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Raymond I.

Raymond I.

Joined on 01/29/07

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 41
Most Favorable Review

Nice. Very nice.

BIOSTAR A68I-350 Deluxe R2.0 AMD Fusion APU 350D AMD A68 Mini ITX Motherboard / CPU Combo
BIOSTAR A68I-350 Deluxe R2.0 AMD Fusion APU 350D AMD A68 Mini ITX Motherboard / CPU Combo

Pros: Finally, a m-itx that can be used as a "real" computer (and at this LOW, LOW price point)! There are a lot of things going right with this board, but among the highlights are the 64bit, dual core CPU, 2xUSB 3.0 ports, HD 6 channel sound, 2xDDR3 memory slots, HDMI (and VGA) video, gigabit LAN port, extensive BIOS settings, and the BIOS recognizes a USB keyboard (a small but nice feature). The system even comes with a pretty nice driver install disc. Windows 7 home premium (64bit!) works awesome. The Areo desktop (transparent windows) works as well! This board may not be "perfect", but it's close!

Cons: You know, this is a really nice board, so nothing major. Since this board has a 64bit processor, you're strongly recommended to go with a 64bit OS so you can use at least 8gb of memory (or the full 16gb if you've got the extra cash). It's a dual core, so it can still work pretty well under load even with it's (modest?) clock speed. Yes, it'll throttle out a bit now and again, but compared to most of the m-itx ocean that's filled with of 32bit single core Intel Atoms and all of those terrible VIA (C7?) CPU's, this board is a hotrod!

Overall Review: The build quality is awesome on this board. And the feature are outstanding for it's price. I'm glad to see board makers starting to put real features on m-itx boards. And with the proliferation of laptops and smartphones all of which are smaller and (usually more powerful) than these boards, there's no real reason why they can't anymore. If anyone from Biostar is reading this, please bump up the max screen size to 1920x1080 (You're close, but not close enough!) And as always, we need stronger, faster CPU's! But I'm splitting hairs here, this is a great board!

Most Critical Review

A neckbeard's paradise!

Otomedius Excellent Xbox 360 Game
Otomedius Excellent Xbox 360 Game

Pros: It's an anime game based on Gradius!

Cons: It's an anime game based on Gradius! (You see what I did there?)

Overall Review: Many American anime otakus (fanboys) often wonder why those "really cool" niche games from Japan usually never get to see the light of day on this side of the ocean. Games like this are why. If you're an Anime fan, you won't mind the over the top sexism in the way women are portrayed in this game. If you like "bullet hell" shooter games, you will likely enjoy the convoluted Gradius power-up system and the game's unforgiving and crushing difficulty until you can master this system. (Good luck on that). If you don't like leering at cutesy looking cartoon women with (mostly) giant jiggling breasts and alien-looking easter egg eyes, or if you don't like side scrolling shoot 'em ups with very steep learning curves, then this likely isn't the game for you. To be fair, I should tell you that I'm an anime fan that also likes "bullet hell" shooting games. So this should be the best game ever, right? Not quite. The graphics are hardly the best, and the Gradius way of doing things seems clunkier than even in this game. While it was strange and cool to see a game like this released outside of Japan, it's unfortunate that it's only a ho-hum game. I also find myself feeling this really shouldn't have been a retail boxed game. Having it as a digital download release, (like Deathsmiles II was) would have been the better route. If you just want the achievements, about 75% of them can be gained by enduring the slog of many, many continues and playthroughs with each character on normal and expert difficulties. There's a few "achievement guides" out there that will detail the process. If you're not into these sort of games, I doubt you'll have the patience to do it. Especially if you don't live in your Mom's basement. Still, it's only $10. So even if you don't like it, you're only out $10. You could then get $1 for it in trade at Game***p, or better yet, re-gift it to that special basement dwelling neckbeard in your life. Once again Konami, almost creates a classic game. Almost. Okay, not really. At least it's not awful... I think. Mostly.

Slightly underrated blast-fest

Bodycount Xbox 360 Game
Bodycount Xbox 360 Game

Pros: What we have here is yet another FPS (first person shooter) game. While nothing new is brought to the table here per-se, what is there isn't terrible either. If you're expecting this game to be on the level of Halo, Call of Duty, or even one of Serious Sam titles, you're not going to be amazed by this game. But now that's $10 or less, bargain gamers will find plenty of arcade style shooting action. The graphics and sound are very decent, and the environments are generally large and detailed. Oh, and there's plenty of enemies to blast into oblivion like you're in a B action movie. Mindless fun!

Cons: Well it is a bit generic, and the single player campaign can be finished over a weekend by most average players. But hey, so what! At the price point of a fast food meal combo, it's hard to go wrong here. Some "serious" FPS gamers may gaff at the game's arcade elements, but honestly, I didn't mind it at all.

Overall Review: If you were to type the phrase "gamespot bodycount 360" into the world's most famous Internet search engine, there's a chance you'd find a review and a helpful gameplay video clip together on a web page out there on the Internet. Personally, I feel that the critics have been a little too hard on this game. And for $60, their words are justified, but for $10 (or less)? Bah! Stop worrying, and start shooting!

I like this case!

APEX MI Series MI-008 Black Steel Mini-ITX Tower Computer Case 250W Power Supply
APEX MI Series MI-008 Black Steel Mini-ITX Tower Computer Case 250W Power Supply

Pros: The design of this case has evolved over the years, and this version is likely one of the very best m-itx cases out there for general home/hobby use. There's room for a full size CDR drive, and a 3.5" bay that you can use for a (floppy drive?), card reader, or a 2nd hard drive. A 2nd hard drive? Yeah, the main location for the hard drive is vertically on the side opposite the expansion card. The included rails do a great job. This case also now has ample ventilation on both sides, not just one, and the rear of the case has improved ventilation also. If you like to put those "laser" LED lights in your cases, you'll find lots of color coming out of all of that side ventilation. As for the included power supply, it looks a heck of a lot better than the one included a few years ago. And the fan inside it is far quieter as well. While not exactly clear in the product images, there are *two* SATA power plugs. Overall, I really like this case. And for the price (under $50), it's mostly a slam dunk.

Cons: (Nothing major!) The power supply is mounted directly over (most of) the motherboard. And as such, this case is (most likely) only meant for m-itx boards with a built in CPU. Those with m-itx boards that let you install a full size processor and heat sink should look elsewhere (Lan-Li cases?) There may be a few (very few) of the m-itx boards with *giant* CPU heat sinks that could have trouble fitting. That said, this case should fit over 95% of the m-itx boards out there. Also, use care when pressing on the 4 *plastic* tabs used to hold the front faceplate in place when removing it in order to install your CDR drive (and maybe a card reader). Slow and steady wins the day here to be sure. And while it's only a small thing, the wires on the power supply have little to no "braiding" on them, which tends to make things a bit of a jumbled mess during the build, but this is common anymore. I just used a few small zip ties to tidy things up a bit with each power lead. Oh, and as you know, these kind of cases aren't made for giant video cards, due to their power usage, not just their size. But a lot of the newer m-itx boards are starting to provide pretty decent built in video, so you may not need a video card. (I didn't). But I'm nitpicking here.

Overall Review: Build details: Motherboard: BIOSTAR A68I-350 Deluxe AMD Fusion APU 350D AMD A68 Mini ITX Motherboard/CPU Combo. Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL CDR drive: (SATA) Lite-On DVD burner (OEM), HDD: (SATA) Seagate 320gb laptop drive (OEM). (a full size to laptop HDD adapter (I already had just lying around) is attached to (included) mounting rails) Card reader: $4 Generic Chinese item bought at Am****.com Video card: None needed! This is a nice board! Wireless: Rosewill RNX-N180UBE Wireless Adapter IEEE 802.11b/g/n USB 2.0 1T2R / 5 dBi External Antenna / Up to 300Mbps Wireless Download Data Rates 64/128-bit WEP (Hex & ASCII), WPA/WPA2, WPA(TKIP with IEEE 802.1x)/WPA2(AES with IEEE 802.1x) (Plugged in back)

Buy one!

LITE-ON DVD Burner - Bulk 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model iHAS124-04
LITE-ON DVD Burner - Bulk 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model iHAS124-04

Pros: At this price, you really can't go wrong.

Cons: None.

Overall Review: See "Pros" (Above).

Great!

G.SKILL 16GB (2 x 8GB) 204-Pin DDR3 SO-DIMM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Laptop Memory Model F3-10600CL9D-16GBSQ
G.SKILL 16GB (2 x 8GB) 204-Pin DDR3 SO-DIMM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Laptop Memory Model F3-10600CL9D-16GBSQ

Pros: Works. No issues at all.

Cons: None.

Overall Review: Installed into my Acer Aspire V3-771G-9697 laptop. Works perfect.