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This review is from: CORSAIR Flash Voyager 64GB Slider X1 USB Flash DriveModel CMFSL3X1-64GB
Pros: This is a very nice little thumbdrive from Corsair. There are several nice features that I like.
First, the construction feels very sturdy. The sliding cover feels very durable and clicks open and shut with a convincing snap. The open end of the cover raises a small concern if you expect that this drive will be stored or transported in a way that might lead to dirt/debris getting into the connector, but otherwise it feels sturdy yet easy to open and shut.
Next, the little drive activity light is a nice extra touch. The light is blue but not annoyingly bright like some unshielded blue LED lights. It is just the right brightness, easy enough to see in direct light but not blinding in a dark room.
Finally, the performance was consistently fast even if I didn't get anywhere close to the specified "up to 160 MB/s" speeds. Here are the speeds I recorded on 2 separate machines, transferring a large file under windows 7:
Read - 35 MB/s
Write - 15 MB/s
Read - 83 MB/s
Write - 20 MB/s
Small files transferred somewhat quicker with initial read speeds showing up at over 100MB/s and write speed starting out around 45 MB/s, but with longer file transfers the speeds settled down to the numbers I listed above.
Cons: The only drawback I found with this USB flash drive is that when the cover is opened and the drive is plugged into the computer, the part of the cover that is used to pull the drive back out of the socket to remove it is made of slick plastic. This, plus the drive being new and therefore having a somewhat tight fit into the USB socket, made removing the drive a bit difficult since my fingers kept slipping off the drive. I simply found it hard to get a good grip on it and couldn't pull it straight out. I had to grip it as tight as I could and wiggle it a bit. If the sliding part of the drive cover had a matte or textured finish instead of the slick shiny finish, it would have been a lot easier to remove. As far as cons go, this is a very small one unless you expect to have to reach behind the computer to repeatedly plug in and unplug this drive using a USB port on the rear of the computer. It was only a problem when I was using a rear port surrounded by other cables that made it hard to get a good grip on it.
Other Thoughts: It's a small thing and not really a pro or con for the drive itself, but I was pleased to see that the packaging of the flash drive did not require scissors or any unusual measures to open. I was able to get the package open with my fingers without any frustration, a nice change after fighting tamper-resistant packaging common with other brands and devices.
Overall this drive seems to be pretty high quality. The durable-feeling construction, the nice and not too bright activity light, and USB 3.0 speeds make it a very attractive drive. The slight negative of the shiny/slick cover making it a bit hard to grip for removal is only an issue if you're going to be unplugging this repeatedly from a cramped rear USB port. I recommend this drive to anyone who needs a nice durable USB 3.0 flash drive.
This review is from: TP-LINK Archer C9 Wireless AC1900 Dual Band Gigabit Router
Pros: This router is a very nice upgrade to my slightly older dual-band wireless router. It has all the latest technology features, and some useful "extra" features that ensure it will remain active in my home network for a long time. The best features in my opinion are:
Dual band WiFi up to 802.11ac
All Ethernet ports are gigabit Ethernet
Dual USB ports, one USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0
Parental Control features with whitelisting, blacklisting, and the ability to control when the internet is available to network users
Web administration app has reasonably good help documentation built right in to the administration interface
Cons: I had some difficulty getting the wifi bridging to work, however I think I was doing something wrong. Some additional documentation on how to set up wifi bridging would have helped quite a bit.
The security settings to change the router's administration password was buried waaaay down at the bottom of the admin pages, instead of prominently up top where it belongs. Changing the admin and wifi passwords IMMEDIATELY is very important when setting up a new router, and I had to dig around a bit to find the three menus to change all of the required passwords. Also, I could not find a way to disable administrative access through wifi, a nice feature to help keep drive-by hackers from even attempting to change router settings.
Parental controls doesn't have a feature to use any of the various "free" automatic whitelist/blacklist web site services out there. There are a few free services that offer no-charge parental control lists for child safe websites, and a parental control feature using one of these free service would have been nice.
Other Thoughts: My home/home office network consists of an extensive wired gigabit Ethernet network, powerline networking with 4 nodes, and dual-band wifi. When I received this new TP-Link dual band gigabit router and saw its feature list, I immediately thought that I would set it up as a virtual sandbox for my young son's network use. He is in elementary school, and needs a safe computing environment. Key features for this include USB storage with configurable access restrictions and sharing, USB print server, and the ability to use parental controls to whitelist or blacklist various websites and also to set specific times for when the internet would be available for his use.
Setup for all of this was very easy due to the nice administrative user interface. The only thing that would have been better about the admin interface would have been more explanation about WHY certain features would be enabled or configured, instead of just how to turn them on and off. Still, in less than 30 minutes, I had configured this router to provide internet access for my son from after school to bedtime, had enabled USB networking storage for him to store files and backups, blacklisted several known bad sites, and specifically allowed access to sites he needs for school.
As a final bonus, I walked my laptop around my house and was pleased to find that wifi signal strength, both 2.4 and 5 ghz, was pretty much as expected with no surprise dropouts and decent signal strength. The included 3 antennas can be turned in different directions, which may help if you find that certain parts of your house get a weak signal for some reason.
Overall I think this is a very nice wireless router, and certainly features like USB 3.0 and gigabit Ethernet ports make it a very current and up to date product. I highly recommend this router for anyone looking for a feature-rich wireless router. It doesn't offer gimmicky "cloud" sharing services like some of the other major brands, but I don't trust those anyhow so I'm actually glad those features were not included since I didn't have to turn them off. This router offered exactly what I needed to extend internet and network storage on my LAN, and it has proven itself reliable and more than fast enough for the job.
This review is from: DEEPCOOL GAMMAXX 400 CPU Cooler 4 Heatpipes 120mm PWM Fan with Blue LED
Pros: Easy installation with push-pins just like the stock intel heatsink.
4 pin fan letting OS or mobo set fan speed
Tower design blows hot air straight out the back of the case instead of spreading it around inside.
Better performance than stock Intel heatsink
Cons: Probably not ideal for high-end or overclocked cpus.
Push-pin mounting isn't ideal for tower HSFs, even ones as light as this one is. Any bumping of the case will put a huge amount of pressure on the pins, possibly enough to break them or pull them out. This could lead to cooking the cpu with no warning, or even let the HSF fall and damage other components.
There are no rubber strips between the fan and HSF, so any fan vibration will be transmitted to the HSF which usually makes it louder.
The fins are press-fit onto the heatpipes instead of being soldered.
Baseplate is not flat so you'll need to use a thicker layer of thermal transfer paste between the cpu and HSF base.
Fan may interfere with RAM slots, and base touches some capacitors near the cpu socket.
The only instructions are printed on the back of the box with only pictures. A larger fold-out sheet of paper with the same pictures would have been a lot easier to follow. Also, I don't think the instructions show applying the thermal paste (its hard to tell, there is a step showing a square that might be the cpu, but no words at all?) so people who haven't done this before might skip that crucial step. Some words and better instructions would be a BIG improvement.
Other Thoughts: On unboxing, I was surprised at how light this HSF is. The HSF is mostly aluminum except for the heatpipes, so it weighs a lot less than other tower HSFs I've used. While this makes the pushpin mounting system workable, it's a minimalist approach to heatsink design that could affect performance. Some fins were slightly bent during shipping. The heatsink isn't secured very carefully in the box and the accessories are loose inside a smaller box inside the large retail box. The baseplate comes covered with a protective sticker, but the baseplate isn't even close to flat due to the direct heatpipe contact design of the HSF. The package includes sufficient hardware for installation and also a small packet of thermal transfer past. I used my own paste, artic ceramique 2, which I've had good luck with in the past.
During installation, I had to remove the fan and my RAM to get enough clearance to push in all the push-pins. Once I did that, I saw that the fan's mounting position can be adjusted up and down a little bit based on where the clips fit in between the heatsink fins. This helped a lot because the fan overlaps my ram slots and the ram would have prevented installation if I hadn't been able to raise the fan up about a centimeter. Also, on my mobo the baseplate of the HSF touches a row of capacitors near the cpu, so the design and production tolerances of this are perfect, from the perspective of if it was even 1mm larger, it wouldn't have fit.
I compared this heatsink to the stock intel heatsink on my core i5-2500 cpu. The cpu is running stock inside a mini-tower case. Ambient temps in the room were about 76F. I measured cpu temps with speedfan, and used prime95 to load the cpu.
Stock intel HSF:
Idle: 33C, Load 82C
Idle 32C, Load 64C
So this HSF gave significantly better performance than the stock HSF. During testing, this HSF was essentially silent at idle and very very quiet at full load, a good sign.
I also noticed that mobo/ram/hd temps were much lower with the Gammaxx HSF, with mobo temps dropping from 61C with the stock HSF to 51C using the Gammaxx HSF. This is most likely due to the tower design which exhausts the hot air directly out the back of the case.
The Gammaxx 400 is a good HSF for mid-range cpus, but I would be very hesitant to recommend it for high-end or overclocked cpus. Design choices like the push-pin mounts, the press-fit fins, and the non-flat base, all reduce the product's performance. Considering the price, I would say that this is at best an "ok" choice. There are other similar HSFs for the same price that have different construction features that would make them more effective. The push-pin mounting also gives me pause. So, I recommend it and plan on continuing to use it in my computer, but I have some reservations regarding design quality and will need to keep checking to ensure it doesn't fall off each time I move the computer.
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