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Eric L.

Eric L.

Joined on 09/04/09

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 4
Most Favorable Review

Outstanding Sound Card

ASUS Xonar DX 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Express x1 Interface Sound Card
ASUS Xonar DX 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Express x1 Interface Sound Card

Pros: -Amazing quality of sound. -Completely silent, including the line-in port for mic and recording. -Handles any sample rate and 24bit resolution with no troubles. -Powerful drivers with lots of control (once you set them up properly). -Sounds great with 5.1 surround sound in games and HD movies -Partially takes load off of your CPU, especially for multi-channel sources. Using winamp, my CPU usage dropped from ~25-30% load during playback (for 24-bit 96k sample rate) to ~10-15%. I gained about 10fps in games (such as Arkham City) over motherboard audio. I didn't really understand what silence was until I got this card. Turning up the system volume to 100% yields no noise through headphones at all. Most people wont notice this, but I was really surprised at how crystal clear the audio is coming from this card rather than the motherboard audio.

Cons: -The driver software had problems the first two installations that I tried. For the installation that DID work, I used the CD that came with the card to install the older drivers, then updated from the ASUS website. -TO GET FRONT PANEL AUDIO WORKING, YOU HAVE TO SELECT "FP Headphones" IN THE ANALOG OUT FIELD. The card doesn't auto-detect when headphones are plugged in sadly, but it's not hard to get used to. Because I'm completely stupid, I had to figure this part out myself. If you can't get your headphones working, then double check you have this selected. -No color coding on the outputs on the back of the card. It has a cleaner look, but it's very hard to know for sure which output is which without looking at a diagram (especially when you're plugging in speakers in a dark room)

Overall Review: If you set up this card and some part of your audio experience isn't working, it's most likely user error and not a hardware error. I seriously haven't found a real flaw with the card itself, only with the driver software's confusing qualities. For recording, I can plug my guitar right into the front panel audio (with an adapter of course), and there is nearly no noise picked up in the process. I feel like my recording is studio-quality, especially when using the proper software. I don't have a 3.5mm microphone so I can't comment on the quality of VoiP or voice recording, though I would assume it is excellent as well.

excellent drive

Western Digital Black WD5002AALX 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive
Western Digital Black WD5002AALX 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive

Pros: very quiet, (relatively) inexpensive for a drive of this size. larger drives have a higher rate of failure, so i feel like this HD hits the sweet spot in all regards. i only have 3 case fans and i never hear this drive over the ambient sound of my computer

Cons: not an SSD, but the speed is right up there. itll be years before solid state drives are cheap enough at any appreciable volume, but for now this drive is rock solid

would be perfect with better software

Logitech MX 518 8 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB Wired Optical 1800 dpi Gaming Mouse
Logitech MX 518 8 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB Wired Optical 1800 dpi Gaming Mouse

Pros: if you're looking for a comfortable gaming mouse at an affordable price, look no further! i have decently large hands and the mouse is what i would classify as medium-large (only because there are mice out there that really are the size of bricks). the cord is decently long and is plastic coated, which eliminates problems of it getting caught on rough-edged desks. the scroll wheel is sturdy and all of the buttons are remappable and functional.

Cons: the setpoint software can be confusing if you arent very experienced in the world of mice. it took me a long time to find out the sweet spot for my settings, mainly because i had to look up the terms they used. also, the game auto-detection sucks, and you pretty much have to go into the settings and manually add the .exe locations for all of your games if you want the features to work correctly in game. if you forget to do this, one wrong press of a button will engage aero flip and tear you right out of your game.

Overall Review: although it takes some getting used to, the mouse is really great when you get it set up just right. for the price, i dont think this one can be beat, but if you paid a bit more i bet you could get a slightly more polished product and a better software interface. i dwell on the cons of products a lot, but if this mouse is in your top 3 picks, then buy it! you wont regret it!

Solid Laptop, Great Price

Acer Laptop Aspire AS7552G-6061 AMD Phenom II Quad-Core N950 (2.1GHz) 4GB Memory 500GB HDD ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 17.3" Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Acer Laptop Aspire AS7552G-6061 AMD Phenom II Quad-Core N950 (2.1GHz) 4GB Memory 500GB HDD ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 17.3" Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Pros: Quad core processor - It really feels impossible to push this thing to the limit. Most programs as of 2010 don't even take advantage of the full 4 cores, and when they do start programming for quad core processors this laptop will be ablt to handle it. Dedicated Graphics - World of Warcraft runs consistently 60+ FPS on ultra (with the updated graphics engine for cataclysm). Aside from WoW, so far I have played Source titles such has Half Life 2, Portal and (the newer) Left 4 Dead 2. All of these games run at a cool 60+ fps in most settings, the lowest the card has gone was 35 fps with an insane number of zombies on the screen and the whole room on fire. Build Quality - This laptop is solid, the screen is great and the keyboard (while an odd chiclet style) is actually pretty quiet and ergonomic. You feel like youre getting a laptop worth $1k+ The laptop runs quiet and cool, and battery life (at lowest brightness) is about 2 hours, plenty for the occasional couch hangout

Cons: I wish there were USB ports on the back of the computer instead of the right side, which is pretty much where the mouse goes for most users. It's not the end of the world for people who use a wireless mouse, but for connecting backup drives it can be a hassle. The only other complaint has to be the 5400RPM drive, I will be buying a 7200RPM or a SSD soon in order to get maximum performance.

Overall Review: This laptop has a second hard drive bay! This could either mean an internal back up HD, or an SSD for booting/games and the 5400RPM drive for storage. I believe you have to purchase a hard drive cage to fill up the slot though, so be sure that the HD you purchase comes with one and isnt just a bare drive.

12/12/2010