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Barnes & Noble NOOK TABLET BNTV250A 1.00GHz 7
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

5 out of 5 eggs Best Tablet HW for DIYers In This Price Range 07/14/2013

This review is from: Barnes & Noble NOOK TABLET BNTV250A 1.00GHz 7" 512MB

Pros: Best Cheap Tablet for DIYers in this price range at this time (Summer 2013): Bright 7" 1024x600 IPS Screen, TI OMAP 4430 CPU (i.e., 1 Ghz Dual Core Cortex-A9 w/ PowerVR SGX 540 GPU), 512 MB RAM, 8GB EMMC, expandable up to 40 GB by adding a 32GB MicroSDHC, 802.11 b/g/n Wifi.

Bluetooth and Google Play can be enabled by rooting and upgrading the OS. If you're lucky, with an OS upgrade you can also OC the CPU to 1.2 Ghz, though that wasn't stable on my unit. Good battery life.

Cons: The five star rating I gave at top is only if you're willing to root it and upgrade the OS. As shipped, it's more like 3.5-4 stars: the movie formats are limited, BN's modified Android OS doesn't support the Google Play store, Bluetooth isn't enabled, and it ships with an old version of Android that's heavily modified and heavily restricted.

All of that can remedied by upgrading the OS to one of the Android 4.2.2 Jellybean mods available on the internet.

Things that can't be remedied with an OS upgrade: No camera. The screen is 1024x600 (which is still pretty good) instead of 1280x800. Tinny sound from back-facing speaker -- if you plan to watch movies or listen to music on it, you will definitely want decent headphones or earbuds,

Other Thoughts: Rooting and/or upgrading the operating system WILL void your warranty -- but since there's only a 30 day warranty anyway, that's might not be a big concern for you.

Even w/o rooting and upgrading, this is still a pretty good, inexpensive, e-reader & web browsing device with a good IPS screen, if that's all you're interested in.

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SAPPHIRE 100245DDR5L Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-Bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: I have bought the card, it does have DDR5. The DDR5 memory clock is 750Mhz (3.0 Ghz effective), giving it 96 GB/s throughput vs. 64 GB/s on a stock 4850 with DDR3. Verified using GPU-Z.

Specwise, it looks like a 4870 with a 17% drop in memory clock, a 4850 GPU clock(625 Mhz v. 750 Mhz for the 4870), and a 4850 BIOS. OC'ers can make of that what they will.

Temps are about 45-50C idle, 60-65C at load.

Cons: Doesn't support DX11. Eight pin power connector suggests it might be a bit of a power drain.

Other Thoughts: I planned to do a little more testing on this before posting a review, but felt it was more important to quickly correct some of the speculation regarding the memory specs with real data.

I'm glad I bought it. The performance matches or beats a Radeon 5750 - if you can live without DX 11, this is a bargain.

Kudos to NewEgg's shipping dept. Ordered this on Thursday at 1:00 pm; received it on Friday at 3:00pm.

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AMD Sempron 140 Sargas Single-Core 2.7GHz Socket AM3 45W Processor SDX140HBGQBOX
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Cheap. Power Efficient. Low Temps - haven't seen it go over 38C @ idle or 43C @ load, and ambient temp has been about 32C-35C for the past few days.

Roughly twice the performance of an AMD 2800+ XP or a 2.6 GHz Single Core Pentium 4.

Good for web browsing, watching videos, and light desktop / office work (word processing, simple spreadsheets, etc.), but not anything much more advanced than that.

An ok placeholder CPU, if you're upgrading the MB and need a cheap CPU to stick in it while waiting till you can afford something better.

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Cons: Single Core. A touch laggy when multi-tasking, probably due to the lack of an L3 cache as much as being a single core.

Stutters on Flash video unless you have a recent enough video chip and driver that you can enable Flash HW Acceleration - supposedly you can go as low as 3200 or 3300 Radeon IGP, but I wouldn't recommend anything lower than the Radeon 4000 series IGP or video cards, at minimum.

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Other Thoughts: In comparison to some of the other experiences reported here, the chip I received is a bit of a disappointment and seems to be a bum chip in comparison. Can't complain too much since it meets the advertised specs, but the second core wasn't unlockable and it wasn't very overclockable either , could only reach 3.1 GHz stable at stock voltage.

That said, if you're satisfied with the stock specs, then this is a decent chip for a cheap price. If you're lucky, you might get something that's unlockable or a good overclocker, but don't count on it.

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John G.'s Profile

Display Name: John G.

Date Joined: 03/25/09

  • Reviews: 4
  • Helpfulness: 3
  • First Review: 06/30/10
  • Last Review: 07/14/13
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