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Crucial 1GB 200-Pin DDR SO-DIMM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Laptop Memory Model CT12864X40B
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

4 out of 5 eggs Inspect the contacts (mine had a dirty spot) 01/01/2014

This review is from: Crucial 1GB 200-Pin DDR SO-DIMM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Laptop Memory Model CT12864X40B

Pros: Worked like I hoped & expected. Not a bad deal, considering the performance benefit.

Cons: Dirty contacts. In dozens of memory upgrades, I've never seen this before. I don't know if it would have caused memory errors, but I didn't want to risk it. Deducting one star for that.

Other Thoughts: I bought two of these. When removing from the package, I noticed a dirty spot on the contacts on the back side of one DIMM. I was able to wipe off the dirt with a few passes of a cloth dipped in 91% isopropyl alcohol.

After that, I ran memtest86 overnight. All tests passed.

BTW, the max rated speed in my laptop is DDR333. However, the benefit of using DDR400 is that my laptop run it at CAS 2.5 instead of the rated CAS 3.

I'm running Ubuntu 13.10 on a 90 nm Pentium M (Dothan). Won't run on the earlier generation, due to lack of PAE.

I also installed a Transcend PATA/EIDE SSD. Lots of RAM is key if you're running Linux on a laptop with a SSD. To minimize writes, I have /tmp/, /var/tmp/, /var/log/, and /var/spool/ mounted on tmpfs (essentially a variable-sized RAMDISK). This puts even greater demands on memory capacity. With only 1 GB, I was swapping before I'd hardly run anything.

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Raspberry Pi 83-14421 Computer - Model B (512M RAM)
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

5 out of 5 eggs Jack of all trades 11/19/2013

This review is from: Raspberry Pi 83-14421 Computer - Model B (512M RAM)

Pros: Amazingly functional for the price, power consumption, and footprint.

What I love most is that it looks and acts almost exactly like any Ubuntu box on my network. All of the packages are there, and everything pretty much just works (the main exception being some of the harware packages, like lm_sensors). Unless you try to run a bunch of desktop/GUI apps on it (web browsers, etc.), you can get away with just thinking of it as just another Linux box.

This thing only burns 2-3 Watts, making it far more efficient than any NAS or even most WiFi routers. You can really afford to leave it on 24/7 without a second thought.

Cons: The only major difference between this and a mainstream PC is that it really is a bit slow. Worse than the CPU speed is actually the I/O performance. Both the SD card or USB seem to top out somewhere around 16-18 MB/sec, and the bottleneck is definitely not the flash memory, which I benchmarked on another system.

The RAM size also becomes a significant limitation, if you start trying to use it like a desktop or build large software packages on it. I configured swap, just in case, but I think I'd be pretty sad if it were swapping on any kind of regular basis.

I hope they put more RAM, USB3, and a mSATA connector on its successor.

Other Thoughts: I've had a Pi running Raspbian for about 3-4 months, and it's worked flawlessly. I use it for automated internet radio recording, and I'm about to setup automated HD broadcast recording. I'm also planning to use it to serve up my music collection for in-home streaming to my various devices. It would be great for home automation, too.

Note that I've never used its video outputs, so I can't comment on any aspects related to its graphics performance, etc. I log into it using ssh - even for the initial setup.

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Noctua NF-A14 FLX 140mm Case Fan
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

5 out of 5 eggs Good fan, but hums louder than I expected. 06/10/2013

This review is from: Noctua NF-A14 FLX 140mm Case Fan

Pros: I won't bother to repeat all the good things you can read elsewhere, but I will say that the noise it does make is at least pleasant sounding.

Cons: Not as quiet as I'd hoped, at full-speed. I won't deduct a star for that, since I don't know if there's anything quieter that produces a similar amount of airflow.

Other Thoughts: I bought this because I wasn't satisfied with the Cougar CF-V14HB I used to replace the LED intake fan in my new PC (Lian Li PC-60FN case). Both the Cougar and Noctua fans have similar airflow specs and actually turned out to emit a similar amount of noise, to my ears, when I compared them side-by-side (both at full speed). I do prefer the Noctua, as the Cougar has more of a buzzing/whining character. It might be that the Cougar's blades are quieter, while the Noctua has a quieter motor.

Both fans are basically new, so perhaps the Cougar would have gotten better after some break-in period. Although, I should note that, when I held the spinning Cougar fan in my hand, it seemed out of balance. I think that could affect its lifespan. My 120 mm Cougar (bought at the same time) is also like that, so it might be due to an actual design flaw, rather than just poor production tolerances.

In the end, the Noctua wolud be my preference, though the overall difference isn't huge. If you're planning to use them at lower speeds, the Noctua might be significantly quieter, since I assume the Cougar's motor noise will simply change in pitch but not volume.

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Matthew G.'s Profile

Display Name: Matthew G.

Date Joined: 10/25/03

  • Reviews: 23
  • Helpfulness: 8
  • First Review: 08/08/04
  • Last Review: 01/01/14
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