Joined on 10/03/01
Great cooling, monster size
Pros: Cools like everyone else says. Plus if you research comparison tests, this Zalman is always one of the top rated. Installed on a eVGA 680i motherboard with a Intel E6420 Core-Duo 2.13GHz processor. Then I overclocked to 3.3GHz with no problem at all. ;) Use Artic Silver 5 (not cheap/generic thermal grease) on the CPU before you press the Zalman down, a MUST for the lowest temps! My temps are usually in the mid-30s even after 1+ hours of hard core gaming (COH, BF2142, FEAR, etc.). The unit itself looks very cool with the green LED fan, make sure to get a case with a window!
Cons: Wow, it is huge and heavy. The install booklet instructions are not very good. Plus they have directions for both Intel and AMD CPUs right next to each other so it is a bit confusing (plus there is hardware for both types of CPUs in the box). Then when I installed it for my 775 Intel core-duo CPU on a eVGA 680i motherboard I was holding my breath....as I pushed the middle clip down across the heatsink to screw it into the MB it seemed so high up & far to go to get it secure...I was thinking 'man, I hope this is not putting to much pressure on the CPU'...then I heard a crack sound and was hoping it was not the chip...it wasn't, so everything was OK, whew! I guess it takes a good amount of pressure & tension to hold the cooler onto the CPU. Plus remember that
Overall Review: I was almost going to give this 4 stars because of the instructions & installation, but that is not really fair. The thing is huge & you just need to be careful. When installing take your time and do not force anything. Use the black plastic 4 hole square bracket - it goes underneath the MB to give the cooler extra support. When you screw in one end of the 'see-saw' clip that goes across the middle of the heatsink, do not tighten it totally, just halfway. Then gently, but firmly push the other end down with a screwdriver inserted into the screw to the 'screw-hole' on the MB....pay attention and focus so it does not slip off the driver. Screw it in and then tighten the other side all the way & you are done. Last thing...I installed this to the CPU & motherboard OUTSIDE of my case & then put everything in and attached the MB to the case. You may want to do it with the MB already inside (make sure to put the black bracket below first if you do), for me it was more room outside on a table.
Buggy Install, Gameplay is Fun
Pros: OK so the game is pretty cool. I played the Open Beta last week (10/4 - 7) so I had an idea of what to expect. I installed it last night, but as I was trying to install, it gives me an error message (see Cons)! Ended up finally getting in a MP server. A lot of fun, but I could only play for an hour. Good graphics and the FPS seem to be higher than BFBC2 with my same hardware (two old 8800GTs DDR3 in SLI)....and I run in max 1920 x 1200 res on a 26" monitor, with some details turned down to medium (and shadows to low, HABO off). To me this plays more like a "lite" shooter, not too hard, but still a bit of variety and good action. Closer to CoD4 (and maybe MW2, but I never played that) than BFBC2 - which is still my choice for best war shooter ever.
Cons: Trying to install with "Online Authentication" caused a read error every time....it says the install can't access a DLL file, but if you look on the Disc it is there. I searched online & all the forums said it is a Secure ROM issue & you need to disable (or uninstall in extreme cases) all your Anti-virus, etc. I did that....but "online Authentication" still didn't work. When I switched to "Disc Authentication" it worked fine.
Overall Review: DON'T skip the integrated Punkbuster install....even if you already have Punkbuster installed for other games. I accidently did that & I could not join Servers online. Even trying to manually run the PB install from the MOH disc didn't work! It just did not install the PB folder where it was supposed to. I had to uninstall the entire game & re-install. IMO this release is a MESS....what a crazy way to try to get a game to simply work....UGH, EA clean up your act.
Unique product that mostly works
Pros: @Kirzania - Is your tray icon green, or red? Go to their new website (steelseries.com) and open a trouble ticket. My Zboard stopped working in Vista after some windows updates. They emailed me a Fix (.exe) file that I ran & it got it working perfectly again. I use it for BFBC2 with the Battlefield 2 keyset. Great idea. Individual keysets for different games is a cool concept, custom graphics and designs are a nice touch. Easy to use and to remove & swap keysets (very cool design - the keysets fold into 3 sections and sit is a small square for storage, then you put one end into the board base & unfold the whole thing across the base, then clip the other end into the base unit, takes about 10 sec. to do. Keys are easy to find and you can customize each one if you want to change the function. Makes playing FPS and other games a LOT easier.
Cons: I am on my second (or third?) base unit. They simply go bad after a while. Plus the base is NOT cheap at $50 for each one. Keysets are $20 or a bit more for each one.
Overall Review: No PC component lasts forever, especially ones you use a lot. If you go in knowing that you may have to buy another one (or send back under warranty) after a year or two, then the benefits outweigh the negatives. Steel Series (used to be Ideazon) makes another board, called the MERC, it may be an option for some people. It has a similar key layout, but does not require swapping out keysets, it is just permanent keys.
Pros: Handy to charge Blackberry Bold 9000 and not have to touch the cord. Saves wear on the plug port on the phone. Nice design, BB logo on front. Thin light bar on top to show you it is getting power. I bought 2, one for home & one for work. Really great when you play music (or vids) with the phone, because it charges as it plays & that is a real battery drainer.
Cons: Not a really perfect fit. The phone does sit in the cradle, but it does not 'click' in or feel that secure. If you move it it will wiggle side to side and there have been a few times when it was not touching the contacts completely & so it did not charge. The real problem is that if you are using it for 'Bedside Mode' once you put it in the cradle you have to press the buttons on the phone. This causes the phone to move around very slightly. Once it is actually in bedside mode, there is no lightning bolt or symbol that shows you it is indeed charging (same display as the clock mode, all black screen with the clock and date). Even if you put in in Bedside Mode first, before sitting phone into Pod, the same problem exists. The fact that when the clock display kicks in you just can not visually verify that the phone is charging, oh well.
Overall Review: Remember that this is ONLY the cradle, you must have an existing BB wall charger to plug into the back of this unit. Since I bought 2, I had to also buy a second wall charger (AMZN) so that I could keep a pod plugged in at two different locations. If you do not want to buy an extra wall charger & you have more that 1 pod, you will have to unplug wall charger and take it with you to other pod.
perfect for HTPC
Pros: Needed a HDCP ready card for a HTPC that I have dedicated to my 46" LCD TV. I have a Blue-Ray / HD DVD drive and it plays movies perfect with this card. Also fits easily in a Micro ATX case. I use a DVI-HDMI cable to run this straight to a Sony 7.1 audio receiver (3 HDMI inputs), then I run my audio from the Creative soundcard optical out to the receiver optical in. The receiver then goes HDMI out to my TV, and I get surround sound from the PC using the 46" as a monitor.
Cons: Price could have been lower with all the new cards out, but overall a good value.
Overall Review: With a wireless keyboard/mouse and I can sit back on my couch and surf the net or whatever. Took a bit of configuring to make everything work (had to re-map the audio input on the receiver so the HDMI did not interfere with it).
Pros: Nice flexibliity. You can put the base flat on a table or mount on a wall which I was going to do. Then I noticed the magnets on the bottom of the base. I have a floor lamp next to my router and thought, why not try it....I stuck the antenns to the lamp...WHAM! Those magnets are POWERFUL, it holds so strongly that I have a hard time pulling it off....lol. Antenna can swivel and tilt, good feature. Install took 30 sec, just unscrew old antenna and screw in the cable of the new one (adapter included for routers that need it).
Cons: Cord could be a few feet longer, not an issue for me, but may be for some. Just make sure you can keep it close to existing router. Color (grey with black cable) stands out a lot if you mount it on a white wall, too bad it does not also come in white.
Overall Review: I have Verizon FiOS with an Actiontech router, this antenna works great and will boost the signal for my wife's laptop on the upper floors of the house.