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Brian F.

Brian F.

Joined on 10/03/05

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 9
Most Favorable Review

Good reader, works great in Vista.

AFT Xm-4U 11-in-1 USB 2.0 Black & Silver Internal card reader
AFT Xm-4U 11-in-1 USB 2.0 Black & Silver Internal card reader

Pros: Works, supported in Vista. Didn't need to install any drivers.

Cons: A bit pricey compared to others, but well-made and well supported.

Overall Review: Good multicard reader. No complaints!

Most Critical Review

1/2 sticks was defective

Patriot Extreme Performance 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model PDC24G6400ELK
Patriot Extreme Performance 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model PDC24G6400ELK

Pros: Nice heatspreaders, working stick worked great in my MSI P35 Platinum mobo. Haven't tweaked 'em, but I have no reason to doubt they are as fast as they say. Expensive, but 2x2GB gives you room to expand in the future (if you run a 64-bit OS).

Cons: One of my 2GB memory sticks was defective. Metal contacts on one side were scratched/eroded. PC POST screen didn't even appear when the bad stick was in. Running with the other stick only worked great.

Overall Review: Keep in mind that 32-bit OSes won't utilize all 4GB of your RAM. 32-bit OSes can only address up to 4GB of system memory, which includes PCI devices (such as a video card). Most 32-bit systems will only get about 3.5GB out of these sticks.

After initial issues, a great HTPC motherboard

ASRock H170M Pro4 LGA 1151 Intel H170 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
ASRock H170M Pro4 LGA 1151 Intel H170 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: Excellent HTPC motherboard for the price, since it has a DisplayPort 1.2 output capable of 4K 60hz video.

Cons: For the first few months of ownership (I bought it shortly after it came out at the end of 2015), I had lots of stability issues. I updated the BIOS but that I think the ultimate solution were some silent updates to either Windows 10 or drivers which I haven't identified.

Overall Review: After the initial issues went away (presumably thanks to Windows 10 or driver updates), I've been very happy with this motherboard in my HTPC. I've got a Pentium G4500 in it and, using the integrated graphics through the Club3D DP1.2 to HDMI 2.0 adapter, it drives a 4K TV at 60Hz with no problems. It can also play YouTube/Vimeo 4K video smoothly, especially if I use the Edge browser (Chrome's player seems to stress the system more, for some reason). (Note that after I built this machine, Netflix announced that they're only supporting 4k playback on PCs with a Kaby Lake or newer CPUs, so in hindsight I should have waited to get a newer CPU).

Does the job!

TRENDnet TK-207K 2-Port USB KVM Switch
TRENDnet TK-207K 2-Port USB KVM Switch

Pros: No drivers needed, just follow the simple directions to get it to work. Switching between inputs is painless. Didn't notice any significant image quality problems.

Cons: None.

Overall Review: Good USB+VGA KVM for the money.

Great for the price

Acer AL2416WBsd 24" WUXGA 1920 x 1200 D-Sub, DVI-D LCD Monitor
Acer AL2416WBsd 24" WUXGA 1920 x 1200 D-Sub, DVI-D LCD Monitor

Pros: Gorgeous colors, great contrast and very bright (I had to turn it way down). Didn't notice any tearing or blurring with lots of movement on screen (playing HL2 at full framerate). 1920x1200 resolution rocks. No dead pixels. Cheapest 24" LCD I could find.

Cons: Vertical viewing angle is pretty narrow: brightness changes if look down or up at the screen instead of straight at it (nothing extreme, but worse than other LCDs I've had). Minimal stand adjustments.

Overall Review: I'm happy considering what I paid, but I would hope a more expensive display would have a bit better of a viewing angle. Otherwise, I'd say it looks just as good as a more expensive model.

Works great with MCE2005

Hauppauge Personal video recorder 274 PCI Interface
Hauppauge Personal video recorder 274 PCI Interface

Pros: Great card. Quick coax tuning, records/pauses live TV perfectly in MCE 2005. FM feature is nice.

Cons: None.

Overall Review: Haven't trie other video inputs, but I'd imagine they'd be fine.