Date Joined: 05/22/08
Pros: +Relatively quiet even at full speed, especially compared to the fans they replaced.
+Dropped my temps by ~2C
Cons: +Oddly, the cables are a bit too long for me.
+Air pressure leaks around the oddly shaped frame if you use them on a radiator, unless you use tape to seal them off.
Overall Review: I used these to replace the fans on my Antec Kuhler H20 920. The stock ones were rattling like a 12 valve Cummins because the bearings ran dry, and Antec helpfully melted a plastic slug over the bearing so you couldn't relubricate them without using a drill to break through. Obviously, that's a recipe for destroying your fans further.
I was originally going to use Noctua NF-F12's, but due their price and several reviews about how they're not really that great at the static pressure thing (and the fleshy coloring,) I ended up with a 2 pack of Corsair SP120 fans instead. So far so good.
Pros: $90 for a Polk product? Irresistible.
Even at 40% volume, this sub is powerful enough to rattle things off the walls/shelves in my 10x16' room. It's a little overkill for such a small space, but I've never heard MitiS sound so good. Glad I live in the sticks.
Bass quality is great except for the few moments that the vent gets overwhelmed (and makes flatulent noises.) Could easily be fixed with some more polyfill and a voided warranty, but I very rarely hit that limit.
Cons: Takes up a lot of room for a 10" sub?
I had to use some seriously bassy music to track down all the things around the house that were rattling, and either move or secure them. Pet peeve. Don't know how people can throw 12" 500W subs into their hooptied out Pontiac GrandAm, blast rap, and not get irritated by the clattering sound of the car getting shaken to pieces.
Overall Review: I'm running this off of my SB Audigy 2 ZS with a 200Hz crossover frequency. Turned the crossover knob on the sub all the way up, since I don't plan on using the speaker connections. Running the subwoofer signal to the non-LFE input using an RCA->2xRCA cable.
I upgraded from a 6" Cambridge SoundWorks sub that blew its amplifier. The difference in bass response and clarity is worth the amount of space this sub takes up in comparison with the old one.
Definitely recommend, especially if you get it on sale.
Pros: Did a good job of running an extra display off of my Radeon HD 6950 for a little under a year; I was surprised by the low amount of screen tearing for a cheapy active adapter.
Cons: It failed after less than a year, and ofc it couldn't of just died completely to make my troubleshooting easier. Firstly, it's been randomly cutting of video to the monitor connected to it (which I attributed to it getting hot from the air coming out of my GPUs.) Worse yet, during any sort of GPU load, it causes atikmdag.sys to timeout, in turn causing a scrambled BSOD.
At first I thought it was everything but the adapter (GPUs themselves, motherboard, PSU, RAID card...,) but on a whim I removed it and ran Furmark for 12 hours without issue. Plugged it back in, and after ~16 minutes of a burn-in test, my computer gave me a BSOD again.
Overall Review: I might have an isolated case, but be prepared for yours to prematurely fail.
Pros: -It is indeed silent. Can't hear it over the woosh of my radiator fans.
-Heavy. I judge computer power supply quality by weight, and this one delivers.
-Handles my power hungry setup with nary a complaint.
Cons: -Cables are a bit short if you use a bottom-mounted power supply config; I didn't because in my case (Lian-Li PC-A71) it interfered with the heatsinks on my RAID card.
-Non-modular design with lots of cables. Not really an issue for me, I used pretty much every cable (guess I'm a 'power user.')
Overall Review: I'm running an overclocked AMD FX-8120, two AMD Radeon HD 6950's unlocked to 6970 shaders, a dedicated RAID card and many hard drives. This PSU hasn't flaked out once, even under unrealistic hardware loads (furmark/prime95 running.)
I would definitely recommend PC Power&Cooling stuff, even if they're owned (I believe) by the OCZ group now. They've been around for a looong time; remember using a PC Power&Cooling heatsink/fan on my AMD 5X86 way back in the day.
Pros: -Unlocked to 6970 shader levels with RBE.
-I get stupidly high framerates in Just Cause 2, among other games.
-Draw a surprisingly low amount of amperage for their power.
-Running 3 19" 1280x1024 monitors in eyefinity without so much as a hiccup.
-5 year warranty if you register. Site only lets you register one card per session; clear all the cookies for diamondmm.com to fix that.
Cons: -All monitors have to be plugged into the first card for Eyefinity, which means I had to go buy a mini DisplayPort to DVI adapter. kind of irks me.
-DisplayPort lag. Get a 1-2 second lag when exiting or entering games on the monitor attached to a DisplayPort.
-Didn't come with a Crossfire bridge. Not a problem; borrowed one from a friend who isn't a meathead who wants to run dual GPUs.
Overall Review: -Upgraded from two EVGA GeForce GTX 465 1GB cards that had massive stability issues in SLI. The upgraded VRAM makes a noticeable difference.
-If you peel the Diamond sticker off the blower wheel, the AMD sticker is still there underneath. I actually peeled all of Diamond's stickers off. I'm sorry Diamond Multimedia, but you may like the 3D rendered scantily-clad women plastered on your products, but that's gaudy to me. It's something that was in style in 1998.
-One card has the vendor ID from XFX, and the other is AMD/ATI's ID. Neither had Diamond's vendor ID in the BIOS header. Silly rebranding.
Pros: -Lots of room. You could fill this with radiators, hard drives, or whatever fills your heart with content.
-Very well made with high quality aluminum. Will outlast most likely every component you mount inside it.
-Lian-Li offers tons of different side panels, top panels, front panel IO panels, drive bay covers, etc for their cases.
Cons: -Stock fans are a bit wimpy
-Slight lack of cable management for a case of this price. Competitors offer much better solutions.
-Size. That lot of room comes at a price. This case is several inches larger in every dimension than my previous 'full tower' case.
-Tiny screws are easy to strip if you have hamfists like me.
Overall Review: If you upgrade the cases fans, and don't want to remove a ton of screws once a week to clean out the filters, I recommend you just remove them completely.
I also opted to replace the USB3.0/eSATA front panel connector set for the PW-IO5VB, since my motherboard doesn't have USB3.0, and I never use eSATA.
Looks like the monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey when the door's closed. I like that.
Pros: -First time Windows rebooted, I turned around to attend to something on my laptop for 1 second, looked back at my desktop, and the login prompt was already up. Wow.
-Benchmarks at the advertised speeds in ATTO.
-SATA plugs are a little loose. As in, they wiggle around. I was terrified I broke it or something, but it doesn't seem to suffer otherwise.
Overall Review: -I used audit mode to move my Users and ProgramData to my D: drive, which is a 1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3. I highly recommend doing the same, since it won't impact performance, and it frees up a lot of space on your comparatively tiny SSD.
-Make sure to enable AHCI and TRIM. I also recommend disabling SuperFetch/PreFetch in Vista/7, since they actually slow down Windows on SSDs.
-CrystalDiskMark doesn't benchmark well on this SSD for some reason. I thought something was horribly wrong with my disk until my friend recommended ATTO.
Pros: -Keeps my AMD FX-8120 at room temperature idle (15-20c), and barely over 38c under full load on all 8 cores using Prime95.
-It does the above at a barely audible 15dB.
Cons: -You need 3 arms to install the thing. That fan/radiator assembly is extremely cumbersome to hold in place while threading screws in. I recommend keeping a friend handy.
-The radiator is mere millimeters from hitting the MOSFET heatsink on my ASRock 990FX Extreme4, in a Lian-Li PC-A71F
Overall Review: The mounting solution Antec used is... odd, and the instructions left a lot to be desired. Corsair's mounts are much more straightforward, in my humble opinion. Not enough to warrant deducting an egg.
I ditched the stock paste for some Biostar TC Diamond. Good stuff; keeps the CPU a few degrees cooler than the stock paste (which didn't spread well after I had to twist the block around to get it to seat right in the retention bracket.
Pros: -Unlocked multiplier!
-Blows my C2Q Q8200 out of the water!
Cons: -Most motherboards still don't support it out of the box, and require a BIOS flash (mine did despite saying 'support 8 core cpu' on the box).
-not REALLY 8 cores (but spirit is good enough for me!)
-Single core performance isn't much better than previous generation AMD CPU's.
Overall Review: Currently the only place I notice a massive speed boost is in applications coded properly for multithreading, but that should change over time as more cores becomes the norm.
I highly recommend ditching the included cooler. It's been the cooler bundled with AMD processors since AM2+ was their flagship socket, and these chips run hot.
Pros: -Features a PCI slot layout that allows me to SLI two dual slot GPU's, and still use my old PCI audio card.
-Floppy drive controller/IDE allows me to hang onto those legacy devices.
-An IR port? Wow, that's a throwback.
-First board I've ever owned where AHCI actually works properly.
-Very snappy with my FX-8120 at stock speeds (compared to a C2Q Q8200 in an ASUS P5P43TD Pro).
Cons: -Despite saying 'Supports 8-Core CPU's!' on the box, I had to buy an AM3 Sempron to flash the BIOS. (BIOS versions 1.30+ support bulldozed CPUs; mine was 1.10) Perhaps ASRock meant physically? Because it wasn't electrically...
-CPU-z and AMD Overdrive are extremely unstable with this board, both locking up the CPU hardcore (Windows doesn't even have time to BSOD). I also had endless troubles with my SoundBlaster Audigy 2 ZS locking up the whole computer as soon as any sounds played.
-internal audio will not work no matter how hard I try.
-I cannot get any overclock to stick, and the board insists at running my 1600MHz RAM at 800MHz.
-Can't get the quickboot feature to work.
Overall Review: I have a feeling that many of the issues I'm encountering are BIOS related. They also started after I added my second GPU. If I remove one, almost all the issues outlined in cons disappear.
I'll try downgrading the BIOS to 1.3 and see if that also fixes it, since I'd like to keep my SLI config.
ASRock 990FX Extreme4
8GB Mushkin Enhanced Blackline DDR3-1600 7-9-7-24
2x EVGA GeForce GTX465 1GB
SoundBlaster Audigy 2 ZS
Dell PERC 5/i
Pros: -Very quiet. I put them on a fan controller, but that's more to tone down the LEDs when I'm trying to sleep. The fan on my RAID card is louder than both of these.
-They move a good bit of air while being quiet. I like this.
-The LEDs aren't pink like they seem in photos; it's more a deep (not quite blood) red. Fits nicely with the color theme in my build.
Cons: -Doesn't make me bacon.
-I wish the frame was black. I'm not liking the acrylic, even though I never really see it (hidden behind the front panel).
Overall Review: I replaced the stock front fans in my Lian-Li PCA71F with these (stock Lian-Li fans are always pretty wimpy.) Made a very big difference in the ambient temp in my case. The LEDs bleed through the side panel gaps, though (a minor irritation).
Pros: It was cheap, and it controls three of the low-amperage fans in my Lian-Li case.
Looks 'stylish' once the sticker's been removed (no easy task).
Cons: That 10w rating on the controller is a bit generous. The voltage regulator Xigmatek used is only really good for one fan, since it's low amperage. On top of that, it has no heatsink (and therefore overheats quickly even under normal usage). I have a feeling a lot of the failures people experience are due to thermal overload releasing all the magic blue smoke.
That's a pro-tip to Xigmatek. If you make a v2 of this controller, bump the voltage regulator up a notch and put a heatsink on it. I would rather have paid $15-16 for this with those upgrades, rather than having to do them myself.
Overall Review: To solve the thermal overload (three .21A fans made the voltage regulator quite hot), I used thermal epoxy to attach a heatsink I cut down from one I had in my junk drawer. This is a simple mod that should greatly increase the life of your controller.
Note that you can buy heatsinks that attach to that chip type with a screw at any electronics retailer for cheap (probably more ideal, since it isn't permanent like my fix.) I just didn't feel like going shopping.
Pros: It blows my mind that there could possibly be 29gb of formatted space in an area the size of my pinky nail. Really. I'm currently holding over 5000 MP3's on my card with plenty of space to spare.
Cons: It's not a Class 6 card, so sometime switching tracks on my phone's music player lags, and so does refreshing the music library. When I bought this, you could only get Class 4 32gb microSDHC cards though.
Overall Review: I have it plugged into my Nokia 5310, which only recognizes it as 16gb, but it works mostly fine otherwise. It just takes a good hour to refresh the music library for whatever reason. I haven't really used it for heavy read/write use, just the occasional read while listening to music, so I don't think it's under any real stress.
Pros: Cheap RAID0/1, even if it's mostly software.
RAID0 is kinda speedy, compared to a single drive.
Flashing the BIOS is easy, actually. Once you have the drivers installed, open the device properties in device manager. It's on one of the tabs (at least in Windows 7), can't quite recall.
Cons: Two days ago, the bluescreens started. At first I thought it was my RAM, but MemTest86+ showed no errors. Then I noticed the bluescreens occurred especially when there was heavy disk usage (the RAID0 I had set up on the card hosted my Windows 7 install).
Pulled the card out immediately after one of the bluescreens, and it was nice and toasty. I pointed a spare fan toward it, and the bluescreens went away.
Then I sat down this morning, turned on the computer, and the card isn't even recognized anymore. I tried it in several different motherboards, and none of them recognized it.
Overall Review: I do suggest you do not use this for RAID, and you do not install Windows to a disk or disks running off of it. Save yourself the pain for if (more likely when) it fails.
My computer is like so:
ASUS P5P43TD Pro motherboard
Intel Q8200 (previously overclocked, but it's become tolerant over the years)
2x 2gb PNY DDR3-1333 2x 1gb GSkill DDR3-1333
EVGA GeForce GTX465 1gb OC
(formerly Syba SIL3132 based SATA RAID controller, running two 250gb WD Caviar Black drives
a lot of other hard drives
all in a generic fulltower case with a 650w OCZ PSU
Pros: It SEEMS to provide better thermal conductivity than my old Arctic Silver ceramic paste. But I know better.
Cons: None, really.
Overall Review: In a perfect world where everyone applied their paste perfectly to a perfectly flat processor and heatsink, comparing thermal pastes would be perfectly okay. But we don't live in such a word. So I think it's rather unfair to compare and contrast with so many variables to consider.
Pros: Move a lot of air.
Cons: They're loud, but nothing a fan controller can't tame.
The bearings on mine go dry really fast. But I just pull them, pull the sticker and bearing plug off, and put a few drops of 3-in-1 oil in.
Overall Review: I do the oil trick on all of my fans every six months or so, and I very rarely get the dry bearing rattle of death. Save yourself some money and do the same (don't use WD-40 though, please. It gumms everything up).
Pros: Even with the very slight overclock (1354) my processor arrangement gives, this ram is still very stable for hours on end in intensive gaming.
Cons: It gets quite hot. Though the rest of my ram does to... Nothing a fan doesn't fix.
Overall Review: If I had more ram slots, I'd buy more. This ram is good for your money.
Pros: Where do I start...
-Most, if not all, sharp edges have been rolled. Most people take this for granted.
-The side and front vents have filters on them. I'm surprised this isn't advertised (you can also fit a 120mm fan in the side vent).
-The fan controller can either automatically control fan speed or you can fiddle with the buttons and do it manually.
-Hard drive mounting system is kind-of dated, but very proven. I've seen NZXT cases with very similar rail mountings.
-Steel is relatively thick for a cheap case, and the paint is very uniform (no patches or orange peel).
-Came with enough screws and to mount everything. This is a godsend, and I wish more manufacturers would include so many fasteners.
-The included fans are very quiet, but don't move much air. I opted to replace them with Scythe 120mm fans, which didn't make the case much louder.
-Under the PSU, there's a metal punch-out. I removed it so I could run wires and stuff outside my case. Very handy.
Cons: -The fan controller forgets its settings on every reboot. I looked at the board, and it looks like either someone forgot to solder on a button cell holder, or Broadway just didn't feel like including one. Eitherway, I'm going to order one up and solder it in.
-Entering the time into the fan controller is nigh impossible.
-I've found that the pop-open 5.25" bay covers didn't work with half the optical drives I own, and I ended up breaking one in the process of testing them. oops. It'd be nice if they had included normal covers to replace them.
-The wires fall off of the power/reset buttons very easily. Nothing a little solder couldn't fix.
-The front panel audio wires barely reached the header on my motherboard, but that's more ASUS's fault for putting it on the bottom side of the board. The HDD LED doesn't reach at all.
-You can't fit two hard drives in the external 3.25" bays unless you pull the metal crossbar out of the rail (which you can only remove by taking off the front cov
Overall Review: I wish the documentation on the fan controller was a wee bit more in depth, but I think I found what it's based on with a bit of searching, so that's not much trouble.
I think with the supplied PSU bracket, you can flip your PSU upside-down. I didn't do this for airflow reasons, but that's still pretty cool.
It's also be pretty nice if I could secure 2.5" hard drives in the hard drive caddies with more than rolled up duct tape.
Pros: Somewhat fast for its OLD pricepoint
Cons: It does not take nicely to overclocking. I overclocked my Q8200 to 2.8GHz. To prevent having to adjust the ram timing, I left the memory clock at around 1331MHz (couldn't get it to be even 1334MHz). This slight 2MHz discrepancy caused a few memory errors in Memtest86+, and eventual bluescreens during heavy gaming.
needless to say, the processor is now back at 2.33GHz
Overall Review: When I bought this ram a year ago, it was sixty-two american bucks with free shipping. Now, it definitely hasn't got any better performance-wise since then, so I see no justification for the 35%(!!!) increase in its price
I've also noticed lately Newegg has been gouging on popular products (NOTE; Coolermaster Hyper 212+). That isn't cool at all, yo.
My business is going elsewhere.
Pros: DiRT 2: 35FPS at full settings
Crysis: ~45FPS at full settings
Mass Effect 2: ~38FPS at full settings
GTAIV... well, you get the point. It's good bang for your buck, so to speak. And mind you, this is with only DX9.
Oh, and it runs much cooler than my old EVGA 9500GT, even when overclocked (which is easy to do, btw)
Cons: It draws so much current during some gaming situations, my (old and off-brand) UPS panics and shuts itself off. Somewhat frustrating, but not the fault of MSI.
Overall Review: My system is as follows:
-ASUS P5P43TD Pro motherboard
-Intel Core2Quad Q8200 @ 3.0GHz (that's barely stable)
-4gb (2x2gb) of PNY DDR3-1133 ram (luckily I bought this when it was cheap...)
-MSI GeForce GTS250 video card
-500gb 7200RPM WD hard drive
-Windows XP Pro x64
Pros: Audio quality
It can take a bit of abuse (trust me, after my experiences with some of its "quirks", I had no other choice than to abuse it...)
Cons: I'm fairly sure that Nokia has stopped producing new firmware for this phone, which is a shame, since firmware 9.04 is buggier than an ant hill.
It takes almost two hours to rebuild my music library. It rebuilds the library EVERY SINGLE TIME I TURN IT BACK ON. This is extremely irritating. Is it not that hard to hold the library information on the phone's memory card? Oh, and when you take the SD card out while the phone's on, then put it back in... LIBRARY REBUILD.
The backlight shuts off when in the music player so you can see what's playing, but the screen isn't updated anymore. Why?
When you leave it on for more than a few days, it takes ages to open folders and menus, and eventually the 'recently used contacts' menu in messaging becomes inaccessible.
The USB transfers are incredibly slow, even with very high speed cards (class 6)
The battery life is slowly becoming more and more appalling, and it wasn't even that great at first.
I HATE GPRS
The camera is ter
Overall Review: I love this phone, and almost all of its shortcomings are due to the firmware on the phone. If Nokia bothered to do something about it (the support hotline basically told me to bugger off), I wouldn't be replacing the phone.
There's its chunkier, newer sibling, the 5320. If I can find that with US 3g, this phone is going in the shoebox with all my old phones.
Or the 5730.
If you get a unit and it has a firmware version older than 9, DON'T UPDATE IT. For the sake of babby jezzus, you'll ruin a great phone (and I did love it until I update its firmware and all these problems came to be...).
Pros: -Compared to the sound output in Apple and Sony devices, the audio quality from this phone is OUTSTANDING. Seriously, with a good set of headphones, it's like an eargasm listening to OceanLab.
-The music player is pretty well set up.
-IT HAS A 3.5mm HEADPHONE JACK AND (up to) 16gb MICROSDHC! I stopped buying Sony phones because they insist on using their proprietary jacks and overpriced and useless M2 cards.
-The Bluetooth audio quality is amazing as well.
-For their size, the speakers are loud and sound pretty good.
Cons: -USB transfers are incredibly slow, even with high speed SDHC cards.
-The plastic over my screen cracked in one corner.
-It hates multitasking.
-No 3g (115.2kb/s down).
-(On the current firmware) The phone rebuilds the music library every time you add or remove music. With the amount of music on my 16gb card, that takes FOREVER.
-I really wish it supported FLAC, but that's an unreasonable wish.
-I can't feel it vibrate in my pocket half the time.
-The battery life isn't so great.
Overall Review: The reason the plastic over the screen is so thin, the battery life sucks, and the vibrator motor is so weak because Nokia engineers did their best to make this phone under 1cm thick. The thin design sadly leads to a less robust product.
Anyway, the bottom line is, if you want something that makes calls and plays music really well for a good price, this is for you.
I have my phone on AT&T with a 16gb Class 6 Transcend SDHC card (upgraded from an 8b card of the same speed) and Sony MDR-EX56LP earbuds (those guys break a lot...).
Pros: I can actually use my old Black Box KVM, since my new motherboard lacks two PS/2 ports.
Works with a lot of PS/2 keyboard and mice I've tested.
Cons: Backplate is too thin and easy to bend. I have to open my case and hold the back of the card when I'm plugging in a connector.
The header on the card itself causes the motherboard to flip out on boot, so I had to rewire the cable to a USB plug, and use the usb socket. It goes something like this:
Motherboard USB connector->original header cable->a male USB A plug I soldered in->USB A socket on the card
Oh, and the manual is pretty useless.
Overall Review: This is better than the 'passive' converters I've been trying to use before, as I don't get any weird mouse or keyboard bugs.
But the build quality is really low for a Startech product (one of my old computers has a Startech heatsink/fan that's been running nonstop for nearly 8 years straight).
As far as I can tell, the header pins on my particular adapter are incorrectly wired, causing it to short the connector on the motherboard out. I'd return this, but the RMA and shipping just isn't worth it.
Beware of what you might get...
Pros: See other thoughts.
Cons: Can't access the fan, and you need to remove the motherboard to install the backplate. But that didn't really bother me.
Overall Review: Here's some numbers (in the summer heat)...
Stock Intel heatsink:
48c at idle
72c under load (!!!!!!!!)
35c at idle
MAX 45c under load
Do I need to say more?
Pros: BIOS makes overclocking a cinch.
DDR3! Although that speed comes at a slight price premium over DDR2.
Quite a few SATA channels (with RAID!), and a legacy IDE controller to boot.
Cons: ...as pretty much everyone else has said, if you have a particularly loooonnngggg video card (or any sort of card), there's a good chance some or most of the SATA ports will be covered. But that's a very minor con, really.
Errrr.... there's only one PCI-E x16 slot? I can't really think of any cons....
Overall Review: Specs:
4gb PNY ram
EVGA GeForce 9500GT
Intel Q8200 with a Masscool cooler.
500gb WD Caviar Blue