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Pros: I am pretty impressed with the cooling capabilities of this liquid CPU cooler. Right off the bat, I saw my full CPU load temps drop 21C from my previous after market cooler (56C -> 35C) (pump and fans at full speed). More on this in the other section.
Aside from the drastic drop in CPU temperatures, the device is not too bad on the installation. I am using this cooler on an AMD processor, everything was included for both AMD and Intel, but the Intel bracket is installed by default. To install this for an AMD processor, you simply need to rotate the mounting bracket on the pump with one that is included in the bag. After that, replace the plastic mounts for the stock heatsink with the included stand-offs. Once that is done, 4 thumb screws and the pump/heatsink is now mounted.
So far as aesthetics go, it looks pretty well. Most everything is black so it will fit many many color schemes. The LED light on the pump is also customization and can be any RGB color. So no matter the color scheme of the case, the cooler will match. The color can also reflect the temperature of the CPU when it crosses a single threshold. What would be neat is if it gradually changed from one color to another based on temperature, but alas it cannot. It can only change from one color to another in one step based on the CPU temperature.
The USB connection for the Corsair Link is one that connects directly to the USB header on the motherboard. This is good in that it does not require the cable to connect outside the case and then run back in. However, this does mean that it will waste one of your USB headers inside the case. (Motherboard headers for USB have 2 ports per header, one will be covered by the Corsair Link connection and the other port will be left connected to nothing). If you had a memory card reader or some other internal device that only used one USB header, you could combine the devices into the same header without much grief. This would be great if for example your power supply also had Corsair Link. The USB connection on the pump itself if simply a USB mini connection, so there are a lot of options available to you.
Cons: First con, is the fan and pump profiles don't seem to be saved in the pump itself. For example, if I max out the fan and pump speed, it will do as I ask and crank up the RPMs. However, if I reboot these preferences are not used. It is not until Windows boots (and subsequently Corsair Link loads), that the fans and pump max out again.
Another strange thing is the pump only appears to have two speeds. The lower speed is about 900 RPM and the other is about 1860 RPM. Not much in between. In either case, I could not hear the pump much at all, so sound is not an issue with the pump.
Next up on the complaints is the fans. There is no shortage of complaints on the fans, but they do their job. When they are cranked up, they are very loud but they also move a ton of air. But my biggest problem with them, is that there is not a way to turn them off. I cannot set a speed below 40% in the Corsair Link software (for the fixed percentage) and using a custom rule allows down to 25% (about 900 RPM). Not sure if this is a limit of case fans, but it would be awesome to have no fans unless they are needed.
On the mention of fans, I would also say that adding some RGB to the radiator/fans would be a nice touch.
Final note, my pre-applied thermal paste had a bit of cardboard fuzz on it. Be sure to inspect the pre-applied thermal paste for contaminates before mounting it.
Other Thoughts: Overall, I think this is great for people who want to get in to liquid coolers or even for those that have dabbled in it already. I am very satisfied with this product and its ability to keep my cores cool. Here are some very basic stats for my AMD Phenom processor with no overclocking (125W CPU). CPU is under full prime95 load:
Stock cooler: 65C
After market air cooler: 56C
This product with lowest pump/fan speeds: 40C
This product with highest pump/fan speeds: 35C
This product with highest pump/fan speeds and CPU at idle: 25C
This was all with the pre-applied thermal paste. It is worth noting that at the end of the test, I tried some Arctic Silver 5 and saw no justifiable reason to need it. The stock paste was sufficient.
Final odd thing I noticed is the pump/coolant temperature. I am not sure if it is my CPU that is lying to me or the sensor in the pump. Either way, at one point it said my CPU was 25C and idle. At the same time, it reported the pump/coolant temperature as 27C. Looking at some basic logic here, if the heatsink is hotter than my CPU cores, it should be heating the processor. At the same time, the CPU is still generating MORE heat. It is impossible for something hotter to cool something colder than itself in a stable condition. I allowed this to sit for probably a good 30 minutes with no temperature or load fluctuations and the temperatures never reached an equilibrium and the pump/coolant stayed hotter than my CPU. I could see this being the case if temperature from the motor in the pump was effecting the temperature, but then it is no longer a good measurement to use.
Pros: What really took me back was the price. This is indeed a budget oriented drive, but the performance is not bad.
The packaging and product in general feels really cheap, but it installed without a problem. No drivers were needed for windows 7 or 10. However, the drive does not come partitioned/formatted. I think it would have been good to have at least a FAT32 partition (compatible with MAC and Windows), but alas it was not initialized. Doing this is a simple step if you know how to open the disk manager. If not, simply google creating a partition for your operating system.
Other pros are the speed. I ran a few benchmarks with the similar results, full details in the other section. In short, it read at ~265MB/s and wrote at about 256MB/s.
3 year warranty is not bad.
General SSD benefits:
Will improve battery life by a fair bit if currently using a mechanical drive.
Cons: Again, the fact there wasn't a partition on the drive at all was a bit surprising. This may be a stumbling block for those less technically inclined.
Metal enclosure feels flimsy.
Packaging is a bear without something sharp (although the plastic weld that went around the package broke loose all around once I was able to rip it open...)
Other Thoughts: Keep in mind that most of these Eggxpert reviews come from only after a month or less use. As mentioned, this drive uses TLC which does not have the endurance of other technologies. While TLC is great for computers and every-day use, make sure all irreplaceable data is kept across multiple drives/media.
Raw bench results from AS SSD 1.8 with a 1GB size:
Seq: Read=265MB/s - Write=256MB/s
4K blocks: Read=34MB/s - Write=62MB/s
4K-64Thrd: Read=1302MB/s - Write=202MB/s
Acc. Time: Read=0.161ms - Write=0.053ms
Score: Read=1363 - Write=289
Overall score: 2350
Sequential times will be what to expect for transferring large files such as movies and videos. The 4K times are what you should expect when transferring a bunch of smaller files.
Pros: The build quality and electrical aspects of this power supply are great. My HTPC power right up and played HD movies just great. The high efficiency ratings mean this power supply will (and has) run very cool with scarcely ever a need for the far to even need to turn on. With the computer on and even under a load, the fan never came on for me (it never got hot enough). It turns on for a moment when the power is first tuned on, and then turns off until there is a need for air circulation.
The power output is great, especially for such a small form factor. The modular cables can allow some de-cluttering of small cases and improve air flow.
The warranty is for 5 years and that is a good amount of time. And should the power supply fail, it has plenty of safeties to prevent it from wiping out all the other parts of the system.
The aesthetics of the power supply are also great. Not many people will see it inside the case, but should you do a custom build on a flat surface you won't need to worry about the looks. The wires for the power supply are also all black and bonded together.
Cons: I have removed an egg from the power supply due to a number of small things that added up during the installation in my Mini-ITX case.
The first problem I had was the shroud around the power switch in the back hit the back plate of my case. There is no spec for saying how far from the edges any non-flat part needs to be (I checked), so it may not all be on corsair. Nonetheless, I had to flip the power supply 180 deg. in order for it to mount properly. However, doing this greatly reduced the clearance between the fan and the case, thus hampering air flow when the fan comes on.
The next problem I ran in to was the orientation of the SATA power connectors. The wire and plug of the SATA connector is 90 deg. This is not good for me as the drive I use is mounted flat on another part of the case. I was able to make it work, but there is more strain on the PCB connector than I like. A straight connector would have suite this particular case better.
Another problem I had was the way the modular power cords were bonded together. The wires were laminated in parallel so the height of the cable was the diameter if the wire and the width was the sum of the diameter of all the wires. This means the cable can really only bend up/down and not left/right.
Finally, where the modular cables plug in to the back of the power supply does not work well with my case as other things are cramping the space. This one is largely on me and the case and isn't entirely the design of the power supply. If the cables could plug in to the power supply at a 90 deg angle, it would be much easier.
Some of these problems are specific to my particular case, but small cases are cramped and attention needs to be given to where the power supply will be used.
Other Thoughts: Take a good look at the way the case is laid out and how everything will fit before choosing a modular power supply (which will require more room in the back for the power supply connections). Also pay attention to the locations of the power connections for the motherboard and peripherals. The pictures for this product are fairly accurate (note that in one picture, the white text describing the connectors is missing. The reality is that the white text is on the product and just missing from the picture for some reason).
Do your homework, and make sure it looks like it will fit. There is a chance you will be better off with a non-modular power supply or with one having more flexible wires. But there is also a chance the flat wires will be better for you. So do your homework and think about it.