Date Joined: 04/02/07
Pros: The Rosewill R101-P-BK Computer Case is surely a well designed- and quality build case, and one of the very few Mid Towers that offers three 3.5" bays, enough space for 2
hot swap drive trays (RAID1) and a DVD.
We have 6 of these as workstations in use in our company, build around ASUS M4A785-M AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 785G MB's
Cons: From a cosmetics viewpoint however, the R101-BK case is just plain UGLY, but who cares, since the workstations are sitting under the desk, out of sight anyway.
There is one serious flaw in the front USB printed circuit board design (behind the front panel) in that both USB COM connections are connected with a copper trace on the PCB.
This creates a current "loop" as soon as one plugs in a USB stick, resulting in an instant crash of any Win 2K, XP or later OS. All our 6 PC's with an ASUS AMD based MB had
the same problem. Solution, remove the USB PCB assembly from behind the front panel and carefully cut the COM copper trace between both USB input connectors.
After that modification, inserting and removing an USB stick works fine.
Overall Review: After discovering this front panel USB problem we did read trough a 50 or so case reviews on this page, and found to our surprise that apparently nobody complained about this.
Perhaps ASUS AMD MB's are more sensitive for COM USB current loops, or maybe Rosewill uses different versions front panel PCB's in different production batches.. and we where just the lucky ones that got the bad ones.
Anyway, given the very low price and otherwise good quality for this Rosewill case, we still give it 4 stars.
Pros: Given the price this is the worst router I ever have tested, so, there is no "Pro"
Cons: Amongst many other things, a mediocre GUI, a possibility to set time and date manually is glaringly absent, and numerous other software flaws. When compared for example to the somewhat dated Linksys RV016, or RV082, the latter are still a much better choice for a home network.
Overall Review: If you need a very good router/firewall solution with a LOT of flexibility, buy a Mini ITX board from the Egg such as JetWay JNC92-330-LF INTEL Atom 330 Dual Core CPU, add a Jetway signature 3 x Gigabyte NIC add-on card, add a small solid state drive, 32G is OK, put it in a small ITX case, and load FREE "Untangle" Router/Firewall/UTM software, and voila you have for under 400 dollar a router that does everything that a three thousand plus dollar commercial UTM does, and it does it better, and faster.
You can find Untangles website by goooogling it up.
Pros: The WD5000AADS seems to be very energy efficient, 4 of these are running very cool at only 25 Degree Celsius in one of our NAS in a raid 6 configuration. Access speed is reasonable fast, but nothing to brag about tough.
Overall Review: Because of the very low operating temps we expect the 4 WD5000AADS in our QNAP TS-409U 4-Bay RAID 6 NAS to last their full estimated life cycle without a hitch.
Highly recommended as a low-cost reliability solution.
Pros: The HP J9078A is by far the best non maintained 24 port switch we have in operation in our medium LAN/WAN network. Very fast. Very reliable. Silent Operation. Energy efficient. Runs much cooler as comparable Linksys switches,
that is, after Cisco broke the original Linksys design
Overall Review: Given the excellent price - performance ratio for the HP J9078A, the price Newegg charges is a bargain.
We are going to use more of these in our network.
Job well done HP !
Pros: None, that is- it is a necessary assembly to mount a 2.5" drive (SSD) in a 3.5" bay...
Cons: High price for a piece of punched steel with rough edges,
that comes with the WRONG adapter- mini-IDE to IDE.
Overall Review: The Egg urgently need to find something better given the rapid adaption of 2.5" SSD's.
Pros: Very fast server board, that also shines as a high end workstation.
Cons: Non, errr price?
Overall Review: Highly recommended for professional use.
Pros: Very efficient- cool and silent PSU for an ITX board.
Has a high power factor, and more that 80% efficiency, saves energy.
Overall Review: Highly recommended.
Pros: Awesome GP PC for light computing tasks, and very energy efficient at a low price.
Overall Review: Runs XP, Ubuntu, FreeBSB, and more.
Pros: Ideal, inexpensive hardware to build a NAS box, or a Firewall.
Cons: Still NOT having made available a separate "ICE" heatsink as an option on Shuttles website or anywhere else for that matter, 6 months after Shuttle has promised to do so, is tantamount to utter disregard for Shuttles customers.
Overall Review: The inclusion of a IDE cable would have been nice.
Pros: The face plate kit comes with the indispensable hardware to mount any slim CD/DVD.
This is a very thoughtfull touch of Shuttle.
Overall Review: Nice to see that Shuttle gets it right every once in a while.
Pros: Very Nice- low power concept for a standard business PC.
So, this is a wonderful idea if only..... see Cons.
Cons: NO PCI slot, this omission effectively kills the whole idea,
and limits severely the range of possible applications.
To add insult to injury, the cheaper K45 does offer a PCI
slot. Wonder who signed off on this bizarre business plan?
Overall Review: Have witnessed Shuttle shooting themselves in the foot on a regular basis, but this one truly deserves its place it the Guinness Book of Records for brilliant business stupidity...
Com on Shuttle- add a PCIe x1 slot which is cheap these days, and you will have an unbeatable concept, allowing you to sell millions of the K48.
Pros: Well laid out, and very easy to do a clean assembly with- for example an Intel Atom 330 ITX board.
Cons: Comes with a CHEAP and inefficient- PF 0.5 and eff only 61% PSU, it is not advisable to expose your mobo to this Franken PSU, go green and replace it with a good one such as FSP300-60GLS-MJR 300W MicroATX 80 PLUS Certified Power Supply with active power factor correction, available from Newegg. Within 12 months it will pay for itself by lowering your electricity bill, compared to the inefficient original PSU.
Overall Review: In my case the MI-100BK was used to set up a Firewall Box,
with a OCZ 16G Solid Series SDD, Intel dual port server NIC
and an Intel Atom ITX board, running Linux Smoothwall.
Result: a UTM box outperforming very expensive commercial firewall boxes for a tiny fraction of the cost.
Pros: Works with FreeBSD 7.0 "Out Of the Box"
No stuttering, no lags, just fast.
Cons: Ummm, price?
Overall Review: Never saw a NIX installing this fast, in spite of the
so so write speed.
Pros: No pro's DOA. purchased 2 and both died within hrs in 2 different mini PC's.
Cons: See Pros. Too cheap to bother with an RMA.
Overall Review: Have used Intel NIC's for a more than decade, never had serious problems, until now that is.
Pros: Solid ASUS design, unusual but very effective CPU cooler, unusual but extremely well designed- clean layout, cool operation, very small server board, somewhere in between an mATX and miniITX, leaving more place for other stuff. Silent Fan operation. (Set 'smart fan' in BIOS)
Quick boot, and smooth installation of a wide variety of Server OS, including legacy W2K Advanced Server and Fedora. No driver problems.
Cons: Comes without CD, given the low price that's acceptable, but what is NOT acceptable is that there is also no hardware included (mini IDE adapter, and small mounting screws) to mount a slim CD/DVD in the chassis. One has to spend hrs- if not days to locate this special hardware. That is the reason I give this server only 4 stars, otherwise this little gem deserves a 5 star rating.
Overall Review: Given the low price and small size of the RS100 barebone server, it offers amazing value for your money, it is powerfull enough to serve as medium duty mail server, ftp server, web server, DNS server, and light duty Database server.
In a nutshell: for your 300++ $ you get a professional mini server on a shoestring.
Pros: After reading all reviews about the FX570, I feel that it is time to set the record straight. It occurs to me that the worst comments come from people who think that Quadro's are somehow professional gaming cards, well guess what, Quadro's are designed for business applications, ABSOLUTELY NOT for gaming.
As for the FX570 you get for your 180 bucks a crisp and vivid and very detailed picture, rivaled only by much more expensive video cards such as offered by MATROX.
W'r talking business graphics here, 3D design, Auto cad, Webdesign, Printed Circuit board Design etcetera.
In this environment the FX570 delivers great graphic quality and reliability. Period.
Cons: If you install this card in XP, or 2K DON'T use the drivers on the CD that comes with the card, it will most likely hose your XP OS.
Use instead the latest Unified QUADRO WHQL drivers from NVidia's website.
Overall Review: Perhaps the Egg could explain (in a nutshell) the difference between mainstream 8xxx and 9xxxx "performance" cards and what Quadro stands for, a bit more transparent on their web site?
Just a suggestion to avoid unnecessary RMA's ?
Pros: The HP Pavilion s3323w gives you outstanding value for an exceptional low price. Given the fact that the MB inside (ASUS N2N61-AR) is the same as in the much more expensive models s3420f and s3500f, you can easy upgrade the CPU from X2 4800+ to 5600+ (2.9G) for less than 90 bucks and replace memory with a couple of gigs DDR2 800, I recommend Kingston HyperX 2GB, available from the Egg of course. And to turn it in a perfect little business machine, add a PCIe Quadro 4 NVS290
The end result is a powerful sff machine on a shoestring.
Cons: A major con is that all HP Pavilions come with Vista, an OS that because of its build-in DRM (Digital Restrictions Management) occupies a major part of of the hardware capabilities on the behest of the entertainment industry.
A much better match for this- and other s3xxx versions of the Pavilions is Windows XP, but unfortunately HP has gone out of their way to make the change to XP as difficult as possible for the average user. Yet it is easily possible, see other thoughts.
Overall Review: There are 2 open source OS that work well with the s3323w, Linux UBUNTU, or KUBUNTU, installation is quick and drivers for all hardware are on the installation CD's.
To re-install XP, you must have the nForce 405 unified driver package from NVidia, and the Realtec sound driver for the ALC888 chipset, both available online.
Armed with the aforementioned driver sets a perfect working XP installation on a s3323w can be completed in about 30 minutes.
And if you wonder why bother to purge Vista from your machine, then find the website of The Free Software Foundation, read what is published about Vista, and make your own conclusions.
Pros: None whatsoever
Cons: DVI Switch simply does not work if focus is switched away from a running PC, this switch hoses the video cards (XFX 7600GT) and on the second PC an eVGA 6800.
You get repeatedly a blue garbled screen, forcing to re-boot.
Even when the screen comes up, it scatters kind of dead pixels all over the screen. The used monitor was a VieuwSonic VG2230wm, normally an excellent quality 22" monitor. (From Newegg of course)
In short, this is a horrible KMV.
Overall Review: Over the past year or so, I have tested at least 4 different brands DVI based KMV switches.
Result NON of the KMV's I have tested operated properly as advertised. My conclusion, it seems that there are a lot of issues going on with variants of DVI protocols, whits makes it next to impossible to design a DVI KMV that works out of the box with the wide variety of stuff out there.
Therefore- need a KMV? My advice: buy an D-Sub Analog KMV.
And if you still want a DVI connection, there are LCD's available such as HP w2207 that let you switch from DVI input to D-Sub and back.
So now you can have your cake and eat it too.
Pros: It's an Adaptec card (Solid Reputation) and also one of the few Ultra320 SCSI controllers that are designed for a PCI Express 1x (100MHz) slot. Indeed, reasonably priced.
So, finally we got the ability to use Ultra320 protocol at (almost) full speed on PCIe workstation systems, rather than using an 64bit 133MHz card, such as the 29320A on the lame, low speed 33MHz PCI bus.
The good news is, it eventually works great, however the bad news is listed under "Cons".
Cons: Loading the driver during Windows a fresh XP, or 2K installation, or in a post-install GUI causes the OS to freeze or crash into the dreaded BSOD. Most of the time it is impossible to get past "Windows is checking blah, blah.
So, I confirm the experiences of the other reviewers in this column.
But the good news is that there is a "Workaround" to get this card to work. See "Other thoughts"
Overall Review: I've used Adaptec cards since 1993, (14 yrs) Ultra 80/160/320 cards in High-end Workstation and Server environments successfully.
Anyway, I found a workaround to get the new 29320LPE running under XP. The somewhat odd installation as described below works with most modern Intel chipsets, such as 945, 965 or 975.
OK, you need a PCI-X SCSI controller, such as Adaptec 29320A. Wire up your Mobo and SCSI drive, and start installing XP as usual, when asked to install the card driver, DO NOT USE the driver that came with the 29320LPE, but instead use the standard SQL- NON RAID driver available from Adaptec's website.
Complete the OS install, and make sure the card boots OK.
Now, shut down the PC and insert the new 29320LPE, and boot.
Then, install the new driver as found on the Adapted CD, and reboot. Next- check if the LPE card is installed OK. If so, power off, and now move the cable to the LPE card, but DO NOT YET REMOVE the 29320A. Reboot.
The machine should now boot from the LPE.