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David J.

David J.

Joined on 07/01/04

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Product Reviews
product reviews
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Most Favorable Review

Could have been the chosen one.

BitFenix Spectre Pro Solid White 140mm Case Fan
BitFenix Spectre Pro Solid White 140mm Case Fan

Pros: Beautiful, pushes a decent amount of air, and isn't too loud. Out of the box impressions are good.

Cons: Price. Uses a rifle bearing. Bitfenix has some misleading marketing going on.

Overall Review: Like a previous reviewer has pointed out (and got downvoted for), the bearing in this fan is a rifle bearing. Rifle bearings are similar to sleeve bearings with some small changes to increase lifespan and noise to comparable levels of ball bearings. While they do contain some fluid, they are of a lower quality and don't have the same performance as a true FDB. Because there's no standard for naming bearings on these fans, companies can throw around whatever names they want. For example, Phanteks uses an Updraft Floating Balance bearing, which is a fancy name for "Sleeve". It's hard to know what you're getting unless you open the fan up and look. These fans performed well out of the box, and since they have rifle bearings they can be used in a horizontal alignment without wearing out fast. However, I'm docking an egg for price and misleading marketing on Bitfenix's part. If you want a high quality hydro or FD bearing fan, look elsewhere.

Most Critical Review

Decent and Good Looking

XIGMATEK FCB (Fluid Circulative Bearing) Cooling System Crystal Series CLF-F1455 140mm Purple LED Case Fan PSU Molex Adapter/extender included
XIGMATEK FCB (Fluid Circulative Bearing) Cooling System Crystal Series CLF-F1455 140mm Purple LED Case Fan PSU Molex Adapter/extender included

Pros: They look great, are relatively quiet, and move some air. My case is kept very cool and I've never had a temperature problem.

Cons: For the price, I wasn't super impressed with them. While they're quieter than the stock fans on my case, their sound profile isn't the most pleasing - a slightly audible mid-range hum combined with the louder sound of air being broken by the fan blades. They certainly sound louder than 16db. I expected a slight hum, but the note of it makes it more audible than it should be. The sound of airflow is louder than the hum, which I attribute to excess turbulence due to the shape of the straight fan blades. I expected a bit more out of a high-end fan and took off 2 eggs.

Overall Review: It's worth noting that these fans aren't designed for static pressure applications like heatsinks and water cooler radiators. In fact, the airflow of these fans is rather spread out around the outside of the fan and blows away from it in all directions instead of straight forward. Because of this, it doesn't feel like they move 60CFM - just something to keep in mind. I maybe nitpicking here, but I truly expected more from an expensive fan that rates itself as under 16db. With all that said, these fans keep my case rather cool, but I think I'll try another brand next time when shopping for high-end fans.

Great H61 board for my Sandy Bridge i5

ASUS P8H61-I R2.0 LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
ASUS P8H61-I R2.0 LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS

Pros: My Sandy Bridge CPU's refuse to die, and they are still pretty quick on their feet. I bought this board to downsize one of my long time running systems. For an H61 chipset, it does its job perfectly well. I knew going into buying this that I would miss out on all the frills and features the 7X series chipsets provide, but there are ways to work around those. I'd say this board does everything quite nicely. I had a small hick-up trying to get the RAM working right, but a CMOS reset fixed that. After that it was smooth sailing, even the BIOS was up to date with the most recent revision. The board never gave me any hassle with any of the hardware I have hooked up to it, unlike my MSI board that complains every chance it gets. I definitely like the ASUS UEFI BIOS more than others. System stability is rock solid so far. We will see how this board does in time.

Cons: Price. I know I am paying a premium for the size, but the chipset is so outdated and lacks features that I'm surprised this isn't cheaper.

Could have been everything a man ever wanted

Dell UltraSharp U2414H Black 23.8" Widescreen LED Backlight LCD IPS Monitor, 1920 x 1080, 1000:1, 250cd/m2, HDMI&DVI&USB Display Port, VESA Mountable
Dell UltraSharp U2414H Black 23.8" Widescreen LED Backlight LCD IPS Monitor, 1920 x 1080, 1000:1, 250cd/m2, HDMI&DVI&USB Display Port, VESA Mountable

Pros: BEAUTIFUL color, slim bezel, lightweight, and all the adjustments. Worth having three in surround for epic gaming. With so many features it's hard not to love this monitor.

Cons: That is, until, we get into the only con about this screen. I ordered three of them. Three. All three came with the dreaded bug where they don't wake up after being in sleep mode for an extended period of time. The only way to get them working proper again is to power them off and on. Replacing the stock DP cables didn't help and neither did messing around with the settings. The internet didn't have much to say either as all the methods on Dells forums didn't work. The last step is to send them in for replacement, but according to others with the issue, you can get another one with the same problems. Thankfully all my screens are plugged into a power strip, so I have to power cycle the strip when I want to start them up. An extra step that's trivial but shouldn't even need to be done in the first place. And yes, this happens when setup for DP chain and setup normally.

Overall Review: I see many reviewers have the same issues that I have with my screens. It's not exclusive to this screen alone, but other dell screens are having the same problems with exiting sleep mode. Whats even more disturbing is voters are coming through here and labeling these reviews as unhelpful. It seems a bit odd that any reviewer that is having these problems has so many unhelpful votes. In extreme cases, some reviewers are calling others names for having these sleep mode issues. The reviews here speak for the product, but this isn't the only website where this screen is getting bad reviews. Google Dell sleep mode issues for the U2414H and you'll see way more complaints than you see here.

Good beginner/casual stick.

Logitech Extreme 3D Pro Joystick
Logitech Extreme 3D Pro Joystick

Pros: Good stick height - a little tall for my hands but I can still reach all the buttons with relative ease. Great sensitivity, great resistance, and no built-in dead zone (though this could also be a Con depending on the person). Throttle feels nice too, however I never used it due to the positioning.

Cons: Numbered buttons on the base are cheap and can stick after a short time. Stick is slightly loose while centered and quickly becomes worse the more it's used - getting a perfect center eventually becomes a chore. This can be "fixed" by adjusting dead zones in your game or software, but you'll lose sensitivity.

Overall Review: This stick served me well for a few months in Elite Dangerous. However, as my skill level increases, I notice more and more the QC shortfalls of this stick. I have since moved on to an entry level HOTAS by Thrustmaster and haven't looked back.

Impressive

THRUSTMASTER T-Flight Hotas X Flight Stick (PS3 & Windows)
THRUSTMASTER T-Flight Hotas X Flight Stick (PS3 & Windows)

Pros: Thrustmaster really knows their stuff. I'll start with the stick. The stick feels great in my small-ish hands. It's short and has some bulk at the top which helps with grip and comfort. It's quite tight when centered - barely any wobble at all. The buttons are easy to reach, and the knob underneath the unit lets you adjust the sticks' resistance. Resistance and travel are smooth across the axis'. The throttle is nice as well. A lot of buttons on both sides of the unit, and a few on the platform - all easy to reach. A small notch in the center of the axis gives you tactile feedback when you've hit the center and will keep you there until you move out of it. The buttons on this HOTAS feel and work as desired. None stick or feel loose. The plastic is what you'd expect for a cheaper unit, but is better than what's on my Logitech Extreme 3D Pro stick that it replaced.

Cons: I'd trade a few of the buttons on the throttle for a thumb hat, but this is just my preference so I won't dock an egg.

Overall Review: Like I stated above, this stick replaced my Logitech Extreme 3D Pro. I was looking for something to get me into the HOTAS setups and I chose this. If you're like me and you've grown accustomed to the 3D Pro, the stick in this set will take a little getting used to as it has some built-in hardware deadzones. I can't say if other sticks are made like this. Thrustmaster has a big gap in their HOTAS product lineup. The only other HOTAS set they make is the Warthog and that's around $500, an order of magnitude more than this unit. It would be awesome of them to make a HOTAS set priced somewhere between the two. The Saitek HOTAS' in the price range of $200 seem to have terrible QA issues ever since MadCatz bought them, and I stay away from MadCatz products since their stuff breaks so often. So please Thrustmaster, consider the $200 range market for HOTAS' because space sims are in the rise and not everyone is willing to pay $500 for a HOTAS.