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SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity     (100315L )
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: Dropped this into my NSK2400 lower profile case with my Phenom II X3 740 and it's a great update to my HTPC setup; had replaced my HD4850 for a few reasons:

1. It consumes less power at idle and comparable at load with much greater gaming performance than the 4850.
2. It's a little quieter than the HIS 4850 it replaced (which was already pretty quiet with fan control).
3. It can do 5.1 audio via HDMI in games without needing a special sound card with Dolby Live or DTS Connect, where the HD4000 series could only do 2 channel stereo via HDMI.
4. I was already planning on picking up Dirt 3, which plays flawlessly (solid 60FPS) on this hardware at 1920x1080, max settings, on my TV. By the way, I received my Steam code immediately after submitting my redemption code which was a surprise after reading this was a pain.

Cons: I initially purchased this thinking the 6-pin power jack went out the back (see photos) which was a prerequisite for my case height, however the power jack comes out of the long side of the card (top in my case) so the photo is incorrect. I initially thought I was stuck, but I managed to squeeze it in there... so far so good.

Other Thoughts: Running my setup on a relatively old 500W FSP power supply (a refurb replacement no less) and have encountered no problems having gamed on it for 3-4 hours a few times now. I don't expect any trouble as the supply perfectly handled my more power hungry 4850 setup for the last couple years. Also during the re-config, I added an Intel 320 120GB SSD (replacing an old 200GB IDE HDD), so my power threshold is a little lower for this reason as well.

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Metroid: Other M Wii Game
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

5 out of 5 eggs Don't believe the negative hype, this is an awesome Metroid game 09/20/2010

This review is from: Metroid: Other M Wii Game

Pros: The tight controls for this game do total justice to the Metroid 2D games, and I see the remote/d-pad only scheme as a gutsy move to preserve the quick on/off precision lost with analog. There's a lot of talk about this game being compromised due to lack of nunchuk control scheme, but that's non-sense IMO... The crispness works well with the action.

The switching to 1st person is tricky early on, but a little ways in, it really gets rocking and I wish more games adopted it. Overall, the controls are pretty bold; it's like Metroid Prime and Super Metroid had a baby, best of both worlds.

In many ways they streamlined the Metroid experience, and I found myself doing a lot less required backtracking than any previous 2D/Prime games so the pacing was better overall. However, there is still tons of secrets scattered throughout the map, so item hunting is just more optional than usual.

I actually enjoyed the cinematics and thought they were well done for Nintendo's first swing at it.

Cons: I can see some players somewhat turned off by the story telling and portrayal of Samus as a character, however despite what some others reviewers have said, the cutscenes are always brief and never get in the way of the action.

Not surprisingly, it's a pretty similar to the amount of time spent on story telling in Metroid Fusion, so that's a good metric to determine if it will bother you. Anyone that's compared the cinematics to Metal Gear Solid 2 in terms of frequency and longevity has a bad memory, but it is more required flare and flash than the optionally text heavy Prime games.

Other Thoughts: Aside from never finishing Metroid II for GB, I've completed every other Metroid game, many of them 2-3 times through so I can speak with some authority on the subject... I almost didn't get this after reading some particularly negative reviews, but I'm glad I decided to take a chance. After completing this game (though not 100% yet) I'm extremely surprised by the harshness of many of the reviews of this game. It's a little different take on Metroid, but a blast to play... the action and atmosphere are incredible... It's loaded with secrets, and still very much Metroid at heart.

I think Nintendo and Team Ninja took some chances here, particularly with the control scheme and the un-Nintendo like take on cinematics, and believe they deserve some credit for not rubber stamping this one. If you want the old games, play them. They're pushing the medium forward by combining some old and new ideas and as a game mechanics enthusiast first, I really enjoyed what they did with Other M.

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MSI Wind PC Intel 1.6GHz Atom 230 processor on board Intel 945GC Intel GMA 950 Barebone
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: This little guy has been perfect for a home server box that I built mostly from extra extra parts I had laying around. Threw in a 512MB DDR2 so-dimm, Samsung 500GB SATA hdd (quiet), SATA DVD-RW, installed Windows XP Pro and it's been running flawlessly as a headless server for the last couple of months. Near silent quiet operation with one 60 mm case fan (Atom CPU is otherwise cooled passively), sits behind my couch in a quiet room and have to focus to notice it. I remote desktop into it from another computer when I need to do administration, but honestly since I set it up I haven't had to touch it. The Atom has plenty of oomph to be simple home network file server, and with very low power draw and noise threshold I have no reservations in keeping it on 24/7.

Cons: Somewhat limited in connectivity, but this doesn't matter for my application. If I were using as a desktop, having DVI would be nice, and I ended up buying a cheap SATA DVD-RW drive as with no internal IDE connection, I couldn't just use a spare IDE optical drive I had laying around. In the end though I'm grasping at straws since it's been exactly what I hoped for: a low cost, quiet, hands-off backup box.

Other Thoughts: This box automatically backs up every night to an external USB hard drive using the free Microsoft tool Synctoy as a Windows scheduled task. My other PCs backup to the Wind PC periodically via the same tool. I would highly recommend checking it out if you're looking for a great way to coordinate files between drives reliably and incrementally.

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Christopher K.'s Profile

Display Name: Christopher K.

Date Joined: 01/12/04

  • Reviews: 5
  • Helpfulness: 3
  • First Review: 05/22/06
  • Last Review: 12/07/11
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