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GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming 5 LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: • I rather like the change in color scheme from green/black to the new red/black, I like Asus and Gigabyte boards equally but always pre
• Price is reasonable for what you get and compares well with other boards in it’s class
• Supports all new 4th and 5th generation socket 1150 CPU’s
• As this is a gaming board one of the key features is sound enhancement, as such it has a few nice set of features that bring you crisp clear sound while gaming ie.. Realtek ALC1150 115dB SNR HD Audio with Built-in rear audio amplifier, Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi MB3 gaming audio suite, Audio Noise Guard with LED path lighting
• Gold plated display and audio ports, High end Nichicon audio capacitors. The last two are pretty standard on gaming boards these days and you can’t really measure how much better sound is with it or without it for that matter.
• Also to help cut out video and audio distortion the back panel has gold plated HDMI and audio connectors, again hard to measure the impact of these vs regular connectors
• I also picked up that the left and right sound channels are integrated on two separate PCB layers, hard to measure again how much that adds to your gaming sound experience, sounds great though.
• The Z97X G5 feature the Killer™ E2200 from Qualcomm Atheros, also the standard in gaming and high end motherboards
• Integrated onboard graphics processor that supports up to three displays, has 512MB memory, not enough to play BF4 but enough to browse around the internet on.
• I really like the three bios modes, very useful for those that like to overclock. You have the classic mode for old school, the smart tweak mode for those that want to push your CPU and RAM to the limits. It also has a dashboard look or what Gigabyte calls the “Startup Guide” from which you get quick access to all the various features
• Two PCIe 3 slots, they share 16 lanes, so you can run one video card using all 16 lanes or two at x8. This allows you to run two Nvidia or AMD cards in SLI or CFX. I only ran one AMD R9 290 and it was plenty or power for my 27 inch LCD.

Cons: • The Z97X-Gaming 5 PCB measures 305mm x 225mm, making it almost an inch narrower than standard ATX (305mm x 244mm), not a train smash at all but still real estate (space) on boards are valuable.
• There is no debug LED or power/reset buttons on the board, as a gamer and open case bencher I really like to have this so I can see why my overclock fails, also handy to push reset or power button if you don’t have the board connected to a case. Also for a few dollars more you get that with the G7
• Only one LAN port, almost all gaming boards have two

Other Thoughts: Newegg delivered the review board in a couple of days in their distinct brown Newegg box, it was securely packaged.
The Gigabyte Z97X-Gaming 5 motherboard box was all black and red with white lettering. As for most boards the back is covered with displaying all the features which you can read at your leisure after you installed it.
The box contents was a bit disappointing, apart from the board itself and a couple of manuals and stickers you only got four SATA cables and a SLI bridge.
My test setup featured the following hardware in a Thor gaming case:
Intel i7-4770k
Gigabyte Z97X-Gaming 5 (this review board)
HIS AMD R9 290 video card
2 x 4GB G.Skill Ripjaws Z 2400 Mhz CL10
OCZ Vertex 4 512GB SSD
Corsair H100i liquid cooling
Rosewell 750W PSU
Windows 7 Ultimate (I still like Win 7 over 8 when it comes to desktop PC’s)
After power up I commenced to install Win 7, I then went back to play around in the bios.
For overclockers, the board supports a maximum base clock of 266.66MHz and a highly-unlikely CPU clock ratio of 80x. The CPU and DRAM voltage maxes out at 1.80V and 2.10V respectively.
I managed to get a decent overclock of 4.5 Gz in the 4770k with vcore around 1.28 volt, I did push it to 4.8 Ghz but the CPU temps got a bit on the high side. I will actually tone it down to 4Ghz 24/7 which should be plenty for gaming. I set the Ram at XMP and it took immediately running at 2400Mhz stable.
Playing games the sound was quite decent, nothing to complain about, the onboard sound compares very well to my Soundblaster X-Fi card

D-Link DSP-W215 Wi-Fi Smart Plug, Thermal Protection, Energy Management
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

4 out of 5 eggs Smart Plug with lots of remote features 07/07/2014

This review is from: D-Link DSP-W215 Wi-Fi Smart Plug, Thermal Protection, Energy Management

Pros: - Setup initially was a bit tricky but turned out very straightforward once you update the firmware
- The app allows you to switch any device on and off using the app, it also monitors power usage daily graphically and registers plug temperature
- Once you have registered via mydlink you can access the Smart plug from any mobile device using the app
- Reasonably priced
- Great for turning on/off lights, Christmas trees and outside lighting, I actually plan to use mine to turn on/off my fish tank’s light daily at set times simulating daylight while I’m away next week

Cons: - The Smart Plug came with outdated firmware which needed to be updated in order for it to connect.
- App software is a bit on the slow side when loading or updating between screens
- You are constantly reminded to log into mydlink, a bit of a pain but turned out to be useful after registration.

Other Thoughts: Newegg box arrived within two days and was packaged well as always.
The D-Link DSP-W215 retail box on the front displays a picture of the unit and clearly lets the prospective buyer know you are getting Wi-Wi SMART PLUG..
On the back of the box it gives you an overview of the functionality of the Smart Plug, where it plugs in and also the app you can download to control the plug and also monitor power usage. The app can be downloaded for both Apple and Android devices.
On the right side of the box it shows it shows what you need to make use of the smart plug. Off course you need a power outlet as well as an existing wireless network, those two are the minimum. The unit connects on the 2.4 Ghs WiFi frequency. It also lists what you get inside the box.
On the letf side of the box you get a couple of visuals on the product, its use and also the app you can download to run on your mobile device.
The retail box contains the Smart Plug unit, a quick reference card (looks like a credit card) and the standard D-Link GPL Code. The install guide (card) has on the front three steps how to connect to the unit and how to configure it. The back of the card has the particular unit’s Wi-Fi SSID name, and a pin code you will need to connect to the device.
The Smart Plud itself is about 3.5” long, 2.5” wide and 1.25” deep. It has a LED light on the right side, a on/off button on the front middle that lights up when the unit is turned on. On the left side is a WPS push button for easy connection to your home Wi-Fi network

Set up was initially trick, I used my tablet (Android) and could not get it connected. I then tried my Android and after that it became pretty straight forward. This is what you need to do:
- Plug in the Smart Plug into any open power outlet, wait until the LED on the right side blinks orange, it starts of as a solid red so wait a minute or so.
- If you want you can then push the WPS button on your router and then push the WPS button on the side of the Smart Plug until it flashes green, once connected it will turn to a solid green
- You can also establish connection to your router using the app software. Download the “mydlink Wi-Fi Smart Plug” from the app store, install and run the software. If you have already connected the smart plug to your home Wi-Fi network your device should see it. Now my tablet did not and I had to push a firmware update using my mobile phone to the smart plug before I could connect.
- In any event the connection setup via app is pretty straight forward. Once connected it will allow you to do a bunch of things, give the plug a name, change on/off schedules as well as see the plugs temperature and how much power you have used, you get a nice daily chart to see the usage. You can change the on and off times using a 24hr slider, you can set that daily.

Seagate ST6000NM0024 6TB 7200 RPM 128MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Pros: - Massive 6 TB capacity with server type reliability
- 128 MB cache, about double than most high capacity hard drives out there
- 1.4 Million hrs - mean time to failure (MTBF), this should serve you with plenty of spare time, works out to 142 years which should last a few generations. I guess only time will tell how reliable the drive really is.
- This is a high workload drive designed for servers, if you looking for a high capacity drive for storing non critical files etc get a cheaper regular drive if you're on a tight budget.
-I got 208MB/s read speeds on average of 5 runs with ATTO drive benchmark tool, very impressive for a mechanical drive !!
- SATA III 6GB/s controller compatible to allow maximum transfer speeds
- Five year warranty
- Very low noise, could not hear any noise over some of my other high capacity drives
- Comes with all the security protection features you’d expect from a high end enterprise drive

Cons: Comes in OEM packaging, would expect a retail box for a $200 drive, then again most drives these drives come OEM style
- Drive is very pricey, you pay what you get though so for a 6TB enterprise drive the price is fairly reasonable, the loss of data has a much higher price, in the case of family pictures you cannot put a $ value to it.
- 7200 RPM, would have liked to see 10k RPM for a higher end drive.
- Still nowhere near the speeds that you get with a SSD, with prices on SSD's coming down a $200 mechanical drive is not such a great deal in my opinion.
That said for a 1TB enterprise drive you will have to fork out $2-6k, that is some serious cash. A 1 TB regular MLC SSD will cost you around $500 at the time of this review.
- Drive came un-formatted, not a big deal but still a minor annoyance, I do not like extra work.

Other Thoughts: The brown Newegg box arrived promptly as always via UPS. The drive came OEM in other words it came bubble wrapped in an anti-static plastic outer box instead of a retail box, so no details or info on the drive, not a big issue as most drives these days come OEM style unless you buy it at a brick and mortar retail outlet, then you pay at least 30-40% more.
This will be my second enterprise drive and I have to say these drives are very reliable and worth the extra cost if you want to protect data, I use it to store family pictures and videos which I have accumulated over the last 10 years since my kids were born
Installing the Seagate drive was straight forward, I did not have issues as reported by other reviewers. I then proceed to connect the SATA cable to the SATA III port and SATA power port. Once formatted to NTFS (yield around 5590 MB of free space) I ran ATTO drive benchmark tool to determine read and write speeds. An average of 5 runs via a SATA 6GB/s port yield the following:

Seagate ST6000NM0024 6TB 7200 RPM 128MB Cache (review drive)
Read – 208 MB/s Write: 204 MB/s
Western Digital RE WD2000FYYZ 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB drive (Enterprise drive):
Read - 172 MB/s, Write - 168 MB/s.
Seagate Barracuda ST2000DM001 2 TB 7200 RPM 64 MB drive (regular drive):
Read - 137 MB/s , write - 132 MB/s (via USB 3,0)
My system specs:
Win 7 Ultimate
Intel i7-3770k @ 4.5 Ghz
Asus P8Z77 V-Pro with 4 SATA III controllers
512 GB SSD
16 GB DDR3-2133
2 TB Seagate drive
6 TB Seagate drive (this review)
Sapphire AMD R9 290 video card

(My home server does not have 6GB/s controllers, so I tested the enterprise drive in my gaming desktop which has four SATA III ports)


Edmund M.'s Profile

Display Name: Edmund M.

Date Joined: 09/21/03

  • Reviews: 38
  • Helpfulness: 17
  • First Review: 03/29/06
  • Last Review: 08/14/14
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