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Alexander K.

Alexander K.

Joined on 09/03/04

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 20
Most Favorable Review

Pretty good for the price.

BenQ FP202W 20.1" WSXGA+ 1680 x 1050 D-Sub, DVI-D LCD Monitor
BenQ FP202W 20.1" WSXGA+ 1680 x 1050 D-Sub, DVI-D LCD Monitor

Pros: This is a 20.1" Widescreen (1.6:1 as opposed to 1.33:1) monitor, native resolution 1680x1050. I must say I'm quite fairly impressed with this monitor. It was larger than I expected it to be (quite enormous actually) and has almost 2.25x the screen area of the old LG 15". The pixels are also spaced together. Brightness and response time are excellent, no ghosting in games or anything. Area is HUGE HUGE HUGE - many applications - from viewing/editing two word docs side by side to DVD watching. I can also actually write long lines of code without them spilling off the side of the screen and having to scroll back and forth. Image is VERY bright and clear.

Cons: Default backlight setting very bright. This overloads the power circuitry and causes flickering at times. Turn down the backlight and the flickering goes away. Two dead pixels, but they are very far from center and hard to notice. This is truly a luck thing, some panels have no dead pixels and some have a lot. This came in between. No biggie. That, and the fact that a lot of games/apps/driver software have contention issues with widescreen. A lot of games older than two years old cannot do 1680x1050. So I have to settle with a lower res. Some games don't do widescreen at all and look stretched. The monitor does send the video card back generations in performance because of the huge screen real estate. I haven't been able to play any modern games at 1680x1050 because 128MB video memory just isn't enough to drive that resolution in 3d. I'm not sure if it'd really matter though because there's no way a single geforce 6600 is going to run games like FEAR, N

Overall Review: It has an integrated transformer, so no extra power block to worry about (not that it's really an issue).

Most Critical Review

Good featurewise, average otherwise

GIGABYTE GA-K8N51PVMT-9 939 NVIDIA GeForce 6150 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
GIGABYTE GA-K8N51PVMT-9 939 NVIDIA GeForce 6150 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

Pros: Very small Lots of features (HDTV, HD Audio, etc)

Cons: Sometimes needs soft-off to POST Occasionally questionable stability Slow RAID Memory performance below average When 6200 is used, 3d crashes

Overall Review: I got this board to put in a compact low-profile system that I could lug around everywhere (I move around a lot). When I got it, I found that the northbridge heatsink collided with the video card, so I had to modify it. At first, there were no problems other than that. However, occasionally windows would crash for no reason with the video card installed at times, and would hang for several seconds when transferring large files (no other system, ever, has done that). It seemed to be a burn-in issue as none of that happens now. However, there are performance issues and it may not be the board itself but the chipset. The BIOS does seem tuned for lower-performance settings (1T memory bandwidth 1GB/s less than on an epox 9nda3+) but things like RAID being rather slow are definitely chipset problems. I put two WD4000s together in RAID 1 to be sorely disappointed with performance. This thing ran like an old celeron until I just used the drives independently.

Decent mATX case

Cooler Master Centurion Micro ATX 541 RC-541-SKR1 Black Aluminum bezel, SECC chassis Micro ATX Mini Tower Computer Case 380W Power Supply
Cooler Master Centurion Micro ATX 541 RC-541-SKR1 Black Aluminum bezel, SECC chassis Micro ATX Mini Tower Computer Case 380W Power Supply

Pros: Decent case; I like the full ventilation grille in the front. It allows for a much quiter PC (all my fans are temperature sensitive). Very small - it's shorter than my 22" monitor when placed on my desk.

Cons: Build quality of things like the buttons could be better; overall quality could be better. Included PSU did not power my system adequately, a system which would be considered upper-midrange by modern terms.

Overall Review: Case depth is too short for some PSUs. I had to bust out the back to fit a 700W PSU - not a pretty sight. It takes away some of the space advantage. The appearance could be better, but I'm not complaining about the cooling!

11/19/2007

excellent cooler

ZALMAN CNPS9500A-LED 92mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler
ZALMAN CNPS9500A-LED 92mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler

Pros: I first had this on an X2 3800+ @ 2.4GHz, now 2.8GHz. It has no problems cooling 135W+ chips while remaining relatively silent (depends on your motherboard settings; mine has a fan controller linked to the CPU die!) but included VR allows you to be in control. Exceptional build quality as well. Surprisingly light.

Cons: A bit on the pricey side but that is to be expected given the build quality and materials. Requires a full-height case; my previous CNPS7000 worked in a half-height case.

Overall Review: Excellent cooler, and at this price, a buy. It can easily cool the latest quad cores and probably the future oct cores.

11/19/2007

Excellent RAM

G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR 400 (PC 3200) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F1-3200PHU2-2GBNS
G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR 400 (PC 3200) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F1-3200PHU2-2GBNS

Pros: This RAM is excellent. The heatspreaders have a classy red/chrome finish that's not gaudy at all and radiate heat well. Apparently the combination of chips/cooling is amazing because I can get the RAM to run 240MHz 1T (haven't tried higher).

Cons: At this price? The RAM may not be DDR500, but it's 2GB and has a lot of headroom.

Overall Review: If you've been debating switching a whole mobo platform out because DDR2 is cheaper, this may an excellent alternative. Even 4GB of this is incredible value.

11/16/2007

Awesome buy.

AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ - Athlon 64 X2 Toledo Dual-Core 2.0 GHz Socket 939 89W Processor - ADA3800DAA5CD
AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ - Athlon 64 X2 Toledo Dual-Core 2.0 GHz Socket 939 89W Processor - ADA3800DAA5CD

Pros: Amazing chip. Bought it to replace a Manchester and it can not only handle tighter memory timings, but it overclocks very well. Runs cool at default voltages and modest overclocks as well.

Cons: Running at 2800MHz with folding, this thing chews through well over 100W of power. Its 2.66GHz Conroe competitor wipes the floor with it in some scenarios at 2/3 the power consumption.

Overall Review: Great for people who want to give their aging K8/DDR1 systems one final performance kick. This chip was the bridge for me to tide me over till a viable K10/Penryn chip comes down the pipeline.

11/16/2007