Joined on 06/28/04
Great Bang for the Buck
Pros: Great price for a 1GB DDR3 card. I bought this card to sit in my web browsing PC which is also used for video playback and light gaming. The fact that it draws power from the slot and doesn't require a plug in from the PSU menas is sips electricity. Don't bother with the drivers on the CD - just go get them from ATI/AMD's website and you're good to go.
Cons: None really... However, MSI's rebate website cotnained several gramatical errors. No HDMI connector but I'm not using it for that anyway. 128-bit, but hey - look at the price!
Overall Review: It plays older generation games fully maxed and newer games like COD4 very well. I get 75-80FPS on COD4 using medium settings. Not bad considering it's in a PCIe-x16 slot and not a PCIe-2.0 slot. I did quite a bit of looking before choosing this card and I am happy with the performance for the price. I'm tired of spending $300 on the latest and greatest video card when cards like these can keep you in the game for a couple of years at a fraction of the cost. Newegg prices smoked all of the brick and mortar retailers - thanks Newegg!!
Change of Heart
Pros: Western Digital honored their warranty and I was able to get an RMA after the HD died after 1 year.
Cons: Major hassel of reinstalling OS and software. Products should last longer.
Overall Review: I slammed Western Digital in a review down below this one. I feel it is necessary to say that they stand behind their products and honored their word.
Plug and play
Pros: Worked right out of the box. Just plugged one of the adapters near my computer and a cable into the router. Then I took the other plug downstairs and did the same with my blue-ray player. Bingo! Streaming Netflix without any hiccups. I was using a wireless adapter with my blue ray player but the signal kept flickering. My wife likes the fact that it has encryption as it helps with her general paranoia.
Cons: This one is a bit pricey. The 2 Ethernet cables included in the box are only six feet long. Seriously... for over $100 they could have thrown in 8 or 10 foot cables. (minus 1 egg for high cost and short cords).
Overall Review: This is way cheaper than having someone wire up your house with Ethernet cable. I just cut my cable and went with Netflix so the price of this gear was literally equivalent to one month of my cable bill $$$!! They should sell these in mutli-packs (4 or 5 units).
Zero Customer Service
Pros: Simple design. Got a successful POST. Low cost for decent features.
Cons: Feels like I'm gonna break the VGA connection on the back panel when plugging in my monitor cable. Same goes for the mouse and keyboard plugs. Can't get the board to recognize a video card. Tried numerous BIOS settings with no luck. Just get a black screen off the video card. ECS technical support is horrible. I've had an open ticket with them for one week with no reply. Unacceptable. ECS should spend more time reviewing their own technical forums instead of replying to Newegg review posts.
Overall Review: Ok board if you don't wish to add a graphics card. Last time I'll buy an ECS board since they don't support their own technical support tickets.
Up and Running Without a Hitch
Pros: POST was good on the first attempt. Board layout was easy to follow. Manual clearly laid out connection pins for the case wiring. Can run DDR2 OR DDR3 memory which is good for future expansion. Extracting the SATA drivers for Win-XP was simple off of the driver disk and the manual explained the process very well.
Cons: Second PCI-E slot only 8x. Bummer if you want to go crossfire / SLI.
Overall Review: Bend back the rear shield metal pieces before installing the mobo. I forgot to open up the network cable ports and cut my finger opening them once the board was installed. This was my first Gigabyte board and I really like it. I'll check them out again in the future.
Pleased with Antec, Once Again...
Pros: Beautiful, classic design. 120MM fans keep the case cold to the touch! You can place hard drives in an upper or lower chamber, leaving options for additional fans. 3.5 and 5.25 bays install easily. Case is quiet with 3 120MM fans blowing on high. Fan switches for the top exhaust and rear fans have control switches on the back of the case so you don't have to open it up to adjust the speed. Ample hardware was provided (screws, etc.)
Cons: Minor point - A pre-installed fan that blows on the PSU crowded the cage so much that I had to take it out so it was a wasted fan. Even after removing the fan the PSU cage is kinda tight but workable.
Overall Review: My PSU cables did not reach the 8 pin and 24 pin connectors on the mobo but I planned ahead and bought extension cables. Do yourself a favor and get these prior to your build. This is my 3rd build and 2nd Antec. You can't go wrong with an Antec case!!