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James D.

James D.

Joined on 06/21/01

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 9
Most Favorable Review

Good board

ASUS M4N78 Pro AM3/AM2+/AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 8300 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
ASUS M4N78 Pro AM3/AM2+/AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 8300 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard

Pros: No problems for me with this board. Handled my Athlon 6000+ and 6GB of Corsair RAM with no trouble.

Cons: Took a few tries to get the video settings correct. Seems like this board would prefer you not connect an external video card until after you've configured the BIOS using the integrated video. Works fine now with my 8800GTS.

Overall Review: It's too bad that nVidia has pretty much abandoned nForce boards for AMD. I've been a fan since the nForce2 days.

Most Critical Review

ESX Support Lacking

Adaptec 2251900-R PCIe x4 SATA / SAS 3405 SGL/128
Adaptec 2251900-R PCIe x4 SATA / SAS 3405 SGL/128

Pros: Good back for the buck, plenty of onboard RAM.

Cons: I bought this card because of Adaptec's claimed support for VMWare ESX 3.0. I was never able to get ESX to detect that the card was present. I ordered a second one thinking that the one I had was DOA and the same exact thing happened. Called Adaptec support and the only thing they could say was that it should work and gave me no steps to rectify the problem. If you are looking to buy this card for ESX support, look elseware.

Jumpy HDMI

MSI GeForce GT 220 1GB GDDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 SLI Support Video Card N220GT-MD1G
MSI GeForce GT 220 1GB GDDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 SLI Support Video Card N220GT-MD1G

Pros: Good performance, especially if there is a mail in rebate involved. Is only a few steps slower than my 7900GT. Built in audio for HDMI. Does not need additional power.

Cons: Jumpy display when output at 1920x1080 via HDMI or DVI. Other resolutions don't have this issue. This happens occassionally on idle on the desktop and more frequently when attempting games. Running the latest nVidia drivers. Happens on Vista and Windows 7. Maybe a hardware issue or maybe drivers, I'm not sure which, but I can't recommend a card that is very obviously targeting the HTPC market and has issues in 1080p.

Overall Review: No jumpy display when using my onboard GeForce 7050PV via HDMI or using my 7900GT with a DVI to HDMI adaptor, so I am certain this particular issue is related to the card.

Matching 5000YS and 5001ABYS in RAID

Western Digital RE2 WD5001ABYS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive Bare Drive
Western Digital RE2 WD5001ABYS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive Bare Drive

Pros: Near-enterprise level drive for not much more than a standard consumer drive. 5 year warranty.

Cons: Even though this drive is a RAID-specific drive, WD support does not support its use in RAID arrays. Just see the recent firmware updates for the 5000YS as a perfect example. Users were required to break their arrays in order to complete the update.

Overall Review: Interesting discussion below about the compatibility of the 5000YS, 5000ABYS and 5001ABYS drives. I also called WD support questioning compatibility between these models. The solution they gave me is actually one I already knew. While a RAID array with all completely matching drives is always preferred, manufacturers regularly substitute drives of greater specifications on warranty replacements. See enterprise drives from companies such as Dell and HP as examples of this. As long as the rotational speed, drive cache (if used) and capacity are of equal or greater values than the original drive, then the new drive WILL work in the RAID array. The way that the specific drive addresses data is irrelevant to the discussion. The reason WD support responded and said that they did not support these drives mixed into the same RAID is because you were talking to someone making a low end IT salary who doesn't want to put his neck on the line and guarantee compatibility.

Adaptec 2251800-R PCIe x4 SATA / SAS 3405 KIT Controller Card
Adaptec 2251800-R PCIe x4 SATA / SAS 3405 KIT Controller Card

Pros: Good bang for the buck. Plenty of on board RAM.

Cons: I bought this card because of Adaptec's claimed support for VMWare ESX 3.0. I was never able to get ESX to detect that the card was present. I ordered a second one thinking that the one I had was DOA and the same exact thing happened. Called Adaptec support and the only thing they could say was that it should work and gave me no steps to rectify the problem. If you are looking to buy this card for ESX support, look elseware.

Stable on Comcast

MOTOROLA SB5120 Surfboard Cable Modem 38Mbps Downstream, 30Mbps Upstream USB and Ethernet 10/100Base-T DOCSIS 2.0/1.1
MOTOROLA SB5120 Surfboard Cable Modem 38Mbps Downstream, 30Mbps Upstream USB and Ethernet 10/100Base-T DOCSIS 2.0/1.1

Pros: If RCA and Linksys modems fail you, give this a try. I couldn't keep a connection on my old modem. but this model is rock solid on Comcast!

Cons: None

Overall Review: none