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Trevor V.

Trevor V.

Joined on 03/07/01

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Most Favorable Review

Very good laptop for the price

ASUS ZenBook 14 Ultra-Slim Laptop 14" Full HD 4-Way NanoEdge Bezel, AMD R7 3700U CPU, 16 GB DDR4, 1 TB PCIe SSD, Windows 10 Pro - UM433DA-NH74, Icicle Silver
ASUS ZenBook 14 Ultra-Slim Laptop 14" Full HD 4-Way NanoEdge Bezel, AMD R7 3700U CPU, 16 GB DDR4, 1 TB PCIe SSD, Windows 10 Pro - UM433DA-NH74, Icicle Silver

Pros: Wifi is very fast in 5GHz mode. Was able to max out my internet connection of 350Mbps. Form factor is very good. Tiny screen bezel. Keyboard is quite good, responsive keys, good feedback feel to them, good movement. Light, but very sturdy feeling construction. NVme drive is really fast and responsive. Good amount of memory installed (Needed since the GPU uses 2GB of it.) Battery life seems quite good so far. I would estimate 8 - 10 hours depending what you're doing (not gaming of course.)

Cons: Light bleed on sides of screen from backlight. Power button in a bad spot (sits where DEL or backspace usually would be.) No USB C charging, bad move. Proprietary Asus charger needed. Fan is fairly loud when playing games but not unbearable. Backlight on the keyboard is ok, not great with only one brightness and color setting (white.) Turning it on when not in a dark room makes it very difficult to read the letters on the keys since they are silver and the light is white.

Overall Review: I was pleasantly surprised how well this 15W variant of the 3700U performed overall, I was concerned that it would not be any faster than the 3500U in my other laptop (Dell Inspiron 15 5000) due to the size of the laptop and the cooling limitations but it outperformed it by a decent margin in most areas and the two cost roughly the same and the 3500U one is much heavier and bulkier (15.6" laptop.) and the 3500U had a smaller SSD (Generic Hynix 500GB) and half the memory. I would definitely recommend this laptop if you're looking for something lightweight and compact and want to occasionally play some games with the settings lowered a bit, but I'd buy it on sale if possible. I ran a few tests to compare this laptop with my Dell one with the 3500U. I was quite pleased with the results. ZenBook - Cinebench R20 - Multi Core 1503 (2nd run 1399 - I suspect throttling due to heat after the first run) Single Core 369 each run. 3DMark TimeSpy 889 (Graphics 791 CPU 3044). AS SSD Benchmark Read 845 Write 1653 2885 Total. Overewatch 1080P medium 50% render scale, solid 60FPS no dips (set FPS to match screen refresh), render scale 75% around 45FPS average. Dell Inspiron - Cinebench R20 - Multi Core 1026 (2nd run 999 - I suspect throttling due to heat after the first run) Single Core 294. 3DMark TimeSpy 813 (Graphics 728 CPU 2433). AS SSD Benchmark Read 645 Write 423 Total 1355. Overwatch 1080P medium 50% render scale, solid 60FPS no dips (set FPS to match screen refresh), render scale 75% around 40FPS average.

Most Critical Review

Not bad for the price if on sale

Adobe Premiere Elements 2021 - Windows & Mac
Adobe Premiere Elements 2021 - Windows & Mac

Pros: The activation and install process was very painless and easy. No recurring subscription fees. If you're familiar with other Adobe products you will feel at home with this as well. The menus and functions are very similar to the "big brother" of the product. Performed quite well on my wife's relatively old Dell XPS with a i7 4770 and 16GB of memory for working with our own family media. She is quite pleased and was able to use the software without having to do much "training" first.

Cons: There are free products out there that do much the same as this, but they are sometimes not quite as user friendly, due to that fact I think you should only consider purchasing this on sale.

Overall Review: I would recommend this for anyone who doesn't have the time or desire to learn to use the full Adobe products or to research how to use the free alternatives.

Easy breezy

CORSAIR Vengeance RGB RT 16GB (2 x 8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3200 (PC4 25600) AMD Optimized Desktop Memory Model CMN16GX4M2Z3200C16W
CORSAIR Vengeance RGB RT 16GB (2 x 8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3200 (PC4 25600) AMD Optimized Desktop Memory Model CMN16GX4M2Z3200C16W

Pros: * Good price * Very bright LED * XMP picked up the correct speed and timings when enabled in the BIOS

Cons: Had to install the Corsair iCue software to be able to control the LED lighting. Not a fan of that software but not a deal breaker.

Overall Review: Installed in a Gigabyte B550 board with a Ryzen 5500 and Nvidia 2060 RTX to build my daughter her first gaming PC and these sticks added the "bling" factor the case was missing. She loved it and as a bonus I think this memory even performs slightly better than the memory in her brother's PC. Highly recommend.

Decent upgrade from older/slower Powerline kit

devolo Magic 2 LAN triple Starter Kit
devolo Magic 2 LAN triple Starter Kit

Pros: Very easy install. Price is reasonable. 3 ports on receiver. Speed 4X better than other brand I was using. Lower latency than using WiFi

Cons: Nowhere near the advertised maximum speed. The best I've seen it do is around 140mbps.

Overall Review: Installation takes a minute, basically just plug the transmitter in near your router and run an ethernet cable to it and plug the receiver where you need it and run ethernet to the devices you want to connect. No other setup is required, it's really just plug and play. I had a kit from another manufacturer that was rated up to 500mbps but I never saw more than 50mbps and usually lower so I was expecting this to only be slightly faster but to my surprise it was 3 to 4 times faster overall but nowhere near the claimed maximum throughput but having used these devices before I knew that would be the case. Using it for my son's PC for gaming since he's in a spot in the house where WiFi coverage isn't great and he was getting lag spikes and disconnects constantly before, now he's rock solid with low latency and very happy.

Mixed results

Crucial P5 Plus M.2 2280 1TB PCI-Express 4.0 x4 NVMe 3D NAND Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) CT1000P5PSSD8
Crucial P5 Plus M.2 2280 1TB PCI-Express 4.0 x4 NVMe 3D NAND Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) CT1000P5PSSD8

Pros: Price is good compared to other PCIE 4.0 offerings. Very fast in some areas.

Cons: Slower in more than half of areas CrystalDiskMark tests vs my PCIE 3.0 Sabrent NVMe 2TB drive. I was very surprised. Overall the system "feels" slower and more sluggish with this drive in it with a fresh Windows installs vs the previous PCIE 3.0 drive that was being used. Hard to explain, but it just doesn't feel as snappy in most respects.

Overall Review: AsRock B550M HDV board was used with an AMD Ryzen 5600x not overclocked running DDR4 3200. Overall the system "feels" slower and more sluggish with this drive in it with a fresh Windows installs vs the previous PCIE 3.0 drive that was being used. Hard to explain, but it just doesn't feel as snappy in most respects. These are the CrystalDiskMark Results for the P5 Plus: [Read] SEQ 1MiB (Q= 8, T= 1): 6846.255 MB/s [ 6529.1 IOPS] < 1224.57 us> SEQ 1MiB (Q= 1, T= 1): 1173.961 MB/s [ 1119.6 IOPS] < 892.88 us> RND 4KiB (Q= 32, T= 1): 497.880 MB/s [ 121552.7 IOPS] < 263.02 us> RND 4KiB (Q= 1, T= 1): 70.941 MB/s [ 17319.6 IOPS] < 57.65 us> [Write] SEQ 1MiB (Q= 8, T= 1): 4973.404 MB/s [ 4743.0 IOPS] < 1680.82 us> SEQ 1MiB (Q= 1, T= 1): 792.789 MB/s [ 756.1 IOPS] < 1322.10 us> RND 4KiB (Q= 32, T= 1): 500.514 MB/s [ 122195.8 IOPS] < 255.78 us> RND 4KiB (Q= 1, T= 1): 208.960 MB/s [ 51015.6 IOPS] < 19.50 us> These are the results from my Sabrent PCIE 3.0 drive: [Read] SEQ 1MiB (Q= 8, T= 1): 3421.200 MB/s [ 3262.7 IOPS] < 2450.23 us> SEQ 128KiB (Q= 32, T= 1): 3461.104 MB/s [ 26406.1 IOPS] < 1211.25 us> RND 4KiB (Q= 32, T=16): 2565.770 MB/s [ 626408.7 IOPS] < 815.66 us> RND 4KiB (Q= 1, T= 1): 58.754 MB/s [ 14344.2 IOPS] < 69.59 us> [Write] SEQ 1MiB (Q= 8, T= 1): 1113.809 MB/s [ 1062.2 IOPS] < 7514.08 us> SEQ 128KiB (Q= 32, T= 1): 1110.195 MB/s [ 8470.1 IOPS] < 3773.80 us> RND 4KiB (Q= 32, T=16): 2122.635 MB/s [ 518221.4 IOPS] < 973.08 us> RND 4KiB (Q= 1, T= 1): 221.920 MB/s [ 54179.7 IOPS] < 18.35 us> As you can see the P5 only wins in a few tests and loses in more than it wins. Very disappointing.

Great value case

Montech Air 900 Mesh ATX Mid-Tower PC Gaming Case, High & Max Airflow, Full-Metal Mesh Front Panel, Tempered Glass, Dust- Proof, Unique Mesh Side Panel - EATX, ATX, Micro ATX, Mini ITX - Black
Montech Air 900 Mesh ATX Mid-Tower PC Gaming Case, High & Max Airflow, Full-Metal Mesh Front Panel, Tempered Glass, Dust- Proof, Unique Mesh Side Panel - EATX, ATX, Micro ATX, Mini ITX - Black

Pros: Very roomy inside, easy to build in. 2 included case fans are quiet, my Ryzen stock cooler is much louder. Standoffs were preinstalled for motherboard mounting, although I did have to add 2 for my particular board size but they were included in the box. Cable management very good for this price range case. Power supply and 3.5" drives are bottom mounted and there is ample space the stash unused cords from the PSU below as well. 2 USB 2.0 and 2 USB 3.0 ports on the top/front by the power button. Button the control LED inside case (I didn't install any, but the option is there.)

Cons: There is a little cover on the PCIe slots that you have to unscrew to really get at the slots properly and on my case it was bent out of the box. I was able to bend it back to the correct shape but it is pretty flimsy and seems like a bad design idea to me anyhow, i.e. pointless.

Overall Review: Overall I'd give this case a 8/10 since it has a very good price to performance ratio in my book. I put a B450 board and a 1st gen Ryzen CPU in it with a 1050 Ti 4GB anda 250GB M.2 NVme drive and it's all humming along nicely and will be used by one of my kids for playing Minecraft, Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare, etc.