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Pros: The outside of the box was nicely designed for retail. All the important specs and technologies and features of the PSU are plainly listed and easy to find. The box was sturdy and well padded to protect the PSU during shipping.
All of the modular cable branches were in a lovely velco carrying case marked with Corsair's name and logo which helps you find them in the future when you're altering your desktop. Even the power supply itself came in a velvet-style bag, which seemed odd but was a nice touch. The material was pretty badly compressed and damaged during shipping though.
Right out of the box, there is an obvious tag attached to the unit stating that the fan will not spin at all at low to medium load. That's to prevent people who are too lazy to read the specs or the box from returning the PSU to the vendor, saying the fan is broken and won't spin. That was a smart idea.
The entire PSU looks beautiful inside and uses high quality electrical components, as far as I could see. The entire unit with no cables attached weighs 3 pounds, 8 oz which indicates it's made with thick enough wires and decent components.
This PSU is designed with a single 12V rail capable of 54 amps, which is the ideal way to design a power supply.
The modular hookups were labeled with big, clear, white letters that are easy to read. You'd be surprised how many power supplies fail to make these remotely readable once it's inside the PC.
The PSU came with black wire ties, black case screws, and a beautiful metal case badge. All 3 are very nice to have. It's annoying to get halfway done with your build and realize you need additional screws or wire ties.
In testing, the 12V circuit never dropped much below 12V even under heavy load. Under no load, it measured at 12.09V and 5.00V exactly for the two main circuits. This is extremely important because a lot of cheaper power supplies are less capable under heavy load so they idle at 12.3V for example then hit 12.0V when they're under heavy load to appear that they're maintaining proper voltage without dips.
From my motherboard's sensors, the voltage's third digit of coltage was barely wavering at all. That tends to be related more strongly to the quality of the motherboard's power handling system but even a nice motherboard will have voltages fluctuating all over the place.
Overall I never had a single problem with the PSU. It was quiet, efficient, and worked perfectly. Also, testing it at the wall with a draw meter indicated that it does in fact qualify for 80+ gold certification at medium loads.
Cons: The important table of specs like maximum amps is on the top of the PSU (on the opposite side as the fan). In most bottom-mounted cases with bottom ventillation this isn't a problem. In top-mounted cases, you wouldn't be able to read the label at all, as it would be up against the roof of the case. Almost all power supplies put their spec label on the sides because of this reason so it's odd that Corsair chose not to do this.
Technically, I'd rather have the fan spinning at a minimum level at all times instead of turning completely off. Yes, fans break after a certain amount of hours but usually not nice ones put into nice power supplies. If my PSU could be running at 40C but it's at 50C because the fans don't kick in until 55C, why is that a good thing? It stresses the parts and lowers the efficiency by warming all the metal components inside. I think it's a pretty bad feature and it's not like the fan was all that loud when it was turned on so noise wasn't a factor either. It does prevent dust buildup though.
Other Thoughts: Single rail power supplies like this are superior because two or more rail power supplies tend to basically be two bad quality power supplies put into the same box. They use very thin, cheap, not-so-capable components and just double the quantity of them.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: This drive operated correctly the entire time I was testing it. It is insanely quiet and didn't produce much heat at all. Overall it seemed like a decent quality drive.
During a 5-pass, 2GB read and write test it got 165.5MB/s average read speed and 164.4MB/s average write speed.
For 4KB random IO it got 1.122MB/s average read and 4.953 MB/s average write.
I think the artificially high write speed was due to the hybrid nature of the drive. The data was likely written to the onboard SSD portion first then moved to the main platters. Also, it has an ultra fast 64MB write buffer, which helps immensely.
Overall, the speeds are extremely impressive for a 5900RPM drive.
This drive has an amazing 5 year warranty, which is good because a huge portion of customers report it breaking within that time period.
Cons: Right out of the box the drive's SMART chip reported 4 reboots and less than one hour of total operation. It still somehow managed to rack up a hex misread "rate" of 12F60 (77664 in decimal) and a seek error rate of 9A3B (39,483 in decimal). How this left the factory that way and passed quality control is beyond me but the last 30 or so modern Seagate drives I ordered all had seek errors and misreads over time, though only 1 of them actually failed. So maybe that's just a natural part of how they work and it isn't indicative of failure.
After writing and reading approximately 40 GB of data to the drive, the misread rate hit 18F8538 (26182968 in decimal) but the seek errors only increased to DD84 (56,708 in decimal).
Overall I would definitely not want to use a brand new drive that constantly misread and had seek errors. To me that indicated a failing hard drive head, warped platter, or other mechanical issue. It sounds like these drives have an awful reputation for failure as well so it's definitely making me nervous.
Another huge drawback is the mere 8GB of NAND flash that makes this a hybrid drive. It's a nice write buffer and the speed test indicates it made a huge difference but over 80% of what the typical user does in a day is reading so it's not that important. Seagate hybrid drives are supposed to use Adaptive Memory technology to identify the most frequently-used data and stores it in the NAND flash to be read faster. With 8GB it wouldn't even fit common windows files let alone 1 single game's texture, sound, or video data and I assume some of the 8GB is allocated for write buffering so it can't even use the entire 8GB.
Also, flash chips can only be written to a certain amount of time before failing. On a 256GB SSD this is less of a problem but with 8GB or less of flash constantly being written to, even if they use enterprise-grade chips, my calculations put it at barely lasting a year under average use.
The #1 worst part of this drive besides its apparent failure rate is that Seagate's own specs state that this drive should be expected to read at 146MB/s and data stored in the NAND flash section can be read at 190MB/s. That's barely an increase! Plus, modern SATA SSDs can read at 550MB/s easily.
There are 4 platters and 8 total heads in this very large, thick drive, making it much likely that something might go wrong compared to smaller drives. It also uses 7.5W, which is 1.6W more than its 1TB version, and has a worse average seek time.
Other Thoughts: Having a hybrid drive is nearly pointless as a secondary storage drive and this model isn't fast enough to be a main system drive for Windows. Add the failure rates and misreads and chance for the MLC flash chips to fail and there is simply no use for this drive. It's just a bad product and any customer would be better off with a simple, non-hybrid drive for storage or an actual SSD for the main, OS-booting drive.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: TP-LINK Archer C50 AC1200 Dual Band Wireless Router
Pros: The router was packaged in a well-protected way, which is good for preventing damage during shipping. The router itself seems built in a very solid way. The top is curved, which prevents people from stacking more networking equipment on top of it and thus blocking the heat ventillation ports, so that's actually a good thing. The antennae are built very solidly and have no problem staying exactly where you aimed them regardless of the angle.
The quick setup wizard that shows up when you first log into the control panel is very slick and easy to understand. It hits upon the major configuration areas that any user would want to change immediately. It also recommends you change the login password, which is very important when it comes to router security. All more advanced options were easily found in other locations of the control panel and nothing that I wanted to customize took longer than a few seconds to locate.
The wireless signal strength was -45dBm from a very short distance in open air to a high quality receiver. From a longer distance, it varied but still kept stable with almost all ping times below 1ms. Compared to other routers, the range was very impressive and above average. It also seemed to get through solid objects like walls better than the average router.
Even after sending torrent traffic, video streaming, and large downloads through the router via connected computers, it never froze up or required rebooting. The QOS seemed pretty intelligent too when it came to fairly sharing the bandwidth with all connected clients.
One more great feature worth mentioning is the 2 year warranty and 24/7 tech support.
Cons: Unlike some routers, you have to actually navigate to 192.168.0.1 manually to configure it instead of a new, unconfigured router intercepting the first HTTP request and rerouting it to the configuration page. That's only a minor inconvenience though.
The automatically enabled dual band mode interfered with another router nearby. It made other clients disconnect and get horrible delays. This is a very powerful router and it selected channels 3 and 7 automatically so it basically hogged the entire spectrum for a significant distance around it.
Other Thoughts: Overall the performance of this router was impressive. Considering the very competitive pricing, I would recommend this router to anyone. It's a great choice for almost any application.READ FULL REVIEW