Date Joined: 08/25/01
Pros: No tweaking or fiddling about. Just pop it in and it works. Blistering fast without the noise or heat. Got fed up with the noise and heat with my Vega 64 and replaced it with this card. Both those issues resolved with significantly higher performance to boot.
Cons: Even though it’s a large card, you can tell they made whatever attempt was possible to keep the size manageable. Still, make sure your case is large enough.
Overall Review: Highly recommended.
Pros: Write and read speeds are very good. So far, it's been very stable running with my ASRock Z370 Extreme4 LGA 1151 . Neither the BIOS or Windows have no issues detecting it. Latest firmware is installed.
Cons: None really. This is OEM so if not including any software goes towards lowering the cost, I'm all for it. I already have my own software for watching movies and burning discs.
Overall Review: Durability is questionable, but I have this concern with all optical drives these days, not just this particular brand or model. They're all made with lighter, cheaper materials and just doesn't have the heft that the older drives have. Whether this determines a shorter or longer lifespan, only time will tell.
Pros: Very inexpensive and serviceable if you intend to use with only one or two builds. Basically, set it up and leave it alone for the life of the PC. Not a lot of thrills, but at this extreme low price, it's acceptable. The small size and fact that it comes with an optical drive bay, makes this a good choice for a home entertainment PC for streaming movies, which is what I got it for.
Cons: Although adequately designed, the gauge of steel is very soft and makes the case very flimsy overall. Not a big deal if you plan on only setting up your PC once and then leaving it alone, but otherwise take care. The thread holes wear out quickly too so I recommend only screwing in your peripherals when ready with the expectation that you're not going to be swapping out parts very often.
Overall Review: Considering the price, this is a good buy, but only with the expectation that it's not going to survive many rebuilds. I don't think it was meant for that.
Pros: Booted right up. Runs perfectly at rated speed and CAS settings with my ASRock Z370 Extreme4 LGA 1151.
Cons: None really. Haven't tried any overclocking yet, but then again I don't intend to.
Overall Review: Pretty standard and pain free installation.
Pros: Cool running. Fairly spacious for a case in it's class. Well designed and the steel has just enough gauge to provide sturdiness. Reasonably priced.
Cons: The plexiglass window is quite susceptible to scratches. Actually quite flimsy, as it's held in place using a combination of plastic rivets and glue. The rubber feet tend to fall off so it's best to not slide the case around too much. The fans are somewhat loud even if you set them on the LOW setting. A major drawback is that this is an older design and the drive bays may get in the way of some of the larger graphics cards that out there today. My MSI Geforce 1070 barely fit before colliding with the HDD bays. I know there are larger cards out there that would not work with this design.
Overall Review: The main reason why I settled with this case is because of the large amount of possible feedback and it's one of the few enthusiast cases that still sports a drive bay for an optical drive, in this case I needed one for my Blu-Ray player. The high ratings this case has garnered has been well earned, but keep in mind this was from an earlier era when video cards were not so massive. From a design perspective, it a bit dated now. This case serves my current needs, but If i had to do again, I probably would have gone with something else.
Pros: Stable, easy to setup, BIOS is really intuitive. Doesn't offer a massive amount of features, but it has everything I need and none of the stuff I don't. The integrated Realtek ALC 1220 is actually quite excellent.
Cons: None really. Really excellent MB in it's class.
Overall Review: Running an i7-8700k with a Vega 64 powered by a SeaSonic 850w PSU. Also installed are two SSDs and three HDDs, 16gb of DDR4 3000.
Pros: Quiet, powerful, outputs a nice clean current as far as I can tell. Being modular is very helpful as well for cable management. Comes nicely packaged.
Cons: No real cons other than the price, but you tend to get what you pay for in this regard.
Overall Review: I have a i7-8700k running with a Vega 64 so I needed a really powerful 700-750w+ PSU. Settled on this 850w model to give myself some room for expansion.ff
Pros: Cheap. Light weight, fairly quiet, and seems to be adequate for office use. The cables, while thin, are very flexible.
Cons: Not enough wires and no connectors for PCIe. Clearly this is PSU was meant for lower end work PCs.
Overall Review: To be honest, if I had to do again, I would pass on this. I was piecing together a dedicated streaming PC from a pile of left over parts and wanted to keep the cost as low as possible, but this PSU is *really* low end. It's fine for desktop use, especially if you're just using the integrated graphics with your MB, but if you intend to slap on dedicated GPU, forget it.
Pros: Bought two of these for some smaller builds I'm putting together. They work as they are supposed to. Definitely not as fast as some of my other SSDs, but for the extreme low price, this is more than acceptable. Certainly more faster than a traditional hard drive.
Cons: As I mention, a bit slower than what I would like, but I knew that getting into this and for it's intended purpose, this is fine. I did not intend these for high performance gaming rigs.
Overall Review: Overall, these drives were a very good value at the discounted sales price.
Pros: This heatsink/fan is definitely one of the better conventional air cooled solutions for CPUs on the market. Relatively easy to install for coolers of this type, nicely finished metal surfaces, heat pipes welded to the aluminum fins really well, and the fan is really quiet. Temps range from 31c while idle to about 78c under full load with the i7 8700k using artificial stress utilities. CPU clock is set at 4.7Ghz.
Cons: This heatsink is massive. Be very careful to do some rough estimates to ensure it will fit in your case before buying. I have an ancient Antec 900, which is a somewhat wide case as it is, and this setup barely fit when it's finally installed. Take into account that the fan protrudes pass the heatsink, which creates additional height to what is an already a large unit. Another disappointment is that this cooler is only marginally better than the CM Hyper 212 EVO that I had installed previously. Temps were only better by 5-7 degrees at the most, but I'll take it I guess.
Overall Review: Not sure why they decided to make the fan cream and brown color. Although I'm not too sensitive to bad aesthetics, these awful colors really stand out (and not in good way) when installed in the back drop of your system. You can't help but notice it and it looks quite ghetto.
Pros: Felt it was about time to upgrade from my old i7-4770K Haswell. Been running for over a week now with an ASRock Z370 Extreme4, 16gb Corsair Vengeance LPX (2 x 8GB) DDR4 3000. No issues running at 4.7ghz in Turbo mode (simple to enable in the BIOS) since it first booted up. Obviously, this CPU is very fast.
Cons: Runs a bit hot. Using a Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO, which I've had a lot of success with in the past. Still a very adequate heatsink for this processor, but it's getting a little long in the tooth now. This Coffee Lake runs a lot hotter than my previous CPUs so I'd recommend something a little bit more robust if you're an overclocker.
Pros: Very fast, very stable, and runs reasonably quiet.
Cons: The first card had the dreaded "black screen" of death after running for awhile whether in desktop or running a 3D app. Had to send it back. The turn around time was reasonable.
Overall Review: If you have issues with yours (i.e. screen suddenly going black), DO NOT waste time further troubleshooting this. Just return it. Seems to be a chronic issue with the 970 GTX. You can Google other examples of this on the net.
Pros: Quiet, cheap, and fairly effective. Quality of build is also good too. Very few tooling marks as far as I can see.
Certainly better than the retail Intel heatsink/fan I was using anyway.
Cons: Very BIG. Should check available space in your case before buying. Although not an issue if you're proceeding from a new build, it's quite a pain if you're upgrading from an existing heatsink/fan like I was. You *WILL* have to remove the motherboard from the case in order to do the installation correctly.
Overall Review: For the money, it's not a bad heatsink, and it is fairly quiet. The only real issue is the size and amount of work to install it if you're already running a build.
Pros: Feature rich. At least it has all the features I was looking for anyway. Overall, a very well thought out design. The HD audio solution is also very good. Normally I'd obsess over getting a dedicated sound card with my gaming rigs, but I'm OK with the on-board.
Biggest PRO of all is that it flat out works out of the box with no headaches.
Cons: Some might not consider this a CON, but I would have liked to have seen one legacy PCI slot available. I still have a Creative X-FI and an Asus Xonar D2 that I would have liked to put into service, but it's clear that MSI is moving forward and not looking back when it comes to older hardware.
Pros: Seems to work straight out of the box with no issues. Running two PCs with it via HDMI and DVI. Haven't experience the "fuzzy" text that some folks have reported. Display appears very clear and bright, although not as vibrant as my older HP 2408. No dead pixels. Plenty of inputs, although I haven't tried the VGA or Display Port.
Cons: Navigation of the settings using the control system was really annoying. More so than other monitors I have. Stand cannot adjust for height.
Overall Review: Unless it goes dead on me any time soon, I would say this monitor is a good value for the $300 asking price.
Pros: Superb audio for movie playback and music. Relatively light driver overhead. A perfect match if you have a Blu-Ray player in your PC. Does work well with Vista 64bit, which is what I'm running.
Cons: Driver updates are worse than Creative. Despite Asus's attempt with DS3D GX 2.0 for gamers, this is just NOT a gamer's card. Drivers are still buggy with several new games and does not sound as good as my old X-FI. At best, it only equals the X-FI and mostly with older games. Also, in-game CPU usage is actually much higher than what is reported in the online reviews.
Overall Review: Not worth the money if you're gamer, but even if you're not, it's still somewhat overpriced. Went with the PCI D2 only because be the PCI-E version (and the cheaper DX) would not fit in my Gigabyte motherboard without banging into the DIMM slots.
Comments: Rock solid as far as I can tell. Does run a bit slower at default settings than the Soltek SL-K8TPro-939 I replaced it with, but it seems to be more overclocker friendly and definitely more stable. Great bundle. First time I've ever gotten a fancy screwdriver kit and a bag of mini heatsinks (presumably for the mosfets) with a motherboard.
Comments: Have had this drive for only one day and it's already obvious it's far superior than my Lite-On 851S. Unlike the Lite-On, which is sensitive to the brand of media I used, this NEC doesn't seem to be very picky at all. Burned 3 movies using the most problematic media I had on hand (that couldn't be used with the Lite-On) and had no problems at all. I still have a large supply of 4.7g blanks to burn up so I hadn't had a chance to use any dual-layer media yet. Aluminum case owners will appreciate the silver-colored bezel as well. Excellent value!