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Michael I.

Michael I.

Joined on 05/19/17

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 3
Most Favorable Review

Works like a charm right outa da box.

ASUS Hyper M.2 x16 PCIe 3.0 x4 Expansion Card V2 supports 4 NVMe M.2 (2242/2260/2280/22110) up to 128 Gbps for Intel VROC and AMD Ryzen Threadripper NVMe RAID
ASUS Hyper M.2 x16 PCIe 3.0 x4 Expansion Card V2 supports 4 NVMe M.2 (2242/2260/2280/22110) up to 128 Gbps for Intel VROC and AMD Ryzen Threadripper NVMe RAID

Pros: · Plug & Play on my GA-990FXA-UD3 motherboard (socket AM3+) from something like 2012 · Fast, and very good value (since it's rockin' 4 M.2 sockets) · Very high quality design with obviously a solid build · Nice looking unit · Thermal paste for the NVMe drives is ... thick. It sounds like a negative, but it means that it's pretty much guaranteed to make contact with the module. · The heat sink is kina epic - it's a rather meaty slab of aluminium. It could probably use more fins instead of being a solid mass, but it's definitely a healthy chunk of metal · There's a switch on the back of the unit (where the air discharges from the PCIe socket) that allows you to turn off the onboard fan

Cons: · Pretty heavy. Be sure you support it with a screw in the PCIe mount (air discharge end) at the back of your PC · Onboard fan isn't silent. It's not bad but is audible. · Uses a PCIe 16 socket, and it's not super low profile. Consequently it could cause cable routing issues for your other components, or it might interfere with other PCIe devices in close proximity. It was fine in my own machine, though.

Overall Review: I am extremely happy with this little piece of kit. It arrived earlier than Newegg said it would, which is always a pleasant surprise. I am rockin' an old rig that I built back in something like 2012 with a Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 (Socket AM3+), and over the years I've kept it more-or-less up to my needs by adding or upgrading indivual components. This time around, I decided to move into the 2020s with an NVMe M.2 drive. Obviously, an old (but rock solid) motherboard like mine doesn't have any M.2 sockets. Now, there are tons of other PCIe adapters out there designed to add M.2 sockets, but most of them only add a single socket, or they have some other limitations. This ASUS beastie has 4 full-speed sockets, which is why it uses a PCIe 16 slot on the board. This is notable - my board has 2 of these slots, but I am sure there are some older machines that only have 1 which is taken by a video card. Anyhoo ... so long story short, I put a [Western Digital WD Blue SN550 NVMe M.2] 1GB SSD into one of the sockets, attached the heat sink with the included thermal pad, stabbed it into my remaining PCIE16 socket, and booted my machine. This thing was recognized as 'Block Device' by Ubuntu Linux (18.04 LTS) and using the default Disks utility I formatted the drive (which shows up as a separate device from the expansion card) to EXT4, which completed in a few seconds. Using the same utility, I gave it a mount point to use at boot time, using the UUID as the identifier. I then created a Steam directory, then inside Steam using the directory migration feature I moved a game (Borderlands 3) from my 7200 RPM WD hard drive to this M.2 SSD. I then went into the game directory and re-adjusted some of the settings (which had reverted to default) in the .ini file (specifically changing the pool size override from -1 to 1) Game load time went from around 3:30 to about 2:10, which was what I expected. But what I didn't expect was that the frame rate in the game ALSO improved dramatically. This was one heck of a pleasant surprise. I was able to increase the graphical settings quite significantly while maintaining a steady 60FPS (I have it set to limit FPS to 60). In the end I would absolutely recommend. This is one of the single most satisfying upgrades I have ever done on my machine.

10/10/2020

Small, Light, Fast, all the things you'd expect from a NVMe SSD!

Western Digital WD Blue SN550 NVMe M.2 2280 1TB PCI-Express 3.0 x4 3D NAND Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) WDS100T2B0C
Western Digital WD Blue SN550 NVMe M.2 2280 1TB PCI-Express 3.0 x4 3D NAND Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) WDS100T2B0C

Pros: · Does exactly what it says it does · Plugs into the ASUS Hyper M.2 x16 PCIe 3.0 x4 Expansion Card just as well for older systems as it would into a modern motherboard · Lightning fast · Smells pretty nice · Works pretty well for spreading jam on your toast · Obviously well constructed · QC on PCB finishing was pretty much flawless

Cons: · It doesn't contain a tear in spacetime allowing infinite storage · Refuses to make me a sandwich, no matter how nice I am to it · Not very helpful for raking leaves · Wasn't free

Overall Review: So here's the thing. I stabbed this little wafer of silicone into my recently purchased ASUS Hyper M.2 x16 PCIe 3.0 x4 Expansion Card in order to upgrade my computer from ~2012 (Motherboard is Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3). My motherboard can't drive this thing at its full potential, but it still blows the doors (and every other component of a domicile) off my old SATA hard drives and even my SATA SSD. Load times of _whatever_ I put on this SSD were obviously significantly improved over any SATA component I own ... that much I expected. What I didn't expect was that it also improved game performance of titles that I've transferred to it. For instance, I fired up Borderlands 3 on this little baby, and load times were roughly 30-40% faster ... something like from 3:30 down to around 2-ish minutes. Then ingame, I was able to increase graphics settings (without having changed any other hardware or settings) while maintaining 60FPS (I have the game capped at 60 because reasons). Load times between scenes were also obviously improved. Word to the wise, if you use Steam to transfer a game to an SSD like this one, your config files will probably be reset to default like mine was. I did have to pull it up for BL3 and change the pool size override from -1 to 1 in order to prevent the classic stuttering common to many Unreal Engine games. Meanwhile, while this device works quite nicely for spreading jam on your toast, I don't recommend it because it will get all sticky. You really don't want that in your computer. The only thing that would make me happier with this SSD would be if it would actually just shut up and make me a sandwich already. Well, that and if it contained a tear in the fabric of spacetime which would thus give it all the storage space I could ever want. Who knows, maybe I could even put some book shelves in there.

10/10/2020

Just got it, so far exceeds my expectations ...

Logitech MX Keys Advanced Wireless Illuminated Keyboard
Logitech MX Keys Advanced Wireless Illuminated Keyboard

Pros: - I have confirmed in several games that Shift-W-Space DOES WORK with this keyboard. I didn't see it explicitly indicated anywhere, so I figured I'd let everyone know. You can indeed do some light gaming with this thing, and it will work just peachy. - Very quiet - there are a few videos on YouTube that illustrate just how quiet it really is, but I'd put this thing in the top 5% of quiet keyboards that I have used. There's no actual "click" just a slight resistance that releases at the very bottom of the keypress. This allows me to avoid accidental key presses, but it's not much resistance overall. - Very low profile, this is exactly what I was looking for. It's only a few millimetres thick (you can look up the specs). - Very short key movement, again, this is really hard to find when looking for a keyboard, because it seems like most people are super excited about the various gaming Mechanical Key keyboards out there with Cherry Reds or whatever. These keys have a very short travel, and comparatively low pressing resistance. It's not as light as my MSI laptop keyboard, but the keys are more stable, they don't rock on their mounts at all. - No click, low resistance, almost to the point of "tap" typing (as opposed to "press, or hammer" typing. This allows me to type extremely fast, and not get fatigued. - Very solid build. It's heavier than I expected, but that's not a bad thing. It means it's super stable, and stays put while I tap away. - Rechargeable with USB-C. I really like this because it's annoying to replace batteries. In this one, just stab your USB-C plug into it and continue tapping away. - Works with my old Logitech Unifying Receiver (it does come with its own too, though).

Cons: - Key placement is slightly different (not the layout, just the individual spacings) than my previous keyboard, resulting in a little bit of a learning curve. I need to emphasize that this is extremely minor, it's only taken me a few minutes to already start getting comfortable with it. - No palm-rest. Again, this is a minor gripe because it's so low-profile that I almost don't need a palm rest anyway. If it bothers me (and it probably won't), then I'll just make one out of something I have handy. - Ramp angle is not adjustable. I don't think this will bother me long-term, but if it does, I'll just prop it up with something. Probably not, though. - No official Linux support (base functions still work out-of-the-box, but it would be nice if they made their handy software package officially available to Linux users. - Space bar is very slightly louder than the rest of the keys, depending on where and how you tap it. It's not terribly noticeable, but I think I might end up changing how my thumb makes contact in order for it to be a little quieter.

Overall Review: I'd rate this 9.3/10. If it came with a little palm rest, and if it had some little feet, that would be rad. It took me a long time to research keyboards. Low profile, super quiet, good build quality, no click, super short key movement, back light (I don't care about what colour it is), this thing ticks all my highest priority boxes. As far as longevity goes, I can't really say yet, but it does feel well-built and solid. As long as the key-caps stay on, and the keys don't wear out, we're good.