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Lawrence R.

Lawrence R.

Joined on 01/21/05

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 13
Most Favorable Review

Great Cooler

Noctua NH-U12S SE-AM4, Premium CPU Cooler for AMD AM4 (Brown)
Noctua NH-U12S SE-AM4, Premium CPU Cooler for AMD AM4 (Brown)

Pros: - The box includes everything. Extra screws, different bracket types, plenty of thermal paste, and even a screwdriver - The entire setup just screams quality - Fan is utterly silent - yet performs very well

Cons: - It's pricey compared to alternatives

Overall Review: Noctua is definitely more expensive than most when it comes to air coolers. You're nearing bargain-basement water cooling price with this cooler, so it's not for everyone. But when I considered what I wanted to spend on cooling, the options were something like this, or cheap water cooling -- and "cheap" + "watercooling" just sounded like a disaster waiting to happen. The Noctua 15 series may actually be a better value in terms of cooling, but it's so huge it was within a mm of not fitting in my case, according to the dimensions. I didn't want to take the risk. The 12 series is much more reasonable in size, and you should have no problems fitting it in your case, or using the heatspreaders with your RAM. Noctua delivered exceptional quality with this product. The mounting brackets were perfect, and very sturdy. Multiple bracket options were provided. The fan is utterly silent, and yet has exception airflow. They give you plenty of thermal paste. And it even included a screwdriver. Who does that? Noctua, apparently. The fins were all perfectly straight (I've had plenty of tower coolers in the past that shipped with bent fins), the whole unit was solid, sturdy, and of absolutely exquisite quality. Of course, you pay for that quality, too. If you're looking for a reasonably-priced cooler, this isn't for you. If you're looking for one of the best air coolers in the business, with multiple mounting options, great looks, and silent operation... this is a great buy. Even the instructions were well documented and designed, not some cheap piece of paper coated with bad, barely legible ink in 20 different languages... the diagrams were easy to understand, and setting up the mounting brackets was correspondingly simple. This is a "buy it and forget" kind of cooler. You don't have to think about it all, it just works perfectly. There are only a handful of coolers on the market that can compete with this cooler, and it even starts to approach the cooling efficiency of low-end water coolers. Overall, I'm very satisfied.

Most Critical Review

Dead on Arrival

BIOSTAR TFORCE 550 AM2 NVIDIA nForce 550 MCP ATX AMD Motherboard
BIOSTAR TFORCE 550 AM2 NVIDIA nForce 550 MCP ATX AMD Motherboard

Pros: This board is cheap, has lots of features and seemed like a great deal.

Cons: It arrived dead. It booted up once, and then never again. Newegg was great though, and they RMA'd it just fine.

Overall Review: I thought I would try a budget board, but that wound up being a big mistake.. bought an abit instead, and the thing actually works. As always, thanks to Newegg for the ease of return.. but it's best not to waste your time with this board. Get a better brand.

Giant Monitor of Doom

Acer ET0 Series ET430K wmiiqppx 43" IPS 60 Hz 4K 3840 x 2160 UHD, LED Backlight, AcerVisionCare, Acer Flicker-less, and Acer BlueLightShiled, Built-in Speakers
Acer ET0 Series ET430K wmiiqppx 43" IPS 60 Hz 4K 3840 x 2160 UHD, LED Backlight, AcerVisionCare, Acer Flicker-less, and Acer BlueLightShiled, Built-in Speakers

Pros: - It makes the Washington Monument look like a lawn gnome. People who walk into your office will always comment on the size. ALWAYS. - It's so bright I thought the sun was going nova when I booted into Windows. - Sturdy. It overhangs my desk and I keep bumping into it because I'm an idiot, and I haven't broken it yet.

Cons: - It's still just a 60hz monitor, but it's like $450. What did you expect, mang? Angels singing a chorus and Alyssa Milano in a bikini? - You have to have tiny hands to get the freaking power cord in the socket. When I get excited, I put the blood bank on emergency alert. So needless to say, I don't have small hands. The wife helped, though.

Overall Review: So this monitor is sharp, came with no dead pixels I could find, it's very bright, and the construction is solid and sturdy. It's stylish too, though the white plastic will be your enemy if you're a ridiculous slob (don't ask me how I know this). If you need a gigantic 4k monitor for work - or just want some screen size bragging rights on HardOCP - by all means, buy this. If you're one of those crazy gamers who must brag about 3097207 fps in some game, though, this monitor is not for you. Buy a 144hz monitor instead. Good luck finding a large 4k screen at this price point with a refresh rate that high, though. I don't know if they even make one. If they do, you'll have to donate a nut for scientific research in order to pay for it, though. This is $450. Seriously. The value is obvious. Best deal out there - at least when I was looking. It's a matter of priorities. What is more important to you? Speed or size? You know the right answer to that, my man.

10/18/2018

Excellent Drive - high-end NVMe performance for mid-range price

Plextor M8Pe(G) M.2 2280 1TB NVMe PCI-Express 3.0 x4 MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) PX-1TM8PeG
Plextor M8Pe(G) M.2 2280 1TB NVMe PCI-Express 3.0 x4 MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) PX-1TM8PeG

Pros: Very fast. Benchmarks are close to the more expensive 960 Evo. No fuss install. Worked perfectly in my X370 board without issue.

Cons: Has a delayed draw logo on BIOS boot up that wastes like 2 or 3 seconds of boot time. Mildly annoying. Does get a little warm. Definitely make sure your case cooling is adequate before buying.

Overall Review: So I was very hesitant to buy this drive, since a number of one egg reviews indicated a thermal problem with this drive. They are *partly* correct. This is a warm unit. That being said, a number of motherboard manufacturers have been putting the M.2 slot right under the top PCI-express slot, where you normally put the GPU. This is stupid for more reasons than one. But to the relevant point regarding the Plextor M8Pe, it's already a warm drive, so if your motherboard has the M.2 slot right UNDER the GPU (or between them in the case of SLI/X-fire rigs), do NOT buy this. A few others have it buried down in the side where case cooling is poor. That's probably a bad idea too. However, my Asus X370 Prime board placed the M.2 slot in a much better area, above the GPU, and in the main path of case airflow from the front fans to the rear exhaust fan. In this setup, the Plextor M8Pe gets plenty of cooling, stays cool to the touch, and operates well. So if you have a motherboard with a good layout, and adequate case cooling, the Plextor M8Pe is a cheaper ticket to high-end NVMe performance with decent drive size. I needed 1TB for all my workstation applications to run off of the boot drive, and plenty of space for file swapping, so 256 or 500 GB units were off the table. Reliability has been excellent. I waited awhile to write this review to ensure the reliability was good, and I've no cause for complaints. I took a gamble on this drive and it paid off. If you're looking for an inexpensive, high-end 1TB NVMe drive, the Plextor M8Pe is for you, provided you have good case cooling.

Well... It's a Power Supply

CORSAIR RMx Series RM850X 850W 80 PLUS GOLD Haswell Ready Full Modular ATX12V & EPS12V SLI and Crossfire Ready Power Supply
CORSAIR RMx Series RM850X 850W 80 PLUS GOLD Haswell Ready Full Modular ATX12V & EPS12V SLI and Crossfire Ready Power Supply

Pros: - It's a power supply - It works

Cons: - It's a power supply - It didn't come with a bevy of hot girls

Overall Review: In my lifetime, I've reviewed a lot of tech products. And for some of them you might discuss the performance metrics, the compatibility issues, or even how much LED bling is plastered all over it -- because, as everybody knows, the PC market desperately needed to turn into a close facsimile of the car enthusiast community. Next, these folks will put chrome tips on their exhaust ports, and some enterprising wannabe Jedi will come along to to deliver a proton torpedo straight up the... ...Well, you get the idea. So what can I say about this power supply? The Corsair RMX850X works properly. It has modular cables, which are black, and that's good, because we all know what system building was like during the days of IDE cables and power supply rat nests. What idiot thought up sticking random useless cables on every power supply they sold, anyway? And why did they have to come in multicolor, like Picasso smoking weed and throwing up all over the canvas? "What's that a painting of, O master of incomprehensible art?" "Why, my young apprentice, some time in the distant future, engineers will make ratty looking contraptions called 'power supplies' that will look something like multicolored wire vomit." "DMaster... can I have some of that [expletive deleted] weed you've been smoking?" But hey, you buy this power supply, and you don't have to deal with it. The wiring is so black, it's speaking Samuel L. Jackson to me. "I'm tired of these [expletive deleted] snakes on this [expletive deleted] plane!" That's right, you buy yourself an RMX850X, and your PSU is Samuel L. Jackson. Now, let me tell you what you get when you open the box. This power supply is so Samuel L. Jackson, it comes with fancy black bag with drawstring surrounding it. So you've got a perfect place to store your bling, and your cash if you ever take a job doing whatever Samuel L. Jackson was doing in Pulp Fiction. Not every power supply comes in a velvet bag, you know. And then you get some cables, which are nice if you actually plan to build a computer with it. The voltages looked good. But unless you're buying bargain basement stuff that even the Chinese outsource because it costs too much to make, you'll get decent voltages. So that's kind of expected these days. I guess there's no real cons with the RMX850X, except that when you buy a Samuel L. Jackson power supply that comes in a velvet bag, inside a box *that* big, you kind of expect more. Like, if you opened that bag and a bevy of hot girls modeled your brand new PSU, delivered on a silver platter, with angels singing Pulp Fiction in the background like "Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. " But Corsair didn't see fit to supply said hot bikini girls, for which I am mildly disappointed. For a moment, I thought I was going to get a cosmic experience, greater understanding of the universe, and some scantily clad supermodels begging to date me, because I was awesome enough to choose Corsair for my PSU business. And all I got was a working power supply in a fancy velvet bag. But hey, it's a good power supply.

Great Prosumer Workstation CPU

AMD Ryzen 7 1st Gen - RYZEN 7 1700X Summit Ridge (Zen) 8-Core 3.4 GHz (3.8 GHz Turbo) Socket AM4 95W YD170XBCAEWOF Desktop Processor
AMD Ryzen 7 1st Gen - RYZEN 7 1700X Summit Ridge (Zen) 8-Core 3.4 GHz (3.8 GHz Turbo) Socket AM4 95W YD170XBCAEWOF Desktop Processor

Pros: - Rendering speeds are unreal. Going from an Intel quad to Ryzen was night and day. - Encoding speed is similarly awesome. - CPU is very stable. XFR works flawlessly with zero effort. - Gaming performance still substantially better than my old 2600k.

Cons: - The +20C temperature reporting offset is very confusing. It's hard to tell whether or not the various monitoring applications, including Ryzen Master, are reporting the right temps. - This platform is picky about RAM. Combing the motherboard QVL for the best/fastest RAM was a bit of a task.

Overall Review: Overall, I am very happy with this CPU and platform. It's fast, stable, and it's a great way to get 8 cores on the cheap, and if you're like me and you do a lot of rendering, encoding, and development work, this CPU is an amazing value. Some folks slam it for slower gaming performance relative to the 7700k, but it's still faster than the older 2600k chips for this, and I've no complains there. So if you're sitting on an older Sandy Bridge system, looking for a viable upgrade path -- and you can use the extra cores -- Ryzen is a phenomenal buy. All that being said, understand that Ryzen is unusually picky about memory. Don't freelance on this and just buy whatever. Carefully read the motherboard compatibility lists (QVLs) and find a RAM kit that works for you, at the speed you're looking for, on the list for your motherboard. You'll find it's easy to get a kit that does 2666 out of the box this way. Kits that do 2933 are also doable (mine successfully hit 2933). For 3200+ you'll have to get much more specific, and that may be difficult for now. Ryzen appears more sensitive to RAM speeds (clock rate more important than CAS latency) than the i7 line, so get the fastest RAM you can find on the list, in the size you want. One other minor gripe, specific to the 1700X and 1800X only... AMD uses a temperature offset for these of +20C. So your monitoring applications may report the wrong temps. I.e. if the CPU is 30C, it may report 50C. Apparently even Ryzen Master may do this. It's a little annoying, because it's hard to tell if the monitoring app is showing the right temps, or the +20C offset. Apparently the regular 1700 doesn't do this. This CPU is a great value for folks doing multi-threaded work... who don't want to pay $1000+ for an 8 core Intel rig. And it's still good enough for gaming, if you do that on occasion too. Ryzen may be the best value on the market for mixed-use, CPU intensive computing. Do your homework on memory and motherboard compatibility, and you'll be very satisfied.