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OCZ TRION 150 2.5
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

Pros: + Fast read speed
+ Nice build quality
+ Inexpensive

Cons: - No cloning software included

Other Thoughts: UPDATE to my original review below. Had to do an RMA which was no hassle at all, but it turns out the issue is with my SATA controller and not the drive itself. 5 eggs for the service, hassle-free RMA (they provided a prepaid UPS slip). Great drive for the price.

Installed this as the OS disk in my home server running Server 2012R2 with an i5-4460 and 8GB of RAM on an MSI H81M-P33 motherboard. I did a bare metal restore from my last backup (the night before), and everything booted right up. The system definitely loads up faster, and applications and the UI in general are much snappier that they were with the mechanical disk this replaced.

I then downloaded and installed the OCZ SSD Guru software, which confirms I connected it to a SATA III port and that AHCI is active. I tried to set up overprovisioning, but it kept erroring stating that it was unable to shrink the partition. It is possible that the Server 2012R2 OS has more restrictions on this type of activity, but I’m not sure. I have to do more research on the issue. But since everything else looked okay, I set off to do some benchmarks.

I used two applications for benching – CrystalDiskMark and ATTO (latest versions). Read speeds are as advertised – hovering around 550MB/s – 560MB/s – very fast. Write speeds, however, are abysmal. In both benchmarking suites, I’m getting a max of only around 77MB/s. I’ve run these benchmarks several times, making sure there weren’t any disk-intensive background tasks running, and the results are always the same. I took several troubleshooting steps after this: checked to see if SSDs had known issues with Server 2012R2 (nope), updated my drivers, flashed my bios, etc. Re-ran the benchmarks and the issue remained. So I’m not sure what to think here, other than perhaps I got a bad one. I plan on reaching out to OCZ support to see if they have any other suggestions.

All that said though, since this is a system disk and I don’t plan on doing a lot of writing to it (all of my data sits on multi-TB mechanical drives), I’m still enjoying the benefit of the vastly-improved read speeds.

G.SKILL RIPJAWS KM780 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard - Cherry MX Brown Switches
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

Pros: + Very solid construction
+ Sleek design
+ Matches the G.Skill MX780 RGB mouse
+ Easy to program macros
+ Easy to change effect lighting or per-key background lighting
+ Pass-through USB and audio jacks

Cons: - Can’t assign the full spectrum of colors to individual keys
- Limited effects, but they are nice looking
- Software not integrated with other products in the RGB line from what I can tell

Other Thoughts: The G.Skill Ripjaws KM780 RGB mechanical keyboard is a thing of beauty. The construction is very sturdy. The lights are bright and they look amazing. Macros are easy to record, and you can also assign lighting effects to each of three “modes”, which can easily be toggled by pressing a dedicated key at the top of the keyboard. The brightness can also be set in the software or by using a brightness key which cycles through different brightness levels, including no lights. It has a full set of media keys, and the volume wheel and LED volume indicator is also a very nice touch. Lastly, it has an extra set of red key caps for commonly used gaming keys, namely W,A,S,D,Q, E, R, F, G, and C. These extra key caps are stored in a plastic compartment that clips onto the top rail of the keyboard. It also comes with a tool to remove the key caps from the keyboard.

As others have mentioned, the software is holding it back a bit. For one, you cannot access the full color spectrum to assign colors to specific keys. In order to see all of the colors, you need to apply an effect such as wave, ripple, reactive, etc. If you want solid lighting, you are limited to 24 or so colors. I was still satisfied with what I was able to create, but it would be nice if I had access to all possible RGB values. The software could have also been designed to be a little more intuitive. But once you learn what you need to do, it is pretty straightforward. My only other complaint with the software is that it cannot be used to also program other G.Skill RGB devices. I have one application for my Ripjaws MX780 RGB mouse, and now this one for the keyboard. It would be nice if I can have a single app to manage both devices (maybe I can and it’s user error, not sure).

After using one model of keyboard for about the last ten years, I have had to adjust a little to the subtle differences between this keyboard and my old one, but that is to be expected. Overall, the adjustment has been worth it. Minus one egg for the software limitations, but still a very solid keyboard. I will never go back to non-mechanical keyboards again.

Honor 5X - Metal body, Fingerprint sensor, 5.5 Inch, 1080p FHD Display, 4G LTE, Unlocked GSM Smartphone - USA Warranty - 16 GB Silver
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

Pros: + Build quality
+ Dual SIM slots
+ Expandable storage up to 128GB
+ Minimal bloatware
+ Fully Unlocked
+ Gorgeous 5.5” HD Screen
+ Fingerprint Reader
+ Preinstalled screen protector
+ Fantastic battery life
+ Price point
+ Marshmallow is reportedly coming
+ Unlocked

Cons: - 2.4GHz wifi only (no 5GHz)
- No app drawer in OS by default
- Protected apps functionality is annoying
- Some notification issues?

Other Thoughts: I am VERY impressed by this phone at this price point. Having just purchased a top-of-the-line iOS phone for over 4x as much money for my wife, I was expecting a steep decline in quality, speed, etc. That is not what I experienced with this phone – quite the opposite. The build quality of this phone is VERY nice, with brushed aluminum back, gorgeous HD screen, and durable buttons. Finish-wise, it is very competitive with my wife's much more expensive counterpart. The OS, although quirky (more on that later), is very responsive, and overall the phone is a noticeable and significant upgrade in speed from my old, trusty MOT XT912 Razr Maxx.

One of the most pleasant surprises about this phone to me is its battery life. I was reluctant to leave my old phone behind because I absolutely LOVE its battery life. I was getting 3-4 days of a battery life between charges with my usage patterns on my old phone, and all signs showed that the newest flagship phones weren’t getting anywhere near that (my wife charges her $800 phone every single day). Well, I got this Honor 5x on a Tuesday afternoon, and it is now Friday afternoon and I still have close to 30 percent left. And that is after installing all of my apps, so it may get even better!

The fingerprint reader was something I saw my wife using on her phone, but wasn’t really interested in since I was used to entering a PIN. But now that I have one, I can’t live without it. My biggest gripe is that it is on the back, so if I have the phone on my desk I have to lift it up to get to it or enter my pin instead. All in all a minor annoyance. The sensor is very accurate and it unlocks the phone VERY fast.

I’m not a big camera user, but this phone’s camera works better than my old one. How do I know? My old camera struggled getting acceptable pictures for mobile check deposits, but this one does it right every time. Other pictures seem quite nice, and they are definitely more than acceptable for my taste. I noticed there are also more camera modes. The video recorder defaults to 720p, but you can change that to 1080p in the settings.

Speaking of settings, that gets me to speaking about the OS, EMUI. I was used to the older JellyBean interface, but I also have some experience with iOS from setting up my wife’s phone and an iOS tablet I have at work. EMUI strikes me as a balance between the two. On plain Android you have an app drawer where you put all of your apps, and then you can have some of them on the desktop. On EMUI, as far as I can tell, ALL apps are on the desktop like with iOS, and you can easily uninstall them from there like you do on iOS. I’m torn about where I stand on this. On one hand, having all of your apps in front of you keeps you from forgetting about them, the end result being you don’t have that one old app hiding in your drawer taking up space. It will also help the transition to Android easier for migrating iOS people. On the other hand, it isn’t as flexible, and long-time Android users may be put off by it. The good news though is that you can install any launcher you want and get your app draw back, so there is that. I have read that the OS hides some settings compared to pure Android, but I have not encountered anything that has prevented me from doing what I wanted to do yet, so no complaints there.

Other than that, my biggest grievance with the OS is protected apps, which by default prevents your apps from running in the background after you close them. You need to actually give your apps permission to run in the background or they won’t. This is the exact opposite of the way Android normally behaves. This is fairly minor, and I have already gotten used to enabling apps right away when I install them.

Video and audio quality is excellent. Voice calls (AT&T) sound good, no issues. Streaming audio services work and sound great. This phone thumps my earbuds every bit as much as the high-end phones I've been exposed to. Videos also look fantastic.

Bottom line – This is a GREAT phone at an unreal price. I will definitely be looking at Huawei and the Honor brand for future purchases.


Michael W.'s Profile

Display Name: Michael W.

Date Joined: 08/04/03

  • Reviews: 59
  • Helpfulness: 34
  • First Review: 06/09/05
  • Last Review: 04/15/16
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