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Newsletter Contents

.New CPU Delayed
.DDR433 Memory
.FIC AU13 Mobo
.19" LCD Display
.Internet Basics
.Error Beep Codes
.Colin's Weekly Tips
.47" Projection HDTV
.Cooling Fundamentals

Newest Intel CPU Released, then Delayed

In this weeks edition Chris talks about his frustration with so called 'paper launches' which have been dogging the industry. Whether intentional marketing ploys or because of actual technical problems, paper launches affect the consumer, and are frankly quite annoying (if you read a review of a cool new processor or videocard you should be able to buy it!). From a marketing perspective a little anticipation is a good thing, but the dilemma occurs when a new product is announced that doesn't hit retail stores for months on end. There are countless examples of this, but I'll let the High Tech Low Down speak for itself so be sure to give it a read.

Moving on... Happy Easter :) I may be too old for egg hunts, but there's always been something satisfying about bitting the ears off of a chocolate bunny. Munch.. munch..

I received a few emails from subscribers last week who were wondering about DDR400 memory. To satisfy those requests (we always try to help out after all) Colin whipped up a review of new DDR433 memory from Geil. Also on the table is an attractive nForce-ST board from the folks at FIC (First International Computer). We've been seeing some good results with this board, so be sure to read the full review.

Since weekends are a good time to play around on the computer, or in my case get more work done, a larger monitor can sometimes enhance applications like games, spreadsheets or HTML coding. With that in mind, you'll want to check out the 19" Cornea CT1904 LCD monitor review in this weeks edition. The display is actually priced pretty well, and if you're stuck with an old 17'' monitor, the move to something larger can be really nice. There is so much more in this weeks Newsletter, so please read on and let me know if there is anything you would like to read about that we haven't covered.

GeIL PC3500 Dual Channel Memory Kit Review

With the DDR400 phenomenon in full swing, we are today testing out GeIL's PC3500 "DDR433" Dual Channel Memory Kit which is designed specifically for dual channel chipsets like nVIDIA's nForce2, and Intel's Granite Bay/Springdale/Canterwood. In theory, these DIMM's should run smoothly together and not give us any compatibility problems. There is always a slight chance that If you were to buy two separate sets DDR sticks problems may arise if the DIMM's are not rated for dual channel memory operation. The real question of course is how it performs in real life... The DIMM's are covered by tin coated copper heat spreaders which look very cool and do seem to work well, since at high speeds the memory did get quite warm to the touch. Read the Rest...

FIC AU13 nForce2-ST Motherboard Review
Read Article Now!

When we tested FIC's original nForce2 SPP motherboard the FIC AU11, we were extremely impressed with what we saw but found to be "bare" in terms of features. Well FIC must have taken our words to heart because their newly revised AU13 is much more "future friendly". With the nForce2 chipset now mature and extremely stable, it's obvious that anyone contemplating purchasing an AMD based system or new motherboard should only go with nVIDIA. nVIDIA certainly has learned a lot in a very short amount of time considering that the original nForce chipset fizzled due to delay after delay. It's an easy bet that nVIDIA was not about to make the same mistake when the nForce2 (Crush 18) was released. Read the Rest...

Visit the ShoppingList Page for the April 2003 Budget $599 System, $1500 Mainstream and High-end $2500 System hardware recommendations.

Cornea Systems CT1904 19 inch LCD Monitor Review

The CT1904 is the latest addition to Cornea Systems LCD monitor catalogue, and with a retail price of around $680USD, I doubt this 19" TFT monitor will be sitting on the shelves for very long. The Cornea CT1904 is blessed with the large screen real estate that people really want, with very good viewing angles (85 degrees up/down/left/right), and with an industry standard 25ms pixel response time. The 3" thick display panel takes up only a fraction of the desk space of an equivalent 50LB monster 19" CRT monitor, and since the CT1904 draws ~40W of power, it's also easier on the electrical budget. The brightness value of the display is spec'd out at 250 nits (cd/m2) which is good, but not record breaking. A contrast ratio of 500:1 should help the Cornea CT1904 fare well in the tests later on though. Read the Rest...

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Samsung Tantus HCL473W 47" Rear Projection HDTV
Read Article Now!

Remember when you were a kid and all fun you had playing around with discarded refrigerator boxes? Well, the Samsung HCL473W certainly comes in a huge box that will make an excellent fort for the kiddies, but this time, what's inside is much more exciting than corrugated cardboard ever was - a 47" rear projection HDTV capable of 1080i/480p!

Pipe in component output from a trusty Progressive Scan DVD player to this bad boy and movie nights will have a whole new meaning. Or if you're like us and X-Box does it for you, try playing a few rounds of multi player Halo on this $2,150USD 47" wide screen HDTV. With a 16.9 aspect ratio, letter box films fill the screen in full glory, and two player split screen games like the oh-so-addictive Halo are really in their element. Samsung make the HCL473W for the home theatre crowd and there are more than a few touches which make it very easy to live with. Read the Rest...

NoiseControl Magic Fleece Sound Absorbing Material Networking Ethernet CAT5 Cable Tester
After our original article on the possibilities of using Melamine foam sound absorbing material for computer cases, we received a lot of good questions about testing other acoustic materials. Some requests were for tests of existing acoustic products, and other were for simple everyday materials like corrugated cardboard. Magic Fleece is an acoustic layered fiberglass felt which acts as a sound barrier, or dampener, for quieting computer cases down. The material is heavy, flexible, but is easy to cut and install in a case. The back of each sheet of Magic Fleece has been coated in an adhesive so it is really just a matter of cutting, peeling off the vinyl and sticking it into place. Read the Rest...

If you're like us, and crimp your own Cat 5 cables, a tester might be good thing to have. Why? Well even if everything looks alright after the RJ45 jacks have been crimped on, there may be a problem. Those kinds of invisible problems can effect how the cable performs and thus how the Ethernet performs. One way to test newly made wire is to stick it in a hub, or between two computers, and attempt to send a large file across. Chances are if it works fine, you cable will also. Sometimes there is an intermittent problem with a cable. It will work 99% of the time, until someone moves it... Then a short or a open will cause one pair of wires to go out of service, and with it, reliable network access. For tricky problems like this, it's hard find them with out the use of some type of tester. One such tester is put out by Progressive Electronics. Read the article here.

Colin's Weekly Tech Tips

Colin Sun
Today: Deleting Temporary Files in IE6
If you're a IE6 user you most certainly know that sometimes Internet Explorer will grind to a halt and use up 100% of your CPU resources for no apparent reason. This happens especially a lot when you're trying to delete the Temporary Internet files via Internet Tools. The problem is usually that the main database file has been corrupted, causing things to slow way down, but luckily it can be fixed easily.

First close all Internet Explorer 6 browsers through Task Manager. Then load up Windows Explorer and go to the drive which has your Documents and Settings folder (usually C). Once inside that folder go to your current user account -> Local Settings -> Temporary Internet Files -> Content.IE5 (it is IE6, but for some reason the folder is still called Content.IE5). Once you're there delete the index.dat file and you're set.

Once that's done IE should work properly. =)

P.S. the index.dat file gets corrupted quite easily...

Colin's Tips Archives | Forums

Cooling Fundamentals: Thermal Conductivity
Read Article Now!

A while ago I was talking about a new heatsink concept I was toying with. The basic design called for a solid copper construction of base and fins. I was asked why copper, and not say, aluminum? Explaining that while aluminum was the standard in heatsinks, copper just had a better thermal conductivity. The eternal "why" popped up, and I managed to avoid a full explanation with a passing 'it transfers more heat'. That 'why' got me to thinking however. With all the effort that goes into keeping processors cool, how many of us really know why copper suddenly improves the cooling ability (not to mention the marketability) of a heatsink? Read the Rest...

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PCstats Issue

Circulation: 193,191

The High Tech Low Down

By: Chris Angelini

I've got a case of what can only be called the paper launch-blues. The much-anticipated Intel 875P chipset launched recently, bringing with it support for an 800MHz front side bus and native Serial ATA RAID. My own tests revealed the setup to be up to nine percent faster than a comparably clocked processor running on a 533MHz bus, making it the quickest platform money can buy. But unfortunately, money can't buy it. Shortly after announcing the chipset, an Intel representative contacted me with news that 3GHz chips were being delayed due to an "anomaly found at the last minute."

The idea of announcing an unfinished product isn't new. AMD did it with the Athlon XP 2800+, BitBoys repeatedly announced new technology without an accompanying product, and of course, it took NVIDIA months to get its GeForce FX 5800 Ultra out of the door. Even if delaying the 3GHz Pentium 4 wasn't a marketing move, the fact remains that the processor will be unavailable until further notice. Why are launches of this sort useless to consumers? A paper launch can effectively prevent someone from purchasing a solid product today, in the hopes of something better within a month or so. Those who fell into this trap with the GeForce FX held on for months on end, only to find a competing card was faster when pre-ordered FX's eventually surfaced. It's a damn shame, indeed.

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