save on every item, even if the inclusion of this item into the product package raises the price by less than 10%. Thus, the editorial team of iXBT.com institutes the Excellent Package award to bring recognition to those manufacturers, who offer nice boxes with excellent package content (the product plus useful accessories) instead of featureless boxes with minimal package content (CD with drivers).

This award can be presented to a product with an original box and unique package content. The product must be tested in the iXBT.com lab, and the results of these tests must be published in a review on the iXBT.com web site, the iXBT.com magazine, or the Digit-Life.com web site.

The Excellent Package award can be selected only once a month and must refer to the awarded product reviews.

3D Video Cards Awards

A video card can be awarded with Excellent Package, if the tests demonstrated the following features distinguishing it from the other products on the market at that moment:

  • Original package (retail)
  • Rich software set, utilities and other homeware
  • Various bonuses: souvenirs or useful/nice knick-knacks
  • Other things that are not listed here

September 2006 Awards

BFG GeForce 7900 GTX OC 512MB PCI-E

Music CD Awards

Excellent Package is given to music editions on CD/DVD/DVD-A and SACD with the following peculiarities:

  • A stylish package, for example digipack or a "book". It must not be a standard jewel-case (aka glass).
  • It should be convenient to use — a disc should be easily extractable from a box without any risk of damaging it. That's why envelopes are out of the question — discs are worn out real fast in them.
  • There should be an informative and well-illustrated booklet. The booklet must be printed on enamel-paper with high quality.
  • On the whole, a product must produce a good impression with its appearance and should stand out against its like.

September 2006 Awards

Madonna / Confessions on a dance floor: Special Edition

Additional information

The same award cannot be given to a product more than once.

A product can get several different awards.

Printed award certificates can be provided by written request via e-mail: pr@ixbt.com

October 17, 2006.

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