Date Joined: 11/08/10
Pros: Overclocks well, good bang for the buck.
Cons: heatsink is pretty lame, but it gets the job done i suppose.
Overall Review: AMD FX-6300 @ 4.0GHz
GIGABYTE GA-78LMT uATX AM3+
16GB (8GBx2) DDR3 1333 RAM
Western Digital WD Blue WD10EZEX 1TB 7200 RPM
Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
Antec Earthwatts 430W
Pros: Worked perfectly out of the box, no hiccups whatsoever.
Cons: Only runs DDR3-1333 speeds, 2200 MHz HT, SATA II speeds. Not really cons, more like sacrifices you have to make to get a uATX board that has four RAM slots while still on a budget.
Overall Review: Running this rig...
FX-6300 @ 4.0 GHz w/old phenom ii x4 stock cooler.
Nvidia GT 630
1 TB WD Blue
Antec Earthwatts 430W
Pros: it turned on once
Cons: it turned on once
Overall Review: i'm so upset, it worked once and now nothing. i've never had this nice of a tv before, and i turn it on once and now nothing. i waited patiently all week for it. i never spend this kind of money on myself. and this is what i get. should have known better than to cheap out and buy refurbished. i don't understand. i thought refurbished meant tested and working properly? i know they slip through the cracks sometimes, but it took me like 10 minutes to get it to turn on the one time it did. this one had scratches on it too. i worked hard all day anxious to get home and play a new video game, and nothing. siggghhhhhhh. buying the Sceptre version instead and hoping to return this piece of junk. i wanted to go Vizio because it was a name brand. what a mistake. i don't have much faith in the Sceptre one, but that's all i can afford.
Pros: Works GREAT on my Phenom II X4 955!
Overall Review: I just got a new case and in the process of moving everything over, i noticed that the first time i clearly didn't use enough paste. i use the "rice grain" method and apparently my rice grain didn't spread as much as i thought it would. So i reapplied with a dab about twice the length of a rice grain horizontally across the copper/aluminium heat pipes of the TI and presto! 4.0 GHz @ 50C max w/1.4375V. I got it to run stable @ 4.2 GHz @ 55C max w/1.48V, but i don't want to push it too hard. no need. this thing is amazing!
Pros: cheap, 5.1, good software on CD, decent equalizer, it works with windows 7.
Cons: see below.
Overall Review: I'm kinda picky about my music quality, and I was looking for a decent sound card to pair with my Sony MDR-V6 headphones. I've never had a soundcard before, and having seen the good reviews for this one i decided to give it a try. My verdict is this: it's worth it...but barely. Did it improve music quality vs. onboard? I suppose, mostly due to the equalizer it has, but not by much. the simulated surround sound is kinda cool too i guess. if anything it was worth it just to satisfy my curiosity of whether or not a $30 card could make much difference. To me, it wasn't much different, but it does have nice features for the price.
Pros: I've had this GPU for about a month, and it's super! paired with a phenom ii x4 @ 3.8GHz, it can run BF3 at 1080p on ultra settings with maybe 45 fps minimum. incredible. cooling is superb. haven't tried overclocking but i'm pretty sure it would be fine. pretty quiet. i just think it's great.
Cons: none. just be sure you have one 6pin and one 8pin connector on your PSU.
Overall Review: the price point compared to the HD 7950 makes it a difficult choice. but for 1080p gaming it's great, and it also gives the option to do efficient folding, so it may just be worth the extra few bucks.
Phenom II X4 955 @ 3.8GHz
Gigabyte GTX 670
Rosewill Capstone Series 550W Gold (my pride n joy. yeah i'm weird).
Biostar TA880GB+ AM3
2x4 GB DDR3 1333 RAM
Pros: Very lightweight, sturdy, good layout, looks crazy good for a "cheap" case, comes with motherboard speaker and all the screws/standoffs you'll need, comes with front 120mm fan and rear 80mm fan (has holes for 92mm fan i think as well), side panels fit perfectly, can easily fit an HD 6870, I haven't tried it but I don't think my 92mm CPU heatsink will fit.
Cons: one of the optical bay drive covers had a maybe 2cm crack in it. I didn't even notice it for a couple days. I want to give this case 5 stars, but it's hard to do so for something that's technically not quite right, even though it's small and doesn't bother me. I don't have an ODD at the moment, otherwise i'd just take it out.
Overall Review: Heck of a case for the price. it's so lightweight, it kinda surprised me. Everything fits well, no scuffs, scrapes, or dents besides the one ODD bay cover. Packaged relatively well BTW, fast shipping as always from Newegg.
Pros: 80 plus gold, black mesh cable sleeves (really does make a difference in non-modular PSUs), 140mm nearly silent fan, comes with 5 black cable ties and a power cord, rated well by Jonnyguru and Anandtech, got it for 65 bucks on a sale :)
Cons: What, no velvet bag like Seasonic? *sobs into crackly plastic bag*
Overall Review: I've only had this PSU a little while, but I love it already. I have to say, my PC runs much quieter now, even at full load it's not much louder than idle. I actually mounted this PSU upside down in a top-mounted case, which seems to have helped my CPU temps a bit due to the fact that some excess CPU exhaust air is being sucked through the PSU (don't worry, there's a 120mm fan back there too).
Pros: It works well, is pretty quiet IMO, doesn't run hot (although I have pretty good air movement in my case), ran Furmark on it for maybe 3 or 4 hours with no problems. I even have it OC'd a little bit with the ATI software (just 920MHz and 1080MHz, i don't like to push my hardware too much). I also got the rebate in about 6 weeks, so i got this card for $120 :} Here's some numbers...
WEI = 7.3, 7.3, 7.8, 7.8, 7.8.
3D Mark11 = 3213 w/ athlon II x2 250, 4092 w/ phenom II x4 955.
Idle Temp = 34C
Full Load = 68C
BF3 avg FPS w/Fraps = 45-65ish @ 720p on Ultra settings, have never seen lower than 40 or so.
Cons: I did happen to have some BSODs in the early going, but i don't know if it was the GPU or not. I kept getting this error...
I'm barely an amateur builder and don't know my error codes very well, and after no luck looking it up i just dealt with it and continued to update Catalyst as patches came out. It hasn't had any trouble in about 3 weeks of BF3 mayhem, and I couldn't be happier with it.
Overall Review: I'm running this card by itself with an "old" phenom ii x4 @ 3.2 GHz, "regular" 2x4GB of DDR31333 RAM, and a "basic" Antec Earthwatts 430W PSU and getting 55 FPS @ 720p on Ultra settings on one the latest and most demanding games.
This is the first dedicated GPU I've ever had.
Pros: 6 mb L3, unlocked multiplier, decent little heatsink, etc.
Cons: nothing really. runs a little hot IMHO, but not bad and it could be from several different factors like me having a difficult time mounting it, putting on my own thermal grease for the first time, case temps (although mine is about 72F idle), etc. Prime 95 gets it to 60C max pretty quickly, but no more. BF3 takes it to 55C max and 5500 RPM on ultra settings for 720p TV (it's loud yeah, but not ridiculous). It idles at 36-38C after maybe 24 hours of cure time.
Overall Review: Windows experience index scores improved from 6.5 (CPU) and 7.1 (RAM) w/x2 250 Regor to 7.3 and 7.3.
Also, 3DMark11 scores w/x2 250 Regor and HD 6870 improved from 3213 to 4092 on the basic performance test thing.
This is the nicest CPU i've ever had. People seem to forget how much they're getting for $105 (wait for the e-mail deals). I'm not rich by any means, i went to school but couldn't find a job afterwards, so now i'm making barely over minimum wage. Thank you AMD for making great bang for the buck CPUs like this one, it helps budget PC builders like me get a little extra power for their money and enjoy their hobby even more.
Pros: Incredibly powerful for such a "basic" PSU. 384W on the two 12V rails, 80 plus bronze, runs well and relatively quietly. Never had any problems whatsoever.
Cons: Only has one 6-pin power connector, but no biggie. It clearly says it in the description, all you need is a molex to 6-pin converter cable if you're running a GPU that needs two. Green color is OK. 80mm fan.
Overall Review: I've had this PSU for about 10 months now, and it's just plain amazing. I initially bought it for a low budget home PC build, but then I decided to make it into a gaming PC (it was only a matter of time lol). I initially thought i would likely need a much larger PSU to run my rig according to 95% of people on forums and such, but then i did some research. Turns out, the ol "better get yerself an 800 watter for that there HD5570" mentality isn't necessarily true. In fact, a decent 430W PSU can go a long way. I decided that, according to the numbers, this PSU shouldn't have any problem running an HD 6870 w/ a Phenom ii x4 955 at full load...I was pretty nervous because of what you see on the forums, but lo and behold I have been playing BF3 all afternoon and evening without so much as a hiccup. I'm so proud of this little PSU, runs like a champ.
Pros: it has the fan controller. soooo nice that you can get this w/o having to buy a fan controller too. blue LEDs are just about right, not too bright or too dim. comes with 8 screws and grill.
Cons: it's kinda sorta "loud" at anything above the lowest setting, but it's subjective. if you want your PC in a nice quiet office, you might want to get a more expensive scythe or noctua fan, but they probably won't move as much air...and they don't come with a fan controller...so idk. for me, it's not like a jet engine or anything, but i have it set sorta high and yeah it's a little loud as far as PCs go. but i don't mind.
Overall Review: good fans, i've gotten the 80mm ones as well and like them too.
Pros: Super cheap, small heat spreaders, 1600 mhz, crucial brand.
Cons: high cas latency (10), but it was $20. wouldn't it be awesome if GPUs had a pricing free-fall like this too?
Overall Review: i've been kinda waiting on newegg specials and the bulldozer line to save a few bucks on RAM like this and a phenom 2 x4, and put the savings toward getting a "nicer" gpu, like an hd 6850. that's the big time for a poor chap like me lol.
Here's my rig...
athlon 2 x2 250 3.0ghz
antec earthwatts 430w
2x1gb Kingston value ram 1333 cas 9
2x2gb Crucial Ballistix ram 1600 cas 10
(all RAM is running smoothly together, but only at 1066mhz due to CPU)
Pros: Not real big, pretty simple to set up, relatively user-friendly, NEVER dropped a connection in maybe 8 months or so (which, coming from a belkin 54g, is an awesome feature). pretty strong signal too.
Cons: Antennae aren't removable. The connection speed always connects at 130 mbps no matter what, whether it's on my 150mbps network card or my 300 mbps adapter. However, when I go into the GUI and "save" the settings, even without changing anything, it will connect at 150mbps or 300mbps until i put my computer to sleep or shut it off. I honestly doubt it's the router's fault, it's more likely my relative lack of networking knowhow, but i thought i'd share nonetheless.
Overall Review: Idk, I think it's a pretty good little router. I see a lot of negative reviews, but it's been quite the trooper. It provides good signal to the 3 family computers, plus my grandma's computer across the road that's got a big tree in the way (I set her up with an Alfa 9dbi usb wireless-n adapter, though, which gives her 4 bars and 15-20 Mbps, which isn't too bad performance-wise IMO).
Pros: Long cord, they're sorta comfortable (but get a little too tight for me personally after 45 minutes or so), good sound IMHO, much fuller sound than my skullcandy earbuds. Still working well after maybe 40 hours of use (2 months).
Cons: They're comfortable and uncomfortable at the same time for me. They have these really nice pads, but they're slightly too small for my ears (maybe average size? I guess?). But if I just wiggle 'em around every now and then I'm fine. Not too hot for me either unless i'm moving around a lot or something.
Overall Review: I own some $20 skullcandy earbuds and these HA-RX700 headphones, and my sister owns the Bose On-Ear headphones. I'm not a sound expert, but I thought that these were only slightly better than the skullcandy, and the Bose were only slightly better than the HA-RX700. I guess my advice would be, if you aren't an audiophile, to maybe think of getting these JVC headphones or something like it in the price range and that's rated well, because I just didn't see much difference between these and the Bose, not $150 worth by any means. But that's just me. Merely some food for thought.
Pros: It works fine, seems like relatively thick shielding, good quality.
Pros: Adjustable fan speed, usb connector with female adapter on the end so you don't lose a usb port on your computer.
Cons: It got really loud after about a year. all of the sudden to, not a gradual build up.
Overall Review: It is what it is, it worked fine for a while. I took it apart and cleaned it out, and that helped for a couple days then it got loud again. I don't know what the deal is. Nothing obvious to me anyway.
Pros: They work great, look cool, and the controller works well too. Just a standard back plate panel with knob. They're only "loud" in my case at above 80% or so. I bought two of these and they lowered my case temps from 82 to 79 degrees while decreasing noise levels somewhat from stock fans.
Cons: None really.
Overall Review: Red wasn't my first choice for color, but it's not a bright red or anything so they don't stand out too much. Fan grill color is black.
Pros: Works great, good sensitivity out of the box, nothing weird about it, cord is long enough but not too long.
Cons: Maybe not a "con" per se, but i'm a guy with normal size hands and i thought it was a little small. Not tiny or anything, just a tad smaller than average. Not by much though, i'm sure most people wouldn't care. just a personal preference.
Overall Review: Great mouse. At this price it's a bargain.
Pros: It works. works in linux, in windows, and that other OS.
seems pretty fast, although i honestly haven't transferred many large files with it yet, mostly just downloaded files to it and run programs off it, and it's run them very smoothly.
The rubbery case it's held in is great, makes it pretty much water proof. The cap is fine with me.
I got the rebate! and relatively quickly too, maybe 8 weeks? so i wound up getting this for 8 bucks.
I've been so much more popular with the ladies since i've been carrying this thing. i think it's cuz it adds to my natural bulge :).
Cons: I've carried it around with me on my keychain every day for a couple months now, and the rubber cap has never even tried to escape. i mean yeah, it could come off, but i'm rarely ever in such a hurry that i have to rip my keys from my pocket with such force that it takes the cap off. just be careful if that's how you roll i guess.
Overall Review: I made it into a bootable linux 10.10 drive, with like 2 GB in it's cache (casper rw) to save to. maybe everyone knows this, but if you leave all the linux program files strewn out on the flash drive's main folder, you can boot from the drive OR use it to transfer/run other files you have on there...if that makes any sense...anyway yes i like this drive.
Pros: Works great so far, absolutely no problems with it. 4 memory slots are nice, good BIOS, game boost thing for integrated graphics (upped to 700 MHz and 512 MB shared), HDMI/DVI/VGA, all the goodies. started up the very first try on my very first build!
Cons: Nothing actually wrong with it by any means, not yet anyway. doesn't have the latest features i suppose, but that's not really a con per se. maybe a little expensive? but i got it for $45 on a sale and it works, so heck, it's probably worth $75 for that anyway.
Overall Review: I did have some trouble with the CD drivers it came with, but I'm running ubuntu 10.10 64bit and assuming that's the problem? tried it with "Wine" but no luck, although i'm a noob with linux so i'm sure it's just me. (it's been just fine without them anyway). Haven't tried OCing or unlocking, but i'm pretty confident it would do just fine. Really great board in my opinion, I'd recommend it for sure.
AMD Athlon II X2 250
Antec Earthwatts 430W
Kingston 2 x 1GB DDR3 1333 (@1066MHz due to CPU)
Samsung F3 500GB 7200RPM
Pros: My bad everybody, I got the memory thing figured out. I thought i had deduced the problem to the CPU, but i was wrong. Great CPU and still running like a champ.
Cons: nothing really.
Overall Review: Yep i'm a noob, but we all gotta learn sometime eh? Just wanted to give this chip the 5 eggs it deserves.
Pros: They work, cheap, small.
Cons: Kinda quiet I think, if you get the set with the sub for 25-30 bucks it helps quite a bit (i got both).
Pros: Got them for my sister for Christmas and they're actually really good quality I thought. The subwoofer is what does it, i also got the same pair of satellite speakers without it and they're a bit on the quiet side in my opinion.
Cons: kind of a short power cord.
Pros: Works well, quiet, no smoke or weird noises, plenty of long cables, 80 plus certified bronze.
Cons: Not modular (i knew that, and with some extra cable ties it's fine), no power cable (again i knew that, but still).
Overall Review: I was rubbin' my pincers when i saw how power supplies in general seem to have a relatively high fail rate, so i went with this one due to all the good reviews and am so glad i did!
It powers this build:
Biostar AM3 TA880GB+
AMD Athlon 2 X2 250
Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB 7200 RPM
Asus CD/DVD burner
Kingston DDR3 (2x1GB)
2 80mm case fans with LEDs, plus LED bar in case.