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Brent M.

Brent M.

Joined on 03/09/05

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 29
Most Favorable Review

Sleek; Excellent Price for Performance

SONY Laptop VAIO NS Series Intel Core 2 Duo T5800 (2.00GHz) 3GB Memory 250GB HDD Intel GMA 4500MHD 15.4" Windows Vista Home Premium VGN-NS140E/W
SONY Laptop VAIO NS Series Intel Core 2 Duo T5800 (2.00GHz) 3GB Memory 250GB HDD Intel GMA 4500MHD 15.4" Windows Vista Home Premium VGN-NS140E/W

Pros: I picked one of these up for my wife while they were on sale, which really made it a steal. Price for performance is excellent. The laptop is very sleek with a crisp screen. It boots up very quickly and runs multiple programs with ease. It's hard to ask for a better bang at this price point. If it weren't for the cons, I'd give it a 5.

Cons: Boatware! And lots of it. Not your typical "try AOL for free" stuff - but about 20 pieces of "software". OK, OK, some people may like the all the Sony media, pc manager, etc and all that stuff, but I prefer to make that choice myself. It would have been nice to have x64 preinstalled. At first boot, around 80 processes were running.

Overall Review: What did I do about the cons? Fixed them in one swoop by formatting and installing Vista x64. The only issues I ran into is that it didn't install the right Intel chipset drivers nor the wireless card drivers. So be sure you have a ethernet option or a thumb drive with these 2 files loaded - easily downloadable from Intel. Wireless: Intel WiFi Link 5100 Chipset: Mobile Intel GM45 Express After the installs, everything ran smoothly and I was able to ditch around 50 of the running processes. Yes, 50!! Well worth it if you can install a fresh copy of Vista.

10/13/2008
Most Critical Review

Skip This! 9v9? Try 6v6!!

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 PC Game
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 PC Game

Pros: Great 1 player Fast multi-player Great graphics

Cons: The obvious and stated cons and extremely detrimental to this game. 9v9 is a BIG overstatement because there is only ONE scenario that even ALLOWS for 9v9 - Yes, ONE. If you want to play a specialty game or even regular Team Deathmatch, it's going to be 6v6 or less. I can't tell you how many games I've ended up playing 4v4 or 5v2. It SUCKS. The 5 seconds between hosts is more like 20 seconds and entirely ruins a game. No chat between games ruins the entire community atmosphere. You have literally 10 seconds to type something before it goes back to the game room. No dedicated hosting goes way beyond IWNet's poor match-making and hosting selection. It takes all the host-game adjustment out. There's no way to limit weapons, attachments, etc. For example, in nearly any other multiplayer game, HeartBeat Sensors are restricted b/c they provide such a huge advantage. Here, that option does not exist. IWNet boots you out of a game for no reason constantly.

Overall Review: Bottom line is that I thought I could get past the negatives. I can't. Truth be told, I still play the game - I spent money on it and cannot return it, afterall. I would just suggest skipping this one. Any given night there's only 40 or 50k players split amonst 15 or so game types and then only a select number will match via IWNet. This will drop off the radar fast. I'm waiting for the next Rainbow Six someday...

11/19/2009

Great Card - Quiet to Boot

SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 5770 1GB GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 CrossFireX Support Video Card 100283-3L
SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 5770 1GB GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 CrossFireX Support Video Card 100283-3L

Pros: Fits perfectly into my mid-tower case. Runs anything I throw at it very very well. Runs full 720 on my plasma as opposed to my old card which required resolution adjustments. Very quiet - in an HTPC rig and the fan is unnoticeable in the living room. DX 11

Cons: None thus far.

Overall Review: Replaced an old 8800 GTS - which I even SLi'd for a while but stopped due to heat and noise annoyances. Without doing true benchmarks, this card seems to easily outperform them. Debated back and forth with about the move to ATI and no more possibility of SLi, but for the price/performance I was looking for, this card really has it all and beats out the competition at this price point.

Good Bargain Case

Rosewill FE-A030 Black SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Rosewill FE-A030 Black SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Pros: LOTS of options for airflow. The open area on the case door with screw holes for fans is key to build in maximum case airflow. Overall, you can use 4 120mm fans if you wanted. The buttons are on the side of the case making it easily accessible without opening the main door. The main door is perforated to allow intake air to flow through it - I've used other cases that inefficiently bring air in through the side so this case is definitely doing it correctly. The exterior and overall user design of the case is what I expect from Rosewill.

Cons: The case has an overall cheap feel to it. The aluminum feels flimsy and can be bent quite easily. The screws provided were not adequate at all so I dug into my own, better, stash from other Rosewill cases. The expansion ports are pre-cut so once removed, they cannot be placed back. No rails for disk drives.

Overall Review: I bought this case for an inexpensive build and it certainly fits that bill. I typically would spend more on a case, and I certainly recommend it after working with this one. Rosewill builds EXCELLENT cases but they missed the quality mark on this one I believe. It's tough to be too critical for this price-point, but I've just come to expect a bit more from Rosewill. However, I still believe that I made the right choice for my situation. I needed a decent case at a lower price. I would just keep the negatives in mind if this is a primary PC. Do not buy this case if you can afford another $50. Do buy this case if you are on a budget and need a lot of airflow. Would I buy this again for this same situation? Probably. But I'd be certain to have plenty of extra screws around again!

Excellent for a OS Drive

Western Digital Blue WD1600AAJS 160GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive
Western Digital Blue WD1600AAJS 160GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive

Pros: Excellent size and price to use as an OS drive. Solid performer with no problems. Great option for me to provide fast seek/read times without spending Raptor money. Silent.

Cons: None? Don't forget to buy the SATA cable?

Overall Review: As I mentioned above, I didn't want to spend the money on the Raptor/SSD drives to use as an OS drive, so I got this one and it works excellent. It is fast, silent, and produced no problems for the last month.

Moves Serious Air Quietly

ENERMAX MAGMA UCMAA12A Case Fan
ENERMAX MAGMA UCMAA12A Case Fan

Pros: These fans move a lot of air - effectively, efficiently, and quietly. They are fans, they plug in and worked. Once the rubber pins are in place, they are solid and will not allow the fan to move.

Cons: The longest part of the build - yes longer than setting the push-pins on an LGA 775 heat-sink - was to get the rubber "screws?" through my case. It took me forever but I eventually got all 4 in. Probably worth it in the long run.

Overall Review: I used these for an intake and exhaust on a recent build and they move a LOT of air through the case. Additionally, I was having a heat problem on another machine so I swapped one in on the exhaust side and immediately lost 10C on the case. A lot of stagnet heat wasn't being moved by my previous fans that just didn't seem to have enough power.