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In This Issue...

.Mushkin PC3200
.Upgrade Win98 Guide
.Gigabyte 8GPNXP-Duo
.61" DLP Screen
.DFI 875P-T
.Epox 5EGA+
.Crucial Gizmo 2.0
.Antec 330W PSU
.PCstats Weekly Tips
MSI's Radeon RX800XT Videocard

There is nothing quite as sweet as "new videocard smell," and to help with your quest for the best gear, PCstats presents its review of the PCI Express MSI Radeon RX800XT. Following this shining example of ATI engineering is our test report on Mushkin's low latency PC3200 DDR RAM. Mike stops by the Newsletter this week with a Guide to Upgrading Windows 98 to XP, and then it's on to Gigabyte's GA-8GPNXP-Duo socket 775 / PCI Express motherboard!

DFI bust out with an i875P based board that supports the new socket 775 Pentium's, and Epox draws some comments from us over its 915G-based EP-5EGA+ motherboard. Finally, Crucial's 512MB USB flash drive and Antec's 330W TruePower power supply make it onto the test bench. PCstats Weekly Tech Tip is a really good one... so be sure to read that, and visit the PCstats Forums while you're at it!

We're also making a go with a PCstats Career Center - within it you can post a resume, look for a fancy new job, or even just flip through some complimentary tech magazines. Have a look.

MSI Radeon RX800XT-VTD256E Videocard Review

Architecturally identical to the ATI Radeon X800XT PE, the 16-pipeline Radeon X800XT core is clocked a whole 20 MHz slower than the Platinum Edition, and so it sits at 500 MHz. The DDR-3 memory backing up the ATI R420 core is clocked at an even 1 GHz, down from 1.12 GHz for the X800XT PE version. MSI's RX800XT-VTD256E direct competition comes from the nVidia GeForce 6800GT class videocard, as both PCI Express cards are one step down from the top of the heap. However, as you'll soon see in PCstats benchmarks, the MSI RX800XT-VTD256E does very well for itself! Continue Here>>

Mushkin PC3200 LII V2 Memory Review

Today PCstats will be checking out a couple of Mushkin's new low latency PC3200 Level II version 2 memory modules. Each stick of DDR RAM is 512MB in size (for total of 1GB), and operates at 200 MHz with timings of 2-2-2-5 at 2.6V. Both modules are protected by sleek black heatspreaders which should keep the modules safe from physical damage. These are the same DRAM modules that Corsair use on its 3200XL line. It doesn't seem to scale quite as well as Winbond BH-5 DRAM with tight timings, but loosening things up does allow these Samsung chips to hit fairly decent speeds with modest voltage increases. Continue Here>>

Beginners Guides: Upgrading Win98 to Windows XP

Modernizing an old operating system, without reinstalling all your programs and software.
Windows XP is the best all-around operating system that Microsoft has yet produced. It built on Windows 2000's idea of integrating Microsoft's stable NT operating system with some of the user-friendly features of the Windows 9x operating systems. The resulting product is an extremely stable and mostly user-friendly hybrid combining ease of use with advanced features for businesses. Its only major drawback is its steep system requirements. In this article, PCstats will explore the procedure of upgrading a Windows 98/ME system to Windows XP, what you need to do, changes you can make to ensure the upgrade goes smoothly, and how to troubleshoot any problems that might occur. Continue Here>>

Gigabyte GA-8GPNXP Duo 915P Motherboard Review

With the i865PE being substantially cheaper than the i875P, we can only assume it was none to pleased that sales of its flagship i875P solution quickly faltered... This time around, Intel has been very tight lipped about the 915P and 925X chipsets, and exactly what differentiates the two. The Gigabyte GA-8GPNXP Duo socket 775 Intel Pentium 4 motherboard is based on the 915P chipset, and targeted towards the masses. Along side the Socket 775 Pentium 4 the GA-8GPNXP Duo will support up to 4GB of DDR-2 or DDR memory (though not at the same time); which is one the nicer features of the 915P chipset.Continue Here>>

Samsung HLN617W 61-inch DLP Television Review

PCstats recently had an opportunity to look at Samsung's enormous 61" HLN617W DLP flat screen TV, and we jumped at it! DLP displays may be less familiar to some of you than the more conventional methods such as plasma, CRT, LCD or rear projection, but it may well be the future of big screen HDTV's. The HLN617W is sweet, so get ready to sell that extra kidney as we take a close look at this mother of all Home Theatre screens! Once we had this DLP screen set up, we began 'testing' Doom3 on it... ahhhh :-) Continue Here>>

DFI LANParty 875P-T Motherboard Review
DFI's LANParty 875P-T is a very interesting motherboard, and one of only a few in its class. It allows users to upgrade to a Socket 775 Intel Pentium4 processor, while at the same time allowing them to keep all of their old hardware since. This is possible because the DFI LanParty 875P-T is based on the Intel i875P chipset. Of course, this also means that there is no PCI Express x16 or DDR-2 RAM support. However, with the imminent replacement of the 925X by the 925XE, and little in the way of high end PCI Express videocards to choose from, the DFI 875P-T is a good alternative right now.Continue Here>>
Epox EP-5EGA+ 915G Motherboard Review

The Epox EP-5EGA+ is a next generation board which is based on the new Intel 915G and ICH6R chipsets. The standard flavour is the 915P, but as you guessed it, the 915G boasts its own Intel GMA900 integrated video package. It also comes with the high bandwidth PCI Express x16 slot for graphics cards, so there are couple options video-wise. Standard features on the Epox 5EGA+ include 7.1-channel Intel 'High Definition' audio, ATA-133 IDE RAID, four SATA headers, eight USB2.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet and of course the wonderful Port 80 diagnostics card. It's too soon to say if the 915G will support the upcoming 1066MHz FSB Pentium 4 processors however...Continue Here>>

Crucial Gizmo 2.0 512MB USB Hard Drive Review

With the proliferation of WindowsXP, plugging a device like the 512MB Crucial Gizmo 2.0 into a system doesn't even require drivers - everything is automatic, and after a few seconds up pops a new hard drive. The Crucial Gizmo 2.0 flash disk we will be looking at in this quick review is 512MB in size, and communicates at USB2.0 speeds. It measures a scant 16 x 67.5 x 8mm, and has a tiny little green LED to indicate activity. The Gizmo 2.0 flash drive is small enough that two can be installed into adjacent USB ports without encountering any space issues.Continue Here>>

Antec TruePower 330W Power Supply Review

The Antec TruePower 330W comes with some case screws, installation manual, plug and three year warranty. The unit is compatible with 115V/230V mains supplies care of a voltage selector switch, and is ATX12V compatible. For power connectors there is a 20-pin and 4-pin auxiliary connector, as well as the little used 6-pin inline power connector. With respect to peripheral connections, the Antec TruePower 330W features seven Molex, two Serial ATA, two floppy and two 12V fan-only power connectors. All the connectors are black, and the main ATX power cable is wrapped in a cable sleeve to keep it neat. Continue Here>>

PCstats Weekly Tech Tips: Time Locked Login

A few weeks ago I talked about how to disable one account temporarily so users cannot log in. This Week's PCstats Tech Tip expands on that.... Instead of disabling an account altogether, why not simply limit when a user can log into their computer to specific hours of the day?

First we'll need to enable that feature so click the Start button then run, from there type in GPEDIT.MSC and click the ok button. That will open up the Group Policy editor, scroll to this location Computer Configuration -> Windows Settings -> Security Settings -> Local Policies -> Security Options. In the window on the right, scroll down and find the Network Security: Force logoff when hours expire policy, enable it and then close the policy editor.

From there load up your command prompt (Start -> run then type cmd and press ok) and we'll use the net user command to set the hours. Here are a few examples of how to set login hours...

net user Colin /time:M-F,10:00-18:00
net user Colin /time:M-F,10am-6pm
net user Colin /time:M,9am-6pm;T-F,10:00-18:00
To disable this feature simply type net user Colin /time:all. Cool eh!

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