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Darrin G.

Darrin G.

Joined on 06/21/04

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 7
Most Favorable Review

Huge and fun sandbox fps

Far Cry 3 Deluxe Edition [Online Game Code]
Far Cry 3 Deluxe Edition [Online Game Code]

Pros: I've played FPS since Doom and the original Wolfenstein. For me, the modern ones have become to linear- forcing your path to the inch. I recently played Modern Warfighter and was really bad in this regard. The last game I really enjoyed was FallOut3 and was looking for open world gameplay. A friend suggested Skyrim but no weapons didn't really appeal to me. The game delivered! Totally open world, and has some money-earning grinding action like FO3, in fact reminds me in many ways of FallOut3. Cool graphics, enemy AI is REALLY good. And you must consider all aspects- like is that tiger over there gonna eat you while you try to snipe enemy... hangliders, cars, boats. Lots of sneaking and knife attack-drag-body-away action as well as full blown blasting. I don't care too much about the stories in games, but this one captures you- mostly due to great acting and voice-overs. Great video and audio. My 3.2G quad core handles it at max settings with no lag (nearly two year old W7 64bit machine with a $150 video card, no audio card). So any decent machine will rock this game pretty well. Shocking for the size of environment.

Cons: Does not let you set key functions! must use WASD etc. I gotten used to it so no biggie. Maybe once per day my machine will lock up. Task Manager will open and I can end task. Not going to spend time on 'fixes' if it doesn't get worse.

Overall Review: I got this on a sale day for uber-cheap. Likely work out to like 10 cents per hour! Very happy to find this and the best in it's genre since Fallout3.

Most Critical Review

Fast but maybe not ready for prime time

Kingston HyperX 3K 2.5" 90GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) (Stand-Alone Drive) SH103S3/90G
Kingston HyperX 3K 2.5" 90GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) (Stand-Alone Drive) SH103S3/90G

Pros: Windows loaded and programs ran FAST. This is why I got a SSD and it's true- everything I did seemed faster. Got on sale for under a dollar a meg so you can't beat it!

Cons: I've bought ALOT of Kingston RAM over the years and it's always worked flawlessly. With a SSD I avoided some other brands because they fail and have issues per reviews but as I've had great luck w/Kingston I gave their SSD a try. Installed Windows, worked great (and fast) for about 24 hours. Then I got a dos-screen on boot that said system error to insert original OS disc to Repair Windows. This was a work PC, so no... pulled drive and installed platter hdd that works fine. One day of data loss better than a week or month- can't risk it.

Overall Review: If you have a 'play' computer, go with a SSD. But if you have data you can't lose- stick with hdd until SSD is ready-for-prime-time. I knew I might have issues but rolled the dice and unfortunately came up craps- my SSD (like more than half of others) crashes, won't boot, reinstall windows.... I don't have time for this nor can I risk the data loss. Not worth the tiny speed advantages. My advice- just wait another year or two to buy a SSD. And you can get nearly as fast hdd that are like 1TB for near the same price as a 100GB SSD. Stick with what works. What do I do with this SSD now? can't use for OS. can't use for backup of anything important. And can't use as like music etc backup as it's only 90g. Pretty much a paperweight. Wish I'd listened to other reviews (of all manufacturers of SSDs) that they are not yet reliable and not wated my money.

6mos update - Great but flawed

MartinLogan MLT-2 5.1 CH Premium Home Theater Speaker System Black System
MartinLogan MLT-2 5.1 CH Premium Home Theater Speaker System Black System

Pros: Sound great, will handle high power and volume. Center is different shape and design from surrounds (not 5x same spkr).

Cons: Mounting hole for screw so you can't aim or direct- 50c mounting part would fix this. Booo ML. Had to buy THREE times before I got delivered intact. First destroyed, second had sub fins bent up. ML packaging is the worst I've ever seen. Paper thin tired old cardboard and cheap styrofoam swimming around inside. Shocked they haven't addressed the issue. I wanted to update to say if you're looking at these- you will likely receive damaged. If possible ask your delivery driver to wait. If not possible, NE will take back w/o hassle (big fan!). But problem is even 2nd may be messed up.

Overall Review: For 200 bucks this is an insane steal. Also consider Klipsch 500- I own those and also happy w/em. The Klipsch come in twice size dbl box and foam packing that you can literally stand on (I have to reach high shelf). Also Klipsch have a mounting pad that allows angle directing. Not sure I'd go thru the hassle of 2xdamaged again but if willing to risk it, if/when you get undamaged they are awesome. Mine still strong after 6mos+ (although many other had fails so...). One suggestion- my sub was popping/clicking. I was worried it was fried like other reviews BUT it's just a poorly designed circuit that pops when it turns it on w/signal, i.e. 'Auto'. It powers off after just a few seconds w/o signal- simple fix would be a 10min timeout or a lower threshold. Sometimes wouldn't even turn on until prolonged louder sub signal. Simple solution- I just leave it on. Shame I have to work around very silly mistakes by ML. A few admin mistakes (sub logic design, packaging) will keep ML from ever being a high-end contender. I will refuse to spend more for their planar speakers etc as I can't trust design or delivery or other poor QC.

Best remote I ever owned or used.

Logitech Harmony 550 Advanced Universal Infrared Remote Control
Logitech Harmony 550 Advanced Universal Infrared Remote Control

Pros: Even smaller and thinner than you think. Fully customizable. Good battery life. Huge library of brands. PC interface makes very easy.

Cons: The logitech software worked at first for me, but started having PC hangs and huge daily problems. Isolated it to their software- deleted it and all PC problems solved. Now won't even install and run- so no more PC interface for me.

Overall Review: Bought at first but rare remote that has presets for Rotel brand AV equipment. Also learns. Unit is micro-thin and small, fits hand very very well. Best remote I've ever owned. Taken MANY hard falls with no problems or breakage. Also had a few spills- no problem. My only issues are that volume + and - don't work that great sometimes- takes a hard push (but used for years!). And the software makes my PC run slow as heck and crashes constantly- can't install it again. Assuming software works for you, I recommend using AV software to block the app running unless you need it. Overall the BEST remote by far- grab it cheap, you'll love it.

Clicked to make Quad Core

AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition - Phenom II X2 Callisto Dual-Core 3.1 GHz Socket AM3 80W Processor - HDZ550WFGIBOX
AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition - Phenom II X2 Callisto Dual-Core 3.1 GHz Socket AM3 80W Processor - HDZ550WFGIBOX

Pros: Cheap. Fast. No guarantees of course but with ASUS m4a79xtd evo mobo I went to bios Advanced Clock Calibration changed to (all cores) and changed Unleashing Mode to (enabled) and presto it's a 3.1G x4 Deneb B50. Sweet.

Cons: Tiny little fan and heatsink (noisy). Not free.

Overall Review: Having assorted random crashes trying to play several games but I have all new machine w/win7 so have no idea what may be the cause- cpu would be low on the list. Mine runs at 37C at idle w/oem fan (and well vented box).

Great but need to set bios

OCZ Gold AMD Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model OCZ3G1600LVAM4GK
OCZ Gold AMD Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model OCZ3G1600LVAM4GK

Pros: Nice price w/rebate OCZ has forums etc and hope I could get help if needed

Cons: Random crashes but I have Win7, all new machine so...? Would be nice if it came w/instructions for typical bios setting.

Overall Review: As many have said, you need to goto your bios and change DRAM settings- I found good instructions online. Get some for your mobo if possible. I DL'd CPUz and it was running at 11-11-11. Changed to oem spec (4 or 5 timings and the V). Odds are your mobo is not set right by default. BTW, cpuz and others will say 1/2 speed, i.e. 800MHz (but is 1600ddr).