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James R.

James R.

Joined on 12/11/01

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Product Reviews
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product reviews
  • 63
Most Favorable Review

Incredibly Powerful QNAP NAS

QNAP TS-1277-1700-16G-US High-Performance 12 Bay (8+4) NAS/iSCSI IP-SAN. AMD Ryzen 7 1700 8-core 3.0GHz, 16GB RAM, 10G-Ready
QNAP TS-1277-1700-16G-US High-Performance 12 Bay (8+4) NAS/iSCSI IP-SAN. AMD Ryzen 7 1700 8-core 3.0GHz, 16GB RAM, 10G-Ready

Pros: This unit is a BEAST! Purchased the TS-1277-1700-16G from Newegg after that other large eCommerce retailer never shipped me the newer version of this model. The primary difference between the TS-1277 and the TS-1277X is the native inclusion of 10Gb Ethernet on the X model. Replacing the stock 16 GB of memory with a 16 GB x 4 G.Skill FORTIS kit and adding the 10Gb Ethernet/Dual NVMe M.2 PCI Express adapter resulted in exactly what I wanted at a considerable savings. There is ample room inside the NAS to address upgrades, and the locking mechanism for the 2.5" and 3.5" bays are nice. While not as secure as a keyed solution, it's more than adequate for preventing drives from arbitrarily being ejected. The actual upgrade process is fairly intuitive. After approximately 20 minutes, I had the new memory and the QM2 adapter installed and the cover reinstalled. While the completion of my storage pool is going to take at least a day to complete, the initial performance encountered while flinging things between my system and the NAS is a huge upgrade over bonded interfaces on competing products. The Ryzen 7 is more than capable of handling intense workloads (i.e. Plex DVR + streaming + other apps being used). The best part is that this all happens within a lower noise footprint than my computer or the prior combo of dedicated host + competing NAS product. QNAP certainly did well on balancing the noise profile and cooling capabilities for this product.

Cons: While the price may be considered a con since it's in a completely different bracket than the majority of consumer-oriented NAS offerings, there's enough value add between available apps and the generous quantity of externally addressable hot swap bays. Attempting to build something with equal or greater expansion capacity can be done for less. Doing so in the volume of space that this NAS takes up won't be a reality until some Tier 1 OEM offers a Mini ITX board with an adequate quantity of SATA connections. The other feature that may be a con (but can be disabled) involves the voice notifications for NAS activities that come from the integrated speaker. This may be helpful when a drive or other adjunct component fails, but a verbally announced reboot at 4:00 a.m. that has not had the notification suppressed may be an issue for light sleepers. These are the only things that come to mind with respect to what could be evaluated as something negative and are purely subjective.

Overall Review: QNAP continues to innovate and provides NAS solutions that addressed any potential use case. If you need ample storage and expansion capabilities while moving to a hyper converged solution (Virtualization Station + 8 core Ryzen + 64 GB RAM = run some VMs without worrying about degraded performance), the QNAP TS-1277 should be on your short list of COTS NAS solutions. Continued refinement of capabilities, the enhancements in the newer versions of QTS, and an ever growing app store make this a purchase that will serve its user well for years to come!

Most Critical Review

Fair successor to the Nostromo

Razer Tartarus Membrane Gaming Keypad
Razer Tartarus Membrane Gaming Keypad

Pros: Plenty of buttons and configuration options to satisfy MMO/FPS/RTS/MOBA gamers! Green backlighting is adjustable and visually attractive. Adjusting the palm rest does not require a heroic feat of strength. New D-Pad is a huge upgrade compared to the Nostromo, and provides tactile response that requires less pressure.

Cons: Lack of QA on the construction of the unit. After ~3 weeks of very mild use, experiencing some minor key sticking for the 01 and 02 buttons. Synapse 2.0 software is okay when it works, but has been traced to the root cause of a few system hangs.

Overall Review: As a long time user of the various Nostromo iterations and their inherent build caveats (e.g. Belkin D-Pad that squeaked, multiple iterations of the Belkin/Razer TE/v2), my muscle memory has become exceptionally dependent on these peripherals to execute across a number of games. As the Nostromo appears to have reached its end of life, my primary "like-sized" options were reduced to the Tartarus and the Orbweaver. The additional keys on the Orbweaver would have required additional time to master, so I hedged with the safe move of selecting the Tartarus. While keystick is still an issue in this line of controllers, Razer appears to have remediated prior concerns over the D-Pad, and the new unit does not exhibit sticking. The Synapse 2.0 software for configuration is a nice idea in concept, but continues to be of questionable value. I have had the program hang my system when configuring custom keymaps for various entertainment titles. While it's not absolutely necessary to bind the map to a specific executable, the effort ensures that you have the settings you want on a game-specific basis. The software works well when you don't touch it, and can result in power cycles to restore operation when you do touch it. In summary: -1 egg for Synapse 2.0 -1 egg for continued construction issues that are not vetted via internal QA Still a great design. Hopefully, the next iteration can fix these glitches. Failure to do so will result in a meeting with the Bobs.

Respectable Micro-ATX Case Option

Cooler Master MasterBox MB311L ARGB Airflow Micro-ATX  Mini Tower with Fine Mesh Front Panel, Mesh Intake Vents, Tempered Glass Side Panel, ARGB Controller, Dual ARGB Lighting Fans - Black
Cooler Master MasterBox MB311L ARGB Airflow Micro-ATX Mini Tower with Fine Mesh Front Panel, Mesh Intake Vents, Tempered Glass Side Panel, ARGB Controller, Dual ARGB Lighting Fans - Black

Pros: (2) ARGB fans (as pictured) with options to connect directly to an ARGB header on the motherboard. Physical ARGB controller included for motherboards without an ARGB header. Power supply shroud with flexible mounting options for SSDs and internal 3.5" drive bays. Plenty of space above the motherboard for AIO or additional fans. Mesh front provides sufficient intake for cooling purposes. Reasonable footprint. Ample tie-down points on the rear for cable management. Good clearance behind the motherboard. Magnetic filter for the top.

Cons: Punch-out expansion slots. Metal on the rear of the chassis isn't the most structurally rigid when compared to other cases in this class. 3.5" drive cage may need to be removed if a sizable modular power supply is installed.

Overall Review: The MasterBox MB311L is a pretty solid value for the dollar. As noted in the cons, the only things that felt lacking or deficient involved the punch-out expansion slot covers and the lack of rigidity for the rear of the case. Building a system using this enclosure presented minimal challenges and ample room exists for routing all cables. While the dimensions are on the small-side compared to prior cases I've owned, it hits all of the right marks where it matters most. No clearance issues were encountered installing a Sapphire Radeon RX 6700 XT. Openings from the backside exist almost exactly where you'd want them for front panel connections, EPS12V, 24-pin power, and GPU power feeds. The ARGB splitter included and pre-wired in the case has provisions for "everyone other than Gigabyte" and Gigabyte. Not having to manage those cables was appreciated. The install of an EVGA 650 G+ modular PSU with Cablemod cables benefitted from removing the internal 3.5" drive cage. Overall, it's a good value case.

Price/Performance MVP

Cooler Master Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition CPU Air Cooler, SF120R RGB Fan, 4 CD 2.0 Heatpipes, Anodized Gun-Metal Black, RGB Lighting for AMD Ryzen/Intel LGA1200/1151 LGA 1700 Compatible
Cooler Master Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition CPU Air Cooler, SF120R RGB Fan, 4 CD 2.0 Heatpipes, Anodized Gun-Metal Black, RGB Lighting for AMD Ryzen/Intel LGA1200/1151 LGA 1700 Compatible

Pros: Keeps the Ryzen 7 5800X well cooled. Not extremely tall. Viable for smaller cases. Aesthetically pleasing. Sufficient quantity of thermal paste included. Fan mounting brackets are less likely to bend fins.

Cons: Mounting system is slightly inferior to competing products (Be Quiet!, Noctua). No ARGB variant.

Overall Review: Having prior experience with the value MVP Hyper 212, I decided to go with the RGB Black edition since AMD has stopped including coolers with Ryzen 5000-series processors (7 and 9). The directions were sufficient for configuring the backplate and heatsink for an AM4 processor. It took longer to snap or screw the miscellaneous parts together than it did to install the finished product. The fan mounting brackets are superior to the wired clips that competing products utilize. The lower vertical height of the cooler will be beneficial for smaller tower builds. In a micro-ATX case, the top of the cooler isn't coming close to making contact with the window. The one egg reduction is not related to the performance or value of the Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition. Once you've experienced any other cooling solution that uses the stock backplate, having to modify the configuration of a plastic backplate and connecting it to threaded bolts feels rather archaic by comparison. The lack of an ARGB model presents its own challenges if part of your design goals includes consistent visualization patterns. The 12v RGB headers don't sync perfectly with ARGB fans or internal illumination (motherboard, memory) that is enabled. If an ARGB edition exists and Cooler Master works out a method to use the stock backplate, it would be a five egg product. However, there's slight room for improvement. Overall, I'm happy with the price and performance offered in this newer revision of a timeless, air cooling classic.

Fills the nostalgia fix!

NEOGEO Mini International, 3.5" LCD Screen
NEOGEO Mini International, 3.5" LCD Screen

Pros: Price Experience using the built-in screen and joystick

Cons: Power supply not included with International version

Overall Review: I've been impressed with the games on the integrated screen. It's a real blast from the past to play the included library of titles.

Great value for a FreeNAS build!

ASRock Rack C3758D4I-4L Mini ITX Server Motherboard 8 core SOC
ASRock Rack C3758D4I-4L Mini ITX Server Motherboard 8 core SOC

Pros: 8 core Atom HSF does its job well (4) 1Gb NICs AsRock management interface uses HTML5 or Java for the KVM No licensing costs for remote management 13 SATA ports total Includes SFF-8643 cabling

Cons: Requires adjusting BIOS to utilize all 13 drives Sole expansion slot reduced from x8 to x4 when enabling Profile 2 (to use all SATA ports) Header for power/reset/activity lights is in line with the expansion slot and may be problematic to use depending on dimensions of installed adapter

Overall Review: The AsRock C3750D4I-4L almost matches the competitors offerings at a decent discount. After confirming on the manufacturer's website that none of the SATA ports are serviced by a Marvell or other non-Intel adapter, I purchased this board as the foundation for a FreeNAS build. Performance has been very solid. The CPU fan can be loud when operating at or near full speed which would be expected based on its size. Operational temps in an Antec P101 silent case are exceptional and the fan cannot be heard. With 13 SATA ports available (after going into the BIOS and selecting "Profile 2", it's possible to build a comprehensive and solid performance storage server/solution. The board had no issues accepting 128GB of DDR4-2400 Registered ECC memory. Excluding potential challenges related to the front panel header (if this would be paired with a long GPU), no issues were encountered. Firmware of the unit I received was fully up to date. AsRock did very well with this board and I'd recommend it for low-power or storage-related applications!

seller reviews
  • 3

Item delivered as promise

Memory arrived in a reasonable amount of time. Performs as expected. First experience with NEMIX RAM and definitely won't be my last.

On-time
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Satisfactory

I have no idea where "DigitalShopper" shipped this item

Received a notification from Newegg that the order was delivered to my door step. Went outside and there was no package. In checking the tracking, my order was delivered to another state where I don't live and was left on the doorstep. Newegg reached out to them to determine what was going on. DigitalShopper apparently put the wrong tracking number against my order. The updated number provided to me by the customer service rockstars at Newegg shows that the product will arrive soon.

On-time
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Satisfactory

Prompt shipping

Ordered a riser card and 3rd cooling fan for a SuperMicro server. Product was delivered the same day as the bulk of the other parts of the order. I'm sure CA Server Pro will be seeing future business from me based upon reasonable pricing and quick delivery.

On-time
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Product
Accuracy
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Satisfactory