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In This Issue...

- Biostar GF7050PV mobo
- 8800GTS in SLI
- Asus 8800GTS
- eSATA Enclosure
- Guide: Mobo BIOS
- Biostar 690G Mobo
- PCstats Weekly Tips

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nVidia's Native HDMI Geforce 7050PV Motherboard Chipset

Hello,

Last week you saw what AMD's 690G chipset was capable of, this week nVidia releases the follow up to its extremely popular Geforce 6150. The GF6150 was the workhorse of the Home Theatre PC world, and an all around great platform for budget-minded PC builders too. The new Geforce 7050PV chipset continues that legacy with HDMI compatibility, Geforce 7-series integrated graphics, TV-out and even the nForce 630a southbridge integrated in. PCSTATS offers you an exclusive look at the new Geforce 7050PV in our review of the Biostar TF7050-M2 Socket AM2 motherboard today. The AMD 690G stands up well to nVidia's Geforce 7050PV, and both solutions really underscore how easy it is to build an HD-friendly home theatre PC.

PCSTATS is the first in North America to test Biostar new Geforce 7050PV based TF7050-M2 motherboard, so take a look. Next we have the Asus EN8800GTS-320MB videocard in all its glory, and then a round of SLI tests with a pair of nVidia Geforce 8800GTS-320's. The real question is whether two in SLI are better than a one Geforce 8800GTX.... you might be surprised by the results. An external eSATA hard drive chassis gets a brief once-over before we dive into PCSTATS Guide to Flashing a Motherboard BIOS. Updating the BIOS can help sort out memory incompatibility, and allow older motherboards to recognize newer CPUs. Lastly PCSTATS takes another look at the Biostar TA690G AM2 motherboard and its AMD 609G chipset.

By request, this weeks TechTip tackles custom searches in FireFox, and while you're trying that out be sure to add PCSTATS News RSS feed to your browser.

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


Biostar TF7050-M2 GeForce 7050PV Motherboard Review
READ

Both nVIDIA and AMD have seized on the consumer's lust in anything "HD" and consequently chipsets such as the GeForce 6150, recently introduced AMD 690G, and today's nVIDIA GeForce 7050PV are set to be the hottest ticket in town. The Biostar TF7050-M2 motherboard is a diminutive MicroATX platform that looks mighty fine. It's AMD platform, supporting every x86-64 Socket AM2 up to the latest Athlon X2 6000+ (Sempron included). The GeForce 7050PV incorporates GeForce 7 series graphics onboard which is DirectX 9.0C compatible, and shares up to 256MB of system memory. Onboard goodies include four 3Gb/s Serial ATA II ports (RAID 0,1, 0+1, 5), one IDE channel, a Gigabit network jack, a 7.1 channel High Definition Azalia sound card including two channel audio for HDMI. There is much more to it, but I'll the review speak for itself... Continue Here>>

nVidia GeForce 8800GTS 320MB SLI Videocard Head On Comparison
READ

The nVIDIA GeForce 8800GTX is the undisputed king of graphics cards right now, but on the next notch down the GeForce 8800GTS 320MB offers a heck of a lot of value and that's hard to pass up. Doing the math, for the price of one super high end PCI Express videocard, you could have two 8800GTSs running in SLI! This is definitely an enticing option, but which route really is the faster choice? In this review PCSTATS will lay down the benchmarks and fiddle with the resolutions so you know for certain what choice, dual Geforce 8800GTS-340's or a single Geforce 8800GTX videocard offers the best bang for your buck. When it comes to high resolutions, that is where gaming is headed.Continue Here>>

Asus EN8800GTS/HTDP/320M Geforce 8800GTS Videocard Review
READ

Gamers these days have it easy. Back in 'the day' even if with a high end videocard 1600x1200 resolutions and anti-aliasing were not realistic options if you played competitively online. These days, you can play with all the eye candy maxed out on almost all but the latest game titles. The games look a heck of a lot better too. In this review PCSTATS tests the awesome Asus EN8800GTS/HTDP/320M PCI Express videocard. This Geforce 8800GTS-320 lives up to the hype, and comes with one of the best software packages available for its class. In the box is a full copy of Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter, which just happens to be one of the hottest shooter titles of 2006. The game looks particularly splendid when played over the Asus EN8800GTS/HTDP/320M videocard too. Take my advice, turn up the resolution to 1600x1200 and kick in AA and AF to get the full affect. Continue Here>>

Beginners Guides: Flashing a Motherboard BIOS
READ

Upgrading the BIOS (Basic Input Output System) of your computer's motherboard, also sometimes called 'flashing,' used to be a complex operation full of potential perils for your PC. The task involved downloading the correct BIOS file, the proper CMOS chip flashing software, rebooting the PC into DOS mode, applying the correct commands and then waiting in suspense until the update finished. All the while there was a lurking danger - if something went wrong, you would be left with an essentially unusable motherboard… Not an operation for the novice, and not one that even PC enthusiasts approached with enthusiasm. Upgrading the BIOS is a different procedure. The motherboard manufacturer provides a file which will overwrite the default file on the CMOS chip itself, providing the motherboard with a new or updated set of controls. Continue Here>>

DataTec DS350 eSATA External Hard Drive Enclosure Review
READ

Connecting an external hard drive to your computer is a quick and simple way to expand storage capacity. The DataTec DS350 is a compact aluminum external eSATA hard drive enclosure that stands upright, or rests horizontally. The unit connects to a desktop PC over one eSATA cable, and only over eSATA. Continue Here>>

Biostar TA690G AM2 AMD 690G Motherboard Review
READ

Biostar has been releasing some really cool products the last little while, the Sigma-Gate GeForce 7600GS being one of the neatest videocards to pass through the PCSTATS test labs in all of 2006 in fact. Today though, PCSTATS is excited to be testing out the Biostar TA690G AM2 motherboard; a MicroATX platform ideal for home theatre PC application. This board stands out because of the comprehensive video outputs it has. A standard analog video output isn't too astounding, but a digital DVI port, S-Video TV-output and an HDMI video output all on one motherboard is pretty darn unique! With its' ATI Radeon X1250 Graphics on board, the Biostar TA690G AM2 provides a good solid platform for office applications and the like, without the need to install a stand alone videocard. Continue Here>>

PCstats Weekly Tech Tips: FireFox Customized Search Tool and RSS Feed
By Colin S.


A lot of readers liked last week's tip on how to change the default search engine in Internet Explorer 7. Many asked how to do the same thing in FireFox.

If you don't like using the default Google search tool, you can choose to use something else. Click the triangle pointing down next to the Google 'G', that will allow you to select FireFox's default search engines or sites. If you don't see the site or option that you want, select "Manage Search Engines..." an that will open up a new window. To add more options then click the "Get more search engines..." link, that will bring you to Mozilla's add in page and from there you can select one or more of the 22 predefined sites. If you don't see what you want, at the bottom are instructions for making your own custom search plugins for Firefox.

While you're in Firefox, create a Live Bookmark and subscribe to PCSTATS' RSS News feed!

To do this go to Bookmarks > Manage Bookmarks (or Organize Bookmarks) > in the Bookmarks Manager click File > New Live Bookmark > in the Feed Location box enter http://www.pcstats.com/rss/rss.xml , in the Name field enter "PCSTATS News" and click okay. While still in the Bookmarks Manager, drag and drop the new Live Bookmark you've just created to the 'Bookmarks Toolbar Folder' and close the manager. Now you will see the new RSS Feed you've just created on the Firefox Toolbar. Click on it and you will instantly see all the latest tech news from PCSTATS!

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.244
Circulation: 152,075

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