Steven S.

Steven S.

Joined on 11/20/03


Top 1000 Reviewer
100 Reviews
Product Reviews
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product reviews
  • 114
Most Favorable Review

Great niche product

PNY Quadro NVS 440 VCQ4440NVS-PCIE-PB 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x1 Workstation Video Card
PNY Quadro NVS 440 VCQ4440NVS-PCIE-PB 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x1 Workstation Video Card

Pros: Only card in its class I know of that can drive a DVI port at 1920x1200. No other quad-port X1 card can achieve this at this time. I am using two of these. The worked in X1, X2, X4 and X16 slots. Obviously not for gaming, but I was pleasantly surprised that I can watch HDTV .ts files and DVD's just fine. Very stable.

Cons: Not really a con, but I found you can't run more than 1 of these cards if you have a GeForce-based card in your system as well. System won't even go to the BIOS screen. Seems Quadro and GeForce drivers/cards only get along to a point. Also, had to force installation of the Quadro driver since the installer CD only looked at my 6800 card and did not see it as compatible. Pulling the 6800 did not help, nor did changing graphics settings/boot priorities in BIOS.

Overall Review: I use 2 of these to drive an 8-monitor trading setup. Needless to say, my apps are 2-D only. But since this is the only 1920x1200 quad DVI card out there that I know of, it's what I went with, and I don't regret it. Also, PNY tech support was courteous, although they acknowledged that they did not have a work-around for my GeForce/Quadro combo attempts. In all fairness to them, it's something most users would probably never attempt.

Most Critical Review

I coulda' been a contender!

NORCO RPC-4020 4U Rackmount Server Chassis w/ 20 Hot-swappable SATA/SAS Drive Bays
NORCO RPC-4020 4U Rackmount Server Chassis w/ 20 Hot-swappable SATA/SAS Drive Bays

Pros: Great in theory. Spacious. Well ventilated. High ratio of drives per unit of rack space. Overall solid construction

Cons: Same as the others - backplane failure. Mine is used as a video server. Drives that had never had issues began to randomly drop off my 3Ware RAID card. Swapped out my PSU's and increased spin-up time between drives but that did not help. I eventually had to pull the drives and put them into a makeshift setup. As soon as the SATA cables from the 3Ware card to the drives were directly attached to the drives and not the backplane, my problems vanished. Of course, now I have a real mess on my hands, but it beats losing my RAID 6 array. I'll have to come up with a plan B.

Overall Review: This is one of the few products I've genuinely had trouble with and felt deserved only 1 star. I still give it that because the case is well built and easy to work with, and the theory is great. Maybe I'm one of the few that have a bad batch of backplanes. Maybe 3Ware controllers are twitchier than others. But they worked fine at first and I expect them to last longer than 15 months in such a relatively non-demanding environment. Especially when they were built specifically for the purpose of a high-drive-density server chassis. This is the only Norco chassis I've had problems with. I know they can put out a decent product.

Great For All-In-One

NZXT Kraken X40 RL-KRX40-01 Ultra Performance Water/Liquid CPU Cooler 140MM
NZXT Kraken X40 RL-KRX40-01 Ultra Performance Water/Liquid CPU Cooler 140MM

Pros: Easy to install on my Socket 2011. Hoses long enough you can mount cooler where you want. Low power draw so you can go off a fan header. Keeps my 4930K cool. Sleeved wiring is nice touch.

Cons: The radiator can block the first PCI-Express slot if you mount the radiator at the back of the case. My case allowed mounting over bottom cooling fans so no issue. Since the fittings are sealed you can't route the hoses out of the case. This may not be the quietest solution out there, but I don't expect whisper-type sound levels with my systems.

Overall Review: I've build about a dozen water-cooled systems over the years. I was skeptical about this unit, but ended up being pleasantly surprised by its ease of installation and overall performance. No worries here about fittings, leaks, test runs, etc. And with the current prices of simple water loops, it's hard to build one for less than $225-$250 if you buy parts yourself and install them. That being said, I know this unit would not keep up if I was a heavy over-clocker. As near as I can tell, if you don't install the software and provide full power to the fan header that powers it, the unit just runs full out. I have yet to install the software, so I can't speak to what it might or might not allow. The unit comes with thermal compound on the block. I cleaned it off and used my own, but you don't need to buy extra if you don't want to. I would definitely buy this unit again, or the dual-fan step-up unit if my case allowed.


Overall, A Great Board

ASUS P9X79-E WS LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 SSI CEB Intel Motherboard
ASUS P9X79-E WS LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 SSI CEB Intel Motherboard

Pros: Lots of PCI-Express slots. Dual Intel LAN. Lots of USB ports on the back. Legacy PS/2 connector. Lots of fan ports. Non-Intel ports seem to have good performance on them. No bad surprises with things like chipset blocking PCI-Express cards, etc.

Cons: Lack of internal USB headers. At this price point there should be 2x as many. If you have internal USB devices you may be short after you hook up the typical MB case headers. If you have a PCI-Express card in the left-most slot it can crowd top header row of USB/FW/Com hookups.

Overall Review: My board arrived without the right BIOS for my 4930K. I took a USB stick and put the .cap file on it. I had to re-name mine "P9X79EWS". The manual is not clear on this. Anyway, with the computer powered down but plugged in, put the stick in the crash-free USB port and push the recover button in for a few seconds. If all goes well, after about 5 minutes of a blue-blinking light you will have the right BIOS. My machine then rebooted and immediately recognized my Ivy Bridge CPU. I think this is a great feature. No need to have a cpu or memory installed to do this. I can't speak to the whole PCI-Express 2.0 vs. 3.0 thing. My 2.0 video cards worked great. For my needs (SOHO and enthusiast uses) this is a great board. I have had great luck with Asus boards. I will continue to use this board as I standardize my builds.

It's Hard to Dislike This Case...

AZZA Genesis 9000 CSAZ-9000B Black 0.8mm SECC ATX Full Tower Computer Case
AZZA Genesis 9000 CSAZ-9000B Black 0.8mm SECC ATX Full Tower Computer Case

Pros: Cavernous. Great ventilation. Deep; my CEB MB went in without a hitch. Nice drive bay and HDD setups. Would lend itself to multiple water cooling scenarios. Tool-less 5.25" bays see to work well. Power supply can go in front or back of case. 120V AC pass-thru cord to allow front mounting. I put a front-load 1200 watt PS in and still kept both bottom fans at the back. Nice to have plenty of PCI brackets if you want to hook up rear headers or for SLI configs. Plentiful variety of top ports. Nice to take back panel off to route cables and access CPU area. Even with CEB MB no problem getting at back of CPU. Really easy case to work inside of. Depth means you don't have to worry so much about SATA connectors needing 90 degree adapters. I would imagine this could handle about any graphics card length you wanted it to. I like that they did not cheap out on the fans. Just an optional 230mm if you want it, but there is great ventilation already. The vertical fans aid in keeping liquid-cooled MB chipsets and memory ventilated. All in all, they have you covered pretty well.

Cons: There is a fair amount of plastic on this. I don't think it would lend itself to being moved around a lot or to constantly having stuff swapped out on it. Edges can be a little sharp. That being said, it's 1/2 to 1/3 the price of high-end tower server cases. As always, you get what you pay for, but with this case you really do get a lot for your money. As with any case that puts buttons and ports on top vs. front, you need to give yourself vertical clearance to access them and you need to be mindful of hitting the power button more easily.

Overall Review: I'll standardize on this case as I begin my next round of upgrades. It has about everything I want and is easy to work in. One thing - this case won't fit under a standard office desk

Pretty Good For A Refurb

Roku 2 XS 1080p HD Streaming Media Player W/ Motion Sensor Control & Angry Birds - 3100X-B
Roku 2 XS 1080p HD Streaming Media Player W/ Motion Sensor Control & Angry Birds - 3100X-B

Pros: The big one for us was Prime. That service seems to be hard to find on many units. The unit arrived in great shape with HDMI cable. It is tiny and a no-brainer to set up. Our son and I played the included ($5) copy of Angry Birds. Graphic quality on this game is very smooth and sound effects are just fine. You can switch from home page to channels very quickly. Everything seems to load and launch fast. Easy to get on our wired network and easy to update/set up/navigate the home screen.

Cons: No Y*****e. That's a big negative. Unit seems to reset itself quite often. You can jam up streaming services if you skip around a lot during a show. Remote needed to be paired. I think there are too many buttons doing "double duty" when other buttons go unused, such as the "A" and "B". It's not a very intuitive remote in that regard. I mean, who would think to press the "down" arrow to get info on a show when it is playing?

Overall Review: There seems to be plenty of other channels. Of course, past a certain point things get repetitive and you are paying for either marginal or duplicate content. Most of them offer a free week so it's not as if they are ripping you off or anything. The news channels seem to be very "clip" oriented.

seller reviews
  • 1

Shipper "Lost" Our Washer

I can't give this seller a good review. I never received a tracking number. I finally called them and received one for AM Trucking. I tried to call and email them when I never heard from them for a delivery day. After a couple days I got through. I was told it was good that I called because the washer was sitting on a "missing items" list. The agent was very nice about it and felt bad, but that does not make up for losing a washer. I am still waiting for a scheduled delivery date. I cannot recommend this seller to anyone due to their carriers' incompetence. How do you lose a washing machine? How does a freight carrier leave an item sitting in a corner in a warehouse without bothering to try and deliver it? The way the agent made it sound, if I had not called it would have sat in a corner on a "missing items" list forever. This seller and their carrier reflect very poorly on I caution anyone to be prepared for this if they buy from them.

Customer Service