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In This Issue...

- Megaview 561 PMP
- MSI K8N Neo4
- Theatre 550 Tuner
- Centon PC3200
- Xpert 3200XL DDR
- Epox 9NPA+ Mobo
- Vantec HDD Rack
- Seasonic S12
- PCstats Weekly Tips
Media Players on the Go

Personal Media Players are the next hottest thing, if we're to believe all the hype. They allow us to carry full movies, lots of music, and thousands of photos around in a small device, to watch wherever we choose. The MSI Megaview 561 is one such PMP, and very shortly you'll see what we think of another called the mPack P800.

Hardware has been flying past the test bench at PCSTATS this month, and in this issue we cover the MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum motherboard, Powercolor Theatre 550 TV-tuner, Vantec Nextstar HDD rack, and ultra quiet APFC Seasonic S12 power supply. Of special note is this review of some enthusiast calibre low latency PC3200 DDR from a company you probably haven't yet heard of. Centon is big in the OEM world, and by what we saw in this review, is certainly looking to make waves in the enthusiast memory market too.

This Weeks Tech Tip is a good one for all you multi-taskers, so enjoy!

MSI Megaview 561 Portable Multimedia Player Review
Continue on...

We like gadgets here at PCstats, we really, really do... So when something comes along that excites that hidden need for all things tiny, shiny and technologically advanced, we review it (and play with it) as quickly as possible. Such was the case when MSI's Megaview 561 portable Multimedia player crossed our doorstep. The Megaview 561 sports a 3.5 inch LCD , a 20GB hard disk, TV out and A/V recording capabilities, FM radio playback and recording, DivX and MPEG4 support, a full featured photo viewer, USB 2.0 and much more, making it one of the most capable multimedia video players on the market.Continue Here>>
MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum Motherboard Review
Continue on...

MSI's new K8N Neo4 Platinum motherboard is based on the nForce4-Ultra chipset, supporting up to 4GB of PC3200 DDR RAM. A single PCIe x16 slot provides the graphical interface and the motherboard comes equipped with quite a few integrated peripherals like an additional Serial ATA/RAID controller, IEEE 1394, two Gigabit NICs and 7.1 channel audio. In terms of expansion, the K8N Neo4 Platinum is one of the best on the market with four traditional PCI slots, one PCI Express x1 and one PCI Express x4 slot. That's definitely more expansion room than we've seen on many other Athlon64 motherboards! Continue Here>>

Powercolor Theatre 550 Pro TV Tuner Review

In this review, PCstats will be testing out the Powercolor Theatre 550 Pro TV tuner, which is based on ATI's Theatre 550 Pro digital audio/video processing chipset. As you might or might not know, this particular chipset is currently the hottest thing in TV-tunerland, due to its support for a number of uncommon features, including 2D and 3D comb filtering. As you might expect, the ATI Theatre 550 chip is also found in ATI's latest Multimedia products too.Continue Here>>

Centon Advanced GEMiNi PC3200 Dual-Channel Kit Review
Continue on...

Centon is new to an arena already crowded with veteran brands like Corsair, Mushkin, TwinMOS and OCZ - but we've been given a first look at an overclocker-calibre dual-channel DDR memory kit from them. The two 512MB GEMiNI PC3200 dual-channel DIMMs we are testing in this review are rated to run at 200 MHz with 2-2-2-5 timings, at a voltage of 2.6V. Continue Here>>

Corsair Xpert TWINXP1024-3200XL DDR Memory Review
Introducing the Corsair XMS Xpert TWINXP1024-3200XP dual-channel DDR kit. As you can see, it makes quite a first impression. this dual-channel, PC3200 pair of 512MB DDR DIMMs come with a pair of programmable digital displays which can be attached to the top of each module. These LED displays work with the included 'Memory Dashboard' software, allowing your memory to display several monitoring characteristics or even a custom scrolling message! Yes, it's time to get that case window installed... Continue Here>>
Epox EP-9NPA+ Ultra Socket 939 Motherboard Review

The Epox EP-9NPA+ Ultra offers users a very flexible nForce 4/PCI Express platform, and has some useful integrated peripherals like a 8-channel audio, 10 USB2.0 ports, IEEE 1394a, and Gigabit LAN. It's not the most well equipped motherboard we've ever dealt with, but for mainstream users I think you could say it fills out all the necessary points well. At the bottom right hand corner of the motherboard is the Port 80 diagnostics card which flashes two digit error codes to identify system status.Continue Here>>

Vantec NexStar 3 USB2.0 HDD Enclosure Review

Today at PCstats, we're taking a quick look at one of Vantec's latest external IDE drive solutions for USB 2.0, the NexStar 3 enclosure. This sleek black case accomodates any standard 3.5" IDE hard disk. The aluminum Vantec NexStar 3 enclosure comes in four colours, red, blue, grey and black. We tested out the 'Onyx Black' version of the product and we were quite impressed with its shiny black mirror finish. Unfortunately, as with most products with shiny black cases, fingerprints show rather strongly on the NexStar 3. Continue Here>>

Seasonic S12-430 430 Watt Power Supply Review
Continue on... A good power supply is becoming more of an essential component for modern computer systems than it ever used to be. In this review, PCSTATS will be testing out Seasonic's S12-430 power supply. This 430-Watt supply features Active Power Factor Correction, dual 12-volt outlets, 'silent focus' fan control, honeycomb ventilation and a full three year warranty. It also comes with a nifty 'DR. Cable' cable management kit for a neater PC interior.Continue Here>>

PCstats Weekly Tech Tips: KVM and Mouse Signals

At work I use a KVM switch between test computers, with sometimes three or four PC's running benchmarks all at once. With limited space, having monitors, keyboards and mice for all these PC's is just not possible. However is when I start the machines, sometimes the mouse is not detected and so I'm occassionally forced to reboot.

Luckily by changing the mouse INF file we can fix this little problem. First open up your msmouse.inf file using Notepad, it's usually in the Windows -> inf director. From there scroll down to the [Ser_Inst.HW.AddReg] section or search for this line...

; HKR,,''WaitEventMask'',0x00010001,0xFFFFFFFF

From there remove the semicolon in front, save and exit but we're not done quite yet. Next we'll have to go to the Device manager (right click on the My Computer icon and select Properties, from there click the Hardware tab then the Device Manager button), right click on the mouse and uninstall it. The OS will probably prompt you to reboot, do that and let the mouse driver reinstall.

From now on no matter what happens, you will have the use of your mouse if you use a KVM!

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