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GIGABYTE GA-X99-SLI (rev. 1.0) LGA 2011-v3 Intel X99 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

5 out of 5 eggs Solid X99 board with some great perks! 07/31/2015

This review is from: GIGABYTE GA-X99-SLI (rev. 1.0) LGA 2011-v3 Intel X99 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: Without a doubt this is one of the sleekest motherboards I've ever laid my hands on. Quality components (solid caps) and the thick PCB layout really make this board stand-out as soon as you lay your eyes on it. It's really obvious this is a premium board from Gigabyte and the attention to detail across the entire board exudes excellent craftsmanship. So first and foremost, Gigabyte deserves high praise for clearly not cutting any corners here, from start to finish.

The new BiOS layout is really quite the looker. Color scheme depends on your personal taste, but Gigabyte has done a great job making all of the information you need immediately available to you. Clock settings, voltages, temperatures, etc, are all available from the launch window and are instantly accessible. There have been a lot of improvements to BiOS utilities from many manufacturers over the last few years and Gigabyte is definitely continuing to improve even more in those areas.

EasyTune is a great app for tweaking your clock/power settings, it's convenient to be able to access most of the BiOS features from your OS. Useful for making minor changes that aren't worth rebooting for. I found the layout of the app itself to be a bit clunky but nothing that actually made it harder to use.

I really appreciate the care and effort that went into the audio portion of the board, it's nice to see more companies using higher quality components and boosting audio output quality. Gaming and music both sound fantastic and it's clear Gigabyte made some really great decisions in their implementation.

The board supports M.2 for wireless, with a built-in mounting clip on the back, should you need it.

Also natively supports DDR4-3333 (OC), which is a nice bonus since some X99 boards don't quite reach that far.

And of course this board supports some other great features of X99: Quad-channel RAM, four video card slots (2x PCI-E x16 with the right CPU), DDR4, and a whole host of storage connector options.

Overall this motherboard was a pleasure to work with, it was fluid and response for the duration of installation, setup, and in-use.

Cons: Would have like to have seen two Ethernet ports, but I realize it's uncommon these days so I won't hold it against Gigabyte.

There have been many BiOS updates released for the Gigabyte X99 series boards over the last few months, I'm glad to see these new revs have most of the early issues taken care of. Some of the problems described in older reviews/models weren't present in this X99 board so it seems Gigabyte is shipping this board with the newest BiOS (or at least my specific model).

Please make sure you have the latest BiOS when running any X99 board.

Other Thoughts: Had some issues with one of the RAM clips on the board not fully latching. Possibly would have broken the clips/RAM itself I didn't notice that it wasn't clasping automatically. Flicking the latch out manually seemed to have fixed it for the most part. Always be careful and delicate when assembling your PC!

The 'classic' BiOS is more geared toward advanced users so it might be worth switching if you want quicker access to the features you're looking for.

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Linksys RE6700 AC1200 AMPLIFY Dual-Band Wi-Fi Range Extender
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

5 out of 5 eggs Wi-Fi For Everyone! 06/26/2015

This review is from: Linksys RE6700 AC1200 AMPLIFY Dual-Band Wi-Fi Range Extender

Pros: This device does a lot of amazing things exceedingly well. If you want a short summary: It's perfect.

Initial setup is a breeze, you provide an admin password and select the wireless network you want to connect to -- done. After that, it just works. But if you're an advanced user, you're in for a huge treat! The settings menu is by far the most robust I have ever seen on any Wi-Fi extender. Linksys went above and beyond providing every possible tool you could need: Logs, pinging, firmware updates, client list, ethernet/LAN/WAN stats, and a full array of network settings. You name it, it's there. I am completely blown away.

The wireless capability itself is stunning, I connected the extender in the middle of my house to test its range in all directions and it gives me a near-pefect signal wall-to-wall. A great solution for covering your whole living space in wireless accessibility.

The ease of use, fast setup, insane amount of settings, and extender quality itself makes the RE6700, without a doubt, the best Wi-Fi Extender I have ever reviewed. I've tested half a dozen of these adapters from various manufacturers and Linksys has put themselves in a league of their own. They have built the RE6700 to cater to both novice and advanced users in a magnificent way.

Cons: I have one huge complaint. By default, the Wi-Fi Extender itself will adopt the same name as your modem/router after setup. This means when viewing your available wireless networks, you will not see the Linksys adapter individually, it will replace your modem/router on your networks list!

There is an option in the 'Basic Settings' menu to disable this, and you can customize the name to be whatever you want -- at which point, both the Linksys Extender and your wireless router will be separate.

I assume Linksys did this to make the plug-and-play nature of the Extender more seamless. But for anyone who has ever seen a wireless network list before, this will be immediately confusing. Two wi-fi sources should have two unique identifiers... Not one. Two sources should never share the same name!

My overwhelming satisfaction with this product in all other areas will force me to keep this review at 5-eggs.

Other Thoughts: During initial setup, if your wireless device has any kind of Connection Optimizer, make sure you disable it before starting the process. It will continually interrupt your connection and boot you from setup.

If you're having connectivity issues with the device itself, try adjusting the QoS settings as these have been known to cause problems in the past.

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Seagate Expansion 5TB USB 3.0 3.5
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

5 out of 5 eggs Great external solution 05/03/2015

This review is from: Seagate Expansion 5TB USB 3.0 3.5" Desktop External Hard Drive STEB5000100

Pros: HD Tune Pro Read (4 MB Blocks):
Minimum: 82 MB/s
Average: 143 MB/s
Maximum: 188 MB/s

In real-world file copies, I'm seeing about 190 MB/s read and 170 MB/s write, which are very impressive for an external hard drive.

While powered on, the drive emits a low humming noise when the disk is spinning. During reads, there is no noticable extra noise. However it does make the traditional churning sounds while writing. On the whole, this drive produces the typical amount of noise for most external HDD's -- it's no quieter or louder than usual. However, given the capacity (5 TB), the noise is much more impressive.

Cons: The rubber mounts are placed along the width of the casing, so the drive stands vertically. It seems like a strange way of positioning the case, since it can be easily knocked over. Mounting hard drives vertically is perfectly safe, though. Just make sure the enclosure is stored somewhere secure otherwise it could fall off your desk, shelf, etc, and break. Storing the drive horizontally might work fine, but vibrations through the case could cause extra noise.

Other Thoughts: The included power adapter is about 5-feet long, the included USB cable is slightly shorter around 3-feet. Both are adequate lengths and props to Seagate for not skimping on the cables. Too many companies bundle mini-cables in these situations and it can be very frustrating.

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Brian M.'s Profile

Display Name: Brian M.

Date Joined: 03/16/06

Achievements:

  • Top 1000 Reviewer
  • Reviews: 67
  • Helpfulness: 28
  • First Review: 08/13/06
  • Last Review: 07/31/15
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