Joined on 12/25/04
Pros: - 2D/3D image quality - 3D speed - Cooler provides low temps - Quiet operation - Low profile - Well built custom cooling solution
Cons: - Huge PCB - Needs lots of power (two 6-to-8 pin adapters included) - Price, but worth the investment - Box and anti-static bag seemed to have been opened before (fingerprints, carton ripped, bag crumpled), but protective plastic film on cooler was still in place and card itself seemed untouched
Overall Review: Upgraded a Q6600 (@3.01 Ghz) system with Asus ATI EAH4870 to this R6970. Initially bought an Asus 560 GTX Ti but while it was very fast in 3D, I RMA'ed to Newegg because 2D and 3D image and video quality was significantly decreased compared to EAH4870. This may have been due to my NEC P221W S-PVA screen which uses a 10 bit look-up table (LUT) which is apparently not supported by GeForce cards. The Asus EAH6970 had been out of stock for a while so decided to give MSI a try, which has a lower profile than the EAH6970 and is also clocked higher. 2D image and video quality of this R6970 is excellent and similar to the EAH4870, 3D image quality and speed is noticeably better even in older games like Crysis, Farcry2 and UT99GOTY at 1680x1050. Overall this is a mature quality product and worthy upgrade even for an older PGA775 based system. The next upgrade will be Q6600 to Q9550 or Q9650 CPU and I will consider MSI products in the future again.
Pros: - Small footprint - Great sound, loads of bass - Aux input (3.5mm to 3.5mm stereo cable, $2 at premium online cable companies) and iPod dock - Plays R&B as well as classical music well - Minimalist design - has volume control and on/off button - Capable of playing loud - Highly affordable
Cons: Too much bass amplification can cause the housing to vibrate/resonate, probably due to the all plastic construction. Placing batteries may solve this problem due to adding weight.
Overall Review: It's a one-speaker design, but sounds like a stereo device. Basically it's a speaker and amp with a volume control. Since MP3 players have their own equalizers, this is all you need.
Pros: - Very quiet - 6x, which is fast enough to burn 25GB in 15 minutes - Works with PowerISO
Cons: Little pricey, but it pays off to pay more for optical drives
Overall Review: So far no coasters using Verbatim BD-Rs on a SCSI subsystem system. Drive is inaudible while writing. System: Asus P5WDG2-WS Pro / Core2Quad Q9650 (1001 BIOS) / Zalman CNPS9500 / Lian Li PC-101 / 6 GB Kingston HyperX / MSI Radeon HD6970 2GB / Soundblaster Audigy 4 / Adaptec 29320 PCI-X / Fujitsu MAX3073 15k / 2x Fujitsu MBA3147 15k (software raid) / 1x Fujitsu MAW3073 10k / Seagate ST3146855LW 15k/ Sony BWU-500S / Pioneer DVR-115 / Silverstone OP850 PSU / NEC P221W 22" PVA display / Windows 7 Enterprise
Pros: - Fastest LGA775 CPU available - 12 MB L2 cache - Scores higher than Intel i5-760 in PassMark bench
Cons: - Price, but still much cheaper than upgrading a whole PCI-X based SCSI system
Overall Review: This CPU fit my aging Asus P5WDG2-WS Pro board (using modded BIOS 1001). Upgrading a PCI-X based system would cost a lot more. Asus P5WDG2-WS Pro / Core2Quad Q9650 @ 3.33 Ghz / Zalman CNPS9500 / Lian Li PC-101 / 6 GB Kingston HyperX / MSI Radeon HD6970 Lightning 2GB / Soundblaster Audigy 4 / Adaptec 29320 PCI-X / Fujitsu MAX3073 15k / 2x Fujitsu MBA3147 15k (software raid) / 1x Fujitsu MAW3073 10k / Pioneer DVR-115 / Silverstone OP850 PSU / NEC P221W 22" PVA display, Windows 7 Enterprise
Pros: - Copper dissipates heat better than aluminum, steel, etc. - Great temp control - Good size (not too big, not mini either) - Easy installation, good manual - Price
Cons: - Fins bend easily, handle with care
Overall Review: Upgraded from an Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro (first edition) with Q6600 to a Q9650 on an aging Asus P5WDG2-WS Pro (using modded BIOS 1001) in a Lian Li PC-101 case. Since this cooler is 110 mm it fit my inverted case with a couple of mm clearance. I was able to overclock the Q9650 to 3.33 Ghz (could probably go higher with different RAM) and CPU idles at 39 degrees C, up to stable 62 degrees running Prime95. Gave my system a nice performance leap. Had to remove mobo but in all took less than 45 minutes to setup, very easy and solidly fixed to mobo, especially compared to Intel/Arctic Cooling cumbersome push-pin system. Did a lot of research looking at 120mm coolers that weigh up to 1 kg, but this is probably overkill and could break your mobo (apart from the fact it wouldn't fit my case). This is an LGA775 cooler only, for other systems get the CNPS9700.
Excellent head phones
Pros: - Very well balanced dynamics - Closed system - Low profile - Price - Carry bag perfect for commuters - Priced $189.95 at electronics shop on Broadway/50th St :)
Cons: - Need breaking in - My MP3 player needs more power to drive these
Overall Review: These phones give very detailed sound, the proverbial detail you don't hear with other head phones. I own a pair of Grado SR80s, which are excellent, but if you don't want to annoy fellow commuters with your taste of music, these are great. Sounds great using MP3 player (Sony NWZA 728) in quiet surroundings, but could need more power in noisy commuter environment (i.e. NY subway).