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Newsletter Contents

.AMD and Intel
.nForce2 Mobo
.Prolink 5600
.NoiseControl
.MP3 Player
.Albatron 5600
.Colin's Weekly Tips

nForce2 Motherboard Roundup

Hello,
Happy holidays to everyone celebrating July 4th! Sometime in the next few days PCstats.com is going to be getting a well deserved update and changing its' look. You'll have to check www.pcstats.com over the next few days to see the new redesign, but for the moment here is a sneak preview of the new PCstats.com logo!!

This weeks edition of the PCstats.com Newsletter is packed full to the brim with cool hardware reviews; to start with we have a massive 11 motherboard nForce2 roundup I'm sure you'll enjoy. We compared nForce2 motherboards from Albatron, ABIT, Asus, MSI, Soltek, Eopx and FIC to find the best of the bunch. It wasn't much of a surprise that...... oops, I shouldn't spoil the surprise, so read the roundup right here.

Two nVidia GeForce FX5600 cards from the likes of Albatron and Prolink were put through the benchmarks to shows us what they are made of, so I'm sure you gamers will want to have a look at these two videocard reviews. Also, this week we have some pretty interesting insight on desktop graphics backgrounds in the Tips section, and what to expect from the new Intel Prescott and AMD Thorton cores in the HTLD. There's much more to go through, so sit back and enjoy - and most of all, have a great weekend!

Massive nVidia nForce2 Motherboard Roundup
As a newbie to the chipset market, nVidia's original nForce chipset struck out pretty badly despite being fast for its time. The reasons for the failure were simple, the first nforce chipsets were expensive and bogged down by delay after delay which caused a very late release to market. Despite a bit of a delay at the release of the nForce2 chipset, nVidia appears to have learned their lessons well and have not made the same mistakes twice. Consequently, the nForce2 chipset is enjoying widespread popularity among consumers. There are many reasons why nVidia's nForce2 chipset has proven successful so far; it delivers excellent performance, it's aggressively priced and most importantly it's an extremely stable and reliable platform.

Before we take a look at the nForce2 motherboards we have rounded up I think a quick little recap of the background info is a good idea. There are many reasons why the nForce2 chipset has put up such stiff competition. First off, the chipset has a very powerful memory controller which supports dual channel DDR memory - which in theory doubles the available memory bandwidth to the processor. nVIDIA also implemented a more advanced DASP (Dynamic Adaptive Speculative Pre-Processor) on the nForce2 which acts like the prefetch logic built into a Pentium 4 or AthlonXP processor.

Dual channel DDR, sounds impressive doesn't it? There are two independent 64bit memory controllers built into the nForce2 Northbridge and when two DIMM's are installed into each separate memory controller, the nForce2 runs them in parallel which doubles the amount of bandwidth available to the processor. Unfortunately feeding an Athlon processor with more bandwidth than it requires is a bit redundant. Read the Rest...

Prolink FX 5600 Ultimate Golden Limited Videocard Review

Read Article Now! Based on DirectX 7 Hardware, the GeForce4 MX was closer to a GeForce2 class card than the DirectX 8 GeForce4 Ti's were. nVIDIA, being the smart company that they are, noticed this and you can bet that there's no way they'll make the same mistake twice. Enter the GeForceFX family of cards. It's nice and refreshing to see that all GeForceFX's are DirectX 9 compatible, not just the top of the line FX 5800/5900 class cards. That feature is probably the main reason why so many retailers tell me even the budget FX 5200's are selling well. Today we're going to be checking out not a budget FX 5200, rather Prolink's mainstream GeForceFX 5600 Ultimate Golden Limited 256MB videocard. Don't be fooled by the internal NV31 core code name, the GeForceFX 5600 GPU is slower than that of the NV30 (FX 5800), but faster than the NV34 (FX 5200). The Prolink GeForceFX 5600 Ultimate Golden Limited is probably the fastest stock clocked GeForceFX 5600 on the market right now, and comes equipped with a massive heatsink for looks. The speed comes thanks mainly to the faster TSOP-II Samsung 3.3ns DDR RAM which the card uses. The card supports dual monitors and comes packaged with a DVI to analog converter. For those of you who dabble in multimedia, the Prolink GeForceFX 5600 Ultimate also includes a Philips 7114H VIVO chipset. To take advantage of that, Prolink have been good enough to includ the necessary breakout box which has S-Video in, S-Video Out, Composite In and Composite Out. Read the Rest...

Visit the PCstats.com ShoppingList Page for the July 2003 Budget $599, Mainstream $1500, and Performance $2500 System hardware recommendations!!

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Motherboards
Abit ASUS Gigabyte Intel iWill Shuttle Soyo Super Micro Tyan
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Video Cards
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NoiseControl Novibes III HDD Isolation Archos MP3 Jukebox Recorder Review

Read Article Now!

Noisecontrol have made it their business to make your computer dead, dead silent! In the old days hard drives used to be a big source of vibration and mechanical noise. The spindle and the read/write heads would often sound like they were grinding away like sandpaper on wood. Things have changed remarkably in just the last few years, but some hard drives can still be sources of annoying vibration and noise. Noisecontrols NoVibes III (via www.chillblast.com ) takes a different approach and suspends the drive with large rubber belts to isolate it from the frame which can sometimes resonate the sound a drive makes into something much larger. Read the Rest...

Read Article Now! There are many MP3 players out on the market to choose from. Generally these portable music players fall into two categories, high capacity harddrive-based storage and low capacity flash-based storage. The Archos Jukebox 3000 MP3 player definitely falls into the high capacity category. With 6.0 Gigs of space it will easily store anyone's MP3 collection, and a whole lot more. The Jukebox features jacks for Line out, Digital line out, Earphone jacks, full size USB port and a Mic in. The buttons a have a nice reassuring click to them when pressed. The fit and feel of the player is really solid. The screen is packed full of information and is backlit along the lines of a cell phone.

Colin's Weekly Tech Tips



By:
Colin Sun
Today: Background Desktop Images Suck Resources
Pretty looking backgrounds can really liven up a computer screen... but it is possible to have a bit too much fun with wall papers. Even if you select a JPG as a background, Windows converts the file into a BMP file which obviously can take up a lot of system resources. Luckily if you take advantage of Window's Active Desktop capabilities you can shrink that file back down to size.

First, right click anywhere on the desktop (not on an icon) and go to properties. From there click the Desktop tab then Customize Desktop. Go to the Web tab and click on the New button. Locate the picture you want as your desktop (animated gif's work as well!) and then click the Ok button once you're finished. Make sure the Lock Desktop Items box is unchecked then press Ok twice. The image that you have selected is now in a window, drag it so it's centered or covering the entire screen then right click and go to Arrange icons by and select Lock Web Items on Desktop.

That's it, now you have a background that does not eat up much system resources. =)

Colin's Tips Archives | PCStats.com Forums

Read Article Now! Albatron made quite a name for themselves back in the GeForce4 era. Who could forget the awesome GeForce4 Ti4200 Turbo line? Albatron has done what they set out to do, and have become a major player in the videocard industry within one generation. Now that the GeForceFX is upon us we were quite excited to discover what Albatron would potentially do with their videocards to make them stand out from the rest of the pack. If we look back into history you'll remember that nVIDIA lost some Ti4600 sales to the GeForce4 Ti4200 GPU which offered great bang for the buck. It's a good bet that the same situation wasn't going to be allowed to develop for the new GeForceFX's! The differences between budget/mainstream GeForceFX 5200/5600 GPU's and their more expensive brethern (FX5800/5900) is more than clock speed. Using less transistors (75 million for the FX5600 as oppose to 125 for the FX 5800 and 130 million for the 5900) nVIDIA is able to build a simplified core for a much lower price.Read the Rest...
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PCstats Issue
No.93

Circulation: 259,235

The High Tech Low Down

By: Chris Angelini

Tensions have to be running high over at AMD. June has come and gone without a sign of faster Opteron processors (we were expecting 2GHz chips by now). Furthermore, the nForce3 motherboards I was promised two months ago haven't yet arrived, leaving a gaping void where I'd hope to see workstation boards equipped with AGP slots. The problem, according to one of AMD's prominent enterprise partners, continues to be in regards to ramping up the processor's frequency. If AMD hopes to compete with Intel's much-anticipated 'Prescott' core later this year, it had better hope someone at IBM is making headway with that silicon-on-insulator technique it has been talking about for so long now. Never mind the high-end headaches, though. The real news this week is down low, where the Duron used to reside. A new core, 'Thorton' is reportedly emerging, intended to supplant the existing 'Thoroughbred' processors at the 2000, 2200, and 2400+ ratings. Equipped with 256KB of L2 cache and a 266MHz front side bus, these will be mainstream chips, to be sure. But we're still not sure how a 'Thorton' with 256KB of L2 cache differs from a 'Thoroughbred ' with the same vital statistics.

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