Date Joined: 06/24/04
Pros: - Performs well
- Spends more time at boost frequencies than I expected
- Best gaming performance you can get at 65w TDP - perfect for a small gaming rig
Cons: - Failed after ~1 week of use
- The included cooler needs to run at 100% speed if any cores are boosted. Loading most web sites will go into boost long enough to spin it to max, as well as Windows background tasks. You'll hear it ramping up and down constantly
Overall Review: Get a Nexus NH-L9x65 cooler. It goes from silent to just barely audible with the CPU under full load. Huge improvement over the stock cooler and it will fit in most ITX cases including the Silverstone Raven series. Running a core or two at boost doesn't increase the noise level so it will be essentially silent in browsing & office work
After passing burn-in tests and using it for about a week - things started crashing. PassMark Memtest86 found memory errors even at JEDEC timings. I replaced the RAM, PSU - no change. All errors were isolated to a specific core and the other cores passed if tested individually. I used another i3-8100 CPU with the same motherboard & RAM and all tests pass. This is the first time in 20+ years of building PCs that I've had a CPU fail. I RMA'd it and am now stuck with a credit waiting on this to come back in stock so I can get a replacement.
Pros: - Works at DDR4-2666 native speed on Coffee Lake
- 1.2v stock voltage reduces heat and could increase reliability long-term
- In qualified vendor list so of course it works flawlessly in ASRock Z370M-itx/AC
Cons: - Lower latency (14/15 CAS) would be nice at this price
Overall Review: If you want a faster module, you probably need to bump up to another module with 1.3 or 1.35v to get CAS 14 or 15 at this clock speed.
Pros: - Good price & performance. Noticeably faster boot and data access compared with similar SATA designs like the Crucial MX300
- No data loss at unexpected power outages, and no performance penalty if using RAID/VROC which needs flushes
- Simple setup with no hassle on Intel Z270/370 motherboard and Windows 10. No extra drivers needed
Cons: - I wish there was a >1TB model available. Small form factor systems usually only have 1 m.2 2280 slot so they're limited to a single drive if you don't have room for another 2.5" drive.
Overall Review: There are faster drives like the Samsung EVO&Pro, but they are more likely to lose data in a power loss due to the volatile RAM cache and will be slower if you use them with VROC or RAID which force flushes.
Pros: - Probably the shallowest 500w+ ATX power supply on the market - fits even in tight caseslike the Silverstone Raven RVZ01B-1 / RVZ03
- if the fan spins I've never heard it. With i7-8700 and Geforce GTX 980 Ti at full load drawing ~300w continuous I can't even feel air moving from the fan
- No coil whine
Cons: Since this fits a niche for narrow mounting depth flat cables would have been perfect. The modular cables add another 20mm so you're really looking at about 140mm depth. Flat cables would have put it at about 130mm
Overall Review: If you need 300+w and are considering a SFX power supply don't. I've used the Silverstone ST450 SFX (sounds like a hair dryer) and Nexus Value 430 which is the same depth, and this is the quietest supply of all at 300w draw
Pros: - Easy to set up, no problems running a i7-8700 and DDR4-2666 with correct XMP profile
- Intel i211 NIC is better than 219v, faster file transfers with RSS & SMB multichannel on Windows 10
- All connectors easy to access and on the front side
Cons: - Fan control is buggy. The calibration doesn't work for 3-pin fans even though it offers a "DC" fan control mode for chassis fan 1. This causes it to turn the fan off if you try silent profiles, and it will never turn on at all. You're better off with a separate fan controller for chassis fans. Chassis fan 2 is PWM control only
- "1 x Vertical M.2 Socket (Key E)" as stated in the listing is wrong. It has a bottom end wifi chipset (1T1R - 433Mb theoretical - bare minimum 802.11ac standard) that's attached and not socketed. You can't replace it with a different card.
- ASRock site and NewEgg both advertise "ASRock A-Tuning" software which isn't actually available for this board. Very disappointing because I wanted to be able to finely tune the CPU & chassis fan settings to keep it as quiet as possible in gaming. Instead I have to keep rebooting into UEFI, making a change, then rebooting again.
Overall Review: When I bought this it was the only option with dual LAN which I really wanted. If there was another option available I would have returned this board and taken the other instead due to the m.2 slot and a-tuning inaccuracies.
Pros: - 100% reliable for 3 months so far
- Very Fast
- Good price/gigabyte, and prices keep dropping!
- No speed loss for compressed or encrypted data
- Boots Win8 with Intel DH77DF motherboard in < 9 seconds
Cons: - None. It's the first SSD I can say this for.
Overall Review: This drive keeps running at its top speed, no matter what. Some of the competitors using SandForce chipsets see a performance drop when you encrypt or compress data.
Pros: Great cooling
Quiet with better fan
Doesn't block memory slots on mini itx boards
Doesn't block PCI-express slot on mini itx boards
Cons: Included fan is too loud, not speed controlled. Use a Scythe slipstream PWM instead.
I wish the pump was a bit quieter as well. At idle, its slightly louder than stock Intel cooler because of the pump noise.
Overall Review: Fit nicely into a modded Lian Li PC-Q11. Cooling Intel Core i5-3550 under load with Scythe fan at low RPM (<500).
Pros: Enough power for mid-high range CPU and video
Gives extra working space in a small case
Stays quiet under typical load
Good price, fast rebate check. No debit card.
Cons: I really wish this was modular or had shorter cables. I'm not using even half of the power connectors, and had to wrap up all the excess length.
Overall Review: Driving an Ivy Bridge mini ITX gaming rig:
Intel DH77DF motherboard
Intel Core i5-3550
Antec Kuhler H20 620
EVGA NVidia Geforce GTX560Ti 448 core
Pros: Fast advertised timings, good price
Cons: Installed on Intel DH77DF motherboard, and ran Memtest86+ at default timings. It consistently hit errors.
Overall Review: I switched to some Corsair XMS3 with the same motherboard and CPU - no errors after 50+ hours of testing
Pros: CAS 9 = Lower latency than other 1.5v 8GB modules
Cons: 1 of 2 modules was defective. It failed intermittently at first, then would no longer POST after a few hours in MEMTEST86+ testing. I also tried slower than advertised timings such as 11-11-11-27 with no luck.
I've installed dozens of Crucial kits over the last 12 years and this is the first one to fail.
Overall Review: RMA in progress, but now item is deactivated. Is that a bad sign?
Pros: - Great upgrade over motherboard audio
- No drivers required on Windows 7
- 100% rock stable with built-in Windows 7 drivers
- Can use multiple apps with different outputs
- Very stable with WASAPI in Foobar2000 down to 50ms buffer!
Cons: - Not a gaming card
- Doesn't support 88.2k or , 176.4k , or 192k sampling rate output over S/PDIF. Only 44.1k/48k/96k
Overall Review: I have owned multiple professional cards from Echo Audio, M-Audio, and E-mu that I used for better quality music listening, and every single one caused occasional bluescreens in Windows 7 due to custom drivers. This card is unique in that the CA0110 chipset works with Microsoft's built-in hdaudio.sys driver in Windows. It can output up to 7.1 analog, plus has S/PDIF optical inputs and output.
I use this for hours a day to listen to 16/44.1 and 24/96 music with Foobar2000 in WASAPI mode for bit-perfect audio along with the Emotiva XDA-1 external DAC. Not a single crash or glitch after 2+ months of usage. If you're an audiophile wanting to use an external DAC without dealing with buggy drivers - this is the card for you!
Pros: - Outlook, Visual Studio, Internet Explorer, Office 2010 much more responsive. My dual core laptop with 2G beats my desktop with 8G RAM on Office tasks
- Best price/size ratio (when on sale)
- No compatibility issues with Lenovo T60
- No firmware upgrade hassle for TRIM on Win7
Cons: - Not great at long sustained writes. Small builds in Visual Studio are ok, but large builds aren't any faster than HD. On my gaming & video editing rigs, I would pick a faster SSD for fear of slowdowns
- No noticable improvement in battery life
Overall Review: When I bought this, it was the cheapest 64G on the market. Intel & Sandforce may be faster, but this gets the job done. I couldn't upgrade the RAM on my laptop past 3G, and this made a big different in overall usability.
Lenovo T60, 2G RAM, Windows 7 Enterprise X86, Bitlocker - not a single problem. The laptop spends more time on BIOS & POST than booting Win7, but that's a problem with this series laptop.
Pros: Mushkin certified at 5-4-4-12 with JEDEC standard voltage of 1.8v! For boards such as Intel's that are designed for 1.8v only - this is some of the fastest RAM you will find. Some of the competing performance DDR2 is rated at 1.9v or higher for the same timings!
Low voltage = less heat
Cons: My Intel DG33BU doesn't use EPP timings by default since they're designed by a competitor. It detected 5-5-5-15 if I remember correctly, but setting it to 5-4-4-12 in the bios worked without issues.
Overall Review: Requiring voltage at the JEDEC max voltage threshold of 1.9 to get advertised timings is a boondoggle and makes purchasing RAM more difficult. I'm glad Mushkin hasn't bought into that philosophy
Pros: Good alternative to the E7200 & logical replacement for the E4xxx and E2xxx series. Runs cool and fast! Included fan is a good match for Intel motherboards with 4 pin speed control.
Cons: Included cooler could be better. It doesn't have a very positive feel to the mounting mechanism, and its difficult to tell if its seated correctly. I would have liked a stronger mount. The cooling is sufficient without overclocking, and the fan is barely audible at regular use. Under heavy load, and high case temperatures, it gets loud.
Overall Review: I was looking for a 45nm processor for the low power draw and low heat output for general office use and a few hours of gaming per week. You're not going to find a cooler running processor for the price.
Pros: Silent, fast performance on video (SD & HD content). I can upsample a DVD to match my 1080i television with 20% of my lowly Sempron 3100+. Vista Media Center for DVD & Netflix are usable, no stuttering.
1440x900 in TeamFortress2 with high settings is very playable - noticably faster than my 6600gt.
Cons: HDMI audio is finicky at best. It's impossible to troubleshoot, and some people speculate it requires specific driver versions, and/or a reformat to make it work. Search Asus support & avsforum first. 2 weeks out, I'm still trying, and that's working with ATI.