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Dean B.

Dean B.

Joined on 10/18/07

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Most Favorable Review

It's ASUS, probably the best around there is

ASUS AM4 TUF Gaming X570-Plus (Wi-Fi) ATX Motherboard with PCIe 4.0, Dual M.2, 12+2 with Dr. MOS Power Stage, HDMI, DP, SATA 6Gb/s, USB 3.2 Gen 2 and Aura Sync RGB Lighting
ASUS AM4 TUF Gaming X570-Plus (Wi-Fi) ATX Motherboard with PCIe 4.0, Dual M.2, 12+2 with Dr. MOS Power Stage, HDMI, DP, SATA 6Gb/s, USB 3.2 Gen 2 and Aura Sync RGB Lighting

Pros: - Like the RGB options, even though I'll probably look at the lights for 5 mins, and then never again - like the fan headers - plenty to go around - like the BIOS configuration and customization options - like FanXpert 4 software - like that it supports 1st through 3rd Gen Ryzen, and 1st through 2nd Gen Ryzen's with graphics - The board has a setting, DOCP - enabling this allows you to use the XMP profile on the QVL memory to achieve memory OC timings easily without having to manually set everything. This wasn't intuitive in the instructions anywhere, so maybe it's common sense for most everyone else. This being my first AMD build since Athlon X2, it wasn't to me.

Cons: - don't care for the new tiny fan the x570 requires on the southbridge, but everyone has that, so not ASUS' fault necessarily, so not deducting eggs for that. I had one on an old Nvidia E* branded board back when SLI was a brand new thing. When the fan went out - GRIND CITY - hated that I had to replace that fan every year or so. Hopefully these fans are better now.

Overall Review: I've been an ASUS customer (not fanboy) since 1994 with my first ASUS 486 motherboard. Had both IDE and SCSI on the board. Pretty cool. Even handled upgrading my 486 DX2-66 to 486 DX4-100 mod chip. With rare exceptions, their products are just about top notch. I've used other brands like M*, G*, E*, and I* boards. They are good too, but when it comes to best features, best quality, best driver support, fan controls, fan headers, ASUS has always delivered. I was intending to buy an X570 to pair with a 3400G Zen +, or 3000 series Zen 2, and for future support/expansion/changes in processors, I decided to go with the X570 instead of an x470. Be aware, as you may already be so informed as I was not, 2200G, 2400G, 3400G, etc - are NOT Zen 2 or really 3rd gen Ryzen processors. The 2x00G is considered a Ryzen 1st gen with graphics, and the 3x00G processor is considered a 2nd gen Ryzen with graphics. I kept looking for 3rd Gen Ryzen with graphics which does not exist yet. Once I figured that out, setting up the mobo, memory, etc became much easier... As far as any changes I would make to the board, not sure that this change could be made, but I don't care for the RAID software. It looks like they are using a Marvel RAID in the x570 which I had previously using in an add-on card. What I hate about it is that to install the Raid software (in Windows anyways) requires installing Apache for you to use the RAID software (like a local website). At least with Intel onboard RAID solutions, you don't need a Website/Apache install to make it work (don't like leaving extra ports open). I know I can mitigate the ports/apache concern, I just hate having to deal with that for an out of the box solution. I'm NOT deducting eggs for that though. Would I buy it again? Yeah, I would. It's still a great board. My setup I am building to replace a light use i7-4770K, 16GB RAM, GTX 470, with just this board, Ryzen 5 3400G, and 16GB of 3200 memory (Ryzen's like fast memory). For easy memory overclocking, enable DOCP and then select the memory XMP config in the BIOS (if using OC memory that has XMP). I didn't know what DOCP was on an AMD board, no real instructions suggesting I use that, and I found it through trial and error. Not taking eggs off for that either.

Most Critical Review

Good product, some issues

Belkin F7C030fc WeMo Light Switch
Belkin F7C030fc WeMo Light Switch

Pros: Wifi connected IP driven solution to turn off and on your lights and even use some scheduling settings and IFFTT for when you need them. Ease to install and looks good with other Leviton products installed. Works with Android and iPhone.

Cons: Could be my router or home design, but distance wise with all of my WeMo products, I don't get a lot of distance from my router out of it. You may need to install a wireless access point or repeater for farther reaches in your home. The Android app, before you install it, warns that it wants access to your location, your phone calls, your protected storage, contacts, etc. Why an app that I use to turn off and on lights at or away from home would have to allow Belkin to see my phone calls and location is beyond me. For the fact that I am privacy conscious about my Android apps, I give the unit -2 eggs for poor design and requirements. I contacted Belkin about this and got the standard answer, "We'll look into this". Never heard back from them. Too bad because it's a decent product and functions as designed.

Overall Review: I like this product, and fortunately, have access to both iPhone and Android, so I just use the iPhone app to avoid all the privacy concerns on the Android side of things. If Belkin were to fix that issue, and only require what's needed - storage and network access - then 5 eggs easy! Android users, beware. To be fair, the Andorid and iPhone app worked fine for me, though some on the Google play store suggested otherwise.

12/11/2013

Hopefully still works

Toshiba 16TB Enterprise HDD SATA 6.0Gb/s 512e 7200 RPM 512MB Cache 3.5" Internal Hard Drive MG08ACA16TE
Toshiba 16TB Enterprise HDD SATA 6.0Gb/s 512e 7200 RPM 512MB Cache 3.5" Internal Hard Drive MG08ACA16TE

Pros: - This model Toshiba enterprise drive received high marks in a fail study compared to other major brands. - 16 TB HDD

Cons: *** EDITED 6/22/2022: *** Another user posted how well packed his drives were more recent than my first review. I ordered two more drives and they arrived today. I would like to say that Newegg has turned around their packing procedures of the drives from my last review. They were packed in plastic cases, then bubble wrapped, then but in a small box, then those boxes were packaged into a larger box with bubble wrap and air bags to help keep the boxes from moving. MONSTER IMPROVEMENT and the perfect way, in my opinion, on one perfect way to ship drives safely. Thanks Newegg. - tricked me into thinking these were retail based on the sticker on the drive in the Newegg pictures, but these ARE OEM drives. I'm okay with OEM, just not when I think they are something else. Someone did point out that these are not sold in a retail channel, so these would only come as OEMs. - Packaging was substandard (see pics). Newegg shipped it in a box that could hold 2-3 motherboard boxes. It was shipped with the air packs, and was not sufficient to hold the drives in place. One of the plastic containers the drive came in was damaged (Newegg box was in tact, so either they tossed it in the box this way, or they moved around so much in shipping, that it shredded the plastic. The pieces were in the box so it wasn't like that on the shelf at Newegg warehouse. In the past, when buying OEM drives, Newegg would ship them in a (approx) 4x6x3 box, with plastic holders for the drive, shipped in antistatic bags, and held in the box with hard foam cushioning the drives and preventing them from moving freely in the box. This is the first time ever that I received substandard shipping from Newegg and I am disappointed - hoping it's one off.

Overall Review: *** EDITED 6/22/2022: *** Another user posted how well packed his drives were more recent than my first review. I ordered two more drives and they arrived today. I would like to say that Newegg has turned around their packing procedures of the drives from my last review. They were packed in plastic cases, then bubble wrapped, then but in a small box, then those boxes were packaged into a larger box with bubble wrap and air bags to help keep the boxes from moving. MONSTER IMPROVEMENT and the perfect way, in my opinion, on one perfect way to ship drives safely. Thanks Newegg. I'm adding back one egg, but that egg is based on NEWEGG. The drives get 5 eggs. Maybe I am not being fair marking 3 eggs since the review should be about the product, not how they ship? These were bought/shipped from Newegg, not a third party seller at Newegg. I have requested Newegg send replacements, but they can't guarantee that the replacements will ship any differently. So I have to decide to either keep drives that could have been damaged in shipping (first batch or second batch) or just return them. I know, if you buy them from a brick and mortar store, who's to say that store didn't drop the drives/shipping box on the ground before stocking them, I know, but perhaps unfairly, I expected better from Newegg as I considered them a trusted place to buy. I am hoping this is a one off and I will continue to buy from Newegg, but if this persists, I may have to look elsewhere to purchase sensitive hardware like hard drives. For the Toshiba drive itself, I like the price, I like that these are enterprise drives, like third party website ratings of the Toshiba drives as it pertains to fail rate and quality when compared to big name competition (new drives, some older models didn't fair so well), and I bought these to mirror (software RAID, Linux MDADM) for redundancy purposes for the data I will store on them. I like that their operating dB levels appear to be on par with other drives, but quieter than some others.

GREAT PRODUCT in a tiny package

ASRock DESKMINI X300W AMD X300 1 x HDMI Barebone System
ASRock DESKMINI X300W AMD X300 1 x HDMI Barebone System

Pros: - small (about the size of a standard ATX power supply - see pics compared to modified Brix and standard OEM PSU) - compact - quiet (even under load, when paired with an aftermarket CPU cooler) - CPU, memory, storage, wifi/BT upgradeable - supports up to a Ryzen 7, 4750G (if you can find one on the gray market) - supports up to 64GB of 3200Mhz DDR4 - supports 2x m.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 slots (used WD Black NVMe PCIe 3.0x4, Windows installed in less than 5 mins from USB 3.0 stick) - supports 2x SATA III ports - supports WIFI/BT via m.2 slot - supports aftermarket CPU cooler up to 46mm (Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 is probably best solution) - has two 4pin PWM Fan ports on the motherboard - has 3 USB 3.0, 1x USB C, and 2x USB 2.0 (via optional cable) - supports up to three monitors via VGA, Displayport 1.2, and HDMI - Supports 4K UHD on Displayport and HDMI [UPDATED 3/15/2022: I upgraded the BIOS to version 1.70 (you MUST do this if you want to upgrade your unit to the latest processors BEFORE you replace the processor, although ASRock appears to offer a quick solution to upgrade the BIOS if you are not able to do it first or you just bought this and a new processor with an older BIOS), replaced the Ryzen 5-3400G with a Ryzen 7, 5700G and replaced the 16GB of RAM with 32GB of GSkill RAM. See what I mean about upgradable? Although the Ryzen 5700G uses a Vega 8 compared to the Vega 11 in the 3400G, it still performs better than the Vega 11 due to improvements in architecture and specs. The 5700G is 8 cores, 16 threads and I am now able to Play Diablo 2 Resurrected on the X300w at 1080P, medium to high graphics settings. I also did this to get some extra cores and memory for my VMware virtual machines. WOAH! It is a such a powerful package in a small case. Its quiet, doesnt generate a lot of heat, plays games like you would expect with the Vega 11 GPU on the 3400G. USB 3.0 and SSD speeds are great I didnt officially test them, but based that assessment on how little I have to wait to complete disk or USB media operations. With the L9a cooler, USB optional cable, memory, and the WD SSD, I spent about $520 + tax. For that, I got a machine that met all my needs its quiet, 4 cores, 8 threads, Vega 11 graphics, plays Minecraft, Diablo 2, No Mans Sky, plays MP3s, surfs the web, scans and prints documents, plays/streams movies in high def (and 4K if you have a 4K screen), can attach up to 3 monitors with: - VGA (1920x1200@60hz) - Display Port (1.2 4Kx2K@60hz) - HDMI (4Kx2K@60hz) - support 4K UHD with HDMI and Displayport ...runs VMware, reads external media and hard drives, charges devices, and has Wifi/BT. Unlike Brix or NUCs, I can change out the processor in the future, up to Ryzen 7, 4750G (8 cores, 16 threads, 65w, Vega 8 (comparable to a 1050) [update 3/15/2022: you can now upgrade up to a AMD Ryzen 7, 5700G but you will need BIOS version 1.70), I can upgrade to 64GB of 3200mhz RAM, I can add up to 2x m.2 NVMe (maybe non-NVMe too, didnt test that) SSD drives, and up to 2x SATA III drives for a total of 4x storage ports this is the perfect non-external GPU solution you could buy for the needs I outlined above. You might be able to add an external graphics card by using a m.2 wifi to external graphics card module, external power, and maybe up to a 1650 Nvidia, (PCIe 3.0 x1 max transfer rate), but Ive not seen that done on this box (seen it done on the BRIXs, but its possible). This was well worth the money and will be happy to use this as my daily personal machine. Granted, a laptop could have provided a more portable experience, but I dont need portability, and a laptops cooling solution is either non-existent or too loud, has limited expansion (compared to the X300), and has a bigger foot print because of the keyboard and monitor. The X300 fits all my needs from placement and size, to sound levels, heat (or lack of heat) generation, and usability. I would definitely buy another one of these should I find another use for one in the future.

Cons: - had problems getting the slot 2 m.2 and wifi module screws to go in. Took me 20 minutes. Slot 1, m.2, had no issues. Not marking off for this, I'm not a novice, but never had this problem before, BUT THEY DID EVENTUALLY FIT - USB 2.0 cable/port doesn't come with the unit, have to buy separately - you should get this especially if you expect to plug in lots of devices. I am using KVM USB 2.0 and external sound solution on the USB 2.0 ports, an external drive dock, a USB 3.0 powered hub, and charging my cell on the USB C port, so needed the extra USB 2.0 ports). - WIFI/BT module was the AC-3168 (ASRock states that the unit comes with either the AC-3168 or AX-200 Wifi/BT modules. Wished I had gotten the AX-200 option or went with the X300 (non-W) model and purchased my own wifi/BT module. Not marking off for this, it was on their website, so I knew I could end up with AC-3168

Overall Review: # Intro: Needed a machine that surfs the Internet, streams shows or movies, can listen to music, play old games like Diablo 2, Starcraft, GOG games, Minecraft, or some newer titles like No Mans Sky and does it all quietly. Will be replacing Gigabyte Brix BxI7-5775 whos OEM blower fan at 5/6000 RPM, is getting louder and louder (sounds like a vacuum cleaner). Lastly, wanted something I can upgrade over time to improve performance. I looked at the ASRock A300, 310, and 110 series DeskMinis, and was so close to pulling the trigger on getting one for over a year, and then coward out at the last minute for fear of wife aggro on spending more money on a small machine (I used the excuse of electricity savings and wear and tear savings when I bought the Brix). Got a bee in my bonnet again and started looking at the A300 Im an Intel guy, but built my wife an x570 with Ryzen 5, 3400G last year and its been phenomenal, its whisper quiet, and cool. So, I started looking at the A300W (wanted the wireless for the Bluetooth, the non-W model is the same, just doesnt come with the wireless, but you can add that later). While I was looking, I accidentally stumbled across the X300 series. I went with this and a Ryzen 5, 3400G, 1TB WD Black NVMe m.2 PCIe 3.0x4 drive, and 16GB of 3200Mhz GSkill ram and purchased the USB 2.0 optional cable (which I highly recommend doing if you have a decent amount of peripherals to connect) # Unboxing: Nothing special to report about unboxing its packaged, it comes out, well protected. The X300W model does not come with the wifi preinstalled, you have to install it yourself which should not be a big deal. I wish I had gone with the non-W model for the X300 as mine came with the AC-3168 wifi/bt module. The lottery also offers a AX-200 model which is faster. I could have just got the X300 model and bought my own Wifi/bt module later. Somebody likened the unit to a standard ATX power supply in terms of size. They arent lying. It really is that way. Its bigger than the lower end Intel NUCs and Gigabyte Brix machines, but not by that much. I also read that these ASrock models dont have an actual chipset, so all connections lead to the processor. Thats not bad considering you have 3 USB 3.0 ports, 1x USB 3.1 port, (optional) 2x USB 2.0 ports, onboard GPU, 2x SATA III ports, 2x m.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 SSD ports, and a m.2 wifi module port, and even looks like it supports a COM/serial port if you can buy the cable (it has a punch out on the case for it). # Building/Assembling/First Impressions: Ive got fairly big hands, but surprisingly, I didnt feel cramped. The motherboard slides out on rails and removes from the case to work on it. The motherboard itself is attached to the tray by 4x regular sized (like case) screws. They are easy to access and remove. One M.2 slot (slot1) and the M.2 wifi slot are situated on the top of the motherboard, easily accessible. Unfortunately, slot 2 M.2 is located on the bottom of the motherboard, so to access it, you will have to remove the motherboard from the tray to install it. I would recommend putting your primary hard drive on the second slot (underneath the motherboard). This way, in the future, if you add another one, you can add it to the easily accessible one on top of the board without having to remove the motherboard off of the MB tray. The X300, comes with the standard fan mounting brackets on each side, and a heat sink and small fan. I never gave the small fan a chance. It looked like a slight upgrade from a motherboard chipset cooling heatsink and fan. I went with the Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 cooler which comes in at about 36mm with 92x14mm fan (46mm is the max CPU cooler height for the X300, so a 25mm thick fan wont fit). I dont know why, but I had trouble with the m.2 screws and it took me 20 minutes to get the m.2 installed underneath the motherboard (slot2) and the wifi module m.2 on top. The top m.2 slot1 screw went right in with no issues. The BIOS is simple, but has some customizations for overclocking the CPU and RAM (minor adjustments). # Testing: Ran Furmark at 1280x720 default settings for 5 mins. Hit about 55* C at the hottest during the test with the L9a cooler. Using HWInfo64 though, it said the motherboard temp was over 105* C. I dont know if thats accurate or not, but has me a little concerned for longevity or any weak soldering points that might come undone under sustained hot temps. Will want to keep an eye on that. For testing the processor cores, I used Prime95, disabled the AVX2 feature in the Small FFT test. I ran the test for about 10 minutes. With the L9a cooler, I never did hear the fan (it sits under my desk on the floor, standing up right). Temps hit about 84*C at its hottest, and then all of a sudden cooled down to 78*C and stayed there for the duration of the test. As soon as I cancelled the test, it immediately cooled down to 47*C, and final idle temps are around 37*C.

Excellent job of thermal management

be quiet! 250W TDP Dark Rock Pro 4 CPU Cooler with Silent Wings - PWM Fan - 135 mm LGA 1700 Compatible
be quiet! 250W TDP Dark Rock Pro 4 CPU Cooler with Silent Wings - PWM Fan - 135 mm LGA 1700 Compatible

Pros: - Everything Included (EIC) to install (thermal paste, hardware, even a special long screw driver for mounting the cooler - Black/stealthy look - dual fans included, mounting hardware for a third (optional fan, third fan not included) - Tested on builds up to Intel 11th Gen (me personally) - comes with Intel and AMD mounting hardware - Mounting to the back of the motherboard with included back plate is sturdy

Cons: - somewhat challenging to install in certain computer cases, especially where your power supply is mounted on the bottom of the case giving you even less room up top. Not knocking off eggs for that. - non-LED fans

Overall Review: Preface: I actually bought one of these back in 2018 when I was building my i7-8700K. After installing it, the cooler would twist about 5-10% back and forth. I contacted BeQuiet who said don't worry about it, it should be fine. I didn't accept that and returned it. Since then, I have installed these on friends' systems which much success. My son purchased this too. The latest one I installed was on a i7-11700K and it handled the heat remarkably well given the thermals given off by that processor (watts used). I decided to give it another chance. I thought I was having a CPU cooling fan issue (scraping the sides of the fan frame), so decided to replace my cnps14x. My cnps14x had the one included fan and one optional fan. For some reason, and I don't know why, I installed an Excalibur 2000rpm airflow fan as my secondary fan in push configuration. Don't ask my why, what I was thinking, or how it continued that way. I would never use an air flow fan for a static pressure fan. Only thing I can think of was that I was planning on testing to see if airflow vs static pressure would make a difference and then forgot to test and forgot about the fan installed. The instructions are decent, but they lack some detail (in my opinion) for diagrams that beginners may have a little trouble with (like the orientation of the mounting brackets on each side of the processor after you attach the CPU backplate support. I had to do a quick test mount to see which way those two brackets get oriented - maybe I'm just whining, but not knocking off points for that). Once you mount the backplate, and the CPU mounting brackets, it's time to mount the CPU cooler. To do this, you have to remove the center CPU cooling fan. I recommend in cramped motherboards, you use a small 4x pin fan header extension cable before mounting the cooler if you can manage the extra wire (tie straps). If not, it's not impossible, but for someone with big hands, it's a challenge. On my Maximus X Code, I attached the CPU fan first, before mounting the cooler itself (the CPU primary fan header is slightly obscured by the cooler and difficult to get to after the fact by the large heat sinks/plastic bezel of the Maximus motherboard. I also decided to reattach the included secondary fan, installed in the push config, to rotate it 90% so that the excess fan cable isn't bulging out/getting in the way of the fans. Rotating it used up the fan cable slack which is another reason I needed to install the fan header before mounting the cooler. Once you mount the cooler, you need the included long screwdriver with the mounting bar (to connect to the two CPU mounting brackets). It's a little tough getting the screw in, but I got it with perseverance (not marking off because of my big hands). Lastly, install the center fan (make sure you install it in the correct orientation (fan is marked with the air flow direction). First I fed through the CPU cable, attached it, and then fed the fan through the center. Used the included brackets to secure the fan to the cooler - DO NOT USE anything but your fingers to detach/attach the fan brackets - doing so may scratch off the finish/paint off of the cooler fins - won't damage it, but doesn't look good - this happened to me on the first one I bought. Keep in mind what I said earlier I added an airflow fan instead of a static pressure fan to my cnps14x cooler. That being said, testing using Prime95 Blended test (3rd test option), using Artic MX4 paste (nothing wrong with BeQuiet included paste, I just used my own), and RealTempGT I noticed that over the cnps14x dual fan install, with fan control set to auto, that the temps after 5, 7, and 8 mins reached between 67 and 72*C between the 6 cores. This was almost identical to the cnps14x cooling performance with Antec 7 paste, so no real improvement. I tested again, but this time, set all fans to 100%. Temps ranged from 55 to 63*C after 8 mins. This was an improvement over the cnps14x which had temps between 60* and 64*C at 100% fan usage. Also, at rest, fans on auto, the temps were around 29/30*C with the Dark Rock Pro 4. Ambient temps were around 68*F In summary, I probably didn't need to upgrade my cooler. The cnps14x was doing a fine job even with one hand tied behind its back (the addition of the air flow fan versus a proper static pressure fan). Still, this install on the same motherboard, same chip from 2018, went perfectly and there was no twisting of the CPU cooler once installed. I'm not marking off any eggs for this cooler because I didn't need to buy it - that's on me. The DRP4 does it's job and I'm happy with that. It received 5 eggs from me for it's sturdiness, looks, fan/cooling ability, reasonable installation skill requirement, and pricing. If you are on a budget, consider the cnps14x or the Neptwin V2 coolers as I feel they do just as good of a cooling job, are decently sturdy, and more cost efficient, but I would buy a DRP4 again

12/10/2021

Good price, good product, works perfectly

ADATA 32GB UV128 USB 3.2 Gen 1 Flash Drive (AUV128-32G-RBY)
ADATA 32GB UV128 USB 3.2 Gen 1 Flash Drive (AUV128-32G-RBY)

Pros: - small (not the smallest), retractable - fast (or fast enough) - price when purchased in multiple pack deal

Cons: - no LED/status light to let you know it's plugged in and working - WAH! :) Not deducting egg for this since it's still a great price

Overall Review: I use these for handing out to people when they want a video, some pictures, etc. If I don't get it back, I'm out a few bucks. I started using ADATA back in the early 2000s when I bought an external USB 40GB HDD from them (looked like a green tank). They had the best price. Never had a problem with the unit. Since then, I haven't done much with them, but lately, the Newegg pricing on USB Flash Drive multipacks have been too good to pass up and so I stock up on them (I lose them, I give them away, etc). Price/Performance is perfect for what I use them for (mainly transferring some files between machines or giving it to someone and not caring if I get it back or not). I keep buying them. My son and I love them.