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Pros: Okay so let's start off with some technical specs here. It's exciting to see that modern routers have come so far these days and are priced very low. Even a year ago, you'd have been paying more than double for something like this. The EA7300 is powered by the Qualcomm Atheros IPQ8064 @ 1.4 GHz chipset, 256 MB RAM and 128 MB flash. In other words, under the hood it's a powerful piece of technology and Linksys managed to encase it in a sleek looking package.
Set-up is as easy as it always is with a Linksys router. Once connected, you simply launch a web browser and you're greeted with the set-up wizard that guides you through everything. Even the non-tech savvy folks will have no problem here.
Connectivity is what you'd expect from a router in this class. It offers the standard 4-port Gigabit Ethernet switch, but most people will be using this for Wi-Fi connections anyway. It does not disappoint when it comes to Wi-Fi connectivity either, as every standard from 802.11AC and back is fully supported.
Performance is excellent. I tested it out using a desktop PC with a 802.11ac client card installed. I transferred some large ISO files over the network and was hitting almost 250Mb/s consistently at a range of around 40 feet. That's MORE than enough for anything you could want to do nowadays. Even moving away to around 100 feet, on my smartphone I still hit 120 Mb/s in 802.11ac mode. That is VERY impressive. Again, that is fast enough to do anything I can think of, including ultra HD video streaming.
MU-MIMO mode is interesting and exciting. This isn't just a marketing term. The way this technology works provides multiple users with the best possible connection without any performance issues. What MU-MIMO (Multiple user, multiple input, multiple output) actually does is create three separate, transparent networks. These aren't networks that actually have SSID's and you need to worry about connecting to or anything. This is all done automatically and is transparent to the end-user. So if three people are connected, each one has their own dedicated channel. If six are connected, three pairs of people will each share a connection. This feature works great and is basically intelligent traffic shaping at its best. It ensures that you'll always get the best connection based on your needs. I hope to see this technology used on more routers in the future as I am a big fan.
The Smart Wi-Fi app for mobile devices gives you an easy way to check the status of your network and even configure advanced settings from your smartphone. I find that the simplified interface is very easy to navigate and the app is powerful considering how easy it is to use. The most useful feature for most people will be the parental controls you can access from it. I don't see how anyone could have issues with it, as it's easy to use and I had no problems running it on my Galaxy Note 5 smartphone.
Cons: Only one USB 3.0 port. I mean I think they should have included two for sure. Most routers in this class offer two ports. It's useful for connecting hard drives to share files along with a printer. Not sure why they only included one.
As nice as the Smart-Wi-Fi app is to use, it seems like Linksys is trying to push people to use the service. Power users such as myself don't need the service and are fully capable of manually configuring the router, so Linksys should not be "forcing" anyone to use a service they don't wanna use. While there are ways around it for now, It's becoming harder to avoid this service altogether if you don't wanna use it.
Not as fast as some of the 1900AC routers currently available for around the same price. This is something to consider when purchasing this model.
Other Thoughts: This is most definitely a fine router and I recommend it primarily for big families with multiple users that all have a few devices that regularly need internet access. The MU-MIMO technology is a HUGE selling point here. This is one of the best deals for a family that needs solid, reliable performance at a rock bottom price.
Power users will want to look at some of the 1900AC routers instead I believe. Although if you do choose this model, there are some ways to get the most out of it. It's not a complete let-down in that area, so don't get me wrong.
Overall a great product with just some minor issues.
Pros: Well, I have to mention the first thing that jumped out at me and should matter to you right off the bat as well. Corsair honors a five year warranty with this unit. That tells you right there how much faith they have in the design. Which, after using this unit for a while and inspecting it closely, I can most definitely vouch for the exceptional build quality. Typically budget units like the CX650M have a three year warranty at best, so this speaks volumes in and of itself.
Single-rail design means power distribution isn't something you need to worry about. CWT (Channel Well Technologies) built this unit and they have a really great track record. The work they did with this unit is no different. The "hold up" capacitor is a Nippon Chemi-Con cap, which is great to see in a budget unit like this considering they make some of the best capacitors around. The soldering job also looked neat and well-done, which is typical of CWT's work and on of the many reasons Corsair has used them for so long.
It's also nice to see that polymer capacitors are used in the CX650M as well (although there are some electrolytic caps as well). In the not so distant past, only high-end units used polymer caps, which last MUCH longer than the electrolytic caps that can swell and burst over time. It looks like CWT used polymer caps everywhere that mattered, while using the electrolytic caps in other less important areas just to keep the cost down, which is understandable with a PSU in this price range. The use of polymer caps no doubt contributed to Corsair's decision to honor the five year warranty.
Ripple and efficiency are very good in this unit and put other Bronze certified PSU's to shame. This is no doubt a very reliable design and offers enough connectors for most typical lower to mid-range builds. You can run two GPU's in SLI\Crossfire, assuming of course you choose GPU's that can be sufficiently powered by this unit (which would NOT be the higher-end varieties). Overall this PSU has plenty of connectors, so choosing a single mid to high-end GPU would be the way to go in my opinion here. I just had to note that mutli-GPU is a possibility with the right GPU's.
Packaging was phenomenal as always with Corsair products. Cables are sleeved very well and everything you need is included.
Cons: The sleeve bearing fan is loud. This is to be expected with this type of fan. The fan is just simply not a very good fan in general, although it's adequate to cool this PSU. Just don't expect it to be silent when you're pushing it hard.
Could have definitely used a few more peripheral cables. I could see where some people might get into trouble there. They could have added at least a few more molex connectors at the very least.
The cables aren't quite as long as I would like to see. A lot of cases are big these days so you're gonna need extensions in that scenario. If you have a smaller mid-tower you shouldn't have a problem.
The aesthetics are a bit plain. But I guess one can't expect much from a budget unit in this price class. It's definitely not "ugly," but it's not exactly sleek either.
Other Thoughts: I wholeheartedly recommend this PSU for anyone that can get by on 650W. It's solid, reliable, and built extremely well. The ONLY reason I decided to take an egg off were for the noise issues and the fact that Corsair used such a bad fan with this unit. It really irked me on what otherwise could have been a perfect budget power supply. That said, this is really not a big problem at all. The fan is good enough to cool the unit and doesn't really get loud unless you are pushing your system. So more of the same here. Just another great PSU from Corsair!READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: Okay so I've waited a while to post this review. I wanted to make sure I put this drive through the ringer, because very many of you have been questioning the reliability of it.
Here's the thing... It's VERY reliable once you get the quirks ironed out. I've now had it running for months with NO ISSUES and I'm getting a solid 550MB/s on sequential reads. All other speed tests fall in line with other drives of this caliber, except this drive is even cheaper!
I'm using it primarily as a gaming drive since I already have two other SSD's in RAID 0 as my OS drive. I have three of the games I'm now playing frequently installed on this drive and the load times are instant. Performance is exceptional to say the least. Very impressed with it.
This drive features all the latest tech, including support for garbage collection routines and the TRIM command, wear-leveling and S.M.A.R.T. drive performance along with health monitoring attributes, ECC error correction for data transmission reliability, and is NCQ and RAID-ready. Can't ask for much more in a budget SSD like this.
Three year warranty is actually a plus on a budget SSD such as this. It shows they stand by their product.
There isn't much more I can say here. This drive does what it should and does it well!
Cons: Okay here's were things get dicey. So many people have had issues with the drive disappearing from their system, or hanging the PC during boot. I actually had these issues at first, along with some abysmal performance issues. But I was able to troubleshoot it and find out what the problem was. PLEASE keep this in mind! This drive is EXTREMELY picky about the SATA cables you use. Cables that worked fine with my other drives DID NOT work well with this drive. So I simply swapped cables a few times until I achieved the transfer rates that made sense using my favorite benchmark. Since then, it's been ROCK SOLID.
So, if you have these issues with the drive, don't assume it's bad. TRY DIFFERENT CABLES! I have no idea why it's so finicky as far as the cables you use, but it could be that the connector just isn't built to the same standard as some of the more expensive and well known brands. Luckily, this can be worked around. I mean I had some serious issues with it (just as a lot of others reported) until I finally found a cable that worked well with it. Now I'll just keep that cable married to it.
I got this as a bare drive. It didn't even come with screws. This is nitpicking, but I think that's ridiculous. Apparently if you buy it retail you'll get screws and even a 3.5 adapter, so no worries there.
Some may view the 3 year warranty as a con. But this is a budget drive so that is a good warranty considering the price.
Other Thoughts: So in closing, I wanna say I definitely recommend this drive due to its cheap price and very solid performance. But the fact that it's so finicky about the cables you use is something you really need to be mindful of. If you have plenty of cables around like myself, I wouldn't worry too much. Otherwise, get some new cables (they are super cheap) before purchasing. I promise you that once you get it working right, you will not be let down with this drive!READ FULL REVIEW