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GIGABYTE GA-Z170X-UD5 TH LGA 1151 Intel Z170 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

Pros: This is the third Gigabyte motherboard that I've been sent for review. This board is "sturdy". For the over two decades I've been building and repairing computers I've gotten used to the crunchy, creaky crackle of motherboards flexing. No matter how careful you are there will always be some flex. When installing large heavy heatsinks, for instance, the motherboard is always under a lot of stress. Installing RAM, video cards, etc. always makes the boards sound like krispy treats. The "Ultra Durable" Gigabyte boards on the other hand are far more sturdy than the motherboards that I've become accustomed to with little to no flex. This may seem rather frivolous when dealing with a computer component but in my reviews I try to point out the attributes that stand out no matter how relevant to the product's primary function.

I really like the UI of the bios on Gigabyte boards and this one is no exception. The tab that displays the board's current settings/specs such as voltages and timings is very handy and intuitive. Gigabyte's Easytune allows for quick and "easy" overclocking and there are advanced settings for more hands-on or adept users.

I love the onboard post display and the power and reset switches. They allow for easy/simple/quick testing and troubleshooting. This is a fantastic board for both casual users and enthusiasts.

The fact this board has Thunderbolt (the new USB type c) connector mainly seems to be a selling feature at this point as I have been unable to find an accessory that I can actually justify purchasing. The speeds of the new USB port and the fact that it is reversible (no more flipping the USB plug over five times to get it plugged in correctly) will be amazing and I am excited for when this becomes the standard. For now the ports this board comes with will make it remain relevant for a long time.

Cons: It seems to be common with Gigabyte for the board's internal SATA/USB/etc. ports to be set up horizontally instead of vertically which can make it somewhat difficult to connect cables in smaller or cases with a less-than-common layout. For instance I've had problems with all of my Gigabyte boards and my bottom-mount PSU computer cases. This isn't a deal-breaker for any board but I felt it necessary to notate the fact as a con. It should also be noted that this particular problem stands out because it was the only "con" I have come across.

Other Thoughts: RAM has been an issue for me as I've had a problem with the set I bought for testing my boards even though it was on Gigabyte's list of supported memory. I have been unable to determine yet whether it is a problem specific to the particular brand of board (in this case, Gigabyte) or the RAM itself. Definitely do some research and try to go with a brand you know for certain has been tested with this particular board. In this case I have been having some issues with Corsair Vengeance LPX 32gb kit in 2666.

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My Cloud Business Series DL4100 4-Bay Pre-configured 8 TB NAS with Intel processor
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

Pros: The size of this device for what it can do is incredible! It has an incredibly small footprint and could fit on a desktop if needed. I managed to hide it behind a 24 inch monitor on a desktop. It also seems to be quite light on power consumption. I have it plugged into a rather small UPS and when our power went out the system continued chugging along for nearly 15 minutes before finally shutting itself down. The DL4100 has an LCD display that gives a brief status of different system information like active network connection and storage status. The system came set up for RAID 5, which is perfect as it protects against the failure of a drive to protect the integrity of your data. Setting the system up was VERY easy. I literally just plugged the device in, connected it to my network, and installed the iPhone app and was on my way to backing up my data. I used this device mainly through OS X Yosemite and it was a breeze. I was able to backup my music and movies with relative ease. I tried to use the device for as long as possible and asked for more time to review the product than the standard two weeks given, but I still have not been able to use all of the options available to this device.

I used to think of myself as a semi-savvy technical guy but after using this device I have been humbled. Though this device would be perfect even for a non-technical person to use as a backup device there are SO MANY options for the advanced user. The different options and settings had me literally rambling to my wife (she is so very patient with my geekiness) about all of the different possibilities of this device. I can share different folders with a simple e-mail of a link, remote access different folders or individual files. I was unable to fully explore the options in the given timeframe for my review (I love being an EggXpert SO MUCH! Newegg is a geek's motherland and being able to review these products is like CANDYLAND!) even having asked for an extension.

You can upgrade the system's RAM all the way up to 6GB (though the included 2GB has been plenty for what I've been using it for). There is a USB port that you can connect a USB hard drive and with the touch of a button do a complete backup. That feature was SO HANDY for all of the different external drives, USB stick drives, and external hard drive cases that I had laying around. I found old pictures I'd completely forgotten about just because I was treating this thing like Johnny-5 (MORE INPUT!).

I can only imagine how amazing this device would be for a small to even a medium-sized business. It can manage networked CAMERAS! I didn't have any compatible cameras to test this feature out on which was one of the main reasons I asked for more time for this review. I only have a baby monitor at the moment and some webcams and none of them were supported, however, WD's website claims to support like 30,000 cameras. I was unable to find any cameras to borrow from my friends and didn't have time to order one before the holidays to test it out but the implications for home security and especially for a business is AMAZING. This little tiny device does things I only thought were possible with one of those giant server racks that fills up an ENTIRE ROOM! Did I mention that I'm totally geeking out here?

Cons: I literally have NOTHING bad to say about this device. It doesn't even have one of those annoying bricks on the end of the plug! There are SO MANY THINGS this little piece of technological heaven can do. I would never have purchased this for myself but after having used it and only BARELY scratched the surface of what it can do I can say with complete confidence that I WAS A FOOL! If you are considering a device to backup your precious data GET THIS NOW. It is absolutely amazing. I know this is the "cons" section but I have turned it into a "Totally Geek Out" section.

Other Thoughts: You can access this device over your mobile devices with apps for your smartphone, tablets, MacBooks, Macs, Windows PC/laptops, Refrigerators (I don't know for sure about that last one...I have heard that there is a Smart Refrigerator with internet access and if that is true I bet you can backup your fridge data to this device).

You can set up to receive mobile alerts as to the status and health of your network.

As a final thought I tried to prepare myself to write a very technical and detailed review but wound up just seeming like some kind of babbling fanboy...which is strange for me because I am not easily "wow'ed". I guess it is just the fact that I have those two or three friends who have built their own servers who talk about all of the amazing things they can do with data storage, managing their networks, etc. that seem like they are setup like some giant business instead of a home computer system and I've always wanted to build myself a setup like what they have...and in the space of FIFTEEN MINUTES and plugging in two wires I have ALL OF THE SAME FEATURES that they do and for a tenth of the price! I believe I may even have GREATER CAPABILITIES! MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA! (Was the evil genius supervillain laugh too much? Yeah...sorry about that.)

If you have a small business...heck even a large business or the desire to setup a reliable and highly organized home network that you can build upon over time and learn and explore and expand upon as you discover more and more amazing features you MUST GET ONE OF THESE THINGS! A friend of mine just started his own business and I have been extolling the virtues of the Western Digital DL4100 to him and I will not stop until he has gotten himself one of these marvelous machines. As always a shoutout to Newegg as well. Hail to the kings and queens of tech, baby!

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NETGEAR A6200-100NAS AC1200 WiFi USB Adapter IEEE 802.11ac, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n USB 2.0 Up to 300 Mbps / 867 Mbps Wireless Data Rates
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • neweggOwned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: This USB wireless adapter is alright. The AC connection works well once set up. It comes with a dock that is on an extended USB cable which is actually quite helpful even if on a laptop (see cons for why). Once connected with the latest drivers I had no disconnects and very fast speeds. This was used on Windows 7 and Windows 10 desktops and a Windows XP laptop.

Cons: This thing is massive. I wouldn't recommend trying to use it on a laptop unless you like the idea of something the size of Andre The Giant's thumb sticking out the side of your laptop. This is where the little wired dock comes in kind of handy but that only helps to keep you from snapping the thing off in your USB if you prefer instead to have Andre The Giant's thumb on a leash sticking out the side of your laptop. The drivers on the disc for Windows 7 and 10 seemed to be the cause of constant disconnects or losing connection completely. I only used them for the purposes of this review otherwise I would have downloaded the latest ones from the internet to begin with. However, what if this adapter is the ONLY THING a person has to get their computer onto the internet? In that case they are going to have a bad time until they can figure out how to get the drivers downloaded from Netgear's website. The driver issues were the main reason for the "3 Egg" rating. Also this product did not list support for Apple devices.

Other Thoughts: I thought the "BEAMFORMING+" printed on the box was a gimmick. I took a laptop outside and with the help of my wife "aimed" the device in different ways towards where my router sits upstairs. Though I never achieved a good connection, by "aiming" the device at my router upstairs I did manage to get a decent connection (B and briefly G speeds) from out at the edge of my driveway. I can only imagine how my wife and I looked to our neighbors. My wife holding a laptop and shouting out numbers like "12! 30! 42! We're at 50!" while I balanced a six-month-old baby in my left arm and aimed Andre the Giant's thumb on a leash at the roof of my house with my right asking, "What about now? And now? How about now?"

The things I do for product reviews.

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Kyle L.'s Profile

Display Name: Kyle L.

Date Joined: 06/08/04

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  • Reviews: 76
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  • First Review: 08/13/04
  • Last Review: 01/24/16
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