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Jimmy L.

Jimmy L.

Joined on 12/26/04

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 7
Most Favorable Review

Solid PSU

CORSAIR CMPSU-400CX 400W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply
CORSAIR CMPSU-400CX 400W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply

Pros: Worked perfectly with my Antec mini P180 case and Asus M3A78-EM motherboard. Tons of power cables for everything (from old IDE hard drives to new AMD motherboard). Large fan is silent.

Cons: Cables are permanent and non-detachable. But for less than $60 (before rebate), to be expected.

Overall Review: Wanted to mention quickly, although only cosmetic, the fact that in my case the PSU is mounted on the bottom, which requires that the PSU is upside down (so the fan is facing up). The "Corsair" logo is etched in such a way as to always be read right side up, regardless if mounting on the top of the case or bottom, so if you have a clear side panel, it looks like it was meant to mount that way (as opposed to some PSUs where it would have looked upside down). Just a neat detail thing that probably 90% of people will never see once they close the case (including me).

Most Critical Review

Failed after a week

Mushkin Enhanced 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1066 (PC3 8500) Dual Channel Kit Memory For Apple Model 976643A
Mushkin Enhanced 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1066 (PC3 8500) Dual Channel Kit Memory For Apple Model 976643A

Pros: Fit right and booted up on the first try in my MacBook (late 2008).

Cons: Failed after about a week with the dreaded three beeps upon boot up.

Connected to boot drive

Vantec IDE to SATA Converter - Model CB-IS100
Vantec IDE to SATA Converter - Model CB-IS100

Pros: When my old Compaq workstation went kaput, the only components worth keeping were the drives when building a new system from scratch. Since all of my drives are IDE and the new motherboard had just one IDE port that was inaccessible due to its location in the Antec P180 Mini case, I used two of these adapters to convert both the hard drive and DVD burner to SATA. The hard drive is a 400gb 7200rpm unit, circa 2006 (can't remember the brand) and the motherboard is an Asus M3A78-EM. I installed Windows Server 2008 R2 and this adapter, used as the boot device. Once it's up and running, everything is just fine (see cons below for more info). I used Diskmark recently and my converted hard drive returned 45 mb/sec read and 35 mb/sec write. I've been using these adapters in my machine for over 3 years now.

Cons: About 25% of the time, upon boot up, the system simply says "cannot find boot device" or "cannot load operating system". My machine takes one or two hard resets before finally booting up... really not sure why this happens, but once up and running, everything is fine.

Overall Review: I'd buy these again and am considering it for some spare IDE drives sitting on the shelf.

Tons of room, easy to work with

Antec Mini P180 Black Steel Micro ATX Mini Tower Computer Case
Antec Mini P180 Black Steel Micro ATX Mini Tower Computer Case

Pros: 1) Cable management is awesome (the width of this case may turn off some, but the extra half inch behind the motherboard really allows you to hide everything). Lots of holes in and around the motherboard area, to pull cables through directly to areas they plug into. 2) Panels are padded nicely, can really tell that they are solid sound dampers. Super quiet. 3) Separate PSU chamber, while allowing for distinct ambient air supply, also allows for a place to hide those extra (unsightly) power cables. 4) Neat little hidden box attached behind one of the 3.5 slide-out bays, allowing a place to put screws and other miscellaneous supplies. 5) Huge 200mm fan up top, unusual for any case, much less an mATX one. Really pulls a lot of air, even at low speed. 6) Lots of drive bays for an mATX case. Can have up to 5 hard drives in the 3.5 bays alone. 7) The rubber grommets to mount the 3.5 drives are soft and thick, so no vibrations.

Cons: 1) NEC DVD drive did not fit (too long) in upper 5.25 bay, had to mount on bottom. 2) Cannot mount optional front fan w/out losing a few 3.5 drive bays (though can still mount up to 3 in other drive 3.5 bays, plus the 5.25 bays). 3) Front power led is super bright.

Overall Review: (Quick note: I bought the white one) After owning three cookie cutter desktop PCs (IBM in 1996, then a Dell in 1999 and finally a Compaq in 2003), I decided to finally leave the sidelines and take the plunge to build my own computer. Obviously, this is my first build, and I couldn't have been happier. This case is excellent for a starter and it made assembling a breeze. Everything fit as advertised (Corsair 400w ATX PSU, Asus M3A78-EM motherboard, AMD Phenom X4 940 cpu with stock fan, 3 old 3.5 hard drives and an old NEC dvd burner). I was blown away at how easily it was to hide cables (perhaps due to the fact that I finally exited the stone age of IBM, Dell and Compaq). I need to take a picture as you can barely tell there are any cables around the motherboard. That area is just a hollow chamber now. All in all, this is a system that will be my foundation for at least the next 5-7 years, having suffered with a Compaq workstation for 6 years, this should be no problem.

Worked perfectly

AMD Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition - Phenom II X4 Deneb Quad-Core 3.0 GHz Socket AM2+ 125W Processor - HDZ940XCGIBOX
AMD Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition - Phenom II X4 Deneb Quad-Core 3.0 GHz Socket AM2+ 125W Processor - HDZ940XCGIBOX

Pros: "Wine taste on a beer budget." 3 ghz speed, quad cores, under $230 shipped (in February 2009). Could have easily spent $200 more to get a core i7 and compatible motherboard, but with that savings I was able to procure everything else, like the case and psu.

Cons: The stock fan is the only audible thing in my Antec mini P180 case, but it's still only a faint noise.

Overall Review: Having only used Intel in the past (i386, Pentium II, Pentium 4, Core Duo), finally went AMD Phenom II after reading really positive reviews on tech sites everywhere. Purchased an Asus M3A78-EM motherboard at the same time, system booted up and worked right out of the box. Windows Vista saw it as an "unknown AMD" processor at 3 ghz. I updated my bios to the latest version and both Asus and Windows Vista instantly read it correctly as a Phenom II. Although, I'm not sure if that would have even caused a problem.

Great case

Antec Mini P180 White Steel MicroATX Mini Tower Computer Case
Antec Mini P180 White Steel MicroATX Mini Tower Computer Case

Pros: 1) Cable management is awesome (the width of this case may turn off some, but the extra half inch behind the motherboard really allows you to hide everything). Lots of holes in and around the motherboard area, to pull cables through directly to areas they plug into. 2) Panels are padded nicely, can really tell that they are solid sound dampers. Super quiet. 3) Separate PSU chamber, while allowing for distinct ambient air supply, also allows for a place to hide those extra (unsightly) power cables. 4) Neat little hidden box attached behind one of the 3.5 slide-out bays, allowing a place to put screws and other miscellaneous supplies. 5) Huge 200mm fan up top, unusual for any case, much less an mATX one. Really pulls a lot of air, even at low speed. 6) Lots of drive bays for an mATX case. Can have up to 5 hard drives in the 3.5 bays alone. 7) The rubber grommets to mount the 3.5 drives are soft and thick, so no vibrations.

Cons: 1) NEC DVD drive did not fit (too long) in upper 5.25 bay, had to mount on bottom. 2) Cannot mount optional front fan w/out losing a few 3.5 drive bays (though can still mount up to 3 in other drive 3.5 bays, plus the 5.25 bays). 3) Front power led is super bright.

Overall Review: After owning three cookie cutter desktop PCs (IBM in 1996, then a Dell in 1999 and finally a Compaq in 2003), I decided to finally leave the sidelines and take the plunge to build my own computer. Obviously, this is my first build, and I couldn't have been happier. This case is excellent for a starter and it made assembling a breeze. Everything fit as advertised (Corsair 400w ATX PSU, Asus M3A78-EM motherboard, AMD Phenom X4 II cpu with stock fan, 3 old 3.5 hard drives and an old NEC dvd burner). I was blown away at how easily it was to hide cables (perhaps due to the fact that I finally exited the stone age of IBM, Dell and Compaq). I need to take a picture as you can barely tell there are any cables around the motherboard. That area is just a hollow chamber now. All in all, this is a system that will be my foundation for at least the next 5-7 years, after all, suffering with a Compaq workstation for 6 years, this should be no problem.