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John A.

John A.

Joined on 08/12/04

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 11
Most Favorable Review

Excellent

EVGA 012-P3-1571-AR GeForce GTX 570 HD w/Display-Port (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
EVGA 012-P3-1571-AR GeForce GTX 570 HD w/Display-Port (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

Pros: Slightly smaller form factor makes fitting in case much easier. Idles around 54 - under load runs about 80-ish with no discernible fan noise (see below).

Cons: Had to RMA first one due to a problem with the fan regulator -- for no apparent reason when sitting idle the fan would jump to ~5100 rpm and stay there - not even rebooting would reset it.

Overall Review: Awesome customer service. I received and installed the card on a Friday. By Saturday morning the fan problem had manifested itself. After going thru my usual bag of troubleshooting tricks I entered a support ticket with EVGA that afternoon, expecting to hear back from them no sooner than Monday or Tuesday. I was pleasantly surprised to get a response back that night, and continued communications throughout the rest of the weekend. As much as we'd like to hope every product we get is perfect, that's just not realistic. The real mark of a company is how they react to the problems. In this case EVGA could not have done any better.

Most Critical Review

Waste Of Money *FOR ME*

Winegard SS-2000 16" SquareShooter UHF Antenna
Winegard SS-2000 16" SquareShooter UHF Antenna

Pros: Makes a nice place to hang a bird feeder.

Cons: Don't stand under it while the birds are eating! This antenna simply could not perform any better than the old rabbit ears I was using in my garage for my portable TV. I tried everything from completely replacing my cables, gold plated connectors, eliminating splitters, countless hours of adjusting and rescanning, etc. and nothing improved the reception (and yes, I'm referring to UHF stations - I'm well aware it's not designed for VHF)

Overall Review: Do yourself a favor before buying one of these: go down to your local dollar store and pick up the good old-fashioned rabbit ears (usually under 5 bucks) and try them out to get a baseline for what you can expect to get for essentially free. Then if you choose to purchase this item (you may find you don't even need it!), you'll have some idea of whether it's worth the price or not (and can possibly send it back if it isn't).

Good Buy

GELID Solutions FN-SX08-16 80mm Case cooler
GELID Solutions FN-SX08-16 80mm Case cooler

Pros: Good airflow/dB ratio especially for the price. About as quiet as one could expect for a sub 10 dollar fan. No ridiculous colored LEDs.

Cons: It doesn't fit in my perpetual motion machine.

Overall Review: Bought a pair of these to replace the rear 80mm fans in a RPC-4220 server case. My plan is to get the basic sound level as low as possible BEFORE populating the case with hard disks. Already replaced the 4x80mm on the midwall with 3x120mm Sigmateks and I'm thinking about replacing those with 120mm Gelids if they can perform as well as these 80mm's have.

Kingston SSDNow V Series 2.5" 30GB SATA II Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) SNV125-S2/30GB
Kingston SSDNow V Series 2.5" 30GB SATA II Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) SNV125-S2/30GB

Pros: Reasonably priced, small general purpose drive.

Cons: None really.

Overall Review: Don't use SSD for swap space! You don't have unlimited "writes" with SSD and the rapid volatility of paging will very quickly shorten the life of your drive. If paging is a problem for you, and throwing hardware at it is your solution, try throwing RAM :-)

Update To HTPC CPU Review

Intel Core i3-2100T - Core i3 2nd Gen Sandy Bridge Dual-Core 2.5 GHz LGA 1155 35W Intel HD Graphics 2000 Desktop Processor - BX80623I32100T
Intel Core i3-2100T - Core i3 2nd Gen Sandy Bridge Dual-Core 2.5 GHz LGA 1155 35W Intel HD Graphics 2000 Desktop Processor - BX80623I32100T

Pros: All previously mentioned pros still apply: Cool running, very lower power, more than adequate speed, acceptable integrated GPU.

Cons: Still think it should be cheaper.

Overall Review: For those of you running linux kernels 2.6.38 and up, the following option added to your boot line (most people needing this know what that means, but if not check your /etc/default/grub file for most distros): i915.semaphores=1 will greatly help with stuttering and GPU hang problems until the drivers become more mature/stable.

Excellent

VisionTek Candyboard 900319 Black 69 Normal Keys USB RF Wireless Mini Keyboard
VisionTek Candyboard 900319 Black 69 Normal Keys USB RF Wireless Mini Keyboard

Pros: - Tiny size - Backlit - Good Range (approx. 18-20' unobstructed, past that reliability drops off) - Kiss your on-screen keyboards good bye! - Integrated touchpad/pointing device.

Cons: It may be slightly (and I stress the word "slightly") overpriced - but nowhere near as much as some other reviewers would lead you to believe.

Overall Review: I was looking for a keyboard to use with my bedroom HTPC. The following were my main requirements: - Wireless - Small, and I don't just mean compact, I mean night stand small. - Backlit (an unusual feature for wireless keyboards) - Integrated pointing device. This device fit perfectly. Could I have had most of these things in a larger and cheaper wireless keyboard? Yep. But the ability to keep the kb on the nightstand was an absolute must as was the backlighting (keep in mind this is being targeted for night-time bedroom use)