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Sandra G.

Sandra G.

Joined on 06/09/06

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 8
Most Favorable Review

High performance at a good price

OCZ Gold 6GB (3 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3G1600LV6GK
OCZ Gold 6GB (3 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3G1600LV6GK

Pros: Fast. Stable. 6GBs DDR3 1600 triple channel?! Nice shiny gold heat spreaders that could probably even fool Cash4Gold. Runs cool. A decent overclocker. Lifetime warranty! OCZ is great; hasn't failed me yet with their RAM.

Cons: Manually set your timings to the listed 8-8-8-24 and 1.65Volts in the BIOS as your motherboard will probably not automatically detect this correctly.

Overall Review: Be sure to check out the Combo Deals and save yourself a few bucks with that Corei7.

Great top-of-the-line bang for buck Notebook

MSI Laptop Intel Core i7 1st Gen 740QM (1.73GHz) 6GB Memory 640GB HDD ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5870 Broadway XT 15.6" Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit GX660R-060US
MSI Laptop Intel Core i7 1st Gen 740QM (1.73GHz) 6GB Memory 640GB HDD ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5870 Broadway XT 15.6" Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit GX660R-060US

Pros: I decided to hold off on writing a review until after getting downtime to tinker with my new GX660R for a while. So far all is well and I have had no issues. It was easy to get up and running and I guess I was one of the lucky ones who didn't get a lemon plagued with BSODs. Here are some positives: -Excellent, clear sound capable of getting pretty loud for a notebook. The difference between a high quality sound file and low quality one are easily distinguishable, and you won't want to settle for less than the best. -Currently the best videocard for notebooks. Fallout3 is maxed out with no stuttering or slowdowns. Temps remain fairly cool and I have had no problems with extended 7+ hrs of gameplay. -3+ hrs of batter life with power saving Office/Turbo Battery modes help me get through taking notes in classes. -Raid0 for faster HDD speeds for those who want it (I prefer to keep them separate). -Easy set-up by MSI. Make those recovery discs first thing! -Very fast performance.

Cons: -Can get a little loud. The Blu-Ray drive is without a doubt the loudest component. It can be unpleasant when you fire up your game in the library. The fan kicks in during extended strenuous gameplay, and it too is quite audible. But if your gaming notebook stays cool, why complain about that? -The touchpad is dodgy at times. As somebody else mentioned, scrolling is tough. The very edges/corners are completely unresponsive and useless. You can adjust the setting though and widen the scroll zone on the right side of the pad to extend further away from the outer edge, but you still have to press hard. Find out what works for you. I use a mouse while gaming so the rocker clicker is not an issue for basic use. -You can turn off the LEDs but not the MSI logo on the back. -I wish there was a convenient function for turning off the monitor completely to save battery life, rather than just dimming the display or going into sleep mode every time. -Raid0 is not on by default.

Overall Review: Most companies that advertise Raid0 on their notebooks expect you to enable it. There is an easy step-by-step guide Manual that will welcome you on your desktop upon starting Windows for the first time. If you want Raid0, make sure it is the first thing you do because you may have to reinstall Windows after enabling it. I knew about the mediocre screen quality upon buying. It is nice when viewing head on which is good enough for me, but maybe not for other spectators. Get a 16'' notebook sleeve/case for this one. It is a little bigger (but still portable) than other 15.6'' notebooks. It is also one of the cheapest per the specs here on Newegg along with what ASUS has to offer (regarding the comparable $700 more Alienware here on Newegg). And it is still one of the lightest/smallest/most portable and convenient gaming notebooks with fair battery life. Overall the pros outweighed the cons for me. Res, specs, portability, and features were among the best in its class.

10/24/2010

The mothership of X58 motherboards

EVGA E758-A1 3-Way SLI (x16/x16/x8) LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard
EVGA E758-A1 3-Way SLI (x16/x16/x8) LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: Booted right up without a problem. This board is competitively priced between lower and 'higher' end X58s with just as much, if not, more features and overclocking capability to boot. Plus I always go EVGA :) Reliability and great support. One of the first things I did was flash the BIOS to the latest revision. The manual is thorough too. Did I mention how much I love the new clear CMOS pin reset button in the I/O shield? How convenient!

Cons: Not a con, but be sure to manually set proper timings and voltages for your memory in the BIOS as it will probably not auto-detect them properly. Also, some aftermarket coolers apparently run into the MOBOs heatsink or RAM slots; I use the Cooler Master V8 and it has clearance for both. Some of the SATA ports are, as mentioned, positioned "differently" but not bad and there are plenty (9).

Overall Review: If you want something to help you achieve that 4.0GHz overclock with ease, then this is for you. If you just want something that will boot up without much headache, then this board is for you. If you get this board and plan on tri-SLI or SLI and a PCIE soundcard, you may have to get somewhat creative in your configuration or make a sacrifice, if not no worries. And yes those PCIE soundcards will work in x16 slots and the latest videocards in x8 without a loss in performance.

Burn, baby, burn!

Sony Optiarc 22X DVD±R DVD Burner 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model AD-7220S
Sony Optiarc 22X DVD±R DVD Burner 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model AD-7220S

Pros: I'll start off by pointing out that it's a DVD drive. If it works, it's recognized by the computer and it reads and writes the discs its supposed to at advertised speeds--which mine do. If not, then it's probably broken or you forgot to plug it in haha. Not too loud when spinning a disc at max speed either. To the guy who complains about it not coming with SATA cables... it's an OEM so no, it doesn't come with anything. You should already have SATA cables supplied from your motherboard and screws from your case for these things. Oh yeah, it's SATA, so that's convenient...

Cons: None at all. I always use these Sony NECs for my builds.

Overall Review: If you value your drives you'll use the button to properly close it rather than pushing them shut. tsktsk

Quality Sound

ASUS Xonar D2X 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Express x1 Interface Sound Card
ASUS Xonar D2X 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Express x1 Interface Sound Card

Pros: Installed and detected without a hitch. 24bit 7.1 channel sound. As 'Grant M' mentioned: the card has all the features and accessories you could possible want. It also supports EAX 5.0 if that makes a difference for you gamers. The equalizer is interesting; each setting actually has its own distinct sound. Produces quality sound for even the biggest audiophile. You'll get immersed in your games and hear parts of your favorite songs you probably haven't before. This was a great change from my Creative X-fi that crapped out after its short-lived life.

Cons: I ran into this problem and did some Googling... For those with the 'low sound' issue (and you have either SPIDF or analog connected--not both at the same time), if reinstalling the drivers doesn't correct the problem it is most likely your power connector to the sound card. The sound card uses a floppy power connector so you most likely can't have both in your system (which is fine because floppy is pretty much obsolete now). But back to the matter at hand... be sure to secure the connection as some people have confirmed that it can feel loose and have even had to bend their D2Xs pins a bit for a good connection (not recommended). Just push it all the way in. I was playing Portal when volume went close to mute and ran into the problem, but I had previously moved the case so that was most likely the issue. A quick minute pop off the side panel fix. Hmmm and oh, some people might not be too fond about the rainbow effects on their wall, though the colored ports do come in handy.

Overall Review: Drivers are fine with enough features to satisfy, though they're still in more of a BETA state. Be sure to get the latest ones from Asus's website. I haven't tried out a mic yet. Running Vista 64bit. A goodbye to Creative forever. Have had nothing but problems with them and their products. It's nice to have a soundcard that just works. And works well at that.

A msut buy for Corei7 seekers

Intel Core i7-920 - Core i7 Bloomfield Quad-Core 2.66 GHz LGA 1366 130W Processor - BX80601920
Intel Core i7-920 - Core i7 Bloomfield Quad-Core 2.66 GHz LGA 1366 130W Processor - BX80601920

Pros: A steal for the price as it is the best buy being one of the fastest processor to date as long as you don't mind the upgrade to an X58 motherboard, and DDR3 RAM if you don't already have some. A multitasking beast that's always hungry for more. Shows a big leap over last generations processors in multi-GPU (SLI/Crossifre) performance in games when paired with a good set of DDR3 RAM due to the new architecture. Runs extremely cool compared to my previous Q6600. At stock speeds with the Cooler Master V8 cooler with Arctic Silver 5 thermal compound, it idled at 31-34ºC. I overclocked to 3.4GHz and it now idles at roughly 37ºC; achieving that 4.0-4.2GHz on air is nothing short of realistic. But that's overkill for my needs.

Cons: No cons; it works. Aftermarket cooler recommended.

Overall Review: The price difference of the 940 and 965 is not justified. Get yourself this little beast instead, pair it up with a reliable aftermarket cooler, and overclock it to be equal or faster. You will have no regrets. Remember to pair it up with 3, 6... etc. GBs of RAM (triple channel) for best results.