Date Joined: 12/29/10
Pros: Metal isn't too thin. Swing out drive cage was nice.
Cons: The power/reset wires were switched on the unit I received. Took me a bit to figure that one out.
The button for the optical drive just kind of mashes the button. Maybe the drive I used doesn't match up properly, but it the plastic around the button gives before the tray opens. I would almost prefer no door.
The power supply. Oh wow the power supply. This case came as part of a combo. Most people say that the power supplies that come with cases are bad, but I've been lucky before. Not so on this one. The 2 sata connectors are inline and was able to barely reach the optical/ssd. It has 2 molex and an fdd cable that are pretty much useless, and need to be tucked away. But the real magic was when I powered up...fan noise. Not the simple noise from a loud fan, sickly pitch changing "kill me now" noise.
Thankfully I had a spare from an old slimline laying around, but even this presented it's own set up problems. The power supply in this case has very little length, which comes in handy I suppose as the fan is smack dab in the middle of the panel. To accommodate my replacement power supply I had to remove the fan and mangle the back of the case a bit. Not pretty but it works now.
Overall Review: All in all this case served its purpose. Despite the issues I'm going to make use of it. I would not, however, recommend this to anyone, even if you are planning on replacing the power supply. Without a very specific power supply you loose the fan slot.
Pros: I'm sure it seemed like a good idea at the time.
Cons: 1st on broken during shipping. RMA process very simple. 2nd damaged during shipping, returning for refund. I don't believe it's a UPS problem either, I feel like I could crumple this thing myself like a soda can.
Overall Review: Even if it had arrived, after adding another fan and getting everything together...I would have still been dissapointed. There are much better options out there for not much more money.
Pros: Software gives the option for driver only install, I wish more manufacturers would do this.
I went for this option over an internal card because my PC is buried behind a desk. USB cable was sufficient for my purposes.
Cons: Nothing yet. Install was straightforward.
Overall Review: I previously used the G version, single antenna 180. It was rock solid and I'd expect the same here.
Pros: Wide compatibility makes this a great replacement board or repository for spare parts. I've used a few of these to revive oem systems, they are very handy to have around.
Cons: Lacks some of the more modern features. This is either a replacement board or is purchased with specific parts in mind.
Fans! Others have stated this already, but using this as a replacement motherboard I always forget that the fans will power up full blast. Rosewill makes a PWM splitter cable that powers the fans off molex, but controls fan speed from the PWM. Grab one of those and a few four pin fans and you'll be good to go.
Overall Review: Options are getting a bit limited now a days for ddr2.
Pros: I just needed to add some more ports and my graphics card is blocking my micro ATX motherboards only other pciex1 slot. So I found myself here. Works as expected after some finicky install work. I'll update if it takes a dive.
Cons: Listed as SYBA, came in a box labelled I/O Crest. Both have web pages, finding what I wanted was a bit of a mess. In the end I downloaded everything I needed direct form the Silicon Image web page.
Included documentation is non existent. Comes with a small piece of paper that basically says "We hope you know what you are doing."
Overall Review: Couldn't get the bios to show up during post after initial install, but after moving my two drives to the rear ports all was well. Card came with outdated bios and setup for RAID, as expected from the other reviews. Windows bios flash is command line based but comes with instructions. However it needed the drivers to be installed to recognize the card. Not wanting to install the raid drivers, then install the non raid ones, I booted to DOS via usb and got the latest bios using their DOS tool. So a little more work than I had anticipated. I bought on sale, I might have just waited to upgrade my motherboard otherwise.
Pros: Cheap, came bundled with the basic AMD DIY kit. PSU appears adequate, longevity will be the key factor there.
Cons: Wish it came with a fan! Even if it bumps the price up by a little. Even with just a basic system, I'd rather not run with just the cpu and psu fan for ventilation. I happened to have a few scavenged ones on hand, otherwise I would have been back here ordering more.
Tray CPU heatsink hole didn't match up with my mobo.
Hard drive cage seemed to squeeze the drive a little, but no big deal.
Overall Review: I was actually pretty pleased with this unit. Everything went in rather easy and fit correctly. Space for a rear fan and front fan, ok accents without looking too cartoony. Perfect for a basic build, install and forget. Not something I'd want to open up every other week to swap out parts though. Some style accents that don't appear too cartoony.
Pros: Inexpensive, came bundled with the basic AMD DYI kit. Newegg RMA process easy as pie, this one is on it's way back.
Cons: Passed Seatools for DOS tests on arrival. After install of OS, froze and failed. Would no longer pass Seatools testing, or format. DOA would have almost been better, lost a few hours.
Overall Review: I've heard all kinds of theories on hard drives from newegg. People don't know what they are doing, people order in winter and don't allow the drives to warm to room temp, how you should get all drives via fedex instead of ups, more people take time to write reviews if there is a failure. At the end of it all, I still haven't found a lowest common denominator. Some amount of failure is expected I guess. Even with the easy RMA process, I'll be buying hard drives locally from now on. It's a gamble that has lost it's appeal.
Pros: To NM, the BIOS has many useful options under Device Configurations, such as "Fan Always on while on AC Power." Take a look there.
Cons: Bios settings hurt my head.
Pros: Working great with 1tb western digital black. Using the included cable, I finally have an e sata hookup on my pc.
Cons: I suppose usb 3.0 would have been nice, but I'm not sure of the point using spinny drives.
Overall Review: The metal in the included e sata adapter is rather flimsy, but this worked to my benefit. It was easily modified for a low profile system with a pair of snips. Very nice!
Pros: Worked right away, works well from couch-tv range (about 10 feet for me.)
Cons: Not really a con with the keyboard, but I was having issues logging into windows 7 until I set the Boot Num Lock to off in my bios. If you don't have the option for some reason, you could also use regedit and navigate to HKEY_USERS\.Default\Control Panel\Keyboard, InitialKeyboardIndicators, and change the value to 0. Easier than manually turning it off for login.
Overall Review: Using this on a media machine, so it won't see heavy use.
I dislike the tiny receivers that most of these things ship with. If you are having range issues, might be worth moving to a front port, or getting a usb extender.
Pros: Quad core 65w phenom!
I went back and forth for a long time about dropping the money on this processor. I couldn't find any real information on exactly what it is. Underclocked phenom? Different die? I don't know. I had a 125w tdp 965 BE on hand and did some basic testing. For my purposes, this cpu runs cooler and with slightly less wattage (measured with killawatt meter) than an under clocked and under volted 965. Those with more experience tweaking CPU's might get better results than I. The idle temp difference is what got me though. With cool and quiet going, both chips were running the same voltage and speed, yet this ran cooler. Anyway, like I said, somebody with more experience than me might get better results, but if you are locked by tdp or just looking for lower power usage, this is your processor. Full bore on prime 95 my system was using around 115w, idle 60.
Cons: Price...speed per core, but I suppose that's the trade off.
Overall Review: Perfect solution for my slimline, low airflow daily driver rig. Solid performer, easy to cool (making for a lower sound all around.) I am happy with this purchase and should have bought one sooner.
Pros: Fit in my slimline case, better components that I used to have. 125 tdp let me get a little crazy with the new CPU.
Cons: As one reviewer stated already, no on board control over sys fans. Not really a big deal, but it surprised me a bit when my previously quiet fan turned into a leaf blower. I slapped a fan controller on it, but as I never change the setting off of low I'll be putting in a less noisy fan soon.
Overall Review: I was keeping an eye out for something to update my oem HP slimline setup. My only real requirements were ddr3, gigabit lan and hdmi out. There are plenty of boards out there that would have fit the bill, but picked this one up on a shell shocker deal and am pretty happy.
Pros: Low profile, large fan, slightly less noise than the Phenom IIx4 stock cooler.
Cons: Not sufficient for my needs, back to the stock cooler.
Overall Review: I was hoping for stockish temps with less noise, and to a point I got it. Minus a few degree's idle and a few more under load. However, in my setup, once the metal warmed up it tended to stay warm, which the stock one didn't do. In the end it wasn't worth it for me, as I had to reroute a a few things to fit this cooler, and the blue LED bothered me more than I thought it would. The noise reduction I saw wasn't enough to sway me. I returned to the stock cooler. I still feel it is a solid unit though, I'm keeping it, and I'm sure I will find a home for it somewhere. On a plus side though, after re seating the stock one with some AS 5, I'm seeing some smaller temps this time around.
Pros: Does what it says. Takes the guesswork out of things, nice to see how much power I'm actually using!
Cons: I'm sure there are models with more "bells and whistles," but this fulfills it's description.
Pros: Good price, very handy.
Cons: Nothing really,
Overall Review: Didn't know how much I needed them until I got them. Former zip-tie user, will never go back.
Pros: Perfect for my needs. Duplex works well with the occasional hiccup.
Cons: Starter cartridge is a joke. But I heeded the advice of others and purchased another one when I bought the printer.
Duplex printing of pre 3 hole punched sheets is a challenge. I was getting way to many jams. After tweaking things a bit though, I can do so pretty regularly with only the occasion jam. I ended up using some tape to keep the little "guide" things in the up position, and placed my paper with the pre punched holes on the opposite side (enable reverse print in the options, they print out just fine.)
If you are planning on refilling the "starter" cartridge, be sure to get yourself a "starter gear," as it does not have one. Supposedly it's needed for the printer to see it as a new one. They aren't that abundant, but I found one on the internets.
Overall Review: I purchased this item elsewhere, it was cheaper at the time. Wish I could have waited until now but time was a factor.
Pros: This was a great product! I bought a handful when I picked up my new case with sideways drives. These have come in handy in my own machine, and while working on others. I came back to buy some more...but now it's a no go.
Cons: Deactivated! I haven't come across a suitible replacement product either. For the first time in a loooonnnng time I'll be spending some money elsewhere.
Pros: Accepted by my HP Probook 4525s, with the Athlon II P340 cpu. Got some money off with a promo code.
Cons: Not really a con because it isn't Gkill's fault, but it runs at 533MHz clock in my setup. This is either because the BIOS locks out manual timing changes, or a limitation on the P340's memory controller. Either way I don't mind as long as it works. I think the under clock lowered the default timings.
Overall Review: As reported by CPUID, timings at 533MHz were 7-7-7-20, and a trc of 27, command rate 1t.
I hadn't planned on being brand loyal, but I just realized the last five computers I've put together recently have all used Gskill in one form or another. Inducing the 16gb in my gaming rig. Thanks!
Pros: Cost. 399 when I ordered mine. I like the form factor and it feels like a very study unit. BIOS is rather nice, and has options for ACHI, boot from USB, SD, and esata. Although replacing components does require moving the keyboard, it was a simple, straightforward task. Download the service manual and you will be good to go. Recognized all 8gb of my ram (after a 64 bit install of course.)
Cons: Limited BIOS configurations for hardware, but this is expected with a name brand pc. HP bloatware! x86 Windows with 2bg of ram is an ok setup, but add in extra HP software and it slows things down. I called tech support for the 64 restore disks (free) but grew impatient and did my own clean install. See pro's for boot form USB! Fast install. Thankfully I thought ahead and downloaded the wireless and hotkey drivers from HP before the new OS, loaded those and let W7 do the rest. So far so good.
Overall Review: I wavered for a while between this model, and the version with the phenom cpu (more L2 cache.) If I had been purchasing this is my only computer, I probably would have.
Thank you to zg, the other member that reported his arrived with 10600 Ram, not the reported 1066. Mine did as well, and I replaced it up with 2x4gb of GSkill SO-DIMM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Ram. Overkill for it's intended use, but it's usually a good idea (funds permitting, of course,) to max out the ram on whatever you buy, and a promo code helps too! I was glad it accepted the ram, because you can't change timings in the bios, at least not from what I've seen.
However, the ram does not appear to run at full speed (via CPUID.) This is either due to the bios limitations, or the memory controller on the CPU, which I believe is maxed at 533MHz. I may fiddle more with it later, but as long as it keeps working I'm happy, and lower speed can give better timings. Several memtest86+ passes and looking good
Pros: Price, ddr2 or 3, product well packaged. Being used as a test bench, total hours on my board aren't that much, but it has already seen a large number of drive/cpu/ram/os combinations. BIOS overclocking seems relatively simple.
Cons: No AHCI mode. Only two usb ports, can get tricky for a setup like mine with no case. I need to salvage some ports at some point.
Overall Review: Updated the bios before I did anything else. I purchased this specifically for a test bench setup I got from high speed pc. this board was that last piece I needed to make a functional computer out of parts I had lying around. The price was what caught my eye first, and the ddr2 compatibility is great for shuffling parts around. This was my first ASRock board and I may use them for my next build.
Pros: Mine came loaded with the 1.29 firmware. While this was quickly outdated, I believe I was lucky not having to deal with an earlier version. I was able to load windows 7 without issue. Very speedy drive, I was up and running faster that I had pictured. While not timely, I received my rebate.
Cons: Wish it had more space!
Forum support. While it is nice to have actually staff on the forum, finding the needed information can be tricky. Update procedures can change, and there are quite a few model numbers available. The last link I followed for a firmware update was to a dropbox account, and it had been disabled for high traffic. Feels like an "enthusiast" site rather than a company site. While no longer in "infancy," so to speak, there is still quite a bit to be ironed out for SSD's. I couldn't imagine jumping into these a year ago.
Overall Review: Opinions on how to setup an SSD with windows vary wildly. Almost every point I've seen included a counter point posted by somebody, but there are some general things to switch that seem reasonable. I moved my Users folder (via restore disk command prompt and mklink,) downsized pagefile, and a few other things I can't remember at the moment. Find a good guide online. Though I admittedly had mine up and running before I started looking into settings.
I caught the timing just right, shell shocker with discount code. Add the rebate in and my total price was just over 100$. New egg, your promotions work, as I would not have purchased an SSD otherwise!
Pros: Works as it should! Included power adapter and sata cable!
Cons: Would be nice if it could pull it's own power, but the included adapter is a nice touch.
Overall Review: I honestly didn't dig to much with this purchase, just a quick find and buy for me. The price seemed a little high for just an adapter, but I hadn't realized it included a power splitter and sata cable. Perfect edition to my bag o tools.
Pros: Works for it's intended use, was a mostly unproblematic build.
Cons: Update to my review below, this is the response I received via email from biostar:
"BIOS AMD CPU Kernel Bug: It will make S3 resume fail when compared to BIOS internal CPU original Table.
If the ACC feature is enabled in BIOS, S3 sleep will not work properly."
Overall Review: Hopefully there aren't any other bugs included!
Pros: Good value, this board worked great for a basic setup. I saved some money by unlocking another core in a Sempron 140.
Cons: After using the ACC to unlock (Updated BIOS,) I could no longer recover from sleep mode (S3.) Though S3 would work if I disabled the ACC. Others out there have had this issue as well. I believe biostar is aware of the problem, but aren't going to fix it because core unlocking is technically an overclock feature.
Overall Review: Not quite sure what to make of this one. I only docked 1 egg for the loss of sleep mode. Other manufacturers have unlock with no compatibility issues. It's not a massive problem, but if I had known there was an issue like this prior to purchase, I would have ponied up for a different chip or different board. As it stands now, the computer was a gift to a friend anyway and they don't mind much.
Pros: It's a gts 450. Option for low profile. Actually works well if you don't mind the squeal.
Cons: Loud under load. Like hairdryer loud, a higher pitch than anything else in my living room. I originally purchased this for it's form factor, placing it into a smaller build, though that project was later abandoned entirely.
After placing this card into a larger case with better airflow, I was still seeing warmer temps that I would like. I removed the heat sink to re seat with some different paste (This involves tearing a warranty sticker, by the way.) I was less than impressed with what I found. Cheap hunk of metal and bent fins. Some of mine were actually touching each other.
Overall Review: A bit amazed. After the thought and design of a low profile card, they just throw (what appears to be) the cheapest heat sink they could find on this thing. Anyway, after re-seating (and re bending...sigh) the sink I'm running 40's idle and low 80's under load with furmark. Much better than the 90-100's I was running before.