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This review is from: Seagate Expansion 5TB USB 3.0 Desktop External Hard Drive STBV5000100
Pros: I setup the drive and installed it, did a backup to it, and all seemed good. A drive like this is targeted as big dumb storage. My experience is that it does that fairly well. I did hook it up to a USB 3 port and try copy 145GB of media files (video, music, total ~6K files), it did work and all appeared intact after the copy but I missed catching the finishing time. As far as a big dumb drive it was about as painless to install as you could hope for. For me, and I believe most real world users, reasonable speed is sufficient for archival purposes, and this meets that benchmark.
Cons: The advert on Newegg says 2 year warranty, the box says 1 year. One year is not sufficient on something that people will tend to use for an archives drive. If it’s just to do a onetime transfer of data and you have the data on another machine, maybe no problems? Not to be comical but with the size of a 5TB and a very short warranty, if you started writing today you might fill it up around the time the warranty expires.
I had a problem with the shape of the brick power supply which was fat enough to make the plugs on both sides of it on the power strip unusable. As I currently work as a engineer for mass produced consumer products, I know every penny is sensitive in how it’s spent, but design choices like this always are an indicator as the general lack of thought given to the consumer experience – there are solutions that cost more, but are not prohibitive in products which retail in this price range.
Other Thoughts: I used to work for a few different storage companies and an SSD manufacturer as a FW engineer so I have some background in drive testing. I could go exhaustively through tests running benchmarks, but what I know was always the most important parameter was how long would a drive survive. There isn’t an application or a customer I can think of where it was okay if the drive died frequently. Unless your application isn’t sensitive to having the drive die quickly I would advise against this purchase.
Stating the obvious, warranties are timed to not cost the manufacturer much money, which means that they are timed to expire before statistically significant numbers of the product start failing in large enough numbers to cost the manufacturer their profits. So a five year warranty means the manufacturer is pretty confident in their product, a manufacturer who gives a one year warranty probably hopes it will sit on your shelf for a few months before you go to use it.
For me personally, the cost of the drive while not incidental is far less important than the value I place on my data and my time to gather, sort, categorize, etc. I can’t recommend this product only for that reason and give two eggs.
This review is from: Netgear C3700 N600 WiFi Docsis 3.0 Cable Modem Router 2 In 1
Pros: I used to work for Cisco, and do router FW. Though it was about a decade ago, most of the same stuff applies. I don't get hung on specs, to me usability is what it's all about so long as the performance is respectable. It's more than respectable this case.
I think the only fair comparison I can make is to compare the C3700 N600 to my all-time favorite Router, a NetGear WNDR3700 N600 <g>. Until this test I was running a Motorola SB6120 cable modem and the Netgear WNDR3700, and it was a setup I was highly satisfied with. As the functionality of the two is nearly identical, the only thing that has (substantially) changed is the modem part. .
I don’t remember the model or make of the junk my cable provider gave me when I first got setup, but I do remember halting Netflix playbacks, my wife yelling at me when I would put on a movie in one room and it would stall her movie in another. As soon as I put in the Netgear C3700 modem about a bunch new improvements were available.
• FAST!!!! We can stream on 3-4 devices at a time now; any problems are with my service and no longer my modem as I can verify with modem speed tests.
• I have a guest wifi – also for the po’ folks nearby, I have more friends come in now with iPads and Androids who are giddy at having instant access without having to go through setting up.
• I have a media server.. I put up a 64GB flash drive and store a ton of my young daughters films on it.. she has her own tablet (crazy.. but normal) she watches Pingu and other kid stuff on. The media server now recognizes a whole bunch of formats from DOS (FAT32) to NTFS, Windows HFS+ to various Linux Ext2-
4.. very cool as it is no longer size constrained. It appears to be noticeably faster to write to also.. though network writes are pretty slow, if you’re backing up you usually won’t care.. fire and forget.
• No more cable modem.. and this is fast, faster than my surfboard.
Cons: There are a few new features that my WNDR3700 didn’t have so it appears as if they have kept a FW engineer around to gradually enhance their offering. They did have a nice feature to view all the other access points in the area but the things I really wanted was to see all the attached devices on each network setup.. i.e 2.5Ghz, 5Ghz, and public networks.. Though there is a feature to view a network map, it doesn't really fill the bill. It’s always nice to know who’s using your public network and no way to find out from my digging.. If I’m wrong apologies but I haven’t found it.
A.C is missing. Many devices are coming out with 802.11 AC now and it’s probably the only big glaring omission on this router. To be honest, if this was just another generic router, I wouldn't buy it without AC except that this is a really, really, nice full featured modem.
I also wish there was VPN built into these things by now.. it’s not that tough and most of the other BIOS support it. It would be nice if you didn't have to be a hacker to get it as a standard feature by now.
Other Thoughts: The bang for the buck on this modem is really superior, if I was buying a new modem now it would be high on my list even with the missing features listed above. I ran Speakeasy.net speedtest and got times that weren't much different than before, but I attribute that to my ISP and not the modem as I am getting the rated service speed. One day I may drop for the 100Mbps service, but at this time I’m doing find with my 20-30Mbps service for ½ the price. If I can have 3+ streaming programs being watched while surfing on my PC and/or tablet, then I can live without it. This modem can and does deliver on this side of the cable connection.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: I love the looks of this board.. I have built several systems and have fallen for Mini ITX form factor. I’ve never ever seen one with so much stuff built in which is a huge plus. As a professional embedded SW engineer I usually end up wanting to stick some sort of a special feature in the box.. Which means I usually have to choose carefully.. this gives me a lot more room as most everything is built in. It also means that all the USB ports on the box won’t be eaten up and that I *won’t* have to use an active HUB (which don’t work with a lot of devices).. all of this is great for making a really small footprint PC.
One of the things to appreciate about this system is that because of all the built in features, the investment to get a decent working system is hundreds less than larges systems.. That includes the lower price of the small case, smaller power supply as you have decent built in video, bluetooth, and wifi (AC! – future proof) built in.
One thing that may be over looked is that the Bluetooth has 3.0 (high speed – up to 24 Mbit/s transfer rate – plenty for HD video much less music), and 4.0 which also allows for low energy so if you’re talking to peripherals on batteries they don’t get taxed too much on power.
Also – in the future proofing area, though it’s becoming more common is UEFI bios. If you are unfamiliar with it, it’s probably best described as a complete operating system residing in your bios, that your “regular” OS sits on top of (e.g. Windows, Linux, etc). One of the huge advantages of this is that your OS can use the device drivers written for UEFI and you won’t need OS specific ones. No matter what MB you get, I suggest getting a UEFI board as whenever they update OS’s you won’t have to toss the board as the mfg no longer updates the drivers for new OS’s. For this I was running W7, and experienced no problem other than those of my own creation.
I am not a big fan of performance statistic as I know they often cloud the more important aspects of products, and sales are often made on things you wouldn’t normally notice as that is where the marketing hype goes – so I refrain from it. I will say that you can build a scorchingly fast system with this board, though I prefer great performance and reasonable power. I build with i5 processors consuming 84W max as 90% of the time I am running applications that don’t require a processor that blows fire out the back of the box - like most occasional gamers anything more is useless to me.
I did not have an 802.11ac router setup for these tests so all I could do was verify that the system was connected and that 802.11g and 802.11n worked by connecting to different routers. I got a good strong signal for all connections and was impressed with it. Connecting direct with Ethernet via a cable modem I was able to get comparable rates with www.speakeasy.net/speedtest . Since that’s as fast as my modem goes, I can’t ask for much else.
Cons: It would have been nice if it supported Bluetooth V4.1 (2013) – as this may be the last incarnation of Bluetooth in a while – it would allow for some wireless phone signaling becomes more widespread. I’m him hoping this is mostly a FW update though I do not know if it requires and HW changes – none that I am aware of.
Some of the “Pros” may be echoed in the “Cons”, by that I mean even though the box may be really small, you will have to really work to get all the cables in the box connected – when you put the heat sink on your processor that eats up most of the available space to get to the board. That’s not a design flaw per se, but it is a reality in building the system. For me personally, the pain is worth the gain, but this may not be the ideal board to build into a system for a beginning system builder unless you have some technical chutzpa patients and like skinned knuckles.
Other Thoughts: I have a “large” rectangular Lian Li mini ITX case which allows more room than many mini ITX cases, I would not recommend a case any smaller. I’m sure it’s possible but at such as size you need to worry not only about airflow, but also the physical constraints of having to bend cables in such a small space and getting everything to fit.
Whenever I build a system, I end up spending way more that I originally ball parked. This board has been an exception since I really only had to buy memory (8GB DDR3 1333 and an i5-4590) and recycled an older case/PS and SSD. So.. hats off for this.. no wi-fi, BT, video card, etc – it’s a decent system at a decent price.