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Today's Contents

.NV30 - 3.06GHz P4
.2.66 GHz P4
.Silver Motherboard
.Epox SiS 648
.3DMark Tweaks
.i845PE Chipset Mobo
.Installing CAT5
.Colin's Weekly Tips

Anticipating Nvidia's NV30 GPU


By Monday morning, Comdex will have begun and we will be in one of more than a dozen meetings with the industries best and brightest manufacturers. As the show unfolds, we'll be trying our best to get regular news updates back to, so remember to check the News section throughout the day!

Since so many of you wrote in about the "How to Cut CAT5" article, this week I've included a little guide to installing CAT5 in a house..... with a 16" masonry bit. :) Not to be forgotten is our review of the short lived Intel Pentium 4 2.66GHz processor which was unceremoniously dropped, and killed, right after this review was completed. Just goes to show you, even the experts can do silly things sometimes.

Moving onto a silver motherboard, we have the latest entry from Albatron that has proved itself quite well in the benchmarks. Albatron's latest i845PE board also made it into this weeks newsletter, as did the 4SDA5+ from Epox, who sadly, won't be showing off any of their cool boards at Comdex this year.

Last but certainly not least is Colin's latest installment of the Fastest Webmaster series. Until next week, be sure to try out the new search box on, and let me know what you think of this stereo-style case - is this the way of the future?

Intel Pentium 4 2.66GHz Processor Review

For those of us who want top of the line performance but don't want to spend a fortune, the Pentium 4 2.66 GHz processor offers a good mix of power and value. With a street price of $650 CDN ($300 US) the P4 2.66 is certainly more expensive than a comparable AMD Athlon XP, but it's still quite a bit less then the $830 CDN ($410 US) a P4 2.8 GHz commands. I

highly doubt you'll notice the 140 MHz speed difference, but the $180 price difference will be immediately evident! The 2.66 GHz processor has all the technical goodies we expect from a Pentium 4 processor including NetBurst Architecture, SSE2 and Advanced Transfer Cache. It does not support Hyper-Threading however, that speciality is reserved for 3.06GHz, and faster Pentium 4's. The Northwood core has a great reputation for its overclockability, even going so far as to pull back many enthusiasts from the loving clutches of AMD.

Read the Rest...

Albatron PX845E i845E Silver Motherboard Review

With the motherboard markets so competitive right now, manufacturers must take extra measures to ensure their products stand out, and that you the consumer buy them. This competitiveness usually translates into more features for the consumer, and flashier appearances in some cases. A few years ago, the colour of a motherboard was determined by how it was made, usually ending up green or brown in colour. A few manufacturers broke the mold and tried black PCB's, which were originally marketed as Mil Spec grade if I remember correctly. Albatron have chosen a nice shade of blue for most of their motherboards, but the PX845E is obviously different... it's coated in silver. According to Albatron, the coating on this motherboard is actual silver. Not silver colour, but the actual metal suspended in a binding agent. The apparent benefits of this are thermal dissipation for board mounted components, and increased EMI shielding. Albatron claim that in their own testing, on average a board with this silver coating produces 47% less EMI emissions than a non-coated motherboard.

Epox 4SDA5+ SiS648 Motherboard Review
I've been a big fan of Epox motherboards for a long time now, and when I heard that they were producing a SiS 648 based motherboard, I was very interested to see how it would really perform. The SiS 648 chipset is generally know as a good performer in most situations, sometimes even rivalling Intel's DDR chipsets. Unfortunately, most of the SiS boards we have tested have proven to be rather poor overclockers.

If any manufacturer can make a good overclocking SiS 648 based motherboard, it's Epox. Right?In addition to the old standard IDE RAID we find 5.1 audio (software codec), 10/100 NIC, IEEE 1394, USB 2.0, three DIMM slots which support up to 3GB of PC1600/2100/2700/3200* (* - unofficial PC3200 support), 8x AGP and six PCI slots. As you probably noticed, Epox put a passive heatsink on the SiS 963 heatsink. At first I thought this was a cosmetic move, but during testing the heatsink did get quite toasty! Either way it's great for piece of mind.

Read the Rest...

3DMark2001SE Tweak Guide - Part 2, nVIDIA Style
Read Article Now!'s 3DMark2001SE Tweak Guide - Part 2 was very popular with ATI users, but I received a lot of e-mail from nVIDIA gamers on how to tweak their videocards as well. I guess I can't/shouldn't really neglect them since about 60% of the videocards out there use nVIDIA GPU's. The 3DMark benchmarks from MadOnion are quite popular and are often used to test the power of computers, and while 3DMark may not always represent real world 3D performance, it is usually a good indicator. As we said in the original 3DMark2001 Tweak Guide, the best feature of the 3DMark benchmarks is the ability to upload your score to the web and compare your computer to some of the fastest rigs in the world. The boys over at MadOnion setup "The Fastest Webmaster " contest, it's a friendly competition between the hardware sites to see who can get the highest scores. While I'm not first anymore, I'm still doing very well considering my hardware... On a side note, I'm simply amazed at how high the scores have come in the last year. I remember how difficult it was to break the first 10k barrier!

Albatron PX845PEV Pro Pentium 4 Motherboard Review Installing a Home Ethernet

Albatron have in just a short time, made their mark among enthusiasts and overclockers for producing high quality computer components. In this article we will be reviewing the relatively new Albatron PX845PEV Pro i845PE based motherboard. The Intel i845PE chipset officially brings DDR333 support to the table, and if you are lucky enough to be able to afford a new 3.06GHz processor, Hyper-threading support.

A 10/100 Ethernet connection makes the need to buy a NIC card a thing of the past, though the placement right next to the PS/2 ports may be a bit troublesome. The Ethernet connection is powered by a 3Com 910-A01 10/100 integrated NIC. Albatron's earlier PX845E Pro was a good overclocker, and we were hoping that the PX845PEV Pro follow in its tracks as well. We began to increase the FSB slowly; starting first with 150 MHz FSB which proved quite stable...

Read the Rest...

There are a growing number of homes these days which have met the demand for multiple computers under one roof. A home-based Ethernet can quickly show itself to be one of the most convenient ways to move data around.Ethernet's used to be the domain of businesses only, but have gradually moved their way into the range of the average consumer, and are now not uncommon. The cost of setting up an Ethernet is fairly reasonable when it is compared with the alternative - installing a new media drive in two separate computers.

For this article we are only going be focusing on physically installing the network of cables necessary for a hub-based Ethernet. This point hasn't been dealt with as much as the configuration side of things. That said, installing wire in a house imparts special precautions and attention to the surroundings.

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Colin's Weekly Tech Tips
Written By: Colin "Yoda" Sun

Shortcuts for Everyone!!

One of the best yet 'hidden' features of Win2k/XP are the "Shortcut keys". From Winamp to Microsoft Word, you can open the programs you need now, with a few clicks of the keyboard.

What I like to do is right click on the shortcut icon in the Start Menu. Inside the box which will drop down you will find a "Shortcut key:" box. To use the Shortcut keys, simply press any character key on your keyboard and you'll see "CTRL + ALT" pop up next to that character. Press the "OK" button and then press that Shortcut key combination at the same time and the programs will now load!

I haven't used Win9x/ME in a long time, so I'm not sure if this is 100% compatible with those two operating systems.

Colin's Tips Archives | The Forums

The Last Word: Around here we munch on Pengiun Caffeinated Peppermints; they're incredibly addictive, better than coffee (sometimes), and oh so good - in moderation that is. :-)

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PCstats Issue No.64
Circulation 165,000

The High Tech Low Down
With Chris Angelini

One of the industry’s largest trade shows, Comdex, begins early next week. Of course, most of the major players will be there, demonstrating their latest products. Others will be talking about hardware for the first time. Already, NVIDIA has disclosed that NV30 will consist of 125 million transistors and execute 51 million floating-point operations per second. More than likely, it will discuss NV30’s memory architecture at Comdex, rumored to utilize 1GHz DDR-II modules. There is also talk of a DirectX 8, AGP 8x-compliant, mobile processor designed to rival ATI’s RADEON Mobility 9000. Then again, ATI may also have another trick up its sleeve…

In other news, Athlon XP 2700+ processors are finally available in limited quantities, from online retailers. The 2800+ variant is still nowhere to be found, though, as AMD expects availability early next year. Intel isn’t waiting around for the flagship Athlon XP to hit shelves. Rather, its 3GHz, Hyper Threading-enabled Pentium 4 is slated to debut this week. Remember that Hyper Threading processors require platform and operating system support – Intel has already confirmed its i850E, i845(P)E, and i845G(E) chipsets will support the feature. VIA and SiS have kept quiet, but my preliminary tests with VIA’s P4X400 board confirm the feature is supported. You read it here first!

Next Week

HT supporting Motherbaords, Plasma Telvisions, and Comdex 2002...

See all of today's news stories.

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