Date Joined: 11/18/06
Cons: The color-gamut is not the greatest.
There is bloatware as can be expected, and ugly stickers on the chassis. The stickers to the left of the touchpad leave a sticky residue that is very difficult to remove.
Overall Review: If you like the Apple style of aesthetics, but want or need the Windows Operating System, this is a laptop to consider. Before, laptops that looked like this were relegated to the "ultrabook" category, and were a minimum of 1000 United States Dollars, but I'm glad that is no longer the case.
Pros: + Modular
+ The bag that houses the cables is made of cloth
Cons: - Only lasted 2 years
Overall Review: I bought this PSU because I read that one shouldn't skimp on the PSU, but it's sad that a "non-premium" brand PSU that replaced it has outlasted this. I'm not gonna emotionally write off Seasonic products forever, but I will be more wary in the future.
Pros: + Was able to access my troubled hard-drive so I could copy some files to my new hard-drive
+ Looks nice. To be clear, only the top and bottom are white; the sides are metallic silver.
Pros: It's white.
Cons: The paint-job is not very good.
Pros: Good pixel-density
Very thin and light
1ms GTG response-time
Cons: The crosshairs are an innovative feature, but I feel that they should be simpler. A single dot or a cross would be better than the options offered. Still, it's great for hip-firing.
The speakers are weak, but most monitors don't have them anyway. There's a headphone jack as well.
Pros: + 280mm radiator
+ Great cooling performance (see 'Other thoughts')
Cons: - Instructions could be a lot better. I bought this from a B&M store and thankfully I had purchased the insurance plan on it, because I messed up during installation (I put a thing onto another thing backwards. Once on, it was impossible to remove and correct my mistake.) I would actually pay for better instructions and/or a pre-assembled AMD or Intel loop (the thing that the water-block attaches to).
- Actually screwing the water-block onto the motherboard was very difficult. I had to screw one of the four points on first, angling it in so that the other points were up in the air, nowhere near their screw-in points. Surprisingly, after some panic, and much work, I was able to attach it, and was a good, tight fit on the CPU.
- Doesn't come with fan-splitters
Overall Review: I removed the pre-applied thermal compound on the water-block, and applied Arctic Silver 5.
On the first day using this product, I was eager to do some overclocking. My dream was to overclock my AMD Phenom II X4 965 to 4.0 GHz (stock clock is 3.4). With the radiator fans on max speed, and the CPU's stock clock of 3.4 GHz, I got an amazing 39 C under full load; same with 3.5 GHz. With 3.6 GHz, I got 40 C. From 3.7 to 3.9 GHz, I got 41 C. At my target clock-speed of 4.02 GHz, I got 42 C. I changed the fans to PWM because they are loud at full speed, and then got 46 C.
Then I started noticing something strange. Playing games that used both a high amount of CPU and GPU power (e.g. Tomb Raider, Crysis 3) would cause the game to crash, and the GPU-accelerated graphics in any program on my computer to be all messed-up. After online research, I realized I had to increase the voltage on my CPU, and thus I did, to 1.424V.
I've been using this setup (4.02 GHz @ 1.424V) for over a month now, and it has not caused any problems.
With my previous CPU air-cooler, the ZALMAN CNPS9500A-LED, I used to get temperatures of about 70 C on max load. Remember that this chip's max temperature is officially rated at 62 C. The chip would still function at 70 C, but at around maybe 75 C, it would throttle down and cause stuttering in Battlefield 4, a CPU-intensive game.
After the Arctic Silver 'burn-in period', temps have dropped 1 degree C (46 C to 45 C), even with the slight increase in voltage.
I have not tried going above 4.02 GHz. I will be content at reaching the 4 GHz plateau.
Pros: I dropped my TOSHIBA Satellite L645D-S4106 laptop and damaged my hard-drive. I was able to install Windows 7 on this no problem. It's quiet and no slower than my previous stock Toshiba drive.
Cons: Wish it was 500 GB
Pros: + Dual-chamber design promotes high air-flow
+ And also easy cable-management
+ Not too big, not too small
+ Excellent material and build-quality
+ Motherboard position makes plugging in front-panel connectors very comfortable because it's not at the bottom of the case (ATX motherboard)
+ Great radiator support and fan-options
+ Aesthetically appealing (asymmetrical design, white LED stock-fans, and white front-panel LEDs)
+ Side panels come off and back on easily with thumb-screws
+ Flat top
+ Large left side-panel window
+ Right side-panel features a vent for your PSU
+ 3 fans included (2 front intake, 1 rear exhaust)
Cons: - My Rosewill CAPSTONE-750-M PSU would not reach the end of the case for some reason so I could not fasten it to the case with thumb-screws. However, there is a little adjustable standoff inside that prevents it from moving too far back.
- Motherboard position makes plugging in the top SYS_FAN2 a little challenging if you already installed a radiator at the top
Overall Review: I transplanted an old AMD Phenom II X4 965 build from a COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UW into this case, got rid of my ZALMAN CNPS9500A-LED CPU heatsink and fan, and put a Corsair H110 (280mm) on top of the case in a pull configuration. Except for installing the H110, moving my parts over to this new case was an absolute pleasure. From the ease of access to the front-panel cables to easily figuring out how to best cable-manage, it was fun.
Pros: It hits the Wii U's upper limit of 2TB recognition. I put it into an external enclosure that has its own power adapter and USB 2.0 cable.
It's a Green hard drive, so it's quiet and energy-efficient. It's much quieter than the Wii U's disc-drive. I should have done this much sooner and bought all my games off the e-shop.
Loading times are great. The first game I got was Wind Waker HD and I have not encountered any problems yet.
Cons: Not silent, but very close to it.
Overall Review: Formatting took about one second from the Settings menu off the Home menu.
Pros: * Very quiet, but at the same time, very responsive
* No superfluous media or macro buttons
* No unnecessary plastic hand-rest included (I never use hand-rests with keyboards)
* Full-sized backspace key
* Rounded, bottom-edge, as opposed to a more traditional 90 degree angle edge. I like to place my keyboard at the very edge of my desk instead of far inland, so this rounded edge is really nice.
* Great price
Cons: * No PS/2 adapter
Overall Review: No problems gaming on this. I, like other people, prefer simple keyboards. I don't need $60 gaming keyboards. I decided to get this after going to a major B&M electronic store and finding their cheapest keyboard at a higher price than this. I'm glad I did. The wait was not long, either. Good 'ol Newegg shipping-times.
Pros: Fits better in my GIGABYTE GA-770T-USB3 motherboard and in my COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UW (Mid-ATX) case than a standard, low-riding rectangular heatsink because the heatsink is raised up a little bit off the CPU rather than being right on top of, and in my motherboard, the northbridge is so close to the CPU socket.
Very secure on my motherboard. My last Cooler Master rectangular heatsink fell off during shipping, taking my CPU with it, bending its pins beyond reasonable, layman repair. I bought this to put on a new CPU for that consequence.
Cons: You will bleed, unless possibly you wear gloves. I thought people were being overdramatic, but this is a real issue.
Overall Review: If you have to insert the AMD Clip "vertically," insert it into the in-between sections of the two big fin-sections. Also, when mounting the heatsink onto the motherboard, be sure to first put one side in, and then instead of just pushing down on the other side of the clip, first pull it to get it over the notch-thingie on the other side of the motherboard. Good luck.
Pros: * Pretty small. I calculated the volume for multiple laser-printers and this was the smallest, which was certainly a consideration for its purchase.
* Wireless works. It took a minimal amount of trial-and-error.
* Duplex printing. It's manual, but my old printer didn't even have this feature. Combined with the eco-mode, I'm ready to save the environment.
* Looks very slick.
* Comes with USB cable.
Cons: * Getting the long strip out of the toner was troublesome.
Pros: Pikmin is a masterpiece. Other games are about domination, becoming stronger than everything else, and killing everything in sight. Pikmin is a game about the balance of nature, the thrill of exploration, the exhilaration of figuring out the solution to a problem, and a narrative journey as well.
Pikmin's individual elements, in concert, create the perfect game. I bought this Wii port because I had foolishly traded in my Gamecube copy a few years ago. I have learned; I will never sell this copy. Sometimes you tire of shooting up human soldiers and hacking up monsters and knights. Sometimes you just want to go back to nature and find parts of your ship so you can go home to Hocotate. And when that happens, I turn to Pikmin.
Cons: The Gamecube controls are slightly better.
Overall Review: The conversion to widescreen is mostly done well. During gameplay, everything seems to be in the right aspect ratio (e.g. circles are circles and not ovals), but in some of the menus, circles stretch into ovals from lazy widescreen converting.
Pros: + Sexy protagonist
+ Ridiculous but entertaining cut-scenes. Some words to describe them: epic, funny, touching, mind-blowing.
+ Fun gameplay. Anyone can enjoy this game, thanks to the multiple difficulty settings. Starting off on "Normal", I began button-mashing and having some success. Later on, I had to memorize a few combos, learn to dodge better, and so on. This game grows as you grow in skill. It's a classic, masterfully crafted action game from the masters of the art: Hideki Kamiya and the other developers at Platinum Games.
+ Good replay value. There are so many unlockables, and I'm not talking about achievements. Achievement points can die in a fire. I'm talking about weapons, accessories, new costumes, actual in-game items and not "insecurity points". And you will want to unlock them because the core gameplay is so fun.
+ Long for an action game. I played chapter after chapter, thinking the one I was playing was the last.
Overall Review: The demo doesn't do this game justice. This is the funnest game of the generation. I would not qualify it as the "best" game of the generation, or even the "best action game", but it is without a doubt the funnest.
Pros: The graphics are surprisingly much improved. All the textures have been redone; they are higher-res than the N64 version. The poly counts are mostly the same except for certain exceptions like Link and other characters. Also, the environments feature much added detail. For example, in green meadows, they have interspersed little patches of polygonal grass. Also, trees and leaves have been given greater detail. Honestly, I can't go back to the N64 version now.
3D - Pretty much a given for a 3DS title, but it looks great, especially when there are text boxes overlaying the background.
Same great Zelda gameplay - There's a reason this game is emulated by all 3D action/adventure games out there.
Extras - "Boss Rush Mode" is not really a mode, but you can fight individual bosses when you check your bed in Kokiri Forest. Mirrored Master Quest if you just can't get enough.
New touch screen function and controls - 4 item access, and the map being ever-present on the touch screen is fantast
Cons: The best control method for this game would be the N64 controller. The circle pad is not quite as good as the N64's analog stick, and it'll feel weird at first, but eventually I got used it.
The Stone of Agony's rumbling function has been replaced with a pinging sound and icon prompt.
The thin shoulder buttons aren't quite as comfortable to hold when Z-targeting and holding your shield up for long periods.
The intuitive ocarina note system from the N64 version is gone. What I mean is that the notes are mapped unintuitively. For example, in the N64 version, C-up plays the highest note, and intuitively it was the highest placed button on the controller. In this version, "A" is the highest note, and the two lowest notes are the shoulder buttons. I never got used to this arrangement, and I found myself memorizing the buttons that corresponded to the notes in the songs, rather than playing the notes according to what they sounded like, in the N64 version.
Pros: + The single-player mode of this game did not suffer the brunt of the bug barrage so it is very good. It feels very epic and it certainly does make you feel like a super-soldier. Some parts of the story do not make much sense, but you get the main idea. This is the best part of the game. (Some bugs still exist however: the nano-catalysts (currency for buying upgrades) sometimes resets to 0 or does not increment at all, and there's a bug they haven't fixed that prevents "100% completion" (finding every little upgrade and hidden item).
+ Graphics that look good and run well. On "Very High" settings, my one-year-old GTS 250 runs it flawlessly, never dropping below 60 FPS.
+ The multiplayer is designed well and is fun when conditions are right, but executed terribly. See below
Cons: - Multiplayer bugs abound everywhere, especially in the saving of your progress. You gain experience points and stuff for a lot of things you do. When you lose that "work" you have done, it does not make you happy. Simple as that.
- Cheaters (although all online multiplayer games in this genre has these)
- The worst thing is having Crytek release a patch, saying it fixes bugs. Then you become happy that it does, but realize that it didn't do such a thing. Then Crytek releases another patch, saying it fixes more bugs; forget the bugs that they did not fix yet but said they did. Of course they don't fix the bugs they said they would fix in the new patch, either. It's the deception, the incompetence that infuriates me. At least be honest and say, for example, "We tried, but we were unable to fix these bugs. However, we will keep trying."
Overall Review: I didn't like the first Crysis. I thought there was too much freedom and enemies seemed to spawn forever, consequently making it not very fun. If you did like the first Crysis - that feeling of freedom and being in a huge, natural world, you probably won't like this game as much.
I have a high tolerance for imperfection in games. A bug here or there? I don't care, but when a developer lies about fixing them, and ignores it for their next patch, I become slightly perturbed. Lie for the next three patches, and then I become very annoyed. I have never bought a game that was this buggy and wasn't fixed this long after release. World of Warcraft (back in 2005 had a lot of bugs) is the closest rival game I can think of where bugs were this present, but Blizzard fixed their bugs relatively quickly (although I did not think so at the time). After the debacle that is Crysis 2, my standards of the time-table on bug-fixing has changed.
Pros: Most of the pros are already in the overview, but allow me to reiterate the ones that stand out to me
+ Pretty light
+ Not too fat, not too big
+ Comes with shoulder strap or you can grab it by the handles
+ It's a leather briefcase so it looks very professional (plus it's water-resistant, but haven't really tested that yet)
Cons: If it came with a little lock and key, it would've been perfect, but I am satisfied with this purchase.
Pros: Optical drive is very quiet
Cons: Fans are fairly loud (but they calm down after about 30 mins to 1 hour of turning on)
Short battery life (~2 hours; the on-screen indicator in Win7 overestimates the battery life by about 50%)
Bundled Blu-ray software (Corel WinDVD BD) has horrible support and compatibility
Overall Review: Besides for the cons, it is a decent laptop. Good 'ol Toshiba reliability.
Pros: Relatively low price
Cons: - An 8 hour charge equates to about 2 minutes of shaving. I guess if you shave for 15 seconds at a time, it does give you 8 shaves per full charge.
- It does not shave very well. I had a single-blade Panasonic from 1996 that I couldn't find so I bought this and that was better.
Cons: Stopped working after a few months of use.
My 17 year-old HP Laserjet 4L and 5 year-old Samsung ML 2010 still work.
Never buy from Brother.
Pros: The single-player campaign is excellent. It felt less like a Michael Bay movie, and more like a modern war movie, like Hurt Locker, the superior Green Zone, and even Brothers. This is the most emotionally captivating FPS I have ever played.
Powered by Frostbite Engine 1.5, this is the most beautiful engine I have personally ever seen. It looks better than Crysis to me. You don't get unrealistic perks like in Call of Duty, and the maps are medium-sized so you can rush, snipe, and everything in-between, and the non-rushing nature of the gameplay is very good.
Cons: The single-player (Unreal Engine 3) and the multiplayer (Frostbite Engine 1.5) are powered by two completely different engines and developed by two completely different teams. This probably saved them a lot of time, but the evenness definitely suffered. For example, the multiplayer maps may resemble the theme of the single-player game (Afghanistan), but they are not from the game at all. The guns don't carry over, either.
This is the uglier of the two modes. The textures are not very detailed, and the AA doesn't really work too well; everything is still jaggy. It looks better when it's dark and you can't see the details.
The campaign is pretty short. I finished this game in 5 hours. Also, the FOV is non-changeable, unlike in multiplayer. However, I got used to it after a while and didn't get a headache.
I dislike the offensive support actions. Sometimes you'll get hit by these things over and over again. It's also hard to get kills as a sniper.
Overall Review: I hope that the powers-that-be at EA, Danger Close, or DICE decide to make the next game with one engine, preferably the next Frostbite Engine (2.0). This series has great potential. I like the realistic nature of the campaign, having the US go up against the Taliban. Who cares? One might ask. Gameplay-wise, you are certainly doing the same thing: playing shoot-a-mole, but it's subtle differences like this that suck you into the game and leave you with a feeling of honor at the end of the game.
Pros: + Works with Windows 7
+ Worked in my motherboard without BIOS updates
+ One of the quieter optical drives I've owned
+ Didn't need InCD junk
Cons: - Doesn't work on its side (unlike a game console)
Overall Review: This is OEM, so there is no software (not needed) or cables (your motherboard should come with SATA data and power cables if you need).
Pros: It is unbelievably quiet. My computer is very quiet but this 360 is even quieter than that. If you don't want to mod your 360 with quieter fans or whatever, this is your best option. Sell your old 360 and get this. It is worth it just for the quiet alone.
It is noticeably smaller and lighter. The console itself and the power brick are no longer dumbbell alternatives.
The chrome surrounding the "home button" on the controller is nice.
Cons: The console is not as shiny as I thought it would be.
Pros: I got this for my sister, and she loves it. It's very small, has a rotatable base (360 degrees), and a beaded chain on it (good for keychains, etc.).
+ Pretty (pink and nice print of a plant or flower on it)
Cons: none so far
Pros: Played a scratched up DVD flawlessly, that wouldn't run on my Xbox 360.
Cons: None so far
Overall Review: Had to go through a lot to get it working, since I never used a SATA drive before, but that doesn't count as a Con of the product itself. Some tips to get it working if you can't: update your BIOS, and download IDE drivers from your motherboard manufacturer.