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Silicon Power Slim S55 2.5
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4 out of 5 eggs Good budget SSD with a great price 07/09/2016

This review is from: Silicon Power Slim S55 2.5" 240GB SATA III TLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) SP240GBSS3S55S25FR

Pros: Price per capacity, the S55 240GB TLC SSD is probably the most cost effective 2.5” 240GB SSD on the market. Cheaper than the Kingston V300, Crucial M500, SanDisk Ultra-II, and Corsair Force LS. It is also more bang for the buck than the slightly larger SSDs in this performance segment at 250/256GB – SanDisk Z400s, Samsung 750 EVO, ADATA SP600. In other words, you simply cannot spend less money for 240GB 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 compare to all other TLC SSDs of similar capacity at around 520MB/s and 490MB/s respectively. However, when the data becomes larger, performance drops quickly. Large file transfer jobs can throttle below 100MB/s after just 2-3GB of data. So, keep that in mind if you are looking for a storage drive instead of an OS drive.

This SSD is built on the triple-level NAND flash technology, aka TLC. This allows for higher density, but sometimes at the expense of performance! If it’s performance you’re after, look to 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 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.

Cons: Firmware updating is supposed to be fairly easy with a downloadable software package from Silicon Power’s website. However, you’ll need a 3rd party extraction tool to unzip the .rar file they provide you. The software version is 1.00, and it is not exactly bug free. On each attempt to upgrade the firmware from v12.2, I get a “LockVolume Failed” error message. There is no help menu or troubleshooting links, so I guess I’m on my own.

The stamped thin metal housing that holds the PCB in place is incredibly flimsy. Due to the lackluster plastic retail packaging, my review sample had suffered some kind of damage in shipping, and thus was slightly bent in the center of the I/O edge. The structural integrity was pretty much compromised by the damage, and I was able to dismantle the entire case with minimal effort using my bare hands (there are no screws anywhere on the housing). Fortunately, the PCB and the I/O SATA connector were unharmed, and the SSD functions without issue.

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. Therefore, I would not use this drive for any type of large data that is being actively transferred. Long term storage would be acceptable though. However, I think the S55 is best served as an OS drive only.

Benchmark testing was done using CrystalDiskMark v3.0.3 x64, and ATTO Bench32 v2.47 on Windows 7 Professional.

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

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SteelSeries Siberia 800 Wireless Gaming Headset
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

4 out of 5 eggs Fantastic headset with a couple minor flaws 05/23/2016

This review is from: SteelSeries Siberia 800 Wireless Gaming Headset

Pros: • Super comfortable to wear thanks to the plush padding in the headband and ear cups. Also, reasonably light weight, which means I don’t get fatigued wearing them.
• Superb sound quality over digital inputs (optical and USB). 40mm drivers provide excellent frequency range with no distortion. Dolby 7.1 sounds fantastic for applications that support it. Otherwise, the Dolby stereo output sounds great too.
• Good wireless range with zero lag. SteelSeries claims 40 linear feet, but I can stream music to the headset while mowing my front lawn 50-60 feet away.
• Includes a slew of cables; USB, optical, 3.5mm, 2.5mm, and A/C power (including A/C adapters for every country thinkable). A free optional Xbox One adapter is also available from SteelSeries. However, on a PC you can be up and running with a single 5V-1A USB cable for audio and power, which makes travelling with this unit a breeze (currently writing this review from my beachfront hotel room balcony).
• Super sexy minimalist design. These don’t look like some juvenile delinquent headphones; there are no flashing lights, aggressive designs, skulls and/or guns. If that is your style, look at the Siberia 650 or 350 series. The Siberia 800 looks professional and respectable.
• The discreet volume wheel on the right ear cup doubles as a clickable menu button and scroll wheel. The push/hold power button doubles as a mic mute button.
• On the bottom of the right ear cup is a 3.5mm output jack for sharing audio to a friend, and 2.5mm input jack for allowing them chat ability. This is perfect for gamers that want to share the experience with a friend who can now bring their own analog headset and tether to yours.
• The Chat-Mix function is awesome. Never again do I have to tab-out of a game to adjust the volume between my friends and my game. The preconfigured EQs are handy too and easily accessible from the menu knob or volume wheel. I can even create profiles customized to my various games and applications. Profile names can contain up to 11 alpha-numeric characters.
• Includes two 3.7V 1000mah Li-Ion batteries, so one is always charged and ready to go. Inserting and removing the spare battery into the transmitter battery port is a one-finger operation. Getting the battery into the headset, though, is a little more difficult.

Cons: • Downside to the plush padding and faux leather ear cups is that the headset insulates body heat, making them hot to wear for extended periods of time.
• Very little passive noise cancelling. I can hold a conversation across a room while wearing the headset.
• Difficult to adjust the headband while on your head. No markings to help relocate your optimal position, so fine tuning is essentially trial and error. Luckily, the thick padding provides forgiveness for skipping a notch or two on the headband.
• High gloss plastic on the transmitter and ear cups is a fingerprint magnet. The glossy plastic also makes it difficult to remove the battery cover on the left ear cup, which requires you to rotate it to remove. Also, the transmitter is a dust magnet that I can’t seem to keep clean, as if it were statically charged at all times.
• No SteelSeries Windows drivers were published at the time of this review. A generic Microsoft audio driver will be installed when you connect the transmitter via USB. Also, the Siberia 800 is not compatible with SteelSeries Engine software.
• No carry case or bag included, which is definitely handy if you’re on the go.
• Lastly, this headset is on the upper end of the price bracket. Personally, I would have a hard time shelling out $300 for this much plastic.

Other Thoughts: Overall, the Siberia 800 is a fantastic headset. It makes my Siberia V2 seem like child’s play. However, I think a $200-250 price range is more realistic as it sits now. But, throw in a high quality padded carry bag, SteelSeries branded Velcro cable wraps, and a 6-month subscription to Twitch and you’ve got yourself a solid $300 product.

Thank you to SteelSeries and Newegg.com for the review sample.

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CORSAIR RMx Series RM650X 650W 80 PLUS GOLD Haswell Ready Full Modular ATX12V & EPS12V SLI and Crossfire Ready Power Supply
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

Pros: I am extremely satisfied with the Corsair RM650x power supply. You can tell that Corsair is proud, too. The power supply was wrapped in a felt draw-string bag, while all of the cables had their own vinyl Corsair branded carry pouch.

Corsair went with high grade Japanese components with long life and durability. The high quality components allow this unit to achieve full power output even at 50C ambient temperatures. Many name brand PSU’s fall short of this benchmark. They also allow it to achieve a Gold efficiency rating. Using 115v AC power, at 50% output it is achieving 90% efficiency!

The RM650x includes a full set of fully modular cables. There is pretty much everything you are going to need for your system. The motherboard and EPS cables are plenty long enough to reach through my ATX mid-tower case with slack to spare. The cables and the sheaths that wrap them are all solid black, which helps to hide them and keep the case interior clutter-free.

Corsair includes a 7-year warranty standard with the RM-x series. The lower end models only include a 5-year warranty. Just another perk of the Japanese capacitors inside this unit.

This unit produces zero fan noise thanks to the zero-RPM fan mode. The unit will run with passive cooling up to about 250-260W, depending on the ambient temperature. Once the unit begins to warm, the fan will kick on, and then gradually climb to the point of maximum power output. Even then, the fan is nearly silent. This is a rifle bearing type fan rated for 0.22A, or 2.64W of power, which should be sufficient to keep the unit operating even at maximum output. Though it’s not the best fan in the Corsair lineup, it will get the job done and should last the life of the PSU.

The RM650x includes all the fail-safes and protections that you would expect from a high quality unit, including over and under voltage, over temperature, short circuit (protects your components on all power rails), and over power protection. The hold-up time also exceeds ATX standards of 16ms, so if there is a quick blip in incoming AC power, your unit should keep right along like nothing happened. (Even still, it’s a good idea to be using a UPS at all times!)

Cons: No Corsair digital link, but then again, this is not the RM-i series.

I wish the peripheral cables came in more variety. For instance, the CX650M includes two different SATA cables; one with two SATA connectors, and another with four SATA connectors. This gives you some added flexibility depending on the loadout of your system, allowing for a cleaner overall cabling job.

I have no other cons to report.

Other Thoughts: To ensure this unit could deliver continuous power as promised, I ran a 3D torture test (Tessmark) concurrently with a CPU benchmark (Prime95). According to my UPS digital display, I was drawing 646W of power. I allowed this to run for 15 minutes, which brought the ambient temperature inside my case to 38C. The PC specs are below for reference.

Overall, this is a fantastic power supply. In all my years of reviewing products, I rarely rate anything with a perfect score. But, this one was a no brainer! I highly recommend the Corsair RM650x!

MSI X99S Gaming 7
Intel i7-5820K @ 4.0GHz
4x4GB DDR4 3.0GHz
EVGA GTX 780 Dual Classified @ 1.0GHz
4x SATA SSD
1x SATA HDD 7200rpm
1x SATA HDD 5400rpm
2x 120mm LED case fan
1x 120mm high performance case fan
1x 120mm AIO CPU water cooler
CyberPower 1000PFCLCD UPS

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

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William F.'s Profile

Display Name: William F.

Date Joined: 09/21/07

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  • Reviews: 73
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  • First Review: 12/28/07
  • Last Review: 07/09/16
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