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CyberPower CST1300ALU 1300 VA 810 W 10 Outlets UPS
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • neweggOwned For: 1 week to 1 month

5 out of 5 eggs Works as advertised 12/14/2015

This review is from: CyberPower CST1300ALU 1300 VA 810 W 10 Outlets UPS

Pros: The CyberPower CST1300ALU is a big, heavy unit obviously styled after the APC BR1300G. It’s constructed of black plastic with a prominent power button that lights up and a nice display that shows all relevant information. The display comes configured to shut down after 60 seconds and come back on whenever the big silver ‘Display’ button is pressed but the display can be configured to stay on all the time.
The CyberPower CST1300ALU comes with 10 AC outlets. 5 of them are battery backup outlets and the other 5 are simply surge protected. There are also 2 network protection ports, 2 coaxial conns as well as the USB connector and a serial port.
The unit comes with a rather complete user’s manual as well as a thorough guide to setting up the functions of the display. . There are two 2.1 amp USB ports on the front of the unit but be aware they are for charging only. I fully charged my Android tablet in roughly the same amount of time as when I use the wall mounted charger that came with it. A USB cable is also included that is the data link between the CyberPower unit and your computer. You access it through the Power Panel Personal software. You do have to download the Power Panel Personal software from the CyberPower site but it’s a painless 7Mb download and installs quickly and with no drama. It’s a basic program but seems to have all the bases covered. You can schedule startup and shutdown times, enable or disable notification sounds and alarms, set how long you want the computer to stay running after a power outage at which the CyberPower unit intervenes. There is also a short self-test and the ability to set the sensitivity of the UPS. There is also a current status display that shows voltage supplied, power condition, battery capacity and status and remaining battery runtime as well as UPS load. It’s basic but seems to work OK. And resides in your system tray unobtrusively. I did use the shut off option and it put my computer into hibernation instead of a full shutdown. It also shut off the CST1300ALU as well.
Function-wise there’s not much to say. The CyberPower unit works as advertised. I have it hooked up to my admittedly modest production system. According to the software if I lose power it should keep the system running for 68 minutes. I pulled the plug and outside of being driven crazy by the alarm the computer and monitor ran for 65 minutes before dying. I wasn’t doing any work but by the same token most people would have the software shut down the system long before the UPS died. On my X99 gaming system with SLI'd GTX 970s the software showed the UPS would last for 40 minutes. I didn't test it but I have no reason to believe otherwise.

Cons: The big display is easy to read, comprehensive and totally customizable. You can change most of the functions to the way you like. However it is a little difficult to understand since there is only 1 button to use and you have to push the display button for varying lengths of time to achieve what you want. It works but is fiddly and frustrating at first. Also if you shut the CST1300ALU down you lose any changes you have made to the display.

Other Thoughts: I live in Florida and we have power interruptions and brownouts all the time in the summer. A good UPS is a necessity. The CyberPower CST1300ALU is overkill for my production system. But it is more of a match for my big X99 gaming system. It works just as advertised and has plenty of options for the display to tailor it to your needs. I did find the 2 required replacement batteries for this unit on the Internet for approximately $60 for both so consider that in your decision. I’m giving the CyberPower unit a thumbs up simply because it works as advertised.

Corsair Gaming STRAFE RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard - Cherry MX Red
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • neweggOwned For: 1 week to 1 month

4 out of 5 eggs A great keyboard with a gimmick 11/08/2015

This review is from: Corsair Gaming STRAFE RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard - Cherry MX Red

Pros: The Corsair Strafe RGB keyboard comes well packaged and protected. The included extras are pretty thin; a warranty booklet, the wrist wrest and some silver textured gaming keys with a keycap remover. First impressions are that the Strafe is fairly heavy and substantial although the external build is all plastic. When you plug it in the keys light up red with the arrow keys and ‘WASD’ keys in white. You have to download the drivers from Corsair’s site to do anything else but it’s less than a 100 MB download.
Once you download the software the fun starts. Although the software can be obtuse and hard to figure out with no manual in sight it does give you immediate access to the light show this keyboard can produce. It’s like fireworks under your fingers and you sit and stare in rapt fascination as the keys gyrate and pulse in every color of the rainbow. It’s impressive. Finding the other settings is a bit more nonintuitive however. I wanted the keys to light up in a single color and although there is a color pallet for this it didn’t appear to work. There is a link to a user’s manual and this takes you back to the corsair site where you can download the manual. I found out you have to drag your curser over the keys on the rendering of the keyboard on the software to use the color selector. No knock to Corsair since this was just my lack of understanding. The software also lets you set media and macro keys as well as create your own lightshow for the keyboard. It’s complete if a bit daunting.
In operation the Strafe was flawless and actually did improve my admittedly sad typing skills. The keys respond well and have an only mildly annoying click when pressed. There are no media keys unless you press the ‘FN’ key and use the appropriate function keys but I never use the media keys on the keyboard anyway. There is a nice USB passthrough on the back of the keyboard. I used it for the receiver for my USB mouse. Even better the illuminated keys are great at night or in low light situations. I have an old IBM 7953 keyboard that I’ve used on my parade of gaming machines for the last 15 years. This keyboard is flawless and has stood up to my frantic beating on it without complaint but I think I’m going to replace it with the Corsair Strafe RGB.
Pros; The Strafe is well built and has a heft to it that speaks to quality. It’s good looking and customizable to an amazing degree. The keys have a satisfying action and at least for me improved my typing abilities. The areas under the keys is now white so it reflects all colors equally well. My personal favorite is the slime green. You can set the colors for the Corsair ‘Sails’ logo and the light channels on the white sides independently or set a different color for each key or group of keys. The customization seems endless. The 4 rubber feet hold the Strafe down securely so it doesn’t move at all.

Cons: The font on the keys is large and ugly and gives the Strafe a cheap appearance. The cable includes 2 USB connections and is both stiff and thick, like a heavy duty power cable. The hard plastic wrist wrest is a bit low rent and the software is comprehensive but obtuse and has a steep learning curve.

Other Thoughts: Bottom line is that this is a good keyboard with a gimmick or a whole bag of gimmicks depending on how you look at it. It does the most fantastic lightshows you have ever seen and you just about gasp in amazement that this is possible. You go through all the various lighting effects and take cellphone videos for your friends and then you realize the mad dance of the lights is impressive but after a while it gets boring especially since you can’t really use the keyboard while the keys are doing the wave. Maybe you fool around with the software and try to create your own effects. But then you turn the lightshow off and you’re left with simply a keyboard. Luckily it’s a darn good keyboard and the price is in line with other mechanical keyboards that don’t entertain you. The Corsair Strafe works well as simply a mechanical keyboard for gaming. It’s way overkill unless you’re a twitch gamer or a serious typist but It’s a high quality piece of tech that has a few rough edges but I heartily give it a thumbs up.

Intel 750 Series HHHL (CEM2.0) 400GB PCIe NVMe 3.0 x4 MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) SSDPEDMW400G4R5
  • Verified Owner
  • neweggOwned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: The Intel 750 is a beautifully finished piece of tech. The aluminum is thick and substantial and gives the SSD the heft of quality. I’m sure we’ve all bought those cut rate quality SSDs that have a case that feels like an Altoid tin. Well this isn’t that way at all. It’s almost a shame you have to hide it inside your case.
Installing the Intel 750 is not for the faint hearted or the newbie at least if you’re using Windows 7. The NVMe interface is so new you have to install a driver during the Windows installation and that involves copying the Intel driver to a USB key and hitting a few keys to point the Windows Installer toward the key. It’s not really difficult but it is involved. You can solve that by installing either Windows 8.1 or 10. I hear they have the drivers built in but since Windows 10 is a free install from Windows 7 I don’t know anybody that’s actually installed it from a DVD.
I installed the Intel 750 on my production machine that has an ASUS Z97 board and an Intel core i5. It’s currently running a bargain basement Intel 530 SSD and it works just fine. The install went off with no problems and after I did all the updates and drivers and had used the system for a while I began to realize it was fine before and it was still fine. I mean I installed Crystal Disk Mark and saw the Intel 750 was 4 times faster but the system didn’t feel one bit quicker. Maybe it’s a matter of expectations. I’d read all the reviews and propaganda about the Intel 750 and how it was so fast it would be done before your fingers touched the keyboard. It would make you dinner and tuck you in bed and life would be all cute kittens and pink unicorns. But it wasn’t that way. I’m not saying the drive isn’t fast because it most certainly is but if you are upgrading a system with an even reasonably recent SSD then it’s not a sea change. Windows is snappy with an average SSD and it’s maybe a little more snappy with the Intel 750 but not enough to really tell the difference.

Cons: I think it might be a slight case of buyer’s remorse. The Intel 750 is still twice as expensive as a regular SSD but it doesn’t give you twice the performance at least in areas you can see. Now maybe if I was a heavy Photoshop user or was doing something equally demanding it might show its stuff but in everyday use it’s just not amazing. You start to think of all the other upgrades you could have made for that cash and you sigh and think not so happy thoughts.
So I said maybe I was being harsh and I installed the Intel 750 on my X99 gaming system. It has an AsRock WS board and an Intel i7 5820 6 core processor as well as SLI’d 970 GTX’s. I use it game at 4k and it works great using an Intel 530 240 gig SSD. I’m currently playing GTA 5 and it takes over a minute to load the game from the SSD and I told myself the Intel 750 would have to be faster. It wasn’t. Once again the install went fine and Windows was snappy but not enough so you could tell the difference. Crystal Disk Mark again told me the 750 was 4 times as fast but darn it you just don’t see it. And it took approximately 2 seconds less to load GTA 5. Plus, the way the 2 video cards are spaced the only slot I had available was right on top of the bottom card’s metal back plate. The Intel 750 runs hot anyway and I was sure I was going to cook it for sure. Even so it ran faithfully even through long periods of gameplay. I think I’ll wait and install an m.2 drive that doesn’t require an PCIe slot.
I do have a Skylake test system and I’m thinking maybe I’ll try it in there. It’s as bleeding edge tech as the Intel 750 and maybe it will be more of a match but I’m dreading installing Windows 7 for a 3rd time. I don’t know right now what I’m going to do.

Other Thoughts: I’m not saying anything bad about the Intel 750. It’s a beautifully built and technologically advanced piece of tech. It’s fast and it’s definitely the future here today. But if you buy this expecting top fuel dragster or space shuttle like speed then you will be disappointed. It’s fast but unless you are upgrading a system with a spinning platter hard drive you won’t really notice the difference. The problem is that you read all the gushing reviews and see the benchmarks and think you’re getting something so fast it will be done before you ask it anything. It’s fast for sure but it won’t blow your socks off.


Patrick H.'s Profile

Display Name: Patrick H.

Date Joined: 07/18/03


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  • First Review: 12/23/03
  • Last Review: 12/14/15
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