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This review is from: TP-LINK Archer C9 Wireless AC1900 Dual Band Gigabit Router
Pros: + Both power user and new user friendly setup. All now standard options exist.
+ Performance in almost all areas trumped more expensive, better marketed brands. Both solid N and AC throughput.
+ Flawless performance and stability. Absolutely no restarts or performance issues while testing.
+ Great stable ranges with high average throughput numbers up to about 40 feet, maybe up to 50 feet depending on your environment.
+ Hardware on/off buttons for wi-fi and power are a nice touch.
+ Solid customer support with above average warranties for the class of product. Fast, courteous and knowledgeable response times.
Cons: - Underwhelming and disappointing USB performance, but still serviceable at 15-25MBps on USB 2.0 and 18-42MBps USB 3.0 depending on the file/s. A bit average but no where near as astounding as Linksys' 1900AC which were more than double these speeds.
- Unit must stand up as shown. I don't mind this but I know it bothers others depending on their configurations.
Other Thoughts: While this router isn't threatening any high end routers that cost more than twice the money, it is a great buy with a great value when on sale. Value and pricing aside you'll get a solid product that performs as one would expect.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: Fractal Design Define R5 FD-CA-DEF-R5-TI Titanium Computer Case
Pros: Minimalistic design
Heavy steel panels (if you like that sort of thing)
Deadly silent fans. I find these fans more quiet than premium fans. For them to be included as case fans is crazy awesome. I'd buy these fans separately any day.
Removeable fan filter for the bottom of the case is well designed and easy to remove and insert without warping.
A heck of a lot of fan and radiator mounting options. As interior radiator mounting goes, this case has the most options I've seen.
The front door can open to the left or right and switching the sides on which it hinges is rather painless and simple.
Cable management is a breeze with this case thanks in part to the built in velcro straps
Cons: This case is lauded as a nearly "silent" case but I seriously question anyone who says that. Because it's not. Not by a long shot. Not if you actually use it to its fullest potential.
The fans are nearly silent, yes, but this case has SERIOUS vibration and noise amplification issues. All my HDDs are modern and normally quiet (being either NAS or Black drives) in any case I've tested but in this case they are banshees. You can pick your poison in two ways:
Remove the top ODD cage and put the main HDD cage there and the vibration will be a rattle due to the fact that the HDD cage isn't secure. Only one out of two screws can mount and the cage basically hangs there.
Leave the cages as stock and you'll have one heck of a very loud, deep vibration noise because all the cages interlock (which is also INCREDIBLY annoying when you want to remove a cage because to remove one you need to remove them all).
I find this to be an extremely critical flaw since outside of using more than one graphics card or expansion cards the entire point to having a large case is because you plan on having a lot of drives... So, it's rather curious of Fractal Design to be so thoughtless in designing the HDD cages.
The other problem is that if you do have a fan that has an audible audio signature it will be amplified in this case. My PSU fan, which was quiet in any other case, is the loudest fan now. (Both my CPU and GPU heatsinks are massive and passive) Which I find curious since I figured that since the PSU mount in the case has decent spacers that this would be useful in dampening of sound since it can breathe better. While I don't fault this case for making my PSU fan audible I do fault it for how it amplifies it.
The included fan controller is also pretty bad. You have three settings with nothing in between and you can't turn them off. You have far more control just hooking up the fans to your motherboard. Which basically negates the purpose of a useful fan controller since even on medium it turns the normally quiet fans into loud, obnoxious fans.
The "sound dampening material" does nothing but weigh the panels down and add costs. Purely a marketing gimmick.
Other Thoughts: Continued CONS list (the first time I ran out of space for cons here...)
The top and side fan covers are easily the dumbest covers I've come across on a "premium" case. The top ones clip in and the side panel one screws in... Which seems ok enough until you realize that some people don't always want a one and done situation. Some have their auxiliary fans off/disconnected for most of the time and only use them when they need to. So, it's hard enough removing them without a fan attached but with a fan attached? Good luck. Almost every other premium case uses clips that can be removed from outside the case (while still looking flush) or a simple push to open mechanism. In this case you have to pinch the tabs from the inside and if your case is loaded when you need to do this it becomes even more annoying. Then, from a purely aesthetic point of view, these covers are hideous and truly stick out in normal lighting. They look like the plastic they are and while the finish is ALMOST THERE to that of the metal paint job on the rest of the case, it isn't and it sticks out like a sore thumb. The paint job on the entire case is also extremely susceptible to smudges and marring.
My side panel came slightly warped in the top back corner. This makes it truly annoying to mount it back flush whenever I access it. What was supposed to be a hassle-free design now becomes a major headache due to minor warping.
At the end of the day you have a mid tier case masquerading as a premium case, which at first blush seems valid. But then every little detail comes out and this case becomes a small nightmare the more you use it. This is also the first case that I truly wish I could return considering the money I paid for it.
I know this review will be mindlessly down-voted simply because fans don't want to hear anything negative and others might think I'm being too critical but these are the facts about this case and a case is only supposed to do so much, it's not exactly complex. The more you use this case, the more flaws come out. Almost any case can be silent if you use the supplied case fans from this case (which are truly awesome) and only have one mechanical HDD, if that, in it. This case presented itself as a silent case for power users, or at the very least a quieter case, and it is anything but that.
Pros: Very friendly initial user setup and settings from Linksys firmware. For most you should be able to do whatever you want right out of the box.
Remote access via Smart Wi-Fi. Use Android or iOS to access your router remotely and use various features. After creating an account it's virtually painless to access remotely so you can monitor and change settings should the need arise.
Superior external storage speed. This is about the only feature that sets this router above the competition. If you want fast external storage for streaming or backup, this is about the only router I'd recommend. (Faster than the big brother Linksys AC1900, even) USB 3.0 read/write speeds averaged between 70 MBps and 112 MBps. It also sees FAT32 and NTFS formats. So, that speed is more than enough for streaming anything over the network. If you use eSATA expect about a 10% improvement in speeds. However, integration and accessing media through a router still has issues and Linksys doesn't really address compatibility from a user friendly perspective. It's not entirely plug and play depending on how your home and electronics are set up.
Extremely solid, hefty build quality. It feels like a brick, not a hollow plastic shell. Should that matter to you.
OpenWRT is great in theory but in practice it's still in its infancy and basically useless on this router for everyday consumers, for now. I still consider it a pro since it's pretty much guaranteed to get developed as time goes on (this router just launched as of this review) and this isn't Linksys' responsibility. Good news is that it should be near impossible to fully brick this router thanks to the serial port.
With routers I don't like throwing a lot of throughput numbers around. They're extremely deceiving at times and for consumers they mean nothing unless they are well below standard benchmarks. This router meets or exceeds standards and in the real world setting performs as expected. I can say that performance and load balancing is done very well on this router and it is about as stable as a router can be in a real world setting.
Cons: Built-in apps are a joke. I'm not quite sure why they even still bother advertising them since they're virtually unsupported and there's only four of them and only one supports Android, the rest are iOS only. While this does help remote accessing media it's just so poorly implemented that it's rather disappointing having to rely more on unapproved third party apps that are hit and miss.
Usually I have more gripes with routers but I'm hard pressed to find anything out of the ordinary with this router. Speeds and range are really dialed in with routers these days and this router proved to stay on trend. Just remember that wireless AC is always going to have less distance in most household settings due to obstructions and congestion which is why these routers are almost always dual band.
Other Thoughts: As of launch this is easily the most expensive AC1200 router and it never truly justifies that price from a user practicality standpoint. No doubt it is technically superior and the build quality is outstanding, but from a real world performance perspective it means nothing except with external storage speeds. Though, if you want a no fuss experience and don't mind paying a slight premium, there's nothing wrong with it.
While I like to wax nostalgia over a lot of things, a router's looks is not one of them. The classic linksys look was also more functional than this copycat. While some will certainly appreciate the old aesthetic I find it fairly obnoxious since I have to have routers exposed more if I want better wireless AC distances. They're no longer tucked away in closets and underneath furniture in some instances.
Overall, this is a very solid router and while it might not give the best performance for buck for its class due to its premium pricing; it is still indeed a top-end product that performs as expected and for storage access - exceeds that expectation.
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