Date Joined: 05/13/08
Pros: Excellent recent reliability history of the company.
Cons: High cost.
Quite slow compared to Seagate's ST3000DM001 3TB 7200RPM drive.
Very warm to the touch compared to the Seagate:
No benchmarks out there (currently)
Overall Review: I think there is a reason that HGST didn't send these drives out for benchmark reviews.
I bought this drive to use a parity drive for an unRAID server. Here are the preclear numbers vs the Seagate:
Pre Read: 111MB/s vs 130MB/s
Zeroing: 125MB/s vs 159MB/s
Post Read: 59MB/s vs 88MB/s
The Post Read is done with a lot of interspersed random block reads and is a very good indicator of comparative seek speed. 33% slower is not very good.
I have 3yr-old drives in the array that perform better than this "new" HGST model.
Pros: Essentially silent at idle
Very, very quiet at load
Faster than a R9 270X
Very low idle power (entire i7-4770K 4.4GHz PC idles at 52W total input).
Cons: This card's fan design doesn't vent much air out the back of the case. You must have a well ventilated case to use this card.
It is flimsy. If you plan to move your case around a lot (e.g. take it to LAN parties) then you'll surely want to reinforce it. The end sags about 1/2"
Rebate process is tricky. Definitely designed to make you screw up so that they can keep their $30.
Overall Review: I bought this card because I wanted a quiet, if not silent, PC capable of running the newest games at 1080p. This card did not disappoint.
Pros: Can be made to be very, very quiet if fine tuned
Pump has no lame LED's on it
Made by the same company who makes pretty much all the all-in-one water coolers
Pump and Fans hold their settings. Can uninstall control software after getting things set they way you want them.
If properly tuned, I believe that this unit has the quietest fan and pumps out of all the all-in-one coolers.
Cons: Both pump and fans are quite noisy if you leave everything on default settings.
Overall Review: Build Components
Thermaltake Extreme 3.0 Water
Cooler Master N200 Mini-Tower Case
PowerColor HD 7950 Boost (with large quiet dual-fans)
The waterblock must be mounted with the hoses coming out the bottom. I tried mounting with them at the top and it made a lot of racket. As far as I can tell, the radiator can be mounted any way you want.
The waterblock and the 2 radiator fans all run off a single 3-pin motherboard fan header. In order to get silent operation, I used the following settings:
Motheboard CPU fan PWM (running the pump)
80C 90% (above 80C the pump will run 100%)
Radiator Fans (determined by water temps and controlled by Thermaltake software):
43C 75% (never happens in my build)
45C 100% (never happens in my build)
Keep in mind that the radiator fans run off of the PWM’d CPU fan. So 25% on the radiator fans is really only about 16% because it is being fed by a 65% PWM running the pump and so forth.
4.4GHz overclock (all cores at 4.4GHz, stock voltage) CPU temps are 24-28C idle (speed-steps down to 800MHz), 50-58C under typical gaming load, and 80-82C under heavy burn test (Aida64, Prime95, etc.).
With the fans mounting on the inside and pulling cool outside air through the radiator at the front of the case, this setup is essentially silent from 18 inches away under normal operation and still very quiet under heavy load. Under all but the heaviest of loads, this system is much quieter than both the Noctual NH-D14 and Phanteks PH-TC14PE systems that I have build in the past.
Pros: Smallest tower-type case that is made to fit a 120x240mm water radiator internally.
Will fit a pair of even the longest video cards
Could easily fit 2 GTX Titans if you wanted
Uses full-size ATX power supply
Cons: Longer Blu-ray burners like the Pioneer BDR-208 will hit the top right screw on an ATX motherboard. If they would have made the case only 0.25" longer I wouldn't have had to leave this screw out and tape the side of the drive so it wouldn't short components it touched on the motherboard.
Included 120mm fans (2 total) are a bit "rattley" at 12V
White power button LED is way too bright, had to turn it off.
Overall Review: Build Components
PowerColor HD7950 Boost
Thermaltake Extreme 3.0 Water
2x4GB GSKILL DDR3
Kingston 256MB SSD
No 3.5” drives (bay removal was very easy)
My goal was a silent, moderately overclocked bedroom gaming computer. I had to PWM the two included 120mm Cooler Master fans down to 7V to keep them silent. In my opinion, if the ear can hear them in a normal home from more than 12 inches away, then they aren’t silent. Front fan was relocated to the side of the case to aid in blowing air onto the MB. The mounting location isn’t very well suited to this though. It mostly blows on the video card. The radiator was mounted with the fans on the inside, in a pull configuration.
It took some fine tuning of especially the Termaltake cooling pump/fans to get them to spin up at the proper temps, but I now have a stable, and silent, 24/7 at 4.4GHz overclock at stock voltages (speed-step still enabled). Under typical 3D gaming (about 110-160 watts depending on the game) the system is silent. So far, only the burn-in tools (Aida64, Prime95, etc.) load down the system enough to cause the fans to kick on. Maximum temps inside case never exceed 45C, even at the heaviest CPU+GPU loads (about 305W total) after hours and hours of running.
Pros: Very stable and fast. I run a 24/7 overclock at 4.65GHz at stock voltages.
About 2.5X faster at 4.65GHz than my I7-920 was at 3.6GHz.
X79 platform with a lot of life left in it. Intel will likely release an compatible 8-core Ivy-bridge variant of a similar clock speed in the next 8-12 months.
Cons: Windows rates it 7.8 even when overclocked to 4.65GHz. According to Microsoft it is the slowest item in my system. Everything else scores a 7.9.
Overall Review: My processor actually easily hit 5GHz for running benchmarks. However, I use my PC for income and it must be totally stable and I don't like exceeding 80C or 1.35V. I had to lower the clock all they way down to 4.65GHz before It finally survived my 48-hour torture test.
Pros: Plugged and played in 64-bit Windows Vista.
Didn't even have to open the driver disk.
Able to max out my internet connection as if I was on wires. 25Mbps and 5ms ping.
Has no problems with Windows suspend/resume.
Cons: The base is kind of tiny and the unit is very tipsy. A small magnet in the base would have been a big plus
Overall Review: It just works. I really can't complain.
Pros: I run 4 sticks of this at 1.5V at 2000MHz in my Asus X79 Deluxe. It works great.
Overall Review: Glad I didn't wast money buying a "quad channel" kit.
Pros: Truly delivers 600W. Will deliver 700W if you ask it to.
Has over-current protection, so if you draw too much power it just shuts off (won't go up in smoke like most other low-cost PSUs).
Truly silent. I can't hear the fan running at all. If I couldn't see it spinning I'd think it was broken.
Overall Review: I just build a new PC consisting of the following:
Asus X79 Deluxe motherboard
i7-3820 overclocked 24/7 to 4.65GHz
16MB Muskin 2133MHz DDR3
Zotac GTX 680
Plextor M3pro 256MB SSD
Dual Seagate 2TB drives (in RAID1)
and... this Silent Pro M600
Average idle power: 120W
Typical load power: 280W
Peak power: 380W
Unless you KNOW you will be running SLI/Crossfire there is no reason to buy any more power than what this supply will give you. PSUs are easy to replace, so if you decide you need SLI/Crossfire later on you can always upgrade.
Pros: Great board. Easily overclocked my i7-3820 to 4.65GHz at stock voltages and has no problem running my two pairs of dual channel RAM at 2000MHz.
Cons: No IEEE 1394 when lesser boards of the same series have it???
Bios load times now take longer than windows load times with an SSD. No joke!
Overall Review: Everything works great on my board. I was very worried buying this board due to the mediocre reviews, but everything on my board works great. I'd buy this board again.
Pros: Extremely fast. 7.9 windows rating.
Best garbage collection of any prosumer SSD.
Very reputable manufacturer that has always been a notch above the competition in quality.
On my Asus X79 deluxe it takes longer to get through the bios than it does to boot Windows 7.
Cons: None whatsoever.
Overall Review: 90% of SSD performance and reliability relates directly to the quality of the firmware on the drive. For each performance tier, All manufacturers pay about the same for the NAND chips and controller. Paying a few extra dollars for the most optimized firmware is worth every penny.
Pros: I purchased 2 of these to use in a RAID 1 as my data drive on a CAD workstation. I use them in to supplement my expensive SSD boot drive and they work great. Large file transfers are in the range of 200MB/s. These are the fastest drives I've used thus far.
Cons: These should only cost half as much as they do. Dang floods!
Overall Review: I've learned to never trust any hard drive. I've found that no matter what "grade" I buy they always suddenly fail. Hard drives should always and only be used in redundant arrays.
Pros: Low cost and runs my i7-2600k at 4.3GHz 24/7 stable. Does everything hoped for. I doubt a $400 board would run my processor any faster.
Cons: Board ships with a BIOS version that isn't even listed on ASUS's website. It refused to recognize all 4 sticks (4x2GB Mushkin 1600 6-8-6-24) of RAM and behaved very oddly until after I updated the BIOS.
Overall Review: I ordered at the stroke of midnight when intel released the new i7-2600k processors. Going by the "standard" of most websites out there, this board will overclock pretty much any K series processor to 4.8GHz+ with ease (mine runs at over 5.1 GHz long enough to boot into windows and run benchmarks for a few minutes). If I only used this PC for games I'd have it set at about 4.8GHz and take a crash every day or two. However, I use it for heavy CAD work and unless I get 24 hours of Prime95 followed by another 24 hours of LinPack without a single error, I don't consider my system stable enough to make money.
Pros: Keeps my core i7-2600K at about 60C-63C under full Prime95 load at 4.3GHz for hours and hours. It literally makes no difference in temp between full speed on the fans and with the resistor cables in. Under normal CAD workloads temps are always in the 30's or 40's.
Cons: Very large. Barely fit over my RAM one way and hit my graphics card the other way.
Overall Review: I'll bet if you didn't overclock you could run fan-less with this thing.
Pros: Setup literally took 5 minutes. No more phone bills as long as Ooma is in business. Highest quality of any VoIP I've used to date.
Very good Quality of Service in the Router. The QoS is only active during the call. Otherwise it gets completely out of the way and allows my full 30M/10M download upload speeds. The Omma hub has a very fast processor for a router (475MHz) and doesn't choke when I'm downloading torrents and making a call.
My wife loves the scout for checking voicemail. It's far more convenient than having to dial-in to check for messages.
Cons: Ooma is not yet breaking even, so there is some risk you might not get a decent return on your investment. Ooma's business model is similar to when Tivo started where they plan to make most of their revenue off of recurring hardware sales from users upgrading every couple of years.
Overall Review: I run a Linksys WRT54GL running Tomato. I Ended up putting the Ooma hub betweent my cable modem and the Router. This works far better than using Tomato for QoS because it greatly handicaps my Comcast cable modems PowerBoost speeds.
Ooma's QoS default setting is 384k upload. This should be adjusted up or down to whatever your sustained upload throughput is so you can maintain good call quality, but not overly handicap your upload speeds.
Pros: Great card. Mine shipped with a full version of FarCry2--I wasn't expecting that. I like they way it vents its heat out the back of the case.
Very stable. I was continually having problems with my ATI 3850 drivers freaking out and Vista having to "recover". This hasn't happened yet with the latest Nvidia drivers.
Cons: The fan is by far the loudest one in my system when it revs up, but my guess is that this is the case with any video card over $200.
This card is humongous. I had to relocate my hard drive and pull off the fan cowling on my Antec 900 case in order to fit it in.
Overall Review: Just a special thanks to ATI for lowering Nvidia's pricing. Keep it up and I'll have to buy another GTX 260 for SLI in a few months. I love this thing.
Pros: Runs my 920 at 3.6GHz without even bumping up the voltage. All I had to do was increase BCLK. 3.7GHz Blue-screens after 4 hours of Prime95 though.
Turning off the prochot and the cpu thermal monitor as well as Bumping off Vcore up to 1.375V (max spec) gets me to 4.0GHz Stable, but the much higher power draw and core temps are not worth the speed right now for me (maybe in a couple years though).
The ability to save different bios setups and recall them is handy. The bios reset switch on the back of the case is a nice touch.
Ships with the current F3 firmware.
Plenty of USB and SATA ports. Vista found the ICH10 RAID without needing a floppy driver.
Cons: Northbridge and voltage regulators are designed to be cooled by a stock Intel CPU fan as air is blown a way from the processor. If you use an aftermarket behemoth heatsink, like I did, you have to add another fan to cool these components. Who buys an "overclocking" motherboard and uses stock cpu heatsinks???
SATA ports point off the edge of the board, making them hard to plug in when the board is installed in a case (Antec 900).
Front audio port is a bit noisy. The rear one is squeaky clean though.
Will not resume from S3 sleep mode, even with no overclock. The power supply comes on and the fans fire up, but no OS. S1 sleep mode, for what it is worth, works well even overclocked.
Price is bit steep.
Overall Review: System components: Core i7 920, Noctua NU-12P SE1366 heatsink, Antec 900, GA-EX58-UD5, 6GB GSkill F3-12800CL9T-6GBNQ 1600DDR3, EVGA GTX 260+, PC Power S75QB 750W power supply, Vista 64 Ultimate, Samsung SH-S223Q DVD, 2xSamsung F1 HD103UJ 1TB in RAID 1. All from Newegg, except my heatsink--Newegg didn't have any real LGA1366 heatsinks when I ordered my system:(
Pros: My processor overclocked to 3.2GHz by doing absolutely nothing besides turning up BCLK to 160MHz. Never tried the stock heatsink, but with a Noctua NU-12P SE1366 My cores run at 32C idle and 55C in Prime95 at 2.67GHz. Temps when OC'd to 3.2GHz are exactly the same!
By turning Vcore up to 1.30V and BLCK up to 180MHz, 3.6GHz is rock solid, but temps go up to 36C idle and 65C in Prime95.
This is all with the Turbo still enabled, so if you are running a heavy single-threaded app with the BCLK at 180MHz this part self-OC's to 3.8Ghz and runs at about 41C.
It would probably run faster, but I don't feel comfortable running a core beyond 70C and don't want to mess with water cooling or the fans necessary to air-cool.
At 1.30V Vcore and 180MHz BLCK, my machine gets Passmark scores of 2972 for the total system and 8262 for the CPU!
Cons: Going beyond 3.2GHz, the system blue-screens during prime95 if unless you increase Vcore. Beyond 3.6GHz, because of the Vcores required, power consumption goes up really fast and the power-performance ratio really isn't worth it for me.
Price of my tower came to $1500 without a monitor.
Overall Review: This was an upgraded on my home PC from an Athlon XP Barton 2800+ (overclocked 2500+) so my exuberance might be out of perspective for some of you. However, my work PC's and laptop are all Dell Core 2 Duo's and are still really sluggish compared to this beast.
System components: Antec 900, GA-EX58-UD5, 6GB GSkill F3-12800CL9T-6GBNQ 1600DDR3, EVGA GTX 260+, PC Power S75QB 750W power supply, Vista 64 Ultimate, Samsung SH-S223Q DVD, 2xSamsung F1 HD103UJ 1TB in RAID 1. All from Newegg, except my heatsink--Newegg didn't have any real LGA1366 heatsinks :(
Pros: Low cost. Small size. Fairly decent photo printing. No heads to clog up. Equal quality to inkjet printers when printing on regular paper.
This prints far better photos than both the Kyocera and Okidata color lasers I have at work and blows the prints I've seen from the old CLP-300 completely out of the water.
I didn't buy this expecting to print photos, but I am now planning to use it for holiday letters and such.
Cons: Buying the four replacement toners, even on sale, cost more than the printer. But I am now setup for about 2K hassle free color pages at a cost of about $0.11 per page, including the printer!
The photo's print good, but the image still looks a bit washed out, even on glossy color laser paper. If you want to frame a picture on the wall you'll still want an inkjet (or far better yet, just go to Costco's photo shop).
Yes, it does smell like one of the PCB's inside the printer smoke has gone up in smoke.
Overall Review: I’d been looking for a color printer for a while when I came across this one. I only use a printer at home once or twice a week and I was continually fighting clogged heads and dried up cartridges. For the past while I’d given up completely on color and just used my trusty monochrome laser. But, I really missed having color. This week I came across the CLP-315 and found that I could buy it, PLUS 4 replacement cartridges, for about the same cost of a "quality" printer. I am pleasantly surprised at the quality. If I knew I could have spent twice this much and gotten this kind of quality out of a color laser I would have gladly done it long ago.
Online reviews made me believe that this printer runs the paper across the drum 4 times, once for each color. But, I don’t think this is the case. When it runs, it sounds more like the drum is imaged 4 times and then the papers is passed over the drum, picking up all 4 colors at once.
Pros: HD 3850 GPU in an AGP slot! Who woulda thought?
I ordered this card Tuesday morning and had it up and running 48 hours later (standard shipping). Newegg rocks. This card has a giant heatsink and a VERY quiet fan. As far as I can tell the GPU frequency throttling works flawlessly. Games that my Radeon X1300 would struggle with at 1024x768 and medium settings are smooth as silk with this card at 1600x1200 with max settings. With my 6800GT I could run at max settings but couldn't enable anti-aliasing withoug major slowdown. This card doesn't seem to care and 8X AA is beautiful!
I don't think you are going to run Crysis or anthing like that that on a setup like mine, but your 1+ year old games will become very playable at any resolution.
Cons: Only that my processor sucks. It's a bit laughable that I installed this card in my system (Barton 2800+ on Asus A7V8X-deluxe with 2 GB RAM) but I just couldn't handle a motherboard swap right now. I hate installing Windows along with all my other programs.
Overall Review: I use a 1920x1200 LCD. I had a 6800GT that died on me and I suffered with a second had Radeon X1300 for a month (if you have this card, my condolences).
I didn't have to do jack to get this 3850 to work on AGP. I just shut down my pc, yanked out the crummy X1300 (for which I already had the latest Catalyst drivers installed), popped this card in, and booted up. Vista recognized the "3800 series" card, loaded the drivers, and asked for a reboot. The catalyst control center works fine for me. I didn't have to download or "force" anything.
I've just finished 4 hours of Battlefield 2 at max settings (1600x1200, highest detail, 8X AA, etc) without so much as a hiccup. I just added another year of life to my computer by buying this card.