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Pros: This drive appears to be pretty handy, it's USB 3.0, has an internal battery, can perform backup / copy functions with SD cards, and has wireless capabilities. The overall performance with a PC and using the SD card function was decent and more than acceptable. You can manage the functions via a smart phone and the built in wireless. It's fairly small and light weight, could easily fit in a camera bag for backing up photos / videos or it could fit in a laptop bag or even a large pocket if you so desire. They have included user manuals and reference material on the drive, which is nice to have backups of. Came with everything you would need to use it.
Cons: Status indicators should me more intuitive, maybe a small LCD or OLED display would have suited this unit better, for instance it cannot tell you how much time is left on a SD card move / copy operations. Without use of a smart phone / management software you do not know how much battery life is left in the unit until it is getting low. It does not appear to work with Windows XP at all, at least in my testing I could not get it to function, which is a bit of a downer if you use it like I wanted to use it. The initial few attempts to make the drive work properly with my Apple iPhone failed at points, it would let me set settings on the drive but would not tell me the status of the file system, which was rather annoying. The wireless speeds were under-whelming and could probably be improved. The USB cable that it came with was also a bit short.
Other Thoughts: This drive is nice, but I feel like the next generation of this unit could be improved upon 10 fold. The smart phone app for my iPhone was finicky to get working at first, but after a few tries it worked as described. I also noticed that ever time I plugged this drive into a Windows 7 Box it would tell me the drive needed checked and created a folder of found file parts of unknown origin. This drive also when using it on battery / wifi mode has to boot up before your device can see it, so expect a short delay, it's not instant on, instant off. I did enjoy the feature of being able to backup an SD card, but I feel the drive needs some kind of display, even a low powered LCD or OLED, to give you more verbose status on SD card operations and battery life, without having to use a smart phone. Benchmarks are posted at the bottom of this section, testing with my Core i7 box using the front panel USB 3.0 ports.
I was going to give this drive 3 stars, but I settled on 4 because after I got past the few issues I had with it, it did what it was supposed to. However lack of a verbose display, issues with the smart phone app, sluggish wifi, and silly windows files system checks really knocked the drive down a good bit. It's not a bad product, but I feel Western Digital could do better on the next version of this item.
Crystal Disk Benchmarks
Set on 5 x 100MB
Seq Read: 98.67 MB/s Seq Write: 93.03 MB/s
512K Read: 41.87 MB/s 512k Write: 23.41 MB/s
4k Read: 0.594 MB/s 4k Write: 0.353 MB/s
QD32 Read: 0.672 MB/s QD32 Write: 0.352 MB/s
Pros: Installing this SSD was a breeze. It comes bundled with Acronis, which is a bit of software to help you migrate your current drive to your new SSD or make a backup, if that's what you plan to do. Performance of this drive was easily 3 times if not 4 times as fast as a tradition high performance mechanical hard drive (see other for some of the benchmark numbers I got). It made my desktop computer boot faster, load software faster, and generally the machine is a lot more responsive.
Cons: The bundled Acronis software was a slight pain to use to migrate from my existing drive to the SSD, however I will not knock off an egg for this as it's not a fault in the drive. The drive adapter plate was flimsy and could also use a few more holes to accommodate more mounting configurations.
Other Thoughts: This is my first experience with an SSD in one of my own computers, and I must say I am happy with the performance I am seeing, it's a real difference over traditional mechanical hard drives for sure. I have not seen any reason to give this item less than 5 Eggs as it has been a joy to use, once I got past getting Acronis to work properly, however I will not complain as the people that made the SSD are not the ones that make Acronis and in other situations it probably works fine.
This drive was tested and benchmarked with an Intel Core-i5 4670 on a Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H motherboard with 16 GB of Corsair memory.
My boot time from pressing the power button to being at the Windows login screen went from 55 seconds to 24 seconds with the SSD installed and the OS moved to it.
The benchmark speeds I was seeing are as follows:
Traditional high performance mechanical drive speeds are in ( )'s.
Sequential: Read 450 MB/s (246MB/s) ~ Write 488MB/s (66.66MB/s).
Random 512K: Read 411.7 MB/s (177.5MB/s) ~ Write 477.4MB/s (165.4MB/s).
Random 4K: Read 30.49MB/s (33.93MB/s) ~ Write 100.3MB/s (1.23MB/s).
4K QD32: Read 305MB/s (2.024MB/s) ~ Write 88.88MB/s (1.90MB/s)
These benchmarks where taken with Crystal Disk Mark under Windows 7.
Pros: So far with my few weeks of use I have been very happy with this motherboard. The construction appears to be good, there are a decent amount of options and ports for this class of board. I was happy to see some legacy items, like a PS/2 port and a standard PCI port on this motherboard, granted some may see those unnecessary, in some cases that would make this board much more desirable. There are a total of 8 usb ports on the I/O panel of this board (4 x USB2 and 4 x USB3). Out of the box this board was very easy to setup, I had no troubles in Windows 7 installing drivers and getting everything to work. For a mid-range board there are a decent number of ports and options including a M.2 socket for a Solid State Drive. There are a decent number of case fan connectors and extra USB headers to satisfy the average DIYer. The bios was easy to navigate for me. Performance wise this board runs just as smooth as one of my other machines with a slightly higher end board also made by Gigabyte. I did not run into any compatibility issues with any of the hardware I installed in this board.
Cons: A few issues I have with this board are as follows. The first thing I noticed while I was handling the board is that the heatsinks on the voltage regulators are a bit flimsily mounted, bumping them with my hand was enough to rock the heatsink, I feel like other boards I have handled have been a bit sturdier in this aspect. I do not like the fact that you have to disable some sata ports to use the onboard SSD socket ( granted I did not use this feature). The rear I/O area could be just a bit more organized, for example, putting all the USB ports in one area instead of being spread out and on the tops and bottoms of other ports. For the size of this board I would not mind having it be able to use more mounting screws on the motherboard tray in the area of the ATX power connector and ram so I don't have to worry about the board flexing when I plug stuff in. I do not feel I had any real troubles with this board so I am not knocking off any stars.
Other Thoughts: : I tested this board with the following components: Corsair HX 650 PSU, Intel Core i5-4690, Western Digital Black 1TB HDD, Corsair Vengeance 8 Gb (2x4gb) Low Profile Kit, Gigabyte Nvidia GTX 750 Video Card, and to top it off a Zalman CNPS9500 Cpu Cooler. When installing this board I did the standard run through of making sure the BIOS was the latest version and I got the newest stable drivers for all of the hardware. This is a decent motherboard for most mid-range machines, there are some features and build qualities that do make higher end boards ( including the higher end Gigabyte boards ) stand out compared to this board. This board is going into a media center PC for my parents and so far it's been a breeze to setup and use, Gigabyte is definitely on par with the user experience and stability for the average user here for sure. I did not try overclocking or pushing any of the hardware harder than stock settings as it's not needed for the application this board will be used in. Overall I am giving this board a 5-star rating as I didn't have any major complaints, upsets, or issues with it. I do feel the board could be a bit sturdier in the heatsinking department and the layout could use some improving, but those are not really much of a reason to nick a star off of it.READ FULL REVIEW
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