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This review is from: Seagate Expansion 8TB USB 3.0 3.5" Desktop External Hard Drive STEB8000100 Black
Pros: Sturdy packaging. It’s a hard disk drive, an item not well known for it’s tolerance for shock and impact. The packaging reflects this.
Clean elegant aesthetics. The enclosure has a very nice look to it and doesn’t use that awful high gloss plastic that’s only marketable use is for collecting greasy fingerprints. The single LED DOES look nice, and fits with the uncluttered look of the enclosure, but it’s positiong is problematic (see Cons).
Plug and play. Pretty self explanatory. The quick set up guide lists two steps: 1. Attach power cable, 2. Attach data cable. Up and running in about 30 seconds.
No gimmicky applications included, just a preconfigured external hard drive.
Cons: Indication LED is top mounted, rather than the standard front mount. Why even put an LED on it if it’s just going to dictate where you’re able to place the drive in order to be able to see it?
Housing feels like it’s made of very cheap plastic. Very rarely do I receive items for review that I have to give negative marks on quality, at worst, it’s a split, but this whole drive’s housing is made of some very flimsy plastic. I seriously think one major impact to the housing would shatter it. I own another Seagate external drive which is made of much much sturdier plastic, it is a year older than this one however.
Only has rubber feet to support it being stood up vertically. Maybe they want to discourage people stacking stuff on it? I don’t know, but depending on where you maybe forced to place the drive, it would be highly advantageous to not force you into one positioning option.
Running the included setup application fails to take you to the Seagate product registration page (which is where I suspect it’s attempting to take you based on the URL). Fairly easily worked around, but why do I need to do that?
1 year warranty is a joke. I started buying hard drives back when they came with 5 year standard warranties across the whole industry, a 5 year warranty today would be absurd, but I don’t see the average user using this drive up and throwing it away even inside that span. I certainly don’t think it’s OK for Seagate to throw their hands up and say “Well, we can’t guarantee the lifespan of this product for more than 12 months!”. That kind of rationale speaks volumes more to me than my other (fairly) petty gripes with this product.
On top of the above point, the drive enclosure has no visible hardware indicating how it can be opened up. Appears to be non user serviceable, in other words.
Other Thoughts: Some real world benchmarks. The files transferred consisted of a mix of large single archival files, and lots of small media and data files. The typical mix of things that a user would want to transfer in the real world. My computers C:\ was used for the transfers. It is a 256GB Samsung 840 Pro series SSD.
100GB transfer onto the drive at an average speed of 75MB/s over USB3.0
100GB transfer onto the drive at an average speed of 12MB/s over USB2.0
100GB transfer onto my C:\ drive at an average speed of 90MB/s over USB3.0
100GB transfer onto my C:\ drive at an average speed of 30MB/s over USB2.0
My final thoughts on this drive are simple: the warranty is not to be trusted. The drive I received is perfectly functional and has been working flawlessly for the better part of three weeks, but in a culture of planned obsolescense, I don’t have a great feeling about only having one year of protection for something that easily has a five year useful lifespan, minimum. I went and looked at Seagates offerings for standalone 8TB drives, and they all have the (current) industry standard 3 year warranty. Considering that, my advice would be to buy a stand alone drive and an external enclosure. It’s unforunate, because I like the all in one plug and play package, and besides my beef with the warranty, my other complaints were fairly minor. However, considering the fact I’m sacrificing two years of warranty protection for the plug and play simplicity, I would go a different route.
Pros: Packaging was more than adequate, not only for a motherboard, but for a motherboard in this price range. It would take some serious abuse to do this board harm in transit. Everything was carefully and individually wrapped and neatly organized into the box.
One of this board’s strongest points is its aesthetics. It’s a very nice looking motherboard before you start playing with all the LEDs, after you start tweaking the LED settings, it really comes into its own. I had already planned on putting my tower on top of my desk while testing, so I could have easier access to the board, but I ended up finding I really enjoyed how my tower looked while testing this board, so much so, that as my testing winds down, I really don’t want to put my computer back on my floor!
Build quality, is in my opinion, the absolute strongest point this board has. On the surface, it looks just like a high end motherboard, but when you start the installation process, and start plugging in components, you start to see and feel subtle hints that this board is made to last. After I finished my install with the board, I actually went and read the overview tab for this board, and sure enough, all the little things I noticed weren’t just there by accident, they were engineered in. The main one I noticed in particular was just how rigid the board was. The only board I’ve ever installed that was more rigid was an ASUS Sabertooth board, but that had a backplate attached to the underside of the board. Other things I can confirm about the quality of the board include the DIMM slots, and the PCIe slots, they are truly a pleasure to work with. I know I’m not the only PC builder who cringes when he has to physically troubleshoot RAM, watching the board bend, and watching the DIMM slots flex, or who feels that you need to support your graphics card until it’s secured to the case. With this board though, I didn’t have fears about either of those. To top it all off, it’s not as if Gigabyte just toughened up the stuff people pay attention to, every header, every slot, port, call them whatever, had a fit and finish to it that makes you understand one of the reasons this board commands a premium price.
Gigabyte’s so called “G-Connector”. I’ve used similar systems before, but Gigabyte’s was the best implemented I’ve used thus far. Instead of an additional pin-out that you can plug your front panel into, the Gigabyte solution is a bracket that allows you to easily line up your front panel connectors. Not something an experienced PC builder will NEED, but it was well designed and implemented, and would certainly help somebody who is inexperienced with PC building.
Board installation went smoothly and quickly. As many other reviewers have noted, flashing the BIOS to the latest revision is simple and well documented, and something I would highly recommend as being the next thing you do after installing the board into your case.
The BIOS is kind of a microcosm of the physical motherboard; pleasing the look at and well thought out. I didn’t do much tweaking besides a mild overclock and loading an XMP profile for my RAM, but clicking through the BIOS, I didn’t find myself wanting any other settings, nor did I ever find a setting that would have been better placed elsewhere.
Cons: All the LEDs you never knew you wanted or needed on your motherboard, but they forgot to include a POST code display? Considering the price, this is a pretty silly omission; I’ve used $100 motherboards with an onboard POST code display. As far as I can tell, none of the other models in this range have this feature either? Even their flagship board? These are just too useful for troubleshooting to not include.
Nit picking? Maybe, but for being the most expensive motherboard I’ve ever used, it still has things that cheaper boards beat it out on. One of them is the rear I/O cover. Yes it’s padded and well made, but high end boards from other manufacturers will take it a step further by color coding and labeling inputs and outputs. Necessary? No, but neither are all the LEDs on the board, but they serve about as much a useful function as an extra fancy rear I/O cover. Not really a con, it just sort of surprised me.
Other Thoughts: Overall, this board at the end of the day, is simply perfectly adequate for everything I’ve thrown at it. Having said that, I have very little doubt that I could push it much harder, safely. The board has handily survived some six weeks with me and I have no bad news to report from that time. The build quality of the board truly leads me to believe I could push this board to its limits, and Moore’s law would make the board obsolete, before any (in)sane thing you could do would harm the board. If you’re in the market for an x99 motherboard, I would seriously give this board series, and in particular, this board, a very thorough consideration.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: Corsair Gaming MM200 Mouse Mat - Standard Edition
Pros: The warranty of this mouse pad is competitive. I looked around and found most gaming mouse pads have a one year warranty.
The mouse pad came rolled up in a hard cardboard tube which offers great protection from being crushed and folded over and ensures the mouse pad won’t develop any creases or folds during shipping.
Build quality of this mouse pad appears to be as good as all the other gaming mouse pads I could gather for first hand reference. Despite having to be rolled up into a tube, it emerged and flattened out no problem. I tried forcefully folding a corner of the mouse pad over to no avail, it simply sprung back to its previous state. I also tried to stretch a corner of the mouse pad out (way more than would ever happen by accident) to try and tear the rubber backing, once again to no avail. Aside from what I mentioned above, the mouse pad feels very well made overall.
In a case of “Does what it says on the box.” the rubber base anchors the mouse pad very well. I usually prefer larger mouse pads to keep them from shifting about, but this one is solid in that respect.
Mouse movement is smooth, accurate, and responsive.
Cons: All was not good on the packaging front. The tube housing the mouse pad has a very strong chemical smell. Normally this wouldn’t even fall under cons but the smell is very pervasive, and it will cling to the mouse pad for a few hours, and to the inside of the tube for days, even if you try to air it out.
I wish Corsair would publish some official care and maintenance instructions about their cloth mouse pads. Really it’s the least they could do, there’s nothing terribly fancy about a cloth surface mouse pad, but they all eventually get dirty, and it’d be nice if the people that made it told you how to maintain it.
Other Thoughts: I’d just like to state my old mouse pad is very similar to the one from Corsair that was tested, it is a cloth top, rubber base mouse pad textured for smooth gliding. It is however, quite old, and has been fairly worn down and dirtied over the years.
Trying to quantify something like this is tricky, however, the way I look at it, pretty much every item out there designed for gaming claims that it will make you a better gamer. Therefore I decided I would measure my performance by playing a game. The game I settled on was Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) for two reasons. Firstly, it’s well known and popular. Second, it has bots, which is important because they ensure a relatively consistent skill level for my opponents.
I chose the most popular CS:GO map (I know the layout of it well besides it being popular), Dust II. To eliminate further variables I elected to not do the customary half-time team swap. I played 60 rounds each against expert level bots with my old mouse pad and the Corsair mouse pad.
To try and make the data more easily digestible I also calculated my kill-death ratio (KDR).
Dust II old mouse pad 60 round totals
Kills: 95 Assists: 15 Deaths: 25 MVP: 28 Score: 272 KDR: 3.8
Dust II Corsair mouse pad 60 round totals
Kills: 122 Assists: 18 Deaths: 27 MVP: 32 Score: 329 KDR: 4.5
I have to say the results surprised me. I feel I was familiar enough with the map and played enough rounds that I reached my skill plateau early in the testing, and wasn’t simply getting better as time went on. What I see in the results is that I had nearly the same number of deaths, but significantly more kills. What this says to me is that during a firefight, the corsair mouse pad allowed me to be more accurate and come away with more kills. In short, a result in favor of making me a better gamer.
Overall, there really isn’t a whole lot to say about this mouse pad. There isn’t much to say about any mouse pad really. What I can say in conclusion is that just like every Corsair item I’ve ever owned, this mouse pad exudes quality. I’ve been using it for about two weeks now and I can say that if you’re in the market for a high quality mouse pad, I would recommend this item. Some may look at the price of this mouse pad and wonder whether it’s really worth it, and it is a subjective matter. If you’re in the market for a high quality mouse pad, I would look no further.