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In This Issue...

- VAIO T140 Laptop
- Website Building Guide
- 16X Dual Layer DVD
- Efficeon CPU
- Asus N6600Top
- Megaview 561 PMP
- Centon PC3200
- MSI K8N Neo 4
- Vantec 520W PSU
- Chaintech VNF4 Ultra
- PCstats Weekly Tips
HomePC Website Hosting How-To

Rejoice! Windows XP Professional x64 Edition is finally available! (yay) While this OS will spur on sales of AMD & Intel 64-bit CPUs, it apparently falls short in two areas; comprehensive 64-bit hardware drivers and 64-bit compatible antivirus software from major vendors. Compatibility issues aside, 64-bit computing offers plenty to get excited about, as we have illustrated previously.

Do you use the PCstats ShoppingList? We'd like to know what you would change or add to the ShoppingList tool to make it better, more informative, easier to use, or whatever. Drop off your suggestions here.

Sony's sleek VAIO T140/P laptop makes it past the PCSTATS test bench this week, scoring high marks for its design aesthetic, and less so in the 3D tests... following that review is a new Beginners Guide to Website Hosting from home (by popular demand!), a test report for the new Dual Layer 16X DVD drive from Gigabyte, and some words on the 520W Vantec Stealth PSU.

A really great budget Athlon64 motherboard (socket 939) that caught our attention recently is the Chaintech Zenith VNF4-Ultra, and I think you'll find the benchmarks interesting too. Rounding out this issue are articles on the Transmeta Efficeon processor, ASUS N6600TOP videocard, MSI K8N Neo4 motherboard and Megaview 561 personal media player. Our newsletter is your oyster, so shuck! :-)

Sony VAIO VGN-T140P/L Notebook Review
Read the Review...

The navy blue and silver Sony VAIO VGN-T140P/L laptop is the size of a hardcover book and weighs only a little over three pounds. It packs a weighty list of features, beginning with a DVD/CDRW combo drive and a massive WXGA (1280x768) resolution on its tiny, shiny, 10.6" widescreen LCD. The VAIO sports a 1.10GHz Pentium M '733' Ultra low voltage processor. 512MB of DDR memory comes standard, 64MB of which is shared with the onboard video. A smallish 4200RPM 40GB hard drive provides storage and the integrated Intel Extreme Graphics 2 engine provides excellent image quality and DVD playback, along with mostly theoretical 3D support. Continue Here>>

Beginners Guides: Website Hosting From A Home PC
Read the Review...

Obstacles like IIS and dynamic IP addresses can make the process of running a website off a home broadband internet connection complicated... There are several tricks you'll need to know to get it working, so follow along and get clicking! If you want a website badly enough, you can have a website of your own quickly and easily. But why pay someone else to host your website for you when you can easily do it yourself on the home computer over a broadband Internet connection? In this guide, PCSTATS will explore the process of hosting a website from your home computer using a broadband Internet connection. Continue Here>>

Gigabyte GO-W1616A DVD Burner Review
Read the Review...

With all the DVD writers flooding into the market, choosing the right one can be a confusing situation. Our advice is this, to make sure your burner is future-proof you should really only consider drives which are are dual-layer compatible. DVD recorders that are not, will very shortly be obsolete. With that in mind, the Gigabyte GO-W1616A drive we are looking at today has some impressive specifications, in addition to dual-layer DVD recording, and it comes with a few goodies such as Nero software suite and PowerDVD 5. Continue Here>>
Transmeta Efficeon Mobile CPU Series
Read the Review...

The Efficeon was in the works before the then-codenamed Intel 'Banias' was launched, but it has yet to have the same effect on the market. Recent years have seen much of Transmeta's long-battery-life thunder stolen by Intel's vastly improved mobile chips. While the (toasty hot) Intel Centrino has finally proven that consumers can have an Intel processor-based notebook with excellent battery life, had the world not first experienced the Transmeta Crusoe this mobile processor renaissance may never have even occurred... Continue Here>>

Asus Extreme N6600TOP/TD/128M/A Videocard Review
Read the Review...

The Asus Extreme N6600TOP PCI Express x16 videocard uses a vanilla GeForce 6600 GPU, but backs it up with Samsung GDDR3 memory (128MB, 2.0ns DRAM). ASUS has also set the GPU and memory clock speeds of this card considerably higher than that of a stock GeForce 6600, accordingly the speeds are 400Mhz core and 900MHz memory.Continue Here>>
MSI Megaview 561 Portable Multimedia Player Review
Read the Review...

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>>

Centon Advanced GEMiNi PC3200 Dual-Channel Kit Review
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>>
MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum Motherboard Review

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 , and two Gigabit NICs. 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.Continue Here>>

Vantec Stealth VAN-520A 520W Power Supply Review

Vantec must have heard the call for more power, because it has recently released the all black VAN-520A powersupply. With 520 watts of power, an armful of connectors, and some low-noise features, the unit has an impressive rap sheet. Add to that its three fans with wire grills and a mesh-wrapped set of 24-pin ATX power cables and you have something pretty interesting for your computer. Continue Here>>

Chaintech Zenith VNF4 Ultra Motherboard Review
Read the Review... There's little doubt that if you're thinking about buying a new system or parts right now, Socket 939 Athlon64 + PCI Express is the way to go. Chaintech is one of the few manufacturers to produce an entry level motherboard for the socket 939 AMD Athlon64 processor, and from what we've seen, its Zenith VNF4 Ultra has been scooping up a lot of sales. Expansion is provided by three standard PCI slots and a pair of PCIe x1 connectors. Continue Here>>

PCstats Weekly Tech Tips: HDD Defragmentation

With applications constantly moving data around, files on the hard drive can become fragmented quite easily. Doing a full hard drive defragment is sometimes not an option, so what are you to do if you find your system slowing down? Well, there is always the quick boot degrag! The built in Microsoft Disk Defragger doesn't support this feature, so we'll have to load up the command line defrag.

To do this, first load up your command line (Start -> Run then type cmd and press the Ok button) and from here type "defrag C: (or your boot drive letter) -b". Now Windows will only optimize the boot files and applications you access most. Hopefully that will give you a slight speed boost to make things better. Looks like the command line still has some usefulness. ;-)

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Circulation: 210,677

Whatever Happened To...?

I was talking about computers recently, and the subject turned to old and out of business companies that we all remembered from our youth. What ever happened to Packard Bell, Zeos, and Wang? What if things had happened differently and Wang had decided to go into the IBM-compatible PC business; would we all be boasting that our computers have Wang InsideĀ®?

Behind the near limitless number of cheap jokes that this subject offers, there's a serious point. Why have so many computer companies collapsed or vanished in the last 15 years? Packard Bell is alive and well (though it belongs to NEC) and making PCs in Europe, but you are not going to get computers from ZEOS or Wang Labs anymore. A very partial list of companies that either went out of business or no longer make computers includes: Acorn, Atari, Axis, Commodore, CyberMax, Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), Micron, Quantex, Zeos, and on and on... The current North American market for desktops is held by three companies; Dell, HP/Compaq and Sony, plus some store brands and boutique manufacturers like Alienware. Even mighty IBM, who created the blueprint for what we recognize as a modern Personal Computer, recently sold its PC manufacturing business overseas.

The fact is, computer companies have thinned out drastically since the glory days of the early 80's when everyone with a blueprint and a dream seemed to be marketing a PC. Dell's monolithic and incredibly successful approach to selling computers has all but eliminated competition in North America, while the proliferation of small computer stores with access to both the knowledge and the parts to create custom PCs has reduced the need for smaller computer companies with the flexibility to create custom products. As the myth of the personal computer being a complex and incomprehensible product best purchased from a major company dies, so does the need for a multitude of consumer choices in the market. If you want a computer built to your specifications, you can just order one from your local store, or even build it yourself.

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This Issue By
. M. Page
Weekly Tips
. C. Sun
. M. Dowler

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