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Intel Xeon E3-1226 v3 Haswell 3.3GHz 8MB  L3 Cache LGA 1150 84W Server Processor BX80646E31226V3
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Cool and quiet operation, excellent performance, price is a fraction of a comparable Core i7, includes built in graphics for motherboards that require it.

Cons: Lower end of the Xeon family, uses more power than the Core i processors, but still significantly less than an AMD chip.

Other Thoughts: I bought this for use in a Hyper-V / NAS box I built for my home lab setup. It's running 4 VM's on the host OS and CPU utilization stays nice and low. This is the first Intel processor I've used in any of my builds, but definitely not the last. The CPU fan is virtually silent and the temps (as reported by HWMonitor) are staying around 27 degrees C, even with all of my VM's running. This makes it ideal for use in a smaller case, and the low power draw means I don't feel wasteful leaving it running 24/7. One thing to note when looking at Xeon processors, the models ending in "5" and "6" (as far as I can tell) are the processors that have a built-in GPU. My mini-ITX board requires the CPU to have integrated graphics in order to use the on-board video ports, and since I'm using this as a server, I wasn't planning on installing a graphics card. If your motherboard does not require a CPU that has built-in graphics support or you are planning on installing a video card, you can probably save yourself some money by going for a Xeon with a model number ending in "0" or "1".

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HIS H675FS1G Radeon HD 6750 1GB 128-Bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: more than 1 year

Pros: Lasted for almost 2 years, ran most games / apps smoothly, stayed pretty cool

Cons: Loud fan, HDMI output resolution just a tad off, a fair number of blue screens brought on in its last few months of life

Other Thoughts: Was looking for a mid-range card for my budget build in 2012 and this card looked alright. It performed OK, but the resolution from the HDMI output was always off (tried multiple monitors and even threw the card in a different box, same result - black bars or a stretched picture on monitors that were native 1080p). The issue never went away with driver upgrades, and I mostly used a VGA monitor on the card anyway (which worked fine?), so I never really investigated further. Fan was louder than I was used to, but it managed to keep the card cool. In the past few months, my PC would bluescreen and throw fault codes related to the graphics chipset on occasion... about a week ago, the card died completely. Not really upset, I got my money's worth out of it, and it was time to upgrade anyway.

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OCZ Vertex 3 VTX3-25SAT3-120G 2.5
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: more than 1 year

Pros: Speedy and reliable

Cons: Too thick to fit in my netbook (but it's not intended for a netbook anyway).

Other Thoughts: I've had this drive in my desktop setup for about 2 years now, got it for a great price back in 2012, looks like the price hasn't stayed so low. Has all the speed you would expect from an SSD, and I have had absolutely no issues. Was running Win 7 Pro, upgraded to 8.1 Pro without a hitch, boot time is even quicker with 8. With a separate HDD for data, the 120GB size is ideal for the OS and apps.

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Johnathan R.'s Profile

Display Name: Johnathan R.

Date Joined: 12/06/10

  • Reviews: 12
  • Helpfulness: 2
  • First Review: 05/21/11
  • Last Review: 02/09/15
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