Date Joined: 02/27/08
Pros: - Improved high load temps over the stock Intel cooler by 10C-15C.
Cons: - Not a good as other heatsinks out there, but I'm not an overclocker and I just wanted a better heatsink than stock that I could just pop on without any extra fuss.
Overall Review: I could have gone with a more robust heatsink solution, but I didn't feel like dealing with having to apply thermal paste. I picked up some coffee filters and used some 70% alcohol that I had on hand (good luck finding any alcohol with COVID happening) to clean off the processor (i7-8700), and popped this one on. My temperatures at high load improved by 10-15C. That's good enough for me.
I've read that it's a loud heatsink. but my case fans are already loud, and even when I turn a few of them down, this heatsink is still quieter than the other louder fans in my case. I have no complaints.
Pros: - Fast and quiet. I ran a few 3D mark benchmarks to stress it at 1080p and got no whining or noticeable noise.
- I popped out the old GTX 1060 6GB card, popped in the new one, and it started up with the existing NVidia drivers with no reinstallation of drivers.
Cons: - It doesn't light up at all. I don't care.
- Ray tracing could be more robust, but ray tracing isn't the main reason I bought this card.
Overall Review: I purchased this as an upgrade for my GTX 1060 6GB. I'm very happy with the increased framerates, and I'm even more ready now for a PC VR setup.
I only run at 1080p, so this card destroys the games that I run flatscreen. I'm just prepping for a decent PC VR setup.
As I try out more games, I'll post more findings.
Update 1: Trying out some of my own graphical game code, there are times when I can hear a minute difference in the hum coming from my box when the video card is being taxed in different ways. But while playing a game with environmental audio or music, this shouldn't even be noticeable.
Pros: - I plugged them in, no problems.
Cons: - The DVI side plug is a little large. It made plugging in one of my monitors just a little tight.
Overall Review: I've read poor reviews about the cords not working. Mine worked. If the situation changes, I'll update this review.
Pros: - Solid reliable design
Cons: - I had never really had a Cherry MX keyboard before. The keys are a little loud if I'm typing with a certain fervor. I'd probably prefer one with the Speed switches so I can press the keys more lightly. Maybe I can install the little O rings to ease up on the tap sound when I press them down all the way.
- Rarely, sometimes, when booting up my Win10 machine, my USB port fails to recognize the keyboard. Unplugging it and plugging it back in fixes it. Probably happened 8 or so times since I built my new box back in May 2019 (5 months ago).
Overall Review: - It's a nice keyboard with quality design all around.
Pros: - Comfortable simple design
Cons: - Sometimes the mouse wheel can be a little stiff. Its feel can vary.
- For whatever reason (and this has always happened with these mice), after scrolling with the wheel, a few seconds later the scroll wheel will register one more move. It's annoying when the wheel is used to switch weapons in gaming (suddenly I'll switch to the next weapon) or in other UI situations. But that isn't a showstopper for me.
- The last one I received had a mouse wheel that was a little stiff which occasionally stopped working. I ordered another and it works fine, and has a more comfortable mouse wheel. Was just a fluke I guess.
Pros: - I paired this with Windows 10 64 bit, 16GB of 2666 Mhz memory, the i7-8700 processor with stock cooler, and a GTX 1060 6GB card. It runs recent games at 1080p and 60fps on high/ultra settings with very few problems. I'm thrilled. I didn't need a super powered box for my needs, but this setup absolutely fits my bill.
- I had a couple of problems getting it cleanly aligned with the case and the expansion cards during assembly. But everything is working - just don't tighten the mobo entirely in place until you have your expansion cards well fastened. I blame the case for this much more than the mobo.
- Getting a mobo is always risky because of all the horror stories you read in reviews. This mobo posted successfully first try, and throughout the Win10 setup and application installation, config and testing, I have had no problems. Yet. It's a pleasure.
- Three months in, still no problems.
Cons: - None yet. I know it's possible for the board to fail, and if it does, I'll update this review.
- Apparently this board has a 4x2 VRM instead of 8 VRM, which can cause heat problems in overclocking situations with processors that require more voltage. Do your research. I had no problems because the only overclocking I did was to bump the memory speed from 2133 to 2666.
Overall Review: The default Auto speed of the memory is set at 2133MHz - the mobo allowed me to set the memory speed to 2666Mhz easily enough when I found the setting.
Pros: - Lots of space, and about 1/2 inch of space on the backside with numerous holes that allow cable management.
- Nice and quiet - some noticeable buzzing on some fans, but adjusting the fan speed up or down with the console knobs can make it quieter.
- The case instructions show an illustration for what each screw type is for, which is nice. I recommend you sort and line up the little bags so that you know exactly what to reach for during the build.
Cons: - Some parts of the case feel a little cheap, but that doesn't matter much once you get everything installed and working. I didn't encounter any sharp edges that could have cut me.
- Some expansion cards didn't line up exactly with the case. I'm not sure if that's just inaccurate workmanship, or the typical problem that builders run into. Lesson: Don't tighten the mobo entirely into place until all the expansion cards are seated and fastened. The cards were only slightly off, so it wasn't too awful. A little finagling got them seated.
- No USB 3.1 Gen 2 USB thumbdrive support . The other ports are USB 2.0 and 3.0 (or USB 3.1 Gen 1 for those who use that nomenclature). More recent cases have better support for USB 3.1 Gen 2.
- The front metal covers for the 5.25" bays are loosely covered with black fabric dust collectors that can easily come loose when any air blows on them, so be careful with air dusters.
- A couple weeks later I was moving the completed PC case - I mistakenly supported its weight on the top cover, and it unsnapped and threatened to come completely loose - so uh, don't lift it there!
Overall Review: This case was so much bigger than I was expecting. It stands a full 4" taller than the case I had before. I was almost worried it wouldn't fit under the corner of my desk, but it did.
The case has a filtered power supply fan intake on the underside, so PSUs should be installed with their fans facing downward. This also means don't put this case on a carpet. I put mine on a couple of ceramic tiles I bought from Home Depot for a buck a piece, with some non-stick furniture risers that raised the case up another inch or so to allow good airflow into the bottom intake.
Nice case. I like it.
Overall Review: - I'm glad I picked this up. Now I have a better idea of what kind of Cherry MX switches I prefer over others.
- It came in a plastic bag with 9 loose keys and a base to stick them in. The Keys can be removed from the switches to more closely inspect the color of the switch. You just shove the key back on to replace it.
- Included switches are Linear (Red, Speed Silver, Black), Clicky (Light Blue, Green, White), and Tactile (Brown, Gray, Another White? Might be Clear - key was too tight to remove so I couldn't get a good look at it)
- Mine shipped from Hong Kong and took a 2-1/2 weeks to arrive without any tracking.
Pros: - Easily supplied all my needs for an i7-8700 processor and GTX 1060 video card. Paired it with the ASUS ROG STRIX z-390E board. Works great.
Cons: - I installed this in a very large case (Rosewill Thor 2). For cable management, I fed the mobo cable into the back compartment and in again through the rubber fitting to reach the motherboard. This cable alone presented a small bit of a challenge to properly reach. It's snug, but it isn't too strained and it works. Just make sure you're aware of cord length and how well it works with the case you want to buy. All other cords reached fine with fair length to spare, even the CPU power cord that plugged into the very top of the motherboard.
Overall Review: - I originally got confused about the right way to use the CPU cord - it seems that the plug compositions are identical at each end, but one end splits into a 2-4-2 combo. That combo plugs into the motherboard. The whole one (8) plugs into the power supply. Just FYI.
Pros: - I tested some large file writes and got 130MB/sec. Just what I wanted.
Cons: - Comes formatted with FAT32 which limits file size. I can reformat it easily enough if I want, but I don't know if that will affect the write speed.
- Writing many small files is very very slow.
Pros: It's 16GB of space to store stuff on.
Cons: - At first the write speed was 25 MB/sec, but then dropped to around 10MB/sec. I guess you get what you pay for. I won't argue with the convenience, but I wasn't aware that some USB 3.0 storage devices aren't build to allow the full transfer speed. I guess larger USB thumbdrives work faster.
- Over a long write, it does get very warm to the touch.
Pros: - It might not meet the demands of higher resolution gaming, but it handles 1080p just fine, which is perfect for me. It renders recent games easily at 60fps+, more in the 80-100fps range typically, with an i7-8700 and 2666Mhz system memory.
Cons: - No problems so far. The card was a little difficult to fasten to the case because the brackets wouldn't perfectly line up, but that might be a case problem. Lesson: Don't tighten the mobo into place until all of your expansion cards are seated and fastened.
Overall Review: NVidia Control Panel got a little finicky after I installed Win10 with one monitor, then moved it to my desk and plugged the other monitor in, trying to set Primary display for games. After some weird behavior with flickering screens and lowering resolution that was ticking me off, I shut down and rebooted my PC, and the problem went away. So when in doubt, reboot, then get angry if it still doesn't work right!
Pros: - Easy install - stick the USB in the slot, reboot the box, at least with the mobo I had.
Cons: - None so far
Overall Review: I was concerned I might get a bad stick as so many others here did, but I had no issues with what I received, thankfully.
Pros: - No problems getting it working, other than the usual mobo and case alignment problems.
- The HD Audio cord for my case fits on the card, so I can use the headphone/mic jacks there. It wasn't clear if the card had that interface, but it does (the group of pins sticking towards the back in the primary picture).
Cons: - None yet.
Pros: - Videos stream well on the "New IPad"'s wifi, or iPad 3 as people called it at the time...
- Does its job, I suffered no loss in download speed compared to when I used my prior wire-only router.
Cons: - Expect to run the Setup CD in order to get it working. Do your manual setup (port forwarding, etc.) afterwards.
Overall Review: I was worried I might get a lemon router based on reviews I have read on various other Cisco/Linksys wifi routers, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that running the Setup CD makes it mostly painless. I didn't even bother trying to set it up manually until the Setup CD established a connection. Once during setup I had to restart my modem, which then forced me to restart the router (some router/modem combos are finiscky when it comes to what needs to happen in what order to get internet access).
After internet was established, I set up some port forwarding, but it rejected by settings because I didn't set both the public and private port number. I then set them both to the same value.
For the first time I sat in my living room away from my workstation and watched some youtube videos without a single hiccup.
I would recommend this router and that you use the Setup CD straight away, and I hope others don't have random connectivity problems that seem to plague some of us.
Pros: Clear picture, good performance.
Cons: I don't really like the new touch-sensitive panel on the front of the monitor. Sits higher than the 2233SW that serves as my main monitor.
Overall Review: Since the 2233SW isn't made anymore, I searched around and found the B2230, which is for the most part the exact same monitor, except it has slightly different colors, a better contrast ratio, it's a little less expensive, sits higher on its base and has a touch-sensitive panel on the front instead of push-buttons on the side.
The monitor's angle is slightly adjustable, but you might have to get a little rough (but careful) with it to make it tilt.
I'm now running a dual monitor setup and am perfectly happy with it - but I would have been happier pairing two 223SWs together. That's what I get for waiting too long to buy the second monitor.
Pros: Lovely monitor, lots of real estate. A fair amount of tilt to the screen, great response.
Cons: Newegg's 8 dead pixel policy, small pixel size can make small text hard to read, be very careful cleaning it, noticable variance in viewing angle when room is dark.
Overall Review: If you're hoping to upgrade from a CRT and usually work with small text fonts, you may want to consider getting a 1600x1000 monitor instead (The Acer 223xWbd is a very popular option). After a few days, however, I find that I am getting used to the small text size on this one.
I picked this up from a local store, since they allow exchanges within 2 weeks with ANY defect. I would hate to mail order this and get one with 7 dead pixels on it!
I've read a lot of cautions about how to clean these screens. It comes with a microfiber cloth that is best used with a spray bottle filled with distilled water ONLY (spray the cloth, not the monitor). Detergents and chemicals will degrade the very sensitive screen surface, and tap water may have minerals that will scratch the screen.
When the room is dark, my eyes each get a slightly different quality from the screen that is disconcerting at first. It isn't so noticable when the room is well lit.
Pros: Installs easily, prints very fast, good quality printouts
Cons: Starter cartridge didn't even make it to 600 pages for me. the Printer Status icon claimed the toner was dead, so the printer refuses to print, even though the last page I got out of it was still fine quality. Even after following the intructions and cleaning the corona wire, toner still dead.
Pros: It does most everything it should. Supports the Q6600 Quad Core processor nicely, and runs the G.Skill 2x2GB 240-pin DDR800 RAM without a problem (except see below). Processor has yet to get above 40 deg Celsius.
Cons: The mobo I received failed to detect the CPU Fan speed, but I disabled the mobo monitoring its speed and I haven't had any problem with temperature. Occasionally I got blue screen reboots on boot-up - setting the memory voltage to 1.9v fixed that (don't overvolt your memory! Check those specs!). RAIDing is only supported on a special SATA port between the PCI slots and the external SATA on the backside. I ran a cable from there into the machine so I could RAID two internals. I used the SIIG CB-SA0311-S1 cable for this purpose. Once when I booted it failed to recognize one of the RAIDed drives, so I shut down and made sure the external cable was snug. No more problems since. The 0603 BIOS I received on the board is NOT identical to the 0603 file on the Asus site. I haven't needed to flash it, fortunately.
Overall Review: I was told that having more than 3GB of RAM in your machine while you are updating Vista from the MS site can be a problem, so just put a 2GB stick in there until you're updated. Vista occasionally has static in sound playback, and it's related to some indexing service that occurs every 5 or 10 seconds on the disk drives (see the Resource Monitor, watch for the spikes on disk access). Upgrading from the onboard Realtek sound to a SB X-Fi card did not fix the problem, unfortunately, but I'll live with it.
Pros: Fast printer. Does what I need.
Cons: There are visible minor creases in the paper when it prints. If I send a job to the printer when it is off then turn it on, the first page usually jams. Best to wait until the printer is on and warmed up before sending a job to it. Maybe this can be remedied by carefully selecting the paper type.
Pros: Installs very easily in Vista Home Premium 64-bit. Calibrates wonderfully - I'm used to the old joysticks so the lack of calibration adjustment dials is a welcome change.
Cons: Even though all the buttons and hat are within easy reach, the stick lacks physical support for the rest of your finger and thumb as they sit on the buttons. I found it uncomfortable, since the last stick I used allowed me to press all parts of my hand against it for total support. Since how my hand feels as I use it during a game is more important than how quickly it installs or calibrates, this is an important con. This can probably be remedied by wrapping layers of cloth around it.
Overall Review: You may want to research by physically inspecting flight sticks so you can gauge how your hand might feel during use. There is no substitute for actual game play with the stick. I wasn't able to formulate my opinion until I actually played. You get what you pay for.