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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 10:28 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 7:45 am
Posts: 58
I've watched this company for well over a year. They are trying so hard to make a unique and useful product, but they have, again, dropped the ball. Over and over this has happened with each "model update" (aka - board swap). I think they could keep the price of the kit at $399 or even go a bit higher IF it was a COMPLETE kit. But it's not even close. The riser card and the CPU HSF need to be included in the actual package they ship... even if the kit has to be increased to $429 or whatever. I've never received a SFF kit without those being provided. Of course, I change out the fans when I get them, but I (we) are not normal users. People expect these in the box. They are providing the MB in the kit so they know that the riser will be needed and HSFs of that height are almost impossible to find outside of their offering. It leads to further frustration when you not only have to buy the riser and HSF separately, but then they are OOS or not even carried.

Other hurdles:
1. As was said in a post above, spec confusion. There are so many different specs of this kit for sale on the internet that it's laughable. Each one has the same model number and it's impossible to figure out what you're going to get until you open the box when it arrives. Wifi? VFD? Remote? T-shirt? Kazoo?

2. When I saw the RAM IR card in the SPR review, I almost fell out of my chair. That is the most incredible thing I've seen in a PC, well, maybe ever (and I've serviced Gateways). Talk about misuse (even if it doesn't harm the board)... as was said in the article, it leaves 1 RAM slot free. I don't see any MBs on the market right now with only one RAM slot right now, and MB makers love to cut corners. That's because it's crazy not to have an upgrade path or be able to cheaply put 4GB of RAM in a new PC these days. You shouldn't have to make a choice between system usability and a remote. It would be a neat project to rewire the board though.

3. Losing component/composite/optical to HDMI. Reduces the versatility of the product a million times over... let's not forget that not everyone has an HDMI port (including a lot of people with 720p/1080i HDTVs).

4. If this product doesn't scream for an external PS, I don't know what does. Maybe could stick a couple more soft-mounted 2.5" HDDs in the corner without the PS there, or a fan set up. I can only imagine how nasty loud the stock PS is.

5. Notebook optical drives are loud as hell, especially slot-loaders. I know that it's probably a casuality of the size of the case, but if the board was a FlexATX it might be able to take a standard HH drive. In fact, FlexATX would solve a lot of the problems listed in this thread.

As much as I'd love to build this machine *and I would*, I won't be doing so (or recommending it) until they work out the above. Or offer it as a simple box without PS or other - I'd buy that in a moment. Hiper seems to dig sending products to SPR which is great. I hope they read the review and take action.

-Evan


Last edited by QuaiBoy on Wed Jan 09, 2008 10:36 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 10:31 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 7:45 am
Posts: 58
pure456 wrote:
... For example my plasma is 1366x768 but the options available were 1080i and 720p. 1080i filled the screen properly but the icons were so small as to be unusable. 720p left me with underscan (dark edges all around). I had to use something like 1388x775 to get it to fill the screen. ...


I've used CCC many times before as well, similar to your usage. Are you using an HDMI or DVI port with your plasma though? I'm curious as I didn't think you could force a custom res on an HDMI port with that utility but I could be wrong.

-Evan


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 1:28 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 2:55 pm
Posts: 11
QuaiBoy wrote:
pure456 wrote:
... For example my plasma is 1366x768 but the options available were 1080i and 720p. 1080i filled the screen properly but the icons were so small as to be unusable. 720p left me with underscan (dark edges all around). I had to use something like 1388x775 to get it to fill the screen. ...


I've used CCC many times before as well, similar to your usage. Are you using an HDMI or DVI port with your plasma though? I'm curious as I didn't think you could force a custom res on an HDMI port with that utility but I could be wrong.

-Evan


I use both a DVI to HDMI cable and a regular HDMI cable. The TV doesn't have any DVI or VGA connections on it so I can only connect through HDMI, component, s-video or composite. I chose HDMI over component because of the simplicity of one connection instead of 5.

I have both the HDMI and DVI to HDMI cables hooked up to the TV but only use the HDMI cable. I keep the DVI--> HDMI cable around because when I need to access the bios it doesn't show up when I connect through HDMI, I have to use the DVI-->HDMI cable.

That board is flaky as hell and I regret getting it but it definately will force a custom resolution using HDMI. The board in this barebones kit is based on the same chipset (690g) so I don't see why it wouldn't do the same.


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