cover
Michael R.

Michael R.

Joined on 04/07/08

0
0

Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 35
Most Favorable Review

Corsair Vengeance 1866Mhz vs Corsair 1333Mhz

CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 204-Pin DDR3 SO-DIMM DDR3 1866 Laptop Memory Model CMSX8GX3M2A1866C10
CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 204-Pin DDR3 SO-DIMM DDR3 1866 Laptop Memory Model CMSX8GX3M2A1866C10

Pros: The sticker on the RAM looks neat with its Gold and Black color scheme and the words ""VENGEANCE"" on it. It had a noticeable performance gain over my 1333Mhz Corsair sticks. For about $70.00, you get 8GB, that's more than 1GB per $10! Compatible with the Mac Mini (mid 2011) model. The Specs seem to outperform the Kingston counterpart. No problems so far. BENCHMARK: - using Geekbench 2.3.4 Tryout for Mac OS X x86 (32-bit) RIG: Mac Mini 2011 Mac OS X 10.7.3 (Build 11D50b) Intel Core i5-2520M @ 2.50 GHz COMPARISON: Corsair Vengeance Corsair Difference Percentage Difference Read Sequential Avg: 6771.00 6609.00 162.00 2.24% Write Sequential Avg: 10090.67 9991.00 99.67 0.99% Stdlib Allocate Avg: 3837.33 3837.67 -0.33 -0.01% Stdlib Write Avg: 5252.00 4066.00 1186.00 25.46% Stdlib Copy Avg: 6544.00 5370.33 1400.33 23.07% Total Avg: 6544.00 5975.00 569.00 9.09% Speed: 1866 1333 533 33.32% Price (as of 8/29/12) $69.99 $47.99 $22.00 37.29%

Cons: Price per Performance, for 9% overall RAM performance, you'll need to pay 32% more. Does not look as cool as the Kingston counterpart. As of today, the Kingston is $5.00 cheaper than this.

Overall Review: CONCLUSION: Rig - I used my Mac Mini (mid 2011) Intel i5 2.5Ghz for testing as it is the only machine I have that would use SO-DIMM DDR3 which is excellent for benchmark and testing due to the nature of Mac Minis wanting specific RAM. So asking the question ""does it work for a Mac Mini"" has been answered. It actually runs really well for the Mac Mini, most probably due to the 1866Mhz speed. I ran MemTest for the Mac and it passed with flying colors. No compatibility or DOA issues. Benchmark Utility - Geekbench 2.3.4 Tryout, yes, it's the free edition which only limits you to using only 32-bit. Physical Appearance - The Corsair Vengeance has a nice sticker on the memory chips with Gold and Black color scheme with the written words ""VENGEANCE"". I believe having that sticker contributes with heat dispersion in some way. Speed - The Vengeance does have some advantages over the control, in which this case, is the normal Corsair 1333Mhz SO-DIMM. Even though the benchmark states that it is only a 9% overall increase in performance, I did actually feel that it ran faster. One such instant is opening up minimized tasks. It did have a 25% increase in performance with the stdlib Write & Copy, which has lots to do with minimizing and maximizing, opening programs and any other function RAM is used for. The Read and Write Sequential was only 1-2% performance increase, though that isn't really important as data are Randomly Accessed, hence the Acronym ""RAM"". As for stdlib Allocate, both the Vengeance and the control subject were equal in performance. It's safe to say that the Vengeance is quite faster than the 1333Mhz Corsair sticks, I'm calculating somewhere in the 17% faster range. Price - Most techs will tell you, the easiest performance gain is with Memory Upgrade. In this case, for 9% overall performance gain, you will spend about 32% more than what you paid for with the 1333Mhz RAM. What does that equate to? Just $22 more and you'll get anywhere from 9-25% increase in RAM performance. For a normal guy, that's about 2-3 hours of work in their current job. I think that's worth it unless of course if you're an underpaid employee. Final Words - If you're the type of guy who tries to find every single way to save money while trying to juice out as much performance from their PCs, I suggest you stick with that 1333Mhz RAM you currently have because 32% more money must at least equal or exceed 32% more performance . But if you're trying to weigh out Performance vs. human work effort, then I suggest getting the Corsair Vengeance over that regular 1333Mhz Corsair. Why do I say this? Because working to earn $22 is worth it if I can feel a 9-25% increase in RAM performance for the rest of the life of my current PC setup. Graphs and Bars are good instruments to figure out cost effectiveness, but you have to consider the effect in the long run as well. In totality, I thumbs up the Corsair Vengeance.

Most Critical Review

The First of it's Kind

Corsair Voyager Air 1TB External Hard Drive CMFAIR-RED-1000-NA Red
Corsair Voyager Air 1TB External Hard Drive CMFAIR-RED-1000-NA Red

Pros: Appearance, this device looks beautiful, like it was designed by Ferrari. It's sleek with a Red and Blank color combination. The icons on front is straight forward and the switches to turn the power or wifi off and on are nice, although sometimes you forget which way is on or off. Performance, I was able to watch anywhere within my home, and I own a 2600sqft home. The Wifi's strength is perfect for a medium sized home, you will experience the occasional buffering that would last about 5 seconds, but for the most part, it streams decently to mobile devices. I've actually tested it for 7 hours straight, I was only dropped from WIFI 6-7 times, I'm guessing the iPhone's Wifi was probably over worked because upon testing a PC with Wireless NIC, it only dropped 2-3 times. USB Connected, I was able to transfer at 28.4MBps, Ethernet Connected, I was able to transfer at 11.3MBps, and via Wifi Connected, I was able to transfer at 1.98MBps. Downloading files from the device via the App, took about 5.4 seconds to download a 9.37MB music. So downloading a 1.5GB movie will take you nearly 12 minutes. The device doesn't seem to struggle when you're streaming with multiple devices. I was actually able to Stream via Ethernet Cable on my PC and Stream with my iPhone on the WIFI at the same time. The device is capable of streaming up to 6 devices at a time. The Battery life is decent as well, 7 hours of continuous use, it may last longer with the occasional standby, but not by a lot. This is an alternative to a NAS and the added bonus of mobility. You can take this wherever you like and be the Techiest Geek of them all, second to the one who's sharing WiFi. The Charging was decent on AC Adapter, about 4:30 hrs. I did not check the durability of it, because I didn't want to drop it, but I was able to carry it around and stream from it with Ease. I wouldn't use it to jog and stream music, it's still a hard drive, and it still has moving parts! The App provided for iPhones and Android phones is pretty neat too. It gives you almost the same feature as if you were browsing through using a PC. Files downloaded from the device gets automatically categorized (Documents, Movies, Photos, Music) in the App. The Reset button resets the WIFI password, which is good, because I hate re configuring the names and everything, just because I forgot the WIFI password. This is a good device for people always on the move and need that 1TB that's easily accessible.

Cons: This is a new product, so there are some kinks to be expected. As I'm streaming from an iPhone that has a protector casing, I'm noticing that I was dropping every 30 minutes from the Voyager Air. I don't know why my iPhone would get it's WIFI over worked just by connecting onto it, I mean, I can watch Youtube videos for hours on this phone, and it wouldn't drop from my home's router. That I can't figure out. The Wifi range on this device is about 48 ft of direct sight, the description said 60ft, so I guess it's close enough. Upon starting the WIFI on the device, it takes a while for it to initialize, sometimes you would need to re enter your WIFI Password if you didn't wait long enough to allow it to initialize, I guess that's normal. The App for this device is good, but it doesn't have it's own decoder, so the only thing you'll be able to stream is MP3 or MP4, but at least it has the option to have you use another App within your iPhone to open that file. So lets say you want to open up an AVI file, just use "open in..." and open that Video Player App to watch the movie. If you want a quick charge, don't even try charging with the USB, it'll take nearly 10 hours. Although this WIFI feature is neat, there are already alternatives to this, Apps on iPhones and Androids are capable of sharing documents and file with one another, other Apps are able to turn their device into a Sharedrive. The Ethernet LAN capability of this device needs a little more refinement. As I was streaming from my Mac Mini, the device would buffer for 10 seconds every 15 minutes or so. I'm guessing because the device is getting over worked and needs to cool down it's electronics from time to time. This device is passive cooling, so no fans to cool it down. I wouldn't recommend streaming, just download it first, or connect it via USB, but that defeats the purpose of 'Streaming'. This device is only good for file transfer over Ethernet or WiFi. If you use a Tablet or iPhone, its fine to get dropped from time to time, but not when you're using your Big Screen TV and your attached PC. This doesn't even have DLNA, so no streaming from a DLNA capable TV or device, the alternative is to get it mapped, but a TV can't do that. If you buy this because, "oh cool, I can stream movies from the wifi!" you'll be partly disappointed. Don't expect it to be like a full fledged NAS for movies either. As I have explained earlier, it has issues with streaming. Treat this like a jack of all trades Hard Drive, Good at most things, but not the best in any.

Overall Review: It's a convenient mobile wifi-capable hard drive. Fun to have in long trips and when you're away from home. You'll definitely enjoy the fact that each and every one of your buddies can watch different movies from their own phones.You'll be able to easily share photos, music, and documents with one another. It's like you're carrying an extra 1TB of space in your mobile device. Now instead of spending $200 more for the 32GB iPhone, you can just grab the 8GB iPhone and buy yourself one of these. If you think about it, if you own a Voyager Air, you don't really need to get the mobile device with more memory, because usually, the reason why you'd get a 64GB iPad or a 32GB iPhone is so that you can store more Music or Video, but with the Voyager Air, it'll do just that, and save you money! If you're willing to keep it charged and willing to carry it around just you would with a Cellphone. Although, to my experience, owning this for 2 months, I never really used it often for the "mobility" of it. I had it connected via Ethernet and connected to my network to watch movies from, but since it streams pretty bad for Ethernet, I decided to just connect it via USB. Ultimately, for the most part, I'm using it as a regular External HDD. I see this device benefiting mostly Students who need storage for school and leisure. It's a nice concept from Corsair, but I still think it needs to be improved, hardware wise. If you're a regular Joe like me who has an 40 hour a week kind of job who usually stays at home, then this wouldn't be any useful to you. I would buy this for my son or daughter going to College, but not for myself. I'd stick with a $60 1TB external passive HDD instead. If you get one of these, you might not use it for it's features, it'll probably end up being a stationary NAS. I'll give it this though, it can turn into a NAS with wifi capabilities for your guests or friends who want to stream from it from time to time on their mobile devices. Conclusion: Very convenient when you need the extra Memory on the go via WiFi Aesthetically pleasing. Easy to use. Easy to connect. Setup is done via the Mobile Device App (iPhone or Android). Wifi Password can be reset via Reset button. 48ft Direct Line of Sight connection distance. 7 Hours of continuous usage. 4:30 Hrs for recharge on AC Adapter, 10 Hours for USB. 6 devices Max simultaneous connectivity. 29MBps USB transfers, 12MBps Ethernet tranfers, and 2MBps WiFi transfers. App only plays MP3s and MP4s, but can open other files via your other Apps. Streaming via Wifi may last only an hour at a time before dropping. Streaming via Ethernet may leave you buffering every 15 minutes or so. Share via Ethernet and WiFi simultaneously. not DLNA capable. Pricey for features you may use but not be satisfied with.

They Work

Premium DVI-M to HDMI-F Video Adaptor - Supports Xbox 360 / PS4 / Xbox One
Premium DVI-M to HDMI-F Video Adaptor - Supports Xbox 360 / PS4 / Xbox One

Pros: Straight to the point DVI to HDMI converter. You buy this because your Video Card has DVI out and you want to convert it to HDMI.

Cons: None.

Overall Review: If you have SLI or Cross Fire and trying to 3-Monitor setup your rig, you have to make sure you are using 3 Analog outputs or 3 Digital Outputs. VGA is Analog, HDMI and DVI is Digital. You cannot mix Analog and DVI for EyeFiniti or the Nvida equivalent.

The Best 290X on the List

PowerColor PCS+ Radeon R9 290X 4GB GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 CrossFireX Support Video Card AXR9 290X 4GBD5-PPDHE
PowerColor PCS+ Radeon R9 290X 4GB GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 CrossFireX Support Video Card AXR9 290X 4GBD5-PPDHE

Pros: I bought with 2 purpose. To mine DogeCoins and to play video games. I was not disappointed! DogeCoin Mining: I was able to get this to run at 975Mhz GPU and 1500Mhz Mem. On 20 Intensity on a Mid Tower Case enclosed with an Antec 900 Case, 3 intake fans, and 2 exhaust fans, the temps are just under 70c. The Fan is running at 60% while Mining. I get 800+ KH/s on this Card. Video Games: I played TitanFall with a 3-Monitor setup and it was running fairly smooth at round 50+ FPS. Any game on 1080p would be 60+FPS no problem. This card is meant to be for 4K gaming or 3-Monitor setup, because it will not have any issues on any game with a resolution of 1080p, I can almost guarantee it. The Card does not go above 60c while playing any games for hours. This is a solid 290x card, I advise you trust PowerColor on this card

Cons: I wouldn't blame them for it, but it does take up 3 slots on your Case, it's a behemoth, but it's worth it. The AMD Card inflation due to Miners like me...

Overall Review: I advise you remove the PowerColor stickers on the Fans, this eliminates the vibration on the fans when the card gets old and heats up the sticker and gives an uneven weight on the fan itself. This card, together with my 1100t CPU at 4.0Ghz, fans, and other computer parts does about 600Watts when DogeCoin Mining. I have a kill-a-watt meter. Compared to other cards, this is the most inexpensive one on the list of R9 290X cards at the time when I bought it. The PCS+ Fan is by far one of the best designs, hence the very cool temps compared to other designs. No need to upgrade the heatsink when you buy this, nor should you try to put a waterblock. I advise you just re-apply a better thermal paste on it, because manufacturers usually put generic paste on it.

Perfect for Mining

GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD3 AM3+ AMD 990FX + SB950 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD3 AM3+ AMD 990FX + SB950 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard

Pros: Lots of PCI-E slot to do a 6 Video Card setup for Mining. Stable mining with 4x 7850s, 2 on 16x risers, and 1 on 1x riser with power. This has an updated BIOS that you can use a mouse with, my older 990FXA-UD3 is old school and does not have UEFI bios.

Cons: I had to set some stuff on the BIOS so that it would work correctly with XUbuntu. Was very picky on which USB Port you had to connect the USB Stick with the XUbuntu Loader.

Overall Review: This board would have been perfect if it had an additional motherboard power slots, so that it can provide more stable 12V through the PCI-Es. I heard that you can only do upto 5 Video Cards on this Motherboard, if you max it with 6, its a hit or miss. Most probably because it can't supply the needed voltage through the PCI-E slot. Other than that, this is the go-to Motherboard for a cheap and reliable Mining Rig

A Really good 1000W Power Supply

COOLMAX ZU Series ZU-1000B 1000 W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
COOLMAX ZU Series ZU-1000B 1000 W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

Pros: Reliable and stable. Modular. Has all the plugs I need for my Mining Rig. Energy efficient. Nice look.

Cons: Not 100% modular, but who cares.

Overall Review: I'm using this on a 990FXA-UD3 motherboard, 45W Sempron CPU Single Core, 4x 7850 Video Cards. It's been very stable. I am pulling 590W on Intensity 15 on SGMiner. I am churning out 1.3Mhz a second. I'm using Xubuntu, not Microsoft OS.