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Intel EXPI9301CTBLK PRO1000 Network Card CT PCIex Bulk
Intel EXPI9301CTBLK PRO1000 Network Card CT PCIex Bulk
Price: 22.07

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works great in ESXi, 8 Sep 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this Intel NIC because it's one of the few NICs on VMWare's HCL (hardware compatibility list) that's officially supported.

It works perfectly in both ESXi and in Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2. I've got two of these, one in the ESXi box, and another in a Server 2008 R2 running iSCSI software target. When transferring data over the network directly between these two cards, it's almost always at 100% usage - around between 110 and 117 megabytes per second.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 9, 2013 8:13 PM BST


32GB DDR3-1600 CL10 RipjawsZ
32GB DDR3-1600 CL10 RipjawsZ
Offered by PreisCompany
Price: 315.16

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 hours of Prime95 - 100% stability, 8 Sep 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've had this RAM for the last week as a part of a new ESXi home server I've built. I've coupled this RAM with a Core i7 3770 and a Gigabyte GA-Z77-DS3H motherboard. I enabled XMP in the BIOS and it instantly showed up as 1600MHz with the correct timings and voltages.

To test the RAM, I ran Prime95 for 48 hours straight on this - 24 hours of 8kB FTT for the CPU, and 48 hours of 4096kB FTT for the RAM. I didn't encounter a single error, so I'm absolutely confident this stuff is grade A.

Since then, I've installed ESXi on it and I've been able to run 12 Windows 2008 R2 servers on this box, ranging from Exchange and SharePoint to SQL and SCCM.

The was the cheapest 4x 8GB DDR3 1600MHz I could find from a brand name I trust - there might be some cheaper brands on the market, but just look at their reviews and you'll see how bad their RAM can be!

Of course, G.Skill offer a limetime warranty so even if you get any problems, you're covered by their warranty. I've also got 20GB of G.Skill DDR3 1600 in 4GB sticks running in some other computers and they've been rock solid for the last 2 years!


Gigabyte SKT-1155 Z77-DS3H Motherboard
Gigabyte SKT-1155 Z77-DS3H Motherboard
Price: 53.98

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works great, 8 Sep 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
What can I say?

I've made bespoke computers for a number of places over the last few years, including internet cafes, web publishing businesses and many friends. I've generally recommended Gigabyte motherboards - I've made in excess of 50 computers with this brand and I've never had any problems with them - not even ONCE, which is either remarkably lucky or an indication of how thorough Gigabyte's quality control processes must be.

With this particular board, I've used it mainly for a new ESXi 5.0 whitebox. It works perfectly with the Core i7 3770 I've put in there. The onboard Atheros GbE controller doesn't work with ESXi, but a cheap RTL 8168 PCIe GbE NIC (which you can score from most places for around 8.00 pounds) will fix that issue.

I run a dual boot on this computer. The setup is this motherboard (obviously), a core i7 3770, 32GB of DDR3 1600MHz and two 256GB SSDs in RAID0 on the SATA3 ports. With some tweaking of the VMs settings and the hosts profile, I've been able to get 12 Windows 2008 R2 servers running on this - not "just" running, but they run smoothly and are very responsive with very little lag. Even when the other 11 server VMs are booted, the 12th one only takes ~15 seconds from turning on to reaching the login screen.

When booted into Windows 7, this motherboard setup is ridiculously and shamefully fast. Word, Excel and all standard applications open in the BLINK of an eye! Photoshop CS5 opens in around about a second. All of my games run perfectly - though these tend to tax the graphics card more than the CPU and RAM.

The only thing that is slightly limiting on this motherboard is that it only has 5 SATA connectors. However, this doesn't bother me at all, as I've planned my storage around these limits - 2x 256GB SSDs on the 2x SATA3 ports, and 3x 3TB HDDs on the 3x SATA2 ports. If you've got more than 5 drives that you want to connect (perhaps you have some HDDs from your older computers), you always have the option of getting USB hard-drive caddies for them.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 30, 2012 9:57 PM GMT


Intel Core i7 (3770) 3.4GHz Quad Core Processor 8MB L3 Cache 5GT/s Bus Speed (Boxed)
Intel Core i7 (3770) 3.4GHz Quad Core Processor 8MB L3 Cache 5GT/s Bus Speed (Boxed)
Price: 199.06

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great CPU, great price., 8 Sep 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I purchased this i7 3770 to make a new home ESXi 5.0 server to learn and test on. It's amazingly fast. I'm using it with 32GB of RAM and I can have 12 Windows 2008 R2 servers running various things from Exchange to SharePoint to SQL - all on this Core i7 at the same time. The only bottleneck with my setup is the hard-drives...

I've got Windows 7 x64 Ultimate running on the other hard drive in the computer, and it's absolutely lightning fast. All my games run smoothly - though lots of games use the graphics card more than the CPU, but if you don't have a good CPU then you will notice slowdowns. Editing large, 14 megapixel Canon RAW photos in Photoshop is amazingly smooth.

I have tried using the integrated graphics - and it's great for desktop applications on a 1920x1080 monitor, but don't expect it to work well for most modern computer games - you'll definitely want a dedicated graphics card for that.

I'd seriously recommend this CPU if you're looking to do any home virtualization. I chose this plain 3770 over the unlocked 3770K model because the 3770K does NOT support VT-d.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 8, 2013 8:15 PM GMT


G-Skill 4GB 1600MHz PC12800 DDR3 NQ Series CAS 9 Kit (2x 2GB)
G-Skill 4GB 1600MHz PC12800 DDR3 NQ Series CAS 9 Kit (2x 2GB)
Price: 35.79

5.0 out of 5 stars Works a treat!, 8 Sep 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've bought 20 GB of these sticks over the last two years. 12GB is in my Core i7 computer, and 8GB is in my Core i5 computer. They've worked flawlessly over the last two years without any issues related to the RAM.

With my Core i7 it showed up as 1333MHz. To get it to work at 1600MHz I had to manually enter the voltages and timings - it took a little bit of fiddling and advice to get it right, but once I did it's been solid ever since.

I give the product 5/5 - the issue I mentioned with the operating frequency above was due to my motherboard's memory support. When I put this memory in my Core i5 with a much newer motherboard, it instantly shows up as 1600MHz - you just have to enable XMP in the BIOS.


5 Star Air Duster Can HFC Free Compressed Gas Flammable 400ml
5 Star Air Duster Can HFC Free Compressed Gas Flammable 400ml
Price: 7.78

5.0 out of 5 stars What it says on the can..., 8 Sep 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is exactly what I want from a can of compressed air... It was completely full when it arrived. I've used it to thoroughly clean out 4 old and dirty computers over the last week and it's still over half full.

What can you really judge a can of compressed air on?

Well, for starters, the air inside the can is quite dry, which is important for cleaning electronics. There's no condensation or moisture when used properly. Of course, as with all compressed air cans, if you shake it up first, or spray when the can is upside down, you will get some condensation.

Second, the nozzle on the spraycan is quite deep so when you insert the straw that comes with it, the straw never blows out while you're spraying. With some other compressed air cans I've had to hold the straw and the spray button at the same time - but not with this one.

Third, the can comes with a tight lid and a tight rubber band - it's not exactly groundbreaking, but the rubber band is great because it keeps the straw on the side of the can when you're not using it. Some cans come with sticky tape, which works only once.

5/5 for price, features and usability!


Antec Three Hundred Gaming ATX Solid Metal Construction Case - Black
Antec Three Hundred Gaming ATX Solid Metal Construction Case - Black
Price: 49.66

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great cases, 15 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought two of these cases in October 2010 to use in my home computer lab.

They are well designed - there are no sharp corners or edges, the side panels have thumb screws and come off very easily and quickly, the feel and quality is good for the price.

The ventillation is quite good - it has filters at the front of the case towards the bottom where the air is being pulled from. It then travels through the hard-drive bay and either out the rear fan or out of the top fan. There seems to be an obvious design flaw with the grille on the side of the case. There is no fan there, and it's unfiltered. This means that dusty air will be pulled through this grille and land directly on your motherboard and CPU heatsink. There is space to put a 120mm fan there, which is good.

If you put a fan there which blows outward, then you'll have too low a pressure inside the case because there are more fans blowing out and none blowing in, but you can overcome this by putting a couple of 120mm fans at the front (which are already filtered).

If you make the side fan blow inward, then you have to make sure it's filtered and has less total airflow than both the fans at the rear and top of the case combined, otherwise the front of your motherboard and hard-drive bays won't be cooled sufficiently.

The other problem I had with these cases was the top ventilation fan. I keep these cases under my desk. At first I was really worried that if I spilled a drink on the desk it would go straight down through the top fan grille and wreck my computer. I overcame this paranoia by making a very simple tent-like cardboard cutout over it, then taping the edges down with cloth tape and making a bit of a "lip" with blue-tac so that even if water falls on it, it won't be able to get through. It's primitive, but it works and lets me drink at my desk with peace of mind.

However, don't let that put you off. For the price, the case is very solid, well constructed, easy to work with and has a very elegant yet simple look. The only reason I don't give it 5/5 is because I had to do a little bit of extra work to get the ventillation working properly and cover the top hole.


Philips Nivea For Men Coolskin HS8440 Rechargeable Shaver With Precision Sideburns Trimmer
Philips Nivea For Men Coolskin HS8440 Rechargeable Shaver With Precision Sideburns Trimmer

3.0 out of 5 stars Works well if used regularly, 15 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this as a little present for myself in November 2011. I hate shaving over the sink and having to clean it up afterward, so I was attracted to this shaver because it's waterproof and can be used in the shower.

It's important to note that each person's facial hair is quite different - some men's facial hair grows slowly, while others look like cavemen if they don't shave for a week. My facial hair grows quite slow, and it's not very dense. Take this into consideration when buying a shaver.

If I let my stubble grow for more than 2 days without shaving then this shaver really has a hard time - it feels as though it's ripping the hairs out rather than cutting them. I have to go over the same areas a few times as it just doesn't get all the hairs.

However, if I use it every single morning, then it works well - it dosn't give that same ripping feeling - in fact, I can hardly feel anything at all. I still have to go over the same area a few times, usually 2 or 3 times, but it comes out very smooth afterward and I don't get as many pimples as I do when shaving using a stock standard gilette razor.

One thing which little awkward with this shaver is sideburns because of the shape - however, after a few times I got the hang of it, so it's only an issue the first few times you use it.

The "precision sideburn trimmer" is absolute garbage. Don't even waste your time trying it - just throw it away. You can do a better job with a butter knife than that sideburn trimmer! The moisturiser is also quite a bit of a gimmick - it doesn't last long, and if you're using it in the shower then it just washes straight off. I prefer to use standard shaving gel and then moisturise afterward.

All in all I give it a 3/5 because it works when used as directed (i.e, daily) and is quite cheap for a waterproof shaver. I would've given it a 4/5 if it worked well after a week of stubble growth, but it simply doesn't.


OCZ OCZ500MXSP-UK ModXstream Pro 500W ATX Power Supply
OCZ OCZ500MXSP-UK ModXstream Pro 500W ATX Power Supply

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great little PSU, 15 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought two of these PSUs back in October 2010 for my home whitebox IT lab. They were cheap, comprable to most other 500W PSUs, with the added bonus of being modular. You usually don't get a modular PSU until you start going into the more high-end (read: expensive) price ranges.

I've used two of these PSUs for almost two years now in two different computers - they are both Hyper-V hosts which run a lot of different VMs. They both have 8x 7200 500GB hard drives, core i7 920 processors, 16GB of RAM, so they've got quite a bit of power drain. They have only been switched off a few times in the last two years - when upgrading parts, when moving houses and they've been rock steady the entire time.

All in all I give these PSUs a 5/5 - they're cheap, reliable and efficient for their price.


Corsair CMZ16GX3M4A1600C9B Vengeance 16GB (4x4GB) DDR3 1600 Mhz CL9 XMP Performance Desktop Memory Kit Blue
Corsair CMZ16GX3M4A1600C9B Vengeance 16GB (4x4GB) DDR3 1600 Mhz CL9 XMP Performance Desktop Memory Kit Blue
Price: 124.62

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does what it says on the tin, 15 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This memory worked perfectly for me. I bought it to upgrade one of my home IT lab's hyper-V servers from 8GB to 16GB. It works at the specified speed and it was instantly recognised.

After I first installed this memory, I ran Prime95 for a few hours to really stress it out and didn't get any blue-screens. The computer has been switched on and running a lot of virtual machines for the last 4 weeks without a break and it hasn't faulted once.

The only thing to watch out for is the size of the heatsinks. If you have a limited amount of space above your memory slots (for example, if you have a beasy CPU heatsink or if you have an ultra-slim case) then you should measure the amount of free space you have and check the Corsair site to see exactly how tall these DIMMs are before ordering them.


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