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Matthew F.

Matthew F.

Joined on 09/25/03

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 11
Most Favorable Review

They're Black, Y'all!

APEVIA G-120MM 120mm Fan Grill
APEVIA G-120MM 120mm Fan Grill

Pros: They're Cheap. They're 120mm. They're black.

Cons: None.

Overall Review: Although the product name doesn't explicitly say, they're black, y'all! They're black, y'all! They're blackity-black and they're black, y'all!

Most Critical Review

Requires ventilation

ASUS Radeon HD 5450 1GB DDR3 PCI Express 2.1 x16 Low Profile Ready Video Card EAH5450 SILENT/DI/1GD3(LP)
ASUS Radeon HD 5450 1GB DDR3 PCI Express 2.1 x16 Low Profile Ready Video Card EAH5450 SILENT/DI/1GD3(LP)

Pros: Works great in Windows 7 64, provided that you give it room to breathe.

Cons: Way too hot for my small form-factor HTPC case (Silverstone GD04B). Started to get some weird problems with Windows 7 Media Center. Opened the case and found the problem -- the heatsink was literally scalding hot! It found a new home in another machine with lots of ventilation, and it works fantastic.

Overall Review: I'm not impressed with the ATI Catalyst software. If you are upgrading from onboard ATI vid, it is very beneficial to uninstall all ATI Catalyst software, run Driver Sweeper (google it), and reinstall the latest version of ATI Catalyst. This is the easiest way to solve most problems with Catalyst.

My eyes! The goggles do nothing!

SAMSUNG SYNCMASTER P2570 Glossy Black 24.6" HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 DC 70000:1(1000:1)
SAMSUNG SYNCMASTER P2570 Glossy Black 24.6" HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 DC 70000:1(1000:1)

Pros: I've only had this thing an hour, and it is the finest monitor that I have ever owned. It's huge, bright, and non-reflective. There is a window directly behind my desk that shines mind-blasting sunlight all day long. For years I've had to use screen filters, etc. to get rid of the glare. No longer! There are powerful anti-glare enchantments on this monitor. I should point out that the back is equally attractive. If your desk faces outwards, your coworkers will stare enviously at the shiny, monolith-like Samsung logo.

Cons: The base DOES adjust, you just have to wrestle it a little bit. It rotates/slides at the point where the base and monitor join. Don't know if I trust the "starlight touch" buttons. They are way sexy, but are they as reliable as good old clunky pushbuttons? No attachment for a mounting bracket.

Overall Review: Just plugged it in and Windows 7 64 recognized it and adjusted the resolution automatically to 1920 x 1080. Not sure you can see it in the pictures, but the screen is actually inset .25 inches/0.635 centimeters from the outer bezel.

Get More Ads with Quickbooks 2010

Intuit Quickbooks Pro 2010
Intuit Quickbooks Pro 2010

Pros: It works with Windows 7 64. It's Quickbooks. Upgraded successfully from Quickbooks Pro 2001 to this version. The GUI looks and feels very nice. Accountants love the sexy charts and graphs!

Cons: Intuit needs your phone, e-mail, mailing address, note from your high school principal, etc. to register via internet. Maybe phone registration doesn't require this. There are a RIDICULOUS amount of ads for other Intuit products in this software. Many "features" in the menu system are actually ads. The "Home" screen even has a toolbar filled with ads! The whole product has a sketchy, shareware feel to it. I'd expect this from something free, but not a hundred dollar piece of software. Why Intuit? Why can't we be civil? You know we need your software, why can't it be a more pleasant experience?

Overall Review: What are you going to do? Your accountant says you need this, so there really is no choice. Gnucash? Good luck with that. My money to the first Quickbooks clone/alternative that doesn't try to sell you things! If I find a way to hide the ads, it gets +2 stars.

Great Case -- Do your homework!

SILVERSTONE Black 8.0mm aluminum front panel, 0.8mm SECC body GRANDIA GD04B Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case
SILVERSTONE Black 8.0mm aluminum front panel, 0.8mm SECC body GRANDIA GD04B Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case

Pros: +Bought this case due to the shallow depth. It fits anywhere that a modern DVD/Bluray player or Cablebox will fit, unlike many other HTPC cases which are too deep. +It is VERY well made, as typical with Silverstone. All pieces fit together perfectly, and are machined well. +The three fans are relatively quiet, and completely inaudible inside of my ventilated entertainment center. +There is a metal cover included that sticks to the front of your optical drive tray to make it look expensive. +The power supply airflow is isolated from the rest of the case via a grill on the bottom of the case.

Cons: -If you buy this case, you MUST buy a Silverstone NT01-E heatsink. The CPU sits directly under the optical drive, reducing your cooling options to basically just one. I don't know why Silverstone doesn't just bundle the two together. -The first thing I did was remove the filters (there are 3!). Who wants to pull out the HTPC every few weeks, disassemble it, and clean the filters? Try explaining THAT to your wife! -You absolutely need a modular power supply. The power supply cables are located directly in front of one of the intake fans. More cables = less airflow. -If using more than one HDD, consider using laptop drives. Space is an absolute premium. Two ATI TV Wonder Cablecard tuners, and a Hauppage analog tuner make for a very crowded -- and HOT -- house! Onboard video is your friend.

Overall Review: Very happy with this case. Do your homework if you intend to use anything OTHER than the NT01-E heatsink.

Fantastic RAM

Crucial Ballistix 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model BL2KIT25664BN1337
Crucial Ballistix 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model BL2KIT25664BN1337

Pros: Fast memory. Works great!

Cons: None.

Overall Review: Installed on my ASUS M4A785TD-M board after memory from another manufacturer (whose name starts with a G) caused intermittent BSODs in Windows 7 64 at startup. Blammo -- no more BSODs! Crucial is the most reliable brand I've ever bought.