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Pros: Everything considered this OCZ ARC120GB SSD is a very impressive "value" SSD. Advertised read and write speeds though NOT the fastest but for under $80 for a 120GB drive you simply cannot go wrong. It comes with a 3-year warranty , a reputation from a top notch manufacturer (Toshiba), and a well supported web site for firmware updates/warranty returns/documentation. I've been a SSD convert for over 5 years and with each generation of released SSD's performance levels have gotten better, prices continually go lower but more importantly reliability issues are now almost a non issue. This is my first SSD using a Indilinx controller and I am quite impressed with the quick boot times, CS5 launches, but more importantly impressive o/s auto update installation times. My prior SSD's were always chosen based upon either the extremely reliable Marvel or Sandforce controllers but while they are indeed faster controllers this Indilinx controller is no slouch. This Arc100 SSD has ShieldPlus warranty which eliminates any & all concerns if this might be a potential failure prone SSD because of it's presently cheap $69.95 price per drive. If the drive acts up you initially work with OCZ support personnel and if OCZ determines a replacement is in order they will send out a replacement along with a prepaid return shipping label. You install the replacement drive, clone back down using a good backup image, then send the failed drive back...how easy is that? Cloning for me is a non issue using my 5 year old copy of Acronis and in under 30 minutes booting up to a full desktop. This OCZ ARC100 functions as intended...cannot ask more than that!
Cons: This is a bare drive only and has neither SSD brackets nor cloning software such as Norton Ghost or Acronis. This OCZ SSD uses cheaper MLC NAND which has finite write/erase cycles hence gives me pause for concern. It's probably a unfounded concern because neither Newegg nor OCZ presently appear to sell refurbished ARC100 SSD's , a indicator of customer returns or reliability issues. Other concerns include the fact OCZ "use to" sell power supplies and other computer peripherals and left many customers (myself included) in the lurch with no support when they curtailed sales and support. This however is a minor nit especially if you charge to a reputable credit card company whom all offer a double manufacturer's warranty when you use their credit card for purchases. Most importantly, because Toshiba now has a vested affiliation with OCZ there will be no uncertainty in the 3 year warranty should you have trouble down the road. Just remember, Toshiba has a pristine reputation which they would like to keep intact hence it's a win-win for purchasers of this 120GB SSD.
Reputable pc geeks and website reviewers (Anandtech, for example) have given the OCZ ARC100 series SSD's mediocre ratings but neither completely rejected nor spoke completely negatively about this SSD. Price was and is the primary reason why this SSD was given passing reviews but be forewarned....the warranty given by OCZ is a modest 3-yr warranty based upon endurance ratings of 20GB write usage per day for 3 years, which is very conservative for non-enterprise workloads .... nowhere close to data center or torrent rated workloads. While I have only used this OCZ ARC100 SSD less than a week I am happy nonetheless with this solid state drive. If and on "if" this SSD remains 100% functional over the course of the next few months would I consider OCZ for a larger capacity SSD purchase especially at the $0.50 per gigabyte (or less) presently has for their larger 480GB variant.
Other Thoughts: Darn shame OCZ doesn't provide cloning software as part of this drive. Had it not been for the fact I have a 2009 copy of Acronis I would not have had posted a valid test of this drive. Acronis presently has a trial version of one of the True Image however the cloning portion is purposely disabled for obvious reasons. Exacerbating matters is the fact older copies now are problematic starting with Windows 8.1 which I suspect will also NOT play nicely with Windows 10 due to release sometime in 2015.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: I finally got this Haswell i7-4790k mildly overclocked to 4.5GHZ on a year old Asus Z87-Deluxe mobo using 2103 bios firmware. I share this with everyone on Newegg as it is a way of giving back to some very decent reviews I abundantly use prior to making any purchases be it Newegg or other vendors. Long story short, I spent in excess of 47 hours (on and off) attempting to upgrade the i7-4770k to a i7-4790k w/o any success. Escalated this to Asus and even though many forums members stated many other people were also "unable" to get a i7-4790 to play nicely with a Asus Z87-Deluxe using bios f/w 2103, it will work. Asus has 3 utilities to flash bios' .... EZ Flash2, Flashback, and finally BIOS Updater. EZ Flash2 does NOT perform a complete bios flash. You must use either Flashback or BIOS Updater the 2 utilities provided from the Asus web site or their DVD. Once again, Asus comes thru in support provided you allow 48 hours for a response from their Taipei support people. If you do use EZ Flash2 it deceivingly shows the updated version number (via cpuz or any of the many public domain utilities) but will NOT allow upgrading from 4770k to 4790k .... this one is worth remembering guys!
Cons: I've been a creature of habit using the same Asus EZ Flash2 utility user for over 10 years but no longer. Not too thrilled with using the Asus BIOS Updater since it is lengthy, drawn out, and prone to error. Asus Flashback, the proprietary bios firmware installer is amazing...easy to use, you do not need a processor installed ever to upgrade motherboard firmware.
Other Thoughts: Asus motherboards are expensive and have always been price that way. The extra dollars spent are well worth the money as I normally perform complete upgrades on alternating platform launches and squeeze every bit of life out of older platforms before new chipsetted upgrades. This last frustrating processor upgrade clearly illustrates why Asus is a top tier motherboard seller .... features, flexibility but more importantly real time support when you need itREAD FULL REVIEW
This review is from: ASRock Z97 Extreme3 LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Pros: Weeks have passed since I posted my initial review of this entry level ASRock Z97 extreme3 motherboard. Since then I have had more time to both this motherboard to use and production. Today, I currently have this ASRock Z97 Extreme3 mildly overclocked to 4.5GHz using a new i7-4790k with the factory released bios and legacy Zalman 9900 heatsink/fan ...something which I presently cannot do even with a more expensive Asus Z87-Deluxe motherboard 2102 bios firmware which upsets me greatly. Escalations and emails to Asus have brought no responses as yet which speaks volumes how terrible support Asus has gotten. More importantly it is a joy installing this ASRock MB over the Asus MB simply because the ASRock MB is NOT a full sized ATX format which makes it a easy task even for compact and mid-tower cases. For those who want to cost effectively upgrade to Devil's Canyon and wish to do this on a budget give some serious thought using this ASRock Z97 Extreme3 mobo....inexpensive, compact, easy to install/setup/overclock even with a anemic Intel heatsink cooler. My earlier gripes voiced in my earlier review also castigated ASRock why they would ever consider including a VGA port ... it's there evidently for a budget purpose! Include it for pc builds who are on serious budget constraints, have a love for the hobby, and wish to salvage using old but functional VGA flat panels or worse yet (ugh!) a CRT monitor with just VGA capability. Does everyone know the highest o/c this year was on a ASRock branded board? .... maybe Asus and Gigabyte should start looking in their rear view mirror because ASRock quality and reliability is right up there!
Cons: In my earlier write up/review I castigated the limited number of USB3/USB2 ports and lack of built-in wi-fi, Even though these are major hindrances for the serious enthusiast you can work around these issues by installing a cheap wi-fi card, for example, into one of the pci slots, install a external powered USB3 hub which for me addresses my major gripes about this entry level motherboard.
Other Thoughts: Even high end first tier motherboard manufacturers (are you listening Asus?) entitled to screw up occasionally such as the case where a i7-4790k is presently documented to work but will not work on a expensive Z87-Deluxe motherboard. Given time I am sure Asus will resolve this however this is a huge faux paux and black eye for Asus. I Asus wants in excess of $400 for a x99 MB they better do better validation testing on processors and bios fixes. Me, I'm going to wait a bit before I consider going X99 chipset platforms ...it boils down to be gouged for overpriced for DDR4 memory, flakey bios updates, larger wattage power supplies and waiting for the "smoke to clear" on X99READ FULL REVIEW