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David M.

David M.

Joined on 06/07/13

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 35
Most Favorable Review

Well, that was surprising.

Western Digital WD Blue SN500 NVMe M.2 2280 500GB PCI-Express 3.0 x2 3D NAND Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) WDS500G1B0C
Western Digital WD Blue SN500 NVMe M.2 2280 500GB PCI-Express 3.0 x2 3D NAND Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) WDS500G1B0C

Pros: -To say that it is decently fast is an understatement -5-year Warranty -A full 300TBW for the 500GB model -Good Cache Sytem

Cons: -No DRAM Cache -PCIe 3.0 2x, as opposed to 4x -No capacities greater than 500GB at this time -Not much else, actually.

Overall Review: I have observed 4K random reads at Q3 depth around 620 MB per second, and writes at the same depth at 520 MB per second. That's pretty fast, even taking into account this newest generation of NVMe drives, that's still pretty fast. This surprised me, as another rig that I own has a slightly older NVMe drive from another company, running at PCIe 3, 4x, and this WD Blue SN500 beats it hands down. This was quite surprising, as indeed, I intended for that to be the performance drive, and this new WD Blue to be the "budget solution." So, here I am, considering swapping them, and wondering how I will manage to do so with my foot in my mouth. If you want ultra-fast performance, then, please get an NVMe with a DRAM cache, which this drive lacks, but, my older NVMe does have a DRAM cache, and yet still slightly underperfoms this simple "budget" drive. Of course, this drive is newly-released, at the time of this writing, and belongs to the latest generation of NVMe. So, the controller and the tech behind the drive are top-notch consumer-grade, so, it makes sense that it can beat some of the older NVMe drives. Still, this drive does have some impressive performance for the price.

Most Critical Review

Quite Awful

DEEPCOOL GAMMAXX 400 CPU Air Cooler 4 Direct Contact Heatpipes, 120mm PWM Fan with Blue LED, Multi-platform Intel/AMD CPUs (AM4 Compatible)
DEEPCOOL GAMMAXX 400 CPU Air Cooler 4 Direct Contact Heatpipes, 120mm PWM Fan with Blue LED, Multi-platform Intel/AMD CPUs (AM4 Compatible)

Pros: -It's Cheap

Cons: -It's Very Cheap -Mounting System broke after three total mounts -Mounting System is not recommended for Intel Motherboards, due to the weight of the tower pulling against the plastic clips

Overall Review: So, this cooler, on Intel Sockets, uses Intel's plastic clip system. Which is fine for the small heatsink-fans. But, for a tower-style as heavy as this, it is simply not sufficient, particularly motherboards in a vertical-mount orientation, which is the most common orientation. As for me, things started off well, but, as I upgraded a couple times, and needed to swap out CPUs in order to update BIOSs, etc, the mounting clips deteriorated with astonishing speed. And yes, I followed all the instructions in the Manual each time. By the third mount, only three of the four clips could be mounted properly, and my CPU was idling at 90c in the BIOS screen. So, in what I am certain is a great insult, I pulled my Intel Box Cooler out of the closet and am now using that instead. Upon closer inspection, the clips used by Intel are of a much sturdier, higher-grade plastic than the clips used by Deepcool here. In addition, the Direct-Contact Heatpipes are laughable. The cold-plate is so grossly uneven, amd makes contact so poorly, that I was having to apply almost twice as mush thermal paste as normal, anyway, wiping out much of the cost-savings from purchasing this cooler. Frankly, I am so disappointed that I am not even going to ask for a Warranty Return, as all they would do is send me another, and 1) Its not with the cost of shipping, and 2) I don't want it. Now, I may find a use for the fan, if, I can find a way to kill it's awful LED lights.

Good, but simple. Great for everyday computing.

Team Group MP33 M.2 2280 1TB PCIe 3.0 x4 with NVMe 1.3 3D NAND Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) TM8FP6001T0C101
Team Group MP33 M.2 2280 1TB PCIe 3.0 x4 with NVMe 1.3 3D NAND Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) TM8FP6001T0C101

Pros: - 5 year warranty - Decent performance for DRAMless drive - Does exactly what I need it to do, and does it well - Price-to-performance

Cons: - DRAMless - Cache and controller lag a bit - Performance outstripped by more expensive drives

Overall Review: So, let's not fool ourselves here: This drive is not for professional use. Pro video editors, Photo editors, animators, AutoCAD users, etc, etc need to go PCIe gen 4.0x4, with DRAM buffers. Even many youtubers and streamers may want to look somewhere else, some place with a better controller. If you are a pro, and your Read/Writes are mission critical, I cannot recommend. However, I bought this drive simply as extra storage for things like Media and Games, and use the rest as a scratch disk that I back up later. And it works perfectly for that task. Loading times decrease significantly compared to a SATA III SSD, and with a 5-year warranty and solid TBW Program/Erase ratings, this thing has proven itself reliable to me. There are faster cars in the lot, but this is a nice, comfy, affordable station wagon, that gets the job done and doesn't complain. All at a very reasonable price. If this is your first NVMe, or if you just need that extra storage and have a spare M.2 slot. Then, I can highly recommend this.

Great cooling, poor mounting

be quiet! 250W TDP Dark Rock Pro 4 CPU Cooler with Silent Wings - PWM Fan - 135 mm LGA 1700 Compatible
be quiet! 250W TDP Dark Rock Pro 4 CPU Cooler with Silent Wings - PWM Fan - 135 mm LGA 1700 Compatible

Pros: -So, this performs very well, as you would expect from the price.-However, it tends to be priced much lower than the alternatives from Noctua-Even with a 5ghz overclock, I've not seen my CPU hit 90 degrees C.-Included thermal paste is adequate. Though, for major overclocking, I would recommend using something else.-Fits well inside my reasonably small case, though please, please, measure twice, cut once as they say. It is a rather substantial cooler, so take measurements. But mATX and larger cases will take this just fine, for the most part.

Cons: -Mounting system is better than Cooler Master, but worse than Noctua. Really, there is a lot left to improve in the mounting.-Instructions for the mounting system that come in the box are basically worthless. So, just look up an instructional video online.-Included thermal paste is inferior to Noctua, and comes in a much smaller capacity. Only enough for one or two applications, according to Be Quiet!'s own instructions.

Overall Review: I can complain all day about the mounting system and the thermal paste, et al.However, I cannot complain about the performance once it is installed. It is quiet, calm, cool, and highly effective. End of story.This is a great cooler that will serve you well for many, many years to come. There are some kinks to work out in the end, but, overall, you will be happy with this cooler.

Fantastic Value

G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 288-Pin PC RAM DDR4 3600 (PC4 28800) Intel XMP 2.0 Desktop Memory Model F4-3600C16D-16GVKC
G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 288-Pin PC RAM DDR4 3600 (PC4 28800) Intel XMP 2.0 Desktop Memory Model F4-3600C16D-16GVKC

Pros: -High Clock Speed -Decent Timings -G.Skill, and this kit in general is on man Motherboard Vendor's QVL -Lifetime Warranty

Cons: -Timings could be tighter -Recently, this kit has shown sporadic availability

Overall Review: So, after some tweeking, I was able to tighten up the timings a bit. But, I could not get this kit to overclock higher without raising the voltages. I got: 15-19-19-34 timings @1.2v My kit came with South Korea Hynix CJR-dies. and the above timings got me roughly: ~5000 MB/sec reads and writes on AIDA64's memory benchmark. And also on SiSoft's Sandra Memory bench I scored: ~33 GB/sec So, that is pretty fast. And while you should make no error, there are better, faster kits available, frankly they all cost at least 50% more. This kit is a grab-bag, meaning it can come with dies from different manufacturers, Hynix, Micron, or Samsung. But, they all make quality memory. But also know that if you plan to overclock, well, the Hynix CJR is not that good. I saw no difference in performance or stability between 1.2v and 1.35v. So, I just tightened up the timings and was happy. If you want to overclock, then you may wish to look elsewhere though. 3600mhz with tightened timings and an undervolt from the XMP settings is great for me in my scenario, though, and I am definitely happy with this kit. EDIT: I am running this memory kit on an Intel Z390 motherboard. As always, please, please check your motherboard manufacturer's website to see if a memory kit you are purchasing is on their QVL listings. Never buy RAM for your system that is not on the QVL listing.

Fantastic. End of story.

Intel Core i7 9th Gen - Core i7-9700KF Coffee Lake 8-Core 3.6 GHz (4.9 GHz Turbo) LGA 1151 (300 Series) 95W BX80684I79700KF Desktop Processor Without Graphics
Intel Core i7 9th Gen - Core i7-9700KF Coffee Lake 8-Core 3.6 GHz (4.9 GHz Turbo) LGA 1151 (300 Series) 95W BX80684I79700KF Desktop Processor Without Graphics

Pros: -Full 8-core CPU -Mine Overclocked to 5.2ghz on all cores on air cooling -Ridiculously powerful single-core performance -Frankly, the lack of hyper-threading doesn't bother me

Cons: -Well, I said that, but, Hyper-threading would have been a nice feature -L3 Cache is a bit smaller than expected -Requires at least a 130w-rated cooler for optimal performance -This chip shows very sporadic availability as of late

Overall Review: So, looking at the purely Intel side of the market for now, I think that this is the best bang-for-the buck that Intel is offering. The 8700k is a great chip, for sure, but I always prefer real, physical cores to hyper-threads. But, that is just me, perhaps your particular workload will favor the 8700k. In reality, hyper-threading is a very good feature to have, but, it is only one of several very good features to have on a CPU, and I prefer the cores to the threads any day. Looking at the entire market, including AMD, Ryzen 3rd gen has many compelling values through the price ranges. But, even in many productivity tasks, the 9700KF can keep up in many of them well, especially considering the overclocking headroom and clock-advantage that this chip can provide. Don't get me wrong, Ryzen 3rd gen is definitely worth a look, I am just attesting that this chip proves that AMD has not conquered the price-to-performance market yet. When paired with a high-end GPU, this chip provides excellent performance in gaming. That being said, for gaming and simultaneous streaming and recording, the hyper-threads are missed. If you plan to do that with this chip, then, you will likely need additional equipment. When paired with, say, an RTX 2070 super, 2080, or a 5700XT, I don't recommend even bothering to overclock this CPU, as you will only see rather minimal gains. Predictions are dangerous things, but, I predict that even when paired with high-end GPUs, this chip will perform well for at least six years to come. My chip overclocked to 5.2ghz on all cores. Though, it should be noted that was on a Noctua air cooler. So, please, please make certain your cooling situation is in order before overclocking this chip. Even at the out-of-the-box settings, I recommend at least a 130w-rated cooler for optimal performance. If you want to overclock, then, well, I suggest either a high-end air cooler or a 240mm all-in-one liquid cooler. See, while Intel's Ringbus architecture used here is very low-latency, it does have a weakness: adding more cores and higher clocks increases power consumption and heat generation geometrically. And that is a real problem on these 8-core chips. This is as opposed to AMD's infinity fabric, in which power consumption and heat generation increase linearly with core counts and clock speeds. Add to this that the 9700K/F is on Intel's 14nm process, and you can see how this is a problem with heat generation. That though, is really this chip's only weakness in my opinion. All things considered, this is an excellent, high-end CPU, at a very reasonable price. . . when it is available, that is.

10/30/2019