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Jonathan W.

Jonathan W.

Joined on 01/11/06

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 8
Most Favorable Review

All good but for a noise.

Western Digital Blue WD4000AAKS 400GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive Bare Drive
Western Digital Blue WD4000AAKS 400GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive Bare Drive

Pros: Much faster than the 160GB/8MB IDE drive it replaced. Great price/GB ratio.

Cons: None so far - see below.

Overall Review: This was a replacement for a 3 year old Seagate 160GB IDE drive. I cloned the old drive with Acronis True Image 10, which was almost too easy. The speed increase is noticeable - startup takes half as long, and game levels load much faster. I attached a cooler with an 80mm fan, but I haven't seen temps rise much at all. My only concern, and it's probably unwarranted, is a sort of "ting"ing noise on occasion. It's not loud, and it happens once each time. WD diagnostics look fine, and I have a full backup, so I'm not too worried. I wonder if it's just the heads unparking? It's not one of the usual failure noises. Since the noise was there from the start, and doesn't seem to happen during long reads, I'm just keeping an eye on it. If I remember, I'll update in a year.

Great typing feel, clean layout

Rosewill RK-9000BRI - Mechanical Keyboard with Cherry MX Brown Switches
Rosewill RK-9000BRI - Mechanical Keyboard with Cherry MX Brown Switches

Pros: Looks great Compact size with a numpad Quiet, even when bottoming a key 3-year warranty on parts

Cons: Loose-feeling mini-USB port

Overall Review: I've been wanting a new keyboard with Cherry Brown switches for a while. I have an older Compaq keyboard with them, but it's also got an integrated trackball, and the layout's a little funny. I've just received the Rosewill, and typed a few pages with it. Very nice action, excellent feel under the fingertips, and fairly quiet, even when I bottom a key. I was mixed on the white case, but it looks good IRL, especially with the white plate under the keys. The mini-USB connection does feel a little loose, but I don't plan on moving this very often, and the 3-year warranty should take care of me if the worst happens. I own another RK-9000 with Cherry Reds, and I think that'll move to gaming duty full-time, while the Browns will stay at the office.

Perfect for my needs

SAMSUNG Chromebook Samsung Exynos 1.70GHz 2GB Memory 16 GB SSD 11.6" Google Chrome OS XE303C12-A01US
SAMSUNG Chromebook Samsung Exynos 1.70GHz 2GB Memory 16 GB SSD 11.6" Google Chrome OS XE303C12-A01US

Pros: Long battery life Slim size, light weight Good keyboard and trackpad Chrome OS is always up to date

Cons: Offline use is improving, but still less than a "real" laptop SD card sticks out of side slot Screen is picky about viewing angles

Overall Review: I read a lot of reviews and articles about Chrome and the various Chromebooks before I bought one. I also downloaded Chromium OS and ran it on an older Dell compact laptop for a few weeks. I was looking for something with long battery life, and was considering a larger tablet with a keyboard case or dock. The ASUS Transformer series in particular. I like Android, but I was intrigued by Chrome, and after a couple days with my Chromebook, I'm very happy with my decision. The Keyboard is very good for a laptop, if a little bit noisier than I'd like. The spacing and key size are really good for any laptop, and especially for the overall size. The trackpad is excellent, too - I have a couple wireless mice, but haven't felt the need to plug one in yet. Scrolling and tapping are very responsive, but the click takes a little more effort than I'd like. Not a big deal, just something to note. I'd read a lot of complaints about the screen, too, but I don't think it's that bad. It's not IPS, but it's quite good at the right angle. No worse than a lot of laptops, IMHO, and for the screen size, not a problem at all. Also, I love the long battery life, low heat in use, and the near-instant wake from sleep. Shutting down and starting up take a bit longer, but going back to a "real" OS is a little shocking. Overall, for the price point, the hardware is fantastic. The OS won't appeal to everyone, but if you're looking for a step up from a tablet, this might be it.

It just works.

COOLER MASTER RR-CCH-L9U1-GP 92mm Hyper TX2 CPU Cooler
COOLER MASTER RR-CCH-L9U1-GP 92mm Hyper TX2 CPU Cooler

Pros: Inexpensive, not that big, simple attachment for AMD, quiet on full, cools very well.

Cons: None for the price.

Overall Review: This is keeping an X2 5000BE cool and quiet at 15x200. Idles at 28C, runs Prime95 at 45C. After listening to the fan on high, I forgot about letting the mobo throttle it back, and just left it.

A quiet gaming case?

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Pros: Can hold 5 big fans for max. cooling, roomy interior, good cable-routing otions, high-quality construction, low price.

Cons: No filter for the side fan. PSU placement requires longer cables.

Overall Review: For the price, this is a no-brainer. I've got Tri-cools in all the slots, running on low, and the thing's barely audible. Building it up was a breeze, and even with a non-modular PSU, the cabling is very neat. I do wish Antec had included a filter for the side fan, since they recommend running it as an intake. However, it's easy enough to make one, and I'd rather DIY than see the price jump. I love the styling, too - all business, understated. Not that I don't love the lights and windows, but this is going under my desk, so they'd just be wasted.

Low price = nice card

XFX GeForce 8800 GT 512MB GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 SLI Support Video Card PVT88PYSF4
XFX GeForce 8800 GT 512MB GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 SLI Support Video Card PVT88PYSF4

Pros: Great price plus a rebate, transferable lifetime warranty, quiet cooler.

Cons: No RAM heatsinking, doesn't vent outside the case.

Overall Review: This was the best price for an 8800GT, before the rebate. Assuming that comes through (and I have no reason to doubt it), getting this much video card for so little cash is amazing. I'm coming from a 6800 NU AGP/Athlon 2500+ system, so being able to ramp all my games' settings up is nice. However, I still wish the cooler vented heat outside the case, instead of recirculating it inside. I used an Antec 300, so the PSU sits down there, but I installed the side 120mm fan to help out. Still, the GPU hasn't topped 60C after 2 hours of Halo 2 on high settings, so the cooling is working.