Date Joined: 12/25/09
Overall Review: This RAM performs exactly as intended. Overall was a good purchase for the money. Would buy again.
Pros: The first thing I like about this CPU is the cost. This thing is affordable and is adequate for a small workstation.
This thing handles tasks well, such as: internet, Office, small games, high def movies. Even during high CPU usage the computer was responsive.
Cons: I can't think of any cons.
Overall Review: I built a computer for an older woman that does nothing more that use the internet and work with Office products. I wanted a CPU that could handle what she does without breaking her bank. This fit the mold.
In my personal computer I use an i5-2500k w/ 8GB w/ R9 280X and my home workstation has Xeon E5-2620 w/ 32GB w/ 7870 XT. I am using those as my standards for performance comparison.
I was pleased with the performance of the A4-3400. It is a responsive processor and the built in GPU performs very well. I paired the A4-3400 with 2x4GB of RAM. I did not test games on the processor as I only wanted the computer to perform the tasks mentioned and play movies, it does all of those well.
I do recommend this processor. For the price this is a great processor and would work perfect for workstations or HTPCs.
Pros: This power supply works great. The power rating is good, but I wouldn't trust it in my primary computer. This is a good power supply for a small workstation build.
The cost of this power supply sets it aside from other power supplies. What you see online is exactly what you are getting.
Cons: I realize these are CONs but more of the way things are with this power supply. For the price you can't ask for a lot.
The molex connections had issues with pins backing out when connecting them. The plastic retainers never locked onto the pins. Took some time to fix this.
The fan inside the power supply is loud, very loud. The fan uses a + and - (red/black) connection. Was easy to fix, opened the power supply and swapped the fan with a quiet fan.
The power supply doesn't weigh much, compared with my XFX PSU it's like comparing an orange to a watermelon. If you open it you will see there isn't much to the power supply. Don't put this PSU in a case that doesn't breath well, it will get hot and you will shorten the life span of the PSU.
For these CONs I will knock an egg.
Overall Review: For the price there really isn't much that I was expecting form this power supply other than to supply power. Replace the fan inside the power supply and you have a PSU that is fit for a small workstation or HTPC.
Pros: The first Pro is the price of this case. The market bracket this case is targeted at is the market that is looking for something that is very affordable and isn't looking for lots of features.
The second Pro is the simplicity of this case. This case is exactly what you see, there are no surprises or anything that needs to be though out before buying this case.
Super huge power button!! Perfect for the older folks that use computers. Keep that in mind cause its a huge selling point for the older crowd.
The two included fans with the case aren't silent but they are very quiet. They move air adequately to let the case breath.
All hardware needed for the case is included inside the case when it is shipped. The hardware is secured internal with a tie-wrap.
Cons: These are listed under Cons but these are NOT Cons.
This case is basic, do not expect anything beyond USB and Audio on the front.
The door in front of the CD drive is just a little flimsy. Took playing with the CD-rom to get it right and even after it still feels weird. Not a con big enough to knock an egg, just the way it is.
Overall Review: I have been building computers for many years and I do research before giving my recommendation on products. This case was a little iffy.
For the price I rolled the dice and got exactly what I saw online. This isn't a great case nor is it a bad case. The market this is targeted at is looking for affordability. I used this case in a build for a woman that is older. This case works perfect for her. The large power button is a very big advantage. Low cost is the second advantage.
Pros: Low wattage CPU, good onboard graphics, lots of horsepower for low wattage personal computer.
HTPC or standalone server this is a great buy. Read on with the review but in the end, I would buy this CPU again.
Cons: This is not a con. I put it in this area because its my own con. I used this CPU to run my home server 2008 R2 and later installed ESX. I ran a virtual domain without any issues, 2 Windows 2008 R2 servers, 2 Windows 7 and 2 XP. I later upgraded to a Xeon CPU. For the intended purpose of a stand alone server this CPU is great, to run a couple VMs its a good choice. Running many VMs its time for a Xeon. That was my goof but I didn't see myself going that big that fast.
Overall Review: I pulled this CPU and threw it into a computer that I built for my parents. With the choice in case, CPU heatsink and PSU the computer is 100% silent. Tied with a SSD the computer is awesome. I didn't build them a powerhouse but it worked out very well. Can handle multitasking, HD video and provides snappy response with applications. Biggest advantage was onboard video and low wattage pull, was able to drop down on the PSU wattage. Awesome CPU.
Pros: Great processor, low wattage for the power.
Cons: None come to mind.
Overall Review: I have this CPU paired with a Supermicro MBD-X9SCM-O LGA motherbaord. Running ESXi I have 17 virtual machines running. This processor was an upgrade from the i3-2120T that I was using(for the purpose of a low wattage server). Awesome processor. Has really aided me in building the infrastructure that I need to support pentest efforts.
Pros: Solid motherboard. Price. Nice BIOS. Video output options.
Cons: Can't think of any when it comes to the purpose I used this board for.
Overall Review: Recently I built a computer for my father. I had an i3-2120T processor laying around so I ordered this board. The build was for a home workstation that had to be near silent and small. The processor fit the bill and this board fit the size requirement. For the intended purpose, this board worked great. Its nice that there is the option to use dedicated graphics.
Pros: Excellent cooler. When it arrived I was shocked at how big it is, as others have stated this card will turn a 2 slot card into a 3 slot card. Everything needed to do the install is included. The cooler can be adjusted, giving more clearance between the motherboard and the cooler. The cooper base of the heatsink is already lapped with thermal paste. I thought about cleaning it and doing it on my own but the performance didn't justify that process. The cooler is very quiet, not any louder than my case fans.
Cons: The only con that I have.. the fans can't be plugged into the XFX 6870 card, have to use the included adapter for a molex connection.
Overall Review: I run X-Fire XFX 6870 video cards. The model I have are the one fan video cards. To say the are loud is an understatement. The case that I have isn't designed for high air flow and the space between the PSU and my bottom video card is very tight, because of this I also had 2 60mm fans blowing air over the tops of the cards. That said I was running temperatures of 73C and 81C with my video cards(each temp represents a video card, lowest temp being the top card). Before installing the new cooler, I wanted some benchmarks for temps. I opened case, removed the lowest card and tested, the card was 67C with load, 43C no load. I removed the 60mm fans and installed the cooler. Left the case open, and with the cooler my temps were 45C with load and 33C idle. With my case put back together my temps are; 46C with load and 37C idle. Not bad, my testing was to play Borderlands 2 with graphics all set to max. I only use one video card now and the second has gone into a spare computer.
Pros: For the price, the size, the features.. I find this case a good buy.
I like the motherboard tray, big plus! I have 4 drives installed in the case, 3 in RAID 5 and the other as an OS. The power supply has enough connections for a typical install. The power supply can be replaced with standard ATX PSU, but modification will need to be done.
If I were building another server or small computer for lite use I would order this case again.
Cons: This is not a con to knock an EGG, this is a thought. The Front panel connection cables are as long as you would find in a standard case, the cables can be shortened by 6".. easy. The USB, Audio and Firewire cables are long enough to connect anywhere on the motherboard.
There is no documentation included with the case.. but come on, its a case.. how confusing is it to hook up front panel and temp probes. Just remember, do NOT put the CPU temp probe between your heatsink and CPU!
Overall Review: I can understand people knocking EGGs for RMA issues but really people.. this is a case with PSU, MICRO PSU at that. I have no issues running 4 drives from the PSU.
This case is perfect for a small home server. The solid color is a plus.
CPU - i3-2120T (using heatsink from i5-2500K that was unused)
RAM - Kingston 2 x 4GB ECC
Motherboard - MBD-X9SCM-O
Case - Apevia X-QPACK-NW-BK/420
OS Drive - 750GB 2.5"
Storage - 3 x 1TB RAID 5
OS - Server 2008 R2 SP1
Pros: I am using this board to support my home server. The features built into the board are nice, for the price point. I come from an environment where we use DL580 G7's.. so I was really looking for the features supported on those boards.. but budget steered me towards this board. In place of using the Xeon CPU I am using the i3-2120T. This is setup in a small case with a 420W PSU.
Overall Review: For the price this is a good board. There is better out there but the price for this board is tough to beat.. if size is a concern.
Pros: Little bigger than my old mouse, fits my hand well. Has a good feel and easy to adjust the sensitivity. Thumb buttons are easy to use. I like that the mouse wheel is textured.
Cons: Can't think of any.
Overall Review: This was an upgrade from my Razer Diamondback 3G. I loved that mouse and refused to get another for a long time. I used it till the surface coating mostly peeled from the mouse keys, the graphic is no longer there.
I'm glad I did the upgrade but I liked the way the Diamondback felt.. have it hooked up to my spare rig :)
Pros: The layout of this board is pretty nice. All the board connections are spaced out to allow easy access to the connector on the board. Huge benefit as I always hated feeling like I was gonna snap a board CAP when tweaking. CPU mount holes allow for use of 1156 and 775 coolers, huge bonus. The instruction manual identifies all the connections needed and is easy to read (for those that don't have a well lit work area this is another bonus). The BIOS is nice, lots of built in pre-sets but still has the ability for custom tuning.
Cons: I can't think of any cons for this board.
Overall Review: In the past I stayed away from this brand. I picked up XFX, EVGA or ASUS over the years. This being my first jump from my comfort brands, I have been very surprised. This is a good board. Money well spent.
I did my install using the board, an SSD and a flash drive. If you are doing the OS install from a flash drive you have to load the USB3 drivers from the included ASRock support CD. After that the total install will take less than 7 minutes.
For those that say the eSATA takes preference over the internal SATA.. you didn't read the manual. I was curious about that and after reading the manual it tells you not to use specific SATA ports because of that very issue. The ones to use are the x3 two pair groups that have a sticker on top of them. They are identified as 0 - 5 and the other two are identified as m1 and m2 in the BIOS.
Pros: I have no real remarks on this RAM. Its functions as it should and doesn't mind the occasional push beyond stock.
Overall Review: The design of the RAM makes it stand a little taller than just using a stick of RAM. For you folks with large CPU coolers, double check your clearance, just to make sure you have no issues.
Other water coolers out there, buy this RAM.
Pros: So far I am enjoying the performance boost of the hard drive. Depending on the chipset you run there are different functions this drive can be used for.
Cons: I am still up in the air to the reliability of the drive. I spent a few hours pushing the drive with IOPs. I didn't see any real deviation in numbers but only time will tell. For now I say load the drive with basic functions you have no issue rebuilding.
Overall Review: This is my first leap into SSD outside of industry rated SSD. As a server admin I know what a fully backed SSD performs like.. I am still iffy about the user level drives. Do not run compressed data on this drive, it will kill your performance.
Pros: Solid blue light. Blue light is a lighter color of blue. Very bright.
Cons: I rarely turn my rig off, so the first light kit lasted me about 2.5 years.
Overall Review: Worth the buy.