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Jon S.

Jon S.

Joined on 08/05/02

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 9
Most Favorable Review

Good case for the $

ARK 4U-500-CA Black 4U Rackmount Case 3 External 5.25" Drive Bays
ARK 4U-500-CA Black 4U Rackmount Case 3 External 5.25" Drive Bays

Pros: Can hold 9 hard drives, a floppy and three optical drives at once, or use a 4/5 in 3 drive cage and you could probably get 14/15 hard drives in it, all in the size close to a mid-tower case. It looks like the rails and/or the handles will come off if you desire. It could be used as a mid-tower or lay flat. The front has a full length filter. Tool-less bracket for two 80mm fans in the back. Comes with one 120mm and one 80mm fan (both molex). All the drive cages are removeable (but the one for the 5.25" and floppy is a trick.)

Cons: Heavy. Instructions stink. ATX/mATX only - no server sized mobos. Mobo tray is not removable and has no support for the upper right corner - maybe to make room for floppy or lowest optical drive bay. Both fans are molex and are a bit loud. The 80mm fan bracket is neat (tool-less), but is a challenge to figure out - it may appear at first that it doesn't work if you put it or the fan in wrong one or the other will come loose. Since it is close to the size of a mid tower, if you pack it full, it is tight. The power led connector is a three pin, but there is also a two pin lan led which I think you could substitute if your mobo only has a two pin. The crossbar has a removeable shelf for two hard drives which can be moved (wish it came with two). It hangs low so depending on location, it will interfere with full height cards or any mid to large heatsink on the cpu). Not all hard drives in front get air flow, (put cooler drives on the ends) - only an issue for 6+ drives.

Overall Review: It has "fingers" to hold expansion cards in place - more useful in a commercial setting - home users are probably better off removing them. The three 5.25" drive bays do not have little shelves/lips - which is good if you are going to stick a 4-3 (or 5-3) drive cage in there, not so good if you are mounting optical drives. I'm using mine as an unRaid server (from lime-technology) and am very happy with it in this role. There are few sub-$100 cases out there that can hold as many hard drives - this is one of the best options in that category. On sale or with free shipping it is a 5 star case.

Most Critical Review

Works... kind-of...

Rosewill RC-400 Networking LAN Card With Heatsink & 4 LED indicators 10/ 100/ 1000Mbps PCI V2.2, 32/64-bit, 33/66MHz
Rosewill RC-400 Networking LAN Card With Heatsink & 4 LED indicators 10/ 100/ 1000Mbps PCI V2.2, 32/64-bit, 33/66MHz

Pros: Good price. Came with full height bracket attached and a half-height bracket included along with a cd/w drivers for many devices. The heat sink was included but not attached, but it was an easy job to attach it. imho, every chip that gets more than just a bit warm should have a heat sink, so I like this feature. The card installed w/o a hitch and the Win xp found the driver on the enclosed cd.

Cons: I turned on jumbo frames to the max setting (7k) for my first real use. The pc re-booted itself at approximately 2/3 into copying a 12gb file, which is approximately very close to the same point two other reviews noted a computer hang. I turned off jumbo frames and was successfully able to copy the file. I then successfully copied a 15gb file. I intend to try to do some more testing with different jumbo frame settings and try this in another computer to see if the reboot is repeatable on a different box.

Overall Review: To make sure my reboot wasn't due to a dated driver on the cd, I checked the driver version against the latest downloaded from their site and it is the same. I'm a self-employed programmer and do most of my work within virtual pc's, typically 12-20 gb each - a different one for each client, and I have numerous virtual pc's for some to test different OS and applicaiton combinations with my code. Frequent (and sccessful!) backups of these files are very important to my work. For someone who just wants to add gb ethernet to a pc for moving the occasional large file, than this card is a decent choice, but I cannot recommend it for someone who needs reliable, regular transfers of large files. This card will end up on my least used desktop and I will purchase a higher end card for my backup/file/media server. I've been happy with the other Rosewill products I've tried and will continue to consider them in my future purchases.

12/11/2007

Solid

G.SKILL Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-1333C9D-16GAO
G.SKILL Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-1333C9D-16GAO

Pros: Functions as advertised on ASRock Pro4-M z77 mATX with a 3570k. Went with Ares as I dislike the cooling fins on the RipJaws, both asthetically and functionally (get in the way of HSF).

Cons: I prefer ram without the cosmetic additions, colors, fins, or attempts at heat sinks - just give me plain DIMMs.

Overall Review: Will probably get another pair and use 16GB as a RAM-scratch disk for ripping. Bought at least a 10 pairs of GSkill over the last five years, DDR, DDR2, DDR3, so-dimm DDR2 & DDR3. Never had a bad dim, never had one not recognized, never wished I went with another brand.

ADATA 2.5" 160GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) ASINTS-160GM-CSA
ADATA 2.5" 160GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) ASINTS-160GM-CSA

Pros: The images are accurate, this is an x-25m G2. I downloaded the firmware update from Intel and updated it which allows the Intel ssd toolkit to run trim on it. Probably one of the best price per GB at 199. Read speed was just over 200 using HDTune before I put the OS on it.

Cons: Write speed is close to as indicated, ~70MB/s using HDTune. For boot partition, this is not a point of concern for me.

Overall Review: This is the deal for juicing up an older sata2 laptop that you may not want to invest much in and need more than a single boot partition of space.

Lots of features and a great value

BIOSTAR TForce TF8200 A2+ AM2+/AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 8200 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
BIOSTAR TForce TF8200 A2+ AM2+/AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 8200 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard

Pros: Motherboard raid, high end motherboard graphics, under $100, vga, dvi and hdmi, great sound, full ATX, 1 Gbps lan, lots of usb, low power consumption chipset. I'm using the stock cpu heatsink/fan, but it seems roomy enough for most 3rd party ones. Bios has overclocking options - have not tried any yet. I'm using this to host virtual servers for software development and as an htpc to record and stream TV using Beyond TV. It responds well to Beyond's "wake up" to record a show and goes right back to sleep like clockwork. The on-board lan works well with my home-built wake-on-lan client application so we can turn it on from any PC in the house. I've had live TV streaming from it while running a virtual machine and while compressing an mpg to divx and the live TV stream did not stutter at all on a receiving wireless client PC. Am running a gskill/kingston ram mix for 3gb, but tried 2x2gb gskill 8500 and it recognized it w/o bios change.

Cons: 6 Sata ports IF you enable raid mode. Ports 5 & 6 are not available for other modes and this is documented on the biostar website. DVI port does not seem to work with a VGA converter - I didn't think it would as this is common for many mobo's with a DVI port, but this does not seem to be documented anywhere that I can find.

Overall Review: I was hesitant as my only other Biostar board is a P4/478/agp/ddr mATX that I bought to use leftover parts and that board has been very flaky. I can't seem to find the "special" display card available for the multi-display port slot. I have not tried the hdmi port, but will try it out on our 42" lcd tv soon. Wish one of the PCI slots was a x4 or x8 PCI express for the extra versatility, but that is a bit much to expect for <$100 board. Running in Win MCE2005 sp3, in a Silverstone full ATX htpc case, earthwatts 380, 2x1 gb gskill 6400, 2x512 kingston 6400, Hauppage mce500 tuner, 4450e cpu, 4x250 gb HD - 2 of which are in RAID0 for media recording/ripping/burning use. I highly recommend this board for any use other than a x-fire/sli high end gaming/power user, but with a phenom and hybrid sli it wouldn't be a bad substitute.

The real deal

Intel PWLA8391GT Desktop Adapter PRO/1000 GT 10/100/1000Mbps PCI 1 x RJ45
Intel PWLA8391GT Desktop Adapter PRO/1000 GT 10/100/1000Mbps PCI 1 x RJ45

Pros: Works! Lots of features for the money. It not only has wake-on-lan that works (which I have verified writing a program to send magic packets), it also has wake-on-link which is great for a home file server - I have verified this works simply by accesses a shared folder - very nice feature. It will allow me to have my file server on standby most of the time and will wake when needed w/o complications. Do NOT skimp and get a cheaper card if you need a 1000Mbps card.

Cons: Doesn't make coffee.

Overall Review: I am going to do a new build with the 45nm cpu's coming out soon, and I'll be looking for a motherboard with this chipset, if such a thing exists - I'm that happy with it. If you have the pci slot to spare and your onboard lan is not up to par, this card is worth it.

12/18/2007