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In This Issue...

- Core 2 Duo E6600
- MSI P6N SLI Platinum
- Powercolor X1550 VGA
- ASUS M2N32 Pro Mobo
- Athlon64 X2 4800+
- PCstats Weekly Tips

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Intel's Core 2 Duo E6600 Processor

Hello,
This weeks issue is short and sweet. Starting from the top is a review of the CPU du jour, the Intel Core 2 Duo E6600. With a clock speed of 2.4GHz and the all important 4MB of L2 cache, the E6600 is quick, both in 32-bit and 64-bit benchmarks. Next up is MSI's P6N SLI Platinum motherboard - an Intel platform built on the economical new nForce 650i SLI chipset. Following along is a budget Windows Vista videocard, the Powercolor Radon X1550. The weekly Tech Tip picks up where we left off last week, with an expanded commentary on how Windows Event Manager can help trouble shoot your computer system. Lastly, we have another look at the 65nm AMD Athlon64 X2 4800+ processor (both 32/64-bit benchmarks).

From last week, you recommended: notebookreview.com, what-laptop.com forums, and for cameras the only opinion that matters is dprevew.com.

In Canada? Lucky you, Intel has a contest running till May 13 for a Toshiba Intel Core 2 Duo laptop! Want to enter? Answer the "Commuting and Computing" survey that's accessible after the jump, by following along with "...an IT Manager's Best Friend..." This secret contest is only visible to those who are eligible, so decipher these cryptic clues and good luck!

Thanks for Reading,
Max Page
Editor-in-Chief - PCSTATS


Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 2.4GHz Processor Review
READ

Intel's Core 2 Duo processor kicks some major butt. PCSTATS has not seen a jump in CPU performance like this since... well for as long as we can remember! When a new processor architecture is released, at first it runs just slightly faster than the previous generation but not this time around. As you'll see in the benchmarks the Core 2 Duo is a good 25% faster than the Pentium D family. Team that up with the fact that it costs less and consumes less power, and it is easy to see that Intel has a winner on its hands.

When choosing an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, do your homework because cache size varies between models. For example mainstream oriented Core 2 Duo's come with 2MB of L2 cache, where as high end models have 4MB L2 cache. Tests have shown many times over that cache size makes a significant impact on overall performance. Now, on with the show as PCSTATS stress tests the Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 dual-core processor in a full range of 32 and 64-bit benchmarks. Continue Here>>

MSI P6N SLI Platinum nForce 650i SLI Motherboard Review
READ

The MSI P6N SLI Platinum motherboard is a good mainstream motherboard for part time tweakers, full time gamers, or for anyone who wants a fully featured board without too steep a price tag. The P6N SLI Platinum boasts a unique silent chipset cooling system, an eSATA port for external hard drives to connect to, and a full compliment of solid state capacitors. Even your friendly neighborhood PCSTATS techies have suffered at the hands of blown and leaking electrolytic capacitors. Built with the workhorse nVidia nForce 650i SLI SPP and nVidia nForce 650i MCP chipsets (nForce 430i according to MSI), the MSI P6N SLI Platinum motherboard is compatible with all Socket 775 processors on the market. Expansion is possible via two PCI Express x16 slots for graphics cards (when running SLI, both PCI Express x16 slots get 8 lanes each)....Continue Here>>

PowerColor Radeon X1550 512MB Videocard Review
READ

The PowerColor X1550 512MB videocard supports dual DVI monitors through its two DVI outputs, and TV output via a dongle. For 2D workstation use the PowerColor X1550 512MB is perfect little videocard, the two DVI outputs are perfect for two digital LCD monitors. If you're still using CRT monitors, there is one DVI to analog connector included. PowerColor has a special version of its X1550 512MB with a "Silent Cooling System" but I have to say the regular X1550 512MB videocard is already pretty darn quiet. The ATI Radeon X1550 GPU is based on the RV515 core (X1300) and is built on 80 nanometer manufacturing technology. The core speed has been increased to 600 MHz (from 450 MHz with the X1300) and the DDR2 memory comes clocked at 800 MHz, making it fully Microsoft Windows Vista ready. Continue Here>>

AMD Athlon64 X2 4800+ 65nm Processor Review
READ

The 2.5GHz AMD Athlon64 X2 4800+ processor offers us a decent mix of performance and value, it certainly won't break the bank either. The Athlon64 X2 4800+ is built on AMD's 65 nanometer manufacturing process, and this means it will help to address the power and heat issue that PCSTATS has been commenting on for the last six months. We do like it when processors become more powerful and more energy efficient, after all. Aside from the die shrink from 90nm to 65nm, the K8 architecture is identical to that of the Athlon64 X2 5000+ processor PCSTATS examined previously. Each core in this dual core Athlon64 X2 4800+ CPU has a 128KB L1 cache along with a 512KB L2 cache.Continue Here>>

PCstats Weekly Tech Tips: Windows Event Viewer, What's Next?

The integrated Windows Event Viewer (right click on the "My Computer" icon and go to "Manage") can be a handy tool for diagnosing problems with your computer, but how do you read what it says, and what are you to do with the errors? First identify potential problems; the white dialog box with an "i" in it simply tells describes operations that have completed successfully. The yellow warning sign indicates there were non critical problems during a process. The red circle with the big "X" indicates a complete program or service crash. To read what happened, double click that process event and a window full of information will display.

To use this newly found information, you'll want to look at the Microsoft Windows Knowledge base ( http://support.microsoft.com ). Input the error code (something like "0x800401F0") and put any other relevant information like the application name into the search box. The next place to look for information is Microsoft's Events and Error Message Center ( http://www.microsoft.com/technet/support/ee/ee_basic.aspx ). To get information from this utility, type in the "Event ID:" along with the name of the application that's causing the problem. What you have to do next is carefully screen the search results to find an instance that matches yours, once you do open it up and find/follow the fix.

If neither the Microsoft Knowledge base or Event and Error Message Center can help you, there's always Google. You might not get an exact fix for your situation, but it usually has a wealth of information that allows you to figure out your particular issue.

To clear all event notices, go into one of the four Event Viewers (ACEEventLog, Application, Security, System) then "Action" and select the "Clear all Events" option. After that's done, reboot the PC or restart the application causing errors to see if there are new event logs to view.

Let PCSTATS know what you think about this Tech Tip, and be sure to stop by PCSTATS Forums and post your comments or questions.

Join the PCSTATS Forums Today @ forum.PCSTATS.com!

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PCstats Issue
No.240
Circulation: 152,075

This Issue By
Editor-in-Chief. Max P.
Weekly Tips. Colin S.
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