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Newsletter Contents


.Nvidia Nforce 2
.MSI GNB Max
.IRC Chat
.HyperThreading Basics
.900IFT Display
.Albatron Mobo
.Colin's Weekly Tips


Dual Channel DDR vs. RDRAM



Hello,

This week we have a new section called TechWatch for you to check out just below Colin's review of the sporty red Granite Bay motherboard from MSI. In his review he compares this dual-channel DDR motherboard against an i850E PC1066 RDRAM system... and the results are interesting to say the least. We hear about new technology here on a daily basis, so hopefully TechWatch will fill in the gap. For the Pcstats.com newsletter readers who took the time to write in, I hope you will find this new mini-section interesting, and informative.

This week we have two feature reviews. The first on the i845E-based Albatron PX845E Pro II and the second is a look at the basics of what Hyper-Threading is. Since I'm currently working on the review for an absolutely gorgeous Professional 19" display from Viewsonic, it will be worth your while to also read through our review of Samsung's 900IFT for comparisons sake. We'll have the Viewsonic review in the next edition of the PCStats.com Newsletter.

From all of us here at PCStats.com, I'd just like to say Happy Holidays, and thank you for your continued patronage.

We'll be taking a break next week - so the next time you see the PCstats. com newsletter it will be 2003! As a reminder, if you are not satisfied with the PCStats.com Newsletter and wish to unsubscribe, please follow the instructions at the base of this, or any other newsletter to do so. Expletives will just get you on Santa's naughty list. ;)

MSI GNB MAX-FISR Granite Bay Motherboard Review
Read Article Now!

The past year has been pretty uneventful for Pentium 4 chipsets from Intel. Sure, the i845 was respun and coupled with DDR, the official Pentium 4 FSB was raised from 100 MHz to 133 MHz, and i845PE/GE chipset memory support was widened to PC2700/DDR333 standards. However, as evolutionary steps they didn't cause that much of a stir - but with the release of Intel's E7205 Granite Bay chipset the revolution has started! Well, for the moment at least. If you recall, Intel made a surprise announcement on November 15th at Comdex 2002 concerning the impending release of "Canterwood", an 800MHz version of the Pentium 4. Intel had previously roadmapped the P4 from the current 533MHz FSB level to 667MHz with a chipset called "Sprindale." Springdale-based motherboards were originally expected to support 667/533/400MHz FSB Pentium 4 processors, but with Canterwood on the horizon for Q2-Q3 2003 everything has been shifted towards 800MHz FSB. There's no need to get too excited just yet, 800MHz FSB Pentium 4's and Canterwood chipsets are still off in the future somewhere and Granite Bay is here right now. With the end of RDRAM support from Intel, its time is definitely right too. As you're probably already somewhat aware, a Granite Bay E7205 based motherboard with dual-channel DDR, will in most cases, outperform a PC1066 RDRAM bearing equivalent. That's pretty sweet considering just how far DDR has come since AMD first brought it into the mainstream world alongside the Athlon processor

TechWatch IRC: Internet Relay Chat

By: Marcus Yam

IRC, or Internet Relay Chat, is often an often-overlooked tool in these days of instant-messaging services like AIM and ICQ. But while instant messengers are good for keeping in touch with friends and family, the appeal of IRC is partially that it is an opportunity to meet new people. While this alone may reason enough for some, IRC's utility goes beyond simply chatting.

Like e-mail, IRC is one of the oldest tools on the Internet today. Once a haven only for the techno-elite, today IRC is easier to use than in the past and is utilized by all types of users. While many people may be intimidated by various jargon and rules used on IRC, a little common sense goes a very long way to making an IRC experience a pleasant one.

But what advantages does IRC have over instant messaging? Like the web, IRC's vastness is its strength. There are numerous IRC networks across the globe, each fielding hundreds, even thousands of chat channels on nearly every conceivable topic. If you want to find people of like minds, IRC is the place to do it. A feature of IRC that has become more popular in recent years is using it as a file-swapping service. While the selection of files on IRC may not be as broad as it is on services like Kazaa, the topic-centric nature of IRC channels means it's sometimes easier to find what you're looking for. Choosing the right IRC software is important, however.

The Basics of HyperThreading: What is it?

There's been a lot of talk in the hardware community recently about the Intel Pentium 4 3.06 GHz processor, as it is the first processor in history to break the 3 GHz barrier (officially) and because it is the first desktop processor to support HyperThreading. So what exactly is HyperThreading, and what makes it so special? Before we answer that question, we first need a basic understanding of how a standard processor and software work together. Modern processors can only handle one instruction from one program at any given point in time. Each instruction that is sent to the processor is called a thread. What I mean is that even though it looks like you're multitasking with your computer (running more then one program at a time) you're really not .

Read the Rest...

Samsung SyncMaster 900IFT Monitor Review Albatron PX845PE Pro II Motherboard Review

With a price tag of $520 CDN ($350 US), the Samsung SyncMaster 900IFT is not expensive, but it's not cheap for a 19" CRT either. The first thing I noticed about the monitor was the size, with dimensions of 468x492x483.2 mm, the 900IFT isn't a small monitor and I had to rearrange the test bench a bit so the 900IFT would fit. Built using Samsung's DynaFlat technology, the actual dot mask is curved both on the horizontal and vertical axis. On the IFT series of monitors this curvature is very slight and almost unnoticeable but it is there, however it's not as obvious as with Samsung's Syncmaster DF's series of monitors. It was very nice to see that Samsung kept the bezel of the monitor clean and free of gimmicks unlike some of it's competitors. The controls were easily accessible from the from bezel just under the screen and the menu's are easy to use and pretty much self explanatory. The maximum resolution of the 900IFT is 1600x1200 with a refresh rate of 75 Hz which is very respectable for a 19" monitor.

Read the Rest...

Albatron have been producing a lot of motherboards and videocards since they were created earlier this year. In this relatively short time, they have earned themselves a much deserved reputation for high quality, overclockability, innovation. For example, if you consider how the Albatron GeForce4 Ti4200P Turbo has taken the web by storm, winning an award from us even, you can see that if this company keeps on the same track they are going to go far.The PX845PE Pro II is based on the very popular i845PE chipset and can run any Socket m478 400/533 MHz based Pentium 4. With three DIMM slots the motherboard can support a maximum of 2GB worth of PC1600/2100/2700 DDR memory.

Read the Rest...

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Colin's Weekly Tech Tips


By:
C. Sun
Slim down your Win98 Registry

Lately we've been doing a lot of Win2k/XP tweaking, but today we'll be checking out how to slim down the Win9x registry. Anyone who has played around in the registry of Win9x based OS's knows that it gets bloated quickly. Even when certain entries are deleted, the registry still keeps the space all to itself and that can slow things down.
Luckily though, Microsoft has a little tool that can strip away that fat, and give you back that HDD space! First and most importantly is back up your registry!!! If you mess up, you will need to import your backup copy! After that's done, reboot your computer and go into DOS mode. You can do that by pressing the F8 key just before your computer boots into Windows. Once you get to the DOS setup menu, select "Command Prompt Only".
Once you reach a DOS prompt type "scanreg/opt" and press enter. When that's done simply reboot your computer and you should notice that the registry has slimmed down quite substantially!
A Note from Colin: I receive a lot of e-mail each week from readers asking for advice on various topics and general computer help. While I can only answer a few questions each week, I do try to respond to posts in the "Colin's Weekly Tech Tips" section of the PCstats.com Forums regularly. So, if I have haven't gotten to your question I apologize, and recommend you post it in the Forums where it has a better chance of getting answered.
Colin's Tips Archives | The PCStats.com Forums


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PCstats Issue
No.69

Circulation 182,000

The High Tech Low Down
With Chris Angelini


Christmas is only a week away, and some of us haven't even started shopping yet (or was that just me?)! At any rate, last week I promised you a round of processor and motherboard recommendations, so here we go…

NVIDIA's nForce2 platform performs favorably in comparison to the KT400 chipset, but AMD won't be able to get the Athlon XP 2800+ into retail in time for Christmas. So, if you are willing to sacrifice in the name of the fastest hardware around, you'll want to pick up a 3.06GHz Pentium 4. Keep in mind that your motherboard will play an important role in overall system performance, though. In the second quarter of next year, we'll start seeing Pentium 4 processors running on an 800MHz bus. If you can wait until then, that's what I'd recommend (at least then you can see if AMD's Hammer will be a worthy contender). If you're in a hurry, though, I'd give the nForce2/Athlon XP 2600+ my value recommendation. While it wasn't intended for gaming, Intel's E7205 "Granite Bay" chipset delivers impressive performance combined with a pricey 3.06GHz Pentium 4, effectively marking the end of the line for RDRAM-based solutions

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