Date Joined: 10/10/01
Pros: Strong signal. Not a single hiccup in 2 months. Despite what other have said, I like the no non-sense interface.
Cons: not really a con, but you have to remember that as you change things in the interface, you have to commit them...not a big deal. Just something to get used to. I think I actually like this better than immediate changes - helps with the "shoot - didn't mean to do that" issues I sometimes have.
Overall Review: I took a really long time deciding on what to replace my old WAP54g. It served me well for years and finally started needing to be rebooted every month or so. A replacement was in order and first tried an ECB9500 and was not impressed. But, wasn't ready to call it quits on EnGenius...and I'm glad I didn't. This is a home application where we have a couple smartphones, a tablet and a wireless wdtv. I like how much faster our phones establish a connection and certainly the distance is a plus - even though the WAP54G was pretty good...this is definitely better. Streaming Netflix to the wdtv via wireless isn't much different than wired for me.
I had plans to use the PoE and run it up to the main level, but I actually have it laying on it's back pointing up from the basement (about 5 feet above the concrete floor) and it easily covers the basement and the other two floors above. And it works further out in my yard than my previous wap.
Was just about to pick up one of these for a client and realized I hadn't shared my thoughts from the original purchase. Now I have.
Pros: VLAN tagging per SSID
Simple web interface
Played with it a lot in the few days I had it and it was solid - nothing strange happened.
Can see client strength 0-100% from web interface - nice touch.
Cons: Signal strength is no better than my old wap54g which I was looking to replace. Even with all of the new bells and whistles it wasn't worth the upgrade, so I am returning it.
Overall Review: This was the first experience with EnGenius. The device and web UI felt solid. I may go with one of their longer range devices and see how that goes.
As a pure AP, this device is too expensive. If you need another mode, that may be a different story.
I see folks complaining about documentation. It's adequate enough. Not overly verbose, there is an expected level of user knowledge. If you are messing around with settings and don't know what it's for, leave it as the default or look for more details on bing or something.
Pros: LED, HDMI, 100x100 vesa, very decent picture, no dead pixels, good price with instant rebate.
Cons: If I paid more for this monitor these cons would probably remove a star or two.
The stand is weak, but I'm mounting on an arm, so nbd for me.
Menu navigation is a test of will - but I've yet to find a flat panel monitor that isn't - and once I get it adjusted, I don't use the menu much after that.
31 languages all next to each other in the quick start guide - which is a bit absurd. I usually don't look at these, but some of the menu options needed a little explanation and I had a good laugh. Never did find what I was looking for, resorted to the web.
Overall Review: Spent a couple days with the first and decided to buy a second.
I've bought plenty of Asus motherboards and some notebooks in the past, but never a monitor. On the rare occasion I had a problem, their support is decent enough.
From low power state it takes about 4 seconds to display. From off, it takes about 6 - which includes the Asus logo for some of that time.
Pros: Packaged well and comes with everything you'd need to get it working. Came with latest firmware. Shows Ave Read of 210.1 MB/s on an Intel ICH9R sata controller using HDTach. And a random access time of 0.1ms. Good warranty.
Overall Review: I first ran the SSD on a jmicron controller and it only gave me ~125 MB/s. Plus SSDToolbox didn't have all of the options available (optimizer) until I moved the SSD to the Intel controller. Not sure what that means for other controllers or if that's even important to you. The optimizer is your defrag replacement since you aren't suppose to defrag SSDs.
I bought this 40GB model to use as my smart response SSD when I get my Z68 board in another week or so. Since it was my first SSD, I needed to kick the tires as a simple drive before using it for caching purposes.
With the HDD drive prices spiked due to the floods in Thailand (prayers to them), I will be getting a 320 80GB as the OS drive for another system. I suspect others are making similar decisions right now.
Pros: Worked without a hitch right out of the shute.
Overall Review: This was my first experience with BD-ROM. Needed the upgrade for my HTPC. Any issues I had were more to do with understanding the limitations of software BD players and my sound card, and getting that all to work with my pre-amp. The PowerDVD software is just 2 channel, but if you are good with google, there is actually a way to enable it for 6 channel (hint: LG patch)
I recently updated the firmware when I was having a problem reading a BD movie. The movie would stop about 7 minutes in. Couldn't rip the movie either, so I updated the firmware to see if it would help. It didn't...it was just a bad disc. So far I've ran into 2 bad BD movies out of 14 that I've rented. Just be aware of this before blaming the drive.
Pros: Good all around value PSU. Good price, power, effeciency, low noise.
Overall Review: I like BFG Tech. I like their video cards and have never been disappointed with them in the past.
I've been using this GS-550 in my HTPC for a month to replace a dead PSU from a much bigger company (who I've lost faith in...starts with an "a"). The HTPC has 6 HDDs, 4 fans, tuners, discrete audio, nVidia 8600GTS, E6600 cpu, BD-ROM....plenty of power to run it all and stays pretty cool.
Pros: Price. Though I see it went up five dollars since when I purchased. Class 6 and lifetime warranty.
Cons: First one was DOA. But it only cost a buck to send back via USPS, so not a huge deal.
Overall Review: I had another 1G A-DATA SD card that I've used for years, no problems. That's why I didn't hesitate getting another A-DATA card.
I was able to use the MicroSD to SD converter from the old card to put mp3s, apps files, etc. on this card for use in my Blackjack2.
The only strange thing was that neither my older notebook or the card-reader on my monitor would recognize this SD card. Suspecting it may be due to SDHC. However, I had a newer USB card reader that worked like a charm. So I have a workaround. Plus I don't remove the card much from my phone anyway.
Pros: The 5 bay sata backplane unit is worth 75% of the case price. Pretty good deal. Plenty of space for ATX motherboard and PSU. Lot's of drive space. I'll be looking to put another 5 bay sata backplane unit in this in the not-so-distant future. Sturdy.
Cons: A few sharp edges...nothing to be too concerned with, but extra caution is required when running wires.
The chassis is used for several configurations, so there are a couple oddities that I find funny. For example, in the front there is a fan failure and warning reset button that is not used in this configuration because the backplane unit is self contained.
The front doors are just plastic, but easily come off.
Overall Review: Again, for the price, this works great. It fits standard ATX components, so I'll be using it for many years. I looked for several weeks contemplating what to buy...eventually I just took the plunge on this one and was not disappointed.
Pros: Quiet, nice 3pin-to-4pin accessory.
Cons: Obnoxious packaging...it made me laugh.
Overall Review: If you are looking at low noise fans, then you are probably not worried about massive airflow. People often overlook paying attention to good air path in their systems. Make sure you don't have open slots or venting on the same side or close to your fan. Make sure you get nice pull from front to back passing over you main components, and one or two of these will be enough for most systems.
Pros: Lots of space, great price. I'm a seagate bigot, so the fact that it is seagate means something to me.
Cons: Read speeds on outer edge...but that's expected.
Overall Review: HDTach shows 223.5 MB/s burst, but average is 89.6 MB/s (see cons, it's a lot of space, can't expect much more). Random Access: 12.8ms. However, the 7200.11 model's seem to be quite a bit better in performance over the 7200.10. The stated numbers above are much better than a 320G 7200.10 I have in the same system on the same hdd controller.
Also, those complaining about heat, need to make sure there is good airflow. I had this thing get pretty hot before I sealed off all of my cases rear slots and made sure air was being pulled across it.
Comments: I was impressed with this case the moment I opened it. The only complaint about the exterior is the front door is a little flimsy, but the fact that it opens 270 degrees makes up for it. Other than the front door, the rest of the construction is very rigid, and makes this case pretty hefty.
This case is not ideal for an HTPC or for LAN parties, but that's exactly what I'm using it for. It is a quiet case and looks sharp, plus it has plenty of room for HDD's and ODD's; which makes it ideal for "my" HTPC. The fact that it has a nice intake shroud for your graphics card (even SLi) makes this a good choice for "my" gaming rig. Plus the design with the PSU and main HDD's in their own separated compartment really keeps the rest of the internals cooled.
There are easy to access air filter screens in the front. And silicon dampening all over. It is a pain to install parts, and will take a little extra effort everytime you want to change/add components. But it is worth it...very nice case.
Comments: The fact that people are giving this sound card low ratings due to poor EAX support is just silly. What IS silly is that Crxxxve won't pass EAX over a digital/optical output. Enough with the rant, here's my experience.
I have an HTPC running XP MCE 2005 hooked up to a 7.1 sound system. I started off using my existing Axxigy2 ZS and soon found out that I was not able to get digital out from the card to the pre-amp. So I decided to try an X-Fi. I bought the platinum edition with the Live Drive. Again, trying to use the digital out on the back of the X-Fi brought the same results as the A2. I then tried to use one of the ditital outs on the Live Drive. This actually worked. I don't know how many postings I read and no one ever mentioned this. So at this point I have a pretty expensive sound card that works fine for DVD, DVD-Audio, MP3's HDTV, etc., but for games only sends a stereo signal to my pre-amp. As mentioned before, you can only get EAX from analog outputs. But I have EAX 5.0! wow, currently one title shipping that uses it. And can I please have an optical connector sticking out the front of my PC?
Enough was enough, I researched the DDL technology and ended up buying a Montego. I Uninstalled the 1 Gig of garbage that Cxxxtive littered my hard drive with and put the Montego in and installed the driver. I went to the control panel and enabled the SPDIF to output DDL 5.1 and voila. The difference in the rear channels of DVD-Audio is extraordinarily better with the Montego. And in general, music and HDTV sounds so much better. The imaging is definately superior.
I am also a gamer, so I fired up Doom3 and was able to turn on the surround option now (couldn't with the X-Fi and digital out). Sounds awesome. I also played a little UT2004, I think they only support EAX 2.0 anyway, which this card has.
I am officially happy with my HTPC...the sound card woes are over!
Comments: I replaced a Gainward 5600 with this, mainly to step into the 256-bit generation. I have a home-brew demo for UT2004 that I use as my benchmarks and with all of the settings maxed and running at 1024x768 (no AF/AA) I get about 41fps. I was really hoping for more since my 5600 got 37fps. However, I started cranking up the res and found out the 5900 would still get 41fps at 1600x1200. That made me happy. So I have settled back down to 1280x1024 with 2xAF/2xAA for normal gameplay in UT2004 (with all in-game settings maxed).
Nice card from Gainward as usual. Gets a 6308 at 450/780 in 3dmarks free demo. I am not able to overclock the core more than a few MHz, but maybe that will change as the card breaks in. So far I have the memory at 820.
For under $200...it is certainly worth some consideration over higher priced cards since we are all going to need new cards in a year again with the nextgen games (HL2, DOOM3, etc) and PCI-X.
I also would not waste the extra money on the 256M version as there isn't much use for it right now.
Comments: After buying a 512MB kit (2x256) and being very happy with it. I decided to buy a 1024MB kit. Operates at 2-3-2 as promised. Using with an Intel D865PERL motherboard.
Comments: I bought this since Newegg was either out of or not carrying Kingstons Hyper-X 2x256MB kits. Same specs, 2-3-2. Works great with 865PE based motherboard. I actually mixed it with some of the Kingston memory I mentioned, no problems. Just bought another 1G Dual Pack. Stable and works as promised.
Comments: This is a great drive. Fast, quiet, great warranty and no power adapter needed. WD drives are typically a little louder than Seagate, but the performance edge makes up for it. I don't hear this drive unless I put my ear next to the case. No complaints and I just ordered another.