Date Joined: 08/23/10
Pros: Much higher quality than most computer toolkits. Actual hardened metal on the screwdrivers, so the tips' gripping notches don't strip away when you slip off screws; and screwdriver handles offer a real screwdriver grip so you can apply real torque; both unlike most PC toolkits.
Includes all the screwdriver sizes you need for computer work.
Nice durable case.
Good price for the quality you're getting.
Cons: Cheap-ish feeling soldering iron.
Overall Review: A breath of fresh air if you're sick of cheap PC toolkits that don't feel solid or last long, and at a great price.
Pros: Very slim, decent looking, decent quality.
Cons: Keys and mechanisms are low quality. Tilting feet don't raise the keyboard high enough, which is very nitceable on such a slim keyboard, and they are similarly low in quality.
Overall Review: I like the fact that someone set out to make a desktop keyboard that mimics the signature HP Pro/Elite series laptop key style, as it's always been a favorite of mine.
I'm disappointed in the quality shown here though. While the bulk of the keyboard feels nice and dense, the keys themselves are the opposite, made of low-grade plastic, feeling very light and unsubstantial; they're allowed to wiggle and rattle in place too much, and the mechanisms don't have enough tactile click or spring. They keys also don't have tactile surfaces, but are rather flat and simple molded plastic. It all feels a bit too plasticy in general.
Other reviewers seem to like this, and maybe I don't because I have an HP Elite laptop, whose keyboard this is meant to mimic, and this seems like a cheap knockoff in comparison.
Pros: These are simply beautiful.
Aside from obviously being pretty large, the picture is outstanding. I work in an office where we have lots of different LCD screens from lots of different brands, and comparing side-by-side you can really see these are the best, by far. They go brighter, produce a crisper image that's much easier to look at, and have much better contrast: the blacks are blacker and the whites are a lot whiter. Colors are more accurate: looking at photos of people, you can see the more accurate skin tones produced on this.
Of course it has a real stand with all the adjustments, which is great.
I always hated the Acer on-screen menu system. Luckily I don't have to use it often, but I do wish they would update it already. It's confusing, cumbersome, and slow to navigate, and hasn't changed in many years. Just to change the brightness takes at least 6 clicks.
Overall Review: A beautiful monitor that I will probably buy more of because they're a big hit at my office. Even the people who complained a little about the money I spent on them were happy once I gave them one :)
Pros: Works great to accelerate Windows visuals on a server.
Driver installation was easy and without issues on Windows 2008 Server R2.
Zero issues so far. Install and forget.
More than reasonable price. They could probably get away with charging a lot more for such a specialized product.
Cons: None yet.
Overall Review: Got a Supermicro barebones and figured the integrated Matrox graphics would be sufficient. Boy was that not true. Even with a monitor connected directly, all Windows effects disabled, and twin Xeon x5690's idling with 32GB RAM, display was horribly laggy.
No PCIe 16x slots in this barebones, so it was great to find this wonderful 1x option. I was initially skeptical about how well a 1x graphics card could perform. Installed this card with included driver, which was a snap, set BIOS to boot with offboard graphics, and that's it -- the difference is like night and day. Installed Windows 7 Experience, enabled desktop composition service, Aero theme and all effects, and the display now zooooms. No detectable resource hit. Beautiful.
Pros: Cools Xeons nicely.
Solid construction and precision design that makes every other brand's coolers seem like children's toys. Worth every penny.
Great temps. Great documentation. Great mounting method (no manual pressure needed). Great thermal grease included. Great case badge included.
Cons: Just slightly too tall for 4U pedestal/tower server case. Eliminating the useless heat pipe protrusions would make it fit perfectly.
Also needs extra screws to fit Xeon backplate -- just four little M3 20mm screws -- why not include those just in case?
Those two insignificant changes would make this cooler a great option for server use.
RPM is a little low for my taste (2500 average). My server case fans run around double that. Still cools better than anything else on the market, but why not give us the option for higher speed?
Overall Review: I took a chance on ordering two of these with the parts for my dual-Xeon server build.
In a Supermicro 7046T-H6R, one on each CPU does fit. However the heat pipes are just a tiny bit too tall and keep me from putting the side panel on. I'm going to drill some holes in the panel to let them poke through, which should solve the problem.
Also, with both fans installed on each, one PCIe slot is blocked, and another one is inhibited slightly by the fan clips. A little piece of rubber to prevent contact might solve the problem, but this mobo has 7 PCIe slots so I don't think I'll need to do that.
This cooler doesn't include everything you need to fit a Xeon mobo. Most Xeon mobos don't have removable backplates, so you'll need to buy M3 20mm screws to fasten the mounting brackets to the existing backplates (4 per CPU). Got that idea from another reviewer, BTW, and it works perfectly.
Temps on my X5690's run around 20C idle, 50C loaded, in AC'd room. Windows 2008.
Pros: Fastest non-enterprise-level CPU for multi-processor setups.
Overall Review: There's not much to say. It's really fast. I have them in a dual-processor server. Blazes through all Windows 2008 tasks so far.
This is the fastest processor currently available that's geared towards standalone servers and supports multi-CPU configurations.
It may seem expensive, but I was able to build my own Supermicro-based server with two of these top-of-the-line processors for the same price HP charges for a ProLiant with much lower model processors.
I've heard they run hot, but I paired these with two Noctua NH-U12P SE2 coolers my temps run between 18C idle to 50C on load in an air conditioned room.
PS. If you're thinking of using my cooler config, you'll need to pick up four M3 20mm screws per CPU from your hardware store to install those coolers on Xeons. And they are just slightly too tall for a 4U case, but only the tips of the heat pipes poke the side panel. I'll be drilling holes to let them poke through but for now I leave the side panel off.
Pros: Always best to have legit licenses for your software, especially in a business environment.
Cons: Confusing pre-purchase documentation on what exactly CALs are and how they are used.
Overall Review: As the other reviewer mentioned, these are just client licenses. They let the client computers on your network legitimately connect to your existing Windows 2008 Server. The really confusing part is that there is no technical implementation of these licenses within the software. That is, you don't install them, or enter any key codes, or do anything else with them. What you receive is just documentation that you've paid for a certain number of computers to use your Windows 2008 network. Don't waste time trying to figure out how how to install them once you have them, as they don't get installed.
Pros: -Does exactly what you'd expect
-Looks nice: Curvy, glossy, eye-catching white w/ futuristic long blue LED activity light and big round power button w/additional blue LED encircling. People who come in my office are always looking and commenting on them.
-Includes an internal SATA to eSata backplate for your PC -- major plus so those without eSata ports don't need to buy anything extra, and those with them don't need to occupy one.
Cons: I've read another comment that says it's not "heavy"-feeling enough compared to Thermaltake's version. It is on the light side. The same guy is also concerned about heat dissipation. He should consider that a heavier/denser unit will also obstruct airflow more. For the record I've experienced no heat issues and don't foresee it.
You're basically paying for one thing here: the USB to SATA bridge. If like me you're primarily using these with eSata, you don't even care about that and just need the bonus material: Something to make the hard drive stand up instead of lay on your desk, and a power switch.
Recognizing the simplicity here, the Thermaltake vs. Vantec argument boils down to one thing: preference. I tend to not like Thermaltake as a company in general for bad past experiences with quality and support, so I went with Vantec. I'm glad I did.
See other thoughts.
Overall Review: I wasn't expecting much in looking to fulfill my meager need for an eSata connection that also suspends an internal hard drive vertically.
Vantec surprised me by delivering that with style, high quality color-matched supple included cables, nice packaging, documentation, and even a driver CD. No clue why anyone would need a driver for this (maybe USB support for Windows 95?), but that only adds to my impressed reaction.
They even give you an internal SATA to eSATA backplate, which was a big surprise.
I've got three of these in my midsize office, where I'm the computer guy. These let me quickly pop hard drives in and out while working as if they were installed internally, letting me clone, fix malware, bad sectors, MBR corruption, etc.
My goal was to never have to tangle with boot CDs/dongles again (I find them always a pain), and I achieved it. Now I just rip out the problem HD and pop it in here for easy diagnosis from my clean PC. Awesome.
Pros: Worked perfectly out of the box, just as well as the brand new version I got a month ago.
Has all the classic WiFi router features, plus WPS, traffic meter, physical wireless on/off button, and physical power switch.
Cons: Unit I got is "WNR1000 v2", which apparently doesn't include the wireless repeating function like the v3 does. Major disappointment.
Also Netgear still hasn't figured out that some people set up routers as access points on an existing LAN and don't use the WAN port; so their routers still don't know how to get firmware updates using the LAN, and only check the WAN port, which is empty is this type of setup. Just a minor annoyance, and most users won't even come across it.
Overall Review: I was looking forward to trying out the wireless repeater function I saw in the firmware of our other WNR1000, and possibly getting a few of these to use as cheap wireless repeaters around the office, since the price is so good for a repeater.
To my great disappointment, the box I got by ordering this recertified item didn't show the wireless repeater function in the firmware, and upon checking I noticed I'd gotten a v2 while our other brand-new box is a v3. I guess that's one difference between the v2 and v3. I tried updating the firmware, but still no luck.
This still works great as an ordinary wireless router so far though.
Pros: Most comfortable mouse I've ever used.
Quality construction, good weight, smooth movement, nice rubberized feel, well-designed software.
Overall Review: Swore off Logitech. Many like them but I hate their quality and their bloated buggy software.
Went searching for alternatives and found this. They have a more updated model out now that's identical except for a higher DPI and adjustable weight, but we didn't need that (I honestly don't know who could possibly need more DPI than this, including gamers, but maybe I'm missing something) so decided to save the extra money.
This is the highest-quality and most comfortable mouse I've ever had the pleasure of using. Perfectly contours to the hand, has a soft rubberized feel, and the wheel is solid, with just-tight-enough, yet smooth-to-slide-over click points. The software is tightly built, fairly lightweight and works very reliably. Perfect.
Only con so far is price, but quality (unfortunately these days) carries a premium. Should last a long time so don't mind too much.
Pros: Cheapest decent monitor that has a real stand with all the adjustments.
Excellent picture quality.
Zero dead or stuck pixels, as with every Acer monitor I've ever purchased (and that's a lot).
Cons: The tiny stands on competitively-priced monitors place the screen just above a desk's surface, where no adult's eye level is remotely situated. It's unfortunate to be forced to pay a premium upwards of $60 (possibly for all the additional adjustments I don't need) just to have a monitor with reasonable height.
Overall Review: Can't speak to color accuracy, but the picture quality seems very nice and easy on the eyes at least. This is actually one of the most pleasant monitors I've looked at, including other Acer models.
Stinks that it wasn't for me but for a colleague. I almost stole it and gave him mine. Stupid moral values.