Date Joined: 10/30/10
Pros: It reads and writes to standard optical media. That's all it needs to do and that's what it does. Comes with a SATA cable that I didn't need. Lightscribe support that I want to try out.
Cons: The software that it comes with is pretty useless. Just install the drivers and don't ever touch the CD again.
Overall Review: It's black and it opens smoothly.
Pros: It's a hard drive. Hard drives don't get much said about them unless they fail to work as expected. This one certainly didn't. Noticeably faster than a similar SATA II drive, and has good storage capacity. No noise at all, it's great, and still idles at 27 degrees with one fan augmenting it. It works, and that's all that matters.
Overall Review: Came in a fortress of bubble wrap.
Also note that this is a bare drive, and does not come with SATA cables. Your motherboard should provide these.
Pros: This card is awesome. It is very hard to find a better bang-for-buck than this guy. Very solid and well-endowed HSF assembly with two great fans. Thick PCB, very sturdy card. It even has a metal bar running along the top of it. Plenty of ports. Right at this very moment it's temperature is 33 degrees. You can't even hear the fans spinning, I had to lay on the floor with a flashlight to see them actually working. The exhaust isn't even warm! Uses only one 6-pin PCIe power connector.
Runs Halo CE, Medal of Honor Airborne (which is a very good game, by the way) and now TF2 at a level of absolute smoothness that cannot be described, but needs to be experienced. Will try soon with other games, and I expect the same for most (with the exceptions of Crysis 2 and Metro 2033 of course.) Youtube videos will run without even a little stutter at max quality all the time. Don't think, just crank.
Cons: Cons... what does that mean?
Overall Review: Catalyst Control Center is a little odd, but usable. Haven't had any problems yet, thankfully. This card just blazes period. This is the sweet spot for a lot of people.
I'm such an NVIDIA fanboy, I can't believe how much I'm praising this card. AMD/ATI have come far since the X1900 days. Great work, AMD and XFX.
Pros: A low-priced but well-constructed enclosure from a highly commended manufacturer. The metal is quite sturdy. I generally don't like cases with windows, but this one is very tasteful and does a nice job of showcasing my hardware (and gives me a reason to manage my cables.) Like the side-panel fan mounting location, even though I don't need it (but used it anyway for a while.) Blue trim on the front panel is nice, as is the front fan mounting location. Very tactile switches. Both FP USB ports worked from day one, which I am glad for as I have gotten numerous cases with faulty USB ports. Haven't tested the FP audio yet but I expect no less. Stable PSU mount (for being top-mounted, handled my brick-like ST60F-ES admirably.) Came with more than enough screws for probably two such cases with builds similar to mine.
Cons: Inside isn't finished. I would have liked it even more if it was black inside, but as long as it works I guess. Front-panel 5.25" bay covers were a pain to get out.
Overall Review: On the other hand, the punch-out PCI slot covers were absolutely effortless. This is the only case that I've worked with with punch-out covers where the removal was so easy.
This case is QUIET PERIOD. Right now I have two fans (the stock rear exhaust and a re-purposed Xigmatek XSF-F1251) in this case and you have to silence every other sound-emitting device in the vicinity and still strain to hear any noise. Whenever I turn it on I have to look at the power LED to make sure it actually turned on, that's how quiet it is. Cooler Master hit the jackpot with this one.
Pros: It cools very nicely. Keeping my X4 925 @ 25-30 degrees under little-to-light load (web browsing, videos) and somewhere in the 40's gaming. Extremely easy installation, and significantly less force required than AMD's trash stock cooler. Surprisingly quiet yet still very effective (albeit odd-sized) fan. So much value for what you pay... it's amazing.
Cons: I'm seriously nitpicking here, but the cooler is called "Buffalo" yet there are depictions of fighting bulls all over the cooler. Fail.
Overall Review: It's very light. It's small and uses a smallish fan. There isn't a super-high fin density and it only uses four heatpipes. How on earth does a cooler like this work so well?
I've received some very bad bundled TIM with CPU coolers before but the one that came with this was very nice (although a smidgen too watery.) I wish I still had some AS-5, but this stuff worked acceptably.
Pros: The thing moves 110.3 CFM. That is an absolutely inhuman amount of air movement for a fan like this. Looks good, well constructed, light.
Cons: It sounds like you're listening to a Pratt and Whitney F119 at full bore. It was so loud that I had to disconnect it just because it was driving everyone in my vicinity crazy. It's a shame, because it really does cool very well.
Overall Review: Scythe is a good brand. Highly recommended. This fan was originally purchased for an open-air test bed as a rad fan for a liquid-cooling system, and in that application the noise level was not noticeable; but when inserted into a case it was unbearable. For open-air applications consider this a five-egg rating.
Pros: Great finish, good wattage PSU at a good price from a reputable manufacturer. Love the black, very quiet fan, cools well.
VERY hefty... the thing weighs 2kg. Just an indicator of quality, when you're sure they shipped you a box of bricks but nope, it's a PSU. Plenty of connectors, especially SATA power.
Cons: Not modular, but I didn't have too much trouble and at this price you can't complain.
Overall Review: HEAVY! :)
Pros: It is beautiful. Just looking at it gets you giddy. Nice colour scheme, blue components on a dark brown/black board looks nice. Booted on the first try with nary a complaint, still running without a qualm. 8-pin EPS power connector. Solid socket and surrounding area. Plenty of USB ports, forgoes most of the junk and gives you only what you need (well, except for the serial port... no one this side of an industrial application uses them any more.) The board is overall well constructed, you can even feel it just picking it up. Noticeably good quality components (capacitors, chokes, etc.) as well as hefty heatsinks.
Cons: AMD 870 chipset restricts your second PCIe slot to x4, but I knew that going in, not really a con. SATA connectors were a tad hard to reach in my case, but then again I installed my 6850 first so that could have been a contributing factor.
Overall Review: There is a line of four itty-bitty blue LEDs above the RAM slots that in the dark illuminate the entire inside of my case and throw light across the floor through the case's window.
About the same amount of light as a dim cold cathode. Ridiculous, but kind of cool.
Pros: It's basic, value-priced DDR3. It is always nice to go all-out on your RAM but it isn't necessary; a basic kit like this will carry most people quite far.
I don't know if it was my motherboard or the RAM, but this RAM was the smoothest and most resistance-free RAM I have ever installed. It was unnerving, really. Good product from a very reputable company that should be proud of their products.
Cons: People complaining about its lack of heatsinks and low OC capacity. You don't buy $40 RAM to push its limits. You buy it because a computer cannot run without RAM. Please, if you want to overclock, buy RAM with it in mind instead of complaining about the limitations of an unsuitable product.
Overall Review: In the picture the PCB is green. People are noting that they are receiving black PCBs. The kit I received had blue PCBs. G.SKILL needs new color comparators. Whatever, the blue matches my build better anyway.
Pros: It's black. It has a fan. It comes with a 20+4 pin ATX12V power connector.
Cons: Not at all reliable. After unpacking mine I ran it on an open-air test bed and it lasted SEVEN MINUTES before deciding to blow and never power anything again. PSU tester says it was completely fried.
Overall Review: I unpacked it well after the return period was up. Not worth the RMA anyway. All I needed was a cheap PSU that worked reasonably well. I certainly got a cheap PSU...
Pros: It's a very good cable if you still use IDE drives. It is sheathed in some kind of braided metal then plastic, so it is not as flexible as a regular ribbon cable, but a thousand times less ugly. Pull tabs are actually pretty sturdy.
Cons: Definitely not red- more of a dark pinkish color. You don't notice it under UV, however, and my case doesn't have a window anyway.
The triangular bit of plastic on the ends that covers the wires pulls away if installed vertically, but oh well.
Overall Review: Bought it to augment an old rig.
Pros: This is a really great case. All black, aluminum, and tool-less at this price is unheard of. This thing was honestly a joy to work in, being surprisingly roomy for a mid tower. It is shockingly sturdy, and I found that it was very, very difficult to bend the panels. That pre-installed fan is actually not too bad. The CPU backplate cutout, although I didn't use it, looks large enough for most anything. Light like crazy, even loaded with hardware. Tool-less clamps are sturdy enough for most use, although I would have liked maybe a tad more security.
Black finish is a great aesthetic touch (even the standoffs are coated black!) Plenty of room for cable management behind the rear panel and in the case (provided your PSU's wires are long enough). Very easy to remove side-panel with nice thumbscrews.
Cons: Infuriating punch-out expansion slot covers. Aggressive negotiations with some very large pliers were necessary to remove the two covers I needed. (I bent the crossbars between the slots.) There are also punch-out metal plates over your 5.25" bays (not the ones in the front panel, mind you, behind even that) that are significantly easier to remove.
Overall Review: It is just now I'm noticing that the price is $39.99, I got mine for $29.99. Still really good. Be sure your PSU rests on the shelf, mine didn't at first.