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Cons: Can be a bit finicky to run at the full advertised speed.
Other Thoughts: This DDR4 memory kit from Corsair is a solid choice for any budget minded PC builder. While it has XMP (Intel’s Extreme Memory Profile) built in which will automatically select the best “safe” settings, this particular memory choose a little more on the safe side than the performance side, so you may have to do a little trial and error tweaking to get the settings just right.
If you’re the PC builder that has to have the flashiest, fancy looking heat spreaders, then this offering from Corsair gives you a few color choices, Red, Blue, Black, and White (oooh white!). Other than the color choices they are fairly plain, but they are a great value.
Installed into an X99 based motherboard with an Intel i7 5820K, this RAM was rock solid and performed great. It’d be a great addition to any budget minded PC build. That in mind, it might be worthwhile to note that you can go and get this exact memory in a quad kit (that’s 32 GB of RAM, four sticks of 8 GB) for only $42 more to double the amount of RAM and have a full quad channel setup. Just a thought. Either way this is a great kit and highly recommended for those on a budget!
Pros: Much faster than similar non-hybrid drives
Cons: The speed increase is only on files you use repeatedly
Other Thoughts: This hybrid solid state / spinning disk iteration from Seagate is an interesting animal. It claims to wear two hats often worn separately in the typical power user system nowadays, those hats being a smallish solid state drive (SSD) for speed and a gargantuan spinning disk to store data for keepsies. Somehow there’s a voodoo magic built in that will mix the two nicely right? Let’s take a look.
First off with the basics. This drive is a standard sized 3.5” internal SATA connected drive. The drive has four disks internally with two heads a piece and boasts 4 TB of capacity (3.63 TB formatted under Windows 8.1). The SSD portion of the drive or NAND memory is 8 GB.
Seagate claims this drive performs “up to 5x faster than typical desktop hard drives.” So let’s put that to the test. For my tests, the drive was in a new Intel Core i7 based system with an X99 chipset and Samsung 830 SSD as the copy to/from drive. Here’s a couple of file copies as an initial test:
7.9 GB single file: read 198 MB/s, write 198MB/s
27.1 GB folder full of photos: read 143 MB/s, write 143 MB/s
Not exactly what you’d call 5x faster than typical desktop hard drives. So what’s the secret sauce that invokes the drive to use its NAND memory? It turns out the drive learns when it sees repeated use of the same files. So to put that to the test, I performed a read ten separate times with the following results:
5.87 GB folder with 240 photos
Read1: 136 MB/s
Read2-3: 151 MB/s
Read4: 159 MB/s
Read5: 255 MB/s
Read6-10: 326 MB/s
So we do actually see the drive learning and getting faster. I could see how using this drive as the “one drive to rule them all” would work out great as a sole drive in a system. It would also save the user significant money considering the two hats referred to earlier would cost a lot more than this Seagate hybrid drive. As of this writing this drive is priced ($144.99) similarly to many other 4 TB drives which do not have any hybrid capabilities, and even only $25 more than a similar non-hybrid Seagate drive. It’s easily worth my $25 to get significantly improved performance and perhaps skip the expensive, smallish SSD altogether.
Overall a great drive from Seagate, an excellent choice for a budget minded system that still has great performance. A solid 5 egger in my book.
This review is from: Linksys EA2750 N600 Dual-Band Smart Wi-Fi Wireless Router
Pros: Gigabit ports
Cons: USB 2.0 instead of 3.0
No activity lights on front of device
Other Thoughts: This offering from Linksys is a pretty plain Jane router. The EA2750 is not impressive by any stretch of today’s standards, doesn’t have fancy bells & whistles, isn’t an amazing steal of a deal, and doesn’t win any beauty contests. That said, if you simply need a router with a simple interface that does the job, this guy will do it.
In the box you’ll find the router, wall wart power adapter (conveniently configured sideways so it plays nice with other outlets), a short Ethernet cable, documentation CD, and quick start manual. This lightweight unit has no mounting holes so don’t expect to easily mount it anywhere. If you do manage to mount it on a wall, the venting at the sides should suffice.
While there’s not a bounty of features, the features it does have are a little ho hum. Most routers in the price range now include wireless 802.11ac, while the EA2750 only goes up to 802.11n. Another feature many competing routers include is USB 3.0, while Linksys really cheaped out on this model with 2.0. Other hardware items of note are that there’s no activity lights of any kind on the front of the unit. This may be a blessing for some, but annoying for others. Still, it’s nice to include them along with the ability to turn them off, then you please everybody (listening, Linksys?). The rocker switch for power is nice, so you don’t have to fumble around with the barrel jack cable when power cycling the device.
The software, as with most of the newer Linksys routers, is what shines. The EA2750 is no different. The setup is very easy, but gives you the option to go manual if you’d like. Also included is Linksys’ SMART Wi-Fi system, which enables you to configure the router from anywhere with their mobile app and a cloud based login. Fortunately for those of you wearing tinfoil hats, you can turn this feature off. I also noticed Linksys excluded their OpenVPN Server from this model as well. I’m not sure why as that would seem to just be a software difference.
Overall, the performance of this router is about what you’d expect, given the specs. If your non-tech savvy family member needs a new router and wants easy software and setup to deal with, then tell them to get the Linksys EA2750. If you need the latest wireless standards, need more blinkenlights, or just don’t want your external hard drive to be painfully slow, you might want to try another brand or a higher level model. The Linksys EA2750 earned a respectable three eggs from this Eggxpert.