Channel Muddle

By Agent 001 Published Date
01 - Feb - 2008
| Last Updated
01 - Feb - 2008
Channel Muddle

Q. My PC configuration is: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600, Intel DG965WH motherboard, 1 GB Transcend RAM at 667 MHz, 250 GB HDD, 19-inch LG TFT, Sony DVD-Writer. I want to upgrade the RAM to 2 GB. Should I go for a 1 GB Transcend at 667 MHz in dual-channel, or can I use 1 GB at 800 MHz also in dual-channel? Which will be faster? Can I use 3 GB? Will it show any improvement? What brands do you recommend?
Aniket Gaikwad

You seem confused about the concept of dual-channel memory. Firstly, you need two sticks of memory to even get dual-channel mode enabled, so a single 1 GB DDR2 800 MHz module won’t work—but two 512 MB modules will, if the memory speeds are the same. I recommend 2 GB over 1 GB anytime, simply because DDR2 is ultra-cheap. 3 GB would be better under Windows Vista, although under Windows XP, I’d expect the difference under demanding applications would be no more than 10 per cent. 2 GB of DDR2 667 MHz memory will cost you around Rs 2,400, while 800 MHz memory will cost an extra Rs 600. Transcend is a good brand—stick with it.
The Question That Won’t Go Away
I bought an XFX GeForce 8800GT, and my system configuration is Core 2 Duo E6300 at 1.86GHz, Intel original motherboard DG965RY, Transcend 1GB RAM at 533 MHz, Seagate Barracuda 80 GB, LG DVD-Writer. I’m using a 400-watt PSU from Odyssey; is it sufficient or should I upgrade? Do recommend a PSU taking into consideration that I will add a 320 GB HDD.
Vicky Fernandes

That power supply is a serious hazard in such a high-end PC. I recommend a 500-watt PSU from VIP (Rs 2,300 or thereabouts), or even a 550 W CoolerMaster Extreme Power, which should cost you around 3,000 bucks. Don’t compromise on system stability or even component life with a power supply that can’t handle all that processing juice.

Shades Of Grey…
I want to buy a digital camera, and I’m looking at the Canon PowerShot A650 IS. I checked with some big stores in Mumbai, but they don’t have that model; the PowerShot A570 IS is available. Should I go for it? Is buying an A650 IS from the grey market at Rs 14,500 a good option?
Tejas Unnikrishnan

To be honest, most people buying cameras these days prefer the grey market where the additional cost of a bill with the tax incurred is saved. Add to that the fact that there are hardly any fakes for cameras, and you are reasonably safe. The PowerShot A650 IS will be a better option than the A570IS, especially if your budget is as large as Rs 14,500.

Moving Pictures On A Budget
I would like to buy a digital camcorder with either the DVD or mini DV format. My budget is Rs 40,000. Please suggest some good models with exact prices.
Sumita Dey

Samsung’s DC230, at Rs 24,995, should be a good camcorder for you: good build quality and quite ergonomic. We also liked the quality of the image after zooming—all in all, suitable for an amateur on a shoestring budget. I’d recommend the Panasonic SDR-H20 (HDD-based) since its Image Stabilisation is excellent and performance exemplary, but you have specified a DVD-format-model only. If you can spend around Rs 50,000, then the Canon DC51 is excellent.

One Fits In Your Pocket…
I want a console for casual gaming. What is the difference between the PSP and PS2 with regards to gaming performance? Would it be worthwhile to go for the PSP due to its other features on offer?
Raghav Kanwal

First of all, the PSP is a handheld multimedia device, not really a console like the PS2, PS3, or Xbox. If you want to game on the go and even listen to music or play movies, the PSP is very suitable—it slips into your pocket, and it has a good screen. The PS2 will require connectivity to a TV set, and is a better gaming solution than the PSP, except it isn’t portable. The Xbox 360 is a good alternative to the PS2, although it’ll cost around
Rs 18,000, while the PS2, having been around for a while, will cost in the region of Rs 7,000. The PSP will cost around Rs 7,500.

I Need Two
My current configuration is the following: Intel Pentium III 866 MHz processor, 256 MB SDRAM, 40 GB Seagate HDD PATA, 80 GB Samsung HDD PATA, and Windows XP Pro SP2. I would like to upgrade, with a budget of 15K. Here are my specs: Intel Core 2 Duo E4400 2 GHz (Rs 5,500); Gigabyte GA-G33M-S2H (Rs 5,950); 1 GB DDR2 667 MHz RAM Transcend / Corsair/ Kingston (Rs 1,450—1,700). The problem is that I have two PATA drives, and the motherboard I mentioned has only 1 PATA port. Also, I mostly play only the FIFA series of games. So, of my 15K budget, 12,900-13,150 is spent, and with the rest, I can buy a new cabinet / PSU combo, maybe also squeezing in a USB keyboard. What say you?

If you really need both PATA drives and cannot do without upgrading your storage, then I’d suggest the Zebronics 650 SLI motherboard. This board is one of the only ones to feature two PATA ports. It should cost around 4,500 bucks now. Also look at the E4300 and save some money, as the performance difference is minimal. If you decide to ditch both PATA drives, then go for a Seagate 7200.10 series 160 GB hard drive, or if you can afford it, the 250 GB series, which should cost Rs 2,200 and 3,000 respectively.

The extra bit you squeeze in should allow you to go for a decent cabinet SMPS combination. A USB keyboard should cost around Rs 500; Logitech has some decent entry-level offerings.

Agent 001Agent 001

I have a keyboard and I'm not afraid to use it, because I have a license to quill.