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Today's Contents

.Chipset Compatibility
.Yepp MP3 Player
.P4HT-S Mobo
.430W PSU
.MSI Ti Geforce
.Radeon 9700
.Colin's Weekly Tips

Videocard Compatibility & Chipsets


With just over two weeks a of shopping before Xmas, now is certainly the time to start making your lists, and checking them twice. In this weeks newsletter we have several really cool bits of gear which might just make perfect gifts - the best of which is a small aluminum MP3 player from Samsung called the YP-700H. I have a long commute to work, and with 128MB of storage and an FM-Tuner, this player gets high marks. IWill show their Xmas spirit with the all-red Hyper Threading enabled P4HT-S motherboard; and to power it you should really be considering a PSU with a little bit of kick. The Antec 430W has those qualities, and a nice set of low-noise fan controls.

Since ATI is the focus of C. Angelini's High Tech Low Down column this week, and because we're getting lots of video card related questions, I've also included two vintage reviews for you to read. The first is a roundup of GeForce Titanium cards, and the second is a review of the bright red ATI Radeon 9700 Pro. Speaking of which, the Tyan Radeon 9000 is a relatively new entry, and up for grabs from our sponsors Tiger Direct for under $90.

FREE Stuff Alert!! Our friends at Abit have a contest going with loads of really cool prizes. Enter right here. Don't forget to read Colin's Tips this week, and let me know what you think!

Samsung Yepp YP-700H MP3 Player Review

With portable MP3 players, the one thing often overlooked by consumers is size. Don't get me wrong, features like storage space, removable media support, battery life and the design are important. Samsung's Industrial Design team haven't been in the dark on this notion, and so to make it easier for us to pack away the YP-700H in bags, knapsacks and jacket pockets they have added a remote and nice long cable. Protecting the soft aluminum exterior is belt case made from real suede leather which adds a touch of class too. There is space inside this case for both the YP-700H and its external, secondary AAA battery back-pack, but I'm not sure how "pocket friendly" this makes the player. Once encapsulated in the suede cover the controls are unreachable, and so the YP-700H remote control becomes a life saver. Behind the YP-700H's sly Indiglo display, and aluminum skeleton, rests 128MB of built in memory. To keep the music going even longer, this MP3 player also packs in a 1mm thin, Smart Media flash memory slot for extra storage.

Iwill P4HT-S i845PE Motherboard Review
Read Article Now!

Red is the colour of roses, fast cars, and in this case an i845PE motherboard from the folks at Iwill. In celebration of the overwhelming use of the colour red on this motherboard, we here at just felt compelled to write this entire review in red. Red, red, red! IWill want to catch your attention as you browse around the store shopping for a motherboard, and by colouring the PCB this bright colour they have built one of the flashiest motherboards around - I mean even the PCI and AGP slots are red! Based on Intel's i845PE chipset which supports 533MHz HyperThreading Pentium 4 processors, the P4HT-S offers a good value to consumers looking to move up to speeds of 3.06GHz now or in the future. Hyper-Threading is a technology which has remained dormant in the Pentium 4 processor for a while now, and only with Pentium 4-HT 3.06GHz processors has Intel decided to finally turn it on.

Read the Rest...

Antec TruePower 430W Power Supply Review

Power supplies are one of the most basic building blocks of a computer system, and they are also one of the most important . We've generally had pretty good experiences with Antec's power supplies around here, so today we'll be looking their TruePower 430W model. I'm sure from your perspective a power supply looks like is a pretty bland thing - after all, it's really just a metal box with some circuitry inside that you install once, and forget about. Apart from the odd noisy fan, or a motor seizure which causes overheating, there really isn't much to worry about, or is there?

Read the Rest...

MSI Titanium Videocard Lineup Review ATI Radeon 9700 Pro 8X AGP Videocard Review
Read Article Now!While MSI is best known for their bright red motherboards, they also produce a lot of performance oriented videocards. In this GeForce Titanium lineup review, we're going to look at three new models from MSI you'll want to pay attention to.

As many of you already know, with the release of nVidia's GeForce "Ti" series line of graphics processors, things have gotten quite confusing in the video card marketplace. There's the regular lineup GeForce 2 and GeForce 3 videocards and now there are also the GeForce2 Ti, GeForce3 Ti200 and GeForce3 Ti500 video cards to contend with. It's almost as confusing as watching a 50 year old trying to buy an action figure for their grand kids.

Read Article Now!

When ATi didn't counter nVIDIA's GeForce4 Ti GPU release with a new product of their own earlier this year many people speculated that trouble was afoot in the same way that Matrox has been faltering. To counter the gossip, ATI publicly stated that they didn't see any value in revising the old R200 (Radeon 8500) core to compete against nVIDIA's new offering.

Instead, ATI engineers quietly concentrated their efforts on completing the next generation R300 core.

Find the Best Prices for Computer Gear at Dealtime!

AMD Intel

Abit ASUS Gigabyte Intel iWill Shuttle Soyo Super Micro Tyan

Video Cards
ATI Visiontek PNY 3Dfx

Colin's Weekly Tech Tips

C. Sun
My Secure WinXP Hard Drive

There's a very neat trick in which you can setup ownerships on hard drives within WindowsXP. This is extremely useful if you have important or sensitive data on a certain drive and do not want anyone else to access it!

Go to your "Control Panel" and click the "Administrative Tools" icon. From there go into "Computer Management" and then find "Disk management". Once you're there, right click on the disk which you want to claim ownership on and go to "Properties". Click the "Security Tab", then the "Advanced" button. You should see an "Owner" tab and when you're inside there, select the owner you'd like.

After this is done, only that user will be able to access the HDD and your data is secure. Please keep in mind, you must use a NTFS partition to use this trick!

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PCstats Issue

Circulation 173,000

The High Tech Low Down
With Chris Angelini

ATI clearly has a hit on its hands with the RADEON 9700 Pro. The performance is unmatched, its feature-set is unparalleled by any other retail product and better still, it can be found for as low as $299 online. Sound too good to be true? To some degree, it is.

I began testing the RADEON 9700 Pro with a motherboard centering on Intel's i845PE chipset - no problems. Then, I substituted a VIA P4X400 platform, again, with no problems. During the course of testing, I came to the conclusion that the 9700 Pro simply does not get along with SiS' 648 Pentium 4 chipset and VIA's KT400 Athlon XP chipset. In some instances the system would reboot. Other times, I couldn't even get a video signal.

To make a long story short, I've received information from several reliable sources claiming the problem lies with the 9700 Pro; more specifically, with a capacitor missing from the first board revision. The situation has apparently been rectified with a subsequent hardware revision. So, if you've got one of the aforementioned platforms, exercise caution before purchasing a board based on the R300 Visual Processing Unit.

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