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Don L.

Don L.

Joined on 01/29/05

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 37
Most Favorable Review

Well worth the money

AMD Phenom II X6 1100T Black Edition - Phenom II X6 Thuban 6-Core 3.3GHz, 3.7GHz Turbo Socket AM3 125W Desktop Processor - HDE00ZFBGRBOX
AMD Phenom II X6 1100T Black Edition - Phenom II X6 Thuban 6-Core 3.3GHz, 3.7GHz Turbo Socket AM3 125W Desktop Processor - HDE00ZFBGRBOX

Pros: Ok, I know I haven't had this very long, but it don't take long to realise the power of this bad boy. I've been a faithful AMD user since the early athlons and while I was pretty disappointed with the first Phenoms that had a bad start to them, I continued to stay with AMD. Well, this processor is AMDs big comeback. I do mostly 3D work in 3D Studio Max at home so I can't review on how it does in games, but for anyone who knows what the vray renderer is, this processor has cut my rendertimes, literally in half. And I was using a phenom ii x4 940 before this. But that two extra cores and bumped up speeds from 3.3 to 3.6 gave a huge difference. To all those people who say the two extra cores is useless since most apps don't take advantage of them need to think again. Seems the people who will benefit most from the 6 over 4 cores would be the ones who do 3D work. Overall, I'm 100% happy and don't regret spending the money at all. Trust me, if you're into 3D work, it's more than worth it.

Cons: It's a six core phenom at 3.3 stock and cheap to boot. what could be soo bad about that?

Overall Review: After reading a lot of reviews I realised a lot of people talking about having to flash their bios to get the two extra cores recognized. I'm not sure what that was about. This popped right into my new ASUS M4A79T board that I just got, fired it all up and recognized all six cores with no bios update. Maybe I just misunderstood the whole BIOS update reason.

Most Critical Review

What's all the hype?

ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 64 Pro 92mm Ceramic CPU Cooler
ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 64 Pro 92mm Ceramic CPU Cooler

Pros: Not sure why everyone's drooling over this. I bought this to replace my stock heatsink for my Phenom II x4 940 and have noticed little to no differences in CPU temps. First time I just used the thermal paste that came applied, ran it for a few days and seen no difference, then decided to remove the heatsink and properly clean the cpu and copper base with rubbing alcohol to ensure a perfect clean, then recoat with Arctic Silver 5 paste and still no difference. My phenom doesn't idle bad, idle temps are average 35-37C, same as the stock heatsink, and the highest it's gone under load was 54-55C, according to CoreTemp logs. The fan on this heatsink is weak, even at max speed which BIOS reports at 2500 RPM. Putting my hand by the back of the heatsink I can barely feel the fan blowing through the fins, and yes, I have this facing to the rear of the case as instructed with a vented backing on my case. Plus, you think at this price it's really going to beat stock heatsink, for an AM2?

Cons: No cons really, just no different than the stock heatsink. It's big, but no big deal. Installation was a bit of hassle on an ASUS M3A78-EM AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI Micro ATX mobo. I've done after market heat sink installations before but this one was a bit difficult trying to get the clips on, but once they're on, it's snug. Also, I happened to noticed after getting this seated on the Phenom processor and getting it latched down, there is an area around the copper base that does not cover the cpu, like maybe an 1/8 of an inch or so. Maybe it's no biggie, just kinda bothered me there's still some of the CPU surface not covered up. I know it's seated right otherwise it wouldn't latch down and the exposed area of the CPU surface is even all the way around, so the base must be centered.

Overall Review: It's cheap, and maybe would be great for older processors like socket 939's or older, but for these 125 watt phenoms, I think something else is in order. Don't just buy it like I did because of all the hype, at least for a Phenom.

Awesome now that I've discovered something!

APC BX1500G 1500 VA 865 Watts 10 Outlets Power-saving Back-UPS XS
APC BX1500G 1500 VA 865 Watts 10 Outlets Power-saving Back-UPS XS

Pros: It's APC, very patient technical support agents, lots of battery back up time given you're not trying to power a monster server or some other insane power drawing device off this. Of course I haven't owned it for a very long time so I can't comment on the long term stability, but for now, it's solid as a rock. I didn't buy from newegg but I suppose that's irrelevant. PowerChute software is actually really nifty as it shows lots of info about the unit. You can enter in how much your electric company charges per kiloWatt Hour and it will give you info like how much it's costing you per day to run the unit, CO2 emmissions rate, and how many kWh per day you're using. PowerChute also gives you good overview of all the times the unit went on batteries and for how long with labels for blackouts, undervoltage, Overvoltage and Electrical Noise.

Cons: Thought my battery was defective like many others when I first took it out and let it charge. See other thoughts.

Overall Review: Got the unit home, unpacked and plugged in to let it charge up. Unit was a good solid weight, which more than likely means quality components. After plugging my PC into the unit, fired up my PC and downloaded the newest version of PowerChute. Everything installed good and indicators looked like they should. However, in the powerchute software, there is an option to run a self test on the unit. First time I ran the self test, the battery drained from 100% to almost nothing in a matter of seconds. Test came back as failed and warning popped up that the battery needed replaced or the unit needed replaced. I thought that was strange considering the display indicators were showing that I was only using about 275-300 watts of power and this thing was rated at 865 watts. Ran multiple tests again, all failed. Contacted APC tech support and they tried to tell me the unit wasn't powerful enough to handle my system, which was even more strange considering I had nothing else but my desktop plugged in and the battery indicators kept saying less than 1 minute run time on batteries, even on 100% charge. I was about ready to return it to the store when I made a discovery doing some google searching about all the problems people were having like this. When you first purchase the unit, if you look in the box there should be a slip of paper labeled quality assurance test. If you look at the top where it says date, thats when they ran the last self test and that self test info apparently is stored in the units internal memory. Mine said 6/9/2012. Now, in the powerchute software, there is a tab called "Run Self-test" located under MONITOR SYSTEM. Go there and in that tab there's a button called Replace Battery Date. Click on that and it asks if you want to confirm. You need to confirm and then it will update the backups unit as if you just replaced the battery. Once I did that, the display on the unit showed almost 48 minutes run time and every self test actually passed with flying colors. Also, the battery did not drain even nearly as fast. I even confirmed by plugging in all my devices and cut off the wall power and it still showed about 45 minutes run time on batteries even for several minutes unplugged. What my APC unit is powering on the battery backup outlets - AMD FX 8120 3.1 Ghz (3.4 Ghz turbo) Not overclocked 32GB RAM ATI FirePro V4800 Corsair CX430 PSU ASUS Sabertooth 990FX Mobo 2 Internal Drives 4 Case Fans 1x ARRIS TG862 Cable Modem 1x Linksys WRT54G Wireless Router Unit reports 48 minutes run time on batteries on a 13% Load and 100% battery charge. Of course battery time goes down a little on higher loads, obviously, but even under full use of my PC which draws larger power still gives me around 25-30 minutes run time. Really kind of makes me wonder why APC don't make this more obvious, which even the tech guy at APC didn't even mention this.

The best investment ever.

Corsair Force Series 3 2.5" 90GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) CSSD-F90GB3-BK
Corsair Force Series 3 2.5" 90GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) CSSD-F90GB3-BK

Pros: Wow, is all I can say. This thing is like night and day compared to mechanical HDD. Includes a mounting bracket for 3.5" cages which worked perfectly in my antec 900. It took me a while to get the courage to buy this as I've read so many reviews talking about so many problems with these things, but so far its been a walk in the park. Installing and running couldn't be any easier. Mount into the included bracket, mount the bracket in PC and away you go. Installed this into a system running windows 7 without a single hitch. Works perfectly with an ASUS sabertooth 990FX motherboard which includes sata 6gb connections for this drive. I know it's been only a few days i've owned this but I'm pretty sure it's not gonna fail me. App loading times are incredibly fast compared to my other HDD. Windows boot time is quicker and shutdown is a mere few seconds. I think I spend more time waiting to get past post screen than the actual loading of the OS.

Cons: Really can't find a single thing yet. It works for me and I'm leaving it as is to avoid any complications.

Overall Review: I would normally buy parts from newegg, but got a slightly better and faster deal, but I wanted to review here as 99% of my PC stuff is bought here. I would definitely recommend these, though they are a bit pricey, the speed alone is well worth it. I debated between 120GB or 60GB and 90 was right in the middle and worked perfectly for the programs I install. I don't game but rather 3D work and this makes life a ton easier as I find myself jumping between apps quite a bit, and the increase in app loading speed helps immensely. Take my advice and don't be too afraid of these. I know there's a lot of bad reviews out there, but if you got a good MOBO and just install it without messing with settings too much, it should work just fine. The price will pay off in the long run with the amount of time you'll save loading and installing programs. Funny I was more excited about getting this than my 8 core AMD processor.

Good Stuff!

AMD FX-8120 - FX-Series Zambezi 8-Core 3.1 GHz Socket AM3+ 125W Desktop Processor - FD8120FRGUBOX
AMD FX-8120 - FX-Series Zambezi 8-Core 3.1 GHz Socket AM3+ 125W Desktop Processor - FD8120FRGUBOX

Pros: Only took a few days to realize it was well worth the money. parts i ordered here from newegg this year is this processor, asus sabertooth 990fx and g skill 16GB ddr3 1066 ram. I already had the power supply from my previous build, corsair tx750 as well as my western digital hdd. Right out of the box with these components, the system booted just fine, installed windows 7 and away I went. Only change I had to make to the bios was for the drive boot order, but other than that, no bios flashing, no windows updates. Windows 7 right off the bat recognized all 8 cores, and with 16GB of ram to back it up, multitaking is more like megatasking. I do 3d work, so now i can run multiple apps at the same time, like photoshop, 3d studio max with high poly scenes open, mudbox, listen to tunes on windows media player while working and even browse the internet with out a single hiccup and only utilising about 25-30% ram usage. Flipping back and forth between the apps is like butter

Cons: none

Overall Review: I also forgot to mention that I'm using an ATI firepro v4800 for my 3d work, which by no means is anywhere close to top of the line, it works awesome for 3d max projects. I just forgot to mention it as part of the components used with this processor. With these parts used, listed above, even several hours a day of working on stuff, this thing is still rolling like thunder. I don't like to even read reviews anymore as I think there's people out there gunning to knock AMD products just to bring them down. Trust me, it's probably better to go with your instinct and just buy it, unless you're working for some major film company with huge amounts of funds to burn on a processor priced 10x higher. For someone who does stuff at home in 3D even just as a hobby with a family to raise and bills to pay on a budget, won't be disappointed. I know I'm not.

Best Mouse I've Owned

Logitech Wireless Performance Mouse MX for PC and Mac, Large Mouse, Long Range Wireless Mouse
Logitech Wireless Performance Mouse MX for PC and Mac, Large Mouse, Long Range Wireless Mouse

Pros: Quite possibly the best mouse I've owned. I'm not a gamer so I don't know how this thing would hold up in hard core gaming sessions, but even for everyday work on my computer, the way my hand conforms to this thing is just pure heaven. It's almost like it was molded from a human hand the way it feels. There's also a click button in the middle, right under the scroll wheel that acts as a switch to control the way the scroll wheel turns. You can set it to either click each time you scroll the wheel, or push the button in and the wheel spins completely free making zipping down through long pages a breeze. Kinda hard to explain. Can't say much for all the buttons as I don't usually worry about programming them, but they all seem to be in perfect spots which makes getting to them in a quick flash, nice and painless. Accuracy feels so much smoother over my last logitech laser mouse. Love the fact it's rechargeable to, so no messing around with changing batteries.

Cons: Psshhh, nothing that I can think of right now. This thing seems worth every penny at this time.

Overall Review: Couldn't fit all the pros in the provided spot so I thought I'd leave a little extra. On top of being rechargeable, it can also be used while recharging. The cool thing about the charger on this thing is it can be charged either with the provided AC adapter box, so you don't have to tie up your usb ports, or you can pull out the cord from the AC adapter box and plug the cord right into your usb ports. So you get two in one. Not really sure about all these people complaining of the battery life. I've seen some comments stating people only get 3 hours or so out of this battery before having to recharge. That sounds a little extreme. I've computed on a charged battery all day and the battery indicator is still showing fully charged. Overall this mouse is perfect and worth the price tag.