Date Joined: 03/15/04
Pros: - High Capacity
- Best value per GB currently
I purchased 3 of these drives for my WHS 2011 storage server running FlexRAID. I used two for parity drives and the third for data. In total, I have 16 drives in the RAID, 2 of which are for parity, with a total of 42 TB of storage capacity.
All three drives passed a surface sector scan without error and were placed into the RAID array. The parity drives see about 2 TB/day in reads and 1 TB/day in writes. I've written about 1 TB to the 3rd drive. I have not had any issues with any of these drives.
Performance is excellent for a 5900 RPM drive. The error scan averaged approximately 170 MB/sec, whereas the 3 TB 7200 RPM drive hit 186 MB/sec. In contrast, this drive runs cooler and has less vibration.
I also wanted to comment on Newegg's new hard drive shipping methods. I stopped buying drives from Newegg a year ago when I received two DOA drives, both poorly packaged. However, Newegg revamped their shipping practices and all drives are now shipped in custom-fitted air bladders that provide excellent protection. I can now happily purchase drives from Newegg, knowing that they will be properly packaged. See here for more information: http://promotions.newegg.com/HDD/14-0788/index.html?icid=238512
I will update this review in a year with the current state of all 3 drives.
Cons: - These drives only come with a 2 year warranty, extended to 3 years if you purchase with a credit card (Visa, MC, AMEX, Discover all offer this benefit). In contrast, the NAS drives come with a 3 year warranty and enterprise/WD Black drives have 5 year warranties. These drives are still an excellent value, but the limited warranty period is something to consider. I don't think the price premium on NAS drives is warranted unless you are using drives for traditional RAID.
Pros: Stable, fast enough (500 MB/sec aggregate read during FlexRAID build/validate operations), 3 TB drive support with latest 22.214.171.1240 driver, great for cable management when used with a SAS backplane
Cons: None so far
Overall Review: I'm using an AOC-SASLP-MV8 SAS controller in a WHS 2011 storage server with 16 TB of total storage. I haven't had an drop-outs or other issues with the card despite building parity for 9 TB of data using FlexRAID.
For 3 TB support, download the latest 126.96.36.1990 driver which can be obtained here: ftp://ftp.supermicro.com/driver/SAS/Marvell/MV8/SAS2
Norco RPC-4224 4U Rackmount server w/ 24 hotswap bays
Asus P8B WS Workstation Motherboard (4x PCI-E 16x slots running at 8x/8x/4x/4x, Dual onboard Intel Server NICs)
Core i3-2100 3.2 Ghz Dual Core 1155 CPU
8 GB DDR3 1333
Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8 Controller
1 TB WD Black OS drive
2x 1.5 TB Samsung F3
2x 2TB Samsung F4
1x 2TB WD Green EARS
2x 2TB Hitachi 5k3000
1x 3TB Hitachi 5k3000
Total 12 TB data, 2TB parity with FlexRAID 2.0
Pros: Maximum 130 MB/sec read/write speed at beginning of disk, operates at 30C, amazing price after MIR, functions well in hardware RAID unlike consumer drives from other manufacturers
Cons: None yet
Overall Review: Purchased two. Both successfully passed a full disk sector scan in HDTune Pro.
Pros: Great speeds for a "green" drive (130 MB/sec max, 95 MB/sec average), runs silently and cool (33C in my system), and successfully passed an error scan in HDTune Pro ensuring there are no bad blocks. HDTune indicates that the drive spins at 5900 RPM rather than the 5400 RPM typical of green drives.
Overall Review: Many people complain that they're only seeing 2.2 TB or 750 GB of space when they format this drive. That has nothing to do with the hard drive. Rather, it's a result of a lack of 3 TB support on many SATA controllers. If you have this issue, download the latest drivers for your SATA controller. These can be found on your motherboard's driver website.
If you are using an Intel controller (the first 4-6 ports on most Intel motherboards), you can download the latest driver here: http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&DwnldID=20215&ProdId=2101&lang=eng&OSVersion=Windows%207%2C%2032-bit*&DownloadType=
The latest 10.x series fully support 3 TB drives.
Pros: The Samsung F4 HD204UI is very affordable and runs cool and quiet. I barely hear the drive even when spinning up, and the drive runs 5-10C cooler than my Western Digital drives. I am purchasing my second 2 TB F4 and also have two 1.5 TB F2s in my system which run equally well. I haven't had a single issue with any of my Samsung drives which I've owned between 6-12 months.
Pros: Affordable, runs quietly and relatively cool.
Cons: The first drive I ordered failed several SMART diagnostic tests and had bad blocks. WD quickly cross-shipped me a replacement. While this drive passes all diagnostic tests, and doesn't have any bad blocks, I have had issues with the drive freezing for 30 seconds to a minute while playing movies. The movie will freeze and the HDD activity light will show constant activity. Yet, Windows reports no disk activity on the drive, and at the time, the drive was not being accessed by any other user or application.
Overall Review: I recommend the Samsung 2TB F4. I have found it to be extremely reliable, and it runs cooler and quieter than the WD EARS drive. Newegg reviews also indicate a much lower failure rate.
Pros: This has been by far the best component upgrade I have made. It has increased the speed of booting the PC, starting applications, loading games, loading maps etc. Virtually any time my Core i7 system seemed sluggish in the past, I found that I was being limited by my WD 1 TB Black drive.
With the SSD, I am never waiting for the drive. As soon as the desktop loads, I can load 3 or 4 programs simultaneously without delay. If I tried that with the WD Black drive, I would have been waiting 7-10 seconds while the drive thrashed. Instead, the SSD loads apps in 1-2 seconds.
Applications load almost within 1 sec of the time they take to load from RAM. The difference is most noticeable with game load times. I now find that I'm always one of the first to enter a level of TF2, for example.
Cons: None, except for price - but it's well worth the cost.
Overall Review: HD Tune shows avg synchronous read speeds of 253 MB/sec, a max of 263 MB/sec, and 0.1 ms latency.
CrystalDisk bench shows 250 MB/sec synchronous read, 107 MB/sec synchronous write, as well as a 190 MB/sec with random 512 KB reads.
Remember to enable AHCI for best performance and to install the Intel SSD Toolbox as well as SSD Tweaker. The former app can be used to schedule the TRIM command, which can be run daily (only takes a few seconds). The latter will, with one click, disable defragmentation (not necessary for Win 7), prefetching, Superfetch, and make a few other modifications to increase performance and prevent unnecessary writes.
All in all, wonderful drive.
Pros: I now have two of these drives, both of which I have managed to fill up in short order. These are my quietest and coolest running drives (other than my SSD, of course). They are cool to the touch when running, and HD Tune reports temps of 25C. Decent speed for a bulk storage drive.
Overall Review: Just bought a 2 TB Samsung due to my pleasant experience with these drives.
Pros: - Silicon 3132 chipset with good support for Windows XP, Vista, and 7 in 32 and 64 bit versions as well as most Linux variants
- flashable BIOS
- SATA 2 (3 Gb/sec) ports
- PCI-E 1x (but only 2.5 Gb/sec - not 5 Gb/sec)
- Works well out of the box in Windows 7 if you allow Windows to install drivers for you; otherwise get the latest driver from Rosewill's site
Cons: - Drives are not hot-swappable because the drives are not detected as removable and it seems you can't disable write caching. Thus, if you attempt to dismount the drives, Windows will refuse, and tell you to wait to next boot
Overall Review: Other than the lack of hotswapping, this PCI-E 1x eSATA card does its job well.
Pros: High capacity, runs 10C cooler than my Western Digital drives, and does so nearly silently. I'm using it for bulk storage but speeds are excellent. 105 MB/sec read/write at the beginning of the drive, 85 MB/sec avg.
Pros: I've had this card for over a year and have used it on several different laptops. I can always get native HDD speeds of 100 MB/sec+, much lower CPU utilization than USB, and I have access to S.M.A.R.T and HDD temperature data as well. Much better than USB. The card also has Linux drivers, so I've used it to speed up restoring backups off the Acronis TrueImage Linux disk.
Pros: - Stable voltages
- Single 12V rail providing up to 52A
- Crossfire/SLI support
- 5 year warranty
- Very attractive/nice build quality
- Long cables
Cons: Long cables can make your case messy. Thankfully my Antec 300 Illusion case has a cable compartment on the side.
Overall Review: One user mentioned that this power supply won't work with 2 video cards that each require 2 6-pin PCI-E power connectors as the PSU only provides 2, not 4.
However, that's not the case. Your video card should come with two molex > PCI-E power connectors. Each connector requires two free molex ports, so 4 in all for an additional card. Since this PSU has 8 molex connectors, that should be no problem. 4 for the second video card, 1 for a DVD-RW drive (if that, most new drives are SATA) and 3 for case fans should be plenty. I'm currently using 2.
Pros: - Excellent build quality
- 3 120mm fans and 140mm top-mounted fan provide great airflow at any setting.
- Runs quiet at Low/Medium settings especially with front fans disabled which are not necessary to keep the case cool.
- Ability to manually control fan speed for each fan separately. I disabled the front fans as they were keeping the hard drives too cold! (Google study shows anything below 30C increases risk of failure and the drives were below 25C).
- Comes with 24 thumb screws for the 6 hard drive bays and 4 for the case (different sizes)
- Excellent hard drive bay - at least an 1" between each drive providing maximum cooling/airflow
- Case is much wider than may midsize cases allowing for very large CPU coolers. My Coolermaster V8 is massive and would have never fit in my old case. Fits perfectly in the Antec 300.
- Space to install an additional 120mm fan to cool the GPU
- Plenty of space for large GPU
Cons: - Not a huge fan of the Blue LEDs. Distracting while watching movies. Can be cut/disabled.
Overall Review: System Specs:
Core i7 860 @ 3.71 Ghz w/ Cooler Master V8 Cooler
Gigabyte P55-UD3R Mobo (8x SATA, 2x eSATA, 14x USB 2.0)
4 GB OCZ DDR3 1600 7-7-7-24
ATI 5850 (will OC soon)
1 TB WD Caviar Black
2x Fantom eSATA 1TB drives
1x Fanton USB 500GB drive
Samsung 24x DVD-RW SATA
External USB 4x Blu-Ray Drive
Zonet ZEW2140 802.11n
2x additional eSATA ports (4x total)
Pros: 3 included fans, eSATA, nice appearance, LEDs
Cons: Build quality leaves something to be desired. Molex cables were not very sturdy on my case.
Overall Review: When I posted my original review I believed that the three fans were defective. I have since learned that my power supply was defective. The PSU powered all of my SATA devices and the motherboard. In addition, it powered the blue LED on the front of the case. I therefore assumed the fans were to blame.
I later learned that the power supply was defective. It had two 12V rails, one of which powered SATA devices and the other which powered the molex connectors. While the rail powering SATA devices worked fine, the rail responsible for the molex connectors was defective. It provided enough power to turn on the blue LED, but not the 5W necessary to enable the fans.
I only realized the PSU was to blame after purchasing a second case - with four fans - that also did not work. I apologize for my mistaken claim that the fans I received were defective, however my comments regarding build quality and the molex connectors still stand. However, it may have been an isolated issue.
Pros: Pretty Blue LEDs
Cons: The power supply I received had a defective 12V rail, which was extremely difficult to diagnose. My SATA hard drive and DVD-RW worked fine, and the motherboard had power but none of my case fans worked. I assumed the fans were defective, but after getting a second case with the same issue and realizing the Sigma Shark had 2 12V rails, I returned the Sigma Shark and purchased a Corsair 650W PSU (same price after rebate . . .). Now all my fans work.
Apparenlty the molex cables are on a different 12V rail than the SATA cables. Thus, my drives were powered but not the 2.5W 120mm fans in my case! Oddly the rail provided SOME power as it lit up a blue LED in the case. In any case, it made it quite difficult to diagnose the PSU as the issue.
Overall Review: Go with a quality power supply. It's really not worth the trouble. For the same price as the Sigma you can buy a 650W Corsair which is of much higher build quality, has a 120mm thermally controlled fan as well as a 5 year warranty (versus 3 years for the Sigma). Don't bother with the Sigma.
Pros: Runs well at stock 1600 7-7-7-24 timings @ 1.9V. Overclocked to 1750 7-7-7-24. Make sure you set the voltage to 1.9V. These chips will NOT run stable at 1.5 or 1.65V (default on most BIOS's) at the 7 timings. Your system will BSOD. Very attractive silver heatspreaders.
Overall Review: Running on a Core i7 860 system, Gigabyte GB-P55-UD3R motherboard, Corsair 650W CMPSU-650TX PSU, Nvidia 9600GT with an Antec 300 Illusion case.
Pros: Works great. Easy to install. Solid connections/cables. Cheap!
Overall Review: By default external drives show up as internal SATA drives and thus can't easily be removed. Drives must be marked as removable manually.
Pros: The keys feel solid and the keyboard is well-constructed. In addition, the media keys are surprisingly useful. I use the play/pause/mute buttons quite a bit.
Overall Review: I just bought a second!
Pros: This is an amazingly fast chip. The combination of Hyperthreading and a faster Turbo Boost makes this chip faster than the Core i7 920 in most benchmarks. The differences are especially stark single-threaded applications because the 860 regularly runs at 3.33 Ghz in single-threaded apps yielding a 15-20% increase over non-turbo mode. That means - for regular desktop and game usage- this chip will crush the 920 since most apps are at most optimized for dual-core setups. In addition, 1156 socket motherboards are $50-100 cheaper than 1366 motherboards.
I upgraded from a Core 2 Duo 2.0 Ghz chip and the difference is incredible. I've included some benchmarks below.
The Core i7 is highly efficient at video encoding/decoding compared to C2 Duo/Quad chips. See benchmarks below.
Excellent power efficiency. Usually runs at 1.2-1.33 ghz with 2 cores disabled on idle. Power usage only slightly higher than some Core 2 Duos. Uses 20-30W less system-wide on idle than a i7 920, and more at lo
Overall Review: Benchmarks:
wPrime (calculate first 32 million prime #'s)
Core i7 860- 8.7 seconds
C2D 2.0 Ghz - 40 seconds (4.5x faster)
y-cruncher (Calculates first 32 million digits of Pi - x64, SSE4, and multithreaded)
Core i7 860 - 14.25 seconds (3.5x faster)
C2D 2.1 Ghz - 50 seconds (64 bit)
C2D 2.0 - 70 seconds (32 bit)
Core i7 860- 12 seconds (2.1x faster)
C2D 2.0 - 25 seconds
Mediacoder x264 encoding for iPod (x64, multi-threaded)
Core i7 860- 250 fps
C2D 2.0 - 50 fps
1080p x264 decoding (Defiance, 1920x1080 L4.1 x264, 20 mbit avg, 30-40 mbit through tested scene - toughest H.264 sample I have)
Core i7 860- 10-16% CPU usage (6.66x faster!)
C2D 2.0 - 90-100% CPU usage (frame dropping)
Average 1080p x264 Decoding
Core i7 860- 10%
C2D 2.0 - 60-70%
Just for kicks, I ran 3 1080p x264 encoded videos simultaneously and CPU usage still only ranged from 30-33% usage. (3.
Pros: This RAM would only run at 1333 Mhz for me on a Gigabyte GA-P55-UD3R.
Cons: At 1600 Mhz, the RAM failed Memtest after a single run. In addition, I got BSOD's attempting to start Windows 7 and during the install of XP. Probably just a defective set of RAM. Could have also been a compatibility issue.
Pros: Attractive appearance, includes eSATA
Cons: The case I received had THREE defective fans. In addition, the build quality isn't very good. The case is quite light, and the molex connectors on the fans are very poorly made. They basically fall apart when you attempt to connect them.
Pros: Feels very sturdy. Thick cable with a stiff connection that definitely will not slip loose. Good price w/ free shipping.
Pros: Drive was recognized by Windows and reading disks as soon as it was plugged in and powered. Read every Blu-Ray I tried. Successfully played disks using Power DVD 8.0 Ultra - including BD-Live (2.0) features, PiP etc. When not using the stand, the drive is silent and does not vibrate (probably thanks to the low rotation speeds).
Cons: Didn't come with PowerDVD 7 (or any disk for that matter). This isn't really a problem as PowerDVD 7 is horrible, and you'll want to upgrade to something better like Power DVD 8 Ultra or Arcsoft's Total Media Theatre. USB Cable is a little short (3')
Overall Review: For those without HDCP compatible displays or video cards, or those using DVI, or an analog connection (VGA or component), note that while future disks may not be playable in 1080p, as of this time every major studio has stated that they have no plans to implement the Image Constraint Token (ICT), and therefore, any Blu-Ray on the market can be played back in its full 1080p glory. Any disks that use ICT must have a warning on the label.
PowerDVD 8 Ultra supports GPU assisted hardware decoding for Blu-Ray (AVC, VC-1, and MPEG-2) and notes that it supports the NVIDIA 8x00 series cards. This is strictly true, but if you have a laptop with 8400M, as I do, there is no hardware decoding for AVC or VC-1 (only MPEG-2). Run Cyberlink's "BD Advisor" which will warn you if your computer is capable of smooth BD playback.
Smooth playback on HP dv9500, C2D T3700 (2 Ghz), 2 GB RAM, NVIDIA 8400M (without GPU acceleration) on XP SP3
Pros: Hot plug support. Speeds equivalent to internal SATA connection. With 1 TB Fantom drive (5400 RPM, 8 MB Cache, SATA II) I obtained synchronous read and write speeds of 100 MB/sec at the beginning of the drive and average read/write speeds of 80 MB/sec in HDTune and Sandra Lite. In comparison, I was limited to 27 MB/sec read/write using USB 2.0. I also noticed much improved speeds in Windows. Copy operations are about twice as fast, and backups with Acronis TI now take half the time. In addition, CPU usage with eSATA is nominal during heavy disk activity whereas USB can use quite a lot of CPU, and thereby make a system unresponsive.
Cons: Sticks out a bit, preventing me from keeping it connected in my laptop bag.
Overall Review: Installed using latest drivers from website. Device is recognized in Linux without the need to install drivers. Even Acronis TI's boot disk recognizes it (uses stripped down Linux kernel)!
Pros: This is a wonderful notebook mouse. It worked on Windows 7, Windows XP, Vista, and Ubuntu immediately after being plugged in w/o drivers having to be installed. It scrolls smoothly and feels responsive. The size makes it easily portable - and light enough to keep in your laptop bag. However, it's comfortable to hold. I liked this mouse so much I am using it for my desktop and thinking about getting a second! The ability to slide the receiver onto the back of the mouse and thus turn off the mouse is a very nice feature and saves some battery life.