shipping Holiday Shipping Details & Extended Holiday Returns
cover
James C.

James C.

Joined on 09/21/08

0
0

Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 31
Most Favorable Review

Nice Upgrade

Intel 510 Series (Elm Crest) 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) SSDSC2MH120A2K5
Intel 510 Series (Elm Crest) 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) SSDSC2MH120A2K5

Pros: Fast, quiet, small form factor and Intel reliability. The speed increase over my Raptor was not dramatic however there is a definite improvement in OS load time, responsiveness and not having to listen to the Raptor load drivers is nice. I recommend this drive to anyone who is thinking about making the move from spindle to silicon.

Cons: If you are using a main board that is uses the Marvell 88SE9xx controller to implement the 6 GB/S SATA 3 ports on your mobo be aware that the 88SE9xx is really a SCSI controller that has two virtual (2) SATA 3 ports. Any SSD attached to one of the SATA 3 ports will be reported by the OS as being attached to a SCSI device. This will be an issue for people like me that use the Intel SSD Toolbox to optimize their SSD drives. The SSD Toolbox software will detect that the SSD is attached to a SCSI device and then report that the device is not supported. If you move the cable to a SATA 2 port the problem goes away.

Overall Review: I prepared this disk using diskpart and then restored my Win7 x64 OS Ghost Image from my Raptor drive with no issues. The only issue I found (see Cons) was not an issue with the SSD drive but with the way Intel implemented the SATA 3 ports on my DX58SO2 main board which caused an incompatibility with the Intel SSD Toolbox utility that is used to optimize SSD performance over time. The disk benchmarks I ran show a sequential read/write performance on the SATA 3 port as 342/206 MB/s and the SATA 2 port as 268/212 MB/s. The Random read/write performance is actually better on the SATA 2 port. Go figure.

Most Critical Review

Not compatible with the ASUS Prime Z590-A Motherboard

G.SKILL TridentZ RGB Series 32GB (2 x 16GB) 288-Pin PC RAM DDR4 3200 (PC4 25600) Intel XMP 2.0 Desktop Memory Model F4-3200C16D-32GTZR
G.SKILL TridentZ RGB Series 32GB (2 x 16GB) 288-Pin PC RAM DDR4 3200 (PC4 25600) Intel XMP 2.0 Desktop Memory Model F4-3200C16D-32GTZR

Pros: Nice RGB.

Overall Review: I have had good luck with G.SKILL DDR3 and DDR4 memory over the years, and have used it in several builds using ASUS Motherboards. Unfortunately this set would not POST when installed on my ASUS Z590-a motherboard. I checked the G.SKILL memory compatibility website before I purchased this set, and it indicated that this set was compatible. I then tested both modules individually, thinking I may have received a defective stick and they would not POST. It is possible that both SDRAM modules were defective.

Great for Mobos with PCI-e Gen 4 M.2 capability.

SAMSUNG 980 PRO M.2 2280 500GB PCI-Express Gen 4.0 x4, NVMe 1.3c Samsung V-NAND Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) MZ-V8P500B/AM
SAMSUNG 980 PRO M.2 2280 500GB PCI-Express Gen 4.0 x4, NVMe 1.3c Samsung V-NAND Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) MZ-V8P500B/AM

Pros: Fast. Runs Cool.

Cons: You will need a motherboard that supports PCI-e Gen 4 on your M.2 slot(s) to realize its full speed potential.

Overall Review: I would highly recommend this drive. It supports PCI-e Gen 4 speeds and benchmarks at 2x the speed of Gen 3. Runs allot cooler than the 970 EVO PLUS. Runs fine in a Gen 3 slot but your only going to get Gen 3 speeds.

Excellent Mid-Tower design.

Antec Eleven Hundred Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Antec Eleven Hundred Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Pros: For the money I can't think of a better mid-tower case than this. It's not perfect but what case is? It's easy to work on and doesn't have frilly plastic hardware that is hard to work with and breaks easily. Drive expansion is a forte with this case. Fan screens are easy to get to and clean and cable management is a no brainer.

Cons: None.

Overall Review: We use this case for Windows file servers and it has the potential for some serious air flow. The side mounted drive bays, bottom mounted P/S, easy off front panel and fan screen access makes it a joy to work on. They use steel in the frame and side panels.

Good Xeon Server Board

ASUS P8B WS LGA 1155 Intel C206 ATX Intel Xeon E3 Server/Workstation Motherboard
ASUS P8B WS LGA 1155 Intel C206 ATX Intel Xeon E3 Server/Workstation Motherboard

Pros: No nonsense ATX board that worked right out of the box. I installed a E3-1225 and 16 GB of Crucial DDR3 (see below) and the board posted the first time. The BIOS was the most current version so that helped. No problem with drivers or installing Windows Server 2008 R2. Having two (2) native Sata 6 ports and dual Ethernet make this an ideal board for a low end but capable file server. Although we only use the onboard video it appears that you can run some really sweet multi-card setups on this board (for you gamers).

Cons: DVI only onboard video out is a pain. I had to buy a DVI-VGA adapter so I could use this with our KVM switch.

Overall Review: You can run 1600 Mhz memory on this board but you will need a 22nm Xeon processor. Setup summary: Xeon E3-1225 (32 nm) Crucial BLT2K4G3D1608ET3LX0 Seasonic X-Series 650w Antec 1100

Outstanding receiver at this price point

ONKYO TX-NR709 7.2-Channel Network A/V Receiver
ONKYO TX-NR709 7.2-Channel Network A/V Receiver

Pros: THX Certified with excellent video quality and power output. This unit also has 7.2 preamp outs, networking and all of the HDMI 1.4 connectivity one might need into the foreseeable future while sporting current 3D, surround decoding and multi-media connectivity features.

Cons: The light on volume knob is irritating but can be dimmed or turned off. The iPod/iPhone dock is extra.

Overall Review: I needed to upgrade from an older Sony ES 7.1 receiver that did not have HDMI switching and decided to try three different mid-level receivers (RX-V867, VSX-33 and the NR709). The Onkyo won the trial hands down. The video performance of the QDEO chipset was superior to the other two receivers by a wide margin. The Onkyo was the only receiver that could deal with the low contrast in dimily lit scenes in BD versions of 'Road to Perdition', 'Kingdom of Heaven' and 'Slumdog Millionaire' straight out of the box with no tweaking of the video settings. I sampled BD versions of the 'The Police-Certifiable' and 'Bon Jovi-Live at Madison Square Garden' to test music playback quality. This time the difference was not as dramatic as each receiver sounded very good sonically, however the Onkyo had the edge in power as I didn't have to get anywhere near reference power to drive my Bose 601's to acceptable levels which was not the case with the VSX-33 or the V867.