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Chris M.

Chris M.

Joined on 02/12/09

Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 20
Most Favorable Review

Faster Than I expected It To Be

WD Blue 3D NAND 1TB Internal SSD - SATA III 6Gb/s 2.5"/7mm Solid State Drive - WDS100T2B0A
WD Blue 3D NAND 1TB Internal SSD - SATA III 6Gb/s 2.5"/7mm Solid State Drive - WDS100T2B0A

Pros: I bought this to clone my 4 year old hard drive. Over the years, it has been my experience that hard drive failures are the most common issue. I chose this SATA III drive over a M.2 NVMe drive because I wasn't sure if my ASUS H97M-E motherboard would boot without reformatting. This drive is much faster than my Seagate hard drive. The boot sequence is probably 4 times faster and everything else responds much quicker. Changing drives improved the computers performance better than doubling the RAM would have. Having said that, if I was going to do a new build, I would have chosen a M.2 NVMe drive because they use 4 PCI lanes instead of 1 SATA lane. But, for a retro-fit application this was well worth it.

Cons: My motherboard recognized the drive immediately. However, Windows 7 did not. This was not the fault of the SSD.

Overall Review: If you are looking to painlessly upgrade and add some longevity to your computer, this is about as straight forward as it gets.

Most Critical Review

Quality Control Was Asleep When This Came Down The Line

Rosewill FBM-02 - Dual-Fan Micro ATX Mini Tower Computer Case
Rosewill FBM-02 - Dual-Fan Micro ATX Mini Tower Computer Case

Pros: This is a relatively sturdy inexpensive case. The directions are good and the front panel cables are long enough to reach the far end of the box. There are plenty of screws for everything except the power supply.

Cons: The front panel is terrible. It has a piece of the chrome trim missing on the left side. The opening in the front panel for the optical drive is off center and too large. Because it is a gloss finish, it shows fingerprints and doesn't match the matte finish on any optical drives.

Overall Review: The metal parts of the case are all fine. I was expecting break out panels at this price level. But I don't know why the bothered to put one in the optical drive bay, since the bay above it was already open to accommodate the front panel wiring. I have purchased many Rosewill products over the years and this is the only one that has been a disappointment.

Playing Nice

ASUS H97M-E/CSM LGA 1150 Intel H97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
ASUS H97M-E/CSM LGA 1150 Intel H97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: I bought this board instead of other similar priced boards because my last 2 builds were ASUS boards. This has all of the latest interfaces and runs the latest Haswell chips. The M-2 port is unique in this price range. The new GUI interface is a noticeable improvement. The instruction booklet was straightforward for the assembly portion, but a little hard to read for the BIOS portion. The most important part was that, when I turned it on the first time, everything was recognized and worked. The one real surprise came when I ran a nice little utility program called Core Temp. Even though I set the board for automatic settings, the board has my I5-4690K running at 4.2GHZ.

Cons: There are only 4 SATA ports. There is no ESATA port, but I was able to buy an ESATA plate and set the port to allow hot swap. This arrived at my door in a jiffy bag instead of a box. I was surprised that it survived the shipping gorillas.

Overall Review: This is replacing my 6 year old ASUS M3N78-EM / AMD 9600 build. The old motherboard has an on board ESATA port. The new build is: ASUS H97M-E/CSM Intel Core i5-4690K Kingston KHX1600C9D3P1K2/8G Seagate ST310005N1A1AS SeaSonic SSR-360GP Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO StarTech ESATAPLATE1 Everything is playing nice together.

Great Board For A Basic Build

MSI B85M-E45 LGA 1150 Intel B85 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
MSI B85M-E45 LGA 1150 Intel B85 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: This board works fine for my wife's new computer. She didn't need anything fancy. She does do some heavy duty spreadsheet work on it, but other than that, it's a web surfing box. The Bios is a breeze to set up as long as you don't have a burning desire to overclock the chip or the memory. There are 4 memory slots, 4 SATA III connectors, 2 SATA II connectors, 2 case fan connectors and a PCI 3.0 slot. I have built numerous computers over the years using MSI boards and they have all performed flawlessly for years.

Cons: There is some bloatware on the enclosed DVD.

Overall Review: This build used a I-5 4590 chip, 8 GB G.SKILL Ripjaws (2 x 4GB) F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL, a Seagate Desktop HDD ST1000DM003, an ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS optical drive and a SeaSonic SSR-360GP power supply in a Rosewill FBM-02 case, with Windows 7.

It does the job

Rosewill RX-358 V2 SLV - Silver, 3.5" SATA to USB & eSATA External Enclosure with Internal 80 mm Fan
Rosewill RX-358 V2 SLV - Silver, 3.5" SATA to USB & eSATA External Enclosure with Internal 80 mm Fan

Pros: The construction of this seems fairly sturdy. This comes with both an ESATA and USB 2.0 connectors as well as a full height SATA plate to slide into your computer case. The fan enables you to use this under load for hours on end as needed. It will hold up to a 2TB drive.

Cons: There are no feet. One of the 2 LED's on mine does not light up when I am copying a file off of it. The hard drive will automatically go into sleep mode after 15 minutes of inactivity. Windows 7 will then hang up when logging out.

Overall Review: The transfer rate over any USB is relatively slow. That is not a knock on this product, just an observation about the speed of USB ports. The ESATA port is very fast. 25 GIG files transfer in less than 6 minutes.

It Is Effective

SilverStone Argon Series AR06 Rifle Bearing CPU Cooler with 92mm Fan for Socket LGA1155/1156/1150, AM2/AM3/FM1/FM2
SilverStone Argon Series AR06 Rifle Bearing CPU Cooler with 92mm Fan for Socket LGA1155/1156/1150, AM2/AM3/FM1/FM2

Pros: This CPU cooler is an effective low profile unit that fit comfortably in my Silverstone ML03 case. It's relatively quiet, but nowhere near silent. It is cooling an Intel 4590 chip that idles at 35 C.

Cons: You will need access to the back of your motherboard to install the backing plate. It wasn't as easy to install as the Cooler Master Evo 212 in my other computer.

Overall Review: I am using this to cool an Intel 4590 Haswell chip in an HTPC application. Haswell chips are notorious for running hot. When I recode video using NERO the processor maxes out at 80 C while running all 4 cores at 90 % for hours at a time. I also have two 80 mm case fans blowing air onto the processor from the side of the case. While that temperature seems high, the chips design parameters max out at 100 C.