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Cooler Master SickleFlow 120 - Sleeve Bearing 120mm Blue LED Silent Fan for Computer Cases, CPU Coolers, and Radiators
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: I bought this because my front case fan died the other day and needed to be replaced. The box includes the Fan, 4 screws and a small pamphlet. The fan has significantly more fins than your standard fan and flows a good bit of air. It includes a signal wire, so if you have an extra input on your motherboard, you can monitor speed. Cooler Master indicates that the fan runs at 2,000rpm, but my MSI Control Center App shows a rotational speed of 1,840rpm.

My system temperature dropped by about 3 degrees after addition of this fan. Keep in mind that the old fan was on its way out so I can't attribute the temperature drop solely to the fan.

The LEDs aren't as bright as some other fans, but they do shine through the front of the case.

Cons: My biggest complaint is that the fan wire isn't very long. Since I was using it as a front case fan and wanted the signal to my motherboard, I was about as far away as I could get. The wire was barely long enough for a direct shot, leaving no room for wire management.

The other thing that bothered me was that I couldn't find a directional arrow on the side of the fan. Perhaps I looked right at it, but it wasn't obvious.

Other Thoughts: I picked this up for dirt cheap after the Mail in Rebate, so I'm not going to deduct any eggs for the above cons. I would buy it again and would recommend it to others.

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Pantum P3000 Series P3255DN Up to 35 ppm Monochrome Laser Printer
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

3 out of 5 eggs Great Hardware, Terrible Software 07/02/2014

This review is from: Pantum P3000 Series P3255DN Up to 35 ppm Monochrome Laser Printer

Pros: I really like this printer. It includes both the ability to network the printer and the ability to connect it directly to your PC via USB with the included cable. It is a matte black finish and is a little larger than the Brother counterparts I normally recommend to my clients. The printer doesn’t have an LCD screen, but does have a web based interface. The interface is very basic and buggy (See cons).

I’m guessing the printer holds about 200 sheets of paper, which is a decent amount. There are two LEDs on the top of the printer that provide Status information and one button, labeled Continue. The LEDs flash different colors and patterns based on errors, status, etc. You'll need to refer to the Users' Manual for specifics. The power button is a toggle switch on the side of the printer. The printer defaults to standby mode after 1 minute, but that can be changed through the web interface.

The printer comes with an included CD that is supposed to scan your network, find the printer and then complete the installation, although it really didn’t work that way. I had some issues getting it installed and if I were a typical user, I would have been easily frustrated (See cons). The test system is running Windows 7 Ultimate x64.

The printer is fast and comes out of standby and finishes printing the first page in under 11 seconds. When already awake, you get the first page in about 5 seconds. The text looks crisp and it even did a good job printing out some gray scale pictures. I printed about 150 pages while testing, and didn't have any issues or jams. Not bad for a sub $120 price point.

Cons: Unfortunately, this is going to be the long section. The setup is backwards and pretty stupid if you ask me. Out of the box the printer is set to use DHCP, which is fine by me. The problem is that the installation routine installs the printer by IP address as opposed to using NetBIOS name. That means as soon as your DHCP server decides to hand the printer a new address, bye, bye printer. You’ll have to go through the setup process all over again. I find that absolutely insane. If you aren’t a tech oriented person, you would end up with a printer that worked for a few days and then suddenly didn’t. I find this to be a terrible oversight by Pantum.
I ended up setting a static IP in my router outside of the normal addressable range, and installing the printer that way. Now I don’t have to worry about the printer disappearing.

The installation routine has an issue finding the printer depending on how it is wired. Initially, the program found the printer when it was directly attached to my main switch. As soon as I moved it into its final location and connected it to a secondary switch, the program no longer found the printer. If I didn’t know how to check the DHCP server’s connection list and find the assigned IP address, I would have been unable to continue.

The web interface for the printer can be found by entering the IP address of the printer into your favorite web browser. It provides very basic functionality, which is fine by me, but it does have some bugs. They included email alerts for things like “out of paper”, or “out of ink”, but the software doesn’t handle SSL which makes it almost worthless. I don’t have any accounts that don’t use SSL, so I was stuck. One other problem is that once you enter your email address and try and test the setup, you can’t delete or remove the information. The software gets stuck in a loop where it keeps telling you that the fields are required information and it can’t be deleted. So I had to leave my email address, port number, server address(es) and password in the form with no way to remove them. Oops.

Pantum’s issues seem to be solely surrounding their software and not the hardware. I tried downloading the newest drivers off their website, but I think their site is hosted in someones’ basement, because it is slow to the point of almost being unusable. Good luck downloading the manual. Go to the US Pantum website and the only available manual gives the language as Spanish, which I didn’t notice and downloaded anyway. Too bad when I opened the manual it was actually in Russian. There doesn’t seem to be an English version on their website.

This company seems to have software issues, but has solid hardware. I hate to say it because I really like the printer, but if you aren’t tech savvy, I would look elsewhere.

If you are network savvy, it’s a nice piece of hardware.

Other Thoughts: If they got their act together and fixed the software, I would give this printer 5 stars. Unfortunately, because of the severity of the installation issues and the subsequent problems it would cause for average users, I have to deduct 2 stars.

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GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-UD5H LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

5 out of 5 eggs Feature Rich at a Great Price Point 06/27/2014

This review is from: GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-UD5H LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: I’m really liking this motherboard and want to give Gigabyte a pat on the back for cramming so much stuff into such a reasonably priced motherboard. The box includes a manual, driver CD (although you should always use the current version found on their website), two SATA cables and your SLI / CrossFire cable. The motherboard is very well made and I was surprised by the weight. You can tell they are definitely putting some heavy duty components on this board. It also looks nice with the black matte finish and gold color heat sinks. It has all the standard features which you can find in the description, but what I liked was the onboard power button for testing and the Debug LED.

It also contains some functionality that sets it apart from most other boards, such as an M.2 SATA port that can run at 10Gb/s and a SATA Express port you can use. Too bad it’s pretty much impossible to find a M.2 SSD that runs at 10Gb/s, but I definitely looked. The board supports 32GB of RAM, which is plenty for anyone that isn’t doing some high end graphic design, but I would have liked to see a max of 64GB. Speaking of RAM, it supports about anything under the sun and you can over clock until your eyeballs fall out.

The dual LAN ports are nice, especially since you get one Qualcomm and one Intel. It also supports both CrossFire and SLI, which I didn’t test as I used the on-board HD4600 GPU of my processor (Intel i7-4770K). My test system also included 32GB of RipJaw RAM, Windows 7 x64, a 120GB Intel Cherryville SSD and a Corsair 750w Power Supply. Since I hate Windows 8.1, I didn’t have the opportunity to test the UEFI functionality, although I would gladly wait an extra few seconds for the system to boot, than have to deal with Windows 8.1.

Anyway, the BIOS offers a ton of functionality, but I found it to be pretty clumsy if you don’t want to have more control than the “EasyTune QuickBoost”. I do love the DualBIOS switch in case you mess things up, which is entirely possible once you start playing around.

Cons: My biggest complaint is the positioning of the SATA connectors. They come off the side of the board instead of up out of the board. This drove me crazy and made it a nightmare to plug in HDDs and deal with cable management. I’m not going to dock an egg for this because I feel that the overwhelming number of additional features (SATA Express + M.2 SATA) outweighs the connector location and BIOS clumsiness.

Other Thoughts: : I really like this board. It is feature rich without putting a huge hole in your wallet. It offers room for expansion and I can see it lasting me for years when I can take advantage of the 10Gb/s transfer speeds. There is a ton of ports in the back so I don’t ever see running out of connections, along with a good number of PCIx slots should I ever need them.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have the opportunity to test things like the Cloud Station (I have a Synology NAS I use to access things remotely anyway), or the HotSpot (although I’m not really sure who would actually use that feature). I also really wanted to try out the 4K support, but sadly don’t have a 4K monitor to test it on.

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Nathan E.'s Profile

Display Name: Nathan E.

Date Joined: 05/01/06

Achievements:

  • Top 1000 Reviewer
  • Reviews: 79
  • Helpfulness: 28
  • First Review: 03/23/10
  • Last Review: 05/26/14
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