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Pros: The extender did pretty well in delivering better speeds further away from the router than without it. Setup is pretty easy, even with having to use the webGUI. I tried the WPS button method, but I put a pin requirement on my router and it was just easier to set this up with the webGUI than fight with the WPS buttons. It is much smaller than a router, and held a good signal 40-50 feet away through two thin walls.
It was very well packaged and nice looking. Had I not needed a solid and steady connection with a game, I may never had figured out that I would have some cons to give this.
Cons: I won’t be using this. While it does well at extending the signal, it does not do very well at keeping a steady reliable signal. After a few reconnects in my Clash of Clans game, I unplugged this unit and testing was done. I can’t lose signal in the middle of a battle! I could see this being useful for someone that likes to browse the internet and play on the social media sites, but I need my connection to be 100%. I took a week with this instead of rushing like before, just to make sure it was in fact the extender being plugged in that was causing the issues. The fact this is the second TP Link extender to give me identical issues tells me they just won’t work here. For that I take a star. I would take two, but it is very possible the device works fine and it is just something here that is giving it trouble. One of the wireless radios in the laptops, the smart TV’s wi-fi, one of the many game consoles, the phones? Way too many things to determine what it is exactly. Six months ago, I was asked to review another extender and it works very well without issues, so I know it’s possible. The TP Link extenders just don’t play well here.
Other Thoughts: I thought this would be a nice addition to my setup. I have a Netgear AC3200 Nighthawk X6 and thought the TP Link extender would be nice. I have used other TP Link products and didn’t have problems with them. The extenders on the other hand just seem to make our iPads here pause, reconnect, and other malfunctions with the TP Link extenders. Last year I used one of their 150Mbps extenders with a TP Link router and thought it was great. However, after a few months of unexpected hangs I unplugged it and the problems went away. This year, with the new iPads having better wireless and joining in COC, it didn’t take me long to figure out what was happening and what was to blame! I gave a very favorable review on the previous extender. I can’t do it this time. Different routers, different models extenders, issues with staying connected solid with TP Link extenders. It is a big OUCH. Maybe a firmware update, maybe some troubleshooting, but the whole marketing angle with these is the ease of setup and use.
Sorry, TP Link. The extenders have failed for me. However, there are a bunch of people out there that won’t be affected by a paused or occasional dropped connection and this may do well for them. It does a great job, it just doesn’t keep it solid which is a must for my success in my game. It is very well possible that my issue may only be noticed by sensitive needs and may not reflect the use of the majority.
Pros: If you got fed up with other brands, you should give this one a try. This is my second board from ASRock and I feel I have gotten a much better overall experience than I had from the other big motherboard manufacturers.
The Optical SPDIF makes my Steel Series Wireless Headphones work AWESOME! A home theatre experience! Watching great movies like 2012 really draws you in with such a setup! It is awesome!
The board is simple and full of features. I am the simple guy, but I will at some point in the future, get my hands on the SM951 to try in the m.2 slot! I started with SSD drives when the 64GB were over three hundred bucks, and I love how they make using a computer so fluid and quick!
I won’t go on about the specs. Everyone can read and everyone can see what this board is capable of. It happens to have everything I could want and then some, so it’s a great board for me. I still love how well ASRock works, I love the UEFI and how it’s Full HD now. I would have liked the Key Master, but I got a great Corsair mouse that already took care of that for me. There is still lots for me to explore and play with, but so far it’s awesome!
70 bucks and I could have a Thunderbolt AIC? Nice to know if I ever need it down the road, and hopefully that price will drop by the time I need it! IF I ever need it.
The potential improvements in cons are not real complaints for me as once I set my system up, it stays that way for some time. So the annoyances I deal with are far and few between. This board and the company ASRock is five stars in my book! I am glad to have taken the chance on them half a decade ago as they have made a much better impression on me than other motherboard manufacturers.
Cons: The clear CMOS button. It’s cool not having to deal with jumpers. Hitting a button is so much easier! You just might want to get in the habit of having a visual when you plug things in and not go by touch. Personally, I would like it to replace the jumpers on the board because I don’t over clock and have a need to “clear” my CMOS. The button, which I forget about till I accidently push it, is just an annoyance for me. For those who overclock, I reckon it can be useful for them, but once they find their sweet spot, then it’s redundant. I would seriously reconsider having this on the back of the boards in the future!
The HDD Saver. It is a great ideal, but I would feel much better if there was a physical switch for it instead of using software to turn it on and off. There is a switch for going from BIOS A to BIOS B, it is impossible to hack something that needs to physically be switched on. Using HDD Saver just seems to point the hackers as to where they need to hack first! What is very ironic is the BIOS chips, clearly labeled and right next to each other, are simple 8 legged IC chips which would be as easy to replace as the CMOS battery! No soldering would be needed! I wish more thought would have went into the development of HDD Saver. Maybe add the switch and call it HDD Protector.
The System Panel connectors could be color coded and easier to determine where the wires need to be connected.
The PCIE Power doesn’t float my boat any. My power supply has an abundance of connectors for video cards and I’m only using one. It’s all I have a need for. I reckon if you are trying to make a clean looking build, you could use it to power case fans? I just don’t see me using it myself.
Other Thoughts: As an expert item, I feel it would be wrong to complain about it not being perfect upon arrival. Opening a new product has a certain ‘wow’ factor and is usually the most exciting part. This unit must have been a return or used to demo, as it was opened. That alone wouldn’t have been a big deal, but whoever used it before me; messed up one of the pins, and I had to carefully bend it back into position to get it working properly. Had I not been one to admire a product before plugging things in, I could imagine destroying that bent pin beyond repair. If I have failed to portray the awesomeness of this board, that may have dealt a blow to my excitement. (Getting the runt of the litter syndrome? Perhaps?)
For memory, install into the black slots first starting at rear of board. I would have just plopped them all on one side, but I read in the manual that I can use quad channel with my memory. It is a good idea to read the manual! This one is short enough to figure everything out in a matter of minutes.
I recommend a visit to ASRock's homepage. The clean, informative design is worth taking a look at. You may feel more comfortable visiting it down the road when you feel the need to update firmware and drivers.
Great packing, great looking product! I like the small heat sinks letting my Deep Cool heatsink clear them with room to spare. However heat rises, so you might want to keep that in mind when you place your case fans. I boosted it to 1.35v and 2666Mhz just to see if it would work, but returned it to 2400. The difference will be unnoticeable for me, and if I’m going to not notice something, I rather it be energy savings and a lower energy bill. It’s just good to know that it can do more. Like your car; just because you can go 120MPH, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea! 3GHz is plenty fast enough for me and while an 8 core 4GHz machine with 64GB of ram sounds fantastic, I wouldn’t even begin to use that much computing power! 3.3GHz is plenty fast enough with 16GB of memory. At least that is what I’m telling myself as I refrain from getting another 16GB to run at 32GB. I may not need it, but it doesn’t change the fact that I want it!
I’ve had to use Corsair customer service once in the many years of using Corsair Products, and received excellent service. Corsair is a name I have trusted for years.
1.2v instead of 1.5v is saving energy right now. (Won’t be able to say that if I get another 4 sticks)
Cons: The only con I can point out is the little bit of discomfort when you try to make sure they are firmly pressed into place on the motherboard. SSD drives redesigned their whole look with the m.2 release. DDR5 should follow suit for better installation. Not something Corsair has a say in, but still a nice thought.
Other Thoughts: I would probably be more comfortable with overclocking if everything wasn’t so expensive. I find a great deal of comfort in sticking with default settings. (Lot less troubleshooting that way too!) This is a great price range for getting good DDR4 memory. I would recommend this to anyone wanting to save their cash and still get great memory.READ FULL REVIEW
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