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Pros: Corsair really knows how to package a power supply. The power supply itself is encased in a felt bag while the modular power cables are kept in a separate Velcro bag reminiscent of a small battery drill bag. This came in handy to store the modular cables not used during the installation. Included in the box is even a baggy of zip ties.
The HX1000i is a very quiet unit. The units fan doesn't kick on till a little over 400 watts (the manual indicates 400 but during testing, this varied). Once the fan kicks on, it is still very quiet thanks to being 140mm.
Efficiency levels of this power supply when outputting 60 to ~170 watts is <90% on a standard 120v 60hz US power outlet. Peak efficiency measured was approx 92% at ~465 watts. Even with the max power draw I was able to apply, ~600 watts, the efficiency still remained right at 90%.
Corsair migrated to a single 12v rail resulting in a 83.3 amps available. The following are the measured voltages while pulling 60 watts:
+3.3V Rail = +3.33 Volts
+5V Rail = +5.06 Volts
+12V Rail = +12.22 Volts
When the max power draw available for testing was placed, ~600 watts, the following voltages were measured:
+3.3V Rail = +3.32 Volts
+5V Rail = +5.02 Volts
+12V Rail = +12.07 Volts
*These were measured using the Corsair Link Software and confirmed with a third party software.
With this results, the HX1000i exhibits minimal voltage ripple.
The Corsair Link software is a fantastic product in and of itself. For this software to get data from the power supply, it must be connected via one of the two Mini USB ports on the unit. This can be accomplished either by an internal USB header on your motherboard and a mini USB connection on the internal side of the power supply using the included cable or the Mini USB on the external side of the power supply to an external USB port on a computer. The Link software allows you to see the current voltages, efficiency, fan speed, and temperature of your power supply while also displaying temperatures and fan speeds of various other components in your PC.
Cons: The HX1000i utilizes Active PFC in order to reach higher efficiencies. Due to this, Corsair recommends only using a Pure Sine Wave UPS with this power supply. This isn't found in the manual or on the Corsair FAQ but is stated multiple times in their Forums by Corsair representatives. During initial testing, the power supply was connected to a stepped sine wave generating UPS. Due to this, I would experience random warnings from the UPS while also having PC stability issues. Once a Pure Sine Wave generating UPS was used instead, all of these issues were corrected. This is only a 'Con' because it took hunting through the Corsair forums to find this as it's not included in the manual or on Corsairs Technical Support FAQ.
Other Thoughts: At a little over 7 inches deep, this power supply is slightly longer than any other power supply I have owned.
Corsair includes a test button on the back of the power supply but this is simply to confirm the fan is working on the unit, not for a complete power supply check.
All in all, this is a great power supply with quality engineering in place. The 7 year warranty is also a bonus compared to power supplies of the past.
Pros: Western Digital has a real winner on their hands with the My Book Duo 12TB. The external raid device has a wide range of flexibility. The My Book Duo offers the ability to set the RAID as either 0 (default out of the box), 1, or JBOD. Two Western Digital Red 6TB drives are inside providing the total 12TB of storage.
While being in RAID 0 on a USB3 port, read/write rates held steady between 270-285MBps. RAID 1 and JBOD, on the other hand, floated between 150-190MBps for both read and write speeds.
The addition of the two USB3 ports on the back of the unit, while sharing the bandwidth of the main USB3 back to the PC, afford the ability to plug items for either charging or light transfers. This proved especially helpful to charge a wireless headset.
Power saving is also a tremendous plus. The Duo will power down when the computer its connected to shuts down or goes to sleep. Many other external drives requiring external power will continue to run until they are manually turned off or unplugged.
Cons: These drives run hot. The ambient temperature around the unit for the majority of these tests remained around 70F(21C). After transferring data to the Duo for several hours, the drives began to alarm on my WHS due to temperatures of 127F (53C). Western Digital did not include any active cooling on the Duo choosing to, instead, rely thermodynamics to draw cool air through the vents in the bottom of the unit and expel hot air out of the top vents. For intermittent transfers, this works well but not prolonged periods. The specifications for the WD Red 6TB drives indicate this is within their operating temperature range of 32F(0C) to 158F(70C). Heat affects the longevity of all hard drives so this is a little concerning especially for an external hard drive RAID of this size.
Other Thoughts: I performed many of the prolonged tests by connecting the WD My Duo 12TB to WHSv1, FreeNAS, and Windows 8. With a little tweaking on the server side, WHSv1 recognized the entire 12TB and added was to the storage pool. In order to allow Drive Extender to perform correctly, the Duo was set to JBOD. FreeNAS and Windows 8 required minimal interaction in order to get the Duo to work in any of the three available RAIDs.
On a side note, I was able to control the heat issue by placing a USB powered fan on the top of the unit. By doing this, the temperatures came down to a more respectable 97F(36C). Again, the WD Reds can operate up to 158F according to Western Digital but this was for my own piece of mind.
Pros: The Pantum P2502W comes in at a great price point for the features included. Wireless functioned without a hitch. Printer speed ranged from 20-25 ppm depending on amount of text/graphics on the page.
Cons: The toner installation process can create quite a mess. To install the toner, you must remove a thin plastic strip that runs through the cartridge. While doing this, a decent amount of toner is pulled out as well.
Drivers for this printer are not yet available on the painfully slow Pantum website. When I first received this printer, I wanted to make sure to have the newest drivers. After several hours of their site being down, I was finally able to browse for this model. Unfortunately, the site did not have any drivers for the 2502W. Even today, only Asia/Africa region drivers are available for this printer on the Pantum web site.
Paper... This laser printer is extremely picky of the type of paper used. When using multipurpose paper, a random amount of toner would be left on the top of every sheet after printing. To resolve the issue, I switched to laser printer paper and haven't yet had a recurrence of the problem.
Lastly, the paper tray on this printer is not quiet when printing. If you are planning to purchase this printer, it wouldn't be wise to place it in a room where people will be sleeping if you need to print some late night work.
Other Thoughts: The Pantum P2502W makes great strides in getting a wireless black and white laser printer into the standard household by hitting a very reasonable price point. While having to perform the initial configuration via USB was a nuisance, it proved to be only a minor inconvienence in getting the printer onto a wireless network.
If you do pick up this printer, be sure to hold onto the driver CD as the drivers are not yet available for the US on the Pantum website. Also, laser printer paper should alleviate the problems associated with this toner leaving smudges on the top of printed paper.
On a final note, during my testing time I had printed out approximately 150 pages containing a mix of graphics and text and still have 80% toner capacity as indicated by Windows.