Date Joined: 09/03/12
Pros: Sleek design - modular -quiet -more than adequate.
Cons: If anything, some longer cables - but this can be solved with after market extensions to match your build.
Overall Review: This power supply ticks the boxes for me. If you want something straight forward that doesnt pull punches here it is. Modular power supplies are just the future. A lot of more affordable affixed cable PSUs are slowly phasing out for the more preferential modular design. I have gotten to a point where I often skip over companies if its not at least semi modular, so this to me is a nice affordable option that covers the bases. 85-87% under load is about the average with idle sitting closer to the 90s. Its a simplistic design and no ketchup and mustard colored cables. Cable extensions to customize the look are easy enough to put with it if you prefer the not shiny black glossy cables. It supports SLI but as this stands now; youd have to have a pretty big wallet and know when stock is available for the GPU crisis. If you are unaware what I am talking about 2021 has been a tough year for the GPU market on both sides. It currently (no pun intended) is powering a 3900x and 5700XT, and while other components draw power those are the real hogs. I am perfectly satisfied with the PMG750. What it is, is what I am looking for. The PMG750 being relatively affordable and being modular are my top two priorities. The quietness is a nice factor also. I dont know who the OEM is but if Newegg had Rosewill go with Super Flower for these PSUs Id say they made a great choice. The overall quality seems to be Super Flower to me but if not, whoever the OEM is has hit satisfactory marks in my book.
Pros: The first thing that should be mentioned is that this tower is much smaller than it appears. The PSU is a vertical front mount in order to maximize space but not the easiest to build in. Thanks to the tiny window you can hide most of the mess towards the front.
There is a slim-line CD/Blueray drive bay in the front with a well implemented slit on the side of the tower. You don’t see this implemented much these days. The drive is low profile and out of the way.
The build quality is surprisingly pretty solid using a brushed aluminum pretty much all of the way around. In retrospect I could do with out the little plexi-window. It serves no real purpose and the more I look at it the more it feels odd to even have it there. It’s not large enough to really enjoy.
The way I am directing airflow is using to the top as an intake – but I have consider swapping this and using the rear as intake and the top as exhaust to prevent some dust build up on the top.
A tower this small that can fit mATX is a win just for that fact. It’s not the most perfect tower to work in but it easily fits in to its weight class.
Cons: I don’t have any major cons other than the window is pretty useless on this design. If you’re running a setup that gets hot, you will contend with heat inside of the tower with limited cooling options. The PSU will be recycling hot air inside as the tower struggles to cool itself with limited options.
Overall Review: Swapping to low profile fans is a sad recommendation I would make for space saving reasons in the tower.
Works best as an HTPC tower for a small home/business purposes – but it’s a pretty slick little tower even being out for as long as it has now. I’m glad I picked one up – but it does have some odd shortcomings. A lot of compromises were clearly made to keep it as small as it is.
Pros: This is a tower I didn’t expect. It almost feels like a prank. I have never heard of Montech before this. The Air 900 Mesh is a sleek well-machined tower that offers the basic amenities I expect from higher-end brands, at a considerably low cost.
There are flush magnetic sliding dust filters on the bottom, the front (between mounting brackets and grill), and on the top. Getting to the dust filters is relatively easy and a huge bonus for easy cleaning.
The tempered glass side panel is super easy to remove and reaffix using four hand tighten screws. Inside the tower, the edges are all (where it matters) rounded off and smooth. The PSU shroud is a must for me so I am glad it has one.
The book that comes with the Air 900 Mesh is the most useful book of any tower to date for me. Simple pictures and verbiage made it easy to understand all mounting points without just guessing ‘where can I put this....maybe here?’ I know I have had that problem in the past...just guessing what looked like a good spot (speaking about SSD mainly).
Three easy spaces to mount 2.5” drives, and one 2 bay cage for 3.5” drives offers a pretty optimal amount of room and options for this tower.
All cut out and standoff locations are great. Only two cut outs to the right of the mobo have rubber grommets all other cut outs are just exposed cut outs.
The protruding mesh front is excellent for airflow and looks nice on this tower. No complaints here.
The top of the tower can accommodate either 2 140mm fans or 2 120mm fans. (1 280 rad or 1 240 rad). If you rad the top be mindful of your clearance because it becomes very cramped/difficult. The front supports 3 120mm fans and the rear 1 120mm fan.
Adding to a bit of luxury is the rear bracket bar. Instead of being tear-away-throw-away they are quality brackets the are held in to place with a screw in slider. A small but awesome design feature that kept the end user in mind.
The front IO is pretty straight forward with one added benefit. 2 USB 2.0 2 USB 3.0, power, reset, audio, AND an additional switch for RGB control. If you have the RGB version of this case it’s for the built in controller. If not it’s an extra –repurposeable- switch to control whatever you connect to.
Cons: It feels half-complete by only putting grommets on two of the cutouts. I’d like to see grommets on all of the cut outs.
The dust filters are nice, but I have seen this style of dust filter rip over time and worry that it’s a matter of time before degradation sets in and they become a problem.
One downside is the overly large honeycomb design on the PSU shroud that’s made for both airflow and for displaying a pretty RGB PSU. I think it was a bit over exposed and I personally like to be able to hide some mess down there.
Overall Review: This is a budget spender's dream. Everything about this tower was a bit of a surprise and the brand has my attention. Just sort of had that subtle ‘wow’ factor for what the price is, and all it has to offer. The quality and attention to detail based around a consumer definitely stick out. It made me feel as though Montech cared about what they put out there for us and it really earned a level of appreciation from me. To ask for more would be asking to spend more, so for everything we have here, it’s more than fair in my assessment.
Pros: This was a tough one to review. I feel I understand the goal of ASUS with this laptop and if I am right, it’s absolutely perfect for what it is. Anyone who wants to skip ahead to benchmarks and a simple re-cap – shoot down to the “OTHER” section where I will post brief findings to hopefully help you.
This laptop is spectacularly lightweight, portable, and “powerful enough.” It’s snappy, smooth and just good enough to deserve the price tag. The 45w charge block is a simple small wall adapter that completes everything this laptop is going for. No more giant bricks with multiple plugs to accompany unnecessarily bulkier laptops of ‘just a few years ago.’ The entire thing is so light I have had to check my backpack on multiple occasions to make sure I actually put it in there.
It doesn’t stop there. I expect something so light to feel somewhat cheaply made. While there may be some minor issues, the whole laptop is very well constructed. The lid is a very thin brushed aluminum (gold) and is relatively fingerprint resistant. It gives a very quality heavy duty feel to such a light laptop.
Under the lid is a well laid out non-backlit ten-keyless keyboard featuring the same design as the lid. The only difference is it is a brushed plastic design meant to represent the continuation of the outside brushed aluminum lid. The super thin display is surrounded by an incredibly thin bezel - listed as ASUS’s “NanoEdge” design. The trackpad is centered below the keyboard and emulates the screen perfectly on mine. This makes using it extremely easy. All gesture controls I use work perfectly.
The keyboard is a slightly raised chiclet style keyboard. The caps feel like a light-weight thin plastic. While different from the more standard rubbery-ABS material caps, they feel fine and I enjoy typing on them. There is a light flexing on the keyboard that is noticeable while typing.
On the right side of the laptop are two USB 2.0 inputs. While I would have expected to not see any 2.0 inputs, here they are, existing. Next to these 2.0 inputs are a 3.5mm input, and an SD card reader. The SD card reader is only ‘middle of the line’ transferring at an average of 30 MB/s.
On the left side of the laptop is where the muscle is. There is an expected ethernet port, HDMI (1.4), USB 3.0 and USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 (also called USB 3.0) inputs. I’m always a fan of USB-C personally, no matter what standard it is.
The speakers on the laptop are decent and get fairly loud. The speakers also provide some mild base that can be detected. A downside is they are down firing, so it ultimately ends up sounding a little muffled despite having a large volume range.
The Ryzen 5 2500U is a great mobile quadcore processor, it is low power and powerful all in one. The battery life will really depend on what you do with the laptop. If you are like most people and browse the internet with Chrome, you may encounter battery drains more frequently than someone using FireFox or Edge. Six hours may turn to three-four hours for instance. The three-cell lithium ion battery can be quickly taxed depending on the task. Average usage just shopping online or watching YouTube generally gets me about five hours. Not bad for the lightweight low capacity battery.
The laptop is near silent, while I can hear it during benchmark testing, playing a game, or testing export from premier – it is quiet. It also does not get very warm while having the hardware taxed for resources. This is largely in part to the not demanding, low TDP hardware itself.
This got me at first. The general hardware choice is interesting. There are 8GB of DDR4 2400Mhz soldered to the PCB. I have seen this before (Xiaomi Notebook Pro) and was never really a fan of this, BUT, there is also a single slot for expansion (and to go dual channel). This feels weird to me, but I assume this is a proponent of the stock light-weight design.
The GPU used is the Vega 8 – I assume this choice falls in line with everything this laptop is, and not what it isn’t – meaning this choice was based on 'better than having nothing at all'…it runs cool, does not require much, but also does not deliver much. The Vega 8 is ‘okay’ and just ‘okay.’ You can do light low res – low graphics gaming, and use intensive software such as Photoshop, Premier After effects – but expect non-perfect and sometimes problematic results. I’d recommend small projects.
The AU Optronics display somewhat surprised me. On my black crush test I can identify every box. I did not expect this. The panel states it only covers 45% NTSC – I anticipated a poor experience testing both LG and Sony’s demos…I ended up satisfied with what I saw. Viewing angles are great, and watching side by side with other monitors I see mild differences in temperature, but overall, I was not displeased.
The SSD is an M.2 SATA III – Solid, snappy, quick enough. No need for anything more, and glad it’s nothing less (see the results in OTHER).
Cons: The bad about this laptop are MOSTLY understandable “bads”. In order to keep this laptop as light weight and comfortable as possible things need to be excluded, and hardware selected carefully. Take SOME of these gripes with a grain of salt.
-Non backlit keyboard – I like a backlit keyboard personally.
-Flexing on the keyboard when typing – It is mild but unfortunate. This makes the keyboard feel weak/cheap.
-Weak GPU – I understand the reason for the Vega 8. I get it, but it leaves me wanting more. More would surely require more than one fan cooling, additional heat pipes, this would cause it to be notably heavier.
The (non 2.0) USB is listed as 3.1 Gen 1. USB 3.1 Gen 1 IS USB 3.0. USB 3.1 Gen 2 is true USB 3.1. I just found it odd to list any USB as 3.1 Gen 1, instead of just USB 3.0 as it is commonly known, while listing the other USB as 3.0 (also known as 3.1 Gen 1). Did I confuse you? It’s the same thing (3.0 and 3.1 Gen 1). Maybe a simple oversight, I doubt it was intended to mislead. Just odd.
There are some laptops that are easy to open and work in. ASUS allows for expansion by including an un-populated 2.5” drive bay, and an un-populated DDR4 SO-DIMM slot. This is great! But getting to it is a pain, maybe the biggest pain of any laptop I have ever opened.
The webcam is nothing spectacular, but in well-lit spaces is where it works best.
Firstly on mine, three of the removable screws were over tightened (and stripped). I had to use a rubber band to create friction and remove them. Once I had all screws removed I took a plastic card and gently popped the chassis loose. Despite gently doing this, the thin plastic (that makes it so great) now shows signs of mild pressure damage. Once the chassis is popped loose you learn the ASUS-X505ZA Rev. 2 Mobo is designed to face down. SO…in order to access the SO-DIMM slot to add additional RAM, you need to detach all ribbons, and connectors, as well as some more screws (and the speakers). Once you have done this you can lift the mobo out with some gentle pulling and populate that RAM slot.
This is not an impossible process, this is not beyond anyone to do. This is also not something a vast majority of consumers is going to want to do. It’s a taxing, overly complicated process that has earned ASUS my ‘Most Irritating Laptop to Upgrade' award. What a pain. They took ‘over-complicated’ and raised the bar to ‘They must be trolling us complicated.’
I'm not going to knock it for this, but be aware of the pains of going inside.
Overall Review: There are things I am left wishing were included. There are things I am left wishing it could do a little better than it can. Despite what I wish, this is still one of the better laptops I have ever had. No…It doesn’t check every box for me, but it comes close. Everything ASUS did here has clear indications of their intention to deliver one of the best all-around laptops within a reasonable price range. They nailed it. Shortcomings are easily overlookable in my opinion.
Here are a sample of the benchmarks I have collected for anyone interested:
Unigine Super Position: 720P Low settings – 3032
Unigine Super Position: 1080P Low settings – 2086
Unigine Valley: 720P High settins – 882 (MinFPS 11.6/MaxFPS 43.3)
CrystalDiskMark: Seq Read – 460.1 Seq Write – 421.3
Geekbench CPU Single Core: 3600
Geekbench CPU Multi Core: 9522
Geekbench GPU Vega 8: OpenCL Score – 26164
SD Reader Transfer rate: Avg: 30MB/s
HDMI 1.4 Max Resolution: 2160p @ 30Hz
The monitor is an AU Optronics B156HAN02 IPS Panel.
The m.2 SATA III SSD is a Micron MTFDDAV256TBN
This laptop is not for the intensive creative professional, and it’s not for the demanding gamer – but it can give you a little taste of both for the casual of either.
This laptop is perfect for the everyday user. The lightweight portability, and the simple design make this laptop not only extremely comfortable and usable, it also makes it very easy to recommend. I don’t think I have ever been quite so pleased with such a simple well-rounded laptop.
Pros: This laptop is a pretty good deal (when on sale for $699) all things considered. It has a few short coming, but ultimately lives up to its price tag.
It looks like it should be heavier than it is but only weights 4lbs 13ozs. Very comfortable lightness to it but also feels very durable. The whole thing is a plastic designed in a brushed metal way. It helps a lot to resist fingerprints and look pretty slick, while also not being too aggressive in its style.
The bezel around the monitor is a bit thick. The bezel measures ¾” on both sides. Maybe I have just been spoiled with thinner bezels on different laptops but it makes the screen look a bit dated to have such a large border all the way around.
The display is an LG IPS panel – The D0570 panel. It is a 1080p 60Hz screen and boasts 300 nits. Nothing too mind blowing here but it looks nice and gets the job done well. Colors and contrast all look great, no complaints from real world enjoyment. The D0570 is 72% NTSC rated for those of you wondering.
The track pad is nice and almost perfectly emulates the screen. If you start in the center and go up/down/left/right, the cursor almost makes it there perfectly each time. I like to point this out as I have had laptops in the past that failed here without cursor adjustments. The trackpad also has a satisfying click on depression, it’s not overly sensitive.
The keyboard is very nice. I like the raised braced chiclet style. It offers a satisfying experience when typing, and the keys are on point. The backlighting is all in red, and WASD is emboldened in red. For it being a full 10-key keyboard, the 10-key side is a little cramped. If you base your typing on muscle memory, be prepared to hit the wrong numbers and num lock yourself a lot.
All inputs are on the left side, and a little lack-luster. DC input, ethernet, 1 HDMI, 1 USB 2.0 (for some reason), 2 USB 3.0, and a 3.5mm Aux jack. Nothing super fancy here.
The speakers are ‘okay.’ They get the job done and are located at both the front left, and right locations.
The coolest thing tech wise is the support of Bluetooth 5. If you’re interested in what the BT standard is, it’s 5. Looking forward to a lot more BT 5 devices in the future
Okay, this is the fun part for me. I took a look under the hood to check out what we had going on.
The RAM used is SK Hynix, if you haven’t heard of them it’s likely because they aren’t typically a brand that targets consumers direct. They target big companies to use them in pre-builts. I almost always see their stuff in Dell products. The RAM is 2666 DDR4 SO-DIMM. It’s a single 8gig stick with room to expand. If you want to match it and operate in dual channel (yes, you do), look for SK Hynix 8GB 2666 and you should be good to go. Or just replace the RAM altogether.
Included is a M.2 SATA III 6gbs SSD (Kingston 256gb). Read write speeds were in the 540’s/460’s (Crystaldisk) respectively. Nothing stellar here, but any SSD is better than an HDD when you want a little zippy-ness. NVMe not supported.
There is additional expansion for 2.5” SSD/SSHD/HDD inside. The bay is unpopulated and ready to go. I will always appreciate the offering of expansion from any company.
It's not often bloatware gets a 'pro' mention but ASUS offers a nice bundled bit of it without being super annoying. There isn't a lot to clean and it's all in a tidy package including the ASUS Gift app. They are insistent you try DropBox but, besides that really clean Windows 10 setup, without a lot of headache from random extras.
Cons: It is made for gaming primarily, but the 1050 2Gb iGPU is not the most stellar. You will be able to play, and enjoy playing on this laptop but limit your settings expectations depending on your games. It’s okay to have to dial back a bit. I know people who go with lower tier cards and then end up frustrated over not playing at maximum quality on games like Witcher III.
Does it get hot? Yes, most laptops do in my experience. I have not encountered thermal throttling while using it for several hours. I will say the fans in this thing are ridiculously loud. When they ramp up it irritates me. Be prepared for that. They ramped up doing a Windows update and it made me pause and go ‘really?’
The lackluster inputs take an egg away too for me.
Overall Review: I benched with Superposition: Settings Medium 1080P
On battery with battery boost on in Nvidia (more on this in a sec) it scored a choppy 2184.
Plugged in direct battery boost auto off – It scored a smooth 4108
Here is a two parter: Why medium? Simple – High and Extreme require more VRAM than the 2gb 1050 iGPU has to offer. It will attempt to run but it will be choppy and look like garbage or stop. This is a setback of a lower end GPU.
Why was one score so much more different from the other? Nvidia has an option that’s automatic. When it’s plugged in you are not limited for power consumption reasons. You need to go disable the battery option in GeForce experience. Your battery life will plummet, but you’ll yield same/similar results as the plugged-in test.
I hope this was somewhat helpful. Great bargain budget gaming laptop, but not for everyone looking to play latest triple A titles. For casual MMO players (like WoW) or MOBA players, RTS players, casual racing players… great option. Just limit expectations on visually intense rendering. The 1050 iGPU is the only real hang-up here.
Pros: This drive is for (almost) all, from tower builds where you want to trash the big 3.5” HDD cage and still have quiet, discrete, relatively fast storage, to laptop HDD upgrades, to portable enclosed drives for every day travel and use.
The drive is super thin, super quiet, and stays super cool even during prolonged transfers. I have seen some thin drives but this may be the thinnest.
I have had a lot of luck with Toshiba recently, they usually reach the bar but don’t quite exceed it. I have been a fan of their OCZ brand for years when it comes to SSDs, however, typically when I am looking for HDDs I tend to lean towards Seagate because of the Firecuda line up (and recently the IronWolf line for my NAS).
While Seagate has a lot to offer, the price vs performance for some of these newer Toshiba drives like the L200 becomes apparent. It’s a solid drive with a lot of potential and a very wallet friendly price.
Cons: As this is a retail box and not an OEM drive only, Toshiba failed to include the properly threaded screws. If I were to pick this up off of the shelf (or order it online from Newegg), I would be upset at the failure to include the proper screws for mounting. NOW if it was sold as “OEM drive only” that’s different to me, and my expectation for a packet of screws would not exist.
Overall Review: While it performs well, if you’re looking to upgrade your’ console to a faster drive, this would be a lateral move at best (unless you just want more storage). This drive won’t increase your load times.
There is a small part of me that wanted to see 7200RPM, however, not necessary, and everything feels just as good in real world experience. Faster RPMs likely would generate more heat and sound and sacrifice the super thin build of the drive. 5400RPM is just fine for all things considered by most.
Very happy with this hard drive. Excellent price for the capacity. Excellent drive in general. A very simple approach to a bloated HDD market, and wins big points in my book. I’m all about price to value, and the price is exceptionally low while the value (in my opinion) is very high.
Pros: The keyboard is a raised chiclet style keyboard. The keys are spaced and have little to no wobble at all. The keyboard is backlit in white to make seeing easy, and offers an almost mem-chanical feel. A soft but tactile-satisfying depression.
On the underside, there is easy access to basic expansion. A simple screw and pop for access to an unpopulated 2.5 HDD/SSHD/SSD bay, and the same simple screw and pop to access the 16GB DDR4 RAM. Getting into the whole chassis was a bit more of a pain, but told me a lot about the laptop once I did. Acer has a lot of screws and careful pops to go through.
Once inside there was a lot of empty/underutilized space, but let’s tour the less accessible areas.
Inside the laptop is an Intel 600P NVMe SSD, it’s decent, benching at the 1500/r and 500/w speeds via Crystal disk. The 600P came out around 2015 so a little behind some of the choices but not bad by any means. I was a little surprised.
The HM370 board can support up to 32GB DDR4, the stock amount is 16GB in dual channel. Acer undersold themselves here, if this matters to you. They listed stock 16GB @ 2400MHz, however it’s actually 2666MHz. A minor discrepancy, but maybe they will alter the listing to reflect the higher speeds (it’s a good thing after all).
The AC WIFI card leads to two antennae that are installed in the bezel of the monitor. This WIFI setup is enabled for MU-MIMO tech which basically means your laptop will not hog the network. It will take what it needs and send what it needs back.
Inputs are listed, but if I don’t mention a simple homerun, I will feel bad.
The HDMI is 2.0, why does this matter? The built-in display from Acer was a little lack luster (more on this soon). HDMI 2.0 allows for up to 4K UHD @ 60Hz. For someone who uses their laptop like an external desktop setup, this is fantastic. For watching UHD videos, for editing, for a better experience in general, this standard was the right decision and left me super satisfied (Kudos Acer, you could have dropped the ball there, but you didn’t).
The SD card reader also gets an honorable mention but was lukewarm at best transferring data at 82-93/MBps.
Other ports include:
3.5MM Headphone/speaker jack
Besides having the market’s beefy 8750H hexa-core i7, 16GB of DDR4 @ 2666MHz, a pretty fancy Intel 600P NVMe SSD, all nestled in to a solid HM370 chipset, it also has something else that was pretty surprising. The speakers. Now, with a grain of salt, for laptop speakers they sound great. Loud, clear, but lacking in bass as may be expected. The speakers aim angled out from underneath where the chassis curves up a tad. This allows them to downward fire and bounce up rather than sound muted/muffled. They sound nice but, they are still laptop speakers.
Cons: The design fits and falls in line with what most Acer Aspire model laptops look like. It features a combination of aluminum/plastic feel, with a majority plastic designed bezel. This leaves some flimsy feeling areas which only bother me when I mess with them intentionally really. The framed bezel around the lower center of the laptops display as an example. Also, the majority of the laptop is not fingerprint resistant.
The track pad location is located a bit to the left. Nothing against lefties, but most of us use our right hand. Why it wasn’t more centered I’m not sure. On a large laptop like this it makes a small annoying difference. If I start in the center of the trackpad and go to each edge it falls short of reaching and emulating the screen. Also, the trackpad has a fingerprint reader. Setting up biometrics via Windows Hello is simple in the settings and the reader has been very accurate on all attempts.
Overall Review: It's all about price for me, 5-stars (eggs). You get more, for less.
The 4-Cell battery is better than anticipated. While you get some below average battery time (a couple of hours depending on what you are doing), it seems clear Acer would expect you to be plugged in more often than not. This falls in line with being advantageous of the laptops abilities, such as, being plugged in and using the 1060, turboing the i7, etc. I watched movies on it for about 6 and a half hours straight before the 10% warning appeared. These times will vary depending on what you’re doing. If you are rendering videos, anticipate a much smaller window of battery life (same goes for playing games).
In person perception vs actual results got me here. The display is gorgeous to my eyes when looking at it. Colors pop, even distribution of light, contrast seems okay…however…I was surprised that testing conflicted with my perceived opinions of greatness. On the black crush test, the last notably visible black is box 6 (that’s not great for an IPS display in the field of contrast). During motion tests (including UFO) the over and under scan seemed exaggerated. This leaves me conflicted, I think from using it, from seeing it I feel like it is great, but testing tells me it’s a bit underwhelming.
While on the display topic, given the hardware awesomeness inside I think Acer fell short not going with a higher resolution display option. 1440p would have been fantastic here, a lot of laptops are going higher-res routes, and this laptop definitely has the power to manage this. The display does output a very acceptable 320-350nits brightly lit areas are no real challenge.
TEMPS WHILE GAMING:
Under load the temps stay within reason. Different tests yielded different results. Surprisingly the old Valley benchmark was the warmest hovering around 77c after 30 minutes (warm but acceptable). Newer tests like Unigines Superposition Benchmark stayed in the low 60c range, but occasionally tipped at 70c.
Below are the various Scores from several tests, consolidated for your convenience:
Crystal Disk for 600P SSD – 1557/R 519/W
Firestrike Score- 10,296
GeekBench Core i7-8750H – 1) Single Core – 5165 2) Multi Core – 20,515
GeekBench Core i7-8750H OpenCL Score – 22,938
GeekBench GTX 1060 CUDA Score – 129,179
Unigine Superposition High settings – 5661 (no stutter on play through)
Things to mention:
Fan sounds of the twin blower style fans is noisy. It can take a 30dBa room, and if you’re in front of the laptop it will feel like a 60dBa room. I suppose a lot of cooling needs to happen for the tri-pipe design that’s implemented. One day we’ll have better mobile solutions for cooling and fan noise, but that day is not today.
Areas above the keyboard get quite warm at an external temperature of 46c. The exhaust in the back feels like a portable heater at times under load. The laptop does push some boundaries in the temperature department. That being said, it’s really nothing outside of reasonable. When running VR for seven hours straight the rear exhaust hovered around 60c (140f) external exhaust temps. That is hot enough to feel like you should be concerned…but not hot enough to be of any real issue.
IS IT REALLY VR READY?
Yes absolutely. A buddy brought his Rift over and we hooked it up and played all kinds of VR games for about seven hours on it. We used a laptop cooler for some of it to lift it up, and tested it flat on the table also. While thermals got high flat on the table the external didn’t pass 60c in temps. That’s pretty hot, but it did stabilize in that heat range never getting hotter than that.
We tried to heat throttle it but it managed everything and provided stutter free VR gaming. So, yeah, impressively VR ready.
The only comment my friend made was you will need a hub of 3.0 inputs for sensors, as the laptop lacks the actual required, and prescribed amounts.
Pros: Small sleek and snazzy looking. The aesthetic of the device flows well with my many white peripheral devices that I have at one of my editing stations. I’ve been testing it with some of my stock 4k footage and pulling from it as I would from my NAS with mixed feelings.
Inside is a 2.5 mechanical HDD that does vibrate. However, accessing the enclosure is not intended and subsequently is not simple to do (if you wanted to trade it out at some point).
Like most drives the numbers are rounded (in my case 2TB) realistically it is roughly 1.81TB.
As far as performance it falls a little on the lackluster side.
Toshiba does offer a link pre-inserted on the drive that takes you to a download link for both security software and backup software.
Cons: Rated for 3.0 and using a dead/dying USB standard (USB 3.0 Micro B) I expected something a little more decent. Seq. Read/Write speeds (using 5 runs at 1GB) resulted in:
Read/150 Write/153.9 (About half of what I was hoping for) other scores like Q8T8/Q32T1 were even less impressive scoring .5/6.7 respectively.
CrystalDisk reporting is one thing but real time transfer is another story…
I transferred a 3.17GB video file from SSD to this external. At first the transfer sat around 112MBps but steadily dropped and evened out at 50MBps, over the course of the transfer the HDD dropped and stalled 3 times leaving an identical pattern on the graph for each stop it encountered on transfer. This feels like a bottle neck of information, but that’s pure speculation.
The HDD vibrates, and causes the plastic chassis it is in to vibrate. It is noticeable and I find this unappealing. The enclosure also lacks rubber feet or a better rubberized underside which would help dampen the sound and keep it in place on the desk.
I take issue with a few things here that make this a deal breaker for me. The vibrating hard drive, slow and stalling performance, outdated USB interfacing, and lacking rubber feet.
Overall Review: SO who is this for? The price is not unreasonable for the casual user. If it is a go with you everywhere drive and you don’t have high demands for extreme dependability this will likely suit you well for a while. It is however a little underwhelming for my taste. Bigger business oriented models like the Passport series offer more in terms of cloud solutions, and better hardware.
If you want something that is low priced, high capacity, and looks good, maybe this is for you. Otherwise the money may better be sent elsewhere as I don’t feel like the HDD lives up to what I expect from Toshiba.
Pros: -Addressing the price tag:
It’s a hefty price tag among its competitors, I don’t dispute that. The pricing is a bit on the high end but in the case of the Astrape it can be justified for a few reasons. This PSU is (in a way) a ‘specialist’ PSU. It features all of the luxuries of a great PSU while offering options for very specific use (more on that below).
-Addressing who makes the PSU? (The OEM):
I reached out to Gamdias directly and surprisingly got my answer. Typically it’s easy to locate a UL number and trace to the manufacturer but this PSU seemed to keep its secrets well. Gamdias requested I not share for the moment, for reasons relating to other company projects. I can say it is a solid manufacturer with several Bronze/Silver/Gold/Platinum and even Titanium rated PSU’s under their belt. Rest assured, the OEM choice is impressive.
The Astrape is fully modular and offers some unexpectedness. This is what I mean by stating it’s a bit of a specialist PSU:
The CPU power pins can accommodate twin 8 pin sockets (2x 4x4). If you’re looking to power a twin Xeon board (for example), you should be well accommodated.
All black cables (with the exception of PCI-E) is safe bet, modding cables can be a pain, perhaps we will see custom kits for the new high end Astrape soon. The 24pin PSU connection is a bit on the unique side as it splits and connects rather differently. I can’t say for sure why it is split the way it is, but I will guess it has something to do with how they achieve the efficiency rating.
On the back is a switch for quiet mode. Quiet mode is the way to go, this PSU can take a heat pounding and running standard mode is unnecessary. Turning off quiet mode will make you sad based on how loud it is. This is not specifically the PSU’s fault, this falls on the Aeolus fan within it. The Aeolus fan seems to be a bit on the loud end when it spins up to max.
If you have a shroudless or otherwise exposed grill/opening, the RGB is pretty stellar. Gamdias has battled with light hot spotting and uneven lighting, however, the Aeolus fan delivers great even lighting. I’m typically an intake in kind of guy but I can’t help myself here, its face up for the fan in a 275R tower and can be seen perfectly.
The switch on the back can rotate through a plethora of static colors, and a handful of lighting modes. If you don’t want the lights on, they can also be turned off.
Cons: I don’t like the choice to cap the PCI-E’s in red. This is less than discrete.
Other than this I don’t have any real complaints. This is a pretty awesome PSU.
Overall Review: Color me impressed… So it is a PSU, and a lot of people don’t put that much stock in to their PSU. You can get decent, efficient PSU’s for pretty affordable prices. A lot of companies have small innovations that make PSU’s great, but being honest, they aren’t usually the thing we as PC builders invest a lot of thought in to. Maybe that’s more of a self-admittance and doesn’t accurately reflect you personally.
This isn’t a con, this is just me being a nerd. The marketing team should have a nerd auditor in their employ for this type of thing… it made me smile when I read it. On the box, it reads ATI Crossfire support. If you’ve been doing this a while then you know why that’s snicker-worthy. ATI hasn’t been ATI since 2008.
I like this PSU a lot It’s a 5 out of 5 from me.
Pros: The 275R has a more minimalistic look for the less edgy of us out there. The acrylic version of the tower is great for some light modding, but if you’re someone that can afford a tid bit more I would recommend the glass panel version (it has a few extra perks for only $10 more).
A fully enclosed basement shroud is definitely the right direction. This makes for a clean and easy way to hide that potential cable mess, and/or additional addons (hubs, USB expansion, etc.). The full shroud is much nicer than having to buy an additional sold separately plate to close the shroud off (570X tower).
Rubber grommets are a huge win in any tower, but if you want those, you need to purchase the $10 more glass panel version. They will not be found here in the acrylic variant.
The top IO is nice and discretely placed. The top IO covers the bases with power, reset, headphone and mic inputs, and two USB 3.0. Corsair added an interesting white LED light at the base of the front that adds a little extra flare and glow. Some may find this odd but it does not bother me. Looks nice, but really, that’s up to whoever buys it if they like it or not.
The tower can accommodate up to a 360mm rad in the front. This makes perfect sense since Corsair just released the H150i (their first 360mm rad).
The front of the tower has a brushed aluminum look, it looks great, however it is plastic stylized to appear this way.
The removable 3.5” drive cage is concealed away in the shroud, and supports two 3.5” HDDs. The back of the motherboard tray supports up to four places for SSDs, two of which feature captive thumb screw trays for ease of installation.
The actual cut out behind the motherboard tray is massive, offering plenty of working room for easy cooler installation.
The acrylic version has dust filters but lacks the premium top dust filter of it’s $10 more sibling (glass panel version). So while it’s always a plus to have nice filters, it is at the same time discouraging this model lacks the quality/luxury top dust filter.
The feet under the tower offer a nice ‘different’ look. They aren’t the typical feet you may come to expect in most minimalist, lower budget towers. They actually look really nice (in my opinion) and offer a little contrast and freshness to the whole design.
Cons: Corsair is using a more flush mounted allen/hex key screw to hold the panel on to the chassis. I absolutely hate this… The rubber spacers meant to be affixed to the tower all fell off. Over tightening is a concern for damage. The whole process of removing the panel is an obnoxious process and eliminates any ease of access to the tower one may expect or hope for. Thumb screws (like on the 570X) make life so much simpler and make removing the panel so much easier for easy access.
Fan spacing up top is awkward. Towards the front (top) of the tower you can fit one 140mm fan (slightly offset). Or you can skip this awkward solitary placement and install two 120mm fans… which no matter how you orient them offer a lot of dead space that looks awkward/wimpy/bad.
The GPU can be mounted vertically which I think is very cool, unfortunately it gets dangerously close to the side panel and this can cause problems. It can choke the GPU for fresh cool intake air. An additional problem (especially on the acrylic variant) is that it can cause dust build up on the staticy acrylic panel which will leave dust circles at the fans location from sucking inwards. This will lead to you needing to wipe it down when that occurs, further leading to potential micro scratches on the side panel, and also forcing you to open the tower which as I mentioned is a miserable task. Furthermore, and keeping with the trend of current Corsair products (sorry Corsair but it is true) they only offer you HALF of something here. They do not include the riser cable with the tower for vertical mounting. (570X with the missing shroud enclosure… H150i with no TR4 bracket…. All sold separately…) Not including a riser cable is a noteworthy ‘missing item’ from this product.
Overall Review: I love Corsair, but they aren’t immune to weird ideas and flops. This tower is a potential power house for affordable minimalist builders but…come on…
Why a low rating? It’s just a misfit child against its $79 sibling (which still suffers from some of the same cons such as the allen key panels).
Corsair I’m a little confused. You produce two versions of this tower at such a minimal difference in cost, but it seemingly makes no sense for the acrylic version to really exist. If it was the subtle difference of preference for people why are not both versions of the tower exactly the same with the only difference being acrylic, or glass.
If someone prefers acrylic over glass (let’s say to do light modding, frost, or logo work) they sacrifice things like the grommets, and the nice top dust filter… but why should they have to?
It’s my opinion the 275R Acrylic version doesn’t deserve to belong in the lineup for such a negligible price difference and missing (luxury) key features that the glass version has. For $10 someone can get more premium features, making the acrylic model obsolete right out of the gates.
I specifically wanted the acrylic panel for a project I have planned. Disappointment in the lacking features of this tower brought me down compared to the glass version. The glass version is a 5/5 minimalist tower. The acrylic version is a shortcoming of its sibling’s greatness. Skip this for the glass unless you have a specific reason for wanting acrylic.
Pros: The keyboard is the thinnest keyboard of all the mechanical keyboards I have ever tried. While the M3 has such a small footprint, it didn’t compromise in durability. A brushed gunmetal gray aluminum back plate, with strong reinforced plastic give that quality durable feel even for its cracker thin chassis design. I am impressed. Super thin, super lightweight, yet super strong feeling.
The switches are reminiscent of typical blue switches but with a much less loud click/clack from depression to release. I’ve thought about how to describe it for a while…It’s like when popping bubble wrap that’s about as close as I can describe it without a sound test to offer. They offer the same click on depression and clack on release as most cross stem blues, but with a higher pitched, less resonating tactile sound.
The caps are not cross stem, they are a two prong design. Due to the two prong design over the standard cross stem design the keys don’t wobble as you might expect. They sit firmly on the switch and are stable when typing. They also boast an impressive sixty million click per switch life span over the typical 40-50 million in most cross stem switches. The 3mm travel distances can be detected over the usual 5mm travel distance of most standard mechanical keyboards. Moving fingers around and typing is seamless and comfortable. These low profile switches and caps offer a whole new experience. I won’t say I’m 100% in love with it, but it’s definitely a new experience.
The USB cable is non-braided and detachable (a good thing). The cable is about 5 feet long (1.5ish meters). It plugs in via micro USB (I wish it was USB C but it’s not) and a quick note; the cable is a bit on the flimsy feeling side. It isn’t horrible but it is a little wimpy feeling.
There are four levels of brightness. 1 Off, 2 (subtle, viewable, but dim) 3 (Much more observable), 4 (able to be seen in bright office lights with ease).
The standard color on most of the presets are set to red, if you want all of the additional customization, colors, and effects, you will need to download and connect with HERA.
The keyboards onboard storage allows for six different player profiles to be saved on to the keyboard. This is particularly useful for people who play one game many different styles with separate function setups/profiles, or play many games where setting up a friendly layout per game comes in handy.
HERA GUI offers MORE in terms of control and function. Since the early conception of HERA it really has come a long way in terms of usability, but still isn’t perfect. Random crashes and failures to launch still occur.
In HERA you are able to do complex macro assignments, profile alterations easily (including key lighting controls). Assign sounds and timers for functions (I’ve never known anyone to use this but I assume some people do). You can even setup on screen display alerts for various features (as well as customize the OSD messages/colors/purpose).
In HERA you can directly control and change lighting with ease. Whether assigning specific lights to specific keys, having a static color you can customize on the RGB spectrum, or choosing preset lighting effects offered by Gamdias.
Cons: Lighting effects center on the P key. Visor effects and certain cycle/spinning effects look off center and uneven because of this. I have seen this before in some keyboards and it feels a little bit sloppy. It feels sloppy mainly because if it was a full 104 key 10-key keyboard the P would be pretty much the center, but on an 87 key 80% TKL keyboard, P is not the center. I hope that makes sense?
The Hermes M3 states that it features on the fly macro recording, however when I attempt to initiate this feature (FN+F9) nothing happens. This was due to a version firmware conflict/issue. A simple firmware update after installing HERA resolved the missing feature issues. Firmware update bootloader crashed twice on me, I had to dig the bootloader out of the HERA download and re-teach the keyboard that it was a keyboard.
Oddly some of the presets in HERA feel a little dull. A spinning color wheel is something I noticed missing, but that’s probably only because I was looking for it specifically. Most of the lighting functions don’t seem to encompass the RGB spectrum. Luckily wave does, and directions can be set to the users liking.
Overall Review: Future updates may allow for even more lighting features/control and I would gladly welcome this and look forward to it.
I have noticed some suspicious new icons popping up in HERA, Gamdias has a new line of RGB fans/liquid AIO pumps/RGB PSUs coming to market soon. One can assume we may be able to link all of these devices together for one cohesive light show. If not oh well, I’m only speculating.
Pricing for the Hermes M3 accurately reflects the new age quality, design and control. It’s a bit of a heavy price tag but a fair price tag. The major issues I have with the keyboard reflect my feelings of sloppy implementations which you may or may not agree with. For the premium price I expect even lighting, clear included documentation, working features (like OTF macro without the need of the fickle HERA UI), and a more quality cable. If one is to spend the extra cash for a product like this, one may expect to have all the bells and whistles, not just ‘almost’ all the bells and a few whistles. Worth the price, but maybe I’m just a bit picky about small things for the price.
Pros: ***EDIT***It is NOT a TR4 compatible Asetek pump. A friend realized this and informed me so I want to make sure I clearly post this here. ***EDIT***
Corsair has finally added a 360MM radiator to their lineup. The H150i comes with 3 ML (Magnetic Levitation) 120MM fans that are easy to install. If you have installed AIO’s before you likely expect the pains of a few certain things that I feel Corsair addressed here.
A lot of times we encounter stiff tubing (example H115i), making (me at least) cautious of how much bending and pulling I should/could do to get the tubes where I want them. While these tubes are still stiff, they are not nearly as stiff as other coolers I have used in the past. Bending/contorting/moving them was simple and didn’t make me sweat over it. On that same note, the pump fittings can easily be rotated, making placing the tubing in your tower where you want, as simple as it gets. I am a big fan of this rotational addition over previous models.
I installed front intake setup with the included extended screws placing the fans on the screws and holding the rad up slightly while I affixed all of them in to the rad. All 12 screws were able to be affixed in easily.
1151 socket installation on this AIO may be the simplest I have used. Just pop in the plastic back plate and screw the 1151 two way screws into it, then slide the mounting holes (on the pump) over, and screw the thumb screws down on it. It’s easy enough to do this post-build. I did it with the tower sitting up right with no complications.
The pump portion is nice and can be controlled via LINK for matching your lighting effects, just plug and rout the MicroUSB to USB header. If you do not have a USB header available, this will work with a MicroUSB to USB-A (not included), and route to the rear IO. Alternatively the pump functions fine without the USB if you don’t care about LINK control.
Corsair, like most companies, likes their branding. The Corsair logo is on both sides of the 15” (total height is about 381mm) rad and of course the pump itself. (The width of the radiator side is about 1” or 25.4mm).
Three PWM fan headers for the respective fans are linked on an extension directly to the pump. They can be routed over the motherboard tray and are long enough to reach all the rad fans easily. The pump is able to regulate them and operates off of SATA power.
For Threadripper folks, the Asetek bracket that came with your Threadripper can be used for TR4 mounting of the new Pro line AIOs (an additional TR4 bracket is not included with this AIO).
So my build is nothing spectacular as a heat source but this is what I have to offer from my 6600K @ 3.9GHz
Under load using Prime95, the H150i gives an expected mid 40’s to low occasional 50c. I ran the tests with fans at 750 RPM in quiet mode, this is the mode that matters to me. Turning on performance (while idle) chilled the CPU to a frosty 12c (according to LINK).
I almost forgot to mention, because it was so unnoticeable. The pump is extremely quiet.
Cons: I am unable to get the ZeroRPM mode to work, I see it, I configure it, yet I am unable to test it. Temps for the H150i blasted on performance to chill to 12-15c, and even after this I swap to ZeroRPM and nothing. Maybe LINK is in need of an update? I have been unsuccessful, but being candid about this. It is not a feature I am truly excited for, I’ll live without it (it’s a cool feature but, I don’t really want my fans stopping and starting all the time anyways). I am mostly just glad LINK sees this pump. I am still fighting with an H80i in another rig that, no matter what I do, LINK just refuses to see the pump (where it has in the past).
The rad itself came pretty banged up to my surprise. A lot of the fins were warped, bent, and scraped right out of the box. I don’t mean to make it sound like it was a destroyed mess but it was notably ‘dinged’ up all over the fins. The packaging seems fine so it was surprising to see this when I pulled the plastic off of the rad. If the rad can be seen in your build this can be an eye sore. If you do a front push/pull configuration, it isn’t noticeable.
Overall Review: ***EDIT***It is NOT a TR4 compatible Asetek pump. A friend realized this and informed me so I want to make sure I clearly post this here.***EDIT***
I think a version that comes with ML 120MM RGB fans would be pretty cool. Maybe an “H150i ML-Pro RGB” that comes with the RGB LED fans vs standard ML fans. That’s just a personal thought. In the world of PC peripheral and devices Pro and Gamer seem to mean ‘pretty lights’ more than anything else (my opinion anyways).
I choose to use the HD fans because I have them, however, the ML fans are nice, quiet, and buttery smooth fans. I would have considered investing in to another three of them had the H150i came with three RGB LED ones.
My H150i Pro was assembled in:
Corsair 570X Front install with HD120 fans instead of the stock ML fans.
TESTING: Using a 6600K @ 3.9GHz as my control, running Prime95 1 hour on ‘quiet’ 700-750 fan RPM: Temps were monitored by Afterburner.
Hope this is somewhat helpful.
Pros: At $255 you’re looking at 31.88/TB on a fast quiet HDD.
I recently implemented a NAS setup using Seagates Ironwolf series, but I typically start by having a copied archive on my editing rig to work off of/save to before export archiving. This upgrade will serve a large rig repository for a long a time. I keep at any given time around 2tb of 4k footage on my main rig before retiring it to the archive where it is available later if needed (but mostly just a footage graveyard).
The 8TB X300 is going to make me lazy to transfer because it’s such a large repository with fast-enough recall for editing I’ll be less inclined to archive, not to mention it adds 5 additional TBs (replacing a 3TB drive) to my local machine.
I’m stained with SSD performance expectations when it comes to gaming, and especially editing. I move most files that I’ll be working on to an SSD while using Adobe Premier (and that’s not going to change with this HDD). No HDD is going to perform at the same caliber. This does not mean it isn’t an exceptional drive for the price. If storage and affordability are what you are looking for the X300 can offer this.
If I am being blunt and giving you real world descriptions as an average consumer
-It feels like every other (current) SATA III 6GB HDD
-It sounds like a mechanical hard drive if you listen for it, obviously because it is, but this is the blunt real world observations in the event you are expecting ninja stealthiness. THAT BEING MENTIONED it doesn’t seem to sound like it is working as hard as other mechanical HDD’s (Not to bash Hitachi here… but have you ever listened to one of the those coffee bean grinders they call Deskstars, they never stop making noise).
This observation could go either way depending on the person. It is Toshiba. I hate to say that with bitter sweet feeling but Toshiba has only redeemed itself in my eyes via OCZ. I got to a point of avoiding Toshiba, until I almost exclusively purchased OCZ SSD’s (OCZ is a Toshiba subsidiary).
It’s hard to snub the price/TB ratio on a more high end, high capacity HDD that falls in line with most of its competition (WD Black, Seagate Firecuda namely). I guess one of my surprises was that the X300 feels like it should have been introduced as a hybrid drive (like Seagtes Firecuda), however, I’m kind of okay with a pretty straightforward, not over sold on itself performance HDD that it is.
Cons: No official RAID support (and Toshiba makes this pretty clear on the box).
Overall Review: Again, just being honest here, when comparing HDDs that are in the same arena, finding discernable differences in a real world experience is almost impossible. I try to think ‘If I blind taste test these by load times and feel… I’m not going to have much luck’ (other than just lucky guesses).
Yeah we can run things like Crystal or HDTune and discover number differences on pass-through tests, but really…and maybe sourly to read this, the differences are often negligible, and non-impactful on the real world user observations.
So on that thought consider that Toshiba doesn’t seem to over sell here (something that Seagate does a lot of despite my love for Seagate it’s true), and in fact offers something good. A high performing desktop HDD that checks all the expectations of average latency response at 6GB over SATA III with 7200RPM and 128MB cache buffer.
The real limitation is SATA, it’s an old standard, good, but old, and too slow for most of our modern needs and more instant demands of large load times. A lot of these companies struggle for ways to make the product more efficient, but despite the limitations of an aging transfer standard this drive is a win in an unwinnable aging standard race.
Pros: A lot of people seem to have had some issues but I have none to report. After I installed my IronWolfs in my NAS I paid attention to everything (based on some alarming reviews). I watched for irreparable bad sectors, I tested massive transfers, I listened for everything. I encountered no problems. I even ran false loads to check efficiency, everything on my end was fine, and they have been in silent, functional, full operation since the install. If anything changes I will return and reflect that here.
The Seagate IronWolf is invaluable to me. I own several for my two home NAS machines. They are excellent in both NAS machines, and I run them daily (one for workflow, one for home use).
I use one two bay 12TB max NAS storage device for 4k video repository/recall. For my purposes this drive is far more than what I need but it shines bright and I highly recommend Seagate to pretty much anyone. They are quiet, they are solid, and they are dependable. The faulty Seagate of the past seems to be gone and they have risen again to the expected standards. Years back the 3TB faulty drive issue I thought would have taken Seagate out of the game.
At most, I have three PC’s working off one NAS. Even pulling a lot of editing data it nowhere maximizes the stream capabilities of the IronWolf. The drives are built around Seagates AgileArray. AgileArray allows for up to 64 simultaneous streams. It’s just a smart choice (to me) HDD with everything Seagate has implemented.
The drive is large, solid, heavy, and for good reason. When running them in a RAID array you want the fit to be as snug and tight as possible to reduce any vibrations from things like the fans. On top of its snug tight design, it features RV (rotational vibration) mitigation, while you can read about this elsewhere it is one key feature in what separates a true NAS drive from a standard consumer HDD.
An additional perk to Seagates AgileArray is dual plane balancing. It offers further peace of mind. I have lost RAID arrays in the past, due to a combination of weaker drives, and poor controllers. Ever since I swapped to a better enclosure and controller, and swapped to far more dependable drives (the IronWolfs) I have never been happier. There have been many times I have had ‘oh no…’ moments but they never seem to fail even under extreme user error…it happens what can I say?
Super happy with these HDDs.
A solid three year warranty offers peace of mind.
Cons: The non-pro variant doesn’t seem to support AcuTrac technology which is a bit of a downer, but not a deal breaker for the price and dependability. I feel like AcuTrac should be standard across all IronWolf variants. It feels like it easily could be implemented across the board and in a way makes me feel like it is a way to make a few more bucks off of the ‘Pro’ tag.
Overall Review: The IronWolfs are specified serious hard drives with an intended purpose. If you are NOT looking for server storage or NAS upgrades it may not be for you. While you can purpose just about any HDD to do just about any job I recommend sticking with intended purposes. If you use this as a PC storage solution, it will work great but be severely underutilized. If you use WD greens or blues for NAS/Server/RAID arrays, they will be severely out matched and likely encounter problems at some point.
There was a point in time where if it wasn’t Western Digital I did not consider it. These recent years with all of the re-designs to Seagate, their pricing, and the performance and dependability have reprogrammed my thoughts on this. I am one happy, repeat customer, of a great company with great products. From their Firecuda to their IronWolf, when it comes to Seagate I am extremely satisfied.
If you’re a first time buyer of a bare drive, it includes drive only. You’ll need to have screws for installation, and to navigate and download updates direct from Seagate. (I figure I’ll mention it because I have seen people say before they didn’t understand why it came as just a drive).
SeaTools is a pretty awesome free diagnostic that Seagate offers. Food for thought if you need to see if a problem arises!
I hope this helps someone!
Pros: All things considered it has a good look about it (of course that’s an opinion). It’s an in-between-er on quality. Some towers are built with heavy steel, and have a strong sturdy frame. The Magnetar strikes on the middle ground, not being flimsy, but not being super sturdy feeling.
There is plenty of access to route cables through cut outs making this a pretty simple to work in tower.
Plenty of room for GPU and tall CPU coolers adds to the allure of the fairly open easy to work in design.
5.25” bay drives. One insert on front panel, the drive cage is oversized, and while some people will appreciate these bays, they largely are a thing of the past, and feel like a poor use of space in the tower. (I’ll mention this cage in both sections because it’s a love hate thing, some people may want 5.25” bay cage for internal drives).
The Magnetar does impressively support a rear 120mm rad, and 240mm in the front. If you want to pull the 5.25” drive bay out, it allegedly will support a 300mm rad no problem (but I don’t use a rad that big).
It’s not glossy, that’s a positive mark worth mentioning I suppose.
An included dust filter is the biggest of the luxury features the tower has. It is a pretty decent filter, unfortunately it pulls from behind the tower. Not a huge deal, but a side tray or front removal might have been a more considerate option.
Cons: Ugly fans. The days of the clear plastic static color loud fans I feel should have come to an end a long time ago. There are so many affordable and great options on the market. Rosewill even has some pretty decent fans they could have strapped in here instead of these.
Strange 5.25” bay drives with twin slots but only one cut out for the top. These bays are somewhat less used these days. Removing it is what I would recommend, seeing one in a tower still makes me cringe. If you need to use CD’s/DVD’s, external drives are the way to go (I Velcro mine under the desk).
The side panel came wrapped but was still scratched under its protective peeling plastic. This will take the excitement and turn it to dismay pretty quickly. Sometimes these things happen, but it’s still unfortunate when it does.
Cable management isn’t the greatest, but it isn’t awful. A shroud would have been a big plus for this, alas there is no basement power supply shroud. You’ll be able to see the cable mess from the PSU at the bottom of the tower through the acrylic side panel.
My power button was missing. The switch for it was secure in the hole, but the plastic power button you depress to actuate the switch was not on the tower. The whole unboxing experience was a bit of a disappointment. It felt like one thing after another was wrong with it.
Overall Review: I would have liked to see some rubber grommets on all of the cut outs. It would have been a much cleaner look inside, and help minimize the cable mess.
USB on front IO is a little lack luster. I would have liked to have seen all USB 3.0.
Hanging thumb screws I don’t think is asking much these days. The simpler a tower is to work with the better. The little things make a big difference.
The tower itself has a nice clean look, but also has a very generic look to it…I guess what I’m trying to say is it feels like more of the same thing we see all over the place, but with a higher than expected price considering some of the premium competition Rosewill faces.
In combo deals, it's a worthy toss in, as an individual purchase...it leaves some to be desired for the price. I know Rosewill can do better.
Pros: Worked well, no complaints, beautiful RGB design, games like a champ
Overall Review: When the price is good, it's a worthy investment.
Pros: I pretty much only buy Firecudas now.
a lot of people like them for consoles, I like them as the main storage option in PC builds (and yes the 2.5's) I just mount them in back out of site in an SSD slot.
Cons: None, these have quickly become my favorite SSHD
Overall Review: Price on these drives is extremely good, makes them super hard to ignore for all of the performance they have to offer.
Pros: It's nothing ground breaking and super spectacular but for the price it is fantastic.
Cons: Green PCB is cheaper than other colors, but it is ugly. :)
Overall Review: Affordable and comparable to the 6 series SSD's I'd recommend it. No problems from me so far!
Pros: Best price (at the time I bought it) for a B250 that looked nice, had features I wanted, and supported onboard RGB 50/50 control header.
Cons: I could have paid more for something with 3.1, and it was odd 3.1 wasn't an option on this mobo.
Overall Review: m.2 location on the back would have been my preference like on some boards.
Pros: It's best suited for some water cooling setups, but it is super easy to work in. I like this tower a lot as a smaller alternative mATX build option to its bigger brother the 303.
Just an excellent tower.
Cons: The plastic tabs for the pass through at the shield are ugly when you snap them. They need to be easier to snap, or you will have to file them down to not look so bad.
Overall Review: Easily a recommendation for the price and quality to anyone looking to build mATX, especially if you're looking for a smaller form factor tower for water cooling.
Pros: Sleek black design with the exception of the HP logo. It is a clean looking SSD in appearance. 2.5” SSD’s have been pushing the theoretical limit for some time now. Not all 2.5” SSDs are created equal. Specifications to look for are the max possible theoretical numbers. The S700 Pro claims seq. read/write 560/520 and random read/write 4kb IOPS (input output per second) 70k/90k. This is pushing the ceiling for a 2.5” SSD so for the price I wanted to be sure the end user is getting what they pay for and as close to the boasted specifications as possible. Below are my Crystal Disk results;
CRYSTAL DISK: 1GB test three run average result.
My control platform test bench is an i5 6600k (no OC) 16GB DDR4 2400mhz on Z170 chipset.
(IOPS are largely considered a scammy, ungoverned form of measurement. Just keep that in mind.)
Seq Read: 453 Seq Write: 411
Random 4k QD=1
Read: 5761 IOPS Write: 17963 IOPS
Random 4k QD=32
Read: 50364 IOPS Write:51291 IOPS
The thing is, the specifications boasted a theoretical higher (really it’s just marketing numbers). Measuring those differences can be difficult, but as many times as I have tested the S700 Pro, I didn’t quite come close. Here are two other SSD’s for reference comparisons.
OCZ Trion 150 (240GB)
Seq Read: 537 Seq Write: 337
Random 4K QD=1
Read: 7537 IOPS Write: 27023
Random 4k QD=32
Read: 86890 IOPS Write: 62375 IOPS
Liteon M.2 SSD (128GB)
Seq Read: 458 Seq Write:182
Random 4k QA=1
Read: 6318 IOPS Write: 15430 IOPS
Random 4k QD=32
Read: 56411 IOPS Write: 44537 IOPS
On examination there are clear differences, but these numbers may be meaningless to most. Each SSD has strengths and weaknesses, but real world experience is what matters most (to me). The S700 Pro claims speed overall, and well, the OCZ takes 14 seconds to boot to Windows, while the S700 Pro takes 8 seconds. So while it may appear to perform less, it performs less, faster (hope that makes sense).
Not that power consumption is a huge selling feature (at least to me) but it should be noted the S700 Pro consumes a reasonably low amount (about 2w vs 1-1.25w of the non Pro version, but less than the 3+ of the Samsung 850). This would only concern me for heat, but I noted nothing hot enough to be a problem hitting a max of 52C under testing. Memory modules (volatile or non) can take a lot of abuse from high temperatures before problems occur.
At first I considered the price of this SSD. It feels a bit on the high side, but the simple and extremely valuable features like a dedicated cache buffer for multi-tasking are an incredible inclusion. This may be the fastest (feeling) and most efficient 2.5” SSD I have ever used in non-RAID. The recall, response, and load times are pretty incredible and satisfactory. RAIDing this SSD would increase its potential.
HP took an aging 2.5” SSD SATA III standard that I personally have considered ‘could not get much better’ and delivered something with the S700 Pro that surprised me. They couldn’t push the limit beyond what SATA III has to offer at the theoretical max, but they did implement improvements within the drive itself that make it feel that way. Truly a job well done. You cannot improve the standard max. The wall of limitations that exists for SATA III sees to that, but the S700 Pro is an example of how you can improve the vessel to create the illusion that the wall has been broken through.
Cons: The only con on this one for me would be the price. Roughly 0.66 cents a gig (at the time that I post this review), vs the fan favorite 850 Evo (250GB) 0.44 cents per gig. It’s hard to articulate real world differences for a substantial increase in price between the two. Even though I would prefer the real world experience of the S700 Pro to even my OCZ Trion.
The S700 Pro offers some premium specifications (some within a margin of error) to end users. How do you show that to someone? Numbers are numbers. Consumer tests may disagree with specification listings (like my numbers do), and knowledge that there is a lack in governance and actual measurements can make people feel mislead. That isn’t a statement directed solely at HP, but rather almost every SSD manufacturer. If IOPS, Read/Writes and latency interest you, there are tons of great articles that cover this in detail.
A lower price could appeal to more and word of mouth would end up being the driving force to purchasing this drive. Incentives (like the one I see as I write this review that includes a Seagate 2TB drive with purchase) add excellent value.
Overall Review: If you’re looking to max yourself with a very well equipped and impressive 2.5” SSD drive, the S700 Pro delivers in a surprisingly powerful way. I did not anticipate to be impressed, and I had low expectations of it and its capabilities.
HP offers an excellent three year warranty. As a consumer that has never really had to call in on a warranty, it still offers me peace of mind that they stand behind the product enough to offer a reasonable warranty.
HP customer support (for an unrelated matter) recently changed in my opinion. I used to very much dislike dealing with HP customer support. Recently though, it has been overwhelmingly positive for me. That doesn’t mean it will be for everyone, but I wanted to note this in my review. I was surprised how helpful they have been. From chat reps, to e-mailing reps, I feel like HP is trying to change that image of garbage CS they were offering to consumers. Kudos HP.
Price is a large factor to me. I feel it may be just a bit too high and that is the only reason for 4/5. You may disagree with this sentiment but price to value is a major player for me. I hope this was helpful! Good luck!
Pros: I write long reviews, sorry.
Corsair has become my favorite Control subject for where the bar should be set. The downside is Corsair values their products the way they deserved to be valued (it’s a downside because it usually means you pay for how good they can be), and I am all about ‘bang for the buck value.’ There have been occasions where I thought the value was placed too high for Corsair products, but for the most part they are on point, from the low end of the price per value spectrum, to the high end of the price per value spectrum.
I mostly invest time reviewing budget peripherals, but for me to feel like I do any bit of good doing that (even if it is just in my own head), it requires me to review something more mainstream, and more cutting edge from time to time so I may offer comparisons. Comparisons both for the end user in real world experiences, and the innovation in the aspect of growing technology.
Let’s break it down a bit starting from the top:
Corsair congratulates you in the quick launch book for buying their product. It always makes me lol.
This is a large mouse that fits well in my large hand. The build quality is astounding and it is extremely comfortable even before trying the additional modular attachments. If you didn’t already know this, the mouse is semi-modular and comes with two additional thumb rests. Whether you go naked out of the box (flush mod with no grip), or decide to go with a large wing for thumb rest control and comfort. On the other hand you have the option for a slightly indented (similar to the flush mod) side grip with texturized rubber for a more minimalist design.
These modular sides each have a clip and magnets to help firmly and comfortably hold them in to place while also being very easy to change out. The wing attachment adds 15 grams, the flush slick side and the indented grip, add 10 grams. The mouse without the USB cable weighs about 110 grams.
The overall incredible design of the mouse shows continuity in the evolution of what Corsair fans like. It follows suit, and fits in with their strong family of gaming mice (of which I own many). The Glaive is consistent with the ‘feel’ of what you might expect if you already own a Corsair mouse yourself. You will likely find the Glaive a satisfying change, and your hand will feel right at home.
The back and forward buttons on the side protrude, and give a robust and satisfying click on depression. They are surprisingly (in my opinion) very well placed, very easy to use, and offer a distinct feel that sets the Glaive apart from most other mice. While the side buttons are great, I have a mild grievance with left and right click feeling like a higher resistance than what I normally expect from Corsair. The Scimitar, the Harpoon, the Katar, offer (for me) a perfect resistance. The Glaive seems to vary from this path and has a slightly higher force requirement for actuation. It isn’t bad, it just isn’t what I prefer considering the trend of the previously mentioned. This higher feeling resistance is likely due to Omrons new 50mil rated switches that the Glaive utilizes. The scroll wheel also falls in line with a higher resistance, but index finger bump feels smooth and fluid when using it.
I attempted to ask what sensor was being utilized in the Glaive. If I were to guess, it is the same sensor Corsair just co-produced with Pixart that Corsair has exclusive rights to already. The PMW3367 which launched in the new Scimitar Pro a few months ago (from the time of this review writing). The PMW3367 was praised as a powerful sensor. Some fans argued that it was more sensor than an MMO mouse deserved (while I disagree with that), it finds a home in the new Glaive. This is speculative as I did not disassemble to confirm it, nor have I heard back from Corsair to confirm it. All signs point to the accuracy and likelihood of this.
16,000 DPI is a lot, and while I’m sure some people utilize this, I still find comfort in the 4-6k range TOPS.
Cons: The single direction DPI switch is disappointing, and becoming antiquated for the high end (high priced) mice. For such a large sized button I wonder why not have implemented a two way functionality. I don’t know if it is just me, but I have always felt there are better solutions for top switches. One of my favorite mice is the Zeus (the OG one not the newer P1) which had three cleverly placed programmable top buttons. It was just a smart design to me.
The lights on the top of the mouse (the thermometer looking lights) are designed to be the DPI indicator. While I understand it, I am still surprised Corsair doesn’t do away with this entirely and go more the rout of EVGA. EVGA’s GUI for their mice will detect the DPI specified and display it briefly on screen, where you are already looking (this just makes sense to me). To me (these days) putting a DPI indicator solely on the mouse is like putting the speedometer next to the brake pedal.
If I were to be critical about Corsair for customer support, I would say they need some improvement. Corsair is good at being loved by fans, but not making them feel loved back with their disappointing lack of support. Fortunately there are a lot of third party forums, and support locations. If you look you will find them, and hopefully not need Corsair to assist you.
As far as being an excellent mouse, the Glaive is everything I hoped it would be. The mouse itself merits a five star review despite personal preferences I disagree with. It is exceptional. Part of buying from one of the top companies, part of the experience of being a loyal customer and fan of a company (to me anyways) is how they are to the people that support them by purchasing (and being congratulated for purchasing) their products. The part of this review process that left a bad taste in my mouth, which took away from my overall scoring, is the customer support.
Overall Review: There is a mean and beautiful look about the design. The Glaive is one large mouse so don’t let any images fool you. I was actually surprised. It is larger than any of Corsairs mice, and probably the largest mouse I have ever owned.
Modular isn’t a new thing but I like the options and believe this to be the way to go. Kudos on an excellent addition to the family Corsair.
To capitalize on a few extra things if you are wondering:
-There are three zones for the RGB lighting. Stripes on both the left and right side down the back, headlights on the front, and the logo on the rear.
-Six foot Braided cable, nickel plated USB connection.
-The wing attachment adds an extra Teflon foot (making a total of five Teflon feet when using the wing).
-Corsair gives you a little branded pouch for your attachments.
-Aluminum body construction.
-Omron switches rated for 50 Million click life cycle.
-Speculative PMW3367 Sensor.
Pros: Keeps the 7700k perfectly cool even with simple OC adjustments.
Looks excellent. Cryorig really makes quality products, I'm glad i tried them this time.
The way the fan is mounted is nice and not proprietary, which makes swapping fans a breeze (hah see what i did there)
Awesome, I'm a Cryorig believer now.
Overall Review: Looks amazing, I'd recommend this.
Pros: For pretty bad DDR4 prices, this was a deal when I got it!
Overall Review: I love a good price, and this is a good price (at least when I got it)
Pros: On sale at 80, with a $20 rebate. I happened to have $15 credit from newegg as well. So yeah. A hardpass, and a great chance to see what the 460 can do for a budget build.
I wouldn't personally pay full price (90-100ish) for the 460. To me it is worth spending a little more, for a lot more, but for those that feel the pinch with every dollar, its a great experience provider for 1080p esports (rocket league/OW/various MOBAs/and games like WoT)
Cons: None for the price!
Overall Review: Its dinky looking