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Ross B.

Ross B.

Joined on 07/11/06

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 13
Most Favorable Review

Follow up

Zotac ZBOX HD-ID11-U Intel Atom D510 NM10 Chipset 1 x 200Pin Next-Gen NVIDIA ION GPU Mini / Booksize Barebone System
Zotac ZBOX HD-ID11-U Intel Atom D510 NM10 Chipset 1 x 200Pin Next-Gen NVIDIA ION GPU Mini / Booksize Barebone System

Pros: This is a perfect little HTPC box. The processing power of the Ion and new Atom is more than enough to handle any movie format you throw at it. Setting up XBMC live on this was very easy. Plenty of physical connections, included DVI to VGA converter if you need it. The case is easy to pop off, no tools needed. A nice touch. It's very small, and aesthetically pleasing. It should look just fine in any home theater environment. It's power requirements are also very low, I hardly notice the additional load on my UPS.

Cons: There is no out of the box support for HDMI audio in XBMC live. Setting it up requires basic knowledge of command-line Linux, updating ALSA drivers, and editing some configuration files. Nothing terrible, and Zotac has promised out of the box support in a future build of XBMC.

Overall Review: As a follow up to my last review and in response to the below poster, I did contact Zotac support who recommended an RMA after some routine troubleshooting. Turns out we were right, because the new unit was fine with the same RAM I used before.

Most Critical Review

Would be nice..

Zotac ZBOX HD-ID11-U Intel Atom D510 NM10 Chipset 1 x 200Pin Next-Gen NVIDIA ION GPU Mini / Booksize Barebone System
Zotac ZBOX HD-ID11-U Intel Atom D510 NM10 Chipset 1 x 200Pin Next-Gen NVIDIA ION GPU Mini / Booksize Barebone System

Pros: A nice, inexpensive bare bones system. Seems like a perfect HTPC solution. Unfortunately, that's as far as I got.

Cons: My unit would not POST. Fans spun up, fans spun down. No output to video, pretty much a dead unit. Fine, we've all received DOA items before. But..

Overall Review: I feel that the packaging for this item are woefully inadequate. It came in a box full of foam peanuts.... with the unit on top of the peanuts. Kind of defeats the purpose, no? There is also no packaging material inside the box itself. Seems like it is very prone to damage in the shipping process, but who knows. In any case, it's no fun having to shell out an additional 20 bucks so I can ship it back cross-country for an RMA replacement. Maybe the unit being placed on top is a unique misstep. But Newegg should strongly consider using something better than foam peanuts to protect delicate computer parts. Also, the 2 prong included cord is a joke. 3 prong "mickey mouse" cords are a dime a dozen. At least if you call Zotac they are quick to issue you one, but this is a plain lack of foresight for US markets.

Great Board

ASUS P8P67 PRO (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
ASUS P8P67 PRO (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS

Pros: The build quality of this board is fantastic. Plenty of ports, good layout, pretty much everything one could want for a mid-range build. This is a perfect option if you plan to SLI but don't need Tri-SLI, dual NICs, or the other fluff that comes with the highest end stuff. Even comes with Bluetooth built in as a bonus. New UEFI BIOS takes a bit of getting used to - it's hard to let go of the old school blue screen keyboard only days of our youth, I know - but it makes sense in a hurry. I got my board right as the B3 revisions starting shipping and have had no problems. I use a SSD and get advertised read/write speeds on the Intel 6 GB/s ports.

Cons: There's an android app that is supposed to allow you to control the computer via your phone when they're linked via bluetooth. I can't for the life of me get this to work. I was able to link computer with phone, but apparently there is an application you need to install to get it to work, that I can't find on Asus' site or by googling for it. This has no effect on the board's stability or anything, just a luxury that geeks like me want to use because it's there. Not enough to dock an egg! On my HAF932, the backplate cutout does not line up, so if I wanted to detach my heatsink without removing the motherboard I couldn't. Happens with new technology, I guess.

Overall Review: I too had the double boot issue at first, where the computer would turn on, then off, then on again after a few seconds. This freaked me out at first, thinking something was shorting out or damaged, but thankfully that isn't the case. Go into the UEFI BIOS > Advanced Tab > APM > enable "power on by PCIe" and that should fix the double boots. I also disabled the splash screen as it seems to speed up boot time by 5 seconds or so.

Perfect

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Intel XMP 2.0 Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Intel XMP 2.0 Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL

Pros: Threw this in my new Sandy Bridge build. No problems. My P8P67 motherboard picked up the correct timings out of the box, I didn't need to make any changes. 7.9 on WEI.

Cons: Can't think of any.

Overall Review: The heatspreaders are tall, which could create problems if you use a huge heatsink that extends over your DIMM slots. Just something to keep in mind.

Amazing cooler

Thermalright Venomous X - RT 120mm CPU Cooler
Thermalright Venomous X - RT 120mm CPU Cooler

Pros: This is an outstanding CPU cooler. If you look around you'll see it consistently ranks towards the top of CPU cooling benchmarks, and it's no joke. With ambient temperatures of 23-24C, my i7 2600K idles around 28-30C. Moderately overclocked to 4.0Ghz, running Prime95 blend tests, it barely breaks 50C. If you're an enthusiast looking to get the most out of your overclock or if you just love seeing really cool temperatures on your processor... well this is the heatsink for you. Very easy installation, included directions are accurate (this shouldn't be a pro, but considering the directions I've found with other heatsinks...) thermal paste included is high quality.

Cons: It's rather large, but you knew this already. The more surface area, the more heat gets displaced, the lower temperatures you get. That said, if you have a mid tower you should check the dimensions and make sure this will fit in your case. I have a Cooler Master HAF932 and it fits with room to spare.

Overall Review: Make sure you follow the directions closely. Pay attention to when you're supposed to put the rubber washers on... it's easy to miss. On my P8P67 Pro motherboard the fan did not cover up any of the DIMM slots, but I've heard this can be a problem on other boards.

Great EEE PC

ASUS Eee PC EPC1000HA-BLK001X Black Intel Atom N270(1.60 GHz) 10.0" WSVGA 1GB Memory 160GB HDD NetBook
ASUS Eee PC EPC1000HA-BLK001X Black Intel Atom N270(1.60 GHz) 10.0" WSVGA 1GB Memory 160GB HDD NetBook

Pros: A great overall netbook PC. They pack a lot of stuff into this tiny model, and the speed is better than expected. Comes with (at the time of this writing) the brand new Atom PC, which was designed specifically for these types of laptops. The Asus performance tool is handy, which adjusts computer performance on the fly if you want to maximize battery life or give it some more oomph. Screen is bright and colors are vibrant. No problems with wireless. Tons of ports fit into this laptop; blows away the Macbook Air from this perspective.

Cons: The keyboard is a con, but you really can't expect a full keyboard on a laptop this small - it just isn't possible. If you plan to do a lot of typing on this, you will likely be frustrated for awhile. There is no DVD drive, but an external one can be purchased for cheap these days. And plus... everything you need to install can be obtained (legally) off the internet somewhere. If you're a businessperson who will be doing a lot of work with this, do yourself a favor and purchase a portable keyboard and mouse. Anything that requires graphic performance will not do well on this. Again, not really a con given the size of this model and what should be expected from it.

Overall Review: From a price/performance perspective, you can't go wrong with this EEE PC. It's lightweight and very portable, but performs great and has a speedy processor to handle most every office application you throw at it. This is clearly geared towards the businessperson who travels a lot, and it's perfect for that. It can't play games, and videos can get a tad choppy, but you shouldn't be buying this for that anyway.