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Matthew H.

Matthew H.

Joined on 12/29/06

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 7
Most Favorable Review

Works well, no surprises

Gigabyte Ultra Durable 4 Classic GA-E350N WIN8 Desktop Motherboard - AMD A45 Chipset
Gigabyte Ultra Durable 4 Classic GA-E350N WIN8 Desktop Motherboard - AMD A45 Chipset

Pros: It just works. Fast boot, connectors are mostly well-laid-out for mini-ITX cases. It does the job I wanted it for, which was to run xbmcbuntu and let me watch Breaking Bad without Breaking the Bank.

Cons: These are all low-priority issues for me, but I'll put them here anyway: - CPU is not meant to be upgradable. - CPU isn't really overclockable. Granted, I didn't try all that hard, but the few options in the BIOS didn't seem to do much. - It's a little underpowered for certain things. 1080p/30fps video files will occasionally peg both cores, resulting in a few dropped frames. I have not tweaked the system much yet to try to fix this. - No frills on the board or in the box. You get a motherboard, two sata cables, a rear panel shield, a driver dvd, and a manual. That's it. Some of the nicer motherboards have some extras like jumper helpers, but this is a budget board. - PCI slot, not PCI-e. Fine if you can find something to put in it, but good luck with that. - No USB3. None of these were really surprising to me. I paid less than the cost of most of the AMD APUs for this board, and got pretty much what I expected.

Overall Review: This board will not dispense beer, make you a sandwich, or smite your enemies from afar. It will sit in a corner of your room and process whatever you throw at it in pretty decent time, and it'll do so on a very modest budget (both fiscally and watt-fully).

Most Critical Review

Good board, horrible tech support

ASUS X99-DELUXE LGA 2011-v3 Intel X99 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
ASUS X99-DELUXE LGA 2011-v3 Intel X99 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: The board mostly works, and when it does it flies. The bios is easy to understand, and provides enough options for an overclocker to go nuts. 8 DDR4 slots, m.2 support onboard (which I haven't tried), and many, many usb3 ports.

Cons: Asus support. Oh dear lord, Asus support. The board I received acts a little flaky (bios usb enumeration sometimes has garbage characters in it, sound starts to skip after the machine has been on for a while, usb devices need to be unplugged and replugged to work if they've been idle for a while). I started through the Asus RMA process, and I keep getting the runaround. Faxing the form in is useless, as they will ignore it and advise you to wait one more day or try re-submitting the form. I will be e-mailing in the form tonight (I'm glad I kept it and have a scanner, because they require a hand-written signature in several places and will not accept a computer drawn signature).

Overall Review: Asus, I'm very disappointed in your customer service. If you provide a fax option, make sure those actually get processed.

Not fit for purpose, only one dual-link DVI port

EVGA GeForce GT 610 1GB DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 Video Card 01G-P3-2616-KR
EVGA GeForce GT 610 1GB DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 Video Card 01G-P3-2616-KR

Pros: - cheap - no aux power required

Cons: - only one DVI port is dual link - max resolution of 1920x1200 on second (middle) DVI port

Overall Review: - had to contact EVGA support to verify that the middle DVI port is not dual-link. That information was fairly hard for the support rep to find. - Despite my conversation with EVGA, Newegg product support refuses to acknowledge that their description is wrong. Returned for full refund.

Works well under linux

ASUS Xonar U3 16-bit 48KHz USB Interface Sound Card
ASUS Xonar U3 16-bit 48KHz USB Interface Sound Card

Pros: Worked immediately when I plugged it into a Dell M3800 running Mint Linux. Had to select it as the output sound card, as one would expect in a machine with multiple sound cards. No drivers required, no command line stuff. It. Just. Worked.

Cons: The volume adjustment provided by linux goes from nothing to kinda-loud without any steps in between. I don't know if that's the device or linux, so I didn't deduct any eggs.

Died within 24 hours

WD Green WD30EZRX 3TB IntelliPower 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive
WD Green WD30EZRX 3TB IntelliPower 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive

Pros: Cheap, quiet 3 TB drive

Cons: Died within 24 hours, taking 800 GB of (thankfully backed up) data with it.

Overall Review: Yes, it's under warranty, but I'm out the cost of shipping both ways. Western Digital used to be quality, but after reading the other reviews here I think I'm going to have to switch brands.

Fragile and flaky

SIIG SC-SA0412-S1 2.5" & 3.5" Black SATA I/II USB 2.0 Dual Bay external docking station
SIIG SC-SA0412-S1 2.5" & 3.5" Black SATA I/II USB 2.0 Dual Bay external docking station

Pros: It looks like a toaster.

Cons: A toaster would have been more useful.

Overall Review: Purchased this device at a local electronics store for the purpose of plugging it into a linux server and swapping backup drives in and out. It worked exactly twice: once in the windows machine which I was using to test the device, and once in the linux server where it was to live. After that, it started throwing -71 and -62 errors in any linux machine, and windows just reported that the device was malfunctioning. Returning it for money back.

11/19/2009