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.Aopen Mobo
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.Colin's Weekly Tip

Corsair Rocks the Memory World!

It's somewhat remarkable the effect that little blinking lights can have... but none the less, Corsair have just released some memory that is too nifty for words. Paced at 500MHz, this dual channel DDR is optimized for i875P or i865PE chipsets (in other words Intel Pentium 4 systems) and features something you've never seen on a stick of memory before. Think of a realtime tachometer for memory usage, in the form of 18 multicoloured LED's! PCstats' review of this brand new Corsair DDR is right here. If you aren't a performance user and just need DDR that works, and works reliably, then make your way to our sponsor

For your reading pleasure today, we have a look at the TwinX1024-4000Pro memory kit from Corsair, a review of the Aopen AK77-600 Max mainboard that comes with more onboard features then you can shake a stick at, a look at the Albatron KX18D Rev2 which is based on the venerable nForce2 chipset, and a few other tasty items.

Mike is back with a really helpful guide on how to back up and restore data in WindowsXP (you know, just in case that grinding hard drive finally dies), and the High Tech Low Down has some further insight into the upcoming Athlon64 launch. Also on the table is a massive nForce 2 motherboard roundup because even though the A64 is coming, the AthlonXP still has a lot to offer.

Corsair TwinX1024-4000Pro DDR Memory Review
Read it Now!

Appearances play an ever increasing role in today's computer purchases. From case windows to cold cathodes and LED fans, even novice computer users are adopting tricked-out components to bring a little life into their drab computers. When it comes to memory, you can only do so much though; manufacturers have tried changing the colour of the PCB, adding colourful heat spreaders, or just about anything else to sway our purchasing decisions. Corsair have earned a reputation of being a very innovative company, they were the first to adopt RAMsinks, and now they've revolutionized the memory market yet again. Enter Corsair's brand-spanking-new Pro Series DDR memory! Eighteen red, orange and green LED's pepper the outer edge of the DIMM and blink on and off something to the effect of a memory-level tachometer. The two rows of LED's represent each bank of the memory module independently, and as the individual DRAMs are accessed the lights reflect the 1GB of memory being used.Continue -- Click Here>>

Beginners Guides: Back up and Restore Data in WinXP
Read it Now! Tired of reinstalling WinXP after a nasty virus strikes? Create a drive image and save your data, and your time.

Sure, if you've read our article on hard drive restoration you know that there are ways to recover lost data cheaply and easily, but this can lead to a false sense of security. What happens when a hard drive dies completely? It will die eventually... make no mistake. I've seen hard drives dropped, catch fire, make excruciating noises and simply stop for no apparent reason. You have got to back up your essential data. Catastrophic hard drive failures happen, and when they do, even if you still have warranty support for the drive you're out of luck; no disk manufacturer warranties the data on the drive. Your only recourse is data recovery services, and they can charge enormous amounts for their services, though often only if they are able to recover the data. In the face of all this potential trouble, $100 for a new drive doesn't seem so bad, does it? Continue -- Click Here>>

AOpen AK77-600 Max Motherboard Review
Read it Now!

VIA's latest chipset is currently the KT600, a chipset that in all honesty is about one year too late. VIA should have released the KT600 last year in place of the KT400/KT400A chipsets. Had they done this it would probably have been enough for VIA to keep most of their AMD market share. Amazing as it seems, the year old nForce2 is still faster and more advanced then the KT600. All is not lost of course. VIA realized that while they cannot compete with nVIDIA's nForce2 in terms of performance, when it comes to pricing it's a whole other ball game. If you're computer currently uses the pricy nvidia GeForceFX's that are longer than a subway train at rush hour, you'll find that with the AK77-600 Max it has to be pulled out of the 8X AGP slot before you can install any memory modules. Of course, that's a small price to pay for a board with six PCI slots. Continue -- Click Here>>

Albatron KX18D Pro II Motherboard Review
While nVIDIA is losing its position as graphic core market leader, the nForce2 has held top spot in the AMD chipset world for the last year without much effort. The competition has simply been unable to mount any sort of counter, even after so long a time... one has to be wondering why VIA lost their magic? VIA, nVIDIA's arch rival in the world of AMD chipsets have released two models since the nForce2 launch. In each instance VIA's chipsets failed to match nForce2 performance and stability levels. Perhaps the upcoming VIA KT800 (the third attempt) will once and for all retire the nForce2, but by that time will any consumer even be paying attention? The Albatron KX18D Pro II has quite a few on board goodies, including the rather special nVIDIA SoundStorm 5.1 audio hardware-based sound card which is built right into the core logic. Also on board the KX18D Pro II are; 10/100 LAN, Serial ATA RAID, IEEE 1394 and dual BIOS's.Continue -- Click Here>>

Make Boot Ups Go Faster
Search Dealtime
Super Micro

For users of Windows98SE you can decrease the boot time of your system a bit with a few simple tweaks to the MSDOS.SYS file in the root directory of your hard drive. The first thing you want to do is remove the write protection on the file.

Load up your Windows Explorer and go to the "Tools" menu. Inside select "Folder Options...", a window should pop up. Click the "View" tab and in the lower 2/3rd of the pop up menu you should see "Advanced settings." From there scroll down and find the radio button "Show hidden files and folders." Make sure it's selected then press the "OK" button. Now all the hidden files and folders on your hard drive will be shown. Now use Notepad to open up your MSDOS.SYS file and add/edit the lines to look like this.


After you've made the changes save and exit. From now on when you boot your Windows98SE system you should notice it boots just a tad faster now!


Massive nVidia nForce2 Motherboard Roundup
Read it Now! 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. The only hiccup has been a brief issue with some recent drivers, but that looks like a one off. 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. Continue -- Click Here>>

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PCstats Issue
Circulation: 269,340

The High Tech
Low Down

AMD's Athlon 64 is right around the corner, and if you were planning to purchase one of the high-end, flagship processors, it would certainly be a good idea to consider a motherboard for the chip. NVIDIA's nForce3 chipset is a likely platform, as is AMD's own 8000 series chipset. The talk of the town is coming from VIA, though. We haven't heard much from the firm as of late - its KT600 and PT800 chipsets (for the Athlon XP and Pentium 4 processors, respectively) emerged behind the nForce2 and 875P products, relegating both of VIA's latest platforms to the bargain bin.

However, the upcoming K8T800 promises to be the belle of AMD's Athlon 64 ball. To begin, it can be paired with the new VT8237 South Bridge, featuring 7.1-channel audio capabilities, support for a Gigabit Ethernet companion controller, and two integrated Serial ATA channels. Like Intel's ICH5, the VIA South Bridge also sports eight USB 2.0 ports.

The most exciting news is independent of spec sheets and speculation - reliable sources that have spent time with K8T800 indicate that the platform will actually be faster than competing nForce3 boards. Superior performance and a longer list of features may very well catapult VIA's first Athlon 64 chipset to the top of your upgrade list. Keep an eye out for it.
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