Date Joined: 02/03/04
Pros: These Memorex DLs burned at 4x with no coasters (over 30 burns so far).
Cons: Couldn't burn reliably at 8x even though I've always been able to burn Verbatim DLs at 8x.
Overall Review: 4x instead of 8x is no biggie for me. I'll opt for the lower price as long as I get reliable burns at 4x.
Purchase date of Memorex DVDs: 6/25/09
Nero reports manufacturer is Ritek
DVD drive: Lite-On DH-20A4P (purchased 10/23/08, no firmware update available).
Pros: Worked great until they failed.
Cons: Bought two of these power supplies for two builds in Q4 2006. One supply failed about a month ago and the other one failed yesterday.
Overall Review: Both failures were the same: Computers were off but plugged in, an electrolytic cap popped in the power supply followed by a small amount of smoke from the power supply. No damage to the computers. Switched out both supplies. Computers work fine now, but I'm done with Thermaltake.
Pros: Usually reliable, but...
Cons: These Verbatim DVD-R white inkjet printable discs worked fine with my computer DVD recorder but failed to work (three tries, three discs) with my Toshiba set top box VCR/DVD recorder. The Toshiba would record only a few seconds before aborting and issuing a "bad media" error code. I went down to the local big box store and picked up a 30 pk of Memorex DVD-R media and they worked fine in the Toshiba. Bad batch of Verbatims? Who knows. I received this Verbatim batch on 2/3/2009.
Overall Review: Three stars because at least they do work in my computer DVD recorder so I won't be stuck with 50 coasters.
Pros: Ordered 2/10/08, received 2/13/08. Discs were made in Singapore. Burned five so far, all flawless.
Cons: Apparently, the Verbatim DL discs manufactured in I-n-d-i-a are flawed. Note: I had to hyphenate the country's spelling because Newegg flagged it as an "inappropriate word". Now what's up with that???
Overall Review: After reading the recent negative reviews about Verbatim DL discs made in the country whose name shall not be mentioned, I decided to take a chance anyway (with the $8 rebate as added incentive). Whether through mere luck or because Newegg finally got a handle on the problem, I received the Singapore discs.
Pros: This hardware kit is perfect for the occasional system builder like me who builds just a few systems each year. Fifty of each type of hardware in a plastic case with 12 clearly marked bins. Three sets of plastic snap-in mobo (motherboard) standoffs. One set of metal jack-screw mobo standoffs. A set of longer jack-screws for card edge connectors. A set of hard drive screws. A set of CD/floppy drive screws. A set of card holddown screws. And more, you can read the specs youself.
Overall Review: All bins are marked indicating the type and size of the hardware and the common usage. No more hard drive vs. CD drive or floppy drive screw confusion and frustration. No more being short a couple of mobo standoffs. For my use, this box will probably last a decade. I'm glad I bought it.
Pros: I'm using the last stable "8" version which is 8.0.937 so I can't speak about version 9. Instead, I'll speak about Acronis True Image in general. I use Acronis TI to backup the boot drives of my three XP Pro computers to an external USB drive. In this capacity, Acronis TI has NEVER FAILED to properly restore a boot drive from a backup, and I have performed 20+ such restorations over the years. Indeed, I don't use Windows "System Restore" (I have it turned off). Instead, I make frequent boot drive backups.
Cons: Unless things have changed, you would do well to visit the Acronis online support forum before using this software. You will find a lot of useful information by reading through the problems others might be having. In my experience, the Acronis manual and help file simply did not cover all necessary ground, hence my suggestion to visit their online forum. For example, nowhere in their manual or help file did it say you must backup ALL PARTITIONS of the boot drive if you expect to boot from your restoration. I got that information instead from their online forum. Pity the poor slob who faithfully makes backups of only his boot partition thinking he will be able to restore the partition and boot from it.
Overall Review: Some reviewers here have called this product "junk". I disagree. As noted earlier, Acronis TI has never failed me and I rely on it. But then too,
1) I don't overclock (except for margin tests)
2) I run Memtest86 on all my systems and accept NO errors, and,
3) I only upgrade to a new Acronis TI version after the dust has settled, as it were, and it is clear that the new version is a stable version.
Pros: 1) Auto-MDI/MDI-X support means that you won't need crossover cables with this switch. For example, just use a standard non x-over cable to hook up to a port on your existing router.
2) The two LED's per channel show you all you need to know. One is green/yellow for 1000/100 Mbps connection, respectively, and the other is green/blinking for link/ack.
3) No setup required, just plug in your computers and your router (if you use a router) and you’re off to the races. :)
Cons: None. One reviewer said that hooking up a 100 Mbps device to the switch made all rates drop to 100 Mbps. This has not been my experience. For example, I saw no xfer performance degradation among my 1 Gbps carded computers when I hooked up a computer with a 100 Mbps Ethernet card. Anther reviewer said the switch gets too hot. Again, I disagree. Fast electronics requires more power than slow electronics and this is a 1000 Mbps switch, for goodness sake, so expect some heat. The D-Link box doesn't feel any hotter to my touch than my Motorola SB5120cable modem, which I'd classify as warm, not hot.
Overall Review: I wanted Gbps Ethernet speeds between my three home 'puters while maintaining the routing and cable modem access provided by my Linksys 100 Mbps router. No problem, just pull the three computers from the Linksys router and run them instead to the D-Link switch (using cat 5 or cat 6 cable). Then run a cable from one of the D-Link ports to one of router ports. No muss, no fuss, and no change in behavior among my 'puters, except for faster xfer speeds between them. Now the xfer speed between my three computers is limited mostly by the computers themselves (hard drive speed, etc) and not the network. I can now move a 1 Gigabyte file between my computers in approx 35 seconds. This could probably be improved somewhat (but not much) with registry tweaks which I might explore when I have the time. Don't expect 1 Gbps xfer speeds between home computers with ANY Gbps Ethernet switch. Do expect a 5x to 10x xfer speed improvement over your existing 100 Mbps router/switch.
Pros: The front cover looks great with the anodized blue aluminum trim and black aluminum bay grills. The front panel push buttons (large one for power and small one for reset) both look good and have a quality feel when pushed. The screwless drive bays work great.
Cons: 1) The plastic "tooless" card hold-downs don't work well on some cards. For example, the gameport/USB bracket that comes with the case simply can not be held in properly with the plastic hold-down clips (because there is no lip on the bracket for the clip to slip over). No problem, you say, just screw it in? Well, not quite. Yes, the screw holes are there but THEY AREN'T TAPPED! That's right, they are not tapped. Therefore, standard adaptor card hold-down screws just won't do ya. Best find some self-tapping sheet metal screws to hold down your cards in this case. Bad design.
2) The front panel has plastic stops to prevent the 5.25" drives from going in further than flush with the panel. This is unnecessary and means that you'll have to remove all 5.25 drives to pull the front panel. Bad design. Solution: Use a Dremel with a sanding drum to sand off those needless stops.
3) When will manufacturers lose their love affair with overly bright blue LEDs on home appliance
Overall Review: In S3 standby mode my mobo blinks the front panel "power on" led. Unfortunately, the blue LED is so bright that my darkened room resembles a South Beach disco when the 'puter is in S3 sleep mode. Coolermaster: We don't need to see the LEDs from a mile away. Tone down the LED brightness for goodness sakes! I'll be adding an additional series resistor to each of the two front panel LEDs.
Pros: The low 1200 RPM and the blade design make for a quiet and efficient fan. However, if you want high volumetric flow (to spec) then you're gonna have to cut out the stamped fan grill that most cases come with and use the grill supplied with this fan. This will make a considerable difference in flow rate and it will also make the fan even quieter (no turbulence through the mesh).
Cons: The fan's power connector is a legacy 4 pin Molex connector with a Male/Female pigtail. The fan also has a small three pin connector for connection to mobo fan plugs BUT it only has the RPM sense wire, no power wires. This makes for a less than ideal setup for those who want to just plug the fan into a mobo fan connector.
Overall Review: In the past I hadn't given much thought to fan noise. But with my last build I used this fan and also used a Thermaltake TR2 500W power supply that uses a low rpm 120 mm fan. This combo made for a much quieter 'puter. Oh yes, I also have a quiet 80 mm fan sucking air in from the front of the case and blowing across the HDs.
Pros: Rock stable (2 months so far) in my ASUS A8N32-SLI Deluxe mobo running XP Pro. CPU temperature (stock fan) is 35 C idle and 50 C with both cores maxed out (but not overclocked). I don't overclock except to test margins.
Cons: None so far.
Overall Review: A recent reviewer complained that CPU-Z reports only 2 x 64k of L1 cache. Perhaps that reviewer is using an old verion of CPU-Z. CPU-Z (V1.36, Aug 2006) reports L1 data cache of 2 x 64k and an L1 code cache of 2 x 64k, making the total L1 cache exactly as advertised by AMG.
Pros: Great case. Cool looking "piped" blue light design on front. The four 5.25" bays (upper four bays) afford easy slid-in/snap-in installation of DVD drives, etc. The three mid level 3.5" bays are optionallly accessible from the front (3.5" floppy drives, card readers, etc). Two thumb screws remove the lower four 3.5" hard drive bays as one unit for easy HD installation. Front door hides power/reset buttons and drives.
Cons: The power supply did a slow fail over 18 months with voltages drooping over time until computer performance was affected (intermittent crashes unrelated to software and then, ultimately, no boot and the dreaded BIOS voice message, "CPU Test Failed"). Supply voltages at that point (powered up) were 5.1, 11.91, -4.87, -11.28, and 3.35. I replaced the power supply with a new one from an unused case. Voltages with the new supply were all close to nominal and the computer ran fine once more. :)
Overall Review: Many reviews here noted power supply problems with this case. Believe it. My supply lasted 18 months which was longer than most who complained. There are obviously issues with the power supply included with this case. Nevertheless I will probably buy this case again for my next build simply becasue I like look and the other features. Power suplies are fairly inexpensive and are easy to replace. My case rating "excellent". My power supply rating "poor".
Pros: I put this drive in an AZiO ENC311SU41 Aluminum 3.5" eSATA enclosure to expand my Scientific Atlanta 8300HD DVR recording capacity. Works like a charm! Cool and quite in the enclosure. The eSATA cable was included with the enclosure. No recording playback problems/issues even with simultaneous HD record/playback. In other words, you don't need an expensive pre-built solution to expand your SA 8300HD DVR, you can roll your own and save considerable bucks.
Cons: None to date
Pros: Easy drive installation. Good engineering. USB and eSATA cables are included. I used the enclosure with a Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD3200KS 320 GB SATA drive to expand my Scientific Atlanta 8300HD DVR. The WD drive is among the coolest and quietest in its class so it runs cool and quite in this non-fan enclosure -- perfect for my application. Yes, there is a blue power/activity light on the enclosure but, thankfully, it's not overly bright (also important for my application as I watch TV in subdued lighting).
Comments: Excellent so far. I have burned 11 of the Memorex DL DVDs so far with no problems. My equipment: Lite-On 1633S, Nero Express, Athelon platform, WinXP Pro. The burned Dual Layer DVDs play fine on my set-top Sony DVD player (I don’t remember the model number but it is upconverting, HDMI out, purchased late 2004). Of course, if you want to rip encrypted DVD movies you’ll have to install decrypting software (which is widely available for free on the web).