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Newsletter Contents

.ATI R420 Videocard
.AthlonXP 3200+
.Abit IS7-G Mobo
.Samsung 19" Monitor
.Corsair XMS3200
.MSI FX5200
.Colin's Weekly Tips
.MagicPro KT400A

AthlonXP 3200+, DDR and ABIT Motherboards

In this weeks edition of the Newsletter we have a couple really cool bits of technology to tell you about. For starters, the AMD AthlonXP 3200+ 400MHz FSB processor recently passed through the lab with flying colours. I don't want to spoil the review for you, so before you close your email for the day be sure and read what Colin has to say about AMD's latest 2.2GHz desktop processor.

Next in line are ABIT's IS7-G Springdale motherboard, and a KT400A board from the budget-minded folks at MagicPro. To really wet your whistle I've also thrown in a review of some wicked Corsair XMS3200 (low latency) DDR memory for dual channel systems, and a GFX5200 videocard from MSI.

It's been a while since we've tested any monitors around here so it was good to get back in the swing of things and work on the Samsung 957MB for awhile before writing up our impressions. The flat face screen of the 957MB would make a great option for CAD'ers and gamers alike, so be sure to read the full review.

TechWatch has some Ballistic Nylon gear for iPod'ers in the crowd, as well as mention of a Mirror TV from Philips. Of course, what newsletter would be complete without the HighTech Low Down and a look at Colin's Weekly Tech Tips? Enjoy the rest of your week, and stay tuned to the Newsletter and!

AMD AthlonXP 3200+ 400MHz FSB Processor Review

Read Article Now! AMD's most successful processor, the K7 (Athlon\AthlonXP) has come a long way in the last four years. We've seen it move from a 0.25 micron process to the current 0.13 micron, and from Slot A to the more reliable Socket A (462) of current times. Along the way this... dare I say... loveable processor has come to incorporate such things as Intel's SSE technology and seen a shift in L2 cache on die and upgraded to 512KB. For most consumers however, it is the price point of the AthlonXP processors that makes them so attractive. Significantly less expensive than Intel's top of the line counterparts, and with just about the same raw performance across the board, the only downside has been higher thermals and noisy cooling solutions. While the processor is still based on the Barton core, AMD raised the operating FSB from 166 MHz to a full 200 MHz. We actually already showed the benefits of a 200 MHz FSB with our AMD moves to a 200 MHz FSB article, and perhaps AMD read it and thought it was a good idea. =) Read the Rest...

TechWatch Ballistic Nylon for Geeks

WaterField Designs makes a ballistic nylon case for the new Applie iPod MP3 player. The iPod Case has a bottom-entry design for easy use with the new iPod docking station and also has a slit on the bottom to enable users to attach a cable to the iPod's bottom slot.

The main controls are not covered with plastic, which more easily allows the user to use the iPod's buttons by touch and which will not accumulate debris that could lodge underneath the plastic. The WaterField Designs iPod Case is available thru for $40.

Good Reflections and a Mirror TV?
Philips Electronics had seen fit to make a "Mirror TV" - a versatile 17"-30" LCD display integrated into a mirror. The Mirror TV uses a unique polarized mirror technology which transfers close to 100 percent of the light through the reflective surface. The Mirror TV is being pitched for non-traditional viewing spaces where it can be installed flush to the wall, and is expected to see release in Q4:2003 on a limited commercial front.

Consumers who tested the Mirror TV prototype in Philips own HomeLab appreciated the ability to watch the news and traffic while also shaving or brushing their teeth. Philips initially plans to market the Mirror TV to hotels, but also sees a market for the product in customized home environments within the next few years. Company officials estimate that a home version may be available before 2005.

Abit IS7-G i865PE Motherboard Review
Read Article Now! Who could forget great motherboards like the BH6, BE6-II and BX-133? How about the more recent TH7II, BD7 or ABIT IT7 MAX2 Rev2 for the Pentium 4 processor? When Intel recently announced their own dual DDR Pentium 4 solutions, the eyes of overclockers everywhere focused on the ABIT IC7 and IS7 motherboards.... ABIT's motto is "built for overclockers by overclockers" after all. Based on the i865PE Springdale chipset we'll let you know if this board lives up to the lofty standards set by older Abit motherboards, or simply falls among the rank and file. Read the Rest...

Visit the ShoppingList Page for the June 2003 Budget $599, Mainstream $1500, and Performance $2500 System hardware recommendations!!

Samsung Syncmaster 957MB Monitor Review
Read Article Now!Typically, the inner surface of a Samsung flat face display is slightly curved in just one axis. The Syncmaster 957MB uses such a process so there is only a very subtle curve along the horizontal axis of the inner screen surface. The curve is so small that it's really only noticeable with the aid of a small point light source test. The 19" Samsung Syncmaster 957MB is based upon an Invar Shadow mask screen mesh, features a 0.20mm horizontal dot pitch and an optimal resolution of 1600x1200 @ 75Hz. The screen will support as high as 1920x1440 if you are lucky enough to use a videocard that powerful, but I preferred 1280x1024 @ 90Hz for the purposes of these tests. Read the Rest...
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Video Cards
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Corsair TwinX 1024-3200LL Memory Review MSI FX5200-TDR128 Videocard Review

Read Article Now! There's no question that if you want the best memory in the world there is a very short list of capable manufacturers from which to choose, and Corsair Memory is one of them. From our standpoint a manufacturer who is able to consistently produce quality memory is only half of the equation however, after all what happens when problems arise? Is the manufacturer there to support their products or are you simply stuck in limbo? Read the Rest...

Read Article Now! When we opened up the FX5200-TDR128 package and took a look around at what is included we found lots of games and useful software in addition to several other neat items. Based on the GeForceFX 5200 GPU, the card sports 128MB of 4ns TSOP-II Samsung memory, has TV-Output capabilities and even a remote control. Other hardware goodies included in the bundle are a DVI to analog adapter, S-Video to S-Video cable and a media breakout box. Read the Rest...

Colin's Weekly Tech Tips

Colin Sun

Most of the time when we are transferring large files over a LAN the network will never reach maximum theoretical throughput speed. Luckily for us, adding two DWORD value strings can sometimes greatly improve network data transfer performance!

First load up regedit (Start -> Run -> regedit -> Ok) then follow this path. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> SYSTEM -> CurrentControlSet -> Services -> Lanmanworkstation -> parameters. Now create (or modify) the MaxCmds and MaxThreads DWORD value strings. You can give it any value between 0 and 255, it's up to you to experiment to see what works best for your network. For my home network I find that giving it a value of 155 on all computers boost network throughput a bit.

If you RUIN your network settings simply delete the two DWORD strings and start over. =)

Colin's Tips Archives | Forums

Read Article Now!
VIA's second attempt at a 333MHz FSB AthlonXP chipset, known as the KT400A, is a good one even though it is a little too late to make a difference. If the KT400A chipset had been released when the KT400 came out last year, the AMD chipset market would certainly look quite different than it does right now under the auspices of nVidia's nForce2. Of course, VIA's KT400A chipset wasn't released at the best of time, and now it seems as though it has firmly secured its position as the black sheep of the AMD chipset family. And so, today we're going to be testing the bright purple Magic Pro MP-K7V-400A mainboard which should appeal to budget minded consumers. Have Magic Pro, a name synonymous with inexpensive computer components been able to present a KT400A based motherboard attractive to the end user? Let's find out!
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PCstats Issue

Circulation: 261,863

The High Tech Low Down

By: Chris Angelini

Last month I received news of an upcoming graphics processor from ATI. Since then, fresh rumors have broken that shed additional light on the situation.

Firstly, there is still a product expected to emerge this summer, manufactured on a 0.15-micron process and closely related to the R350 processor currently populating RADEON 9800 Pro boards. This product, tentatively referred to as R360, is presumably ATI's answer to NV35. From what I've heard, it will generally be a faster variant of what is already available, but just in time to offer impressive performance to enthusiasts looking to milk the most from Half-Life 2 later this year. Think last year's RADEON 8500 or GeForce4 Ti 4600 will tide you over for HL2? Think again - if high-stakes gaming is your cup of tea, you'll want to keep an eye for out for the upcoming R360 or its successor, rumored to be an early 2004 part.

What I had previously dubbed R390 has apparently received a new codename. R420 will take R360's place, bringing with it PCI Express support (which is said to be AGP 8x-compliant through a bridge chip) and full Pixel and Vertex Shader 3.0 compatibility, though the focus will be faster 2.0 shaders. It will also supposedly be the first flagship to emerge from ATI manufactured using 0.13-micron technology.

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