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George W.

George W.

Joined on 10/10/04

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 7
Most Favorable Review

Fast RAM, works as advertised

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-4GBRH
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-4GBRH

Pros: These RAM had the best/tightest timings I could find at my Mobo's non-OC'd speed (1333). My mobo's automatic timing was 9-9-9-27, but changing to the advertised 7-7-7-21 did not cause any problems. No errors detected after 6 hours of Memtest at advertised timing and speed.

Cons: Memory size of 4 x 2^30 bytes is the limit of what can be supported by most 32 bit operating systems. That, and the misinformed people lowering the rating of a perfectly good product in ignorance.

Overall Review: The Ripjaw series was newly introduced when I built my comp, and I was cautious and skeptical, but no problems using it for 2 months. Now adding G. Skill to my list of trusted memory vendors. Price raised after purchase, wish I had bought two sets. Motherboard: ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO CPU: AMD Phenom II 945 X4 RAM: Ripjaws F3-10666CL7D-4GBRH

Most Critical Review

Spend a little more, buy better pad

Phillips Wireless 2.4 GHz Gamepad
Phillips Wireless 2.4 GHz Gamepad

Pros: Wireless. Very Cheap. Has a turbo button. Drivers work hassle free in Windows 7, 64 bit.

Cons: Terrible button responsiveness. I bought it to play Devil May Cry 3 and 4. In DMC, your guns shoot as fast as you can press the button, except the button recognition on this stick barely picks up one every 3 presses. Yes, the turbo compensates, but you essentially have either bad response, or turbo - no finer gradient inbetween. This applies to every action controlled by the 4 buttons on top; the shoulder buttons are more responsive, but unfortunately are the less used in most games. Overall, it is just makes for a very lackluster experience. The cheap GameAxis wired gamepad I bought in Walmart 10 years ago was heads and shoulders better than this.

Overall Review: It is somewhat possible that the lack of responsiveness is due to the wireless signals are somehow scrambled in my room, but I am 5 feet away with a direct line of sight. Still, it is a minor but conceivable possibility. Don't know for sure about the vibration. The stick vibrated once or twice, for no apparent reason. Not sure if it's a Windows 7 driver / game incompatibility, or the stick not working. Again, benefit of the doubt, Spend a little more, buy an actual, decent gamepad from Logitech or some named brand..

Works, cheap, what else you want?

ENCORE ENLWI-G(2) Wireless Adapter IEEE 802.11b/g TPCI Standard Universal Add-in card Compliant with PCI 2.0 Up to 54Mbps Wireless Data Rates
ENCORE ENLWI-G(2) Wireless Adapter IEEE 802.11b/g TPCI Standard Universal Add-in card Compliant with PCI 2.0 Up to 54Mbps Wireless Data Rates

Pros: Bought this card 3 years ago, and it has served its purpose in through my various OS adventures: XP 32 bit, Ubuntu 32 bit (8.04 - 9.10), Ubuntu (9.10 - 10.10) 64 bit, and Windows 7 64 bit. Connects to my router (Linksys WRT54GL running Tomato linux firmware) no problems. Detects my neighbor's wireless networks as well. Shows full signal strength 25 feet away from my router, through a wall. Very rarely do I experience connection problems, usually due to my internet provider, none directly attributable to the card. The card served me well running 802.11g for 3 years. I stream Netflix regularly without issues. There are some rough edges, which I'll describe below.

Cons: Windows 7 64-bit drivers were lacking. I had to download the Vista driver from manufacturer site and manually install it through Windows driver manager. Once that's done, the card worked as desired. Recent Ubuntu distributions recognizes the card out of the install, but doesn't display the signal strength correctly. In earlier Ubuntu versions, Ndiswrapper corrected this issue, but not with the last few releases. Still, the card works, but I suspect the native Ubuntu drivers aren't using it to the full potential. Too busy to mess with it either.

Overall Review: XP recognized the card automatically, no need to use packaged drivers. Win7 64-bit users should get drivers from manufacturer website. Wireless connections has many components and can be tricky. Sometimes the Router / Modem / Internet Service Provider / router cable / software driver is at fault. Check everything. Cheap and good card. Doesn't support 802.11n, but the card is 3X cheaper than those that do. Less than twenty bucks and three+ years of wireless access is a pretty good deal.

Great board, some considerations

ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO AM3 AMD 785G HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO AM3 AMD 785G HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard

Pros: Great non-enthusiast board. Has AM3 and DDR3 support for the current and upcoming tech. Pretty large and solid feeling heatsinks for the motherboard itself, which is one of the reasons I chose this board over many others in the same range. Online reviews show performance is pretty much identical to the 790GX chipsets, despite being a non-enthusiastic board. Good if you want a gaming PC but don't plan to Crossfire (don't believe SLI is possible with this board). Has enough PCI slots to support 2 legacy cards, though not without minor complaint (see Other Thoughts). BIOS options are plenty. I easily increased the timings and speed on my RAM. Did not try to overclock RAM or CPU.

Cons: Placement of IDE/PATA slot is rather low on the motherboard. In an ATX full tower case, the fat IDE cable barely stretched the necessary distance and got in way of many other cables. This eventually caused me to ditch my previous DVD Burner and buy a newer SATA drive. My initial build using this board had problems with random BSOD's, and eventually the motherboard not posting at all. The cause could have been caused by a bad power supply, and ASUS RMA was painless and fairly fast. Replacement mobo worked flawlessly. The 2nd PCI-E slot is only 4X (clearly stated in specs).

Overall Review: Features not used: onboard sound and video - I replaced both with discrete solutions. For those using dual slot video cards: the 16X PCI-E slot covers up a PCI slot (one of three). I had two PCI cards, and the wireless card ended being directly underneath the GPU. Would be a heat problem, if the wireless card wasn't so small. Aftermarket CPU Cooling: used a Sunbeam CR-CCTF 120 mm. With the gigantic heatsink, the fan can only be placed one way: blowing air towards the RAM slot. Would be great, except it's back to back with the case exhaust fan, and both fighting for air for their respective functions. Build specs: CPU: AMD Phenom II 945 X4 Motherboard: this one (ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO) RAM: 4 Gigs of G. Skill F3-10666CL7D-4GBRH 4 SATA Hard drives, and 1 SATA Blu-ray ROM, all SATA slots taken. Final thoughts: use a good PSU, bad ones are apparently the number one cause of PC deaths. Also, follow good ESD practices - touch the metal case of a plugged-in PSU to ground

Great Port, OK game

Devil May Cry 4 PC Game
Devil May Cry 4 PC Game

Pros: Great port, smooth controls. Compatible with any generic Playstation-like gamepad. Fast paced action, very fancy maneuvers and quite a few gameplay mechanics improvements over DMC3. I had a lot of fun. Boss fights are a blast. Good balance of difficulty and rewards, though anyone who finished DMC3 will find this game on the easy side. I had no framerate problems on an nvidia 8800, with a 3 year old AMD dual core. Running at 1680 x 1050, high graphics settings.

Cons: A short game. About half of the game is a repeat, but you play with a difference character. Story is not as epic or engaging as DMC3, I did not really care of any of the characters. The boss fights, while entertaining, were not as awe-inspiring as those in DMC3 (Beowulf, Revan, Cerberus, etc.). Mostly because you're fighting humans turned evil, rather than creatures of legend, but that's just me. The background music is weak and uninspired compared to the last installment. Gameplay improvements are many, but gameplay innovations are few and minor.

Overall Review: This is a good game overall. Newcomers who like stylish gunplay and demon slaying will enjoy it. Three stars because the gameplay is not as challenging or as engaging as DMC3. However, this is a MUCH better port than DMC3 At the current price, it's a good purchase for the visuals and fun.

Great, but a few considerations

Logitech G51 155 watts RMS 5.1 Surround Sound Speakers
Logitech G51 155 watts RMS 5.1 Surround Sound Speakers

Pros: Physical qualities: quality construction, clear and loud sound, 5.1 setup. Extras: has 2 possible input sources, one is 5.1, the other is from a red/white audio source (e.g. a Wii). Really well designed wired controller. Has control for Master, Subwoofer, Surround, and Center; power buttons, Matrix mode toggle, mute mic / volume. Another great feature is you can plug headphones / microphones / a headset into the wired controller. I found this to be very useful, as it's easily accessible and fewer cables to be managed. Downfacing bass, a natural "groundshaker". Logitech packed the system well. "Matrix" mode turns 2 channel Stereo into 5.1 surround sound. The results vary by what you play, and ranges from "enjoyable" to "eh." But I'll say that 5.1 with Smash Bros. Brawl is pretty neat.

Cons: Length of the back cables was short. Length of front cables seemed short as well. A review said back cables = 15 ft, front cables = 6 ft; I think it'd been better if both were doubled. -- Note this was easily solved by buying RCA jacks from "mono price.com" (on eword, no space, review spell check problem). I purchased 2 25-ft cables and 2 6-ft cables for around $8. Still, longer cables would've been better. I don't notice this myself, but several Internet review mentioned the bass seemed "loose". Something to consider.

Overall Review: I had problems initially getting the setup to work due the lack of color coding in my soundcard (Audigy 2 Platinum). Software Setup: Getting this to work in Ubuntu 9.04: in Alsamixer, toggle Audigy Analog / Digital Output Jack. Hardware Setup: Speakers stands can be rotated (see manual) to be mountable on walls. This requires a wall nail. Check Wikipedia for schematics on proper 5.1 speaker placements. ---- Thoughts on purchasing this ---- Bought this to have a good 5.1 setup for my computer that I could hear in adjacent rooms. Purchased during a sale on Newegg with a decent discount and free shipping. The other offerings from Logitech I considered:X-530, Z-5500. I bought the G51 because it was the mid-range between the "cheap" X-530's and the high end Z-5500's. I figured if I wanted a home theater system, I'd splurge on a good TV first. The X-530 were good, but looked fragile compared with the G51. Overall, I'm happy with buying the G51. "It sounds good."