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In This Issue...

- AM2 Athlon64 CPUs
- Zalman CNPS9500 AM2
- Foxconn 975X mobo
- Corsair PC2-6400 C4
- Gigabyte Quad PCIe x16
- Buffalo PC2-8000 RAM
- PCstats Weekly Tips

AMD Socket AM2 Athlon64 FX-62 and X2 5000+ Processors

After a week of solid technology releases it's no surprise that Carpal Tunnel fires are blazing away at PCSTATS... perhaps a little refresher on Ergonomics & Computing is on order. This issue of the PCSTATS newsletter starts off with two bangs - the new socket AM2 2.8GHz Athlon64 FX-62 and 2.6GHz Athlon64 X2 5000+ processors. We cover these new socket AM2 CPUs from head to toe, so don't miss it! The nVidia nForce 5 chipset offers an impressive feature set for AM2 processors, especially the nForce 590 SLI variant.

After 29-pages of benchmarks and AM2 tech discussion, the focus shifts to Corsair's low latency PC2-6400 C4 DDR-2; just the kind of RAM socket AM2 Athlon64's need. Corsair's Twin2X modules also support the new Enhanced Performance Profiles open standard Corsair and nVidia have devised. Following along, we test the Foxconn 975XX7AA motherboard, which is a dual PCI Express CrossFire solution. If you aren't using a DDR-2 based computer you soon will - good thing Buffalo technology's just released its FireStix PC2-8000 DDR-2 memory. If gaming is your vice, then the quad PCI Express x16 slot Gigabyte GA-8N-Quad Royal motherboard is certainly going to help.

On a budget and looking to make the best of your current PC? Pop on over and read PCSTATS Beginners Guides to 99 Performance Tips for Windows , 104 Great Tech Tips for Windows , and 101 Tips and Tweaks for Windows. If 300 tips can't speed up your aging PC, I don't now what will. :-) The fifth installment of PCSTATS' look at AMD vs. Intel can be found just off to the left, the Weekly Tech Tip just a bit below.

Oh, since no one reviews computer cooling solutions like PCSTATS younger sibling Frostytech, don't miss Frosty's review of the Zalman CNPS9500 AM2 quiet socket AM2/939 heatsink.

Thanks for reading,
Max Page

AMD Athlon64 FX-62 and X2 5000+ Socket AM2 Processors Reviewed

Advanced Micro Devices' latest release in its salvo of 64-bit chips is the Socket AM2 Athlon64 dual-core 64-bit processor, a new 940-pin CPU whose integrated memory controller now thrives offlow latency DDR-2 RAM.

What impact will DDR-2 RAM have on the Athlon64 architecture, and in particular its integrated memory controller? Will DDR-2 memory yield nothing more than a marginal performance gain, a gigantic boost, or simply quench a dual core Athlon64's numerical thirst for memory bandwidth? In this review PCSTATS will introduce you to two socket AM2 processors; the 2.8GHz AMD Athlon64 FX-62 and 2.6GHz Athlon64 X2-5000+. We'll discuss new socket AM2 CPU family, the different type of heatsink you'll need for AM2, performance per watt metrics, hardware virtualization, AM2 chipsets from nVidia/VIA/Sis, DDR2 and EPP memory, and even wet your whistle with some overclocking and benchmarks! In total, PCSTATS has 29 pages of socket AM2 information, 32-bit and 64 bit benchmarks waiting for you. Please let us know what you think.Continue Here>>

Zalman CNPS9500-AM2 Socket AM2 Low Noise Heatsink Review

The Zalman CNPS9500 AM2 heatsink is compatible with all current AMD Athlon64 processors, and in particular the just introduced AMD 940-pin AM2 processor and socket AM2 heatsink retention frame. The Zalman CNPS9500 AM2 is a full copper heatsink, except its surface has been brightly chrome plated to give it that nuclear winter, Terminator 2 android feel. The heatsinks' 92mm fan is internally illuminated with a pair of nVidia green LEDs, which create a very spectacular light effect, and plus it is backwards compatible with socket 939 Athlon64 processors too. Continue Here>>

Foxconn 975X7AA-8EKRS2H Intel 975X Motherboard Review

The latest motherboard to pass through the PCSTATS test labs is the Foxconn 975X7AA-8EKRS2H, and it is a flagship motherboard for the Intel Pentium LGA775 processor platform. The Foxconn 975X7AA-8EKRS2H motherboard is powered by the Intel 975X Northbridge and Intel ICH7R Southbridge. It supports all Socket 775 processors that run on the 533/800/1066 MHz FSB; from Intel Celeron D right through to Pentium 4/D/XE. The 975X7AA-8EKRS2H includes support for dual PCI Express x16 Crossfire videocards and even has an external Serial ATA II channel at the rear I/O.Continue Here>>

Corsair Twin2X2048-6400C4 Memory Review

Corsair has just released a set of its DDR2-800 memory that is perfect for Socket AM2 Athlon64 processors. Fast memory modules with low latencies? Its new Twin2X2048-6400C4 memory is exactly what the doctor ordered. This state of the art 2GB set of memory incorporates the new EPP memory standard. When running in dual channel mode, with timings of 4-4-4-12, the Corsair Twin2X2048-6400C4 provides 12.8GB/s worth of memory bandwidth which happens to be exactly what the dual core Socket AM2 Athlon64 X2/FX processors need.Continue Here>>

Buffalo FireStix FSX1000D2C-K2G PC2-8000 DDR-2 Memory Review

Buffalo Technology's 2GB PC2-8000 FireStix FSX1000D2C-K2G memory has a default clock speed of 1000 MHz (DDR2-1000), which when running in a dual channel configuration can provide up to 8GB/s worth of bandwidth. The interesting back story on these Firestix modules is that the Buffalo engineers veered away from the standard JEDEC design, and instead relied on the talents of Kazuyoshi Tsukada to develop the PCB trace layout. Kazuyoshi-san has been recognized by JEDEC for PCB design, and now heads the Melco Inc. PCB design team. When running at 1000 MHz, the Buffalo Technology FireStix FSX1000D2C-K2G modules have CAS Latency timings of 5-5-5.Continue Here>>

Gigabyte GA-8N-SLI Quad Royal Motherboard Review

Officially, the nVIDIA nForce4 SLI chipset enables two PCI Express videocards to operate together under a technology called SLI - or Scalable Link Interface. The GA-8N-SLI Quad Royal is the first motherboard ever to feature four physical PCI Express x16 slots! Quad PCI Express videocards are obviously the main focus of this motherboard, but it still comes with a rocking good list of on board features. Embedded into the GA-8N-SLI Quad Royal motherboard are four Serial ATA II channels, dual Gigabit network cards, IEEE 1394a firewire, a 7.1 channel audio controller (optical SP/DIF and Coaxial), and my personal favorite - a Port 80 diagnostics card.Continue Here>>

PCstats Weekly Tech Tips: Basic FireFox Management

One feature that sets FireFox apart from Internet Explorer is its tab window ability. Instead of opening up a new window, it simply creates a new tab which allows for easy switching without leaving the current browser. Unfortunately this feature is not hard enabled by default but luckily by scrolling through the options, you can force FireFox to open up all new windows in a tab.

First click the Tools menu and go to "Options". From there click "Tabs" and in the middle of that window, you will see the "Force links that open new windows to open in:" check box, make sure it's checked and select the "a new tab" radio box. After that's done, click the "OK" button and you're set.

No more windows opening up when you select a link, now it will just open up a new tab which helps keep things tidy.

Was this a good tip? Let PCSTATS know what you think. Be sure to stop by PCSTATS Forums and post your comments or questions to this tip.

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AMD vs. Intel Part 5
Double Up Cores, Add in 64-bit

Dual core processors are another area where AMD wins hand down with respect to performance I think, but on the flip side Intel sure busts out the most prevalent marketing. There is little doubt that AMD's Athlon64 X2 series of processors is superior to the Intel Pentium D in virtually every which way. Although, I'm compelled to acknowledge that no dual core processor is going to ruffle any feathers versus the single core alternative unless the software or game is specifically coded for symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) - both AMD and Intel somehow forget to mention that so very often. Anyhow, the biggest stumbling block with the dual core Intel Pentium D (aside from heat) is that both cores are starved of memory bandwidth.

Let's look back into the crystal ball of tech-time and mull over how all this came to be.... You'll recall that with Netburst on life support, the Intel Pentium D's sudden introduction reeked of a band-aid fix, at best. Slapping two Pentium 4 cores together into one slab of silicon is a bad idea; the architecture isn't designed to handle two bandwidth hungry cores. It just... isn't.

Here's an example of what I mean. Consider if you will that an Intel Pentium 4 CPU running on an 800 MHz Front Side Bus (FSB) requires 6.4GB/s of bandwidth. Therefore an Intel Pentium D with two CPU cores requires 12.8GB/s memory bandwidth. The dual channel memory controller within the Intel 945P chipset (not to mention the 955X, 975X, nForce4 SLI Intel Edition, etc) only provides between 50% to perhaps 66% of this. The rest is simple math; without sufficient bandwidth, the processor has to pause, if however momentarily. It's almost as bad as the i845+SDRAM days of the socket 478 Intel Pentium 4. Shudder the thought.

AMD's Athlon64 X2 processor suffers from a memory bandwidth crunch too, yet its dual cores do not rely as heavily upon pure memory bandwidth. Rather, the Athlon64 X2 reacts to a mix of tight CAS Latency memory timings and memory bandwidth. This is why on AMD systems, loosening up the memory timings to increase memory frequency may actually have a negative effect on overall performance of the system.

Despite this technical advantage, I think Intel has walked away with dual core processor sales because it has a better marketing team. Marketing has always seemed to be AMD's achilles heel. Whenever I walk into a large electronics store I always see oodles of Intel Pentium D paraphernalia everywhere. Enthusiasts might discount TV advertising, but hey if you've got 'Frodo' shilling that new Core Duo you're going to be swayed on some level. "AMD Me" by comparison is a pretty flat call to arms.

...the story continues next issue.
Send your Comments here.

Recommended Reading on Topics Relating to the Socket AM2 Athlon64 processor and 64-bit Computing:

· Dual OS Installation of WindowsXP 32-bit/64-bit
· Athlon64 and AMD's 64-bit technology
· Intel's 64-bit Technology
· Athlon64 - 64-bit vs. 32-bit Head On Comparison
· Overclocking and WindowsXP x64 Edition

This Issue By
. Max P.
Weekly Tips
. Colin S.

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