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This review is from: BitFenix Shinobi Window Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Pros: Gorgeous appearance
Good Cable management options
USB 3.0 front panel
no static from front panel audio
Cons: everything else in the box was total garbage (manual, screws, standoffs, etc)
Other Thoughts: First off, this case looks just as sharp (if not sharper) than the pictures make it out to be. The plastic + steel look is really sleek and pulled off very well. I bought this basically for its aesthetics, and in that area it doesn't disappoint.
I found the manual is total garbage. Had to consult Google twice while installing drives to clarify what the manual leaves out. There are extra pieces of metal that need to be snapped out before installing the 5.25" drives (manual makes no mention at all of these, so I thought at first they might somehow be part of the case, since they don't just pop right out). Also, to remove the 5.25" to 2.5" converter, you need to pop the plastic piece off from the front, then slide the entire bracket out through the back (the manual has some vague B.S. like "slide the bracket out."). It's not that big a deal, but it was frustrating to deal with.
The screws and mainboard standoffs included didn't seem to fit each other very well. The standoffs wouldn't fit into the holes in the case (too wide maybe? They wouldn't thumb tighten, I had to use pliers to fasten all the way), then the other end of the standoff was too narrow for the screws. I couldn't get them all the way in, and when I tried unscrewing them, they pulled the standoffs out with them! I ended up using leftover standoffs I had lying around because the ones included were so oddly sized.
Inside the case, everything was great, lots of routes for cables (including a great corner cut out for the 8pin CPU cable that my old case was sorely lacking.) The back panel has plenty of clearance to shut even with a shamefully large nest of cables bundled beneath it. The tool-less and screw-less drive securing mechanisms seem to work really well and are easy to deal with. Longer GPUs might be a tight fit, but you can make it work (especially with the help of 90 degree SATA cables.)
The front panel works great too, no static through the headphone port and it's great to see those blue USB3.0 ports.
Overall, it's a pretty nice case. For the price you pay, I really don't think it should suffer from the problems it does. For a eighty dollars (EDIT: Wow, the price even went up since I wrote this), you really should get some decently machined screws and a properly thought out manual. But even with these issues, I can't say that I don't love it. It really is a beautiful case.
This review is from: Seagate STBD4000400 4TB 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Retail Kit
Pros: Hasn't died yet
Cons: general fear/skepticism of Seagate products
Other Thoughts: Bought this just about two years ago as an upgrade from a 1TB drive and it's still going strong. Popped it into the case, connected everything, Clonezilla-ed the files from the old over to it, and it was up and spinning no sweat. It's being used it as a storage drive in an always-on Linux box for files served over the network (mostly audio/video files). No complaints with speed, noises, etc. So far, it's done exactly what I want a HDD to do. Knock on wood for more years of survival.
On a side note, I have mixed feelings about the fact that the price is still exactly the same today as it was when I bought it.
Pros: very competitively priced
all necessary accessories included
Cons: Possible QC issues (dead pixel)
Colors not very nice (washed out, limited options to correct)
Other Thoughts: I bought this because it was the cheapest 24" 1080p monitor I could find that had lots of 5 star reviews. I have two other monitors I can compare this monitor with: ASUS VS248H-P, and a 24" AOC monitor (I don't know the model number, but it's about a year old).
Came with a power cable (small 'brick' type), DVI cable, VGA cable, Drivers CD and stand.
This monitor has the nicest stand of the three (I would rank them: AOC, Asus, Acer). You have a small degree of adjustability and the stand holds the monitor pretty steady, even amidst light jostling of the desk it's sitting on. However, it's still a cheap-feeling plastic stand and the adjustment was pretty hard to do at first (a lot friction in the mechanism--I had to double check the specs listed here to make sure it was adjustable and that I wasn't going to break it.)
The stand comes in two pieces and is very easy to assemble and disassemble (two screws--one philips, one flat head).
The monitor itself is a matte panel with a decent (not good or great) picture. The colors are pretty washed out (image quality is on par with the AOC monitor, and a little worse than the Asus.) The adjustments in the menu don't seem to do much for it. I also found a dead pixel in the upper right quarter of the monitor. So, overall, not a terribly impressive panel--but if you just need a productivity monitor (and don't care about perfect colors or the odd missing pixel) this fits the bill pretty well.
Don't expect to be blown away by this monitor. It's cheap, it's practical but that's about it. It's by no means a 'hidden gem' or a 'steal of a value' for the price (as all the five star reviews might lead you to think.) As long as your expectations are realistic, you won't be disappointed.