Date Joined: 09/24/03
Pros: HUGE amounts of storage in just 4U of JBOD goodness. As-of the date of this review, using the latest 8TB disks, you can cram 360TB -- literally over one-third of a PETABYTE -- into just 4U of rack space. While Supermicro and others make 90-drive JBODs in 4U as well (720TB in 4U!), they're much, much more expensive (>$10k for the chassis). This unit seems to be the sweet-spot on a cost-per-slot basis. 45 bays for $2k, or just over $40 per slot. That's all great, but how well does it work? In a word, it works "well." There are certainly some niggles, negatives and drawbacks (see the "Cons" section) but keep in mind the low cost and solid performance and most of those are easily overlooked. PLEASE read the CONS section, as there is valuable information so you know what you're getting.
Mated with a quality RAID or SAS HBA, performance of the JBOD is roughly in-line with that of any other SAS chassis. Your drives and HBA will be the limiting factors, as the JBOD is about as simple a device as it gets. If you're running a dedicated enterprise software SAN/NAS, like DSS7, OpenFiler, Windows Storage Server, etc you can overcome some limitations that RAID HBA's have. The unit is reasonably well constructed, but think "Kia" instead of an EMC "Mercedes." There is no digital readout, so everything is done in either HBA software or drive / chassis LEDs. The unit comes complete with sliding rails and power cables, along with all necessary trays and screws for mounting 45 drives. All you need to provide is a server / PC, a SAS HBA, and SAS cabling (you'll need TWO SFF-8088 SAS cables) and drives, of course. This is a 6Gb/s unit, but feel free to use any 12Gb/s controller if you wish. Keep in mind, almost everything in SAS today is still 6Gb/s until you get to 6-8TB drives. We do NOT use SATA drives, but SAS-only, so I can't comment on using this chassis with SATA (with is not recommended by Supermicro, but I presume enterprise-class SATA or NAS-rated SATA would likely work. AVOID consumer-grade SATA, as they don't RAID well at all in larger arrays. Drive manufacturers intentionally cripple their entry-level consumer drives in firmware to NOT work well in RAID arrays over four (4) drives. NO 2.5>3.5 inch adapters are included, so if you plan on using SSD or 2.5" drives you'll need to procure adapters separately. Performance is solid, setup is not difficult, though you need to be aware of one potentially serious issue addressed in the CONS section with regard to out-of-box setup. This E26 unit comes with redundant SAS pathways and dual, hot-swappable power supplies and is ready for even demanding enterprise deployments. For the price, nothing comes close.
Cons: Built with cheap-feeling components. Drive trays look and feel very fragile, cheap even. Internal cooling fans are HARD WIRED! No quick-swapping of any internal components / cables / backplanes (PSUs are external hot-swap and tool-less). For some mysterious reason, the internal SAS cables are NOT connected at the factory. We initially believed we had a defective unit, only to discover that we had to open it up and figure out the internal cabling layout ourselves. It wasn't that difficult, but it would've been nice to include a single letter-sized sheet of paper on top that lets their customers know. A cabling diagram would be even better! Fortunately, we're an IT-centric company, but I presume many potential consumers are not and this could be a deal-breaker for them. With the E26 unit, you can have EITHER redundant pathways OR the ability to daisy-chain additional enclosures -- you can't have both. NO extra drive trays are included, so if you want to keep cold spares at-the-ready -- which is an obvious provision, given the number of drives in a single chassis -- you'll need to purchase a few more trays. The proper tray for this particular unit are Model # MCP-220-00075-0B and are available here on the Egg. The unit is, obviously, extremely heavy. It is shipped via FREIGHT only, on a pallet. The entire pallet -- with NO drives installed -- weighs 180 pounds. The boxed unit weighs 130 pounds, and it is very well packaged. Supermicro strongly recommends that you do NOT ship the unit populated with drives, so if you're an integrator / reseller, your customer will have to pop the drives in on-site. The SFF-8088 connectors feel a little loose on the back, so use caution when making connections and be sure there is no stress on the cabling into the 847 chassis. The unit is fairly loud, so using it next to a workstation will be too noisy for most, but it's not a hair dryer and can be tolerated. As with most chassis, when first turned on it sounds like the flight deck on an aircraft carrier. There will be NO stealth boot-ups with this unit. To guarantee uptime, I'd strongly recommend having spare drives on hand and pre-trayed and also have a spare hot-swap power supply. I believe the PSU is Model #: PWS-1K41P-1R, also available here on the Egg. It might not be a bad idea to have a spare fan handy as well, or take some initiative and buy some Noctua fans of the same size to reduce noise and increase reliability (just came to mind) -- remembering that the fans are all hard-wired and mounted with screws into the internal chassis, so you'll have to be off-line and unplugged to change those out. Sadly, since there really is no alternative, air is sucked in over one set of drives, warmed up by those drives, then that warm air is blown out over the other set of drives. I'd recommend NOT using this is a very warm or dusty / dirty room. Maybe hang a piece of gauze or cheesecloth over the intake side to reduce internal dust buildup.
Overall Review: All-in-all, this is a strong effort and offering for most deployments. Three of these filled with 8TB disks will push you over the 1PB storage barrier in just 12U of rack space at a chassis price that simply can't be believed. I can highly recommend them with a few caveats, spelled out in the CONS section. Just have ample spare disks, PSU(s), and fan(s) so you can perform your own warranty service and keep your array humming along without skipping a beat.
Pros: Boards are 20% cheaper than their Areca counterparts, but... (read CONS).
Cons: HighPoint is, without exaggeration, the LEAST responsive company we have every had the "pleasure" (in the most masocistic sense conceivable) of dealing with. Highpoint's "customer service" is a cruel joke and a never-ending source of frustration. While end-user/consumers may not have much to lose buying their cheap home RAID products, any business or enterprise should AVOID HighPoint like the plague. Their enterprise-class (applied loosely) products are buggy, failure-prone, and once you hit some bumps in the road HighPoint support is literally nonexistent. This company is a true exercise in frustration that would push even the Dalai Lama to the point of homicidal rage.
Overall Review: If you value your data, and reliable access to it, stay as far away from any products with the HighPoint name on it.
Pros: 16 physical cores (2-Socket WS Mobo) and 128GB of RAM take your productivity to entirely new levels. If your workstation is a *tool* and not a toy, these 8-core E5 CPUs decimate even the vaunted 3960X 6-core units by an order of magnitude in C4D and AE/Premiere. If you're a video and/or 3D motion graphics pro, just get two of these via any means possible -- sell blood, superfluous appendages, excess children, or whatever you need to do to get these. You'll make enough back in productivity gains to buy them back later.
Cons: 150 watts is a LOT of energy for thermal regulation, exacerbated when you have TWO of these monsters. Your entire build needs to revolve around sufficient cooling, as 300 watts of heat will turn the inside of your case into an "Easy Bake" oven without sufficient airflow. This is the first CPU that I felt really demanded the use of liquid cooling, which I have avoided until now. Obviously, a 1000+ watt PSU is also necessary now when you begin to cram GPU's, RAM, and 15K SAS drives (along with SSD). Oh yeah, at $1800/each they should ship with a free supply of Vaseline -- if you know what I mean.
Overall Review: Newegg is my overwhelmingly preferred vendor of choice, but when I got these they just happened to be out of stock that day. Figures.
We put together a $9,000 build including the Mobo, CPUs, 128GB RAM, 600GB 15K SAS drives (6x RAID 10), Vertex 3 SSDs, a used Quadro 6000 from some auction site, Corsair 1200W, plus monster case and Noctua fans.
RESULT: A Cinebench R11.5 Score of **31.02** -- a new record for a dual socket machine. Suck on that!
Pros: I've been out of the "Maximum Perfomance at any Cost!" game for a number of years now, so overclocking and squeezing every last microgram of speed (at the obvious cost of stability) is no longer on my radar. I just wanted a good deal on 16GB of matched DDR3 with solid out-of-the-box performance, and this kit delivered -- PERFECTLY! It arrived (with the remaining components in my new P67 i7-2600K build). I popped it in, booted the machine, and it posted the first time out of the gate without a single objection! For ~$600 I now have four cores of 4.2GHz P67 SB goodness with 16GB of DDR3-1600. Tack on a Vertex 3 boot drive, SliverStone case, Corsair HX750, Noctua fans, and SILENT HTPC GPU and you have a machine, for roughly $1k, that runs cool, quiet, and actually performs tasks before your brain can think them up -- and NEVER CRASHES! I leave games to children, but Photoshop CS5, Premiere Pro, and Cinema 4D R12 runs like a scalded feline on this box. Sick.
Cons: Looks pretty. Runs stable. Cheaper than dirt. Cons? Nope!
Overall Review: I can't speak to gamers and overclockers, but if your machine is a productivity TOOL that you need to perform well and not skip a beat, then this matched set of 4x4 DDR3-1600 is simply excellent. Never an issue, worked out of the box on my Gigabyte P67 (B3) mobo and i7-2600K combination and is rock STABLE!
Pros: Cheap, for a B3 P67 board with sufficient features and decent over-clock granularity. It's not packed full of anything, so you do get what you pay for. I'm running an i7-2600K with a modest (all-stock V's) 4.2 GHz O/C and 16GB of 1600 GS RipJaws (matched set, also from NE). I just punched in the relevant numbers in the BIOS and everything worked without a hitch. No issues, rock stable. I don't play games (not even Solitaire), so my priorities are, in order, (1) STABILITY, (2) NOISE (or lack thereof), (3) HEAT, and lastly (4) ABSOLUTE PERFORMANCE. I'll gladly sacrifice some of #4 to get more of numbers 1-3.
I used my "old" ThermalRight Ultimate 120 Extreme (TRUE) cooler from my O/C 775 Q6600 (stable 3.6 on QUIET air) by ordering the $10 1155/6 mounting kit, so no additional costs there. Using AS 5 and careful mounting technique, my 4.2GHz 2600K's hottest core stays at ~33*C. The others 1-2 lower under stress -- all on STOCK voltages and bus speeds. Can't believe Intel released the "
Cons: Small board. Would like to see at least one PCIe 8x slot for SAS RAID or other controller. RAM slots are CLOSE to CPU socket, forcing me to mount the TRUE fan in the back (SUCK) position versus my preferred (BLOW) position. 8-pin MB power connector is ALL THE WAY AT THE BOTTOM of the motherboard, requiring either an extension cable, or a PSU with 24" (+) MB power cables. Reported VDROOP, but has not been an issue for me at a modest 4.2 O/C.
Overall Review: When I bought this board all of the re-released P67 boards were just out and were in high-demand / short-supply. This was really the only board NE had in stock at the moment. In hindsight, while this board does exactly what it should without a single serious issue, it's squarely an entry-level "enthusiast" board with real limitations. I would have easily spent the extra $100 on an Asus or higher-end GB board -- if one were available. Now that my system is built, my lazy side will live with it, as there are no real problems and I don't require more than what this board offers. The 2600K is a modern marvel, and just has to be the $$$/MHz King at this time. I'm only running a single ATI 5670 1GB, so no issues there (as I said, no games, quiet, HD/BR playback excellence, quasi-HTPC), along with 2x Samsung 128GB SSD in RAID-0 plus a 2TB WB Black RAID-1 for data. PSU is a Corsair HX750 (quiet), which is about twice what I need for this rig, plus an LG BD writer. Overall: Quiet, Cool, Fast.
Pros: Excellent RANGE! 20+ feet through drywall without a problem. NO lag, stuck keys or mouse clicks. Good battery life thusfar. Tactile, short-throw keys work well. Using it on Windows 7 Ultimate x64. No drivers, instantly recognized and installed Plug & Play. Small USB dongle. No interference with 2.4GHz cordless phones (3 separate systems in the house). Multimedia keys perform flawlessly. Cheap! Cheap! Cheap!
Cons: There are a few, and some are significant -- for me. First, the mouse has NO page forward/backward thumb buttons, so you have to mouse to the back arrows or use the backspace key. That's a pretty cheesy omission and a real inconvenience, as I do alot of web development. It has a scroll wheel, but it does not rock left/right so you have to use scroll bars in browsers and applications. It's also awkward compared to the more organic-feeling mice by M$ and Logitech. The scroll wheel is smooth (treadless) and can slip on your finger. The keyboard is a bit cramped, so if you have big hands or fat fingers you won't like it. Some function keys are also awkwardly placed (almost at random). Lastly, the weirdest thing is that, from the moment I plugged the dongle in (using Win7 Ultimate x64) it MUTES my audio at random and FREQUENTLY (like it just did this moment). Whether I'm listening to anything, watching a movie, or just doing nothing -- POOF, there it goes AGAIN!
Overall Review: The mouse needs a serious update. The keys could/should be placed better, and I don't know if the frequent, random audio mute (speakers only, not headset, making it even more strange) is specific to my unit (defect) or endemic to the product itself. I can't imagine it's the latter, as I haven't seen anyone complain about this yet. It could be a combination of my HW/SW setup, but who knows. It's enough of a nuisance that I'm going to replace it. I found a much better deal at another reputable mega-vendor (like 40% better), which included free shipping. Maybe that's the problem -- cheating on the Egg gets you bad Karma Koodies.
Pros: I have an OLD "cube" case that supports 24 drives via proprietary hot-swap trays. Using a Dremel and some very creative hacking and spot welding I was able to turn it into a very ugly, but self-contained "Frankenputer." That big Dee Eee Double El computer company had a special deal on 1TB Seagate NS drives, and I needed LOTS of storage space, so I picked up 24 of them and have 24TB of raw data storage (about 20TB of usable space after RAID-6 and hot spares). This PSU handles the entire load of dual sockets, SATA power splitters galore, 16gb DDR2 (ECC), and a Quadro FX5400, along with a Blu-ray and two DVD-R drives.
Cons: It's a SERIOUSLY quirky arrangement. The PSU itself is NOT meant to be installed inside of the case (look carefully at the photos). It has a connected "breakout box" with all of the cabling that is meant to be installed where a "normal" PSU is meant to me placed. The PSU itself is meant to stand OUTSIDE of your case (as no current case I know of will accommodate its sheer gargantuan size) and feed the "box." Fortunately, my monster FrankenCube can hold it, with the appropriate amount of Dremel interference. It is noisy and generates an obscene amount of heat. It's like one of those little blower heating units. Make sure you have adequate cooling in whatever room you intend to use it.
Overall Review: This PSU is really a white elephant. It will power a warp core reactor and have enough remaining for any menial computing tasks you throw at it. It's heavy, noisy (not *really* noisy, but you always know it's there), and will cook your flesh if you make the mistake of exposing your bare skin to the exhaust for more than a few seconds. However, if you need it, this PSU is, quite simply, THE Big, Bad Wolf.
Pros: I've already provided a review here back on October 24, 2007. I've owned and thoroughly enjoyed my 305t for nearly a year for the many reasons I specified in that review, until two days ago!
Cons: Virtually none, outside of cost of admission to the 30-inch club and a few minor missing features, however... my 305t just up and flaked out on me two days ago. It went from functioning perfectly with never a single issue or indication of anything being awry to, as I was reading an email, flickering like a strobe with thin vertical RGB pin-striping across the entire display. I tried it on a different machine and with a different Dual Link DVI cable to no avail.
Overall Review: Well, fortunately the 305t comes standard with a THREE (3) YEAR P&L warranty, so I called Samsung and they were very helpful. They have a nifty way of replacing your 305t without charging your card or waiting for you to ship your defective unit back to them. Here's what they do:
They immediately ship a new replacement 305t to your nearest UPS Store (formerly Mail Boxes Etc). You get a tracking number via email, and a call from the UPS Store once the unit arrives. You take your defective unit in, the take the replacement out of the box, swap it with your defective unit, and ship it back to Samsung -- all without costing you a single penny. The only potential issue would be for those who do not reside within close proximity to one of their stores. All in all, a pretty novel solution!
Pros: Fast seek, epic sequential transfer, decimates both the Seagate ST3300655SS and Hitachi 15K300 in every benchmark we've run. While targeted for enterprise RAID applications this monster will make your desktop workstation seem like it's running SSD RAID. I was introduced to this drive at work when we upgraded a rack full of Dell MD1000/MD3000 SAS array chassis from lower capacity disks. We had a few cold spares remaining, so I stuck one into my Precision 690 that already had a Seagate ST3146855SS 15K 146GB SAS drive installed. I Ghosted the contents onto the new Fujitsu and booted -- YEOW! OS and application load times dropped by seconds! The machine was more responsive and was almost instantaneous. We did nothing else but swap drives, no tweaking or other altering of the system.
I decided to try a couple in my home workstation (with work's permission, as my home machine was provided my my employer) which already had 150GB WD Raptors in RAID-0. Decimation... all over again.
Cons: They're still the "old" 3.5" standard. They are not noisy, but you can hear them during extended seek. Dedicated cooling is mandatory as they will cook an egg without airflow. 300GB for $500 is a cruel joke. It's still a Fujitsu, which doesn't have the best name in the business. Requires a SAS controller. SAS will run SATA, but SATA will not run SAS.
Overall Review: If I had to buy them personally I wouldn't spend the $$$. Yeah, they're the fastest disks we've ever tested but the price/performance/storage ratio is still pathetic. At $300 I would jump on them, but high-end SCSI/SAS are the major manufacturer's cash cow. Sure, the MTBF reliability figures are astounding, but for personal use in non mission-critical deployments you'd likely be better served by SATA RAID Raptors if you want performance or large TB drives for capacity.
Pros: The results speak for themselves, at this moment this is the premiere air-cooling solution. You simply can't get better results without moving to more "exotic" methods. Well constructed and visually appealing. Who would have guessed that a couple of extra pipes could yield such an improvement over the non-Extreme version?!
Cons: At $90+ after adding a quality 120mm fan and some AS-5 you're getting into the price sphere of some decent water-cooling solutions. The absolutely *massive* size and weight demands a large case and some "shoe-horning." Once your case/mobo/CPU are upright you swear this thing is going to rip the socket right off the motherboard. There just has to be some "gaping" with on its side. Fan clip system looks cheesy, but seems to work satisfactorily. Fairly difficult and time consuming to install properly. Questionable reward for the size/weight/price penalty when all is said and done. I could not recommended this for the casual user/OC'er.
Overall Review: With the introduction of a number of excellent liquid cooling solutions so close to the price of this HSF I really question my decision to use the TR120x. That said, however, I'm 100% satisfied with the performance, as their simply is not a superior air-cooling solution on the planet at this time. It's mammoth, can be (and was) difficult to install, costs close to $100 once you factor in a quality, matching fan, appropriate interface paste, and shipping, and demands a LARGE case with meticulous attention to detail during installation. I *think* I would opt for water if I were to do it over again, but the potential of pump failure has always been my concern. If you want to stick with air, and can live with the negatives, the TRU120x *IS* The Big Bad Wolf. Period.
Pros: Four megapixels of wholesome goodness. Surprisingly bright, had to adjust brightness and contrast way down. Text is incredibly crisp and razor sharp. No color or line bleed, for you CAD/CAE/DTPers. Factory defaults were very close to final calibration settings. An absolute dream if you're a Photoshop, InDesign, or Illustrator junkie. The only thing better than one of these would be TWO of these!
Cons: You now have to move your head around to view different parts of the screen. Corner fall-off is just ever so perceptible. Text can be somewhat difficult to read, and your icons are now microscopic. Some think it's pricey, but I think it's a bargain. Demands a video card worthy of its pedigree. Kinda awkward and takes a little getting used to. Could have more menu adjustments and better cable placement.
Overall Review: The pain of price quickly fades into obscurity seconds after you plug it in. Heck, I think it faded once FedEx arrived with the box. Regardless, just get off the fence and plop this thing on your credit card. I have been using dual 21" LCDs for years now and never thought I'd ever go back to using a single display again, but this one gives more real estate than dual 21's. It tilts, telescopes, and swivels (no pivot). It just does everything well. Get it.
Pros: Very quiet for an actively-cooled GPU - thankfully! Native Vista x64 support. No issues or overheating, no tinkering needed. Seems well built, but they all look the same to me. O/C version gives a little extra Oomph.
Cons: $300 is still a good chunk of change. The half-priced 8600 series decimates every 8800-series card for HD/h264 playback, and many are passively cooled, so if you do NOT intend to play games, like me, I would recommend you opt for the 8600GTS instead at a considerable savings -- especially if you are building an HTPC.
Overall Review: I'm running a Samsung 305T 30-inch display at 2560x1600. You can supposedly run TWO of these displays simultaneously with this card, though I don't have the desk space to try it out, tempting though it may be. Unless you're a gamer I simply do NOT recommend anything higher than a 8600GTS for the desktop user or HTPC builder. The return simply isn't there -- at all. That's not a knock against this board in any way. It's surprisingly quiet (though not silent) for an actively cooled GPU and I've run both dual 22-inch 1600x1050 and single 30-inch 2560x1600 displays at their highest settings and everything looks brilliant, but an 8600 could do the same at HALF the cost. If you're a gamer on a budget it is probably the best card out there for the money. I have both a PS3 and an Xbox 360 on a 1080p Sony 46XBR2 LCD so I have no reason to play games on my PC on a tiny 30-inch display. YMMV.
Pros: It is, quite simply, THE Big, Bad Wolf of the heatsink universe. If you want maximum cooling without the fuss of water or other more exotic methods, the true value of which is questionable at best, then this is currently the highest performing air solution on the face of the planet. Holds a Q6600 clocked to 3.6GHz down to ~30C idle and tops out at <50C after 12 hours on P95.
Cons: The same negatives everyone comments on -- size, weight and some rotation on the chip. I made the mistake of using a Silverstone TJ06 full tower that comes with their "patented" wind tunnel. The TR U120x is far too big and the "patented" wind tunnel had to be discarded. The weight seems like it should rip the socket right from the mobo, especially with a 120mm Scythe attached.
Overall Review: I'm not into lapping and other more fanatical pursuits to shave a temps to their bare minimum. I even forgot to order some AS 5 with the U120x, so I had to use some old AS2 that I've had laying around for five years! I'm sure if I wanted to I could drop temps by another 5C+ by lapping and using AS 5.
Pros: Good size, tons of expandability, nice looking, "tool-less" design. Cheap.
Cons: Drives are difficult to install and remove with "tool-less" rails. With few exceptions, chassis is constructed of heavy steel, not aluminum. MB tray is fixed/riveted and therefore non-removable. "Patented wind tunnel" is useless/unusable with a large HSF like the TR U120x. Demands PSU with long cables due to top placement. 2x120 and 1x80 fan placement could stand improvement.
Overall Review: For the price it's a decent case, but I personally should have opted for one of its more expensive siblings and somewhat regret "cheaping out" on this one. It looks nice and is built well but, as a whole, it leaves me wanting.
Pros: Rock solid. Worked perfectly the first time. Has never given an ounce of trouble. Build quality seems high upon visual inspection. Great price for a quality product.
Cons: Not much overhead for O/Cing.
Overall Review: I bought two sets (8GB total) of this RAM for a new build on a P35 mobo with an OC'd Q6600 G0 (3.6 on air). I knew it may have been asking too much, but I was hoping to have more overhead than I got. It might be the result of having four sticks instead of just two, or perhaps it's the Gigabyte mobo, but whatever the case I'm not able to get more out of the RAM than it's rated for. Not a knock, but still...
Pros: Four cores of wholesome goodness. 50% overclock on AIR with quality HSF is child's play. Paired with 8GB+ and an x64 OS, intergalactic domination is within your grasp. Stick a fork in AMD. They're done.
Cons: A processor this good makes you feel guilty for not matching it with a $300 motherboard, a $600 graphics card, and $1000 worth of DDR3. Delusions of grandeur that will quickly consume every last dollar of available credit you have access to.
Overall Review: So fast, and so easy to make it go faster. Ten seconds in the BIOS of a capable P35 motherboard and you're ready to embarrass your rich neighbor's $1,300 QX6850. The Q6600 is proof positive that things sold by the gram are always more exciting then things sold by the pound. Don't bother looking anywhere else -- especially to faltering AMD.
Pros: I have used and become intimately familiar with every version of Windows since 2.0 (and using computers before DOS), when most NE customers were either wet-nursing or not even conceived. It's ironic to watch each subsequent version adopt more "Mac-like" features and graphic cues, but constantly miss the mark every time (and I've never owned a Mac). Vista x64 is a tolerable OS with some nice features, and most new hardware will support it flawlessly.
Cons: Requires NEW hardware. Don't bother with it yet unless you have over 4GB or DDR2/3. It isn't any faster and it doesn't have more features than it's 32-bit counterpart. However, security is notably enhanced in the x64 version, which is perhaps the greatest benefit at the moment. Learning curve can be steep for the uninitiated, and it's a bit quirky with a long install process. It tries to be too smart for its own good, and can be frustrating to the moderate to advanced user.
Overall Review: 2GB of DDR2, a FAST dual-core processor, and a mid-to-high end graphics card are now bare minimum requirements. It may run on older, less-equipped machines, but the "experience" will be less than satisfactory. If you're comfortable with XP, there is absolutely no reason or benefit to switch. In fact, you may find it a step backward; in spite of all its "fancy" features. YMMV.
Pros: Modest size for easy installation. Modular cables can be used in a variety of combinations to reduce clutter and tie-wrapping. Oozes superior design and build quality. Quiet as a church mouse (the reason I bought it). Reasonably cheap for what you get (good, reliable power, cool running, quiet operation).
Cons: The FIXED ATX and +12V cables are VERY SHORT! They do not even come close to being long enough for my Silverstone TJ06S full tower case using a Gigabyte P35-DSR3 mobo, which has the 4-pin +12V connector all the way at the bottom of the board. The cables need to be a good 12-inches longer than they currently are to accommodate larger cases.
Overall Review: Other than the inadequate cable length I have nothing negative to report. It's only been a few days, but if it runs as reliably as it appears to be built then I will be satisfied -- overall.
Pros: 20.1 Inches of widescreen goodness! Two of these offers considerable advantages over a single 24-inch display, which is the path I chose. Using a capable dual-DVI adapter -- a Quadro FX 4500, in my case -- matching VX2025's really are a dream to work with. The VX2025WM isn't perfect, but for the money there simply isn't anything better. When that "four letter 'D' word" has the 2007FPW for the same price I'd probably opt for them instead, but when I was ready to buy they were a Benjamin more per.
Cons: Everyone's prettymuch covered the cons, but since I'm the manager of my company's Department of Redundancy Department I'll... be redundant.
1) When the display(s) are black -- during boot/shutdown, primarily -- there is noticeable backlight bleed, especially in the four corners. Oddly, one of my two units is more severe so YMMV as I bought both of mine from Newegg at the same time. (2) The stand is a cruel joke. No height, swivel, or pivot adjustment -- a smidge of tilt only. C'mon VS! (3) Built-in speakers are strictly for "business audio" only -- but what else would you expect? Bose?
Overall Review: I feel pretty fortunate to have two units with zero dead/stuck pixels. I still never get entirely used to that inherent LCD "grainy sheen" look, but that's part of the deal with LCD. I don't play games and rarely play video, so the few of you out there wondering how well the VX2025 actually works on OFFICE apps (or Photoshop, Dreamweaver, etc) take heart -- it's AWESOME! The text is so sharp your eyes will bleed.
Newegg, as always, rocks.