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OCZ Trion 100 2.5
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

4 out of 5 eggs Not terrible, but not perfect. 03/02/2016

This review is from: OCZ Trion 100 2.5" 120GB SATA III TLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) TRN100-25SAT3-120G

Pros: I tried to hold off to extensively test this SSD and so far it hasn’t failed after just over a month.
Will update my review if anything changes.

The verdict: This is an overall 3.5 Egg rating, with understanding its targeted market- and performance trade-offs.

> The $50 price is competitive. (Some lower performance is traded for lower production costs and higher theoretical durability. See Cons and OTs.)
> Speeds are somewhat as advertised, but again, see cons.
> My low-end 3rd Gen. Core i3 Dell laptop reboots to the Windows 10 login screen in under 8 to 10 seconds. To me, that is extremely fast.
> Hopefully the drive will far outlive the 3-year warranty, given the touted 30 terabytes (27GB/day), 1.5m hour lifespan.
> Has a slim 7mm form factor and weighs only 1.7 ounces (48g). Great for a superlight/ultrabook build.
> OCZ’s SSD Guru software for monitoring, firmware updates.
> Total drawn power is 4.8W, idling at 0.83W.
> TRIM support (as expected)
> Not made in China.
> Attractive brushed aluminum housing.

> Acceptable test results at 100MB (Theoretically, anything under 3GB should be close to advertised speeds, though this is not the case. See Cons.) :
CrystalDiskMark 3.0.3 Shizuku Edition x64
* MB/s = 1,000,000 byte/s [SATA/300 = 300,000,000 byte/s]
Seq. Rd: 469.823 MB/s
Seq. Wrt.: 413.028 MB/s
Rndm Rd 512KB: 364.464 MB/s
Rndm Wrt. 512KB: 270.027 MB/s
Rndm Rd 4KB (QD=1):18.569 MB/s [4533.3 IOPS]
Rndm Wrt. 4KB (QD=1): 31.151 MB/s [7605.2 IOPS]
Rndm Rd 4KB (QD=32): 87.703 MB/s [21411.9 IOPS]
Rndm Wrt. 4KB (QD=32): 67.266 MB/s [16422.5 IOPS]
Test : 100 MB [C: 37.9% (42.2/111.4 GB)] (x5)
OS: Win 8.1 [6.3 Build 9600] (x64)

> Performance starts to diminish at 500MB
Sequential Read: 493.293 MB/s
Sequential Write: 365.561 MB/s
Random Read 512KB: 359.173 MB/s
Random Write 512KB: 177.842 MB/s
Random Read 4KB (QD=1): 19.912 MB/s [ 4861.4 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=1): 39.474 MB/s [ 9637.3 IOPS]
Random Read 4KB (QD=32): 242.287 MB/s [ 59152.2 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=32): 104.462 MB/s [ 25503.4 IOPS]
Test : 500 MB [C: 56.2% (62.6/111.4 GB)] (x1)

Cons: I have not personally experienced any serious, deal-breaking cons (such as data loss or worse). Yet, this is not a perfect 5-Egg drive.

> No native encryption support. (Not really a con, understandably a likely budgetary decision to target consumers.)
> High reported failure rates are intimidating, dissuasive.
> As transferred byte size increases, performance declines. PCWorld [OTs, #1] notes a 3GB SLC cache, while Anandtec’s breakdown [OTs, #4] indicates 1.8GB. This refers to limitations on how much written data can buffer to the high speed memory interface before redirecting to the slower write speeds seen below in the 1GB and 4GB tests.

> CON: The 1GB test: (See bottleneck note at the bottom of OTs!)
Seq. Rd.:488.923 MB/s
Seq. Wrt: 74.047 MB/s
Rndm Rd. 512KB: 353.179 MB/s
Rndm Wrt. 512KB: 110.995 MB/s
Rndm Rd. 4KB (QD=1): 18.778 MB/s [ 4584.4 IOPS]
Rndm Wrt. 4KB (QD=1): 35.068 MB/s [ 8561.4 IOPS]
Rndm Rd. 4KB (QD=32): 231.403 MB/s [ 56494.9 IOPS]
Rndm Wrt. 4KB (QD=32): 81.891 MB/s [ 19992.8 IOPS]
Test : 1000 MB [C: 56.1% (62.5/111.4 GB)] (x1)

> 4GB results were only marginally worse (maybe evidence of a bottleneck elsewhere):
Seq. Rd: 491.654 MB/s
Seq. Wrt.: 69.900 MB/s
Rndm Rd 512KB: 340.560 MB/s
Rndm Wrt. 512KB: 81.682 MB/s
Rndm Rd 4KB (QD=1):18.644 MB/s [4551.7 IOPS]
Rndm Wrt. 4KB (QD=1): 40.769 MB/s [9953.3 IOPS]
Rndm Rd 4KB (QD=32):221.346 MB/s [54039.5 IOPS]
Rndm Wrt. 4KB (QD=32): 46.120 MB/s [11259.7 IOPS]
Test: 4000 MB [C: 55.6% (61.9/111.4 GB)] (x1)

Other Thoughts: At first glance, this Trion lineup seems a rightful thorn in Toshiba’s (OCZ rebranded) side [1]. The hybridized drive’s trade-off sacrifices performance for lower price and higher theoretical durability.

Yet, would I recommend the Trion? Yes and no. It may appeal to those on a strict budget, yet high reported failure rates carry risk. Slower write speeds in testing are a valid concern. Even my 1GB test results were downright depressing. Which 1GB of data is not much these days.

OCZ clearly markets this as a low-cost, capable SSD. In practice, it is- only with one critical caveat: anyone benchmarking or copying gigabytes of data is sure to be disappointed.

However, as a *system drive* hosting an OS, I have few complaints in light of the less than 5 second boot times, responsive system and no moving parts that can malfunction. It’s an SSD and not a NAS server to which I frequently copy many GBs of data. Even at 4GB, read speeds nearly saturate SATA.

Overall, the SSD market itself is too saturated with reputable, proven products [2] [3] to one to settle for inferior performance. Cost per GB continues to fall.

I would not currently recommend a Trion, given its own failures and inferiority. However, in the future, given fewer reported drive failures, I would keep a close eye on OCZ pushing for affordable high capacity drives. Other companies may be forced to lower costs or OCZ itself may beat them out. Consumers would win either way. Even if OCZ had little or no influence, it appears Toshiba is testing the waters with its first OCZ SSD with all Toshiba components. This drive has much potential, as does Toshiba acting as OCZ 2.0. If they "get it right" then it could be a game-changer.

But as it stands with this Toshiba-driven Trion 100, unless buying one primarily as an operating system drive (or something not writing intensive) then I would say to shop around first. It is unlikely this is the exact SSD you end up with.

[1] See. PCWorld calling the Trion 100 "An affordable SSD with a problem."

[2] Other [mostly] sub-$70 options: For OCZ, I’d recommend the superior Vector ($79), Vertex 460A, ARC 100. Otherwise, Crucial BX100 and BX200 (240GB), Samsung EVO, SanDisk Ultra II ($56), etc.

[3] See PCGamer's "The best SSD for gaming"

[4] See Anandtech’s “Bringing Toshiba to the Retail”

[Note about test setup] Formerly, I thought there may be a bottleneck testing on my Dell Laptop. Tests on my Core i7 Skylake desktop with DDR4 RAM were somewhat faster.
50MB Sequential: Read 525.2MB/s, Write 447.7MB/s.
1GB Sequential: Read 547.6 MB/s, Write [no change]

READ FULL REVIEW
Corsair Hydro Series H110i Extreme Performance Water / Liquid CPU Cooler Cooling. 280mm CW-9060026-WW
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

5 out of 5 eggs i7 Skylake OC'd: 20C idle, 64C max! 02/21/2016

This review is from: Corsair Hydro Series H110i Extreme Performance Water / Liquid CPU Cooler Cooling. 280mm CW-9060026-WW

Pros: First and foremost: This cooler is *HUGE*. 280mm. My case is a CM690 II, a larger mid-ATX case in my opinion. I had to mod my case to fit it in (or on, rather) (see OTs).

> Warranty: “5 year Corsair Guarantee.”
> Instructions: Overall clear and easy to follow, with Intel and AMD instructions separate. At times some parts seem misleading, but instructions are over all straightforward and no broken English. (For example, it [rightfully] says to intake air, yet I thought the arrows in the picture seemed to show air exhaust. Read the text word-by-word and instructions are clearer!)
> Tubes: Thick and girthy for liquid flow to/from the massive radiator. Yet, they are also very malleable and soft to the touch. (My old Seidon 120M had stiff, thin and hard plastic tubes.)
> Build/Construction: Sturdy, high quality. Radiator is nearly flawless with no bent fins. This leads me to believe there are no quality control issues...however see note about aesthetics in cons.
> Compatibility: As expected, high [backwards] compatibility for Intel LGA 1150/1/5/6, 1366, 2011(-3) and AMD AM2/3 and FM 1/2.
> Corsair logo: Printed on the side of the radiator, the emblem is reversible. Tubes facing down and the logo is right side up, on the opposite side it is flipped. The CPU attachment lights up with the Corsair logo (referred to as “the sensor” in the software, where it can be disabled or color changed.)
> Pre-applied thermal paste: Convenient and, assuming it is in line with the rest of the H-series lineup, it is high quality Shin-etsu paste.
> Fan headers: With the on-board fan headers, this cooler actually freed up extra fan ports (although I use a fan controller anyway.)

===FANS:===
These are much improved over older models. High pressure, high RPM, relatively quiet. Very high quality. Spinning one with my finger, compared to quiet case fan, feels like spinning a ceiling fan compared to a box fan.

2x SP140L brushless PWM:
Size: 140mm.
RPM: 2100 +/- 210.
Noise: 43dB(a).
Airflow: 113 CFM.

=== Software:===
Overall: Very customizable and functional.
> Appearance: Red/black default theme with white text, can be changed to any color/black and any color text.
> Fan profiles: Quiet, Balanced and Performance, can set to specific % or RPM fan speed.
> Temperature notifications: Can set macros like “At [temperature] do”: shutdown PC [after x minutes], run a file, trigger all RGB LEDs to [color], set fans to 100%.
> Can change the logo/sensor color to any color on the spectrum, or set to black color to disable light completely.
> Not a pro, but: Only natively for Windows (See OTs for linux.)

=== Temps ===
(Mostly using balanced setting. Hottest CPU core, per Corsair’s Link software in Win10 x64. Setup is with the fans pushing through the radiator at the top of my case.)
CPU: Idle, my 6700k throttles to around 2Ghz pulling less than 10W. Turbo is at 4.65Ghz @ 90W TDP.

Idle: 17.5 to 20C (depending on ambient temp.)
Casual load (2% to 35% use, depending): up to 33C (booting up, loading many apps and widgets, browsing the internet, etc).
100% load (encoding a Bluray): 56C (Performance, fans at 100%) to 60C (balanced)! Silent setting still didn't pass 70C!
Note: Set to quiet mode, idle/casual use results are similar to balanced.
When encoding completes, temps promptly drop to 24C, and taper down to idle 17-20C again. Beautiful.

For comparison, my previous Seidon 120M:
Idle: 23C +/- 5.
Casual load: 35C to 43C, depending.
100% load: spiked to 86C (yikes!)

Cons: [1] This isn’t really a con for me, but more of a note about aesthetics for those to whom it matters. A few of the screw mounts looked sloppily drilled and one even had rust buildup. (The cooler is made in China, which production quality has improved over the years.) Over all, I’d still consider this an exceptional product with high build quality.

[2] As of this review, the Corsair Link software is only natively for Windows. Due to Windows 10, I’ve recently moved primarily back to Linux (except dual-booting for Steam/gaming) and would love to see a *nix binary.

This cooler uses a USB-connected on-board power supply and controller for its fans. I haven't tried connecting the fans directly to my controller, but in theory it should work. In doing so, I'd lose software control and all the benefits thereof. Will test in the future.

Other Thoughts: This cooler has definitely earned a solid 5-eggs. For me, ~$120 would probably be on the high end for buying a cooler. But experiencing the performance first hand, the price has proven cheap for this level of quality for an all-in-one cooling package. From the easy assembly to the epic included thermal paste and components, this is a very valuable cooler. The performance is superb. The build is sturdy and design is extremely efficient. The software has more functionality than I thought a CPU cooler could have. (I had no idea how inept my old CM cooler has become.)

The fans CAN get loud- but they don't need to. This rad can easily keep a CPU under 70C with the fans well under 1300RPM..

For the enthusiast or hobbyist alike, this cooler is worth every bit of its cost. However, just be aware of how large 280mm is (I know I wasn’t aware..). The H110i V2 is slightly smaller at 240mm, which would have fit my case perfectly.

I will update my review if anything changes of if it randomly explodes and soaks my rig’s internals with coolant.

** Software in Linux. This is only good for setting the fan RPM speeds or sensor LED color. I was able to get the software to work in Linux with Virtualbox hosting a Windows 7 VM. On the host machine, add the user to the 'vboxusers' group and then logout and back in.
In the Virtualbox window: on the toolbar click Devices -> USB -> select ‘Corsair Memory, INC. Integrated USB Bridge [0200]’. This assigns the USB device exclusively to the VM, where Corsair’s software can detect/manage it directly. However, only the H110i’s temperatures register and not the CPU or other temps. So the nifty notification macros may not work unless your cooler itself is overheating (unlikely, since during testing mine remained around 21C while the 100% loaded CPU was up near 60C.)

Though I use a “seamless mode” Windows 7 VM, I tried to install the software using Wine but it wouldn’t load (likely the OS-level driver install.)

** On modding my case:
Apparently I could have removed half of my hard drive bays to mount the radiator on the floor, but mine are all populated! I ended up removing my top case mesh, then using a dremel I widened the screw mounts to match the fans positions.

The radiator sits on top of my case, with a dust filter layer and the fans on top of that. I mounted the mesh on top of my fans, so the case looks mostly normal other than the mesh is elevated and resting on top of my fans. No wires, tubes or any other connection is visible and it all looks pretty clean. I went with a push arrangement for the fans.


Build:
Intel Core i7 6700K (Skylake) @ 4.65Ghz.
Cooler Master CM690 II Black Steel mid-ATX Case.

READ FULL REVIEW
LINKSYS RE6400 AC1200 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Range Extender
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • neweggOwned For: 1 month to 1 year

5 out of 5 eggs Great extender! 11/30/2015

This review is from: LINKSYS RE6400 AC1200 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Range Extender

Pros: Visual Spotfinder. It is no Wiviz, but it helps find ideal connectivity.

The 5GHz range works pretty well. I have been able to reach well out into my back yard with 4 bars of signal, where my router drops off to one bar. Haven't measured the precise dBi drop in signal, but real world performance is great.

The interface worked flawlessly connecting to both bands. In the past, I had issues in the past with other devices connecting to both bands without enabling WPS. I always strongly recommend against WPS, given some inherent security risks associated with the 'feature' (which is more of a shortcut).
With the RE6400 it worked great, no WPS and no issues.

The external antennas at least make me feel more confident about it's performance.

Onboard ethernet is great for non-wifi (or 802.11 G/N-only) smart TVs, gaming consoles, etc. Can effectively bridge slower connections onto AC.

Can set transparent bridging or different SSID.

Accounting for the taxed throughput, speeds were bottlenecked by my Seagate NAS methinks. But still as fast as would be expected in the 400 to 500mbit range. I can't complain.

According to the FCC datasheets:
Power Consumption is 18W**.
802.11ac rates: 866.7Mbps (around 144 MB/s.)
2T2R dipole antennas at 4dBi gain for 2.4Ghz band and 6dBi at 5Ghz.
TX Power: 802.11ac: 30.7 to 120mW. 802.11n: 592.2 to 746.2mW

Cons: CONS
Not really a con, but it heats up quite a bit, which is to be expected with this kind of device.
Other than that, this device is pretty solid. I miss the extra audio port, but I know that is included (as well as power pass-through) in the slightly pricier RE6700, so no complaints here. Extra features, extra costs.

Other Thoughts: It just dawned on me that Belkin bought out Linksys from Cisco a few years ago. I haven't always been the biggest fan of Belkin products, but as a de facto blind test of a few of their products, I can say they aren't too bad under the Linksys brand.

For $100 you can't really go wrong if you need something relatively small and portable. If you do not need this, however, it may be more sensible to shop around for a second 802.11 AC router with repeater capabilities, or just link one across a gigabit backbone. There are certainly better ways of approaching the weak signal issue, but that's beyond the scope of this review.

For what it's worth, this is a very capable extender to address a foggy AC signal. If it fits the bill for what is required, then the price point is certainly worth the value.


Developer info: I held off on reviewing until Linksys added the firmware binary to analyze. All looks identical to the RE6700. References to the Ralink MT7620 SoC, sporting 64M of RAM, 16M flash memory, RT6352 MIPS CPU likely clocked around 580MHz, and MT7612E for AC. Wikidev purports this hardware can handle quite a few more LAN ports and has standard JTAG GPIO headers.


** According to the FCC datasheets, the power module (AMS151/HK-XX18-A12) has an input of 100-240V, .08A @ 47-63Hz and output is 12 volts at 1.5 amps, calculating to 18W

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Theodore P.'s Profile

Display Name: Theodore P.

Date Joined: 02/13/11

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