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Pros: EVGA support was available at 11pm EST and was very helpful unlike ASUS who for 4 days did not answer their motherboard support phones (or disconnected me when they did before I could talk to someone) and when I finally got someone on chat support was told that the 980ti was not supported because its not on the QVL...to which I replied neither are any modern graphics cards! Asus support then told me it was supported and then ended the chat abruptly.....so I will not be buying an ASUS card as an alternative simply because EVGAs Support was superior.
Cons: Failed out of the box, prevented Asus impact VI motherboard from posting. The dead card allowed my EVGA SR2 motherboard to post but without display thus confirming the graphics card fault
Other Thoughts: I was replacing an EVGA 780ti for an EVGA 980ti and have wasted 5 days of my time. I have submitted a replacement order with Newegg but my faith in EVGA has gone down even further than it did when they EVGA refused to honor my lifetime warranty on my EVGA SR2 motherboard. I really hope the new card works out.
Btw the backplane does not perform any function. There are heat sink pads which do not attach to anything because it is the same back pland as the titan X which has ram on the back of the card whereas the 980ti does not....so if you can get the 980ti card without the backplane for less go with that solution
Pros: When I got the assignment to review the Belkin Thunderbolt 2 Express Dock HD (called Belkin HD from here on) I spent 15 minutes looking at the product page and yet still had no idea what this product does, especially for $300. I then explored the Belkin website where there is a catchy video of a professional who wanted to seamlessly dock their Mac to two monitors and once I realized that this was the sole purpose of the Belkin HD I was a little disturbed that Belkin would dare charge $300. However when I walked around my office where there are many colleagues which use Mac laptops exclusively I began to understand why the Belkin HD exists. Most Mac laptops only have one display port and two USB ports, with the more costly laptop versions having a few more ports. Therefore the Belkin HD is a rather simple way of transforming your laptop into a high productivity workstation by using a single thunderbolt cable (See other thoughts for a practical usage scenario).
Cons: As mentioned by another reviewer one of the displays must be natively thunderbolt whereas the other can be HDMI. This means that for the average user you will only be able to use one display rather than 2 as advertised, but luckily I was able to drive my 2K Samsung monitor successfully (as I do not have a thunderbolt display).
The Belkin HD does not offer a means of charging the laptop. Given that the Belkin HD is $300 and is supposed to transform a laptop into a desktop workstation it is inexcusable to expect the user to either carry their charger with them or own two chargers and keep the second next to the Belkin HD (remember, the Belkin HD was meant to reduce the number of cables going to the laptop).
Other Thoughts: Although the Belkin HD may seem like a silly use of $300 dollars I can understand the importance of such a solution. I have a Surface pro 3 which I use to watch movies, look at pictures, or catch up on my email when I am home. However when I go to work I pair my Surface Pro 3 with the Surface pro 3 dock which I use to connect to a dedicated LAN network, printer, external hard drive, CD drive and 27” 2K display. The Belkin HD fills the exact same niche as my Surface pro 3 dock EXCEPT the Belkin HD does not provide charging like the Surface pro 3 dock. So, should you buy the Belkin HD:
If you would like to have the flexibility of having a SINGLE computer that will have all of your data AND intend to use this computer at work:
Then YES! The Belkin HD fills the same niche as my Surface Pro 3 dock, however you will need to provide your own power source which is a pain
If you have a thunderbolt display AND would rather have 2 external displays:
Then Yes! This is a convenient solution but native thunderbolt displays are usually in 4K monitors which are pricy
If you are ok with a single external Display OR can afford a dedicated desktop at work OR cannot afford a 4K display:
Then No: I suspect you could create a simple windows workstation for the same cost it would take to saturate all of the features available on the Belkin HD (i.e. 4K thunderbolt display, high speed external HDDs, etc) and for that reason this would be an impractical purchase for windows users.
As for me: I observed that of my 15 colleagues at work only one was using an external monitor with their laptop whereas the rest simply used their laptop alone. I don’t feel that the Belkin HD has enough features to warrant $300. However if you are already a Mac user you should be used to paying far too much for Mac products/accessories AND if you are a content creator who needs dual high resolution monitors then I suspect you will be happy with the simplicity of the Belkin HD dock.
This review is from: Linksys EA9200-4A Wireless AC3200 Tri-Band Smart Wi-Fi Router
Pros: When I got the assignment to review the Linksys EA9200 I was quite amused. I had previously purchased the Linksys EA8350 in hopes of creating a triband network but the router was unable to connect to me modem no matter what (Motorola Surfboard). This modem had never had a problem with the 8 routers I have owned over the years and after a 1 hour call to Linksys it was determined the router was defective. I left a scathing review on Newegg (which you can read) but in summery I denounced Linksys. After this misadventure I purchased the Asus RT-AC3200 and had absolutely no problems creating my triband network. Well Newegg must be watching my buying history because a few weeks after purchasing the Asus RT-AC3200 I was offered the Linksys EA9200, ironically a router which when I could not afford it I would have never gotten for free but now that I can afford it I get I get it for free….gotta love capitalism eh? Anyway I had my own expectations of the Linksys EA9200 before I received the router, and was highly surprised when it recognized the modem. The reason I require a triband network is that I like to do large backups but all of my clients are wireless (all using 802.11AC chips). My Seagate NAS is attached to a Linksys EA6700 DD-WRT wireless bridge (3x3 802.11AC 1300mbps) and if I were to transmit a large file on a single 5GHz band (which has 32MB/s real world speed) the file would transfer at 16MB/s because the router must both send and receive the data, thus halving the bandwidth. With my Asus RT-AC3200 I get 29-35MB/s whereas the Linksys EA9200 gets 25-37MB/s, with identical settings (channels, widths, etc). These speeds require the transmitting computer, a Surface Pro 3 (2x2 802.11AC 768mbps) to use one 5GHz band and the receiver, Linksys EA6700, to use the other 5GHz band.
When I attached an external USB 3.0 2TB western digital to each router to transfere an ISO I got 33MB/s read 25MB/s write from the Linksys EA9200 and 35MB/s read 29MB/s write from the Asus RT-AC3200
Cons: The Linksys EA9200 (2014) uses the same GUI as the Linksys EA6700 (2013), both of which left me underwhelmed in comparison to the Asus RT-AC3200. The Asus router has a beautiful way of presenting total and individual network traffic, even down to what content each client uses whereas the Linksys has mediocre logs which lack such detailed information. This may not seem like much but if you want to really take control of your network this sort of information is important. Additionally the Asus router has many built in functions such as a download manager, ability to connect 3G & 4G wireless dongles, a media server mode (a lot like the DD-WRT wireless bridge) whereas the Linksys router requires me to flash DD-WRT just to get similar features (and good luck getting Linksys support of the open source community, they have been halfhearted at best in helping developers), non exists for the Linksys EA9200 as of today.
The Linksys EA9200 cannot be laid down despite no noticeable performance decrease in my tests and for me this is a deal breaker because it means this router will be an obtrusive presence in my house whereas the Linksys EA6700 and Asus RT-AC3200 can be tucked away. This also means the Linksys EA9200 will be near impossible to mount on a wall if you so desired
Other Thoughts: So should you buy this router?
If you want a simple plug and play router AND want a tri band network AND don’t care if the router stands up then:
Yes, this router is for you but there may be more flexibility found in other products
If you want a feature rich router AND want a tri band network AND some flexibility:
No, the Asus RT-AC3200 is of much better value
As for me, after the Linksys EA8350 left me vowing to never buy a Linksys product again I find the Linksys EA9200 has only recaptured my interest but not my trust in the Linksys brand. To rebuild my trust Linksys needs to produced high quality, reliable and feature rich products and the Linksys EA9200 is not such a product. Given that the Asus RT-AC3200 is a few dollars more but delivers so many more features and flexibility I would feel cheated if I had paid for my Linksys EA9200. So my advice to you, newegg customer, is if you can get the Linksys EA9200 on sale at $230 or less (including shipping) it’s not a bad tri band router, but at the current price point it does not deliver the premium experience one would expect from a router that costs half a month’s salary for a minimum wage worker. I for one will be selling my review model but might keep abreast of Linksys’s products in the future…only time will tell if Linksys can recapture its legendary status which was build on the low price point AND integration of open source alternatives. My suggestion to you Linksys is commit to working with open source developers, rather than just saying you will while never delivering a proper toolkit/API/drivers to the community (check the forums if you don’t believe me). This way if your customers hate your firmware implementations we would at least have other, official and robust, options which can harness the decent hardware underneath. Its is this approach which got your company where it is today so why not go back to your roots?
Display Name: Lawrence M.
Date Joined: 01/10/09
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