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Thomas J.

Thomas J.

Joined on 04/08/06

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 18
Most Favorable Review

Thank you for a great product!

NZXT 5.25-Inch Hue RGB LED Color Changing Controller (AA-HUE30-01)
NZXT 5.25-Inch Hue RGB LED Color Changing Controller (AA-HUE30-01)

Pros: I've been looking for a product such as this, to the extent that I've assembled a batch of RGB LEDs and was going to custom program an arduino or something to allow custom colors (think Alienware's AlienFX, and you're on the right track). Although it's been a fun project and I've learned a lot, I'm so very glad a manufacturer has developed and shipped a product that essentially does the same thing, and at an awesome price point as well. I've got my HUE up and running in a Rosewill Thor V2 case, and the length of the included (single) RGB LED strip was enough to go from the HUE controller, out of the 5.25 bays, down the front of the case, along the bottom, up the backside, across the top, and back to the 5.25 bay with quite a bit of overlap (all of this was along the "access panel" side, not the back side where the cables would be routed). I'm sure this would work for the majority of cases/situations out there. Every LED seems to display the entire range of colors perfectly.

Cons: I'm going to continue the pros here for a bit: the front panel with the dials will also shine through the mesh with whatever color you have set (NICE touch NZXT!), the RGB dials on the front feel solid and tactile, the controls are pretty intuitive (I was up and running in <5 min, with a quick hackjob of routing the LED strip - properly routing it shouldn't take much longer). The LED strip has connectors on both ends, I'm assuming it's going to be easy to add length if you need to. As far as cons? Well, honestly, at the price point this product is listed, I feel it is a no-frills addition that allows you to freely customize the lights in your rig however you want. It does that PERFECTLY. Build quality is great for what this product does. However, it "would" be pretty neat (version 2!) to include some other features, although it would then have to be more expensive (such as fan controlling options, perhaps a single switch to connect LED fan lights as well).

Overall Review: Here's hoping that NZXT continues to develop products in this line (compatible LED fans, LED kits to change out existing power/HDD LEDs in whatever case you may have, fan controllers/hookups - I would be VERY interested in another version that could be expanded with these features). Summary: If you're like me, and can't decide what your favorite color is or like to have all of your components match, this is an excellent product that adds that customized look to your rig. It's superficial, it won't make your computer faster, but it's still money well spent in my opinion. It would take a lot of components (and money) to have the variety of choices of colors you get with this kit. It was an instant purchase for me, I've been looking for a product like this, and don't regret it one bit. They're still pretty new, so we'll see how it holds up, but build quality seems pretty good and there aren't many parts to it - simple and effective.

Most Critical Review
HyperX 2GB 200-Pin DDR2 SO-DIMM DDR2 533 (PC2 4200) Laptop Memory Model KHX4200S2LL/2G
HyperX 2GB 200-Pin DDR2 SO-DIMM DDR2 533 (PC2 4200) Laptop Memory Model KHX4200S2LL/2G

Pros: Low latency...

Cons: seems to run a little warmer, compatibility issues are a possibility

Overall Review: Didn't work on an eeepc 900, but worked fine in a dell inspiron 1400 series, so your mileage may vary...

10/23/2009

Core vs. ICON

BitFenix BFC-PAN-300-KKWN1-RP Black Aluminum, Steel, Plastic Computer Case PS2 ATX, up to 180mm in length Power Supply
BitFenix BFC-PAN-300-KKWN1-RP Black Aluminum, Steel, Plastic Computer Case PS2 ATX, up to 180mm in length Power Supply

Pros: Unique. Suprisingly good cooling performance for a slim case. Good compatibility with AIOs, snap-on side panels, aluminum exterior. Happy overall with mine - considering it's a slim case, there are some pitfalls but nothing out of line with the form factor.

Cons: You need to know what you're getting into with the Pandora. It is a micro-ATX SLIM case. If you're expecting to be able to just toss some components in and call it a day, you'll probably be a bit frustrated. Cable management will require a bit of dedication. Routing cables behind the motherboard tray will take a bit of experience and thought.

Overall Review: Just wanted to comment on the Core vs. ICON versions of the Pandora. The "Core" versions DO NOT have the LCD display, the "ICON" versions do. It isn't clear in the titles which one you are ordering (hint: the LCD display versions are more expensive, which *should* be obvious...) - to assist, take a look at the model names. If the model name/# has an "L" anywhere, it has the LCD display (L for LCD). If it has an "N", it does not have the display (N for No LCD). For example, the item BFC-PAN-300-KKWN1-RP is the PANdora, BlacK, with Window, No LCD. The item BFC-PAN-300-KKWL1-RP is the PANdora, BlacK, Window, 'L'CD. Therefore, the Silver / Nonwindow / LCD version would be the BFC-PAN-300-KSXL1-RP, etc. (PAN, S=Silver, X=no window, L=LCD). For what it's worth, both the Core and ICON versions include an aluminum Bitfenix casew badge.

Error with voltage reading not fault of board!

MSI Gaming 970 Gaming AM3+/AM3 AMD 970 and SB950 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
MSI Gaming 970 Gaming AM3+/AM3 AMD 970 and SB950 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard

Pros: It turns out that I needn't have worried about overclocking with "surprise" voltage - the higher-than-expected voltage I found upon checking with CPU-Z was merely an error with that version of the software (fixed with the latest version, 1.70+), not the board itself. I wanted to make sure to adjust my review! My FX-8320 is still running just fine at 4.6 GHz, and seems to run better at 4.7 on this board than on a 990FX board that it is normally in. The board itself has performed flawlessly. The upgraded sound is a really nice feature...it makes it difficult to use boards without it! For the curious, I tested the 970 Gaming with a Phenom II x2 555 I had sitting around. This board unlocked the x2 555 to a full quad core, overclocked and stable at 3.9 GHz. The VRMs on this board are great!

Cons: Would still love to be able to manually enter a static voltage :)

Overall Review: I'm beginning to prefer this board over a M5A99FX Pro R2 that I have - while some of the power controls of the other board are nice, the MSI 970 Gaming strikes a nice balance between outright overclocking performance and features like enhanced audio. This is quickly becoming my favorite AM3+ board, and definitely the best in its price range for someone like me.

Just...awesome. BEST mouse for the price, for larger hands.

FUNC MS-3 Revision 2 FUNC-MS-3-R2 USB Wired 5670 dpi Gaming Mouse
FUNC MS-3 Revision 2 FUNC-MS-3-R2 USB Wired 5670 dpi Gaming Mouse

Pros: This is the mouse that singlehandedly switched me from a claw grip to a palm grip, especially for general computer use. I had the rev 1 version, and loved it - it's still working, but I've had to clean out the primary switches to keep it from double clicking after 6+ months. Anyway, glad they made the revisions they did for this model - the new switches are noticeably better, along with the scroll wheel. It's an amazingly comfortable mouse - but it's definitely for palm grip users only! Not to mention those with larger hands. The sensor in both revisions worked flawlessly for me, on multiple surfaces (it's an Avago I think, similar to the sensor used in the SteelSeries Sensai, Mionix's, some Roccat's - the Kone+ used one I think). Anyway, no skips or jitters on a Func Surface 1030 r2, but it works fine on a Razer Goliathus and Destructor 2 as well. Software is clean, simple, and easy to use. The entire product just seems more...sophisticated than most products in this category. I feel like I can set it on my desk in my office and not feel like I have to explain myself. Love the soft-touch finish and the overall shape, along with the customizable lighting and unique, subdued method of showing profile/DPI status (the three orange/white LEDs on the "seam"). Oh, and it stores profiles LOCALLY - as in, on the device itself. No silly cloud drivers to get in the way, no internet connection needed to restore your settings. *This is the way it SHOULD be!*

Cons: The only downside to the settings software that I've found is when bringing your Func MS-3 r2 to a new machine. If you want to change the already customized settings (stored in mouse memory), you'll need to install the settings software - no big deal, but it doesn't detect the customized settings on the mouse, so you'll need to start over. NOTE - your customized settings ARE stored on the mouse, if you don't want to change anything when moving to a new computer you're fine, but if you just want to change one profile's button assignment you have to redo all of them. Not that big of a con - there's a backup and restore function in the software, so you can just import your profile again on a new machine to get around that issue. Personally, for gaming, I feel the palm grip is inherently inferior for precision.... (braces for flurry of angry responses...) I just can't get the same minute movements from my wrist and palm like I can my fingertips. Still, it's so comfortable... Anyway, that's pretty much personal preference, and with practice it's nothing to worry about.

Overall Review: I like what Func is doing with their peripherals. I like their no-nonsense approach to the software and design of their products. I like that they get out of their own way to just let YOU use your computer and are content to blend into the background - that's how peripherals should work, in my opinion. Doesn't hurt that they look great sitting on a desk though, I suppose :) Oh, and the price is better than anything else with these features - especially if you like customizable LEDs. Well done Func!

Excellent Service by Newegg

Rosewill HIVE Series, HIVE-750S, 750W Fully Modular Power Supply, 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified, Single +12V Rail, SLI & CrossFire Ready, Black
Rosewill HIVE Series, HIVE-750S, 750W Fully Modular Power Supply, 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified, Single +12V Rail, SLI & CrossFire Ready, Black

Pros: Originally bought this power supply back in 2012 or something, power delivery was great the whole time. The fan just now started to rattle and vibrate excessively. Contacted Rosewill for an RMA just to ask about the fan, they told me to send the whole thing in. Whole process was painless, and they sent me a new HIVE-750 - except the new one had flat cables!!! Had to throw a review up here just to say that, apparently the new ones have flat cables like the CM "V" series of PSUs. Very cool. Power delivery seems to be just fine.

Cons: There are probably better platforms, but at the time I bought one it was one of the best priced semi-modular power supplies on the market. Glad to see it has held up over time. Had it in a BitFenix Prodigy M for awhile, maybe the vertical orientation is what finally did the fan in after two years, hard to say - but that was the only problem I had with it, and Rosewill/Newegg took care of it without a fuss.

Overall Review: Has powered systems like: Core i5-2500K 4.6 + XFire 7970s Core i5-2500K 4.8 + R9 290 FX-8320 @ 4.6 + 7970 Core i5-3570K 4.4 + R9 290 And probably quite a few other combinations of similar components over the years.