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Corsair Hydro Series H115i Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler, 280mm CW-9060027-WW
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4 out of 5 eggs Good performing AiO cooler 09/05/2016

This review is from: Corsair Hydro Series H115i Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler, 280mm CW-9060027-WW

Pros: The large 280mm radiator offers substantial cooling ability for even significantly overclocked multi-cored processors. My Intel i7-5820K (six core/12 thread) at 4GHz peaked at 70°C during burn-in testing on Prime95 for this review. In contrast, my previous unit, the Deepcool Captain 120 peaked at 76°C during the same test. Idle temperatures with the H115i are around 35°C for this unit, but that of course will vary depending on your own CPU, clock speeds and voltage, and cooling efficiency of your PC case. In contrast, idle temperatures with the Captain 120 were around 38°C.

Corsair includes two 0.70 Amp - 140mm high pressure PWM fans. These are pretty capable fans, and should suffice for most applications. I did notice a fair amount of air bleeding from the fan shroud back into the case during the burn-in tests while the fans were near 100% power. So, for extreme overclockers, I would recommend changing them out and adding two more fans for a push/pull configuration. If it’s quiet operation you’re seeking, these should be good. Under low load, they are nearly and practically silent. Also, rest assured that if you don’t have available fan headers on your motherboard, the pump has two 4-pin fan leads that draw power from the pump’s power connector. However, be sure to read my cons below regarding the power connector issue.

The H115i is compatible with a fairly wide range of motherboard/CPU applications for both AMD and Intel, and includes several backplates and standoff sets to ensure you have the right hardware.

The H115i includes a generous amount of water tubing length, so doing a front-mount application should not pose too much of a challenge. However, it could pose difficult when trying to manage all that tubing when doing a top-mount install, which naturally locates the pump much closer to the radiator. The tubing is mildly flexible, and I felt myself hesitating to bend it into shape for fear of causing a leak on one of the fittings. But, everything seems to be fine and functioning normally even with the tight squeeze.

The waterblock/pump unit is pretty massive. Much larger than the unit included with the Captain 120. This must be because of the small amount of circuitry necessary to provide USB connectivity from the pump to the motherboard, in addition to the LED backlight components. On the plus side, the large waterblock provides superb coverage on the fairly large lid of the Haswell-E processor.

Corsair provides a 5-year, non-transferable warranty on defects and workmanship. I did note some minor cons below regarding the warranty.

Cons: When installing the cooler per the included instructions, it advises you to connect the pump power connector to the CPU_FAN header on the motherboard (instruction item 5). THIS IS NOT CORRECT! In fact, the pump gets its power from a SATA power cable that you must connect to an available power supply SATA connector. Failing to connect the SATA power cable will result in the pump not running, potentially causing overheating of your CPU if overlooked. The documentation makes ZERO mention of this SATA connector, and it makes no appearance in any of the diagram figures.

In my opinion, the weakest link of this product (no pun intended), is the Corsair Link software utility. I found that Corsair Link is almost completely redundant compared to other third party freeware for hardware monitoring and statistics. It definitely offers no real benefit over my existing MSI motherboard BIOS and Command Center menu’s settings and capabilities. So far, the only unique setting that it allows me to do is change is the LED color on the Corsair pump unit. I hoped that the Link software would at least tie into the existing Corsair Utility Engine that I’ve already installed for my K70 keyboard, but it does not. Perhaps, Corsair should wrap all of these individual utility programs into one all-inclusive piece of management software.

When I said the radiator was large, I meant it. At 280mm (2x140mm), the vast majority of PC cases cannot house this cooler. Those that are compatible with water cooling units are typically designed for 120mm and 240mm units, while some can manage a 360mm (3x120mm) unit. The 280mm radiator is just a whole different product, and I hope you do your homework before purchasing to ensure your current or future PC case is compatible.

The H115i waterblock came with pre-applied thermal paste in a circular shape over the somewhat polished copper contact surface. The shape was about the size of a quarter, which was not sufficient enough to cover the lid of my processor. After mounting the unit, and then removing it shortly thereafter, I discovered that much of the CPU lid was dry around the edges and corners, and thus was making no contact to the waterblock. I decided to wipe the block and CPU clean, and apply Arctic Silver 5 thermal paste onto the CPU lid, and then re-install the cooler. I feel better knowing that the entire CPU lid has good contact with the waterblock now.

The third paragraph in the warranty guide document specifies that this 5-year warranty applies to a Corsair power supply. Hopefully that is just a typo, and they are actually referring to the CPU cooler instead. Also, Corsair does state that any returns may be subject to the purchaser covering return shipping. Pretty industry standard, but just be aware.

Other Thoughts: Overall, the H115i is a very capable AiO liquid cooling package. It provides stellar cooling capability with a fairly affordable price tag. I would recommend it, despite the few cons that I’ve mentioned in this review.

Thanks to Newegg.com and Corsair for providing the review sample!

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Silicon Power Slim S55 2.5
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

4 out of 5 eggs Value that cannot be beaten by any other SSD 08/18/2016

This review is from: Silicon Power Slim S55 2.5" 480GB SATA III TLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) SP480GBSS3S55S25

Pros: Price per capacity, the S55 480GB SSD is probably the most cost effective 2.5” entry level SSD on the market. Cheaper than the Mushkin ECO3, ADATA SP550, Crucial BX200, OCZ Trion 150, and SanDisk Ultra-II. You simply cannot spend less money for 480GB of SSD performance than the Silicon Power S55! That makes this one very, very tough to beat.

Everyday performance is not too shabby either. Read speeds and write speeds are better than advertised at 540.0MB/s read, and 518.1MB/s write (Diskmark 3.0.3 4000MB sequential). However, when the data becomes larger, performance drops quickly.

This SSD is built on the triple-level NAND flash technology, aka TLC. This allows for higher density, but usually at the expense of performance. So, if it’s performance you’re after, look at MLC or SLC drives. Also, the S55 uses the Phison S10 controller – an industry proven reliable and solid chip that is very common in the mainstream and entry level SSD realm.

The S55 includes a 3-year warranty on failures. With SSDs, if it’s going to fail, it will probably do so in the first month or two. After that, you should be good for 5-10+ years of normal use.

Firmware updating has improved since the last Silicon Power SSD that I reviewed just a few weeks ago. The software tool (downloadable from silicon-power.com) is now version 1.14 and has a cleaner front end and additional features including SMART, Optimization (TRIM), and Secure Erase.

Cons: Large file transfer jobs can throttle below 150MB/s after just 3-4GB of data. So, keep that in mind if you are looking for a storage drive instead of an OS drive.

The retail packaging continues to be lackluster and in need of some serious improvement. The SSD can be easily damaged during shipping or travel from place of purchase. There is simply zero padding or pocketing to protect the drive should the packaging suffer any damage. The stamped thin metal housing that holds the PCB in place is just incredibly flimsy. (My previous Silicon Power S55 review sample suffered a damaged and bent enclosure from handling by the shipper).

Lastly, there are no accessories included with the drive (no bracket, no SATA cable, no hardware.)

Other Thoughts: This SSD is targeted at the very budget conscious casual PC user that is looking to upgrade an older machine from a conventional HDD (while using SATA-3 6gbps). You're not going to find this SSD at the top of any benchmark lists. However, the S55 480GB is currently marked down to just $99. To me, that is almost a no-brainer to make the purchase. You simply cannot beat the GB/$ ratio of the S55!

Thank you to Newegg.com and Silicon Power for providing the review sample!

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Mediasonic ProRaid HUR5-SU3 2 Bay 3.5
  • Verified Owner
  • neweggOwned For: 1 day to 1 week

4 out of 5 eggs Super simple external USB RAID box 07/31/2016

This review is from: Mediasonic ProRaid HUR5-SU3 2 Bay 3.5" SATA Hard Drive Enclosure

Pros: • Very compact design with a small footprint. Simplistic, yet attractive too.
• Very easy to get started. Follow the short instruction sheet to ensure you don’t skip the most important step - confirm your RAID selection during first power-on!
• Holds two desktop 3.5” drives or two laptop 2.5” drives, or a combination of both. However, 2.5” drives will not be secured with screws, so avoid moving the box while it’s powered up. Note, RAID1 will require identical drives.
• Hardware RAID that supports up to 8TB capacities using GPT. MBR is also supported for 2TB and smaller disks. All SATA 1, 2 and 3 interfaces are compatible. Also supports UASP and SMART.
• USB3.0 interface lets you connect to a PC or other networked device with USB to create a network accessible FTP or SMB share. Much cheaper than buying a true stand-alone NAS.
• Front facing status indicator LED’s aren’t too bright or distracting.
• Easy to upgrade firmware – Download the updater tool from MediaSonic’s website and run it.
• 1-year warranty
• Awesome price during Newegg daily deal plus $10 instant promo – came to $40 shipped

Cons: • No LAN port, so cannot function as a NAS without a dedicated connection to a PC or other device.
• No 2.5” drive bracket adapters to secure the drives into the enclosure.
• Small 60mm 2-watt exhaust fan.
• No way to monitor disk temperatures.

Other Thoughts: The HUR5-SU3 was detected in Windows device list as a Western Digital My Book Duo WDBLWE, which must share a hardware controller with this same MediaSonic device. But, I bet I paid a lot less for it!

The Notes section of the quick installation page references a website for additional product information that no longer exists – usbex.com/r52x-01

The Notes section also tells you to visit the product website for a complete HDD compatibility list. However, I am still unable to find one. I was curious if this device supports 10,000 rpm disks, so I sent MediaSonic an email asking if high performance drives are compatible and their response was, “it may work, but the problem is the single fan on HUR5, will not be able to cool the hard drive.” So, yes, but no?

If you found my review helpful in your product search, please check Yes below. Thanks!

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William F.'s Profile

Display Name: William F.

Date Joined: 09/21/07

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  • Reviews: 76
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  • First Review: 12/28/07
  • Last Review: 09/05/16
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