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DEREK S.

DEREK S.

Joined on 08/30/07

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 35
Most Favorable Review

Upgraded from 1700, 30% Performance Gain on X370

AMD Ryzen 7 3rd Gen - RYZEN 7 3700X Matisse (Zen 2) 8-Core 3.6 GHz (4.4 GHz Max Boost) Socket AM4 65W 100-100000071BOX Desktop Processor
AMD Ryzen 7 3rd Gen - RYZEN 7 3700X Matisse (Zen 2) 8-Core 3.6 GHz (4.4 GHz Max Boost) Socket AM4 65W 100-100000071BOX Desktop Processor

Pros: Priced right, 7nm, great out of box performance, backwards compatible with older AM4 boards

Cons: Toasty when overclocked; can't get over 4.4 Ghz without a lot of additional power.

Overall Review: I was an early adopter of the Ryzen 1000 series, which came with its setbacks, however the 1700 I had been using for a couple of years proved to be a great CPU. The 3000 series with its 50% die shrink was very attractive and being compatible with older AM4 boards like mine made this purchase a no-brainer. Great performance at a good price point and doesn't really need an OC to be competitive with processors that are priced higher. Might not be a great upgrade from 2000 series Zen refresh but I am quite happy with what I've gained over the 1700. This should carry me through and allow me to keep my current hardware for at least another year or two.

Most Critical Review

Good, if Slightly Flawed

ZALMAN CNPS9900MAX-B 135mm Long life bearing CPU Cooler Blue LED
ZALMAN CNPS9900MAX-B 135mm Long life bearing CPU Cooler Blue LED

Pros: Great heat transfer, finish looks nice, big quiet fan, LED is a nice touch, relatively universal, solid choice for overclock. Overall quality is nice.

Cons: Bigger than most comparable air coolers, mounting system can be very tedious work if motherboard is installed, fan mount is not stable at lower rpm, heavy.

Overall Review: I've been buying Zalman for a long time now, and I swear by their air coolers for overclocking. They may be a bit pricier but always deliver. This one I have mixed feelings about but ultimately I do like it. For one I noticed the more "free" fan mount design caused the unit to shake since the fan itself was not evenly aligned with the base. Lower RPM I noticed the unit was shaking around a lot but virtually stopped when put to 80-100% spin. That works for me. The mounting system, while it's a decent design for multiple applications, is a bit of a pain since the rest of the unit is so big. Without having 360 degree free access to the motherboard it is probably close to impossible to get all of the bolts secured. They are basically directly under the fins so you can't really use the long part of any wrench. Overall it's a good cooler that is very efficient at keeping temps under control, but I'm not sure I would buy another one.

Great Balance of Performance & Value

SAMSUNG 860 EVO Series 2.5" 500GB SATA III V-NAND 3-bit MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) MZ-76E500B/AM
SAMSUNG 860 EVO Series 2.5" 500GB SATA III V-NAND 3-bit MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) MZ-76E500B/AM

Pros: Drive is both affordable and fast, perfect for a dual boot in either laptop or desktop computer; 100% compatible with any serial ATA port; uses minimal power to operate.

Cons: Performance could be a little better but it's a step up from the 850 EVO. Not as quick as NVMe obviously.

Overall Review: I've been buying Samsung SSD drives for a long time now and they are always solid performers. The software is also a nice tool in order to monitor drive health and longevity. The EVO line isn't quite up to par with the PRO line but you get what you pay for. I am always recommending these SSD if NVMe isn't an option.

10/24/2019

Finally, Great Value and Performance in M.2

Western Digital WD BLACK SN750 NVMe M.2 2280 500GB PCI-Express 3.0 x4 64-layer 3D NAND Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) WDS500G3X0C
Western Digital WD BLACK SN750 NVMe M.2 2280 500GB PCI-Express 3.0 x4 64-layer 3D NAND Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) WDS500G3X0C

Pros: Top tier performance without breaking the bank. Nearly as quick as a 970 Pro, for the price of the EVO. PnP and optional software.

Cons: No outstanding cons, could have included some different mounting hardware I suppose.

Overall Review: I ordered this as an upgrade from a 2.5" SSD and it's certainly faster; was 100% compatible with my motherboard out of the box. I would have likely spent more on the Samsung drive but I am glad that I didn't because this is basically just as good and is much cheaper. Haven't tested gaming performance yet but cloning my booting volume was quick and easy, just as it should be.

Worth Every Penny for Throwback Gaming!

GIGABYTE GeForce GT 1030 Low Profile 2GB, GV-N1030D5-2GL
GIGABYTE GeForce GT 1030 Low Profile 2GB, GV-N1030D5-2GL

Pros: Small single slot profile, great for SFF machines with less room for dedicated GPU, 2GB memory, near silent operation

Cons: Price might be considered steep to some, not a "GTX" card

Overall Review: I typically buy the premium high end stuff but I have a small form PC that I installed some older games on; the previous card wasn't quite up to the task @1080p. I installed this card and the story was quite different. I am able to run all of the games I was able when I was using my HD 5870 some years ago, or around that performance tier anyway, at medium and high settings. The fact that this little thing can run those old titles as good as those bigger cards from yesteryear is incredible to me. Anyway, look no further if you need a SFF or low-profile solution, as this little guy punches way above its weight. Heck, doesn't even need a dedicated power connection. Was able to easily install NVIDIA drivers under Linux too! Couldn't be happier.

Great Brackets and Hardware

BYTECC BRACKET - 125 HDD / SSD 1 x 2.5" Drive to 3.5" Bay Metal Mounting Kit – OEM
BYTECC BRACKET - 125 HDD / SSD 1 x 2.5" Drive to 3.5" Bay Metal Mounting Kit – OEM

Pros: Cost effective and easy to install solution to mount 2.5" drives, quality material for long-lasting use; looks good too!

Cons: N/A

Overall Review: I ordered a few of these after replacing some mechanical drives in several staff workstations. These computers are all OEM and most of them did not have any sort of 2.5" mounting options out of the box. These adapters, along with the accompanied hardware, did the job perfectly and the result is a secure and OE-style drive mount. Great kits!