Date Joined: 04/02/02
Pros: Passive SATA / straight-thru.
12V brick is 4A rated and a switching supply.
BM1410A switching supplies feed each drive's 5V power rail.
Dock is minimally but sufficiently padded.
Cons: eSATA (PC) to SATA (dock) cables are too long at 150cm.
So 3Gbps max is marketing as sold.
Brick only has 2 of 4 friction "stickies".
Overall Review: PCB's minimally sphagetti'd traces are about 6-7cm, my internal SATA to eSATA bracket is 36cm, so total "cable length" is about 192cm or almost double the 1m SATA spec. There weren't enough errors (surprisingly few) to justify looking closer at the signals' quality.
I didn't look closely at the power design, but was surprised not to see linear regulators even though the BM1410As are from a Shanghai IC company. I guess switching designs have become common enough and cheap enough for such simple products.
So nice product, but not totally thought out. A new pair of shorter eSATA to SATA cables will be required for long-term use at 3Gbs. Running SATA (mainboard) to SATA (dock) would be a bit too fragile.
Pros: * Relatively low power at stock, like other 5570s with (G)DDR3.
* Lower power after fixing GPU-BIOS to deal with power control design.
* This unit has a high overclock at the so-called "stock" voltage but has the same overhead (max MHz) as other 5570s when forced to the same voltage.
Cons: * Power controller & MOSFETs are unknown Chinese brand.
* Middle two of four voltage states produce the same V_GPU.
* Highest voltage state (at boot and at 650 MHz) is highly over-volted even at idle (1.114V vs 1.05V).
* RAM boots at 900 MHz despite RAM being 800 MHz.
Overall Review: Non-technical users should not need to ask worry about RAM and power quality. Sapphire sent 5570 review cards with 900MHz GDDR3 like everyone else, but none of the four 5570s they sell actually use GDDR3. Since the box says nothing at all, the product line seems like it's subject to deceptive marketing.
The other Sapphire 5570 (HDMI) I bought was also questionable, but instead it had poor manufacturing QC & damage which should have been caught at final QC.
Pros: * Fan hard to notice below low 70%s, and is the quietest 57x0/56x0/55x0 card outside of the passive Go Green 5770 (assuming fans curves on all 5770 actually work).
* Frequencies, voltage, and fan duty cycle tunable using MSI branded Afterburner (V_ GPU: 1.000 to 1.350V, f_GPU: 660 to 1315 MHz, f_VRAM: 900 to 1560 MHz).
* Component selection appears good, so the card should last longer than an enthusiast would need.
* VRM efficient so relatively little waste heat compared to other 5770s, etc, so good VRM thermals.
Cons: * GPU voltage limited to 0.950V via video BIOS, but as of 04/08 can not be lowered further--new BIOS?.
* Stock performance settings of email@example.comV are conservative due to AMD restrictions--better power efficiency only with MSI AfterBurner or video BIOS editting.
Overall Review: I'm not sure if this card includes the changes to better support downrev PCIe below PCIe 2.0. Early HD5000 cards apparently had issues (ever booting) with PCIe 1.0a slots, or 1.1 slots that were incorrectly designed or programmed. HTPC usage: stock UVD mode is firstname.lastname@example.orgV which was ~20W_DC more than a stock 785G playing 1x 720p H264, shader complex 2. Mine is OCCT 3.1.0 stable at email@example.comV, firstname.lastname@example.orgV, and email@example.comV. There's not much overclocking overhead--985/990MHz--since the stock cooler barely handles 1.300V under 25C ambient.
Pros: * Friendly technical support.
* Fan is quiet upto exactly 40% with card two feet away from my ears.
* Absolute idle power (0% vs. 2D Windows usage) and load power (gaming, furmark, etc) is equivalent to working cards.
Cons: * Power controller's voltage output is stuck, and does not AMD "Power Play" with load.
* For UVD video playback, my quick measurements showed increase of about 10-15 WDC vs. a card with load-varying voltage (or about 12 to 19 WAC with 80% power supply efficiency).
Overall Review: I expect video boards to not only have low power idle, but low power when playing videos. When doing nothing and at load, this card is OK. But UVD load or video playback is in the middle. UVD frequency is in the middle of the 5770s operating range at 400 MHz, the typical 1080p % load is low to middling (10-30%), and the GPU voltage should start at 0.95V. But this card design is stuck at about 1.17-1.18V. So power consumption was noticably worse than the other 5770 I compared with.
Unfortunately I only remember only one review site, the german HT4U, which ever measures GPU voltage as part of their reviews. This card's vendor ID is 0x1787: "HIS, Club3D, Jetway, Powercolor, Triplex and others". So look up reviews of the 5770 cards with this same design. I wasn't interested in 5750s, but the the 5750 review seems to show different designs. So the 5750s with this cooler may not exhibit the same symptoms.
A 03/10 BIOS didn't fix things, but hopefully a later BIOS will.
Pros: * Very efficient at low output power for a switching power supply.
* Quiet and efficient up to ~190WAC tested.
* Support was nice enough to send a Magic Bracket.
Cons: * OEM version doesn't Support was nice enough to send a Magic Bracket.
* Main power cable is short.
* No 6pin PCIe power for video cards.
Overall Review: Efficiency was consistent with silentpcreview down to about 70WDC where my results were a bit lower.
70WDC 83% ~= 84WAC
55WDC 81% ~= 68WAC
45WDC 79% ~= 57WAC
38WDC 77% ~= 49WAC
31WDC 75% ~= 41WAC
Used with tuned Phenom II C2 X4 2.9GHz, and untuned HD 5770 it's 180-190 WAC playing DAO. It should handle a tuned HD 5850 instead of the 5770, but a 5830 or 5870 would probably be pushing things depending on what you get and how much underclocking is performed.
Pros: * Adequate for upto the ~130W TDP tested.
* Quiet PWM fan.
* Low height for short low profile HTPC cases.
Cons: * Covers one of the typical mainboard fastener holes, so should be installed after the mainboard unless you have specialty tools.
* Very little space for installing after the mainboard in the case.
* So low RAM with tall heastsinks won't fit.
Overall Review: Good balance of low noise and cooling efficiency like the other Scythe HSFs I own.
I'm not sure which is harder, installing it on an AM2(+)/AM3 (center flip levers) or LGA775 (corner push twist pins) mainboard. It's definitely not meant for easily changing hardware like CPU or RAM, so get the system and settings right before putting it in the HTPC case.
Pros: * Radeon HD 4200 IGP defaulted to 200Mhz 2D, 500MHz max. Manual max at stock-voltage was around 740MHz.
* Has physical clear-CMOS-jumper instead of finky Dual BIOS, etc features.
* BIOS provides small VCORE and FREQ steps.
* supports AMD OverDrive for CPU info and tuning, but MSI Afterburner better on IGP info.
* SB710 supports ACC, allowing unlocking disabled Phenom II cores.
* ISL6323A VCORE PWM controller provides 0.0125V steps.
* RightMark Audio Analyzer 16b 44.1k on ALC888S was Excellent, Good, Good, Very Good, Very Good, Very Good, Very Good, but falls apart above 44.1kHz. Use 24b 44.1k for optimum quality.
* 6x SATA face out instead up into expansion PCIe/PCI cards. No need for left-angle SATAs which seem mislabeled by some brands...
* COM1 header supports 115.2kbps.
* Works in Win7 64bit.
* In a system, it can be usable but still low power at the wall [lowest was 41W idle with tuned Phenom II (C2) X4 (Black) @ 1.6GHz, no DVD drive, two quiet 120mm fans (75% eff, SS
Cons: * Supports 125W_DC TDP via CPU list, but limited to around 90W_DC by poor thermals on VCORE power circuitry.
* USB header pin 10 is typically no-connect, but is tied to USB overcurrent (detect). USB OC is typically active-low, and pins 5 and 10 of USB front panel connectors are typically shield/ground/low...
* DDR2 is being phased out of production so prices will increase throughout 2010.
* No S/PDIF digital audio external connector or mainboard header.
* But overall analog audio quality is below average.
* Only 1x 3-pin fan header besides 4-pin PWM CPU fan header.
* No Sideport memory, so below average for most ~2008-2009 games at 1280x1024 and max quality even with northbridge IGP overclocked (IGP is HT limited).
* BIOS updates via Windows...I suppose, keep a clean base image just for updating the BIOS...
* Changing BIOS settings like voltages, etc "feels" odd compared to other BIOSes.
Overall Review: DX10.1 4200 is like HD 3450 with better video decode&accel but worse RAM B/W. DXVA works in MPC (X4 1.6GHz): <5%CPU on 1080p H.264/AVC. IGP@500MHz&65% w/DXVA, or 100% &jerky w/sharpening. Idle+13.5W w/ DXVA, +15.5W w/o DXVA. Sharpening: +17.5 & +22.5W. 1080p may work with sharpening, but 720p is comfortable. An O/Cd IGP loses low-power benefits.
With prime95 for weeks, the VCORE power circuitry was very hot even as low as 90W_DC TDP, but much worse upto around 130W_DC TDP. At either load, the mainboard was helped by Enzotech 10pcs BMR-C1 (11 including HD-Audio CODEC), 5pcs MOS-C10 heatsinks on the power circuitry, and fan directly above the heatsinks (at 130W_DC they were about 133*F, 56*C under prime95). More than a 90W_DC TDP CPU, even with heatsinks and fan would be bad long-term.
I don't remember seeing a Fintek F71882FG SuperIO before, but it seems to work. SpeedFan can talk to it too.
Pros: * FireWire400 port on front panel.
* So many places to mount fans, you wonder if it floats.
* Has plugs for water cooling tubing.
Cons: * SECC panels don't fit perfectly, but it's better than past high-end Cooler Masters (bought this model 2008/11).
* Single-provided HDD cage is a pain to remove--must remove long expansion (video) cards, and some cabling.
* HDD cage must be fastened to reduce vibration--tool less clips are annoying and don't work.
* Required HDD rubber isolators flimsy and don't seem to work well either.
* No reset button.
* Wide feet are hard ABS plastic, so no help with vibration. Also slides a bit on hardwood floors without another tower PC on top.
* PSU is bottom mounted, but feet are too short for adequate air intake from bottom. So PSU should mount to intake from inside of case.
* Airflow and layout not directed or optimized--it's designed just for throwing in more fans not efficient airflow.
* LEDs too bright for bedrooms--unplug or desolder.
* No eSATA port on front panel.
Overall Review: I bought this model 2008/11 for around 50$ (sale, free shipping) and it's much better fitting than the 300$ full tower Cooler Master I bought 2006/10...but which had to be dremeled and love tapped with punches.
All drive bays open to the front with filters, so they can get clogged.
Pros: * Lower power and heat if motherboard supports non-standard voltages below 1.800V.
* Lifetime warranty from manufacturer in Taiwan.
Cons: * Received 2009/11/20 but they started causing reboots and restarts in about one month.
* Verified bad on 12/25, which was out of the one month seller warranty.
* RMA is to Taiwan. There was only one shipping carrier charging less than 60$ to ship to Taiwan at the end of 2009. 2x2GB RAM was about 90-100$ then.
* Received the same SN units on 2010/01/28.
Overall Review: I have no failure analysis for the GeIL units I received... I normally test hardware for a month or two before using it, but memory is generally good if it passes memtest86+ for a week. Since none of my DDR2 mainboards from four different vendors allow setting the RAM voltage to 1.6V, I'd probably have to pick one and heat up a rework station. That is, if they now work for a month or two. At least I have lifetime warranty returns to Taiwan.
Pros: Has all 15 pins and conductors.
Pros: * Quiet if BIOS supports PWM, BIOS is set correctly, or SpeedFan is set correctly.
* Good for a lower TDP CPU not pushed frequently towards 100% usage.
* Audible "warning" from "vacuum-cleaning" fan if CPU is too hot.
Cons: * My RPMs were higher than spec, min RPM: +20to50% (than spec 600+/-10%), max RPM: +10to33% (than spec 3000+/-10%).
* Fan noise ratings are typically for 1m away, but this one is either for further distances (because the manufacturer spec is so low), or the manufacturer tolerances for fan speed are too low.
* Too loud for everyday use if mainboard PWM doesn't work.
* Fragile plastic fasteners like stock Intel and many other HSFs may require flat-head screw-driver to tighten correctly.
Overall Review: The fan defaults to max RPM and max noise if the BIOS doesn't support PWM or isn't set correctly. To test a mainboard for PWM support, change the BIOS settings and then confirm the fan RPM can be changed using SpeedFan.
On two mainboards (different vendors & chipsets) my RCX-Z80-AL could slow to about 800 RPM. I'd guess it was about 20-25 dBA if my Scythe fans are accurate. At a max speed of about 3600 RPM, this RCX-Z90 is quieter than my vacuum cleaner. It's probably less than 60 dBA. I can still hear it from 10m away with line-of-sight, or 3m and behind a door.
Pros: Uses high efficiency Antec-branded Seasonic 380W P/S.
Usable and efficient internal layout.
Remove one screw to remove the top of the case.
Wide case "legs" and other anti-vibration details.
Cons: 3-speed fans are relatively noisy or inefficient (noise/CFM).
Unit received is either a customer return or (front) scratched from factory--I don't pay attention enough to see it beyond 1m.
Overall Review: I'll probably buy another in another few weeks or the shorter Antec NSK1480 (low profile cards only).
Pros: low power idle
low initial purchase cost
cost effective and low power systems buildable with these and other "e" models
Cons: relatively poor top-end performance
Overall Review: Performance is good enough for everyday use, and leaving on 24x7 for cheap general-purpose appliances or HTPCs, etc. Underclock for more power savings but still adequate performance.
Pros: more fun than expected for a bargain bin game
Cons: relatively short if small arms shooters are your forte
environmentally and memory challenged AI
Pros: quiet when running /streaming
low PIE PIF on burns to TY media
Cons: no PIE PIF scanning
still noisy during spin up
Overall Review: A good compromise drive for primary reading and writing of DVDs.
Pros: low initial cost for expect minimal use and 1yr expected life
consistent PIE and PIF scans
modern Lite-on ODDs tend to wear out the eject mechanism in about a year
Pros: stable and predictable performance on a GbE LAN
WOL does not require cable
Cons: PCI performance not as good as PCIe
Overall Review: A cheap add-on on to use up a typically empty motherboard PCI slot when reliable LAN is required. Realtek PHYs used on almost all MBs works but does not provide sufficient performance and reliability when transferring large amounts of data or transferring constantly.
Pros: supposedly 2 platter
performance on par with current gen mainstream drives
not too noisy
Cons: 1) This WD "Blue" model is relatively noisy for a bedroom, WD "Green" should be a better choice.
2) WD appears to have cut costs on the top cover sometime in the last few drive generations. These drives' covers are very sharp and I somehow cut myself on two WD6400AAKSs. They are also have as thick as the older WD I'm looking at: 0.61mm vs 1.22mm.
Overall Review: Currently and likely into 2009 Q1, 1TB drives will likely be the most cost effective sizes. However, such large drives increase the risk of single drive losses. Since this 640GB model has a reasonable chance of being 2 platter, a small RAID1, or RAID5 3-5 drive array is reasonable. Errors become more likely with slightly larger arrays and drive sizes.
Pros: Dualslot HSF vents externally for better case & processor cooling.
Stock 720/1820 easily overclocked to 775/2200 stable.
ATI 3870 is 775/2250 stock & typ sold 800-850/2250-2300.
So this card is almost a stock 3870.
Has 512MiB like 3870, so more futureproof than 256MiB 3850.
ATI PowerPlay set idles to 300/1660 regardless of max o/c speed-->cooler & less power used.
Idle power is 0-10W more than when using 630i-7150 IGP.
HIS's fan control keeps temps ~40C idle / ~65C gaming so tweaking fan control not needed.
HIS's PowerPlay works unlike the only other (ext. venting) dualslot (and also 3870) card--which some reported as dysfunctional in temp.
Cons: 1 yr warranty vs. 3 yrs or Lifetime+ from competitors
Same price as the other dualslot card which has lifetime warranty
Newegg now (~2/15) has as sale on an underclocked 8800 GT--non-sale price isn't bad either.
No component video.
No PCIe adapter cable.
Overall Review: HDMI audio is annoying to setup in XP.
Since this card is overkill for my current DX9 games & apps I'll need Guru3D's S/W to underclock. (Catalyst drivers don't allow enough tweaking).