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GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD3P (rev. 1.0) LGA 2011-v3 Intel X99 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: This X99 board from Gigabyte has a lot of great features such as dual M.2 connectors, plenty of SATA connectivity, Intel Gigabit LAN, and a nice Realtek ALC1150 sound system with built in audio amplification. It also features server grade chokes, something I liked seeing.

For me this board represents a quality affordable entry into the X99 platform, so I paired it with an i7- 5820K and 16GB of G.SKILL DDR4 (2133 Ripjaws 4 - 4 x 4GB), and it performed wonderfully under Windows 8.1.

As you can imagine, gaming on the X99 platform is generous with the framerates if you pair it with a high-end GPU, or more with the higher end X99 processors. I tested this board out with a Radeon 290X and needless to say, "bottlenecks" are not issue.

To be perfectly honest, if you're looking for an affordable X99 board, this X99-UD3P is a great choice. I have been using Gigabyte UD boards for a while, across all their supported platforms, and they have always proven themselves reliable and affordable, and this one is no exception.

When reviewing this motherboard, everything worked as intended, and performed as it should have, what more can you say about it's functionality? This is a solid X99 board that brings the platform more into an affordable range for those looking to make the switch.

If you pair this board with good hardware to fit your needs, it should have no problems delivering the top performance from those parts. Great for gaming, productivity, or both.

Aesthetically, the board also looks really nice, I like the black and gold as well as the heatsink designs.

This review, for a motherboard, is shorter that most of the ones I normally do. In all of my testing it just worked, and it worked well. The level of performance you're going to get is obviously going to depend on the hardware you pair it with. The simple fact is this board is a great value and it performed flawless for me, with the parts I had to use with it.

Cons: None so far.

Other Thoughts: If you're in the market for a quality X99 board that wont break the bank, then you should be seriously looking at this X99-UD3P from Gigabyte. Their Ultra Durable line has proven itself reliable and this board makes a great addition to the name.

Mushkin Enhanced ECO2 MKNSSDEC480GB 2.5
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

5 out of 5 eggs Affordable Drive With Good Performance 07/07/2015

This review is from: Mushkin Enhanced ECO2 MKNSSDEC480GB 2.5" 480GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

Pros: Affordable 480GB capacity drive with good performance for the price.

Before we go any further, lets get the benchmark numbers out of the way. I tested the drive using CrystalDiskMark x64, AIDA64, and ATTO. Reads were tested with all three applications, writes were tested with CDM x64 and ATTO.

All numbers are in MB/sec across all tests.

***CrystalDiskMark x64***

100MB 5 Pass

Seq Read : 498.0
Seq Write: 340.3
512K Read: 436.4
512K Write: 335.2
4K Read: 28.36
4K Write: 19.94
4KQD32 Read: 224.7
4KQD32 Write: 96.72

1000MB 5 Pass

Seq Read : 506.4
Seq Write: 340.2
512K Read: 438.7
512K Write: 336.2
4K Read: 28.50
4K Write: 18.67
4KQD32 Read: 216.2
4KQD32 Write: 89.11

4000MB 5 Pass

Seq Read : 498.6
Seq Write: 339.4
512K Read: 435.0
512K Write: 334.5
4K Read: 28.63
4K Write: 16.19
4KQD32 Read: 186.1
4KQD32 Write: 80.29

***AIDA64 Read Tests***

256KB Block Size

Linear: 438.8
Random: 430.0
Buffered: 363.4

1MB Block Size

Linear: 500.0
Random: 495.4
Buffered: 486.9

8MB Block Size

Linear: 526.1
Random: 529.4
Buffered: 518.7

***ATTO Averages***

256K Read: 430
256K Write: 400
512K Read: 472
512K Write: 427
1MB Read: 510
1MB Write: 451
4MB Read: 526
4MB Write: 466
8MB Read: 536
8MB Write: 475

Average Access Time: 0.17ms

As you can see, it' has very respectable performance numbers for it's price point.

The drive was also tested against a couple other similar capacity SSD's from other manufacturers in real world usages based on OS load times and responsiveness, as well as video game load times. This Mushkin ECO2 SSD performs as expected, with no noticeable differences with other SSD's in it's capacity and price range.

It works great as an OS or games drive. Load times in games like Battlefield 4 and Hardline, as well as Call of Duty Advanced Warfare and others is spot on with it's competition.

As far as the drives longevity, I can't say to much about that as of yet since I have only had it up and running for a week. In that weeks time I have put it under a lot of stress with benchmarking and running multiple games on the drive. So far, no slowdowns or hints of any troubles. It's performing wonderfully. If that changes, I will post a followup.

Cons: None with this drive as of yet. Other reviewers say they had problems with drives running slowly or failing, and it seems as though Mushkin has addressed the problem and it no longer exists. They also seemed to have taken good care of their customers who did have issues with that batch of drives, so kudos to Mushkin for doing that.

Other Thoughts: The drive was tested on following basic hardware under Windows 7 Ultimate 64.

AMD FX-8350 @ 4.8GHz
ASUS Sabertooth 990FX
16GB Crucial Ballistix Tactical 1866 RAM

If you're in the market for an inexpensive high-capacity SSD, then you should be looking at this Mushkin ECO2 drive.

It performs quite well, and in the event of an issue, they seem to take good care of their customers. That is a huge plus in this reviewers opinion. While it's better to not have to deal with hardware issues at all, it does happen, and it's nice to know the company will stand behind it's product and do what's needed to correct the problem.

TP-LINK Archer T8E AC1750 Wireless Dual Band PCI Express Adapter IEEE 802.11ac, IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11n, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11b PCI Express Up to 1.3Gbps Wireless Data Rates
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: There are a lot of options out there when it comes to your home networking needs, how do you choose what you buy? Some may be loyal to a brand that has always worked for them, others may rely on reviews or their own experiences, some based on their specific needs, then there is price to consider.

So what reasons would make this TP-Link Archer T8E stand out among the crowd?

TP-Link is a trusted name in the business. For me personally, I have come to trust them for both my home networking needs, as well as those of my customers. My entire home network is now 100% TP-Link powered, and it easily meets it's very high demands. I will explain more below in "Other thoughts".

Build quality. This NIC doesn't feel "cheap" or flimsy in any way. It's nice and solid.

Simple install, as you would expect. The drivers and software both appear to be stable. At no time during any of my testing or usage did I have any problems with stability.

What really sets this NIC apart in my opinion is it's performance, and this where you ask a question. Who would be looking at buying a high-end NIC like this?

In my opinion, it would be someone who's looking for the best wireless performance they can get. Someone like me who's home network is under a higher than normal load at most times, gamers, or those who are looking for high reliability. Or, all the above.

In my case, the NIC got put to the test as part of a new gaming HTPC (Home Theater PC) that I had just completed. I decided to go wireless and let this TP-Link Archer T8E handle all the work, and this is where I think it really showed it's capability.

My current router is the TP-Link Archer C7 AC1750, paired with this NIC, I was able to maintain full strength dual-band signal between the two devices. The distance between the router and HTPC is roughly 17 feet. The signal has to pass through a wall, bookshelf, cabinet, and then the TV and HTPC itself. All at about a 45 degree angle.

To put the NIC to the test, I not only used it to quickly install a large portion of my Steam games library, but set out to see how well it would work for both online gaming and Steam In-Home Streaming.

It's online gaming performance was exceptional, playing online FPS with pings on par with my wired systems, no drops, lag spikes, or any other latency issues. So needless to say MMORPG, RTS, MOBA, and LAN gaming posed little challenge for the NIC.

Streaming modern high-end games to my HTPC over this NIC worked like a charm. Steam In-Home Streaming was set to the "beautiful" preset and there was zero noticeable input lag or latency. I was actually quite impressed considering this feature is best ran over a wire.

Streaming 1080P video from our NAS to the HTPC posed no problems. Nor did services like Hulu, Netflix, or YouTube.

Simply put, this NIC easily earns it's price tag in this users humble opinion.

Cons: To be honest, I didn't have any notable issues during any of the setup, testing, or usage of this NIC. It seemed to perform exactly as it was intended.

Other Thoughts: So what exactly do I mean when I say a "demanding" home network? We have several wired and wireless devices that are used on an almost daily basis in our home.

Currently this consists of 3 high-end gaming PC's, the HTPC mentioned above, a dedicated streaming and video capture PC, a file/media/game server, our NAS, a PS3, 3 android tablets, Roku, and various guest devices.

We do a lot of online and LAN gaming, streaming, and media. So this network is under a pretty heavy load during large portions of the day. As mentioned above, it's now all powered by TP-Link products. From the router at the heart of it all, 2 switches, a second smaller router, and a powerline kit. Then of course this new Archer T8E.

Dropping this NIC into the mix was simple, and it performed wonderfully, and actually exceeded my initial expectations.

Lastly, the HTPC this NIC got tested in, and is now staying, also got reviewed. So a large number of games were tested via Steam In-Home streaming, as well as online and LAN, as part of that review. At no time did the Archer T8E give me any trouble with slow downloads, weak signals, dropped connections, or anything of the sort. The short of it is, this NIC will NOT be a "bottleneck" for any form of gaming or media streaming. It seems to be able to handle it easily.

So,if you're looking for a high-end quality wireless adapter to meet your home networks needs, then you should be looking really hard at this Archer T8E. TP-Link has done a good job on this NIC and it's a credit to their name.


Robert H.'s Profile

Display Name: Robert H.

Date Joined: 05/20/09


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  • First Review: 05/20/09
  • Last Review: 08/11/15
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