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Enter SiS Xabre Graphics; Exit GeForce MX?

Hi there,

The graphics continues to steal the headlines this week, and our roving C. Angelini has more insight to dish out so this weeks HTLD is a must read as always!

The SiS Xabre 400 has been quietly making a name for itself in the value markets, and with that in mind we took a look at the ECS AG400. Not to be outdone, Colin had a run with the 1.6A P4 a while back, and with it's low price and high overclockability is a really good option for upgrading on a budget. Heck, we'll probably be getting a few around here too.

Networking fanatics looking for a little dose of 'Ethernet' will want to see what we have to say about two bits of kit this week. The first is a 16-port switch by Compex, and the other is the Nexland ISBPro800 Router. And if that doesn't do it for you, then have a look at the incredibly slim Samsung 152T LCD display - it folds up like a jigsaw puzzle!

Don't forget to read Colin's Tips for this week and remember there are still a few more MSI Bluetooth Motherboard Prize Packs to be given away, to two lucky newsletter subscribers!

Intel Pentium 4 1.6A GHz Review

Read Article Now! Overclockers and enthusiasts have really taken a liking to Intel's Pentium 4 1.6A. The gem of a processor operates at 1.6GHz and is based on the newer "Northwood" core which takes advantage of the 0.13 micron manufacturing process. The small die size enables Intel to build much faster P4's running at 2.4GHz and even 2.53GHz. With that in mind, you have to wonder just how high the lower ranks of Northwood P4's can be pushed... the potential is definitely there!

Full Review

ECS AG400 SiS Xabre 400 Videocard Review

Read Article Now!

SiS is very hot at the moment and seems to be very much on the ball in terms of producing chipsets. It all started about a year ago with the release of the SiS 735 chipset for the Athlon and has simple grown from there. That chipset was the fastest thing when it came out, totally dominating the competition however SiS's success was not limited to AMD platforms alone, their 645/645DX also was very powerful and popular.

The full article continues...

COMPEX DSR2216 16 Port 10/100 Rackmountable Switch

COMPEX is one of the larger networking manufacturers on the market and the maker of the DSR2216 16-Port 10/100 Rack Mountable Switch we are looking at today. After all a good switch is an often overlooked piece of equipment, and heck it might just be able to smooth some packet collisions out in our weekly CS/RTCW matches! This is a pretty competitive price for 16 ports, and the rack mountable case is great to see (the tabs come off if you simply need a desktop switch). The DSR2216 has a host of features such as Port Priority, Full Bandwidth switch architecture, Duplex mode and several Port Trunking options.

Read the full story here.

Samsung Syncmaster 152T 15inch TFT LCD Display

Nexland ISB Pro800 Turbo Router Review

The display is so thin that it at first appears as though a notebook has mistakenly been left in the carton. The 152T folds up in "Z" fashion into just under 2" of thickness, and with an included adaptor plate, can be mounted to 75mm VESA compatible wall mounts or radial armatures. The LCD panel itself is just 24mm thick, and all wires and power cables are routed through the collapsible stand to waiting rear-mounted jacks. With support for both DVI and Analog video, a very minimalist design and a bright 350 cd/m² display, Samsung make the small 15" screen size seem just fine in the face of larger LCD's.

Read the full story.

The Nexland ISB (Internet Sharing Box) Pro800 Turbo Router is much more then the regular router you're going to find in your local mom and pop shop, or even the larger computer chain stores like Fry's.

The unit features dual load balanced RJ45 modem ports (T1, Cable, DSL, SDSL, LAN), autofailover, a 10/100 8-port switch supporting up to 253 computers, IPsec tunneling over NAT, NAPT firewall, ISDN 230K serial port analog backup, Symantec RaptorMobile VPN client, and a 5 year warranty.

Read the full story.

Colin's Weekly Tech Tips
By: C. Sun

Expelling the Dust Bunnies in your Computer
It's quite amusing, most people take care of their computers via software but more often then not, they neglect the actual hardware. Computers are dust and dirt magnets, and cleaning them out can often increase their life span quite a bit in the later years.Simply remove the cover and remove all the dust bunnies, you can even use your vacuum cleaner to help out (be sure to unplug the power first). You want to regularly clean out your computer because all the dirt and dust that collects in a computer is electronically conductive. If the dust shorts out your computer (which was the case for my friend) it can cost you more money in the long run to pay the computer technician to clean it out for you!

For more insight into the world of tweaks, Colin's Tech Tips are archived for your reading enjoyment!

Your Comments...

"I would like to commend C. Sun for his tip on monitor refresh rates! I can honestly say that it's true and it worked! I wondered why by 3:30pm I would have headaches... after I changed the refresh rate, I didn't have any more headaches! Colin's helpful advice saved me an unnecessary trip to the eye doctor, since I thought might need a stronger prescription. Thanks Colin!"

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PCstats Issue No.49
Circulation 131,000

The High Tech Low Down
With C. Angelini

In light of ATI recently unveiling the RADEON 9700, NVIDIA has slowly begun to release architectural details of the upcoming (and much anticipated) NV30 graphics processor. An early Power Point presentation that I received confirms that the chip will be manufactured on a 0.13-micron process and support AGP 8x. Additionally, the processor will support an early form of DDR-II memory, which will be manufactured for NVIDIA, at least until the official DDR-II specification is added to the chip's memory controller. Beyond hardware details, NVIDIA revealed that NV30 will not only comply with DirectX 9, but it will also feature a programmable pixel shader that supports extremely long shader programs (1,024 instructions versus DX9's 160).

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to run the RADEON 9000 Pro through its paces. Not only does the card introduce DirectX 8.1 capabilities to the mainstream market, but it is also faster than NVIDIA's entire GeForce4 MX family. This is great news as even casual gamers will have access to the necessary hardware to run newer games smoothly. Did I mention the card can be found for around $100?

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