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Steve M.

Steve M.

Joined on 02/26/04

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 12
Most Favorable Review

Good cheap USB KVM

IOGEAR GCS632U  2-Port KVM Switch with built-in KVM Cables and Audio Support (US packaging version)
IOGEAR GCS632U 2-Port KVM Switch with built-in KVM Cables and Audio Support (US packaging version)

Pros: This is a cheap reliable KVM for USB only PCs.

Cons: I usually prefer devices that do not have the cables integrated into the device. However, for the price it is not a problem.

Overall Review: You occasionally need to reset the USB connection to the PC. Hold [NumLock] for 2 seconds, press the [-] key on the numpad. The caps and numlock lights will flash, then press F5 to reset the connection. This isn't a problem with the device, it is the plug and play failing to properly redetect the USB devices when you switch PCs. Try unplugging your keyboard several times, you'd probably get the same result. Check the manual on the manufacturer's webpage for the other hotkeys.

Most Critical Review

Item returned

Thermaltake Extreme Volcano 12 80mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler
Thermaltake Extreme Volcano 12 80mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler

Pros: Returned item.

Cons: This thing weights 550g (nearly 1.25 lbs!). The AMD spec for Socket A is 350g. You do the math. I didn't realize it until I had already recieved it. I move the computer around a lot, I didn't want to damage the system.

Overall Review: I'd recommend something that has heatpipes. It may be larger, but its extremely efficent. Suprisingly, the one I'm using is nearly half the weight of this one (300g) also sold by newegg. I didn't even have to use the included fan and I'm getting 37*-40*C temps.

Its not such a bad little tree...

Rosewill FBM-02 - Dual-Fan Micro ATX Mini Tower Computer Case
Rosewill FBM-02 - Dual-Fan Micro ATX Mini Tower Computer Case

Pros: Aesthetically speaking, its a good looking little case. Especially for the price. Light weight and sturdy. I would buy it again, if I were building a system for someone else.

Cons: The placement of the front panel cables comes through the drive bay. I tried to reroute them, but there's really no other place for them to go other than the drive bay. The HD cage is riveted to the case. Which is a problem since, the HD sticks out over the motherboard when installed. Come on, would it have really cost that much more to screw it in??

Overall Review: Taking it apart, it is obviously a rebadging of the Rosewill FBM-01. I've worked on many a laptop before, so I know how to be careful with fragile plastic parts. There really isn't any reason to take the front panel off, but if you do be careful. I'd suggest buying a 5.25" mounting bracket for the HD like item N82E16817994073 to go with this case, if you need extra space. There are two 5.25 bays, but one of them is covered by the front panel.

Better than expected

SIIG USB2.0 to VGA Pro External Video Card Display Extender JU-VG0012-S1
SIIG USB2.0 to VGA Pro External Video Card Display Extender JU-VG0012-S1

Pros: I got this for a ITX system without expansion slots. I didn't really expect much from it, just needed to replace a dual monitor system. I had CNC:TA and Netflix running on it without any lag whatsoever. Don't expect to play Crysis, but it'll do for video.

Cons: It does turn of Aero effects when you enable it, not a big deal.

Overall Review: I was running this on a fairly new Intel Atom dual-core processor. I can't imagine I'd get the same results on an older system.

Best media player for the money

VID DEV ASUS O!PLAY HDP-R1/3A
VID DEV ASUS O!PLAY HDP-R1/3A

Pros: Unique features that no other network media player has: - eSATA and USB - Supports windows network shares (samba based) - no proprietary cables for RCA jacks This does exactly what I wanted it to do. It plays back DVD copies at the same level of quality as the original DVD. No problems with subtitles as well. The interface may not be as flashy as XBMC or PS3, but it gets the job done. I didn't want to setup an extra PC just to playback movie files on my living room TV. For the money, this is much better than the WD models with more functionality. Its especially nice to be able to use my old Buffalo NAS to store movies without needing a UPNP sever.

Cons: You need to upgrade the firmware to get the UPNP client functionality. No album art support, but it does have video previews.

Overall Review: This has the level of quality that I've come to expect from all Asus products. I was lucky enough to pick it up during the holidays on sale with free shipping. Newegg actually got it to me a day after I ordered it! Amazing this time of year.

12/16/2009

Good work horse board

PC CHIPS M811LU (V3.1) 462(A) VIA KT266A ATX AMD Motherboard
PC CHIPS M811LU (V3.1) 462(A) VIA KT266A ATX AMD Motherboard

Pros: This is a great replacement board for a Athlon XP 1700+. It has USB 2.0 and you can boot from USB devices. It has been extremely stable. No crashes yet. Full startup time with SATA card is less than 30 seconds.

Cons: Integrated sound is a little low with headphones. Works just fine with external amp. The sound quality is reasonabily good.