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In This Issue...

- Dothan 1.6GHz PC
- VIA GreaseMonkey
- Athlon64 3800+
- Epox EP9NPA+
- Guide: Batch Files
- Silent X800XT GFX
- MSI NX6800GT
- Intel nF4-SLI Mobo
- WinXP Services
- AirCruiser WiFi
- PCstats Weekly Tips
Good Gaming Gear

In this issue of the PCSTATS Newsletter, the 1.6GHz Dothan based Gigabyte N203 notebook made it past our test bench as a possible alternative to major notebook brands. While the N203 has many good features, it is hampered by the Intel 'extreme graphics' chip, which is anything but. Once again Colin's Weekly Tech Tip has been doubled up, so twice the tips are waiting a little further down. VIAs Grease Monkey is not a fat-busting mammal, but rather a service intended to help gamers keep up with patches, and new maps for their games. PCSTATS took this subscription-based software for test drive, and I'm sure you'll find the points we mention illuminating and informative.

Good gaming gear starts with an AMD Athlon64 processor, and in this issue we go back and see what the A64 3800+ has to offer in that regard. Along side that are reviews of some brand new hardware like the Epox EP-9NPA+ motherboard, Gigabyte RX80L256V silent videocard, MSI NX6800GT Geforce 6800GT powerhouse, and nForce4-SLI Intel Edition Gigabyte 8N-SLI motherboard.

Other articles of note are the Beginners Guides to Batch Files, and Optimizing WindowsXP Services. Last but not least is a new internal wireless 802.11g router from Gigabyte. With its blinking blue antenna, it is kind of 'unique.'

Gigabyte G-Max N203 Laptop Review
Read the Review...

The Gigabyte G-Max N203 "Ruby Red" edition, fits neatly into the midrange notebook category. Features and portability are this 1.6GHz Centrino-based laptop's primary strengths, but it can also hold its own in the office computing department, as we will see a little later in the benchmarks. The 'Ruby Red' N203 (which we reviewed) comes with a 1.6GHz Pentium M processor and 256MB of memory, while the 'Jazz Black' version sports a 1.7GHz processor and doubles the memory to 512MB. It comes preloaded with Windows XP Home edition.Continue Here>>

VIA Grease Monkey Patch-Tracking Software Review
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PC gamers are often forced to acquire multiple patches for a single game over the few months that it is 'in play', and this activity can get tedious. Wouldn't it be good then, if you had a little application that could automatically locate the patches you need and the demos you want, as well as linking you to a dedicated downloading server for them? Well, today we're going to look at an app that claims to fill just this role, the VIA Technologies "Grease Monkey" software.Continue Here>>

AMD Athlon64 3800+ Socket 939 64-bit CPU Review

The AMD Athlon64 3800+ processor follows in the footsteps of its popular 32/64-bit siblings, and proves itself well in the benchmarks as we'll soon see. Built on the same 0.13 micron manufacturing process as earlier Athlon64 CPUs, the Athlon64 3800+ marks the point when AMD made the transition from a 754-pin package to 939 pins. The chip we'll be testing out in this review is based on the 'Newcastle' core, and runs at a very nice speed of 2.4 GHz. The extra speed and bandwidth should help get data between the CPU and the various other system components faster, increasing overall system performance.Continue Here>>

Epox EP-9NPA+ Ultra Socket 939 Motherboard Review
Read the Review...

The Epox EP-9NPA+ Ultra offers users a very flexible nForce 4/PCI Express platform, and has some useful integrated peripherals like a 8-channel audio, 10 USB2.0 ports, IEEE 1394a, and Gigabit LAN. It's not the most well equipped motherboard we've ever dealt with, but for mainstream users I think you could say it fills out all the necessary points well. At the bottom right hand corner of the motherboard is the Port 80 diagnostics card which flashes two digit error codes to identify system status. Continue Here>>

Beginners Guides: Understanding and Creating Batch Files
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Batch files can save time by automating specific actions taken on the computer down to one simple click.

In this Beginners Guide, PCSTATS is going to going to walk you through one of the simplest but potentially most powerful ways to customize and simplify the management of your computer: batch files. These text files are easy to create, and only as complex as you want them to be, but they can perform many useful operations from file backups to system configuration quickly and automatically. At their simplest, batch files are text files which execute one or more command prompt commands in a specific order. The power of a batch file lies in the way that it allows you to combine multiple commands into one batch file 'program' and customize the way that each command operates.Continue Here>>

Gigabyte GV-RX80L256V Radeon X800XL Videocard Review
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The Gigabyte GV-RX80L256V videocard on the test bench today is a silent videocard; a unique thing for any product wearing a "Radeon" name, but there it is - not a single fan. This brand-new videocard is built from the ground up around the ATI X800 XL VPU, which is nicely hidden behind a complicated heatpipe-based passive cooling system. The X800 XL VPU has been matched with 256MB of GDDR3 RAM. The memory hums along at a full 1 GHz speed on a 256-bit wide memory controller. The GV-RX80L256V also supports TV/S-Video output as well as component out for HDTV applications.Continue Here>>

MSI NX6800GT-T2D256E Geforce 6800GT Videocard Review
With the release of the new WHQL Forceware 71.84 drivers, users can now create their own SLI game profiles, a point which will probably save SLI from becoming an obscure curiosity 6 months from now. Beyond the catchy name, the MSI NX6800GT videocard's notable points are 256MB of GDDR3 Samsung BGA DRAM, and that it doesn't take up an extra slot on your motherboard with a huge cooling solution like ATI seem so fond of doing lately. Quiet is king, so listen closely as we dish out the details... Continue Here>>
Gigabyte GA-8N-SLI Royal NF4-SLI Intel Edition

There's a new player in town, and nVIDIA's core logic chipset for the Intel Pentium 4 platform is the 'Crush 19' nVIDIA nForce4-SLI Intel Edition. In this exclusive review, PCSTATS is benchmarking Gigabyte's initial offering, the regally named GA-8N-SLI Royal motherboard. Like AMD-based NF4-SLi boards, this motherboard sports dual PCI Express x16 slots which can be used singly or together with SLi-compatible nVidia graphics cards. SLI for the Intel Pentium4 processor has arrived! Continue Here>>

Beginners Guides: Understanding and Tweaking WindowsXP Services
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In Windows XP, there are background processes that run constantly called Services, and they will be the topic of this edition of PCSTATS popular Beginner's Guides. We're going to look at what the WinXP Services are and do, why they are necessary, which ones should be running on your system and which ones you can really do without for a nice speed increase. Continue Here>>

Gigabyte AirCruiser GN-BC01 802.11g Wireless Router

Read the Review...In Canada, just about every network appliance from home routers to DSL and cable modems takes the form of an external box which is connected to your computer(s) via CAT5 Ethernet cabling. The Gigabyte AirCruiser GN-BC01 is an 802.11g internal wireless PCI router. This device incorporates a fully wireless home router/Internet sharing device onto a PCI card which you install directly into your desktop PC. It also comes with a nifty, blue-LED tipped magnetic external antenna which is fairly high gain at 3dB.Continue Here>>

PCstats Weekly Tech Tips: Admin Controls and IE Fun

The Windows Task Manager is great for diagnosing problems or seeing what's going on with a PC, but sometimes if you're an Administrator, you don't want users to have access to that. Disabling it is quite easy, so here we go.

First click start then go to run and type gpedit.msc, that will open up the Group Policy Editor. From there go to User Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> System -> Ctrl+Alt+Delete and double click on the 'Remove Task Manager' option. From there select disable and you're set. From now on users will not have access to the task manager.

Weekly Tech Tip #2

This week's tip is more for fun than functionality, we're going to show you how to change the "- Microsoft Internet Explorer" line every time IE loads. First you'll need to load up the registry editor (Start -> Run then type REGEDIT and press the Ok button) then follow this address. HKEY_CURRENT_USER -> Software -> Microsoft -> Internet Explorer -> Main.

From there create a "Window Title" string value and in the value section type in whatever you'd like for instance "PCStats Rules!" ;-) Now every time you load up IE it the title of the page will be followed by whatever you'd like it to be.

Do you have the ultimate 3DMark tweak? If so why not share it with us in the PCstats Forums!

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Our readers ask a lot of questions, and now you can see all the answers! Choose the 'Tips' news category to read through all the tech advice!

This weeks tips are:
Losing the SP2 Blues
Pest control
Codec confusion
Data Deletion
The Forgetful Drive

This Issue By
. M. Page
Weekly Tips
. C. Sun
. M. Dowler

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