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Christopher S.

Christopher S.

Joined on 09/24/06

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 15
Most Favorable Review

Depending on your expectations, satisfaction may vary.

ZOTAC GeForce GT 430 (Fermi) 512MB DDR3 PCI Video Card ZT-40605-10L
ZOTAC GeForce GT 430 (Fermi) 512MB DDR3 PCI Video Card ZT-40605-10L

Pros: Best card you can get for the PCI interface. "Best" however only compared to other PCI video cards. Install was painless as usual, drivers downloaded from Nvidia worked great. Can breath (albeit, shallow) new life into circa 2004/5/6 brand name PC's without PCIE/AGP. You can at least run games like Witcher 2, BF3, and DX:HR if you wanted to thanks to it's full fledged DX11 support. Got it to run only using a 210w Dell PSU and it's been stable. If your focus is HD multimedia, editing and recording, this is great! I also heard it makes a good secondary card for Physx and folding and ofcourse, windows Vista/7 Aero.

Cons: If your focus is gaming: No matter how much power is packed into this card, it's being choked by the PCI bus. This will not perform like it's PCIE equivalent. Paired with a P4, even older games like HL2 seem to slow down to 20-30fps at higher settings where as mid-ranged models from 2004 on PCIE didn't break a sweat. It's not the GT430's fault, it's the PCI bus! Yes, I know that running games from 2011 on a 3.2ghz P4 is a stretch but, older games that have no problem on single cores just aren't very smooth.

Overall Review: For multimedia: HTPC with no PCIE slots? This card is a very good option as long as you have at minimum a decent dual-core. For secondary card uses: I give this the seal of approval. For gaming: I created a benchmark video and posted on YT, search GT430 PCI. I used a Dell b110 considering most people would probably be using something similar if they were stuck with PCI.

Very good consumer camcorder

SONY CX440 HDR-CX440/B Black 1/5.8'' back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS 2.7" 230.4K LCD 30X Optical Zoom Full HD HDD/Flash Memory Camcorder
SONY CX440 HDR-CX440/B Black 1/5.8'' back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS 2.7" 230.4K LCD 30X Optical Zoom Full HD HDD/Flash Memory Camcorder

Pros: This camcorder is really lightweight. It weighs less than my cell phone. It's great for travel and can fit in any small pouch/bag or even a medium sized pocket. The video I shot with this ranges from amazing (outdoors, low movement) to good (moving, busy scenes). It serves it's purpose as camcorder for entry level videographers and family home videos. The zoom lens is awesome as well. For the price, you'll get a nice little camcorder.

Cons: As mentioned, the image can get noisy if the scene is busy, such as a close up of moving water or crowd. This is similar to HDTV noise you would see. It's not bad enough to hurt film but, if you look for it, it's noticeable. Definately not a benchmarking camcorder. Low light is also decent at best, expect to have some lighting on your talent/subject if indoors. Sony's XAVC-S alleviates this a little but, it also doubles the file size.

Overall Review: Videos of the camcorder have been posted online. It's recommended that you watch them before making a purchase as it will give you an idea of what the end result may be if you are making online videos. If you plan on using this for personal or family video purposes, the raw video looks great overall.

One word: Solid

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Pros: I ordered this case to replace my main PC's current case (which was almost 5 years old). This thing rocks! Made of solid steel, this thing seems like it could kicked around and be okay. Everything inside is locked down firm, no rattling or anything loose when I move it about. Alot of space if you have a mATX board, more than enough room for any ATX build. Includes a side compartment to stow away cables next to the HDD bays, which there are more bays than anyone would probably need. The top fan is amazing, even on it's low setting, it keeps my i5 + HD6850 cool and makes less noise than the HDDs, sometimes if it wasn't for the power light I'd think the system was off.

Cons: Not really a con but, kind of bigger than I expected it to be. I was thinking it would the size of the typical dell case but, as UPS dropped off this monster sized box I knew already that I was wrong. Barely fits under my desk. If you don't mind the dimensions, the more space the better actually. Oh and a bit of warning, if you are using an mATX board or a budget mobo in general, you may lack a fan port as these boards typically pack the minimum of 1. This can be solved by buying a cheap 3-pin to 4-pin adapter.

Overall Review: Despite it's size and solid construction, this thing is surprising light when fully loaded! I don't even think my build is pushing 20lbs.

Upgraded from i3. Results below.

Intel Core i5-2500 - Core i5 2nd Gen Sandy Bridge Quad-Core 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Intel HD Graphics 2000 Desktop Processor - BX80623I52500
Intel Core i5-2500 - Core i5 2nd Gen Sandy Bridge Quad-Core 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Intel HD Graphics 2000 Desktop Processor - BX80623I52500

Pros: Compared to anything, this is pretty much the "goto" processor next to the 2500k. Performance will not disappoint, the i5-2500 is more than enough power for today's gaming and probably will be great for it for the next 3-4 years. Going from an i3-2100 to this, my system overall felt snappier, I can imagine going from a C2D or a Phenom 1 to this would see a huge difference.

Cons: I upgraded from an i3-2100. As proof that the architecture of sandy bridge is very fast, I saw very little improvement in GPU intensive games. CPU intensive had higher minimum framerates, like starcraft 2 but, nothing to write home about. My 3dmark11 score only went up by 200+ points, mostly for the CPU tests. For right now, the i3-2100 is about a good as i5-2500 for most games, not worth knocking an egg but, just leaving this there for anyone who thinks of doing the same.

Overall Review: My primary reason for upgrading was for video editing/producing. Thankfully, it was worth it, I can preview, encode, edit video with less hang time and much faster production time. A two minute HD video took 1:51 to produce, now only 1:05! An i7 would have been faster but, probably not worth the extra $100.

Amazing Card.

MSI GeForce 8800 GT 512MB GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 SLI Support Video Card NX8800GT 512M OC
MSI GeForce 8800 GT 512MB GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 SLI Support Video Card NX8800GT 512M OC

Pros: This is an awesome card, Outside of Crysis, it tears through any game at 60fps+, UT3, Bioshock, FEAR, etc. Some games I can run 4xAA/16xAF such as TF2, Quake 4, Prey, and still be over 60fps average. Crysis demo runs at a smooth 30fps+ on HIGH settings, that is really smooth for a game this gorgeous.

Cons: I wish Crysis or Quake Wars was the pack-in game but, the witcher is cool.

Overall Review: Setup: Athlon X2 5200+, 1GB PC2-800 Crucial Ballistix RAM, MSI NX8800GT OC (this card), 360 GB's of 7200rpm sata drives, Pick this up with a rebate, saved money since I waited to almost the last minute.

Great!

Crucial Ballistix 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model BL2KIT12864AA804
Crucial Ballistix 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model BL2KIT12864AA804

Pros: This is very good ram. It's fast and it out performs my value ram.

Cons: A little pricey vs. the cheap stuff but, it's worth it.

Overall Review: I just got my rebate in the mail today! (I bought it during the july 4th event, so, it's a forty five dollar one) So, don't worry about crucial, they are good with rebates.