Profile for Ben > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Ben
Top Reviewer Ranking: 19,822
Helpful Votes: 145

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Ben "Tillekaratne" (West Midlands, England)

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2
pixel
Cooler Master NEPTON 140XL 14038mm RADIATOR 2x 140 Jetflo Fan Liquid CPU Cooler
Cooler Master NEPTON 140XL 14038mm RADIATOR 2x 140 Jetflo Fan Liquid CPU Cooler
Price: £69.91

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic cooling power, 10 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've been cooling my i5 2500k on air for the two and a bit years I've had it, and only recently decided I wanted to try to keep it a little cooler so I could push it that extra bit further.

My air cooler was nothing special - an Arctic Freezer 13 Pro. Before swapping it out for the Nepton, I ran the processor at 4.5 GHz at 1.4 V (my motherboard is rubbish and has no manual voltage control). After an hour of Prime 95, the maximum temperature it reached was a somewhat frightening 89 degrees (according to HWMonitor). With the same settings, the Nepton kept the CPU at no higher than 61 degrees after two hours.

I've tested a 4.7 GHz clock too which hit a maximum of 71 degrees, though only for about 20 minutes. The motherboard set the voltage at over 1.52 V which I wasn't too happy about, so bottled out of the test and set the clock back to 4.5 GHz, which I'm more than happy with. I have no doubt that when I upgrade my board (and CPU) the cooler will help to achieve some great speeds.

I should say that the two radiator fans are VERY loud when spinning at their maximum 2400 RPM (I recall reading somewhere that they hit around 39 dB). Though it is the sacrifice you make for good temperatures.

Putting the unit together was a piece of cake - thumb screws are present almost entirely through the unit so the only need for a screwdriver is tightening. Good, clear pictured instructions throughout. The included thermal paste was a little 'gloopy' and thick for my liking, but since I couldn't find any other I used it regardless. Mounting it in the back of my Corsair 750D proved impossible due to the close position of my ATX motherboard's CPU socket to the rear exhaust mount. Instead, I mounted the unit in the front in the drive bays. It fits perfectly here, and leaves the rest of the case open and clear.

And finally, it's only a small thing, but the white LED ring around the Cooler Master logo really sets the cooler off in the case.


The Choice
The Choice
Dvd

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic TV Series, 27 April 2014
Best thing I've seen on TV in ages. Absorbing, really well made and a solid story based loosely on facts.

Not sure why people moan about Amazon "drip feeding" Series 2. As far as I'm aware they release an episode as soon as it's broadcast in the US. Can't ask for more than that.


A Dotted Line
A Dotted Line
Price: £13.23

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic return to the bluegrass scene after nine years, 7 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: A Dotted Line (Audio CD)
I had the pleasure of seeing Nickel Creek perform before they disbanded. I've been a huge fan for years, and Chris Thile's playing inspired me to go out and buy a mandolin. I've always thought they have so much about them as a band, and create a really great modern-sounding bluegrass sound.

A large part of me still thinks that their first album "Nickel Creek" from back in 2000 is their best, which features a more traditional sound. At first I wasn't sure what to think of "This Side", though after several listens it was a joy to listen to. They definitely made a move away from the traditional with This Side, and I felt that they maybe headed back in that direction again with "Why Should the Fire Die"? (which I thought was a brilliant album).

In the lull of nine years between Why Should the Fire Die and Dotted Line, I've also got listening to some Punch Brothers, Chris Thile's post-Nickel Creek band. These guys are absolutely fantastic, and their music seemed like a real showcase of Chris's song-writing ingenuity. There was a lot of weird stuff in there that sounded quite odd in bluegrass, and indeed at times it didn't seem right to call it bluegrass at all, but it was fantastic music nonetheless - catchy tunes, with interesting bits that you don't expect but just add to the overall memorability of the song.

"A Dotted Line" to me takes some degree of that Punch Brothers edginess, strips away the banjo but introduces Sara's wonderful voice. However, that isn't the tone for the entire album. Chris obviously has a lot of influence on writing material, but you can tell he's not completely dominated the writing process.

The opening track, "Rest of My Life" sets the album up nicely. Simple guitar intro, good clean vocals, working up to introduce the rest of the band. I love the whole start-stop feel to the song, as it seems to increase the complexity of the instruments, or introduce new ones, or add extra vocals with every short break. "Destination" (which I first heard when the band previewed the track a couple of months ago) begins with that similar feeling but within the first twenty seconds of the song, the pace picks right up. The song is so incredibly catchy - I've caught myself singing it so many times over the past week. I'd go as far as to say that it's the strongest track on the album - probably my favourite at least.

Things slow right down and take a turn towards the traditional with the instrumental track "Elsie". As with every instrumental Nickel Creek track I can think of, it's a beautiful showcase of playing talent that more than makes up for a lack of vocals. Continuing slowly, the fourth track "Christmas Eve" is the weakest on the album for me. However, it has definitely grown on me the more I've listened to it, and the slow and dreary chorus does become quite catchy.

"Hayloft" is definitely the edgiest song on offer here. It's really going to be the "Marmite track" of the album - you'll love it or hate it. It honestly sounds like it could be a hip hop or RnB song in some respects - the percussive nature of the instruments and somewhat pounding bass line would fool a lot of listeners into thinking they weren't listening to a bluegrass band. I absolutely love the repetitive vocals and catchy beat though, but I can easily see how this song might be the one that the more traditional-only fans skip!

The second half of the album is very strong too, and on the whole is more relaxed. "21st of May" features some great guitar playing in the introduction (and indeed throughout) and once again a ridiculously catchy chorus. "Love of Mine" is very slow throughout with a relatively up-beat chorus. There's a bit of a weird key change half way through, but this is another of those features that has grown on me the more I listen to it. "Elephant in the Corn" is the second instrument song on the album. It's just as good as the first, if not better. It's over five minutes long and features so many interesting changes throughout the song and you really get a feeling of music telling a story. The penultimate song "You Don't Know What's Going On" picks up the pace once before ending the album, and we finish up with "Where Is Love Now" which is a song featuring vocals from Sara, and another catchy chorus.

It definitely took a few listens to get into. There were some songs that immediately struck me as being good, but after a week and hearing each song at least 20 times, I'm hooked. My one complaint is that the whole thing is less than 40 minutes long. I could easily do with another half an hour of music!


Titanfall (PC DVD)
Titanfall (PC DVD)
Offered by games-wizard
Price: £27.95

52 of 59 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Believe the hype"(!), 16 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Titanfall (PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
I must confess: I hadn't done any research into Titanfall when I pre-ordered it. Some friends had talked about it, and I'd seen one gameplay trailer which looked pretty nice. Upon opening the packaging when the install discs (of which there are three) arrived, the back of the box had two quotes. One reads "A brave new vision of the future of multiplayer gaming." The second says "Believe the hype." Reading these, I think "well, I can't wait to get started then."

The install took a very long time. As many people have mentioned, the game requires nearly 50GB of storage space to be installed. After the whole process was finished, I booted up the game, watched the opening cutscene (which very briefly - and I mean VERY briefly - explains where the game is set and who is fighting), ran through the training session and started a "Campaign Mode" game.

It has been some years since I abandoned the Call of Duty franchise. I lost interest after Modern Warfare 2, then went on to enjoy a whole new breath of fresh air in the FPS genre from the Battlefield series. Call of Duty had been fun, but after a while the fast-paced games, the repetitive progression system and constant sense of obligation to unlock new customisations had become monotonous and boring. After my first game of Titanfall, I felt a lot of Call of Duty come flooding back.

Don't get me wrong, it is fun. The first game I played was a territorial control match, with three objectives to hold - the same "Domination" style game mode that features in almost any FPS game. The only twist I could notice was the constant radio chatter from some AI command unit announcing events in the game. An interesting way to get updates to the player perhaps? Maybe. I've seen plenty of games do similar things, so I didn't consider this to be much of a new feature. The UI also didn't appear to feature anything special. Just the standard minimap, ammo and ability cooldown timers.

The game flowed quite nicely. You'd run about at the same sort of pace as CoD, except for the ability to run up walls and jump twice. I killed a few players and bots, spawned a Titan, ran rampant in it for a while, then eventually our team lost the game. The "epilogue" kicked in, where we had 30 seconds to reach an evac chopper. This seemed like a newish feature I'd not seen before, but again it was nothing groundbreaking.

The class customisations seem to work exactly as I remember them in CoD. Primary and secondary weapon, perks, and a heavy weapon to throw into the mix. Later in the progression system I unlocked the "Burn Cards" which were gave a consumable bonus for a game. Each weapon could also have some limited customisation (exactly as most FPS games).

A part of me feels that three stars is being generous. And doubtless there will be many fans who would already stand by the game and shoot this review down as "a load of rubbish". Though I feel that my average rating is brought on by what the game promised to bring, which was some sort of FPS game revolution. Another quote on the box is that the game will "set the new bar for online multiplayer gaming." Well, to me CoD 4 set that bar years ago, and Titanfall is building on that same model that has proved successful time and time again in the past. Yes, the game allows you to call in a giant robot every five minutes, but Battlefield (for example) has loads of super-powerful vehicles that create a similar amount of destruction. Titans and wall running seem to be the only original content this game offers, and that really doesn't feel enough to claim that this is "the future of multiplayer games."

I'll keep playing the game for some time no doubt, but I don't expect my interest to be maintained indefinitely. If you're still a die-hard Call of Duty fan, you'll love it, but if you are genuinely looking for a groundbreaking new multiplayer experience, you may have to wait to see what games the future brings.
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 16, 2014 9:32 PM BST


No Title Available

1.0 out of 5 stars Utterly useless. A complete waste of money., 13 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I opened the packet containing the microscope, fitted it to my iPad, then switched the light on. The light switch instantly broke off. The microscope itself is completely appalling, and produces an utterly unintelligible image. I've uploaded a sample image taken using the iPad's camera below.

[...]'ve asked for a refund, or else this will be a waste of £9.50. Now it's just a case of waiting for the seller to respond.


Vengeance Falls (Special Edition)
Vengeance Falls (Special Edition)
Price: £8.32

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very underwhelming, 14 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've been listening to Trivium since Ascendancy in 2005. I've heard everything they've done, and one the thing I've always loved about their music is how emotive it is. Really good metal (for me at least) has always been able to capture that sense of anger or hatred. Trivium has frequently managed to do that with their powerful and technical guitar riffs, brutal vocals and immense drumming to tie it all together, whilst throwing in some slower melodic sections to really mix up tracks.

My absolute favourite album is Shogun, as I don't think there was a single bad track on it - it had phenomenal guitar work and amazing vocals, with tracks that were about a real variety of things, and that real sense of anger and brutality in the music, with those really great melodic slower sections with more relaxed vocals. Ascendancy comes in a close second for me (sometimes I wonder if I prefer it, but if pushed I would pick Shogun) as it delivers that same sense of anger I just mentioned. I did like In Waves a lot too - I listened to that album so much, and it only comes in third because of just how great Shogun and Ascendancy were. The Crusade is the weakest album in my opinion, though there are still memorable tracks there (at least Trivium acknowledged this wasn't the direction the fans wanted the band to go with their music, so delivered something exceptional with their next album).

My main point is that sense of emotion that some of Trivium's music manages to convey. Sadly, Vengeance Falls fails to deliver that feeling. Whilst I the main reason I love the band is not the screaming vocals, it definitely adds to the anger. Occasionally in the album, you hear a bit of the old Trivium seeping through. For example, the last two minutes of Villainy Thrives - the lyrics of the song are actually pretty good, even though the music for the first three minutes is nothing special - then you hit a breakdown with brutal vocals screaming the lyrics "I want to ruin the rapist, Punish the criminal, Violate the abuser, End the murder." (Reminds me a lot of Gunshot to the Head of Trepidation) On top of a simple but awesome sounding riff, this section of the song really makes you wish the rest of it was similar. Other tracks such as Through Blood and Dirt and Bone, and Incineration: The Broken World, feature some screaming but only ever in the backing vocals. Throughout the album this is the same sort of story - you may get a breakdown that sounds like good-old-fashioned-Trivium or some backing vocals that make you feel like punching someone in the face, but nothing more than that.

The guitar riffs are also thoroughly uninspired, and I think anyone (like me) who has enjoyed learning some of the band's songs over the years might be left feeling somewhat underwhelmed by this album. An untrained ear that was unfamiliar with the band could easily say "well, all the songs sound the same" - indeed, when I listened to the full album for the first time this morning, that thought did cross my mind. Some of the riffs are somewhat catchy (such as the main riff in Brave This Storm) but are very simple. I'm not saying that the guitar work needs to be incredibly technical to be good, but one of the reasons I did love Shogun and Ascendancy was the insane picking speeds and kickass riffing - all stuff that adds to that emotive music I (and other Trivium fans) love.

I'm disappointed to be reviewing a Trivium album with a negative review, but I think it has to be done. The reason I give it two stars and not one is that (as mentioned above) it doesn't feel like the days of Shogun and Ascendancy are completely gone - those few points in the tracks that break into proper, heavy, angry, emotion-rich Trivium leave me hopeful that their next album may deliver something more along those lines - and also leave me thinking that the band is clearly still very capable of performing that kind of music, even if this album doesn't provide it.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 16, 2013 8:38 AM BST


Black Stick Spudger Tool for opening Apple Laptop iPad iPod iPhone
Black Stick Spudger Tool for opening Apple Laptop iPad iPod iPhone
Offered by BisLinks®
Price: £2.46

3.0 out of 5 stars Snapped after a week, but can't expect more for the price..., 1 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
After a week of light use, the end of my new spudger snapped off. The plastic could probably do with being a bit tougher, as the flat end easily became malformed. Nevertheless, it is very cheap, and as soon as mine broke, I just ordered another. Doubtless, as soon as this one breaks, I'll have to keep buying more or look elsewhere!


Dream Theater
Dream Theater
Price: £6.75

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I still miss Portnoy, but damn, this album has some good music on..., 26 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Dream Theater (Audio CD)
I was gutted when Mike Portnoy left Dream Theater, and even more gutted when they wouldn't take him back, but I still never gave up on their new music.

A Dramatic Turn of Events was a great album. However, despite really liking the tracks on it, I didn't "love" that many of them. I'm not saying it was bad, just not as incredible as some of their other albums. Though, this has to be one of the most difficult things for DT when making new music - living up to their own standards.

Right from the word go when putting on their new self-titled album, I was hooked. To name just a few tracks: the album kicks off with an awesome short instrumental track, broken into three parts. The Enemy Inside is probably the strongest track on the album, closely followed by Illumination Theory. And Enigma Machine delivers another really awesome, mind-blowing instrumental track. I was able to draw some comparisons to past albums - I'm sure any other well-versed DT fan will be able to do the same.

I do miss MP (and I hate to keep mentioning him even though he's not part of the band any more), but the band sound as strong right now as they ever have. I can't see how any true fan will not love this album.


Kinivo BTC450 Bluetooth Hands-Free car kit for cars with aux input jack (3.5 mm)
Kinivo BTC450 Bluetooth Hands-Free car kit for cars with aux input jack (3.5 mm)
Offered by BlueRigger LLC
Price: £53.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely impressive - I'd have gladly paid full price, 23 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As pretty much most people with a smart phone would agree, it's really difficult to drive and perform even the simplest of actions on your phone, even if it's mounted on the dashboard. Physical buttons are fine to get a 'feel' for the button you're after, but with a touch screen you have to put that extra bit of focus and attention to press the right thing, which is downright dangerous and has meant I've never bothered to use my smart phone as an MP3 player in-car, and have never bothered trying to answer phone calls when driving.

Anyway, I finally decided to get a Bluetooth adapter for my new Windows Phone which could comfortably fit all the music I wanted onto it, so I could have my whole collection at my fingertips whilst driving. The Kinivo BTC450 seemed like an obvious choice as it had received rave reviews on Amazon, and the price was absolutely unbelievable. I was somewhat apprehensive, thinking it might be too good to be true, but when the device came and I set it up, I was blown away by the quality. Music plays perfectly and in-call quality is excellent. I'm told that the microphone means whoever I'm talking to on the phone is able to hear me with no problems. There is a small delay of probably about half a second when pausing your music or skipping to the next track, but this can be expected with Bluetooth, and is really no problem.

I can't recommend it enough, and the price is extraordinary for such a brilliant piece of kit.


Expert Shield - THE Crystal Clear Screen Protector for: Nokia Lumia 920 *Lifetime Guarantee*
Expert Shield - THE Crystal Clear Screen Protector for: Nokia Lumia 920 *Lifetime Guarantee*
Offered by Expert Shield
Price: £7.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They say it's guaranteed, and they mean it., 14 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I received my Expert Shield screen protector for my brand new Lumia 920 and was a little disappointed with the application at first - edges weren't quite sticky enough, but I was sort of assuming I'd just have to deal with it. It didn't impair the usage of the phone at all, I just felt a little disappointed, that's all. I had a few emails from Expert Shield saying I should get in touch if I wasn't happy - I didn't imagine much would happen if I did, but I figured I'd try emailing to see if they could offer any support. Sure enough, they said that they would be more than happy to send me a replacement screen protector, free of charge. It arrived within 24 hours, and this one went on a little better. I'm really pleased that they were keen to help and make sure I was satisfied with their product. This kind of service is brilliant, and I'd recommend giving this screen protector a go to anyone who wants to look after their Lumia.


Page: 1 | 2