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Catherine B.

Catherine B.

Joined on 07/27/07

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 12
Most Favorable Review

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SAMSUNG Spinpoint F1 HD103UJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F1 HD103UJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive

Pros: The disk hasn't died yet. I've moved all my programs and music and stuff off of my boot disk onto this for the sake of archiving. I've been getting pretty decent transfer speeds for the files. No performance complaints so far. The price is fairly good for a terabyte disk. The packaging was better than what I've seen for most other disks: plastic calmshell wrapped in bubblewrap.

Cons: I've noticed that new SATA drives have been removing the optional molex power connector. While this is a good standard for the industry to set, it means that those of us with somewhat elderly PSUs have to switch around cables or dig up one of those adapters. This drive follows suit. If you have only a few SATA power connectors, be forewarned. Also, I have no idea what the jumpers on SATA disks are for. As you can only put one drive on one cable, this is confusing to those of us who grew up with the older IDE hard disks. If the pins and jumper are for firmware, that is really not a good thing to not make clear. These are all minor issues, certainly not dealbreakers, that I have with SATA drives on the whole, and this drive simply conforms to those issues.

Overall Review: I can't comment on noise or heat due to my Antec 900 and noisy components, but it's a hard disk. Unless you run a P2P while you defrag your disk and play Wow, it should'nt be physically put through its paces.

It does the job well, but...

Logitech Comfort Wave 450 Black 104 Normal Keys USB Wired Ergonomic Keyboard
Logitech Comfort Wave 450 Black 104 Normal Keys USB Wired Ergonomic Keyboard

Pros: It's a wired, ergonomic Logitech keyboard for not very much. I have always like Logitech keyboards. They just seem to work in the perfect way for my typing and my fingers. And this one in particular seems to shape itself to the curve of my hands an placement of my fingers. Gaming is easier, and I can type with greater speed, fewer errors, and much much MUCH less pain.

Cons: The media functionality is a little limited for my taste. You cannot fast forward or rewind songs or VLC playlist items, and I have not been able to pause or resume music while in a game. By no means should this be a deal breaker when it comes to considering keyboards, but be forewarned.

Overall Review: With the inclusion of increased media playback functionality, this would easily become the perfect keyboard in my mind. Still, I'm not complaining too much.

A real powerhouse

SilverStone ST85F-P 850 W ATX 12V v2.3 / EPS 12V 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Full Modular Active PFC Power Supply
SilverStone ST85F-P 850 W ATX 12V v2.3 / EPS 12V 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Full Modular Active PFC Power Supply

Pros: Ahh, the paradox of the power supply. If it works, you hardly remember it exists. If it doesn't, you can't think of anything else. This is, in my mind at least, the closest thing ever to the perfect power supply. It powers my crossfired 4870s without a fuss, with enough connectors, and I believe with juice to spare. I love the sleeved connectors, which make cable management so much easier. Speaking of which, the cables are long enough to go just about anywhere, with length enough to tuck them away neatly. Modular is made of WIN! And if you're taking it with you to a foreign, i.e. non U.S. voltage country, you don't need to flick an annoying switch to make it run correctly on the wall voltage (long, embarrassing story.)

Cons: Expensive, but this is one of the two components you do NOT want to skimp on. Cheesy brand? It can blow and take your build with it. Not enough power? It can blow and take your build with it. I wish it came with more zipties, and maybe a bag or something for the extra cables. One more thing: I'm weird like this, but I prefer to have a physical power switch on the back, which this does not have.

Overall Review: This baby won Hardwarecanuck's 850 watt PSU roundup. It's easy to see why once you take her for a spin. I love it. It's my precious.

Very solid buy indeed

GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: It does what I want. Not many motherboards can say that. I must admit to being a bit of a Gigabyte fanboy, but this is one solid motherboard. It's a nice, clean layout, has all the features I want, and seems rock solid. I'm running crossfire on it no problem, it has a firewire header, and ton of overclocking features in the bios. What's not to love? This is arguably the best X58 board in its price range, and it puts the hurt on and is arguably better than many much more expensive boards.

Cons: I have wracked my mind for cons, but the only con I can come up with is that I'm having trouble controlling the speed of my three-pin fans. This didn't work on my old motherboard either, so I'm not sure if this is really supposed to happen.

Overall Review: The two most unpleasant pieces of hardware to replace in a standing build are the case and the motherboard. The two pieces of hardware that can take your entire build with them if they go are the power supply and the motherboard. See a recurring theme? Do not skimp on the motherboard! Yes, you could skimp and go with a beefier graphics card, but if the mobo blows you're going to have to replace just about EVERYTHING.

The beast has just been unleashed

HIS Radeon HD 4870 1GB GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 CrossFireX Support Video Card H487Q1GH
HIS Radeon HD 4870 1GB GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 CrossFireX Support Video Card H487Q1GH

Pros: I was one of the early adopters for the 1 gig 4870s way back when, and ever since I installed that card I loved it. It was seriously held back by my E6600, and I'd been meaning to fix that for some time. I now have this card running in crossfire with my old card, and whoo mama do they spit out the frames. I'm getting a consistant 40 frames per second in Crysis with all settings maxed and 4x anti-aliasing. I think I'm set for a year or two. If you already have one of these and are looking for a graphics upgrade, buying another and crossfiring them is, at the moment at least, much cheaper and much beefier than anything else you can do.

Cons: Folding@home is unpleasant to setup with any multi-gpu setup. I've read the docs on how to do it, and I seriously cannot believe the stuff you have to do. Apart from that, nothing really.

Overall Review: I see a lot of complaints about the card running hot. Does no-one remember the release of the 4800s? These cards run hot. Really hot. I'm glad to see a non-reference cooler on a still fantastic GPU. If you're concerned about fan noise, get a quiet case, play loud music, or stick it in a closet. It really is not that big of a deal.

None too shabby

G.SKILL PI Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7T-6GBPI
G.SKILL PI Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7T-6GBPI

Pros: This set of DDR3 is a steal. I was originally hoping to get some nice cas 7 1333 Mhz stuff, but then I saw this for cheaper. At first I was on the fence because it isn't straight 7 timings, but then I realized that it's rated for 1600 Mhz. I have never seen my system push even close to 50% memory use, and the entire setup feels very snappy indeed.

Cons: You may have a little trouble with the high heatspreader and an aftermarket heatsink, but it fits in the second set of slots with my CoolerMaster hyper n520 perfectly. By eyeball, it looks like it could fit in the first set of slots as well.

Overall Review: Anandtech did a test a while back and came to the conclusion that cas 7 1333 Mhz was the sweet spot for most uses. This stuff can do that and has a little overclocking headroom to spare. And 6 gigs? Only for the sake of power using or bragging do you need more for the foreseeable future.