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TRENDnet TEW-824DRU AC1750 Dual Band Wireless Router with StreamBoost Technology
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • neweggOwned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Wired GigE performance was fairly good with Cat5e cables. Using LAN Speed Test (Lite), data rates on a 1000 MB file transfer from PC to PC yielded 759 Mbps down and 710 Mbps up.

Unit looks nice, a bit on the big side but nice. No external antennae to fumble with, but wireless signal was pretty good despite there being internal antennae.

Firmware GUI is fairly nice; most of it is organized fairly well. Some things take a bit of digging to find, but most features are there and selectable/changeable.

Cons: Unfortunately I must echo Yunchang K.'s review and issues and state that with my unit, WiFi did not work; same as his. Despite trying several devices, I could not get anything to successfully connect to the router. This problem was further compounded by the fact that the WiFi passwords on the sticker of the bottom of the unit as well as the sticker on the plastic bag the router was in were both incorrect; upon logging into the Admin management console of the router, I discovered the default passwords were set to 1234567890 instead of 29452400037 as written on the label and stickers of the unit. Even after trying both of these passwords, changing the password to something else and trying that, and even tweaking the WiFi settings to use TKIP+AES, trying different channels, and even turning off WiFi security completely (setting it to Open), I still could not get anything to connect. I even tried updating the firmware (from 1.00 to 1.01b01) and did a factory reset on the device and the WiFi still would not connect on several Samsung smartphones, an Asus tablet, and an HP laptop.

StreamBoost made absolutely no difference on my ping rates or connection while playing games, and that was one of the features I was most hopeful that would work well and be a difference maker. I played several matches of Depth's Blood & Gold mode, wrote down my ping on each, using both my currently-used router (Buffalo WZR-1750DHPD) and the TEW-824DRU. My pings still averaged 55ms. Maybe StreamBoost works better on a slower connection, but at this point I think of it more as a marketing fluff and nothing otherwise substantial enough; definitely not enough for me to recommend purchasing this router over any other because my testing showed that it made no difference.

Other nitpicks – a total lack of LED lights (Power and Internet, that's it – nothing to indicate data transfer, nothing that showed WiFi or Ethernet status or activity), and the power cord seems a bit on the short side.

Other Thoughts: TRENDnet does offer DD-WRT based firmware for the TEW-824DRU, however, as their page states “Use of this firmware voids the product warranty.” which is a very negative stance to take. It's great that the option is there, but I think it's rather harsh that a company would void the product warranty by using firmware they provide to you, just because it's not necessarily 100% theirs. I thought about flashing my unit to the TRENDnet-provided DD-WRT build (v3-r27722) to see if the WiFi would work afterwards, but I think that's a stretch to force people to go through (especially since it voids the warranty) to get the unit to have working WiFi.

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TP-LINK TL-PA8010P KIT HomePlug AV2 MIMO AV1200 Gigabit Pass-through Powerline Starter Kit, up to 1200Mbps
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • neweggOwned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: * Practically no set up necessary - plug and play. (Other than hitting the 'Pair' button on both modules.)

* Has a plug pass-through so you can plug a device into the adapter and not take up the outlet.

* Works fine with our existing wiring (home built in 1993), and adapters will find each other across different circuits which is something I've seen other powerline adapters NOT do.

* Lights on the side of the adapters easily indicate power, 'pair' status, and physical ethernet link status. (Link light does not blink to indicate network activity, however.)

Cons: * Maybe it's my electrical wiring, but -
The performance is very underwhelming, considering the "up to 1200Mbps" claims. I was not able to replicate this, not even close.

The best speeds I was able to obtain were with the adapters 'alone', with nothing else plugged into them. If you do plug something into them, the performance can drop quite a lot depending on how much electricity is being passed through.

- With nothing plugged into the adapters, the average Speedtest.net result was 133.62 Mbps download and 4.33 Mbps upload, nearly matching my wired ethernet GigE results (134.62 Mbps down and 4.31 Mbps up).

However, in testing actual data transfer capabilities using LAN Speed Test (Lite) v1.3.1, the non-piggybacked adapter got 94.67 Mbps down and 101.77 Mbps up which is a far cry from the supposed maximums of 1200 Mbps. Even worse, these results are only 14% and 15.5% of the actual ratings I get over GigE (816.31 Mbps down and 843.66 Mbps up).

* When I piggybacked my computer setup onto the adapter, doing as the manual shows which is plugging the adapter into the wall, and then plugging your power strip into the adapter - the performance suffers even greater losses. I tested this way with 2 methods - a low PC load and a typical/higher PC load. Low load was @ idle desktop; higher load was done while running Unigine Heaven in the background and testing.

- Low power draw load, Speedtest.net results dropped 32% to 91.61 Mbps down. (Upload performance was identical and did not suffer.) LAN Speed Test performance was even worse, with losses of 43% worse on download (@ 67.11 Mbps) and 28% worse on upload (@ 91.11 Mbps) compared to the non-piggybacked results.

- High draw load was even worse. Speedtest results dropped 46% to 73.11 Mbps down. (Upload performance was identical and did not suffer.) LAN Speed Test performance was identical on download to the low power draw results, but dropped 48% on upload (@ 65.74 Mbps) compared to the non-piggybacked results.

* Adapters are a bit on the big side - when plugged in, it will extend out 1 7/8" from the wall.

* Maybe it's just my outlets, but if I plug this in to the bottom outlet, the top outlet is barely usable. The top of the adapter sits nearly flush with the bottom of the ground receptacle, so there's no physical way to plug a grounded (3 prong) plug into an outlet (in tandem) with the adapter plugged in. Phone charger or a standard non-grounded 2 prong plug would be OK.

Other Thoughts: * All testing methodologies above were done on 1 computer, using Chrome (stable) (64-bit) for the Speedtest.net results, and with LAN Speed Test (Lite) transferring a 1 GB (1000 MB file) from my primary PC to a secondary PC in the living room. When testing the GigE results, this includes the primary PC being plugged into an 8 port GigE switch which is plugged into a GigE router; all wiring is Cat5e. When testing the results with these adapters, I plugged adapter to switch (out of 1 room) and adapter to router (into other room), again using Cat5e, and unplugged the Cat5e link between switch and router which left the Powerline adapters as the sole 'link' between the two. All NICs used are 10/100/1000 adapters.

* All things considered, I give this Powerline Starter Kit a solid 4 eggs out of 5. Very easy to set up and works well...but again is not offering bandwidth anywhere near the claims so I'm deducting 1 egg for that. TP-LINK does offer 'Nano' adapters that are smaller, so if you need more (surrounding) outlet room, you may want to consider those instead.

* Piggybacked performance may be better with lower power devices plugged into the pass-through; however, as I tested them (with my PC & accessories behind), the performance of using that outlet pass-through is a *very* big hit.

* TP-LINK makes great products! I have several other products of theirs, received from NewEgg. All are built very well and offer very good performance at good prices.

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AMD Radeon SSD Radeon R7 2.5
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • neweggOwned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Branded as an AMD product, the SSD is actually manufactured by OCZ who is now owned by Toshiba. Despite having some longevity and reliability issues in the past, since OCZ is now a part of Toshiba, they should return to their glory days of being a company that manufactures reliable drives.

The 4 year "ShieldPlus" warranty on this drive gives you advance replacement RMA, meaning they ship you a new replacement drive (at their cost) to you, and include a return label to ship your defective drive back (also at their cost). You don't need to keep a receipt or invoice, as you can simply provide the serial # off the drive for warranty support. These are great additions, because in most cases when you have a failed drive, you have to pay to ship in the dead drive, wait for receipt, and then wait for the replacement to arrive (which is typically a refurbished drive itself). This puts their ShieldPlus warranty and support head and shoulders above the other drive manufacturers out there.

It has 480GB of SSD goodness. If that doesn't tickle your fancy and give you the warm fuzzy feelies, then you're not a real geek. 480GB should be enough to hold a fully updated Windows install, a couple dozen applications, and probably a dozen or so AAA game releases while still having some room left to spare (which is really key in an SSD's life - having some available empty space).

Overall build quality is excellent. It's also heavy for an SSD; feels like a brick in comparison to my Crucial M4 128GB SSD which feels like a deck of cards. No moving parts obviously, but it feels put together well. Plastic/aluminum body does not feel cheap or flimsy.

Drive is very fast, as advertised. 550 MB/s sequential read, 530 MB/s sequential write - my test results were very close to this. Using SATA 6Gb/s on a GA-Z97X-SLI motherboard, with AS SSD, I achieved 509.89 MB/s read and 484.14 MB/s write. With CrystalDiskMark, they were even closer, at 549.8 MB/s read and 521.3 MB/s write. With ATTO, the 8,192 results were 546.588 MB/s read and 516.222 MB/s write. Again, nearly identical to what is advertised.

Windows 10 Professional 64-bit boot time went from 9 seconds to 7 seconds compared to my Crucial M4. This is a far cry from the 33 seconds of a 7200 RPM standard platter drive.

The Radeon SSD Guru software downloaded from the website (ocz.com/consumer/download) is a good piece of software, very lightweight, and shows a lot of good information about the drive including overall health, storage utilization, showing you if it's optimally set up in your system (if it's using SATA 6 and AHCI mode), as well as being able to check for firmware updates. Software installed and works fine under Windows 10, and takes up a minimal amount of space.

Drive includes a 3.5" tray to use in computer cases without a native 2.5" spot for SSD's, and a free license for Acronis True Image 2013 to easily handle cloning your current physical platter drive onto the new SSD.

Cons: Minor quibble is that you're getting Acronis True Image 2013 instead of 2015 or even 2014. Obviously you can also use other freely available tools; I like Macrium Reflect myself which is also free for home users. There are other choices, obviously, like Clonezilla, DriveImageXML, and AOMEI Backupper. However, since many SSD's don't even come with any disk cloning software whatsoever (while this one at least comes with something), I'm not deducting an egg for this.

Other Thoughts: I've been down on OCZ products ever since owning my 1st SSD, a Vertex 30GB. It was a great drive for the first 10 months, and then it essentially quit working. I've avoided OCZ SSD's since then, and have been vocal in any opinion seeking articles or posts and have told people to avoid their products.

Now that they are a part of Toshiba, and I've been able to use this R7 drive, I can definitely see where they have made great strides in offering good quality products again and I'm not longer going to hesitate to suggest them or recommend them. The ShieldPlus warranty, coupled with the SSD Toolkit application, makes this a really good SSD product here. Couple that with the performance near what they claim, and the good price comparatively, and this is a fantastic SSD. I would not hesitate to recommend this drive to anyone looking for a good SSD, and I think it should remain a reliable component in your computer for years to come.

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Nick C.'s Profile

Display Name: Nick C.

Date Joined: 08/08/01

Achievements:

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  • Reviews: 69
  • Helpfulness: 38
  • First Review: 07/31/07
  • Last Review: 11/27/15
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