- Asus A8N-SLI Premium
- Gigabyte 7800GTX
- Ballistix PC2-4200
- Foxconn 955X Mobo
- VIA C7-M Preview
- ECS PF88 Dually Mobo
- DIY HTPC Guide
- PCstats Weekly Tips
Asus' Innovative A8N-SLI Motherboard
Summers almost up,
school is a few weeks away for students, and we've got a pile of reviews
to get through - so here we go!
To start with, the excellent Asus A8N-SLI
Premium received high marks for its overclocking and innovative
chipset thermal solution. Following that is a revisit to Gigabyte's
7800GTX green monster, a nice set of benchmarks for Crucial's Ballistix
PC2-4200 DDR2, and a brief overview of the upcoming VIA C7-M
ultra-low power mobile processor. Foxconn's latest 955X motherboard did well on the test bench with a
Pentium 4 840, as did the radically different ECS PF88
board. Last but not least, the Weekly Tech Tip rounds out your 186th PCSTATS Newsletter Edition. Phew.
Asus has introduced an innovative heatpipe cooling solution
on the NF4 SLI Northbridge for its newly re-spun Asus A8N-SLI Premium (rev
1.02) motherboard. The 6mm diameter copper heatpipe draws
heat away from the nVidia NF4-SLI chipset to a section of fins which are
also used to cool the power MOSFETs. Moving on, the board can be used
with any Socket 939 AMD Athlon64/FX CPU currently on the market, up to 4GB of
PC3200 DDR-RAM and of course two PCI Express x16 videocards in SLI! Continue Here>>
GV-NX78X256V-B PCI Express 7800GTX videocard is backed up by 256MB of
GDDR3 memory and supports VIVO (Video In/Video Out) as well as component
output, and is fully SLI
compatible. Included in the package is also a pretty good software
suite which includes two full version games and some multimedia software.
Built on the smaller 0.11 micron manufacturing, the nvidia Geforce 'G70'
core can get away with a single slot cooler, unlike previous
generations that sounded like high end vacuum cleaners. Continue Here>>
this review, we'll benchmark and overclocking a 1GB set of Crucial
Ballistix PC2-4200 DDR2 memory (2x 512MB) which come packed in bright
yellow/orange aluminum heatspreaders. By default Crucial's Ballistix PC2-4200 runs at DDR2-533 speeds with memory timings of 4-4-4-10, at a voltage of 1.8V. Crucial has always been
on the conservative side of 'enthusiast' level gear, but we're hoping that
this Ballistix DDR2 RAM will still be up to the overclocking challenge.
Looking at the specs of its flagship Intel 955X
chipset based solution, the Foxconn 955X7AA-8EKRS2, we're left quite
impressed. The board supports up to 8GB of PC5300 DDR2 memory as well as
800/1066MHz FSB Intel Pentium 4/D/EE processors. Network connectivity comes care of two
Broadcom Gigabit NICs, 7.1-channel audio is the work of Intel's 'High
Definition' Azalia audio controller. If you need to upgrade, there
is the standard PCI Express x16 videocard slot among others. Continue Here>>
While VIA is known
more as a chipset manufacturer than anything else, the company has had its
own line of x86-based processors for a while now. The VIA
C7-M is its mobile processor, slated to become available in
November 2005 in speeds of 1.5GHz or 1.8GHz. During a recent briefing
by the company, PCSTATS was shown the CPU in its A2 stepping. The
processor is made with a 90nm IBM SOI (Silicon-On-Insulator) fabricating process. One of
the most remarkable attributes of the VIA C7-M is its tiny size;
the processor die is a 30mm square NanoBGA2 package, smaller
than a postage stamp - making it an extremely affordable chip to manufacture.
What would you say if PCSTATS told you that
we have a motherboard here which combines the best of both Intel
and AMD CPUs through an innovative daughtercard system, all one
board? The ECS
PF88 Extreme Hybrid motherboard is on our test bench for a thorough
examination, and in the configuration pictured it works with either a
socket 775 Intel Pentium 4 or
socket 939 AMD Athlon 64 processor. Intrigued yet? Continue Here>>
Computers are a perfect fit for the
entertainment room, and building your own home theatre
PC is not more difficult than assembling a standard system - as long
as you have the right components for the task. In this
Do-It-Yourself Guide, PCSTATS are going to walk you step-by-step
through the process of assembling your own home theatre PC out of
contemporary components. We'll also explore the various things you can do
with an HTPC
after it's built.
|| PCstats Weekly Tech Tips: Locking the Taskbar
One of my pet peeves is when my wife goes onto my computer and changes the layout of the Taskbar and Start Menu... I like the icons organized the way I use them, she can do what she wants on her PC. ;-) Luckily I have a tech tip for this very occasion that will disable her access to this! It's an easy one to, first click the 'Start' button and go to 'Run' and from there type gpedit.msc and press the Ok button.
That will open up the 'Group Policy Editor,' from there go to the 'User Configuration' area and expand the 'Administrative Templates' folder. Click on the 'Start Menu and Taskbar' folder and in the right hand window, click the 'Prevent changes to Taskbar and Start Menu Settings' option. Change its value to 'Enabled' and viola you're done.
Now if you've done this, no one can change the way things look in the Start Menu or Taskbar. Muhahaha...=)
All of the PCstats Weekly Tech Tips have been archived in the Forums for your reference.
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