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Michael M.

Michael M.

Joined on 01/23/02

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 4
Most Favorable Review

Good value-- read tip below

MITSUMI Black 1.44MB 3.5" Internal USB 2.0 Internal USB 2.0 digital card reader with Floppy Drive Model FA404M BLK
MITSUMI Black 1.44MB 3.5" Internal USB 2.0 Internal USB 2.0 digital card reader with Floppy Drive Model FA404M BLK

Pros: It's inexpensive and works fine, and the mulitple card readers are a big selling point.

Cons: "hidden" issue with getting the card readers to work in XP SP2 (see below). Also, keeping the usb portion unplugged until all other drive letters were assigned during OS install was discovered too late (not a big deal to reassign in admin tools tho).

Overall Review: XP SP2 recognized the card readers as "removable drives", but it wouldn't see compact flash cards when inserted. After much searching around for a solution, this worked: Go into device manager and select USB controllers. Find USB mass storage device and choose "roll back driver". It should now work.

Most Critical Review

not bad, but space-limited

Thermaltake Black Aluminum / Steel Bach Media Lab VB8000BNS ATX Media Center / HTPC Case
Thermaltake Black Aluminum / Steel Bach Media Lab VB8000BNS ATX Media Center / HTPC Case

Pros: attractive, sturdy, decent price, right size for my a/v rack, supports full ATX

Cons: ventilation not very good, larger video cards won't fit, non-stock cpu coolers might be too tall (a Noctua NH-C12P barely fits in mine), does not include Thermaltake's A2331 VFD display, no power supply

Overall Review: This would be a great case for the PCs of about 5 years ago. This would not be a good case for a gaming rig because the fans (and inadequate venting holes) just don't move enough air. I bought high speed fans to replace the stock fans and this made an improvement, but made it a lot louder. Also, one of the removable drive bays (middle right in overhead view) is can't be used with standard ATX boards because the drives interfere with mobo connectors. The only choice for my raid 0 drives was the other 3-1/2" bay (attached to the underside of the lower span in the pic), and having this in place does not allow today's big graphics cards to be used. My system uses an HIS HD4670 video card, which is about 7-1/2", and any card longer than this won't fit in the case. Also, the front LEDs are like spotlights, I decided not to connect them to the mobo headers.

Not bad in Crossfire

HIS IceQ Radeon HD 5670 1GB GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 CrossFireX Support Video Card w/ Eyefinity H567Q1GD
HIS IceQ Radeon HD 5670 1GB GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 CrossFireX Support Video Card w/ Eyefinity H567Q1GD

Pros: Runs cool, and fairly quiet. Much shorter in length than almost all other 5600 series cards. HDMI output. 1GB RAM. DX11 ready.

Cons: Air intake for fan can be somewhat blocked by adjacent cards. No supplemental power connections, all power comes from PCI-E slot.

Overall Review: I wanted to upgrade my HTPC for better gaming, but I still wanted to use my Thermaltake Bach PC case, which is fairly space-limited for today's longer video cards. This card was an almost perfect solution. I bought two to use in CrossfireX, and I think in this config it's price/performance is (as of May '11) pretty reasonable for 1920x1080 gaming. Crysis needs to be dialed back a bit for smooth performance, (in-game, I run at the next resolution down from 1080, and I use the "Very High on the Cheap" settings from Tweakguides) but still the game looks great on my Panasonic PT-AE4000u projector connected to the PC via a DVDO iScan VP50 Pro video hub. Plays older games like Half-Life 2 butter-smooth with advanced deinterlacing modes enabled via CCC. I was surprised that the cards do not have supplemental power connectors and that all power comes from the bus interface. Also, I had to improvise to make sure one of the cards' fans got enough air for cooling.

ASUS VW198T 19" WSXGA+ 1680 x 1050 D-Sub, DVI-D Built-in Speakers LCD Monitor
ASUS VW198T 19" WSXGA+ 1680 x 1050 D-Sub, DVI-D Built-in Speakers LCD Monitor

Pros: The price, and resolution vs. size.

Cons: Picture is so-so, I wouldn't want to make it my primary monitor. No instructions regarding removal of the stand for wall mounting, this took some tinkering.