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Richard F.

Richard F.

Joined on 08/02/08

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 4
Most Favorable Review

UPDATING BIOS to ver 2004

ASUS Z87-PLUS LGA 1150 Intel Z87 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
ASUS Z87-PLUS LGA 1150 Intel Z87 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: Good and reliable.

Cons: Asus help can be a little slow

Overall Review: I was having a problem with my computer and after a process of elimination I determined that the problem may have been caused when I flashed the BIOS with ver 1802 by using the ASUS EZ FLASH 2 utility. After several e-mail with Asus help, we decided to flash the BIOS with the most current version, 2004. When this latest BIOS is downloaded, it comes with a utility program to flash the BIOS that is now a requirement. To make things short, I continued to get the message “BIOS file not correct”. I again e-mailed Asus help and was told to rename the .CAP file Z87P.CAP I never found these instructions on the Asus website so I am placing them here for others to follow. (I have asked Asus to post instructions on their website in the BIOS download section.) To do this, the following steps must be followed. Close all open programs. First, download the 2004 BIOS file and SAVE it. Once saved, select this folder named Z87-PLUS-ASUS-2004-and-BIOS_updater.zip and right click and select EXPAND ALL. After the file is unzipped, find the .CAP file and rename it Z87P.CAP. (select the file and then right click and select rename) Open up the bios installer program that was just expanded and launch it with by double clicking on the file named Update.exe (This file is several layers down so you will have to open several folders until you find it.) It will ask if you want to expand all files and select yes. Now open the folder(s) until you find the Update.exe file (again) and launch it. A new window opens and may be hidden by what is on the screen so select the taskbar at the bottom of the screen to get to this update window. Browse to find the Z87P.CAP file and select. (You may have to browse several layers to find this specific file as the original named file will also appear.) The flashing process will take about 5 minutes and will require several confirmations of processes so stay at the computer. At the end it will ask if you want to reboot the computer and select yes. On boot-up the screen will stall and a message in the lower left corner will say to press F2 to enter setup. Do so and then in the upper right corner select Exit and Advanced Mode and with the next screen select Exit and then save all changes and EXIT. A message will say no changes have been made, still select Save and EXIT. The computer should now reboot with the new BIOS. I realize that there several steps involved here so I suggest you print these instructions before attempting to flash your BIOS.

Most Critical Review

Card great! Freebies hard to get.

EVGA 01G-P3-1556-KR GeForce GTX 550 Ti (Fermi) FPB 1GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
EVGA 01G-P3-1556-KR GeForce GTX 550 Ti (Fermi) FPB 1GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

Pros: The video card is great. I have 2 bootable hard drives on my computer, one with Vista 32 bit and the other with Windows 7 64 bit. It raised my Widows Experience Index with Vista to 5.9 out of a max of 5.9. As for the Windows 7, it raised it to 7.4 out of a max of 7.9. I believe this to be a great set of scores. The installations was easy, but remember this card fits into one PCI Express slot, but takes up the space of two slots so make sure your motherboard has the necessary room on it. I downloaded the latest drivers from nVidia and everything went without any problems with the Windows 7 installation. As for the Vista drive things were not so smooth. Even though I downloaded the latest drivers for Vista, they would not install and my image looked pretty bad. The solution was to attempt to install the latest driver, let it fail, reboot and then go to Device Manager and uninstall the video driver. Upon another reboot the proper driver installed and everything was just fine.

Cons: The reason for the 2 stars is the problems I had registering the card with EVGA and obtaining my free copy of Adobe Photoshop Elements 10. It took 3 phone calls to their tech support, plus a phone call to the vender who supplies the download of APE 10. All I can say is that I must have invested about 6 hours to get this “free” program. My best advice is to read all of the content on each page on the EVGA website when you register. Then when you get the e-mail suggesting that you electronically send them a copy of your purchase invoice that you do it or you will not be eligible for the free programs. On all electronic communication with EVGA, be sure and read the entire page so you will select your request to obtain the free programs. Lastly, when you get another e-mail from EVGA acknowledging receipt of your invoice and directing you to another page on their web site, be sure and log in and read the entire page, even that print that is almost the same color as the background.

Overall Review: You are still a long way from getting your free program. At every stage of the game, be sure and write down all new user names and passwords as well as software product registration numbers. Now if you think you are ready to download, be ready for some problems. I thought my download got stuck at 1% so I tried a second time and when that failed, I tried a 3rd time only to be told I had exceeded my download allowance. I sent an e-mail requesting help to the vendor and never got a response so when I called EVGA support I got a phone number to call. Here I was told that I would be sent a new access code, and that I would need to erase all temp files from my computer for the download to work properly. Also, the download would be slow. When I asked what slow was, she said 2 hours. I did get my program and it does work fine, but Freebies with this much work are really not free. EVGA needs to drastically improve this process as it definitely reflects on their own image.

First one DEFECTIVE

BUFFALO AirStation HighPower N300 Gigabit DD-WRT Wireless Router - WZR-300HP
BUFFALO AirStation HighPower N300 Gigabit DD-WRT Wireless Router - WZR-300HP

Pros: When it works, it works very well. Their 24/7 phone support was quickly answered by an American who was very helpful and stayed on the line with me for about 20 minutes. My Newegg replacement unit works fine. This router has a 3 year warranty.

Cons: The first unit that I received from Newegg worked for several days and then started to continually drop the modem. I sent 2 e-mails to Buffalo and immediately got back a form e-mail saying they would contact me shortly. I was never contacted by e-mail. While looking at the box I saw that they had 24/7 phone support which I called. The help person advised me that if the problem persisted after a reset, the unit was defective and suggested that I send it back to Newegg as opposed to the factory for repair. I was out about $10 for return shipping to Newegg.

Overall Review: I had no computers or other equipment that would handle dual band so this was the best router that Buffalo made before their dual band router. This is my second Buffalo router that I have purchased and the first one lasted about 3 years before it started to drop the modem. From several reviews, a 3 year life is about the norm for all routers.

Very FAST!

CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C8
CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C8

Pros: Very fast as it is 8-8-8-8

Cons: This ram comes with its own heat sink and this may pose a space problem on your mother board if the ram is located close to the CPU and its cooling tower.