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Alexei Z.

Alexei Z.

Joined on 01/13/04

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 7
Most Favorable Review

good overall, some problems though

Intel BOXDP965LTCK LGA 775 Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard
Intel BOXDP965LTCK LGA 775 Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: Supports Core 2 Duo and that was my main reason for buying it. 4 SATA slots and a lot of USB ports. Recognized my periferals without a problem.

Cons: No RAID. I should've researched better. Problems with the on-board HD Audio drivers (or the supplied control software).

Overall Review: If you notice there are only three audio jacks on the back. They have to be reconfigured if you want to use 5.1 audio. But the supplied software can't do it properly. BIOS update didn't help either.

Most Critical Review

Looks good but causes lots of pain

Cooler Master CM Media 260 RC-260-KKN2 Black Aluminum / Steel ATX Desktop Computer Case
Cooler Master CM Media 260 RC-260-KKN2 Black Aluminum / Steel ATX Desktop Computer Case

Pros: Sleek low profile case. Almost indistiguishable from other home entertainment devices.

Cons: 1. Most ATX mobos are NOT compatible. Only those which have mATX layout. The case description is deceiving about it. It made me think that standard ATX mobos will do. 2. The AGP riser card is so bad that it can ruin your day. I spent a whole weekend trying to fit the AGP riser properly. It got fried (pins on the AGP riser don't align well with the AGP slot on the mobo, so it can short circuit). I had to solder it. Be prepared for the MAJOR headache with the AGP riser. 3. The LED kit for this case is insanely overpriced. 4. Read other reviews. You can make this case work, but is it worth it?

Overall Review: If I knew what I would have to go through I’d make an entirely different decision. I was hoping to use my old ATX mobo. Didn’t work out – I had to buy a new mATX one. Wanted to use my old AGP video card – fried it while building the case and had to buy a new one (I wish I could go with a PCIx one but my new mATX mobo was AGP already).

10/20/2006

not perfect, but good for its price

Cavalry CAXM Series 500GB USB 2.0 / eSATA 7200RPM 16MB Cache External Hard Drive - CAXM37500
Cavalry CAXM Series 500GB USB 2.0 / eSATA 7200RPM 16MB Cache External Hard Drive - CAXM37500

Pros: WD hard drive inside. eSATA interface. Has a fan and stays cool even during long backups. I've used it for a month, done a number of backups to it and it has worked very well so far. eSATA is significantly faster than USB.

Cons: Fan is somewhat poor quality. After a month of using, the fan starts very loudly and goes to its normal operation mode only in a couple of minutes. I think the fan is going to die pretty soon.

Overall Review: Other reviewers indicated poor build quality, but I didn't notice anything like that. I opened the enclosure just in case, and it was fine. All screws were tight.

good for raid, bad for windows

Rosewill RC-211 Silicon Image 2 port SATA II PCI Express Host Controller Card RAID 0/1/0+1/5 JBOD
Rosewill RC-211 Silicon Image 2 port SATA II PCI Express Host Controller Card RAID 0/1/0+1/5 JBOD

Pros: Reasonable price. Simple RAID0 setup. Support for NCQ and SATA II. RAID0 performance is very good (Vista gives 5.9 rating).

Cons: Bad for Windows. I installed Vista on RAID0. The controller changes the serial number on almost every boot. And Vista requires to reactivate. Updating the firmware and drivers didn't help.

Overall Review: Don't install Windows on this controller.

works great out of the box

GIGABYTE GN-WP01GS Wireless Adapter IEEE 802.11b/g PCI Up to 54Mbps Wireless Data Rates
GIGABYTE GN-WP01GS Wireless Adapter IEEE 802.11b/g PCI Up to 54Mbps Wireless Data Rates

Pros: 54Mbps, 128bit WEP - that's all I need. Worked great out of the box. Never needed to update the firmware. My wireless AP is about 30 feet away and the connection is always excelent with the highest bandwidth.

Cons: None.

Overall Review: I didn't use the gigabyte software, only Windows XP wireless zero configuration service. When Windows recognizes the card, just tell it to find the driver on the CD - that's it, no more installation steps are required.

10/23/2006

works with soundblaster audigy

PHILIPS MMS460 160W 5.1 Speaker
PHILIPS MMS460 160W 5.1 Speaker

Comments: These speakers are undoubtly the most stylish around. Unfortunately they are not popular, so few reviews exist. I decided to order them on my own risk and it turns out I made a good choice. On the good side these speakers work well with my Audigy sound card. I had to tweak some settings, turned on bass redirection and raised the separation frequency to 150Hz to make the subwoofer working properly. After that the speakers started to produce solid deep sound. It's a whole new experience to watch movies with 5.1 sound. For gaming it's also an advantage. HL2 automatically recognized 5.1 speakers and turned on 5.1 sound. On the bad side, I found out that these are purely analog speakers. There is no digital input, and you can't utilyze the Audigy's digital 5.1 output. This was a little disappointment, but overall I'm satisfied with my choice.