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Diamond Multimedia MDS3900 USB 3.0/2.0 to HDMI/DVI Mini Ultra Dock, Dual Head Multiple Display Monitors up to 2560 x 1600
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: This is a very compact solution if you're looking to add multiple monitors to a laptop. The price is reasonable, and the multi-display support is pretty good.
I have no complaints for the graphics performance. Note that it's not meant for gaming, but for general use, it's fine.

Cons: The network port is not reliable. There are a multitude of messages in the DisplayLink support forums for flaky behavior of the network interfaces on a number of docs using similar chipsets, and the problems are usually blamed on the user plugging the port into an older hub or switch that doesn't support proper negotiation. The port doesn't seem to work on anything other than 100mbit/full duplex when connected to a NetGear ProSafe 5-port Gigabit switch, and even then it only works sometimes. I end up having to use a usb-gigabit adapter because the mini-dock port just doesn't work reliably.

Other Thoughts: Diamond Multimedia's tech support is pretty much non-existant. I opened a support ticket back on 7/29/2014, updated the ticket on 8/7/2014, and I have yet to receive any kind of reply from Support.
Because of this, I'll likely never purchase any Diamond Multimedia products again, and I'd strongly urge everyone else not to do so as well.
In hindsight, I should've picked up a Targus or similar product; after all, they're all using the same DisplayLink chipset, only the packaging is different.

Really, stay away from anything made by Diamond if you think you may need support later on.

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G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 16GB (2 x 8G) 204-Pin DDR3 SO-DIMM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Laptop Memory Model F3-1600C9D-16GRSL
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: I recently got a Dell Ultrabook which came with 8GB of Samsung memory, and had a free slot. I decided to just replace the slower Samsung memory with a faster 16GB kit, as I run some virtual machines for development and testing.
Usually, I get Crucial, but this time I decided to try G.SKILL as the price was very good for lower latency memory.
Installation was quick and simple, and the memory was recognized immediately by the system with no issues.
I ran several memory stress tests, using both the onboard diagnostics and a bootable ISO with memtest86+ and the memory performed flawlessly.
I'm extremely pleased with the performance of the system and plan to use G.SKILL products again in the future.

Cons: No cons. It works perfectly, which is exactly what I wanted.

Other Thoughts: The system I put this kit in was a Dell Ultrabook 6430u. The specs are as follows:

- Intel Core i5-3437U
- 16 GB RAM
- 256GB SSD
- Windows 7 Pro 64-bit

I'm also running VMWare Workstation 9.1, which I use to run Linux and Solaris virtual machines.
Performance after this upgrade is fantastic, specially when I can dedicate 6GB to each of the VMs and still run a number of apps on the Windows side.

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ICY DOCK MB561US-4SB-1 Aluminum body w/ partial plastic 3.5
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: I purchased two of these enclosures, one back in April of 2013, and a second one a little over a month ago.
The enclosures are pretty quiet and the drives are kept fairly cool due to the large fan in the back. Not having a external power brick is definitely a plus.
The enclosures are well built, and the drives are easily replaceable thanks to the drive brackets. The drive slot LEDs were not blinding like some of the others out there
The clean look and the reliability were what made me purchase a second one, even though there were other less expensive options available from some of their competitors.

Cons: Not really a con, but it is a little pricey for the feature set. However, the enclosure seems better built than some of the others I've worked with (like Mediasonic). The quality is definitely there.

Other Thoughts: Both of my enclosures are connected via eSATA to a HighPoint RocketRaid 642L controller in my Ubuntu-based virtualization server. The first one is populated with 4x 1TB Seagate drives, and the second has 4x 2TB Hitachi drives.
One RAID5 volume per enclosure, with multiple virtual machines using 'slices' off each volume for the OS disk.
Performance is about what you'd expect from a eSATA connection.
Some of the other reviewers mentioned the drives are not hot-swappable in this enclosure, and that is not entirely true. It depends how you have the drives attached to your system: if you're using USB, that's expected. If you're using eSATA with a good disk or RAID controller (and not just a cheap port multiplier), then the drives are completely hot-swappable. I've tested this several times, and every time I was able to remove disks from the RAID group without causing a complete rescan of the bus.
Your mileage will always vary depending on how good the hardware you have may be.

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Paulo D.'s Profile

Display Name: Paulo D.

Date Joined: 03/15/05

  • Reviews: 10
  • Helpfulness: 4
  • First Review: 04/01/10
  • Last Review: 08/11/14
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