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Michael M.

Michael M.

Joined on 08/23/04

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 20
Most Favorable Review

Excellent Value, Performance - with one caveat

Crucial MX100 2.5" 256GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) CT256MX100SSD1
Crucial MX100 2.5" 256GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) CT256MX100SSD1

Pros: Blazing speed Crucial brand Great bang for the buck My son's home-built i7-4790k GTX970 desktop PC now boots Win 8.1 in 10 seconds instead of 2 minutes Didn't use bundled Acronis, used Macrium Reflect free version to migrate OS drive to Crucial MX100 SSD

Cons: Okay, here's the caveat I referred to above. These Crucial SSDs with the Marvell controller are incompatible with the LPM (Link Power Management) feature of Intel SATA controllers. LPM is a power saving feature. On many PCs LPM is enabled by default and will cause the Crucial SSD to "freeze" or lock up the PC. Just Google "SSD freezing fix" or "SSD freeze" for more info on the problem. The only way to recover from this is to do a hard reset. To fix the issue, LPM must be disabled in Win7/8/8.1 either through a registry edit or by installing the Intel Rapid Storage Technology (RST) RAID driver. The RST method worked for me. Now, I'm enjoying all of the high performance that the Crucial MX100 256GB SSD can deliver with no crashes or freeze ups.

Overall Review: When I first installed this Crucial MX100 SSD in my son's home-built i7-4790k desktop I got random system lockups and freezes. The only thing I could do to regain control was reboot the system. After learning about the freeze up issue with SSDs and Intel SATA controllers I downloaded and installed the Intel Rapid Storage Technology RAID driver which allowed me to disable LPM (look under the Performance tab). This SOLVED the problem and there were no more system freeze ups, crashes or lockups. I recommend Googling the article by Chris Coulson entitled "SSD Freezing Fix" or searching for "Fix SSD Hanging/Freezing/Slowdown" on YouTube. This issue dates back at least two years so I'm surprised to find that it is still unresolved and can still wreak havoc on new PCs having Intel SATA Controllers and Crucial SSDs. I hope that this post helps someone successfully diagnose and fix this difficult and frustrating problem. The Crucial MX100 256GB SSD is a fantastic piece of hardware and it's worth trying these tips to get it to work with your PC if you're having problems with lockups, crashes, etc. Specs: i7-4790k, 8GB Corsair Vengeance LP (2 x 4GB), EVGA GTX970 4GB VRAM, Corsair Vengeance w/ Corsair 750 W power supply, Acer 22" LCD monitor 1680x1050, Windows 8.1 64-bit, Crucial MX100 256GB SSD SSD, WDC Blue 1TB 7200rpm.

Most Critical Review

RMA'd

Thermaltake Versa H21/Black/Win/SECC Black SPCC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case (CA-1B2-00M1WN-00)
Thermaltake Versa H21/Black/Win/SECC Black SPCC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case (CA-1B2-00M1WN-00)

Pros: Lighter and smaller than most cases so it didn't cost too much to ship it back to Newegg.

Cons: From the moment I received this case and saw that there was no front-mounted fan nor any provision for installing a front-mounted fan, I knew this purchase was a major mistake. As incredible as it seems, this case comes without any front-mounted fan and there is no way to mount your own front fan because it has no mounts or screw holes for installing ANY kind of fan in the front portion of the case. Bad design, pure and simple. Purchasing this case was the worst mistake I've ever made in my 15+ years of DIY PC building. I actually breathed a sigh of relief when I RMA'd it and bought a Corsair Carbide Series 400R which BTW is the best darn case I've ever owned. Do yourself a favor and avoid this piece of junk at all costs. Thermaltake used to be a company I could depend on for quality hardware, but I've had to update this opinion as a result of the awful experience that I had with this ill-conceived and poorly designed product.

Overall Review: Avoid at all costs no matter how cheap it goes unless you enjoy shipping defective computer products around the country. If I could have given it zero stars I would have.

Great Value, Performance - with one caveat

Crucial MX100 2.5" 512GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) CT512MX100SSD1
Crucial MX100 2.5" 512GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) CT512MX100SSD1

Pros: Blazing speed Crucial brand 512GB is 32GB more SSD space than 480GB Great bang for the buck if you can get it for less than $200 My brand new Acer Aspire V15 Nitro Black Edition laptop now boots Win 8.1 in 5 seconds instead of 2.5 minutes Didn't use bundled Acronis, used Macrium Reflect free version to migrate OS drive to MX100 SSD

Cons: Okay, here's the caveat I referred to above. These Crucial SSDs with the Marvell controller are incompatible with the LPM (Link Power Management) feature of Intel SATA controllers. LPM is a power saving feature. On many PCs LPM is enabled by default and will cause the Crucial SSD to "freeze" or lock up the PC. Just Google "SSD freezing fix" or "SSD freeze" for more info on the problem. The only way to recover from this is to do a hard reset. To fix the issue, LPM must be disabled in Win7/8/8.1 either through a registry edit or by installing the Intel Rapid Storage Technology (RST) RAID driver. The RST method worked for me on my laptop. I came very close to returning my brand new Acer Aspire V15 Nitro Black Edition laptop AND my Crucial MX100 512GB SSD because of this issue. However, I'm glad I didn't because I was able to find a fix (see Other Thoughts). Now, I'm enjoying all of the high performance that the Crucial MX100 512GB SSD can deliver with no crashes or freeze ups. With the OEM 1TB 5400 rpm WDC hard drive my laptop took 2.5 minute to boot from off. Now with the Crucial MX100 SSD it boots in 5 seconds. That's an incredible transformation and, quite frankly, a game-changer in terms of performance.

Overall Review: When I installed this Crucial MX100 SSD in my brand new Acer Aspire V15 Nitro Black Edition laptop I got random system lockups and freezes, especially when running on battery power. The only thing I could do to regain control was reboot the system. After learning about the freeze up issue with SSDs and Intel SATA controllers I downloaded and installed the Intel Rapid Storage Technology RAID driver which allowed me to disable LPM on my laptop. This SOLVED the problem and there were no more system freeze ups or lockups. I recommend Googling the article by Chris Coulson entitled "SSD Freezing Fix" or searching for "Fix SSD Hanging/Freezing/Slowdown" on YouTube. This issue dates back at least two years so I'm surprised to find that it is still unresolved and can still wreak havoc on new PCs having Intel SATA Controllers and Crucial SSDs. I hope that this post helps someone successfully diagnose and fix this difficult and frustrating problem. The Crucial MX100 512GB SSD is a fantastic piece of hardware and it's worth trying these tips to get it to work with your PC if you're having problems with lockups, crashes, etc.

What a steal

SAMSUNG 840 EVO 2.5" 500GB SATA III TLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) MZ-7TE500BW
SAMSUNG 840 EVO 2.5" 500GB SATA III TLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) MZ-7TE500BW

Pros: Freaking fast, faster than the Crucial MX100 512GB model installed in my other PC Migration software worked very well and Samsung Magician software is easy to use to achieve even better performance if you have 16GB or more of RAM. Taking advantage of the RapidMode feature which boosts performance beyond anything else currently available. Games like Battlefield 4, Assassin's Creed Unity, etc. load instantly. Windows 8.1 boots in 10 seconds on a Asus Z-87 Plus/Intel i7-4770k setup. Drive has been rock solid and super fast. Can't complain about the amount of storage space either since 500GB should be plenty for the OS and critical apps (Steam games!).

Cons: Unfortunately prices have spiked again as I write this (1-10-15) and now these models are demanding a $40 premium over last month's prices but that's not Samsung's fault. Samsung migration software took 5 hours to copy a 300GB Win8.1 C: drive from a WD Black 7200rpm HDD but that was because the SSD was connected via USB 3.0 to 2.5" SATA transfer cable. Had to buy a 2.5 --> 3.5" adapter for my case and a USB 3.0 to 2.5" SATA transfer cable separately at extra cost. Oh yeah, I didn't buy two.

Overall Review: Picked this up over the Black Friday holiday week for one ninety plus tax and got the Far Cry 4 PC digital download for free. In other words, a total steal for a SSD of this caliber.

Great cooler, fantastic value

Cooler Master Hyper T4 - CPU Cooler with 4 Direct Contact Heatpipes
Cooler Master Hyper T4 - CPU Cooler with 4 Direct Contact Heatpipes

Pros: Installed easily in my son's 4 year old Rosewill Challenger mid-ATX case w/ Phenom II X2 555 and Asus mobo. Substituted Arctic Silver 5 paste for the included thermal paste. Form factor is slightly smaller than Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo, but equally effective cooling power. This T4 cooler will fit in cases that are just too small for the Hyper 212 Evo. Price was good, shipping was fast. No need to access back of mobo during installation which meant I didn't have to remove mobo from case. Just used the existing hardware that was already on mobo and ratcheted it down. Airflow is up/down instead of sideways in my case (due to AMD CPU) but that's okay because hot air from CPU is vented out the top through a fan installed at the top of the case. Cooler Master is the #1 brand name for me when it comes to CPU coolers. Able to overclock the CPU from 3.2 to 3.54 GHz w/ the T4 cooler installed. No problems at all.

Cons: Um, it wasn't free? LOL

Overall Review: Instructions are printed in very small fonts so it's hard for us older DIY'ers to see (I'm 54). But I scanned the instructions into a PDF file using my scanner and then increased the magnification by 200% on my laptop so no need to subtract any eggs for the small print.

Great piece of hardware

ASUS Radeon R9 280X 3GB GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 CrossFireX Support Video Card R9280X-DC2T-3GD5
ASUS Radeon R9 280X 3GB GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 CrossFireX Support Video Card R9280X-DC2T-3GD5

Pros: This card has breathed new life into my old core i7-920 Bloomfield system. I'm getting 90-100 fps in StarCraft 2 at 1920x1200 with Ultra settings. I now feel confident that my born-again system can handle Doom 4 when it's released, at least on medium settings. If not, then I'll simply buy another one of these cards and crossfire them since I just installed a new EVGA SuperNova 1000W power supply to support future graphics card upgrades if and when they're needed.

Cons: This issue didn't affect me at all but this card is quite long and I can see some people with smaller mid-ATX cases having problems getting this to fit. You'd better measure first, folks! There was no problem getting this to fit in my new Corsair Carbide Series 400R case though. :)

Overall Review: I really love these Asus R9 200 series cards and have now purchased three of them: this one plus two R9-270X's which are crossfired in my son's core i7-4770k. The software is good, the drivers are good, and the hardware is top notch. Now the dust has settled from the bitcoin mining and the prices have returned to normal, there's no reason to hold off on these R9 series cards any longer. Good drivers, support and high reliability. That's worth paying a little extra for IMHO. Highly recommended.