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This review is from: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO - CPU Cooler with 120 mm PWM Fan
Pros: I have used a myriad of aftermarket CPU coolers in my 20+ years of building machines, however this one simply takes the cake. Incredibly solid build with all applicable hardware for virtually any CPU included. Installation was a bit of a pain only because my case (CoolerMaster HAF922) has the cutouts in the back to access the backplane, however 2 of the screws were slightly covered thus I had to take out the motherboard for install. Not a big deal, but didn't expect this with 2 coolermaster products ;) This is on an AM3 board. Included fan is surprisingly very good and CM provides the bracket to add an additional PWM in a push-pull config. Luckily with my case and fan structure, this isn't even needed. Thermal paste is included, though I chose to use my MX-4 paste in lieu.
Now for the temps. I averaged 33c-56c idle-to-load prior to installing this cooler. After installing, I'm now running 22c-36c. I have not broken 36c even at full load. I'm very satisfied with the improvement and this is exactly what I was expecting.
Now for the unforeseen "bonus". After installing this cooler, my video card (GTS450 Fermi) temperatures dropped CONSIDERABLY. Perhaps this is because the previous stock cooler was simply pushing air down on the heatsink and spreading towards the close-by GPU. Either way, temps were 30c-75c idle-to-load previous and they are now 24c-60c. I also noticed when I am done playing a game (and the temperature is maxxed at 60c), it very quickly drops back down to its idling temperature in the 20-30c range. Very impressive!
Cons: Some.... but probably more accurately, most, will need to remove their motherboard to install the backplate bracket. No complaints there really, gives one an opportunity to do some wire management!
My one complaint about this cooler, and this is probably for those at CM's warehouse, but the silica gel beads included in the package completely exploded during shipping. There was silica beads EVERYWHERE, including stuck in the fins of the heatsink. Took me about an hour to pry them all out very carefully with a butter now
Other Thoughts: Could not be happier with the performance of this cooler, especially for the price tag. Can't wait to upgrade this dinosaur AM3 to a new i7!!READ FULL REVIEW
Cons: Purchased this drive 11/29/13 and as of 5/6/14 the drive is now failing.
I have this drive as my storage/download to location for my home workstation and in no way does this drive get pounded by IO. Maybe a few small downloads a day, very minimal reads but really nothing that could have caused any sort of damage in under 6 months in use.
In this particular machine, I have a Samsung SSD for my Windows install, a 400GB Seagate 16mb cache SATA2 drive that I purchased back in 2007/08 (used for media streaming to xbox etc) and this 2 TB Seagate 64mb cache drive. I begun hearing the "HD Impending Doom" noise in one of my drives. Clicking and almost a "zapping" like noise and I suspected this to be my 400GB dinosaur drive finally dying. I began copying data from that drive to the 2TB external and noticed transfer speeds were only peaking around 40mb then promptly dropping to 0 and flat lining. The graph looked like the Rocky Mountains and literally took the entire night to complete.
So I fired up HD TunePro and did some further testing and identified the failing drive as the 2TB one in my rig. Sequential reads were barely breaking 15 IOPS and latency was through the roof. The 400GB Dinosaur was still performing as adequately as it has for years, yet this new model 2TB is failing under 6 months. Luckily, I was able to get all of my data off without issue and verified a previous backup, however now the performance is degraded beyond usability.
Other Thoughts: So now I'm off to try to RMA this thing after not even 6 months of use. I've heard many "rumors" and read plenty of posts that Seagate's quality has plummeted in recent years. Seems like those thoughts have been verified (at least for me) as this is not the typical Seagate prowess like I have been accustomed to in the past. Very disappointed but it is what it is. Not even too sure if I want to run my future replacement as I have previously. Might just use it as another seldom-used backup drive. Perhaps I should have gotten the WD Reds afterall :(READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: APC BR1300G Back-UPS Pro 1300 VA 10-outlet Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)
Pros: I've been using APC UPS's for the better part of 5 years without any real major issues with the units themselves. I have had a nearly flawless experience with APC and I continue to use these UPS in both my home and work enviornments.
Currently, I have connected: Gaming rig, mini-ITX NAS/media server, 3 monitors, switch, Verizon router, speakers, laptop dockingstation, and my old legacy AMD dualcore PC. With the gaming rig on full blast and NAS (with monitors and peripherals), I've got about a 35-40% load on the unit. I suspect I could run ALL of the connected devices on it simultaneously and still not be near 80-90% load.
I have the USB cable from the UPS connected to my NAS and Server 2012 recognizes that it is connected to an UPS (shows battery fully charged).
Overall, this is an excellent buy for the price. It is also expandable with another battery pack to double the standby power availability.
Cons: PowerChute is an absolutely atrocious piece of software. Why does this STILL require .NET 2.x? Seems like it hasn't been updated in YEARS. Come on APC....you guys need to match the excellent hardware design with some quality software. This is my only complaint.
Other Thoughts: Highly recommend getting the additional battery pack to double your standby life.READ FULL REVIEW