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Michael A.

Michael A.

Joined on 07/17/08

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 6
Most Favorable Review

I like it

Color LCD Display
Color LCD Display

Pros: Does exactly what I wanted it to do: - Physically monitors my CPU, GPU, & RAM (case probe) temps so I don't have to. - Warns me if any temp. goes aboave my selection or of a fan's death. - Automatically adjusts fan speeds perportionally as temperatures rise. - Is easy to hook up, Mod, and install. - Looks great. - Has a sound sensor that displays internal noise (Not a db readout, just a multi colored bar). Tap on your case and you will see what I'm talking about. - Can easily seed LCD from angles aboave eye-level. - Price

Cons: - Can't read the LCD below direct eye level. Unfortunate for me as it is placed aboave eye level in my room when I lie down to watch tv. - Does not allow for manual fan control. This as an option might have been nice, but I don't need it for my purposes. - Could Have been designed not to block a 3.5" bay allowing a HDD to fit as well. It can be moded though.

Overall Review: I really like the alure this adds to my case. It's very useful as a backup temp. monitor. I ues it to see the temp. of my x4 Unlocked Phenom II x2 550 which looses the ability to self monitor temp. if aditional cores are unlocked. My motherboard's CPU Temp. readind was uselessly off as well. Hook this up to silent fans and you won't care that you don't have controll of fan speed. If your computer has a dedicated FDD slot, toss the FDD (They are almost useless today anyway) and put this in it's place.

Most Critical Review

Nice cheap case

APEVIA Black / Silver SECC Steel / Aluminum X-MASTER-AL/500 ATX Media Center / HTPC Case
APEVIA Black / Silver SECC Steel / Aluminum X-MASTER-AL/500 ATX Media Center / HTPC Case

Pros: This is the home for my high end custom PC components. It has fit all of them and they are working fast & cool. - Enough room for most components. - Cable management is doable with a little fore-thought. - Quite a few fan arangements - 80mm fans supplied are silent. - 2 HDD slots is fine for me as I'm using intel X25-M's that can be mounted anywhere there's room. 2 more slots convirtable if you want to block the fan mounts (not a good idea if anything produces heat). - Nice and quick slide racks for 5.25" bays. - It's cheap and I've moded it to my needs. It kept my total build cost down and looks nice in my entertainment center.

Cons: - CPU heat sink and fan needs to be short (Scythe ShurikenN rev. b worked great for me). - Blue LED on front facing is far to bright. - I did not trust the PSU and bought another. - Not enough standoffs supplied for ATX motherboard. - Too deep, it could have been wider. - PSU is in the way of the graphics cards. As it is I had to bend the GPU's power cord 90 deg. to get it in; just barely.

Overall Review: - To bring more cool air in I cut a hole in the pannel aboave the CPU to mount a 120mm fan. I used a jig saw; the alluminum is soft enough. Plenty cool now. If you do this tape the whole pannel. Anything metal will scratch the paint off with little effort. - I used a hole punch to make a paper circle that I colored Dark blue and taped over the hole. I used black electrical tape to match the front. It is the perfect brightness now and you can't tell it's been moded) - Cable management take quite awhile and can be frustrating. Take deep breaths. If you feel like throwing it, don't. Step out for a bit, get some water, and come back when you cool down. Double joints might help to. This is a good looking case and fits nice with the other components of my entertainment center. Once I got it all together and configured for thermal effiency it's been easy enough to work with. I sucessfully crammed a lot of stuff in this case, and plan to cram more. The room is there if your creative.

Very nice board, I'm a new ASUS fanboy!

ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 AM3 AMD 890GX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 AM3 AMD 890GX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard

Pros: Recieved fast and worked perfect on first boot, no problems. That is unheard of. * USB 3 * SATA III * Has onboard graphics, if you are into that sort of thing. * DDR3 2000 "OC" (Need the right CPU/Mem combo) * Core Unlocker switch is cool and works great * Turbo Overclocking is sweet and works way too well. See cons. It needs to be set to your highest stable OC otherwise it will go too high to be stable.

Cons: * When using a single video card, it must be placed in the blue PCI-E X16 slot with a VGA switch card in the grey slot. This is a slightly more inconvenient position that the one closest to the northbridge. It forced me to do alot of cable management and barly cleared my powersupply. Depends on your case/VGA card. * Purchased a "New/retail" item and recieved an "open box" one. Board worked perfectly and had all the parts, but was not seald and showed signs of use. Newegg support was fast and issued me a partial refund for the difference in price. * Auto Overclocking features both software and hardware way over estamate the overclocking potential of the CPU. The gigest I was ever able to OC my Phenom II X4 B50 (X2 550 unlocked) was 3.7GHz by CPU ratio only. I was never able to adjust BUS speed successfully. The board tried to go to 233 bus speed 3.9GHz. Ambitious, but failed post. You will need to set a turbo unlocker profile.

Overall Review: ASUS M4AGTD PRO/USB3 Corsair DDR3 2000 at 1600MHz AMD Phenom II X2 550 unlocked to X4 B50 OC = 3.6GHz

Very good, but could have been better

Intel 510 Series (Elm Crest) 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) SSDSC2MH120A2K5
Intel 510 Series (Elm Crest) 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) SSDSC2MH120A2K5

Pros: Good improvement in maximum throughput from Intel X25-M 80GB G2 SSD. Not as big of an overall performance increase as swithcing to SSD to begin with. If this is your first, it will be immediate and change your computing experiance. - 120 GB is enough for my most used programs - Average thickness for 2.5 inch drive = no spacers. - 2.5" to 3.5" drive adapter included + Screws. - 4 pin molex to sata power adapter included. - Sata cable included - Intel reliability, support, and 3 yr warrenty. - SATA III

Cons: * Other drives available at simalair price points deliver better performance, albeit without the comfortable shell of support and reliabiliy intel has. * This drive should have been able to max out the SATA III connection. I will be looking for it to int the next generation of intel SATA III drives. They need to increase the IOPS as well. 20,000 reads won't cut it. Lastly the Access time went up. That is the wrong direction intel. Keep it under 0.150 ms.

Overall Review: I have the SATA III set corectly and AHCI enabled for the port it's installed in. Required a driver download from ASUS and F8 on install of windows. Benchmarks: CrystalDiscMark 3 Seq = 421 MB/s read; 208 MB/s write 512K = 319 Mb/s read; 202 Mb/s write 4K = 21 Mb/s read; 48 Mb/s write 4K QD32 = 85 Mb/s read; 64 Mb/s Write AS SSD 4K-64thrd = 20308 IOPS read; 14512 IOPS Write HD Tune (transfer rate) Min = 336 Mb/s read Max = 467 Mb/s read Ave. = 391 Mb/s read Access Time = 0.184 ms Windows Experiance Index = 7.8 ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 CORSAIR DDR3 2000 set at 1600MHz AMD Phenom II X2 550 unlocked to X4 B50 Intel 510 120Gb SATA III in AHCI Mode Intel X25-M 80Gb G2 SATA II as USB 3.0 Ext. drive

Had to write a review

Cooler Master SickleFlow 120 - Sleeve Bearing 120mm Blue LED Silent Fan for Computer Cases, CPU Coolers, and Radiators
Cooler Master SickleFlow 120 - Sleeve Bearing 120mm Blue LED Silent Fan for Computer Cases, CPU Coolers, and Radiators

Pros: This thing pushes too much air to be this quiet. At full speed I can hear it, but is really just the air moving. I can just barly hear a hum from the fan under the sound of the air movement. I just don't see how this does not make more noies. It's been about 7 mounths since I bought this fan and I still remember being impressed when I first pluged it in. Still going strong and I am seriously considering filling all 120mm fan slots with these. Not just the case I have, but all 120mm slots for every case I ever own form now until the sad day coolermaster stops selling them. The price is great too. Wow!

Cons: I can't really think of any. I don't remember if this came with screws or not as I use rubber mounts instead, and I can't remember if they were provided with this fan or a silencing kit I bought. Sorry I coulden't be more helful.

Overall Review: If you put a grill in front of this, the air moving past it will amplify the little air sound there is. It would be easy with a fan controller to render sub-audiable air flow levels reaching the point at which the sound of the air flowing, not the fan spining, is what you hear. Dial it back to where you don't hear it and know that you are almost achiving maximum silent airflow, the ultimate goal of fan design. Almost perfect fan. I've found pricer, I haven't find better.

Best upgrade I've made

Intel X25-M Mainstream 2.5" 80GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) SSDSA2M080G2GC
Intel X25-M Mainstream 2.5" 80GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) SSDSA2M080G2GC

Pros: This drive is responsable for the most noticable speed increase in my custom built pc. Although these drives were expensive at first, they have quickly fallen within the relm of home computer upgrades for mainstream users. I am very pleased with my drive and the speed increase finally unleashes the potential of the parts I chose for my build. After installing my SSD I ran these Benches. This was a fresh install of W7 64bit on the SSD as a boot drive and after loading all the applications I use. My data goes on another traditional drive: Windows 7 startup time: Decreased from 1 min. 35 sec. to 25 sec. (This includes the BIOS boot which is now 15 sec. faster because I don't use my onboard raid controller). Crystal Disk Mark: Read = 237 MB/s (Seq.) 162 MB/s (512K) 22 MB/s (4K) Write = 87 MB/s (Seq.) 87 MB/s (512K) 64 MB/s (4K) Windows Experiance Index: 7.5 for this drive HD Tune: 213 MB/s Ave. Transfer rate with 0.1 ms access time and the graph was solid/smooth most of the time.

Cons: SSD toolbox and TRIM do not support raid. If you attach this drive to one of your motherboard's sata ports and want to use TRIM then make sure to set your onchip sata type to Native IDE (This is ushally the default setting) then install windows. If you installed windows using your raid controller's driver like I did and want to use TRIM, change the aboave setting, put the windows disc in, and windows will install the drivers automatically just after startup. If you want to raid these drives then you will forfit TRIM support meaning that as time goes on your drive will slow down slightly. This is probibly not noticable to the average person, but benches will show it. If you plan to raid 0 these drives then you should not expect to see a big difference between a single drive and 2 in raid 0. About 25% of average use is writing while 75% is read, so you will not knotice the benifit in performance unless you do a lot of write intensive operations.

Overall Review: My Custom Build: WEI Base Score 7.0 (GPU) MOBO: Gigabite MA790GP-UD4H MEM (WEI 7.5): 2x2Gb OCZ Reaper 1150MHz DDR2 @1066Mhz SPD CPU (WEI 7.4): AMD Phenom II x2 550 Unlocked to x4 B50(Bomber) and OC @ 3.62GHz (3.8Ghz Max) cooled with Scythe Shuriken Rev. B low profile HSF and IC Diamond Thermal Compound (Very cool @ 45 Celcius Load) Hard Drive (WEI 7.5): 1x Intel X25-M 80Gb G2C1 (OS/Boot) 1x WD Caviar Black 640Gb (Data) GPU (WEI 7.0): 1x ATI Radeon HD 3850 256bit 512MB (OC: Mem clock = 800MHz, GPU clock = 750MHz) Case: Apevia X-Master AL/500 HTPC Case Moded with 120mm case fan directly aboave CPU. AeroCool EasyWatch-BK Temp./automatic Fan Control. PSU: Coolmax 500W Modular (Case PSU is Substandard) OS: Windows 7 Premium 64Bit