Date Joined: 10/01/02
Pros: great performance even after SLC cache runs out. sustained write is reasonably decent during heavy copy and 70% filled. good latency.
Cons: still some optimization left for Phison/Corsair to tweak the controller. during heavy copy and folder duplicate instances, the speed tends to hover up and down. but the latest 12.2 firmware is already proving to be an improvement over the earlier versions in the early reviews.
Overall Review: i first tried Intel 660P because of the unbelievable price, but ultimately couldn't swallow the performance dip after SLC cache runs out. it was painfully slow once after the initial 20~30GB of file transfer when the drive is 65% full. the speed dipped down to 100MB/s, which for me just wasn't going to cut it. i ended up buying the Corsair MP510 after reading all the reviews. with the Corsair and specifically looked for its performance metric for long sustained sequential writes. low and behold, the sustained write holds up quite well after its SLC cache runs out. obviously this doesn't compete with the Samsung EVO/Pro, WD Black alike. but for the price, which at the moment of this writing, is only slightly more than the intel 660P, you're getting a whole lot of sustained write than the 660P. if you don't transfer a lot of files, the 66P might be the best deal, but if you transfer any files larger than 20~30GB at a time, better go with this. the next thing up with better sustained write would be the TeamGroup or the HP950, but both are a lot more expensive.
Pros: i was already planning on buying the 2080 and a EK block. this combo solution took care of it for me without having me go through the trouble. it comes out slightly cheaper than buying separate block and back plate.
Overclocks well, i am able to run constant 2.1ghz on the core with afterburner extra voltage slider all the way to the max and power limit slider pushed all the way to max. at 2.15ghz is when it starts to crash. so i am perfectly happy to settle at 2.1ghz
Cons: i am not sure if it's EK's block design quality falling or what, but compare to my previous 980TI, which was pushed to the max at 350 watts TPD, that card also had a custome EK full cover block on it and it never went above 46 degrees. with this card, it's hovering at 48~50 degress at only TPD of 250 watts everything pushed to the max. is EK's block design going downhill?
Overall Review: i just wish MSI would be a bit generous and give us more Power limit than the measly 9 extra percent. i a mean come'on, you're dumping this much money into a custom solution, and 9% extra is all the additional power you get? i am also not into the dragon theme. much rather have a plain nickel acrylic look. overall a great performer.
Pros: fast overall read speed for both sequential and random. decent size, and jezus, the price is unreal cheap, which was actually what got me to give NVME a try for my first time
Cons: once SLC cache fills up. for a 1TB drive that's filled up to 65~70% average, which is typical for me on a 1TB primary drive, transferring anything larger than 20~30 GB at a time becomes painfully slow!, and i am talking HDD speed around 100 MB/s. unless if you constantly keep this drive at 25~30% level, you're going to run out of SLC cache pretty easily.
Overall Review: if your'e only using this drive for mostly read purpose, basically this is the perfect NVME SSD for your wife or your gf who just wants their computer to load up fast and applications to load fast. If you're using this drive as a gaming partition, know that the first time you migrate all your game files over, which i'd imagine would be couple hundred gigs large, will be painfully slow after the initial 50~60GB or so. but you're mostly just playing games off of this drive and don't do much writing to it, it's perfectly fast. and if you're downloading games to this drive through internet connection that's fine too. since most internet tops out at 15~20 MB/s for average user, even gigabit tops out less than 100 MB/s in the real-world. basically this is for casual usage.
but now that i've gotten a glimpse into the potential and speed of NVME, i am hooked. there's no going back. i am most likely either going to return this drive, or give this to my wife's laptop. i have another Corsair MP510 ordered on the way, and will likely order another 2TB Corsair to use as secondary. NVME really is powerful.
the only reason you would get the 660P intel drive is as mentioned above, if it's for your gf, or wife, who just want their laptop to load and boost up fast, and rarely EVER write anything large at once. OR if you order the 2TB version of 660P and TREAT IT LIKE IT"S A 1.5TB drive, or manually set the over-provisioning for 500GB. that way the internal SLC will never fall below 50 GB at 75% capacity filled, or 200 GB at 25% capacity filled. to me i very often write large ISO and trasnferring them across partitiions, so i am mostly working with 50~70GB files, this is just not cutting it for me. at those environments, the speeds fall below my tried and true cricual MX500. to give you an example, i copied the Ghost Recon folder, which is 63 GB large, it took 6:50 to complete the task, the initial 20 GB was being copied at 1 GB/s throughput, but falls to less than 100 MB after. with the Crucial MX500, it took 5:30 throughout the entire consistant 450 MB/s throughput. this is done with the 1TB 660P 65~70% filled up, which is typical for average users. If you get a 2TB version, and reserve 500GB out of that as over-provisioning, even at its 1.5 TB space filled, you would still have 5GB of SLC cache to work with, but that's worst case scenario. if you have a 1.5TB capacity drive, you likely won't be working with it 100% filled all the time, so your SLC cache is like to be 100~200 GB.
keep all this in mind. and decide if it's for you or not. obviously the 1TB version is $200. so even if you get it, and only use it as 1.5TB drive, it might be a competitive option compare to a speedy 1TB NVME like the Corsair or Samsung Evo, or HP 920. all of those other drives will have a much much MUCH higher raw writing speed after their SLC cache run out. if you have to decide what's for you. personally i am going with a speedy 1TB NVME.
i do have to give Intel the props for pushing the QLC tech 660P drive forward into the market. because if it weren't for drives like the 660P or the Crucial P1, i would've never have given NVME a try at the first place. So although QLC NVME still leaves a lot to be desired, it did its job in thrusting the technology forward with its price/performance offer. it reminds me of when i first got into espresso machines. my very first was a cheapo $40 one that didn't make any true espresso by got me into the game. the subsequent machines i purchased each got better and better.
Pros: the components onboard are actually quite good quality. despite the marketing would have you believe, this is actually a 5+2 phase mobo, with double inductors and double high/low MOSFET in parallel for the 5 phase VCore and 2 phase SoC. but at least the MOSFET and controller chips are quality and efficient. based on online testers' reviews, it seems the VRM switching are in the 300Khz range, which is quite efficient. Setup was easy, you do need to go into bios and manually enable XMP profile. but be sure the memory is part of the QVL list. my Gskill Trident Z DDR4 3200 works with the XMP profile within. i personally think they should just forego the initial dummy BIOS UI and give you the Advanced/Expert UI straight up front. the VRM heatsink also seems to work pretty well compare to some of the poor reviews out there on the Asus Prime X470 Pro. When pushing 1.4v into 2700X at 4.1ghz the VRM hovers around 85c consistently in an warm weather of 30c ambient. The RGB lighting is a good surprise. i didn't get the board for the lighting but it's quite a nice add. the Fan profile in bios is some of the best i've seen. however, bios can sometimes seem a bit inconsistent, read below under Con.
Cons: i noticed sometimes the BIOS upon changing setting and saving can behave erratically. a few times after change a few settings, and reboot, it refuses to get into windows. one time i had to manually shut it down and cold boot it again to get back into windows. i also noticed that the Cool N Quiet setting sometimes doesn't stick. regardless of setting CNQ to ON in bios, sometimes upon reboot, it doesn't work. it requires you changing CNQ to OFF save bios setting, reboot, enter bios, and change the CNQ back to ON again for it to work properly. VERY annoying.
the Lack of off-set feature is quite a disappointing one, although would not be so bad if the BIOS come with proper setting to counter it. it makes no sense that they give you "Global C-State Control" setting,"Power Supply Idle Control", and "C-State" setting, but no where to define or input the C-state P0 setting for "Upper CPU voltage", and "Max CPU Clock". the P0 is there, but no Max CPU Clock.!!??? then why is it even there? it makes no sense. with proper settings, you can actually throttle the voltage at idle when Cool N Quiet clocks down. instead, all you can change is the default CPU Multiplier and Standard VCore voltage.
to top it off, it doesn't allow you to change the BCLK frequency either. so you can't overclock through BCKL to push the clock speeds higher.
it just seems that this board is build for dummies with decent components but falls short of taking it a step farther for enthusiasts. i mean all the components are good, but poor settings and inconsistent bios.
speaking of inconsistent bios, one time i actually ran into an instance where it didn't matter what Vcore voltage i gave it, it would default to 1.368 volt. it wasn't until i loaded another profile, which made the subsequent vcore setting stick. BIOS feature/UI wise, it's top notch 5 stars. but in terms of bios setting and consistency, it's below average. i've run into some weird bios troubles before with other boards from other manufacturer for the past 20 years, but was as strange as this.
the Vcore fluctuation also is inconsistent. at at 1.35~1.385 it would fluctuate by as much as 0.016v.
the supplied MSI software updater is junk. did not work the way it was intended. was able to download the software but failed registration due to some obscure error code that no one could decode. the software also didn' t look up BIOS or provide option for bios update in contrary to its marketing advertising. i had to hunt down the bios on the convoluted website and manually flash it through a USB Thumbdrive. also this board has no backup bios, nor a socket for bios chip, so this is also another major let down. i can't recall the last time i bought a decent mob that didn't have these features.
Overall Review: it's hard to say if it's a winner or not. consider none of the manufacturers are perfect unless you go with the top tier boards in the $250+ range. anything in the mid tier or upper mid tier like the Gaming Pro Carbon, you're sacrificing something.
what i am happy about is the OK heatsink on the VRM compare to countless of the filmsy ones that the industry is flooded with these days. i miss the good old days when heatsinks on mobos were actually heatsinks, not those ionized blocks with barely any fins or surface area. but compare to some of the others, the X470 gaming pro carbon's VRM heatsink does keep up provided if you have enough airflow inside the case.
specs: (Bios version latest V2.3 as of this writing)
R7 2700X @4.1ghz 1.4v (did not win the CPU lottery this time, my last i7 however was a different story)
Gskill Trident Z 3200 14-14-14-34-1T through A-XMP profile 2
Gigabyte Gaming 980Ti
fully custom EK open loop watercooling for CPU and GPU.
for what it's worth. here are the highlights
Bios UI design - 5 stars
Bios feature/stability - 2 stars
components quality - 5 stars for its price range
aesthetics (subjective) - 4 stars
designed layout - 5 stars
bells and whistles (RGB, Accessories etc) - 3 stars
if you're wondering why the default AUTO vcore voltage is so outrageously high at 1.45v, that's not exclusive to MSI alone. it's a AMD ryzen thing. AMD default has it set that way so that XFR can clock up to 4.3ghz for single core workload for 2700X, and down volt itself to 1.3v when all cores are loaded at 3.95ghz or 4ghz depending on the weather that day :D. once you find your max OC, you should manually dial down the vcore yourself.
changing this review from 4 stars to 2. Let me just say that the only way MSI is going to make me remove this review is if they somehow able to salvage all this by taking this motherboard back and offer me a full refund.
remember that erratic BIOS behavior i mentioned earlier? it's gotten worse. after changing a few more settings, now all the voltages are all over the places. before sometimes Vcore voltage would not stick to what you give it, now when i give it 1.4v, it becomes 1.47v. NBSoc 1.1 is now 1.2v (which mind you for Soc is HUGE difference). Dram voltage before setting 1.35v was 1.344. now setting Dram to 1.35 you get 1.406!!??? tried clearing the CMOS, loading different profiles, loading default settings, changing Load Line Calibration, which doesn't seem to do anything despite what level i set it to. Cool N Quiet still takes a few toggles inside bios from disable to enable to work. i now have to off-set all the voltage settings to get the correct amount. i now have to input 1.32 Vcore just to get 1.416 Vcore, and 1.31 dram just to get 1.36 dram.
this BIOS completely doesn't make sense and got the mind of its own. i've had BIOS in the past from ASUS and Asrock that would sometimes stuck in boot screen but this is the first time in 18 years of overclocking that i've seen a BIOS this screwy in my life. MSI, if you're listening, the only way you are going to salvage this mess is through some miracle customer service by taking this mobo back and refund my money. because this is the WORST BIOS i've ever seen. didn't even know BIOS could be this BAD. you have surpassed my expectation in the wrong kind of way.
just yesterday the voltage reading all of sudden dropped to 0.840 for Vcore and stuck there at 100% full-load at 4ghz. and dram voltage reading dropped to 1.3 this obviously can't be right. the System is still chugging along doing Vue Xtreme 2016 rendering just fine despite those wacky read-out. Avoid this product at all cost. Lowering it to 2 star.
the Voltage readings for Vcore tend to get stuck. every now and then, it'll get stuck in one place and won't move regardless giving the CPU full-load or idle. this explains why previously i was able to do Vue render at 4ghz full load while the vcore reading was stuck at 0.840. The Dram and SOCNB voltage also has the tendancy to overvolt by A LOT every now and then. i set the Dram voltage to 1.35v to get 1.344, but sometimes Dram voltage will jump to 1.406 v and then take a day or two to come back down to 1.344. SocNB usually sits at 1.2v, but sometimes when the Dram voltage shoots up, so goes the SocNB, which shoots up to 1.25, which is quite A LOT. if you don't overclock your ram, this might be ok, consider 1.4v is still "relatively" ok if your dram die is quality. but if you already overclock your ram to 1.4v, i can see this thing sometimes jump to 1.45v, which might kill your ram fast.
Pros: enough room to house plenty of custom water cooling, plenty of back panel space, cpu backplate cutout, VERY modueler design. build quality is as you would expect from an American company. although not sure if it's actually made in the US, i can attest that the quality is top notch, on par with Silverstone; while in the past few years, CoolerMaster has slipped so far down the chart that it's not even worth looking at.
Cons: i honestly try to think of some, but can't. 14 years of building PC and customizing water rigs, this is the best case i've got that didn't break my bank. the only thing i wish this thing had was pure aluminum material like the good old days when aluminum was still affordable and easily found in multiple PC cases. but who are we kidding. the price of this thing and the design and quality that went into it.
Overall Review: i would highly recommend this case to folks who customize their PC as a hobby. this case is a product of a company which clearly takes enthusiasts feedback very seriously and went back to the drawing board to come up with a solution that nearly fits everything you would need in PC modding. i've been customizing water rigs since Epox 8RDA days when water cooling meant running a gardening hose to an ice bucket that feeds to a specialized copper block. Frying CPUs were a common thing back in those days and mobo manufactures had little to no safety features built into their boards.
this case is the result of many years of feedback and R&D. you could literately mount multiple loops in it to accommodate multiple cpu, gpu, and still have more room left for internal lighting.
my previous case was a Coolermaster Cosmos S. at the time of that purchase, it was one of the most enthusiast friendly case out available. however, i still found myself drilling holes and gutting internal chasis just to make room for a multiple loop with a powerful pump. to top it off, if you wanted to run push/pull radiator setup, it seriously limited the operable space. too bad my pump ruptured few months back and i took the opportunity to upgrade the chasis. and as i was already eyeing the beautiful design of the 780T, i pretty much use the incident as an excuse to upgrade. although this time i chose to go with the AIO water route, due to lack of will to maintain at my current life/age/kids. this case still proved to me that it is more than capable to house any of my customization that i would need in the future. i might go back to custom loop in the future, but for now, this case is able to house my current setup of dual 140mm rad and dual 290x crossfire setup with 7 140mm case fans + two 120mm at the bottom. it is able to extract the heat out of the dual 290x fast enough and still keep the case looking clean and shiny with plenty of LED customization inside. the current setup is so beautiful to look at that i often find myself stare at the window rather than playing games.
build quality has always been one of Corsair's top reputation. from the days of DDR1 3200, Corsair had already proved itself to be a company that takes quality and reliability seriously. lets face it, when it comes to PC parts, reliability isn't something that many can back up their products. in an industry full of products, few can backup with extensive warranty matched by many of corsair's products. i used the word "many" and not "all", knowing very well that not all of their products come with extensive warranty. however, i did personally had the chance to go through their RMA process, and am glad to say that it's easy and not as painful as many others out there.
keep up the good work, and i will continue to buy your products.
Pros: really awesome bang for the buck!
Cons: high number of inventory plagued with black screen issues, caused by low voltage drops during idle.
Overall Review: following up on my previous two reviews titled: "A bit finicky, if you get black screen read this." and "Follow up on my previous 4 egg review on Black Screen".
i received the RMA replacement back from Sapphire, which took about 1 week turn around.
the replacement also has black screen problem, but not as bad as the previous unit. I've since tested a couple different 2D clock profiles and found that a combination of high Core Clock speed together with low Memory Clock + higher than stock voltage stopped the black screen from happening again. with the stock setting of 1020 core and 1350 memory, and stock voltage, the new replacement blacked out on me twice during idle voltage drop. my last unit would even black out at 800 core and 1250 memory sitting idle at the desktop.
my solution, which you're welcome to try is try to keep the core clock speed relatively high, close to the stock speed, but dump the memory clock speed low. remember, it's the voltage drop that causes the memory to black out. and since the memory voltage is tied to the core voltage. and the voltage is dynamically scaled according to the core clock speed. if the core clock speed is lowered too much, even if you lower the memory speed, it'll still affect the memory.
my new 2d clock speed profile is set to 850mhz core, and 1000mhz memory with a +.025mv. during gaming, my 3d clock profile is back to normal 1020/1350. so far this has held up.
Sapphire, seriously, do more rigorous testing, not just a 3d benchmark stress test, before you carelessly dump out overclocked products in the market that don't really stand up to the every day task that's not gaming.
Pros: fast chip when it works. lots of room for overclock; however it's inherently held back by its design.
Cons: believe it or not, i actually got a faulty chip the first time. the first chip didn't pass stress test and ran HOT. until this day, intel tech support will still deny the usage of TIM underneath the Heatspreader, which inherently limits what this chip's ultimate potential. also due to lack of competition, intel can charge a high price and there's nothing you can do about it, even tho this chip is already almost two years old tech, and only $10~$20 cheaper than its successor, at the very most if you're lucky.
Overall Review: the lack of competition has intel cutting corners. gone are the days when cores are properly soldered underneath the heatspreader. Intel started cutting corners by using cheap under performing thermal interface pastes to connect the cores under the heatspreaders, instead of soldering, while still maintaining the high price tag g to maximize their profit margin. the quality control also seems to have gone down over the years. i actually received a faulty chip the first time, and had to RMA. over the course of 15 years building computers, it was actually my very first faulty consumer chip. don't get me wrong, the i7 is fast, in terms of faster than its competition. but you're paying twice the money for them to cut corners in the manufacturing process (by using TIM instead of Solder). until this day, Intel tech support will still deny the usage of TIM for its consumer IB chip despite the fact that it has already been proven. i can only hope that the future will bring some much needed competition that'll give Intel run for its money.
Pros: it runs cool, and i mean very cool, runs at advertised speed and voltage.
Cons: nothing i can think of.
Overall Review: i picked up another set to complete 16GB of RAM, running with a 4.8Ghz i7 3770K. some people with AMD setup might have issues running full speed with four dimms, but most modern intel platforums should have no trouble. the dimms run very cool, which i like. memory ICs are usually the first ones to kick the bucket in a long term stability test system, so having a cooler IC can only aid in prolong their life. i've been running Gskill rams for the past 5 years, never had problems. if it ain't broken don't fix it.
Pros: lots of customization, looks cool. the palm rest slides out to accommodate those of us with big hands.
Cons: the mouse is FLAT in height. the height is NOT adjustable like some would have you believe. the palm rest adjustment can slide out and allows you to adjust the angle. but make no mistake, the angle adjustment does NOT give you more height. this mouse is actually in reality lower in total height than most gaming mouse i've used, which makes it impossible to achieve a true palm grip. you can only do a partial palm grip with this mouse. the side clutch button also doesn't actuate well. the clutch clicks, but you have to go beyond the click for the button to register (poorly manufactured). wireless mode also doesn't work very well. everytime you reboot, the mouse takes 20~30 seconds to register if you have it setup in wireless mode. until then, the mouse runs at maximum DPI setting, renderning it unuseable. also everytime you switch from wireless to wireless mode, it also takes at least TWO plugging and unplugging + 20~30 seconds for the wireless mode to register correctly. last but not least, wireless mode died on me after 2 weeks. it no longer works in wireless mode. tried following the instruction in manual to pair up the mouse again, but the mouse wouldn't even enter pairing mode anymore.
Overall Review: save your money. this is an expensive piece of poorly designed, and poorly manufactured hardware. it looks incredibly good at best. it also isn't as comfortable as some of the most popular gaming mouse out there in terms of speaking ergonomic strictly. over priced, and bad product. the Mamba on the other hand is a much better buy.
Pros: let me just say this first that this thing takes about 2+ weeks of gaming, few hours each day to get used to. but once you're used to it, muscle memory kicks in, it's awesome. it helps "a bit" with ergonomic vs regular keyboards. you can game for hours and left hand won't be tired. plus it's just cool to look at. the adjustable palm angle is nice, as well as the added row of keys on top (number rows)
Cons: Lack of left "Ctrl" key. i don't know how they could have missed this. most people use Ctrl for run or crouch in FPS. i had to remap the Ctrl to Shift, and remap shift to Tab, and that's why it takes more than two weeks to get used to using it. my gaud the space button. the worst feature of this keypad. first just let me say that the space key isn't really a key, but rather a clickable "thingy" that works terrible.
Overall Review: do you really need it? not really. if anything it only helps a little bit with comfort, but you can game just as well with a regular keyboard. but i like it. makes gaming that much more fun. just be aware that you might hate it the first two weeks getting used to that lack of Left Ctrl button, my gaud i thought of returning it, until now i am finally used to it and really like it. i am only deducting one star due to the lack of standard Control key, and the terribly design space key.
Pros: great value for what you can achieve with this board. better VRM components than the Extreme4 sibling. the VRM on Extreme6 actually doesn't get hot, slightly warm at best. so no worries on additional cooling on the VRM.
Cons: bad vcore voltage swing, and very inaccurate voltage reading
Overall Review: i just finished building a high end rig with this board, paired with a i7 3770K that's overclocked to 4.8ghz prime95 V27.9 stable. a few things you need to be aware of with this board. the vcore voltage reading is VERY inaccurate. not necessary a reason to not buy this board. but know that whatever voltage reading you get from the bios, or CPU-Z for your Vcore is lower by about .07v from the actual voltage that's being sent to the CPU. also. if you choose to overclock, make sure set an actual off-set value for both Turbo Voltage, AND Vcore off-set voltage. the reason for that is if you leave the Turbo Voltage at Auto, and only use Vcore offset, the voltage swing is +/- .016v. by setting the Turbo Voltage to a set value, the voltage swing is reduced to +/- .008v. those are the only two big things you need to watch out for with this board. other than that, others have already pointed out that SATA6 port 5 is shared with the rear panel SATA, so avoid using port 5.
overall, this board is a VERY good value consider you can clock up your CPU just as high as $300+ mobos using the extreme6. the VRM component isn't the best, but isn't as bad as the Extreme4's D-pak. as long as you're aware of the above mentioned shortcomings, and keep your voltage in check. for example, whatever voltage you get from CPU-Z, just add another .07v to it, that's your real actual Vcore voltage, and factor in the .008v voltage swing. Intel's maximum recommended voltage for Ivy bridge is 1.52v. if you keep your load temperature in check (80C or less), and voltage in check, you'll have a very solid high end system for cheap. i am only deducting one egg off this board due to the voltage swing, and inaccurate voltage reporting.
Pros: Awesome large single drive performance in almost all aspects.
Cons: price tag a bit high. latency a bit high.
Overall Review: in many years of using Seagate drives, this must be the first that i've encountered that doesn't have any SMART errors out of the box, or weird ticking noise. in fact, if i didn't have a SSD in my computer, i would use this drive as my primary. here is why. in large file transfer, this drive achieves 175MB/s, which is almost in the same territory as my RAID 0 workstation. not only that, it beats my dual Samsung F1 RAID 0 in 512K transfer 38MB/s read and 76MB/s Write VS Samsung F1 RAID 0 25MB/s read and 53MB/s write), and comes up neck to neck in 4K random transfer (both does roughly 0.3MB/s read, and 1.2MB/s write). this is amazing consider the nature of single drive.
in real world testing. i setup a SSD source loaded with a 14GB MKV movie and several GBs of photos for it to copy from to remove the source bottle neck. in the 14GB MKV transfer the drive averages 175MB/s sustained, and hovers between 75~110MB/s in photo transfers (photos range from 600KB to a few MBs). THAT is a very impressive number.
this drive is built for media transfers. but in fact, you can even use it as a primary boot drive if you wanted to and it won't disappoint.
my only concern is the high price tag. most competing 2TB drives cost 30% less and will get you 70% of the performance. on top of that, technically speaking, the high latency leaves some to be desired. it only accomplishes 15ms in real world latency test, which is somewhat a bit below average. for the price, you can get yourself a 3TB drive that comes with decent performance.
buyer looking into getting a 2~3TB drive will sure find him/herself in a predicament. either go for the higher capacity and sacrafice a bit performance, or have a 33% smaller capacity but 30% more in speed. luckily in this case the capacity difference vs performance difference is roughly the same percentage. you'll have to choose whether the extra dollars will be spent on 33% more space, or 33% more speed.
Pros: incredible performance consider its 5400rpm spec. this drive even edges out my hybrid drive (momentus XT) by a notch. see results below.
Cons: if i had to pick a con, i would say the access time is the weakest link of this drive. see more info below.
Overall Review: when off a fresh install, you can get speeds up to 108MB/s of sequential read/write off the bat. however, the realistic real world performance after you have installed a few programs is more like 95MB/s sequential read/write. this however is still a tad faster than my 750GB hybrid drive from Seagate MomentusXT (in a none cached situation). the seagate only tops out at about 85MB/s in sequential read/write.
for small file transfers of 512K and 4K is really where this drive amazes me. compare to my desktop RAID 0 (two Samsung F3's), this drive actually edges out slightly in 4K and 512K. this drive achieved a 4K random read of 1.31MB/s, while my dual Samsung F3 in RAID 0 only does 0.92MB/s. although obviously the dual F3 has this drive beat in sequential speed, but realistically speaking, a faster 4K speed will have a more noticeable performance difference for everyday users in situations like bootup, and shutdown, or opening up programs. sequential speeds are mostly only good for large file transfers in cached situation.
the random access time is the only weak link in this product. it only managed 17.9ms, while the 3.5 inch samsung counter part average around 13.2ms. however, a performance number of 17.9 is still on par with average 2.5inch laptop drives out there. my hybride drive 2.5 inch momentusXT manages about 17.5ms FYI.
what amazes me the most about this drive is the fact that all that performance is achieved with operating at only 5400rpm. traditionally, to get anything in this range of performance, users generally have to opt for 7200rpm. at its current price vs performance ratio, i would highly recommend this drive for laptop, or even everyday desktop use. if you read all my EggXpert reviews you would see that i am normally very critical on the products that are sent to me. but this time WD has done a tremendous job that i for the first time, i am giving my first 5 egg EggXpert review.
Pros: well solid construction. blue LED light for read/write activity.
Cons: too expensive for what you get. its read/write performance is no better than other competing USB drives that are well below its current price. even within Corsair's own product line you can get a much bigger drive for only a few dollars more. its bigger brother 16GB model is selling for much less, and with the same performance spec. in real-world, the drive performs within USB2 speed most of the time. only occasionally in some perfect scenarios you'll see speeds up to 50MB, or more.
one thing i absolutely cannot get over is its size. for 8GB this drive is a giant in its physical form. it's too big to carry freely on a key chain. it's more fitted for women with purses or inside a backpack.
bottom line, it's too expensive for what you get in today's standard and it's too clunky. i cannot honestly recommend this product at its current price.
Overall Review: since the other reviewer already included synthetic test results, i thought i'd do a real-world benchmark. Transferring a 7GB movie file onto the drive i get average of 36MB/s Read and 19~20MB/s Write in USB2. in USB3 it averages 50MB/s Read and 19~20MB/s Write. For small file transfers i tested with a folder full of 1.5~1.8MB of photo jpg consisting up to 2GB of total size transfer. the USB drive achieved 27MB/s Read, and 14MB/s Write.
One thing to watch out for. if you plan on transferring large video files consist of 4~7GB in size, and you get an error message saying the drive isn't big enough, you need to reformat the USB drive from the factory default of FAT32 to NTFS in order to transfer files that large.
Pros: 1. solid metal construction outer casing. 2. functions every bit as advertised. 3. alleviates the stress from primary router. 4. eight ports, just enough for a small home network. 5. speeds hold up to the expectation. 6. reasonably priced. 7. VERY easy to setup, it's a plug and play.
real world performance holds up to steady 115 MB/s down speed (that's Megabyte, not megabit).
Cons: placement of power plug and network connectors are poorly thought out, and creates additional clutter. see below
Overall Review: it baffles me that whoever thought of placing the power plug on the opposite end from the rest of the network connector. if you're like me, placement and neatness is extremely important in a crowded home computing environment. the fact that a network switch will be connected to multiple devices makes organization even more important. but with the way this switch is designed, it is now taking up twice amount of the space as a regular network switch would since not only you'll have multiple cat5 cables sticking out on one end, now you have another power cord sticking out on the other looking like an octopus. i am not sure if i should have this router facing one side or the other, either direction you end up with cables sticking out. this is the only reason i am deducting one egg from the review. i also wish this switch would carry the link aggregation capability, which would make it even more useful for a serious home network environment. although i won't deduct any egg off of it because it is after all reasonably priced basic network switch that does its job really well. still, it would be even better if link aggregation was an included feature. its biggest advantage, for an average home user is the ability to alleviate the stress on primary router. with my current setup of Apple Airport Extreme 5th gen, which is BTW a VERY capable wireless router that supports gigabit and 5ghz 802.11n. however, the airport extreme's wifi transfer speed suffers when the LAN connectors are also being used heavily for file transfers. the TL-SG108 is able to alleviate the stress of APE's LAN processing by doing all the wired transfers at a local level, so now i can transfer large files between two comps with the SG108 at 115MB/s, at the same time also beaming wirelessly to another computer that's 30ft away through two walls at a consistant steady 10MB/s. before it would dip down to 8MB/s and back up constantly if i had the wired network ports running at the same time. i would recommend this network switch for any novice home network users for its convenience and ease of setup. however, for any mid level or advanced users, i would have preferred to see Link Aggregation and a better placement of power connection.
Pros: fast toasting, much faster than any of the compact oven based toasters i've used in the past. construction is also solid and mostly metal.
Cons: it's a bit small and depth is a bit shallow.
Overall Review: well constructed and toast up FAST, which translates to efficiency and saves power. the knobs are mostly metal, which is good that it might last longer compare to other toasters. overall has been serving us well for the past couple months. i expect it should last a while.
Pros: build quality seems decent. moves quiet a bit of air compare to other fans in the same class.
Cons: this 120mm fan isn't as quiet as the specs would make you think. i bought two of those from ***, and they both make a considerable louder noise than its 80mm counter part, which is also rated at the same 15db. the 80mm version truly is Silent and quiet, can't hear a thing. but this 120mm version makes this subtle woosh sound, and it's annoying in a home theater PC environment. it's not LOUD by any means, but it's definitely VERY noticeable in a quiet environment, especially if you're aiming to build a silent PC or HTPC in my case. a bit disappointing consider i bought two of those thinking they have the same silent signature as the 80mm version i bought. but not at all. based on perception, i would say this 120mm version probably sound more like 26db.
Overall Review: i just thought i should point out the obvious so others won't make the same mistake.
Pros: awesome and accurate soundstage presentation. works really well with warm DAC/AMP combo. however, might be a bit too bright on DAC/AMPs that emphasis's too much on the treble or mid. the soundstage is extremely accurate that it gives more depth and distance attenuation to the recording. even better than my AD700. in comparison to AD700's soundstage, the AD700 definitely sounds wider, but lacks frontal and rear depth. the resolution of soundstage is also better with the HD598. the Bass is also accurate but not overpowering. Treble is just right without being too bright. if you have a brighter source like the Fiio E17 with the Wolfson WM8740 DAC, it'll sound a bit bright and dry. but if you have a warmer source like the Asahi AK4396 or the JRC4580 opamp it can sound great, lush, and generous. the headphone will bring out the flaws in most bad recordings. most recordings with high compression and poorly mastered can demonstrate clipping and compression artifact easily with this headphone. on great recordings with great soundstage like many of the well recorded classical music will bring out tears in your eyes. check out "classicals that make you go wow" playlist on spotify. the Mid is also one of the biggest highlight of this headphone aside from the great soundstage. the mid is forward and generous, without being hazy. it's very clear without being too bright or nasal. the headphone works extremely well with well recorded classical, pop, Jazz, and SOME techno house. unless there is a track that emphasizes heavily on drums throughout, this headphone will be a good all-rounder for most. i can't emphasize enough on the awesome soundstage. on one particular track of jazz, i was able to hear the reflected sound from a sax coming from one opposite end of the room, it just shows how detailed the soundstage really is. although the soundstage is incredibly wide and detailed, it doesn't feel as Airy as you would get from a typical Audio Technica headphone.
i wouldn't worry too much about running this fone without an separate amp. i find the sonic punch is well presented even on portable sources. however, it does spike to 250ohm at around 100hz.
VERY comfortable. i typically wear it for hours and hours straight, sometimes up to 8 hours straight without fatigue. it's VERY light weight.
feels like you're driving a Porsche. love the wood trim accent.
This is one area where it's becoming more popular. i highly recommend this headphone for gaming. i even would recommend it over the well popular AD700. the issue with AD700, although a great gaming headphone, is that its mid is recessed and hazy in comparison to the HD598. if you've never heard the HD598, and have the AD700, you probably won't know the different i am talking about, and likely won't care. but once you tried the HD598, it's hands down no comparison. more clear sound presentation, with better depth, attenuation, resolution. better soundstage, although not as Airy
Cons: Can't think of any
Overall Review: i was looking for a pair of fons that has better mid than my ATH AD700, but not as bright and forward as ATHD AD900. HD598 fits the spot perfectly. not only that, the soundstage is also much more accurate than AD700, and complets with a better bass extension.
i would highly recommend this Mid-Fi headphone if you have a decent source. it sucks that you'll spot all the flaws in many bad recordings, but on well mastered recordings will bring tears to your eyes.
Pros: was at the time one of the fastest large capacity HDD
Cons: it's a ticking time bomb. from day 1 i got it, SMART registered less than 70% overall health. a few times it would not boot up with the computer. luckily i only use it for media storage. fast forward 3 years of ownership, this thing is at 60% overall health and decreasing.
Overall Review: Note that ACTUAL HDD running time is only about 6 months even tho ownership duration is 3 years. as you can see, i hardly ever actually use it and the thing is failing rapidly. i am doing backup as we speak because this thing is hanging on to its last breath and would drop out of the windows in the middle as oppose to in the past would just not boot up correctly. PLEASE STAY FAR AWAY.
Pros: i definitely recommend taking the time and install the heatsinks on the VRM. those little guys can get easily get into the 100c+ range. they're suppose to have a max operating temp of up to 120c, but NOT recommended. i do have to state that i didn't use the included thermal glue mixture. i've heard many horror stories of it not holding up, and since i have some spare Arctic Silver Alumina laying around, i just used my own alumina epoxy to install the heatsinks.
now my card runs at 1200mhz core and 1600mhz mem with a constant 60c temp compare to the original stock frequency of 800 mhz Core and 1250 mhz memory, that's a 50% overclock!!! and VRM stays cool. what can i say, i am happy. this card should last me for years to come. :)
Cons: even for an avid computer modder like myself, i took a serious 2+ hours putting this thing together. mostly due to lack of explanation on the manual's part, but also due to the four different types of PCB configurations that's out there for 7950/7970. both 7950 and 7970 have their own reference PCB layout design, and NON-reference design. due to this, VRM layout can vary widely from card to card. my non-reference Sapphire 7950 had two rolls of VRM layout, instead of one roll of the reference design. due to this i had to use different combinations of VRM heatsinks that came in the package, AND cut a few pieces myself to cover all the VRM chips. as VRM cooling is one of the main reason why i upgraded from the stock cooling. it was very vital for me to get it right for the VRM. the memory chips coverage were very straight forward.
Overall Review: if you're running your card on stock frequency, this heatsink upgrade is way overkill consider the price tag. however, i run my card at 1100mhz core and 1600mhz memory @1.15vcore. with the stock filmsy cooler that came with the card, i was averaging 70~80c degrees for the core and 80~85c for the VRM. with this cooler installed at the same core/memory frequency i get 50c+ degrees for the core and 60c+ for the VRM. this allowed me tons of headroom to push the card higher. i am now able to run the card 24/7 at 1200mhz Core frequency and 1600mhz memory @1.225 vcore. at full load playing BF3 i average 60c degrees core and 70c degrees for VRM at a constant 84 Fahrenheit indoor ambient temperature, that is VERY impressive consider with the stock cooler at 1200mhz core with 1.225 voltage would put my card in the 90c+ degree arena for the core and 100c for VRM or more. at the same 1200mhz core voltage in Furmark, core temp average at around 65c and VRM stays at a reasonable 80c. now my card run
Pros: WOW. right out of the box.. i bumped up the voltage all the way up to the 7970 spec.. and right away i was doing 1050 Core and 1450 Mem (stock 7950 does 800/1250), thats' a whopping 31% faster without any effort. i gotta say.... i feel spoiled running BF3 in Ultra with 4XAA in 2550X1440 res (average 45fps). only caveat... the reference cooler does a terrible job at cooping with the overclock. at stock speed, it does alright around 65c in BF3, but at 1050/1450, it jumps up to low 80's. the good news is... the VRM stays relatively cool, even at overclocked speed... in BF3 it only hovers around 85c. which is pretty amazing consider there's no heatsink what so ever covering the Vram, or the VRM chips. one warning tho... if you run this reference card overclocked in Furmark... you can see up to upper 90c for core and up to 100c on the VRM. i plan on upgrading the cooler to the Zalman VF3000 when they release a compatible heatink for the 7900 series.. i really can't wait.
Cons: a tad expensive. but the overclocking potential is tremendous if you can cool it.
Overall Review: the fan noise can be loud, but i like the sound of a jet plane, makes my rig sound like a beast. i use headphones to game.. so doesn't matter. be sure to setup custom fan profile if you do overclock it. and watch out for the VRM temp as you overclock.... those things tend to be overlooked by most people, but they can fry your card if they get too hot. definitely should invest in an after market cooler when more options become available. i am glad i returned my P O S D i a m o n d 6950 and waited a couple weeks for this awesome 7950. :D
Pros: LARGE capacity. after format you get about roughly 2.8TB. yes, GPT file partition. it's faster than i thought. in synthetic test this drive scored average 116 MB/S read. obviously due to slower spin speed, the random access is slightly behind that of 7200. but it's still the fastest none 7200/10,000 i've seen. not that i will be using is as primary drive, mostly for backup, and media storage. file transfer makes it so much faster.
Cons: not fool proof. read below.
Overall Review: like the review right below me said. people please don't lower the rating because you don't know what you're doing, or fail to do your homework before purchase. this product should be averaging 4.5 eggs but due to fools out there. if you're still running anything lower than a win vista, you shouldn't be bothering looking at this HDD anyway. for everyone's sake, do some HW before posting. i was thinking about giving this drive 4.5 eggs, but the performance and capacity exceeded my expectation.
Pros: This product could be SSSOOOOO MUUUCHHH better had it not for its poor software development. the card itself has all the right capabilities. the fact that it encodes in H-264 in real-time is the #1 selling point for me. And it has 120fps of maximum bandwidth, which is divisible up to 4 channels.
Cons: now onto the real problem. THE SOFTWARE is poor. in fact it's poorer than poor. it's cumbersome to use. it's intrusive in a way that you have to have it open for it to record. ideally, programs like this should be able to automatically startup with the windows "minimized" to the system tray; that way it is constantly functioning in the background doing its job without needing the program to be opened right in-your-face. there's no way for you to reposition the program window too. i can't remember the last time i wasn't able to drag the program window to reposition at a different place, maybe back with windows 3.1?. But my #1 biggest issue with the software which i absolutely can't take is that it disables Aero in windows 7. there's just no way to tell it to NOT disable Aero. those of you with VISTA or Win7 will understand how annoying that can be. so in order for you to record your surveillance footage, and/or just to watch the Cams in live, you have to live without Aero.
Overall Review: i am seriously thinking about returning this purchase for another competing product that might not have as good of a hardware capability, but at least the operating software will be up to the standard. i might consider to keep it if there's a way to bring back Aero.
Pros: wireless, physical build quality, and most of all "surround sound", which alone sets itself apart from every other headphones out there.
Cons: it's cool but, not too impressed by it. it does produce a "perception" of surround sound field, however the end result simulated sound still feels shallow and lack in depth and distance. it's almost like having all 7 speakers taped right to your ears without the natural sound effect of distance, space and attenuation (which are all essential elements in surround sound effects). sometimes it's hard to tell surround side from surround rear. surround rear also does not sound true from the rear, but rather more from the side, which farther mixes the effects of surround side. it's a cool little piece of toy that's definitely better than your average headphone, however, for serious home theater, or audiophiles this will never replace the real thing. not to mention due to the wireless bandwidth capacity, it can only transmit up to 16bit 48khz.
Overall Review: be sure to set the output level in the logitech G930 control panel from default of +11 down to +10 or +9. the default value of +11 is too high and causes the bass to clip. i have a very elaborate surround sound home theater system at home. and i was hoping more out of this G930 (to be a night time gaming alternative for the study room). i was however not WOWed by it. at least not enough to pay the full retail price tag. if you have a very elaborate surround sound home theater system at home already, this will not replace it, or come anywhere close.