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DEEPCOOL NEPTWIN CPU Cooler  6 Heatpipes Twin-tower Heatsink Dual 120mm Fans with Blue LED One with PWM
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

5 out of 5 eggs Never heard of DEEPCOOL, but they make a great cooler 08/31/2014

This review is from: DEEPCOOL NEPTWIN CPU Cooler 6 Heatpipes Twin-tower Heatsink Dual 120mm Fans with Blue LED One with PWM

Pros: The cooler was cushioned and held firmly in its box by some nice foam padding.

All the included hardware was partitioned into separate labeled bags based on which socket the hardware was for. Furthermore the installation guide labels every included component numerically, and every bag was tagged with what components were included, all of which helped to make installation that little bit smoother. Besides all the mounting hardware, also included was a small packet of thermal paste, which looked to be just enough for two cooler installations, although it can’t be resealed.

The overall quality of this cooler is quite good, the fans are of equal quality to 120mm aftermarket case fans I’ve used in the past. The radiator fins are robust, the copper heat pipes are well made, the base plate is beautifully made, and I can confirm that the contact patch for your CPU is polished to a perfect mirror finish. The mounting hardware too is all very well made and leaves no play whatsoever after installation.

The installation of this cooler was about as difficult as I expected. Having your motherboard out of your case is absolutely necessary if your case doesn’t feature a motherboard panel cutout. Besides that and some minor issues, the installation should take 10-15 minutes.

The installation instructions were entirely graphical, with text only being used for labeling purposes. They perfectly depicted the installation for my socket. The only notes I would add are that the Intel installation instructions for 775/1156/1155/1150/1366 are combined into a single diagram which features a 775 only step for an “Insulating Washer”. There also isn’t really a step explicit to the installation of the “Retention Plate”, but it becomes obvious by the time you’re there that it slips between the two radiators and sits in a groove on the baseplate.

The radiators are symmetrical allowing you to mount the fans on either side, or even add a third if you can find the proper mounting clips and have enough space.

BENCHMARKS 1

These benchmarks were obtained using Real Temp. Each test was run for one hour. Data points were taken every five minutes and then averaged. Clock speeds are reported in MHz, CPU temperatures are reported in Celsius and CPU load is reported as a percentage. My test rig was as follows: CPU i5 3450, MOBO ASRock P67 Extreme4 Gen3, RAM G.Skill Ripjaws 1600 (4x2GB), Case CM Storm Scout, Thermal Paste Antec Formula 7 Nano Diamond thermal paste.

Stock Intel Cooler

Idle
Clock 2382 CPU1 29 CPU2 34 CPU3 32 CPU4 31 AVG 31.5 Max 34 Load 1.1

Moderate
Clock 2752 CPU1 33 CPU2 37 CPU3 35 CPU4 35 AVG 35 Max 43 Load 8.95

Metro Last Light
Clock 3349 CPU1 54 CPU2 55 CPU3 55 CPU4 54 AVG 54.5 Max 63 Load 48.3

DEEPCOOL

Idle
Clock 1766 CPU1 27 CPU2 30 CPU3 27 CPU4 24 AVG 27 Max 32 Load 1.6

Moderate
Clock 2774 CPU1 27 CPU2 31 CPU3 30 CPU4 26 AVG 28.5 Max 34 Load 12.4

Metro Last Light
Clock 3347 CPU1 43 CPU2 46 CPU3 46 CPU4 43 AVG 44.5 Max

Cons: Despite being well made overall, I did have some quality issues with this cooler. The first is something I noticed while inspecting the fans, which was that two radiator fin corners had managed to detach from the fins above them. They were easy enough to snap back into place but I include it as a warning because the fins are very easily separated. The other is that there are foam dampers between the fans and radiators. I’m not exactly sure what their intended purpose was (due to their poor installation), all I know is that several were missing, and the ones that remained were poorly attached, and didn’t provide any buffer between the fans and radiator. I removed them rather than risk them coming loose during operation because they were literally hanging off the fans.

I also had a few minor issues with the installation. The first was that the back plate came with a plastic cover on it which had some inappropriately strong glue holding it in place. It took me 10 minutes with a rag and adhesive solvent to remove the sticky residue. The second, although noted in the install instructions, was still something I resisted doing until it became obvious it was absolutely necessary. That was having to remove the middle fan in order to be able to screw down the retention plate that holds the cooler in place. It just wasn’t very easy to reattach that fan with the cooler sitting in my already fully built computer, I’m sure it would have been easier with the motherboard out of the case, but that kills the point of having a case with a motherboard panel cutout.

Benchmarks 2

These benchmarks were obtained using Real Temp and Prime95. Each test was run for 12 minutes (just long enough to get a nice high temperature). Data points were taken every minute and then averaged. Clock speeds are reported in MHz, CPU temperatures are reported in Celsius and CPU load is reported as a percentage. An additional data point in these tests denoted as “Time” describes the time taken to reach idle temperatures after a test and is measured in MM:SS. My test rig remained unchanged except where denoted with OC.

Stock Intel Cooler

Stock Clock
Clock 3292 CPU1 76 CPU2 81 CPU3 81 CPU4 80 AVG 79.5 Max 84 Load 100 Time 2:00

OC
Clock 3492 CPU1 82 CPU2 87 CPU3 87 CPU4 84 AVG 85 Max 90 Load 100 Time 2:10

OC2
Clock 3692 CPU1 84 CPU2 88 CPU3 89 CPU4 86 AVG 86.75 Max 93 Load 100 Time 2:20

DEEPCOOL

Stock Clock
Clock 3292 CPU1 53 CPU2 58 CPU3 59 CPU4 54 AVG 56 Max 61 Load 100 Time 0:15

OC
Clock 3492 CPU1 56 CPU2 62 CPU3 63 CPU4 59 AVG 60 Max 66 Load 100 Time 0:20

OC2
Clock 3692 CPU1 59 CPU2 64 CPU3 65 CPU4 60 AVG 62 Max 67 Load 100 Time 0:20

Other Thoughts: One fan is has a four pin connector, the other is three. Both fans also feature three mounting holes in each corner.

Definitely much louder than a stock cooler, and even louder than my case fans, not a bad tradeoff for such an improvement to CPU temperatures.

LEDs are very bright. They bathe the entirety of my case interior in a blue glow.

Remember my mention of having a proper motherboard panel cutout? Since we’re here I may as well clear that up. My case is modified, one of things I did was to make said cutout larger because when I first did this build I noticed that some of the cooler mounting points on my motherboard were inaccessible.

If you were just looking for one sentence to summarize the benchmarks, here it is: This thing runs cool. My more detailed analysis is that across every test I ran, this cooler shows significant (if unsurprising) improvement over a stock Intel cooler. Although there were only very slight improvements for idle temperatures, the benchmarks show an upward trend where the improvement becomes greater as temperatures climb higher. For instance at idle, temperatures were improved by 14% whereas Prime95 tests showed an improvement of around 30%. Perhaps the best indicator of just how much better this cooler is versus stock is the time it took to return to idle temperatures. I would ostensibly say that this cooler is a full two minutes quicker to dissipate latent heat and return to idle than a stock cooler. I would also like to point out no amount of overclocking I was willing to do brought my CPU over 100c, so I can’t definitively say at what point a stock cooler becomes inadequate.

Overall, this is a well-made and very efficient CPU cooler. I’ve in the past been skeptical of high end air coolers, I thought they were just too unwieldy, and that their day had come and gone with the advent of closed loop liquid coolers, but I now see the appeal in air cooling. It’s simple, elegant and effective all without the need of introducing liquids into your PC. The cons I mentioned were fairly minor overall, but just great enough that I felt they warrant mention. They certainly don’t detract from this cooler’s function. I’ve had this cooler installed for about a week, and in that time I’ve been running my PC with a 400MHz OC and this thing hasn’t missed a beat. My temperatures are lower and more consistent, all while running a higher clock speed. This thing has sold me on aftermarket air coolers. Having said all that, it’s still an aftermarket cooler, and as my benchmarks show, if you’re running stock clocks in a low usage scenario, a stock cooler will do the job admirably. Still though, I would recommend this cooler to anybody who actually needs an aftermarket cooler.

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Seagate Backup Plus 5TB USB 3.0 Desktop External Hard Drive STDT5000100
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

5 out of 5 eggs Excellent external HDD 08/09/2014

This review is from: Seagate Backup Plus 5TB USB 3.0 Desktop External Hard Drive STDT5000100

Pros: All included components are well made. The USB cable is tough but flexible and the connectors are strong and secure. The power adapter cable is much the same as the USB cable, the adapter itself is made of rigid plastic and doesn’t feel cheap like most do. The actual enclosure is made of firm plastic that doesn’t have any give. The ports on the enclosure are very secure ensuring a solid connection. The enclosure does not have an internal fan, it does however have an elevated base with ventilation holes and ventilation holes in the rear (the dimples on the side are purely aesthetic).
The drive runs cool and quiet even with sustained operation.

Set up was extremely quick and easy. The included instructions perfectly depict the set up process. The inclusion of the Seagate Dashboard installer on the drive ensures correct order of operations when setting the drive up, and makes registering the product with Seagate even easier than it would be otherwise.

The real star behind this drive is the Seagate Dashboard software. It has a pleasant aesthetic and a simple yet functional layout which includes options such as logging, the ability to toggle the enclosure’s LEDs, check for updates to the Dashboard, and the ability to display or hide certain home screen options.

The dashboard software has three backup operations (PC, Mobile, and Social Media). PC backups were what I spent most of my time testing. First, there doesn’t seem to be any unreasonable limit on the number of backup plans you can create (I got bored after creating about 35). Second is that creating a backup plan is extremely simple. You can choose to use the default plan which is just all the default options chosen (All non-system files on local drives, backed up to your Seagate external drive, continuously) or you can create a custom plan, which allows you to customize what files are backed up, and when. After a plan has been created it can be edited, run manually, or deleted, including all the data the plan backed up, if you choose.

Restoring backed up data is as simple as clicking the large “Restore” button in the Dashboard. You’re then walked through a few screens similar to setting up a backup plan. You’re asked to choose which plan you wish to restore from, from when and what files you want to restore, and where you would like to restore them to.

The mobile app called is called “Seagate Mobile Backup” and is seldom mentioned other than on the drive’s packaging. Despite this it works much the same as the Dashboard including its nice look and simple layout, although you can only have one backup plan to a drive and another to the cloud. You can choose to back up your typical media files, as well as things such as your contacts, call log, and messages. Restoring your data works the same as with the Dashboard except that it only restores the files to their default location.

Cons: The top of the enclosure is made of high gloss plastic, so be wary when handling it unless you like cleaning off finger prints.

I’ve bought quite a few HDDs, and even a few external enclosures, but never a pre-assembled external HDD. The main thing I can tell you is that shipping HDDs is no joke. They’re fragile, and every single one I’ve ever bought has been separately packed and shipped cradled by some sort of packaging designed to absorb shock and crush. The packaging for this drive seemed rather unsubstantial, just some cardboard to hold the drive snugly in its box. No crush space, and nothing shock absorbing.

The two year warranty on this drive is competitive in today’s market, but I think these warranties are inadequate. Not to mention the standard warranty is only for the drive, and not your data.

Seagate bothered to include a couple things on the drive out of the box, including the dashboard installer, warranty information, and some miscellaneous hidden files. The dashboard software offers some helpful links, including one to the dashboard manual, but why not just include it on the drive? Not everybody has a reliable internet connection, and those that do would only be temporarily inconvenienced having to delete a single file off the drive.

Despite how nice the Dashboard software is, after using it and reading over the documentation, I’m fairly certain there is no way to name your backup plans. This would have been a great feature to make organizing and recognizing your plans much easier, especially considering that there doesn’t appear to be a limit for the number of backup plans you can create.

Another omission I found in the Dashboard software was the lack of a unified view of all of your backup plans at once, this would help to accomplish the same goals as above, and if both were implemented, would make managing your files significantly easier.

I feel like I’m nitpicking at this point, but it would be nice if the Dashboard could report the total size of a particular backup plan.

My final issue with the Dashboard software is that it doesn’t seem to offer anyway to manage your data other than deleting it. A setting to automatically compress or even delete old backup data would be very welcome. Furthermore, I find it strange that I’m not given the choice to be able to wipe my backup data, but keep my plan, or to manually delete certain backup points.

Other Thoughts: Drive is default formatted as NTFS with the name “Seagate Backup Plus Drive”. Windows reports a total size of 4.54TB with 692MB already in use.

There are no controls on the drive at all. Not even a power switch. Fortunately though, in my testing I’ve seen no adverse effects from unplugging the drive, whether or not you ejected it from your OS first.

This is going under Thoughts rather than Cons because it’s not Seagate’s fault. Despite getting a year of cloud (by Nero) storage for free with this drive, I was unable to test it because for the entire time I spent testing this drive initially, the cloud registration page was broken. Hopefully if you’re reading this, it’s been fixed.

When using the Seagate Dashboard software for backups, it doesn’t compress or archive your files. It will store your files under “x:\ Seagate Dashboard 2.0\computer name\user name\Backup\random folder name\date and time of backup”. That might seem slightly confusing but if you just look under your drive and click around for a little bit, it should start to make sense. It’s a good thing to know in the event you ever have an issue with the Dashboard software.

The following benchmarks were attained using CrystalDiskMark.
My PC USB3.0: SeqRead: 162MB/s SeqWrite: 191MB/s RandRead 43MB/s RandWrite 114MB/s
My PC USB2.0: SeqRead: 33MB/s SeqWrite: 30MB/s RandRead 22MB/s RandWrite 30MB/s
Old PC USB2.0: SeqRead: 36MB/s SeqWrite: 32MB/s RandRead 23MB/s RandWrite 32MB/s

The benchmarks show two things. First, that USB3.0 is going to yield the best performance. The second requires some explanation. There is a massive generation gap between my PC and the old PC I used. Despite this, the benchmarks attained were broadly the same. My conclusion is that your PC would have to be quite marginal before you saw a negative impact on performance.

The following benchmarks were attained using a 10GB video file and the Windows copy command.
My PC USB3.0: File transfer to drive: ~200MB/s, File transfer from drive: ~130MB/s
My PC USB2.0: File transfer to drive: ~35MB/s, File transfer from drive: ~31MB/s
Old PC USB2.0: File transfer to drive: ~33MB/s, File transfer from drive: ~34MB/s
These benchmarks show broadly the same thing (even at nearly identical speeds!) as the CrystalDiskMark benchmarks, but nonetheless are more realistic.

Overall, I like this drive. It’s well built, looks nice, works perfectly, and all the models are competitively priced. Everything I listed as a con was quite minor, and only included because Seagate has proven receptive to such critique. This exact model (5TB) is doubtlessly overkill for some people. No matter which model you choose, if you end up with more storage space than you need, it just ensures that you’re able to keep more versions of your backed up files. In the time I’ve used this drive, it’s worked perfectly, with no intervention needed by me after initial setup. I would recommend this series of external HDDs to anybody looking to kee

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Link Depot MUSB-3 3 ft. Black USB A/male to Micro USB 5 pin male
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: more than 1 year

5 out of 5 eggs Does what I need it to 06/20/2014

This review is from: Link Depot MUSB-3 3 ft. Black USB A/male to Micro USB 5 pin male

Pros: Good build quality, connectors are nice and sturdy, cable is tough but flexible.

Cons: None.

Other Thoughts: I use this cable with my phone because the one my phone came with is being monopolized as my main means of charging my phone. I've tried, and this cable can do that too, but I just use this for data transfer.

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Kyle K.'s Profile

Display Name: Kyle K.

Date Joined: 12/15/07

Achievements:

  • Top 1000 Reviewer
  • Reviews: 96
  • Helpfulness: 27
  • First Review: 12/22/07
  • Last Review: 08/31/14
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