Intel and AMD Tech Releases
I just got off the
phone with a videocard and motherboard manufacturer you all know very
well. It seems that we can start looking forward to nVidia nForce3-250
based Athlon64 motherboards towards the end of this month. The preliminary
impression is that you can expect the nF3-250 to match performance levels
of VIA's K8T800 Athlon64 chipset, but not necessarily outperform it.
According to our past reviews, the nF3-150 chipset had a hard time
performing at the full Hypertransport speeds of
wide (upstream/downstream). Looking further along
the horizon, socket 939 solutions will begin appearing in March, and in April
we are anticipating Intel to release the i925x and i915 chipsets
(previously known as Grantsdale and Alderwood) which will bring the long
awaited PCI express and Intel socket LGA775 to
With Spring just around the corner, this week
we try out a rather nice computer bag from Tom Bihn. The crimson coloured
Alec' knapsack pairs well with a tough notebook case called the
'monolith' that slips inside. If you're tired of lugging around a laptop
over the shoulder, I'm sure you find this review of great interest. OCZ's PC3200
dual channel DDR kit got some high marks as it overclocked up to
240MHz on a stock Intel system.
Increased Wireless speeds are always
a welcomed upgrade, and so Mike has tested Gigabyte's
new 802.11g WiFi access point, which features an extra PCMCIA slot for
dual-band compatibility. Lastly, PCstats tackles the topic of unsolicited
commercial email in our latest guide. We have a couple tips to manage
you already get, and guidelines on how to avoid getting more of it.
since PCstats is not junkmail, why not tell a friend to subscribe
here, so they can try out the PCstats Newsletter for themselves?
There are two schools of thought on bags intended
especially for carrying around computers and like-wired accessories.
Either you got it for free when you bought your notebook, or you went out
and specifically found a designer
bag that a.) looks decent, and b.) is bound to be another colour other
than black. Let's face it, these default standard computer bags tend to be
pleather, pretty utilitarian, and the equivalent of the 1980's brown
Columbo trench coat. In other words, they get the job done but you end up
looking like just another computer geek toting around a 20lb black
rectangular bag make from plastic cows that don't mooo. People, there are
options out there; bags that will protect a
notebook from bumps, hold more wires and cables, and
frankly look a damn-sight cooler. Continue
The use of email as a mass-marketing
tool has become an epidemic particular to the current global use of
computers in our society. According to one recent opinion, over 45% of
all email sent over the Internet is unwanted and uninvited. This is a
conservative estimate, while an average email account may start out
pristine and useful, it quickly accumulates layers of unsolicited
commercial email like the age rings of a tree, until the whole thing
collapses under its own weight. So what to do about it? Many processes
have been set in motion to declare unsolicited commercial email illegal,
but as yet no law exists to really regulate
it. The best way of
dealing with unsolicited commercial email
currently is through avoidance and redirection. It's sort of like
the 'if a tree falls in the forest...' question. If unsolicited commercial
email lands in an inbox, and no one is there to read it, does it really
exist? Answer is, who cares? Let's look
at what unsolicited commercial email is, and how to filter it out of your
life like the hairball in your sink. Continue
A Reader Asks...
Q:I assembled a 2.6GHz Pentium 4 computer recently with a Gigabyte (Intel 865G) motherboard. When I set the 'top performance' setting in the BIOS, my computer doesn't work... When I cleared the CMOS by removing the battery, my computer worked fine. Can you tell me why this happens so I can fix it?
A: The 'top performance' BIOS option is found on many
Gigabyte motherboards. It changes the memory timings of the
system to deliver higher performance. Depending your
computer's memory, you may or may not be able to enable this
successfully. By lowering the memory timings, you are
attempting to force your computer's memory to transmit data
more promptly, which should increase the overall software
performance of the computer. Most motherboard manufacturers
implement some version of this 'turbo' switch in the BIOS and
getting them to work can be a toss-up.
According to Gigabyte, success using
the 'top performance' setting depends on the configuration of
your computer, and it is not guaranteed to work
every time. Gigabyte's implementation apparently changes
memory timing options which cannot otherwise be set in the
BIOS, and requires memory able to run at low latency timings.
Your memory is likely not capable of performing with these
settings, which does not mean it is defective, just that it is
not capable of the more aggressive memory timings. Take a look at Colin's excellent
article on Memory
Latency vs. Bandwidth
for a more detailed exploration of how
memory timings work (or don't). Tune in next week for a question about
the upcoming BTX form factor and upgrading to it.
To submit your question, send us an email.
Combining complete compatibility with the now-standard 802.11b
with improved speed and security mechanisms, WIFI ‘g’ does not really have
a downside. Business users have been among the first to jump on the 802.11g
bandwagon, as the new standard offers increased security over the
previously flawed implementations of WEP (Wireless Encryption Protocol).
Protected Access, or WPA is the latest
wireless encryption scheme to come along, and most WIFI ‘g’ products now
support it. For today’s review, we take a look at Gigabyte’s entry into the WIFI ‘g’ business
arena, the GN-A17GU
wireless access point.
has released several wireless ‘g’ products recently, and the company is
starting to make a name for itself in the business wireless market. The
GN-A17GU can be considered their first foray into ‘corporate’ 802.11g
Gamers and enthusiasts are
always looking to speed up their prized PCs, and one way to reach
such ends is to find the perfect pair of overclockers DDR. It's a tough
search for certain, but the rewards can be very fulfilling in the long
run. In this review, PCstats will be testing out a set of 512MB modules of OCZ's PC3200
Platinum Edition which are priced at $405CDN. You may already be thinking the OCZ PC3200
Platinum Limited Edition memory is "only PC3200," and why would anyone
want a set of those DIMMs instead of a pair of "PC5000 Ultra Extreme
Terminal Prejudice 2 DDR?"
Well, if you're a seasoned overclocker you know what
to look for when it comes to memory... and that little nugget just happens
to be the Winbond BH-6
DRAM this set of OCZ memory
Have you ever found your computer
slowing to a crawl when working on the network? That's because
WindowsXP by default, uses your CPU to process network
tasks instead of off loading them onto the network card which
obviously chews up less resources.
Luckily if you have a good network card you can force Windows to do all the calculations at the network card instead of on your processor.
First load up regedit (start -> run then type regedit and press ok). >From there follow this path HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> SYSTEM -> CurrentControlSet -> Services -> Tcpip -> Parameters and find/create the DisableTaskoffload DWORD value. Set its value to 0 then save and reboot.Once
that's done WindowsXP will use your NIC's processing power to handle any network tasks instead of the main processor.
If you don't already own a luscious hi-definition television, I'd imagine you've at least lusted over the technology. There's an undeniable appeal associated with big screens and high resolutions. Unfortunately, that stuff costs money - lots of it. But there's another way to achieve hi-def glory without spending gratuitous amounts of money. It's called HDTV on your PC, and any number of HDTV tuner cards will enable the functionality with a bit of help from a directional antenna.
There are a number of tuner cards already available - DVICO's HDTVFusion 3 and MIT's MDP-120 are two of the most popular. However, ATI just announced its HDTV Wonder, which also tunes terrestrial hi-def programming, and like its competitors, will record the signal as well. ATI plans to ship the tuner in a package alongside special All-in-Wonder RADEON cards and as an upgrade for current AIW owners. For now, it won't be available to those with NVIDIA products or older ATI cards.
The best part is that ATI representatives claim the card will cost about $100 - significantly cheaper than any other tuner on the market and with more advanced features, such as hi-def time-shifting and a program guide that gathers information from the data included in a digital broadcast. ATI already has a working demo of the DTV software, which will be incorporated into the Multimedia Center suite. Don't expect to see the card until April, though.
. M. Page
. C. Sun
. C. Angelini
A Reader Asks...
. M. Dowler