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ZOTAC ZT-50401-10L GeForce GTX 550 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 192-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: I, for one, welcome our new Displayport overlords!

Zotac is one of the few vendors who support the Displayport interface.

Cons: I was hoping to use 30-bit "deep color" (10-bit per channel) output through the Displayport interface, because my monitor supports 10-bit/30bpp input over Displayport. Nope, can't do it.

It's not Zotac's fault. After some digging, I found out NVIDIA only supports 10-bit output on their professional Quadro cards, not on any consumer Geforce cards. (Their marketing literature is misleading -- they say "deepcolor" for HDMI, but the Forceware drivers don't give you option to turn on extended-color output. AMD has the same policy, 10bpp Displayport only supported on FireGL cards (well on Windows, that is. The Radeon 4870 Mac Edition supports 10-bit Displayport output in MacOSX.)

Other Thoughts: ...not that it matters...found out that most windows apps don't support 10-bit color anyway. (Adobe CS5 and some other high-end packages support deep-color output, if your display-driver and monitor allow it.)

I tried a custom Windows 7 resolution : 1920x1200x72Hz (over Displayport.) My monitor accepts it but doesn't render it properly, but there was screen tearing all over the place...no 24Hz Bluray playback for me...

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NETGEAR WNDR3300-100NAS 802.11a/b/g/n 2.4/5GHz Selectable Dual-Band RangeMax Wireless-N Router up to 300Mbps
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

3 out of 5 eggs Yeah, drops connection under certain conditions, only one N-radio 05/28/2008

This review is from: NETGEAR WNDR3300-100NAS 802.11a/b/g/n 2.4/5GHz Selectable Dual-Band RangeMax Wireless-N Router up to 300Mbps

Pros: Cheap dual-band router (both 2.4GHz and 5GHz at the same time.) The other competitor in the same price-range, Dlink DIR-628, only supports 1 frequency (2.4 or 5GHz) at the time. Netgear WNDR3300 is the next step up, but falls short of a "true dual/N router." Only 1 of the WNDR3300's radios has N-capability, the other radio is 2.4GHz-only (B/G). I guess Netgear should have called it a "1.5N band router", because it's not a true dual-N (2.4GHz/N + 5GHz/N) band router.

Cons: Same problem as everyone else -- dropped connections under certain conditions. It seems weak-signal will cause the connection to drop. The 5GHz radio is shorter range than 2.4GHz -- that's a given. Also, if you want N on the 2.4GHz-band, then you sacrifice the 5GHz capability completely. (Save your money and buy something else...something with better product support.)

Sadly, this means you're limited to 802.11n on 1-band only (either 2.4GHz or 5GHz, but not both simultaneously.) If you want N on 2.4GHz, then no 5GHz radio at all! oh well

Other Thoughts: Beta-firmware (5/2008) fixes some connection-drops for me -- get it at Netgear's community website. It adds a new mode of oepration: 'wireless-repeater' (but only repeats on same one-band.) What's stupid is that the firmware doesn't offer a "5ghz only" radio-mode. You're stuck with RADIO_OFF, 2.4GHz B/G/N, 2.4GHz B/G + 5GHz A/N. huh

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GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3R LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

4 out of 5 eggs One of few motherboards with onboard RS232 COM and IEEE1284 parallel! 02/09/2008

This review is from: GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3R LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: I do hardware engineering/prototyping (mostly FPGA stuff), so I like the onboard RS232 (COM) and IEEE1284 (LPT) ports. It's hard to find those on modern PC motherboards. Well, I like the IEEE1284 port because Xilinx believes in overcharging for their USB Programming Cable. (The older Parallel Cable III/IV shows up often on auction.) But I guess that's a story for another day...

Down with USB2 high-speed...Nothing beats the rapid transfer of a RS232 link @ 115.2 Kbps (that's an astounding 11.5 Kbytes/sec, folks!)

Cons: The onboard RS232 and IEEE1284 are 'pin-headers'. You need to buy the DB9M breakout and DB25F separately, they're not included! (Warning -- there are 2 styles of 10-pin DB9M. Make sure you get an 'asus/everex' style, and not the Intel/DTK!)

The bootup time is a bit longer than the ASUS P35 boards, due to the AHCI-scanner. (The Gigabyte BIOS takes a few seconds longer to scan the ICH9R's SATA ports.)

Other Thoughts: Rev 1.x of the P35-DS3R and P35-DS3P had real onboard RS232 and IEEE1284 ports (on the backpanel.) Rev 2.0 replaces the backpanel RS232/IEEE1284 ports with more useless USB2 ports. Why anyone would want 2 additional USB2 480Mbps ports when they can have true legacy RS232/IEEE1284, is beyond my understanding.

No one stocks new 1.x boards anymore, but if you want to buy refurbished...

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Royce L.'s Profile

Display Name: Royce L.

Date Joined: 03/13/01

  • Reviews: 13
  • Helpfulness: 9
  • First Review: 08/19/06
  • Last Review: 05/21/11
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