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Paul E.

Paul E.

Joined on 02/23/08

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 24
Most Favorable Review

Power, Silence, and Control.

CORSAIR HXi Series HX1000i 1000W 80 PLUS PLATINUM Haswell Ready Full Modular ATX12V & EPS12V SLI and Crossfire Ready Power Supply with C-Link Monitoring and Control
CORSAIR HXi Series HX1000i 1000W 80 PLUS PLATINUM Haswell Ready Full Modular ATX12V & EPS12V SLI and Crossfire Ready Power Supply with C-Link Monitoring and Control

Pros: The package and presentation is great! A nice sturdy box within the decorative outer box contains a large bag full of power cables, a real, thick, multi-language manual, and soft foam that immobilizes the PSU, which comes wrapped in a satin bag. The little touches make this power supply stand out – The chamfered edges, the sturdy connectors that click smoothly and softly into the PSU, the oversized power switch on the back, and the tag that reminds you that it’s perfectly normal for the fan not to spin under light loads. The number of cables that are included with this PSU is immense : -One 24-pin Motherboard cable, two 8-pin CPU cables -Four double 6/8-pin PCI-E cables (for a total of up to eight 8-pin PCI-E connectors) -Three quadruple Molex cables (for a total of up to 16 Molex connectors) -Three quadruple SATA power cables (for a total of up to 16 SATA power connectors) You will never have to compromise in selecting which of these cables you need to use, since there are connectors for all of them on the PSU. Additionally, they include a Mini USB to USB header cable to allow the PSU to communicate with the Corsair Link software, a proprietary Corsair Link cable to connect the PSU to a Corsair Link hub if you have such a device, and two Molex to Floppy power connectors. All of the cables feel sturdy and well-made, and should be easy to manage, as long as the Corsair-style flat cables are your preference. Corsair Link seems to be a great piece of software. Not only does it allow you to see lots of PSU information – input and output wattage, efficiency, voltage and amperage for all 3 rails, and PSU temperature - but it also grabs motherboard fan header RPM, CPU temp, and even GPU fan and temperature data. It rolls GPU monitoring software, fan control software, fan control software, and detailed PSU information all into one. Bravo. At idle, my desktop consumes 100-120W of power, and the PSU’s self-calculated efficiency lies between 85-90%, which is phenomenal. My lowly quad-core, single GPU desktop with a 5-drive hardware RAID 6 array managed to load the PSU up to about 250W – efficiency held around 92%, and the fan does not spin at all. Unlike some other PSUs I’ve had in the past, there was no coil whine or squeak to be heard from this unit. This is to be expected from a high-quality, high-wattage power supply, but no noise is good news!

Cons: Corsair flat cables have their quirks – For example, the 24 pin cable is split into 2 connectors at the PSU – No, not 20+4, but 10+14. Four wires cross over immediately at the connector, and the 4 sections of flat cable do not go straight into the motherboard connector – they cross over each other, making it impossible for the cable to lie totally flat. I can’t claim to have engineered this power supply, but I can’t fathom that they couldn’t come up with a better design than this. If you are creative with your cable management, you can make it work – it doesn’t stand out in my case, and the “rear” side panel still fits flush. Flat cables are, in general, love-or-hate. I personally like them, but many reviewers do not share my enthusiasm for them, and would rather have a bundle-o’-wires with sleeving and heat shrink. Keep in mind that this PSU is not a standard ATX length – While this is not a fair con, since such a powerful PSU must be this big (and many are much larger), keep in mind that this PSU may not fit in some smaller cases. My HAF 932 case provided plenty of room in both PSU mounting locations, and most full tower cases should.

Overall Review: Although I was not in the market for a power supply – my three-year-old Corsair AX750 is still humming along, which is a testament to the quality of Corsair PSUs – I was thrilled to receive this review sample from Newegg. I would not hesitate to recommend this PSU to anyone looking to build or upgrade, provided they are happy with Corsair’s flat cable style. With built-in monitoring hardware, this is the ultimate in control and knowledge of what is going into your computer.

Most Critical Review

Poor Value for Money, According to Testing

D-Link Wireless AC750 Dual Band Cloud Router, 2x 5dBi Antennas (DIR-816L)
D-Link Wireless AC750 Dual Band Cloud Router, 2x 5dBi Antennas (DIR-816L)

Pros: I've owned a D-link Cloud router for nearly a year - a DIR-826L, to be exact. D-link's Cloud routers work well and are accessible beyond what an average end-user needs. Techie offspring: Picture diagnosing, re-setting, and re-configuring your parent's router from your own home via a browser interface or from your mobile device. It's a very versatile system. Same goes for the SharePort. It's an easy way to share data via your network, and works comparably with Windows Homegroups. The router itself is small, tidy, and wall-mountable. As long as you have room for the antennas, it can fit almost anywhere. Setup is straightforward and a dual-band router in this price range, though becoming more common, isn't guaranteed.

Cons: I compared the DIR-816L to my current DIR-826L router, examining up- and download speeds and connection stability at varying distances. What I found was very disappointing: On both bands, this Wireless AC router underperformed compared to my Wireless N router. At medium distances, while the 826L provided very usable speeds over 5GHz N (19Mbps down, 12 up), the 816L was barely usable (2.5Mbps down, 3 up) and the connection was far less consistent and stable. The 2.4 GHz band was unchanged between models. 1 room away from the router, the 826L consistently maxed out my data connection over 5GHz (75Mbps down, 17 up), whereas the new 816L matched the upload speed but failed to break 40Mbps. In the same place, the 2.4GHz band also suffered losses: The 826L consistently tested at 40/17Mbps, but the 816L failed to exceed 25/17Mbps. The Although the DIR-826L is an N router instead of an AC, it consistently out-performs the DIR-816L. The 826L is not only less expensive on Newegg at the time of this review, but offers the same cloud support, USB storage, and gigabit LAN instead of 10/100. The 826L is by far the better buy.

Overall Review: I accepted this Newegg Eggxpert review with the knowledge that I would be able to do back-to-back testing with a very similar router from the same brand. I did not expect this outcome, however. Due to my findings, I would not recommend this router to a prospective buyer. All testing was performed with the routers connected identically, in the same placement and position. Speeds were measured using my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 in Airplane mode using the Ookla Speedtest app from the Play store. Every effort was made to provide equal testing parameters, and multiple speed tests were run on each band in each position in the house.

Great Lightweight Headset for Gaming

Corsair Gaming VOID Surround Hybrid Stereo Gaming Headset with Dolby 7.1 USB Adapter - Red
Corsair Gaming VOID Surround Hybrid Stereo Gaming Headset with Dolby 7.1 USB Adapter - Red

Pros: -This headset is very light. Corsair pulls this off nicely without the headset feeling cheap, which is great! A lightweight headset means more comfort when you're wearing it for long periods of time, and less "head-heavy" feeling. -Sound quality is right where it should be for games. Using the USB adapter and with Dolby on, this headset produces a clear soundstage that I find helps me locate enemies easily in FPS games. There is an ample amount of bass without being boomy or excessive. EQ can be tuned to your liking in Corsair's CUE software when using the USB adapter. -No complaints about the mic - I've always been heard loud and clear, and have received no complaints from others in game or on VOIP. -Physical volume and mic mute on the left earcup.

Cons: -I found that the volume wheel is easy to accidentally move, and found myself scratching my head as to why my audio is not working/very quiet until I reached back for the volume wheel. -The mute button on the left earcup is just a little bit kludgy to actuate quickly. I'd much sooner use a keyboard/mouse button as a push to talk button like I normally do. If you must have a convenient physical mic mute button on the headset to press while gaming, this may not be ideal, but it doesn't bother me. -Sound quality is good, but not audiophile-level good. That said, you are not likely to find perfectly accurate drivers in a headset at this price point!

Overall Review: If you're after a comfortable headset to wear on long gaming sessions, and value directional audio, this is a great headset - good enough to be my permanent daily driver. I won't be bumping this off of my headphone stand until it wears out, which does not seem to be in the near future.

Great looking, fast-reading USB drive

Silicon Power 32GB Jewel J80 USB 3.0 Flash Drive (SP032GBUF3J80V1T)
Silicon Power 32GB Jewel J80 USB 3.0 Flash Drive (SP032GBUF3J80V1T)

Pros: -It looks great - an all-metal body and a small form factor set this drive apart. -Fantastic read speeds – 140-240 MBPS!

Cons: -Formatted in FAT32 – easy to fix, but FAT32 is literally a 20-year-old technology! 4GB max file size is not enough for a 32GB drive. -Less than great write speeds – 14-20 MBPS. Still beats the pants off of most USB2.0 flash drives.

Overall Review: This drive came formatted as FAT32, which means that in order to write files larger than 4GB, the drive needs to be reformatted. This is the first thing that I did - into ExFAT format, which is compatible with larger file sizes and not tied to a Windows operating system like NTFS formatting. I used 3 sets of data to evaluate this drive – Small, Large, and Giant: Small – 400 files at 500KB-20MB each, total 3.6 GB (simulating pictures or music) Large – 24 files at 350MB each, total 8.2GB (simulating TV shows, small video/audio editing files) Giant – a single 7.6GB file (simulating a 1080p feature-length movie, or a larger video/audio editing file. All tests were read from, and written to, an NVMe SSD well beyond the bandwidth capability of a normal flash drive, and with extremely low latency – this guaranteed that the speed of the flash drive was being evaluated, and the results were not affected by the source (for writes to the flash drive) or destination (for reads from the flash drive). Small: Write 4:20 (260 sec) – 13.8 MBPS Read 0:15 – 240 MBPS Large: Write 6:59 (419 sec) – 19.5 MBPS Read 1:00 – 137 MBPS Huge: Write 6:30 (390 sec) – 19.5 MBPS Read 0:38 – 201 MBPS This drive may have you waiting around for longer than you might like. I was disappointed to find that this drive’s write speeds are fairly low, but I was glad to find that read speeds are excellent. Worried that the file system may have had an effect on the write speeds, I reformatted the drive to NTFS, and found no increase in speed. Overall, I believe that this drive would be a great choice for data that needs to be loaded once, but accessed quickly many times, such as carrying a copy of Windows to install on a group of computers. It would perform acceptably as a simple data storage device, such as USB storage for music in a car, media box, or game console, or for basic file transfers. If your focus is writing large files to a USB drive often, there are better write speed performers out there at this price point.

A Good WiFi Adapter to Cut the Cord to Your Desktop

LINKSYS WUSB6100M Next-Gen AC AC600 Mu-Mimo USB Adapter
LINKSYS WUSB6100M Next-Gen AC AC600 Mu-Mimo USB Adapter

Pros: -Consistent throughput of 200-240Mbps throughput at a moderate distance (30 feet) from the router. -Very low (approximately 5ms) disadvantage over wired connection. -Once set up, provided a reliable connection throughout a small house.

Cons: -May not provide enough bandwidth throughput for ultra-high speed (200Mbps+) internet connections or file transfers when compared to a Gigabit wired connection - it only supports AC433 + N150 connections. -Refused to install correctly on a laptop with integrated wireless, was not plug-and-play on a desktop. -It’s an awkward size (more on that later).

Overall Review: The overall verdict: I believe that this wireless adapter’s best use would be to add wireless connectivity to a desktop (such as a PC built by the user), provided the following are true: -The desktop has at least 1 free USB 3.0 port -The household has <200Mbps internet service, and does not have a need to make large wireless file transfers -The router being used is a Linksys with MU-MIMO technology (of which there are only 3 models at the time of this writing) A big thanks to Newegg/Linksys for providing this adapter along with a new MU-MIMO router for testing. It is important to note that there ARE faster wireless chipsets in existence – the one built into my laptop is one of them, as it achieved over 300Mbps throughput in the same exact location. However, if your needs are not that extreme, and you are a lucky owner (or prospective owner) of a Linksys MU-MIMO router, this is a great choice for cutting the cord on a wired device, such as a desktop. It’s low-latency and plenty fast for the majority of users. As other reviewers have mentioned, this adapter isn’t ideal for use in a laptop, as it is small enough to encourage you to leave it plugged into the laptop all the time, but large enough to snag on bags, tables, etc. and break. I wouldn’t use it for a laptop for this reason as well. A final note: I didn’t find this adapter to be plug-and-play. Upon connecting it to my Windows 7 x64 laptop, it had a never-ending, computer-slowing battle with the integrated wireless card until the adapter was removed. I tried a few different methods to get it to play nice, but did not succeed. Spooked from this experience, I downloaded the Windows 10 drivers to my desktop, disconnected the Ethernet cord, and manually selected the drivers to install through Device Manager. This went perfectly smoothly. It looks as though other reviewers had similar woes, but after getting it installed successfully, it seems to be a great little wireless adapter.

Inexpensive drive, but not optimized for large file write speeds

Silicon Power 32GB Blaze B05 USB 3.0 Flash Drive (SP032GBUF3B05V1K)
Silicon Power 32GB Blaze B05 USB 3.0 Flash Drive (SP032GBUF3B05V1K)

Pros: -Slide-out design - you'll never lose the cap, because it doesn't exist! -Read speeds are great - within seconds of a similarly-priced drive that I compared it to. (120-130MBPS for medium- or large-sized files) -Fairly low price for a large-capacity flash drive.

Cons: -Almost all write speeds were much slower than the drive I used for comparison, at just over one-third the speed. Curiously, this drive seems to handle lots of very small files better than the other drive. -The casing feels less than robust. The top and bottom clamshell pieces slide along one another, and the drive tends to rattle. -Came formatted in FAT32 - need to reformat to ExFAT or NTFS to store files larger than 4GB. I formatted it to ExFAT immediately.

Overall Review: I made a direct comparison with a similar 32GB USB 3.0 flash drive - a store-branded one that is available in an electronics store. The price of the drives are comparable (actually, the like drive was slightly cheaper). Data was read from and written to a 512GB PCIe SSD to eliminate a computer-side bottleneck, and connected to the same USB3.0 port. Both were formatted as ExFAT. I used 3 sets of files to test the drives: -Large data set: 7.1GB, comprised of 13 ~550MB video files -Medium data set: 2GB, comprised of 171 12MP JPEG and RAW photos -Small data set: 40MB, comprised of 1,786 files all well under 500KB Format: Data set / WRITE / READ (in MBPS) Silicon Power drive Large / 18.3 / 124.5 Medium / 18.2 / 117.6 Small / 0.851 / 20 Comparison drive Large / 51.8 / 136.5 Medium / 41.6 / 125 Small / 0.625 / 20 The difference in write speed was so great that I thought I had done something wrong. I tried formatting the drive back to FAT32, and to NTFS - no change. I tried a different USB 3.0 port - no change. I plugged the other drive back in, and write speeds soared back up. Overall, if you are looking for a drive to read AND write large files to/from this drive regularly, I can't recommend it. If you plan to load data onto it once, then distribute it to multiple computers, or are planning to use the drive for the niche use of transferring thousands of files under 500KB, it should work just fine. The bottom line is that I already own a flash drive that has higher performance for a similar price point, so I don't foresee this drive getting lots of use.