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Leiming Q.'s Profile > 
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ECS MS200 Intel Socket LGA1156 Intel H55 2 x 204Pin Intel HD Graphics from CPU Black Mini / Booksize Barebone System
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: Small size, easy assembly (5 screws), takes 3.5 inch drives, can take 8G memory, interesting heatsink, relatively silent. built-in DVD drive.

Cons: Only takes 1 3.5 inch drive, would prefer for it to take 2 2.5" drives (then I can throw an SSD for OS + a laptop HD for additional media storage)

As other posters mentioned, very bright blue power+HD LED, not something you want to look at in the dark, easily fixable with some semi-transparent tape though.

single wireless antenna, no DVI output, only HDMI+VGA

Other Thoughts: Very easy to take apart and put in components, took me less than 5 minutes to put the whole thing together. Heatsink comes with thermal compound already applied.

System only stable after I installed Intel's Rapid Storage driver (RST), will crash quite often with Microsoft's default AHCI driver (Windows 7 64bit). Give it a try if you have the same bluescreen problem.

It is small, but not as small as FoxConn's ION and AMD E350 boxes, those are book-size. However, the core i3 540 CPU I put in this is far more powerful than the Atom+ION or E350 options from FoxConn. It's a trade-off that I am happy with.

I spent below $80 on the core i3 540 CPU + $80 for this unit, hard drive was a spare, so the total cost of my HTPC is just $160.

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Rosewill 2-Port USB 3.0 PCI Express Card Model RC-505
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

4 out of 5 eggs Only 2x faster with WD Passport 02/27/2012

This review is from: Rosewill 2-Port USB 3.0 PCI Express Card Model RC-505

Pros: Easy to install, no problems encountered. Can support power-hungry devices.

Cons: Speed improvements not as promised. I found it to be only 2x faster compared with USB 2.0 when copying a 1G file to a WD Passport USB 3.0 drive. It could use 2 more ports, too.

Other Thoughts: I don't know if it's the issue of the adapter card, or USB 3.0 itself is overrated. I know I cannot possibly get the theoretical 10x speed up, I was hoping for 3.5~5x but only got 2x, a little disappointed.

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Corsair Force Series 3 CSSD-F60GB3A-BK 2.5
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Speedy drive, stable, no firmware update needed out of the box unlike some other cheaper alternatives. Comes with the 3.5 apapter rails.

Cons: The drive itself is excellent, but the Corsair rebate experience is not so. I have registered the rebate online with them and mailed the form right after, so far it's about 1 month later, their web rebate tracking status page still shows that they "haven't received the mail-in portion of the rebate". I find it hard to believe that's true.

Other Thoughts: Even though it's a great drive, I regretted not going for a 120G one. Nowadays windows 7 itself takes 20G right after installation and patches (and the stupid WinSXS directory that keeps growing). This hardly leaves much space for applications.

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Leiming Q.'s Profile

Display Name: Leiming Q.

Date Joined: 06/18/04

  • Reviews: 24
  • Helpfulness: 11
  • First Review: 12/03/05
  • Last Review: 03/14/12
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