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Corey S.

Corey S.

Joined on 07/12/05

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 39
Most Favorable Review

Good card for the cash

XFX GeForce 8800 GS 384MB GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 SLI Support Video Card PVT88SFDF4
XFX GeForce 8800 GS 384MB GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 SLI Support Video Card PVT88SFDF4

Pros: This card performs impressively given it's price range, much better than the 8600gts it is designed to replace. Coupled with a C2D E6320 (slightly OCed to 2.1ghz), and 2gb of budget DDR2 667 it achieves 8450 in 3dmark06. Single slot cooler makes it physically able to fit in most systems, provided the south bridge cooler or hard drive(s) don't get in the way of the massively large PCB. Card is very quiet, especially compared to the Radeon X850pro it replaced.

Cons: Did I mention the large board? I'm pretty sure I could tape pictures and text to it and use it as a poster in a class presentation if it wasn't currently in use as a video card. Not really a con if you're putting one of these into a reasonably sized machine, but worth a mention.

Overall Review: As with any Geforce 8800, make sure you couple this with a fast CPU, a C2D or one of AMD's new Phenom CPUs. I have another system with a Geforce 8800GTS running an Athlon 64 FX57, and despite have the better video card versus this one, it can't break 6000 in 3dmark06. Bottom line, if you're going to bother owning a Geforce 8800, don't bottleneck yourself with an older system.

Most Critical Review

not a very good PSU

APEVIA ATX-AS520W-BK 520 W ATX Power Supply
APEVIA ATX-AS520W-BK 520 W ATX Power Supply

Pros: the sleeves on the wires were certainly nice, and the price wasn't too bad. I also liked the control for the fan speed, which kept the noise of the 3 fans (which managed to add a bit to my cooling) to a dull roar.

Cons: From the moment I installed this and turned on my system, the voltage fluctuated. At first, this wasn't bad, but as I added more fans and more power hungry components. Finally, after 7 mos and 1 case fan too many, the voltage started to shoot all over the place and before long the whole thing just died.

Overall Review: Would not recommend. My system was not really that power intensive and it still managed to blow this PSU. I can only hope I didn't fry anything in the process. my system: Asus A8N-E, Athlon 64 3700 San Diego, 256MB Radeon X850 pro, 1GB OCZ Gold Edition.

Stellar but increasingly obsolete; buy updated versions

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL

Pros: This RAM was unbelievable when bought my first kit of it... in early 2010. Back then higher clocked DDR-3 was rare and expensive, and this allowed for that kind of performance due to its fantastic overclocking. Even at 1.5v, my four sticks of this RAM -I bought another kit later for an updated rig- will go to 1866 or 2000 with loosened timings (1866@10-10-10-30 for me, 2000@11-11-11-30), and can tight up timings substantially with more voltage. I've hit 2000@10-11-10-30 at 1.6, and didn't feel like playing around further, but I'm sure it would push much, much further As always, G.Skill RAM is cheap and ubiquitously free of whatever small compatibility issues I continue to have with modern RAM elsewhere. This stuff has seen service in three boards without a hitch.

Cons: These days, 1866 at 8-9-9 timings or 2133 at 10/11, including updated G.Skill Ripjaw (X), is the same price as this stuff. That stuff gives more performance at the same voltage.

Overall Review: To be clear, I DO NOT recommend buying this. For 1600mhz RAM from 2010 it's incredible. Today, G.Skill has updated their offerings to better RAM at the same or better prices, so this has as about as much use as a PATA optical drive. As always performance and compatibility vary from board to board slightly. My 790FX Asus ROG board would run this stuff across its full range of speeds and timings without a hitch. My Asrock 1155/Z77 gets flaky on POST past 1866 (it'll run at 2133, but fail to boot until you failsafe it and re-set the RAM to the higher speed, then proceed to run fine). I do not blame the RAM itself for these issues.

11/12/2014

Underexposing

TAMRON AF005Nll-700 SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD for Nikon
TAMRON AF005Nll-700 SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD for Nikon

Pros: Umm, best $450 telephoto under the sun? But don't take my word for it; read a real review, from a professional.

Cons: It isn't a 600mm crammed into the same body, with the same aperture range, for the same price... maybe in 20 years, right?

Overall Review: To the user below claiming the lens is "underexposed by one stop", let me explain how this works. Your camera BODY (not any computer anywhere in the lens) is what determines your exposure, based on your metering mode. If you're in full manual, it will give you an exposure indicator to guide you. If you're in Aperture Priority, it will take the aperture you selected, and select the correct shutter speed. If you're in shutter priority, it does the reverse. If your pictures are under-exposing, it's because your BODY is selecting the wrong exposure values and is controlling the lens wrong. The lens plays no part in determining those values (beyond having a limited aperture range, mechanically, which the BODY selects a value from). Really, you can take a piece of construction paper, stick it over your lens mount, poke a pin-hole in the middle (preferably reverse those steps) and it should STILL work. If it doesn't, then send your body to Nikon, because it controls exposure, NOT the lens.

Acceptable lens at a great price

TAMRON AF017C700 SLR Lenses AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Lens for Canon EOS Black
TAMRON AF017C700 SLR Lenses AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Lens for Canon EOS Black

Pros: For a 300mm telephoto, this lens is amazingly cheap. The macro focus is also very nice, and allows one to get very close to small objects, even from a short distance away (while my 28-80mm's macro nearly requires you to press the lens against the subject).

Cons: Now for the things that aren't so nice. This lens is soft at 300mm, even stopped down to the typical f8-f11 range that usually helps telephotos. That isn't to say that stopping down doesn't help, merely that it takes the lens from terrible (at f5.6) to reasonably acceptable. This lens also takes an absolute eternity to go through its focus range, and likes to focus hunt in all but the absolute best lighting conditions. You can pretty much forget tracking moving objects with this lens, at least without a lot of effort and a lot of misses.

Overall Review: Without IS, you're going to be shooting at ISO400 or 800 most of the time at 300mm in order to get the necessary shutter speed, especially on an APSC sensor, which makes this lens effectively 450mm-480mm. Most SLR bodies will handle that without any kind of problem, though. All in all, this lens has some serious limitations, but for the price, it's a good buy.

Great Cards!

HIS Radeon HD 5770 1GB GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 CrossFireX Support Video Card H577FM1GD
HIS Radeon HD 5770 1GB GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 CrossFireX Support Video Card H577FM1GD

Pros: These cards run very fast, and very cool. In Crossfire, they achieve 21,000 in 3dMark06 and 15,000 in 3dMark Vantage (P Score). They easily run as fast as a single Radeon HD 5870, which, for a setup that cost just a hair over $300, is just unbelievable. They also run very cool. Crysis and 3dMark barely get them to break 60C, and even the notorious Star Trek: Online doesn't cause them to exceed 65C. Only Furmark generates greater temperatures, and with that program they only hit 85C-90C on stock settings. The Rev2 cooler is clearly very cool running. It is also very quiet, being completely inaudible vs other fans usually. They also overclock fairly well. The memory became instantly unstable above 1300mhz, and intermittently unstable until I settled at a disappointing 1280mhz, however, the Core reached 940mhz without any hint of stability issues. That's a respectable overclock for these, despite the lacking memory performance, because many 5770s can only reach about 900mhz on the c

Cons: With only one CrossfireX port, these cards can only be run in a dual CrossfireX setup, however I will not knock these cards down for this, as the tradeoff was a cheaper price for an otherwise identical card vs the more expensive variants. The cards also didn't include Dirt 2, but as I wouldn't play that game anyways, I will also not knock these cards for that. The money I saved on the pair of these vs more expensive 5770s was at least worth a copy of that game.

Overall Review: These cards offer the best price/performance ratio out there at present, especially in CrossfireX setups, in which performance scales very well. My system: Antec 900 Asus Crosshair III Formula AM3 Motherboard Phenom II X4 965BE 125W @3.8ghz 4GB G.Skill Ripjaw DDR3 1600 9-9-9-24 2X HIS H577FM1GD Radeon HD 5770 1GB