Easy upgrade, nice and fast10/13/2020 10:44:53 PM

Cons: Seems to be incompatible with Asus STRIX Arion enclosure

Overall Review: Mostly, this SSD works great, was easy to install, gives me lots of space on my laptop now, and even seems faster than the original drive (but I don't have benchmarks to prove it...didn't occur to me to test the speed until after I'd already swapped the drives). Crucial's deal with Acronis for their True Image cloning software is a bit clunky. It requires that the drive be recognized as a Crucial product, which doesn't necessarily work depending on the external drive enclosure used to clone the drive before installation. Crucial has a work-around for customers who contact them, but it would be better for their licensing to work in some other way (e.g. activated via serial # or something like that). I did have an enormous amount of trouble at first with this drive, trying to use it in an Asus STRIX Arion external enclosure. It's a nice enclosure, but all operations with the drive took excessively long (e.g. a couple of minutes just to recognize the drive), and cloning didn't work at all (after 12 hours, barely made any progress...cloning with a different enclosure took less than an hour). Works fine with a Vantec NexStar enclosure though.

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Incompatible with Crucial 1TB P510/13/2020 11:24:18 AM

Pros: * Solid construction * Easy to use

Cons: * Did not work with Crucial 1TB P5 * No disk activity light; just a color-rotating light when powered, does not show when the drive is actually being accessed or not * Presents as an Asus device, rather than the manufacturer of the installed SSD

Overall Review: I bought this along with a Crucial 1TB P5 drive. Installation of the drive was easy: instructions are reasonably clear and the enclosure comes with a tool for popping the cover off and driving the thumbscrew that secures the drive in the enclosure. But I could not get this to work reliably. It would show up in the drives, and it's even possible to initialize the drive and format it. But the latency is incredibly high. Even simple drive operations take minutes to complete and worse, when the OS is waiting on those, all other drive I/O is blocked too. I tried to use the made-for-Crucial version of Acronis True Image to clone my old drive to the new drive. The first problem was that the program, which requires a Crucial drive to be attached to the system, did not recognize the attached P5 as a Crucial drive, since it shows up as an Asus device. But even after getting a patch from Crucial to bypass that issue, cloning didn't work. I let it run for 12 hours, without seeing any significant progress. This compares to less than 60 minutes to clone identically-sized drives to a regular 2.5"-form-factor SSD using a conventional enclosure. Swapping parts, I tried the same Crucial drive in a Vanstar enclosure, and a Samsung drive in the Asus enclosure. Both of those tests worked mostly fine; there were still minor latency glitches with the Samsung drive in the Asus enclosure, but nothing coming close to the problems I had with the Crucial drive. The Crucial drive in the Vanstar enclosure worked *perfectly*. Same tests were also made with second examples of the Asus enclosure and Crucial drive, with the same results. If the problem is a manufacturing defect, it's something that affected a whole batch of the enclosures, not just a one-off problem. Bottom line: this enclosure will probably work okay with other brands of drives, and maybe even other Crucial drives. When it works, it's a nice enclosure, and I really wanted it to work for me. But if you have a Crucial P5 drive, you should probably use a different brand of enclosure rather than spending any time trying to get this to work (I spent over 10 hours of diagnostic effort to sort everything out). I found it completely unusable with Crucial's drives. Customer support review: I contacted both Crucial and Asus when trying to diagnose the problem. The Crucial customer support was the most helpful; they actually responded to my specific issues, and provided attempts to help solve the problem. The Asus support, not so much. About every other email (I didn't use phone support with Asus) it seemed like they had not bothered to read my message at all, and just provided some random form-letter response that had nothing to do with the problem. They spent the rest of the time mostly trying to blame the problem on a faulty drive; one of the most amusing exchanges was when they asked me to send photos of the drive installed in the enclosure, then noticed a slight discoloration on the manufacturer's sticker over one of the ICs on the drive and said that indicated some defect with the drive. In spite of the fact that the discoloration was simply transfer of some slightly oily substance from the heat-pads on the Asus enclosure's cover itself! Granted, Crucial didn't provide a resolution either. But at least they seemed to be taking me and the problem I was reporting seriously.

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Manufacturer Response:
Dear Peter D, It's regrettable to hear you've encountered compatibility issues with your Arion. ASUS products undergo intensive quality control testing and final inspections for both hardware and software before we release it worldwide. ASUS provides warranty for the unit in order to fix or repair any isolated factory escape defect. Should you need further assistance sending the unit in for warranty service, You can reach me at cl-adrian@asus.com. Your case for reference is N201045473. Thank you for choosing ASUS! Best Regards, Adrian ASUS Customer Loyalty – US Support
Didn't last long8/4/2014 9:06:32 PM

Pros: Quiet.

Cons: In addition to the lack of a plug adapter (mentioned in my previous review), I feel obligated to mention that less than a week after installation, this fan was no longer silent.

Overall Review: (This review is an update to my previous one...I don't see any way for me to edit the previous review, so I'm just adding a new one). I rated this fan with five eggs previously, based solely on the immediately observed performance when I first installed it. In hindsight, I should have let it run for awhile before I submitted a review. Just a few days after I installed the fan, it started making a soft rumbling/grinding noise. While the fan is still somewhat less annoying than the fan with a high-pitched whine it replaced, and in many situations would probably not even be noticed, it is no longer satisfactory in this application (living room/home theater setup). Of course, lacking a plug adapter when I was installing it, I simply cut the wires and resoldered a different plug to the fan, to fit the case connection it needed to fit. This of course renders the fan ineligible for a replacement by Newegg (a risk I understood from the outset). It's too bad. The fan had great promise. But while $10 isn't a huge amount of money to gamble (and little enough that's it's debatable how many rounds of RMA it'd be worth going through anyway), it's enough that I doubt I'll be trying any Fractal Designs products for a while.

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Manufacturer Response:
Dear Customer, Please excuse the delay. We are only now able to reply to Newegg reviews. We're sorry to hear that your 50mm fan is not working properly. Please submit a ticket to our Technical Support Team at support.fractal-design.com and we can get you a replacment 50mm fan sent out for you. Best Regards, Fractal Design Support
Overpriced (at the moment)3/31/2014 11:26:28 AM

Pros: Nice display, excellent battery life, decent performance. (developer support: Windows ADB drivers are included with the tablet)

Cons: No 5Ghz wifi support, no multiple user account support. (developer support: the presence of Windows ADB drivers is not documented; it takes some web searching to discover that they are exposed via the "CD-ROM" storage mode for the USB connection).

Overall Review: When I bought this, I was able to take advanage of a (temporarily) reduced price, as well as an extra instant-rebate. Net cost to me was $200, which I think is a good price for this tablet. At the current near-$300, there are much better choices available. Lenovo advertises Jelly Bean's multiple user account support on their web site, and of course advertises this device as using Jelly Bean, but they have inexplicibly disabled that Jelly Bean feature on this device! The tablet has 802.11n support, but only on 2.4Ghz networks. It does not work on a 5Ghz-only network! IMHO this is inexcusable for a tablet advertised as supporting 802.11n. Yes, it's within spec, but the advertised specifications should specifically state it's 2.4Ghz-only. The battery life is excellent, as one would imagine in a tablet with a long tube running down one side where a large (9000mAh) battery can live. The kickstand feature is useful, but the tradeoff is that the tablet simply can't lie flat, ever, which is a bit awkward at times. This device definitely compares favorably to other Android devices I've used. But I still prefer my Microsoft Surface RT: it has a nicer display, better wifi support, the "touch" cover is a great way to combine protection and keyboard in a single feature, and of course the full Windows experience complete with multiple user accounts (a critical feature for devices used in a household and shared by its members). But naturally, you pay more for all that. If you can get this unit at $200, I think you will be very satisfied with the value for the money. Otherwise, look closely at the competitors at higher price points, where you may find a more competent tablet for the price.

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Verified Owner
Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
Great little speaker9/7/2009 10:23:39 AM

Pros: Clear sound, good bass response for the size (even without bi-amp hookups). I disagree that a sub-woofer is mandatory equipment with these speakers. I wouldn't use these as front-channel for a home theater anyway (where you might want more bass), and for basic living room use these actually do a pretty good job of filling the room with quality sound. A good sub-woofer can always improve things, but to say that one _has_ to have one with these speakers isn't a good characterization of them.

Cons: Only has single-input binding posts, in spite of what the photo shows.

Overall Review: Buyer beware: while the product photo shows dual-input binding posts, to allow for "bi-amp" use (i.e. separate input for tweeter and woofer), the speakers delivered have only single-input binding posts. Because the product manual that came with the speakers I got actually described dual inputs, Polk was obviously at least partly to blame so I contacted them. I learned that Polk has changed the design, because apparently a lot of customers didn't understand the dual-input design (I guess they couldn't be bothered to read the manual). Unfortunately, in spite of being alerted of the problem, NewEgg has failed to update the product picture. I was able to get Polk to swap the cabinet and cross-over to support dual inputs, but I would be surprised if they will do the same for everyone. I was, however, left with an excellent impression of Polk's customer service! So, two thumbs way up for Polk's customer service. As has sadly been the case lately, poor marks for NewEgg's responsivene

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Good thing in a tiny package9/2/2009 11:42:42 PM

Pros: The overall volume of the case, relative to what you can fit inside it, is impressive. Something like 15% smaller than many other cases with comparable features (number of drive bays, power-supply space, etc.) Nice styling. Plenty of USB ports on the front. The angle-mounted fan over the card slots is a stroke of genius in terms of keeping the case compact without sacrificing cooling. Probably the best thing though is the excellent step-by-step instruction sheet for mounting everything. Space is so cramped inside (whaddya expect?) that installing everything in just the right order is critical, and even then there may be some head-scratching when running cables, depending on exactly what MB, etc. you're putting in. The instruction sheet is well-written and makes things go MUCH more smoothly.

Cons: The case is still pretty long, to make up for the nice compact nearly-square cross-section. If this is for a HTPC, measure first to make sure it'll fit (keep in mind clearance for cables out the back!) I agree that the lack of HD audio on the front panel is a bit disappointing. But it's probably not that big of a deal. I'm a little tired of cases and various drives (HDD and optical) not coming with all the necessary screws for mounting. I ought to be swimming in screws, 'cause both should include them, but instead I'm always running short. Duh.

Overall Review: I really like the way this case looks. Mirrored-finish frames for the drive bays and front i/o panel "class it up", as if the case didn't already look nice. I love the idea of modding the drive bay cover to hide an optical drive, but the truth is that the shiny black finish on the LG Blu-ray drive I put in there actually looks halfway reasonable, even though it's not the same color as the silver case. Would've been nice if the HDD enclosure's fan was a controllable-speed fan, but it turns out the fan is so quiet, it probably doesn't matter. I can't hear it at all. I'm impressed that the stock fan in a case would be so good.

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Packs a punch9/2/2009 11:26:39 PM

Pros: ASUS quality, full-featured in a micro-ATX board, user-friendly.

Cons: 90-degree SATA ports are good for some people, but it'd be nice if it was an optional config. For example, instead of the whole 6-port unit soldered to the MB, a 90-degree adapter on top of a vertical-insertion gang of ports; leave the adapter plugged in for out-the-back use, pull it off for straight-in-from-above use. I could barely fit a 90-degree SATA cable on the MB plug, and there's no way a straight-plug SATA cable would fit for my case (the hard-drive enclosure sits just in front of that corner of the MB, w/ mm to spare). With this case, I can only use 3 of the 6 ports max. Also is the disconnect between the ASUS ProbeII software and the MB labeling. I have a bad DIMM (haven't had time to track it down yet), but can't tell which one it is without spending some time, because the ProbeII software, while it does tell me I've got an "unpopulated" DIMM slot, it names that slot "DIMM3" (numbered 0-5), while the MB itself is labeled as channels "A1, B1, C1, A2, B2, C2".

Overall Review: For other people, the current SATA port configuration would be just as critically important, because their video cards or other adapters would block the ports. So give us the choice! As far as the DIMM names goes, obviously there's a one-to-one mapping, but it's undocumented, so now I have to figure it out by trial and error. These two issues pale in comparison to the overall quality of the board, the ease of setup, and that's not even counting the "overclocking-light" features for those who want some more performance but don't have the patience or experience for doing it "old school". I especially love the numerous temp-controlled fan plugs, the "overclock-light" features, and the double-spaced PCIx slots to handle double-width SLI cards. And it's silly to even mention it, but the i/o port shield is really nice-looking! Fit-and-finish is top-notch all around. Nice to see ASUS is sticking with their tradition of quality.

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Solid performer, nice user features9/2/2009 10:20:53 PM

Pros: Zalman cooling, HDMI built-in (no DVI adapter needed), solid construction.

Cons: Not the absolute best price/performance ratio I got a pair of these for a living room PC. I knew going in that it wouldn't be super-quiet like a real HTPC, but I was a bit disappointed to find that this card forces the fan speed of the card in the first video slot to a higher speed. I assume that's to address the fact that a second card does somewhat block the airflow; but it would be nice if the fan speed didn't go up until video card temps actually rise. I suspect for a lot of non-gaming use, temps would be fine and the card would definitely be quieter (the second card is practically silent, so at least it' s not adding to the noise :) ). That said, even with the fan speed bumped up for that card, it's only a little bit loud, not really badly loud.

Overall Review: I really like the video quality (duh, HDMI), and the performance is quite good (though, I'm so far behind on my games, most of them can't really tax even one of these cards anyway, never mind an SLI pair). One of the biggest reasons I went with this card was the built-in HDMI port though. I couldn't find any other nVidia card at a similar price and performance that didn't require an adapter to use HDMI. I only have so much depth to work with in the cabinet where the PC sits, so not having extra stuff sticking out the back of the computer is critical (as it is, it barely fits without sticking out the front). After getting the cards, I was very impressed with basic quality factors. Gigabyte seems to pay a lot of attention to the little things. Heck, even the fan speed thing is arguably a _quality_ feature, even though I find it a little annoying. And I love the little touches, like the plastic port covers to protect unused ports on the card.

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Another winner from Antec9/2/2009 9:57:59 PM

Pros: Semi-modular cables, extremely quiet fan, solid construction, lots of cabling options, "Bronze" efficiency rating.

Cons: Semi-modular cables. I mean, really...it's nice to have some cables modular, but I still have spare cables in the case that aren't being used.

Overall Review: I don't like living on the edge, and would never intentionally push a power supply close to, never mind past, its rating. I'm maxing this one out at about 400W, and have been careful to spread the load across the rails. But I've never had to replace an Antec power supply, and I love how quiet they are. Even when things start to get a little warm, sure you can start to hear it, but it never gets offensive. :) Not that I didn't believe them, but my watt meter confirms PF of .99-1.0 during loaded operation.

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Verified Owner
Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
Good length, good weight9/2/2009 9:51:40 PM

Pros: Nice intermediate length cable. I didn't cut it open to see what the actual wire gauge is, but judging from the thickness of the cables, it's decent. Seems robustly made; much better than the anorexic third-party Xbox component cables I got (silly me, didn't bother to get component cables for my old Xbox when Microsoft was still making them). Though, admittedly...video quality seems about the same with either. But I still like these ones better. :)

Cons: Frankly, s-video is so much closer in quality to component than to composite, being able to go progressive scan versus the interlaced s-video isn't really _that_ noticeable an improvement.

Overall Review: I wish the Wii did higher resolutions. On the other hand, I found out after I got component cables for my Xbox that only certain games offer anything more than 480p anyway, and very few will do 1080p. I'm guessing the Wii would've been about the same even if it did; so kudos to Nintendo for realizing that and not confusing the consumer about what resolutions they'd get. :) These are great cables to get if you want to eke out that last smidgen of video quality from your Wii. Just don't expect too much.

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Verified Owner
Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
9/2/2009 9:44:34 PM

Pros: Lots of inputs. Nice audio processing. Decent UI. Front-panel inputs, including HDMI. Video conversion, lots of speaker outputs, second zone. Basically, nothing here that can't be found in other makes/models, but definitely seems like a healthy collection of features for the price.

Cons: Seems to be some overlap between HDMI and component inputs, with respect to input selection. I don't have enough of each to test to be sure, but you might not be able to use all of the HDMI and all of the component at the same time, if for no other reason than that there's no way to select which of each you want to use. There are a myriad of signal-processing options, with all sorts of rules about what processing you can use with what kind of inputs. Maybe that's typical of receivers, or at least those dealing with digital inputs, but I found it all very confusing. One particularly useful option, the "night mode" (compresses the dynamic range so that you can turn the volume down low and not bother other people, but still hear everything), is usable only with certain kinds of Dolby Digital input streams.

Overall Review: You can rename the inputs, but note that the panel display toggles between input name and user-customized name ("Display" button on the remote toggles). Unless you have it in user-customized name mode, you won't see the name you gave the input. The receiver does remember the mode, so you can just leave it in that mode and always see the user-configured name. All in all, I'm amazed at the quality and flexibility this receiver offers, given the price (especially with one of NewEgg's combo deals!). But there's gotta be some "above and beyond" to get five eggs from me. This is a good quality, competitive offering, but it doesn't have any sort of killer feature that would put it over the top. Maybe if it had s-video inputs, especially with upconversion, that would've done it. But, it doesn't. :(

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Stick to your guns9/2/2009 9:21:00 PM

Pros: Not too loud, decent speed, works. Completely quiet at video playback speeds.

Cons: Worst issue is that NewEgg has trouble understanding the difference between an "OEM" product and a "we kept everything but the drive" product. OEM products aren't inherently devoid of features like cables, manuals, and software. But I see from the other reviews that I'm not the only one who was sent a drive without all the stuff shown in the photos.

Overall Review: Fortunately, I did get sent the software and manual up-front. It took a lot of complaining and back and forth, but I finally got NewEgg to send the cable and power adapter they promised in the photos as well (ironically, I'm sure that NewEgg spent more on the arguing than they did on shipping the missing parts). I don't know why NewEgg is so "Jekyll and Hyde" when it comes to customer service -- seems like occasionally I get someone who wants to bend over backwards to help, and other times (like this) it's the classic tech customer support run-around -- but if you don't get everything you paid for, be sure to stand up for your rights.

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Verified Owner
Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
SMC knows industrial design? Wow!8/24/2006 9:33:04 PM

Pros: Wide variety of mounting options, powered, low-profile power plug, looks good.

Cons: No magnetic mount (this wouldn't have even occurred to me except for the first review, below...it seems to imply that the hub has a magnetic base, but it doesn't).

Overall Review: Frankly, I was not expecting such a well-thought-out design. The hub is made of plastic, but it's good-looking, high-density plastic, and everything fits together solidly (plugs, mount). I am especially impressed by the mounting options. The foot of the hub itself is removable, and the hub can be positioned horiz., vert. (either end up), or even attached to another hub of the same model (so that you can stack a bunch of daisy-chained hubs together). The foot also has two holes for mounting with screws or bolts. In a serendipitous turn of events, these holes line up *perfectly* with the holes (1.75" apart) in the vertical supports of my Ikea "JERKER" worktable, so the lack of a magnetic mount turns out to not be a big deal for me (I had thought I was going to just stick it to the metal supports...bolts are fine though). With the provided 4A power supply, I see no reason that the hub won't support a full 7 devices drawing the full 500mA per port allowed in the USB spec.

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Verified Owner
Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
Duh7/7/2006 12:11:12 AM

Pros: How could I not rate these a 5? They are exactly what they are supposed to be, they don't that much, and you can get a pack of 100 along with all the other junk you buy from NewEgg (and admit it...you buy a LOT of junk from them :) ).

Cons: I could come up with some ridiculous expectations here, but honestly...no real cons.

Overall Review: Tidy is good. Tidy shows you care. Get those cables lined up, out of the way, together, apart, whatever you need. You might need something longer in specific situations, but for basic housekeeping, 4" is plenty (takes care of a 1"+ bundle). Getting a big pack of them means you won't skimp.

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Pretty good, low price7/7/2006 12:06:24 AM

Pros: Low price. :) Swappable face-plate is nice for case-compatibility (aesthetically speaking). Decent specs. Does pretty much everything you'd want today.

Cons: It makes odd noises now and then, which seem to be normal operational sounds but which still make me wonder "what's it doing now?" It's also not as responsive as some other optical drives I've used: tray is slow (as has been mentioned), but also it takes awhile before the drive detects the disc and it shows up as valid media on the PC. Once it gets going, performance is just fine though.

Overall Review: Comes with the ubiquitous PowerDVD. Also comes with Nero as the burning software...personally, I prefer the Sonic programs that show up with other drives. The Nero software is getting better UI-wise, but it still shows plenty of signs of its old, murky user interface. You have to run a separate program just to allow non-admins to burn with the drive, and as near as I can tell, there's no setting to configure a default burn speed (handy when the drive can do 4X, but you've got a big stack of 2.4X media, for example). I just like Sonic's stuff better...if you like Nero, then this isn't a problem. :)

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Verified Owner
Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
Handy to have around7/6/2006 11:57:39 PM

Pros: Big display, easy UI, includes both watt and VA, and so of course also includes power factor. Tracks accumulated power usage as well (but only in kw-hr...as I understand it, in other countries electricity is billed on a VA-hour basis, and so unless you've got a device with constant power factor, this monitor won't help with accumulated usage in those countries).

Cons: Buttons are a little cheesy. On my unit, the button that's supposed to show line voltage often winds up selecting amps instead.

Overall Review: Beyond the basic quality of construction, ease-of-use stuff, if I had to design one of these things myself I would give it at least a short extension cord, or some kind of rechargeable battery (or perhaps both). Reading the thing while it's plugged into a wall is a pain, so when I'm using it I almost always have a short extension cord that I use it with. Maybe that's a lot to ask when the price is so low, but it'd still make things nicer. I don't have a clue about what the difference between an RMS readout and the basic wattage display is, but maybe if I did I'd miss that too. :)

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No surprises, that's a good thing7/6/2006 11:50:09 PM

Pros: Fast, quiet, good price/GB, SATA. What can I say? Drives are a bit of a commodity these days, but Hitachi is doing a good job.

Cons: None.

Overall Review: Of a half-dozen IBM/Hitachi drives I've bought, only one has failed. And that one failed because I'm an idiot and tore the gasket that seals the drive when I was putting it into the PC. Even with the torn gasket (which I didn't notice until after the drive failed) the drive ran fine for a couple of days.

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Intel is still in the game7/6/2006 11:46:19 PM

Pros: Hard to avoid stating the obvious here. :) Good speed, dual-core, big caches, reasonably low power consumption (but not Pentium-M low :( ).

Cons: The socket mount, at least on the AOpen i945Ga-PHS motherboard I put it in, is a little scary. Made a loud noise when clamped in. Nothing broke, and it's probably how they all sound, but it's not what you want to hear when installing a couple-hundred dollar part onto another hundred-dollar part. :)

Overall Review: I'd have to agree that the fan is loud, at "normal" RPM. However, I have found that even at relatively low RPM, the CPU stays within acceptable temperature range. It's rated up to 63C...I've configured my motherboard to keep it at 55C or lower, which the fan can do running only at 1100 rpm, which is plenty quiet (this is in a 70F room...if you're in Arizona without a/c, your mileage may vary). That said, not having a nicer heatsink/fan is why I can't give this (or any Intel product I've bought) a 5.

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So far, so good7/6/2006 11:36:19 PM

Pros: High wattage, rated power is continuous. Big, quiet fan (and it glows BLUE :) ). Active PFC. Wide variety of power connectors, including SATA and 20/24-pin ATX power connector.

Cons: No fan speed output. Modular cabling would be nice (but then, some people prefer soldered in, so this is pretty subjective).

Overall Review: The power supply comes with a wattage meter! It's kind of gimicky, and I admit it's a bit hard to read (the needle is very thin and could contrast better with the scale). But it fits perfectly in a 3.5" drive (e.g. floppy bay), and it is kind of fun to see the needle jump up when you fire up the heavy-duty 3D games, or video transcoding software. I didn't measure the efficiency in any sort of technically correct way, but by comparing the power output meter with my Seasonic plug-in power meter, it appears efficiency is good (around the claimed 80%) and the active PFC does keep the power factor right up there...always higher than 0.97, and often .99. Not that I'm clear on why, in the US where we pay by watt, not VA, you'd actually *care* about power factor. But I gather linear loads are better all around, so we'll go with that. :)

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Like buttah7/6/2006 11:27:30 PM

Pros: Heavy-duty construction. Quiet fan. Ample front-panel ports with one-piece plugs (except for the power/hdd/speaker/etc). Genuinely tool-free installation...all drives slide right in and lock in place without tools, and of course the case parts come apart without tools as well. Well, okay...you will probably need some kind of screw/nut-driver to mount the power-supply and motherboard. Still... Oh, and for the lowest drive bay, it's a side-mount drive bay.

Cons: The side-mount drive bay is nice, but this orientation limits the airflow from the front case fan. :( The front panel is primarily brushed aluminum, while drives generally have black or beige faceplates. Fortunately, black matches pretty well anyway, but if you aren't attracted by the aluminum look in the first place, this might be an issue. When I installed the motherboard, I found that it didn't quite line up with the main i/o frame at the rear of the case. I'm not actually sure whether the case was out of spec or the motherboard was; a little work with the i/o shield to trim off one end about 1mm, and everything fit (and like I said, it could've been the motherboard anyway).

Overall Review: I'm really impressed with this case. It looks nice, it has a high-quality fan, and has some really nice features. A couple of closing thoughts: 1) this case is available with a Cooler Master power supply...I asked Cooler Master what PS it is, and they told me it's their eXtreme 430W with Active PFC, so that case would be a pretty good choice too (but you may have to shop elsewhere to get it), and 2) one odd thing is that the case fan is lit with a blue LED, but you can *barely* detect any light from it through the vent holes in the front of the case...I'm not sure why they bothered.

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Unbelievably unreliable7/5/2006 10:20:29 PM

Pros: Cheap.

Cons: Doesn't work. Buying a pair as a single unit means even if one SIMM works, the PC is dead in the water until the RMA is completed. And that assumes that the RAM that comes back works. Which in my case, it did not.

Overall Review: I will never again buy a 2-SIMM pack of RAM. I will never buy Crucial again. I installed the originally-shipped RAM, only to find the PC was unstable. I was able to determine that just one of the SIMMs was actually causing the problem (PC ran fine with just the other one installed), but of course I had to send both back. When the replacement SIMMs showed up, I discovered that the PC is not stable with *either* of them singly. Underclocking the RAM controller to 533Mhz instead of the rated 667Mhz for the RAM allows the system to be stable, but of course I didn't pay for 667Mhz RAM just to underclock it. This is the worst experience I've ever had with RAM. Three our of four SIMMs defective right out of the box? Unbelieveable.

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You get what you pay for10/31/2005 4:43:28 PM

Comments: Unfortunately, since the router that was sent to me died after three days, I can't really recommend this product to anyone at all. However, under the assumption that most of the time, they keep working (that seems like a safe assumption, right? :) )... This is a good choice for someone on a budget who is trying to get a wireless network set up. Other than that, there are some significant issues that argue against using it. On the router side of things: this router has MAC-based filtering, but unfortunately it filters *every* connection, not just the wireless ones. To make matters worse, the firmware on the unit out of the box has a bug in it that causes the MAC filtering to not recognize even the valid MAC addresses entered in the configuration. When this happens, you have to reset the router to factory settings just to get back into the configuration, because it won't talk to any computer connected to it. Most wireless routers filter only the wireless connections, on the assumption that if you plugged the computer in yourself, it's allowed to talk to the router. Another issue with the router is that it has a special "gaming" mode, which they recommend should NOT be turned on most of the time. I don't really know what it does, and unfortunately, the documentation doesn't explain it either. I do know I needed to turn it on to get my online games to work. I don't like having settings that I need to turn on, which are recommended to be turned off, and the purpose of which are not explained by the manufacturer. Finally, I ran into an issue with the router with a laptop with Windows XP installed, but without Service Pack 2. According to the D-Link support knowledgebase, when using WPA encryption the router uses some sort of authentication protocol that Windows XP (without SP2) misinterprets as a security attack, causing it to reset the adapter. The symptom is that the wireless link toggles from on to off and back on again, about once a second, making it unusable. Granted, this is actually a bug in Windows, not the router. But other routers with WPA do not expose this bug. Don't get this router if you intend to use WPA with a Windows XP laptop that does not have SP2 installed. On the notebook adapter side of things, the main problem was poor performance. In this location, I don't get very good wireless performance in the first place. A 108 Mbps setup gets about 20 Mbps. A 54 Mbps setup gets about 15 Mbps. But the D-Link adapter was giving me only 10 Mbps. Again, if all you care about is getting the network connected, this isn't really a problem...but if you want the best performance out of your wireless card, the speed tests I did don't bode well for this product. Bottom line: for the price, I'm not sure you can beat this package. But you are definitely getting what you pay for, and no more.

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