Date Joined: 10/22/06
Pros: Cord may be a little short for some users, but the length is perfect for my needs and cuts down on cable tangle.
Comes with a piece of double sided tape that I didn't even know I needed. This keeps it stuck to the side of my case instead of flopping around the desk.
Hasn't randomly dropped connection like most hubs.
Cons: A minor gripe, but I wish the cable wasn't on the opposite side from the ports, as this would make my setup a bit neater. But there's nothing really wrong with it.
Overall Review: I've had a lot of hubs over the years, and I've come to expect that anything plugged into them may disappear at any time and have to be plugged in again. I'm happy to say that this is not the case with this hub, I've had 4 USB HDDs plugged into it for weeks now, and none of them have dropped out.
Pros: Low profile bracket included, internal USB port, and 4 pin power.
Cons: These ports are not going to be bootable, but that's to be expected.
Overall Review: I bought this card to add USB 3.0 drives to an old HP N40L. I needed a small card with a low profile bracket, and the 4 pin power was a plus because that's what the server uses anyway, so no adapter needed. The internal port was another plus, the N40L has an internal USB port, and this was a way to have that same internal USB capability, but at 3.0 speeds.
Pros: I needed a Y cable to make several tight bends around sharp metal edges in a compact server case. I specifically chose this one because it was the right length and already had a rubber sleeve over the individual wires. I realize that the intended function of the clear tubing was for ornamental purposes, but it works just as well as an abrasion cover.
Cons: None that I can think of.
Overall Review: Looks like I'm the first person to review this item in almost a decade! I'd almost forgotten about the "UV" fad, these days it's RGB everything. Makes me wonder if the cable I bought was manufactured recently, or if it was new old stock that had been sitting around for years. Regardless, if anyone else ever shops this cable and reads this review, I highly recommend it.
Pros: Low cost, apparently high quality.
Cons: It's lightweight, so it tends to be pulled around by the cables. But this goes for almost all hubs, as adding weight would increase cost.
Overall Review: Bought this thing about a year ago to connect a bunch of USB drives to an older machine that only had 4 USB ports. I expected there to be problems, but it has worked flawlessly.
Pros: Works great!
Cons: None really.
Overall Review: Bought a 2nd 8GB set to complement the 8GB set I built my system with a few years ago. Not only do they match, but I figured since the first set was reliable and had no problems, why mess with a good thing?
Pros: Decent sound quality for the money, people can hear me okay, inline volume controls aren't too fussy, and the cord is decently long enough.
The mic is removable, which is nice if you primarily want to use it for music and movies and don't want the mic in your face.
Cons: Because the mic is removable, it can be easy to misplace. The outside of the connector is keyed and it can be hard to reinsert without taking off the headset.
The little foam pad on the end of the mic doesn't want to stay attached. I usually find it a few days later but if I had cats I'm sure I would have never seen it again.
After 9 months of use, the inline volume control is beginning to develop issues. If I bump into it, I get some static and the left channel drops out for a bit. It works fine otherwise, but I feel this is a sign of things to come.
Pros: No problems in over a year of use. Faster than my previous SSD.
Cons: A minor concern, but the outside of the drive was kind of scratched up. It's a refurbished product however, so minor blemishes are to be expected.
Overall Review: Initially I used this as a boot drive in my primary gaming system, but ~18 months later it has breathed new life into an aging netbook.
Pros: Works. It's a cable. Even delivers HDMI sound.
Cons: Doesn't make me coffee?
Overall Review: I would buy this again.
Pros: Price, capacity, speed. Mushkin always had good support the few times I've needed it, but so far this product has been great and I haven't needed that.
Cons: A few weeks ago the computer froze and the drive was missing upon reboot. A second reboot fixed the issue and it hasn't reoccurred, but it still makes me a bit wary.
Overall Review: This is my 3rd SSD and 2nd Mushkin drive. I went from a 60GB drive to this, and what a difference. The drive is only marginally faster than my last one, but it is 8 times larger. I can have plenty of games installed all at once, and no more constantly moving data around.
Pros: Large capacity, low price. Seems to handle high/low temperature extremes just fine.
Cons: Low speed, but that's to be expected with USB 2.0 and this price point. Not truly a con, just be prepared to wait.
Overall Review: I bought this drive about 10 months ago to hold music in my car. Although it took a while to initially fill it with music, it performs well in the intended task of storing music for playback. Some flash drives can't handle the high/low temperature extremes of a car interior, but so far I've had no issues.
Pros: Wasn't that expensive compared to comparable flash drives at the time of purchase.
Cons: Like most of the other reviewers, mine eventually stopped working. It wasn't being used much, which is probably the only reason it lasted the 16 months that it did.
Like another reviewer, I was using this with a Raspberry Pi, and everything was fine until today when I discovered it was "write protected". Tried multiple tools across three different operating systems, and nothing worked.
Thankfully there wasn't anything important or sensitive on the drive, so it can just go in the trash, but I still would have liked to have gotten a few more years out of this.
Overall Review: It's slightly amusing to look back and see my own review as the most recent one. Guess they didn't sell too many of these.
No idea what caused the failure either, but I will say that the drive itself always seemed very warm to the touch compared to most other flash drives I've used.
Pros: Simply put, the best there is. Follow the instructions and use the proper amount!
Cons: Expensive for what it is, but a little goes a long way so a tube will last many system builds.
Overall Review: I've had to clean and reapply this compound on a few computers where it was improperly applied by someone else. A friend of mine who I thought knew better once used about half the tube in one application and then couldn't figure out why the machine was overheating.
Pros: Quite a bit smaller than the powerline networking adapters I've used in the past. They will connect right out of the box and no further setup is needed.
Has two 5' ethernet cables for the two adapters, so nothing extra needed unless you need to go further. The adapters are identical, so there isn't a specific one that needs to be the one at the router.
No ground plug and no polarized plug means they can be plugged in upside down if needed.
In one testing environment, an older apartment, the adapters were able to operate at their maximum speed. Much faster than wireless and was on par with a 10/100 wired connection.
Cons: The adapters both made a faint but still audible high pitched noise when plugged in. I had to be very close to hear it clearly and the fans of a PC will drown it out, but keep this in mind if you're going to be using them in a quiet environment.
In another testing environment, a newer home, the adapters were only able to connect at the lowest speed, and file transfers were crawling along at below 802.11b performance.
This home uses well water, and every time the well pump kicked in, it was enough to drop the powerline connection for up to a minute. (The manual does make reference to large appliances causing interference, so this was not unexpected.)
Overall Review: As the old saying goes, your mileage may vary. In general, powerline networking can be a viable alternative to a wireless network in situations where you can't or don't want to run a cable. However it is highly dependent on the quality of the wiring as well as distance, and power hungry appliances can further interfere. I would have expected the newer home to do better than the older apartment, but that was not the case.
Pros: I'm not normally one to be taken in by packaging, but even the box is nice. My first impression screamed quality, so much so that my entire plan for reviewing the board was changed. Initially I was going to throw a mid-level processor on this board and try to get a fair evaluation from that, but I took one look at it and realized it would be a disservice to both myself any anyone reading my review to use anything less than an i7.
There's a small LED display on the board itself. I've owned boards with these, typically they show BIOS codes, which this does as well. However once the machine has booted up, it becomes a temperature display. Great for cases with a clear side window.
Like a lot of high end boards, it has power and reset switches on the board itself. Right next to these is a "O.C. Genie" switch. This feature automatically overclocks at next boot when the switch is pressed, although like many features, it can be overridden or disabled entirely in the BIOS. And although I didn't know it was possible, it was even able to overclock the non-K 3770, which it brought to a stable 4.1GHz.
Had some fun extras: A very large case badge, which may be too large and gaudy for some tastes, and an amusing cardboard "door hanger" advising would-be visitors that the occupant is, in fact, quite busy gaming. Personally, I really liked the case badge and it looks great on the front of even my low-end case.
It also has a set of short leads that connect to a block of test points, allowing you to easily check voltages with a multimeter.
Includes four SATA cables. While they aren't terribly long and may not reach the topmost bay of some large cases, they do seem to be high quality, one end is right angled and both ends have metal locking clips.
Also contains an adapter called an "M-Connector". It's a block of pins that allow you to fit your case connectors to the adapter, then attach the adapter directly to the board. Experienced system builders may not find this as useful, especially when using a roomy case, but new builders or anyone with a cramped case can certainly appreciate such a convenience.
Cons: I had a hard time finding anything I didn't like about this board, which is why this section is so brief:
Unfortunately, the "M-connector" that came with my board fell apart easily. I noticed I wasn't getting any hard drive activity lights, checked and apparently one of the pins had pulled all the way out, though I was able to push it back into place.
The overall "theme" of the board is black and red, so you would expect red LEDs, or perhaps white, but instead the board has a mixture of blue and green LEDs. As with all blue LEDs, they are extremely bright, which is either good or bad depending on your preferences.
Overall Review: If you read just one thing in this section, know this: This is the first time I've ever had so many good things to say about a product that initially I used all 3000 characters and had to reword my "Pros" section and move a few things down here.
4 system fan headers: Two 4 pin PWM headers and two 3 pin headers.
Curiously, an SLI bridge is included, but not Crossfire.
Couldn't tell if the Killer LAN made my connection better, but on the other hand it didn't make it worse either.
The UEFI BIOS took a bit of getting used to, using a graphical environment and mouse after decades of changing options with a keyboard on an all text screen is a big change, but once I was used to it I liked it.
I realize these things are going away, but I would have liked to see an old PCI slot in place of one of the X1 slots. An on-board serial header would have been nice for various projects as well, but like PCI they're of limited use these days.
I really like the red and black theme with the dragons on the heatsinks. Even the VRM heatsinks are made into the same shape, though it's only viewable from the side. The red and black theme carries over to the I/O shield as well, where the typically shiny metal plate is covered by a black sticker with red print.
This was my first MSI board, and after reviewing this I can honestly say it won't be my last. With an i7, it will be a few years before I'll want to upgrade again, but if MSI has something on this level at that time, I know what I'll be getting.
Pros: Nicely priced 4 pin PWM fans with the Rosewill name and sleeved cables. Rubber plug mounting system is quick and helps cut down on any vibration. Quieter to me than other reviews would suggest, they're nearly silent if I'm doing desktop activities and only become noticeable when gaming.
Cons: I really love these fans, but had one big issue and one minor one:
While the included rubber plug mounting system does have benefits, which I mentioned above, it isn't without downsides. I'm guessing they aren't intended to be used more than once, because they're a hassle to pull back out if you decide to remove or relocate the fan, and on top of that, two of the mounts broke when I tried to reuse them. Additionally, because they're designed to be pulled through from one side to the other, anything that gets in the way of the pulling (such as a drive cage) can make this difficult.
The cable is perhaps the shortest I've ever seen outside of a few OEM case fans. And while the cable is sleeved, it's covered in a kind of textured rubber hose that was a bit harder to position than either braided sleeves or ordinary wires. I would try and neatly route it around components and it would just "pop" back into whatever position offered the least tension between the fan and PWM connector.
Overall Review: Regarding the downsides of the rubber mounts mentioned above, I'd love to see a future version include traditional fan screws as an alternative mounting option.
I think the fans may have some kind of short break-in period. At first, they didn't want to spin at lower PWM levels, but after playing games for several hours (during which they did spin) the fans now spin at all times and just vary their speed.
Pros: Nice compact portable reader/writer, and brand name too. Read a few test discs just fine and burned all tests just as well.
Cons: Not USB 3.0 as per the box and description, but I knew this going in. Cord was a little on the short side, could have used another foot or so, but I have plenty of longer compatible cables.
Not sure why it and so many other portable devices have a glossy finish, being portable they get all scuffed up fairly quick and just look awful.
Overall Review: The same thing happened during the transition from 1.0 to 2.0, with plenty of 1.0 devices getting a shiny "2.0" on the box. Though that was typically on cheap unbranded items, I was surprised to see it on Samsung.
Pros: Works great. Sturdy and thick, more than enough length.
Cons: As it is a bit thicker than my other cables, it was also a bit stiff, had a little trouble moving it where I wanted it but that's hardly a pressing issue.
Overall Review: Why are these things still so expensive at brick and mortar stores?
Pros: I had previously selected this TV off the wall at a local retail store, but was disappointed to learn they were sold out and even the display model was not up for grabs. Imagine my surprise when the next day Newegg had this refurbished model as a Shell Shocker!
Has a great picture, I didn't have to make any adjustments and found the picture out of the box to be just fine.
Sound is great too perhaps due to the fact that this unit has front facing speakers instead of the muffled, rear facing ones found on many other TVs.
Cons: The TV has a limited number of inputs, including only two HDMI, one rear and one side. This is fine if you have just a HD cable/satellite box and one other device, but you may need a HDMI switch box if you intend to connect anything more and don't want to swap cables around.
Aside from that, the remote is a bit on the small side and can sometimes be hard to locate in the living room.
Overall Review: I don't mind refurbished products, in fact in some ways I'd rather have refurbished. At least then you know someone had to look at it at some point and verify that it works.
Pros: Roughly the size of a standard laptop keyboard, so typing for long periods is a non-issue. Works great with my Galaxy S3 and almost makes it feel like a two piece netbook.
AA powered - no built in lithium battery to worry about. They last a very long time and you can borrow them from other devices in a pinch.
Cons: I realize this is a compact keyboard but the keys could really be a bit taller. Just a couple more mm of height would be ideal for what I'm comfortable typing on.
Overall Review: Well, it isn't a Model M, but this keyboard still beats on screen keyboards as well as more compact units.
Pros: Was bundled with the N40L server, doubling the existing memory. Kingston memory has always been good, it has been my memory of choice as far back as I can remember.
Overall Review: Seems like only yesterday that 2MB of memory was a lot!
Pros: Low price! Ordered this during a shell shocker as a gift to my parents. I had recently given them one of my old monitors, and as luck would have it, that stopped working about two weeks after they disposed of their old one.
Out of the box it has a great picture according to them, better than the broken panel it replaced, and especially the even older one before that. They just use it for email and web surfing, so I can't comment on suitability for gaming or graphics.
Cons: No DVI cable included, just the old VGA cable which is bordering on useless in this day and age. (My father joked that HP was using their customers to dispose of their outdated cable inventory.) I have plenty of extra cables so this was a non-issue for them, but be aware you'll need to purchase one otherwise.
As others have mentioned, the stand isn't the sturdiest thing. I was surprised at the lightness of the box, and part of that is due to the lack of any weight in the base. It's just a hollow, open-ended plastic plate like the old CRT screens had, so it does feel a bit flimsy by comparison to other panels I've worked with.
Has a bright blue LED which I am never fond of, especially when it comes to screens that you're already staring at all day.
Overall Review: Not sure why there are so many unrelated reviews from this product? I've been a loyal Newegg customer for many years and there's always a few that sneak in, especially on a popular product, but as of this writing about 15% of these reviews aren't even for a monitor, let alone this one.
Pros: Like most modern routers, setup is simple and straightforward. I plugged it in and it began working immediately.
No retina blasting blue lights of doom! This has been a pet peeve of mine for years with most consumer electronics, and home routers were always a serious offender. I'm glad to see that D-Link has seen the light, no pun intended, and gone back to the traditional green/amber status lights that were typical over 10 years ago. As a geek, I'd have preferred activity lights as well, but it does lend to a cleaner design.
Overall, it performed better than my previous router, but not by much. Both are units without external antennas, so the range suffers toward the edges of the house. However, the DIR-826L seemed to be more stable at the extreme ranges, although the connection was weak it did stay connected while my old router would sometimes drop out.
The USB "cloud" features are a nice touch as well, although I did not make heavy use of them outside of testing due to having an actual server for the task. Still, I did test them out, and have used them on other D-Link products, and am happy to report that the system works well enough for light home use and keeping your media accessible on the go.
Cons: An extremely minor issue, the base of my review unit was ever so slightly warped, so it would not sit perfectly flat on any
surface. This wouldn't normally matter, except that the unit is extremely light and this exacerbates the physical stability issues. As it is, even with an unwarped base the lightness of it means it probably won't stay put if you utilize every jack on the back.
No USB 3.0, but I would consider that a minor con. In my personal opinion, if you need networked storage vast enough to require 3.0 speeds, a proper home server would be a better choice than the jack-of-all-trades method of a home router.
Overall Review: Very strange tube shape. I have a stack of my old routers in the corner of the basement, and every single one is a flat rectangle, sometimes with a vertical stand. Certainly a unique shape that stands out from the crowd.
Contrary to an earlier review, WPS is easily disabled (and should be). Perhaps the reviewer did not know that WPS stands for "Wi-Fi Protected Setup" and that menu is found near the mid-bottom of the list of options under the "advanced" tab. Simply uncheck to disable.
After a couple weeks of testing in a large home setting, I moved it to my girlfriend's apartment for further testing. While it may have been comparable to my previous router at home, it blew her cheap router away. Higher speeds both wired and wireless, and more importantly it didn't need the almost daily resets of her old one. I was going to keep it at my place, but after such a drastic improvement she wouldn't let me take it back. :)
Pros: Manufactured October 2005, I've owned this mouse longer than any other. I didn't even realize I'd owned it that long until I turned it over while writing this review.
All four of the mouse feet are still present and accounted for. Not only that, they aren't even worn down.
The thing I liked most about this mouse was the thin USB wire. According to what I remember from the packaging, it was supposed to give a wireless feel but with the response and reliability of a wired mouse. I believe it fulfilled that claim accordingly, and although thin, the wire was never damaged.
Detents on the scroll wheel are another nice feature. I remember when I bought his mouse, a lot of mice had gone to the smooth scroll, which was a problem in some games that used the scroll wheel and expected detents.
I've always bound the 4th mouse button as a push to talk key for the various voice applications used for gaming. Prior to this, I wore out that 4th button on several mice, but the 6000 handled it just fine.
Cons: Wheel button has worn out after over 7 years of use, mostly within the past 6 months. I realize the wheel button is not often used, so perhaps it wasn't built as sturdy? Regardless, once I bound that button to the "dodge" function in Guild Wars 2 and began using it frequently, it wore out quickly. It still works, but triggers unintentionally when using the scroll wheel, which causes issues in some programs.
The metallic paint flaked off the emblem above the Microsoft logo at some point during the first year, but that is to be expected. The rest of the mouse has been polished to an almost mirror finish over the years of use, but I hardly consider that to be a con!
Overall Review: Say what you want about Microsoft's software or even their other hardware, but they make a great mouse.
I realize this is a discontinued product, but I felt it deserved a review after 7 years of trouble-free use. Maybe someone who comes across a used one will find value in this review, who knows. All I do know is that it will be hard to find a replacement for such a great product.
Pros: Buyers remorse. We've all been there, when that new gadget either doesn't measure up to our expectations or we find ourselves not using or needing it nearly as much as we expected.
I'm happy to report that this nifty little server has not fallen into that category, not even close. In fact, not only has it exceeded my expectations, but I find myself doing far more with it than I originally anticipated. In fact I probably get more use out of the N40L per minute than all my other systems combined. I only wish I'd bought this sooner!
In terms of processing power, this machine is roughly equivalent to the Turion X2 notebook I bought back in 2007. While that might seem slow by today's standards, and it certainly isn't a speed demon, it will still give more power and flexibility than an off-the-shelf NAS.
There's also no fan on the CPU, so no worries about that getting choked with dust after a few months of uptime. That was a problem with an older, desktop based file server I once had, not to mention this machine draws about 1/4 of the power.
Cons: No sound, but that's hardly needed on a server, and easily added if your needs require it.
The HP logo on the front is entirely too bright for some home locations, such as a bedroom. Seriously, it puts out more ambient light than some over-the-top LED illuminated gaming rigs. A regular strip of electrical tape is just wide enough to cover it though, and probably the first thing you'll do once you see how bright it is.
I was getting some very slight vibration sounds from having a hard drive in the top bay, which was designed for an optical drive. Covering the mounting screws with a piece of electrical tape was a simple solution, and no doubt something you'll have on hand anyway to counter the HP light.
Overall Review: Aside from laptops, this is the first system I've bought, rather than built, since my 386SX-16 over 20 years ago.
I saw a few reviews complaining about the drive trays requiring special screws. This is true, however the needed screws are included with the system! On the inside of the door there is a small T-10/T-15 Torx wrench clipped into place, and to the right of that are four optical drive Torx screws attached to the door. Along the bottom of the door, a bit harder to see, are 16 black HDD Torx screws. I wish every case had a system like this in place, rather than the baggie of screws you normally get.
If you opt to use the optical drive bay for a 5th hard drive, be advised that the drive mount expects the drive to slide in on those Torx screws, and the included ones are fine thread. These may or may not work with whatever caddy or adapter bracket you might intend to use, and mine required coarse threaded screws. I pulled some from an ancient SCSI enclosure, but not everyone has something like that laying around.
A few other reviews have mentioned difficulty in getting the Mini SAS connector disconnected. If this was a widespread issue, it may have been fixed, as I was able to disconnect and reconnect mine several times with only light pressure and no tools.
Pros: Signal strength and overall performance are much better than the wireless card it replaced. And much, much better than the USB stick style wireless adapters. I've had no signal dropouts and have successfully moved hundreds of gigabytes worth of files to and from the file server across the house.
Cons: The card is low profile, why not include a low profile bracket? Also not too fond of the mini driver CD, they simply do not work with some systems.
I did have issues with getting this to work with the first computer I tried it in, but it worked just fine in the two other systems I tried, so I will place the blame on the machine rather than the product.
Overall Review: Windows 7.
Really liking the TP-Link stuff I've gotten lately, both review items and things I've purchased myself. This wireless adapter is no exception, and they are fast becoming one of my go-to brands for networking equipment.