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Colin H.

Colin H.

Joined on 01/10/06

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 14
Most Favorable Review

Excellent MicroATX Case

Thermaltake VF1000BWS Black Aluminum Front Panel/ SECC Chassis Micro ATX Desktop Computer Case
Thermaltake VF1000BWS Black Aluminum Front Panel/ SECC Chassis Micro ATX Desktop Computer Case

Pros: The best best MicroATX case out there, barring the Fragbox and QMicra (of course, they're far more expensive). Plenty of room for an 8800 GTX if you remove the hard drive cage (one screw and it's out). Wonderful build quality (heavy), and the modular design makes things so very easy to work on. Accepts full-sized PSU's, but you're definitely going to want to get a modular one (like the Kingwins)

Cons: The thermal performance could be better. It's not bad, but I'd argue that the Microfly might have slightly better peformance in this area. Wish the CPU was directly below the PSU (make sure you get one with a fan on the bottom).

Overall Review: Make sure you buy an extra 60mm fan, and mount it in the available opening, which is adjacent to the PSU. The manual itself mentions this, and, believe me, it makes all the difference in the world.

Most Critical Review

Avoid XFX!

XFX Radeon HD 6850 1GB GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity HD-685X-ZNFR
XFX Radeon HD 6850 1GB GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity HD-685X-ZNFR

Pros: Box and packaging were nice. AMD is cool enough to do a nice Shogun and Deus Ex promotional offer with Radeon cards.

Cons: How do you know a company's QA department isn't functioning? Well, let's see: how about when you go to install your shiny new video card and the very first thing you see are flashing white pixels and various other discolorations on the screen. And we're talking within seconds of booting up. And did I mention that the plastic shroud itself was loose? Not in a "got damaged in shipping" sort of way, but in a "I just won't bother to tighten this screw" sort of way. Real classy! Seriously, how can a card so blatantly defective go unnoticed by XFX's QA? I can answer that for you: they're not paying attention. Hey, XFX, with so many competitors out there, do you really think its wise for stuff like this to slip through the cracks? Oh, mistakes happen, I know. But a blatantly overheating card not caught before it was packaged and shipped?! Amateur hour, indeed.

Overall Review: So much for my mail-in-rebate, I guess. Now that I have to RMA the card (and pay the shipping out of my own pocket), I will most likely miss the window of opportunity to even apply for the rebate. Oh, and if you're buying this card because of the offer for Dirt 3 - just go ahead and forget that. XFX is, apparently, out of game keys, or they're having difficulties with their website which makes redeeming the game ridiculously challenging. Get ready to open up support tickets to plead your case with whoever works your claim. This is my first experience with XFX and hopefully my last. I'm requesting a replacement, but that's only because I redeemed Shogun 2 and Deus Ex HR, and I would be charged for both items if I just requested the money back. Very frustrated by this situation; I have never seen such poor execution on the part of a company before. I understand defects, but this...I mean, how can you not notice a video card that overheats at the Windows login screen? Really?

Watch out: 120hz 4k HDR via HDMI might not work because of QA issues

MSI Gaming (MSI) GeForce RTX 4090 24GB GDDR6X PCI Express 4.0 Video Card RTX 4090 GAMING TRIO 24G
MSI Gaming (MSI) GeForce RTX 4090 24GB GDDR6X PCI Express 4.0 Video Card RTX 4090 GAMING TRIO 24G

Pros: The item looks nice and is packaged well.

Cons: I game on a Samsung S95B and an LG C2. I couldn't get 4k HDR 120hz to work on either TV using 5 (!) different high speed HDMI cables rated for 8K. The S95B and C2 are two of the best gaming TVs on the market. The issue isn't with them; it's with a defective RTX 4090 from MSI.

Overall Review: Really unhappy with MSI. There's clearly a defective HDMI port on this unit and the fact it passed QA tells me all I need to know. Meanwhile, the card I removed (3090 Master from Gigabyte) from my system worked flawlessly. A whole lot of working installing this thing and cable managing the stupid power adapter all for nothing. I can't even begin to describe how frustrating it is to snag one of these cards...only to find out that it's defective.

10/18/2022

Don't trust XFX when it comes to rebates or customer service

XFX Radeon R9 390X 8GB GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 CrossFireX Support Video Card R9-390X-8256
XFX Radeon R9 390X 8GB GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 CrossFireX Support Video Card R9-390X-8256

Pros: -R9 390x is a great performer, and looks to be even better in DX12 thanks to async compute. -Fans and back plate make for a premium looking card.

Cons: -NewEgg and XFX were offering a $30.00 mail-in rebate for this card. -Despite fulfilling the requirements for the rebate to the "t", my rebate was rejected because their processing department said their was a bar code/UPC mismatch. -There are two possibilities here: 1) NewEgg sent the wrong product 2) XFX messed up. -Regardless of what happened, I'm out $30.00 and XFX seems to care little. -From my experience, it seems very unlikely that NewEgg made the mistake.

Overall Review: -I simply recommend XFX, especially because their customer service/rebates seem to be highly suspect. -R9 390x is a great card, but I would recommend another brand, such as ASUS.

Good Product

ARRIS SBG6580 SURFboard Wireless Cable Modem Gateway
ARRIS SBG6580 SURFboard Wireless Cable Modem Gateway

Pros: Blazing fast Docsis 3.0 performance Incredible download and upload speeds (much faster than my old modem - SB5120) Very good router range (my laptop is 40+ feet away and the connection is excellent).

Cons: Router menu is not very good when compared to what Dlink and Netgear offer; don't get me wrong, the router is very good (at least, it has been to me) but the actual menu is not very well designed and has its fair share of quirks.

Overall Review: I have not experienced any of the problems other users here have with this product, with one caveat: the multiple tab issue referenced by a few other users. Basically, if you have multiple tabs open, you might experience some sluggish speeds. With that said, I can't really recreate the issue all the time, so I'm wondering if an updated firmware will resolve the problem.

Best SFF Case?

SILVERSTONE Black Aluminum front door and plastic front panel, 0.8mm SECC body Grandia Series GD06B ATX Media Center / HTPC Case
SILVERSTONE Black Aluminum front door and plastic front panel, 0.8mm SECC body Grandia Series GD06B ATX Media Center / HTPC Case

Pros: USB 3.0 Can easily house a Radeon 6970 with room to spare Easy HD installation, with support for SSD. Three 120mm fans Lockable bay door. Very small! Ships with adjustable fans Excellent cooling. Classy design

Cons: USB 3.0 cable is way too long. Requires a PSU that has short depth Can't use large CPU coolers. Installation is tricky, as it is with all SFF cases.

Overall Review: This is easily one of the best, if not the best, SFF cases on the market. Silverstone has really done a heckuva job. The case is so small, but it allows the prospective gamer to install even a Radeon 6970. Once you see how small this case is, you'll realize just how remarkable the design is. My Antec NSK2480 only allows me to use a 9.75 inch video card, but the GD06, which is much smaller, allows for a much more robust video card. Just an outstanding case overall.