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Brett B.

Brett B.

Joined on 03/27/06

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 8
Most Favorable Review

Excelent AM3 board

MSI 790FX-GD70 AM3 AMD 790FX ATX AMD Motherboard
MSI 790FX-GD70 AM3 AMD 790FX ATX AMD Motherboard

Pros: Purchased recently for a new custom system with Phenom XII 955. This board has plenty of room for expandability. More onboard control features for overclocking than I will ever use. Setup was quite easy and straight-forward like any other motherboard I've installed.

Cons: Only two things bad with this board so far. First off, just after receiving the board I began having problems with failing to boot properly and the CMOS would suddenly be reset when it rebooted. I bought a new CMOS battery to replace the original and re-secured all the power connections and everything worked perfectly after that. Second, the hardware RAID ports (7 and 8) pass through a single PCI-e lane limiting the overall bandwidth that could be used for two hard drives connected to them. For this reason I don't really use them, though if I should I would only put one drive on it.

Overall Review: In the past I have not been a fan of MSI boards, but I took a leap of faith with this one and it has paid off. Great board with very little problems and more than enough power!

Most Critical Review

Decent KVM for my setup

IOGEAR GCS1764 4-Port DVI KVMP Switch USB Console, USB Peripherals, Audio
IOGEAR GCS1764 4-Port DVI KVMP Switch USB Console, USB Peripherals, Audio

Pros: I purchased this KVM with a new custom computer system so I could still connect with my older computers and my new Samsung SyncMaaster T240HD HDTV. The replacement (see below) is working just fine with resolutions all the way up to 1920 x 1200 and sharing USB devices, mouse, and keyboard without any real issues.

Cons: The first unit that I purchased would function fine with resolutions up to 1600 x 1400, but anything above that would have horrible resolution noise with dancing red lines, jittery pixels, and often not show at all. I contacted IOGear about the issue and they were no help at all. The fact that my initial purchase was not only defective but handled so poorly by IOGear makes me take down one egg. The other egg is lost as this device does not work with any VGA cables or adapters whatsoever. Newegg helped me to RMA the device and my replacement worked just fine. Thanks again Newegg!

Overall Review: As others have stated, this KVM does NOT work with VGA cables at all. you have to have a DVI cable to your monitor for the video to display properly.

Best air cooler I have used

Cooler Master Hyper N520 - CPU Cooler with Copper Base and 5 Heatpipes
Cooler Master Hyper N520 - CPU Cooler with Copper Base and 5 Heatpipes

Pros: I've used this fan on more than thirty custom computer builds so far, both AMD and Intel platforms. This fan has never let me down. It runs very quiet, especially considering it has two 92mm fans. It also cools the processors incredibly well, even better than a Cooler Master V8 that I had at one point. The two best things about this cooler is 1) the mounting mechanism doesn't rely on some unreliable plastic push pins or flimsy latches but nice solid metal retentions with bolts, and 2) this fan operates near silent at all times. Even when your computer is under heavy load it still cools just fine while just barely humming at all.

Cons: Price: I've ordered dozens of these before from newegg for $29.99 each, and suddenly it's up to $45.99? That just doesn't seem legit, and I won't be ordering these from Newegg anymore because of this. Shame, too, because I use them on all my company's custom computer systems.

Overall Review: Ran a burn in test with an AMD Phenom II X4 955 with this fan using Arctic Silver 5. After three hours of running Prime95 the CPU temperatures of all three identical systems was right around 40 degrees Celsius, which is astounding for a 125W CPU at full load with a $30 heatsink.

Works, if it arrives in one piece

CyberPower Rackmount CPS1500AVR 1500VA 950W 6 x 5-15R Battery/Surge Protected Outlets UPS
CyberPower Rackmount CPS1500AVR 1500VA 950W 6 x 5-15R Battery/Surge Protected Outlets UPS

Pros: For a rackmount UPS this is a pretty decent price for a simple rack server. I've used several Cyberpower UPS units before and haven't really had any issues with them.

Cons: Terrible packaging. Of four units I have ordered three of them have arrived literally in pieces. Now, this isn't completely a fault of the manufacturer and is also to blame on the carrier, but the packaging that this unit comes in is (I hate to say it) worthless. This did arrive in a double-box where the retail box was partially wrapped in a brown shipping box. But that brown box was shredded and the UPS literally fell apart in pieces when I pulled it out of the box.

Overall Review: The poor packaging seems to be a common issue with this unit as I see other reviews about it and have heard from other purchasers having the same problem. Also given that you can purchase a block-style UPS that is just as powerful for about half the cost, I can't really recommend purchasing this unit.

Magical Monitor

SAMSUNG ToC T240HD Rose-Black 24" 5ms HDMI Widescreen HDTV Monitor  300 cd/m2 DC 10000:1 Built in DTV Tuner & Dolby Digital Surround Speakers
SAMSUNG ToC T240HD Rose-Black 24" 5ms HDMI Widescreen HDTV Monitor 300 cd/m2 DC 10000:1 Built in DTV Tuner & Dolby Digital Surround Speakers

Pros: This was my first large screen HDTV and is being used as my desktop monitor for a new computer system. It has about all the connectivity I could wish for really, allowing me to easily tote this into the other room or somewhere else for use with another computer or just as a TV. The touch of color is a very subtle but beautiful feature I feel, with the touch sensitive power button just being a nice geeky addition. Picture looks absolutely vibrant and flawless, and there are no dark areas in the display anywhere.

Cons: The first unit that I received had most likely shipping and handling damage as it refused to show a picture without the bottom half and sides of the screen going black and flickering constantly. Newegg took care of the RMA and my replacement monitor worked without a problem. I actually thought I had two dead pixels in it at first but incredibly was able to rub them out after some diagnostics. It's been working like a dream.

Overall Review: I honestly was worried that I might have made a bad purchase when my first monitor came with such a horrible defection. But after receiving the replacement and getting things up and going, it is truly a wonderful choice. As a side note, I was pleased to see that when I installed Windows 7 it automatically had drivers for this SyncMaster monitor!

Best case I've worked with

SilverStone Fortress Series FT01-BW Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Uni-body Computer Case
SilverStone Fortress Series FT01-BW Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Uni-body Computer Case

Pros: This case has met all my expectations and then some. I love that the interior has also been painted black to match the overall theme of my custom computer system. Everything fits quite well and snug and was easy to install together. I am also amazed at how quiet the entire system is with the case fans completely inaudible.

Cons: There are only two things I had difficulty with for this case. 1) The cabling pass-through near the SATA ports for my motherboard are almost too narrow to allow two SATA cables atop one another. 2) I have yet to get the top panel USB ports to work properly no matter what USB connector I have the cables plugged into on my motherboard.

Overall Review: This is an incredibly sturdy case with an amazing look and finish with obvious attention to detail and quality. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a nice computer case for their custom build.