Date Joined: 04/09/02
Pros: i am /extremely/ pleased with this gaming-class notebook. solid feel, looks great and it really performs. i've only played battlefield 2142 and world of warcraft but both look amazing at full video quality. i was going to purchase a dell but for the same price (actually a few dollars less) i got this machine that's spec-for-spec better. got it overnight too!
Cons: standard laptop speakers. but with the built in bluetooth, i use a set of wireless stereo headphones. the warranty is only two-year parts/labor where the dell i was looking into had three year w/ accidental damage. i doubt asus will cover a drop -- although i cannot confirm nor deny that.
Overall Review: you can't go wrong with these specs. i trust asus for my desktop machine -- i see no reason not to believe this laptop won't perform on that higher standard. so far it passes with flying colors.
Pros: this board has some great features. new nforce4 chipset that supports slix16 and the new dual core pentiums. plenty of onboard 3pin fan connectors. after installing a little custom cooling, this machine has been stable as a rock with great performance.
in my opinion, you just can't go wrong with nvidia drivers. i've always had the best luck with detonator/forceware and now the same results with the universal nforce drivers. i still believe the best performance comes from pairing an intel cpu with an intel chipset but until sli is supported on that medium, i'll be quite content with nvidia.
Cons: one pci slot and not a lot of room if you're running sli. i have quite a few hdd's installed in this rig and four are ide -- onboard only has two channels so i would need a pci-ide card (leaving room for my optical drives) -- but i have a sound card in the single pci slot.
heat. i have a lot of things generating tremendous amounts of heat in my machine (8x internal hdd, 2x 7800gt, pentiumd 920, 620w enermax) i really don't expect it to be cool -- but this board had dire issues while running stock cooling. finding cpu cooling was a bear because of the resistors around the cpu -- too tall to support most lga775 rigs. the stock northbridge cooling was also sub-par as (even with the fan installed) it would burn my skin. after trial and error with different manufacturers i found the perfect team: gigabyte gh-pdu21-mf and swiftech mcx159-cu. gigabyte was a breeze but the swiftech was a bit of a pain .. results were fantastic, though.
Overall Review: four pci-express video slots is a fun feature to have but remember you're going to give up a few things because of it. someone who is not necessarily going to run sli but instead an eight monitor setup from a single computer is going to see the most benefit from this motherboard.
given it's drawbacks, this board screams. who knows, maybe nvidia will release some type of firmware (or something) that'll support quad sli in four slots. plus with everything wrapped together in a nice box, you feel like you're getting what you paid for.
Comments: this was my first dvd writer. i've been using 8x ritek dvd-r media and haven't had a single problem. came with 1.10 firmware. 1.14 is available as of the date on this post. there is also a "beta" firmware for those that want RPC1 and a few other tweaks. i couldn't be happier - 16x AND DL. another quality release by pioneer.
Comments: i picked up the original musketeer a while back and loved it. adds a lot of style and is always a conversation starter. so when this revision came out i jumped all over it. not only does it add a little class to your pc ... it has a button!!! i love buttons! two options: 3.5" or back panel mount. i personally like the 3.5" style (luckily i had a free spot). anyway, people love hitting the little button and that alone is pretty cool.
overall the build quality is outstanding. easy to install even easier to use (you touch the little button .... 'bout it). i'm super happy with it!
Comments: i used to only buy verbatim datalifeplus. i still consider it the best but i can't find it anymore. anyway, with my recent purchase of a dvd writer and ritek media, i found myself being very impressed with the quality. so i think to myself, why not give the cdr media a try ...... so far so good. burned a bunch and no problems so far with data and/or audio. can't beat the price with a stick, either.