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This review is from: Corsair Carbide Series 200R Black Steel / Plastic compact ATX Mid Tower Case
Pros: I’ll admit that when I ordered the Corsair Carbide Series 200R I was extremely skeptical of its design, ease of access, and the overall accessibility I’d have to everything once installed inside. I’m very happy to say that worry was immediately put to rest upon opening the packing box and removing the case from within.
Side by side, next to the old case, a seven year old Cooler Master Centurion 5, the differences in usable space were imperceptible. Removing the side panel from the 200R proved the product page images do this case no justice! I have an Antec 1200 for my own personal gaming system, and I was completely floored by the amount of room in this case even relative to that behemoth. Installing 4 WD HDDs, a Lite-ON DVD burner, Soundblaster x-fi Xtrememusic w/ I/O box, an EVGA gtx660, and a Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo cpu cooler in this case was going to be one very easy task.
The MSI Z97 motherboard I installed sports 90 degree SATA ports, (though 2 additional ports are straight up), this design makes it easier to install your SATA devices when you are also installing lengthy video cards. In the older case, it was very difficult to plug/unplug SATA cables with the motherboard installed, as there was little room between the motherboard sideways SATA ports and the HDD enclosure. In this Corsair 200R, there was more than enough room to easily insert the SATA cables with the motherboard already installed. The back panel cutouts also allowed easy cable routing, making for a clean looking installation, which in turn allows for excellent air flow.
The CPU cutout is great as well, especially considering I used the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo cpu cooler. Install the motherboard, and installation of the mounting bracket becomes a breeze. Without the cutout, this installation becomes somewhat of a hassle, not that it’s too difficult, just nowhere near as easy as when having the motherboard already installed, upright, and both sides easily accessible.
The included 2 fans are adequate enough for overall cooling, but you have the option of adding at least 4 additional fans if you so choose. Being an owner of the Antec 1200 with its top mounted 200mm cooling fan, I was pleased that this 200R has two installation spots for top mounted 120mm fans. We all know heat rises, and the amount of heat dissipated through the top of my Antec 1200 keeps my i7-3820/gtx670 FTW system cool even during hardware stressing situations (i.e. Highest settings while running Battlefield 4, Rome II, The Witcher 2, etc).
Thumbscrews make it super easy to install drives and expansion cards, remove and replace side panels, and save you a trip to the toolbox for that good old Philips screwdriver… though I did need that during this build for installation of the PSU and motherboard… but for future component replacement of drives and/or expansion cards, no tools required!
Cons: It would have been nice if the case came with at least one top mounted fan. I have a few extras lying around, as I’m always building systems, but I’d guess most customers would probably have to purchase an extra fan or two, and chances are, it would be after they opened the box and realized it only comes with a couple fans (although it does say so in the product description, I’m not implying anything to the contrary). Also, the inclusion of extra fans would increase the price, which at the current $70 is an excellent value, but still on additional top mounted fan would have been much appreciated.
Regarding filters, I really wish case designers would make them EASILY removable for cleaning. I should be able to either just pull them out from the side (regarding front installed filters), or open the front and pop them out. (The Antec 1200 requires removal of the drive cages, a 24 screw removal process!) This case makes it much easier to clean the air filters, not as easy as it should and could be! Applying aftermarket filtering material is still the best option and it simply should not have to be.
Other Thoughts: In nearly 30 years of building and upgrading systems, this is one of just a few computer cases I’ve been extremely pleased with, especially when factoring in the price of the unit. I’ll definitely be buying more of these for future builds for my kids, family, friends, and customers.
Some complaints of fan noise in a few reviews I read before purchasing... my kid mentioned how incredibly quiet the system was after we built it a couple days ago. Hopefully, it stays that way over time, we'll just have to wait and see. (currently only stock fans installed, with a Corsair HX850i PSU and CM Hyper 212 EVO 1 fan cpu cooler)
This review is from: Arctic Silver 5 High-Density Polysynthetic Silver Thermal Compound AS5-3.5G
Pros: You apply thermal compound for one purpose: assistance in the prevention of processor failure due to excessive operating temperatures.
You want a product that will do just that: you want Artic Silver 5.
Coupled with the Cooler Master Hyper 212 cpu coolers I use when building systems, I've never fried a cpu yet!
Easy to apply applicator. No waste. No mess. Just a small pea size amount (too much is almost as bad as using none at all!).
Couldn't be any easier.
Cons: Price. Then again, an ounce of prevention... For peace of mind, the $9 I picked it up for is a steal.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: Seagate STCT8000100 8TB NAS 2-Bay Network Storage
Pros: The Seagate packaging department performed an excellent job when assigned the task of designing the container for their NAS 2Bay device. The unit was protected from potential damage sandwiched in between two strong plastic shells, with a protective foam wrapping around the device itself, all this kept in place with a slim cardboard box alongside which contained the accessories (power cord, Ethernet cable, extra screws for an optional 2.5” HDD installation if you so desire, as well as the Quick Start Guide.
Quick Start actually means just that, quick start! I was setup and running in just minutes. The easy to follow instructions could not have been simpler: Connect the Ethernet cable from the rear of the NAS to your router or switch. Connect the power cord to the NAS and a power strip (I always recommend using a power strip for everything computer and home entertainment related!), wait for the power LED to turn solid, then login to the discover.seagate.com website. That’s as tough as it gets!
There were a couple options I needed to setup for my personal preference. I have an LG SmartTV downstairs, to which I stream movies (via DLNA) from my other NAS, a Netgear model, and obviously I wanted that option available on this NAS as well. Simple enough, all that was required was enabling that option, UPnP/DLNA under Devices > Services from the Seagate’s administration page (that service is off by default), which is wise considering the inherent security risks using UPnP. Simply typing the IP address of the NAS into one of the recommended browsers (IE, Chrome, or Firefox) gives you access to the configuration page. The NAS is configured for DHCP by default, and you can also setup a proxy server, remote access (various options available), and port forwarding.
I also enabled SFTP which is another of the many options available, for remote file access. There are a multitude of optional services that I will never (knock on wood) use, but many may find useful or necessary for their NAS needs.
My family streams movies and music all over the house, to various devices, both wired and wireless. I’m always a bit skeptical about the overall performance of any new device added to my home network, and I’m happy to say the Seagate STCT8000100 8TB did not disappoint in the least! After my son loaded a few dozen movies onto the NAS, we were able to stream simultaneously to the wireless TV downstairs, and 3 upstairs computers with little to no noticeable performance issues (see other thoughts).
I just finished transferring two files, one 27GB file from the Seagate NAS to the computer I’m using right now typing this, as well as one 10GB file from the Netgear NAS to this same computer, pasting both files in the C:\ directory. The Seagate transfer speed was ~90MB/s for about 30 seconds until I started the second transfer from the Netgear. When the Netgear finished (10GB file), it was up to ~50MB/s while dropping the Seagate down to ~60MB/s
Cons: The 4-Bay NAS is equipped with 2 Ethernet ports for redundancy and increased performance. It would have been great if that had been included on this unit as well. The cost would have been negligible relative to the benefit.
The unit seems to run a little hot, I have it next to my antec 1200 gaming PC, sitting about 5 inches to to the right of it, and the monitoring software accessible via the admin page shows 66 degrees on the CPU and 41 degrees on the HDDs. In comparison, the WD Caviar Black drives in my gaming PC currently read 32 degrees across the board (4 1TB units installed). Curious to see how hot the NAS will run this summer, although the room is usually air-conditioned. Though to be honest, neither current temp reading from the Seagate NAS is anything to worry about. It'll just be a good idea to keep an eye on it this summer.
Other Thoughts: My kids and I were streaming the Lord of the Rings to the LG SmartTV downstairs on 5Ghz wireless n speeds from the Seagate NAS. Multiple times it paused, or the screen went black, or the TV just shut off. This was the first movie we streamed with the new NAS. I then tested it the movie on my PC, it hiccuped just a couple times, but I probably noticed it more so because I was actually looking for a performance issue. So, immediately I thought it was an issue with the NAS. Played another movie, it was fine. Copied the Lord of the Rings over to the old Netgear NAS, did the same thing on the TV downstairs. Apparently, it's an encoding issue the TV just doesn't like.
Overall the performance of the Seagate NAS is impressive when tested on my 4 PC (3 built for gaming), 2 Laptop, SmartTV, PS3/PS4, 2 NAS, 2 network CAM, multiple smartphone home media streaming (files, music, and movies), network.
Display Name: Michael M.
Date Joined: 01/02/05
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