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C. Carline (London, UK)

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AMD FX8350 Black Edition 8 Core Processor (4.0/4.2GHz, 8MB Level 3 Cache, 8MB Level 2 Cache, Socket AM3+, 125W, Retail Boxed)
AMD FX8350 Black Edition 8 Core Processor (4.0/4.2GHz, 8MB Level 3 Cache, 8MB Level 2 Cache, Socket AM3+, 125W, Retail Boxed)
Price: £126.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Decent workhorse at a good price., 15 Oct 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm knocking off 1 star because the stock heatsink+fan is genuinely terrible. It doesn't really cool the CPU very well and the fan is very loud and whining. Replaced with a basic corsair watercooler solution and now everything is good.

The stock heatsink+fan actually makes a nice paperweight now.

In terms of bang for buck, this is a great CPU, especially if you regularly run processes that exercise all 8 cores (like video encoding and rendering). Single core performance is perfectly fine, but it really comes alive when you start throwing multiple threads at it. And as long as you can keep it cool, it'll overclock quite nicely.

It's a hungry CPU in terms of power requirements, and if you're after pure single thread performance the Intel i5 is probably a better choice, but with the major next-gen consoles now all using multi-core AMD processors it'll likely even out in the long run.

MSI Nvidia GeForce GTX 760 Gaming 4GB DDR5 Twin Frozer IV FAN PCI-E Graphics Card
MSI Nvidia GeForce GTX 760 Gaming 4GB DDR5 Twin Frozer IV FAN PCI-E Graphics Card

5.0 out of 5 stars Good, solid performance., 15 Oct 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Rock solid and fast. Drives 3 monitors with ease. Buttery smooth graphics on pretty-much everything I've thrown at it, and the 4gb of on-board memory should mean it won't need to be replaced any time soon.

It's also quiet under load.

It's a big card though (length-wise) and it can be a bit fiddly to fit as a result.

All in all, I'm very happy.

Google Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player
Google Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player
Price: £29.77

4.0 out of 5 stars Handy, but not earth-shattering., 15 Oct 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Works very well, although I don't use it all that much. But for the price it's excellent, and extremely handy when you want to push content from your phone (or PC/Chromebook) to your TV.

HyperX 16 GB 1600 Mhz CL9 DDR3 HyperX Beast Desktop Memory Kit (2 x 8GB) - Intel XMP
HyperX 16 GB 1600 Mhz CL9 DDR3 HyperX Beast Desktop Memory Kit (2 x 8GB) - Intel XMP
Price: £125.04

3.0 out of 5 stars Only reliably runs at 1333 Mhz for me..., 15 Oct 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Doesn't run reliably at 1600MHz (it's detected by my motherboard as 1333MHz, and if I OC it to 1600MHz, my PC doesn't run reliably -- random crashes every 24 hours or so). Maybe with a little bit of extra cooling it'd be fine. Rock solid at 1333Mhz however, and the performance hit certainly isn't large enough to be bothersome (and it's not a bad price for 2x8Gb sticks).
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 16, 2014 1:05 AM BST

Multi Purpose Grater
Multi Purpose Grater
Offered by Harts Of Stur
Price: £13.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Don't be another sucker., 7 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Multi Purpose Grater
The sucker broke after a few weeks. I'd read this as a problem, and in classic "this won't happen to me, but if so I'm sure I'll figure something out" style I ignored the other reviews. Unfortunately, having the grater attach firmly to a flat surface is fundamental to the operation of the device -- without it working, it's entirely useless short of putting it in a vise to hold it steady.

The first few weeks were a joy. The grater works really well. But the suction cup mechanism is simply not strong or robust enough.

Save yourself some cash and avoid.

The Mother We Share [Explicit]
The Mother We Share [Explicit]
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible song, 19 Sep 2013
I haven't bought a single in years but for this amazing record I simply had no choice! And it'll be the same for their album out next week...

Amazon Kindle Keyboard Lighted Leather Cover, Steel Blue (only fits Kindle Keyboard)
Amazon Kindle Keyboard Lighted Leather Cover, Steel Blue (only fits Kindle Keyboard)

4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, but not quite perfect, 4 Feb 2011
I ordered my Steel Blue lighted leather cover on the Saturday evening with Supersaver delivery and it arrived the following Tuesday morning (much to my delight) in the same easy-open packaging the Kindle arrived in -- and the first impressions are excellent. This is an undoubtedly premium product, well-made and sturdy. It's easy to hold one-handed, and when the cover is folded back, it's easy to operate in either hand (the case is designed to be folded back, and it is actually very comfortable to use in this way). The Kindle was easy to clip in once I'd figured out that the "top" hook slides down (I'd somehow missed the instructions on the product web page itself, and whilst there was some documentation included it wasn't immediately apparent how to slot the Kindle in -- it's very easy to get the hang of removing and putting it back after a couple of goes, but I digress).

The light itself is *excellent*. Having read through many of the reviews before committing myself to the purchase of this somewhat expensive cover, I did have some trepidation that the brightness would be suboptimal, i.e. the light being distractingly uneven, or the keyboard shrouded in darkness. I was extremely pleased, then, to discover that neither of these flaws were present in any meaningful sense. Whilst there is a *slight* gradient of the light across the screen, it's barely noticeable when in use in the dark, and as long as you're not shadowing the keyboard with your fingers, it's easy to see which key is which (in fact, I find the keys better lit with the light than they are when my bedside lamp is on). In fact, it's a pleasure to read in pitch darkness, and I'm still impressed at quite how well focussed the light is -- there is a small amount of peripheral spillage, but it's a lot less significant than I'd expected.

So on the whole, it's a great case, and I'm generally very pleased with it.

There are, however, a few things that mean I can't in clear conscience award a full five stars. Not big things by any means, and none of them particularly dealbreakers -- but annoyances nevertheless. And I am certainly not the first commenter to point out that at the current £50.99 price tag, these niggles are amplified somewhat.

My first and greatest concern is the strength and durability of the clip that secures the Kindle in place. Although when held normally, or when the case is closed, it feels perfectly adequate and secure, there is a large amount of "play" (a good 2-3cm/1 inch), between the Kindle and the back of the case. I worry I'll catch something in here and snap or bend the connectors out of place. I find myself wishing there were a couple of supporting magnets or two to hold the right-hand side of the Kindle more firmly to the back of the case (a velcro strip would also do the job with somewhat less aesthetic appeal).

The second thing, again quite minor but something I find slightly irritating is that the little leather flap that allows easy access to the elastic strap has A MIND OF IT'S OWN, and if you like it to lie flush against the face of the case -- like it does in *all* the photos you ever see of it on the Amazon website -- it requires a small amount of fiddling each time you use it (the elastic twists slightly which puts it off-axis, usually holding it outwards with respect to the cover) to put it back. Again, something that could have been assuaged with a light magnetic strip. Having said that, the elastic strap is otherwise great -- it makes everything feel very secure and is a lot less fussy than any number of fiddly clasps.

The third thing, and this is probably the most nit-picky annoyance of them all: For something that looks quite so like a filofax, it really does feel like a missed opportunity that there isn't a handy flap on the inside of the front cover to securely stow away bus/train tickets (at least this wish doesn't involve magnets).

Overall, I'm happy to recommend this cover despite these minor reservations -- it feels great, protects the Kindle nicely from knocks and scrapes and works beautifully in the dark. Without a doubt it's the best Kindle case you can buy today. It's just unfortunate that it doesn't *quite* match up to my (probably unrealistic) expectations given the premium price it currently demands. 4/5

Yes, Virginia [Digipak]
Yes, Virginia [Digipak]
Offered by Popcorn and Candy
Price: £12.98

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, Yes, YES Virginia., 19 April 2006
This review is from: Yes, Virginia [Digipak] (Audio CD)
In summary, then: Best album of the year.

It strikes me that a sentence like that usually begs a "so far!" disclaimer at the end of it -- but not in this case. And there are an awful lot of records out in 2006 that could claim (or potentially claim) that particular mantle. But they *still* won't be as good as this. Really.

So in summary, then: Best album of the year. Any year.

I first came to the Dresden Dolls last year and liked what I heard. Their live "A is for Accident" album along with their eponymous "Dresden Dolls" release were a breath of fresh air in a musically morbund climate. They weren't necessarily my favourite act, but I liked them enough.

Introduced via the quirky "Coin Operated Boy", my worries focussed not on the band's good songs (however good they actually were) than the assumption that "Coin Operated Boy" sounded like a novelty record.

(Rubbish, of course. It really is no such thing. Listen again if you doubt me. I mean, really *listen*.)

Realistically though, a piano/drum beat-combo should never have worked. Even now, it seems laughable. "Brechtian punk caberet"? You've got to be kidding!

And you'd be right. Fortunately, the songs were a lot better than that: "Good Day" was possibly one of the strongest introductions to a band of all time -- as a statement of intent it's unparallelled to this day. And "Girl Anachronism" was a blistering punch to the gut; a stake in the ground that declared war on both singer and listener alike.

But as we all know, bands like this fizzle. The curse of the "difficult second album" strikes too many artists. Second albums are rarely as good as the first. It's a fact of life.

Especially when expectations are high.

So please forgive me when I admit that I approached this album with extreme trepidation.

When a copy was finally pressed into my hands and I stuck it into my CD player I should have, no NEEDED to admit to something even scarier: Upon the first listen I was disappointed. My fears surmounted my rational analysis.

Forgive the analogy, but looking back it's kind of like Pope Julius II seeing the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel for the first time and saying to Michaelangelo, "But I'd always imagined God was a brunette".

Yeah well, I'm a no-nothing idiot at first impressions. Second impressions too, most probably.

But I'll stand up for this. It's my first review.

The songwriting on display here is astonishing. Every track delivers. And then delivers more. And more. And more. On every subsequent listen.

My first impressions suck. And blow. And whatever else. But when something gets under your skin, you've got to tell someone, right?

It's not just the music and the lyrics; there has never been an act where the drumming has been as important as the singing. Drummer (and part-time guitarist) Brian Viglione is every bit as vital to the band as singer/pianist Amanda Palmer to the songs, even during the songs where he barely plays a note. This not only demonstrates incredible confidence on his part, it also underlines his abilities as a master musician.

I love this album. I want you to buy it.

Please do.

PS. Please forgive me for the dreadful title of this post. Thanks. ;-)

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