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I bought this keyboard for around £10 two months ago for my girlfriend's PC. It is all black, with media buttons on the top, and very smooth and good looking. The keys are silent when you press them which is great for typing reviews when my girlfriend is asleep (complaint limitation!), and there's a certain 'solid' feel to it - somehow you just know that this keyboard is going to last you a long time. I like the black colour because any dust on it is visible which motivates you to clean or vacuum it every so often.
The various useful buttons at the top allows for ease of access to functions such as the calculator, quick switching of songs during gaming/browsing/typing sessions so you don't have to open up the music player window, and comes with software to bind your own keys to your preference.
The Logitech Media Keyboard 600 is a great keyboard for the money you pay. The buttons are responsive and the keyboard feels solid and sturdy and feels comfortable during extended sessions of typing. The keys are quiet and, and the extra multimedia functionality makes life just that little bit easier if you're a multi-tasker like myself who enjoys listening to music when typing or playing games.
My MX-518 experience started 4 years ago after horrendous performances from many generic mice. After eying the special at Electronics Boutique for a couple of days, I decided to grab this gem. It cost me £20.00 at the time which I felt was an absolute bargain.
In the box were the usual USB/PS2 adapter, driver CD and manual. Installation was a matter of plugging and playing. Personally, I use the PS2 adapter as I found that I didn't have to install any additional drivers or software, which really compliments my IT KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) methodology.
The visual design of the mouse gives it a 3D look and the contours fit my hand perfectly. It is by far the most comfortable mouse I've ever owned. The ergonomics on this thing are excellent, the performance is great, it supported years of intensive use and it performed flawlessly until today. It's been through so much that the Logitech sign has been rubbed away. But the buttons are still crisp and responsive. I don't use a mousepad as it works fine on the computer table surface.
The MX-518 is 1600DPI and included a software called 'Setpoint' which allows for instant switching of DPI settings, and for binding purposes. But I never installed the software as I used only the '+' and '-' buttons, located on the top and bottom of the scroll, to instantly switch DPIs. Located on the left side are 2 handy buttons which can be used as 'forward' and 'back' buttons for browsers. And when it comes to games, you can bind those buttons to whatever you wish to suit your needs.
Overall, the MX-518 is a fantastic mouse. It is comfortable, durable, easy-to-use, and is as smooth as a baby's bottom when playing online First-Person-Shooter games (which requires the high DPI). Sure, it doesn't have the bells and whistles that's featured on today's offerings, but who needs it when you have a quality product that just 'works' straight out of the box.
Recently I was looking for something that's big and powerful that doesn't break the budget to accommodate my friend's new system that included i7 950 CPU, dual video cards for SLI, 4 HDD, and 2 optical drives. It was another one of the many builds that I regularly do for my friends for free (after they get the parts). God, I'm a nice guy!
Description and dimensions
The 30+ pounds was the first thing I noticed when I got the box. This thing is HUGE. The dimensions were 17.6" (H) x 8.1" (W) x 23" (D) (447mm (H) x 206mm (W) x 584.2mm (D)). With 23 inches in depth, there's enough room in there to put the longest video cards on the markets. As for the storage itself, there are 10 Drive Bays, 4 External 5.25" (one with 5.25" to 3.5" adapter) and 6 internal 3.5". The four external bays are behind a double hinged door that can open up all the way to the side of the case (270 degrees). I find the door to be a bit lose and flimsy, the hinges are all plastic so one must be very careful when opening and closing the door.
The case itself is painted all black and looks generic to say the least. There are 2 usb ports, 1 IEEE1394, audio in and out, with the power and reset buttons behind the door.
The side panel can be removed like a huge giant door and you can mount a 80mm fan to blow cool air directly onto where your graphics cards should be. At the back of the case is a 120mm Tricool fan the serves as an exhaust to draw hot air out of the case. You can adjust the speed of the Tricool fan to be more quiet if you want to.
The bottom of the case is where the Hard-Disk Drives (HDD) reside, located behind a second metal grill that you can add 2 optional 92mm fans to draw air into the case as well as cool the HDD's at the same time. I put 2 blue LED 92mm fans to give it a uniquely cool look.
There are 7 expansion slots for your motherboard's needs. The power supply itself is non other than Antec's TruePower Trio 650W. Very nice indeed. It is Crossfire/ SLI certified and comes with a 5 year warranty.
*NOTE: Now, I will not go into the minute details of how I assembled all the parts as that's a subject in itself. I recommend consulting a PC professional or read up on it yourself. Google is your best friend :)
With that said, the shear size of this thing makes installing much easier as you have more room to move and maneuver your hands. I installed 2 x GTX 280 video cards without any problems with with a spare half an inch or so before it reaches the HDD's. To be smart about it, I recommend using some electrical tape to manage the wiring thereby making the it look neater and at the same time increase airflow (which decreases the temperatures of the hardware components like CPU, video card, RAM, motherboard).
It has all the room you'll ever need for any build of PC you wish to conjure with plenty of power, plenty of expansion slots. It's not as quiet as some smaller cases like the Sonata II. On second thoughts, of course it's not as quiet considering how much stuff there's inside and the shear size of this thing. The Antec's TruePower Trio 650W power supply is worth the value in itself. And for around £160 pounds, I'd say it's a bargain!
I have the Antec Truepower TP-650 running in my current system for almost 2 years. As you all know there are many generic power supplies that advises a specific power wattage only to not deliver leaving it dead when under heavy load. Not only that, it brings your computer and its components with it as well, leading to a heavy write-off.
I chose Antec because it is a trusted brand known for its reliability. The 650W gave me headroom for upgrades and hardware additions. There are no bells and whistles with this power supply as it is made exactly what it's built for - stability and reliability.
The Antec Truepower TP-650 is a Modular power supply so it's a great choice for PC gamers and enthusiasts like myself, because you use only the connectors that are needed thereby reducing clutter in the box which allows more room for cooling. There is a fan at the bottom to draw air in for cooling. I have been running two GTS 250 video cards in SLI mode for the past 2 years and the performance is excellent when under heavy load playing games like Crysis, Call of Duty series, Bad Company 2. I don't recall having any crashes that are power supply related. Most of the crashes has been a result of incorrect drivers, incorrect dx level, and config tweaks.
Another thing I like about this power supply is the silent fan. It's 120mm in size and I can barely hear it when I leave my computer on to download when I sleep. It's been running 24 hours a day almost everyday.
The Antec Truepower TP-650 is an awesome power supply when running strenuous applications. It supplies the juice needed for your hardware and will last more you more than long enough until your next upgrade. However if you're not an enthusiast or gamer like myself, I vouch for its more standard version The Antec Truepower TP-550
Hey guys, I bought the Zalman VF900-Cu LED in 2007 along with the Zalman CNPS9500A LED, which I wrote a review on earlier. Without further ado, let's get into.
My system specifications:
- Gigabyte DQ6 Motherboard
- C2D E6400
- 4 sticks x 1GB Ram
- Windows XP SP2
- Nvidia Sparkle 7900GT
- and all the other usual stuff (CD/DVD RW, floppy, HDD, etc.)
The Zalman VF900-Cu LED
- Look and Feel
The main difference between this (VF900-Cu LED) and the older version VF700 was the heatpipes and an all-copper design. As we know, copper cools better than aluminum. The cooler came packaged tightly with the following list of parts:
- User's Manual
- Dual-sided Tape(to attach FAN MATE 2)
- Heatsink (VF900-Cu)
- Eight RAM Heatsinks (for the RAM on your video card)
- Four Nipple
- Four Fixing Nuts
- One PVC Washer Plate
- Four Rubber Rings
- Four Springs
- Thermal Grease (I use my own Arctic Silver 5)
- FAN Controller (FAN MATE 2)
- Cable for FAN MATE 2
On close inspection, the fins are very close, small and thin, and there are many of them. This will allow the heatsink to dissipate and spread the heat onto each of the fins so the fan can cool it. The heatpipes look great and are useful to transfer the heat from the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) to the fins.
The Zalman VF900-Cu LED measured 96(L) X 96(W) X 30(H)mm and is pure copper. The fan speed spins at approximately 1,350 ~ 2,400rpm ± 10%.
Installation was quick. It was just a matter of taking my video card (Sparkle 7900GT) out of the case, removing the stock heatsink, cleaning the back of the GPU with some isopropanol, applying some Arctic Silver 5 thermal compound. And then align and install the Zalman VF900-Cu LED. However, I urge everyone to read the instructions CAREFULLY before proceeding. Yes, a lot less hassle than the CNPS9500A LED in my previous review. The cooler also came with RAM sinks, so it was important to use a rubber and scrub the ram chips on the video card to clean it and get rid of impurities. Then it was just a matter of pressing the RAM sinks firmly onto the RAM chip so that it sticks.
My Sparkle Geforce 7900GT was a factory default, so the stock cooler on it wasn't that impressive. Before installation, it reach 79C under full load (100% activity). After installing the Zalman VF900-Cu LED, the temperature reduced to a stunning 65C under full load whilst running the fan at around 25%. I measured all temperatures with a program called EVGA precision.
- The Verdict
The Zalman VF900-Cu LED was impressive to say the least. It met all my expectations and was a great compliment to my Sparkle 7900GT. Whilst it is eclipsed by newer models, new graphics cards, and better builds, the Zalman VF900-Cu LED was the top of its class 3-4 years ago. I don't know how compatible it is with the newer graphics cards, but if you have an older card in need of a cooling solution I'd recommend it. Bear in mind that this is a video card cooler and will NOT lower your case or CPU temperatures.
After doing some research, I bought this aftermarket cooler to compliment my Core 2 Duo E6400. At the time, the core 2 duo had just come out and was there was a buzz around it. The Intel stock cooler that came with the CPU was OK, but I needed more room for overclocking.
My system configuration was:
- Gigabyte DQ6 Motherboard
- C2D E6400
- 4 sticks x 1GB Ram
- Windows XP SP2
- and all the other usual stuff (CD/DVD RW, floppy, HDD, etc.)
The Zalman CNPS9500A LED
- Look and Feel
Upon opening the box I saw a very good looking piece of cooler. So much so that the eye candy made me doubt its effectiveness. Though the base, heatpipes and fins are pure, shiny copper, and sharp! I cut myself whilst handling it. The fan blades are a matte, translucent plastic. The fins and heatpipe are firmly attached and the cooler feels weighty and sturdy. The fan turns smoothly without effort and not lose.
The cooler is a lot larger than that of the stock Intel socket 775 CPU heatsink-fan. It measures 85(L) x 112(W) x 125(H) mm (3.35 x 4.4 x 5 in). Fortunately, I had an Antec Titan Case so I knew there were available space in my case before I bought the thing.
It took me up to 4 hours to finally get this thing installed on my DQ6 motherboard. As written in my other review, the DQ6 motherboard has a copper "Easy Cool" backplate which poses difficult for the Zalman CNPS9500A LED as it has a CPU bracket which needs to be installed on the back of the motherboard. After some careful filing I was able to get the CNPS9500A bracket to fit in with the "Easy cool" backplate, and everything was smooth sailing. Might I mention that I also removed the old thermal paste and added some of my own Arctic Silver 5. After that it was just a matter of carefully eyeballing and aligning the processor to the cooler and securing the subsequent screws.
According to Core Temp (cpu temperature measuring software), the CPU temperature generated 75C full load under the stock cooler with considerable amount of noise coming from the fan.
With the Zalman CNPS9500A LED installed, Core Temp measured a max temp of 62C under full load. And that's with the fan at its lowest setting at 1200rpm. In a quiet room, the noise was barely noticeable. I did not turn the fan on full because it was not needed as its idle temperature was only 35C.
- The Verdict
Apart from the installation nightmare and a minor injury (cut), this was actually an awesome cooler and very good looking. The blue LED light is bright and looks cool when reflecting the copper fins. However, if you don't know your way around the CPU, I urge you to find a different cooler which doesn't require a back mounting bracket. Otherwise, I would recommend this to anyone who owns a Core 2 Duo Processor.
I was struggling with the decision whether to buy the Photosmart, the Photosmart Wireless or this one, the Photosmart Plus. Seeing that we are here, it is evident that I chose the latter. The printer itself is a high gloss black much like the gloss on the scabbard of my many samurai swords. It sports a 61mm touchscreen with buttons down either side an has the usual flatbed scanner lid and two paper trays at the front of the machine. The printer came bundled with the usual mix of HP utilities, drivers, and cables.
The first thing I did when I had everything set up was to try and print a few photos. Admittedly it takes a while for the print to start as the printer check itself and primes its engine. But once you sit through the initial delay, the print speed is actually pretty good. It was able to print photos a lot faster than my previous HP. The quality of the photo was as good as you would get if you were to develop them at a photo center, with the odd pixel out of place, which doesn't occur too often. Printing text documents in black was great throughout as there were no signs of ink run.
The HP Photosmart Plus AiO Printer B209a has taken its place as my regular printer and for just £75, it is very capable of fulfilling most print jobs. The double paper tray is excellent for convenience if you have large print jobs.
I bought the Gigabyte GA-965P-DQ6 more than 3 year ago at the end of 2006. It was a great motherboard at the time loaded with features and a perfect compliment to the then best CPU, the core 2 duo. The "DQ6" stands for "Durability Enhanced, 6-Quad Features" - which also includes the "S-Features". These features include:
* All solid state capacitors for longer lifetime
* Quad BIOS - four copies of the BIOS, two on flash rom, one on HD, one on CD
* Quad Cooling - four heatsinks for the motherboard chipset, Crazy Cool heatsink on the back
* Quad Triple phase - total of twelve power phases to deliver steadier power and current at lower temperatures
* Quad eSATA2 - four external Sata2 3Gb/sec ports for expandibility
* Quad Core Read - will support quad core processors
* Quad DDR2 slots - four DDR2 slots
* Silent-Pipe - chipset cooling without fans for low noise systems
* Speed - extensive overclocking / tweaking settings and utilities
* Smart - easy flashing from Windows or even the BIOS
* Safe - dual bios, s.m.a.r.t. support for HD's, saved BIOS settings and health monitoring
When I first took the DQ6 out of the box, the layout was very clean and centers around the solid capacitors, a heatpipe cooling system running through 4 strapping heatsinks, and a wealth of connectivity. It was a beautiful board and at the back you can see the "crazy cool" copper plate designed to dissipate heat.
The performance of the board was second to none, in fact it was quite astonishing. I was able to reach 410Mhz on the Front Side Bus (FSB) which is a whopping 1640Mhz. At the time, there were very few socket 775 motherboards that were able to reach such phenomenal FSB. On top of that, the system was very stable at the 410Mhz FSB.
One negative aspect I'd like to point out is the inflexibility of the backplate. The initial idea of it was cool, but when I wanted to a high-end cooler, I was unable to remove the plate rendering rendering my aftermarket cooling solutions useless.
Gigabyte has reduced this board to around £220, so I still recommend it today if you're after a socket 775 motherboard. If you're going for a brand new system, I recommend checking out motherboards that support Intel i7 CPUs.
I bought Club-3D GTS 250 Green almost a year ago to play Crysis, Crysis Warhead, Far Cry 2 and a few other first person titles. Seeing as I already have a GTS 250 (Sparkle brand), I bought this solely for the purpose of running SLI (Scalable Link Interface). Knowing that this was the 'green' version of the card I can expect lower clocks, but it shouldn't matter too much as I can just downclock my other card as I see fit.
The box contained a tightly bubbled-wrapped card, a drivers and utilities CD, and some cables. The dimensions of card measured width 11.3, length 23cm, and height 4.1cm and the heatsink & fan looked amazingly similar to that of my current Sparkle branded GTS 250.
The installation didn't pose too much trouble as it fit nicely underneath my current card. However, I had some trouble obtaining a SLI bridge so I had to visit the local computer store. After that, it was just a matter of plugging it in, connecting the 6-pin PCI-express power cable, and linking the cards together with the SLI bridge.
I fired it up and read the core clock to be 700Mhz, 38Mhz slower than the original GTS 250 version which has the core clock at 738Mhz. The memory clock is also slower, but we can expect that as it was a 'green' version. Being in SLI mode you can expect temperatures to be a bit high, but this card kept its cool. It idled at 37C and when under full load it reached 65C... not bad at all! I was able to overclock it a bit to squeeze more performance out of it.
The Club-3D GTS 250 Green Edition is a good card, but there are better alternatives out on the market today. I would recommend it only if you already have a GTS 250 and wish to buy another one to run in SLI mode.
I bought this at the end of 2006 when it first came out. It was my first gaming cpu in a system which I built from scratch. It's still running today for my basic computer needs and can run most Source games without any problems. I chose this instead of the E6300 or E6600 because this was just right in terms of price and overclockability. The CPU architecture is similar to that of the E6600 only it ships with less L2 cache. The clock speed of the E6400 is 2.13Ghz, comparatively lower than its big brother E6600 which is clocked at 2.40Ghz. For a saving of $100 at the time, it was a no-brainer.
Installation was simple if you know what you're doing. I was able to install it within an hour with some Arctic Silver 5 as thermal compound. But you'd have to be very careful when applying the thermal compound as you don't want to get any onto the motherboard. Otherwise it could short it, and then you're in for trouble!
I had initial problems with the heatsink and fan (HSF) as the fan had stopped working and the cpu reached 90C. I quickly switched it off and brought it back to the shop where I bought it. The assistant was nice enough to give me one of their many replacement fans. It didn't matter as a week later I had bought a Zalman aftermarket HSF for the sole purpose of overclocking.
To cut a long story short, I was able to overclock the E6400 from 2.13Ghz to 2.96Ghz with the Zalman HSF, which far surpasses its big bro E6600 @ 2.40Ghz. In fact, 2.96Ghz is even higher than the best cpu at the time (Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800) which was priced at over $1000. Talk about value for money!
In conclusion, it was a great purchase at the time and the old man is overworked (overclocked), still alive and still healthy to this day. On ya old man!
It was my birthday a week ago, I opened the present from my girlfriend and found the stunning Navman F45. Having no sense of direction and always getting lost using the tradition street directory, this is exactly what I needed. Women sometimes have a special ability to read your thoughts... they are like psychic!
The first thing I noticed when I unboxed the Navman F45 is its crisp brilliant touchscreen, it makes reading maps an experience. It weighs 155 grams with dimensions 80 x 137 x 18.5mm. The touch screen display is 4.3 inches with a resolution of 480 x 272 pixels. The bundle came with the usual vehicle charger, USB cables, mounting bracket and a CD. Okay, the details are out of the way.
We decided to take it for a drive right away. It has the usual voice spoken tun-by-turn instructions and preloaded database of maps. What impressed me was its ability to detect safety cameras. Having been a victim of speed and red light cameras in the past, this device came in very handy. I remember using my uncle's GPS (can't remember the make) and it didn't have the camera detection built in, so this was a bonus for me. After using it a few times, I realised it had a day/night display that automatically adjusts screen brightness. Also a cool perk. The connectivity is outstanding when compared to my uncle's device, it was able to pull out the maps a lot quicker. Cue geek talk: It's like having an Intel i7 compared to a Core 2 Duo... Know what I mean?
I'm still going through the features, but all in all it is a great device and the best birthday gift ever! I think it will replace my girlfriend...
My iPod touch 8GB is 2 years old and still boasts its sexy look and feel. It's a step down from the iPhone, but hey, I'm not complaining. The iPod touch is a stunning design, its touch has a super thin body that measures only .31" (8mm) thick; it's much thinner than the iPhone. Overall dimensions are - 4.3" x 2.4" x .31", or 110mm x 61.8mm x 8mm. The entire iPod touch weighs only 4.2 ounces! It has a huge 3.5" color LCD screen with multi-touch technology. It is a thin membrane grid underneath the glass iPod screen that is sensitive to the tiny electric current in the human body, which covers every last square millimeter of the LCD. How's that for some geek talk?
As for the music, I have in excess of 1500 songs which I have accumulated over time. It also plays movies, TV shows, video podcasts or music videos, and can be adjusted to display fullscreen. Just like Windows Media Player. I say that's cool!
The battery itself is built-in and rechargeable. Charging to full battery capacity takes approximately 90 minutes to an hour. However, a dead charge may take upwards of 3 hours. I'm able to get around 18 to 20 hours worth of audio playback before it needs to be charged again.
The iPod is truly an amazing device. It's one of those products that has competitors pulling their hair out trying to keep up. It is gorgeous, stylish, sexy and fun, and was one of the hottest items of the year when I bought it.
I bought this back in 2005 and I'm still using it as a backup monitor today. It has no dead pixels although a bit dusty as it is kept in the store room. From today's perspective, I have to say there's nothing special about the Proview 765. But back when I first bought it, it was a great transition from CRT to LCD. Oh the memories... my first LCD monitor.
Installation was simple and commonsensical. Just take the baby out of the box and plug it into the back of the tower. The plug is analog or better known as 'vga', so if your graphics card has a DVI connector (which most have these days), you may need to fork out a few bucks for a DVI to VGA connector. But back when I bought it, all graphics card had a VGA connector (Yes. Old school I know).
All in all, the Proview 765 LCD is your average, reliable LCD monitor. It's done its time (5 years to this day) and still going. My recommendation is: if you're on a tight budget, buy this monitor. If you have more to spend, definitely fork out the extra bucks and buy a more recent, updated model.
I'm a HUGE fan of the FIFA series but was really disappointed when the PC version of FIFA 10 was released. The graphics were a major disappointment and the game looked something like a revamped version of FIFA 98. I switched over the Pro Evolution Soccer 2010...
That is until FIFA 11 came out!
All I have to say is WOW. The game is beautiful even on average PCs, with an AI that contests and competes as hard as any human. The graphics are much improved and the movements are realistic and responsive, unlike the robotic feel of the Pro Evolution Series. Any movement or button tap on my dual-shock controller elicits an immediate reaction: a leg stuck out or a toe extended, or my favourite Ronaldinho move. The game balance is perfect as the AI makes decisions and mistakes like a real person would. On the odd occasion you might be cuing a perfect shot with Cristiano Ronaldo and have him balloon it. Passes are realistic and through balls are weighted with risk but lethal when deployed at a carved-up defence.
My favorite is Manager Mode which allows for realistic transfer of players. The realism of transfers reflect real life players. Lionel Messi is unlikely to sign for another club for at least the first 5 years in manager mode while less loyal players are able to be offered incentives (in the form bonus per goal, per game salary). Each player behaves like he would in real life and has their own unique personality.
Another big part of the game is the ball: it behaves like a ball. I fired a freekick with Ronaldo and the keeper dived the right way. The ball hit the wall and bounced off the top of a defender's shoulder. It then sailed out of the keeper's grasp, hit the crossbar and ricocheted into the net. It doesn't get more realistic than that!
If you're looking to buy a football game on PC, don't even consider other options. FIFA 11 is a MUST!
I bought this smartphone from Ebay a little more than a year ago. Unboxing my gold Blackberry Curve 8310 was a moment to remember. It was sleek and beautiful and ready for my pocket. Small, stylish and powerful, this BlackBerry is loaded with features! It even has a GPS and mapping software for accurate turn-by-turn instructions. Unfortunately, being a noob at smartphones, I did not have a plan to go with this baby and using a prepaid sim, I was unable to access the truckload of features. Hell, I couldn't even access the MMS.
However, I was impressed with the powerful new media manager that connects straight your PC for streamlined management. Find your media files in your own computer, and organize them for quick and easy use, even when you are half a world away from your desk.
More features: Voice activated dialing, Bluetooth support, MP3 player, and a fantastic 2MP camera with built-in flash. Handle your email, with the built-in spellchecker. Personally, I found the camera a bit dull and the pictures it took almost came in black and white. The unresponsive 'space' button gave me troubles when typing sms, but that's probably because I bought it off Ebay. Lesson learnt.
I really liked the instant message services BlackBerry included with Messenger, Google Talk or Yahoo! Messenger, already loaded and ready to go at your command.