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Silicon Power 128GB Blaze B05 USB 3.0 Flash Drive (SP128GBUF3B05V1D)
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

4 out of 5 eggs All around good with niceties 10/23/2016

This review is from: Silicon Power 128GB Blaze B05 USB 3.0 Flash Drive (SP128GBUF3B05V1D)

Pros: Size is relatively small without being so small it's easily lost.
Performance seemed on par with other similar products in the same price range.
For 128GB price is fair.
I like that the USB plugin part is not always exposed, sliding in and out.
Blue. Nice touch.
This might not seem like much, but I like that it says right on it it's size and interface.
I used this without issue for about a month. I don't recall any hiccups along the way.

Cons: Moving parts. It's nice that it hides away the USB port normally, but to do so, it involves moving parts. Typically when something moves and another thing does not, the thing that moves tends to fail before the one that does not. In the time that I used this, everything worked fine. However, when I shake this, it rattles. So it might not be constructed with all the finesse possible.

When the plugin is fully extended, there is a button that slides and snaps into place. Should that snap-in mechanism ever fail, it would be pretty hard to ever plus this device in again as there would be nothing to hold it in place.

Other Thoughts: So there was a reviewer before me that complained that complained this was advertised as 128GB and said that you didn't get that in reality. I think they should go research about drive sizes and how they are marketed vs. how they are displayed in Windows (and other operating systems).

Also they mentioned that this drive came with programs on it. No big deal there either. They didn't automatically launch themselves or install any malicious files or programs on my machine. I didn't have to go all paranoid and format the entire drive. Just delete the files and move on.

Also the claim was made that it wasn't a USB 3.0 drive. I don't think a thumb drive has to deliver the performance of saturating the USB 3.0 bandwidth spec to be considered a USB 3.0 drive, but rather that it supports the interface and complies with it.

Corsair Carbide Series CC-9011093-WW White/Blue SPEC-ALPHA Mid-Tower Gaming Case
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

2 out of 5 eggs Thoroughly Unimpressed 09/06/2016

This review is from: Corsair Carbide Series CC-9011093-WW White/Blue SPEC-ALPHA Mid-Tower Gaming Case

Pros: It looks better in real-life than it does in pictures. That's saying something because from pictures it looks like overdone shell around a plan case. They are trying to appeal to "gamers" with the appearance of this case. So if you like a little bit of flash, but not overdone, you might like this case.

I got the white and blue case. I don't really care for white cases. Not because they don't look nice, but because not much matches with them. From my monitor to my keyboard and mouse, speakers and headset, nothing is white (or blue for that matter). So the case itself looks fine, but pairing with matching surroundings will result in the case sticking out rather than blending in.

Same goes for the internals. Take a look around for motherboards that implement white/blue. Your available choices will be somewhat reduced. Personally I go for other things than color first, but if it's in the equation, color matching is a nice perk.

It's got a built in fan controller that is implemented nice and simple like on the front of the case. Two speeds only though. Slow is relatively quiet. Fast is more audible, but nothing outlandish.

3 Fans come pre-installed, 2 in the front, 1 in the rear.

Cut-outs galore occupy the majority of the board tray, so wires can be routed through. Plenty of tie-offs for using zip-ties also on the back.

USB 3.0 connector is in the cable set that runs to the front panel, as well as HD Audio and the normal assortment of power, reset & drive LED light cables.

The side panels are attached via thumb screws at the back. The thumb screws stay with the panels after they are turned out. A nice touch so that you don't lose them.

The feet of the case are tall enough to keep the case a few inches from the ground. So the bottom mounted PSU (not provided) can easily gulp up air from underneath.

Cons: I've had other Corsair cases. This case is a far cry from any other Corsair case I've used. Currently I use a Carbide Series Air 540. It's simple, yet complete and capable.

This case is simple yes, but complete it is not. I spent most of the time hurling expletives at this case while I transfered my daughter's computer from my old HAF X into this. Sure I wanted to get her something smaller and more managable, lightweight. But with every step along the way I was regretting it.

Let me explain everything that is wrong with this case.

There is a drive rack mounted at the front bottom of the case. The 3.5" bays are set crosswise and work fine. At the top though is mounting for 2.5" drives, or SSDs. One of those 2.5 bays will become blocked by the motherboard itself if you should happen to mount the motherboard first. It doesn't look like it would interfere, but I found out the hardware that it does. So I was forced to use the outside bay to install the SSD.

Jump ahead, I couldn't leave it there however as running the SATA power from the 3.5" drive to the fan controller to the SSD, it simply wouldn't reach the SSD. So I had to find another spot to mount the SSD. Luckily they provide 2 mounting points for SSDs on the back of the tray just above the drive rack mount.

For this I had to use little screws to mount the SSD. The mounting holes were on tie-off style stand offs and were a huge paint to keep in place. The screws fell from my fingers repeatedly. I eventually had to succumb to using my old magnetic screw driver, something I haven't had to use in years since the abundance of tool-less cases came onto the market.

Let's talk about the motherboard cutouts. First issue is that all of them are bare metal. I know at the price range rubber grommets are rarely found, but in some cases the metal is folded over. This wasn't the case here.

The next issue with the cutouts was that despite having so many, they were ridiculously and consistently in the wrong spot, Nothing lined up with common areas on the side of the motherboard. So wires coming through the cutouts always ran through at an angle to where they connected on the motherboard. I could excuse it if it were just a few wires, blaming then the motherboard. But it was nearly every wire that had this issue. Most of the SATA connectors on the side were inaccessible out of a bank of 8 potential ports to plug in to. The main power cable thick as it is, forced to run at the extreme angle from being offset and so close to the motherboard put undo stress on the board.

Next issue was the space around the motherboard. At the top and the bottom (by the PSU) there wasn't any. So the additional CPU power connectors needed to run the board couldn't be reached by going behind the board and over the top from behind. Instead they had to very crawl from the far right side of the motherboard. So they have to pass over most of the board. It looks ugly. It looks unprofessional. Not a huge deal if you are trying to give up aesthetics for size reduction. However the case isn't that small and has a window on the side panel. So why would I want a case that forces ugly through my window?

Next issue is the space behind the motherboard tray, between the back panel. There is little to none. I spent a great deal of time trying to route cables smartly, cleanly and efficiently. Despite this, when it came time to put the back panel on, it took me over 15 mins to get on correctly so every tab was holding. I had to lay the case on the front side and force hard down the back panel. There's no excuse for the lack of room these days in a case, cheap or not.

Also the cooling sucks. It's only using 120mm fans, 2 front, 1 rear. If you want keep the thing quiet, the fans will run quiet, but won't move enough air to keep anything else cool. After awhile even at idle the CPU started heating up spun the CPU fan at higher speeds than ever it did in the previous case. So quiet suddenly wasn't quiet anymore. Speeding the fans up only helped mildly also. I haven't seen a case move air so poorly in probably 10 years. Adding more fans is pretty much not an option either with no good mounting points left to mount.

Other Thoughts: I really hated working in this case. It was annoying all the way through the build. The outcome was a mess of wires I couldn't hide. The performance was pretty terrible.

If this was a $40 case, it would be right on par for what it is. At $80, simply putting "Corsair" on the front can't justify what it is. I like Corsair as a company, they make great products. But this isn't the first time they've lowered their standards to hit the mainstream market to sell something more to the masses.

The whole experience just felt like I was dealing with cheap un-thought-out product that was banking on the brand name and some gimmicky gaming style appearance.

TP-Link Archer C5400 AC5400 Wireless Tri-Band MU-MIMO Gigabit Router
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

5 out of 5 eggs My New Router 08/17/2016

This review is from: TP-Link Archer C5400 AC5400 Wireless Tri-Band MU-MIMO Gigabit Router

Pros: By far the best experience with a router I've ever had. The setup was extremely simple and fast. The user interface is also streamlined, usable and sufficient.

One of the features that I thought would be a very bad idea was the smart connect. I basically makes the 2.4GHz and both 5GHz appear as one SSID and then every wireless device in the house gets automatically assigned and balanced to the best band based on capability and quality of connectivity. Sounds like a recipe for disaster right? The thing is though that it seems to work and work great. Most of the devices capable of 5GHz are still connecting as such and getting good throughput. In fact I've never had better connectivity overall than I've had with this router.

That brings me to the next thing, range and coverage. Never better. It reaches through multiple walls, garage concrete floor edges and through steel siding to outside in my yard. From inside my home all the way out to the farthest corners, I still get 60-80% on bars, whereas prior routers did maybe 20-40% in the same situation. I can't help but wonder if this thing isn't operating beyond spec because the difference is almost unbelievable.

NO-IP and DynDNS have built in support. So if you need to keep a domain pointed to this thing from outside it supports that natively . Some other check marks are Parental Controls, QOS, VPN. But honestly in this price range all that is pretty standard.

I want to say one thing about the QOS. Although it's a bit basic in how you configure it, unlike most routers touting QOS, this one actually seems to be doing something. In fact it is noticeably working correctly. I don't have the greatest internet. I have DSL 9Mbps/1Mbps. My two boys and I often play online games. In the past whenever my daughter or wife would start something like Netflix, it would crush our gaming experience by constantly working against it. No amount of configuring of QOS seemed to help at all. Before this router I was of the impression that QOS simply didn't work in the real world and that it was gimmicky at best.

This router however works. I simply setup some simple QOS rules stating my machine and my two son's machines got highest priority. I set my daughters machine to medium. Now we can all game at the same time with very low pings and no interruptions while my daughter streams from Netflix the entire time. It's fantastic. My family and I were actually considering moving a few miles into town just to get better internet offerings so we could all utilize it, the thought being with an over abundant amount of bandwidth we wouldn't be stepping on each other's toes. However, this router is making the slow connection I have work well enough that we can all stay satisfied. That's no small task.

I've been running this router now for a couple of weeks or more. Not one crash, restart, loss of connection, nothing. Just simple stupid stable awesome.

Cons: It's a great router, but it does have somethings that I feel are missing. I mentioned above that I have DSL 9Mbps/1Mbps internet. If you've ever used DSL you know that as long as every is downloading and not saturating the full download bandwidth all works great. However, the upload speeds which are much slower will still get saturated and actually affect the downloads. It's problem with DSL technology, not the router. Although I imagine the router could help alleviate some of this with the proper support and settings. Still my point here is that when something is uploading, it messes with downloading.

Why does this matter? How could this be a knock against the router? Well it isn't really except that when something is uploading and interfering, my normal procedure was to identify the device so I could address the problem and we could continue playing our games online or streaming media content or whatever. The router I normally run is an ASUS RT-AC68U. What was awesome about that router was that I could log into the router in that situation and observe in real-time feedback and statistics that immediately lead me to which device was causing the problem. This router doesn't have that. When my wife's phone begins to cloud sync her pictures from her phone, I don't have a good way to view that it is her phone and address the problem with this router. That is a bit unacceptable for a router that costs as much as this router does. It certainly has the processing power to accomplish this requirement. The firmware/software/UI is simply lacking in this department.

Other spots where it's lacking is in the parental controls. On my Asus I could turn on a service and target specific machines. The service could be configured to block content to things like adult-content and the like without much complication. This was because it was utilizing a back-end service to classify domains into categories I could block. Kind of like using a OpenDNS service, but by configuring it from the router just so to target specific machines. Mom and Dad can look at whatever they want, but the kids can't. This router doesn't seem to support to that level. So you'll be forced to utilize other means, like securing their computer accounts, or using OpenDNS and everyone living with the same rules.

MU-MIMO isn't there yet ??? Apparently that is to come. Unfortunately when it does, you won't be able to update to it from the router itself. As of right now there is still only the one firmware that it ships with.

Other Thoughts: I've received my fair share of networking items from Newegg for review. Items at all levels of the spectrum. None of them have been impressive enough for me to seriously consider replacing my owned equipment. Before this, the Asus router always went back onto the shelve and plugged into my network. That changes now. I'm not giving this thing up for anything. Sure it's got it's drawbacks in some departments, but it works exactly how I need it to where it counts for my situation.

We literally were considering moving just so we could up our internet so we could all play games and stream content at the same time. Today we are doing that already with this router and it's very much working QOS.

One thing I didn't get to test was it's USB connectivity options. One that particularity sparked my interest was the 3G/4G. I wanted to try it for curiosities sake, but I don't own a USB 4G modem and even if I did don't get great data coverage where I live. Other USB options are Printer Server and NAS/Share. Again, didn't get to try those much, so I can't comment.

I'm going to state though that overall this is a great wireless router. Despite being fantastic in performance and stability, the price really says it needs to be doing more in addition. However, since receiving this router the price has already dropped a bit making it a pill slightly more easily to swallow.

In the end, I'm keeping this as my new wireless router. It's that good.


Nathan R.'s Profile

Display Name: Nathan R.

Date Joined: 06/21/02


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  • First Review: 10/25/02
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