Date Joined: 11/20/03
Pros: Small size.
Cons: Poor quality component soldering evident. Didn't work.
Overall Review: Used w/known good mSATA drive (Plextor 256 GB). On first boot, recognized by BIOS & Win7. First attempt to access drive and it would disappear from Windows Explorer. Subsequent reboots would lag on BIOS drive recognition & Windows would never see it again.
Pros: It's easy to overlook Plextor - and their SDD's previously branded by their parent company LiteOn. But these guys have traditionally been associated with top-notch quality in optical drives. Their SDD's appear to be no exception.
Marvel controller is proven fast and reliable - same controller as the Intel 510, with firmware tweaks. Toshiba 34 nm toggle NAND - again fast, long lasting.
Aluminum case is very light (both solid and attractive. It covers a 1.8" form factor PCB. Perfect for a laptop, with added options if you're willing to crack the case.
Plextor's firmware is more balanced in read/write performance than either Intel or Crucial. Depending on how you use the drive, that could be a pro. I'll be using it in a general purpose production workstation - Visual Studio & Adobe products. I expect rock solid reliability, and many years of worry-free performance.
Cons: Not the ultimate speed king (but more reliable). 4k random reads are not particularly impressive - typical for this controller.
Overall Review: I'm currently using this on an overclocked i5 750 platform - Gigabyte P55 UD4, SATA 2 only. Because of that, sequencial reads saturate the bus, so I can't testify to max values. But it hits all other advertised specs, and matches various online reviews.
Pros: Bought this at the low, low sale price of less than $2 per/GB. Four stars just for that. . . and cheers to Newegg and WD! The drive arrived fine, bulletproof actually, in only a ziplock bag. Benched exactly as expected. It has the JMicron (yawn) 612 controller and is slightly faster than the Kingston Now V series. . . or any of the Indilinx Barefoot controller drives (previously the only non-Intel SSD's worth considering). WD swears that they sacrificed certain performance numbers for compatibility and reliability. In this case, that's important. . . have no tolerance for C drive failure. Expect to replace it years from now, before it ever wears out.
Cons: The performance of this drive is second generation. Third-gen controllers (SandForce, Marvell) are already here. Year's end will see 20nm class NAND. Everything will speed up. The theory goes that smaller, faster, NAND will be half the price, higher speed, but wear out faster. I believe in 2 of those points (until later in 2011). . . guess that's a WD Silicon Blue pro. But the con is, it's fast, but not blindingly so. Random read/writes of small blocks are so so for an SSD (but a magnitude faster than any disk).
Overall Review: Overclocked (3.5 Ghrz) i5 750 previously had a Samsung F3 1tb drive -probably the best 1tb HD out there. . . Bought this for better Visual Studio 2010 compile times. . . "Meh". Here's the numbers from Crystal Mark for both drives.
Samsung 1tb F3
Seq 130 read, 121 write
512k read 34 write 50
4k read .4 write .9
4k QD32 read .6 write .8
WD Silicon Edge Blue 128gb
Seq 233 read, 137 write
512k read 196 write 102
4k read 17 write 14
4k QD32 read 19 write 15
Cons: Arrived with keypad improperly installed – had to snap the right side keys into place one-by-one with a push pin. That worked, but it’s still a little crooked. Although slim, the phone’s a little tall, and the steel casing adds weight. The 2” screen is crystal clear, vivid and bright, and just too small. The 2MP camera has no auto-focus and takes grainy, disappointing photos. Video blurs a bit at only 15 fps. Symbian OS has all the flair and entertainment value of Office 2000 - boring basically, but gets the job done. No party phone, the OS is dense, technical and not as fun as the competition. The current e51 is Europe only 3G (850, 2100 mhrz) and is not compatible with ATT 3G (850, 1900) & t-Mobile’s new 3G (1700).
Overall Review: This slim phone packs more processing & connective power into a smaller package than anything before it. It’s an awesome achievement, and a stellar performer. Subbing wi-fi for 3G works for me (cheaper too). Thought I was buying a great phone with email and internet as a bonus. Ultimately, the non-phone capabilities of the e51 eclipse its telephony. And for that – smart phone/pda/internet appliance in a slim phone body – the form factor is a bit limiting for me. In order to get the most of Symbian/wi-fi, I need a bigger screen and full qwerty. Couldn’t be happier with my e51, love it actually. . . but have ordered an e71 for these reasons.
Pros: It's an 8800gt. Nvidia reference card design is okay... cost is a major concern. Gigabyte card design is superior - better components and higher clocks. The card is only 8" long - versus 9.5. The way the mosfets & chokes line up is impressive. Zalman cooler is better than stock - airflow cools the memory & power components. This is the custom 8800gt for the custom PC builder.
Cons: Memory and mosfets can use heatsinks - I've added some. The Zalman VF700 AlCu cooler is bested by the all copper unit - and can't keep up with the Zerotherm GX815 I replaced it with. Factory fan speed was surprisingly high and a little loud - although my standards may be too high.
Overall Review: Ntune 5.05.54 shows the clock speeds at 450 core and 700 memory. 3Dmark 06 scores at almost 12k (cpu=e6600 @ 3.2 Ghrz). Odd. Previous card was an OC'd XFX 8600gts which did quite well at 1920x1200 despite reviews to the contrary. This card is a step up, though not as big as I expected. FPS has about doubled+ - mid 20's to mid 40's to 60 - but not as "dramatic" a change as expected. Worth the cash, easily.
Pros: Simple, solid enough construction. Fits fine, slick. Compact. Works in eSATA - fast enough transfer. Somewhat cool running - depends on your drive, probably.
Cons: Sticker on backside won't stay put. Multi-prong A/C adapter. . . Nothing fancy, here.
Overall Review: It's cheap, slick, and not ugly. It works. I barely use it - emergency backups only. Don't know how it will stand up to heavy use.
Pros: Well made, well packaged, fair instructions (not really needed). Performance: XFX 8600 GTS OC'd edition with stock cooler would idle at 59C, and max in the upper 70's. With Zerotherm, idle 46C and max in the upper 50's! Max temp is now less than idle at stock. That's playing FEAR at 1920x1200. . . Had to see it to believe it. Case temp's lower too.
Cons: Hard to believe it's that good. . .
Overall Review: Installed on XFX 8600 GTS w/no problem. Must use the non-SLI/Crossfire mounting hardware - "SLI/Crossfire" mounts don't fit the PCB holes (diameter too large). Went on easy. Can hear it a little even at lowest 1200 rpm setting, but that's up close searching for the sound with the case open. Blends in with the other low noise cooling fans. Blue LED's not too bright. Nice touch.
Pros: Well. . . it's a cute little DX10 card with the best HD video accelerations out there. 80 nm process means it runs fast and sips watts. Offers better image quality than all pre-8 series Nvidia cards, and industry best AF filtering. Um. That's about it, really.
Cons: 128 bit memory bus, 32 stream processors (these numbers are cons, not pros - should be 256 and 48 or 64). Even with the slight OC and generally high clock speeds of core/shaders/memory, this card's only on par with the 7900GS and X1950 pro, at best (often loses to ATI in fps). Whatever Nvidia was thinking here is okay - for a card in the $125-175 price range. So yes, it's currently overpriced compared to the competition, and a bit of a disappointment to those of us who waited anxiously for the 8600gts series cards.
Overall Review: Got a 7600gt? Keep it! Need a new card? Wait for the price to drop - or for ATI's HD 2600. On a happy note, my card OC's to over 800 mhrz core and 2200 memory - pretty amazing, actually. Be sure to download Nvidia's latest drivers (158.19), but don't expect to play the newest games at 1920x1200. If you're at 1280x1024, have at it. I've scored over 6500 in PCmark 06 - overclocked. Not bad, really. But, wise to wait, if you can.
Pros: Physically gorgeous, near ideal layout, top notch components, and pretty blue LED's. . . Stock speeds are average (that is to say - fast), but overclocking potential is amazing. The board effortlessly took an e6400 and some pc6400 ram up to a 1600 fsb and 3.2 gigs on the cpu. No big volts, no heat, no sweat. Easy as 3.141. . . Uguru is the best of the Windows mobo utilities. But truly rock stable, sky high headroom (and looking good too) What more could you want?
Cons: How about a decent BIOS? The shipping BIOS (1.0) has many documented, serious flaws. RAID and IDE is a no go - ICHR8 and JMicron conflict. And if you don't need that combination, then there's a couple other pitfalls that may get you. Needless to say, we're waiting for the next BIOS to fix this nonsense.
Overall Review: After installing Windows and chipset drivers, Windows didn't detect onboard NIC or firewire. Had to reset CMOS using the switch in the back, and all was well again. Remember to disable EIST and CE1 (Intel speedstep features) when overclocking, otherwise CPUID may report your CPU at it's minimum multiplier - usually 6. Disable those and you're back to full sail. . . Enjoy this incredible mobo, just be prepared to deal with it's immature BIOS.
Pros: The card is beautiful. Gigabyte did a great job with this one. First off, it's a 7600gt. . . that means incredible value/best bang for about a hundred bucks. 7600gt's produce only about 35W max at the GPU and 60W max for the whole board, approx. (no additional power connectors needed), so it's also a great performance/power consumption card. HD video out and all the NVidia Purevideo accelerations means it's perfect for a HTPC that does some gaming. It's utterly silent, slow to heat up its' massive heatsink (the thing is like a BBQ grill w/a copper heat pipe beneath it), and just as slow to cool it down. Gets warm, but give it just a little ventilation and you should be alright.
Overall Review: I'm running an ASRock Dual VSTA with a e6400 at stock speed (266 fsb, 2.13 Ghrz CPU). I used to run a 10% overclock on this same board with an AGP BFG 6800gt OC. Even with the faster CPU/fsb, the 6800gt OC would bench only 40 fps in the hl2 Lost Coast demo. At stock CPU/fsb speed, this card does 50 fps. Wow, didn't expect that. However, the ASRock isn't stable while overclocking with this card in the PCIe lane, so I'll stick to stock speed and accept the 25% increase in fps. :-D
Pros: Board works. As far as I can tell it does everything it's supposed to. Didn't need the manual. It's a fairly simply board. Spent less than a fistful of hundreds for Core2 Duo and perpendicular HD while keeping my expensive vid card and RAM working for me.
Cons: Overclocking. . . Running FSB (Prime 95 24hr stable) at only 291 Mhrz - RAM at 436 Mhrz. Saw one error at 292. No boot at 295. My E6400 is doing 2.33 Ghrz with this mild overclock. Not really tapping the potential of that CPU. Shame, was hoping for 300.
Overall Review: Board arrived with E6400 chip, 320GB 7200.10 Seagate HD and some round IDE/floppy cables. Mated it with 2BG Kingston pc-3200 RAM, BGF 6800 ultra, Audigy Platinum, DVD and CD/RW drives, Antec Sonata case and a retail copy of Win XP Pro SP2. Trouble-free build experience. . . if only more FSB speed.
Pros: Smart looking, good heatsink design allows some airflow. No nonsense. Stable at 2-3-3-6 @ 2.75v on MSI K7N8 Delta2 Platnium. Not running particularly hot, either. Couldn't get *** to run CAS 2, but these do.
Cons: There was as a brief period before these settled down and ran Prime 95 w/out errors. Several hours time. After some tests, gaming, and left on overnight. . . No more Prime 95 errors. (Spd detected 3-4-4-8. btw)
Overall Review: Never seen a burn in. . . thought it was a myth, but maybe that's what my pair needed. No worries, happy me. :-) Thanks to Newegg for respecting RMA on other brand that wouldn't run at CAS 2.0
Pros: Nice monitor. . . not bad at all. Build quality fairly high. Screen performance high as well. Faster than some other monitors rated at 25ms - can tell in games - slight ghosting, but not bad.
Cons: Stand is a little flimsy when assembled - flops from side to side. Silver bevel wider than it needs to be. No DVI cable included.
Overall Review: Rebate was rejected! The rebate processor sent a postcard saying I purchased the monitor outside the rebate period. FALSE! Think I've just lost $xx. Beware! The rebate providors have been implicated in other scams, according to a quick web search.
Pros: OCZ quality is tops. Very nice looking. . . if you're into shiny chrome.
Cons: With my MSI K7N8 Platinum, can only load Window at 2.5-3-2-5 timings @ 2.7V. Nothing on 2-3-2-5 and boot but no Windows on 2-3-3-6. Am a bit disappointed. Lost 2.5% on PC Mark (vs. 1 gig 2-3-3-6 Muskin). . . but will probably keep them. Don't have time to play RMA games for a couple ticks speed. Hoping to smooth out Photoshop, and speed game loading. That's a given. But still :-|
Comments: Removed the heatsink and applied Arctic silver to the GPU. Put generous globs of thermal grease on the ram and now they contact the sink. Coolbits unlocked, running it at 550 mhz GPU, 1100 ram.
Get's a little warm but not as much as my 9800 pro used to - and the performance is 33% - 50% faster. My other card is a 6800U, but this little 6600 gt is definately more bang for the buck.
Comments: Got this to replace an Asus A7N8X Deluxe 2. The Asus was an otherwise refined board that wouldn't OC past a 200 FSB, and locked up it's BIOS repeatedly when tweeking. Just got sick of that. This MSI is much better suited for overclocking. It comes with a chip that does FBS OC dynamically was well as adjusting fan speeds. Having said that, the monitoring software seems a little quirky - not sure I trust it. But the board itself inspires confidence and has been a great platform for my moblie Athlon system.
Mobile Athlon XP 2600+ (2.5 ghrz @ 1.75 Vcore)
Muskin Level II PC-3500 (200 FSB)
BFG 6800 GT (w/Artic Cooling NV-5, ultra speeds)
WD-250 gig HD
Antec Sonata case. . . :-)
Comments: Just a note on stability. . . there's different ways to qualify it. Prime95 stability, Doom3 stability, etc. Name your favorite torture test. . . I've seen this chip run prime95 all day and yet crash Halo in 5 minutes. Having said that, I've been all over w/the Vcore and FSB and have decided on a modest 2.5 ghrz at 1.75 V, with 200 FSB. Will go faster, but only at higher Vcore, which I just don't feel like doing :-)
MSI K7N2 Delta2 Platinum (good board btw, nice oc abilities)
Vantec Aeroflow2 (runs at 25 idle, 50 load)
Mushkin Level II PC-3500
BFG 6800 GT w/Artic Cooling NV5
-all from newegg. . .