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Community Article Rebuild Gateway model FX610 S — Micro Center Rebuild Gateway model FX610 S j25 ✭ April 20 in Technical Support Questions I want to replace the motherboard and all relevant circuit board in a very old (Windows XP) PC.  is it possible? what do I look for  on the motherboard? 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Comments TSTonyV admin April 20 Hello @j25! Welcome to the Community.  From what I can see doing some research online, that appears to be an All-in-One type system where all the parts are built into the screen.  If you're trying to put modern hardware in, you won't have much luck and I'd recommend just purchasing a new system. You might be able to find new hard drives or RAM, but for things like the motherboard you'd have to be looking for used parts on places like Ebay. Motherboards will have some type of part number that identifies exactly what they are and if you could find that, you could check online for anything that matches it, but it'd probably be difficult to find.  0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Sign In or Register to comment. Community Article How to Get Out of Windows 10 S Mode — Micro Center How to Get Out of Windows 10 S Mode Ian admin May 8 edited May 8 in Windows S Mode is a restricted version of Windows 10 that can only install Microsoft verified applications through the Windows Store. S Mode is intended to provide added security by only allowing applications approved by Microsoft to be installed. However this can be overly restrictive for most users. If you bought a computer with Windows S Mode enabled, you can switch to the full version of Windows at no cost. It is advisable to make a backup of your files before making this change. NOTE: Once switched out of S Mode, the changes cannot be reverted. Here's how to switch out of S Mode: 1.   Open Windows Settings by clicking on the start menu and then Settings (the gear icon). 2.   Select the option for Update and Security, this should be the last item in the list. 3.   Click on Activation in the left column. 4.   Under "Windows specifications" click Change Product Key or switch to Windows 10 Home - You may instead see Windows Pro if you have the professional version of Windows. 5.   Click Go to the Store below where you see “Switch to Windows 10 Home” or “Switch to Windows 10 Pro.” 6.   In the Windows Store, click the Get button for “Switch out of S mode.” 7.   Then click Install on the next screen. 8.   A prompt will ask if you have saved all your files. To proceed, click "Yes, let's go" 9.   The upgrade will take place in the background over the next few minutes after which you will no longer be running S Mode. 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Sign In or Register to comment. Community Article Monitor(s) for MS Flight Sim, 1 or 3? — Micro Center Monitor(s) for MS Flight Sim, 1 or 3? Pavlo ✭ August 25 in Peripherals I could buy an $1100 wide screen 4K, or purchase 2 more 27" 2560x1440's to go with the Benq I already have.  Running 3700X with a Nvidia 2080.  Need pros and cons on each choice.⁷ 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Comments TSMikeW admin August 25 Greetings, I'm more into DCS than FS2020 at the moment. Personally, I'd go for the 49" 4K monitor just to make things a little simpler. 3D surround works fine, and you'll probably find more options at  higher refresh rates. Also, you'll likely be forcing a higher refresh rate with the 3x setup. Your GPU software will artificially inflate this and it could create performance issues. 3x1080P monitors is 5760x1080. You should get a better FOV, but you increase the complexity. Higher chance of running into a bug that limits your gaming experience. You could also consider VR for what you're spending. Pimax 5K/8K or the Valve Index would be worth looking into. 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Sign In or Register to comment. Community Article acer one 10 s 1003 keyboard part — Micro Center acer one 10 s 1003 keyboard part HTal ✭ June 12 in Customer Service Questions can  you fix my keyboard if I order the part? 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Comments TSTonyV admin June 12 Typically for parts like that we cannot use user-supplied parts, but I'm not 100% sure about that. If you can private message me your contact information and which store you're closest to, I can get a message to our service desk to have them reach back out to you about this.  0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Sign In or Register to comment. Community Article AFFORDABLE MECHANICAL GAMING KEYBOARDS?! - Inland's Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Lineup 2020 — Micro Center AFFORDABLE MECHANICAL GAMING KEYBOARDS?! - Inland's Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Lineup 2020 AlexS admin June 16 edited September 3 in Reviews & Buying Guides PC Gaming has been on the rise the last few years and for the veteran gaming enthusiasts, I have a question for you. Do you recall the very first time you heard the phrase “mechanical keyboard”?   I sure do!  When I built my very first computer in 2015, my coworker at Panera Bread asked if I was gonna get a mechanical keyboard. Now I have been PC gaming since I was a wee lad, but I was completely oblivious to the term mechanical keyboard.  I’ve only used keyboards with membrane switches at this point. So, I ended up doing my research and figured out quickly that this was the next purchase on my list for my gaming setup. I went straight to the top of popular mechanical keyboards at the time which was Razer’s Blackwidow Chroma. I was ecstatic about this keyboard. Absolutely loved it.  But in the last 5 years of buying different brands of keyboards and styles, I’ve noticed that you don’t have to purchase the most popular or expensive keyboard. I’ve had Corsair, Logitech, and HyperX keyboards and the one thing I noticed about all of them, is that they are all pretty dang expensive.  So what about the affordable gaming keyboards? Is there a more affordable option to where one can attain a more affordable, quality mechanical keyboard?  The answer is… yes.  Absolutely.  We’re going to go over Inland’s Mechanical Gaming Keyboard lineup for 2020.  The three Inland models in this review will be the MK-S, MK-F, and OMK-X.  Please use the links below to jump ahead. Inland MK-F/MK-S Inland OMK-X Inland Keyboard Software Final Thoughts Inland MK-S  TKL (Tenkeyless) Lower profile KT Red Switches Aluminum Cover Braided USB Cable Inland MK-F  Full Size Keyboard KT Red Switches Aluminum Cover Braided USB Cable Removable Wrist Rest Inland OMK-X  Full Size Keyboard KT Optical Blue Switches ABS Chassis Dedicated Macro Keys Volume Bar Removable Magnetic Wrist Rest 1 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter «12» Go Comments AlexS admin June 16 Inland MK-F & MK-S Mechanical Gaming Keyboards I’m going to review these two keyboards simultaneously. The reason being is that the only real differences between the MK-F and MK-S keyboards is that the MK-F has a numpad and wrist rest and the MK-S does not.  The keyboards come with a keycap removal tool, software disc, and manual. Design Inland opted to go with a brushed aluminum cover for these keyboards with the remainder of the chassis being hard plastic.  It’s sturdy, looks super clean, and can compliment any sort of computer station, even one in an office environment. The key switches and caps sit atop the chassis like you would see on more recent keyboard designs, which makes it easier to clean.  The key layouts are fairly standard and do not include any dedicated macro or multimedia keys.  The caps are all clearly labeled and also have any shortcuts etched into them.  They also provide very ample lighting with the RGB effects.   Inland also decided to go with a braided cable with gold plated USB connector. This is always a nice touch when looking for a new keyboard. It's very durable and much more flexible than a plastic cable. Both the MK-F and MK-S also come with rubber legs if you wish to elevate the keyboard. Keyswitches As of now, the only mechanical key switches available for the MK-S and MK-F series boards are the Kailh/Kaihua KT Reds. They are linear SMT switches (Surface Mount Technology) and offer an operating life of 50,000,000 cycles.  They’re essentially what many would call a “Cherry MX clone” and they can definitely hold up during heavy gaming sessions.   I would like to say that the break in period for the MK-F was about a week to get these switches feeling consistent, but I experienced zero issues out of the box with any mishaps or accidental keypunches during this easy Jett Ace in Valorant on Split. The LEDs on the switches themselves are nice and bright and can be adjusted with the function (FN) key shortcuts. Functionality While I’ve come quite accustomed with having dedicated macro keys/multimedia keys on some of the more expensive keyboards, Inland has done a pretty darn good job with trying to keep it all in one.  Combining a multitude of keys with multiple functions, profiles, or multimedia use allows the MK-F and MK-S keyboards to maintain a much lower profile than bulkier mechanical keyboards.  You get 12 Feature Keys, 14 LED modes, keyboard LED brightness control and even a Game mode to lock your Windows Button.  These keyboards function admirably. 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter AlexS admin June 16 Inland OMK-X Optical Gaming Mechanical Keyboard Inland’s OMK-X is one of the most affordable full size opto-mechanical gaming keyboards on the market. There is a miniscule amount of full size opto-mechanical keyboards that are under the $100 price mark and the OMK-X is in that category.  This keyboard comes with a keycap removal tool, software disc, and manual. Design   Inland’s opto-mechanical offering is a little bulkier and weighs in at around 3 lbs. The keyboard’s chassis is primarily made of hard plastic, and has a steel top cover instead of the aluminum cover.  You also get a magnetic wrist rest that connects to the bottom of the keyboard.   There are multiple programmable macro keys towards the upper left hand side of the keyboard, with LED mode keys for gaming on the upper right hand side of the keyboard. Inland was generous enough to also include a volume bar which is a nice touch. Both sides of the keyboard have some nifty RGB LED lightning as well.   The keyboard uses a plastic cable versus the more common braided style USB cable.  Since the model has USB passthrough, you’ll have two gold-plated USB-A connectors at the end of the cable which are clearly marked in case you do not wish to use the pass through. The key cap design has that gamer-like font with etched symbols for function shortcuts and allows RGB lightning to shine through very clearly.   Keyswitches The OMK-X uses Kailh/Kaihua KT Blue Optical Mechanical Switches and they feel amazing.  Personally, I’ve never been a blue switch kind of guy but I might be now.  Sure they’re a little on the louder side but the tactile feedback feels great and I was zooming against the opposition on (115+ WPM average though, no big deal).  The optical switches offer a 0.2ms response time which is insanely fast and offer 100% anti-ghosting.  For those who don’t know what anti-ghosting is, it’s technology that allows your keyboard to send simultaneous signals from multiple keypresses without any signals being lost.   The RGB lighting in the switches are comparable to KT Reds so it’s very clean and bright.  As of now, for the opto-mechanical OMX-K, the KT Blues are the only switch variant available at this time.   Functionality The OMK-X has plenty of function, macro, and media control keys.  You have 5 Macro Keys, 4 LED Game Mode keys, 12 Feature Keys, dedicated media keys, LED Mode and Control keys, a volume bar and even a USB pass through.  That’s a lot right?   The Macro and LED Game Mode buttons are pretty solid.  I didn’t expect them to stand as tall as they do but they seem quite sturdy.  The media function keys have a nice click and sit closer to the surface of the chassis.  The volume bar also has nice feedback to it when adjusting the volume.  The OMK-X offers 22 LED modes total with 3 different modes for each of the 6 LED themes plus the 4 LED Game Mode keys.  I’d say this keyboard offers plenty of RGB options for the budget mechanical keyboard shopper. 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter AlexS admin June 16 Inland Keyboard Software Oh and just for your information, each of these keyboards come with their own separate software on a mini disc.  This does help with setting up Macros or profiles.  You can also select your keyboard lighting effects instead of going through the function key combinations. 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter AlexS admin June 16 edited June 22 Final Thoughts While there are plenty of expensive and higher quality choices for a mechanical gaming keyboard, Inland puts their foot down with the MK-S, MK-F, and OMK-X keyboards for the budget gamer.  These keyboards are well made, function great, and look very clean.  I’d recommend getting an Inland Gaming Keyboard whether you’re on budget or not! I thank you for taking the time to read my review of these great mechanical keyboards and ask that you answer the question I asked at the very beginning of the review. Do you recall the very first time you heard the phrase “mechanical keyboard”? And what is your favorite mechanical keyboard? 1 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Ian admin June 23 The Corsair K70 Vengeance has treated me well for many years, if something were to happen I think I'd try one of these for the price.  0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Abraham_r ✭ June 24 I have been working with my logitech keyboard for a while and have learned that I really appreciate the ability to have a customization option of keycaps with the mx switches. So being able to have an inland keyboard I can take my setup to the next level with color coordination and creativeness. My eye is set on the omk-x 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter javiperez64 ✭ June 24 The one that called my attention the most would be the Inland OMK-X. I absolutely love the palm-rest design and the macro keys. I can already see my self making so much use of those in daily use (gaming and work). I'll have to get my hands on one when I get a chance. 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Sato_maki ✭ June 24 At the moment I game/work on my Anne Pro2. It’s not bad, it took a while with the software to get it configured with Bluetooth but overall not bad. Switches feel great. It is a little too small compact because I have bigger hands than average. I rather have a bigger keyboards like this one or Logitech/Corsair ones.  0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter GeorgeF ✭ June 24 I quite like the OMK-X. Mainly for the wrist rest and volume rocker that most keyboards don’t offer. The design is aesthetically appealing. Also I’m not a huge fan of low profile keys so this one wins in my book! It looks pretty awesome as well! 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter malla ✭ June 24 I like the classic design and functionality of the omk-x. Not thing beats classic design, the others look good but will get outdated quick, similar to headset designs in 2015 vs now. The simple clean look will always be my favorite, screams professional with a gaming side. OMK-X  0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Annnna ✭ June 24 I like the Inland OMK-X it is nice to use and design is quite brilliant. 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter kbeinlnleydy ✭ June 24 I like the design of the Inland’s OMK-X. It's resembles the Corsair k70 slightly with some great looking rgb and extra keys. My first mechanical keyboard was the Corsair k70 rapidfire, and recently I moved to the glorious gaming gmmk tenkeyless and I absolutely love that keyboard. However they are both a bit more expensive then $100. It's be great to be able to try out the OMK-X!! 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter LookitsBirdi ✭ June 24 Don't really dig the Gamer-y Look of the F or the S, but props for going for Box switches. Definitely preferring the OMK-X. 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter kakudiego ✭ June 24 For most of the people a $35 mechanical keyboard is more than enough. I'm using a VictSing 96 keys with doble O-rings.  It's nice to see more affordable options! 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Goblin ✭ June 24 I like the MK-F but brown switches would be rad 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Zenno ✭ June 24 Glad to hear they are rocking red switches. Not sure about the 'cut corners' look on the S and F but I do miss arrow keys on my keyboard. I like the TKL but would it be weird to have a wrist rest on that one? 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter TS_StephenW ✭ June 24 I have been using a Ducky keyboard with Cherry MX red switches since I did my first build 8 years ago. It hasn't let me down yet and I love it for gaming! I have a HyperX Alloy at work with brown switches that is great for typing and is much more affordable than the Ducky keyboards that are out today. Tested out some of the Inland boards and was satisfied with the feel of the keys during my brief time typing with it. 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter KingXF ✭ June 24 That OMK-X really interests me. It has optical switches, multimedia and macro keys, and so many more features. As a YouTube product reviewer myself I'd love to get my hands on this and post a video review of it. If it had more switch options and had a tkl version it'd be even better! 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter lymanamyl ✭ June 25 The MK-S looks interesting since I've been looking to get a TKL keyboard.  0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter bigjimboextreme ✭ June 25 The Inland OMK-X RGB is the most appealing to me. I like all the functions for it and its features.  0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Rara ✭ June 25 The Inland OMK-X is very interesting in its design and functionality.  0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Ahjumbie ✭ June 25 Inland OMK-X is the one for me ..the media controls are extremely useful for my stream and just handy overall 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Tdun ✭ June 25 The MK-S looks like a good option for my son who has been hinting at a mechanical keyboard for a bit. 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter OvrDue4Upgrade ✭ June 25 I can't recall when I first heard of Mechanical keyboards, but it certainly seems like quite a while ago. Of the ones here I find the MK-F the most appealing. I prefer full-sized keyboards and the review indicates that its red style keys would be less noisy than the OMK-X, which I think is a sharp looking keyboard, but the review indicates that its blue switches are noisier than I would want my daily driver keyboard to be. 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Adrian_K ✭ June 26 I think I'd prefer the Inland OMK-X - full sized with blue switches! Never can go wrong with clickyness  1 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter MaxBunny ✭ June 26 I first heard of "mechanical keyboard" from a friend, though I've used them before in the old days and just never knew that they were. While the switches last mostly forever, the laser sensors on some models will definitely not.  But the Inland MK-F looks like it's the overall value/design winner. $5 mechanical numpad can't be passed up over its TKL version.  0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter jhaluska ✭ June 26 I like the MK-F the most.  I do enough of numeric data entry and find a number pad indispensable.  My second favorite is the MK-S which would be great for a gaming only setup.  I'd love to see if the wrist pads are at the proper height for my hands. 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Cristina_TM ✭ June 28 I've recently completed my first PC build and have a keyboard that I got from a friend as a placeholder until I get a better one. We were actually looking at building our own together but these look dope as hell! Big fan of the Inland MK-S' build and functionality.  1 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter TS_JosephF admin July 4 Adrian_K said: I think I'd prefer the Inland OMK-X - full sized with blue switches! Never can go wrong with clickyness  I have the MK-F here at work and the OMK-X at home. The 'clickyness' on the OMK-X is absolutely worth paying a little extra.  0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter 2loki4u ✭ July 22 So, anyone have any idea where to get the omk-x drivers and software??? i don't own a regular optical drive, only an external slot drive i keep in a drawer - can't insert the mini-disc - can't find any links on micro-center or inland's sites for downloading them either - general google / duckduckgo searches haven't found much other than a reddit on it that's 5mo old and this thread...  btw - do you ever get used to the noise?!?!?! ugghhh - wish they were quieter - but overall, while being very different, the keys are pretty darn responsive... 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter «12» Go Leave a Comment BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list Format Heading 1Heading 2 QuoteCodeSpoiler Emoji Url Image Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights Drop image/file Home • Reviews & Buying GuidesComment As ... Community Article Questions for Folding@Home's Dr. Bowman Livestream 8/7pm central Thursday 16th April — Micro Center Questions for [email protected]'s Dr. Bowman Livestream 8/7pm central Thursday 16th April ryau admin April 13 edited April 16 in Customer Service Questions We'll be on Facebook Live and posted to our YouTube channel shortly after. Hi folks This Thursday at 8pm eastern / 7pm central, I am going to be interviewing Dr. Gregory Bowman, the director of the [email protected] project and streaming it on Facebook Live. It will be recorded and posted to our YouTube channel later. We will be picking up some questions from the live comments, but if you can't make the live stream please comment below with your questions. I can't promise I'll be able to ask every one, but I'll try to incorporate as many as I can. 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Comments Tramp78 ✭✭ April 13 How do they decide which projects to take on? Is there a vetting process to only work with people with a track record or do they take on any project submited? 1 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Tramp78 ✭✭ April 15 Before the Coronavirus came along, what other diseases were being studied in the "Other diseases" option? Are you thinking of expanding the conditions you investigate (do you have any control over that).  1 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Rodolfo23_ ✭ April 15 Developing a new prescription medicine that gains marketing approval is estimated to cost drugmakers $2.6 billion.[1] However, none of the world's top four vaccine companies has shown any significant interest towards developing a vaccine.[2] So far, there are over 60 development projects going on, each one of which receiving some millions of dollars of investments. For example, the European Union invested recently 37,5 million euros for developing a vaccine, which can be considered significant in comparison to many small-sized biomed firms participating the race.[3] Moreover, according to The Guardian, all but two development projects in their list of 41 had an experimental, computer simulation based approach — one which [email protected] undoubtedly presents.[4] As stated by National Geographic, the technology for this kind of modern approach has been available for 30 years already, but during this time, it has never been able to produce one single functioning vaccine to the market.[5] Although a firm believer in the cause of [email protected] (I'm folding proteins at home all day and night with my three laptops), I cannot help thinking of the possibility that with such scarce resources, the vaccine development is a long-shot at its best. I mean, [email protected] is doing very prestigious work with its goal to help understanding how the proteins work, but alone, is this enough considering the fact that most of the development projects are run by small players with insufficient resources, while the "big pharma" remains more Sleeping than Beauty? 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter rbpeake ✭ April 15 How are for-profit companies able to use the results you produce?  Would it be through some sort of licensing agreement? 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter fishbowl ✭ April 15 Does [email protected] mine cryptocurrency? If so please explain how we would know whether or not we were contributing resources to someone's mining effort. 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Lilu ✭ April 16 1.       My system CPU & GPU  contributing to project 13851 as per [email protected] home page.How to know what is the project about? How to get the project code? 2.       If I want to contribute any project in terms of coding or being part of any, team which now doing some coding or testing is it possible? I have an experience of 8+ years in software industry. 3.       I have a keen interest in bioinformatics. Is there any document which explains the algorithm used in [email protected] projects for protein analysis? can I be part of any bioinformatics team?      0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter JADO ✭ April 16 How does the folding at home team define the projects that needs to be done?  Do they require review by a team or supervisor to prioritize it?  Once work is approved for processing how are resources allocated?  Why do some projects require CPU processing versus GPU processing?  Thanks 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Brawlrus ✭ April 16 I am having problems installing folding at home. When I open the installer it just crashes right away. My specs are ryzen 5 2600 and rx 5700 xt 8gb model. 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter ryau admin April 17 Thanks for all the questions, I was able to incorporate some of them into the Q&A session, which you can view on Facebook or YouTube: 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter This discussion has been closed. 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I cannot find the receipt, warranty, or any other info that should have come with the computer. There is also no Windows 10 backup disk. I need help building a streaming/gaming PC Discussion by Reid · August 24 · Home › Help Choosing Parts Hello! I am brand new to building computers and did a little bit of research on what I would need to stream and game on the same pc. Was wondering if this build was suitable. I also would love input on hardrives vs ssd. I also know nothing about computer coolant and which ones work the best. Thank you for your time!… MacBook warranty Discussion by James_Nelson12 · August 24 · Home › Apple I bought a MacBook Air from the micro center in south Denver back in March, and also purchased a 2 year warranty. I’m thinking about selling the laptop as I don’t use it very often and was wondering if that warranty is transferable? $1500 to $1600 build .... Discussion by Gonecrazy · August 24 · Home › Help Choosing Parts I put this parts list together and am looking for some advice. ..... suggestion on other options or does this look good ..  Am I doing this right? Discussion by UniqueTrendz · August 25 · Home › Help Choosing Parts I'm looking to build something around $1,200 that could at least last 5 years. If there is anything I should add I would appreciate the advice thank you! Also, I know nothing about monitors so I just picked the cheapest option... Please help me with that especially ;-;… Need Help Choosing Parts Discussion by Cox4lyfe69 · August 25 · Home › Help Choosing Parts I put this parts list together and am looking for some advice. Pretty sure these are all compatible, just wanted to 100% it. Or if there was any suggestions that would drop the price a bit but keep same power.… Monitor(s) for MS Flight Sim, 1 or 3? Discussion by Pavlo · August 25 · Home › Peripherals I could buy an $1100 wide screen 4K, or purchase 2 more 27" 2560x1440's to go with the Benq I already have. Running 3700X with a Nvidia 2080. Need pros and cons on each choice.⁷ Need advice making decision about Monitors for MS Flight Simulator Discussion by Pavlo · August 25 · Home › Monitors and Displays From what I see, I have 2 choices, maybe 3 choices - buy 2 more 27" BenQ 2560x1440 monitors like the 1 I have and run 3 monitors, or put up about $1100 and buy a wide field 4k 32-34" and run everything on it, or go cheap and buy a 32" LG 4K monitor for around $500 and do that. I have a Nvidia 2080, and Ryzen 3700X. Can we… Compatible SSD upgrade? Discussion by LilSweetLin · August 25 · Home › Help Choosing Parts Hello everyone, I recently bought a used HP Pavillion 17G-133CL laptop that came with an older Kingston Digital 240 GB (SV300S37A240G) SSD, but I'd like an upgrade in capacity to store my music. Ideally, I'd like an updated, compatible 500GB SSD in the sub $100 range, but I'm unsure which brand would be best. The current… Return without box Discussion by Ghost · August 25 · Home › Customer Service Questions I want to return my monitor, but I threw out the box. I have everything else that came with the monitor. Can I still return it? >1000 results «1234567…100» Community Article Maingear Element 3 Review - One of 2020’s Best Gaming Laptops — Micro Center Maingear Element 3 Review - One of 2020’s Best Gaming Laptops TSTonyV admin June 15 edited September 8 in Reviews & Buying Guides Brief Introduction for Maingear For those of you who are unfamiliar with Maingear, they’re a System Integrator that’s been around since 2002. They offer a range of high-end systems, and in their words, they are “a private self-funded company that is shaping the future of the PC, pioneering new and better solutions while always remaining inspired to offer excellence to its customers” (sourced from Maingear is still committed to this goal in 2020, and today I’ll be going over one of their latest offerings: The Maingear Element 3. First Impressions:  The Element 3 is pretty subtle and simple in its design. At first glance, you probably wouldn’t know that this is a high-powered gaming machine. The chassis is made out of the same magnesium alloy the original Element was made with, with a dark matte-black finish. The construction is very solid overall, and compared to other gaming laptops with similar specs, it’s a little thinner and lighter than you might expect. It doesn’t have a gigantic battery hanging out the back or crazy lines with aggressive angles on the outside, so if you’re looking for something with beefy specs that can fly under the radar, this is where you should look. With that said, let's really get into this laptop. If you'd like to skip ahead to a specific category, click the link below to jump to that section: Specifications Peripherals (Display, Touchpad, Keyboard, etc...) Software (NODE Control Center) Performance Final Thoughts 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Comments TSTonyV admin June 15 Specifications The main difference between the Element 3 and original Element is that the video card is no longer the Max-Q version, which is a weaker, lower power consumption part made specifically for thin and light laptops. The Element 3’s video card is essentially equivalent to the normal RTX 2070 Super you’d find in a desktop, but with somewhat reduced clock speeds. Overall it’s a big upgrade over the previous generation Element. The i7-10875H also sees an extra two cores added vs. the previous i7-9750H. It features a healthy amount of options for I/O: three USB 3.1 Type-A Ports, a micro SD card reader, ethernet port, HDMI port and the main highlight, a Thunderbolt 3/USB 3.1 Type-C port. The Thunderbolt 3 port is particularly useful: it will support any USB-C device and can be used for things like high speed data transfer or connecting high resolution displays.  Whether you’re gaming or are a professional looking for workstation performance, this is a powerful package with a sleek design. Obviously the specs are good, there’s no debating that. But you’re not just interested in specs, you want to know what it’s like to actually use one of these systems. 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter TSTonyV admin June 15 Peripherals Display The first thing you see when you open a system is the display. The Element 3 features a 240Hz (yes, you read that correctly) IPS panel with a resolution of 1920x1080p. IPS panels are becoming more popular for gaming purposes as framerates and response times on them have improved, and of course they’re always good for the design oriented due to the high color accuracy and wide range of viewing angles. The brightness on the display is quite good even in high-light environments. The high refresh rate makes even things as basic as scrolling down a webpage incredibly smooth, and of course in games it’s excellent. While it would be nice to have the resolution at 1440p, it makes sense to stay at 1080p given that this is a laptop marketed towards gamers, and higher resolutions would make it harder to push those crazy high framerates. Overall, the display is very high quality no matter what you’re using this system for. Keyboard Despite using the same chassis, the keyboard in the Element 3 has changed from the previous model. The original Element featured an opto-mechanical style switch for its keyboard, which had good tactile feedback and a longer keystroke than a typical laptop. The Element 3 has now changed to the more common chiclet-style keyboards you can find on many other laptops. It still has good tactile feedback, but this time with a shorter keystroke. Personally speaking, I can type about 100-110 words per minute on this keyboard, which is just short of my typical speeds on a normal desktop keyboard. It even features a full number pad. It’s pretty solid as far as laptop keyboards go. The keyboard also features an RGB backlight which can be controlled through the NODE software Maingear includes on the system. Touchpad The touchpad is smooth to the touch and overall pretty responsive. The click feels solid and there wasn’t any weird flex or dead zones anywhere. Palm-rejection was also very good: the heel of my thumb on both hands rested on the top corners of the touchpad, but I never got any false clicks or strange cursor movements while typing. What I did notice is that when I’m using the cursor, it sometimes was a little sensitive with double-clicks or click-to-drag, even on the low sensitivity setting, but that may just be me not being used to laptops as much and misclicking on my own. It didn’t cause any real problems and otherwise the touchpad was good.  Webcam The Element 3 comes with a webcam, as you might expect. You’ll probably notice that it’s not positioned in a typical fashion: most laptops will have the webcam centered on the top part of the monitor, but the Element 3 instead places the webcam centered below the monitor which might take some getting used to. Otherwise, the webcam is pretty normal for a laptop and operates at 720p/30FPS. Speakers The speakers are pretty clear and can get fairly loud without any distortion, so they’ll work well for general use. If you’re gaming (and with this laptop, you probably are) I would still recommend external speakers or a nice headset simply because soundstage can only go so far in any laptop, but otherwise the speakers are good and will do what you need them to. 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter TSTonyV admin June 15 Software One of the main highlights of the Maingear systems is that they don’t come with any bloatware like you’d get purchasing a laptop from a larger manufacturer. The one thing they do include is the NODE Control Center software, which allows you to control a few different settings on the system (such as the keyboard lighting), as well as some hardware monitoring tools. We have a full guide on using the NODE software coming soon, so stay tuned for that, but there’s one important setting I’m going to go over here, because it’s related to the performance of the system: Operating Mode. Operating Mode is essentially a power management setting that will increase or decrease power limits for your system.  Office mode is the “low power” mode, Game Mode would be “balanced” and Beast Mode is “max performance.” For general use, Office mode is more than sufficient. For gaming or more workstation heavy use, you’ll want to switch to Game Mode or Beast Mode to make sure you get full performance out of the system. Office mode lets you set a specific fan curve for cooling, while the other two utilize a pre-set fan curve you cannot change. If you are gaming or doing some other CPU heavy task, turn on Fan Boost, because the CPU will get very hot, very quick and even on Beast Mode the cooling fan won’t operate at 100% speed without turning Fan Boost on (it’s quite loud at full blast).  One thing to note on this is that these settings are only in play while the system is plugged in. If you unplug the charger, it will default to a different power setting independent of Operating Mode to preserve battery life, but at the cost of performance. This is typical of any laptop and doesn’t make a difference for general use, but in resource intense scenarios like gaming the performance loss is very noticeable. Speaking of performance, I should probably talk about how it does actually perform in the real world 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter TSTonyV admin June 15 Performance Everyday Use For general use, it’s blazing fast, as it should be. The NVMe SSD makes booting the system and loading applications extremely quick, and the fan stays very quiet a majority of the time. The 6-cell 7900mAH/91.24Wh battery should net you about 4-6 hours of battery life under light usage. I tested this at max brightness and on max performance in Windows power settings, with 2-3 Chrome tabs open at a time, so if you use battery saver settings and lower brightness, you might be able to extend it further. Under heavy use, battery life can quickly go down to two hours or less depending on exactly what you’re doing, so for the power users out there, keep that in mind. Gaming Of course, we couldn’t review a gaming laptop without playing any games. I tested a few different popular titles, and all games were tested at max or near-max settings, using the Beast Mode setting in NODE with Fan Boost turned on. I’ll mention again: you want to turn fan boost on while gaming. Even though the fan will be loud, it will help with cooling, and you’ll need everything you can get.  Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Modern Warfare is the first game I tested, and performed quite well. Motion Blur was disabled and RTX was turned off, but otherwise all settings were at max. Across many different maps in the normal multiplayer playlists (no Ground War, no Warzone) I consistently got 100-120FPS. The CPU immediately hit 90C and started thermal throttling, and evened out around 3.8GHz. This comes with the territory for gaming laptops, especially ones that try to stay as thin as they can. While the cooling system in the Element 3 is good, at the end of the day there is a tradeoff for it being on the thinner side, which is more heat. Fortunately, the 2070 Super stayed around 80C so it performed quite well and I was able to maintain stable FPS during my whole play session. Some of you out there may be concerned with input lag since it’s an IPS panel, but there was no input lag that I could notice. The response times on this panel are pretty darn good.  Overwatch Overwatch was the second title I tested, and unsurprisingly it performed very well. On Ultra settings FPS ranged anywhere from 150-240 FPS, shifting frequently depending on exactly what was happening on the screen. Despite the FPS fluctuating a lot, there wasn’t any stuttering or screen tearing and everything was quite smooth. The CPU faired a little better this time, but still throttled down to about 4.0GHz at 90C.  Rocket League I decided to throw Rocket League in here as an example of a light-requirement example for a competitive title, and performance was excellent as I expected. I was able to maintain a full 240 FPS at maximum settings with no dips. The CPU still hit 90C and throttled down to about 4.2-4.3GHz, but as you can see the throttling doesn’t really matter in this game at all. In any of the lighter graphics requirement games, this laptop will have more than enough power. Monster Hunter World Monster Hunter World is one of my personal favorite games and is the most graphically intense title I tested. It’s not the single most graphically intense game on the market, but I hold it as a good example of what this laptop is really capable of, and it actually performed better than I anticipated. I disabled Motion Blur and Volume Rendering Quality in the graphics settings, enabled the High Resolution Texture Pack and left all other settings at maximum. The CPU throttled down to about 3.7-3.8GHz this time around, and FPS ranged from 80-100 in every zone. There were two instances in one hunt where FPS suddenly dropped below 60 and then quickly went back to normal, however I think that was more likely a driver related issue than it is with the laptop itself. I was very impressed with the performance in this game, and the display really got to shine here. Monster Hunter has some truly breathtaking environments and the color representation and picture quality offered by the IPS panel really did this game justice.  0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter TSTonyV admin June 15 Final Thoughts Overall, this is a great system. In particular I was really surprised by the performance of the display while gaming. IPS panels once upon a time had a reputation of poor response times, but with the high-quality IPS panels many manufacturers are putting out these days that’s clearly becoming a thing of the past. If you’re looking for a high-performance system that doesn’t come with all the extra bloatware and overly aggressive design language, look no further. The Element 3 is a sleek machine with great build quality and excellent performance.  2 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter nobbyboi ✭ September 23 Any idea when stores will carry the 15.6” Element again? Heard maingear already has it updated with the 2070 Super. 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter LandShark admin September 23 Hi @nobbyboi. What store are you shopping in? I noticed that my local store has a couple of versions in stock. However, I did not notice any varients with the 2070 Super available. 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter nobbyboi ✭ September 30 I’m in the Chicago area. They have those two models but also briefly had the 17” element with 8 -core cpu and 2070 Super. I’m more interested in the 15” element (not the vector) with the 2070 super. It’s available on Maingear’s website, but I’d prefer to buy through Microcenter. 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter LandShark admin September 30 Hey @nobbyboi I belive that this is the item that you were speaking of: It's possible that we'll be getting more inventory. That item is something of which we typically get frequent shipments. I'm not sure when we received our last shipment, but from my understanding, we get shipments every 2-3 weeks. 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Strake7 ✭ October 8 Looking forward to the next shipment into Tustin, CA. 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Leave a Comment BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list Format Heading 1Heading 2 QuoteCodeSpoiler Emoji Url Image Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights Drop image/file Home • Reviews & Buying GuidesComment As ... Web Page Copyrights & Trademarks | Micro Center All materials appearing anywhere on Micro Center's Internet site ("Site") are protected by worldwide copyright laws, trademark laws and treaty provisions. Micro Center is a registered trademark owned by Micro Electronics, Inc. The copyrights respecting the materials appearing on this Site are held b Community Article Cross- Bridging VS Having two 2080 Ti's — Micro Center Cross- Bridging VS Having two 2080 Ti's JOshua0699 ✭ January 7 in Help Choosing Parts im trying to build a system in the antec nineteen hundred case. i want to know if there is any benefit to having 2x 2080s over having 2 or 3x crossbridged 1080s 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Comments TSMichaelB admin January 7 This is a great question. Technically speaking, the GTX 1080 does not support 3 way SLI as 3-4 way SLI support ended with the GTX 900 series. You can still use 3-4 cards in DirectX 12 games using Explicit Multi-Adapter mode, but it depends entirely on how the game is programmed in order to determine if the game will even use the additional cards. If the decision is between two SLI'd 2080's or two SLI'd 1080's, the 2080's would definitely be faster. One very important thing to consider with SLI is frametimes or micro-stutters. While SLI cards offer a higher framerate, a single card would offer a smoother, more consistent framerate due to the lack of SLI overhead. If it were my system, I'd choose a single RTX 2080 Ti over SLI 1080's or SLI 2080's, especially if you are not trying to push a high refresh rate 4k monitor. The thing to keep in mind with SLI is that you will almost never achieve perfect scaling. You may use 100% of one card, and only 40-60% of another. If you are going for purely an aesthetic decision or pushing high refresh rates on a 4k monitor, then I'd go with SLI 2080's. If you are simply looking for the smoothest gaming experience at a normal resolution (1080p, 1440p) with high refresh rates, a single 2080 Ti would be perfect. 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Sign In or Register to comment. Web Page Micro Center Terms and Conditions: Online Sales Terms of Sale outlines the terms of sale for all new Micro Center products and services including, Binding Effect; Other Documents; Definitions for Software, Acceptance, Payment, Taxes, Title. Also provided is information on Returns, Prepayment of Shipping Fees, and Failure to Comply with Micro Cent Community Article New Inland Premium 2TB seems slow — Micro Center New Inland Premium 2TB seems slow Bart ✭ September 11 edited September 11 in Technical Support Questions Purchased a 2tb Inland Premium nvme ssd recently.  The drive is advertised as having 3900 mb/s Read and 2700 mb/s write but i'm not seeing it in my example.  Is it defective perhaps?  I split the drive into 2 1gb partitions (OS and Data) That shouldn't slow it down correct? 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Comments TSTonyV admin September 11 edited September 12 Read/write speeds can vary on drives and CrystalDiskMark isn't always going to push it to the maximum. This goes for any drive, but the read/write speeds that are advertised are a "best case scenario" situation. In practice even on really, really high end drives you will probably not see maximum read/write speeds because it depends on other factors as well. These speeds seem pretty normal to me based on figures I've seen for other drives of this type.  0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Felicity near Tustin ✭ September 12 Where did you get those figures? Amazon lists  Sequential Read/Write Speed up to 3200MB/s and 2900MB/s respectively Meaning you are a bit under spec but within reason especially if it's not a clean environment/properly set up.  microcenter also lists them as Read Speed Up to 3,200MBps Write Speed Up to 2,900MBps 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Bart ✭ September 12 The performance figures are printed on the packaging the drive came in. 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter TSTonyV admin September 12 edited September 12 I can't find anything suggesting different read/write speeds than what's on our website, and we have a picture of the packaging for the 2TB Inland Premium drive showing 3200MB/s. Could you take a picture of your package and post it? I'm wondering if it may be a different model that I should be looking at.  0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Bart ✭ September 12 Yep you are correct, i just looked again and it says "3200" not "3900" probably wasn't wearing my glasses. 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Sign In or Register to comment. Community Article Need SSD drive for my Desktop computer — Micro Center Need SSD drive for my Desktop computer TheEagle ✭ May 3 in Technical Support Questions Hello, I need to invest in a new SSD 1TB for my HP desktop. Am wondering what do you recommend for an Intel Core™ i5-2500 [email protected] with 16 GB RAM. A 64-bit OS with Windows desktop 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Comments TSMikeW admin May 3 I would recommend a basic 1TB SATA SSD. I'll list a few options that are on sale available. Keep in mind you're likely going to need a 2.5" to 3.5" adapter to install the SSD into your HP Desktop. 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Sign In or Register to comment. Community Article Slow SMR drives - beware — Micro Center Slow SMR drives - beware mrich ✭ April 27 in Your Completed Builds Just a word of caution, I picked up a new Seagate 8TB because the price was pretty good compared WD (I could get the 8TB Seagate for about the same as the 6TB WD), however once I started copying my data over to the new drive it became clear that something was amiss.  The transfer speed would reach about 100MB/s but then it would slow down to just a few MB/s and sometimes even 0MB/s and then it would catch up and then rise back up, rinse/repeat for every file.  I'm on about hour 22 right now copying my old 6TB drive over this new drive and it still says I have two hours left.  I looked the drive up and unfortunately it looks like I have purchased a SMR drive instead of a CMR drive, so buyer beware when looking into these drive and even some from WD that they are now shipping SMR drives but not mentioning it on the boxes.  I checked the Seagate box for any mention of SMR but found none.  Either way the drive is a major disappointment, especially that it's slower than my 4 year old 6TB WD drive.  0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Sign In or Register to comment. Community Article Need Help Choosing Parts — Micro Center Need Help Choosing Parts PapaJ522 ✭ August 18 in Help Choosing Parts I put this parts list together and am looking for some advice. 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Comments TSMikeW admin August 18 Greetings @PapaJ522 I like pretty much everything here. The RM series power supply from Corsair. The ROG Strix-E, the RAM is spot on for the build. The EVGA GPU is a good choice. What I don't like is your boot drive selection. a SATA drive with QLC NAND? Samsung is a good drive, but you're better off, I'd push for an NVME drive with TLC NAND. It'll be a bit more, probably $130. But we're talking 3,500MB/s read speeds instead of 550MB/s on the drive you selected. 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Sign In or Register to comment. Community Article Very slow performance on new Inland Performance 2TB SSD 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe 4.0 x4 — Micro Center Very slow performance on new Inland Performance 2TB SSD 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe 4.0 x4 Megalomac Minneapolis ✭ June 23 in Inland I purchased this PCIe 4 SSD in August and it never seemed much faster than my old SSDs.  Today I finally ran it through a few benchmarks and it scores extremely low.  I do have PCIe 4 as I have a Asus ROG STRIX X570-E GAMING motherboard paired with an AMD 3900x.  This 2tb SSD is about half full and is used as my main C: drive w/ Win10 installed.   When using, I get an average of 2000 MB/s read / 3400 MB/s write.  This is more resembles PCIe v3 speeds.  CrystalDiskMark seems to indicate that read speeds are good, but write speeds hit a max of 980 MB/s!  I am using the heatsink that came w/ this drive.  I didn't see anything in the bios to configure this drive and it works fine, except for the speed.  Any ideas? 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Comments TSMikeW admin June 25 I run the 1TB version of this drive with the same motherboard and CPU. It certainly does sound like it's under performing. You should not need to adjust any BIOS setting to optimized the performance of your drive. Could you post your CrystalMark results here? 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Leave a Comment BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list Format Heading 1Heading 2 QuoteCodeSpoiler Emoji Url Image Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights Drop image/file Home • InlandComment As ... Community Article New PC nothing installed except Microsoft edge. — Micro Center New PC nothing installed except Microsoft edge. terriarchibald4856 ✭ June 26 in Technical Support Questions New PC nothing installed except Microsoft edge. I need to download Google Chrome and it doesn't seem to download. I am not used to Microsoft edge. Would have been nice if salesperson showed me what to do. 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Answers TSTonyV admin June 26 When you say "it doesn't seem to download" what exactly do you mean? Does the file pop up, but when you click to run it it doesn't bring up a new window? Do you get any kind of error message when you try to download it? Also, what kind of PC did you purchase?  0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter TSMichaelB admin June 26 terriarchibald4856 said: New PC nothing installed except Microsoft edge. I need to download Google Chrome and it doesn't seem to download. I am not used to Microsoft edge. Would have been nice if salesperson showed me what to do. Welcome to the forum, @terriarchibald4856. I was able to locate your purchase using your forum registration email. It looks like the ASUS VivoBook you have is configured with a Windows 10 S operating system, which blocks the installation of third party software that isn't native to the Microsoft Store. Luckily, there is a very simple process to get you out of Windows 10 S mode and into a standard Windows 10 operating system. Here is a quick link describing the steps necessary to make this change: If you have any further questions or need any additional assistance, please let us know! 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Sign In or Register to comment. Community Article Should I go with 3200Mhz or 3600Mhz? — Micro Center Should I go with 3200Mhz or 3600Mhz? PCnoob ✭ October 20 in Help Choosing Parts I’m building a pc primarily for great VR performance on an Oculus Rift S and I’m going to be using an X570 mobo with a Ryzen 5 3600 CPU. My question is two fold, is the 3600x or even 3600xt CPU worth it and which would you recommend and then secondly for the Ram I am planning on 16Gb as I’ve been told 32Gb will be overkill. The big question is should I be looking at 3200Mhz or 3600Mhz. Most reviews recommend 3200Mhz would be the “sweet spot”, is this the case? 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Answers LandShark admin October 20 edited October 20 I think 3200MHz is a great price for performance option. I think it really depends on your budget and what you're looking to accomplish. I'd recommend the 3200MHz, but you will see a slight improvement with the increased speed. Here's a video discussing the different speeds and their performance impact. To your question of the 3600 vs. 3600X vs. 3600XT, again this really depends on your budget and what you want/need. From my perspective, If you're wanting to go with the 3600XT, I'd recommend spending a bit more on the 3700X as it's currently a $60 difference but you gain 2 additional cores. That being said, the 3600 is a great option for its price. If it's a split between your RAM and your CPU, I'd recommend putting more toward your CPU, as you're likely to see much greater performance from a better CPU than you would from the increase in RAM speed. 1 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter AlexS admin October 20 I'd agree with @LandShark.  3200Mhz is a great option.  16GB is a solid amount for VR.  I've used 16GB 3200MHz for multiple VRs at this point (HTC Vive, Oculus Rift S, & Quest 2 [oculinked]) with no issue.   Which GPU are you using for the Rift S?  0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Sign In or Register to comment. Community Article How to Choose Your Parts, Part 6: SSDs and Hard Drives — Micro Center How to Choose Your Parts, Part 6: SSDs and Hard Drives TSTonyV admin May 7 edited October 16 in Help Choosing Parts To read part 1, click here! To read part 2, click here! To read part 3, click here! To read part 4, click here! To read part 5, click here! Hello! Welcome to part 6 of the How to Choose Your Parts guide. In this installment we’ll be going over storage, so it’s all about drives. Once again, let’s get our key questions in order: What are you using this computer for? Depending on what you’re doing storage needs will vary. You may need large amounts of high-speed storage, or you may just need a lot of capacity and speed is secondary. What’s your budget? Storage is an area that you can easily save cost on if you’re willing to compromise a bit. The Basics Before anything else we need to cover some basic pieces of information. There are two different types of drives you can have in your system: Hard drives (HDD) are the most common form of storage available. They’re mechanical drives with a spinning platter that physically reads and writes information to sectors on the drive. This is why you’ll see them labelled with RPM in the specs. Hard drives will connect to your computer via SATA cables and come in 2.5” and 3.5” form factors. 2.5” drives are used for laptops while 3.5” drives are used for desktops. 7200RPM is the standard speed I would recommend if you plan to put a hard drive in your desktop. Solid state drives (SSD) are a newer form of drive that utilize flash storage, kind of like a USB flash drive. There are several different form factors of SSD currently available: 2.5-inch SATA: These are the same size as 2.5” hard drives commonly used in laptops. They utilize the same SATA connections as well. M.2: This is a newer style of SSD that’s become popular recently. They slot directly into your motherboard as opposed to mounting separately like a 2.5” drive. They can utilize a SATA interface or an NVMe PCI express interface, but I’ll get to that later. There are other form factors such as U.2 and mSATA but they are either rare or utilized more for enterprise use cases, so I won’t get into those. Consumer drives are primarily made up by 2.5” and M.2 drives. SSD or Hard Drive? SSDs have gradually become more commonplace over the last few years and have reached a point now where they’re pretty standard. The main advantage SSDs have is that they’re much faster than hard drives. This means much faster boot-up time and loading speeds, so for general day-to-day use an SSD is going to have a very large impact.  With how affordable SSDs are now compared to a few years ago, in my opinion there’s no reason not to use one. However, SSDs are still more expensive than hard drives, so if you need large amounts of storage space, going SSD only can add up your cost fairly quick. A common configuration people will use to compromise on that is have a smaller SSD as their primary drive with Windows and other software installed, then keep a secondary HDD for storage space. This can be a very good option because you can take advantage of the SSD's speeds for software you’re utilizing, and keep space on it free by using the hard drive as general storage. On that note, if you’re a gamer, you’ve probably noticed how many modern titles can take up huge amounts of storage space. I personally have multiple games on my PC that are 80GB or more. Games that size can quickly fill a smaller SSD. While they do make a big difference in loading times, most games aren’t going to perform differently once they’re up and running, so you can still reliably use the SSD+HDD combo to save some cost and have a reasonable amount of storage space.  There are some games that can see performance benefits from being on an SSD if they rely on texture streaming from local storage. Otherwise, they’ll run the same once they’re loaded whether on an HDD or SSD. One other benefit SSDs have vs hard drives is not having any moving parts. This helps them be more resilient to physical damage than hard drives. NVMe (PCIe) vs SATA SSDs I mentioned before how consumer SSDs come in two primary form factors: 2.5” and M.2. The 2.5” drives are SATA, and the M.2 drives can be SATA or NVMe. There are some pretty key differences between SATA and NVMe so it’s important to understand exactly how that works and what benefits it gives you. SATA M.2 drives function exactly the same as SATA 2.5” drives in terms of read and write speeds, they simply slot into your board directly. Besides ease of installation and space, there’s no advantage they have over a 2.5” drive. SATA III, which is the current SATA standard, maxes out at 600 MB/s for read and write speeds, in practice SATA drives usually have read/write speeds around 500-550 MB/s. When a SATA M.2 is installed in a motherboard, it occupies a SATA lane and most motherboards will automatically disable one or two of the physical SATA ports available. If you have a SATA M.2 alongside a normal SATA drive, make sure the normal drive is plugged into a port that won’t be disabled. NVMe drives utilize a PCI express interface which has much faster read/write speeds. Most commonly you’ll see PCIe 3.0 drives, with PCIe 4.0 being recently introduced. PCIe 3.0 drives can have read/write speeds over 3000 MB/s, and PCIe 4.0 drives can be over 5,000 (this varies depending on the drive, make sure you check the specs). As you can clearly see this is a huge uplift vs. a SATA interface. However, the important thing to note here is that these are sequential read/write speeds. There are two different ways SSDs can read and write data: sequential and random. Data is stored on a drive in a series of blocks; blocks are made up of bytes/bits of data. Every file or piece of data on a drive can be broken down into blocks. Sequential read/write accesses those blocks in sequential order, whereas random read/write goes directly to whichever blocks are needed. Sequential read/write is used when you are transferring data files, and this is where NVMe has the advantage. Because of their much higher sequential read/write speeds, NVMe drives are much better for use cases that are transferring very large files or large amounts of data in general. Assuming you are reading/writing to other devices capable of these speeds. Remember, you’ll be bottlenecked by your slowest component. A data transfer from an NVMe drive to a hard drive is only going to transfer at the speed the hard drive can operate at. Random read/write is used for most other things, like booting your computer or loading an application. You don’t need to access every single file on an operating system or a program for it to boot, so the computer utilizes random read/write instead to go directly to whatever blocks are required to accomplish what it needs.   Random read/write speeds are much more similar between SATA and NVMe SSDs. You won’t notice any difference for normal everyday use using one or the other. Unless you have a specific use case where you are transferring large amounts of data often, there’s not really any reason to get an NVMe drive. In practice SATA drives and NVMe drives will function exactly the same for the vast majority of people.   Which drives should I buy? To be honest, most drives available will work perfectly fine for anybody. I’ll list some examples of drives to look at, and my recommendation would be choosing the one that has the capacity you want that costs the least. One thing to note though, some manufacturers will include utilities with their drives like cloning software or health monitoring, and the cheaper drives tend not to include those sorts of things. As always, it’s good to do some research and double check reviews to avoid any individual cases that could be poor quality, and remember, there are more options out there than what I list here! Hard drives: Western Digital Blue, Black Seagate Barracuda, Firecuda, IronWolf Toshiba N300, PC300, L200 SATA SSDs Inland Premium, Professional Crucial MX500 Samsung 860 QVO, 860 EVO, 860 PRO Western Digital Blue Sandisk Plus, Ultra NVMe drives Inland Premium, Professional Crucial P1 Samsung 970 EVO, 970 Pro Western Digital SN750 That pretty much covers it! SSDs and hard drives are fairly straightforward, and I'll mention one more time that in my opinion, there's no reason not to use an SSD, even if it's just a small one. Once you finish this, go read part 7!  Last Updated: 10/16/2020 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Comments JasonA ✭ May 26 Could you consider adding a section here about adding PCIe interface cards that allow you to install M.2 NVMe/SATA SSDs on the card ? This might be something for (a) a motherboard that has no M.2 socket on it, or (b) for a motherboard which only has one M.2 socket, but the user wants to add additional M.2 devices. 1 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Disturbed ✭ July 1 Hey all, Samsung 970 EVO Plus 1TB M.2 vs Samsung 970 Pro 1TB M.2 which is better? Full specs are Samsung 970 EVO Plus 1TB M.2 3,500MB/s/3,300MB/s, 600K/550K IOPS and Samsung 970 Pro 1TB M.2 3,500MB/s/2,700MB/s, 500K/500K IOPS. Should I just rely on specs and go for the EVO Plus?? 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Ian admin July 1 Disturbed said: Hey all, Samsung 970 EVO Plus 1TB M.2 vs Samsung 970 Pro 1TB M.2 which is better? Full specs are Samsung 970 EVO Plus 1TB M.2 3,500MB/s/3,300MB/s, 600K/550K IOPS and Samsung 970 Pro 1TB M.2 3,500MB/s/2,700MB/s, 500K/500K IOPS. Should I just rely on specs and go for the EVO Plus?? They are both very high-end SSDs and you can't go wrong with either. They benchmark very close as well, as you can see on a benchmarking site such as userbenchmark: 1 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Sign In or Register to comment. Community Article Stock Question — Micro Center Stock Question Hayden_L ✭ April 15 in Sales You Guys carry the new ryzen 5 1600af (12nm) cpu? 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Comments TSMichaelB admin April 15 Welcome to the forum, Hayden_L! Unfortunately we do not carry the Ryzen 5 1600AF. If you are looking to source it online, make sure you search for this specific part number: (YD1600BBAFBOX). It's important that it says AF in the part number and not AE, as AE is the original 14nm version.  I do want to point out that while we do not have the new 12nm Ryzen 5 1600's in-stock, we do carry the Ryzen 5 2600X for $99.99 and offer a $20 discount when bundled with a compatible motherboard. They are 12nm much like the Ryzen 5 1600's, just binned slightly higher and include AMD's XFR 2 technology, which is essentially an enhanced turbo boost. Either way, I wish you the best of luck in your search for a processor. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask! 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Sign In or Register to comment.