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Michael S.

Michael S.

Joined on 01/15/04

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 64
Most Favorable Review

Very Little Not To Like; It Is What It Is

Corsair SP Series, SP120 RGB LED, 120mm High Performance RGB LED Fan (CO-9050061-WW) 3-pack
Corsair SP Series, SP120 RGB LED, 120mm High Performance RGB LED Fan (CO-9050061-WW) 3-pack

Pros: Interesting lighting effects/colors. Despite some negative comments by other reviewers, I found the colors/effects to be pleasing . . . and I am a 71-year old geek, e.g., the white blades literally "glow" with color, and the LACK of brightness appealed to me, i.e., the colors and intensity are not garish. Usual Corsair quality and workmanship. Quiet, with very good air movement.

Cons: Poor written instructions/descriptions for a generally simple product. Will handle up to six fans, but each will require its own motherboard 3-pin power connector or Molex-to-3-pin splitter - none included.

Overall Review: The "SPEED " control DOES NOT control the speed of the fan, it controls the SPEED OF THE LIGHTING EFFECTS. This is not totally clear in the Newegg listing narrative or the instructions.

Most Critical Review

What the . . . . ?

Western Digital WD Green WD20EARX 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive
Western Digital WD Green WD20EARX 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive

Pros: Good price. It's Western Digital.

Cons: Drive arrived with its top metal plate covering bent front and back. Drive was very well packed from Newegg, and showed absolutely no evidence of shipping damage. When I first noticed the good price, I kept reading everywhere to see if this might be a refurb, and although the narrative doesn't mention it, the bent metal screams that it is. It looks as if a kid took a screwdriver to it and tried to pry the top off. Have bought a lot of hard drives over many years and this is the first one to arrive bent.

Overall Review: Will it format to completion? I dunno, it's in process (doing a full not quick format due to the bent top), but it spun up on the first try with minimal noise. I'll be back posting more if it fails the format.

Seasonic Mid Tower Case; Fresh Design, Sturdy Build

Seasonic SYNCRO Q704 Case, 2021 iF and Red Dot Design Award Winner, Cable Management Design to Create Quality & Clean Look, Use with SYNCRO PSU Highly Recommended
Seasonic SYNCRO Q704 Case, 2021 iF and Red Dot Design Award Winner, Cable Management Design to Create Quality & Clean Look, Use with SYNCRO PSU Highly Recommended

Pros: The case is very well packed and secured with big Styrofoam blocks from the vendor; in fact, once the build is 100% finished, I am considering shipping it in the very same box it came in. Lets deal with the elephant in the room right up front the upside down, left-side arrangement of the motherboard and side panels. Frankly, if youve ever longed for a tower sitting on your LEFT, your ship just came in! I have no way to test the touted thermal improvements, but those big GPUs look weird no matter where they end up. Cable management is better, especially with the (intended) companion proprietary Seasonic PSU and cable module, but the M.2 form factor has already stolen that game. Magnetic side door: Some reviewers seem a little unsure of the magnetic side (tempered glass) door. Not me, I love it! The magnetic hold is strong and secure, and the sealing strips are not only functional, they make the whole open-close thing a real treat for the senses. Well done, indeed! Kudos to Seasonic for thinking outside the box; its time to see something different in cases, and overall this is a quality case.

Cons: If a case is designed to hold 140mm fans, why include four 120mm fans? They look stupid, and cheap. Keep the white gloves, send 140mm fans. And while nitpicking, as an old geek, I still find one, on-board DVD drive ESSENTIAL; Ill never get used to not having one. I realize that big, honking 5.25 drive bay kills the aesthetics, but we build and love towers for reasons. This aint a laptop case, so lets quit acting like we want it to be a laptop. Final word on size this may be called a mid-tower, but it is hulking big, heavy, and especially wide at 9-1/4. Not a bad thing for most of us older nerds, but just beware. BTW, the size and metal absorb the fan noise, especially with liquid cooling! A very nice trade off. Screw pack and accessories: Although the white gloves might be a little over the top fluff, the plastic accessory/screw box is especially nice, thoughtful and downright functional. Very nice touch Seasonic! Screws: Some reviewers have commented about several sloppy, loose, & binding screw threads, especially on the right side (back) panel. Count me in that group! What a small thing to be so annoying, but somehow both the DOOR and the CASE have been predrilled to receive both the thumb screws, leaving the whole mess jiggling and loose. Lets not leave this matter of screws without mentioning that the remarkably well-designed and fitted proprietary PSU cable management module is ALSO held on (barely) by the same, teensy tiny five countersunk screws that will have to withstand all the plugging and pulling of numerous PSU cables . . . not to mention that there were NOT five of them holding the cable management cover on in the first place, so I had to use one that would have gone back on the metal tab to secure the side door for traveling. Probably a quality control weakness, coupled with poor design selections (screw size and type), but really noticeable on such an otherwise top of the line case. How strongly do I feel about this whole screw issue? One egg worth, and in all the user reviews Ive written over many years, Ive never removed an egg for SCREWS!

Overall Review: If it matters, Newegg provided me this case, PSU and cable module to review. I tried very hard to not let this affect my rating or comments.

10/27/2021

Quality Fan With Translucent, Even Color

Corsair AF Series AF120 LED (2018) CO-9050080-WW 120 mm Red LED Case Fan, Single Pack.
Corsair AF Series AF120 LED (2018) CO-9050080-WW 120 mm Red LED Case Fan, Single Pack.

Pros: Translucent blades provide nice, even LED glow, very pleasing without being too bright or garish. Hub glows deep red, blades a less bright red. Comes in an attractive box and would make an excellent geek gift. Four, black mounting screws included. 24” cord should be sufficient for all installations. Clearly the fan moves a nice volume of air by feel alone. Corsair has really stepped up the quality of their fans in the last few years. Newegg print ad states a two-year warranty, but Corsair has built a reputation of standing behind their products if any problems are encountered.

Cons: Only a 3-prong (system board) connector and this could be problematic if unexpected. Although the fan is very quiet, it does lack sound dampening mounting corners/adapters.

Overall Review: 120mm has been supplanted in many systems by the larger 140mm. Has a quality feel and look, even spins with a smooth and balanced appearance. Good value.

Buy it for the Lighting Effects Alone

Cooler Master CK550 Gaming Mechanical Keyboard with RGB Backlighting, Brushed Aluminum Design, floating keycaps, On-the-Fly Controls, and Hybrid Key Rollover, Blue Mechanical Switch
Cooler Master CK550 Gaming Mechanical Keyboard with RGB Backlighting, Brushed Aluminum Design, floating keycaps, On-the-Fly Controls, and Hybrid Key Rollover, Blue Mechanical Switch

Pros: Very solidly built and the brushed aluminum top surface is just perfect on so many levels. The rubber skid pads, including on the tilt-out feet, are some of the best I’ve ever seen. The RGB lighting effects are virtually endless with the downloadable software. The keyboard and very brief manual (instruction sheet?) come in a beautiful box that would make a very nice present for that gaming family member or friend.

Cons: Much (most?) is left for the buyer to discover on his/her own, very little is explained. The included instruction sheet – in more languages than I could count – is so brief that it actually confused me into thinking I could make changes solely from it. WRONG! Once I finally made my way to the Cooler Master Website and found the downloadable software – and looked to see what I wanted, again by trial and error – I finally found the “Cooler Master Portal”, a cool name for a decent, installable interface program. Admittedly I’m an old guy and not a very avid gamer at that, so it’s very likely that the teenager set of full-time gamers would know exactly what to do – I didn’t. Before I could even begin to set the RGB lighting effects I wanted, it was necessary to fix the mess I’d created trying to use only the instruction sheet and the various real-time function keys.

Overall Review: I ordered the blue mechanical key switches and even though I was looking forward to that reassuring mechanical clatter, they are REALLY LOUD, certainly louder than the reds. Shopping around just a little, it became apparent that this is a quality keyboard at a very good price. Wanting to use this keyboard for mostly non-gaming – but very heavy – uses, I gotta say that the general key positioning is somehow different. I cannot pinpoint how or in what ways – and I did not deduct an egg for it – but if you are a touch typist, you may notice the same difference. To put it another way, I sincerely believe this is a gaming keyboard first and foremost and a typing keyboard secondly. Buy it with that thought foremost in your mind.

It Fills a Little Niche Very Nicely

Toshiba Canvio Advance 3TB Portable External Hard Drive USB 3.0 Red - HDTC930XR3CA
Toshiba Canvio Advance 3TB Portable External Hard Drive USB 3.0 Red - HDTC930XR3CA

Pros: This fat credit card sized little drive with the huge 3 TB capacity is clearly targeted at the traveling crowd, especially those using laptops with minimal storage capacity. Sure, desktop users have myriad other options from already mounted internal drives to docking bays to 10,000 rpm bare VelociRaptor HDDs hooked to brick-sized external power and data adapters . . . but wanna take along 10 of your favorite movies, or all of your documents and pictures? Well, there you go. You’re gonna like this little red deck of cards-sized box. The drive was immediately recognized by my PC. A nifty pale blue – not glaring – light blinks dutifully as it runs and when plugged in. It was barely warm to the touch during a massive data write. The Manual, included in a pdf file on the drive, is reasonably clear, comprehensive, and English-friendly (with other languages included); however, the Toshiba backup software, downloadable via included link, would not run on my version of Windows – see Cons.

Cons: Would be nice if it had rubber feet, although the short 20” cord won’t allow it to slide too far on your desk. The antiquated MicroB connection is funky; misplace the cord and you’re gonna be hustling to find a replacement. Some reviewers reported slightly noisy units; mine was very quiet. I found the deep red color pleasing, and easy to spot among all my other geek clutter. The Toshiba downloadable backup software would not run on my main tower PC, probably due to the Enterprise Version of my Windows 7. Regrettable, I wanted to give it a try. However, I did resort to my favorite backup program, Retrospect, and successfully made a huge first duplicate, 350 GB of 150,000 files, at about 2,100 MB/minute, or a little over 2-1/4 hours via USB 3.0. I also did several smaller read/write bursts and they were all snappy and without incident. While we’ve all been spoiled by the blazing SSD speeds and the PCIe bandwidths, it is important to remember what this item is, e.g., it is (or should be) relatively a bargain compared to SSDs, it has a massive storage capacity, and a nifty little footprint . . . do you think it is an accident that it approximates the look of a “fat” SSD? Reliability? Looking around on the Internet there are a few negative blurbs about earlier versions of this model, but if this one proves to be reliable, and if the price is competitive, then my other nits and the modest speed will all melt away.

Overall Review: I chose not to bore you with the Crystal Disk Mark speeds – they are in many other reviews and my real world duplicate write stats (above) might be of more interest. This item would make an excellent graduation gift for that Senior headed off to college this fall. Clearly there are two Newegg listings for this same external drive, Item#: N82E16822149718 for $85, and Item#: 9SIAG8T7459347 for $170. Other than openly listing the platter speed (5400 to 7200 rpm) on the $170 offering, I cannot discern any appreciable difference. Other than this bit of mysterious marketing gamesmanship, I found a lot to like in this compact little drive, albeit considerably less pleasing to the wallet at $170. One egg deducted for unclear pricing and for included software that would not run. And you thought spinning platters were dead! Pshaw!