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In This Issue...

- Gigabyte P965 Mobo
- Supertalent Flash HDD
- Intel Pentium M740 CPU
- Biostar P965 Mobo
- AMD Sempron 3600+ CPU
- PCstats Weekly Tips

Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 on P965 Express Motherboards

Remember that really awesome Tech Tip from Issue #106, or when PCSTATS gave away two Fujitsu Notebooks in Issue #68? How about the column on mysterious motherboard troubles that plagued certain types of capacitors in Issue #163? Perhaps it was Issue #189 with the Guide to the Beginners Guides... Whatever stands out for you from past issues of the PCSTATS Newsletter is now archived, and completely available for online reference. Browse, or run a search through over 200 archived PCSTATS Newsletters today!

A double Tech Tip awaits you this week, but first PCSTATS will be running the Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 processor through a series of benchmarks on the Gigabyte 965P-DS3, and Biostar TForce P965 motherboards. Both platforms use P965 Express chipsets, and compared to AMD's top of the line socket AM2 Athlon64 FX-62 the Core2 Duo / P965 combo is extremely well performing. We're using a retail processor for these tests, so you can bet the results are going to be typical of what you'll experience... now that this CPU has moved from 'paper launch' to actual availability in shops.

Solid state flash memory based hard drives are the stuff of high end PC's, but Supertalent has succeeded in introducing an 8GB model for notebooks that would be ideal for Linux, or compact installations of WinXP. Either way the Supertalent FIDE-8GB is an interesting product. Along with a look back at the AMD Sempron 3600+ processor for socket AM2, this week PCSTATS tests the Intel Pentium M 740 mobile CPU - good for notebook upgrades, low power multimedia SFF systems, or even for those socket 479 motherboards which are starting to pop up.

Thanks to Albatron and its new Geforce 7900GS videocard for helping to make this PCSTATS Newsletter possible. If you have any suggestions on the new Newsletter Archives, please drop me a line.

Thanks for reading!
Max Page
Editor-in-Chief - PCSTATS

Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 Intel P965 Express Motherboard Review


The future for Intel 's P965 chipset is a bright one, particularly with Core 2 Duo processors finally rolling out the door (actually, physically so). Aside from PCI Express x16 videocard support, the Intel P965 chipset leads with a 1066 MHz front side bus, a new 12.8GB/s 'Fast Memory Access' memory controller, and a few other technologies we'll touch upon momentarily. Gigabyte's GA-965P-DS3 motherboard offers a good mix of performance and value for the remarkably proficient Core 2 Duo processor series, and for the purposes of this review PCSTATS will be testing it with an Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 CPU - the sweetheart of the bunch for its 2.4GHz clock speed and 4MB of L2 Cache.Continue Here>>

Super Talent 2.5" Flash IDE 8GB Solid State Drive Review

Just a year ago people would have laughed at the suggestion of a solid state flash based 2.5" IDE notebook hard drive, yet it's now a reality.... well, sort of. This time around we're checking out SuperTalent's 2.5" 8GB IDE flash drive (model no. FIDE-8GB). The unit is 100% compatible with standard 2.5" IDE laptop hard drives, but as the name indicates, it's a solid state device that has no moving parts. SuperTalent's 8GB 2.5" 'FIDE-8GB' Flash Drive consumes less than power than a regular notebook hard drive (50mA while reading, 60mA during a write), which can have the added impact of prolonging notebook battery life too. It's 8GB storage capacity will limit the applications of the FIDE-8GB Flash drive to compact WindowsXP installations, or better yet Linux.Continue Here>>

Intel Pentium M 740 1.73GHz socket 479 Processor Review

When a mobile 1.73GHz processor like the Intel Pentium M 740 can just about hold its own against a 3.2GHz Intel Pentium D 840 in office applications, something's definitely amiss.

Whether you're looking for a processor upgrade for your laptop or want to build a small but powerful system, the Intel Pentium M processor should definitely get some consideration. The processor that we'll be looking at specifically is the 479-pin Pentium M 740 model. It has a default clock speed of 1.73 GHz, runs on a 533 MHz (Front Side Bus) FSB and comes with a large 2MB of L2 cache. If you're looking for a slight upgrade for your aging laptop, or to build power efficient desktop this might be exactly what the doctor ordered....Continue Here>>

Biostar TForce P965 Deluxe Motherboard Review
Continue on...

In this review, PCSTATS is testing the Biostar TForce P965 Deluxe motherboard. This board is based on Intel's P965 Northbridge and ICH8 Southbridge chipsets. With Intel phasing out IDE, Biostar address the lack of native IDE channels by integrating a separate IDE controller onto the Tforce P965. Other integrated goodies on this full sized ATX board include Gigabit LAN,7.1 channel high definition Intel Azalia audio, a flurry of USB2.0 jacks, and expansion slots. For the tweakers out there, Biostar also equips this board with hand power and reset buttons right on the PCB! In any case PCSTATS will show you both Pentium D and Core 2 Duo performance so you get an idea of what to expect when running an Intel P965 Express based motherboard. Continue Here>>

AMD Sempron 3600+ 2.0GHz Socket AM2 Processor Review
Continue on...

The AMD Sempron processor has received little press, but that hasn't stopped it from getting noticed. This 'value oriented' line of CPUs is only separated from the flagship Socket AM2 lineup by clock speed and cache, and that has enabled the single core Sempron to sit at the dual core AM2 Athlon64 table without causing too much of a disruption. The single core 2.0GHz Sempron 3600+ CPU is certainly easy on the wallet... but just how well does the Sempron stand up to best and brightest AMD and Intel produce? Well, we're about to show you.Continue Here>>

PCstats Weekly Tech Tips:
1) BSOD's and You: What to know
2) Server 2003 and Domain Controller Troubles

The first of this week's PCSTATS Tech Tips is a bit on the fun side. While we can all agree that the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) is a royal pain when it happens, did you know you can customize it? If you're PC is going to flake out, might as well do it in style so it's not like every other WindowsXP computer when it crashes. That's right you can change both the colour of the background, and the text with a few quick edits. First find the "SYSTEM.INI" file (usually in C:\Windows directory) and open it up with Notepad. From there scroll to the "[386enh]" section and find or add these two lines...


Where the "x" is, enter one of the following colour values...

0 = black, 1 = blue, 2 = green, 3 = cyan, 4 = red, 5 = magenta, 6 = brown, 7 = white, 8 = gray, 9 = bright blue, A = bright green, B = bright cyan, C = bright red, D = bright magenta, E = bright yellow, F = bright white.

After that's done save and exit Notepad. From now on when your computer crashes the BSOD window will be custom. Your computer will still be toast of course, and that's why PCSTATS has a full guide on the subject of Crash Recovery: and the Blue Screen of Death.

And now for the real Tech Tip...
Server 2003 and Domain Controller Troubles

If you're running Windows Server 2003 with SP1 on your authenticating domain controller, you might run into the issue where WindowsXP machines have problems connecting to the internet or log onto your domain. The problem is usually due to a corrupt policy store which is most often caused by an interruption to disk writing, luckily the fix is rather easy.

Start up a command prompt (Start -> Run then type cmd and press OK) and from there type out these three lines, press the "Enter" key after every line.

REG DELETE HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\IPSec\Policy\Local /F
REG ADD HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\IPSEC /V Start /T
REG_DWORD /F /D 1 regsvr32 -s polstore.dll

After that's done restart your server and you're set. No more WindowsXP connection problems with Windows Server 2003 SP1 authentication domain controllers. =D

Let PCSTATS know what you think about this Tech Tip, and be sure to stop by PCSTATS Forums and post your comments or questions.

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. Max P.
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