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Intel 730 Series 2.5
  • Verified Owner
  • neweggOwned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: It's a solid state disk, so generally the first question is: how fast is it?

The answer is: very. The spec sheet claims (mostly) hold up; after doing a fresh Windows 7 install and putting the machine through its paces for a few hours, I ran AS SSD Benchmark 1.7.4x on the drive:

~510 MB/s read -- 90000 IOPS
~475 MB/s write -- 70000 IOPS

Windows actually boots so fast that it doesn't have the time to finish animating the Windows splash-screen logo. Heh.

The speed is matched by other drives in this class, though, so the real question is this: why should you pay an extra 30-40 dollars for this drive?

The answer, for me, was this: I've put an Intel SSD in every gaming rig I've built since the introduction of the X-25M, and I have never had one fail. Obviously this is anecdotal, but I don't know anybody who's purchased an Intel SSD and been disappointed with its performance or longevity.

This drive is evidently designed from the ground up to be a spiritual successor to Intel's enterprise-class SSDs, though this one is targeted at consumers. The drive is rated for 70 GB/day for 5 years, and it also has power-loss protection, which can be a very nice feature if you're in an area that experiences periodic brownouts or blackouts during parts of the year. Lastly, all tests I've read have indicated that the drive's firmware is heavily focused on performance consistency, so it's less likely that heavy use will significantly degrade the performance of this part.

I really feel that the bundled software suite also deserves a mention. The Intel SSD Toolbox offers easy one-button optimization for Windows systems, including things like disabling services associated with prefetch and disk defragmentation (if necessary.) You can also use it to view the SMART data for the drive, if you're so inclined. It's actually a very nice, lightweight tool.

Cons: Unlike many other current SSDs, it doesn't have support for low power states, so it's probably not suitable for laptop usage (unless the laptop is intended to be a desktop replacement and will spend a great deal of time plugged in.) It pulls about 1.5 W at idle and ~5ish at load. Really a non-factor for desktops and gaming laptops, but something that bears mentioning.

Other Thoughts: It's a bit pricey, but it's a worthwhile purchase if what you want is a fast, bulletproof solution for an enthusiast/gamer desktop.

Also, it has a Skulltrail sticker on it. I suppose if you really love skulls, that may be a pro.

SIIG JK-US0412-S1 USB See Details Slim Aluminum Keyboard with Hub
  • Verified Owner
  • neweggOwned For: 1 day to 1 week

5 out of 5 eggs Fantastic keyboard 07/13/2013

This review is from: SIIG JK-US0412-S1 USB See Details Slim Aluminum Keyboard with Hub

Pros: + Satisfyingly "clicky" typing action, which gives you the feel of a well-made keyboard without all the noise of mechanical key switches. It's relatively quiet, compared to keyboards with deeper keys, but still announces each key press well.
+ *Incredibly* well built, with a beautiful brushed aluminum face plate and an unbelievably sturdy plastic chassis on the back. Seriously, I haven't seen a desktop keyboard with *no body flex at all* in my entire life, but this one is precisely that. It feels like it was made to survive a nuclear blast. It oozes quality from every square inch of its construction, and if you like keyboards with scissor-style laptop keys, you owe it to yourself to buy this one.
+ The USB connectors on each side of the keyboard are a very nice touch. They're on the sides, out of sight, so they don't detract from the look of the keyboard when you're not using them.
+ It is plain, in the very best possible way. The brushed black aluminum face and charcoal grey/black keys go with everything.

Cons: - None to speak of, although I'll have to see how well the lettering on each key holds up.

Other Thoughts: If you like slimline keyboards with laptop keys, like I do, just buy one of these. It's the very best one I've used.

EVGA ACX Cooler 03G-P4-2784-KR G-SYNC Support GeForce GTX 780 Superclocked 3GB 384-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 SLI Support Video Card
  • neweggOwned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: - extremely quiet, even under load (most case fans will probably be louder than the ACX cooler fans)
- excellent overclock, with the potential for additional boost clock tweaking via EVGA's Precision X software
- excellent build quality; card doesn't look or feel cheap in any way

Cons: - card could've benefited from a backplate; at $650 there's really no excuse for not providing one
- the bundled posters/stickers aren't terribly impressive to those of us over the age of 13, who aren't going to slap stickers on the outside of a brushed aluminum computer case
- it doesn't mix you a drink when you get home, or answer the door in a skimpy outfit

Other Thoughts: Honestly, I can't find anything bad to say about this card. The few cons are so inconsequential, they just aren't worth deducting an egg for. I was able to ramp the clocks until it was consistently hitting a boost clock of around 1150 MHz, and it just stays there perpetually, without ever going past 72-73 C. I play at 1080p with a 120 Hz monitor, so for me, high FPS mated with a suitably high refresh rate is more important than playing at a higher resolution. I've had no trouble maintaining 120 FPS in anything I play, with the occasional exception of Planetside 2. PS2 is an unfair test, though, given that many scenarios in that game are CPU-bound.

In short: if you want to play at 1080p with 120 Hz-friendly framerates or 1440p with framerates that are perfectly solid for 60 Hz gaming, just buy this card now and stop agonizing over it. It's a very solid purchase.


John S.'s Profile

Display Name: John S.

Date Joined: 05/19/03

  • Reviews: 12
  • Helpfulness: 8
  • First Review: 10/19/04
  • Last Review: 03/28/14
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