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David B.

David B.

Joined on 04/13/12

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Product Reviews
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product reviews
  • 15
Most Favorable Review

Good board for the money

MSI MPG X570 GAMING PLUS Gaming Motherboard AMD AM4 SATA 6Gb/s M.2 USB 3.2 Gen 2 HDMI ATX
MSI MPG X570 GAMING PLUS Gaming Motherboard AMD AM4 SATA 6Gb/s M.2 USB 3.2 Gen 2 HDMI ATX

Pros: -Lots of SATA ports -Supports Ryzen 3000 series out of the box -Well laid out

Cons: -MSI customer service is useless - 2 of the 6 SATA ports run from a buggy ASMedia ASM1061 controller, idiotically put as the FIRST 2 SATA ports

Overall Review: I bought this and planned on using it as a dual boot Linux/Windows box. (Linux for 90%+ and Windows for when I have no choice.) I basically had it sitting on the ground for months because I had a devil of a time getting Linux to boot. MSI's response when I asked them for help: "All MSI motherboards support windows. Unfortunately we don’t support Linux technically, and the board has not been tested with Linux before so we have no idea." Which is fine, but say that up front in your marketing material. Anyways, I figured it was an early BIOS problem. 3 BIOS updates later and I found the answer buried deep in a technical forum. The ASMedia ASM1061 SATA controller doesn't like optical drives. Not being a technical expert, I can't say whether the problem is the chip or the Linux driver. BUUUUT it appears the be the chip based on what I've read, and the fact that the Linux driver hasn't been fixed for a chip that it about a decade old also indicates that the problem lies with the chip, not the driver. The worst part is that MSI made the ASM1061 SATA ports SATA1+2. I mean, come on guys. Using a buggy chip isn't really the best idea, but make them the LAST 2 ports (5+6) and maybe make them a different color also. Moving the optical drive from SATA 2 to another SATA port (i.e. one NOT using the ASM1061) fixed the problem and the system seems to be running great. All this is why I took 1 egg off. It's a simple problem to fix, but it shouldn't have been an issue to begin with. I'm using a Ryzen 5 3600 and slightly overclocked RAM. The only other odd thing I experienced involved the video. I have an Nvidia card and use 2 monitors: primary on DVI and secondary on HDMI. In CSM mode the DVI port was my primary. In UEFI mode the DVI port was not even recognized and the HDMI port was primary. Linux recognized the second monitor, but the picture was horrible. Installing the proprietary Nvidia drivers fixed that. Windows didn't even recognize the second monitor until the drivers were installed. Very weird. Good thing I had the second monitor or I wouldn't have been able to install Windows or get to the BIOS. This could have been an Nvidia issue, though so I didn't ding this motherboard for it.

10/23/2019
Most Critical Review

Not recognized in USB 3.0 port, poor support

ADATA 128GB UV128 USB 3.2 Gen 1 Flash Drive (AUV128-128G-RBE)
ADATA 128GB UV128 USB 3.2 Gen 1 Flash Drive (AUV128-128G-RBE)

Pros: 128GB

Cons: Not recognized when plugged into USB 3.0 port, poor support

Overall Review: I purchased this on sale in December for future use. I popped it in to a (more conveniently located) USB 2.0 port and it seemed to work fine. I finally got around to the real reason for the purchase (backup) and it is not recognized when plugged into a USB 3.0 port. Mind you, it's not that it's slow, it's not there. Windows 7 called it an "unrecognized device" and Linux, using the lsusb command, got the device ID right, but nothing else came up. So I sent it in for warranty. Adata seemed OK, everything went along fine, then I got my replacement it. This was a different device (I don't care, but the blue one I bought was replaced by a yellow one) with the same exact problem. Only worse - Windows 7 still shows it as an "unrecognized device" but Linux doesn't even register it under lsusb. I have another request in with Adata about this. I don't mind playing ping-pong with Adata over this thing until the end of time, but I don't want to pay postage on it any more. I did my bit, but they sent me something that failed first time out. Not acceptable. Needless to say, this will not be a backup device (how can I trust it?) but it can serve (if it ever gets fixed) as a high speed high capacity non-critical file transporter.

Great case with minor shortcomings

APEX Vortex 3620 SGCC / ABS ATX Mid Tower Gaming Computer Case
APEX Vortex 3620 SGCC / ABS ATX Mid Tower Gaming Computer Case

Pros: -Top Mounted power supply -Plenty of drive bays

Cons: -Difficult to mount side fans -Cable management could be improved -Hard Drive bays could be reconfigured -Front ports outdated

Overall Review: If you're building a reasonably budgeted PC without planning on pushing it too hard, this case is probably good for you. If you want to build an overclocked PC with 2-3 top-end video cards, this is NOT the case for you. I really wanted to give this case 4.5 stars. The problems are minor, but they are there. My (soon-to-be-retired) PC has a bottom mounted power supply. It sucks air from the area below the PC, maybe 1/2 inch. It gets dusty down there. Is it cleaned as often as it should be? No. This is why I searched for something with a top mounted supply. The original ATX spec called for top mounted power supplies to act as exhaust fans, which is better for me than a "blow hole" anyway. The description says, "Optional 3x 80mm/ 2x 120mm fans on side panel" but darn if I could figure that out. I got a 120mm fan mounted on the top towards the front of the side panel air hole. I could not get a 2nd one to fit (either the fan mounting holes wouldn't line up or it would hit the video card), but I did manage to get an 80mm fan on the bottom towards the rear. With the front 120 blowing in over the HDD onto the MB, the side 120 blowing on the CPU and the side 80 blowing onto the video card's intake I figure it's OK. I did buy a filter for the side, which I think was 140mm x 2 and it covers it completely. I don't need dust in there. Cable management was OK, but if the side panel was given a design and punched out 1/8" to 1/4" it would have worked so much better. The hard drive bays are front-to-back. If that cage was rotated 90 degrees it would be perfect. Now it's a struggle to get a drive in or out because the motherboard is in the way. And some wiring (eg SATA cables) so it's not as easy as it could be. The 4xUSB 2.0 and 1xeSATA ports are fine, but kind of outdated, and the USB2.0 ports are kind of close together. In my opinion, 2xUSB 2.0 and 2xUSB 3.0 would be more suitable for a more modern setup. I'm not even sure if anybody uses eSATA anymore. USB 3.0 is fast enough to render eSATA unnecessary. These are all nits I'm picking. The case deserves 4.5 stars, so I rounded it up to 5 as 4 would be too harsh. (Although the bright blue power LED is kind of harsh....) I'm running an AMD Ryzen 5 3600 in an x570 based motherboard, and the fans are basically silent after startup. Granted, the 3600 is a 65W CPU, and I'm not overclocking it. This is why I indicated that an overclocked 130W CPU with a couple of high-end NVidia cards in SLI might not be a good idea in this case. This should be just fine for most non-power users.

10/22/2019

It's not a bad case...for the early 2000's

HEC 7106BB Black 1.0mm Thickness ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
HEC 7106BB Black 1.0mm Thickness ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Pros: Should fit everything you would need Plenty of room to route cables Uses ATX Power Supply (easy to get good & cheap ones)

Cons: Has room for 1 80mm front fan and 2 60mm rear fans, with no real way to mount a larger fan in any of those locations. There's tons of room where the 80mm fan mounts - a 120 should fit....except the fan grill is all the way at the bottom of the case, so a plastic "funnel" adapter won't work - not even for a 92mm fan. And even if you drilled new holes for a 120mm, the front of the case is solid so it would only suck air from an 80mm opening without the "funnel" to help it along.) A lot of work to mount front fan (You have to remove the front bezel, which is [harder than] expected, and then unscrew a large boxy bracket to access the fan screwholes. Maybe they could have moved the bracket over a bit?) No USB ports It is ridiculously large Power LED is the "old style" 3-pin connector. You could modify it or buy an adapter, but it would be nicer if the manufacturer made it like the case I bought around 2000 - have the lead come with both 2 AND 3 pin style connectors.

Overall Review: This thing is BIG...too big. Nobody in their right mind would put a 95W processor in this thing - the air flow is so limited you would likely run into heat issues. I bought it for a HTPC and the external drive bays are great - I have all the goodies I want (3xUSB 2.0, 1xUSB2.0 Card Reader, 2xUSB3.0,Optical Drive) AND could add a floppy! I'm running a mATX board with a 25W APU (Athlon 5350 Kabini) & an SSD, so heat shouldn't be an issue, but I wouldn't want to run anything too power-hungry. Honestly, looking at this, with minor modifications it could make a great case. With other moderate design changes it could be a fantastic mATX case. I didn't see a single mATX Desktop/HTPC case I liked, so I went with this. I don't regret buying it, but it requires a bit of ingenuity to get a good build out of it.

Great PSU for low demand build

CORSAIR CX Series CX430 430W 80 PLUS BRONZE Active PFC ATX12V & EPS12V Power Supply
CORSAIR CX Series CX430 430W 80 PLUS BRONZE Active PFC ATX12V & EPS12V Power Supply

Pros: Inexpensive, quiet, works

Cons: SATA connector seems cheap, only one floppy connector (two would have been nice), could use more 4-pin and SATA connectors also. But for the price, I can't knock off an egg.

Overall Review: I bought two of these in the past few months. Both times they were on sale and had a rebate - total cost about $20 each. The first one was for my father's PC, and it's been running great no issues whatsoever. The second one is for an older PC I'm playing with (how old? It has ISA slots). On that PC, part of the plastic on one SATA connector broke off. I MAY have been handling it a bit too rough since it was a tight squeeze. I'm using a 4-pin to SATA adapter I had lying around for now and the drive runs fine. I'll probably put in some sort of SATA extension (from the broken connector) at some point. Or else a splitter from the unbroken one. With a rebate, I wouldn't hesitate to use this on a low end build.

seller reviews
  • 1

SD cards seem fine

The listing said that the cards would be Toshiba. They were Samsung. Which may be an improvement, I don't know. I have no issue with Samsung, and I have no complaint. I did knock one egg off the rating due to the inaccuracy. But, again, I have no problem with it - one name brand was substuted for another. And maybe it is a Toshiba card under the cover, but it doesn't say "Toshiba" on it.

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