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Pros: Specs on paper are good, especially the 4k random read (single queue), which is essential for fast desktop performance. 5 years warranty also sound good.
Cons: I bought this 850 EVO to replace an aging 840 EVO SSD, which had horrible drops in performance despite the newest firmware. HDtune read rate on the old 840 was very uneven and maybe as lows as 10% of what it should be, so the new 850 EVO should be much better, right? Yes, it was better, but not as good as other new SSDs. I tested the 850 EVO drive with both AS-SSD and HDtune, once after writing it half full of data, and once after a secure erase. After I had copied over 250GB of data via disk imaging, the performance of the 850 EVO in HDtune was uneven, showing a significant drop (maybe 50%) in read rate when reading the logical blocks with freshly written data, and full speed only on the empty portions of the HDD. Next, I did a secure erase and tested again - this time, the read rate was good across the entire (all empty) disk. Note, however, when I tested a BX100 and some other recent SSDs, they were able to maintain the same full performance read speed in HDtune regardless of whether they were full of data or freshly secure erased. Basically, the EVO will slow down once you write actual data to it. This was a huge problem for the 840 EVO, and while the issue has been improved with the 850 EVO, the slowdown issue is still not completely gone. And this is fresh out of the box! Basically, I don't trust any TLC drives anymore, and I am returning my 850 EVO to NewEgg after this find.
What make matters worse is Samsung's really bad RMA process, which you need to utilize once you are out of exchange privileges with NewEgg. I am trying to have my 840 EVO exchanged through Samsung, but RMA for Samsung SSDs goes through a 3rd party company. Samsung's own RMA website (they call it XRA) is broken when you hit the submit button. Instead, you need to find the 3rd party company totalts.com which is difficult to locate to begin with, and which hasn't responded in a week. NewEgg is very helpful with its support, but Samsung's 5 year warranty is useless if you can't actually reach anyone to exercise it. So now I don't trust Samsung's SSD, TLC memory in general, and Samsung's RMA process in particular. Buyer beware.
Other Thoughts: The serious performance slowdown issue of the 840-nonpro, 840-EVO, and possibly 850-EVO should really be handled with a recall program. They tried to fix it with firmware, but it doesn't work. I wouldn't be surprised to see this issue turn into a class action.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: Great price, good CPU, includes everything (CPU, HDD, memory), compact form, HDMI/DVI, serial port, GbE, good Linux compatibility.
Cons: No VGA for legacy components. External power supply brick. Not as small as NUC. HDD removal a bit difficult.
Other Thoughts: I bought 3 of these boxes for general purpose use. Need an extra FTP server? You got it. Need an XBMC media player? You got it. Want to try out a new Linux install? Do it with this box. Need a PC to capture photos from your USB microscope camera? This is the box for you. Need a print server? Want to collect and record some data? Need an extra NAS? And so forth.
I tried Openelec-XBMC, Linux Mint, Ubuntu, it all worked flawlessly. These boxes are cheap enough and good enough that you can use them for almost any low-intensity computing purpose around the house, lab, or office space. The inclusion of a serial port makes it easy to use them for industrial applications, like replacing an 386 computer in some old industrial equipment. For every application, just use a separate dedicated box - this is what I think is called "Linux as an appliance".
The next one I am going to use will be an FTP server (Linux of course) that will try to run OCR on incoming scanned documents.
Pros: Good value for the money, had enough GPU power to last for three years even on a 2560x1600 LCD.
Cons: Flaked out on me in its later years. Eventually kept crashing windows reproducibly.
Other Thoughts: This has been my primary video card from 12/2007 - 12/2010, and during that time I was generally very happy with it. However, I had occasional system crashes and BSODs, which I couldn't really pin down. Eventually the BSOD started referencing ati2dvag.dll I tried changing the power supply, reinstalling the drivers, tried a completely new windows installation, but it still kept crashing especially when I dragged (F7) a circuit schematic around the screen rapidly in SWcad / LTspice for a maybe 20 seconds (that became my test method). It only was stable when I uninstalled all ATI drivers completely, but that's not a workable arrangement either. In retrospect, ATI seems to have issues with their GPUs as evidenced by the "VPU recover" option which is supposed to catch GPU crashes. I mean, why would they need this as a standard feature in their drivers? From now on, I'll validate all GPUs regularly with memtestG80.exeREAD FULL REVIEW