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Brandon G.

Brandon G.

Joined on 05/17/05

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 32
Most Favorable Review

It's a Scale

Ozeri ZB13-W2 Touch 440 lbs Total Body Bath Scale in White – Measures Weight, Fat, Muscle, Bone & Hydration with Auto Recognition and Infant Tare Technology
Ozeri ZB13-W2 Touch 440 lbs Total Body Bath Scale in White – Measures Weight, Fat, Muscle, Bone & Hydration with Auto Recognition and Infant Tare Technology

Pros: It weighs you, It measures your body fat, It measures your water weight, it measures bone density

Cons: it doesn't cook you dinner!

Overall Review: Get it, you won't be disappointed!

Most Critical Review

Picky About Booting

OEM Production 2550L2D-MxPC Intel NM10 Black Mini / Booksize Barebone System
OEM Production 2550L2D-MxPC Intel NM10 Black Mini / Booksize Barebone System

Pros: Cheap, good for a pfSense box once you get it working

Cons: - CPU Fan is loud and no room to put another larger and quiter one since the heatsink is an odd shape. - The SATA cable was bad and kept leading to errors when pfSense was installing and running (would cause the OS to crash every few days), I had to swap out the cable and use the other SATA port. - Intel GMA GPU doesn't work well in Linux since it's closed source and the max resolution is 1024x768

Overall Review: - One of the hardware components requires a license to be agreed to in FreeBSD which scrolls by so quickly it took a while to figure out what the issue is, I was only able to figure this out by looking through the boot log since it shows a few line error

Everything Works Great...Except the IPMI

ASUS X99-WS/IPMI (BULK) LGA2011-v3/ Intel X99/ DDR4/ Quad CrossFireX & 3-Way SLI/ SATA3&USB3.0/ M.2&SATA Express/ A&2GbE/ ATX Motherboard
ASUS X99-WS/IPMI (BULK) LGA2011-v3/ Intel X99/ DDR4/ Quad CrossFireX & 3-Way SLI/ SATA3&USB3.0/ M.2&SATA Express/ A&2GbE/ ATX Motherboard

Pros: - Supports server components (CPU and ECC RAM) as well as desktop components (multiple x16 PCI-E slots, HD Audio, Integrated GPUs, etc...), best of both worlds if you want server grade hardware in a desktop like experience. Using it for my home server. - Tons of settings in the firmware for various things such as overclocking, BMC settings, PCH settings, etc... which you wouldn't get in a server board from the likes of AsRock or SuperMicro. Also it's a graphical mouse supported GUI as opposed to the old BIOS keyboard only style - POST code readout on the motherboard, along with onboard power and reset buttons

Cons: - The BMC firmware is from 2015 and won't work with recent Java updates due to the JARs being signed with MD5, which is now blacklisted as insecure. You need to remove MD5 from jdk.certpath.disabledAlgorithms in java.security in order for it to work. - The WebUI will randomly freeze upon login (which apparently freezes the BMC since other browsers can't access the site and you can't SSH in when this happens) and won't work at all until the BMC is reset by a cold reboot (pulling the plug from the wall or toggling the rocker switch on the PSU)

Overall Review: - When I first received the board I installed everything but it wouldn't POST citing error code 00, in the manual it says that 00 isn't used for anything! Some searching revealed that this actually means a CPU issue and multiple other people have seen it with Rampage and ROG boards. I contacted EtronixWorld for an RMA and the accepted it, after a few days they stated that pins were bent and it had to be sent to Asus (no idea how the pins had gotten bent on a LGA socket but I digress...). I accepted and about a week went by before I had to reach out to them to see if Asus had received it yet, they had. Another 12 days went by and no contact, once again had to reach out to EtronixWorld for an update and they said that Asus told them that the pins were bent and they couldn't fix it and it would be $300 to repair it! I told them to go ahead with it and finally received the board about 1.5-2 weeks later. After this the board booted right back up. Kinda ridiculous that they charged me about 60% of the total price of the board just to repair one thing. - Talking to a wall is more useful than contacting Asus support: After I got it up and running, I noticed that the remote console function of the IPMI wouldn't work, since Java was outright blocking it due to a recent Java update. Oracle now blacklists certificates hashed with MD5, in order to bypass this you have to remove MD5 from jdk.certpath.disabledAlgorithms in java.security, it's under ProgramFiles (x86) on Windows and IIRC in your home folder under Linux. I had to figure this out on my own, even after talking to Asus support for over 2 months, 10 representatives have literally no idea about my issue. I initially told them that the console didn't work due to it being blocked by Java and they just gave me a generic long winded response that essentially said "sorry you're having issues, we're looking into it.". I responded that I had found a workaround but would still like an official fix, they responded "glad your issue is resolved!". I responded that it wasn't resolved and now the WebUI freezes occasionally upon login, requiring me to pull the plug from the wall in order to get it to work again. Since then, the last 6 or so emails have consisted of them essentially saying "sorry you're having issues, we're looking into it" in some fashion or another, with literally no actual help. I have spelled it out for them multiple times regarding how to fix the java issue, including a link to the Oracle security posting stating that they were going to blacklist MD5 in six months, and I get a response saying they have suggestions from their "Higher Product Engineers". These suggestions were to do a cold boot (pull the plug from the wall); reset the BMC with the ipmitool (which would be nice if I could actually SSH into it after it froze); and to clear the Java cache, whitelist the IPMI IP/FQDN, and set security to "high". WORST. SUPPORT. EVER. - I also purchased the ROG GT-AC5300 Wireless Router and it came with broken firmware, resulting in a few features like QoS not working. I've had it for 2 months and no updates.

Great Hardware, Poor Firmware

ASUS Gaming Router Tri-band Wi-Fi (Up to 5334 Mbps) for VR & 4K Streaming, 1.8GHz Quad-Core Processor, Gaming Port, Whole Home Mesh System, & AiProtection Network with 8xGigabit LAN Ports (GT-AC5300)
ASUS Gaming Router Tri-band Wi-Fi (Up to 5334 Mbps) for VR & 4K Streaming, 1.8GHz Quad-Core Processor, Gaming Port, Whole Home Mesh System, & AiProtection Network with 8xGigabit LAN Ports (GT-AC5300)

Pros: - Fast, can handle as much as my Celeron based pfSense box - 8 Ethernet Ports - 8 Antennas - Looks cool

Cons: - WebUI is slow to navigate - Saving almost any setting takes about 30 seconds and seems to reboot the router or it has an odd way that it writes to it's flash memory - Uses DNSmasq for serving IP addresses via DHCP, yet there is no option for custom DNS entries, which would have been trivial to include since that's a primary feature of DNSmasq. You can do it manually via SSH but rebooting the router wipes the host file. - No support for Asus Merlin 3rd party firmware since it uses a non-standard chipset or something else like all the others (works on AC-5300 but not GT-AC5300 since it uses the quadcore and 8 NICs) - VPN server is easy to setup but when I try to login it keeps giving me TLS errors Current Firmware (15xxx) is slightly broken: - Something keeps spamming the logs every few minutes saying "this is a paid app! Please set a default bandwidth!" - QoS doesn't work - Setting "pretty" names for network devices in the UI is only for display purposes and will only allow you to set a random amount and then it will not allow you to do anymore until you refresh the page (enter the name, hit save and it doesn't apply) - No way to tell if trunking is working

Overall Review: - It's ridiculous that this costs $400 and it's performance is subpar, if this could use Asus Merlin guaranteed it would be a lot better, hopefully it will come in due time. - Unless you want everything (Router, 8 port switch, AC wifi) in one device for space needs....get something else. I would happily go back to my pfSense box (if it wasn't a pain to configure the firewall for two PS4s to access PSN easily), 16 port managed switch and AC WAP if space wasn't an issue (I live in a small apartment). - Asus' software quality and support has drastically gone down hill since I last bought their products years ago. I purchased this an an Asus X99-WS/IPMI motherboard within a month of each other and they BOTH came with old/broken firmware (the motherboard had current EFI firmware from 2017, the BMC firmware is from 2015 and won't work due to Java updates and the web UI crashes constantly). I have been in contact with Asus for over a month regarding this and NONE of the support reps even understand what my issue is, even though I have spelled it out for them and have literally told them how to fix one of the issues (Java not working). They didn't even recommend an easy workaround (removing MD5 from the blacklisted hashes in the java security config file) I had to find this on my own. Every email just said "sorry you're having issues, we're looking into it" in a long winded fashion.

[USB3.1 Gen2 to SATA3.0 ]ORICO 3.5 inch Type-C USB 3.1 (10 Gbps )Hard Drive Enclosure Case for 3.5" SATA HDD Support UASP Protocols 8TB Max Tool Free -Black
[USB3.1 Gen2 to SATA3.0 ]ORICO 3.5 inch Type-C USB 3.1 (10 Gbps )Hard Drive Enclosure Case for 3.5" SATA HDD Support UASP Protocols 8TB Max Tool Free -Black

Pros: Works Well

Cons: Flimsy plastic design.

Overall Review: Didn't work initially when I inserted a HDD. I had to remove the PCB first and connect it to the HDD outside of the case to make sure it worked, it probably wasn't making a good connection.

Great TV With Minor Flaws

Samsung UN40KU6290FXZA 40-inch 4K UHD Smart LED TV
Samsung UN40KU6290FXZA 40-inch 4K UHD Smart LED TV

Pros: - Gorgeous Picture - Wide selection of up to date apps - Good sound quality - Intuitive and easy to use

Cons: - 10/100 Mbps ethernet jack instead of 10/100/1000 Mbps. Seriously Samsung, what is wrong with you? This isn't a problem if all you do is stream stuff from the internet, but if you have a local media server (like Plex) good luck at streaming anything higher than 1080P at 10 Mbps because it will just buffer every few seconds. I find it ridiculous that a 4K TV doesn't have a fast enough connection to even stream 4K content (or high quality 1080P for that matter) locally! I believe it also only has 802.11 N so the wifi isn't even fast enough either. - Only the first HDMI port supports HDR, so if you have an Ultra HD Blu-Ray player and a Playstation 4 Pro and were hoping to view stuff at 4K with HDR without having to swap connections you're out of luck, also if you have a cable box and were planning on controlling it through the TV (using the Samsung remote and not having to switch inputs) you HAVE to use this port (since it designated TV) but AFAIK no cable providers transmit anything in HDR so that kind of ruins everything. - Only options for audio out are bluetooth (which has to be enabled every time you turn on the TV) and TOSlink, so if you have an older speaker setup you're out of luck and will either have to buy adapters or a new system. I have a Bose Soundwave that has been unused for the last 7 months because it only has RCA and 3.5mm inputs (it's pretty old).

Overall Review: - If you're planning on using it just as a TV and to stream internet based content it works wonderfully and is worth the price. If you plan on buying this as a centerpiece for your Home Entertainment system (connecting multiple external devices and consuming content from your local library) I'd say look elsewhere since it is severely lacking outside of the "watch TV and use the apps" functionality, which is very disappointing because if they would have added even a 1 Gbps NIC it would have made it a lot more useful. You could always use an external device, like the newest Chromecast or a the newest Roku which have 1 Gbps NICs and resolve that issue, but nothing can really fix HDR being limited to one HDMI port. - I purchased this unit refurbished for my parents since they had gotten me a brand new one during the Black Friday Sale and I loved it, but theirs came with a bowed right bezel that shows about 2 inches of light bleed, which angered me but didn't really matter to them. I should have paid the extra $100 and gotten a brand new one :-/