Date Joined: 03/16/04
Pros: Great price for BD-RE.
Burns at 2.3x using Imgburn 2.5.6, UDF 2.6, and LG WH12LS38 burner.
Cons: None. Wish the 6x DL is selling at this price.
Overall Review: Took 3 hours to do the initial Full Erase. Luckily, this only needs to be done once.
Took about 45 minutes to fill the disc with data.
Pros: Bought two of these cards for use in a Canon semi-professional camcorder, XA-10. This camcorder does support SDXC. Both cards were formatted perfectly by the camcorder, and the camcorder saw 64GB in both cards. It even accurately reported Class 10 in its Memory Info menu.
Cons: None so far. These cards seemed to work fine with the XA-10, which was what I bought them for. The price was a little bit more than regular SDHC cards, but I wanted the 64GB capacity. I just hope that they are reliable. Time will tell.
Overall Review: These are SDXC cards, not SDHC cards. SDXC is a newer and higher capacity format. There aren't a lot of devices that can support it yet. Be sure that your device and card reader specifically state that they support the SDXC format. If they don't say, assume that they don't support it. Most SD card readers that are built into laptop computers don't support SDXC, but there are many USB readers that do. Just be careful.
Pros: First, this thumb drive is extremely fast. Benchmarked using Atto Disk Benchmark v2.46, I am getting around 275-280 MB/s in Reads, and 140-147 MB/s in Writes. This is achieved with the "SSD Turbo Mode" on an Asus Rampage IV Extreme X79 LGA 2011 motherboard. In "Normal Mode", I am getting around 243-249 MB/s in Reads, and 100-101 MB/s in Writes. Both results are very respectable.
Other than speed, I like the fact that this drive has 64GB (58.9 GB formatted) capacity.
Lastly, I like that the cap can be stored in the back of the drive during use. Otherwise, I'll likely lose it over time.
Cons: (1) Price, but you get what you paid for.
(2) The physical size of this drive is very large. It may block off neighboring USB ports when in use. A USB 3.0 extension cable will solve this problem.
Overall Review: Hope this drive last.
Pros: Bought this set for my Asus Rampage IV Extreme built, because this motherboard has 8 memory slots. With all of the slots filled, the system booted at standard speed, which is 1600. I immediately changed the BIOS to use the X.M.P. profile, and it has no problem running at 2133 with all of the timing specs. without much effort. I still haven't done much in terms of overclock and over voltage, but I am quite happy to have 32GB of Quad Channel running at 2133 and CAS 9. The memory bandwidth is off the chart.
Cons: May be the price, but you get what you pay for. May be the no frill packaging -- all eight sticks are just stuffed in a plain brown box. At this price, I'd expect anti-static sleeves at the minimum.
Overall Review: Even though Asus doesn't have this memory on their QVL, G.Skill's website says that they have tested this with the R4E motherboard.
32GB is probably overkill for normal Windows applications, but I need it for Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effect.
Another benefit of having this much RAM is that you can set up a RAMDisk, e.g., you can allocate 8GB for a RAMDisk, and use this RAMDisk to hold your Windows pagefile and temp directory. Not only does it help to improve Windows performance, it also extends the life of your boot SSD as those high frequency write operations are now moved to the RAMdisk.
Pros: This is a 1,000W 80 Plus Platinum power supply. How many such PSUs are there in the market? The PSU runs very quietly and coolly in my system, which is only drawing 300W from the plug currently. It leaves me plenty of room for overclocking and adding new graphics cards. I also love the fact that it has a single rail design.
Cons: (1) Pricey for 1,000W
(2) Only 1,000W
(3) Only have enough cables for 3 graphics cards -- no quad SLI without an adaptor
(4) Some cables may be too short for XL-ATX and HPTX cases if you want to route all of them to the back of the motherboard tray. I have to use one extension cable even in an E-ATX case, which is smaller than those other two. For standard ATX and below, there should be no problem.
Overall Review: This is the third SeaSonic PSU that I own so far. The previous two are the X-850, which are still running strong 24x7. This is the first 1,000W SeaSonic that I own and they make. I think I have discovered a solid brand for PSU. Previously, I had used PC Power and Cooling Company's TurboCool units, which were built like tanks, but very noisy. Those units are still working after may be 10+ years, but they lack the 24-pin ATX connector. I also had very good experience with the Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold line. Comparing to that, I think this SeaSonic is better still.
Pros: It works. It turns the 19-pin internal USB 3.0 connector on my Asus Rampage IV Extreme motherboard into two external USB 3.0 connectors. This enables the two external USB 3.0 connectors on the front panel of my Corsair Obsidian 800D case without the need to route the front panel USB cable through the back of the case.
Cons: A bit expensive -- needed two of these, since there are two internal USB 3.0 connectors on my motherboard. This adds $30 to the cost of my system. However, this is a must if you want to boot off of a USB 3.0 stick that is internal to the case.
Overall Review: Not really sure who to blame, as there was a lack of internal USB 3.0 connector standard. Something like this should have been included free as part of the motherboard or computer case. Until the industry converge to a common standard, Silverstone is supplying a solution that fills a great need.
Pros: It keeps the temperature of my i7-3930K at 25C running at stock speed, and under 50C at 4.3GHz with a heavy load. I am having the fans pull air into the case.
Cons: The installation was not as smooth as what Corsair's online guide made it to be. The cooler doesn't really fit the LGA 2011 socket on the Asus Rampage IV Extreme motherboard. This motherboard comes with what Asus refers to as an X-Socket mounting bracket. Asus also provides another backplate, which it marks as "LGA 2011". With this board, ONE OF THESE BACKPLATES MUST BE USED, or else the CPU retention mechanism in the front will fall off -- the CPU retainer is screw'd into the backplate. The LGA 2011 backplate that Corsair supplies does not support the CPU retainer, and therefore cannot be used. Between the two Asus backplates, only the pre-installed plate (not the LGA 2011 one) works. Even that, there is an ever so slight mis-alignment (~1 or 2 mm) of the pin positions between the motherboard and the cooler. I had to bend the pins very hard to force the cooler in. Not a pleasant experience.
Overall Review: In the end, the cooler went in and made good contact with the CPU.
Here I am seeing a couple of posts that say the cooler doesn't fit, while others don't have the same problem. I am wondering whether it is an issue only with certain motherboards (such as Asus' X Socket). In any case, don't quickly jump into conclusion that people who have this problem must be stupid. Out-of-spec errors do occur.
Pros: LGA 1155 socket
Dual Intel gigE LAN ports
Cons: iPMI/KVM only works if the server is on. If the machine is off, you have to physically walk over to the server to turn it on. This defeats the purpose of remote power control. With a Supermicro board, you can remotely turn on the server using iPMI.
Overall Review: This is the first Tyan board that I bought. I had been using exclusively Supermicro boards, but thought that I would give Tyan a try. No more. The Tyan BIOS boot sequence is very confusing. Very difficult to find out how to boot from an iSCSI target. Manual is totally useless.
Pros: (1) Low price for 8 SATA-II ports
(2) Uses 2 x SFF-8087 ports and cables, which helps with cable management and increases airflow. Cables sold separately though.
(3) Comes with 32 and 64 bit drivers for Windows, Red Hat, and Suse
Cons: This card is not supported by many of the OSs for which people would most likely purchase this card. Other than the aforementioned OSs, Ubuntu 10.4.1 LTS and Unraid 4.5.6 also work out of the box. That's it! Forget about using this card with ZFS/EON/Nexenta (no Solaris driver), FreeBSD, Vmware ESX or ESXi, FreeNAS, and Openfiler.
Also, the card's performance is not stella either. It averages about 35MBps. Makes me wonder why it even needs a PCI-e x4 interface. I guess you get what you pay for.
Overall Review: If you need 8 SATA ports for Windows or Linux, this card is okay. Other than this, look elsewhere.
Pros: Fast - 127 MB/s sustained read and write (Not benchmarked, but timed transfer of 40GB of data) using a Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EARS 5,400rpm SATA-2 drive. The same drive was only doing 33 MB/s when connected to the motherboard's USB 2.0 connector.
Great way to freshen up an older motherboard
Cons: None -- wish it also offers a couple of internal SATA-3 ports as well (like the ASUS). That will really bring my motherboard up to date.
Overall Review: I installed this board on a PCI-e x1 slot (Slot #7) on my 2-year old Gigabyte MA790GP-UD4H motherboard running 64-bit Vista Ultimate. I had to install the driver from the supplied CD. After that, the board works like a charm.
One thing worth mentioning is that I also tried this board with a 7,200rpm SATA 6.0Gbps HDD using a couple of different enclosure and docking station, and the transfer rate is the same as the Caviar Green drive. I am wondering whether the PCI-e x1 bus is the limiting factor, since it has to go through the South Bridge. I am going to try the x4 slot later. I think that is directly connected to the ICH.
There is a 4-pin Molex power connector on this board. You should connect power to it. Depending on the motherboard, the board may run without it, but with it, it runs a lot more stable at high speed.
The USB connectors are tight, but I prefer them tighter than looser. They feel much more secured than the USB ports on my motherboard.
Pros: I took a chance buying this set of memory for my server build, using the Supermicro X8SIA-F motherboard with an Intel Xeon LGA1156 X3470 processor. This is not on the short list of approved RAM from Supermicro for this board, but nothing that Newegg carries is. It seems like Supermicro only did very limited testing, but I lucked out this time. The board booted right up. Changed a few things in the BIOS. Test-installed a few 64-bit OSs (EON, Ubuntu, and Windows 7 Pro), and no problem so far. Just want to share this with you in case you are considering using this series of motherboard for your build and you are struggling with memory choices. I did, and I would have appreciated this information myself.
Cons: Price -- At $166 for 2x4GB, it is pretty steep.
Well, what do you expect? Any time the word "server" is mentioned, the price automatically goes up 50%. Even so, unbuffered memory is still cheaper than registered memory. For my use, I don't need registered memory.
Overall Review: I am thinking of buying one more set of these when the price comes down. The X8SIA-F board can take up to 4 DIMMs of Unbuffered ECC memory at DDR3 1333 speed. Another set will max out the RAM capacity of 16GB. This motherboard can take up to 24GB in 6 DIMMs if you use registered memory, but it will only run at 800MHz. So, I traded capacity for speed.
Pros: (1) USB 3.0 Interface
(2) Includes a USB 3.0 cable
(3) Aluminum body
(4) Reasonably priced
Cons: My biggest gripe about this unit is the case screws. Once I finished installing the drive and closed up the enclosure, I supposed to secure it with two case screws. Well, both of these screws kept turning and turnng, and didn't stop. I re-opened the case just to find out why. It turned out that the screw threads don't match. There is no way to tighted them. The screws are not stripped! They are just not for this case. I can't believe they make a mistake like that. Now, I use duct tape to hold it together.
Other that the screws, the unit seems decent. I don't know how the reliability of the HDD is affected, given that the only way to dissipate heat is through the case body. I thought it could be okay, but now I wish I had bought a unit that has a fan.
Overall Review: Connectland includes a little CD containing PCCloneEX Lite backup software. It supposes to enable the one button backup of your PC. To me, this piece of software is pretty much useless. I junked it.
By the way, the SATA-III claim is exaggerated. I tested the unit with both a Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 7,200rpm 6.0Gb/s drive as well as a WD Caviar Green WD20EARS 3.0Gb/s drive. Their transfer rates are exactly the same. It was 127 MB/s in my system. I think even though the Green drive spins slower, its higher platter density makes up the difference. In any case, 127 MB/s is much better than the 33 MB/s that I used to get with a USB 2.0 interface. I am okay with it.
Pros: Bought 4 of these drives last week. Drives run very cool -- I tested this with a docking station. This is got to be the coolest running HDD that I have ever used, even cooler than WD Green drives. Speed is okay. I get about 30-33 MBps sustained drive-to-drive writes through both a USB 2.0 connection and my motherboard SATA-II interface. The interface doesn't seem to affect the speed by much. Bottleneck could be somewhere else (may be the South Bridge, but I am not going to bother with it. I didn't buy these drives for speed. I bought them because they were the cheapest 2TB drives around ($95). Drive is quiet, about the same as WD Green drives. Newegg packaging was great this time. Drives were packed individually in their own plastic shells, which are then inserted in separate slots of a molded styrofoam box. The box is then placed in lots of styrofoam peanuts within a huge cardboard box. I don't think this is the norm, but this level of packing is unprecedented.
Cons: Out of the 4 drives that I bought, I used 3 so far. One of them failed already -- hence the 4 stars. I put two of them as a spanned volume in a Vista Ultimate PC. Used it for a few days, no problem initially. Backed up about 2TB of files to it. Took a good couple of days to do this. Yesterday, all of a sudden, one of the two drives failed. Vista gave a bunch of errors, and the volume started to disappear. It would show up after reboot, but would disappear again. Chksks resulted in errors as well. Now, I am in the process of replacing the bad drive in this volume with my remaining drive. It is annoying, because it took over two days to transfer the files. I don't think I will use spanned volume again. RAID-1 all the way from now on. Drives are cheap, and time is precious.
I have had HDDs from Seagate, WD, and Hitachi failed on me before, but never this soon. I hope this is just a once-off bad luck this time. I am willing to give Samsung a second try.
Overall Review: To the guy below who dinged this drive for Newegg's packing practice, this is unfair to Samsung and this drive. You gave the drive 3 stars without having even used it. This screws up the rating for any potential buyer. Newegg's packing method would have been the same for any HDDs. It has nothing to do with this one.
Pros: (1) Aluminum chassis feels solid
(2) Provides both eSATA + USB interfaces
(3) Comes with an SATA-to-eSATA adapter and required cables
(4) Fan (although loud) is able to keep the chassis cool to the touch
Cons: (1) Blinking blue light is way too bright even in bright room
(2) Fan broke within one year of use, and fan is not easily replaceable
(3) Fan noise is very loud
Overall Review: I was somewhat satisfied with this product when I first got it. The fan is loud -- much louder than the DVR that I was connecting this to. The blue light blinks when the drive is accessed, and it is way too bright. It literally lights up the room. You can't use it in a media room environment, unless you put a piece of tape on the light, which defeats its purpose or existence. There is a switch in the back to turn on/off the fan, but I question why anyone would want to turn the fan off. My biggest problem with this product is that the fan stopped working in not even one year of use. I try to replace the fan, but this kind of fan is hard to find. It is probably less aggrevating to buy a new enclosure than to look for a replacement fan. All in all, I wouldn't buy this product again.
Pros: What a great card, and a wonderful installation experience! I have zero issue whatsoever installing this card onto my new system build. It consists of the Gigabyte MA790GP-UD4H MB (Firmware F2H), AMD Phenom II x940, 8GB of G.Skill DDR2, Enermax Revolution85+ 1050W PSU, OCZ Vertex 120GB SSD as system drive, Raptor 74GB as cache/page/temp drive, LG Blu-ray writer, and a Coolermaster case. Updated the nVidia driver to v.185.85. Smooth like a baby's bottom. OS is Vista 64, and Windows Experience Index hits 5.9 on all categories, which is expected. Card is quiet and cool, much better than my previous card -- an nVidia 8800 Ultra. 42C as I am typing this review (auto fan @ 40%). I expect the performance to be doubled of the 8800 Ultra. Will do some benchmarks and overclocking when I have time. For now, I am enjoying the card.
Cons: The accompanying software is a bit lacking. Other than the driver and Precision Tool (for monitoring and overclocking), there is nothing else. Gone are the days when we used to get a bunch of free games, 3Dmark software, and PowerDVD. I was hoping to get something that shows off the capabilities of PhysX, PureVideo, and CUDA. A free copy of Cyberlink's Power Director or TMPGEnc would be nice.
Overall Review: Over the years, I have built many systems. I always had great luck with nVidia graphics cards. This is the fifth one that I owned. I have also built several systems that used ATI graphics cards. Of all of the ATI cards, the only one that I had no issue with was a Sapphire 4850 on the Intel P45 platform. My general opinion of ATI is that the Catalyst driver is its weakest link. It takes too much effort to un-install and upgrade the driver. You would think by now (v.9.4), they would have everything figured out already, but no... This is a shame, as on paper, ATI has better technology (40nm, GDDR5, 1GHz core, etc.) Comparing to nVidia's seemingly outdated hardware (55nm, GDDR3), it should have killed nVidia in all benchmarks. Yet, nVidia still has the faster cards in most benchmarks: GTX295>HD4870x2, GTX285>HD4890, GTX275=HD4890 etc. Oh well. May be some day, I will give ATI another try. For now, I highly recommend this card.
Pros: Gigabyte has a good reputation.
Cons: The video driver that comes with the board is Catalyst 8.12. I installed it under Windows Vista 64 Sp1 fine. However, when I boot up, the driver wouldn't load. Couldn't resolve this problem. I completely uninstalled the driver (and cleaned using Driver Sweeper). The downloaded Catalyst 9.4 version installed and loaded fine, but gave me quite a bit of artifacts on my 1920x1200 LCD. Reducing the resolution helped. Upgrading the BIOS did nothing. I didn't overclock. I have a Phenom II x940, 8GB G.Skill, an Enermax 1050W PSU, and a Coolermaster case that has plenty of fans and ventilation. I played with every setting in Catalyst, and nothing worked. Finally, I disabled onboard video, and brought back my trusty EVGA 6600GT. No more artifact. Scored much higher on Vista Experience Index. Onboard video is still a joke. Don't let anyone convince you otherwise. It can't even handle 1920x1200. Save your money. Buy the 790FX or better yet, go with P45. Then, add a cheap graphics card.
Overall Review: Six SATA ports is really not sufficient these days. I use one for main system SSD, one for a Blu-ray drive, one for a DVD RW, and one for eSATA. I only have two left, and that's not enough for a RAID 5. A good MB should offer 8 SATA ports.
If the Advanced Clock Calibration (ACC) is enabled in BIOS, the machine does not cold-boot, i.e., does not boot up from completely off -- when I press the power on, everything seems to come on, but there is no image on the screen. Rebooting works fine. I think this is a well known problem with AMD. No one seems to know what causes it.
Comparing this 790GX build to my Intel P45 system build, the Intel build was far smoother and easier. Comparing this to my nVidia 680i build, the 790GX build is easier. That onboard video issue still leaves a bad taste in the mouth, even though I no longer use it.
Pros: Very high quality metal construction. Every hole lines up correctly, for both the Vertex SSD and the HDD cage in the Cooler Master case. The supplied screws fit well. The bracket length is also perfect -- it is exactly the length of a 3.5" hard drive, not too short like the other guy was saying.
Cons: None. It is what it is, and it serves the exact purpose that it was made for.
Overall Review: The installation is an absolute no brainer. For those who still need instructions for this, you have to re-evaluate your mechanical skill level. It takes all of five seconds to realize that there is only one way to install it. Now, if you have a chassis with non-standard hard drive mounting, I would consider that a problem of the case, rather than these brackets.
Pros: Very decent fan. Move a lot of air, and pretty quiet.
Cons: None yet. I have only used this for one week.
Overall Review: I run it at full 1,500 rpm. Not loud at all, comparing to my other fan experience, a SilenX IXTREMA. That fan is rated at 14dBA. In real life, it may have been a little quieter, but it's very hard to tell. On the other hand, this Enermax moves a lot more air than the SilenX, and that's for sure. Given a choice, I will buy these Enermax over the SilenX every time. I just hope that this fan lasts longer than my SilenX, which failed in about a year.
Pros: Works in my aging Supermicro X6DAE-G2 motherboard. Now I have a total of 6GB. Vista runs a little smoother with the upgrade.
Cons: No cons. Perhaps price should be cheaper.
Overall Review: DDR2-400 ECC memories for older workstation motherboards are harder to come by these days. Prices are not as low as desktop memories with higher speed, but they are far cheaper than what they used to cost. Even though my setup is older, I took the opportunity to upgrade from 2GB to 6GB for not much money. This stretches the life of my setup for a couple more years. Setup -- Dual 3.6GHz Xeon processors, nVidia 8800GTX Ultra, 3ware 9508S 64-bit PCIX RAID controller with 6 WD Raptor 74GB HDD in RAID 5. Not great by today's standard, but is sufficient for what I need.
Pros: 1.5TB in a single drive; high platter density; lowest cost per byte. What more can one ask for?
Overall Review: I own an nVidia 680i based motherboard. I needed to update to the latest nForce driver to support this drive. The older driver has a 1.1TB limit, which prevents NTFS formatting in Vista 64 from going beyond 73% complete. Once updated the driver, the hard disk formats perfectly to 1,397.26 GB. It takes several hours though, so be patient.
By the way, people should stop citing the less than 1.5TB as a con. It is not that Seagate has cheated you 100+MB. You need to learn how the math is done first. When they say 1.5TB, they mean (approximately) 1,500,000,000,000 bytes. There are 1,024 bytes per kilobyte; 1,048,576 bytes per megabyte; 1,073,741,824 bytes per gigabyte. Divide 1,500,000,000,000 by 1,073,741,824 and you will get 1396.98 which is fairly close to the number of GB that we are getting. Seagate is not unique. All hard drive manufacturers use this same method of calculation, and it has always been done this way. It is not a con!
Pros: It is Windows XP Pro. What more do I need to say?
Cons: Don't trust this Vista Upgrade thing. Apparently, Microsoft contracted the whole thing to this company called Moduslink. You need to go to their website to enter your Redemption Number (comes inside your XP package) as well as the XP Certificate of Authenticity number (also inside the XP package) to receive an Order Confirmation Number. You then need to fill in the OCN on the redemption form (also inside the XP package), and mail it in. In my case, after Moduslink accepted my credit card information (for Shipping/Handling), the website returned an "unrecoverable error, and asked me to try again later. Well, I tried later. It no longer accpeted the XP Certificate of Authenticity number, as it had already been used. How can this be? I received no Order Confirmation Number the first time. I emailed Moduslink about this problem, and as I later found out, they don't reply to email. If you don't believe me, do a search on Google. This problem is real.
Overall Review: I think we need a class action lawsuit against Moduslink and Microsoft. Neither of these companies is willing to step up to resolve the problems.
This kind of business practice needs to be stopped.
Pros: Good look. On wheels. Removable motherboard tray. Toolless 5.25" bays - best I have seen. Large PSU area - for long PSU. Support up to nine 120mm fans (see Cons). Reversible front door. Almost all aluminum (HDD cage is steel). Nice cooling features.
Cons: First off, it only comes with 2 fans -- only the front fan has LED. To add front fans, you need additional HDD cages -- $$$. My biggest problme with this case: the screw holes on the PSU mounting bracket do not align with the power supply, and mine is none but Cooler Master's own Real Power Pro 850W. This is ridiculous! The bracket only allows this PSU to be mounted upside down, i.e., which the PSU fan facing up. Even this, only 3 of the 4 screws would fit. If PSU fan facing down, only 2 screw holes line up. Next problem: one of the front panel USB cables fell off during shipment. There is no access to plug it back in. The case, including this area, is rivetted, not screw'd, together. This is poor design. Next, the HDD cage is not toolless, and very hard to aligned. Last problem: it is not compatible with CoolIt's Freezone cooler. The side fan bracket is in the way. Huh.
Overall Review: With so many revisions and costing so much, I'd expect a much better product. I am a bit disappointed after all.
Asus Striker Extreme + Intel C2D E6600 + eVGA 8800GTX + 2GB OCZ PC2-9200 FlexXLC + WD 150GB Raptors + Cooler Master Real Power Pro 850W + CM 832 chassis + CoolIt Freezone CPU cooler
Comments: I am glad that I got this memory before the recent price jump. I was debating among this "2-2-2" memory, the Mushkin 3500 Level 1, and the OCZ 3700. I don't know about the other two, but I am happy with the decision of buying this one.
The rest of my system consists of an ABIT NFS-7v2 motherboard, AMD Mobile Athlon 2500, a pair of 70GB Raptor running in RAID 0, and a 400W PCPC Silencer PS. The system runs stably at 12.5x200 = 2.5GHz, at a memory timing of 2-3-2. The Vcore is 1.775v and Vddr is conservatively at 2.6v. All of this is achieved with conventional air cooling (Swiftech HSF). CPU temp at light load is 40C. Full load is 53C. The 2-2-2 timing will boot, but is not Prime-Torture stable with these voltages, however. With higher voltages and temperatures, the 2-2-2 timing is attainable. I finally decided to trade off the absolute performance with lower temperature and longer component life. All-in-all, I am very happy with my setup.