Date Joined: 11/20/03
Pros: Easy to install on my Socket 2011. Hoses long enough you can mount cooler where you want. Low power draw so you can go off a fan header. Keeps my 4930K cool. Sleeved wiring is nice touch.
Cons: The radiator can block the first PCI-Express slot if you mount the radiator at the back of the case. My case allowed mounting over bottom cooling fans so no issue. Since the fittings are sealed you can't route the hoses out of the case.
This may not be the quietest solution out there, but I don't expect whisper-type sound levels with my systems.
Overall Review: I've build about a dozen water-cooled systems over the years. I was skeptical about this unit, but ended up being pleasantly surprised by its ease of installation and overall performance. No worries here about fittings, leaks, test runs, etc. And with the current prices of simple water loops, it's hard to build one for less than $225-$250 if you buy parts yourself and install them. That being said, I know this unit would not keep up if I was a heavy over-clocker.
As near as I can tell, if you don't install the software and provide full power to the fan header that powers it, the unit just runs full out. I have yet to install the software, so I can't speak to what it might or might not allow.
The unit comes with thermal compound on the block. I cleaned it off and used my own, but you don't need to buy extra if you don't want to.
I would definitely buy this unit again, or the dual-fan step-up unit if my case allowed.
Pros: Lots of PCI-Express slots. Dual Intel LAN. Lots of USB ports on the back. Legacy PS/2 connector. Lots of fan ports. Non-Intel ports seem to have good performance on them.
No bad surprises with things like chipset blocking PCI-Express cards, etc.
Cons: Lack of internal USB headers. At this price point there should be 2x as many. If you have internal USB devices you may be short after you hook up the typical MB case headers.
If you have a PCI-Express card in the left-most slot it can crowd top header row of USB/FW/Com hookups.
Overall Review: My board arrived without the right BIOS for my 4930K. I took a USB stick and put the .cap file on it. I had to re-name mine "P9X79EWS". The manual is not clear on this. Anyway, with the computer powered down but plugged in, put the stick in the crash-free USB port and push the recover button in for a few seconds. If all goes well, after about 5 minutes of a blue-blinking light you will have the right BIOS. My machine then rebooted and immediately recognized my Ivy Bridge CPU. I think this is a great feature. No need to have a cpu or memory installed to do this.
I can't speak to the whole PCI-Express 2.0 vs. 3.0 thing. My 2.0 video cards worked great.
For my needs (SOHO and enthusiast uses) this is a great board. I have had great luck with Asus boards. I will continue to use this board as I standardize my builds.
Pros: Cavernous. Great ventilation. Deep; my CEB MB went in without a hitch. Nice drive bay and HDD setups. Would lend itself to multiple water cooling scenarios. Tool-less 5.25" bays see to work well. Power supply can go in front or back of case. 120V AC pass-thru cord to allow front mounting. I put a front-load 1200 watt PS in and still kept both bottom fans at the back. Nice to have plenty of PCI brackets if you want to hook up rear headers or for SLI configs. Plentiful variety of top ports. Nice to take back panel off to route cables and access CPU area. Even with CEB MB no problem getting at back of CPU.
Really easy case to work inside of. Depth means you don't have to worry so much about SATA connectors needing 90 degree adapters. I would imagine this could handle about any graphics card length you wanted it to.
I like that they did not cheap out on the fans. Just an optional 230mm if you want it, but there is great ventilation already. The vertical fans aid in keeping liquid-cooled MB chipsets and memory ventilated. All in all, they have you covered pretty well.
Cons: There is a fair amount of plastic on this. I don't think it would lend itself to being moved around a lot or to constantly having stuff swapped out on it. Edges can be a little sharp. That being said, it's 1/2 to 1/3 the price of high-end tower server cases. As always, you get what you pay for, but with this case you really do get a lot for your money.
As with any case that puts buttons and ports on top vs. front, you need to give yourself vertical clearance to access them and you need to be mindful of hitting the power button more easily.
Overall Review: I'll standardize on this case as I begin my next round of upgrades. It has about everything I want and is easy to work in.
One thing - this case won't fit under a standard office desk
Pros: The big one for us was Prime. That service seems to be hard to find on many units. The unit arrived in great shape with HDMI cable. It is tiny and a no-brainer to set up.
Our son and I played the included ($5) copy of Angry Birds. Graphic quality on this game is very smooth and sound effects are just fine.
You can switch from home page to channels very quickly. Everything seems to load and launch fast. Easy to get on our wired network and easy to update/set up/navigate the home screen.
Cons: No Y*****e. That's a big negative. Unit seems to reset itself quite often. You can jam up streaming services if you skip around a lot during a show. Remote needed to be paired.
I think there are too many buttons doing "double duty" when other buttons go unused, such as the "A" and "B". It's not a very intuitive remote in that regard. I mean, who would think to press the "down" arrow to get info on a show when it is playing?
Overall Review: There seems to be plenty of other channels. Of course, past a certain point things get repetitive and you are paying for either marginal or duplicate content. Most of them offer a free week so it's not as if they are ripping you off or anything. The news channels seem to be very "clip" oriented.
Pros: Price. Box includes station, adapter, USB cable and instructions. 2.5" and 3.5" drives fit in easily. No problems hooking up to my laptop via USB 3.0 ExpressCard adapter.
Cons: One minor one. This dock is plastic. That's fine for everything except heat transfer. I put a 3.5" 7.2K mid-line Seagate drive in. For short-term use it is fine, but if the drive is in there for a long time and being actively read from or written to, it heats up fast. And the plastic is a poor conductor of heat. This may be less problematic with a 2.5" drive, but I would be really careful putting, say, a 3.5" 10K RPM drive in there for extended periods of time.
Overall Review: I got acceptable speeds using a middle-of-the road 7.2K RPM SATA II drive. As I said above, I used a USB 3.0 ExpressCard adapter in my laptop. I could consistently get 55 MB/s+ speeds from the 7.2K laptop drives to the unit. I could get as high as 90-100 MB/s but those speeds settled down pretty quickly.
Other than having to watch out for a drive to heat up in it, I like it and I think is is very useful if you need to just drop a drive in and write some files or clone an OS.
Pros: Feels odd at first, but then really comfortable to have your feet up on this rest when at a task chair. Keeps the backs of your knees from being "scrunched" against chair's cushion.
The black rubber non-slip foot rest can be removed to clean it.
It feels solidly built for a home office/lighter duty situation.
Cons: I'm guessing this would not hold up in a rough industrial office environment, but that being said, a SOHO workspace is far different than industrial use.
Biggest con is with me - this is the only footrest I have ever used. I got it along with a chair on a shell shocker deal, otherwise I never would have considered it.
Overall Review: I think this will take a lot of strain off the backs of my knees/legs. I sit at my desk for extended periods and one week into it and I'm really enjoying having it.
In my situation my task chair needs to be high enough that my feet are not solidly on the floor, and the back of the seat cushion presses into my legs. With this rest, it is much easier on them, and much easier than balancing my feet on top of the chair's leg spindle.
I plan on continuing to use this.
Pros: This washer is supposed to replace another LG washer that trashed its bearings after 8 years. We were impressed with the ability of the first LG washer to get clothes clean. It also uses very little water and really spins clothes dry. In that regard, LG front-load washers are great.
Cons: Repairing a bad bearing pack would be 50-70% of the cost of a new washer so we went with a new one. 8 years is not very long for a washer to last a family of 3, but I thought we'd give LG one more shot because we had matching base stands for the original W/D pair.
See below for MAJOR CON/PROBLEM
Overall Review: I'm not a crank reviewer. I'm usually pretty generous with my reviews, but Newegg.com's marketplace seller, AJ Madison, has very poor choice in its freight company provider.
First, I was never given a tracking number. It was "****" out on the electronic email receipt. I finally called AJ Madison and they gave me one, along with their trucker's website. I went to the website and it only showed it as being electronically created. After a week I spent 2 days emailing and calling the trucking company. I finally got through and was told, very politely, that my item was sitting there but on a "missing items" list and it was a good thing I called. I am still waiting for a delivery date.
I think this is poor service. I can't recommend any item from AJ Madison that ships via truck.
Buying this item from Newegg.com was a major mistake. I should have bought it from a local big-box or appliance dealer and eaten the sales tax. This is a classic example of someone being "penny-wise and pound-foolish".
I hope others learn from my mistake.
Pros: Nice, solid feel. Great sound. Paired easily with iPod, Android phone, computers. Battery life seems solid for this type of product. Headband adjusted easily. Great price when I got them.
Cons: Some might want higher degree of isolation. Also, I could see that if you did not like this style of headphone, you might really not like it. That being said, I found them comfortable for extended wear.
Overall Review: Mine came in a Vizio box with bag, cords, etc. No complaints on shipping. Just took an extra day since USPS delivered a UPS product.
I was pleasantly surprised at the feel and sound quality of these headphones. I have had other Bluetooth headphones that were cheap feeling and/or tinny sounding. These do the job nicely, and I'm not worried about breaking them all the time.
Pros: Fit and finish is nice. Adapter cords included, but rather short. Nice packaging.
LED display with % charge remaining shows for about 5 seconds when you press the power button. Seems to have a high power density for physical dimensions of the unit. 1 and 2 amp USB outputs. MicroUSB charging port, but no AC adapter, so you need an AC adapter or charging port on whatever you use to charge this unit.
Cons: Display can be a bit confusing. For example, anything less than 100% is displayed with a leading 0. For example, 88% would be "088." Not a deal-breaker, just a quirk.
I cannot get my Asus TF700 pad to charge off either the 1-amp or 2-amp ports. I can, however, charge my HTC Sensation 4G and my iPod just fine. But if my phone goes into sleep mode, the charging stops. That is odd.
It does not seem to want to charge our son's PSP Vita, although the charge light came on briefly. To be fair, I've never gotten that Vita to charge off anything but the special adapter.
The advertising seems to imply it will charge tablets. Perphaps my tablet just draws too much current or must be on its proprietary AC adapter.
I am more concerned it won't charge a Vita. That's not a tablet, and ours was with it powered down to charge only. then again, the Vita seems to want its Sony-brand adapter anyway.
Overall Review: I've used several of these sort of USB power packs. Each seems to have a quirk in their design. For instance, this one has an LED that will function as a nightlight or flashlight if you depress the power button for several seconds with nothing connected. Why? I don't know.
I can accept if it won't charge a tablet such as mine, but I am concerned it won't charge my phone as it sleeps. I have to power my phone off to charge it, or have the phone on and in use.
Pros: Compact. External antennas really make a difference, especially with N access points. I have one N access point with internal antennas. Its range and throughput are radically lower. Range on this unit seems good, especially when a floor above it vs. at the other end of the house. It's not quite as good as a 3-antenna AP I have, but it's good.
Nice to have an on/off switch. All info for log-in, default pass codes, etc. is printed on the bottom of the unit. I have not seen that on other units like this. Thoughtful touch.
Ports on back are color-coded for LAN vs. WAN. Again, nice touch. Some indicator lights can be switched off if you want the unit to be visually "quieter".
Guest Zones very appreciated. In this day and age of computer viruses and prying eyes I think this is a must to isolate casual users from your main network or your other computer(s). Good also that this is not one of the other brands of routers/AP's that claim Guest Zone but only have it on a higher hardware revision you might or might not get. It also offers network and access point isolation; some AP's claim Guest Zone but really only offer wireless AP isolation while still letting guests onto your network. Connection seems solid; I do not have any dropping issues.
Cons: Cons: I was getting slow throughput until I disabled the "20/40 Coexistence" check box. That's not a really obvious solution. Also, N is only on 2.4GHz band. Not a con, but you should know that.
Lack of ability to control some of the more granular features of wireless, such as transmit power, 20/40/Auto, and explicit way to limit to N-only or B/G variants are not there. That may not matter to you at all, and it's not a deal-breaker for me. I think the MAC Access Filtering is somewhat obscurely labelled as "Card Access Control".
Not everything to configure is on the same menu page or even all under "advaned". I understand when they are using a wizard vs. manual setup, but once in manual, advanced mode I think everything should be presented consistently under the same left menu items and top tabs. Configuring QoS is confusing, in my opinion.
This unit is trying to walk a fine line between casual users who want to plug it in and users who need to drill down and really change some settings. For the most part, it succeeds.
Overall Review: This is my second purchase of this product, one from another vendor, and this one from Newegg.
I am using this unit as an access point. I updated the FW right away and it was easy to do, but you will need your router's serial number to download it, so have the unit handy. I did not use the installation CD/program; I just went into its default address and changed it to one to work with my current router and network.
What I Can't Speak To: Using it as a full-blown router or as a bridge, etc. I do not run my printer through it and I did not attach any USB devices to it for any of those features or for UPnP or accessing media via a USB drive.
Would I Buy Again: Yes, I would, without hesitation. In my case, the cons are more annoying than deal-breaking.
With all that in mind, the above pros and cons are my impressions of it as an access point.
Pros: My son uses this to charge his iPod or extend playing time, as when on a long car trip. I think the other post is right. This unit is great for charging or using, but not both at the same time.
Recharges fairly quickly.
NICE selection of port adapters. Those alone are worth a good bit of the total cost.
Cons: As above, anything with high current draw does not seem to be able to use and charge at same time. Pick one or the other.
Overall Review: It's not a replacement for a wall outlet, that's for sure. But if you need power in a pinch, this will work and the adapter assortment is nice. At 5000mAh capacity, it's got about 3X the typical smarthphone battery of 1500-1800mAh.
Pros: Our 11-year-old likes it. Intuitive enough for both of us to do some rookie editing. I have not scratched any deeper than that.
Cons: I wish the help guide was better, but, we learn by doing...
Overall Review: I have no idea what this software can or can't do next to its competition, but for very casual use it's easy enough to use.
Unlike the other reviewer, I did not have fatal install issues, BUT, Corel's "S" looks almost the same as the number "8". It took me three tries to realize that when reading the code off the CD envelope.
Pros: Great drive. My tests are virtually the same as the published specs, which is great. For what I do (SOHO, a little video editing), this drive is perfect.
I also happen to be a fan of the controller in this drive vs. some of the other controllers that can have a little harder time with sustained writes of incompressible files such as video, e.g., some of the SandForce controllers.
Cons: I can't really say there are any cons to this drive where my needs are concerned.
Overall Review: I'm not super-demanding or using these drives in arrays or anything like that, so I can't speak to how good they are at the bleeding edge of what they are capable of.
I know Win 7 boots very quickly, and that apps are highly responsive. I would definitely buy this drive again.
Pros: Price. SLC Flash with failover on the platters for cache (according the the review I read). 7.2K gets maximum reasonable speed when it has to go platter; it would be dumb to pair SLC cache with a 5.4k drive, for example.
Easy to update firmware. FAST boots and process startups. File system agnostic. Alignment agnostic.
My system has a lot of processes that have to start. This drive gets me to a working desktop much faster than the 7.2K conventional drive it replaced. I can watch this as the processes load in Task Manager.
Takes about 3-5 boots to accelerate the Windows OS. Learns fast.
Cons: Newer model has more cache? No user control over low-level cache functions. Of course, if you are constantly changing applications, this drive will constantly be trying to accelerate those.
I would not use this drive as a preferred storage drive. The read cache benefit is going to be negligible if you store music and videos on this drive and access them randomly. At that point, it's just another 7.2K drive.
I would not use this drive in a RAID 5/6 setup, but perhaps as a system drive in RAID 0 or 1. I would not use this drive in a high-transactional environment.
Most of these are not cons, but are rather limits of the drive's intended use.
Overall Review: I use this drive on a SOHO laptop that runs 64-bit Win 7 and had a conventional 500GB 7.2k drive. I intermittently need more storage than an SSD can economically provide at this time.
This (or the newer versions) would be my top choice to replace my XP system drives, since these drives do not require alignment or offset considerations as full SSD's do, but get the initial launch times lower and accelerate a few frequently used apps.
For those of us that have need or want of XP systems, this drive is great for hassle-free acceleration.
IMHO, these are the sweet spots for this drive:
1. Fast boots. Much faster than conventional drives.
2. Great where an SSD might require a clean install and/or alignment of the drive.
3. The drive does not care about file systems. Equal-opportunity acceleration
4. You use a limited number of applications the majority of the time.
Pros: This fixed the sleep issue on my Dell Studio 1747 and BSOD:
Download the Etron EJ168 installer package and let it update the drivers to a version dated April of 2012.
It took my system a long time to download the driver; perhaps they were working on their website.
It is a newer driver and will install over your old one. You want driver version 18.104.22.168 to be what is on your system.
Cons: Still loses eggs for falling out of the ExpressCard slot and for needing to use a USB port or AC adapter to power its own ports to their full ability and for needing to do this to begin with.
You still net out at only +1 USB port, although you will now have at least one more 3.0 port, depending on how new your laptop is.
Overall Review: Please see above.
Pros: Great drive, especially for those of us who do not want Advanced Format. Fast, quiet, and a great warranty.
Cons: None at this time.
Overall Review: Sadly, this drive was $70 before Thailand was flooded. Aside from the tragedy to the Thai people, one has to wonder in disbelief why companies build factories on floodplains. As my mother is fond of saying, "Don't be penny-wise and pound-foolish." Any area that floods every 50 years or so is way to risky to build on. Seems like a long time between floods, but it's not.
It will probably be March, if we are lucky, before prices start coming back down. It could be as bad as late summer or early fall for those of us this far down the hard drive food chain.
Pros: Everything. One of the rarest of the rare hardware add-ons in that it has 0% hassle and 100% promise fulfillment. Accell delivers the goods, pure, plain, and simple.
Full, immediate 2560x1600 resolution on my older Dell 30" DVI Dual-Link input monitor from a DisplayPort output on a newer ATI 5400 series video card. The card treats it as Eyefinity compatible.
No drivers for/from the USB cable. It merely draws power.
Cons: There are no cons to this product, unless you have issues with plugging a Dual-Link DVI cable into it, or it into a spare USB port, which it merely uses to draw power.
Basically, if you can handle Velcro shoe ties and softsoap for your hands, you can work with this.
Overall Review: Newegg was out of stock when I bought this, so I bought it from another retailer since I needed it ASAP.
Make sure you know whether your card has mini DisplayPort out or regular DisplayPort out, and buy your model of adapter accordingly.
This is NOT the same as the Single-Link active adapters that max at 1920x1080 or 1920x1200. You MUST have a Dual-Link Active adapter to achieve 2560x1600 or 2560x1440.
Pros: As far as SageTV goes, integrated as easily as its predecessor and my other Hauppauge products. Easier to work with than DVICO. Price is right. Shipping was as fast as any other product.
Pegs the signal strength as well as my Hauppauge internal cards for OTA ATSC and as well as my Hauppauge 950Q on the same antenna.
Zero-hassle install. Downloaded the driver, installed the stick, and pointed the installer to the driver location. One reboot later and it was good to go.
Cons: No cons, but I can only speak to how well it works with SageTV. I have not tried any of K-World's software, or any drivers other than under 32-bit XP.
Overall Review: For a garden-variety, bargain-priced USB 2.0 ATSC tuner stick, you can't beat its price/performance ratio.
My use is narrow, however. I can't tell how well it would work in a portable setting, and I have not, nor will I, install any K-World viewer apps on my Sage system.
Pros: Price. Zero-Hassle installation into WinXP SageTV system. Sage supports it just fine. If my high-end Hauppauge stick says 98% signal strength, this one might say 95%. Nice to have a little blue light saying its on/plugged into the USB port correctly.
Plays nice with my Hauppauge tuners, HD-PVR, and older K-World PCI ATSC card.
Cons: My narrow use as far as this review is concerned. No clue if it would work well under Win7 or Vista. No clue on Media Center. No clue about software other than the driver, which is fine under 32-bit XP.
That's a con as a reviewer, not against the product.
Overall Review: Just ordered a second one., and as I said, my use is narrow - just SageTV.
I am also using a rooftop antenna and am close (50 miles) to the market it is tapping into. But the first one worked great, so I am going to add a second one.
For what it does, the price/performance ratio can't be beat in my application.
Pros: Only game in town to get HD content into a media system such as SageTV without going totally Rube Goldberg. For me, it works as advertised. You can reprogram under Sage to record at a higher bitrate than under ArcSoft. I think the quality is really good for what cable spits out anyway.
We all know none of the cable people send out HD movies at the same resolution as broadcast ATSC, despite their claims that they do, and this unit is far superior to a regular DVD of a movie anyway.
The only thing that will ever beat this is CableCard on a PCI-Express interface, but that's basically vaporware at this point, and at that point you would probably have DRM issues anyway.
Cons: Can be twitchy. It would be nice if it could handle around 20mb/s max, but what it does is adequate. Rumors abound as to its chipset's actual maximum bitrate.
Driver upgrades can be a hassle. Susceptible to interference from other cards. Try to keep your component cable input as short as you can and away from other cords. Digital audio can be iffy. Best to lock your set top box to either 720p or 1080i as constant resolution changes can freak it out. Keep it cool. I have a small computer fan blowing air over it, and ventilation of the unit is not so great to begin with.
If you have a second Hauppauge device, they will slug it out for control of the single IR channel Hauppauge offers. Solution - get a USB-UIRT IR controller for this tuner.
Not a con per se, but H.264 takes a good card and CPU to handle. Probably not a good idea not to run it on an ancient system. I'd say at least an ATI 3600 series card, and Core 2 Duo processor.
Overall Review: I can only speak from the point of view of a SageTV user. It works reliably about 96-98% of the time. Every now and then a cold restart of the server and the Hauppauge unit is required. I try not to update the drivers anymore than I have to - "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" is my motto here.
If you tweak it to a higher bitrate the HD content looks pretty darn good. I have mine at about 8GB/hour via tweaks.
You have to remember you are going from a digital cable signal to your cable box decoding to analog to this unit recoding the analog back to digital and then back to your TV in analog, so it's not going to be like a Blu-Ray. Also, it's 1080i max, but that's really good enough.
If you use it with SageTV or other PVR software and have any other Hauppauge products, get a USB-UIRT. It's next to impossible to control which tuner gets the single IR channel Hauppauge allows. A USB-UIRT will control up to 2 devices, hassle free.
Pros: Using in a mixed-brand RAID 5 array under a 3Ware controller. Array verifies, drives report 0 re-allocated sectors and cooler temps than 7.2K cousins. No TLER issues.
For a SageTV Video Server array, these drives are great. I can record 4 HD shows at once and stream 2 recorded shows to seperate clients. Hard to ask for more than that.
Cons: My use is narrow. I can't speak to use for a system drive or other function. To that extent, my review is a con, not the drive itself.
Overall Review: Apparently the 3-platter design density allows for good performance at lower speeds. I'll take that for my use.
Since none of the drives have problems, I can't speak to the RMA process where Samsung is concerned.
At this point, the price/performance ratio is unbeatable.
Many people seem upset about the shipping and packaging. My drives seem to arrive just fine.
I can't say that initializing/migrating an array is any faster or slower with these drives.
Pros: Great price if you are not chasing speed. Lots of good comments about this drive on Newegg and other forums. No problem using it on my Sage TV server under 3Ware RAID 5 and Win XP.
Cons: My scenario is very narrow. I can say I've heard good things about this drive for storing TV shows and such under video servers, which is my only use for it.
That's not a con for the drive, that's a con for me since I have not tested it under multiple scenarios and such. But heck, that's what Tom's and such is for anyway.
Overall Review: I can't say migrating it into my RAID 5 array made the array any faster or slower. It seems to play nice with the other drives, and honestly, I'm more looking for a cool running drive that's not going to incinerate itself, not the fastest thing that's going to give me the last MB/s of R/W performance, so for me it is a great choice.
Pros: Barefoot controller really brought SSD's into the mainstream and virtually stopped their stuttering. Fast for its generation and price point. OCZ has great forums.
Cons: I've bought 5 of these over the last year. 2 are spares. Of the 3 boot drives in use, 2 have already died. The third one is the boot drive in a system that is used strictly as a RAID server, so very little is done with it per se, and that server is used infrequently.
OCZ is responisve on their RMA's, but even with the latest firmware these drives have pretty attrocious life expectancies under Vista and Win 7.
Overall Review: The drives that died had literally every tweak done to them to extent their lives - alignment, no pagefiles, no indexing, no date stamping, no system restors, no hybrid sleep files allowed, cache files and pagefiles on secondary mechanical drives, TRIM under Win 7, latest FW's as released, you name it.
I got about 10 months out of each one on SOHO business systems. They are fast, for sure, but they have little durability. I would think these would have the best shot at a longer life if generously overprovisioned to reduce the capacity down to 20GB and put in an RAID 0 config. Hopefully the latest FW's with built-in features to attempt to emulate TRIM would help, but at that point you might just as well get a 50GB SandForce drive.
Just a follow up review after some real time in a system. I suppose if OCZ keeps replacing them every year or so that's fine, but their durability is lacking.
Pros: After over 2 months drive still ATTO specs at 95-98% of rated speeds under Win 7 64-bit. SSDLife reports 85% life expectancy on the drive, or, at present rate of use it will fail around 2020. I'm assuming the initial hit to life expectancy came during installs and large-file write tests. SSDLife is an estimator; you can take it for whatever you think it's worth.
Cons: It's not a con, but SandForce controllers can't sustain writes of compressed files, such as DV, beyond about 135-150MB/sec. That's still pretty fast. My drive will still sustain those rates.
Overall Review: If I had it to do over, I'd over-provision the drive a little extra, say, 10% or 5GB extra. Needless to say, I do all the recommended things such as having a pagefile on another drive, indexing off, timestamping off, etc. I have not moved .temp and .tmp files to a mechanical drive; I probably ought to.
Pros: Price. No duds yet. Works fine under 3Ware controllers. Supposedly the "house" version of the 7K2000 so you get the same guts but can't comparison shop it.
No dropout issues in RAID arrays. They follow my 3Ware spinup delay commands perfectly and don't strain my PSU's on inrush.
In the process of migrating a 750GB 12-drive RAID 6 array to a 6-drive 2TB RAID 6 array with possible a hot spare.
Cons: I can't detect that these run any hotter or cooler than any other drive in their class based on their SMART reporting.
My use is narrow - arrays in video and data servers, so I can't say if they are whisper-quiet or cold-chilling in a desktop setting. My narrow scope of applications is my con, not the drive's. Certainly not the fastest or slowest drives I have ever used.
2TB is the end of the line for LBA as used by most OS's. When the 3TB class comes out it will allegedly require MB BIOS and OS drivers that can handle the extended LBA addressing. So, I guess, in that sense you are buying the highest drive capacity that older OS's such as XP can handle. Maybe that's a con, I don't know. I'm guessing gen 1 of BIOS and OS that can handle 3TB ELBA will make it look like a pro. :-)
Overall Review: I've had great luck with Hitachi drives in RAID arrays over the years, these included. I can't say I have had any more or less duds or short-lived drives than with other brands. Hitachi's RMA program is no better or worse than the 2 other major brands I use.
I keep buying them because they are affordable and get the job done for me. As capacity grows, watts consumed per gig falls, so I don't really care if they use a couple watts more or less than other "green" drives that can give RAID controllers fits. IMHO, 2TB is for data arrays, at least RAID 1 level, and not system drives, so I don't use these for boot drives.
I have a 12-drive RAID 6 array using 750GB drives. I will take that down to 6 drives and pick up an extra 300GB of storage for half the power consumed by the drives, or a savings of about 60-70+ watts. Sounds good to me, and I have not even messed around with RAID controllers that can spin down the arrays when their are no I/O demands.