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APC Black 5000mAh Mobile Power Pack M5BK
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

4 out of 5 eggs Great for long trips and occasional recharges 01/04/2015

This review is from: APC Black 5000mAh Mobile Power Pack M5BK

Pros: This little battery pack was surprisingly effective while being quite compact. At full charge, I'm able to get roughly 2-1/4 complete recharges on my 2100mAh phone. Any phones that support rapid charging on 2.4A USB will benefit from the tablet port on this battery pack. Having two ports also means that you can charge two devices at once, a huge bonus when out with friends who also need to charge their phones. When charging this device with a 2.4A charging port, this battery pack recharges in just over 2-1/2 hours, instead of the full 4-6 hours.

By being just slightly heavier than my phone and roughly the same size, it's just as mobile and can travel in my pocket while charging my phone.

Cons: This battery pack does not support in-line/pass through charging, so if you only have one wall charger and you need to charge a device and your phone at the same time, you're out of luck. The battery pack only does one thing at a time.

With a 1A wall-wart, this battery pack can 4-6 hours to fully charge from a full drain, however I've noticed it usually requires the full 6.

When this battery gets cold, it's significantly less effective. I had accidentally left it in my car overnight with a full charge, and the next day when charging my phone it drained the battery pack significantly faster, using almost 75% of the battery pack's power before completing a full charge.

Other Thoughts: When this battery gets cold, it's significantly less effective. I had accidentally left it in my car overnight with a full charge, and the next day when charging my phone it drained the battery pack significantly faster, using almost 75% of the battery pack's power before completing a full charge. I'm not sure if this is really a con or just a fluke with the one I was using, as this was probably using it outside of it's normal operating conditions, but if you have to charge a device while being outdoors overnight this may be an issue.

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NETGEAR GS208 8-Port Gigabit Desktop Switch in Plastic Case - Essentials Edition
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

4 out of 5 eggs Solid switch at a good price 09/17/2014

This review is from: NETGEAR GS208 8-Port Gigabit Desktop Switch in Plastic Case - Essentials Edition

Pros: This is a great little plug-and-play switch with great speeds and no hassle. Support for auto-MDI/MDIX, low power and low heat makes it a great multi-purpose switch, whether you plan on leaving it in a network closet or plan on constantly plugging and unplugging devices. It's very compact, which somewhat surprised me when I first opened the box, and it should have no trouble finding a home in small spaces

Finding a Gigabit switch with full 16Gb/s switching capacity is fantastic at this price point, especially one that sips power.

Cons: The exterior enclosure of this switch makes the device feel cheap, even though the internal components are solid and work well. The white plastic casing feels flimsy and the case slides around a lot, as it doesn't have any sort of rubber feet. I had trouble getting it to stay still when it was plugged into a stiff cable that wanted to push it around. There also aren't any keyhole mounts for hanging on walls, something that should be extremely common on networking gear

Other Thoughts: Great internal components, but the case could use some work. I wouldn't have any problem setting this up as a daily-use switch on my network

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ASRock Z97 OC Formula LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

4 out of 5 eggs Great board, minor inconveniences 08/18/2014

This review is from: ASRock Z97 OC Formula LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: This is a solid LGA 1150 motherboard for anyone looking to overclock. It's a bit overkill for anyone else, but it's rock solid and stable for general use as well. I was able to hop in and overclock the CPU and memory easily without stability issues.

I was very happy to see an M.2 slot on the motherboard. I picked up a cheap SSD and dropped it into the slot, which sits just below the first PCIe slot. I'm not entirely sure how useful this is on a full ATX board, which will sit in a case with extra drive slots, but it was nice to have onboard anyway. Just like the Killer NIC and the additional ASRock utilities, they're not necessary, but they're great to have as an option.

It's also a huge plus to see 8 SATA III ports that can run RAID 0/1/5/10 across all ports. I haven't seen enough boards that support this, and it's important to me as I tend to run a large number of secondary drives in RAID but always have to make sacrifices.

Cons: This board supports up 4-Way SLI/Crossfire and it's advertised that all three PCIe 3.0 slots are x16 slots, however they're only x16 at single card speeds. The PCIe 2.0 x16 slot is locked at x4 speeds. When running Multi-GPU setups, the PCIe 3.0 slots are dropped in speed. The speeds are as follow:

Dual @ x8/x8
Triple @ x8/x8/x4
Quad @ x8/x8/x4/x4

The M.2 slot, while nice to have, requires you remove a GPU in the first PCIe slot if you want to replace/remove it. It makes sense logistically to hide it under there, but it's a bit of a pain to access after the system is built.

Other Thoughts: This is a very solid board with lots of little bells and whistles. I haven't had any stability while overclocking the CPU or the RAM, and it's more than good enough for anyone just dropping in stock parts. I just wish the PCIe slots ran at full speed in SLI/Crossfire.

Tested with:
Intel Core i7 4790K @ 4.4Ghz
16GB Corsair Vengeance @ DDR3-2800
2x ASUS GTX 770
Intel 530 80GB M.2 SSD
Corsair AX860i

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Daniel C.'s Profile

Display Name: Daniel C.

Date Joined: 11/30/07

Achievements:

  • Top 1000 Reviewer
  • 100 Reviews
  • Reviews: 109
  • Helpfulness: 58
  • First Review: 12/04/07
  • Last Review: 01/04/15
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