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In This Issue...

- ECS PN2 SLI+ 680i Mobo
- Gigabyte 965P-DQ6
- Supertalent PC2-1000
- ABIT AW9D-Max Mobo
- MSI GeForce 8800GTX
- PCstats Weekly Tips

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nVidia nForce 680i SLI Motherboard Tested

It wasn't too long ago when nVidia just made videocards. The times have certainly changed, now nVidia is known equally as much for its motherboard chipsets as it is for its Geforce graphics chips. In fact, nVidia has had such a strong impact on the motherboard industry that VIA and SIS core logics are rarely seen anymore. The new nForce 680i SLI has a lot going for it, but Intel is still arguably the 800lb chipset gorilla. With AMDs acquisition of ATI, we are starting to see ATI core logic taken seriously too. For example, the new AMD/ATI 690G chipset is the first mainstream chipset to integrate a full suite of analog and digital graphics ports along with a High Definition HDMI video output. Set for release at CeBit 2007, the upcoming nVidia Geforce 7050 (MCP68) chipset will be an even match. It also introduces board level HDMI and HDCP, along with the old favorites like Gigabit ethernet, SATA, and PCI Express. h'mm... I smell a tidal wave of home theatre PC systems coming.

At the top of this issue is the nVidia nForce 680i SLI powered ECS PN2 SLI+ motherboard. This board supports Core 2 Quad processors, and comes with a great assortment of gamer friendly features. Next up is a good all around Intel P965 motherboard from Gigabyte, the GA-965P-DQ6. The most surprising thing on that platform are the solid state capacitors it uses.... if you've ever suffered from blown or leaking electrolytic capacitors, this is a welcome change. A 2GB kit of Supertalent PC2-8000 DDR-2 memory performs well on the PCSTATS test bench, but not before the ABIT AW9D-Max motherboard kicks into high overclocking gear. Corsair busts out with its ultra exclusive DOMINATOR PC2-8888 DDR2 memory, each of which requires special cooling. There are two Weekly Tech Tips at the bottom of this newsletter today, enjoy! Don't forget to check out the full index of Beginners Guides for some quick ways to tune you PC into overdrive this March Break.

Thanks for Reading,
Max Page
Editor-in-Chief - PCSTATS

ECS PN2 SLI2+ nVIDIA nForce 680i SLi Motherboard Review

Let's be frank. The question isn't whether AMD or Intel are leading the charge, it's nVIDIA. For the last couple of years anyway, the graphics boys in Santa Carla have shown the PC world how to make a good chipset and a feature packed motherboard. The ECS PN2 SLI2+ is one the many "Designed by nVIDIA" motherboards hitting the streets. It is based on the nVidia nForce 680i SPP and nForce 680i MCP chipsets. Compared to the previous high end nVIDIA nForce 590 Intel Edition chipset, the nForce 680i SLI really only officially supports a higher FSB (up to 1333 MHz by default). According to nVIDIA documentation, another improvement with the the nForce 680i SLI is that it will support overclocking better than the previous chipset. Other than this one major change, the nForce 680i SLI and nForce 590 SLI Intel Edition hold nearly identical feature sets.Continue Here>>

Gigabyte GA-965P-DQ6 965P Express Motherboard Review

The Gigabyte GA-965P-DQ6 motherboard has a healthy dose of enthusiast friendly features like multiple eSATA ports, a unique motherboard heatsink to cool the underside of the PCB, and even a totally silent chipset cooling system. A full compliment of solid state capacitors work to ensure this board will still be functioning years down the road, and not blown and leaking electrolytic fluid. Built with the workhorse Intel P965 Express and Intel ICH8R chipsets, the Gigabyte GA-965P-DQ6 motherboard is compatible with all Socket 775 processors on the market right up to the Intel Core 2 Duo/Core 2 Quad. Expansion is possible via two PCI Express x16 slots for graphics cards, while high bandwidth devices install into any of the three PCI Express x1 slots.Continue Here>>

Super Talent T1000UX2G4 PC2-8000 Memory Review

If you plan on building a computer system with the idea of overclocking it to the next level, it's really the memory you choose that determines if you're going to be successful. SuperTalent's latest memory, a pair of 1024MB T1000UX2G4 modules, has some pretty impressive specifications. The 2GB PC2-8000 memory kit is rated to run up to 1000 MHz with CAS Latency timings of 4-5-4-12. The kit is rated to run at DDR2-1000 or PC2-8000 speeds with memory CAS Latency timings of 4-5-4-12 , at a voltage of 2.2V. The SPD is set to JEDEC DDR2-800 standards, so don't forget to manually adjust the timings when tweaking and overclocking.Continue Here>>

ABIT AW9D-MAX 975X Express Motherboard Review

Universal ABIT is recapturing is former glory. The ABIT AW9D-MAX motherboard is based on Intel's top of the line 975X Express and ICH7R chipsets, packs in quite a lot to get excited about. This high end desktop chipset enables the AW9D-MAX to accommodate 533/800/1066MHz FSB Intel socket 775 processors. The four memory slots can be filled with up to 8GB DDR2-800 RAM. Standard equipment on the motherboard includes dual PCI Express based Gigabit network cards, ABIT's AudioMAX High Definition 7.1 channel audio controller, eight 3GB/s SATAII channels, Firewire IEEE 1394a and two additional two port Silicon Image SiI3132 Serial ATA II/RAID controllers. ABIT specific hardware includes microGuru, a port 80 diagnostic card and the SilentOTES thermal system . Continue Here>>

Corsair DOMINATOR Twin2X2048-8888C4DF Memory Review

Corsair has up'd the ante with its new DOMINATOR Twin2X2048-8888C4DF memory. Not only does Corsair increase the stock voltage for this set of memory to 2.4V, it also utilizes a fancy external fan system to keep the modules from spontaneously combustion. Corsair's new DHX heatsinks and the DOMINATOR Airflow fan are the talk of the town. The 2GB Corsair DOMINATOR Twin2X2048-8888C4DF kit tries to offer enthusiast the best of all worlds; these bad boys have relatively low 4-4-4-12 CAS latency, and a high 1111 MHz operating frequency. If you've got a Dell, well, just keep on walking this memory is not for you.Continue Here>>

PCstats Weekly Tech Tips: Folder Ownership & Network Access

Tip #1 - Reassigning Folder Ownership:

Have you ever reinstalled WindowsXP only to have it complain about ownership of a certain folder, giving you an access denied error when trying to open a user's directory? Ownership of folders is important so other users cannot access your folder unless they have proper administrative rights. This is done by default by the operating system in an effort to keep individual user data safe.

Luckily, reclaiming ownership of the folder is an easy task. First thing to do is reboot the computer and load the operating system in "Safe Mode". Do this by pressing the F8 key as the computer boots and select "safe mode" from the pre-boot menu screen (this Guide to Safe Mode explains it in greater detail). In safe mode, login with a user account that has administrative privileges and go to the location of the folder in question. Right click on it and select "Properties", click the "Security" tab and find the "Advanced" button. Click on the "Owner" tab. Find your name or account name then click the "Replace owner on subcontainers and objects", click the "OK" button then "Yes". After that's done reboot the computer and load WindowsXP normally. The user in question will now have access to that folder once again.

Tip #2 - Lazy Network Folder Access:

Here's a trick to allow network access to computers when using blank passwords with Microsoft Windows Vista. Blank passwords are only an option those on a small private networks should consider. They are good for lazy networking, and make it simple to share contents of a computer without having to assign a login for each known user. However, PCSTATS does not recommend this kind of password regime as a rule. Anyway, on the Vista PC with the shared folders, go to Start > Run and type "gpedit.msc" and press the "Enter" key.

From there follow this path Computer Configuration -> Windows Settings -> Security Settings -> Local Policies -> Security Options.< P> In the right hand window double click on the "Accounts: Limit local account use of blank passwords to console login only" and disable it. After that's done, users will be able to log into the Windows Vista computer with a user account that has no password. Please note that doing this will leave the computer vulnerable should someone want to wreak havoc. Only enable this kind of lazy networking feature if you're sure of the others who use the PC. Or better yet, don't.

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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