Date Joined: 05/15/03
Pros: Insanely cheap when on sale. Low profile bracket included. Plug & Play in Windows 7 Ultimate RC (64 bit). Did I mention it was cheap? Eliminated buffering/dropped video on my HTPC. (Usually would be wired, but not going to happen in the house I am currently renting.) Solid Ralink chip that should cooperate fine when I switch the HTPC back over to Linux. And last but not least, it doesn't cost that much.
Cons: Nothing that affects my use. It does not pick up the 6 or so networks my Trendnet Super-G card was seeing from my neighborhood, however, so probably not a great choice for freeloaders and long distance setups without upgrading the antennae.
Overall Review: I will not list the fact that it is not dual band, fully certified (non-draft) or other such complaints, as that was known before purchasing. I was planning on holding out on upgrading my WiFi, but I figured at this sale price, I could always use this as a spare part when I actually update everything to dual band, non-draft, yada yada... Card has been working flawlessly since installing in my low profile HTPC upstairs connected to my router in the geek hideout in my basement.
Pros: Solid performance, reasonable price. Backwards compatible w/PCI-express 1.0 boards, Single slot, Relatively quiet (not silent), Step Up Program & Lifetime Warranty. No goofy LEDs.
Cons: Runs hot, even with good case/airflow. (Many will want to upgrade cooling, although I have not done so yet.)
Overall Review: I bought this card despite the fact that I am using an old ASRock 939Dual-SATA2 motherboard, as I plan to upgrade the MB/CPU/RAM later this year. It performed great, even with my current system holding it back. There is a BIOS update to ensure compatibility w/PCI-ex 1.0 boards such as mine. I updated it, but as a note it ran fine before the update as well.
Pros: Extremely reliable after heavy use for a year and a half. Relatively cool and quiet. Value is amazing, especially if you happen to grab them during a promo of some sort.
Cons: Price fluctuates quite a bit given the frequency of rebates and such. This made me hesitate on acquiring the second one waiting for the perfect time to score.
I'm simply paranoid about WD drives since a nasty run of failures on a much older unrelated line while working as a tech. These are my first attempt at coming back since.
Overall Review: I have a pair of these purchased separately about 6 months apart, the latest being a year ago now. Initially they were heavily used as storage in my myth box until it got upgraded recently. Now they are running Vista in RAID0 on my PC. I will post an update if/when they fail after pretty thorough usage. (If you see nothing else by me, they're still spinning away)
Pros: The cables are very well constructed. Ample insulation yet flexible. 90-degree connector works very well on drive bays that connect near the side of the case. Connects to drives better than any cable I've used. Great value when buying many. (I'll hang onto mine to try with newer hardware)
Cons: First time connections to the ports on my relatively old motherboard (ASRock Dual-939sata2) seemed ok, but never exactly locked in as intended. They will come loose any time I move the case, but have not dropped the connection in use (yet). I will be swapping these out for better ones, as I don't want my RAID array fried over something so trivial as a loose cable. My add-on SATA2 controller (Promise SATA300TX2+) would not let them clip in securely from the start.
Overall Review: Much of the problem can be chalked up to the following:
1.Poor connector design for SATA in general. (Too delicate and lacks standard secure connection)
2. SATA ports on my motherboard may just be loose due to age/use. It has never seemed to hold any SATA cables very securely.
Pros: Does what it does.
Plenty flexible for its thickness.
Cons: As most round cables of this sort, it is a tad heavy. I'd stick with ribbons if you happen to be using a controller card.
Pros: Does what it's supposed to.
Adequate length for the less than optimal placement of the floppy controller on my ASRock 939 Dual Sata.
Plenty flexible. (Especially after spending far too long in a UPS truck.)
Cons: The cable I received was the same item number listed, but the pull tabs are bright green and have some goofy cartoon fireman logo on them. I'd have preferred the simple design shown, as it would've matched my similarly branded IDE cables. Not a major issue for me, as I don't have a window on my case, but just a warning for those who do.
Pros: Very clean lines and excellent finish.
CM's tool-less drive mounting system seems pretty solid.
Plenty of ventilation.
From the pictures online, I was thinking the vertical vent strips on the front were a fabric mesh. They are metal, however, which is a definite plus.
Big ugly Centurion logo is removed along with floppy bezel, so the only logo on my setup is the subtle Cooler Master one up top on the front.
I don't like LEDs on fans, and was pleasantly surprised at the subtlety of the one included. It is far less noticeable than the glaring power and hdd lights.
Great value for the price.
Cons: I'm not a fan of the method required for attaching the side-panel. I have to align metal tabs with small horizontal tear-drop shaped holes, then hold it in place while sliding it forward to lock in place. (Could have been designed much simpler.) Upon asking a friend with an older version of the Centurion, it seems his is the same.
Vent tube on side-panel over the CPU does not quite line up with processor placement of my ASRock 939 Dual Sata. (I can only see about half of the fan when looking through the vent.)
Headphone and mic jacks on front seem sub-par. For lack of a better description, they are kind of crunchy when inserting/removing a plug. Still handy, but does not exude quality craftsmanship.
Power and HDD LEDs are extremely bright.
Overall Review: Until this purchase, I'd been using the same two low-end Enlight cases I bought back in the mid 90s. Final thoughts are essentially that it is a drastic improvement in aesthetics and cooling, but I have to say the craftsmanship is lacking even when comapred to those older models. (Granted, they were built like tanks.) For the price I paid though, I am satisfied.
Pros: The black matches my Cooler Master Centurion 534 case perfectly. (not just a dark gray like many other "black" components) Simple design, installation, and use. Cheap. Great place to store frequently used disks or other small widgets.
Cons: The chatter-like squeek when pushing the drawer in does not seem to be fading for me yet. It could use a few holes drilled in the back to allow air movement when opening/closing. (Creates slight vacuum/air pressure as it is now unless used relatively slowly.)
Overall Review: The face of the drawer is very slightly convex (aka curves outward) for those of you who want an absolutely flat surface on the front of your case. It is extremely subtle though.
Comments: Bought these to use in my NEC 3540A, and have had no problems at all. Good stuff.
Comments: Got this to slap into an older motherboard that only had ATA66 onboard, and it has worked well in most cases. Great deal for people flirting with obsolescence looking for the latest SATA2 and a boost in IDE performance as well.
Mixed results depending on your OS though:
Flawless install in Windows XP Pro SP2
Solid install and performance running SuSE 9.2, but will require some tweakage if you want to update the kernel to the latest.
Promise site has drivers for RHEL4, but they have yet to work for me.
Source code is available from Promise though if you are willing to put some work into it.
Comments: I bought this for and older motherboard (ASUS P3V4X) without USB 2.0 support that I wanted to use in a server, and it has worked flawlessly. Not only did it allow me to dodge some headaches by getting along nicely with MB's onboard VIA chipset, but it was fully compatible with several operating systems. (RHEL 4.2, SuSE 9.2, and Windows XP Pro SP2) Highly recommended.
Comments: Not the fastest RAM around by any means, but it is definitely an exceptional value. Bought a 1GB stick just to get going, and have had no issues at all with it so far. Looking forward to getting its twin moved in soon.
Comments: Got this processor about 4 weeks ago, and can't complain a bit. Some serious bean-counting power for the price. Highly recommended for anyone wanting to build a socket 939 based system, but starting at the lower end of the spectrum on processing power.
Comments: This is a great motherboard for the price. I've had no problems whatsoever with mine since firing it up 4 weeks ago. Perhaps some of the other purchasers are getting lemons, but that wasn't the case here. I gave ASRock a chance and do not regret it a bit. Good value for those of us holding out to upgrade critical hardware later, but still manages to sneak in some exceptional features on a budget.
Comments: I bought one of these to replace a rather dated IDE drive at the beginning of the month, and have not regretted the purchase a bit. Excellent performance for the price, and mine is very quiet.