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In This Issue...

.Asus AX800XT
.Mushkin PC4200 DDR2
.PQI PC5400 DDR2
.DIY Networking
.Gigabyte 8GPNXP-Duo
.61" DLP Screen
.Muskin PC3200
.Crucial Gizmo 2.0
.Antec 330W PSU
.99 Performance Tweaks!
.PCstats Weekly Tips
Snappy Asus AX800XT Videocard & DDR-2

Alright, the new 3.46GHz Intel Pentium 4 Extreme Edition processor is here. It runs 'faster' thanks to a 1066MHz Front Side Bus and the 925XE chipset, but is this really exciting? Well, not really if we consider that reviews from around the web aren't showing much performance gain, and the EE costs an utter fortune. The consensus in the PCstats Labs is that if you're looking to upgrade, socket 939 Athlon64's are the best option... currently.

As election results for our U.S. neighbours are unfolding now, let's cut to the chase and run through some of the highlights of the 157th issue of the PCstats Newsletter!

Up first is the swanky Asus AX800XT videocard, which features HDTV output. Next up are a couple pairs of DDR-2 RAM from the likes of Mushkin and PQI. PQI's PC5400 DDR-2 overclocked really nicely, so be sure to check that review out. Cisco Press introduced us to a good DIY networking book for novices, and our own 'Guru of Guides' gives you his opinion here. Elsewhere in the newsletter is the PCstats Weekly Tech Tip, a look at the Gigabyte 8GPNXP-Duo motherboard, Antec's silent power supply, and 0.5GB USB flash drive. There are a few other good reviews to check out too. Remember to stay tuned, because PCstats has another fantastic 104 Tech Tips Guide coming out really, really soon!

What do you think of the PCstats Career Center? Within it you can post a resume, look for a fancy new job, or even just flip through some complimentary tech magazines. Have a look, and let me know.

Asus AX800XT/TVD Videocard Review
Continue on...

In this review PCstats is testing one of Asus's flagship Radeon videocards, the AX800XT/TVD. Built on the extremely popular ATI Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition VPU, I'm sure you can already guess that the benchmark results are going to be fast... like hella-fast! ATI offload the production of their graphics processors to TSMC's now aging 0.13 micron manufacturing process, and each one of these little slabs of silicone contains a full 160 million transistors. Backing those 160 million transistors is 256MB of Samsung 1.6ns DDR-3 memory, clocked at 1.12 GHz. Continue Here>>

Mushkin 1GB PC2-4200 DDR-2 Memory Review
Continue on...

In this review, PCStats will be testing a set of new 512MB Mushkin PC2-4200 DDR-2 RAM modules, for a total of 1GB. These green single-sided DIMMs are wrapped in black aluminum heatspreaders, and fall into the PC4200 class. They are rated to run at 266 MHz with 4-4-4-12 memory timings, at 1.8V. The memory runs a bit conservatively considering it's Mushkin, but then again it seems like most memory manufacturers are being cautious right now.Continue Here>>

PQI Turbo PQI25400-1GDB DDR-2 Memory Review
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PCStats had the opportunity to play with some of PQI's latest and greatest, in the form of their Turbo PQI25400-1GDB dual channel memory kit. Officially rated to run at PC5400 speeds, or DDR2-667, the PQI Turbo memory uses conservative timings of 4-4-4-12 by default; it seems companies from Corsair to Crucial, Kingston and OCZ are being conservative with their ratings these days. Continue Here>>

Home Networking: A Visual Do-It-Yourself Guide
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Home networking can be a daunting topic for computer users who are unfamiliar with the intricacies of network technology, even if Windows XP's new features make the process vastly easier than it used to be. To help home users out with this essential subject, Cisco Press recently released a new book entitled"Home Networking: A Visual Do-It-Yourself Guide," by Brian Underdahl.

Handy tips are interspersed throughout the book, and contain relevant information to each section. A 'what went wrong' trouble-shooting section ends most chapters, providing a list of the most common potential problems and a brief guide to resolving them. The step-by-step guides cover all Microsoft operating systems from Windows 98 up to XP, which is a nice touch for users of older systems.

Continue Here>>

Gigabyte GA-8GPNXP Duo 915P Motherboard Review

With the i865PE being substantially cheaper than the i875P, we can only assume it was none to pleased that sales of its flagship i875P solution quickly faltered... This time around, Intel has been very tight lipped about the 915P and 925X chipsets, and exactly what differentiates the two. The Gigabyte GA-8GPNXP Duo socket 775 Intel Pentium 4 motherboard is based on the 915P chipset, and targeted towards the masses. Along side the Socket 775 Pentium 4 the GA-8GPNXP Duo will support up to 4GB of DDR-2 or DDR memory (though not at the same time); which is one the nicer features of the 915P chipset.Continue Here>>

Samsung HLN617W 61-inch DLP Television Review
PCstats recently had an opportunity to look at Samsung's enormous 61" HLN617W DLP flat screen TV, and we jumped at it! DLP displays may be less familiar to some of you than the more conventional methods such as plasma, CRT, LCD or rear projection, but it may well be the future of big screen HDTV's. The HLN617W is sweet, so get ready to sell that extra kidney as we take a close look at this mother of all Home Theatre screens! Once we had this DLP screen set up, we began 'testing' Doom3 on it... ahhhh :-) Continue Here>>
Mushkin PC3200 LII V2 Memory Review

Today PCstats will be checking out a couple of Mushkin's new low latency PC3200 Level II version 2 memory modules. Each stick of DDR RAM is 512MB in size (for total of 1GB), and operates at 200 MHz with timings of 2-2-2-5 at 2.6V. These are the same DRAM modules that Corsair use on its 3200XL line. It doesn't seem to scale quite as well as Winbond BH-5 DRAM with tight timings, but loosening things up does allow these Samsung chips to hit fairly decent speeds with modest voltage increases. Continue Here>>

Crucial Gizmo 2.0 512MB USB Hard Drive Review

With the proliferation of WindowsXP, plugging a device like the 512MB Crucial Gizmo 2.0 into a system doesn't even require drivers - everything is automatic, and after a few seconds up pops a new hard drive. The Crucial Gizmo 2.0 flash disk we will be looking at in this quick review is 512MB in size, and communicates at USB2.0 speeds. It measures a scant 16 x 67.5 x 8mm, and has a tiny little green LED to indicate activity. The Gizmo 2.0 flash drive is small enough that two can be installed into adjacent USB ports without encountering any space issues.Continue Here>>
Antec TruePower 330W Power Supply Review

The Antec TruePower 330W comes with some case screws, installation manual, plug and three year warranty. The unit is compatible with 115V/230V mains supplies care of a voltage selector switch, and is ATX12V compatible. For power connectors there is a 20-pin and 4-pin auxiliary connector, as well as the little used 6-pin inline power connector. With respect to peripheral connections, the Antec TruePower 330W features seven Molex, two Serial ATA, two floppy and two 12V fan-only power connectors. All the connectors are black, and the main ATX power cable is wrapped in a cable sleeve to keep it neat. Continue Here>>

Beginners Guides: 99 Performance Tips for WindowsXP
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From faster boot times, to speeding up your current hardware, PCstats has 99 Tips to make your computer run quicker, better, and more efficiently.

[Shortly, 104-more fantastic Tech Tips will be released. To hold you over, here are 99 Performance Tweaks!] This time around, our focus is on making your Windows XP computer perform faster, and better! Whether this means booting and shutting down quicker, achieving better 3D gaming performance, or just making your PC feel more 'snappy,' chances are there's a tip or two in here to help you speed things up.Continue Here>>

PCstats Weekly Tech Tips: Printer Phantoms

System Admin's who manage large networks certainly understand how frustrating it can be to maintain shared printers, especially when it comes to stuck deleted printer jobs. They are always listed as being deleted, but never really go away.

Instead of rebooting the print server, we can restart the Print Spooler service. To do this, go to your Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Services and scroll down to Print Spooler. From there right click on the service and go to 'stop,' a service control window will probably pop up for a few seconds but will disappear automatically. Once that's done, right click on the service again and select 'Start.'

The spooler service will be restarted which automatically clear out any problem print jobs. This is faster than rebooting, and great for those multi-purpose servers that have to stay online 100% of the time.

Have you checked out PCStats Forums Webdeals yet? If you're planning to upgrade your PC or buy electronics any time soon, makes sure you give that forum a spin first.

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