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Pros: * I’ve been a Logitech devotee for at least twelve years. Corsair’s peripherals never just made enough of an impact on me to switch over to their mouse lines, keyboards or headsets, and I’ve tested a good number of them. They were always missing something that I deemed indispensable. Mostly, their mice were aimed at claw grippers. And I never much liked their software, the Corsair Utility Engine, due to its overwhelming settings and often muddying options. However, my opinion now may be different after having spent more than a week with Corsair’s Scimitar RGB MOBO/MMO Gaming mouse. *
- First off, the Scimitar is an utterly gorgeous mouse. Aesthetically, it may be one of the best-looking mice I’ve ever laid eyes on. Its undertone, matte black looks clean and sleek, avoiding fingerprints. Its side buttons look fantastic and industrial. The ring finger tactile coating fits despite its rough-plating appearance. The LED that protrudes out of the mouse to highlight the side buttons helps make the mouse congruent. Speaking of the LEDs, they are marvelous. They light up each side button with back-lighting; a spotlight of green in front of the side buttons (see Cons); the Corsair logo is beautifully lit; the mouse wheel has a subtle side glow, and, quite unnecessarily hidden, there’s also a grilled LED on the front of the mouse, sadly rarely to be witnessed. All four of these LEDs can be controlled independently and set to be a solid color, gradient, ripple, or pulse from the CUE software. The Scimitar pulls off its awesome gaming aesthetics; you can’t help but stare at it.
- The mouse weighs about 147 grams. For my personal preference, it’s perfectly weighted with easy height lift. The mouse cable is braided, giving very little resistance when moving rapidly. The massive PTFE pads on the bottom instill extremely smooth movement and glide if you prefer. Control over this mouse couldn’t be better. I have very long, wretched fingers, and all of them end up laying perfectly over the top of the mouse. My fingers do not touch each other like they do in the G602’s case. This gives you even more control and comfort. I’ve always used a palm grip, and surprisingly, this mouse fits a palm grip without any drawbacks. Also, trying it with a claw grip results in a good experience as well. So I can honestly proclaim that whether you’re a claw or palm gripper, this mouse should work for you. The main reason for this compatibility is due to what Corsair calls the “Key Slider.” It’s a brilliant feature that enables the 12 side buttons to be repositioned up to eight millimeters in either direction using an Allen key at the bottom of the mouse. I found that I had to reposition the Key Slider all the way to the front for my thumb to be optimally positioned, while a claw gripper or someone with shorter fingers may prefer it closer to the back. Corsair’s attention to detail here deserves lauding. Its exterior coating feels extremely comfortable, with a soft rubber-like tactile feel.
- Between the 17 customizable buttons (in reality, 14) and Corsair’s CUE software, the Scimitar is highly customizable. They are indeed right when they brand it as an MMO / MOBA mouse. With the twelve side thumb buttons, you can bind twelve spells or hotkeys, and then some if you use a keyboard combo like Shift. Having essentially 24 different hotkeys at the touch of your thumb is overwhelming. Corsair did a decent job trying to implement a difference in tactile feel for these 12 keys so you can tell the difference of what row you’re on, but I still think they could have made it even better (see Cons). The actual press of the keys aren’t bad but they take a little more force than I would have preferred. However, the mechanical switches of these keys’ click and the haptic response are rewarding. After getting used to the mouse, I rarely made a mistake in which side button I wanted to click, but know that there is a learning curve with it, and accidentally clicking the wrong one could mean death in an MMO or MOBA.
- Corsair’s CUE software offers a dizzying amount of customizable options. It isn’t the best software out there (see Cons), but it will give you a plethora of settings to customize and define for your unique use. I found myself hovering around 4k DPI, though the mouse offers up to 12k. On my G602 I have no issues being at 3k, even with three monitors. Just because a mouse can go to 12k makes it no better. But the high ceiling allows for it, so that never hurts. I just can’t imagine someone gaming at 12k DPI, but hey, to each their own.
- The middle scroll wheel feels great when scrolling, with a noticeable bump for each level (see Cons).
Cons: - The two main left and right click offer good resistance; however, I like mine slightly softer, more responsive, and less stiff. Nonetheless, possibly after breaking the mouse in for longer than a week or two, and more like a month, the main two buttons may pan out to be more flexible.
- Though the lighting options and configurations are astoundingly customizable, Corsair oddly left out the fifth lighting zone on the mouse, one of the most prominent LEDs on the mouse, the one that is situated in front of the 12 side buttons. It stays at Green no matter what you do. It’s hard to complain about it, but it’d be nice to have the option of changing that considering you can change all of the other four lighting zones.
- There is a learning curve to the 12 side buttons. If you’re a past Naga user, it may be s much easier transition. But I did get lost often with my thumb. Although, even worse than getting lost was having to focus where on my thumb to press. Instead of it coming to me second hand and instinctively, I had to take a second to control my thumb. This time diminished the longer I used it, but I see the delayed response always being an issue. The other problem: even though Corsair textured the columns of the buttons to know what column you’re on, it’d be better to add a small bump or bar like in Home Row to know which row you’re on. Possibly, situated on the 2 and the 8 or 5 and the 11 key. It would help immensely with guidance.
- When reaching over my middle finger to click the middle button, it takes more force than it should, noticeably different from my other mouse. It may be a positioning issue or just a personal, unique anomaly.
- Even though the CUE software has tons of options, it isn’t nearly as user-friendly as other peripheral software that’s on the market. A good case in point is Logitech’s Gaming Software, which I find to be much more straightforward and streamlined, easier to use. Corsair has a little while to go for the software to be more digestible as opposed to overwhelming.
Other Thoughts: * Overall, I think the Scimitar is a great weapon to add to your arsenal if you’re an MMO or MOBA gamer. The branding speaks for itself. It has a ton of awesome feature–some of which like the Key Slider–that can’t be found in other gaming mice (that I know of; excuse me if I’m wrong on that). It sports a wealth of customizable features, awesome LEDs with the gamut of RGB options, amazing aesthetics, 12 side buttons, and terrific build quality. I highly recommend the Scimitar if you’re looking for a plethora of buttons at your disposal. *READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: Seagate Innov8 8TB Desktop External Hard Drive - USB-C Powered - STFG8000400
Pros: * It’s big and beautiful, but sadly a little disappointing. When I unwrapped it, I was amazed by the quality of packaging and premium build design. No doubt, the Innov8 is a premium product. However, is the performance gain of USB 3.1 really worth it in Innov8’s case? *
- Aesthetically, the Innov8 is an industrial-looking device due to the slotted aluminum enclosure. It has a granite black finish; appearing expensive, sleek, but alien simultaneously.
Inside the box is a USB 3.1 cable (~18”), a quick start guide, and the device itself.
- I just have to mention the packaging and Seagate’s attention to detail concerning it. Molded soft foam lines the entire interior, the box itself is beautiful, and the presentation while opening it lets you know this is a premium product.
- The Innov8 comes formatted as exFat and can be reformatted to NTFS. The application on the Innov8 setups up a program to be downloaded and installed, called Seagate Dashboard. It’s optional so you can choose to use it or not. But after following the web browser steps, Seagate offers you 200GB on OneDrive for 2 years for free. Definitely worth taking advantage of that free cloud storage. The software is pretty good. In my opinion it’s an even better backup program than WD Smartware. It’s flexible; you can have your entire PC be backed up to the drive continuously, monthly, weekly, daily, or hourly. The GUI is simple but effective. I think nearly anyone could set up an easy backup. Seagate’s DiskWizard from their website might also be helpful for setting the drive up in the manner you’d prefer. It’s essentially, though, all-in-all, a plug-N-play drive like most external drives nowadays.
- The performance of the Innov8 beats practically every USB 3.0 drive I’ve tested and that is out on the market. However, is it really worth it? See “Cons” and “Other Thoughts.”
- When in use, the drive gets tepid to the touch (max about 44 degrees C, min/idle about 31 degrees C), but it runs extremely quiet. It is much quieter than those vertical Desktop External HDDs in comparison.
- Thanks to the miracle of USB 3.1 / C, this massive storage device doesn’t require a power adapter. It receives sufficient amount of power just through the USB 3.1 port. That’s a good sign for the future of USB 3.1 / C.
- The Innov8 comes with a 3-year Limited Warranty according to Seagate, but taking a page from WD and offering a 5-Year would be much more reassuring.
Cons: - I’m not going to lie. The Innov8’s performance was pretty disappointing. Here, with this new amazing technology–with ceiling high transfer potential–the USB 3.1 on the Innov8 just didn’t blow me away. I was expecting extremely fast Read and Writes; I mean, why else put the money down on a USB C drive like this if it isn’t going to perform much better than comparable USB 3.0 drives? It’s certainly not a matter of convenience, considering most PCs don’t sport a USB 3.1 port. See Other Thoughts to look at my own specific benchmarks, but the Innov8 on average performed maybe 30 MB/s better than its 3.0 ancestor. It scored well with Peak R/W performance, but it wasn’t a consistent long-distance runner. Is it faster than USB 3.0? Yes. Does the hardware restriction of USB 3.1 and the hefty price make this mediocre increase in performance worth it? I personally don’t think so.
- It may be an issue with all USB 3.1 cables but when plugged into the Innov8, the cable is not seated tightly. It wiggles like a loose tooth. And if I’ve learned anything from decades of using computers is if a port wiggles, it will eventually degrade. This is probably not the case with the Innov8 since you won’t be disconnecting or moving it around constantly, but I thought it worth nitpicking and mentioning. The same goes for the end connected to the PC.
- The Innov8 is heavy (3.3lbs). Don’t mistake this thing as a “portable” drive. It’s definitely intended as a Desktop drive. The reason it’s heavy, though, is its construction and because of that it’s durable. I’d rather have it be lighter than look bad***, but still.
- The Innov8 is huge, and I mean YUUUGE! You could easily stack four normal 4TB external portable drives in a square like fashion and the Innov8 will still be larger. Contrarily, the cable included, which is about 50cm, is a little short. For a desktop external drive, I’d expect at least a 3-foot long cable, especially since USB 3.1 cables aren’t the easiest and cheapest to get.
- The drive reads under CrystalDiskInfo as a 5980RPM drive. Maybe I’m missing something or don’t have enough knowledge of what is exactly under the hood, but I imagine these drives should be 7200RPM to take full use of USB 3.1’s bandwidth. Its performance would have been much more impressive then. Possibly, Seagate should also offer a model with an external power supply, which could increase its performance slightly. I’m not sure if this is possible or not, but personally, I’d opt for a better performing one with an external power adapter.
- The Innov8 as far as I know will only work on Windows 8/8.1 and Windows 10. It has Mac support as well. No Windows 7 support is a disappointment but understandable considering the required USB 3.1.
Other Thoughts: - The Hard Drives inside of the Innov8 are Seagate’s Archive 8TB Sata III drives, with six SMR, 1.33TB platters, spinning at 5980RPM (as mentioned above), running under extremely low power requirements; hence the lack of an external power supply adapter.
* Overall, I expected more from the Innov8. It’s a beautifully designed product, but its performance wasn’t as good as I expected. The 8TB in one package is a vast amount of storage; I just wish the USB 3.1 had performed better with the Innov8. Maybe we’ve got some more time before we can expect external drives to catch up with the potentiality of new technology. *
-_- Below are Benchmarks I used to test the Innov8. Unless otherwise specified, the scores are represented in MB/per Second. Included in the testing are two programs: ATTO Disk Benchmark and CrystalDiskMark. -_-
All on Windows 10 64-bit
Test : 1024 MiB [E: 1.1% (83.2/7451.7 GiB)] (x5) [Interval=5 sec]
Sequential Read (Q= 32,T= 1) : 195.969 MB/s
Sequential Write (Q= 32,T= 1) : 201.359 MB/s
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 0.609 MB/s [ 148.7 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 5.745 MB/s [ 1402.6 IOPS]
Sequential Read (T= 1) : 102.960 MB/s
Sequential Write (T= 1) : 97.938 MB/s
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 0.182 MB/s [ 44.4 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 1.673 MB/s [ 408.4 IOPS]
Test : 32768 MiB [E: 2.3% (175.1/7451.7 GiB)] (x3) [Interval=5 sec]
Sequential Read (Q= 32,T= 1) : 100.068 MB/s
Sequential Write (Q= 32,T= 1) : 98.354 MB/s
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 0.481 MB/s [ 117.4 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 6.150 MB/s [ 1501.5 IOPS]
Sequential Read (T= 1) : 87.452 MB/s
Sequential Write (T= 1) : 64.802 MB/s
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 0.350 MB/s [ 85.4 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 5.862 MB/s [ 1431.2 IOPS]
ATTO Disk Benchmark
Test: 512B to 64MB – Length: 512MB – Que Depth: 4
512B Write: 696KB | Read: 801KB
1KB Write: 1.4MB | Read: 1.2 MB
2KB Write: 1.3MB | Read: 1.9MB
4KB Write: 3.3MB | Read: 4.5MB
8KB Write: 5.8MB | Read: 10.6MB
16KB Write: 14.9MB | Read: 28.1MB
32KB Write: 43.5MB | Read: 39MB
64KB Write: 54.2MB | Read: 56.7MB
128KB Write: 67.3MB | Read: 86.3MB
256KB Write: 41.9MB | Read: 71.8MB
512KB Write: 88.1MB | Read: 97.9MB
1MB Write: 124.7MB | Read: 118.7MB
2MB Write: 122.3MB | Read: 156.5MB
4MB Write: 168.8MB | Read: 164.4MB
8MB Write: 190.0MB | Read: 179.3MB
12MB Write: 173.8MB | Read: 197.6MB
16MB Write: 194.5MB | Read: 123.4MB
24MB Write: 200.3MB | Read: 176.3MB
32MB Write: 195.9MB | Read: 195.5MB
48MB Write: 201.6MB | Read: 190.9MB
64MB Write: 202.8MB | Read: 195.2MB
Pros: * If I had to fancy a guess, the reason Gigabyte named these motherboards “Designare” is simply because they are motherboards aimed at designers, working professionals, workstation enthusiasts, and software creators who require horsepower and flexibility. Though I run my own business and do a lot of work on my PC, my PC is built for gaming (thank Posiden that gaming components can facilitate most users). I mention this because I would avoid using this motherboard as my primary board in my gaming PC; in fact, I opted to continue using my Asus M6F for many reasons. That’s not to say that you can’t, but it’s obviously a motherboard that will suit power users and enthusiasts more than gamers. If you’re a graphic “designare” (get it?), the Designare will provide you with what you need on a Z170 chipset without having to necessarily invest in an X99 board. It is loaded with features and cutting edge tech built right into it. *
- The Designare comes with that musky new motherboard smell, an easy front panel connector port (G Connector), 4x SATA Data cables, 2x Velcro straps, clean IO cover panel, thick manual, wide spaced SLI connector, cable sticker labels, Drivers CD, case sticker, and onboard RGB lighting extender. And now let’s quickly cover the included IO ports on the board: Dual Intel Gigabit LAN (Yes, two ports for teaming and 2gbps), PS/2 Port, Mini DisplayPort, 2x USB 3.1, 4x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, 4k 1.4 HDMI port, Full DisplayPort, and 5x Audio & S/PDIF ports.
- Aesthetically, the Designare has a metallic black cover with accents of blue all around the PCB. It has a ULTRA DURABLE logo block over the rear IO which makes the build look a lot cleaner. Its PCIx16 slots are plated in a silver finish that looks fantastic, but also reinforces heavy GPUs that reduce sagging. There’s plenty of aesthetic covers over all areas of the board, making the PCB show a lot less, hence an overall much cleaner, sleeker look. I won’t mention all of the internal I/O ports that are ubiquitous, but on top of the normal ports, the Designare has an optional water-cooling pump header (really cool), a U.2 connector, an M.2 Socket 3 connector, RGB LED extension header, a TPM header, a future Thunderbolt card connector, and a one-press overclock button. The most glaring feature is the Designare’s LEDs scattered around the board, illuminating it in RGB glory. It can be customized to any color using Gigabyte software and can even be synchronized with other four pin RGB LEDs you may have as case lighting. There’s also a dual-BIOS switch to ensure that even if your UEFI becomes corrupted, you have a backup. I didn’t have a single gripe with the placement of headers or ports. They’re all conveniently accessible and ideally positioned.
- The features that the Designare sports are nearly boundless. Pretty much any technology that has come out recently can be used in conjunction with this motherboard. With two USB C ports, products like the Seagate Innov8 can be used and other cutting edge USB 3.1 products. The external storage transfer speeds through the Designare’s USB 3.1 are astoundingly quick. Nearby the SATA 6gbps ports lies a U.2 port for hyper-speed SSDs like Intel 750 series that exceed read and write speeds of 2.5GBps and 1.2GBps respectively. M.2 22110 is also onboard and triple NVMe PCIe gen3 slots that can support SSDs, even in RAID config, which is incredible. Overall, the vast amount of storage options (up to 32 Gb/s on PCIe) on this motherboard can fulfill anyone’s pipe-dream of storage heaven.
- The RAM slots are DDR4 which can clock up to a whopping 4000MHz. I couldn’t push it that high, but there are a lot of factors involved with that, including CPU clock. Over 100Watts can be provided through the USB 3.1 ports using their Power Delivery 2.0 Support for charging and powering of devices. The onboard sound is stellar as well. Built in is Realtek ALC1150.
- The BIOS is Gigabyte’s latest UEFI. It has a lot of great tweaks and features like the RGB LED control and easy control of the 4-pin fan connectors. Easy options for updating BIOS are included, and a beautiful looking GUI for digestible settings tweaking.
Cons: - I wouldn’t say there are many cons with the Designare. The cons may be its overwhelming features. A lot of the features go away with other supported options. Like if you use SLI, the NVMe PCIe Gen3 SSDs options kind of go out the window. That’d be true with practically any board, but it’s still worth mentioning. There’s nothing that the Designare faults with really. There’s no Wi-Fi, but hey, come on. There’s no back CMOS reset switch. But again, these are such minor nit-picks that I don’t feel like it takes away from the feature-packed motherboard this is.
Other Thoughts: * Overall, the Designare is an Intel wet dream. It practically supports all of Intel’s latest and greatest technology. This is where I recommend a board like this. If you’ll be using USB 3.1 type devices, piddling in NVMe RAID for SSD PCIe storage, utilizing two LAN ports for network transfer, and flexible overclocking features, then the Designare is for you. If you don’t intend to utilize these features or don’t even know what they are, then the Designare isn’t for you. Purchase a simpler board with features you know you’ll use. The price of the Designare is reflected by the many cutting-edge features it comes packed with, so it’s easy to look elsewhere if you don’t have the devices that this board supports. The Designare is a cutting edge motherboard that is obviously aimed at workstation users and hardcore enthusiasts. The overwhelming majority of users will not utilize a quarter of the features on this board, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing… is it? *READ FULL REVIEW