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Michael K.

Michael K.

Joined on 11/21/04

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 43
Most Favorable Review

Great Value, a little noisy

EVGA 256-P2-N553-AX GeForce 7600GT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 SLI Supported Video Card
EVGA 256-P2-N553-AX GeForce 7600GT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 SLI Supported Video Card

Pros: The 7600GT is not the new "high end", but for us mere mortals that have to work for a living, it's a great value and more than adequate. I love it! Plays games very well, Nvidia software and drivers are very stable. The card is a 1-slot PCI-e design, although the fan's a bit noisy (see below)

Cons: The cooling fan is noisy. I wanted to build a quiet PC, and the VGA fan was the loudest component - even on its "slow" setting (not manually configurable.) -- I replaced the fan with a Zalman VGA cooler- while being heavy (tons of copper), it cools very well, and is VERY quiet if you plug it into the 5V (slow speed)connector. The cooling is adequate too, because the 7600 runs a lot cooler than the older 6800 chips. The eVGA website is not great and the latest eVGA website drivers didn't work. I went right to the NVidia website and downloaded the generic GeForce drivers, and they work great with more control over the settings than eVGA had!

Overall Review: Even though there are 2 DVI monitor outputs, if you don't have a digital monitor it is OK- the box comes with an adapter that works with older analog flatpanels or even CRT's.

Most Critical Review

Does the Job, but vibrates a bit

WD Passport 120GB USB 2.0 2.5" External Hard Drive WDXMS1200TN
WD Passport 120GB USB 2.0 2.5" External Hard Drive WDXMS1200TN

Pros: High capacity (~110 GB reported in Windows), very small and portable, works OK on my laptop USB port power. I bought it after Christmas on sale, and the price was great for ~120GB drive. Seems to be the largest capacity that doesn't have reliability issues (larger WD perpendicular recording drives seem to be more trouble prone?? not to mention more expensive)

Cons: No carrying case included with the drive, even though the black external plastic case is nice looking. In my opinion, this drive vibrates more than it should. Not a major problem, as it is an external drive, and there are little rubber feet on the outside of the case. It doesn't make noise while vibrating, which is a saving grace. I was in the disk drive industry for 8 years, and I think this drive vibrates more than would be acceptable installed in a laptop. It vibrates much more than my laptop's 60GB Hit*chi, and the Hit*chi runs at a fast 7200 RPM, not 5400. Maybe WD sells drives that vibrate too much as external drives? Well the price was great(low)anyway. I'm still glad I bought it.

Overall Review: I recommend re-formatting it to NTFS if you use Windows 2000 or XP. Instructions are included with the WD drive. The only reason it's shipped formatted with FAT32 is because it's the "lowest common denominator" with all the possible old computers (and non Windows Operating Systems) that may still be operating out there. I was going to "make" my own external 2.5" drive by buying a case and a 2.5" laptop HDD, but the sale price on the WD made it even cheaper than building my own.

Love this tiny ergonomically correct mouse

Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile Mouse 3600 Black (PN7-00001)
Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile Mouse 3600 Black (PN7-00001)

Pros: Bluetooth works great Does not require a USB dongle (I dislike using a port for the mouse)

Cons: The molded elastomeric material on the sides of the mouse degrades to a sticky gooey mess after a few years.

Overall Review: I'm glad Microsoft still makes this mouse. I've had a few of them over the years, and keep coming back to them even after trying fancy and more expensive "ergonomic" or performance mice. Even though this little guy is primarily designed as a portable laptop mouse, I find it just fits my hand better than most and does not cause hand pain. Because of previous carpal tunnel injuries, even after surgery, I still get tingling after using a mouse for awhile. I often switch from mousing with my right hand to my left, and this mouse is symmetric for easy use on either side. And since I do 3D CAD design work in Solidworks, I'm on my computer for most of the day and have to do lots of precise mouse moving. This mouse is great for that. While small, it does have a great curve over the top that doesn't leave your hand straining. Have loved them for years. At least they are great until the molded rubbery material on the bottom of the mouse degrades into a sticky gooey mess. Oh well, since they are relatively inexpensive, and bluetooth technology changes, it just means it's time to buy another one.

Great add to my inexpensive laptop

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB 260-Pin DDR4 SO-DIMM DDR4 3200 (PC4 25600) Laptop Memory Model F4-3200C22S-8GRS
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB 260-Pin DDR4 SO-DIMM DDR4 3200 (PC4 25600) Laptop Memory Model F4-3200C22S-8GRS

Pros: -Good price/size balance -Easy install to

Overall Review: This 8GB stick was for the empty slot on my inexpensive new Dell Inspiron 3511. Since the OEM laptop makers charge so much for RAM and drive space, I thought I'd supplement the puny 4GB that came with the laptop by adding it myself. With only 4GB of memory, and the onboard graphics in the i3 processor sharing the small 4GB of RAM I had, it was not enough. There was a second RAM slot open, so it was simple to install. After booting, I now have more "breathing room" of 12GB of RAM instead of 4GB. I'm no longer worried about how many windows or tabs I have open, or how much RAM the integrated graphics is using.

Nice Inexpensive drive with good capacity

Acer SA100 2.5" 960GB SATA Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) BL.9BWWA.104
Acer SA100 2.5" 960GB SATA Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) BL.9BWWA.104

Pros: Inexpensive Good price/capacity balance

Overall Review: Inexpensive, came rather quickly, was easy to install in my new Dell Inspiron 3511 laptop. Formatted in Windows 11, and is working great as a secondary mass storage device to compensate for the puny 128 GB M.2 drive that came standard in the Dell. After 1 week I have it half filled with years of family pictures, videos and music. So far so good.

Works for a few months then dies

ARRIS SB5101U SURFboard Cable Modem USB and Ethernet 10/100Base-T DOCSIS 2.0
ARRIS SB5101U SURFboard Cable Modem USB and Ethernet 10/100Base-T DOCSIS 2.0

Pros: Worked for about 2 months.

Cons: Worked for a couple of months, but then like thousands of others out there, seems to increasingly drop out connections that need to be rebooted. Very annoying. I didn't even get to break even compared to a Comcast modem. Very disappointed. I should have listened to all the reviews out there, but I needed a modem quickly, and bought it at a BB brick and mortar store.