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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.
This review is from: Belkin WeMo F5Z0489 WiFi Enabled LED Lighting Starter Set
Pros: One of the few positives about this item is its build quality. To be honest, I expected nothing less from Belkin. They’re my main go-to company for cables, surge protectors, and some other items. The bulbs have a good weight to them, feel well made, and are devoid of any loose internal parts. I tried them in several sockets in my house and they fit snugly into every single one. The WeMo Link is also quite well made. The plastic is strong and prevents the LED from bleeding through, has a decent weight to it, and plugged securely into every outlet I tested it in.
The only thing I liked about the application was how simply (and to my surprise, smoothly) it would switch from WiFi to a mobile connection, while still maintaining a connection to the WeMo Link.
When the app works correctly, which is seldom, it is very easy to setup rules and schedules for your bulbs.
Will work as dumb bulbs.
Cons: Unfortunately, the thing which has to support this product, is the thing that ultimately dooms it: its mobile app. First, despite the app having an appealing look, this was done in the form>function manner. Every single clickable button or link lacks proper styling and feedback. This makes it impossible to tell what they are, where they are, and if you’ve managed to click them or not. The former problem is exacerbated by the app’s second major problem: poor response time. I’m not entirely sure how an app that has to do so little can perform so poorly on an HTC One M8 (friends phone, see below), but this manages to do it.
Didn’t work on my device. I’m not sure why such a simple application couldn’t have been made compatible with more devices (older version of Android), but there ya go. If you choose not to heed my warning, at least make sure your device is compatible
The setup was frustratingly difficult. Despite the instructions being clear and concise, they make the assumption that everything is going to work beautifully together.
Admittedly, the installation did go correctly the first time, but the first thing I was prompted to do was upgrade the firmware of the WeMo Link. The updater said to allow up to 15 minutes for the update, which I did, and then another 15, but in the end, I couldn’t connector to the WeMo link, so I had to reset it and begin the installation again. I guess the firmware update had some effect, because connecting to the WeMo link was extremely hit and miss, certainly not as simple as the first time around.
Other Thoughts: The warranty is broadly speaking, average. I wasn’t overwhelmed with the number of “smart bulbs” available on the market, but the ones I did find had warranties ranging from 1 – 2 years. Although Newegg lists this item as having a 1 year warranty, Belkin states that it in fact has a 2 year warranty.
Packaging was adequate. Belkin wasn’t adventurous in their choice of egg-carton style cardboard to cradle the bulbs and the WeMo Link, but if you go pick up a pack of standard lightbulbs, the packaging won’t wow you either.
To save you having to do some math, Belkin claims these bulbs have a 25,000hr lifetime.
Color is yellowish to mimic sunlight.
I won’t lie, I never really saw this product as being of any use to me, but being a starter kit, I figure one of its jobs was to sell me on the whole “control your home from your phone” idea. Unfortunately, the point where everything broke down was as soon as I installed the app on my (friend’s) phone. It simply doesn’t work right, and it drove me even further away from the idea. Really, when you total up the amount of hassle, time, and money this will cost you, it more than negates any possible convenience that could be provided, especially when measured against just buying a pack of CFLs and flipping a light switch. Even with the build quality being quite good, I couldn’t recommend this product to anybody, even somebody in the market for a product like this.
This review is from: DEEPCOOL Gamer Storm CAPTAIN 240 CPU Liquid Cooler AIO Water Cooling Ceramic Bearing Pump Visual Liquid Flow with Dual 120mm FDB PWM Fan Rubber Coating Deep Silent Support LGA 2011-v3
Pros: The same as my previous Deepcool cooler, all the components are separated based on socket, and labeled numerically so that they’re easy to find and can be referenced in the installation instructions.
I was impressed by the quality of the cooler and its components. The radiator and heat sink healthily survived a rigorous installation with many test fittings, and a lot of position tweaking. The tubing feels strong, and the connections appear well sealed. The fans have a good weight to them and feel well made, the outer housings are made of hard rubber to cut down on nice, the inner cowlings are made of plastic to help improve air flow, and the wires have a nice wrap around them. All the installation hardware is well made and helps to fit everything together perfectly ensuring no play is left in the components after installation.
The only portion of the installation I did as shown in the instructions was the installation of the heat sink. The instructions are entirely graphical, and for the most part do a good job demonstrating the installation. They do manage to leave out one note which left me slightly confused. The “screw bolts” need to be rotated after being placed in the back plate until the “insulative cushions” can be slid over them with minimal effort. If you’re having to force them onto the back plate, you need to turn the screw bolts until they properly slot into the back plate.
The heat sink looks awesome. It’s a real shame that my set-up has my tower hidden away so thoroughly. The red LED heartbeat compliments my red LED case fans beautifully.
At idle the fans make no more noise than my case fans, I do have five 120mm case fans though. The fans do become loud enough to drown out the rest of my fans once temps start to climb, but that’s expected. The fan hub is a nice addition to the included components, although it’s larger than a splitter cable, it does have the advantage of allowing you to expand to a four fan push/pull configuration very easily.
These benchmarks were obtained using Real Temp. Each test was run for 30 minutes. 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. My test rig was as follows: CPU i7 4770K, MOBO ASUS Sabertooth Z87, Case CM Storm Scout 2, Thermal Paste Antec Formula 7 Nano Diamond.
Stock Intel Cooler
Clock 3864 CPU1 32 CPU2 28 CPU3 31 CPU4 30 AVG 30.3 Min 25 Max 36 Load 1.1
Clock 3837 CPU1 54 CPU2 43 CPU3 43 CPU4 41 AVG 45.4 Min 38 Max 60 Load 16.4
Metro Last Light
Clock 3813 CPU1 55 CPU2 52 CPU3 54 CPU4 57 AVG 54 Min 47 Max 62 Load 23
Clock 3876 CPU1 30 CPU2 25 CPU3 30 CPU4 28 AVG 28.3 Min 22 Max 34 Load 0.8
Clock 3845 CPU1 44 CPU2 34 CPU3 35 CPU4 34 AVG 36.6 Min 32 Max 49 Load 16.8
Metro Last Light
Clock 3816 CPU1 45 CPU2 42 CPU3 45 CPU4 49 AVG 45.5 Min 41 Max 54 Load 23
Cons: Although nothing was wrong with the cooler, the packaging was sparser than I would have liked to see. The radiator and heat sink had no additional cushioning besides their semi form fitting cardboard carton. I suspect this could be the cause of some of the damaged units other reviewers received.
The tubing is high gloss plastic... very poor finish choice because it makes the tubing look perpetually wet. My other complaint with the tubing is that they are quite stiff, making it hard to work around internal components. In particular, there’s a good chance you need to work the tubes over or around your RAM, and having them be so stiff puts unnecessary stress on their connection to the heat sink.
As cool as the heat sink looks, I’ve never been a fan of putting design ahead of function. Even though the heat sink functions correctly and feels well made, the glass tube seems like a conspicuous weak point. It also gets in the way of the mounting brackets if you found yourself needing to mount them in that particular orientation.
These benchmarks were obtained using Real Temp and Prime95. Each test was run for 15 minutes. Data points were taken every 15 seconds 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
Clock 3498 CPU1 98 CPU2 96 CPU3 96 CPU4 93 AVG 95.7 Min 90 Max 105 Load 100 Time 2:00
FAILED – As far as I’m concerned, temps instantly shooting up over 105 for all cores is just too hot.
Clock 3498 CPU1 71 CPU2 68 CPU3 70 CPU4 65 AVG 68.5 Min 64 Max 75 Load 100 Time 0:15
Clock 4107 CPU1 98 CPU2 96 CPU3 95 CPU4 88 AVG 94.3 Min 86 Max 103 Load 100 Time 0:20
Other Thoughts: I didn’t mention the full installation until now because I was simply unable to do the installation as illustrated because of case constraints. Instead of mounting the fans and radiator inside my case, I had to mount the fans inside my case, and mount the radiator on the outside top of my case. This necessitated that I go out and buy slightly longer screws because I had to mount the fans, to the radiator, through my case (the screw holes for top fans were recessed, not flat). Beyond that, the reservoir cap made it impossible to mount the radiator flush to the top of my case, which forced me to break out the Dremel and cut a slot out of the top of my case. To do THAT I had to strip the top of my case to bare bones. I’d always known that if I wanted to use a 240mm radiator that it would need to be top mounted, I just didn’t foresee the ordeal I would have to go through to accomplish that.
A sub point to the above, more of a word of caution actually: be wary of how much space you have inside your case. Realistically, you’ll want about two inches of open space for the radiator and fans wherever you decide to mount them.
I’ll save you the research: This cooler has an average warranty. I’ve seen similar coolers with warranties as low as a year, and as high as six.
Did not come with thermal paste.
The promo images for this cooler show different tubing than comes on the unit. The product preview images are accurate.
I didn’t run as many benchmarks on this cooler as my previous one. Because of how hot 4th gen core i processors run I found that just turning the CPU multiplier from 39 to 42 took my temps as high as I was willing to let them go. Still, some meaningful conclusions can be reached. First, the not so surprising, this cooler runs circles around a stock Intel cooler. The second is that a stock cooler will keep your CPU within a comfortable range unless you’re constantly torturing it. Under load is where the greatest drops are seen. This cooler was able to drop my Prime95 temps down to acceptable levels. Although after the OC, the temps were still very high, they were nothing like on a stock cooler, and most importantly, didn’t climb any higher.
Overall, this is a great cooler with just a few minor design flaws. I’ve always liked the idea of liquid cooling, but never found myself willing to take the plunge. Their set-up is definitely more involved than an air cooler, and can present unique challenges, but overcoming those challenges will net you a novel solution to CPU cooling. In the time I’ve had this cooler it’s helped to keep my computer cooler, make it look cooler, and not required my attention since its install. As with any aftermarket cooling solution, I could only honestly recommend this to somebody who actually regularly stresses their CPU and who would be able to tackle the unique challenges that a liquid cooler can bring to the table.