Date Joined: 08/30/07
Pros: Drive is both affordable and fast, perfect for a dual boot in either laptop or desktop computer; 100% compatible with any serial ATA port; uses minimal power to operate.
Cons: Performance could be a little better but it's a step up from the 850 EVO. Not as quick as NVMe obviously.
Overall Review: I've been buying Samsung SSD drives for a long time now and they are always solid performers. The software is also a nice tool in order to monitor drive health and longevity. The EVO line isn't quite up to par with the PRO line but you get what you pay for. I am always recommending these SSD if NVMe isn't an option.
Pros: Priced right, 7nm, great out of box performance, backwards compatible with older AM4 boards
Cons: Toasty when overclocked; can't get over 4.4 Ghz without a lot of additional power.
Overall Review: I was an early adopter of the Ryzen 1000 series, which came with its setbacks, however the 1700 I had been using for a couple of years proved to be a great CPU. The 3000 series with its 50% die shrink was very attractive and being compatible with older AM4 boards like mine made this purchase a no-brainer. Great performance at a good price point and doesn't really need an OC to be competitive with processors that are priced higher.
Might not be a great upgrade from 2000 series Zen refresh but I am quite happy with what I've gained over the 1700. This should carry me through and allow me to keep my current hardware for at least another year or two.
Pros: Top tier performance without breaking the bank. Nearly as quick as a 970 Pro, for the price of the EVO. PnP and optional software.
Cons: No outstanding cons, could have included some different mounting hardware I suppose.
Overall Review: I ordered this as an upgrade from a 2.5" SSD and it's certainly faster; was 100% compatible with my motherboard out of the box. I would have likely spent more on the Samsung drive but I am glad that I didn't because this is basically just as good and is much cheaper. Haven't tested gaming performance yet but cloning my booting volume was quick and easy, just as it should be.
Pros: Small single slot profile, great for SFF machines with less room for dedicated GPU, 2GB memory, near silent operation
Cons: Price might be considered steep to some, not a "GTX" card
Overall Review: I typically buy the premium high end stuff but I have a small form PC that I installed some older games on; the previous card wasn't quite up to the task @1080p. I installed this card and the story was quite different. I am able to run all of the games I was able when I was using my HD 5870 some years ago, or around that performance tier anyway, at medium and high settings. The fact that this little thing can run those old titles as good as those bigger cards from yesteryear is incredible to me. Anyway, look no further if you need a SFF or low-profile solution, as this little guy punches way above its weight. Heck, doesn't even need a dedicated power connection. Was able to easily install NVIDIA drivers under Linux too! Couldn't be happier.
Pros: Cost effective and easy to install solution to mount 2.5" drives, quality material for long-lasting use; looks good too!
Overall Review: I ordered a few of these after replacing some mechanical drives in several staff workstations. These computers are all OEM and most of them did not have any sort of 2.5" mounting options out of the box. These adapters, along with the accompanied hardware, did the job perfectly and the result is a secure and OE-style drive mount. Great kits!
Pros: looks great, powerful, fully modular design, super quiet even under load, durable build quality and energy efficient
Cons: none which warrant any points, aside from being a slightly expensive solution
Overall Review: needed to replace my X-850 power supply that had been damaged by a Vega card (use two cables!!) and this had been on my radar for awhile. i've been using SS power supplies for several years now and they've never let me down thus far. highly recommended from one of the best PSU OEM's out there.
Pros: small footprint, easy to set up and activate, way faster than our old rental modem.
Cons: minimalist software interface, but that could actually be a good thing if you just want something that works right out of the box
Overall Review: I desperately needed to upgrade our older rental modem and this was the ideal choice. Cheap, fast and reliable it blows away everything else I've used and was very easy to activate online. Can't recommend it enough, downloads are very quick and my service doesn't randomly drop out. Set up in conjunction with a custom-built Untangle NG Firewall box and our home network is the best it's ever been! Awesome stuff.
Pros: works great, looks nice, performs very well on my Z170A Titanium board and complements the color scheme
Cons: none so far
Overall Review: not a whole lot to add... worked the very first time and ran full speed. can't ask for much more.
Pros: simplistic outer design, decent ventilation, space for larger VGA cards, SFX power supply compatible, build quality is very nice, inner chassis is powder coated, vertical stand and rubber feet are included, PCIe card risers also included
Cons: somewhat odd to take apart, bigger than most mini cases, limited CPU cooler space; price is a bit hefty especially if you get the PSU version
Overall Review: I chose this case for a home server build and because I wanted a smaller footprint. I couldn't quite figure out how to remove the bottom cover, despite looking at the instructions a few times, but I stopped before something broke. The rest of the case is quite self-explanatory though, and I am pleased with the layout of the case. The power supply is located at the front next to the motherboard area, so there's a cable inside that runs through to the rear. It works, but may cause issues if you need lots of cabling.
I like it, hopefully it works out.
Pros: quality modules, tight timings, stable
Cons: steep asking price, fugly toothed heat spreder design (does look slightly better in person), flaky compatibility with my board, but that could be BIOS issue, no LED features, 3200mhz only available in black??
Overall Review: thought for sure i'd be able to run these modules full speed on my X370 board but upon rebooting the machine doesn't post. i've only been able to run full speed twice, but I'll keep trying and maybe a future BIOS will help
Pros: quality board, nice design and layout, plenty of OC features and SATA ports. dual USB 3.0 header, clear cmos on I/O panel, BIOS easy to navigate, reinforced PCIe slots, onboard power, reset, and debug LED
Cons: basically a X370 Taichi with more game-y branding and flashiness, therefore price is a bit steep, not may chassis fan headers, FlareX memory not running @ 3200mhz on current BIOS (v2.00)
Overall Review: i like this board a bit but I am also disappointed with the mem performance. i reluctantly shelled out for the "AM4 ready" DIMMs on the QVL but the board doesn't seem to like them. i also had to purchase a fan hub to make up for the lack of board connectors, but that's fine. i hope ASRock rolls out some improved BIOS... but I do think this board has great potential, like the Taichi.
Pros: Fast, cool, low power 8-core desktop processor. Easy to overclock with the right board and chews through heavier multitasking.
Cons: Stock clock is a bit low for a modern CPU, limited OC potential compared to previous AMD chips, included cooler is mostly unremarkable.
Overall Review: I bought this processor long before I was able to secure a suitable board, but I can't take points off for that. I am not sure what batch the processor is from, but it reads made in Malaysia and not China... one of the few that I've seen. Regardless, it works very well and I am happy with the performance. I initially ordered a 1700X but canceled it due to the board shortage; I'm not regretful that I picked the cheaper chip because it uses less power and runs cooler. It also nearly matches the 1700X when overclocked and a lot of samples may reach 4.0ghz and beyond.
Pros: looks pretty nice, good layout and design, seems decent build quality
Cons: doesn't work very well, lousy BIOS and memory support, debug LED are hard to read, USB seems bugged
Overall Review: I probably should have expected some issues on the new platform, but I figured I'd at least be able to get it all set up and then do some tweaking. Not even close. Big problems once Windows 10 was installed and the system just locks up after about 5 minutes on each boot. My USB keyboard and mouse don't work during POST and I couldn't even get my display drivers or antivirus installed.
If I hadn't already waited three weeks to receive the board I'd probably just send it back but I'd have to undo 6 or 7 hours of custom water work and gut the entire machine. Hopefully the board gets patched because I can't find much information about memory support or troubleshooting.
Pros: fast, reliable, very efficient, and plenty affordable
Cons: feels a little cheap, but that's me being jaded; performance far outweighs any aesthetic shortcomings...
Overall Review: since switching to ssd as primary boot devices many years ago, I have collected many different drives. this one stands out because it's a reputable US-based company and this device gives some of the more expensive drives a good challenge. i have ordered a few more since trying the first pair and I can only hope they last for years to come. good stuff!
Pros: clean design, great build quality, almost silent, excellent performance and I didn't add a drop of coolant; price is fair for what is included and the installed TIM is sufficient for most applications and lighting is a bonus--as is the link ability
Cons: instructions indicate that you should use the radiator fans as an intake, yet the picture clearly shows the opposite function. not really a problem if you know what you are doing, but could leave some people confused. piping is a little rigid because of the sleeving but I really like the look
Overall Review: I have been using liquid cooling solutions on my personal computers for about 6 years or so now; I've always gone with a custom setup. when these AIO kits went mainstream I gave them no consideration, since basically anyone could do it. now, I can actually say that kits like these make most air coolers absolutely obsolete. this kit took about 10 minutes to install completely and I probably could have done it much quicker if I wanted. looks amazing in my air 540 case (read my review on that) and I am blown away with how quiet it is. by far the least noisy of all the pumps I have used. not saying that it's better than a custom loop, but it surely takes credit for being extremely simple to install. recommended!
Pros: build quality is great, color looks excellent with my MSI Titanium board, installation and cable management are effortless, just the right amount of fan vents, good potential for water cooling and other mods, integrated 3.5" drive bays and hidden 2.5" drive bays, overall clean and subtle look
Cons: the integrated sata cabling toward the rear of the case conflict with the power supply I installed. it works, and isn't that bad, but the cabling gets a little squished once the PSU is fully fastened--design could be improved. also, I broke one of the small plastic tabs on the front panel grill but it was my fault completely. take off the top grill before the front if you need access! /embarrassment
Overall Review: I bought this case nearly 10 months ago and I never got around to really checking it out. After I uncovered it on the bench and gave it a look over I can honestly say that it's very nice. I have been building custom machines for over 10 years now and this is currently my favorite case of all time. After assembling so many ITX and other SFF computers building with this was like a much-needed vacation. Highly recommend it!
Pros: Affordable, big, great resolution and no dead pixels or excessive back light bleed. This monitor surprised me with the image and color quality and I would recommend it over more expensive solutions. The Samsung PLS is really, really nice and I am very happy with it.
Cons: The stand and speakers leave a bit to be desired but overall aren't terrible. There is no HDMI on this model but since I am using it with a workstation graphics card that isn't really an issue. I planned on using DisplayPort to DVI but I overlooked that I needed new adapters to support the resolution of the monitor, oops. Not really a fault of the product.
Overall Review: Overall this is a great 2K monitor and at this price range is a very good value. I bought two of them to use at work and I love all the extra screen space for CAD and editing software. I should have done a little more research about the DVI adapter issue but everything works and I am happy. They also got to me remarkably fast and with no issues, which was awesome. I kinda wish the bezel or frame around the screen was a little bit thinner but they're okay. At the end of the day these monitors are pretty sweet; I am looking forward to using them more.
Pros: Quiet and easy to install, quality, compatibility, price
Cons: May be a bit too big for some motherboards or cases. Could interfere with DIMMs that have tall heat sinks.
Overall Review: I'm a water cooling guy, but I've used these air coolers on a number of builds including one recently where temps dropped over 20 degrees at idle over the stock cooler. My customer was very happy that his machine stopped crashing on him.
Pros: Great looks and design, form meets function, build design seems good. LED lighting and other features polish it up a bit, assembly/configuration is a breeze. Semi-modular design and extras are a nice touch. Price is very modest.
Cons: Lacks a bit of the interior flair on most newer cases, front panel door could be a little more rugged. My unit actually had a tiny bit of rust on the panels. Only includes one LED fan, panel hinges aren't great.
Overall Review: I've been wanting to try this case for awhile but never ordered one. Now that I have it I can say it's probably the best mid I've used to date; definitely the easiest to work with by far. It's nice and neat and all of my parts fit fine with plenty of clearance. Overall I like the design even if there are a few little flaws. Would recommend to system builders.
Pros: Great looks, performance, and legendary build quality. Software works well and is ideal for gaming. Comfortable and the weight tuning is a nice feature. Overall great mouse with lengthy braided cord.
Cons: Honestly can't think of any.
Overall Review: I haven't used that many "gaming" mice in total but this one is still my favorite. I like the simple design and it is very comfortable to use with any application. Performance is great and the weight tuning is a great alternative to finding that perfect mouse surface. Very robust and overall terrific piece of hardware.
Pros: Great heat transfer, finish looks nice, big quiet fan, LED is a nice touch, relatively universal, solid choice for overclock. Overall quality is nice.
Cons: Bigger than most comparable air coolers, mounting system can be very tedious work if motherboard is installed, fan mount is not stable at lower rpm, heavy.
Overall Review: I've been buying Zalman for a long time now, and I swear by their air coolers for overclocking. They may be a bit pricier but always deliver. This one I have mixed feelings about but ultimately I do like it. For one I noticed the more "free" fan mount design caused the unit to shake since the fan itself was not evenly aligned with the base. Lower RPM I noticed the unit was shaking around a lot but virtually stopped when put to 80-100% spin. That works for me.
The mounting system, while it's a decent design for multiple applications, is a bit of a pain since the rest of the unit is so big. Without having 360 degree free access to the motherboard it is probably close to impossible to get all of the bolts secured. They are basically directly under the fins so you can't really use the long part of any wrench.
Overall it's a good cooler that is very efficient at keeping temps under control, but I'm not sure I would buy another one.
Pros: plenty of headroom for power-hungry components, bunch of outlets, decent battery life, solid build quality, very easy setup, bright lcd screen
Cons: definitely heavy for its size, faint audible buzz when idle
Overall Review: I bought this unit to replace a BR1000G, that couldn't quite meet the demand of my current PC. This new unit has plenty of battery power and 2 additional outlets so the upgrade has been worth it so far, but time will tell how it holds up. It's definitely a bit heavy but nothing out of the ordinary, as UPS are typically pretty beefy with batteries installed.
I've bought many different APC products in the past and will continue to do so until I find reason not to.
Pros: It spins...
Cons: Price, LEDs are not very bright, and one is dead, shipped with only 3 screws. Not even worth the trouble to RMA.
Overall Review: I think I probably just got unlucky but the fan I received did not live up to expectation... not even close. I've bought a few BF case fans in the past and this one is definitely the worst. For the price I expected a better product.
Pros: Fast, relatively low power consumption, low heat, and plenty of OC headroom. Six cores allow for a ton of tasking and simultaneous sub-tasking. Very stable at higher clocks and performance is well worth the price, especially if you're overclocking.
Cons: Doesn't really rival OC'd Intel 3rd/4th gen chips. Gaming performance could be a little better at stock speeds, and without liquid cooling you can't venture too close to 5Ghz without the risk of overheating.
Overall Review: I bought this CPU recently to go along with a Crosshair V Formula board and was able to hit 4.6Ghz+ easily. This processor handles the extra power just fine and with decent liquid cooling has excellent OC potential. Bests my i5-3570k at stock but the Intel chip is faster when it's pushed beyond 4.0Ghz or so...
Pros: Audio and build quality are great, sound is clear and bass gives a good punch for the size. Overall design and additional jacks/constrols make for a great package and for the price it's hard to resist buying more.
Cons: Design and size may be a bit dated for some people. Audio will start to distort at high volume, and sound quality may not impress everyone.
Overall Review: I bought a set of these in 2007 and I still use them regularly. I love the design and the audio quality is fine for gaming and the music genres that appeal to me. They aren't the absolute best but for the price I recommend them all day. I'm glad to see them still available new, I may just purchase a few more sets...