Date Joined: 02/09/04
Pros: It was relatively easy to configure, and seems to have decent LTE performance.
Cons: No free plan was offered. I get 4G coverage, but freedompop forced a 3G/4G plan for $3.99 per month billed 3 months in advance. After an hour waiting for someone from billing, the problem is unresolved, though I now have a ticket.
This service should not advertise as free if it isn't, or if there are exceptions.
Overall Review: Freedompop advertises this as a free 500 MB per month unit, but then charges $11.97 for 3 months use, even if free was selected at sign up. I want to try the free service, not pay for the same 500 MB which were promised for free.
Pros: The switch works as advertised, no fan, very quiet, good operating temperature range, gigabit no problem on all 24 ports. Low power consumption, not too hot. Mounts in rack without any difficulty. Supports jumbo frames.
Cons: Only IP4, literature sparse, but it is mostly plug and play. Doesn't have spanning tree or similar built in, causing me to be concerned about someone plugging another switch further down the line incorrectly. Couldn't tell which model would arrive (turned out to be a model 2).
Overall Review: No IP 6, would have preferred to know which model would be shipped. No fan is a major plus. Spanning tree or similar should be standard imo.
Pros: This is a nice keyboard, and very helpful if you game. Windows 7 instantly recognized the keyboard, it works well with several online games. The macro feature is useful. The back light is even and easy to make out even in low light rooms.
Cons: The keys are stiff, and can be painful to push after hours of gaming. Other keyboards (by Microsoft, Logitech, etc) don't have such stiffness. I'm not certain what is wrong, but after long periods online, my fingers may hurt more than with any other keyboard.
Some of the keys aren't lit, and while they are easy to fine, the lack of full back light on all keys is annoying.
Overall Review: This is a USB keyboard, will only glow red (or off), it's intended purpose is to help gamers game.
Pros: This is a very low cost, small, lightweight, duplex, monochrome, networking laser printer. It was easy to set up, and prints beautifully.
Cons: The starter toner cartridge expires almost immediately, and the least expensive toner for this printer runs about $35 per cartridge. The starter cartridge can't be easily refilled as there is no gear / lever to set the page count back. The lever / gear is sold by some 3rd party sites, but it is easier to spend the $35 then refill.
Overall Review: Add $35 to you estimated cost for this printer to include the print cartridge you'll need almost from the instant you print page 1.
The Brother control center software works very nice with almost any PC or Mac, and if you have multiple brother printers it is very useful / helpful.
Pros: Supports TPM, all PCI-E 16 slots, dual gigabit LAN ports, lots of room for everything. Well made, easy to install CPU and RAM on board.
Cons: I bought several of these over a 6 month period starting nearly 10 months ago. Of the half dozen received, one didn't recognize 2 of the RAM slots (the 2 closest to the CPU weren't recognized, no matter what RAM was put in, the board wouldn't see it).
The defective board was replaced. Today, after 6 months of ownership, another board has stopped seeing the same 2 RAM slots. The RAM is different, but the problem is the same. During the time, some lower end Gigabyte boards were purchased, with fewer features. The gigabyte boards continue to perform. I'm 2 defective out of 7 of these, one was defective on arrival, this next is defective after just a few months.
Overall Review: Based on the unusually high defect rate, I'd avoid this board. It has some great features, but seems to have issues with recognizing RAM. When 12 GB of RAM is installed, and only 8 GB is seen by the board, something is wrong. I'd avoid this particular board in the future, and advise others to avoid it as well.
Pros: I'm building a bunch of new PC's for the family, some of the kids are young, some game, some don't. Eventually most will probably game. My choice of case and PSU was important to me. This PSU is very quiet, I've read reports that the fan won't come on until load is at 70% of higher. I don't know if that is true, but do know this PSU is quiet and very efficient. SilentPC rates this device very well, based on my personal experience, they were too pessimistic (and they gave a glowing review).
Cons: It is partly modular, the motherboard power cables (both), and 2 PCI-E cables for video cards are not modular but are shielded. This worked out for me as my first video card required 2 PCI-E power connectors.
Overall Review: This PSU is a bit large (it's longer than many) you may want to check the dimensions in the specifications page against the room in your case to verify that it will fit. Some mid-tower cases may be too small. This PSU looks awesome in see through cases. It is black, and if your interior is black, you'll have a wonderful aesthetic.
Pros: I have put this video card into 2 new builds. It is very quiet, almost silent. Frame rates for WoW at high settings on a 1920 x 1200 screen are usually well above 100 FPS. I run using Windows 7 64 bit, with an i7 920 CPU slightly overclocked (3.2 GHz). No BSOD's, highly reliable, all WoW settings are ultra, everything is maxed, there are no problems.
Cons: These things are a bit expensive, and do produce a bit of heat. I was a bit surprised that when idle the card still seems to draw quite a bit of power.
Overall Review: This is a highly reliable, very quiet, very powerful video card, for a very good price. If it's within you budget, this is well worth considering.
Pros: I recently built 2 PC systems from components, the first used Dominator memory, the second this G.Skill. The G.Skill uses less power, runs at a lower voltage, is cooler, and has faster timing, oh yes, it costs less money. The Dominator memory is heavier, and may have a better heat sink. Though this may not need as good a heat sink as it runs cooler
Cons: It wasn't free.
Overall Review: If you are torn, or uncertain, this won't let you down.
Pros: Gigabit, lots of RAM and flash, 2 USB ports, decent range, integrated 4 port gigabit switch, low power consumption, can be flashed to 3rd party Linux firmware. MIPS2 CPU and support chipset.
Cons: Took a small bit of work via google to flash with alternate firmware. Doesn't have dual wireless spectrum enabled (it's disabled in the hardware).
Overall Review: I flashed this with the Teddy Bear fork of Tomato and couldn't be happier. This is fantastic hardware, the stock firmware is OK, but not great. Get the Teddy Bear fork ... and you'll have an outstanding router. Teddy Bear supports Linux FS, FAT, FAT32 and NTFS on multiple drives and has a recent Samba. It also supports VPN server and client (up to 2 servers / clients). On my system, opendns is used via the Tomato ddns feature to provide better dns lookup security.
My most recent speedtest using Comcast 6/1 service indicated 54 mb down and 2.6 mb up. This router is capable of working very well with a gigabit cable modem.
Pros: I have used many DVD writers over the years and this is a great DVD burner / drive.
Overall Review: For the cost, and capability, this drive is one of the best values ever.
Pros: The Tune Up utilities seems to be a mix of many utilities put together under one title (and interface). It will help clean the registry, defragment a hard drive, check internet options to assure optimal performance, and try to improve video performance or desktop presentation and a lot of other stuff.
Cons: The Tune Up utilities has some side effects. It asked me if I wanted better performance on my desktop because my video card was capable of it. I clicked sure. Who wouldn't want a better, faster desktop. Whoops, wrong answer. I lost all my custom settings, my very loved (for many years) background, plus the video improvement rounded corners of everything, even tabs in my Opera browser (I don't like small boxes with rounded corners). This was no improvement in my opinion and had nasty side effects (sounds were turned on I wanted off).
Worse was the reboot after first installing. Somehow or for some reason Tune Up flagged my hard drive as dirty. This required checkdisk to run at boot. Usually this isn't a big deal, however Tune Up seems to know a way to make checkdisk take forever. What usually is a 5 minute nuisance turned into a 3.5 hour nightmare. Tune Up didn't ask me if it could flag my drive, it just knew I needed to be safe. The 3.5 hour boot didn't help my love for this utility
Overall Review: If it worked without side effects, or if it clearly indicated what the side effects would be. This would be a great add on. Unfortunately Tune Up causes a lot of evil side effects as it tries to "help". I give the makers an A+ for some stuff like cleaning registry or improving internet performance. They get an F- when it comes to surprise super long checkdisk or total destruction of my desktop visual and sounds to "improve" it. The sound changes came without any warning.
On other stuff, like checking internet safety, or checking AV function, I'd give it an A-. When it works well, its great. When you have to wait hours to boot, it isn't.
Pros: It is a HD camera about the size of a coke can, the LCD screen is nice. It came with all equipment shown in the pictures of the new device. The camera came with a shield on the LCD screen, and worked well out of the box.
Cons: It doesn't handle low light well. Focus can take the better part of a second to adjust to movement as a result some shots are fuzzy. Sound is in mono not stereo. The camera itself looked slightly used and scratched.
Overall Review: For $99 this was a fantastic purchase. It is a HD camera. A 4GB SD card will hold a bit over an hour and a half of video. The package contained everything Newegg showed for a new unit, most of the accessories appeared to have not been opened. The camera while a bit scratched on the side (near the Polaroid logo) was perfect of lens and LCD. There was a protective cover on the LCD. The battery arrived with a full charge.
Pros: These are OEM cards without drivers, which is great as the most current drivers are always at intel.com. These installed without any problem on Windows XP (Home) and Windows Vista Home Premium (32 bit) and a Windows 7 64 bit (RC) without any problem.
They seem to provide an overall superior internet experience compared to the integrated NIC which came with out PC's. Installation couldn't be easier.
The driver software from intel provides diagnostics which help identify any problems with the cable or connection to my switch.
Cons: They didn't come with free shipping, but for $22 a piece I guess it's OK.
Overall Review: I installed 6 of these, without any problem on 3 operating systems and 2 types of Dell PC (Dell Dimension E521 and Dell Dimension 9200).
At first I thought these didn't have any status LED's, just holes where the LED was supposed to be. This turned out to be incorrect, the LED is flat on the card and shines through a hole in the back.
Pros: My fast ethernet home network is getting long in the tooth. This is my first fast ethernet switch. It seems to be nice, quiet, and cool to the touch. It draws about 1 watt. My 2 gigabit ethernet devices register correctly (green light) and other non-gigabit devices register orange / amber.
Cons: When reading the manual, I discovered the jumbo frame size support for the 8 port model (the one I ordered and am reviewing) is smaller than for the 5 port model. Worse the size of the jumbo frame on my 8 port device is smaller than the largest frames on my Linkstation NAS.
As a result I have to run 7K jumbo frames instead of 9K from my Linkstations.
The 8 port TEG-S80g supports up to 9612 byte jumbo frames. The 5 port TEG-S50g supports up to 12k byte jumbo frames. I did not know this at the time of purchase.
I don't understand why the price of this device and its sister 5 port device keep changing.
Overall Review: Aside from the jumbo frame issue, this device is working well. I have no other complaints. The price was good ($29 at the time of my order) with free shipping.
Pros: This is an ATi 3850 class card, great for moderate PC video gaming. The thing I like most about this card, aside from it's moderate video power, is it is virtually silent in my PC. Many cards have fans which can be heard over the PC fan, this card runs very quietly. It is silent.
Cons: It runs hot, it isn't a 4870. This is older generation technology, and may not play all newer games at outrageous resolutions.
Overall Review: Electrical consumption on this card seems to compare favorably to 4xxx ATi graphics cards. There is no fan control, but it isn't really needed. The card runs a bit hot, but is absolutely silent. It requires 2 slot spaces to fit the fan.
Don't use the CD drivers and software included with this card, download the latest drivers from ATi.
This card works with Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 beta (both 32 and 64 bit).
Pros: This is wonderful hardware, and it should be a slam dunk fantastic card.
Cons: The software to capture TV, and to present program guides is awful. So bad, the program guide doesn't work at all. This means no automatic recording of shows. No information about what is playing, no program guide.
Overall Review: Somehow these folks made wonderful hardware and combined it with some of the nastiest software I've ever seen on a PC product.