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Forum Announcements Tech News on the HORIZON MNPCTECH Members Reviews New Tech Horizon Reviews
Donation Button Is now available. End of the line for Roadrunner supercomputer Step by Step Guide to Installing a 140mm GPU Cooling Fan! Corsair: My happy story HP Dead Pixel Policy
Site is Back Buy an OCZ Vector Solid State Drive and Receive a Far Cry 3 Download Code “Freedom from Tyranny!” Planetside 2 NC Case Mod Monoprice HDMI Cables and Sata Cables Xigmatek, Aegir product review
Tapatalk Microsoft joins list of recently hacked companies New Monster Tower, we take closer look IPB forum software ver. 3.2.0 upgrade and incompatibility issues
Download IE9 RC at The Horizon. 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE Visit The Ultimate "Mod Garage" BigFoot Networks Xeno Pro
2011 Forum Wars! Pacemaker hack can kill via laptop "Medal of Honor" Warfighter PC Giveaway NZXT Product Review Contest
New Forum added Super Hi-Vision 8K TV standard approved by UN agency Enermax OSTROG Mid tower Review. Great features for low price HP Officejet 6500 Review
New Tech Horizon Give Away Apple Wins! 1 Billion! Lots of Biohazard theme PC builds, but this one is amazing Western Digital Warranty Status
New Tech Horizon Member Give-a Way AMD Fusion: How It Started, Where It’s Going, And What It Means Installing 280 radiator in Fractal-Design’s new Define R4 Steelseries MERC key board
Message to all Members Microsoft gets a logo makeover for the first time since 1987 Sweet "Type-R" theme Custom PC Build
New Admin Lit Motors thinks we're just driving around in too much car Corsair 600T ASUS Gaming PC build

Toggle this category Corsair: My happy story

Posted By:  kzaske @ 20 December 2013 - 02:09 PM
Corsair: Customer Experience Plus

As many of you know, I have used several different Corsair products without ever really becoming a fan of them. I have used their Survivor series of USB drives not because of the performance but because of its’ durability. The RAM I use is Corsair because I wanted an 8MB Kit that support BEMP* and it was the only one available at the time. The RAM has been a solid performer but I was never able to use it the way I had wanted to.

I purchased (back in 2011) an H60 for use on a Phenom II 965BE, It worked well until I upgraded to a 1090T and tried to over-clocking the chip. At which time the H60 was simply overwhelmed. I needed an upgrade so in Jan of 2012 I ordered an H80 (the largest my case to hold) and two FX 8350s (one for me one for the wife). It worked for a few months, with an FX 8350 running folding@home the best the H80 did was to keep the temps in the mid 50s to lower 60s, there was no room for over-clocking like I had hoped. (As an FYI: the max temp on an FX 8350 is 63c.) By August of 2012 It squealed very loudly at startup which was followed by a constant squeaking noise, my CPU would overheat in less than 15 minutes. The performance was only slightly better than no cooler at all. I contacted Corsair and arranged for an RMA.

Before I could get it shipped in I suffered a cardiac event. I contacted Corsair to let them know that I would not be able to ship the unit back any time soon. The reply was not to worry about it, once an RMA is issues it is good until such time as they receive the broken product.

October 2013 (yes, more than a year after the RMA was issued) rolls around and I finally have the extra cash laying around to ship the broken H80 back to Corsair. Two weeks after I shipped the unit back I had still not received word on the status of my replacement. I called Corsair support, the product had been received two weeks earlier however it had not been processed yet. The agent I spoke with processed the receipt, ordered up the replacement and promised an e-mail with the tracking information as soon as shipping had processed the order for shipment (within three to five days). Two hours later I got the e-mail with the tracking number, five days later the replacement was installed into my wife’s computer and working fine.

Here is what surprised me, about two months after I was given my RMA number I found out that my h80 had a manufacturing defect that caused the pump to make unexpected noises and to fail early. They were asking everyone within the afflicted lot numbers were being asked to return the units for replacement with a repaired (refurbished) h80. More than a year later my h80 was replaced with an H80i. The H80i is working far better than the h80 ever did. Even with folding running full bore on her FX 8350 the temps rarely reach 51c.

I am quite happy with Corsair support, even after more than a year they honored the RMA without having to request a new RMA (even after they changed to a SalesForce support system) and I was upgraded to the new H80i, even though they had refurbished h80s in stock to ship out.

So, when you are out shopping and run into a situation where you have a Corsair product competing with any other product all I ask is that you remember reading this and ask yourself this question: Does Corsair have your back?.”
For my part, I will be replacing my Antec 620 with a Corsair H80i as soon as it arrives. I know the product works and I know that Corsair has my back should anything go wrong.

* As a side note; I never did get BEMP enabled. That was not Corsair’s fault that is just another prime example of the high quality of AMD’s software and AMD’s ability to follow through with advertised marketing plans (schemes).

Ken /|\
Comments: 1 :: View Comments

Toggle this category Monoprice HDMI Cables and Sata Cables

Posted By:  Darkside @ 07 August 2012 - 06:51 PM
Hey guys,

Last Friday, I've order a pair of 3ft 28awg High Speed HDMI 1.4 and 6 18in Sata data cables from Monoprice. All for $15.00 include shipping. And it just came in today. Looks very sturdy. I'm loving it.. LoL.. Here the pic of the cables.

HDMI cable : $2.50 each.
SATA cable : $0.56 each.

Attached File(s)

Comments: 3 :: View Comments

Toggle this category IPB forum software ver. 3.2.0 upgrade and incompatibility issues

Posted By:  Agent51 @ 31 July 2011 - 09:27 AM
Hi everyone,

Today I would like to post a somewhat small review of IP.Board's latest version of their popular forum software IPB.
For years IPB has lead the market place for having a quality product that almost everyone wanted to own as their forum software.
If you own or have owned this software, you know and understand the product line along with the in and outs of this family of products.
You have tested VBulletin along with the massive variety of free forum software, as we did.
In todays competitive market, you as a forum owner understand the you need every edge imaginable for you readers members and guests.
We here at NTH found IPB to be the best fit for our needs. With a few plug-ins installed, we were soon up and running with things set pretty much the way we want.
But don't get me wrong, no software out there will be exactly what you want. Including IPB
One nice thing about these forum software packages is, they have some great 1st and 3rd party add-ons. one of the best add-ons for IPB is a front page called Unreal Portal that works very well for our needs.
Most all website/forums out there has some sort of front/main entry page. Here is where things get very tricky.

IPB, unlike VBulletin does not have a front page content module. But we found a 3rd party add-on called Unreal Portal, that work very nicely with IPB. To combat the advantage that VBulletin had with there front page content content package (better known as a CMS, content management system), IPB introduced IP.Content. As a forum owner, we wanted to explore all options for a CMS for our site, so we tried IP.Content.
Much to our disappointment, IP.Content had very limited options for content management and ease of management was all but easy. Turns out, that in order to do what Unreal Portal or VBulletin does at a few clicks of the mouse, IP.Content does not. In fact, one needs to learn to write code in order to have something resembling UPortal. Yes code! HTML, CSS, PHP and more. I think I can honestly say, that the majority of forum software owners do not want to learn to write code. In fact, thats why they buy the software. Can you imagine you trying to write code to get your OS to function the way you want?
So, abandoning IB.Content, we decided to stay with UPortal and we like it.

But this is not the end, IP.Board recently released their new version of IP.Board, version 3.2.0. Here we are paying for update, license, support and access to the latest greatest product offering from IPB.
Warning to all IP.Board owners who are in the same category as us, before making any major changes or upgrades to IPB, run it on a test site first.
Moving along, before we do upgrades or modification, we always test it on our test bed, turns out a wise choice on this new IPB version.
We found a few problems. The main issue is the Portal! Seems this is always biting us on the A**. The current version of Uportal will not work on the new version of IPB. Oh, and if we went to IP.Content, it cost another $50 and doesn't work well. I checked with the folks over at Uportal and seems the problem is some codes and stats portion is incompatible with IPB 3.2.0. Not good for all those using IPB and Uportal.
Do Not Upgrade if this is your situation.
I have not heard back from Uportal on this issue as of yet and we refuse to try to make IP.Content work. We should not have to learn code or hire someone to make it functional. Not a good business model for IPB.
This leaves us with some decision making. Do we upgrade and loose what CMS we have for a limited version of a CMS (IP.Content)? Do we change forum software to VBulletin or something else (not easy)? Do we leave things as is and continue to pay for upgrades (that are not compatible)? Or do we just sit tight ( with current working version) and see if Uportal updates their mod to work with the new IP.Board 3.2.0?
This is what other forum owners will have to decide also.
We have made the decision to keep the current working version, sit tight, wait for Uportal, and pay for one more subscription term of upgrade and support. If noting is worked out by the time our subscription is up. we will in fact not renew our support subscription with IPB.
We will continue to use this version as long as we can without putting our members and security in jeopardy.

We fell IPB is moving in the opposite direction from what once made it a great software.
Software development has moved from a user product to an IPB profits product. Meaning we will build what we want you to have, not what you want.
Having to learn code to have a functional CMS is unacceptable.
Not offering a compatibility list or checker before issuing upgrades is not very professional.
Do your homework before purchasing.

I give IPB 2 stars for this latest upgrade. Not good.
Comments: 7 :: View Comments

Toggle this category BigFoot Networks Xeno Pro

Posted By:  kzaske @ 31 December 2010 - 04:42 AM
First impressions; Honestly, I was not impressed by the brown box or the blue anti-static bubble wrap the electrostatic bags within that held two cards. But then again I knew they would be “white box” cards so I was not upset.

Getting Started:
I did some research on Big Foot’s forums and found an issue where Avira (my anti-virus) conflicts with the modifications that Big Foot makes to windows LSP. I had noted that everyone reporting this issue was using the latest and greatest driver so I thought that using an earlier version of the driver I could avoid that issue. I should have checked Avira’s support forums before I came to that conclusion, but I was too excited and wanted to see how well this new NIC card would work.

On my computer I used device manager to uninstall the driver then disabled the onboard Gigabit NIC in the BIOs, used DriverCleaner.Net to remove left overs, installed the Xeno Pro then installed Big Foot’s 6.0 drivers that were on the CD that came with the cards. The installation was quick and easy.
Because of the modifications to the LSP that the driver had made my anti-virus monitors were disabled, that is when I checked out Avira’s support forums and discovered this issue has been ongoing since Killer NICs were introduced, not good. Avira apparently considers this to be too small of an issue to fix and Big Foot cannot fix the issue and have the Xeno and other (such as the new 2100) cards still work.
When I launched Internet Explorer I found every web site but one (this one) loaded much faster than they had previously. I was impressed.

After about half an hour of researching the issue I started Guild Wars (my favorite game) and for the first time in years it was almost lag free, it was stutter free. Were my pings lower? When I was running two instances of Guild Wars at the same time; towns like Kamadan American D1 my pings were running about half of normal (150-275ms), with only one or two instances of stutter. When I was running a single instance of Guild Wars the highest ping I had in Kamadan American D1 was 168ms and stutter free, with my onboard NIC the lag would be around 300ms or higher with a lot of stuttering. Again I was impressed.

I disabled then uninstalled the onboard NIC on my wife’s computer then rebooted and attempted to disable the onboard NIC in her BIOs. The mother board would not boot with the onboard card disabled! What a pain. For those that want to know her mother board is an MSI 870-G45. I attempted to update the BIOs but their flash tool requires a 32bit OS. Anyway I disabled the onboard NIC in Windows then uninstalled the driver and called it good. The installation of the Killer Xeno went without any unexpected issues.

One of the first tests I tried after installing the NICs into both computers was a simple file transfer from my computer to my wife’s computer of a 113MB file, It transferred at 113MBs. OK, that is about the same speed I had before. The second test was the transfer from my computer to my wife’s computer of a 14.5GB folder with 24 items. It started off at 98MBs and quickly dropped to 80, then 77 by the time half the folder was transferred the transfer rate was down to 65MBs. The onboard NICs did better as they never dropped below 75MBs. That was a so-so result.

Recently a web site published an overview of the various Catalyst drivers over the last year for Linux. Alas I found that no web site had done the same thing for Windows, sounds like a fun project even if it means taking apart my 4850 Crossfire system. Time to see how well the Xeno handles downloads.
When I attempted to download the needed drivers from ATI, I discovered that my maximum download was about 100KBs, period. If I tried to download two drivers at the same time they both came down at 50-55KBs. Once I waited for one driver to get half way down when I started the second driver downloading. The speed of the first download dropped so that both finished at the same time. With the onboard NICs I almost always have a download speed greater than 5MBs.
I should have been able to pull down all the drivers I needed in less than 45 minutes, it took four hours – Epic fail. Only one review of the Xeno Pro cards mentioned this issue, on a rather obscure web site too. None of the big boys (such as Tom’s hardware or HardOCP) had even mentioned that. They reported that the CEO of Big Foot Networks stated that the cards are not optimized for downloads from web sites, they are optimized for UDP broadcasts.

The Good:
Yes the card did what Big Foot Networks say it would do. I had a much better and smother game play experience, I was happy. If you are a gamer these cards are worth having as long as your anti-virus does not lock the LSP. Then again, a gamer will simply change antivirus software.

The Bad:
If your computer is a general purpose computer, meaning games are not a big deal to you but downloading from web sites is, don’t bother with a Killer NIC. What should have been a two minute download for me turned into a twenty minute download, I kid you not.

The Bottom Line:
Where does that leave me? The primary function of my wife’s computer is games, I will be talking with her about removing the card but she is very conscious of how easily viruses can invade her system and the damage they can do. The primary function of my computer is more general purpose and downloading from web sites is a bigger deal to me than playing games. The Xeno is getting pulled, with a little luck I might be able to find a buyer or simply return it (them) to Amazon.

If I had to rate this product I would give it one star for everyday users and four stars for gamers. What do you think?

Ken /|\
Comments: 6 :: View Comments

Toggle this category NZXT Product Review Contest

Posted By:  Agent51 @ 03 December 2010 - 07:27 PM
The Holiday Season is upon us! In celebration of Holiday shopping and awesome
deals, NZXT is giving away a Phantom and 750W HALE90 Power Supply bundle for the
NZXT Product Review Contest! All you have to do to enter is: write a review of an
NZXT product that you own or just bought on any NZXT retail website (e.g. Newegg,
Amazon, Tiger Direct, NZXT Online Store, etc.). The contest began on 11/23 and will
end on 12/17, only reviews written during contest duration will be entered to win
the prize. All you have to do is follow these three steps to enter for a chance to
win a Phantom and HALE90 750W Bundle!
Comments: 4 :: View Comments

Toggle this category HP Officejet 6500 Review

Posted By:  Agent51 @ 26 November 2010 - 07:38 PM
HP Officejet 6500 Review
By Kzaske


As almost everyone here knows, I am an HP employee, don’t let that fool you. I am well known for speaking my mind on any topic and often in opposition to the company line. I picked this printer because it is the best bang for the buck of the printers in the current HP line up. HP corporate does not know that this review is being written and has no control over its content. The opinions expressed within this review are mine and mine alone.

My old printer (a Photosmart 8250) quit picking up paper about six months ago. A few weeks ago it started having connection problems even though it was connected via USB. The time had finally come to get a new printer. As neither of the new computers have parallel ports my desire to use my trusty HP Deskjet 670c was not an option.

My requirements for a new printer are fairly simple; networkable, low cost per page and durable. I would like to have a scanner too, but I have two (a very old Scanjet (we are talking Win98 was still the OS of choice when this thing came out) and an old Cannon (with all the bells and whistles)) in storage already. I very rarely print photos so I don’t need something optimized for printing the very highest quality possible.

As for networking, wireless support is not desired due to network security reason. I don’t want some drive by getting onto my network and wireless security is more or less a joke. As many of the current generation of printers support wireless I knew this was not going to be easy.

After doing some research I found that printers that use the 920 or 940 ink supplies have the lowest cost per page for a home printer (among the printers I checked on). The 940 printer are slightly cheaper than the 920 but only by a slight fraction and the 940 printers are designed for high volume printing. All in all, I found that the 6500 Ethernet version met all of my requirements and desires, I ordered an Officejet 6500 (e709a – the Ethernet only version) on 21 October.

My new HP Officejet 6500 (e709a) arrived on 26 October. So I figured I would do a quick review on the thing letting you guys know how setup went.

See full review here

Comments: 8 :: View Comments

Toggle this category Western Digital Warranty Status

Posted By:  kzaske @ 27 October 2010 - 05:16 PM
Many of you know about the recent failure of one of my Western Digital hard drives. I promised to let 51 know how things turned out so lets start with some background info.
Several months ago (17 June to be precise), in spite of previous experience, I purchased two 500GB WB Black (Link; hard drives from Newegg to act as boot drives on my wife’s and I’s computers. At first both drives functioned perfectly, but as the weeks passed the drive in my computer started making pinging sounds every time I restarted the computer. The pinging got louder, finally on 28 September the plastic locking pin came off the drive while I was replacing the power supply, no the power connector lock did not break. I arranged an advance replacement RMA because of the head noise (pinging). The drive I received was an enterprise class 1TB (model number: WD5001AALS-00L3B2). I checked the specs because this was not the model I was going to be sending in and I did not want to accept a downgrade. While checking the new drives specifications I discovered that the new drive only had 113 days of warranty left! The drive I was sending in had 1742 days of warranty left. So I sent the following e-mail on 8 October;


“I received and registered the replacement product. I am sure to enjoy the extra 500GB in capacity of the replacement product however the warranty on the original product still has 1742 days left while the replacement shows a remaining warranty of 113 days! I would like to have the warranty of the drive I purchased recognized and remind you I had no choice in the selection of a replacement drive. The 5 year warranty was a huge factor in my purchasing that drive to have that replaced with a 6 month warranty is just not fair or acceptable.”

Below is the reply from Western Digital tech support later that same day.


Dear Ken,
Thank you for your email. If you are inquiring about the status of your RMA, you can check it online from the link below.
RMA Status: http://websupport.wd...gin.asp?lang=en
Current turnaround is 5 to 7 business days for a Standard RMA and 3 to 5 business days for an Advance RMA.
If you have been tracking your shipment and your shipping courier shows that the drive has been received by Western Digital and RMA status shows that the drive has not been received, it means that we have received the drive in our warehouse, but we have not entered it into our system. As soon as the drive is entered into our system, RMA status will be updated and show that the drive has been received. In addition, we will send you an email notification when your drive has been received into our system and when the replacement has been shipped. We apologize for this inconvenience.
If you are concerned about data on you defective drive, please see the link below.
Title: What happens to the data on the drive I sent in for an RMA and how can I retrieve it?
URL: http://wdc.custhelp....ated=1053637589

As you can expect, this reply really threw me. I spent several days crawling the web looking for more information about how WD handles this situation and found nothing. Rather than let them charge my account for the new drive, I chose to go ahead and send them back the nearly useless hard drive. Once I had a tracking number from UPS I send the following e-mail on 21 October (it was about 0015Hrs when I sent it). I was now sure that my warranty would be gone with the wind and any hope of getting the warranty transferred could pose as a mob in WoW or any other MMO.


The broken drive is being shipped back via UPS, tracking number is: 1Z0AW2030332725905, it is scheduled for delivery on 22 October.
You have not yet addressed my concerns about the warranty of the new drive, which is now about 100 days. Why am I losing more than 1600 days of warranty? As stated before, the primary reason for purchasing the drive I purchased was the warranty period. Rest assured if you do not resolve this issue I will go to corporate about it.

Six hours later (0625Hrs) a support technician named Hector A replied with the information I had requested in both e-mails. See the quote below:


Response (Hector A)
Dear Ken,

Thank you for contacting Western Digital Customer Service and Support. My name is Hector A.

The warranty in your replacement drive will be updated after your defective drive is received back. After your drive is received it may take up to three business days before is entered in the system and the warranty is updated.

If you have any further questions, please reply to this email and we will be happy to assist you further.

Hector A
Western Digital Service and Support

I waited until last night to check the warranty status on the new drive, 1723 days of warranty left. They had transferred the remaining warranty from my old hard drive (with it’s 5 year warranty) to the new drive (over-riding it three year original warranty).

In summary, I made out like a banshee and Western Digital now has a customer that will not think twice about purchassing more of thier products.

This is the kind of service that Maxtor had always provided me and one of the reasons why I always purchassed them for my computers.

Ken /|\
Comments: 5 :: View Comments

Toggle this category Steelseries MERC key board

Posted By:  othman11 @ 22 August 2010 - 10:22 AM
I bought this little (ya right) key board. After getting it home... the usual stops between the computer shop and home in included. I opened the box and what do I find, a key board with LOTS of new buttons to play with. Now back to business. The box included an inner carton that held the key board wrapped in plastic. There are 4 items included, 1 user manual, a sheet of paper with the download link, and a tri-fold catalog/tease of there other products.

After getting the key board out of it's carton, I took a look at the beasty. It looks good, black plastic and medium gray soft touch keys on the main section of the key board. the gaming key are black and placed to the left of the main keys.
There is a short row of keys above and to the left of the function keys. We will get to these in a bit. After spending a frantic 5 minutes hunting for a UPnP adapter in the box (the key board is USB only). I was resigned to using one of my USB ports.

After getting the key board plugged only had very basic functions. I went to the provided website, I down loaded the (Z engine) software and installed...... :tada: I now had all the toys hooked up. This software comes with over 150 different game profiles for the gaming "pad" to the left. and the buttons on the upper left.

The keys on the upper left of the "gaming pad" are used for the "z" profile engine, to control the media (game volume, media such as music and movies you have saved).

Now to the business end of this thing....The "gamin pad".

The pic shows the lay out of the "gaming pad". By selecting your game, the software will load your game profile (witch you CAN modify). You can also modify the gaming keys for a game not listed and save it for yourself and/or submit it for deployment among the other owners of this key board linkage. The next pic is....self explanatory.

Now for the results! Everything is on a scale of 1-5 (5 being worst)

packaging: 2
I gave this for that fact that it would be better if it was in a sealed poly bag over the outer box.

look and feel: 3
This is for the fact that the key board tested is a bit wobbly (may have been warped a bit from the trip to the States). This doesn't effect anything but my need for things to be correct.

Things included: 2
They dropped the ball when they didn't throw a UPnP adapter in the box. I'm gonna miss that USB port on the back :cry:

Software: 1
The software is great...over 150 games available from the word "GO". The ability to make your own gaming pad mods and up them to add to the game list.

Result: 2 (not up to Pyro's math) I like the key board so Pyro, doesn't count......for the moment. :drinks:

I recommend this key board to any one that doesn't want or have one of those "dent the wallet" set ups. I don't game all that much as it is. And it has all but two of my games available (I will be making my own mods).

I conclusion... The money spent was worth the $25. I like the key board from Steelseries, It's a good start for the new gamer or the older person just getting there gaming toes wet. Here's the newegg linkage

I got a deal on this thing!!! :clap:
Comments: 10 :: View Comments

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