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Ronald D.

Ronald D.

Joined on 09/20/01

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 6
Most Favorable Review

Great motherboard, once I researched and got everything working

MSI MEG X570 ACE Gaming Motherboard AMD AM4 SATA 6Gb/s M.2 USB 3.2 Gen 2 Wi-Fi 6 ATX
MSI MEG X570 ACE Gaming Motherboard AMD AM4 SATA 6Gb/s M.2 USB 3.2 Gen 2 Wi-Fi 6 ATX

Pros: Native WiFi 6.0 on motherboard helps make setup quicker Installed fresh Win10x64 from USB and MSI/AMD Drivers in under 20 minutes Supports Nvidia SLI (Thanks, MSI!) Very fast, when totally decked out

Cons: Need the absolute latest BIOS, Win10x64 v1903, and latest AMD Chipset Drivers (from AMD) for CPU to drop below 35 DegC Cryptic BIOS settings to enable Virtual Machine capabilities Doesn't boot reliably from USB Media Readers No obvious progress when installing Win10 from a USB source. Don't install Dragon Center! 4 SATA ports

Overall Review: This review is for the MSI Review Rebate Program. I have a MSI MEG X570 ACE Motherboard, decked out with a Ryzen 3900X, 1 TB Samsung 970 EVO NVMe SSD, MSI Ventus RTX 2060, and Corsair Vengeance 32 GB DDR4 3200 RAM. First off, I ran into a few hiccups getting the system operational. The first obstacle was trying to install Windows through a USB Media Reader. The MSI BIOS didn't recognize it, and it didn't boot. Eventually, I was able to install via a USB DVD drive (and later from a bootable USB drive) that had the Windows installer on it. During the initial motherboard bootup, there was a minute or so of flashing lights/LED displays before I saw the BIOS screen come up. It was a little tense since I didn't know if the system was working, but eventually everything came up OK - be patient on the first boot! When trying to install Win10 on the system, there was no visible progress that anything is occurring for quite a while (minutes). The display just shows "MEG" in big gold letters, with no spinner or pulsing progress indicator. The first few times this happened, I thought the system was locked up and not operational. I ended up with a few aborted installs as a result. Again - be patient - the Windows installer will eventually pop up after a few minutes. After Win10 came up, I installed all of the BIOS and drivers from the MSI site. I also installed the Dragon Center. Without anything else installed or running, I tried monitoring my CPU temperature, CPU clocks, and Core voltage. CPU-ID showed that my Core Voltage never dropped below 1.0 V, and was frequently over 1.25 V. The CPU temperature was constantly fluctuating between 42 and 60 Deg C! After researching, I found out that I made two mistakes: I should have installed the latest AMD Chipset drivers from the AMD website (not MSI), and I shouldn't have installed Dragon Center (it takes over control of the Win10 power profile, regardless of what Win10 is reporting). To play it safe, I decided to totally reinstall Win10x64 v1903 again ... I set my Power Profile to "Ryzen Balanced", which now appears in Win10. Now, my idle CPU temperature occasionally drops down to 34 Deg C, and goes up to 52 DegC. My idle core voltage will drop down as low 0.35 V. The Ryzen Master application also shows that my cores are going to "sleep" more frequently when idle. That helped! So, my advice is to install the latest X570 AMD Chipset Drivers from the AMD website, and don't install MSI Dragon Center. MSI Ryzen Master is fine, though. I found that having the high-speed WiFi on the ACE was much more functional than I expected. I know that gamers will use it more than me, but I found it very handy when transferring stuff between my old PC and my new PC. I set up a remote session on my old PC to connect to the new PC, and transferred files and data without needing another monitor/keyboard/mouse. One last obstacle was getting AMD-V operational to use Virtual Box Virtual Machines. For some reason, MSI buried the setting under the Advanced BIOS "OC" Overclocking window. Scroll down to the CPU Features option, and enable "SVM Mode" - That will enable AMD-V hardware virtualization support. Now that the system is operational, it is very snappy - It boots up in less than 30 seconds, and games have been running great! Highly recommended, once you get over a few installation "bumps"!

Most Critical Review

A good idea, but didn't work as well as I hoped.

LOGISYS Computer MS601BK Black 3 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB Wired Optical Finger Mouse
LOGISYS Computer MS601BK Black 3 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB Wired Optical Finger Mouse

Pros: Not much that I can say that's good about this product, except for the concept.

Cons: Awkward to use, with a lot of mouse button mis-hits. The biggest problem was that my hand/fingers became uncomfortable after using this mouse for only 1/2 hour. Not recommended.

Overall Review: I had hoped that the mouse could be aimed high above any surface, which would allow for more comfortable hand positioning. Unfortunately, the "tip" (LED) of the mouse had to be in contact with a surface, which meant that my fingers always needed to be curled. This became uncomfortable after a very short period of time.

11/22/2006

Decent, but one major flaw

ASUS VE247H 24" (Actual size 23.6") Full HD 1920 x 1080 VGA DVI-D HDMI Built-in Speakers LED Backlit LCD Monitor
ASUS VE247H 24" (Actual size 23.6") Full HD 1920 x 1080 VGA DVI-D HDMI Built-in Speakers LED Backlit LCD Monitor

Pros: - Great price for a 24" LED screen - Great looking display, once it is calibrated (See below) - VESA mounting - HDMI, DVI, & VGA inputs - HDCP compliant on the DVI input

Cons: - All of the built-in "Splendid" configurations look really bad. - ASCR is not usable (at least, on the monitor I purchased) - Significant ghosting occurs when black items are moved against a white background. Very noticeable when drawing / moving lines in MS Word or Visio, for example. The ghosting occurs regardless of whether ASCR turned "On" or not (I was hoping this was just an artifact of ASCR, but it isn't). Also noticeable when just moving a black cursor against a white background.

Overall Review: The VE247H is a really good monitor, but it has some significant flaws: - The pre-set "Splendid" configurations are anything but "splendid". All of them were obnoxiously bright and overly contrasted. - The color temperature is pretty far off target. For example, the "Normal" setting for 7500K was closer to about 6700K. - Using the "Theater Mode" (since it allowed for a lot of control), and "User Mode" for the Color Temperature, I calibrated my display using SpectraCal's new CalPC software along with my Chroma5 Colorimeter. Everything looked really great after calibration. - The ASCR (Asus' dynamic contrast feature) is basically useless. When the screen contained a large amount of black, the entire display went totally blank. This occurred during full-screen videos, and during PC bootup (blanked during BIOS info display and the Win7 glowing flag), for example. This may be just my monitor - I will replace my monitor and update with what I find.

Pretty nice, but room for improvement

Jawbone Over-The-Ear Bluetooth Headset Black Bulk (Jawbone 2 II)
Jawbone Over-The-Ear Bluetooth Headset Black Bulk (Jawbone 2 II)

Pros: Noise cancellation works really well. Good volume levels. Comfortable, if you can get it to fit. Charger is pretty cool. Good battery life. Classy Packaging.

Cons: Needed Jabra Mini-Gels for usable fit. No "Voice Mute" function available on headset. No way to transfer call from headset back to phone (that I know of).

So noisy, it's unusable ...

Thermaltake W0131RU 850W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Certified 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
Thermaltake W0131RU 850W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Certified 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

Pros: This supply has plenty of power! It handles my 8800 GTS Superclocked x2 (SLI) without breaking a sweat ... but it is breathing hard.

Cons: When the power drain on the W0131RU is low, it's very quiet. However, almost everybody who buys an 850W PSU probably plans on using a lot of power. That's where this supply really stumbles - the cooling fan turns on during high demand, and it sounds like a jet turbine. Even more annoying - when just surfing (not gaming), my dual GPU system is on the threshold of the "high demand" area, so the noisy fan switches on and off randomly. UGGHH!

Overall Review: The modular cables were nice. I was able to get by with three less connections to the box, so the cabling was laid out better. After throwing over $700 into my system to make it an SLI box, the money has been totally wasted. The SLI improvement was so minimal (about 15% - Bummer!) I'm going back to my much quieter single 8800 GTS based systen with a virtually noiseless Ultra 550W power supply. Now I have a 850W PSU and a 8800 GTS that will be collecting dust. I'll still use the new Antec P182 cabinet - it's nice!

Not for FSX!

EVGA 320-P2-N815-AR GeForce 8800GTS 320MB 320-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card
EVGA 320-P2-N815-AR GeForce 8800GTS 320MB 320-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card

Pros: An excellent card that runs nice and quiet!

Cons: If you are primarily running Microsoft Flight Simulator X (like I am), you may not see a single benefit from this card. I have an Athlon x2 4400+ CPU with 1 GB of memory, and previously had two eVGA 7600 GT's running in SLI mode. Running in very high settings, I did not see *any* increase in my FPS (approx 15 FPS) with the 8800 GTS.

Overall Review: That said, I really like the card for all the other stuff it does. Excluding FSX, it gets me about 75% more power than my previous 7600 GT SLI arrangement.