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In This Issue...

- Gigabyte 7800GTX
- DIY HTPC Guide
- HEC 550W PSU
- Theatre 550 Pro
- 19" LCD Monitors
- 64-bit Overclocking
- PCstats Weekly Tips
Do-It-Yourself Home Theatre PC Guide

Media centers, home theatre systems, the personal computer; all of this seems to be converging into one giant little box that will do everything. Personal Media Players were the first step, and home theatre PCs perhaps the next. With this in mind, PCSTATS got down to work and created a DIY Guide to Building a HTPC. Be sure to give a once over and let me know your thoughts.

Also on the agenda for this Newsletter issue is this nVidia Geforce 7800GTX Gigabyte GV-NX78X256V-B videocard, the HEC 550UB power supply, MSI Theatre 550 Pro TV-tuner, and the Samsung 930MP LCD display which has several very clever multimedia features built right in. There's a fresh Weekly Tech Tip a little further down, and a review of the very innovative ECS PF88 Extreme hybrid Intel/AMD motherboard. This is the first of its kind that we're aware of, and in our test configuration supports either the newest Intel Pentium4 or Athlon64 processors! Neat.

Gigabyte GV-NX78X256V-B Geforce 7800GTX Videocard Review
Continue on...

The Gigabyte GV-NX78X256V-B PCI Express 7800GTX videocard is backed up by 256MB of GDDR3 memory and supports VIVO (Video In/Video Out) as well as component output, and is fully SLI compatible. Included in the package is also a pretty good software suite which includes two full version games and some multimedia software. Built on the smaller 0.11 micron manufacturing, the nvidia Geforce 'G70' core can get away with a single slot cooler, unlike previous generations that sounded like high end vacuum cleaners. Continue Here>>

Do-It-Yourself Guide: Building a Home Theatre PC / HTPC
Continue on...

Computers are a perfect fit for the entertainment room, and building your own home theatre PC is not more difficult than assembling a standard system - as long as you have the right components for the task. In this Do-It-Yourself Guide, PCSTATS are going to walk you step-by-step through the process of assembling your own home theatre PC out of contemporary components. We'll also explore the various things you can do with an HTPC after it's built. For the purposes of this article, we're going to be using the Aopen E915 XCube SFF PC case. While it doesn't exactly resemble a piece of stereo equipment, it fits the bill as small, classy looking and unobtrusive. This was the PC we used to test the 61" Samsung DLP TV since its bezel matched that of the HDTV....Continue Here>>

HEC WinPower Win 550UB PSU Review
Continue on...

For this review of the HEC WinPower 550UB (HEC-550TW-TF) 550W powersupply, we'll be applying a couple of tests with an eye towards seeing how this unit generally performs. The HEC Win550UB powersupply is rated to a peak of 550W power and features dual 12V lines with a combined output capabilities of 35A. According to HEC, the +3.3V line can deliver up to 32A and the +5V up to 38A, for a combined max output of 240W of power. The WIN 550UB has two +12V rails, the first which can deliver 18A and the second which can pump out 17A.Continue Here>>

ECS PF88 Extreme Hybrid Intel/AMD Motherboard Review
Continue on...

What would you say if PCSTATS told you that we have a motherboard here which combines the best of both Intel and AMD CPUs through an innovative daughtercard system, all one board? The ECS PF88 Extreme Hybrid motherboard is on our test bench for a thorough examination, and in the configuration pictured it works with either a socket 775 Intel Pentium 4 or socket 939 AMD Athlon 64 processor. Intrigued yet?Continue Here>>

MSI Theatre 550 Pro TV Tuner Review
Continue on...

ATI recently released the Theatre 550 Pro digital audio/video processing chipset which adds several image quality-related features, possibly making computer-based media centres a little more viable. We've already reviewed one Theatre 550-based product and found it to be the best TV-tuner we had yet looked at. Today we're looking at another, the MSI Theatre 550 Pro.Continue Here>>

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Beginners Guides
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Cooling - Heatsinks
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Samsung SyncMaster 930MP 19-inch LCD Monitor
Continue on...

The Samsung SyncMaster 930MP is the latest hybrid LCD/TV display from the company, and the focus of this review. This Syncmaster 930MP features a 0.294mm dot pitch, 19" screen, 1000:1 contrast ratio, luminance of 250cd/m2 and a native resolution of 1280x1024 pixels. More to the point, the 930MP integrates a TV and FM tuner into its chassis, allowing it to function as a standalone television set and FM radio (AM is not supported) as well as a DVI/analog compatible computer monitor. Continue Here>>

Overclocking and WindowsXP x64 Edition
Continue on...

When one overclocks in the 32-bit world, we expect higher results. After all, a faster computer should lead to faster processing no matter the application, right? The next logical question is whether benchmarks would see similar results in a 64-bit computing environment? PCStats thought it would be interesting to see how overclocking is affected on the WindowsXP x64 Edition platform, so we tested it out!Continue Here>>

PCstats Weekly Tech Tips: Instant Messaging Mess
While I prefer ICQ for instant messaging (I’m old school), many of my friends use MSN Messenger as their IM of choice. By default MSN Messenger saves conversation logs in the My Received files folder under My Documents, however I find it very annoying how it must address the log file into memory before it allows you to chat with a person that individual on your contact list.

This is generally not a problem for fast computers, but can be very painful on slower ones. A friend recently requested my help because it took her PC system nearly 30 seconds to open up a conversation window with certain people! Remembering the above, I removed the log files for that particular user and viola, MSN popped to life in a split second.

So there you have it, if you are an avid MSN user who logs IM conversations and notice the chat client starting to slow down, try deleting the weighty log file!

All of the PCstats Weekly Tech Tips have been archived in the Forums for your reference.

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PCstats Issue
Circulation: 195,205

Our readers ask a lot of questions, and now you can see all the answers! Keep an eye out for the newest PCstats Q & A column by selecting the 'Tips' news category from the box just below our four latest feature reviews.

This weeks Q & A's are:
Rack It Up
Internal memory issues
Look before you leap
Kid Stuff
Unfriendly Ghost
250Gigs of pain
Cloning in 3 Easy Steps
Disobedient Desktop
Automatic logoff?

The PCstats Forums

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

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