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Bradley K.

Bradley K.

Joined on 03/08/11

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 12
Most Favorable Review

Beast in a shell

EVGA GeForce 7800GT 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 SLI Support Video Card 256-P2-N515-AX
EVGA GeForce 7800GT 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 SLI Support Video Card 256-P2-N515-AX

Pros: Fast, powerful, reasonably priced., lifetime warranty; what more could you want?

Cons: If you find one let me know...

Overall Review: Lets get down to the important stuff, benchmarks... my system was upgraded from a 6600GT to this bad boy, running on a 3.4 GHz LGA775 P4. 3Dmark05 (1152x864) - From 2944 to 6576 FFXI bench (high) - From 5650 to 6157 Quake 4 - From 56.4 (1024x768 no AA no AF) to 63.0 (1280x1024 4xAA 8xAF)

Most Critical Review

Good card but issues with 1080p

StarTech.com PEXHDCAP PCI Express HD Video Capture Card 1080p - HDMI / DVI / VGA/ Component
StarTech.com PEXHDCAP PCI Express HD Video Capture Card 1080p - HDMI / DVI / VGA/ Component

Pros: Easy install and setup. Software is just about idiot proof.

Cons: Card had problems receiving a 1080p signal (see other thoughts for more details), don't know if it is just my card or a common issue. Software is great for the most part but wish it had more customization options. Capped at 30fps in 1080i, and the interlaced scanlines were rendered poorly causing a blurry picture so to speak.

Overall Review: I took a gamble on this card because it had no reviews, but the only other 1080p capable capture card has horrible software. I bought this to play PS3 on my PC, so 1080p was ideal since it's the native resolution of my monitor. However, it refused to receive the 1080p signal, instead only giving me a black screen with audio. It would only take 1080i and below, and the picture was poor with 1080i so I went with 720p. So it still works for what i need it to and I will be keeping it because overall I'm happy I can still play my PS3 on my PC, but had to dock 2 eggs because it didn't work as advertised. Note: in case anyone was wondering: This card is NOT HDCP compliant, so you CANNOT record video from a PS3/XBox/Blu-ray player/etc. I knew this from the start and never wanted to actually record but wanted pass along this info. You can still use FRAPS or MSI afterburner to capture video if you wanted (MSI is free!).

Wifi

D-Link WDA-1320 Wireless G Desktop Adapter IEEE 802.11b/g 32-bit PCI Up to 54Mbps Wireless Data Rates
D-Link WDA-1320 Wireless G Desktop Adapter IEEE 802.11b/g 32-bit PCI Up to 54Mbps Wireless Data Rates

Pros: Inexpensive, good range, easy install works like a champ

Cons: I read a lot of reviews complaining about signal strength. Well the strength is actually good, but the software provided sucks at reporting. While windows read a constant 54 Mbps, the software icon on the taskbar system tray showed 1-3 bars (out of 5). I get excellent signal, just don't depend on the provided software to help you.

Overall Review: The best part is this comes with a low profile adapter, great for an HTPC case. Also the detachable antenna can be upgraded to an 8 dbi if you need more consistant signal strength, but so far the provided antenna works for me.

WiFi

Rosewill RNX-G1W Wireless White Dongle with External 2dBi SMA Antenna IEEE 802.11b/g USB 2.0 Up to 54Mbps Wireless Data Rates
Rosewill RNX-G1W Wireless White Dongle with External 2dBi SMA Antenna IEEE 802.11b/g USB 2.0 Up to 54Mbps Wireless Data Rates

Pros: Inexpensive, decent signal pickup, antenna helps

Cons: The traces on the PCB are really really weak. My cat barely bumped into it and it quit working. I opened it to find out the solder contact pulled the trace right off of the PCB. Since the trace came off I can't simply resolder the contact, the thing is toast. I know It's my fault for leaving it somewhere that it could be bumped into, but I would expect a little sturdier craftsmanship even at this price.

Overall Review: Overall I would still recommend this product as a good, cheap wifi adapter. Just put it somewhere it absolutely will not be bumped into, rubbed against, etc. For anyone making an HTPC I would recommend the D-Link WDA-1320 PCI card. It's just a few more bucks but it has a low profile adapter for slimline cases; and the signal was stronger on it as well.

gotta love HDMI

ASUS Radeon HD 3450 256MB GDDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 Low Profile Ready Video Card EAH3450/DI/256M
ASUS Radeon HD 3450 256MB GDDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 Low Profile Ready Video Card EAH3450/DI/256M

Pros: Low price; HDMI makes for an awesome and easy HTPC; low profile adapter; passive cooling

Cons: Not for gaming, but what would you expect for the price?

Overall Review: Couple of tips: 1) I would HIGHLY recommend you buy a mother board where the PCI-Ex16 slot is not directly above the PCI-E x1or8 slot if you plan on buying a PCI-E TV tuner (IE Hauppauge [spelling?]) because if you go with a low profile mATX case this card will take up the spot below it unless you feel like doing some metal work. 2) Like someone else mentioned, the HDMI audio download drivers are through Realtek. I had to download the catalyst drivers, disable onboard audio in the bios, then install the HDMI audio drivers from the Realtek site twice (for some reason the first install made windows recognize the device but conflicting; I installed the drivers again without unistalling and it worked). 3) If connecting to a large HDTV you might get a black frame around the picture even at 720 or 1080p. I had to go into advanced catalyst options and enable overscan which let me stretch the picture to the correct size. Overall a worthwhile card for the price.

10/22/2008

Nice board

ASUS P5N-MX LGA 775 NVIDIA GeForce 7050 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
ASUS P5N-MX LGA 775 NVIDIA GeForce 7050 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: Great board for the price. And it carries the trusty Asus name. Basic run-of-the-mill board to get that awesome C2D processor running with DDR2 memory. Overclocking features are simple but effective.

Cons: Wishing it had a few bonuses like gigabit ethernet or 2 more RAM slots, but oh well. The sound gave me a headache to work properly (see other thoughts).

Overall Review: OK make this your one stop shop to get that sound working properly. If you are installing a version of XP that is already SP1, you MUST go into device manager > System Devices > disable and uninstall the Microsoft UAA Bus Driver. Until you do this you'll get an annoying error when trying to install the sound drivers. The UAA driver will reinstall once you've install the Realtek drivers and restarted the PC.