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In This Issue...

- Aopen miniPC SFF
- Asus EN7900GT Videocard
- 1000 Watt Powersupply
- IcyDock 3-SATA Rack
- Shuttle XPC SN27P2 SFF
- Biostart AM2-6100 mobo
- PCstats Weekly Tips

AOpen's 'MacMini' Ultra miniPC Reviewed

Apple may produce trendy computers, but most of us on this side of the fence aren't willing to leave behind all that the x86 PC offers. If you know where to look, you'll find incredibly cool, tiny little Intel-based PCs like the AOpen miniPC MP915B that offer the same compact features as that of the alluring Apple MacMini. With a solid metal chassis, slot-loading DVD writer and single glowing button, the sheen of this ultra mini computer belies the cutting edge technology inside. If you do nothing else today, take a stroll through PCSTATS review of the Aopen miniPC.

At the other end of the spectrum is the massive 1000W PC Power and Cooling Turbo-Cool 1KW powersupply. It's big, its heavy, and it pumps out 70A of power for some really serious enthusiast computer action.

Need more hard drive space in your computer? The IcyDock MB453SPF-B squeezes 3 SATA drives into 2 CDROM bays, and makes them hot swappable too. Also in this issue: the Shuttle xPC SN27P2 small formfactor PC, Asus En7900GT Top videocard, and Biostar TForce AM2 motherboard.

Thanks for reading,
Max Page

AOpen miniPC MP915-B Super Multi System Review

There is no doubt that Small Form Factor computers have revolutionized the way technology fits into the home, and our lives. AOpen's mini PC's are some of the most innovative machines we've seen in a long time, and what really sets this small silvery box apart is that its essentially built with laptop components. The sleek looking AOpen mini PC MP915-B (Super Multi) system is 165x50x165 mm in size and weighs just over 1.5kg when fully loaded... and it kinna reminds you of a MacMini doesn't it? The AOpen mini PC MP915-B (Super Multi) system is based on the Intel 915GM chipset and supports Socket 479 Pentium M processors. There is a single DDR-2 slot which accepts up to 1GB of DDR2-533 memory. On devices packed into the dictionary sized PC includes Gigabit networking, 5.1 sound, Firewire, an Intel GMA900 videocard and even a dual layer slot loading DVD writer!Continue Here>>

Asus EN7900GT TOP/2DHT/256M/A Videocard Review

At first glance, the Asus EN7900GT TOP/2DHT/256M/A looks like a normal GeForce 7900GT... Closer inspection shows that it is a highly tuned videocard that is faster than the average stock 7900GT. The 256MB Asus EN7900GT TOP/2DHT/256M/A videocard is compatible only with PCI Express x16 slots so that means AGP users needs to get their fix elsewhere. The game comes with a large software bundle and DVI to analog converters. The Asus EN7900GT TOP/2DHT/256M/A can connect to the television via a couple of different methods; through S-Video and component output for high definition televisions.Continue Here>>

PC Power & Cooling Turbo-Cool 1KW Power Supply Review

Aside from perhaps the optical drives, the power supply is the most underrated component inside the modern PC. The new PC Power & Cooling Turbo-Cool 1 Kilowatt power supply is easily the biggest and baddest computer power supply on the market. This power supply has the ability to deliver 1kW of power continuously, and has a peak rating of 1.1kW! The PC Power & Cooling Turbo-Cool 1 Kilowatt power supply has three +12V rails with the ability to deliver 66 Amps of continuous current (70A peak). It is almost twice as long as a standard ATX power supply, and pretty heavy. Like many of the other power supplies that have passed through the PCSTATS test labs, the PC Power & Cooling Turbo-Cool 1KW supports Active PFC.Continue Here>>

IcyDock MB453SPF-B SATA Multi-Bay Backplane Module Review

A multi-bay backplane module is a box the size of a couple optical drives stacked on top of one another that stores a handful of serial ATA hard drives in compact, individually hot swappable drive caddy's. When internal hard drive space in a computer case is full, or if quick access to hard drives is called for, this box will allow you to add up to three SATA hard drives in the space normally occupied by two 5.25" optical drives. IcyDock call this module the MB453SPF-B, and it provides a convenient way to increase data storage capacity in the smallest possible volume of drive bay space. Furthermore, the multi-bay module is effectively transparent. In other words, data transfer speeds are identical to the hard drive plugged directly into the motherboard SATA header. Continue Here>>

Shuttle XPC SN27P2 Small Formfactor Socket AM2 Barebones PC Review

Shuttle's latest Small Formfactor PC is its XPC SN27P2 which is based around nVIDIA's nForce 570 Ultra chipset and supports 940-pin socket AM2 Athlon64 X2/FX and Sempron processors. It handles a whopping 8GB of memory. The BTX-style motherboard layout means you can install a PCI Express x16 videocard with a dual-slot heatsink! Other standard features integrated into the nVidia nForce 570 Ultra chipset include Gigabit Ethernet LAN, 7.1 channel audio, SATA2 that offers up RAID 0/1/0+1/5, an external Serial ATA II jack and the full gamut of nVidia nTune, FirstPacket and MediaShield technologies. Overall theShuttle XPC SN27P2 Small Formfactor barebones PC is a great package.Continue Here>>

Biostar TForce 6100 AM2 Motherboard Review


nVIDIA's integrated GeForce 6100 is on par in both 3D abilities and feature sets as other stand alone entry level videocards. To anyone on a tight budget looking to get the most from their computer, a motherboard with this kind of chipset offers a tone of value. The Biostar TForce 6100 AM2 motherboard packs quite a lot into a microATX platform; top of the line integrated graphics, PCI Express, networking, SATA and IDE hard drive support, and integrated sound card. The Biostar TForce 6100 AM2 should be a good little workstation motherboard, perfect for one of the new Socket AM2 Sempron 3600+ or Athlon64 3800+ processors.Continue Here>>

PCstats Weekly Tech Tips: Taking Care of Vista

With the latest Windows Vista beta available to the public, many have jumped onboard to give the new OS a shot. One of Vista's new features that is supposed to protect the system from malware is called the User Account Control (UAC). If you have the "Protected Admin" access, you can normally run privileges as standard users. Yet in order to run apps or tools that require admin level preiviledges, the UAC admin tool promps to ask you whether you want to go ahead. While this sounds like a good feature on paper, in real life it is incredibly annoying.... since there are a whole host of legitimate applications that require administrative access and the UAC prompts every single time.

If you're a fairly experienced computer user you can disable this feature from within Windows Vista beta. First go to your "Control Panel" then open up "Administrative Tools", from there double click on "System Configuration" and click "Continue" to accept the UAC prompt. Now select the Tools tab and scroll down and select "Disable UAC" then click "Launch". After that's done reboot your computer and you're all set. The little annoying UAC prompt which pops up all the time will no longer ask you about running with administrative access. It's less secure, but I think most people have a pretty good handle on PC security these days so operating without UAC is allowable for most individuals.

Was Colin's tip as good for your PC as it was for his? Let PCSTATS know what you think, and be sure to stop by PCSTATS Forums and post your comments or questions.

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