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Bryan B.

Bryan B.

Joined on 10/01/06

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 4
Most Favorable Review
Genius SW-5.1 1000 25 watts 5.1CH Surround System
Genius SW-5.1 1000 25 watts 5.1CH Surround System

Pros: A big sound for the modest price. It honestly surprised me. At half-volume, the subwoofer was rattling a metal grate in our drop ceiling. Plenty of cables and mounting hardware.

Cons: The subwoofer is kinda muddy -- the crossover should be set lower.

Overall Review: Lightly stuff the subwoofer box with pillow stuffing to cut the volume and lower the frequency response. It will bring a bit more 'punch' at the expense of clarity.

Most Critical Review

Great drive, horrible support

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 ST1000DM005/HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 ST1000DM005/HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive

Pros: Drive is very fast, 4 of these in a Linux software RAID-10 with my 780G motherboard can sustain 450MB/s reads and 285MB/s writes.

Cons: If Samsung support was anywhere near as awesome as their hardware, we'd be in space colonies by now. Samsung's online RMA service refuses to accept that this drive is RMA-able, instead it thinks it's an OEM drive since it was sold as "bare". Buyer beware!

Overall Review: I bought 5 drives for my RAID, used the 5th one as a hotspare. Turned out to be a good idea, since one of them went bad in a few months.

Not quite what I expected

areca ARC-1202 PCI Express x1 SATA II (3.0Gb/s) Controller Card
areca ARC-1202 PCI Express x1 SATA II (3.0Gb/s) Controller Card

Pros: Powerful menu-based configuration with many options. Loud alarm for problems. PCIe 1x connector will fit nearly any motherboard without issues, low-profile card will fit any chassis.

Cons: Designed very heavily around the Areca ARC-1202 drive enclosure. I attempted to pair this with a Venus T5 enclosure, and the 5th disk wasn't recognized, and half the features in the menu didn't work (such as temperature detection, LEDs, etc). It's also picky about which eSATA port you use.

Overall Review: Don't try to use this card with anything but the ARC-1202 4-bay enclosures. The incompatibilities aren't documented anywhere!

12/20/2010

Overall good board for what you get

SUPERMICRO MBD-H8DAI-2 Extended ATX Server Motherboard Dual 1207(F) NVIDIA nForce Professional 3600 DDR2 800
SUPERMICRO MBD-H8DAI-2 Extended ATX Server Motherboard Dual 1207(F) NVIDIA nForce Professional 3600 DDR2 800

Pros: Very capable board, dual sockets, 8 RAM slots. Easy layout to understand, supports 8 PWM fans. BIOS is easy to use, and supports a ton of power-saving options.

Cons: nForce RAID is a huge pain to set up in Windows. SuperMicro's drivers are 404 on their support site. Chipset fans are small and noisy, and located under larger graphics cards if you're using it as a workstation.

Overall Review: Dont' use it as a workstation board! The fan controller flips out if you have large, slow moving fans spinning below 1000 RPM and will raise ALL fans in the system to full speed for a few seconds. Their support network has told me there is nothing I can do about this, and the only solution is to run the fans at full speed all the time to prevent any alarms.