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Lorge G.

Lorge G.

Joined on 01/19/05

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 10
Most Favorable Review

Finally a satisfying VoIP Product

Cisco Small Business PAP2T-NA Internet Phone Adapter with 2 VoIP Ports
Cisco Small Business PAP2T-NA Internet Phone Adapter with 2 VoIP Ports

Pros: I can use my favorite Panasonic wireless handset like a regular landline. Works with Sipgate.com, who will provide a free California phone number and free inbound calls. Outbound calls to the US and Canada are about 1.9 cents per minute - cheap enough to never have to worry about costs (and always *much* cheaper per month than the fixed monthly fee Vonage charges for their unlimited plan). I've configured the second line to connect to Callcentric.com, and added a few prepaid dollars. If sipgate.com ever starts giving me issues, I'm free to switch to a different VoIP provider. If you're REALLY cheap you can combine sipgate with Google voice and sipsorcery for totally free inbound and outbound calls in the US. But for me the added latency from Google voice was noticeable enough to get me to cough up a few pennies per minute for prepaid outbound service.

Cons: I haven't tried - but from what I hear the codecs this ATA supports will not work for faxing. This device is not as easy to install as the pre-configured Vonage ATAs. I personally like having all the options (literally hundreds) to tinker around with - but I would definitely not recommend this device for households without at least one resident techie. I needed to set up port forwarding on my router to consistently receive incoming calls (not too difficult, but not exactly plug and play, either).

Overall Review: Other VoIP products I've tried have been Skype and Vonage. Skype is great, and I still use it for international calls, but the fact that I can't use a standard handset to make calls makes it less than ideal for everyday use. Vonage was OK (but overpriced) until one day calls to my a particular family member developed persistent and intolerable audio issues that Vonage could not resolve (I'm fairly certain it was an issue with the PSTN gateway I was being routed through to connect to said family member). When the problem was finally enough to get me to cancel my service, they stuck me with a $50 early termination fee and billed me $100 for the cost of the "free" locked-to-vonage router. The whole experience was truly a nightmare. The Cisco PAP2T is unlocked. If you find that your VoIP provider isn't providing the level of service that you need, you're free switch at any time. After my experience with Vonage, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Most Critical Review

Locks up

ASUS RT-AC68R Wireless-AC1900 Dual-band Gigabit Router Factory Refurbished
ASUS RT-AC68R Wireless-AC1900 Dual-band Gigabit Router Factory Refurbished

Pros: Fast when working.

Cons: Came home from work today. Router had completely locked up and I needed to unplug it to get it restarted. Not eligible for the standard Newegg return process. What a waste of time/money. Ugh.

Mac compatibility issues

Acer K272HULbmiidp Black 27" WQHD 6ms (GTG) HDMI Widescreen LED Backlight LCD Monitor IPS DCR 100,000,000:1(1,000:1) Built-in Speakers
Acer K272HULbmiidp Black 27" WQHD 6ms (GTG) HDMI Widescreen LED Backlight LCD Monitor IPS DCR 100,000,000:1(1,000:1) Built-in Speakers

Pros: Nice display at a extra-nice price.

Cons: When I first plugged this into my Macbook Pro (via a Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort adapter), I could not believe how ugly it looked. Colors were washed out and fonts looked blurry. it looked nothing the 27" Dell monitor that I use at work with the same laptop. I came VERY close to returning this monitor. It turns out there is an issue where OSX mistakes this monitor for a TV and uses the wrong color space (YCbCr instead of RGB). Apparently it is a pretty widespread issue, affecting external monitors from a number of different manufacturers. The good news is that there is a workaround for the problem (google "Force RGB mode in mac"). Now that the issue is resolved, I am absolutely loving my monitor. I am taking off an egg for the trouble, though.

Overall Review: The fix for the compatibility issue involves running Ruby scripts and messing around with files in system folders, so it could be confusing to non-technical users. If you're looking for an external display for your Mac, and you're NOT comfortable using a command line, then I would suggest that you go with a different monitor.

Awesome

ARCTIC COOLING Accelero S1 Rev.2 VGA Cooler
ARCTIC COOLING Accelero S1 Rev.2 VGA Cooler

Pros: 1. Fit my card (a Diamond Radeon HD 5570), even though it wasn't listed on the manufacturer's site as compatible. The mount is surprisingly versatile. 2. GPU temps with the new cooler are about 36c at idle, and 46c under load. 3. The best part - this cooler is completely silent!

Cons: The plastic clips that anchor the cooler to the top end of the card look like they will break if I try to remove and reposition them.

Overall Review: FYI... to get this to fit my HD 5570, I needed to leave out the little plastic spacers that came with the mounting hardware - as leaving them in place would have left some space between the GPU and the copper heatsink. Other than that it was really straightforward to get this mounted to my card. For people who are complaining that the RAM heat spreaders are falling off - the instructions say to first rub the top of the ram chips with an eraser (i.e. a pencil eraser) before putting o the head spreaders. I did this - and while I have no idea *why* it works - it worked perfectly for me.

Not sure where this CPU would be useful

AMD Sempron 140 - Sempron Sargas Single-Core 2.7 GHz Socket AM3 45W Processor - SDX140HBGQBOX
AMD Sempron 140 - Sempron Sargas Single-Core 2.7 GHz Socket AM3 45W Processor - SDX140HBGQBOX

Pros: Less than $40. If you get lucky (I wasn't, although that wasn't my reason for buying this chip either), you might be able to unlock a second core. Easy to keep cool.

Cons: Surprisingly inefficient power usage at idle loads. My entire Phenom II x3 720 (95W TDP) system consumes about 65 watts at idle. When I threw a Sempron 140 (45W TDP) into the same system, the total system consumed 55 watts - a whopping 10 watt difference. It also makes for a horrendous desktop experience, hanging for several seconds at a time even if all you are doing is surfing the web. Modern OSes and applications really seem to demand multiple cores.

Overall Review: My goal was to use this processor for an always-on HTPC / Home Server that I am building. However, because of the poor energy efficiency I don't recommend this processor for any system meant to run 24/7. Furthermore, I wouldn't recommend it for any sort of user-facing desktop environment, since the single core can be so unresponsive. Therefore, if you care about energy efficiency, I'd say you'd be better off with an Atom, CULV (Celeron SU2300), or Fusion-based system. Any of these systems should consume less than half of what a Sempron 140-based system would consume. Or, if you are after performance, just go ahead and buy an Athlon II or Phenom II-based system. You'll pay a few bucks more for the CPU, and slightly more for electricity to run it, but your experience will be *so* much better. Like I said in the title - I'm not really sure where this CPU would be useful. All that said - it still gets 3 stars because for <$40, you can afford to throw one away!

Quiet after voltage adjustment

Nexus BASIC D12SL-12 Case cooler
Nexus BASIC D12SL-12 Case cooler

Pros: Highly recommended at silentpcreview.com. I have it paired with a Zalman Fan Mate 2 cranked down to the lowest voltage, and it is completely silent.

Cons: Taking off an egg because it's not completely silent at its stock speed. This may not be fair because I'm not sure if there are any fans out there that are completely silent at stock voltage (and if there were, people would probably complain that it is underpowered). But I still think it's kind of lame that I need to spend an extra $8 dollars on a fan controller just to get a fan that is truly silent.

Overall Review: Overall, I am satisfied with this purchase and would not hesitate to buy this fan again.