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Acer Aspire V17 Nitro Black Edition VN7-791G-74SH Gaming Laptop 4th Generation Intel Core i7 4720HQ (2.60GHz) 8GB Memory 1TB HDD NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M 4 GB GDDR5 17.3
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: The screenshots make the characters look fully opaque though when the light is dimmed you CAN see the characters backlit, not just the edges of the characters.

Full right shift key in a combo with backlit keyboard is HUGE as 80% of the market uses those dinky right-shift keys and I kept hitting up instead of shift.

Unlike my Lenovo the alternative function keys (volume, brightness, etc) aren't poorly placed (I no longer increase the volume and instead unload 50+ tabs).

HD screen is a LOT better than my Lenovo's 1366x768 screen.

F2 for bios though you must MANUALLY enable the boot menu (F12 I think) in the bios. Remember to enable "legacy" mode to boot from a DVD if you're installing Windows 7/optical drive.

Doesn't force alternative functions as primary functions, GOOD! I loathe pressing ALT+F4 and having the calculator appear on other laptops. >__>

No pointless auxiliary keys; the only way to improve the keyboard would be the 4x4x4 macro keys from the Logitech G110 which is THE power-user keyboard because of it's superior physical layout.

Not Asus which TEN YEARS later others are dealing with refurbished replacements for brand new overpriced products (did two RMAs in 2005 and will NEVER buy from them again).

The quad core (is this still 2008?!?!) does have hyper-threading so there are eight threads total.

The drivers on Acer's website ARE Windows 7 64 bit compatible for the most part (except the bluetooth though there are several).

With the TB Samsung Evo (not pro) the system boots Windows 7 by the end of the logo animation (roughly 15 seconds).

The power cord doesn't wrap around the wide power brick so that is a bit of a pain but we are talking a 47 watt CPU.

Cons: About 30% of the nightmare of upgrading [insert your worst Mac client SSD upgrade instead of paying 400% margins], way too many screws, difficult to access the hard drive (I only popped the plastic TOP (keyboard, NOT the bottom like most laptops) except the back as I didn't want to deal with figuring out what cable ribbons plugged in to etc. The ONLY disassemble video is in Dutch or German; you start by removing the optical-drive and carefully popping off the plastic-TOP and work your way counter-clockwise.

Mechanical hard drive with Windows 8 so slow and as anti-user as it gets; replaced it with a TB Samsung SSD and my highly cleaned up/customized Windows 7.

Non-American tech support; while they were friendly and identifying themselves for call recordings they were simply unable to answer any questions like Windows 7 drivers.

Fedex decided to deliver on a Friday instead of Thursday so I blew through an extra $150 to buy the SSD locally as I need this for work on Monday, not Newegg's fault but I'd lose a lot more than 150 if I skip a day of work.

Acer doesn't think anyone is going to dump 8 for 7 so it was a waste of time talking with their support. My last laptop becomes my backup and since I can't afford too much down-time I bought the third-party American-based support which answered the phone in 57 seconds FLAT!

If you want (?mSata or Ms2?) I think you'll have to buy the more expensive version and dump the measly 256GB SSD; that was a big though not dealing-breaking disappointment, leave the IO in place!

I have done one repair on an LCD screen about nine months ago, some punk claimed I dropped it though the product was fragile, called back and they DID competently replace it though said my warranty then expired so again I'd recommend going third party; laptops aren't like other parts that just COME with 3-5-7-10 year warranties (very very rarely a 2 at best) so while I don't like gambling I will bet on Murphy's law by default until I don't HAVE to work.

Lenovo provides a program to switch between low power, balanced and high performance which force-overrides the clocks; no such utility seemed to be provided when I tested the default mech drive for basically just blue screens and base functionality (yes, loaded with lots of pre-installed software).

1.35 watt RAM running at 1,600...hm. Intel provides HD 4600 for the curious, the 860 only sports a 128 bit memory interface though reviews seem to say it'll do 1920x1080 at medium-high for most games.

No cover provided for web cam (does have indicator light) though I don't trust it so it's covered with black electrical tape.

Other Thoughts: I'm a power-user and I PHYSICALLY needed the laptop to have a competent keyboard layout and wasn't going to get another $500 range laptop for web development work for my clients (it will double for some LAN games on the side). Decided to buy it as I lost more money not having a second laptop to work on while waiting on some putz who ordered a part for my previous laptop via 5-day shipping (I can still use it as a backup system). This does NOT replace my desktop.

Just not enough time to benchmark anything (though the Windows 7 performance index WITH Samsung SSD: 7.7, 7.7, 7.3, 7.3 and 7.9 might help) because they threw my/this EXACT model on the Shell Shocker less then a week after I purchased it so at least there is A review versus none. The next cheapest laptop that I physically liked after searching for a week was an Asus and again if it breaks you're out of luck because Asus cares about flooding the market.

Acer should be offering this model with Windows 7 though I know some people absolutely must have the latest version, completely ignore the OS and just open a desktop icon for a game.

After Crucial SSDs would not non-boot RAID 1 in my desktop and a single-boot in a client's Toshiba laptop I decided to go Samsung and it just works.

If you want benchmarks just look up the CPU/GPU combo since they're extremely common.

Bottom line: I'm a very selective power user / web developer / gamer and I was able to mod (albeit with some hassle) the laptop in to something usable. I'd recommend it mostly on the physically keyboard layout especially if you've never bought a laptop before. Performance is great and I'm fairly happy.

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Maglite M2A016 Black Mini Flashlights
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

4 out of 5 eggs It's a flashlight 12/08/2014

This review is from: Maglite M2A016 Black Mini Flashlights

Pros: It shoots highly concentrated amounts of photons in the form of an adjustable beam.

Cons: It doesn't have that double/triple click feature that you can use to give people seizures.

Other Thoughts: Someone I know has a Maglite flashlight with the triple click bit, this one you twist the front. The original batteries still work so it's not some cheap flashlight that is horribly inefficient. I use it for working on my computer and taking the dog out at night.

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Crucial M550 CT512M550SSD1 2.5
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

2 out of 5 eggs AMD Chipset SATA controller does NOT support RAID! 11/20/2014

This review is from: Crucial M550 CT512M550SSD1 2.5" 512GB SATA 6Gbps MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

Pros: 411MB min | 413MB Max | 412MB Average Read, full capacity test
302MB | 379MB | 376MB average write speed / 10GB test

In comparison to the 512GB Samsung drives that replace them the benchmarks tend to be a bit more stable/consistent as far as numbers goes visually however the fact of the matter is I needed these to support RAID 1 on the AMD SATA controller (trying to get RID of the PCI-Express addon cards (yes plural)) as the boot time gets killed with having two extra controllers.

Moderately fast in single drive mode, probably faster in RAID mode like the Samsung replacements when I tested RAID 0 though I wouldn't because...

Cons: First RAID and then HALVED read speeds...

These drives are NOT recognized in Windows 7 64 Bit on two different socket AM3+ 990FX motherboards: Gigabyte 990FXA-UD3 and Gigabyte 990FXA-UD5. 8350 CPU.

The UD5 has a separate internal controller with two ports that I'm using to boot from a 750GB Samsung SSD and my Blu-ray optical drive in AHCI mode. The AMD SATA controller sees these drives in RAID and the BIOS/UEFI see the RAID no problem. After numerous attempts (different ports, motherboards, wires (data/power), etc I called Crucial and the tech confirmed that it is a known issue with absolutely no ETA on a fix or IF there would be a fix.

READ SPEEDS were HALVED immediately after performing HD Tune Pro write test in single drive mode (again RAID won't work) down from a 412MB read average to 250MB average read speed. While relatively speedy not acceptable. I used the erase tab and was able to recover most of the read speed back to an extent but still that is ridiculous.

Other Thoughts: Rating two eggs because if it was one you'd skip this review just like how I read 2|3|4 egg reviews first.

My setup...
C:\ 750GB Samsung single SSD.
D:\ 512GB RAID 1 Samsung Pro, My Documents (reg hack with two users, thanks MS >__>)
E:\ 1.5TB RAID 1, old mass storage.
F:\ 4TB RAID 1, newer mass storage but grey screens in VLC so will replace with 5400/7200 RPM 4TB drives.

I like redundancy and speed. The Samsung drives just worked without any of the hassle and I had thought for years that motherboard controllers simply didn't competently support RAID.

I wasn't wild about spending the extra money for Samsung but the fact that they work is key and the performance is good. Would have opted for $200 more to double to 1TB RAID 1 but just can't stretch it that far just yet, the prices will keep coming down.

If you're looking for a single drive I'd still go with a different controller, I've bought nothing but SandForce based SSDs for clients (no RAID setups there yet) and after chancing it with the Samsung I'm happy with the performance and results.

My advice is that if you're squeezing your money to do a RAID to CALL the manufacturer first and ask them if there are any chipsets that the drives you are interested have any compatibility. Do NOT specify which chipset you have or CPU platform (AMD/Intel); always see if the tech knows what they're talking about and it could help save you losing the shipping costs and much worse, the time spent. I do appreciate the tech's honest answer. It *MIGHT* be a possibility that a firmware update has or will correct this issue though there were no firmware updates for my SPECIFIC model available on the official website. I do NOT know if the issue is with the SSD's Anand Tech reports this SSD's controller is a Marvell 88SS9189 for those who REALLY don't appreciate the controller not being listed here OR Crucial's website. SSD controllers are the video card memory interfaces of SSDs, relatively speaking.

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John B.'s Profile

Display Name: John B.

Date Joined: 08/27/04

  • Reviews: 35
  • Helpfulness: 16
  • First Review: 08/24/05
  • Last Review: 03/09/15
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