Joined on 07/01/08
First Micro Build
Pros: Having been a few years since my last build, I wanted to build a machine for a VR system, but one that took up a smaller physical footprint. I wanted to go "latest and greatest" in relation to AMD, so I purchased this X570M motherboard with a Ryzen 5 3600X and various other components. Overall, the motherboard is solid. The instructions are detailed and everything was packed neatly in the box. There are more than enough ports for hard drive and ssd storage and access, and the two M.2 slots are nice (and my first foray into that speedier drive access). Plenty of fan headers are accessible as well. RAM I purchased wasn't immediately recognized as 3200, but a quick trip to the bios settings provided a quick and painless way to up the RAM appropriately. The bios menu is pretty easy to navigate and offers settings which I've never seen before, so I'll leave those settings alone (for now :P)
Cons: One thing that raised an eyebrow was the tin IO shield plate - aside from the color, it just felt flimsy for what I felt I was purchasing. I was surprised they left the shield silver - I suppose that could go with the heat sink coloration though. Not worth an egg off. The heat sink covers one of the M.2 slots - the one that you probably want to use, as it's the speedier port. I bought a Western Digital 500 GB with a built-in heatsink, and unfortunately I can't use the provided heat sink atop the purchased M.2 drive. Not that I'd necessarily need to use it, mind, but now I have to just put that part somewhere else. I had to debate whether the two points above were worth an egg off - in the end, I don't think that it is, as one is due to another purchase which clashes with the provided heat sink, and the other is simply a provided I/O plate that I just "wish" was of a better material or at the very least, a better color.
Overall Review: As one of the first micro x570 boards, I'd say this board seems quite capable. I had no problems getting anything set up. I do notice a bit of time (four or five seconds) to POST - but I didn't go into the motherboard bios settings to check things out, so it's probably a setting or something I overlooked. This review is for the ASRock review rebate program.
Pros: Includes all cables mentioned on box / in description. Looks great.
Cons: Does what other reviewers have said: cycles fans on/off, maybe will cycle a couple lights on/off as well. Does not provide consistent power to mobo/anything.
Overall Review: Submitted an RMA ticket through OCZ. Hopefully they will exchange it ASAP. Already tore off UPC for the rebate, so I cannot exchange through newegg. Will edit rating if a replacement product is the same and if the replacement works, although it's sad that this happens to a few of us in the first place.
From Sulfurous Poison to Drinker's Delight
Pros: Out in the country, when you dig a well and rely on that as your water source, you have to deal with some of the unwanted minerals and nuisances that come with that source. My mother has been going to a spring to fill up 5 gallon water containers for decades because the water at that home was intensely smelling (and tasting) of sulfur; it was fine for certain things, but definitely not delectable fresh-out-the-tap. I purchased this water dispenser to see what would happen - only a few hundred dollars, and my mother's getting too old to haul water containers back and forth like some 18th century plebeian. After some play, I was quite impressed with how the water was filtered. I took a cup of water from the tap and could smell the intensity of the sulfur - I didn't even bother to taste it. I then took a cup of filtered water (cold and ambient - I liked the ambient taste better) and smelled it - not a single trace of sulfur. A taste-test followed - the taste wasn't superb, but it was definitely acceptable AND didn't taste like sulfur. The hot water took a few tries and quite a bit of "sputtering" to work, but then it did. At first, it wouldn't get hot (nor would the cold water get "cold") ... then I recalled power rockers on the back of the machine. I blindly hit both of those and then the respective water types began to function appropriately. For my purposes, this machine works well. Aside from some hiccups along the way (which were probably user generated because my eyes glazed over the installation instructions) I'd certainly buy this again, and would recommend it to anyone looking to filter their water, even if their water source is questionable (I'm talking to y'all, Flint). The shipping was also quick - took less than 24 hours. Granted, I'm in Northern New York and I think this shipped from Jersey-ish, but it was impressive. I also took note of their packaging - the message to the delivery person was unexpected and caught my eye. Those of you that get delivery might notice it too, so I'll leave that unexplained :)
Cons: - Would like to set default mode to "ambient" - maybe this is available though, I didn't peruse the manual to check, fearing that it was as Charles-Dickensy as the installation guide. - Which brings me to... The installation guide. It. is. overly. complicated. While some many need instruction on creating 85 different types of water line installations, a simple one to two-page guide would work as a baseline, and the rest could be deferred to in the back of the booklet or even on your website (in my opinion). I stopped reading the installation manual because it was too much text that was irrelevant, and each page looked the same. I ended up not even noticing the UV filter (I think that's the filter - the one inside of the machine behind the magnetic panel) and had to stop everything to flush that. - It is heavier and larger than I anticipated, but it also does fit on a counter underneath cabinetry. It's certainly not as contained as a standard Keurig, though, if you're trying to imagine size and placement in your head.
Overall Review: - I would flush both of the capsules for longer than two minutes if they had anything to do with the immense amount of particulate found in the initial dispensed water cups. - I performed about 20 "dispenses"/testings of each water type after reinstalling the filters and slowly but surely particulates that were obvious in the first cup of water diminished to nearly none by the last test. - I didn't try the external connection option, but I may in the future. It's an appreciable feature to have, and ironically part of the reason I chose to try this product over other models.
Good for the Price Point
Pros: * Networking speed was great - AC appears to work appropriately. * Battery life indicates a full 8-10 hours on a full charge. A 0-100% charge took approximately 2 hours while constantly being tasked with installations and uninstallations. * Display looks good. Doesn't get super bright, but bright enough to work in an office setting. Doesn't get as bright as my ancient HP Pavilion dv7 screen that I'm currently staring at while typing this review, but still is pretty good! * SILENT. So very, very silent. No heat on my lap while running at a full load for three hours in a 85 degree room. * Device appears to be brand new... don't see any signs of refurbishing on either unit that I ordered. * Matte finish is very fingerprint-resistant - sweet! * Netflix streaming seems to work just fine, leading me to believe that video streaming from other internet or intranet sources would work fine. The display seemed a bit dark though while streaming.
Cons: * Device was bloated with Acer software and preloaded garbage. System would freeze when uninstalling. Took me four hours to uninstall all of that garbage before I could even install a few items of software. * Mousepad takes a bit to get used to; keyboard has a lot of empty space between keys, which threw me off a little.
Overall Review: * Change the "appearance" option to performance-based - a lot of the slick effects will stop, but this thing will run three times more efficiently. * Processor speed is painstakingly visible when installing files or when running a full anti-virus scan. * Very little hard drive space left after system files (11GB) and programs/apps (7GB). * Display almost appears matte-y... Not a flaw or concern, just interesting. The whole gray laptop has a matte finish. * I'm not sure if this type of SSD registers as an SSD... it acts like it (quite, seems fast in terms of read-write speed) but the disk defragmenter I use (Auslogics) doesn't register it as an SSD and defragged it like an HDD. * Overall, a good bargain piece, but I wish Acer shipped it just with Windows and drivers to connect to the internet. Would have made the experience much better. Internal camera shows as 640x360p/30fps according to the Camera app by Microsoft. * I added a MicroSDXC card as a semi-permanent add-on via the embedded sd-card slot for additional memory without taking apart the casing to swap the SDD. * The settings state that the device is two-point touch capable... I can't see where, when or how (even in tablet mode, the screen doesn't respond to touch) so maybe that's a mistake, or there's an error somewhere in my claim. This thing makes you want to scream for the first five hours of ownership. Prepare yourself. Spend your first few hours stabilizing the system and afterward, you will appreciate what this between 100 and 150 Windows 10 14" laptop will deliver.