Date Joined: 12/19/07
Pros: Cheap, quick, has good integrated graphics, rock solid.
Cons: Motherboards designed for this processor generally only have 2 SATA ports, the stock fan can be noisy.
Overall Review: I use this primarily for Windows Media Center in Windows 7.1 as my cablecard DVR. It is paired with a silicondust HDHOMERUN Prime, and it works very very well. It has enough power to browse the web while windows media center is running on a 1080p display simultaneously, and with an SSD boots into windows very quickly. Zero real complaints here.
Pros: Super cheap, low power, good graphics, many sata ports, great htpc platform!
Cons: The included fan was rather silly and noisy, the network card drivers on the included cd were unstable
Overall Review: I bought two of these boards due to how cheap they were and was really surprised! it was everything I wish the Atom was but wasn't at the time. They were very fast for how cheap they were, and handled the video from my silicondust hd homerun prime very well over the years. I ran one off a itx 'brick' power supply and it didn't pull more than 40 watts with a hard drive under full load, and I used another with flash media encoder and a blackmagic card as a video streaming solution for a while too. I wish I had bought more, they were like cheap pc swiss army knives!
Pros: Non-doa, quiet fan, paint is nice
Cons: After buying a CMPSU-400CX before I expected a lot more out of this supply, what I found was Samxon caps, a sleeve bearing fan, and generally much poorer build quality than I was accustomed to from corsair. The unit died 2 months after the warranty ended from buldging Samxon capacitors, and even if that were not the case I still would have voided the warranty by opening the unit to look at it
Overall Review: Although it could be said the build quality was better than a bargain basement power supply, it was not what I was looking for after all the other corsair power supplies I bought up to that point. At least it didn't take anything out when it died. Best advice I can give anyone is research the exact power supply you want to buy, as like this one the OEM was different than whoever made the 400cx, and the quality suffered despite the name badge on the thing.
Pros: Durable and cheap, 6 cell battery meant a good battery life.
Cons: I've repaired many with power jacks that have been displaced through abuse, they could have made it a little more sturdy there.
Overall Review: Mine has survived falling from a flight of stairs and other abuse that I wouldn't put an expensive computer through. I've used them in a pinch to do many tech related things, and being so compact and lightweight I had a bag with 3 of them ready to go at any given time. A little slow at times, and the resolution can be a bit small or restrictive if the program wasn't meant to be displayed on anything less than x768 pixels, generally you could work around most diag software, and the form factor made it more than convenient.
Pros: Motherboard migrated several platforms, going through 4 different cpu upgrades, ending up with a Phenom II x6 1075T and a Radeon 6870. Asus and AMD both released updated drivers and bios to support the new hardware despite me still running Windows XP x64 at the time. I finally gifted this motherboard to another member of my family when finding out upgrading my pc to 16gb of ddr2 would have been more expensive than buying an openbox sabretooth 990fx and 16gb of ddrt3, and it is still running fine and stable to this day. Great motherboard ASUS!
Cons: Ram heatsinks seemed to cook the ram more than it cooled it, I had to set the timings on my 1066 ram manually to get it to the advertised speeds and more importantly, the proper stability. Also if I recall correctly the network adapters were unstable until you downloaded the newer drivers from the marvell site.
Pros: I've owned 2 of these for quite some time, and the product and support are wonderful. You can generally always get one on one support through IRC too!
Cons: The cable company!
if they even know what you have might jerk you around a bit. You may or may not also need another flaky box sadly not designed by silicondust to tune to "SDV" Switched Digital Video channels, and sometimes it's easier just to tell the people at the other end of the line that you have a 'tivo box' to avoid being transferred to internet support. I find my SDV box, a Cisco STA 1520, freezes up every so often, and you can generally tell from the HDHR logs what's going on.
There are a whole lot of pitfalls one can get on this system, so if you expect something to just "work" this might not be for you! Expect to spend hours on support while you pair and re-pair cablecards, expect the cable company to screw up your subscriptions when you return your regular cable box, and expect to have to play games with them to get it to work.
The more you know the better you are off, search the internet for your provider and other people who use the hdhr, check the silicondust forums, ask questions in the IRC, when all is said and done you will have yourself a really kickbutt media center with cable and 3 tuners at your disposal!
Overall Review: You definitely want to make sure your network is up to the task of delivering traffic to your devices. I would stay away from wifi, and I would use pro-sumer or pro grade gigabit switches if you can. The lower the latency and the fewer dropped packets the better. If you don't know how to configure a router, this product might not be for you though.
Pros: Ram works well, timings are all correct in bios.
Cons: The heatsinks are rather tall.
Overall Review: the high heatsinks will mean interference with many HTPC cases. I had no choice in the matter as this was a part of a combo, but if you are in tight quarters, this is not the ram for you! I've said this in another newegg review, Newegg! If you offer a combo, please build it and see how it fits together!
Pros: Fast, Cheap, Small, Lightweight. Windows 7 media center runs like a dream on it, everything is easily 100%-200% faster than it would have been if the OS had been running on a 2tb seagate 5900rpm drive. Samsung has yet to dissapoint me on their Pro line, so I figured I'd give this a go.
Cons: TLC is still not proven for reliability yet, and by the time it's long term characteristics are known, the drive or technology itself might be phased out, but I hope it's comparable to spinning discs in the long run.
Overall Review: "So far so good", as a man who jumped from a skyscraper was heard saying by other office workers near windows on descending floors as he fell towards the concrete.
Pros: It's small, compact, and fits on the tv stand well.
Cons: Got this with a combo that I don't think anyone at newegg attempted to build! The combo included gskill ripjaws X series ram, a MSI AM1I motherboard, a WD 1TB blue, a athlon 5350, and this case. The LED's are understated and easy to miss, perhaps a little too easy to miss. The ram's high heatsinks meant that you could not put the hard drive in the bay below the optical drive bay, the power supply configuration meant that your optical drive could not be too long or it wouldn't leave you with enough room for the non-right angle sata power connectors to fit, the case is of cheap construction, as is the power supply (Looking at the internal build I don't really expect it to last I'm thinking of buying a small itx/power brick for the system and fabricating a mount for the fan and it's connector, which will help with the cooling and the being unable to install my bluray burner into the case), the side mount hard drive doesn't get any active airflow over it in the standard configuration, and the connector for the front audio had to be stretched to make it to the fitting on my MSI AM1I. Since I also had a SSD and an optical drive as mentioned before I had to get really creative with the placements of everything, including the processor fan which I had to mount diagonally because if it was underneath the power supply, and thus it's fan, it made a really irritating noise because both fans were fighting eachother (blowing opposite directions).
Overall Review: Newegg! if you offer a combo please build it out and see how it goes together, if it will go together!
I cannot stress enough if you buy this case, you must think about the thermals, don't put anything hot in it, think of where that psu comes down, think of where you can wedge fans in and how you are going to modify the cooling system on the case, motherboard, or heaven help you graphics card in order to make the best use of the design that they built this case with. Don't expect wires to be long enough or well thought out enough for you to be able to make things look pretty either. I'm not sure what motherboard this case was designed around, but if you can find it, perhaps the configuration makes more sense.
I gave it two stars because I dragged it kicking and screaming into being mostly what I wanted it to be.
Pros: Cheap, discount with the combo essentially made this board free. Works fine under Windows 7, Windows 7 media center and my SiliconDust HD Homerun Prime seems to be ok with it, board was non-doa,
Cons: The layout left a lot to be desired, Only 2 sata ports means if you were building an HTPC with media storage and a ssd boot/os drive that you either have to use a pcie sata card or an external drive/enclosure for your optical drive. I tried to use a mini-pcie sata controller but could not get it to work at all. Also if you intend to use a wifi card here, make sure it's really small or it will interfere with one of your sata ports! There is no front usb3 header, the psu connector is in a bad place for many HTPC cases and will make wiring it a nightmare, especially when combined with where they placed the HD audio connector. and the fact you have to snake the front usb wires between the memory and pcie slot.The coincell cmos battery backup being a heatshrunk and wired affair (even though it has a removable lead with a connector) will make replacing it should it ever go dead more difficult than it should be, and at least with current drivers sometimes the HDMI drops out with a horrible sudden abrupt white noise, but I don't think that's MSI's fault, but perhaps a HDCP issue not yet hammered out in drivers. And not necessarily a con, but download the network card drivers directly from realtek, don't use the ones on the CD or you'll be scratching your head at why tv streams and tuners suddenly drop off the face of the planet.
Pros: $120 made this card a no-brainer, even refurbished, for a budget gaming rig. No artifacting out of the box, blower bearings were in fine shape, no scuffs or visual damage.
Downloaded current drivers on Win 7 x64 from AMD, and no issues were had in any games.
Cons: The reference blower assembly means eventually it will clog with dust and be difficult to clean. The blower itself shall fail and will be difficult to remove as well as costly to get a replacement unit, but this can be said for many graphics cards cooling solutions. The card runs a little warm, but it's nothing to be concerned about, tweaking the fan settings may result in longer card life as long as the heatsink is kept free of dust.