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Alexander L.

Alexander L.

Joined on 06/19/02

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 5
Most Favorable Review

Excellent General Purpose Laptop

Acer Laptop Aspire Intel Pentium dual-core T2060 (1.60GHz) 1GB Memory 80GB HDD Intel GMA 950 14.1" Windows Vista Home Premium AS5570-2609
Acer Laptop Aspire Intel Pentium dual-core T2060 (1.60GHz) 1GB Memory 80GB HDD Intel GMA 950 14.1" Windows Vista Home Premium AS5570-2609

Pros: Low Price, good balance of features, DVDRW (not universal at this price point), good screen, light but solid feeling. If you want a quality laptop at a low price with Vista and all the basics covered this is a great choice. More memory is helpful but not absolutely required for casual use.

Cons: 1 gig of memory is above average in this price range but really not enough for Vista. Turning off some of the more wasteful extras Vista and Acer start with turned on cuts the basic memory use to around 500mb, so a gig is borderline. 2gigs would be ideal for normal use, even 1.5 would be fine.

Overall Review: It isn't a gaming laptop, it's not a high end business machine, it's not a multi-media monster. What it does best is normal productivity style work and home use for non gaming. Perfect for web surfing, word processing, handling your personal finances, playing music (through external speakers, internals are lousy) and that kind of thing. Excellent price/performance/quality.

Fast and responsive

Western Digital Black WD7501AALS 750GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive Bare Drive
Western Digital Black WD7501AALS 750GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive Bare Drive

Pros: For a non 10k drive this is very fast and responsive. The seek time is excellent both in theory and practice. 32mb cache noticeably improves things over the older versions. For easily compared numbers, it scored a 5.9 in Windows performance compared with 5.5 for an earlier 16mb version. That's not a huge change, but significant improvement when coupled with the much larger storage.

Cons: None so far. The price is reasonable, the drive isn't particularly noisy and doesn't vibrate annoyingly. Obviously long term reliability is untested, they haven't been out long enough to know.

Overall Review: I like it well enough that I'm buying a second to replace older drives (from another popular brand) that have started to become unreliable. I am a fan of getting the most I can without paying a premium for the latest and greatest. These drives hit an excellent price point and give great performance

Great value

SAPPHIRE Ultimate Edition Radeon HD 3850 512MB GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 CrossFireX Support Video Card 100226U
SAPPHIRE Ultimate Edition Radeon HD 3850 512MB GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 CrossFireX Support Video Card 100226U

Pros: If you don't have a specific need for an Nvidia card, and you want no fan, this is about as good as it gets. Excellent performance, no noise, and limited power draw. I'm very pleased with the card and would definitely suggest it if you're looking for quiet and solid. It doesn't get that hot even without lots of case cooling, and no fan means no fan to break and burn out your card.

Cons: You pay a premium for no fan, you can get faster cards for the same or less money, with fan. Still some issues with Anarchy online and potentially a few other games, these are with the card's family not this specific card, any of the 3xxx cards have the same issues and it's the games, not the cards. These are all older games which aren't fully compliant with newer standards.

Overall Review: It is a long card, and blocks your memory slots on most boards, but it fits in a lianli mid tower with standard height memory.

Excellent

G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D-2GBPK
G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D-2GBPK

Pros: It works in my Gigabyte P35 board at the rated 1066, this is a known issue with many combinations. The memory ran smoothly from the start, at a lower voltage than most. That reduces strain on the system and creates less heat, both good things. I had issues with some high end crucial modules first, and discovered that things aren't really standardized yet at 1066. (crucial did eventually replace my modules and the new ones are happy too, but require more voltage. I'm very happy with this product.

Cons: None really. It's low cost, mid-high performance and great value. It worked smoothly with no hassles, at "normal" voltages. I haven't done any overclocking of it, since it's already at 1066, but the heatsinks look to be functional not just cosmetic (they actually sit flush on the chips, don't have some plastic coating over the metal.....)

Overall Review: G.Skill doesn't have the long history of some brands, but as my experience with Crucial showed, it's not always the excellent history that determines your actual quality. I'll definitely be considering G.Skill on memory purchases from now on.

Great, but be careful

ASUS A8N-E 939 NVIDIA nForce4 Ultra ATX AMD Motherboard
ASUS A8N-E 939 NVIDIA nForce4 Ultra ATX AMD Motherboard

Pros: It does what it says it does quite well. this is a mid range board with just about everything you might want except firewire. Asus makes a good product and things work properly.

Cons: Someone goofed at Asus. My board shipped with a fairly recent bios, new enough that it was incompatible with the version of the chipset drivers that were shipped. Since I didn't have any reason to consider this issue I installed those drivers and then had issues. Make sure you download and burn a cd of the new chipset drivers BEFORE starting, do NOT use the included CD for the chipset drivers.

Overall Review: this is my second personal asus board and about the fifth or sixth I've built systems with. i've never had reason to complain with the results. The driver/bios issue was annoying but forewarned it is easy to avoid.