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Richard W.

Richard W.

Joined on 10/02/06

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 6
Most Favorable Review

Great Solid Case

Cooler Master HAF XM - High Air Flow Mid Tower Computer Case with USB 3.0 and Two External Drive Docks
Cooler Master HAF XM - High Air Flow Mid Tower Computer Case with USB 3.0 and Two External Drive Docks

Pros: I shopped around for quite some time. I was a little iffy on the design, but the cable management/door really got me. After a year, I like this box better than when I bought it. Everything feels solid on it, no sharp edges, nicely painted interior, the tool less bays all work just fine. At first, I didn't love the plastic around the edges, but it is solid and not cheap feeling at all and has protected the case when it got moved and swung into a doorway pretty hard. It is really thick plastic and also made a handy part to drill into for a little mod I did. The mesh on the top worried me at first, but it supports multiple cats enjoying the new space heater and hasn't ever flexed/bent/deformed in the slightest. Really incredibly solid all around and has held up very well. The xdock is really nice, especially when fixing other people's computers. two hard drives transferring as quick as they need to both hooked up to Sata3 on my board. USB 3 ports on the front w/o passthroughs (probably pretty standard now, but a year ago they were hard to find). The buttons are solid and don't feel like they'll wear out in a few years. Big slow fans move quite a bit of air through it very quietly. I even like the little tray up top. It's kind of pointless, but comes in handy all the time to hold thumb screws, thumb drives, doodads and the occasional phone. Plenty of room to work, I think you'd have a hard time finding something that didn't fit. A small cavern behind the board for a rat's nest plus the PSU shroud really helps keep everything tidy looking. If you're lazy about cable management, nobody ever needs to know about it. I'd buy one of these again in a minute. If you were to ask me for a big, solid, wind tunnel of a case for a decent price, I'd point to toward the HAF XM without a second thought.

Cons: A couple of nit-picky things thrown in out of fairness: The xdock holds 3.5 drives by means of little pins held in with rubber grommets, these can be fidgety sometimes. To lay the case down flat on it's side, you have to remove the side panel behind the board. It really is pretty heavy. The front fan light controller will really only work to toggle the light for the front fan. My cats step all over the power button. I had to put a toggle switch in line to disable it.

Not quite enough juice for gaming pc

APC BE750G Back-UPS 750 VA 10-outlet Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) (Replaced by BE850M2)
APC BE750G Back-UPS 750 VA 10-outlet Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) (Replaced by BE850M2)

Pros: It worked great, but couldn't handle my system. I RMA'd it and got a bigger one. I draw a little over 500 watts on load. I really don't think VA means anything. I'm no electrician/electrical engineer, but it seems to be a marketing tactic to throw out a big number. Use watts.

Cons: It would beep at me (overloaded) when playing games. To be clear, this was on AC power, it was just warning me that it wouldn't work if the power went out when playing games. It didn't work for my needs, but it probably would for a normal workstation.

Overall Review: The overloaded beeps happen on ac (IG all the time). I got a little confused about that while reading about this, so I posted this to help clear that up.

I really just needed multiple languages

Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 32-bit - DVD
Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 32-bit - DVD

Pros: It's the windows tax, I was irritated to learn that multiple languages required double taxation. Personally, I don't see too much of a reason to get this over home premium. RDP, I suppose, if you just didn't like VNC.

Cons: yeah, price I guess, other than that, it's Windows, so there's not really a con vs other versions of Windows..

What more do you want

Kingston 1GB 200-Pin DDR2 SO-DIMM DDR2 533 (PC2 4200) Laptop Memory Model KVR533D2SO/1GR
Kingston 1GB 200-Pin DDR2 SO-DIMM DDR2 533 (PC2 4200) Laptop Memory Model KVR533D2SO/1GR

Pros: Memtest likes it and I like it too. Popped it in and ran diags. All is A-O-K.

Cons: Wasn't free. oh, my other memory had to quit working for me to buy this one. That sucked.

Overall Review: I put it in an older Inspiron 6000.

12/14/2008

First build

Shuttle SG31G2 Intel Socket T(LGA775) Intel G31 glamor small form factor Black XPC Barebone
Shuttle SG31G2 Intel Socket T(LGA775) Intel G31 glamor small form factor Black XPC Barebone

Pros: This was my first build and I am impressed. I am used to working inside laptops so this seemed to have a lot of room to me, aside from all those cables everywhere. Everything is where it should be, never once did I think to myself: "why did a Malaysian do that." The bios has some options, the box has cables for a SATA, two IDE's and a floppy(like a thumb drive but with magnets),and there was even a tube of thermal compound.

Cons: The little blue light is bright. No seriously bright, like getting up out of bed to see why the monitor is still on bright, like shadow puppet bright, like the neighbors know I am in the rough going through the living room for a glass of water bright. Not so much a con really, more like I captured your deity and imprisoned him in the little light on the front of my computer.

Overall Review: There are like 5, 1/8 inch audio out ports divided up into headings of front, sub and center, rear channel... I've not seen that. Realtek's software looks nice though. I don't have 18.1 sound in 1/8 inch jacks though

Vista Drivers

LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black IDE Model DH-20A4P-04
LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black IDE Model DH-20A4P-04

Pros: Quite, not ugly, works and works well. For the price I couldn't resist such a quick burner even if it didn't have screws or software.

Cons: see other thoughts

Overall Review: I am not real sure about the drivers. Vista went and got them, the device manager shows the drive is installed and it is the correct model number. The problem however is that it is burning CD-R's at 1/4 the speed in the specs. I googled around and couldn't find better drivers.