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Pros: No compromises PC performance and features
Cons: Need to spend additional money on components
Other Thoughts: NOTE: I purchased the Vision 3D but know my experience is still true based on feedback from colleague who has the HT and X.
This is a fantastic unit. While you can build your own, and I have been building PCs since the early 90s, when dealing with SFF using a lot of mobile components, I decided to buy this unit...yea, it's a bit lazy but if you have the $ it's nice. After initial issues, the unit has been running continually for about two years.
Initially, all was well. However, after running for a few weeks, I began to have thermal issues - crashes under load, aberrant behavior particularly when the GPU was being used, etc.. It's a design issue.
The problem is a design issue that still persists into the Vision X line; the hard drive is directly over the CPU heat sink. This causes the hard drive to roast. What had been intermittent crashes became the click of death as the HD finally gave out. Everything was resolved by using an 128 GB Intel SSD I had around the house. In addition to the speed increase associated with any SSD upgrade, the thermal issues disappeared as SSDs are much more tolerant of heat.
Additionally, the memory shipped was garbage and not large enough for Windows 7 64. I upgraded it to 16 GB using low profile server memory to improve cooling.
As others have noted, the optical drive is loud which could be resolved by replacing that with a better drive. That said, I don't use it at all. The unit is networked using it's GB NIC to a media server (an old PC with three 3 TB drives). MKVs play great, streaming is flawless.
So, while a case can be made for building it - and after writing this I suppose I did do a fair amount of work on the unit - I'm very happy with it.
Hooked up HDMI to receiver (Yamaha Aventage 3010...got it right after 3020 came out and got a great deal from NEWEGG) with no problems. Playing 24-bit FLAC files using VLC sounds awesome!
Pros: Easy to install a drive.
Cons: I put an SSD in this for a technical test unrelated to the SSD or the enclosure, but I found out that this case heats up pretty quick and high. Using it with an SSD it shouldn't have gotten warm at all, but it got hotter than most of my external platter drives do. I swapped to a 2.5" 250gb I had laying around it and it also heated up. It's the board inside with the power and connectors! The heat spreads on the case, but that just means it wraps your drive in it. I can't recommend this as reliable, and I'm pretty sure prolonged use will cause a drive to fail before it's lifetime is up. My test worked, so thankfully I have no need of these cases anymore and I'm tossing them out asap.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: SABRENT USB-2011 USB 2.0 to DVI/HDMI/SVGA Display Adapter (2048x1152)
Pros: Easy to install and get fired up. Didn't even need the driver CD. Puts up good high resolutions without a fuss. Currently using 4 of these in our office and 1 with a person who travels for presentations quite a bit, and not having any issues at all.
Cons: Had a few doubts given past experiences with the Sabrent brand on other products, but this device has helped their standing in my mind again.READ FULL REVIEW