Date Joined: 07/28/03
Pros: RX 6800XT (speedy, mostly matching the RTX 3080, except in ray tracing)
16GB of video memory (still haven't touched half of it)
Excellent hash rate for mining during off hours
Blazing fast when water cooled
Cons: cooler is middling. Running normally with no overclocking, the GPU sat at 80C/85C and ~2250MHz-ish
There is only 1 waterblock on the market that fits this card, and it sells from China, so it takes a while to come in.
Overall Review: I "won" the chance to buy this card, with a motherboard I didn't need, at the price they were selling for at auction. It's kind of annoying, but I guess in the end I got a "free" motherboard in case my main breaks down. It's a fast card, but I'm not thrilled at the cost, considering it was more than twice MSRP.
Pros: Easy to put on, easy to feed into the loop as input and output can be done from either side, easy even to mount vertically. The copper just looks great, too. With my loop, it lets my 2080 to run at maximum speeds all the time, instead of 150-200 lower than maximum as it was doing on the air cooler. I love having it.
Cons: It doesn't allow me to use my EVGA power PowerLink, which was disappointing. Also, no RGB, which may be a good thing, or not, depending on your wants. I like not having extra power cords running off it. Can be a bit difficult to bleed air out when mounted vertically, but that's not a big thing.
Overall Review: Excellent value, if you already have a custom loop for your CPU. It's really easy to add on.
Pros: nice laptop. Easy to get most drivers because it is nearly all Intel hardware: graphics, wireless, wired network, etc. The only thing I could not get drivers for was the fingerprint reader.
Cons: Came with only a couple drivers loaded, the wireless network and the wired network. Graphics wouldn't even support the right resolution with the way it was loaded. If an normal user had received one of these this way, it would not be very usable. Fingerprint scanner wasn't usable. the special buttons weren't usable. Even power management features weren't usable.
What a poor image to load on this machine. They obviously didn't put any effort into making it work right. I wouldn't trust the warranty or claims of support, that's for sure.
Also, it came with a 3rd party hard drive. It wasn't the original HP hard drive, and the one they put in was the cheapest, least reliable brand out there: Toshiba. I replaced it immediately. I'm not trusting any data to a Toshiba hard drive. Every single Toshiba hard drive I've had in my (server software) test lab has failed, and that's on the order of hundreds.
The only reason I'm not giving it one egg is because it is an operational laptop, and I am capable of loading the drivers myself. It's not the laptop's fault, nor the manufacturer, HP. It's the refurbisher, US Micro, that's at fault.
Overall Review: If it wasn't so cheap through a Shell-Shocker, I wouldn't advise buying it.
Pros: Nice board layout, PLX bridge to enhance PCIe capabilities, M.2 PCIe slot, clean, not unnecessarily complex
Cons: reliability problems, support is significantly lacking. My first board lasted ten days, then it bluescreened and wouldn't boot. Through troubleshooting, using 4 different sets of memory, three on their approved list, and 2 different CPUs, a Core i7 4770k and a Pentium G3220, I found that any memory in slot B1 would cause the system to not boot with a 0055 code, and if all four are populated it would give a ddFE code. It took 7 days to get through the process to get a new board sent to me, which is way too long. When I got the new board, I had the exact same problem. I got a Sabretooth Z97 mark 2 from a local place, and both CPUs and all 4 sets of memory work fine in that board, so I know it is not me, nor my other equipment. I had to buy the second board just to be sure it wasn't me, and that I wasn't going crazy. I dread having to go through the RMA process again.
Overall Review: I've been an Asus fan for a long time. I've purchased around fifty Asus boards. I've bought some competitors' boards at times, but I've always had issues with them. Asus has always had very compatible and reliable boards for me in the past. I just never had to deal with their support before. Wow, am I disappointed with their support process. The people are great, but they really need to work on streamlining their processes and make support easier to reach. The whole "file a case online and then call or online chat with support" thing is quite annoying.
Pros: nice WQHD screen, simple to operate. nice clear picture. nice anti-glare coating.
Cons: only two inputs: DisplayPort and dual link DVI-D. Horrible support, majorly fragmented, hard to get to the right department. Horrible functionality, with DisplayPort, will sometimes swap vertical lines, leaving a very distorted picture, no controls over anything other than power. Horrible reliability, I bought one at another retailer, the power supply went out after a week, swapped, the power supply on the next one went out after 3 months, swapped, power supply went out again after ten days, swapped, power supply went out after another 6 weeks, swapped, power supply went out again after a month. The last one has lasted me over a year now.
Overall Review: This being a refurbished unit may have the new power supply that is actually reliable, but with such a short warranty period, I wouldn't take the chance. Heck, some people with these may have the ones I swapped out because of bad power supplies. I'll never trust an HP monitor again.
Pros: Great for backing up your system to either an image file so you can restore the whole thing at once or as individual files to restore in case of accidental deletion. Also great for moving a system from an old hard drive to a newer one, like upgrading to an SSD.
Cons: Cannot back up to network drives very well under Windows 8 or 8.1. When trying to set it up for backing up to a network drive, it says it sets up correctly, but when it runs it doesn't authenticate to the other machine properly and the backup fails. I have not tried this under Windows 7, but Windows 8 and 8.1 totally failed. I could only back up to drives connected directly to the machine. It is probably due to UAC, but I flat out refuse to turn off one of the most vital security features of Windows 8 just to make this work. It is also very slow to start up, and I can't tell why. I have 4 SSDs in my system and no mechanical hard drives other than my backup target USB 3 drive, and yet this programs takes almost 3 minutes to start.
Overall Review: I bought this to back up to a network drive, and it failed. It's not the only program to do this, though, and it is better than several others that I've tried. Currently, I am running it to back up to a USB 3 drive. That, at least, works well enough.
Pros: Excellent drive. Great performance, some would argue top of the line. The software that comes with it (Samsung Magician) makes it even better with a great caching routine and optimization settings. (I don't agree with all the settings, but it's mostly good.)
Cons: None. Maybe that it is only 6Gb/s SATA instead of PCIe?
Overall Review: Many people don't install the software, and for most drives they'd be right. For this one, you will definitely want the software. It increases performance significantly.
Pros: Excellent performance on Socket 2011, and easy to config, just remember to use the XMP profile. A lot of people don't seem to realize that they need to just set the XMP profile to get full performance out of it. Memory isn't plug and play unless you want to deal with the "slow but easy and stable" OEM stuff, but the config isn't hard at all. It just requires staying informed.
Cons: The heatsinks are a little tall and can interfere with certain coolers. My experiences with this memory are that it doesn't even need these cooler. They're barely warm to the touch while running full bore. Are they really needed? I prefer to just use a close loop water cooler to avoid issues like this.
Overall Review: These are the same modules that are used in other DDR3-2133 modules, but are tuned for lower latency instead. They can be overclocked, but it will raise the latency. It doesn't overclock to 2133 as well as some others because of this low latency tuning. This is more geared toward being able to load up a full 64GB on a Socket 2011 board without having crippling latency, rather than flat out speed. Think light sports pickup vs sports car. A couple sets like this will give you high end gaming performance while giving you enough memory to run all those VMs or high res Photoshop or video editing while not gaming. It does the job well.
Pros: Nice slot layout. Boots. Lots of SATA ports.
Cons: I had this thing for a while with the F2 bios, and although it wasn't great, it worked, until I put the newest F4 bios on it. Now, my screensaver doesn't work, the fans go at 100% all the time, it goes into the bios config every time it fresh boots, and the keyboard, any keyboard, won't work in either Windows or Linux until it is unplugged and plugged back in, after the OS loads. I put in an email with Gigabyte support three days ago, and no response at all so far. They've also locked the bios so it can't be flashed back to older versions. So, going back to F2 is not going to happen.
Overall Review: Gigabyte used to be an average company with average support and quality. Their support and quality have gone downhill hardcore over the last couple years. After 16 years as an It professional and 24 years building my own computers, I don't advise getting Gigabyte products anymore. It makes me sad.
Pros: Fast (noticeably faster than the MS Surface), nice screen, clean design, SD card expansion. It's great for just about everything I use on a tablet, and many things I only thought I'd do with a PC.
Cons: Storage is a bit low, but that's to be expected on a tablet. Can't store more than a few movies on it. I bring along three 32GB SD cards to hold all my 720p movies when I travel.
Overall Review: With friends and coworkers who have the Surface, I find the XPS10 to be superior. That's why I ordered it instead of the Surface. (Now, I said "Surface" not "Surface Pro". The Surface Pro is in an entirely different category, and price range. This won't compare to the Surface Pro, but it costs a whole lot less, too.) I advise getting it with the keyboard dock for better battery life and many functions you can't do without a touchpad. A lot of WinRT is still geared around using a touchpad or mouse. It's not a 100% tablet OS.
Pros: Excellent plain paper print quality, inexpensive for a color laser, very easy to set up with either DHCP or static address, easy toner replacement, very low power consumption when on standby, starter cartridges are standard size, direct network connection means no need for a print server.
Cons: The toner cartridges are pricey. It's cheaper to buy a new printer than to replace the cartridges. While it prints very quickly, the low power consumption leads to long warmup times. it takes a couple minutes to warm up and start printing, but this is common among laser printers and just part of life. If you have a lot to print, it's better to lump it all into one job.
Overall Review: Some people have complained there is no wireless. In my experiences, I'm happy it is not. Wireless networking is too insecure and has too many problems. If you want to keep other people from using your printer, wired is best.
Pros: Excellent mouse. I have two now, one for work and one for my HTPC. It plugs in and just works. No need for drivers or software.
Cons: it uses batteries. Not many, maybe two per year, but it uses batteries. I prefer rechargables, but, oh well. That's life.
Overall Review: If you like a wireless mouse, and like a simple mouse that doesn't need extra software, this is the mouse for you.
Pros: We use these at work, and I got one for myself at home. They're easy to install, and it's great that they enable the write caching on the controller, but...
Cons: These things are SO expensive! The 3ware 9650 and 9690 had separate boards with batteries for $100 and the replacement batteries were less than $20. LSI took over 3ware and they decided to attach the board to the battery and double the price. It's horrible. They could have chosen to make a separate battery and made it easier on their customers. Besides that, I know for certain the board costs less than $20 to make. I love LSI controllers, they're easy to use and great performance, but this type of behavior is terribly greedy.
Overall Review: I think I'm going to go with Dell controllers from now on. This is just too much of a ripoff. Dell uses LSI chips, but custom board design and separate batteries with no addon boards needed to use a battery. With their custom firmware, they perform better, too. You can even get them for cheaper than the LSI boards. I'm sorry LSI, but you're been ripping us off too much to tolerate.
Pros: Great screen, beautiful quality, easy to set up and get going. Good warranty procedure. Too bad I couldn't do an advance exchange, though.
Cons: no adjustments at all, only two inputs, the buttons on the front seem to do nothing at all. The first one I got died in 10 days, no advance exchange offered, had to do without my new monitor for over a week.
Pros: I've used about two dozen of these in my company's software test lab (I'm the admin) and they're so easy to work with, especially when moving a bunch of equipment into one all at once. Just take the sides and doors off, and have fun being able to access your cables anywhere you need. The sides are also adjustable if you have short rails or shelves to mount. The PDU mounts are also great with APC PDUs. Just click those suckers in place and you're set. I use the AP8841 PDUs, which work quite well.
Cons: it is a bit light. It will handle 2250lbs on the wheels and 3000lbs on the feet, (I've pushed one to the limit on wheels with 4 Dell R910s and 6 16 drive LSI storage arrays) but it can feel a bit 'light' (if you know what I mean) when moving the rack when it is close to capacity. It flexes a little when getting pushed. Oh, it will still hold, but it just feels light. Just be careful.
Overall Review: Be warned, though, if you tie the cables together in a spot you can't access without the side panels off, you may have to leave the cables there if one goes bad.
Pros: FAST! This thing put my system on nitros. If it weren't for my raid controller initialization, my system would boot in under 30 seconds.
Cons: It actually works better with a separate raid controller, preferably an enterprise server level one. I could only get about 300MB/s out of this drive with the Intel chipset controller, but with a 3Ware 9750, it would get 450+MB/s read and 410+MB/s write. (A Sandforce based drive actually performs slower under the same circumstances.) A decent controller that would help this drive is about $400 on the low end.
Pros: Great features, lots of USB3 ports, nice slot arrangement, overclocks well
Cons: There are a few issues. The USB3 ports actually cause some problems. They lose connection with USB devices at random (losing my mouse in the middle of a WoW dungeon isn't much fun) which is caused by a firmware and driver issue, but it won't allow me to update the firmware because "plural adaptors were found." Whatever that means. In addition, the audio controller isn't very good, and 5.1 surround is a no go. It enables it, and it plays out of all the speakers, but there is no real positional audio function to it. all sounds come out of all speakers the same. I advise a sound card and a 4 port USB 2 port slot cover from the MB headers.
Overall Review: Asus driver support is usually pretty good, but has been a bit lacking on this board. Their support forum is aggravating, to say the least. I can't even sign in, they say they reset my password, but then the one they send me won't work. I can't even contact anyone to see what could be wrong.
Pros: can run low end or older games, nice screen, decent processor speed, decent graphics speed, for the price
Cons: bad mem config (need matched pairs to get dual channel performance) and very slow hard drive (5400rpm = boo!)
Overall Review: I replaced the memory with a kit that ran less than 10% of the price of the laptop and increased graphics performance about 30%, and replaced the hard drive with an older SSD I had laying around and got it to boot in less than 1/4 of the time, then put the original hard drive in a USB 3 enclosure to keep around when I needed large storage for it. (The reinstall of the OS was nice in that I didn't have to deal with HP's bloatware anymore, too.) It works beautifully with a little extra money and modification.
Pros: Extremely stable, able to recover from power failures and hardware issues better than Linux or Unix, built in free virtualization, better virtualization for Windows than competitors, excellent security, faster and safer NAT routing than Unix or Linux, great for a small business. Great for DNS and DHCP. Best of all, wonderfully easy to work with.
Cons: Virtualization doesn't play well with Linux, and the licensing limitations on the Standard version only allow one virtual machine on the same license. (Enterprise allows 5, Datacenter has no limit)
Overall Review: I work in a test lab with all kinds of operating systems, from Linux (SLES, RHEL, CentOS) and Unix (Solaris, AIX, HP-UX) to Windows (2000, 2003, 2008). Windows 2008 R2 is the best of the best. I've had so many installs of Unix or Linux crash due to a power outage that it drives me crazy when we get a little blip in power, but the Windows machines just boot back up and keep plugging along. Most of my coworkers are Linux fans, but I can do whatever they want with Windows and get it done in one tenth of the time it takes to do it with Linux. Even if all versions of Linux were free, it would cost far less to run this just because of so much labor involved with doing anything with Linux. It isn't perfect, but it really is that good.
Pros: Great card. It's faster and quieter than my pair of GTX470 cards, and uses far less power. It's easy to overclock, has FXAA (faster alternative full screen anti aliasing, taking away the jagged edges) and the best overall video card upgrade I have ever had. After 20 years of building my own computers, that's really saying something.
Cons: It is slower than the previous generation in 64-bit GPGPU computing, but not many people really use that. It does present an issue to some people when V-sync is enabled, but I have not seen this issue at all. (I have adaptive vsync enabled.) For some people, it's not a perfect fit. There are ways to work around these, though.
Overall Review: I recommend this to anyone who can get one.
Pros: Fast to warm up and print, good quality printing, small, power sipper, long life on the toner cartridge.
Cons: drivers are a little more complicated than they need to be. the high capacity toner cartridge costs more than I spent on the printer itself, but it should last me as long as the printer will.
Overall Review: I have mine attached to a central system (Server 2008) and share it out to the other computers (3 Windows 7 machines). works beautifully.
Pros: Bright, vivid screen, fast, handles multitasking very well, good weight, nice and slim. durable casing!
Cons: battery life a little low compared to others (I've heard, I have no personal experience with others.) lasts about 3-4 hours reading web pages with flash advertisements. maybe a little too light and slim for my thick, clumsy fingers. I've dropped mine twice :( No damage, though.
Overall Review: I love it. now I can sit on my couch and surf the web, read tech news, etc. I just wish I could use it to watch Hulu, though. Hulu says it's not supported. :(
Pros: fast drive, 750GB capacity, good with a raid controller
Cons: 1 was DOA, other died after only 2 weeks, but not from QA, manufacturing, or design issues. It was the horrible way NewEgg packed the drives. WD has been very nice in replacing these for me. We'll see if they actually do replace the drives once they get them and see the G sensors tripped.
Overall Review: NewEgg needs to pack their hard drives better, any just about everything else. In every case I've ordered something lately, the packing was in there just to fill space, with the items right on the bottom, not cushioned at all on at least one side. They need to put some of the packing material under and beside the items. Hard drives need specialized packing to arrive unharmed. They should know this already.
Pros: FAST, 512MB buffer makes certain functions even faster, easy to install with Windows 7, good monitoring software
Cons: Price. It's expensive, but you get what you pay for. The 512MB buffer throws off ATTO disk benchmarks. (It was showing 2.2TB/s transfer rates at 256MB blocks!) The initialization takes too long. (It's about 15-20 seconds, where the rest of my boot sequence takes less than 10!) Doesn't include cables. Difficult to hook up an activity LED.
Overall Review: I have 2 Vertex 2 120GB drives with this thing, and it works great. I don't understand how other reviewers can complain about this card. I had no issues at all getting this installed with my main drive on Windows 7 Ultimate x64. (Someone who doesn't know what they're doing with installing Win7 might have some issues, but some minor logical reasoning could get you past that.) It performs about 10-15% faster than the Intel ICH (probably the 512MB buffer). I never noticed any high pitched whine from mine. There's really nothing that can make noise on this board. There are no moving parts. I have no idea what that guy is talking about.
Pros: Nearly as fast as a direct SATA connection, but external. Works with all the drives I've tried, three different brands.
Cons: Doesn't conduct the heat from the drive very well. the drives get hot and sometimes overheat and quit working until they cool. I advise using low RPM drives.
Overall Review: I have 5 of these: 3 for myself for systems backups, 1 for my parents, 1 for my older sister. They have all worked very well except for the little overheating problem. With 7200rpm drives, they need to have plenty of air space around them. With 5400rpm drives, they work fine even hidden behind desks. (I put my backup drives behind the desk so if someone steals my computer they won't get the data backup. That way I can at least recover my data after replacing the computer.)