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SteelSeries 7H Final Review

Published 4/13/2015 by createdbyx in News | Reviews
Tags: ,

I don't like to write reviews immediately after receiving an item, I'd much rather wait a good long time before posting. I purchased these headphones back in Oct 25, 2010 and am only posting this now because the headphones are still for sale on ncix and else where.

Ultimately they worked great for about 2 years of infrequent use, but considering that they are a mid range (price wise) headset and I paid $130 after tax & shipping, I expected them to last a lot longer.

After the first few months the glue partly separated on one side of the top padding. (See link to picture below)

Then the cord had a line break at the point at which the cable merges with the micro usb style end (the end that plugs into the left ear muff). I fully admit this was most likely my fault with the cord break. 2-3 times I had my headphones on and while sitting in my desk chair I bent over to pick something off the ground and yanked on the cord. Not enough to pull them off my head but enough for me to curse at my own stupidity. :P  Even though they did not break after being yanked they did eventually stop working and I needed to bend and twist the cable to get the sound working.

I finally contacted SteelSeries support and was able to purchase a replacement cable for just $5 through PayPal. I bought 2 cables just in case it broke again and I would not have to go through the replacement process another time.

Over the last year the right ear muff would periodically stop working. I would only have to twist the headphones on my head slightly to get them to work. I suspected at the time that it was a connection issue at the point where the top head piece clips into the right ear muff piece. There are 4 springy pins in the ear muffs that make the connection with the top piece. I thought there was just a lack of solid connection but the problem got a bit worse even after a bit of polishing/cleaning.

They finally died this last week when the right ear muff stopped working completely. I broke down and decided to take the right ear muff piece apart. I inspected the cable where the ear muff passes through the hinge that allows the muff to rotate 90 degrees and there did not seem to be any issues with frayed/pinched wiring etc. Before putting them back together I did adjust the wire routing slightly to give it more slack but it did not fix the issue.

Next I took apart the top piece. There were 3 screws holding either the connection points at both ends of the top piece and there did not appear to be any issues there. Then I peeled back the padding and tried taking off the plastic panel via 4 screws but there is 2 plastic weld points that prevented me from removing the panel. I suspect that the problems are hidden behind the panel but I can't get access to it without destroying the panel in the process.

Here is a picture showing the breaks in the plastic, glue separation, and stress points. 7H Problems Screenshot

The glue separation is due to a combination of the heat from my head and the flex in the top part of the head band and never came apart more then what you see in the picture.

I rated this two stars because a 5 star headset is perfect, every part works until it has been used for a few years, and can take a beating. Based on my experience these are not able to take much of a beating in day to day use. I only ever used them periodically at night when other people were sleeping otherwise I prefer to use my 5.1 surround sound speakers. I used them a few times when traveling and kept them in a laptop backpack but always took care to ensure there safety.

All in all when they did work they worked great, but ultimately I won't be buying another SteelSeries headset product. I have nothing against SteelSeries but I am the type of person that expects more out of the products I buy. I'm sure others have had great experiences with there 7H's but I feel my experience was lacking. Buying headphones off the internet is always a crap shoot as you can only rely on on line reviews, and each person has different hearing and tastes.

I have since purchased a Logitech G430 as a replacement based on the reviews, specs, and the fact it has a 3 year warranty.

These last few days have been testing my patience. Three of my devices Razer Naga Epic, Steel Series 7H & Microsoft Surface Pro 2 all failed within the last few days. I’ve always meant to write a review on these devices after having used them for a long while so I am writing the reviews now while I’m still angry!

Razor Naga Epic

Just before writing this post my naga epic mouse just bricked it self on me again. Seems if you are running the mouse wirelessly and the battery dies it will brick itself and become totally unresponsive. The support website says to leave it plugged in for 30 minutes to let the battery charge up a bit and it unplug it then plug it back in and it should just work. With the 5+ times that the battery has died on me this has never ever worked. The only way to get it back to working condition was for me to flash the firmware yet again! Immediately after the firmware finished flashing poof everything works again!

Essentially this mouse is fucking useless as a wireless mouse especially when you are like me and always forget to dock it or plug it back in BEFORE the battery dies. Not to mention the fact that the battery does not hold a charge worth a dam and it never has compared to the three Logitech mice I have owned over the years. I have owned this mouse for only about two years and after the first few weeks of accidentally letting the battery die multiple times I swore up and down I would never use it in wireless mode ever again.

And like a fucking idiot who clearly has not learned his lesson, two days ago I started using it in wireless mode again. Guess what? Battery died while using it and It bricked itself AGAIN!

$100+ dollar “gaming” mouse that bricks itself. Fucking. Awesome. It must have been a value added feature I over looked when purchasing. The Razer Synapse software you use for setting up the buttons doesn't sync worth a dam between multiple computers, and takes up way too much memory for what it does. I guess that is what $100 gets you now a days.

Steel Series 7H Headphones

What looked to be a good set of headphones after reading reviews turned out to be typical plastic bullshit. It only took a month for the glue holding the padding on the top connector bar to start to separating. It never separated more then an inch on one side and was not a real issue but still. They could not chip in for a stronger adhesive?

Within the first three months I had to replace the Mini-usb/audio jack cable due to a line break at the usb end connector. I had to position the wire with a bend in it just to get it working. So I ordered 2 replacement cables “Just in case” it broke again. Over the last year I have been having issues with the contact points where the headphones unclip and disassemble for easier transport. I was having to twist the headphones back and fourth a bit while on my head to get the sound to work.

Then just two days ago the right ear stopped working and the only way to get it working albeit for a fraction of a second is to rotate the right ear muff 90 degrees from the head strap part. Because of this it seamed to me that there was a wire getting pinched so I took the right ear piece apart and repositioned the wire a bit offset to give it more slack but with no success.

I wear the headphones fully extended to fit comfortable around my head and white looking at the top piece with the padding strip on it it appears as though at both ends where the contacts are the plastic is cracked. I guess I must have a huge bobble head.

Again $100+ dollar headphones dead after two years of infrequent use. I prefer using my 5.1 desktop surround sound so I hardly ever used them unless I was traveling or away from home. I bought them because I thought to myself hey they have good reviews and they come apart for easy transportation. Only two years with light use and there basically toast. Waste of fucking money. Went online to look for decent replacement headphones. Prices $80+ Fuck me the prices are ridiculous.

Microsoft Surface Pro 2

So earlier this morning I was mid sentence writing a line of code and poof the screen goes black and the lights were off on the usb mouse and keyboard I had plugged in. I was like “what the hell”? Did the system go into a sleep mode? That can’t be right I was actively coding. I tapped the windows logo at the bottom of the surface screen and it would give vibration feedback indicating that the button was tapped but nothing would happen. I tried Ctrl+Alt+Delete nothing. Windows Key+ L again nothing. The white light on the end of the power cable was on and it was giving vibration feedback when the windows logo was pressed but other then that it was a totally unresponsive black screen.

“What the hell is going on here” I thought. I tapped the power button and still nothing. Then it hit me. What if it tanked and died permanently? For fuck sakes if it did It would mean I have no access to the hard drive because the fucking thing is glued together so there goes any chance of me getting my data off the system. Even if I could get to the hard drive there is no indication that it is a standard laptop ssd that I could just pop into another computer. It could very well be soldiered on to the motherboard. This is why I had a strong hesitation against buying a ultra portable computer. You can’t take it apart easily.

I started looking around on the internet and found a few articles with people having similar black screen issues. I held the power button down for 10 seconds, then held the volume up rocker and the power button for 10 seconds. Finally I managed to get it to reboot.

“What a fucking week, what next!”

I was keeping all my data on a 32gb SD card but then I deleted a code file and a few minutes later wanted to undelete it. Turns out there is no recycle bin for SD cards. Oh fuck no. So I moved my data over to the ssd as it was a bit faster working with files anyway and was going to setup a automated backup from the ssd over to the SD card using SyncBack free.

Then this morning the black screen of paranoia hit me and I realized that only some of my data is backed up to the cloud (SkyDrive). The rest was stored on the ssd, so had the system had a actual meltdown I would have been fucked and lost virtually all my data.

So my thinking was to keep all of my data on the SD card but with no recycle bin this become an serious issue. Storing files on the ssd without a backup solution is equally foolish as you can’t even get access to the physical ssd without destroying the machine. Putting files on the ssd and file backup to the SD card was my only option.

Microsoft SkyDrive

*takes a deep breath. Lets out long drawn out sigh*

How in the fuck can a company like Microsoft fuck up SkyDrive so badly. Ever since I have tried to use it back when Windows 8 first came out SkyDrive has displayed wonky messages, frequently takes up 30% of my CPU cycles and simply has not worked as expected compared to any and all other cloud based storage apps/services.

So one of the things I have foolishly tried to use again this week is SkyDrive to keep a cloud backup of my data. With the Surface Pro 2 I have 25gb plus another 200gb of free storage for two years. Shortly after Windows 8 launched I tried to move a few hundred thousand files from my coding projects over to SkyDrive so I could have them synced across all three of my machines. It took three fucking months to sync 8+ gigs of files. Three fucking months! On a 20mbit internet connection no less.

Since then I had stopped using it, but this week I gave it another try and moved my data from the SD card to the ssd (SkyDrive folder) and again this time I copied just over eight thousand files (about 300Mb) and two days later? Maybe a dozen or two code files had been backed up to the cloud. These are not big files they are code files! They are it’sy bitsy teeny weeny and SkyDrive seems to choke on them when trying to sync.

Google drive, Drop Box start syncing files immediately and work tirelessly to sync your files as soon as possible with little cpu overhead. SkyDrive seems to sit around on it’s ass twiddling it’s thumbs completely oblivious that I just put files into it’s folder. Then it has a heart attack when it realizes that there are files in it’s folder and starts taking 30% of my cpu cycles and after that still fucking seems to do nothing or next to nothing.

I have 225gb of SkyDrive storage and will not be using any of it. I do not ever want to have to think of using SkyDrive as a cloud backup service. 225gb of free online storage and you can’t even get people to use it. That’s how fucking craptacular your service is Microsoft. Zero customer trust. And to think a year ago for a brief moment I actually considered to pay for more SkyDrive space at one point. F that.

I have been wondering how my Compaq nx9420 holds up to the Microsoft Surface Pro as I have been contemplating purchasing one. Even though it’s pushing 6 or 7 years old now my nx9420 is still a decent machine to work with Unity3D, Visual Studio, and to play older games on but the battery no longer holds a charge, the 5200 rpm 100Gb hard drive slows it down a lot compared to the 256Gb Samsung 830 SSD (replaced by the 840 series) I recently purchased for my desktop.

It’s at a point where given it’s age I feel it’s too old to sell, especially when you can get a decent machine for like $600 now a days. And I am hesitant to put any more money into it like a new battery and a ssd to try and extend it’s life a little more.

So I started to crunch some numbers and look around for performance comparisons I could do and I have documented the few comparisons I have done below.

Based off the Window Experience Index numbers alone it seems comparable to a Surface Pro, but after running the peacemaker browser benchmark there started to be a noticeable performance gap. Running PCMark7 there was a huge performance gap. I know the surface pro is more powerful but I am still trying to get a sense of just how much more powerful it actually is compared to my nx9420.

My laptop used to be my main machine for a number of years until I bought my desktop, And even though I hardly ever use my laptop anymore it sure is nice to have a mobile computer to pack around on long trips and when I am away from home.

The single biggest reason I am holding off getting a Surface Pro is the fact I cannot replace the battery. Even after 6+ years I can still buy a new $40 battery for my nx9420 off eBay. Given that I rarely have a use for a portable machine I will undoubtedly have the Surface Pro for a good 6+ years and if I can’t replace the battery, it no longer becomes a portable device seeing as how it will need to be plugged in all the time. Thus defeating the purpose of a mobile computer.

So without further adieu lets compare numbers shall we !

Windows Experience Index numbers are as follows. Keep in mind the math play below is simply a numerical comparison on the windows experience index numbers alone and does not reflect actual hardware features like the nx9420’s x1600 graphics with DX9 v2 vertex & pixel shader support compared to the HD4000’s (I’m guessing) DX11 v3 or v4 vertex & pixel shader support.

Win 7 experience index 1.0 to 7.9
Win 8 experience index 1.0 to 9.9
7.9 / 9.9 * 100 - 100 = 20.20% diff

Microsoft Surface Pro
Processor: 6.9 / 9.9 * 100 = 69.9% (core i5 third gen)
Memory: 5.9 / 9.9 * 100 = 59.59% (4gb)
Graphics: 5.6 / 9.9 * 100 = 56.56%
Gaming: 6.4 / 9.9 * 100 = 64.64% (HD4000 integrated)
Hard Disk: 8.1 / 9.9 * 100 = 81.81% (ssd)

Compaq nx9420
Processor: 3.7 / 7.9 * 100 = 46.83% (Core i2 dual core T7200 2.0Ghz)
Memory: 4.4 / 7.9 * 100 = 55.69% (4gb but intel chipset only recognizes 3gb)
Graphics: 4.2 / 7.9 * 100 = 51.16%
Gaming: 4.3 / 7.9 * 100 = 54.43% (ati x1600 discrete)
Hard Disk: 4.4 / 7.9 * 100 = 55.69% (hdd 5200rpm)

nx9420 Win7 Experience Index scaled values to Win8 Experience Index (0.202 = 20.20%)
Processor: 46.83% * 0.202 = 9.45%  adjusted result is 56.28%
Memory: 55.69% * 0.202 = 11.24% adjusted result is 66.93%
Graphics: 51.16% * 0.202 = 10.33% adjusted result is 61.49%
Gaming: 54.43% * 0.202 = 10.99% adjusted result is 65.42%
Hard Disk: 55.69% * 0.202 = 11.24% adjusted result is 66.93%

nx9420 verses Surface Pro relative windows experience index
Processor: 56.28% -> 69.9%  = -13.2% slower
Memory: 66.93% -> 59.59% = +7.34% faster
Graphics: 61.49% -> 56.56% = +4.93% faster
Gaming: 65.42% -> 64.64% = +0.78% faster 
Hard Disk: 66.93% -> 81.81% = -14.88% slower

Compared the the performance numbers from the other tests listed below if I was to compare my nx9420 to the Surface Pro based on the windows experience index numbers alone one could get the false impression that the Surface Pro is not that much of a upgrade. Memory, Graphics and Gaming numbers are almost identical when comparing the Win 7 Experience index numbers relative to Win 8’s Experience index numbers.

Peacemaker browser benchmark test results

Microsoft Surface Pro IE10

surface pro on youtube small

nx9420 Laptop Chrome v24.0

chrome small

nx9420 Laptop IE9 64bit

IE9 64bit small

nx9420 Laptop IE9 32bit

IE9 32bit small

nx9420 Laptop Firefox 19

fiewfox small

My desktop win 8 pro (IE10 desktop mode 32bit)

desktop ie10 32bit

My desktop win 8 pro Firefox 19

desktop firefox

PCMark 7 results

Microsoft Surface Pro Score: 4657 (paid version)

Source –> MobleTechReview website

pcmark07 small

Compaq nx9420 Score 844 (free version)

Link to the results are here –>

DOTA 2 results

The Youtube channel SurfaceProGaming has a number of games that show the gaming performance of the Surface Pro.

Dota 2 on Surface Pro runs at about an average of say 30 fps at resolution of 1280x720 (921,600 pixels) while recording fraps.

Using the same graphics settings with the closest resolution my nx9420 lets me select 1024x768 (786,432 pixels) I can run DOTA 2 at an average of 15 to 25 fps without recording fraps. Because of the 5200 rpm HDD is 80% full I only get 5 to 8 fps when fraps is recording.

In Conclusion

When comparing the Surface Pro to my nx9420 running DOTA 2 the Surface Pro has a noticeable increase in capability but in my opinion not enough to justify getting one. The fact that my nx9420 is 6+ years old and still “somewhat” keeps up with the Surface Pro in DOTA 2 is a strong indicator that my nx9420 is still a fairly decent system for what I use it for.

I don’t play too many games on my laptop other then simple games like Angry Birds, The Binding of Issac and older games like the legacy of kain series of games that I recently played on my laptop. For larger games like Starcraft 2, World of Warcraft, Skyrim, Crysis etc I will always play on my desktop.

If the Surface Pro showed a more drastic performance in DOTA 2 AND had a removable battery I would have given some serious thought into getting a Surface Pro but that’s not goanna happen after running these comparisons. Investing in a 128Gb SSD and a new battery for my nx9420 is a far more viable solution economically and strategically because after I decide to sell or retire my laptop I can always add the SDD to my desktop and a new battery is cheap at around $40.

I had also looked into the Razer Edge Pro but although it’s more graphically capable then the Surface Pro again it too has no removable battery, and a lower resolution the then Surface Pro, and no stylus pen.

My next portable computer will be a tablet but only if it has a discrete graphics chip, pen input, and a removable battery. I think I may be waiting quite a few years for that to happen.

Hope this gives some people a sense of how much of an upgrade buying a Surface Pro would be compared to using a older laptop.

COCOON and COCOON: The Return

Published 7/30/2008 by createdbyx
Tags: ,
I just finished watching COCOON and COCOON: The Return and thought I would post a bit of a review.

COCOON ( NetFlix,
COCOON: The return (NetFlix,

Another review and another callback to 1985. Well maybe more of a heads up then a review.  Tongue

I don't know about you but the 80's seem to have some of the best and most memorable movies ever made. I don't think you could ever get a better cast to play in this movie. They are just so perfect and true for the roles that they play. Sadly many of the cast had passed away only a few years after the making of these movies.


If you have not seen these movies before the first movie involves a group of people (the aliens) renting a boat to go collect these large cocoons from the ocean that are covered in coral. They rent a house with a pool that is next to a old folks home. They use the pool to keep the cocoons in but they don't know that a few of the people from the old folks home have been sneaking in
and using the pool. The cocoons make the old people healthier more energetic and feel younger, and as such begin to behave younger. Eventually word gets out and everyone from the whole old folks home rush the pool where the cocoons are kept. This leads to everyone being kicked out of the pool by the aliens. The life force energy from the pool is thus drained and the aliens in the cocoons are not able to be returned to there planet, but the aliens tell the old people they can go with them to there planet where they will never die, get old, or get sick etc. And a bunch of the old people leave on the space ship at the end of the movie.

The second movie continues off the first movie, where the cocoons from the first movie were put back into the ocean and the aliens this time are back to pick them up. Some of the old people also return back to earth with them. This time when they are collecting the cocoons from the ocean they see a oceanographic institute retrieving one of the cocoons that they think is an meteor that landed but find out that it actually contains an alien. The aliens and old people get together to rescue the captured alien. Nearing the end of the film some of the old couples decide that they are not going to return to the alien planet and thus decide to stay on earth where they will eventually die of old age.


Those last two paragraphs gloss over much of the movies storyline points but you get the general idea.

If you have not seen them at all or have not seen them in a while I recommend checking them out. I give them both a 9/10. All round classic 80's movie experience. The first film was directed by Ron Howard and the second film was directed by Daniel Petrie.

I'm not going to review just any new fangled movie that has come out recently, oh no, I'm crankin the way back machine to the year 1986! Don't run away screaming just yet, you will defiantly want to check out Little Shop of Horrors!  Staring Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene, Vincent Gardenia, Steve Martin, James Belushi, John Candy, and Bill Murray to boot!

So unless you were born after 1978-ish you may not have seen this movie gem. To start off it's a musical! NO NO Don't run away! it's a musical comedy! Yeah thats right, this movie ain't no gone with the wind. It's funny and the songs get seriously stuck in your head big time.   

With such memorable lyrics as ...

The movie starts off a little slow but continue to build and build to the climactic ending. It is just as good now as it was way back when it first came out. You should defiantly try to remember to pick it up next time you are in the video store or better yet netflix or it.

This is the kind of movie they just cant make any more! (my opinion)  The acting is what you would expect from the cast except I found Ellen Greene's voice she played a bit out over the top but still good. 

But I think the best part of this movie is that there are no cgi effects just puppeteering! And dam is it good! It is hard to think of how they pulled off some of the puppeteering work in this movie cause it is very very well done and a testament to the fact the excellent work can be done through puppeteering instead of cgi all the time.

There is just so many great things going for this movie you should really check it out.  The steve martin and bill murray dentist scene, the alien plant trying to bite a ladies butt, steve martin snorting laughing gas, and the last musical number with the plant "I'm a big green mutha from outter space and i'm bad"!

If you have not seen it in a while it's worth watching again, if only to have the songs stuck in your head!   

I've got steve martins dentist song stuck in my head right now! I give this movie a 9/10!

My boy, I think someday
You'll find a way
To make your natural tendencies pay
You'll be a dentist

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Name of author Dean Lunz (aka Created by: X)
Computer programming nerd, and tech geek.
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