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Edward Y.

Edward Y.

Joined on 04/21/06

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 21
Most Favorable Review

Seagate Hybrid HDD

Seagate Momentus XT ST93205620AS 320GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s with NCQ 2.5" Solid State Hybrid Drive Bare Drive
Seagate Momentus XT ST93205620AS 320GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s with NCQ 2.5" Solid State Hybrid Drive Bare Drive

Pros: This drive is compact, light weight, and quite. It does what Seagate has claimed it will do, and thats to increase the speed perforamce of the HDD. This HDD has a limited amount of built in SSD memory. The HDD uses adaptive programing to select certain files or programs you use the most and stores them in the faster SSD memory. This way, programs and files load much faster. Boot up times have dropped dramticaly. Boot Times: Stock = + 6' 00" 1st boot = 2' 21" 2nd boot = 1' 54" 3rd boot = 1' 51" 4th boot = 1' 48" (lowest time so far)

Cons: The only con that I would say is the limited amount of SSD memory. 4GB of on-board SSD memory does help improve speed, but storage hogging programs can easily fill that amount of space. 16GB or 32GB would have been better suited (if Seagate does reconsider)

Overall Review: This is a laptop HDD. So a 3.5" to 2.5" bracket is needed for desktop use. Unless your case already has provisions for a 2.5" drive.

Most Critical Review

Media mobo only

ASRock Z68M-ITX/HT LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard
ASRock Z68M-ITX/HT LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard

Pros: The layout of the board is thought out. I can easily access all the ports and lay the wires out of the fans way. The Z68 chip gives me flexability to clock the CPU to be quiet running or raw power.

Cons: Unfortunely this board comes with more cons than I would like it to have for being a Z68 chip. 1. Asrock tech support is very lacking. Don't expect to hear a reply back on a issue within a week or a month for that matter. 2. This board will overclock, but it does not overclock stable. I'm running a i7 2600k, 3.4GHz it will do fine at. Anything higher, the voltages and clock speed will bounce. For a regular user, this will be fine and provide the short time speed boost. But I keep this CPU pegged at 100% workload. 3. The BIOS is really simple, but lacks fine tuning. The fan control will only allow a max temp of 65*C on the CPU &/or board. So if you work this board hard or have temperatures issues, it will become noisy. I've upgraded to aftermarket cooling to keep the temps below the 65*C threshold.

Overall Review: This board will best suited for lower power CPU's. Not that it can not handle a i7 95Watt, you just will not get the full benefit of it. This was the first and will probably be the last Asrock mobo that I buy.

Low-profile heatsink

Dynatron K666 60mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler for Intel LGA Socket 1151 / 1150 / 1155 / 1156
Dynatron K666 60mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler for Intel LGA Socket 1151 / 1150 / 1155 / 1156

Pros: This heatsink was primarily designed for server applications. Which makes it design great for those low-profile case users. Heatsink works better than Intel's stock OEM heatsink. Keeps a 3570k cool under 100% load at 70*C. Even thou it was designed for a LGA1156, it will fit a LGA1155 socket too. 4-pin PWM 60mm fan makes it variable control by motherboard controler.

Cons: Heatsink pre-applied thermal paste is not protected when boxed. I found mine with bits of cardboard stuck to it. Expect to clean and re-apply TIM before use. Also the fan has a slight low-noise buzz sound. From a distance or in a well sound proof case this wouldn't be a bother. But the case that I use is a bit thin & airy, so the buzz sound does bother me.

Quiet NAS HDD

WD Red Plus 3TB NAS Hard Disk Drive - 5400 RPM Class SATA 6Gb/s, CMR, 64MB Cache, 3.5 Inch - WD30EFRX
WD Red Plus 3TB NAS Hard Disk Drive - 5400 RPM Class SATA 6Gb/s, CMR, 64MB Cache, 3.5 Inch - WD30EFRX

Pros: These WD Red drives are built for the home user NAS systems. I am amazed at how quiet and low vibiration these drives are. They do also run cooler than other companies HDD.

Cons: NONE

Overall Review: If you are building a NAS or Raid volume system, forget anything else and get the WD Red HDD drives. Compared to Seagate, these WD drives beat them hands down.

Good thermal performance for size

ZALMAN CNPS8900 Quiet 110mm PWM Fan Long Life Bearing Ultra Quiet Slim CPU Cooler
ZALMAN CNPS8900 Quiet 110mm PWM Fan Long Life Bearing Ultra Quiet Slim CPU Cooler

Pros: Will give your CPU a good 10 to 15 degrees C cooler. Still easy to install. My i7 2600k core temps went from 65*C average on a stock Intel heatsink to 48*C average on the Zalman CNPS8900 Quiet. The i7 2600k was clocked at 2.8GHz at that time. With the i7 at its factory default speed of 3.4GHz w/ turbo boost, stock heatsink temps were 75*C average. Now with the Zalman CNPS8900 with the i7 at factory speeds, temps average 58*C, 61*C Peak.

Cons: None

Overall Review: Stress testing was done through folding@home program. Which will stress and load all threads. CPU is an Intel 2600k at factory defaults. Turbo boost mode read out at 3.5GHz during temp readings.

Better than a heatsink

CORSAIR Hydro Series H100 (CWCH100) Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler
CORSAIR Hydro Series H100 (CWCH100) Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler

Pros: I have to say that this liquid cooling solution is better than the tower heatsink that it replaced. Easily dropped the temps down another 6 degrees C on the low setting on a overclocked i7 930 3.4GHz. The old heatsink kept temps around 74*C with a fully loaded CPU (F@H). The H100 keeps the temps around 68*C with a fully loaded CPU (F@H), and this is on the low setting.

Cons: The only con that I had with the Corsair H100 is the fans. The fans are designed for high static pressure, but they made a clicking noise that bothered me. I wanted a silent cooling solution. I replaced the fans with 2x old 120mm PWM (4-pin), now its quiet. I would suggest purchasing 2x GELID FN-PX12-15 120mm fans.

Overall Review: The Corsair H100 accepts both 3-pin & 4-pin (PWM) fans. It can accept a total of 4 fans, making it easy to setup a whole case cooling solution. The radiator needs a case that can accept twin 120mm fans side-by-side. My case accepts both 120mm & 140mm fans side-by-side, so I only use 4 of the 8 scews on the radiator to hold it up. Also there needs to be at least 2 inches of clearance from the motherboard to mount the radiator & fans inside the case.

11/26/2011