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Karl K.

Karl K.

Joined on 01/11/02

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 21
Most Favorable Review

Great PSU

CORSAIR HX Series HX750 750 W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply New 4th Gen CPU Certified Haswell Ready
CORSAIR HX Series HX750 750 W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply New 4th Gen CPU Certified Haswell Ready

Pros: I love the modular cables on this Corsair PSU, it keeps the interior of my case from getting too cluttered. The beefy single +12V rail provides enough juice to power everything without having to manually balance components across multiple rails. Quality construction, great efficiency, nice and stable so far. Quiet fan.

Cons: A velvet bag -- come on, REALLY??? They could have shaved a couple bucks off the price if not for that. I do appreciate the nylon bag for the spare modular cables, though. Somewhat long, may be a tight fit in some cases. The cables for the PCIe graphics cards actually have two layers of flat cable apiece, but the two layers cross over each other like some kinda Mobius strip and can NOT be bundled up neatly.

Overall Review: If your case has a bottom mount for the PSU, be aware that the SATA power connectors will be upside-down relative to a top-mount configuration, so you will have to route your SATA power cable carefully. Don't be tempted to put the top-most drive at the very end of the cable, you'd have to really twist the cables around to have a chance of making it work. Instead, put the top-most drive on the connector CLOSEST to the PSU end, and the remaining drives farther along the chain, just like you would with a top-mount. The portion of cable between the first connector and the PSU end can be bent down towards the bottom of the case, and ought to be long enough to reach between the PSU and the top drive in all but the tallest cases.

Most Critical Review

It's a card reader

nMEDIAPC ZE-C128 USB 2.0 Black Aluminum Panel 5.25"All-in-one USB x 3 / IEEE 1394 / eSATA / HD (or AC97) Audio Internal Card Reader
nMEDIAPC ZE-C128 USB 2.0 Black Aluminum Panel 5.25"All-in-one USB x 3 / IEEE 1394 / eSATA / HD (or AC97) Audio Internal Card Reader

Pros: Supports all the card formats I need or am likely to use in the near future, plus eSATA and 1394. The extra USB ports are a nice touch.

Cons: Shoddy physical design. The frame is plastic, and only lines up with a single pair of screw holes in my case's drive bay. Uses self-tapping screws for installation, who knows how long the holes would last if you had to unscrew and re-tighten them a few times? The faceplate is aluminum, but on mine it wasn't securely attached to the frame (just a few strings of adhesive, like rubber cement) and flexed enough to come loose. I had to re-glue it (carefully!). The SD and CF card slots seem to work okay, but I did have trouble reading one CF card (fortunately, I don't use it very often). The front panel also is a bit too small vertically, leaving an ugly gap between it and the adjacent 5.25in. bay panels in my case. I had to fill this in with scrap cardboard.

Overall Review: This was really the only choice of reader available which has CF and SD slots AND eSATA AND 1394. I'm not using the audio jacks, since my case already had its own.

Good card reader

Transcend TS-RDF5K USB 3.0 Support SDHC (UHS-I), SDXC (UHS-I), microSD, microSDHC (UHS-I), and microSDXC (UHS-I) Flash Card Reader
Transcend TS-RDF5K USB 3.0 Support SDHC (UHS-I), SDXC (UHS-I), microSD, microSDHC (UHS-I), and microSDXC (UHS-I) Flash Card Reader

Pros: This Transcend USB 3.0 card reader works pretty well for the UHS-I high-speed SDHC cards I use with my DSLR. I get read speeds of 55-60 MB/s on my primary work cards, which aren't even the fastest SDHC cards I own. Also works with Micro SD cards. The blue status LED even matches the rest of my PC components.

Cons: Gets rather warm while in use. Not enough that I'd worry about it burning out, but still...

Overall Review: I got this to replace an internal card reader which ceased to function correctly. I considered a direct replacement, but I wanted something faster than the old USB 2.0 card reader, and my PC has USB 3.0 ports, but only on the back of the case. So, I got a USB 3.0 extension cable, and this card reader to use with it, and it all works great. Much faster than the old internal reader!

Works well, when it works

SYBA SY-ADA20079 InfoZone SuperSpeed USB 3.0 to SATA III Device Adapter Cable with AC Adapter
SYBA SY-ADA20079 InfoZone SuperSpeed USB 3.0 to SATA III Device Adapter Cable with AC Adapter

Pros: This USB 3.0-to-SATA adapter work well, when it works. Transfers to and from 7200RPM hard drives were fast (faster than on a USB 2.0 adapter I previously tried). The transfers never aborted or had errors, as long as I left the unit alone (see cons below).

Cons: The USB connection on this adapter is VERY touchy. Initially, the system would often not recognize it when I plugged it in (no "connected" sound from Windows, does not appear in Device manager or Windows Explorer). It sometimes took half a dozen tries or more before it finally connected. And if I bump the connector afterwards, it will often disconnect and I have to start over (which is why I say I have to be VERY careful not to bump or move it while a transfer is in progress). I did manage to mitigate the problem somewhat by bending the spring tabs on a USB 3.0 extension cable I'm using the adapter with, so that the adapter's connector pins are more forcefully pressed against the extension cable's. But I shouldn't have to do this! This is the first and only USB device I've used that makes such poor contact. Also, there's the extra step of having to plug in a separate power adapter in order to use it with traditional hard drives (not necessary with SSDs, though).

Overall Review: I bought this to help me with some hard drive replacements and upgrades, because working with the internal SATA connectors and drive bays on my tower PC is hard to do with the system located inside my desk. It was much easier to use this adapter to clone/copy the data off my old drives first, then pull the entire PC case out and swap the drives. Aside from the initial connection problems, the adapter worked well enough. I was able to copy/clone multiple terabytes' worth of data from the old drives to the new ones, with no corruption (aside from one time when I did bump the connector mid-transfer and the copy glitched out -- I had to run chkdsk on the drive after that). Deducting two Eggs for the flaky USB connector. I'm not going to bother returning it, since I learned how to work around the connection issue. But others may not feel so generous.

Qosmio X775

TOSHIBA Laptop Qosmio X775-Q7170B Intel Core i5 2nd Gen 2450M (2.50GHz) 6GB Memory 640GB HDD NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560M 17.3" Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit
TOSHIBA Laptop Qosmio X775-Q7170B Intel Core i5 2nd Gen 2450M (2.50GHz) 6GB Memory 640GB HDD NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560M 17.3" Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit

Pros: Fast Core i5 CPU (Sandy Bridge core). 6GB of RAM is plenty for most apps/games. Fast nvidia graphics (with plenty of video memory). Sizeable hard drive (7200rpm). Multi-format DVD writer. Gorgeous 17.3in display. Backlit keyboard. Excellent sound system (with subwoofer). Plenty of USB ports. Pre-loaded Toshiba software isn't too bad (it's hardly bloated, unlike some laptops).

Cons: Large! Hard to find a decent laptop bag that will hold it. Heavier than smaller laptops (obviously). Screen is very glossy, tends to have glare. Protruding battery makes back of the case pretty tall, making it hard to stuff into a laptop bag. Gaudy/cheap-looking shell. Not an i7 CPU. No PC Card/ExpressCard expansion. If the built-in ports aren't enough for you, you're out of luck. Doesn't come with Windows install discs, you have to make your own recovery discs from a provided utility. Good chunk of hard drive is reserved for system recovery data.

Overall Review: They announced newer, and yes, better, models not long after I had bought this one and spent weeks customizing it to my needs. Such is the PC industry, though.

Not bad...

Logitech G110 LED Backlighting Gaming Keyboard
Logitech G110 LED Backlighting Gaming Keyboard

Pros: Decent feel for a membrane keyboard. Pretty solidly built. Standard key layout PLUS the extras for macros, media control, etc. Illuminated in a range of colors from red to purple to blue. Scrolling volume control is great. Matte finish on all keys and most of the case cuts down on glare. Haven't really used the G-key macros yet, but they ought to come in handy. You can program up to three banks of 12 macros each, separately for EVERY game on your system, or any other executable program you like. There is also a "default" profile (again, three banks of 12 keys) that applies to all programs not explicitly assigned their own profiles. The macro programming looks to be very flexible: single keystrokes, key sequences, inserting blocks of boilerplate text, emulating mouse functions, media controls, Windows hotkeys, launching shortcuts, and various other functions. You can also write a fairly complex script that gets executed when a profile is activated.

Cons: The backlighting just is NOT bright enough. Even at its brightest, it barely overcomes the glare from my monitor. The blue lighting is especially dim, which is a shame as I wanted blue to match the rest of my system's LEDs. Logitech, please make these things BRIGHTER! The etched key labels really don't stand out well without the lighting. I've seen other brands of backlit keyboards where the etched labelling is somehow "whiter" than this one, which looks like kind of a medium gray against the black keys. And while I'm at it, the labels could be quite a bit larger, which would make them easier to read (and might allow more of the backlighting to shine through as well). The Num Lock, Caps Lock and Scroll Lock indicators' labels are merely printed, and impossible to read in the dark. It would have been better to use illuminated labels instead of printed ones. The software on CD is kind of old, you have to go to the Logitech website for the latest version

Overall Review: I really have no use for the headphone or microphone jacks on this, nor the USB port. It's far easier to plug stuff directly into my PC, and it would be awkward to leave anything connected to the back of the keyboard anyway. Without the audio or USB ports, the keyboard could be less expensive. The media controls (play/pause, etc.) are nice, but they don't work while I'm playing certain games. But this is largely the result of Logitech relying on standard Windows drivers for these keys. The games capture keyboard input in ways that bypass the Windows drivers. Logitech COULD write its own drivers that would fix this, but they haven't (and probably won't). At least the volume controls work at all times. Finally, I do wish the keyboard had a dedicated "sleep" button, for putting the PC into standby. I realize this is a gaming keyboard, but they could have squeezed one in. Overall, I'm largely satisfied with the G110, but it's not perfect.