Joined on 09/05/05
Pros: - Extremely well built - Rubberized coating - Ability to choose preferred MX Switch - Tenkeyless - Relatively inexpensive (as compared to similar quality mechanical keyboards) - CM removed the branding that a lot of people didn't like on the keyboard face and spacebar
Cons: None that I can think of.
Overall Review: This isn't a con against the keyboard, but more against Newegg in this case. Pictured is the grey version of the CM keyboard with branding and black keys. I received he completely black version of the keyboard without branding. While I like that I don't have the branding, I would have rather gotten the grey version of the keyboard, and it would have been nice if Newegg indicated that the image shown on the page might not be what you receive.
Great for gaming, fantastic for productivity
Pros: Runs my games at least as well as my old i5-4690k that I had overclocked to 4.4GHz, but blows it away when it comes to any other non-gaming task.
Cons: Currently it's not a good time to buy a Ryzen CPU unless you're willing to possibly deal with some of the issues that can happen with new tech, but a lot of those issues have been related more to the hardware surrounding the CPU's (motherboards for instance) than the CPU's themselves. Not sure if it's the motherboard or CPU, but I can't seem to turn the overclock up quite as high on my GPU before I have issues with games as I was with my i5 system. I find it odd that either the CPU or motherboard would affect this, but figured I'd mention it. When overclocked on all 8 cores it can run hot during stressful processes, unless you have good cooling.
Overall Review: I have my R7 1700 running at 3.9GHz (1.344v) paired with a Gigabyte AB350M Gaming 3 (currently F2 BIOS) and a set of 16gb G.Skill DDR4-3200 c14 RAM (running at the correct speeds via XMP profile). As far as games go, running them at 1440p with my GTX 1080 I don't notice any real difference in framerates, which makes sense since at 1440p it's mainly the GPU handling things, but since I don't play at 1080p I didn't get benchmarks at that resolution. (also running in Performance mode with HPET turned off) As far as productivity, I ran a video export with my i5-4690k (4.4GHz, 16gb DDR3-2133) and it reached 28% complete at the 59 minute mark. (I stopped it at that point because I was tired of waiting, I usually ran those exports overnight). Running the same export on the R7 1700 (3.9GHz, 16gb DDR4-3200) it reached 100% complete in slightly over 26 minutes. While I may not have made huge gains in gaming with the R7 1700 at 1440p, I sure as hell made huge gains in productivity.
Nice all around laptop.
Pros: - Good build quality - Nice screen with a higher than average resolution for this screen size - The screen is Matte instead of Glossy - There is room for another hard drive to be installed if needed. - Comes with Windows 8, which can be updated to 8.1 for free - mSata SSD hard drive - Dedicated Gefoce GT 730m video card, with an onboard Intel 4000 chip for when the Geforce isn't needed - 8gb of RAM - Plenty of full sized ports on a slim, compact chassis - For people unfamiliar with Windows 8, Gigabyte installed some software that helps to make a few things easier to deal with - Keyboard backlighting - Not a touch screen (I am pretty sure I would get bored of the feature pretty quick and want to stop fingerprinting up my screen)
Cons: - A good chunk of the SSD is occupied with a hidden restore partition. I was able to use the built in recovery software to create a USB recovery drive and then delete the recovery partition and combine it back into the main partition (giving me back 10gb) using some free software, but if I didn't know to look for that or how to do it, I'd be out 10gb right there, and I dislike having a restore partition ONLY since it might be my SSD that fails, and I can't restore from a faulty SSD. - No restore disks or option to make any since the laptop doesn't have an optical drive (can make a restore drive, which I did using a 16gb USB thumb drive) - The keyboard is only OK at best. It could be better and it could be worse, but it's a bit disappointing on a relatively premium priced laptop. - There is a good amount of software loaded onto the computer at the start that I did not want and needed to disable or uninstall, not as bad as I've seen from store-bought PC's, but not as nice as a completely clean OS. - The hibernate/wake feature uses a file that when I initially was looking for what was using up all the space on my hard drive was about 6-7gb in size. I did a quick search and used a command line input to disable the feature and regained that hard drive space, but again, if someone didn't know to look for it, coupled with the recovery partition that is about 17-18gb of hard drive space lost before you even do anything with the laptop. - Not a touch screen (would be kinda neat to use one with Windows 8.1)
Overall Review: Okay, so overall I really like the laptop, especially since I knew how to 'fix' the issues I had with it initially. The reason I have the non-touch screen as a Pro and Con is because I personally don't like the idea of jabbing away at my screen with my grubber fingers, and use Start8 with Windows 8.1 anyway so don't run into the frustration people sometimes get with the Start Screen, but I also think it would be a good thing to have for a Windows 8 laptop. (They do make a version of this laptop with a touchscreen, but I believe it has a lower resolution) The main reason I went for this laptop was because I wanted a slim, compact laptop I could game with. There were other options out there that were more powerful and a bit cheaper, but I didn't want another large laptop that looked like some sort of glowing monstrosity that I would be embarrassed about using in front of anyone if I needed it for work. I love how slim and light this laptop is, and while the GT 730m is no worldbeater, after testing the main games I can see myself wanting to play on the laptop, I am more than happy with the results. The games I tried out were Torchlight 2, Borderlands 2, King of Fighters XIII, Super Street Fighter IV AE 2012 and Worms Reloaded. I know, nothing that will MURDER a video card, but if I want to play high end games at super high graphical settings, that's what I have my desktop PC with 1080p monitor for. The only two games out of those I could get a good gauge of performance out of was SSF4ae2012 and Borderlands 2, since Street Fighter has a built in benchmark and I've played enough Borderlands 2 to know how it should look when running well. SSF4: 1600x900, all settings on highest, 4x Anti-Aliasing, V-Sync off for the test 72-74 FPS in two runs of the benchmark. Borderlands 2: 1600x900, all settings on highest and FXAA on. PhysX on LOW, Ambient Occlusion OFF, Anisotropic Filtering at 4x I went into Lynchwood and tried to get into as big a fight as possible, since I had noticed on my main PC that area was more taxing than a lot of others in the game. I didn't notice and stutters and everything looked buttery smooth. I may go back with FRAPS or enable the console command to see the actual FPS, and might also try it with PhysX on just to see how it goes, but as is I'm more than happy with those results. I might also install Grid 2 and run the built in benchmark just to see what FPS it gets before I uninstall the game (because it's a massive disappointment). If I do I'll see if I can update this review with those results. All in all though, a VERY nice, portable laptop that is quite capable of gaming and whatever else you may want to do with it. Compared to other ultrabooks and laptops in the price range, I think you're getting a very good deal considering the U2442 comes with a SSD and dedicated graphics, as well as a non-glossy screen.
works as advertized
Pros: In my Abit A8n32-SLI Deluxe, it recognized the memory at the correct speed and timings by default, and works with no trouble at all. I got this memory as a replacement for some OCZ RAM that wasn't being recognized at the correct timings, and even with the default settings would cause constant BSOD's (motherboard/memory compatibility issue). The Patriot RAM is also quite fast, and doesn't seem to be any less quality than my previous OCZ or Geil sticks.
Cons: Even though the Patriot and my old OCZ RAM show extremely similar timings, when my computer was working with the OCZ, Vista gave it a score of 5.9, while my new Patriot gets a 5.2 (running Vista Ultimate 64-bit). Not sure I will be able to notice the difference though, since much of the time when using the OCZ I was staring at a blue screen. Also, I was looking forward to a red PCB with the Patriot, but the memory I got was the regular green PCB with red heat spreader, unlike what the images show.
Overall Review: Despite my minor disappointments, the fact that the memory is recognized at the correct speeds and timings in a motherboard that had given me nothing but trouble with getting the advertised settings out of both my Geil and OCZ Ram, as well as being very fast and crammed full of quality goodness makes me think I may add Patriot to my list of memory to keep an eye on. (Mainly bought the memory because I'd heard it worked with my motherboard)