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Christian B.

Christian B.

Joined on 04/07/05

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 29
Most Favorable Review

Works flawlessly; times have changed, don't hate on OCZ!

OCZ Vertex 3 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) VTX3-25SAT3-120G
OCZ Vertex 3 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) VTX3-25SAT3-120G

Pros: - So far (2 days), very stable. It hasn't hung or had any problems whatsoever. - As with any SSD, SUPER fast. This is my first SSD and I was floored by the boot speed. Definitely worth the extra money for a primary drive. - Simple and easy to install. I installed fresh Windows 7 to it and had no problems. I've heard mixed opinions on cloning a hard drive to the SSD, so I can't comment on that.

Cons: - Oddly, sometimes installing programs takes longer than it seems like it should. The Windows installation was no faster than installing to a platter hard drive. But it's not really a big con. - It comes with almost no instructions. Be sure to go to the OCZ website and look in their support forums for all kinds of guides. - The mounting bracket might pose some problems for screwless hard drive bays and a bit of thinking, but should ultimately connect well.

Overall Review: I got this on sale for a very cheap price and thought it was a no-brainer. Then I saw people saying how unreliably OCZ was. I thought about RMAing immediately and getting an Intel or other brand, but after doing some research, it looks to me like OCZ has resolved all of the massive failure issues that these drives used to routinely have and they've done a lot to win back good will. The problems with the firmware on these drives are from late last year, over 7 months ago. Update the firmware immediately and you shouldn't have any problems. Connect the SATA cable to the Intel SATA ports if you have them: they're more stable than the add-on ports. Update your motherboard BIOS and your chipset drivers. Get everything up to date; you'll be fine. Before doing anything, go to the OCZ site, download the Linux boot tool to your USB. This is the best way to update the firmware and make sure that everything will operate correctly.

Most Critical Review

Good card if you don't plan on gaming

XFX GeForce MX4000 128MB DDR AGP 4X/8X Video Card PVT18LRT
XFX GeForce MX4000 128MB DDR AGP 4X/8X Video Card PVT18LRT

Comments: I got this card simply because it was the cheapest card and because the motherboard I was ordering for a business did not have onboard video. It runs fine for any office applications, but definately not for games, although I don't care; good price for what it does.

Great as a lightweight home server

SolidRun Video Device CuBox-i4 Pro. V2 1.2GHz Quad Core Android Media Player
SolidRun Video Device CuBox-i4 Pro. V2 1.2GHz Quad Core Android Media Player

Pros: I've been using a Raspberry Pi B+ as a home server to run a simple Node.js chat program I made with decent results. However, I wanted something more powerful that could handle additional tasks (nginx, MySQL, and other things I wanted to experiment with), so I researched other options. I was originally going to get a Beaglebone or a BananaPi, but then I found the Cubox and its sister, the Hummingboard. At the time I did my research (October 2014), the Cubox i4pro was hands-down the most powerful single-board-computer (it's basically a Hummingboard with a different form factor) on the market in this cost bracket. SolidRun markets this box primarily as a media streaming device, and I'm sure it's fine at that, but it also makes a great lightweight server that can actually handle some pretty beefy tasks. The community support doesn't match the level of the Raspi, but it's still sufficient. I'm currently running a community-built image of Debian Wheezy in a headless setup with my filesystem on an SSD (which was easy enough to set up). There's also an active development community concerning distros of ArchLinux and Fedora available for the Cubox. The performance gains on my server over the Raspi are astronomical, and I couldn't be happier with my purchase.

Cons: * The microSD isn't spring-loaded, as others have said, which means that you need a tweezers to pull out the card. Once you've set up your Cubox, you shouldn't need to remove the card often, but it's still an annoying process. * Although I enjoy tinkering and I thought the process of installing a Debian image was pretty straightforward, this is not a device that is ready to go right out of the box. if you've never messed with Linux before and you just want a media center that works immediately, you probably want to find another option. * Onboard wifi does not support the wireless AC standard (at least, not as far as I can tell).

Overall Review: I don't use this box for its intended purpose (media streaming), so I can't comment on its ability to transcode video or anything like that.

12/22/2014

Perfect lightweight server

SolidRun CUBOX-I4PRO Platform
SolidRun CUBOX-I4PRO Platform

Pros: I've been using a Raspberry Pi as a home server to run a simple Node.js chat program I made with decent results. However, I wanted something more powerful that could handle additional tasks (nginx, MySQL, and other things I wanted to experiment with), so I researched. I was originally going to get a Beaglebone or a BananaPi, but then I found the Cubox and its sister, the Hummingboard. At the time I did my research (October 2014), the Cubox i4pro was hands-down the most powerful single-board-computer (it's basically a Hummingboard with a different form factor) on the market in this cost bracket. SolidRun markets this box primarily as a media streaming device, and I'm sure it's fine at that, but it also makes a great lightweight server that can actually handle some pretty beefy tasks. The community support doesn't match the level of the Raspi, but it's still sufficient. I'm currently running a community-built image of Debian Wheezy in a headless setup with my filesystem on an SSD (which was easy enough to set up). There's also an active development community concerning distros of ArchLinux and Fedora available for the Cubox. The performance gains on my server over the Raspi are astronomical, and I couldn't be happier with my purchase.

Cons: * The microSD isn't spring-loaded, as others have said, which means that you need a tweezers to pull out the card. Once you've set up your Cubox, you shouldn't need to remove the card often, but it's still an annoying process. * Without Newegg selling this item, the best option is ordering right from the company. Unfortunately for US customers, this involves shipping overseas (SolidRun is based in Israel) and a rather long delay. Hopefully Newegg gets some back in stock soon. * Although I enjoy tinkering and I thought the process of installing a Debian image was pretty straightforward, this is not a device that is ready to go right out of the box. if you've never messed with Linux before and you just want a media center that works immediately, you probably want to find another option. * Onboard wifi does not support the wireless AC standard (at least, not as far as I can tell).

Overall Review: I don't use this box for its intended purpose (media streaming), so I can't comment on its ability to transcode video or anything like that.

12/22/2014

Good speakers for price

Genius F-Series SP-F200 6 Watts 2.0 Stereo Speakers
Genius F-Series SP-F200 6 Watts 2.0 Stereo Speakers

Pros: A lot thinner than the previous NEC circa 1995 speakers my client had been using. The sound really is great for a speaker system without a subwoofer. These can go to a pretty high volume with surprising quality for the price.

Cons: None, though I wish I had paid a little more and gone with a subwoofer system. I bought these because placing a subwoofer would have been next-to-impossible in the office setup.

Overall Review: This is my first buy from Genius and I bought it because of the price. I have no complaints, and I'll buy from them again when I'm looking for economy speakers at a low price.

LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner With 12X DVD-RAM Write 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model LH-20A1S OEM BK
LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner With 12X DVD-RAM Write 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model LH-20A1S OEM BK

Pros: Speedy DVD-+RW drive for a great price. And it's SATA! Finally it's possible to run your system without the dreaded ribbon cable.

Cons: None. I was half-hoping for a real performance increase over other models, and if there is one it's negligable. As it's been said, the bottleneck in modern CD drives is not the transfer speed, but the read speed. But hey, a SATA cable is thinner and easier to install than an ATAPI ribbon, so what's not to love?

Overall Review: Since my first computer build I have bought Lite-On CD drives in almost every build. In fact it was the first piece of equipment I ever bought for my very first custom built computer. I've never had any problems with them.