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David S.

David S.

Joined on 12/21/08

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 44
Most Favorable Review

One of the Few that Fit...

Thermaltake Slim X3 CLP0534 80mm CPU Cooler
Thermaltake Slim X3 CLP0534 80mm CPU Cooler

Pros: One of the only CPU coolers I could find to fit a Celeron 540 Skt 1155 in an Apex MI-100 ITX case. Overall height of fan and heatsink combined is only 36mm and I doubt I had more than another 1/4" (6mm) to spare. The stock Intel cooler, although small, was still too tall to fit.

Cons: 1. Price is outrageous (29.95) for what it is. 2. Cooling is not improved over stock, but I knew that going in. CPU idles at 40-45c and moderate load pushes it well over 50c. I suspect that it is actually worse than the stock cooler. 3. Given the small size of the fan, it can get really loud when pushed. Speedfan gave me 2,800 rpm at load. However, if you set your bios to keep it below 1,800 then the noise is bearable, even for HTPC use. But you're toasting the CPU, a bit.

Overall Review: I love the mounting system, although others may not. (It is similar to Coolermaster mounting). You must remove the board to mount the cooler which screws through from the back of the board. I much prefer this to the "push-pin" system which requires that you place a lot of force on the board, especially with an ITX board where there's barely enough room to get your fingers in. Only problem would be that there are capacitors on the back side of some ITX boards.

11/24/2012
Most Critical Review

Only for Professional builders

JetWay JHZ03-GT-LF AM3 AMD 880G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
JetWay JHZ03-GT-LF AM3 AMD 880G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

Pros: Worked first time booted up with "no-name" Wintec memory. Unlocked my 555BE to a 955 Deneb quad-core with all 4 cores stable and all the cache (6gb L3) enabled. So I am very pleased about that. In order to unlock, under Advanced Overclocking menu: 1. Select "Advanced Clock Calibration", then "enable all cores". 2. Disable "AMD Cool and Quiet".

Cons: Please read review from logan_fre below. He is dead on and I should have listened before purchasing this board. Simply put, this is for professional builders only. I have used motherboards from Asus, MSI, and Gigabyte with little problem, but in no way was I prepared for the utterly unintelligible bios on this board. Sure, it does everything you want in the end, but unless you possess extremely high technical knowledge, be prepared to spend hours googling and posting on forums to figure it out. Just setting something as simple as the fan controls are daunting. The manual and help functions do nothing but parrot exactly what is already listed in the bios. Useless, and no forum available on Jetway site. You're really on your own.

Overall Review: Also as noted by logan_fre, there are 2 versions of this board. The one sold here is the stripped-down version Model HZ03-GT (vs. the HZ03). It is missing the solid caps, optical SPDIF, Sideport graphics memory, and 3D audio function. Also, the 8x/8x PCI-e slot description is wrong, in that it ships with a "switchcard" for the 2nd slot which enables X16 in Slot 1. Also, I was unable to find any information on how to use the onboard graphics in "hybrid Crossfire" with a discrete graphics card, even though Jetway makes repeated claims that it is a feature of the board. If anyone can post how to do this, it would be appreciated.

Win 7-64...Look Elsewhere

Brother MFC series MFC-J425w Up to 33 ppm Black Print Speed 6000 x 1200 dpi Color Print Quality Wireless InkJet MFC / All-In-One Color Printer
Brother MFC series MFC-J425w Up to 33 ppm Black Print Speed 6000 x 1200 dpi Color Print Quality Wireless InkJet MFC / All-In-One Color Printer

Pros: I did finally get it to work...after 3 hours of aggravation.

Cons: Absolutely the worst driver installation experience in a long time. Despite downloading latest version from their web site. The install was on a clean, brand new Win7-64 build so no excuse for conflicts. Totally flakey software: just unaccepable for a company of this size.

Overall Review: Save yourself the hassle and look elsewhere...unless you really don't value your time.

Look Elsewhere

SYBA CL-ENC35008 Aluminum 3.5" Silver IDE / SATA USB 2.0 External Enclosure
SYBA CL-ENC35008 Aluminum 3.5" Silver IDE / SATA USB 2.0 External Enclosure

Pros: It comes with lots of screws, in case you lose some. I'm only gives this 2 eggs because in all fairness I never tried it with SATA, only an !DE drive. Otherwise I would have given it 1 egg.

Cons: Just about the worst-engineered product I have come across in a long while!! 1. The end panel with all the electronics is flimsilly-attached to the the drive chassis--very scary 2. Because the inner drive chassis requires a ridiculous amount of force to slide into the outer chassis, it is very easy to bend or damage the electronics end panel above. 3. Trying to remove the hard drive is another adventure: it is so tightly sandwiched into the outer shell, that there is no way to pull it out for fear of really destroying the electronics panel. Instead, you have to push it out from the opposite end...however, there is no obvious way to get that "dead end" cap off!! And there are no instructions in the "instructions". if you get my drift. After pretty much destroying the "dead end" in an effort to get the stupid cap off and rescue my hard drive inside, I finally found the 2 screws that were holding this end cap hidden under the black plastic decorative trim (which in itself was a chore to remove). Why on earth would you hide such important screws?? 4. And did I say how useless the instructions are that they give you? That having been noted, you shouldn't NEED instructions for such a simple product if it is well-engineered.

Overall Review: Oh and by the way, my IDE drive that I purchased this for does not work in this enclosure (does even spin). I suspect a power connector problem in the horribly bent 4-pin Molex connection as others have experienced. But I'm so whipped by this product that I will not bother RMAing it. I just want to see it gone!! Save yourself some time and frustration and try something else. I really love those v***** enclosures.

Run as fast as you can....

APEX MI-100BK Black Steel Mini-ITX Tower Computer Case 250W Power Supply
APEX MI-100BK Black Steel Mini-ITX Tower Computer Case 250W Power Supply

Pros: Sorry, can't think of any.

Cons: 1. Instructions begin by telling you to pry off the front fascia (very fragile plastic) from the bottom--nothing more. So, you do that, and bingo the 2 tabs on the sides/top snap in a heartbeat. Goodbye fascia. 2. You place the slightest pressure on the front panel pins and they are gone: pulled out of the sockets. 3. None of the Power supply cables are sleeved and the wires seem very fragile especially the insertion into the pins, again. 4. But the worst thing about the P-S cables that they are so short: another 6-8" inches and thy could have been neatly tucked away under the front 3.5" drive bay. The way they are now, is that they are piled up above the CPU cooler, behind the 5.25" drive bay and blocking any ventilation across the case. I have never seen such a mess.

Overall Review: It is hard to believe that whoever engineered this case, actually tried to use it in practice. A particular case in point: there is this huge empty space underneath the 3.5" external drive bay which could easily have accommodated a 3.5" drive, or 2x2.5" drives. Instead, it is used for nothing (you can't even store excess cables there) and they make you install a 3.5" drive vertically on the side of the case--in the only place you can put a case fan. Which of course, everybody does, and moves the hard drive to the 3.5" external drive bay. Just plain dumb. This thing is going in the garbage as soon as I can order a suitable replacement.

11/24/2012

Rebate? Good Luck!

OCZ Vertex 4 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) VTX4-25SAT3-64G
OCZ Vertex 4 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) VTX4-25SAT3-64G

Pros: None--if you're getting ripped off on the amount you assumed you were paying (after rebate).

Cons: If you're paying full price, there are better drives out there from more reputable companies.

Overall Review: They got me again! I have been ripped off before by OCZ on rebates and swore never to deal with them again. Well, guess what? They got me one more time. How you ask? Well, comes time to file the rebate within 30 days of purchase (as all other manufacturers I've ever dealt with allow) and lo and behold, it's now 21 days with OCZ!! How can they s---w me, let me count the ways.