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Robert K.

Robert K.

Joined on 09/28/04

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Most Favorable Review

Compact power backup with great features

CyberPower 1325 VA 810 Watts 10 Outlets UPS, Pure Sine Wave UPS with USB Charging Ports GX1325U
CyberPower 1325 VA 810 Watts 10 Outlets UPS, Pure Sine Wave UPS with USB Charging Ports GX1325U

Pros: - Small footprint and lighter weight compared to other sealed battery UPS units - Included software is easily configured and setup - LCD offers input/output information on anything you would need to know - Able to silence alarm with hardware button on front of unit, no software required or hunting for a button on the back - Provides ample time with my setup even at full load to safely shutdown the PC and NAS attached to it. - Pure sine wave is compatible with newer PFC PSU and perfectly replicates 60hz AC current

Cons: - None, works as intended. - Weight is to be expected when batteries are involved. - Ensure you know the loads of the system you are trying to provide power to before purchasing

Overall Review: I was surprised by all the information provided by the LCD along with the output of this small UPS. I am using it to power a 2 bay NAS, a PC (i7 2700k, GTX Titan), and a 28" Asus 1440p monitor. Under gaming loads playing at higher settings in a new game as of this review (The Division) I am able to get 8-10 minutes of reserve power which is plenty of time to log out of anything required and to get the NAS shut down safely. If I am only doing basic tasks or at idle this UPS will provide 22 minutes of power with my setup, (421w at gaming loads, 208w for basic tasks) as well as active load balancing, surge protection, and it also helps lower power consumption in ECO mode by bypassing the transformer thus using less energy when not required. The key with any UPS purchase is to ensure that you never exceed 80% capacity of the unit for any long period of time, so if possible use a meter and see what your hardware draws for power before buying any backup power supply. Also the footprint is much smaller and more compact then the UPS of the old days. As someone who used to lug these around to rebuild I felt the weight was much lighter than my older units but to each his own. If your power needs are in line with the output of this UPS then I highly recommend it and would not hesitate to purchase one for any PC or home entertainment setup.

Most Critical Review

NAS Review Update

Seagate Business Storage 2-Bay 4TB (2 x 2TB) NAS(STBN4000100)
Seagate Business Storage 2-Bay 4TB (2 x 2TB) NAS(STBN4000100)

Pros: -Easy discovery and setup with included software -Raid 1,0 and JBOD/SPAN options for volume -Remote web-based access through Seagate website from other PC or mobile device -Sleek and small design with adequate cooling for drives -Media server for iTunes streaming or other DLNA devices -Included DVD has 5 licenses included for backup software for PCs

Cons: -Web interface is slow and has issues or times out completely during critical processes (see below) -Raid 1 array rebuild time of roughly ~7-8 hrs @ ~80MB/sec is somewhat long -Admin web interface needs work -Media server sometimes will stop and cut off playback until a reboot. -Fan can be loud

Overall Review: I have not encountered dropping file transfers when doing 6gb+ video files, although I am only able to test with 5 concurrent transfers, I do have issues with the media server either not finding media or cutting out after playing just fine for anywhere from 30min to 2hrs, the fan is also noticeably louder than my PC. On the firmware update, I was told my unit was faulty or a beta unit by Seagate support due to it's error "Warning: No Space To Download Image" basically it does not having any flash memory allocated for firmware updates. So the unit still functions but the supposed speed improvements to the web interface would have been nice with the current firmware version. Due to the process of finding the unit is faulty and would probably need replacement if this was not a EggXpert review and was in a business or home setting where the user wanted the latest firmware, along with the louder fan I feel it should be 3/5 instead of 4/5.

Great modern case for the price!

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: - Sturdy, riveted frame with nice tempered glass panel side. - Modern design with 2x USB 2.0 & 2x USB 3.0 Top panel ports. - Included fans (1 front, 1 rear 120mm) are decent but I would fill out the rest on front, and top. - The rear mount metal plate for 2 SSD drives is great, along with other mount points in the frame too. - Velcro straps in back panel for cable management. - Magnetic dust filters are great and easy to remove except for the front one (see cons below).

Cons: - Front panel pops off from pulling bottom to remove the front and gain access to the magnetic dust filter. However the plastic retaining “knobs” could weaken over time if you have pets, and need to clean frequently like me. I would have preferred a hinged front panel or a way to slide the filter out the top or side. - Filters could be a tad bigger, if you have fur based animals you will be cleaning said filters often.

Overall Review: I am very impressed with this case, for its sturdy construction and it’s good price point for It’s features. I took a media pc out of an old case and re-Installed it into this one for streaming Netflix and games that use controllers on my tv. It’s smaller size and design fits my use perfectly and while you may need to put a few more fans in to get the best temps I don’t see it as a major detractor to this case. The only downside is the front panel and the plastic retainers that may not be robust enough to survive years of taking off and re-installing for cleaning. A hinged setup or different way to slide out the front filter would have earned it another egg. In all if you like the look of the case and are in its price point for your budget the only advice I have is to add a few more fans depending on the heat your setup puts out. I added one more 120mm on the top and front to make sure air keeps moving. Thank you for reading my review!

Drops CPU temp by acceptable amount for the cost

CORSAIR Hydro Series H75 2018 CW-9060035-WW, 120mm Radiator, 2 SP120 PWM Fans, High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler
CORSAIR Hydro Series H75 2018 CW-9060035-WW, 120mm Radiator, 2 SP120 PWM Fans, High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler

Pros: - Pre assembled and bled - No RGB is a pro for me personally - CPU block fittings are able to rotate and look quite robust on the seals - Much more quiet than air cooler it replaced

Cons: - 2 Fans seems overkill but run it if you brought it I suppose - Always will worry of leaks

Overall Review: I installed this on an older SandyBridge i7 2600k that was overclocked to 4.6Ghz. Normally it ran 68c on an air cooler during benchmarks and gaming was in the 64-66c range. After installation the Benchmarking temps dropped roughly 8c to 60-61 during a bench run of PCMark, while gaming gained a 12c average temperature drop with an observed temp of 53c during Division 2 gameplay. Overall I was impressed with the price and the performance of this unit from Corsair and would recommend it to anyone looking to add a pre-filled H2O cooler and gain that thermal performance without much worry of leaking, bleeding, or refilling problems that custom water loops have. On the downside there is no way to visually check if the unit is losing fluid other than it leaking on your components so its a trade off of performance and risk of issues down the road. Given the performance gain and the lower DB produced by the fans I have no problem recommending this to anyone looking to add that Corsair flair to their next or current rig.

Sleek and Easy to Access

Corsair Carbide Series 678C CC-9011167-WW Black Steel / Plastic / Tempered Glass ATX Mid Tower Low Noise Tempered Glass ATX Case
Corsair Carbide Series 678C CC-9011167-WW Black Steel / Plastic / Tempered Glass ATX Mid Tower Low Noise Tempered Glass ATX Case

Pros: - Sound dampened panels for reduced ambient noise - Air intake filters on every port - Easy to install SSD/HDD/Optical bays - PWM fans included

Cons: - Top lid is only secured by magnets and does not have a hinge. Only a problem if you have cats or other explorative creatures. - Buttons are not an actual switch just a momentary button (personal preference) with no guard to protect accidental pushes.

Overall Review: I was very impressed with the build quality and sound reduction of this particular case from Corsair. After unboxing I installed my E-ATX Motherboard/i7/1080ti and chose to not use any extra fans to test the ambient noise difference compared to my old full ATX monster case with bi ol' fans. Decibel meters are not available at my house but to the ear you could noticeably tell a difference at idle, while running full tilt however the GPU fans will still be heard spinning past say ~60% no matter how much sound deadening material is in the case. All air intakes are filtered and the top, side, and front cover are held closed by magnets. This is fine on the side and front panels as the magnets are pretty big and strong. However the top panel isn't as heavy and inquisitive creatures that like to jump on everything (say felines) will knock the top panel loose when exploring on your gear. So if you are looking for a stylish and quiet place to put your new hardware with easy open panels and easily installed drives look no farther than the Carbide 678c from Corsair.

Immense Portable Power restrained only by heat.

ASUS ROG Strix Scar Edition 17.3" 120 Hz GTX 1060 6 GB VRAM i7-8750H 16 GB Memory 128 GB PCIe SSD + 1 TB SSHD Windows 10 Home VR Ready Gaming Laptop - ONLY @ NEWEGG
ASUS ROG Strix Scar Edition 17.3" 120 Hz GTX 1060 6 GB VRAM i7-8750H 16 GB Memory 128 GB PCIe SSD + 1 TB SSHD Windows 10 Home VR Ready Gaming Laptop - ONLY @ NEWEGG

Pros: +Large form factor with full keyboard and keypad, it is the largest size and max weight(6.5lb) I would personally consider for lugging around for school/work purposes. + 120hz TN 3ms Display is great for gaming however it may not be used to its full potential in all situations (see thoughts below). The anti-glare is on point however and more manufacturers should take note of this. + GTX1060 is a great choice in this form factor and screen resolution in my opinion. For any more power in a laptop you would have to jump up to a full 12+ Lb (plus power brick(s)) or $500-800 more Max Q Design for anything similar size. + Lots of input/output from USB-C to Mini Display Port/HDMI/SD reader along with 4 USB 3 ports and the latest 802.11ac WiFi. +Speaking of USB-C The ability to use it along with an external GPU enclosure (ex. ASUS ROG XG Station) opens up the performance possibilities even more if you want to use this at work as a portable and bring it home and dock up to more GPU power. + 8th Gen 6 core Coffee Lake processor is almost overkill (but I love it) and will be thermally limited whilst gaming unless cooling measures are taken (see below). +16 GB of DDR4 2666 with room for upgrade to 32gb max. +Kingston NVME M2 128GB SSD is fast for OS and a few smaller games along with a hybrid one terabyte drive of spinning rust is a good staring point at this price. +Benchmark results were above what was expected (results below) and would seem that the machine would be able to run any current and upcoming games at Medium to Highest setting @ 1080p.

Cons: — The small form factor with no mechanical lifts on the hinges to pick the rear up makes air flow a big issue for this machine (think Max Q design as seen on the ROG Zephyrus S) and it does thermally throttle itself, thus making the full 4.1ghz turbo boost never seen during gaming since the heat of the GPU and CPU running together limits what the systems cooling can handle. However in the “gaming laptop” market, heat is to be expected and is usually accounted for with external cooling etc by the people who game heavily. — While VR ready (it just barely exceeds 3DMark and Vive recommended spec for VR). I would personally not recommend this for consistent VR use unless using an external GPU enclosure over USB-C due to the thermal throttling and long term reliability at full temps (unless using aftermarket cooling). — RGB Keyboard backlight goes wonky sometimes and turns off randomly, requiring restart or change of a setting and applying in the aura software (using latest bios/drivers/software as of this writing (Nov 18’)). — Speakers aren’t really powerful (1.5w x 2) but it does have mic/headphone jack which is becoming more rare. — Touchpad is on smaller side if you are used to MacBooks or larger human interface devices.

Overall Review: Before getting into my thoughts I will look at my Benchmark results as they left me impressed and were higher than I expected. All tests were conducted at 1080p with latest drivers, software and BIOS (as of Nov 18’) using GeForce Experience recommended settings for games or Default for synthetic tests. Another pleasant surprise was all games tested defaulted in the top 3-4 “clicks” of max settings in GF Experience optimization. 3DMark Time Spy 1.0 @ 1080p Default - 3494 (Better than 39% of all results) 3DMark Fire Strike 1.1 @ 1080p Default - 9975 (Better than 58% of all results) PCMark 8 Home Conventional - 4660 Fortnite - 75-85 Avg FPS (Observed during PvP match) Hitman - 68.69 Avg FPS / 14.56ms Frame time (In game bench tool) GTA 5 - 71-89 Avg FPS over 4 passes / 13.5ms Frame time (In game bench tool) Metro Last Light Redux - 46.62 Avg FPS (In-game bench tool) Witcher 3 Wild Hunt - 45-55 Avg FPS (Observed running around killing stuff). So as you can see the 120hz refresh rate may not be fully utilized much unless you play games with older generation game engines or using lower settings and resolutions. I personally wouldn’t let this be the issue to stop me from purchasing this unit because the screen is beautiful and provides excellent viewing angles and color reproduction for 95% of users. My idea of the best use case of this laptop would be a student or professional that needs to have a great big screen and lots of power for gaming and or editing on the go. Also having the option if you need more graphics power, to get an external GPU enclosure along with an additional cooling solution and thus you have created yourself one powerful gaming or work station. The only real worry is a common one of gaming laptops, and that is there is a lot of heat to contend with in a small space. If you plan to game or work this machine for long periods at a time and want it to last, please get yourself an aftermarket cooling solution and keep the fans/screens clear of debris/dust. In terms of extra software that comes pre installed I have to say hats off to ASUS for only including their house brand software and a basic antivirus software that was very easy to remove. If your looking to have more thermal cooling built in from the manufacturer you would have to step up to a GeForce Max Q design such as the ROG Zephyrus line offered by ASUS, but that is roughly $600-900 more depending on spec. So in closing, in my opinion I would not let any of the issues bother me, and use the machine on the go for light gaming (the battery is only good for about 1.5hr on full speed), and then bring it home to a nice cooling solution and or external GPU to enjoy lots of binge gaming sessions worry free.