Date Joined: 05/16/08
Pros: You don't see 1680x1050 monitors any more, a must for any obsoletia electronica collector who is looking for one in mint condition.
Cons: Don't open the original box, it loses value.
Overall Review: Just another wager...Thanks, Rick.
Pros: * Sturdy steel construction
* Space enough for long GPU cards
* Mesh design allows for a lot of airflow
* Front panel mesh, including the drive bay covers, have built-in filters
* Price - some would say NZXT skimped on the fans, I would say, "Buy a more expensive case!"
* Inclusion of plenty of thumb screws
* Back panel actually has enough space to route PSU cables for clean wire routing
* Removable lower HD cage, essential if you want to use a self-contained water cooler, like the Corsair H50
* Overall, a quality case and nice layout for an oft-ignored mATX form factor
* OK, I'm sold on the switchable orange LED motif (see Other Thoughts)
Don't forget to use the motherboard standoffs, even though the tray reminds me of one that doesn't need them. I think some of the issues of some of the other reviews were related to that.
Cons: * The 4-pin Molex power connectors for the fan controller and front panel LED are TOO SHORT and CHEAP. It took a little wrangling to power up those connectors, and I actually broke on of the wires trying to make the stretch. Fortunately I was able to repair it, but only because I had done a little modding to power connectors before.
* To continue, the Molex connectors also CANNOT be piggybacked to each other and require a power connection each, since one is a 12V connection and the other is a 5V connection. That would be OK if each connector had four pins, but they only had two each, connecting their relevant pins only. Given that they were already short, I had to do additional snaking of the cable from the PSU to give each their own connector.
* The silicone bumpers for the PSU slot get yanked out easily when you try to slide your PSU into place. I wondered why mine wasn't fitting only to find that they had popped out and were jamming the slot. I even lost one and can't find
Overall Review: I didn't buy my case from here, but I saw that NZXT responds to comments and have a big question for them:
DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD IT IS TO FIND ORANGE LED FANS?!?
OK, I'm into the orange LED's now, but I can't really find them anywhere, at least ones with good noise/airflow specs. The closest one easily available is the Xigmatek one, but it uses white LED's on transparent orange blades, which affects how it looks. Aerocool also has one in their Shark line, but I can't find it in US anywhere (I considered biting the bullet on shipping from the UK, but they use white LED's too). Your site doesn't even sell them, and that would be great especially if they were compatible with your LED switches. And since only your 200mm fans are guaranteed to fit, how come no orange version of it either?
Anyways, I have some orange LED's coming, but it would have been appreciated if I didn't have to do the mod, especially since it was your idea in the first place, haha.
Pros: *Nice performance for the price
*Cheapest A8-3500M model at this time
*Well-built, solid-feeling body
*The 17.3" screen is nice, could be big for some people
*Great graphics performance without battery-draining add-on card
*Chiclet keyboard is responsive, has finger placement bumps on "F","J", and keypad "5"
*Touchpad has multi-touch gesturing
*Even screen backlighting
*Brightness has wide range, minimum brightness is sufficiently visible, max is too bright for me
*Great battery life, charges quickly even while using
*Second empty drive bay; ready for additional drive or conversion to SSD+HD setup;SATA III
*Came with 1333 memory, even though Gateway site says 1066
Cons: *A little heavy, but not unexpected for its size
*Memory/hard drive panel is a little tricky to remove
*Glossy lid, while pretty, is scratch/fingerprint magnet, keyboard area is matte though
*Screen is not anti-glare, but a 381mm x 215mm anti-glare screen protector is a perfect fit
*CPU portion may be less powerful than Intel's most (expensively) powerful, but more than enough for most people's needs
*Speakers aren't very loud - grab some earbuds!
*No software discs included - have to create them with backup using included Gateway utility
*Too much bloatware
*Not much in accessories included
Overall Review: I bought this laptop on special from somewhere else for a lot less; now that the special is over, the total price is higher than Newegg's. But I like it a lot and wanted to give some observations I thought would be helpful.
The bottom panel has three screws that stay on the panel when undone, but then you have to "snap" out the panel with a bit of force instead of just lifting it out. A little scary at first, but it's no big deal once you've done it.
I can see the other reviewer's battery observations. With the brightness turned all the way down, I can really stretch out the battery life, around 4+ hrs for movies, 6+ for productivity. Turning it all the way up cuts the battery life almost in half.
The 1333 memory and second drive bay were nice surprises. The SATA connectors are hard mounted in place and ready to go, no need to route cables or such.
Pros: Got two of these to CrossYolk them. Screaming FAST!!! Finally cracked 10000 in 3DMark11 Eggstreme! More sizzle than the GTX590!
Cons: VERY HOT! One of them blew up on me at stock settings when I tried to overeasy them. No problem, Newegg scrambled to get me a replacement the next day. Om-a-letting off one egg for the hardboiling my watercooling rig took.
Overall Review: Don't forget to order the crispy CrossYolk baconbridge...they didn't come with one.
Pros: * Delivers excellent performance in a single card
* 40nm - low power consumption, less heat for performance delivered (lowest in its class)
* Noise doesn't exceed other case fans unless you manually force it to a high setting - then it's pretty loud
* Overclocks very well
- pushing the max in GPU and memory clock in ATI Overdrive is no problem
- you'll need "unofficial" apps to push it further; HD 5870 clocks are easily reachable
- Has circuitry to bump up voltage for extreme OC (third-party apps again)
* Length is suitable for most cases (*See other thoughts)
* DX11 compliant - the new DirectX standard starting with Windows 7, and DX11 features looks great!
* Plenty of output connections including native HDMI with audio support - VGA with included adapter, both DVI connections can convert to HDMI with sound as well
* Eyefinity multi-monitor setup (*See other thoughts)
** Closed cooler design streamlines airflow and diverts heat out of the back of the case
Cons: * Availability - This seems to be easing just in time for the holidays - I spent days of constant refreshing before finally being able to get one
* Price - well above the release price due to shortage
* Documentation - General installation guidelines with nothing specific to the 5000-series. Included driver CD is outdated and on-disc manual only includes information for 4000-series and lower. You are better off downloading the driver from the AMD site. Also, with Catalyst 9.11, you do not have to download the hotfix from the Sapphire site, but there's no indication of that anywhere - you have to ask Sapphire directly to learn this.
* Length of card may block some SATA ports, but enough clearance to use L-plug cables.
* "Bundled" game Dirt2 must be downloaded from (free) Steam account - direct download would have been more desirable
** Closed cooler design makes it impossible to blow out dust without disassembly - would doing this void my warranty?
Overall Review: Even with shortage-bloated prices, the HD5850 is still cheaper than the nVidia GTX285 while delivering better performance @ lower power; between this and a GTX285, it's a no-brainer. And if you were waiting for the Fermi cards, maybe they'll outperform this series (a big "maybe"), but at what cost?
The length is roughly the same as a standard ATX/mATX motherboard, so if your case can accept full-height cards and doesn't have anything hanging low over the motherboard, you should be able to fit this card.
Eyefinity with three monitors requires using the DisplayPort connection in one form or another. Apparently, only an expensive active (powered) adapter, to convert it to HDMI or DVI, is necessary for acceptable results, since DP-capable monitors are few and far between. I suppose if you're going to buy more monitors just for an Eyefinity setup, the additional cost isn't that big a deal. Maybe DP monitors will become more popular...
Pros: The internal layout rocks for as little a footprint as it takes up. This case CAN fit an HD5870, something many of its much bigger, much heavier, and more expensive brothers can't do. Looking at the remaining space, it looks like an HD5970 could fit as well, because the power connectors are on the top edge of the card, not the front edge. (see Other Thoughts for a caveat).
Cons: You will need a bigger PSU if you get the beefy new graphics cards. The case may be a little flimsy, but being made of aluminum makes it relatively light and much easier to carry and transport. And I don't plan on using it any time soon as a step stool. Only two HD bays as well, but in the age of 1TB+ drives, who cares?
Overall Review: If your motherboard has the PCI-e x16 slot as the second closest to the CPU, you should be able to finagle PCI-e power connectors into the top-edge PCI-e power connectors of the HD5870/HD5970. Unfortunately, my PCI-e x16 slot is closest to the CPU, and I had to Dremel out a large opening in the unused lower 5.25" drive bay and go in through the back of the bay. Not too hard, since it is aluminum, but still...
It's also easier to install if you remove the PSU (and necessary with my particular HSF). And since the PSU fan is right above the card, it acts as an extra fan to suck VGA heat out of the case.
AMD Phenom II 720
Xigmatech HDT-SD964 HSF
Biostar TA790GX XE
Corsair XMS2 DDR2-1066 4GB
Thermaltake 750W Toughpower Modular PSU
Pros: * Large storage capacity
* Lower Power than F1 1TB Samsung
* Runs Cooler than F1 1TB Samsung
* Formats out to 1.36 TB, which is close enough to 1.5x 931MB, what the 1TB drives format to
Cons: * Noisy when there is multiple access (two or more access requests from the same drive)
* No more volume discount - increased cost/MB without it compared to 1TB drives, at least at time of purchase
* 5400rpm instead of 7200rpm, speed trade-off for cooler, lower-power operation - you won't notice unless you read/write large amounts of files or fragmented large files
Overall Review: I got 2 of these in preparation for migrating to Windows 7, copying over 2 1TB F1 Samsungs onto these from my file server and using the old 1TB's for the HD backups. The slower speed doesn't bother me all that much because they hold archive data, but if data access speed is a must, you should consider that.
After a month of 24/7 constant access usage (not just powered up), I haven't had any problems with them. It seems as if the proportion of failure comments are about the same as with the 1TB HD's of any brand. That still didn't stop me from running a time-consuming surface scan before putting data on them, though.
By the way, if you have an older SATA HD dock, where the specs list "Up to 1TB", because those were the largest drives around at the time, you still should be able use it with these. I didn't have any problem using the drive on my Vantec dock either with eSATA or USB.
Pros: Worked great, when it worked.
Cons: First set was flawed. Would work at 800 but not 1066. Went to their forums, all they did was blame AMD's IMC. Finally they relented and RMA'd my set, and it worked great @ 1066; so much for their experts. Besides, I paid $100 less than the current price (after rebate - I actually got it on the promised schedule) only 3-4 months ago. And I wasn't the only one having a similar problem.
Now that I've finally gone to a 64-bit OS and would like more memory, I can't justify paying that much more when I'll probably be going DDR3 in the 6-8 months, when the next chipsets come out.
Overall Review: Too bad I'd have to order this set (for matching purposes, some of the cheaper sets won't guarantee their bit configuration) if I wanted to go to 8GB. Almost made me wish I had ordered it at $60, er...I mean $70, after RMA shipping costs, etc. I guess I'll have to live with 4GB...
Pros: * Price
* Length (if you need that much)
Cons: Nothing, really. It provides a clear picture from my PC to the TV, no lines, blocking, lost frames, etc., and that's all I would ever ask for from any HDMI cable from any source.
Overall Review: For $20 locally, I'd be lucky to get a 3" cable of the same quality. Long cables locally are over triple the cost. Based on those prices, I was expecting something thin and weak (along the lines of, say, a USB cable), which would have been just fine for me since the HDMI output was only for occasional use. But the cable is as thick as good coax cable (and thicker than cheap cable) and the end connectors are solidly secured.
Pros: I wanted this so badly, but I didn't have the scratch to buy the motherboard that came with it. Thank goodness I could add it to my cart.
Cons: $5.99 for shipping?!? Not even Eggsaver?!? I might as well have bought the motherboard...
Overall Review: I would have ordered 100 of these for $1, but shipping became $41.44 at that quantity.
Pros: * All-copper forged one-piece construction with tall tines to dissipate heat. The speed at which it gains and sheds heat is impressive. I already had a fan mounted to the case that blew air across the power components, but I removed the power to it to test the heatsink. It would quickly get warm/hot to the touch under load with heavy OC without the fan, but, after putting a little airflow back on it, and the heatsink became cool.
* Enzotech website provides 1:1 engineering drawings that you can print and cut out to see if it matches/fits your board
* Attractively and securely packaged - black box with silver prismatic labeling, form-fitting foam inside, silica gel packet
* I feel better about heavily-overvolted overclocking, trying to reach the absolute limits of performance
Cons: * Only motherboard compatibility indicated is the ASUS Rampage II Extreme (a $350+ Core i7 mobo and not my mobo - See Other Thoughts)
* The tall soft-copper tines easily bend off-kilter, but they are thick and sturdy enough to bend back without worrying that you will snap one off doing so
* The thermal tape is not very sticky - don't count on it securing the heatsink to your board, especially with a vertical motherboard orientation - only applies if you decide to try to mount this on a different motherboard than specified, where the pushpins do not match mounting holes.
* No additional thermal tape. Once you remove the heatsink, the tape is very difficult to reuse. Repeated removal for alignment adjustments during my non-standard mounting tattered the tape beyond usability.
Overall Review: Pictures of blown motherboards tend to show visible burn damage at the MOSFETs. Look up the early 780G mobo's that couldn't support 125W Phenom CPUs. If you overclock with overvolting, you're doing yourself a favor by removing the heat from the MOSFETs.
While the base had the perfect dimensions for my mobo (Biostar TA-790GX XE), the mounting holes are centered, not opposite corner. I knew this going in, so I was prepared with another mounting method, but Enzotech could broaden the appeal of this entire line of heatsinks if they simply widened the mounting tabs and drilled multiple holes on that tab to accomodate center as well as corner mounting. Doing this wouldn't interfere with the Rampage II Extreme compatibility, from what I could tell by the pictures on Newegg.
Deducted 1 egg for lack of universality, but it performs very well.
Pros: I like this board. Besides being a 790GX chipset board in mATX form factor, the power system seems to be more stable and accurate than my old Gigabyte 780G mobo.
Cons: This board is VERY sensitive to checksum errors in your SPD settings of your memory modules, unlike my other motherboards. A module that works perfectly fine on another motherboard may prevent this one from even POSTing. Brand new modules are fine, usually. If you can boot by swapping modules in Slot0, or have access to another machine, you can use SPDTool from TechPowerUp.com and their "Fix Checksum" feature to correct this, and write the SPD info back onto the DIMM.
The SPD corruption seems to happen occasionally after a failed aggressive overclock, or some other electrical event (surge, forcing a fan connector on backwards, etc.). Fortunately, it only happens to the Slot0 module, so swapping positions of the DIMM's will let you POST, enough to enable "Ignore Memory Errors" in BIOS. The OS will not recognize the "bad" module, but you will still be able to read and write it with SPDTool, and it will be fine after reboot. If that is your problem.
Overall Review: I tore my hair out, and feared the worst, but the diagnostic LEDs were helpful in pinpointing the memory error (LED1 on, LED2 off). When the "blown" DIMMs worked without issue on another motherboard, it aroused my suspicions about the SPD info.
Pros: This board can easily unlock the fourth cores of the Phenom II x3 CPU's with the old BIOS.
Cons: Latest BIOS revision adds functionality and extra features, as well as 45nm x2 recognition, but does not successfully unlock my 720 (booooo, Biostar). The 'Temp1' sensor (SpeedFan) in the old BIOS readily corresponds to chipset temp, but is useless with the new BIOS as well.
Also, there is the TA790GXE that's confusingly close in name, but vastly different in layout and lacks PCIe x1.
Overall Review: Both BIOS versions are readily available at the Biostar website. Guess which one I'm using...
Pros: Heavy, good quality screws, could hand-tighten all the way without worrying that I might snap one of them off at the head. Fit my screw holes snugly, with the standard 6-32x1/4" thread. Now I can remove my PSU without a screwdriver, which I have to do fairly often, since I use a heatsink that's oversized for my case. It blocks the mobo tray and could only squeeze in, or out, with the PSU removed.
Eggsaver shipping was quick for a CA to east coast shipment (shipped Friday, received Tuesday), faster than UPS ground for a similar distance.
Cons: Not really a con, but the 1/8" standoff from the thumb knob to the actual screw, which is clearly shown in the photo close up, didn't match my existing mobo tray thumb screws, so I had to replace all of them so it would be firmly level when set on the ground (front panel carrying handle, rear panel screws). Luckily, there's 10 per package.
Overall Review: This is usually the type of thing that I get locally, if available, since shipping usually exceeds the local cost. But, I couldn't find anything similar here, and the low cost + Eggsaver shipping was close enough.
Watch out for shipping costs in your cart, though, since you might have to pay full shipping costs if included with another item, even if it has free shipping.
Pros: * Great performance to price ratio - Lots of recent games will play 45-60+ fps in high detail at 1920x1200 with moderate AA settings, and a gigantic upgrade over the IGP (HD3300)
* Low power - no extra power plug necessary
* Thin, single-slot design
* On-board HDMI connector with audio (7.1) - audio passes through without jumping through hoops
* GPU OC's well, memory not so much (see Cons**)
* Fairly quiet fan on heatsink. Autospeed Fan% @ load only reached 24%, which wasn't enough to be heard over the case fan (Thermaltake 120mm @ ~2200rpm/55cfm, ~40-45dB). The fan is just barely audible over 30%, and 50% is very bearable. Over 70% might start to bother some people. 100% fanspeed didn't drop temperatures down much more than 24%, so there's no reason to manually set the speed that high.
Cons: * No Crossfire connections - I want to say that the latest CCC can Crossfire by software, so a bridge is not necessary, but I'm not totally sure.
* No memory cooling - You can squeeze out a few more MHz in memory OC if you stick on some VGA memory heatsinks. Of the 8 GDDR3 IC's, two cannot be heatsinked because they are under the fan assembly, but there is a large hole for air to flow across those, or at least a portion of them.
** Actual memory specs DO NOT MATCH what is listed under specifications in Newegg.com. Memory clock is listed as 1000MHz, (2000MHz DDR equivalent) but what actually comes is clocked at 873MHz. Sapphire's site does list the slower spec. The memory chips you see with most review sites (and a zoom of the Newegg pictures) are the 1000MHz Qimonda HYB-series GDDR3, but what's onboard now is the Qimonda 800MHz chip of the same series, so it is already slightly overclocked. Keep that in mind if you are an OC freak (guilty). There's not much headroom left.
Overall Review: I was weighing between buying a 4850 or 4770 in the $100-$120 price range shipped, but I couldn't find one with the configurations I wanted for that price, mostly single slot and HDMI without adapter. I finally settled on this in the meantime until one finally came out with the features I wanted. I'm glad I did, since I saved over $50+ (final price $55 after rebate with free ship) from the models I was not totally happy with, and I'm very satisfied at the performance I got for the money I spent, even if I don't get the rebate.
Pros: I had one of the original optical Trackman's from over 10 years ago that died on me recently. I loved that trackball, so I was sad to see it go. I was glad to see that Newegg finally put it on special with FS, so I had to jump on one. It hasn't changed all that much; the old ball will work with the new unit.
The trackball is great for the space-challenged, as well as the sore-wristed. Your palm rests nicely right over the top, and your thumb does all the work. If you need a gel cushion for your wrist to be comfortable, this trackball may be just the thing for you.
You can also click buttons without danger of moving the cursor, if you do anything that requires very fine mouse control.
Cons: None, unless you miss lifting up the mouse to reposition it when you ran out of room.
Or, maybe if you're used to a dozen buttons and wheels to control everything - this mouse only has the left click, right click, and wheel control with middle click.
Overall Review: As for cleaning, in the age of optical mice, I guess that's true. For those who remember roller-ball mice, cleaning was a fact of life. Quick tip: There's a hole at the bottom of the mouse roughly the same diameter as a ballpoint pen you can use to easily pop out the trackball - use the blunt end so you won't nick the ball.
Also, adjust your cursor speed so that a single motion of the trackball with your thumb will completely cross the screen. It makes it that much more convenient.
Pros: * Incredible price - lots of graphical features
* Quality image with fast pixels - no ghosting with most usage - I haven't found one yet
* Both DVI and D-sub connectors
* Solid Construction - the stand is pretty heavy and stable, as well as having a non-slip bottom
* Supports 75Hz vertical refresh rate
* 100mm VESA-compliant screw holes centered on rotation axis for custom mounting
* Plug 'n Play monitor info supports screen rotation
Cons: * Backside-facing speakers are weak - they became acceptably audible only after I mounted them on my no-longer-working Samsung 943BWX's three-way adjustable stand because the screen, and thus the speakers, were six inches higher than with the included stand and closer to my ears. Forget about sound quality - just fine for system sounds, though.
* Stand only has tilt adjustment
* Buttons are poorly marked, including no front bezel markings. They are embossed with their functions only (no white highlighting paint).
Overall Review: It's more than a nice enough monitor for my file/print server and the on-board speakers are a great space saving bonus. You can't find a better monitor...or any monitor at any size, for that matter...for the same price, even at the pawn shops. Better than "just a basic monitor". Cheap in price, not in features and quality.
For those worried about VESA hardware, the four screws that hold on the stock base happen to be VESA compatible...saved me a trip to the hardware store.
Pros: * Price - $20 after rebate is about as low as it goes for any PCIe device.
* Compact, single slot card - There isn't a case (probably) that the card itself can't fit into, full height or low profile (bracket included - **see Cons)
* DVI/HDMI/DSub connectors native without need of adapters
* Passive cooling for silent operation
* OC's better than I expected, although cooling solutions for good OC will cost more than the card
* The only card currently out that supports Hybrid Crossfire (with AMD 780/790 chipsets), even in XP (since Catalyst 8.8) despite what the AMD/ATI Hybrid Crossfire website says.
Cons: * Really not that powerful, but a (small) step up from IGP
** Included half-height bracket is a single-piece double-width bracket, which could be a problem for some with ITX and mini-ITX mobo's - you will have to cut the bracket in half, or not use it, if you want to forgo VGA and use only 1 slot in half-height
* The heatsink is a little weak, but adequate if you want to use the card with stock settings or light OC. Because I happened to have a Zalman "Blue Peacock" NB Heatsink lying around, I slapped it on the card, along with a 16 CFM fan, dropping
load temps @ 750MHz GPU from 52C to 43C (41C was idle temp with stock HS). Big difference. This isn't really a practical long-term solution, however, because it takes up 3 slots, defeating the purpose of getting a slim card in the first place.
Overall Review: I got this card to play aound with Hybrid Crossfire (with HD3300). HXF is OK, certainly provides a boost. Both CCC and in-game settings for EACH game may be important to max performance v. quality, and it can take a while to figure it out. I got Mass Effect (1440x900), Fallout 3 (1680x1050) and Oblivion (1680x1050) with HIGH detail/particle settings, no AA, to play at avg 30FPS or more, but don't expect HXF to turn this card into a hard-core gamer, so don't buy it as such.
For bench comparison, I hit 7135 in 3DMark05 (default settings) in full stable OC (including IGP). That's better than the HD4350 and 9400GT, and ~650 marks below the HD4550.
The card does handle HD video playback without problems, and, at least on my mobo, the audio passes through to the HDMI without having to disable onboard sound in BIOS, like I had to do with the onboard HDMI.
Overall, a good basic budget card at a great price for HTPC or "medium" gaming w/ HXF. The keyword here is "basic"...
Pros: * High efficiency heat transfer - not only will it keep you CPU cool, you will drop from full load temps down to idle temps quickly, thanks to the four direct-touch heatpipes
* Medium 93mm size - the size of this cooler is a good balance in size, big enough to dissipate heat well, but slim enough to fit into some tight spots (see Other Thoughts).
* Included fan pushes a good volume of air versus noise level for a 92mm fan, as well as being PWM compliant
* Rubber fan mount method allows for flexible fan positioning - also enough mounts included for 2 fans (only 1 fan included, however)
Cons: * Aluminum fins bend fairly easily
* AM2 mounting method could be better, allows only one orientation - crosswise to rear exhaust fan - despite the extra grooves cut into the mounting block. It is also possible to mount the cooler without covering the entire CPU, something to watch for.
Overall Review: I managed to squeeze this into a mATX case with a Chenming layout (see Apevia X-QPack series for an example), which normally has a cooler height limit of 72mm. But because of the slim shape of the HDT-964, it (w/o fan mounted) will just fit between the longitudinal support beam and the PSU. And if you mount the fan about 5 fins down from the top, it will fit snugly under the
PSU, with the added bonus of having the hot air exhausted out of the case through the PSU fan, if you set the heatsink fan to pull air through the HS, instead of pushing through it. You will have to remove the PSU to do the above.
Low-profile HSF's under 72mm in height are not usually performance oriented, since most lack heatpipes and/or are big-block aluminum types. The increase in performance from my old cooler was dramatic. With a Phenom II 720, idle temps dropped from ~6C over ambient temp to an astounding ~1.5C over, and 100% load temps dropped from ~18C to ~9C over.
Pros: * free shipping
* big 47% rebate
* Memory worked fine after RMA with Corsair itself - RMA process relatively painless, if somewhat tedious
Cons: * First set wasn't close to being stable at DDR2-1066 with 5-5-5-15 timings (or 7-7-7-21), even when overvolting to 2.3V (only after 2.1V failed miserably)
* It seems as if a good number of users who purchased this product around the same time that I did had problems as well. By offering a significant rebate, Corsair might have been trying to get rid of a spotty batch and hoped some portion of them wouldn't bother to go through the RMA process. I almost didn't, since the first DIMMs I received worked @ DDR2-800, CL4, stock voltage, and the price after rebate was cheaper than other 4GB CL4 kits.
Overall Review: If your kit works, it actually works quite well. Even though it is spec'ed @ 2.1V, I've been running the replacement @ 1.9V successfully under Prime95 Blend (RAM intensive) tests. Also, I was able to OC to 1150 @ 2.1V.
I had gotten this memory to replace a much cheaper, lesser-named manufacturer's 1066 memory 4GB kit (that Newegg no longer sells) which worked hassle-free at DDR2-1066, CL5 timings, that was no longer fully working (one module). I thought a name-brand product might work better with the same lack of hassle, but I was obviously hoping for too much.
This product was initially such a disappointment. Too bad I had to spend extra money for shipping and wait several more weeks to fix that. Now, I hope that I will get the rebate, or else the whole exercise wasn't worth it.
Starting at 5 eggs, +1 egg for the AR price and eventual capability , but -4 eggs for the hassle.
Pros: * Brush-on application is superior, great for small surfaces like chipset chips with exposed surface mount capacitors, where using a razor blade or credit card is awkward, especially with aftermaket mounting screws/posts. Makes it easy to apply a smooth, thin, even coat.
* No waste with this application method - what you don't need to use goes back into the bottle, and no excess from pushing too hard on a sticky plunger
* Enough paste for 25 to 30 CPU's (my estimate) - even after scraping as much excess off the brush as I could back into the bottle, I was able to completely cover the CPU surface with no "bald" spots, while still obtaining full performance. And you get 6 grams instead of 3.5 grams.
* Excellent thermal conductivity (see Other Thoughts for an overly complicated comparison to AS-5)
* Performs thermally as well as AS-5 in practice, slightly better in theory
Cons: * Price may dissuade some people from trying this stuff, since there are no third-party reviews out there to show performance
* I won't have to buy premium thermal paste for a while...
* I'm taking up too much time reapplying this thermal compound to all my heatsinks...
* I gotta throw away my leftover AS-5 and razor blades now...hah
Overall Review: Thanks for the (all-too-brief) free shipping Newegg/Rosewill! It gave me enough incentive to try it, since adding shipping before made it much more expensive than picking up AS-5 locally.
How do you compare AS-5, whose specs list "Thermal Conductance" of 350,000 W/m2C @ 0.001 in. thick, to this stuff, where the "Thermal Conductivity" is listed as 9.24 W/mK? Using their terminology instead of the "proper" terms, it's not that difficult to make the comparison:
Thermal Conductance = Thermal Conductivity/L, where L is the thickness of the material.
L, in this case is 0.001 in.(0.0000254m) Keeping in mind that per K = per C in the units, by multiplying AS-5 Conductance by the thickness in meters, we get AS-5 Conductivity of 8.89 W/mK, just slightly less than Rosewill's 9.24 W/mK.
For relative comparison, the thermal conductivity (W/mk) is 0.025 for air, 0.6 for liquid water, 380 for copper, 429 for silver.
Use any compound to fill microgaps only - no brand will beat metal.
Pros: * Good price
* All 5 ports are gigabit capable
* No special cables required - automatic detection - I assume any port can be the uplink port
* Easy setup - Just plug it in, no settins required
* Interacts perfectly with my other network components, including a 10/100 WAN router.
* Doesn't heat up the room, like my WAN router and DSL modem do
* Attractive case
Cons: * My unit, had a large arc-like scuff mark on top of it right out of the box, but it didn't affect performance, of course.
If I had one suggestion for improvement, it would be that the Gigabit-connection indicator LED flash when achieving gigabit transfer speeds (> 100Mbps), so the user will know when it's happening, especially when it comes to troubleshooting.
Overall Review: If possible, when benching your LAN, look at both the write and read rates of the network. In my case, it was about 225Mbps/500Mbps on average, roughly the average read/write rates of my HDD. Ironically, as compared to 10/100, it was actually faster to encode a video file directly off the network, instead of copying it over, since there was only writing operations during the encode, rather than both read and write operations.
I've gotten several things from Rosewill now: laser toner, a HSF, and a networking switch, and all of their products are at the very least solid performers. Don't let the name stop you from trying this item. And they actually read and respond these reviews. Now, I'd try that brush-on thermal paste of theirs, even though I still have plenty of silvery stuff left, if Rosewill/Newegg would only slap some free shipping on it...hint, hint
Pros: I've had this PSU since August of last year, and have run it 24/7 since then, pretty much, and nothing has failed, including the LED's. The power readings are exactly the same as it was from day one, and fluctuations are still +/- 0.06 V for all voltages under 100% load. Even switching to a higher wattage CPU with more cores didn't even cause it to flicker a bit.
Cons: The rebate takes FOREVER, and I didn't get mine until more than 12 weeks later. However, I did fire off an email to rebatecenterinc.com (through their website, not my own email account) asking about it, and I got it a week later. Coincidence? Judging from others' experiences, probably not.
Overall Review: My cost, after finally receiving the rebate and even shipping was factored in, was shockingly low, compared to now, and with the performance I've gotten out of it, it made it my deal of past year.
Pros: * mATX form factor with 790GX/SB750 chipset (hard to find)
* Power regulation system seems more stable and accurate than the Gigabyte GA-MA78GM it replaced
* BIOS full featured with plenty of tweaks - CPU Voltage bumps in BIOS in .0125V increments instead of .025V
* Onboard system status LED's (super-handy!) - tells you which system failed (CPU/Memory/VGA) if you can't boot.
* 140W CPU support - think of it as "Safety Headroom" for the motherboard
* Quality IGP (ATI HD3300)
* CAN do the Phenom II 720 three-core to four-core trick, even with the latest BIOS update (Jan 2009), and could recognize the Phenom II's right out of the box.
* A strong offering, both in terms of price and features, suitable for HTPC or enthusiast platform
Cons: * Large Northbridge heatsink is placed very close to the CPU bracket. It may interfere with an aftermarket HSF if it sticks out over the bracket towards the back of the mobo.
* BIOS is confusing, with some duplicate settings in a couple of places, some seemingly contradictory. Little documentation about the BIOS settings.
* Does not work 100% with AMD OverDrive, and Biostar's included software is woefully inadequate (drivers are fine).
* CMOS reset jumper is awkwardly placed in the middle of the board, especially in tight mATX cases. Hard to reach if all the expansion slots are populated. Wouldn't be so bad if a screwdriver touch could reset CMOS, but you have to physically move the jumper between three pins to complete the reset.
* Secondary fan headers (NB & System) are not speed regulated even though fan speed is readable by Speedfan - they run full speed all the time.
* Would be nice if MOSFET's and ferrite cores were at least heatsinked - mounting holes are there already
Overall Review: As far as I know, the only other mATX 790GX/SB750 mobo available in the US currently is from DFI, for more $$$. I wasn't going to get a new motherboard until the new chipset came out in mATX, but I needed a SB750 board instead of a 780G/SB700 to see if my 720 could do the "trick". I'm glad to say that it can, and ran Prime95 for 8 hours @ 3.4GHz with no errors!
I was initially confused and turned off by the BIOS, it grew on me, and now I like it. You can also back up the BIOS to disk, so if a future revision disables the fourth-core option, you can go back to it if you want.
As for a previous review, try 'Chipset->Southbridge Configuration' settings and disable the SB Azalia to turn off the onboard sound. I don't know how this affects a sound card, however, but this setting (disabled) does let sound pass through to the HDMI output.
Pros: Let me count the ways:
- 45nm - runs cool - not even close to overheating, and room on the die for lots of cache.
- Fast - 20% faster @stock over an A64x2 5400BE@3.1
- 95W TDP - great for 780G chipsets (Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H Rev 1.0, F7 BIOS) with sketchy 125W support
- Unlocked multiplier + generous OC Headroom (see other thoughts) - made OCing easy
- Excellent upgrade path - easy drop-In upgrade for AM2+, but still AM3 ready for the future, especially when the 8xx chipsets come out.
- Full HT bandwidth
Cons: I wanted this chip soooo badly, but Newegg's pricing merry-go-round made me dizzy (2 price increases on the first day alone... and no free shipping!). I ended up getting this somewhere else (sorry, Newegg, but I still love ya'...)
Overall Review: My results for multiplier/voltage adjustments only:
Fully stable OC 3.4 @ Vstock, although 32-bit XP was able to boot 3.6 @ Vstock.
Fully stable OC to 3.6 with a nominal voltage bump (+0.075V = 1.40V).
Mostly stable* to 3.8 @ 1.5V (Vmax in specs was 1.550), that's where I stopped.
All in all, not too shabby - +1GHz over stock without redlining voltage. Even at 3.8 under load, max temp was under 25C over room temp, with a Rosewill RCX-Z2-EX HSF, well below max temp. These results were also fairly typical amongst the various reviews.
Overall, I'm very pleased with the 720, and I'd recommend this CPU for any enthusiast...it's really a tremendous value.
*Mostly stable=passed stability tests (1 hr runs) except for AOD's. However, it seemed to test run games, 1080p video playback, and applications just fine, but I wouldn't run any critical tasks/updates at this setting.
Other Other thoughts: I think the magical Tri-to-Quad only applies to Biostar 790 chipset mobo'