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OCZ ARC 100 ARC100-25SAT3-120G 2.5
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: • An excellent marriage of capability with cost, clearly a value product.
• Competition in this market segment is significant but this should be on your value short list.
• Toshiba is a quality manufacturer, in my opinion a definite step-up from the original OCZ corp.
• It likes to have multiple programs actively running at once.
• An excellent upgrade at the excellent price for your OS from a hard drive.

Cons: • A basic SSD with no accessories or software. Depending on your hardware and software needs, this may or may not be a problem. Software/firmware available via their web site.
• There are a number of faster SSDs, remember it is a value product. The published “up to” speeds are fantasies (max rating for many SSDs are similarly extreme). A number of reviews with speed test results, mine are similar with Sequential Read: 369 MB/s Sequential Write: 370 MB/s, average values of 5 tests.
• Uses 19nm flash memory, Micron 16nm is quickly becoming the standard, but again it is a value product.
• 3-year warranty is not outstanding. The MTBF (mean time before failure) is reasonable. At their cost, you might just replace if a failure occurs after the warranty ends.

Other Thoughts: • ALWAYS backup any storage device.
• I consider this size (120G) a good size for operating systems plus a few applications.
• You could use this with another in a RAID0 array to improve the speed but a failure of one is obviously a problem for the array and your data.

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Seagate Expansion 5TB USB 3.0 Desktop External Hard Drive STBV5000100
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

2 out of 5 eggs Have concerns 01/12/2015

This review is from: Seagate Expansion 5TB USB 3.0 Desktop External Hard Drive STBV5000100

Pros: - High capacity – good price per TB
- Plug-in and go
- Built-in registration when you boot it.
- USB3 showing ~200MB/s read and ~180MB/s write from test results with 15G file
- Portable

Cons: - No on-off switch. To be save, you should shutdown system before unplugging.
- 1 year warranty in US (2 years EU) as per box and PDF warranty file included. Far too short for such a big drive.
- Long term failure rates on this drive unknown.
- How do you backup such a large drive since it would take ~7 hrs if full? For me this is not a practical size for critical usage, i.e., for storage of stuff I can’t afford to lose.
- Spending a little time looking around the web and here at Newegg: negatives reviews, 1 egg (or star) runs about 20-25%. Not good.

Other Thoughts: These are points that may well reflect my personal bias but:
- Unclear how I would use it. I would NOT use it to either store or backup critical files, failure would be a catastrophic problem.
- If I can’t trust it, why would I buy it?

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GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-UD5H LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: My board shipped with the latest bios (F8) so I didn’t have to update them. Past experience with other boards is that updating the bios is often needed.

My Pros come from a hardware standpoint. You might say these are what you should expect from top-line feature-rich motherboard.
- Well built
- Quality hardware (capacitors – rated at 10,000hrs) with anti-surge and short-circuit support plus dual bios.
- 8 6Gb/s internal SATA connections provide excellent flexibility considering current generation of HDs and SSDs.
- Capability for M.2 or SATA Express if you have those. (I do not either of those pieces of hardware so can test that capability.) Using this will take up a couple of your SATA ports.
- On-board Intel video (HD4600) is a solid performer in case your graphics card is getting a bit old.
- Flexible graphics output with D-sub, DVI-D and HDMI ports.
- On-board audio acceptable unless you’re an audiophile.
- LED diagnostic display that can be extremely helpful should you encounter boot hardware problems.
- Dual LAN capability with Killer E2201 and Intel Gigabit adapters.

Cons: - The system fan header's location is different than most I’ve seen. At the far end of the board away from the CPU and memory. Make sure your system fan leads are long enough or get some extensions.
- I don’t like the UEFI setup -- not at all intuitive for me but that could be just me. Good news is the you’re just a click away from a legacy bios setup.

Other Thoughts: Should you consider an upgrade from a Z87 board? I would say no unless you want to use the M.2 or SATA Express capability now.
Should you consider an upgrade from an older motherboard, pre-Intel 8 series? Yes, this should be a consideration. It’ll work with the current Haswell and Devil’s Canyon CPUs plus the future Broadwell CPU.

The board booted straight out of the box, no problems. A Microsoft OS is always a hassle with new hardware, requiring ~5 minutes to reactivate the OS.
Overclocking:
- I was unable to use Gigabyte’s EasyTune, that is particular to my OS setup so not typical to others.
- Manual overclocking is pretty straight forward if you’ve done it before. If not there are a number of overclocking guides on the web, look at them before you try it.
- Works well with my i7-4770K (running 4.7G using 1.325V, have not optimized this speed for voltage – voltage might need less).

Test-bench setup:
GA-Z97Z-UD5H (bios F8)
I7-4770K
GSkill 8G (F3-2400C9-4FTXD)
Windows 7 64bit (fully updated) on Samsung 840 Pro 120G

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Ralph N.'s Profile

Display Name: Ralph N.

Date Joined: 05/04/02

  • Reviews: 36
  • Helpfulness: 19
  • First Review: 05/29/06
  • Last Review: 01/31/15
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