Date Joined: 01/04/08
Cons: Ships on the proverbial slow boat from China.
Overall Review: Update: 1+ year later... I was able to get 5 1070 GPUs working reliably under Windows 10. I had to add the cards one at a time and reinstall the nVidia drivers with each card. But they all work. Ultimately, I used an Ethereal mining utility. I tried to use ZPool's miner but it would lock up regularly and I didn't want to babysit the rig. Twice in the past year, the motherboard would lose it's hard drive configuration so I'd have to go back through the BIOS settings to get it to boot again.
It might just be me but I can't get more than 4 GPUs to work reliably. I'm using Windows 10 and a collection of four GTX 1060s and two GTX 1070s. I can connect the 1070s to my desktop (using the same riser) and they work fine. With just the four 1060s, everything seems fine. When I connect one 1070, I just see the four 1060s. When I connect both 1070s, I only see three 1060s!
This is a cheap motherboard. But it only has 6 PCI-E connectors. There are plenty of other name-brand motherboards for a little more money with just as many connectors.
Pros: Low profile. Much faster than third-gen OCZ drives. Even the packaging is nicer (aluminum instead of plastic).
Overall Review: I have been using a 240GB OCZ Agility III drive as my boot device (Windows 7) for about a year. I do GIS work, so I'm constantly (re)starting a really bloated software package (ArcGIS). I also move around gigabytes of data every day. My consulting clients were always impressed at how the Agility III performed (everyone notices that ArcGIS starts considerably faster on my machine).
I actually now own three 240GB Agility III drives because of how well it worked. I got the 256GB Vector on a whim. At the moment, it was cheaper than the Agility III. I swapped it out for my boot device... and wow! I didn't think I'd see that much of a performance gain!
Pros: Dual Band!
USB provides disk and printer sharing!
Cons: No external antenna connectors.
Overall Review: I got this to replace my aging WRT54G which had been happily running Tomato for 3-4 years without fail. The WRT54G still works just fine but I was adding a Roku box to my living room TV and got a Kindle Fire. So I wanted to make sure my router didn't get overwhelmed.
I ran the factory firmware just long enough to flash TomatoUSB. Make sure you get the right build - there's a specific one for this device. Of course all the goodness that my WRT54G provided with Tomato was present on the E3000 plus a few bonuses.
I was able to hang an NTFS-formatted external USB drive off the back of the E3000 and connect to it in Win7, XP and OS X Lion without even a burp. I was also able to connect my Canon MP830 printer to it and connect with WinXP and Win7 although OS X Lion just wasn't going to cooperate. But that's not the fault of the router, Apple broke CUPS in Lion and the Canon MP830 needs more help from the driver.
This thing works so well, I can almost eliminate my home server!
Pros: Cheapest Intel Mac around
Bonus RAM: 2GB
Bonus HD: 120GB
Bonus DVD: SuperDrive
Cons: Mac OS-X 10.4 is a bit dated
Crack in palmrest
Overall Review: An update to my earlier post. I now have the RAM upgraded to 3GB and replaced the hard drive with a 60GB SSD.
I went to the Apple Store and bought Lion on a USB stick for $69. To upgrade normally, I'd have to upgrade to 10.6 first. The two upgrades combined would total over $60 so I decided to just go with the physical media.
The install went smoothly. I did need to download another 1.4GB of updates.
I used Meguiar's ScratchX 2.0 to polish the case. It wasn't horrible looking when I first got it but now it's even better. Still not new-looking but much closer.
Altogether (RAM, SSD, Lion) this machine cost about $650. About half the price of a current-gen MacBook.
Two of these kits will max the memory for Sandy Bridge
Cons: Not the zippiest.
Had one BSOD that I attribute to RAM.
Actually can be hard to utilize 32GB of RAM
Overall Review: I was excited to see this as a Shell Shocker. I was able to max out my Core i5-2500K box by buying two of these (4 x 8GB). The memory works fine. I was disappointed when I realized it was slower than the 16GB I was replacing. And I wouldn't bother with this in an over clocked system. Even though I have a 2500K, I don't actually overclock except the turbo boost.
I set up a 16GB RAM drive and use it for temp/scratch on big processes. It's much faster than my OCZ SATA3 drive.
What more can you ask for?
Cons: Could be faster? Cheaper?
Overall Review: When I built my system a few months ago, I used a 60GB OCZ Solid 3 as the boot device. This was money well spent, or so it seemed. Then I started experiencing the dread BSOD. The OCZ forums (which are really great) were lit up with people trying everything they could think of to work around the problem.
I ended up taking out the Solid 3 to wait for resolution. I couldn't accept the random reboots.
Fortunately, OCZ worked with Intel to resolve the issues and now there is a new firmware that works. But instead of putting the 60GB back in, I snagged this 120GB drive for almost $1/GB from the Egg. The first thing I did was flash the drive to the new firmware and then moved my Windows install over with Gparted on an Ubuntu live CD. I did have to use my Windows Recovery CD to get the boot sector fixed up but that was quite painless.
Now I have my SSD back and more space! Plus I can stick the 60GB drive in a laptop!
Pros: Very, very fast!!
Windows Experience 7.9 (with ease)
~380Mhash/s with poclbm
Handles temperature vs. fan noise well
Catalyst software works well
Image on my monitor looks "crisper"
Cons: Big, full-size card. Sure, it's within the specs but just because it's the spec doesn't mean you gotta use it!
Noisy at fan speeds about 35%
Freakin' loud at high fan speeds above 75%
Overall Review: I gave the card two eggs not because it's a bad card but because I could have gotten similar performance for $100 less with a 6950. Sure, I should have researched better. But AMD/ATI could have done a better job stratifying their products. NewEgg wanted over $50 to RMA this, so I decided to keep it.
I would be much happier with a liquid-cooled 6950 (mostly to reduce the fan noise). There's no way to run this much silicon at these kind of clock rates without some serious cooling going on.
This card does a really good job of managing temperature. Right now I'm trying to find a balance between noise and hash rate.
Good pro-sumer cooling
Cons: Takes time to install.
Instructions don't help at all.
Fan is noisy.
Overall Review: This is an update to my earlier review...
I just replaced my power supply and while I was in there, I rearranged my cooling a little. I took out the Antec fan and I bolted the radiator to the back of the case and bolted one of the fans that came with my Diablotek case to the radiator.
The result is the fan is now pushing rather than pulling air through the radiator. The other result is the system is quieter despite the fact that the fan I am now using is constant speed whereas the Antec fan was variable speed. The problem: the Antec fan is noiser than the fan that can with my case.
Still, a super way to improve cooling and reduce system noise.
Nice cable sheathing
Cons: Did NOT supply sufficient power to my video card.
Overall Review: This is an update to a review I did just a few days ago.
My system isn't outlandish. Intel Core i5-2500K (not overclocked yet), SSD, dual 1.5TB drives, 16GB RAM, DVD-RW and an EVGA nVidia GeForce GTX460.
With this power supply the system worked great 99% of the time. But when I tried to run PCMark05, right as the 3D Shader test started the video card would start making some noises and the system would power off. Not a blue screen. Just cold cut-out.
I contacted EVGA and they thought it could be the power supply. So I ordered a PC Power & Cooling Silencer MKII 650W. It's installed now. It's quieter. The system runs the 3D Shader test without a hiccup.
So there you have it... for most applications, this power supply is probably just fine. But I don't want to be pushing my system and have it cut out on me.
Pros: Solid look/feel
Cons: Makes me wany USB 3.0 everywhere!
Overall Review: Like most people, I have quite a collection of USB drives ranging from old 32MB to 8GB. This is my first USB 3.0 and first 16GB stick. Compare to my drawerful, this one has the greatest heft to it. The casing is solid metal. Even the cap seems to be a more solid plastic!
And it's fast, HD Tune 2.55 says:
Min 66.7 MB/s, Max 66.8 MB/s, Ave 66.8 MB/s
Access time: 0.4 ms
Burst rate: 45.9 MB/s
My CPU usage seems to be lower with USB 3.0 as well.
Cons: None yet!
Overall Review: This was the best price per GB for a 7200RPM drive on NewEgg when I was building my system. I've owned drives of every make over the years. I found no real pattern as to which drives fail based on the manufacturer. So Hitachi it is this time around.
I bought two of these to live as data drives in my system along with an OCZ Solid-3 SSD for the boot device. They are plugged into the SATA II (3 Gbps) ports on my motherboard.
HD Tune 2.55 gives:
Min 35.4 MB/s, Max 144.2 MB/s, Ave 102.3 MB/s
Access Time: 14.4 ms
Burst: 153.7 MB/s
Pros: Spacious - 750GB (unformatted)
Tiny - 9.5mm tall - fits in Netbooks
Fast - faster than USB at least...
Cons: Not the 1TB version
Overall Review: I got this originally to live in a second-drive bay in my Dell E6410 laptop. I ended up sticking it in a USB 3.0 external case so I can easily swap it around.
Other high-capacity 2.5" drives may be 12mm tall and won't fit in most laptops. This one is just 9.5mm.
I may end up sticking in my netbook... haven't decided.
Pros: Nice solid chunk of metal.
USB 3.0 For the win!
Cons: Makes me want USB 3.0 everywhere!
Uses a new USB 3.0 mini-USB connector - I don't have any spares!
Overall Review: Compared to other USB 2.5" external cases I've had (this is my fourth), this one is much more solidly constructed. Since my USB drives tend to end up bouncing around the bottom of my backpack, I appreciate how solid it is.
I put an Samsung Spinpoint M8-750GB drive in it.
HD Tune 2.55 gave the following:
Plugged into USB 2.0.:
Min 32.5 MB/s, max 34.4 MB/s, ave 33.4 MB/s
Access time: 25.0ms
Burst rate: 25.6 MB/s
Plugged into USB 3.0:
Min 41.5 MB/s, max 88.2 MB/s, ave 68.8 MB/s
Access time: 24.5ms
Burst rate: 149.4 MB/s
Pros: Highest density currently supported by LGA 1155/Sandy Bridge.
A little faster than normal clock for i5-2500K, allowing room for overclocking.
Cons: Haven't been able to get steady overclocking yet.
Overall Review: It's probably my fault but I haven't been able to get stable overclocking out of this RAM yet. My Gigabyte motherboard runs it at 1033Mhz but it should be good for 1600Mhz.
Just having the extra RAM (16GB) on a new box has been wonderful in itself.
Pros: Absolutely silent.
SATA III/6 Gbps!
Cons: Is this thing on?
Overall Review: I bought this to be the boot drive for my first system build in over a decade. It's just big enough for Win7 Pro 64-bit and my primary applications. I will have to manage the disk footprint if I want to continue using it. 60GB is a little tight. I can move the boot partition and turn on Intel Smart Response to use the SSD as a cache but I wanted to try it as a straight boot first.
I've never used another SSD, so I can't really say much about it other than it was fast and (relatively) cheap. Figure, I paid $279 for my first hard drive (a 30MB Seagate ST-238R), this thing is quite the spectacle. In fact, I just realized that I bought this drive plus two 1.5TB 7200RPM drives for a total less than $279. It's really hard to complain!
This drive showed up the highest on the benchmarks I was looking at and was the cheapest per GB SATA III-capable SSD on NewEgg that fit my budget when I was ordering.
Windows 7 Pro 64-bit boots in seconds. Most of my apps start instantly.
Pros: Four cores!
6MB L3 Cache!
Unlocked = Lots of overclocking possibilities!
Comes with CPU fan.
Cons: Built-in GPU decent but not great.
Only dual DDR3 channels - 16GB max at current densities.
Runs hot with "free" CPU fan. Need to upgrade!
Overall Review: This was for my first system build in over a decade. It was nice to know I could get into Intel's latest consumer-grade CPU line for relatively low money. My entire box was less than a grand.
I opted for the i5 over the i7 so I could use the extra $100 to buy an SSD. I think it was a smart choice! i7 would have only yielded 2MB L3 cache and hyperthreading. The difference in clock rate is meaningless with unlocked chips.
Also, since this is the first run of Intel Sandy Bridge CPUs, I suspect there will be future i7 SKUs with more significant differences than the current rendition. I'll invest in a better CPU then. That's the advantage of being able to buy into Intel's new architecture.
Pros: Sandy Bridge!
(2) SATA III
(4) SATA II
Cons: No Firewire.
ATX +12V connector is in a bad location if your power supply is at the bottom of the case.
Don't bother with Gigabyte Smart6.
Overall Review: Bought this as a basis for the first system build I've done in over a decade. Hoping for some Sandy Bridge overclocking fun. Used an Intel Core i5-2500K, 16GB of PC1600 DDR3, SSD on SATAIII, dual 7200RPM drives on SATAII. Windows 7 Professional 64-bit.
Initially the system was a dog. Had me worried that I messed something up. Then I flashed the BIOS to F10 (current as of 8/1/2011) and like magic, the system was blazingly fast.
Tried to overclock with Intel Easy Overclock and Intel Extreme. The interface on Extreme was pretty cool. Both yielded the same results: instability that could only be corrected by reverting to a restore point before installing the software. Worse still, the little overclocking I did only yielded about a 5% improvement for actual CPU bound tasks. If you want to overclock, just use the BIOS. It has everything in there.
Haven't tried Intel Smart Response or any of the other special new features.
Pros: Cheap price for a powerful card. Plenty of dedicated video RAM. Lots of outputs.
Cons: Cr*ppy fan. I've had the card for less than six months and the drone of the fan dying is driving me crazy.
Overall Review: Sure, the card is cheap and a replacement fan is even cheaper. But my time is worth more than that! I was swapping out power supplies in 1989 because of cr*ppy fans. Here I am, 20 years later, dealing with a cr*ppy fan. The difference between a cr*ppy fan and a good one is just a buck or two in manufacturing costs!
Note the other reviews here - the negative ones all talk about the cr*ppy fan. It's a great card, otherwise. Works wonderfully...
Pros: I needed speakers to hear the audio accompanying online video. I wanted speakers to listen to music. In particular, I am a fan of prog rock, jazz and classic.
These speakers are prefect for me because, sitting about three feet from my head on opposite sides of my monitor, they project a sound quality comparable to my headphones while allowing my to hear other sounds in my environment.
There is no extra subwoofer - just two small (but heavy) boxes. One with a volume control and headphone jack.
Cons: If you want to "feel" hand grenades and RPGs in your games, these aren't the speakers for you.
Wire to the left speaker is hard-wired to the speaker. I can't imagine that manufacturing costs would have prevented using a regular connector. I hate not being about to disconnect wires from devices of any kind.
Overall Review: Bose designs speakers using lots of novel research. Their research focuses on clarity of sound. They target the mids and highs that make up the majority of our "hearing". It's also the range of sounds that make up most music.
If you want to hear your music with amazing clarity, Bose is the ticket. If you like warm, fuzzy rock or heavy bass, don't bother. You won't like the Bose.
I used to work in the computer game biz in the 90s. I had this rocking Altec Lansing setup that was uglier than hell and took up more desk space than my monitor. When I played death match Quake, you'd swear WWIII was happening. That's exactly the experience I don't want anymore.
Pros: I have a personal rule of never spending more than $1000 on a computer. For the money, this is an amazing deal!
Fast, quiet, lots of RAM and disk space. The dual hard drives lets me set my swap space on a separate physical drive from the OS (Also a plus in Photoshop).
Tons of goodies - TV tuner (even does HDTV), wireless, Litescribe DVD-R, card reader, Firewire, S-Video/NTSC in/out. Even has a little CD caddy on top and a remote control!
Cons: The keyboard and mouse absolutely suck! Those folks who didn't get theirs in the package, contact me and you can have mine!
I was excited to get a wireless mouse/keyboard combo in the deal but have now ordered a new keyboard (a classic IBM 101-key boat-anchor) and a better Microsoft mouse.
The machine was loaded with crapware (trial software) and took a while to clean up. But not as long as Adobe CS3 took to install...
Overall Review: I'm a heavy multi-tasker. I am a PhD student doing research in Geographic Information Science. I frequently have MS Word, Excel, Adobe Photoshop, ESRI ArcGIS all loaded WHILE I'm trying to write code in Visual Studio. Oh yeah - I also leave Firefox open all the time... A big selling point on this box is that it's upgradeable to 8GB RAM and the dual hard drives.