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In This Issue...

- Asus EN6600GT
- Foxconn 761GX mobo
- Foxconn NF4SLI mobo
- EZ-swap SATA
- DualHead2Go
- PCstats Weekly Tips

ASUS' Silent GeForce 6600GT Videocard

Gigabyte released an Intel 975X-based motherboard with four PCI Express x16 slots this week, which begs the question; has SLI gone from useful to just obscene? Seriously, does anyone really need that much videocard for today's games? In other news, a high-tech "liquid metal" thermal compound has allegedly been found to aggressively corrode aluminum like Pop-Rocks in a can of 7-Up! All this and much more was covered in PCSTATS daily news - catch it right here at every day of the week.

Silent computing is something we're really excited about, and videocards like the Asus EN6600GT take an interesting approach to zero-noise graphics card cooling. Foxconn have two boards up on the test bench this issue, the Foxconn 761GXK8MC-S and NF4SLI7M. I hope you'll take a moment to read through PCSTATS reports on each. Matrox are back in the game with an interesting dual-monitor device for laptop and notebook computers called the DualHead2Go. Following that, PCSTATS looks at the Digital Rights Management aspects of the upcoming Windows Vista operating system... and not everything about DRM is going to make consumers happy.

Asus EN6600GT Silencer Videocard Review
Continue on...

Building a quiet PC is a difficult task, but not impossible if you know where to look for the right parts. The Asus EN6600GT/Silencer/HTD/256M/A offers users an excellent mix of performance from its GeForce 6600GT core and silent operation thanks to its passive heatpipe cooler. The videocard is based on the GeForce 6600GT core and is backed by 256MB of DDR3 memory. The card sports dual output with a pair of DVI/analog connectors. There is also a DVI to analog converter in the package for dual monitor users. If you want to build a quiet HTPC machine, the Asus EN6600GT Silencer/HTD/256M/A also supports component (Y, Pb, Pr) output. Continue Here>>

Foxconn WinFast 761GXK8MC-S Motherboard Review
Continue on...

The Foxconn WinFast 761GXK8MC-S motherboard we're testing out in the course of this review is based upon a new chipset from SiS which has a couple media-friendly assets. The SiS 761GX chipset includes SiS' Mirage 1 graphics core, accessible through the analog video jack nestled into with all the other motherboard inputs/outputs. The SIS chipset is being positioned as a good alternative to the nVidia 6100 series IGPs which recently launched. Elsewhere on the WinFast 761GXK8MC-S motherboard are two DDR memory sockets for up to a maximum of 2GB of PC3200 DDR memory. The microATX board includes one PCI Express x16 slot and three 32 bit PCI slots.Continue Here>>

Foxconn NF4SLI7AA-8EKRS2 Motherboard Review
Continue on...

Based around the versatile nVIDIA nForce4 SLI Intel Edition chipset, the Foxconn NF4SLI7AA-8EKRS2 motherboard which is the focus of this review boasts support for Socket 775 Pentium 4/D/XE and Celeron D processors running on a 533/800 and 1066 MHz Front Side Bus. Its four 240 pin DDR-2 RAM slots accommodate up to 4GB of (unbuffered, non ECC) DDR2-667 memory (DDR2-800 unofficially supported). Integrated peripherals include a two port Silicon Image SiI3132 Serial ATA II/RAID controller, IEEE 1394b Firewire, dual Gigabit network cards and 7.1-channel audio.Continue Here>>

Matrox DualHead2Go Notebook Multi-display Breakout Box
Continue on...

The Matrox DualHead2Go is black box about the size of a paperback book that enables laptop and tablet PC users multi-display functionality from twin side-by-side 17" or 19" LCD monitors. The DualHead2Go works off of the analog video output from an approved list of notebooks at resolutions of either 2048x768 (60, 75, 85 Hz) or 2560x1024 (60Hz). The device takes the novel approach of splitting that double-width video signal in half, with one portion of the screen going to monitor A, and the second portion going to monitor B. The end result is that two monitors will act as a single screen, yet with just one monitor cable plugged into the host computer.Continue Here>>

Vantec SATA EZ-Swap MRK-200ST-BK Hard Drive Rack Review
Continue on...

The Vantec EZ-Swap MRK200-ST-BK only comes in black, and it supports the Serial ATA I standard although Serial ATA II drives will function just fine in it at reduced maximum peak though-put. The HDD caddy is made of aluminum which should help keep high speed drives a littler cooler than plastic would. There is also a small 40mm fan at the back of the unit which pulls a little air through the unit. On the front of the HDD caddy is blue-illuminated LCD that displays the ambient temperature and has a few simple temperature related alarm controls.Continue Here>>

Windows Vista, HDCP and Digital Rights Management
Continue on...

Part of the feature set of Microsoft's upcoming Windows Vista operating system is support for High-Definition content, either through television signals, HD or Blu-Ray DVDs, or Internet video. Along with this support though, is a new set of restrictions designed to ensure the sanctity of HD content and protect it from copying. To this end, the company is building support for HDCP into the operating system as part of its suite of DRM (Digital Rights Management) abilities called Output Content Protection Management (OCPM). PCSTATS is going to look at the DRM features of Windows Vista and what they may mean to users in the future.Continue Here>>

PCstats Weekly Tech Tips: R is for Repair Install

Computer upgrades are a necessity of life, and sometimes certain upgrades can conflict with the Windows operating system. Luckily, if a user plans to upgrade major components (like the motherboard) a clean install is not the only option... and yes you can save your old data. What a user will want to do is a Repair Install. To do this, just pop in your Windows CD (2000/XP only) and start the normal install process. Once you get to the main screen, press the enter key, agree to Microsoft's EULA and press R to start the Repair install. Once you do that, the Windows will install over the current version on the hard drive while leaving the existing programs and registry intact.

The repair install reverts the core portion of the OS back to default, so do not forget to reinstall patches and drivers! It is still a tedious process, but at least with a repair install you do not have to reinstall all the software too. ;-)

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

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This Issue By
. Max P.
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. Colin S.

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