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TP-Link Archer CR700 AC1750 Wireless Dual Band DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem Router
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • neweggOwned For: 1 day to 1 week

4 out of 5 eggs As close to ideal as it gets, with one flaw. 12/05/2015

This review is from: TP-Link Archer CR700 AC1750 Wireless Dual Band DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem Router

Pros: I'm not rehashing all the features. But a few highlights are notable:
- There are six internal antennas supporting both omnidirectional and beamforming technology. This means the range and coverage is excellent in a design that hides the antennas keeping the form minimalistic.
- 680 Mbps down maximum capability is great. On my 75/75 Mbps connection, this held consistent performance of 84/82 Mbps. Expected performance, but the consistency was the impressive factor attributable to the dual processors and channel bonding.
- 2.4 Ghz b/g/n had solid performance securing a consistent 58/59 Mbps throughput on n at a distance of 35 feet through multiple walls and up one floor.*
- 5.0 Ghz n/ac meanwhile achieved 112/111 Mbps speeds on the n link and 315/312 Mbps on the ac link in the same environment. This is pretty strong performance.*
- Minimalistic design cues allow for a thin device that blends well with other tech, can be hidden away, or, if worse comes to worst, is minimally disruptive to aesthetics if forced to be in the open.
- Other features I like include the parental controls and of course the guest network. Nothing remarkable here in terms of setup/configuration -- but it's a must have set of features with little kids and visitors always wanting to connect.

Having all of this in one device eliminates clutter, network overhead, wifi over saturation, while eliminating those pesky monthly rental fees from your provider. I'm a big fan of this product for it's convenience, features, aesthetics, and performance and enthusiastically recommend it.

* Advertised speed is marketing jargon. The device advertises AC1750 which is actually N450 + AC1300. Those two numbers are doubled for downstream/upstream. From there, wireless interference and network overhead also limit these theoretical maximums. As such, we're really talking about decent speed from a wifi device all things considered and marketing jargon set aside.

Cons: Manually configuring port forwarding simply doesn't work. The interface crashes every single time. This should be resolved by a simple firmware update but, alas, an RMA is actually required unlike most routers since this is a cable modem, too. Half an egg deducted for this reason. At this price point, all features should work right out of the box or an easy firmware update should be easy to download and apply. That said, since the cost of the item is recuperated through eliminating monthly rental costs, it's less of an issue.

In addition, with a networking device capable of greater than 480 Mbps throughput, why would you add USB 2.0 ports instead of USB 3.0? Sure, plenty of folks may just connect a printer, but others may connect storage devices. It seems like a bit of an oversight especially since some of their other cheaper models include at least 1 USB 3.0 port. Half an egg deducted for this, as well.

Other Thoughts: If you're looking to consolidate devices, eliminate monthly rental fees, and utilize the latest features and standards -- this device is for you. As long as you don't need to manually configure port forwarding.

I don't give out eggs cavalierly, but this product earned all 4 and nearly all 5, except for those two issues noted above.

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GIGABYTE GA-Z170X-UD5 (rev. 1.0) LGA 1151 Intel Z170 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • neweggOwned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: You can read up on all the specs and details, I'm going to focus on specifically what I like and makes this board stand out.

1. The aesthetics are slick and minimalist. If you're into being sleek, this is a pro over other flashier boards. Even the capacitors are all black.
2. Shielding over PCIe connections -- my video cards are heavy -- I love that they've added this to strengthen the interface connections. Big plus in my book to take the strain off the standard plastic components.
3. 1st M.2 port location - this is the money slot. It costs you to fill it but once you do, it pays dividends in performance. If you're looking for load speeds and fast I/O, this is a must in a convenient location.
4. BIOS - very easy to use, no real issues making things work. XMP profiles didn't work flawlessly, but I usually set it all manually anyway.
5. Overlocking - this is what we buy these boards for. Using an i7-6700K I was able to crank to 4.7 stable, rock solid. Any higher was very iffy. You may get through a benchmark but once the temps/volts creep up, the CPU shuts down. Still, it's respectable in my book for the price point of the board.
6. Temps/Power - Just a few years ago we were talking about 1000W+ rigs and running dedicated circuits. The power consumption required has decreased dramatically for the performance obtains. We're only talking loads with maxed out graphics cards in 600-700W range these days. That's a win on my power bill.

All in all, I loved how well this little board performed. A great feature set, very reliable, at a solid price point. I can't recommend this enough for the enthusiast that isn't trying to break their bank account.

Cons: You can read up on all the specs and details, I'm going to focus on specifically what I don't like. All of the items below are not significant, I'd offer they're more nitpicking than cons. No deduction in eggs.

1. Only 4 memory slots. I like 8 -- because more is better, but I get why there aren't 8. So, that said, max out those 4 from the start. Buy once, cry once.
2. Dual-SLI only but 3x Crossfire. I only run Dual-SLI at most. But I like knowing I can slam a third card in if I wanted to get that FPS even higher to max out detail and monitor refresh rates for the most glorious images possible. Again, it comes down to options. But I get the limitations and, at this point, Dual-SLI is more than sufficient. I wouldn't want to add a third card that close to the 2nd anyway for thermal reasons.
3. Voltage measuring points. Terrible location that is almost always inaccessible in a case, for sure, and even on my test bench. That said, no good place to relocate them that doesn't sacrifice access to a more important function like the on-board buttons and LED.
4. 2nd M.2 port location - this is a real pain with big video cards. Plan accordingly. Drink something strong to cope.

Other Thoughts: I'm in this for one thing: raw speed. Otherwise, I just want it to look clean and mean. This board accomplishes both well at a great price point for enthusiasts that want the right components without overpaying.

I don't really care about the bundled software/tools, audio chipset, USB 3.1/Type C, how many USB 3.0 or SATA ports, etc. Raw speed: that means processor, memory, storage using M.2 connections, and the video cards.

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LINKSYS RE6300 AC750 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Range Extender
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • neweggOwned For: 1 week to 1 month

4 out of 5 eggs Finally, a range extender that really works! 11/21/2015

This review is from: LINKSYS RE6300 AC750 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Range Extender

Pros: The device is compact and thoughtfully designed taking minimalistic cues in both aesthetics and packaging. The setup was fairly straight forward and simplified as well.

It will extend a network and improve network speed in distant locations, but what sets this product apart from its predecessors is that it actually provides decent throughput. See other thoughts for details of the real-world test environment.

My assumption here is that the better than expected throughput has to do with solid 5.0 Ghz N300 and AC433 spec performance with dual antennas. Most range extenders have 1 antenna and are limited to 2.4 Ghz that severely limits connectivity especially in congested 2.4 Ghz areas.

Cons: It failed to come anywhere close to 300 Mbps 802.11n speeds, much less 433 Mbps 802.11ac speeds. See other thoughts below for testing results. All in all, it provides a really solid connection but doesn't live up to what the marketing would have you believe.

Finally, the price of the device is steep -- it's in the range of more powerful routers with more reliable hardware/connectivity. So it remains to be seen how well this device competes. That said, the form factor is excellent and the performance is pretty solid. So, I could see spending this for a product that works well and doesn't take up the space of a full size router.

Other Thoughts: The test network is representative of suburban/urban environment with about 14 residential wireless networks in range. The primary testing environment was in a 1st floor room where the 2.4/5 Ghz 802.11b/g/n/ac wireless router was located on the 2nd floor.

I tested the extender connected in the 1st floor room, 1st floor hallway, and 3 locations on the 3rd floor to find the optimal location. I also tested the extender in the same room as the main wireless router. Results are posted below -- the test was run 3 times per scenario and the results, as presented in Mbps, are averaged:

Same Room Baseline:
Direct connection to Wireless Access Point:
156.08 down / 145.32 up / 18 ping
Extender connected to Wireless Access Point:
94.76 down / 86.35 up / 26 ping

Optimum Location between 1st and 2nd Floors:
Direct connection to Wireless Access Point:
152.06 down / 142.23 up / 26 ping
Extender connected to Wireless Access Point:
84.33 down / 80.79 up / 27 ping

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Michael P.'s Profile

Display Name: Michael P.

Date Joined: 07/07/06

Achievements:

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  • Reviews: 80
  • Helpfulness: 33
  • First Review: 09/28/09
  • Last Review: 12/05/15
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