Videocard Madness: nVidia and ATI's Best!
for videocard reviews and you got them! This week the PCstats Newsletter looks at
a host of fast videocards from MSI Computer, Gigabyte and Sapphire. There should be
something here for everybody, so take your time as you browse through the plethora
The party starts with Gigabyte's 'green
monster', an FX5950 ultra, and moves right into Sapphire's Radeon 9800XT.
From there, Colin spends some quality time with MSI'sFX500 ultra and the
massive FX5950 ultra. The MSI FX5950 Ultra is one heavy card with all that metal to
cool the GPU!
PCstats resident Guru of Guides answers another of
your tech questions in this weeks "A Reader Asks..." column (a slight name change there). This time the topic is Windows Repair Installations.
Speaking of which, I'd like to ask you what you think of this new
column? Tell us what your thoughts are here.
Down below, the Weekly
TechTip has a clever trick useful for the
registry tweakers in the audience. And, as if that wasn't
enough already, PCstats Industry Insights dishes out the full 411
on Intel's upcoming chipset plans, including the i925x. Oww... can't wait for that one!
of what exactly to expect from the Gigabyte's FX5950 Ultra "GT"
version, this should be quite a treat for us... After all,
the Gigabyte GV-N595U-GT videocard is based on Nvidia's current power-house GPU clocked at 520MHz. While
the heatsink on this puppy takes up two full slots, you can be assured it's not there to cool
the digital equivalent of a 'Ford GEO.' As you can plainly see, Gigabyte are still using the
same reference GPU/memory cooling system, and all the same capacitors,
ICs, so what is it that makes this videocard worthy of
the "GT" model name over that of the regular one? Well, read
carefully and well tell you. Continue
A little more than a year ago, the graphics
market exploded in a frenzy of excitement. What used to be a one-sided
race for graphics dominance quickly evolved to
include two capable players. Then, over the course of a few months,
it reverted to a one-manufacturer show once again; only this time,
it was ATI on top as NVIDIA fumbled its plans
for NV30. Of course, a lot of work
has gone into coordinating board layout, cooling design, and software
support, so we aren't surprised that Sapphire chose to stick with
ATI's reference card for its own RADEON 9800 XT. The only feature that
distinguishes the two is a sticker that adorns the clear, plastic heatsink
cover. That isn't a bad thing, though. Continue
A Reader Asks...
motherboard in my computer died recently. Since I have a little experience I decided to replace it myself with an ECS K7S5A that was compatible with my AMD Athlon processor and memory. Everything seems to work fine, except that Windows XP Pro will not load. The computer POSTs fine, and the XP loading window comes up, but then the computer resets itself... I'd thought heat was the problem, but the temperature readings in the BIOS are normal. I don't want to reinstall, are there any steps I can take to get my PC working again?
A: The problem you are having is most likely with Windows XP itself, or rather the fact that you changed the motherboard and Windows XP is not finding what it's looking for on boot up. I'm assuming that the motherboard you used previously had a different chipset than the ECS board just installed. All versions of Windows (and most other operating systems too) have difficulty in adapting to major hardware changes, and changing the motherboard chipset, which allows the various other parts of the system to work together, is about the biggest change you can make.
Fortunately, Windows XP makes this
situation considerably easier and less time consuming to
recover from than previous versions. What you need to do is a
"repair install". To perform this fixl, boot your PC from the
WinXP CD. Choose the "press enter to set up Windows XP
now" option. Press "F8" to skip through the EULA and then press "R" to begin a repair installation.Your system will
go through the entire XP install process, but will not
attempt to replace any of your existing data.
It will simply reinstall the vital system files, fixing any that are corrupted or missing. During this process, your new motherboard will be taken into account by the OS. Windows XP (with SP1) contains the necessary drivers for your new board, so you should not have trouble after the repair install finishes. You will however, need to re-activate your copy of XP so have your CD-key handy.
To submit your question, send us an email.
you're looking for a new videocard, you're in luck because it's a buyers
market in the mainstream sector! A fierce competition between ATi and
nVIDIA has resulted in lower than average prices for some pretty decent
cards. nVIDIA has taken an aggressive two pronged stance against ATi's
Radeon 9600XT; first there's the very capable GeForceFX 5700 Ultra, and
then came the quietly released the GeForceFX 5900XT to mop things up. In this review we'll be examining the
GeForceFX 5700 Ultra powered MSI FX5700 Ultra-TD128 videocard. With 128MB of memory
on board, and nice little bundle of software in the box, this should prove
to be a pretty good deal for about $280CDN. Continue
For its time, the nVIDIA GeForceFX 5900 Ultra
was one of the fastest GPUs you could hope for, but like all good things, the
real story of the FX5900 was not so rosy. TSMC, the company
nVIDIA use to fabricate their silicon, had a lot of problems getting
the new 0.13 micron process right, and that caused
serious delays in production. Fast forward six months, and
now the GeForceFX 5950 Ultra is upon us. Thankfully, the teething
problems TSMC experienced with 0.13 micron manufacturing have been laid to
rest. The MSI FX5950 Ultra-VTD256 with its red PCB and large copper plated
cast aluminum heatsinks weighs in around 500g, making it one pretty
heavy videocard. Continue
Intel is going to be very busy in 2004, as evidenced by its impending transition to the LGA-775 processor interface. The move over to LGA-775 is expected in the second quarter, and will be accompanied by a couple of new chipsets with a plethora of never-before used technologies.
The flagship, equipped with Intel's infamous Performance Acceleration Technology (PAT), is to be called 925X. It will support PCI Express, of course, in addition to DDR-II memory and a new ICH6. Multiple versions of ICH6 are said to exist, one with four Serial ATA ports and one with an integrated wireless interface, at the very least.
The 915 family will occupy mainstream space, populated by four different variants. Intel's 915P is expected to support DDR-II, but pundits are claiming that the chipset will probably emerge on boards with standard DDR sockets to better help differentiate between high-end boards and the more affordable 915 family. Lower-end chipsets, like 915GL and 915GV will appeal to business clients in the third quarter of 2004, while the 915G will match 915P for performance and add integrated graphics support.
If you've been holding off on a system upgrade, your day of reckoning is fast approaching. Just remember, you'll need a new processor, motherboard, video card, and, if you opt for DDR-II, a new memory subsystem. Though it won't be cheap, you'll at least have a platform on which to grow.
. M. Page
. C. Sun
. C. Angelini
A Reader Writes...
. M. Dowler