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Robert A.

Robert A.

Joined on 07/22/06

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 3
Most Favorable Review

Great, powerful, economic card!

SAPPHIRE Radeon X1650XT 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 CrossFireX Support Video Card 100166L
SAPPHIRE Radeon X1650XT 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 CrossFireX Support Video Card 100166L

Pros: Exceptional performance in games, low power requirements (since these cards do not have an external PCI-E power connector, they draws current entirely from the PCI-E slots, which are limited to a maximum of 75 Watts each).

Cons: Heat! (Reliability? In a strange twist of fate, just before I was about to write a positive review, the memory on the newer card has gone bad, and I am forced to RMA it to the manufacturer after 2 months of moderate use. However, my comments on the performance and features of the card still stand.)

Overall Review: I originally purchased one of these, then shortly decided to buy another to use in a Crossfire setup. Setup was simply: install the cards, add the bridges, install the drivers, and it works! High scores in 3DMark06 (6500-ish), and excellent 3D game performance, too. In Crossfire mode, there were two problems: in Scissor mode, the split was visible as a 1-pixel horizontal line. In AFR mode, the frames had slightly different black levels, causing a noticeable flickering. I eventually discovered that the older card had an unusual BIOS version: 1XX-XXXXX-XXX. I updated the card to match the newer one, 11X-1E1401SA-002, and the problems disappeared! The first card also came with a loose heatsink. I removed it, removed the overly-generous portion of factory thermal paste, used some AS 5 and reattached the heatsink. It was better, the average temps decreased by 5-7°C, but the heatsink still loose. The newer card did not have this problem. Both ran about 60°C idle (at default fan speeds)

Most Critical Review

Consistent Data Corruption

SYBA SD-SA2PEX-2IR PCI Express SATA II (3.0Gb/s) Controller Card
SYBA SD-SA2PEX-2IR PCI Express SATA II (3.0Gb/s) Controller Card

Pros: Small form factor, easy to flash RAID or non-RAID BIOS from Silicon Image

Cons: Corrupts data when reading from two drives at once (!)

Overall Review: I bought this to add 2 SATA ports to my desktop. The cheap software-based PCIe --> 2x SATA cards seem to be based on SIL3132 or JMB363 chipsets (this is a SIL3132), but this was more highly rated so I went with it. My intention was to add two individual hard drives to my system, with no RAID involved. Things seemed fine at first, until I used TeraCopy, which does a CRC after file copy operations. It revealed occasional mismatches when copying files to either drive. Then I noticed MD5 hashes of files on the drives, taken sequentially, differing without any changes to the files' contents. The final straw was that reading from each of the two separate drives simultaneously would result in silent read errors, to the point where the file would be heavily corrupted but the OS didn't care. I stopped using the controller and bought a 3ware one instead, and it's been working flawlessly. I don't know if this is a problem specific to this controller or its chipset, but I would not recommend it.

Perfect Wireless card!

Rosewill RNX-G300LX - Wireless WRT54 Wi-Fi Adapter - IEEE 802.11b/g, Up to 54 Mbps Data Rate, PCI Interface with 2 dBi Antenna
Rosewill RNX-G300LX - Wireless WRT54 Wi-Fi Adapter - IEEE 802.11b/g, Up to 54 Mbps Data Rate, PCI Interface with 2 dBi Antenna

Pros: Tiny card, great signal strength, perfect addition to a small desktop. Software actually isn't bad either (it comes with a little utility that runs alongside Windows Wireless Zero Configuration).

Cons: No issues at all!

Overall Review: I installed the card in a Mini-ITX computer case made entirely out of Legos. The PCB itself was the perfect size, but the antenna connector made it too big. So, I had to resolder it to make it point in the opposite direction. Now it fits just right and works great! If you're looking for a cheap wireless upgrade, I would highly recommend this card. Rosewill also sells an 8 dBi antenna that would go great with the card.