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BRIAN F.

BRIAN F.

Joined on 06/01/02

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 4
Most Favorable Review
CHAINTECH AV-710 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Interface Sound Card
CHAINTECH AV-710 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Interface Sound Card

Pros: Audiophile sound for an incredibly low price.

Cons: Can be annoying to configure in Linux, but Head-Fi has ALSA config files that usually work well.

Overall Review: The black output next to the toslink on this card is simply amazing for the price. I've modded mine with Black Gate NX-HiQ 6.3v 22uF for the output caps (dc coupling) and it beats my iAudio X5L by a decent margin. It isn't the best (quite obviously) but it'll smear anything else under $100. Only the alt-out has the good wolfson DAC, all others use a cheap integrated VIA chip.

Most Critical Review

Loud

ASUS EN7600GT/HTDI/256M GeForce 7600GT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 SLI Supported Video Card
ASUS EN7600GT/HTDI/256M GeForce 7600GT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 SLI Supported Video Card

Pros: HDMI/HDCP, PureVideo acceleration / processing works great (only thing saving this from a 2)

Cons: The heatsink is WAY too loud for use in a media center computer, even though that is the obvious target for this card. The speed can be turned down in ASUS SmartDoctor, but I had to put it at 12% to make it as quiet as my MSI Ti4200. The temperatures won't hold long at such a low speed if I use PureVideo HD or play games, so it needs to be turned back up to hair dryer volumes to do anything useful.

Overall Review: Should have been bundled with a quiet cooler so I don't have to spend an additional $xx on one.

Works...

Beyond Micro 320GB USB 2.0 / eSATA 3.5" External Hard Drive BM320MD3CS8M
Beyond Micro 320GB USB 2.0 / eSATA 3.5" External Hard Drive BM320MD3CS8M

Pros: It works (after a little messing around), it's fast, the power button is nice, and the casing seems to be durable. I like how it can be opened without any tools. The drive I received is a Hitachi HDT725032VLA360, which is very quiet as long as the fan is shut off.

Cons: When I first took this drive out of the box, it didn't power on. I voided the warranty to open it up to find that the piece of cardboard that was shoved behind the drive in the factory to hold it in place had shifted out of position. It now works after a few adjustments. It won't even power on when connected to my Via 8237 SATA, but that's probably an issue w/ my motherboard and not the drive. Additionally, the built in fan is at least twice as loud as my entire computer. It quite thankfully can be shut off, but I turn it on during high activity anyways to keep it cool.

Overall Review: I'm disappointed that only USB works with my system but I guess that's OK for now. The inclusion of a random piece of cardboard as a major structural piece is rather unprofessional.

12/27/2007
iAUDIO X5 Black 30GB MP3 / MP4 Player X5L
iAUDIO X5 Black 30GB MP3 / MP4 Player X5L

Pros: Great sound quality, supports FLAC and Ogg Vorbis, supported by rockbox (and installation is incredibly simple, just drag n' drop), battery lasts an eon and a half, very solid construction.

Cons: I've had this player for over a year now, and I can't come up with any cons. Sure, it's a little thick, but I don't feel it in my pocket.

Overall Review: This player is amazing. I see no reason to downgrade to an iPod. If you want a DAP that can play FLAC and has a hard drive, this is still the one and only choice on the market.