Date Joined: 08/17/05
Pros: -I love the portable K70 form factor where you still get media and light control keys
-power cord is a detachable USB Type-C
-RGB effects easy to manage in iCUE software
-excellent quality of key caps on top of superb Cherry MX switches
-comes with silver gaming caps and tool to easily remove them
-fast input gaming keyboard geared for tournaments (there is a tournament switch on it)
Overall Review: Probably the cutest & best performing portable keyboard I have ever used
Pros: -Processor Intel Whiskey Lake quad core i7-8565U 1.80 GHz (up to 4.60GHz Turbo frequency) with integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620
-mine came with 8GB RAM and 512GB NVMe SSD, great start options!
-stunning quality Nanoedge display
-great quality audio sound from built-in Harman Kardon speakers!
-gigabit fast wireless 802.11ac over 5GHz band
-HD webcam and microphone
-weighs only 3.2 lbs!
-fingerprint reader is nicely integrated with touchpad, worked OK for me
-battery life up to 10 hours
-includes carrying sleeve
Cons: -It should come with Windows 10 Professional edition
-it could have more USB 3.1 ports ... who needs USB 2.0 nowadays?
-included optical mouse is wired, I think most people would have preferred a bluetooth mouse
-8GB RAM might be too little for more demanding business apps, I will upgrade mine to 16GB
Overall Review: This laptop is marketed as Usage for "Business", not really "business" until it is sold with at least Professional Windows edition, Home edition is NOT "business"
Pros: +Beautiful looks, mine is black theme intended for CPU & GPU AIO cooling later down the road
+With some LED lighting options this case can be a nice show off
+Tempered glass panels are amazing and nicely show what’s behind them
+Separate compartment for drives and PSU with wiring
+Great cable management features
+Choice of mounting space for 2 sets of 280mm radiators (top and bottom) and 240mm in front
Cons: -With my mATX board I can really use only 1 out of 3 cable management cutouts as the other 2 are nearly completely covered by the board
-You will have to worry about fingerprints on glass panels :D
-There could be more space under the bottom-most PCIe slot
-No HDD activity LED, but it doesn’t seem to be greatly missed nowadays
-Be careful not to drop the glass door when removing mounting screws, it drops dead down right after you remove the last one – maybe the door should have a handle?
-after installing 240 radiator in front (part of Corsair H100i Pro) I noticed the magnetic filter will not fit anymore (dropped an egg)
Overall Review: I like this case a lot, really impressed with looks and flexibility of cooling solutions available for use in this little (although fat) case
I guess the front and top glass panels can stay at all times since they do block the air flow, but I think they might be limiting it a bit?
I don't think any of Cons I found are actually big enough top drop an egg from rating, it's still an awesome product and also backed by superb Corsair support!
Pros: +looks beautiful
+RGB lights allow for color matching to lighting theme in the case
+good software apps for light control (Mystic Lights) and driver updates and monitoring (Dragon Center)
+2 connectors for M2 SSD
+great sound quality
+XMP profiles from my mem sticks work great!
Cons: -wish there were 1-2 connectors for thermal sensors on board
-it could have 2 more USB ports in the back ...
-there could be more lighting in CPU socket area
-Nahimic app for sound management is kind of weird, no equalizer control afaics
Overall Review: I purchased the MSI MPG Z390 GAMING PRO CARBON AC board and paired it with 2x16GB of DDR4 RAM (G.Skill Ripjaws V) and i5-9600K, on top of that 2x 1080Ti SLI with custom water cooling, works beautifully!
Pros: + I love the sleek black design (my former Samsung OEM m2 ssd was plain green naked ;)
+ I am impressed by the read speeds and iops
+ SSD toolbox is a neat tool
+ thermal features of this drive are nice
Cons: - write speeds are not too impressive, maybe it's my system board and chipset (Gigabyte Z97X-UD5H)
- SSD tool seems lacking a bit, I cannot even check for firmware updates
Overall Review: Corsair Force MP300 speeds as per AS SSD benchmark:
read speed 750 MB/s
read iops 118K
write speed 259 MB/s
write iops 60K
For comparison old Samsung 128GB M2MZ-NTY1280 tested on same combo:
read speed 519 MB/s
read iops 92K
write speed 495 MB/s
write iops 30K
Gigabyte Z97X-UD5H motherboard
Intel i7-4790K CPU @ 4.7GHz
32GB memory G.Skill Trident X @ 2400MHz
OS Windows 10 x64 Pro (build 1803)
Pros: +good price given the quality!
+nice overall design
+good management software (CUE)
+comfy ear cups with great noise cancellation
+GREAT audio quality
+clever volume adjustment behind the ear
+just right USB cable length
Cons: -feels kind of heavy on the head, takes some getting used to
-the grip is not too tight (which is good), but it may cause headphones to move/fall off during sharp head movements
-plugged in headphones make a beep sound whenever I log onto my PC
-LED light control goes into RGB scroll mode whenever my PC user session gets locked despite the software settings (e.g. displaying solid red color at all times)
Overall Review: Wrote this review for White USB wired model, even though I was supposed to receive the Carbon Wireless model.
Used several wired Sennheiser (cheap non-usb models) and USB Steelseries heaphones in past and by far this one from Corsair is the best of them all
Pros: -small (no num pad or combo keys), excellent choice if desk (or “drawer” under desk) space is limited and mouse can’t fit together with larger keyboard
-near silent (compared to Cherry MX Brown switches I have on full size G.Skill 780 keyboard)
-good key caps with large letters for ease of reading at night
-adjustable brightness and effects with Corsair Utility Engine
-long and soft/flexible USB cord
-feels heavy, but it is very solid and well built
-rubber pads under bottom to avoid sliding
Cons: -only comes in red, but it’s not a real CON isn’t it? ;)
-lack of audio or USB pass-through
Overall Review: I like it very much even though it took me a few days to get used to different size and spacing of key caps (coming from a full size keyboard here).
The Cherry MX Red switches can be very silent when typing gently (key strokes are still logged), but gets louder when typing fast – that is because the key caps are bottoming out, I have exact same “effect” on other keyboard with Cherry MX Brown switches which keys feel lighter when typing and thus making them easier to bottom out and “click” loudly. The switches themselves are near silent.
Pros: +price is pretty good (maybe too good) for a dual band range extender
+N-band (2.4GHz) enabled by default
+5GHz works (but it's not pretty) after emabling in GUI
+WPS works easy (only way I was able to connect to it at first)
Cons: -initial browser setup not possible without knowing the default WiFi security password for SSID netgear_2GEXT and manual does not mention what the default password might be
-AC-band (5GHz) worked poorly after enabling it, speedtest over extended 5GHz (about 15ft to router) maxed out at around 31Mbps down (was expecting ) and 10Mbps up (vs 93Mbps down and 10Mbps up over native 5GHz using same laptop)
-AC-band test at remote location (low to moderate source signal from router) resulted in 5GHz speed limit over extended wifi around 22-31Mbps down (was expecting 50ish) and 10Mbps up
-would NOT recommend unless you need it for some slow and cheap wifi range extension over both bands at parents or grannies house
Overall Review: First establish connection using WPS method and then connect your PC to yourwifiname_EXT2G with your existing wifi password (one you use for SSID "yourwifiname").
Once there you can access the GUI over web and customize the config or updated the firmware (highly recommended)
Router used in test scenario was ASUS RT-AC55U with the latest firmware applied
Tested speeds only over the 5GHz as this is what I use
Internet speed to a desktop PC over wired connection with minimal load were 100/10Mbps (nearly identical to ISP advertised speeds)
Current GUI Language Version 184.108.40.206_220.127.116.11
New GUI Language Version 18.104.22.168_22.214.171.124
Current Firmware Version 126.96.36.199
New Version 188.8.131.52_1.0.38
Extender speeds per specs:
5GHz up to 433Mbps (or 54 MB/s)
2.4GHz up to 300Mbps (or 37 MB/s)
Pros: + stylish design, kinda bulky compared to standard, but still looking sleek
+ sturdy construction with solid connectors
+ improves range (but not too much and at a price, more below)
+ designed to help fix the weak reception zones (in single floor ONLY! Omni-directional design)
+ most improvement seen in 5GHz band, still it's around 10-20% maybe
+ connectors are standard and same on pretty much all WiFi routers or access points so they fit every brand and model that has detachable external antennas
Cons: - biggest con is the price, really, $60ish for a pair of antennas that barely do anything better over free standard ones???
- size (2x bigger than standard) and weight, may affect center of gravity on some routers causing toppling over
- do NOT get these if you want to improve AP range in multi-floor house!
- do NOT get these if utilized with 2.4GHz band only and/or multiple floors!
Overall Review: Tested with ASUS RT-AC55U router that has weak range to start with.
Those antennas did improve 5GHz bandwidth (faster max speeds than with standard antennas) and somewhat the range all over the house within a single floor, maybe 20 feet better penetration than with standard antennas
Close to zero improvement in 2.4GHz bandwidth on a single floor (multiple rooms with sheetrock walls)
Range and signal degradation in 2.4GHz on other floors when compared to standard antennas ... and that is by design.
Important TIP: those antennas NEED to point straight UP when installed on the router/AP.
Pros: + nice looking design
+ retractable connector, something I personally love in USB thumb drives
+ great price
+ file recovery software included (hopefully you won't need it)
Cons: - slow write speeds, averaging around 20 MB/s with large files over 1 GB in size
Overall Review: tested with Z97X intel board and native USB 3.0:
a) read speeds topped around 140 MB/s, solid avg somewhere around 130 MB/s
b) write speeds seemed fast at first with small files (burst mode?), but when tested with large over 1 GB in size files, the average was not impressive, around 20 MB/s
Pros: +Easy setup, but requires a mobile device with internet connection
+Mini footprint - Measuring 3.6" x 2" x 1", Mini fits anywhere in the house, a tabletop, a wall, or ceiling.
+720p video (really good quality, must select Hi Def option in camera setup), audio recording, and 115 degree view angle, and 33 ft. of night vision (automatic IR)
+The Mini accepts up to a 64GB micro SD card for storage beyond the cloud. Even when away, the Mini will detect movement and send a push notification to mobile devices.
+Cloud Recording - Enjoy included 12 month subscription to cloud storage with 7 day playback through the EZVIZ App
+Placement in your home or office is easy with its small size and use of the 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi band for better range
+Use the mobile app to view live or recorded footage anytime, anywhere.
+Instant Alerts - Be alerted on your mobile devices if the cameras sense movement with adjustable 1-6 sensitivity levels
+fixed wire ending with USB plug, wall adapter included
Cons: Really none personally. Maybe if there was an option to playback via webrowser on PC instead of mobile app that would be even better ... or maybe there is such an option, but am unaware of it (nothing like that mentioned in brochure though)
Overall Review: really nice setup, I like it, works great and serves its purpose
Pros: +Scores extremely fast on HP Pavilion dv6-7000 laptop with SATA3 interface (check numbers in OTHER section)
+SSD comes with 3 year warranty
+extremely competitive price
Cons: TLC memory chips, considered worse by some, but they score awesome speeds on this drive. None other cons detected
Overall Review: Time for benchmarks!
Compared this new Silicon Power SP55 480GB with ATTO & AS SSD benchmarks based on my OCZ ARC 100 480GB (MLC chips) and am truly impressed, this SP55 model seems faster in read category in general or at least comparable in total benchmarks!
SP55 480GB (TLC) vs OCZ ARC 100 480GB (MLC) // SATA3
ATTO: SP55 = 520MB/s read 565MB/s write vs OCZ AR 100 = 457MB/s Read 500MB/s write
AS SSD benchmark:
SEQ: Read 508.54 MB/s Write 453.00 MB/s vs Read 460.68 MB/s Write 433.00 MB/s
4K: Read 23.99 MB/s Write 34.64 MB/s vs Read 21.09 MB/s Write 86.63 MB/s
4K-64thread: Read 396.40 MB/s Write 155.19 MB/s vs Read 295.11 MB/s Write 289.89 MB/s
Acc. Time: Read 0.307 ms Write 0.175 ms vs Read 0.038 ms Write 0.045 ms
Score: Read 471 Write 235 vs Read 362 Write 420
Total score: 951 vs 972
Pros: 24 x auto-sensing RJ45 gigabit ports
LEDs indicators (not above ports though)
Fanless design (dead silent and staying barely warm)
Wall-mountable (kit included, also the same brackets allow mounting into a 19'' wide rack)
Support jumbo frames up to 9,216 bytes
Support 16k MAC address table entries
Packet buffer size: 512KB
Auto-MDI/MDIX eliminates the need for crossover cables
Energy-efficient technology for power savings
Auto-negotiation for automatic connection at the highest common speed between switch and an end device
Non-blocking switching architecture for maximum throughput at wire speed
Plug-and-play; no setup required (transparent design)
Durable and rugged black metal case (looks really pretty)
Cons: Since this switch is unmanaged then I will speak only about this easy plug-n-play "feature". To me personally it is the biggest drawback at same time.
Unmanaged means that switch does NOT assign itself with an IP address, nor it is visible on network with any MAC address, also there is no GUI that you can access over browser to upgrade firmware or change settings ... or recover it when device fails/bricks.
That being said it does NOT support anything fancy like port-based VLANs or LAN trunking (e.g. using 2-4 ports for aggregated uplinks).
Price could be lower a bit, TP-Link provides near same quality and performance and their devices are often on promotion, e.g. currently there is TP-Link TL-SG1024 24-port unmanaged switch on sale at $79.99 in newegg.
Overall Review: Pulling 6 GB file from laptop (gigabit NIC, SSD) to PC (gigabit NIC, SSD storage) steady 113 MB/s
Pulling 6 GB file from PC (gigabit NIC, SSD storage) to laptop (gigabit NIC, SSD) steady 112 MB/s
that is around 900 Mbps between devices connected straight to this Netgear switch using Cat5e/6 wiring, not bad!
Pros: + indeed faster than classic HDD of similar parameters
+ not too expensive
+ good storage capacity
+ nice benchmark results
Cons: - Pretty small NAND cache, only 8GB <- that is the size limit for files being cached, if you frequently operate on huge files (e.g. Photographers processing Camera RAW libraries), you will not see a speed increase
- It’s Seagate (bad experience in general from the past, their drives never lived long for me)
- I am not convinced that nowadays with dropping prices of SSDs the 3.5’’ form factor of SSHD makes any sense anymore. It’s great cheap & fast solution for laptops (2.5'' drives) when user can’t spend the money on large SSD … but for a desktop where you can have multiple drives?
Overall Review: Benchmark results from HD Tune 2.55
Minimum 44 MB/s
Maximum 184 MB/s
Average 167 MB/s
Access time: 11.2 ms
Burst rate: 136 MB/s
I did saw read speed increase when frequently accessing/reading same groups of files, maybe not up to SSD speeds, but faster than any other files accessed for the first time. Remember however that NAND cache of this drive is limited to 8GB.
Pros: +Simultaneus Dual Band 2.4/5 GHz
+Pretty easy to navigate UI and mostly automated setup
+Guest WiFi access (disabled by default)
+Media Prioritization page allows for some simplistic QoS settings
+WPA2 preconfigured on WiFi adapters out of the box
+Came with up to date firmware
+Supports IPv6 (but currently I think it's only Comcast ISP allowing to use it in practice)
+Security page allows for basic port trigerring and range forwarding
Cons: -Only N band max speed, while for not much more you can get a solid much faster AC band router with USB 3.0 support
-Kinda slow file transfer speeds between devices connected to router (tested WLAN<>LAN)
-Easy setup didn't fire up automatically in Google Chrome or MS Edge, but it did in Opera for me
-No USB 3.0 speeds (and even USB 2.0 potential seems underutilized)
-Lack of wall mount screw holes or optional adapter
-Lack of visible activity lights unless you look at the port side
-No management interface available on the WAN interface (only LAN/WLAN)
-DD-WRT opensource firmware alternative not yet available
Overall Review: PC with Bigfoot Killer NIC was connected over gigabit LAN, laptop with Intel AC-7260 NIC was connected over 5GHz wifi.
router ASUS RT-AC55U
AC band wifi 5GHz (win10 reported connection speed of 866 Mbits):
a) 1GB file write from laptop ssd to PC ssd ~40 MB/s
b) 1GB file read from PC ssd to laptop ssd ~54 MB/s
router Linksys EA2750 N600
N band wifi 5GHz (win10 reported connection speed of 300 Mbits):
a) 1GB file write from laptop ssd to PC ssd ~13 MB/s
b) 1GB file read from PC ssd to laptop ssd ~23 MB/s
From router About page:
EA2750 firmware version 184.108.40.206563
@ 2014 Belkin International Inc.
Pros: + Nice design with customizable features
+ Closed loop maintenance-free solution
+ Excellent performance, better than H100i I played with in past
+ compatibility with the latest LGA 1151 socket
+ Improved coldplate and pump design
+ Corsair Link hardware (requires USB2 header on MB) & software
+ 2-year Warranty and Support from Corsair
Cons: -lack of 120mm mounting brackets or adapters (most cases support 2x120mm fans only)
-maximum fan noise (@ 2,100 RPM) at referenced 43dBA is very loud compared to my AP-15 (1,800 RPM) or AP-00 (2,100 RPM) from custom loop
Overall Review: Able to nicely cool down my i7-4790K @ 4.7GHz. Idling cooly around 33C, under various loads and brief stress testing haven’t really seen them above 65C.
Pros: *nice looks
*nice sata connector working with locking cables
*OCZ Guru reported factory firmware 11.2 and up to date
*good customer service
Cons: -very poor performance!!! pretty much at half the advertised speeds
-bad reviews regarding lifespan of this drive (untested here)
-all in all it is not worth the money it costs, go with ARC100 model if you like OCZ, that one was closer on advertised performance numbers
Overall Review: Test station was Windows 10 Pro x64 running on Gigabyte Z97X-UD5H board with i7-4790K @ 4.7GHz, 16GB RAM @ 2400MHz
OCZ Trion 100 120GB connected to SATA III 6G interface, running in AHCI mode
CrystalDiskMark 5.1.0 x64:
Read Seq Q32T1 372.1 MB/s, 4K Q32T1 192.2 MB/s, Seq 351.1 MB/s, 4K 27.40 MB/s
Write Seq Q32T1 164.5 MB/s, 4K Q32T1 147.7 MB/s, Seq 175.1 MB/s, 4K 80.99 MB/s
ATTO (queue depth 10): Read 234 MB/s, Write 371 MB/s
NOTE1: for comparison my Samsung 850 Evo pulled off 528 MB/s write and 551 MB/s read
NOTE2: for comparison my OCZ ARC100 pulled off 528 MB/s write and 551 MB/s read
AS SSD 1.7.4739:
Read Seq 345.08 MB/s, 4K 23.72 MB/s, 4K-64Thrd 179 MB/s, Acc.Time 0.163 ms, Score 238
Write Seq 139.32 MB/s, 4K 54.42 MB/s, 4K-64Thrd 62.58 MB/s, Acc.Time 0.071 ms, Score 131
Total Score: 489
NOTE2: For comparison a set of directly comparable AS SSD benchmarks from same test station and based on OCZ ARC100 SSD:
SEQ Read 460.68 MB/s Write 433.00 MB/s
4K Read 21.09 MB/s Write 86.63 MB/s
4K-64thread Read 295.11 MB/s Write 289.89 MB/s
Acc. Time Read 0.038 ms Write 0.045 ms
Score Read 362 Write 420
Total score 972
Pros: *it works
*Not bad CPU, quad core it is, but scores lower than my 3 years old Samsung Galaxy S3 dual-core phone
*comes with 2 USB charging cables, micro-USB to USB and DC to USB
*not a bad price if you need a cheap 7’’ kitkat tablet with Google apps, e.g. something that often gets dirty or has a chance of breaking into pieces
*came with screen protector (actually 2 of them, one on top of other) attached
*TF slot for micro SD memory cards
Cons: -specs mistakenly state it supports 3G (it doesn’t as far as I know)
-wifi adapter supports only 2.4GHz networks
-despite manual stating the wall adapter is included it was not in the box
-only 512MB RAM, not much can be done with that in late 2015
-horrible 1024x600 (far from HD!!!) screen with ancient low-res, stretched font, washed out colors and terrible angle of view that makes you sick even when looking straight at it, only 160dpi (might be OK as first ever tablet for elderly people)
-latest stock firmware update from July 2015 is android 4.4.2 which is a really bad joke in late 2015 when we have android 6.0 already released
-likely can’t be upgraded to newer family of custom ROM (if there was one for this device) because of the RAM size limitation, maybe Kitkat 4.4.4 will run on it if anybody ever releases such an update
-stock screen protector attached to device slightly off screen itself and had so many air bubbles that I just removed it because a monkey would apply it better…
-battery seems to drain fast when in use, I'd give it a few hours at most of constant use
Overall Review: When device boots up the model is advertised as Irulu ExPro X1, but the model name on the back of device is marked as Irulu X7, not X1S or X1
Antutu Benchmark score ranked 16056 for me
Antutu hw specs:
Processor: QuadCore ARMv7 (4 cores) min 120 MHz, max 1344 MHz
GPU renderer: Mali-400 MP
Display density: 160 dpi
Front Camera: 0.3 MP 640x480
Rear Camera: 1.9 MP 1600x1200
RAM available/max: 150/399
3DMark IceStorm Extreme benchmark installed, but cannot run (device unrecognized).
From SystemUI Settings:
Model Number: X7
Processor type: QuadCore-A33
Android version: 4.4.2
Firmware version: v2.0
Kernel version: 3.4.39 adc@adc #32 Mon Jun 29 17:47:11 CST 2015
Build number: KVT49L.20150713
Pros: *marvelous gaming keyboard with excellent quality mechanical Cherry MX Brown switches! Switches are nearly silent themselves, but with gentle typing only, because fast typing likely bottoms out keycaps and the keycaps (not switches!) make sort of a click sound that way anyways.
*RGB add-on to all switches makes the illumination options nearly infinite as each key can be lit separately or all together with some fancy functions
*nice software coming with 4 lighting presets (you can create own ones) and module for macro recording
*USB and analog audio pass-through ports (read below)
*media and volume control right on keyboard with nice visual red LEDs bar for volume strength
*nice box that can get attached at rear of keyboard for storage of regular or profiled gaming keycaps (WASDQERCFG) and keycap puller tool
*device can store up to 3 profiles (each with 6 macro keys and separate lighting profile)
*illumination strength (3 steps or off) controlled by key on device itself
Cons: Cable is pretty stiff, but that's likely because it consists of 4 cables actually, 1 USB cable for device operation (marked with keyboard pictograph), another USB cable for pass-through capability and 2 audio cables for analog headphones pass-through.
Now, this analog pass-through takes your rear audio ports, so if you already have some speakers connected over there, mind that you won't be able to use it with your analog headphones this way, you will have to unplug something or plug devices alternately straight to your keyboard.
Keyboard media keys, volume bar and profile keys cannot get custom lighting mode, they always stay red.
Overall Review: Compared to my old gaming keyboard (Logitech G510) with horrible switches (not mechanical ones), space-bar always acting up from day 1 and poor lighting options (all or nothing), this G.Skill keyboard made my day and I simply fell in love with it from the first sight :)
Pros: -WD warranty
-awesome scratch resistant design
-not too heavy
-fast and quiet HDD
-USB 3.0 (backwards compatible with 1/2 ports)
-it's a Passport series, so it takes power from the USB port
-personally my favorite brand and series of portable drives :)
Cons: -USB 3.0 cables (not only this one) tend to be very short among all manufacturers, really can't anything be done with that for extra 50 cents or so???
-really nothing to add here and I tried being picky :)
Overall Review: Drive comes pre-formatted as NTFS, so Mac users beware, but again this model is designed for XBOX so what do you really expect? ;)
I don't own an XBOX, so tested it with a high-end PC instead.
My test platform was Gigabyte Z97X-UD5H board coupled with i7-4790K CPU @ 4.7GHz and 2x8 GB RAM @ 2400 MHz. OS drive is a RAID0 pair of 240GB Mushkin Chronos Deluxe drives. OS is Windows 8.1 Pro x64, all up to date.
HD Tune 2.55 benchmark results (nearly same for both Intel and Renesas USB 3.0, presented are ones for Intel
1) Transfer rates
Minimum: 51.6 MB/sec
Maximum: 114.2 MB/sec
Average: 86.3 MB/sec
2) Access Time 14.8 ms
3) Burst Rate 105.2 MB/sec
Renesas USB 3.0 hub at rear I/O:
4 GB file copied from RAID0 SSD on SATA3 to Passport X, about 30 secs, around 108-110 MB/s write speed on average (max 113 MB/s)
4 GB file copied from Passport X to RAID0 SSD on SATA3, read same as write
Intel USB 3.0 hub at rear I/O:
4 GB file copied from RAID0 SSD on SATA3 to Passport X, about 30 secs, around 110-112 MB/s write speed on average (max 114 MB/s)
4 GB file copied from Passport X to RAID0 SSD on SATA3, read same as write
Pros: +Scores extremely fast on Intel Z97 SATA3 interface (check numbers in OTHER section)
+Locking SATA cables lock properly
+US based Customer Service (SSD comes with 3 year Advance Replacement warranty and free shipping)
+SSD Guru – a software management tool for Windows and Linux!
+New OCZ Barefoot 3 M10 Controller
+Awesome Toshiba MLC NAND chips
+Firmware updates made easy via SSD Guru (tested in AHCI mode on Win7 laptop)
Cons: -could be cheaper
Next one is not really a con, but I thought I’d mention it here. Upon first attempt to connect this SSD to my Intel Z97 sata3 controller where I also have 2 other SSD drives (Mushkin Chronos Deluxe running RAID0) my Gigabyte Z97-UD5H board lost connection to all drives upon cold boot, not sure why, but it went away after I reseated power and sata cables to OCZ ARC. Didn’t do anything different the second time and yet it worked fine.
Based on other reviews the lifespan of these drives might be short, will see about it personally as I installed this drive in my laptop for daily use mostly for entertainment. I will post another review in a few months giving update on this potential issue.
Overall Review: Time for benchmarks!
Compared this new OCZ ARC 100 480GB (controller running RAID mode) with AS SSD benchmarks based on my single AHCI mode Mushkin Chronos Deluxe and am impressed, OCZ scores way faster!
Reason why I had Z97 SATA controller running RAID is that my other 2 SSD drives are utilizing RAID0 (my Win 8.1 x64 OS and Programs are here).
OCZ ARC 100 running on Intel Z97 (RAID mode, SSD not a RAID array member) SATA3
SEQ Read 460.68 MB/s Write 433.00 MB/s
4K Read 21.09 MB/s Write 86.63 MB/s
4K-64thread Read 295.11 MB/s Write 289.89 MB/s
Acc. Time Read 0.038 ms Write 0.045 ms
Score Read 362 Write 420
Total score 972
Mushkin Chronos Deluxe on Intel Z77 (RAID mode, SSD not a RAID array member) SATA3
SEQ Read 492.79 MB/s Write 159.11 MB/s
4K Read 19.51 MB/s Write 57.27 MB/s
4K-64thread Read 189.51 MB/s Write 147.84 MB/s
Acc. Time Read 0.201 ms Write 0.233 ms
Score Read 258 Write 221
Total score 602
I am pretty impressed with performance of this drive.
Pros: still works very well after 4 months
Cons: contacted TP-LINK Tech Support in early November '14 about IPv6 setup not updating correctly in Settings (old IPv6 SLAAC after ISP updates it). Was told to wait patiently for an update ... so I did, 4 months later there is still no update to this issue. disappointing.
Overall Review: Latest firmware Archer C8_v1_140903 (US model) is dated 9/3/2014 still. IPv6 is unstable in this firmware while used with Comcast as they periodically update the SLAAC address and C8 router does not resulting in loss of connectivity.
Pros: +crisp & clear sound
+comfortable to wear
+nice software engine with equalizer and very handy presets for various scenarios
+customizable color of glowing ring
+built-in mic with easy on/off, haven't noticed it getting any better after enabling Mic Auto-Optimization feature in software
+visually nice design
Cons: -stiff and short USB cable (5ft)
-microphone overhears everything being played in speaker and transmits it (to confusion of other party of conversation)
-pretty high impedance (32+/-3 ohm) making everything sound quieter when compared to my old cheap Sennheiser HD 201 headphones (24ohm impedance)
-ear cups are not sealing well from environment noises
-lack of mic noise cancelling (echo effect is annoying)
Pros: *received this router fully upgraded to latest US firmware revision and pretty much all was superb and easy to set up
*great WiFi speed boost over my former Linksys E2000 router (n-band running Tomato firmware)
*was able to achieve stable 64 MB/s (512 Mbps) transfer rate of huge 4Gb file from PC HDD over 5GHz wifi to PC laptop (HDD as well)
*very good GUI which is both nice and pretty intuitive (check below for IPv6 config notes below under cons)
*very good range, seems twice as strong as my former E2000 box with internal antennas
*no problems with simultaneous running of both 2.4 & 5GHz wifi, no dropouts for days (I have old Asus tablet that doesn't support 5GHz like our all mobile devices do, so it's a great thing for me who had to run 2 old boxes so far)
*worth the money!
*USB File server share and FTP works fine and is pretty much automatic
*gotta love the dual core 800MHz CPU :)
*I love it, even tho it's white ;)
Cons: -My only real grief is the white color and no wall mount :( but that is not even worth hacking off an egg for, since that's just cosmetics
-A bit of headache with IPv6 configuration as the default option (non-temporary address) doesn't work with Comcast. In short I set IPv6 WAN type to DHCPv6, then toggled IPv6 Prefix Delegation option, hit save and reboot router. Then go back to C8 GUI and check if LAN side of IPv6 is set to SLAAC and if the correct IPv6 prefix was picked up - NOTE: it's NOT the one like WAN IPv6 address! It must be one like WAN IPv6 Address Prefix, now if DNSv6 addresses were picked up automatically and correctly then you should be all set, so then reboot your PC and voilla, all works fine :) Any other approach to this fails miserably ;)
-USB 3.0 port didn't like my Patriot Supersonic USB 3.0 32GB stick and ran at USB 2.0 speeds when transferring files over network (max 20 MB/s while I was truly expecting ~90 MB/s)
-Do not disable the NAT boost functionality as the transfer speeds for WiFi will drop, that however cripples some functionality (cannot enable statistics or bandwidth QoS otherwise).
-TP-LINK online support pretty much does NOT exist yet for this router, tried it, got no reply in 24 hrs so gave up with the ticket(wanted to ask about something when I initially ran into IPv6 issues).
As you can see no real world problems here, a few glitches and minor drawbacks and all runs pretty much flawlessly. The firmware I am sure will be updated further to provide even more flexibility, stability and performance, this is just the beginning :)
Overall Review: My Archer C8 was Firmware Version: 3.16.27 Build 20140903 Rel. 75232, Hardware Version: Archer C8 v1 (US)
My ISP (Comcast) seems to top out around 126 Mbps down and 12-13 Mbps up, not bad for a 105/10 plan :)
Speeds tested with Xfinity Speedtest (powered by Ookla) for PC/laptop or Speedtest android app for phones.
1) reference PC with Atheros wired NIC
IPv4: 126 Mbps down / 12 Mbps up
IPv6: 124 Mbps down / 12 Mbps up
2) Mobile Speedtest results over 5GHz WiFi:
a) Samsung GS3 T999 (android 4.4.4): 92 Mbps down / 13 Mbps up (over 2x improvement!! on downstream vs E2000 router, was 40 max)
b) Motorola Moto X (android 4.4.4): 64 Mbps down / 13 Mbps up (slight downstream speed degradation vs E2000 router, was 71 max)
c) HP Envy laptop win 8.1x64, Intel 7260AC adapter:
IPv4: 126 Mbps down / 12 Mbps up
IPv6: 124 Mbps down / 12 Mbps up
An AMAZING 4x speed boost from barely 34 Mbps over IPv4 n-band E2000 router! IPv6 was reaching up to 93Mbps on old router with n-band, still a nice boost of 33%!
Pros: *great price for such board! no gimmicks on board and all I tested works fine up to speed with no unnecessary stuff
*2x awesome gigabit NICs - intel and atheros/bigfoot, choice is yours, very helpful if someone runs Virtual Machines and wants to separate subnets or simply offload traffic from host network connection
*6x USB 3.0 ports on rear I/O (Intel and Renesas), amazingly I had zero issues with ports going through Renesas chip (wasn't the case on my older builds)
*Since BIOS F8 the UEFI is a solid overclocking tool for latest 1150 chips, minor issues detected (read below)
*very clear sound from Integrated audio (much better than on my former expensive ASUS Maximus Z77 Extreme board!)
*was able to overclock my i7 4790K to 4.7GHz with 1.27v vcore (+0.085v offset) for daily use and it is stable as rock 24/7 and under x264 stress tester
*tested with Windows 8.1 Pro x64 in Secure Boot mode, no issues! (one note on enabling Secure Boot in UEFI tho)
*came pre-loaded with BIOS F8, tested also with BIOS F9e (beta) and all seems to be working fine
*8 SATA 6G ports (2 of which are Marvel), but only 4 natively available from Intel if Sata Express or M.2 is used (6 native if those aren't utilized).
Cons: Was looking really hard for any and found literally 1 major issue (not fo rme tho) and 3 minor "issues" (rather improvement requests for BIOS/UEFI developer team):
- all fan headers look like they support PWM (4-pin sockets), but only 1 CPU fan header truly does. Personally it's not a problem for me since I run all fans from fan controller adn need just 1 PWM output from board to run them in automatic mode. However, people liking to utilize multiple PWM fans connected to board might be in trouble tho as those fans will run at full throttle always.
- my AMD Radeon RP1866 memory kit (1866MHz 2x 8GB natively rated at 9-10-9-27 3T @ 1.50v) were unable to load XMP timings as per manufacturer sticker, because BIOS does not support 3T command rate (tried it manually too, no dice), however those same sticks with XMP enabled still worked fine (and tested clear error-free under MemTest86+ 4.20) with automatically accepted by BIOS timings of 9-10-10-27 2T. My request would be to add native support for 3T command rate to BIOS so such sticks as mine could fly as rated per sticker at their finest.
- enabling Secure Boot in BIOS/UEFI is a little over-complicated, first (only available in Classic Mode) requries selecting Windows 8 OS mode, then requires one additional step, one must switch to Secure Boot Custom mode, then scroll down to Keys submenu and load/install the default keys, then the Secure Boot mode can be switched back to Standard (and all works fine since). Default Keys must be loaded every time the CMOS is cleared or new revision of BIOS is flashed. Would be nice if this toggle was available in Smart mode too or simply the deaults were already Win8 and keys pre-loaded, so user would only decide if Secure Boot is enabled or disabled.
- would be also nice if Gigabyte was applying up-to-date CPU microcode patches for 1150 family in their recent BIOSes. I found out that latest BIOSes, both the official F8 and beta F9e are missing the last 3 CPU microcode updates, they come with Haswell microcode revision 19, while there are newer ones out there (1A, 1B and 1C).
Overall Review: It seems there might be still K-SKU CPU stability issues above vcore 1.33v AND with power-saving features enabled (C-states, EIST, C1E), that might result in random reboot under stress with BSOD 101, I found that disabling power saving features (all C-states) in BIOS/UEFI usually stabilizes the processor if the VCORE is truly enough and VRIN is bumped up to keep enough delta (e.g. default cushion of 0.6v above vcore). It would be nice if another BIOS update patch added some more stability to higher K-SKU clocks with power saving featues enabled.
Example of my unstable clock was multiplier 48x and vcore of 1.37v, unstable with C-states enabled, stable with C-states disabled. There also was a certain dead spot on vcore at exactly 1.34v, unstable at all, while former 1.33v was "almost" stable. COuld have been my CPU problem too, since Haswell has the IVR on the die. It could be all CPU dependent, but it could also mean there is still something about the board/bios that is responsible for such behavior.
I can see how all K-SKU owers were complaining on random reboots on pre-F8 BIOSes, chips were running with power saving features enabled, even with low overclocks the vcore was bumped up high (1.4v?) with potentially not enough VRIN and power saving features (C-states, C1E, EIST) enabled.
From other things, I love using the new graphical UEFI mode (Smart HD), but I seem to be missing 2 features here and for altering those 2 things I always had to switch to Classic mode, features are related to Boot sequences and Secure Boot. Only in Classical mode I can switch to Windows 8 mode and enable Secure Boot and only here I can also disable the CWM (which I don't need at all). All the rest is available in Smart HD, great work on that, I love the new UEFI!
Tested configuration with following components:
i7 4790K @ 4.7GHz with 1.27v vcore (wasn't able to fully stabilize 4.8GHz with my CPU running up to 1.38v vcore)
AMD RP1866 2x8GB RAM
2x Mushkin Chronos Deluxe 240GB SSD in RAID0
WD Black 4TB HDD
2x EVGA GTX 670 2GB in SLI
Watercooled CPU and GPUs with D5S pump and 360+240 radiators.