Date Joined: 01/16/09
Pros: Large screen, fairly small pixels, light as a feather.
Cons: You are more likely to obtain a piece of garbage when ordering this than a fully functional screen free of defects. Allow me to elaborate.
I got two of these so my wife and I could tandem compute like wizards once did. One of them was in decent shape (only the backlight was bleeding a bit on the edge - not enough to get in a fuss about and very easy to ignore). The other one had multiple warping defects on the screen, lots of stuck pixels, and some seriously obnoxious backlight bleed.
So I sent it back. And today I got another one with the same exact problems in different places on the screen (except this one is worse). I am so tired of sending this trash back. I get that it's refurbished, but that should mean it was either repurposed or repaired, not rejected by someone else, dusted off and sold to me in a way that makes me feel like a chump.
Overall Review: This might be an acceptable product to sell if the quality control wasn't nonexistent.
Pros: Small, has the ports I need, and seems to support the 95 watt TDP CPU I crammed into it very well. I got two of them for sticking in a 2U case and racking up into my fancy refridgeration unit, and they're not thoring too much heat into the tiny closed environemnt. A relief, as calculating for total TDP of all components is hard.
Cons: Has a buggy BIOS, as is highly typical of gigabyte boards. Do NOT boot it in BIOS mode if you want to properly detect devices. I've had problems with everything I put in the PCIe ports. Ended up booting via UEFI with iPXE after flashing my NICs and reconfiguring my DHCP server. What a pain.
Also, the onboard NIC is prone to signal reflections. DO NOT use short cable lengths with it. I couldn't get the interface to stay up and negotiate properly properly until a meter long, suggesting that they took out all of the backEMF protection in this production run (plus who knows what other noise reduction circuits).
Overall Review: While these problems had workarounds, this is a partially broken product.
Pros: These are good quality drives, perfect for a system that employs even SATA3 for an interface (as in most cases you can't hope to satisfy a 3 Gib/s SATA2 bus with mere spinning rust much less a 6 Gib/s). I ordered three. They are in service now, and running like champions.
Cons: These ARE refurbished drives. Of course they are, they're SATA2. However, they have obviously been checked for any physical problems based on what little SMART data I see on them. I also notice that the majority their SMART data has been wiped. I don't really like this, as it obfuscates the history of the drive. It's obvious that the drives have ~21000 running hours based on the last time a long test was run (a value which was not cleared, thankfully) but I find it to be a bit sneaky, as this is something one would do to make it seem like a new purchase rather than a refurb. This hypothesis would seem to be backed by the total lack of anything stating these drives are refurbs with some significant hours on them. (More than two YEARS)
If they were sold at a new price, I would be mad about that. Since it's a refurb price (though admittedly a high one), I don't really care. Just don't go thinking these are new and expect five years out of them. Bank on more like a year (which is when the warranty runs out anyways), or maybe two.
Overall Review: A one year warranty on refurbished drives is pretty swell.
Pros: The thing is rock solid. An armada of PCIeX16, x1 slots and SATA3 connections. Support for huge memory (I'm using 16gb now, a paltry sum for this board). Support for massive interconnect bandwidth. It is the backbone of my primary Xen server. The thing is SUPER reliable.
Cons: None so far.
Pros: Takes good scans, even for photos and artwork. Reasonable speed. Great quality for the money.
Cons: Lid doesn't want to close all the way. It's very light, and does not apply any pressure to the object being scanned, so it sometimes makes gradients if you don't do something about it. Mine is weiged down by a bible. First time I've found one of those useful.
Overall Review: If using Linux, you'll have to play with the brightness and contrast in something other than Simple Scan (SS won't change those settings). Scans will come out muddy and dark. Use xsane or something more powerful like that to compensate for this. Just save your settings for that device and you're done. I guess it's not really that different in work required than dodging Windows junk software in the install. Pick your poison.
Pros: Runs fast. Really, I'll never approach this thing's maximim capacity within it's lifetime. Seems solid.
Cons: If you connect a 100 mbps router to it, which most are, it will blink red. It's not really just that, but it has a really bright light. The others are pretty bright, too. Getting real sick of this whole super bright indicator light trend. Hope it dies some time soon.
Pros: Does what it says it does. No problems at all.
Pros: Thing has been performing admirably. I'm using it as a bonded interface for my Xen server at the home lab. rr-balance mode. Hasn't skipped a beat.
Cons: Doesn't have any logic of its own, so it hammers the CPU I/O. Then again, how many cards do, and for that matter, at this price? It's an eight core CPU. It'll live.
Pros: It has a solid copper base. None of that direct heatpipe contact garbage. This thing actually makes contact with the whole entire heatspreader on my CPU. Novel concept. Keeps my processor below 35 celcius even when compiling a kernel on all eight cores. Running an AMD FX-8350
Cons: None. It's tall, so watch out for skinny cases.
Pros: Large speed range, doesn't stop my fans at low power levels. Looks good with my case., aside from the fact that I now need to never look at my case for fear of my vision.
Cons: Hugely bright floodlight on the front. My dog glanced at it and is now blind. I collect its rays in a hot box to cook all of my meals. I don't need to turn on any other light in the house, and closing a door doesn't help. It shines straight through the walls, as if they are made from tissue paper. I put sunscreen on when I'm walking around the house. It doesn't help.
Overall Review: The front light is bright.
Pros: Pops in fine and reads my cards. No nonsense.
Cons: None. It just reads cards.
Pros: They all work and are quiet. They're fans. They spin and do the good air moving thing with the blades and the power and the wind.
Cons: Doesn't chop up a banana when banana put through the fan. Very inconvenient as this machine is located in the kitchen and takes up valuable counter space with no apparent cooking utility. I do, however, use it as a vent hood now.
Pros: What the title says. I don't overclock it at all or anything silly like that. I like my cards working and not burned out after a short period of time. There is also just no need. It even handles the tressfx in Tomb Raider without a hitch. Good buy.
It does a lot with relatively little current. This card is incredibly efficient.
Pros: Works like a CPU is supposed to. No stability issues, VERY fast, and makes me feel better about my masculinity. Eight cores seems almost silly, but I like having a higher number than my peers.
Cons: No 3DNow instruction set. Don't play old games or use old 3D software with this CPU. Almost everyone stopped using 3DNow years ago, and you won't find it in any new games or other software. Not a big loss. Need to play old games? Virtualize windows XP with virtualbox or something. That should be enough performance to play anything that actually requires the instruction set.
Pros: Works like RAM should work. Data in, data out.
Stays pretty cool. I never overclocked it, though, because I like my hardware working.
Cons: None. It's just two sticks of RAM, doing RAM stuff.
Pros: Good ventillation, lots of drive bays, good front ports. PSU mounts on bottom, which I kinda like. It's a lightweight case, which some people like. Don't use it as a bench.
The front looks kinda cool. Looks like a scylon.
Cons: Why are case designers allergic to screws? TELL ME. I WANT TO KNOW RIGHT NOW. These rails I got to install drives work on about 85% of the drives I have. I had to drill the holes out a bit on two out of four drives in my RAID array becuase the pegs on the rails weren't all the same. Screws would have been just fine, and they make the case into more of a heatsink for the drives because of the direct contact. RANT.
There is also an awful blue light on the front. This light is supposed to be an indicator, yet it produces enough light for me to operate on people in my bedroom at night. Why are all of the blue indicators on new hardware so BRIGHT?
Overall Review: It's also just a case. Unplug the light if you don't like it.
Pros: Works just as described. Takes good pictures for the model, not really any drawbacks. I got what I expected, and it hasn't failed yet.
Cons: Well, it's just a camera for taking photos of friends and bugs and stuff. It's color isn't perfect, and the images look like I bought the camera because it had "the most megapixels". Like I said before. It's JUST FINE for taking everyday photos.
Overall Review: Elephants are fantastic swimmers.