Joined on 10/14/02
Stunning 20 in Picture for the Price
Pros: Great monitor for the price, Very crisp picture using DVI connection. Games look fantastic -- I've never seen such detail. Movies look great. Base swivels, height adjusts (be sure to remove retaining pin -- it is only for shipping), as well as screen tilting forward and back though more forward than back. OSD and Magictune software provide many, many settings. Magictune worked flawlessly for me. HDCP support is a future proofing bonus.
Cons: Black text is not quite as black as I like but it is still crisp and totally readable using DVI connector. I have not tried the analog mode.
Overall Review: This monitor is perfect for me. It does a good all around job. This monitor is the same internally as the 205BW but this has a narrower bezel -- all other specs appear to be the same after a careful comparison. There is a poorly documented power switch next to power cord on bottom -- be sure to turn it on or you will have a moment of panic like I did. No dead or stuck pixels. Works fine with my 6800GT GPU based graphics card. Widescreen gaming is awesome. For games that can't be induced to run widescreen this monitor supports settings for SVGA, XGA, and SXGA as well as it's native WXSGA+ resolutions, irregardless of your graphics card's scaling options. I'm very happy with this monitor.
Pros: Looks nice. Firewire and USB interfaces work fine.
Cons: The eSATA connection is problematic. It is not hot swappable. It worked once and then stopped working. I'm using the drive on Firewire though my intent was to use it with eSATA.
Overall Review: I only took off one egg because I figure I should have researched this purchase better. Still, shouldn't eSATA be eSATA? I believe this is not a good implementation of eSATA in favor of the USB and Firewire interfaces. Other eSATA enclosures have worked fine on my motherboard's eSATA connectors and were hot swappable. Other than that the hard drive itself is fine. At least with 3 options something worked right. I love Western Digital and this is my first disappointment with a WD product.
Pros: Appears sturdy and well made. Runs cool. Easy assembly. All needed parts except for the hard drive and screwdriver. Separate fan and power switches. USB 3
Cons: None so far.
Overall Review: Worked right the first time. Blue lights a nice touch. Fan keeps hard drive down to 26C with ambient temp of 21C. I had an extra 1 TB, WD black caviar drive that I wanted to put to use. This external case did the job. This case is barely larger than my 1.5 TB WD elements external drive. You get what you pay for with this one.
The Sweet Spot
Pros: For years we've talked about the "sweet spot". This CPU hits it. It is an amazing value. It is packed with computing power. This thing screams in Turbo Boost mode. It meets all my needs for the foreseeable future. I'm not a gamer per se, but do some 3D gaming and appreciate smooth gaming and speedy video encoding. And I haven't even mentioned the fact that everyday programs just snap open. So this CPU is very sweet for my needs.
Cons: After 8 years of using stock coolers, this stock cooler didn't cut it for me. I'm running Turbo Boost so that means it automatically overclocks to 3.7 GHz when needed (can be disabled on the motherboard so it only runs 3.3 GHz max). At idle the stock cooler was okay. At 3.7 GHz it was too hot for comfort (85C and still rising at 73F ambient -- yes I confirmed that it was installed properly and it was). This is in a well ventilated aluminum mid-tower case with 4 case fans that has always been fine with stock CPU coolers. I could not run under full load for more than a few minutes. I ended up buying a Cooler Master Vortex Plus cooler a week after building because of the temps. The Vortex Plus handles the heat adequately (stabilizes at 60C at 73F ambient for extended periods under full load). The temp is also 7C cooler at idle immediately after installation. I'm no longer afraid to run at 100% load for more than a few minutes.
Overall Review: I installed this on an Asus P8P67 motherboard. The "K" version of this CPU is unlocked and has more graphics capability. For those who need or want those features, the "K" version is only a little more expensive. For those who don't need the "K" features you can't go wrong with the i5-2500. I almost took away and egg on the rating because of the stock cooler, but so many builders don't bother with them anyway that I couldn't bring myself to downgrade an otherwise great CPU a whole egg on that.
Looks and Works Great
Pros: Works perfectly in my Asus P8P67 motherboard using AI and XMP setting. Nice to change one setting on the board and see everything memory-wise do what it is supposed to. Fast. Trouble free. The Ripjaws blue heat spreader looks great with my blue motherboard. It was on the QVL for this motherboard so I would expect it to work perfectly and it does. This memory certainly has the G.Skill quality and value that I expect.
Cons: None so far, and none expected.
Overall Review: This is my third dual channel set from G.Skill over the past few years. It has always been a trouble free brand for me. I now purposely seek out G.Skill when I look at the memory QVL for the motherboard I've chosen. This time around I bought one F3-12800CL8D-4GBRM dual channel kit and was so pleased that I bought a second kit to bring my total to 8 GB. I highly recommend it. I also trust the G.Skill warranty, though I've never needed it.
Stylish and Functional
Pros: Huge, bright screen with plenty of adjustments. Even the smallest text is black and readable. Non-glossy screen with beautiful black glossy finish bezel and base. Swivel and height adjustments are nice extras. Hidden speakers. Full 1080P with HDCP. EPEAT Gold. Tool-less assembly (one screw with folding tab on it). The quality I've come to expect from Asus. Securely protected in foam in carton with carry handle. And last but not least, no dead pixels!
Cons: Speakers are good enough for general computer use, but not good enough for music. Menus are a little arcane, but what monitor menus aren't?
Overall Review: I've had this monitor for just over 24 hours and I'm in love. I've checked it out for movies, Web surfing and word-processing, and also for games. It is a good performer in every area. It needs some calibration straight out of the box; but once calibrated, the picture is stunning. The speakers are handy for emergency use or for use in an office when you just want OS sounds and warnings. Besides, the speakers are totally hidden, so you can easily ignore them if you are not using them. Frankly, this is one of the more nicely styled monitors I've ever seen. The buttons are nicely integrated into the bezel. The glossy black finish is stunning. I only have DVI on my current graphics card, but it is nice to have the HDMI input for use in the future. This thing is larger than 2 8.5x11 pieces of paper side by side -- just consider the possibilities. Windows 7 and this monitor are an awesome duo. Arrived in 2 days -- Thanks Newegg.