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5 out of 5 eggs Endurance Rating of 160 TBW is Outstanding at This Price Point 07/21/2016

This review is from: SanDisk X400 2.5" 512GB SATA III TLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) SD8SB8U-512G-1122

Pros: Sandisk quality TLC NAND coupled with N-Cache 2.0 and a customised controller give this model very high endurance plus better performance than other TLC-based drives in this price range.

Sandisk website shows a 5-year warranty for the X400.

Clever cache design and implementation allows many GBs of sustained data before cache is saturated. This increases endurance to a rated 43 GB of Writes per day for ten years. Not even the Samsung can touch that. (Also note that the larger 1TB version offers double this endurance).

Cons: Not as fast on benchmarks as, say, a Samsung EVO.

Other Thoughts: Sandisk have hit a home run with this new X400 model. It's priced like an entry-level SSD, yet it outperforms all those other cheap drives and offers massively greater endurance. You should be able to get a lot of years of use out of this one. Our home theater PC records all our TV shows, sports and movies for later viewing. This is the perfect cost-effective design to handle those duties. In fact, i just ordered a 1TB version as well.

Comparing the X400 to my more expensive Samsung EVO and a Sandisk Extreme Pro, there's no discernible difference in performance. If i run benchmarks then each one comes out with different numbers, of course, but in actual use they perform the same.

A few years ago we had both a Kingston V100 64GB SSD and an Intel X25-M 80GB fail in our two PCs (yes, an X25 actually stopped working!). Both were replaced by the manufacturer with newer models (hooray!). We ceased using the Hibernate feature in Windows after that, and we've never had another drive failure since then.


5 out of 5 eggs MLC NAND Plus Reliability at Low Cost 07/21/2016

This review is from: Micron (MTFDDAK480MAV) M500 480GB 2.5-Inch SATA III MLC (6.0Gb/s) Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

Pros: If you're looking for reliability and low cost at the same time this is it. Using top-grade 20mm MLC NAND from their own factory plus a thermal protection sensor this is the business-class version of the Crucial M500 - same NAND, same capacity, same controller, same features, same performance rating, 3 year warranty, etc.

Supports hardware encryption TGP Opal.

Stable performance; not the fastest by any means but very solid, especially 4K mixed workloads.

Cons: Sandforce controller is very good with compressible data but not as fast with incompressible. On a home PC or laptop you'll never notice any difference, but if you have to frequently Write many, many GBs of sequential data such as massive HD video files for editing, look elsewhere.

Other Thoughts: We've been using the Crucial M500 version of this SSD for a couple of years at home. It has been perfect - fast boot up on Windows 8.1 and now on Windows 10, fast program launching, fast internet browser loading (depends on how many tabs, extensions and your internet speed, of course). I have several large games installed and launching/loading them is just as fast with the M500 as it is with my Sandisk Extreme Pro on a second PC in the other room. I've never noticed any slowdown when transferring large files or installing those large games, even though the rated Write isn't as high as some much more expensive drives.

If you can grab one of these at a low price around a hundred dollars for 480GB it's a bargain.

G.SKILL RIPJAWS MX780 USB Wired RGB Laser Gaming Mouse
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5 out of 5 eggs Lots of Game for the Asking Price 07/19/2016

This review is from: G.SKILL RIPJAWS MX780 USB Wired RGB Laser Gaming Mouse

Pros: Smooth, accurate movement with many adjustable features. Enjoyable to use for gaming as well as everyday tasks.

Looks like it belongs in a Transformers movie.

Physical aspects:
Side grips:
Included for both right-handed and left-handed users. In the photo of the mouse here at the top of the page you can see on the left side of the mouse at the lower edge there's a little shelf that sticks out. That's a thumb rest so you don't rub your thumb raw when gaming for hours on end. The thumb rest is held in place magnetically so you can remove it by pulling it outward/sideways. Notice the little round magnet towards the front of the side grip you just removed. That aligns with the round dent directly below the printed word "Ripjaws" which then allows the side grip to clip/snap into place. In the packaging box there's an alternate left side grip without the thumb rest. You can install it by bringing it up to the left side of the mouse where it will magnetically clip into place. It's easy, no problem. The same can be done with the right side of the mouse. Replace that side grip with the alternate one in the box which has a thumb rest. Now you're set up for left-handed use. In fact, if you want to protect your pinky finger from being rubbed raw, you may choose as i did and use the side grips with thumb rests on both sides of the mouse. It works fine and does not interfere with smooth motion of the mouse.
Height adjustment:
On the bottom of the mouse near the rear edge is a small silver hole. In the packaging box there's a slender metal tool. Insert the slender tip of the tool into the silver hole and rotate the tool clockwise to gradually raise the rear end of the mouse (where the lighted G-Skill logo is). Depending on the size of your hands and how you hold the mouse you may wish to adjust the height. My chair has arms and my mouse sits on a keyboard tray a couple of inches lower than my forearms. So, raising the height of the mouse offers me a more comfortable grip. Play around with this adjustment to discover what is most comfortable for you for longer sessions at the computer.
While the mouse action is smooth it felt a bit lightweight when moving it around rapidly in a first person shooter game. In the packaging box there are two small round weights with rubber surrounds. These fit into slots on either side of the mouse underneath the magnetic side grips. It only takes a moment to fit them in. With the extra weights installed the mouse action felt more positive than before, at least for gaming. I heard from someone that G-Skill may make additional weights available, but i have no knowledge of that.

Tech Attributes:

Sensor and Clicks:
The mouse has a high-grade Avago laser sensor and Omron micro-switching for durable clicking. G-Skill claims it's good for 20 million mouse clicks. I'll update this review as soon as i reach that number ....
Polling Rate and DPI:
Both are adjustable. Depending on your choice of game, your natural hand motion when mousing and the size & resolution of your display monitor, you may wish to choose a higher or lower setting. On a 1388x768 laptop display i might go low, but on a 34-inch playing at 3840x2160 i might have to go high. Program a button for your personal optimal setting.
8 Programmable Buttons:
You can program any of the 8 buttons to do a particular action, program a button to execute a macro, program a lighting effect, and save it all as a Profile. For different types of games you may want to create different Profiles. You can program the mouse to run a specific Profile when you launch the game associated with that Profile. Be prepared to fiddle around with all these options for hours if you have several games you want to customize the mouse for. A 512KB memory chip in the mouse can store up to five "Profiles". One nice advantage of this is that you can connect the mouse to a different computer and still have access to all those Profiles - gotta like that!
The Software:
Download the free G-Skill Unified Driver Software, install it, and use it to set set up all the things mentioned above. Be sure to play with the pretty lighting effects! The software also checks for firmware updates, new drivers, etc. which is important for every programmable piece of gear.

Cons: I've set up gaming Profiles before on other mice, but i started from scratch here. Taking it one game at a time it required several hours (spread over the course of a week) to set up/program Profiles for four games plus an audio editing program i use. It's tedious work, but you gotta do it if you want the desired results. As a left-hander i didn't bother looking online for Profiles i could simply import and install. Maybe there are some?
The appearance and feel of the MX780 is gadget-y, especially when compared to the smooth all-of-a-piece look and feel of something like the Steelseries Rival 300. That's not say the MX780 isn't built to last but i guess only time will tell. While they claim both precision and durability you'll notice that the warranty is only one year which is the same as for a $12 mouse.
Some features only work when the software is up on the screen, not when it's just a System Tray icon. This doesn't bother me but it may annoy some users.

Other Thoughts: In the couple of weeks i've been using the MX780 it has made a good impression. It fits my hand, it feels solid and weighty enough without actually being heavy, accuracy is fine and click action is Goldilocks good - not too light, not too hard, just right. I can recommend this mouse to aspiring gamers who want some quality without going to the really pricey models.


Andrew M.'s Profile

Display Name: Andrew M.

Date Joined: 04/18/02


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