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Hello!

Time flies fast for most of us, but the complete opposite happens when you're stuck in a plane, or traffic. To alleviate this problem, Samsung have the killer X-mas gift - the DVD-L100 - a portable DVD player for DVD watching movies on the go. Very cool little device, two thumbs up!

Our report on PCexpo/TechXNY in New York is up and I hope you'll give it a read as there was some really interesting technology on display including a computer the size of a deck of cards running a Crusoe processor.

To wet your whistle this week, we have a review on the Shuttle DDR33 Ak35GTR motherboard for starters. This board won our seal of approval, and if you're an AMD fan it could very well get yours thanks to its great performance characteristics. Oddly, we haven't been hearing too much from Shuttle lately so perhaps the slow down in motherboard sales that Taiwan experienced this spring has had an effect on them. MSI recently reported it broke the 1.5Million/mo unit mark despite the slowdown.

On the other hand Albatron have been steadily making a name for themselves, and their Ti4600 offers a no-frills approach to fast gaming at a pretty good price. If you're into case modding you may want to try your hand at a little thing we've nicknamed the "Glowy GeForce." The details are below, and the pictures tell the whole story. Last, but not least we have a wireless round up from Belkin that can put you on the fast track to 802.11b wireless networking.

Remember for the next few weeks we are giving away MSI Bluetooth Motherboard Prize Packs - keep checking your mail to see if you've won!

Samsung DVD-L100 Portable DVD Player Review

There aren't too many things that would get me to drop everything on the go... that is until I saw the aluminum encased DVD-L100 portable DVD player from Samsung which retails for about $900 USD.

What we have here is a portable DVD drive, a 10" LCD display (in perfect 16:9 aspect ratio for letter box movies), a Sony Memory Stick media port (for MP3's), twin headphone jacks and a small assortment of audio and video outputs. The 10" WVGA 800x480 pixel LCD screen has a contrast ratio of 300:1, and brightness value of 350 cd/m2 which is really impressive. Battery life is listed at 3 hours with the standard 7.4V 4400mAh Lithium Ion battery, and up to 6 hours with an optional extended life version

Article Link: http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=1151

Read Article Now! Report on PCExpo / TechXNY 2002


The underlying theme of this years PCexpo was supposed to be practical uses of technology, but the event was really held at the mercy of New York City grid lock where shiny little bits of technology can't really help you out.

The camera is just about the same size as a credit card, and only 11mm thick. It's impressive to see one single product capture anyone's attention in a show full of cutting edge technology, but when it also captures the attention of the other exhibitors you that is even more impressive.

Article Link: http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=1147

Shuttle AK35GTR KT333CE Motherboard Review

H'mm.. think you've seen this motherboard somewhere before because AK35GTR just sounds way too familiar? Well, why we really like Shuttle we are not reviewing the same motherboard again, the Shuttle AK35GTR Version 2.2 is an all new board, and this time it's based on VIA's KT333 chipset. The new AK35GTR uses VIA's new VT8233A southbridge which is the same as the older VT8233 except the new A version has support for Ultra/133 harddrives. The board also comes with on board Ultra/133 IDE RAID which uses the Highpoint HPT372 chipset and can do RAID's 0, 1 and 0+1. If you don't feel like "RAIDing" your harddrives, then it can also be used as an IDE controller as well.

Article Link: http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=1039



Belkin Wireless 802.11b Networking Review
Read Article Now! If Ethernet moving into the home was the first big revolution in networking, Wireless LAN or IEEE 802.11b, is slated to be the next. With a range of just over 300 feet indoors at 11Mbps, a wireless network enables many computers to communicate without the need for wires. Data is sent over the radio waves at a frequency of between 2400~2483.5 MHz using Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) technology, and so a few security measures need to be taken to safeguard yourself.

Article Link: http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=1053

Albatron GeForce4 Ti4600 Glowy Geforce 4 Mod: How to do it

Albatron is targeting the hard core gamer who doesn't need any of the extra "frills" or software, they're just looking for a cost effective high performance card without any of the added-value stuff that gets in the way of good gaming. The Albatron GeForce4 Ti4600 features analog and DVI monitor ports.

Article Link

Sometimes we get the oddest ideas for mods, and while this isn't something we devote too much time too around here, the Glowy GeForce mod turned out kind of cool. Most importantly it only took a few minutes to whip up. The basic idea was just to liven up an MSI Ti4200 we had on the review block, and short of back lighting the videocards PCB bright blue, the fan mod seemed a good one to try.

Article Link

Colin's Weekly Tech Tips
By: Colin Sun

One of the biggest things you can do to boost your overall system performance is to tune your system memory. When your computer is POSTing (when your memory is being counted) you have to get into your BIOS, usually it's as simple as pressing the "Delete" key, on some motherboards you have to press "F1".

After you're in the BIOS you want to go to your "Advanced Chipset Features". Inside that sub menu's look for "DRAM Timing" or "DRAM Control". Once you find that, look for "CAS Latency" or "CL". On the safe side this is usually set to "SPD" (Serial Presence Detect) but you'll find if you can adjust the value to "2" your overall system performance would go up approx. 5-7%!

Basically what this tweak does is, it forces your memory to run a little more aggressively. It no longer waits as long when addressing and transferring data between the bus, CPU, or other peripherals. You should notice the biggest performance differences in games or anything that heavily taxes your system.

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!

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PCstats Issue No.46
Circulation 120,450

The High Tech Low Down
With C. Angelini


It has been a while since the chipset market saw innovation. Intel has relied on the i850 family for nearly two years. AMD has purposely steered clear of manufacturing chipsets to make room for third-party products. SiS has popped in and out with a couple of surprises; ALi made a brief stand and NVIDIA debuted their rookie sensation, nForce.

Things are about to get a little more interesting though. To begin with, NVIDIA is set to unveil their next of kin - Crush 18 (or nForce 2). The first variant will feature AGP 8x and DDR333/400 support. Another version will follow, sporting GeForce4 MX-class integrated graphics. The first nForce didn't live up to the hype so it will be interesting to see how nForce2 is approached. I'd expect an announcement from NVIDIA within two weeks.

VIA plans to keep NVIDIA at bay with the KT400 chipset. Fundamentally a revised KT333, VIA's latest will support 8x AGP and DDR400 memory, among other things. Additionally, VIA is also readying the P4X400 and P4X600 chipsets for the Pentium 4 market. The success of these products will be contingent largely on VIA's ability to obtain a license for the Pentium 4 bus.

Both manufacturers have already demonstrated systems running AMD Clawhammer processors. Boards based on these chipsets are expected to debut alongside the Hammer family at the end of this year.


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