Joined on 07/05/06
Save your money and skip the K
Pros: I will be honest, I only bought this because at the time the 6700k was out of stock. With that in mind I even considered getting the i5-6600K instead to save a little money, but since I do some video work and could use the hyper threading for video rendering I went with the 6700, and have no regrets. Physically, it’s a processor so installation was easy. Drop it in, put on a smidge of your favorite thermal paste, and install your cooler. I didn’t use the stock heatsink and went with a Cooler Master Hyper D92 which I was very happy with and wrote another review of. Once it was installed and the heatsink was mounted I installed the OS, booted up and wow it is fast! I ran a number of benchmarks and while I could bore you to death with numbers I will skip that as you can look them up easily. What I will say is that in the eyeball test it really works very well. Boot times are very low, benchmarks and games perform great, and video editing is fast. I did some encoding and am really glad I went with this instead of the i5. To test I ripped a couple of DVDs and Handbrake chewed through them in about 10 minutes. I had no plans to overclock this machine even if I got the 6700K, so to me not having that function is not an issue. The lower power usage is big, and the the temperatures have been great with the lower power draw. Combined with the better cooler it has never gone above 52 degrees C, even under full load. Also if your main performance need is gaming you may not need the hyperthreading now and be safe with an i5, but with the consoles having 8 cores I wouldn’t be surprised if ports start to perform better on systems with 8 threads.
Cons: The only con is the lack of overclocking, but to me this was not an issue. Maybe in a 5 years when it shows it’s age I will want to OC it but right now it’s totally fine. It also didn’t come with any thermal paste on it already, although to me this is a positive some might see this as a negative. It also comes with the stock cooler with no option to not buy it. Again for many this is a plus but I would prefer the option to not purchase it.
Overall Review: While this processor doesn’t have the K, for many (myself included) this is actually a better choice than the 6700K. It’s cheaper (at the time of this review $70 less on Newegg!), and while it clocks slightly lower it boosts to almost the same frequency. I don’t think a few extra Mhz is worth the extra money. It also uses less power (65w vs 95w) and as a byproduct should run cooler. You still get very close performance and in real world results you would likely not see a difference. Now if you want to overclock then the K is the only choice, but for the average user I would say go with this model. It should leave you with some extra cash to invest into other parts of your build.
Good, almost great
Pros: I I bought this after getting a similar bike light from a different reseller, and after deciding to pick up a few more figured I should go with Newegg since they are my favorite reseller. I chose this light since it looks very similar to the one I had, and figured it would be as good. It is not, but is close. Pros: It’s solid, and doesn't feel cheap, its all aluminum and feels great. Has one super bright LED that really puts out a lot of light. Seriously this thing is BRIGHT, so bright that if you use it for a bike light you need to worry about blinding people walking or biking toward you. That is if you can get the focus to stick but check the cons for that. It uses 3 AAA so you can use Eneloops or another rechargeable, it also fits the 18650 style LION battery if you have some of those but unless you are refurbing laptop batteries I don’t know why you would. Pick up some AAA Eneloops here on Newegg if you want something rechargeable to go with this. The battery life if pretty great too since its a single LED, and although I haven’t timed it I’ve only needed to swap once after using it quite a bit. The button on the back is good, I don’t find myself hitting it by accident. It has some modes for brightness which is good, and also a strobe which I guess you could use for signaling but is mostly just something you hit by accident and get annoyed as you try to switch away from it. It comes with a nice little pouch that can go on your belt which was a pleasant surprise. I don’t have the kind of job where I would need this but if I did this would be a good option, especially for the price. Lastly the bike mount is solid, it has a nice grip on the bars which has been an issue for me with other bike lights that I've used as my bars taper quite a bit. You can jam some Styrofoam or something else in between in case its too loose.
Cons: Cons: There is one big con for this, and it may just be that the ones I ordered are defective, but the section that moves to allow you to focus the beam tighter or wider is totally loose. It slides from wide to tight way too easily, and it certainly looks like this is how it was designed. It’s still usable but the movement on the focus is not like on a similar model I bought where that section requires a firm twist to adjust. I won’t be using this one on my bike as bumps would make the focus shift which kind of ruins it as a bike light. I’ll still use it for emergency lights I have around the house, and for quick trips outside in the dark, but this issue is a big drawback. It would have been a great light if not for this. Maybe you could use some tape or hot glue to just stick it in place, but I don’t feel like trying. In short don’t buy this for use on a bike. Strobe mode is annoying too, I may just not be enough of an outdoorsman to understand but just don’t get why its there.
Overall Review: A good light except for the focusing issue. Given the price I would still recommend it just to have as an emergency light, something to take when you walk the dog, or an EDC light if you want something bright and not expensive. Don’t buy it to use a bike light or any other role where you can’t deal with the loose focus issue.
Good PSU is worth a little more
Pros: This is a good PSU, which is all you can really say about a PSU. It is modular, which is really nice and worth a little extra money. It is heavy and feels like it is made from good components, which is nice. It’s voltages all look good which is of course the point but a nice feature. Buy a certified PSU it is worth it. I like this PSU.
Cons: If you are very weak perhaps the weight would be a con. It also does not come with a little bad to hold the extra cables like other modular PSUs sometimes do. Aside from that it’s very nice and does the job well.
Overall Review: Good PSU. You should buy it. Always buy a nice PSU, don’t try to save a few bucks going with a cheapo no name PSU.
Just right for small home server
Pros: I purchased this to use in the replacement for my aging AMD A4-5300 based home server which does basic tasks like file sharing, music hosting, PLEX. While it still worked fine for the most part, any time I needed to do something CPU intensive (like transcode some music, rip a DVD, etc) it struggled and tasks took a while. Not wanting to spend a lot on the replacement build but knowing I wanted something Skylake based for the improved power efficiency and thermal properties, I just couldn’t justify the extra $100+ to go from the i3 to the i5. After having had the new build in place for close to a month now I am happy with my choice. The tasks I listed above are MUCH faster, and even though benchmarks put this chip at about twice the computing power of my previous build it seems much quicker. I’m using the same SSD for the OS and the same spinning drive for storage so I believe the CPU is the major difference (duh). There are 16GB of memory all on an ASRock H170M motherboard. The big test for me was whether it would be able to handle streaming H265 files through PLEX to clients that do not natively support the format, meaning the server has to transcode in essentially real time. This works fine with only about 10-15 seconds of buffering which I am quite happy with. Overall a solid CPU for the tasks I am using it for, and at this point I think going with the i5 would have been overkill for this build.
Cons: I can’t think of any cons, it’s a nice, affordable CPU at a reasonable price. If you want to build a computer for gaming or video/photo editing it’s probably not the best solution but anything else not power hungry will probably be fine.
Overall Review: The right tool for the right job. It’s easy to always try to go for more power, but I’m glad I saved some money and don’t think I would notice much if any difference between this and a more powerful CPU.
Small (that's the point, right?)
Pros: First the obvious: the point of the build I was using this case for was to have a small and unobtrusive HTPC that also functioned as a home file server along with providing some other services. If this is your goal then good news, this is in fact a small/unobtrusive case! It is not so small that it is unnoticeable, but it’s size is much more manageable than using a standard desktop case. The build quality is fine, but just fine. It’s a very open case with most of the exterior being made of grates which can be a positive for cooling and a negative for noise, so choose your fans and cooling appropriately. As a small case, it can be a little tough to work in, but it’s manageable if you plan everything out. You are definitely going to want to make sure you built everything on your motherboard and then put it in the case. There is enough room for cable management, but it is tight. That is the trade off of such a compact case. It takes a standard ATX power supply, which is nice as well as some compact cases use a built in PSU which may not be of good quality. Lastly the price is great, especially if you don’t want to spend a ton on an HTPC build. Definalely worth the cost.
Cons: My biggest issue with this case is related to one of the pluses, and is more of a warning than a real negative. It uses a standard ATX power supply, but since the case is so small it sits a few inches above the motherboard and CPU. I bought an aftermarket cooler that technically fit the available space, but there was only about ¼” between the cooler and the power supply. I was able to use the stock cooler instead which leaves a bit more room, but just beware. Other cons would just be related to the size of the case: it’s a lot harder to work in than a standard case, but you knew that going in. Cable management is especially annoying, so make sure you buy a modular PSU! I did and even without all the extra cables it was still a PITA to make it look half way decent and have some air flow. Since the case is almost mostly open grates on the top and sides, it does nothing to dampen noise. If that’s important to you choose your fans carefully, and you may need to consider water cooling or something else to have a quiet CPU fan that fits. There is another problem, which is that in general people are going to use this case for HTPC or other set ups where they want to conserve space and often would like to have a nice looking case, but Cooler Master decided they should have a giant blue lit up logo for the power button. It looks pretty gawdy and kind of ruins the cases aesthetics to me. You could always just remove the power to the power LED but then you have no power indicator. Not a deal breaker but certainly a head scratcher.
Overall Review: It’s not a perfect case, but it is small while being reasonable enough to work in and at a very fair price. If you need a small PC that looks pretty good, I would recommend with the caveats above.
Fantastic ergonomics, fantastic peripherals
Pros: First I will address the fact that I am not a “verified owner”, which is because Newegg did not have these in stock for a while when I got my first one so I had to order from a different vendor. I now have purchased two of these so I can use one set at home and another at work. I have had a lot of elbow and wrist issues from various athletics and using a regular keyboard/mouse was not helping. If you look at professional ergonomic peripherals they can get really expensive really fast so I figured I would give this set a shot without having to shell out of ton of cash. After using it for a while I feel like this is easily the best keyboard I have ever used both from a functionality standpoint and in term of ergonomics. I thought the split design might be an issue but after a day or two of getting used to it I actually type noticeably faster and more accurately than with regular keyboards. For instance I used a pretty long phrase as the password for my KeyPass database file and I can regularly type it with no errors whereas before I would have to watch what I typed and make corrections. If you are in love with your mechanical keyboard this would take a bit more adjustment, but I am at this point totally comfortable with the chiclet keys, they have a good feel and good responsiveness. The wrist rest is placed really well, the placement of everything is very comfortable and natural feeling. The mouse takes a little adjustment too, as you are supposed to hold it more like a handshake than the traditional palm down mouse usage. This seems to really help ergonomically and once you get used to it is no problem as the mouse was designed to be used this way so the buttons and curves fit naturally. It is smooth and I have played a lot of games with it and had no differences in results compared to my previous mice except less wrist pain. The number pad is pretty nice too, and I like how it is separate so you can place it wherever is most convenient for you. If you wanted you could never use it and not notice, but I like leaving it right in front of me on my desktop for calculator use or similar apps. Did I mention that the keyboard has a button to launch the calculator? I LOVE this feature. Overall you can tell they may not have spent the same amount of money developing the ergonomics on this as the famous XBOX controller project, but I bet it went through a similar process. I can’t give the keyboard/mouse complete credit but my wrist/elbow issues have decreased ever since I started using these. I have had no issues with the wireless functionality and I don’t think I have had to change a battery on anything in either set yet even after about 6 months of use.
Cons: I do have a few minor quibbles. My only issue with the mouse could use another button in addition to the two main ones and the back button. A forward button would make it perfect. On the keyboard the function keys are a little weird in that there is a switch to toggle between F keys or built in functions like volume up/down, play/pause, find, refresh, etc. It’s not a huge deal but it can be a little annoying to want to F5 and have to remember to flip a switch. The insert button is kind of jammed in above the arrows as well which isn’t perfect.
Overall Review: A great keyboard/mouse, the best I have used. There are some negatives but I think the positives are so strong that they outweigh them and I am comfortable giving a perfect 5 out of 5 eggs. If you are like me and spend a lot of time at computers for work/fun consider purchasing this set because all those hours will add up in one way or another and this could help prevent some physical issues with its good ergonomics.