Playstation Bios

Tech Medics

The people have spoken…and they want cake!

Someone tell Wil to review the G5. I want to know how fast it really is, compared with a top-of-the-line PC. I know that on Apple’s website, the company claims that the G5 is about twice as fast as a 3.2GHz Pentium 4. How much truth is in that statement?


Are you trying to get me fired? I’d love to review the new G5. The thing is, whenever I cover anything Mac related, every jackass between San Francisco and New York jumps on my ass. So, no, I won’t be reviewing it.

AMD bests Intel

What’s the difference between the Pentium 4 and the AMD Athlon 64? I’ve been reading your magazine for a while, and I noticed that when you make your Power Rigs, you tend to use the Pentium 4. Is there any particular reason for this, or are you just partial to Pentium 4s?


Until AMD came out with the Athlon 64 FX-51, Intel’s 3.2GHz Pentium 4 was the fastest option available, which is why I used it. Now that the Athlon 64 FX-51 is available, I’m running that in my Killer Rig—my tests have shown it’s about 10 percent faster than the 3.2GHz Pentium 4 in some game tests and benchmarks.

Size matters

I am thinking about updating my computer, which I got about three or four years ago. It’s an 866MHz Pentium 3 with a 32MB GeForce2 GTS graphics card and 512MB of SDRAM; I’m not sure about the motherboard. I want to upgrade the motherboard, processor, RAM, and graphics card at the same time. Are there different sizes of motherboards or anything that I need to know? I’m afraid I might get one that won’t fit in my computer case (it’s a Dell Dimension 4100).


Yeah, motherboards do come in different sizes. Most people go for standard ATX motherboards. The thing about Dell machines is that a standard ATX motherboard may or may not fit in that case. You’re better off dropping an additional $100 on a new case that will accommodate all of your new components.

PS2 + VAIO = ?

Do you think Sony would ever consider building PS2 (or PS1 or PS3, for that matter) functionality into its VAIO PCs? I’ve seen USB adapters that allow you to connect PS controllers to a PC, and VAIOs seem to come equipped with DVD-ROMs at the very least (and often with a DVDR/RW). I have a VAIO laptop, and I keep thinking about how awesome it would be to be able to get rid of my PS2 and my television and have a keyboard, modem, and mouse to play my PS2 games with, all built right in. Dream a little dream.


I’ve thought about this myself. Back in the day, I played PlayStation games on my PC with Bleem, a PlayStation emulator. As for Sony making a VAIO that plays PlayStation games, I just don’t see the company ever doing that. While it wouldn’t be difficult (or expensive) technologically, Sony hates emulators—and although it wouldn’t necessarily be an emulator, it would sure as hell feel like one. More that that, though, I imagine Sony is more concerned about protecting the lucrative PlayStation brand and establishing its foothold in your living room than getting people to play its games on ever more devices. Still, who knows?

Video trouble

I am currently working on my coworker’s Compaq Presario 5000. We had to reformat it, and now I can’t get it to use the correct drivers for the onboard videocard. Could I get a PCI or AGP videocard to work in it? And would it bypass the mobo’s built-in stuff? What would be a good card to use? It won’t be seeing a whole lot of gaming—Serious Sam and maybe a little more. The machine has an AMD Athlon, and Windows says it’s running at 993MHz.


If you get a PCI or AGP graphics card, it will probably disable your coworker’s onboard video automatically. If it doesn’t, you can go into the BIOS and manually disable it. As far as which card to buy, check to see if you have an available AGP slot (the gray one). If you do, I’d get a good midrange card like the ATI Radeon 9600XT. Finding a good PCI card will be tougher, but try to get something with at least 64MB of RAM.

Buy this graphics card.

Everyone wants to know, “Which graphics should I buy?’ So this month, I’m launching a preemptive strike: Buy ATI’s 256MB Radeon 9800 XT.

Copyright © 2003 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Originally appearing in Computer Gaming World.

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