Date Joined: 11/19/03
Pros: Performs well at XMP setting. Heatsinks look really clean and nice.
Overall Review: The square corners of the heatsinks look so much better than those with sloping rounded corners. Grey and red trim matches the Asus ROG colors of my motherboard.
Pros: Has more USB 3.0 ports than Hero or Ranger. Has external CMOS reset button and Probelt test points only found on Extreme and Impact ROG boards. Not on Hero or Ranger boards. Overclocks well.
Cons: M.2 socket placement may be a physical installation issue for some M.2 SSDs even though high GPU temperature in close proximity is not an issue. Samsung M.2 SSDs install and work fine.
Overall Review: DDR4 XMP memory, using XMP AUTO settings, can be an issue for this and other Z170 boards but is easily overcome by increasing DRAM, VCCIO and SA voltages, especially when overclocking. One of the reasons for this is that the XMP AUTO DRAM voltage is set to 1.353V in the BIOS but is actually only 1.328V - 1.344V (should be 1.35V minimum). Increase this manually to 1.3794V in the BIOS using the (+) key if having issues. Also, increase the VCCIO and SA voltages manually if still having issues.
Pros: Cheapest 120mm PWM slim fan available in my neck of the woods. Looks good, comes with installed vibration reduction rubber pads along with 4-wire Y connector for connecting two of the fans to the same PWM fan header. Supposedly hydraulic bearings. Free shipping was relatively quick given somewhere in Asia as the origin.
Cons: Poor electronics. I bought 4 of these fans and none met the published specification in terms of minimum RPM. One had a minimum RPM as high as 950 with maximum RPM around 1600. Furthermore, adjusting the duty cycle between 0 and over 50% had no effect on RPM with all 4 of the fans. Even though these are PWM Type A fans, with constant minimum RPM down to 0% duty cycle, typically, minimum RPM should occur at around 20 to 30% duty cycle. Anything above that increases the RPM. These fans are going to perform poorly when under thermal control with an unresponsive dead zone between 20 and 50% duty cycle.
Overall Review: I compared these fans with two other PWM Type A slim fans - Rosewill RASF-141213 and Cooler Master XtraFlo 120 Slim (OEM not retail) and my suggestion to ID-Cooling is that they use the same OEM source. Either that or reverse engineer the electronics if they are designing from scratch.
Pros: Excellent value especially when on sale, quiet, reliable and can be used in both vertical and horizontal orientations without accelerated bearing wear. Cooler Master and Newegg have a winner here.
Cons: None. One or two may be noisier than the rest in the pack but seen the same with much higher priced dual ball bearing fans so nothing to write home about.
Overall Review: You have probably read that sleeve bearing fans should not be used in horizontal orientation, well, every rule has its exceptions and this is one of those cases. For example, the build being used to type this is four years old with one of these fans horizontally mounted. Good as new. Bearing mass along with the use of grease instead of oil has dispelled that myth.
Pros: 1) Has 5.1 surround sound inputs. Ideal for connecting to a sound card or computer's onboard sound. Only requires three standard 3.5mm to stereo RCA cables instead of the usual one for stereo only.
2) Has subwoofer preamp output.
3) Excellent remote, all controls are available using it including front L/R and subwoofer levels.
4) Actual RMS power output at clipping was measured by me at 98 WPC into 8 ohms with both channels driven.
5) Uses simple monopole FM antenna instead of the older T dipole type.
Cons: 1) White noise (hiss) increases dramatically when tone controls are switched in. Noise increases even further with increasing treble control setting. You are probably better off keeping tone controls switched out using the Tone Direct switch. Took off an egg for this.
2) FM tuning is manual only. Pressing the up/down tuning button will not cause the tuner to find the next available station. All it does is change the frequency by .1 MHz. You then have to wait a few seconds to see if a station is at that frequency. Not a big issue if you already know the frequency of the station you want. Also, there is the usual memory preset capability.
Overall Review: I bought this for use at a computer station and except for the tone controls, which I never intended using anyway, this is a pretty decent receiver. I have it connected to a Creative Audigy SE sound card via the six 5.1 surround sound inputs and it does a pretty good job with computer sounds, music and DVD movies. Front, center, rear and subwoofer channel levels are easily adjusted using Creative's software during DVD movie playback. A computer's onboard sound and software can be used the same way. One thing to bear in mind is that sounds that would normally come from center and rear speakers, in a true 5.1 surround sound setup, are mixed into the front speakers. But their independent levels are still adjustable, for example, the virtual center channel sounds exactly like a real center channel speaker is there and you can adjust how loud you want it to sound.
Pros: Well designed tool-less enclosure. HDD insertion and removal is plug and play. Top is held firmly in place by two tabs, pressing on the tabs allows for easy opening.
Cons: USB 3.0 Type A plug on cable is prone to flaky operation if any of the extra five flexible contacts are bent in the wrong direction. Problem not limited to this device. See other thoughts below.
Overall Review: If the device isn't detected or you get a popup stating that the device can operate faster, and you have it inserted into a USB 3.0 port, then more than likely it's an issue with the plug as indicated in Cons above. Use a small jeweler's screwdriver to press the contact(s) back in the right direction if ever this happens.
Pros: Easy to setup. Included light Software works well, allows you to save various profiles. Have not had a need to download the more fully featured software. Can be powered using an optional wall adapter.
Cons: Uses 6 AAA batteries unless you opt for the somewhat pricey wall adapter. Wastes around an inch of tape at the start of each label.
Did not take off any eggs for this since the other Brother typewriter style labeler I have uses 4 AAA batteries, has no wall adapter option and wastes about half inch at the beginning and the end of each label.
Overall Review: Got this for $19.99 and saw where Newegg had it on sale for $9.99 today but it was sold out in no time, otherwise, I would have bought another at that price.
The Brother wall adapter goes for around $24.00 but I was able to get an equivalent for less than half that. Only problem was that the polarity of the plug was positive-center instead of the required negative-center, so had to switch the wires leading to the adapter's plug around.
Pros: 1. Good backplate design.
2. Decent installation instructions.
3. Fairly easy to install.
4. Uses flush mounting plastic fan clips instead of wire clips. Unlike wire clips, these allow the fan(s) to be installed/removed in a matter of seconds instead of minutes. Also, allows for a sturdier and neater looking fan mount.
5. Comes with extra set of fan clips for an optional pull fan.
6. Cooler is very easy to uninstall/reinstall. Perfect for assessing various thermal compounds and/or application methods.
7. Cools well.
8. Low cost.
Cons: Products are seldom perfect and the 212+ is no exception.
1. Base was not flat enough. But neither was the CPU's heat spreader. Both had to be lapped.
2. There were tiny shards of aluminum attached to the tips of the fins where they were cut. Had to go over the cooler fins with a toothbrush then blow it with compressed air. Did not want any of those tiny fragments of metal getting on the motherboard.
3. Unlike other backplate designs, this one causes a certain amount of horizontal play to exist between the cooler and the CPU.
4. Had to mill off a section of the backplate, intended for AMD installs, because it connected with the rim around the case's motherboard tray cutout. Motherboard was an Asus P8P67 Deluxe. Case was a Cooler Master Elite 430. I blame the case for this. Nevertheless, it's worth mentioning IMO.
Overall Review: After using this cooler, I don't want to use another cooler with wire clips. Or one that requires that the backplate be removed each time you remove the cooler.... Even if it means sacrificing a few degrees. Cooler Master has a big winner here.
Pros: Cool expansion bracket covers.
Cons: Somewhat expensive.
Overall Review: Highly recommended if you have a case like the Cooler Master Elite 430 that comes with irreplaceable knockouts for expansion card slot covers.
Pros: 1. Bottom power supply design allows for properly placed side panel fan. Won't interfere with tower CPU coolers.
2. Placement of top fan closer to front enhances CPU cooling and acts as a RAM cooler.
3. Cutout beneath motherboard is a plus.
4. Acceptable assembly instructions.
5. Cheap and looks good enough.
Cons: 1. Case uses irreplaceable knockouts for expansion card slot covers. The instructions suggest that you knockout the necessary covers before installing the motherboard and wisely so since the covers are designed to be pressed inward for removal.
With care and the right tool, the covers can be removed after installing the MB but my workaround suggestion is to knockout four more covers than you actually need at the time and buy a pack of these;
They are black enamled and slotted for extra cooling. I bought two packs.
Minus one egg for this cheap design on the part of Cooler Master.
2. The placement/design of the cutout beneath the MB panel is not optimal. Using an Asus P8P67 Deluxe MB together with a Cooler Master 212+ CPU cooler presented difficulties. Had to mill off the AMD intended section of the 212+ backplate since it connected with the rim around the cutout.
Minus another egg for this.
Overall Review: I also have a Cooler Master Centurion 5 case. Except for being a top power supply design with no side panel fan, it was perfect.
Pros: Relatively small and quiet. Runs cooler yet outperforms previous Geoforce cards. EVGA provides good support and upgrade options.
Overall Review: I'm not a gamer, just needed a video card for a new build. These are a super deal when on sale. Two in SLI would be much cheaper than a single GTX 580.
Pros: 1. Acceptable instructions.
2. Assembly and installation not too difficult.
3. Solid attachment to MB.
4. Cools well.
Cons: Biggest con here is the 120mm depth (front to back dimension) of the Ninja 3. This means that the heat sink fan (HSF) is liable to be over the first two memory slots on most MBs. Memory coolers or sticks with finned heat sinks (Dominators, Ripjaws etc.) are therefore likely to pose a problem. Also, one may have to remove the HSF before getting at these sticks in the event of a memory upgrade or troubleshooting memory issues. Tried and true memory, with standard heat spreaders, would probably be your best bet with this CPU cooler.
Overall Review: READ THE INSTRUCTIONS. Anyone wishing for special tools or claiming that the fan speed control knob can’t fit through the expansion card cutout didn’t read the instructions. I’m glad that I didn’t see SirJamesDTech’s YouTube video review until after installing this cooler. Otherwise, I may not have bought it.
Pros: 1) Has parallel, serial, PS/2 keyboard and mouse ports.
2) Has IDE connector and two PCI slots.
3) Supports yesterday's Core 2 Duo, Quad CPUs and dual channel DDR3 memory.
4) Small Micro-ATX form factor.
5) Mature BIOS, everything works properly.
6) Excellent value for money if on a tight budget.
Overall Review: A MB like this isn't probably that attractive for upgrade purposes. However, I needed a small MB for a basement control R&D computer with at least one free PCI slot and with parallel and serial ports. USB adapters won't cut it in my case.
Also, compatibility with older hardware such as IDE DVD drives, PS/2 keyboard/mouse, Core 2 Duo/Quad CPUs meant I didn't have to spend extra on these items since they were already here gathering dust.
Saw it on sale elsewhere and bought one. It worked so well that I ended up buying three more. All work perfectly.
Pros: 1) High sensitivity and network throughput when it worked properly.
2) AP mode is a plus provided it works well.
Cons: 1) The need for two USB ports. I saw nothing here that other full duplex 802.11n adapters couldn't provide using power from just one USB port.
2) The unit I got was probably defective since it would work properly only for a short period after being powered. After that, performance would fall off sharply with disconnects. This would happen even with 100% signal strength and 300Mbps Tx/Rx links indicated.
Overall Review: My original intention was to use this adapter with one of two basement desktops. However, this setback and the fact that 802.11n WLANs are always at the mercy of other neighboring WLANs, microwaves, cordless phones, Bluetooth enabled gizmos etc. has led me to pursue a wired ethernet approach in this case.
Returned the unit for a refund.
Pros: 1) High sensitivity and network throughput.
2) LED does not blink incessantly when idle like some other adapters.
3) Folds into a neat compact unit for travel purposes.
4) Wireless utility, by default, reports signal strength in dBm units instead of percentage. The latter is next to useless where signal strength exceeds -50dBm since that is equivalent to 100%.
Cons: Maybe the "lighthouse" LED lens. I wish we had the option to turn off the LEDs on routers, switches, adapters and the like when we find them distracting. Hiding them or resorting to black tape is currently our only resort when these items are part of a bedroom setting.
Overall Review: I use a TP-LINK router with stock firmware and am able to achieve DD-WRT performance levels with this adapter based on JPerf results. Highly recommended.
Pros: Decent WEB interface. Easy setup. Good performance and signal strength even with lowest transmit power setting. No disconnects or glitches so far. All in all, good to excellent value for $25.00.
Cons: I gather that two versions, 5 and 7, are currently available. Whatever, I got 5, the older version, which is the one shown in the picture.
It runs hot, measured 97F top and 126F bottom temperatures mainly because it's designed to sit too close to the surface it's on. Took off 1 egg because of this.
Overall Review: Raised the unit .5" above the surface and changed the transmit power to the low setting. This reduced temperatures to 92F top and 110F bottom which translates to warm instead of hot. The low transmit power setting did not affect signal strength in my case and increased performance.
Pros: Cheap and relatively fast compared to my previous g USB adapter. Looks neat. I really like this adapter and would buy another. The 2 eggs taken off represent the time wasted getting things working perfectly compared to my previous adapter.
Cons: First problem...Could not get this to work using Win XP SP3 on a desktop. The WZC utility could not detect any wireless networks after installing drivers. WZC service was started and set to automatic. QSS was able to detect wireless networks but setup connection would fail using TP-LINK TL-WR841N wireless router. Never had any problems with the previous USB wireless adapter that I was using. Problem was eventually fixed, see "Other thoughts" below.
Second problem...Computer would hang at BIOS screen when restarted with drivers installed. Uninstall drivers and no problem restarting. Upgrading the motherboard BIOS corrected this. Never had any problems with the previous USB wireless adapter that I was using.
Overall Review: I was using an Edimax USB adapter before this one and figured that the un-installation of the software may have had something to do with this issue. Sure enough, installing the Edimax software after installing the WN722N drivers would get things going properly. I could then uninstall the Edimax software and things remained working fine.
However, depending on an otherwise unnecessary piece of software was no way to install an adapter. Finally figured out that if I uninstalled the Edimax software with it set to use its own utility for configuration then the WN722N would work properly using just its drivers when reinstalled from scratch.
Apparently, some registry software switch was preventing wireless from working properly, similar to when the wireless switch on a Laptop is switched off. Tried reinstalling from scratch a few times and both WZC and QSS methods are working fine without the need for the Edimax software.
Pros: Excellent track record. Works well even with the original firmware. Antennae still removable, at least with the one I got (see other thoughts).
Cons: None so far.
Overall Review: Got this to replace an old WRT54GP2 with locked firmware (Vonage) that could never handle WPA properly. Why would someone buy a 802.11b/g instead of a 802.11a/b/g/n wireless router in this day and age? Well, after taking my immediate needs into consideration and with reliability being the priority, this was the way to go.
Seems to be conflicting information regarding whether antennae are still removable. Linksys rep told me that the older version 1.0 had removable antennae but the latest version (1.1) didn't. However, I received version 1.1 with latest firmware and antennae are removable...Go figure.
Pros: Cheap, works as advertised with newer tapes.
Cons: Does not work with M-921 and M-721 tapes over 4 years old. Possibly older tapes in general.
Overall Review: I've had a Brother PT-110 for over 12 years. It still works fine with the tapes mentioned in the Cons section. The PT-80 only works with the supplied sample tape and 17 months old M-921 tapes.
Thought the PT-80 would be able to use all the tapes I had bought when they were on sale but looks like the print head and puny 4 AAA batteries has limitations. The PT-110 use 6 AA batteries. They last for years.
Pros: Works as intended.
Cons: This card is no better than any of the cheaper MCS9805 or MCS9815 cards. Uses the same MCS9805 drivers as the rest.
Overall Review: The MCS9815 Koutech PP210 is a better card.
Pros: Cheap and works as intended. Drivers for MSC9805 can be downloaded at moschip.com. Or download drivers for Koutech PP100....Same card.
Cons: This card is identical to the Koutech PP110. Newegg's photos for the PP110 are incorrect. Why buy this card for $2.00 more?
Pros: Cheap, two ports for the price of one, works as intended. Drivers can be downloaded from Koutech or Moschip.
Overall Review: I recently compared this card with the Koutech PP110, Syba SD-PCI-1P and Startech PCI1PECP for instrumentation control purposes up to 100KHz. This card had the least amount of jitter and is recommended above the rest.
Pros: No abnormal fan noises at low idle. Cheap ($10.50) if you buy elsewhere.
Overall Review: Never heard of Rexus before and was somewhat hesitant to buy. Bought two of them, one to replace the slow 1450 RPM PWM fan on my XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 and the other as spare. No regrets.
Pros: Push-pin design for quick installation/removal. Very quiet PWM fan. Keeps CPU very cool. Fits and works well with my Asus P5E3 Premium motherboard and Cooler Master Centurion 5 case.
Cons: Instructions misleading/incorrect. Anti-vibration inserts and fan installation may take some time.
Overall Review: Ever wonder why reviewers seldom complain about push-pin designs but the rest of the world does? Answer...Inexperience!
Just make sure all pins are turned fully clockwise (opposite to arrows) *before* pushing down when installing. Turn pins fully counter-clockwise (same direction as arrows) *before* pulling up when removing. **No further pin turning is required**.
Also, trying to install diagonally opposite pins simultaneously can be difficult and is not even necessary. Installing them one by one is easier and requires less force provided you use the other hand to prevent the cooler from leaning too much on the side that you are pushing down on or already has pins installed. Listen for the faint click that confirms proper installation while pushing down.
Suggest you do a dry-run without thermal compound until you get it right. It's really a walk in the park.
Pros: Does what it's supposed to do.
Cons: Only with NE's pricing. StarTech will sell you this for a retail price of $12.99. How can a distributor be selling a product like this at higher than retail? Others, including the computer store near me, are selling it for $5.99.
Overall Review: NE has dropped the ball on this one. Buy elsewhere. Should have checked the local store before purchasing from NE.