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Mr. B. (Wolverhampton, UK.)

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Allcam IT-735 USB 2.0 and e-SATA combo Enclosure for 3.5" SATA Hard Drives -Black
Allcam IT-735 USB 2.0 and e-SATA combo Enclosure for 3.5" SATA Hard Drives -Black
Offered by eHome
Price: £14.90

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dodgy at its best, 24 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This seems like a great alternative to buying an external hard drive if you've got spare/old internal drives kncking about. It is up to a point. Upon opening the packaging and examinung the product inside and out the word that sprang to mind was "dodgy". A simple box with a simplier circuit board inside. Some reviews mention a fan inside??? There is no fan. Not even a tiny, tiny one that you could miss, there is no physical way any kind of fan would fit in this box. I popped in my SATA hard drive which was a bit of a squeeze (be wary if you have an older large capacity hard drive the thick dual disc ones because you won't be able to close the box)and closed the box, connected power and USB cable supplied. Powered on and a message pooped up on screen "Found new hardware, bla, bla" using Windows 7 64bit. Formatted the drive and began backing up some files. USB 2.0 is not the fastest method and this box has e-sata so I'd ordered an e-sata 3.0gbs/sec cable to connect it to my 6.0gbs/sec motherboard. Tried e-sata and nothing. Drive didn't appear in My Computer. Restarted with box turned on and it was there so not Hot Swapable. I contacted seller and they said I needed AHCI support in BIOS for SATA ports (internal and external) to be Hot Swapable. I checked in BIOS I did have AHCI support and it was just a matter of changing a setting in BIOS. I did this and WIndows loaded drivers on startup - this won't affect your existing hard drives if you swap from IDE mode to AHCI mode but you can't change from RAID to IDE or AHCI without reinstalling the OS. Still didn't work so seller said send it back which I did for a refund.
So for me it didn't work as Hot Swapable which is one of the main fucntions that should work for external drives.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 30, 2012 10:29 PM BST

OCZ OCZ-ZT750W-UK 750W modular PSU
OCZ OCZ-ZT750W-UK 750W modular PSU
Offered by FirePower Europe

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A vacumn cleaner in disguise, 11 April 2012
Bought this to power my Crossfire system. 2 x XFX HD Radeons 5870s. I already was using a XFX 650w PSU in this system and it works perfect but my 2nd PC was in need of a new PSU so decided to get this OCZ 750w and put the 650w in the 2nd PC. Completely modular, yes it is, no attached cables at all, excellent for managing cables. So I installed it and powered it up. First impressions was it's a bit louder than the XFX but not a big problem. As with most modern, brand name, PSUs as the load on the PSU increases like when you're gaming the fan will increase in speed to cool the PSU. I started Unigine's Heaven Benchmark to put the system through its paces. As benchmark continued I heard my graphic card fans speed up, they are very quiet Artic Turbo Coolers, even at 100% RPM they are barely audible and the PSU remained at the same noise level. As the benchmark neared the end (most stressful time for the system) the PSU's fan suddenly kicked in with a `WHOOSH!' and maxed out its fan speed. Very, very noisy. I quit the benchmark and waited for the PSU to cool and the fan to slow down - it didn't. After 10 minutes still the very loud noise of the fan even though my graphic cards had cooled to 28c and were on minimum load. Only a restart cured the excessive fan speed. Tried a game, Skyrim, PSU's fan lasted 3 minutes into the game at its lowest RPM before `taking off'. Believe me this PSU is loud at full load. So out with the OCZ and back to the practical silence of the XFX.
Bad buy, avoid.

EVGA Nvidia 01G-P3-1557-KR GF GTX 550Ti SC Graphics Card (1GB, GDDR5)
EVGA Nvidia 01G-P3-1557-KR GF GTX 550Ti SC Graphics Card (1GB, GDDR5)

5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best cards I have used, 13 Mar. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've been gaming on PCs for 15 years and had many, many gr. cards from nVidia and ATI. In the past 2 or 3 yrs. ATI have been my chosen cards, currently Crossfiring 2 x Radeon 5870s in 1 machine, so for my 2nd machine I thought I'd give nVidea a go, its been a while. This gem of a card comes at a bargain price and I didn't expect anything mind-blowing from it but I was surprised. When I installed Skyrim on my Crossfire machine is defaulted to High Settings, I tweaked them higher - this card defaulted to Ultra, I tweaked them down a little bit. Purely because of its GPU clock speed makes this card admireable, its Memclock is a little low and its only 192bit but it doesn't half work hard. Highest temps. I've had are Skyrim=71c and Mass Effect 3=73c. I'm sure with an after-market cooler, Artic, these temps. will drop.
Like other reviwers have said these cards are an excellent oppurtunity for SLI. Good price, good performance its an all round winner for me.

Mass Effect 3 (PC DVD)
Mass Effect 3 (PC DVD)
Offered by Digitalville UK
Price: £5.50

13 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The final installment of a great trilogy and its Good (edited), 9 Mar. 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Mass Effect 3 (PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
So got my ME3 and popped in disc 1. Origin appeared and said "Install me". After all the controversy of the past months (I've read it all) I want to play the game so I agree to everything and install. Origin updates. ME3 picture appears in my Origin profile along with a couple of other games I purchased years ago when it was just plain EA. Progress bar under ME3 starts filling. Hang on. Am I downloading this or installing from disc? My DVD drive is spinning. Gets to 91% and asks for disc 2. Ok its off the disc. 99%...99%...99%...oh no not the dreaded 99 never 100%. Check HDD LED and its double busy hopefully extracting files. Done, all in all no longer to install than ME2.
Start new game and imported a save from ME2, well a save that began in ME1 when I romanced Ashley
First impressions - graphically excellent. The cut scenes are beautifully done. The backgrounds are excellently drawn, lip syncing is bang on and animation is improved. Character modelling is very good, Ashley looks stunning. Music is epic and sound effects - WOW! I have 5.1 surround and when the reapers are shooting moving making their general groaning, the sub-woofer bounces the floorboards of my room. Need to use headphones late at night. Voice acting is spot on. Great accents and a lot more sarcasm and humour involved which makes for really believable characters.
Shepard IMO appears to sprint faster, he goes into cover as in ME2 and when approaching an obstacle that requires him to run+jump, ascend/descend ladders all of this is done automatically using the same key. Shepard's new move is to roll between cover like Adam in Deus Ex HR. The HUD is the same as in ME2 if not a little smaller in size. Abilities are pre-bound to keys if you wish to use quick-keys and recharge is very fast.
The Normandy is a cross-breed between the Normandy ME1 and Normandy ME2. There are 5 decks. Captain's cabin is the same, CIC is more similar to ME1 in appearance but the layout is a mish-mash of both. There is a War room and Comms room on this deck as well as the galaxy map. Crew deck is the same although character room assignments will differ depending on whether you've imported a game and what your history is from previous MEs. Engineering deck is the same and right at the bottom you have access to the Shuttle Bay. Here is where the armoury is now.

Love it or hate it planet scanning has gone. Now to scan a planet you hover over it and send out a `pulse'. If anything is worth salvaging then it will pop up then you do a quick scan like in ME2 but much faster. The consequences of sending `pulses' is that Reapers may detect you and you have to flee the system and return at a quieter time. Galaxy map is divided into sectors showing where the Reapers are strongest, also in the War room you can see which sector has the best resources e.g. Marines.
Upgrading your abilities is much improved. After basic upgrading you're offered a choice of two options to choose from, 3 times, for each ability when points become available. There is also an option in sick bay to completely redistribute all skill points for every crew member. Weapons? Loads of them. Some old favourites and new ones. Shepard's cyber sword (whatever its called) for me is a non-starter. At the beginning you're shown how to sneak up on an opponent and backstab him, rarely do you have a chance of sneaking up on opponents - in fact I haven't had the chance to use it once except in close quarters with Husks when ammo has run out. Paragon/renegade points have been replaced by 1 bar - like a swing-ometer, more good things you do the more it swings to paragon, do bad stuff and you lose paragon points and eventually cross the middle section into renegade. It really is hard to be nasty in this game.
All in all the game's research, resource management, ability distribution, weapon modding are a full time task alone. There are more cinematics involved in ME3 which is not bad as some of the cut-scenes are on par with a sci-fi movie but this sometimes leads to a feeling that you're just a spectator. The battles seem to have been cut but the ones that you do have can be epic - Tuchanka Caverns is a great fight. You will die a lot in the big battles.

The story as expected is excellent and as it pans out you really feel there is no hope. Story line will vary depending if you imported a save game. The basic plot is to gather as many resources as possible in order to attack the Reapers, this means convincing alien races to band together and put past differences behind them - not easy. As in ME2 in order to get races onside they will always want something in return which leads Shepard to fix these grievances. You'll meet old acquaintances along the way, some will join you, some will appear in side-quests, some will fly with you but not get involved in battle and some will only be mentioned in passing. Some friends won't make it - some emotional moments. There are some new additions to the squad, from the beginning you get a guy called James - Alliance soldier who loves himself too much and loves his muscles more. James pushes Shepard to the edge sometimes. If you have the DLC `From Ashes' then you have the chance to recruit a Prothean - valuable team member with unique abilities. Again this all depends on your previous decisions in MEs. Your squad choice is drastically reduced; again I guess it depends who you chose in previous adventures.

Some reviewers have said they have had problems importing characters whose appearance they altered in ME2 I can't comment on that because I used `vanilla' Shepard in ME2 but I do have some saves where I changed appearance so I'll see on the next playthrough.

UPDATE: Started a new game with imported character, male, whose appearance I changed in ME2 without a hitch.

It's the end of the trilogy but I can't help but feel there are so many opportunities for spin-off games from this franchise - look at Aliens! The ending? Lot of controvesy about this but again you choose the ending.It's a must buy for fans of the series, simply buy it even if you need closure. Maybe in some years your kids or grandkids will buy you the box set of Mass Effect for Christmas and say "Here I found this collecters set of old games that you can play on your old computer - thing." and you'll smile, think of Shepard and spend the next month learning how to use a keyboard again.

Tip: Tired of your fish dying? Buy the automatic fish feeder!

EDIT - I've dropped this review to 4 stars now I've played through it 4 times with different characters. Endings are really messing with my head. Nothing makes sense! Like many players I won't be buying any DLC as I have no desire to play the game again.

CIT 650w Gold 12CM Silent Atx Power Supply
CIT 650w Gold 12CM Silent Atx Power Supply
Price: £25.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Here's a review from experience with these PSUs, 9 Mar. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Hit or miss PSU?

I've had a fair bit of experience with these PSUs and although I echo what a lot of reviewers say that "a quality PSU is always better", not everyone has the cash for these `Super Brand' names. So here's my review from my experience.
The 1st PSU I bought from CiT was a 500w, that was 4 years ago and it is still working in my brother's PC powering 1 x HDD, 1 x DVDRAM, a Radeon 5830 plus all the usuals.
The 2nd PSU was a 550w bought 3 years ago. This worked well, until yesterday - explanation coming, when it powered a basic motherboard, 2 x HDD, 1 x DVDRAM and a Radeon 6770. My 6770 died a couple of weeks ago so I built a newish system with a AM3+ motherboard, 4 sticks of DDR3 (opposed to 2 sticks previously) and a nVidia 550ti. Everything worked fine until I started a new game of Skyrim. Five minutes into the game and a `pop, crackle' sound happened and PC died. Quickly turning off mains power I put my hand inside the case, my side panel is always open - ultimate ventilation, and the PSU was red hot. I opened the PSU and the coils were `blacked'. Ok not bad for 3 years I guess the additional load of a new motherboard and a more powerful graphic card just pushed it over the edge even though it was 50w more than the graphic card and motherboard required.
The 3rd I bought was a 750w for a major gaming PC. I bought it one and a half years ago. The setup was a AMD Phenom II x 4 965 BE, 8gbs of 1600mhz, 2 x HDD, 1 x DVDRAM and 2 x Radeon 5870s XXX edition in Crossfire. Now bear in mind modern graphic cards have power saving features, meaning when you are just surfing, writing a document, basically nothing strenuous the graphic card(s) use a low power state, less than 100w each for the Radeons 5870s so all is fine. Start up a game and the power consumption of the graphic cards literally triples as does the CPU. This is where PSUs are crucial. The 750w CiT lasted 1 week and died. I replaced it with a lower wattage PSU, yes I said "lower". A 650w XFX XXX edition PSU. I went for an expensive brand name with a good warranty and here I am over a year later still using the XFX PSU and I've upgraded my system to a 6 core FX6100 CPU, 2 x 4gbs of DDR3 1866mhz and a top of the range motherboard.
So yes big brand names will always be more stable, better quality and a better warranty. I can't always afford a brand name PSU and if I am strapped for cash I will plump for a PSU like this one. The risks are it won't last as long but if/when it dies I can afford a new one cheaply. The ball is in your court. From my experience they can last from 1 week or for years depending on what stress you put on them.
A couple of tips I have are that for big brand name PSUs you can get away with slightly having less wattage than recommended or exactly the wattage recommended for cheaper brands always buy more wattage than you'll need. Secondly the CiT PSUs only have a 4 pin P4/EPS connecter, this connecter connects to your motherboard to supply extra power to your CPU. If your motherboard only has a 4 pin connecter then that's fine. If it has an 8 pin connecter and you're using a powerful CPU like an AMD Phenom II x 4 965 BE which when operating under full load consumes 145w, then get a 4 pin to 8 pin P4/EPS converter to make sure you supply enough power. These adapters are available from Amazon and other online vendors.

NOTICE! There is no warranty mentioned in item description/details nor in the packaging that comes with the PSU.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 2, 2013 11:54 PM GMT

CiT 750W Power Supply Unit with PSU and Dual 12V Rails - Black Edition
CiT 750W Power Supply Unit with PSU and Dual 12V Rails - Black Edition
Price: £31.49

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not good at all, 2 Mar. 2012
My system when I used this PSU was....

Phenom IIx4 965 BE
4gbs of 1600 DDR3
2 x HDDs
2 x XFX Radeon HD5870s in Crossfire.

This PSU lasted 1 week and died. Got my money back and bought a XFX 650w PSU, (see my review of this here) available from Amazon. Yes its 100w less but after 1 year it is still working even though I have upgraded to 8gbs of 1866mhz DDR3, Bulldozer FX6100 CPU, overclocked to 3.8ghz, a top of the range Gigabyte AM3+ motherboard and water cooling.
For the technically minded people this CiT PSU uses dual rail which is less stable than single rail.
Its cheap for a reason its rubbish.

Gigabyte SKT-AM3+ 990FXA-UD7 Motherboard (Rev 1.0)
Gigabyte SKT-AM3+ 990FXA-UD7 Motherboard (Rev 1.0)

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality product., 28 Feb. 2012
This is the 2nd motherboard of the 990FXA series I have bought. The 1st was the `little brother' of this board the 990FXA-UD3 and even though the UD3 is an excellent board the PCIE16x16 slots were too close together for my Crossfire setup of 2 x Radeon HD5870s with Artic Twin Coolers attached (each card takes up 3 slots). So this UD7 was the only board in the 990FXA series which had good spacing between the 16x16 slots.
The motherboard comes packaged, IMO, like a child's toy. It is a huge box with a plastic carrying handle. The front of the box actually opens like the cover of a book to reveal a cellophane window through which you can see the motherboard inside, all very glam. After opening the box, then another box, removing a cardboard section and motherboard you get to the accessories. Plenty of stuff here. You get 2 x SATA data cables, 2 x Crossfire/SLI bridges (long, black), an IDE cable, manuals and driver disc. Time to build...
This board is an eATX (extended ATX) which is 2cm wider than a standard ATX, this should pose no problems to the average ATX case. Plenty of securing holes, 9 in all. I recommend building in a well lit room because the board is black and the screws are black (+ my case is black) it can be a hit and miss sometimes when trying to screw things down. I found myself reaching for a torch every now and again. I always try, not always possible depends on case, to attach the front panel connecters (i.e. power switch, reset switch, etc), before putting the board inside the case as it is much easier to manage, which I did. All components installed and wired up time to power up...this part I hate but thankfully hardware has come a long way since Win95.
Success! Straight into BIOS to set up my RAM timings, 1866mhz for me. If you're into OCing then this is a good BIOS for you. All clocks can be altered AT YOUR OWN RISK. Other reviewers have said that their USB keyboards didn't work when first powering up the board, mine did. I don't know what BIOS they had on their boards but mine came with F5. The BIOS does need updating anyway especially if you're using a Bulldozer CPU. I use the FX6100. I installed the `@bios' utility from the driver disc and it found the latest BIOS which is F7. There is an F8 but it is beta and requires that you download it directly from Gigabyte site. One thing which was not normal, even after installing Win7 64 bit is that no drivers are installed for the Ethernet. These you have to install off the driver disc to get online but funnily enough sound drivers are loaded by Windows. This was completely the reverse with the UD3, I had Ethernet connection but no sound? Anyway minor things easily solved.
This board needs a good PSU as it draws a lot of power especially with Crossfire or SLI setups. The board actually has an extra power connection specifically for the PCIE16 slots. It's a SATA power connection which is on the right side of the board and it is recommended that if you're using both the 16x16 slots that you connect it to the PSU. So bear in mind you're probably going to need an extra SATA power cable or at least a splitter.
So far all is stable with this board. I've got good temps. which I expect to drop as paste settles. I haven't had it on `full whack' yet as I have a lot of stuff to install. If I come across any problems I'll update this review.
So far a very happy customer.

ARCTIC F12 - 120 mm Standard Low Noise Case Fan
ARCTIC F12 - 120 mm Standard Low Noise Case Fan
Offered by Wiziwoo Limited
Price: £4.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Description is misleading. This is NOT a PWM fan on its own, 26 Feb. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Item description says "The patented PWM Sharing Technology (PST) regulates the speed up to 5 fans via BIOS. With efficient central cooling, the ARCTIC F Pro PWM fans..."
PWM fans require 4 pin connecters, the 4th pin being the signal received from BIOS to increase or decrease fan speed dependant on CPU temp. PWM stands for 'Pulse Width Modulation' and if you've seen one working then you'll understand better but this is basically how they work. The 4th pin sends a +12 pulse of electricity at intermittent times (e,g, at startup the system is cold so the pulses can be visibly seen being sent to the fan as the fan blades move a little every 0.5/sec, the fan basically 'twitches'), as CPU temp. increases the pulses get faster until at a certain temp. the pulses get so fast that the fan spins continously. This fan has only 3 pins so on its own it plugs into a motherboard 3 pin connecter which are not temp. responsive and are not contollable through BIOS, fans connected to 3 pin motherboard connecters have a fixed RPM.
If you choose to buy the PWM extension cable to go wuth it then you connect the 4 pin extension header to the CPU fan connecter, which is temp. dependant and attach this fan and more if you like to the 3 pin extension. I can't comment on this setup but logic tells me that it is still a 3 pin connection and has no 4th pin to receive temp. data from motherboard.
In a nutshell, on its own its a 3 pin non-temp. controlled fan, hence the low price.

Cities XL 2012 [German Version]
Cities XL 2012 [German Version]
Offered by Game World United Kingdom
Price: £9.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a real sim game, 22 Feb. 2012
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
I will make comparisons to this game and Sim City 4 Deluxe because SCDLux is the closest rival to it.
First off SCDLux was released in 2003 so obviously its an older game sp let's make comparisons.
Abbreviations will be SCD=Sim City 4 Deluxe and CXL=Cities XL 2012

Graphics: CXL wins here as it should. Although much more prettier and able to scroll down to ground level SCD still can hold its own. When you build in CXL the construction goes through a 5 second construction animation and that's it. The building will never expand or get bigger/taller. SCD shows your buildings grow as time passes, small 1 level houses/offices will grow to the density of the land they sit on (low, medium or high) and the density can be upgraded, without destroying the building at any time. So graphically CXL is nicer but SCD gives more satisfaction as you watch your buildings grow.

Sound: Neither game has any decent music, just elevator music and in both cases I turn off the music as its annoying. Sound effects are equally competent, traffic, factory noises is about it.

Playing: CXL feels...erm...boring. You build a road, you build some house then some industry. You check that everybody is happy and build more to make them happier when you can. Most of the 'good stuff' is locked until you achieve certain levels of population or jobs which can take forever. There is no feeling of the city thinking for itself in CXL. In SCD you can see deprived areas by the state of the buildings, run down buildings or abandoned buildings mean you'd better smarten up the neighbourhood and/or provide more facilities. CXL however you have to click on a building that has an icon over the top of it to get the message "this building is losing money, it cannot sell its goods" but why is never revealed.
People need utilities and services in SCD these are available from the start, a city with a hospital is very likely to appeal to people. Add a Police Station, Fire Station, a few parks and a museum and they are going to want to live there. CXL has all these services locked at the start and takes a long time to unlock them. Another + in SCD is you can drive the vehicles from cars, planes, boats, busses even tanks and helicopter gunships (if you build the correct facilities).

It's a shame CXL could have been a lot, lot more but it seems they have made a sim game for the dumb and dumber. Just click an open space and build, repeat until you've got lots of houses. There is no appeal to want to do better as you look at your static city which just gets wider and never gets taller. No appeal to carry on.

I bought this dirt cheap off Steam, only reason because it was on offer and even at the rock bottom price I still feel cheated. I have no desire, after 5 hours of playing, to run the game again. Whereas SCD I've been playing for 9 years. Guess which I prefer.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Limited Edition (PC DVD)
Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Limited Edition (PC DVD)

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Glad I didn't buy this when it was released, 21 Feb. 2012
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
As a fan of the original game I was very interested in buying this game. After all the hype and a long, long time waiting for the release...I didn't buy it. I am glad I never paid full price. Now I've bought it for a tenner it is worth it but really why did this game take so long to be made?
Graphically its bland. Repetitive textures, gloomy lighting interior and exterior even on maxed out settings this game looks old. Sound is ok as long as you can stand the character's impresion of Clint Eastwood and his joke dentures (did they put those teeth on him for a joke?)
The saving grace of the game is its mechanics. Upgrades are carefully thought out, puzzles are good and charcter movement, once you're used to it, is fluid.
A good game and worth to have in your collection at bargain price.

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