Joined on 06/05/06
Update: 5.0.3 Seems to have Fixed the Pausing
Pros: Corsair seems to have fixed the pausing with the release of 5.0.3
Cons: I had a lot of pausing with these 480GB SSDs. Since upgrading to 5.0.3 a week ago, I have not experienced the pausing.
Overall Review: This is my 3rd review of this product. I wish there was a way to edit my previous reviews.
Surprisingly Poor Quality from Corsair
Cons: Slow performance. Inconsistent and will crash your KRZR phones. I bought two of these for mine and my wife's phone. It would at times freeze the phone when you're taking pictures. I thought it was the phones at first. But I didn't have any problems when using a different brand micro sd. Avoid this product.
NOISY Fans, Nice Case, Quick to Assemble
Pros: The XH81 comes with the quality construction that's known with the XH61V that I've had for some time. The support for Haswell made this unit worth waiting for. However... if they don't fix the cons, this is likely my last Shuttle.
Cons: I'm writing this review next to a noisy XH81. It is loud; even at a cold idle. It is un-Shuttle like. I contacted Shuttle Support and they confirmed that the fan speed on their lab's XH81 also runs at 2600 RPM. Then, they went on to explain that maybe my fan is blocked or the fan size dictates the high RPM. But their fan speed and my fan speed is the same 2600 RPM. Here's my case for them to go fix this so other customers don't have to be annoyed: Every Shuttle I've owned over the last decade has had an RPM of approx 1200 for the setting "Ultra-Low" and are quiet as a result. Comparing the Fan Speed settings for XH61V vs XH81: Ultra-Low Speed: XH61V:1200RPM XH81:2600RPM! Low Speed: XH61V: 2400RPM XH81: 2600RPM The XH81's Ultra-Low and Low Fan Speeds are the same! BIOS bug? Likely. Based on that pattern, I would think that ShuttlePC Engineering back in Taiwan should made changes to their BIOS code to restore the proper Ultra-Low speed for the XH81 to 1200RPM. And thus, restore faith in their customers. Other thoughts... I've observed the CPU temperature through a range of workloads and also confirmed that heat is transferring through the heatpipes as designed.
Overall Review: If you're having trouble with the USB3.0 drivers you download from Shuttle's driver page, it's because they packaged the wrong thing in the zip file. Shuttle Support pointed me to getting the USB3.0 drivers from the DS81 download page.
Noisy Fan and BIOS Bug?
Pros: Having had the great XH61V, I was really looking forward to the XH81 for the expected build quality and Haswell support. The XH81 has the same high quality construction and ease of installing component while maintaining a small form factor.
Cons: To my dismay, the XH81 is much noisier than the XH61V. I called Shuttle Support and had to strongly suggest they escalate what could be a BIOS issue. On the XH61V, the fan's Smart and Ultra-Low Speed runs at 1300 RPM. At Low Speed, the fan spins at 2400 RPM. On the noisy XH81, Smart and Ultra-Low runs at 2400 RPM while Low runs slightly higher at 2600 RPM. The support Tech at Shuttle also confirmed that his XH81 runs at 2400-2600 RPM. The Tech thought 2400 RPM was normal. In the 10 years of owning many Shuttles, 1100 RPM is normal for Ultra-Low speed. The CPU temps are roughly the same. It's not blocked fan nor is it the lack of thermal paste. I would have think a little adjustment to the BIOS code would correct Ultra-Low back down to 1300 RPM where one can barely hear it. A message to Taiwan Engineering: Please fix this quickly. I would like to not have to return this or place it far away in a closet like a PC from 1990. On another note, don't waste your time troubleshooting USB3.0 missing drivers: The XH81 USB3.0 Driver download from ShuttlePC has been erroneously zipped with the wrong installer. That installer does not provide drivers for USB3.0. Instead, go to the DS81 download page to get the USB3.0 driver.
Overall Review: Terribly disappointed in ShuttlePC's lackluster commitment to quality control and user experience. Inside the XH81: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116988 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820239390 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147318
Update to my Review
Pros: The CSSD-F480GB3-BK is fast when it's not stuck in a hung state.
Cons: Unfortunately, I just spent 15 minutes trying to get my laptop back and running because this drive was in a hung state. Corsair will post their canned-reply to upgrade the firmware. Had they read the version I'm using, they would see that it's the same one they're trying to pawn off as a solution. It's NOT a solution and the intermittent pausing persists.
Overall Review: Corsair needs to step it up and create a permanent fix for this instead of their canned-responses to issues.
Pros: Very fast SSD (when it's working). Dell E6420 with i7 4 core. DiskBench: 48 MB; D:\Test; 50331648 bytes; 204 ms; 235.294 MB/s 96 MB; D:\Test; 100663296 bytes; 398 ms; 241.206 MB/s 144 MB; D:\Test; 150994944 bytes; 512 ms; 281.250 MB/s 192 MB; D:\Test; 201326592 bytes; 924 ms; 207.792 MB/s 240 MB; D:\Test; 251658240 bytes; 790 ms; 303.797 MB/s 288 MB; D:\Test; 301989888 bytes; 923 ms; 312.026 MB/s 336 MB; D:\Test; 352321536 bytes; 1723 ms; 195.009 MB/s 384 MB; D:\Test; 402653184 bytes; 1624 ms; 236.453 MB/s 432 MB; D:\Test; 452984832 bytes; 1314 ms; 328.767 MB/s 480 MB; D:\Test; 503316480 bytes; 2647 ms; 181.337 MB/s
Cons: Like someone else mentioned, this Corsair SSD stutters. It would freeze a few times an hour for about 10-20 seconds. I have two of the 480GB SSDs and they both do this. They are also on the latest 5.0.2. Since NewEgg cannot swap these out for a different brand, I will have to purchase replacements myself. In summary: DO NOT BUY the Corsair SSD series until we get better answers from Corsair.