Date Joined: 12/31/01
Pros: Tiny, low power, remarkable storage capability, dual channel memory capability, huge bang for the buck, size and power.
Cons: Gallium not available yet but this is likely to be resolved in the near future.
Overall Review: Wow, there is a lot of "other" when it comes to this device, it is an 8000 series Intel processor which packs a heck of a lot of power. This i5-8259 is as fast or faster (CPU) than an i7-4790K Devils Canyon processor except its TDP is 28W vs 125 for the 4970K. The processor is clocked at 2.3Ghz but if it's not at TDP it ramps up to 3.6Ghz and four cores/eight threads is pretty impressive. Once the processor starts getting a little toasty it clocks down a bit but for 28 watts it's an impressive processor.
The GPU is the unsung hero of this unit. It's an Iris Pro 655 with 128MB of onboard RAM which may not sound impressive but it can run 14.1 in the Unigine benchmark at 1920x1200 at high quality settings with 2xAA. As a comparison the Raven Ridge 2400g comes in at 19.3 at the same settings.
This is all very impressive for a unit that is about the same size as the base of an Atari 2600 joystick.
Storage capability is a huge win for this little unit, it comes with a M2 slot AND a 2.5" drive. My configuration is a 250GB WD blue M2 and a Seagate 2TB spinning drive. Speaking of storage, DDR4 2400 is pretty inexpensive so I went with 16GB which came in below $100(US).
Power consumption is another high/low point for this unit. At idle with the spinning drive stopped power consumption according to my kill-o-watt was four watts although it would run up to 64 watts doing a kernel compile with all cores involved.
2D capability appears to be good but not perfect. I attempted to play back a 4K Matroska encoded video and there were noticeable dropouts in the playback however this may have been due to VLC under Linux or results from the original rip of the video. 8K and 4K videos performed flawlessly on a 4K Dell monitor from "The YouTube".
Finally, stability-wise it's been utterly perfect. No crashes, no GPU hangs no issues whatever, it's just handled everything I've thrown at it, it will slow the CPU if the TDP is exceeded but that is rare. The cooling fan is audible under load but "under load"usually means it's compiling a big program or its playing a big game.
Speaking of games, the following are definitely playable on this little box: Crysis, Crysis (wine 4.0), Saints Row(3,4) Steam, Alien Isolation (Steam) and even Doom 2016 (using the Vulkan Renderer and Proton) .
I've looked at NUCs for years and I bought a cheap HP laptop with an 8000 series i5 earlier but this 8259 processor really takes the cake and in this form factor and price from Newegg is something I just couldn't say no to. Toss in a 250GB M2 drive and 16GB of DDR 2400, it still comes in under $500 which is a steal considering . . . everything.
It's just a dandy, powerful, low power computer which will do whatever you need as long as your GPU requirements aren't too stringent.
All results were generated running Mageia 7 (cauldron).
Pros: Works in legacy mode, after a bit of effort, m2 and HD bay, backlit keyboard, good keyboard, good touch pad, sleep button, relatively light, surprisingly fast, easy to update bios, sensors work with temperatures.
Cons: Display could be better, turning off secure boot annoying, system comes with a single 8GB memory stick so dual channel is disabled until a second stick is purchased.
Overall Review: All I wanted was a cheap small, light computer, and this one seemed to fill the bill, it came with an SSD, three and a half pounds and could be put into legacy or UEFI mode. What I didn't expect was how fast the 8250 processor is, the backlit keyboard, the standard laptop drive bay in addition to the M2 bay.
As mentioned above, to turn off secure boot, the BIOS requires setting a BIOS password, but there's nothing in the documentation about that quirk. This unit comes with a small M2 drive (128GB) but with the available HD bay it's no longer an issue. I've got my OS and home directory on the M2 and all the rest on a 2TB spinning drive. Unless the spinning disk is accessed, it's spun down keeping the system very quiet.
The processor briefly ramps up to 3.4 GHz but slows as temperatures rise, at 70C all cores settle to 2.4 Ghz.
All aspects of the machine work fine with a modern distro, I installed Mageia 6 and have not encountered any unknown devices or incompatibilities. The function keys can be set for the F1-F12 functionality or can be set to the auxiliary function (brighten, dim, increase volume, mute turn off backlit keyboard etc.) The sleep button is very handy and the machine readily suspends to ram and wakes up
BIOS updates are especially easy, hook up a wired network connection click on "check for updates" in the bios and the system will connect via DHCP and download and install the updates.
Pros: Small, light, inexpensive, fast, convenient, always works, multi-platform, great support.
Cons: Silicondust could provide a little more documentation and hints on some of the cool features available.
Overall Review: I just fired DirecTV, threw away the dish and stuck up an RCA ANT751R antenna. I already had a third generation HDHomerun and was trying to get my antenna working with a Hauppauge 1250 PCIe tuner when I came to the realization: "Why am I screwing around with a stupid card in a power sucking PC when I can just stuff another HDHomerun on my LAN?!?!" Newegg had the most recent one on sale so I jumped on it.
I got it and popped it onto my LAN, plugged in my antenna and it worked just like my other one, seamless, simple and perfect. I then went shopping and dropped $0.99 on the Android App for my incredibly awesome $30 Coolpad T-Mobile pay-as-you-go phone. Well I was missing some channels so I contacted email@example.com who got back with me in less than 12 hours.
What I didn't know and what I learned from Silicondust support that the new fourth series units not only work like the old ones BUT have more web capabilities. Now I can scan for channels via the web interface which is immediately available on my cheap phone with the $0.99 app. Best of all the new units scan FAST, I've got 59 channels and my HDHomerun will finish an ATSC scan in 50 seconds! Lastly, I found that if I go to http://my.hdhomerun.com from a computer on my LAN with my HDHomerun I can see my unit, the status of my unit and my channels. If I poke on the Channels Lineup, I get a list of the channel numbers and names found AND if I poke the channel number, in Firefox, I get a VLC web page with the TV channel, TV in a browser, with no plugins or silliness.
If you've got a second or third generation HDHomerun and love it, consider a fourth generation it's just dazzling how cool the new features are.
BTW, despite what others have said, silicondust e-mail support was outstanding and very helpful.
Pros: Small, quiet, low power consumption, quick for what it is, modern graphics, no OS "tax", audio through HDMI works immediately as does suspend to ram and suspend to disk.
Overall Review: I bought this system to replace my dreadfully slow 425 Atom and to reduce power consumption. What I got was something that, at idle, drew 8-9 watts of power, 15-16 running Mythtv at 1920x1080 and 25 watts running the Unigine Tropics demo. Compiling a relatively small package like stella takes three mintues 30 seconds; in comparison, my 2.8 GHz Core i7 920 takes about one minute ten seconds. Half the GHz, half the cores and 33 % the speed, all the while only using 15 watts of power; amazing.
The Tropics Demo runs, albiet in the single digits frame rates but it runs and renders correctly. My atom would render Google Earth at slideshow rates but this Celeron renders it smoothly and easy to watch.
The box is nearly silent, only the disk activity is a little bright but a bit of electric tape can take care of that.
Nearly the best $90 I've ever spent on a computer.
Pros: Low power, will run any game that has come out or will come out until the PS-5 and whatever MS calls their next console. Processor-wise it's about 90% of a Core i7 920. Graphics-wise it's akin to a R7 250. It's perfect for a small, low-power, low noise build.
Cons: Current video drivers are still beta but work well enough. Some motherboards still have incompatibility issues.
Overall Review: In 2009, I paid $740 for a Core i7 920, 6GB of RAM and a nVidia gtx260 video card. The AAA game, Crysis, had come out and that system could really play it beautifully. Now I have this 7850K and my mobo, RAM and CPU ran $310. CPU-wise it's about 90% of the i7 920 and about 80% of the video; more on modern games that use features such as Tesselation that the GTX260 didn't even support.
So, on one hand, it can't keep up with a five year old gaming system but on the other hand, the new rig draws less power at full honk than the i7 920 does at idle. To it's credit, the i7 920 was in a league of it's own, nothing could come close or touch it, at the time it was an astonishing chip. Also, since then, very few games have come out that were even as demanding as Crysis so the need for faster processors and faster video cards have diminished.
Kaveri is also similar to the core processors in the Playstation 4 and XBone, because of that, few if any games will exceed the capabilities of Kaveri, at least until the next generation of consoles.
So is it the perfect chip for a bargain build gamer? No, a Vishera 4300 and a R7 260x will be a less expensive build and deliver more FPS but will consume more power.
Summer is coming and it will take 30-50 watts of air conditioning power to remove 100 watts of heat from a computer. That takes the amount of energy my i7 920 uses from 400 watts of energy to 600. Compared to the Kaveri which at full honk is pulling around 100 watts, the total energy consumption is 1/4 the i7 920.
My i7 920 now has a GTX 660 TI video card and can now render 3x the frame rates of my Kaveri, however, for a game like Tomb Raider or Far Cry 2 that run around 30-45 FPS on Kaveri, I can't really tell the difference, when immersed in game play, that the experience is that much better on a "real gaming" system. Then there is all that fan noise.
Pros: Works out of the box with Kaveri, easy to flash the BIOS, stable, no crashes, good performance, will accept DDR3 2400.
Cons: MSI is not a Linux friendly company thus I tend to avoid them; thus if you're doing a Linux install and run into trouble, don't expect help from MSI. Despite this, this board is one of the few that will post with a Kaveri processor.
Suspend to RAM causes a system hang and the BIOS interrupts the boot following a suspend to RAM. This happens with both Windows and Linux, thus don't use suspend to RAM.
Overall Review: Before you try to install anything on this system, download the latest BIOS from the (SLOW!) MSI web site and unzip it in the root directory of a flash drive. Plug it into your new system, boot and from the BIOS, flash up to the latest.
If you're installing Windows, the CD that comes with the MOBO will be sufficient to get your NIC going but your sound won't work you'll have to DL that from MSI. It's a huge file (well huge considering the speed of the MSI site) but it will get your sound going. Be sure and get the latest video drivers from AMD. As of this writing, they are Beta but seem to work well and are stable. Currently the driver is 14.3 and you have to hunt a little to find the beta driver.
The Catalyst driver works well in Linux and the rest of the board seems to be fully supported with the exception of sensors. Only one temperature sensor is found and it's not giving accurate temperatures. The Kavari sports the "Southern Island" GPUs which are not as well supported as the older GPUs. Despite this, it will be fun to watch the radeon driver evolve over the next year. Till it's up to snuff catalyst is good enough.
Pros: Worked three times with ATA HDDs
Cons: Died on fourth use.
Well more than one use isn't too bad when your're talking about a parachute for a Mars or Titan probe that are only expected to be used once but that ONE time is REALLY important.
This thing is not a device like that.
I hooked it up to some old HDDs and it worked pretty well, the first SATA HDD I hooked up to got hot and the device gave out that old, ever so familiar, magic smoke smell and I knew it was over.
Overall Review: There are only two parts to this thing, the bit that plugs into your HDD and the power cable. Both appear to be dead after polluting my house with "magic smoke" electronic whiff. I don't know whether it nuked my HDDs or not, the device died. At present, the power supply won't even spin up HDDs I didn't connect so I presume they may still be alive.
Conceptually, it's a great idea, execution-wise, it's Dren. I didn't expect much for the $13.99 I paid on a Shell Shocker deal and it delivered a whole lot of "didn't expect".
Pros: This is truly a surprisingly good product, it's small, inexpensive, and performs amazingly well. The recorded videos are in "MTS" format and can be played by free players such as VLC. The EPS information makes setting up recordings very easy. The unit will fetch EPS information up to two days into the future.
Cons: Recorded shows are in the format: "Station name"-"Date-Time".mts rather than the name of the show from the EPS information. An example is: KRQE-HD-12292013-2235.mts The remote could be better but it's adequate. Since the unit breaks the antenna pass-through, you'll probably need a splitter if you want to watch something on your TV while the HW150PVR is recording something else.
Overall Review: Despite the shortcomings, this little box is utterly amazing. I'm a long time MythTV user so I know a little about DVRs. Nevertheless, this is an excellent product. Here's what you will need:
An HDMI cable (if you have a HD TV)
A portable external hard disk, Newegg usually has 1TB disks for around $60.
A good antenna even if it's cheap. (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882125335)
A cable splitter if you're going to record one thing and watch another (see Cons).
If you can get the unit for $40 the HDD for $60 and an antenna for $9 then you're paying $110 +S&H for an over-the-air DVR that allows you to take your recordings and watch them on smart TVs and computers.
One thing, make sure the HDD formatted in NTFS rather than FAT32 or FAT16. The older formats have 4GB file size limits and the box will break up a recording into a bunch of 512MB files rather than one big file.
If you can swing more drives or larger drives, it might be worth the bother, this box uses ~8GB an hour for a 1080p recording. Nevertheless, you should still be able to get well over 100 hours of programming on a single 1TB disk.
It does not work with QAM channels and is not as sophisticated as MythTV or any of the DVRs available from the pay-providers. Still, the up-front cost is less than a month or two of pay TV, provides DVR functionality without ANY paid services and allows the recorings to be watched on other devices (such as other TVs, computers etc.)
For someone who really likes DVR functionalty, and can live without pay TV, this is an excellent solution.
Pros: Inexpensive laser printer, built in duplexer, document feeder works well, quite fast, networked. Scanning fuctions work with SANE across the network.
Cons: This unit, like most laser printers, pulls a truly amazing amount of power when warming up, the Linux drivers must be downloaded from the Brother site, they're not integrated into CUPS.
Overall Review: This unit spins up very quickly and gets to printing right away, it will also cause your UPS to cut over to battery during warm-up. If your UPS isn't up to handling the cutover, it will drop everything plugged into it; at least that was my experience. Seriously, my house is relatively modern yet cooling fans slow down, and the lights dim when this dude fires up.
As for the Linux drivers, they work but you have to do this: Install all the packages and read the "howto" on the Linux support page. Seriously, read the howto, it's short and simple and will make your experience more positive.
Pros: Very inexpensive, relatively small.
Cons: Could be smaller, cord is like a tight spring, doesn't like to stretch out.
Overall Review: I got this to replace the 12V adapter for my GPS, it does the job but the tight coil that the wire is in makes it difficult to move the GPS around at least very far from the power port.
Pros: To start off, I just LOVE AMD video cards, they can run up to six monitors and the catalyst driver builds distribution specific packages that work great with DKMS. My triple headed setup has seamless 3D across all monitors.
I also just LOVE nVIdia cards, they have the BEST 2-D driver (vdpau) and are THE choice for running WINE applications.
For a WINE gaming machine or a PVR, this is a great card, several games that wouldn't run on my AMD HD5670 would run on this one. Even though it's a low-end card, moste GOG and WINE platinum games run fine (Painkiller, HL2 etc.)
Cons: One card doesn't do it all, no triple head support, no VGA in low profile header. nViidia drivers aren't DKMS compatible (yet, there's a beta driver that DOES allegedly works with DKMS.)
Overall Review: This is a great card for a Linux user who wants to play some older games play videos and not burn a bunch of power in the process. I wish AMD worked better with WINE and I wish nVidia could drive more monitors but at this level of a card,a single 1920x1200 display is enough for this card.
To EVGA's credit, this card, despite being a low end card, has very high quality output, even the VGA looks great.
Pros: Beautiful, engaging, intriguing, a pleasant distraction.
Cons: It's like a typical American movie, like Avitar. And I bought it before Newegg discounted it below $30.
Overall Review: What to say, ME3 could either be the best of the series or the worst, depending on your point of view. If you're an astronomy nerd, ME1 was the best bringing the imagination of alien worlds form in a way that can be explored in the Mako but with aliens who are somewhat shalow. ME3, is an American epic, just like Avitar, but without the happy ending. The player experience isn't as carefully plotted as the Half-Life Trilogy (where is EP3!?!?!) but Bioware does a much better job of permanently ending the ME series than Valve did with HL2. Still, the last (or is it?) in the series gives a lot of options for forming an armada who willl take on the final foe of Earth. Nevertheless, the path is quite linear and the outcome distills down to two possibilities, both of which are nearly identical in the outcome. Still, ME3 is a pleasurable game which will have players shouting "I got laid!, well in ME3, that is" and others saying: "It was a jolly good romp.", Not a bad game, not bad at all
Pros: An inexpensive way to route IP traffic other than wireless, very easy to set up, reasonable latency.
Cons: Less than 10% of the advertised "maximum" speed and these are rather slow units. I get less than 800KB/s. 802/11 G beats it by a factor of 4 and N stomps it flat.
Overall Review: I have a rather small house and the units are plugged directly into the wall outlets, no extension cords or power strips. Nevertheless, 10% of the advertised speed is disappointing, they're slower than my 7MB/s DSL speed. On average I get around 500KB/s and that is pretty inadequate. Fortunately, I mostly use them to route Internet traffic 7MB/s down, 896 KB/s up and they do have decent latency (3-5 ms no load, 35-65 under load)
I'll keep them, it's just nice not have all my Internet traffic whizzing through the air.
Pros: Small, low power usage (13-17 watts) pretty well built, lots of USB ports, wired and wireless NICs, quiet, reasonably stable, inexpensive. Delivers enough video performance to run as a mythtv client up to 720p through the wireless NIC.
Best of all, (from the product page on foxconnchannel.com) "Small and exquisite shape brings you the enjoyment of the beauty , whilst enabling you enjoy the life with speed and share worldwide splendidness, is the best choice of being placed at home or office."
Cons: NIC is only 100MB, not 1GB, USB ports are 2.0, not 3.0, Atom 435D doesn't speedstep, card reader goes through USB. Atom and Intel 3150 doesn't have enough power to render 1080P, it's close but a fast-moving sports event will cause the picture and sound to stutter. The HDMI port is locked down to 1366x768 BUT the VGA port will happily go to 1920x1080 or 1920x1200. I was unable to get sound through the HDMI connection.
Overall Review: The whole thing is really quite remarkable, I paid $115, 4G of memory was $20, and I had an old laptop drive, a full computer, with wireless, able to run a modern OS well, web browsing, e-mail, basic computer stuff is more than capable on this little dude; all in 13-17 watts of power consumption. Really quite amazing but not as amazing as what's on the Foxconnchannel.com page:
"2.5 cm thin, 0.6 liters by volume, and the beautiful appearance of Nettop brings unlimited possibilities to your life and business activities. Attached wall-hanging shelves or footstand makes it possible for you to put this machine anywhere you want, rendering you a wonderful taste of life whether it is within or beyond your sight."
"In addition to the built-in high quality speaker without external devices, to live a wonderful life, quality acoustics with fiber interface is an indispensable part in making you enjoy life through SPDIF audio output."
Pros: Big beautiful display, good sound, comfortable keyboard, good track pad, AMD A8 APU, quite light and runs quite cool, even under load. The case material doesn't show fingerprints and is easy to hold on to.
Cons: Case seems a little flimsy and the open source radeon guys haven't caught up to the 6000 series of GPUs from AMD so installing LInux is a little tricky.
Overall Review: Since this system is really, really new, I decided to install Kubuntu 11.10 anticipating that it had the best chance of being able to deal with the new hardware. Despite that, I had to do a text install of the OS, then install the AMD catalyst software. Once that was done, the display worked great. One caveat, not with the laptop but kubuntu, was that it following the install, it left the file /etc/network/interfaces with some stuff about the wireless that prevented me from configuring the wireless.
I removed the bad entry and everything worked great. The A8 APU is remarkable in that playing world of Padiman there was no appreciable increase of heat or fan speed. The system stays remarkably cool under all conditions and loads.
Pros: Excellent night vision, wide range of motion, best if mounted on the ceiling or down low, very configurable. Works with non-IE browsers.
Cons: Instruction are in engrish, and don't contain necessary information such as the default IP address and port of the device. Active X controls don't work (at least with IE9), no way to set frame rate, doesn't work on a slow network connection, such as my DSL connection. Included software doesn't work and packaging is convoluted.
Overall Review: What the manual should have included:
Default IP address: 192.168.1.99, port 99.
From there it's not hard to configure.
Pros: Small, fast, stable (after firmware upgrade), easy to configure, easy to understand. Trendnet has the Linux source code on the FTP site (thank you for abiding by the GPL.)
Cons: Flaky initial firmware, would hang in less than 24 hours. Firmware ONLY upgradeable with MS IE, not firefox or Chrome.
Overall Review: I bought this unit because my DSL modem had to be somewhere other than my LAN BUT the DSL modem expected to be the wireless access point in my network. To get around this, I plugged a DLINK AP into my LAN and the TEW-647GA into one of the wired ports on my DSL modem. The TEW-647GA made the DSL modem look like a wireless device and made the rest of my LAN look like it was hard-wired in.
It's a really spiffy device, once it's upgraded, fortunately the upgrade worked (even though I had to use ikky MS IE).
Pros: Groovy white & Orange colors, moves air.
Cons: It's got a piercing whine that easily drowns out a DVD/CDROM drive with a disk spinning at full speed. The whine is TERRIBLE, it's probably a result of a defective bearing and on the whole, these fans are not horrible; it's just that mine is.
Overall Review: I let it run for 24 hours but the sound never abated. Since it was only $10, I probably won't bother with getting a RMA. Disappointing, I have the original fan that started getting a little noisy back in place and I'll just put up with it until my next Newegg order.
Pros: Remarkably inexpensive, four cores, reasonable power consumption.
Cons: Fan is a little loud, it would be nice if it used less power.
Overall Review: But what the heck! It's a quad core running 2.8 GHz for less than $100! I've got a core i7 920 and this thing (combined with a 785G mobo and DDR 2 800 memory) is about 2/3 as fast (at least doing compiles) as my core i7. The killer thing is that the core i7 mobo and CPU cost triple what this 630 and 785G cost but are only 1.5 times faster.
If you don't have money to burn, 785G and this CPU are an absolute steal, AND you still have to by a discrete video card if you go with Intel.
If you do have money to burn, jump on a core i5-750, that setup is only 2/3 the cost of a i7 920 + mobo and is faster in almost all applications.
Pros: Perfect for upgrading an older DDR2, AM2 system, great 3D, decent 2D (using fglrx.) Reasonable power consumption AM3 ready. Very reasonable price.
Cons: AMD/ATI sometimes lacks xorg development, lacking some 2D acceleration that exists under Windows.
Overall Review: I bought this mobo because I was curious about how far AMD/ATI has come with their Linux support. I also liked the idea of being able to use my AM2 processor and DDR2 memory now and being able to upgrade to an AM3 Athlon II or a Phenom II when I feel like it.
Fglrx is quite good (as of 8.702) 3D-wise, wine works well, native Linux-ported games (Quake IV, Doom 3 etc.) run nicely, google-earth runs perfectly. I initially had a little trouble with mythtv in HD but found that if I go to mythfrontend Utilities/Setup->TV Settings->Playback-> then to the third page and set the "Current Video Playback Profile" to "Normal", mythtv has no issues playing live high def TV or HD recordings.
I went from a GeForce7050 to this 785G mobo and all aspects of the video performance is improved.
Pros: Excellent screen, high enough resolution that compromises aren't necessary, good Linux compatibility, good keyboard, nVidia video and chipset, good battery life, comfortable for typing.
Cons: Touchpad is a little twitchy, fan is a little loud, power consumption could be lower the wired NIC is only 100Mb. Then again, it IS a cheap netbook.
Overall Review: I installed Mandriva 2010.0 on this guy and to my horror discovered a Broadcom wireless NIC. Fortunately Broadcom HAS published a partially freeware-GPL2 version of the driver that gets rebuild via dkms. Broadcom or not, the driver builds automatically and it works fine.
The Atom processor is adequate for getting the job done, the 311 boots in a reasonable amount of time, suspends to RAM and disk well and the nVidia video works flawlessly. The only place where this netbook falls short is when it is playing back 1080P video as a Mythtv client connected to a Mythtv backend with a high-def card. 720P and standard resolution work perfectly.
I initially had some trouble when installing Mandriva 2010.0 Powerpack, the kernel would hang on udev. I then tried Mandriva 2010.0 live (KDE) and did a live install. Everything was fine from there.
I didn't get it from Newegg, I got a HP 110 for Yule, returned it for credit, then found the 311 for $350 from a Brick and Mortar stor
Pros: Very Linux friendly, all hardware works, light, small, relatively powerful gamer, low power consumption, GPL/BSD license on wireless NIC, sharp looking machine, 720 screen resolution, HDMI output, Asus supplied restore media, fits regular laptop bags, good price (considering I paid full price and shipping!) CPU ramps down to 800 Mhz under low load conditions and the HDD spun down. Plays wolf2 very nicely at high settings and 1366x768.
Cons: I'm not so fond of the track pad, I'm a track stick fan (but no one else is). It comes with Vista 32 but I never booted that OS, I saw restore media and wiped the drive.
Overall Review: I can see WHY it has good battery life, it's got a 45 nm CPU and a 55 nm GPU and LED backlighting. WIth the battery out and plugged into my Kill-a-watt, just idling with just a browser and KDE running it's drawing 17 watts. With the backlight turned down it drops to 15-16. With the backlight all the way up, it's 18-19 watts; this is with the 802-11 and bluetooth radios on! Watching a streaming 1080 video with Mythtv, the power consumption goes to 34 watts; I'm using a non accelerated mythtv so one of the cores is pretty well pegged (well pegged at 800 Mhz.)
Running games, that's another story, Quake 4 draws between 32 and 55 watts of power, Wolfenstein (the new game, ie. wolf2) under wine draws 54-55 watts. Under this circumstance, the fan (which doesn't seem to run at all at low load conditions) is running full speed but is still very quiet. BTW, wolf2 is very playable on this machine.
Still, a track stick would be nice; but I haven't seen an Asus laptop with one.
Pros: Good construction, works well, better than a quad-bowtie antenna. The powered portion DOES improve signal, get this one over the non-powered unit if you have either weak signals or are in a bad location.
Cons: Not foolproof, still needs a lot of experimentation to get all channels tuned.
Overall Review: The rabbit ears make VHF possible, the sci-fi looking portion works great for UHF but if your channels are in the VHF range, you'll need to extend your rabbit-ears.
I wanted a less-ugly antenna than my home made quad-bowtie with, if possible, better gain; this antenna delivers.
I did extensive (nerdy) tests on this antenna using Linux an the dvb-apps programs. I even wrote a program that would parse the output of "azap" to return a number that indicated the strength of each channel. The program created a spreadsheet where I could plot the strength of each channel and would allow me to "see" how well the antenna did in different orientations and positions.
That's how I know it's better than a quad-bowtie. I had a lot of fun, now if there were just something worth watching.
Pros: Inexpensive, stable, well designed.
Cons: Only four memory slots and the Ethernet dies because folks forget that it's got a Realtek network adapter and not an Intel NIC.
I don't know how much of an issue there is with trying to squeak by on "only" eight G of RAM. Triple-channel memory only has tiny boost in speed to non-triple so only having six to eight G isn't that big of a deal. Unless you really NEED 12-24 G of RAM.
Overall Review: I made this discovery when I tried updating the mobo drivers from Intel. I just restored a previous restore point and everything has been fine since.
It works perfectly with Mandriva 2009.1, all sensors show up, CPU frequency throttling, it's a dandy mobo.
Pros: Clear, bright, flexible, good web cam.
Cons: Narrow view angle.
Overall Review: I would have given it five eggs if the viewing angles had been better. As a computer monitor it's excellent, as a display for a gaming system or multiple people viewing a movie, it's not as good. One really needs to be sitting squarely in front of the monitor for the best experience.
Don't get me wrong, it is an excellent monitor, the first time I used it playing FarCry 2, I got a little motion sick; COOL! I've only used the webcam under Linux so far, the program "cheese" plays very nicely with the camera.