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In This Issue...

- ASrock 939Dual Mobo
- Ballistix PC4000
- OCZ PC3500 DDR
- Asus Vento Case
- Upgrading Guide
- MSI P4N Diamond
- PCstats Weekly Tips

ASRock 939Dual - Ready for AMD Socket M2?

Sometime in early 2006, AMD will reportedly move the Athlon64 processor onto DDR2 memory. Such major changes require new CPUs, and new CPU sockets. The new (and totally non-compatible with current socket 939 processors) socket we'll all be hearing about in the coming months is the M2 Socket 939. Budget-minded ASrock have taken the impending changes in stride, and introduced the ASRock 939Dual motherboard now which incorporates support for the future M2 Socket by way of a daughter card. Neat idea isn't it?

DDR memory is such a hot topic these days that we have two memory reviews prepared: 1GB of Crucial Ballistix PC4000 and 2GB OCZ PC4000 DDR. Games like Battlefield 2 really benefit from 2GB of installed memory, other programs not so much... yet. In other reviews, we have the Asus Ventro 3600 blue custom case, MSI P4N Diamond nForce4-SLI Intel Edition motherboard and a quick Guide to Upgrading PCs. Enojoy!

If you have any feedback to share with PCSTATS, perhaps a comment on our test methods, or something else, drop us a line!

ASRock 939Dual-SATA2 Socket M2 Upgradable Motherboard Review
Continue on...

There seems to be a revolution occuring in the design of motherboards, and longevity is its hallmark. There are just a handful of motherboards on the market that support future and multi-platform processors and memory. The ASRock 939Dual-SATA 2 motherboard we're testing here is a socket 939 AMD Athlon64 solution which incorporates a special slot for a daughter card that will in the near future support the upcoming Socket M2 AMD Athlon64 processor and its allotment of DDR-2 memory. Both the Socket M2 AMD processor and the necessary ASRock daughter card are not currently available, but the CPU is expected in Q2 of 2006 so the ASRock 939Dual-SATA2 is certainly forward-looking.Continue Here>>

Crucial Ballistix PC4000 DDR RAM Review
Continue on...

On the test block today is a 1GB set of dual channel DDR from Crucial. Sold under the Crucial Ballistix name, this pair of 512MB PC4000 DDR modules have been well received by the enthusiast community. The 184 pin (unbuffered, non ECC) DDR DIMMs are dual channel compatible and have a default rated speed of 250 MHz, or PC4000. Default timings are very conservative at 3-4-4-8. To reach an overclocked speed of 250 MHz, the memory is rated for use with voltages as high as 2.8V.Continue Here>>

OCZ 2GB PC4000 EL DDR Gold Memory Review
Continue on...

Just as consumers are starting to see the peak of the 2GB RAM mountain poking out from behind the mist, a flurry of memory manufacturers are waiting in the winds with 2x1GB dual channel DDR memory kits so gamers can get their fix. OCZ Technology is quick on the draw, and so here we are testing out its 2GB EL DDR PC4000 Gold Edition memory kit which consists of two 1024MB modules of PC4000 DDR. Each memory DIMM is 1GB in size, and is rated to run at PC4000 speeds or 250 MHz with 3-4-4-8 memory timings at a voltage of 2.8V. The OCZ PC4000 Gold Edition memory modules use gold plated copper Neng Tyi heatspreaders which help keep the memory safe from potential damage.Continue Here>>

ASUS Vento 3600 Case Review
Continue on...

The ASUS Vento 3600 comes in three colours; red, green and blue. Our review model sported the blue colour. The outer shell is painted plastic and features an 'airlock' style detachable side panel as well as a self-opening front panel concealing the drive bays. The Vento 3600 case has a large 12" x 25" footprint and measures about 21" tall. It is considerably larger than your average computer case, and thanks to its all-steel 0.8mm SECC internal construction, its weight reflects this. The Vento 3600 easily weighs as much as a typical fully installed ATX case does before you install a motherboard or other components. It's still moveable though, fortunately.Continue Here>>

Beginners Guides: Fundamentals of Upgrading a PC
Continue on...

Upgrading a PC is easy, and will extend the useful life of your investment. There are a couple fundamentals of how to upgrade, like knowing what new parts will work with the existing hardware.

If you've owned a PC, and especially if you are a game player, you have thought at one time or another of upgrading your computer. PC technology moves forward quickly, but given the relative expense of most hardware and software, the average user buys something, sticks with it for a while and only becomes discontent when circumstances force them to use newer software or a new operating system. Then, all of a sudden, the old Pentium box seems....slow. Time for a face lift. Continue Here>>

MSI P4N Diamond NF4-SLI Intel Edition Motherboard Review

Continue on...

After witnessing what nVIDIA was able to do with AMD in a few short years, the future for what it could bring to the Intel platform is quite alluring. MSI Computers new P4N Diamond looks well... like a real gem of a motherboard! Obviously based on the nForce4 SLI Intel Edition chipset, the motherboard supports Socket 775 800/1066 MHz FSB Pentium 4/XE, Pentium D and Celeron D processors as well as a maximum of 4GB of DDR2-667 memory. Other goodies include dual Gigabit NICs, a Creative Labs Live! 7.1 sound card, IEEE 1394a and an additional Serial ATA II controller. Continue Here>>

PCstats Weekly Tech Tips: Let Dos and 16-bit Programs Rest
DOS applications might have some sentimental value with the older geeks, but in this day and age the majority of those applications (or games) have been replaced by newer versions. In fact, running an old 16-bit program in Windows can cause system instability. It's not too uncommon for old applications to wreak havoc on the system once they've been loaded.

Luckily there is a way to prevent these issues from happening on users PCs', and PCSTATS is going to share this nugget of info with you. First load up the Group Policy Editor (Start -> Run then type gpedit.msc and press the OK button) and follow this path User Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Application Compatibility. In the right hand window, open up the Prevent access to 16-bit applications option, select enabled and click the OK button. Once that’s done, close the Group Policy editor and users will no longer be able to execute 16 bit applications within WindowsXP.

Now you do not need to worry about users executing old 16 bit applications within Windows, if you still want to use those old apps, do yourself a favor and create a boot disk. ;-)

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

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