G-Max N512 Laptop
ASRock K8 Combo
LG Dual Layer DVD
Gigabyte ATI Mobo
PCstats Weekly Tips
Crucial Ballistix Tracer PC4000 DDR Lights Up!
'Tis the season for giving, so PCstats has teamed up with Crucial.com to give away
1GB of Ballistix Tracer PC4000 DDR memory! The lights on this memory will make
an Xmas tree look dull by comparison, so exercise that left-mouse
button and tell all your friends and co-workers to enter!
Since you're already subscribed and receiving your
weekly edition of the PCstats Newsletter, enter by filling out the Subscribers Entry Form, and including the email of 1 person you referred to try out the
PCstats Newsletter. As long as that individual subscribes to the PCstats Newsletter before the close of the contest, you're BOTH in the running to win some fast DDR memory! So bug your friend in the next desk to give us a try, and one of you might walk away with 1GB of RAM.
This issue is jam packed with info, including a three-part column
called "Mysterious Motherboard Troubles", a recap of
three new PCstats Q & A letters, and our look at
On the review front, PCstats has tested Crucial's new Ballistix
the spritely Gigabyte Geforce
6600GT PCI-e videocard, the G-Max N512
'Dothan' based Centrino notebook, and an ingenuitive Asrock K8
Combo-Z motherboard which supports both socket 754 and 939 Athlon64
processors. Further along are reviews of the GSA-4120B dual layer
DVD-burner from LG, and Soltek's
SL-K8TPro-939 Athlon64 motherboard.
PCstats's Weekly Tech Tip rounds out the newsletter as always.
Happy Holidays from all of us here at PCstats!
reviewers, we were extremely pleased to see Crucial enter the enthusiast memory
arena with its Ballistix line
of DDR memory. After all, the entry of a major player like Crucial should help
to drive down prices for the consumer, right? Each 512MB Crucial Ballistix
Tracer PC4000 stick is rated to run up to 250 MHz, while maintaining CAS
2.5-4-4-8 at 2.8V. At first glance the memory looks pretty much like every other
DDR DIMM on the market, but upon closer inspection we can clearly see the LED's on top and
near the pins. The ones on the bottom glow a nice blue on both sides, the
LEDs on the top alternate red and green in colour. The blue
underlights are particularly cool as they illuminate each DDR
nVIDIA was the first to enter the 'mainstream' PCI Express video market
with the GeForce 6600 class GPU. ATi followed suit a few days
later with its Radeon X700. While the companies are different, the technology
behind the competing VPUs is actually quite similar. Over the next dozen pages, PCStats will test out a videocard
made by Gigabyte called the GV-NX66T128D.
This PCI Express x16 videocard is based on nVIDIA's GeForce 6600GT
GPU, and packs in a svelte 128MB of Samsung GDDR3 memory. If you're holding out for a motherboard
that has two PCI Express x16 slots, you'll be happy to know the GV-NX66T128D is
as well.Continue Here>>
comes to memory, there are two eternal truth's; it can never be fast enough,
nor in a large enough quantity. For the longest time, 1GB of total system memory
has been the sweet spot for PC systems. Yet, with programs demanding more
resources than ever, often 1GB of system RAM doesn't feel like enough anymore!
Called the Patriot DDR-2
eXtreme Bandwidth and Latency Kit, each of these 1GB PC2-4200 XBL
sticks of memory have official
timings of 3-2-2-4. When those timings are loosened up to 4-3-3-12, PDP
Systems PC2-4200 XBL RAM is almost able to 'fly' at
700 MHz!Continue Here>>
review PCstats will be putting the Gigabyte G-MAX
N512, which is based on the Intel 'Dothan' processor, through its paces.
This 1.7GHz Intel Centrino powered notebook is well equipped to succeed in a
variety of roles. The G-MAX N512 features an ample 15"
wide TFT LCD screen, ATI Radeon Mobility 9700 graphics chip, 60GB hard drive,
built-in 802.11G wireless networking, 4 hours battery life, 512MB of RAM, and
weighs a neat 2.5kg. Now, how does all this fare when we put the N512 through a
couple rounds of
Doom3, or some office
benchmarks? Let's take a look!Continue Here>>
PCStats will be testing new the ASRock K8
Combo-Z/ASR motherboard. This could be the perfect board for those of you
who want to go Athlon64 on the cheap, but don't want to be stuck without an
upgrade path to newer socket 939 processors. Based on the ALi M1689 chipset
which we'll cover in more detail later in the review, the K8 Combo-Z/ASR
can be used with both Socket 754
and Socket 939 AMD Athlon processors! Although not at
the same time. The full range of socket 754 and 939 processors are supported,
from the 32-bit
to the mighty AMD Athlon
had a DVD burner for quite some time now, it was only recently when backing up
some of large home videos files did I realize just how useful they are. As I was
finishing off the 7th DVD+R disc (with more to burn still) I realized that if I
were using regular CD-R's, I would have gone through about 50 discs at that
layer DVD burners like the LG GSA-4120B 12x
Super Multi DVD Rewriter which writes to dual layer DVD+R discs at 2.4x
are now starting to appear on the market, and with
compatible media they can store up to
8.5GB of data on one disc! That's enough space for you to
back up an entire DVD
|ASUS WL-330 Pocket Wireless Access Point
| The Asus
WL-330 is a tiny wireless access point so
nondescript as to be practically invisible; it's also
about the size of a deck of cards. The unit supports
11Mbps 802.11b wireless, and is designed to act as a
wireless access point, or wireless adaptor in a pinch.
The unit is a true travelers friend, great for use
internet jacks into wireless connections. Continue
the season to be jolly, and if you're an enthusiast things couldn't be
sweeter! With that in mind, it's good new that PCStats is reviewing an
affordably priced AGP8X based
motherboard called the Soltek SL-K8TPro-939. Like most Athlon64
motherboards these days, the SL-K8TPro-939
is very nicely equipped with IEEE 1394, 7.1-channel audio, Gigabit
Ethernet, a Promise PDC20579 SATA/IDE RAID controller and the always
useful Port 80
diagnostics card. Continue
|| PCstats Weekly Tech Tips: Mapped Network Drives
Mapped drives can useful when it comes to moving data around on a network, but sometimes you don't want the PC you're working on to reconnect upon boot-up. Sure, you can simply disconnect each time, but Windows has a built in feature that will disable all persistent connections.
First thing you'll want to do is load up regedit (Start -> Run then type regedit and press the Ok button) and scroll to this path
HKEY_USERS -> .Default -> Software -> Microsoft -> WindowsNT -> CurrentVersion -> Network -> Persistent Connections. Once there look for the SaveConnections string value and give it the value 'no'.
Now when you boot your system your computer will not automatically restart/re-enable all old network connections.
- PCSTATS covers the 2005
Tech Roadmaps for AMD / Intel CPUs, and videocards, right
Be sure to check this feature article to see what is just around the corner! -
|Join the PCstats Forums Today @ Forum.PCstats.com!||
|Mysterious Motherboard Troubles|
The warning signs were there if we'd been paying attention. The previously stable AthlonXP FIC AU11-based computer had shown signs of instability before. It had its OS reinstalled a few months back due to constant crashing, and last week the entire PC seized up when a USB key was inserted - trashing a good hour's work in the process.
What used to be a fast computer now seemed to be aging a little every day, getting slower and slower... Still, there was nothing which would have led us to predict such a rapid demise. Without a beep or even a burst of blue smoke, the computer just died.
Once the screen went black, we used this standard troubleshooting checklist to try and revive the system:
First off, was the PC still plugged in and had there been some sort of electrical mishap? It was, and the computer was still humming away, even in death. Eerie.
Next, the PC was restarted, and when this failed, powered off then back on. No luck. The monitor was tested to see if perhaps it was the reason everything went black, but it worked fine on another system. There was no other option but to crack open the FIC AU11-based PC, and pull each and every component other than the processor and memory out to see if it was a peripheral fault. No dice. We were stumped, the motherboard was dead and we had no suspects. Then we noticed the problem, and it was least possible thing you could have ever expected...
Tune in to next week's PCstats newsletter as
we reveal what killed this PC, and how it could happen to
|PCSTATS Q & A|
|Our readers ask a lot of questions, and now you can see all the answers! Every week from Tues. to Thurs. around 5pm, keep an eye out for the new PCstats Q & A column as it pops up on the front page of PCstats. The only address you need to remember is www.pcstats.com|
If you miss it, select the 'Tips' news category from the box just below our four latest feature reviews to read through all the tech advice that has been dished out.
This weeks letters are: Upgrade ME
NATure of home routers
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Don't miss out on PCstats feature look at the 2005 Roadmaps for CPUs and Videocards