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WD EX2100 (WDBWAZ0000NBK-NESN) My Cloud Expert Series 2-Bay Diskless NAS with Dual-Core Processor
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

Pros: 5 Years ago, 12 TB was not something common for a consumer grade NAS in this form factor.
Fast forward to now, 12 TB isn't enough storage! The more storage you have available to your disposal, the more likely you'll need to increase your capacity further. With the quality of media increasing, the demand for increased storage continues to grow. Substantial amounts of 4K media and high resolution photos will fill up this NAS rather quickly. The included firmware pre-installed on this NAS can handle just about anything you can throw it at. You can also install custom firmware and numerous APIs to increase functionality. You can also switch between different RAID arrays and set up the drives as a JBOD (Just A Bunch Of Drives). The functionality I admired most about this NAS was the inclusion of two gigabit ethernet ports. I was able to set up redundancy (using two CAT6e and 8-Port switch) and increase Reads and Writes to consistent speeds, suitable to the maximum throughput of gigabit ethernet. I configured the drives to run in RAID 1 to avoid any data loss and optimize data redundancy. Because I leave the NAS on 24/7, I'd like to consider using the RAID 1 array as an insurance policy, even though I cut the maximum storage in half. The drives that shipped with the NAS were two identical Western Digital 6TB Reds- excellent drives that serve their purpose well. They're built for 24/7 operation and they do not output much heat compared to other drives. Windows and Macintosh have backup features that work well with this NAS once its setup accordingly.

Cons: It's not entirely plug and play, although, the documentation and software for initial set up is included with the product. I suggest users navigate to Western Digital's webpage and download the updated software and firmware before initially setting up the NAS. The recent firmware upgrades have provided added functionality to the NAS.
I did run into issues when plugging in external drives into the included USB3.0 ports found on the NAS. This NAS is slightly picky when dealing with multiple partition types and boot sectors. It takes some getting used to when navigating through the software interface.

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TP-LINK TC-7610 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

5 out of 5 eggs Solid Carrier OEM Replacement 01/28/2016

This review is from: TP-LINK TC-7610 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem

Pros: When it comes to having a Cable Internet provider, most service providers will lease you their own equipment for use with their service. Some providers will charge you equipment fees. There are limitations to what those devices are capable of in terms of bandwidth and connectivity. This modem will allow you to relinquish the OEM device and remove the monthly equipment fees being charged to your account (be sure to send your provider the old equipment upon activation). Upon receiving this modem, the first step was to power on the modem and establish connectivity via the Coax Cable installed by the ISP. My initial set up from there consisted of directly plugging the modem into a computer via Ethernet. A simple CAT5e/6e cross over cable works perfectly. Certain providers allow modem activation through one of their account webpages. Other carriers will automatically redirect the modem to an activation page once connectivity is established and a web browser is launched (if this is the case, be sure any manual DHCP and DNS settings are removed). If neither option works, calling the ISP and registering the device via MAC address works perfectly. With this modem, the process took a little less than 10 minutes to be completed and connectivity was established. The ISP will dial into the modem and remotely power cycle and activate it. Be advised, some carriers will remotely flash the firmware on the modem with one of their own, assuming they fully support the modem on their infrastructure. Luckily, my carrier did not do so, thus preserving any custom functionality I used from the modem.

Cons: The device gets warm under constant use, but that's expected of any modem. Keep it ventilated if possible.

Other Thoughts: I am currently subscribed to the Charter Spectrum network. My bandwidth throughput averages 60Mb/4Mb, with ping times averaging between 8ms and 22ms. I do tend to see the connection peak higher than the 60Mb I'm subscribed to. I've also noticed that I have 8 Downstream Channels and 4 Upstream, with a maximum connectivity of 200 IPs Incoming/Outgoing. For any users that torrent or use some form of file sharing, I suggest you cap your seeding ratios to a limited number of users and throttling your bandwidth accordingly.
Also on the coaxial connection, try to minimize the number of splitters and devices being tethered onto the hardline before it reaches the tap. I requested my ISP to install a separate line from the outdoor residential tap to the modem, which alleviated a lot of my bottlenecks and service interruptions due to flooding.
Also, as a side note, if you subscribe to VOIP through your ISP, you will have to keep the phone box/modem that runs the service. Speak with your ISP as to how that connectivity will remain established, if necessary.

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GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD5 WIFI LGA 2011-v3 Intel X99 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Extended ATX Intel Motherboard
  • neweggOwned For: more than 1 year

Pros: The Good
When we said that new technology can be future proof, this board met that example when it was released. LGA-2011-v3 support was barely released and taken advantage of. DDR4 ram modules were emerging into the market, and the support for faster storage modules became the number one demand. This motherboard satisfied every demand. The majority of this board can be equipped with expansive components of every territory. Power users could take advantage of every option available. Driver support from Gigabyte as well as chipset vendors has been remarkable. A lot of the features supported by this board are undocumented, however, users like myself that have tested numerous components have submitted their results to various online forums, Newegg, and Gigabyte. Overclocking with this motherboard has been a breeze, while thermal management counterbalances that ease. I suggest that "enthusiasts" looking into overclocking should equip this board with proper components and thermal dissipation techniques.
The built in Wireless Access is powerful and capable, however, be advised that the wireless performance and range will be dependent on how your system is built and the placement of the computer from the access point.
I enjoy using the dual gigabit ethernet functionality of this board. I'm able to isolate each port for different virtual machines that I run.
I also enjoy being able to run two (2) GPUs at full PCIe 3.0 x16 support, however, users should be advised that the CPU being used must be able to support 40 threads in order to allocate 16 threads per GPU.
For added ease, this board included onboard buttons for powering on and restarting the board, clearing the CMOS, booting directly into the BIOS, and a debug LED for any troubleshooting needs.

Cons: The Bad
For starters, I cannot express to users how expensive it was to get parts for this board when it was first released. The fact that DDR4 and LGA 2011-v3 components were fresh on the market meant that those components also came with an added cost. Over time, the costs began to decrease and the component availability increased, making it easier for users to pick and choose what they'd like in their builds.
The moment your system is up and running, booted into BIOS, users should immediately update to the latest BIOS build before proceeding with installing other components and operating systems. I experimented with the Q-Flash functionality and ran into issues that other users had reported: flash media compatibility, incompatible partition structures, corrupted firmware files, ...etc. To clarify for any users reading this and to those that attempt Q-Flash, from my experiences, make sure you use a USB 2.0 device and format it with a FAT-32 partition structure. Anything else (may or may not) be recognized by the utility.
In regards to memory module support, I ran into a few issues regarding memory DIMMs, placement, and configurations. I experimented with Intel's i7 Haswell CPUs as well as their Xeon Server CPUs (Yes, this board supports them too). When using the i7's, XMP profiles were not properly adjusting when enabling the option, thus leading me to having to manually input the configurations. When using the Xeon CPUs, I experimented with ECC and Non-ECC RAM modules, while taking into consideration that the RAM was buffered or unbuffered. Gigabyte's website documents supported RAM modules for both configurations, however those results were not entirely consistent with my initial testing.
M.2 storage medias suffer from the same issues as RAM module support. Experienced users will know that there are currently three socket types for the supported M.2 platform (B, N, B&N) on this motherboard. I was only able to test the B&N M.2 modules due to market availability, and the motherboard failed to recognize half of the cards I tried. It seemed to be a hit or miss issue, even after the BIOS updates were setup. However, once you've configured the M.2 card to be recognized by your system, the next challenge becomes installing an operating system to it.
Although Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and 10 support this motherboard, installing them was not easy by any means. The standard "pop in a disc and boot to it before installing" no longer applied. I've had to experiment with multiple boot discs, flash drives, SD cards, internal and external SATA drives, and etcetera before being able to install those operating systems to the M.2 as well as any PCIe storage options. Pre-configuring the BIOS and slipstreaming drivers into the installers makes the process a lot easier.
Users deciding between power supplies: I suggest you pick a PSU that features multiple high amperage'd 12v rails. For a Crossfire/SLI set up, cards must be on separate rails, including the OC-PEG po

Other Thoughts: I'm not a fan of the IO back-panel backlighting. Thankfully there's an On-Off switch. I have not yet fully tested the thunderbolt features supported by this board. There are not many components currently available on the market that I can afford or use practically, however, I was able to connect to my MacBook Pro with the thunderbolt cable and optional thunderbolt adaptor (sold separately from Gigabyte). File transfers went through quicker than I thought they would.

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Ibrahim H.'s Profile

Display Name: Ibrahim H.

Date Joined: 11/08/05

Achievements:

  • neweggTop 1000 Reviewer
  • newegg100 Reviews
  • Reviews: 140
  • Helpfulness: 56
  • First Review: 03/07/06
  • Last Review: 01/28/16
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