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ALLAN M.

ALLAN M.

Joined on 04/27/04

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 8
Most Favorable Review

Insane value

Acer B286HK ymjdpprz UM.PB6AA.003 28" UHD 3840 x 2160 (4K) 60 Hz DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort Built-in Speakers LED Backlight Monitor
Acer B286HK ymjdpprz UM.PB6AA.003 28" UHD 3840 x 2160 (4K) 60 Hz DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort Built-in Speakers LED Backlight Monitor

Pros: Let's clear up some facts: The B286HK supports 60 Hz. Using the provided DP 1.2 cable I've run 4K @ 60Hz on both an NVIDIA GTX 680, 750Ti and Intel Haswell 4600 IGP. Video looks delicious on this panel. No ghosting and plenty of contrast. One of the detailed reviews on the web points out that in this class of panel and among their tested monitors, only the Acer and ASUS TN monitors properly display grays and have very low (10.9 ms.) measured input latency (display lag). The USB 3.0 hub is a worth getting since it reduces desk clutter. Lots of inputs: DP, miniDP, DVI, HDMI. The panel is VESA compatible. The Acer's OSD display is easy to use and, as noted in a web review, offers a level of fine-tuning not found in other TN 4K monitors. One of my favorite features: *no power brick*. The power supply is inside the monitor and you can use a standard PC power cable. I'm upgrading from a 3-monitor almost 9 yr. old 5440x1200 battlestation and am enjoying the simpler configuration and cleaner desktop. Side note for OS X users: I got a chance to see one in a store connected to a Mac Pro. OS X looks glorious on a 4K 28" LCD as the OS seems to get the scaling right.

Cons: The cons were called out in web reviews and are expected: • wobbly stand -- use another VESA monitor base if you have one. • anemic speakers -- expect to use external speakers • the TN viewing angle peculiarities can be seen from off-angles but it's not a big deal -- it's only pronounced from above. Go see a 4K TN panel in the store if you think you'll care about this artifact. • accidentally powering cycling the monitor while running seems to result in a handshake that identifies the monitor as smaller than 4K before properly identifying it as 4K. The result on Windows 7 is that you might see an icon-rich desktop and open apps moved or rearranged. Googling reveals this might be a common problem across a lot of 4K monitors. It's unclear if it's a driver, OS or monitor firmware issue. Rest assured, this does not happen if the monitor or PC goes in and out of sleep mode -- it's only a power cycling while connected issue.

Overall Review: 28" is a reasonable size. Some people (like devs) might want an even larger monitor or a curved panel to really benefit from the available pixels. But 28" 4K is a useful jump from a 2k x 1k monitor setup. I don't see how anyone can complain about this piece of tech when it's priced so low. It's an amazing value and a very tuned panel.

11/15/2014
Most Critical Review

USB port died -- surprisingly non-existent support

Intel NUC (Next Unit of Computing) BOXNUC7I5BNK Black Barebone Systems - Mini / Booksize
Intel NUC (Next Unit of Computing) BOXNUC7I5BNK Black Barebone Systems - Mini / Booksize

Pros: Great form factor and fast processor. Has worked well for 40 days.

Cons: One USB port died in a little over a month. Intel's online warranty return site is down. Intel's online chat support site is down. The only option is to call and sit on the phone -- NOPE. I have a day job and can't burn my employer's hours waiting for Intel to pick up. How does a multi-billion dollar company not have working warranty return sites? Pray that you get a working NUC because they are making it very hard to get a virtually brand new NUC replaced.

Small, silent and maybe even peppy!

ECS LIVA Z Mini PC Intel N4200 Fanless Dual LAN 4K UHD Display 4GB DDR3L RAM 32GB eMMC
ECS LIVA Z Mini PC Intel N4200 Fanless Dual LAN 4K UHD Display 4GB DDR3L RAM 32GB eMMC

Pros: Nice little machine that seems peppy and is totally silent. The quad-core and 18 EU HD505 is a nice upgrade over the N3350 part. Hopefully the price drops further over time. Win 10 Creators Update installs without any problems. You do need to download the TXE drivers from the Intel site (use the NUC6CAYS/H drivers). The built-in microphone seems to work fine with Cortana. After a fresh install there is ~15GB of space left on the 32GB eMMC module.

Cons: None so far.

Overall Review: If you're adding a SO-DIMM or upgrading both sticks be aware that the part must use 4Gbit or 8Gbit RAM chips. This is documented on the Intel site for the NUC6CAYS/H machines. I installed 2 x 4GB DDR3L 1866 SO-DIMMs (Crucial CT2K51264BF186DJ) and have verified they're running at 1866. The Intel memory testing results as well as a Japanese site show that 2 x 8GB will also work but I figured 2 x 4GB was enough for me.

One of the best Z97 motherboards

ASUS Z97-WS Intel LGA1150 HDMI/DisplayPort /Mini DisplayPort Dual server-grade Intel LAN ATX Server Workstation Motherboard for Quad-strength Graphic Power
ASUS Z97-WS Intel LGA1150 HDMI/DisplayPort /Mini DisplayPort Dual server-grade Intel LAN ATX Server Workstation Motherboard for Quad-strength Graphic Power

Pros: I had this motherboard paired with a Core i7-4790 (Haswell) and it was rock solid. I then upgraded to the relatively rare Core i7-5775C (Broadwell) CPU and although the workstation was rock solid I requested that the microcode be updated to the very latest to avoid a known VT-x issue and I also asked for help resolving an issue with the 5775C's HD 6200 CPU Graphics always syncing at 30Hz on a 4K monitor. Nestor from ASUS Customer Loyalty worked with me and resolved both issues like a champion! He and ASUS each get a gold medal: 🥇 + 🥇 Thanks ASUS!

Cons: None.

Terrible EVGA RMA experience

EVGA 02G-P4-2685-KR GeForce GTX 680 SC Signature+ w/Backplate 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
EVGA 02G-P4-2685-KR GeForce GTX 680 SC Signature+ w/Backplate 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

Pros: Quiet and fast as long as you get a good one.

Cons: Was shipped a card that appeared to operate fine until placed under heavy load and temperature rose above 40C. Only way to achieve stability was to put the fan on 85% (jet engine setting) or downclock the card. When that is done the card is rock solid. Otherwise, I get more and more errors the hotter the card gets. EVGA quickly RMA'd me a replacement except... the refurbished card had the exact same problem under load and heat. Translation: someone else's dud card was sent to me because it passed EVGA's "tests". I returned the replacement -- $21 out of my pocket for shipping. And now... EVGA has gone silent and each customer support person gives me a different answer. The latest is a promise that someone will "contact me." Here I am with a $550 card that operates fine as long as I keep it under 40C. Awesome. Nearly one month. Are you kidding me? I've never had bad luck with a CPU, GPU, RAM or a mobo until now and EVGA was supposed to be the gold standard of su

Excellent product

Jetway Mini-Top Atom Dual-Core 525 NVIDIA ION2 with WiFi /Remote Control Mini Barebone
Jetway Mini-Top Atom Dual-Core 525 NVIDIA ION2 with WiFi /Remote Control Mini Barebone

Pros: Small, quiet and cheap. I moved my old 2.5" drive with Windows 7 and SO-DIMMs from a mini-ITX machine into this machine and it booted up in safe-mode with no problems. At this point I installed the latest NVIDIA drivers and let Windows 7 reconfigure various chipset drivers. The D525 and ION2 seem to have no problem with Windows 7 Media Center (Ultimate x64). I'm also running XBOX 360 extenders. Copies across a Gigabit LAN to an older 5400 rpm Hitachi drive are very fast. A 2GB file copy to the Jetway starts at 90 MB/sec (cache) and declines to a steady 40-50MB/sec. Excellent.

Cons: USB ports don't seem to have power in S3 suspend mode so I've been waking it up via the blinking power button. If you disable the "EuP Function" in the BIOS you will get an option to allow WakeOnLan. Magic Packet wake-on-lan works fine. I've sent an email to Jetway tech support to see if a BIOS update is possible to enable USB power on S3 or if the issue is simply operator error on my part.

Overall Review: This is a great value. I replaced an aging, powerful and very expensive mini-ITX system (T7600 Merom CPU) with this smaller and quieter machine. The Merom was *way* faster but when mated with a 945GT chipset it couldn't play h.264 content very well. The Mini Top plays all video I've thrown at it with low CPU usage.