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Rick F.

Rick F.

Joined on 09/08/08

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 75
Most Favorable Review

Great Board!

GIGABYTE GA-Z170XP-SLI (rev. 1.0) LGA 1151 Intel Z170 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
GIGABYTE GA-Z170XP-SLI (rev. 1.0) LGA 1151 Intel Z170 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: This is an aesthetically beautiful board, and the performance/quality was a welcome surprise for this price range.. I paired it with an Intel 6600k, and performance/stability have been awesome. The USB 3.1, great onboard sound, and M.2 slot are icing on the cake.

Cons: None

Overall Review: A little over a week ago, I paired this board with a 6600k, and 16gb of DDR4. CPU/heatsink install went as expected, though I use somewhat low-profile RAM, so my heatsink overlapping the memory slots was not an issue, but something to consider. It seems as though the setup gets easier with every new generation of chipset, and this was no exception. Less than 2 minutes in the bios, and everything was exactly as I wanted it. I had really hoped to make use of the M.2 slot for this, but it was not in the cards. This slot is really handy for mini ITX builds, or for those wanting to maximize performance, and/or those looking to minimize cable clutter. I did a clean install of Windows 7 on a Samsung 850 250gb drive for this build (with the plan to upgrade to windows 10 soon), and everything was literally, well, uneventful. Upon completion of the Windows 7 install, I installed the Ethernet driver from the disk, and went straight for the gigabyte website for the latest drivers. Within a half hour, everything was up and running without a hitch. I won't go into the performance/temperatures of the 6600k, there is better coverage of that on the tech sites, but I am happy with the low temperatures, and not so low performance! Onboard sound quality ranging from decent to fantastic isn't that uncommon these days, but it is worth mentioning the onboard sound on this motherboard is definitely closer to the fantastic side. Also the ethernet is Intel - can't go wrong there! The plethora of USB ports are a welcome sight, with the ever-increasing gadgets that require USB recharging. The rear panel alone has 7 total USB slots from 3.1 to 2.0. This is really an aesthically beautiful board, with tons of bells and whistles for the price, and the quality (and performance) are much better than I'd expect from this price range. Definitely recommend it for consideration, if you are shopping for a new board!

Most Critical Review

Review update

NETGEAR AC1200 Wireless WiFi Range Extender (EX6200)
NETGEAR AC1200 Wireless WiFi Range Extender (EX6200)

Pros: See previous review.

Cons: See previous review.

Overall Review: Please see my full review below - this is an update. 7-14 days after setting this unit up for testing, it lost power and refused to power on again. I sent an email to Netgear, and received no response after a week. I then sent another, and again no response. It has been almost a month with no reply.

Compatibility issue?

CORSAIR Vengeance RGB Pro 32GB (2 x 16GB) 288-Pin PC RAM DDR4 3600 (PC4 28800) AMD Optimized Desktop Memory Model CMW32GX4M2Z3600C18
CORSAIR Vengeance RGB Pro 32GB (2 x 16GB) 288-Pin PC RAM DDR4 3600 (PC4 28800) AMD Optimized Desktop Memory Model CMW32GX4M2Z3600C18

Pros: - It's stable at lower than rated speed - the LEDs are nice

Cons: - No matter the settings, this RAM won't boot when clocked any higher than 2666. Nothing I've tried works. I tried the DOCP profile, I've tried manually changing memory frequency to 3600, and voltage to 1.35v. I've also tried every memory frequency between 2666 and 3600.

Overall Review: My motherboard is an Asus TUF Gaming B550 Plus paired with a Ryzen 9 3900X. It's a great board, but this Corsair RAM just won't run any higher than 2666. 3600 is a pipedream at this point. I'm not sure if it's a compatibility issue, or the RAM is to blame. The SPD lists this as 2666 modules.

Beautiful in terms of aesthetics, *and* performance

ASUS ZenBook 14 Ultra Thin and Light Laptop, 4-Way NanoEdge 14" FHD, Intel Core i7-10510U, 8 GB RAM, 512 GB PCIe SSD, NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Windows 10 Home, Utopia Blue, UX431FL-EH74
ASUS ZenBook 14 Ultra Thin and Light Laptop, 4-Way NanoEdge 14" FHD, Intel Core i7-10510U, 8 GB RAM, 512 GB PCIe SSD, NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Windows 10 Home, Utopia Blue, UX431FL-EH74

Pros: - Aesthetically beautiful - Superb performance with the Core i7 - Excellent IPS screen with barely-there bezel - Fast 512gb NVMe SSD - Great balance of portability and functionality - Minimal bloatware installed

Cons: - No possibility of upgrading RAM, so the 8gb installed is the max for the lifetime of the laptop. Hopefully this isn't a trend that continues for long. - Sound isn't the best, but adequate for a compact laptop, so not really a con.

Overall Review: This is a deceptively fast laptop, given it's compact nature, and effortless portability. On a typical day, I have upwards of 25-30 tabs open in Chrome while typing up an extensive Word document, listening to music. The Zenbook never broke a sweat - no lag, no stuttering, no delays. The 512gb NVMe drive is the perfect size for everyday use, and it is a very fast drive indeed. On the gaming side, it is a different story. The MX250 is a lower end GPU, and when coupled with only 8gb RAM, there are limitations for gaming. Most higher-end games struggle to achieve an acceptable framerate rendering most of them unplayable. That's not to say gaming isn't possible - some newer games are playable, though on low graphical settings. This handles somewhat older titles very well, in general, though! Aesthetically this thing is GORGEOUS. Very sleek, and well-built, every inch of it feels like quality. The IPS screen is beautiful and is well-complemented by the razor thin bezel. The size of the laptop is somewhat deceptive too, as (for me at least) it appears smaller than it feels while using it. Being my new "daily driver", it goes where I go, and it is a real breeze to carry. The only real knock is the lack of a RAM slot for upgrades, and it is a big one in my mind. Who does that?? All in all, I love the Zenbook, and will continue to use it as my main computer.

Sleek, Fast, and Efficient!

ASUS VivoBook S15 15.6" Whiskey Lake Intel Core i5-8265U Processor, 8 GB DDR4, 256 GB SSD, Windows 10 - S530FA-DB51-GN, Portable IPS Full HD NanoEdge Bezel Laptop, Backlit Keyboard
ASUS VivoBook S15 15.6" Whiskey Lake Intel Core i5-8265U Processor, 8 GB DDR4, 256 GB SSD, Windows 10 - S530FA-DB51-GN, Portable IPS Full HD NanoEdge Bezel Laptop, Backlit Keyboard

Pros: Thin design Lightweight Great performance Thin bezel around the screen Beautiful IPS screen

Cons: It is a real chore to access the internals if you want to upgrade anything.

Overall Review: Aesthetics: I really love the thin design, and color options for this laptop. It screams sleek, and the thin bezel around the screen is much appreciated. The IPS screen is fantastic, with vivid colors, and good contrast. Performance: The performance is surprisingly great, with the quad core CPU packing plenty of oomph for everything I do regularly. The integrated GPU even does well in a pinch for some gaming, albeit on lower graphical settings. Battery life is very good (roughly 5-7 hours, depending on activity). Design: Highly portable design, and perfect for someone on the go. This is my new daily driver for my trek for home, and work. Extremely lightweight, and easy to carry. The only con for me is there isn't any sort of easy access panel for memory/SSD/wifi upgrades. You have to remove the entire bottom portion of the laptop case. Upgrade options: Inside you'll find two M.2 slots, one for SSD, one for Wifi, as well as a second (empty) memory slot. I've switched the SSD to a nice NVME model, and added an additional 8gb of DDR4. Immediately noticed a significant performance boost! Overall, I really love the laptop. Great battery life, great performance, and a beautiful design. So happy with it!

Very easy setup, great performance

Cooler Master MA410P TUF Gaming Alliance Edition RGB CPU Air Cooler, Military Camouflage Design, 4 CDC 2.0 Heatpipes, 120mm RGB MasterFan
Cooler Master MA410P TUF Gaming Alliance Edition RGB CPU Air Cooler, Military Camouflage Design, 4 CDC 2.0 Heatpipes, 120mm RGB MasterFan

Pros: Fits most cases without issue Great cooling performance Fans are surprisingly quiet given size Quality is spot on RGB!!

Cons: It's not water? Not really a con, I knew it was an air cooler :D

Overall Review: This is a great cooler, and the setup is inline with other coolers of this type. Installation is dead simple, and comes with everything necessary to fit a variety of boards. The aesthetics are really nice - RGB just puts it over the top - and it looks great in a case with a window or plexiglass case. I've used this cooler in 4 different cases, and had no problems with the size. The fans are very high quality (no need to buy replacements) and move a ton of air, but are surprising quiet given the size. The actual cooling performance is spot on, and even manages to keep my 4790K running very cool, where it is typically a challenge. A great cooler - easy to drop in, excellent performance, and it looks niceeee!