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Sandor L.

Sandor L.

Joined on 07/29/01

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 11
Most Favorable Review

best box to reuse old laptop parts

Zotac ZBOX-HD-AD01 AMD Athlon Neo X2 L325 (1.5 GHz, dual-core) AMD 780E ATI Radeon HD 3200 Mini / Booksize Barebone System
Zotac ZBOX-HD-AD01 AMD Athlon Neo X2 L325 (1.5 GHz, dual-core) AMD 780E ATI Radeon HD 3200 Mini / Booksize Barebone System

Pros: - Neo L325 much faster than ATOM. - Opening the box is much easier than FoxConn. Very easy assembly. - Cooling and access to ports is much better designed than FoxConn, but see firmware issues. - Box feels more solid than FoxConn. - Video plays back perfectly even w/o GPU acceleration, but enabling that makes the CPU work less. (XBMC supports DXVA). Note that I don't use wifi, it is connected to a ethernet cable. Also note that I haven't tried HD playback. - eSata, optical out, HDMI. - sips very little electricity.

Cons: - 1 DIMM slot. - BIOS lacks option to disable wake-up on keyboard/mouse events. - when returning from sleep the fan is at full speed and can not be quieted. I believe this is a BIOS issue too. - Drop-in HDD holder is easy to install, but is not very stable. I would have preferred good old fashioned screws. - Box is bigger, even if so slightly, than FoxConn. - More expensive than FoxConn design (but much better!). - somewhat overpriced. - ATI video is not supported by XBMC under Linux, you have to run Win7. Would have been a great Linux media player if ATI had decent support. - This is just some laptop hardware w/o the screen/keyboard/dvd/memory/hdd/os. It should be cheaper. You can get a full laptop at $400 and that includes battery. Even a cheap, small battery works as an UPS.

Overall Review: - I use it with Win7 for general browsing and for playing back media running XBMC (also under win7); - I could not get 'sleep' to work as I'd like to, so the machine is on 24/7, but it only sips only 16W electricity even when running. - I have the HDMI output connected via a HDMI to DVI converter to a DVI KVM and drives a monitor at 1900x1200 just fine. - The package was not boxed in a cardboard box. VERY BAD, Newegg! - The package was not even taped and it was clearly opened by someone. This should have been sold as refurb, not as new! VERY BAD, Newegg! - The unit itself had all the original shrink-wrap, so it was probably not used, only opened. - This is pretty much the last gen of DDR2 mini boxes, so if you have some old DDR2 so-dimm at home, get it while you can. If you have laptop parts that you can use here or if you must have a mini-box, this is probably the best one (for now). But if you can use a little bigger machine you can get much more performance at around the same

Most Critical Review

not all 3.5" mounting holes are provided

Rosewill RX-C200 2.5" SSD / HDD Aluminum Mounting Kit for 3.5" Drive Bay
Rosewill RX-C200 2.5" SSD / HDD Aluminum Mounting Kit for 3.5" Drive Bay

Pros: Solid material; Probably even cools the SSD fine; SSD install looks correct;

Cons: Only 4 of the 10 standard 3.5" mounting holes are provided, so if your case wants to use something else, this will not work. (A 3.5" drive has 3 mounting holes on both sides and 4 more on the bottom. This contraption only has 2 mounting holes on the sides, none on the bottom, that is a total of 4. So unless your case / cage lets you install the drive with exactly those 4 holes, you are out of luck.)

Overall Review: This is like playing a game of chance. It might work, if your case uses those 4 holes, or not. Your chances of winning is less than 50%. Newegg (which owns Rosewill) should be ashamed for this product.

Froze up on me

ZyXEL GS1100-16 Unmanaged 16 Port Unmanaged Gigabit Rackmount Switch
ZyXEL GS1100-16 Unmanaged 16 Port Unmanaged Gigabit Rackmount Switch

Pros: Cheap, Fast, Metal case, Quiet, no powerbrick (internal PSU), rack mountable (if you care), fast uplinks (if you need it). It is measurably faster than the 5 yrs old Rosewill Gbit switch it replaced (about 10% faster).

Cons: It froze up on me. After a few weeks one day I found I could not reach anything from anywhere. Eventually I found the switch was hanging, had to power cycle. This NEVER happened to me before with any switch. I run a simple home network, nothing major. No serious load, some video streaming from home server. Bummer.

Overall Review: I REALLY wanted to like this switch, but reliability is KING when it comes to dumb home switches, so beware. YMMV.

Good, not great

XIGMATEK LOKI SD963 92mm HYPRO Bearing CPU Cooler bracket included dual fan push pull compatible LGA1150 Haswell Compatible
XIGMATEK LOKI SD963 92mm HYPRO Bearing CPU Cooler bracket included dual fan push pull compatible LGA1150 Haswell Compatible

Pros: - all screw based mechanics, no push pins, buttons, etc. This is more solid and stable IMHO. (But requires access to back of MB.) - very light, does not bend the MB - still comes with back plate so screws press on that, not MB - not crazily expensive (even at full price) (I paid $25) - quiet - does not block memory slots (unlike freezer 7 pro) - does not require extra large (wide) case (unlike most 120mm coolers, but look at COOLER MASTER GeminII S524 for something novel) - cools better than factory default cooler

Cons: - one of the nuts was mis-threaded. Got replacement from local HW store (for free!) - manufacturer does not have support. Their contact people did not bother responding to my e-mails. - you will never see your rebate - a bit too expensive, again, rebates are not paid out - does not cool as well as something twice the size and price

Overall Review: - even with the rebate not paid, this is not an expensive cooler. - this is not meant for hard-core overclockers, but it sure performs better than the factory cooler and so is good enough for most of us. - if you don't mind using push-pins, Cooler-Master (i.e. hyper 910) is cheaper (after rebate, which they actually pay out).

incorrect holes make it a pain

Rosewill RX-C200P 2.5" SSD / HDD Plastic Mounting Kit for 3.5" Drive Bay
Rosewill RX-C200P 2.5" SSD / HDD Plastic Mounting Kit for 3.5" Drive Bay

Pros: Cheap; Plastic, so you can drill your own holes, if you need them right;

Cons: The side mount holes to put it into the 3.5" bay are slightly off, meaning you have to drill, at least extend them, if your case has exact mounting holes;

Overall Review: This is a piece of cheap plastic that should be sold at $2 with free shipping. To make matters worst, the tooling in the Chinese factory was off a bit creating mounting holes that are incorrect. Shame on Newegg (which owns Rosewill) to sell this junk.

Good basic card with PWM fan

ZOTAC GeForce GT 220 512MB DDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 Video Card ZT-20202-10L
ZOTAC GeForce GT 220 512MB DDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 Video Card ZT-20202-10L

Pros: The ONLY low end card with a PWM fan; Solid build quality; Does everything a basic card needs to do and more; Runs cool; Does not need any special power supply (this is a basic card, again); Distinct video card, so does not load memory bus like chipset or cpu build-in video (no UMA);

Cons: The fan is noisy even after the fan control slowed it down; Not a high performance piece (obviously); Rebate is a game of luck; Too expensive w/o the rebate; Card is slower in many operations than the i2500K build-in graphics;

Overall Review: Zotac had a specialty of making low end cards with 4 wire (pwm) fans that are controlled by the card bios. This is the last of that, even they switched to 2 wire constant speed buzzers in their newer (cheap) cards. Sadly, this fan is noisy even after the controller spun it down to a lower speed. Zotac rebate has a bad rap. I first went to register the card, but the SN was not accepted. Opened ticket with customer support, sent scanned of paperwork to them, got the card registered. THEN I logged the rebate on their website and sent the rebate paperwork by mail. I got my money in about 2 months, so at the end the card cost me $10. It does worth that much, but probably not more.