Date Joined: 10/29/01
Pros: I put this together with i7 -4970k processor, corsair RAM. and Corsair SSD. It booted up Windows 8 FAST - like 8 seconds! So far it seems stable - haven't oc'd it yet. I'm knocking off an egg - see below
Cons: Gigabyte doesn't include a screw kit!! - BAD FORM. Yup no stand off or screw kit. Every other main board I've ever owned
comes with this basic item included.
Overall Review: I will update this review as time goes forward, but so far I'm satisfied. This is a good, solid, Z-97 board that was inexpensive. It lacks many of the bells and whistles of other Z-97 boards (m.2 slot,, SATA Express, extra PCI-e slots, USB 3.1), but most of the extra frills will not be missed by average users. Sound quality and Network speed are surprisingly very good.
Pros: Updating earlier review. This little PC is still chugging along fine after almost 4 months. I'm updating because I noticed that Newegg and US Micro have more of these units for sale.
If you need a cheap, SFF, but with still enough power for most common activities (HTPC for instance) - go for it. US Micro has good customer service. For what they are, these units work well.
Cons: none really - see other thoughts
Overall Review: rebate? haven't received it yet, but still have hope I will.
I strongly recommend immediately imaging your system. I use Macrium Reflect free - excellent backup/imaging software. You can also test the HDD with HDD Scan or other similar. If it passes, as mine did, you should be in good shape for a while at least, but imaging and backing-up your system is critical to avoiding data loss.
These units are quite flexible. For instance there are USB headers and up to four HDD SATA headers (one is for eSATA) on the main board. Also old serial and printer port headers. It's a good combination of legacy and newer technology. Uninstall any 'battery' drivers that Windows tries to install. One possible reason that some of these systems boot to a recovery screen is because they come with a hidden recovery partition on the HDD. You should be able to change the boot order (away from the recovery partition) in the BIOS.
Pros: This was given to my niece for Xmas. It has served her well as a basic home PC. She likes Windows 8 so no problem there. Acer finally released BIOS update P11.B2 to "Support "Launch CSM" item in BIOS setup menu." See the Acer driver support page for AXC-603G. This is an excellent upgrade to support legacy OS like Windows 7 and even XP or older Linux distros. There are no official Acer drivers for XP or Linux. You'll have to find at Intel or Linux.
Cons: There is very limited expansion options - only 1 pci-e slot and no extra SATA connectors - only 2 total.
Overall Review: RAM expansion/addition helps this PC run much better. At the Newegg sale price with rebate, it's a good deal.
Pros: These enclosures are excellent - quality construction. I've owned several over the years and they all still work after heavy use. The fan on one of the older units is getting a bit noisy, but other than that - no problems.
Overall Review: Note: These are USB 2 - eSATA ll models.
I just hope Rosewill continues the same quality with their USB 3 - eSATA lll models.
Pros: It's a pass through bracket - it either works or doesn't.
This one works. Be aware that this thing is cheaply constructed - handle with care or you could break it.
Cons: over priced - cheap construction - handle with care
Pros: Good HDDs - all passed the long read/write tests. These come in a 'retail' box, but have no cables, mounting screws, or
3.5 to 2.5 bracket. Most other retail packages at least include a cable and screws.
Cons: No screws or cable even though it's packaged in a 'retail' box.
YES - I took an egg off for that. What's the point of retail packaging without screws, a bracket, or a cable?
Overall Review: As I wrote on another HDD review, the typhoon and floods in Thailand a few years back killed HDD manufacturing. Before the floods, HDDs were cheap and very reliable. The manufacturers have never recovered. All of them have quality issues and pricing is high.
Pros: So far so good - they all passed the long read/write tests. I bought several over a period of months to get drives manufactured during different runs. I have them setup in a RAID 6 (the 'hot' disk array these days) which offers double redundant protection over RAID 5 but with similar write speeds.
Cons: Time will tell whether they last. Generally I find HDDs are either DOA, fail quickly after being put into use, or work for years and it's completely the 'luck of the draw'.
Overall Review: All of my WD HDDs are still working. Some are over 10 years old, although these older drives are obviously not in daily use. The floods in Thailand a few years back really killed hard drive manufacturing. Before the Typhoon and floods, HDDs were ridiculously cheap and very reliable. All of the manufacturers had developed a mature manufacturing process and produced consistently high quality drives. Now, it's hit or miss with all of them. Gotta love climate change.
Pros: good cables - well constructed
Cons: none, they're cables - either they work and are quality constructed or are junk.
Pros: This was a good deal on sale. It backs up my network, digital land line, and work station. Time will tell if the batteries last, but at least they're replaceable. There's also a connection to add an additional external battery pack (which is more expensive than the original unit) - go figure. The Power Chute software installed easily on Windows 8 and gives access to basic configuration of the unit. Setting up the unit was straight forward (install the battery pack and plug it in) and the instructions are adequate -so far so good.
Cons: none that I can think of
Overall Review: This unit comes with a 'master' outlet which controls another outlet. If power is lost on the master outlet, it also shuts off the controlled outlet.- not sure if this was really necessary or under what circumstances this would be useful. It's unclear whether this 'controlled' outlet will send a signal to a PC for a graceful shut-down and the Power Chute software configures that for all of the 'on battery' outlets, so this seems redundant. I guess there might be a scenario where someone could use this unit to back-up equipment that is not a PC. There are also several outlets that are direct connections - they condition and have power surge protection, but no battery back-up.
The whole point of a battery back-up is to allow time for a graceful shut-down of a PC and the equipment attached to it. If you live in an area with frequent or intermittent power outages/brown outs, then a battery back-up is useful to keep you up and running during brown outs and for a short time until power is restored.
Pros: Great land lines which I realize are fast becoming things of the past, but for many reasons we still need a land line. The batteries last long between charges and the range, voice quality, and answering machine all work well.
Overall Review: The blue tooth cell phone hook up also works well.
Pros: This keyboard/mouse-pad combo is just what the doctor ordered for my HTPC. It's small, functional, and long range. As noted in previous reviews, you have to dig out the transceiver which is hidden in the bottom battery compartment - the USB 'thingy' is just an extender. It works well to control my HTPC with a small and light weight footprint. It will even bring it out of sleep or hibernation, but because of the main board on this particular HTPC, will not turn it on. although it will power it off. There is no software to add functionality (special keys, etc.). You just plug it in and it works immediately - as simple as it can get.
Cons: none -other than the lack of software to add more functionality.
Overall Review: For my specific uses, this worked out of the box and does what I want it to. For a simple, basic, small, lightweight unit to control a PC (or laptop), this does the job well. I would recommend it.
Pros: This is a cheap basic PC case that surprised me with the amount of included features. It has rolled steel (no sharp edges to cut you), bottom mount PS, and three cooling fans. It even has a bottom air filter for the PS fan. Another very nice feature is that the HDDs can be mounted facing in either direction and a 3.5 to 2.5 SSD bracket is included in one of the bays. Front USB, eSATA port, and audio jacks are also included.
Cons: none that I can think of.
Overall Review: This is just a very basic cheap ATX case for those of us who aren't installing massive dual video cards, etc. For a well designed, quality product, with the necessary 'extras', I can recommend this case.
Pros: This cooler reduced my CPU temps from 150 f to 90 f. I wish I had installed this unit from the beginning. It is a TIGHT FIT next to fully populated RAM modules with heat spreaders, but it did fit (just barely). The fans are quiet - set up in a push-pull arrangement. Decent, straight forward instructions are included which I strongly recommend reading first..The fit and workmanship on these products is superior - a Phillips screwdriver is included. Overall, a quality product.
Cons: Other than the tight fit next to the RAM, none.
Overall Review: CPU coolers are one of the trickiest parts of building or upgrading a system. Installing it, like any CPU cooler with the main board already in the case, takes some work AND PATIENCE. Your case has to have a cut out in back to expose the back side of the main board which most modern ATX cases have. I used some small pieces of tape to temporarily hold the back plate in place while assembling the two piece mounting brackets from the front - no big deal. I cleaned off the old compound with rubbing alcohol and 'Q' tips. If you approach the project systematically, don't rush, and follow the procedures step by step, it will work out well. With this cooler, CPU temps and fan noise will be dramatically reduced over stock coolers.
Pros: this is an excellent, cheap way to add storage to a system
that is getting filled up. Two 2.5 HDD/SSDs on top, one 3.5 HDD (or SSD) on bottom. It all fits into a 2.5 bay which most desktop/stations have at least one free. Just a neat design to cheaply add more storage drives - love it.
Cons: not really a con, but you might have to fiddle a bit depending upon the case you own - to be expected.
Overall Review: used it to add three HDDs to my system
Pros: parts were as ordered, arrived fairly fast and work as expected. They're only hard drive trays, so they either fit and work or don't. These worked fine.
Pros: OK SSD for the price, but not as fast as the Samsung SSDs I own. I bought it for my wife's new Acer laptop and for that purpose it is fine. I like the fact that Corsair already has over provisioning built into their drives - a nice feature. Another plus is that it is 7mm so the fit in the laptop was perfect.
Cons: As I said, it is not as fast as the Samsungs I own, but it was much cheaper.
Overall Review: works well so far. recognized immediately by the system. I used Macrium Reflect (free) to image the original Win 8.1 system and restore/migrate it to the new SSD. It's a good idea to shut down the system immediately after completing an OS migration and remove the original HDD. Then re-start with just the new SSD and check out the OS to make sure it's 'all good'. Then shut down, add back the original HDD to use for data storage and/or as a back-up OS.
Pros: decent laptop for my wife - surfing web, email, and office productivity, It is quiet. The air flow system seems well designed - not much heat or fan noise.
BUT know what you are getting. NO OPTICAL drive, limited UEFI BIOS.
Cons: The second RAM slot is integrated into the PCB, but there is no bracket, so you can't install a second RAM module. I spoke to Acer support about this and basically they said 'tough luck' - buy an 8 gig single RAM module. NOT satisfactory.
Overall Review: This is a UEFI BIOS with a very simple interface. We had to update our BIOS (from Acer) to get backwards compatibility for legacy BIOS. Like all modern Windows products (UEFI), there is no sticker with a Windows 8 product key on it. The Windows product key is stored in the UEFI ACPI table which is hidden in the inaccessible EFI (boot) partition. This means that when we upgraded our HDD to an SSD and migrated the OS to it, even though it was the exact same hardware (with just the new SSD) it would NOT activate. We had to call MS to activate Windows - ridiculous. This is on MS, not Acer (the OEMS).
Pros: Works as advertised - well constructed. IMPORTANT NOTE: In order to use the eSATA port (cable) which needs a separate power connector, PLUG THE SUPPLIED USB CABLE into a USB port, but only plug in the end connector on the USB cable. The USB cable has two connectors on one end. The first (thicker cable) connector is for both USB data stream and power and will automatically connect the device as USB. The second (end) connector is for USB POWER ONLY! When using eSATA, plug in the end (thinner cable) connector ONLY. That USB connector will then only supply power to the HDD. The ESATA cable will then supply the data stream to/from the HDD. eSATA 'Hot Plug' works on my system.
Cons: I took an egg off because the instructions were very poor, especially without a clear explanation for using the eSATA port. As can be seen from the many posts on this thread, the poor instructions have caused much confusion about how to successfully get the eSATA port to work.
Overall Review: I've used many Rosewill products over the years and have generally been satisfied - obviously some are better designed and made than others, but generally Rosewill has produced cheap, quality products.
Pros: I've owned this drive (HN-M500MBB) for three years and it still goes strong. I'm writing this review on a laptop with this installed as the OS drive.
The only caveat: IS THE QUALITY still the same after Seagate took over Samsung HDD? I just ordered a couple more of these so I guess I'm going to find out.
I used this a data drive in an external enclosure for 3 years and have now installed it as the system (OS) drive (clean install) in a laptop I recently bought for my wife. It still works and even though it's only 2nd generation SATA (3Gbs), it's fine for older hardware and laptops.
Cons: not really any I can think of.
Overall Review: For those who are using new hard drives to replace/upgrade system (OS) drives, I recommend NOT bothering with the included OEM software. There are two excellent FREE products that I have used to migrate a working OS to another hard drive. 1st: Macrium Reflect - a terrific FREE software for imaging and disk copying. It includes making bootable (UEFI and MBR) sticks/CD/DVDs with Windows PE for easy restore operations.
2nd: EaseUS Partition Master has a feature called 'migrate OS to HDD/SSD' which works great. Simple, easy, no hassle way to switch out your OS hard drive without loosing programs or data - it just works! First clean up the old drive with Windows disk cleanup, disable/delete hibernate, and either image or migrate to the new drive. No need to loose programs, files, settings, etc. The new drive will boot right away and your OS, programs, and files will all be there on the new drive! No need to do a fresh install (unless you want to) and risk loosing Windows activation.
Pros: so far so good - it works as port multiplier to upgrade older hardware from SATA 2 to SATA 3 on a P55 main board. I used EaseUS PM to upgrade/migrate my system disk to a SSD. Attached the SSD to the PEX40054, set the BIOS to boot to the SSD and voila - I'm up and running - no BSOD so far. In the Marvell BIOS utility, it shows the SSD as SATA 6.0Gbps, AHCI, 48 LBA, TRIM which I can only assume means the Marvell chip will pass OS trim commands to the SSD. The newest version of Samsung Magician (4.4) recognizes SSDs on Marvell chips so I have optimized the SSD using SM. For now I'm happy with my current setup and will use the extra ports in ESATA mode. Oh BTW, the drivers on the CD are old - download the latest from the SYBA site.
Cons: Couldn't get the Marvell software utility to work in Windows. As soon as it launched - BSOD, so there are some major conflict/bugs with that software. That could be a minor problem for someone wanting to use RAID on this chip, although one can still configure it in the BIOS. BTW the Intel RST software works beautifully.
Overall Review: RAID? I have no idea whether the Hyper-Duo feature or RAID works. The SSDs are fast enough without setting them up in a RAID. So far the Intel RAIDs are the only consumer level chips that pass TRIM commands. Samsung Magician does not recognize its SSDs in RAID so you miss out on the optimizations provided by SM.I've I've seen the video of the blindingly fast 24 SSD RAID 0, but they used high end RAID chips for that experiment. BTW, the EaseUS PM software works great to migrate system disks to new HDD/SSD! Will write an update after using this setup for a few months - unless something negative happens first.
Pros: none really since it constantly drops USB 3 devices. Completely drops off the computer in the middle of large file transfer at USB3. On the other hand USB 2 devices work fine - just what I needed - another 2 USB 2 ports.
Cons: drops out when using USB 3 deveices
Overall Review: Apparently there are huge problems upgrading older USB 2 main boards to USB 3 - the tales of woe are all over the internet with many different chips, not just the NEC (Renesas) chip. It will be hit or miss as to whether your older main board will play nice with any of these USB 3 devices.
Pros: worked well for about 11 months, then the switch broke rendering it an ugly paper weight.
Cons: switch broke - why just not use a SIMPLE toggle switch? stupid push switch is always less robust.
Overall Review: rosewill products haven't been bad - medium to high quality, but a ridiculous switch design - a key part
Pros: This laptop has been great - I beat the Hell out of it and it keeps on running. It came with Vista, but I put XP on it and have never looked back. I'm very satisfied and will buy another Acer
Cons: none really
Pros: what can I say? It's a power supply and mine works fine so far. Got it on a shell shocker, so it was too cheap to pass up for a quality brand unit.
Very quiet. No power cable, but I didn't need one - have plenty of extras laying around.
Powers an AMD Phenom quad with GeForce 512MB card in a HTPC. I'm satisfied - hope it holds up and is reliable.
Cons: none so far
Pros: much better then I thought it would be. fans are quiet, plenty of room inside, everything went together easily - I'm satisfied. I'd recommend this case for a mid priced, mid tower. Has a nice feature that allows sliding in and out a SATA HD without disassembling the case.
Cons: power on button is a bit odd, but not worth taking off an egg.