Date Joined: 10/31/02
Pros: I was pleased to find out this lappy runs WoW very well at the native resolution (1366x768, good to fair quality settings) - healed ICC 25 without issue. Turbo mode, automatic overclocking is a nice feature. My experience with ASUS laptops gives me confidence that the hardware will last for years, so long as you take reasonable care. Aluminum top, good warranty, and good/reliable hardware.
Cons: Build quality, in terms of the chassis, is adequate and should hold up if cared for. That being said, it feels a bit on the chinsey side.
ASUS, STOP WITH THE GLOSSY BEZELS/SCREENS. I'm an Asus fan, but I'm relentlessly disappointed at your aesthetic choices.
Overall Review: Same as the black one. I popped in an Intel SSD, works fast and flawlessly.
Pros: EPP settings work perfectly in Gigabyte GA-MA770-UD3 and GA-MA790X-UD4 with Phenom II. Both boards defaulted to the appropriate speed, timings, and voltage (5-5-5-15 2T, 2.05 volts @ 1066). Also, the modules are capable of 4-4-4-12 1T, 2.05 @ DDR2 800 in the event your board does not support 1066 (at least on these boards).
Cons: My first pair were defective. I kind of got thrown for a loop - prime 95 and memtests were failing at 1066, even when testing individual sticks. Running at 800 with SPD timings the modules passed. This made me consider the possibility that the motherboard was bad or there were compatibility issues. Newegg hooked me up with a new set and I exchanged the board just in case. Turns out the both sticks from the original set were bad - the replacements work as advertised.
Overall Review: Now that the exchange has been sorted out, I'm really pleased with this Memory - I knew there was a reason I stuck with Mushkin. My new PhenomII system is very quick and solid as a rock. Thanks Newegg and Mushkin.
Pros: Good case, well arranged and not difficult to work with given its size. HD, CD/DVD, PCI-E add in fit without issue. Overall quality is good IMO.
Cons: **Heatsink height will be restricted** I'm not talking about larger overclocking coolers vs stock. I'm saying that STOCK HEATSINKS ARE TOO BIG. If you're putting together an Atom system, no sweat. But if you're doing an AMD or Intel socketed ITX board, you'll need a low profile (near 1U height). Here is a good suggestion for an AMD AM2 cooler: SILVERSTONE NT07-AM2 80mm CPU Cooler (here at newegg). Alternatively, you can take a stock heat sink and take a band saw to it, and screw the fan into the remaining heatsink (cut mine in half just for fun - works).
Overall Review: Built with a Zotac AMD 8200 ITX board, 2.6 AMD X2 45Watt, DVD R/W, 500GB HD, 2 GB's of memory. I'm happy with its cutness and find performance is not compromised due to its size (but, not for games).
Pros: I upgraded from a Xonar DX, so I knew what to expect as far as getting what I wanted from the Xonar HDAV. This card, like all the other Xonar cards, will encode any multichannel source into Dolby Digital or DTS (for the D2X). This is handy with games; select 5.1 in a source engine game, set 5.1 as the source input, then select dts-connect or Dolby Digital Live and viola - accurate digital output over spdif or HDMI to your a/v receiver. For games there is also the GS3d capablitlity, games with hardware audio settings (which Vista usually does not like) are handled up to and including EAX 5. In terms of Blue Ray movies that use DTS-HD or DD-True HD, it works as advertised via TMT. There are so many updates on the Asus site, your will basically not have to remove the installation disks from their wrapper, just the KEY for TMT.
Cons: I gave this 4 stars due to price. The cost vested in running blueray from an HTPC exceeds that of a standalone BD Player (But there are other advantages, best audio available for your music library). There is no question that there is a learning curve (if you have a Xonar already, you're already there) and experimentation may be required to sort out the proper settings for your setup. But once those details are discovered, regular use is a breeze. Watching multi channel movies is pretty strait forward, thanks to TMT. Switching to a stereo source (music) will require you to make that adjustment to the [input] audio channels. You can have your amp deal with the stereo input with some prologic, or you can set the Xonar panel to add some multi channel DSP to your output.
Overall Review: My opinion is based on my current setup, a Denon A/V receiver with two HDMI inputs and one HDMI out to an HDTV. So, from your HTPC, you can now just run one HDMI cable to deal with Hi definition Video and DTS, Dolby Digital and full stream 192Khz LPCM audio - the change is apparent immediately. If you are running analog, that's covered too, its got the best DAC's in the business.
Pros: ASUS is aiming at the sweet spot with this laptop - size, performance, price, aesthetics. This laptop replaced an ASUS F8Sn - we had a love/hate relationship, liked the specs, hated its style. Also, the 9500gs of the F8Sn and the 1440x900 panel did not add up how i wanted it to in gaming. This N80 on the other hand has a GPU/Panel combo that are well suited for sustaining framerates while gaming. The machine in general will run just about anything nicely - the express gate is cool function too. QUIET!
Cons: I mess around with some programming and web creation IDE's - I suspect the 1280x800 resolution will be less convenient to that end (like two apps/docs opened side by side). That being said, i knew i was accepting that tradoff and so far the resolution is not an issue.
Overall Review: As soon as I saw this laptop I knew it was the balance I was looking for in a notebook - and believe me, i've been searching. In six months I've had an ASUS M51 (too big, gave to my sister) and the F8Sn (sold it). I browsed many brands but nothing quite fit the bill.
*note* This lappy ships w/ 32bit OS. Installing 64bit is a cinch - all the drivers you need are on the drivers disk. You do the install, then pop in the drivers disk and it does the rest (apps too). I performed this manuver with the F8Sn in which asus had NO 64 bit vista drivers on their site, and still don't - but they were all on the driver cd nonetheless, along with all the apps. So, maybe the XP downgraders might want to see if this is the case for them - drivers for xp are not on website, but they may very well be on the CD, I don't know.
Pros: This memory is underrated. These modules have an EPP profile of 800mhz 4-3-3-10 2T @ 2.2 volts but there's no sign of that in the specifications. Even more impressive, they'll do 1T too at cas 4. Even more impressive than that, they do 5-5-5-15 30 2T @ 1066 (2.25 volts) on my MSI P6N Diamond (680i). And the price just blows me away. I guess they are rated conservatively to be JADEC compliant and widely compatible, but what a nice surprise to see a product drmatically outperform advertised specs.
Cons: I wish my iPhone delivered like Mushkin's ram.
Overall Review: Mushkin has a very responsive forum with actual representatives participating and providing expert product support.
Pros: Easy to set up, stable, good overclocker, onboard X-Fi! Definitely worth the wait. Running four 1GB sticks (2, 2GB dual channel kits) @ DDR2 800, no problems! Awesome, running a 2.66 core 2 at 3.33ghz with almost no effort. 1333fsb is Orthos stable for 16 hours.
Cons: My Crucial Ballistix would not work in dual channel mode, had to order some kingston off of their QVL list...installed them and viola! Not a single problem.
Overall Review: I called MSI about my crucial/dual channel condition, they insisted it was a defective board...I thought otherwise and ordered new ram and it turned out to be the issue. The box ships with a red sticker on the front that warns to use qualified RAM. Maybe its an intial bios release issue.
Pros: Not much to complain about, you get the luck of the draw with these. My intention for purchasing the opty were for overclocking. The stepping I received from the NJ warehouse was one of the worst you can get for that purpose. That being said, It was good to go for a 600mhz overclock. Running at fx60 speeds at a mere 1.45 vcore. Not too bad
Cons: Err, none really, you get what you pay for.
Overall Review: While I'm bummed I got a crummy stepping of this chip, 600mhz is still an outstanding overclock and the end result is a xxx dollar fx60. On my planet however, newegg would have reveiwed the thousands of dollars of equipment I've purchased from them and surmised I required a good stepping (clearly indicated on the front of the box).
Comments: Running 64 bit windows on this board with a dual core 4200+. It overclocks nicely to 2.4ghz at x5(max) bus multiplier. Also, 2gigs of dual channel corsiar is doing 20 mhz over stock @ 2.75 volts. Nice board, tests in a class of its own. I do have one "unknown hardware" in my device settings, running the latest 6.66 chipset drivers. Perhaps something is enabled that i chose not to install drivers for. Other than that, excellent!