Under The Hood

Published Date
01 - Oct - 2006
| Last Updated
01 - Oct - 2006
Under The Hood
Under The Hood
Q: I have a 915GEV motherboard, which supports DDR 2. However, I am not sure whether I have DDR or DDR 2 memory installed. How do I check?
Aditya Patnaik

A:  If your board is an original Intel, then the chances of it having a DDR module are quite slim. Some manufacturers did come up with combo motherboards that had support for both DDR as well as DDR 2 memory. Look on the Net for an application called Everest, using which one can verify what kinds of components are installed on the PC. You can also find it on the Digit CD (January 2006).

LCD: Low Clarity Display?
Q: I have an Intel Pentium D 2.8 GHz and an Intel 945 GNT motherboard, hooked up to a 17-inch Samsung LCD monitor. When I play games such as Unreal Tournament, it looks bad. Do LCD monitors give bad resolutions in games? Also, what is the safe processor temperature for a Pentium D?

A: here's nothing wrong with the LCD monitor. Since you haven't mentioned your graphics system, I'm assuming you're using the onboard controller. The Intel 950 GMA is much better than the previous generation onboard graphics controller; however, it still can't be used for gaming. If the games you're playing look washed out, it's not the LCD display's fault.
Pentium D processors can go up to 75 to 80 degrees C at full load, and that's considered normal; however, lowering the temperature will extend its life. You can try some Artic Silver-it will help lower the temperature by about 5 degrees minimum. Contact Prime A.B.G.B. at 022-32950191.

Upgrading On A Budget

Q: I plan to upgrade my computer with a new Pentium 4 processor, a new motherboard, 512 MB of RAM and an 80 GB or above SATA hard drive. I have allocated a budget of around Rs 16,000. Please suggest a suitable configuration.
Nicky Anto

A: Ideally, I'd have recommended a system based on the new Intel Core 2 Duo. However, your budget is quite limited. AMD has recently slashed prices on its processors; you could try cutting a good deal with an AMD dealer. Go with an AMD Athlon X2 3800 or above, pair it with an NVIDIA 6150 chipset based motherboard-the ASUS A8N-VM CSM. As for memory, opt for 512 MB of Kingston or Transcend RAM. Get a Hitachi or WD 80 GB SATA II drive. These components together shouldn't exceed your budget.

Of Brands And Burners
Q: I want a DVD-Writer for my PC. My dealer says I should go with a Samsung Super WriteMaster SH S18-2D. How good is this writer?

A: I haven't personally come across the Samsung Super WriteMaster SH S18-2D, so I can't speak for it. But from our experience with DVD drives, we can certainly vouch for Lite-On and Sony. I don't know whether Lite-On drives are available where you live, but Sony drives should be available. Opt for Sony's DRU-820A.

Revving It Up
Q: I have a reasonably fast machine, and I now want to pep up its graphics system in order to play games. My budget is Rs 8,000. However, with the myriad of chipsets available, I am confused as to what graphics card to buy. What would the following cards cost: GeForce 6600GT, GeForce 6800 XT, GT and Ultra, and GeForce 7600 GT?
Udit Singh
A: I think cards based on the GeForce 6600GT and GeForce 7300 GS will fall within your budget. Cards based on the 6800 chipset are way too expensive; the same goes for the 7600 GT. I suggest you refer to the graphics card shootout we've done in this issue to choose the right card for your purposes.

Swearing By Nokia
Q: I want to buy a smartphone with a good-quality MP3 player. I have fiddled with the Nokia 3230, 6630, and 6670; I liked the 3230 most. It has mono sound, and the sound clarity is not up to the mark, according to some forums. According to Digit, the SE K750i is a good phone for music; however, I don't like the design, and I want a Nokia.
Sree Prasad
A: If you want a cell phone for music, Sony Ericsson is what you're looking for. I haven't come across a Nokia phone that can match SE's capability as far as music quality goes-partly due to the earphones bundled with Nokias. You can try out the new Nokia 6233-we haven't tested it yet, but it should be good. Also check out the SE W810i if you feel the K750i's design is too pallid.

Simply Digital
Q: I am planning to buy a digicam in the range of Rs 15 to 20 K. I want at least a 5-megapixel CCD, 4x optical zoom, and good battery life.
Sanjay Kote

A: The point-and-shoot Canon A700 is a good camera to start with. Your second option is the Canon S3 IS: it has a massive 12x zoom, a 6-megapixel sensor, an image stabiliser, and lots of manual options. The Kodak P880, reviewed this month, is an 8-megapixel camera with 5x zoom and lots of features. For the latter two, you might have to shell out a little extra; they typically sell for around Rs 22 to 23K.


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