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Brad O.

Brad O.

Joined on 01/11/04

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 27
Most Favorable Review

Worth every penny for PC streaming!

NVIDIA SHIELD Portable
NVIDIA SHIELD Portable

Pros: User Triakel said about the Shield, "if it's for you, then it's REALLY for you" and that about sums up where I stand with this handheld. Streaming games from my PC has been a revelation, and it's probably the way I'll play all controller-friendly games or console ports going forward. Being able to play those games not just in my office but around the house has increased the amount of gaming time available to me immensely. I use the 5GHz band on my ASUS RT-N56U (on the list of Nvidia's "GameStream Ready" devices) and have had zero issues moving around the house. I've really just scratched the surface of what this device is capable of; I have yet to try 1080p streaming in Console Mode nor have I tried to play any of the Shield-optimized Android games out there. Both of those features could be a bust though and I'd still be happy based on the regular 720p streaming capabilities alone.

Cons: Price, you could get a 3DS or Vita and a bunch of very good games for either for the price of the Shield alone. The screen looks great, but it'd be even better if it was just a little bigger. Requirements for streaming are high, but I already had a SB-E desktop with a GTX 770 when I bought the Shield, so no issues here.

Overall Review: Bought it on Black Friday with the free case and t-shirt. Couldn't be happier with my purchase so far!

12/16/2013
Most Critical Review

Cheap, mediocre display

Acer G205HVbd Black 20" 5ms  Widescreen LCD Monitor 200 cd/m2 ACM 5,000:1 (700:1)
Acer G205HVbd Black 20" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor 200 cd/m2 ACM 5,000:1 (700:1)

Pros: Excellent price for the size. Aggressive look of Acer's "Predator"-era bezels and stands.

Cons: Stand is too short and offers limited range of motion. Screen adjustment options are minimal. Colors are arguably the worst of my stable of monitors, everything is washed out. Terrible viewing angles.

Overall Review: I had two of these set up in my development environment; that only lasted a couple weeks until I couldn't stand it anymore. Swapped the primary monitor for a much nicer 21.5" Dell and have since found this adequate for a lightly-used secondary screen.

12/30/2013

The best AM4 board I've used

ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero AM4 AMD X370 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 ATX AMD Motherboard
ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero AM4 AMD X370 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 ATX AMD Motherboard

Pros: This is by a wide margin my favorite motherboard that I've ever owned, especially considering the unstable early period for the Ryzen architecture. High points: -Value for cost; at the $150 purchase price nothing competes with this board on features -Good VRM design, stable power -Painless overclocking, outstanding UEFI BIOS -Looks great behind tempered glass; multiple RGB headers for addressable fans & heatsinks and Aura RGB logos on IO shroud & NB heatsink -Plenty of accessories included in package -Premium feel throughout

Cons: None so far after nearly 3 months of continuous use.

Overall Review: I understand that many seem to have had issues with this board up through the start of 2018, however from the time I purchased it I had access to a very mature BIOS. Likely as a result, I've never once encountered any problems or abnormal behavior. Build details: AMD Ryzen 7 1700 @ 3.8GHz (1.35V) Corsair H100i v2 Team T-Force Vulcan TUF DDR4-3200 16-18-18-38 16GB (2x8GB) Samsung 850 EVO 500GB & Crucial MX300 750GB XFX RX 580 8GB GTS XXX Edition InWin 101 TUF Gaming XFX XTR 750W The above is my honest opinion. However, ASUS requires me to disclose that I am receiving points in the ROG Elite Rewards loyalty program for my review.

Solid AM4 Board

GIGABYTE GA-AB350-GAMING 3 (rev. 1.0) AM4 AMD B350 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
GIGABYTE GA-AB350-GAMING 3 (rev. 1.0) AM4 AMD B350 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard

Pros: -Arguably the best price/features/build quality for AM4. Solid multi layer PCB, nice components used throughout. -Unexpected but welcome RGB Fusion feature available at this price point; syncs up nicely with the Wraith Spire cooler using one of the LED headers. -No memory issues. I'm using a memory kit that is technically not on the QVL (Crucial BLS4C4G4D240FSA; QVL has an entry for BLS4G4D240FSB.8FADG) and even prior to enabling the XMP profile, the RAM was running at its stated 2400 MT/s. Board shipped with BIOS F6, updated to F7 via USB drive before installing Windows. PC World used this board in their "budget" AM4 build, from what I've seen so far they made the correct choice.

Cons: I don't see this as a serious issue, but the first time I booted the system I could hear it restart once, twice, then a third time. After the third boot loop, everything worked fine and I was able to get into the BIOS. I don't know if this was a temporary memory compatibility issue at the outset but I haven't seen this happen since.

Overall Review: I haven't subjected the CPU to any overclocking attempts yet, but based on what I've read it shouldn't be an issue with this board. Waiting on the AM4 bracket for my Corsair H90 to arrive before I try my hand at pushing my Ryzen 7 toward the 4.0 GHz range. Components: Ryzen 7 1700 MSI Radeon R7 240 2GD3 LP 2x 4GB DDR4-2400 Crucial Ballistix Sport (using the other 2 sticks to test a different build at the moment, will test with all 4 later) 1x WD Blue 250GB M.2 SATA SSD 1x WD Blue 1TB HDD XFX TS Bronze 650W NZXT H440 Per Gigabyte's instructions, I am required to "Let everyone know that you are writing this review to enter into the rewards program."

Good inexpensive OS drive

Corsair Force Series 3 2.5" 90GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) CSSD-F90GB3-BK
Corsair Force Series 3 2.5" 90GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) CSSD-F90GB3-BK

Pros: Good performance as Windows 7 Pro OS drive, no issues with reliability or data loss in over two years. Until recently, used daily as the OS and frequent applications drive in my development machine.

Cons: Price per GB was high when purchased; for the same price over Thanksgiving weekend this year I bought a 240GB Intel 530 SSD for my gaming machine. Such is the life of the early adopter!

Overall Review: Despite warnings in some corners of the internet (and on this site), I have had absolutely zero issues with this SSD. Corsair products on the whole have been very good purchases over the years!

12/30/2013

Excellent air cooling solution

XIGMATEK Gaia SD1283 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler LGA1150 Haswell Compatible
XIGMATEK Gaia SD1283 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler LGA1150 Haswell Compatible

Pros: Has kept temps low on overclocked Phenom II X4 40 and FX-8350. Nice construction for a low price. Excellent hardware for securing cooler to motherboard; vastly superior for AM3/AM3+ compared to more frequently seen clip format. Zero issues with fan after constant use.

Cons: The only rebate I have never received was for this item; I tried following up with Xigmatek multiple times and never received a reply. Price was low enough before rebate that this was not a major concern.

Overall Review: WIsh the rebate turned out to be legit, but this was still a great purchase. Still doing daily duty on the FX-8350 in my development machine.

12/30/2013