Date Joined: 08/22/05
Pros: - Does what it is supposed to, with one caveat - see cons
- Comes with all cables integrated
- Has dedicated physical button on a long wire in addition to keyboard shortcut
Cons: - Loud high pitch noise via the audio output
Overall Review: I ended up bypassing this switch for audio, and connecting the speakers directly to one of the two PCs instead. If routed via the switch, audio has loud high pitch noise which is pretty annoying. Luckily for me, I only really needed DP and USB switching. Other than that, works well. Having a dedicated hard button for switching in addition to keyboard shortcut is really convenient.
Pros: - Same print quality as OEM cartridge
- Quite a bit cheaper
Cons: - None so far
Overall Review: Cartridge which came with my Brother HL2230 has finally ran out of toner, and this one has replaced it. As far as I can tell it works just as well as the original - giving me crisp and clear prints. Will see how long it lasts.
Pros: - Legendary double precision compute performance.
- Comes with a backplate! (Which is pretty outstanding for a card in this price range).
- Good price, and often comes with a MIR on top of it.
Cons: - Has some coil whine, but not too much.
- By now this architecture is really dated, but then again no newer model from AMD come anywhere close in terms of double precision compute performance to price ratio.
Overall Review: I bought this card mostly for OpenCL compute. In double precision calculations, it has 1/2 performance of Titan Black, for 1/6 the price.
Pros: - Built-in touchpad
- Good for controlling PCs in remote locations (HTPC, etc.)
Cons: - Not the best keys layout - have to use Fn like on a laptop
- Keys don't provide good tactile feedback
- Range isn't great, OK if your keyboard is near your PC, can be an issue otherwise
Overall Review: I am using this keyboard to control PC connected to my TV. It is fine for occasional use but isn't convenient for regular and/or prolonged use. Anyhow it does what it is supposed to.
Pros: Good price given screen size and high resolution.
Cons: HDMI input is limited to 1920*1080.
Overall Review: Luckily all my devices have DisplayPort. If you need to use HDMI, you may want to consider other models. All in all, a very solid product.
Pros: Easy to pair; fast data transmission rate (can't remember measurement results, but faster than my Wi-Fi link).
Cons: Can't think of any. Oh, right, it occupies a power outlet.
Overall Review: I am using this adapter to connect a bunch of non-Wi-Fi enabled devices via a switch to a router in another room. It does what it is supposed to, running 24/7 without a glitch.
Pros: EVGA has excellent customer support.
Cons: Problems happen, but are quickly resolved.
Overall Review: You can read my initial review below - this video card is excellent.
I've ordered a second one about 5 weeks after that. Much to my unpleasant surprise, it came with some port dust covers missing: SLI connector, HDMI and Display Port had no dust covers; both DVI ports had them.
I then submitted a customer support ticket with EVGA. It was Thursday 10pm. 20 minutes later I get a response asking to confirm my shipping address. Another 20 minutes later I get a response that the missing parts are being shipped in 1-2 business days. They were actually mailed on Friday, in less than 24 hours! I got them in my mailbox soon after that.
So, even though problems to occur sometimes, I can't see how EVGA customer support could have been any better than that.
Back to the video card itself - it runs just perfectly, same experience as with the first one I wrote about in my initial review.
Pros: Does what it is intended to. Working for a few months without a single glitch.
Cons: None really. Just works. As simple of an Ethernet switch as it gets.
Really minor: power LED looks kinda similar to 1 Gbps link LED (green). I wish it was a different color.
Overall Review: Once you start plugging stuff in, you may realize you may going to need more ports. Make sure 5 is enough. I thought I will use 2-3 ports max, and by now all 5 ports are already in use.
Pros: Low profile cooler with decent performance. Quiet, cools CPU well, can also cool DIMMs.
Cons: Not sure what's this whole deal with 120 / 140 mm fan is about? Either make the cooler smaller (remove the few extra mm of metal rim all around), or equip it with a 140 mm fan. Right now it just wastes some space on all sides, and can get _very_ close to the video card.
Mounting can be tricky. You have to position the heat sink on top of CPU, and then screw it from the opposite side of the motherboard, while keeping the rater large heat sink in the proper position all the while. This is in contrast with e.g. 212 EVO or many other coolers, where you screw in mounts first, and then attach heat sink to the mounts without having to access the back side of the motherboard.
Overall Review: Make sure you understand what this cooler is for, and whether you need it. This is a low (or at least lower) profile cooler, hence in terms of both size and performance it is a compromise between real low-profile coolers (50 or so mm tall), and full size tower coolers.
I bought it for Fractal Design Core 1000 case which is 175 mm wide and does not fit most tower coolers. Running perfectly well 24/7 for ~6 months now, keeping Core i7 4770 cool under 100% CPU load (no overclocking). Quiet and reasonably efficient.
Finally, plan the orientation in advance. This cooler can be mounted in 3 orientations (4 really, but mounting up may make little sense). Measure and visualize and make sure you have enough clearance. It is wide, and will overhang DIMMs, or MOSFETs, or may interfere with PCIe slot. Planning and measurement is the key.
Pros: Decent mat.
Cons: Not really a con... Make sure you actually checked its size. This thing is huge!
Overall Review: Did I say this pad has enormous size? Too big for many uses, but if you buy it, you probably have a reason to buy a pad that big. The material is pretty thin, does its job well nonetheless.
Pros: Does what it is supposed to.
Cons: Makes rattling sound.
Overall Review: Bought this as a replacement fan for an ancient EPIA-800 board. The fan works OK but makes rattling sound.
Pros: Perfect balance of features for a mid-range system at stock settings:
- Plenty of SATA 3 and USB 3.0 ports
- 4 DIMM slots
- 2 case fan headers with Fan Xpert 2 support - B85 and H81 ASUS boards only have one case fan header with a simpler Fan Xpert+ control
Cons: - Fan Xpert 2 software uses CPU core temperature to adjust fan speeds, but socket temperature to place yellow dot on RPM curves. So, fan speed adjustment actually works, but the way it is shown in ASUS software bundled with the board is totally misleading - yellow dots are always off the curves (check Fan Xpert 2 screenshots on the Internet if you have not seen it to see what I mean).
- Rather limited monitoring features: no CPU core voltage or temperature displayed in UEFI and AiSuite III software. This motherboard only monitors socket temperature, and VCCIN, 3V, 5V and 12V voltages. Then again, this is not an overclocking product.
- Digi+ VRM features are very limited compared to Z87 boards. Only manual and offset core voltage modes are supported, there is no adaptive mode available.
Overall Review: I am running this motherboard in a simple build:
- Fractal Design Core 1000
- Core i7-4770 (non-K)
- Cooler Master GeminII S524
- Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1600 8GB (2 x 4GB)
- Corsair Neutron GTX 120GB
- SeaSonic SSR 450W Gold Certified
This machine is running CPU-based calculations 24/7, hence high-end CPU and basic everything else. This board offers plenty of connectivity for potential future expansion. At the same time it has no higher-end features that I will not need in this machine. CPU is running at stock settings, so VRM and monitoring capabilities are perfectly adequate. Do not expect much in terms of overclocking (see cons), but mild overclocking to around 4GHz should be achievable with K CPU. Don't forget to update UEFI to enable non-Z overclocking.
My only complaint is that ASUS needs to fix Fan Xpert 2 software, so that it displays the same temperature that it actually uses to control fan speed.
Pros: Nearly top-of-the line performance (turbo frequency same as 4770K), reasonably cool. FMA support - the biggest pro for me (speeds up calculations I am running a lot).
Cons: Intel charges extra for overclocking. Booo! I wish there was a version without the stock cooler - I have two of these sitting on the shelf already.
Overall Review: I am running 4770K in my other machine. I played with overclocking and found pretty much what all other reviews on the Internet say - Haswells do not overclock very well, and even moderate overclocking easily causes twice as much heat production.
With this in mind, I bought a non-K version for my smaller build. I am running calculations which greatly benefit from FMA, hence the choice of Haswell. Just as expected, performance is superb. Judging by ASUS AiSuite III software, power consumption under full load is around 60W, and core temperature is around 60 C using Cooler Master GeminII S524 cooler. Running fully loaded 24/7 and is rock stable.
Pros: Very quiet, high build quality, stable power output. Cables are ribbon type, not sleeved - some may consider this a con, but the cables are so much more compact and flexible this way.
Cons: I wish it had hybrid fan switch like higher-end SeaSonic models. As minor as it gets, screws that come along with it are silver, not black. That's about it.
Overall Review: I am running this PSU's big brother - SeaSonic Platinum 1000W - in my bigger machine (4770K + 2 x GTX 770). For my smaller micro-ATX build, I chose this model. I would have preferred even less power, but this is the least-rated Gold-certified modular model with fan. Fanless PSU would not work well in my case (Fractal Design Core 1000). So far it works just great, no problems at all. A word of advise - do not trust too much consumer reviews of PSUs (including mine, haha). It is hard if not impossible for a consumer to actually tell a good PSU from a bad one - it takes special skills and measurement equipment. Read reviews on hardware sites - they really show which PSU is which.
Pros: Great airflow and low noise.
Cons: Can't think of any. If you need more airflow, buy PWM version of the same fan (it has more RPM in addition to PWM).
Overall Review: I own 2 Spectre Pro PWM fans in my bigger gaming PC, and now bought non-PWM version for a smaller micro-ATX based machine.
Compared to PWM version:
- Lower RPM (1800 PWM vs. 1200 non-PWM). Running full speed at 1200 RPM, this fans creates plenty of airflow for a basic PC. Higher performance PWM fans are great for a 2-way SLI GTX 770 build I have them running in, but for its smaller brother such airflow would be excessive.
- No PWM - not really an issue. Works about just as good with voltage-based RPM adjustment.
Pros: Perfect size for a micro-ATX build. Anything larger is unnecessarily big. Anything smaller does not fit ATX power supply, limits CPU cooler choice to low profiles, and has really small rear fan (60 mm or so). The case is very basic in what it offers, but has all that is really needed. Considering its price, the value is unbeatable.
All dimensions are perfect:
- Length - just long enough to avoid tight space between ODD and PSU
- Height - just high enough to fit mATX board and PSU
- Width - just wide enough to fit ATX PSU, and leave enough clearance to not be too restrictive in CPU cooler choice.
Includes 2.5" mounting bracket in the lower 5.25" bay, and rubber 3.5" HDD mounts.
Cons: This is a simple inexpensive case, so don't expect something typically found in more expensive ones. Metal is quite thin, finish is simple paint. Thick aluminum panels are great... if you are willing to pay $100 and up.
Pay attention to PSU mounting orientation. Fanless PSUs will mount upside-down - make sure yours has fan.
Overall Review: I am building a basic mATX-based system, and this case is just about the right size. Anything smaller than that does not fit an ATX power supply, and requires low-profile cooler. If you want a simple and basic PC, but do not need it to be *really* small, this is a perfect choice. ATX case and m/b would typically be more expensive. If you go down mini-ITX path, there's premium to pay for compactness, and/or space becomes really tight, and you are limited in the choice of cooling system.
This is a very simple case. Assembly is as easy as it gets. Design is minimalistic but functional.
Note: rear fan has universal 92/80 mm mounting holes. Product description omits the 80 mm part.
Pros: Middle of the range motherboard with a rich set of essential features, and not so much higher-end features which I don't need. Extensive set of overclocking options. Built-in WiFi.
Cons: Some case fan headers may be hard to reach.
Overall Review: This motherboard sits in the middle of ASUS "channel" m/b lineup. Going from low to high end, this is the first board without low-end "features" such as flimsy heatsinks, or unneeded (for me) PCI slots, and the last board without the high-end stuff that costs money but which I am not going to use, e.g. 3-way SLI, or Thunderbolt. Thus this is a well-balanced solution for my needs.
I am running this m/b with Core i7-4770K, 16 Gb of DDR3-1600 RAM, and 2 GTX-770 in SLI. Performance and stability are great, there's plenty of 4-pin fan connectors, with flexible and intelligent fan RPM control. Overclocking features are extensive. I slightly overclocked the CPU to 4 GHz under all cores full load, and did not push it further so far.
Pros: Quiet and capable cooling system, excellent performance (running 2-way SLI). I was amazed how quiet the system is under full load in 3D games.
Cons: None so far. Make sure you have adequate power supply (6 pin + 8 pin each card) and good fan blowing hot air away from the card(s).
Overall Review: I am running 2 of these cards in SLI, on ASUS Z87-PRO m/b with Intel Core i7-4770K CPU. I won't go into much details on 3D performance - there's plenty of reviews around (long story short, performance is superb). What caught my attention with this card is the cooling system design. 3 large fans on each card move lots of air while producing very little noise even under full load, and keep the card cool. My case is a little tight with not a whole lot of airflow, yet the GPU temperatures typically hover around 60 C under load. The card feels massive and solid in hands, and looks very well built. 2 of them running side by side look quite impressive.
Be sure to plan airflow properly, especially when running SLI. Reference NVIDIA cooler blows hot air from the _back_ side of the card (where the monitor connectors are), and out of the case. With this card, most air is blown from the _top_ side of the card (where the SLI and power connectors are). Make sure you have a decent exhaust fan on the case wall near the cards.
Pros: As cheap as it gets. Works well without any problems.
Cons: None really.
Overall Review: I bought this drive to reanimate some old hardware I got laying around and not doing anything since an upgrade. I needed something as cheap as possible to have OS installed and to have the system up and running, without much investment, and without any really high demands too. This drive is doing exactly that. The system is running 24/7 for about 2 weeks now without a single glitch. It is a refurbished drive, and SMART reports power-on time count of 66 out of 100, that is, about a third of normal drive lifetime spent. This is more than enough for me. There are no bad sectors, read/write errors, relocation events, etc. A solid performer. Don't expect miracles or top performance, but as long as you know what you are buying and what for, that's a worthy thing to buy,
Pros: Quiet operation, keeps CPU temperature reasonably low. Easy installation *once* you know what to do. Compact design compared to other much larger coolers, yet good performance. Allows 2nd fan installation should you need it (but works really well out of the box).
Cons: Installation instruction may be cumbersome. You need to pay close attention to tiny details which are not obviously marked. On my m/b (info below), it blocks 2 memory slots closest to the CPU. I only use 2 DIMMs so that is not an issue for me. If you need to use all 4 DIMM slots, be sure to check your clearance and/or use low profile DIMMs.
Overall Review: Running this cooler on my Intel 4770K on ASUS Z87-PRO m/b. Keeps temperature around 60 C under full load with mild overclocking (4 GHz on all cores). Runs really quiet even under full load, yet moves substantial amount of air.
Be sure to carefully follow the instructions, and pay attention to tiny little notches that you are supposed to use to orient the cooler properly. That was my first build in quite a while, so it took me some time to figure this all out, not very intuitive. But once you know what to do, it all is straightforward and simple.
Pros: Top of the line Intel CPU as of now. Lots of computational power. Supports FMA instructions which substantially speed up calculations which I am running. Stays reasonably cool (not too hot anyway) under full load with a Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO.
Cons: As you could have read in multiple reviews, not the best CPU for overclocking. And if you don't care about the overclocking - get a non-K version.
Overall Review: I bought it with a moderate overclocking in mind. This CPU easily overclocks to 4 GHz under all cores 100% utilized, and it can probably go higher - I did not really push it yet.
Intel, give us Haswell-E now! :)
Pros: First thing which stroke me is how amazingly well the PSU is packaged - the box, cable bags, etc. The PSU itself feels very solid. Once installed, it runs very quiet and powers my 4770K and dual GTX 770 setup with no problems. There's plenty of cables to power the system - forget the Molex-to-PCIE nonsense I had to use with my old PSU. The 110V cord which comes with the PSU is really thick and solid, and feels more substantial than an average power cord you typically see. Cable ties are included too - a nice touch.
Cons: As previously mentioned, cable are a bit stiff - prepare for some flexing while doing the cable management.
Overall Review: Easily one of the best PSUs around. Powers my SLI rig with no sweat. I am considering buying its little brother - the 660W model - for another build.
Pros: Quiet fans with lots of airflow. PWM control.
Overall Review: Installed 2 of those in my case, replacing dated fans of the same size running off 12V with no RPM control. The system is very quiet, although of course CPU/GPU coolers and motherboard RPM control have a role to play in this. Under load, the fans are moving lots of air and still remain really quiet. Really satisfied with the purchase.