Date Joined: 06/24/02
Pros: Fantastic business computer for the money. Windows 7 Pro! It comes with a dual-core Celeron processor that has great performance; nearly the performance of what used to be a Core 2 Duo. This CPU even has Virtualization Extensions. The keyboard and mouse it comes with are very nice. And the computer is much smaller than it appears in the pictures.
Cons: None that I can see for the money.
Overall Review: This is one of the first sub $400 computers I've purchased with a Windows Business/Pro OS that doesn't come loaded with Crapware. In fact this computer only comes pre-loaded with installers for Skype and Norton Internet Security; neither are pre-installed so the two shortcuts on the start menu are easily removed and then their install files are just under C:\SWTOOLS\ (delete those too). The only thing left is the Microsoft Office Starter 2010 and Windows Live Essentials (includes the Live toolbar), and that is the ONLY uninstall that you would possibly want to perform on this computer out of the box.
This computer definitely needs another 1GB of RAM. It has 2 DIMM slots and only 1 is occupied by the 1GB stick that it comes with. Buy another 1GB stick from Newegg for the current price of $20 and you'll have a great machine for the money.
Since you can't see in the pictures, the computer has 1 internal PCI-E x16, 2x PCI-E x1, 1x PCI slots.
Pros: This drive is easily the fastest SATA 7200RPM 3.5" drive on the market. The 500GB platter density is awesome. This drive has better sequential throughput under 64k packets sizes than a VelociRaptor and is only beat above that by about 2-4MB/s (i.e. 120MB/s vs. 124MB/s). Also, no other drives are going to give you anywhere near the a dime per gigabyte price/size ratio.
Cons: This drive still has horrible latency at 14ms compared to what other technologies that are offering. Although a 14ms+ latency is par for the course with 7200RPM drives, you can get half of that at about 7ms with a VelociRaptor and closer to .1ms with a SSD like the Intel X25-m or OCZ Vertex.
Overall Review: Just wanted to add that I did a bit of benchmarking against current SSDs drives, VelociRaptors, and older Seagate 7200.10 and 7200.11 drives before I wrote this review.
Pros: Best performing SATA hard drive there is. Great price for the latency if you need it.
Cons: 7ms latency can't touch the .1ms latency of a SSD. I've purchased 7 of these drives so far and had 1 break in the last 6 months.
Overall Review: These drives are beat in throughput by even a Seagate 7200RPM 7200.12 drive due to their higher platter density (500GB/platter), but the place where these VelociRaptors shine is in latency. Where a 7200.12 gets 14ms latency, a WD VR will get half of that at 7ms. The thing to realize though is that if latency is that important to you that you'll sacrifice $180 to buy a 150GB drive for half the latency then you may as well spend $400 if your budget allows on an OCZ Vertex 120GB drive that gets .1ms latency. 70x better latency for only roughly 2.25x the cost... the decision is yours.
Pros: The screen is outstanding on this netbook; the colors are vibrant, the brightness is great even in lower settings, and the contrast is some of the best I’ve seen on any laptop.
The multi-touch mouse is great. I love the software that it comes with for letting you prevent accidental tapping while typing. Also, it is a godsend to me as a typical Apple Laptop user that this laptop has two finger scrolling and two-finger tapping (for right-clicking). Simply put, this trackpad is one of the best I’ve ever used on a PC laptop and my only complaint is that the physical buttons are a bit too stiff.
The keyboard is perfect for my typing and I had no problems whatsoever adapting to it. I can’t even notice the size difference from my unibody MacBook Pro once I start typing normally.
The battery life has been great as long as you are just word processing, answering emails, or doing basic web browsing (i.e. not watching video).
Asus’s choice of software is good and non-intrusive.
Cons: I don’t have many complaints so far about this machine but it is definitely not perfect. I’ve had problems so far with the included 802.11n wireless card which is really my biggest complaint. The wireless card seems to have a problem connecting to my Apple Airport Extreme access points using WPA2-PSK AES. If I switch the encryption in Windows to WPA-PSK TKIP then the computer connects without any problems except for that I then get about 1/3 of the speed (tops out at about 2MB/s vs 6MB/s) which doesn’t seem to correlate in any way. I’m guessing that this is most likely a driver problem (I’m using the most up-to-date driver on Windows 7 RC1 right now).
Overall Review: Windows 7 RC1 x86 has been awesome on this machine. I’m pretty sure that more credit goes to Microsoft than Asus/Intel for this machine being able to run the new OS so well, but regardless this is a perfect netbook for running W7. All of the drivers installed automatically by Windows 7 without any interaction. The only driver I manually had to install was the Asus ACPI driver and tools. I also manually installed the Eee Super Hybrid Engine and Elantech multi-touch trackpad drivers which are working well (neither of these two things are required though). Additionally, the 2GB RAM upgrade is a must if you are upgrading to Windows 7.
Since I was having problems with the included Atheros 802.11n wifi card I ordered an Intel Wifi Link 5300 off the interwebs and am going to be installing it next week which I’m anticipating will take care of all my wireless issues.
Pros: Great all-around performer
Cons: Has to be flashed usually before using the first time which requires hooking the drive into a computer with a SATA controller set to IDE mode and with another partition that has a working Windows XP install to run the flash program from. Flashing also destroys all of the data.
Overall Review: Lots of great things to say here! OCZ already has a tool out for trimming the drive without destroying the data if you are running an x86 OS (FW version 1.10 only) and x64 support will come soon. They also now have an ISO image that you can boot off of to flash the drive without destroying the data so that updates are easy. The ISO still requires though that the drive is hooked into an "IDE mode" SATA port and that the drive is running FW 1275 or better. Data still has to be destroyed while flashing though if there is an architectural between updates for how the data is stored on the drive (no idea how likely this is).
Don't forget that the more expensive SLC drive will be out soon though.
Pros: Easy to implement, SSL VPN works with Macs
Cons: DOES NOT SUPPORT 64-BIT CLIENTS and no intention from Netgear to ever support x64.
Overall Review: I do consulting work for a bunch of engineering offices and figured that these would be a great fit for a easy to implement VPN appliance without having to touch the rest of the network. I couldn't have been more wrong though because all though the SSL312 works decently well for 32-bit clients, it has absolutely no support for XP x64 or Vista x64 which 80% of the computers I have in production are running (due to needing 4GB+ of RAM). Do not buy this unless you are sure that you only want to connect Macs and 32-bit Windows clients.
Pros: Price, Density, Features
Cons: Port failures, loud fans, and many features don't work
Overall Review: I've had these switches deployed in 3 different offices and 2 of them had ports fail and another died completely (all lights pulsating steadily). My best recommendation is to stay away from these Netgear GS switches entirely even though the price is great and go for a higher quality switch like the HP Procure 1800 series (only comes in 24 port density, but you can use 802.3ad to create a high bandwidth link).
Pros: Fast, Quiet, Cool
Cons: Not as fast as an SLC SSD that costs 2000% more.
Overall Review: Great drive for my Late 2008 MBP and the install only took 5 minutes. I've been taking the Apple 4200 RPM and 5400 RPM drives out of my Apple laptops for years now and this one gave me the best performance of any 7200 RPM laptop drive yet.
Pros: Easy to use, great price, terrific results.
Cons: My biggest complaint was that the disk it comes with is very outdated. The first thing I had to do was go to their website and download a Vista x64 capable update of the software. Also, I'm sure that more expensive units will do a better job for mission critical professional jobs, but I'm just an IT consultant that wants his screens to have better colors for no reason other than to see what everyone else is seeing (or at least should be seeing).
Overall Review: This thing did a great job of calibrating 2 of my Samsung 24" LCD's that I'm running in DualView, along with my 15" MacBook Pro. Both displays look immensely better now and the before and after results were incredible with my brand-new Samsung 24-inchers. I just wish that I bought this earlier!
Pros: Great case with everything most people should need for a quiet small tower server or workstation.
Cons: Only 2 5.25" bays, I would have liked to have seen 3. Doesn't come with support for a standard PS/2 ATX power supply out of the box, but thankfully after much investigating there is a part for this that you can special order from Supermicro that is made by Ablecom (the maker of the PSU that comes with this case).
Overall Review: If you want to order the special PSU plate that will fit and standard PSU then call up Supermicro's tech support and/or their RMA/parts dept. and ask for part 01-01-733605-XX1 and tell them that you want this metal plate; they may have to special order it so I would suggest you order one up as soon as you buy this case so that you can swap in standard PSU if the OEM one takes a turn for the worst.
Pros: ECC and unbuffered... there are many motherboards that support ECC, but can't use registered RAM. If you have one of these boards then this is the memory to buy.
Cons: None really, just that it costs more than non-ECC, but that is expected since you get a lot in return.
Overall Review: Use this memory if you are building a high-end workstation or any kind of server that can't use registered RAM in. If you are building any kind of Server that uses large databases (i.e. SQL or Exchange) then ECC is a must.
Pros: Great board with tons of features. ECC memory capability was a huge positive for me.
Cons: Wifi is worthless since it isn't upgradeable. Any desktop computer should truly be wired anyways.
Overall Review: This board, like many others, cannot be used with 8GB of DDR2 800 RAM, although it does work with 8GB of DDR2 667 RAM. I highly recommend using unbuffered ECC RAM if you are using more than 4GB on this board with an x64 OS. I used many different kinds of RAM on this motherboard with Windows Server 2003 R2 x64 and Exchange 2007, but in the end found that I had to use 8GB of unbuffered ECC DDR2 667 to keep the databases massive 40GB+ databases from suffering corruption. ECC is great on this board but just make sure to us unbuffered and not registered (also set the ECC option in the BIOS to auto).
Pros: Perfect QoS with my Vonage Linksys PAP2 that sits behind my Astaro firewall on a Comcast Business Cable connection
Cons: None, I could only see a possible problem being that this thing isn't sold in a high end device. I would pay 10x more for a device like this in some situations if it had a mode for redundancy and guaranteed throughput.
Overall Review: I am using this little wonder at my office for our Vonage lines. We use Linksys PAP2 ATAs which are soley telephone adapters without any QoS or networking features. The great part about the PAP2 adapters is that they can sit behind a firewall and function perfectly as long as you have your NAT and packet filtering configured correctly. The downside though is that without QoS you have to control prioritization elsewhere. Enter the D-Link DI-102... it did exactly what I needed. The DI-102 sits between my Comcast Business Cable Internet Gateway and my Astaro Security Linux firewall/router and it is able to perform VoIP packet priortization without changing any structure of my network. You literally just plug this device between your firewall and modem and it just works; no DHCP, no NAT, no fuss. You just have to connect to a little admin page at 192.168.229.61 and then configure a new admin password, upload bandwidth (can be auto-detected), and xDSL or Cable. Done! Just buy one!
Pros: Faster, Quieter, Better battery life!
Cons: Not a solid state drive?
Overall Review: This is the best laptop hard drive I have ever owned and it obliterated the OEM Hitachi 160GB 5400RPM drive that came in my Core 2 Duo 15" MacBook Pro. I run Boot Camp on my MBP and it was just slowwww before this upgrade, but now I feel like I'm using my desktop computer (which is very fast). Don't even think twice, just buy this if you think you may need it even in the slightest.
Pros: Incredibly precise and smooth mouse movents. This thing works on almost any surface. The range is incredible; I tried it from over 30 feet and it still worked (I couldn't see the mouse cursor from any further back). Nice shape that feels good to hold for long periods of time. Comes with a nice carrying case. The scroll weeks is awesome. The tiny receiver is perfect; I just leave it in my MacBook Pro and forget about it since it only sticks out about a centimeter or less. Solid and sturdy design.
Cons: Logitechs software sucks and always has, but the good news is that you really don't need to load any software to get the full use out of this mouse. I just can't get side scrolling working without the software.
Overall Review: I love flicking the wheel and just letting scroll through huge documents and lists. The scroll wheel just goes and goes until you put your finger back down on it to stop.
Pros: This cooler is exactly what the doctor ordered to replace the stock sleeve bearring on my Radeon 9800 Pro in my Apple Power Mac G5. Does a good job of cooling, is quiet, looks nice, easy install.
Cons: Blocks on PCI slot. Doesn't come with a 2 pine small fan connector for my ATI card, so I had to run the 4-pin connector up to the Superdrive and connect via that connector.
Overall Review: Beware that this fan does stick up more than you would imagine at first glance. If you do have a really small case then it might not fit.
Pros: Adds IR to the PS3
Cons: Can't turn the PS3 on and off
Overall Review: This is all anybody needs to make the PS3 a true home theater component. With this, the PS3 can now compete with all other standalone Blu-ray players.
Pros: Screen is easy to read, keyboard is easy to type on with good backlighting, easily upgraded to Windows Mobile 6 (will be a free release from Cingular), great data access speeds, etc...
Cons: 3G is buggy on the Cingular network but very fast. I had to turn off 3G to achive stable calling. The phone out of the box doesn't allow for 3G to be disabled, but with either an upgrade to Windows Mobile 6 or a registry hack, a new menu is opened up under the phone options that allows for a quick toggle between 3G and EDGE.
Overall Review: If you have a Microsoft Exchange 2003 SP2 server or better then you need this phone!
Pros: Great for most 4x DIMM motherboards because you can fit up to 8GB using an x64 OS. Even at 533MHz it is all you would need to couple with a C2D or Xeon 3000 series CPU.
Cons: The ram only worked for me when running at 533MHz on my Asus P5W DH motheboard. I had the same experience when I tried it in another Intel 975X Northbridge motherboard. I ran memtests repeatedly and this RAM consistently failed at 667MHz.
Overall Review: Consumer CPU's top out at 1066MHz FSB, so even dual-channel 533MHz FSB should be enough for most. Only reason for higher speeds would be for overclocking. In order to make the ram work I ran it @ 533-4-4-4-12
Pros: This is such a great case. Silent operation and I love the BTX cooling design for the CPU. The case glows blue from the front and looks very nice. Very easy to put together once you get over the fact that it is different from an ATX design.
Cons: I hope that Antec makes a second revision and throws in some of their normal luxuries like sliding rails for drives and rubber vibration dampners for hard drives. It would be nice if there were 2 more slots for hard drives in the bottom section of the case with another fan to blow over them.
Overall Review: Newegg doesn't sell any compatible BTX fans, but you can find on almost anywhere. I recommend the Thermaltake Silent BTX fan (look on their website). Also, order a couple 92mm Vantec Stealth fans to go with this case since the air can be pretty stagnant since there CPU cooler is seperated off from the rest of the case.
Comments: This is currently my case of choice for Workstations. I just built 5 computers with these things and they are perfect for basic computers that only need a 300W PSU. However I'd whole heartedly recommend that you upgrade the PSU if you are going to be putting a RAID, or fancy video card in here.
I think that it would be awesome if Asus sold this case without a power supply.
The case is well put together though, looks nice and unobtrusive. Easy to build with. I do wish that case manufacturers would stop putting floppy drive spaces in their cases.