Date Joined: 01/18/04
Pros: Extremely fast boot-up time. Applications load quicker than my 7200RPM drives in RAID-0! Silent. No heat. Minimal power required.
Cons: Doesn't store much
Pros: Quality board top to bottom and makes for a good transition board for the older LGA775 CPU's. Instructions are complete and very thorough as a reference.
Cons: RAM slots are split: 2 for DDR2 and 2 for DDR3. So forget about using 4 sticks of RAM.
Overall Review: No frills board but has optical-out built in and the Realtek audio controller is solid. SATA ports are out of the way of PCI slots.
Pros: Zero compatibility issues with nVIDIA chipset. Installed in my home media server in minutes - no driver issues with Vista x64. Up and running with over 700GB of HD movies. Zero problems. Runs cool like my previous Samsung (500GB) drives. Quietest drives I've ever owned.
Cons: Doesn't mow the lawn
Overall Review: Not sure why so many complaints about this drive. I suspect some are misinformed about system building and storage.
Pros: Picked this up in place of the EVGA 680i A1 which is out-of-stock (and $100 more) everywhere. Superb board layout - especially nice for upside down ATX mount (Lian Li 1XXX series). No problem installing or booting. Had to bump the RAM voltage up to 2.1V to run 4 dual channel sticks. Plan to start overclocking this weekend but wanted to warm up the hardware first. So far 100% satisfied with another great XFX product!
Cons: Chipset runs too hot without fan. I was averaging 70C heatsink alone. Added included chipset fan at 40% (bios controlled) and my temps now average 41C and the fan is too quiet to hear!
Overall Review: Lian-Li PC-1000B, Core2 Quad Q6600, OCZ Plt Rev 2 DDR2-800 (4 X 1GB), eVGA 8800GTS 320MB Superclocked, Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer, Seagate 2X 250GB SATA II RAID-0, Tagan TG-580 (580W) PSU, Cooling by Panaflo, Heatsinks by Thermalright
Pros: Great all-purpose card for HTPC setup. Plays back high-resolution video without a hitch. Completely fanless and not overgrown - perfect for the HTPC environment. Great bang for the buck! Compatible with ATI TV Wonder 650 including AVIVO support. Runs cool (65nm GPU) doesn't put off much heat. Component-out to HDTV works like a charm even in BIOS.
Cons: Haven't tried it gaming but from the reviews I've read, it's better than average for currently available games. AVIVO support doesn't seem to integrate into Vista as well as PureVideo codecs but thats just my opinion.
Overall Review: I was looking for a well-rounded card that would fit nicely and my HTPC. The PCB and heatsink is not overgrown like some passive combinations. With a properly vented HTPC case (mine is a mATX), you shouldn't expect difficulties with high temps.
Pros: Low prifile card, quality build. Picture quality on the analog side is better than my TV tuner (Samsung HDTV with Comcast Cable) which was a surprise! Better yet, the digital, over-the-air HDTV signal quality was EXCELLENT! Even the girlfriend let a WOW slip out when she saw The Bachelor in HD. Tunes stations fast!
Cons: A little expensive compared to other tuners, but worth every penny in my book. I wanted something that would play nicely with my Radeon X1650XT and have AVIVO support. Haven't tried the FM tuner (have no use for it) so can't comment. In general ATI doesn't have the greatest software/driver support for their hardware but with Vista, the drivers were located and downloaded automatically.
Overall Review: I purchased the TV Wonder 650 for my HTPC upgrade which included Vista Media Center. Was concerned from some reviews about difficulties setting up and utilizing both digital and analog tuners within Vista Media Center. Once installed, the TV Wonder 650 was instantly recognized and the drivers installed alongside the latest Catalyst drivers (Ver 7.3). I fired up Vista Media Center and set up the tuners according to hdtunerinfo website (google "vista Kram") for setup guide. Worked like magic! Switches back and forth between analog and digital tuner, allows recording and EPG controls like a single tuner would.
For you other HTPC enthusiasts my setup: Abit Fatality F-I90HD, Core 2 Duo E6400, 2GB Dual Channel DDR2 (unbranded), HIS Radeon X1650XT (fanless version), Terk Amplified HDTV antenna
Comments: I spent a lot of time looking for a case with a small footprint plus various platform options. The microATX board is a snug fit and install took about twice as long as building a full case but well worth the effort. The Aria is small enough to serve as a frag box or stylish desktop and provides the options to customize and upgrade all parts - A big advantage over a barebones like Shuttle. Would definately recommend this case. Check out the review link for more info.
Asus A7N8X-VM/400 | Athlon XP 2500+ | 2 X 256MB Corsair XMS 3200 Pt | ATI-AIW 8500DV | 120GB Samsung 7200 | TEAC CD-RW 52X32X52
Comments: I spent hours reading reviews on Maxtor, Western Digital and IBM/Hitachi drives before running across the Samsung drives on NewEgg. I wanted a pair of drives quieter than my previous Maxtor and WD drives that ran cooler than my previous IBM/Hitachi drive. After reading the great reviews and seeing the incredible price on NewEgg I decided to try a pair of the Samsung SATA 160GB in RAID 0 config. Two of these drives together are quiter than any previous single hard drive I have owned and they run cooler too! I highly recommend these drives for both high volume storage and speed/gaming performance. As for NewEgg, they are second to none on price and service!