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Pros: This is the fourth Seagate drive I have added to my computer and all of them have been rock solid. Hard drives are an essential part of the computer storing everything from your operating system to your irreplaceable photo and music collection. Never trust your data to a cheap, no-name brand that will fail early and take all your data with it. Seagate is an excellent brand and this drive is no exception. However, I always recommend backups, RAIDs, and fault tolerance to any storage system. As someone who has lost data, this is invaluable.
My rant aside, this drive performs very well and very close to the specs posted in the datasheet by Seagate. I was able to get slightly better readings than the spec sheet with the exception of the access time and that is probably for a good reason that I will explain in the cons.
As noted by other reviewers, I was able to see transfer rates (min / max / average) of 100 / 212 / 169 MB/s. My access times varied quite a lot so I don't list them here as I can't say for certain why they were so sporadic, again, see the cons for details.
Aside from that, it is a hard drive, it remembers stuff for you. This one just happens to have learned a neat trick to make things run faster.
Cons: The access time is spec'd at <9.5ms. My first test said it was 12.0ms. My second test says it was 2.9ms.
This could be my test software, or it could also be the nature of the 8GB flash memory. The drive may have seen the memory I accessed during the first test, and saved it in the flash memory for the second test. I'll divert to others who may know more about this particular aspect, but these are my speculations.
There really isn't much to complain about on these drives. The drives are OEM, so they don't come in a box or come with screws/cables, but they are cheaper. It would be nice to have some kind of OEM kit add-on that includes screws and cables.
Other Thoughts: This hybrid drive fills a very sweet sport in computers. Many new and upgraded computers are using SSD's for their speed performance, but they cost more and come in smaller capacities. For some, the SSD is used for the operating system and most used data and then use a mechanical drive for storing the less-used, larger data. This drive is a great bridge for those situations. This drive has a large capacity for all sorts of data, but also has the smarts to move the most used data to the faster flash memory. The great thing about this is the data that resides on the 8GB flash can change based on needs. For example, you have installed 20 games on this drive and pick up Overwatch or some other trendy game and install it. The drive sees you have opened the game a lot and decides to move it to the faster flash memory for you. Well guess what, your game will not open in a fraction of the time since it is now loading from the flash and not the mechanical platters.
It is worth noting that this 8GB flash memory is not the same as the cache. The cache is smaller and will disappear when you turn off the computer. The flash is larger and stores data after the computer is off as well. So when the drive decides to move data to the faster memory, it will still be there at the next power-up.
Pros: The nice thing about RAM is that is is a fairly safe upgrade so long as you do a little bit of homework. But generally if the speeds are the same as what is being replaced, it will work. The small exception being some motherboards can't handle large amounts of RAM. Typically, you can find the RAM specs on the specs page of your computer.
Installation was very straightforward. Typically there are a few screws you can remove on the bottom to expose the RAM sticks. If your laptop does not have screws on the bottom to open up an access panel, you generally remove the keyboard to expose the RAM. The keyboard method takes more care and time, but is generally do-able. Do a little research online to see how hard it will be just to make sure you are up to the task.
Aside from that, push the metal spring pins aside, take the old out and put the new sticks in their place. Generally there is nothing more to do in terms of settings or configuration.
After installation, I ram memtest for a few hours and let it run a full set of tests and everything looked great. Booted right up in to windows after the test and has been performing admirably.
Cons: If I had to complain about something, I would complain about the packaging. I dislike trying to find my scissors to get at the insides.
Other Thoughts: Silicon Power is not a brand I am super familiar with, not really heard much of it. It seems like it is targeting somewhere between budget and moderate use computers. That said, I would have no problem recommending this memory to others so long as it continues to hold up (as it has thus far).READ FULL REVIEW
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.