Yamaha NSIW960 2-Way Speaker Review

  • Crossover Type-2-way;Minimum Frequency Response-50 Hz; Physical Characteristics-Weight (Approximate)-6.20 lb.;
  • Crossover Frequency-6.50 kHz; Maximum Frequency Response-28 kHz;
  • PMPO Output Power-150 W;Impedance-8 Ohm;
  • Dual 6.5″ Kevlar cone woofers
  • 1″ titanium swivel dome tweeter
  • 150-Watt maximum input capability
  • High-capacity, high-quality customized crossover network
  • Gold-plated push-type speaker terminals

Product Reviews

“Great sound” – Anthony
Score: 5/5 Source: Amazon.com

I purchased 3 and hooked them in a LCR setup for my basement 7.1 theater and I’m amazed with the clear sound I’m getting out of the 3 front speakers and the 4 NS-IW470- 6.5″ surround speakers also Yamaha, I would recommend this set up to anyone.
“Solid, high quality speaker” – Dave
Score: 4/5 Source: Amazon.com

Recently upgraded my receiver and wanted to clean up my home theater space so I decided to get rid of my bookshelf speakers and mount something in the wall. Having always been a fan of Yamaha, I took a look at their in-wall line and liked the look of the 760s and 960s. Specs were very similar between their single-woofer models and the duals and I thought that I’d like the look of the duals a bit more; and for slightly more ($20 per speaker) the 960s add 20W of power and have Kevlar woofers, which I am hoping may last a little longer than the coated paper.

Have had them for several months now so they’ve had time to break in, and these are nice, natural-sounding speakers. I listen to music CDs or concert DVDs more than movies and, when in pure stereo mode, these 960s have a very life-like staging. If you have a passive subwoofer or one with relatively low power, you may want to opt for an 8-inch single-woofer model, like the Polk MC85, that will give you a deeper response; if you have a decent sub and need your fronts to concentrate on the mids and highs, the 960s should be quite pleasing. And with handling of 150W, they can fill a decent sized room with no problem.

As far as installation, these were a breeze. Supplied is a template – simply trace it and cut out your drywall. Attach your speaker wire to the binding posts, press the speaker into the hole and tighten the 6 screws. And if you’re painting them before installation, Yamaha includes a plastic tray that fits snuggly into the groove where the grill fits – just put that in place and spray paint the frames, and do the grills as well. I’d suggest spraying both sides of the grill to make sure you’ve covered the inside of the holes. I matched them to my wall color and they blend into the decor nicely; if you’d rather paint them black to compliment your flat-screen monitor, I’m sure that would look great as well.

In all, the 960s are a solid flush-mount speaker. Good power, nice sound and simple installation. Decent buy at $199 each, but a great buy from Amazon at under $100 each.

“Great speaker – but hard to install as a center” – Do-It Yourselfer
Score: 3/5 Source: Amazon.com

We selected this speaker as a center channel for our home theater system. The sound is fantastic, but because of the size, it won’t fit between two studs, so you end up having to cut studs and frame around the speaker. It would be a 5-star product for vertical installation (which would be EXTREMELY easy, but for horizontal installation…Let’s just say that I would probably choose something else if I were to do it again.
“great center channel” – Amazon Customer
Score: 4/5 Source: Amazon.com

First let me start by saying this thing sounds great. The bad thing is most houses have 16″ stud spacing. If you are actually constructing a room, plan for this. You’ll need 24″ stud spacing. Now, if this fits the bill and you’re able to fit this, you’ll love it. The clarity is excellent. You hear every bit of what you should with a center channel. The dual kevlar woofers are well built, the tweeter is crisp, construction quality is top notch, and the grill is elegantly curved versus flat. I didn’t use the “glue” to hold the grill on. It stays on without the mess. The color, like most in wall or in ceiling speakers, is more off white, so don’t expect brilliant white. I gave it a 4 star because of the width restriction.
“Yamaha NS-IW960 In-Wall Speaker” – David B. Katz
Score: 5/5 Source: Amazon.com

This is an awesome speaker as a whole. It serves as my center channel directly below my 50″ Panasonic plasma. The sound quality is very good. Installation was easy if you are technically inclined. This speaker was a bit longer than other LCR speakers I looked at in this price range. I decided to go with it partially for that reason (so it wouldn’t look so small under the tv). I hand painted the trim in less than 10″ with a brush. The grill took two coats with a home depot handheld sprayer (cartridge type, $10). The paint was diluted with water at least 10 fold. If a whole fills with paint simply blow on it to pop it out. The speaker is visible, but blends right into the wall. Given the inexspensive price and all of this, I couldn’t be more pleased.
“Yamaha in Wall speakers!” – K. Arnold
Score: 4/5 Source: Amazon.com

These speaker cabinets are not small for in wall applications, so pay attention to the product dimensions. The sound is very good for the price. Installation requires that you pay attention to directions, it is easy enough to break off the plastic clamps that hook into the drywall behind the speaker if you use a power screw driver so exercise some care with this detail! These are used for side and rear speakers on a 7.1 surround sound Pioneer Elite sound system at 110 watts per channel with good results. Finding a reasonably priced speaker with decent sound for use at these power levels is not always easy and these Yamaha’s fit the bill nicely.
“yamaha quality” – Scott P. Peevy
Score: 5/5 Source: Amazon.com

Great product. Yamaha quality in every aspect. These are being used as left and right front speakers and the sound matches well with the center channel (yamaha ns-c225) and rear surrounds (yamaha ns-iw360c).
“Great Unit – Size larger than expected for horizontal mounting.” – LotusEater
Score: 5/5 Source: Amazon.com

Works great as my center channel. Be aware that it is wider than typical 2×4 spacing if mounting horizontally. I had to remove a part of a stud and build a header to support this as vertical mounting was not an option.
“Excellent as a center speaker.” – Toolmanjsp
Score: 5/5 Source: Amazon.com

Great sounding speaker to my ears. I use one of these for the center channel in an office training room (7.2 surround system) and it seems well suited for this. No distortion all the way up to max volume when the amp starts to clip. Voices and center channel sounds very clear.

If you are putting them horizontally in a stud wall, you will need to cut at least one stud out to get the clear width needed to put these in the wall. Mounting vertically they will of course fit within one stud cavity but this didn’t seem right for the center channel.

I had trouble with two of the six clamps. It could be because I was installing in a commercial building with 5/8″ drywall (instead of standard 1/2″ in a house) because when I loosened the screw far enough to get clearance two of the toggles refused to turn to the clamp position (friction between the screw and the toggle is supposed to make it turn so it clamps the edge of the hole). Nonetheless 4 clamps seem to hold it well enough and I give it 5 stars for the appearance and sound. I’d take off 1/2 star for the mounting system if Amazon allowed it.

“Excellent buy. Good bang for your buck.” – Charles Williams
Score: 5/5 Source: Amazon.com

Really nice speaker. I have Klispch and Polk speakers too. I have installed all 3 in customers homes. I went with the NSIW960 version because I liked the Kevlar cone. I use it as a center and 2 for fronts in my den 18X32X8. The sound is full and clear. The power handling is accurate. I am powering my speakers with the Pioneer VX 1123K and a Pioneer VX 1124K. I also have Yamaha 6.5 3 way as my rears. You will not find a better speaker for the price. Dollar for dollar these these Yamaha speakers are as good as Martin Logan in this price range. They are better than Polk or Klispch at a lower price. Let me be clear. These are not just entry level low grade speakers. They are of excellent construction and a great crossover.

Western Digital 250 GB WD Black SATA III 7200 RPM 16 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Notebook Hard Drive WD2500BEKX Reviews

  • Sophisticated performance enhancing features deliver the speed you need for demanding applications like photo and video editing and Internet gaming.
  • High performance, high capacity, high reliability, and cutting-edge technology make up WD Black, the ideal drive for those who demand only the best.
  • Dual processor provides twice the processing power to maximize performance.
  • 250 GB capacity holds up to 50,000 digital photos, 62,000 MP3 files, and up to 30 hours of HD video.
  • 5 year limited warranty.
  • Package includes a hard drive only – no screws, cables, manuals included. Please purchase mounting hardware and cables separately if necessary.

Product Reviews

“Fast” – Kamran
Score: 5/5 Source: Amazon.com

I’ve replaced the original HDD of my notebook, which was Seagate ST750LM022, with this one, and I’ve been using it for two weeks. For me, the following changes were tangible:
1. Increased performance: Of course not as much as using an SSD drive, but in comparison to my previous HDD this drive is much faster. While the Windows 8’s score remain the same for two HDDs (5.9), the increased performance is clear. Just don’t expect a huge enhancement.
2. Increase power consumption: The battery life time of my notebook has been decreased from 7 hours to less than 4.5 hours! It seems awful, but I don’t have any complain about this, since this is a black edition product of Western Digital and is specifically designed for performance.
3. HDD noise is a little bit higher, but it is still in an acceptable level and can be neglected.
4. Vibration of this HDD is more than the previous one, which should be natural for 7200 rpm drives.
Hope this information help you find your right HDD.
“Drive’s Good, Packing-Shipping Much Improved” – bentsnake
Score: 5/5 Source: Amazon.com

The drive itself is a Western Digital Black. There are millions of them running right now all over the world. Given half a chance (mostly meaning no shipping damage, and not overheated) these drives will run happily for years.

As for it being an “Advanced Format” drive (AFD), I’m running Windows XP on two such drives. Western Digital provides a program that makes the needed adjustments (if any) to the drive, though oddly, you can only download the program after you register your warranty. The program itself is simple to run.

The important thing here is that Amazon seems to have cleaned up the way it ships hard drives. I’ve posted pictures of the shipment I received. The drive was contained in what appears to be a factory box, and that box was contained in another.

Sadly, there was no packing material at all between the two boxes. All shipped boxes are thrown around by carriers (if not by human handlers, then by the sorting machinery) and the lack of packing material here can actually amplify shock loads when the small box slides inside the larger. Even a small amount of brown paper wadding here would make all the difference. But still this is a huge improvement over Amazon’s previous near-useless packing methods, so credit where it’s due.

Again sadly, it’s not certain that every shipment is packed this way (or perhaps better, with packing materials between the two boxes). In the past different Amazon shipping points have used different packing methods, so unless Amazon makes an announcement we can only hope for the best.

There are some general things to know about hard drives. None of this is my personal opinion, it’s all information I’ve gotten from the Western Digital and Seagate web sites:

All hard drives are essentially silent. Any intrusive noises, including loud clicks, and especially including any grinding noises, are guarantees of imminent failure.

Hard drives have no noticeable vibration. Put your hand on the metal casing (not the circuit board) and you can barely feel the disks spinning, and that’s all be vibration there should ever be. Anything more means, again, imminent failure.

An occasional exception to the no-noise-no-vibration rule happens when the metal parts of the computer case vibrate, which can amplify sound the way a guitar top does. But this is not common, and the general rule about hard drives is: you should never know it’s running.

Overheating is death to all electronics. If you’re at all geeky do a web search for a free program named Speccy, by piriform dot com. Speccy requires no installation. Just 2click to run it, and it reports various internal temperatures. Anything over 50 degrees Celsius is bad, and lower is better. Check your fan(s), make sure air vents are clear, always ensure that there’s a cooling airflow.

As a matter of information, these are laptop drives but I have two and run them in my two desktops. The data (small) and power (large) cable connectors are the same, they plug in with no alterations or adapters of any kind. The connectors themselves automatically make the right connections.

And finally, my opinion is don’t hesitate to use Amazon’s 30-day warranty. Shipping damage seems to be the #1 cause of hard drive failures, so if you have any suspicion at all that you received a damaged drive, then I say back she goes.

“Very fast & RELIABLE mechanical drive” – Stephanie Sullivan
Score: 5/5 Source: Amazon.com

When I upgraded one of my laptop hard drives for more space last summer I selected the WD Black 750GB because it was at a “sweet spot” in the value/performance curve at that time. This is a very fast 2.5″ drive within its class and I found a noticeable performance advantage over my older 7200 RPM Toshiba laptop drive.

I can hear this WD Black drive a little bit when it’s busy. While any drive noise may bother some people, I find it useful feedback that the drive is busy.

Power consumption specs are higher than the older Toshiba. That makes sense with a mechanical drive: high performance takes higher power. However, I’ve not noticed my usable time on battery has changed for the worse so I don’t think it’s a power hog. Power is a place where modern and more expensive SSD drives shine over mechanical drives, but since I normally have power plugged in this isn’t an issue for me.

Alternatives I considered include a Seagate 1TB Solid State Hybrid Drive. Because of bad experiences (documented in my review of that drive) I did not feel I could trust it. The Seagate Hybrid drive is very fast for frequently used files and the OS, but the failure mode I’d experienced was total loss of access – no recovery possible. OUCH!

I also considered the WD Black2 Dual Drive: 120GB SSD + 1TB HDD that I installed for a client. He is doing video editing on a laptop. It can be a good solution for certain specific kind of use. The dual drive (NOT Hybrid) solution has shortcomings and a price that take it way off the price/performance curve for general use. My review of that drive covers that thoroughly.

The price of SSD drives has been decreasing pretty quickly and their reliability is improving. I expect if I were to consider this sort of upgrade a year or so from now I’d be selecting a SSD. Perhaps one like a Samsung 840 EVO 500GB or the Crucial M500 480GB which I just bought for a client at $260 and has been reported to have a longer expected lifetime.

This WD Black drive was selected in part because of a long personal history of reliable drives from WD and when there has been a problem, hassle-free service.

If you need plenty of space for a very low cost and the top performance available from a mechanical drive is satisfying, this WD 750GB black drive is a very good choice. For outstanding economy, reliability and performance at the top of its class I think this drive has earned 5 stars.

Hope this is helpful

“Operates as expected” – adugas
Score: 5/5 Source: Amazon.com

Installed into a macbook pro 2010 model. Nothing out the ordinary during setup and operation is as expected. I expect this drive to last for the lifetime of my macbook. One thing to note when changing a laptop drive. Make sure you have a torque drive set otherwise you will not be able to attach mounting screws.
“Very fast 2.5 hard disk I’ve owned” – Ka Na
Score: 5/5 Source: Amazon.com

This is the fastest 2.5″ hard drive I’ve owned so far.

Write/Read (average) using a very fast USB3 (goes up to 435 MB/s for SSDs) enclosure on Macbook Pro:
127/128 MB/s

(WD’s spec sheet ([…] says the max internal transfer rate is 160 MB/s)

For comparison, the previous model WD7500BPKT, performs at 80/80 MB/s;
fastest 3.5″ disks I own perform around 180 MB/s.

Noise is audible when running, but it is acceptable for my ears.

This is still brand new – I’ll update this review if I find any issues.

“Great HDD even better customer support!” – Joshua Taylor
Score: 5/5 Source: Amazon.com

I have had this drive for about 2 years in my laptop and it eventually started to fail. I am still able to get my data off just fine but it fails diagnostics. Contacted western digital and got an advance replacement. Needless to say I am thrilled with what they sent me. I received a drive that is larger and newer than the original. This is exactly why I have bought Western Digital for years and why I will continue. They did the same thing years ago with my Raptor that went bad. I absolutely love this company.
“AWESOME!! — A rock-solid storage solution with exceptional versatility: it’s fast, reliable, affordable, & has a great warranty” – ZapNZs
Score: 5/5 Source: Amazon.com

This is, in my opinion, THE product of choice when you need a reliable, affordable, and fast 2.5-inch drive. While the solid state drive is arguably the pinnacle of fast, this is the pinnacle of reasonably fast but much more affordable.

It’s high-speed makes it a good choice if a solid state drive is not a possibility for your main disk, and its reliability and durability makes it great for desktop computing even though it is marketed as a mobile drive. It may also be a good choice for upgradable gaming consoles when a SSD or hybrid drive isn’t an option. It runs circles around most other mobile HDDs, and at a price that is surprisingly affordable.

Whether you are using a Mac or a PC, this is the perfect drive to use as a high-speed clone (there are good programs for both OS’.) You use this WD Black in an external enclosure as a self-powered backup drive to make a clone of your hard disk. If you local disk fails, you literally drop this into the laptop and you can boot from it. It is equally great for a progressive point-in-time backup such as OS X’s Time Machine, or just as a self-powered external to give you extra data storage for your computer.

I am sorry to say that many Sellers are either intentionally or unintentionally misleading customers when it comes to hard drives. Western Digital is aware of this, and they have implemented an online tool called the “WD Warranty Checker” in which you can enter the serial number of your drive and confirm it is authentic with a valid warranty (you can with HGST as well, and Seagate has their own authentication system.) I do not recommend purchasing used hard drives from any third party Sellers because there is no way to know how that hard drive was used (and possibly used so much that the service life is almost over.)

Because the plain OEM cardboard boxes that Western Digital bare drives are packaged in are easy to replicate (as is the sticker on the outside that says the model and serial number), they are moving in the direction of shipping their OEM/Bare drives in a tamper-free type of packaging inside of the box. The hard drive is SEALED in a magnetic bag with a yellow Western Digital watermark on the bottom, and this bag cannot be opened without being physically torn or cut open. If you get a Western Digital product in a bag sealed only with a sticker or tape, I would be sure to use the WD Warranty Checker to verify it is just in an older packaging rather than a repackaging used by a Seller to make a hard drive appear brand new when it is not. I have attached a picture showing this. If the hard drive you get has had this packaging torn open previously and taped up, reject the shipment as that drive is NOT new.

Many used hard drives on Amazon are also sold as “refurbished” but in reality they are simply used drives marketed in a fashion to make it sound as if you aren’t taking a gamble on inheriting someone else’s old problems. Some Sellers seem to feel that making a few extra pennies at the price of their integrity is worth it, and it’s put a lot of good people into very stressful situations that they didn’t deserve. There are too many sellers engaging in this practice to even start listing names, but I strongly caution reviewing Seller credentials and buying a hard drive from a Seller with a solid return policy in the event you pay for a new drive and a 5 year old used drive shows up on your doorstep. This happens a lot more than you might expect…some of the Sellers who do this are even part of Amazon’s Fulfillment Program. Amazon needs to step up here and take action as this isn’t fair to you and it isn’t fair to me.

I’ve been in a position in which I have worked with a lot of drives over the years and have developed my own beliefs and mindset. This is to summarize how I look at Hard Disk Drives and my advice for storing data. The two biggest assumptions I operate under are:
1) ALL HARD DRIVES WILL FAIL. What differs is the run time the drive gives before it fails, and this is neither consistent nor predictable to a degree of good accuracy.

Because of that, I stress that one should NEVER STORE IMPORTANT DATA IN A SINGLE LOCATION THAT YOU WOULD NOT BE OK WITH LOSING FOREVER. While a home user may not need a RAID 5, setup using a Thunderbolt interface, they should always keep data in more than one location. That could be as simple as an external hard drive backing up data from Win 8 or OS X’s built-in backup systems so that the data is on the local disk of a computer as well as an external hard drive. Cloud services also have some backup advantages. Whatever method, just be sure to keep it in multiple locations. If one of those locations are damaged/lost, replace what was lost to ensure the data stays stored across more than one source. If the data is very important, store it in two different geographic locations (or inside a fireproof safe) in the event of fire or water damage.

I do not give brand loyalty to any single brand and the reason is because most major hard drive makers offer both some great and some terrible products. I occasionally have had hard drives fail on me that were some of the finest made. This happens and it is not avoidable. When you are putting coatings on the disk platter that are under 1 nanometer thick, there is an incredibly narrow acceptable margin of error. Such unpredictability means a consumer must take defensive action or else they are setting themselves up for an expensive, stressful, and costly incident of data loss.

My advice with any new hard drive is to spend the time to stress test it, and not to rely on it fully until it has been used at least for a few weeks if not tested extensively.

Google’s study of hard drives showed us some very interesting observations. Most specifically, it showed how failure rates of new hard drives are really unpredictable. While after the 4-year mark shows a progressive trend of higher probability of failure, that isn’t the case when new. The first month of ownership can be one of uncertainty, but the trend suggests that a drive with a defect will generally fail in this time period. Failure rates in the short 0-1 month period are often higher than the period of years 1-3.

My solution to this has been to “stress test” ALL new drives heavily. I run a secure delete that takes multiple passes over the entire drive more than once. Then I will transfer an ungodly amount of data on and then off the drive, if possible, filling most of the drive. I will use a benchtest program that runs a multi-hour stress test. It makes the drive work hard, get hot, use the entire surface area, and work for a sustained period. Simultaneously, I also use an advanced disk management program that can take a very detailed look at the drive’s health. This simulates the real-world usage a drive will see if used intensely, which most of the drives I oversee are. My findings are that in many cases this is enough to get a drive with an issue to display symptoms of compromised reliability or have a catastrophic failure. Drives that have no issues generally go on to work reliably for years without a hiccup. It’s not perfect, but this has helped weed out many of the drives that would wind up failing shortly after they were put into service.

Why would someone want to spend the time pushing a drive specifically to see if it will fail? My logic is that I prefer it happen when doing a test rather than after I have set everything up and put important data on it. Especially given 1) the cost of data recovery is high, and 2) I prefer not to send a drive that may have partially recoverable confidential data that can’t be securely deleted. If one of my drives fails during the testing, I feel a lot better sending it back to a vendor with 10 copies of Shrek on it than I do business materials intended for internal usage or personal documents/files.

Not too long ago, the older version of this product was called the WD Scorpio Black. WD’s 2.5-inch laptop drives had the Scorpio name, and their 3.5-inch desktop drives had the Caviar name. Their two common home-use grades were Blue and Black: Blue noted general-purpose usage, Black noted high-performance usage with often a longer warranty. Generally Blue was 5400 RPM and Black 7200 RPM (that has since changed as many Blue desktop lines are now 7200 RPM as well.)

The track records of these products are exceptional: always good speeds for their era, excellent GB-to-dollar value, great reliability, great durability, and very good warranty service. I am still using older Scorpio Black & Blue drives, and a few Caviar Black drives. Some of these are OLD for HDDs. They have long passed what is a reasonable expectation of service life. They have given consistent performance over many years, with extremely low failure rates. The quality that has characterized the lineage that this drive comes from shows how well this product is designed, and why this is a good choice today, and will still be a good choice years down the road when it is still working flawlessly.

This current WD Black mobile drive is great. In a USB 3 enclosure, I am getting sustained read and write speeds of around 110 megabytes a second, which for a 2.5-inch hard drive is fantastic and an improvement over my older Scorpio Blacks (the upgraded processor certainly plays a role.) Like the older WD Scorpio Black, the energy consumption is reasonably low for a 7200-RPM hard drive and so if you use this in a laptop to replace a 5400-RPM drive, it should not have a majorly negative impact on battery life. It is also quieter than my Scorpio Blacks, and while some noise with a faster speed drive cannot be avoided, this is reasonably silent for a high-performance HDD. Like previous generations, the drive does a good job dissipating heat and inside of an aluminum external it rapidly dissipates the heat generated.

Like many other drives, this drive moves from SATA 2 (3.0 Gbps) to SATA 3 (6.0 Gbps), doubling the theoretical peak transfer of 3.0 Gbps to 6.0 Gbps. However, a single drive is not nearly fast enough to max out the older SATA 2, so if you are using this drive in a standalone fashion, the change from SATA 2 to SATA 3 really won’t affect you one way or another, and it’s more of a marketing aspect than a functional improvement for users of single drive systems. Like virtually all SATA 3 drives, it is backwards compatible with SATA 2 and SATA 1 enclosures and computers.

Also of note is the warranty on this drive: a 5-year warranty for a home-use drive is unusual. Generally, that kind of warranty comes with enterprise class drives. Western Digital’s willingness to offer a 5-year warranty on a home use product only further speaks to how confident they are of the long-term reliability of this drive (otherwise, offering an unusually long warranty for such an inexpensive hard drive would cost them a fortune.) The User Reviews here also demonstrate this.

You may also notice that Western Digital now has two versions of the 500, 320, and 250 GB versions of this drive. The slightly more expensive versions have a larger cache, slightly improved shock resistance, and are slightly thinner. They likely have slightly faster read and write speeds. I have not used these models, but the thinner profile and doubled cache may be beneficial to some users (neither are critical for my own applications.)

The speed of this drive is almost double the theoretical maximum speed that USB 2 supports. If you want to utilize the full read & write capability of this drive and you are using it as an external hard drive, you will need to use a high/super-speed port such as USB 3.0, Thunderbolt, or eSATA (ideally the 3.0 Gbps revision, which is common.)

Using a slower port like USB 2 or FireWire 800/400 will result in the connection throttling back the drive speed to only run as fast at the max speed of the connection will allow. Therefore you will need an enclosure, a cable, and a computer that are all capable of using one of these faster interfaces. (USB 3.0 is generally the least expensive and most universal of the above-noted possibilities.)

Overall, this is an extremely versatile hard disk drive. Even with the advantages of SSDs and their recent price decreases, HDDs like this WD Black will continue to have a role in computing. This drive is affordable, fast, and reliable. It’s a rock-solid storage solution that will give you years of usage for an affordable price; therefore, I highly recommend this product.

Pretty fast” – BigWill3
Score: 5/5 Source: Amazon.com

I needed to upgrade the hard-drive in my old Alienware m15x laptop and after some research opted for the WD Black drive. I was looking for a fast and affordable hard-drive with plenty of space. This hard-drive definitely fits my criteria. I would have preferred to go with a SSD but for 750GB of space the prices were just way out of my price range. If you’re in the same situation as me with a slightly older laptop with only one available drive slot (with no option for mSATA) then this is about the largest/fastest drive that you can get. The reasonable price makes it a slam dunk.

Also worth noting, I was concerned initially with some reviews stating that the packaging used during shipping was sub par. This would be a concern for me because any excessive jarring about could affect the long term longevity of the drive. In my case I found the drive was well secured and suitably padded during shipping.

“Great HDD!!” – Anthony
Score: 5/5 Source: Amazon.com

I bought this HDD knowing what I was buying and definitely got what I wanted. The only SSD/HDD I buy are from WD or Kingston. I have had great experiences with both brands and have no complaints.

SO HERE IS THE SCOOP!!! As always, I’m big a the packaging especially when it comes to pc hardware. Amazon, as always, packaged it well and it arrived on time with Amazon Prime. Most people aren’t really up to speed with the difference between HDD, SSD, and hybrid drives. The SSD is self explanatory, so I’ll move on. I have 3 laptops…. HP Envy, HP tx2, and a HP g7. All are running SSD and 2 laptops are running dual drives, one a SSD and one a HHD. I started to buy hybrid drives first and quickly realized that at this point in time, hybrids are a waste of money….. A big waste of money!! This WD drive is in both laptops and they ARE as fast, or faster, than a hybrid. Why? the reason is that hybrid drives learn your habits when you do the same thing(s) over and over, and stores the info to make the software load and run a lot faster. The problem? If you tend to do different things like myself, the hybrid drive is always learning, and because of this, it will not work like a SSD. It will work like a 5400 rpm HHD that isn’t a hybrid. You money is better spent buying a WD 7200 rpm or another brand that your partial to that is also a 7200 rpm. This WD drive is fast and the load time from power on to windows is a lot quicker as opposed to a 5400 rpm. I have an old Dell tester laptop that took almost 2 minutes to fully load windows, with this drive it loads in well under 1 minute. I test and help create software as part time employment, and I’m always looking for quality, innovation, and reliability. And yes I’m very partial to WD drives because they work and they just keep going year after year.

I almost failed to mention something very very important that most people may not be aware of…. These drives do not like to install Windows 8.1 when your doing a fresh install when you receive the drive. My 2 newest WD HDD 7200 drives have an advanced format and would not read as an external drive in Windows 8.1 or as an internal drive when trying to install Windows 8.1. Because I got a bit lazy, I installed Window 7 Ultimate and then Windows 8 read it as an external drive. I then wiped the drive and the Windows 8 install was flawless. I’m assuming I may have had an issue because the drive was used, but never really USED. The prior owner most likely got confused on how to handle a drive with advanced formatting, as they work a little bit different and seem to be pretty specific to windows 7 until you reformat them. This drive would not align with the Acronis cloning software the WD gives you for free when you buy their drives…. Any drive!! That it in itself is nice perk, as long as you can get the drive to align.

“Good drive, just not for the PS4” – Scott Kreger
Score: 2/5 Source: Amazon.com

To start, my reviews always get negative votes when I am just trying to help. Please, if you do not agree, just move along. What I post are facts and when I get so many negative votes buyers overlook my comments. Now on to the review.

This drive is very, very fast. It is also very loud but that should not be a concern of yours when looking for a HDD. Drives these days just make more noise. A loud drive minus any very unusual sounds does not mean something is wrong with it or it will die soon. This is by far the fastest 7200rpm laptop hdd I have ever used. The problem is the PS4 and this drive running too hot. If I were to use this in a PC, it would get 5 stars. You will not have a heat problem using this drive in a laptop. I tested it on three different laptops. I gave this HDD two stars to get the attention of buyers looking for a HDD for their PS4. I am sorry I had to do this but no one reads 5 star reviews. Once again, if you just use this in a laptop this is best HDD you will find by a mile.

Now, on to what to expect with this drive in your PS4

– Very, very unstable performance. One minute it’s breezing through the UI and the next moment it takes 15 or so seconds to load the settings menu. The HDD stalls left and right on the UI and it is just not usable after a certain point.

– Game performance is great. To the point where I did not get one single stutter in Warframe or DC Online. No joke, no stutters. Not one single stutter. I have tried 3 different HDD’s (that includes the stock HDD the PS4 came with) and they all stutter like crazy in those games but this ran those games flawless. However, I should mention I did get stutters in Killzone when the HDD was getting too hot.

– Heat. After about 10-15 minutes into any game the PS4 fans kick in so loud you’d think it’s about to take off. Killzone and Resogun are known to make the fan louder on the PS4. However, games like Warframe and DC Online are pretty quite with the stock HDD and other drives. They are not quite with this HDD. The hotter the HDD gets the worse it performs as well. It got to the point where while I was playing a game and I paused it to go to the UI and clicked storage management it took over 1 minute to load to see my games. The whole UI was sluggish. On a cold boot with the PS4 being off awhile it runs great for the first 10-15 minutes. Yes, it gets that hot that quick.

So, let’s scratch this off the list sadly of PS4 HDDs that work well. Here is what I have tried so far:


Seagate Laptop Thin 500 GB Solid State Hybrid Drive SATA 6Gb/s 64 MB Cache 2.5 Inch ST500LM000

This drive does everything perfectly minus one major flaw: games that require heavy streaming from the HDD are slow. DC Online and Warframe are a chopfest. This drive while it boots everything very quick has the worst read speeds in games I have ever seen. I made a review of this one that got down voted. Go read that one for more detailed info.

So, what’s next?


HGST Travelstar 2.5 Inch 500GB 7200 RPM SATA II 16 MB Cache Internal Hard Drive (0S02858)

I got this drive as this is the closest HDD to the stock PS4 HDD I could find with better performance (i hope). Sata 2 just like the stock HDD etc.

Look for my review on this drive soon as I have not received it yet.

Please note I go with the 500GB versions of these drives as it is a single platter and that means faster read times. I have spent over 220.00 alone on testing HDDs for the PS4. I tell the truth and I am very picky. I want it all to run perfect. This is why my reviews get down voted I assume. However, if you are like me and demand top performance and stability I would suggest you take my reviews seriously. I do not hold back.

I will be happy to answer any questions about my review and this HDD as long as you are polite. Sorry for my grammar.

Intel 730 Series SSD Review – Fastest SSD Hard Drive?

There she is, the fastest SSD hard drive to date…

Intel has released a new line of solid-state drives, and with each new iteration, solid-state drives are making the old technology of platter based hard drives obsolete. While old-school hard drives are capped at slow speeds and high failure rates, SSD hard drives use groundbreaking flash technology to sustain absurd read and write speeds. Simply put, solid-state hard drives are leagues above the standard hard drive. So why not supercharge your computer with one?

The Intel 730 series 2.5 inch 240 GB Internal Solid-State Drive is fast; so fast that it can boot up Windows in seconds, load files at the speed of light, and never be the limiting factor of your computer’s speeds.. The Intel 730 series is able to read files at up to 550 MB per second and write files at up to 270 MB per second. To put this in perspective, most standard hard drives can only read at around 80 to 100 MB per second and write at 75 to 100 MB per second. In other words, the Intel 730 series leaves mechanical hard drives in the dust.

Intel always makes good products… The 730 Series is no different.

Garnering 4.8 out of five stars on Amazon for over 350 reviews, the Intel 730 series solid-state hard drive (SSD) is considered the solid-state hard drive on the market. It has an incredibly low failure rate and comes in first place for nearly any benchmark test that it is put through. It is optimized for demanding tasks such as digital content creation extreme gaming, as it is rated for speeds of up to 86,000 IOPS.

The Intel 730 series solid-state hard drive also is built with Intel Rapid Storage Technology. This new technology allows transfer speeds of up to 1 GB per second blazing fast performance and productive multitasking and power management. Supports RAID 0/1/5/10 modes and up to six drives, making it possible to have large storage space and super fast speeds.

Is important to keep your files safe. That is why you need to select hard drive that you know will not fail when you needed the most. Luckily, The Intel Solid-State Drive 730 Series guarantees 70 GB of writes per day for over five years. This means that you can write over 70 GB of data to the solid-state hard drive every day for five years and the drive will still function as if it were just out of the box. And with an onboard firmware and 20 nm Intel NAND flash memory, file storage is optimized to ensure lifespan and speed.

Put two of these in RAID configuration and you’ll have the fastest PC out of anyone you know

So what are you waiting for? Ditch your old, outdated mechanical hard drive an update to an Intel 730 series solid-state hard drive. It guarantees a longer lifespan, blazing fast write and read speeds, and amazing data storage functionality that will leave you stunned with its amazing performance. Watch Windows boot up in seconds and your programs load in the blink of an eye. We aren’t joking. Simply try out a solid-state hard drive for yourself and you’ll immediately notice the difference.


What is a Sound Card Used For?

While the average PC user can honestly say that they’ve heard of the term “Sound Card” before, it is estimated that about 76% of these people do not know the true function of the sound card. Yes, sound cards do aid in sound signal processing and output, but unless you know the internal functions of the sound card and what it can achieve, you’ll never be able to answer the question, “What is a Sound Card used for?

So what exactly is a Sound Card used for?

Sound cards are computer components that plug into your computer’s motherboard and help facilitate the input and output of audio signals. This can be helpful for a wide array of activities, such as processing sound effects in a video game or enabling surround sound support for movies that you play on your computer.
This is what an average sound card looks like
In a nutshell, a sound card is used for mixing sound channels and outputting them to multiple output jacks to enable surround sound support. Take a look at the image above, for instance. Notice the multiple audio jacks on the left side of the card? There is a blue jack, a red jack, a green jack, and a black jack. One of these jacks is likely an input, allowing a microphone to be attached and used to record audio. On the other hand, the three other jacks all output separate audio channels. For instance, the green audio jack is often used for a common 2-speaker sound output, while the red and blue jacks may output sound to a subwoofer and rear speakers.
The primary job of a sound card is not only to send and receive audio signals. The cards are often built to enhance sound quality, remove the slight electric buzz that can be heard when dealing with 3.5mm audio jacks, and mix sound channels for rich, explosive sound.
We’re telling you about the sound enhancement features of sound cards, but simply stating that they make everything sound better doesn’t really do the cards justice…and you probably still have no idea what we’re talking about. Luckily, we found a video that can display the difference a sound card makes in terms of virtual surround and positional audio functionality.

You are going to want to pay close attention to the small details in the audio when watching this video, as well as throw on a pair of headphones. The sound cards displayed in this video all process sound into rich formats that capture the experience of the movie or game you are enjoying.

So, to recap: What is a Sound Card used for? It is used to enable surround sound, process sound into rich directional audio, and make the sound effects present in most games and movies stand out, resulting a truly immersive experience.

How Much is a Sound Card?

How much is a sound card you ask? Well, it all depends on the brand and model you decide to go with. Lower-end sound cards that provide minimal functionality can be as cheap as around $35. On the other hand, higher-end models that perform all sorts of neat sound processing functions can be up to $200!
For the average gamer or movie enthusiast, we recommend going with a middle-man; a card that isn’t top of the line but can clearly surpass a wimpy $35 sound card. Below are a handful of sound cards that we hand-picked ourselves. Take a look at their respective product pages and read their features and reviews to decide if the sound card is right for you.

Iconic Video Game Glitches and Why They Happen

Glitches are something every gamer encounters on occasion. With games becoming more complex in design every year, it is impossible to prevent malfunctions within the game’s code, resulting in sometimes comical but often monotonous problems.

Every glitch is different. While some may have similar effects, coding differences result in the root cause of glitches to be completely unique. We here at TechReviewFeed have done research on some of the most iconic glitches in video game history, and we’re here to explain why they happen.


The game-breaking glitch known as “The A-Bomb Bug” or the “Animation Bug” is known to occur after players have spent between 250-400 hours in-game. When triggered, secondary animations tend to be extremely slow or freeze altogether. Spells linger and blind the player in first-person mode, and doors that don’t utilize loading screens don’t open. Additionally, Gates to Oblivion and other quest necessities stop working altogether, essentially breaking the game for those who have poured their heart and soul into their character. Have a look for yourself:
Why it happens: As time passes in the game, a single variable slowly increases in the save file. Starting around 40, the variable continuously increases. When the variable surpasses a value of 48, the variable that governs the speed of secondary animations is reset to a decimal number close to zero. The animations are then played back at an incredibly low speed, breaking the game.
While Bethesda has acknowledged that this bug is real, they have not released a patch fixing the problem. nor will they, as it is a bug with the Gamebryo engine. Luckily, there are multiple community tools that can reset value in save files to correct the glitch until the number increases above 48 again.


Sometimes developers overlook small details, such as the physical properties of certain objects. In Grand Theft Auto IV, this applies to the swingsets found throughout the map. If players run a vehicle into the swingset or attempt to climb the swingset on foot, the game’s physics go berserk and send the player flying through the skies of Liberty City.
Why it Happens: The swingset object acts independently of the terrain, much like stop signs and light poles do. However, just as they are in real-file, the swingset is placed inside the ground. Objects aren’t normally supposed to be colliding like this, but the developers made an exception for the swingset. When the swingset is moved, even if just a little bit, the game tries to correct its position by elastically moving it back into place. This pushes players and vehicles with considerable force, often launching them hundreds of feet into the air.
This glitch makes somewhat of a comeback in Grand Theft Auto V, as specific gates can also launch vehicles into the air.


What happens when game developers add an effect to a quest but overlook a loophole allowing it to exist outside of its intended zone? You get the Corrupted Blood Incident. In September of 2005, a bug caused a debuff to plague entire cities, dealing considerable amounts of damage to all players in the vicinity. Here’s a video of the chaos that followed:
Why it Happened: When Blizzard patched in a new raid for players, they added a debuff that infects players and spreads to other players within a certain distance. Normally, this debuff is only enabled during the raid. However, players’ pets and minions were also susceptible to the debuff, and some of them accidentally carried it outside of the quest zone after the raid was over. The so-called disease then spread to towns with large populations, creating a virtual epidemic. While high-level players could survive the damage being dealt to them, lower level players would repeatedly die. This was eventually fixed when Blizzard released a patch and reset the servers, but it cost them thousands in cancelled memberships and frustrated players.


Remember the good old days of blowing on cartridges, hoping that your efforts would remove enough dust to allow the game to work? As if the games didn’t pose enough of a challenge to get working, they also were the root cause of many glitches. While dust did cause some bugs to present themselves, many gamers also abused the old-school technology to observe hilarious and often cartridge-breaking errors. We are, of course, talking about cartridge tilting.
How it Works: Nintendo 64 Cartridges transmit game data through the connection of metal pins located on the bottom of the cartridge. Assets such as animations and models are loaded from the cartridge on-the-fly, so what happens when some of these pins lose connection to the Nintendo 64? All hell breaks loose. Normally, the system will freeze after disconnecting the cartridge, but if you can manage to tilt it in just the right way, the game will go berserk while still being (relatively) playable. In some games, however, performing a Cartridge Tilt can result in loss of saved games, corruption of the game cartridge, and even corruption of the Nintendo 64 console. For this reason, we don’t recommend doing this unless you don’t care about preserving your game and/or console.


Possibly the most iconic video game bug to date, MissingNo is shrouded in mystery. This glitch Pokemon makes an appearance in Pokemon Red, Green, Blue, and Yellow versions, usually after the player has performed one of a handful of glitches present in the games. This bug is not something that is easily explained. Rather, it is one that you should see for yourself.
How it Works: When players ask the Old Man to teach them how to catch Pokemon, it stores the player’s name temporarily in a free memory address while it switches the player’s name variable with the Old Man’s. After the tutorial, the player’s name is correctly restored, but it still remains where it was stored in the memory. Next, players Fly to Cinnabar Island. As it turns out, the game’s programmers forgot to define which Pokemon appear on the east coastline of the island. Since there is no set rule for which Pokemon are supposed to appear in the area, the game attempts to guess which Pokemon is supposed to spawn by using the same memory address that the player’s name was stored in during the tutorial. This causes a bunch of errors to occur, causing MissingNo. to appear.
The level and attributes of MissingNo can be altered depending on the player’s name. For instance,
if the third, fifth, or seventh slot of a player’s name is G, H, J, M, S, or T, the regular glitchy L-shaped block will appear, but if one of the slots contain a lower-case ‘w’, MissingNo appears using the Kabutops Fossil sprite. For more information on influencing how MissingNo. spawns, please refer to Bulbapedia’s MissingNo Wiki.


Video game bugs often have to do with faulty Physics logic. Realistically, the laws of physics are hard to emulate with code, causing physics engines to sometimes glitch out in awkward ways. On that note, Halo 2’s physics engine is prone to glitching for this very reason. Dubbed the Super Bounce, this simple-to-replicate exploit caused quite the fuss back in the Halo 2 multiplayer days.
How it Works: In order to Super Bounce, players must cause the multiplayer match to de-sync. This is achieved by crouching and walking into a small area that does not allow players to stand back up in, such as an alcove or diagonal beam. From the player’s point of view, he is just crouch-waling straight into a wall, but from the other players’ point of view, he is walking partially through the wall. Well, the physics engine doesn’t like this, so it begins to freak out. Now that the physics are bugged, if the player jumps and lands on a jagged edge or polygonal seam of the map, the physics engine accidentally lets him fall slightly through the map. The physics engine then attempts to fix itself by adding an upwards force to the player to push him out of the map’s geometry (much like what happens in the Grand Theft Auto IV Swingset Glitch). The force applied is usually much higher than needed, resulting in a Super Bounce.


The Super Mario Bros. Minus World glitch is arguably the most famous video game glitch of all time. Appearing after abusing a collision detection glitch, the warp pipe sends players to a mysterious World -1. This level looks similar to other levels, but it is completely under water, and the pipe at the end of the stage warps Mario back to the beginning, making the level impossible to beat.
How it Works: When a player normally enters the warp zone in World 1-2, they are supposed to do so by walking above the bricks on the top of the stage. However, if the player does a backwards crouch jump, he can clip straight through the wall. This skips the trigger that loads the correct warp zone designations. Instead of assigning warp destinations of Worlds 2, 3, and 4, it loads the destinations of the warp zone in World 4. This is where the problem begins. You see, the warp zone in World 4 only contains one pipe – the middle pipe – to World 5. The left and right side pipes are non-existant in this warp zone, and, like all invisible objects in this game, the non-existant pipes are assigned a value of 36.
Here’s where the magic begins. Since the designations for the warp zone from World 4 were loaded, the left and right pipes, which technically should not exist, are assigned to warp players to a non-existant World 36. And since objects with the value of 36 are programmed to appear invisible, the title of the world appears as World   -1.


Most Coin-Op arcade games were designed to never be beaten. Rather, the goal of the developers was to have the game become increasingly difficult so that players would eventually lose and move on to another game. But what happens when a professional player just won’t die? You get a Kill Screen.
How it Works: Many of the older Coin-Op arcade games were designed with 8-bit architecture. This meant that the max possible value for a normal integer was 255. Because some professional players would be able to avoid dying for so long, they would sometimes be able to surpass level 255. What comes next? Well, it depends on the game, but the end result is an integer overflow which resets the level to either -255 or 0. These levels are noted as being glitch levels, as they often are impossible to complete, either due to the game’s timer being too short for the player to possibly complete the level or simply a major malfunction of the game itself. Regardless, there is no way to get past this screen, and when they are reached, the run is essentially over.


Know of a famous glitch that belongs on this list? We’re sure we’ve missed a lot of them. Drop us a line in the comments section below and we might add it to the list! We want this to be an ongoing project, and we welcome any suggestions! Let’s make this list great together!

Best Gaming Monitor: Asus VG248QE 24-Inch Screen LED-Lit Monitor

For the past few weeks, we have been assessing a wide array of computer monitors in pursuit of finding the best gaming monitor. This was no easy task. With the hundreds of choices currently available and fierce competition in the marketplace, deciding which monitor to give the title “best gaming monitor” was quite a challenge. After all, there are plenty of amazing choices from brands like LG, BenQ, Dell, and Samsung, all of which offer outstanding performance.

We decided to narrow our search for the best gaming monitor to the scope of 24 inch monitors, as we feel that this size is adequate for most PC gamers. 24 inches is big enough to provide stunning detail and great clarity, all while remaining affordable and in budget. We also took into consideration the price of each monitor when assessing them. After all, most people I’m looking at spending over a grand on the best available monitor. Because of that we wanted to stay within an affordable price range.

So, we set out to work. We gathered a list of candidates online, analyzed the reviews of each, and even went as far as to test them out ourselves so that we could get a good feel of each monitors performance. We narrowed down the list, and the narrative down again. Finally, after hours of painstaking research and analysis, we finally concluded on what we believe to be the best gaming monitor available today.


The winner for our “Best Gaming Monitor” award goes to the ASUS VG 248 QE 24-Inch Screen LED-Lit Monitor. This flat screen monitor displays in up to 1080p at 144Hz, meaning the refresh rate is extremely fast so as to not miss a single frame. Granted, most games will require hefty PC in order to display at 144Hz, but older games should have no problem adapting to the newly available refresh rate.

The ASUS VG248QE 144Hz flat screen monitor is without a doubt the best 24 inch monitor for gaming. We’ve already mentioned it’s extremely fast refresh rate, but our word simply doesn’t put it to justice. Games play in buttery smooth 144 frames per second, basically solving the problem of screen tearing. Actions feel responsive and fluid, and gamers will be able to see each pixel of action faster than their opponents, leading to more victories and aiding in player skill.

So what makes this monitor the best gaming monitor on the market? To answer that, we’ll need to delve into the product specifications and analyze each component, much like we did for each candidate. Simply put, you cannot judge a monitor or any other piece of hardware without first taking into account the features that the product offers. Let’s take a look.

  • 24-inch Full HD LED-backlit 144Hz display (1920×1080)

Standing at an impressive 24 inches in broadcasting images at 144Hz, the ASUS VG248QE 144Hz monitor displays brilliant HD-quality visuals in stunning clarity and color response. Colors seemingly pop out of the screen and vibrant textures stand out more than you’d expect them to. This ASYS gaming monitor does a great job of displaying lifelike visuals that really do the modern generation of games justice. While many monitors failed to produce a quality of today’s gaming standard, the ASUS VG248QE 144Hz gaming monitor displays visuals the way that developers intended for you to see them.

  • GamePlus Functionality

A really cool feature of the ASUS VG248QE 144Hz gaming monitor is its ASUS GamePlus
functionality. GamePlus allows gamers to display a crosshair overlay or in-game timer to give players an edge over the competition. With four unique crosshairs, players can have precise aiming, even during hard-core death matches where the on-screen heads-up display is limited. Also, players can enable an on-screen timer to keep track of spawn and build times in real-time strategy games.

  • 1ms Trace Free II Technology

    This is what ghosting looks like.
A common problem with most gaming monitors is ghosting. Ghosting is when an image that was previously displayed on the monitor is still partially visible. This is not burn-in. Rather, this is due to the fact that some monitors fail to completely erase the previous frame before displaying the next one, resulting in an outline of the previous frame being slightly visible. The ASUS VG248QE 144Hz gaming monitor comes with a lightning fast 1 ms response time and ASUS’s very own Trace Free Technology. This ensures that there is no ghosting going on at any point, enhancing movies and gaming like never before.

  • 80,000,000:1 ASUS Smart Contrast Ratio

Image quality is highly dependent on a monitors contrast ratio. Gamers should expect to have a contrast ratio that is able to deliver the darkest blacks, the brightest whites, and All the shades of gray in between. Monitors that have a low contrast ratio often looked washed out and unappealing. The ASUS VG248QE 144Hz gaming monitor has a contrast ratio of 80,000,000:1 (80 million to 1), meaning that the monitor is capable of displaying all 80 million colors that reside between black and white, making colors appear incredibly rich and vivid.

  • Fully adjustable Height, Tilt, and Swivel

Most monitors have a functionally limited stand, meaning that it is often hard, if not impossible, to stand the monitor in accordance with your viewing angle. This can cause many problems, most notably washed out colors from extreme viewing angles. Luckily, the ASUS VG248QE 144Hz gaming monitor ships with a fully adjustable monitor stand, allowing gamers to adjust the tilt, height, and swivel of the monitor to provide the perfect viewing angle for any occasion.

  • DisplayPort, DVI-D, and HDMI ports

while certainly not exclusive to the ASUS VG248QE 144Hz gaming monitor itself, DisplayPort, DVI-D, and HDMI ports are readily available on the back of the monitor, allowing users to connect anything from computers to gaming consoles to Blu-ray players. The monitor can also switch between inputs, allowing for multiple devices to be attached at the same time. This allows the monitor to be used for just about any scenario imaginable.

  • Support for NVIDIA 3D Technology

A big reason for why we chose this monitor over the others is the out-of-the-box support for NVIDIA 3-D technology. The ASUS VG248QE 144zhz gaming monitor is NVIDIA 3D Vision ready as soon as it is turned on, enabling 3D modes for over 700 games, 3D Blu-ray movies, and 3D YouTube videos. Integrated NVIDIA 3D LightBoost Technology allows for a brighter LED backlight, resulting in better performance during 3D playback, all without increasing the total energy consumption of the monitor.

  • Unrivaled Warranty Program

Each ASUS VG248QE 144Hz gaming monitor comes with a three-year system and panel warranty in case anything happens to your monitor. If your screen begins to flake out within this period, ASUS will prepare it at no extra cost. ASUS also understands that being without a monitor is unacceptable, and thanks to their new rapid replacement service, ASUS will send you a replacement unit as soon as the defective unit is in the mail, reducing the amount of time that you will have to wait to obtain a working monitor.

What Comes In The Box?

In the boxes everything that gamers will need to get there monitor up and running perfectly. Materials include:

  • ASUS VG248QE 144Hz Gaming Monitor
  • DVI-D Cable
  • Power Cord
  • 3.5mm Audio Cord
  • Quick Starter Guide
  • Warranty Information Card

Western Digital My Cloud EX2 – Your Own Personal Data Center

For those of you been following the Western Digital 2015 product line, you probably notice that the company has been releasing higher-end storage solutions aimed at lowing businesses and high-end consumers. With the addition of the Western Digital My Cloud EX2, Western Digital has released a solution for people who seemingly always run out of disk space. The EX2 houses a whopping 4-12 TBs of personal cloud storage, pretty much erasing any possibility of ever running out of disk space.

The Western Digital My Cloud EX2 is essentially a giant enclosure for two massive hard drives running in RAID configuration. And the disk space doesn’t stop there. Western Digital actually offers a 12 TB version of the EX2 for costly $625, with iterations dropping disk space by 2 TB all the way down to a 4 TB model priced at $323.99. Regardless of what option you choose, the My Cloud EX2 will store more files and data then you’ll know what to do with.

Use two hard drives to extend storage space or speed up performance

  • Two-bay storage solution for your home or small office with advanced features and a full suite of apps for a truly customized experience

The Western Digital My Cloud EX2 contains two bays for Western Digital RED drives to amount to massive storage options configured to store massive quantities of data. While something as large as 12 TB isn’t needed for home use, a 4 TB drive is great for backing up photos, documents, videos, and other data. Each EX2 ships as the host of various software suites that allow cloud accessing data, making this the ultimate drive for backing up files and large-scale file storage.

  • High-performance NAS

NAS is short for network-attached storage. In essence, this means that the EX2 operates as a file server that is meant to be connected to a network, hence the use of the buzzword “cloud”. Sporting a hefty 512 MB of memory in 1.2 GHz processor, the EX2 delivers files through network interfaces in blazing fast speeds. In fact, multiple computers to access the files at the same time, making this a great fileserver for low to medium, end businesses.

This thing flies with a RAID 0 configuration

  • Flexible drive management options

The Western Digital My Cloud EX2 offers a wide variety of modes for the hard drives to operate. Supports RAID 0, RAID 1, and JBOD modes, which all act in a different way to fully customize the fileserver to your preferences.

RAID 0 is where pieces of data are stored in parts spanning across both drives. Because there are multiple parts of each file on each of the drives, accessing files will be much faster. However, if one of the two hard drives, fails, then certain pieces of data will be on the failing hard drive, resulting in corrupted files and loss of data. The performance benefit is massive, but the lack of redundancy makes this a risky option.

RAID 1, on the other hand, is the exact opposite.. While not giving as much of a performance boost as a RAID 0 configuration, RAID 1 stores copies of the files on each drive, in essence creating excellent redundancy as the two discs mirror each other.

JBOD is a technical term for “just a bunch of discs”. This option provides neither redundancy nor performance enhancement, but rather has both drives acting as one, increasing the storage space available. This is perfect for the storage of files that users do not mind losing in case of an accident.

  • Works as a backup right out of the box

A great thing about the EX2 is that it was built as a backup drive. Right out of the box, it works with either the WD Smart Ware Pro software for PC users or Apple Time Machine software for Mac users. Due to the sheer amount of storage that the My Cloud EX2 offers, it is ideal for data backup, and because it works right out of the box at doing so, users will find it easy and simple to use.

  • Works as a Web server

You read that right. When connected to the Internet, the Western Digital My Cloud EX2 can be configured to act as its own Web server. This means that you can run your own FTP server, P2P torrent server, WordPress, Transmission, and other CMS Web server. This means that the My Cloud EX2 can be used to run your website from your own home. All it takes is a bit of port mapping and configuration, and in no time you’ll be using the EX2 in any way you see fit.

We think the My Cloud software is pretty sleek

  • Anywhere access from computers, tablets and smart phones with My Cloud desktop and mobile apps

As long as your EX2 is connected to the Internet (it being a cloud drive, why wouldn’t it be?), you will be able to access your files from anywhere in the world. Western Digital offers a My Cloud software suite that allows you connect to your drive while on the go. Stream movies, view pictures, and access data with the click of a button, all while on the go.

  • Support for external hard drives

Western Digital is always bringing innovative ideas to the table. However, never before have we seen innovation such as this. The My Cloud EX2 allows users to attach another external hard drive to further increase storage space. This is extremely useful if you’re running your own P2P torrent download server or are just looking to back up your external hard drives to the cloud. With all of this room for expansion, you are guaranteed to never run out of space.

  • No monthly fees and no limits

Being a cloud drive, you would expect that Western Digital would charge monthly for access to your files while on the go. This is simply not the case. Once you have purchased the EX2 and configured it, you will not have to pay another dime. You’ll be able to access all of your movies, pictures, music, and documents all at the expense of Western Digital themselves. While it is a hefty initial investment, you will find that there are no hidden fees.

  • Why should I get a Western Digital My Cloud EX2?

There are plenty of reasons to get an EX2. The My Cloud EX2 is ideal for centralizing and organizing your important documents, photos, videos and music in one secure location. Having access to all of your files no matter where you are is invaluable, as will never quite know when you’ll need your documents the most. The EX2 is also great for streaming media to connected TVs, media players, and gaming consoles. With its massive storage space and flexible options, you will be able to stream your media to any device you wish, whether be local or through a network. Lastly, the EX2 is great for backing up all of your data in the case of a hard drive malfunction. When hard drives fail, it is often very hard and costly, if not impossible to recover your data. That is why making backups of your data is always a good idea.

With its wide array of options, integrated serving capabilities, cloud functionality, and excellent backup options, you simply cannot go wrong with the My Cloud EX2. Simply spending a few minutes with the device will give you a good indication of its blazing fast speed and excellent reliability. For those of you who are looking for a backup solution for cloud solution, look no further. Western Digital has you covered.


SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive for Smartphones and Tablets – Review

Flash drives and wireless media hubs have long served as mediums for storing and accessing entertainment on the go. However, never before has a flash drive acted as a wireless media hub itself. SanDisk has recently begun selling their new Connect 32 GB wireless flash drive for smart phones and tablets, and the addition of the device on the market is a game changer. And were not kidding, the SanDisk Connect 32 GB Wireless Flash Drive is unlike any other storage medium we’ve seen before. It functions as a typical flash drive, but accepts micro SD cards to store all the data that you put on as well as offers a wireless functionality to allow for wireless accessing of files while on the go, making it great for storing music, movies, TV shows, and other important files without cluttering up your mobile device.

  • Wirelessly store, share, stream movies, photos, music, and documents across your smart phones, tablets, and computers.

The metallic wireless button located in the middle of the device serves as a connection mechanism for Wi-Fi functionality. Clicking this button will make the flash drive visible to any mobile device, allowing the devices to stream files such as music and movies without the flash drive ever needing to be plugged in. This makes the SanDisk Connect 32 GB wireless flash drive ideal for long road trips and frequent bus rides. Best of all, you can bring all of your work with you on the go, boosting productivity during periods of downtime.

  • Simultaneously connect and access data stored on up to eight devices via Wi-Fi

Whether it’s purpose is a family network or group project, the SanDisk connect 32 GB wireless flash drive has the ability to connect up to eight smart phones and tablets at the same time. While many flash drives struggle to transmit data to just one computer, the Connect Wireless Flash Drive has the power to stream to each device without loss of quality. Because of this it is ideal for team projects where everyone will be working at the same time, as well as family members who have different tastes in movies and music.

  • No Internet connection, cables or router required, works on all Wi-Fi enabled devices

Never struggle to find a Wi-Fi hotspot again! The Connect Wireless Flash Drive has its own built-in Wi-Fi technology, allowing you to transmit data regardless of Wi-Fi being present or not. Unlike Bluetooth, the built-in wireless mechanism can transmit data at blazing fast speeds while sustaining several connections to separate devices. All this is being done with very little energy use, resulting in a long battery life so that you can access your files when you need them the most.

  • Up to four hours of video streaming on a single charge

The SanDisk Connect 32 GB Wireless Flash Drive can transmit wireless signals simultaneously to devices for up to four hours continuously. When the battery gets low, simply plug it into a computer or other charging station and the Wireless Flash Drive will charge will continuing to transmit data to devices. You can even use the SanDisk Flash Drive on a computer while it’s charging and transmitting data to other devices, allowing everyone to access files when they need to.

  • Access with free app, compatible with iOS 5.0 or later, android 2.3 or later and Kindle devices

The SanDisk Connect 32 GB Wireless Flash Drive for Smart Phones and Tablets comes with its own iPhone and Android app, allowing easy access to files stored on the drive itself while connecting via Wi-Fi. The app can open files stored on the flash drive, as well as allow users to listen to music and watch movies in the app itself. The app is extremely easy to use and streams data from the flash drive at blazing fast speeds.

  • Access with Internet browser, compatible with all Wi-Fi enabled devices

If using the included app isn’t your thing, you can also access all of your files, movies, and music through an Internet browser. Much like how the device itself functions, accessing your files through a web browser also does not require Wi-Fi access point to be located nearby. Simply connect your computer or other device to the wireless signal emitting from the Connect Flash Drive and you will be able to access your files in seconds.

  • Optional Wi-Fi password protection and 128-bit AES encryption

Of course, sometimes you don’t want to share your files with everyone. After all, the function of the flash drive is to contain sensitive data that is meant for your eyes only. Luckily, The SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive supports password protection when being connected to wirelessly. Featuring 128-bit AES encryption, the likelihood of attackers breaking in to your personal files is almost zero.. This protects your flash drive and the sensitive file stored on it.

  • Charging and accessing with USB 2.0 connection interface or higher

The SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive charges when it is plugged into a USB slot. While charging, you can still continue to use its file storage features, making it useful to use on the computer while others are accessing files at the same time. This way the device gets charged, the person using the computer gets to access his or her files, and any other devices that are connecting the flash drive may continue their operation.

  • Available in 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB sizes

The Connect Wireless Flash Drive is sold in 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB models. All the device does not store the data itself, the model you purchase will determine the size of the microSD card that comes with the flash drive itself. At any time, users can switch out the microSD card to upgrade storage or create backups of their files. Best of all, you can use any brand of microSD card with the device; the microSD cards do not have to be SanDisk brand.

  • Stream up to five different HD movie simultaneously

The SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive can stream up to five movies on eight devices, making it the ultimate portable file system for the road. With its four hour battery life, amazing implementation of Wi-Fi functionality, and great deal of customizability, this flash drive is perfect for anyone looking to store and share files will only go.

Ditch your old flash drive! Wireless and cloud-based file storage are the future, and the standard is quickly moving in that direction. The SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive is unparalleled innovation, and as technology advances in this field, will begin to see wireless capabilities on accessories and compliances that we never would have imagined to be wireless. Do yourself a favor and get a head start on the future by getting yourself one of these flash drives. You won’t regret it.


Classic Game Spotlight #1 – The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

Here at TechReviewFeed, we like to mix our favorite games from past generations into our backlists so that we can re-live the good old days. So when intern Greg pitched the idea of doing a series of articles about our favorites, we jumped at the bit. We all have our own tastes when it comes to video games, but its hard not to appreciate what these games have done to usher in the more refined experiences of the current generation.

To kick off our Classic Game Spotlight series, we couldn’t think of a game more innovative than The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Oblivion has brought many technological advancements to the RPG genre of games, paving the way for critically acclaimed titles such as Fallout 3 and Skyrim. By making use of the dated but certainly still relevant Gamebryo engine, Oblivion kickstarted the hype behind current-generation role-playing games.

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion was released back in 2006 for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and Windows operating system. The game was originally released under a Teen ESRB rating, but due to a mod that allowed players to access nude game models on the PC version, the ESRB re-assessed the game, giving it a Mature rating. While Oblivion should have probably been rated Mature in the first place due to scenes of extreme gore and implied sexual themes, the ESRB concluded that Bethesda Softworks failed to report the inappropriate content included in the game.

Much like its predecessor, Morrowind, Oblivion thrusts players into a densely populated fantasy world chock full of quests, explorable locations, seemingly endless variations of weaponry, a revamped dialogue system, and loads of random events that convey Tamriel as a living, breathing world. Never before has a video game offered so many features that allow a player to tackle the world’s endeavours in any way they see fit. Any visible landmark is accessible to the player, and there is no set order in which objectives must be completed. This means that players can pause what they are doing at any time and begin doing something else, returning to their primary objective at their leisure.

Oblivion is the host of multiple questlines that task players with themed quests that all come together to tell a story. While some are better than others, each questline is unique, and their twists and turns keep players interested and engaged in what is going on. Without giving away too much, one questline has you managing a society of assassins while searching for a traitor within the organization. The tasks given to the player range from murdering a house full of people to assassinating targets in clever ways. Each quest leaves players wanting more, making Oblivion a game that players can truly lose themselves in.

Keeping track of quests is easy with the new journal layout

Hundreds of Locations
Oblivion also features hundreds of locations that players can explore. From ancient ruins to large cathedrals to hidden caves, each location offers something unique, be it a fight against monsters, a new quest, or hidden treasure protected by a puzzle. You never quite know what you are getting into by entering an undiscovered location, making the surprise of exploring all the more worthwhile. Not only does the exploration reward players with valuable experience and items, but it also keeps the gameplay fresh. The quests are fun, but nothing beats diving head first into an underwater cave to steal loot from a group of raiders.

Good luck trying to achieve 100%

Huge Arsenal of Weapons
The world of Tamriel is full of enemies, meaning you’ll be doing a lot of fighting. Luckily, the game contains thousands of weapons and pieces of armor that upgrade as you do, keeping combat fun and fresh. There are hundreds of unique items that have special enchantments. Attacks feel powerful, and enemies react to attacks thanks to implementation of the Havok physics engine. This makes it feel like you are doing serious damage to enemies.

Each rank of weapons has a unique look and set of attributes

Large List of Magic Spells
Sure, there are a lot of melee and ranged weapons, but Oblivion also has an extensive magic system. Spells unlock at vendors as you level up in the schools of magic, and magic altars can be used to combine spells and make your own. This makes magic an extremely powerful asset to use against enemies you face.

Having fire at your fingertips is pretty useful

Terrifying Oblivion Gates
While a majority of Tamriel’s population will try to kill you, you will still be relatively safe. The Oblivion Gates spread across the land are the real danger. Enemies pour out of mysterious gigantic dimensional rifts, and a main objective of Oblivion is to go inside and close them. It isn’t easy though. Demonic enemies guard the Sigil Stone, which is needed to close the gate. You will need to be well armed and leveled up before braving the otherworld.

Oblivion Gates used to scare the crap out of me

10 Returning Races
Similar to Morrowind, Oblivion has ten races to choose from. Options include Altmer (High Elf), Argonian, Bosmer (Wood Elf), Breton, Dunmer (Dark Elf), Imperial, Khajiit, Nord, Orc, and Redguard. Each race has a unique set of attribute modifiers depending on what that race specializes in. For example, Orcs start with low Intelligence but have extra Strength stats, making them dumber but more adept at fighting.

All of the races from Morrowind in glorious high-definition.

Ownable Homes
For the first time in an Elder Scrolls game can the player own their own house. This option is given after you have completed certain quests and are often sold by a city official. It allows you to store unneeded items and gives you a bed to call your own. There are eight houses that can be bought in the base game, and downloadable content offers another five. Each is fitted with at the very least a bed and a non-respawning chest.

This is one of thirteen ownable houses in Oblivion

Skill-Based Guilds
Much like its predecessor, Oblivion has guilds that pertain to specific skills, each with their own (usually long) questlines. The Fighters Guild is focused on melee combat and acts as a legal muscle-for-hire group. The Thieves Guild focuses on becoming a master thief in pursuit of the elusive Gray Fox. Lastly, the Mages Guild focuses on the various schools of magic and features a lengthy questline.

Not only do you become a part of a super cool club, but you also get a super cool clubhouse.

Knights of the Nine
Knights of the Nine is one of several official DLC add-ons released by Bethesda. The DLC contains a brand new questline revolving around the titular order as they attempt to recover lost relics. Spanning across eleven quests, players must progress through the ranks of the Knights of the Nine, starting at the title Knight Errant and progressing to Divine Crusader. To fully complete Knights of the Nine, you can expect to spend around twelve or so hours, as a lot of content is jam packed into the small 155MB file size.

It’s a fun DLC! Plus, you get some pretty awesome armor for your troubles.

Shivering Isles
Shivering Isles is another DLC pack for Oblivion. However, it is completely different from all other questlines. To put it bluntly, it’s wacky. Shivering Isles has players roaming an entirely new map: Sheogorath. Spanning fourteen quests and thirty hours of content, Shivering Isles is probably the best DLC to date. Like Morrowind’s DLC add-ons, Shivering Isles is practically a brand new game.

The sheer size of Shivering Isles is astonishing

Community Mods and the Construction Set
What would The Elder Scrolls be without modding? With the recent surge in community mods being produced for Skyrim, the modding scene is bigger than ever. However, it all started with Morrowind and faced a huge boom with Oblivion. Bethesda released a complete toolkit to allow the community to add locations, create quests, and add new items.

Bethesda practically released the tools they used to make Oblivion

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is notorious for its glitches. While most of the known glitches are problems with the Gamebryo Engine itself, there are still lots of random bugs that can be experienced at any time. While many gamers will whine and moan about the number of glitches present, true fans of the series find them laughable and contribute to the overall silliness of the game. Many glitches are harmless, and only a select few are game-breaking. For these reasons, I tend to play the unpatched version of the game, leaving all of the patched bugs in-tact.


Oblivion is a great game. It really is. It is a huge technological leap from its predecessor, Morrowind. The best part? It offers endless gameplay value. I have saves with an upwards of 300 hours recorded, and there is still more to do. It was a great value at the time of release, and it is even moreso now. For fans of role-playing games: don’t pass up an opportunity to play Oblivion. It is currently less than $20 on many major online retailers. If you have an opening in your gaming backlog, consider picking it up. I can guarantee that you will not regret it!

Best Laptop Coolers – HAVIT HV-F2056 15.6″-17″ Laptop Cooler Review

It is common knowledge that heat is a computer’s worst enemy. It Causes the Hardware to function improperly, leading to malfunction, and ultimately failure. that is why it’s important to keep your computer running cool at all times. However, some computers have poor airflow and there’s not a whole lot you can do to remedy the situation. Luckily, some third-party brands have created cooling pads that keep your computer running cool throughout long, intense sessions. The problem is, there a ton of options and some of them aren’t worth the money. So how do you decide which one to purchase? After all, computers are a large investment. You will want to make sure that you protect your investment and maximize the lifespan and value of your computer.

HAVIT is a United States-based brand that sells computer peripherals and personal digital products. After much research and testing, we conclude that their cooling pad is the best option to keep your computer running cool and performing well. And the user reviews don’t lie. Out of nearly 500 customers, the HAVIT HV-F2056 laptop cooler has scored 4 1/2 stars out of five. Each review goes on to praise the cooling capacity and superior build quality of the product. In fact, some customers have reported that the cooling pad cools their computer by an additional 17°C!

When performing computer intensive tasks, laptops can reach upwards of 100°C. This temperature is dangerous for the computer’s hardware and can cause various issues to arise, such as system instability. Repeated exposure to temperatures such as this can ultimately cause hardware failure, potentially costing thousands of dollars to fix. With most computers containing sensitive information, system failure is often not an option. So why put your computer at risk? Why not keep it cool and preserve its computing capacity for years to come?


The HAVIT HV-F2056 Laptop Cooler is designed to be ultraportable. It’s slim design and lightweight allows users to take it on the go with them, and it rarely gets in the way. This means that you can keep your laptop cool while on the road, something that is ideal for traveling businessman and university students alike. Weighing only 1 1/2 pounds, the HAVIT laptop cooler can be taken virtually anywhere, and since it runs off of your computer’s own power source, you won’t have to worry about plugging it into a wall, or dealing with any monotonous wires.

The HV-F2056 laptop cooler is also designed to be ergonomically comfortable. It has two adjustable height settings, providing users with a comfortable incline and the viewing angle that protects from eyestrain. The incline also makes typing easier and feel more natural. In fact, after some users have switched to the incline, they often note that they find it more comfortable and easy to type, and rarely desire to switch back. With more comfort and superior airflow, you will find production levels increasing and performance at a maximum.

The HV-F2056 supports any size of laptop up to 17 inches. It is designed using a high-quality multidirectional metal mesh that is gentle against the material of your laptop and provides a stable surface. Small holes allow air to travel through the three fans placed on the underside of the product, which proceed to pump air through your system and out the exhaust. Each fan is 110mm, all of which spin at 1,000 RPM, providing a strong 65 CFM of airflow as you work or game. Best of all, the cooling pad is extremely quiet. In fact, it is so quiet that many users report not even being able to hear it. This is arguably the best feature, as it renders the cooling pad non-intrusive; something that many cooling pad struggle with.

As we mentioned previously, the HAVIT HV-F2056 laptop cooler uses a USB port from your laptop to power the fans. While this feature isn’t unique to this product itself, HAVIT has included a dual side USB to allow other peripherals to connect wall the cooling pad is in use, freeing up an extra two USB slots. This option is fantastic for users who commonly use the USB ports for other peripherals, such as wireless mice, keyboards, and external drives.

We think the blue LEDs add a cool touch, but it isn’t for everyone.

The three ultra quiet fans give off a unique blue light that is sure to catch some eyes. They look fairly flashy, but the appeal potentially lost due to this feature is made up for 10 times over by the sheer performance of these fans. Each fan provides cool air and superior airflow to critical components of your laptop, such as the CPU, GPU, and hard drive bays. This keeps every component of your laptop cool and performing at its peak.

Due to the fact that many laptop users use their personal computers on their laps, the systems tend to heat up quickly, resulting in an uncomfortable experience. The HAVIT HV-F2056 provides a well needed buffer between the laptop and the users lap, making it easy and comfortable to use your computer while reclining on the couch or bed, with the added benefit of a downdraft of cool air flowing across your lap.

The build quality of the HV-F2056 is made of heavy-duty plastic and high-quality metals, ensuring that the cooling pad will last for years to come. When compared to the relatively low price tag, the sturdiness and effectiveness of this cooling pad make it a great deal.

So what are you waiting for? Start cooling your laptop to the temperature that it was intended to run at. High temperatures are doing nothing but causing trouble for your computer, and the problem won’t solve itself until you take action. While you might not be interested in the HV-F2056, we highly recommend that you invest in a quality laptop cooling pad that will increase the lifespan of your  investment. These coolers are proven to work and help your system perform at optimal efficiency.