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MICHAEL R.

MICHAEL R.

Joined on 12/04/05

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 13
Most Favorable Review

Great for Budget Builds

AMD A10-5800K - A-Series APU Trinity Quad-Core 3.8 GHz Socket FM2 100W AMD Radeon HD 7660D Desktop APU (CPU + GPU) with DirectX 11 Graphic - AD580KWOHJBOX
AMD A10-5800K - A-Series APU Trinity Quad-Core 3.8 GHz Socket FM2 100W AMD Radeon HD 7660D Desktop APU (CPU + GPU) with DirectX 11 Graphic - AD580KWOHJBOX

Pros: Price - you simply can't build a comparable system with Intel counterparts without spending more. This APU allows me to offer my clients a Quad-Core with gaming capabilities on the cheap. Pair this with a SSD and you'll be able to build an amazing machine for under $400.

Cons: Unlocked, Black Edition 4.2GHz Turbo and they give you the same heatsink that you would receive with a Sempron. Not compatible with socket FM1. Uses more power than Ivy Bridge 22nm chips (obviously).

Overall Review: I've been using AMD APUs in my budget builds for over a year now and have been very satisfied. Trinity builds on that level of satisfaction delivering an even more capable CPU packed with impressive video performance at a terrific price point.

10/30/2012
Most Critical Review

Poor Packaging, Poor Quality

ARCTIC Freezer 7 Pro - Compact Multi-Compatible Tower CPU Cooler | 92 mm PWM Fan | for AMD AM4 and Intel 115x CPU | Recommended up to 115 W TDP
ARCTIC Freezer 7 Pro - Compact Multi-Compatible Tower CPU Cooler | 92 mm PWM Fan | for AMD AM4 and Intel 115x CPU | Recommended up to 115 W TDP

Pros: Fairly easy to mount onto socket FM2. Cooling performance, as you would expect, is outstanding. Keeps a A10-5800K at bay in the mid-30s Celcius under normal operating conditions. Not too costly.

Cons: One of the four points securing the fan housing was broken off during delivery. Furthermore, the fan would not spin for more than a few seconds. Impossible to replace fan without some questionable methods.

Overall Review: The fan housing is extremely thin and brittle. One wrong move and you can easily snap the outer rings or points securing the rubber mounts that hold the fan. The packaging, although neat and revealing, does not hold well against the apes at UPS. In a pinch, I replaced the failed fan with some electrical tape and a standard case fan. Looks terrible, but still works to spec! In a nutshell, ARTIC COOLING has terrific designs and heatsink quality, but needs to work on their flimsy mounts and cheap fans. Next time, I'll spend a little extra for a ZALMAN cooler instead.

10/30/2012

The Future of CPU Coolers

CORSAIR Hydro Series H50 120mm Quiet Edition Liquid CPU Cooler - Intel Only (CW-9060006-WW)
CORSAIR Hydro Series H50 120mm Quiet Edition Liquid CPU Cooler - Intel Only (CW-9060006-WW)

Pros: Honestly the best part about the H50 and similar coolers is the price. This thing reeks of quality and comes with a 5 year warranty to boot. You know it's the future when you can have the option to go with water without worrying about tubing, pump, water block, and radiator assembly - it's ready to go out of the box! The unit looks absolutely spectacular in cases if you're into that sort of thing. The pre-applied thermal paste I would say is a plus for easy assembly. There is always the option to use a superior paste even if it's already there. Mounting the fan and radiator was a snap although the block installation could use some improvement. Temperatures and noise are very impressive.

Cons: As with all aftermarket coolers, installation can be a bit dicey. I would highly recommend another person for a second set of hands. The instructions say to turn each of the mounting screws a "half-turn" before mounting the block although it's very hard to guesstimate how deep you're already in. This forced me to get frustrated, slam (figuratively speaking) the block down first and muscle the screws in. A bit of a pain but well worth the results!

Overall Review: This unit WILL work with Skylake socket 1151 - just use the instructions for socket 1150. Also be sure mount your fan as an INTAKE and install the unit either on the top or bottom of your case if possible. Use your case's front fans as intake and rear fans as exhaust per usual.

Wide Load

Corsair 600Q Black ATX Full Tower Computer Case
Corsair 600Q Black ATX Full Tower Computer Case

Pros: Excellent fit and finish to justify the price - this is a beautiful, minimalist, professional design. Very roomy for a clean installation including many options for aftermarket cooling as well as large video cards. Temperatures remain very impressive even while the case is stored in a cramped area. Fan noise is very reasonable using all three included fans. Packaging is excellent.

Cons: Keep in mind this case is SUPER wide with little benefit other than adding a little more room to work behind the motherboard. Inverse ATX was a bold design decision as your entire build will be upside down while I'd say the additional cooling is up for debate. I also would have preferred to have the power supply mounted on bottom to make HDD and ODD installation a little more comfortable. The SSD trays behind the motherboard I thought to be an awesome idea until my cable management was finished - unless you have super long cables for everything it'll get a bit messy.

Overall Review: I would absolutely recommend this case unless desk space was an issue or there would be a need for multiple drives. Going with M.2 and having a rather large desk I have no regrets on my decision! See my build here: http://imgur.com/TvYtBBI Corsair 600Q Gigabyte GA-Z170XP-SLI Intel Core i7-6700 Corsair Vengeance LPX EVGA GeForce GTX 770 Samsung 950 Pro M.2 SeaSonic X Series X-850 Corsair Hydro Series H50

Terrific Value

HP Laptop Intel Core i3 4th Gen 4005U (1.7GHz) 4GB Memory 500GB HDD Intel HD Graphics 4400 15.6" Windows 7 Professional 64-Bit 350 G1 (G4S61UT#ABA)
HP Laptop Intel Core i3 4th Gen 4005U (1.7GHz) 4GB Memory 500GB HDD Intel HD Graphics 4400 15.6" Windows 7 Professional 64-Bit 350 G1 (G4S61UT#ABA)

Pros: Basic and affordable. Impressively thin design while still managing to run very quietly. Zero bloatware aside from McAfee antivirus software. Island keyboard with numpad. Sturdy hinges with little wobble. Touchpad is smooth and recessed. Matte screen. Memory and HDD accessible. Perks such as HDMI, webcam, and Bluetooth. Still runs Windows 7 Professional and comes with a Windows 8.1 Pro installation disc for future upgrading.

Cons: Plain, plastic construction (although not a fingerprint magnet) that makes it look like just another cheap laptop. Smaller power plug that is not backwards compatible with older chargers. Durability and scratch resistance are questionable.

Overall Review: We have purchased two of these models so far and have encountered zero issues with the wireless with the factory-loaded operating system. Popping in an extra 4GB of memory as well as a SSD is highly recommended. Currently Newegg has a fantastic deal with the HP 350 G1 laptops that no other seller has been competing with - stock up while you can!

Crank it up!

EVGA SuperClocked 02G-P4-2765-KR G-SYNC Support GeForce GTX 760 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 SLI Support w/ EVGA ACX Cooler Video Card
EVGA SuperClocked 02G-P4-2765-KR G-SYNC Support GeForce GTX 760 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 SLI Support w/ EVGA ACX Cooler Video Card

Pros: Excellent price point with amazing performance. Faster and cheaper than a GTX 660 Ti. Beautiful and quiet ACX Cooler that idles at 30 °C. Practically double the performance of my 3-year-old Radeon HD 6870 in the same system. Worth every dollar.

Cons: The Radeon HD 7950 is very tempting in this sector and is far more affordable if you consider the game bundle.

Overall Review: The ideal card for mainstream gamers with single monitor setups. You like Ultra? Crank it up!