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Corsair Vengeance M95 CH-9000025-NA Black 15 1 x Wheel Wired Laser 8200 dpi Gaming Mouse
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

3 out of 5 eggs Disappointing firmware in what could be a good product 07/28/2014

This review is from: Corsair Vengeance M95 CH-9000025-NA Black 15 1 x Wheel Wired Laser 8200 dpi Gaming Mouse

Pros: Lots of well-placed buttons, solid construction, nice weight (opinions vary), good feel in hand, onboard memory profiles so you can move the mouse to other PCs and start using it immediately, capable (if a little obtuse) software, accurate tracking even on the semi-shiny surface of my computer desk, glides smoothly across the desk compared to other gaming mice, cord sheathing is braided for durability and low friction

Cons: I wish this mouse was as good as the M90 it replaced, at least in terms of its firmware. On paper, it looks better, with its higher max resolution and its lighter-touch buttons (the M90 side buttons required a firm press)... but the thing about the M90 that I liked the most was that it worked properly out of the box.

Now, a year or so after the M95 came out, its newest firmware is still not release-ready. Come on, Corsair.

This mouse is sold as a MMO mouse. Most modern MMOs have the feature that pressing both of the main mouse buttons at the same time makes your character move, and mouse movements steer.

No problem so far. But in a MMO, you typically are doing more than simply moving and steering-- you're attacking, healing, using all kinds of abilities and items. Naturally, the purpose of a MMO mouse like this one is to have lots of thumb buttons that one might assign to perform these abilities. You would want to be able to do them while moving, too.

That's the problem. If you use the mouse in its hardware mode, which is the way I always used my M90, pressing a thumb button to trigger a macro falsely tells the computer that you have lifted off of both of the main mouse buttons, even while they are still pressed. This means that in a MMO, your character stops dead even while you are still telling it to go every time you use one of your main abilities (which are the ones you would want to assign to the mouse buttons). It makes the hardware mode completely unusable.

So hardware mode is out if you use the mouse as I do. If you are willing to give up the benefits of hardware playback (greater compatibility with some games, ability to move the mouse to other computers and use your button assignments instantly, having the onboard LEDs indicating which profile you are using), there is always software mode, right?

Sure. And in software mode, macros don't send incorrect button-up events when the buttons are still down. That problem is solved, only to reveal another one.

When you use standby (sleep) or hibernate modes, resuming from standby has the added function of making the mouse revert to hardware playback mode, even while the "use hardware playback" checkbox in the Corsair mouse settings program is still unchecked!

When this happens, you can change the mouse settings all you want in the Corsair settings, and none of it works (because the mouse is using its onboard profiles without telling you). It could drive someone nuts if they didn't know what was going on! In order to make it work properly, you have to check the hardware playback box and then uncheck it. It will then work fine until you use standby again.

You will have to do this every time the mouse resumes from standby if you want to use software playback. It will be like this until Corsair fixes the firmware-- and given that the thing has been on the market a year like this, it seems like it may be a while.

Other Thoughts: I thought it may be my computer at fault with the issues above. My usual gaming PC is an i5 system with Windows 7 x64... so I tried it on my ancient Core 2 Duo Windows XP laptop too. It did the same thing.

So maybe this particular mouse is defective, and a new one would be better? That's what Corsair tech support told me. They offered to set up a RMA, but I opted to go back to the place of purchase and exchange it.

I still suspected, though, that this was a firmware bug, in which case ALL M95s with the same (latest version as I write) firmware will have the same issues. So I went to the retailer, explained the situation, and they agreed to let me see if another M95 right off the shelf would be any better. I had brought the old XP laptop for that purpose, and I connected the mouse and tested it.

It did the same thing as my M95. No sense in exchanging it.

I didn't get a refund for the mouse, though. Even with these firmware bugs, its still the closest thing to my M90 (before it started having tracking issues a year and several months after I bought it) that is still readily available. I've gotten very used to using the M90; I have all kinds of "muscle" memory with it. I can still use the M95, even if I do have to fool around with the software each time, and I still do hope that Corsair will fix the issue (hence the 3 egg rating despite a mostly negative review.)

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Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

5 out of 5 eggs A modern classic 06/06/2014

This review is from: Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Pros: There are so many! the case is well built-- solid, thick metal, with nice fit and finish. It has a bottom mount PSU (with no bottom grille-- which I initially thought was a negative, but turned out to be a positive... see "Other thoughts" below).

The case has 2x120 front fan locations that can be removed completely from the case (makes using silicone mounts super easy), has plenty of ventilation (CPU and GPU are 5 degrees cooler in this case than in my previous one at lower fan speed), a washable front panel filter, traditional front to back HDD mounting (while some see this as a negative, I much prefer the better ventilation), front panel USB/power/reset/audio/LED is mounted up high (easier to reach when case is on the floor) and are mounted to the case, so you can remove the front panel without issue without it being tethered to the case by the cords.

All of the fan mounts are well-sized (meaning that none of the fan's swept area is covered) and very well-perforated (less metal, more air space) for max flow and lower noise. It has a nice clean looking interior (I don't like the all black look), lots of thumbscrews included, not to mention enough standoffs for a full ATX board!

Earlier revisions of this case did not have a cutout for the CPU cooler backplate, but this one does.

I don't like buttons (power, reset, etc) that require a piece of plastic to flex. They usually break in time. It looked like this case might have had such a power button, but thankfully, it doesn't. It has a very nice, quality feel, and the reset button is small enough to prevent accidental presses. The power and HDD LED are blue, which I find attractive.

I like that it is not a tool-free design. I know you can use screws with the tool-free cases as well, but if you are going to do that, what is the point of tool-free? I built my first PC in 1990, so I guess I am a little old-school.

I also like that the case has only USB 2.0 support. Sounds weird to some, I imagine, but my motherboard (as usual) only has one 20 pin USB 3.0 header, and I like having an internal card reader that works at USB 3.0 speed and has a built-in hub. My card reader now gives me 4 USB 3.0 ports and reads all of the common flash memory cards, which to me is a better use of the sole USB 3.0 header than the two USB 3.0 ports on more recent cases. If this case had USB 3.0 ports, I would end up using an adapter to connect them to the 2.0 headers. Sometimes less is more!

Cons: If you like toolless drive mounts, this case doesn't have any.

For some, the old school front to back hard drive mounts might be a negative-- it restricts video cards to 11 inches (which is plenty for most of them-- only the ones with 3 fan coolers are a problem) and makes it a little harder to get hard drives in and out, but the side-saddle drive cages are also a restriction to airflow. Besides, the design of this case makes it possible to mount and remove hard drives from the front, through the fan mounts! Just unscrew the two captive thumbscrews and swing the fan and mount out of the way, and the hard drive bays are exposed.

The Tricool 140mm fan in the top of the case is pretty noisy at higher speeds, and while you can reduce the speed with the included 3-speed switch, it makes the top fan less usable with motherboard fan control. With the switch and the motherboard slowing the fan, it simply stops spinning at lower commanded fan speeds. Set it to a higher speed and that is no longer a problem, but then the noise is excessive when it gets warmer inside the case. I'll soon be replacing that fan with something else.

I did not even try the rear Tricool fan (120mm). I already have plenty (too many!) 120mm fans I like on hand, so that one got replaced before first power up.

The front HD audio cord should be a little longer. Most motherboards have the header for this on the lower rear edge of the motherboard, and while it does reach, it requires me to route it across the motherboard rather than behind it or around the edge. Similarly, the USB 2.0 cord is very thick and can't be routed between the motherboard and the motherboard tray. Perhaps that is a sign of quality or nice RFI shielding or something similar, but I've never had any trouble with cases that have thinner, easier to manage cables.

Other Thoughts: When I first unboxed the case, I was a little surprised to find the bottom of the case was completely solid and not perforated under the PSU (I admit, this would have been obvious had I paid more attention before I bought. I'm glad I didn't-- I might not have bought the case). This is only the second bottom PSU case I've worked with, and I had thought that being able to pull in cool outside air from the bottom was THE reason for a bottom PSU. Apparently not!

The directions for the case said that with a PSU that has a fan on the bottom (as mounted in a top PSU case), like any 120mm or larger PSU fan would be, you should flip the PSU over and mount it fan up. I promptly ignored that and mounted it facing down, and it works great that way. There's a good half inch clearance between the case floor and the PSU-- which is MORE space for airflow than under my other bottom PSU case that has the bottom intake. That guy has about 3/8" between the floor and the bottom grille, and it has to be on a hard surface (carpet a definite no-no). And that's with the additional restriction of the bottom grille and the dust filter!

I ran Prime 95 large in place FFT and Furmark burn-in at the same time for at least 20 minutes, and the PSU fan barely even moved, indicating that it was running nice and cool. It's the best of both worlds-- the PSU is down at the bottom, not pulling in the hottest air in the case, which improves the PSU efficiency and service life, and keeps the PSU fan slow and quiet... and it can be used on carpet without any airflow issues, and you never need to worry about the bottom air filter. The front one still needs to be cleaned, but that would be the case even if the PSU did pull air in from below the case.

I considered the Antec One and the Three Hundred Two, but because of the features listed above, I chose the Three Hundred. It's a discontinued item, so if you want one, better grab it now while it's still available.

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SilenX IXA-FM20 Fan Mounts
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

1 out of 5 eggs Spoke too soon 05/19/2014

This review is from: SilenX IXA-FM20 Fan Mounts

Pros: Hard to think of any at this point. I was able to repurpose the broken fan mounts as plugs for some holes in the case.

Cons: Every single one of them broke in a week. My previous positive review was posted on the day I installed them-- everything seemed good at that point, and silicone should have good durability, right?

Not in this case. I guess just the little bit of stretch to get them installed was too much (which makes them kind of useless, if the act of installing them ruins them)... it is not even the weight of the fan that did it. I have one fan mounted on the bottom of the case, so that the weight of the fan is not pulling on the mounts, and the mounts on that fan all broke too.

Other Thoughts: Newegg, you need to sell more alternatives to this product.

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Frank K.'s Profile

Display Name: Frank K.

Date Joined: 12/12/07

  • Reviews: 17
  • Helpfulness: 8
  • First Review: 07/23/11
  • Last Review: 07/28/14
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