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Quick New Chipset for Pentium 4

In the rough and tumble world of chipsets, everything comes down to how fast you are. Intel has long held the performance crown, but every so often an upstart challenges big blue and wins. A few years ago this was VIA, and now SIS are going for the gold with the 655FX core logic. Chipsets are the devices which run our motherboards, allow the processor to communicate with the PCI cards, memory, and peripherals. Choosing the fastest motherboard often comes down to first choosing the fastest chipset.

Lately, this has meant that Pentium4 motherboards based on Springdale (i865PE) and Canterwood (i875P) have been getting the most attention. After all, we don't upgrade our motherboards very often, so choosing one that is very fast, full of features, and absolutely stable, is always important. With that in mind PCstats looks at the SIS655FX chipset today, and the results are something I think you'll find of great interest. Also in this weeks Edition is another fabulous Industry Insights over in the right hand column, a look at an all-in-one cabled KVM from Justcom, and another core logic by the folks at ATI.

In PCstats Beginners Guide to Legally Copying Software and Music, Mike explores some of the do's and don'ts when it comes to backing up your investments - all with an eye towards not getting sued.

And for some fun, the PCstats Newsletter has taken a pair of Corsair's XMS4000 Pro memory for a spin, as well as a nifty little Radeon 9600 Pro videocard from Gigabyte. That's it for this week, so stay tuned to for all the latest news in the coming week!

Beginners Guides: Legally Copying Software and Music
Read it Now! A guide through the murky maze to help you protect your investments - without getting sued. - Version 1.0.0
The RIAA, movie production companies and major software companies would have you believe that internet piracy is undermining the entire system of pay entertainment, and removing the livelihood from the creators of the products. The advocates of music and file sharing argue that movie and music file sharing has not noticeably impacted the commercial prospects of the respective industries. Heck, file sharing may have even helped increase CD sales by exposing more music to more people. Both sides have legitimate points, but we are not going to argue them here. What we want to look into is what you are legally allowed to do with your OWN software and music on your computer. Given the current climate of RIAA lawsuits and piracy crackdowns in the news, it's easy to see people getting a little worried over the handling of their legitimate software and music on their home system. Continue -- Click Here>>

SiS 655FX Chipset Reference Motherboard

Today we have the opportunity to take a close and personal look at the newest member of the SIS chipset family for the Intel Pentium 4 processor; the SIS 655FX. There's more to the 655FX than just a dual channel memory controller and 800 MHz FSB compatibility though, the brand new SIS 655FX and accompanying SIS 964 Southbridge each contain some very innovative technologies developed by SIS. These technologies give the SIS655FX a performance level equal to that of Intel's very popular i865PE 'Springdale' chipset, and in some cases, to that of the high end i875P 'Canterwood' chipset. Remarkable you say? With the 655FX, SIS are introducing an interesting new technology known as 'HyperStreaming'... but more on that in a moment. By default the SIS 655FX supports Intel Pentium 4 processors running on a 400-thru-800 MHz FSB. The chipset also packs in a dual channel PC3200 memory controller, meaning it can provide the Pentium 4 with up to 6.4GB/s of bandwidth. Continue -- Click Here>>

Corsair TwinX1024-4000Pro DDR Memory Review

Corsair's TwinX1024-4000Pro memory modules are easily the coolest looking DIMM's on the market, bar none. Sure there have been other companies to incorporate LED's on a stick of memory, but Corsair have taken this to the next level. 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. Watching the pair of Corsair XMS512-4000Pro light up through the side of a case as a benchmark runs through its paces is something to behold. Of course there's more to memory then just bright lights, the Corsair TwinX1024-4000Pro memory kit (two sticks of CMX512MB-4000Pro memory) are also some of the fastest DIMM's on the market. Continue -- Click Here>>

The prettiest OS
Search Dealtime
Super Micro

WindowsXP may be the prettiest OS Microsoft has ever released, but boy does it suck up a lot of resources. On my own personal machines, I turn off a lot of the "fluff" so that things will move faster. Specifically turning off the visual effects (I doubt you notice them anyway) within Windows can greatly increase overall system performance.

First right click anywhere on the desktop and go to properties (do not right click on an icon). That should bring up the Display Properties window and from there click the Appearance tab. Click the Effects button and from there disable everything inside; from the transition effects, to show window contents while dragging. After that's done click the OK button twice.

After that's done WindowsXP won't be quite as pretty, but it'll be quite a bit quicker (especially if you're on an older machine)! =)

JustCom JC-M104U 4-Port USB KVM Switch Review
Read it Now!

For the computer technician a KVM (Keyboard, Video, Mouse) switch is an invaluable tool as it allows one to use multiple computers with just one keyboard, mouse and monitor. Justcom manufactures many different switches to suite your needs. Today we're going to be looking at their JC-M104U 4-Port USB KVM Switch. For good measure Justcom also include two four foot and two six foot multimedia (audio, USB and video) cables! Integrating the USB keyboard/mouse, video and audio into one cable certainly makes cable management a lot easier. The JC-M104U can support up to four computers at once and the KVM can even support resolutions as high as 2048x1536 @ 85 Hz! Continue -- Click Here>>

Gigabyte GV-R96P128D Radeon 9600 Pro Videocard

Read it Now! Ever since ATi released their Radeon 9700 Pro VPU in the summer of 2002 they've taken control of the graphics card markets. Today we're going to be looking at Gigabyte's mainstream Radeon 9600 Pro which is quite aggressively priced; just below the that of most GeForceFX 5600 class videocards (it's main competition). Despite the reasonable price, the Gigabyte Radeon 9600 Pro does come with a few goodies including full versions of Serious Sam, Oni and 4x4 Evo. Surprisingly, Gigabyte equips their Radeon 9600 Pro with Samsung 2.8ns BGA DDR RAM, the same found on the Radeon 9700/9800 Pro based videocards! Continue -- Click Here>>

ATI Radeon 9100 IGP 'RS300' Chipset Preview
ATI now offers chipsets to compliment both Intel's Pentium 4 and AMD's Athlon XP processors. While its first generation was somewhat uninspiring, the new 'RS300' Radeon 9100 IGP promises to offer something more - at least to prospective Pentium 4 owners. Initially, ATI was only prepared to announce support for processors operating on a 533MHz front side bus. It hadn't yet been granted the necessary permission to work with the latest 800MHz chips, and thus, the 9100 IGP was shaping up to be a compelling value proposition. The 9100 IGP now supports the full range of Pentium 4 processors, from the low-end 400MHz parts to the more expensive 800MHz variants. Continue -- Click Here>>

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PCstats Issue
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Industry Insights

Sure, we're all fans of PC hardware, but as gaming consoles start resembling computers, it really pays to stay abreast of the hardware that finds its way into your entertainment center. ATI is already involved in Nintendo's Gamecube, NVIDIA and Intel power Microsoft's Xbox, and Rambus' proprietary RDRAM technology enables high-speed memory on the Playstation 2.

The next generation of game consoles promises to be even more exciting. And don't be surprised if they resemble elegantly packaged PCs, either. Microsoft's second-generation Xbox is really starting to come together, featuring technology from both ATI and IBM. The processor will center on 64-bit technology, requiring a bit from Microsoft's operating system team. ATI won't go on record regarding its role, but graphics is the firm's specialty, and I'd expect to see ATI tackle at least that one component.

Nintendo is a bit more secretive about its next-generation lineup. However, seeing as though IBM and ATI are both involved with Gamecube, and now Microsoft's project, it will be interesting to see how Nintendo handles its hardware situation. Word on the street has it that the fifth-gen console, N5, may be delayed until 2006. Perhaps we'll have to wait until E3 2004, when the console is supposed to be previewed.
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. C. Angelini

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