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Steve F.

Steve F.

Joined on 06/27/05

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Most Favorable Review

A great laptop for the money

ASUS FX705GM-NH74 17.3" IPS Intel Core i7 8th Gen 8750H NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 16 GB Memory 256 GB SSD 1 TB HDD Windows 10 Home 64-Bit Gaming Laptop -- ONLY @ NEWEGG
ASUS FX705GM-NH74 17.3" IPS Intel Core i7 8th Gen 8750H NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 16 GB Memory 256 GB SSD 1 TB HDD Windows 10 Home 64-Bit Gaming Laptop -- ONLY @ NEWEGG

Pros: This is definitely a fast laptop. With the NVMe boot disk, it boots in about 6 seconds, and boasts impressive transfer rates (benchmarks below). The installed module is WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-256G-1002. The display is beautiful and had no dead pixels or imperfections. It is limited to 48 or 60Hz, however. With the addition of the GTX 1060, this laptop will handily run any modern game with at least acceptable settings, and many with max settings (benchmarks below). A single 16GB memory module is installed leaving the second slot open for future expansion. The installed module is Samsung model M471A2K43CB1-CTD DDR4 2666 / PC421300 2Rx8. A 1TB mechanical hard drive is also included (TOSHIBA model MQ04ABF100). A full size HDMI port as well as a a full size Ethernet jack are included, so no adapters are needed. The CPU is a little faster than advertised: 2.21 GHz / 4.12GHz turbo. An extra large 180W power brick is included and it comes with a region specific power cord, allowing you to easily travel with it. The battery (model B41N1711) is rated at 64Wh or 4240mAh. It is replaceable and is currently available directly from ASUS for $100, or from other sites for $50-$75.

Cons: It is clear that ASUS was trying to hit a price point with this laptop while still trying to include everything in the Pros above. Unfortunately, they sacrificed some options and some quality to do this. The included NVMe drive is only 256GB. The actual model installed is available here at Newegg for $55, as is the 512GB version for $78. I don't think I am alone when I say I would gladly pay an extra $23 to double the size of the C drive. The included NVMe drive also appears to use QLC NAND (the least expensive, with the worst endurance). Western Digitial reports that this device has an endurance of only 200 TWB (terabytes written), so be sure to download and install the Western Digital SSD Dashboard from WD's web site so you can monitor it. It's a little tricky to find and since Newegg won't let me post a link, I'll walk you through WD's puzzle box: Go to their main page and click support in the upper right. Then click the dark blue WD logo. Next, scroll down to "Top Downloads" and click "All Downloads." The SSD Dashboard will be at the bottom of the Software for Windows list. There doesn't appear to be a Mac version. The included secondary storage is a 1TB 5200 RPM hard drive. Had this hard drive simply been left out, its $50 cost (again, right here at Newegg) could have been applied to upgrading the NVMe, leaving the disk slot open for the buyer to install an SSD later. It would also completely eliminate the need to handle this laptop with "Durable MIL-STD-810 military standard construction" with kid gloves because it would no longer contain a fragile mechanical hard drive. Glaringly missing from this laptop is a USB-C port, which is standard on pretty much everything these days. They could easily have used the space taken by the 19 year-old USB 2.0 port that they did include, and you would get the added benefit of not having to guess which is the 2.0 and which are the 3.0 ports. Yes, the 2.0 and 3.0 ports are labelled, but only with slightly raised letters in the plastic case, so unless the light is perfect, you can't read them. Also missing is an SD card reader. ASUS seems to believe that gamers don't know where the W-A-S-D keys are, so to help us out, they put clear key caps on those keys. And they look terrible. While chatting with ASUS tech support, I asked if they sold matching black keys to replace them since they weren't included. Nope. As a matter of fact, I was told they don't sell any key caps at all, so hopefully you don't break or lose any, or you will be searching the internet and hoping for the best. This is a old-style chiclet keyboard, and the keys are pretty spongy. I expect to get used to it, but with the falling cost of mechanical keyboards and their far superior performance and feel, it sure would have been a nice addition. The trackpad is extremely sensitive, even with the sensitivity set to the minimum. It is also designed to be clicked. Yes, that's right, you can push anywhere on the trackpad and get a left click. While this seems like a neat idea, it makes the whole trackpad feel unstable as it wobbles around while you use it. I can't see how you could possible use this while gaming, so I suspect most people will just turn it off, but for non-gaming use, it's a disapointment. The speakers are terrible. They artificially boost the higher frequencies and have absolutely no base whatsoever. Dolby 5.1 and 7.1 are supported by this laptop, but only by using the HDMI output. I did confirm that you can connect the HDMI port to a home theater amplifier for high quality audio and still use the laptop display. Obviously, exporting the audio and video also works. There are 2 fans. The left fan exhausts out the back, but the right fan exhausts out the right side, cooking your hand if you are right handed and using a mouse. The right-side exhaust was at 60C (140F) after only a few minutes of running the 3D benchmarks. The air intake for both fans is on the bottom of the laptop and the rubber feet are only 2.5mm tall, so don't put this laptop on anything except a hard surface. Also, be warned that the bottom of the laptop gets very hot, as does the surface it is on. Thers is a lot of junk pre-installed, from McAfee nagware to games like Candy Crush, to a trial version of Microsoft Office, to adware from ASUS. Some of it, like the Office trial, can't even be uninstalled.

Overall Review: It is worth noting that while using this laptop, another computer on my network flagged a port scan coming from this ASUS laptop. It tried exploiting ports for telnet, ftp, print spooler, ssh, and web, as well as unnamed ports: 515, 545, and 9100. Not sure what that was all about, how many other devices on my network were scanned, or what it was trying to do. - Thanks Robert D., for sharing how to change the RGB backlighting. My web searches yielded nothing, and even the tech support person from ASUS live-chat insisted it couldn't be done. Tuf Aura Core did it. The options are very limited, but at least there is more than the default color cycle. - Time for some benchmarks. Note that all measurements were taken while plugged into AC power and the laptop was allowed to cool between tests. Using the built-in gigabit Ethernet port, I was easily able to saturated the connection, with reads and writes from my NAS running at nearly 120MB/s (~1 Gbps). After switching to the built-in wireless AC9560 adapter and connecting to the 5GHz channel on my router, I was able to achieve read and write speeds of 52MB/s (~541 Mbp) and 47MB/s (~489 Mbps), respectively from the same NAS. It is entirely possible that my router is holding the wireless speeds back, though. Here are Crystal Disk Mark results for the NVMe drive: Sequential Read (Q= 1,T= 2) : 1120.174 MB/s Sequential Write (Q= 1,T= 2) : 690.859 MB/s Random Read 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 2) : 77.681 MB/s [ 18965.1 IOPS] Random Write 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 2) : 173.297 MB/s [ 42308.8 IOPS] Sequential Read (T= 1) : 1321.947 MB/s Sequential Write (T= 1) : 1220.059 MB/s Random Read 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 39.538 MB/s [ 9652.8 IOPS] Random Write 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 95.361 MB/s [ 23281.5 IOPS] Test : 1024 MiB [C: 17.5% (41.5/237.4 GiB)] (x3) [Interval=5 sec] OS : Windows 10 [10.0 Build 17134] (x64) And the physical disk: Sequential Read (Q= 1,T= 2) : 284.894 MB/s Sequential Write (Q= 1,T= 2) : 192.773 MB/s Random Read 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 2) : 0.506 MB/s [ 123.5 IOPS] Random Write 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 2) : 7.660 MB/s [ 1870.1 IOPS] Sequential Read (T= 1) : 142.588 MB/s Sequential Write (T= 1) : 146.165 MB/s Random Read 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 0.417 MB/s [ 101.8 IOPS] Random Write 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 5.760 MB/s [ 1406.3 IOPS] Test : 1024 MiB [D: 0.1% (1.4/931.5 GiB)] (x3) [Interval=5 sec] OS : Windows 10 [10.0 Build 17134] (x64) - Passmark gave this laptop an overall score of 5274, which put it in the 93rd percentile. Individual results are: CPU: 11720.6 (91st percentile), 2D graphics: 775.4 (75th percentile), 3D graphics: 8971.1 (90th percentile), Memory: 434.1 (80th percentile), and Disk (NVMe): 12172.9 (97th percentile). Unigine Heaven 4.0 gave this laptop an overall score of 1963, when tested with Direct3D11, Ultra Quality, and Extreme Tessellation. Measured frame rate was: Min: 26.3, Ave: 77.9. Max: 177.7. During the test, the GPU temperature reached 95C and the fan exhaust reached 60C. And it gave it an overall score of 2499, when tested with Direct3D11, High Quality, and Normal Tessellation. Measured frame rate was: Min: 23.0, Ave: 99.2. Max: 212.7. During the test, the GPU temperature reached 78C and the fan exhaust reached 52C. Final thoughts: Searching for the base specs of this laptop here at Newegg, you'll find that this is the least expensive option, and I suspect that was ASUS' goal. From a raw performance perspective, it delivers a great entry-level and a respectable mid-level gaming experience. If you can overlook the glaring deficiencies that this price point mandated, then you will be very happy with it. If the missing features are show stoppers for you, then take a look at other options. Note that you can always upgrade the 256GB NVMe boot disk, or the 1TB mechanical hard drive, you just have to throw away what's already there. You can upgrade the memory without penalty by using the remaining empty slot.

Most Critical Review

Questionable design

Seagate Expansion 3TB USB 3.0 3.5" Desktop External Hard Drive STBV3000100 Black
Seagate Expansion 3TB USB 3.0 3.5" Desktop External Hard Drive STBV3000100 Black

Pros: Very inexpensive. No DOA. Decent transfer speeds, but not stellar (see other). Specialty cable (USB 3.0 Micro B to USB 3.0 A) cable is a decent length ( ~46" ) unlike others that have 18" cables. The actual hard drive is made in Thailand, which according to most reviewers is far more reliable than their siblings from China. Fingers crossed. Remember, RAID is your best friend when it comes to hard drives, especially big ones.

Cons: The actual model number of the hard drive in this enclosure is ST3000DM001. If you look that part number up here, you will see 182 out of 779 (23%) scathing (1 egg) reviews and 340 (44%) 5 egg reviews. The case is a joke. This is a sealed hard drive coffin. For intermittent use, you will probably be fine, but I can see this thing cooking itself in no time under extended periods of heavy use (like formatting, for example). The funniest part is that the back and bottom plastic case are covered in holes (you can see the holes in the back in the product pictures), but once you take the plastic shell off, you find that the back and bottom of the drive is wrapped in a solid sheet metal case that completely covers all of the holes! The drive is also not in contact with any of the plastic case, so it has no means of transferring heat to the outside. This poor drive gets no cooling whatsoever. Another really interesting feature is that the hard drive isn't actually attached to the case. So if you turn the case over, you will literally hear a thump as the drive hits the top of the case. Very strange.... To give you an idea how bad this case is, Seagate offers a 2 year warranty on the bare drive that is in this case, but only a 1 year warranty if you buy it packaged in this case. They know it will never last...

Overall Review: How sad is it that you can buy this external drive for significantly less that the same hard drive separately ($100 for this, $135 for the same bare drive)? At least the case is pretty easy to get open, which is what I was counting on. So you can pull the disks and mount them internally. Here's the trick: Turn the case upside down and use a knife to pry loose the 3 latches at the front and back. Just pry enough to hear them pop loose (maybe 1/8"). Then turn the case over, and go alone the sides, gently prying the sides away from the top (there are 3 tabs along each side). Here are the obligatory Disk Mark Numbers using USB3: Sequential Read : 165.473 MB/s Sequential Write : 161.033 MB/s Random Read 512KB : 72.686 MB/s Random Write 512KB : 89.637 MB/s Random Read 4KB (QD=1) : 1.390 MB/s [ 339.3 IOPS] Random Write 4KB (QD=1) : 1.177 MB/s [ 287.3 IOPS] Random Read 4KB (QD=32) : 1.601 MB/s [ 391.0 IOPS] Random Write 4KB (QD=32) : 1.082 MB/s [ 264.2 IOPS] Test : 50 MB [G: 0.1% (3.7/2794.5 GB)] (x3) Date : 2013/08/19 19:16:32 OS : Windows 7 Professional SP1 [6.1 Build 7601] (x64)

Great franchise

Borderlands 3 (Steam) [Online Game Code]
Borderlands 3 (Steam) [Online Game Code]

Pros: Great graphics, and it's wonderful that you don't need a top tier computer or video card to enjoy it. I have it set to ultra on my 3770K (not currently overclocked) and GTX970 at 2560x1080, with no issues. Love the humor.

Cons: Same old kludgy inventory/equipped items/skills UI that takes some getting used to... It does take quite some time to start the game and to load new zones, despite running from an SSD, but that happens so infrequently, it's not a big deal.

Overall Review: If you're tight on space, be warned, this game takes up 87gb!

12/10/2020

Cheap, flimsy, and poorly designed.

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: The 2-SSD holder behind the motherboard is clever. Remove 1 screw and the bracket comes off. You then bolt your SSDs to the outside of the bracket and reinstall it. Depending on the length of your video card, you may be able to install a radiator with 2x120mm fans at the front of the case. If you want a longer radiator, you must remove the 3.5" disk bays. You can add 2x120mm or 2x140mm fans in the top, however you will partially block the cable management holes in that location. Minimal sharp edges.

Cons: This case is super flimsy. They brag about the case being 0.6mm thick, but that is actually quite thin and certainly not a bragging point in my opinion. My two Cooler Master cases are at least twice as thick, and the difference is night and day. The front magnetic dust screen is sandwiched between the case and the front panel. There are 2 major problems with this design. First, they didn't use 2 or 3 spring clips and swing out catches to release the front panel like everyone else does. Instead there are 8 split posts which stick into holes in the case and snap in place. These cannot be squeezed by hand to release, forcing you to jam a screwdriver or other prying device between the front panel and the case to force it off, being especially careful not to break any of the posts or damage the case or panel. Second, once you get the front panel broken loose, you are faced with the fact that all of the USB ports, buttons, lights, and jacks are still attached to it, so you must either leave a bunch of slack in all those cables, or struggle to move it far enough to get the dust screen out. Less major of a problem is the fact that the mesh on the front panel has the same size holes as the mesh dust screen, so in all likelihood, you are going to have as much dust, if not more, collecting on the front of the computer as on the dust screen. The top magnetic dust screen provides no function since any fans would be exhausting from this location and caking dust on the underside of the screen. Despite the features stating it, there is no "thermal mesh at sides." One side is a solid piece of tempered glass and the other is a solid, albeit very thin, piece of sheet metal, so it is unknown what they are talking about. The tempered glass panel is bolted to the side of the case. It's not a door with hinges. To remove the glass panel, according to the instructions, you must lay the case on its side with the glass facing up, remove the screws, then "move the glass backwards or upwards to reduce the glass breakage rate." The power supply can only be mounted in one orientation. In the case of the Corsair RM550x I used to test, the fan must exhaust out the bottom of the case. This will be a major problem if you put this case on carpet. There is very little room behind the power supply, making the management of extra cables nearly impossible. You really need to use a modular power supply with this case so that you can eliminate as many cables as possible. Even the, you will need to attach all of your cables to the power supply before mounting it due to the limited space behind it. There is a reason the video and none of the pictures shows the back of the case. The included fans are pretty poor. At 12v, they draw 0.1A, and generate only a little bit of airflow. At 5v, they draw 0.04A and generate almost no airflow at all. It is probably a good thing that they are so light and spin so slowly because both of the fans that came with my case are significantly out of balance. As you might expect from a fan that doesn't move much air, they are at least quiet. There is not enough clearance to install the front bottom fan without removing the front center fan first. Less than half of the lower fan extends down into the 3.5" drive bay, so this location will get almost zero airflow. This will be a problem if you plan to install mechanical drives. There is really not enough clearance in the top of the case to install a radiator. It is 35mm from the top of the case to the center of the top-most motherboard mounting holes. If you use low profile RAM with no heat sinks, you might get away with it, but otherwise it is either not going to fit or is going to very tight and you will not be able to remove or install memory modules without first removing the radiator. No 5.25 drive bays. When adding a peripheral card, you must break the slot cover out, leaving behind razor sharp edges. 18 motherboard screws are included when you need a maximum of 9, but only 4 expansion slot screws are included (there are 8 slots), and only 8 hard drive screws are included (when there are 7 drive locations). I am not sure what they mean when they say the tempered glass panel has an "explosion-proof protector" on both sides. Perhaps they are talking about the already pealing film that you normally peal off when you get it. There does not appear to be anything under it, so who knows. Fortunately, to date, none of my builds have exploded.

Overall Review: At $64, this is an expensive case for what you get. It is cheap, flimsy, and very difficult to work with. You have many build limitations due to the poor design, and even something as simple as cleaning the only marginally useful dust screen requires major surgery and risks breaking the case. Because of all of these issues, I cannot recommend this case. There are just too many better cases out there for the same or less money from highly respected companies.

Sub-par cable and false advertizing

Coboc HS-10 10 ft. HDMI High Speed with Ethernet - Type A to Type A
Coboc HS-10 10 ft. HDMI High Speed with Ethernet - Type A to Type A

Pros: It works - mostly. It seems to be stable at 2560x1080 at 60Hz - but see cons. It's thin and bends easily. Nice and long. Cheap

Cons: Normally when you put your computer to sleep, or shut it down, your monitor goes to sleep. Not with this cable. Your monitor will report a signal loss instead. In my case, my monitor eventually turns itself off, but I have to manually turn the monitor back on when I turn my computer back on, which is a real nuisance. Many pins are not wired through in this cable (I bought 2 of these and ohm'd out every pin on both cable, so it wasn't just a fluke). - Many people have complained about bandwidth problems, signal cut-out, and issues at higher refresh rates. This is because none of the shields are connected! Pins 2, 5, 8, and 11 are data line and clock shields and none are connected! - Pin 17: ground, is also not connected! - Pin 14: Ethernet channel and Audio Return, is not connected. This is disturbing considering Coboc claims this cable supports both. - Pin 18: +5v, doesn't even have a pin. This seems to be the case on every cable I have though, so perhaps it is normal.

Overall Review: If you are connecting up a cheap DVD player to a TV, this cable will likely work fine. If you are looking for a reliable cable for your computer, spend an extra couple dollars and buy a better cable.

Huge, beautiful, feature-rich case with poorly designed cooling and a steep price tag

Corsair Carbide Series 678C CC-9011170-WW White Steel / Plastic / Tempered Glass ATX Mid Tower Low Noise Tempered Glass ATX Case
Corsair Carbide Series 678C CC-9011170-WW White Steel / Plastic / Tempered Glass ATX Mid Tower Low Noise Tempered Glass ATX Case

Pros: Very solid and good looking case. Dead quiet. There are rubber sound dampening sheets on the front and side, and the hard drive holders all have rubber mounting grommets. No sharp edges, but there are some unnecessary tabs with sharp corners all around the disk bays. There is a bracket behind the motherboard for securing up to 3 SSDs that are up to 10mm thick. Lots of tie-downs for cable management. There is a fan “multiplexer” which allows 1 motherboard connection to control up to 6 4-pin fans. A supplemental SATA power connector is also provided to power the extra fans. Movable hard drive holders to dodge large video cards, although there is about 3 inches from the edge of the motherboard and the hard drive holders so there should be no interference. Each hard drive holder is cleverly drilled to hold 2 SSDs simultaneously instead of a mechanical hard drive. Tons of fan options: Front: 3x120mm, 2x140mm (1x140mm included) Top: 2x120mm, 2x140mm, water-cooling radiator (1x140mm included), a 3rd fan can be added if the 5.25” drive bay is removed. Back: 1x120mm, 1x140mm (1x140mm included) Bottom: 2x120mm, 2x140mm, water-cooling radiator (nothing included, and at least 1 drive holder must be removed to use this location) Easy to remove dust screens: Top and front are magnetic, bottom is a slide-out. Easy to remove glass side door (open the door about half way and lift up). A solid top cover, with a sound dampening layer, is provided if you don't want to use fans in this location (don't forget to remove the pre-installed fan that's in this location!). Power supply can be mounted upside down to direct airflow how you wish.

Cons: Terrible airflow design. The front door is solid, so all the air that is sucked into the front of the case must come through a small opening (6” x 0.5”) at the bottom of the front door. If you have a solid floor, this means your case is vacuuming all of the dust from the floor and loading the dust screen. If you have carpet, this means you must put something large under the feet so that airflow is possible, and even then, there simply isn't a large enough opening to sufficiently feed 2-3 fans. The feet are too short or the front and side doors go down too far. The front door actually extends slightly below the bottom of the case. If placed on carpet, the doors cannot be opened without a bit of effort. Of course, as discussed above, you will get no airflow if the case is put on carpet unless you get really creative with the fans and opt for no hard drives. The large divider at the bottom of the case cannot be removed. There are 2 hard drive holders in this space, but I suspect cooling in this area will be problematic, so it's just wasted space. There is nothing to grab on this case if you're trying to move it. The front and side are doors which could be damaged if you hold under them. Even if you open the front door, the only grab point (below the 5.25” bay) is beveled, so you can't get a grip, unless you also remove the dust screen and stick your fingers in the top fan. There are 8 available locations for hard drive holders, however only 6 holders are provided. Perhaps they will be available for purchase separately down the road, but not including them with such an expensive case just comes off as cheap. Hard drive holders do not have quick release mounting hardware, which means that when it's time to add, remove, or replace a drive, you're looking at major surgery because the whole holder will have to be removed from the back - right where the cables are for all of your other drives - before you can access the hard drive mounting screws.

Overall Review: This is not just the largest case I have ever seen, it is the most unnecessarily large case with the most wasted space I have ever seen. At 9.5” wide, it is at least 2” wider than it needs to be. Add to that the fact that you need another 0.5” on the right side in order to open the front door and you're looking at a big chunk of your under-desk space gone, and trust me when I tell you the top corners of this case are not knee friendly. With it's nearly 24 inches of depth, it's barely going to fit under a normal computer desk let alone a desk with side drawers and a brace along the the back. The power and reset buttons as well as USB and audio connections are on the top of the case, which may make their use difficult. There is an external 3.5mm 4-pin audio connector that combines both the headphones and microphone which, depending on your situation, might require an adapter to use. The front door must be opened completely to access the 5.25” drive bay, so don't forget to leave an extra half inch of clearance on the right side. Final thoughts: It really looks like Corsair was more interested in creating a piece of art than an efficient or even functional case with this model. Cooling and/or dust is going to be a major problem with this case, as is finding a place to put it or even move it. It does look beautiful, it's well built, and it has a lot of nice features, but nothing revolutionary, and nothing that you can't find in many sub-$100 cases. If you have a lot of space and want a huge luxurious white case with a glass door, by all means, pick this up. On the other hand, if you're looking for a more efficient case with better airflow and a price tag that isn't in the stratosphere, keep looking.

seller reviews
  • 2

Extremely slow

If you are OK waiting 3 weeks for your order to arrive, then order away. Otherwise, look elsewhere.

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Satisfactory

Super fast shipping, well packed, and exactly as specified.

Order with confidence.

On-time
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Satisfactory