Hello once again!
C. Angelini reports back with some really
interesting info on Nvidia's NForce 2 chipset, and the 333MHz FSB
it will support for an as-of-yet unannounced AMD AthlonXP. Our report on Transmeta's private PCExpo showcase is up,
and for those of you interested in the plam sized OQO
computer, there are lots of pictures!
This week we're getting back to basics and that
means Videocards, processors and motherboards (with memory of course). For
starters, Colin's review of the Gainward GF4Ti4600 is a must read. AMD's
Thoroughbred processors go for a drag race as we pit the XP2100 against
the XP2000, but if you more of a Pentium 4 person then IWill' new, and
very fast P4R533 is worth investigating. In our tests with some PC1066
(PC800 will also work) we got the highest QIII benchmarks we have seen to date!
Rounding out the other components which make a
cool computer, well... cooler, is a 18.1" LCD from Samsung. This is neat
display because it shrinks the bezel down to the size of a dime. Compare that to
the monitor you are reading this on and you can see why it
captured our attention. Be sure to read Colin's Tips for this week, and remember
there are four more MSI Bluetooth Motherboard Prize Packs to be given away, so long as
you are subscriber!
There were three main Crusoe-based products
which grabbed the most attention at the PCexpo 2002 Transmeta event. First
and foremost was the OQO
computer. OQO without a doubt, have the sexiest
adaptation of a Crusoe processor - even if the realization is still a few
quarters off. Next up on the list of new entries is the newly announced official
Transmeta reference motherboard for developers, but
we'll get to that in a second. Thirdly we have the Gericom
Crusoe-based notebook. It may be true that Sony, Toshiba, Fujitsu, and NEC
have more pull with their subnotebooks, but Gericom has one of the fastest
growing European notebook distribution channels.
have always held Gainward in high regard because they openly embrace the
overclocking community, and provide software such as "EXPERTools" which can overclock the
card with the push of a button. After removing the Gainward
GeForce 4 PowerPack GS Ultra/750XP from its packaging the first thing you
are struck with is just how long the thing is. Like most other
manufacturers, Gainward have chosen to go with the nVidia reference card
design. Comparing against our nVidia GF4 they only difference is the
colour of the PCB, and the modified the GPU cooler faceplate and funky
ramsinks (front and back).
AMD AthlonXP Thoroughbred Drag
previous AthlonXP model, the Palomino (0.18 micron process) was nearing the end
of its competitive life with the release of AthlonXP 2100+ in March
refined the core a little now, that is why there are less transistors.
37.5 million on the Palomino and 37.2 million on the T-Bred. The actual
CPU looks very much like the "Thunderbird" Athlon, with the rectangular
shaped core and resistors on the top instead of on the bottom. The core size is a tiny 80mm2 compared to the much
larger 128mm2 for the Palomino, and 145mm2 of the P4 Northwood (131mm2 for
AMD's long awaited AthlonXP "Thoroughbred"
processor (aka T-Bred) has finally arrived. Built on 0.13 micron
technology the T-Bred will run cooler then any Athlon/XP that proceeded it
and allow AMD to ramp up the clock speed of their processors higher. Will
this allow the AthlonXP to take back the speed crown from AMD's arch rival
Intel and their Pentium 4 processors?
The Syncmaster 181T in its black and
silver housing is something quite different for an LCD, and much better
looking than most. The secret is as simple as an almost non-existant front
bezel which measures just 18mm wide. Immediately, thoughts around the
lab turned to pairing up six of these 'little' 18.1" TFT
LCD's into a giant 27" x 47" mosaic of LCD goodness.
|Colin's Weekly Tech Tips
Have you ever heard your HDD chug along when you launch a large program? Because of HDD's fast rotational speed, they often plunks down data all over the place on the platter of the drives when you're storing information.. This is very inefficient and takes a lot of time when bits and pieces are all over the place.
Defragging your HDD puts all related information next to each other for quicker access and since all the data is in the same proximity the drive doesn't have to search when you request data.
Microsoft has included a defragging program in their OS's for the longest time even dating back to the DOS days. You can access your hard drive defrag program in the "System Tools" folder that is usually in your "Accessories".
It's recommended that you defrag your HDD at least once a month so your HDD doesn't get bogged down.
For more insight into the world of tweaks, track down Colin in the PCstats forums for some Q & A
Have you stopped by the PCStats Forums yet? It's one of the
fastest growing hardware communities and we want to hear from you!
|The High Tech Low Down
With C. Angelini
Just yesterday, NVIDIA
launched the second generation of their nForce chipset. Like its
predecessor, nForce2 supports dual-channel DDR memory and
AMD’s Athlon processor. Yet, for the most part, all
of the nForce2’s announced features are evolutionary.
USB 2.0 is supported, as is IEEE 1494 FireWire and AGP 8x. Two 10/100 Ethernet ports are also provided to allow easy Internet Connection Sharing with other computers on a Local Area Network.
Finally, NVIDIA has added GeForce4 MX-class graphics to the chipset, along with
two VGA ports to enable multi-display configurations.
The most interesting factoid that we picked up from the nForce2
product launch, though, is that NVIDIA fully
supports a 333MHz front side bus. AMD has
already claimed that the Athlon XP’s bus would remain clocked at
266MHz, but in light of this new information it would seem that
AMD is planning a surprise assault on the currently
dominant Pentium 4.
Should the Athlon XP become available at 333MHz,
NVIDIA would be the only manufacturer with a
chipset validated for operation at the faster frequency, giving the
nForce2 a tremendous advantage.
The combination of the Athlon XP and nForce2 chipset may
challenge the high-end Pentium 4, keeping AMD alive
until the K8 architecture is polished. Until next week!
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