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In This Issue...

- Samsung 173P+
- Epox 5NVA+SLI
- Corsair PC8000UL
- EZ-swap SATA
- P4 D-840
- Foxconn 945P7AA
- Samsung Tour
- PCstats Weekly Tips

Details Emerge on AMD's Pinless Server CPU

It's amazing how fast information can travel on the web. Just a day ago, leaked photos of the socket for an upcoming AMD Operton processor surfaced. The 1207-pin Socket-F photos indicate a pinless CPU (just like the LGA775 Pentium 4), but at a much higher density and with an interesting split down the center that suggests two distinctive cores. However, we'll have to wait and see if the reported on-core PCI Express controller and support for DDR2-800 memory are correct.

What's perhaps most remarkable about all of this is the interest generated by something so mundane as a CPU socket... or perhaps it's just that the market is eagerly looking to AMD because Intel's CPUs are so underwhelming. Let us know what your thoughts are!

On that point, Issue 195 of the PCSTATS Newsletter starts off with a look back at the dual core Intel Pentium D-840 CPU, before moving onto reviews of the ultrafast Samsung 173P+ 8ms (gtg) 17" LCD, Vantec SATA EZ-swap removable rack, Corsair TwinX PC2-8000UL DDR-2 RAM, and Foxconn 945P7AA motherboard.

The Epox 5NVA+SLI motherboard bridges nVidia's NF4-SLi with Intel's latest and greatest, so do give that review a through read.

Samsung Syncmaster 173P+ 17inch LCD Display Review
Continue on...

The new Samsung 173P+ incorporates all of the original models best physical attributes, along with a better contrasted 17" LCD panel and 8ms gray-to-gray pixel response time. The compact little 17" screen of the Samsung 173P+ boasts a native resolution of 1280x1024 pixels. Its industry standard dot pitch of 0.264mm makes for a crisper image from the a-si TFT/PVA panel than many 19" LCDs can muster. The Samsung 173P+ offers up a contrast ratio of 1500:1 and brightness value of 270 cd/m2. Viewing angles on the Samsung 173P+ break the barrier at 178 degrees horizontal/vertical. The unit accepts both 15-pin Analog and DVI digital video connections, though DVI is naturally the preferred standard. Continue Here>>

Vantec SATA EZ-Swap MRK-200ST-BK Hard Drive Rack Review
Continue on...

The Vantec EZ-Swap MRK200-ST-BK only comes in black, and it supports the Serial ATA I standard although Serial ATA II drives will function just fine in it at reduced maximum peak though-put. The HDD caddy is made of aluminum which should help keep high speed drives a littler cooler than plastic would. There is also a small 40mm fan at the back of the unit which pulls a little air through the unit. On the front of the HDD caddy is blue-illuminated LCD that displays the ambient temperature and has a few simple temperature related alarm controls.Continue Here>>

Epox 5NVA+ SLI NF4 Intel Edition Motherboard Review
Continue on...

Motherboards like the Epox 5NVA+ SLI support Socket 775 533/800/1066 MHz FSB Pentium 4/D/Extreme Edition as well as Celeron D processors. The four DIMM slots can accommodate up to 8GB of unbuffered non ECC DDR2 memory running at 667 MHz, while operating in dual channel mode with 1.8V. Epox also bundles a few on board goodies with the board such as Gigabit LAN, a 7.1 audio controller, IEEE 1394 and my personal favorite a Port 80 diagnostics card. Of course, we must not overlook the two PCI Express x16 slots which will support SLI set-ups with the appropriate videocards either!Continue Here>>

Intel Pentium D 840 Dual-Core LGA775 Processor Review
Continue on...

The flagship Intel Pentium D 840 processor, clocked at a respectable 3.2GHz and built on the 90nm process uses a pair of Prescott cores running at 16 x 200MHz to bring multi-processing to the desktop in a LGA775 pinless package. The Intel Pentium D 840 has a maximum power requirement of 130Watts (as opposed to 169million transistors and 115W for the 3.8GHz P4 670). Each core has access to its own L1 and L2 cache memory, 16KB and 1MB respectively. Continue Here>>

Corsair Twin2X1024-8000UL Memory Review
Continue on...

On the forefront of this DDR-2 RAM movement is the nVidia nForce4 SLI chipset - it's more advanced and supports more features than Intel's counterparts, and allows memory to operate much faster than the FSB. According to Corsair, with compatible supporting hardware, its 240-pin DDR2 Twin2X1024-8000UL memory can run at.....1000 MHz! It has default timings of 5-4-4-9, and to reach 1000 MHz the DIMMs are rated for up to 2.2V. DDR2 memory will generate a bit of heat at really high speeds, so its good to see black aluminum heatspreaders applied.Continue Here>>

Foxconn 945P7AA-8EKRS2 Motherboard Review
Continue on...

With both Intel and AMD firmly devoted to dual core processors in the foreseeable future, one would expect a flurry of dual core capable software should be hitting the market... yet at the moment this aspect of the dream being marketed is sadly overlooked. Still, future-proofing is always a good route to take, and if you are scouting out new Intel socket 775 systems, there is no reason not to look at motherboards which support dual core CPUs. Take for example the Foxconn 945P7AA-8EKRS2 motherboard which is based on the Intel 945P chipset that PCSTATS is testing today.Continue Here>>

Samsung Showroom Photo Tour 2005
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PCSTATS recently headed out to the Samsung Canada offices for a briefing. While we were there, we took the opportunity to snap a couple pictures of the companies brand new showroom which houses the latest Samsung products to hit the Canadian retail market. The large showroom is built to impress, and aside from the abundance of 42" plasma and LCD screens hanging off of virtually every wall surface. For anyone who has never had the opportunity to walk the expansive floors of the Las Vegas Convention Center during CES, the following photo-tour is a nice treat. Continue Here>>

PCstats Weekly Tech Tips: Athlon64 Command Rate Tweak

When it comes to computers, you can never have enough memory bandwidth. AMD Athlon64 users can boost their computers' bandwidth by about 25% by setting one little memory timing tighter... so listen closely, this is a hush-hush kind of deal. What you'll want to do is go into the motherboard BIOS (usually you press the 'Del' key at POST, sometimes it's 'F1,' 'F2,' 'F10' or 'F12' depending on the motherboard). Once you're in the BIOS, find the memory timings section. These are typically found in the "DRAM configuration" or "Advanced Chipset Features" sections. Once located, find the "Command Rate" or "Command Per Clock" option and change its value to "1T."

Memory willing, with the Command Rate set at 1T performance should increase slightly and bandwidth will increase greatly! Please keep in mind that only high quality memory can run with a Command Rate of 1T and if you are using all four DDR DIMMs (Socket 939/940), the Athlon64 memory controller will not handle the 1T setting.

All of the PCstats Weekly Tech Tips have been archived in the Forums for your reference.

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