See what's new for more recent changes.

November 27th, 2000. Added several new drives to the current hard drives page. Some minor changes to other hard drive pages.

November 17th, 2000. More motherboard revisions.

November 16th, 2000. Revisions to the motherboard pages. Updated soundcard, CD-ROM and monitor pages.

September 17th, 2000. Some new hard drives in the IDE section, more layout work.

September 11th, 2000. More minor things: attention to the CPU guide to improve layout at 1024 by 768.

August 23rd, 2000. Assorted minor things: attention to the hard drive guide to improve layout at 1024 by 768, new FIC and Epox Socket A boards.

June 7th, 2000. Still more hard drive guide refresh: the current drives page is up, though there are quite a few things to add to it yet.

June 3rd, 2000. More hard drive guide refresh: the 1997, 1998, and 1999 pages are done. Only the current drives page to go now. (And the inevitable error-fixes, of course.)

May 22nd, 2000. Finally started on the hard drive guide refresh. Twelve months is a long, long time in this game, and it is hopelessly out of date as it stands. So far, done three pages, the old, older, and oldest ones (which being purely historical, need the least work). More to follow.

May 2nd, 2000. Got the new current CPU guide up, though (as you'll see) it's pretty rough still. We'll try to knock some of the rough edges off over the next few days.

April 25th, 2000. Quite a bit of behind the scenes work, stripping everything off the web server and replacing all the useful bits. (It's amazing how many leftover files get cleaned out this way, it saves quite a few MB. You think you tidy up as you go, but there is nothing like wiping it clean and starting again.) Almost done with the CPU revisions now. Updates are to the second half of the sixth-generation guide: Pentium III and K6-III. Seventh generation page a little later today, if we get time.

April 15th, 2000. Still going with the CPU guide refresh. Today's updates are to the pages covering the fifth-generation parts like the 6x86 and Pentium Classic, and the sixth-generationPentium II, K6-2 and 6x86MX.

April 9th, 2000. Started a from-the-top revision of the CPU guide, doing the easiest pages first. Today's updates are to the pages covering the Z-80, XT and 286 era, the 386 and 486 era, and late 486 and early Pentium times.

April 4th, 2000. Quite a few new mainboards, revised comments on the rest of the mainboard section. As for hard drives and CPUs, well, maybe over winter. We just don't get the time to keep the pages up the way we used to.

January 28th, 2000. Small revisions to the mainboards, soundcards and CD-ROM drive pages. A very long time between updates, time is becoming a big problem here! Nearly everything needs updating and the guide has grown so big over the last few years that it is a massive job just keeping up, let alone adding new stuff. The worst offenders are the hard drive and CPU guides (our particular favourites); these are the biggest and the most out of date—and the most daunting to think about trying to update! Little by little, maybe.

September 7th 1999. New mainboards added. Lots else to do still, but maybe next week.

August 17th 1999. A long time between updates. Other things are sucking up a lot of time right now, so it might be a while before the next one too. Still, the CPU guide is a lot more up to date now. More hard drive stuff soon. Maybe motherboards too.

July 14th 1999. Refreshed current CPU guide. Two other pages on the CPU guide are in progress. (Still!) These are the low priority CPU pages which we mostly only do when everything else is up to date: the future CPU page and the weird and wonderful CPU page. As they stand they are way out of date. In fact, over the next month or two we will probably get rid of the future page completely. The whole point of the Red Hill Guide is passing on our real-life, hands-on experience, so the future guide never did sit very well with the rest of the site—you can't get hands-on with something that hasn't been made yet! In any case, there are now a number of excellent new sites which specialise in this very area, so there is less need for it now than there was three or four years ago. This might give us more time to focus on the more important parts of the guide.

June 14th 1999. Refreshed hard drive guide. CPU guide work still in progress, should be ready to post soon.

May 20th 1999. Revised current main board guide. Progressively renewing the CPU manufacturers guide: Cyrix and Intel done already, others to follow. Assorted minor stuff.

May 1st and 2nd 1999. Lots of bug hunting this weekend. Fixed lots of bugs, plenty more still out there, no doubt. Finally updated the notebook hard drives page (for the first time in almost a year—it seems to end up with a very low priority for some reason. Added lots of automatic "last updated" messages to the end of pages, now that the new server can cope with Javascript. Access counter is broken again—second time this month.

April 28th and 29th 1999. Heaps of new stuff over the last few days. The most eagerly awaited is the new charts for April 1999 in the CPU speed section and the CPU cost section. The revised CPU value is up now now too. Murphy's Law has seen to it that prices of several high-profile products are wrong already (some big drops on K6-III and Celeron chips in particular). Still, it's the relative prices that count, so no matter. Also, a reasonably through rewrite of the current CPU guide and lots of more minor stuff.

April 19th 1999. Revised the hard drive trends and predictions page. More updates soon.

April 11th 1999. Added lots of small changes over the last few weeks, but we are still having major time-management problems: partly due to the usual Easter rush, but mostly because of a serious Sim City 3000 obsession. No doubt it will wear off eventually. We actually squeezed quite a lot of work on the web page in between four hour Sim City sessions over the last three weeks, but it is sprinkled around all over the place rather than in one large update to a particular section. (Don't psychologists say that a short attention span is symptomatic of obsessional behaviour? Not to worry, Sim City 2000 wore off after six months or so.)

March 30th 1999. Updates are flowing much more slowly now. This is not our fault. It's entirely caused by Sim City 3000. Still, we have managed to do a bit more of the new hard drive guide, notably the background to our new speed rating scale, a badly needed refresh of the current CPU guide, and a range of minor jobs.

March 20th 1999. Time for another of our periodic rants about browsers. Once again we've just wasted many hours tarting up the code, mostly in the CPU performance guide, so that it is more or less readable in Internet Explorer. Like it or not, Netscape is the standard browser, the one by which all others are judged, and we get very tired of finding workarounds for Microsoft's crappy coding. But we've done some useful work too: lots of minor adjustments and the next parts of the major hard drive guide rework: a fairly through rewrite of the SCSI Drives page and a reasonably comprehensive one of the Weird and Wonderful drives page. The other sections are not far away.

March 16th 1999. A major refresh of the Hard Drive Guide. More drives, more history, more pictures, and much more comprehensive performance figures. There is still some finishing off and quite a bit of detail work to do over the next few weeks, but the major part is done. Most of the remaining work is on the non-mainstream drives (notebook, SCSI and other), and the background pages. Soon...

February 20th and 22nd 1999. Split the CPU manufacturers page up into several sections: AMD, Cyrix, IBM, Intel, and the assortment of other manufacturers. Brought these up to date. (Or as up to date as it's possible to get in this crazy industry.) These were easy pages to miss in the old layout. Yet more changes in the future CPUs page, including an overview of the ever-increasing trend to deliberately misleading names.

February 14th 1999. A new section on interesting tech support questions, updated and reorganised motherboard guide (most of the changes are to the most recent pages, here and here). Assorted other minor stuff, correcting broken links in the motherboard speed guide and adding an entry or two to the current CPU guide, for example.

February 9th 1999. The revised new CPU guide is up but it still needs more work. (A never ending task.) Various other CPU things too, such as an X86 vs non-X86 performance comparison and a few detail updates. Some revisions to the links pages too. There will be more work on these over the next week or so but, as usual for minor changes, we won't update the update date — otherwise people using URL Minder will get deluged by automatic emails telling them about it.

January 28th 1999. Only minor changes visible, mostly to the CPU guide. Yet more structural changes — same pages, different places. (Thanks for the tip Scott.) We are overdue for a new set of CPU speed comparisons, but don't look like being able to find time for it for at least another couple of months yet.

January 17th 1999. More reorganisation of the URLs for easier management. Updates to the hard drive guide, particularly trends and predictions, and various minor changes to other pages.

January 3rd 1999. Good news from Western Digital and Quantum, who have announced high-performance 7200 RPM IDE drives, bad news from Seagate, who have dropped their market-leading Medalist Pro. Various other changes too.

December 3rd 1998. Updated chipset guide. Still more new hard drives from Seagate and Quantum. Moved hard drive trends section to its own page.

November 26th 1998. More new hard drives, including a 25GB IBM IDE. Corrected stats for the new Seagate range too—sharp-eyed readers must have wondered what made the new models faster when the performance figures were exactly the same.

November 15th 1998. Revised motherboard shapes, sizes and trends page.

November 13th 1998. New IDE hard drives from Seagate and Western Digital. Over the years as the Red Hill site has grown, the overall site design has changed several times, and some of the small, behind the scenes things have got out of hand. You may have noticed a rationalisation of the URL scheme in the last month or so, better navigation aids, and now a revamp of the links to make them more consistent. Boring stuff, maybe, but it should be easier to find your way about now.

November 8th 1998. The revised CPU costs and CPU price-performance pages done at last! Also a quick and dirty refresh of the CPU manufacturers page. (Worth a look — it's not just a web-address thing.)

November 2nd 1998. The new CPU speed page written up at last. With test methods done a couple of days ago, there is just cost and value to do now. Then back to the orkshop for another round of bench testing. (Probably not till after Christmas though — we'll be too busy until then.)

November 1st 1998. Sometimes you just get lucky. We needed a decent non-OS/2 text editor to debug some minor problems with Internet Explorer under Windows 95 (see below), downloaded one almost at random, and it's near-perfect! It took about five minutes to work out that Edit Plus is superb. We've never seen a better editor. Only the weak spelling dictionary lets it down. We're tracking down the Internet Explorer layout bugs with it too. We had assumed that it was just our bad HTML code that we'd happened to get away with under Netscape. No! On testing, we find that it's perfectly legal HTML code, Internet Explorer just can't cope with multiple tables all centered. You have to re-issue the CENTER tag every now and then. (And Netscape still doesn't support an ALIGN=CENTER in table tags — now you know why we like hardware so much more than software.)

October 31st 1998. Added two new 10,000 RPM drives to the SCSI drives page. Finally posted the revised CPU test methods page. Lots of small HTML errors fixed. Internet Explorer still has minor troubles on a number of pages. These are hard to sort as we do all the editing with Netscape under OS/2 and don't want to pox our nice clean Windows box with Internet Explorer. (Unlike the generally well-behaved Windows 95 versions, Internet Explorer for Windows 3.1 has always been a can of worms.) Maybe we should look for a decent text editor to run under Windows 95 so we can hot-test the problem pages. If you know a good one, email us. (A plain text editor, keyboard-friendly, no fancy graphics, HTML syntax highlighting would be nice, must cope gracefully with multiple files and be lightning fast.)

October 26th 1998. Improved navigation aids for CPU, Motherboard and Hard Drive guides. Revised text in several of the motherboard guide sections. New page hit counters here and there.

October 24th 1988. A new section for the hardware guide. An internal reorganisation of the CPU guide with new, more logical URLs.

October 15th 1988. Major reorganisation of the hard drive guide, split into more pages now to keep the load times reasonable, and with new URLs for easier maintenance in future.

October 14th 1998. Significantly revised IDE hard drive guide. The changes are to new drives and IDE drives pages.

October 12th 1998. Finally finished the new Motherboard Speed page! Significantly revised IDE hard drive guide soon.

October 11th 1998. Fixed broken links on the CPU price-performance page. Fixed weird-looking layout on the motherboard forms and trends page and revised the text a little.

October 10th 1998. Various updates, mostly to the current CPU guide.

October 2nd 1998. Updated motherboard guide with several new products.

September 30th 1998. Lots of minor changes, many of them already up long since. (We try not to change the front page unless there is a reasonably substantial update — changing that page is what triggers the Netminder emailer.) The new CPU speed and value tests are what has swallowed hours and hours of our time. The tests themselves are long since completed, it's some very tricky HTML layout issues that are holding us up. So, while the tests still hold some relevance, there's a temporary page here.
Also a slightly refreshed IDE hard drive guide and various other things. New motherboards page update soon—half the "latest" ones are out of production already!

August 6th 1998. Spare a thought for Hiroshima day. 53 years ago today the first atomic bomb was dropped and the world changed forever. It's now been 52 years and 362 days since the last time an atomic weapon was used (Nagasaki, 9th August 1945.) Let's try for 152 years. Small changes to many and various things on the page: CPU pages, new market-share figures for the hard drive makers, other stuff too. New CPU speed ratings and more CPU-motherboard combination tests on the way soon. We have been consistently overworked these last few months, with longer waiting lists than we are comfortable with. It's now the dead of winter — traditionally the slowest time in the computer industry — and we are still too busy most days. We can't cut back on advertising — we don't do any outside of the phone book — and don't want to put our prices up, so the only other thing to do is open shorter hours. Opening at 11AM should slow the volume of work coming in the door a little, and gives us a vital uninterrupted extra hour in the workshop. It is bound to cause some inconvenience, for which we apologise, but we hope it will make for faster service.

July 25th 1998. Revised current CPU guide. Lots of small changes to this and other pages—mostly CPU things.

July 14th 1998. Rough but near enough: the new modern classics page completes the major refresh to the CPU guide. (Now for playing "spot the error" and the usual load-faster tweaks.)

July 13th 1998. A new and much better CPU guide. Our history of X86 CPUs was the first part of the hardware guide and the earlier sections are almost four years old now. (On the web, that's a long time!) They've stood the test of time well but were looking rather plain by current standards. Not just a new look though, the content is better organised and much expanded too. The new CPU beginnings page is done, as is the second-generation early classics page. With major updates to the more recent stuff over the last few months, there is only the modern classics to go now. After that, we might go fishing. But, as always after a major update, lots of details no doubt remain to be corrected. Also, some great news for people thinking about buying a Pentium II system: the VIA Apollo Pro Slot 1 chipset is in production.

July 5th 1998. Much expanded and improved chipset guide. (Sorry about the frames — we'll try not to make a habit of it.) As usual, there will be a number of minor tweaks and corrections to make to it yet — but better to get it up now and correct it later. Minor updates to motherboard and CPU guides.

June 29th 1998. Quantum Fireball EX announced. Much improved and expanded hard drive ratings page. AMD K6-2/333 added. Rise, another CPU start-up company, announced. Glossary expanded.

June 19th 1998. Revised and expanded discussion of motherboard form factors and CPU sockets and slots here. Minor revisions to hard drive pages (more pictures, a new Seagate 10.2Gb IDE), and revisions to several of the reading guides.

June 13th 1998. New motherboard speed tests with some very interesting results. Added the new AMD K6-2/300 to the CPU guide, and a couple of new boards to the motherboard guide.

June 9th 1998. Added a single master links page to make it easier to find the half-dozen link pages scattered around here and there. Moved the old shareware guide to make room for it. Updated the notebook CPU page. Various other things.

June 6th 1998. New look front page with URL-minder. Added code to the most popular pages to get rid of the poxy frames if you've flicked in from a frame-based site. More motherboard pictures. We are half-way through one of our periodic benchmarking marathons right now, selecting the best of the new generation motherboards and CPUs. Watch this space for the results!

June 4th 1998. Updated motherboard and CPU guides. Many minor changes.

May 25th 1998. Another new hard drive on the new drives page. IBM 6x86MX-333 released. More new illustrations of the older CPUs and hard drives, and some revisions to the text of these. Various minor changes and corrections to other pages.

May 10th 1998. Quantum Fireball EL added to new hard drives page. Improved descriptions of the classic hard drives and may more pictures. CPU price-performance guide test methods page brought up to date.

May 4th 1998. New CPU performance, cost and price-performance figures.

28th April 1998. The CPU guide update is still in progress. Today's changes include corrections to the new fifth generation page and an interim future CPU page update.

27th April 1998. Major update to the CPU Guide, particularly the fifth generation (K5, 6x86 and Pentium) and sixth generation (K6, Pentium II and 6x86MX) stuff. Work on the future CPU page is still in progress. Soon!

21st April 1998. Revised notebook drives page. (At last!) Still a bit rough round the edges but with all the new CPUs coming out, we'd better keep working on the next CPU guide update.

16th April 1998. Updates to the CPU guide, notably the very fast new Cyrix M II 300. For the hard drive guide, slightly revised colours. The new deep red scheme looked great on our TFT LCD-PC but a bit too dingy on traditional CRT monitors. It's a little brighter now. Still working on a revised notebook drive page.

14th April 1998. Extended the new layout for the hard drive guide to small drives and old drives. Revised opening page with a direct link to this page. Many minor fixes to the new pages, including a single hard drive index. (Less confusing than the old two-index arrangement.)

11th April 1998. Full dump and re-posting of all files. Fully rewritten SCSI drives page. Lots of new drives on it. Our access stats show that the hard drive pages are popular, but not nearly as popular as the motherboard pages. This is a mystery. Hard drives are much more important from a performance point of view, and our coverage of them is more comprehensive. Are motherboards more sexy or something?

10th April 1998. A lot of minor changes. Sorted out teething troubles with the new IDE drive pages. SCSI update coming soon. Yoshihiro Kaneiso's Japanese mirror site ( now online.

30th March 1998. The first part of a major reorganisation of the Hard Drive Guide. More detail, some new models, and a new look layout. All the hard drive pages will get this treatment over the next couple of weeks.

16th March 1998. Revised Motherboard Guide. Various other things.

1st March 1998. Minor revisions and updates to motherboard section, corrections to CPU section.

26th February 1998. Major revisions to the CPU guide. Revised manufacturers page, more news on future CPUs, and a much more comprehensive guide to CPU performance, cost and value.

7th January 1998. Some substantial revisions to the Red Hill Guide to Hard Drives. Quite a few new models added, and a bit of a reorganisation so that the new drives are all in one place. Various other more minor things.

30th December 1997. Various updates, mostly to the hardware guide. A fair bit of new CPU information. The hard drive pages are still way out of date but they will be next.

25th December 1997. Updated mainboard guide with new products and workaround for a bug in Internet Explorer 4 that made some pages unreadable. Sorry for the long gap between updates, this is the first chance I've had. Should be more regular now that the Christmas rush is over.

27th September 1997. Updated CPU guide. Slowly filling in the blanks for the next generation stuff.

18th September 1997. Many small changes to hardware guide.

9th September 1997. Added background page on the major CPU makers to the hardware guide. Small additions to the hard drive pages, assorted minor revisions.

15th August 1997. Various minor revisions, mainly to motherboard and chipset sections of the hardware guide.. Still no access counter.

12th August 1997. Revised main index page. Looks much better in low resolution now (640 by 480). (Always looked good in 800 by 600 or better—and if you're still running 640 by 480, come and see us about a better monitor.) Substantially revised chipset guide. New layout for the credits page. Various minor things too.

7th August 1997. Updated hard drive guide. Some new models, more on the weird and wonderful. CPU news too.

26th July 1997. New page on the weird and wonderful drives that don't fit into the normal categories. Update on cheap and nasty motherboards, particularly the "VX Pro". Updated CPU guide. Access counters disabled during our ISP's changeover to a new server. Various minor changes.

21st July 1997. Updated CPU Guide. Minor changes to shareware section. Added Checkdisk 32.

13th July 1997. Various revisions and corrections to hard drive and CPU guides. Cyrix MediaGX CPU added.

10th July 1997. New PowerPC plans added to the CPU Guide.

7th July 1997. Revised Socket 7 motherboards page. Better appearance, some new models.

30th June 1997. Revised CPU guide, many minor corrections, some new graphics.

25th June 1997. Revised notebook drives page. Navigation around the hard drive guide should be easier now. Added further reading on CPU's.

21st June 1997. Added much more detail to Hard Drive Ratings page. More glossary entries and pictures of SCSI drives. Prices page. New main board chipsets. Numerous minor corrections.

17th June 1997. Revised Hardware Guide. SCSI drives into table form. (Just notebook drives to go now.)

15th June 1997. Revised main page. Added "What's New" section. Moved drivers page to shareware section. Revised and corrected CPU guide. Big additions to the CPU performance and price comparisons. Updated hard drive manufacturer information, added some new model news. Various other minor revisions and corrections.

10th June 1997. Added CPU price and performance comparison page. (See the Hardware Guide.) Various minor corrections.

1996. We didn't have a "what's new" page then, so the details of the changes are long lost, but this was the year when most of the hardware guide took on something dimly recognisable as its present form.

It was also the year of battling with the power-drunk idiot who was then in charge of domain name registration in Australia. This is how we wound up as a — it was easier than persevering with that fool. (Now that the domain name registration process is handled by comparatively competent people, we have grown to like the and don't intend to change it.)


Winter 1995. We can't remember back this far in any detail, but the Red Hill site started at a different URL with three or four pages of plain grey text and just grew. The long-defunct shareware download pages came first, the hardware guide began some months later.

It all started with the CPU guide, which grew out of an existing printed version, the hard drive guide came next, then the motherboards, and finally a rather ill-assorted collection of other stuff that we never had the time to finish off properly, never mind maintain, and which should all have been removed again by now.

Logo design: Louise Bertram.