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Today's Contents

.AMD and Nvidia
.AthlonXP 2700+
.LG CDRW Burner
.17" LCD Monitor
.NEC Notebook
. Fast Booting!!
.Colin's Tips

Sweet 333; DDR and now AthlonXP's!


If this is your first time reading the Newsletter (or your 59th) I'd just like to send out a 'Welcome.' We have a really great community here, and if you have any comments, questions, or a request for a special review, feel free to email me. We do try and take requests as much as we can :)

In this week's newsletter we have a few rather impressive bits of technology to serve up. The first, and foremost is obviously the newly announced Athlon XP 2700+ & 2800+ which operate on a 333MHz FSB. Colin sinks his teeth into that processor and the results should be enough to quench anyone's thirst for speed, and power. Speaking of which, today's Tech Tips has reminded me of a really good article called Fast Boot Tips! that is a MUST read, especially for co-workers complaining of slow computers.

Colin has officially broken 18077 3DMarks, and to find out some of his tricks, we had this little document prepared to give you a helping hand. Moving right along, a nice 17" Viewsonic LCD display has crossed the test bench, and the results are posted here. Aslo, in the tradition of spending the least money for the best gear , we tried out an LG 32x10x40 CDRW to see how well it performs.

Since I'm currently working on a review of an 867MHz Crusoe based Fujitsu P2000 notebook, I think you might like to check out our look at the very nifty NEC Versa UltraLite Notebook which is also powered by a Transmeta Crusoe chip. If not, then scoot on over to this comparison of RDRAM vs. DDR RAM. Until next week!

AMD AthlonXP 2700+ 333 MHz FSB Processor Review

Read Article Now!

AMD came out with their guns blazing for the August announcement of the AthlonXP 2400 and 2600+ even though it was largely a paper release. The new chips brought the company to the forefront of performance once more, and with today's release of the AthlonXP 2700+ and XP 2800+ processors, AMD is "upping the ante" against big blue Intel once more.Our look at AMD's AthlonXP 2400+ told us that the new Thoroughbred core revision was an excellent performer, and that AMD was back within grasps of the processor performance crown. Both the AthlonXP 2700+ and AthlonXP 2800+ run on a 333MHz Front Side Bus! We are really excited to see what the new AthlonXP 2700+ can do because the 266MHz FSB was becoming a bottleneck for what the rest of the processor could scale to. Boosting the FSB from 133MHz (266MHz) to 166MHz (333MHz) gives new life to the AthlonXP and much loved DDR memory combo.

Price Comparisons: Looking for an Athlon XP 2400+ processor? Check out the links to the left.
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LG 32x10x40 CD-RW Burner Review
Read Article Now!

S ince the LG 32x10x40x isn't the newest CDRW on the block, it's not going to cost an arm and a leg. In fact, we bought this OEM drive for a little over $80CDN, which is quite a deal. With a top listed CD-R speed of 32X, a CD-RW write speed of 10X, and a CD-ROM reading speed of 40X, this LG drive should be good for most normal duty. After all, do you really need the fastest burner to make a back up of your MP3's, or just something to get the job done on those $0.99 cheap CD-R's we all gravitate toward? It's alright, you don't have to answer that one. ;)

ViewSonic VG700 17-inch TFT Display Review
The Viewsonic VG700 should be of great interest to anyone looking for an LCD display on a budget. With its' 17" screen size, the unit retails for a competitive $700USD. Displays like the VG700 tend to be easier on the eyes after an extend period of time writing, or doing other types of work on the web or in office applications. If not correctly set, a CRT with a low refresh rate can quickly tire the eyes, or cause headaches. LCD's don't suffer from the same parameters that can cause that kind of eyestrain, they draw a substantially lower amount of power, and they take up just a few inches of desk space. But you know all that, so we won't bore you with the details of why LCD's are worth switching to.

NEC Versa UltraLite - Extensive Review
Read Article Now! Notebooks are one of the few regions in computers where the products actually look good, and in some cases downright sleek and sexy. Now if notebooks can look this good just imagine where sub-notebooks are going in terms of style!

The NEC Versa UltraLite for example, is positively sleek and amazingly slim, measuring in at a mere 1.06" thick - your average glazed donut isn't even that thin! The software based TM5600 Crusoe processor comes packing Long Run power management which gives it the ability to adjust to the demands of the system hundreds of times a second. Long Run scales back power consumption without putting the system in a position where performance suffers. Add to that the Versa UltraLite's massive little 20BG hard drive, 128MB of memory and 10.4" 1024x768 pixel resolution XGA LCD display and you have one deadly little silver bullet of a computer.

RDRAM vs. DDR RAM; Does it make a difference?

Fast Boot Tips!

The Pentium 4 craves memory bandwidth, something which can often keep it from performing up to its potential. Often a P4 equipped with SDRAM, running at similar clock speeds could not beat a P3 at 1 GHz in terms of performance! DDR alleviated the memory bandwidth bottleneck somewhat with the i845D, delivering 2.1 GB/s worth of bandwidth as opposed to the 1.08 GB/s SDRAM offered. That is still a far cry from the 3.2 GB/s RDRAM can supply though, and today we're going to take a look at whether the i850 "RDRAM" chipset is that much faster then the i845D "DDR" chipset.

Read the Review...

There are several, very simple tweaks that can be performed that will significantly decrease the amount of time it takes your computer to boot up. Not only that, but several of them will also increase the speed of your system as well. To begin with, there are four main files which all versions of Windows use to a varying degree while booting up. These four files are autoexec.bat, config.sys, system.ini, and msdos.sys. For the most part, unless you are running a command-line virus scanner, autoexec.bat should be empty. However, the other files can be modified to increase system boot time and performance.

Colin's Weekly Tech Tips
Written By: Colin "18077 3DMarks" Sun

Faster Booting, Faster Computers
Even though WindowsXP is a fairly fast OS, I often hear people complain about how long it takes to boot up. Not to worry though, there's a simple registry tweak that can dramatically speed up your WinXP boot times! [Ed: Also have a look at our "Fast Boot Tips!" article for more tips on this subject]

Click the Start button then go to "Run" and type in "Regedit". Now follow this string HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> SYSTEM -> CurrentControlSet -> Control -> SessionManager -> MemoryManagement -> PrefetchParameters.

Once inside, find the Prefetch string and change the value from 3 to 5. Since the value's are so low, it doesn't matter if you're using Hexadecimal or Decimal.

With this little tweak, WindowsXP should load up between 5-10 seconds faster! 5 seconds doesn't sound like a lot of time, but when you're waiting for a computer to load, it can feel like an eternity!=)

Colin's Tips Archives | The Forums

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PCstats Issue No.59
Circulation 161,000

The High Tech Low Down
With Chris Angelini

At long last, AMD has unveiled the anticipated Athlon XP, operating in conjunction with a 333MHz front side bus. Of course the new bus setting requires a supporting platform, so the occasion is also being used to reveal the first benchmarks taken with NVIDIA's NFORCE2 platform.

The processor itself is operating at 2.25GHz - still significantly less than Intel's current 2.8GHz offering. However, the Athlon XP 2800+ is surprisingly competitive considering the apparent disadvantage. Consider also that the Athlon XP 2800+ centers around the revised Thoroughbred core, so rumors that the 2800+ would include an extra 256KB of Level 2 cache have obviously been quelled. As the new Athlon XP 2800+ and 2700+ processors launch, there will be two platforms that initially support the new front side bus settings: NVIDIA's NFORCE2 and the VIA KT400. Interestingly enough, while NFORCE2 also supports DDR400 memory, the chipset actually runs faster with DDR333 operating synchronously.

There is an important question that begs to be answered, though. When will the Athlon XP 2800+ hit the retail market? The 2600+, which was launched two months ago, is only just starting to become available for public consumption and AMD has made no indication that the situation will change this time around.

Next Week

Meet the Radeon 9700, motherboards galore, and.... oh we can't tell you yet ;-)

See all of today's news stories.

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