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Marc S.

Marc S.

Joined on 03/22/06

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 6
Most Favorable Review

Almost perfect... almost

StarTech.com HSB100SATBK 5.25in Trayless Hot Swap Mobile Rack for 3.5in Hard Drive - Internal SATA Backplane Enclosure
StarTech.com HSB100SATBK 5.25in Trayless Hot Swap Mobile Rack for 3.5in Hard Drive - Internal SATA Backplane Enclosure

Pros: - Open, fanless design means I won't overheat a HD when the fan inevitably dies without my knowledge. I use a Western Digital Caviar Green HD to ensure cooler running and don't have anything except extra airspace in the bay above this rack. - Solid once installed into case (I also added additional screws just to be sure, even though they aren't actually necessary). - I was pleased to discover that although I CAN lock the door, I don't HAVE TO and the door will still shut securely.

Cons: I had to take an egg away because of the SATA connection on the rack. There's nothing more reassuring than the familiar CLICK you hear when your SATA data cable is securely fastened into it's port. In the case of this drive there is nothing for the cable's bracket to click onto, thus the connection could come loose over time. I might be a bit harsh in my judgment considering I know I connected the cable properly and now that I can change drives without opening the case it's less likely I'll be bumping the cable loose, but Startech should know it's time to update that latch- it's the only device in my entire case that doesn't allow bracketed SATA cables to lock in.

Overall Review: The brandname sticker on the front door came off very cleanly, which is great because I like to keep the front of my case nondescript. The "Serial ATA" multicolor paint, on the other hand, looks like it's there to stay forever. No biggie. There was a review that incorrectly claimed if you leave the bay empty you have to disable the SATA port in the MB's BIOS. I tested this myself with my Win7 system and found NO ERRORS if you leave the bay empty. If you prefer the HD activity light that's built into your case you can leave the case's wires connected to the appropriate pins on the MB. It's nice that you can opt to have the LED on this tray do it, but I left those cables alone because I prefer if my HD activity LED is the one next to the power LED, with all the wires running together and no extra ones going all over the place inside my case without any good reason.

Most Critical Review

Great drive, but the support??

LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model iHAS424-98 LightScribe Support
LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model iHAS424-98 LightScribe Support

Pros: I love this drive. It's fast, quiet, looks great, and has worked well. It deserves 5 stars, see Cons for why it lost 2 stars.

Cons: Drive was manufactured in Oct 2009, months after Win7 had been released to manufacturing, months after release to retail, yet the box includes Nero Essentials 8, which is not Windows 7 compatible (http://www.nero.com/enu/downloads-nero8-update.php). For most manufacturers this would not be a big problem, you could contact support and without any question they would give you the current software version. LiteOn, on the other hand, isn't most manufacturers. I tried their online chat tech support and explained the problem, even sent the link where Nero flat-out says it's not compatible. They explained they tested it and found it compatible and that's the end of it. I called on the phone and was told if the problem had occurred in the first 30 days they could easily send the proper software, but 60 days is too far out. Eventually, after an hour of argument they agreed to send the disk and assuming it arrives the issue will be handled, but it shouldn't have been like pulling teeth.

Overall Review: If you buy this drive, check to see if the version of Nero included is 9 immediately. If you ended up with Nero 8 call Nero right away (510-824-0066) and request the current disk. Even if you aren't planning to use Win7 soon, eventually you will be using it and should have the proper software. There's no reason you should end up with software that doesn't work with the version of Windows that has been out for nearly a year. Despite my issue I still recommend this drive and I am happy to have purchased it. It's a good burner, and I will be happy to play with LightScribe when I get around to it. For all I know, maybe LiteOn now includes Nero9 in the box, in which case you won't have any hassles.

Perfect for the job

OKGEAR 6" SATA 6 Gbps Cable, Straight to Straight W/ Metal Latch, UV Blue, Backward Compatible with 3 Gbps and 1.5 Gbps
OKGEAR 6" SATA 6 Gbps Cable, Straight to Straight W/ Metal Latch, UV Blue, Backward Compatible with 3 Gbps and 1.5 Gbps

Pros: Perfect length, perfect look with my UV lights in the case.

Cons: Shipping cost and method is normally absurd. Not a problem in my case because I ordered enough other stuff to make it work the cost.

Overall Review: Keep it on your wishlist until you're ordering a bunch of stuff. If you buy it consider getting a UV light to really bring it to life. A neat trick can also be to pick a different colors to distinguish between system and storage HD's.

OKGEAR 6" SATA 6 Gbps Cable, Straight to Straight W/Metal Latch, UV Green, Backward Compatible with 3 Gbps and 1.5 Gbps
OKGEAR 6" SATA 6 Gbps Cable, Straight to Straight W/Metal Latch, UV Green, Backward Compatible with 3 Gbps and 1.5 Gbps

Pros: Perfect length, perfect look with my UV lights in the case.

Cons: Shipping cost and method is normally absurd. Not a problem in my case because I ordered enough other stuff to make it work the cost.

Overall Review: Keep it on your wishlist until you're ordering a bunch of stuff. If you buy it consider getting a UV light to really bring it to life. A neat trick can also be to pick a different colors to distinguish between system and storage HD's.

LOOKS AWESOME!

HIS Radeon HD 4670 1GB DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 CrossFireX Support Video Card H467QS1GH
HIS Radeon HD 4670 1GB DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 CrossFireX Support Video Card H467QS1GH

Pros: Unexpected awesome factor for this card: The plastic cooling assembly is incredibly blacklight reactive and makes the inside of my PC w/ UV lights look AMAZING!

Cons: Cooling assembly comes a bit close to my SATA ports on the MB, but since the ports aren't really blocked it's a minor inconvenience.

Overall Review: I haven't had enough time to fully put this card through a thorough battery of performance testing, but there were enough positive reviews about the performance I'll likely just be satisfied once I've successfully tested each port. Win7 gave it a 6.7, which is good enough for me.

Worked on first attempt

GIGABYTE GA-EP45T-UD3LR LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard
GIGABYTE GA-EP45T-UD3LR LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: Worked on first try! After a BIOS update the full speed of my processor was properly recognized. Been using for only a week, but so far I'm in love with it. I also can't wait to try out the Xpress Recovery2 software once my test-install is complete and I install for real. I also plan to change to a customized BIOS screen when I figure out how I want it to look- there's included software that allows the user to do this.

Cons: The biggest problem is Newegg lists the max RAM at 16GB, but Gigabyte's specs say it's only 8GB. I don't mind a limit of 8, but Newegg should correct the issue (or if BIOS updates make Newegg correct Gigabyte should fix their site). With the video card I chose the SATA port area of the motherboard is a little... crowded, but I still have complete access to all ports. Needed to update the BIOS to make my CPU show the full 3.0 GHz rather than just 2.7 GHz.

Overall Review: To avoid problems I used 4GB of recommended RAM: Kingston KVR1333D3N9/2G and recommended CPU Intel Core 2 Duo E8400. I don't know much about video cards, but I went with HIS H467QS1GH Radeon HD 4670 and have been satisfied. Win7 rated this setup at 6.4 CPU, 6.9 RAM, and 6.7 Graphics.