NVIDIA FX5900 Ultra and nForce2-Ultra Action!
If everything is on schedule the AMD Athlon 64
should be out September 22, and Intel's Prescott processor about the same
time. The wait for the Athlon 64 is exciting for sure, but the big
question surrounding Intel's Prescott (Pentium 5?) is whether or not it
will actually work with i865 Springdale or i875 Canterwood chipsets....
Officially the word is no, but it's up to the manufacturers
to redesign their power regulators for the new core and hopefully
spare us all a major upgrade
expense. Unofficially the jury
is still out, or at least being very, very quiet.
In this weeks PCstats Newsletter
we've had the pleasure of playing with, err...
testing the MSI NBOX 5900 Ultra videocard bundle. Considering the
games are included along with a mouse and a bunch of other useful tidbits,
the FX5900U-VTD256 is one cool videocard. Though, it is an expensive proposition
for gamers. Next in line is the very unique Gigabyte 8PENXP Springdale motherboard which features a six-phase powersupply!
GEIL show us
that the newest memory packaging technique can be used to improve
aesthetics, and also performance of PC3500-class DDR. Lastly, the wizards
at Aopen have shown us just how well the nForce2 Ultra chipset really is
with their AK79D-400 Max AthlonXP motherboard. Have a great weekend, and
get ready for another PCstats.com Newsletter next week!
Back in the days when 3Dfx was king and nVIDIA still
a pre-pubescent teenager, manufacturers differentiated themselves by
clocking videocards higher then what was advised, and some even included
large software bundles to tip the scale. In this wonderful period videocards
were rarely based entirely on the reference design, then came what I like
to call the "dark ages"... In the 'dark ages', manufacturers did
nothing exciting with their products and followed the reference design
down to a tee. Not only that, but most products arrived on store shelves
with the software bundles cut out. Games if they were included, were old,
out of date, or titles that never carried much weight anyway. Recently though, there seem to have been some
changes to which might indicate the videocard industry is on the precipice
of a renascence. Many manufacturers are now overclocking their cards right
from the get go, and better software bundles are once again being
To differentiate the nBox, an extraordinary
bundle of hardware (and we do mean items other than the videocard) and
software has been assembled. In fact, the nBox has easily the most
impressive bundle of goodies we've seen in the last 12 months!
Continue -- Click
Competition has always benefitted the end user
because it has the effect of driving down prices, and typically increasing
the number of features that come standard. With the upsurge in the tech
sector these last few months, competition has reached a fevered pitch, and
the goal is your hard earned spending money. As the movers and shakers
shell out product after product, Gigabyte, who are one of the larger
manufacturers in the industry, have been quietly making waves amongst the
One such example is the P4 Titan 8PENXP which
is based on the mainstream i865PE Springdale chipset. The i865PE chipset
has shown that it's a very powerful solution, rival to Intel's i875P in
terms of performance! With that in mind, and the relatively low price,
it's no wonder manufacturers have multiple boards based on the highly
successful i865PE chipset. But with so much competition, how does
Gigabyte separate itself from the rest? Well, for starters the Gigabyte 8PENXP
motherboard is possibly one of the most equipped i865PE motherboards on
the market. Standard features of the board consist of
Serial ATA/Serial ATA RAID, Ultra 133 IDE RAID, IEEE 1394, 5.1 audio,
Intel CSA enabled Gigabit LAN, dual BIOS's and Gigabyte's special DPS2
(Dual Power System).Continue -- Click
GeIL incorporated advanced WLCSP (wafer level
chip scale package) technology into the Golden Dragon memory line, and
aside from the functional reasons to go in this direction, it does look
rather cool. To protect the naked silicon DRAMs from damage, the
manufacturer added a transparent plastic cover over top. Doesn't that look cool? The eye of dragon glows red
thanks to a small LED when the system is on. Very cool indeed, case
modders out there should like that!
There are no speed markings on the
DRAMs themselves, however GeIL has said that they're using hand picked 4ns
modules. The Ultra PC3500 Golden Dragon DC memory is rated to run at 433
MHz with memory timings of 2-3-3-6, and is rated to run at between
2.5-3.1V.Continue -- Click
With the K7 near the end of its lifespan, it
seems as if every mainboard manufacturer worth its salt is making one last
big push with socket A boards. Since nVIDIA recently rehashed the highly
successful nForce2-SPP chipset under the moniker of the new
nForce2 Ultra 400 name there is no
better time than the present. Of course you'll recall
that nVidia's nForce2-SPP chipset officially supported the 400 MHz based AthlonXP processors, but
it was starting to get old (nForce2 has been around for about 11
months already!) so it was time for a refresh. When nVIDIA released the
C1 stepping of the nForce2 they decided to rename the chip the
"nForce2 Ultra 400."In this review, PCstats will be testing out
the spiffy AOpen
AK79D-400 Max mainboard which, obviously, uses the "new and improved"
nForce2-Ultra 400 chipset. The Ultra name may be more symbolic than
descriptive, but I would expect a little extra performance over stock nForce 2 chipsets at
the very least - maybe even a little higher overclocking potential? AOpen packs
quite a bit into their AK79D-400 Max so critics remain content. The
AK79D-400 includes Serial ATA/Serial ATA RAID, an additional Ultra/133 IDE
channel, 5.1 audio (nVIDIA SoundStorm - the good stuff!), IEEE 1394,
10/100 LAN and dual BIOS's.Continue -- Click
||Allocating Resources is a quick fix!|
been spending a lot of time with WindowsXP recently, but I've gotten quite a few e-mails from people using Win98 who are feeling a bit left out. Well this tip is for you guys.
Most users work with programs that are running in the foreground however Windows allocates resources equally to both foreground and background tasks/applications. You can set the priority higher to the foreground tasks (which should increase overall application performance) with a simple registry tweak.
Load up regedit (Start -> Run -> Regedit) then follow this path HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> System -> CurrentControlSet -> Services->VxD -> BIOS. Once you're there modify/create the DWORD value named CPUPriority. Now you have four options for values...
0 - Applications in the Foreground run in real-time mode. Be careful though, running applications in real time mode can cause the system to become unstable!
1 - Foreground apps are set to run at maximum priority.
2 - Foreground has higher priority than background.
3 - (Default) Foreground and background are equal priority.
Choose what you think is appropriate
for you and reboot. You'll probably want to experiment to see
what best suites your computing style. On a side note, the
'Stats Forums are the coolest place on the
|The High Tech|
Intel's upcoming "Prescott" core has been receiving a lot of attention as of late. It would seem that there is a bit of controversy regarding the processor's compatibility with the 875P and 865PE motherboards currently on the market. Further, it sounds like the chip's added complexity will push it into new territories for power dissipation, despite a fresh 90nm manufacturing process.
One rumor, it appears, is related to the other. According to sources in the East, "Prescott's" thermal design power (TDP) is estimated to be above 100W, putting it above today's 3.2GHz flagship by about 20 watts. Unfortunately, this is well above initial predictions and the result is a more stringent power specification to which many of today's boards do not conform.
What, then, happens to those who purchased pricey 875P motherboards under the assumption they'd work with the Socket 478 version of Prescott? Quite simply, the jury is still out. Some motherboard manufacturers are already claiming Prescott compliance, while others are keeping mum. Meanwhile, Intel has withheld official comment. There always remains the possibility, of course, that it will change the pin-out of Prescott when it arrives. I imagine Intel would prefer not to, though.
. M. Page
. C. Sun
. C. Angelini