Date Joined: 07/23/08
Pros: Lightning fast. I installed Windows 10 in ~10 minutes. Western Digital SSD software updated the firmware quickly and flawlessly. This is my go-to drive when people are on a budget but want a 1TB NVMe drive. Great brand name.
Overall Review: Highly recommended. Very impressed with the SN550 performance.
Pros: Western Digital is a very good brand name that can be trusted. The SN550 drive is faster than the last generation, and it is still inexpensive. I have used these in several builds, and the buyers have been really happy with the speed.
Cons: Lacks some of the specs of the elite NVMe drives from Samsung, but it makes up fur it in price.
Overall Review: Great drive if you are on a budget.
Pros: Samsung SSDs are the best. I've never seen one fail, and I have installed so many of them. I will gladly pay a few extra dollars for a Samsung drive. The prices now are so low too. There is no reason to not use a Samsung SSD as a boot drive.
Overall Review: Great drive and incredible value. I think I paid 13 cents per GB! Crazy!
Pros: I specifically purchased this motherboard for the m.2 compatibility. I installed a Samsung 961 256GB NVMe drive, and it recognized it with no issues. G4560 is my processor + 16GB of DDR4 2133, and the PC flies and is so quiet (and runs cool). The PC is being used in an office environment, and the owner is very happy with it.
Cons: None as I didn't even use the one fan header.
Overall Review: This is a solid board if you want Kaby Lake + NVMe, all for a cheap price. I think I paid $40 for it.
Pros: Expandable, stable, good build quality
Cons: Doesn't support 8700k
Overall Review: I normally buy ASUS motherboards for my own personal systems, but I habe had luck with MSI in other people's systems. The Z270 Pro Gaming Carbon had great reviews and a better price than comparable ASUS boards. I haven't been disappointed in my choice. I am using both nVme slots, I have 2 x 3TB drives in a mirror, a 7700k with a mild OC. Everything works perfectly, and the build is very attacks and practically silent. I have owned the board for ~6 months. Very happy.
Pros: Stable, fast, XMP works perfectly with my board
Overall Review: I purchased ram on 6/23/17 from Newegg for $119.99. Can't believe it is $202 today.
Pros: I am a big fan of ISOBAR surge protectors, and I often sell them with computers that I build for friends/customers. I had a "regular" ISOBAR surge protector for my flat screen TV and A/V gear, and it worked great, but my screen would show pixels because of issues with my local cable company. I replaced the surge protector I was using with this ISOBAR for A/V and ran the cable line through the ISOBAR, and the pixels have gone away. Nice filtering system!
Overall Review: I got it on sale for just under $40. Solid price to protect my high $ gear.
Pros: This board has been very stable for me. The BIOS is very good, and it is an easy board to manage. I used the pre-set overclocking settings, and I believe the 3770k is @4.3 GHz. It was effortless. I am using an SSD as a boot drive and have 2 x 2 TB drives in Raid 1. No issues whatsoever, rock solid using the most current BIOS. And it is very easy to control the fan speeds. My system is almost silent. I have 4 x 4 GB of Samsung "wonder" ram @ 1600 and 1.35v. I love the ASUS P8Z77-V Pro... I got it using points from credit card purchases!
Cons: I have had no issues and have owned the motherboard for ~ 1 year.
Overall Review: Use an aftermarket cooler if you are going to overclock.
Pros: I purchased two of these for home/office applications for friends. Both boards work very well... one of the perfectly with no issues. The 2nd board had faulty sound, it wouldn't work despite much tweaking. The buyer was in a hurry to get the system, so I was forced to install a really nice HT Omega card that I had. Suddenly the build became much more expensive for me. Docking an egg for that problem.
Cons: Defective/non-working sound on one out of two boards.
The SATA default setting is IDE, even with the newest BIOS! Why in the world would the default be IDE in a modern board? Poor design.
Overall Review: Not a bad board if you get it for a good price. But it doesn't hold up to typical ASUS quality.
Pros: I have built several home/office/gaming PCs with this SSD, and they have all worked fine with no issues. The owners of the PCs have all been extremely happy, as they have never owned a PC with an SSD. They have been blown away by the performance vs. a spinning hard drive. Attached to a SATA III connection, this scores a 7.5 in WEI with Windows 7.
Cons: I have a much more expensive Samsung 840 Pro drive in my gaming PC, and it is definitely faster. Loading Windows and all the updates was much quicker on the Samsung SSD, but once all the updates were completed, the real world performance difference between the two drives became negligible.
Overall Review: If you get it for the "right" price, this SSD is an amazing performance to value proposition.
Pros: I replaced a nicer looking Lian-Li PC-K62 case with this Reve Gene case. The Pros are:
1. this case is much quieter... practically silent. With the 200mm fans and adjusting the speed to "silent" through BIOS, this PC is SO QUIET. Nice!
2. I snipped the wires to the LED lights on the front 200mm fans, as I like no light. The front fan is a super-thin fan, so most 200mm fans won't work there. Cutting the LED lights were the only option.
3. This case has USB 3.0 and a SATA docking station. The Lian-Li did not.
4. Good cable management and hard drive management.
Cons: Weird "wings" that look like mandibles. I am 44, and my wife is the same age... she thinks it looks strange, but she LOVES how quiet the PC is. So much quieter than the last case.
Overall Review: I paid $69 after rebate and feel that is a fair price. I completed the rebate quickly and have already been approved for the rebate. The rebate process was very easy... you just have to do it quickly.
Pros: I have been getting this power supply from another site... one that has auctions, and they are like-new, perhaps new system pulls, but sold as refurbished. I have bought 8 of them, and they have all been rock solid and QUIET. I have replaced several OEM (junk) Dell, HP, etc. PSU's with this one, and they have all worked great. And several people have commented about how much quieter their PCs are.
Cons: Don't buy this PSU for an ATX case. Don't buy this PSU if you want an 8-pin CPU plug. Don't buy this PSU to power a 6-pin video card.
Overall Review: For a basic home or office PC in an mATX case, and at the right price, this PSU is great.
Pros: I have used this ram in many different Intel chipset motherboards: Intel DH61BE, Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H-B3, ASUS P8P67 Pro and more, and the ram has always worked at the rates speed and timings with no problems. The WEI score using x x 4GB of this memory is 7.8 or 7.9 depending on the board. Good stable ram!
Cons: The price of ram has gone up so much. I purchased 8GB of this ram for less than what one 4GB stick is selling for today. Fall of 2012 was the time to load up on DDR3!
Overall Review: Low profile is nice.
Pros: I purchased two drives in April 2013 for a little less than $80 per drive. I believe it was a Shell Shocker. I am using them as mirrored storage drives through Windows 7 Ultimate. They are quiet and have been flawless for me, but I am not using them as my boot drive. I just ran the Western Digital short test on both, and they passed with flying colors.
Cons: None for me.
Overall Review: They work great as storage drives with my Samsung 840 Pro 256GB.
Pros: I upgraded from an XFX HD 6950 1GB, and I typically play older games, so I didn't see a huge increase in performance. BUT the HIS IceQ 7870 runs so much cooler and is so much quieter, the upgrade was well worth it to me. I love this GPU.
Overall Review: I have been very happy with my purchase. If you want a powerful video card that sips electricity, runs cool, and is quiet, the HIS IceQ HD 78780 is a great choice.
Pros: Very fast SSD. Scores a 7.9 on the Windows WEI vs. 7.8 with the Samsung 830 128GB that it replaced. Now that the TRIM-fix firmware is out, I am very pleased with this drive.
Cons: Updating the firmware is a little bit of a pain. But I build computers all the time, so not a big deal for me. It might be a little more challenging for a novice.
Overall Review: I paid $159.99 for this drive several months ago and saw that it was $139.99 on Black Friday, so I picked up another one for my laptop. That is an awesome price. Seeing how I paid $210 for my first 80GB Intel G2 in March 2010, even the non-sale price is pretty good for $/GB.
Pros: I have installed this video card in at least three or four office computers that I have built for clients. The card is very quiet and helps take some work off the processor. Excellent video card for the $15-$20 that I spent
Cons: None. I haven't tried to run audio through the HDMI, so I can't comment to the problems others have been having.
Overall Review: I would definitely buy this video card again.
Pros: The board runs great.
Cons: I docked an egg in my last review because:
1. It is a pain to update the BIOS to the newest version. You have to create a bootable USB or CD and update using the command prompt using Iflash2. That hasn't changed, but not enough by itself to dock an egg.
2. I also had a problem that my memory was only recognized at 1066 even though the board says it is 1333 compatible. I now know that the 1066 limitation is due to the Celeron processor, not the board. Dumb me, so the board is working as it should.
Overall Review: I got the motherboard in a package deal for a great price, and it is an excellent foundation for an awesome home or office PC (especially if you use a solid state drive).
Pros: This motherboard does allow some overclocking and ram control. The first thing you need to do is flash to the newest BIOS 0406 dated 6/18/12. Prior to this BIOS, there were no overclocking options.
Once you have the updated BIOS, this is what I was able to do with the mobo + an i5 750.
1. Change the ram speed in the section: Advanced>Chipset>Uncore Configuration>Dram frequency
2. In Advanced>CPU Configuration>Ration CMOS Setting>changed to 21 multiplier (like Turbo was "on")
3. Advanced>JumperFree Configuration>changed to "Manual", BCLK = 155, DRAM Timing to 9-9-9-24 for my sticks.
I set the DRAM voltage @ 1.5v and PLL voltage 1.8v, and the rest are on AUTO.
Now my CPU is running at 3.25 GHz, and my ram is @ 1,555
With a Xigmatek Dark Knight, cores running at 31C.
Cons: There is NO CPU VOLTAGE CONTROL, so your overclock will be limited. I tried a 160 BCLK, and my PC had a boot error. 155 has been rock solid however.
Overall Review: I picked up a Core i5 750 for cheap, and this board is able to give it a 22% overclock and get the ram close to the rated speed of my 1600 ram. You can still buy this board on the web. Search for it.
Pros: I purchased this for $79.99 after rebate and installed it in a s1156 Core i3 office build with 8GB DDR3. The owner can't believe how fast the computer is.
Cons: Hard to have a con at $0.67/GB.
Pros: Make sure you update the Crucial M4 firmware to 0309.
I upgraded from an Intel 80GB 300 series, which is a fine drive. The Crucial drive is a little faster as it scores 7.9 in WEI vs. 7.7 for the Intel drive. I suppose the SATA 6GB makes the difference. I can't tell a difference in the speed as they are both lightning fast. But I like the extra space on the Crucial drive, and I got it for a great price = $160.
Overall Review: This SSD at $170 or less a real value, especially with how expensive spinning hard drives are right now due to the floods in Thailand. This is the single-best upgrade you can do.
Pros: Timings, voltage, and speed were automatically picked up by my motherboard: ASRock P67 Extreme4 Gen3. This memory works great with my mobo.
Cons: I purchased the kit for $39.99 right after Christmas, and I think that was the standard price. The price has increased by $10 since then. Although $49.95 is still dirt cheap for 8GB of quality Mushkin ram.
Overall Review: Happy I bought this low voltage ram.
Pros: Cooler does an amazing job on my 2600k. It is idling right now at 29C! I have it OC'd @ 4.3GHz, and under load it barely goes into the 50's. Soooo much better temperatures than my last i7 s1366.
Cons: I suppose the size.
Overall Review: The fan on the heatsink is only about 1 inch from my 5870, but there is plenty of clearance on top, so I don't think it really affects the air flow. The CPU is cool, so not an issue.
Pros: Good looking case. Nice finish, good airflow. I like it!
Cons: The PSU is not good for modern systems due to the lack of SATA
Overall Review: As I do with almost all PSU's that are part of a case/PSU combo, I sold the PSU on C-list for $20 to someone with an older PC, and he loves it. I took the $20 and put it toward a nice Ant^c, and it has many more SATA cables and handles a modern PC with ease.
Pros: Solidly built. Looks nice. Lots of USB connectors on the front panel, eSata, and audio. Painted black on the inside. Let me say it again... for the price, it looks great. I have built mid-range PCs with this case ($500-$700), and the owners love them.
Cons: Why do most new cases come with power lights that are brighter than a strong flashlight? It is too much. The Blackbone power light is VERY BRIGHT. I snipped off the power light, soldered a new one that is much less bright, and it is SO much better.
I also moved the front fan that has the LEDs to the back, and moved the back fan to the front. Doing that and changing the power light takes the case from a 4 rating to a 5 rating. I can't stand bright lights on my cases, but others may like it.
Overall Review: Super case for under $50. I am about to buy two more for $35 each. Nice price!