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This review is from: Mushkin Enhanced Ventura Ultra 120GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive Model MKNUFDVU120GB
Pros: + tough casing
+ fast performance
Cons: - large
- exterior looks cheap
- not as fast as advertised
Other Thoughts: I was torn between this and the Sandisk Extreme drive. What won me over was the casing. I was worried that the plastic keychain hole on the Sandisk looked thin and flimsy, and was likely to break. There was an extreme pro model that had a more robust piece of metal there, but it was very pricy.
This flash drive will not get lost. That piece is metal. It will not break. It's also huge, making it even more difficult to lose. This thing is so large, you are basically giving your car keys a handle.
The drive is lighter than I thought. Very tough, but very light. It feels like you are holding a maglite. I could probably kill someone with it if I swung it just right.
The sticker on the side is a bit obnoxious. It is one of those rounded protruding decal stickers, so it looks cheap, and the painted exterior keeps the cheap look going.
The rubber cap is not going to fall off. I came from a Lacie CooKey that had served me well for 4 years. I accepted that I will not get the performance I want in that form factor. I accepted that if I want a flash drive that doesn't short out, I need one with a proper USB connecter. I still hated the idea of a cap. This one is a good quality rubber that fits perfectly. It will not accidentally fall off, but you can still misplace it.
This drive is not as fast as the ad leads you to believe. My mac was only able to able to hit 120 write, 190 read. Windows was a little slower. I believe that comes from buying the 120 gig model rather than the 240. This is big for a flash drive, but it is really a small SSD. Higher capacities will perform better.
This drive wins me over in a few ways. First, it's not going to break free from my keychain like I believe the Sandisk would. Second, even though it is cheaply painted and bedazzled, it is a very sturdy piece of equipment. Third, I get much more capacity per dollar than I would with the Sandisk.
My only worry is the controller. These use the infamous SF-2281 controller. While I never use Sandforce based drives, I was willing to take the risk on an external drive. So far, it runs just fine, and should anything come up, the firmware is upgradable, so it's more about Mushkin backing the product than Sandforce. Time will tell if this becomes an issue.
Finally, these do get warm while in use. They do not get hot. They will not burn you, melt your computer, or burn a hole to the center of the earth.
Pros: good integrated graphics
good CPU performance
built for overclockers
Cons: Why does AMD still use pins instead of pads?
only available drivers were still in beta
Other Thoughts: I prefer giving buisness to AMD and a separate graphics card just wasn't practical for this build. I was able to overclock this on stock volts to 4.4Ghz, but backed it down to 4.2 just in case. (Baby's first overclock)
The GPU performance was terrible at first. Starcraft II couldn't hit 60fps unless settings were all set to low. I installed the ram into every other slot (spacing between them) and that helped for some weird reason, but when I over clocked that to 2400, THAT made the difference. Do not underestimate the impact of speedy ram on the GPU. I was able to overclock the GPU to 900 easy and wow, what a difference that made too.
This is the first time I have had an AMD chip since the old Athlon/xp/64 days and felt I made a good decision. This feels like an average intel in day to day use, but the graphics, while no replacement for a dedicated card, have some real muscle to them.
The only reason I complain about the pins vs pads is i dropped it while opening the package and had to bend a pin straight again. Seriously AMD, enough with the pins already.
I didn't try the stock cooler. AMD hasn't made a good heatsink since the Phenom II 955.
This review is from: Microsoft Windows 8.1 64-bit
Pros: Very fast
Cons: the UI gets in the way of whatever you are trying to do
hides everything from the user
Other Thoughts: You can tell MS had some fantastic ideas and really wanted to try something new here, but it has come out worse than GNOME shell. This interface is great for a phone, okay for a tablet, and abhorrent for a desktop.
No wonder PC sales were so bad last holiday season.
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