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Roger D.

Roger D.

Joined on 01/29/05

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 15
Most Favorable Review
Corsair Vengeance MM600 (CH-9000017-WW) Gaming Mouse Mat
Corsair Vengeance MM600 (CH-9000017-WW) Gaming Mouse Mat

Pros: Until starting to use the Corsairs Vengeance MM600 I never gave mouse pads much thought despite being an avid gamer and someone who would happily spend a small fortune upgrading my graphics cards every year. That changed as soon as I removed the MM600 from it's packaging and placed the aesthetically understated professional looking solid aluminum double sided mouse pad on my desk! The first thing I noticed was the lack of flashy graphics or large overly stylized company names and logos. The solid build quality, low friction surface, high-control surface, sizable dimensions (almost 14" x 10.5"), and elegant design came in at a close second. Last but not least were the four non-stick rubberized corners designed for exceptional grip and minimal interference, although they were noticed last they play an integral role in keeping the mouse pad in place and allowing for quick and easy switching of the gaming surfaces. The actual mouse pad is 3mm (approximately 0.12") thick and made of an aircraft-grade aluminum which is quite rigid and resist flexing during even the most intense gaming sessions. Although the pad thickness is only 3mm the actual pad height is 5mm (approximately 0.20") and after hours of gaming causes no hand or arm fatigue. Each side of the MM600 has a very distinct high-grade polymer surface, the smoother of the two sides is engineered to offer a high-speed low-friction glide characteristic. The remaining textured surface is engineered for exceptional control and works great at both high and low DPI mouse settings. After two weeks of heavy use I've come to prefer the textured surface for gaming and the smooth side for professional applications.

Cons: I've worked hard to needle out any potential problems but came up with none during my initial two weeks of use. After doing additional research and reading multiple reviews there does seem to be minimal flex present during normal use but I did not experience this myself, at least not to the extent that it was cause for concern. During my additional research I found multiple fixes for this flex that were cheap, easy to apply, and did not permanently effect the mouse pad in any way. The only other potential issue I learned about through additional research was the result of the tight manufacturing tolerances of the MM600. The four non-stick rubberized corners only raise the pad 1mm (approximately 0.04") above whatever surface the MM600 is placed on. Given the 352mm x 272mm x 5mm (approximately 14" x 10.5" x 0.20") dimensions this doesn't allow for much height variance under the pad. Ideally you want a flat surface to put the mouse pad on to limit any potential wobble, however like the above mentioned flex issue there are cheap and easy fixes available online to help remedy these issues. Two weeks ago I would have told you the price was an issue considering you can get a mouse pad at the local electronics store for under five dollars but after using the MM600 I believe its one of the better investments you can make for your gaming and/or work computer for under forty dollars!

Overall Review: Had I never tried the Corsairs Vengeance MM600 mouse pad I would have happily continued using my trusty 5 year old traditional foam mouse pad and never been the wiser. Thankfully I decided to make the investment because now I couldn't imagine using my computer without it. Thanks Corsairs for making such a great product!

Most Critical Review

Simplicity, Ease of Use, and Far From Perfect

WD 3TB My Cloud Home Personal Cloud Storage - for PC/Windows & Mac (WDBVXC0030HWT-NESN)
WD 3TB My Cloud Home Personal Cloud Storage - for PC/Windows & Mac (WDBVXC0030HWT-NESN)

Pros: The WD My Cloud Home is a network-integrated portable hard drive that allows you to operate your own personal cloud! Relying on the cloud fundamentally means you need to rely on and trust in the security of someone else’s servers. The pitch behind Western Digital’s new My Cloud Home is, “It’s time to take back the cloud, or at least, your cloud”! The new My Cloud Home offers more on-board RAM, faster processor speeds, automated firmware updates and a very simple setup experience regardless of whether you set the unit up using the desktop or mobile applications. The device comes with a 1.4 GHz quad-core RealTek 1296 processor with four Cortex - A53 cores + Mali T820 GPU which is not used, 1GB of RAM, and a two year warranty. The My Cloud Home is available in 2TB, 3TB, 4TB, 6TB, and a whopping 8TB sizes (there is also a My Cloud Home Duo that comes with two HDD’s and even larger capacities). Network-attached cloud storage solutions have come a long way in the looks department; I especially appreciate the minimalist styling with a striking solid white and textured silver two-tone design which brings the device into modern times in my opinion. It measures 6.91” tall, 2.09” wide, and 5.51” deep, similar to a thick novel. There are only three connections on the device along with a recessed reset button. The My Cloud Home device comes with a power adapter, a CAT 5E Ethernet cable, warranty leaflet, and a small sheet with the devices unique security key and very simple setup instructions based on pictures. My favorite design element is the status indicator light which is surprisingly simple and bucks the current trend to be a controllable multi-colored LED bling fest. The light is cleverly situated in the seam between the upper and lower halves and is the only indicator of activity on the device. When it comes to usage and features you’ll quickly notice this is not a traditional NAS device, it doesn’t work like a server that sits on your network. It cannot be configured or accessed using traditional network standards and protocols. Typing the devices IP address into a web browser to get to its configuration utility will result in an error message because there simply isn’t one. The only choice you have to set this drive up is through WD’s website, the site address is printed on the setup guide. Creating an account through the WD website should automatically associate your drive with your account. Although this worked for me I’ve read that some have had to manually associate the drive using the unique security key. The last step is downloading and installing the Western Digital Discovery program (works on Windows 7-10 and MacOS 10.9 and above) and/or WD My Cloud Home app for Android or iOS in order to actually get anything onto or off the drive. For those of you upgrading to this device the WD My Cloud apps which worked with previous models do not work with the My Cloud Home drive. There are a few third-party integrations built in, for example you can setup automatic imports from popular social media and cloud services. I have only read about this but there’s also an Alexa skill and IFTTT integration. It’s well-known however that there is absolutely no information about how to use any of these, you’re stuck relying on trial and error and digging through WD’s online knowledge base for even the most basic instruction. I spent more time than I wanted searching through this knowledge base without any luck, it is not organized! My personal favorite third party software was Plex media server; this is basically a media server for dummies. It stores, catalogues, gets album and movie cover art, and plays multi-media. Unfortunately you have to sign up for this service and go through a fairly long setup process and then make sure you put all your media files into the specific Plex subfolders that get created during the setup process. This is sure to be one of the most useful integrations to people because the My Cloud Home doesn’t offer any media server functionality on its own. Plex also lets you discover content within its subfolders using standard Digital Living Network Alliance streaming apps and devices. The main drawback to using Plex is that you’ll have to pay for a subscription if you want to use most of the remote streaming options.

Cons: I installed the WD Discovery program on Windows 10 64-bit (build 1709), at the time I installed version 3.2.250 which was released March 15, 2018. The program has had complaints of spam and advertising but it seemed to be minimized in the newer version I had installed. Unfortunately it cannot be avoided because the Discovery software is the only way for your PC to detect the My Cloud Home device. On my home PC the drive was detected and installed as “Z” drive. Once the drive was mounted I was able to drag and drop files using Windows Explorer, however this only worked while the WD Discovery program was running and online. If Internet access is blocked the “Z” drive was dropped despite the device running in the background! I was amazed by this as it seems to defeat the purpose of a local network-attached storage device! The My Cloud website and apps seem to work much like how other cloud services like Google Drive, OneDrive, and Dropbox work. The advantage here is the ability to access your saved data anywhere in the world you sign in from; all you need is a Web browser or your smartphone. I was not able to determine the encryption that WD uses though the website uses HTTPS. The majority of administrative functions are limited to the apps but even then there isn’t much to write home about. It’s easier to write about what the program/app doesn’t do than it is to discuss what it does. You can share public links with anyone but setting read-only permission isn’t possible. If you wanted to give friends, family, or co-workers access to use the drive they would have to setup their own Western Digital accounts and none of your personal data would be visible to them, even if you wanted to share. Being able to set data quotas and view a snapshot of how space is being used is a common function of many network attached storage devices, however this is not possible with the My Cloud Home drive. I’ve read through a handful of reviews in anticipation for testing this device and every review I read mentioned how painfully slow file transfers were on the WD My Cloud Home when using Windows Explorer and the new My Cloud Home mobile app. The transfer rate was much slower than copying files between computers on the same network. I created a folder with 100 high definition photos in it totaling 242MB and copied it to the My Cloud Home device in different ways. The slowest method was simply using Windows Explorer to drop the folder into the Z: drive location. This operation took a mind boggling 33min and 27sec to complete! Dropping that same folder into the WD My Cloud Home using the web application in Google Chrome took only 16min and 12sec, less than half the time! I decided to transfer the folder I created directly into the public folder; I was amazed when it completed the task in less than 7min which is what I would expect with a traditional network transfer. This public folder is permanently exposed and there is no way to assign permissions to this folder which gives anyone the ability to view its contents or even delete the contents without a password. On a positive note this public folder works with Windows Backup and Restore Tool which I immediately setup.

Overall Review: In my opinion Western Digital marketed this product in a similar way to its previous WD My Cloud product line which did very well and is well liked on the whole. However this product couldn’t be more different and WD should have had better communication with its customers and been clearer about this devices purpose and placement in the market. When compared to traditional NAS devices or even their own My Cloud NAS device (which many buyers of the My Cloud Home assumed it was a refresh of) the My Cloud Home falls far short of the mark! I read one review that described this device as follows, “If we look at the WD My Cloud Home as a NAS device, then it feels like a frustrating product that has been dumbed down too far and utterly fails to live up to its potential” and I couldn’t have said it better myself. With that said I believe the My Cloud Home device is a simplified storage solution for people who are not technically oriented and I believe that this device ticks all the right boxes for the casual users who are used to online virtual cloud storage solutions like Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft’s One Drive. They are all basic storage solutions accessible from anyplace with an Internet connection. What sets the My Cloud Home apart from those services is that you own the so called “Cloud” where your data is stored and there are no subscription charges associated with continuing to store your data. The drawback to the My Cloud Home device over the online services is the lack of redundancy as the device reviewed here has only one physical hard drive, if it fails you could lose your data. Of course there is the risk of fire, flooding, theft, and even power surges which could spell disaster for your data. Basically you are completely responsible for the physical device. The complete lack of traditional NAS features, advanced power savings, data quotas, and no admin control is both a positive and negative, it depends on the buyer. The lack of those features is exactly what makes the My Cloud Home so simple to install, setup, and use. However it also greatly limits the usability of this device and limits the appeal to many technically oriented consumers. The My Cloud Home is targeted for those of you who value simplicity above all else and who want their data stored locally and not in the cloud. Pros: Excellent and sophisticated looks Very easy to install and setup, no networking experience needed Easily accessed from anywhere with an Internet connection Integration with many third party applications including Plex Media Server No annual and recurring subscription charges Cons: No admin control over data quotas, accessibility, or folder syncing No traditional NAS functionality or control No power saving options or even standby mode Backup options very limited Extremely slow transfer speeds except to common “public” folder Very limited market, those who value simplicity over all else

Great Purchase!

EVGA GeForce GTX 295 1792MB GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 SLI Support Video Card 017-P3-1291-AR
EVGA GeForce GTX 295 1792MB GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 SLI Support Video Card 017-P3-1291-AR

Pros: I had tried to do as much research as possible before deciding to upgrade to this card over my GTX280. Practically speaking the price difference might not be justifiable given the performance but it is still a faster card in all respects! This performance difference is easier to justify if you game at high resolutions (1920 x 1200 or higher). I was surprised by how well the card overclocks while still being stable (of course with heatsink fan at 100%). Overall I am very satisfied with this card, especially given eVGA's amazing customer service and warranty service!

Cons: So far I have very little to complain about except for the heatsink fan noise level. At 1000% the fan is quite loud and unless you game with headphones this can be quite annoying! Of course the card runs hot (Idle = 34C-41C, Load = 60C-87C) depending on what game your playing and what your ambients temps are.

Overall Review: As always newegg.com was awesome, I ordered this card the day it was released and it was delivered the following day before 10:30am! I also want to praise eVGA once again because of their amazing customer service and warranty service! Unlike Asus you can actually count of eVGA for any and all help you need (especially RMA and/or technical help)! Thanks to both companies! `

Excellent Modules!

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 1200 (PC2 9600) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-9600CL5D-4GBPI
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 1200 (PC2 9600) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-9600CL5D-4GBPI

Pros: I've tested many kits of DDR2 over the years and can confidently say that this kit is one of the best in terms of ease of use and reliability! I installed them into my Rampage Formula motherboard, manually set the voltage, timing, and clockspeed and it booted right up with zero problems! I've worked with GSkill in the past multiple times and their customer service is top rate, combine that with newegg's customer service and this is an easy buy!

Cons: I've been running them for about 3 months and I can honestly say I've had no problems what-so-ever. The modules are running at their rated speed and timings with considerably less voltage than their spec'd for which goes to show how serious GSkill takes their binning process!

Overall Review: Unlike most of my other modules this kit does not run Micron IC's, instead I'm pretty sure their highly binned ProMOS IC's which actually scale quite well with voltage (although there seems to be very little benefit going over the max rated voltage). With that said these modules, despite being rated for very high clockspeed, still has considerable overclocking headroom with both clockspeeds and timings. So even though there is a high price tag on these modules I think its well worth it, especialy if your looking for some hassle free, high clockspeeds, reliable DR2 RAM!

12/22/2008

D9GTR

SUPER TALENT 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR3 1800 (PC3 14400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model W1800UX2GP
SUPER TALENT 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR3 1800 (PC3 14400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model W1800UX2GP

Pros: First of all the price, I purchased them just over a month ago and they were $339.99! I've only tested about four other different kits of DDR3 (Corsairs PC3-14400 (both XMP and non-XMP), GSkill PC3-12800, Crucial PC3-12800, and Patriots Viper PC3-15000) but this Super Talent Project X clocks higher and tighter than any of the other memory I've run. On Blitx Extreme w/ E8400 2000Mhz (8-7-6-20 1T) was no issue on 2.05v!

Cons: None.

Overall Review: These kits (like most high-end DDR3 kits) run Micron D9GTR IC's and these seemed to be binned very well which is important when most kits are running the same chips. At the current price there is no reason not to purchase these. I have no idea about Super Talents customer service however so keep that in mind in-case there needs to be an RMA in the future (although newegg's customer service is 110%).

Think Before Buying!

ASUS Striker II Extreme LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 790i Ultra SLI ATX Intel Motherboard
ASUS Striker II Extreme LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 790i Ultra SLI ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: Steep learning curve for the most part but once you get the BIOS sorted its pretty decent. Fortunately my issues didn't require an RMA but it did involve a lot of wasted time dealing with Asus customer service. I just don't understand how a large company like Asus can get away with such inept service, people aren't joking in their reviews about how horrible it is. Thanks goodness that newegg has some of the best customer service or companies like Asus probably wouldn't be in business (3-8 weeks for replacement RMA from Asus, outragious)!

Cons: Granted I didn't purchase this board though newegg (got it used). In anycase I just wanted to reiterate (as if enough people haven't already posted it) how bad Asus customer support is. Whether your calling, e-mailing, or doing their "Live Chat" it is truly less than useless. In fact I've never talked with less competent customer service in my life.

Overall Review: As I write this I think of how useless I think most of these reviews are (in fact I usually make fun of how stupid most of them are because of peoples lack of knowledge about computers) but because I feel so strongly about this I wanted to post! You know something is wrong when you put off buying decent hardware simply because the company that makes it has such horrible customer service. Think long and hard before buying a product like this if your not adept with computer hardware because the answers your looking for won't come from Asus!