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Steven S.

Steven S.

Joined on 05/28/01

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 4
Most Favorable Review

Hermes P3 w/brown switches is a great keyboard!

Gamdias HERMES P3 RGB Mechanical LOW-PROFILE KEYS aluminum Keyboard (Brown Switch)
Gamdias HERMES P3 RGB Mechanical LOW-PROFILE KEYS aluminum Keyboard (Brown Switch)

Pros: Gamdias uses a rebranded low-profile Kialh Brown switch that feels just perfect for my needs... mechanical tactile feel without the loud clicking that keeps people up at night. With the low profile switch, it just feels more natural and its a perfect balance for both gaming and typing. The RGB lighting is nice and with the Hera software (free download) you can fully customize a LOT with this keyboard... for me, i just wanted to program certain keys to be a certain color (like WASD for my FPS games)... if you really want to get into it, the HERA software will also allow a host of macros to be programmed. The board has a simple layout, not too gamery or exotic, and it's just a very clean and functional design.

Cons: Out of the box, the windows key is on the right and the function key is on the left... opposite of what pretty much every other keyboard has... but it is swappable with the keypuller and using the Hera software (first thing I did was swap the keys and programming around). Speaking of the Hera software, Gamdias's website is really wonky, good luck figuring out how to even download the software (I eventually was able to), and once you install the software, while powerful, its a bit of a hot mess... you can do a lot with the software, but there's going to be some trail and error with it.

Overall Review: Overall, I really enjoy the keyboard and am having a good time with it... while there are some cons, once you get past them, they're not an ongoing issue, so are easily forgotten. If you want a basic looking keyboard with good RGB lighting, lots of options for customization and a really good feeling mechanical keyboard in a low profile, I heartily recommend the Gandias Hermes P3.

Most Critical Review

It will work, but don't brag to your friends about it

ASRock B460M-HDV LGA 1200 Intel B460 SATA 6Gb/s Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
ASRock B460M-HDV LGA 1200 Intel B460 SATA 6Gb/s Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: - It's Inexpensive - It will fit in the smallest MATX cases - two M.2 slots

Cons: - No VRM heat sinks - Questionable VRM power delivery for Intel Turbo Boost - Only two memory slots

Overall Review: I bought this board very much on purpose and knowing all it's downsides in advance... I would not recommend this board to anyone else unless they know what they're getting (or not getting) with this board. Not all B460 motherboards are equal... and this board is definitely on the lower end (but there are worse boards). The adage "you get what you pay for" certainly holds true with motherboards and if you're just looking at the price and want a 10th Gen Comet Lake CPU, I wouldn't go with this board... spend a few bucks more and get a better B460 chipset board. While in theory you can put any Intel 10th Gen Comet Lake CPU in this MB, and it will run, you are most likely getting a subpar performance and you may not even know it. Intel's Turbo Boost technology boosts the speed of your CPU as long as the power delivery and temperatures are within bounds, and this is where this cheap motherboard cut corners to save a buck and you'll suffer for it. If you put an i7 10700 in this board, it has a base clock of 2.9GHz with a Turbo Boost of up to 4.8GHz... IF the power delivery and temperatures hold... the VRM that powers the CPU on this MB is only a 7 power phase VRM with no heatsinks to keep temps down... under stress you will probably never reach or hold that 4.8GHz speed, and you may be much closer to 2.9GHz than 4.8GHz with a cheap board like this, vs a better B460 board with better power delivery (as an example, the MSI B460M Mortar has a 12+1+1 power phase with beefy heatsinks on the VRM). So why did I buy this Motherboard knowing all this? I have four PCs in my house and one of them is in my bedroom in a tiny MATX case in a tiny space in my bedroom that is only used to surf the web and not much else... the case I use and need doesn't hold bigger/better MATX motherboards, so I bought this board based only on the fact it's a pretty tiny board, but also had some nice features like two M.2 slots... since I dont need the VRM to get the CPU to run at max Turboboost, this MB was acceptable to me... but I also rebuilt two other systems in the house and I put MSI B460M Mortar MBs in those systems, because that is a high quality board that will handle any CPU you throw at it (even a i9 10900K would run with that VRM) and has more features like 4 ram slots. In conclusion, i'd stay far away from this Motherboard if you want all your CPU has to offer with Turbo Boost... it will work, it has some nice features, but there are far better boards out there than this. But hey, if you need a tiny MATX board for a tiny MATX case, then ya, I suppose this will do.

Great bang for buck, strange boot-up delay

ASUS GeForce GT 730 2GB DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 Video Card GT730-2GD3-CSM
ASUS GeForce GT 730 2GB DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 Video Card GT730-2GD3-CSM

Pros: Based on the NVidia GT 730 chipset, this is an excellent value card. Fanless, runs quiet and runs cool under load, I used this card to upgrade my daughters two-year-old budget system (with a very budget card that wasn't adequate two years ago). I got a huge performance boost in her system, she's able to play World of Warcraft (WoD) with good smooth framerates and her other 3D games too, all for a very wallet-friendly price.

Cons: Almost thought I had a defective card... after installing and initial boot, I was greeted with an almost completely black screen for some time (though there was something written in the very bottom right of screen)... the computer just sat there doing nothing, being almost totally black... after awhile (90 seconds to be exact, I've since timed the delay), the card proceeds to boot normally to Windows without any other problems and performs fine once you're up and running. After some research, it seems this card has a slight problem in the card's own BIOS that is searching for which video to output too (it has VGA, DVI and HDMI options). I have a DVI monitor, and ran DVI to DVI and got a 90 second delay to boot... I tried a HDMI to DVI cord and still got the 90 second delay, so I dunno how to solve the boot delay, but its definitely a card BIOS problem... minor overall, as the card performs just fine once the system is up and running without problems.

Overall Review: Overall, this is a very solid card, for a solid price, that runs quiet and cool and is great in a budget system or for upgrading that old system that you don't want to drop a lot of cash on. Its not for hardcore gamers, but it will perform admirably on graphics for a budget price. I'm giving this 3 out of 5 stars... while there's nothing overall "wrong" with the card, I cant help but think for the same price, I could get the same chipset on a different manufacturer's card without the odd BIOS 90-second boot delay. This is an odd oversight from an otherwise very reliable ASUS company.

Excellent Value

HEC Vigilance400 Black 0.5 mm Thickness SGCC Micro ATX Mini Tower Computer Case with Dual 8cm Fan, 2x USB2.0, Audio HP400 400W Power Supply
HEC Vigilance400 Black 0.5 mm Thickness SGCC Micro ATX Mini Tower Computer Case with Dual 8cm Fan, 2x USB2.0, Audio HP400 400W Power Supply

Pros: I can't recall a better deal with both a very nice solid case and a 400W power supply for $45 (at time of purchase). The case is roomy, with plenty of space for a MicroATX MB and whatever else you'd like to add. The case looks sharp and has a nice solid feel to it, I couldn't be happier with this case!

Cons: included case fans are 4-pin Molex fans and do not directly connect to the MB... its a minor grumble to be sure and easily replaced if it bothers you. The included 400W* power supply is an HEC ORION HP400 PSU of dubious quality. It only had one 80mm fan on the back of the unit passing air through a stamped grill. While it is advertised as a 400W PSU and has the model# of a 400W PSU (the HP400-series), the only label on the PSU itself proudly boasted a total wattage of 95Watts... that's not a typo... 95watts... I have read of others with the same HP400-series of PSU where it read 230watts... I also understand it may well not be the TOTAL output of the PSU, and only a portion of some of the lines involved (it probably is 400W total in some secret way), but I just felt uncomfotable trusting my system to an obviously budget PSU that screams "hey, I got 95 watts for you" on the label. I did run the system on the ORION HP400 PSU for a week (without problems) for a week before I replaced the PSU with a Sentey 525Watt PSU (for $30) for peace of mind.

Overall Review: Overall, i'm giving this product 4 out of 5 eggs... I might have gave a lengthy "Con" to the PSU in this case, but really, the case alone without a PSU is well worth the $45 asking price, and if you're a gambling man, the included PSU may well work for a long time without issues... I just decided to up it to a better 525watt PSU for an extra $30 for peace of mind. I am still very happy with this case, and would buy another without hesitation as I find it a very good value (i would just replace the PSU in another build). Overall, great value and a very nice case... and thats what I was focused on... a very good case, which this is.