Joined on 08/31/04
Crazy good bargain from Intel
Pros: If you don't need the latest and greatest, this is a tremendous bargain, measured in performance per dollar. Personally, I am coming from an Athlon XP 4600+, and this doubles the performance over that (~1300 Passmarks for the Athlon vs. 2600 for this guy). To top it off, if you want to dabble with graphics the on-chip HD graphics are not half bad - about half the performance of an Nvidia 8800 GTS (300ish vs 600ish for the 8800). Enough to play old games just fine. Plus if you want to dabble in newer graphics stuff like WebGL, it's OpenGL 4.0 compliant. Plus it has OpenCL if you want to go full nerd in that direction. Really an incredible amount of CPU performance and just enough GPU/Compute capabilities for serious dabbling. All for $50. Basically Intel is destroying anything on the low end here. Now this isn't going to win any performance battles but it serves my purpose, which is to run Dolphin Wii/Gamecube emulator and older games smoothly when coupled with an Nvidia GT 640. Total build cost for around 300 bucks. More? Runs cool and quiet with the stock Intel cooler, didn't even need to break out the Arctic Silver. Did have to go into the MSI bios and tweak the fan speed down (running a MSI B75MA-E33 mobo, itself a fine bargain). After that - barely a woosh sound under load.
Cons: None really. For price to performance ratio, this reigns supreme. If you need to run newer games, this isn't it. But if you want to see what fifty bucks can buy you of the latest Intel engineering, this is a fine start.
Overall Review: Built a cheap-o system around this. Other components were MSI B75MA-E33 mobo, Kingston HyperX Blu DDR3 2x2GB, Corsair Carbide 200R case, MSI GeForce GT 640 1GB video card, SeaSonic S12II 380B power supply, Kinivo BTD-300 bluetooth. Around three hundred for everything. Twice as fast as my Athlon XP 4600+/Geforce 8800GTS build from 5 years ago, for about $100 less. Man I love engineering progress.
Great when works, but be careful
Pros: Bought two of these at once, for two mining rigs I'm putting together. Beautifully packaged, tons of cables included, runs cool and quiet. Love the hybrid mode, you basically get a fanless PSU when idle. Of the two, the first one has worked without a hitch on the first rig and has been going strong for a couple of days now under continuous 800W load.
Cons: Second one powered on/off randomly shortly after hookin up the second rig (this under an 80W load). Thought it was just a problem with the second rig - maybe the motherboard. So went back the first rig which has been working non-stop for a few days with the first PSU. Switched out identical working PSU (another Seasonic 1000W platinum) for this one... and it wouldn't even power on the rig. Put working PSU back... annnd the rig powered right up. First problem I've ever had with a Seasonic PSU, going back 10 years I've owned a couple other Seasonic PSUs and never had one give me a single issue.
Overall Review: Be careful on this one, shipping it back for RMA is a bear ($20 bucks for Newegg prepaid label in my case). Between original shipping and price drop after holidays I'm out $40. I'm taking my chance with another one of these but Seasonic you are on double-secret probation now.
Cool, silent, spacious
Pros: The best all-around non-SSD notebook drive I could find. Replaced a 250GB drive on my HP 8730w work laptop - that drive had all kinds of seek noise. This drive is truly silent, and the laptop noise is now just a steady woosh of the fan. When I cloned the old drive over to this one, it never get more than luke warm to the touch - even after copying 250GB for a few hours. All that, and a price of 12 cents per GB: 5 eggs.
Cons: I'm getting 60MB/sec read/write - no noticeable improvement over performance of my old drive in day to day use - but nothing to complain about. If I wanted a real improvement I would need to spend 10x (or is it 20x), for a solid state drive of the same capacity.
Overall Review: As others have mentioned, this is an Advanced Format drive so you need to use an updated formatted/cloning tool. Luckily, Western Digital has you totally covered here, with a free partition alignment tool and even a free drive cloning tool from Acronis - both available for download from their website. The drive itself is labeled with the exact web address you'll need: www.wdc.com/advformat, and that will walk you through everything you need to know. Excellent all-around job, Western Digital.
Sweet, sweet RAM
Pros: Good quality (Kingston), fast(PC2 6400), cheap (yep), plentiful (2GB is all I need). The manual for my MSI mobo actually lists 4 memory manufacturers that the mobo has been tested with - Kingston is one of them.
Overall Review: - I've messed around with memory from second-tier manufacturers - too many weird problems. Stick with one of the major names, even for a few bucks more, and you'll save yourself some grief. - Running this in MSI K9NGM4-F V.2 mobo, EVGA 8800GTS 320MB, AMD64 X2 4600, Corsair 450W PS. Fast, cheap setup.
Solid quiet PS for a great price
Pros: Efficient, quiet, high-quality packaging (it comes in a Corsair cloth bag inside the box!), great price, plenty of juice for an 8800GTS.
Overall Review: Running a MSI K9NGM4-F V.2, 2x1GB Kingston PC6400, EVGA 8800GTS 320MB. Quiet, reliable, fast. Good job Corsair!
I can't believe this deal
Pros: -Unbelievable deal right now - after rebate this thing is less than an 8800 GS and not much more than an 8600 GT/GTS. -This thing is a beast for speed: See Tom's VGA charts and this places in the top 5 in nearly all benchmarks. -Fan is *very quiet* while idle. Even at maximum fan speed (which I've only hit on boot up so far) it's not too bad.
Cons: -This thing is a beast for size. On my tiny MSI K9NGM4-F V.2 mobo, it blocks two of the four SATA ports. No biggie for me - this is for a gaming machine, not a file server. -320MB instead of 512MB - but I don't mind at all given how much less this is than the 512MB version. And nearly all games will not show a difference between these two memory sizes (see VGA charts). For the ones that do, crank down the eye candy a bit.
Overall Review: Got this running with a 450W Corsair power supply, MSI K9NGM4-F V.2, 2x1GB Kingston PC6400. Near top of the line gaming machine for less than an iPod Touch.