Date Joined: 03/25/05
Pros: Modular, quiet and affordable.
Cons: ... Rebates. Need I say more?
Was unable to cut box due to possible PS replacement. 21 day window passed and now I'm out $20 rebate. :-P
Overall Review: Not a negative for most but the plug design may be less than optimal for some. I have the PSU in a FT03B and due to the plug direction, the cable from the FT03B, when plugged in, will prevent the side door from closing properly. You'll need to bend the cable at a 90 degree angle to allow the plastic side door to close correctly.
Pros: A lot of features for the price and most importantly, pins for 3 bios/motherboard controllable fans (2x3 pin, 1 4-pin).
Cons: Random power cycles at default settings so I got a replacement board. Tested/swapped everything (CPU, PSU, Mobo, RAM, HD, OS) and could not get the system to go stable. System with replacement board is now stable at stock settings but becomes unstable at any over-clock configurations. Strange random power-cycles and freezes. I've already spent ~$11 to send the bad one back so I didn't want to spend anymore.
Something odd that I discovered when manually adjusting the setting was the high difference/fluctuation in voltage. A manually adjusted 1.15v setting shows up (on all monitoring software) over 1.3~1.4v. Voltage peaks to 1.5v with turbo enabled and at times, would freeze/BSOD while doing simple task such as opening applications. NOTE: No other settings were adjusted other than changing the cpu voltage from AUTO to MANUAL. :-/
Strangely enough, stock setting works just fine and reports exactly within specs.
Overall Review: Mobo came with bios 1.3.
OCZ 550w PSU.
G.Skills Ripjaws X 4x4.
Pros: Working great on an Asrock Z68 Pro3-M motherboard... so good that I actually bought 2 kits.
Cons: Sales curse!
Purchased my first set at regular price only to find them $10 cheaper the following week (which I promptly bought).
Overall Review: I've used only GSkill RAM for the last 5 computers I've built and needless to say, I've been very happy with them.
Pros: DD-WRT support (installed v24-14896 build).
Currently using device as a wireless access point to extend my network. Same SSID + security settings + different channel = no problem (less minor changes to minimize possible coverage conflicts).
Cons: DD-WRT works great. No problem so far. Didn't try the stock firmware. I don't understand why anybody would buy a wireless router that didn't support DD-WRT. :-)
Overall Review: Firmware update using Asus's built-in web-based upload didn't work for me. I had to use the Firmware Restoration Utility to upload the update. Power cycle after installation and I was in business.
Pros: Excellent finish. Good weight and size. No complaints about the ring.
Cons: Nothing major. Vendor sent replacement ring in paper box. Luckily I had a few spare cases around.
Overall Review: Had to replace with a bigger sized ring. A combined 10 business days wait (from newegg replacement instruction, shipment of old ring to vendor and final delivery of new ring).
Pros: Using as a replacement supply. Very quiet.
Cons: I hate rebates with a passion.
Pros: 3+ months and no problems so far.
Cons: None. Standard hard-drive.
Overall Review: Will update if anything happens.
Pros: No issues installing wireless printer. Two trays. Static IP printer + installed drivers = worked.
Overall Review: Remember to add scanner in control panel if you want to scan.
Pros: Moves a decent amount of air. 3-4 pin adapter included.
Cons: Sounds a lot louder than listed.
Overall Review: Shipping > Price of Fan. :( I do miss the good old days.
Pros: Worked as expected. MSI K9N motherboard.
Cons: Darn cyborg ninja pirates riding bears stealing my DDR2 RAMs.
Overall Review: Have had zero compatibility issues with G.Skill RAM ever since switching over three years ago.
Pros: No installation problems + good price!
Cons: 2-3 bars with the wireless N router @ 20 feet away.
NOTE: LinkSYS N USB wireless adapter was at full bar at same distance.
Overall Review: A satisfied Zonet ZEW2500P user. Was expecting the same from the 2540P model. Possible wireless setting issues. Can't pin-point problem but signal strength is sufficient for the job.
Pros: Features galore for the price and size. Bridge heatsink design and overall color were nice cosmetic touches.
Cons: This is a follow-up review to the one that was made about the faulty motherboard used for a client's computer.
Bad first mobo but prompt newegg service minimized effect of problem. Client's computer was up and running within a few days. Fast shipping to and back from newegg.
Mobo very selective with RAM. Check ASUS site for RAM compatibility before purchase. Luckily, I had a few different brand around to use.
Overall Review: Newegg service is the by far the best in the industry. Replacement motherboard was shipped within a few days and client's computer was up and running shortly after. I can't not stress how important fast replacement shipping is and will continue to use newegg for custom builds.
Pros: Got the motherboard as a newegg combo deal for a client so cost wise, the price was great. Recognized the Athlon 620 CPU on boot and experienced no driver issues for Windows XP.
Cons: Freezes at ASUS bootup screen from cold boot but works fine after a manual restart. No help from tech support unfortunately.
Overall Review: The problem mysteriously went away after a few days. Cause is still unknown but will update accordingly if problem arises again.
Pros: Definitely the best native quad core for the money.
Able to overclock to 3.25ghz on stock voltage (250x13) with HT at x8 and memory speed lowered to keep within specs. Strangely enough, 250x8=2000 is exactly the default HT speed.
Cons: Cheap heatsink.
Overall Review: Lack of L3 cache appears to have no real world effect on performance. Numerous websites have confirmed my suspicion. Others have confirmed that early Propus cores are Denebs will L3 cache disabled but mine appears to be a later bin with the cache removed.
Pros: I used the external HD to save pictures and family videos and it worked fine for 6 months.
Cons: All data lost.
I decided to move some new videos over for storage and discovered that the HD was no longer detected by Windows. Long story short, after much trouble shooting with support, it turned out that the HD was now showing up as unformatted disk with all data lost.
Overall Review: There's one thing to lose backup files but it's another thing to lose your family's pictures and videos. I'm very upset and would not recommend this product.
Pros: The floating d-pad is 3x better than the PS3 d-pad allowing for more consistent QCF and Dragon-Punch motion. Shape fits comfortably in hand and the buttons are of acceptable quality. People with a short thumb may have some issue with the far right buttons but the buttons are still evenly spaced for maximum accessibility (although I prefer the buttons to be a little bigger since I use my fingers instead). Rubber grip on the side is a nice touch along with the standard turbo feature of any aftermarket controller.
Overall, the Fightpad is a good buy if you're looking for a d-pad based controller for your fighting game needs.
Cons: Requires 2x AA batteries.
Wireless maybe a pro to some users but a huge con for me. MadCatz should have made the fightpad rechargeable like the PS3 controller or cut the price to $29.99 and kept it wired. Having to replace batteries is a hassle and the wireless feature is unsettling if you plan to use it competitively. Also, the fightpad requires its own USB receiver so if you misplace yours on accident, you're out of luck.
Overall Review: IMO, the Fightpad is not worth the MSRP but newegg's low price makes the controller a decent buy.
For younger gamers who grew up on the (d-pad) console, the fightpad makes for a good substitution if you want a decent fighting game controller. But if you're serious about fighting games, I recommend passing on the fightpad and buying a joystick. The marginally priced Madcatz SE SF4 fight stick is a good buy for just a little bit more and will do the job like the bigger and more expensive TE stick.
Pros: Ran fine in Vista32 at stock speed. Disabled Vista SP1 TLB fix using 3rd party software so performance is back at intended specs (reclaiming almost 10%-20% in loss). Stock fan is good quality and will probably be sufficient for low-mild overclocking. Affordable quad core = perfect for home video-editing/encoding. Low power 95w quad.
Cons: Maybe it was just me but my box appeared to have been repackaged/resealed. One of the seal sticker was partially dried and there was a noticeable finger print on CPU. I don't know, perhaps the CPU had been sitting in storage for 2 years and the seal had became weak?
Thermal paste on the heatsink/cooler was improperly applied. Thermal paste was not smooth nor uniformed. I did however managed to lower temp about 3-5c by cleaning and replacing the old paste with some artic silver.
Overall Review: Can't complain about the price but I'm not sure how "new" these CPUs are.
Did not have a copy of Vista64 to test so I'm worried about possible issues when I move to Windows 7 64-bit in the future.
Vista SP1 TLB patch fix is enabled automatically even if bios setting is set to "off". You will need a 3rd party software (or AMD Overdrive) to return performance back to normal at a risk of stability (less than 1% crash?). So far I've yet to experience any crashes from this B2 stepping core.
Don't expect too much improvement for gaming purposes (on par with my A64x2 5600+). Better to stick with higher clocked dual/tri-cores.
Pros: Dual bios! Easy bios reflash. Good northbridge heatsink design. More than enough USBs. Complete memory configuration.
Cons: Front facing SATAs = Fail. A pain if you have locking SATA cables.
Why the eSATA port was not built in to the back baffles me. :(
Was an issue with my setup: Front audio panel pins located behind the CPU next to the northbridge. Cable had to run through the fairly hot heatsinks.
Overall Review: Minimal performance loss between crossfire 8x versus 16x so the extra $$$ saved on getting the UD4P instead of 790FX mobos can be used for other components.
Recommended by Anantech.com
Pros: Surprisingly no issue at all!
Affordable, fast and heatsink design appeared to be functional. Adjusted the settings in the bios to 6-6-6-20 1.75v and memory worked like a charm.
Cons: More voltage than I wanted but did the job for the price. No complaints considering cost.
Overall Review: Not a con but make sure you have clearance if you're buying this kit.
I had a bad experience with OCZ Reaper 1066 before but their customer service (forum) was great so I gave them another chance. I'm glad it worked out.
Here is my mobo for those seeking compatibility issues:
Gigabyte MA790XT-UD4P + PhenomII 720.
Pros: Mobo still working after two months. Can't argue with price/performance.
Cons: CPU voltage is severely inaccurate. I've seen fluctuation as high as .1-.15 and IMO, incredibly dangerous when you're over clocking.
Overall Review: Tech support language barrier could be an issue. I had to write 3 e-mails just to get an answer about the voltage fluctuation and even then the response didn't answer my question at all.
Pros: Very efficient cooler as heat increases. Drop load temperature by almost 5-7c compared to my Zalman9500A so definitely worth the price. Easy installation on AM2+ motherboard. 1000-2000rpm fan so slightly more CFM compared to the other S1283 line-up. Clears NB heatsink. A PRO for me but maybe a con for others on AM2+ mobos: Fan only mount in one direction pushing air from the bottom to the top (vice versa) but not front to back. A little louder than I wanted it to be at full load but noticeably more quiet compared to the Zalman9500 so a plus for me.
Cons: Cooler blocks dual channel dimm slot 1-2 on my motherboard. Being "big" which I think anybody considering the S1283 line-up knows about already. Instruction for the Intel install appears to be complicated based on the direction that came with the cooler. Some issues making sure the base and the heatpipes lined up correctly and proportionally due to the size of the heatsink. Not really an problem but something for users to think about. Advice: Take out motherboard for the installation.
Overall Review: Cooler is about 160mm tall so make sure your case can accommodate it. The cooler fits fine in my Cooler Master RC-690 with the width measuring at 8.4" (granted I had to lose the top side fan but not a lost considering the better CPU cooling) .
Final thought: Highly recommended for any mid-high end CPU that can needs good air cooling and can handle the size.
Motherboard: AOD790GX. Phenom II
Pros: Fast, sturdy and high capacity.
Cons: Avoid Patriot rebates.
Overall Review: I know I'm not the first to say this but I don't know what's wrong with my rebate. After two weeks of waiting (3 weeks since I sent the rebate), there is still no record of my rebate @ status-now.com. I suspect the usual explanation that they never got it or it was rejected for some ambiguous error. I'm just so tired of fighting over rebates with unscrupulous companies. Newegg help!
My advice: Don't factor rebates into the final price for products from Patriot.
Pros: Good heat sink design. Per OCZ instruction, bios adjusted to 2.2v, 5-5-5-18 and 533/1066 to set correct speed.
Cons: Random system crashes after install with no prior issues before with G.Skill DDR2 800 4GB kit. Frequent computer hang-ups at startup. Multiple errors (100+) found while running dual channel MemTest86+ 2.11 during Test #5. Moved kit to 2nd slots to no avail.
Not sure if it's an error or a rebadged DDR2 800 with increased voltage but memory showed up as PC6400 regardless of which program was used to identify it.
Overall Review: Phenom II 720x3; Asrock AOD790GX; Radeon4850.
Did research before purchase and gave OCZ the benefit of the doubt even after reading the memory issues about this particular kit at OCZ forum. Unfortunately, I'm experiencing the same issue that a lot of users are going through. Also, I don't know how replacement process works with rebate. Hopefully OCZ will still honor in a timely fashion (with their strict 21 day window) if memory kit is replaced.
RMA in the works but prefer refund. Testing with other bf's and friend's different brand 1066 kit had no issue. I will update accordingly.
Pros: Good overclocking mobo. Supports selected AM3 Phenom II cores and works with DDR2. Good SATA placements. Quick boot not too shabby. Came with SATA cables. 3.4ghz @ 1.35v with 720x3.
Cons: Had to upgrade bios to recognize Phenom II 720x3 CPU. Had some issue enabling front panel mic/earphones (VISTA32bit: Folder icon underneath "Device Advanced Settings" in the "Realtek HD Audio Manager" control panel:). 1x chassis fan plugin. No big deal for the price but only 8x dual crossfire.
Overall Review: I've been watching mobo for 4 weeks with no price drop or free shipping and newegg finally dropped the price $XX after I purchased the motherboard. Possible credit to those who ordered 2-3 days before the price cut?
Pros: Conservative overclock to 3.4ghz @ 1.35v. Idle @31c with Zalman 9500. 4th core enabled through ACC. Stable at 2.8ghz on stock voltage. Possibly more but no "real" advantage with 4th core and I wanted to remain as close to stock voltage as possible.
Overall Review: Shipping execution. Two day delivery selected but something got held up and shipping invoices weren't received until Thursday evening. Didn't get CPU until Monday.
ASROCK AOD790GX/128M + 4GB G.Skill DDR2 800 5-5-5-15. No compability issues.