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Hello once again!

C. Angelini reports back with some really interesting info on Nvidia's NForce 2 chipset, and the 333MHz FSB it will support for an as-of-yet unannounced AMD AthlonXP. Our report on Transmeta's private PCExpo showcase is up, and for those of you interested in the plam sized OQO computer, there are lots of pictures!

This week we're getting back to basics and that means Videocards, processors and motherboards (with memory of course). For starters, Colin's review of the Gainward GF4Ti4600 is a must read. AMD's Thoroughbred processors go for a drag race as we pit the XP2100 against the XP2000, but if you more of a Pentium 4 person then IWill' new, and very fast P4R533 is worth investigating. In our tests with some PC1066 (PC800 will also work) we got the highest QIII benchmarks we have seen to date!

Rounding out the other components which make a cool computer, well... cooler, is a 18.1" LCD from Samsung. This is neat display because it shrinks the bezel down to the size of a dime. Compare that to the monitor you are reading this on and you can see why it captured our attention. Be sure to read Colin's Tips for this week, and remember there are four more MSI Bluetooth Motherboard Prize Packs to be given away, so long as you are subscriber!

Transmeta at Rockefeller Center - PCExpo 2002

There were three main Crusoe-based products which grabbed the most attention at the PCexpo 2002 Transmeta event. First and foremost was the OQO Read Article Now! ultra personal computer. OQO without a doubt, have the sexiest adaptation of a Crusoe processor - even if the realization is still a few quarters off. Next up on the list of new entries is the newly announced official Transmeta reference motherboard for developers, but we'll get to that in a second. Thirdly we have the Gericom Crusoe-based notebook. It may be true that Sony, Toshiba, Fujitsu, and NEC have more pull with their subnotebooks, but Gericom has one of the fastest growing European notebook distribution channels.

Gainward GeForce 4 PowerPack GS Ultra/750XP Video

Read Article Now! Gamers have always held Gainward in high regard because they openly embrace the overclocking community, and provide software such as "EXPERTools" which can overclock the card with the push of a button. After removing the Gainward GeForce 4 PowerPack GS Ultra/750XP from its packaging the first thing you are struck with is just how long the thing is. Like most other manufacturers, Gainward have chosen to go with the nVidia reference card design. Comparing against our nVidia GF4 they only difference is the colour of the PCB, and the modified the GPU cooler faceplate and funky ramsinks (front and back).

Read Article Now! AMD AthlonXP Thoroughbred Drag Race!

AMD's previous AthlonXP model, the Palomino (0.18 micron process) was nearing the end of its competitive life with the release of AthlonXP 2100+ in March 2002.AMD has refined the core a little now, that is why there are less transistors. 37.5 million on the Palomino and 37.2 million on the T-Bred. The actual CPU looks very much like the "Thunderbird" Athlon, with the rectangular shaped core and resistors on the top instead of on the bottom. The core size is a tiny 80mm2 compared to the much larger 128mm2 for the Palomino, and 145mm2 of the P4 Northwood (131mm2 for 2.4GHz+).

The AMD AthlonXP Thoroughbred Processor

AMD's long awaited AthlonXP "Thoroughbred" processor (aka T-Bred) has finally arrived. Built on 0.13 micron technology the T-Bred will run cooler then any Athlon/XP that proceeded it and allow AMD to ramp up the clock speed of their processors higher. Will this allow the AthlonXP to take back the speed crown from AMD's arch rival Intel and their Pentium 4 processors?


Samsung PC800 RDRAM RIMMs Review Iwill P4R533-N i850E Motherboard Review

Intel originally introduced Rambus DRAM back in the days of the Pentium 3, the purpose of this was to try and saturate the market with RDRAM by the time the Pentium 4 was released.


Iwill is a company that has always targeted the enthusiast community. They were the first to introduce DDR333 and 2/5 and 1/5 AGP, PCI dividers to the AMD users. With the P4R533-N, IWill is again trying to target the extreme performance enthusiast with PC1066 RDRAM!


Samsung Syncmaster 181T 18.1 inch TFT LCD Display

The Syncmaster 181T in its black and silver housing is something quite different for an LCD, and much better looking than most. The secret is as simple as an almost non-existant front bezel which measures just 18mm wide. Immediately, thoughts around the lab turned to pairing up six of these 'little' 18.1" TFT LCD's into a giant 27" x 47" mosaic of LCD goodness.


Colin's Weekly Tech Tips
By: Colin Sun

Have you ever heard your HDD chug along when you launch a large program? Because of HDD's fast rotational speed, they often plunks down data all over the place on the platter of the drives when you're storing information.. This is very inefficient and takes a lot of time when bits and pieces are all over the place.

Defragging your HDD puts all related information next to each other for quicker access and since all the data is in the same proximity the drive doesn't have to search when you request data.

Microsoft has included a defragging program in their OS's for the longest time even dating back to the DOS days. You can access your hard drive defrag program in the "System Tools" folder that is usually in your "Accessories".

It's recommended that you defrag your HDD at least once a month so your HDD doesn't get bogged down.

For more insight into the world of tweaks, track down Colin in the PCstats forums for some Q & A
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PCstats Issue No.47
Circulation 123,425

The High Tech Low Down
With C. Angelini

Just yesterday, NVIDIA launched the second generation of their nForce chipset. Like its predecessor, nForce2 supports dual-channel DDR memory and AMD’s Athlon processor. Yet, for the most part, all of the nForce2’s announced features are evolutionary.

USB 2.0 is supported, as is IEEE 1494 FireWire and AGP 8x. Two 10/100 Ethernet ports are also provided to allow easy Internet Connection Sharing with other computers on a Local Area Network.

Finally, NVIDIA has added GeForce4 MX-class graphics to the chipset, along with two VGA ports to enable multi-display configurations.

The most interesting factoid that we picked up from the nForce2 product launch, though, is that NVIDIA fully supports a 333MHz front side bus. AMD has already claimed that the Athlon XP’s bus would remain clocked at 266MHz, but in light of this new information it would seem that AMD is planning a surprise assault on the currently dominant Pentium 4.

Should the Athlon XP become available at 333MHz, NVIDIA would be the only manufacturer with a chipset validated for operation at the faster frequency, giving the nForce2 a tremendous advantage.

The combination of the Athlon XP and nForce2 chipset may challenge the high-end Pentium 4, keeping AMD alive until the K8 architecture is polished. Until next week!

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