Date Joined: 08/28/05
Cons: This product does not produce positive results on the EA6900 wireless router. I only get 4/5 signal strength bars on both the 2/5ghz networks with these attached, even while only a few feet away. (regardless of positioning) Attaching the factory antennas restores full signal strength in the same room.
Pros: Includes everything you need to attach to an EA6900 router.
Cons: Absolutely zero difference when using these vs. the built-in EA9600 antenna. Signal range and penetration are no different.
Overall Review: These are 32" tall and can only be situated in a completely upright position. They bend at a joint near the base, but this will result in them simply falling over due to the weight.
Pros: This works great with the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 docking station.
Cons: None; it just works.
Pros: The most exciting surprise was how quiet this card is while running anything at the highest possible settings.
Overall Review: "It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up." - Ferris Bueller
Pros: Plug-n-go. Fast. What more could you want?
Cons: It doesn't freshen the air.
Overall Review: I had a ZyXEL analog modem before the Internet was widely adopted and it's great to see this company still around making quality communications devices.
Pros: Plays everything flawlessly. Streams 20+GB 1080p files from my PC with no pauses using ethernet over powerline. The NAS feature works like a charm.
Cons: No built-in wireless, but from the other reviews I'd probably avoid the wireless anyway.
Overall Review: You can't beat the NewEgg price + manufacturer rebate on this.
Pros: Large capacity. Quieter than my PC. Relatively fast. My tests match the speeds shown in the video. (Thanks NewEgg!)
Cons: I personally prefer the "blocky" styling other manufacturers have used on their cases, rather than the curvy BBW (Big Beautiful Wrapper) approach used by Hitachi. I also prefer external drives that are USB-powered (using one or two USB connectors) instead of having to use an external power supply cord.
Overall Review: Format this sucker with the NTFS 64k cluster size option to increase speed and reduce fragmentation. (e.g. format h: /q /fs:ntfs /a:64k) For the best speed, also open the drive properties in device manager and choose "better performance" (USB) or "Enable Write Cache" (SATA) on the Policies tab. The actual capacity is 2.72TB as reported by Win7. (3,000,457,166,848 bytes)
Cons: For some reason Intel put a tiny little heatsink on their I/O hub and mine would run at 180 (f) degrees idling if I didn't direct a case fan at it. The Intel Desktop Utilities temperature warning would pop up under load.
Overall Review: If you look at other manufacturer designs for this board, the I/O hub typically has a huge heatsink. Some even go so far as to heatpipe it.
Pros: All 24GB recognized. Passes Intel XTU's memory stress test and Windows 7's Memory Diagnostic @ 1600MHz.
Cons: The manufacturer insists that you should purchase a 24GB kit. Search for "12800CL9T2" on the web for more information.
Overall Review: Memory Multiplier 12x, tCL 9, tRCD 9, tRP 9, tRAS 24, CMD 2T, tRRD 5, tWR 12, tRTP 6, tWTR 6, tRFC 88, tFAW 50, tRC 40. These settings will get you to 1600MHz. I have not tried overclocking.
Pros: This processor features Intel-VT technology which is currently required for Cheat Engine's DBVM feature.
Cons: The stock fan is pathetic and can be very loud at times, so ditch it and get yourself a nice H70.
Overall Review: You may experience system hangs when the CPU is at or near 100% utilitization if hyper-threading is enabled in the BIOS. Test for stability using Intel XTU's memory and CPU stress tests.
Pros: Windows 7 includes all drivers for this board in-box. Gigabyte was nice enough to include adapters just in case you're using an older power supply. (SATA/PCIE) Ample USB ports on the back and two on-board connectors for additional USB ports to be added on the front of your case or with a drive bay add-in. On-board connector for external PCIe and audio.
Cons: BIOS updates are a pain compared to alternative brands. The wording of some items in the BIOS could be a lot more clear. Gigabyte could provide a better selection of software on their website. This board will not work with NVidia NTune.
Overall Review: The only BIOS update at the time of this writing simply adds support for newer AMD processors. Do yourself a favor and just get the best 955 black edition because this board supports it out of the box. Use caution if you're looking for a cheap motherboard and see the manufacturer has used something other than Realtek for the onboard LAN and Audio adapters. There have been some major driver issues with the alternatives that you'll just want to avoid.
Pros: Runs very cool. (35-40c) Score is 7.1 on Win7 RTM.
Cons: The fan isn't silent when at 100% speed, but it's still far from the blow dryer attached to other choices. A solid case like the Antec Sonata Elite will dampen any noise completely.
Overall Review: Very stable without any special cooling @:
(I verified this as published on hardwarecanucks.)
If you want to push the limits:
(Flakey after ~30 mins with only default cooling.)
Pros: This is a polished black case and it looks amazing. The power and disk LED lights on the front are blue. It is not cheaply built and the thick walls do an incredible job at silencing the noise inside. The disk enclosures use padded screws that also silence hard drive noise. The rear fan is placed perfectly to assist a Zalman CPU fan blowing air directly out the back. The rails intelligently snap into the back of the bay covers for easy access and storage. The air flow is simply amazing and the design keeps your hard disks cool by sucking air in through vents on the side of the drive bays.
Cons: If you turn both the huge rear fan and blower to the maximum level, there is a very low pitched whooshing noise due to the sheer volume of air being moved.
Overall Review: They didn't ruin the sleek black look like many other cases do by making the front audio ports green and pink. The audio ports on this case are black. Note that Antec lists this as a "minitower", and it is definitely one of the smaller ATX cases you'll find.
Pros: It's a fast CAS 7 name brand for cheap.
Cons: No heat spreaders. No overclocking. Looks cheap.
Overall Review: AMD Phenom II x4 955 CPU.
Gigabyte MA770T-UD3P MBD.
Windows 7 RTM.
8GB of this RAM.
WINSAT RAM SCORE: 7.5
Pros: As AMD has touted, this processor will easily overclock to 3.8ghz without anything special. (7.4 CPU WINSAT score on Windows 7 RTM) You get a lot of bang for your buck.
Cons: The factory fan is completely worthless due to it's *extremely* loud and high-pitched whirring noise even at low RPM, and it's difficult to take back off if you decide to try it out. The AMD Cool and Quiet feature has always had problems, and the latest iterations are no different.
Overall Review: I refuse to give a processor 5-stars just because it's not DOA. I think AMD needs to start including a fan that is usable and providing some basic spec sheet documentation. (default voltage, multiplier, clock, etc. would be a nice start) They should try including a real manual instead of a 3' long, folded 20 times sheet of paper in as many languages. It would also be nice if AMD would provide a link to the latest software (e.g. AMD Overdrive) and/or make it easier to navigate their website to find related downloads.
Pros: The rubber grip on the side feels good and the solid black finish looks very nice. The same rubber grip coats the scroll wheel and does a fine job of making sure there's no slipping. The top of the mouse is glossy and slick. The whole mouse generally feels very good. It works with Windows Vista out of the box without any software installation necessary. The switch on top quickly toggles between 1600 and 800 DPI, and this is very handy when you need to switch from general mouse use on the desktop to fragging people with head shots. The nano receiver seems to work well and is barely noticeable; you can even snap it into the bottom of the mouse when you're done using it to make sure it won't get lost. Batteries are included.
Cons: I'm larger than most guys (har har har) and this mouse is a little too small for my hands.
Overall Review: The mouse is fairly light due to it's AAA batteries. I personally prefer a mouse with some weight to it, but I know other people seem to prefer a lighter style. Generic AAA batteries work, so you can use rechargable ones if you want. I have to compliment Gigabyte on the nice packaging -- this mouse comes in a real cardboard box with an easy-to-open clear plastic insert. Other mice at this price level are often in those impossible solid plastic packages that you have to cut open.
Pros: Fast. Silent. Low power consumption. Low heat.
Cons: Some online reviews suggest the OCZ model is faster.
Overall Review: This drive will work with SATA I controllers. If you're going to be using these in a RAID array, you'll need a SATA II controller to take advantage of the bandwidth. There is no point in using Vista ReadyBoost if you've got a solid-state hard drive. You do not need to defragment this drive because solid state random access is effectively as fast as sequential.
Pros: It does move air.
Cons: Extremely loud. Not compatible with some 360 power adapters. (usually new or replacement power adapters / power adapters for the elite)
Overall Review: Take a look at the power cord that plugs into the back of your 360. The middle section will be divided into either two or three sections. The Intercooler is only compatible with power adapters that have 3 sections. The ones with two sections are divided in the middle, and the divider blocks a plastic pin on the Intercooler connector. You can break off this piece to make it fit, but this results in a loosely fitted connection that can red ring your 360 with a mere bump.
Pros: 30" 2560x1600 picture must be seen to be believed. Very lightweight. Stand swivels and allows easy verticle adjustment. Multiple USB ports are a nice bonus.
Cons: Often out of stock. Requires a nice video card.
Overall Review: No dead or hot pixels. Running in 1280x800 resolution also looks nice on this display.
Pros: I own four of these and this product is quite literally plug and play. I can transfer files at a rate of ~7-8MB/s between my 3 Windows Vista machines. The small wall boxes actually look nice and unobtrusive.
Cons: I've heard that some people (probably in older or miswired homes) have to "bridge" powerline ethernet connections at the breaker.
Overall Review: If you've noticed 20+ new wireless networks in your area and every router you try seems to flake out, you may want to consider this as a nice wired solution. It's a little pricey but I think worth every penny!
Pros: Works OK on 32-bit operating systems.
Cons: Absolutely no support for 64-bit operating systems. (XP/Vista) The 32-bit Vista drivers from Belkin are still flagged as "beta" a month after the OS released.
Overall Review: Technical Support calls are fielded overseas. Be prepared for some communication issues.
Pros: This memory works with Windows Vista ReadyBoost. (confirmed with RTM) Since ReadyBoost only supports up to 4GB, this is currently the fastest and largest SD flash memory you can get.
Cons: I don't care for the pink label sticker on the front.
Overall Review: This works great for new laptops with built-in SD card readers.
Pros: This is an extremely fast processor at a great price. I have mine overclocked to 2.7ghz and it runs solid at 157 Fahrenheit under load.
Cons: Not a top-of-the-line processor anymore, but not as costly either. The in-box heatsink is OK, but you may want to look into Zalman cooling products.
Overall Review: Who needs dual-core in a desktop computer anyway? I can highly recommend this processor for gaming.
Pros: This is an extremely quiet cooling solution. You have the option of mounting the cooler either inside the case or letting it stand outside. Lots of extra parts are included.
Cons: Poor packaging. (should have come in a box, not the plastic glove) It says "Amateur to expert in no time" but I found this to be very difficult to install as my first water cooler.
Overall Review: The mounting brackets included will not work with all video cards. This provides adequate cooling, but not significantly more so than a really good air-cooling product. (e.g. Zalman)
Pros: This card is extremely fast. It runs circles around my old x850 PE. This card is also very quiet compared to the other brands of 7800 GTX's due to the unique behemoth heatsink.
Cons: This card gets extremely hot. It will burn your hands if you touch it and will melt plastic wires that come into contact with the heatsink.
Overall Review: It's quite choice f you have the means. I highly suggest buying this product.