Today we have a
job for you, it's easy and you could walk away with some free
:) We are building
a big book of tips and tricks which you can be a part of and contribute to. The
entry forum is right here, and we encourage everyone to submit your hard-earned knowledge! After
all, each and everyone one of you a computer genius in your own
right, so share the knowledge!
There is so much to mention that its hard to know where
to begin, so lets start with today's review of the ATI All-in-Wonder Radeon
8500DV 128MB Edition. Colin took this puppie for a spin and the results were
unanimous - he simply loves it. Of course not everyone is going to want to spend
$500 on a videocard which brings cable TV to the desktop, but
I'm sure there will be more than a few takers. Looking down the road a
bit Mike takes us through the ins and outs of the recently announced Matrox Parhelia. While
only a few demos have surfaced at E3, the initial impressions are jaw dropping to
say the least.
With Taiwan's Computex just around
the corner (starts June 3) we can expect Abit to announce many
more cool things, but if you aren't ready to hop on the legacy free bandwagon
just yet the KR7A-133RAID is a nice board to consider. Based on the VIA KT266A chipset
it sidesteps some of the 3D performance problems we have been seeing with the KT333CE
in overclocked environments.
ATi has carved out quite a niche market with their
All in Wonder videocard; they offer great flexibility that often rivals
mid-level professional video editing systems, but with ease and use any consumer
can appreciate. ATi's All in Wonder (AIW
for short) Radeon 8500DV is clocked slower (240 MHz core/340 MHz memory) then
the standard Retail ATi Radeon 8500 (275 MHz core/550 MHz memory) videocard
however ATi knows that most consumers looking at the AIW Radeon 8500DV aren't
too concerned about 3D performance.
With the All in Wonder Radeon 8500 128MB model ATi
has gone back to its All in Wonder roots. The AIW 8500 128MB no longer has IEEE
built directly into the card, and ATi has gone back to a Phillips TV tuner
rather then stick with the one that is used on the 8500DV. The All in Wonder
Radeon 8500 128MB retails for $525 CDN ($300 US) making it one of the most
expensive videocards out there, however it comes with many features that regular
video cards, even GeForce 4's just don't have.
Article Link: http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=1111
In recent times, Matrox and video games technology have not exactly
gone hand in hand so it was with a lot of anticipation that the
information about the Parhelia was analysed. Given that the Millennium
G400 came out in May of 1999, Matrox have been essentially upgrading the
same basic GPU all the way up to the G550. After seeing the advanced
features they touted for their G400 card, (hardware bump mapping, etc.)
made quickly obsolete by a flood of products from Nvidia and ATI offering
similar features and significantly faster 3D performance, Matrox
apparently gave up on the gamers market.
With the launch of the G550 chip, Matrox barely mentioned 3D
performance in any of the hype for the new product, which may not have
been a bad thing considering its performance remained strictly ‘adequate.’
Other features, such as excellent 2D image quality and the much discussed,
apparently little used ‘Headcast’ feature got the press. On the other
hand, Matrox does have an excellent reputation in the industry for two
things in particular, exceptional 2D and 3D image quality, and most
Article Link: http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=1109
Abit has always had a warm spot in the hearts of
overclockers because they openly embrace the enthusiast market, which can
sometimes be a dangerous path to walk. While Abit has never openly endorsed
overclocking, they have made attempts to please the performance user in this
regard. The first such example is of course the ability to change FSB in 1 MHz
increments.In typical Abit fashion, the KR7A-133RAID is a
little bit more expensive then the curve. Weighing in at $250 CDN it's probably
one of the most expensive VIA KT266A boards around. Knowing that the KR7A-133R
has a KT266A chipset just about guarantees it will be a good performer, but how
does Abit separate itself from the rest?
Article Link: http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=1028
VIA's KT333CE Chipset
3D Performance Stumbles at 166MHz FSB
Since the introduction of the KT333CE chipset there
have been some strange benchmarking results cropping up which are hard to
explain. In a broad number of 3D oriented benchmarks, at higher bus speeds,
VIA's KT333CE chipset seems to be performing consistently slower than
the older VIA KT266A chipset. After a few late
nights discussing this with VIA directly, we have come to believe that these
peculiarities are due to the introduction of the 2/5th AGP divider.
According to VIA the only differences between
the KT266A and KT333CE chipsets is the addition of an asyncronous memory
controller which supports JEDEC DDR333 SDRAM, and the 1/5th PCI and 2/5th AGP
dividers. With the Front Side Bus running at
overclocked speeds of 166MHz, the KT266A chipset has the AGP working at 88MHz.
Under the same conditions the KT333CE chipset clocks in at just
Article Link: http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=1103
tech help late at night? The brand-spanking-new PCstats Forums
are open 24/7 and everyone is welcome. Come check out the recent upgrade
and let us know what you think.
|Colin's Weekly Tech Tips
For Win9x/ME users,
setting a dedicated physical swap file size can dramatically improve
performance of your system. Right click on the "My Computer"
icon and go to properties. From there go to "Advanced Tab". You
should see a Virtual Memory button, click that and specify your own
virtual memory settings. The general rule is twice your physical
memory size so if you have 128MB RAM set the minimum to 256MB. After
reboot the computer and defrag your HDD.
What this does is it forces your
computer to have a dedicated swap file which improve system
efficiency since Windows no longer has to worry about the size of
the virtual memory (constant shrinking and enlarging of the swapfile
can severely slow a computer down) and defragging the HDD moves the
swapfile to the front of the drive for quick access.
For all the
people who know how to tweak a computer inside and out,
we have a contest running in the PCstats Forums
that gives you a chance to win some
256MB DDR memory!