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Rhett O.

Rhett O.

Joined on 06/23/03

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 13
Most Favorable Review

An absolute killer CPU especially in the bang-for-your-buck category.

Intel Pentium G3258 - Pentium Haswell Dual-Core 3.2 GHz LGA 1150 53W Intel HD Graphics Desktop Processor - BX80646G3258
Intel Pentium G3258 - Pentium Haswell Dual-Core 3.2 GHz LGA 1150 53W Intel HD Graphics Desktop Processor - BX80646G3258

Pros: To start off with, its an Intel CPU, that in and of itself usually holds a lot of weight in any kind of review or product comparison. This CPU has maintained its price point for some time now, but it has also held true to the test of time that would merit a product to remain worthy of its price. Ive used this CPU 3 times for personal builds of mine, 1 media server, 1 file server, an "always on" DVR box with a Ceton card for recording live TV, and also 2 other times for regular day to day builds for my parents. I even managed to overclock the CPU on all 5 occasions (ranging anywhere from 600-800MHz while retaining the stock cooler), 3 times in ASRock mini-ITX boards and the other 2 times on Gigabyte micro-ATX boards, none of which had stellar chipsets or power supplies. This CPU is not going to absolutely chew through massive work loads such as outputting rendered video files but if you want a very dependable CPU for less than $70, go for it. Intel even covers this CPU under its Performance Tuning Protection Plan where you can pay them a whole $10, purchase a protection plan, overclock the CPU until your heart is content, and if you happen to damage it, that $10 has got you covered. Easy peasy.

Cons: This isn't a CON per se, but purely an observation of the chips architecture. It can compete with similar 1150 i3 CPUs except for the fact that this CPU has 2 cores but lacks hyperthreading limiting you to the 2 native threads, which is not a bad thing, its just what you are getting when you purchase this processor. It has all the other functionality of a much more expensive CPU, PCI Express Rev 3 support with up to 1x16, 2x8, 1x8+2x4 configurations and DDR3-1333 RAM. Again, you will not blow away builds containing i5s or i7s with this, but you will most certainly stand your ground in a very respectable way.

Overall Review: Would have been nice to see it support at LEAST DDR3-1600 RAM.

12/21/2015
Most Critical Review

Either a bad batch of products or simply a truly bad product.

APEVIA ITX-AP250W 250 W Mini ITX Power Supply
APEVIA ITX-AP250W 250 W Mini ITX Power Supply

Pros: The power supply is small, as an ITX power supply should be. It is quiet, as an ITX power supply should be. It has short cables and only the number of cables I needed for a VERY small HTPC build in a case that is barely any larger than the Mini-ITX motherboard and power supply sandwiched right next to each other so airflow needs to not be hindered by excessive cables that have to be stuffed near or even on top of heat generating components.

Cons: While I have a few nice to say about the power supply, I have one critical flaw about the power supply itself. IT DOESNT WORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I bought FOUR (4) of these power supplies. Four! 1 of them powered the HTPC on for one instance, long enough to get the OS installed (installed from a PXE Server on a Gigabit swtich to an SSD in the HTPC, took about 3 minutes), and then when I shut the PC down for its first reboot, that was IT. Never powered on again. I had to build 2 of these HTPCs at the same time so it made sense to have the exact same hardware in each one (right??) so I had ordered 2 of these power supplies. The 2nd one never powered on at all. So ... I bought 2 more. Because I like Apevia products, I still have one of their very first SLI power supplies they produced from almost 12 years ago and it STILL works. I waited for their Warlock 900W power supply to come back in stock, and paid more for it than a Cooler Master or EVGA power supply at the time because I had such a great experience with the first power supply I bought of theirs. But the 2nd round of power supplies ... BOTH were DOA. I checked all the power supplies with a PSU tester (also an Apevia product) and it confirmed the drive was dead. I made sure that the HTPC(s) would power on with a different power supply and that the test was in fact functioning "correctly" by stating the power supply was faulty. I cannot stress how much I would not buy this power supply unless you are just asking for a headache. The only reason this was given 1 egg was because you cannot submit a review unless you choose an egg, I would give it zero if possible.

Overall Review: This power supply has potential, but potential of a product means nothing if it doesnt work. And since this is a power supply and has only ONE function, well ...........

Fantastic monitor for the price!

Dell U2913WM Black 29" Widescreen LED Backlight 2K IPS Monitor, 2560 x 1080, 1000:1, 300 cd/m2, D-Sub&DVI&HDMI&USB Display Port, Height, Swivel, Tilt
Dell U2913WM Black 29" Widescreen LED Backlight 2K IPS Monitor, 2560 x 1080, 1000:1, 300 cd/m2, D-Sub&DVI&HDMI&USB Display Port, Height, Swivel, Tilt

Pros: I bought this because I have yet to make the jump from 1080p to 1440p or 4K, and I still have GTX 580s in my desktop and a GTX 765M in my laptop. The screen is beautiful and crisp just like an IPS panel should be, havent had any issue with any programs not running in full UW-1080p but I only have this hooked up to my laptop currently, in the middle of upgrading/rebuilding my desktop so I havent given it a full run of games or programs yet. More to follow later on that. Monitor comes packaged in sturdy safe hard cardboard just like Dell always does. Comes with plenty of cables, DVI-D Dual Link, USB 3.0 Hub cable, Power Cable, miniDisplayPort to Full Displayport cable & power cable. No backlight bleed on my particular monitor. Touch sensitive buttons are a nice touch (sorry, couldnt resist) but take a little while to respond after the monitor finishes its POST/powering on. Not a huge deal just somewhat odd. Wide array of inputs, Full HDMI in, DVI-D, MiniDP, Displayport (the 2nd DP is for passthrough) and even VGA (??). I do a lot of IT & customer support work so having a monitor with all these inputs means I can hook up my desktop via DVI, my laptop via miniDP & still have the HDMI, full displayport & VGA available for connecting different devices for troubleshooting.

Cons: I have my speakers currently connected to the 3.5mm output on the monitor and signal fed from my laptop via HDMI. Whenever the laptop puts the screen to sleep after 30 mins it creates a terrible turn off signal pop on my speakers (Klipsch ProMedia 2.1). This may have nothing to do with the monitor or the laptop but its just odd and fairly annoying as it does this about 10 times before the monitor actually goes to sleep. For some reason my Alienware 14 w/ a GTX 765M 2GB & i7 4700MQ doesnt like a miniDP to DP cable and whenever I finished logging into my laptop it causes the display driver to crash (??) but on my work laptop w/ an i76820Q (Intel HD 530) & AMD FirePro W5170M works just fine, not a knock against the monitor, at least at this point, but that just seemed odd to me. Will try a miniDP to miniDP on the monitor to see if that makes any diff.

Overall Review: Its a bit of a transition going from 2 22" ASUS LED 1080p monitors to a single one, but Dells Window Manager software is somewhat helpful if you arent on Windows 10, which lets you quick snap windows into more than just left or right side of the monitor. I would honestly suggest this monitor for anyone looking for an upgrade, but if you are an enthusiast or tech junkie I'd probably go for broke and get a 1440p ultrawide, the amount of pixel real estate difference between 2 monitors and this one will still take some getting used to.

11/22/2016

A WONDERFUL product!

WD Black² Dual Drive 2.5" 120 GB SSD + 1 TB HDD Kit WD1001X06XDTL
WD Black² Dual Drive 2.5" 120 GB SSD + 1 TB HDD Kit WD1001X06XDTL

Pros: Combined Storage of an SSD & a standard HDD in 1 physical footprint is FANTASTIC! Speed (Read & Write) are within 5% tolerance of both drives standalone equivalent. Copy speed to/from the HDD to SSD and from SSD to HDD was exactly as expected. Price is very fair (I got it when it was on sale for $150) FIVE year warranty!! This is better than their Red NAS Drives. Boot time is very respectable.

Cons: Packaging is very excessive. Almost 5 times the size of what is needed, but is used to show how proud they are of their product. Comes with a "USB" drive included that simply directs you to the WD Download page for the device (see next Con comment). 120GB SSD is recognized instantly via Windows driver database, but 1TB HDD requires an additional piece of software from WD. Have yet to be able to find a way to avoid this. --EDIT-- This was true under Windows 7 x64 Pro, refused to use Windows 8, the drive itself has native driver support for both SSD & HDD under both versions of Windows 10. Formatting the SSD erases the HDD as well, at least in Windows 7, have not had a need to erase it yet under Windows 10. Drive is missing the 2 rear physical mounting screw holes on the rear of the drive. Not a huge deal but it made mounting it in a laptop a bit tricky.

Overall Review: I have an Acer TimelineX Laptop that originally came with a 500GB WD HDD. I use this laptop on a daily basis and it sees more work on average than my edit rig or my gaming rig. I originally didnt want an HDD and this was when SSDs were becoming more and more affordable, but a 500+ SSD would still carry a pricetag higher than the laptop itself. But I didnt want to sacrifice a higher capacity of storage for the convenience and speed of an SSD. So to remedy this I decided to remove the optical drive and replace it with a 2nd HDD Adapter Caddy ($10 average price) and place a 1TB WD HDD in it and then use a 120 GB SSD where the original HDD was located. This allowed me the speed and convenience of a boot SSD and the availability of a standard HDD for large capacity storage. This was the optimal setup until a few situations arose that I needed my SSD, HDD AND optical drive all at the same time. This happened on more than one occasion, and on 2 separate occasions impacted me to the point that it cost me income when out working with a client. So, when WD Released the Black2 Dual Drive that allowed me to have my 120GB SDD Boot drive, my 1TB HDD for mass storage AND recover usage of my Optical drive, it was a no brainer for me. The price was originally $300 but I found it on sale around Christmas on Newegg for $150 which made it even more of a no brainer. If you want to breathe new life into an older laptop, combine SSD & HDD into one footprint, or simply want to avoid having to choose between an SSD or HDD in a laptop, then THIS is the product for you.

A less than stellar experience with a middle of the road product

Rosewill RNX-N250PC2 - Wireless N300 Wi-Fi Adapter - IEEE 802.11b/11g/11n, (2T2R), Up to 300 Mbps Data Rates, PCI Interface
Rosewill RNX-N250PC2 - Wireless N300 Wi-Fi Adapter - IEEE 802.11b/11g/11n, (2T2R), Up to 300 Mbps Data Rates, PCI Interface

Pros: Worked under Windows 7 x86 Pro/Home<br>Interface availability for potentially older builds or not wanting to occupy a PCI Express slot.<br>Dual antennas.

Cons: Drivers PCI VEN #s for some reason don't match up under Windows 7 x64 Pro driver INF files. <br>Never got a chance to test the transmission speeds since I only installed it under x86 Home to make sure it "worked".

Overall Review: I purchased this card to upgrade my fathers ailing Core 2 Quad Q6600 desktop to hopefully allow him to limp along without having to rebuild anything. It worked fine as it should (its a wireless card for less than $40, can you really have a high level of expectation??) on Windows 7 x86 Home & Pro, but eventually my attempts to add slightly newer hardware just wouldn't work. I added this card, an SSD, an EVGA GTX 470 and a new cooler to his rig but after a few attempts at loading games and updating Windows, the system eventually would lock up on load, not even BSoD but just simply locked up. So ... it was time for a guts upgrade. I tossed the old board, ram & CPU into a corner in my office, got him a new Gigabyte GA-B85-HD3-A ATX board, Intel G3258 1150 CPU and 8GB of DDR3 for less than $150 and retained all other hardware. After formatting the SSD and installing the OS and updating Windows to the most current set of security updates, for some reason this wireless card was the only thing that was holding me back. I keep all drivers on my server for all hardware that myself, my wife & my parents have in their possession but the drivers that worked on Win 7 x86 Pro/Home would not work on Win 7 x64 Pro. I checked the PCI VEN information of the card and for some reason, it was off by 1 digit from what the driver INF file was stating it should be. I then opened a ticket to Rosewill which was not acknowledged or responded to for almost an entire week. After hounding their support system for another day I received the canned automated reply that they were very dedicated to supporting their customers and my issue was of great importance to them. My next reply actually came from a supposed live human being who told me that my issue was being submitted to their engineering team and I would receive a reply within the next 24 hours. Which was true, but the reply I received was the support team sending me a reply that was intended to go to a completely different customer. Strike 2. I then responded to this SNAFU to inform them that I was indeed not a lady named Ann and that I was very disappointed with the level of support I was receiving. I received another replying apologizing and stating the engineering team was working on the issue. Eventually I got a reply stating they were unable to replicate my problem and I should "uninstall the drivers and try to install them again" also providing me with a URL to the exact same driver package I had been attempting to use all along. I replied stating this was unacceptable customer support. That was 3 days ago and I still haven't received any further support or replies. This card was only purchased for two reasons, its price and its aging interface. I would suggest to avoid this card and if your connectivity relies solely on wireless, shell out another $20 and make sure you get a decent card, but then again, YMMV EDIT - After purchasing a new wireless adapter and expressing how disappointed I was in Rosewills tech support, they offered to send me a refund for the cost of the adapter. Will update with positive or negative results.

12/22/2015

A VERY nice compact case for a general use perso.

Rosewill RS-MI-01 BK - Mini ITX Tower / Desktop Computer Case - 250W Power Supply with Two (2) SATA Connectors and One (1) 20 + 4-Pin Connector
Rosewill RS-MI-01 BK - Mini ITX Tower / Desktop Computer Case - 250W Power Supply with Two (2) SATA Connectors and One (1) 20 + 4-Pin Connector

Pros: This a VERY nice little case. It supports a full size mini-ITX board (and what I mean by that is it has adequate space if you choose to use a board with a fairly significant sized daughter board) a 5.25, 2x3.5 drive bays, a side one and a front horizontal one under the 5.25 drive, clearance for some RAM with non-standard heat spreaders etc. Front IO is standard, front Audio & Mic Jacks, Dual USB 2.0 ports, ability to use the front HDD cage as a card reader instead if you choose to. The cables are of a decent length, especially the LED & Power button ribbon cable. The Front Panel headers for the ECS H61H2-I5 I used are at the VERY back of the board right next to the I/O shield area but the cable reach fine with some left over that I zip-tied to the back vents to keep it out of the way. I used this case to build a new PC for my wife who uses it for fairly common tasks, studying, email, browsing etc. It fits on her desk next to a VERY large monitor that honestly towers over this case but it all still looks aesthetically pleasing. The case also includes 3.5 rails to attach to your drive for sliding in place, not sure why this was included or even utilized but oh well. The accessory bag has plenty of hardware for all motherboard mount points, the expansion card, and the 5.25 and both 3.5 drive areas. It also includes some VERY nice rubber feet. Power supply connectors 20+4 main pin 4 pin CPU 1 strand with 2 SATA connectors 1 strand with a single molex connector 1 strand with dual molex connectors and a floppy connector. I took some not old but not brand new parts out of my ServerWMC box and brought her closer to modern hardware. Parts used: This case (duh!) ECS H61H2-I5 Mini-ITX Motherboard. Intel Celeron G1610 Dual Core 1155 CPU G.SKILL 4 GB DDR3-1333 RAM Kit (2x2GB) A-DATA 60GB SSD (w/ a Mushkin 2.5 to 3.5 adapter plate) ASUS DVD-RW Drive Gelid 80mm Smart Case Fan w/ Thermal Sensor ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT by Sapphire Full Size Graphics Card (she doesnt need a lot in the way of GPU performance and I reused this card from her previous tower). After I finished the build I placed the rubber feet on the left side (it has little indicators of where they can go) and turned the case on its side, so that the power button was now in the upper left corner). The feet cause plenty of clearance from any surface you put the case on and this also allowed for very adequate breathing room for the graphics card along the side vents. Additional note - The side vents, while they may seem like they are purely aesthetic and allow for passive air intake, actually have hole spacings that would allow for up to 2 80mm fans to be installed on EACH side of the case. I added a single fan on the front section of the right side of the case and used it as an intake to force fresh air into the case. If you want to build a very decent general purpose PC, possibly even a mid range HTPC, this is definitely a case to consider.

Cons: While I have a lot of good to say about the case, there are a few issues I have. Not all of these are complaints but more or less observances that I think might be helpful to other people looking to build in this case. 1 - While you can add some fans to the side of the case (I dont think this was intentional but it is possible) it does make taking the case cover off and on a bit more difficult. I know this is a budget case but a $5 to $8 increase in price to allow for multiple panels would be a nice improvement. I dont see people constantly rebuilding in this case or improving whats in it but its still something I look for in almost all builds. 2 - This is kind of a big one. I used the standard Intel cooler that came with the G1610 and the power supply LITERALLY sits right on top of the fan braces. There is no clearance whatsoever and I am afraid that the exhaust fan inside the power supply might be robbing the CPU cooler of some of the cool ambient air I am forcing into the case with its intake fan. I set the Intelligent CPU cooling option in the BIOS to silent but even with the CPU fan normally running at almost completely silent and the Gelid intake fan (also nearly silent) there was still some case noise at idle, not a lot mind you but I think it was the fan in the PSU. If you plan on putting a mid grade or higher CPU in this case a slim line performance cooler might be necessary. This was my only true complaint and the reason why I took off an egg (sorry Rosewill) 3 - The front indicator LEDs. Not even sure if you can call these LEDs, fairly certain they are actual bulbs. Most people complain about the brightness of typical blue power indicator LEDs on a front facing case, but this case has a green power indicator and a red HDD indicator and they are VERY dim. To me this isnt a big deal, at first glance you can usually tell that the power light is lit but some people may have an issue with this. 4 - IF you are going to build med to low end in this case, good. If you are going to put a LOT of heat generating components along with a 5.25 drive then you will find that it is going to fill up VERY quickly and will seem somewhat cramped. Once the DVD Drive was in, the power supply slid in very easily and was not hard to work with, but the clearance between the PSU and the DVD Drive was only about an inch and all the cables had to route between the PSU and DVD Drive to reach the 20+4 pin connector and the 4 pin CPU cable, which on my board was literally right below the power supply.

Overall Review: A VERY decent case to build a moderate PC in. Keep in mind what you are buying and what your intended purpose is.