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GIGABYTE GA-X99-Ultra Gaming (rev. 1.0) LGA 2011-v3 Intel X99 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
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Pros: This is one fancy motherboard and I like most of the bells and whistles! Lights appear from everywhere on this thing! Coming out from under heatsinks, all along the memory and along the expansion slots. Everywhere! And it is impressive for the price range!

I really liked the SATA cable labels included. (The cable management velcro straps and other goodies too of course) Once you start putting everything together, it is very difficult to determine what cable is what unless you plan ahead. The stickers help do just that!

I like how with this motherboard I don’t have to worry about wanting to upgrade a IC chip to get better audio or deal with any toggle switches. Some people may fancy that, but the less I have to fool with, the more I can enjoy the equipment! The sound is amazing!

I like how the m.2 slot for the wireless is not going to be in the way of the m.2 for the SSD. This board supports U.2 so if in the future they decide to start making U.2 drives more common for desktop applications, we will have that connection available. I’m not holding my breath with the U.2 connectors!

All in All, this is a great motherboard with many bells and whistles! From your expected dual bios and UEFI bios, to the fancy RBG LEDs all over the motherboard! I love how the one USB is dedicated to updating your BIOS if you get a fancy 12 core CPU and don’t have one installed, you can update the BIOS to accept that fancy new CPU! I love how you can pick this thing up comfortably! The heatsinks all over the board make it comfortable to pick up. And the points on the back haven’t punctured my fingers yet! It feels really strong and well designed! I find myself taking a peak at it often! That may be the LED lights though!

Cons: I’m not a big fan of the Sata connectors being sideways as they are on the motherboards now days. I liked it better when it plugged in straight up and down. Which also makes me not like the sideways mounted power connector for the PCI-E slots on the edge of the board. It makes things difficult with most cases. Most of the time you will have to disassemble more than half of your computer before being able to add/remove cables and drive because of the mount. If it was straight up and down, a simple flash light and small steady hands would make the job a whole lot quicker and easier!

The power Q-connect could use a wee bit of work on its design in my opinion. People love to hear a “Click/Snap” when they plug something in. The old fashion latches with their ninety-degree angle ledges required having to push on a tab to remove. If you were to design it with a half circle where the ninety-degree ledges were, it could still latch and hold, but not rip wires out when removed.

There is a whole lot offered with this motherboard and that means spending time to learn programs and applications to get the most from it.

I don’t like how the U.2 connection requires a cable, unlike the m.2. I get that the m.2 slots take up real estate on the mainboards and some believe the u.2 is the future for desktops, but I really like less cables! I don’t see U.2 gaining much ground, but we shall see!

There was no harm in adding an onboard power button for troubleshooters! In my situation, I could have used it to flash the BIOS instead of having to start putting the whole motherboard in my case! Oh and a HDMI connection would have been great! I realize that a gaming motherboard should have a graphics card other than what the CPU pushes out, but it still wouldn’t have hurt!

Other Thoughts: I took advantage of using the USB (White Port) to update my BIOS to F4 before doing anything else. I had an 8GB USB drive and I formatted it Fat32 to clean it. Extracted the Bios file from the zip file and renamed it “X99UG.F4” to GIGABYTE.BIN and safely dismounted the USB drive. Took it over to my motherboard with nothing installed other than keyboard and mouse and plugged it in the USB port that was white in color. Turned it on and the bright amber LED right next to it was solid for a mere 2-5 seconds before it started to blink for a few minutes. Probably 2-3 minutes later it was solid again and stayed that way for a while. After five minutes I went ahead and shut it down! Easy as pudding pie!

If you have more than 2 GPU cards installed and are having issues, do not forget to plug in the 4 pin Molex from your PSU (Female) into the edge Molex connector on Motherboard (Male) on side furthest from CPU.

If you do NOT have a 40 lane CPU installed, you will NOT be able to use the U.2 connector. I wanted the better graphics so I recommend the i7-6850K Broadwell. If I’m not mistaken the Haswell only offered 4400HD on their graphics where the Broadwell offers Intel HD 5500. Not that it really matters since the board itself doesn’t offer any HDMI connections, but some applications will still let you take advantage of the CPUs ability to encode videos. For many functions on this board, you got to make sure your CPU supports the 40 lanes (Which means if you picked the cheapest one, you probably only have 28 lanes!)

I love how the protective CPU cover states to install the processor before removing cover!
That’s like pouring the milk before putting out a bowl and filling it with cereal!

Quick lesson on LED lights for when you go buy some. RGB 5050 without a power supply and remote is your best bet. For best quality for this motherboard, go with your 5050 RGB lights only. When you see RGBW and RGBWW (That is white and then warm white which some people prefer cause it looks like an old light bulb.) These sets are a bit different and use 5 pins. They are great for other projects, but not for your computer. Stay with your 4 pin RGB ones to work with the connector that plugs into the mainboard! (Note: 5m is a pretty decent size to wire up behind your 47” TV and you can get a 5m extension cable to exit from the computer case. You are NOT limited to just putting lights inside the case! If you are happy enough with what the motherboard displays, go head and get some backlight going for your monitor! Highly recommend getting to understand how this works with Kodi! Easy to find videos with simple search engine search!)

Silicon Power 32GB Elite microSDHC UHS-I/U1 Class 10 Memory Card with Adapter, Speed Up to 85MB/s (SP032GBSTHBU1V20NE)
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Pros: Decent size, easy to read microSD card. Decent speeds that will work in most mainstream devices.
MicroSD to SD adaptor included.
Free recovery software you can download from their website works very well.

Cons: While the package claims it can read up to 85MB/s, I barely got to see half of that. I usually protest posting speeds from personal testing because I am well aware of how different chipsets and drivers can adversely affect the performance of devices. I tried using the SD adaptor, then I tried using a USB adaptor and I tested it on USB 3.0 and 2.0 on my desktop and came up with the same results. Going to a completely different computer, I then tried a read and write on my 2 in 1 and actually got better performance. Half of what the specs say, but still better than my desktop can do. The thing is, you shouldn’t be as concerned with the read as you are the write speeds! I couldn’t find the specs on it ANYWHERE! Not the package and not the website and I gave a good rundown of the website trying to find how to Win iPad Air as a sticker on the package claims you can do. Nothing on the write specs or how to win the iPad Air.

Downloading from website is easy, but the recovery software alerted that an update was available. Getting it wasn’t as easy. Had to backtrack because the “download” button I clicked was an AD… I HATE websites that are setup that way! Would be nice if SP kept their offers updated and fresh! The recovery software is not tied to SP. SP is just letting users know of the free software that can come in handy. The software offers a professional version at a reasonable price.

Other Thoughts: Overall, I’m not impressed. The price isn’t much different than other choices. SP is really lacking in detailed information that most serious users need to have to make their best choice. With some people, time is money, and this card is not suitable for quick transfers. If you have a professional task and need to get photos, videos, etc. transferred quickly, you might want to opt for one of the more expensive cards that can write over 45MB/s. (Most that do write 45MB/s are the same price as this one. Get faster for same price? Why not?) For the most part, people will pop this in a device and use it now and then. It makes a good entry level card. A professional that needs to move 30 gigs of data a few times a week will want to opt in for a card that can do it 4x faster or more.

So what is being offered here? I’m not getting near the speeds advertised, the write speeds are not impressive, compare to other cards at the same cost that are more than twice as fast. Lifetime warranty isn’t exclusive to this company. Most cards come with such a warranty. The card just works, and not that great at that! I was in hopes it would do better than a more expensive one I had in my blackvue as it constantly tells me to "Please Check SD Card" if I do not format the bloody thing daily. It is certainly the blackvue's issue as this card is the third to do the same thing. First being the manufacturers card OEMed with the product, second being one of the fastest on the markets costing more for the premium, and I thought a cheap entry level card should be given a shot as well.

Desktop was reading it at about 20MB/s and writing near 15MB/s
Sony Vaio 2 in 1 was reading it at about 40MB/s and writing near 20MB/s

NETGEAR ProSAFE 5-Port PD Pass-through Gigabit Web Managed (Plus) Switch (GS105PE) - Lifetime Warranty
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3 out of 5 eggs Security not as important as ease of use 05/17/2016

This review is from: NETGEAR ProSAFE 5-Port PD Pass-through Gigabit Web Managed (Plus) Switch (GS105PE) - Lifetime Warranty

Pros: Without getting into all the technical details of this device, I will try to share a simpler use of it for those wondering if it may be right for them. This is my first use of a “switch” where I’ve only used hubs before. Being PoE, I thought might be nice for IP cams at the front and back doors. I’ve been up in the attic plenty running cables for the other dozen cameras up and thought how this device would make running IP cameras that much more simple. One cable up to the switch, and one cable out to each cam. This Pro however, comes with a con. The simplicity of it goes away when you start learning about the power requirements of different PoE devices and how much your device is capable of providing. I reckon for an electrician who is very familiar with the complexity of electricity, they may be fine with it all. But your average Joe just wants to plug stuff in and have it work! Lucky enough, a bit of searching on the products webpage can give you the education you need and google can fill in the rest of the blanks!

I learned that the switch is better than a hub on the aspects that it communicates better with the devices. Any back and forth between one port will not be picked up by the other. A hub shoots all the information to all the ports, where the switch only communicates with what it needs to. So if you unplug a camera and switch the port it was on, you will need to wait a few minutes (Up to five) for the switch to take a look at it and grab the info it needs to do its thing. (Or you can power cycle the switch to do it faster) This is important for those that never used a switch before and “want to test” the ports. It’s not like the hub with instant results!

Like the other reviews state, it’s strong as an ox! Built to last from the looks and feel of it! It may not get hot, but I still didn’t want to leave it just laying on a board up in the attic, so I took advantage of the mounting hole on the back to hang it so it is not touching anything. (Better safe than sorry!) At first it looks like a screw won’t fit; but whatever is behind the screw mount hole, it gives and a screw fits just fine. (I learned from previous lessons to predrill a hole first. Supplied screws aren’t what they use to be!) It seems to be fine holding onto just one screw. I did not want it flush with the beam up there in the attic. There is a grounding screw on the back which I guess is for those in a rackmount environment to take advantage of. Don’t really see it being of use in my attic!

Cons: I’m reading “How do I log into the switch if I lost my password?” on one of the ProSAFE Plus Switches support page on the manufacturers website. The answer they provided is “From the configuration utility, select the switch and use the serial number (printed on the bottom product label of the switch) as the password. Once logged into the switch, reset the password.”

Well this makes it easy! It also makes it easy for dishonest people too! There are many scenarios where this can be bad! Repair guy knows of this ‘Master Key’ on this product, has a moment alone with it, takes a snapshot of the bottom for the serial number and later that night he logs in and disables the security cameras used on this switch. It could be a relative, maid, anyone that has access to it! Why wasn’t the reset good enough for password recovery? At least that was secure! A master key makes it useless the second anyone gets it!

I’m beginning to feel VERY uncomfortable with using ANY netgear products. They go with ease of use over security. Previous products I’ve reviewed from them (Network Range Extenders for example) have also had security issues. With those, users set them up and get excited to have a bit more range in their network. If they fail to learn how to use their new toy, they fail to “change” the default ‘password’ for it. That allows for easy access to your network! Is this company hoping to end up on the news for publicity?

Some folks will need to add a PoE injector to their setup for this to work. (Alright. MOST folks will need to add a PoE injector!) If you have to ask, you are probably one that will need one! I would HIGHLY recommend going to Netgears main website, typing in the GS105PE model number, looking at what info they have to offer. In their troubleshooting section it gives a whole page about power requirements to power what. (Google search will help you learn differences between Class 0 and 1 and 2 devices and such.) Wish it was more plug and play, but it is not!

Only two PoE ports. Good for small projects only. (I am divided on if this is a con. With the small size, and pain in dealing with more PoE ports and power and requirements and such, having only two to worry about may be a Pro? I took a peak at the ones providing 8 PoE and they are huge and the power being supplied can get up there and it just doesn’t seem safe for a home environment. Those belong in a server room properly mounted and safe from mice and rats chewing the cables and possibly causing a house fire. I think this is the perfect size for me. I’d like more cameras, but not at the cost. Money, time, learning, and possible hazards if you fail to do something. It isn’t worth it to me.)

Need to ingest quite a bit of information to fully understand these things. I am cheap. I can’t afford the high end PTZ cams and choose not to really want them because I don’t watch the cams I have. They are a “Go To” thing if something is amiss. I can only imagine they draw more power though, and am grateful I do not have to research to find out if it would work with this switch. I’m also glad that the distance between front door and back door from the switch in the attic is probably some 25’ max, so I didn’t have to “learn” any lessons about the max length of the cable! Which would have led to “learning” about repeaters. “Learning” about how costly it becomes!

Other Thoughts: Because of the serial number on the bottom being a ‘Master Key’ to this, that is a huge security issue with me. Ironic that this thing has a Kensington lock on it and they manage such a major fail on securing the device digitally! With the limitation of only 2 PoE ports, many users will want to use this for IP cameras. This security issue should be made known to anyone using it for cameras with a nice big sticker on the box like the one they put their explaining it will only work as PoE and not with a power brick.

If someone feels the need to get introduced into using a PoE switch for a few IP cameras, I would highly recommend using this for a professional install look. (Providing security is not in question.) If you want security, you will have to destroy the label on the bottom where nobody else can read the serial number. I would not recommend this to a small business or office environment unless they do not care in the least about their network being secure.

I’m sure down the road, I may have to learn some of the settings but I’m not messing with them now. It reminds me of half the settings you see in the router! If you don’t have to mess with them, then don’t! If I were asked to buy this, I would pass. Setting it up was easy enough, but there was just way to much learning involved with getting what you need to set it up to work properly. I hope it was worth it, with the way everything seems to be heading toward wireless.

I was thinking having a bigger switch with more PoE ports for more cameras would be nice. However, with all the education I had to go through just to get this far, I’m going to pass. It is not for the faint of heart. If I ever need a hub again, I may choose a switch instead just because I believe they run better than a hub. I’ll just stay away from the PoE part of them.

Power Input: 37-57 VDC, 600mA max @42.5V (Useful if someone has a bunch of power supplies laying around and knows how to “hack” the Ethernet cable.) I would recommend getting a PoE Injector though for safety sake.


Kenith H.'s Profile

Display Name: Kenith H.

Date Joined: 05/26/05


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