Date Joined: 02/25/03
Pros: Setup is simple, from installation to usage, you can be up and running in about five minutes. Perk! The router's bios is simple and easy to navigate, with enough options to tide over power users and those looking for a simpler setups alike. As an bonus, it has Guest WiFi, so if/when you have guests over you can toggle the option to share the network. Downside: it still doesn't stop nosey neighbors from riding your connection by default, but it's a seriously nice option to have built in.
Over 5Ghz, my connection was pulling 94/92 (Fios). 2.4 was capping out at 40/40Mbit. File transfers from an external SSD hooked up to the device were swift, and file transfers were pretty much consistently over the 400MB/s line (making everything fly!). I imagine it could be entirely possible to game completely off of attached storage on the router (though why would you want to?).
Range and coverage are more than excellent and covered 2,600sq ft of every room of our house (2 stories + basement) without ever dipping below 4 bars.
Cons: The only con I have is a minor one in that I feel the antennae are a bit too long so it can make positioning the router where it's out of sight a tad difficult. Again, a minor con.
Overall Review: Esthetically, the router has an almost Apple-esque look to it. Shiny, candy-like and white. It's not a bad thing at all, but it may not be everyone's cup of tea.
Pros: Performs amazingly, and the board is swift. Lots of goodies in the box, such as an unnecessary amount of SLI cables. Posts incredibly fast, within 10-12 seconds.
System is stable (on v7 BIOS) and I've had zero issues. Running with an 5930K and 32GB of DDR4 (4X 8GB DIMMS), two Samsung 840 Pros and dual GTX 980s. Everything flies, and I've had no issues. Board runs incredibly cool as well.
The Wifi extender also has a magnetic base making it easy to mount and swap around. May not be great if you have a cheap plastic case, but it's an awesome perk!
Cons: The BIOS is horrible. Laggy, slow, poorly laid out and hard to find. Depending on which BIOS you're in entire options are missing (e.g. disable on-board audio).
Everything about the BIOS just seems sloppy, slow and hacked together with no emphasis on UI or usability. Or speed. Or... anything. It's bad. Seriously. UEFI BIOS can be great, but when you long for the days of Phoenix and AMI... that's bad. The BIOS layouts (all three of them) are just a trainwreck to work with. I like Gigabyte, but this BIOS gives me sad kitten face.
Overall Review: I installed everything from the included CD, and it crippled my computer. Re-installed Windows. Happened again. After re-installing again, this time without touching Gigabyte's included driver disc, my system was flawlessly stable and without issue.
Pros: The software included is easy to use, simple to get setup. Supports 6 fans and is painless to install.
Cons: The CAM software (required to use the device) leaves a bit to be desired. Upon launching the software, instead of taking you directly to the fan control it wants you to login and create a cloud profile. That's nice, but oddly unnecessary.
The Cam+ can not control the fans controlled independently. One setting controls all fans, and you don't have much flexibility in the matter.
If you have multiple fans which run at different speeds and sound levels this can make the Grid+ less than ideal. Not a deal breaker, but you really need to configure your fans around the fan controller. It's somewhat counter-productive that you need to build around the Grid+, NOT use the Grid+ to improve your case. The "all or nothing" approach in the software removes a lot of versatility.
Overall Review: The fan controller only accepts 3 pin fans. While it does include 2 adapters, this doesn't help if you've got a case full of 4 pin fans (hi!). No worry, you can just buy some fan adapters online. Only, that's oddly much harder than it should be. Finding a basic 4 pin to 3 pin fan cable that's *under* $10 that suits your needs exactly is much more difficulty than it should be. Plenty of Y-cables, multiple inputs. Even my local computer megastore lacked the adapters. Even Nzxt doesn't sell the fan adapters on their site.
Don't get me wrong, you can find the cables, but the pricing and shipping are not entirely in your favor. While I'll admit that it's my fault I didn't look at the fan connections when purchasing it getting the cables needed to convert my fans to work with the Grid+ added another $30 to the cost. Just something to keep in mind.
If they can find a way to implement 4-pin fans AND independent fan controls in the future, along with improving the CAM software, this thing will be killer. As it is, it works well enough on its own, but it's lacks the finesse most other fan controllers on the market.
Pros: Aesthetically, this board is killer. The black PCB with a slight tint of red on the heatsinks really stands out. It's built like a brick, and with all the features you could want (and then some). This board comes with every single SLI bridge you could imagine (although it's a little overkill, there's four different SLI bridges).
The board is standard ATX, and fit into two of my cases with no problem (NZXT 440 and Cooler Master HAF 932). The addition of M.2 slots is huge, allowing a massive level of updatability on the board. That aspect alone is enough to make this board stand out amongst the competition.
Board was easy to setup and get going, no tweaks needed. Paired with a GTX 980, the board screamed. Some of the highest benchs I've ever seen (23,000+ Passmark scoring with a Xeon proc). I unfortunately don't have an i7 to test with.
On-board sound is amazing, and far exceeded expectations.
Cons: No board LED post codes (making open-system overclocking and stress testing somewhat harder). Also lacking is a CMOS reset button (useful for tweaking and OCing). Fairly few cons provided you do a BIOS update first.
For a high performance board it lacks a lot of fan header pins, though that can be mitigated with a fan controller, so not a HUGE deal.
Overall Review: I didn't get to test the Killer NIC given I've got a Wifi setup. Out of the box, the sheer amount of cables and adapters is impressive (if not overkill). I don't imagine the average gamer is going to go 3-way SLI bridge (or higher). Gigabyte could have shaved off a few dollars on the price by not giving you every SLI bridge known to man. That said, it's a veritable box of awesome with every component you could ever want or need to boost your rig.
Before installing your system, update the BIOS. The stock BIOS I received had some minor freezes and other issues (nothing major) but a BIOS update goes a long way to increase stability and performance.
Pros: Ultra compact system that's slightly bigger than an Xbox. Design is sleek, yet compact and minimal. Though it's a little system it's incredibly easy to upgrade and work with.
Performance is great. Any game I threw at it I was able to play with details maxed at 1920x1080. Not a single performance hit was noticeable. The Radeon R9 270 isn't the fastest GPU on the planet but it's more-than-capable for this system.
Cons: The system generates a decent of noise when the CPU is under load. It's not terrible, but is definitely noticeable. If you're a DIY sort you can reduce the impact by replacing the thermal paste on the CPU with a high end grease.
Power is a huge constraint on the system. While it's upgradable the cap on the PSU will greatly limit what you can upgrade to in the future.
SATA connections are limited to SATA 3.
Overall Review: I'm generally a DIY guy -- computer tech by day, gamer by night. I decided on this system because I needed something compact, small, yet powerful. Every other case out there in this form factor is disappointing.
This would be an easy five stars if not for the SATA connections. Being limited to SATA 3 is a disappointment (not a deal breaker though). It's definitely a fast machine, and not one you'll likely be disappointed with.
You can easily add in a second HDD (2.5" only) if you want an SSD. All you need is a small 6" SATA cable and a Y-splitter for the molex power adapter on the motherboard. Fairly minimal effort.
Pros: We used this router during a large convention, in a crowded hotel with wireless signals and people every which way. Range was excellent, going through multiple ballrooms from our central hub. Speed and performance remained consistent across the board, never had much issue. We had a 100Mbit connection to it and we were able to stream multiple HD feeds at the same time without issue.
Setting up the router is easy, and the instructions were clear-cut. The package was also minimal on waste (bonus).
Cons: The admin interface left a lot to be lacking. While it's full of features, we found it incredibly unresponsive during setup. Make multiple changes and the router would not save them consistently. We had to save after each and every change, which was proceeded by a 30-40 seconds pause.
Once configured the router had no problems. Just took a bit of time to get everything where we wanted it.
Overall Review: Comes with wall mounting hardware. HURRAY!
All the admin/login info for the router's control panel comes in a convenient little slide tab on the router itself. The tab has the default password written on it to help prevent intrusion out of the box, and is removable at that. More companies should do this.
Pros: I decided to upgrade my keyboard. I needed one with a smaller profile, but still provided better functionality and usage (my last keyboard did not have Print Screen key).
Typing on this beast feels majestic. It's got the snap of pressure when pressing down on a key. Having used soft keys for years, I never realized how much I actually missed a mechanical keyboard. And while it may entirely be a placebo effect, I have to say gaming wit the K70 feels much more responsive, each keystroke responding instantly.
Cons: Can still be quite a bit loud. The Brown MX switches are the quieter of the bunch, but if you're looking for a quiet keyboard this is NOT the keyboard for you. That said, it's not as loud as other mechanical keyboards, it's definitely noticeable.
Overall Review: The cable on this puppy is quite thick. I've never seen a keyboard cable with two USB connectors.
Pros: Sleek, plain and with one purpose: to make your mouse really shine.
I've used various metal gaming mats over the years with varying degrees. This is by far my favorite. There's no giant, gaudy logos, no obnoxious colors. It's simple, focused and with a sleek design.
I was using a cloth gaming mat prior to this, and decided it was time to upgrade. Going from cloth back to metal made a huge different in gaming and general day-to-day usage. Everything was smoother, more precise -- even smaller tasks like browsing had finer precision. It really brought out the best of what my mouse had to offer (and that made me realize everything I was missing).
Overall Review: May be a bit big for some.
Pros: The Allsop Redmond monitor stand takes about 30 seconds to put together, is rather stylish and exceedingly durable. Mine holds a 27" monitor zero wobble (a major upgrade over previous Allsop stands). My Xbox 360 slides underneath it perfectly, with plenty of room to spare for additional cables.
Overall Review: Not a single complaint. Upgraded from an older Allsop stand that had a bit of wobble whenever I shuffled around.
Pros: Thinner than a standard 2.5" drive but without any sacrifices. Speed, storage and no discernible noise.
Drive was tested in an Alienware M17X R3 and a M11X R1 and easy enough to install in both drives. In each system, the drive was rock solid with an average transfer rate of 115 read, 91 write MB/s transfers (average of both systems together). Speedy overall, with constant data transfers.
No complaints for speed and performance, and 500GB is more than enough for most mobile users.
Cons: There are larger drives for the same price or cheaper. It's pricy for the storage space space, but if you have an ultrabook or system that requires a drive with a reduced profile this more than fits the bill. The ultrabook crowd seems to be this drive's target market (which is fine).
Overall Review: All in all, the drive was swift and a great performer for a laptop HDD with a reduced profile. Seagate managed to shave off several mm with no sacrifices. It offers a good mix of storage and speed, and while it's no SSD, it's a solid performer for a traditional mobile HDD.
The drive ran a bit warm. Not sure if the extra loss size reduces the drive's heat dissipation, but it never got to worrying temperatures.
Drive was shipped in a thick bubble sleeve that protected it in shipment. Great packaging across the board.
Pros: This TP-Link switch is a fantastic entry level PoE switch with 8 ports (4 PoE). It's simple in design, but has a rugged build with a quality feel thanks to a metal casing. It has a good weight to it, but it's not over bearing. Definitely a quality feel. The front panel is clear and uncluttered making testing/diagnosing simple and a breeze. Best of all, the LEDs are not blindingly bright.
In short: it's basic, performs well for its speed and has a great price for what it offers.
Cons: Ports are NOT gigabit. While most people won't need full gigabit it does limit the device somewhat (esp. for people archiving large HD files). Just something to be aware before ordering the device.
Overall Review: This is a fantastic entry level PoE switch for all intents and purposes. While not gigabit, most users will not notice the lack of speed from day-to-day and home use unless they're transferring massive files (multi-GB). That said, transferring large files was still swift, and I really had no complaints. It worked well enough streaming HD 1080P content with no hiccups.
The power adapter is rather large, but it's easily tucked away and hidden.
Pros: Ridiculously fast RAM without being bulky or overly complicated (unnecessary fins, LEDs or odd gimmicks). It's straight forward and fast, and doesn't try to play up the "gamer" card EXCEPT where it counds: performance. Memory was benchmarking with reads at 21,365 MB/s, writes 22,448 MB/s over MaxxMEM (1.99). No issues, just pure speed!
I've seriously not been this happy with a single product in a long time. My system's been running it solid 24/7 since I installed it, folding@home and gaming... flawless stability.
Cons: NONE! Seriously, none.
Overall Review: These DIMMS made me realize just how SLOW my old RAM was (15,076MB/s reads, about 33% slower). RAM was testing on an X79 platform. Worked beautifully.
Also a plus: packaging was easy to open and waste was somewhat minimal. No risk of cutting fingers on evil blister packs.
Pros: The Corsair 1400s are perfect in almost every way - from construction to sound. The headset is solidly built with strong plastic that feels durable in the hands using quality material. I really don't worry about dropping these and having them shatter.
The cups isolate sound fairly well, helping deliver uninterrupted audio fairly decently. As for sound, it's fairly clean and delivers a crisp sound that works well over gaming, movies and music that rivals some more expensive alternatives I've tried. After several hours of wear they still felt comfortable, so the memory foam definitely works, and works well at that.
I tested with 1400s with several movies (Pacific Rim!) with great success, gaming (PC and Xbox) and general music. All-in-all, sound quality is excellent, rich and with fairly deep bass. Out of box, the audio is fairly good, but tweak the EQ and these cans really start to shine. Definitely recommend a good sound card or headphone amp to go with them.
Microphone quality was crisp, clear with no interruption. The recording quality is easily the best I've ever experienced on a headset, hands down.
Cons: By default, the bass seems a bit strong on the headset. No doubt the sound is tweaked to gamers looking for rich explosions, gunshots and other audio, but it can feel a little heavy the first time you put them on.
Seems to have a slight issue with highs, but for the cost, it's not an issue. You can compensate with some EQ tweaks that mostly make up for it.
Overall Review: The cups swivel left to right easily enough, but not up or down. Because of this, the cups always feel like they're pressing into my head. If they had a bit of a vertical swivel they'd be perfect.
Jacks should be color-coded in future releases to separate audio/mic.
I think wireless is definitely the way to go with this pair of cans. It was the only thing I found myself wanting -- to be free of wires. Overall, I'm impressed.
Pros: Speeds were solid and reliable across the board upon testing, though the 2.4Ghz was slow and sporadic in an apartment setting (too much interferance). 5Ghz was quick, with minimal latency between multiple desktops, laptops and half a dozen consoles (I have several roommates).
Benchmarks kept around a consistent 115-120Mbps internally (depsite having about 20+ competing routers and devices in the area). Pings to several of my usual TF2 servers fell around 5-10MS after switching to the router, which I contribute to the traffic shaping. It didn't make a huge difference overall, but it was noticable.
Antennae are built into the device, making it easier to camoflauge in an open area. Coverage was solid across my apartment, even 2 rooms away.
I like the router overall.
Cons: The construction and build quality is extremely disappointing. It feels and looks cheap, and the unit is far too light and weightless (making easy to tip over). It feels hollow and cheap. And while feel doesn't solely represent quality, my first thought lifting it out of the packaging was "This is hugely disappointing. Why does this thing cost so much?"
5Ghz cut out once, and was fixed with a simple reboot. I don't really know as to why, however.
Overall Review: Packaging is very minimal with little waste. Nice bonus.
In future revisions, I'd like to see D-Link add a bit of weight to the base as the router did not survive the cat challenge. Our kitten was able to knock the router over just by brushing against the unit (it's exceedingly light).
The design is fairly subtle, though the design itself is very much take it over leave it (it looks like a combination of a battery and a small waste basket).
I did not have the ability to test AC connectivity.
Pros: This is a fantastic lil' box with solid construction, durability and a great overall design. The device is best suited for home office (where PoE is needed), but would work well enough as a cost-effective switch for a small data center where a costlier devices tend to fulfill those roles.
The device ran cool to the touch even after hours of use. Ran with two laptops, a PC and an Xbox (our media center) connected, and speeds were solid and consistent across the board. No issue, lag or packetless. Transfers between PC/laptop were fairly breezy at around 90-100MB/s on large files while streaming media at the same time.
The box is well laid out with minimal packaging and waste, which is a definite pro.
Cons: * Unable to wall mount. For a PoE device geared towards office/higher end use it seems odd not to include that. Most cable modems/routers offers it, so it may through off your office's Feng Shui depending on your setup.
* Only 4 ports are PoE. May be limiting for VOIP/PoE configurations, but it's a minor con at most.
Overall Review: Most people won't need PoE, but if you do this offers solid expansion at a reasonable price, especially given the build quality (good build quality makes me squee!). My only recommendations for future are to address the two cons listed. All 8 ports utilising PoE and a proper wallmount solution (the two generally go hand in hand from my experience). So long as you know its limitations going this is a great device.
I'm a data center tech, definitely like the switch.
Pros: The software was easy to install and setup. The app (Android version) was installed and configured smoothly on my wife's Galaxy Note II. Setup and connecting to the Jak was simple and straight forward, but...
Cons: I had major trouble getting Jak to connect to anything. We setup the device, configured it, tested it... but plugging into any of our TV, Laptops, computers it would never transmit anything. The TVs acted like they saw it (it would tell something was plugged in) but nothing would transmit. It's really hard to tell if there was a software issue (even though the app showed as connected to the Jak) or a hardware issue (the Jak itself was defective). There's really no indicator.
We tried uninstalling the software, connecting it to different systems. The software and Jak always connected, and the PCs saw it plugged int, but it would never output data/video to anything we tried it on. I'm not sure if our devices were incompatible, the Jak had a defect, etc.
Overall Review: Again, I'm not sure if the Jak I received was defective. I give it one egg for easy to use software, and connecting to the Jak was simple... but the Jak itself did not work. When I plugged it in devices would see it but there was never any output.
Pros: The Seagate performs admirably with strong performance accompanied with low power requirements and whisper-like accoustics. We connected this drive to our wireless router so we could use it as a media streaming server and backup hub. Benchmarking the drive put the transfer rates at about 150MB Read/142 Write over USB 3 using HD Tune Pro. Far more than I was expecting. It's quiet, barely audible unless you're within a foot or two of the drive. Drive performed consistently with no issues.
Power tested using a Kill-o-watt, and the drive went up by around 4 to 4.5W. We were able to stream multiple movies and transfer several larger Photoshop files (100MB+) from the drive without any real slowdowns or issues.
The drive seems to run fairly cool even after extended use. After about 5 or 6 hours, the drive was a little hotter than room temperature, but not enough to notice.
Overall Review: Warranty is for 3 years (per Newegg's site). When I was looking on Seagate's site for the drives they seem to conveniently hide that information. Thankfully, Newegg lists it on the product description page.
Only had one drive, so I wasn't able to go through the full NAS capabilities/testing.
Pros: The modem was easy to set up with Comcast. Called, provided the MAC address and within about 30 minutes (mostly waiting on propagation) it was up and running. It's very much a fire-and-forget device once configured.
Cons: It runs fairly hot, so I'd suggest keeping it in a well ventilated area. We had a minor issue with it rebooting itself ( overheating), but after we moved it to an area with better air flow everything was fine. Worth keeping in mind depending on where your current modem lay.
Overall Review: The greatest feature is not listed on the box: saving money. The cost to buy the modem is moderate (about $75 at the time of writing). However, if you have a $7-10 cable modem rental from your service provider, this pays for itself in a little under a year. From that point on it saves you money (always a feature I enjoy!). That's worth the price of admission alone.
There's no real benefit of speed or latency between this and the Comcast provided modem. We have a 50/5 connection, and speeds seemed stable and consistent between the Comcast provided modem and Netgear's.
Pros: Simple to put together, has a pleasing aesthetic that blends in well with a lot of environments.
Cons: Poor craftsmanship, simple as that. Ours held a laser printer, a few reams of paper, the casters broke. Well, not so much broke, as bent and warped inwards by the weight. A printer stand that can't hold a laser printer and 3 reams of paper isn't really all that great, especially not at the price.
We were able to remove the casters and continue using it, but that's not really the kind of craftsmanship you want from a $150 stand. It's just not up to par for the price.
Pros: I have to give Creative credit. I didn't want another soundcard. I was happy to sit with my on-board audio that, while not perfect, did the job. However, after seeing that this has both a built-in headphone amp AND toslink in... I decided to give Creative another shot. The sound quality is amazing, and really brought out a lot more depth from my headset that I didn't know I'd been missing. And thanks to the toslink connector, I can far more easily route my Xbox through my computer and use my monitor's HDMI port for gaming.
Cons: The visual design of the card is unnecessary. It has a windowed case with ridiculously bright red LEDS. Once installled you can't see the card so it seems like a lot of overkill with little to no payoff.
Overall Review: After installing the soundcard and its drivers I lost the ability to use my second HDD and CD drive. Somehow, the driver package caused a conflict with my motherboard's SATA driver. Everything was fine after re-installing the driver. Weird fluke, but easy to fix.
Pros: The router is a breeze to set up, and is as close to "plug and play" as a router can get. We moved into a new apartment, and had the router up and running within 3 minutes from opening the box. The configuration interface is simple and to the point.
We have a three bedroom apartment that shares wireless space with about 30+ other routers from our neighbors -- generally, wireless hell. But the TEW-812DRU maintained consistent connectivity across every room of our apartment, never dipping below 4 bars. We have 5 people total, with a total of 4 desktops, 6 laptops and an Xbox for every roommate (and somewhere in the middle, a lone PS3). Not including phones with wireless access. It's a wireless zoo. While haven't tried connecting everything all at once (we're not going for maximum overkill) we've been able to connect every device without issue.
While some may see this as a con, you cannot configure the router wirelessly. As others have stated, it must be done while wired to the device. From a security standpoint, this is actually a great way to prevent people from trying to break into the router and change configuration. While it may be inconvenient for some, I find it convenient and beneficial.
The router has been stable and had no issues despite mutliple Netflix streams, downloads, gaming sessions and other bandwidth intensive activities running non-stop in our apartment.
Cons: The design feels cheap, with the casing made of light plastics. Not sure how durable it would be if something were to happen to it.
The router is designed to stand upright which may be a problem if you try connecting multiple cables to the back. When we tried, some of the cables (which aren't the most flexible) caused the router to fall over. Again, this is due to the cables we were using, but it's something that wouldn't affect a router designs to lay flat. I could see this being an issue if you have multiple cables that go in different directions for a wired setup.
There's a USB port on the back for media sharing, but it's limited to USB 2.0 speeds. Given a wireless router with AC specs this seems like severely limiting factor for media/file sharing, and almost seems like it was put in as an afterthought. Hopefully they bring this up to USB 3.0 spec in their next revision as it seems to be a greatly limiting factor given the AC wireless specs.
Overall Review: I wasn't able to test the performance at AC standards as we only have Wireless N, but performance was stable and consistent across every room. I wouldn't buy this as an AC router because there are not enough devices and support for the AC standard at this time to justify it. There are better wireless N routers available for the same price (or cheaper) which have USB 3.0 connections for media sharing.
That said, it's still a great router for people who need reliability and simplicity. It's not bad, but I feel it really needs a revision to make it shine. USB 3.0 is sorely needed to use this as a media sharing device.
Pros: Extended the range across our house by almost double without any noticable lag. It's simple and easy to set up and link to other devices. As a bonus, it's also subtle. It doesn't stick out like a sore thumb or have annoyingly bright LED lights.
Cons: Whenever the router goes down the extender needs to be reset. While rare, it's annoying if there's a random "blip" that causes the router to drop. The RE1000 starts pulsing (when it's trying to reconnect) but never reconnects. Power cycle the device, plug it back in and it's good as new.
Pros: I'd been looking into monitor arms for almost a year, and finally settled on the Ergotron. And yes, it's as good as the feedback suggests. It's versatile, takes up minimal room and has a strengthy grip without any sag. I've used monitor arms at work before that would droop over time, but the Ergotron has held up with my 23" monitor.
Overall Review: I've had it for a year now, and I'm just as content as the day I got it.
Pros: These fans are powerful and push a LOT of air without the noise. I've gone through many fans trying to find that perfect mix with the most power and quietest audible volume possible, and the Cougars are as close to perfection as you can get. I've used them in three different computers with fantastic results, and cut down noisy fan volume dramatically. After 7 months, all of the fans are working perfectly and still just as quiet as the day I got them.
Overall Review: I wish they were completely black as the orange of the blades doesn't quite blend in with my case, but it's a really minor quibble.
Pros: This is a great all around tool whether you're an IT tech who needs a light inside a case, working in a colo or just to use around the house. It's bright, lasts a long time and the built in hook is really useful.
Cons: For being 24 LEDs, I expected it to be somewhat brighter. It can light up dark places, but in a completely dark room it's a bit underwhelming and you kind of end up going "Huh. That's it?" It's not bad, but you kind of expect a little bit more from it.
Overall Review: It's really to argue how usable and versatile it is given the price. No regrets.