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James C.

James C.

Joined on 01/03/08

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 11
Most Favorable Review

Will fit on ASUS P5E

ARCTIC Freezer 7 Pro - Compact Multi-Compatible Tower CPU Cooler | 92 mm PWM Fan | for AMD AM4 and Intel 115x CPU | Recommended up to 115 W TDP
ARCTIC Freezer 7 Pro - Compact Multi-Compatible Tower CPU Cooler | 92 mm PWM Fan | for AMD AM4 and Intel 115x CPU | Recommended up to 115 W TDP

Pros: Great performing cooler. With my Q6600 G0 overclocked to 3.0GHz and the stock Intel cooler in a TAC case, the CPU temps (hottest core, measured with CoreTemp) were 34C idle and 78C under load (Everest FPU stress test for 2 hours, closed case). With the Freezer 7 on first boot, temps are now 32C idle and 61C load--that's a reduction under load of 17C. All measurements were taken with all system fans on max. With the fans slowed down (Asus "Optimal" profile) the system is much quieter and the temps are 38C/65C (idle/load).

Cons: It's a tight fit on the P5E. Side flow coolers don't take full advantage of a TAC (thermally-advantaged chassis) case (though it doesn't seem to matter much). Side flow coolers also theoretically don't provide as much motherboard cooling. I have yet to see a difference. This cooler allowed me to turn down my system fans, but now they're so quiet I can hear my hard drives. I might turn them back up because I preferred the white noise.

Overall Review: This cooler fit on my Asus P5E motherboard, but it is a tight fit. Be sure to unclip the fan for installation and re-install it on the tower after you get the Intel plastic clips locked in (as described in the installation instructions). I pressed down on the metal arms with a screwdriver to make it easier to push in the clips. On the P5E, the bottom fin just touches the top of the motherboard heat sinks. I had to clip the fan on one fin higher than normal because there wasn't room under the bottom fin for the edge of the fan housing without bending or grinding something. Asus P5E/Q6600 @ 3.0GHz/G.Skill 2GBx2 DDR2-1000/EVGA 8800GT/5xSeagate 7200.11 500GB

Most Critical Review

BIOS later than 0201 is suspect

ASUS P5E LGA 775 Intel X38 ATX Intel Motherboard
ASUS P5E LGA 775 Intel X38 ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: Great overclocking board. I'm running my Q6600 (2.4GHz) at 3.0GHz, which is a mild overclock to be sure, but all I did was set the frequencies and go.

Cons: Many people have had lots of trouble with this board. Make absolutely certain the memory you choose is certified for use with the X38 chipset. Much of the DDR2 on the market is not. Memory with 128Kb chips is not supported. DO NOT upgrade the BIOS unless you have to to support your CPU. I struggled for a month with random blue screens before I downgraded to 0201, which solved all of my problems.

Overall Review: Be sure to check out the P5E discussion forums on asus.com before you buy. Really read what you find there. It's a great performer, but it doesn't work in every configuration.

3 of 5 drives failed with SMART errors within 1 year

Seagate BarraCuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive
Seagate BarraCuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive

Pros: Fast, quiet, good capacity for the $$.

Cons: Poor quality. I have five of these drives installed in a Rosewill case with good ventilation (air intake fan in front of the drive cage). One failed within two weeks. Another failed at six months. A third failed now at 11 months. All have the same date code (00207). That's three of five failed within one year. The system is in a clean environment on protected power with no mechanical abuse. That's not a very good record. When will the other two fail? The smart money says soon.

Overall Review: Seagate has promptly replaced the failed drives for a nominal service fee of $20 each. Not much of a warranty for a $65 drive.

Works as advertised

PHILIPS 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 24X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2-Tone IDE Model SPD6004BD LightScribe Support
PHILIPS 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 24X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2-Tone IDE Model SPD6004BD LightScribe Support

Pros: It works as advertised. It reads and writes CDs and DVDs. Vista found this and set it up right away and I haven't had any issues.

Cons: None, yet.

Goes through left buttons, but fits my hand

Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer 4.0
Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer 4.0

Pros: This is one of the few mice on the market that is big enough to fit my hand properly. It's fast, precise and comfortable.

Cons: Other reviewers are right. The left mouse button wears out prematurely. I usually get about a year out of one and then I buy another.

Fast and quiet

Seagate BarraCuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive
Seagate BarraCuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive

Pros: These drives are fast. I'm running four in a RAID0 array and I'm getting read and write speeds above 390MB/s. They're also quiet. I can't even hear them accessing.

Cons: I bought five and lost one in the first month. It started raising SMART events. I paid the $19.95 advance replacement fee at seagate.com and got a replacement in 2 days. I was able to transfer over my data before the drive failed. High-density hard drives are hard to manufacture well, so I didn't subtract an egg for the failure--especially in light of the easy warranty process.