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In This Issue...

- MSI GeForce 8800GTX
- Asus M2-Crosshair Mobo
- Corsair PC2-9136 DDR2
- PC Recycling Guide
- Asus P5B Deluxe WiFi
- Nitro AX Case
- PCstats Weekly Tips

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Processor Roadmaps for 2007 - OctaCore on the Horizon?

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The roadmaps for Intel and AMD processors undoubtedly involve multiple core designs, greater power efficiency, and in AMD's case a socket change or two. As you may know, AMD's dual core CPUs will be migrating to a native quad core architecture by late summer. Those CPUs will operate with 2MB shared L3 cache, HyperTransport 3.0, and consume upwards of 125W power. By 2008 AMD will have migrated to socket AM2+ then AM3, as the desktop PC platform gives way to DDR-3 memory, PCI Express Generation 2 and perhaps even DirectX 10 integrated graphics.

The most interesting of all of this is AMDs native quad core CPU, code named 'Barcelona.' Unlike Intel's 2+2=4 quad core platform, the 65nm AMD Barcelona core contains four CPU cores on one silicon die (463M transistors), with shared L3 cache memory, enhanced direct connect architecture and northbridge. Looking even further forward, AMD's 45nm 'Shanghai' quad core CPU will boost L3 cache to 6MB apparently. Past that - all we can say now is 'Octa Core' and AMD 'dual Fusion.' This week, AMD celebrates the release of its 3GHz Athlon64 X2-6000+ processor, the latest in a line of dual core chips that are having a tough time standing up against Intel's Core 2 Duo.

Great gaming not as quick as it used to be? Why not test drive a beast like MSI's NX8800GTX Geforce 8800GTX videocard, it dishes out super fast frame rates and all the eye candy you can hope for. Next on the agenda is ASUS' gamer friendly M2-Crosshair nForce 590 SLI motherboard. The amount of hardware Asus was able to squeeze on this board is a feat in itself, the silent cooling is our favourite. Corsair Micro are back with the DOMINATOR memory series - super fast DDR-2 for enthusiasts who need that extra edge. The DOMINATOR PC2-9136 C5 memory overclocked to 1240MHz in PCSTATS labs, so we're not kidding when we say it's fast! Another Asus board, the P5B Deluxe Wifi, brings wireless networking into the desktop as standard equipment, while iStar's NitroAX computer chassis offers a sleek black enclosure to house all of this hardware in.

All five parts of Dan's column on PC Recycling have been rolled into one quick article here. Along the same lines, do you think computer manufacturers should be finned or restricted from producing hardware that consumes way too much power? (I'm pointing at you 2000W power supplies, and those nVidia 'G80' videocards that gobble a good +100W under load). What do you think?

Last but not least, Colin is back with a quick tip on software compatibility in Windows Vista. Suffice to say, a lot of software that ran smoothly on WinXP, does not in Vista. Anyway, on with the tip!

Max Page
Editor-in-Chief - PCSTATS

MSI NX8800GTX-T2D768E-HD Geforce 8800GTX PCI Express Videocard Review

The MSI Computer NX8800GTX-T2D768E-HD is the companies' flagship nVIDIA-GPU based PCI Express x16 videocard. This massive slab of chips and thermal solution is built around an equally large nVidia 'G80' GeForce 8800GTX core, it has a 768MB frame buffer, and supports both DirectX 10, OpenGL 2.0, and 128-bit HDR standards. The Geforce 8880GTX GPU operates at 575MHz, and the 768MB of memory runs at 1800MHz. As you might expect, the NX8800GTX-T2D768E-HD is High Definition compatible in every way that counts. There is no getting around the fact that the MSI NX8800GTX-T2D768E-HD is a beast. This is a massive videocard...Continue Here>>

Asus M2-CROSSHAIR Socket AM2 nForce 590 SLI Motherboard Review

There's little doubt that the Asus M2-CROSSHAIR is designed for the gamer. From LED lights all along the PCB to the LCD display on the rear I/O and the massive chipset coolers, the M2-CROSSHAIR is as fancy as it gets. Asus include a few special extras that any enthusiast can appreciate; thermistors for temperature monitoring, an electroluminescent rear I/O shield with LCD display, flexible SLI bridge connector, and more. The Asus M2-CROSSHAIR supports all current Socket AM2 AMD Athlon64/X2/FX and Sempron processors that run on a 2 GHz HyperTransport, and offers up the delight that is SLI right from the start. Continue Here>>

Corsair DOMINATOR Twin2X2048-9136C5D DDR2-1142 Performance Memory

Corsair's DOMINATOR Twin2X2048-9136C5D memory takes a very bold step in the right direction by ditching the old heatspreaders and going for a completely fresh approach. Corsair's DOMINATOR Twin2X2048-9136C5D part is a 2GB dual channel memory kit, rated to run at speeds up to DDR2-1142 MHz with 5-5-5-15 memory timings! The memory supports nVidia's Enhanced Performance Profiles (EPP) and really designed with nVIDIA nForce 680i based motherboards in particular. Now that's not to say these DDR2-1142 modules will not work with other platforms, it's just that the nForce 680i offers overclockers the best chance to hit those high speeds. Continue Here>>

Computer Recycling - Where Should Old Computers Go?

So you've just come back from your favourite little electronics store and nestled in your outstretched arms is a pile of new toys, most of which is intended to replace the aging hardware sitting by your desk. Maybe you've gone wireless and picked up a new 802.11n wireless router, or a new Serial ATA hard drive to replace the IDE drive that crashed last week... better yet, maybe you've splurged and just brought home an entirely new and customized computer system! Now comes the dilemma...Continue Here>>

Asus P5B Deluxe/WiFi-AP P965 Express Motherboard Review

The latest feature Asus has begun integrating into its motherboards is wireless networking - WiFi. Asus has put together a pretty well rounded package with the P5B Deluxe/WiFi-AP motherboard. Based on the Intel P965 Express and ICH8R chipsets, this board has very strong set of storage options, uses DDR-II RAM, comes with 8-channel High Definition 'Azalia' audio, dual Gigabit LAN, a wireless 802.11b/g network card, Firewire, optical SP/DIF audio output, and plenty of Serial ATA II hard drive support. A closer examination reveals seven internal SATAII channels, and one external (eSATA) jack. There are two PCI Express x16 slots for dual videocards, one PCI Express x1 and three 32-bit PCI slots for legacy hardware ensure the P5B Deluxe/WiFi-AP can handle just about any requirement you have in mind.Continue Here>>

iStar Nitro AX Full Tower Computer Case Review

The iStar Nitro AX is a full tower steel computer chassis based on a very familiar and accessible internal layout; drives are caged on sliding rails up front, panels and doors are tool free and there's more than a few nods towards reducing computer noise. The hard drives each rest on four rubber mounting points which help absorb vibrations and prevent them from being transmitted to the rest of the chassis. The iStar Nitro AX case has a honeycomb vented side panel that meshes up with an internal fan duct to provide a cool air source directly to the CPU fan. Imagine that.Continue Here>>

PCstats Weekly Tech Tips: Compatibility Mode in Windows Vista

Microsoft Windows Vista is a brand new operating system, and as with everything new there are always teething problems. The question everyone contemplating an upgrade to Vista is asking PCSTATS about is whether their current suite of software is compatible, or not. There have been a few horror stories floating around the web already about incompatibility, so this is a good topic for today's Tech Tip.

Before you upgrade to Vista, the first thing you should do is download Microsoft's Application Compatibility Toolkit ( and give it a shot on your current WinXP system. It does a decent job at indicating whether the software you have on your computer is compatible with Windows Vista. Unfortunately there is no "master list" that you can reference to check all software versions you're running.

Now, let's say you have already installed Windows Vista and are having problems with certain software applications that used to work just fine in WindowsXP. Don't worry, you're not out of luck. Try running pre-Vista software in Compatibility Mode. Find the shortcut to the application that you're having problems with in the "All Programs" menu, right click on it and go to "Properties". From there click the "Compatibility" tab and in the "Compatibility mode" section, check the "Run this program in compatibility mode for:" and select the OS that the application was designed to run on originally. After that's done click the "OK" button and you're all set. Don't forget to make these changes to shortcuts that may be placed on the desktop too.

Running applications in Compatibility mode doesn't always guarantee that it will function in Windows Vista, however it's worth a try and seems to fix the good majority of software snafu's.

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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This Issue By
Editor-in-Chief. Max P.
Weekly Tips. Colin S.
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