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Benjamin G.

Benjamin G.

Joined on 08/17/07

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Product Reviews
product reviews
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Most Favorable Review

I’m a big fan!

Corsair Air Series AF140 140mm Quiet Edition High Airflow Case Fan Single Pack(CO-9050009-WW)
Corsair Air Series AF140 140mm Quiet Edition High Airflow Case Fan Single Pack(CO-9050009-WW)

Pros: Rubberized screw holes reduce vibration; EXTREMELY quiet, it may be the quietest fan that I have ever owned; it blows more air than I expected; it dropped my CPU temp by 3 C; comes with multiple colored accents to match your case & lights

Cons: I own an Antec 900 and there are no 140mm mounts so I improvised a bit and ended up zip tying the fan into place. The 3 pin fan cable is not terribly long so if you have an open connector on the other side of the motherboard from the fan, buy an extension.

Overall Review: This fan is designed for pushing air around into and out of your case. Do not buy this fan for a radiator. Although there was no 140mm mount in my case, I was able to place the fan (with zip ties) in line with my cpu heatsink which blows up toward the big boy 200mm fan. This dropped my cpu temp (Phenom II x4) below 30 C which is has NEVER EVER happened before!

Most Critical Review

Unit needs work

TRENDnet TEW-736RE N300 Easy-N-Range Wireless Extender
TRENDnet TEW-736RE N300 Easy-N-Range Wireless Extender

Pros: Connecting the TEW-736RE to my home network was very easy. I simply held down the WPS button on my router for 5 seconds and then held down the button on the range extender for 5 seconds. The device is quite small and can be well hidden just about anywhere. The coverage on the device is very good. I was getting full bars everywhere in my house!

Cons: The range extender would stop working intermittently. Sometimes it would work, sometimes not. I tried various settings using the device’s firmware. I set both the router and the range extenders security to WPA, then WPA2. I made sure the device was being seen by my router (which it was even when it was not functioning).

Overall Review: I really cannot recommend this device as it was so problematic. It is possible that I had a random dud, but searching through other people’s feedback suggests otherwise. I hope Trendnet fixes these issues because when the device works, it works great.

Crucial M4 - The best upgrade for the money

Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2CCA 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) with Transfer Kit
Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2CCA 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) with Transfer Kit

Pros: First time SSD owner--it's worth it. I boot into Windows within 10-15 seconds and it is immediately responsive. Gone is the long boot time followed by 2-3 of general unresponsiveness that I am so accustomed to. After installing Windows and a few various programs, I am still left with 65gb of free space. Windows Experience Index score for the ssd - 7.9. My AMD Phenom II x4 955 is now the bottleneck so my system is rated @ 7.4

Cons: I debated for quite a while about whether to get the 128gb or the 256gb version. I still have quite a bit of space left but it is always nice to have more.

Overall Review: If you can buy the 256gb version without sacrificing your dinner or the kids college education, I would recommend it. If you are a penny pincher like me, buy the 128gb version. It is definitely worth it.

Good Memory - with caveats

G.SKILL Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR
G.SKILL Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR

Pros: Lower voltage rating than other manufactures (1.5V vs 1.65). Stable (with caveats; see cons). Low cost

Cons: This memory will not run at the advertised 1600 with 4 sticks installed. This could just be an issue w/ my AsRock Extreme 4 motherboard. If I have 2 sticks installed it runs without hiccups. If all 4 sticks are installed and run at 1600 then I get lockups, strange errors, game crashes and blue screens. When I lower the clock speed to 1333, all is fine, problems gone. I traded out a set of Patriot DDR3-1333 to upgrade to speed and quantity of RAM. I have 16gb or RAM but the 1600 speed that I was looking for is missing.

Overall Review: Make sure that you read your motherboard RAM spec sheet before buying RAM. Also be sure it has been tested with more than 2 sticks if you are buying more.

Budget board w/ the works

ASRock 970 Extreme4 AM3+/AM3 AMD 970 + SB950 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
ASRock 970 Extreme4 AM3+/AM3 AMD 970 + SB950 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS

Pros: -Its on the lower end of the cost spectrum -It has a lot of really great high end features such as SLI/Crossfire, Debug LED, CMOS reset on the back panel, THX audio, SATA 3, USB 3, lots of fan pin headers and the UEFI gives you control over just about everything that your motherboard can do -It also overclocks my 955 like a champ

Cons: none so far

Overall Review: I paired my mobo w/ 4 ADATA DDR3-1600 sticks. I set the ram speed in bios and my pc proceeded to keep crashing and generating crazy errors. I reset the ram to run at 1300 and then just overclocked my FSB so that my ram was close to 1600 and adjusted my multiplier as needed.

ASrocks

ASRock N68-S UCC AM3/AM2+/AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 7025 / nForce 630a Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
ASRock N68-S UCC AM3/AM2+/AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 7025 / nForce 630a Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

Pros: For me, the biggest pro is how small it is. It is the smallest micro-atx board I have ever seen. This was important to me because I am using it in a low profile HTPC case. Other than that, its pretty standard fare with the notable exception of the ASRock core unlock feature.

Cons: No firewire, outdated chipset, no gigabit LAN

Overall Review: It's a good cheap board that will suit you well if you plan on adding a low profile video card