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In This Issue...

- MSI 7900GS GFX
- ABIT AB9 Pro Mobo
- Advanced TechTIP
- ECS PN1 SLI2 Extreme
- Core 2 Duo E6600
- PCstats Weekly Tips

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Can't Play DVDs in Vista Business? The Fix is...

Hello,
Changing platforms is never fun, all those files to backup and move, software to reinstall, mail settings and remembering passwords. Argh... After a hard day of porting a PC to a new OS there's nothing quite so frustrating as discovering Vista Business can't play back DVDs! For the love of MPEG-2 codecs!!! Anyway, the PCSTATS Newsletter has a special TechTip this week just to fix this little oversight if you're running Vista Business or Basic. Scroll down, get a codec-pack, enjoy.

Speaking of porting platforms, do you code HTML in HomeSite? All of PCSTATS and this Newsletter are built with that program. Software compatibility with Vista is all over the map, but you'd be hard pressed to get us to abandon an application we swear by just because a new OS is... shall we say... finicky. If Hotfix KB891781 errors, dhtmled.ocx, or "no such interface supported" mean anything to you, read the right-side column. Fixes for WinXP SP2 and Vista Business will be outlined over this, and next weeks' issue.

On the review front, PCSTATS tests out MSI's pre-overclocked Geforce 7900GS videocard this week, the NX7990GS-T2D512-OC. Following that is Universal ABIT's P965-based AB9 Pro motherboard and a similar Intel platform from ECS. The ECS PN1 SLI2 Extreme is an nForce 590 SLI motherboard, offering up the usual dose of features, bundled in extras and dual graphics card capabilities. If you missed it last week, PCSTATS extensively tested the Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 processor in 32 and 64-bit benchmarks. Jack wanted us to mention that upcoming E6320 and E6420 Core 2 Duo parts will also have 4MB L2 cache, and Intel is expected to announce a nice price cut for the 22nd.

The last couple TechTips have focused on Windows Event Viewer; if you're investigating this tool, you can also find explanations of particular Event IDs at Eventid.net. Last but not least, this week Colin talks about a new way to take screen shots in Vista, you can find his advice in the PCSTATS Weekly TechTip below. Enjoy!

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

MSI NX7900GS-T2D512E-OC Geforce 7900GS Videocard Review
READ

The search for the perfect videocard is like the search for perfect memory, it's never ending. If you're looking for a new PCI Express videocard to bring your gaming rig up to snuff, the Geforce 7900-family is a good place to start. The MSI NX7900GS-T2D512E-OC Geforce 7900GS is the videocard on our chopping block today. With it you get a PCI Express x16 DirectX 9.0c nVidia 'G71' based videocard that packs in 512MB of GDDR3 memory. What makes this MSI NX7900GS-T2D512E-OC special is that it MSI Computer pre-overclock it straight from the factory. A standard GeForce 7900GS videocard has a core clock speed of 450 MHz, while the memory spins at 660 MHz. MSI Computer engineers saw this and thought... "but that's so slow..." so they run the core on this puppy at 550 MHz and the memory at 700 MHz! To make things even sweeter, this MSI 7900GS retails for no more than what a standard card costs. Continue Here>>

ABIT AB9 Pro Intel P965 Express Motherboard Review

READ

The fact that the ABIT AB9 Pro motherboard has ten Serial ATA ports is probably the first thing you've noticed. There's no mistaking those dark red Serial ATA II ports, nine of them spaced all over the motherboard, one eSATA type at the rear. Since we're dealing with the Intel ICH8R southbridge, SATA RAID is standard. Of course there's more to the AB9 Pro than just Serial ATA, this Socket 775 Intel P965 Express based motherboard has a lot going for it. From the top of the list, gamers will appreciate a full ten USB 2.0 slots (four on the rear I/O, six through headers), dual PCI Express-based Gigabit network jacks, two IEEE 1394a ports, a port 80 card for overclocking trouble shooting, a totally silent chipset cooling solution, and of course the ever present 7.1 channel High Definition Audio. Continue Here>>

PCSTATS Advanced TechTip: Can't play DVD's in Windows Vista 32/64-bit?


Can't play DVD's on Windows Vista Basic or Business? Don't fret, this is because Microsoft Windows Vista does not support DVD playback evenly across all its many versions; only Vista Ultimate and Home Premium have the MPEG/2 codec installed out of the box.

For the new Vista user settling down to watch a favorite movie, there is nothing more alarming than the unexpected blank DVD screen that results... no matter if its Windows Media Player 11 (WMP11), PowerDVD, VLC or another media player. Luckily, fixing this isn't difficult.

Oddly enough Vista Business doesn't offer any great help, instead suggesting an "upgrade to Vista Ultimate", or in our tests with WMP11 to "reduce screen resolution". There is no need to upgrade the entire operating system just to watch a DVD, and the screen size is just fine. The fix is much simpler, and in usual PCSTATS form it won't cost you cent. ;-)

Because Vista Business / Home Basic do not have the proper codecs to handle DVD information by default, we need to install a third-party codec package. A good choice is K-Lite Codec Pack 2.81 Standard ( http://www.codecpackguide.com/klcodec.htm ), it covers all your DVD watching needs, and a good many other codecs too. Install the default set, or select just the codec you need. Download K-Lite from the link above, install it and restart your media player of choice. Codec's are like drivers for media files, so whichever media player you choose to watch DVDs on will work once this is done. If you are running Windows Vista X64 Business with the 64-bit version of Windows Media Player 11, you will need K-Lite Codec Pack 64-bit Add-on 0.4.0. It can be found here ( http://fileforum.betanews.com/detail/KLite_Codec_Pack_64bit_Addon/1094057842/5 ).

Windows Vista x64 users may want to take one final step. As you may know, 64-bit Windows Vista defaults to the 32-bit version of Windows Media Player 11 to ensure broad file and media compatibility. The 32-bit WMP11 program is located in the '.../ProgramFiles(x86)/' folder. There is a native 64-bit version of WMP11, located in the '.../ProgramFiles/' folder. To specify the 64-bit WMP11 as the default player for 64-bit Vista, we need to redirect program shortcuts.

Go to Start (the Vista icon in the lower left corner) > and use one of the following commands...
To set 64-bit WMP11 as default player type:unregmp2.exe /SwapTo:64
To revert to 32-bit WMP11 as the default player type:unregmp2.exe /SwapTo:32

From now on you will be able to watch DVDs in Windows Vista! If you are running Windows Vista x64, you have the choice of watching DVDs on the 64-bit version of Windows Media player 11 too. On the off chance the SwapTo command doesn't work, there is a more advanced set of commands detailed here.

ECS PN1 SLI2 Extreme nForce 590SLI Motherboard Review
READ

The latest ECS motherboard to pass through the PCSTATS test labs is the ECS PN1 SLI2 Extreme. The motherboard is based on the nVIDIA nForce 590 SLI Intel Edition chipsets (nForce 590 SLI SPP and nForce 590 SLI MCP), so it supports a whole host of multi-videocard gaming arrangements. The PN1 SLI2 Extreme motherboard supports Intel Core 2 Duo, Pentium 4/D/XE and Celeron D processors running on a 533/800/1066 MHz FSB, in the all familiar Socket 775 form factor. In terms of features the ECS PN1 SLI2 Extreme supports six Serial ATA II channels dual Gigabit network cards, a 7.1 channel High Definition Azalia audio controller and IEEE 1394b. There are a ton of expansion options too....Continue Here>>

Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 2.4GHz Processor Review
READ 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>>

PCstats Weekly Tech Tips: Taking Screenshots in Vista
By Colin S.


Taking screen shots in Windows is as easy as pressing the "Print Screen" key on the keyboard. That will capture of the entire screen, but if you want just a specific image you'll have to do some editing in a Paint or photo software. Microsoft has improved this handy tool in Windows Vista, and it's called "Snip". To access it, click the Windows Vista icon then type "snip" and press the enter key. If it's your first time using it, Vista will ask you whether you want to load a Snip shortcut into the quick launch bar.

With the Snip tool open you have a few image capturing options; grab the standard "Full screen" or active "Window" shots, or define "Rectangular" or "Free form" snips. The full screen and window snips are self explanatory, the rectangular option allows you to capture more than a single window of graphics, up to the full screen real estate if you like. The free form tool is handy for capturing windows which curvy shapes.

The fun doesn't end after you've taken your screen shot - say of your massively overclocked system running SuperPi at full tilt. You now have the option to write with the "Pen" tool on the image as well, or bring attention to certain areas with the "Highlighter" tool - this is good or emphasizing text or links. If a mistake is made, simply use the "Eraser" option to clean it up. After you're done mucking about with the screen shot, save the "Snip" image in PNG, GIF, JPG or MHT (Single file HTML) format and mail it off.

Screen shots made easy, definitely a worthwhile tool even if it is incredibly simple. Print Screen still works if you're in hurry too. If you'd like to see some screen shots of the Snip tool, check it out here ( http://www.pcstats.com/NewsView.cfm?NewsID=57614 ).

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.241
Circulation: 152,075

WinXP Hotfix KB891781, dhtmled.ocx and
No Such Interface Supported Errors...
- Part 1 -

Or, How to fix Homesite 4.5.x Design Mode so it Works in WindowsXP Pro SP2 and Windows Vista Business

This PCSTATS TechTip is a very specific solution to a general problem encountered by web developers who use certain HTML editors. When Microsoft released the infamous KB891781 hotfix for WindowsXP SP2 in '05, it disabled a crucial Dynamic HTML Editing Control that many applications rely on to function. Most notably, HomeSite 4.5.x began spitting up "no such interface supported" errors and crashing instantly when code was brought into the internal 'Design' view.

The hotfix apparently broke equivalent aspects in WebsiteWeaver, CoffeeCup, KLZ NewsRoom4 and CityDesk among other applications.

Microsoft released the KB891781 critical update to prevent malicious sites from accessing a PC though Internet Explorer, and since its release the only work around for the havoc it wrought has been to uninstall the hotfix. Hardly an ideal solution for WinXP users, and completely ineffective within Windows Vista.

As it happens, a little known fix for the WindowsXP KB891781 hotfix can also be applied to Windows Vista Business - and this is why PCSTATS is talking about a 2 year old patch job MSFT messed up. :-)

HomeSite 4.5.2 was released when Allaire was still around, the current HomeSite 5.5 version is an Adobe product. As HomeSite 4.5.x was the last iteration to retain the Design mode feature, this old version is still widely used. Now, no web programmer worth their salt would ever use a WYSIWYG editor for coding up a website, but for the convenience of laying down content with images and charts, Homesite's Design mode is still an invaluable tool. PCSTATS swears by HomeSite 4.5.2 for quickly formatting articles, this newsletter and text heavy content for the web... and we're not about to give it up for the move to Vista.

The problem today is migrating from WindowsXP Professional to Windows Vista Business - a natural progression many web developers are facing - and taking legacy programming apps along for the ride. Vista software compatibility is a mixed bag at best, and in general it's always wise to run pre-Vista software in the appropriate Compatibility Mode with Administrator Privilege Levels set. Right click on the application shortcut > Properties > hit the Compatibility tab and you'll find the necessary options.

The Compatibility tab won't help us this time, but luckily the fix isn't too troublesome to apply.

...that fix comes next issue.

Send your Comments here.
- By Max P.

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