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Gregory S.

Gregory S.

Joined on 07/01/03

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 18
Most Favorable Review

Very Nice overall, a few annoying design issues

Cooler Master Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UB Black /Blue Aluminum Bezel , SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Cooler Master Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UB Black /Blue Aluminum Bezel , SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Pros: Impressive air pass though with the entire front being perforated grill. The supplied fans are quiet. Work space and component layout are A+. I can get to everything on my full-size ATX MB with all components installed with ease.

Cons: Front bezel base frame is actually plastic with overlay metal parts, and attaches to the case with those annoying plastic compression flair tongs. Getting the bezel off first time can be a chore and may result is scratching of inset trim pieces if you are not careful. Adding additional 5.25" devices to a finished system is a nightmare. The attractive black grill knock-outs can only be removed from the rear. Also removal of the bezel which cannot be done when 5.25" drives all already in place as the bezel will not slide over the drive's faceplate. To add a drive, you have to remove all existing 5.25" devices, remove bezel, remove knockout, the reassemble everything. Chinese puzzle box lovers will appreciate this :)

Overall Review: The in-use performance and low price more then offset the assembly issues. 5 stars awarded here.

Most Critical Review

Nice, once you get one that works.

Seagate BarraCuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive
Seagate BarraCuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive

Pros: Fast, quiet, and high capacity if you get one that works.

Cons: The first one I got vibrated so badly that it made the entire computer case hum. It also had that random head seek clicking problem and hesitating access times that many others here have complained about. New Egg replaced the drive and the new one, made in China with SD04 Firmware, which seems ok on initial test. At this point I only care if it works and is reliable.

Overall Review: This experience happened over the Holiday season which prompted me to buy a WD drive locally to finish my project while waiting for my RMA to be processed. Having to buy parts twice to meet a deadline did not make me happy. Trying to post this review 3 times before with somewhat more stronger language and never seeing it go up has shaken my confidence even more.

Ideal for Gigabyte Micro-ATX Motherboards

OKGEAR 18" SATA 6 Gbps Cable, Straight to Left Angle with Metal Latch, Black, Backward Compatible 3 Gbps and 1.5 Gbps
OKGEAR 18" SATA 6 Gbps Cable, Straight to Left Angle with Metal Latch, Black, Backward Compatible 3 Gbps and 1.5 Gbps

Pros: I am using a GIGABYTE GA-880GM-USB3 AM3 Micro-ATX motherboard. The SATA sockets on this board are placed right in line with where a full length graphics card would lay, causing a physical conflict with conventional straight cables. These left-angle cables are the perfect solution, pointing the cables away from the sockets in the right direction so you can all the SATA sockets while keeping a low profile for the graphics card to fit above.

Cons: None.

Also works with older AM3 Socket systems

G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-1866C9D-8GAB
G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-1866C9D-8GAB

Pros: I purchased 2 kits for 16gb on my AMD 980 Black Edition system. The motherboard I am using is a Gigabyte GA-880GM-USB3. At 1600mhz with 8-8-8-24 timings it worked flawlessly at default voltage. I was also able to increase the North Bridge frequency to 2400mhz for a better match to the 1600mhz memory clock. I had previously tried the best Corsair and AMD’s own branded memory and failed to achieve such timings with both memory banks populated. This G Skill “Ares” line of memory is clearly one notch above the other brands in quality and performance. I also love the low profile no frills heat spreaders. Impressive.

Cons: None

Yes it does include & support Eyefinity

XFX Radeon HD 6870 1GB GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 CrossFireX Support Video Card HD-687A-ZHFC
XFX Radeon HD 6870 1GB GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 CrossFireX Support Video Card HD-687A-ZHFC

Pros: Followup to my last review. Eyefinity support for 3 screens IS included with this card.

Cons: Clock speed issue: ATI Catalyst, Information Center, Graphics Hardware Reports: GPU Clock 900 MHz Memory Clock 1050 MHz However the ATI Overdrive section (without unlocking) reports: GPU Clock 775 MHz Memory Clock 1050 MHz Whether it's a firmware bug or an ATI Catalyst clock reporting error, this inconsistency needs to be addressed.

Overall Review: Whichever clock speed is correct, this card is real performer. You can always unlock the card in ATI Overdrive and bump up to 900mhz if you so desire.

Nice, but missing the IEEE 1394a & E-Sata Support.

GIGABYTE GA-880GMA-USB3 AM3+ AMD 880G SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
GIGABYTE GA-880GMA-USB3 AM3+ AMD 880G SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

Pros: Outstanding Analog and SP-DIF Audio performance. Video is impressive as well with silky smooth Blu-Ray and HD playback with full shading depth. Install was turn-key with power-up and drivers working on the first try. (Windows Xp). This board is also slightly shorter (front to back) then previous Gigabyte M-ATX boards, making some tight case fits a lot easier.

Cons: Gigabyte removed the IEEE 1394a & E-Sata connections for this model. Not an issue for most users but as a custom builder it’s a problem since most cases have an IEEE 1394a port on the front panel. I can live without a working front panel port, but not if the build is for a client. SATA port placement is a huge improvement over prior versions of this board, but a long double-width PCI-E graphics card will still obstruct 2 of the 6 SATA ports.

Overall Review: Overall, I consider this to be one the best HTPC Motherboards on the market. However I will continue to use Gigabyte’s older model GA-880GMA-UD2H for my client builds until I find an HTPC case I like without IEEE 1394a front panel sockets.