New 3.2GHz Pentium 4 Processor!
The newest processor
in the Intel family, called the 3.2GHz "Prescott" was released this past weekend.
PCstats reviews the Prescott against AMD's best and brightest 64-bit
chips, and side by side with Intel's 3.2GHz Extreme Edition and Northwood models. I
highly recommend you read the review. Given what we have seen from
Prescott, I think it's safe to say that not many people are going to be
racing to the stores for this processor just yet... Only after the
Prescott CPU scales up in GHz will we see the real tiger released.
For now, your best bet is to stick with the Northwood P4 until socket
Representatives from VIA spoke with PCstats
a while back about the VIA PT880 Intel chipset,
and in this newsletter you'll find a review of the reference board
which showcases many admirable features of the PT880. Looking for an
FX5700 Ultra? Gigabyte's N57U128D is on the test bench this
week, as are a handful of other cards we'll tell you about next
This weeks Industry Insights talks about SSE3
codes which could make many of our programs run faster with the Prescott
CPU, and in "A Reader Writes..." Mike looks into
what options exist if you want to freshly install an OS without
reinstalling all the software again.
Last but not least, Waterfield Designs have
let me know that they've just come out with some new iPod-friendly
cases. Since I'm currently iPod-less, we take a look back at several of
Waterfield Designs nifty Gear Cases. The Weekly Tech Tip
is waiting for you at the bottom of this newsletter, and next week
it's going to be a Videocard Bonanza!
Fortunately, Intel is in the position to begin manufacturing
processors using a 90nm process, the very latest wafer technology that
carries with it a host of other enhancements. Additionally, the Pentium 4
itself has gone under the knife, reemerging with larger caches, new
instructions, and higher frequencies. The end result is a brand new core
that, in theory, should be significantly faster than its predecessor.
L2 cache is two times larger than the Northwood core before
it, weighing in at 1MB. It's attached to the processor core
via a 256-bit bus, which, running at 3.2GHz, yields
102.4GB per second of bandwidth. As Prescott continues scaling, that number will follow
Today PCstats is evaluating the new Gigabyte
GV-N57U128D GeForceFX 5700 Ultra videocard. Sporting 128MB of Samsung DDR2
BGA memory and a TV-Output, the manufacturer has also included a fairly
decent software bundle here; with full versions of Will Rock, Raven Shield
and even Tomb Raider: TAOD. The standard length of all 5700-class videocards
means you may have to wrangle a few stray cables out
of the way when installing it, and don't forget that all important auxiliary molex
power connector either. Between the DDR2 BGA DRAM modules and the
heatsink is a rather thick thermal pad, but heat transfer seemed to be
pretty good as the metal did steadily rise in temperature.Continue
A Reader Writes...
I recently bought a new hard drive (Seagate 120G 7200RPM) which I would like to add to my Windows XP system. I'm planning to install Windows again on the new drive and use that as my system disk. My question is: My old 10GB drive has all the software I regularly use still installed on it. Can I keep it in my system as a second drive and still use my programs after I install XP again on the new drive? It would be a huge hassle to have to re-install everything again.
A: You can keep the old drive around as a secondary drive, but you will not be able to use most of your software from the old drive once you re-install windows.
The reason for this is that Windows
XP, like previous Microsoft operating systems, forms links
between most installed programs and the windows registry. This is done to allow the software to correctly access the resources it needs to run and also to allow full cooperation with other programs within the Windows operating system. Unfortunately, this also means that when the registry is wiped out, all the information XP needs to correctly run your installed software is also wiped out. There is not really a way to get around reinstalling your software when you reinstall windows.
Now your data, on the other hand, will remain perfectly usable and accessible after a re-install. By 'data' I mean files that are created and used by applications, such as word documents, MP3 files, pictures, etc. These require no link to the registry, just software capable of opening them. Because of this, the recommended
configuration for installing any Windows operating system is
to have two separate partitions, one for the operating system
itself and your installed software and a second partition for
storing your data files. This system reduces wasted disk space
and hassle when Windows needs to be re-installed. The
operating system and software partition can be wiped clean,
while the data partition can be left alone.
To submit your question, send us an email.
is very excited about their new PT880 chipset for the Pentium 4 processor,
in fact they're so excited they even had a representative come the PCstats
office to meet with us, and explain the in's and out's of the new VIA
chipset. Quietly they told us that the PT880 can hold its own against the
i875P in terms of performance, yet will be less expensive than the i865PE
chipset, meaning boards based on the PT880 should more affordable without
sacrificing performance. That's a very compelling combination, but will
VIA be able to live up to its own expectations?Continue
'Ballistic Nylon' just rolls off
the tongue so nicely, and makes even the simplest of objects appear
exotic. Take for example the bags we use to carry around cables, power
adapters, and things of this nature. Sure, they could be packed away in a
Ziplock bag, but what fun would that be? Now, say hello to Ballistic Nylon,
Neoprene and engineered textiles like Indium. Waterfield Designs, a company based in
San Francisco originally caught my attention three years ago after reading
a short article on them in ID, and today we are going to examine a few
more articles of interest from this company. Each the three bags below are
meant to compliment the small things they carry - whether it be a bundle
of adaptor wires, a notebook or even a digital camera. Continue
By now you're well aware of the latest addition to Intel's evolved Pentium 4 family, formerly called Prescott. Loaded with larger caches, an improved implementation of Hyper-Threading, and SSE3 support, it's a sure sell on paper. But my benchmarks showed that until Intel procures more frequency, Prescott's bark is worse than its bite.
Now, it seems like the top-end offering, the Prescott core clocked at 3.4GHz, may have been a "paper launch product; that is, formally introduced, but unavailable through retail channels. Even the 3.4GHz Pentium 4 Extreme Edition, with its 2MB L3 cache, is unattainable through online vendors.
Even if it were, however, it'd be a good time to put your Pentium 4 purchasing plans on hold, especially if you gravitate towards cutting-edge equipment. In the second quarter of this year, Intel plans to unveil a 3.6GHz Pentium 4 designed with its new LGA-775 interface in mind. Purportedly, it will not serve double-duty as a Socket 478 offering. Intel's roadmaps forecast a 3.8GHz chip in Q3, while Q4 will see a 4GHz Pentium 4 employing the Prescott core. You can also expect the Extreme Edition to emerge as an LGA-775 chip at some point in the second quarter.
Next week I'll cover Intel's chipset situation for the rest of 2004, which is developing very quickly. Until then…
. M. Page
. C. Sun
. C. Angelini
A Reader Writes...
. M. Dowler