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Seagate Barracuda STBD2000101 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: VERY Cheap.
Comes with SATA and power cables.
Runs surprisingly cool.

Cons: None.

Other Thoughts: I bought one of these when I decided 1 TB wasn't enough to hold all my virtual machines, software, and media collection any more. The price was so cheap that I didn't see any qualms with purchasing it, and since BIOS can only support up to 2 TB without software enhancements, I decided it was the best option at this price.

The speed is noticably faster than my old WD 5200 RPM 1 TB green drive. While nowhere near as fast as an SSD or a hybrid drive, until the prices of high capacity SSDs come down to reasonably levels, there will always be a place for traditional platter-based hard drives. Some people simply need capacity over speed, and I am one of these people, though I do plan on buying a Samsung 840 SSD in the near future.

The drive runs surprisingly cool. Even before I put a front fan in my PC case to cool my array, I was shocked to find it was no warmer than my WD green drive, and when I put in the aforementioned fan, I have no issues with heat at all any more.

You simply can't beat the price and performance of this drive! I plan on buying at least two more; one for my NAS and one so I can have a dual boot, dual hard drive setup of Windows 8 and Arch Linux. I have had this drive for several months now, and there have been no issues. And at this price range, I'm not so concerned anyway.

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SABRENT EC-7F83 Aluminum 3.5
  • Owned For: less than 1 day

Pros: USB 3.0 support
Tough metal case
Cooling fan
Stylish construction; this won't look bad on your desk!
Awesome looking blue LEDs
They even ship a screwdriver to open it up!

Cons: The blue LEDs may not mesh well with your current setup, especially if you have any LEDs that aren't blue.
AC adapter may not be for everyone; this is required for the higher power draw of a full size desktop hard drive.
SATA III is not supported.

Other Thoughts: I recently upgraded my PC to a 128 GB SSD and a 7200 RPM 2 TB HDD, which left me with an old WD 1 TB Green Drive I didn't want in my array any more. I got this so I could use it for backups.

The case is a tough metal construction, with a grating on the front to allow for air flow, along with a fan on the side to keep the drive cool during use. Blue LEDs will mesh well with an PC that has blue LEDs set up. This enclosure is fast, allowing for connection of SATA I and II drives with a USB 3 external interface.

A foot is shipped with this unit, as it is intended to be left on your desk, never really intended to be unplugged. If you're not going to be using it, a power switch on the back allows you to shut off the unit to conserve electricity.

Overall, I am very pleased with this unit, and would recommend it to anyone else who wants a good reliable enclosure. The enclosure does not feel cheap; quite the contrary, it feels quite luxurious! The cherry on top was that I was expecting to have to fetch a screwdriver to open it, but no, SABRENT packed one with the unit! I was so pleased to see this little addition, and definitely recommend their products to anyone.

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Microsoft Windows 8 Professional 32-bit (Full Version)
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Easily replaced with Linux?
I was able to get the Start Menu back with Classic Shell, but that's not a "Pro" towards the OS itself.

Cons: A tablet interface on a desktop operating system
Ugly full-screen Start Screen that takes up the whole screen instead of a corner like the Start Menu
Almost all default programs are set to Metro applications
Submenus in Metro apps are annoyingly hidden and require a right click or swipe in (This is a HUGE waste of space on any display above 10")
Ugly minimalist interface that wastes lots of space (go look at the Metro Twitter app)
Tries to lock in the user by enabling Secure Boot by default on OEM systems
Tries to have the user use their Microsoft account as the way to log in, hiding the option to use a local PC account as soon as possible. What if your Hotmail account gets hacked?
Snap in of Metro apps is nowhere near as good as the multi-window multitasking that has been in use since the origin of the GUI and limits you to two applications at a time

Other Thoughts: Whoever thought THIS was a good idea should be fired. The world is not and never will be ready for a full touch-screen operating system on desktops and laptops. The reason touch exists is to remove the reliance on physical hardware (such as keyboards and mice) on devices so that they can be even more portable than a traditional laptop. In the few months I have been using Windows 8, not ONE single aspect of the system has made me say "Gee, I wish this was a touch screen; I'd love to reach out and use my finger on that instead!" Not to mention that touch screens of any decent size are still prohibitively expensive.

The new UI is a distraction and a hindrance. When I want to open up a new application, I don't want to look away from what I'm doing; I want to keep looking at it so I know what I need to do and open next. The prior Start Menu was a handy way to get to the software and files you needed without being distracted from what you were doing.

As mentioned above in the cons list, Windows 8 tries to cram this new experience down your throat as much as possible. Trying to open a file? I hope you've configured your software under Default Programs, because almost everything is pointed to a Metro app, which most of the time is an inferior experience that wastes space on a large display for the sake of being pretty, with less features than its equivalent desktop application. Want to actually use a Metro app in a size worthy of your screen? No thanks, all you can do is choose to snap it in to take up 25% of your screen or over 75% of your screen. There is no windowing of a Metro app without third party software. Also, you can only have two non-desktop apps open at a time, which is really limiting.

The desktop is also changed as well to accommodate this beast. There's no Start Menu; you touch or hover over a corner to use the "Charms" menu or see what Metro apps you have open. That's another problem with the whole system; everything is hidden and requires a swipe in or right click! On any screen over 10", there is no need to do this! Why is it hidden when I have more than enough room on a 20" 1600x900 pixel display? It's lunacy!

The speed enhancements, the native USB 3.0 support, the built in Windows Defender suite, all of this is rendered meaningless by an operating system that throws away usability and user friendliness in hopes of trying to squeeze into the tablet and smartphone market. Just because those two markets are the fastest growing segment of tech does not mean that the desktop and laptop platforms are dead. To kill off the features that make a desktop or laptop a productivity powerhouse to try and force users to join the new mobile paradigm is a stupid move. Users don't like being told what is right for them.

The worst part? This is the future of Windows. Microsoft isn't going to go back! Do yourself a favor and just give a distribution of Linux a try. Burn one to a DVD and install it; you may find you like a lot of features

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Kali P.'s Profile

Display Name: Kali P.

Date Joined: 02/01/13

  • Reviews: 6
  • Helpfulness: 5
  • First Review: 02/19/13
  • Last Review: 09/03/13
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