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In This Issue...

.WinXP Safe Mode
.8KNXP Ultra64 Mobo
.Albatron WIDIO
.Registry Guide
.Trinity PC5900
.Sapphire R9800XT
.PCstats Weekly Tips
Windows Safe Mode Explained

In the last issue of the PCstats Newsletter I talked about three upcoming chipsets to address the PCI Express and AMD Athlon64 problem. This week, I have a little info to share with you about Intel's upcoming plans...

But first I'd like to direct your attention to PCstats' latest Guide to WindowsXP Safe Mode. This a great guide that can save you and your PC from a trip to the Service Center, so have a look! Next up is our review of the workstation-class GA-8KNXP Ultra64 motherboard from Gigabyte, and Albatron's unique wireless audio system called the WIDIO. The little WIDIO unit is pretty cool, and the headphones that ship with it look like something out of the Matrix. Don't forget to read through PCstats' Guide to the Registry, as it details how to back up before you go about trying any of our Weekly Tech Tips. Knowing how to save your registry settings could save you from a big headache in the future. After that, we have a review of the Albatron Trinity PC5900 and Sapphire Radeon 9800XT videocards.

As you already know, the Intel Pentium 4 Socket 775 CPU was introduced with a Front Side Bus of 800MHz. When the new Intel 925XE chipset is released, the Pentium 4 will support an FSB of 1066MHz. There won't be any major difference between the 925X and 925XE chipsets, save for a bandwidth increase from 6.4GB/s to 8.5GB/s. A Socket T P4 CPU with dual channel DDR2-533MHz RAM will have its memory and FSB running synchronously, which is always nice for performance figures too. But what about faster memory speeds, like DDR2-667MHz? Well, according to our sources, the 925XE chipset should handle RAM upwards of DDR2-740MHz speeds... but we'll have to wait until we test this ourselves to know for certain.

Consumers on a budget will have a little more breathing room as the 915GV, and 910GL chipsets are also expected to be released in conjunction with the 925XE. When exactly all of this is slated to happen remains to be seen, but I'd expect to see these changes fairly soon.

Beginners Guides: Windows XP Safe Mode Explained
Hit F8 to boot your PC in to Safe Mode, and from there..... what? Safe Mode is a powerful tool for fixing problems in Windows, and finally PCstats explains how to actually use it In this article, PCstats will explain how Windows XP's various 'Safe Modes' work, how you access them and how they can help you troubleshoot various software and operating system issues. Now, isn't this a handy topic!? Windows XP safe mode provides you with a basic graphics driver (enough to display the user interface), access to your drives and windows configuration, and very little else.Continue Here>>

Gigabyte GA-8KNXP Ultra-64 Motherboard Review
Most everyone who spends their days testing computer hardware likes to focus on the desktop side of things. In this review however, PCstats will be looking at a true workstation-class i875P-based motherboard from Gigabyte, called the GA-8KNXP Ultra-64. Although this board is impressive across the scale, it does seem as though Gigabyte's engineers simply adapted the already successful GA-8KNXP Ultra motherboard for extra duty; tossing in two 64bit PCI slots and an Adaptec SCSI controller into the mix. Continue Here>>

Albatron WIDIO Wireless Audio System Review

The Albatron Widio Deluxe wireless audio receiver and transmitter is a small glossy white and green i-Pod sized device which allows users to listen to music at distances of up to 50m (164 feet) from the audio source. The Albatron Widio requires no software drivers, and can be used with a PC, stereo, X-Box, Play Station, CD-player, home theatre system, or any other device which has an audio-out jack. Albatron's Widio works on a 2.4GHz wireless signal, and its receiver can also tune into FM radio signals for those times when you get tired of listening to the same old CDs or MP3s. The base station doubles up as a drop-in charger for the wireless receiver, which contains a rechargeable 3.6V Lithium Ion battery pack. One Li-Ion battery is will last about 4 hours of music playback. Continue Here>>

Beginners Guides: The Registry: Backups, Repairs, and Protection
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>>
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>>

Sapphire Radeon 9800XT Videocard Review

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. Continue Here>>

PCstats Weekly Tech Tips: Colours and Desktop Settings

My sister spends a ton of time customizing the colour scheme on her PC, so much so that she always asks me to save her settings before I tinker around and fix her PC. This is on the odd chance that I can't fix whatever is wrong, and need to format and reinstall. After all, who want to redo everything?

Backing up those settings is quite easy, first we'll want to load up regedit (Start -> Run then type regedit and press the Ok button) and follow this path HKEY_CURRENT_USER -> Control Panel -> Custom Colors and back up that branch. If you have custom patterns on the PC as well go to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER -> Control Panel -> Patterns and back up that branch as well.

From now on, the next time you format and reinstall double click on those registry settings and your old colours and patters will automatically be restored! =) We're looking for new people to join the PCStats Folding@Home team and help us to break into the top 50 teams!

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