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In This Issue...

- 7800GTX Tech
- 3700+ OC'ing
- Muskin Redline DDR
- MSI K8N Neo3-F
- ATi X800XL
- Home Networking
- PCstats Weekly Tips
Speeding with the Geforce 7800GTX

In today's issue of the PCstats Newsletter, an AMD Athlon64 3700+ gets overclocked from 2.2GHz to 3.22GHz with the aid of a phase-change cooler. Nothing like a little overclocking to start things off on the right foot! An introduction to the technology behind nVidia's Geforce 7800GTX series of videocards rounds out the number two spot, followed by reviews of Mushkin's Redline PC3200 DDR, the MSI K8N Neo3-F motherboard, ATI X800XL videocard, and a book by Cisco Press entitled "Home Networking Simplified."

PCSTATS Weekly Tech tips, and a few other tasty bits of tech tidbits are all waiting for you to check out, so enjoy!

Athlon64 3700+ Overclocking Fun
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As someone who has been in the overclocking biz since the days of the 486, I'm happy to see how large this hobby has become. Now, on the heels of PCSTATS highly popular Athlon64 3500+ overclocking article comes a new adventure with the Athlon64 3700+ processor! The Venice-based Athlon64 3700+ processor comes with a traditional 512KB of L2 cache, while the San Diego core has 1MB of L2 cache. As we've seen in previous processor reviews, a larger L2 cache of the 3700+ can boost performance nicely... so lets chill down the Prometeia Mach II GT phase change cooler and get started! Continue Here>>

Introduction to the nVidia GeForce 7800GTX Series
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The GeForce 7800GTX chipset has a simple purpose; to catapult nVidia back onto the 'fastest, most expensive videocard' throne. Obviously, it and its inevitable series of ultra-extreme-pro-express offshoots will make up the high-end of nVidia's next wave come christmas time, but for now it's a lone gunfighter with sights set squarely on ATI's X850XT PE videocard. Formerly known as 'G70', the Geforce 7800GTX is based quite closely on the Geforce 6800Ultra graphics processor. The key architectural differences between the G70 and the 6800Ultra start with the size and manufacture of the GPU. The G70 is based on TSMC's 110nm process and incorporates a mind-boggling 302 million transistors. Continue Here>>

Mushkin HP3200 Redline PC3200 DDR Memory Review

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Overclocking has become big business, and every day more people are joining the ranks. Manufacturers and resellers have recognized this fact, which is why you see enthusiast friendly gear all over the place.

PCStats will be examining a 1GB dual-channel pack of Mushkin's HP3200 Redline memory (2x 512MB modules), and we're expecting some impressive results. Each of the two double-sided 512MB PC3200 DDR DIMMs sports 16 TSOP-II DRAM modules which are cooled and protected by a sleek red heatspreader. By default, the memory is rated to run at 200 MHz with 2-3-2-7 memory timings and a voltage of 2.7V. Default voltage is a bit high, but not out of the ordinary.Continue Here>>
MSI K8N Neo3-F Motherboard Review
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Aside from Serial ATA II support, the nForce4-4X chipset has everything an upgrader would want. The PCI Express architecture has been pegged to have a lifespan of around ten years, so with a nForce4-4X motherboard, Socket 754 Athlon64 users can breath new life into their systems. MSI's nForce4-4X entry, the K8N Neo3-F is the motherboard we'll be testing in this review. This motherboard supports all AMD Athlon64 and Sempron Socket 754 processors and up to 2GB of single-channel DDR memory. As with other nForce 4 chipsets, PCI-Express is integrated and the K8N Neo3-F sports a full PCIe x16 slot for video cards as well as a single x1 slot for peripherals. It also features a physical 8x AGP slot using what MSI term the "AGR" (Advanced Graphics Riser) technology.Continue Here>>

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ATI Radeon X800 XL Videocard Review
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In today's videocard market, the ATi Radeon X800 XL still offers great value. Perhaps that's why these cards are selling out everywhere. The ATI X800 XL is backed by 256MB of GDDR3 memory. A 512MB version is available also, but the extra memory does little in terms of real world performance. Like all other videocards currently on the market, the Radeon X800 XL supports S-Video/Composite TV-out as well as component output for HDTV owners.Continue Here>>

Beginners Guides: Overclocking the CPU, Motherboard and Memory
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The prospect of overclocking a computer system can be intimidating for a computer newcomer, to say the least. The idea is simple enough; make the computer's processor run faster than its stock speed to gain more performance without paying for it. The execution of this idea though, can be anything but simple. The article will guide readers step-by-step through understanding overclocking concepts, how to discover their hardware's overclocking options and the actual process of overclocking. If you consider yourself an expert already, read on - there are a few tips and tricks packed into this guide that you may not know...Continue Here>>

Home Networking Simplified - Cisco Press
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Home Networking Simplified aims for a middle of the road approach, neither oversimplifying the subject or being too technical and dry. The technical details behind home networking are covered as well as the procedures involved and the steps needed to secure a network and protect sensitive eyes from the dangers of the Internet. The authors have teamed up with the 'Geek Squad' on-site tech support company, and these sections are often extremely funny.Continue Here>>

PCstats Weekly Tech Tips: Outlook Tweaks
I recently switched mail clients, moving from Outlook Express to Outlook. While the latter is more efficient than Outlook Express, I find it annoying that Outlook automatically blocks certain types of attached files. I understand Microsoft is only trying to protect its users from malicious content, but there should be the option to turn this filter off.

Luckily, not all is lost and with a little bit of registry hacking we can allow forbidden files to be accessed. First load up regedit (Start -> Run then type regedit and press the Ok button) and follow this path HKEY_CURRENT_USER -> Software -> Microsoft -> 11.0 (10.0 for Outlook XP and 9.0 for Office 2000 SP3) -> Security. From there add a new String Value and name it Level1Remove. Once that’s done enter all the file extensions you want to have access to separated only (no spaces!) by a semicolon (;). For example: .mbd;.url;.zip

Once that’s done save, exit and now you will be able to access files that would normally be forbidden. If need be in the future, you can add more file extensions at a later time.

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Meet the nVidia Geforce 7800GTX

We recently saw the introduction of nVidia's latest graphics processor, the GeForce 7800GTX. While this GPU is an evolutionary upgrade to the 6800 line, not a brand new technology, it does bring some interesting new features and abilities to the table. As far as early benchmarks go, it's also considerably faster than anything else either nVidia or ATI has right now.

In terms of hardware, the most significant upgrade is the move to 8 vertex shaders and 24 pixel pipelines from the 6800 Ultra's 6 and 16. These extra rendering units will help the 7800GTX draw and fill polygons considerably faster than any of its last-generation rivals. The 7800GTX sees only a slight boost in core and memory speed, with nVidia's reference card being clocked at 430MHz core/1.2GHz memory. The core itself is produced on a 110nm process (smaller than the 6800's 130nm) and contains an amazing 302 million transistors. In terms of performance, the 7800GXT has a fill rate of 10.3 Gigatexels and a maximum bandwidth of 38.4GB/s, both these numbers being considerable improvements over the 6800 Ultra.

Besides the raw speed, nVidia is also touting its new GPU's ability to render complicated visual effects with much less of a performance hit than the previous generation. Eye-candy like HDR (High Dynamic Range) lighting and subsurface scattering should be much easier to render thanks to the redesigned pixel pipelines, each of which now allow four MADD (multiply-add) operations per pixel per cycle. These operations are commonly used on complex lighting and map effects. The 7800GTX also introduces a brand new form of anti-aliasing, transparent AA. Transparent AA allows the pixels on the edge of a transparent (alpha) area of a polygon to be blended in the same way that current multi-sampling AA blends the pixels on the edge of a polygon. This means that textures like leaves, grass and see-thru fences can be rendered much more realistically.

The 7800GTX will be SLI compatible, and apparently forthcoming versions of nVidia's Forceware drivers will allow for 16xAA with twin 7800-class cards. As you read this, the first series of retail 7800GTX cards should be hitting stores at a price of US$599 or so. The 7800GTX is shaping up to be the new king of 3D cards, so stay tuned for a review soon!

The PCstats Forums

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

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