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Lance W.

Lance W.

Joined on 04/20/02

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Most Favorable Review

Might be the best 4k monitor on the market right now

LG 27UD68P-B 27" FreeSync IPS LED Monitor 4K UHD 3840 x 2160 16:9 Widescreen On-Screen Control with Screen Split Game Mode & Black Stabilizer, VESA Mountable
LG 27UD68P-B 27" FreeSync IPS LED Monitor 4K UHD 3840 x 2160 16:9 Widescreen On-Screen Control with Screen Split Game Mode & Black Stabilizer, VESA Mountable

Pros: - No dead pixels - Extremely bright screen - Extremely deep and accurate colors, great black levels - 60Hz. at 4k using HDMI with Deep Color Ultra HD enabled (see note in Other section!) - Beautiful finish, high quality materials - 90 degree swivel between portrait and landscape modes - AMD FreeSync compatible - Multiple gaming modes and various enhancements to make games look as good as they can

Cons: - Uses an external AC adapter (power brick) - Clunky OSD, takes some getting used to - Need to enable a special mode to run at 60Hz. - Bezel is a little thicker than the images portray (but not very large at all) - No DVI input (HDMI and DisplayPort only!)

Overall Review: I've been using this monitor as my primary screen for a few weeks now, and I have to say I absolutely love it. This replaced a high-end 120Hz. 1080p screen from Asus, which ended up becoming monitor 2 in a 3 monitor setup. I had some trouble at first getting the monitor to run at 60Hz, finally discovering, buried in the back of the owners manual (PDF only, of course!) that you need to enable Deep Color Ultra HD in the Video settings of the main menu. Once you do that, and use the provided monitor driver (fully Windows 10 compatible) you can run 4K at 60Hz over HDMI. I spent a number of hours playing Overwatch at 4K on this screen and I am absolutely blown away. With my GTX770 the game ran at 70fps with all High settings and the monitor never seemed to hiccup. I was really worried that going from ultra-smooth 120Hz at 1080p down to 60Hz at 4K would cause some issues, but I was pretty much used to it after a few minutes. I ran into some issues with display scaling between this 4K monitor at 150% and my 2 1080p screens at 100%, but it just takes some getting used to the way you need to move windows between them and it won't bother you. This is more of a Windows 10 issue than an issue with the display, itself. I found the packaging of the monitor was extremely good, it arrived with no defects, scratches, or dead pixels. Lots of static cling protection to peel off for those of you into that (I'm into that). The stand was more than enough to support the weight of the screen, and only took a few minutes to assemble. Really the only true issues I have with this monitor are the external AC adapter (probably to make the screen thinner, which it is EXTREMELY thin!) and the lack of a DVI connection, but you can easily use a DVI to HDMI adapter if you need to. It's pretty rare for me, but I'm giving this monitor 5/5 Eggs. I can't really fault LG enough to remove an Egg for the lack of DVI and the whole AC adapter thing - everything else just takes a little getting used to. Honestly, for a monitor of this quality, I'll gladly sacrifice a little initial frustration for the benefits it gives me.

Most Critical Review

Good fan but LOUD

MASSCOOL 9025B1M3/4 90mm Case Cooling Fan
MASSCOOL 9025B1M3/4 90mm Case Cooling Fan

Pros: This fan moves a ton of air. Came with a nicely wrapped power cable, rare at this price point.

Cons: LOUD! Much louder than anticipated. They claim 34 dB, seemed a LOT louder than that in my media center.

Overall Review: This would be a fine fan for a desktop computer, however this was going to go in my media center and the noise this thing created was so distracting, I ended up having to remove it and just deal with higher temps. The fan in my case now is rated at 32 dB, apparently a 2 dB difference is pretty drastic - keep your application in mind when purchasing!

Very fast NVME SSD, but not the fastest

Crucial P3 Plus 2TB PCIe 4.0 3D NAND NVMe M.2 SSD, up to 5000MB/s - CT2000P3PSSD8
Crucial P3 Plus 2TB PCIe 4.0 3D NAND NVMe M.2 SSD, up to 5000MB/s - CT2000P3PSSD8

Pros: + includes the NVME retention screw! (very few NVME SSD's actually include one!) + good performance for the money + slight performance bump applying the Micron NVME drivers in Windows 10 + very little power draw, doesn't get too hot under loads + capacity up to 4TB

Cons: - not quite as fast as some other "high end" NVME drives - out of box performance was a little lackluster, Micron NVME driver install helped (available on Crucial's support page for the P3 Plus drives) - love that Crucial includes the NVME retention screw, however you will have a slight heart attack when you hear it rattling around thinking your new SSD is multiple pieces, rest assured it's just the screw

Overall Review: There's a lot of competition in this segment these days, but Crucial has delivered a great mainstream drive with near-high-end speeds. Installation was a breeze, stock Windows 10 picked it up with no issues. Baseline speeds out of the box were a little low, but installing the Micron NVME drivers brought things back to more reasonable PCIe4 speeds. The Corsair MP600 Pro XT is still the performance king in my rig, but this Crucial is right behind it. Overall, I'm giving the Crucial P3 Plus 2TB 4/5 eggs - only subtracting one egg for the slight dip in performance out of the box, and even with the Micron drivers it still falls a little behind the Corsair - but still a great drive and worth adding to your short list for your PC or console. System tested: AMD Ryzen 7 5800X Gigabyte AORUS X570S Pro AX Windows 10 Pro 21H2 Crucial 2TB P3 Plus: Sequential Read (Q= 32,T= 1) : 4898.876 MB/s Sequential Write (Q= 32,T= 1) : 4357.203 MB/s Random Read 4KiB (Q= 8,T= 8) : 1518.377 MB/s [ 370697.5 IOPS] Random Write 4KiB (Q= 8,T= 8) : 2307.306 MB/s [ 563307.1 IOPS] Random Read 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 701.467 MB/s [ 171256.6 IOPS] Random Write 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 561.713 MB/s [ 137137.0 IOPS] Random Read 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 58.701 MB/s [ 14331.3 IOPS] Random Write 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 225.909 MB/s [ 55153.6 IOPS] Test : 1024 MiB [H: 0.0% (0.2/1863.0 GiB)] (x5) [Interval=5 sec] Date : 2022/10/06 16:21:02 OS : Windows 10 Professional [10.0 Build 19044] (x64) Corsair 2TB MP600 Pro XT: Sequential Read (Q= 32,T= 1) : 6482.681 MB/s Sequential Write (Q= 32,T= 1) : 5908.762 MB/s Random Read 4KiB (Q= 8,T= 8) : 2469.929 MB/s [ 603010.0 IOPS] Random Write 4KiB (Q= 8,T= 8) : 2801.845 MB/s [ 684044.2 IOPS] Random Read 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 694.596 MB/s [ 169579.1 IOPS] Random Write 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 645.597 MB/s [ 157616.5 IOPS] Random Read 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 79.646 MB/s [ 19444.8 IOPS] Random Write 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 235.841 MB/s [ 57578.4 IOPS] Test : 1024 MiB [D: 4.6% (86.6/1863.0 GiB)] (x5) [Interval=5 sec] Date : 2022/07/19 14:56:43 OS : Windows 10 Professional [10.0 Build 19044] (x64) Samsung 500GB 980 Pro: Sequential Read (Q= 32,T= 1) : 6847.740 MB/s Sequential Write (Q= 32,T= 1) : 5036.230 MB/s Random Read 4KiB (Q= 8,T= 8) : 2429.044 MB/s [ 593028.3 IOPS] Random Write 4KiB (Q= 8,T= 8) : 2362.309 MB/s [ 576735.6 IOPS] Random Read 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 561.356 MB/s [ 137049.8 IOPS] Random Write 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 454.026 MB/s [ 110846.2 IOPS] Random Read 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 85.501 MB/s [ 20874.3 IOPS] Random Write 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 206.427 MB/s [ 50397.2 IOPS] Test : 1024 MiB [C: 13.1% (61.0/465.1 GiB)] (x5) [Interval=5 sec] Date : 2022/07/19 14:51:18 OS : Windows 10 Professional [10.0 Build 19044] (x64)

10/14/2022

Incredible Upgrade from a 3.5" SATA SSD

Corsair MP600 PRO XT M.2 2280 2TB PCI-Express 4.0 x4 NVMe 1.4 3D TLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) CSSD-F2000GBMP600PXT
Corsair MP600 PRO XT M.2 2280 2TB PCI-Express 4.0 x4 NVMe 1.4 3D TLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) CSSD-F2000GBMP600PXT

Pros: + insanely fast read/write speeds + very high IOPS even compared to RAID SSD's + tons of storage + very easy to install + great heat dissipation + looks awesome

Cons: - no RGB - seriously, that's it... if it had RGB this would be a 6/5 - oh, wait - it's not free

Overall Review: What can you even say about this drive? It's 2TB worth of some of the fastest silicon on the market. I'm at a bit of a disadvantage in that my main PC is an X79 Socket 2011 system, so no built in NVMe support... but even with a PCIe x4 card I was still able to pull ridiculously fast speeds off this drive. The synthetic benchmarks only tell part of the story - yeah, it's 6x faster than SATAIII SSD's in a RAID0 array - but the big change is loads times - from start to character selection in Destiny 2 I went from 2:09.74 down to 1:18.69 - it cut load times in half. FPS didn't really change much, but I'm limited by my CPU there (i7-4820k). I know if I had full PCIe4 NVMe support this thing would probably cut that down by another half, at least. This will 100% by my next boot drive, as soon as I finally decide to update. Buy this drive. 5/5 eggs, no questions asked.

Great Powerline Extender

devolo Magic 2 WiFi next Starter Kit
devolo Magic 2 WiFi next Starter Kit

Pros: - Great wifi signal over power for dead zones - Speed was pretty good for a powerline adapater - Setup was pretty easy, plug and play - Outlet passthrough on both devices - Dual gigabit ethernet ports for wired connectivity

Cons: - Speeds not quite as advertised - Pairing took a little while and required a few device restarts - Range on the wifi network isn't great, and fall off is pretty drastic even with line of sight to device - App isn't the most intuitive compared competitors, but it gets the job done - Supplied documentation is pretty lacking (basically just a getting started pamplet)

Overall Review: I've spent about a month using the Magic 2 as my wifi extender in my garage, which usually is a complete wifi dead zone with my Netgear Nighthawk Mesh wifi. It wasn't feasible to run an ethernet cable, so this solved a lot of problems. I have a few Wyze cameras connected to the wifi network, and they've been pretty stable - with a little under 100mbps to work with, it's not the 2gbps rocket ship they advertise - but devices on the same wifi network show anywhere from 400-800mbps connections, with actual transfer speeds varying depending on their distance from the adapter. Using the powerline network as the backhaul obviously puts a big dent in your speeds, but having the flexibility to extend your home network without having to run cable is a great option. I should note, I didn't notice any impact on devices plugged into the outlets the Magic 2 was on - some powerline adapters will cause odd things to happen, especially to lights or audio devices - nothing to note here. Overall, I'm very happy with the Magic 2 as a powerline adapter - don't think it would replace my existing mesh wifi system, but if you're looking for a powerline network adapter - definitely make sure this is on your short list.

Another Great Mid-range Corsair Power Supply, Mostly

CORSAIR RMx Series (2021) RM750x CP-9020199-NA 750 W ATX12V / EPS12V 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Full Modular Power Supply
CORSAIR RMx Series (2021) RM750x CP-9020199-NA 750 W ATX12V / EPS12V 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Full Modular Power Supply

Pros: + 750 watts, 80 Plus efficiency + High end, Japanese capacitors + Fully modular + Beefy 62.5 amp 12 volt rail + Zero RPM fan mode up to about 300 watts + Fan is virtually silent even full load + 10 year Corsair warranty (one of the best out there)

Cons: - Only the 24 pin, 8 pin CPU, and 8-pin PCIe cables are braided - all others are flat plastic - Accessories ship in plastic bags vs. the nice nylon velcro bags Corsair used to use - Auto switching 100-240v might be an issue for some people (no selector) - No fan test button - difficult to troubleshoot POST issues with zero RPM fan mode at idle

Overall Review: What can be said about the RMx series? This is another solid mid-range entry from Corsair that's sure to last the life of your PC. If not, it's backed by one of the best warranty's in the business. No issues getting up and running in a few minutes, cables were strong, but flexible. I'm still a little annoyed Corsair doesn't include all braided cables, but those are easy enough to replace if you want to go for that super-clean look. The power supply fired up and performed perfectly at idle and under load, no issues with whining caps, noise in the power line, or other issues some mid-range PSU's tend to exhibit. If Corsair built this thing to a price point, it certainly doesn't show. Bottom line, if I could give an extra half Egg to the RM-750x, I absolutely would - it's only faulted by a few nit-picky issues and stuff we're somewhat used to at this price point. I subtracted one Egg for the lack of all braided cables, and the lack of that fan test button which, in my opinion, should be mandatory for any PSU with a zero RPM fan mode! At the end of the day this PSU breathed new life into an old HTPC for me, and the PSU will likely out-last all of the components in the machine.

10/19/2021