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In This Issue...

.K8NSNXP-939 Mobo
.Radeon 9250
.Registry Guide
.Ballistix DDR-2
.Aopen H420 Case
.Albatron PC5900
.PCstats Weekly Tips
The Athlon64 and PCI-Express

"Is Elvis still alive?" This used to be the most common question asked of us, but lately your biggest question for PCstats seems to be "when is the AMD Athlon64 939 getting PCI Express?" Naturally, if you're a gamer, you want the best CPU and videocard combination available. The K8 and PCI Express are the ideal solution to that problem for many of our Newsletter readers...

To find out the answer to this question, I spoke with a Senior Product Mgr at MSI Computer. It seems as far as the question of the Athlon64 and PCI Express goes, there are three chipsets coming from VIA, SIS and nVidia which will introduce support for PCI Express to the K8. The details are pretty tantalizing, so lets have a look at what's covered in this PCstats Newsletter before we get into all that!

When boards like the Gigabyte K8NSNXP-939 are released, it really makes you want to get an Athlon64 processor, and upgrade. PCstats' review of the K8NSNXP-939 is a highly recommended read, as is our review of the MSI RX600XT PCI-Express videocard. If going back to university has wiped out your savings, you may be interested in this low-end PowerColor Radeon 9250 grafix card too. If you have a little more spending cash, then the Albatron PC5900 is an even better option. Also in today's issue is Crucial's Ballistix DDR-2 memory, the Aopen H420 mini-case, and our newest Beginners Guide to the Registry, and how to back it up!

So as it stands, the upcoming VIA K8T890 chipset for the Athlon64 will support PCI Express and AGP8X videocards, and is expected to arrive around the end of September... if VIA can keep it together. Odds are 50/50 on that. Meanwhile, the SIS 756 chipset is set to hit mass production by mid-September. The SIS756 is probably going to be the first chipset into retail channels to support PCI Express and AGP8X, given that nVidia's next chipset isn't slated to be announced until next month. Expect nVidia's Crush K8-04 solution to arrive under the 'nForce 3' nomenclature. Along with PCI Express and AGP8X support, the CK804 will introduce SLI. If you recall, SLI is a feature which enables the use of two nVidia PCI Express x16 videocards side-by-side on one motherboard. Neither the SIS or VIA chipsets will support SLI, so nVidia will have the corner on that market for the time being.

Gigabyte GA-K8NSNXP-939 Motherboard Review
Continue on...

Now that AMD's Socket 939 CPU has been released, consumers can finally use dual channel DDR RAM with the Athlon64 processor! Heck, they even have the choice of upgrading to a higher end Athlon64 FX CPU if they wish. In this extensive review, PCstats tests the brand new GA-K8NSNXP-939, a socket 939 motherboard from Gigabyte. The Gigabyte GA-K8NSNXP-939 is powered by the nForce3 Ultra chipset, and includes an onboard Serial ATA RAID controller, IEEE 1394b Firewire, Gigabit LAN, a 10/100 NIC, 7.1 channel audio, dual BIOS chips and Gigabyte's proprietory Dual Power System (DPS).Continue Here>>

PowerColor Radeon 9250 Videocard Review

Video cards and cars are very much alike in a lot of ways. There are fast videocards which crank out pixels faster than greased lightning, and then there are affordable graphics adaptors that the average consumer can use to play games at more reasonable speeds. Sure, we'd all like to have the equivalent of a Porsche, but sometimes all we really need to get the job done is a practical Ford. It may not be as fast, or fancy, but it will get you from point A to point B. We usually focus on higher end parts here at, but in this review we'll be evaluating the little PowerColor ATI Radeon 9250 videocard. It's Radeon 9250 GPU makes it a low end videocard by most standards, but the card should provide computers tasked with office loads plenty of great 2D performance for the long haul. Continue Here>>

Beginners Guides: The Registry: Backups, Repairs, and Protection
The Registry is crucial to Windows, but if you know how to edit it, you can customize your system in places you never thought possible.

The registry is a huge and complex structure which is absolutely crucial to the correct operation of Windows XP. As you can imagine, editing the registry opens up a Pandora's box. In this article, we will take a behind the scenes look at the Windows XP registry. The composition of the registry will be examined, as well as how to backup and protect and restore it. Once we have that out of the way, we will examine some of the things you can easily achieve by editing the registry yourself. Continue Here>>

MSI RX600XT-TD128 PCI Express VIdeocard Review
In this review, MSI Computer have given us the opportunity to test out one of their latest PCI Express videocards, the ATI Radeon X600 based MSI RX600XT-TD128 videocard. Along with the X600 core comes 128MB of DDR memory, a pair of video outputs (analog and digital) and even an S-Video output. The necessary cables are included, along with a surprisingly large amount of bundled software.Continue Here>>

Crucial Ballistix PC5300 DDR2 Memory Review
Since Crucial's inception, the company has never catered towards the enthusiast market... Yet, now that Crucial has released the Ballistix line especially for enthusiasts. Each heatspreader encapsulated DDR2 module is 512MB each in size, and features sleek black PCB shielded by orange aluminum heatspreaders! Continue>>
AOpen H420 MicroATX Case Review
The jet black Aopen H420 is a compact desktop chassis intended for use with MicroATX or FlexATX motherboards. It is large enough that full height AGP and PCI cards can be installed too. Depending on the application, the Aopen H420 is versatile enough to be laid horizontally, or standing in a vertical orientation. The all-steel AOpen H420 case does seem to have been designed with these applications in mind, and retails for an affordable amount, with power supply installed. Continue Here>>

Albatron Trinity PC5900 PCI Express Videocard Review

With high end PCI Express videocards in short supply, those of you looking for the best performance may want to cast an eye towards nVIDIA's GeForcePCX 5900 series. The PCX 5900 core itself is architecturally identical to its AGP counterpart, the GeForceFX 5900, but nVIDIA engineers have placed a HSI chip between the GPU and PCI Express which allows them to communicate together. The Albatron Trinity PC5900 videocard is powered with 128MB of DDR RAM, and supports both analog and DVI monitors. Continue Here>>

PCstats Weekly Tech Tips: Cleaning out Printer Temp Files

WindowsXP is a big improvement over older versions, but it isn't exactly good at cleaning up after itself. For example, why doesn't WinXP clear its prefetch or temp folders from time to time? It's just one more little quirk to add to you list of maintenance duties. Yay.

Whenever you print something, WinXP automatically sends a temp file to your HDD. When the print job is finished, Windows is supposed to automatically delete this file, but guess what, sometimes the OS just leaves its junk laying around. If you don't like your HDD cluttered up with useless files, go to your system32\spool\printers directory and clear out everything inside. It's a manual tip, but one that will keep things cleaner in the long run.

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