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SmartExpress Internal PCI 56K

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      19.07.2001 22:03
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      • kjflfll;vk

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      • More +
        05.06.2001 07:54
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        When I ordered the SmartExpress V.92 Internal PCI Modem, I was unsure of the wisdom of my purchase. It simply seemed to good to be true, a V.92 modem for only £15.99, nearly half the price of all other budget 56k PCI modems that I could find. I suppose this low price is achieved as the modem uses the computers processor, which was a worry for me as I am only running a Cyrix 300Mhz. Having seen the website for dynamode (www.dynamode.net), which leaves a lot to be desired, I thought that this whole product was going to be a bit of a cheap and nasty experience. I was, however, pleasantly surprised when I received the modem. It didn't seem like a budget modem at all. It was well packaged and the CD driver disc that came with it had the very latest drivers on it (even more up to date than the drivers on the www.dynamode.net website). Installation of the modem was painless and everything installed fine onto my Windows98 (SE) operating system, unlike some other modems that I have tried in the past. The first use of the modem worried me as there was a long delay of nearly 10 seconds after I clicked the "Connect" button on my dial-up dialog box. The modem then began to dial and connected fine to my ISP as I would have expected. When I started to browse the internet I was amazed at the speed difference from my previous modem, which was an older external 56k modem. When downloading uncompressed text or HTML files I got speeds of over 10k/sec. I can only assume that this is due to the new improved data compression used with V.92. Performance has been great and my PC copes fine with the fact that the modem uses the CPU for it's processing. The only time I have ever noticed any kind of perfomance lag is when I have many applications open and I have over half a dozen active (still transferring data) internet browser windows open. Another good point about this modem for me is that the line speed it connects at is 45333bps, which is very good in t
        he very rural area in which I live (where line quality is relatively poor). My current ISP is Freeserve and they claim not to support the V.92 standard (although it is backwardly compatible so will always run as V.90 at the very least). I suspect that they do have some hardware that does support it though, just not all their equipment, since I don't always get this superb performance when I connect. I do, however, always get as good a performance as can be expected from any 56k V.90 modem. To summarise this modem gives excellent performance at an extremely low price. The only real draw backs are that it takes a while to initiate when "Connect" is clicked on the dial-up dialog, and when being very intensively used with many active windows I do notice some system slow down (though the data continues to be transfered at a good rate). Bear in mind I have an old PC: a 300Mhz Cyrix, running on an outdated PC Chips M571 motherboard. I suspect that running this modem on even a slightly better PC would result in no noticeable performance loss. A superb modem for the money. Highly recommended.

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