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Christopher Reay (Nottingham)
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Crucial CT960M500SSD1 960GB M500 SATA 6Gb/s 2.5 Inch Internal Solid State Drive
Crucial CT960M500SSD1 960GB M500 SATA 6Gb/s 2.5 Inch Internal Solid State Drive
Offered by Willy's Widgets
Price: £285.64

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quick, large and very good value, 4 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was using a 256GB Samsung 830 in my gaming rig but getting sick of transferring games I wanted to play from my HDD to this quicker drive so decided I needed a bigger SSD. I bought a 500GB Samsung 840 EVO but after formatting and leaving 10% aside for overprovisioning this left only 418GB recognised in Windows which wasn't really big enough so I returned it.

I then noticed this drive and the price looked very attractive. My first SSD was a 256B Crucial C300 which is now two generations old but is still going strong after transferring it to the laptop on which I'm writing this review. The 256GB C300 cost about the same as this 960GB M500 which shows you how prices have fallen. After formatting Windows reads this M500 drive as 893GB. You do not lose any additional capacity to overprovisioning as this has already been taken into account so in practical terms this drive is bigger than the Samsung 1000GB rival.

Samsung are the biggest electronics company in the world and produce all the parts for their SSD's (Nand chips, controllers, firmware) in house which gives them excellent quality control. Crucial is in fact owned by Micron who are another large electronics company that makes memory chips so have similar advantages as Samsung. Smaller SSD manufacturers sometimes struggle with quality control as they buy in most of the components (OCZ's quality problems probably contributed to their recent bankruptcy).

The drive didn't come with any migration software but I used my normal disc imaging software I have for back ups and transferred my main boot drive to this one without any problems. The M500 doesn't come with a 3.5 inch bay adapter like some SSD's but as SSD's don't get hot I attach them to the back of my motherboard tray out of the way.

If you look at the benchmarks the M500 is not quite as fast as the Samsung 840 EVO but in real world use it feels very fast and I doubt whether anyone in a blind test could tell the difference. In fact my C300 still feels very snappy and responsive although I know it is considerably slower than the current generation drives. In some of the reviews I investigated it was clear that the higher volume M500 drives (480GB, 960GB) were considerably faster than the smaller drives (120GB) which was reassuring.

Overall I feel this drive is excellent value for money and extremely quick and responsive and as it is a Crucial drive I am expecting similar longevity to my C300.


ViewSonic VP2770-LED 27 inch Widescreen HD High Resolution Professional Monitor
ViewSonic VP2770-LED 27 inch Widescreen HD High Resolution Professional Monitor
Price: £416.95

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning monitor for high resolution gaming, 4 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a 27 inch 2560x1440 (1440p) monitor which uses PLS panel technology (Plane Line Switching). PLS is Samsung’s take on LG’s IPS (In Plane Switching) which has been around for several years. These panels have much better colours than the more common and cheaper TN (Twisted Nematic) panels but can suffer from input lag. The same panel is used by several competing monitors but the effectiveness normally depends on the implementation.

This Viewsonic monitor has a wide range of inputs (DVI, HDMI etc) and USB2 and USB3 ports. I use the monitor mainly for gaming so only use DVI and my motherboard’s USB ports but they are all there if you need them. It doesn’t have any speakers which is not a loss as monitor speakers are normally cheap and tinny. The power brick is internal so only a simple kettle lead is needed to connect it.

The monitor has height, tilt and rotate adjustment and can be swung through 90 degrees into portrait mode. This latter feature makes it easier to connect power and DVI leads. The screen uses LED backlighting which allows for a fairly thin screen and saves power compared to screens using CCFL lamps for backlighting. The stand is rugged and the build quality very good. It is not a pretty monitor but looks solid and functional. It is also very sturdy and doesn’t wobble.

I upgraded to this monitor from a 24 inch 1920x1200 HP LP2475w which was the premier IPS screen of a few years ago. I was hoping the colours would be of a similar quality and am not disappointed. The Viewsonic uses a native 8 bit panel like the HP and can even emulate 10 bit if required. The colours look great and the overall impression I get is it is slightly more vibrant than the HP. Reviews suggest the Viewsonic is not as good on static contrast as some competing screens but blacks look nice and inky to me and I can pick out varying shades of grey so I do not think this is an issue.

The monitor uses touch sensitive OSD buttons which are a bit fiddly to use but are very discreet (you do not adjust the screen often anyway) and provide many adjustments. Out of the box the screen uses its native setting but the brightness is at its maximum of 100 and is blinding. If you turn the brightness down to the mid twenties this native setting looks fantastic. The panel has been factory calibrated and this setting can be accessed by switching to the RGB preset in the OSD. If you are doing colour critical work this is the setting you should use as it is the most accurate. The brightness and contrast are locked using this setting but they are sensible values anyway. I use my monitor mainly for gaming so I experimented with the custom setting which lets you set red, green and blue individually. I’m currently using red 100, green 96 and blue 93 with brightness 26 and contrast 70 (which is the default contrast). This looks better to my eye but it comes down to personal taste. There are also presets for a warm colour temperature, a cool colour temperature and a bluish colour temperature which some may like. The only other setting I have changed is the response time which I changed from standard to advanced to remove ghosting. As regards input lag I play mainly fast paced shooters and have not noticed any. I did not notice any with my HP IPS screen either so perhaps this drawback of IPS/PLS panels is overstated.

When I was looking for a new monitor I did a lot of research using sites such as TFT Central and Prad. Some popular makes seemed to be suffering from build quality issues making buying one a lottery. Many others were using Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) to control brightness. This means the screen is actually flickering really quickly and can cause some people headaches and eyestrain. I decided I didn’t want to risk discovering I’m PWM sensitive. The only screen with good build quality and non PWM backlighting receiving good reviews was this Viewsonic. However it was over £100 more expensive than competing monitors. Within a week though Amazon slashed £100 off the price so I bought one.

Viewsonic have a zero bright pixel policy so I loaded up a pixel tester and confirmed my panel had no bright, dead or stuck pixels. However when I checked the backlight consistency using a black screen on maximum brightness there were a couple of brighter patches. You sometimes see brighter patches in the corners of IPS/PLS screens which disappear if you move your head so you are looking head on. This is not backlight bleed but IPS/PLS glow and is not a fault as it is just reflections causing it. Mine was true backlight bleed which is a defect. It was minor but when you are aware of it you cannot stop looking for it so it becomes a major distraction. I asked Amazon for a replacement and they collected the defective monitor and gave me a replacement within two days. The replacement has no defective pixels and the backlight is as consistent as any I have seen so this panel is about as perfect as you can get.

To summarise, this monitor has great colours, plenty of input options, a customisable stand, great build quality, no discernable input lag and a zero bright pixel policy. The price looks quite high but my smaller HP cost the same five years ago. Unlike graphics cards, cpu’s etc the technology is much slower moving with screens so this is a long term investment. I highly recommend this monitor.

P.s. For top quality 1440p gaming I’ve paired this screen with Nvidia’s new GTX780 Ti. This graphics card is so powerful it runs my games on this huge panel easily. You no longer need to battle with the vagaries of multi gpu set ups at this resolution.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 9, 2014 8:10 AM GMT


SATA 3 6Gbs LOCKING SATA High Speed Hard Drive Cable Lead 45cm
SATA 3 6Gbs LOCKING SATA High Speed Hard Drive Cable Lead 45cm
Offered by PC Outlet \ Thali Outlet
Price: £2.32

5.0 out of 5 stars No angles, 15 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've already used one of these so knew they are good. I use then as they have straight connectors rather than one right angle. With the layout of my motherboard and the positioning of my SSD's it makes for tidier cabling.


Everbuild SG400 400ml Professional Sealant Gun
Everbuild SG400 400ml Professional Sealant Gun
Offered by AP Motor Store
Price: £2.62

5.0 out of 5 stars Top quality, 31 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I paid a ridiculously low price for this so was not expecting much. However this is a very professional product. Well manufactured, nice paint job - a bargain!


Akasa AK-MX002 PC Noise Reduction Kit
Akasa AK-MX002 PC Noise Reduction Kit
Price: £3.98

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cheap but low quality, 23 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this kit mainly for the psu gasket. Unfortunately this is made of wafer thin rubber so doesn't achieve much decoupling. The fan decouplers on the other hand work extremely well - it was worth buying the kit just for them.


FiiO L7, Dock Kit for FiiO E7
FiiO L7, Dock Kit for FiiO E7

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bit expensive but works well, 23 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this as I found the way my FiiO E7 wobbled in the E9 amplifier a bit worrying. This provides a much more secure connection but is quite expensive for what it is.


Silverline 250478 PVC Pipe Cutter 25mm
Silverline 250478 PVC Pipe Cutter 25mm
Price: £4.55

4.0 out of 5 stars Works quite well and cheap, 23 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this to cut the tubing I use for watercooling my pc nice and neatly. It does a good job on my 3/4inch OD PVC tubing. I suspect this may not be suitable for heavy use as the nut holding the two pieces together comes loose easily but for the infrequent use I require this is extremely good value for money.


EiioX SATA 2nd 2.5'' Hard Drive Caddy for 12.7mm Universal CD/DVD-ROM**Expand your data storage on your Laptop with HDD/SSD
EiioX SATA 2nd 2.5'' Hard Drive Caddy for 12.7mm Universal CD/DVD-ROM**Expand your data storage on your Laptop with HDD/SSD
Offered by EiioX
Price: £6.90

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't fit, 23 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I tried to put a standard size SSD into this an it wouldn't fit. I could have tried excessive force I suppose but decided not to risk an expensive SSD. Sent it back for a refund.


Fujitsu LIFEBOOK AH532 15.6 inch laptop (black) Intel Core i3-3120M Processor (3M Cache, 2.50 GHz) 4GB RAM, 500GB hard disk, DVDRW SM, Intel HD graphics 4000, Intel Centrino N2230 802.11b/g/n WLAN, Bluetooth v4.0, HD webcam, Windows 8 64-bit
Fujitsu LIFEBOOK AH532 15.6 inch laptop (black) Intel Core i3-3120M Processor (3M Cache, 2.50 GHz) 4GB RAM, 500GB hard disk, DVDRW SM, Intel HD graphics 4000, Intel Centrino N2230 802.11b/g/n WLAN, Bluetooth v4.0, HD webcam, Windows 8 64-bit

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good value, 23 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a very cheap laptop for what you are getting. The build quality is a bit flimsy but not too bad, the screen looks a little washed out and the styling is fairly bland. But you are getting a fairly fast processor with a graphics core that can play older games fairly well for a very good price. I replaced the hard drive with a spare SSD I had available which makes it very responsive. Windows 8 boots even quicker than Windows 7 so I'm at the desktop in a little over 10 seconds from pressing the power button.

Overall a pretty good buy


JUBILEE Stainless Steel Hose Clips - OO - 13mm†/ 20mm Qty 10
JUBILEE Stainless Steel Hose Clips - OO - 13mm†/ 20mm Qty 10
Offered by AP Motor Store
Price: £11.29

5.0 out of 5 stars The real McCoy, 23 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I run a watercooling loop for my gaming pc. I previously used cheap generic clips and found them very stiff so I had to use a lot of force in the vicinity of expensive computer parts to tighten.They were also prone to ovalling so part of the band was not even in contact with the tubing. After this caused my first and so far only leak I bought this product - real Jubilee clips. What a difference - the quality is way better so they tighten up easily and uniformly.These are the stainless steel version and they actually look quite good into the bargain. This size, OO, is perfect for 1/2 inch ID, 3/4 inch OD tubing by the way. This is a small investment in a quality product which should provide reliable, safe clamping for years.


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