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GIGABYTE GA-X150M-PLUS WS (rev. 1.0) LGA 1151 Intel C232 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

3 out of 5 eggs Good budget board with very limited features 04/07/2016

This review is from: GIGABYTE GA-X150M-PLUS WS (rev. 1.0) LGA 1151 Intel C232 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: + Supports Intel® Xeon® E3-1200 v5 processor, 6th Gen. Intel® Core™ i3

+ 8 channel HD audio (downside is, Realtek)

Cons: - lacks included accessories - 2 SATA cables and metal port-plate, only.

- Keyboard and mouse PS/2 ports - good for freeing up 2 of the 6 total USB ports, but naturally archaic features and wasteful if you only play FPS games, such as myself.

- No ECC support for Xeon CPUs

- No integrated video support

- Limited to 2 RAM slots

Other Thoughts: This is a good, cheap, little Xeon-capable motherboard. It has decent, but limited, hardware and features. The PS/2 ports for dedicated keyboard and mouse ports free up USB slots, but if you have a keyboard/mouse made in the last decade, it will most likely have a USB male connectors and you'll need to get a USB-to-PS/2 converter to keep USB ports free.

In my humble opinion, regardless if you are planning on utilizing a Xeon CPU, check out the sister board "GA-X150M-PRO ECC" that supports ECC memory, provides 2 extra RAM slots (4), 2 PCI-e 3.0 slots, a SATA-express slot, a M.2 slot and support for 2-way Crossfile or SLI.

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Corsair Hydro Series™ H115i Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler. 280mm CW-9060027-WW
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

5 out of 5 eggs Great solution to cooler performance! 03/04/2016

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

Pros: + Pretty large heatsink, greater surface area for disappating heat

+ Greater cooling over active air cooling

+ Nice packaging (typical with my experience with Corsair products)

+ Easy installation

+ Customizable RGB lighting on the pump (though, only great for those who can actually see it)

+ IMHO, the Corsair software has come a long way

+ Self-contained, requiring no maintance

Cons: - Fans are loud - though if like me, not really a con

Other Thoughts: Not going to lie, this is my first time with a water cooler device such as this and I must say, it was a really enjoyable, first-time experience! If you require near-silence with your rig then I would recommend replacing the OEM fans as they are quite 'loud'. If you are like me and noise is not an issue, then these are fine (I have 2 server boxes and 1 dedicated NAS that run 24/7, spinning 26 fans - where disappating heat is more of a priority than running silent. To add to that, there are 4 40mm fans connected to the drive bays for each 4U chassis that sound-off like jet-engines).

I installed this on a Intel i7 3770 that used to run a Noctua C14S. Idle would average 32C and load 54C in a room with an average ambient temperature of 72F. After replacing with the Corsair water-block, idle temps averaged 26C and load was 41C. Note: my CPU doesn't have the unlocked multiplier 'K' model but can raise the FSB clock a bit without making the system unstable - to 4.305 GHz; natively base frequency of 3.4 GHz, and an "up to" 3.90 GHz. Still a good boost.

I had some tried-and-true Arctic Silver 5 laying around and replaced the goop that was pre-set from factory with it. I don't have tests for temp-differences between the two but I have used Arctic Silver 5 for years so feel more comfortable using it over anything factory.

IMHO, the Corsair software has improved. I have used their software for few years or so (K70 RGB, 1000W PSU, etc.) and it has greatly improved. Also IMO, I didn't find the software a PITA to use than before.

It's nice that this system is self-contained! One reason why it took me so long to endulge in water-block cooling is the maintanence aspect of it. It's nice that one can get the benefits of water-block cooling with the maintenance requirement involved.

Highly recommend if looking for a cooler solution for your CPU, regardless if you are an overclock'er or not.

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OCZ Vector 180 2.5
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

5 out of 5 eggs Good performance, PFM+, advanced return policy 01/02/2016

This review is from: OCZ Vector 180 2.5" 960GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) VTR180-25SAT3-960G

Pros: + 5 year ShieldPlus warranty! - advanced replacement

+ 550 MBps (Seq. read) and 530 MBps (Seq. write)

+ Basically 100,000 IOPS 4K Random Read/Write

+ Includes desktop adapter bracket

+ Includes a large tantalum capacitor in case of power failure to prevent corrupt table data

+ Intuitive toolbox software suite, a.k.a. SSD Guru

+ Improved latency

+ Performance unaffected, regardless if reading/writing compressible or incompressible data.

+ 1GB of DRAM

Cons: - Poor lower queue-depth performance compared to competition, excels at QD16.

- Draws higher power at idle compared to competition; nearly 1 watt

- High variation in performance.

Other Thoughts: I still sport 2x OCZ Vertex 4's (256GB) in RAID0 in my desktop for the past few years. I also own the Vector 256GB and have owned the Arc 120GB - up until a power failure caused it to brick. I have owned many OCZ products over the last decade so quite familiar with their products.

One thing that annoys me regarding many drive manufactures is their lack of 'advanced return' policy; at the same time you are sending them a 'dead' drive they are sending you your replacement. While this would be expected in the enterprise environment, it is still as important for consumers to quickly get back up and running. Nice to see OCZ adopting this policy.

Some quick bench-marking results:

Avg seq. read: 347.6MBps
Avg seq. write: 368.3MBps
Avg 4k rnd read: 495.4MBps
Avg 4k rnd write: 484.8MBps

I eventually swapped my Samsung 850 Pro 512GB SSD for this drive in one of my ESXi boxes due to the fact that it has the built-in capacitor and that it has twice the storage size.

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Travis M.'s Profile

Display Name: Travis M.

Date Joined: 01/23/08

  • Reviews: 61
  • Helpfulness: 34
  • First Review: 10/13/08
  • Last Review: 04/07/16
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