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GIGABYTE GA-X99-SOC Champion LGA 2011-v3 Intel X99 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Extended ATX Intel Motherboard
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: : When I took this board out of the box, I was impressed immediately. The build quality (typical for Gigabyte) is excellent and well thought-out. There are LOTS of SATA connectors, M.2., SLI/Crossfire support and DDR4! I REALLY like the color scheme of this board and if you are someone that has a case with a window, this thing will look great! I was able to get my hands on an i7 5930K, 32GB DDR4 and 4GB video card (NVidia GTX780) and look out!! This thing just destroys games! Far Cry 4 never looked so breath taking! If you are a gamer, or do any sort of 3D design, this board, with a fast CPU and decent video card will OWN anything you can throw at it! You know what else I like about Gigabyte, they give you good stuff. I noticed that this board comes with a SLI bridge to keep a 4 way video card setup nice and stable. All the included stuff seemed well made and not cheap. I like to call the I/O panel “on board the world” since it is STACKED! USB galore, Audio, PS2 (legacy) LAN, optical! (great included driver/software with the Realtek audio). I honestly still can’t get over the storage capabilities of this board, I mean, 10 SATA 6Gb ports that will do RAID and support different trim commands with SSD! I wish I had a PCIe M.2. SSD to test that out…. If memory serves, that is good for 20Gbps! I was happily surprised how well my Samsung SSD did with installing Windows 7, less than 15 minutes start to finish! Also want to note that it is nice to have the diags LEDs and switches right on the board for testing / installation support (most goof MFGs come with stuff like this now-a-days). The uEFI BIOS was nice and easy to use too. If you never have seen one before, it’s much cleaner and mouse driven. Most people that have not seen it before are a little shocked, but everything is there, you just need to look for what you need. Over clocking was easy too. I’m not a big fan of over clocking, but I was able to change a few things to get my 3.5 over 4GHz easily. I was also using a Corsair liquid cooler. For what you are getting, the price is right with the motherboard.

Cons: No wireless option, a board like this should have included it, even though few might actually use it. I still think a high end board would have something like that. While I REALLY dig the orange colors on this board, it might not go well with other components… Most people might not care, but others may… Honestly, there isn’t too many “cons” with this board. It’s a great motherboard!

Other Thoughts: : I’ve had this motherboard in full operation for almost one month and I never had one issue. No lockups or slow downs, no issues with sleep mode or coming out of it, just a stable and solid motherboard. I have use LOTS of Gigabyte motherboards over the past 5 years and they are most definitely my “go to” motherboard maker. They just build a solid product and have a GREAT 3 year warranty. I don’t even recall a time in which I had to RMA a gigabyte product. I will continue to test out more games with this board and I know that I’ll continue to be pleased with the results! I’m looking forward to GTA5 and I know that with a setup like this, I’ll have a GREAT experience. If you are looking for a good price / performance motherboard for gaming and moving up to LGA2011, this is worth a hard look!

TP-LINK TL-WA854RE 300Mbps Universal Wi-Fi Range Extender, Repeater, Wall Plug design, One-button Setup, Smart Signal Indicator
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Elegant looking device, well packaged and easy to setup. I connected the device to my laptop and made sure that I was on the correct subnet and it was easy to log in. After a quick site survey, I picked my wireless router and that, was that. Boosted my signal upstairs to almost full bars on my phone and tablets. For the price this thing is pretty hard to beat and it is nice to be able to boost a signal. Very nice to see that the plug can be rotated if your electrical socket has a horizontal configuration. I like the LEDs on the device and having the device plugged in at a hall way it sort of doubled as a night light. Build quality from TP-Link is solid, I really think that they make some good products and they also have a good warranty and support. Nothing went wrong with this device since I've been using it (almost 30 days).

Cons: If you do not like night lights, keep it out of your bed room... A setting to change the brightness of the lights would be great! Speed is not always consistent. Would be nice if there was other colors to choose from.

Other Thoughts: Having used this device HARD for almost 30 days, I have not had any performance degradation or lock ups and I never once had to power cycle the device. That is important in a wireless device. You really don't want to have to worry about connection issues, you just want the thing to work. Having said that, I did see some fluctuations with speed. I think the best I ever say was an average of 35Mbps and I know that there are a lot of factors that can make ones speed change. For reasons unknown, that was the best that I could pull through this little guy. With that, I was still able to stream video from NetFlix and I had no issues web browsing. BUT, your mileage might vary. Keep in mind the price... If you need to get a better signal to your home and it is not a super far distance this thing should fit the bill. This thing isn't perfect, but it is pretty close and for the price it is VERY hard to beat. Even with me being a EggExpert reviewer, I want people to know what is going to work, how intuitive a product is and that it is a value, because at the end of the day that is all one can ask for! I look forward to continued good service out of this product and feel that it is a great deal!

Belkin  F7C043fc  WeMo Maker - Home Automation for the Tinkerer & DIY'er, Wi-Fi Enabled and WeMo App Controlled
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

3 out of 5 eggs Endless possibilities, but a little flakey… 01/26/2015

This review is from: Belkin F7C043fc WeMo Maker - Home Automation for the Tinkerer & DIY'er, Wi-Fi Enabled and WeMo App Controlled

Pros: Really cool when it works. I was able to turn pretty much anything that could utilize a relay-like connection. Lights, my garage door opener, door sensor, etc... Really cool that you can use IFTTT (If This Than That) coding; this will make it even more fun in the future and being able to do more with it (simple program scripting to allow you to do more with the unit). Nice to have the button right on the front of the unit for testing purposes (to make sure that it will work before you try it with your phone or tablet). I was also able to test it with a touch lamp, and it worked great for that device. Each press of the button on my phone would set the lamp to "LOW-MED-HIGH." Really cool! The actual device seems to be built well and I also like that it has a mounting option. (note, I've had this product for about one month)

Cons: This device really did not offer a friendly first time experience. The instructions are down-right inexistent and the unit would not work properly for me until I performed two hard resets and a firmware upgrade. Make sure you upgrade the firmware straight away! The Phone interface (app) is a little clunky and seemed to work better on my phone than on my tablet. This was on an Android device. Seemed to fare better on my wife’s iPhone 5, but still a clunky experience, sometimes it would work and sometimes it did not. Really bummed that it can only control ONE DEVICE, for the price, it would be nice to see this thing control more than one, maybe 4? That would be nice! The device seems to be pretty sensitive to location; when I had it in my garage, there was some kind of interference, so I had to make sure that it was moved far away from my garage door opener. I then had to make long cable runs to the WeMo to get things going. I also had to extend the power supply, since the brick and cord they give you are on the short side. Testing of the remote access features took time, there was quite a bit of Lag, sometimes only 5 seconds, but other time it could be more than 30 seconds. Maybe it was my cell network or maybe had something to do with the WeMo…? Teething issues with the device?

Other Thoughts: PLEASE, PLEASE, realize that this device is for someone that likes to “tinker” and has a decent understanding of networking and electrical ability. YOU CAN GET HURT with electricity if you do not know what you are doing. Make sure that you have someone around that knows a few things about setting this thing up with AC power that could hurt you. Having said that, REMEMBER that this thing is designed for LOW-VOLTAGE devices… And, low voltage devices CAN interact with high(er) voltage devices, like a garage door opener, so you really need to know how and what you are doing to set this up, I cannot stress this enough. Also keep in mind that the this thing is pretty much a single relay that can handle 1 AMP of current at a maximum of 24 volts (DC). The instructions are pretty bad with this device, but luckily there is a GREAT community of folks on Belkin’s forum. GO THERE FIRST! (Google it) There are some really nice guides and plenty of posts on there that will get you started or answer any lingering questions that you may have. This thing really is a good first start, and I’m sure that they will improve on it. Stuff like this is not going away any time soon, If anything, we’ll see more and more devices that can be controlled over a home network / internet. IF, you have experience and like to work with Raspberry Pi and / or Arduino then I think you will like what the WeMo has to offer. Just take a hard look at the forums and maybe YouTube to get some more ideas. Having said that, if you just want to turn on your lamp so that kitty can find his way to the liter box, just get the Belkin WeMo Switch… So, ultimately, this thing is going to appeal to a limited audience, but the people that understand what they can do with it, will enjoy it. (even with the slight issues) There is still a LOT of room to grow and it will be interesting to see what other connected devices Belkin can think of. I’m going to knock off a few eggs, mainly for the out of the box experience (lack of instruction and firmware issue).


Max F.'s Profile

Display Name: Max F.

Date Joined: 10/06/05

  • Reviews: 50
  • Helpfulness: 25
  • First Review: 06/14/07
  • Last Review: 02/18/15
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