Date Joined: 01/21/04
Pros: Comes in at a very Competitive price
C/W two near-silent fans
Tempered glass panel
Magnetic dust filters covering all intakes
Ample positions for all sorts of radiators
HDD drive bays don't need tools
5 x 2.5" capacity
Water cooling mounts
Huge amounts of space behind the mobo wall for cable routing
2x USB 3.0 on front panel
Looks pretty good.
Cons: This is not a specific con to this particular case but about black cases generally, black case, black motherboard, black screws... in a confined dark space... makes the simplest task for those of us with restricted eyesight somewhat challenging.
Build quality was perhaps not the best, some sharp edges here and there and some sloppy riveting. Also the materials were a little bendy. Not nearly as bad as some cases I've dealt with in the past but the bendability is there and the case once put together in its final setup did flex slightly.
2x USB 2.0 on front panel... really can we not just dump this or stick them around back where they belong.
Removing/reattaching the front panel is a bit fraught as there is a possibility of breaking the retention tabs.
Overall Review: As far as the build was concerned this was a fairly painless exercise, apart from a single knuckle slice.
AMD Ryzen 5 1600
ASRock Fatal1ty AB350 Gaming K4,
PNY Geforce GTX1060 6GB,
32 GB (4x8GB) DDR4 Team T-Force Night Hawk RGB 3200,
Seagate IronWolf 14TB HDD.
This was a rehousing of an established system from an old (about 10 years IIRC) and fairly ugly NZXT case. Once installed and running the case fans were hardly audible and seemed to be doing a fairly stand job. The black interior was doing little for the RGB DDR4 but to be honest not a big deal for me.
For the price band a good case, a few flaws here and there certainly not the best but good nonetheless.
Pros: Very light
Good Battery Life
Upgradeable in terms of memory, HDD/SSD (spare 2.5" slot). M2 SSD is upgradeable to a larger capacity also.
Games will run fairly well, World of warships will run comfortably at high settings, 1080 with 35-40 fps.
The size of the power brick is very surprising, I have old phone chargers that are larger!
Cons: Numpad is non standard in terms of size, if you're a numpad user then this may cause you some issues. I'm not so it didn't.
The color, not to my taste but to be honest not a deal breaker at this price.
Thinking about opening the case will cause fingerprints to spontaneously appear everywhere!
The charger while small is of the right size and orientation to mess up other outlet access on some power bars.
Trackpad is tricky, at least for me.
Overall Review: I recently purchased a new laptop after my trusty HP Envy 15 decided that its hinges had opened too many times and completely disintegrated on me. I eventually bought an Asus TUF FX505 which is a fair bit higher spec than this Vivobook. Having said that, for almost 90% of my usage I would have been able to have gone with the Vivobook and saved myself circa 550 samolians, shhh don't tell the wife. It does all of the things snappily and competently that my TUF will do, the only difference being the gaming performance, which is why I bought the TUF in the first place. The Vivobook will run most games but only at low to medium settings, high settings for less demanding ones. Using Steam with in home streaming went very well as a work around to this but really the Vivobook is not designed or meant as a gaming notebook. As a general purpose work machine for document generation, internet browsing, email, media consumption it really punches the ticket.
Now for some specifics:-
The out of the box setup was smooth and without issue, no driver problems and once the bloatware and the ever present, nagging and utterly irritating Mcafee was removed this was a very pleasant experience.
As an eczema sufferer I have a hate hate relationship with fingerprint readers, my fingers frequently have outbreaks that mess with the readers ability to id me. The reader on the Vivobook has given me less trouble than the one on my old HP.
The trackpad is a bit iffy in my opinion but this may be due to me me being so used to HP's trackpads as I have similar problems on my TUF and I'm sure it will get better as I become acclimated to its tricks. I do wish that it had it's own drivers rather than rely on the built in Windows 10 ones as these, in my experience, are not as customizable as manufacturers ones.
Sound is OK but like a lot of notebooks it seems to be of limited volume, as a person who doesn't like headphones this is an irritation that most notebooks give me.
Wifi is good, and Intel! I have had problems on other machines that have Realtek Wifi adapters with the adapter disappearing completely when the notebook is woken up from sleep/hibernation, not an issue with Intel ones.
Bluetooth response is great although I had problems connecting to a Rosewill Bluetooth 2.1 speaker system, but this was more due to the versions of Bluetooth on the speakers and the age of them I believe.
User Benchmark (easy quick and dirty BM) rates it as a Destroyer as a desktop, with its gaming and workstation performance taking significant hits from the Graphics and Memory. The Graphics hit is understandable, the Intel UUHD 620 is a major improvement on past Intel integrated graphics cards but is still not designed for high games performance. The Memory hit is down to single channel mode I believe, addition of a second 8GB stick will improve this and currently is a very affordable upgrade.
Overall this is a great workaday notebook, it will fit very comfortably in terms of size and weight in a briefcase/backpack and for those that need computer access without AC power it will give a good number of hours of use. If you are looking for something to play heavy duty games, look elsewhere and prepare your wallet! For its price point, design (apart from the color), and workaday performance I give this 5 eggs, none of the cons I've listed above are serious enough for me to give a lower rating.
Pros: Looks good, no sharp edges and for a low cost case it is fairly robust.
Cons: Front fan cable came disconnect, at some point the plug, presumably the molex shared with the front panel LEDs got torn off the fan cable. The top mounted USB ports are very finicky, they make intermittent connections with any USB device plugged into them.
Overall Review: As a budget case it works well, but don't expect too much of it. The PSU section is extremely tight, if you are using a modular PSU you really have to mount the cables before you install the PSU in the case making sure you leave empty sockets close to the open side of the PSU mounting area. Cable management is also pretty tight as there really isn't a lot of space on the underside of the mobo plate. The only other issue is the manual, as it is it provides no instructions as to how to mount HDD or indeed any detail on SSD mounting. The blackness inside this case is total! Black mobo, Black memory modules, Black GPU, Black SSD, Black PCIe WiFI adapter, all in a very Black case mean that an angle poise lamp is a must during the build!
Overall Review: Absolutely no issues, straightforward build, first time post. A bit memory finicky but most Ryzen boards are.
Overall Review: Excellent as a boot and game storage drive, throughput isn't quite up to the quoted numbers but they never are.
Overall Review: Fast, smooth and cool!
Overall Review: Installed with no problems running games smoothly on a Ryzen 5 2600 system.
Pros: Very reasonable price.
Overall Review: Works with no difficulty.
Pros: Nice keyboard action, with RGB if you're into that sort of thing.
The overall buil quality and looks are very good, the base and lid have the desired level of rigidity and I don't feel nervous about closing or opening the lid.
Minimal crapware installed.
I play relatively low impact games, World of Warships with everything maxxed out was getting consistent 72 fps at 1080.
After running World of Warships for an hour at max settings the keyboard was barely warm, on my old 4700mq Envy it would have been hot enough the coddle eggs.
Wifi card is excellent.
BT is also very good.
Cons: Sound at maximum volume is really not that loud.
Touchpad is a bit noisy, I guess I'm used to one that doesn't actually move that much when clicked.
Power brick gets very warm.
Overall Review: I've been looking at a new laptop for quite a while, my old one was getting, well old. Still perfectly functional but beginning to show signs of its age (6 years old). The hinge on the lid completely disintegrated last week, opening the laptop became a kind of Russian Roulette, will it work or just completely die this time? This crystallized my desire into a need for a new laptop immediately. I had toyed with a i7 8750 or even an 9750 but the reports of their thermals and the throttling that ensues put me off. So I looked at some i5 8300h machines and eventually the Ryzen based machines. This one caught my eye because it was fully specced to what I wanted without me having to add stuff almost as soon as I got it. Overall a very good purchase on my behalf, hopefully I will be saying the same in 5 years time.
Pros: Huge Storage Capacity
Noise or actually lack thereof.
Speed, for spinning rust this is a really fast drive.
Rescue Recovery available upon registration for the first 2 years of the drive's life.
Price per GB is ridiculously low (3.57c per Gigabyte)
Cons: This isn't really a drive specific con but one for all huge capacity drives. My major worry with drives of this sort of mind blowing capacity is what happens when one of them fails. 14TB of data is an awful lot of material that is going to have to be recovered in one way or another. It essentially means that whatever your financial cost in terms of drives it is going to be at the most doubled, depending on your method of backup, to make sure that the unthinkable doesn't happen.
Overall Review: You will have to check the hardware that you connect this to very carefully in terms of compatibility. Most modern Hardware will accept 8TB drives without a problem, some manufacturers are posting info on these higher capacity drives on their websites with reference to their suitability. I was fortunate in that a couple of the devices I use, while not stated as being compatible anywhere, actually had no problem with the drive. My Mediasonic PRORAID doesn't at the moment support it although support is promised in a future firmware update. My Kingwin (yeah I know) external dual dock quite happily took the drive and didn't blink an eye returning read and writes of 220 and 210 MB/s over USB 3.0, the dock leaves the drive open to the environment and so any noise emanating from it could be quite clearly heard, not a squeak was heard. I used this to partition the drive into 4 equal partitions and then mounted it in my media server (i7 4700, gtx 970, 16GB, 32 TB in two mirrored external 4x4 arrays).and used it to backup my external tanks, there is a slight discrepancy in size (16TB v 14TB) but the free space on these drives allowed me to backup the data from 4x4TB to the 4x3.5 TB partitions. Set FreeFileSync running and checked in on it the following day. Backup completed faultlessly with the transfer speed being limited by the USB 3.0 connection between the server and the external tanks at 150 MB/s. Very satisfied, no hesitation in recommending this drive, while the cost outlay is large, it can only become less as time goes on... usually!
Pros: Excellent compact packaging,
6 port control hub for future additional fans,
up to 12 fans can be controlled via the Lighting Node,
up to 8 addressable LED strips can be controlled from the Node.
Power can be derived direct from PSU.
Cons: Hub is not compatible with any other manufacturer’s fans,
fans are pretty but not so great at shifting air and will be great as case fans but not so much for radiators.
Overall Review: I installed this kit in my mean:it 4PM case on a Ryzen 1600, Asrock AB350 Gaming K4, GTX 1060 build. This case has 4 front fans which in this model are red behind smoked plate glass. I used the three fans in this kit as exhaust fans on top (2) and rear (1). The build before the installation was well cooled and had internal red LED lighting. Addition of the RGB fans has changed its look entirely and case temperatures are slightly lower which with the addition of 3 exhaust fans you would expect to be the case. The hardware installation was pretty uneventful although cable routing, as always with this cube case, was a bit finicky. Once installed and the cables setup to my satisfaction I booted the system and proceeded to install the Corsair driver software which then required the PC to be rebooted once installation was complete. The software was typically Corsair, by that I mean their logic is not mine and it took me a while to figure out its foibles. Having to set up each fan individually was a bit of a chore, should be some means available to do groups or all fans at once. Once sorted out though it was very pleasing to use. Best feature? I think for high performance or overclocked builds the ability to link the temperature of the system to the fan color is a great idea, not applicable for my particular setup but a neat idea. The price is a bit hefty for 3 fans, however, these are good quality and so far reliable, they may not be the most effective in terms of CFM but they are, in the words of my Grandson, “Sick!”, which he assures me is a very good thing. I suspect I’ll be replacing my red LED strips with some addressable RGB ones in the future, as to the front facing four red LED fans on this case, I suspect they will stay as they are for two reasons 1) there is such a thing as too much RGB 2) there is such a thing as too much $ spent on RGB. This kit delivers all that it says and then some, on that basis I give it 5 eggs.
Pros: Integrated PSU: one less wall wart taking up space on the extension cord.
Tool Less mounting
Cons: None as yet, although they might want to let us into the secret of the DIP switches on the back panel, it can be googled but it really should be included in the box.
Adding to this review in 4 months after purchase. One of the bays has failed. Drive is fine but no drive plugged into the bay will even power up.
Overall Review: Downegged to 1 egg after 4 months a bay failed.
One of my 4TB media drives failed in my previous housing in the exact same bay that a previous one had done a few months ago. May have been a coincidence, maybe not, either way that enclosure is now on its way to the dump. This one was pretty much foolproof in setup and connection.
Pros: Relatively simple to install,
More than a match for the stock Ryzen Wraith cooler.
Cons: None as yet!
Overall Review: Install in an existing system could have been a bit of a headache but fortunately my Ryzen system is in a case that has a fairly large access port underneath the motherboard so I didn't have to extract the motherboard from the case. I'm very much a believer of if it ain't broke don't fix it and if the access port hadn't been there this would have been put in a somewhat lowlier system. However, once installed it didn't disappoint, cooler temps, like 15C cooler under load, with the added benefit of sick (that's what my youngest grandchild said) LED effects. It is also quieter than my Wraith was, not in idle as the Wraith is pretty silent but under load the difference is definitely perceptible. All in all a very good cooler with great aesthetics.
Pros: Straight forward and fairly intuitive interface.
Good power output
Cons: Only quibble is that the wal wart is huge!
Overall Review: I've always had pretty good luck with non mainstream router manufacturers, not so much with the headliners. This Tenda is shaping up pretty well, I believe it is DD WRT compatible and I may dip my toes in there.
Pros: They screw in and can be removed with a screwdriver! I received an SSD that didn't come with a retaining screw so I had to buy these.
Pros: Fast, very fast
Cons: No retaining screw!
I had to order some separately, seriously this thing is not usable without a retaining screw and these screws are 1) very tiny and 2) not used for anything else in my computer.
Overall Review: 1GB test on AS SSD Benchmark gave the following numbers
Seq 4K R:2518.82 MB/s W:1120.75 MB/s
4K R:54.14 MB/s W:105.77 MB/s
4k-64 Thrd R:784.14 MB/s W:941.97 MB/s
Acc. Time R:0.046 ms W:0.036 ms
Score R:1090 W:1160
Pros: Don't attempt to connect directly with your eardrum, sit nicely in you ear while being supported by the ear clips. Good sound with no leakage to disturb anyone sitting next to you. I use them mostly in bed and they are comfortable to lie on one side with, my ear on the side I'm lying on doesn't get irritated or sore. Overall much much better than the in ear pnes they replaced.
Pros: Nicely fitted for my hand size
Adjustable finger rest
Cons: Lighting Setup Software
Limited lighting effects
Price point is a little high for the features available
Overall Review: As a simple mouse the Hades M1 is pretty good, tight tracking, easy surface movement, good hand fit. It works well out of the box with wireless and USB connections. The incorporation of 4x 5g removable weights is great, I use the mouse with all of them removed. Meeces are very personal things though and what works for me wont for you. The exchangeable finger rest is also a neat touch, again to allow individual customization for optimal usage rather than just prettification. RGB lights, well they are there and you can change how they appear but the Hera software is less friendly and less intuitive than CUE. In fact installing the Hera software and getting it to work is a challenge in itself. I found the best option was to load the stand alone version as once the lighting is setup it no longer needs the software. Hera 2.8.2 portable in case you have issues. The range of effects within Hera, given the price point of this mouse, is somewhat disappointing and if RGB is important to you it may be better for your bling to look at other mice. Given all these points I feel giving 4 eggs would be misleading and so 3 eggs for this item.
Overall Review: A lot smaller than the 4TB drive it replaced, even in the space of 4 years technology marches on.
Pros: It's small, but perfectly formed.
It hits very nice transfer speeds, see other thoughts.
Extremely pocketable, see cons.
Faultless operation with numerous devices running different OS's, see other thoughts.
Cons: Extremely pocketable, see other thoughts!
I've got nothing!
Oh the warranty is a bit on the short side, but then the chances of an external hard drive having a catastrophic failure is fairly high, so rather than being used as a backup I tend to use this one as a transport.
Overall Review: The pocketable thing is a double edged sword, in terms of convenience this little drive will fit happily in your pants pocket along with its fairly short cable (is that a con?). This also means that it will fit quite conveniently in someone else's pocket also so not a device that you want to be lying around in a high traffic area. The pocketability may also be a factor in its short warranty, lets face it how may of us regularly carry Hard drives in our pockets. In terms of size. speed and capacity this Toshiba Canvio deserves 5 eggs.
Pros: Large storage available, relatively simple setup, easily accessible from a myriad of wired/wireless devices, Plex server.
Cons: Cannot be accessed without the WD Discovery client / My Home app on your device.
WD Discovery is irritating on a PC.
Drive cannot be mapped without the WD Discovery client.
Drive transfer speeds across a gigabit network are slow.
Overall Review: I have a lot of external storage, being a computer literate near 60 year old man I have accumulated a lot of digital material over the last 35 years or so of using PCs, consequently I use 2 external 16TB drive tanks, one being the mirror of the other. The My Cloud Home I thought would be a welcome addition. For me this is not the case, while it is not horrible it needs to have some things done to its interface to make me love it. I'm going to talk most about the PC interface as to be honest that's what I use most, I have a host of other devices (android, iOS) and they all connected fine with their respective apps. Plex also worked although my own Plex server worked with better resolution and less issues using the same files. My biggest issue, and it's one that may not affect you if you are not used to mapping shared drives over your home network, is the WD discovery client and the need to have it running all the time. I'm old school I don't like software running in the background eating my resources and sitting in my system tray waiting for the one time that month I'm going to use it. WD need to make the client optional with a driver that will allow the drive to be mounted as a share within windows, or any other OS for that matter. I also really don't want yet another piece of software giving me notifications. The idea that I need to sign up to an account with WD to actually use this device and access my data is also an irritant. My other issue is the file transfer speed over the wired network connection, I'm used to transfer speeds of at least 50MB/s with peaks of 75-80 MB/s the best I saw with this device was 50. This adds significantly to the transfer time of of files especially when you consider how long it would take to fill the 3TB from scratch. I did a test run with 50GB of music files, a bit unfair as most of these were in the 3-6 MB range and I realize transfer speeds reduce as file size get smaller due to the increased overhead, but the transfer rate dropped down to 25 MB/s and this meant the transfer took nearly an hour. Multiply that by 60 and that would be the time required to copy 3TB.
In conclusion, the My Cloud Home does what it says, I personally don't think that it does what it should. I can see a market for this but it will be with those that don't know how to map shared drives or setup their own NAS, so quite a large market in my experience. If you're at all tech savvy then I think the WD My Cloud Home is going to irritate, purely on the basis of what could have been. I thought about giving 3 eggs for this but that would be unfair as the item does deliver just not as much as I expected, and that is the fault of my expectation rather than the device. I'm not going to be that guy who rates a device on what it can't do. So for me personally I'll give it 4 eggs.
Pros: Bright and stable
Cons: fasteners are junk
6 months later 3 LEDS on one of the sticks I ordered have failed.
Pros: Flashy RGB.
Hotkey lighting sequence changing.
Mobile software option.
Overall Review: This is not a terrible keyboard, but then it's not going to set the world on fire either. Consequently its non sale price is hard to swallow. I removed a Rii keyboard from my main system and put this one in its place, the Rii is not software configurable and can only switch between 3 backlighting colors.The Gamdias demolishes that allowing 6 different lighting modes in 6 zones. Next the fun bit, installing the software. Downloading the software was problematical, there was a hint somewhere that Chrome for some reason had issues downloading files from the FTP server. It did, files that were downloaded were either curtailed or corrupted and essentially didn't install. I tried Firefox, Edge and even Internet Explorer with pretty much the same results. I even tried using an FTP client to directly access the server... no go. Eventually I contacted Gamdias asking for access to the software via some other means. With 12 hours I got a reply from Gamdias with a googledrive link to an installer, and this one worked. The Hera software is very flashy but to be honest not very user friendly, Corsair's CUE 2 is even less friendly if that's any consolation, the good thing here though is that once you have setup the lighting you want and have uploaded it to the keyboard you don't have to have Hera running in the background. There is also a mobile version that allows you to use the software without a full installation. In day to day use it is a nice keyboard and certainly not unpleasant to use, however, my Rii is back in its pride of place but my wife has claimed the Gamdias as she likes the lighting effects.
If you are having issues with the software contact Gamdias directly they do seem to be quite responsive.
I'd say all of these are a good match for the price of this headset.
Cons: Lack of a single plug adapter for use with a gaming laptop is a pain.
In line volume and mic control seem a bit fragile and I wonder as to their longevity
Overall Review: The fit, while good on my rather large head, is such that prolonged use left me with marks on my head. I'm bald so that is probably a factor. Sound quality is more than acceptable for casual gaming and the mic is fine for this and also for using Skype and suchlike. The complete black of the headset, absolutely everything is black, is a bit of a bother if your eyesight is not too hot especially when deciding which 3.5 mm jack is which. If you are looking for a workaday headset for a couple of hours per day gaming at a reasonable price then I wouldn't hesitate recommending these. If your involvement is more than this then I would suggest you shell out some more green and get something with a higher spec and comfort level.
Pros: Cools well and great dehumidification.
Cons: None as yet.