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GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming 5 LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: - Seems to be very well built, almost like it was forged out of a hunk of steel.
- Red/black color scheme is very classy.
- Nice flat black coating so no weird reflections from lights in or near your computer case.
- Focused on audio quality; gold plated connectors and obvious high quality components. Separate rear-audio amp, which is nice.
- Latest (as of this writing) Intel socket and chipset
- Somewhat future-proof since ready for SATA-Express drives.
- Typical Gigabyte BIOS, which is comprehensive and excellent.

Cons: - Killer E2201 LAN setup can be tricky and seems a little buggy - Took me three attempts to get it set up correctly. I expect driver updates, make sure you check.
- Ridiculous LEDs around audio amp circuitry - Ugh!
- Cable management is a little tough, given orientation of some connectors.
- Danger of over-flexing board when installing memory, since the board is not well supported in the case (too short to bridge to all the ATX mount points) - just have to be careful.
- Comes with really cheap looking SATA cables...right into the trash, sorry.

Other Thoughts: This is a really (really) nice board. Gigabyte makes great products and this is no exception.

The audio experience is markedly better than any other boards I've used, they really did a nice job on this.

My setup was running Win7 and a mild overclock on an Intel i7-4770k processor. No issues at all, I let it run for several days and checked temps on the board with my infrared thermometer -- the bridge chip was hot of course but no other hot spots on the board and everything was rock solid.

BIOS has all the typical knobs and dials for gamers and overclockers - which can be a liability for some people but if you know what you are doing you can establish a very high performing, stable system.

One of the stickers it came with said "UD" but I'm not really sure if this means it's an "ultra durable" board or "just" a gaming board. Either way I wouldn't worry about it, this doesn't seem to be a board that is going to give me longevity problems.

At this price, it's really a no-brainer. I'm amazed at what you get.

D-Link DSP-W215 Wi-Fi Smart Plug, Thermal Protection, Energy Management
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Nice user interface
Lot's of features & function

Cons: Setup is unnecessarily difficult
Should have a card in the box that says "UPDATE FIRMWARE" as the very first thing you do!
Online support is weak - "live chat" is an automated response system

Other Thoughts: I've been using home automation since x-10 in the DAK catalog (remember that??) I fully appreciate the direction this is going, with wifi connectivity and ability to control from a smart phone or tablet -- it's the bomb. I just wish the software and ecosystem were more ready, it seems like this product was really rushed to market without adequate testing.

Acer S241HLbmid  Black 24
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: - very thin
- nice small bezel, you get "all screen"
- lightweight
- great response
- great dynamic range
- VESA mountable

Cons: - speakers are the mfg cost and just leave them out!
- controls at bottom of screen take patience to learn.
- the stand is a joke, I think the 'tilt' function == 'bending metal inside stand'. I tried it once and felt like I was going to break something!
- back of monitor is concave; universal VESA brackets will not work (or will need to be modified).

I was on the fence between 4 and 5 eggs, but these nuisances along with the deep commitment needed to adjust this monitor (see below), made me take off one egg.

Other Thoughts: I got lucky and have no bad pixels. I also got a great deal on sale and with a code, $119.95. Probably should have bought two.

It took me over an hour to get this monitor adjusted to normal human standards. The brightness and contrast were way off and the gamma was horrendous. I had to use Windows 7 gamma adjustment and color adjustment, and my old Samsung 17" monitor as a 'bench reference' -- but I finally got it nailed.

Once it is dialed in the picture is stunning (seriously...stunning), but if you use it out of the box without adjusting it you will be very disappointed, trust me on this.


Christopher C.'s Profile

Display Name: Christopher C.

Date Joined: 04/18/05

  • Reviews: 26
  • Helpfulness: 19
  • First Review: 08/31/05
  • Last Review: 08/01/14
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