DP67DEB3 Intel Core i7 Motherboard Review

dp67deb3
Intel

The DP67DEB3 is a genuine Intel Core i7 Motherboard. If the CPU is the brain, the motherboard is the heart and soul inside the Antec 300 ATX Chassis of my son’s high performance computer.  I decided to go with an Intel brand motherboard on his high-end Core i7 system for a couple of reasons: One, I’ve built and installed thousands of computer systems and by and large, the Intel brand motherboards were the most reliable. Two (and this goes hand-in-hand with reason #1), Intel designed the technology. The board is based on the latest Intel Core i7 technology. While there are plenty of great motherboard manufacturers like Supermicro, MSI and ASUS, Intel is the one that designed the 2nd Generation i7 and they aren’t nearly so quick to launch new products before thoroughly testing them. While other motherboard manufacturers are releasing their models based on Intel’s design, much of the genuine  Intel products are still in the labs being tested. The 2nd Generation Intel Core i7 is no exception. This is an authentic 2nd Gen board with an affordable price tag.

The DP67DEB3 Motherboard at a Glance

The DP67DEB3 supports the latest, 2nd-Generation Intel iCore Processor series, including the i3, i5 and i7 which use the new 1155 socket. . This Intel motherboard is based on the Intel P67 Express Chipset with plenty of the latest features.  To name a few: A MicroATX board equipped with 2 USB3.0 Ports,  SATA Raid 0, 1, 5 and 10. Memory on the DP67DEB3 is expandable up to 64GB of RAM using 4ea, DDR3 Memory sockets. One of the biggest improvements of the new, 2nd-gen Intel iCore technology is the speed of the USB 3.0 which is 10-times faster than USB 2.0! That’s 4800MBPS vs just 480MPBS. You don’t need the latest and fastest Core i7 Processor to get these new benefits. Even an i3 user will enjoy the benefits of the Intel i7, full-featured motherboard. What else is there to like? Overclocking is supported on this board. Intel has not always had the latest, state of the art technology and speed, but in this case they’ve sweetened things up a bit. The DP67DEB3 is not only a safe choice, but a solid performer. Like all Intel, Boxed products, the DP67DEB3 comes with a full, 3-Year warranty. While the latest 2nd-Gen systems may not match the low prices of value, AMD built systems, they won’t necessarily break your bank budget either. The Intel DP67DEB3 can be had for under $129.00 and matched with a high performance, i3 CPU for under $300.

Where to Buy the Intel 2nd-Gen Motherboard

The DP67DEB3 is now Intel’s old news. There are faster, cheaper motherboards which support the latest generation of i7 Processors. However, there is still plenty of support for their older generation boards, if you need it. Check the Intel and Auction websites for old, refurbished models.

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Best K Cup Coffee

best k cup coffee
Sumatran Green Mountain Extra Bold

You won’t find the best K Cup Coffee in a can

If you’re looking for the Best K Cup Coffee think outside of the can. I learned my lesson on my last K Cup purchase. Gourmet coffee doesn’t come in a can and anyone who makes coffee in a can is not likely to make a very good, bold cup of coffee regardless of the coffee maker, brewer, blend, flavor, coffee beans or price. Since getting a Keurig Coffee Maker, I’ve only tried 5 different K Cup Coffee brands and flavors, so don’t get the idea that this is an exhaustive K-Cup Coffee single cup review. The beauty of the Keurig Brewing system is the number and variety of K Cups brands; more than any other coffee pods type brewing systems. The six I’ve tried probably represent less than 5% of the K Cups market. To begin the best k cup coffee taste test, let me list the 6 K Cup Coffee brands that I’ve tried to date:

5 K Cup Coffees Tested

  • Folgers Black Silk
  • Van Houtte Kenya Kilimandjaro
  • Green Mountain Coffee Breakfast Blend
  • Donut Shop Medium Roast
  • Newman’s Organic Extra Bold
  • Green Mountain Coffee Sumatran

My tasting and reviewing of these five different Keurig K-Cups brands has taught me not to judge a brand on only one flavor. I tend to like medium to darker roast coffees, so my opinions here are not necessarily an indictment against one particular brand, unless of course we’re talking about Folgers.

The Worst K Cup Coffee?

folgers dark silk k cups coffee
Dark Silk

Don’t be fooled into thinking a canned coffee maker like Folgers has a different formula for its K cups. Upon the recommendation of my brother, I tried the Folgers Dark Silk. They should call it, Dark Soot. In fact, it was the sour, cheap canned aftertaste from my first cup of Folgers this morning that prompted me to do a quick review on them all. Normally, I can drink one or two cups of coffee without getting the jitters, but for some reason, canned coffee like Folgers cuts that amount in half. So much for Dark Soot. This one gives a bad name to the single cup coffee maker invention and brewers in general. Now, on to the rest.

K Cup 5th Runner-Up: Van Houtte Kenya Kilamandjaro

van houtte kilimandjaro k cups coffee
Kenyan Kilimandjaro

I love African Coffees, particularly Kenyan, so I got excited about trying this one. My enthusiasm ended after the 2nd or 3rd sip. For a coffee that is supposed to be bold, there is very little flavor to the Van Houtte Kenyan. If they can’t get an African coffee right, what can they do right? For this reason, I doubt that there is another variety of Van Houtte that I could ever consider the best k cup coffee.

 4th Runner up: Green Mountain Coffee Breakfast Blend.

Green Mountain Breakfast Blend K Cup CoffeeGreen Mountain Coffee breakfast blend is really a pretty decent tasting cup of coffee. My only problem with this brand is that the roast is a little lighter and therefore slightly more acidic than I like. There is nothing out of the ordinary about breakfast blend that would make one boast about the quality of a single cup, k-cups brew and it’s at least 2-notches below the best K Cup Coffee I’ve tried to date.

3rd Runner Up: Donut Shop Medium Roast

Donut Shop K-Cups Coffee
Donut Shop Medium

I don’t know much about real donut shop coffee, but this particular K-Cups brand is really good. They advertise that Donut Shop K-Cups is made from 100% Arabica beans – and I can tell.  The Medium Roast seems ever so slightly acidic to me, but it’s easily as good as the coffee you’ll get from most coffee shoppes and it’s plenty strong enough.

2nd Runner Up: Newman’s Own Organic Extra Bold

 

Newmans Extra Bold K Cups Coffee
Newman’s Extra Bold

This one was so good when I tasted it at Costco one day that it caused me to buy one of their $69.00, Mr Coffee Keurig Coffee makers. Newman’s Own Organic Extra Bold is robust, smooth; with no sour or sooty after taste of other dark coffees. I’m always hesitant to buy an extra dark coffee, because sometimes they end up tasting more like a cheap French Roast; smokey and ash flavored. Newman’s Extra Bold is an excellent dark cup of coffee. Now on to the winner:

Best K-Cup Coffee to Date: Green Mountain Sumatran

Green Mountain Sumatran K-Cups Coffee
Sumatran

My so-so impression of Green Mountain Breakfast Blend made me a little hesitant to try this one at first, but since I love a good cup of Sumatran I had to give this one a try and it ended up being the best k-cup I have tried thus far. Like the Newman’s, the Green Mountain Sumatran is dark, rich and smooth. The reason I like it better is two reasons: Slightly stronger and more complex and deeper in flavor. To date, the Sumatran from Green Mountain is the Best K Cup Coffee I’ve tried.

Final Ratings

  1. Newman’s Own Extra Bold K-Cup
  2. Green Mountain Sumatra K-Cup
  3. Donut Shop Medium Roast K-Cup
  4. Green Mountain Breakfast Blend K-Cup
  5. Van Houtte Kenya Kilmandjaro K-Cup
  6. Folgers Black Silk K-Cup

The beauty of K-Cup Brewers is that there is no shortage of brands and varities; you can even make tea. One of the more popular brands of K-Cup coffee is Timothy’s World Coffee which I haven’t tried yet. For now, the best K-Cup coffee award goes to the Green Mountain Sumatra.

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Photochromic Lenses vs Transition Lenses

Photochromic Lenses vs Transitions

photochromic lenses vs transitions
Photochromic vs Regular Eyeglasses

Before I even begin to answer the question, let’s make one thing clear: Transition Lenses are Photochromic Lenses. Transition Optical is a brand of Photochromic, transitional sunglass lens. I am unable to do a full review on transition lenses because I haven’t actually tried them. Why? Cost. Transition lenses cost about 6-7 times more than the traditional photochromic offered by the Zenni Optical online eyeglasses retailer. What is different about transition lenses that would make them cost so much more? Transition Optical advertises that there photochromic glasses are made from patented dyes. Well, okay – that sounds nice, but what does it do for me or you? From what I could find, Transition Optical neither offers any detailed explanations of the benefits of their patented dyes, nor are there any impressive reviews comparing their advantages over traditional, generic color-changing shades. I did see one advantage – that is, transition lenses come in flatter, thinner glass than the traditional photochromic lens which is offered by Zenni Optical. That’s not enough to make me pay $139 more for them. So, what did I do? Well, my first pair of glasses from Zenni Optical were so cheap, that I decided to buy another pair and give the transitional technology a try. So for the sake of a review, let’s forget about Transition Lenses and talk about how these lenses in general, perform as sunglasses and regular glasses.  Your first question might be, “why would I want photochromic lenses on my eyeglasses?”.. Good question.

Why buy Photochromic Lenses?

Photochromic Sunglasses
Photochromic vs Regular Sunglasses

My Lasik Monovision has served me well, but there are times when I like to see better; mainly while driving a car. My prescription, cheap eyeglasses from Zenni Optical are great, except they leave me squinting while driving a car. It would also be nice to have 20/20 vision in both eyes while hiking, bike riding, fishing and viewing nature in the great, sunny, Colorado outdoors. For a measly $19.00 extra, it was time to give photochromic lenses a try. I duplicated my prescription from my last Zenni Optical order and added the transitional feature for just $19.00 more. So, how do they perform?

Do Photochromic Lenses Work?

As a pair of indoor glasses, my new glasses work much better than I had imagined.  They stay nearly as light as my regular glasses indoors and become sufficiently dark outdoors. The transition from darkness to sunshine is much better than I anticipated. The photochromic lenses reach about 80% of their total darkness in about 2 minutes. In approximately 15 minutes, they are as dark as you’d ever want them to be. The same is true in reverse. I was really worried that the photochromic lenses would not turn light quickly enough when coming in from the outdoors. I was pleasantly surprised. In about 2 minutes the photochromic lenses adjusted to about 80% of their total lightness, making them completely adequate for seeing indoors. Likewise, it takes about 15 full minutes for them to achieve their full lightness indoors. This is completely satisfactory for me. I thought the photochromic technology was the greatest thing since sliced bread until I took them for a drive.

Using Photochromic Sunglasses in Your Car

I got in the car with my new chameleon sunglasses hoping to experience great driving vision combined with the same protective, brown-tinted shade of my regular sunglasses. As I drove into the bright sunlight, I wondered why it was taking so long for the sunglasses to darken. After 10 minutes, I concluded that my transitional sunglasses were not going to darken as much as I wanted them to. The tinted or UV coated glass of the car was keeping the photochromic technology from doing its intended job. On the other hand, maybe this is exactly what they were supposed to do, since the car glass is already protected. That may be true, but unfortunately, my eyes still felt like squinting and reaching for a pair of regular, dark sunglasses. hmmm…darn – photochromic glasses sounded so good. In conclusion, auto-changing sunglasses lenses work great for every day use in and outside of your home or office. Just don’t expect to get relief from the bright sunlight while using them in your car. Maybe photochromic lenses are something we can learn to love?

Transition Reading Glasses

One of the hottest selling eyeware items this summer happens to be the transition reading glasses by EnzoDate. These are so nerdy that they are stylish. The lenses are the same excellent transition type that you get when you buy those expensive prescription transition glasses. Let’s face it, after age 40, our eyes don’t see the same way as when we were younger. And, don’t we all like to sit outside on a nice sunny day and read? The beauty of transition reading glasses is that they will adjust to every single reading situation we may encounter throughout the day.

Rating on Zenni Photochromic Lenses

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EVGA GTS 450

evga gts 450
GTS-450

Maybe the hardest of the hard-core gamers want a faster graphics card, but for the majority of computer users, the EVGA GTS 450 is overkill by a long-shot. In this series of reviews on my son’s home-built computer, we went fairly high-end on performance without becoming too extreme. Last week we reviewed the Asus 24″ Monitor.  The GTS-450 fits beautifully with a system that is mostly used for game programming, not actual gaming. Don’t get me wrong, this graphics card is plenty capable of performing impressive frame-rates with the latest games, but it is by no stretch of the imagination, the gamer’s spare-no-expense, state-of-the-art graphics card. It would be tough to find a more suitable, reasonably priced graphics card, particularly for the needs of the game-programmer, occasional gamer who needs performance, but not the very fastest, most expensive graphics card on the planet. Besides, no matter which graphics card you buy today, there will always be a faster, more expensive one on the horizon. The 450 represents the sweet-spot in computing graphics power were value and performance meet. I looked at a few comparable Radeon graphics cards and was unable to get the quite the same performance per dollar. So, now you know why I chose the GTS-450, but why the EVGA brand?

EVGA Brand makes a Difference

There are as many different versions of the GTS-450 as there are brands of socks. I chose the EVGA version of the GTS 450 based on two things: EVGA is a 4-star reviewed product with a very good track-record among hundreds of different users. Other makers of the same GTS-450 card are not always rated so well. The second reason I chose the EVGA GTS 450 was its outstanding price: $99.00 after mail-in rebate. $100 for a relatively high-performance graphics card like the EVGA GTS 450 is not too shabby.  So, how does this competitively priced GTS 450 graphics card by EVGA look on paper?

EVGA GTS 450 Specs

  • EVGA 01G-P3-1450-TR GeForce GTS 450 (Fermi) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
  • Chipset Maker: Nvidia
  • Memory Clock Speed: 3608MHz
  • Core Clock: 822MHz
  • Processor Cores: 192
  • Shader Clock Speed: 1654MHz
  • Open GL: 4.0
  • DirectX: 11.0
  • Memory Size: 1GB
  • Connections: 1 HDMI Port and 2 DVI Ports
  • Warranty: 2 Year Parts/Labor
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Antec 300 Review

Why use the Antec 300 Chassis for your Next PC?

antec 300The Antec 300, might not be the most exciting component of the super, Core i7 System my son and I built last week, but it is the most noticeable and works well with the OCZ Power Supply. The Antec 300 Case stands 18″ tall, weighs 16lbs and is made from quality, black steal. To be more specific:

Chassis Details

The Antec 300 is 18.30″ deep x 8.10″ wide x 18.00″ high and weighs 15.9lbs. It comes with 2 huge fans: 1ea 120MM in the rear and 1ea 140MM for the top. The top fan includes a speed setting switch: Low, Medium and High. At the medium setting, the Antec chassis, combined with the OCZ Modular Power Supply, runs fairly quietly. The Antec 300 doesn’t come with any cool glass on the sides or flourescent lights and cabling inside. If that’s important to you, you can buy those separately. As it comes out of the box, the Antec 300, is a rugged looking business class machine that probably won’t be mistaken for some high school kid’s gaming computer. antec 300 inside caseDon’t get me wrong, it’s more than capable of playing that role if that’s how you want to use it, but the Antec 300 is probably more practical than it is good-looking. While the Antec 300 is a genuinely a Mid-Tower ATX Case, it will easily accommodate Micro ATX and Mini-ITX motherboards as well as ATX. The Antec 300 has plenty of expansion room: 3ea: 5.25″ Bays, 6ea: 3.5″ Bays and 7 expansion slots. The power supply mounts on the bottom in a smart way so that there is plenty of room for peripherals. USB and Audio ports are conveniently located at the top of the chassis where they can be easily seen and accessed. That’s the Antec 300 in a nutshell. I think what I like the most about this chassis is it’s large size and easy access. Both side panels slide on and off like a hot knife through butter. One of my pet peeves with other computer chassis is how difficult it can be to simply take off a side panel. The drives simply use screws to fasten inside the chassis, without the need for some kind of silly mechanism or obscure hardware to fastent them. And speaking of screws, the Antec 300 comes with more than you’ll ever need. I really love having the access to the USB and audio ports on top. I feel very confident that the computer stays cool housed inside the Antec 300 and it runs noticeably cooler than my son’s old P4 Dinosaur in its old CasEdge case. If that’s not enough to like, the Antec 300 comes with a 3 year warranty as opposed to the 1 Year on most 3rd Party computer components. This tells me that the fans inside the Antec 300 are probably excellent quality and should hold up well for the next few years.

At a popular online computer retailer, I found over 2500 hundred user reviews. 96% of these users rated the Antec 300 chassis 4 stars or better. That’s quite an endorsement for a computer chassis. I think the Antec 300 is the perfect match for the OCZ 600W Modular power supply.

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