Date Joined: 11/14/02
Pros: The comsmetic appearance is very attractive, actually over the top. All the filters that are provided are of great quality. The plastic brushed aluminum-like front panel is very high quality. You will never notice it is not real aluminum. The factory fans are near silent, and the cable managment inside the case is above average.
Cons: My #1 complaint would be that Fractal Design does not sell replacement filters. SHAME SHAME. Had to reduce an egg for that. The nice front grille can only be bent and unbent to change the filter about 3-5 times before the tabs break off.
Also my motherboard did not line up with the backplate as well as other cases.
Overall Review: If you need to get the maximum life out of the filters, you will NOT wash them, rather blow them out with 90-125PSI compressed air in the opposite direction.
32GB Kingston KHX1600C10D3B1K2/16G
Crucial M500 240GB
Pros: Overall a great drive, runs cool, basically plug & play. Price at the time was great, and even better now.
Cons: Needed to upgrade firmware from U03 to U05 as the stock must have been older. Even with the new firmware the power on hours are inaccurate.
Overall Review: Overall I like to pick SSD's that are a little older (6-8 months) as to keep the bugs to a minimum. This drive delivered a trouble free configuration and shows a great track record.
Pros: Great price point, very quite, cool, great cosmetics. Power efficiency is quite good.
Cons: None as of yet.
Overall Review: Per research on the internet it is made by Seasonic which makes very high end power supplys. I went with a little more power than I need so I can add one graphics card at a later date. If you plan to run 2 or 3 graphics cards you will need more power.
Fractal Design Arch MIDI R2
32GB Kingston KHX1600C10D3B1K2/16G
Crucial M500 240GB
Pros: Runs stable, cool, and Kingston has great product support.
Cons: Timings are not optimal for the price point, and when you run 1600 the timings are worse. 1333 with better timings gives me a better benchmark result than at 1600 with relaxed timings. The good news is you will really never *feel* this difference.
Overall Review: Would have liked a better price, however I have always had great reliablilty with Kingston in all my systems. I also needed a lot of ram 32GB for a few VM;s I run.
Pros: -Very stable, lots of video ports VGA/DVI/HDMI, nice UEFI BIOS layout, worked with Ivy Bridge right out of the box.
Cons: -Layout of the board is acceptable. The BIOS on the board right out of box was very old. It was the earliest that supports Ivy Bridge. Stock rotation could have avoided this.
-There are only 2 fan headers CPU/CHASSIS, no SATA-III ports, and no front USB 3.0 or audio. I knew this buying it, and will just be used as spare.
Overall Review: -For the person complaining about the ASUS rebate not working, you did not follow the directions. As with any rebate, it does take some time. I paid the extra $1 to get it quicker.
Kingston HyperX Black 8GB KHX16C9B1BK2/8X
WD Caviar Black 500GB
Antec Earthwatts EA-430
Windows 7 Pro 64-bit
Pros: -Great Price.
-Smooth & quiet.
Overall Review: Could come with cheap stater software, and some screws at least. But I knew this buying it so no deduction.
Pros: -Great overall.
-Smooth & quiet.
Overall Review: Could use some cheap starter software & screws at least. But I knew this when I bought it, so no deduction.
Pros: Overall great RAM. As always from Kingston, its just plug and play. Great price, looks nice with the black PCB, and black heat spreader.
No flashy bling stuff, just plain old ram that works well.
For those that like all that animation, flashy, multi colored ram, this is not what you want.
Overall Review: Have been using Kingston for years, and other brands as well. Chose this over price, and because I know their support is great should anything go wrong.
Asus H61M-A USB3
Intel Pentium G2020
Pros: -Great price
-Better deal than equivalent i7
-Slightly better graphics over i3/i5/i7
-Quiet stock heatsink/fan
-Performance is on par to the i7-4770 non K.
-Got a good one.
-No graphics drivers readily available. Intel makes you "consult your sever manufacture". Ha...I built it myself.
Overall Review: Overall I was concerned about no graphics support. However the Asus Z87 Motherboard CD contained an Intel 126.96.36.19986 version that works just fine. There is one more on windows update. Works just fine with Win7x64.
Got a decent one, full load on Prime95 the cores run in the upper 70's C. Quite happy.
32GB Kingston DDR3 KHC1600C10D3B1K2
Crucial M500 240GB
Fractal Design Arc Midi R2
Pros: SP1 integral, so no need to slipstream. Speeds up the install greatly.
A very refined and stable OS that may become the next long lived Windows XP.
Cons: Product key stickers are made of very poor quality material and print type. If left in direct sunlight, will fade. If anything bumps the sticker, the ink will come off very easy.
Overall Review: Although I have owned this copy just a few days, I have been using Windows 7 of all versions since its release. It is in my opinion one of Microsoft's best & refined operating systems. Planning to skip Windows 8.x altogether and hope Windows 9 will be just as good.
Pros: Fast, durable, nice software, and attractive design. Simply the best of their time. A nice way to bring new life to an older laptop.
Cons: Too expensive in my opinion. If buying today, they are 2-3 times more expensive than the current lineup.
Overall Review: I wish they kept this line going while lowering the price. Have owned for approx 1.5 years and never a problem. For some reason AOL Desktop is not compatible with this SSD. I have not had time to try with any other SSD brand.
Pros: Long lasting....
About as quiet as you will find. Bearings are very high quality, and I have owned them since 2011 without ever needing to oil them.
Cons: Knowing they move less CFM than the antec's I replaced, this was not a problem for me. However keep in mind if you have noisy fans with good cooling, buying these might increase you case temps. Compare your CFM.
Overall Review: Fans are either quiet and move less, or loud and move more. You cannot have both.
Pros: The thinnest border is the sole reason I bought this over any other monitor. And in a dual monitor application this is a must. These monitors look awsome, and are amoung the nicest look in terms of cosmetics & style. Dell Ultrasharp's and certain HP monitors are the only ones to factory calibrate their consumer grade units.
One major thing I look for is a monitor without a power brick, these take typical PC power cords which is a must for keeping your cords / desk space organized.
Factory monitor stand is amazing, and fully adjustable to a wide range of desk configurations.
Cons: 24" IPS panels are still not as good as a 19-22" panel for reproducing a consistent backlight. One of these monitors has a darker lower right corner, and they still require some significant calibration from your video driver software. One had a greenish tint to the greys and had to be reduced slightly. In dark rooms these are very bright, but in lighter areas they could use more brightness. Dell should also consider offering this in a gloss panel, and also adding a borderless 1920x1200 resolution panel as well.
These only have HDMI, and DISPLAYPORT, there is no VGA, or DVI connections on the back, so older computers are not compatible without adapters.
The dual monitor stand that Dell sells as the MDS14 is not very good when combined with these monitors. Unless the base of the stand is place sideways, you cannot get enough angle out of the right monitor.
Overall Review: Skip the MDS14 dual monitor stand with this model of LCD, and use the factory base stands. They offer much more adjustments. Also fully calibrate each panel with your video card software or other software and then tweak the menus to where they look identical. The factory cannot account for minor signal variations from pc to pc, or different brand / length cables.
Pros: As always, I have had great luck with this company. Always good out of the box, and the compatiblity is always good with every motherboard.
Cons: Their website still needs overhauled. I cannot comment on their customer service becuase I have never had memeory fail.
Pros: Unit looks attractive and well built. Provides adequate gigabit speeds. Very good price.
Cons: Mine has an intermittent port #4 out of the box. Only work at 100 MBPS while other ports with at 1GBPS. Cost to ship back to RMA is not worth the cost to just try another. So essentially it is a 7 port switch. All products can be faulty, even the best, but the manufacture should offer a shipping return tag.
Pros: Works perfect with no errors. HUGE improvement over 2GB. I would strongly recommend jumping direct to 8GB, vs the slight increase in price over a 4GB kit. If you boot to Win7, it is just too slow with 2GB.
Very good price!!!!
Cons: G.SKILL's website is absolutly terrible. I could not use the ram configurator with firefox or IE. This was mentioned on a review over a year ago and G.SKILL has done nothing...
Overall Review: Time will tell how long it will last. I hope the quality is good for the excellent price. Looks like they have no phone support should a problem arise.
Comments: For the price you really can't beat it. A few weak points are the rear fan outlet and the actual fan inside the PSU. The holes in the rear fan outlet are far too small to allow good airflow let alone the noise it makes. The ways to correct these problems is to cut out the metal around the fan allowing the metal to exist for your (4) fan screws. Then simply screw a nice fan shield over it to cover up the cut job.
The second issue is after a few months of use, I had a PSU fan lock up, making a giant smoke screen in my room in the middle of the night. From the lack of cooling, it literaly burned up all the parts inside the PSU. The way to correct this is to open up the PSU and replace the low quality sleeve bering fan with a good ball bearing fan. PSU= Stands for: "Power Supply Unit"
Comments: Very high quality card. Upon opening the box, you can tell just by the packing it was made by crucial. Very flawless manufacturing and it even comes with a s-video cable. I have found this card to be a great overall value card and it is great for anyone who does light/casual gameing.
Comments: LG has always been one of my favorite drive manufactures. For a 52x drive it is very very silent compared to others. In the few years I have used LG products I have only had one failure. I would recommend this to anyone, and for the price, you can't go wrong.
Comments: Have used AOpen in the past and have been very pleased. As always this is another quality product. Very nice feature set, and very stable for anyone needing a dependable computer. The overclocking could be better if it have a clock/bus divider for 533FSB, but for the price I can't complain.
The only negatives I found to this board is it does not come with any manuals. Secondly it comes flashed with Bios Revision R1.05 which does not support Vivid Imaging. So in order to use the vivid image feature, you must first flash to R1.07.
I highly recommend this board to anyone who needs a inexpensive and stable computer.