Date Joined: 12/06/07
Pros: - Solid aluminum construction-- big plus in my book!
- Raised keys-- they're not sunken into the keyboard casing like traditional keyboards. Makes it easier to clean without having to individually remove every key! Another big plus in my book
- Fluid RGB LED lighting patterns are possible
- Ultra-customizable LED patterns, and now included-- a set of pre-programmed patterns if the customization is too overwhelming.
Cons: - Some bugs remain: Keyboard delays my computer bootup / restarts up to 2 minutes even after the latest firmware update.
- Iffy functionality in non-Windows environments
Overall Review: Despite the early bugs, I decided to tough it out. Happy to say that the biggest annoyance, the constant "Malfunction" status is gone. The only remaining issue is the bootup problems, which I suspect is this point is hardware-related. I guess its what I get for making the classic mistake of buying on release day.
Pros: Blazing fast! I ran two games at once (one of them being notoriously resource-heavy), plus the Firefox browser with multiple tabs open and a music player in the background and experienced very little in the way of slowdown!
Cons: Runs pretty warm vs. my old Core 2 Quad Q9450 @ around 50*C idle, 75*C-80*C load on the included stock heatsink. Stock cooler is sufficient enough for most casual users, but stuff gets too hot for my liking. If that's your thing, an aftermarket cooler beats the stock heatsink.
Overall Review: IMHO, this CPU is still great and relevant, and should be awesome if you're good with not having bleeding-edge tech
Pros: Aluminum shell makes it feel like its built like a tank! Indicator and HDD light. Has quite a bit of weight with a 1TB drive. Hard drive sits securely within the drive. The fan has nice airflow, back-to-front where it exhausts keeps the drive nice and cool during prolonged operation. eSATA is of course a welcome thing as well!
Cons: Fan switch feels a little rickety.
Pros: Noticeably MUCH faster than Vista right out of the box! Did a clean install, and thus far has been handling everything perfect. System runs for days upon days without so much as a hiccup or a crash. More lenient in terms of system requirements as well. All my games run with no hiccup at all, and its less 'bloaty' than Vista itself
Cons: Expensive, even for the Home version. Besides a gamer, I'm a computer professional. It would be nice to be able to install this on at least 3-5 other systems at this price. I guess that's what you get when Microsoft still believe themselves to be utterly unstoppable in the OS market so far.
Strange absence of some common features, such as how the taskbar is "always on top" of other programs, with no option to control this, or how sometimes locks out some legit programs from working to 'protect' my computer from some non-existent malware.
Overall Review: Overall, an awesome improvement over Vista, though I don't know how willing people are to run out and buy this, especially after the bad taste it left in your average joe-sixpack's mouths.
I can't walk into a Best Buy nowadays without hearing new Apple Zombie recruits badmouthing PCs, and recycling the "facts" from the "Mac vs. PC" commercials in public. Microsoft's only got themselves to blame I suppose.
Pros: Bright AMOLED screen delivers AMAZING color, fast screen response time, mind-blowing sound quality, very light quality build and sturdy glass touch-capacitive screen that can take typical accidental bumps from keys and the like. Bluetooth! Flash-based OS can be customized, but there's still some work in progress. Surprisingly light construction, very small and slim enough to be unnoticeable in my pocket. Dual-core 500 MHz(?) processor allows for a huge variety of codecs to be used, and most files and videos can be dumped on the player typically with no conversion needed. I have an Xvid movie on it as we speak and it plays like a dream! Plays even Flash files, including most online flash games on the 'net. Small and growing collection of free apps from the user community.
IMO I think this little device blows the sound quality of an iPod Touch by far, and I've compared the two side-by-side with a good pair of ($40) Sennheiser earbuds. The difference was insane.
Cons: No WiFi. Construction may be unsatisfactory for some who prefer metal. Small and hard-to-find collection of apps are available, and UI customization is possible, but may not be user-friendly to most.
Overall Review: If you don't mind foregoing Apple's app market and don't mind not having WiFi but sound quality is your thing, then this is for you. The AMOLED screen would allow for awesome movie-playing, and the Lithium-Polymer battery lasts quite a while, especially with the energy-saving AMOLED screen.
Pros: Is a Seagate 500GB, 7200RPM SATA drive. More than enough space for the data I collect. :) Works as a simple HD where you can drag n' drop whatever the hell you want into it, and ditch the icky software it comes with (inside of the drive itself).
Power-save feature when not in use, and clicks back on when one tries to access it.
Cons: Disappointing. Software feels flaky. Power-save feature flaky too, causes the drive to stay stuck in power-save mode at times, which meant I had to unplug and plug in the drive.
Started to suffer odd bits of data loss here and there.. I noticed the same complaint in several online reviews and forums from owners, which are signs that your drive is in possible trouble.
I was rather annoyed due to the data that was lost .. So I did what computer geeks would sometimes do-- Take it apart! It took a little while, but even in that 10-15 minute disassembly, I discovered that the hard drive gets HOTHOTHOT!
Yes, I ended my warranty. Hard disk is not proprietary and is just like any other HDD.. It fits inside my computer case just as normal into my -fanned- HDD cage. No issues ever since. And it stays nice and icy cool too!
Overall Review: Bought this on sale at Staples.
Pros: Protects from the deadly blades of my Scythe ULTRA KAZE 120mm, 3000RPM fan, which nicked a TINY part of my nail, and the impact was great enough to crack it down the middle!
Yeah, it was a dumb move, but it was done mostly because I was trying to find where a rattling was coming from so I kept the system on as I traced the source. My target wasn't even the fan but I wandered close enough for it to catch just the tiny bit of my nail. My finger itself was uninjured.
Overall Review: Works as advertised!
Pros: Offloads work from CPU / GPU and processes physics on games that utilize it. Frame rates on PhysX-compatible games went from choppy frame rates (9-15FPS, with no physX card and physX-features enabled) to a back-to-normal 45-60FPS. Very nice demonstrations available online that show off from realistic cloth-tearing, to my favorite, the behavior of smoke and how it interacts with what it falls, flows through, wrapping around obstacles, etc..
The card and the fan even shuts down when its not in use, so you don't have extra fan noise. The PPU heatsink fan also has a blue light to add some style to what seems to be a plain card.
Some argue that this card is useless thanks to multi-core processing, but one would be surprised how much more efficient this PPU (a multicore processor) and GPUs in general vs. a CPU.
Cons: Lack of support. The acquisition of AGEIA by nVidia may be a bad or good thing. For now nVidia claims to continue supporting the current card, for now (likely for "damage control": i.e., PhysX card owners developing a negative view towards nVidia).. And depending on demand, may implement future games with physics.
Overall Review: nVidia purchased AGEIA, pretty much ended the PPU hardware all together, while taking their code and plan on implementing it into future and current hardware (GeForce 88xx series cards can run PhysX code), if they haven't done so already.. So this card may be a bit useless now. I bought this card only for the games, which I play regularly, which were on the list of compatible games.. And because I just go totally geek for processors. :)
The acquisition is a mixed bag IMHO.. Some say nVidia is just being the evil corporation it is and instead of competing with a revolutionary product, pulled out its checkbook, bought the company and will implement the tech on its future cards to get a 1-up vs. ATI/AMD. Some see it as a good move because this means that physics processing will garner more attention from developers now that they're with a large company like nVidia, and implementation and current-gen hardware support will continue until this card simply becomes outdated.
Pros: Keeps dust out! Easy-to-remove filter frame for cleaning. Serves as a fan guard as well.
Cons: Reduces airflow coming from fans (Noctua NF-P12), went from doing 56CFM to a much lower number. I put these on the fans and gave it about 10-15 minutes.. Little to no overall temperature changes, so this may bug some people, and it may not, as I have a 133-CFM exhaust (Scythe 'ULTRA KAZE').
Overall Review: I placed this filter on my CPU fan which has RPM-monitoring and only noticed a miniscule 10-RPM drop according to my computer software. So as far as I can tell, the reduction in airflow won't stress my fans out.
Like one of the users said, only the third picture in this series is the TRUE filter you get!! The other two are NOT the product!!
Placed these on all my intake fans-- Noctua NF-P12's ..
Pros: Most comfortable mouse I ever owned! The entire upper half of the mouse is covered with a thin coating of rubber, so take caution if you're the kind who likes to use hand lotion. Oil will eat this rubber away fast and make your mouse ugly-looking. Sleek design doesn't show mouse button creases, and neat light pulsating logo.
DPI was sufficient enough for me, low or high settings.
Teflon feet felt silky smooth to use.
Cons: No dedicated DPI-on-the-fly adjustment is my biggest complaint. You have to go into the driver program to assign two of your own keys to adjust DPI, and its only in 3 permanently preset increments.
The mouse wheel felt very flimsy and cheap. The wheel has 24-click positions but it was difficult to detect, and didn't stay firmly in those positions, resulting in the weird effect like your weapons switching back and worth without explanation. Also, within just a week into its use, the mouse wheel developed this incessant 'whine' whenever I moved the mouse wheel that grated on my nerves.
Mouse feet are small, and wear out quickly.. Even faster when using non-recommended abrasive surfaces.
Overall Review: Its light as a feather also which may be an issue for some. I wish the mouse came with more features like add-on weights, onboard-memory to store settings, dedicated DPI-on-the-fly buttons. Amongst my gamer / Razer owners, I heard widespread reports of the mouse cable failing either on the USB end, or on the mouse's, which I noticed happened only once after a year (give or take a few days) of ownership.
This is my first "gamer mouse." This mouse may be good for those gamers who prefer to have a simpler design and not deal with extra features. I myself rather enjoy the bells and whistles because I'm a geek like that so I may come off as biased or uninformed. :)
Got this mouse JUST before the Razer Lachesis came out which is IMO, a much better mouse than this. Not sure if I'd recommend this mouse.
Pros: Came nice and protected wrapped in bubble-wrap, in a box with more shipping material. Undamaged. Runs nice and fast with no issues or loud noise whatsoever. No complaints here since I'm the type that doesn't mind having a noisy system.
Cons: All you super-sensitive hearing people with silent computers may hate the whining it makes on occasion while it works. Aside from that, no complaints.
Overall Review: nForce 780i SATA performance driver issues causes nasty BSOD crashes (DRIVER_LIRQ_NOT_LESS_THAN_OR_EQUAL, nvgts.sys) with SATA optical drives. I have yet to see a fix as of 4/1/08 the date I built my new system from nVidia, though other mobo manufacturers have dealt out their own small fixes like eVGA has via their forums.
Pros: Runs cool with a Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme heatsink, and Arctic Silver 5 and a Scythe "ULTRA KAZE" (3000RPM, 133CFM) fan. I haven't overclocked it yet. My idle temperatures are 32*C to 34*C with a load up to 40*C in a pretty warm room. The specs were just way too good to resist.. 1333FSB, 45nm process? A no-brainer!
Cons: Always out of stock! What's the deal, Intel? Unless these chips go out of stock just 10-15 minutes after going on sale due to nerds refreshing this p roduct page 24-7 in the hopes of going on sale, I don't know why its never on sale.. I ended up buying the OEM from another site.
Overall Review: I'm an avid gamer, and a budding IT newbie. I bought this chip in the hopes I can use VMWare and effortlessly run some OS'es to better understand. A lot of folks are saying that 4-cores is overkill for gaming, but with the news I'm hearing lately of popular games releasing patches to take advantage of multiple cores, I switched my order from a Core 2 Duo E8400 (which is still impossible to find!) to this baby. I don't regret it one bit.
Pros: SOLID design! This made up the bulk of my weight of my shipment, which to me indicates a nice and sturdy design. Temperature-controlled automatic fan, and great airflow within the PSU keeps things chilly. LOTS AND LOTS of cables!
Cons: Not modular! :( (Though with the controversy I hear about modular cabling having more resistance along their cables, I can understand why they took this path) Lots and lots of cables! Be sure you read up on some cable management before you work on this bad boy.
Overall Review: A touch longer than typical PSUs. They placed a sizable gap between the fan and the heatsink fins within the PSU to allow for better airflow, and I definitely feel the benefits.
*Note* I was happy to discover that this PSU also works quite well with my 9800GX2! Despite not being listed as a 'recommended PSU' on the eVGA website.
Pros: I only have one drive for now, and its FAST. My games load up very quickly, and Windows XP loads at the blink of an eye! Plus, the little window on the front allows you to see the drive's inner-workings, which is equally incredible. Can't wait to get a second one soon and RAID0 this bad boy.
Cons: None. Though I'm careful and treat this drive like an infant child. The lens cover is known to be ESD and pressure sensitive, and WD will NOT replace those drives if you happen to place too much pressure on the front by accident.
Overall Review: Fast! Though I'm updating from an old IDE 7200RPM to SATA for the first time. RAID0 this bad boy, and you'll have ridiculous performance!
Pros: Runs everything I've thrown at it at a liquid-smooth framerate.. From Crysis, to Jericho and 3DMark2006 with no hitches whatsoever! All this with a 1440x900 screen, which most may say is a waste, but I am updating that very soon. eVGA has made a nice, solid and beautiful card and the step-up program is great!
Cons: Price. Though that's coming down through rebate offers. People may also say that you're better off investing in two 8800 GTS, or GTX cards. Card exhausts its generated heat through the top-vent of the card, so make sure you have sufficient cooling! My Thermaltake Armor+ VH6000BWS seems to provide sufficient cooling, and the idle-and-load temperatures seem average compared to what I've seen in review sites.
Overall Review: Research! Those with tighter wallets could probably do well with two 8800GTS cards SLI'ed together. In the end, this card isn't a real update to those sporting two GeForce 8800-series cards but since I'm updating from a system that used an ATI Radeon X850, and I had the money.. I pounced on this card, and I don't regret it. HDMI out may be a good thing for those users with the capability.
Pros: Nice and solid mobo. I haven't done much overclocking for the time being, but its been excellent to me. EVGA has a nice and solid case. I kinda wished they went with an all-solid capacitor board, but I'm hoping they used a better formula to manufacture these.
Cons: Northbridge fan-- Although its a very cool addition since the 780i chipset tends to heat up ALOT, blows right onto the video card. My 9800GX2 is shrouded, but others may not like this.
Overall Review: IMPORTANT NOTE: The current version of nForce drivers (9.46) contains a bug that will cause BSOD crashes with the message 'DRIVER_LIRQ_NOT_LESS_THAN_OR_EQUAL' if I recall correctly, citing nvgts.sys as the issue. This is caused by the SATA performance drivers not cooperating well with SATA optical drives. SATA hard drives are in the clear. eVGA claims that there IS a fix completed, and on its way!
When installing nForce drivers, I ONLY installed the ethernet drivers for now, which saved me a lot of headaches (and the fear that my memory was bad)! A previous commenter has noted that you can also use 790i nForce drivers, which I haven't tried.
Pros: This is *TRUE* Ultraviolet lighting. Glass tube come protected within clear plastic tubing. Makes some of my PCBs react nicely and casts a glow from out of the front of the case. Vented black inverter.
Cons: Cables leading from tubes to inverter may be a bit short for some. Plastic cover on one of the tube-ends (not where wire is) was loose when it arrived, nothing crazyglue can't fix. Design feels a bit flimsy.
Overall Review: I've seen a lot of people complain that these tubes aren't bright enough. I chose carefully to make sure I had *TRUE* ultraviolet lighting in my case, which in general is mostly invisible to the eye.
Also, the tubes do take a little time to 'warm up' once you power them on for the first time. After that however, they glow nice and brightly from one end to the other.
Pros: Its BIG. I feel manly having such a big, honking case that shook my room once I dropped it on my apartment floor for the first time (I don't suggest you do this, even if it comes packed surrounded in foam and in a nice fabric sleeve :) ). Slide-out motherboard tray, 230mm side-fan (~800RPM rotation speed), big clear display panel, tough and heavy. I can strap this thing on my back, go to Iraq and stop bullets! Did I mention its huge? It fits my eVGA 780i mobo, and rent out space for 3 big families!
Cons: BIG. HEAVY. Not an issue if you're fit and/or lift it in a *correct* manner. But that's kind of the reason why I got it since I don't carry this thing around, and my last case (Chieftec blue server case) didn't survive the beatings to its wimpy plastic front-face, hence the encouragement of this purchase. Make sure you lift it with your legs, not your back. Make sure you have a nice and big spot available for it because its a BEAST of a case. The entire top-side of the case is plastic. Not as big of an issue, though I was hoping I'd get a completely-metal case. :D
Also, if you have a Thermalright Ultra 120-eXtreme or other equally tall heatsink tower, be mindful of the sliding motherboard feature, it barely cleared the back-side of the case's insert-bracket as I slid it all back in.
Overall Review: This is my 2nd overall build, and first fierce system. Being a fresh-out-of-college kid, I finally built some cash up on my first job and splurged on a nice and new system to replace my last museum relic (Athlon XP 3200+, ATI Radeon X850 nForce2 ASUS).. I still can't get over how big it is. These pictures you see on the site, nor your imagination and some measuring tape would do justice. A small part of me wished he got a slightly smaller case, but then my testosterone slaps me back into reality. All in all, make some space for this leviathan. I didn't and now I have to move stuff around to do so. :(