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Date: October 23rd, 2003
Article by: Roger (Hardware Reviewer)
Product was donated by: V.L. Systems


PRODUCT FEATURES & WALKTHROUGH

A word of caution… the English instructions in the manual appear to be a straight translation from an online service.

"If you have this Item installed your PC, when you play the game, watch the movie and listen to music, you can see the Graphic Equalizer which is response to its music and sound."

There is no excuse for this. Invest in a translator, people. Don't make the instructions more difficult to properly understand. Granted, this device is fairly simple to hook up, but not everyone will appreciate having to read the same sentence a few times to get what is implied.

I hooked the unit into a black IBM NetVista at the office to play around with it. I could not hook up the HDD activity wire, because this box has all of the wires from the front connected together (gotta love IBM, he says sarcastically). When I got home, I threw the unit into a P3 866MHz box just to test the HDD activity and sure enough it worked fine.

However… kiss your case HDD activity LED goodbye. Yes, that trusty one which you've come to love over the years. For you see, the VL-Indy doesn't offer you a throughput for that signal. Recently, I reviewed a Cremax HDD rack which did. It plugged into the motherboard HDD activity pins, however it allowed you to connect the case LED into the back of the unit to create a signal relay of sorts.

Leaving this type of option out of the VL-Indy is just plain lazy, in my opinion.

Back at the office on the IBM, I ran the stereo cable through an open PCI slot and plugged it into the back of the motherboard.

I hate having to do that though. Honestly, they should find a way to connect it internally. Don't make me open the back of the case up to more dust, or have to use a 'Y' adapter (especially if I'm already using that connector for speakers). Adding insult to injury, the adapter is too big. It covers up the jack beside it.

My next complaint is with the faceplate.

Look at all that writing!

It's hideous. Honestly.

The actually size of the LCD is miniscule due to all of the writing on the faceplate. Had they left all of that off, the LCD could have been much larger. More options could have been added in terms of how the equalizer displays the signal.

I didn't bother putting this display in my Lian-Li case, despite the fact that the unit has a beautiful brushed aluminium base.

Why? Because it's hideous.

Onto the actual display.

You have several options to choose from. You can select to monitor the HDD activity or the sound level. You can also decide if you would like a nice, relaxing display or a flashing monstrosity which may very well cause an epileptic seizure.

In the dark, the unit does look fairly cool. There is a slim possibility that it may even impress a few enthusiests at the local LAN parties, but don't count on it.

 

 


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