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StarTech 4-Port PCI-Express SATA III 6Gbps RAID Controller Card Model PEXSAT34RH
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: more than 1 year

5 out of 5 eggs More about PEXSAT34RH: Answering Terry D.'s question 03/25/2015

This review is from: StarTech 4-Port PCI-Express SATA III 6Gbps RAID Controller Card Model PEXSAT34RH

Pros: You can see my earlier reviews on this. Egg sent me an e-mail suggesting someone found those reviews useful, and I find a recent reviewer asking about a "hybrid-drive" setup for this controller.

There are a few solution options to simply buying a "hybrid" drive which are much better: Intel ISRT SSD-caching; Marvell Hyper-Duo SSD-caching; and general caching software like Romex Primo-Cache (which has proven that the proprietary limitation(s) of options like ISRT or Samsung RAPID are not a limitation to achieving the same result by other means).

All you need for either HyperDuo (a feature of the PEXSAT34RH) or the Romex software is a 40 to 60GB SSD, but you could use a larger one, contrary to the 64GB limit in Intel's ISRT. If you want to use the inherent features of the Startech card, you can read their instructions and do it that way. If you want to use Primo-Cache, follow that approach.

You don't need an SATA-III HDD and certainly you don't need a "hybrid" HDD. One or more reliable, high-capacity SATA-II HDDs would be just as good. You only need to assure that the caching SSD is connected to an SATA-III port -- which would be the case with either Marvell Hyper-Duo or Primo-Cache using the PEXSAT34RH

Cons: None.

Other Thoughts: I'll think of some, if there's a need or someone asks.

BenQ XL2420Z Black / Red 24
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: There are all sorts of complications. Suppose you have your two workstations independently connected to your AVR/HDTV? Suppose they're also connected through the KVM to a single desktop keyboard, mouse and monitor? And -- you want to go "digital." A Smart-AVI 4-port KVM (HDMI/USB) can cost about $450. There are limitations with DVI/USB KVMs, and they're still in the $200 range.

Wey-ull, Pilgrim! When your cheap full-HD monitor goes south, you need to do research in a hurry. I'm not ready for 4K yet. But I wanted certain gaming features, 1ms response time, 144hz refresh rate, and Nvidia 3D. The XL2420Z has all that for it's ~$330 price-tag.

But it gets better. You can connect multiple PCs (or Xbox, PS3/4, etc.) to the several inputs (but forget VGA -- no more, no more!) The monitor comes with an "S.Switch" -- sort of custom mouse with scroll wheel and programmable buttons. This enables quick access to the OSD (on-screen-display [menus]) by just pressing the scroll wheel. You can forego buying a new KVM switch if you can learn to click through about two menus and change the input selection. Voila! You switched from PC#1 . . . to PC#2!! And it behaves like a pro-quality KVM switch -- never loses the signal, doesn't rearrange any desktops! Not much inconvenience -- continuing to use the Belkin KVM for mouse and keyboard. Just a couple extra steps, and no additional outlay.

I'm either Rip Van Winkle waking up to StarTrek Enterprise HD monitors after using an old DC3 relic HD monitor from 2009 . . . or . . . this thing is truly a marvel for the price! You can get 144 Hz refresh on one input, and run the other input @ 60 Hz -- no problem! None at all!

It's got a 3 year warranty. The tech-support guys have been marvelous stand-up champs -- scholars, princes and gentlemen! I am truly happier than a pig in slop [carefully chosen word]!! If the XL2420Z goes south before it's time, I'll post a rectifying review.

But I really, really doubt it. . . .

A footnote to the Egg. I know some folks have had troubles with shipping, packaging, maybe RMAs. But the Egg has always been stand-up terrific for me. I think I ordered this monitor on Sunday, and it was here on Wednesday. Good going, folks!

Cons: It's so feature-rich, that it takes a lot of work and time to go through the color calibration and other menus to set up. But it's worth it -- every penny and every minute of your time! The display is VERY Bright-- BRITE -- Burrr-RIGHT! But you can adjust this puppy.

Other Thoughts: Some think this monitor is a bit "pricey." Any old desktop HD monitor can be had for between $150 and $250 -- good brand names -- check the Egg. But for its price-tag, I think you get what you pay for. BenQ tech-support has been superb. The previous reviewers liked it. I like it. You're going to like it, if you're not eager to spend $700 for 4K right now.

MSI GTX 970 GAMING 4G Golden Edition GM204-200 (Maxwell) 4GB GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support ATX Video Card
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

5 out of 5 eggs Another plug for this card after purchasing my second 02/12/2015

This review is from: MSI GTX 970 GAMING 4G Golden Edition GM204-200 (Maxwell) 4GB GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support ATX Video Card

Pros: Despite the "great controversy," this card is a great bang for the buck.

Overclocks well.
Runs cool.
Uses less power.

Cons: Those of us who bought "Goldens" paid more for the backplate, but also, if I'm not mistaken, the card is either stock-clocked higher or over-clocks just as well. There were indications that "Golden" has better components.

The worst of it: It's not the GTX 980, and there's the Gur-reat 0.5GB VRAM embarrassment. It seems, however, that this is being addressed with new drivers, even if the new drivers weren't expressly written to address that particular problem.

Other Thoughts: I didn't plan my "newest" system as well as I'd planned its predecessor -- both using the near-obsolete socket-1155. I had some spare parts, among which was a Seasonic 650W semi-modular PSU.

In my first pass at deciding whether to buy the second GTX 970, I came up with a conclusion that I could get SLI without quite reaching 550W. So, the mix of curiosity, enthusiast momentum etc. made me go against the herd and get a second card.

Now it turns out that I was maybe 100W off in my calculation. That is, if the OC'd processor is stress-loaded to the max (140W package power) while the two 970's are stress-loaded to the max in SLI, power consumption could actually reach 651W. But that's not likely to happen. You'd have to run Intel Burn Test simultaneously with Kombustor after tweaking the NVidia control panel so that Kombustor pushes both cards to 98% usage.

If one were planning to overclock a single 970 under this regime -- I'd say no problem with a 650W PSU. Overclocking two in SLI may be a different cup of tea, but not likely to add much to real-world power consumption. Figure with two of 'em, you'll need 320W of power over and above average "idle" system power. You can just barely get away with a 650W PSU. I'd recommend a 750W unit, though.


John B.'s Profile

Display Name: John B.

Date Joined: 11/05/03


  • Top 1000 Reviewer
  • Reviews: 70
  • Helpfulness: 44
  • First Review: 09/24/04
  • Last Review: 03/05/15
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