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Pros: - Top line latest specs
- Great value for the price it's at
- Thin and light for a gaming laptop
- Good design
Cons: - Unreliable parts prone to failure
- Poor quality control
Other Thoughts: I really, really wanted to like this laptop and make it a keeper but I went through 2 of these that failed pretty much right off the bat and had to return them. At this price (it's even $150 cheaper as of this writing), you can't find a better value considering the CPU, GPU, 16GB memory, SSD, and 1TB HD. Not only that, it's not some heavy, bulky monstrosity like a lot of other gaming laptops. So it seems great on paper, but the quality control is poor and the machine is unreliable.
The first one seemed to work completely fine until I unplugged it from the outlet. It would immediately restart and or restart at random intervals. It would last at most a few minutes on battery power. The battery was fully charged and I also tried the battery reset pinhole on the bottom. It would not work at all on battery power and had to kept plugged in.
The second one worked for about a week before it started exhibiting a lot of problems. It suddenly started emitting static like noises and high pitched beep and blips. This happened at random, even when the laptop was idle. The speakers no longer worked and would just output static like noise. The red backlighting would flicker as well or sometime not work at all. It would have frequent BSOD's, often with a video card related error or when I was working off data on the HD. After restart the discrete Nvidia GPU and the 1TB HD would no longer be detected. Sometimes the HD would constantly go in and out of detection. Sometimes after restarting, the GPU and HD would come back, sometimes it wouldn't. It seemed random and would drop at any moment, causing data loss.
The bright side is that both machines exhibited these problems very early, and I was able to easily return to Newegg for a refund.
Pros: The drive is very fast and works great - while it lasts. I like the SSD toolbox software that lets you run optimizer and diagnostics. Drive doesn't require periodic firmware updates (or updates at all) - just works.
Cons: The drive is failing after just 9 months of use (just like the reviewer before me). Mine did not die outright but I'm getting random freezes (requiring forced shutdown/restart) and it sometimes fails to boot. I'm lucky that it was functioning well enough that I was able to image the drive and transfer the data to a new SSD.
9 months is ridiculous for how much this drive costs. The price premium Intel charges is unjustified.
Other Thoughts: I understand that drives fail and SSD is relatively new technology even now after a few years. But Intel charges a huge price premium because of their brand and reputation for reliability. And yet this drive died after just 9 months like any of the other much cheaper brands. The sole reason I went with Intel is because I didn't want to worry about the drive dying after a year. Well, it didn't even last that long. The only other drive I've ever had fail was an old hard drive that lasted 9 YEARS.
The fact that the 510 has a 3yr warranty vs the 320 with 5yr warranty should say something about how much faith Intel has in 3rd party controllers (Marvell in this case).
Pros: Popped all 4 sticks into a ASUS P8Z68-V Pro without issues. First boot went fine, the sticks were recognized. Went into BIOS and set it to the XMP profile at 1600 and was done! Works great! I also like that these aren't super high with giant heat spreaders on them.
Other Thoughts: I know sometimes people have issues with this amount of ram where they have to put in 1-2 sticks first to boot and then put in the rest later. No such issues with these on my aforementioned motherboard.
Running this with an Intel i7 2600k on Win 7 64-bit. Runs great!