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Jeremiah C.

Jeremiah C.

Joined on 04/03/08

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 35
Most Favorable Review

Solid little laptop

Lenovo - 15.6" - Intel Core i5 4th Gen 4200H (2.80GHz) - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M - 8GB DDR3L - 1TB HDD 8 GB SSD - Windows 8.1 64-Bit - Gaming Laptop (Y50 (59418222) )
Lenovo - 15.6" - Intel Core i5 4th Gen 4200H (2.80GHz) - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M - 8GB DDR3L - 1TB HDD 8 GB SSD - Windows 8.1 64-Bit - Gaming Laptop (Y50 (59418222) )

Pros: Sleek design, zippy gaming, loads of space, hybrid drive, and decent sound. I didn't realize how thin this laptop was until I pulled it out of the box. It's really thin and sleek. That said, it still seems like a durable design. The screen hinges are stout, and the overall quality feels real solid, which is impressive given how thin it is. It is also very easy to open up for upgrades. 7 screws and 4 hidden clips, and you have access to the ENTIRE computer. Innovative and effective cooling. No optical drive! - yes, I consider this a pro. The only time I used the optical drive on my previous laptop was to accidentally eject it, then push it back in.

Cons: Windows 8. It's for tablets, not computers. Many have cited the screen as being a con, and I cannot disagree, but it's not as terrible as some make it seem. Yes, it's best viewed straight on, so it's bad for multiple viewers, but from the optimal angle, it's a good picture. Fingerprint city. If you want it to always look pristine, keep some wipes nearby. It's still sexy, even with the fingerprints, though.

Overall Review: I immediately replaced the 1TB hybrid drive with a solid state, and downgraded (read: upgraded) to Windows 7. I've been very happy with the performance of this laptop, especially given I got the dual-core model. Most games run quite well on medium-high settings. I also do a lot of LAMP development, and C# development. Jetbrains and Microsoft IDE's are both very crisp and responsive on this machine. NOTE: For those of you having issues with video drivers upon re-install of the operating system, you MUST install the Intel HD Graphics 4600 driver BEFORE the nVidia 860m driver. Also, the nVidia 3DVision driver component at the time of this writing is faulty and causes blue-screens whenever Chrome runs Adobe Flash (which is all the time). It probably has other issues as well, so opt for 'Custom Installation', and disclude the 3DVision driver when installing the nVidia drivers. My overall feeling of this laptop is that I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a good machine in this price range. It multitasks well, and games well. Newegg rocks. The end.

11/20/2014
Most Critical Review

I now have a useless card and a broken RMA process

GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1050 OC Low Profile 2GB Video Card, GBTGV-N1050OC-2GL
GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1050 OC Low Profile 2GB Video Card, GBTGV-N1050OC-2GL

Pros: Performs as expected when it's working

Cons: Stopped working correctly, and the RMA process has failed me.

Overall Review: The screen would blank briefly after the computer being on for a while, with greater frequency the longer the computer was running. Tried different monitor, same problem. Put card in different computer, same problem. I put another IDENTICAL Gigabyte 1050 card in this same computer, and the problem goes away. Put this card back in, and the problem resumes. This card is bad. Managed to get approved for RMA, and I appreciated the paid postage. I received an email from the service center (GRMA_ADMIN@gigabyte.com) after they had received it, informing me the card is fine and is being returned to me. So I responded to the email trying to add any additional details on the problem in order to help them reproduce the problem. Maybe they weren't using a 4K. Maybe they weren't letting it run long enough, etc. The email bounced immediately (address not found). There was another email address listed in their email (services@gigabyte-usa.com), so I attempted to send my message to that address. Bounced again after 10 minutes (domain not found). Today the card reappeared on my doorstep, and is worthless to me. I don't know if I should attempt the RMA process again or what. It's one of two identical Gigabyte products I own, and while I'm happy with the product's performance, they're risky on account of the non-thorough RMA testing process and the black hole that is their email addresses. I'd recommend going with a company that has a proven RMA track record.

Good desktop board for Ubuntu

GIGABYTE G1 Gaming GA-Z97N-Gaming 5 LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard
GIGABYTE G1 Gaming GA-Z97N-Gaming 5 LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard

Pros: All the on-board hardware is supported out of the box with the 3.13 kernel on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. This includes the LAN, WiFi, Bluetooth, sound, USB 3.0, everything. It all worked on first boot. With the i7-4790K and a Sandisk Ultra SSD, this is one of the fastest booting Linux machines I've seen. From the post screen to the desktop login is ~3 seconds, and some of that is probably the monitor switching modes.

Cons: Some extra fluff that maybe I didn't need to pay for? X-Fi MB3 is a non-factor, as is the APP Center, and LED lit motherboard traces are a gimmick. Red glow is leaking out of my case in weird patterns.

Overall Review: While I'm a long time user of linux as a server platform, this build marks the first time I run Ubuntu as a main desktop/development machine, with a little gaming on the side. I'm very pleased with this board and how effortlessly it runs Ubuntu. Borderlands 2 and the Pre Sequel, as well as Bioshock Infinite run flawlessly on highest settings in 1080P. Skyrim looks gorgeous under Wine at 4K. GIGABYTE GA-Z97N-Gaming 5 i7-4790K Quad-Core 4.0GHz 16GB G.Skill Trident X PC 2400 Asus GeForce GTX 960 2GB Sandisk Ultra 2 120GB SSD WD Black 1TB HDD EVGA Hadron case

Replacing Immediately

ICY DOCK MB975SP-B Tray-less 5 Bay 3.5" SATA Hard Drive Hot Swap Backplane Cage in 3x External 5.25" Bay
ICY DOCK MB975SP-B Tray-less 5 Bay 3.5" SATA Hard Drive Hot Swap Backplane Cage in 3x External 5.25" Bay

Pros: Trayless, and you don't need all three SATA power connectors connected for all the drives to power up. Ask me how I know.

Cons: The doors are cheap and flimsy. The latches are lousy. There's no indication that they've latched until you stop pressing and they stay in or not. Drives have to be pressed in hard to get them to connect with the backplane. Due to the eject system, the drive is only seated when the door closes, so it involves pressing much harder than seems safe on the flimsy doors. I'm using WD Red drives. The drives bind sometimes when installing, but it's real easy to tell this is happening before you need to press them in. The buttons for powering off the drives are EXTREMELY cheap, and poorly positioned. One of the buttons was faulty out of the box. Only playing around with it for a while was I able to make it go. This is a problem if you're swapping drives on a running machine. Also, their location and operation make it likely that some cases will not work with the buttons. They're on the outside edge of the front of the enclosure, and I'd wager that on some cases they would get stuck when being depressed. Bad chassis material. I'm always very careful about how much torque I apply when mounting things in computers. However, it took no effort to strip out the screw holes using the included screws. Also, it was painted/powdercoated after the holes were tapped, making it difficult to start the screws.

Overall Review: I've had nothing but disappointment with this drive cage. Reading other reviews I went into it carefully, expecting lowish quality, but they cut too many corners for me to recommend it to anybody. 2 eggs, because I got it mostly to work for now. Barely. I broke one of the power connectors when installing it in my case (Athena Power RM-DD3U36E708). Power plugs needed to be plugged in before it could be mounted in that case. All 5 bays still work with just the two plugged in. Totally my fault, and it ruins my chances of a refund. Bah. I'm buying a different (non-trayless) enclosure instead, and this one is going in the garbage the moment it arrives.

Unreliable and broken

TP-LINK TL-WA901ND Wireless N300 Access Point, 300Mbps, Multifunction, Multiple SSID
TP-LINK TL-WA901ND Wireless N300 Access Point, 300Mbps, Multifunction, Multiple SSID

Pros: Easy setup, VLAN support, multiple SSID's, great range, POE. Most everything we were looking for.

Cons: Repeater/Range extender only handles 1 SSID, so don't buy two thinking you'll be able to extend all the SSIDs from the master. Unreliable and unpredictable wireless behavior. Constantly needing to be reset, with a high hardware failure rate.

Overall Review: We bought a number of these, hoping to provide both a secured and an unsecured inexpensive wireless network to our church building. Setup was easy, but we were a little annoyed by the fact that when in repeater mode, it would only do one SSID. Not a big deal, they're inexpensive, we can get more. The first one failed after a short time with all manner of unpredictable wireless behavior. Sometimes it pretended it was WEP security, even though the configurator said otherwise, and it had to be restarted often. We re-flashed the ROM a couple times, and re-loaded our settings a couple times, each time with only temporary success. Clearly the first one we installed had gone faulty, so since we bought a pile of them, we simply replaced that with a second one. That worked for a while, then started exhibiting other issues. The third one failed as well after a short time. Another annoying thing is the apparent incompatibility with certain other hardware. Apple devices seem to have speed issues when connected to these AP's, as well as some other various manufacturers. This was the case from the get-go with all three of these that we had installed. Not once did we see acceptable speeds on a certain set of hardware (Apple, primarily) when connected to these access points. Normally I don't give 1 Egg on hardware failures, because there's always the chance I got a lemon. That's not the case here. We've had terrible luck with 4 of these devices, so I can say confidently, "Buyer Beware". We'll be returning all of them, and going with another manufacturer.

11/25/2014

Yup. Heat.

AMD FX-9590 - FX-9000 Series Vishera 8-Core 4.7 GHz Socket AM3+ 220W Desktop Processor - Black Edition - FD9590FHHKWOF
AMD FX-9590 - FX-9000 Series Vishera 8-Core 4.7 GHz Socket AM3+ 220W Desktop Processor - Black Edition - FD9590FHHKWOF

Pros: Obscenely fast, of course.

Cons: Heat. Not big surprise.

Overall Review: I hoped to get by on air cooling initially, but that was a serious no-go. I had a monstrous air cooler and a case that moves a ton of air. It wasn't near enough to last 45 seconds on OCCT. The rate of temperature increase was still at a steep incline when it hit 75C and locked up. Replaced the air cooling and case with the H100i and the CoolerMaster HAF XB EVO, and everything is nicely under control. Temps don't creep above mid 50s, even under extreme load. Coupled with a 780GTX, and not a single game stutters below 60FPS on any setting. Newegg rocks. The end.